Wednesday, November 30

Random Wednesday-ness

A few things:

1. I've thrown myself to the wolves for you all, and I hope you appreciate it. I've been listening to Lindsay Lohan's new CD, A Little More Personal, on this afternoon, and I have to tell you, it's not good. See the sacrifices I make to keep you all from hurting yourselves? It's a mixture of pop-awful and dance tunes on meds, with the exception of two covers: I Want You to Want Me, and Edge of Seventeen. It's no irony that the only two decent tracks are songs that other people have written and performed before.

2. We discussed "TV boyfriends" at lunch today, and I thought I'd let the world in on everyone's favorite crush. Sarah likes Julian McMahan from Nip/Tuck. Pamela is partial to Matthew Fox, far left, from Lost; Jamie Bamber from Battlestar Galactica; and Michael Vartan, formerly of the now-cancelled Alias. Nicole likes Michael Weatherly from NCIS. And me? Jason Bateman, near left, from Arrested Development (don't laugh!); Josh Duhamel from Las Vegas; and Matt Czuchry from Gilmore Girls (not quite as cute as Joshua Jackson, the crush-worthy Pacey from Dawson's Creek, but a close second).

3. Once again, Julia Roberts has been named to highest-paid actress in Hollywood. Really, I just don't get it. I like a couple of her movies, but rarely has one been worth its price in popcorn. (I still react violently to Ocean's Twelve's jumping the shark plotline.) So many others deserve to be making that kind of cash, including Kate Winslet, one of the best of our generation; Reese Witherspoon (when not making "Blonde" flicks); and Renee Zellwegger (who, I'm sure, has some hefty alimony checks to write to Mr. Kenny). Others in the highest-paid list include: Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron, Jodie Foster, Reese and Renee, Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, Angelina Jolie, and Jennifer Aniston.

TSA relaxing rules

Does this mean I can carry my tweezers on board a plane again?

Hurricane season ends today

Finally! Hurricane season is officially over today! Has anyone told Mother Nature? Is she aware that she can stop beating the hell out of the Gulf Coast, and finally settle back down again? Jeez! What got her in such a mood this year?
Here's the final tally on this year's season (courtesy of the AP):
* In 154 years of record-keeping, this year had the most named storms (26, including Tropical Storm Epsilon, which formed Tuesday), the most hurricanes (13), the highest number of major hurricanes hitting the U.S. (4), and the most top-scale Category 5 hurricanes (3).
* Katrina was the deadliest U.S. hurricane since 1928 (more than 1,300 dead) and replaced 1992's Andrew as the most expensive one on record ($34.4 billion in insured losses).
* Total insured losses from hurricanes this year were put at $47.2 billion, above the previous record of $22.9 billion set last year when four hurricanes also hit the U.S., according to risk-analysis firm ISO.
* Wilma was briefly the most intense Atlantic hurricane on record in terms of minimum central pressure (882 millibars). It also was the fastest-strengthening storm on record — its top sustained winds increased 105 mph in 24 hours in the Caribbean.
* Forecasters exhausted their list of 21 proper names (Arlene, Bret, Cindy and so on) and had to use the Greek alphabet to name storms for the first time.

Tuesday, November 29

The dog party

My friend, Alison, has a sister that loves her dog, Macy. She treats Macy like a child, and just last night, hosted a party for the her first birthday. (You may not be able to see clearly, but the image on this piece of cake is actually of Macy in a "Happy Birthday" hat.) I asked Alison to write up a report on the party, and to submit it as the very first guest-written entry into the blog:

Little Macy wore a pink Swarovski diamond collar, and the gifts that she received included: a pink purse; a "whoopee" frog; teenie weenie greenies (dog treat); a Green baby doll (makes her sleep well); a family wall plaque, so she has a pic to remember them by; and a paw mug.
Macy's daycare providers--my sister's landlords--live downstairs, and were not so thrilled about these new squeakie toys, even though they ordered them from QVC for her. When we left, there were two more QVC boxes on the front step, so maybe Macy got a new SUV or computer.
My sister is concerned that Macy will pick up a fish allergy, even though her vet says to give her fish oil. I warned her about Macy kissing someone who just ate fish. Since she lives close to the Charles River, I think I may have given her something to worry about. She is going to have her pacemaker checked I bet, as I could see the stress in her face settling in just at the mention of her dog being sick.
We ate lasagna, salad, herb bread, cake, pie and at least five or six different appetizers. We all had to take turns squeaking Macy's new toys and rolling on the ground with her. Most attendees were dog lovers, and they talked about their Bassett hounds (one pushed Macy in the pool this summer); a chihuahua; a newfie; a bulldog; and a Stabyhoun, a Dutch hunting dog that looks like a retriever but is black and white.
One guy is getting two puppies shipped over from Holland to him in April. They will be eight weeks old, and still need a green card (who knew?).

