Thursday, July 31

Beedle the Bard? Like Shakespeare's the Bard?

I love how quickly commerce happens sometimes. As an example, today, word was released the J.K. Rowling will be releasing a book version of The Tales of Beedle the Bard, a collection of wizard tales referenced in the final Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Not but a scant few hours later, there's an e-mail in my inbox trumpeting the book's availability and giving me the opportunity to pre-order the book ... before they run out of them, I'm sure. But of course, I understand the ridiculousness of ordering a book that has no official release date, and probably hasn't even been finished yet. But you know me and the Harry Potter. So, you guessed it, I'm among the first to have pre-ordered the book, and Barnes & Noble has already collected my $8, plus shipping, and now I'm stuck breathlessly awaiting a release date that will probably be some time in late 2009. Grr. ... ... But yay! A new Rowling book!

I stand corrected! The book will be available in early December ... this year! Yay!

Wednesday, July 30

Jumping dogs look cool

Well, I'm absolutely exhausted, but I'll admit to not having as rough a day as Brian. He was stuck in Dallas for a bit more than six hours today due to weather delays and American Airlines canceling his flight. He just got on his plane an hour ago. It's now 10:20 p.m. (As an aside, Mom thinks American may have canceled the flight just because it may not have been full, because American is doing sketchy things like that lately. I dig her conspiracy theories. Scary thought: What if that's true?) Anyway, does anyone actually know what the weather was like in Dallas today? I've not caught it on the news yet.
Apparently, there was an earthquake yesterday. I hear that it was the strongest in Southern California since the Northridge quake in 1994. Funny story: Mom and I didn't feel it. Nope, we were at the mall, cruising through a couple fun stores, killing some time before heading over to The Cheesecake factory for lunch. I got calls from Daddy and Brian, both wanting to know if we felt anything, and I had to say, "No. We were shopping." I love it how there's no excuse or reasoning to that. Those nifty new-fangled malls are well constructed.

Monday, July 28

Dragonfly on branch

So, we're out in California, and the trip out went just fine! In fact, it was the best drive out we've had! Sydney was awesome, and just chilled in the backseat the whole time, and didn't raise her voice once. Rock on. Oliver's such a good traveler, too.
Really, we've been pretty busy since I got back, and with the kid still sleeping in the office/nursery, I haven't been able to hit the computer at all. And, in a twist of fate that makes me irritated with everyone else's security precautions, all the wireless Internets near here are password-protected. Damn. I so love being the pirate and using other people's wireless.
Well, Sydney's getting pissy about hanging out in the crub while I'm typing away here, so I'll be closing down and finished up her morning routine so we can get started on our day.

Friday, July 25

Departure time: About 6:30 a.m.

Well, I'm yawning, so that must mean that I had a good and productive day today, right? I think I've got all my bases covered for the drive out to Cali tomorrow morning. Sydney's packed, I'm packed, and all the sundries are packed. All that's left is Oliver's toys, the toiletries, and to put everything in the car. I've got to drop Brian at the airport butt-ass early, so I'll definitely be up to be out of the house on time. Yeah, we're leaving here at 5 a.m. That's early. However, he's heading out to Connecticut to hang out with Dave for a few days, and they'll have a good time. All kinds of boy/male bonding will ensue, I'm sure.
Me? Well, Sydney, Oliver and I will be out in Cali hanging out with Mom. Yay us! Lisa flew out yesterday to stay a couple days and then to drive back with us tomorrow. We've had so much fun! We had dinner with Katy last night; rocked Gymboree this morning; and ran ridiculous errands this afternoon. It's just awesome having her to hang out with the last couple days!
Anyway, I'm out. Catch you tomorrow!

Thursday, July 24

Do the flowers make your leg itch?

Actually, I don't really have anything for you tonight. I've been sitting here with this computer for more than 20 minutes, and every topic I think is good enough ends up just being deleted before the thought is even complete. That says something very specific to me. It says that I shouldn't force it, and it's time to turn off the computer and go to sleep. I will do that.
This is not one of the shoes that I bought recently, but it's pretty cool, just the same. I couldn't walk in it, though. That heel is out of control.

