Tuesday, March 31

I'm a butterfly tree of swingability

This is the wrong stretch of days to be having to catch up on a couple weeks' worth of television. Last night, I was up past my bedtime watching all kinds of Monday shows. Tonight, Brian and I watched the last two weeks of Heroes. I'm sure that tomorrow night, we'll be on a two-episode binge of Lost. ... Huh. And this is what an ill household can do to a perfectly good television-viewing schedule!!
Sydney and I met some friends at the park this morning. It was so nice out, and the park was such a lovely thing to do! In a moment of brilliance, I decided to take my turn on the swings, too. What fun! I had forgotten how much the tummy can tickle when you get to the top of the swing, and start the downward turn. Of course, as I told Nicole and Stephanie, I don't remember the swing set itself creaking and groaning as much as it did today. They must not make them like they used to.
And after tonight, I finally do not need to watch Steve Wozniak attempt to twirl, glide or steppity-step on Dancing with the Stars. Nor do I need to see Holly Madison parade across the ballroom floor again. I say yay, but really, watching Steve-O get so stressed, and overwhelmed, and injured, is just as painful. If this was a triple-elimination event, I'd be a happier camper about it.
Tomorrow, I pay our first month's rent at the house and pick up our keys. Hurray!!
Moving day is 4 days away.

Monday, March 30

I'm a watermelon of creativity

I feel like there is absolutely nothing else going on in my life right now except packing for the move. It's a bit of a drag, especially as I sit here at 10:20 p.m. with only box tallies and paper cut numbers flashing through my creative center. It's so boring. My head is all, "This is so boring. Just stop typing."
Moving day is 5 days away.

My Dancing with the Stars voting (11 votes allowed):
Gilles Marini ~ 2 votes. It's cutthroat time, my friends, and all my votes are going to my two favorite "stars" on the program. But to tell the truth, I actually rewound this particular dance to watch it a second time. It was pretty awesome.
Melissa Rycroft ~ 2 votes. I really like this girl, and am so excited for her partner, Tony, who seems to be having a really good time with her.
Shawn Johnson ~ 1 vote.
David Alan Grier ~ 1 vote.
Ty Murray ~ 1 vote.
Lil' Kim ~ 1 vote.
Lawrence Taylor ~ 1 vote.
Steve-O ~ 1 vote. I think I am voting for Steve-O simply because as long as he is still competing, Johnny Knoxville will continue to attend the show's tapings.
Chuck Wicks ~ 1 vote.
Steve Wozniak and Holly Madison ~ 0 votes.

Sunday, March 29

I'm a frog shadow of activity

I'm quite exhausted, and not at all prepared to regale you with any fun, quirky or exciting stories on tonight's blog post. And that is unacceptable, too, because I've not posted anything since last week. ... Mom was here this weekend, ALWAYS a good time! ... I got a grand total of three boxes done yesterday, and about five today. My kitchen is pretty bare, like Old Mother Hubbard's, and the guest bathroom is mostly cleaned out. Mine and Brian's bathroom and cupboards are on tap for tomorrow during naptime. ... I've got an insane pile of stuff to drop at Goodwill soon. ... This week is going to be super busy, and I fear I'll be running around like a crazy person at the end of it. ... Moving day is Saturday: 6 days away.

Thursday, March 26

Yes, I liked it better than the book

Brian and I watched Twilight last night. I know that I've mentioned on the blog that I was not a huge fan of the book series. But the movie, well, I just figured I had to see the movie, thinking that I would, against my better judgment, probably dig the hell out of it. And I was right. I actually did enjoy it in a guilty pleasure kind of way. In fact, I still have it, and will probably watch it again before sending it back to Netflix. (Or won't, and then I'll just buy it at Target.) It was a total teeny-bopper, chicky movie, with all the long, loving stares that girls always wish they got in high school. True love forever, danger, intrigue, blah ... pretty much everything that the guys in my high school were incapable of being ... not that I would have noticed anyway. Boo. Against my will, I am excited about the sequel, New Moon, due in November.

Tuesday, March 24

Those are DOLLARS??!!!