I'll admit that Brian and I bought Oliver one of those Three Dog Bakery cakes for his first birthday, but really, it was a private celebration for the three of us. If I ever guilt you all into coming to a dog birthday party that I've spent all day preparing, commit me.

Monday, November 28

A couple different things

Mom and Howie took off this morning; their flight departed Logan at 7:30. Such a wonderful weekend, and I have my family to thank for it. It was a treat to spend time with Auntie Donna, Jess and Alex, and it's always a good time for me to hang with Mom and Howie. Brian was a dream husband the whole four days, and Oliver, of course, was a rock star. I'm completely and totally exhausted, and am excited to head home for more sleep tonight. Brian and I enjoyed the peace and quiet last night, that's for sure, and our first big night together tonight will be dinner at home (leftovers from last night) and football: good stuff.

While I was up and out of bed on time this morning, I did not stop at my commute-friendly Starbucks. I drank way too much peppermint mocha over the weekend, although my stomach would argue that, as it's feeling a bit neglected right now. And as if to tease me, there's an article about Starbucks in the news today. Well, not really about Starbucks, but about this guy, Winter, who is questing to visit every Starbucks in the world. Here's his Web site, His favorite Boston-area Starbucks is the Tremont St. store in the South End (B's fave, too); and his record is visiting 29 stores in one day. I don't think even Auntie D. could do justice to that much coffee!

Saturday, November 26

The un-adventure

I had a grand plan for our day today.
Mom, Howie, Brian and I were going to spend the day adventuring around Old Sturbridge Village, a working old-time village, complete with craftsmen, farming and the whole smash. The day started off a bit late, and Brian had to be arm-twisted into going, but by 11 or so, we were well on our way out into the western hills of Massachusetts. The drive took only an hour, but as we ventured west, the weather turned increasingly cloudy, and yes, we even spied small patches of snow on the ground. Upon our arrival in Sturbridge, as we exited the car, we were horrified to find out that the temperature had dropped by a good 20 degrees from the nice Boston morning we left behind. I, of course, had bypassed putting on longjohns for the day, as had Brian; Mom had only tights on under her jeans and the "not for snow" coat; and Howie, well, Howie seems to be taking blood-thinning medication, so he gets super cold super fast.
We ran into the Tavern and gift shop building to warm up, did some random shopping and then ate some lunch. Even sitting at the lunch table, we soundly debated whether the weather (which had turned a little snowy) was going to make this little day trip a bad idea.
Now, picture the four of us entering the Visitor Center and finding out that they wanted us to pay $20 each to walk around an old village, watching people blacksmith and farm, freezing our butts off. Mom and I have gone farther for more ridiculous adventures, but in this case, we decided that retreat would be our best option.
Gas out to Sturbridge and back to Boston: $15
Total amount of tolls: $7.30
Lunch in Tavern in Sturbridge: $45
Getting back to town with enough time before dinner for Mom and I to cruise Newbury Street: priceless (not really ... more like two tree ornaments and a scarf)

