Tuesday, July 31

Still as awesome as the first time

I'm re-reading the Harry Potter books. Tonight, I finished Sorcerer's Stone, the first in the series. I don't think that I've read it since the first time.
Jeez, even on page eight, the brilliant J.K Rowling is making small, but critical, allusions to things that will happen later in the books, and even in the final tome. Here, in page eight, she describes AlbusDumbledore, and comments on his nose and how it's crooked and must have been broken. Those who have read Book 7 understand the significance. But here it is, in little Book 1. A hint as to something in the final one. She's f*ckin' awesome, you all. Just too brilliant.
Stuff I noticed: Snape really is a prick from the very beginning; Neville certainly develops into a cooler dude as the years go by; the Dursleys are so mean; Harry really is kinda sucked into his fame; she mentions Sirius Black in the first chapter ... the FIRST chapter; it's easy to see how one can get so hooked on these awesome little reads.

TV: yes; wirelss connection: no

So where the hell have I been? If you can believe it, my life has been plagued with power outages, and Internet death for the last couple days. Yesterday, our power went out twice: once for only an hour, and a second time for a good four hours (got a bit toasty in here, I'll tell you). With the outage of the power, there goes the Internet.
However, having dealt with the Internet connection all afternoon, and finally having conquered the damn wireless by plugging Brian's computer into the actual cable, I am able to get some blogging on. I think that the power surges might have fried my dear-old wireless Airport station. I can't explain it any other way. Obviously, because I'm typing to you right now, the Internet is flowing into my apartment. And, since I'm doing it on Brian's computer, there are some very specific issues with the Apple equipment.
My iBook has fallen in love with itself. (You've seen the movies, my friends. Electronics get fried in the middle of the night by a lightening storm. They develop a brain or emotions or something. Hijinks ensue.) It is in a constant state of computer-to-computer networking. It will not acknowledge my wireless router, and is being very stubborn. It is frustrating to me. I almost through it out the window this afternoon.

On a lighter, and decidedly more positive note, we have our cable television back! YAY! how dependent we are on this magical marvel. And to prove how much he missed it, Brian promptly fell asleep on the sofa in front of it. I changed the channel while he dozed.

Sunday, July 29

Notice that there's nothing on the screen

We went down to Sierra Vista for a visit this weekend. Brian's parents did the incredible for us: they babysat Sydney while we went to the movies. The Transformers was awesome. It was the perfect movie for the summer. Action-packed, funny, technically amazing, and entertaining are some of the best adjectives that I can think of to describe the movie. The electricity went out about 20 minutes before the movie ended. A few seconds later, first came emergency lighting, and second came the movie rebooted in exactly the right spot.

And I think that, because we left it alone for two days, our cable is rebelling and has called a strike. Who knows what goes through the wires of cable boxes, especially when they've been left to plot against us for 48 straight hours. Both boxes, in the living room and bedroom, have frozen on the spot and refuse to give us any picture whatsoever. In fact, after a bit of messing with them, they won't even pop up the time. (Ever wonder how many times you check the time on your cable box? Have it disappear. Make a note every time you glance at it and then look away still not knowing.) Cox Communications is coming by Tuesday morning, between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m., to check it and figure out what the problem is. In the meantime, we have watched The Incredibles, the entire series DVD of Kitchen Confidential, Super Troopers, The Bourne Identity, The Departed, Lisa Lampenelli's comedy show (I'm not much of a fan), and Scrubs: Season 5. Oh yeah, and a sprinkling of Baby Einstein. I have no idea what I will find myself watching tomorrow, or even later tonight. Brian said to me this afternoon, "I didn't know how dependent we were on television." He has stated to me several times today, "I miss TV." I miss it, too.

Wednesday, July 25

I kept the U2 posters too, of course

I'm bugged by Blogger lately. Are any of my fellow bloggers coming up against a delay when typing in the template? I can be on the end of a fourth sentence by the time the stupid text on the screen catches up with the beginning of my second sentence. That makes for errors in my typing, and irritation when I have to sit and wait for it to catch up to me.

I've been spending random bits of time organizing through my guest/office closet lately. Today, I tackled the two poster tubes that, once I opened them, were full to bursting with random bits of art I've collected and saved from apartments all the way back to college. Yes, Monet's Waterlilies was there, as was a Titanic and Harry Potter poster. Really, I looked through the collection with little emotion. Those three were tossed, as was a poster of New York's skyline, pre-Sept. 11; the Empire State Building; paintings of some kids playing with a boat in the water and The Phoenix Open 2000; and a worn down and crumbling movie poster for Gone With The Wind. What I did find that will need a frame is a piece I bought from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that displays every Best Picture winner through history up to 1997. I also found a cartoon drawing of three cows that will look cool in Sydney's room. Those are the only two that I kept. And I've started another pile of stuff for Goodwill.

