Monday, December 31

They drop a pinecone in Flagstaff

Well, I'm quite tired, and all of Christmas has been put away. Brian promised that we'd stay up to at least watch the ball drop tonight. Update on that status: at 11:20 p.m., I'm blogging, and he's sleeping on the sofa. Don't worry though, I'll go in and wake him up in time.
Wow. Tomorrow's January. I can't really wrap my head around it. Last year, Mom, Howie and Auntie Donna were here, and we had Chinese food and watched Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. This year is certainly different, though some things are still the same. 1.) Hoping that Sydney sleeps through the apartment complex's celebrations. 2.) Striving to keep Oliver from barking at everyone outside. 3.) Wanting so badly to stay awake because, well, sleep sounds so much better right now. 4.) Dismissing thoughts of resolutions because they're too disappointing. 5.) Drinking water, not alcohol. Some may call this a boring New Year, but I prefer to think of it as "low key."
Catch you next year, my dearest friends!!

Sunday, December 30

Yep, I'm done for the night

I always feel like my house is a little bit cleaner when the dead Christmas tree has been removed. Defrocking a tree is a thankless task. I hate taking the lights off it because all I can smell is the dust that has settled on the tree's needles for the last three or four weeks, all I can see are the dead needles flying this way and that, and all I can do is keep my mouth shut to prevent wayward needles from landing in my mouth. I'm so glad that it's done now. Who knows what Sydney will think tomorrow morning when she arrives in the living room and the big tree that she had to "be gentle" with over the last weeks is suddenly missing.
I've started somewhat on the rest of the Christmas decorations as well, but really, my energy level has fallen sharply since I sat down to check my e-mail, so I think that the rest of the house will wait until tomorrow.

One of the best things about movies nowadays is that regardless the story, the dog never dies. How many movies have you seen that, no matter what the odds, the dog always survives? Independence Day comes to mind, as does that ridiculous Sylvester Stallone movie about the subway tunnels. ... I like this about movies. It makes me happy to know that the dog is alive to continue playing, eating, and sleeping as dogs do. SPOILER ALERT: Not so in I Am Legend. I've no shame in telling you that, even though the title character's wife and child have perished, as has a significant portion of the human race, it is the death of this dog that still haunts me tonight. Yes, actor. Yes, dog is really alive and happy. But you all know how affected I am by movies, and I'm just continuing to be bugged by this sad turn of events. Grr. Oliver, though, always benefits from these issues of mine because he gets so much more love, hugs and treats just for being him than normal.

Saturday, December 29

Yeah, that's me looking enthusiastic

And so, with today's return home from Tucson, Christmas is officially over for the year. I think I did pretty well with what I got for everyone. As much as I stress about getting the right gift, and bemoan the fact that I do stress about it so much, it means a lot when all the people in my little circle are happy with what they received. I have noted where I need to make improvements next year though, and will strive for perfection in 2008. It's all good though, my peeps.
As for 2007, it's drawing to a close with every nightfall, and I agree with Jeff when I say good riddance to it. Seriously, if not for the absolute joy of watching Sydney grow from a blob of skin into an actual little person, I would call this one of the worst years ever. But simply because of her, I must also say that 2007 was one of the most magical ever as well. I guess that amazing contradiction is exactly what makes every year worth getting through and struggling for. At it's most basic level, that's what life is about, isn't it? Having someone you love ripped out of your life leaving a hole that only someone new can come close to filling.

Friday, December 28

I dig football on Saturday night

Damned if we don't just care a little bit about the New England Patriots and their run for a perfect season. All those years of, "whatever," have turned us into the ultimate resistant fans of this team, and I even hesitate to use the word "fan" when referring to us. Chock it up to the infamous tuck rule of that one year awhile ago, but we've never been able to become real fans of the Patriots franchise.
But of course, four years in Boston have made somewhat of an impression on us. We care about the teams there, and even more so about the emotional well being of the town. The Red Sox win, everyone's happy. The Patriots win, everyone's happy. Either of those teams lose, and heads will roll, or at least everyone will talk about heads rolling.
And even though we get the NFL Network through our cable company, I was glad to hear that the game against the New York Giants will be televised nationally on NBC and CBS tomorrow night. So now the whole country can see history being made (potentially, of course, let's not count our wins before they're realized).
And though I will never be one of those girls wearing a "Mrs. Brady" t-shirt, I will admit to being a closet fan of the team ... well, admit it here on my blog ... not necessarily in person ... or if anyone would ever ask me.

Thursday, December 27

Days-after Christmas items on sale!

ITEM!: So the waterfall of Christmas cards that I expected to get finally arrived while Brian, Sydney, Oliver and I were out in California. I've got to say, I was starting to get really pissy about my lack of cards. Still, I don't have close to the reciprocating number of 53 that I sent out to everyone. Those of you who reply in kind with nice cards, I thank you. To the rest of you, I'll still send you cards because I like to do it, but be aware that I do remember who does and does not respond.
ITEM!: I'm making a good contest out of my battle of wills with the container of fudge in my refrigerator. The contest, of course, is over how many pieces to eat in one sitting rather than whether or not the fudge will be eaten. I'm not a complete idiot, you know. I love the fudge from this recipe, and am not shy about about feeding on it regularly when it's available. In fact, I'll tell you that I've had no less than seven (or 10) pieces today (including breakfast, lunch and dinner).
ITEM!: Christmas itself was a positive event this year, considering the circumstances. Auntie Donna was an active participant in everything, which was absolutely awesome, and we all did what we could to make the holiday as normal, but as different, as we could. I suppose it worked, though getting through the thing without Howie just sucked right out loud. My brothers gave some lovely toasts at the Owens Family Christmas, as did Lisa's Brian, so while the night was fun, there was still a good amount of tears involved. By the way, I got cheese tray plates in the Yankee Swap. Ugh. And no one would take them from me. Damn it. I think next year we should put a higher dollar limit on the gifts, rule that they can not be alcohol-related, and insist that they be cool. As a Swap, I'll say that this one was pretty disappointing. No one had anything worth taking.
ITEM!: I'll be anxious to take down all my Christmas decorations and put them away this weekend. I do believe that Sunday will be the day that happens. I already know that I'll be increasing my Christmas stuff storage pile by at least one box. That box, specifically, will house Sydney's holiday-related toys. I'm so glad that next year I won't be buying too much of that (I hope). Beyond that, well, we'll have to see what Pottery Barn Kids puts on sale this week.