Plimouth Plantation

For our Turkey Day celebration, the family and I went out to the beautiful town of Plimouth, to enjoy our Thanksgiving feast at the place where the Mayflower landed, and presumably, the location of one of the first Thanksgivings. When I bought the tickets for our dinner on June 1 (they do sell out that quickly), we really had only a vague idea of what the day would entail.
We began our journey at about 11, and after a stop at Starbucks and for a soda, we were off onto the 93...a highway turned parking lot that morning. Traffic is a drag, especially when you've got someone following you, but once we got to the junction to the 3, we were in good shape. (Cause of traffic: three almost-spent flares from a previous accident.)
Upon arriving at Plimouth Plantation, we were told that we could adventure throughout the grounds, and were expected back to our dining room by at 2:15 p.m. Our first stop was a cheesy little orientation movie, that really didn't teach us much, and then we were released onto the grounds. The 1627 Pilgrim Village was pretty trippy. The costumed workers would only speak in the King's English, and knew nothing of anything past 1627. Don't ask them about television, they don't know what it is. Ask about the Mayflower, or about what they're cooking ("the humbles of a hog," I was told). Ask how long it takes to make an apron: "It's done when it's done, I suppose." Homes with thatched roofs and clay walls, a church building with cannons atop it, and the vegetable gardens were highlights.

Family-style table manners were the way of things at the T-giving dinner, which really meant that we had to wait for the people at the other end of the table to practically clear the turkey platter before we even got to touch it. The menu included: (cold) split pea soup that we ate anyway; escalloped oysters (basically just breaded snot); mashed potatoes; butternut squash; (dry) turkey; stuffing; cranberries; some kind of beet that Brian spit out faster than any kind of cooked carrot; and creamed onions that Howie deemed too onion-y. Dessert was a choice of pumpkin pie (Alex's favorite); Indian pudding (which Brian compared to pumpkin Cream of Wheat that looked like cat food with a dollop of whipped cream atop it); and apple pie (my choice, and the far superior dessert on the table). We did, however, get to take home our own complimentary posy.
Costumed characters came by each table for a chat; we met a retired whaler, a Yankee soldier, a woman who writes poetry and prides herself on her independence, and a guy that I only remember for his great purple coat.

Dinner was over by 4, and we were pretty efficiently rushed out so they could prepare for the 5:30 seating. Of course, the way out was via the gift shop, and after a few purchases, we made our way out to the cars to head back to town.
...and a good Thanksgiving was had by all!!

Wednesday, November 23

The insanity descends

The family is on its way here. Seriously, they're all coming to Boston: Mom and Howie are boarding their plane right now. Auntie Donna, Jess and Alex were so excited to come out today that they actually left Virginia last night, and as of 2 a.m. this morning, when they stopped to sleep, were in East Windsor, N.J.
It's been several years since we've been together for Thanksgiving, and though it's not all of us, we should still have a good time.

Here's a picture of the national Thanksgiving Turkey, named Marshmallow, during the Presidential pardoning ceremony, Nov. 22, 2005.
"You, my friend, are saved...until next year."

Actually, what does happen to the turkeys that are pardoned? They certainly don't know that they dodged a bullet (or ax). Do they appreciate it? They aren't aware that they could have been keeping a platter warm, all full of stuffing and gently glazed in melted butter. They have no idea that some ruffian could be pulling off their leg and sinking his teeth into their thigh muscle. (Okay. I'm not liking this train of thought, actually, so let's be done.)
Anyway, Marshmallow has no worries.

Tuesday, November 22

Frickin' illness: Take 2

I've been remiss in my posting today, and I'm sorry to say that it's because my frickin' cold is back (add drum roll here) with a vengeance. My nose is plugged, and all my words end in "d," whether I want them to or not. This sucks something wicked.
I'm hoping to get a decent night's sleep tonight, but we'll see!