Wednesday, July 23

I love a good intrigue in a show

I have now watched the first 10 episodes of Burn Notice, and I'll tell you that I am thoroughly enjoying this show. The lead is absolutely adorable; the female lead is totally fun, mainly because I remember her from The Three Musketeers; and the dialogue had me laugh out loud three times tonight. I love that in a television show! So, I've got one more DVD from season one to get through, and then I can tackle the season two episodes on my DVR. I won't be able to get to the fourth disc of season one until next week, but that's okay. I've got company and a trip that'll be so much better to occupy me over those days.

Tuesday, July 22

Seven years and counting

So we had a bit of an interesting anniversary. The plan was for a dinner at a new place and then The Dark Knight. Well, for such a simple plan, it sure went to hell quickly. First of all, the dinner ... was .... not so good. I had chicken enchiladas that were so spicy that I had to douse each bite with sour cream. Brian had crab enchiladas, which were too sweet, and not good enough for me to trade him plates. Okay, dinner's done. Then, on to the movie. A movie that was completely and utterly sold out for the three shows that we could have seen. Ugh. Then, we decided to check out a different theater. And that one was EMPTY! Yes, dudes, it was closed. ... And the movie was therefore not an option.
So I called Katy to see what she was up to. Well, her and Chris were playing in their kickball game, so Brian and I decided to crash the game and cheer for them. Yay! We stopped for some beer, and raced over to cheer on the team. Then we went with the team to their after-game bar and had some more drinks. Fun, fun, fun night!
For an anniversary night that went nothing close to plan, we had a fantastic time!

So when will we see The Dark Knight? Who knows. This weekend is not an option. So I suppose it'll be a couple weeks!

Sunday, July 20

Yep, that's our Elvis

I'm trying really hard to stay away from any The Dark Knight stuff going on out there because Brian and I are going to go see it tomorrow night ... for our seventh wedding anniversary! Yikes! I can't believe it's been seven years since that awesomely amazing weekend, you know? I thought it was incredible how quickly the last 21 months have gone by with the kid, but wow, to think about seven whole years since that small, little intimate weekend in Vegas in July. (A special shout-out to Auntie Donna, who will be hanging out with the kid tomorrow night while Mommy and Daddy are out and about.) I even asked Brian if he was interested in checking out the video with me tonight. I got a resounding no for that, but really, I've been thinking about that video for a while now. Katy and I will sit and watch it together in the near future, but I think I'd really like to sit and check it out on my own first. It'll be weird, because I really haven't seen any part of it in a long, long time. Katy missed the wedding because of a swim meet, so watching it with her will be a trip. She doesn't know about any of the cheesiness, does she?
Wow. Seven years. Don't they go by in a blink...

Saturday, July 19

Sony, 32-inch, HDTV; it's just awesome

Check it out, dudes!
It's my new TV, and its new home in the bedroom! I love it so much more than that old, huge monstrosity that I've been watching since it was moved here from the living room. Look! Notice how it doesn't weigh 1,000 pounds! See how it sits back, deftly avoiding little fingers! Peer at its height and suspension over the accompanying components! And please ignore the fact that it was set to Max & Ruby when I took this picture!
Well, besides that unfortunate programming gaffe, I am so excited to have a new visual obsession on my dresser. Rock on! Best Buy loves me today. It's so much fun shopping in that store when you buy something big. We had an actual reason to push around the flat cart this morning, not just for the baby seat in the front. And you know, when you're pushing a fat TV through the store towards the check-out, associates actually say thank you for visiting the store as you pass them. I like that! So much more respect ... um, outgoing, proactive respect ... then when you're just wandering through the shop and pick up a movie or something.
Just one thing though: that little box in the corner that pops up every time the audio goes from mono to mono to stereo is really irritating. Anyone know how I can get that to stop? It's nowhere in the book!