Tuesday, December 18

Meanwhile, back at the cave

Ugh. Tired, tired, busy, busy. Where the hell have the last 10 days gone? I know, I know. Every night, I say to myself, "Kimberly, you haven't blogged in a while." Then I think, "I'm so tired, damn it. Besides, there's nothing really going on anyway."
So, here it is, a week before Christmas, and I've got most of my list taken care of, but still plenty to do today, tomorrow, and Thursday before we leave for California. As well as finish fighting off this awful cold that Brian brought home. My single-most important goal was to ensure that Sydney didn't catch it, and so far, so good.

Saturday, December 8

Ugh, I hate boxing

Because he was on Dancing with the Stars, Floyd Mayweather is on my radar. Because of that, Brian and I are currently watching Mayweather fight Ricky Hatton on HBO. The undercard leading up to the title fight sucked big time, but the main fight seems to be able to accomplish the impossible: keep Brian awake past 10 p.m. I don't like boxing. Yet inexplicably, I'm still watching this fight instead of doing other, more productive, things.
In looking at my day, I am ridiculously pleased to have had a nice, long conversation with Julia. I miss her so. She moved back to Boston shortly after I moved back west. I swear, we are destined to forever live on opposite sides of the country.
And the Franck family has won my unofficial race to get out Christmas cards. Theirs arrived on Wednesday. We haven't received any others since, so I can only imagine that everyone else in my circle is running as far behind as I. I don't even know what kind of picture I'll use this year. I do not think that I'll be able to get Sydney and Oliver together, as he still tends to avoid her like the plague, so that little fancy will go by the wayside. I foresee another "double" picture card in my Christmasy future.

Friday, December 7

The tots kick butt

Clearly, I've been hanging out in some of the same places too long. I drove into my friendly neighborhood Sonic Drive-In today for my lunch. I'm all over the hamburgers there, and decided that I'd have a medium iced tea with it instead of the usual large because I wanted to drink more water this afternoon than tea. Following, the exchange:

"Welcome to Sonic, how can I help you?"
"I'd like a number one with a plain burger, tater tots and a medium iced tea with no lemon."
Beat of about five seconds.
"Are you sure you don't want a large?"
Moment for me to blush and stammer a bit.
"Um, sure. I'll have a large. I guess you guys know me in there?"
"That'll be $5.39! Thanks for choosing Sonic!"

Then, when the guy comes out to deliver my lunch, he's smiling and chuckling! They do know me at the local Sonic! They know my order! I'm a regular! Argh!!!

Thursday, December 6

Who doesn't love the Shortcake?

I think I may finally have a decent handle on the Christmas shopping. I spent about an hour going through all my catalogs last night and have a healthy pile of orders to place over the weekend. I still have a couple things I'd like to troll the mall to obtain, but all in all, I feel like I'm in pretty good shape, though I'm far from comfortable. Turning the countdown-to-Christmas calendar to 19 days kinda freaked me out this morning.
Speaking of calendars, last night I took part in one of my perverse joys of the upcoming new year ... filling in my new calendars with birthdays. I keep three calendars in my home: one in the office, one in my closet, and a final one hanging in the kitchen. Sydney's calendar isn't one that I prepare ahead of time, we fill that in as she progresses through the months. I'm quite proud of this year's calendar selections. I bought another Winnie the Pooh calendar for Sydney; a "Wonders of the World" calendar for the office; a photos of Boston one for the kitchen; and, this year's personal favorite, a Strawberry Shortcake masterpiece for my closet.

Saturday, December 1

Bike-alists are cool

It's been raining cats and dogs here for the last couple days, and it's been lovely. Except today, when we had intended on walking through the Mill Ave. Arts Festival. But really, do you think a couple clouds and raindrops would have stopped us? Nope. We walked almost the entire street scene, seeing some old favorites and meeting some new among the vendors. I got a couple absolutely awesome pieces of art for Sydney's room. I love them. The rain was a bit dampening, of both our spirits and our jackets, but on the whole it was a great day. (This little bell was on a bike parked in the lot we left the car.)
So Mom was out this weekend for the festival, we hired a nanny for Sydney so we could get some unencumbered shopping done Friday, and we collaborated on the Christmas lists. I dig productivity.
Oh yeah, and I joined the local gym! I'm so excited! I've got my complimentary introductory session with a trainer on Monday morning. The best part of this gym is that it provides a childcare facility so I've got somewhere to leave the little girl while I'm on the elliptical. Yay me!

Wednesday, November 28

DWTS: the ending

Well, what am I going to watch on Monday and Tuesday nights now? So, you've all probably heard already that Helio and Julianne won the coveted Dancing With the Stars mirrorball trophy last night. I keep hoping that they'll come out with some vote-tallying error and declare Mel B. the actual winner. I thought she and Maks were the best team, but how do you compete with Julianne's choreography and Helio's winning ... smile. But that's neither here nor there, because at least Marie Osmond didn't win. Her getting booted at the beginning of the show allowed me to believe again in the idea that perhaps this was more of a dance competition than a popularity contest after all. Good for her for making it as far as she did, but please sit down and let the better dancers play.
So ... when does season 6 start?

