Saturday, December 31, 2005


You’ve seen those books, when do fish sleep? Ok, well I’ve got some of my own imponderables.

1. First, how big of a geek am I that I’m up at 4 a.m. not only thinking about these questions but then going so far as to get up and write them out for my blog?

2. Theoretically speaking, if I believe in the God I’ve been thinking I believe in do I then have to follow through with that belief and accept the fact that if Adolf Hitler asked for forgiveness and felt it in his heart before he died that he could be sitting in Heaven with my Grandma?

3. Is it a dichotomy that I am so an obsessive hand washer and yet have cats—animals that use the bathroom in a litter box in my house, which they walk in after using, and then walk across my counters, furniture and beds?

4. Why do some dogs howl unnecessarily when they hear a siren and others do not?

5. Is there something deeply wrong with people who can and do write horror novels or who produce and direct and write movies like Saw?

6. Why, when you think of something really, really horrendous and brutal or evil does your mind keep worrying it like a fresh cavity?

7. Has the government ever conducted studies of the writings of people under the influence of some sort of stimuli?

8. Why can’t real politics be like the West Wing where the good guys really have good ideas and feel passionately about the whole idea of by the people and for the people instead of being like a bunch of whores going to the highest bidder?

9. Is it weird to read someone’s blog, someone you don’t know, and then feel compelled to comment on an entry, and then feel weird like you’ve burst in on some conversation you weren’t invited to and made some lame comment and everyone is just standing around looking at you like, uh, who the hell are you?

10. Do you ever wonder, late at night, if your entire perception of reality is just a bit off register? Like if you peeled things back just a bit or looked a little too close you’d find out that you’ve been completely wrong about everything you ever thought?

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Life at home

Today's the first official day of my holiday vacation I guess. It's Tuesday, December 27, 10:49 a.m. I'm on the first cup of coffee, got up 20 minutes ago when The Boy brought me the Darth Vadar Helmut to fix.
It is huge and sounds totally like Darth Vadar--not the best thing to hear first thing in the morning.
The Girl is on her way to become a sculpture, she got a battery operated pottery wheel (not from me) for Christmas, it's loud. The same aunt and uncle that got her that got The Boy a 310 piece art set : ) Too bad all their kids are grown up, I'd buy them some drums and cymbols.
Christmas was quite nice. The Hubby and I don't really do extravagant gifts for each other, for many reasons, but he usually ends up out doing me anyway. I got a great pair of pjs, the first season of West Wing on DVD, perfume, a very cool photo/scrapbook thing, and the kids got me the big ass box of crayons (hands down one of my best gifts, truly), fuzzy pink slippers (I look like a Yeti who fell in some food coloring) and the original Willy Wonka DVD. My Mom got me the new version (with Johnny Hottie Depp) and March of the Penguins, which I've already watched once! : )
Today they want to go out shopping. I have grand plans for this week--reorganize the kids' rooms, get caught up on paperwork, find a new job, etc.
He he--got ya going on the job thing huh? Yes, I'd love to find a new job this year, but so far I'm not doing much on that front.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Wrapping it up

Well, 2005 is almost over, thank God! I really think next year will be our year for some reason. It’s going to be a good one. The last few haven’t been so great, too many losses and too many family issues.

Our latest loss was Doc, our shepherd mix. He died quite suddenly Nov. 29. Of our four pets he was the Hubby’s favorite, the one he’d bonded with most. It’s never a good time to lose a pet, but the holidays are especially hard for the Hubby since his Mom died a year ago in September and his Grandma died that November. He is, however, doing a little better. It’s interesting because on the outside he’s probably the toughest, most hard assed person you could meet; he likes to think he’s very laid back and things don’t bother him; he’s arrogant and brutally honest; and Doc’s death really threw him for a loop. My prediction is within the next six months we’ll have another dog—but the Hubby’s excuse will be it’s because our remaining dog is lonely. Leah has found the silver lining in this cloud and turned herself into an inside dog. She’s a big black lab; she lounges on the couch, or chaise or loveseat nightly now. She’s been looking forlornly at our bed—but I’m drawing the line there. Granted we have a king size bed but between me, the Hubby, usually two cats and occasionally The Boy, I don’t need another breathing body in there. (Yes, The Boy is 6 and he still occasionally crawls in bed with us in the middle of the night. He’s my baby and I’m fine with this unless it goes on for another 10 years.)

As for the extended family, I almost hate to jinx things. My sister is no longer getting married, apparently El Taco cheated on her. She has remained episode free since Christmas day of last year, so I’m hopeful. She seems to be parenting her children more, and has held down a job for more than six months, a real job with a future, benefits and everything. This could be a good year for her as well. My Mom hasn’t been especially annoying lately either.

Saturday we babysat my youngest nephew, he’ll be two in Feb. That, once and for all, wiped away any twinges I had or deep dark thoughts I held about having a third child. I’d forgotten how much work little ones are with the diapers and naps and watching them 24/7. The Boy helped babysit (the Girl went with my Mom and sister and niece for the day) and he was quite nurturing and possessive. When he made the statement that we needed a baby I said well, if I had another one then IT would be the baby and not him. He looked at me for a minute and then said, nah, we don’t need one because I’m your baby. Sniff sniff.

Then when I was changing my nephew’s diaper the Boy looked down and blurted out, why does his penis look like that? It’s so tiny! He then proceeded to yank his pants down (commando again) and pull on his own and say, look how HUGE mine is compared to his! Was mine that small when I was a baby? How do you keep from laughing at that? This weekend he also decided he couldn’t wait for a haircut and decided to snip his bangs with Dad’s moustache trimming scissors. His excuse was that he was starting to look like Harry Potter.

We finally found all of The Girl’s missing allowance (she’d lost it twice) and she, on her own, decided she wanted to buy each of us gifts with her own money. What a sweetie! She informed us last night that we can’t sleep late on Christmas, that we’d be getting up at 5 a.m. I hope I can teach her to make coffee in the next few days so she’ll have a pot on for me that morning!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Disturbing news

Just Googling around the news this morning and these popped out at me.

US Christian right threatens to boycott Ford over ads in gay media

I can’t even begin to express my shock and anger—WTF? Really? How hella stupid! Why, why, why are people so incredibly bigoted that they’re boycotting a company because of where it places it’s advertising? Do they REALLY think white, Christian, married couples are the only people in the entire freaking world that buy Ford cars? Why do they even care where Ford puts its ads? Are they afraid if ohmygod, a GAY person sees a Ford in a magazine ad that then THEY’LL buy a Ford and then people will start thinking everyone who drives a Ford is GAY so the white Christians will then have to stop buying Fords, or God forbid, someone would think they’re GAY? Do they think being gay will rub off on them? What about the whole Christian thing? I mean, I’m no expert and certainly don’t know my Bible, but I thought God was like, the creator of EVERYONE (including gays). What’s that stupid bumper sticker? God don’t make no junk? Well, uh, hello, God made people regardless of their color, sexual preference etc. and I don’t really think he gives a flying flip who drives a Ford.

My next question is which of those so-called Christian’s was reading a gay magazine and saw the Ford ad?

Fred: Dammit Fredia, do you see this ad Ford put in my magazine?

Fredia: Why, Fred, what are you doing with THAT magazine?

Fred: (said sheepishly) Well, I, uh, I’m just trying to find out about this whole lifestyle so I can bring them over to the good side. You know, the whole, going into the den of iniquity to save the poor souls there. Yeah, that’s it, that’s why I’m reading this.

I’m stopping now because this whole issue just pisses me off. Grow the fuck up people! We’re all humans and it doesn’t matter who’s sleeping with who it’s none of your damn business!


Computer decodes Mona Lisa's smile

This one baffles me for a few reasons. First, do scientist really not have anything better to study, than oh I don’t know maybe a cure for cancer or Alzheimer’s (because this is the disease I know I’ll get), AIDS, childhood leukemia, etc.? Who the hell funded this? Did they have extra money lying around, because, hello, I’ll sign up to study something—like why is the Statue of Liberty wearing sandals instead of some other shoe?

Did that many people have a burning desire to know why Mona was smiling? Hmm, report said she was smiling because she was…I know, hold on because this is just too unbelievable…she was HAPPY! No shit!

Isn’t the whole purpose of art to make you think, make you wonder, expand your horizons? Next thing you know they’ll be studying Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s soup piece. Why did he choose that brand instead of another? Why soup, why not a can of peas? Was Campbell’s underwriting him?

Thursday, December 15, 2005

I'm a retard

Have you ever done something so incredibly stupid that you can't even explain it? At work we have a blasted password for just about everything we touch, and we're prompted to change them about every other month. Log into the computer, change your password and it can't be one of your last five. Log on to the employee site to fill out expense reports, another password. Check your voicemail on the phone, another password. So this morning I check my voicemail and then get to work, yes, I do that occassionally.

Then I had a telephone interview with this incredibly rude airhead I have to write a story about and during the interview I get two calls that go to voicemail. I get off the call and try to check my voicemail and for the life of me I can't remember my damn password!!!! The same damn password I used less than two hours ago!

I've tried every combination I can think of, I think it had my birthday in it. I've tried to work on something else and not think about it hoping I can just go back and do it automatically, but no, that's all I can think of the stupid numbers! So I had to break down and call our IT dept. which is located God knows where, so they can call our phone support which is probably located on another planet and now I have to wait for them to call and reprogram my phone.

Meanwhile my message light is sitting there blinking, probably laughing hysterically at me, much like the IT guy who took my call, and taunting me because I can't answer it.

That's what friends are for

My friend TL, one of the handful of people who actually reads this thing, sent me a great email in response to my last two posts. Although I haven't asked his permission, I'm going to share the email because it so succinctly ties everything up in a nice little zany snowman Christmas wrapped present with a bright green bow.

If your relationship is like a menstrual cycle and you're not QUITE in the holiday mood, you might want to bring the family together with a project or two.