Tuesday, July 24

Sure, I'll give up a dime

I must say: I've got no problem paying another nine cents for my Starbucks beverage. Of course, my drink of choice is ridiculously priced anyway, so another $0.09 isn't going to be that big a deal. I think, tomorrow, as a sign of solidarity for my coffee-drinking comrades, I will go out and buy a drink that costs 9 cents more today than it did yesterday. That's how I roll.

Bad decision, again

Poor little Lindsay Lohan. Now, that's a girl who's got issues with a capital "i." (Here's her most recent mug shot.) What is she, like 10 days out of a 45-day stint in rehab, and she gets arrested for alleged DUI and possession of cocaine. I won't make a joke out of this, because obviously she's out of control.
Goodness gracious, she really needs a reason to clean up. Where is her mother? Her little sister? Her mentors? Her actions are screaming for an intervention. I'd hate to use Paris Hilton as an example (because I still think she got a raw deal), but clearly this little thing needs to hit rock-bottom. Why is she doing this to herself? She used to have a promising career. She used to have the respect of her peers and coworkers. Now, she's nothing but a joke and disappointment to most of her fans (similar but worse than Britney's antics), and a risk to any future employers. I'm feeling sorry for her.

Monday, July 23

I can't really believe that it's done

It is nice to know that Sydney can be happy even when I've been a bit negligent as a mother. Oh, she's been fed, diapered and played with regularly, but not with the normal enthusiasm she's used to. Indeed, no, I'll gleefully tell you that I've been preoccupied with a certain 17-year-old wizard and his life-and-death fight with a certain bad guy who can not be named. And tonight, at 7:43 p.m., I was satisfied with the ending to a seven-book story arc that I wished so fervently to know "what happens next." Brian is reading it now, so I have to keep the events to myself. I may, however, open myself up to the online reviews, spoilers and the like because nothing can be spoiled for me now.
It's bittersweet. I know that I've said that before. And I know that I believed it when I said it. But there's a finality to an amazing story when one closes the final chapter and puts the book down on the coffee table. The story of Harry Potter is now known to anyone who wishes to hear it, not just within the brilliant mind of an amazing author in Scotland. Seriously, I'm in awe of the woman. Will there ever be another writer quite like her? Could I ever hope to be as good as her? She's awesome. I'm so glad that this last book was as good as the epic story deserves.

Friday, July 20

I don't even know how many pages

I totally want to go to the Borders down the street tonight to buy my copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at midnight. Huh. As I say that, I am sitting on my bed, computer in my lap, watching Superman Returns, wearing my pajamas. I'm too tired to be out and about at midnight tonight. No matter how much I want to be.
I'll tell you though, Brian and I are going to the movies tomorrow, and then to have lunch to celebrate our six-year wedding anniversary. I'm trusting Auntie Donna, not only with my baby, but with taking possession of the book when it's delivered while we're gone.
I remember Brian hand-delivering my copy of Half-Blood Prince to me when it came out. Just like it was yesterday, I can taste the absolute anticipation, and how I could hardly wait to open it and get to reading. Tomorrow will be a bittersweet day, I think. I mean really, who hasn't looked forward to seeing how the story ends? There's a sadness though, to knowing that, well, the story ends. I've been anticipating the "next" Harry Potter book for so long that I don't know what I'll do tomorrow, once I've got the final one in my hands. It could all come down to the movies, but they've been so different from the book experiences, that they're a bit anti-climactic.
Still, I can't wait for it to be in my fists.

p.s. I haven't read a single review or article about the tome. I've been on a Harry Potter black-out. If I see the name in the headline, I don't even bother clicking the article. It bugs me that kids in England and on the East Coast are reading it already.

The 'dillos will get you

The subject animal of today's episode of Go! Diego! Go! was an armadillo. That, in itself, isn't funny. What's funny is that it brought to mind our friend, Jon, and his paralyzing fear of armadillos. I remembered a story I had been told that I'll share with you, and keep in mind that this happens after Jon had established this fear. Jon and his wife, Emily, were camping one night, cooling in their tent somewhere in Texas, when they heard a weird scratching at the tent doorway. Jon peaked out to see what was making the noise, and was terrified to discover that an armadillo was actually outside their tent trying to get in! Perhaps it's not as funny when I tell it then when he does, because his eyes get all big and he starts talking really fast. What's also funny is that once the armadillo finally went on its way, Jon made Emily pack everything up and they immediately left the area. Armadillos aren't fast (witness the plethora of them laying on the right side of the highways when driving through the southern states), so his absolute fear of it chasing him home is just awesome.

