Friday, June 30
An 80-year-old woman in Cleveland was served with a search warrant for building, housing and health code violations. When the police knocked on her door, she told them that they couldn't come in, because her mother was sleeping. The officers convinced her that they would be quiet, and she finally allowed them access. The woman's mother, come to find out, was a three years' dead skeleton in a bed.
What's the least bit funny here? Say, yours truly goes a little bit mad in her old age, while, of course, living with her mother. Could you not see me becoming this crazy woman who will not, NOT, let anyone take away her mommy? I'd go into the room every day, I'm sure, tell her the latest news, maybe read an amusing blog post, and then quietly close the door, and go about the rest of my daily chores.
I told Mom about it, and really, the fact that I just might lose my mind to such a degree had us in a fit of giggles on the phone this morning.
And as for the film, I dug it. The new Superman is hot, by the way. Brian liked the flick, though not as much as I. He doesn't think there's a market for the strict goodness that is Superman anymore, where I felt it was refreshing. Sure, there was emotional angst and heft involved this time around; sure, this movie made Supes a bit more human. But that's the right direction, I think. To have him be nothing more than a poster boy for good is boring. The Lois/Superman love story was satisfying, and I find myself eager for the sequel (because you know there's going to be one!). Oh, and per usual, Kevin Spacey was phenomenal.
Thursday, June 29
I've heard from several people about Britney Spears' interview with Matt Lauer, and how trashy it was. I didn't watch it. Really, I figured it would be a train wreck, and had thought that I would protect myself by not sitting through it. After all, I know that, when she's not in a video or singing a song, she's going to be a disaster. Don't think for a second that I didn't read everything about it though: messy hair, nasty makeup, crying unattractively, gum chewing and the unflattering outfit. Oh, I read ALL about it.
And now we have the cover of Bazaar's August issue. The photo, actually, is lovely. She looks quite happy and pretty, and the necklace is awesome. (Think how much better the post-interview coverage would have been had she had this person do her face and hair prior to sitting down with Lauer.) Images from the photo shoot, which only took place last week, have already leaked on to the Web, hence Bazaar's action to get the cover out in cyberspace as soon as yesterday. The photos will certainly bring to mind Demi Moore's controversial -- at the time --Vanity Fair cover in 1991. (I never saw Demi's photos, but can only imagine how cool they were. Vanity Fair doesn't do anything non-cool.) It's hard to believe that no pregnant celebrity has done this kind of thing since then. But I digress ...
This is not the kind of thing a person who pleads for privacy does. This girl, as I must call her, is a publicity enigma. She feeds off it, yet feels the need to purge right after. She's got publicity bulimia. "Don't follow me or ask questions, but here, look at me naked."
Wednesday, June 28
Well, you may not appreciate it, but I know that once random tidbits about the new book start to spread around -- even something as innocuous as J.K Rowling saying that two characters may die in this one -- it's getting close to reading time. Look at the history of the series' publicity: bit of news designed to get people talking; one or two more facts a month or so later; the book's title is released in a cleverly subversive way; and then the publishing date is announced. It's gone that way for the last three tomes: Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix, and the most-recent Half-Blood Prince. It's a brilliant strategy, and obviously, one that works.
So the big dust up this week is about Rowling hinting to the two characters that allegedly die in the final volume. Of course, it's common knowledge that Rowling has had the final chapter of the final book written since she started along the H.P. path. (A feat, in itself, that is amazing.) It's also common knowledge that she's not afraid to kill any character. I hate to speculate on who the deaths might be, but I do have a couple thoughts.
Harry Potter: Rowling slyly mentioned that Harry may not be left standing on the last page. I, for one, don't buy it. He's the hero, and while the hero doesn't always survive, this is still a series of novels that punishes the evil and rewards the good. I don't see Rowling being so vindictive as to kill H.P. just to prove that she can.
Draco Malfoy: I'm thinking he'll die, but he's not a "big death." He's just the punk that deserves to get it in the end.
Lord Voldemort: He's definitely dying, but in a bizarre and rather odd way. That's the only path to thwarting the whole Harry and Voldemort part-of-each-other thing.