Kudos to TL for such a perfect gift. I'm feeling holly and jolly right this very moment. It's either that or the fact that I've been listening to the radio station that plays Christmas songs (the same 10) all day. I think I can sing Rockin' Around the Christmas tree just as well, if not better, than Brenda Lee at this point!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Holiday eating tips

A friend just sent this to me and I couldn't resist sharing, with my own comments added of course. WOO HOO!

With the holidays close by here are some Holiday Eating Tips. Have yourself a traditionally angst-filled strange little Norman Rockwell disaster.

1. Avoid carrot and celery sticks. Anyone who puts carrots and celery on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit and they’re cheap asses. In fact, if you see carrots and celery, leave immediately. Go next door, where they’re serving rum balls. (I’ve never had a rum ball.)

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can and do it quickly. Like fine single-malt scotch, it’s rare. In fact, it’s even more rare than single-malt scotch. You can’t find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It’s not as if you’re going to turn into an eggnog-aholic or something. It’s a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It’s later than you think. It’s Christmas! (I’ve also never had real eggnog that is with liquor in it.)

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That’s the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat. (I’m not a big gravy eater, but feel free.)

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they’re made with skim milk or whole milk. If it’s skim, pass. Why bother? It’s like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission. (Ok, skim milk is just like white water, at least go for 1%. When it comes to mashed potatoes, the key is butter and lots of it.)

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people’s food for free and lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year’s. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you’ll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don’t budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They’re like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you’re never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or, if you don’t like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day? (Uh, what the hell is mincemeat? Through in a Derby pie and it’s all good.)

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it’s loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards. (Again, never tasted this, ever.)

10. One final tip: If you don’t feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven’t been paying attention. Reread tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.

Remember this motto to live by: “Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, “WOO HOO what a ride!”

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Similes are like...

...creative, yet sometimes bizarre ways of comparing totally opposite things to make someone understand a vision you have. Yes, I know that’s not the Webster definition; that would be a comparison; a figure of speech comparing two unlike things that is often introduced by like or as.

The Hubby is always using similes and metaphors to explain things, especially when we’re in deep conversation or an argument. Sometimes these are thought provoking; sometimes they irritate the shit out of me because they make absolutely no sense.

Last night we were just having a conversation about things going on in life right now, how we are not, and do not really know anyone who is, in the holiday spirit; going over the week’s busy schedule; talking about his work/my work; our relationship etc. During this conversation I came up with two similes that I thought were pretty cool. These are specific to me of course.

Life is like Neapolitan ice cream. When things are going bad and it sucks—that’s the strawberry (because it’s my least favorite). You move on and everything’s ok, not necessarily exciting, not bad, it’s vanilla (because it’s boring to me). Then you kick into the hella good times and you’re happy as a pig in shit (another simile), feeling good as a kid in a candy store (another) and that, my friends, is chocolate. Feel free to switch that one up for your own ice cream junkie needs.

My marriage is like a menstrual cycle. Ok, I know it’s gross but I was hella tired when we were having this talk and it made perfect sense at the time. Sometimes the relationship is PMSing, everything pisses you off, usually for no good reason, you’re moody, go back and forth between love me and leave me alone, etc. Then comes the period; this is the fallout from the PMSing and you’re fighting and arguing and nothing’s really good. After that comes the good times, everything’s on an even keel, you’re pretty much happy, etc. I really think relationships go in a cycle, if not this particular one. The Hubby and I can go for almost a year riding on that in-love high, being happy, taking care of each other, all that mushy stuff and then bam, the PMSing starts. We’ll go for a few months of fighting off and on, being testy etc. and then there’s the light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe these are growing pains; that sounds reasonable. I mean after 13 years of marriage and basically 22 years of a relationship (GOD that’s a LONG TIME!) you’re entitled to a few growing pains right?

I’d say right now we’re coming out of our period, heading into the good times and the vanilla is edging over into the chocolate. I’ll take two scoops with hot fudge please!

Thursday, December 8, 2005

The work vent

So far I’ve not said much about work and my co-workers, but I think I’ll give a little description of the environment and the inhabitants.

The environment:
The company I work for is so big I couldn’t honestly tell you where it’s headquartered because I don’t know. Year after year we’re told the raises are so small because there’s not much money in publishing. Hmmm, hard to believe a company of this size would stay in business if there weren’t money to be made. Perhaps they could save some cash and not give us the yearly stupid gift (mouse pad, pen, desk ornament, shoulder bag) laden with the stupid company logo. You can’t even regift the damn things because they have logos on them. One year my friend and I decided to gather up all the mouse pads and make a mobile. It was huge; it should have been in MOMA. We hung it in our conference room. It lasted for a few months and then mysteriously disappeared.

The boss:
I have to preface this vent by saying that for the most part I like my boss, however, she’s pretty passive aggressive and avoids confronting most issues. This used to bother me because we have one employee who basically decides her own hours (she might stroll in around 10 a.m., though technically we’re supposed to be here between 8:30 and 9) and she does not work late to compensate. This same employee started the same day I did, but miraculously it seems she has like 20 more weeks of vacation than I do. Before I knew better I’d talk to my boss about issues I had with this person, like I was tired of picking up her slack etc., but then I think I just came off as a whiner, because my boss never did anything about it and sort of tiptoed around the subject from then on. I’ve learned to ignore the inequalities and go on with my day. One thing that really irritates me is that when my boss wants me to do something that pretty much isn’t my job or that she figures no one else will do, she heaps on the phony flattery. Oh, I need you to write such and such because you’re just so good at it. Give me a break, you’re asking me to do it because I’m the only one who’ll get it done on time and not bitch about it.

The Diva:
This is the person I was referring to above. We started work on the same day, so we fell into sort of a ‘we’re in the same boat’ type of friendship. After a year of vapid conversations about shoes, shopping and why the latest guy she was seeing wasn’t perfect (meaning he wasn’t rich and European) I realized that relationship wasn’t going anywhere. Plus I got tired of feeling like regardless of what she did, she got away with it and was playing by a different set of rules than the rest of us.

The Whiner:
On the surface this guy seems ok, though a bit strange. From the first day he started work here all you heard out of his mouth was I’m ready to go home, I don’t want to be here. Yes, we all have these days, but this guy says it EVERY SINGLE DAY during every conversation you have with him. And, he’s spoiled and immature. Though I never really had respect for him, I lost any positive vibe this summer when his wife was expecting a baby. Early on in the pregnancy he made comments like, I hope my kid is cute, I can’t have an ugly baby. He bitched because he wasn’t getting sex every day and wondered aloud what he’d do for the six weeks after the delivery. Then there was the prenatal test to determine if there’s a possibility of downs syndrome, cerebral palsy etc. and he pushed his wife to have the test (which is infamous for false positives) because if it came back positive he’d push for an abortion, without a second thought, because he can’t have a retarded kid. Yes, this is me letting my personal views influence how I respond, but this just appalled me. I realize some people are pro-choice, and I support their right to be so, and maybe at one time in my life I leaned more toward pro-choice views, but since having kids I just can’t see that way anymore. It isn’t necessarily that he’d consider an abortion, because I wouldn’t hold having an abortion against anyone, but it was his reason why and the way he presented it. Now that he’s a dad all we hear about is how he doesn’t have any time to do what he wants to do, complaining about the kid not sleeping, complaining if one of the parents can’t help, and then he’ll throw in but I really love that kid. It’s almost like he feels obligated to say it so we here it, like he’s trying to convince us. Granted I know sometimes I go on and on about my kids, telling the incredibly funny and creative things that come out of their mouths, but I don’t feel compelled to tell people how much I love them every time I talk about them. Maybe it’s me, maybe I’m being judgmental, but he really just pisses me off.

Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Vince the hottie

Vincent D'Onofrio is new to my list of intriguing actors. I've recently started watching reruns of Law & Order in which he plays Det. Goren. This character is eerily brilliant and full of obscure information that I didn't even know existed, let alone know anything about.

At first glance he's not stunningly attractive, and I'm quite certain it's his character Goren that made me take notice of him--big brained quirky turns me on. I figured he'd been in other shows or movies, but had no idea his resume was so extensive. See below. Of this list I've only seen Mystic Pizza I think--which is a great movie.

Thumbsucker - ( Mike Cobb / 2005)
The Salton Sea
Chelsea Walls
The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys
Happy Accidents
Claire Dolan
The Player
The Cell
The Thirteenth Floor
The Newton Boys
Men in Black
Good Luck
The Whole Wide World
Feeling Minnesota
Strange Days
Being Human
Ed Wood
Household Saints
Adventures in Babysitting
Mystic Pizza
Crooked Hearts
Signs of Life
The Blood of Heroes
Fires Within
Dying Young
Little Victories
Nunzio's Second Cousin
Stuart Saves His Family
Salt on Our Skin
Imaginary Crimes
Malcolm X
The First Turn-On!
Full Metal Jacket
Spanish Judges
Hotel Paradise
Mr. Wonderful
Naked Tango
The Velocity of Gary (Not His Real Name)
Steal This Movie

Just thought I'd share that in case you too had not discovered Vincent.

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

Polar opposites

This notion of penguins and polar bears cohabitating is driving me insane. I've noticed it for years in print and on TV. PENGUINS and POLAR BEARS do not even live on the same damn continent people!

I understand creating ads can be challenging and when you think ice, cold, winter you think polar bears and penguins, but do a little research people, they don't live on the same pole. Penguins are South Polers and polar bears are North Polers.

In the latest Coke ad it shows a rookery of penguins dancing and having a blast. I'm cool with that. Penguins drinking Coke, should be Pepsi, but I can handle Coke. Then the polar bears come onto the scene. It's just wrong.

I know it's a commercial, but I feel like I'm one of the few people in the world who realizes the wrongness of it. Alas, it is my curse to know this trivial stuff.

It seems this time of year brings out the worst in people with the penguins and bears--I see it on cards, wrapping paper, ornaments and more. C'mon, that would be like showing pictures of camels and kangaroos hanging out together.