Monday, November 26

Peeps vs. Twinkies

Sure, I often criticize the state of our country; it's my right and duty as an American. But I will also holler from the rafters about all the beauties of this land, and all the little things that make it the best place in the world, and all the brilliance behind every cool American thing in the universe.
This weekend, I discovered another such amazing invention from the homeland: the Christmas tree Peep. It's just too cool-looking, don't you think? The only thing that rivals the Peep's simplicity, cuteness and oddly compelling taste is the minimal price tag. I got a whole package of these little champs for 99 cents. Holiday bargains don't come any better than that, my friends.
Also, on a different, but slightly related (because it's a sugar product) note, the banana-flavored, cream-filled Twinkies were tossed out this morning. Daddy told me about these horrendous snack cakes a couple weeks ago, and they too were at Target this weekend. Brian picked up a box to try them, though I believe it was more to gross me out. He bit into one last night; I kept my mouth shut when the awful stench of banana filtered through my house; and thankfully, the damn things taste as bad as they smell, because Brian threw away the second half of the cake he bit into, and I was allowed to throw the rest away in this morning's trash. Why, oh why, would someone wish to stain the beauty of a Hostess cake by filling it with banana flavoring?
Well, at least there is the Christmas tree Peep. So I guess the snack-food world isn't a total loss.

Sunday, November 25

Snug as a bug

At baby play class, there is a sheepskin or two for the kids to play on when rolling around on the floor or going down slides. Sydney loves this sheepskin; she cuddles up into it and rolls around on it because it's nice and soft. When Katy and I took Sydney shopping a couple weeks ago, we came upon a similar thing, a small, square blanket of sorts in the shape of a lambskin rug. It's really very cute: it folds into the shape of a standing lamb and can be velcroed together, making the rug an all-purpose stuffed animal, too. Sydney likes the rug well enough, I guess, though it doesn't get half the attention the rugs at play class get. This was a bit disappointing. But as it always happens, even if one baby in the family won't embrace a new toy, the other baby might. Here's Ollie on the rug he has claimed for himself. I'm so glad that someone will love the nifty lambskin rug!

Saturday, November 24

He was just too distracting

I've been kinda not sure about seeing the newest version of Hairspray, simply because I love the Ricki Lake and Divine movie so much. But I also love musicals a whole lot, and I knew that I would have to check this one out eventually. I'm sorry to say that I would have been happier having not seen it. I mean, the movie itself was good, and the girl who played Tracy was so pretty, but I just could not get past the fact that, yes, that was John Travolta in drag. Every time he spoke, every time he moved, every time he walked into the frame, I was assaulted with the absolute knowledge that this was John Travolta in drag. Something like that pulls you from the movie experience in a heartbeat. That is not how a movie is supposed to be viewed. It bugged me, and I just couldn't get by it. Am I alone in this? I can't imagine anyone else could watch the film and not be smacked with Travolta every time he was on screen.

Monday, November 19

Kinda like the mall in Paramus

Here's the promo text for tomorrow's episode of The Tyra Banks Show: "Trading Faces -- In her latest social experiment, Tyra goes undercover with some extremely unattractive features... ." And then we see Tyra, dressed in jeans and a sweatshirt, hair in a curly mullet, thick eyebrows, and the ever-popular hillbilly teeth.
I know! We're all supposed to gasp, turn our heads and say things like, "Oh my! Look how ugly Tyra can be!" Then she'll wander around some shops, along some streets and into a restaurant or two, and make a big deal about how differently she's treated when she's dressed up all ugly.
Are you as insulted by this as I? So this is what Tyra thinks of ugly girls. She'd be all, "Girls, be true to yourselves and be happy with your own special kind of beauty," ... as long as you don't wear jeans, have a mullet, or sport some messed up teeth. You girls are ugly and will be gawked at walking down the streets of Manhattan.
I'm reminded of Tyra's fat girl experiment, and begin to wonder. I think Tyra proposes these "experiments" simply to boost her own self esteem, rather than her cover story to catch the world at its own looks-matter-so-much game. I mean, think about it, she gets to go out, be totally ridiculed, ignored, or treated badly because she's "ugly" or "fat," and then gets to come home, remove her ugliness, and sit back with a glass of wine and the snuggly thought, "Thank god, I'm beautiful. Those ugly and fat girls have got it bad."

Sunday, November 18

Bring on the chill

I try really hard to not bitch too much about the weather out here, since, after all, it was our decision to move here from Boston last year. But, come on. It's past the mid point of November, and we're still reaching the 80s during the day. It's supposed to be 87 degrees tomorrow afternoon! This is beyond tolerance. I'm so over it.
I'll say it: I miss the cold. Yeah, I remember complaining about how cold it is out there in New England. I remember thinking that it would never warm up. But I also remember that one autumn morning when you know that the hot, muggy days are over, and the cool, crisp days of fall and winter are on their way. We haven't had that day here yet, and I'm getting tired of waiting for it. It's nice enough outside at night, I guess, dropping down into the low 60s and the occasional 50-something. (I'm so missing my flannel sheets though.) But a slight chill in the air at night just doesn't cut it when we still have the air conditioner on throughout the afternoon.

Friday, November 16

In the morning!

What kind of a person knocks on a random apartment door to ask the location of another apartment door at 4:20 a.m.? Whoever that person is, they were at my door this morning at that precise time. I remember Oliver jumping off the bed and barking. I looked at the clock. I remember Brian saying to me, "Was that a knock at the door?" and him getting up and going to the kitchen window, which looks out to the front door. He came back and said, "It was a girl looking for a different apartment. She wanted to know if I knew where it was." Brian assumes she was a hooker. I assume nothing except that the girl is clearly illiterate of numbers since she couldn't find one apartment so knocked on a different one. And at that time of the morning? Ridiculous! I find the entire event stunning. I'm really still in shock that someone has that kind of audacity. If it hadn't happened to me, I would have a hard time believing it.

