Wednesday, January 31

Daddy's cruising

Check it out everyone!
My dad just got a PT Cruiser!
How fun is that?

At least $300 in four years

In Boston, a person can't get away with any real parking violations. I'll admit to creating a few tenuous spots while we were living in the South End, and I'll celebrate getting away with it on those nights, but in general, a person who parks illegally in that town gets a parking ticket within seconds. Really, it's creepy. It's like the Bostonian parking enforcement officers drop out of the sky, write the ticket, and then poof! disappear in the blink of an eye. Because of this ability of theirs, and even despite some of our more valiant attempts to create spots or be faster than the ticket writing, Brian and I have accrued and paid our fair share of violations. And because of this, I get indignant when someone gets away with a parking infraction, especially one that would get you towed inside five minutes in Red Sox town.
So now you can imagine my annoyance with this blue Camry that has parked in front of a fire hydrant on our street the last three nights in a row. I know that this must be against the law here, too, so I was amazed that this idiot driver was getting away with this ridiculous parking spot choice. I said to Brian last night, "I wish I wasn't such a nice person. I'd like to call the police and have that car towed. If my house burns to the ground just because it took the fire department an extra 25 seconds to get to that hydrant, I'm going to be really mad."
It's weird that I mentioned that last night, and yet cool that I did. This morning, I was so pleased to look out my window and see a bright, shiny, white parking ticket on that Camry's windshield. And now, having returned home from my errands and getting lunch, the Camry is gone. Huzzah! Maybe it was towed!

Tuesday, January 30

From bars to swirls ... again

Could someone tell me what the hell is going on with AT&T-turned Cingular-returning to AT&T?? Did we not just get everything switched over to Cingular? And now, I'm seeing Cingular commercials on television advertising the "new AT&T"?
I just changed over the cell phone that I loved to a cheesy little flip phone that I hate because of that damn crossover, and now I am teased with the possibility that it was all for naught? (Granted, the phone I had was no longer going to be serviced by AT&T or Cingular, so it was destined to be trashed, but still...) And now, they're all, "Check us out and see all the cool stuff we've got!"
Such master manipulators! I just got off the Cingular ... er, AT&T web site to see precisely what they did have. I was enticed by the red Samsung phone they've been advertising, but then I got to looking around more. "Hmmm," I thought, "I don't like flip phones. What else do they have?" And I saw this, the Motorola Sliver, in black, and I kinda like it. Damn them! Why do they tempt me so?

They were all that good

Sidney Sheldon, one of my favorite authors, died today. Known primarily for Broadway, television and movies, Sheldon became a novelist around 50 years old, and enjoyed writing primarily about strong, viable women fighting against the odds, and more times than not, out-thinking some male antagonist.
I remember well the winter I fell in love with Sheldon's writing. Actually, I think I was on a ski trip with Mom and Howie over a spring break in high school. In addition to The Sands of Time, I highly recommend If Tomorrow Comes (my personal favorite), Rage of Angels, Master of the Game and The Other Side of Midnight. To tell you the truth, I don't really remember which one I read first, because whichever book it was motivated me to go out and buy everything Sheldon had written up until then and read them within a few days. Of course, as the years have gone by, the books have gotten less sharp and suspenseful, but sometimes, that's just the way of writing (witness: Jackie Collins). At any rate, I am saddened to hear of this amazing author's passing.
"I try to write my books so the reader can't put them down," Sheldon explained in a 1982 interview. "I try to construct them so when the reader gets to the end of a chapter, he or she has to read just one more chapter. It's the technique of the old Saturday afternoon serial: leave the guy hanging on the edge of the cliff at the end of the chapter."
Sidney Sheldon was 89 years old.