Monday, November 21

Megan's wedding

There's something to be said for the beauty of an autumnal wedding and a happy bride. My friend, Megan, got married Saturday night, and it was a breath-taking event. She was glowing, as brides do, and her new husband, Tim, was clearly enamored and floating on air the entire night. As far as I could tell, the whole thing was a success. The venue, a private ladies' club, was perfect, and added an old-world charm to the intimate setting. As for colors, Megs used the deep reds, browns and coppers, making for a stunning color scheme. (Andy did the same for her wedding a few years ago.) And props to the bride for finding a color, deep brown, that would flatter each of her bridesmaids.
Observation #1: Only a few things can really succeed in making me feel old lately. One of those things is the growing up and maturing of my friends' younger siblings. Megan's sister, Allison, who's about two years younger than us, was so grown up, beautiful and sophisticated, and such a charmer, that it was a struggle to reconcile her with the young girl that she used to be. (I bet she'd love to know that!) We all grow up, and I appreciate that, but when I see a younger sibling become such an engaging adult, it's always a swift kick in the psyche.
Observation #2: Weddings are no fun without the person you're married to. Brian had school things and patient commitments, and that's fine, but I would really have liked for him to have been there. I had no one to dance with really, and, well, weddings make you feel all gooey about your own wedding, and my groom was nowhere in sight. They even played our own "first dance" song. (Insert pout here.)
Observation #3: Not all maps are to scale. I thought that since the map in the invitation implied that the PCH was one block over from 3rd Street, that the PCH was, in fact, one block from 3rd Street. So I entered the wrong intersection into the GPS. We got lost; I had to run into a Jack-in-the-Box to find out which way to go; and we were a bit late getting there. My bad. The ceremony was later too, though, so we still got there in time. (PCH and 3rd Street are about a mile apart.)
Observation #4: The best of friends continue to be the best of friends. We figured it out, and Megs and I have been friends for 22 years. We only were in school together for two years (5th and 6th grades), but have managed to stay important to each other throughout several geographic separations, months without communicating, and years of not seeing each other. I love that, even though we'd not been in the same room since my wedding in 2001, we're able to hug, gossip and giggle, and feel as though the years were just an hour. It's always been so with us, though, and I am thankful for that.
Observation #5: I can eat three wedding cake pieces' worth of chocolate frosting.

Thursday, November 17

Stinky seatmates

Things in this world that are worse than most other things, Kimberly's list: not picking up your dog's poop when out on a walk; rudeness to waitstaff; people washing windshields on the highway; shoppers leaving books out of alphabetical order on the Barnes & Noble shelves. Of course, the worst of all these things is the stinky seatmate on an airplane. Why is it that the last couple times I've flown somewhere, I've been stuck in my comfortable window seat with a large, smelly guy next to me, wheezing his bad breath all over me, and leaning into my space so he can see out the window? Here's my thing, Mr. Pitstains; if you want to look out the window, get a window seat. I get my window seat early enough, and so should you. And buy some Altoids for goodness sakes! Don't you know how bad your odor is? Thus went my flight today. Hours in my window seat, being imposed on by the stinky seatmate.

Here's a pretty picture of some Orcas (a mother and new baby born at Sea World-San Diego). I read the other day that the Orcas in Puget Sound were going to be put on the Endangered Species list. Their dwindling numbers are a shame. I've always loved the Orca, even in that movie with Richard Harris and Bo Derek, where the whale kills all those people. They're so beautiful and majestic, and like the penguin, always attired properly for a formal event.

Wednesday, November 16

Planes, software and near misses

Leave it to the Boston Globe to publish an article on Logan airport's outdated computer software, faulty warning systems and three near misses on runways in the last year, the day before I fly out of here for the weekend. Great. And the picture is even better, yes? Those are Aer Lingus and US Airways planes that came within 106 vertical feet, and 379 horizontal feet, of each other this past June. Had the US Airways pilots been taking off, as they were instructed to by ground control, this image would be followed by more horrific ones. Instead, the US Airways pilots noticed the huge plane barreling towards them on an adjacent runway, and stayed on the ground. (They were, rightly so, rewarded for their actions, even though there must have been one or two passengers on the plane that pitched a fit for any delay.) The article goes on to point out that new and better software for ground collision warnings is on the NTSB's agenda for Logan, and a band-aid system has been put in place, but that the permanent upgrade probably is not going to happen for a couple years. Logan and 13 other national airports are on the short-and-immediate list for those upgrades.
(Note to self: don't mention this post to Mom.)

Tuesday, November 15

Pooch pic #1

Here's Oliver, having been awakened yet still laying about on the bed pillows, waiting patiently for me to quit bugging him.

Two cents

Can you hear it? It's a country-wide indrawn breath of indignation, anger and disbelief over the news that first-class postage is increasing in $.02 per letter. Right now, scores of little old ladies are scrambling into their crochetted shawls, hauling out their containers of pennies, and heading down to their local post office so they can buy the required 2-cent stamps that they'll need until they finish with the $.37 stamps they've already got. There, they will swap stories about the "good old days," when sending a letter cost only a nickel (and those Pony Express young men who were so dashing), and how people today don't understand the value of a dollar, and how, well, if they listened to their grandkids, they'd have a computer and the ability to send a letter without a stamp.
The increase goes into effect January 8, 2006.

