Sunday, December 31

The end of 06

The last post of 2006:
  • Yesterday, while walking through Nordstrom in Scottsdale, I saw Milo Ventimiglia, the actor who plays Peter Petrelli on Heroes, has been on Gilmore Girls as Jess, and is currently playing Rocky Balboa's son in Rocky Balboa. Of course, I find him coolest because of Heroes.
  • We all went to the Phoenix Zoo for ZooLights the other night. ZooLights is a cool light display that the zoo puts on every year over the holidays. It's really pretty cheesy, but I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't looking forward to Sydney staying awake through it next year.
  • Tonight we are hosting the New Year's festivities. Mom, Howie and Auntie Donna are coming over, and we will all enjoy Chinese food, watching a movie or playing a game, and mocking the fools in the cold out there in New York. (Don't get pissy, people. I've been that fool before. I know how cold it is.)
  • Tomorrow is January 1, 2007. A new year. It's freaky how quickly this year went by.

Saturday, December 30

Revolutions are a good thing

Saddam Hussein was executed this morning. He was hung until dead, the whole thing was videotaped, and his body has been, reportedly, handed over to a tribe in Iraq for his burial. It's a good thing when a malicious dictator is removed from power and subsequently kept from ever regaining said power, but I'm still not sure that having a foreign influence (which is the United States) do the removal is the best course of action.
Vicious state leaders fill history books. I suppose there have to be bad guys so we can recognize who the good guys are. But with most of those bad guys, it's the people they reign over that usually put the end to them. Czarist governing body, right? Killed in the Russian revolution. Henry and Marie Antoinette killed by their own people in the French Revolution. All these leaders were taken to task by the people they wronged the most: their own countrymen.
A leader, half a world away, who decides that another leader must be removed from power is a risk to every country's sovereignty. How do we, as the United States, respond when there is a threat to our own future, like North Korea or even communism? We're all, "Who are they to tell us what to do?" Who are we to do that to them? Let the people rise up and decide. Hypocrisy is alive and well in U.S. foreign policy.
History and the future have a way of playing with the residents of this planet. Someday, the U.S. will not be the greatest super power on the planet. It's the circle of things that demands that. Here's hoping that the next great government treats us well, doesn't decide that a republic is the wrong kind of government, and is a benevolent ruler.

Thursday, December 28

Do forced good deeds count?

I can't believe that it's happened. The Bush administration has slowly and unwillingly sidled up to the bar and announced a proposal that may not destroy the morale of the citizens, the imprint it leaves on the world, or the scar on my psyche.
Polar bears have had their issues over the last several decades. The global warming trend has diminished their ice flows, forcing them to roam farther to hunt, and thereby threatening their survival. I've heard that they've had to swim huge distances for food, resulting in their drowning deaths ... far more than ever recorded. But knock me over with a feather, the administration is proposing the addition of the polar bear to the endangered species list as a "threatened species" because of a loss of habitat that jeopardizes their survival.
And because the president would never do anything merely out of the kindness of his heart or to better the environment and the planet's animals, this action is in response to a lawsuit filed by three conservation groups, who sued the Department of the Interior in an effort to protect the polar bear from the effects of global warming.
"Polar bears are one of nature's ultimate survivors, able to live and thrive in one of the world's harshest environments," said Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne in a teleconference with reporters. "But we are concerned the polar bears' habitat may literally be melting."
"Science has triumphed over bad policy," said Kert Davies, research director for Greenpeace U.S, "Bush has been the Scrooge, Bah Humbug on global warming, but there's rising pressure among public opinion and scientists to do something about this."
"We can't save polar bears without the reduction of greenhouse gases," said Kassie Siegel, an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity based in Tucson, Arizona. (Greenpeace and the Natural Resources Defense Council are the other groups that were part of the lawsuit.) "We need new federal legislation that caps and reduces greenhouse gas emissions," she said.
After a public comment period and additional study, the Department of the Interior will make a final decision on the polar bear's status in 12 months. So the protection of the polar bear isn't a done deal yet, but at least the wheels are turning.

Wednesday, December 27

Sunshinier days

The best part about the weeks and months after December 21 is that every day that goes by is a bit sunnier. It's no secret that I love the sunshine. In fact, it's the biggest argument I have with Brian every morning. "I like the blinds open. I like to have the sun shining in," I say. "It's 200 degrees outside, Kimmie. It stays cooler inside if the blinds are shut," he counters. It's a lovely conversation that repeats itself regularly, especially in the summer months, especially in Arizona. But now, with cooler weather, I get no static about keeping the shades open all day every day. And now, after Dec. 21, the sunshine lasts longer. Doesn't it feel like the days are longer already?

Tuesday, December 26

Still a hunk of burning postage

How was your holiday weekend? Mine was frickin' awesome. I thoroughly enjoyed being home and visiting with everyone, and even more so, loved showing off my little baby girl to my friends and family. Of course, she was the hit of every gathering, but beyond that, she was a good girl ... barely fussing unless we were home and smiling up a storm.
And what cool stuff did you all get? Santa (and especially Mom) rocked my world with a lot of good loot. The Alias TV DVD box set (all five seasons, which I'll not get to until next week probably); a bunch of iTunes money; the U2 coffee table book; some Barnes & Noble gift cards; and other stuff. Sydney cleaned up, of course, and came home with the coolest rocking dragon ever from her grandma and grandpa, and a star registered to her from her grandpa; some Baby Einstein DVDs; clothes; toys; books; and all the stuff a growing baby brain needs.
So we're home today. The drive was decent, if a bit long. That drive home from Cali always does seem to take a bit longer, for some reason. Something to do with the expanse of desert when heading into it, rather than away from it, I think...

Did you know that the Elvis stamp is still the most-collected stamp that the post office has ever issued? Now you do. (Any excuse to get my man, Elvis, on the blog is a good one, and that little trivial tidbit serves the purpose today...)

Saturday, December 16

Now they need to be wrapped...

Today, yes today, I finished my Christmas shopping. It's weird, you know, this first shopping season with a baby. I find myself envious of all the ladies with babies that: are able to sit up in a regular stroller seat, are entertained by nothing but the people passing by, and seem to be content for hours on end by the mall. My baby is not one of those kinds of children. Next year, of course, she will be, but for now, I had to do all my shopping in "quick" mode while Brian stayed home with the kid. Otherwise, every time the stroller would stop moving, she would start crying. Not a cool thing when you've got a list like mine.
At any rate, the mall today was not too terrible. I had anticipated a lot more traffic, foot and car, moving through the parking structure and the walkways. I got some pretty inspired gifts for some of the people on my list, and some gifts are just kind of random. But in the end, I'm more excited about seeing everyone this year, rather than just sending them out to the far reaches of the country.