Sunday, January 28

Actors need positive affirmation

It’s nice that the actors can give themselves props without having to deal with the bothersome directors, writers, cinematographers and costumers. Thankfully though, that also means that the show is only two hours long.
9:01 -- I like that they make all the nominees do a cheesy opening sequence. Everyone belongs. (Check out Rachel McAdams' hair! I must get pink streaks!)
9:08 -- Ashton Kutcher forgot to shave, and Helen Mirren wins another award. Yawn. There is no suspense in this year’s Oscars.
9:11 – Someone from Friends is nominated for something? Awesome. I miss that show.
9:12 – Jeremy Irons spoke decently tonight. His Robert Duvall anecdote was a good addition.
9:16 – I just checked Yahoo! for the first time today during this commercial break. Apparently, I’m not live critiquing anything. I’m time-delay critiquing. I just read the first three paragraphs of the news article summing up the SAGs and saying who won. That’s nice.
9:20 – Dude. Steve Carell is so funny on The Office.
9:24 – I find myself wondering who picks the clips for each actor’s nominated role. Have you noticed that the nominees look surprised by how they’re portrayed for the category?
9:25 – I like that America Ferrara won again. Good for her. What a great acceptance, too.
9:26 – It’s funny how he’ll always be seen first as Marky Mark. I saw a commercial that advertised The Departed on DVD February 13. I think we’ll buy that one, even though there was a lot of head shootings.
9:34 -- Captain Stubing in the house!
9:37 – I love that The Office won! Wait. Is Jim hitting on Mary Tyler Moore?
9:44 – I’m bummed that I already read that Eddie Murphy would win this one.
9:56 – Julie Andrews really is an amazing actress. I’m so glad that she’s been honored tonight. It’s such a shame that she’s not able to sing anymore; 10:04 – And Burt to bring Julie up to the stage? Incredible!!; 10:06 – She’s just too classy. But she forgot her award. It’s still up on the stage.
10:14 – What, on earth, is Mary Louise Parker wearing? She looks like some kind of meringue concoction.
10:17 – I like the word, “vajayjay.”
10:20 – Yep. Steve Carell is officially one of the funniest cats in the world.
10:21 – I don’t think that James Gandolfini likes House. But I think that the rest of us get happy anticipating a Hugh Laurie acceptance speech.
10:24 – And the popularity contest among the dead begins. The winner is James Brown, the singer.
10:30 – Only 30 minutes left. Good. I’m tired. I wish we had some milk in the house. I’m thirsty for a glass of milk. My dog is sleeping next to me. He’s the coolest ever.
10:35 – I don’t get the hoopla with Grey’s Anatomy. And I’m okay with that.
10:36 – I don’t think James Gandolfini likes Grey’s Anatomy either. How funny are the random and not quite uncaustic digs at Isaiah Washington?
10:38 – It’s Babel with a long “a”? Has everyone been saying it wrong, or is Cate Blanchett being British and saying it different because they do that?
10:41 – Jennifer Hudson wins another award. I’ve got to see this movie. Seriously, there will be no surprises on Oscar night.
10:48 – Divorce seems to be agreeing with Reese Witherspoon. There’s that movie with the misspelling again … happiness, people, happiness. (Forest Whitaker takes home another award.)
10:53 – Jeremy Irons is wearing a silk scarf with his tuxedo. It looks kinda weird. I can’t wait for Kate Winslet to win one of these years.
10:55 – I already know who wins the final award of the night; what a drag for me. But a really good thing for Little Miss Sunshine! (That one’s on my Netflix queue.)
10:59 – And that’s that. Bedtime.

Saturday, January 27

1318 items, 3.4 days, 5.88 GB

I've given a part of myself to another man. Is that bad?
One really doesn't realize how personal their iPod library is until someone else asks for it. Of course, Jorge is a cool cat, and asked Mom to ask me if I would do it, so I gave it up. (I really was more intrigued by how I could do it, since nothing involving sharing music on iPods is easy.) But beyond that, I got to waxing poetic as I ventured through my library. Seriously, in looking at it, I have an unhealthy obsession with U2 and Elvis Presley. I love me some musical show tunes; and there is no doubt that I grew up in the 80s. Clearly, my mom exposed me to the oldies, as there is a good selection of that era. And I, apparently, dig man-bands: Barenaked Ladies, Smash Mouth, The Black Crowes, INXS, Maroon 5, Matchbox 20, The Monkees and The Soup Dragons, to name a few. I don't neglect the ladies though, as my "GirlieMusic" playlist includes Britney (of course), No Doubt and Gwen Stefani, Alanis, Pink, Madonna, The Bangles and TLC. To look at it as a whole, this library includes every important milestone in my life, every guilty pleasure, every glaring obsession, and every emotional and psychological growth spurt.
I had thought of writing Jorge a letter to accompany his newly stuffed iPod, but found myself struggling to figure out what I would say. Would it begin with the statement, "You asked for it, and you got it." Would it be apologetic, explaining away the 67 U2 songs? Would it play the whole thing off, like it didn't matter that he now had access into my musical soul? In the end, the library will be passed on with nothing -- just the beauty of its eclecticness.

Friday, January 26

Bibbity bobbity boo

How fun is this? Disney has launched a new ad campaign, and enlisted the photography talents of Annie Leibovitz. The cool is that Leibovitz called on her celebrity friends to take part. And look what we've got out of that! Scarlett Johansson as Cinderella! Beautiful! Other images released in the campaign's first wave include Beyonce Knowles as Alice in Wonderland, and David Beckham as Sleeping Beauty's Prince. (I chose Scarlett to highlight here because she's so pretty. David Beckham is below.) I think this is a brilliant move in Disney's part. It's a different direction for them, and I like to see that they are growing up, too!