Thursday, July 17

Perhaps I need a jump rope, too

Stream of consciousness, July 17:
I did 200 jumping jacks this afternoon, in my living room, with my dog and daughter standing by, both wondering what the hell their crazy mom was up to now. And I feel good about it, too. It's the most and best exercise I've had in a while, and it got me into a sweat, as well. I know, I know. I need to get my ass in the gym. Whatever.
Isn't it weird how moving a couple plants around in your house can make you feel better?
We finally installed the wall-mounted shelving unit in our bathroom, thereby keeping our extremely persistent and curious daughter out of our toiletries ... for the time being. I'm not stupid, I know that she'll out-think us with this one, too. But I won't have to worry about that until she's got another inch or two in height to work with...
Shhh, don't tell anyone, but I bought a new book at Target today. I got Twilight, by Stephanie Meyer. It's another vampire novel that I read about in Entertainment Weekly, from which there is a new movie coming out soon. Anyway, the article on the author intrigued me, so for only $8.49, I now have another book on my to-be-read pile. I'm almost intrigued enough to read it before the others on my "Summer Reading List 2008." But here's the challenge, I will still read the others before the summer is over!
A special shout-out to Jeannine, who gave me the kick in the head I needed this week. Mwah!

Wednesday, July 16

I love books

I finished another book on my "Summer Reading List 2008" last night. Actually, it was very early this morning, if you want to get technical about it. I closed the cover on The Alibi Club at 12:45 a.m., and it was a satisfying read.
Now, I'm not sure which fresh spine to crack next: I've got another thriller, a romance, and a fictional vampire read that's been sitting in the pile for more than a year. I'll tell you though, my promise to not buy any other books until I've finished these is beginning to weigh on me something wicked. Seriously, we drove past a Barnes & Noble last week, and I swear, I felt a tug at my very soul to go in. But I didn't, because I made a deal with myself, my blog, and my peeps. You know what makes it even worse though, is that I've got a couple gift cards for Borders. And what's even worse than that, is that when I can't buy books for myself, I buy them for my kid. Her library has swelled lately, simply because I can't go too long without picking up some kind of reading material.
But as I write this, I'm thinking that maybe I could go out and get some new books. I wouldn't read them before the others are done, you know. So it's kind of like not getting them until the others have been read, right? That makes it okay to go out and get my fix, right? You'll still love me if I do, won't you? It won't take me long to finish off these last three, will it? I don't really have to wait, do I?

UPDATE: Okay, frickin' creepy! I finished writing this post, closed out of my account, then checked my e-mail and found a 30 percent off Borders coupon in my e-mail inbox! How wild is that?! Now, I get it! It's fate, destiny or a call from my angels! I simply must go buy more books this week!

Tuesday, July 15

Would I be a pirate? Um, yes!

I finally got the cable box issue taken care of this morning! Hurray! Here's the deal: Cox likes to have signal strength in the boxes that registers from -10 to 10 (whatever that means). The box in my bedroom was showing a robust -16. Ah, so that would be the problem. The technician increased the signal strength into the box, and assures me that it should work much better now. I'll admit to it being a tad bit faster, but we'll see how consistent it is over the next few weeks. The tech also installed an amplifier on the cable box in the living room, as that signal wasn't as strong as he could get it, either.
Katy and I had a yummy dinner at The Cheesecake Factory tonight, and brought back the most delicious dessert. It's actually a combination I haven't had in a long time: fresh strawberry cheesecake with hot fudge for dipping. See, this is one of the reasons why I love Katy so much; she doesn't hesitate to dig in to the desserts with me, and even said while considering where we should have dinner tonight, "We haven't had a really good dessert in a while."
I received a whole new questionnaire from Jeannine and Andrea tonight. (I also had a tremendously wonderful chat with Andy late this afternoon. Yay!) It was titled, "50 Odd Things About Me." I love that the first question asked if I liked bleu cheese (no). But you all know how I love those Q&A e-mails, so I jumped right into it. No, I won't paste it here for you all; it's way too long. You'll have to request it via e-mail. (Insert winking smiley face here.)
I think I'm going to grow out my bangs.