Friday, December 15

Quite kingly

I'm not one of those that is obsessed with the British royalty. I can see why some people believe it to be an outdated and ridiculous institution to uphold. Personally though, I think it's pretty cool that there are still kings, queens, princes and duchesses in the world, be they British, Danish, Spanish or whatever. (Vanity Fair did an incredible photo spread of the current European royalty last year or the year before, and there are a lot of them.) Of course, none are more well known than the British monarchy, as evidenced by all the hoopla surrounding Prince Charles, Queen Victoria, Prince William, and the late Princess Diana.
A report came out this week about Princess Diana's death again. Saying, again, that the driver of her car, Henri Paul, was drunk. I thought we knew this. I feel bad for her two boys who have to constantly be reminded (not that they can forget) about the tragic death of their mother, and be subjected to all the conspiracy theories and whatnot, regardless of the facts of the incident.
Between the report and the speculation about Prince William's relationship with his girlfriend, Kate Middleton, the Brits have been front and center in a number of magazines this week. But I have to tell you, I hope that I see William become king some day. I think he'll be the kind of king his mom imagined him being, like "the people's king." I find Charles to be a bit too stuck up for this century's monarchy. Witness William's graduation from The Royal Military Academy in Camberley, southern England (pictured). He graduated as an army officer in a traditional military rite of passage for the second in line to the throne. See that? Already breaking with tradition. I dig this picture, actually. He's broken into a smile while his grandmother reviews the new cadets. This also shows a sense of humor. Not very king-ish, but I think that's what will make him a better one.

Thursday, December 14

Happy with proper spelling

So much going on!!
  • We've tried a couple new restaurants recently. Much to Tara's chagrin, we visited an establishment called Pink Taco for lunch on Tuesday. As offensive as the name may be, the food was actually pretty good. I had a chicken chimichanga, and we thoroughly enjoyed the kitchen's queso dip. And speaking of good queso dip (which I think is a new obsession of ours), Brian and I also stopped by Salty Senorita. There, I experimented with eating the empanadas, which were very good, and Brian had the Mexican street tacos, which he enjoyed. Sydney didn't enjoy any of it, so we left quickly, but at least we got through most of the meal without having to hold her.
  • I got a lot of Christmas shopping done over the weekend. There are still a couple people on my list hanging out, but I think I'll be able to finish it up over the next day or two.
  • The Golden Globe nominees were announced this morning! (Yay! Awards season is here!) Those I like in movies: Leonardo DiCaprio was nominated for both The Departed and Blood Diamond; Johnny Depp for Pirates: Dead Man's Chest; Kate Winslet for Little Children; Aaron Eckhart for Thank You for Smoking; Ben Affleck, Brad Pitt, Jack Nicholson and Mark Wahlberg in the supporting actor category; Martin Scorsese for The Departed; Cars; The Departed. In television: Heroes and Lost; Steve Carell and The Office; Zach Braff; Jeremy Piven and Masi Oka in the supporting actor category.
  • Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt made their first "public appearance" as a couple for the paparazzi, at the premiere for her movie, The Good Shepherd. They look good, yes? Jolie also is on the upcoming issue of Vogue's cover. The article sounds as if it will be a good one, and the photos are amazing. (I saw them on line yesterday.) I still am behind this couple 100 percent. I hope that they stay together for a long time.
  • The Red Sox have spent a ridiculous amount of money for a new pitcher. Though they certainly can use the extra arm power on the mound, couldn't they have split some of that money and picked up some other help, too?
  • And for those of you who know me best, you can probably guess how much the title of the Will Smith movie, The Pursuit of Happyness, bugs me. I swear, my eye twitches every time I see it, and it hurt me to just now type the word out that way. Why, oh why is it becoming okay to grossly misspell words for no reason other than to draw attention? Would the movie have been ruined if they had spelled the word "Happyness" with an "i", as it should be? Argh!!

Saturday, December 9

"And I'm spent..."

Okay, so the photo shoot didn't go exactly how I planned it this morning. One of our two kids was not to cooperative, and if you can believe it, it was the furry one. Ollie wanted no part of sitting next to Sydney for a photo (witness this outtake). Every time she moved, he'd twitch a little bit, and if she touched him, he was quick to move away from her. So, in light of his reticence, we didn't get a single decent pic of the two of them together. Thus, the beauty of the multi-photo greeting card format. I wasn't about to keep you all from your annual picture of Oliver, nor was I going to deny you a picture of Sydney. On the card I chose, you'll get them both. I've ordered the cards online, and they will be ready for pick up in an hour or so. I'm hoping to have them addressed and in the mail on Monday, which really, I think I should be able to do.

Thursday, December 7

And it's not even going from 1999 to 2000

You know that, should I ever be allowed to go up in the space shuttle, my mission would be one of those that is scrubbed 10 minutes before launch.
So weather was the reason behind the cancellation of tonight's launch of Discovery. And Friday is looking like a bleak option, since the winds are projected to be fast and furious. According to the AP: "A new launch attempt was set for 8:47 p.m. Saturday, although weather forecasters gave the new time only a 30 percent chance of acceptable weather because of expected strong winds at the launch pad." Forecasters are iffy on that too though, saying that Tuesday may actually be the shuttle's best bet. (Did you know that each scrubbed launch costs NASA $500,000?)
But this is an interesting twist:
"NASA Administrator Michael Griffin said he felt no pressure to stick to the launch schedule, despite NASA's desire to go up before Dec. 17 so that Discovery is back on the ground for the new year. Shuttle computers are not designed to make the change from the 365th day of the old year to the first day of the new year while in flight. The space agency has figured out a solution for the New Year's Day problem, but managers are reluctant to try it if they don't have to do so.
If Discovery is still grounded by Dec. 18, NASA may decide to keep trying anyway through Dec. 26.
'We've got days and days, and we're not even worrying about the clock problem,' Griffin said. 'The clock problem is an annoyance, but it's not a real problem in the sense that we know how to deal with it.'"
This also was supposed to be the first nighttime launch since before the Columbia explosion. Officials wanted to have good views of any foam that would fall off the tanks, so were sticking with daytime schedules. But it was decided that the last launches yielded an acceptable amount of foam, so the go-ahead was given for the nighttime takeoff. An evening launch must be a sight to behold ... from the stands. I still yearn to be on one when it leaves the ground.

"Hello Beastie"

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest sold 5 million copies on Tuesday, its first day on DVD. I know that I was among those that bought it. I sprung for the two-disc set, so I could have all the making-of featurettes and the like. We watched it that night, as, I'm sure, did the other people who picked it up. While I enjoyed it more the second time around (you'll remember that we weren't exactly bowled over by it in the theater), I was still struck by how hard the film was trying to be better than the first. By my opinion, it can't be, simply because the first Pirates was so new, fresh and clever.
Anyway, the next Pirates movie, At World's End, is still in production, and is slated for release on Memorial Day weekend next year. That's not too far away. One of the writers, who was quoted on the web today, said that they had a hard time coming up with an appropriate ending for the trilogy, as it needed to be bigger and better, since it's ending three films instead of just one. I bet that's truer than most people would recognize. They've certainly built up a lot of expectations for the film, based on nothing more than how well received the first two were. I don't envy them that writers' task!

