Monday, December 7, 2009

Ziva's Gut Shot

I love this video. Have I mentioned Gibbs is a god?

Friday, November 27, 2009

My Baby Boy's Turning Four

Time flies far too fast. I never believed it when my parents told me that as soon as I became an adult the clock would start doing double time, but that's exactly what it's done for the past few years. I turn around and *poof*, it's gone. Unbelievable. My youngest just turned four, and I'm completely in awe of the fact that all of my children have taken a step toward independence. Of course, I just had to go turn on Blues Clues for him, so what do I know!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Television Calls to Me...

So, with a long week in the works I'm finding it almost impossible to stay on track. Why? Because the television's calling my name. Odd for me, since I almost never actually watch tv, but there you have it. Between my newfound obsession with NCIS (Gibbs is amazing) and the fact that I just discovered Castle with Nathan Fillion (Mal, from Firefly) I've spent most of the last week vegging in front of the boob tube.

Yes, it's pathetic. Sue me.

So I have to ask everyone, what's your solution for the weeks when nothing sounds so good as curling up in front of a good movie? When you can't snap your mind back into gear to do the things you know you need to do? When the only thing you want to do is curl up inside someone else's world for a little while and pretend your own doesn't exist?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Seeing Clearly Now

It's funny how sometimes life just swallows us whole, until we find ourselves sitting in a corner of our mind looking out and wondering how we got there. Then something comes along that opens our eyes, and suddenly we're seeing clearly. Sometimes it's just a moment-a puff of air, a line of music. A lyric in a song. Other times it's a process. And sometimes the moments make the process, paving the way to the future and a new, brighter reality. In that brighter reality we can be anyone we want to be. We're a blank slate, a clear tablet. We're a story that's yet to be written. It's up to us to decide what words we're going to put on the page, and what images we're going to let shape our life.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Parent/Teacher Conferences

I hate parent/teacher conferences. I really do. There's nothing like looking your child's teacher in the eye and hearing about what your kids have been doing in school behind your back. You go through your day blissfully unaware that your kids are out there doing anything but what they're supposed to be doing while they're at school. Yikes.

Anyway, the plague has lifted around here. The kittens are tearing around the house, my kids are enjoying their first of two half days (the reason for the teacher conference-or maybe the conference was the reason for the half day, however you want to look at) and I'm working on getting work caught up before I take Chelsea to ballet. Just another day in paradise.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

And just for the record? Owning cats is awesome! So glad the kids talked us into keeping these kittens. Of course, as I have on currently trying to eat the vacuum cleaner I don't know how much longer they'll be with us! Seriously though, we're really enjoying them-even Sir "I don't want cats" GrumpyPants!

It's My Party and I'll Cry if I Want To...

All right, so just for the record? My birthday didn't wind up completely mired in sucktitude. Yeah, it started off rough-I overslept and we had to run to get the car to the shop. It was a busy day at work, followed by a trip to the vet where I got to hold the kittens down for their first round of shots (talk about the world's worst mommy-you should have been there) before tag teaming and dragging poor Chelsea clear to Geneseo, where we found out she had an ear infection-followed by sitting at Wegman's for over an hour waiting on antibiotics.

Of course, we were waiting for pizza too, which made it a little better. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I can be bought.

The good news is, for everyone that had to listen to me complain yesterday, last night was rockin'. I got home, ate WAY too much pizza. My hubby went out and bought me an apple danish instead of a lame birthday cake, and we had that with some ice cream. I knocked out a little more work, then took a quick 2 mile run (more about that in a minute) before sitting down and gorging myself on Disc 3 of the first season of NCIS.

Gibbs is an ass. Abby's awesome. Tony's a hound dog. Duckey's just-strange. Kate's too sweet for her own good. And I'm totally hooked.

The only downside to yesterday was that we had to cancel our plans to take our first "couple's jog" while the kiddies were in school, since, well, none of them went to school! See, for a few months now I've been training off and on for the annual Turkey Trot, an 8K race that happens in Rochester every year. I was doing really good training through the summer, then I went back to work and it was downhill from there.

With three weeks to go 'til post, however, I'm kicking up the routine. I can do 8 miles at a steady 15 minute mile, which means I should be able to handle five miles without too much pain. It might not be a fast five miles, but I can do it! I've also dropped 5 lbs. in the past couple of weeks, which is just-cool. Yes, I know, when you're training for a race it's not about weight. It's about fitness, and time, and being able to go the distance.

But it still feels good.

Anyway, I'm pulling a night shift tonight so I have to rock and roll. The price I pay for spending the morning running errands. Have a good night everyone!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Just another manic Monday! I really hate trying to get myself up and running in the morning. It kind of makes me wish they'd draft me in for a beta of that Gizmo closure I was talking about just for the added convenience of having an excuse to slurp massive quantities of well mixed coffee!

I'm just complaining. All three kids have the flu. We had to cancel Halloween. (More or less-I still got some great pictures though!) And now it's Monday, and they're still home sick. It's my birthday, and I get to spend it taking the car to the shop, the kid to the doctor, the cats to the vet and my computer to the nearest FedEx location to send it back to HP to stop that annoying little flicking thing. No flowers. No cake.

Can I just fast forward through 27 and get to the good stuff?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Gizmo Closure Bringing Make-up Chunks to a Halt?

So, if you'll remember, in an earlier post I talked about the new invention that was going to be sweeping its way across the beverage market-the Gizmo closure. I was surprised today to stumble across a YouTube comment highlighting exactly why having the closure on cosmetics (which I didn't really understand in the first place) would be absolutely awesome-it can finally put a stop to those god-awful chunks that liquid make up gets when it sits around on the store shelves too long!

Think about it. Ladies, how often have you walking into a store and picked up a brand new tube of mascara, only to have it turn out to be no good two or three weeks down the road because it's so chunky and dry you can barely do it? Now, I don't know diddly squat about how they make mascara, but I have to imagine being able to withhold the ingredients that make it thick and chunky until you're good and ready to use it could only be a good thing!

What do you think?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The New Gizmo

It's not very often I'll take the time to highlight a product here, except for the new Transformers movie, but hey that was awesome! And, in the world of awesome, I also have to put a plug in for the new Gizmo closure. This is a new(ish) product coming out from Gizmo Packaging, Ltd, and I can't imagine it's going to take long before we start seeing it on all the local store shelves.

The idea behind the Gizmo is that someone has finally come up with a way to let you mix your drinks at the point of sale instead of having to pick up protein shakes, nutritional drinks and other flavored beverages after they've been sitting on a store shelf for a while and all the flavoring has fallen out of suspension-or worse, taken on that stale, overly watered down taste!

Check it out!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I believe...

All right, so I'm a lazy blogger. Work, school and family have been keeping me so busy that at the end of the day I don't want to do anything that requires me to think. I found this online tonight though, and I absolutely had to share...

I believe... that just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other and just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do love each other.

I believe... that we don't have to change friends if we understand that friends change.

I believe... that no matter how good a friend is they're going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.

I believe... that true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.

I believe... that you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.

I believe... that it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

I believe... that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.

I believe... that you can keep going long after you think you can't.

I believe... that we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

I believe... that either you control your attitude or it controls you.

I believe... that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

I believe... that money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I believe... that my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.

I believe... that sometimes, the people you expect to kick you when you're down will be the ones to help you get back up.

I believe... that sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

I believe... that maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.

I believe... that it isn't always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.

I believe... that no matter how bad your heart is broken, the world doesn't stop for your grief.

I believe... that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

I believe... that you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.

I believe... that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.

I believe... that your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don't even know you.

I believe... that even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you - you will find the strength to help.

I believe... that credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

I believe... that the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Quote of the Day

Spike: I want to save the world.
Buffy: You do remember that you're a vampire, right?
Spike: We like to talk big. Vampires do. "I'm going to destroy the world." That's just tough guy talk. Strutting around with your friends over a pint of blood. The truth is, I like this world. You've got... dog racing, Manchester United. And you've got people, billions of people walking around like Happy Meals on legs. It's all right here. But then someone comes along with a vision, with a real... passion for destruction. Angel could pull it off. Goodbye, Piccadilly. Farewell, Leicester Bloody Square.

Blow the Dust Off Those Old Memories...

