Wednesday, February 27

"Leaving on a jet plane..."

It's that time you know, when, in just a couple minutes, I will call Mom to tell her that I'm done packing, and then ask her what she thinks I forgot. This is the paranoia phase of my traveling regime. In it, I know, I know, that I've forgotten something very important, and that I will need it at a dangerously necessary time, and that I won't have it. Mom, of course, reminds me that there's nothing that I have here that we can't buy in California. I agree with the wisdom of this, but I'm still sure I forgot "it." Whatever it is, I still have at least an hour before I go to bed and a couple hours tomorrow morning before we leave for the airport.

Tuesday, February 26

Mine's not red, but the look is the same

I decided to let my hair dry without benefit of a hairdryer last night, and let me tell you, I paid for that and then some all day today. I knew it was a mistake even as the last bits of moisture were leaving it last night as I spoke on the phone with Mom. Seriously, the frizz and bangs were so out of control. Once I'm done here, I'll be heading in to the bathroom to wet and re-dry my bangs. I can't stand them as they are ... well, actually, at this very moment, they are strapped to my head with a barrette to keep them in submission. But all the same, the hair is freaking me out. I must go take care of it.

Monday, February 25

Who guessed Tilda Swinton to win?

I don't think I've ever done so badly on an Oscar ballot as I did last night. I got eight award categories correct. Brian got nine. Brian got nine. What kind of world is this, really, when Brian beats me at the Oscar ballot predictions? It's a world gone amok; that's what it is. Amok, amok, amok. So I stunk it up pretty badly, but I'm over it. On to next year.
So did any of you watch Jimmy Kimmel Live! after the show? Seriously, all it took was the Jon Stewart and Ben Affleck teaser to get me to tune in. And it was well worth it! "F*cking Ben Affleck" had me in frickin' stitches! I love it when celebrities have a sense of humor about themselves. It makes the whole fame game seem more like a good time, you know, different than so many others would have us believe. But I also think that Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are exceptions to the rule in most cases.
And so the Oscars are over, and next year, I can try to see more than just one or two nominated films. Now that's a decent New Year's resolution ... a couple months after the fact.

Sunday, February 24

And the Oscar goes to...

Of course I'll be watching the Oscars tonight! Where in the world else would I be other than in front of my television? Nowhere is where. I'll be enjoying the ridiculous pomp and circumstance of the awards show, and loving every moment of it. Here's the plan: by the time the show starts, Sydney will already have eaten, so I won't miss any of it; sure, she'll get attention, but until 7 p.m. when she goes to bed, said attention will be a bit distracted; I will enjoy a lovely big tub of popcorn, made just the way I like it. I've already printed out mine and Brian's ballots, though this year it'll be a lot to do with luck, since we've only seen one of the contenders, Michael Clayton, and we only just watched it last night. I will though, avoid the pre-game nonsense as much as possible, as the E! commentators, hosts and red-carpet coverage is mostly, oh, I'll say it, stupid. Still, I'm eager for the fun to begin! Yay!

What? You want to know my picks? Okay, here are my selections for the big-ticket awards.
Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis (really, a no-brainer)
Best Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem (another no-brainer; he's won most everything else)
Best Actress: Cate Blanchett (she'll be the upset)
Best Supporting Actress: Amy Ryan (hookers and junkies always seem to be a win)
Best Picture: There Will Be Blood (this is my remarkably uneducated guess)
Best Director: guy who did There Will be Blood (again, uneducated)

Friday, February 22

Funny, ha-ha

Two cannibals are eating a clown.
One looks at the other and asks,
"Does this taste funny to you?"

Thursday, February 21

I'll take the middle seat; she'll have the window

So we're doing it again, my friends. Sydney and I are flying out to California next week for a visit. Yes, you read right. We're flying. I know, I know. I swore that we would not sit in another airplane until she understood bribery. I swore that I would not put myself through another flight like the last one we had. (You know the one, when she was "that baby.") But I think I've got the solution. A seat for her, and a seat for me. But her seat isn't for her to be seated in as much as for her to stretch in, as she'll still be a lap baby for take-off and landing. Her seat is for our space. She'll chill in it throughout the flight, watching The Backyardigans, looking out the window, or, hope of all hope, sleeping in my lap. I've been thinking about this all day, and I've decided that this is the best course of action for this particular trip. But if it ends up being a disaster, it'll be Mom and Brian's fault for guilting me into doing it their way.