Monday, July 14

And so it ends ... for now

I'm bugged by a few things tonight.
First of all, would Brett Favre just make a frickin' decision and retire already?! Jeez, the guy seems to be in some perpetual "I love it, I hate it" cycle with football, and has bent over the Green Pay Packers, even more this off-season than last. He's like one of those guys who just doesn't know when to leave the field. Okay, okay. I don't know the circumstances behind any of his decisions, and maybe he can still play a decent ballgame, but I think that the tearful press conference announcing his retirement at the end of last season was pretty definitive. And I don't think it's fair for him to be constantly pulling the strings of the Packers organization, the backup quarterback who may finally have a shot, or the fans, like Tara, who deserve better. Every time I see his face on my Yahoo! page, or in any of the news outlets, all I can think is, jeez, man, let it go.
Secondly, there's an article, on the Yahoo! homepage tonight, trumpeting, "Brangelina's baby names explained." I click it, of course, because I'm thinking that maybe someone got an actual quote out of the couple, the first since the twins were born. But no, it's a ridiculous puff piece, on loan from US Weekly even, where the source is a name "expert," making her guesses based on historical name meanings and obvious family connections. So our desperation for a piece on the couple has now been reduced to this? Peeps, leave them alone. Cheesy articles will get you nowhere, except on my blog as an object of mockery.
Thirdly, the cover art for the recent issue of The New Yorker. You've all seen it by now, I'm sure. It's just so ... disappointing ... that a periodical with as much high-brow influence as that would stoop to such fear-mongering. Oh sure, it's a "statement" cover. It's about fighting the bigotry and assumptions of the Obamas. It's about making a mockery of the presidential mud-slinging. I say, bullshit. That cover is all about making headlines (check!), and making people believe that Obama and his wife are terrorists bent on destroying the country (sadly, check!). If that was supposed to be funny, it should have been in the comics, or on the editorial page. And if the people behind this cover actually did think that they were making a statement for the good of the Democratic party? Well, that's just naive.

Shingles Watch: Day 10
I am pleased to announce that this will be the last "Shingles Watch" (at least for this particular outbreak). My bumps are smaller today then yesterday, and I can say with great happiness that they don't even itch anymore. Sure, my head's a little sore there from the trauma of the shingles, but beyond that, I'm in good shape. I've only got four Valtrex left to take, and because I'm not stupid, I'm hoarding the leftover Vicodin for when it might come in handy. I enjoy a sigh of relief as this post topic comes to an end. Please, stay tuned for my next random issue. I'm sure it'll be just as ripe with humor as this one.

Sunday, July 13

Page 191, and I'm not done for the night either

Seriously, you guys, I've been reading a new book, one from my list over there, for about 90 minutes straight. And it feels awesome. Actually, it feels like I should be doing something else, kinda like a hooky day. And that feels even more awesome.

Shingles Watch: Day 9
Everything is crusty, everything is shrinking, and everything is less itchy. Yay me!!

Check out the headline here from Yahoo!'s OMG celebrity news and gossip page: "Angelina Jolie Gives Births to Twins." First of all, rock on to Brad and Angelina for continuing to enjoy themselves and their children by adding to their family. But secondly, really OMG? "Births"? What the hell? You must have a proofreader there, right? Do you need one? Let me know, because I could have saved you from this front-page disaster.

Writing tip: Be consistent in your tense

Confession: My second writing assignment for my course is exactly one week late, and going in the mail tomorrow. I've figured out what my problem is: I've lost a ton of confidence in my writing, and once I get something like that in my head, it's hard to get over it. And then I procrastinate. But then I have a day like yesterday, and I get irritated at myself for frickin' dragging my feet for so long. I really just sat down, brainstormed a few ideas, and before I knew it, I had a 1,300-word story that, I think, came out really okay. I let it sit and percolate for 24 hours, then cleaned and freshened it up for submission this afternoon. It's ready and waiting right behind me on the floor, all cozy in its envelope. So tomorrow, Sydney and I are off to the post office.
As for my first assignment, Judy had some nice compliments, but also some on-the-spot criticisms. Compliments are good, but you don't learn anything from them, so it's the critique that interested me most. I should have plunged right into the action instead of setting up the scene in the opening paragraph; my dialog was too advanced for the age group; and the main conflict was resolved by luck, not by the main characters. Valid issues, definitely. Stuff I need to work on, of course.
I think I covered those problems with my second assignment. Or, I know I did, I'm just not sure if I did it right. Jeez, I had forgotten how awful it is to sit back and wait for someone's opinion of your work. And for this, I'll be waiting for a few weeks definitely. On to Assignment 3! On time and done enthusiastically!