Yes, I have to admit it. Sitting here in my new house in a state I haven't called home since I was fourteen I'm forced to sit and contemplate the memories I thought I'd left behind. It surprises me sometimes when I sit back and realize how many memories I've blocked out over the years. Flipping through my photo album tonight, looking at the faces of people I haven't spoken too in years (and a few I've spoken to just a little too often) I have to smile. Those were good times. Just sitting back and having fun with friends is something I've kind of lost track of beneath the burden of responsibility. I look at my smile in those pictures and realize I can't remember the last time I smiled with that much pure, unadulterated (unenebriated) joy.

It's time to get that back.

Speaking of old friends and old memories, I spent today up at Longacre Farms in the middle of nowhere with my best friend from middle school. We had a blast. If you ever get the opportunity to swing up that way I highly recommend it. On top of the extremely cool goats and the kickin' Maize Maze (which makes the one in Fredericksburg look hopelessly puny and inferior!) they have this amazing jumping pillow. Picture "The Blob" from Fat Camp, then tack it on the ground over a sand pit and you've got a jumping pillow. This thing was SO amazing. I seriously want one! It's better than a trampoline for giving you a little extra "Oomph", which sends you flying in every direction.

Couple that with a giant slide and I think I had more fun than the kids! There are days I love being a parent. Otherwise people look at you funny when you're 26 and playing pirate on a giant wooden pirate ship! I can't wait until we get to do it again. Next up?


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Live a Life Less Ordinary...

I've had this song stuck in my head tonight, so I figured I'd share the joy! You can find the lyrics at and the song at

"Life Less Ordinary"
Live a life less ordinary
Live a life extraordinary with me
Live a life less sedentary
Live a life evolutionary with me

Well I hate to be a bother,
But it's you and there's no other,
I do believe
You can call me naive but...
I know me very well (at least as far as I can tell)
And I know what I need

The night you came into my life
Well it took the bones of me, took the bones of me
You blew away my storm and strife
And shook the bones of me, shook the bones of me
By the way, I do know why you stayed away...
I will keep tongue-tied next time

Live a life less ordinary
Live a life extraordinary with me
My face had said too much
Before our hands could even touch
To greet a 'hello'(So much for going slow...)
A little later on that yearI told you that I loved you dear
What do you know?
This you weren't prepared to hear
I'm a saddened man, I'm a broken boy
I'm a toddler with a complex toy
I've fallen apart, since the ambush of your heart

The night you came into my life
Well it took the bones of me, took the bones of me
You blew away my storm and strife
And shook the bones of me, shook the bones of me.
By the way, I do know why you stayed away
I will keep tongue-tied but...
Honey understand, honey understand
I won't make demands
Honey understand, honey understand
We could walk without a plan.
Honey understand (honey), honey understand
I won't rest in stone all alone
Honey understand, honey understand
I'm all ready to go
But you already know...

Live a life less ordinary
Live a life extraordinary with me.
If I could name you in this song
Would it make you smile and sing along?
This is the goal: to get into your soul
If I could make you dance for joy
Could that be the second-chance decoy?
The bird-in-hand I would need
To help you understand?

The night you came into my life, well it took the bones of me, took the bones of me
You blew away my storm and strife
And shook the bones of me, shook the bones of me
By the way, I do know why you stayed away
I will keep tongue-tied next time

Quote of the Day

"Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life." - Terry Pratchett.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Quote of the Day

There's a lot to be said for self-delusionment when it comes to matters of the heart.

Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider, Northern Exposure, First Snow, 1993

My Poetry

All We Need to Know of Hell

So empty.
Hollow and cold, with the chilling memories
Reminding me what was,
The ache in my heart telling me what is,
And the shadow of your smile
Taunting me
With what might have been.

Plucked like a flower, precious and new
From a tree with roots that span an eternity.
Only you have shared my yesterdays
And it hurts
To see who you've become.
To watch shadows darken eyes
That were meant to shine
And to see a heart so soft
Close against a pain I know
Started and Ended
With me.

So many things,
Like a boat in the desert
Or a cat in the ocean.
Where do we go from here?
Tears we've cried,
Words we've spoken
Can't be undone
And must somehow be survived.

Quote of the Day

"Expecting life to treat you well because you are a good person is like expecting an angry bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian."- Shari R. Barr

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Welcome to New York! Oh God, I'm a Yankee Again...

Well, it's the end of my fourth day of being a New Yorker. To be perfectly honest, as I haven't set foot outside my house except to run to Walmart and the grocery store since we got here I'm not entirely sure what I think about moving back to cow country. Seriously. I spent twelve years living in a city where seeing cows meant you were really, really lost. I think I passed twelve farms on our way from the highway to here!

Dude, I see cow people.

Overall, though, things are doing alright. We have slightly crazy but extremely loveable neighbors that spent over an hour this afternoon coloring with my kids. Barbara's outside helping Mike figure out how to set out the trash for the trash people. This is the first time we've had to deal with either trash pick-up or recycling, so it promises to be an experience. Astonishingly, Virginia's slightly backwater (read: cheap) when it comes to that. Go figure. Doesn't surprise me in the least.

I'm venturing out with the kids tomorrow morning to get them registered for school, then Chelsea and I (and probably Garrett) are going to go traveling down to the local dance studio to check things out and get her signed up for classes. I know she's excited and a little nervous about it. I'm looking forward to it. It'll be the first chance she's had to step out and get settled in, and I know she's been bored out of her mind without Taylor, Caleb and Kayla around.

Now I just have to find something for Alex to do. I'm hoping something at the YMCA will spark his interest, although the fact that he spent 7 hours today playing X-Box isn't very encouraging. To be honest, I'm a little nervous about it. He isn't the type to make or keep friends easily, and he rarely goes out and seeks people to play with. I realize he's probably a little young to be a social reject, but that doesn't stop me from being very, very afraid he's going to be the disruptive kid in the class nobody likes. Hopefully a fresh school and a fresh start will be what he needs to get started on the right path. And maybe I'll learn to stop being a paranoid mother and give the kid his space.

Anyway, tonight marks the last night of my vacation (officially). I have to start working half days this week and go back full time next week. Ewwwww. And we're going back to VA this weekend for my brother's wedding. The insanity of that doesn't escape me, believe me! However, having a certain fondness for my inheritance and the babysitting privileges that come with it I need to make sure we're all present and accounted for. And, of course, I wouldn't miss seeing my baby brother tie the knot.

Flipping over to the house, I have to say-I'm in love. It needs work. All right, it needs a LOT of work! I discovered it was built in 1910, however, which is just incredibly cool, and looking around I think most of it's cosmetic. There are places that we absolutely have to rip down the wallpaper and repaint, and my dad tried to do some renovations and got stalled halfway through, but calling in a good contractor and applying a little bit of elbow grease will do wonders. I figure about two more years and we'll be right where we want to be.

So yay! Welcome to New York. Now all I have to do is find a little civilization and some company to keep myself sane and we'll be in good shape.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

T-2 Weeks and Counting

My house is swarmed in boxes and I've got "Psych" playing on tv so I can scramble my way through Season 1 and give it back to its owner. Technically I'm supposed to be working, setting things up so I can spend Tuesday and Wednesday down in Richmond taking pictures for my Examiner articles. I'm so psyched about this job. Of course, at the moment the thrill of rounding out a weekend filled with a whole lot of nothing is so appealing I'm just not feeling the "Twitter".

Go figure.

So anyone, I took my best friend shopping for a wedding dress today, and we found "the" dress right off the bat. It was amazing. Of course, I'm not going to go into any detail here. You never know when a fiancé is going to be peeking over your virtual shoulder…It took me forever and a year to find mine, and this ironically worked out beautifully because Amy was the one who found my dress. It was a privilege to return the favor. J Chai and a wedding planner later we were rolling. And she asked me to be her Matron of Honor. I'm psyched.

Ladies and gentlemen, it's time to start planning the bachelorette party. Yes, she's not getting married until next year, but it has to be something inspired. This is Amy. She's been waiting for this day forever. The least I can do is use my mad organizational skills to put together a kick-ass bachelorette party for her. Even if I'm planning it from New York! I've got Liz down here to help me set these junks up. The question is, what can I get away with? And what kind of a theme do I want? Oh man, this is going to be harder than I thought.

Let's see what we can come up with. Anyway, I've got two more weeks and then it's time to get rolling with the family blog for Christmas. I'm still not sure about this one, but I think it's going to be a lot of fun.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Operation Christmas Insanity

T-3 weeks and counting...