Wednesday, February 20

Moon, pretty

Oh, okay. So this is what it was supposed to look like tonight. All Brian and I saw was a dim view of a white shadow poking out from behind some clouds as they whisked by it. Explanation: for all of you out there that might not have known, tonight was the last lunar eclipse we'll see until 2010. ... And I was ready for it, thanks to Daddy's heads up earlier this week. I left my sleeping child in bed and my dog on guard duty, and dragged my husband into an empty lot across the street from our house to see what we could see. And let me tell you, it was nothing as striking as what the people in Toronto witnessed, according to this photo. We also were supposed to have been able to see Saturn and Regulus, one of the brightest stars in our universe sandwiched around the moon. Huh. All I saw were looming thunder clouds, and airplanes on approach to Sky Harbor.

Tuesday, February 19

Mom's a flier

ITEM!: Here's my mother doing something fun, and totally and completely out of character for her to be doing, this weekend. She's paragliding, my peeps. And most oddly, I wasn't the person who had to talk her into it! She went out with a bunch of her gym friends into the desert, and hopped onto this little contraption and took flight! Ack! Seriously! How proud am I! All that bugs me is that I wasn't there to see it!
ITEM!: As has been announced in several outlets, Bluy-Ray has become the high-definition format of choice, beating out HD DVD for market dominance. Huzzah! And how funny that I just decided to cave and let Brian buy some Blu-Ray DVDs! I think it's because of me and my allowing of that purchase that finally said to HD DVD manufacturer, Toshiba, that they should just give up and let the other guy win. Look at us! We made the right decision!
ITEM!: ABC has announced the lineup for the new season of Dancing With the Stars. I gotta say, I'm pretty pleased that I recognize more names in this particular season. And I also can't tell if there are any outright ridiculous plugs for other ABC or Disney stuff. I'm sure there are, I just don't know who they are yet. So I know you're dying to know who up for the new season beneath the disco ball. Check them out: actress Shannon Elizabeth (Brian thinks she's hot), actor Steve Guttenberg (cool! Guttenberg's still alive!), Priscilla Presley (Elvis is totally rolling over right now); comedian Adam Corolla (the guy who's not Jimmy Kimmel), actress Marlee Matlin (the deaf actress!); tennis champ Monica Seles; illusionist Penn Jillette; R&B singer Mario; Miami Dolphins defensive player Jason Taylor; Tony Award-winner Marissa Jaret Winokur; figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi; and Chilean actor Cristián de la Fuente. The show returns March 17!

Sunday, February 17

We got it on Blu-Ray, savvy?

So we watched our first movie in the high-definition Blu-Ray format tonight. Gotta tell ya, I couldn't tell the difference all that much. Maybe it was the movie, or perhaps just that my expectations were that high, but I'm going to come away from this experience a bit disappointed. And that's saying a lot, being that the movie was one of my faves, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. I suppose there could have been some bits that may have been clearer than our original movie, but really, who can tell. I've been very leery about buying any movies in Blu-Ray. (Brian's PlayStation 3 is a Blu-Ray player.) Remember that the whole "which is better HD DVD or Blu-Ray?" technology tug of war is still in the middle stages. I keep telling Brian that I don't want to buy any of the special DVDs until we know which technology will come out on top. I refuse for us to have the Betamax, if you know what I'm saying. I don't want to spend money on a technology that will be utterly and completely obsolete two weeks after I get it home. Why I caved today is anyone's guess, but we came home with three movies in that format. I've also added the Blu-Ray format as an option on our Netflix queue, though I don't have anything on the queue for that right now, as the wait for the Blu-Ray movies is much longer than for the standard format.