Saturday, July 12

It's an itchy life sometimes

[Editor's Note: This picture has nothing to do with the topic of this post. We saw this sign on our way to dinner and it struck me as ridiculous and very funny. I simply had to share it with you.]

Don't you hate it when you get sucked into a movie based on a period of history, and you find yourself hoping for a better ending, even when you know what will happen? Let's look at, well, Titanic, as an example. We all knew what would happen, but we all kept hoping that the ship would just be able to turn to avoid that iceberg, right? Or hoping that the stewards would allow all the third-class passengers to the lifeboats in enough time; or that the nearest ship would arrive soon enough to save Jack. Well, of course, in watching the movie, you get involved in the story, but once that iceberg comes along, you think, "Damn, I know how this is going to end."
I had a similar experience tonight watching The Other Boleyn Girl. On the obvious side, I say, it's a movie, and who says that it has to follow history exactly. However, I knew that Anne Boleyn got decapitated, and that King Henry moved on to another wife who couldn't give him a son either. But even still, the end of the movie arrived and I had hope that, when the time came, the king would grant her a stay ... or that she'd be rescued somehow. I don't think I'm spoiling anything when I tell you that the movie stuck to the truth in that respect. Alas, I'm amused at myself for, even for a second, thinking that my memory was wrong, or that maybe "Hollywood" would make this a happier ending than we knew it had in real life. Oh well. At least Mary got away with her life, and ended up raising the future queen of England ... according to the movie anyway.

Shingles Watch: Day 8
I say, thank goodness this thing is slowly working its way out of my body. I'll admit to noticing more crusties on my bumps, which is good (if pretty gross, now that I re-read that sentence). What's weird though, is that my ear is sore. Sore like achy, not shooting pain, but achy pain. I'm still a bit itchy, too, but nothing so bad that it's really anything more than an irritation to me anymore. I'm liking the light at the end of the tunnel in all this, I must say, as I'm running out of photos of shingles (the roof kind).

Friday, July 11

I like that word: crusty

Shingles Watch: Day 7
I think, based on my own investigation, that there is more than one crusty bump on my head, but that the shingles are definitely on their way out. My ear still itches a bit, but even those little bumps are a bit crusty. I guess I should define crusty: it feels like really dry skin, kind of like a scab actually, but it's only about the size of a pencil tip. I guess this is the part where I'm contagious, but truthfully, none of it is ooze. These little crusties come off like scabs too, dry and flaky. I'll take all these developments as a good sign.

As I predicted with my declaration of shenanigans, the rainy thunderstorms that were supposed to last for days are already gone. In fact, there was a ton of blue sky early this afternoon. The humidity (and my frizzy hair) left something to be desired, but on the whole, it was a good, non-115 degree day.
I finally bought Brian and I a new shelving storage piece for our bathroom. The piece we have now, an over-the-toilet etagere that's moved from Phoenix to Allston, Mass. to Boston, back to Scottsdale, is on its last leg. But, more than that, Sydney can reach all the stuff on it from a standing position on the toilet. And it's unstable. So really, I need something to attach to the wall that can be positioned quite a bit higher than what we've got. Anyway, I was planning on replacing it today, but instead went on a "Kimmie-time" bender that had me pigging out at the movies and getting a pedicure while the kid stayed home with Megan. The new shelving piece now has been moved to tomorrow's list.

Thursday, July 10

Still not cool enough to turn off the a/c

You know you live in a ridiculously consistent desert environment when ... a thunderstorm that may last for three days rolls into town and you spend 30 minutes outside on your balcony watching the rain and lightning as if you've never seen anything like it before in your life. Thus was the end of my evening. They say that this storm will hang out for a while, but I am almost ready to declare shenanigans on that. However, if that does end up to be the case, the high temperature may not even reach 98 degrees tomorrow or Saturday, making this the most tolerable July weekend ever recorded in this area. Actually, that was a blanket assumption on my part, and is probably not true at all, but it sounds good.