H.P. 4

It's finally here! The week leading up to the release of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is upon us, and what a splendid week it is! The skies were sunny yesterday, and the breeze (relatively) warm. I'm checking out my crystal ball with Professor Trelawney, and all seems well!
Of course, as I'll be out of town for a friend's wedding, Brian and I won't be able to see it until early next week. (I'm thinking Monday night, actually.) That, in itself, is a complete drag, but I've got this wicked premonition that the movie will still be available for viewing after this weekend.
This particular installment is the first in the series to be rated any higher than PG (it boasts a PG-13), and looks like it's got the action and thrills to need it. For those of you cool kids out there that have read the books, you know what all goes down this year at Hogwarts, and it should be a great ride!

Monday, November 14

Construction sites: bad

Now, thanks to the wonderful CSI: Miami, I can say that I know exactly what it would look like for someone to get shot in the eye with a nail gun. You see? Television is educational!

The ladies strike back

Here's a kinda gross, but definitely girl-friendly, joke that Daddy sent to me today:
A sexy woman went up to the bar in a quiet, rural pub. She gestured alluringly to the bartender, who approached her immediately. She seductively signaled that he should bring his face closer to hers. As he did, she gently caressed his full beard.
"Are you the manager?" she asked, softly stroking his face with both hands.
"Actually, no," he replied.
"Can you get him for me? I need to speak to him," she said, running her hands beyond his beard and into his hair.
"I'm afraid I can't," breathed the bartender. "Is there anything I can do?"
"Yes. I need for you to give him a message," she continued, running her forefinger across the bartender's lips and slyly popping a couple of her fingers into his mouth, allowing him to suck them gently.
"What should I tell him?" the bartender managed to ask.
"Tell him," she whispered, "that there's no toilet paper, hand soap, or paper towels in the ladies room."

So let's go off for a moment on ladies' rooms, the seemingly most-ignored space in most drinking, sports, and concert venues.
Number one, there should be twice as many. No matter how many may be in the building right now, double them. They'll be used. It's a fact of life that the ladies have to wait and the men don't, but we'd be more agreeable to waiting if we at least knew that we had twice as many stalls as the men.
Number two, all hail the ladies' room attendant. Yes, it's a drag to pay the dollar or two at the end of the night, but this woman is sure that all is in working order all the time. She's got the t.p. when you need it, not to mention paper towels, lip gloss and mouthwash. I remember that we were so jazzed when we discovered the t.p. hiding place outside the ladies' room at The Yucatan. Knowing that, we were rock stars.
Number three, keep the signs consistent. The symbol of the lady in her dress is good. Of course, the word "Ladies" or "Women," is good. "Lambs," as it is in a restaurant out here, is not necessarily easy to figure. Nor is the verbiage in another language. Of course, nothing's worse than knowing, absolutely knowing, that the sign said "Women," and finding out, in a bad way, that the room had been a men's room earlier that day. Repeat users don't always notice a changed sign. If you're going to switch them around, make the new signs really big.

Friday, November 11

Rockefeller Square

You know what this is? It's this year's Rockefeller Square Christmas tree being installed into its new, for the next several weeks, home in downtown Manhattan. Seventy-four feet tall and from New Jersey, the tree weighs nine tons, and boasts a 42-foot-wide limb span.
That's gonna take a lot of lights!

"Red... the blood of angry men..."

I've only been keeping up with the rioting in France on a kind of skimming the story-type basis. Someone was quoted as saying, "A little revolution, every now and then, is a good thing." This revolution, from what I can gather, is borne out of the impoverished neighborhoods and the peoples' frustration with discrimination and unemployment. Rioting began when two teens were chased into a power substation by the police, and they were subsequently electrocuted. Arson and clashes between the populace and the police have occurred nightly since then. This violence, according to the AP, is the worst since the student-worker uprising in 1968.
Anyway, so what's with that? I can tell I've seen too much musical theater when I hear about a riot in France, and the first thing I think of is, was Marius there? What about Eponine, Jean Veljean and Javert? "Empty chairs and empty tables." And the ultimate (which tends to get all stuck in Mom's head and drive her crazy), "Red, the blood of angry men. Black, the dark of ages past. Red, the world about to dawn. Black, the night that ends at last!"