ITEM!: While I do not crush on Charlie Sheen in a way even close to how I did back before his propensity for hookers dressed like cheerleaders was made public, I still am squarely on his side in regards to his divorce from Denise Richards. Her behavior since their divorce is the kind of crazy that no one needs in their life. Because of this, I've fallen hard on the side of dislike for her. And because of that, I'm kinda happy to see her go the way of the bye-bye on tonight's Dancing with the Stars. Also to the point, she was an awful dancer. My only sadness is in the fact that there will be little to no more Maks on the show. His "bad boy of the ballroom" attitude is awesome. And I totally cheer for him a lot because he got ROBBED when he lost the competition with Mel B. He will be missed.
ITEM!: $16 ... Sixteen dollars was shoved into the back of the big television the other day, when I thought Sydney was doing nothing more than taking the dollar coins and lining them up on the desk. It took Brian about 20 minutes to disassemble the TV's backing and fish out the coins. Funny is that the coins have been in the TV for about two weeks, and that I only chose yesterday to dig them out because The Salvation Army is coming by tomorrow to pick it up. I actually thought that they were all quarters, nickels and dimes. I wish there was a picture of my face when I realized that all those coins were dollars! I was all, "ACK!"
ITEM!: My days are filling up, as you can imagine, over the next couple weeks. But I'm actually feeling pretty calm about it all. And thinking on that, I have no right to feel at all calm.

Monday, March 23

Healthy is behind the moon there

There is a ridiculous amount of sick going on in my house lately. Sydney had a stomach bug that had her vomiting like a champ all day Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Try to explain to a two-year-old that she simply must drink the Pedialyte because it'll make her feel so much better. It doesn't work at all. Try to trick her into it? That doesn't work either. Eventually, she just started drinking water, because that was better than nothing, and now, is feeling tons better. She's not back to her normal capacity for mischief, but she's getting there. I suspect tomorrow to be even better.
THEN, I ate some nasty Tokyo Express, and my lovely penchant for food poisoning kicked in and left me sleeping on my bathroom floor Saturday night, and in bed all day yesterday. Today, I feel better, too.
THEN, my husband comes home all sick from work this afternoon. He has, obviously, picked up what Sydney had, and since he's a husband instead of a baby, it's so much worse and I could never understand how awful he feels.
Sickness sucks right out loud, and this weekend, sickness kicked our collective asses.

My Dancing with the Stars voting (12 votes allowed):
Melissa Rycroft ~ 2 votes. She's great! I love the continually evolving ways that the DWTS costume designers are developing to hide her back tattoo. I'm fascinated to know what the actual tattoo is, since they're playing it so close to the vest.
Gilles Marini ~ 2 votes. I think, when it comes down the to the finals (if Marini and Rycroft are in it), this is going to be a very difficult choice for me. I may just give them both the same votes, and let the rest of the country make the decision for me!
Shawn Johnson ~ 2 votes. I'm still waiting for some kind of cartwheel or flip or something.
David Alan Grier ~ 1 vote. Finally! It looks like Grier and Kym are getting in sync!
Ty Murray ~ 1 vote. Again, another vote because of Andrea.
Lil' Kim ~ 1 vote. I am becoming more and more indifferent every week.
Chuck Wicks ~ 1 vote. And once they cut out the cutesy, they become more like the other dancers.
Lawrence Taylor ~ 1 vote. He cancelled a golf game to practice? That is dedication!
Steve-O ~ 1 vote. Honestly, I didn't know which train wreck I wanted to grace with this last vote. I took a lot of time deciding who I would rather see next week, and then just picked one with my eyes closed.
Denise Richards, Steve Wozniak, Holly Madison ~ 0 votes. I'm sorry, but they are, all three, absolutely awful, and painful to watch.

Friday, March 20

Update: not a deadly spider after all

Oh my goodness, this is totally a cover-up.