Shingles Watch: Day 6
Check me out, you guys, I've got a crusty on the back of my head. Yep, that's the consensus from the guy who has to look at my shingles every night. I am rocking one crusty bump, and the rest, I believe, have shrunken even more today. My ear is still home to several itchy little bumps that are not red enough for anyone to see, and the larger bumps behind it are shrinking, too. I love Valtrex and its ability to make this disappear a little more every day. I'm really beginning to think that the "Shingles Watch" will only be relevant for another couple days (but really, at least three more, as that's how many more pictures of roof shingles I have on my desktop). Yahoo!

Wednesday, July 9

Shingles Watch: Day 5

It's almost midnight, and I'm feeling kinda wide awake. I know that if I would just lay down my head, I'd pass right out, but I'm quite unmotivated to get off my ass, lay down and turn off the lights.
So, you may ask, how are the shingles today?
Well, my head bumps are smaller. No ooze. My ear is itching, but only if I do something to bug it, like swipe my hair behind it. I'm less achy, too. So really, if I can be so bold as to proclaim it, I think I'm feeling better. Still, every time I get a random itch somewhere I hop up to check that place out in the mirror to be sure that it's not getting red or beginning to bump. Now, I'm paranoid. Will I ever be able to have a simple itch again? Not likely. Of course, I'm relentlessly keeping up with my Valtrex, as now, I think it's really working. I'm afraid that if I miss one I'll regress all the way back to the beginning and I'll have to start this all over again. So I've been keeping track on the calendar. I took another Vicodin tonight, too. I think that might be the cause behind my odd active-but-tired-and-chatty feeling right now.
And I love, love, love that Brad Pitt's Rusty Ryan and George Clooney's Danny Ocean, in Ocean's Thirteen, are drinking Stella Artois. That's such a good beer. We've got some in the fridge for emergencies.

One less candy to deny myself

So it's a bit of a better day today, and I know that because I bought a new candy bar to try. The "3 Musketeers Mint" seemed to wink and flip its hair at me from the rack in the check-out aisle at Toys R Us, and I could not say no to it. I waited until after lunch, when, with a clear palette, I was able to savor the bar with no other undue influences. And let me say that, even though the flavor was good, and the minty was refreshing, I don't think I'll be purchasing another. It was a charming little bit of candy, an inspired confection even. But I like my candy to knock my socks off, figuratively, and to give me a healthy dose of food-guilt, literally. It just ... didn't do anything for me.

Tuesday, July 8

It's the shingles

All right, so we might as well call this post, "Day Four: Shingles Watch."
Yes, you read that right: I've developed a lovely case of the shingles ... and not the roof kind either. (But you get a picture of the roof kind, just because the body kind is ugly.)
It all started on Thursday, when I found an itchy bump on the back of my head, right inside the hairline at the base of my skull. Friday, I found another bump, and it was even itchier. Saturday, more of the same, but a bit more achy. Sunday morning, I officially woke up with several, about five, large bumps in a cluster, that itched like mad and made the whole bottom quadrant of my skull ache. This, Brian and I decided, was a matter for a doctor. Well, Sunday isn't the best day to find a doctor, so I ended up at a very nice urgent care center, where a very nice physician's assistant diagnosed me with shingles, and gave me a couple very nice prescriptions. (Read more about shingles, click here.) So I'm rolling with the Valtrex three times a day for 10 days, and she gave me some Vicodin for the pain ... after the kid's asleep (when Syd's awake, I take Advil .. to keep myself quick).
At any rate, I've got an affliction that's making me feel icky and dirty, as well as itchy and achy, and oh my goodness, did you know that the damn things might ooze? Okay, for those of you who may not know, shingles is a chickenpox virus, which usually hits the elder of us, but can be brought on by intense stress or, like for me, no good reason but to piss me off. The virus manifests into blisters, bumps, redness and rashes on only one side of the body, and can take weeks to fully disappear. What I've got are the large itchy bumps that are at my skull, but also, irritatingly, seem to be traveling over to my ear. On the good side though, I think the initial bumps are finally shrinking.
Thankfully, both Brian and Sydney have been vaccinated, though apparently, I'm not contagious if my bumps/blisters aren't oozing. Can I just say, yuck? Problem: the bumps are right where Syd holds my neck when I'm carrying her. And they hurt to the touch. And they're on my scalp, so the ooze will go straight into my hair when/if it decides to appear. Now, I'm hoping that, since I caught this disgusting irritation early enough, the Valtrex will get to work quick and proper reducing all the symptoms and stuff, and make it all go away faster. Quite frankly, I'd just be happy to know that there won't be any ooze.
But right now, my bumps itch like crazy, I've taken a Vicodin so I can relax and get rid of the achyness, and I'm pissed that there's a big, red bump on the back of my ear, convincing me that yes, this shit is spreading over my entire head and I will soon be nothing but a big, red bump with ooze.