Wednesday, December 6

They're supermodels

And who, you may ask, wins this year's award for first Christmas card received in the mail? Pamela does! And what to my wandering eyes should appear, but a photo card of her two adorable little girls, Abigail and Anabelle!
This brings into sharp focus the fact that I still have yet to stage my own Christmas photo shoot. Usually, the card is really easy. Herewith, the steps: pick up Oliver, put him some place a bit Christmas-y (except for last year's exceptional photo from the Cape); expend five to seven photos to get the one perfect shot; get it printed on cards; mail them to friends and family. This year though, the task includes one more complication. And yes, in this instance, Sydney is a complication. As I said, Oliver is easy. Oliver next to a baby who can't sit up on her own is a bit more challenging.
Though I am leaning to, Mom tells me that I can't send out a picture of just Oliver this year. "People will expect to see your daughter," she says. So that is what tops my agenda for the weekend. I'll need Brian's help, but I think we can make a decent holiday photo for the world with both our kids in it.

Tuesday, December 5

O Christmas tree

Brian brought home a tree this evening. I can now say that, yes, I am an absolute pushover for my husband when it comes to Christmas. He loves it so much (as do I), that I simply can't say no too much. It was my intention to get through this holiday season without a tree -- since we'd be in Cali for the holiday anyway. But the pout, the pleading look and the, "What? What do you mean I can't have a tree?" wore me down. Sydney was not helpful, as she proved to be an incredible handful throughout the entire evening. Still, the tree is lit, decorated and pretty. At any rate, we are officially all about Christmas in our house now.

Monday, December 4

Two finales, one season

Tonight is the last new episode of Heroes until January 22. We won't see a new episode of Lost until February 7, or Jericho until February 21. Welcome to the new, and fast-rising, world of the television season's "fall finale." I must say, I'm digging it.
I don't like reruns, and prefer to have as much new television in a row as possible. Network executives have discovered the key to this: show several new episodes in a row, take an extended break, perhaps fill the space with another show for a while, then finish up the season with another block of new episodes. Lost will return with 12 or 13 new episodes. So will Jericho. Heroes, from what I read this morning, will follow a new arc in January, break again, and then finish up with another story arc going into May sweeps. It's fun actually, taking breaks from favorite shows. I can use the vacation from necessary television during these next few weeks, just as I do when summer comes along.
So tonight is the end of the "Save the Cheerleader, Save the World," storyline. Here's hoping that next month's story arc will lend itself to a marketing plan and tagline that's just as fun and kicky.

Sunday, December 3

Holiday light display in Denver

Look at this picture. Tell me it's not one of the coolest holiday photographs you've ever seen. I'm loving the angle and the eye of the photographer going on here.
The annual holiday light display illuminates the Denver City/County building, seen through a fisheye lens Saturday, Nov. 25, 2006.

Party of six, and a car seat

Mom, Howie, Arlene and Jorge are on their plane, headling back to California. We had a great weekend. The main stop on our weekend agenda was the Tempe Festival of the Arts, an art fair that extends most of the way along downtown Tempe's Mill Avenue. The festival has always been a fun thing to do, as most of the wares for sale are of good quality and nicely made. It's amazing to me how much it's grown though. When I first started going, it ran the length of the street -- barely. Now, it's packed along the main street and spreads down the side streets. One thing that hasn't changed are the fantastic finds. I've got a super cool new desk lamp (which was quite necessary, since the last one was shattered in the move); Mom and Arlene picked up a couple nifty vases; Mom and I each got a piece of Christmas decor for the garden; and of course, we made tracks for the most required stop: kettle corn (one of man's greatest inventions). The weather was amazing -- just the right mix of sunshine and cool temperatures -- and there was a ton to look at and marvel over. I find myself looking forward to the spring festival already.
We also made our way through a few good restaurants, and in and out of a few shops at the mall today. The visit itself was a day short, if you ask me, but with the holidays coming up, I won't be lacking for family company in the weeks ahead. Still, I wish they'd have been able to stay another day.

Thursday, November 30

Happy December (tomorrow)!

Since Mom is coming in to town this afternoon, and with Howie, Arlene and Jorge arriving tomorrow night, I may or may not have time to blog much this weekend. I'll do my best though, as I hate to leave you all wanting. But because I'm becoming more and more excited about the holidays this season, I couldn't wait to break out the December avatar in her Christmas-ness glory.
I know that there's snow, and well, we'll be in California where it doesn't snow much, but the background fit the right mood.
I'm tickled with the Santa hat, too.
I like this one. She's happy!!

Last night's Rockefeller special

Sydney and I watched Christmas in Rockefeller Center last night. Well, we watched most of it anyway. Some thoughts on it: 1.) I don't get the attraction to Taylor Hicks, the American Idol winner and last night's first performer. And really, I don't think that most of the audience, which looked on in some disbelief when he broke out into jazz carols, gets him either. Dude, it's "Winter Wonderland" or whatever; just sing the song. Don't try to make it yours. 2.) I dig Bette Midler in a feather wig. Where can I get one of those? Mom bought Bette's CD the last time we shopped together, and on the cover of that, she is wearing a red feather wig. I would have preferred to see her in that one, rather than last night's white, but who cares. A feather wig is the f*cking coolest. 3.) NBC just simply had to put in their promos for shows, turning the festive event into a house ad. I'm not watching 30 Rock for a reason. Leave me alone. (That may change tonight though, as it's been moved to a post-Scrubs time slot.) And this new reality show about the Grease Broadway musical? Stupid looking. 4.) Al Roker and Anne Curry did a good job with minimal good material. 5.) Christina Aguilera looked nice, and having Sasha Cohen skate to her song ... "Hurt" ... wait a minute. Shouldn't she be rocking some cool yule song? Ripping through "Jingle Bells," a la Barbra Streisand, would have been an awesome thing to see and hear. A ripe opportunity was blown with her song selection. 6.) I didn't know that the first tree in Rockefeller Center was put up by some construction workers wanting to touch people with a symbol of hope. 7.) Lionel Richie does have a new album coming out. And it's a Christmas one, too! 8.) The switch to turn on the tree's lights looked like a Staples "Easy" button. 9.) While the tree looks good on TV, it's still so much bigger and better in person. 10.) Yeah, I think I'm catching the holiday spirit...

Wednesday, November 29

Finally! Some semblance of a winter!

Winter ... well, as wintery as it can be here ... has arrived in Arizona. I've put the flannel sheets on the bed. I've been donning socks before going to sleep the last couple nights. I woke up this morning still complaining about being cold (it's time for me to get my extra blanket). I should have put on a hat, and the regular sweats aren't cutting out the chill when I take Oliver out for his morning walk. (The sweats thing is just too bad for me, really, as I'll live with being chilled. I refuse to add the longjohn bottoms, as I would do for the morning walks in Boston; it's just not that cold here.) We've doubled Sydney's blankets, and even Brian put on his sweat bottoms to ward off the chill.
It's supposed to get down to 32 degrees or something as an overnight low tonight, and may only get into the 50s today. Sadly, it isn't appropriate to break out the scarves, heavy jackets and all that, but I don't feel completely ridiculous wearing a cashmere sweater today.
(And the pretty, snowy picture? Pulled it off the 'net because it seemed to fit my mood.)