Friday, December 2, 2005

Deck the damn halls already

I'm not yet in the Christmas spirit, so I'm making these lists and checking them twice.

12 things I hate about Christmas
1. No snow
2. People who brag about the gifts they’ve bought to include how much they spent on them.
3. Lighted, plastic outdoor decorations—yes, the hubby has an affinity for these.
4. Blinking lights on the tree and putting the lights on the tree, which somehow became my job. I hate that part of decorating.
5. That it’s the only time of the year they sell eggnog in the stores, I love me some eggnog.
6. Buying gifts for people I don’t really want to buy gifts for because they either have everything or appreciate nothing.
7. Christmas cards from people I never see or talk to that just sign their name.
8. Designer Christmas trees, you know the ones that have all the ornaments in the same colors that look like an interior designer put them together—they’re so impersonal.
9. The commercialization
10. The fact that my dad is disengaged from my kids every other day of the year but on Christmas he thinks he can make up for it by buying them a bunch of toys that they don’t even like—he doesn’t even know then well enough to know what they like, yet he buys butt loads of crap.
11. Watching my Grandma open her presents because she never seems excited or happy with them.
12. Happy holidays instead of Merry Christmas

12 things I love about Christmas
1. Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack
2. The smell of a live tree in my house.
3. Wrapping paper.
4. Finding a gift you know is perfect for someone and taking them totally by surprise.
5. The song Christmas in Dixie by Alabama
6. Christmas music from my childhood—Johnny Cash, Sing along with Mitch Miller, Andy Williams, Eddie Arnold
7. The Bass & Rankin classics, Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas, The Christmas Story, Elf, The Santa Clause, A Christmas Carol, It’s a Wonderful Life, the original Miracle on 34th Street
8. Decorating our tree—I love Christmas ornaments and my tree is a hodge-podge of homemade and bought; most of which have a significance, like the kid’s first Christmas, the first ornament the hubby and I bought together (with his parents when I was about 16), etc.
9. The fact that the Girl is saving up her allowance for the first time to buy gifts for people.
10. Christmas crafts—we’ve made sweatshirts, ornaments, etc. and find something new to do each year.
11. Little traditions like the chocolate-filled advent calendars, the pickle ornament we hide in the tree and decorating sugar cookies.
12. Snowmen; some people are Santa people or angels or reindeer, I’m diggin’ on some snowmen.

Monday, November 28, 2005

A little this and that

I’m working on my second cup of coffee, getting ready for a third, so this might be disjointed and random and you might walk away saying WTF, but hey, it’s not like you paid for it right?

Thanksgiving went off without much of a hitch. Here’s a family photo.

The green one in the can is my Dad. I think he came out of the den long enough to eat and then he retreated again to the dismal aloof hermit-ness that is his pathetic life.

The one with the black cape is Mom. She prepared the bird and though was pretty well behaved and not psychotic, she does tend to suck the life out of a person.

Thanksgiving highlight: Nobody ended up in the hospital or rehab.

The rest of the long weekend was good. We went to see an incredible local annual festival of lights. It’s in a park and you drive though these displays, more than a million lights and 70+ larger-than-life displays, it’s fantastic. This picture doesn’t quite do it justice. My favorite part is driving through the winter wonderland of giant falling snowflake lights.

Movies—we’ve seen three good ones lately; kids’ movies of course, but hey, they’re good anyway.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire—I can’t give enough props to J.K. Rowling and her story weaving ability. She’s kept it going through an intricately entwined series. The Girl was a little disappointed because the movie didn’t include everything from the more than 800 page book, and still it was like 2 ½ hours long. I’ve started reading the books and I think they’ll be great. If you’ve ignored HP up to now, don’t. Really, the movies are good. Of course I also watched the entire Lord of the Rings series in one weekend before and loved it, so take it for what it’s worth.

Madagascar—Chris Rock is perfect as Marty the Zebra; there are Penguins (love it) and catchy music and now the kids know where Madagascar is! LOL Rent it, it’s funny, and you’ll be singing, I like to move it move it ala the Lemur King (my favorite character).

Polar Express—Tom Hanks does an outstanding job playing all the different roles in this one. I haven’t read the book so I can’t compare, but it’s a good story; something different from the typical Christmas hype, commercialization and greed.

On life and goals:
My life has no purpose, no direction, no aim, no meaning, and yet I’m happy. I can’t figure it out. What am I doing right?—Charles M. Schulz

The grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love and something to hope for.—Joseph Addison

Every person, all the events of your life are there because you have drawn them there. What you choose to do with them is up to you.—Richard Bach

I give you these as food for thought and direct you to watch It’s A Wonderful Life, which, incidentally was not intended as a Christmas classic. As we go through life, wondering why we’re here, what marks we’ve left, what goals we’ll reach I think from time to time we need to remember that everything we say and do touches other people. We may never realize how we’ve made a difference, but I believe, in some way, we all do. I don’t think our lives should be measured in the things we have, the jobs we succeed in, the children we give birth to, the marriages we make, but instead in the simple goodness we share by being friends, helping people and trying our best, no matter what we try.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Music for white people to hump by

I had to use that title; I stole it from K’s comment on sexual music.

Maybe I’m bipolar—for no apparent reason I’m in a really good mood right now. I’m so rocking out to John Mayer, well rocking out as much as you can in a pod at work with an earphone in one ear and not being able to sing at the top of your lungs. I will not be deterred though I’m dancing in my chair and mouthing the words. Just imagine if you can! LOL I should have put John on my list of sexual music. You’re body is a wonderland…what’s not to love about that? (I also should have put Prince on that list—Little Red Corvette, Darling Nicky, Cream…c’mon…it’s amazing the man has time to write songs and perform on stage!)

The Hubby and I joined the Boy and Girl at school for the Boy’s Thanksgiving Feast today (fried chicken). He was hella excited (this is my fad word of the moment that I’ve promised to only use in this blog because apparently Gwen Stefani uses it and God knows I don’t want to be like Gwen). The Boy told us we had to dress up today. When I walked him to his class he asked if we’d please not embarrass him during the feast. He’s so mature for a six year old. At one part during the feast I noticed his eye twitching.

Me: Uh, what are you doing?
The Boy: Winking.
Me: At who?
The Boy: Erin, she’s sitting over there in the blue shirt.

The Girl was good, you know, deigning to attend a kindergarten event when she’s in third grade and all. She did have to leave though because as her reward for being a hella good citizen of the month for October she and about 20 other kids got to go swimming (indoors of course) for a few hours today.

The Boy’s teacher said she wished they could give awards for entertainer of the month instead of citizen of the month, as he’d be a shoe in for that.

On goals—I agree with TL, we all approach goals differently. For some of us, making it through the day without throwing someone in a wood chipper is a big accomplishment. Keeping ourselves from shouting out all the obscenities and razor sharp abuses running through our heads is something to be proud of. I really do have goals and I don’t necessarily think that means I’m not living life or am caught up in production though.

I do think some people can go overboard and be too goal oriented, but I’m sure I’ll never suffer that fate.

Friday, November 18, 2005

I'm a slack ass

I’ve always known this in that deep dark part of my mind I don’t like to talk about or visit, but I am officially ready to admit I’m a slack ass and I’m embarrassed by it.

One of my friends started running marathons a while ago. He ran and completed a marathon on The Great Wall of China. He ran and completed the New York Marathon. He had a goal.

I just read about another person, someone I don’t know, who lives in Colorado and his goal is to climb 54 mountains over 14,000 feet in elevation; in the last two years he’s climbed 12 of them. He has a goal.

I need some goals. I’ve heard one of the keys to reaching your goals is to start out small so you can see some success and then gain momentum, building up to something really big.

Here are my goals:

1. Make it through the day without spilling something on myself. Oops, missed that one today as I spilled coffee all down my leg on the way to work.

2. Make it through the workday doing ONLY work, nothing personal, like, say, writing a blog. Oops, missed that one too.

3. Make it through a major holiday without feeling like I would have rather spent the day cleaning bedpans in a mental institution.

4. Before I’m 40 I want to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I have three years left.

5. Start and complete a craft project. I’m infamous for starting lots of projects, case in point. Project: Huge afghan (I didn’t follow a pattern, just kept crocheting) for Mother-in-law for Christmas. Progress: Started 8 years ago, its incomplete and in the attic and my MIL died last Sept. Project: Three cute little jumpers for The Girl. Progress: Started last fall, one dress partially done because I don’t really sew well and don’t know how to use bias tape. Project: Ceramic train for baby’s room décor. Progress: Started six years ago when The Boy was a baby, train 75% done and languishing on a shelf in his closet. I could go on, but it’s depressing.

6. Get a mammogram before I’m 40.

7. Walk on that treadmill in my garage starting out at two hours a week; I know it’s not a lot by any means, unless of course you’re a slug, but we’re going from zero to 120 minutes of exercise here folks.

These goals seem rather meek and small.

Screw it, it's Friday and my kids didn't fight or give me an attitude on the way to school and they're both having sleepovers tonight.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

A slice of my morning life

If my weekday mornings were a slice of toast they’d be slathered in butter and jelly, both running off the sides and leaving puddles of goo all over the counters and crumbs everywhere—in other words, a total mess!

7:16 a.m.—I finally open my eyes after hitting snooze from the 6:15 and 6:30 alarms. (I’ve tricked myself by setting my alarm clock ahead about 10 minutes.)

The Girl is already out of bed and dressed, she’s going to Chic Fil A today with a group of accelerated readers from school. Amazing that she could get up seeing as how we had to tell her about five times after she went to bed to put the Harry Potter book down and go to sleep. I battle with this because one side of me is like, rock on sista, read read read and read some more, it’ll learn ya things. The other side is like, ok, you’re 8 years old, its 11 p.m. you need your rest.

7:18 a.m.—I peek in the Boy’s room on my way to make coffee, sure that I’m going to have to drag his butt out of bed; he’s like me, not a morning person. Instead, he walks out of the living room waving a video; he’s six and in the last month or so has reverted back to his perverted fascination with that big ass purple dinosaur.