Professor Severus Snape: He's living, and I'll tell you why. He's had an alternate agenda, even in light of the Prince ending, and will finally and completely redeem himself in this final book.
Hermione Grainger: I'm sorry to say that, ever since -- several years ago -- I'd heard that a death in that final chapter upset Rowling to write, I've thought that Hermione will bite the dust in an utterly heroic, yet tragic, way. (I hope I'm so wrong on this one, by the way. I want Hermione and Harry to end up together.)
Ron Weasley: He'll be around far after the final chapter, because really, why bother killing him?
Rubeus Hagrid: He'll die, if for any reason, because he's the last of Harry's father figures.
McGonnagall, Ginny Weasley, Luna, and the rest of Harry's friends (except maybe Neville), are safe, I think. Why kill them; there's no story in it.
Of course, Rowling has killed others that we thought would live until the end of the series, i.e., Sirius and Dumbledore (I dare anyone to say they saw that coming). I reserve the right to be completely off base in my predictions.
ITEM!: Ken Jennings, the super brain who kicked everyone's ass on Jeopardy for six months straight in 2004 and won more than $2 million, has started his own blog. It's new, having just started this month, but freakishly, worth a quick look. I'm kinda liking his style, though he tends to get a bit too verbose on a couple posts. Check it out here.
ITEM!: Our main man, David Hasselhoff, is riding high this week, cruising on the wave's crest of Click, in which he plays Adam Sandler's boss, and America's Got Talent, which posted some decent ratings last week. USA Today's got a good-enough article about him today, including a five-question Q&A. In those pieces, the writer explores the wonder that is The Hoff, and why the world loves him so much. (Of his Google hits, most come from Ireland. Germany, once rumored to be the ultimate Hoff lover, came in as third in the ranking.)
ITEM!: Star Jones Reynolds is leaving The View because she seems to fear Rosie O'Donnell. Being's I never really saw a serious physical smackdown in the show's future, I believe this is a ridiculous publicity stunt because she won't be the one to watch on the show anymore. So what.
ITEM!: Sadly, Moose, the Jack Russell Terrier that played Eddie on Frasier, has died. He was 16, and one of the show's most under-appreciated stars.
ITEM!: Yesterday's post must have reached Washington, because the flag-burning amendment was defeated by the one vote that was rumored to kill it. Power to the masses, and those who appreciate the right to express themselves.
ITEM!: I know that everyone considers Christopher Reeve the ultimate Superman, but I'm pretty excited to see this new movie and encourage some new blood in the franchise. I loved Dean Cain as the character (Lois and Clark; and he's still a hotty), and look forward to seeing Brandon Routh in the blue tights. I'd be lying though if I said that was the only attraction though: Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor? Brilliant! The possibility that Supes may have fathered Lois's son? Emotionally heavy! That scene where his eyeball stops a bullet? The stuff that trailers are made for! It's definitely on tap for our movie watching this weekend.
Tuesday, June 27
Precedent, the First Amendment, and even the ending soliloquy of The American President understands that burning the flag is an expression of free speech, and that the right to do so should be protected. Disagreeing with the government, and demonstrating that unhappiness, is a right that Americans are duty bound to explore. How better to display your displeasure for something that to burn its flag in effigy? What better way to get someone's attention? (It is strikingly similar to the women in the 1960s burning their bras in shows of protest, yes?)
While the amendment wouldn't prevent flag desecration outright, it would give Congress the power to say how the flag can be protected and what penalties could apply to desecrating it. The House of Representatives has already passed the amendment, and indications show that every one of the 50 states would ratify it.
There were 13 instances of flag burning reported last year, and only six so far this year, according to the Citizens Flag Alliance. It seems to me that a Constitutional amendment is an extreme step to combat an act that isn't even prevalent in society. Is there a rash of flag burnings that I haven't heard about? (Well, among rallies inside our country, of course.) Have there been mass rallies where flag burning has run amok?