Thursday, November 10

Not really king of California

Apparently, just being a movie star, and popular enough to get an initial election into the big house in Sacramento, does not get you every single little measure you want. It seems that, as governor, you might actually have to work together with a Democratic legislature, or, gods forbid, compromise with the "other" side to get things done. Granted, it's not always easy to work together, but if the aims are true, and you're flexible, things might happen. You won't have to "take the measure to the people," in a failed bid to prove that, with your popularity, you can get anything passed, with or without the Legislature.
Rightly so, the people of California said as much to their governor this past Tuesday. "Um, isn't this what we elected you to take care of for us?" is what they seem to be telling him. All four of Schwarzenegger's major initiatives--state spending, political district boundaries, teacher tenures and restricting union labor involvement in politics--were soundly defeated, as well as four other measures, on the state's ballots this week.
(Let the record show that, as a registered voter in California, I "hung my chad" for Larry Flynt during that special election in 2003. I just thought that he would be a fun politician. We'll never know.)
A contrite governor now is saying to the people of that great state that, "Well, okay. I guess I'll work harder with the Democrats up here on the hill ... well, when I get back from China anyway. I didn't mean to waste the state's money with this election. Oh, and please be sure to vote for me next year."
In a USA Today article, the writer states that the Democrats aren't doing any better than Arnold in the polls. Okay, but let him keep up his current streak of failures, and we'll be having an interesting ballot next year. I'll call it: Schwarzenegger versus Warren Beatty. You can guess the direction I'll go. Besides, if we're going to be a state that prefers to elect actors to its highest political office, let's go with someone who played Bugsy Siegel, Clyde Barrow and Dick Tracy.
Here's the USA Today article link:

Fourteen years

Today, if you can believe it, is the 14-year anniversary of Brian and I, being "Brian and I." Time goes by so quickly, and it's really kind of frightening (in a good way). I mean, who would have thought, when we met the summer of '91, that in the fall of '05, we'd still be together, and married, and trying to have a baby. Realize that if I had gotten pregnant when we'd first met, the baby would be as old as my nephew now, 13, and would be going in to high school next summer. Um, yikes! It's pretty crazy when I think about it that way.
What's even better, I think, then us still being together, is that we still genuinely like each other, and enjoy spending time together. Today, as much as 14 years ago, he can still make me laugh, and I am still excited to talk on the phone to him, or hang out and go to a movie, or just sit on the sofa and watch TV. We're still just as we started out: good friends.
As with all relationships, we've gone through the ups and the downs, and I'm proud to say that we've weathered them well. Meeting at 18, going through college, the long-distance years, the living together years, and finally, the married years in Boston, has been a hard-fought campaign, and we, as comrades in-arms, have emerged victorious. I'm proud of our history, and look forward to several more years together.

Wednesday, November 9

The red tree

Mom and I were talking on the phone as I drove home from work Monday, and I had to share with her something I have discovered that I will truly miss when/if we leave Massachusetts: the changing colors of Autumn. For three years, I've really kind of been dazzled by the beauty, but known that "it'll be there next year," too. This fall, with Brian's graduation around the corner, it's more of a uncertainty as to whether I'll experience it all again.

Here's a couple pictures of a tree that I've discovered recently. It is a beautiful low-lying (but still about six feet tall) tree/bush that changes into the most dramatic red I've ever seen out here. (It actually looks a bit pink in the bottom picture, but trust me, it's very red.) This one is about a week past its prime, and the leaves are starting to look a bit worn, but the color is still as vibrant. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 8

Just a couple anti-Bushisms

So it says on the Internet today that White House staff members are taking ethics classes, er, attending mandatory briefings, about expected conduct when handling classified material and information. This following the indictment and resignation of "Scooter," the vice president's chief of staff, who allegedly leaked a CIA agent's name to a newspaper reporter, who dutifully and, in my opinion, wrongly, published it. About 3,000 employees in agencies under the Executive branch will attend these classes in the coming weeks.
First of all, these kinds of things should be made clear the second you step foot onto 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., and apparently, most especially to the guys in the big offices. Secondly, it pains me to point this out, but one of those 3,000 employees didn't leak the information. The vice president's chief of staff did. (And allegations suggest the v.p. had a big part of the whole episode.) It seems to me that the wrong people are taking this class. When's Dick's big day in school?
Check out the article at:

