Monday, March 31

I have the the aptitude to write for children!

A few things for tonight's blog, in no particular order, though I will be numbering them:
1.) Just like for college, when a big envelope arrives from the school to which you've applied, it's good news. Bad news comes in small envelopes and on one piece of paper. Such was my logic when I opened my mailbox to see a large envelope from the children's writing course. And yes, I have been invited to enroll in their program! Yay me! So, the big question, of course, is how much? Only $707, which can be paid at once with a $30 credit, or monthly over 12 months, at $54 each. Hell yeah, peeps, sign me up! I also got the information on my instructor; we'll call her Judy. She's published a handful of books and articles, and seems to have the credentials to be really helpful. According to the information, if I send in my enrollment confirmation in April, I can start my instruction in May! Awesome!
2.) I am loving my new, red coffee table in my living room. Brian and I brought it in tonight after the kid went to bed, and I am really liking it. The red just goes so lovely. I'll snap a pick of it tomorrow when the sun's shining for tomorrow's post.
3.) We also received the replacement rim for our stolen spare tire this evening. I'm off to the tire shop to get a new tire, and then to the dealership to have the thing attached properly and to buy a cover. Then, the car will be whole again.

My DWTS voting (10 votes allowed):
Kristi Yamaguchi ~ 2 votes
Jason Taylor, Marlee Matlin, Priscilla Presley, Mario, Steve Guttenberg, Shannon Elizabeth, Cristian de la Fuente, and Adam Corolla ~ 1 vote each. Again, spreading the love to those I'd like to see dance next week.
Marissa J-something Winokur, sadly, gets no love from me this week.

Sunday, March 30

North Carolina, Kansas, UCLA and Memphis

Should I even bother gloating? After all, I've already made Brian admit that he's proud of me, and that maybe, just maybe, I should have put some money in the pool. I'll say it loud and proud: I picked all four teams that are in the Final Four. What makes this more amazing? This also is the first time in history that all four Final Four teams are number one seeds in their regions. So, not only is this history-making in that sense, but also in the sense that I knew it would happen! I rock! Okay, I've got Kansas and UCLA in the Finals, and UCLA winning the tournament.
We've got a few different projects going on in the G. household lately. Of course, by "we" I mean me, and the never-stopping futz-machine in my head. I can't stop looking around for things to move, reorganize, get rid of entirely, or just make look different. Currently, I have a kick-ass bookcase next to my bed that is serving as my new kick-ass nightstand. (Yay Mom!) I think I'm loving the books, and their placement, but that is subject to some change. Also, we have a repainted, red coffee table out on the balcony spending another night drying before coming inside tomorrow. Brian and I have spent the last two days transforming our boring, natural wood coffee table into a fabulous red chair-matching coffee table, with sanded and curved corners. Now there's a pile of random things in the office to deal with. Huh. I've got a lot of stuff to clear up and out this week.
Of note: Color paint is easy to get off skin; primer must be scraped off; and apparently, clear lacquer must wear off over time and as the skin itself sloughs away.

Friday, March 28

They're just so pretty; do they smell good?

I'm sorry to say that I won't be able to keep up with the weekend movie trifecta, but I would, someday, like to go see the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C.
And so goes my head tonight. I'm tired, a bit from the walking around and a bit from the sun, but I am definitely looking forward to a decent night's sleep. Mom, Auntie Donna and I wandered around the spring art festival today, having happily left Sydney at home with the babysitter. So, the tally? I have the most fantastic bookcase in my bedroom, some very cool art for Sydney's walls, and a thing for my own wall.
I love how art festivals bring out the "I have space for this no matter how big it is" in most everyone wandering through them. Large metal sculpture ... sure! Funky, colorful canvas of hearts ... you bet! Random springy animal for the garden .. of course!

Thursday, March 27

This summer's iced mochas courtesy of AT&T

I got my "rebate" from AT&T this afternoon for buying my phone a few weeks ago. I put quotes around rebate because I don't understand why they don't just write me a check or something equally easy. Instead, they send me a debit card with the $60 on it. I get why they prefer to do this. They want to hold on to every dollar or 50 cents that someone doesn't spend on the card. I bet they really love the people who just forget to use the cards, saving the company the money entirely. Me, I prefer cash in my rebates. If the money comes out of my checking account, it should go back into my checking account. I don't think there's any crazy logic there, do you?
But since AT&T doesn't listen to me, nor really care about how I feel about the rebate format, I've now got a debit card for $60 to use somewhere. Mom tells me that the grocery store is the best place to use such things, but I don't want to use such a cool thing on something practical like food. I guess I could use it for lunches, at Starbucks and the like. You know what? That's a frickin' brilliant idea! I'm going to put the $60 on my Starbucks card! Brilliant, and a happy thing! You see, my dears, I go all stream of consciousness on you, and come up with the best idea ever! Yay me!