Also, my phone is working! Someone knocked the cable in the box downstairs, and it got loose. I am once again in a world where, if I pick up my phone, I get a dial tone and am able to make a call...

Thursday, January 25

Wanted: dial tone

I've got no telephone. When I pick up a handset in my home, there is nothing. Straight up dead air. No dial tone, no anything. This is bothering me. Cox is not as bothered as I, as they are sending over someone to check it out tomorrow, and I called them yesterday.
"What's the big deal," you ask. "You have a cell phone. In fact, you say, why bother having a land line at all?"
It is at a juncture like this where my dependence on technology clashes with my preference for how things used to be. Yes, I have a cell phone. But here's my secret: I don't like talking on it. The connections are all fuzzy (nothing against Cingular, but against the imperfectness of cell towers in general); the phones themselves are small and therefore unwieldy to hold up to my ear; and people can clone them and listen in on your conversations (is that a real fear, or too much television?).
Sure, scoff if you want. Tell me how crazy I am, but you all know it, too. Nothing beats a real conversation on a real telephone. You just feel closer to the person on the other end (for good or bad), and don't run the risk of missing out on a whispered gossipy tidbit because the person talking to you is going through a tunnel or something like that. Of course, I do talk on my cell phone. It's a necessity. It is, though, not my first choice.
So I'm bothered -- in a freakish, technology-hating, insecure way -- that I don't have a real phone line in my house right now. I just know that I'm missing out on something important. I feel cut off from the world. I feel like a nomad of sorts, and out of my element. I feel like I should go check for a dial tone again.

Wednesday, January 24

Call me "Madame Optimist"

I didn't watch the State of the Union address. I don't really care too much about what this president has to say. I think that approximately 85 percent of what comes out of the man's mouth is untrue. I do like that he had to say, "Madame Speaker," when addressing the Congress's leader. It's a positive thing to have a woman in a position of such power in the country.
I used to always say that I would be the first female president. I won't be, that's quite obvious, but I keep hoping that I'll at least see a female president in my lifetime. That woman certainly won't be Hillary Clinton -- she's too polarizing. But really, I don't think that the people of this country are ready for a president with ovaries. We've got too many voters in this country who consider a position of that much power to be strictly male. (In this instance, once again, England shows itself our parent by working ahead of our curve, witness Margaret Thatcher.) Only the passing of time will eventually bring a woman into the Oval Office, just as it has the head chair in Congress.

I think it was too real

Brian and I watched World Trade Center the other night. It was a well-made movie; I guess that's really all I can say about it. It's not possible to critique the storyline, dialogue or the like, is it? It was hard to watch, actually, especially knowing -- absolutely knowing -- that even though those two main characters made it out alive, so may others did not, and that no matter how the movie ended, the events continue to devastate everyone in the country. What did the movie mean to me? It was heartbreaking, really. I know that I'll never see United 93, and probably no other movie ever made about the events of that day.

Tuesday, January 23

Here's Oscar!

It's that time of year again! Welcome to January, when publicists, movie studio executives and actors find out if their blood, sweat, tears and money will result in Oscar gold. Here are the nominees in the races that I care the most about:
Best Picture: Babel, The Departed, Letters From Iwo Jima, Little Miss Sunshine, The Queen.
Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio, Blood Diamond; Ryan Gosling, Half Nelson; Peter O'Toole, Venus; Will Smith, The Pursuit of Happyness; Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland.
Actress: Penelope Cruz, Volver; Judi Dench, Notes on a Scandal; Helen Mirren, The Queen; Meryl Streep, The Devil Wears Prada; Kate Winslet, Little Children.
Supporting Actor: Alan Arkin, Little Miss Sunshine; Jackie Earle Haley, Little Children; Djimon Hounsou, Blood Diamond; Eddie Murphy, Dreamgirls; Mark Wahlberg, The Departed.
Supporting Actress: Adriana Barraza, Babel; Cate Blanchett, Notes on a Scandal; Abigail Breslin, Little Miss Sunshine; Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls; Rinko Kikuchi, Babel.
Directing: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Babel; Martin Scorsese, The Departed; Clint Eastwood, Letters From Iwo Jima; Stephen Frears, The Queen; Paul Greengrass, United 93.
Adapted Screenplay: Sacha Baron Cohen and Anthony Hines and Peter Baynham and Dan Mazer and Todd Phillips, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan; Alfonso Cuaron and Timothy J. Sexton and David Arata and Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, Children of Men; William Monahan, The Departed; Todd Field and Tom Perrotta, Little Children; Patrick Marber, Notes on a Scandal.
Original Screenplay: Guillermo Arriaga, Babel; Iris Yamashita and Paul Haggis, Letters From Iwo Jima; Michael Arndt, Little Miss Sunshine; Guillermo del Toro, Pan's Labyrinth; Peter Morgan, The Queen.
My gut reactions of who will win? Forest Whitacker; Helen Mirren; Eddie Murphy; Martin Scorsese; Jennifer Hudson; Borat; The Departed; Little Miss Sunshine.