Saturday, February 16

Lunch in Madrid? Sure!

Brian and I saw the movie Jumper today. I won't lie to you -- if I could do that, I'd live my life very similarly to the way the main character, David, lived his. I think I might be a good Samaritan a bit more often, but I would definitely do the whole bank robbing and living in style while bouncing around the planet throughout the day thing. That just looked too cool. Really, there are no rules involved in that kind of lifestyle, and I wouldn't mind it for a while. Would I get bored with it and want to settle down? Who knows, but I'd sure like to try it. Of course, I've got quite a bit more baggage than David, but still, I'd totally go for the jumping around. My head spins right now just trying to list all the places I'd visit. So many that rank near the top of the list that I don't even know where to begin. ... What an awesome ability. I'd like to be able to do that.

Friday, February 15

Blah, blah, blah, weather

I am, quite literally, sitting in my office freezing right now. I've actually got the hood up on my sweatshirt. My nose is cold. Even Oliver has left the room in order to stay warmer out in the hallway. Did I mention that I'm kinda liking it? We had real weather in Phoenix today, folks. Real weather: cloudy, cool breezes, rain. I rejoice that I had to turn on the heat this morning to keep Sydney and myself warm. Our fingers and toes were chilled. Yay February! Of course, this does not last long, as we should be experiencing temperatures in the 70s again in a few days.
So I was thinking about selling part of my considerable collection of Mary's Moo Moos on eBay. I had thought that I would circumvent the boring stuff by taking the box over to the "I Sold it on eBay" store nearby. That was a disappointing adventure. Did you know that if the potential value of a single item is less than $75, they won't bother with it? Now I know that these Moos are going for about $7 each on the site. I've got a box of about 100 of them. And the guy basically told me that my sale wasn't worth his time or effort. I'm at a loss now. What do I do with all these cows? I'd love to have a collector come by and say, "Hey, I'll give you $600 for the lot, and I promise to take good care of them." I suppose I'll just have to get off my butt and photograph them myself and see if I can do anything with them. Grr.
We watched Gone Baby Gone tonight. I'm bothered by it still. It's weighing heavy on my head and heart. Thank goodness we're going to go see Jumper tomorrow. I need something that'll be like gravy on my psyche.

Thursday, February 14

I heart my collection of holiday socks

It occurred to me this morning as I went to put on my shoes that I should really have some Valentine's Day socks. I thought, "Don't I have some holiday-appropriate socks for today?" A quick search through the not-everyday sock drawer yielded these beauties -- heart socks that do say "Happy Valentine's Day" on them. Unfortunately, the words are at an awkward side angle that would require some yoga pose to photograph, so all you get is the hearts on the top of my feet.
I hope that you all had a good Valentine's. I actually did get a gift from my husband -- perfume -- so I stand corrected on the whole no-gift business. (Thanks to my mother in-law who was appalled that I would sit back and not get anything, and who bugged Brian mercilessly the other night about what he was going to get me for the holiday.)

I get really mad at these people who go into places, say, a school, shoot and kill as many people as they can, and then turn the gun on themselves. What cowards. What they should do is just find themselves a cozy corner and just off themselves, leaving the rest of the world to be. I don't know what they're trying to accomplish, or what kind of "message" they're trying to give the world, but all I see is a poor excuse of a person looking for some posthumous newsprint. If life is so awful, or if "the man" is making you so unhappy, deal with it yourself, you f*ckheads. You don't need to teach anyone a lesson. You don't need to make a statement with your death. Just die. And leave everyone else alone.