Tuesday, November 28

Britney's new friend

Goodness gracious. She's traded her disgusting chicken-fried husband for the just-as-irritating, tacky, headline-grabbing heiress who's famous for no reason. Britney, Britney, Britney. I can see why hanging out with Paris Hilton may seem like a smart move, since she's always in the media, gets chased down by photographers wherever she goes, and tends to gravitate towards the better parties in town. But this is not the best course of action for someone facing: 1.) a custody battle for two small kids; 2.) the fickle media/bloggers/gossip and tabloid readers; and 3.) the difficult climb to evolve from a former pop princess into an artist looking to get serious about herself again.
You know I'm on your side, Brit. Don't disappoint me. I was so proud; now I'm just concerned again.

Monday, November 27

The halls are decked

I decorated my house for Christmas yesterday. I know, I know. It's barely out of Thanksgiving, and I've already got the garland, Santas and dancing snowmen throughout my home. I remember posting last year that I don't do Christmas decorations until the first weekend of December. I like it to be officially "Christmas-y" before diving into the whole holiday. But here's my thinking on shifting the way I do things this year: Mom and Howie will be out here with their friends this weekend, and I wanted my house to be done already; and with Sydney, well, I figured it would be easier to do the decorations with Brian home and he could watch her while I worked. There's no room for a tree this year, which really is okay since we're spending the holiday with Mom anyway; I was extremely picky about the decorations that I put out, simply because I feel like I have less room for all my stuff; and happily, it's "beginning to look a lot like Christmas" out here.
What else I need to get started on this week is my Christmas list for people, and getting a picture of my kids for the Christmas card (which would be so much easier if Sydney could hold her head up and smile). That adventure should make for a fun afternoon!!

Saturday, November 25

Thanksgiving flowers

I bet you all thought that Mom had dropped her floral class. Well, she hasn't. Here is the Thanksgiving arrangement. There are yellow lilies, gold baby mums, wheat stalks, and red oak leaves. The red berries on the branches remain nameless because the instructor couldn't figure out what they were -- they just looked good.

Friday, November 24

Lazy day with turkey

I totally spaced on watching the Thanksgiving Day parade on television yesterday. Oh well. We had a wonderful day in Tucson, and I hope that you all had a good Thanksgiving, too. We ended up not taking Lisa up on her offer to babysit Sydney so we could go see a movie ... and I'll tell you why. I was feeling nice and relaxed, was having a great time hanging out with the family, and just didn't feel like going through the effort of finding the theater and going to it. I am thankful that my husband can be as lazy as I, and was also perfectly happy chilling in Tucson. We didn't leave there until 10:30 p.m., got home around midnight, and had a good night's sleep.
In a moment of "sure, dear, whatever you want to do," I agreed to accompany Brian into Macy's after our lunch at The Cheesecake Factory today. I usually am the last person that you will find wandering through a department store on the Friday after Thanksgiving. I hate being jostled and rushed when shopping, and on high shopping days such as this, I avoid those situations like the plague. However, I love my guy, and walked through Macy's. We got a good deal on a couple new pairs of pants for him, and wandered through the rest of the shops, but basically went home a bit lighter than most other people who shopped today, I'm sure. (Alison is one of those that braved the shops at 6 a.m. this morning. She's a frickin' hero, and I hope her kids love her forever for it!)

Wednesday, November 22

They put red sprinkles on it, too

I know that I'm not the only one, so let me put it out there. How many of you get excited when the holiday drinks are available at Starbucks? I get so giddy that I literally have a very happy moment at the first sip of my favorite drink. The order: decaf, grande, non-fat, peppermint mocha, with whip. The holiday drinks are being offered now (I've already logged three hot and one iced drink), and I highly recommend the mocha. Also available are a gingerbread latte (too sweet for me), and an eggnog latte (too icky for me).
What brings this post about is an article on today's USAToday.com. Apparently, the holiday drink is a new trend, and most every popular coffee joint is jumping on the bandwagon. Read about it here. Don't be fooled by the article about my mochas though, they've been around as long as the lattes. My aunt, who is my hero because she's worked behind the counter at Starbucks, tells me that I can order the peppermint mocha whenever I want throughout the year. I've noted that in my memory bank, but there's just something special about only getting my favorite drink only during my favorite time of year. It makes fall and winter a bit more warm and fuzzy. (Of course, the fact that I am enjoying it in 80-degree weather rather than on a blustery chilled New England day is a bit of a drag, but that's my cross to bear.)

The Banker was a no-show

Mom and Howie sat at a table across the aisle from Howie Mandell at dinner last night. Howie (too many "Howie"s for one post!) recognized him first, as, inexplicably, he has the same eye for finding celebrities in random places as I do. Rumor has it that Mandell lives nearby to the deli where Mom and Howie ate, and that his wife owns a shop or something in the area, too.
I find this noteworthy because Brian and I have become quite obsessed with Deal or No Deal, and because Mandell looks pretty cool with a bald head and soul patch. Mom didn't have any Us Weekly gossip about the dinner, Mandell or his eating companions -- it was just enough that they saw him, eating dinner, being all normal, and not torturing someone by saying, "And we'll see what's in that case ... (long pause) ... right after the break ..."

"Edelweiss" would have been better

I dug Gwen Stefani's last album, Love. Angel. Music. Baby. Andrea got it for me for my birthday a couple years ago, and it's been on steady rotation in the car since. The first single off the album, "Hollaback Girl," was kicky and fun (even though I still have no idea what a Hollaback Girl is). After watching Stefani perform her new single last night on the American Music Awards, I fear for the new album. I've got to tell you, I never ... ever ... thought that anyone would sample the yodeling puppet song from The Sound of Music for a pop single. That's just weird. Gwen comes off as a fair yodeler, but I think the whole hook is misplaced in the icky refrain, "Wind it up! Wind it up!"
And speaking of the AMAs: I only watched about an hour's worth of the show, but was pleased to see that there was a surplus of acts performing. It seems as though everyone who had an album to promote was invited to perform, including The Dixie Chicks, Jay-Z, Tenacious D (awful to be pimping a movie about performers on a show for performers, but oh well), the above-mentioned Gwen, and Lionel Richie. Actually, I don't know if Lionel Richie has an album coming out, but it was fun to see him perform "All Night Long" live.

Tuesday, November 21

Click wheels and steering wheels

I'm on the hunt for a way to get my iPod to play through the stereo of my car ... without paying a thousand dollars. On a trip through Best Buy the other day, we asked about such an invention, and were told that really the only way is to buy a new stereo, the iPod attachment, and then to have the whole smash installed for, "only, like, $50." In all seriousness, this option wasn't as expensive as I thought it would be. The whole thing may only cost us about $300 to do. The guy told me that if I wanted to deal with my dealership, it could cost me up to $600. I declared shenanigans on that, and called Land Rover.
But come to find out that Land Rover doesn't have its own attachment or anything. The service guy told me to call the guy at their stereo outsourcing place and price it there. "That's where we send all our special orders, and he should know everything about that," said service guy. I'll get around to it soon, because this is something that I've wanted since I got the iPod. (I know, I know, there are the FM transmitters--and I have one--but you can admit it, they suck the big one when it comes to clear play.)
So here's to the new obsession: making the car iPod active.

