Friday, July 31

I'm a pretty princess, with a frog ...

Can I say once again how amazingly fast this year is progressing? Can you believe that today is the last day of July already? Jeez, I'm blown away by that! And there is so much to do before the next five months are over!
But wait, didn't I have a post at the beginning of the year about the tasks I wished to have completed by the end of the year? Let's check that out and see how well we're doing, shall we?

[Five minutes ... tick tock, tick tock.]

Okay, I've found my "Big List for 2009," and will just paste it here in italics, and then will comment in regular type.
House; Hey! First thing on the list; CHECK!
Job; Okay, this one is still pending. But at least I'm really looking now.
Car; Rock on! New VW Jetta; CHECK!
Potty Training (that one, of course, is entirely up to Sydney, so it may well get pushed to 2010. I say, whatever); Yes, this is still pending as well. Maybe next weekend? I need to read the book Kerry told me to read. It's now worked for her twice.
Weight Loss; Um, let's just say this one is pending, too.
Simplification (I'm being deliberately vague on this, because I'm not sure what I'd like to, or be able to, simplify); I suppose I've simplified a little bit, if that means conducting a more open financial relationship with my husband. I feel like my duties as mother have gotten simpler, too. Family drama, too, has lessened a bit. Still, I think I can use some work here.
Reading; I am proud of myself for getting more than 100 pages into The Historian. I have not finished an entire book in quite some time, but I will not be shamed by that tonight.
Class Work; I've finished assignment 6, and am planning on getting through assignment 7 this weekend. I still aspire to be done with this program by the end of the year.

Okay, the fact that exactly two out of my eight have been accomplished is more than a little disconcerting. On the other hand, it also means that the next five months of this year will be VERY EXCITING!!

Wednesday, July 29

Ooh Pshaw!! Whatever!!

Well here's a random piece of trivia for you: Today is the 10-year anniversary of my becoming a member of the Yahoo! mailbox community. No kidding! I just clicked on one of the random hot links involved in the "new" Yahoo! inbox and homepage, and found a nifty little footnote that says, "Member since: 7/29/1999." I'm finding it frighteningly coincidental that I happened to click on that one link, and found that one note, today, and then said, "HEY! WEIRD!" So, appreciate that it's been 10 years that you all have been typing in the random saying I use when I'm discounting something that I just don't want to think about at the moment. It really might as well be "," shouldn't it? (What a great idea for an e-mail address!)
Now I'm wondering. What was I up to 10 years ago today? Too bad I didn't have a blog, I would totally have re-published that day's post. Hmmm... Let's see.
10 things from 10 years ago today
1.) I was only 26 years old. (So young!! Hadn't even GLIMPSED my 30s yet!)
2.) I had been out of college for three years.
3.) Brian and I had just moved into our first apartment together in Mesa, AZ.
4.) I'm a short time away from starting a job at my first trade magazine. (ES is awesome!)
5.) Humphrey will be diagnosed with an iodine-deficiency issue soon, too.
6.) I'm driving a BMW 318ti ... red, of course.
7.) I'm about to develop my first, and only, case of athlete's foot, due entirely to the summer heat and jelly sandals.
8.) I quit my second real job only two weeks before. It was a cool, and easy, editorial position at a hotel books publisher.
9.) The "People I Love That Are Dead" tally is at exactly three: Gramps, Grandpa S., and "Lime Juice."
10.) I've bought (but not read) the first two Harry Potter books, will soon buy the third, and will then sit and read all three in a row within a matter of days.

I am a bit disconcerted by the fact that I had a very difficult time coming up with those 10 things to remember about July of 1999. The more I think about it though, the more I realize that A LOT of stuff has happened within the last decade of my life. And damned if my cheesy little Yahoo! e-mail address hasn't just been there for all of it.

Tuesday, July 28

Trading one hormone source for another

Mom tells me that she's surprised that I shared so much information in the last post. She already knew all about it, of course, but she didn't figure I'd go into so much detail online. I was all, "Whatever; they're my peeps!"
But, in light of the tiny bit of conscience that now weighs on me, I shall apologize if I may have offended you, or made you think poorly of me for sharing so much ... ... ... ... ... And I also invite you to leave the blog, because if that bothered you, you may be just a bit too timid to hang out here. We don't walk on egg shells around here (unless I do); we don't avoid uncomfortable subjects (unless I do); we don't keep secrets (unless I do); and we certainly do talk about everything (unless I don't).
In that, I will tell you that my IUD removal did not hurt AT ALL. In fact, as the nurse practitioner was telling me about how it wouldn't hurt, she removed it. At the end of her statement, she added, "And now we're done." I'm all, "Huh?" She goes, "Yeah." I'm like, "Awesome." I start back on my pills tomorrow. And that's that. I'll let you know when I'm feeling svelte again.