With the reality of my move becoming more of a reality and less of an abstract concept, I have to admit-I'm a little intimidated here. In three weeks I have to pack up my entire house (only 1 closet of which is done) and move five people across three states to relocate in a state I'm familiar with but no one else is and which my husband is going to hate after a week or two. I'm just so grateful I have the most awesome friends in the world, several of whom are going to be helping us load up the U-Haul on Thursday and one of which is willingly giving up her weekend to come help me unpack, shop and find some sanity in this new place I'm shortly going to be calling home.

Amy, I love you. Have I told you that lately?

Anyway, with the move approaching faster than I can blink I find myself struggling, for a couple of reasons. One, how on earth am I going to get three weeks ahead on work so I can take some time off to move, and two, how are we going to keep in touch with all the folks back home? And so, as I was haunting the pages of Facebook (which I am disgustingly addicted to these days) I had an idea. I love to blog. Blogging is great. What if I actually keep up with my blog every single day, toss in lots of pictures of the kids, Mike and I getting settled in, keep a steady log of what's going on in our lives and turn it into a book?

Hey, I'm a published author. I can do this…right?

All right, so I'm laying myself open for massive quantities of criticism. And I'm sure my in-laws are going to find it about as dumb as the scrapbooks we made last year out of the kids' school papers (the end of the year version of which I'm still working on, by the way). But you know what? The more I think about it, the more I like the idea. I mean, I love to blog. I LIKE having a record of my life that I don't have to put into a photo album (oh boy, do I ever). And I'm published on the web in six different countries, even if my name isn't always on the item in question.

I can handle a little thing like a daily blog for my family, right?

Let's see how operation "Christmas Insanity" turns out. It may be scrapbooks this year after all!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Maybe High School Wasn't Such a Terrible Place to Be After All

You know, I mock my high school. I often say there's no way I would go back, ebven if you paid me. I mean, seriously? No one willingly goes back to King George, VA. It's like one of those little towns out west that kids are just marking time in until they can take off for the big city. Remember that thousand miles of nowhere? Yeah, that's the one.
Tonight I sat on the back porch of a woman I used to consider a second mother and who I haven't seen in almost a decade and hung out with a group of those same high school friends I always considered a part of my past, and you know what? It was really, really cool. We got to sit and remember high school memories while we each celebrated who each other had become.
Okay, that's way too cheesy a way to commemorate a night that was filled with beer pong, corn hole and yo' mama jokes. It was…awesome. It was, for one brief and fleeting moment, a chance to remember what it was like when I was free to sit around and spend time with friends without the pressures of life and parenthood looming over my shoulder. I got to kick back with my "date", my friend Jessica who I've caught up with online but haven't actually seen in YEARS and
hold the birthday girl's firstborn son in my arms.
To realize that Little Reed, whose twin brother I used to date but who always seemed hopelessly young somehow, is a mother now was amazing. Looking at that little boy I think I realized for the first time how far we've all come. There are no more college students, no more happy high schoolers. We're all computer nerds, cops, contractors, phlebotomists and veterinarians now. Most importantly, we're all adults.
Okay, that's a little depressing!
I'm too keyed up to sleep so I was going to sit down and write a huge post about this party, but honestly? I don't think I will. It was great to reconnect with everybody, and to reform bonds that I hope through the Internet and regular visits back home I'm going to be able to keep up with. I got to see Jess, who I realized tonight I missed a lot more than I thought I would, and see John Logendorf all grown up (which is amazing, might I add).
Tonight also marks the first time in a long time I've been anything close to drunk. Thanks Jess and Leah.
Short story? I found out that maybe, somewhere out there, I actually miss high school more than I thought I did. Or maybe it's the idea of high school, and the bonds and the friends that I formed there. Yeah, that sounds a little more like it! I really, really don't want to go back to those angst filled days, but you know what? I'm beginning to think that maybe, just maybe, King George wasn't such a bad place to be after all.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Review: Transformers 2

All right, for those of you out there that haven't made it to see Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen yet, this movie rocks! This was easily the best two and a half hours I've spent in a movie theatre all year. (Not surprising when you consider the fact that the suck factor on 30 Days of Night was so bad I walked out. Seriously.)
So, where to begin? Shall we talk about the special effects, which were so brutally cool that they actually put the first Transformers movie to shame? There were some awesome explosions in this one. And only in Transformers could the kitchen coming to life be so incredibly cool. If you get a chance, check out the garbage disposal. I don't want to toss out too many spoilers for those of you who haven't seen it yet, but trust me. It rocks.

Honestly, if we're talking special effects here my only complaint is that it takes the Transformers to transform in the early parts of the movie. I know they're trying to show how incredibly neat it is that they transform, etc, etc, but they did it so much more quickly in the first movie that fans are going to find themselves a little impatient in this one. Or maybe it's just me!

Now, let's talk plot. To be honest, from the reviews I first got of this movie I wasn't expecting much. People consistently told me that this was awesome special effects and very little plot, making the two and a half hour film about an hour too long. Hey, theme of the year right? Am I the only one who thinks Hollywood has forgotten how to make movies?

Anyway, so I wasn't expecting much. Boy, was I wrong! The plot in this is rich, if a little trite. Sam has the secret to the continuation of the Transformer race (which actually involves the Decepticons trying to destroy the planet, but is anyone surprised) stuck inside his head, and the newly resurrected Megatron wants to take it all-literally. If you got grossed out by the scene with the squid-like thing in the Matrix, close your eyes. You're in for a slimy surprise.

After a daring rescue by the Autobots, who slide in at the nick of time like they always do, Sam's on the lamb and the Decepticons are putting on some government pressure. Again, I don't want to give away all of the film for those of you who haven't seen it, but some of my favorite parts were:

a) The Twins. Picture teenaged twins that fight over everything. Then make them superstrong robots with a Harlem attitude.

b) Wheelie. Seriously, this little Decepticon dude is freaking hilarious. And Mikaela decides to take it in as a pet by agreeing not to torch an eyeball. Go figure. Most memorable line of the movie? Mikaela (as Wheelie is humping her leg): "Hey, at least he's faithful."

c) The bureaucracy of the U.S. government and our inherent distrust of anything alien takes some major knocks in this movie. Y'all are going to be laughing your bums off watching Washington's finest take what's coming to him!

d) Sam's mother has some great parts in this movie, which was nice to see since she was such a nonentity in the first one. Not amused? Toss some brownies laced with all natural organic herb into the picture and see what you get! The woman is insane.

e) Everyone remember the psycho agent from the first film? Agent Simmons pops back up as a web genius who gets to save the day (for real this time).
f) Did anyone NOT have the roommate from hell at some point, either in their college career or out in the adult world? I distinctly remember having to help mine get to and from the bathroom so our RA didn't find out she'd been drinking all night. Yikes. Anyway, all of you that have had the pleasure are going to love Leo, Sam's PITA roommate who gets tossed into the crossfire and takes his own trial by fire on the front lines.

And that's not to mention the usual awesomeness that comes from watching the Autobots kick some Decepticon butt while at the same time watching Sam take his first stumbling steps into college life. Dudes, college is hard enough on its own! Toss in a Transformer civil war and a psychotic villain who's out to destroy the world and wants to suck out your brains and you've got what's set up to be one of the biggest blockbusters this year.

Friday, June 26, 2009

House, Season 6

So, as I'm sitting listening to this amazing thunderstorm outside my window and waiting for the opportunity to geek out with the end of "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer", which amazingly I've discovered I actually like now, I'm trolling the forums for news on Season 6 of House, M.D.

Okay, for those of you who haven't heard me obsess before House is easily my favorite television programme. It brings together medicine, which I discovered early on is tied with writing as my first love, and comedy. The characters are hysterical (at least, they used to be), the ships are always completely screwed and therefore interesting and the medicine tying it together keeps you on the tips of your toes.

At least, that's how it used to be.

Now, rolling into Season 6 of House, M.D. I'm a little bit skeptical...and yes, a lot cynical. There was a lot I didn't like about the last two seasons of House. It was like they tried to wipe the board clean after Season 3 and start over, but for those of us who already loved the show it's just not working. We don't connect to the characters in this season the way we did Foreman, Cameron and Chase, and we don't see them connecting either.

And no, I'm not just talking about Cameron sleeping with Chase. I mean, we've got Foreman and Thirteen if you're looking for a little Dr. Feelgood.