Wednesday, February 13

I guess they howl quite a bit, too

I'm ridiculously tired for some reason, so I'll make tonight's post short and sweet. The short comes from me just not writing as much. The sweet comes from this picture of the beagle, Uno, who won Best in Show at this year's big dog show (I think it's the American Kennel Club, but I'm not positive). He is the first beagle to ever win Best in Show. I think he's just adorable. I had wanted a beagle some time ago before we got Oliver. Mom told me that beagles fart a lot, but I'm pretty sure that's just a problem that their beagle had when she was young, not necessarily a breed trait. Besides, I doubt any dog can fart as bad as, oh, say Brian ... or even Oliver himself after he's had too many treats in an afternoon. At any rate, I think I'm crushing on this little canine.
I discovered something financially dangerous tonight. I'd never looked at it, but tonight I found the children's book section on Barnes & Noble's web site. I found four ... four! ... books that Sydney must possess. Two are from the Fancy Nancy series, which will have to wait until she's a bit older. I'm not afraid of buying books that will take up space on the shelf for a while. Few people know that I have a box of books for my kid in the storage unit out in California. They all were bought way before I got pregnant. In fact, several were purchased even before I met Brian. I'm a proactive book buyer. I can't wait for her to be able to sit on my lap for reading time! Right now, she gets kinda squirmy.

Tuesday, February 12

Watch "Jericho" tonight on CBS

Okay, so Brian and I totally dig this show, Jericho. I think I've mentioned it before, but lastly how it was canceled by CBS, and then brought back to life due to an effective nuts campaign by the show's devoted viewers. Yay them! Anyway, the show comes back to TV tonight.
This is where you all come in, all of you in Internets land: Watch Jericho tonight on CBS. Get your friends and family to watch it, too. (I've linked to Entertainment Weekly's helpful Jericho primer here.) Sure, the story may seem a bit thick at first, but really, it's pretty easy to grasp with the help of the web site. (And it's far less complex than Lost's mythology, so don't be scared.) See, you all have to watch this show because we need as many eyes on it as possible. CBS has ordered only seven episodes of the program for this season, and depending on the viewership, the network may order another 13 for next season. I stress the word "may" in that sentence.
Now, I'm going out on a limb for this show, mainly because I had an entire season to enjoy it last year, because I really want to know what happens. I'm intrigued by the storyline. A town in Kansas coping with life after a major attack on the country which includes more than 20 bombs that have leveled the metropolitan cities throughout the land. What about the government? The military? Who's in charge? What about cable television? Will Jake and Emily kiss again?

Monday, February 11

How long was it? 63 questions

I spent some time working on Sydney's baby book last night. I'll admit to being a complete flake and getting very little of it done throughout the last year. Still, because the calendar noting all her firsts was in her closet and she was sleeping, I was unable to take care of a significant portion of the thing. I did go through the pictures though, and added them all in the book in the appropriate places. It's weird to me that the last four photo albums have only pictures of Sydney, Oliver, the nursery, or my pregnant belly. Jeez, what's been going on in my life the last two years? At any rate, I'm quite pleased with the book at this point. There's a lot still to be done, but at least now, when I look at it, I'm not racked with guilt and shame because I haven't documented her life so far. I hope she'll like it when she's old enough to appreciate it. I know I love my baby book.
I'm going to go ahead and note that Blogger is working extremely well for me at this moment. Usually, when I'm composing a post, the site can't keep up with my typing and trails behind me by about 7 seconds. For whatever reason, perhaps because it's been up for the last hour just waiting for me to do something, it's keeping up with me very well. That makes me happy. When it's lagging, I get very frustrated.
I won't complain about it, but I will also note that I'm going to have to replace the flannel sheets on our bed with the regular cotton sheets. It's just not getting cold enough at night anymore. I'll hold on to the down comforter, because there is still a bit of a chill in the nighttime air, but the flannels have made me wake up sweating two nights in a row now. Should it happen again tonight, it's over for them. And I mean that in the absolute sense as well. This sheet set seems to have stretched or something, because they just don't fit on the bed the way they should anymore. I shall get new flannels for next winter, I think.
As you can tell, it's kind of a random night for blogging. I did fill out a ridiculously long questionnaire, sent to me by Kerry, with the intent on publishing it as my post tonight. Lucky you, I decided that it was just too damn long for that, and I didn't even want to use the energy in figuring out which questions to use and not use. Those questionnaires never get old for me though. I love getting them from my friends, and I love filling them out. I always end up learning something about someone, and I love that. I guess that's what they're all about, huh?