Monday, July 27

I just hope it doesn't hurt too much

I told you all about having my IUD (inter-uterine device) installed, and now, I'll tell you about having it removed. Simply put: I've been having issues with my body lately. For the last several months, I've noticed a very noticeable ... umm ... roll of belly excess that has appeared on my stomach and around my waist. Also, I've been dealing with ... wait for it ... acne on my face. My annoyance with these two little gems of esteem issues had me bitching, loudly, to my husband just last week. For your interest, an excerpt:
"Where the hell have these 15 pounds come from? It makes no sense whatsoever that, all of a sudden, my stomach seems to be giggling at me as I walk toward a mirror. I've never HAD such belly fat! And now that I'm working out as often as I can, I'm STILL not losing any weight or noticeable inches from my center of gravity?! WTF?! There HAS TO BE an explanation!
"And this face! I have NEVER had such recurring acne on my face! Not even in HIGH SCHOOL! How is all this happening to me?! HELP ME FIGURE IT OUT!!"
Brian quickly got on his computer and Googled the IUD and found several, several pages on its side effects. Apparently, weight gain and acne are two of the more common side effects. As are mood swings. (I don't think I have the mood swings; when asked, Brian just rolled his eyes and said, "Of course not.")
So, you know what? Vanity has taken precedence over convenience. I'd rather have a regular period and take a pill every day than deal with this tummy, and these zit issues. I made my decision, and my appointmet, and tomorrow, I have the IUD removed. (Now, don't any of you get any funky ideas about how I may have softened my opinion on another kid or anything. Totally not the case.) But knowing now that the IUD will make me, er, poochier, than I ever have been in my life, and a bit zittier, too, I'll stick with the pill.
As they say, it's all fun and games until someone gains weight and gets a zit. Then, the game becomes, Get Rid of the Weight and the Zit.

Sunday, July 26

The swirls, I find, are bothering me

Sydney, Brian and I played with Play-Doh this evening. It was fun, certainly, and it's weird how Play-Doh still smells and feels the exact same as it did when I was little. But in playing with it, I was shown, once again, what a freakishly particular person I can be about the most random stuff.
I can't stand it when the Play-Doh colors get mixed up and smooshed together.
Brian was all, Let's make a green more like a pear's coloring. Put the pink in the strawberry mold and then cover it all with the red to make it look right. There should be some green for the orange leaves. ... And Sydney's all, More colors! Where's the pink? Open the green. More blue! I make a castle!
No joke, my skin crawled every time some pink got mixed in with the orange, or the blue got stuck in the red, or the purple smooshed in with the yellow. I did everything I could to keep the colors in their own little cans, but to my discomfort, so many of them got mixed up. There are orange swirls in the pink Play-Doh. There are green bits in the lavender Play-Doh. There is blue in the yellow Play-Doh.
I don't feel compelled to go into the Play-Doh bins and try to better separate them or anything (as I don't think I can any more than I have anyway), so it's not bothering me on that level, but still, I need to learn to let this particular issue go by the wayside, or the next several years will be difficult.

Saturday, July 25

New pet peeve: ANTS

My ant bites may just be going away -- the bumps are small as pinpoints, the color is just a shade darker than my arm's normal pigment, and they don't itch anymore -- but I feel like the little bastards have declared war on me and my backyard. Whenever they've got the chance, given one minute or one second, the little monsters crawl up on my feet and just ... well, they just BITE me again! One little creep bit me on my big toe, another on my ankle. Just moving around a couple rocks or a stepping stone can bring on the most incredible revolt amongst them, and they get all angry, quick and agile crawling all over a bougainvillea or rock, and seem to be on a search-and-destroy mission for me alone, even though Brian may be closer to them. Some of them even hitched a ride on Oliver's fur this morning to try to infiltrate my home and get closer to me. I think I can say pretty strongly that, yes, I hate them.
This morning, we purchased a can of ant-killing Raid for the backyard. Who knows how well it will work, since the little monsters are outside, and therefore (I believe) tougher than the indoor ants. I did have the opportunity to spray the buggers on the bougainvillea, and it seemed to have been helpful. But here's my thing: why spray bugs outside? Don't they just have to go, oh, I don't know, four feet to the left or right to get back to where they want to go? They've got the whole outside, as well as the ground and under it, to make their case for being exactly where they want to be. How on earth does one defeat these awful little creatures?

Thursday, July 23

Mommy's little cupcake is going to school

Okay, I'll admit it, I'm freaking out a little bit about my baby going to preschool. I chose the school I liked the most, got the approval of Brian and the agreement of Mom, and we're off to pay the registration fee tomorrow to keep her spot until the fall.
While this is all good news, it also means that, yes, Kimmie is going on the job market the first day of school. I apologize right now for the number of "I need a job" posts that may or may not materialize on this blog. I'll try to not let it consume me, but make no promises!
That, actually, was the big accomplishment of my day, though we also did take care of a good portion of the "Mom List." My new framed picture is hung straight and nicely. The additional pinwheels are installed in the other corner of the backyard (I LOVE those colorful, low-maintenance flower substitutes!!). Sydney is now sleeping in a big-girl bed (AACCKK!!!). We spent most of our Gymbucks, and, to quote Mom, "Nordstrom was having a delicious shoe sale."