Okay, before I roll into my next set of thoughts you have to know something. I hate Huddy. I hate the thought of House and Cuddy straight down to my toes, for the simple fact that it would never work...and yet it would. It's hard to explain. The show's chemistry has never, until this year, left the door open for the possibility of House and Cuddy. It feels like the writers are forcing the idea down our throats, even though in reality House's relationships probably would have played out exactly the way they have.
That aside, I was trolling a Hameron forum and found the best quote ever for House: "I like who House is with Cameron better than who he is with Cuddy." Looking back on it, it's true. We saw all the ducklings pull humanity out of House time and time again, but Cameron the most. Why? Maybe she needed it the most. Maybe she demanded it of him. Maybe she was, to House, a reminder of everything that he lost and can never have back, and because of that he's always had a soft spot for her. Whatever it is, House was human with Cameron and it's hard to forget that.

Of course, they also killed my Cameron at the end of Season 3, so what do I know? I like this new Cameron, don't get me wrong, but I think she maybe blossomed a little too far, a little too far for the show's continuity. She's turned into a mini-House, which is amazing in some ways, frighteningly realistic in others and overall just...incredibly not the Cameron we all fell in love with. And she's still pulling the humanity out of House.

With Cuddy, House will never be a better person. He'll never be happy, he'll never be fulfilled, and because he'd never find that, even temporarily, with her he'd never hook up with her in the first place. For a man like House to have a relationship that goes beyond sex he'd have to find a woman capable of giving him something he's missing. Light. Hope. Happiness. Or he wouldn't bother at all.

So, with the Season 6 premier date set for September 21 (I mentioned that, didn't I?) I'm left crossing my fingers that the writers will be able to pull off their latest plot twists and turn it into something real that still manages to hang on to the essence of House. We've already lost all of our ducklings in two short years. Neither Cameron nor Chase are the people we fell in love with, and Foreman's nothing more than House's stooge these days. Are we doomed to lose House too into this mass pit of humanity and insanity he's teetering on the edge of, or will he retain the careful balance that came so easily to him in the first three seasons?

I guess we're going to have to wait and find out.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Flying Cars? Really?

All right y'all, it's finally happened. The flying car is a reality. THIS IS TOTALLY AWESOME! Someone has actually come up with a plane that can touch down, fold up its little wings and go cruising on down the highway. The idea, the company says, is to create a car that can go around bad weather when the situation calls for it.

Honestly? I think someone was just trying to replicate Star Wars and came up with the next best thing…

Check it out!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

My Feet are Begging for a Bus Ticket to Phoenix

Dude, my feet hurt. Seriously. I put them in high heels for the first time in almost a year in honor of the need to look halfway respectable for my daughter's ballet recital. My feet are regretting that particular social stigma right about now. Which is pathetic considering the fact that they were in my favorite pair of black sandals that I all but lived in when I was 17. (Yes, my favorite pair of shoes is over 9 years old. They just don't make them like they used to.)

Anyway, all whining aside, the ballet went well. None of the parents knew where the kids were supposed to be, the kids were so wound from spending hours...and hours...and hours in line that they were about to implode by the time they got on stage to perform, somebody knocked an entire bottle of water all over the dressing room floor and they managed to close the curtain too early not once, but twice-once at the beginning of the last act of La Boutique Fantasque ("The Magic Toy Shop) and once on top of Aurora at the end of Sleeping Beauty.

Overall, I'd say it was a smashing success (assuming I could actually find my "m" key, which apparently I can't).

Seriously though, we all had a good time. My daughter's class decked themselves out in Italian tarentella gear and spun around on stage. There was almost a head on collision in the middle of Sleeping Beauty when one of the dancers missed her blocking and cut off another, but I was so busy snickering about the fact that my friend's daughter managed to drop my rather large, rather heavy plastic bracelet on the extremely hard and uncovered floor and send it rolling down between the seats all...the the front of the room to really pay much attention.

The extremely acoustically friendly room, might I add.

Have you ever seen Ray Stevens's "Mississippi Squirrel Revival"? Check it out here. This is EXACTLY what it looked like-minus the laps in the woman's dress, of course! Oh, and the revival. But it was definitely a red, plastic squirrel...

Anyway, the girls were darling, Chelsea had a blast, and it's time to get this summer on the road. Good night all.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Finding Peace at the Eye of the Storm

There's nothing I like better than a good storm. There are so many options when you're standing in the storm. You can ride the power. You can use the power. Or you can just close your eyes and enjoy while it wraps around you like a warm blanket, sweeping through your system and making you feel like you could fly for one utterly blissful moment, when all is right with your world and everything in it. It's an awesome, awesome feeling. We're so small in the grand scheme of things, but we are a part of it. To feel Mother Gaia wrap her arms around you and welcome you is, in many ways, like going home.

Today has been awesome. Exhausting, but awesome. It started out terrible-Garrett wouldn't go to bed last night, so I stayed up way too late and wound up falling asleep on our loveseat. Now, normally this isn't something I'd mind. As a matter of fact, there are many days I go out of my way to fall asleep on my loveseat. It rocks! While a loveseat might have been meant for two people, however, it certainly wasn't meant for three. Not in any position that resembles sleeping, at any rate! About halfway through my 300th episode of Buffy (okay, not really, but I was so tired it even felt like it to me!) I was dozing in and out of sleep in a cramped, contorted position that the Olympic gymnasts would have been envious of!

Garrett finally passed out on me at about three in the morning, and we migrated upstairs. I had had great plans to get up this morning around five so I could go running and get some work done before I had to take Chelsea to ballet. Of course, this plan greatly hinged on being able to go to bed early, which between having company over until eleven and having my very own three year old Kapuchin climbing all over my living room just didn't happen. I woke up at 9:00 still exhausted and wedged between my daughter, who crawled into my bed, kissed me on the lips and promptly passed back out, and my husband, who was starting to wake up and, in the way of people who have no respect for sleep, decided I should be awake too.

Needless to say, I was a little cranky when I finally realized what time it was, woke up my daughter and stumbled downstairs for some breakfast.

The beginnings of a huge headache and a bowl of finely ground Frosted Mini Wheats crumbs later, I was ready to get this show on the road. I was counting on having ten minutes in a nice, hot shower to pull myself back together, maybe taking a little time to spit shine my aura (which had to be pitch black by that point in time) and start feeling a little more human. I forgot one thing. My husband LOVES sharing the shower.

Get your mind out of the gutter.

Seriously. I'm a shameless shower hog. I HATE sharing my shower, even with the kids. I like to light a candle, crawl my half human, half alien morning self into the shower and just sit and broil for a little while. I don't have to share the hot water, I have room to stretch, and I can sing and talk to myself and meditate to my heart's content. Have you ever tried to channel energy through your chakra when you're half awake and someone's talking in your ears? It's enough to make a saint suicidal.

More importantly, in a house full of people my shower is the only ten minutes in a day I actually get to myself. I treasure that time. I can massage my scalp, shameless exfoliate my skin and enjoy ten minutes out of the day where I don't have to be anybody's mommy, anybody's wife or anybody's contractor. I can just be me, which (at the risk of sounding like a complete and utter emo) doesn't get to happen a whole lot these days between work, school and my family. Take that away from me and my day's already off to a rough start.

Throw in an overtired and whiny six year old who doesn't want to have to deal with putting on her tights for ballet and you've got an instant recipe for disaster. By the time I dropped her off at class (after a futile search for the shoe she lost last week that never did reappear), forced her into her old, slightly too-small back-up slippers and sent her in to class I wasn't fit company for man or beast.

Thank God for friends. I'm good friends with the father of one of the other dancers in Chelsea's class, and he took one look at me and just gave me a hug. I needed that. Just a simple, undemanding hug from a friend. Hugs moved on to coffee with the kiddies in tow, and a quick shot of caffeine and a bagel later I was feeling something close to human again. Of course, the quick dousing in the deluge that started coming down the minute we stepped out of the coffee shop might have helped. I love getting soaked in a summer storm, when it's hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk and the water's coming down nice and warm.

We were soaked by the time we got back to the studio, having promised the kids to send a car back for them, but it was so worth it.

Well, my stressed little mind was turning a mile a minute with my ten mile long to-do list after class (Yes, I spent ten whole minutes going through everything I was supposed to do today. Isn't that pathetic?) but was informed that the kids wanted to spend the afternoon together. My first instinct was to refuse-I had work to do, after all. But Chelsea's friend is going out of state soon and may be gone until we leave for New York, so I didn't have the heart.

I'm glad I didn't. We had some errands to run first, and let me tell you-there are some days when I'm SUCH a woman. I wanted to get Chelsea loaded up on dance stuff for next year, since I'm not sure how far away the nearest dance shop's going to be next year and don't want to spend August scrambling to find out, so we spent a small fortune at Walmart and Dancer's Wardrobe. Retail therapy. Nothing beats it.