Wednesday, March 26

Keep it on topic, my brothers

I don't know what reporter thought it would be relevant to today's politics to ask Chelsea Clinton about Monica Lewinsky, but that person should be slapped upside the head. And the fact that news outlets around the country are both appalled that the question was asked, while also kinda pissed that their own intrepid reporter didn't ask it, is equally irritating. Sure, every potential presidential nominee, and their past, should be up for debate and a thorough nitpicking, but why ask Chelsea about her dad's indiscretion. What could she possibly say to such a thing? What does she know that's more than what we already know, or what her mom and dad told her? Some would argue that since she's campaigning for her mom, she should be prepared to answer for everything and anything regarding her mom. I say bullshit to that. No, she shouldn't have a free pass to campaign without questions, but I do think that the questions asked of her should be in good taste, as well as relevant to this campaign. Ah, there's that word again, relevant. Daddy's blowjob in the White House isn't relevant to her mom's campaign. It's not like Hillary has a history of getting blowjobs in inappropriate places. So why ask the question? Shock value, of course. Sometimes I hate the media.

Tuesday, March 25

DWTS consolation prize: photo on Kimmie G's blog

So all seems to be right in the world of competitive celebrity ballroom dancing, as Penn Jillette and Monica Seles were voted off tonight's Dancing with the Stars: The Results show. Sure, I feel bad for them, because no one wants to be the first celebrity kicked off, but, like I said last night, Seles is an awful dancer, and Jillette is kind of a dick.
And I could make a prediction as to who will be voted off next week too, when the show returns to its standard one pink slip per week format. I think it'll be Adam Corolla. The only factor that kept him on the show this week is that most people love Julianne Hough so much. She's so cute, and such an awesome dancer, that the voters like watching her. The girls are safe next week, I think. But that's my bold prediction: Enjoy Corolla's last performance next Monday.

Oh yeah, and tonight's Jericho provided some closure for us fans of the show, but it certainly looks like whatever they had planned for "next" season would have been cool to see. I'm convinced that a majority of the television-viewing public just doesn't get it when faced with a more thought-provoking drama on their tubes. They like the CSIs and the L&Os, not to mention stuff like Desperate Housewives, where stories are just spelled out for them. I don't mean to sound snobby, because I thoroughly enjoy the occasional CSI: Miami, but would it kill people to see a show that doesn't come with a solution/answer wrapped in a little bow at the end? How a program like Lost has become so popular is beyond me, especially when looking at the usual fare that is in the upper levels of viewership. Actually, this does sound snobby, but you know ... so what. I'm sick of the smart, slick, moody and complex dramas being shown the door because they didn't catch on with the mainstream viewing public.

Monday, March 24

It's like waiting to hear from a college

Okay, I got a letter from the children's book writing course, and it gave me the impression that I just might not be accepted into their program. I'll paraphrase: they haven't evaluated it yet, but so I know, they're looking for an understanding of children, a talent for communicating in writing, and the level of aptitude the essay reveals about writing structure, idea organization and grammatical structure. Now, get this, they screen out ("fail") several thousand applicants each year, only enrolling about 32 percent of the people who contact them. I don't know whether I should be nervous about getting in, indignant about perhaps not getting in, or just kinda cocky because they'd be stupid to not extend me an invitation to join. Of course, if they do ask me to enroll, I'm already nervous about the work and how good I'll be. Mom tells me not to worry, because at the end of the day, they really just want my tuition, whatever that is. (I've yet to see that on any of their paperwork. I'm sure that my invitation will include that information.) At any rate, they say that I should hear back from them in two to three weeks.

My Dancing with the Stars voting (12 votes allowed):
Kristi Yamaguchi ~ 3 votes
Jason Taylor ~ 2 votes
Marlee Matlin, Priscilla Presley, Shannon Elizabeth, Marissa J-something Winokur, Mario, Steve Guttenberg, and Cristian de la Fuente ~ 1 vote each, because I like to spread the wealth over who I think should get another chance to dance.
Yep, that means that Adam Corolla, Penn Jillette and Monica Seles got no vote love from me. I think Corolla and Jillette are kinda dicky, and Seles is just an awful dancer.