Tuesday, July 21

Yes, it's a peep sundae in July

~ I've made a list of stuff for Mom to help me with when she gets here tomorrow afternoon. It's cleverly titled, "MOM LIST." The tasks themselves are not required to be done tomorrow, but Mom arrives tomorrow. And hopefully, they'll all get done by the time she leaves on Saturday. (All of a sudden, this list feels very "Lorraine" to me, but whatever, the rest of the world has to make an appointment for the interior design advice that will be living in my house this week!) I won't tell you all what's on the list, because I want Mom to be surprised, but rest assured, it will take advantage of both her expertise and her muscles.
~ Today was mine and Brian's eight-year wedding anniversary. Yes, yay! But I didn't watch the video; I didn't look through the pictures; I didn't get all moony and mushy about it; and funnily enough, I also didn't enjoy an anniversary dinner with my husband (Sydney and I went out with Katy!). Brian and I will go out tomorrow night, when we leave Sydney home with her grandma! Dinner? Movie? Get drunk with a kickboxing team? The options are endless!!
~ "It's all fun and games, until someone loses an eye. And then the game becomes Find the Eye." -- Stephen Colbert, The Colbert Report

Monday, July 20

You pop off, you buy a car

Russell Crowe Does Robin Hood Rescue For Crewmember's Car
AP -- Russell Crowe is reportedly taking his latest role to heart. According to the UK's Mirror, the Robin Hood star gave generously to a crewmember after her car burst into flames on the way to the set.
Denise Yarde, a boom microphone operator, informed producers she'd be late to the set after the car went up in smoke.
When she arrived, she complained that she'd have to buy a new one - reportedly earning a jibe from Russell.

"Well, I suppose it's OK for you, Russell," Denise reportedly fired back. "You've probably never had to worry about finding five grand for a new car."
According to the Mirror, the apologetic actor then gave her 5,000 pounds (approximately $8,100) to help pay for her new vehicle, telling her, "There you go. You can buy a 10,000 pound car now."
A source on the set reportedly told the tabloid that Russell was "known on the set for his generosity."
"It was a lovely gesture by Russell," the source added.
A rep for the actor was not immediately available for comment on the story when contacted by Access Hollywood. Robin Hood, directed by Ridley Scott and co-starring Cate Blanchett as Maid Marian, is due in summer 2010.

Okay, I'm giggling about this article for a few reasons. 1.) First of all, smart-ass girls unite! Dudes, don't make a dicky comment without expecting it to come back at you somehow. 2.) I love how the headline is all about Russell Crowe's "generosity" and acting like Robin Hood, when really he got shamed into this act of kindness by his own callous remark. 3.) Lastly, I didn't know that Crowe was rocking the bow and arrow, and I think it's kinda hot.

Sunday, July 19

I'm liking it, actually

I'm sitting in Cozy Chair, watching season one of Sex and the City. I was never a faithful watcher of the show, but kept up with it via my entertainment IV. So many of my fellow pop-culture addicts would be surprised by that, I know, but I've only been completely and utterly plugged into HBO for the last four or five years.
Why the interest now? I loved the movie. So naturally, the progression would be that, having seen and loved the movie and only viewed a handful of some of the episodes, I should now put forth the effort and time to catch up on every storyline in the show's history.

Saturday, July 18

I think angels must have Mickey ears, too

Also, it's Auntie Donna's birthday.
I miss her a lot.

All in all, an excellent day

I love a Saturday night where I can look back on all the cool stuff we did.
~ First of all, we hung out at the zoo, even though I promised that we wouldn't be back until November. Dude, there was SNOW there! The zoo managed to dump several piles of snow, err ... shaved ice, really ... on a couple grassy knolls for the kids to play in. Sydney completely dug it, threw a lot of snowballs at her mommy, daddy and grandma and grandpa, and got super hot and sweaty in the process. Snow and ice treats also were delivered to several animals throughout the zoo, and we were lucky enough to see one of the elephants walking through, sniffing, kicking, and digging around in the snow for some fruit. We made it a very abbreviated trip to the zoo though, as it was too frickin' hot to do much more than look at the elephants, tortoises and jaguar. Then, carousel once, a couple minutes in the gift shop to cool down, and then back home.
~ Then, Brian's mom and dad hung out with Sydney while we went to see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I'm sad to say that I did not love it. The filmmakers cut too much plot and content from the book for the film, and spent too much time filming the characters staring at each other, getting mad about each other, and kissing each other. Yes, the romantic entanglements certainly were a part of this book, and would definitely be considered a big subplot, but honestly, there was way too much l-o-v-e in this movie and, as JJ put it, "not enough abracadabra." I hate being disappointed in something I've waited so long to see.
~ Dinner at Cheesecake is always a good thing, and dinner with my kid is always an experience. But my god, when the child started singing and dancing the HOKEY POKEY in the booth, I about cried. SO CUTE!!
~ Then, I got to watch Mamma Mia! on HBO.