Me: Boy, we don’t watch videos or TV in the mornings, you know that. Now go get dressed.
Him: (teeth and fists clenched) Fine. (he stomps off to get dressed)

I make it to the kitchen to make coffee, the Girl is standing there with her book on the counter, reading. I smile and ask her if she’s ready for school. Yep, she is. Good, one down.

In the hallway the boy growls at me, in pants and no shirt.

Boy: Growl, these pants are too long.
Me: Ok, find another pair.

10 minutes later he walks into my room with shorts on.

Me: Uh Boy, granted its 70 degrees right now, but the temperature is going to drop 20 degrees during the course of the day and it might rain, not the best shorts weather. Go put on pants.

He stomps off to find pants.
I follow him to help.

Me: Ok, here are three pair of pants to choose from Boy.
Boy: The sweat pants stick to my feet (this means they’re ribbed at the bottom like most sweats); the tag is scratchy on those (he’s worn them about 50 million times) and those are too long (they aren’t floods/high waters)
Me: Ok, I’m sorry, but you have to pick a pair from these and get dressed, we’re running late.

7:50 a.m. (keep in mind we should leave the house at 8 a.m. to make it to school on time) I’m in the kitchen, ready, fixing my lunch, fixing their snacks. The Hubby is ready, feeding the dogs, prodding the kids, finding jackets for the kids who never know where they are. The Girl is standing at the table reading and I’m brushing the hair she said she brushed. The Boy comes in with the pants (the ones he said were too long), a shirt and one sock (damn, I forgot to check for underwear, he could be commando today).

Boy: I can’t find my other shoe.
Mom: Did you look under your bed?
Boy: No.
Mom: Look under your bed and then brush your teeth and hair.

8:00 a.m. After a few shouts of prodding the Boy returns to the kitchen.

Me: Did you brush your teeth?
Boy: Yes. (he sometimes lies about this)
Me: C’mere (I sniff his breath, smells like toothpaste, we’re good to go.)

8:05 a.m. We’re in the car, running a bit late. Five minutes is crucial in get to school on time time.

On the way to school the girl, who decided not to carry her bookbag, starts complaining she has a lot to carry: her snack; big zippered binder and the Harry Potter book. The Boy, who had been a thorn in my side all morning (his dressing habits make me think I’m raising a metrosexual—I said this then had to explain the term to the Hubby) looks at her and very sincerely says, Sissy, I’ll help you carry your stuff if it’s too heavy.

Girl: That’s ok; you’ll be late to class.
Boy: I don’t care if I don’t get to go to the No Tardy Party, you’re more important than that.
Girl: I appreciate it but really, you don’t have to.
(Boy’s in kindergarten, Girl in 3rd, her class is on the other side of the school from his.)

sigh…I guess they’re good kids after all.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

More on the Tatt

I can't believe the response the tatt post got. Just a little to explain me and tatts (I have no idea why I'm calling it a tatt instead of a tattoo, it's not like I have any clue or point of reference on this subject at all.)

I've always said I'd never get one, the pain factor mostly, plus where would I put it and how's it going to look when I'm 60 etc. My sister, oh, do I have another post on that subject for you!, has one of Winnie the Pooh on her ankle. When she got it I thought how juvenile is that and how uncreative, it's Pooh for God's sake. She should have just had a big YES stamped on her, it would have been much more fitting.

I have a few friend who have tattoos but of course they're younger and hipper than me. I like some of them, they're simple, the tatts, not the friends. Then I started watching this show Miami Ink in TLC. The guys in that shop are hot, granted they're in Miami and on TV so I realize THEY won't be giving me a tattoo. But it's interesting to watch the different people who get tattoos and learn about why they've picked the design. (I've told you, I'm easily influenced and impressed by things I read and watch.)

This got me to thinking about what I'd have done. I had an email discussion with a friend who suggested getting my power animal--an animal that has some connection to your life, that has had some significance, etc. I don't think I have a power animal yet. A couple of friends suggested a penguin, since I love penguins and have since high school. I noodled around with a few sketches, but I don't really know how to get one of those without it looking like a cartoon.

So I came up with the design in the previous post, mainly because if you've ever sat near me in a meeting, this type of thing is what I'm always doodling. It's flowing and curly and relaxing.

Now, to answer another question, I'd not get a tatt, IF (and that's a HUGE IF) I ever indeed got one, on an exposed place. Most likely I'd get it on my back in the shoulder blade area, or possible lower back. No ankles, hips (because, God, how would they even FIND my hip! LOL), breasts or butt (hello gravity!) or thigh.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Possible Tatt

Ok, I'm so over this day and not being productive at all.

What do you think of this tatt design? Like I'm ever really going to get one, but still.

Friday, November 4, 2005

Not sexual music

My last music post led me to this, which is not on the same train of thought at all, so I made it into its own post.

I think I’m probably weird when it comes to music because for the most part I don’t know what’s popular, I don’t know what’s up and coming and I can find something I like in almost every genre. Admittedly I have a tough time with heavy metal—but when they do those 80s flashbacks on VH1 I do recognize some heavy metal tunes and in fact like them, well, I can tolerate them.

One might think I’d be more open to heavy metal because after Peter Frampton in third grade, my next concert was in high school. Monsters of Rock around 1984 I think. The Hubby and I were dating then, I was still young and naïve and we went to this all day rock concert in a soccer stadium (in Germany). The lineup included Van Halen, Dokken, Ozzie Osborn, AC/DC and others I can’t remember. My first display of naiveté came when we were walking up the stadium steps and I saw all these people with crushed up soda cans with smoke coming out of them : ) I was clueless.

Throughout the day lesser bands played, they were all harsh and brutal, cussing and raw—I think I watched the people around me more than the bands. Then Van Halen got on stage (we could even see Eddie’s wife Valerie sitting backstage) and I was a little giddy, I’m sure I’d had some beer by this point; there’s no drinking age in Europe. My second bout of naiveté came when David Lee Roth came out and I said to the hubby, he’s so cute (shut up, I know he’s disgusting, but give me a break, I was 16; I don’t know what I saw in him) and then DLR ripped out something like How the fuck are you? And I about fainted. I couldn’t believe he’d said the F word! The hubby laughed. I was appalled.

AC/DC was the final act; it was around 10pm by that point. They brought out their cannons—For Those About to Rock We Salute You—and shot them off. Then Angus Young proceeded to moon the crowd—his ass was bared on those huge theater screens they have at concerts, even back in the day they had them. Then he played the guitar while being passed around the audience.

After reading this you’d really think I’m a prude—and back then I was, very sheltered I suppose. Don’t worry, I made up for all that in college ; )


Am I the only person who thinks music is sexy? I’m sitting here listening to Train’s, Drops of Jupiter, and it’s damn sexy. (I might need to step away for a moment! LOL ) Granted some music is sexier than other music, but the voices, tones, beats, and melodies; there is something purely sensual about music. Of course the most sensual song, at least in my book, is Marvin Gaye’s Sexual Healing.

I think if I had a past life I was either a musician or was involved with a musician. Strumming an acoustic guitar to me is much like stroking my skin. It baffles me the people who go through life without the influence of music. I have friends who don’t have a favorite song, singer/band or whatever and couldn’t even really tell you what kind of music they like. I don’t comprehend that. I would do better to understand a mathematician explaining the theory of relativity to me…in Russian.

I am very happy to say that my friend TL has broken down and not only bought an iPod to wear during his runs (don’t worry, you’ll read about him someday in one of those runner magazines or see him on the pages of the NYT when he wins the marathon or something spectacular like that) but he’s had his kick ass sister download music onto it! I was thrilled to learn that. Right now he’s digging on Frank Sinatra, and dammit why not. Frank rocks and he did it his way.

Life should come with a soundtrack—like on The Truman Show, though my soundtrack would be much much cooler.

My soundtrack would include:
Drops of Jupiter, Sexual Healing, Wonderful Tonight, Stairway to Heaven, Maggie May…ok, I have to stop now.

Wednesday, November 2, 2005

The Brat next door

Have I told you about the neighbor kid? I know this is not politically correct, but....I hate her.

Typically I like kids, and if I don't at first then I grow to like them over time. We've lived in this house about three or four years (short term memory is going) and I still do not like this kid.

When we first moved in she was about three and she was bigger than my then five year old. She remains an amazon. I do not dislike her for her size, it is her personality I loathe.

I like the fact that we live in an older neighborhood and my kids have neighbor kids to play with, though I don't like those neighbor kids. It seems whenever we are in our backyard it is fair game for this kid to come over and intrude. We can be having a party, a family get together or just a quaint family moment among the four of us and she's there, like a leech.

We have French doors that open onto our patio out back. I can't tell you the number of times I've walked through the den and found her face pressed against the glass doors. She pounds incesstantly on the doors and peers in. When we're having dinner she looks in through the kitchen window.

The Hubby's theory is her parents and two siblings don't like her either so they send her over here. She's knocked on the door at 10 a.m. every day of fall break. (See previous post on the fact I'm not a morning person.) Granted I'm out of bed at 10 a.m., but I am not fortified enough to greet the pounding on the door and peering through the glass. I want to smack her and send her home.

This pounding and peering is especially annoying if we have by chance left work early, left the kids at daycare and attempted to sneak in a little afternoon delight. If the kid sees any cars in our driveway she will pound and pound on that door until it is answered. I want to smack her and send her home.

Taking off the Rose Colored Glasses

It's the second day of Nov. and I'm on my last day of the kids' fall break.

Apparently I'm still idealistic and naive. When I looked at the calendar and saw my little cherubs had four days off (plus the weekend) I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to spend some time with them and get a few things done around the house. As a working mom that travels I am forever consumed with the guilt of not spending enough time with my kids, not doing enough with their school and not being Harriet in Ozzie and Harriet (see previous post on The Good, Bad and Ugly parent). I am an idiot.