Sunday, March 23

I'm bummed we missed the egg hunt

I really can't remember the last time that I felt like a true, absolute idiot. I really can't remember it. That is, of course, until today. What happened today? Oh! Well, the Easter event that I thought was today, actually took place yesterday! Excellent, and quite stupid of me, yes? I couldn't believe it, as we drove up to the Nicole's family home, and there were no cars in the driveway or on the street. So I had Brian wait in the car with Sydney while I went and knocked on the door. Well, imagine Diane's, Kevin's and Nic's surprise when they opened the door to find me, looking quite confused! "The party was yesterday!" Diane tells me when I appear even more quizzical.
Huh. Oh. Well. Here we are! Anyway, it ended up being a fantastic visit, which is awesome. I actually got to sit with Nicci, her family got to play with Sydney and see what a rock star she is, they have an entire tray of brownies to eat on their drive back up to Colorado, and really, all turned out even better than if we actually were there yesterday. But still, I feel so stupid.

I am proud to tell you that today marks the second movie trifecta weekend in as many weeks! I love the movie trifecta weekends! I feel so freakishly accomplished, and happily movied out once Sunday night arrives and I've seen three movies in three nights! This weekend: Eastern Promises, Atonement, and Meet the Robinsons. Yay!

Also, six months of candy

I am so glad that Easter is here. And I'm glad for a purely selfish reason. Tonight, or maybe tomorrow morning, I'll be taking down all my Easter decorations. I'm giddy, to tell you the truth, about having my house be normal. It boggles my mind that, in really every way, the place has been showered in some kind of holiday fluff since October last year. Except for a very brief respite in January, the place is covered in witches, turkeys, Santas, hearts, shamrocks and bunnies for six months straight. Right now, I say thank goodness Easter wasn't in April this year. I enjoy the decorations (I really do!), but at this moment, I am so over them! And yay that nothing will have to be set out until this-coming October!

So, after the series-ending finale this Tuesday, we'll have no more Jericho. While the second season was far from as cool as the first, I still dug it, and would love to know what the writers had envisioned for the next three seasons or so. But, as the cancellation is unchangeable, we'll live with not knowing. Still, the removal of a dark, complex drama on my schedule is regrettable. I like a show that makes me care, just as I love a show that makes me laugh. I guess that'll leave only Dancing with the Stars: The Results to entertain me on that evening.

Friday, March 21

A fistful of marshmallow

And for the Friday before Easter, I am pleased to bring you this, The Ultimate Peep Show, courtesy of the ultimate Andrea, who knows a good time when she sees one.

Thursday, March 20

I heart Starbucks; bad Starbucks

Sometimes, California has got some rock-solidly cool laws. Witness: Starbucks will have to pay its California baristas $106 million in back tips and interest, because the chain was splitting the tip pool with the stores' managers and shift supervisors. Per California law, managers and supervisors can not be paid out of the tip jar, of any business, not just the coffee industry. So a lawsuit brought on by one astute former barista went class action, and now all the baristas are about to get paid. Brian's speculative math figures it to be about $5,000 each.
I've got to tell you, I love this law. You bet the employees should get every dime, quarter and dollar left in the tip jar. That's why I put the money in there. It's not so the managers and supervisors who didn't make my coffee can get some. That's just a cheap way for the company to get out of paying their managers and supervisors more, isn't it?
And this should not be limited to California, either. My own powers of assumption tell me that this means that the shift supervisors and managers at my local Starbucks are getting a percentage of the extra dollar I leave in the jar every time I drive through for my mocha. This bugs me. That person didn't make my mocha! Why, oh why, should they get some of the tip I left?
I think this should be the beginning of a revolution among baristas. They have to do it. I can't do anything to make any impact except withhold my tips, and I'm not going to do that. Even if the friendly girl who swirls the whipped cream on my drink doesn't get the whole dollar, she gets part of it, and I suppose that's better than nothing.

Wednesday, March 19

My method's not madness anymore

It's the middle of March, and you all know what that means! It's time for me to completely obliterate a college basketball bracket!
You know, I fill one out every year, and every year, it's demolished be the second round. Last year, I think I lost my tourney winner in the regional semifinals.
But this year is a bracket of change. I took the time this morning to do a little research, find out about a few of the teams, and for the first time, I don't have a bracket based on guesses, seedings and hunches. Brian calls this education my version of cheating, since I've always seemed to take pride in my lack of knowledge about the college basketball. And in fact, most times I did. But not this year. Nope, this year, I think I may impress even myself.
By the way, I've picked UCLA to take the whole thing.