Thursday, July 16

Can you update your status from the moon?

There was a poll question on today asking whether you, as the reader, think that we, as NASA, should go back to the moon. I said yes. Mainly because I'd love to see how easily it could be done "again." I'll tell you, all that conspiracy theory stuff about the moon landing being staged is really intriguing to both Brian and I. Brian will loudly question the validity of the evidence, and me, I just wonder. What an incredible rouse, if indeed it was. You did it once, do it again!
According to the poll, of which 275,590 votes were registered, 157,431 (57 percent) said yes, and 118,159 (43 percent) said no. I can see where going to the moon could be considered frivolous, since really, will we be able to set up colonies there? Or do people just want to send our trash there? But I also come back to the Tom Hanks character in Apollo 13, and his response when asked why astronauts should go back to the moon: "What if Christopher Columbus came home from the New World, and no one followed in his footsteps?"
I really would love to see a man walking on the moon, in my lifetime, and in high definition. I think that would be cool.

Wednesday, July 15

Taking up a collection for a trip to Florida

Since there are only about five or so space shuttle flights left until the fleet is retired, I should really get my ass to Florida so I can see one of those liftoffs in person. You know what a cool thing that would be for me? Fantastic! I'm going to have to figure out exactly how to make that happen. A new project for Kimmie!
The space shuttle Endeavour (have I told you how much I HATE the spelling of that name?) departed from Kennedy Space Center this afternoon, about 3 p.m. Pacific time. It, and its seven-member crew, are embarking on a 16-day mission to bring a key component of the Japanese Kibo science laboratory to the International Space Station. Today's launch comes after five aborted attempts to takeoff due to both bad weather and hydrogen leaks.
They called me, of course, and invited me to come along, but you know, I've got Brian's parents coming up this weekend, and Mom next week, and the whole preschool thing, so I couldn't help them out on this trip. Maybe next time, I told them, and they were all, "Cool, Kimmie, you just let us know when we can get you in a shuttle."
On to my irritation of the day: the bits and pieces of televised Sonia Sotomayor confirmation hearings I've caught here and there. Obviously, because you all know my politics, you probably have guessed that I am all for Sotomayor's admittance into the Supreme Court. I think she'll be a fair and good justice, and yes, I believe the Court does need another woman on the bench. What's bugging me is all the senators attempting to school the judge on what it's like to be a judge. Sure, a good portion of these senators were lawyers and attorneys and all that, but how many of them have been judges? It's amazing the level of condescension that's been directed at Sotomayor. And all the power to her for keeping a straight face during a couple portions of these proceedings. Dudes, just let the hearings be over. She's going to get in, I mean, she's the most experienced judge nominated to the bench in 100 years. Why go through all this? It does nothing but waste time the senators could be using to do something for the country; and time the justices could be using to judicate (real word? You tell me).
And hell yes, allow the troops to smoke in the war zones! My goodness, they're putting themselves in harm's way every day, and some people want to deny them their smokes? Ridiculous! I'm happy that cooler heads, who are all for allowing people to smoke OUTDOORS and in STRESS SITUATIONS, have seemingly prevailed in this case.

Warning: Childish whining ahead

I want to go see the new Harry Potter movie!
You see? I'm dressed for it!
I want to go see Harry Potter!!!

Tuesday, July 14

A very flat, and sweet, igloo


So my kid and I had a day today!
She spent the day at preschool, and I went to the movies!
The picture here to the left is of her art project, where she created an igloo out of sugar cubes. The preschool attaches themes to each week, and this week focused on the South Pole (thus, the igloo). The teachers fill out activity reports on each student every day, and Sydney's teacher even called me about two hours into her day to let me know how Sydney was doing.
You want to now what she did today? They read Why is the South Pole so Cold? for Language Arts; they counted the scoops on the ice cream cone, and sequenced and stacked them for Cognitive Skills/Math; they chose or created colors to paint for Creative Art; they did the Hokey Pokey in Music/Movement; the played Pin the Tail on the Whale for Motor Skills; they checked the temperature outside with a thermometer (It's hot here, how cold is it in Antarctica?) for Science/Nature Study; they made igloos with sugar cubes and learned about igloos for Social Science; and they practiced pointing and clicking on certain objects for Computer Lab.
Honestly, I think this is all great stuff, and Sydney seemed to really enjoy it! She told me all about the activities all afternoon. The video game had robots. She got to play in the playground. "I got to play at preschool," she told me several times. It's more than encouraging that she had such a good time today.
I, of course, did my best to not freak out too much. I went to a movie, ate some popcorn, did some texting, checked e-mails and Facebook, and attempted to be a regular person without a concern in the world. I'll tell you that I still watched the movie with my phone on vibrate in my hand.