Sunday, February 10

Feel it hot, hot, hot

Something very wrong happened today. Here, in Phoenix, it got so warm that we flipped on the air conditioner and wore shorts all afternoon. In fact, it's 7:30 p.m. right now, and I just put on some light lounging pants. But I'm still wearing a short-sleeved t-shirt. Can I just say, "What the hell?" It's the frickin' beginning of February and I'm already having to break out the warm weather gear? How crazy is that? I'm irritated about this. I was hoping that we wouldn't have any days like this until at least April, but the meteorologists even forecast these upper 70s temperatures for the next couple days. Ack!
What else is up today? Well, I'm not watching the Grammys because I don't care. We had a family outing to the dog park this morning. I think Oliver is getting it because he seemed a bit more comfortable around the other dogs. And I don't even need to tell you how much Sydney loves the running around. And since we hang out in the "passive" dog area, she hasn't been assaulted by any other dogs either. I'm hoping to make the dog park visits a weekly thing for us. I think we'll be able to manage that.

Saturday, February 9

My other car is a space shuttle

I'm very excited this morning, my friends. It seems that the writers have reached a tentative deal with the studios to end the three-month strike that has crippled my television. Huzzah! According to a Writer's Guild memo, members are to meet today to discuss the terms, the ratification process and whether to end the strike. Again, huzzah! I can't wait to get new television!
However, it won't all happen overnight. The strike has lasted longer than anyone expected, and at a weird time for television schedules. Right now, some shows, should they get started right away on new episodes, could get as many as five or six new offerings before the end of the season, but that's assuming the networks are interested in cramming the new shows in. For some programs, a better bet may be to just call this season a loss and get started on the 2008-2009 season. This could be a better thing for fledgling shows, such as Chuck, which could use some time to get its momentum going again in searching for a larger audience. Other shows are leery of a shortened season due to storyline issues and the like. Me? I worry about Lost, of course, but have confidence that I won't get too screwed over by the peeps who make my favorites. Still, it'll take weeks for my television and DVR to become reacquainted with new episodes. Until then, I guess I'll just keep on keeping on. Yay TV!

Friday, February 8

A dozen roses on Feb. 14: $85; Feb. 15: $22

So next Thursday is Valentine's Day, and the pressure is on. I've seen a ton of ads for different jewelry stores, and walking through the mall today, I saw that there was no shortage of heart-shaped trinkets, red presents, and candy-inspired gifts. I won't throw stones though, as I think I'll get Brian some kind of candy for the holiday, because really, I simply will not get him a puppy anytime soon. And he hasn't played with half of the PS3 games yet, so I won't get him another one of those either.
Ah ... you think I'm sounding bitter. Perhaps, but I know that I won't get anything for V-Day, so I'm finding it hard to put too much effort in what I'll be getting him. I did buy Sydney one of those singing Hallmark animals -- the dog -- so she'll be guaranteed a good time.
Personally, I'm not that big a supporter of Valentine's Day. Sure, the cards are awesome, and candy is always good, but I feel so much pressure about the holiday: must get present; must do romantic dinner; must have passion. (Of course, this is nothing compared to the expectations put on men this time of year, but this is my blog, so I'll ignore them.) I'd kinda rather we all went straight to celebrating the Irish in March, but I understand that we do need something fun to do in February.

Oh, about two hours

I just spent a ridiculous amount of Sydney's naptime doing nothing but playing around with ringtones for my new phone. Yes, I did get a new phone yesterday. Of course, this process was not without frustrating nuisances and inconveniences, but I will not bore you with those. Besides, it all happened yesterday, and I have decided to not dwell on the past so much. Anyway, I found a kick-ass tone for Brian's numbers, and one of my favorite songs for Mom, and another favorite tune for my divas. Please, if you don't have a special tone, don't feel slighted. The song that everyone else has, U2's The Sweetest Thing, is one of my all-time faves as well, so I always like to hear it. (But as I sit here, I still want to find something cooler for Mom, so that one is still to-be-determined. I'll be pondering it all day, I'm sure.) But that's the phone right there. I kinda really like it. It's got a slider that covers the keys, and a really good camera on it. And, contrary to what the last phone had to deal with, it will not fall into the hands of Sydney. Because I really believe that Ryan was right all those months ago when he told me that letting her play with, and suck on, my cell phone voids the warranty. I'm quite convinced that I am totally and completely at fault for the last phone's untimely demise. I let my kid play with it. Sadly for Sydney, that won't happen again. ... Well, at least until she stops putting everything in her mouth.