You know, banning flag burning within our borders will do nothing to the citizens of other countries who choose to burn the flag in shows of protest. Seriously, I've seen more flag burning overseas then I ever have here, and I suppose, because they're impotent to stop that, lawmakers feel it necessary to curtail our own rights to free speech.
Follow this train of the current lawmakers' misuse of governmental power, and soon enough, I'll be labeled a treasonous non-patriot just for spouting my own opinions on government and how its acting. It's amazing that being the kind of American that the Founding Fathers trumpeted now relegates one to being a subversive malcontent who doesn't love their country.
Monday, June 26
The waitress that served JJ, Andy and I our lunch on Saturday is originally from Tempe. She went to high school there, and met her boyfriend at ASU. The freaky coincidence is that she used to wait tables at Oregano's, one of our favorite restaurants in that town, and worked there while B and I lived in the area. (That's a pic of Oregano's patio.) Weird, huh, that she may have waited on us there? Anyway, we got to reminiscing about restaurants in the area. It's nice to know that other people can be as obsessed about dining out as I. She too misses Oregano's and Dilly's Deli. I could have gone on forever about how much I craved Julio G's and Too's, Z Tejas, Pancho's, and all the rest, but I didn't want to scare anyone.
Saturday, June 24
So what's been going on? Just a lot of eating, chatting and all that. I got to spend a tremendous day with Lisa and Mom yesterday up in Santa Barbara doing some shopping. It was a treat to be able to hang out with Lisa all day. Really, I think this weekend has made it more clear how much I miss being close to everyone. I'm eager to get back to Boston and finish up the next five weeks so we can head back west. Today, I had breakfast with Jeff and Liz, and lunch with Andrea and JJ. I haven't decided what Mom, Howie and I are doing for dinner tonight yet, and still am unsure as to whether I will force them to take me to a movie that they've already seen (Cars), so will have to come to some conclusion in the next hour or so.
This afternoon, I saw a guy at the mall wearing a t-shirt that promoted "television.com." I tried to check it out on line, but got an error message. What do you see at television.com? Do you actually see television shows? If that's the case, why not just turn on your television? Someone get to the bottom of this for me.
Also, I heard this morning that Aaron Spelling and E. Pierce Marshall have died. Spelling, as I'm sure you're aware, is the father of choice TV shows such as Charlie's Angels, Dynasty and Beverly Hills 90210. Let's hope that those are the things more likely to get play in his obituaries than the fact that he's the father of Tori. Marshall is the son of Anna Nicole Smith's dead husband, and the bright, shining pain in her ass since she "inherited" all her husband's millions a couple years ago. Here's wondering if the lawsuits will end now, or if Marshall's wife, kids and grandkids will pick up where he left off.
Thursday, June 22
All is going well, and my first two days here have been chockablock full of food, family and activity. (I'm really quite beyond exhausted.) I logged about 22 hours of awake time yesterday, and I'm still suffering for it. I anticipate a full night's sleep tonight, and hope that I'll be able to hang with the big kids a bit better tomorrow.
Anyway; last night! As it was, yesterday was a good day. The flight was uneventful (except for the 20 minutes spent on the tarmac waiting for the gate to become unoccupied); the lunch at Islands kicked ass; and cruising through Nordstrom is always a good thing.
Mom's "Theater Night" was last night though, and I was bribed into going to the show with a yummy dinner and delicious dessert at Off Vine. The show was one that we had seen before, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. From what I remembered from the first time, I did not thoroughly enjoy it; it was in Egypt; and there was a children's choir involved. Well, let me tell you that since the last time (about 10 years ago maybe), they've done a bit of modernizing to the visual effects of the show. I'll spell it out this way: Day-Glo cheerleaders; Jacob talking on a cell phone; a Western-themed Seven Brides for Seven Brothers dancing segment; Elvis as the king of Egypt; and a disco party finale complete with mirrored pants, short shorts, and a flashing neon backdrop that would make John Travolta proud. In a word: awful. But true to my paganist leanings, the part that offended me the most was not the farcical take on a Bible story, but the blasphemy of Elvis in an Egyptian skirt singing about goats.