Monday, November 20

Just make the drink

Casino Royale took in a ton of money this weekend -- though not enough to beat out the adorably fun-looking Happy Feet for number one in box office. Given the choice for movie-going experiences though, I would have gone for the new James Bond. I'm beyond intrigued by the re-energized spy, who apparently answers, "Do I look like I give a damn?" when asked how he'd like his martini. I'm loving the idea of a Bond who might really kill someone without it coming down to a quip, and one who won't hesitate to get dirty. Some may say that Sean Connery was that Bond, but I don't think so. All the previous Bonds seem somewhat ... less than manly. Daniel Craig, I think, may be my favorite Bond. A bold statement certainly, since I haven't seen the movie yet, but the trailers, and my instincts, tell me that this showing may actually be worth the ticket price.

Turkey Day's comin'

Can you believe that it's almost Thanksgiving? This year has gone by in a blink, and it's blowing my mind. Brian, Sydney and I are heading down to Tucson for the meal, to be shared with B's family, and we're excited to spend some time with them. It'll be Sydney's first "trip," so who knows how it'll go! But Lisa, Brian's sister, has volunteered to babysit for us if we want to take some time and hit a movie or something. (I'm totally up for that too, by the way. Yay!)
So with Thanksgiving so close, it brings to mind that Christmas is just around the corner. I haven't even thought about my list of peeps to buy for, nor have I considered where I'll find the time to do much of anything for the holiday, except that we'll drive out to Cali for it. I'll make every effort to make this holiday good though, as it'll be the first in a couple years that Brian and I will be spending it with family. Last year's holiday sucked for that very reason: it was only the two of us for the second year in a row, and we missed the hysteria of a family holiday.

Sunday, November 19

It's a wedding!

It happened. Knock me over with a feather, but I didn't really think that Katie would go through with the whole thing. I hope that the contract, or whatever deal she signed with the devil, covers the actual marriage as well as the kid.
Actually, she looks quite happy in this photo. Of course, all brides look happy on their wedding day, and well, she's pretty anyway. So seriously, I hope that this works out well for her. I've got no concerns about Tom and how he'll weather this, but I really do worry about Katie and her little girl. I've gone on the record before saying that I like Katie. I've also gone on the record with my less-than-love for Tom ... but you know what? I'll say it:
Congrats to you, crazy kids! I hope that you are happy, and that your marriage is a good one.

Monday, November 13

Elvis, Brit and Sydney

ITEM!: Sydney G was born a couple weeks ago, so I'm sure that you'll forgive me for blowing off the blog until I got more into the swing of things. Granted, I still experience a full five seconds of absolute terror every time she starts to cry, and find that I am counting down to that magical three-month mark when, according to everyone around us who has dealt with this same thing, "everything will be better." Every day we learn something new. As an example, today I learned that the vibrating chair does not make for a good experience after a good-sized meal. Baby puke is awesome.
ITEM!: Pop-culture Christmas has come early! Britney's filed for divorce from her chicken-fried husband, and all is about to become right in the world again. Of course, this guy is going to do everything he can to get the most money he can, but Brit should be kissing the feet of whoever made her get a pre-nup signed before they walked down the aisle. That little piece of papaer is going to save her ass. She looks amazing (did you see her on Letterman?), and rumor has it that she's working on her new album. What this girl needs is a hit record, some time out of the tabloids, and a kick-ass attorney who will bring this guy to his knees.
ITEM!: I love that penguins are wearing shoes. Apparently, these penguins, having moved into their new environment, are experiencing some bad foot issues. Keepers and others developed these nifty shoes to protect the delicate webbed feet from the rocks, ground and such. Oh yeah, and those of who know me well enough also will appreciate that this particular penguin's name is "Elvis." I want a penguin named Elvis! That's too cool!
ITEM!: Here's the November avatar. Jeans and a nice sweater are my ideal outfit for the month, and I'm excited that there happened to be a corresponding outfit for the avatar. But, as I live in Scottsdale, where it's still getting into the 80s regularly, jeans can make the distance for the day, but a sweater is still a few weeks off, I think.

Friday, October 27

Who thinks of this stuff?

Go on. Ask me about this picture. Clearly, they are mini fried somethings in a cup, but what are they ... really? Well, allow me to educate you.
These are the newest little bits of disgusting that are roaming the state fair food courts apparently. Let's break them down: Ping-pong-sized balls of batter made with Coca-Cola syrup that are deep-fried, then served in a cup, topped with more Coca-Cola syrup, whipped cream, cinnamon sugar and a cherry on top. Umm, gross. Of course, just the sight of them did make me yearn for a trip to the Arizona State Fair, but more for the other foodish delights, such as corn dogs and ice cream, then for these things. Yick.

Thursday, October 26

A dentist and a car guy

Brian's never been much of a "car guy," but today, he impressed me. Okay, so it was just changing out the battery in the Rover, but still, I was pleasantly surprised.
So here's the story: Last night, we get in the car to head out to dinner, and B turns the key. "Click, click, click." Now me, I know what a dead battery sounds like. Brian's never had to bother though, and I know that probably, if we just jump it, the battery will be fine. Anyway, I was too hungry to deal with it at that point, so we went to dinner in the Jimmy, then came home and, just to be sure that was the problem, jumped the Rover. (Don't be surprised that once again, my roadside assistance arsenal came in handy. OF COURSE I have jumper cables in the back of my car!) The car started up just fine, and Brian decided he would head to an auto parts shop for a new battery this morning.
After the required starts and stops since neither one of us is a mechanic, we got down and dirty under the "bonnet" of the car, and B traded out the bad, crappy battery for the new one he bought. Yay! (Seeing him with his dirty hands and a bit sweaty from the effort made me kinda hot for him. I told him so.) So now, all is fine.
But tell me, can anything else go wrong with this car? I hate to ask and thereby jinx it, but jeez.

Wednesday, October 25

Beware: spikey blogger

Wednesday morning, 9:25 a.m. Frankie Goes to Hollywood is playing on the iPod.

ITEM!: Rush Limbaugh has accused actor Michael J. Fox of exaggerating his Parkinson's Disease during a political ad advocating stem cell research. Um, what kind of vile person is Limbaugh? I mean, we all kind of know that he's a dispicable on-air personality, but this latest attack against someone suffering from a life-threatening neurological disorder is ridiculous beyond the desire to just get numbers and people fired up. He's made some kind of half-assed apology, but the whole thing leaves a sick taste in my mouth. Did he miss the day at school when we all learn to think before putting our mouths in motion?
ITEM!: Madonna and her new adopted kid. Who cares. For someone who has such a stranglehold on her image, as she always has had, she's sure mucked up this public relations idea. Celebrities, celebrities, celebrities: just because it works for Angelina Jolie does not mean it will work for you. This flap of an adoption, including the kid's father making comments and the like, is a disaster. But how does one bail their way out? You can't give the kid back; just make the whole thing go away from my pop-culture atmosphere, please?
ITEM!: I have no desire whatsoever to see that new Borat movie. Is anyone interested in this film at all? It's fun that this actor has the country of Kazakhstan in a snit, but beyond that, the whole thing looks too stupid for words.
ITEM!: Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes have announced their wedding date: November 18. They'll be married at a secret location in Italy. I'll be watching my mailbox for the invitation.