Not so deadly? Chance Tulsa spider misidentified

(AP) TULSA, Okla. – A spider that was found in a Tulsa grocery store may not have been as deadly as originally thought.
The spider found in a shipment of bananas at Whole Foods was taken Sunday to the University of Tulsa, where animal facilities manager Terry Childs identified it as a Brazilian wandering spider, considered one of the most lethal in the world.
But Barry Downer, the curator of aquariums and herpetology at the Tulsa Zoo, said video and photos he had seen of the spider led him to believe that it was a Huntsman spider, which is harmless to humans.
"There's pretty definitive evidence it has been misidentified," Downer said.
Childs said Wednesday night that he had destroyed the spider at the urging of a university administrator because of safety concerns.
Downer said the spider should have been preserved for study, but he was told that the body would not be made available.
"It doesn't make any sense to me why it wouldn't be saved," he said.
A school spokesman said Thursday that the university is looking into how and why the spider was destroyed.
Richard Grantham, director of the plant disease and insect diagnostics lab at Oklahoma State University, also said the spider should not have been destroyed.
After looking at pictures of the spider, he said he does not believe it to be a Brazilian wandering spider, but he said it should have been preserved anyway.
"We preserve it," Grantham said. "We don't destroy it."
A similar incident happened at a Stillwater grocery store in 2003, Grantham said.
He kept the spider in a cage at the university lab until it died, and he still has the preserved body, he said.
Downer and Grantham also disputed Childs' characterization of the danger of a Brazilian wandering spider.
Death from the spider's bite is rare, and only victims with compromised immune systems, such as babies or older people, would be at risk, they said.

I've seen enough television and movies to know that when a body is mysteriously discarded, there's a real reason for it. I'll go on record as saying that the zoo guy is probably right, and that the spider was misidentified. I'll also theorize that the university guy discovered his error after he sent out the press release on the spider, and then killed it and threw away the body. No body, no way for someone to publicly prove that the spider wasn't scary. Clever dude, to throw it away (or burn it, probably), but now it just looks all the more fishy.

Thursday, March 19

Spiders + bananas = possible deadly bite

I'm playing this one kind of funny, but it really is quite scary.

World's deadliest spider found in Tulsa store
(AP) TULSA, Okla. – One of the most deadly spiders in the world has been found in the produce section of a Tulsa grocery store. An employee of Whole Foods Market found the Brazilian Wandering Spider Sunday in bananas from Honduras and managed to catch it in a container.
The spider was given to University of Tulsa Animal Facilities director Terry Childs who said this type of spider kills more people than any other.
Childs said a bite will kill a person in about 25 minutes and while there is an antidote he doesn't know of any in the Tulsa area.
Spiders often are found in imported produce, and a manager at Whole Foods says the store regularly checks its goods and that's how the spider was found.

I mean, suddenly, I totally appreciate the produce checker at my local Whole Foods. And good for them for, most likely, having jars on hand to catch any little eight-legged creature that may crawl out of the banana bin. And of course it would be BANANAS harboring this deadly spider! They are the DEVIL'S FRUIT! This is the kind of thing that would happen to a banana lover! You all tell me I'm crazy for hating bananas, but check it out! If this had been my Whole Foods, and if I was wandering through the produce section, my abhorrence for the yellow, gross fruit would have SAVED MY LIFE!

Wednesday, March 18

Congrats! Have a cupcake!

It went by with such little fanfair, mainly because I had such pressing news to deliver instead of celebrating a milestone, but here it is: I have passed 1,000 posts on "It's All About..." Honestly, I'm pretty surprised by that number! But how exciting! What you're reading now is the 1,003rd post, and damn it, that's awesome!
To go off the deep end of the map for a moment, I thank all of you for reading the blog regularly, or irregularly, or just whenever you get to it. I appreciate all of you taking the time in your day, week or month to check in on whatever silliness, irritation or randomness might be spewing forth from my fingers on any given day. It's for you all that I work harder to find the better turn of phrase, most impactful wording, best sarcastic emphasis, or silliest angle for a story. Because even though I write this blog for myself -- actually, to get the overwhelming desire to type furiously at least once during my day out of my system -- I always want to make you laugh, get outraged, be grossed out, and stir up your anger and indignation. So, thank you! You all ROCK!

p.s. I'm sad about Natasha Richardson.
p.p.s. My daughter threw up on me twice today. Ick.
p.p.s.s. I filled out my bracket for the NCAA Tourney, and have Pitt winning the whole thing.