The first day (which was also the Boy's birthday, my baby is six, sniff sniff) their first question was, hey, why aren't we going to daycare?
Me: I took some time off of work so I could be with you.
Them: But Mom, we're having a Halloween party at daycare Monday!
Me: hmm, ok well, you can go Monday and then the other days we'll spend together.
Them: ok (said in a less than enthusiastic response.)
What the hell I thought. Yes, I was totally ready for time off work but really and truly thought my kids would be thrilled that they'd be spending the next few days with me. Wrong.

I imagined we'd spend the days wrapped in cuddly fun playing games, playing outside and miraculously I'd even have time to clean out the garage, organize all my closets and cabinets, sew two years worth of patches on the Girl's Brownie vest, find and complete dozens of freelance jobs, blog every day, take care of all the paperwork that's piled up around here and still be chipper and amorous when the hubby got home (and I had a four course meal waiting on him).

Each day I was greeted with, so Mom what are we going to do today? Where are we going? How will you entertain us?

hmmph. It so has not worked out like I planned. I cleaned out my closet and a few kitchen cabinets. The garage has not been touched. I have chauffered the Boy to two dental appts. (to be blogged about later) and took them shopping to spend the Boy's birthday money. I did some paperwork. Today I will sew the patches on the Girl's Brownie vest and tackle a few freelance jobs, take the kids to the library and see what we have time for after that.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

5 a.m. thoughts

I woke up at 5 a.m. this morning. For anyone that knows me, this is highly unusual. I am not a morning person. In fact, most days I’m scrambling out of bed at 7:15 after having hit both snooze alarms (they are set for 6:30 and 6:45) several times. It’s a mad dash to get the hubby up, get the Boy and Girl up and ready for school. We need to be out the door by at least 8:00 so they aren’t late for school, which starts at 8:20 a.m. Forget trying to catch the bus, we’d never make it, plus I don’t like where the bus stop is (on a busy road) and the school won’t change it.

So yes, I was wide-awake at 5 a.m. I’ve been sick, some sort of respiratory viral thing, whatever it is they couldn’t give me drugs, so I’m taking some over the counter crap that half assed works. I’ve been sleeping a lot. Apparently my body decided at 5 a.m. I didn’t really need any more sleep.

I lay there awhile, looked at the clock thinking I could sleep another hour and a half and wouldn’t that be great? I love stealing sleep; it’s one of my secret pleasures. Like I’m getting away with something. I listed to the hubby snore awhile, he’s a bad snorer, doesn’t normally bother me, unless of course I’m awake at 5 a.m. He hasn’t been sleeping much lately, can’t get to sleep. I think he needs medication.

5 a.m. I get up, get a drink of water and go to the bathroom. Princess Meow Meow (haven’t met her yet? she’s the Girl’s kitten, she picked the name) comes prancing in the bathroom. Of course she’s prancing. The Girl decided she needed a collar, a red one with a bell and rhinestones, because she is a Princess. Now we can here her wherever she is; she seems to be everywhere. She’s looking at me like, “Uh, what the hell are you doing vertical at 5 a.m.? You’re supposed to be in the bed where I can walk on you, knead you (if you don’t have cats this is the thing they do, they paw you like a massage, only with their claws out it’s more like getting a TB test repeatedly) and then lay on you.”

5:15 a.m. I’m looking in the mirror, deciding if I think I can get back to sleep. I realize that I know 3-4 people I could call at 5:15 a.m. and they would be awake, well, more than likely they’d be awake. My mom, brother, aunt and friend Bethie; all of whom would have a heart attack if I called that early simply because they know I do not wake that early.

5:30 a.m., back in bed, hubby still snoring, Princess Meow Meow is now kneading me, I’m staring at the clock thinking wouldn’t I be so productive if I got up, got ready and did a load of laundry or emptied the dishwasher. Maybe this is my body telling me I really could get up and exercise before going to work.

That was the last thought I remember before the snooze blared and I looked at the clock 7:15 am. Damn, running late again.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Sleeping beauties

When my kids finally go to sleep, I can't resist watching them. The Girl often can be found amid piles of stuffed animals.

Here's The Boy. Notice the action figures lined up at the top of the bed and him in the Spiderman suit (yes he wore it every day from last October until a few months ago). Now it only comes out once in awhile.

And once in a blue moon they'll end up in bed together, sleeping snuggled up together like they really do like each other. It's amazing.

The good, bad and ugly parent

Sometimes when I take a minute to breath during what I think is a hectic life, I wonder how some parents manage. They are involved with school, I'm talking know all the teachers and school staff on first name basis, volunteer to help with every field day, jump rope-a-thon, etc. They shuttle their little grade schoolers to scouts and gymnastics, cheerleading, soccer and dance (and can afford it!) plus have time to take them to the park and do arts and crafts at home. They feed their kids a nice home cooked meal, complete with all the essential vitamins, minerals, fiber etc. as outlined by the NEW food pyramid. If you're older than 8 toss out the pyramid you know because it's wrong. They clothe their kids in name brand togs from The Gap, Abercrombie (yes, even grade schoolers) and other names I don't even know.

Now here's my world. I drop my kids off at school every morning, some mornings I run in and show my face to the teacher, ask if They Boy is chewing on his collar in class and licking everything in sight like he does at home (yes, he does and he's a leader, apparently his whole class has joined his crusade) and find out how spectacular The Girl is because her teacher has nothing but good things to say about her. (You can just imagine how proud I am!) I email both teachers periodically, see if they need anything for class (usually candy) and if I can help with anything. I sold stuff for the fundraiser, not much, but that crap is so overpriced I'm embarrassed to peddle it. At least once, sometimes twice a year I'll help with a class party. We attend most PTA meetings, though we missed the first one this year. I felt like a toad, but damn I was tired that night.

Activities--The Girl is in Brownies (her 3rd year) and The Boy is too young still for Cub Scouts, though Dad is looking forward to this more so than The Boy. Brownies meet every other week. That's plenty. I volunteer with this once in awhile also, but not every time. I am open to letting both kids do one more activity, provided it's the same activity and at the same time. This is difficult to find, hence, we've not added a second activity. We do go to the park about every other weekend or so, the library about the same, and from time to time we'll do a craft project or play games at home. I do not feel that I have to entertain my kids 24/7, however I don't know if I'm doing this because I really feel this way or because I'm lazy. I don't remember doing all that stuff when I was a kid and I'm perfectly fine. Ok, a little off kilter at times, but considering everything, I'm sane.

Feeding--I try to get fruits and veggies in, it's a chore. I push a lot of applesauce, broccolli, corn (yes I know this is the worst veggie but it's one of the few they'll eat) apples and bananas. I've gotten sneaky also, when I make salad I throw in a ton of spinach, when they ask, as they always do I lie and tell them it's a different lettuce, carrots and celery. Don't bother adding anything else they won't eat it. I might start crushing up some Flintstones vitamins and dusting it over their meals, wonder if they'd notice? I've tried making it fun, milkshakes with yogurt, fruit and low fat ice cream; soups and casseroles with hidden veggie surprises (they all, including the hubby, balk). I can't win.

Clothing--I shop the Evil Empire (yes the one that starts with a W) for clothes because they're cheap. The Girl does not want jeans (doesn't want to take the time to button them and can't find a pair that snap to fit), she likes stretch pants. I understand this, they're comfy. The Evil Empire sells them for $4. The Boy is picky, he might like a plain bold colored t-shirt one month and the next month he needs stuff with words or pictures on it. The Evil Empire sells these for $3. Need I continue?

I don't know my point, other than I've just been feeling like an inadequate parent lately.

Monday, October 10, 2005

NYTimes top 1000, edited my way

This is from the NYTimes top 1000 movies of all times. I’ve made my own comments and deleted some I’ve not seen or don’t care about.

Adam’s Rib (1949) Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy---I’ve watched, I have it but can’t remember the plot.

The African Queen (1952) another Kate movie, I have a collector’s edition. Awesome movie.

Amadeus (1984) I love this movie, the costumes, the story, it’s wonderful.

Back to the Future (1985) Michael J. Fox rocked in his Calvin Kleins, definitely an 80s classic.

The Big Chill (1983) awesome movie and even more awesome sound track

The Birds (1963) my kind of horror movie, no blood, no chainsaws

The Breakfast Club (1985) I always felt like Alley Sheedy’s character in this one, love her purse filled with everything. This is when I first developed a crush on Judd Nelson.

Bull Durham (1988) uh, can we say hot and baseball? I don’t like sports, but this movie rocked.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) Newman and Redford in their finest; funny, sexy, bad boys.

Chocolat (1988) Johnny Depp, chocolate, romance, what’s not to love?

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) I really liked this movie, the aliens, the encounter, just good.

Coal Miner's Daughter (1980) Sissy Spacek plays a good hillbilly. I like this movie probably because of my roots.

Dangerous Liaisons (1988) incredible movie, great costumes, great story, lots of backstabbing and revenge, love it.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988) this is one of the funniest movies of all times. I can’t imagine how it must have been on the set with Michael Caine and Steve Martin, I often wonder how many of the scenes were ad libbed. Hilarious.

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) cult classic for me. Love the relationship between Elliot and ET, yes I cried when they thought he was dead.

The Exorcist (1973) I have never been able to watch this movie, it scares the shit out of me.

Fantasia (1940) perhaps one of the best animated movies ever, the music, the imagination, great.

Fargo (1996) very brutal but damn I love Marge. Love the accents, love the story, even with the wood chipper.

The Godfather (1972) The Godfather Part II (1974) see things you don’t know about me—I had a mafia fetish back in the day. Good movies, I always loved James Caans character though.

Gone With the Wind (1939) ohmygod—awesome movie and awesome book. I think I read this for the first time in middle school and wept for days. The movie was great and Carol Burnett’s Scarlett, with the green velvet drapes, is a classic comic moment.

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) best holiday movie, though it never was intended to be a holiday movie. I’ve always wanted to be able to this, find out what the world would have been like if I hadn’t been born.