Monday, January 22

Go Colts

So it looks like it'll be the Indianapolis Colts and the Chicago Bears in this year's Super Bowl. I won't lie, I'd like to see Peyton Manning win a ring. (Of course, I also hope to the gods that the Bears won't come out with some cheesy rap and dance number, too.) But last night's game saw Brian and I at a crossroads. We still aren't huge fans of the Patriots, but knowing New England as well as we do now, we were -- sort of -- rooting for the "hometown" team. There's nothing better than that area when their teams are winning. Still, it's good to see someone who really wants, needs and fights for the chance to win the big game, get to the big game. It would have been paramount to Indy's version of "The Curse" had the Pats beat the Colts again.
And the Bears beat the Saints. That's too bad. As New Orleans and the surrounding areas seemed to be buoyed by their team doing so well, it would have been nice to see them in the Super Bowl. But of course, every Cinderella story has its ugly stepsisters, and those protagonists turned out to be the Bears players. This is the heartbreak of football, my friends.

Friday, January 19

A lack of idolatry

I like that I'm one of the 17 people in the country who does not watch, nor care about, American Idol. I have no interest in the competition, or the hysteria, associated with the show; I don't care about any feuds or gossip involved with Simon, Paula, Randy and Ryan; and I am not about to vote for which pop-culture, 15 minutes of fame, will sell no records in the future, "singer" that may or may not win. It scares me a little, actually, this obsession that this country has with this show. Will it ever end? I mean, Survivor has been monopolizing the television airwaves for years. What's this, the 11th or 12th incarnation coming up? American Idol looks to be around for a while, too, if it's deserted-island predecessor in reality is any indication.

Thursday, January 18

34 is the new 29

Today, I turn 34. I'm remarkably unaffected by it, actually. I have no idea what we might do tonight, and even if we don't do anything, I'm good with that. Today, in celebration, I found a new vet for Ollie, and a new groomer for Ollie. (Oliver's day!) This afternoon, my baby is going to take me to lunch (though I haven't decided where yet), and I'm hoping for a nice, quiet couple hours of reading time (doubtful, but a good dream).
When, oh when, did my birthday take a backseat to anything else going on? I remember when it was all about going out, getting drunk and taking advantage of Brian!

Wednesday, January 17

Capt. Jack is alive!

And there goes any suspense that anyone may have had about whether or not Capt. Jack Sparrow makes it out of the Kracken, and back onto dry land. And look, he did it with the help of Elizabeth and Capt. Barbosa. But where's Will?
Anyway, watch for Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End this summer, and we'll understand what this picture is about!

Pants are good for you

Who of you out there are reading the fabulous Traveling Pants books? I know that Pamela and Sarah have read them, as they read my copies, but I wonder who else is a fan?
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, books 1 through 4, are well written, and I highly recommend them! When I saw the title of the first book, noted above, I was intrigued, as anyone would be having read it. I was even more pleased when I discovered that the book was actually good.
Four lifelong friends -- Bridget, Tibby, Carmen and Lena -- find a pair of "magic" pants that fits all four of their different and distinctive body types, thereby giving them an increased sense of confidence and togetherness going into their first summer apart. That summer is a life-changing one, and their adventures made me laugh and cry. The second, third and fourth books follow their subsequent summers (The Second Summer of the Sisterhood, Girls in Pants and Forever in Blue, respectively). The fourth book just came out last week, and it is said that this will be the last we'll read about the girls. While that is, of course, a bit disappointing, I like a sense of finality with a book series. I started Forever in Blue last night, and look forward to powering through the rest of it today and tonight.
(Check me out! I'm reading again!!)