Thursday, February 7

Where are this woman's pajamas?

I haven't been a huge fan of Jennifer Lopez's in a long while. I believe that she has become a sold-out, plasticized, diva-ed, better-than-thou version of herself. She is no longer the cooler chick of Out of Sight, The Wedding Planner and On the 6. Given that, I don't believe that anyone should be as miserable as she seems to be in this picture here. Word is that she's pregnant with twins. And here she is at a huge event last night, working the red carpet, when she should really be at home relaxing. However, I love that we finally have an unguarded image of her looking like an actual woman. Hey everyone! Check her out! J. Lo. is a real person!

Also in today's news, it's looking like John McCain, the senator from Arizona, will be the Republican party's nominee for the presidency. The Internets is telling me that Mitt Romney, that guy from Massachusetts who seems to be denying everything that is Massachusetts, will be suspending his campaign for the presidency today. That just leaves John (I'll assume the familiarity since he called me twice the other day at my home) and Mike Huckabee, the only man who could possibly bring Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and Conan O'Brien to blows, in a race for the nomination. Quite seriously, I believe that Romney is sitting back right now because he knows he'll lose the nomination and he doesn't want to fork out any more money. Which is good business, really. Who knew that running for president would cost so much? Now he can go back to being a Republican former governor of an overwhelmingly blue state. "Jeez, guys, I'm sorry I went and stumped all about everything you all despise. I'm back now, though. You want to hire me for some speaking engagements?"

Wednesday, February 6

Flower, pretty

ITEM!: My Internets is all messed up tonight, putting me in a pissy mood. Brian tells me it's because of all the other yahoos hitchhiking on our signal that we can't block. This is a subtle but constant jab from my spouse, who believes that if I had a PC like he did, we'd be able to password protect our signal and no one would be able to use it. I like my Apple. Though I'd rather have an iMac at this point in my life. The notebook's battery doesn't even hold a charge for five minutes now. I'll be off to my Apple store to replace it sometime soon. Until then, I'll be sitting at my desk with the computer. A subtle but constant reminder to myself that I should really have an iMac instead anyway.
ITEM!: I was glad to hear today that Heath Ledger's death was an accidental overdose of prescription drugs. I would rather his daughter grow up knowing that he hadn't meant to leave her. I imagine that this also makes the mourning process by his friends and family easier, alleviating any guilt a suicide would give them.
ITEM!: For the past few months, my cell phone has been developing this weird kind of corrosion, but not really, on the battery nodes where the power cord plugs in. It's a blue kind of chalky residue. It's hard to explain. Anyway, I've been able to bypass the corrosion by cleaning the area with some alcohol, scraping the corrosion off, and finessing the power cord in. The past couple weeks I've been meaning to get into the AT&T store. Tonight, the plug officially isn't working, the phone can't get power, and I'm irritated enough to make a plan to visit AT&T tomorrow.
ITEM!: John McCain called my house twice yesterday, telling me how much he was going to change and improve the United States, and and how important it is for me to vote. Sweet of him to be looking out for me, but a.) I'm not a registered voter in Arizona; b.) I don't vote Republican, no matter who it is; and c.) I'm wondering why my federal do-not-call list registration doesn't seem to apply to the federal government.