Tuesday, March 17

Sadly, she's got to go-go

Because of this, heaven is so not a place on Earth! I mean, really! Where the hell was all the Go-Go love? Why, oh why was Belinda Carlisle sent home tonight?! That's just wrong! Steve Wozniak definitely should have left, instead of the wonderful Belinda. Sure, her dancing was quite bad, but it's not possible that she was the worst of the bottom two. Do the viewers even look at Karina when she's dancing with Wozniak? She's in pain! Big deal that Wozniak is having a whole lot of fun! All night, Karina was hoping, practically praying, that she'd get sent home, where she can sit back and watch the rest of the competition. And so now, my dear Belinda travels back into the Go-Go sunset. So sad.
Here's my St. Patrick's Day t-shirt. I absolutely love it. This was, perhaps, the best $4 I ever could have spent ... ever.

When Irish eyes are smiling

All my best wishes to you and yours on the best of all ancestry-related, and culturally celebrated, days of the year!
Are you wearing your green?

Monday, March 16

"Erin go braugh" means "Ireland forever"

You know what I got to do today? I got to pack and label a box, "garage." So many of you are like, whatever, big deal, but for me, having a garage is a huge thing! I can't wait to store stuff in my garage, and dig for holiday decorations in my garage, and park my car in my garage! Yay!
I'm watching this new show, Castle, on after Dancing with the Stars. I almost said that I wasn't a fan of these cheesy police procedurals, but then I remembered that I love, love, love The Mentalist. The draw for this particular show is the actor Nathan Fillion, who was awesome in Firefly, his guest appearance in Buffy, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog, and the movie, Serenity (an extension of the show Firefly). I dig his sarcastic, kinda smug and dicky way of delivering a line. And he's funny. You know me, I like a guy who makes me laugh. And you also know that everything I like must be spoken about at least once on the blog, so tonight it's Castle's turn.
Oh, and you can say it, I am ROCKING this Irish step dancer dress. Don't forget to wear your green tomorrow, and show your Irish solidarity. You go, you Irish girls; I love you!!

My DWTS voting (13 votes allowed):
Melissa Rycroft ~ 2 votes. I'm kind of loving this little girl. She's got a great smile, and seems to have a real shot at this contest. I think she's my favorite.
Gilles Marini ~ 2 votes. When I heard that Marini hurt himself, I got really nervous about his participation, and then I got irritated that I care that much. But still, I was pleased to see that he was able to compete!
Shawn Johnson ~ 2 votes. She's adorable, I agree. I keep watching her because I want to see some crazy gymnastics moves in her dances.
Belinda Carlisle ~ 1 vote. Sadly, Miss Belinda is not good at this. I do love her so much, but I don't think she is long for this show.
Lawrence Taylor ~ 1 vote. I want to see what he can do next week.
Li'l Kim ~ 1 vote. I didn't think I'd like her, but I do.
David Alan Grier ~ 1 vote. I say, "meh," but voted for him anyway.
Ty Murray ~ 1 vote. Because of Andrea's endorsement, Murray got my vote.
Denise Richards ~ 1 vote. Honestly, I have no idea why I voted for her. Actually, I do have an idea: Maks. He's awesome.
Chuck Wicks ~ 1 vote. I actually meant to vote for Steve-O instead of Wicks, which is unfortunate, because Steve-O really needed my vote. I'm quickly becoming bored with the Wicks and Julianne dynamic.
Steve Wozniak, Steve-O and Holly Madison ~ 0 votes. Again, I would have rather voted for Steve-O. I've got no desire to see Wozniak or Madison dance again.

Sunday, March 15

Top o' the mornin' to ya

ITEM: It's a couple days from St. Patrick's Day, which is quite possibly one of the best days in the world to be Irish. (As if there is such a thing as a bad day to be Irish.) So, as an equal opportunity holiday dresser, I bring you Day One of the St. Pat's ensemble fashion show. Notice the kicky hat and sassy, green sexy dress! Draw your eyes to the intricate detailing of the shamrock bracelet on my delicate wrist! And more importantly, do not fear the huge leprechaun float behind me!
ITEM: Okay, I've decided, upon doing some more reading and trusting my own instincts, that Sydney still is not ready for potty training. She's still not showing the "signs" that she's ready to take on the responsibility, and in my heart, I know that this diaper-removal thing is just a game to her right now, and that she just needs to be told that, "No, we do not remove our diaper."
Brian contends that I'm just freaking out about potty training, but really, I don't think the kid is ready. The big red flag here is that she is still cool about having a poopy in her diaper without telling me about it. The big sign they say in the book is that she'll start coming to me with a dirty diaper, requesting a change, because she doesn't want to be dirty. I'm not getting that kind of communication yet, peeps.
ITEM: Can I say again how cool it must be to blast off and then go zipping around the planet? I want to do that!
ITEM: I got some more packing done today. In fact, I tackled part of my kitchen. Check off the serving platters and bowls, small appliances, and kitchen decor! At this rate, I might be ready by the time the movers show up!