Thursday, July 19

Saturday is only two days away

* It seems as though, rather than spend money today, I moved stuff around. Pictures from here and there; silk flowers from this place to that; house plants hither and yon; and frames to and fro. I kinda like it -- the mixing up. Of course, this was all because I had one new piece of wall art to put up: framed bits of art that I got in Australia with Mom and Howie. It got me all started on moving stuff from once place to another.
* Huzzah, huzzah! The maintenance guy showed up at my apartment today! I am the proud renter of a coat closet that will actually hang coats, and a ceiling fan in my bedroom! Check me out! The microwave and washer are "on order," so we'll see how long it takes to get those things. "So tell me, Mr. Apartment Manager. Was that so hard? Are you bleeding from several places because half of my work order has been taken care of? Will you be flogged and tortured for making the renter happy?" I thought not. F*ckers. They need to get their shit together.
* You want to know what I'm so excited about watching tonight on television? Victoria Beckham: Coming to America. I was so bummed when I missed it the other night. It's like the peeps over at NBC were hearing my desperate thoughts and fervent wishes. ... I feel like I may fall in love with this show. No kidding.
* I received a shipping notification from Barnes & Noble today. Mr. Harry Potter is on his way! Yay!

Wednesday, July 18

If the fan was installed, I'd notice

ITEM!: I watched three movies starring Simon Baker today. It's weird how, sometimes, HBO and Cinemax kind of fall in love with an actor and seem to showcase that person for a day. Today, was Simon Baker Day. First, Something New, costarring Sanaa Latham. Second, Land of the Dead, even though he costarred with my old nemesis John Leguizamo. Third, Red Planet, though, truth be told, that one is as much about Val Kilmer. Also playing on the channel, though I didn't watch it, was The Devil Wears Prada. See? Simon Baker Day!
ITEM!: I am officially staying away from any article that begins with or includes the words Harry Potter. I do not want to know anything about this book! I am hating all the people trying to fill the Internet and news outlets with spoilers! Let us discover and enjoy the book in our own way and at our own pace! ... Joe e-mailed me this morning about Saturday, which he assumed would be "Don't Bother Mommy" Day. Unfortunately, I had to disabuse him of that notion, since I currently have one super huge distraction (all 18 pounds of her), as well as my six-year wedding anniversary. For the first time ever, Harry Potter will be a multi-day read. That is a bit of a drag, but I'm okay with extending the book and my enjoyment in reading it. ... And just to be sure, I tracked my Barnes & Noble order this afternoon. It has, according to their information, shipped already with an expedited delivery of Saturday. Here's hoping it'll be earlier in the day, rather than later. Or that Brian will bop out and pick me up a copy before the postperson gets here, like he did for the last one. I think I'll dig in to Half-Blood Prince, too, just to refresh my memory.
ITEM!: For the record, Basha's is an expensive grocery store. How I could total $62 from my piddly little list today is beyond me. I have decided that a nicer-looking store and covered parking do not equal the $15 I would have saved shopping at my Albertson's across the street.
ITEM!: And you know all those requests I made to my apartment management for the upgrades in appliance and general upkeep of my apartment? Yeah, well, they still haven't been done. I went in to the office this morning, and checked on their "status." If you can believe it, each of my 12 work orders have been filed as "completed." I'm all, "What? None of this stuff is done!" Scott is going to check in to it for me. I actually said to him, "I'm beginning to think that you don't want us here!" Of course, he denied that, but still, we'll see if I have to call again on Friday.
ITEM!: Michael Vick should be made to enter a life-and-death fight with all the dogs that he's killed, abused and made compete in dogfighting competitions. That anyone does this to an animal, any animal, is awful. Here's hoping that he gets the years and years in prison to think about what a cold-hearted, uncaring, disgusting and not-fit-to-live existence he's carved out for himself.

Monday, July 16

Posh and Becks have arrived

I've been in California for the last several days, and with the little one's sleeping quarters taking up the office, I haven't been able to make it in to the computer for my blogging. This morning though, she has managed to crash out in her crib while I was surfing the Internet, so I thought I'd get some blog done as well.
Sydney and I flew out here on Thursday (she did awesome on the plane!), and have been running around with Mom every minute since our arrival. Actually, we've slowed down quite a bit at night. If you can believe it, we've only dined out for dinner once on this trip. Every other dinner has been take out or delivery. We head home tomorrow, and already I am getting stressed out again about flying with my "extra baggage."