Tuesday, January 16

So not a star

I've tried really hard to not have an opinion about this whole Donald Trump/Rosie O'Donnell thing. I agree with both sides on this, is the reason why. I do think that Miss USA should have gotten a second chance. She wasn't arrested for anything, and all she really did was act up at work, and if anyone has sympathy for that, it's me. So that's where I side with Trump; I don't think she deserved to be stripped of her title. Rosie popping off about how Trump shouldn't have given her the second chance is a valid opinion, and she has every right to express it. It all should have stopped right there.
Where Trump goes ridiculously wrong in my eyes is in the name calling and the way he's dived into this he said/she said exchange. In what universe is it okay to call someone a "loser" and a "fat pig" in the media? (Libel anyone?) If he had any class in the beginning, which I've never thought he did, name calling certainly stripped the rest of it away from him. And that he seems to be embracing and encouraging this "feud" for the sake of viewers for The Apprentice, makes him stink of classless behavior even more.
This is old news really, but today's Internet story is what made me speak out. If you can believe it, Donald Trump is receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Because of this, I am outraged (and compelled to speak out in my own forum). The fact that they seem to be giving these stars out to pretty much anyone is embarrassing, but to actually sell one? The people in charge of stars should be ashamed!
(I selected this photo of Trump specifically because it shows the horror of his comb over ... and he kind of looks like he's about to blow the microphone.)


So who watched the Golden Globes last night? What an interesting mix of absolute predictability and award-show semi-fun. Brian hit the nail on the head when he told me, "Well, you can tell that they're the 'foreign' press, because everything they've honored is British or about a foreign country." He is so freakishly right sometimes.
If the honoree wasn't British, they weren't winning. Did you all notice that? And with no upsets in any of the movie categories, Oscar night is looking like it could be the most boring ceremony in years. Forest Whitacker and Helen Mirren were the favorites, and both won; Martin Scorsese (yay!); Babel; The Queen; random mini-series that I've not seen; and Dreamgirls (which, tell me, has anyone seen that movie?).
Evening highlights: Meryl Streep's speech; Hugh Laurie's comments on getting stuff for free, but no speeches (his speech was awesome, too); Jack Nicholson holding court for everyone; Brad and Angelina in public; Alec Baldwin (we watched 30 Rock for the first time the other week; it's become a DVR staple); Scorsese's props to Leonardo; and the Mexican producer's "I've got papers" crack to Governor Arnold.
Evening lowlights: that awful woman asking America Ferrara what she would say to the people who did not want her to be Ugly Betty; Tom Hanks' irritating introduction ("balls" too many times) and Warren Beatty's rambling; Jeremy Irons saying he doesn't remember anyone; Borat; Globes producers playing off the last five award winners after letting everyone at the beginning of the show talk as long as they wanted; Grey's Anatomy; Courtney Cox's straight black hair; and Governor Arnold presenting the final award of the evening, and using that same old tired phrase.

Monday, January 15

Just like Gilligan

I love gift cards. Seriously, I think they're the best ideas ever, and I know that I'm not alone in that. Be aware that some cards, if you read the fine print, have both fees and expiration dates. This is unfair to the recipient, and a ripoff to the giver. Some states though, are trying to prevent retailers from attaching expiration dates or fees to gift cards — and are using unclaimed property laws to make them do it. The effort could help consumers keep the value of cards for a longer time. About $8 billion a year is wasted when gift cards expire, are lost or go unredeemed, reports research and advisory firm TowerGroup, according to USA Today. Corporate Research International said last week that more than 25 percent of consumers who received gift cards during the 2005 holiday season waited about a year to redeem them. In this, a lot of money is at stake. Sales of retail store gift cards were expected to hit $29 billion in 2006, up more than 20 percent from 2005, says TowerGroup. As many as 35 gift card bills introduced in state legislatures in 2006 sought to end expiration dates or fees.

Also on my mind, Lost producers are talking to ABC executives to set up a time frame for the series length and its finale season. I think that this is a stellar idea. I like that they're figuring out how to end the show, and to be sure that all us viewers have the answers we want. If more shows worked out a time line like this, viewers would be a lot happier. Look at The X-Files. I never watched the show, but I remember the brouhaha surrounding its demise and the dissatisfaction of the viewers in regards to the plots. With a show like Lost, one can't imagine it ending before we all find out what the black smoke is; why the Others are creepy; how the hook-ups will last; when they all get off the island (assuming they do); and what happens once they do. I want to see Jack back in the real world! I want to see Claire and Charlie live happily ever after! I want to see Kate drive off into the sunset! I want to watch Locke walk off the rescue boat! I want to see it all, and I thank the show producers for looking out for us.

Sunday, January 14

Monday, not Sunday

I'm totally wrong about the Golden Globes. They're on TV tomorrow night, not tonight. So my evening of award show excellence (second only to the Oscars) will be put off for one more day. Here's my apology, in the form of a George Clooney pic from last year's ceremony.