Anyway, after coming home, tossing in a load of laundry and scrubbing the dirt out of her tights with a toothbrush so she'd have a clean pair for her recital tomorrow, Chelsea and I headed out for some fun with friends. Hey, there are some things more important that packing closets, right? We wound up watching some Mythbusters, busting some maggots and catching the middle of "Tomcats" before the kids announced they wanted to hit the pool.

Oh. My. God. I haven't had that much fun in forever. We had the girls tooling around the pool on their kickboards, and I've finally got Chelsea swimming! It was a big moment. We couldn't even get her off the ladder next year, so I was a little worried about my ability to fulfill my promise to have her swimming without a floatie this year. I shouldn't have been. She hit the water like a fish this year. She's finallys swimming! Oh, only for small stretches-one or two feet, tops, before her feet go down in the water. But she's doing it! I was so excited, and it was so great to actually have people to celebrate with. Then Chelsea's friend wanted to try swimming, and she's picking it up fast! I was impressed!

Four temper tantrums later we were out of the pool and on our way back to the house. I wound up bringing all of the kids home with me, and their dad showed up with the makings of cheesy french fries and chicken nuggets in tow. I could have wept at his feet in gratitude. We made up dinner, hooked the kids up with some popcorn and a movie and retreated upstairs with two plates of loaded french fries and the seventh season of Buffy. It was awesome. It was so nice to just spend a day hanging out, not desperately trying to work my butt off to fit 30 hours of "stuff" into 24 hours of day.

A half an hour of bonding time with a lavender candle, a microblog and two blog posts later (I post at the WitchSchool site as well) I'm feeling good, if exhausted from a day at the pool, and very, very ready for bed. I finally found a little peace. I think I'm going to drink up a little more, then head for bed. Tomorrow's going to be a very, very big day.

Peace out y'all.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Get OVER Yourself!

Have you ever had that friend that you just want to slap in the face and say, "Get over yourself!"? That's the feeling I'm having right at the moment listening to Wil Wheaton's "Just a Geek". That book is hilarious, it really is, but it made me think about the way we tend to let a single event shape the way we look at everything else in our life. For Wil Wheaton, it was the fact that he quite Star Trek. Now, you'd think a mistake you made when you were a teenager, even one that cost you thousands of dollars a week, would be something you could let go of, oh, I don't know FIFTEEN YEARS LATER!

Dude. Get over yourself. You quit Star Trek. Your movie career never happened. You have a wife. You have two beautiful stepchildren. Grow up and be grateful for what you have, and develop the talents that you do have rather than the ones that you don't. Child stars don't transition well. It's amazing how many child stars have found themselves in precisely that scenario. Find something else to do, and stop whining. Please.

All right, I feel better now. Sorry, I was packing this morning to the happy tune of Wil Wheaton, which normally should have made the experience exponentially less painful but in actually ended up just aggravating me. I can't stand it when people whine horrifically. I mean, I know I tend to sink down into the mires of self pity. I know it's easy for me to obsess about things that are past-the sting of not being able to finish Med Tech school still rears its ugly head and pokes me in the butt every once in a while. But really? Even I'm not that whiny. Get over yourself, see reality the way it really is rather than the way you wanat it to be.

Phew. All right, rant aside, I know I still owe you a blog about the Ren Faire, and it's coming, it really is. But ye olde muse just isn't feeling the VRF today. Maybe tomorrow. The sun will come out tomorrow, there's always tomorrow, and tomorrow...well, who knows. Right now I have to go finish getting my stuff together for tonight, when I finally get to watch my daughter dance her tarentella dance and enjoy my last night of being an uninvolved parent on the Virginia Ballet Scene before we move to New York and get to start the process all....over....again.

Stress Free Living, or Ode to Pink Panther

Do you know, I was reading the other day that there's no stress in your life when you're a freelance writer. I don't think there are words to express thee way I sat and rolled with laughter. No, you don't have the stress of the 9 to 5 grind, or the painful morning commute. You don't have the endless pressure of having to shop for appropriate clothing, or smiling prettily to impress the boss. Is that stress? It's one of the definitions thereof, but it's definitely not the only one.

What about the stress of constantly finding work? The pressure of often unrealistic deadlines? The tension that comes from having to do your work to somebody else's satisfaction? Yes, writing is infinitely preferable to, say, being an accountant, but whoever says it isn't stressful is either doing it as a part time hobby or they're still living the nine to five and looking with envy at all the writers of the world sitting here, just like, putting their thoughts to paper while chilling in their pajamas and watching "Pink Panther".

As I was walking this morning in my neverending quest to lost hte weight that absolutely refuses to go anywhere and listening happily to Wil Wheaton's "Just a Geek" while rolling down to CVS on a quest for the appropriate hair "stuff" to do my daughter's hair for her dress rehearsal tonight, I was feeling pretty chill. I was thinking, "They're right. The only stress that goes along with my job is what I give it!" Realistically, however, even freelance writers only have 24 hours in a day.

That doesn't mean I'm ready to turn in my keyboard for a 9 to 5er, although the thought has occurred to me more than once in recent months that I would be a lot more relaxed if I could leave work at work and just come home and chill out. Then I think about the stress of finding a baby-sitter, and the aggravation of having to find someone to stay home with the kids when they're sick, and along with the vindictive feeling of justice that comes with knowing that my husband, who telecommutes, would finally get to know the joys of being a work at home parent (right know he's working out of his grandmother's spare bedroom, without the constant distraction of children who want to play, or go swimming, or go to the park, or do the myriad other things that children want to do on summer vacation) I think about how incredibly bored I would be.

So I realized. I really like being a writer. What I don't like doing is writing without feeling, by rote, with constant repetition. Somewhere along the way writing stopped being fun, and with it I felt like I was losing a piece of myself. So my promise? I said I was going to take this year and learn to enjoy my life, and six months into it I've already lost touch with that. I'm still wrapped up in the past, with a healthy dose of excuses for not making this reality everything I want it to be. I don't have time. It's too hard. I'm scared if I actually take that step and publish my own stuff with my own name on it people aren't going to like it, and I'm going to be a public failure.

Isn't it time I got over that? People are paying me a lot of money for my writing. In fact, I've been getting paid for my writing for the last two years. Obviously I have some smidgen, no matter how little, of talent. I think it might be time I said goodbye to fear and pride and started writing the way I've always done-with a little personality, and not like a mindless drone with nothing better to do.

Anyway, after making that promise to myself I guess it's time for me to take my pajama clad bottom upstairs and take a shower, and get ready for work. I think I'll slip on my comfy capris, and a light tee shirt, and curl up with my laptop at my brand new, newly acquired desk that so conveniently holds my schoolbooks underneath. I'll wrap up my newly found blogging addiction and go feel human so that when John comes by with Chelsea's ballet bag, which was left in his car and which I, in a move that all of those mothers who know the minute their child has left a piece of clothing anywhere would be appalled at, didn't even notice was missing, I'll be dressed and looking something like the professional I am.

My sister-in-law actually gave me an itemized list of everything her kids had left over here the last time they spent the night. I want to be her when I grow up.

Lolz. The Pink Panther wins again.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Coolest Weekend Ever...

As I'm sitting here with exhaustion digging into me with claws I can't help but smile thinking I earned every second of it. This had to be the coolest weekend I've ever had, and whether y'all want to hear about it or not I need to take a day or two to gush about it! :-)

Friday marked the last day of school for my kids, which we happily commemorated by running errands and binging on Taco Bell. Saturday morning I dragged my mom, my aunt and one of their friends up to do Potomac Mills. If you don't know what Potomac Mills is-well, you're culturally deprived! Potomac Mills is this HUGE outlet mall in Dale City that has absolutely everything-including a dress I could stand to be seen in public in for my brother's wedding, which is an accomplishment in and of itself! (You have no idea-I have to be the only female I know that really, truly loathes clothes shopping. It's just not normal.)

Anyway, after a few hours of being privileged to the kind of talk children are never meant to hear (never mind the fact that I'm 26 with 3 kids of my own!) and eating a burrito about the size of my arm I was feeling fat and happy as we cruised toward Fredericksburg. I'd picked up a dress that my mom kindly offered to pay for so I could pick up some shoes, some tee-shirts for my kids from the Disney store that the rat...ah, nice people decided to pull out of OUR mall and some essential oils that I would normally have paid a small fortune for but managed to get at a steal from this nifty little vendor in the middle of the mall.