Monday, October 23

How to wear footless tights

I know that I've commented on the return of leggings (or, for those new to this trend, "footless tights") before, but I saw something at Nordstrom yesterday that just made me shudder. Mom and I stopped to buy some socks, but right there, on the counter, was a pile of helpful little leaflets titled, "How to wear footless tights, Fashion 2006." The leaflet was produced by Hue Legwear (I must be sure to attribute it properly), and is cute and colorful enough to tempt even me to read through it. Of course, I was so appalled by the mere mention of the tights, and how to make them cool, that I had to reproduce the eight ridiculous suggestions here on my blog, for you.
1. Make the transition into fall a breeze by layering a pair of HUE ankle-length footless tights under your favorite flirty dress.
2. For a downtown look, pair HUE footless capris with slouch boots, a short skirt and cropped blazer.
3. Make a savvy fashion statement with HUE footless tights and ankle boots under one of fallĂ‚’s chic trapeze-shaped dresses.
4. Flash back to the rockstar 80s with HUE black lace footless tights, a punk tee and funky mini. (I don't like the "flash back" reference here, but I guess I should reconcile myself with the fact that the 80s are two decades ago.)
5. For a modern layered look, belt a jersey tunic over a bright pair of HUE footless tights then slip on a pair of ballerina flats.
6. As the weather turns cool, layer on HUE chunky knit legwarmers over footless tights or opt for HUE cozy footless sweater tights. (They're bringing back legwarmers, too!?! What is this world coming to??)
7. For a sleek and narrow look, pair HUE ankle-length footless tights under a tailored military jacket.
8. Play up fallĂ‚’s menswear trend by wearing HUE pinstripe footless tights under your favorite Little Black Dress. (Because this is the only way to ruin the beauty and simplicity of the little black dress.)
So there you go, my friends. Run out and pick up some footless tights to wear to work, out on the town or just kicking around the city. I'll tell you that I saw four women and a few girls sporting the tights in the mall yesterday, and it hurt my heart.

Saturday, October 21

After he's screwed the Wicked Witch of the West

Nope. There's no real explanation at all to post up this picture of dildos and vibrators, except simply to make you all think, "Why would she post up this picture of dildos and vibrators?" (These fun items were being set out on display for an erotic toy convention somewhere in Europe.) I thought they were kind of funny, for a couple different reasons. First of all, doesn't that green one on the left look like it could be the Michelin Man's? And the red, pink and teal ones in the middle look kind of like the Virgin Mary, don't you think? At any rate, appreciate the different colors, and really, how pretty they are. Leave one out on the mantel or coffee table, and someone may think it's art.

Old-man hands and a whip

So Mom's in town this weekend, which is why there was no post yesterday. We're in the midst of our last weekend ever of "just the two of us," which is both nice (as we are able to at least celebrate it), and not-so-nice (as it is the end of a fun era). So we did our shopping, ate our yummy food, and have more good stuff planned for today and tomorrow.
On the front page of Yahoo! this morning, is a photo of Harrison Ford, and the kindly notation that he feels himself fit to take on another Indiana Jones installment. My opinion? I say, no. Granted, Ford's still a good-looking guy, and I could never picture anyone else in Indy's fedora, carrying the whip. However, at 64, can Ford really pull off the stunts, action and, yes, sexiness, involved with the famously rough-and-tumble archaeologist?
As an example, I remember one part of the Firewall trailer that showed Ford leaping over a sofa and attacking Paul Bettany, the movie's antagonist. As he landed on Bettany, one could see Ford's hands grasp at him, and essentially, miss. It was the force of the jump that brought down the bad guy, not the hero's athletic prowess or abilities, really. Anyway, Ford's hands, in that moment, were old-man hands. I can't see old-man hands flipping the whip or roughing up the bad guys anymore.
Of course, should all the stars align ... and by stars, I mean, Spielberg, Lucas and Ford ... and this movie actually gets made, I'll be in line to check it out. I wouldn't be a true Indy fan if I wasn't. I'm just a little concerned about how this will come together.

Thursday, October 19

Holy canvas, Steve Wynn!

I love it when rich people mess stuff up and can simply say, "Well, at least that was my fault." Such was the scene when Las Vegas casino-magnate Steve Wynn accidentally punched a hole into a $139-million Picasso painting that he had just sold to a collector. Wynn's got some kind of degenerative visual disease that messes with his peripheral vision, and apparently, while standing next to the painting and gesturing at something else, he inadvertently brought down his elbow on to the canvas, puncturing it with a hole about the size of a quarter (according to witnesses).
Brian's question is a good one: does that make the painting more valuable, or less so? It is still a Picasso, and now it's a Picasso with more history. Conversely, now it is a ruined canvas. Art people of the world, educate me. I would say that, obviously, the sale was voided, and now Wynn is still the proud owner of one of the art world's biggest oopses, but I can be argued away from that stance.

Wednesday, October 18

Dead, but still a fan

Taking their loyalty to the grave. That's what some people will be able to do now, since Major League Baseball signed a licensing agreement with Eternal Image, a company that makes urns and caskets. Check it out, peeps. For your dying pleasure, you too can have a Boston Red Sox casket or urn to show your love for your favorite team. Tell me that this is not one of the coolest things ever. Other teams that have signed on so far are the Yankees (boo!), Phillies, Tigers, Cubs and Dodgers. The company is hoping to have all 30 teams soon, and then to move on to the National Football League, National Hockey League and NASCAR.
This, from the Associated Press article:
Susan Goodenow, an MLB spokeswoman, said the league and clubs have received requests for several years for urns and caskets with team logos. "Passionate fans express their love of their team in a number of different ways," Goodenow said. The National Funeral Directors Association is meeting in Philadelphia this week and giving its members a sneak peak of what the baseball urns will look like. Eternal Image says urns for the six teams should be available by opening day 2007, and caskets for those teams should be ready later in the year. The products have not been made yet and the exact cost has not been set. The Phillies urn was the first to be designed (pictured, to the left). Each urn will feature recognition of the deceased's passionate support, stamped with a message that says "Major League Baseball officially recognizes [person's name] as a lifelong fan of [team]."
Seriously, I think this is an awesome thing to do. I mean, you know how fanatical some people are about their teams. I see something like this going like hotcakes in Boston. And it makes for a less-creepy-looking urn on your mantelpiece.