Thursday, November 15

Beach - sand = cool plane picture

Here's a really cool thing: This is a photo taken by a kite-suspended camera above a newly discovered World War II fighter plane submerged on a beach off the Welsh coast. The two people standing aside it are historical aircraft specialists. This American P-38 aircraft had made an emergency landing in 1942 after it ran out of gas, and was buried under water and sand for 65 years. It was revealed by beach erosion in July. Experts hope to recover the plane for a British military museum.
The interesting thing here is that it was revealed by beach erosion. No doubt some doofus will say that that occurrence is a coincidence of nature, but I see it as another consequence of global warming. Beach erosion, my friends, is not a good thing, no matter how much important history is revealed. Do they see the ultimate tragedy behind the events leading up to this discovery?
All the same though, that is really cool looking.

Wednesday, November 14

Sexy is as sexy does

Does anyone really care about People's Sexiest Man Alive? Seriously, I can't believe that the magazine is still taking part in this silly exercise. It was stupid however many years ago when they chose their first Sexiest Man, I think it was Mel Gibson. And it continued to be stupid over the last few years, when the magazine actually recycled a few Sexiest men, including Brad Pitt and George Clooney, who were given the title twice.
While I would never begrudge Matt Damon this year's title, since he kinda deserves it based on the Bourne movies alone, I will say that the practice seems awfully archaic this time around. So much so that when the article came out announcing the honor bestowed upon him this morning, the first thought I had was, "Wow. They're still doing that?"
There comes a point in every magazine's life when it simply must change the way it does things. What does it use as a model of male sexiness upon which to measure these guys as the "Sexiest"? I can probably guess how it picks the Man, too. "Who's Sexy this year, everyone? Put your suggestions in the hat. We'll go with whoever has the most votes."

It's about the better dancer, isn't it?

I bought a copy of Ocean's 13 yesterday for Brian and I to watch last night. If you'll remember, when the movie was out in theaters, we attempted to see it in a drive-in, and bring our little baby along so she could "sleep" while we enjoyed the film. The attempt failed. At any rate, my viewing of the film last night felt like it was a brand new movie. I was able to giggle, follow along with the dialogue, and appreciate the intricacy of the plot. Unfortunately, the visual enjoyment of the film was marred by the bad quality of the DVD's picture. It was weird, especially since the previews were sharp and colorful, that the movie itself was more like a colored negative, with pixelated and blurred lines, and that odd shading you get with bad digital photography. I'll be heading back to the store today to get a replacement movie, and then maybe I'll be able to get a decent viewing.
I'll tell you, I'm irritated with the DWTS voting. Marie Osmond needs to be voted off the show, people. This is a dance competition, not a popularity contest. I'll say it: Cameron Mathison was a better dancer and should have been left alone until next week, at least. C'mon everyone! I'd hate to have to boycott this ridiculous guilty pleasure of mine just because no one else in the world will take it seriously.

Monday, November 12

Mel B. wins it all

Since I clearly can not count on the rest of you all to have the same sense that I do when it comes to celebrities in ridiculous outfits performing dance on live television, I went ahead and voted for Dancing with the Stars tonight. I really have Brian's friend, Dave, to thank for it, since he called while B and I were watching Heroes, and I paused the show so they could talk and thereby got to watch DWTS. And with that, I got to watch some dancing and thereby sail into my virtual voting booth with some knowledge in my head as to who should win this thing.
And it will be Mel B. who walks away with the disco ball trophy. Barring any crazy dance-related meltdowns, she'll be the celebrity who takes it to the end. She'll also be the first celebrity female to win since the first season. And she deserves it, quite frankly. She rocks this competition.

Sunday, November 11

He misspells his name, too

We're watching Sunday Night Football on NBC right now. It's halftime, so Bob Costas and Cris Collinsworth are talking to me. I'll add another person/celebrity to the list of those that bug me: Cris Collinsworth. This guy is only on my radar because of Brian's love of football coverage, but every time I see his smugly irritating face I wince a bit, squint so he takes up less space in my eyes, and try to zone out so I don't even have to hear his voice. He just comes off as one of those holier-than-thou, so-much-better-than-you, I-know-everything guys, and tends to smirk into the camera like it's all a fact that the rest of us know, too.

Saturday, November 10

Be quiet, you hooligans!

I would say that I feel like Brian and I are officially fuddy-duddies, but the more time I spend on it, the more I realize that no, we're just grown-ups with a baby.
We submitted an official complaint to our apartment management about the kids downstairs and the party that they hosted last night. They were up until well after three in the morning, out on their balcony, smoking, playing music and talking loudly. I don't do being awakened at 2:30 a.m. to the smell of cigarettes wafting into my room, and finding my husband awake watching television because the people downstairs are being too noisy. You know what? I am that woman now. I complain. And the kids will get a 10-day compliance or be evicted notice. I'm all for that. They've been irritating as hell since they moved in.
Tonight, I plan on getting some good, real sleep. And with a blanket over me, too, since it's finally getting kinda chilly here.

Friday, November 9

The first Christmas post of the year

I've already fallen victim to the frivolity of the season. I'm all, "I'm not gonna buy anything for Christmas decorations. I'm all full up." So far, on November 9, I've bought a new days of December countdown thing for a wall somewhere; Christmas towels that Brian decided we should have in our bathroom; and a new tree skirt that matches our stockings. Next on my list is additional pieces to finish up Sydney's 'Tis the Season bedding at Pottery Barn Kids (pictured is the toddler bed set; Sydney's got the crib stuff). The child simply must have a twin quilt and the decorative sham to finish up the room's look. I'm going to buy it in the actual store though, rather than on the web site, so I can take the time to check it out and then not pay shipping.
At any rate, I think it's safe to say that the insanity has begun, and that I'm in it for the long haul. I'm hoping that, even though Christmas is going to be extremely different and maybe a bit depressing this year, no one outside the person in my head will be able to tell the difference from any other year. My plans are percolating in my head; I'm excited about decorating in new and fantastic ways; and it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas ... everywhere you go.