Have I mentioned I love Potomac Mills?

Anyway, from there I got to turn around and head straight back up to D.C. to watch the man, the myth, the legend George Strait at the Nissan Pavilion. That, ladies and gentlemen, was the experience of a lifetime. The man is a god...and I don't say those words lightly. Normally when a performer walks onto a stage you can see either a healthy dose of nerves or that hyped up expression that comes from being keyed up on caffeine and applause. George Strait just sauntered out like the professional he was and launched a set of oldies, newbies and plenty of goodies that wrapped up in not one, not two but three encores. It was amazing. I think the crowd would have kept him on stage all night if they could.

It's easy to see why the man made artist of the decade, even rolling onto the stage with hearing aids in each ear. Yes, Mr. Strait, we noticed. It's just that you're so incredibly awesome, nobody cares.

Of course, as incredibly honored as I was to see George Strait live I think the coolest moment of my night was hearing Blake Shelton get up on stage and put on a live performance of "Austin", which is, oh, I don't know, my favorite country song of all time! I thought I was going to pass out. You have to understand, if George Strait is a good Blake Shelton is like a minor deity. Anyone who can get up on stage at the Nissan Pavilion and call thousands of people "10 acres of rednecks" (and live to tell the tale!) has something going for him. I'm just not sure what that something is!

Of course, if George Strait was a pro Blake Shelton was a comedian with a guitar-starting with his own brand of charming naivete that led him to schedule a gig in Baltimore and a gig in D.C. the same day. Everyone knows traffic in D.C. sucks-now. Apparently Mr. Shelton didn't get the memo, and he paid for it by sitting in traffic for not one, not two but two and a half hours.

Should we tell him that was a good day, and he's lucky he totally missed 66?

Anyway, he kick started the evening with a beer and a toast to George Strait and made everyone's night by singing the song, claiming that he wanted to play a song everyone could sing along with but "all the songs people know are George Strait songs." And he closed the evening up with "Ol' Red", which had all of us rolling in our seats.

Let's not leave Julianne Hough out of the mix. A short lived opening act, the lovely Miss. Hough was completely drowned out by her guitar for most of her set (for which I would have summarily beheaded-or at least fired-her sound man) but she managed to be a joy to watch on stage nonetheless. I had forgotten she had also opened for Brad Paisley when we saw him in concert last year, so it was nice to see how she'd matured as a performer. That's going to be one to watch, ladies and gentlemen.

Anyway, the weekend wrapped up with a trip to the new Virginia Ren Faire-but that's a story for another night. After all, when you're talking about a legend you can at least give him the dignity of getting a blog post to himself!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Desperately Seeking Sleep...

So, in a move to end all idiotic moves, I successfully managed to drown my cell phone in the washing machine today. Why? Because I was desperately trying to get some laundry done when I was wayyyyyyyyy too tired to be operating heavy machinery (even my washer!). Memo to me: When your eyes are too bleary to run the coffee maker, don't, whatever you do, try to do productive-type things around the house. It just doesn't end well.

And today marks day 7 of Garrett's path to recovery after getting his tonsils and adenoids out. I swear, if I'd known teh poor kid was going to be so miserable I wouldn't have bothered! Okay, yeah, I probably would have (ENT said his tonsils were huge), but still. I would have been better prepared-and drafted backup for more than a couple of nights! As it is I haven't slept for more than 3 1/2 hours at a pop since Garrett's surgery, since we have to get up every four to dose him (which is always accompanied by plenty of righteous indignation). I'm pooped.

I'm supposed to be sitting down tonight to work on my final paper for my strategic marketing class, but I really don't feel like it. I so only accomplished half of what I wanted to do this week. I have grand ambitions of being able to take off the second half of July and the first half of August to help get this move taken care of. Of course, by take off I mean have my regular clientele caught up for about 4 weeks ahead of time, which is a great idea except for the part that with Garrett being as sick and miserable as he is I'm struggling just to get through what I HAVE to do in a day. Extra? Yah. Right.

So, a quick poll to all of you Twilight fans out there. Who hated the movie? Seriously? I loathed the movie, which isn't saying much when you consider the fact that I had to beg, lie and steal to get ahold of the book. I thought they butchered the book. Royally. So guess what? I'm now counting down until New Moon comes out in November.

Yes, I know. It's irrational. It's illogical. It just plain doesn't make sense! But there you have it. New Moon was, by far, my absolute favorite book of the Twilight quartet, probably because it made Bella much more three dimensional. She's heartbroken. She's shutting down. Then comes along this incredible man who pulls her out of her misery and puts her back on the straight and narrow. I love the way Stephanie Meyer portrays Bella's quest to get over Edward and move on with Jacob. She seemed so real here, much more so than she did in Twilight.

So yeah, in case you couldn't tell I was just a little pressed on New Moon. So now, even though intellectually I realize there's almost no chance that it's going to be better than the first I now almost have to go see it. I'm probably going to end up going to see it in the theatres. How pathetic is that?

I'm discovering that I really enjoy blogging. It's taking the pleasures of venting to a journal and slapping them up there for a live audience to see. No, it's not always witty, although I'm sure I could be if I wanted to. I don't want this to be a major publicity scene. This is the one place where I get to share my thoughts about politics, religion, movies, books, current events and my oh-so-boring life with everyone else out there.

Explain to me why we couldn't wait to grow up? When we were kids we couldn't wait to grow up and be adults. We had all these big plans for what we were going to do when we didn't have our parents staring over our shoulders. Now that we're adults, who can say they did half of what they said they were going to do as a child? I know I haven't. I still haven't gone any farther out of the states than Canada. I've never gone skydiving or white water rafting, and my significant other looked at me like I was crazy when I suggested it. Around here I'm the woman who cleans up the messes, puts away the laundry and occasionally escapes into glorious geekiness.

It's good to get to go online and be the zany, dorky and somewhat geeky woman I know I can be. Live long and prosper!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Just a Geek

So, a friend of mine quite kindly loaned me a digitized copy of Wil Wheaton's (you'd all remember him as Wesley Crusher from Star Trek) book "Just a Geek" and I have to admit, I'm an addict. He actually does the reading for the audio book himself, and even though I'm only about a chapter into it (hey, you can only walk so slowly when your final destination's only about a block away!) I have to admit I'm in awe not only of his booming, vibrant personality and witty sarcasm but also with the brutal honesty with which he rips himself apart. I mean, I know baring all for Hollywood was the latest trend this season, but many stars try to cushion their mistakes and their missteps with cushioned excuses and plenty of fingers pointing toward their drug habits.

No, not everyone in Hollywood is a druggie. Even I know that, and I'm probably the least pop culture proficient person I know. Not having cable will do that for you. That doesn't, however, stop many of them with living lives that seem to exist between rehab sessions. For Wil Wheaton, his drug of choice seems to be the arrogance of youth mixed in with the heady feeling of invulnerability and the unshakable belief in success that plagues us all through our twenties. That, at least, is a misstep I can respect!

So, to all you bookworms out there, and all the Trekkies that are holding back from picking up the book because Wil Wheaton's conversion from backseat actor to budding author just seems too, well, wierd, jump on the bandwagon and pick up a copy of Just a Geek. You can buy it online. You can pick it up in the bookstore. You can even download a copy of it from Amazon for your Kindle (like that isn't the coolest invention EVER!). Just get it, read it. I promise, you'll feel better about yourself, your future, your past and your sense of humor when you do.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Just for the Fun of It...

How often do we as adults get to do something just for the fun of it? It seems like the older you get, the more reasons you have to have to do something. If there's no reason to do it, we don't do it. It isn't necessary.

When did fun stop being necessary?!?

I want to do something wild and crazy, just for the fun of it. I want to paint my face and dance in the rain and wear pigtails in public and sing at the top of my lungs and do all sorts of things I'm supposed to be too old and too mature to do, just because they're fun. I want to write about all the funny things my kids did today just for the fun of it and not because someone's expecting an e-mail (but oh, you should have seen Garrett trying to row across his baby pool in a plastic Halloween candy bowl!).

I want to go out and do the craziest thing I can find to do, just for the fun of it. Let's hear it for growing up.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Do People Ever Really Know You?

The good news is that Garrett came through surgery like a champ...oh wait, I should probably catch y'all up here. My youngest had his tonsils and adenoids out yesterday morning, and he's pretty miserable about it. I'm sitting here debating whether or not it's worth it to go for an hour or so of sleep and taking the time to wax philosophical. Do the people we live with ever really know us? Or do they co-exist in a kind of blissful time warp that prevents them from realizing who we are?