p.s. Creepy side note: Shingles is adult chickenpox. I had chickenpox when I was three, and ruined the country's bicentennial celebration for Mom and Daddy because I was sick. That weekend was exactly 32 years ago this past weekend. Weird, huh? Chickenpox hit me on the same weekend, over the same dates, only separated by 32 years. It won't catch me unaware again ... when I'm 67, I'll be ready.

Monday, July 7

Gossip Girl returns Sept. 1

I'm always such a sucker for the television couples that seem made for each other but are always torn apart by circumstance, stupidity or whatever. You know, like Pacey and Joey on Dawson's Creek, and Buffy and Angel, of course. I love the whole drawn together but not together thing, but especially on TV. Television gives the viewer a more intimate look at a character, because we're allowed to spend more time with them then if they were in a movie. Witness: 22 hours of Buffy in one season on television; 90 minutes of Buffy in a bad movie. You pick which character you'd rather spend time with.
But here's my new favorite couple, Blair and Chuck on Gossip Girl, and they are caught up in a, what looks to be, touching and serious moment. I've developed quite a TV-boyfriend crush on Chuck, and as he's the bad boy on the show as well, that crush will probably only grow until he and Blair are finally together and happily ever after. But, as this is television, that probably won't happen until the last episode ... which takes place five years in the future ... a la Dawson's. And I'm down with that, too. It just makes it that much more satisfying, yes?

Sunday, July 6

Two movies in one weekend: priceless

Well, it was a weekend. We did have a good time, though we were all pleased to get home today. I'm happy to note that Sydney did awesome in the car both ways: three hours each way, and with no sleeping. I have no illusions that she will be that easy on our trip out to Cali at the end of the month, but at least now I know that she has the ability to be a decent child for a few hours of backseat time. On the longer trip though, I will be sure to bring the DVD player and all my bootleg Backyardigans DVDs.
On the ultimate high note, we were able to see two movies, in a theater, this weekend. Lovely thing, a free babysitter, you know? We caught both Hancock and Wanted. The movies themselves, well, honestly, were not that amazing, though they were entertaining. Again, that is really all I require from my films. Still, being that we were so looking forward to them, I'm a bit disappointed. But here's the newsflash: In this little town in southern Arizona, in both movies, a couple brought a baby into the theater. Not the same couple or baby in each movie ... no, no, no. A different couple with a different baby in a different movie ... two days in a row ... in the same theater. I'll say to you what I asked of Brian: What the hell? Who brings a baby to the movies? I mean, damn it! I went to the movies to escape a baby, not sit frickin' two rows and five rows, respectively, from a baby! I was so irritated! But then, I think I was more irritated because the babies were so good throughout the films. The first, about eight months old I would guess, squawked a little bit, but having a bottle, being bounced a bit, and sitting back on her daddy's lap was enough to keep her entertained by Hancock. The second, about the same age, seriously, I didn't even hear. Had I not seen the stroller (stroller!) enter the theater, I wouldn't have even known that the kid was there.
Really, who are these kids and where can I get a still and happy theatergoer like them? Jeez, if Sydney could be so well entertained in an actual movie theater so I could see an actual movie, I would be the happiest entertainment junkie mom on the planet!