Thursday, November 8

Turkeys aplenty

If I learned one thing about my Thanksgiving decorations, it's that I really enjoy the turkeyness of the holiday. Sure, I've got the random Pilgrim thing to set here and there, but when it comes down to a real theme associated with that particular Thursday, it's the turkeys. And I know that if I'm a bit shocked and surprised by it, you certainly would be as well.
So I guess my question to myself would be, how can you love the turkey so much, but then go ahead and feast on it. Hmmm. In thinking about it, I would answer that I think it's the caricature of the turkey that amuses me so much. The bird itself ... well, eh. I dig that I can buy a pretend turkey that will make a ridiculous gobble noise. I like that a company can make a cute turkey stuffed animal that might hop around a bit. I like that I can buy a Pluto dressed as a turkey. And I love my art-deco turkey. It rocks.

Tuesday, November 6

The geese know which way to go

So it's been a busy few days out here in California. I could go through each day and tell you what we did, but really, do you seriously care that much? Highlights include dinner with Lisa, Sydney's birthday party, a random and of-the-moment trip to Disneyland, and just hanging out with friends and family. But tomorrow morning we head back to Arizona, where Brian and Oliver anxiously await our return. We miss them, too, and I'm looking forward to being home. On the whole, it's been a fantastic weekend, and we've had such a great time.
DWTS: I think Jane Seymour is going home tonight, if there is any justice in the world. Yes, elegant, yes, classy. Able to maintain a competitive edge with the other stars? Not so much. And Marie Osmond should be ousted next week. Then, perhaps, either Jennie Garth, Cameron Mathison or Helio Castraneves (sp?). I think Mel B. is going to be taking that trophy home. Sabrina was her closest competition, and she's gone, so this is only Mel B.'s to lose.

Thursday, November 1

West is, you know, towards California

I have no idea how long it's been since I did not take down all my Halloween decorations on November 1. I would guess, conservatively, it's been about five or six years. Today marks a broken streak, my friends. Here it is, the evening of the 1st, and I have no plans to take down the ghosts, witches, jack-o-lanterns and skeletons. I'm too tired, I've already got a lot to do tonight, and I won't be home for five days to stare at the stuff. Now, if it's all not down by late afternoon on Nov. 8, I'll be concerned, because after all, then we'll be in the midst of the Turkey month and I won't have put out my turkey decorations yet. That would be a problem.
Anyway, Sydney is mostly packed for our trip, and her bags are mostly ready to go in the car. Me? Well, that's another story. I've got a smattering of clothes on the bed, and an idea of what else needs to go with me, but really, I'm super behind the ball on this one. If I get out of the house on time tomorrow morning, I'll be the happiest camper on the 10 freeway heading west.

Nonsensical blather

Yay November! Turkey Day is a few weeks away, and yes, Christmas is next month! This year has flown by so quickly, I would almost demand a recount, but considering everything that has happened in the last year, it certainly feels like it's be a hell of a year. Did that make any sense at all? I'm thinking no.
Anyway, Sydney and I are off to California tomorrow morning. We've got a full agenda, which includes another birthday party for the kid, visits with friends and family, and maybe, just maybe, another trip to Disneyland. (We simply must use those Costco tickets before they expire on Nov. 13.)
Other than that, it's been a slow couple of days, since Sydney's fighting a cold, I'm fighting the potential for a cold, and there's just so much to do before we leave tomorrow that I'm artfully avoiding most everything I should be accomplishing. Slacker, thy name is Kimmie.

Wednesday, October 31

Sasquatch and "Nessy" sitting in a tree

For the record, I do not think that this is Bigfoot either. Pranksters, I would say. In fact, yes, I will declare shenanigans on this one entirely. Not true. (Still, kinda creepy.) It's always fun when these things pop up on the Internets. It's like new technology that has "found" the Lochness monster. Crazy possible, but not likely.

Tuesday, October 30

I'm just saying...

So I take a few days off from the blogging, and look what happens. "Cats and dogs, living together; mass hysteria!"
1.) I told you that the Red Sox would win the World Series. We got our American League Champions t-shirts in the mail today. Yep, they're collector's items, just as I knew they would be. I would have loved to have been in Boston today for the victory parade, too! As it is, we're content to live with the knowledge that within the five years that Brian and I have been emotionally invested in Boston, the team won two championships. Before that, it was an 86-year drought. I'm not saying that we won the rings for them, but ... .
2.) Now I know that I've been a vocal critic of Sabrina on Dancing With the Stars. I've said that she's only on because of her Disney show, The Cheetah Girls. I've said that she's irritating. But I never said that she was a bad dancer. I've got to tell you, I think the viewers messed up this one. There is no way that Sabrina deserved to get kicked off the show tonight. It's wrong. I was plenty fine with saying goodbye to Marie or Jane. I'd have allowed Cameron to leave, but would have whined a bit. I think I would demand some kind of recount. Clearly, I'll have to start voting again. The show is a mess without my opinion in the mix.
3.) I'm quite distressed about Robert Goulet. He was one of those fantastic entertainers that, thanks to my mom's encouragement of my random enjoyments, I know was a good performer (I saw Camelot, on stage, in which he played King Arthur), and a funny guy (got to love Laugh In). He was one of those celebrities who seemed to appreciate a good joke, even if he was the butt of it, and rolled with pretty much everything. The world of entertainment has lost a powerhouse today, my friends.
4.) Britney's new album, Blackout, has hit the streets. I got an e-mail from iTunes about it. I'm not sure if I'm interested. The problem is that I've read that it is quite good. I suppose I'll catch the 30-second previews of each song and decide based on that. I'll let you know though.