Monday, July 13

I wonder what it sounds like

I keep looking at this picture, and alternately find it cool and repulsive. Let's approach it with pros and cons.
Pros: 1.) Violin made of hair. 2.) Violin made of hair perched on her head. 3.) It seems to be quite light on her head. 4.) I assume that's her initial "S" on it. 5.) The bow must be hidden in there somewhere. 6.) Bubbly. 7.) Creative; I don't think I've ever seen anything like it.
Cons: 1.) Her eyebrow is creeping me out. 2.) What if it's not her hair? Whose is it? 3.) The cool bubbly looks kind of like an icky disease or something dirty and full of puss. 4.) There is a bow hidden in there somewhere! 5.) The long, straight part on her left temple; is that crimped? 6.) She may actually be pulling this off.
It's usually a bad sign when a photo sits on my desktop for several days before I either use it in a post, file it in the "use it later" folder, or dump it. Apparently, this one just needed some time for me to stare at it.

Sunday, July 12

Prettier picture than one of ants, or a buffet

Today's highlights, in chronological order:
Morning ~ My arm was bitten up by ants while trying to empty contents of a yard waste basket into a yard waste bag. The little fuckers were all over me, BITING, so I stripped off my gloves and shirt to wipe them off me, and ran squealing over to the other end of the yard. The bites hurt, yes, they did, and left lovely little red bumps all over my arm. Now, the basket gets tossed in the trash can as well. ... By Brian. I'm not touching it again.
Later morning ~ We visited Best Buy to exchange one Wii game, and see what kind of gift card damage we could do. I traded in Wii Music for Wii Ghostbusters, and we bought Hellboy, some ear buds for Brian, and some flat headphones for Sydney's use with my iPod. (I will now download episodes of cartoons from iTunes, and create a whole new way to travel with the child. Yay technologically savvy mom!)
Lunch ~ Carl's, Jr. Famous Star, plain and dry. That is all.
Naptime ~ I watched the movie, The Spirit. Refer to the post below.
Before dinner ~ As a family, we visited the local Ulta store. I'd never been in an Ulta before, and today's experience was incredibly positive. I got all the conditioner I was looking for, and even managed to purchase, and repulse, my husband with a couple new nail polish colors. (A blue AND a purple!)
Dinner ~ You may remember that we are trying our local buffet restaurants this weekend. Our meal at Oriental Garden was fair, though not even close to wonderful, but somewhat filling. For $10 each though, I would rather we went somewhere that we could order off a menu and I don't feel like I'm wasting money if I only eat one plate's worth of food. I think that is where a buffet becomes a guilt experience. How do you justify going to an all-you-can-eat buffet and only finishing one plate of food? Isn't that against some kind of rule? So, while our experiment was a noble one, I will consider it failed, as we will probably not go to Oriental Garden again, and may only visit Sweet Tomatoes once in a great while.
After baby's bedtime ~ A viewing of Confessions of a Shopaholic, a good little movie, that, while entertaining to us both, is probably not the best choice to watch with the husband who has a wife that likes to shop as much as the movie's lead character. While a majority of the film was all in good fun, parts of it were sad (to a friend and nice girl), frightening (to a man who pays for the shopping), and depressing (to a shopper thinking about not shopping).
Bedtime ~ SLEEP.

"She is ... my cat."

It's always such a treat for me when I find a random movie that has a ton (or just five) movie stars that I recognize. I'm watching The Spirit. The movie stars Gabriel Macht (the hot navigator from Behind Enemy Lines), Samuel L. Jackson, Eva Mendes, Scarlett Johansson, Sarah Paulson (from Studio 60 and Serenity), Dan Lauria (Kevin's dad in The Wonder Years), and Stana Katic (from one of my favorite new shows, Castle). Oh, don't think too much of it because of its long list of known actors, it's not a terribly good movie. Thank goodness a movie doesn't have to be too terribly good to entertain me.

Saturday, July 11

Ah, Saturday

ITEM!: We're conducting an experiment this weekend. We're trying the two buffet restaurants up the street from our house for dinner tonight and tomorrow night. Tonight's selection: Sweet Tomatoes. On the whole, and in retrospect, the dinner was a decent offering. We tried most everything, except the pasta dishes (no real reason for that either, just a matter of choice). I had a yummy salad, with tomatoes, croutons, butternut squash, and corn on it; a bit of baked potato; some clam chowder; and of course, some dark chocolate frozen yogurt. Sydney ate hardly anything, but did munch on a couple peas, in their proper form (yay!). Brian had a salad, the cream of broccoli soup, and other stuff, though I don't remember what else. The dinner wasn't fantastic, though it did serve the purpose. Dinner tomorrow night: The Oriental Garden, a Chinese buffet restaurant.
ITEM!: We created a Rock Band band this morning, so now we can rock out to our game as a real rock band! Brian plays the lead guitar, I play bass, and Sydney is our lead singer. She has a tendency to not sing much at all, gets booed off the stage quite a bit, and also throws down the microphone and announces "I quit," at least twice during a song. We're like Oasis. She also named our band: Bees Make Honey. It cracks me up! Honestly, I love the name so much!
ITEM!: We found a lizard in the bedroom tonight. Actually, it scurried across the floor as I walked through to go to the bathroom. Last apartment: crickets. This house: tiny lizard. In what land is that an option? Arizona, apparently. He was cute. Anyway, I love my husband because he knew from the outset that he would have to catch the lizard, not kill it, and let it go in the backyard.