Jaws (1975) Still keeps me out of the deep waters; first time I saw it was in middle school at the drive in, with Grease as the first movie.

Mary Poppins (1964) Does Julie Andrews rock or what? Supercalifragilisticexpeallidocious indeed!.

My Fair Lady (1964) Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison were awesome, loved the story, Pygmalian the play was great too, loved the music.

National Lampoon's Animal House (1978) hello, drunken college story—what’s not to love?

The Philadelphia Story (1940) Kate, Jimmy Stewart and Cary Grant, great story about a Philly blueblood getting married.

Pulp Fiction (1994) another brutally violent movie but I loved it, except when John Travolta got whacked. Soundtrack is awesome too. I had to watch it twice before I really got into it.

The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985) I saw this in London, the same time I saw Out of Africa, along with Broadway Danny Rose. I’m not a Woody Allen fan at all, and didn’t really like either of his movies.

Rosemary’s Baby (1968) this movie scared the shit out of me. I thought about it the whole time I was pregnant the first time and watched it once I had the baby, still freaked me out.

Say Anything (1989) perhaps my favorite non-brat-pack 80s movie. My favorite scene is when John Cusack is having dinner with the girl and her Dad asks him what he wants to do with his life, and John’s all like I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don't want to do that.

Sense and Sensibility (1995) love the story, costumes, Emma Thompson rules, love it all.

The Shining (1980) ok, probably one of the few good Stephen King movies, though still not as good as the book. I like Scatman Cruthers, what a cool name. Redrum, redrum.

Shrek (2001) Yep, I liked it, liked the second one too. Love Shrek and Donkey.

The Sound of Music (1965) Julie Andrews again, awesome movie, based on true story, just a good, good story.

Star Wars (1977) ok, no I’m not a nerd who loves these movies like my brother, but they were good in the day. Han Solo rocked!

The Ten Commandments (1956) back in the day this used to come on TV once a year, around Easter. It’s how I learned about God.

Toy Story (1995) probably one of the best animation movies to come out in a long long time, the sequel was good too, wish they’d make a third one. We watched this incessantly at my house about a year ago when the boy was going through the Buzz stage.

The Usual Suspects (1995) Kevin Spacey is a genius. I am Kaiser Sose.

The Way We Were (1973) Still cry every time I see this one. Babs was good, Redford was good; it’s a bittersweet movie. I just wish in the end he had cared more about his kid.

What’s Up, Doc? (1972) I like this movie because for some reason it used to be on TV a lot and I remember watching it with my Grandma like every other year.

When Harry Met Sally (1989) Love the friendship, love the story, love them singing karaoke in the Sharper Image shop.

The Wizard of Oz (1939) ok, so I’ve got this one on the brain because the boy has watched it nonstop for quite a few weeks now. Still a good movie.

Woman of the Year (1942) Kate again, can’t remember the plot, but it’s Kate and I love her.

I just realized I said rocked way too much in this post. I sound like a stoner or something. Suck it up.

Monday, October 3, 2005

Things you might not know about me

1. Broke my left arm in middle school running those stupid basketball drills in gym class.
2. Have ridden on a motorcycle.
3. Been known to eat peanut butter and ham sandwich.
4. Write poetry on occasion, not good poetry, but poetry.
5. Have stood on top of the Eiffel Tower.
6. Like French fries and mayo.
7. Stapled my thumb in third grade.
8. Huge procrastinator.
9. Have seen Rod Stewart in concert twice.
10. Favorite artists: Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, Seurat, Klimt
11. Hate anime.
12. Holidays and celebrations usually stress me out because of all the expectations.
13. Like poking sticks in fires.
14. Rarely make my bed.
15. Rather be cold than hot.
16. Never have trouble falling asleep.
17. Think about getting a tattoo, and what I’d get (Celtic knot maybe) but know I would never do it.
18. Love crayons.
19. The first (and only) time I drank Purple Jesus (yes, grain alcohol and some sort of juice) I ended up on my butt in the fountain on campus; it was October or so, they’d not yet drained the fountain. It was cold.
20. When I was 5 years old I busted my head open in a pillow fight and had to get stitches.
21. Stupid people really, really annoy me.
22. Like doing the Electric Slide.
23. Don’t like driving big things (trucks, vans etc.) but would love to fly a plane, a small one, not a passenger plane.
24. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have boobs so I could go bra-less all the time.
25. For the most part, my job bores me.
26. A dark dusty closet in my brain thinks I might have mental problems.
27. Addicted to Free Cell.
28. Wash my hands A LOT, like maybe it’s a phobia.
29. When I read Pet Semetary for the second time it freaked me out so badly I jumped (couldn’t walk across the floor) into my younger sister’s bed. I was in college.
30. Love thunderstorms.
31. Hate crumbs on the kitchen counter.
32. Penguins are my favorite bird and have been since high school when I became a Bloom County addict. I mourned Berke Breathed’s retiring the cartoon.
33. Can burp on command—this raises my coolness level with the kids.
34. Horrible speller.
35. Have lived in OK, NC, GA, PA, WV and Germany.
36. Usually don’t answer the phone at home.
37. Don’t know how to play the piano, but have one and would like to learn.
38. Love paint chip samples.
39. Can easily detach myself emotionally when I feel threatened.
40. Love Guinness.
41. Feel like the best of me is hiding up my sleeve.
42. Rarely sit with both feet on the floor.
43. Have a small window between a good buzz and drunk.
44. Totally looking forward to being a Grandma in about 20 years. I want them to call me Nana.
45. Would love to have a library in my house.
46. Prefer smoking to drinking.
47. Bad dresser, no fashion sense.
48. Often feel caught in the middle between family/friends and their secrets.
49. Mind often comes up with total non sequiters few can follow.
50. Fritter away a lot of time.
51. Very loyal.
52. Like peeling dried glue off of my hands.
53. Don’t understand why grape flavored stuff tastes nothing like grapes.
54. Love fireworks. Ideally it’s good to be as close as safety permits so you can feel the thunder in your heart when they explode.
55. Haven’t totally discounted the notion of reincarnation, karma, white/black magic, UFOs or psychic abilities.
56. Never been a bridesmaid.
57. Admire and envy intellectual people; aspire to be one.
58. Reuse gift bags.
59. Have a thing for greeting cards.
60. Do not have a gall bladder any longer, but do still have my tonsils.
61. Somewhat naïve.
62. Christmas wrap whore; I buy it on sale after the holidays. I probably have five years worth of wrap in my attic and will still buy some this year.
63. Love Halloween.
64. Wish Christmas could get back to homemade gifts, family (but not all of it) quiet moments, giving and the true spirit of it all.
65. Hope to one day read and understand the Bible.
66. Don’t eat chicken livers.
67. Get a little thrill out of the studio theme music before movies start.
68. Don’t like the smell of fake lavender, only like the real flower.
69. Love the sight, smell, feel and sound of snow.
70. Am passive aggressive but hate it in other people.
71. Number eight shows up a lot in all my significant life numbers.
72. Brass and glass furnishings turn me off.
73. Not a very good cook.
74. Would like to someday act in a community theater production.
75. Blue corn chips with sesame seeds rock.
76. Hate and am embarrassed by Geraldo Rivera.
77. Love milk.
78. In college I was infatuated with the idea of either dating a guy in the mafia (was on a Mario Puzo kick at the time) or becoming Jewish (because I was taking a Jewish studies class at the time). I think I liked the history and romance of both.
79. Believe there are some people who are truly evil.
80. Sometimes buy stuff on sale that I don’t need because it’s on sale.
81. Have eaten and enjoyed escargot.
82. Secretly think my kids are geniuses.
83. Want to learn how to take and develop my own pictures.
84. Flowers, art, music and books excite me.
85. Microsoft Excel eludes me.
86. Sometimes wish I had become a teacher. I’d teach kindergarten or art.
87. Have watched and enjoyed some John Wayne movies.
88. Had severe bouts of asthma in high school, was rushed to ER a few times.
89. Like getting lost in thought.
90. Places I’ve traveled: Vancouver, Las Vegas, Florida, NYC, Hartford, Conn. (birth place of the great Katherine Hepburn), Chicago, Austria, London, Paris, Germany (myriad cities), Holland, S.C., Kansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Ohio, Texas, Arkansas.
91. Places I’d like to travel: Hawaii, Vermont, Maine, Australia, Italy, Greece, New Zealand, Antarctica, Oregon.
92. Things decorated with hearts make me hurl, unless it’s a Valentine.
93. Wind chimes are a good thing.
94. In high school my friends and I came up with a club, the Mega Mondo Beaner Choil Meese Society of the Flueish Language.
95. Loved being pregnant.
96. My introduction to rap music was in sixth grade?, the Sugarhill Gang. It was my cousin Terri’s album and we learned the words to every song.
97. Be lost without email.
98. Wish all my unmentionables matched.
99. Think we should abolish the two-party system and PACs and money in politics and just elect the person with the best ideas.
100. Love carving pumpkins and toasting pumpkin seeds.

Thursday, September 29, 2005


I haven’t written in awhile because I lost my groove. I was in a rut. I was in a funk. I was blue. This happens from time to time, sometimes for no apparent reason, and I don’t consider myself middle aged so it’s not mid-life crisis. (If I were middle aged that means I’d die at 74 and my kids would only be in their 40s and I can’t leave them hanging at that age.)

This bout of the blues stemmed from arguing with the hubby. All is well again, thank you very much, but it does suck when you’re in the middle of it. I think often times one assumes that because you’ve been married for almost 13 years you’re safe and yes you may argue or whatever, but for the most part you’ve got your shit together and are paddling in the same direction. You can never assume anything I’ve learned. However, I’m not here to discuss that, because it’s resolved and you know there are just some things you keep private even from your blogs.

Just the other day I was talking to a friend and he too is in a funk for no apparent reason, (FFNAR). He asked me how I got out of mine and it got me to thinking. In this particular instance it was resolved because the hubby and I talked and worked things out, but in other funks, when it just creeps up on you and it’s not because you’re PMSing or the job sucks or whatever, I’ve recognized a few common denominators.