Tuesday, October 17

1-800-Litterbug

Deputize me! Deputize me!
I hate litterbugs. I hate them with a passion, and believe that they are among the most reprehensible of the world's population. They go to the store and buy something to drink as they drive somewhere, and having finished said refreshment, throw the can, cup, bottle out their window and leave it for the ... the what? The trash fairies to pick it up? What exactly do they think happens to the trash? It's no different with cigarette butts, hamburger wrappers, receipts or plastic tops. Litterbugging people: you bought the stuff, hold on to it until you get to a trashcan, okay? What's so difficult about that?
This morning, as if in answer to one of my deepest vigilante desires, I read an article about states and cities that are deputizing their residents to report litterbugs. More than 10 states have set up call-in hotlines, empowering people like me to tattle on people like litterbugs, and let them know that, yes, they are being watched. Offenders in Iowa and Louisville, for example, receive a letter describing their offense, and something I champion, a litter bag for their car. Brilliant! Me? I think they should be fined as well, but apparently, since the police don't see it, no punitive action can be taken. (Here's hoping that will go into effect at some point.)
At any rate, these hotlines seem to really be working in the areas that have instituted them. According to USA Today, "Since Arkansas started its hotline, volunteers are picking up less trash along highways..." The Arkansas hotline receives about 600 calls a month, and the Iowa line gets about 100 calls a week.
One weekend, several years ago, a group of girls, while driving down to Palm Springs, called a litterbug they saw on the highway. The man tossed out a cup or something out his window right in front of them. Unfortunately for him, he had a company car with the business phone number on the side. The girls, quick with their cell phones, called the company and left a voice mail message for the offender. "Litterbug! Litterbug! Litterbug! We saw you throw trash on the freeway! Litterbug! Litterbug! Litterbug!"

Monday, October 16

May the recording begin...

Well, my friends, I finally got off my butt about it, and now, everything is right in the world. Yes, I'm talking about reinstating a DVR box in my house. Granted, it was motivated by my desire to record Heroes and Studio 60 tonight while B and I are out of the house.
I called Cox to set up an appointment time to have someone come by with the new box, and was pleased to find out that I could go to one of the company's convenient digital stores and trade it in today. So that's what we did! We've already set it up for tonight's recordings, and are super excited to have the technology back in our little house. It's wrong to love television that much--some would say--but with little else to keep me occupied, it's all good.

You can't call anyone from inside a tunnel

I'm really quite embarrassed. I don't know what to say. I'm sure that some clever turn of phrase or witty wordplay might make it up to you somehow, but really, I've just not been "in the mood" to blog much lately. (Obviously!) I'd blame it on the pregnancy, but I hate that, so will instead take full responsibility for my non-actions, and say, "Sorry."
ITEM!: So did you catch any of the Mel Gibson mea culpa going on at Good Morning America last week? Personally, I don't buy it. Drunk people say what drunk people think, and there is little evidence to support anything to the contrary. That's why it's so bad to drunk-dial people, or hook up with people after a night out, or get into any kind of booze-based fights or arguments with friends. The drunk person will ALWAYS say what is exactly on their mind, and everyone knows that. The not-so coincidence here is that Mel's new movie, Apocalypto, is coming out soon, and he wants people to go see it. (Disproving Brian's assertion that Mel's got so much money it doesn't matter if people go see his flicks anymore.) I love how celebrities are all contrite when it comes to publicity an re-shining their images.
ITEM!: Brian and I saw The Departed last week. It was really good! Several people got shot in the head, and I wasn't always prepared for it, but it was fun nonetheless. We needed our shot of Boston-ness, and we got it, complete with views of the State House, thick accents and Southie. But let me throw a wrench in the movie-making process for you for one quick second. No one, no one EVER, can get a cell phone signal in a T tunnel. No one. Don't believe it for a second.
ITEM!: Here is my October avatar. She's going trick-or-treating. Yay!!
ITEM!: The company that was cloning kittens has gone out of the business. Apparently, people would rather save some thousands of dollars and get a perfectly good kitten from a pet store, adoption agency or something along those lines. Go figure.
ITEM!: Let me drop a quick complaint about Bank of America. Did you know that, when opening a new checking account, the bank (or any bank, for that matter, it's a federal regulation) can hold portions of your money, deposits and the like away from your availability? They can "choose" to do this at any time during the first 90 days of your account. This bothers me, and for obvious reasons. I've got bills to pay, and not much money to pay them. I need every dollar in that checking account, and to find that B of A has decided to just hold on to $500 or so because they don't trust me is infuriating. I've not bounced a check; I've not given them any reason to think I might. They suck. Countdown to the end of this ridiculous 90 days began in August. I yearn for November.

Tuesday, September 26

And they've cut their hair

One really can't believe that these are the same three kids who played Harry, Ron and Hermione in the first two Harry Potter films, but here they are, growing like weeds, on the set of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The film won't be released until July 13, 2007, and they are still filming, as far as I know, but these are the first pics I've seen of the cast of this chapter in the movies. I'm glad to see that the costume designers have continued to allow them to move about outside of their Hogwarts robes, and dressing like normal kids!
The site I got this image from also has pictures of Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge, one of the worst nasties that Harry comes across in the books. She looks creepy, and since I still hate her for making Harry write lines, it's all working for me already.

Monday, September 25

If it's baked, it should be okay, right?

I've never been a big fan of spinach. I don't like it on it's own, and tend to shy away from the spinach salads that are out there. Really, I'll only eat it if I don't know it's in something yummy I'm already eating, or if it's baked in a wonderful dish with artichoke and cheese. Yes, I speak of the amazingly fabulous spinach/artichoke dip that has become quite popular over the last several years. When home in Cali last week, I was able to get this dip at the California Pizza Kitchen, which offers a tasty example, right at the very beginning of this spinach-and-e.coli hysteria. Obviously, none of us got the disease, so that particular dip was fine.
Last night, having forgotten all about this wretched disease and vegetable ban, Brian and I stopped at Mimi's Cafe, which offers an even better dip than CPK. Imagine my disappointment when I ordered it, and the waitress told me that they're not serving the dip because of the spinach issues.
Damn it. Now this whole thing is beginning to affect the satisfaction of my cravings, and I will NOT have that! Someone, somewhere, figure this out and get the good spinach back into restaurants! Queso dip will keep me quiet for only so long!

U2 is going to play the half-time show on Monday Night Football tonight. The game will be a good one, simply because of the emotions involved in the Saints returning to New Orleans for their first home game since Hurricane Katrina, and I think any and all tributes will be very touching. I actually feel bad for Atlanta, should they win. Of course, every team wants to win, but who wants to be the team that sucks the breath out of New Orleans by beating their team in their newly restored stadium? Forget the fact that everyone in the nation who isn't a Falcons fan will be cheering for the Saints. (I know that I will be.) Best of luck to both teams!