In other words, do you reach a point where you've lived with someone so long the two of you just stop being friends and turn into blissfully oblivious roommates? Or is that friendship a rock solid foundation on which you build? And do the people you love ever really see you, or do they only see what they want to see?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

So little time...

So much to do, so little time to do it.
Always in a hurry, always rushing, always fussing,
To do what must be done.
Why can't I just have fun?
Thirty six, forty eight, seventy two hours in a day.
What do you mean there's twenty four?
I must have more, more, more, more!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


This movie always makes me cry...

The People We Remember? Or the people we can't help but forget?

Have you ever sat back and compared your adult impressions of someone with your childhood memories, only to find out that they're so different from the person you remember them being that you wonder if the image you've held onto all those years actually meant anything at all? It's easy to forget how much we change over the years-how the events of our lives shape us into the people we're going to be, and how the things we clung to don't mean so much to us anymore. How the people we always thought we'd be bend and shade and fade to grey as the years go by.

Anyway, sentimentality aside, I'm on my way to my nephew's school play tonight. It promises to be interesting-Kolby REALLY doesn't want to do it, so it should be an experience! Everyone keep their fingers crossed!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Who says when you're qualified to give an opinion?

Is is bad to look back and realize that you sound like a know-it-all when you're talking to people getting ready to start in your field? A friend of mine is writing a book, and I'm sitting here giving her advice like I have some right to-never mind the fact that, e-books not withstanding, I've only got...okay, three books in print, with two more due to be released in the next two years, but still. That's not the point. I feel odd giving advice to new writers after being in the field for a whole, what, 2 1/2 years?

Then again, if I'm not qualified, who is? I was talking to a friend I like to use for a sounding board for my writing, both because she used to work for a publisher and because she shares MOST of my taste in books, and when I asked her to read through the first chapter of a short story I'm getting ready to submit she said I was probably more qualified than she was at this point. It feels wierd to be acknowledged as a professional-and yet, what else have I been doing for the past few years?

Anyway, my own personal demons aside, it's going to be a red letter day around here. My youngest son got a tooth pulled this morning. We knew it was coming, we just weren't expecting it to be today! We went in planning on having an exam and came home missing a tooth! Not to mention the fact that the season finale of House airs tonight. I'm a little afraid. I hate the fact that they've left Kutner's suicide hanging, and the whole House/Cuddy thing is just a little too creepy for me. They've always been friends. Making it romantic is just-odd. But anyway, it promises to be a good one. Check out the preview for the season 5 finale of House M.D. here:

Biggest shock in House history? They've killed Kutner, engaged Cameron and Chase, killed Amber, almost killed House, almost sent House to jail, shown that House was his mother's illegitimate son...there's a lot of competition there!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Physicists Beware...

Okay, I've been a lazy blogger-but in my defense, it's been a busy month! Between the kids' birthday parties and the accompanying plague of stomach flu, my cousins' visit from New York and the two day tour of Richmond and D.C. and the never ending flow of work and homework, time's been a little short! With that said, I'm going to say that I'll catch everyone up on my latest escapades at a later date and leave you with this...

(Sorry Will, it had to be done!)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I'm sitting here today contemplating the meaning of change and the bad luck that has me contemplating the meaning of change in my house rather than outside! (For those of you I don't know, I slid down my stairs a few weeks ago and did rather bad things to my bloody sciatic nerve in my back. So I'm on limited activity until further notice!) Seriously though, change is big. And scary. I've never really thought about it before, but I'm getting ready to make two major changes in my life-both of which need to happen, both of which I want to happen, and both of which are scaring me to death right now.

Since none of this change is set in stone yet I'm not going to post the details here. They'll be forthcoming when commitments are made. (Since I haven't told many people about this yet it just seems smarter.) Suffice it to say that at the moment people with the courage to follow Billy Crystal's advice and view their life as a blank slate on which the ending hasn't yet been written have my utmost respect. That's what I'm trying to do, and I can tell you-it's scary!

Bon chance!

"You can't change the past; the beginning's already written; but you can certainly step in in the middle and change the end."

Friday, February 13, 2009

Detach from the Buffy...

Okay, so we mark week 1 of our new exercise program, and I survived-which doesn't really come as a surprise, but there you have it :-) Week two is going to be a little trickier. I'm looking forward to a day off-even if it is Valentine's Day. Here's next week's lineup:

Day 1: Walk 15 min., Run 1 min., Walk 2 min.
Day 2: Walk 5 min. Run 3 min. Repeat for 21 min.
Day 3: Walk 15 min., Run 1 min., Walk 2 min.
Day 4: Walk 5 min. Run 3 min. Repeat for 21 min.
Day 5: Walk 15 min., Run 1 min., Walk 2 min.

On the flip side, we're also taking acai berry for a test run. We'll so if it lives up to its hype. I was extremely lucky and got a great deal on a month's supply, so we'll be able to give it a quick run and see how it lives up to its press. If it doesn't, well, I'm out 30 bucks. If it does it might become a new addition to my permanent diet-like I don't pop enough pills in a day.

Anyway, I need to detack from the Buffy (which I've been watching way to much of for the past few days) and get back to work. I'm hoping to be able to take Valentine's Day off, but we'll see if it happens :-)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Still No House...

All right, so I crossed over the dark side and took the Wii fitness test tonight. Not only is my arm killing me from about six too many games of bowling (hey, I'm only about 245 points away from going pro!) but the Wii said I have a 65! A 60...5. I'm almost insulted...and I know what the first thing I'm going to be doing tomorrow is! I must avenge myself!

On a related note, I'm on day 3 of the walk run thing and my side isn't killing me. Granted, 15-20 min. of exercise a day is only a fraction of the exercise I get through the summer, but still. I'm sure it's too early to be excited, but I'm getting there. I might actually be able to run a 5K again before I die! Woohoo!

So, in a totally unrelated note, my Advance for Medical Laboratory Professionals magazine came today, and I had to completely geek out. I found a really cool article though. It was meant to be a motivator for Med Lab Techs telling the origins of the Iditarod (which, in case anyone is interested, is a dog sled race that covers over 1500 in 10 days) and how the teams were racing to get medicine and immunizations to diptheria patients. It was cool.

And it's Tuesday and still no House. I'm about to write Amazon and complain-the idea behind getting a T.V. pass was so that I WOULDN'T have to wait a week for Fox to post the epi, and they keep waiting longer and longer. I know, there's a big difference between 48 hours and 8 days (as I'm reminded of every time a new epi of "Bones" comes out), but I have no patience when it comes to House. With Stargate SG-1 off the air House is my latest obsession. *sigh*

Well, off to bed. I have to clean house tomorrow, so I'm hoping to be able to get up and knock work out before the baby goes to speech therapy (and I head to the gym). Good night all!

**Check this link out-this is a really cool idea! Our hospital does something like this in the ER for wanna-be nurses and techs**

Monday, February 9, 2009

Just another manic Monday...

Okay, now that my posts aren't translating into Hindi I think I've finally gotten this figured out! So, after a psychotically busy weekend spent bopping back and forth to book club (Neuromancer, if anyone is interested) and Fairfax to visit Amy I'm back home and back to work. I'm trying to get back into a daily work schedule that won't leave me staying up until two in the morning-we'll see how that works out! So far this week is lined up to be pretty busy, between the book I'm editing and homework.

So, I'd like to offer some congratulations to my friend Courtney, the newly degreed Dr. Silverthorn. A PhD at the age of 27! We're all very proud of her. This is shaping up to be a major year-my friend Katie O'Brien will be graduating from Cornell University Law School this May, and my brother in law James will be graduating from VA Tech out in Blacksburg. Wow. I can't remember the last time we had this many graduations in a year.

And my little brother just got engaged! I was shocked to hear the news, although I can't say I'm surprised. (Does that make sense?) So now I have two brothers getting married soon. Yikes I feel old.

Tackled the second day of my walk/run program, and so far I'm feeling good. Granted, it's not like I'm working very hard, but that was the point. My side doesn't hurt. I think I finally figured out what the problem was though. My youngest son decided to go crowd surfing off the top of the kitchen table shortly after my last surgery, and I know I popped a few stitches. That's probably why I'm having such a hard time getting back in shape.

Anyway, it's House night, so I need to get back to work.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Like Running for Chocolate...