Saturday, January 13

I think there's a mum in there

ITEM!: Here's Mom's floral arrangement for this week. She gave me no explanation of what flowers it contains. I have no idea what's going on here.
ITEM!: I am digging this lawsuit by the guy in California who wants to take his new wife's last name with the same ease as she would have been able to take his. Women, in all but six states, need do nothing but put a check in a box to take their husband's names. (In those six states, men also have that easy option.) Outside those six states, men have to file a petition, pay a fee, put a notice in the local paper for weeks, and appear before a judge. Of course this is gender discrimination! Why shouldn't men have the easy way to change their name upon getting married, too? Instead of that time-consuming process, this guy and his wife have filed suit against the state to have the name-changing processes changed. Cheers to them!
ITEM!: Don't forget that the Golden Globes are on NBC Sunday night! Always a fun time, the Globes provide some good quotes, interesting clothing decisions and lively water-cooler commenting the next day. I wouldn't miss them for the world!!
ITEM!: Also on Sunday is the premiere of this season's 24. I wasn't going to watch it at all, but I'll admit that I've been seduced by the previews, and this season looks like another good one. I'll DVR it though, so I can watch the Globes in real time.

Friday, January 12

Like "Daniel" with an "f"

During the year 2006, we had a calendar with pictures of Boston in our kitchen area. I got it from Joe, my former coworker, for Christmas in 2005. When we moved to Arizona, I put it up in the kitchen again, where we would look at the pictures of our former home with nostalgia and wistfulness. For this year's calendar, I bought one of those "vegetables cut to look like animals and faces" picture calendars. It's taken us 10 days into January to decide that we would rather look at pictures of Boston again. A Boston calendar is difficult to find in Arizona, but not so on the Internet. I found one that I liked on Amazon, and ordered it yesterday. We should have it some day next week, and we're excited for it to arrive. It's got pictures of bridges, historical buildings and famous places -- all images guaranteed to make us almost forget about the city's bad stuff, like no parking spaces, the smell of the T, how frickin' cold it is in the winter, and the prowess of other drivers along Mass Ave.

One of the best shows ever

Every morning, Monday through Friday, my day starts with the viewing of a television show. Every weekday morning, at 8 a.m., one of my favorite shows ever, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is on FX. It's following the seasons like clockwork, and we are currently getting into the fifth. I've never hidden my love for the show, in fact, I've always been an outspoken proponent for it. Anyway, I just this morning realized how addicted I've become to my little morning fix of Buffy, and how it's not really a day unless it's started with a little bit of vampire/demon ass kicking. Just as I couldn't wait for every Tuesday to see what will happen next, I can't wait for every morning so I can watch what happens next. And just like the many times I've seen any one of these episodes before, I get completely sucked in to the mythology, characters and stories. (Thanks to Andrea, by the way, for turning me on to it all those years ago. "You aren't watching this show? Really? It's something that you would totally love!" She was so right.)

Thursday, January 11

The Beckhams are coming

As if we don't have enough crazy, celebrity couples in this country already. Here's the news: David and Victoria Beckham are moving to Los Angeles. Apparently, sick of all the paparazzi in England and Europe, the couple have decided to relocate to L.A.'s more subdued and relaxing scene. Actually, Beckham has signed a five-year deal to play soccer, er, football, for the MLS (Major League Soccer?) team, the Los Angeles Galaxy. So now, we've got another huge couple to monopolize every issue of Us Weekly, People, and In Touch, as well as every night's episodes of Extra and Access Hollywood.
Can you see the competitive streaks of some of these other celebrity couples ramping up upon hearing this news? Jennifer Lopez is saying, "Damn it, I'm going to have to make more daring fashion choices." Paris Hilton is considering, "Should I get married so I can have a husband, too?" Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn may be getting back together to combat this. Justin Timberlake is thinking, "I need to learn to play better soccer." Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are planning a worldwide media blitz and reality show to stay on television more than anyone else. Tom Cruise is all, "Holy crap, Katie! We're going to need to have another baby or something!"

Wednesday, January 10

Less than a second, really

Did you all know that I have a history of killing goldfish? Never maliciously, of course, and I cry after each one is found floating in its bowl, but they all die. One of them even committed suicide. (Yep, it jumped out of its bowl onto the carpet of my dorm room freshman year and suffocated.) Awful, awful stuff.
Because of this history, I will never have goldfish in my house. But take a look at this fish tank. It's a tank and toilet in one, for those people out there who think that their bathrooms need just the right touch of animal life.
Morbidly, this invention just makes for the trip from tank to toilet a less drippy one when the fish die. Truly, it'll take no time at all.