Tuesday, June 20
I'm off to Cali tomorrow morning, and I'm super excited. It's been tough getting the time to visit with everyone I want to see, but I think the schedule has worked out okay. I've got all my clothes figured out, and only need to put them in a bag tonight, so that's good.
Here's this for you: a judge in Connecticut has spared the life of Lewis the cat, who was put on trial for allegedly attacking passersby in his Bridgeport neighborhood. The judge has ordered that the cat remain inside. If the cat does escape the home again, his owner could face up to six months in prison, and Lewis could face death. Neighbors had complained that Lewis' long claws and stealth have allowed him to attack at least six people, and ambush the Avon lady as she got out of her car.
Monday, June 19
I speak of Blogger, and it’s unpredictable habit of crapping out and messing up posts just as they are being posted. Once this happens, everything is lost forever. She’s told me a couple times, “I do all my writing in Word, and then copy and paste. That way I don’t lose it all.” I’m like, “Yeah, but that stifles my creativity a bit. I prefer to compose in Blogger.”
Today, I revert to Pamela’s way of doing things, as Blogger killed a perfectly brilliant morning post about the weather, boxing up my kitchen, and the mean lady in the park. I had pictures, clever turns of phrase and everything … and the goddamn web site just shit all over it. Now, for all you dying to hear about my weekend, I’m too tired to go into it again, and you can all blame Blogger for missing out.
Friday, June 16
In preparing for the second estimate, I called the local company that we used to move from Allston to the South End, and asked them what the weight of our load was. Ummm .... color me shocked and awed. That move weighed 5,657 pounds. Of course, since it was only across town, the price was an easy $1,822, but that's beside the point. We now had a very real idea of what all our stuff weighs. We've divested ourselves of a bit since then, so the first, 5,200-lb. estimate may have been more on track than we gave it credit for. Anyway, the second estimate actually has our load weighing 5,929 pounds, and would cost us about $5,620. In any language, with more approximate weight and costing about $1,300 less, I think I can safely say that Estimate #1 is a no go.
Our donation pile has grown considerably, and now will house the sofa/sleeper (we'll just get a cheap guest bed when we get to Arizona), and about half of Brian's textbooks (he estimates he's got about 400 pounds of textbooks right now). All the bookcases have already been consigned to the pile, as has our crappy living room sofa that we knew would only be the "Boston sofa," and would be trashed upon our leaving the area (I foresee a nice, leather, regular-length sofa in our future for August). I've already dug through the kitchen and living room and piled crap for the donations. This is the best purging ever.
So, now what? Well, after the final bit of signing and deposit making on the apartment, I start the tiresome process of figuring out utilities and all that, changing addresses on everything from credit cards and catalogs to magazines and Netflix, and laying the groundwork for my job hunt. Brian's employment is of more importance right now, so that'll top the list, but still, I'd like to get a feel for what the market is like for me out there. We've also got to nail down when we'll be leaving here, and tracking our course across country next month. (That'll be a fun series of posts for you loyal readers!) At any rate, the ball is really rolling on this, so I'll be a busy bee for the next several weeks!!
Thursday, June 15
It's all good though, peeps, because we -- pending the required credit score and criminal checks -- have an address to move to in Arizona. I won't lie to you; I feel much better right now than I have in a couple weeks. Just having someplace to go is a huge weight off my shoulders!!
Also, here is Mom's last floral arrangment of the season. She's kinda iffy on it, but I like all the ridiculous colors involved. It's kicky.
Wednesday, June 14
"Your plans are being met with harsh opposition today, Kimberly. You have been going along at a slow and steady pace, but you will find that there is abrasive tension that arises the more you try to force your will on others. Gridlock is quite likely due to the fact that there are strong forces coming head to head. Neither one of them are in the mood to yield at this time."
And I had so much I wanted to accomplish in the next eight hours...
Tuesday, June 13
Angel on my shoulder: "Raisins would be better for you than chocolate."
Devil on opposite shoulder: "Yeah, but a 3 Musketeers would hit the spot right now."
Angel: "Seriously, go with the raisins."