All right! Gearing up to go into this next week, I think I made a decision. It’s time to get serious about trying a walk to run program to see if that will help me get back in shape. For those of you who don’t know me, I used to run. A lot. I ran cross country in high school, and even after I wasn’t running I still ran at least a mile or two a day. I love to run.

Last year I had gallbladder surgery, and I don’t know what they did but now every time I try to exercise more vigorously than a leisurely walk I nearly double over. It stinks. I’ve been trying to stick to the same training regimen I used when I was healthy to get back in shape though, and I think that might be the problem. I’m overdoing it before my body has time to get used to it, which was fine when I was healthy but impossible for my post-surgical self.

So I decided tonight that I’m just going to suck it up and look into one of the walk/run programs designed for people who are obese. It means a nice, slow transition back into running, but should ultimately have the same effect. I’m going to post my schedule at the beginning of every week, not only to remind myself (me and my 5 min. memory) but also so that when I’m whining later in the week you know what I’m talking about!

Here’s what this week’s going to look like:

Sunday-Walk 15 min at a varied pace
Monday-Walk 5 min. Run 1. Repeat ad nauseum for a total of 17 minutes. Walk 5 minutes.
Tuesday-Walk 15 minutes at a varied pace.
Wednesday-Walk 5 minutes. Run 1. Repeat ad nauseum for 17 minutes, then spend 5 minutes walking to cool down.
Thursday-Walk 15 minutes at a varied pace.
Friday-Walk 5 minutes. Walk 1. Repeat. 17 minutes. 5 minute cool down.

Is it going to work? We’ll see. I’m hopeful. I may never compete again, but if I can manage to sneak in a 30 minute run every morning without keeling over in pain I know I’d be a lot happier.

In other news, chocolate is my friend. Trapped in the throes of a chocolate craving for which there is no explanation other than spending way too much time at Alum Springs with the Blosser family today, I felt it was my duty as a friend and as someone with some medical experience (albeit limited) to share with you the potential health benefits of (dark) chocolate that make me feel much less guilty about the number of calories I just consumed:

1) Dark chocolate contains antioxidants that slow the aging process (nearly 8 times the amount found in strawberries, or so they say).
2) Dark chocolate has flavinoids, which help relax your blood pressure.
3) Dark chocolate has been shown to balance out hormone levels in the body, making it the perfect choice for…well, you know.
4) Dark chocolate stimulates endorphins in the pleasure center of the brain, helping you de-stress.
5) Dark chocolate contains serotonin, a natural anti-depressant.

2008 in a Nutshell

I was browsing around the ‘net tonight and I stumbled onto a blog created by one Mr. Matt Silverthorn, who (although we’ve never met) happens to be married to one of my old friends from high school. This fun questionnaire seemed like a great way to kick this blog, and 2009, off right.

2008 in a Nutshell

1.What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before? Wrote a press release. If I had only known then what I know now…

2. Did you keep your New Years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I don’t like New Year’s resolutions, but I seem to remember at some point swearing I was never going to eat Indian cuisine again. So far, that one’s managed to stick!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Josh and Rebecca, and lots of other people who I never get to see but who I send best cyberwishes to as often as possible.

4. Did anyone close to you die? I don’t remember. Isn’t that sad? In my defense, I’ve lost all of my grandparents in the past couple of years, and the time surrounding that has blurred a little bit.

5. What countries did you visit? Stayed in the U.S., although my neighbors shared an authentic El Salvadorean experience as often as possible.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008? Patience, fingernails and a four bedroom house. Am I going to get any of them? The verdict’s not in yet.

7. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? April 10th. Fill your house with eighteen screaming preschoolers, a sandbox, a bubble machine and an authentic ball pit and you won’t have to ask why I remember it.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Finishing my med lab coursework and enrolling for my advanced BS degree in public relations.

9. What was your biggest failure? Hmmm. That’s a loaded question. I don’t know, to be honest. Probably gaining back a good bit of the weight I lost when I was sick last year b/c of too much overtime and an addiction to Mt. Dew. One or the other is fine, but the two together spell catastrophe with a capital C.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? A nasty bout of the flu that joined hands with strep and pneumonia to do the end zone dance. Otherwise, nothing new.

11. What was the best thing you bought? My corduroy overalls.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? My children.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? The government. Seriously. It has to be pretty bad before I start talking politics when I’m not at work, but between Iraq and the slam to the economy I just can’t walk away.

14. Where did most of your money go? Rent, groceries, gas and kids. Yeah, that about covers it!

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Going back to school and the release of Patricia Brigg’s new book. Yes, I’m a geek.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008? Anything by Thalia or Jesus Adrian Romero.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

i. happier or sadder? Happier

ii. thinner or fatter? Fatter-but considering I’d just had gall bladder surgery I’m not sure that counts!

iii. richer or poorer? Richer.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? Going swimming.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of? Stressing.

20. How will you be spending Christmas? Our Christmas tradition never changes. Christmas Eve dinner with my husband’s family, then Santa comes to visit and the kiddies stay up ‘til three in the morning. Christmas Day we go to my parents’ for their Christmas party, then roll home around midnight to sleep for at least twelve hours.

22. Did you fall in love in 2008? Every time I looked at my children.

23. How many one-night stands? I had a one night stand with Buffy the Vampire Slayer before I remembered I don’t really care for the show when there are other things on t.v. Does that count?

24. What was your favorite TV program? House and Bones-thanks Amy.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? No, although there are a few people I’m more disappointed in.

26. What was the best book you read? The Mercy Thompson series, Grave Bones and everything I read and re-read by Nora Roberts.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery? Ohhh, let’s see. Probably Taylor Swift, Westlife and Jesus Adrian Romero.

28. What did you want and get? Fleeting moments of pure, unadulterated happiness.

30. What was your favorite film of this year? Kung Fu Panda.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? Had Chinese take-out, cooed over the flowers my husband and daughter bought me and didn’t wash the dishes. 26.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Taking more time to smell the roses.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008? Was it comfy? Did it match? Did it not make me look like a kewpie doll? Sold.

34. What kept you sane? The Hispanic Ministry at my church.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? David Boreanaz.

36. What political issue stirred you the most? Abortion and cuts in children’s healthcare and Medicaid programs.

37. Who did you miss? Everyone I didn’t see….some of them twice.

38. Who were the best new people you met? We don’t have that much time. If I met you in 2008, let me just say that it’s been an honor.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008. It doesn’t matter how hard you try to run from it, sooner or later you’re going to get hurt. Life’s too short for regrets. Don’t regret that you never lived.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. “Tengo razones pa vivir, tengo canciones pa escribir, tengo una voz y un corazón. Tengo un camino pa seguir, tengo un amor pa compartir…”

New Year's Resolutions

Have you ever wondered what it is, really, that makes us decide to make New Year's resolutions? Is it the need to believe that maybe this year we'll get a chance to fix the things that went wrong last year? Or is it the simple desire to have a driving reason to change?

Whatever the reason, unlike most years I've found myself caught in the whirl of post-New Year's resolutions. I usually avoid New Year's resolutions like the plague, because I know that I'm never going to be able to keep them. As the infamous Dr. Greg House says, "If you want to do something, you do it. You don't wait for a sound bite." I've always kind of figured New Year's was that sound bite, and a sound bite isn't enough reason to do anything.

This year, however, I'm jumping on the bandwagon. Want to guess what my New Year's resolution is going to be? (Yes, I know I'm a month or two moves on, you know!) This year I'm going to learn to appreciate the moments in my life that take my breath away. I have a wonderful, loving husband and three beautiful children, a fantastic group of friends and a career that, although it drives me crazy some days, gives me a wonderful opportunity to expand my horizons while doing a job I love.

I've spent too much time in the past year dwelling on what might have been. The only thing that dwelling on what's not going to happen changes is me. I'm tired of it. It's time to let go. Those of you who know me know what I'm talking about. Those of you who don't, but are reading this blog anyway, let me share with you the most important thing I've learned this year.

Time doesn't stop just because things aren't the way you thought they'd be three, five or even ten years ago. Your life is what you make it, and each new day is the beginning of a brand new adventure. Whether you are friends, clients or simply people looking for something to laugh about today, I hope when you're done reading this that you'll shut down your computer, pick up the phone and call someone you haven't spoken to in a decade. Take your kids outside to play in the snow. Kiss your husband or wife like it's the first time, not the fiftieth. Do something silly, something you could never in a million years imagine yourself doing.

It doesn't matter what anyone says, we don't get any second chances. This one life, this one time around, is all we've got. Don't forget to take the time to look for the moments that take your breath away. I know I'm going to.