Monday, February 4

Pink condoms for sale

I can't think of a single thing to write about tonight. So I think I'll just lead with this picture from a condom manufacturing plant in Bangkok, Thailand. I've actually had this picture in my "folder for random pics that I'd like to put on the blog" for quite some time. Clearly, I was having a hard time deciding what kind of subject matter a post would have to cover in order to be properly accompanied by this image. Maybe something about the color pink, or Thailand, or, you know, erections, but the post just never came to me ... er ... or hardened into a good idea ... er ... or rose from within ... um ... how about, I just couldn't find the right idea to massage ... no, that won't work either. Shit. Okay, you all write your own punchline for this one.

Sunday, February 3

Wait 'til next year

I am so bummin' right now. B-U-M-M-I-N-G, absolutely, with all the crazy emphatic pauses you could throw in there. I was so confident that the Patriots would be taking home a Super Bowl championship tonight. I talked so much smack and had all those near and dear to me rooting for the undefeated Pats. I did as much as I could, and yet, they lost. Grr. It irritates me just to write it. I can't watch ESPN nor will I be viewing the news tonight. I'm disgusted, really. I'm stunned. Out of spite or foolish pride, I've already made the prediction that they'll go undefeated again next year and win the Super Bowl just to prove that they really can do it. Who's interested in that wager?
I simply can't stand Eli Manning, and now he's got the Super Bowl glow that Tom Brady, Randy Moss and Junior Seau should be wearing. That's so wrong. The whole thing is wrong. I demand a recount.

Saturday, February 2

Patriots: 31, Giants: 28, so says Phil

So our main man, Punxsutawney Phil, out there in Pennsylvania saw his shadow today, forecasting another six weeks of winter. I say, good. I need more cool weather before this place goes to hell. And I mean that in the really hot weather kind of way. But back to Phil: I think this may be the best photo I've ever seen of him. Not an attractive animal, the groundhog, but it's nice to know that one doesn't have to be a pretty flamingo or cool-looking Orca to get a day named after them.
Phil also made another prediction. He said that the Patriots are going to perform an absolute and exact dismantling of the New York Giants tomorrow in the Super Bowl. Hmmm. Maybe he can predict the future.

Friday, February 1

Ski buddies

I'm going to dedicate this month's avatar to Howie, who would much rather be skiing, or at least bitching to me about the fact that he's not skiing or that I'm not skiing with him.
I'm reminded that two years ago this month, Mom, Howie, Brian and I took a trip to Steamboat Springs, Colo. for what would end up being our last ski trip together. The evening before we left Boston, Brian and I found out that I was pregnant. I was so glad to be flying out to see Mom and Howie the next day because I knew, I knew, that I would not be able to keep the pregnancy a secret for any longer than the time stretching from that afternoon to that evening. I could hardly talk to Mom that whole day because I was simply bursting with the news. Brian and I were in such a state because we didn't know how best to tell them. It ended up being over my refusal of a glass of wine to toast our trip.
One of my cherished memories will now and forever be all four of us being the only people on the planet who knew about the baby, and how happy we all were that we could celebrate it together.

That's Joe, in the middle

Look at this everyone! The self-proclaimed "America's toughest sheriff" has broadcast a verbal warning to all the athletes and celebrities coming out to Phoenix. He said, "Hey there, folks! Don't be comin' out he-yah lookin' to get be all drunk and crazy on yo' ponies! I be the sherr-if round these parts. I kin make you sorry! I gots a bee-utiful place for y'all in my tents. And there be a posse and detectives out searchin' fer ya, too. Don't mess with me!" (I paraphrase, but that's about what he said.)
I'm consistently driven batty by Maricopa County's Sherrif Joe Arpaio and his Wild West attitude and absolute need to get on television as often as possible. Tell me, is this kind of warning to Tom Brady, Eli Manning and Paris Hilton and their peers not a plea for attention? And then we have the inevitable follow-up articles about Tent City, pink underwear, bologna sandwiches and chain gangs that make this whole region look like a vast expanse of cowboys and bandits, sucking on wheat stalks, driving pick-up trucks and missing teeth. Thanks, Joe. Good way to foster some real publicity for Phoenix as a nice, clean, metropolitan place.