There is something to be said for being out here, in Southern California, during this whole David and Victoria Beckham thing. With their arrival comes their media blitz, as well as all the interviews and such. I have to tell you, Victoria Beckham is quite funny. One quote had her commenting on her famous pout, and she went on to joke (I paraphrase), that she should never be photographed smiling, having a good time, or, God forbid, eating. I love it. She's done spectacularly well in choosing her sound bites and media coverage. Going for the Access Hollywood and Extra to give off a more approachable attitude was smart, too. Brilliant and funny. Already, this couple is ridiculously loved by all the people here. Front page, top of the fold coverage in the local newspapers, top story in the sports news, and the topic on everybody's lips. I'm digging them.

Tuesday, July 10

Groups are good

haiku #2~
I haven't packed yet,
so will rush it tomorrow:
cooler in Cali.

I just signed up for my first stay-at-home moms group. One of the girls in our Gymboree class is an organizer, and is recruiting members. It's an invitation-only group, so I'm feeling pretty special about Sydney and I joining, but still find myself wondering how well I'll make the time to participate. Really, I'm all for having fun and doing stuff, but I fear for my motivation level whem it comes to playdates and the like. I already know a couple things: my apartment is too small and apartment-ish to host any playdates; I can't afford to host playdates elsewhere; I probably won't do anything without the other Gymboree moms, cementing a social dependence on them; and I'm very selfish with my time so may choose to ditch most every event except the big monthly activities. Still, it's nice to be a part of a group of moms, even if most of my membership may be conveyed via the group's web site!

Monday, July 9

ASU's win streak: 378 games

Brian loves video games. It's an odd obsession, really. His Playstation 2 is as much a member of this family as Sydney, Oliver and I are. And as much as I hate the fact that he can sit in front of NCAA 07 College Football for hours on end, I seem to encourage his avid game playing by continuing to buy him new games, and not bitching and moaning every time he turns that damn machine on.
So it was with no small amount of weirdness that I celebrated the announcement today that Sony has dropped the price of the Playstation 3 by $100. I've been dying to get Brian one of these new consoles, but simply could not wrap my head around spending $599 on the thing. Granted, I'm still absolutely sick over shelling out $499, but at least it's a significant cut in price. The "experts" quoted in the article I read concurred that they didn't think that the price would have dropped by that amount until this time next year. So, really, it's a steal at this amount.
But, even now, I will still hold back on purchasing the Playstation 3 until Christmas. Because if I must buy it, I will at least wait for a suitable holiday.

Sunday, July 8

Mine look nothing like this one

My eyebrows are out of control. Why? Well, I've held back on grooming them because I'm going to see Diane the end of this week. Diane, I will tell you, waxes and shapes an eyebrow like no one else in the world. She's quite the master, really. Anyway, I like to hold back on maintaining my brows for the week or so before seeing Diane, because it gives her more to work with, and a more extensive wax helps time the regrowth a bit better.
But for some reason (laziness), I've neglected the basic maintenance over the last few weeks, thereby making these last several days before seeing Diane even more crazy with the eyebrows. I actually feel and look more like I've never had an eyebrow wax. The only thing making the eyebrows tolerable is the long bang length, and the fact that my bangs are hanging over my eyes, covering the brows and keeping them shaded from view.

Friday, July 6

Enter those "lucky" numbers

So tomorrow is July 7, 2007. ... 7/7/07. There's this big hype about it being a "lucky" day. I consider myself a somewhat superstitious person: I won't walk under a ladder; open an umbrella inside; step on a crack, if I can help it; or tempt karma by being purposely malicious. But this 7/7/07 lucky thing is a crock o' poo cooked up by casinos and lottery commissions. You've heard them, I'm sure, the commercials touting a casino's ability to fall victim to true luck, or play the better odds a buy several lottery tickets!
Also drawn to the day's date are wedding planners and weddings aplenty. Brides all over the country begged, pleaded, coerced and cried over getting this day for their weddings. Eva Longoria, the actress from Desperate Housewives, has fallen victim to the hype. She and basketball star Tony Parker are tying the knot tomorrow. What all these brides don't realize is that no matter what date they choose for their wedding day, their husbands will still forget it.