Friday, July 10

Bull fights: bad; bull winning: good

Ever since college, I have loved the stories about the bull winning. It always makes me happy to see the bull get a good goring in there when he can. Bull fighting is an awful activity, and should be abolished from the face of the earth (as should any kind of animal fighting for sport). It's a shame to know that this bull was probably killed later that day. It's somewhat encouraging that, at the very least, he was able to taste this guy's blood before he was killed.

Thursday, July 9

"Dude," she must be saying. "Shut UP."

I totally haven't discussed politics at all lately, have I? A lot of that has to do with the fact that I don't hate the guy in the Oval Office. Here's a vaguely political, but more entertaining, post:
I don't care for Sarah Palin, which is putting it nicely, but I'm weirdly intrigued by her political maneuvers lately. Why she resigned her post as governor of Alaska seems a bit odd, but whatever. She's got her reasons, and I'm sure that, eventually, we'll learn what they are. But first, here's the opinion of the idiot, don't-know-how-to-use-a-condom, ex-fiance of Palin's daughter, Bristol. I'm fascinated by this kid though, and his "knowledge" of any situation. He's an idiot, and I'm sure that Sarah Palin is going ape shit trying to figure out how to keep his mouth shut.
Via The Associated Press:
The former fiance of Gov. Sarah Palin's 18-year-old daughter says he thinks he knows why the Alaska governor is resigning — concerns over money. Levi Johnston, 19, whose wedding to Bristol Palin was called off earlier this year, says he believes the governor is resigning over personal finances.
Johnston says he lived with the Palin family from early December to the second week in January. He claims he heard the governor several times say how nice it would be to take advantage of the lucrative deals that were being offered, including a reality show and a book.
"I think the big deal was the book. That was millions of dollars," said Johnston, who has had a strained relationship with the family but now says things have improved.
Palin has a book deal, but compensation details haven't been disclosed. The governor has said she is facing more than $500,000 in legal fees.
"It is interesting to learn Levi is working on a piece of fiction while honing his acting skills," Palin family spokeswoman Meghan Stapleton said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.
Johnston made his comments at a news conference Thursday at the office of his attorney, Rex Butler. Johnston came forward, Butler said, because Alaskans want to know why Palin has decided to resign. She made the announcement last Friday. Johnston also is pursuing his own book deal. He is working as a carpenter while also pursuing a movie deal.

Wednesday, July 8

School is cool

Okay, the Gymboree's quick and unceremonious shutting down was just the kick in the butt I needed to get going on this preschool thing. So, yes, I did do something about it today. Sydney and I checked out a private preschool near us this morning. The school itself has been open for only three weeks, and the lady at the front was only too happy to give us a tour. As this is my first preschool experience since I'd been in one, I was at a bit of a loss for questions, except the basics: teacher/student ratio, lunch, naptime, teacher qualifications, and all that. I'd love to have had one of my trusted moms (either my own mom, or one of my friends who's a mom) with me, but I think I got through it okay (as did Sydney, of course). The school itself was clean, the teachers were nice and friendly, the kids seemed engaged and happy, and the rooms were bright, cheerful and large. I liked it; I think I really did. We've signed up for a free one-day trial next week, which should be interesting. I even got to meet the school's owner, who returned just as we were leaving. As Sydney and I left the school and walked to the car, she set her butt down on the parking lot curb, copped a pout, and announced to me, "I want to go to school." Cute, certainly! While the classrooms certainly engaged her interest, it was the playground out back that really caught her attention.
The one-day trial should be an interesting experience! For both of us! I bet she thoroughly enjoys it. I think I may just sit in the parking lot of the school and cry for the entire four hours.

Tuesday, July 7

Entertainment for the entertainer

Did you watch it? Did you watch it?
I did. In fact, I probably would have watched it even if I wasn't stuck at home all morning without a car. Be that as it may, I watched the entire Michael Jackson Memorial, except for a few moments here and there interrupted by Sydney and the phone.
It's hard for me to have a non-judgmental thought when watching the event, as Mariah Carey, Kobe Bryant and Rev. Al Sharpton bug me, and since I simply adore Jennifer Hudson, Magic Johnson, Brooke Shields, and Stevie Wonder. So because of that, I thought Carey and Sharpton were way too much voice (Bryant, thankfully, didn't seem to speak at all), but I could have listened to Hudson and Johnson all day, and just wanted to give Shields a big hug.
A couple things though: 1.) Did anyone else think that bringing the casket to the memorial was a bit inappropriate and creepy? This event was NOT a funeral. Funerals require the guest of honor. Memorials don't. If the family wanted his fans to see him in state, they should have laid him in state somewhere, not trot his body in a casket all across southern California. 2.) The event finale, with the Jackson family and his children singing along to his songs, was perfect. The bad was the group of singers from the defunct concert who had center stage for those last two songs. It just felt more like an advertisement for the concert promoter and those troupe singers than an homage to Jackson, especially when they brought out all those random kids on stage. 3.) I really hope that the Jacksons decide to share a bit in the City of Los Angeles' costs for security, police presence and all that. To see that the freeways were shut down, that all gawkers were kept at a safe distance, and that the entire event seemed to go down without a hitch is thanks in huge part to the City. It's not fair for the City's budget to have to absorb all those costs. 4.) And oh my goodness, how cute is little Paris-Michael Jackson? Adorable! I feel so bad for those kids, because it's such an awful thing to lose a father.
And, to bring up the elephant in the room, I'll say that if the will and estate divisions go through without any kind of fight, I'll be incredibly surprised. I know as well as anyone: it's all love and hugs until someone gets home and decides that maybe they should be getting more than they are lined up to receive.