Tuesday, January 9

"The people" vs. good taste in entertainment

I'm watching the People's Choice Awards right now. Having sat through the first hour already, I've come to one single and overwhelming conclusion: "the people" and I have a very different idea of who the favorites are, what the best of any show is, and what makes a good movie. Forget who won what; it's the nominees themselves that scare me. Two and a Half Men? King of Queens? The Lake House? Underworld: Evolution? Shakira? All of these nominees, though entertaining, can hardly be considered the best of any of their peers. (Throw in Ghost Whisperer and Borat, and it's some weird entertainment bizarro world where everything bad/cheesy wins awards for superior quality.) What has the power to change the downward spiral of the taste of the people? Heroes. Lost. Johnny Depp. Deal or No Deal. Of course, even though I don't agree with most of the winners so far tonight, I'll still watch the rest of the show. ... Sometimes I hate being this obsessed with entertainment.

p.s. Heroes just won for favorite new television drama. So the people and I have that one in common. And then they go and choose American Idol. *sigh*

Update: OMG!! I just saw a teaser saying that Jennifer Love Hewitt is up for an award on the show tonight! I mentioned Ghost Whisperer just to make a point! Ack! The people are freaking me out!!

A mom ... and an aspiring author

I've decided to be a stay-home mom for a while. I was spewing on about some stuff regarding day care and all that the other day to Brian, and he said something that, for some reason, surprised me. He said, "Then don't go back to work for a while. Be a mom, if you want, for six months or for a year. It's okay to be a mom for a while." Understand that I wasn't surprised that he said that, but more surprised by how pleased I was to hear it from him. I thought to myself, "You know what? The kid's going to be growing exponentially over the next several months, and I really want to see every minute of that."
And now it comes to this: not only watch the kid grow, but try to write something too. I've always played with the idea of writing a novel of some kind. Actually, I even got 150 pages into authoring one before trashing it as a poor effort. Of course, there's the fear factor. I'm afraid to put my writing out there and open to criticism (all evidence on this blog to the contrary). But actual creative writing is more of a soul-opening experience, I think.
That's what freaks me out. That, and the fact that I don't really have an idea that's floating my boat right now. Do I go the romance route? Or try to weave some kind of murder mystery? Through all that consideration, I find myself leaning towards the "chick-lit" shelf of the bookstore. I've no shortage of ideas along those lines, actually.
So anyway, that's the that for now. I'll let you know how my new book-writing experiment goes as it progresses.

Monday, January 8

"Update is complete"

I just spent the last hour downloading songs from iTunes to replace most of the files that got magically and mysteriously (read: my fault) erased during the whole hard-drive-got-fried debacle this summer. (Thank you to everyone who provided me iTunes gift cards for Christmas!) Weirdly, as I was going through the list of the trashed tunes, I found myself wondering what had possessed me to download some of the songs in the first place. So, really in a needless to say way, I have less music now than I did before, and I'm okay with that. (I will not humor you all and tell you those songs, so live with that disappointment.) At any rate, I feel like my iPod is complete again, with a nice collection of big hair bands, the Elvis and U2 necessities, random 80s one-hit wonders, and my favorite show tunes.

Brian and I watched Mission Impossible: 3 last night. The trailers certainly imply that Keri Russell is around longer than she is; the ending was very "and they lived happily ever after;" I got a bit confused about who was double crossing who (please don't try to explain it to me, I don't really care); and I want those two hours of my life back so I can take a nap.

Sunday, January 7

Call them Dallas' team

It's officially a cold now. Damn it. And to make it even worse, I think Sydney G. has caught it, too.

(In a post topic sure to upset JJ, Kimmie starts off by asking) When did the world, the media, and the buzz behind the NFL ever decide that the Dallas Cowboys were "America's Team"? There's nothing more American than football, a sport made up entirely for the rough and tumble people of this nation. And there are no football teams outside of these borders. So what makes the Cowboys the team to represent the United States? Is it because their team mascot/logo is the typical American "cowboy"? The guy who tamed the land of the West, roped cattle and all that? Well then explain to me how that is more American than the New England Patriots? Or the New York Giants or Jets? Or the San Francisco 49ers? Or the Green Bay Packers? Or the Oakland Raiders? I propose that the Cowboys be stripped of this ceremonial title. Every team in the NFL is some American's team. Pettyishly, and for this very reason, I was quite pleased to see the Cowboys lose to Seattle last night and take a trip home from the NFL post-season. (For the record, I'm not a fan of Bill Parcells' either, and I like that he's home watching games next weekend.)