And here's a fun e-mail "news" item I received from the parents in-law today:
Bush Presidential Library Destroyed by Flood
CRAWFORD, Texas--A tragic flood this morning destroyed the personal library of President George W. Bush. The flood began in the presidential bathroom, where both of the books were kept. Unfortunately, both books have been lost. A presidential spokesman said the president was devastated, as he had almost finished coloring the second one. The White House tried to call FEMA, but there was no answer.

Um, who was jumping on the sofa?

One of today's news items focuses the bright light once again on one of my fave topics, Tom and Katie. In today's USA Today, it's mentioned in an article that Tom has chosen to demote his sister from all-knowing publicist, to watcher of charitable events, and has hired a new publicity agency. Tom, you see, has fallen from 11th to 193rd in some celebrity popularity poll recently released. This steep decline has only happened since spring this year. Here's the link to the article:
Anyway, here's my thing: why is it the publicist who gets fired from her job because her client is flipping out all over television, in front of paparazzi, and all that? I mean, however unlikely, if she told him that this would be a strong and smart marketing campaign, then certainly, she should be pink-slipped. But I get the feeling that this is more of a Cruise-ian damage control mission, where the publicisit is the most visible person he can fire for all this bad press and ink he's been getting. He definitely won't be firing himself, Katie or Scientology.
Ex-publicist? I say, "scapegoat." Tom should be getting his own head together, rather then making others roll.

Monday, November 7

British movies

Usually, when it comes to things British, like my car, I tend to think, "a bit odd, perhaps, but whatever. Cheerio!" (How else can you describe an owner's manual that refers to the hood as a "bonnet," the trunk as the "boot," and spells tires with a "y.")
At any rate, Brian and I have discovered that we love the British movie. Some examples include Snatch, The Full Monty, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, and Layer Cake, which we watched last night.
Why Layer Cake? Because I'd heard good things about it; it was new to Netflix; and because it's got the new James Bond, Daniel Craig, in it.
So what's with the love of the Brit movies? Simply, because the makers are not afraid to go with the shocking, and non-happy, endings. (Sorry, if I just spoiled them for you.) They'll pull you in, make you love the characters, and then shock the heck out of you when the bad ending comes along. Last night, we just sat on the sofa, stunned and disbelieving, at this movie's finale. Really, it was just a good movie. I highly recommend!

Friday, November 4

Poor audience participation

So, it's been two months that I've been posting to this blog. I think you all can tell that I'm having fun with it, but seriously, are you? Pamela and I were talking about it yesterday at lunch, and we both kind of agreed that we're a bit disappointed in the audience participation. You all do know what the "Post a comment" is for, right? Granted, this is an outlet for my own angst, issues, random ramblings and such, but it would be so much more fun if you all would participate, too!
Do you have a rant you want to share? Post it! Do you want to make a sarcastic comment? Post it! You read enough about the things going on in my life up here; add some of your own daily events! Post them!! Make a funny! You're clever, so prove it!
Don't be scared. Remember, you can go anonymous. This is a very gentle and affable crowd you're typing to. They enjoy a good smirk, smile and jab. If they didn't, we wouldn't all be friends!
I've discovered the way to send an e-mail notification every time something is posted to the blog too, so just let me know if you'd like that, and I can set it up for you. (No spam, I promise!)
A quick shout out to those who have commented. Kudos to Pamela, Daddy, Tara, Mom, new daddy Josh, and Amy. Keep it up!!