Monday, July 6

"Gymbo the Clown goes up and down ... "

I'm sad.
Our lovely, little Gymboree Play & Music, which hosts our lovely, little play class, was shut down, as of this morning. I got a phone call at 8:48 a.m., from Gina, saying that when she and the other Gymboree employees arrived at the location this morning, there was a note on the door from the landlord, stating that the business had been evicted from the site. We could drive to Chandler, if we wanted (no thanks), but other than that, she had no other options for us.
I'm trying really hard to not be too sad, but my goodness, Sydney and I have been going there for her play class since she was three months old! It's just one of those things we do together!! No more Bubble Time, or crazy Gymbo dance, or parachute activities, or Gymbo stamps! And because I spent time chatting on the phone about it, Sydney kept asking if we were going to Gymboree today.
It's not like I'll have a hard time filling up that one hour a week when we went to class; it's just that it was a nice, controlled, educational hour where we could run around, have pretend fun, and be social every week. Boo.

Sunday, July 5

Ambrosia ... they're like ambrosia

It's an interesting commentary on my life, when I realize that it's a treat to go to the grocery store by myself. Brian was having one of those lazy afternoons, and didn't feel like hitting the local Albertson's with me, and (weirdly) suggested that maybe I should go alone and leave Sydney with him. Um, don't say it twice, and don't think for a second that you can go back on that suggestion! So, off I went, and my goodness, if I could have stretched that trip for an hour, I would have. (Sadly, I am not a huge fan of grocery stores, and avoid them as often as I can. Spending more time than necessary in one is torture for me.) But still, I wandered down several aisles, and ended up searching out the sales: four Tombstone pizzas for $10; two gallons of milk for $5; and regrettably, two bags of Lay's potato chips for $3. I bought the cheddar and sour cream bag for Brian, but made the ultimate error and bought the barbecue for me. I was barely in the kitchen before I ripped open my barbecue chips, and powered through several before all the other groceries were put away. It was an incredible feat of strength to put that bag away shortly thereafter, but I did it! Honestly, I think I may have to toss those chips in the trash before I'm left in the house alone with them tomorrow!
Digression: One of my favorite "feathers in my cap" is that I introduced the wonder of barbecue potato chips to one of my coworkers, Alice, at my work in Boston. She had never had them before, and I was all too happy to share mine. She loved them, and told me that she bought some of her own the next day. I find that awesome; I love to introduce people to something that is both good and bad for them!

Saturday, July 4

There's a flag bikini, but I thought ... no

I hope you all had a fabulous Fourth of July! We meandered down to Tempe Town Lake for the big fireworks show. I say "meandered," but it really was a lot more of a cluster, including an incident where I had to back out of a 50-yard one-lane parking area. But it turned out that we got an awesome spot right on the street, were able to walk straight down to the beach, and got a cozy spot with an excellent view of the show. Sydney dug it a ton, and Brian and I were thoroughly impressed and pleased with the show. I mean, really, this particular show rivals, dare I say bests, any other fireworks show we've seen, including the shows in Boston. They pulled out all the stops in Tempe tonight, and it was frickin' awesome. All we heard the whole way home was, "I saw fireworks! I saw fireworks! They made noise! Lots of colors," in various inflections and order. She totally enjoyed it, and I'm so glad that we took her!
Happy Birthday, America!!

Friday, July 3

It's actually too cute to not post

Most everyone's mom says something to them in passing about a regret, or "wish I had done differently," when discussing parenthood experiences (theirs or your own). The comments come and go, are more plentiful at one point than another, and may or may not be of interest, but still, I believe that they are thrown out there for a reason (consciously or not). As parents, we can take these bits of information, or leave them, that's our right.
There is one "bit" in particular of Mom's that I have taken to heart. She told me once that she wishes she had taken the time to let me ride those kiddie rides in the front of toy stores, grocery stores and the like when I asked all those years ago. "I don't know why I was in such a hurry, when all it would take was about one minute, and would have made you so happy," she said.
It's weird how such a passing comment stuck in my own brain. Because I think of it all the time, and now with Sydney, I make it a point to be sure I've got that 50 cents when we walk into Babies R Us or Toys R Us, or any of those stores. The rides make her smile and laugh, and it makes me feel good to provide the easy fun for her.
I got a totally awesome picture of Sydney in a spaceship with Kermit the Frog and Gonzo this morning (it's on my Facebook page). She's got those awful boo-boos on her face, but the smile is certainly genuine!