Thursday, January 4

Site counter a-go-go

I've found a new nifty thing to add to the blog! Take a look over there on the left, scroll down a bit, and you'll notice that there is a spanking new site counter on It's all about...
Selfishly, I wish that I had the ability to throw in a starting number that would, I think, include everyone who's visited since I started the blog in 2005 (I'd run with 50,763). It's deflating to see it at "0." It makes me feel all amateurish -- like anyone visiting might think that I'm new to this. (If you are new, scroll up a bit and check out the archive.)
So visit back regularly, and let's get that counter rolling...

Lost still rocks

I just watched the Screen Actors Guild nominations special. I won't go category by category, but will give you some of my general and completely biased thoughts on what I can remember. No nominations for Lost or Heroes (bad); minimal nominations for Grey's Anatomy (good, because I think its buzz is overrated); two nominations for Leonardo DiCaprio (good), but none for any other The Departed actors (bad); nominations for The Office (good). Well ... that's all I can remember. Interestingly, this is the first time that I've sat through a broadcasted nominations ceremony. How weird is that? Of course, it was replayed from earlier this morning, but still, with all the awards ceremony hoopla I subscribe to, it's kinda weird that this is the first. I won't be getting up for the Oscar nominations either, as they are at 5:30 a.m. or something ridiculous like that.
On a completely different note, I'm watching Regis and Kelly right now. Some new singer, Vanessa Hudgens, is performing. She's awful at lip-synching. Seriously, there is no way that she's actually singing on the show right now. It hurts me to watch her.

Wednesday, January 3

Is garland a year-round thing?

I'm valiantly fighting a cold right now. It started its attack, officially, yesterday. I woke up with a crappy feeling throat. Such perfect timing, really, what with the baby and everything. How does one cope with a cold and not give it to the kid when one is the only person with which the baby spends all day and night? Anyway, I'm trying not to breathe on her (trying is the right word), and am downing Airborne like no one's business (Mom and others swear by it, so I thought I'd try it, too). Here's hoping that tomorrow morning will feel better than today's.
I took down all the Christmas decorations today. My house is looking normal again, though Brian prefers the adjective "boring." I tossed out a bunch of stuff that I won't use ever again, and have a bag of treats for donation. Somehow though, I have about two more bins worth of decorations than I had when I started this year. I know that Sydney's stuff takes up one, but I'm surprised to note that so much other stuff didn't fit in my standard four bins of decor. I may be off to Target tomorrow for more bins, but I'll see how I'm feeling first.
The power of positive thinking! This is NOT a cold! It will NOT get me! I WILL protect my baby from it!! It will DIE!

Tuesday, January 2

A new look

Obviously, there's something different about this blog page that you love so much. Yep, I've reformatted it on Blogger's new system, and have played around with the page a bit. It's lavender, but clean, and I'm kinda liking it that way. What do you think? I could have given it a different background color, or changed the font and its color more, or shifted the whole layout, but after about 45 minutes of messing with it, I feel like this is the way to go right now.
I just got so done with the polka dots, you know?

January avatar

Here she is .... the first avatar of the year! And look at that! She's got a birthday banner behind her!
Yes, my friends, Kimmie turns 34 this month, and the avatar is designed to reflect that. Really, I haven't thought much about my birthday, but having seen this background in the options, I chose to go with it. I like that the cake only has three candles on it, and I also like that there are presents.

So I've changed over all my calendars, tossed out 2006, and have, somewhat, readied myself for this new year. I actually feel like it's a new year, too. It's the first time in a long time, in fact, that I feel like a clean slate is before me. Let's see what we can do with it.
On the up side, Alison e-mailed me that it's time for yearly reviews at my old job. She says to me that she bets I'm not missing those. I'm not!! Yay me! No review this year!!

Monday, January 1

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year everyone, and here's to a peaceful and prosperous 2007!
We had a nice night last night. We ate some yummy Chinese food, watched Dead Man's Chest (as Auntie Donna had just watched the first Pirates movie on Christmas), and rang in the new year with Dick Clark, Ryan Seacrest and Christina Aguilera. It was a relatively quiet evening, though the bar down the street did have me closing the window at 2:30 a.m. from the patrons' noise.
Today is the beginning of a new year. A clean slate -- just like last Jan. 1. What are my resolutions for this year? Hmmm. I think I'll call them "plans" rather than resolutions.
I plan on getting a new job. I plan on staying in my smaller pant size and maybe even shrinking it, too. I plan to raise a smart and happy daughter. I plan to keep myself and Brian happy together for another year (15 so far! Yay us!). I plan to pay off more than 75 percent of our credit card debt. I plan to get back on track with birthday cards (even if they are e-mailed). ... .... I can't think of anymore. That's the best list I can come up with for now.
May your year be a great one!!