Tuesday, March 18

I spy a green theme

Okay, so I can totally admit when I'm very wrong. And right now, I'm very wrong. This admission comes after watching Priscilla Presley slay the competition on Dancing with the Stars tonight. She didn't do as well as Kristi Yamaguchi, who rocked the house, but she did make me sit up and say, "Hey! I was so wrong!" I like that she's proven me wrong, and I can now say that I'll gladly ignore what I wrote last night. Except the part about her never noticing when the backstage camera is on her. She was oblivious to that all tonight as well. And did you see Lisa Marie in the audience? Way to support Mom and her crazy fancies! Loving the Presleys right now!

This is the last of the green St. Patrick's Day cupcakes that my in-laws bought over the weekend and then sent home with us. I take a picture of it because I'm embarrassed to death that I ate it. Cupcakes are like crack to me, people. I don't care how much I beg, don't buy them for me. I'll just eat them. Maybe, perhaps like today, I might eat three. And then I'll be in a sickened shame spiral from whence I can not return with any bit of self-respect.
I'm loving the size of my pants at this moment, you all, so please aid me in my quest to a.) stay in them; or b.) need something smaller. All I want is your forgiveness for today's transgression, and your goodwill and karma in giving me the strength and willpower to fight them off should any more arrive near me. Cupcakes, I love you, but I hate what you do to me.

Monday, March 17

Where's my green beer?

I know it's a good blog post when the iTunes shuffles over to Britney right as I start composing.

ITEM!: Did anyone catch the season premiere of Dancing with the Stars tonight? It was all about the men, as the ladies begin their competition tomorrow night. I've already got some favorites, but will wait a few weeks before allowing you that much entrance into my head. Of course, since the ladies haven't even danced yet, my favorites among them are entirely based on how they acted in tonight's audience. For example, I love that Shannon Elizabeth and that girl to her left were giggling. I love that Marlee Matlin bragged about putting the disco ball trophy next to her Oscar. And as much as I want to love Priscilla Presley in this, I just wasn't feeling it tonight. Is it the Botox, or does she really not have any facial expressions? Why did she seem kinda out of it and confused? And it really is that obvious that she doesn't want to be there. Who talked her into this? They should be fired. I am so excited for tomorrow night! You go girls!
ITEM!: I always get a random charge out of yelling at strangers. Tonight, I got to holler at some guys testing the engine of their Fast and Furious Acura in my parking structure right next to my apartment. I didn't know cars could make that much noise, but they do, so I ran out onto my balcony to tell these kids to shut up. As an extra bonus, my husband also was there, and we got to yell together that we had a baby sleeping in this apartment, and that they really needed to stop doing that revving bullshit. I dig it when Brian and I are on the same team and looking to kick someone's ass. Especially if that someone could wake up the screaming mimi in the next room.
ITEM!: Even though today is St. Patrick's Day, I took down my shamrock and leprechaun decor and put up the Easter stuff. I have real issues with holiday decoration equality, and that means that Easter, which is Sunday, needs to be celebrated with the bunnies and eggs being set out as soon as they logically could be. But since I'm a freak that way, I had to completely restore my home to normalcy before doing Easter. Can't go from one holiday to another with stuff in the wrong bin, can I?
ITEM!: Freaky thing, ever since I criticized Priscilla, I've had two Elvis songs shuffle up on my iTunes. Message from the grave? Is he agreeing with me? Well, dude, even Elvis can't influence my opinion on this blog ... my blog. However, if I get one more before I'm done here, I'll go ahead and take out all that Priscilla stuff.

Thursday, March 13

Phew. I finally got up the nerve

Okay, so I finally did it. Today, I filled out the Writing Aptitude Test for a program/course on writing children's books. Seriously, the information has been languishing on my desk for more than five months. I've just been too ... oh, what's the word ... scared to fill it out. I'll admit to it being a case of the jitters. You bet it is. I haven't really written anything in the last 16 months, except for this blog, that's worth much. The few forays into writing have mainly been disappointments to the people who asked me to provide them. That will prey on a person's conscience, and make them not really want to put themselves out there, if the result may be more of the same ego crushing. But I bit the bullet, as they say, said, "F*ck it," and just did it.
The test actually came out a bit better than I thought it would. It was four parts, all requiring some writerly imagination, and I was able to come up with something clever (I hope) for each. Now I've sent the test in a bit later than they wanted as a deadline date. I hope I won't have to wait too long to hear from them, but I will certainly let you all know how it goes!

Tuesday, March 11

"True blue, baby, I love you"

How rock-solid awesome was that space shuttle launch last night? I totally spaced on it, but Mom reminded me, and I was able to catch it on instant replay via CNN. Such an amazing event, yes? I hope I'm able to see this once in my life, if not be in one when it launches. I just find the whole thing so frickin' cool.