Wednesday, October 24

Fire, fire, go away

My heart goes out to all these people. I feel so helpless for them, and so afraid, too. Wildfires are a way of life out there in Southern California, kinda like earthquakes, but when one comes along this devastating, it's really so much harder to wrap one's head around the consequences of living out in that state. My friend, Josh, almost had to evacuate, but thankfully, the fire switched directions and he and his family were able to stay home. I can't imagine the fear and uncertainty of having to evacuate your home. What do you take with you? People and pets, of course, but what else? What stays and what gets tossed in the car? Photos, I guess, but for so many of us, packing photo albums takes a couple boxes. I look around and wonder what I would grab if confronted with having only time to take what means the most to me. It really makes you appreciate how peripheral so much of our stuff is in our lives. Even now, looking around me, I can't decide on any one thing or things that are that important. I guess it must be the intensity of the moment that would help in that situation.
Mom tells me that the winds have died down out there. Let's hope that the flames will follow suit soon.

Tuesday, October 23

26 new experiences so far

Is anyone else out there love, love, loving the Starbucks iTunes Song of the Day? I simply can not get enough of them. I've got Brian collecting them every morning, and get a little jolt of joy whenever I can get one myself. (Like yesterday. Dave Matthews Band.) The songs are only available until November 8, and the download codes expire the end of the year, so I feel like it's a great find every time I get one. Sometimes, yes, I really am that simple.
What I'm digging about the songs the most is the fact that all but maybe two or three so far are songs that I would never download from iTunes on my own. I love the thrill of adventure in getting something from an artist I've never heard of, and listening to a new song that I could absolutely love or really, really hate. Is there anything else in the world that has that kind of an unpredictable twist to it? (Besides baby gender or Lost.) Is there any other situation that we could enter into blindly, but know that, no matter what, we'll be safe at the end of the trip? It's fantastic.

Sunday, October 21

I knew they'd win

Stuff from today:
1.) Um, go Sox! The Red Sox, in their infinite ability to come from behind and rip the snot out of an opposing team, have beaten the Cleveland Indians and earned their way into the 2007 World Series. I have already bought our American League Champions t-shirts, and am excited to have them become the collector's items that the 2004 American League Champions t-shirts became (due to a Sox win of the Series). So the party begins Wednesday night! Be there or be square, kiddos! Red Sox kick ass!
2.) Brian replaced the faucet in our kitchen with one that, well, looks better, but also doesn't make that high-pitched screaming noise every time we turn it on. I was not a fan of this improvement idea. But having a finished product that, quite frankly, I didn't think would turn out that well, is an excellent mind changer, so I'm now pleased that Brian took the initiative and did it. Here's a picture of my kitchen in the middle of the job though.
3.) We visited the Great Pumpkin Festival at the Desert Botanical Garden this afternoon. I had no idea how this would go, so can say that I'm pleasantly surprised, but will not do it again. First of all, $10 each for B and I. Secondly, $1 each for the hayride that is required to get to the pumpkin patch. Next, said pumpkin patch is really just a bunch of pumpkins sitting in rows in a dusty, hay-covered dirt patch in the desert. Also, the hayride wait was about 45 minutes in the sunshine (with a baby who suddenly refuses to wear a hat). On the plus side, we got a free pumpkin. The whole thing was all about the pictures of the kid in a pumpkin patch though, and I got those with more to spare. So, while worth it, I'll be looking for a "farmier," "patchier," and "pumpkinier" place next year.

Saturday, October 20

Schilling's pretty good

So obviously, what should have gone down in those two games in Cleveland, is that I should have been wearing my Schilling t-shirt. Because remarkably, in wearing the shirt during the last two games, the Red Sox have been able to pull out victories, and have now forced a deciding game seven in Fenway Park tomorrow night. I predict that they will win. They're on a hell of a run right now, and I don't think that the Indians, who looked so deliciously defeated tonight, are going to be the team to stop them. And I think that the Rockies, who have been thawing during this past week, will have a hard time coming up with the momentum that they will need to take on a raring and ready-to-go Red Sox team. Glimpses of 2004 flitter through my head, and I'm so excited for my team that I could just pee. Right here. Seriously. Pee.

Another good lesson in acceptance

It's official: Albus Dumbledore is gay. In the greatest piece of "who really thought that much about it," J.K. Rowling outed the old wizard on the final stop of her book-reading tour the other night.
Here's part of the Associated Press article.
[Rowling] was asked by one young fan whether Dumbledore finds "true love."
"Dumbledore is gay," the author responded to gasps and applause.
She then explained that Dumbledore was smitten with rival Gellert Grindelwald, whom he defeated long ago in a battle between good and bad wizards.
"Falling in love can blind us to an extent," Rowling said of Dumbledore's feelings, adding that Dumbledore was "horribly, terribly let down."
Dumbledore's love, she observed, was his "great tragedy."
To tell you the truth, I never thought anything about it. I just assumed that Dumbledore was an old guy who decided to follow his magical path, and that love just never came his way. Rowling's right; now I see how the falling out with Grindelwald was so much more a betrayal.
Here's more from the article.
Rowling, finishing a brief "Open Book Tour" of the United States, her first tour here since 2000, also said that she regarded her Potter books as a "prolonged argument for tolerance" and urged her fans to "question authority."
Not everyone likes her work, Rowling said, likely referring to Christian groups that have alleged the books promote witchcraft. Her news about Dumbledore, she said, will give them one more reason.

Thursday, October 18

And then the momentum shifted

Five most memorable moments of tonight's Red Sox win over the Cleveland Indians, in no particular order, except numeric ...
1. David Ortiz congratulating Josh Beckett in the dugout on a game well pitched, and then hugging him from behind while laying his head on Beckett's back. So cute to see Big Papi engaged in such a fun, grateful and humble gesture.
2. Video highlights of Jonathan Papelbon dancing and goofing off after the team won the division.
3. Kevin Youkilis' triple that scored two to put the game, more or less, out of reach for the Indians.
4. Hearing Joe Buck talk about all the Indians players who went on record saying that they did not want this series to go back to Boston. They're scared. I like that. Boston can be brutal on the guys-who-play-the-Red-Sox, so Indians, you're down for the count.
5. Um, just the fact that they live to fight another day!