When I’m in a FFNAR I tend to stop listening to music (my very life blood). I also withdrawal into myself and just sort of exist—I don’t talk as much as normal, I’m vanilla. In my world, as my kids like to say, vanilla is blah, boring, no waves on the water. I don’t want to interact with people.

FFNAR make me think deep thoughts like I really want to quit my job and do something so wild and creative and important. In the midst of FFNAR I feel hopeless, like I’m wasting time and talent, like nobody really understands me, like there’s no end in sight to most of my common every day issues. FFNAR also make me think about how fucked up my family is—mother with a martyr complex on the verge of a breakdown who might leave the alcoholic dad after 38 years, bi-polar unmarried sister with two kids (from different dads) who supposedly is going to marry the father of the second kid (because he’s divorced his wife back in Mexico—at least that’s what the Spanish papers he waived in front of her face are supposed to prove) this spring and a grandmother who’s knocking on the door of Alzheimer’s way too often. These things could bring a person down.

My friend in the funk said something about my having a husband and kids, and yes, sometimes that does help pull one out of a funk, but not usually. I think what I’ve learned, or am learning, is that simple rule that you have to be happy in yourself before others can make you happy or you can make others happy. Ok, yes, I know it’s schmaltzy, but it’s true. The hubby and kids can make me feel better, but they can’t lift me out of the funk if I’m not ready. The same as people without the hub or kids can’t rely on their friends or family or sig Os to do the trick.

I don’t think there’s a magic cure for getting out of the FFNAR, but for me cranking up the radio and singing along helps—music soothes the savage beast you know. Working in the yard, planting flowers, riding the lawn mower those all help. Realizing that no matter how bad I think things are, they could be much, much worse and I do have the ability to change some things and be creative and enjoy life and do whatever it is I was put on this planet to do. Maybe I won’t accomplish that today, or tomorrow, but I will accomplish it.

I think too we can draw comfort from the fact that everyone gets in a funk, and it’s not the end of the world. (Good Lord can I put another cliché in here or what?) FFNAR hit people you think have it all. Some would look at me and say, wow you have a cool job, great hubby, smart, funny kids, what do you have to be in a funk about? I’d look at some of my friends and think the same thing—you’re single, answer to no one but yourself, travel the world, have an interesting business, work from home, have a rich spouse, are living your creative dream, whatever the case may be—but they too get in a funk.

Bottom line is—FFNAR happen. If they begin to last for a year or more, seek medication.

Monday, September 19, 2005

42 year's worth of stuff

About a week ago my brother and I went to WV to help clean out my Grandpa’s house. He’s moved into an assisted living center, a pretty nice one, and he decided to sell his house.

We were cleaning out 42 years of someone’s life. Paw-Paw (that’s West Virginian for Grandpa) decided what he wanted to take with him, what he wanted to give away and told the kids (my aunts and uncles) to get rid of the rest.

A little background might be in order. My Mom is the oldest of five kids. Her Dad died when she was 14 and my Maw-Maw married my Paw-Paw, who had two kids. At one point they all lived in this three bedroom, one and a half bath house. I don’t know how they did it. Now the kids are scattered, one died, two still live in WV and my Maw-Maw died six years ago. For the kids this was an especially hard time, cleaning out the house. This is where most of them grew up, the only house they remember living in. For me it wasn’t quite as bad because for me the heart of the house, my Maw-Maw, has been gone for awhile.

So the kids decided to divvy up the things Paw-Paw wanted to get rid of. It’s sad to think that everything you worked for just gets gone, either trashed, given away or taken by someone. I understand you can’t take it with you, but it still seems sad.

It was interesting to me to see the things people wanted, the every day things that you’d never give a second thought to. After the big things were divided, the furniture etc. it became harder because emotions were more involved. One of my aunts held up a pink glass bowl and smile while she asked, what did we eat out of this? Banana pudding was the response. I’m sure my Maw-Maw never gave it a thought when she put the banana pudding in the same bowl time after time, but it’s something they all remembered.

When we left, my brother and I ended up with quite a lot of things. Nothing really of any monetary value, though I do have a nice big freezer in my garage now that the Hubby is determined to fill with sour dough creations, but the things I do have make me smile.

I have a set of marshmallow roasting tongs—I remember using them many times on camping trips with my grandparents, and now we’ll use them in our backyard. We have a fire pit and roast marshmallows and make smores all the time.

I have two worn old blankets Maw-Maw used to curl up on the couch with, they’re so soft.

Maw-Maw was a puzzle working woman. Many times when I’d spend the night with her we’d sit up watching The Tonight Show, Love Boat and Fantasy Island working puzzles and drinking watered down coffee, usually waiting for the youngest two aunts to come in from their dates. Sometimes Maw-Maw shellacked the puzzles together, framed them, and hung them on the wall. I have one of those. A work of art? Nope, but it reminds me of her and makes me happy.

Going through boxes I found a datebook/calendar from 1996. There are odd notes in it, lists of family names with items written by them, her handwriting, my handwriting, I kept it. It was the only time I broke down and cried the whole weekend, not bad for a person who’s normally a blubbering idiot.

The best thing I got that weekend was a bunch of peonies I dug from her yard. She had a huge bush planted under a magnolia tree in her front yard and I took some and have planted it under the magnolia in my backyard. I hope it lives.

BTW--the Boy's doing much better. I got an email from his teacher today, she says he's great (don't I know it!) and though he still has some issues with losing, transitioning and sitting still, he's improving. Yahoo!

Thursday, September 8, 2005

The Boy and The Girl

Ah September, fall is in the air, really it is, it’s a bit nippy in the evenings when we sit on the patio for the after dinner smoke. The sun’s going down sooner and you can just feel it. I love fall. It used to be my favorite season until we bought a house, now it’s second to spring because I love me the hell out of some gardening.

So, this is The Boy’s first full week of school. Friday, his fourth day of kindergarten, his teacher called me. The Boy was taunting 3rd and 5th graders in line waiting for the bus after school. He was calling them idiots. This, I didn’t have too much of a problem with; it was the fact that he sassed not only his teacher, but also the assistant principal and another teacher when they told him to behave. He threw a fit, threw his book bag, copped an attitude. All was not well. He was punished. (30 minutes in his room; no videos all night) Not harsh enough the hubby said.

Since then The Boy has found a drawer in the kitchen where he’s decided to leave his attitude. I hope it stays there and we forget about it and it spills out into the cabinet underneath, sneaks out when we open the door to get cereal and then makes a b-line for the door, through the garage and out into the neighborhood to live elsewhere.

The Girl is quite happy in third grade. It’s a milestone year in elementary school. The first year the smart kids get separated into the AG (academically gifted class)—The Girl is in AG. It’s the first year they take a foreign language, though they don’t have a choice, it’s Spanish. It’s the first year they can run for student council—she wants to run for something. It’s also the first year they can try out for the school talent show. The Girl wants to sing. On stage. She’s inherited my singing voice. This is not good. We have until January to work on this.

The Girl has moved on from her obsession with the news, thank God. While I liked her interest in current affairs (she certainly gets it from her Dad, not me) the news is scary and depressing. She’s only 8; the news is too graphic for 8 year olds. Her latest craze is one I can support. She’s an Animal Planet junky—especially Animal Cops. She wants to work for the ASPCA; she wants to arrest people who hurt animals. This is a good thing. She’s also a bit of a vegetarian, but that’s nothing new really. She doesn’t like eating a lot of meat (beef, chicken, pork) although move out of the way if you put down the really bad stuff like sausage, bacon or ham. She’s been known to eat a hamburger too.

All things considered, my kids are great. We sat together last night and watched The Wizard of Oz. The Boy decided he's over his fear of the wicked witch (he's had it for two years.)

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

In the news

I’m the first to admit that embarrassingly enough, I don’t keep up with current events, politics or the news. However, I have been watching the coverage of Katrina and of the 12-year-old girl that disappeared from Rocky Mount, N.C.

Katrina—these are the things that stick out in my mind. The looting, as my friend Donut would say, REALLY? This catastrophe has occurred and people are actually out there looting stores? That can’t be good karma on any level. Last night the media sunk so low they were reporting on the reporters covering the hurricane. Granted it has to be a gut-wrenching experience, but do we really need a news story on how they’re handling it? It’s sad, yes. But don’t make the reporters the story. The final thing that struck me was how dependent we are on our infrastructure. People there are wandering the streets not knowing what to do next. They can’t contact their city or state officials, or anyone “in charge.” It’s scary to think we’ve become such lemmings when we claim to be so independent. I’m not criticized the victims, I’m just commenting on how incredibly fragile society really is when you think about it.

Disappearing girl—An Amber alert went out last week for a missing 12-year-old girl from Rocky Mount, N.C. I heard the alert on my way to pick up the kids from daycare. She was suspected of being in the company of a registered sex offender. Last night they found her in Iowa, alone. The girl lives with her grandmother, who’s her legal guardian and the girl apparently knew this sex offender, a clerk at a local convenience store. It looks as if she left her house of her own accord. She’d met this guy, who’s 27, a year ago and they’d formed a friendship.

As a mother I have a million questions. First, how does a then 11 year old meet and become friends with a 26 year old without the parent/guardian knowing about it? It went on for a year—why didn’t the grandmother know? How does a convict get a job? I know they ask that question on most job applications, perhaps he lied? Don’t they do background checks? How does a kid get out of the house without your knowing about it? God forbid mine ever sneak out of the house. I know I had friends in high school that did that, but this kid is TWELVE! There is so much to this story that isn’t being told. Why would a 12 year old want to leave her family with a 27 year old? Am I that naïve to ask that question? I swear, the next time someone tries to tell me I’m too overprotective with my kids I’m going to tell them to get bent.

Words or phrases I like

Many people, like my husband, collect things, lots of things. He collects beer steins (because we lived in Germany back in the day), mementoes from the area we lived in, neon signs, etc. I do have a spoon collection and I used to collect penguins; I have a lot of Christmas ornaments but I don’t know if that’s considered a collection.