Autumn's goodness

You know that great feeling of realizing that something that only comes around once a year, has returned? Like Santa, or fall foliage, or spring flowers. Well, it's that time of year, when two of my most favorite autumnal guilty pleasures are again available for my enjoyment.
Guilty pleasure #1: Starbucks' peppermint mocha. -- Yes, it's a $4 drink. Yes, it's also got a ridiculous amount of bad fat-ness in it. But the seemless melding of the crisp peppermint with the sweet mocha and the soothing calm of the coffee make this just about the best confection available in the store.
Guilty pleasure #2: The Cheescake Factory's pumpkin cheesecake. -- This light, frothy slice of heaven is only on the menu from the middle of October through the end of December, so it's imperative to eat as much as possible during those two months. I'm a big fan of taking a slice home and making it last a couple days, only indulging in two (or three) bites at a time.
My idea of heaven in November? Feasting on cheesecake while sipping my mocha. Yum.

Wednesday, November 2

Prince and Duchess in colonies

Did you know that Prince Charles of Wales and Duchess Camilla of Cornwall are in the U.S. visiting us brash and rebellious colonials? I can't imagine why, after the huge ruckus the late Princess Diana made every time she breathed, smiled or visited anyplace, we wouldn't care too much about Charles or Camilla (pictured to the left) making their first official visit as a married couple.
But, yikes. She's a bit frightening, isn't she?

Must find huge toast

Check out this picture.
So many things come to mind:
-- Um, since when is there a beach in Arizona?
-- That scene in Caveman, where Ringo, Dennis Quaid and friends drop and break the dinosaur egg and it fries on the volcanic spout.
-- "This is your [ridiculously huge] brain on drugs."
-- A very bizarre, and noticeably non-green, Dr. Seuss prank.
-- Humpty Dumpty went tropical, and things got super bad.
-- Mom could make so many egg-salad sandwiches out of this... but she doesn't like sand.

Tuesday, November 1

The tree injustice

This is a squirrel on my balcony. Squirrels used to be able to frolic on my balcony all the time, driving my dog nuts, while skipping about from limb to limb on the beautiful large tree behind my building. There was a limb on this great tree that ran right along my balcony railing, about two feet higher than it actually, which had several little knots. From one such knot, I hung my wind chimes. Its trunk and leaves provided a measure of privacy from buildings across the back alley, and gave some protection from the wind and snow. It was a happy tree. I was happy with the tree.
I came home from work last Thursday, all sick and irritable, only to find that some random group of tree killers decided to roll down my alley and rip out three or four of its trees. As you can assume, one of the trees so unkindly wrenched from its roots was the lovely tree outside my balcony. I was more than annoyed. As Brian said to Mom when she called that evening, "Your daughter is on fire right now."
As well, in my strained and slightly psychotic frame of mind, I called my management company, and left a message laced with hysteria on someone's voice mail. Me all flipping out about how they can do that without notifying anyone; how can I live in this apartment now, without the lovely tree; how am I supposed to rectify this situation; and of course, how I know that they have nothing to do with it, but I wanted to go on record with an official complaint. I'm sure that my message was fodder for amusement within the entire company on Friday, and on some level, I'm a bit embarrassed, but on the whole, I'm still annoyed at the injustice of it all.
Now, squirrels can still frolic on my balcony (this pic was taken yesterday morning through the door and screen), but they have to climb up the ivy along the wall to get to it. It looks so much harder than just scampering up the tree! You know, last year, we even saw a hawk roost in the tree. It changed colors in the fall, and during the spring, it would bloom so beautifully. It was such a lovely tree.
I'm in mourning. I hate the tree killers.

Halloween: the day after

I'm sorry to say that I'm still feeling sick, and worse today than yesterday. This sucks.
But yesterday, that day of days, Halloween, was a rollicking success, I think. I broke out the poodle skirt, matching shirt and lettermen's sweater as my costume, and we had a party here at work. (This is my jack-o-lantern from my desk.) There was way too much food to go around, so we ended up feeding most of the other departments around us, too.
As for the holiday itself, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I do wish that I had known that, in the South End, if you want trick-or-treaters to come to you for candy, you need to sit out on your steps with a big bag of the stuff. There's no bell ringing or door knocking in that neighborhood, what with all the apartments and such. I must have been out of town on Halloween last year, because had I known that this was the way of it here, I'd have been all over the giving out of candy. (I took all mine in to work yesterday so as not to eat it all myself.)
My favorite costume group? A five-year-old girl dressed as Dorothy, Mom was the Wicked Witch of the West, baby was a flying monkey, and Dad was in a full-on Cowardly Lion suit. They were the best!