Wednesday, October 17

Colbert Nation can rock the vote

ITEM!: I love, love, LOVE that Stephen Colbert has announced his candidacy for the President of the United States. Seriously, I would totally vote for him before a lot of these other people. How absolutely, amazingly fun would it be to have a falsified, caustic political satirist as our president? I think it would be fantastic. What a way to go ... having someone who really has no stake in the actual politics of the race take all the other candidates out for a ride. How much more fun would it be if he actually won? Wouldn't happen, I know (I'm not that naive), but what a fabulous possibility!
ITEM!: What do you think about little Jessica McClure getting a million dollars when she turns 25? She doesn't even remember the whole well incident! And who were these people that sent money? What was money going to do? How was writing a check supposed to help the little girl in the well? Must be the same peeps who send their lunch money to television evangelists. Props to Jess's parents though for not blowing the cash on cars, houses and strippers.
ITEM!: I'm heading back to Best Buy tomorrow because the guy who hooked up the stereo didn't attach it to a permanent power source. I'm sorry, but isn't that a whole chapter in Mobile Installation 101? Where to plug in the stereo? Anyway, the guy will hopefully dig right in to that tomorrow morning. I'm sick of losing my radio presets every time I turn off the car.

Tuesday, October 16

Vibing for the Sox

~ First of all, I can't believe that we lost to the Indians again. That's just a bad thing. (I prefer my Big Papi smiling and pointing to the sky.) I mean, I know they can come back, because after all, I did witness the great comeback of 2004. But odds are that my beloved Red Sox will be watching the World Series on their televisions rather than from the dugout. I do have faith though; I wear my Schilling t-shirt and send all my best vibes out to them!
~ I just finished filling out all our new health insurance information. Jeez, that's some repetitive stuff to go through. Thankfully, it was pretty straightforward, so not as painful as it could have been.
~ I didn't even watch the results show for Dancing with the Stars tonight. I've got to tell you, I don't really care all that much this season. I think it's my irritation for Sabrina, or the fact that I don't really care about them or want any one particular person to win. I've been perfectly happy just fast-forwarding through the show the next day on the DVR, and letting the world vote for me. (I agree with tonight's departure too, though I'm a bit concerned that Floyd Mayweather may come back to the ballroom looking for some heads to roll.) But even that information I got off the Internets this evening. I'm so much more into watching Chuck and Heroes than DwtS, and I'm okay with that.
~ Blogger is having issues with posting pictures tonight, so I'll have to forgo the image of Big Papi that I have to accompany that top paragraph. But if it's working tomorrow morning, I'll get it up there. If for any reason, just because I like having pictures on every post!

Monday, October 15

There's a Starbucks right at the airport

Dude, you all, I am so tired of typing. I just finished responding to everyone who replied to the latest batch of Sydney pictures, and I'm pretty exhausted from the effort. But I knew that I could not leave you hanging for an other day without a blog post.

J.K. Rowling, the amazing author behind the Harry Potter books, has begun a U.S. reading and signing tour. Her first stop was Los Angeles, and the next couple this month will be in New York and somewhere else not Phoenix. I must find out if she will be here! I would love to hang out in line for an hour to get her to sign a book for me! What a cool thing! Ugh. I just found out that she'll be making only four stops in the U.S. and that the other one is in New Orleans. Goodness, would it be so awful to stop in the desert for a quick cup of coffee? I'd be interesting company! I promise, Jo! Come visit me!

Thursday, October 11

Sniffles suck, but so do overdoses

Really, I can't believe that so many parents fly in the face of doctor's orders and go ahead and give their kids cold medication. ... May I rant? ... I mean, seriously! All the packages say, "For children under 2, ask your doctor." Doctors, of course, say don't give them any of it. That's what the American Academy of Pediatrics says. Member pediatricians say the same thing. It's the parents who think they know so much better here that are to blame. Giving a baby cold medication does nothing but make a parent's life easier, in theory, by quelling a cough or stuffy nose or the like. But when faced with dangerous dosages and unpredictable consequences, why do these parents continue to play with their kids' health? Suck it up, you parents! Don't sleep for a couple nights! Suffer through the cold with your baby!

Now, on to the pharmaceutical companies:
Wonder why, all of a sudden, the companies have chosen to voluntarily pull their product off the shelves? It's because they are all being brought up before the FDA in a couple weeks to discuss their claims about what these infant medications do. And the best way to combat a potential public relations mess is to be able to say, "Yes, that's true! And that is why we pulled the medicines off the shelves already! We care about the consumer more than profits! We are good!"

Wednesday, October 10

I just love him so much

Today is the excellent Ollie G.'s birthday. I can't believe that he's seven years old! Not quite a senior citizen, but certainly getting up there. So we celebrated with a visit to the dog park, and he feasted on a yummy dinner of New Zealand venison and sweet potato. I believe that he is somewhere sleeping off his day right now. I swear, I thought that after all the running this morning that his little heart was going to pop! (This is him resting in some shade before running off again.) Sydney and I chased, ran away from, and tossed a tennis ball for our favorite four-legged pooch, hopefully making his birthday a great one. He deserves it; he's such a frickin' rock star.

Oliver's birthday haiku:
He's the best dog ever,
though he sleeps left/right,
denying us comfort.