Thursday, July 3

I felt bad for Kevin Sorbo

We just stopped watching Meet the Spartans. We, valiantly, I think, made it through the first half, but once the guy with the man boobs was blinded, it was time to be over. I was finished about five minutes into it, but Brian made me soldier through it more, until he too was overcome by the dumbness of the film. I'm going to make an executive decision right here, right now: No more movie mockeries. They've officially become too dumb to waste my time, and that's that.
Tomorrow, we head down to Brian's hometown for a visit with his parents for the long weekend. I don't know if we'll make it to any fireworks show, though we have been told that the town has a "cute" display. But on my short list of activities to do is to see Hancock. I cannot wait to check out this movie. I so hope it's as good as I hope it is.
But since I'll be away from my computer, I don't know if I'll be able to blog at all.
Have a Happy Fourth of July!

Wednesday, July 2

I love a good drama

I thought I'd give you an update on the "Summer Reading List 2008," over there to the left. You may or may not notice that the list is short two books at this point, and that the third book is waiting its turn on my nightstand right now. Really, I'm quite excited by this reading thing. I had forgotten how fun it could be! Anyway, book number three is The Alibi Club, by Francine Mathews. I thought it was time for a fun little suspense book, you know?
We've been watching the Olympic time trials, and I've got to tell you, I'm starting to get geeked up about the games in Beijing. I think we've got a real chance to make some waves in the contests this year. That's always fun, isn't it? I'm pretty fascinated though by all the last-minute fixes and changes the Chinese government are having to conduct to keep the Olympic dudes happy -- the clean up of all that green algae in the boating area is just one example. I heard that a lot of the athletes are staying away from Beijing until the very last minute so they don't breathe as much of the city's polluted air. This could really be a dramatic Games, huh? I'm digging it.

Tuesday, July 1

Cable box, heal thyself

I sometimes fascinate myself on my own levels of bizarre obsession and indifference. Like right now, I'm surprisingly indifferent to one of my favorite obsessions. The cable box in our bedroom has been ... unreliable at best, and frickin' frustrating at its worst ... for the last several months. In fact, this evening, I actually hit the box with my remote. I'll explain: it's late in registering remote commands, such as channel changing up and down, or directly to a different channel, and more irritatingly, has been going offline regularly, forcing me to reboot it and wait for the whole thing to come back up. All in all, there are worse problems to have, and I get that, but jeez, we spend too much money with Cox for me to be having this issue. But here's the funny part: This entire thing bugs me so much, but I have yet to get off my ass and call Cox and complain, or go by their little store and trade the box for a new one. But I think tonight's act of violence against the box will motivate me to call them tomorrow and get this taken care of. I'm done with it, really.

Only four more months of summer!

Ah, I love the smell of July in the morning. ... You know what this means, right? It means that there's only a few more months of summer, and that the year is on the downslide towards cooler weather and fun, family holidays. Yay!

Why the flag image, you may ask. Oh, to be patriotic, I guess.
I'm digging that Sen. Barack Obama has gone on record as saying that he will not be attacking anyone's patriotism in this election, as was done with so much vehemence in the last presidential election. I like this tack. In fact, I like Obama more because of this statement. When, exactly, did attacking someone's patriotism become a way of gaining votes? Well, I guess we can answer that by looking as far back as Bush vs. Kerry, but I think it even goes back further than that. Yes, I'll say it: ever since we went to war with Iraq, the Bush Administration and most every other Republican, have made their response to any criticisms, "Well, they're just not patriotic."
What I especially like is that Obama has, by making that statement, put a huge hole in McCain's strategy, I'm sure. And in that, saved the rest of us from ridiculous mudslinging about Obama's patriotism, or what McCain and the Republican party consider his lack of patriotism. To say that I am not looking forward to this election season is an understatement. I hate the ads, the signs, the lies and the brouhaha of it all. If only we could just vote and have that be the end of it. I'm tired already.
To slightly change direction: Brian and I had an interesting conversation last night about flag burning, and he said something quite astute. He said that, even though he had had no cause for burning the flag, he liked that people do it, because it shows that they care. I'll agree with that ... you can't say that anyone who's burned a flag has ever done it out of complacency.