What I really collect are quotes (because someday I’m going to publish the world’s best quote book), words, phrases and pictures from magazines (usually gardening things).

Here’s a brief sample from my words/phrases collection. Most of these are either things I’ve heard people say or have popped up in my reading.

Intellectual eunuch
Chasing alligators
Hemorrhaging money
Monomania—excessive concentration on a single object or idea
Kef—state of dreamy tranquility (have thought this would be a great name for a retail store if I ever lose my mind and open one)
Hippocrene—fountain on Mount Helicon sacred to the muses and believed to be the source of poetic inspiration
Meliorism—belief that the world tends to become better and that man can aid its betterment.
Sine cure—an office or position that requires little or no work
Arrondissement—an administrative district of some large French cities
Paramnesia—memory discorder where proper meaning of words cannot be remembered
Paronym—word formed from a word in a foreign language
Paraldehyde—liquid used as a hypnotic
Hookah den
Faux bois
Geophagy—practice of eating dirt
Schadenfreude—enjoyment obtained from troubles of others; delight in others misfortunes
Couch candy
Omnia vincit amor—love conquers all
Multi-potential drifter

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Spitting on Destiny

Spitting on Destiny

An evil spirit that has come to reside in my five-year old son has disrupted life in my household over the last two weeks.

This makes me sad on many levels. This is my baby, the last child I will ever bear; the period on the end of my motherhood sentence. (I know, a bit dramatic, but hey, it’s my blog.) My last-born is my outgoing child; friends with everyone, mostly happy, affectionate, loves telling jokes, even the horrible ones he makes up (What do you get when you cross a hippo and a fish? A: A hiccup. How do you get a skunk to pee on your house? A: With a firequacky.)*

Because of this, it is especially hard to witness the possession I hold accountable for his behavior of late. Just this week, during assembly at daycare this cherubic, sweet little boy turned to the little girl sitting beside him and said: You know, both you and your brother are ugly. While shopping for his Dad’s birthday present this unselfish, charming lad sat down in the middle of the aisle and pouted because I would not by him a Batman toy. (Note: same boy has more Batman figures than I can count on one hand.)

That brings me to today. This morning we had his kindergarten orientation. We dropped my incredibly-well-behaved-beautiful-smart-sassy-third grader off at her classroom, she was excited and happy to be back in school; she even made up a little song and dance last night about going back to school, which she sang while twirling around in the sprinkler after dinner. (She does have her moments, but thank God she’s counter-balancing the evilness by being close to perfect lately.) After dropping the angel off in her classroom, the devil and I had to take care of some bus routing issues in the office. I finished and we had an hour to kill before we had to be back for his orientation. The devil threw a tantrum IN THE PRINCIPAL’S office the day before his first day of kindergarten! I quickly ushered him out, took him home and punished him. At that point I discovered he’d gone commando, yet again. Devil, go put on some underwear.

Alas, the day didn’t end there. After orientation, where he seemed oh so excited and glad to meet his teachers and interested in what they’d be doing I took him to daycare. His father got a call around noon. My dear, thoughtful son spit in Destiny’s face (she’s the little girl he said was ugly earlier this week I’m sure). Not just a raspberry, but a full blown loogie. Dad made a visit to the daycare; we’ll be talking sentencing, I mean punishment, this evening.

*These were two jokes he told all the time when he was about 3 years old. He made them up. I have no idea why one would want a skunk to pee on your house, but you have to give him points for creativity.

Thursday, August 18, 2005


One of my co-workers (a skinny young beeotch as I will call her now!) sent me this email with a life expectancy game in it. First of all, yes I realize it’s a game and you never really know when your time is up, life is a gift, live each day to the fullest, yadda yadda yadda and all that crap, but when faced with a number it can be pretty depressing.

I answered all of the questions (see the link below and take the test) honestly, and if I change nothing my life expectancy is 66! That’s 30 more years, well actually 29 because I’ll be 37 this month. That’s not enough time. So I went back and refigured some things and I can live to 90 if I lose 55 pounds, quit smoking, eat more than 5 portions of fruits and veggies a day and walk 30 minutes four times a week.

That’s a lot of life changes. Actually I think I do probably eat the right amount of fruits and veggies a day, maybe not everyday.

This is pretty interesting. Watch the age prediction on the top left of the screen change as you answer the various questions. How long do you think that you will live?
Click here:

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

sounds to come

Ok, I just updated my queque on and thought I’d share with you selections. (I’m sure you all missed me since last week, NYC was good, not as great as I’d hoped, but I did have a wonderful dinner Saturday night with some great people. You know who you are!)

Here's my queque:

Ben Folds Rockin' The Suburbs—because my friend Keri told me to experience Ben

Enya A Day Without Rain—love the feeling of this music

Soundtrack Out Of Africa—this is an awesome soundtrack, and i lost my cassette tape of it. The first time I saw this movie was with my friend Suzanne in high school on a trip to London. It was awesome and it moved me like only wonderful movies can.

Black Eyed Peas Elephunk (w/Bonus Track)—for growth, i think i might like them

Carly Simon Reflections: Carly Simon's Greatest Hits—replacing a lost cassette/cd; love carly

John Lennon The John Lennon Collection—another replacement. Imagine is my favorite song of all.

The Cure Disintegration—mood music from college

Peter Frampton Frampton Comes Alive! (Remastered)—oddly enough, the first concert i ever saw; i was in third grade and one of my aunts took me. I have the album, but no way to listen to it.

INXS Kick (Remastered)—mood music from college

Whitney Houston Whitney Houston—i know you’re probably laughing, but there’s a reason for this. when mike (the hubby) and i went on my senior class trip to paris i had this tape with me and hearing those songs brings back that time.

Helen Reddy Greatest Hits—another memory; i used to go to the VFW with my grandma and play the jukebox, delta dawn by helen reddy.

Soundtrack Spider-Man 2—this one is for ben, he loves spiderman

Soundtrack Moulin Rouge 2—loved the movie and have the first soundtrack

Dido Life For Rent—love the feeling of this music, so think i’ll like the cd

Counting Crows August And Everything After—one of my more recent favorite bands; i know they’ve been around, but i just experienced them about 2 years ago and my cd is scratched

Rick Springfield VH1's "Behind The Music"Collection—see previous blog on rick

Los Lonely Boys Los Lonely Boys—another cd i think i’ll like

Soundtrack The Sound Of Music (Remastered)—you just can’t beat julie andrews!

Sarah McLachlan Afterglow Live (1 CD/1 DVD)—think i’ll like this one.

any other suggestions?

Thursday, August 11, 2005

New York bound

Getting ready to head to NYC for work this weekend and the computer is still gasping for breath at home, so this may be the last you hear from me for several days. I know, I know, it will be hard to go without a dose of my wit, but try to persevere. Those of you lucky enough to see me in NYC will at least not be going through withdrawals.
I should have called this miscellany because the brain is off on several tangents today, but at least they aren’t bitchy tangents like my last post! : )

First, if you have ears you should check out these two Web sites. and My friend Big T (NOT her real name) got an awesome note (see below) after she ordered from CD Baby.

Your CD has been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with
sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow.
A team of 50 employees inspected your CD and polished it to make sure
it was in the best possible condition before mailing.
Our packing specialist from Japan lit a candle and a hush fell over
the crowd as he put your CD into the finest gold-lined box that money
can buy.

We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party
marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of
Portland waved 'Bon Voyage!' to your package, on its way to you, in
our private CD Baby jet on this day, Tuesday, August 9th.

I hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby. We sure did.
Your picture is on our wall as 'Customer of the Year'. We're all
exhausted but can't wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!!

Thank you once again,
Derek Sivers, president, CD Baby
the little CD store with the best new independent music
phone: 1-800-448-6369 email:

So I of course went to the site and am going to order some CDs to up my music IQ, expand my horizons and all that jazz. It’s a cool site because you can listen to samples of the CDs, always a good selling point for me. is an offshoot of BMG or Columbia House or something, one of the many clubs I used to belong to but got fed up with the shipping/handling and overall horrible process of ordering CDs. But at this site you subscribe for like $6 a month and create your own music queue (what a great word!) and there’s no shipping and handling, you know what you’re getting, and it’s great. I think you can sample the tunes there too. Based on Keri’s suggestion I’m adding Ben Folds to my queue.

New York—ok, I’m not looking forward necessarily to going out of town right now. The kids are gearing up for back to school (the start of school for my baby), mine and the hubby’s bdays are coming up (he’s going to be 40!), he’ll be going out of town for his Dad’s wedding, etc. However, I can’t describe what being in NY is like for me. If I lose you in this (probably) cheesy diatribe, just check back sometime next week for more fun.

New York reminds me of the feeling I got when I lived in Germany as an army brat in high school. We’d catch the u-bahn to downtown Nurnberg (don’t know how to do umlauts) and spend the day. Walking down the streets you’d pass churches, cathedrals really, that had stood for hundreds of years, see street vendors selling fruits and vegetables, hear a cacophony of languages (mostly German then) and just feel like there was something much bigger than you going on. History I guess? I don’t know. And there’s a smell, not a stench, though all big cities have those, but just an overall mingling of scents that’s not good or bad, but New York smells like Germany, Paris and London to me. I know, it sounds weird. Maybe it’s more than the smell but the feeling of rushing people, cabs, tall buildings and modern and historic structures living side by side. I guess I’m just in awe when I’m in those places.
A friend recently sent me one of those test I so love taking, and one of the questions was about the biggest regret you have. I can’t remember what I said now, but I think I regret not being adventurous, or really brave enough, to have lived in New York for at least a year before becoming grounded. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I’d be happy living there forever, but I do think it would have been exciting and amazing to live there for some time, either single or as a couple. I read Pete Hamill’s Forever, and though it’s fiction, it takes place in NYC and it’s awesome. I highly recommend it.