Tuesday, October 9

Clyde's a good dancer, too

Dancing with the Stars recap:
Well, I had hoped that Wayne Newton would get the boot tonight. I'm so happy that the rest of the world agreed! Poor Cheryl Burke though, stuck with Wayne this season and Ian Ziering last. It's like the producers don't even want to give her a shot at winning anymore! I guess that means that, after her win this season with Helio (sure thing!), Julianne will be stuck with guys with no rhythm and an inescapable inability to dance for the next couple of seasons. That sucks for her.

p.s. Just the sight of those cheesy paw prints on Sabrina's outfit made me cringe. She bugs me. As does blatant narcissism. Witness Billy Ray Cyrus and his daughter Miley as one of the entertainments on tonight's results show. Oh yeah, and Anne Heche and the Carpoolers guys (last night)! Go ABC! Way to pimp your shows to promote your other ones! When do we see Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly and Terry O'Quinn? Dylan McDermott and Michael Vartan? The guy from Pushing Daisies?

Monday, October 8

Model attacked on runway; butterflies suspected

ITEM!: I think that the next time I go home for the weekend, I'll have my hair cut. It’s getting way too long for me to handle. It’s either all in a ponytail, or all in a ponytail. I know that the weather has a lot to do with it, but I’m just not digging it at all. Of course, since it’s still a few weeks before I make that trek back to Cali, I’ll have plenty of time to think about it.
ITEM!: I finally, FINALLY, got the iPod-in-the-stereo thing taken care of today! YAY! I am the proud owner of a new car stereo that my iPod can plug into directly. No more FM transmitter, no more cheesy reception. It’s crystal clear music for me from now on, my friends. Never again will static interrupt a particularly rousing rendition of “Take on Me.”
ITEM!: I’ll count myself among those disappointed by Marion Jones and her admission of steroid use in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. That’s a drag in so many ways, but mostly because it just dashes the hero-worshipfulness of so many younger runners. I’m glad she had to give the medals back to the Olympic Committee. Now if only they can take back the fame and fortune she got because of those medals, too.
ITEM!: Anyone know a good way to get World Series tickets? I’m thinking that if it’s the Red Sox and Diamondbacks, Brian and I have got to be at those games. “It’ll be expensive,” says B. “Yeah,” says I, “but worth it.” Now that’s a game that, unfortunately, Sydney won’t be able to attend with us. Regular season? Sure, take the tyke and let her whine her way through the last three innings. World Series? That’s a serious game, my dear, and serious ticket prices. We’ll be finding someone to hang out with her that night, that’s for sure.

Sunday, October 7

Cleveland Indians! Come on down!

Even though it's harder for me to keep up with the Red Sox while out here in Arizona, I am still a happy member of the Nation. And tonight, I'm even happier, since the beloved Red Sox have swept the Angels (again) on their trek through the baseball postseason. Such a lovely thing, isn't it, to see the Red Sox kicking serious booty while the Yankees (even though they won tonight) are kissing someone else's. It's unfortunate that we aren't the team sending those loathsome New Yorkers back home for the winter (Go Indians! Beat the Yankees!), but at least they'll be stuck watching the Sox sweep the Indians too, and then make the World Series championship their own again. Lovely! As it is, at least I know that the remaining games will be on our television stations out here. Damn Cox in Arizona for not having Red Sox games on all season. Damn them!

Master baiter. That's funny.

I think that everyone should wear slutty, innuendo-laden, ripped-up, and tacky clothes on their next Southwest Airlines flight. The fact that anyone who works for the airline can straight up tell you that your clothes are offensive to them, and that you can therefore be thrown off the flight for not changing them, is ridiculous. I guess the Southwest CEO sent a generally worded memo to everyone in the company that, no, they do not have a dress code for passengers. Of course, it should also have stated that the employees are not gods in their own rights, and that just because they understand that "Master baiter" could mean someone who masturbates, it could also mean that someone is a master at baiting a fishing line. Get over yourselves, Southwest employees! How many people did that really offend or upset? Just you? Really! Let the people wear what they want to wear!

Friday, October 5

Do you have this one in a 10?

I think that I could wear this shoe. I wouldn't, but I do think that I could.
So many times I look at a shoe and wonder, "Will I be able to walk around in that?" Of course, if I'm looking at a clog or mule, I automatically know that I won't. (I hate having to constantly think about my shoes: "Squeeze toes, shoe stays on; squeeze toes, shoe stays on," echoes through my head with each step.)
With a shoe like this though, I wonder. It'll stay attached to my foot with no extra effort or concentration. It'll support my non-existent arch. It'll be comfortable, I hope, and give my ankle some extra bolstering while walking around town or dancing in a club.
The drawbacks include, obviously, its hideousness. And the wedge heel -- as I absolutely hate wedge heels. Positives: it will match most everything because every color is represented in the shoe. It will make my stems and seat look longer (legs) and better (butt). It'll demand attention.
Still, it's not the Steve Madden plaid heels I bought just for the fun of it. These are probably much more expensive than those shoes were. So I could wear them, but probably wouldn't.

Thursday, October 4

It's not a sugary and soft wall either

I think I've hit what I'll call "the cupcake wall." I went today to our new favorite spot, a cupcake bakery, to try some of the shop's strawberry cupcakes. You see, every day the bakery showcases, not only the usual daily cakes, but the weekly special cupcakes only available on that particular day. Monday and Thursday are, among others, strawberry cupcakes days. So many of the shop's offerings are kinda gross to me, such as the chocolate cake and peanut butter frosting, vanilla cake and coconut frosting, brown sugar cake and coffee frosting, and Oreo -flavored cake and vanilla frosting, but some are super yummy enough to make me want to at least try everything. My current favorites is a red, chocolate cake with a white frosting. The strawberry cupcake, sadly, does nothing to dethrone the red yumminess. "It was okay," Brian agreed, "but nothing too special." Anyway, this leads me to tonight's sickening reality: I've hit the cupcake wall. I don't thin I can look at another one for at least two weeks (which is good, since that's when Mom comes out again and I want to take her there). The last cake is sitting in my stomach like a lead brick. And not like a sweet, puffy red brick. Nope, like an actual red brick.