Thursday, July 2

Politely, I say she's bananas

You know what the tragedy is about Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina? The tragedy is ... that as much as I don't care AT ALL about this situation, the guy is all over the news and not-the-news shows, and I can't get away from him. He just won't shut up. That rambling 18-minute press conference? CNN had the subtitles going at the gym that day, and it was in front of my treadmill. My lovely Daily Show and Colbert Report have been popping off about it all week, and I will not miss those shows. He's all over the news web sites, each day with a new revelation.
Honestly, I don't think there's another thing that this guy can say that would surprise me now. The mistress is his soul mate; he cried the entire seven days he was in Argentina; they were friends before they became lovers. He's had dalliances with other women, nothing that went all the way, but more than would be proper for a married man, or so he says. He knows he has wronged the people of South Carolina, but feels the state is better with him still in the driver seat.
But you know who I don't get in this whole soap opera? The wife. I read today that she would be "open," to him coming back home and trying to mend their relationship. I think she's stupid if she allows this. Excuse me, ma'am? Looking for a good way to diminish yourself in your relationship and give up all the respect you've earned from your partner? Here's what you do: After he's confessed to his indiscretions, let your husband come home, followed by media, and tell you that ... well ... you're not his soul mate, but because his job, political future, and public image seem to dictate it, he'll move back home, try to fall back in love with you, and put on a show for the constituents and media.
Piss off, dude.

Wednesday, July 1

"I'll never say no to you..."

It's not news at all that there seems to be a surplus of celebrities/actors/people of note dying lately. Some considered before their time, others after battles with illnesses, and some were just old. Still, it seems a bit excessive that of late, almost everyone in entertainment and the surrounding areas, is passing away. I can't even hop on a web site over the last couple days without being assaulted by another, "Guess Who's Dead Now?"-type headline. Honestly, I've been pretty unbothered by most of them. The only one to truly elicit a "Holy crap!" reaction was Michael Jackson.
But now I've had a second "Damn!" reaction for a newly dead celebrity. It's the news of Harve Presnell's passing yesterday. He was 75, and died of pancreatic cancer. Some of you may best remember him as William H. Macy's father-in-law in the 1996 movie Fargo. Others remember him as the dean in Old School; and Preston Blake in Mr. Deeds. Presnell also was known on the stage, touring as Daddy Warbucks in Annie and its sequel, Annie Warbucks. In 1965, alongside George Segal and Topol, he won the Golden Globe for "Most Promising Male Newcomer."
That's all good stuff, but I remember Presnell best as "Leadville" Johnny Brown in the movie and stage musical, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, also starring Debbie Reynolds. It's no secret that I have a soft spot for movie musicals, as that particular genre has been the meat-and-potatoes of my movie-viewing history since I was old enough to be plopped down in front of a screen. (Thanks, Mommy!) But my goodness, The Unsinkable Molly Brown is one of my very favorite musicals ... EVER! I was never able to reconcile Reynolds and Presnell as older actors. I can never bypass the film when I find it on Turner Classic Movies. I made Brian sit and watch it with me one night so he would finally understand some of my Molly references. I also was frickin' giddy to see them on stage and in person several years ago for a Molly Brown stage show. (You may remember that I mentioned several months ago downloading the soundtrack onto my iPod after realizing that the music was probably available and why the hell didn't I already have it?) I feel so sad that Presnell died. My favorite songs of his from the movie? "Colorado, My Home," of course, but the best will always be "I'll Never Say No to You." You may not have ever heard of him, but I'll tell you, Harve Presnell totally rocked.

Okay, okay ... twist my arm

What's your favorite ice cream treat? My favorites tend to be specific to each ice cream maker and/or proprietor. Some examples: Ben & Jerry's Brownie Batter ice cream; Haagen-Dazs chocolate and strawberry ice creams; Cold Stone Creamery's strawberry shake; Skinny Cow's chocolate ice cream sandwiches (please, Skinny Cow, make a package of just chocolate!); Wendy's Frosty; Fudgsicles; Dairy Queen's strawberry Blizzard; Disneyland's Mickey Mouse ice cream sandwiches; and well, pretty much any blended strawberry shake (5 and Diner, Red Robin and Sonic all make yummy incarnations). Random bit of trivia: When I was pregnant, I could not get enough strawberry milkshake on any given day.
But wait! There's a pint ... er, point ... to this ode to ice cream!
According to the International Dairy Foods Assn.: In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day (this year, July 19). He recognized ice cream as a fun and nutritious food that is enjoyed by 90 percent of the nation's population. In the proclamation, President Reagan called for all people of the United States to observe these events with "appropriate ceremonies and activities."
You know what this means, right?