Thursday, July 5


It's been quite a while since I sat down to blog and had no idea what the subject of the post would be. Really, as I sit here, I'm in a creative mindfart, and can think of nothing interesting about which to write. I should have one of those inspiration on a card decks for days like this. I know I've seen those somewhere. I can't remember now, but I swear that the next time I see it, I'll buy one. By way of stream of consciousness, I'll just run through my day and hope that something interesting will come of it.
I finally got all the donation stuff out of my office closet and to the Goodwill. No kidding, there were five shopping bags and two boxes. I have no idea where all this stuff comes from, but it seems to accumulate in piles in that closet. I need to stop by U-Haul and pick up some moving boxes to better organize the stuff still in the closet. Some of it, like a certain lava lamp and saguaro neon light, must be preserved for my future library shelves.
For all my bitching about my new windshield sunshade, I think it's working really well. I bought the thing not realizing that it was actually in two parts. Lame, I thought, but in practice, it's blocking the sun and heat okay, and that is a necessity in this town right now.
My current favorite HBO movie is Pride and Prejudice. Every time it's on, I'm watching it. Today, in fact, it was on twice, once this morning and again this afternoon. I watched it both times. Actually, "watched" is my loose term for having the movie on in the background while I play with, clean up after, and chase around my little girl.
I finished my second book last night in as many weeks to fulfill my internal goal to read two books from my to-be-read pile before Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows comes along (July 21! Yay!). I enjoyed Deception Point, by Dan Brown, and am glad that I finally took the time to crack its spine.
I found the most excellent photo of Oliver this afternoon as I futzed with different pictures and frames in my office. It's of him running and jumping through his first snowfall (Allston, Mass.). I love it because it's slightly off-center, and he's mid-leap and clearly having a blast. You all would have loved to be able to watch that kid run around in the fresh snow. He'd get so full of snow, so tired and so euphoric on those days. In the South End, we would take him to the park across the street in the middle of the storm and let him run around to his heart's content. I miss that I can't do that for him anymore.

Tuesday, July 3

Have this nice anklet instead

"It's good to be the king."
You know the quote, although the circumstances behind my use of it here is quite less funny than Mel Brooks feeling up some buxom French lass in History of the World, Part II. Even the quote doesn't apply directly. Let's change it a bit, yes?
It's good to be a friend of the king.
As you've already heard, I'm sure, our illustrious president has commuted the sentence of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, effectively making it okay to commit treason against an agent of the country, so long as you did it with the knowledge of the White House, and to further the president's agenda. The abbreviated elements of the case: Libby was accused of leaking the name of CIA agent Valerie Plame to a newspaper in retribution for her husband's research and questioning of WMDs in Africa or something; he was convicted of lying and obstructing justice in a probe into the leak her identity; was sentenced to 2.5 years in jail, two years probation and fined $250,000; and was allowed to walk away from prison.
According to the AP: Bush abruptly commuted Libby's prison sentence — an unusual step, given that it had not yet begun — five hours after a federal appeals court panel ruled that Libby could not delay his prison term. Bush left intact the sentence of two years probation and a $250,000 fine, citing a need for some accountability. In his first public comments on the matter on Tuesday, Bush defended his rationale. "I felt like the jury verdict ought to stand, and I felt like some of the punishments that the judge determined were adequate should stand," Bush said. "But I felt like the 30-month sentencing was severe."
Thirty months in jail is too severe for the president whose home state of Texas is so in love with the death penalty? What part of a minimum-security summer camp for 30 months is so awful? If the man was convicted in a court of law, then he should have to pay the penance, all the penance, for his crimes.

Sunday, July 1

Caution: nightlights and shopping carts

Really, it might as well be the Egyptian desert. But that's it about the heat. I'm bored with that subject already.
As it is, right now, I just got off the Babies R Us web site. I'm in the market for a new car seat: a nice, convertible one for my little angel who is thisclose to outgrowing her infant seat. (I remember Lisa telling me, shortly after Sydney was born, that "someday, her legs will be hanging off the edge of that thing." I was like, "Never. She'll always be this tiny and difficult.") Anyway, there's a cool pattern within the parameters of the seat I want, and it's got some nifty red flowers going on. I think that's the route we'll go.
I'll also buy a new shopping cart seat cover. Problem with the one I already have: it doesn't cover the sides of the seat. That's not a terrible thing until you see the nifty red mark on the kid's head after banging it on the side of the cart. I don't like red marks on her forehead, so I'll go ahead and nip that little issue in the bud.

Hottest month of the year

If only it weren't so frickin' hot here, this might be one of the most beautiful places on the planet. If you can believe it, this photo was taken last night at Phoenix's own South Mountain. Yep, that's right in the heart of town, and where it reached a toasty 112 degrees yesterday (or thereabouts). I appreciate the photo though. It's nice to be reminded of the beauty that surrounds us here, in this ridiculous oven. And you know that there are so many people right now who are all, "Hey, look how pretty it is in Phoenix! We should go there!" Fools. The smart people are those that are heading out of town right now. Sadly, I am not one of them. Huh. And here I sit, looking forward to Phoenix in July!