Saturday, September 23

Gotta get the DVR again

It is, if you can believe it, finally cooling down here. We're able to open up the windows at night and in the morning (until about 10), and there was a decent cooling breeze when I took Oliver out for his walk last night.
I read in this week's Entertainment Weekly about Martin Scorsese's new movie coming out, The Departed. I won't lie to you, one of the main reasons why B and I are interested in checking out this film is because it was shot entirely on location in Boston. We're looking forward to seeing the sights we know, and getting all melancholy about the crazy streets, lack of parking and thick accents. (All things that, when we were there, drove us nuts ... except the accents. Loved them.) Anyway, the movie stars Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio, as a mob boss and two double-crossing informants, respectively. I really just kinda dig the ad on TV, too, where we see the Prudential Center on the gun. I used to live really close to that building. That's just neat.
Also, if you can believe it, the Sandra Bullock/Keanu Reeves movie, The Lake House, comes out on DVD next Tuesday. It's going to the top of my Netflix list, that's for sure, since I never saw it in the theater.
Also out on DVD soon, Oct. 3, actually, is one of my most favorite Disney movies, The Little Mermaid. I find myself wishing the weeks away so I can buy it and make Brian sit through it while I recite dialogue and sing along with Ariel and Sebastian. Every time I see the commercial for it, I get a little bit happier inside!
What else? Oh, yes, television. The Office was hysterical, and Jericho was about what I expected: fair acting, decent premise, but probably won't last the season before CBS yanks it. Next week though, Brian and I look forward to Heroes and one of my faves, Gilmore Girls, which returns on Tuesday night. With all this other TV, I'm kinda glad that Lost doesn't start for another 10 days. I don't think I could handle another hour of good stuff spilling forth from my Samsung so soon... (which is why, yes, I'm ordering the DVR box this week.)

Wednesday, September 20

TV premiere week

Yeah, yeah, yeah. So it's been a few days. I've been here; where have you all been?
I remember kicking off this blog, somewhat, with my take on the new fall shows coming to television, and I'm happy to say that I'm continuing that tradition today. My first order of business tomorrow is to order DVR from Cox, because this is ridiculous. I'm afraid to say it, but there just may be too many good shows on TV right now.
It all started with Studio 60 on Monday night. It was exactly what I had hoped it would be, in that it was full of fast and snappy dialog, and the cast seemed to crackle through their lines and all that. We'll be sticking with that one; definitely.
Then, last night, Smith debuted. I'm always a big fan of the anti-hero. Like in Heat: I thought that Robert DeNiro's character was too smart for that ending, and that the whole movie was wasted on that character decision. But with Smith, we've got a group of thieves, murderers and cheaters that are intelligent, clever and unsympathetic, and that I will happily watch every week. Even the possibly bamboozled wife has a past and seems to know a whole lot more than anyone would give her credit. Yum.
Tonight, Brian wants to watch Jericho, the show about the town that seems to survive a nuclear explosion that's taken out the rest of the country, though that's just my guess on the plot. Skeet Ulrich is in it, which is usually a bit sketchy for me, but we'll see.
At any rate, the television, after a summer of silence, has again taken over our lives. And once Gilmore Girls (next Wednesday), Lost (Oct. 4), and Scrubs (tbd) return, I'll gladly become a slave to my remote again.

Thursday, September 14

And a dog named Clyde

I'm out in California this weekend for my baby shower. Lisa and Andrea are hosting it at Lisa's house, and I'm so excited about hanging out with everyone and getting some loot for the kid. Mom flew out to Arizona yesterday and we drove back to Camarillo today so we'd be able to take everything back to Ariz. in the car. I gotta tell you, even though I really like this car, I'm so done being in the vehicle for hours on end. Thank goddess that this is my last road trip until after the baby's born.
So what's the what lately? Been doing some work, doing some hanging out with the husband, been surfing the Internet. Not a whole lot is going on, which is, frankly, why the blog's been updated so rarely lately. I'll try to be better, since I know that for a bunch of you, this is how you keep up with my activities. (As I said, sadly lacking...)
So, I'm here, and this is a picture of Mom and Howie's new puppy, Clyde. A six-month-old Lhasa Apso, Clyde is proving to be difficult to potty-train -- though it's only been a week he's been here -- and seems to be quite docile and passive -- compared to Oliver, who's a freak of energy. Howie, as you can imagine, is over the moon in love already, and Mom is happy, but frustrated with pee on her floors again, and me, well, I just think he needs a haircut.

Friday, September 8

Yay picnic!

I'm a few days late, but here it is, the September avatar. I think we all know that my stomach looks far different than this image indicates right now. But it's all good my friends, let me live vicariously through the avatar, and imagine that this is still somewhat of a resemblance to me. Notice that she is still wearing a tank top (it's still hot here), and that the park looks nice and green (I'm already missing the look and feel of a New England autumn). This living in Arizona thing is going to take some getting used to!
I took the iBook in to the Mac specialists today, and should have the monster back on Monday. I'm having the hard drive replaced and upgraded, and the guy is less than optimistic about getting any data off the old one. Whatever. I guess we just call this a "life lesson," and hope that, from now on, we'll back up monthly. (I have GOT to find out how to do that.) At any rate, everyone thank Mom for being the ATM behind this fun disaster, okay? Two thumbs up for the lady who's made, and making, the last few weeks, and the upcoming few weeks, bearable for the poor, unemployed leeches that we are right now.
Did you know that the state of Massachusetts requires that you send them your old license plates when you move to a new state? It's a fact, and something that we took care of today. It was all in a series of car-related, moving-to-a-new-state requirements we fulfilled yesterday. Those tasks included a smog inspection on the car and time spent in the Motor Vehicle Department registering the car for Arizona. So now, officially, we've cut all ties with Massachusetts: all our random tax money and fees go to Arizona now. (FYI: vehicle registration in Mass., $41. Vehicle registration in Ariz., $226. Gotta love those red states.)

Thursday, September 7

Insert cheesy V.F. headline here

ITEM!: I dig Steve Irwin. I thought Crocodile Hunter was a cool-ass show, and enjoyed the fervor he brought to animal conservation. I thought he was one of those road-side warriors who didn't fear anything, especially the crocs, and that he was bulletproof. Sadly, we've all had to say goodbye to Irwin this week, courtesy of a stingray and one of the rarest undersea deaths reported. Here's hoping that his compassion, ambition to help animals, and desire to educate people will be carried on.
ITEM!: Paris Hilton was rung up on drunk driving charges. A rich girl like that should really be able to afford a taxi on the way home. No one ever claimed that she was a smart celebutante, but in this day and age, especially with her wallet and support staff, no one should ever be getting behind the wheel after a couple drinks. She chose poorly.
ITEM!: Leave it to one of my favorite magazines to shine the first spotlight on Suri Cruise. I admit to being excited for when this particular issue of Vanity Fair drops into my mailbox, if for any reason, so I can read more about Katie, who apparently spoke more than seven words in the article.
ITEM!: British Prime Minister Tony Blair has agreed to step down within the next year, due to pressure from his political party and the cluster that has become Iraq. It's a shame that resignation is so frowned upon here. Of course, should Bush step down, we're stuck with Cheney. Out of the frying pan, into the fire.
ITEM!: Is it weird that I'm so looking forward to the football season officially starting? There's nothing that signifies the arrival of fall more than teams meeting on the gridiron. You know, it's nice and cool in Boston already.