Devil: "They won't fill me up, and then I'll be hungry when I get home."
Angel: "There are good snacks at home, too. String cheese, yogurt, apples."
Devil: "Cupcakes, too. Don't forget that there are three cupcakes still."
Angel: "Fine. Eat the raisins now, and you can have a cupcake when you get home."
Devil: "Cool. Raisins it is."
So we were trying to figure out why the USA lost their game yesterday, and why no one really cares in this country. We hit the nail on the head with this brilliant observation: there's no money to be made in the U.S. on soccer. Sure, all the kids play it in school, but what do all the really good athletes grow up to play? Baseball. Basketball. Football. Those sports are considered to be our national pastimes, and because of the audiences involved, the money goes to them. If there was a market for professional soccer (more so than now, certainly; and at any rate, it's ridiculously below the level of soccer stardom that players in other countries see), more athletes would be involved, and we'd be real contenders on a stage like the World Cup.
As it stands now, the young athletes see where the money in this country can be made, and unfortunately for soccer, it's made on a diamond, court and gridiron. Until and unless that changes, we're doomed to a disappointing showing.
[Editor's note: This post is based completely on the fact that this is the men's tournament. Don't start with me about the girls; I know they kicked butt.]
Monday, June 12
We got some housekeeping errands done on Saturday, including a visit to the Petco (Oliver's new high-fiber, low-fat diet for the lipemia); yummy lunch; and visited the grocery store. I boxed up some stuff that afternoon in the bedroom. Actually, I've boxed up everything in the bedroom except the clothes -- picture frames, random things I like to call "sittin' outs," and the books in my bookcase. That night, we ended up watching Unleashed, with Jet Li and Morgan Freeman, on HBO. Not great, but not bad, either.
Yesterday, I got us caught up on our finances; printed out our first moving estimate (I'll get to that in a second); and piled up some more stuff for Goodwill. So, the first moving estimate: Let me preface this by telling you that two companies refused to even book estimates with me because they calculated that my move would be less than 3,000 pounds. This estimate cites a 5,200-lb. (WHAT!!!) move in a peak week during a peak season. Seriously, that comes out as a "non-binding" estimate of $6,900. Knock me over with a feather!! What the hell!?! Those numbers are so far out of whack, it's crazy. Our next estimate is scheduled for Thursday, and here's hoping that this one will be a lot more reasonable.
Here's Mom's floral arrangement from her most-recent class. It's a topiary made of lilies. It's quite pretty, yes? I think it's my very favorite ever.
Wednesday, June 7
It's a difficult thing, trying to figure out what one loves most about a dog, and what you'll miss about them. Certainly, just their presence in the house, walking around the backyard, drinking water loudly and barking for treats are the obvious things. Of course, cuddling, snuggling and laying next to them as they snore loudly and obliviously are a few of the more quiet aspects of living with a dog. As for Sheila, she embodied all those traits and more.
It's no secret that she'd lost a step or two in the last few years. But the promise that we'd always made to our dogs is that, as long as they're happy and able to live well, they will be kept in the manner to which they are accustomed: a home full of love, warmth, toys and treats.
In doggie heaven, playing around with Ginger, she has that and more, while they both patiently wait for us to join them.
Monday, June 5
You know what Constitutional Amendments are for? They’re for racial equality; they’re for voting ages; they’re for suffrage; they’re for abolishing slavery. Notice that every amendment is centered around including people in the workings of this country; they do not, repeat NOT, exclude anyone. That there are those who wish to ban gay marriage is a travesty, an embarrassment and a blot on the foundations of this country. People should be allowed to marry anyone they want to! Regardless of their gender! It doesn’t matter!
I’d break out all the divorce statistics for so-called “real” marriages, but they’re even more embarrassing than this crusade. I remember reading that monogamous gay couples have longer, healthier and happier relationships than many heterosexual couples. I’m not surprised by that, are you? Certainly those who have to fight harder for their identities in this world, and to find true love, appreciate it more, and treasure it more.
That a sitting president is leading this crusade in bigotry is a disgrace.