So, Madonna was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame yesterday. Artists qualify for induction 25 years after their first commercial recording. I'd feel really old about that, but with as much as Madonna, and I, have grown, matured, changed and shifted, I feel like wearing the last 25 years as a badge of honor. She's just as cool as she always has been. I mean, she got an innuendo-laden introduction from Justin Timberlake, who also has done some collaboration on her newest album. And even though I never went the route of wearing the lacy bustiers, big chiffon skirts, and "Boy Toy" belts, I have always been a fan of her and her music. I'm proud, in fact, to have an extensive list of her work on my iPod, and still consider "Cherish," "True Blue," "Music," and "Vogue," some of the best tunes ever. I think I actually wore out my True Blue cassette tape. And I'm also excited about the new album. How many artists can claim to have fans clamoring for their new work 25 years after their first musical offering? Not many. Madonna is in rare company indeed.

Sunday, March 9

Technically, not a dive, but a dip

So I participated in my first ever Dumpster dive this morning. Let's be clear: I didn't climb all the way inside the Dumpster, but I did enlist Brian's help to get up high enough along its lip so I could reach the bag with the handle of my umbrella. It all started with me being proactive, which is a big thing for me. I tossed out the shoe box for Brian's new shoes this morning when I took Oliver out for his walk. Later this morning, Brian decided that the shoes were too big. So we stopped next to the trash bin as we were heading out to the zoo, and I used my umbrella handle to hook the trash bag handle, and pulled it out of the Dumpster. So many of you will ask, "Why didn't Brian dive into the Dumpster himself and get the damn bag?" My answer: because Brian is a big priss about dirty stuff. "Ew, it's so dirty," I hear so often. Like I said, a priss. So more times than not, I'm the "boy" in these situations, and am the one that gets my hands dirty.
But that reminds me ... I'm still wearing the shirt I wore when I leaned against the lip of that Dumpster. Ew. That's so dirty. I've got to go put it in the laundry.

Saturday, March 8

Nature rocks

How cool is this? It's a rare white Orca sighted off the off Kanaga Volcano in Alaska's Aleutian Islands. I shouldn't really be surprised by this, because nature is an amazing thing, but I am pleasantly surprised that there is such an animal swimming around in the ocean. I wish we could see more than the dorsal fin. I bet a view of the entire animal must be awesome.

Thursday, March 6

It almost sounds like an obit, but it's not

How awful is this news about Patrick Swayze and his fight with pancreatic cancer? From what I've read over the last couple days, this is an aggressive and very bad cancer to get, and even though he's responding well to treatment, Swayze's long-term prognosis isn't good. It's such a drag to be entering into that age group where the guys I had crushes on in my youth are going to start dying. That's a weird demographic to be in. Anyway, all my thoughts are with him and his family right now as he struggles with this disease.
After all, Patrick Swayze has practically shaped pop culture from his emergence on the scene in the early 80s. Witness Dirty Dancing, "No one puts Baby in a corner." The beauty and horror that is Roadhouse. Of course, Ghost, and the increasing popularity of pottery making. Red Dawn, as the leader of a group of students who fight back against the Russians for invading the U.S. (Cold War issues anyone?). And one of my personal favorites, Point Break, a movie in which I, technically, fell in love with Keanu Reeves, but still dug Bodhi at the end with his shorter hair.

Wednesday, March 5

Big wave, scary

I don't really have much for you tonight except to say that I realize that it's been a few days since I've posted anything to the blog. Sometimes I just have a creative brain fart and don't feel like writing anything. Other days, I'm just lazy. The latter more often than the former, I'm afraid.
I have succeeded in completely readjusting to life back in Arizona though. Bills are organized, catalogs are piled in order of importance, groceries are purchased, and laundry is finished. Tomorrow I will tackle other things on my week's to-do list. After all, it will be Thursday!

Sunday, March 2

That's me in the background

I've always wanted to go on safari in Africa. Not the whole shooting and killing safari, but the more humane, picture-taking kind of safari. So when I saw this outfit option for this month's avatar, I simply had to use it. You see how white her legs are? As are mine.
There's still so much of the world I'd like to see, you know? I'd actually make a list of all the places I'd like to see over there on the left, but my inability to cross off any items in any kind of a timely manner would just depress me. So, yeah, Africa, but some more time in Europe would be awesome, too. And I heard that the Great Wall of China is disintegrating in places, so I'd like to see that before it disappears. Huh. Maybe I will make the list. It can be more of a "goal and ambition" type of list instead of a "good luck trying to get there" list. I'll spend some time coming up with it though, so don't be looking for it right now.