That’s all I have to say on it right now, but I’m sure that, as this attack on freedom continues, I will keep posting about it. I look forward to the post that will be headlined, “Gay marriage legal in United States,” because really, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be.
I bought boxes this weekend. I bought a lot of boxes actually, and our little apartment is now a cardboard mine field, strategically littered with tape, scissors, packing paper, and packed and unpacked boxes. As Brian said when I started, we simply don’t have enough room in our little place for all the boxes. We are already inconvenienced. And because of that, property is being disposed of as early as next weekend. The one sofa will be donated, the other sofa will be moved, and that space will then be filled with stacking boxes. The same fate awaits the bookcase in the living room: donation, and its space used for box stacking.
So why start this now? Well, I have about seven weeks until this proposed move, and I need to get started. I like my packing to be done thoroughly, methodically and well. I don’t do broken things when I arrive at a new home. And after moving every two years over the last 10 years, I have turned this process into a science … an art, if you will. I begin with the things I know we won’t use in the next two months, and as the days go by, move from room to room packing and stacking. Do not mock my devotion to this system—it hasn’t failed me once. So starting tonight, I pace myself to two or three boxes a day, unless I get tired, and then it can all wait until the next day.
As the weather was craptastic Saturday and Sunday, packing was a good thing to start on, but we did manage to leave the house for a couple hours yesterday to pick out some new glasses for Brian. His intention, I’m sure, was for me to fall in love with this one pair he saw a couple weeks ago, but alas, I had to deny him that. The green color of them didn’t work too well with his skin coloring. He was looking for a bold statement, he said, and I thought that would be better served with a different, but bold and strong, super cool pair of black frames. Don’t get all, “They’re his glasses, he should choose them,” because really, he may look through them, but I’m the one who looks at them. Anyway, he ordered the ones I prefer, but also the frame he liked better in the black.
[Editor's note: I must apologize if this post isn't as smooth as usual. Blogger killed the first one, and I had to re-create this, as best I could, from memory.]
Friday, June 2
In a news flash that will surely make waves throughout these prudish lands, a Harvard University author states that teenagers who take virginity pledges--a promise to remain chaste until marriage--are, 1.) more likely to lie about said pledge if they do get active before marriage, and 2.) more likely to deny any past sexual history when taking the pledge. These blatant (!!!) lies must mean that the virginity pledgers' survey results are unreliable when gauging the viability of abstinence-based sexual education programs.
How, how, how is this possible?? I thought ALL teenagers were upfront and honest about their sexual histories! And especially when asked about them at school and in an abstinence-promoting environment! It is simply mind-blowing that they would lie about such a thing!
Anyway, research shows that the survey respondents tend to answer questions about sexual history based on their current beliefs, not necessarily what they've really done. (You know, if it's too small to feel, it didn't really happen.) Respondents also may have under- or over-reported their health risk behavior.
All this research was done by Janet Rosenbaum, who evaluated retractions of virginity pledges and reports of sexual histories among a nationally representative sample of seventh- through 12th-grade students who participated in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.
"Teenagers do not report their past sexual activity accurately, with virginity pledgers giving more inaccurate reports of their past sexual activity," she was quoted as saying. Rosenbaum's amazing findings were reported in the American Journal of Public Health.
Read this SHOCKING article about how teens lie about sex here.
What was it, about 10 years ago, that ESPN started airing the National Spelling Bee? I dug that, and it was fun to watch. Last night, with the big national prime-time show, it got cheesy. The second they started the maudlin music and interviewing the first kid "at home," and "being a regular boy," I lost complete and utter interest in it. Why does primetime television have to try its best to make everything so emotionally engaging and heart-tugging? Why not just let the contest be in that one hour, and have that be the end of it? (Also, the girl who was having a fit over "collyrium," drove me CRAZY.)
At any rate, the winner is a 13-year-old girl from Spring Lake, New Jersey. Katharine Close correctly spelled "ursprache," which means a parent language, and took home a trophy and $42,000 in cash and prizes. (Another good thing, I think, is that only one of the finalists was home schooled. Hoorah to the official school system!)
Read about the telecast here.