Saturday, March 14

Look, baby, you're own potty!

So we bought Sydney her own potty tonight. Honestly, I was hoping I'd have a few more months until any kind of potty-training would have to commence, but I was shown, in very specific terms, that the diapers are just not that great anymore. Today is the third ... yes, third ... day in a row in which Sydney removed her clothes and her diaper, and proceeded to sit somewhere and take a big, huge pee. Yesterday's pee was on her red chair in the living room. This afternoon's pee was on my bedroom carpet. Also, she removed her diaper, and then put her pants back on, at some point during naptime, and, of course, peed in two spots in the crib. OKAY, CHILD! I am remarkably aware that you are unhappy with diapers all of a sudden! So, off we went to Babies 'R Us to purchase a baby potty. We got a nifty 3-in-1 stage potty that begins as a sitting-on potty, then can be taken apart to be a potty seat for an adult toilet and a stool. This sounds like a good idea.
After the initial freak-out argument about her wanting the potty in the living room and Mommy insisting that it belongs in the bathroom, and Mommy winning, she proceeded to sit on it a couple times (still dressed), and then hop up a couple times. We praised her every time she sat down, and then, again, explained what the potty was for. Tonight wasn't going to be much though, we knew, because it was late for bedtime for her, and she was super tired. Tomorrow is another day.
To be completely frank with you, I was not at all ready for this. I'm freaking out, actually. I was hoping to have gotten through this move, and next month's travel plans, before dealing with this in any way. But, as Brian reminded me, "She works on her own schedule." Of course, she has been showing me that for the last 28 months. I know that! What I don't know, is how on earth to potty-train a child.

Maybe at a jumping contest ... ironically?

I'm not kidding about this picture. Here's the caption: A model presents a creation by French fashion designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac for his Fall-Winter 2009-2010 ready-to-wear collection, Tuesday, March 10, 2009 in Paris. (AP)
For what kind of event, exactly, would this be an appropriate ensemble to "ready-to-wear"? I'm flummoxed, to tell you the absolute truth. I can't even think of a funny event for which this outfit would work. You certainly couldn't wear it to any kind of Muppets function. That would be just awful. Nor would it be right at an animal rights rally. And surely not at a French restaurant. I don't get it! But it's ALMOST fantastic, yes?

Thursday, March 12

Back in the "ER," and it feels so good

I'm going to get all girly-fan on you tonight, and be all lovey-dovey romantic in regards to this evening's episode of ER, which featured George Clooney and Julianna Margulies in their former rolls of Dr. Doug Ross and Carol Hathaway, respectively. First of all, I loved this episode. From the very first scene, when Margulies stepped into that waiting room, I had goose bumps. And to see Clooney in scrubs again was frickin' awesome. And that we (as crazy Doug and Carol fans) got our closure, knowing that they did get married, that they are still happily raising their twin daughters, and that they are still kick-ass members of a hospital was fantastic.
I loved it when the light reflected off Doug's wedding ring. I loved it when we got any glimpse into the happy life of the couple. I loved it when Doug quizzed the Chicago staff on who was still around at the old hospital ... forgetting to ask about Dr. Carter (that was mean, you ER writers!). I loved it that he still does that pausing thing when he speaks medical. I did not love that they never knew that Carter was the potential recipient of the kid's liver, and that all they ever heard was that it went to "some doctor" in Chicago. (I guess that was the point, right? For us all to remember that what happens in each emergency room is a show in itself.) How wonderful it would have been to have a reunion!
And then there was Dr. Peter Benton's return. Eriq La Salle was yummy, thick, soupy gravy on top of tonight's show. (God, I miss how good that program was!) I loved that he found Carter and hung with him throughout his entire ordeal. I love that he was the difficult guest during the surgery, insisting on the checklist, and ultimately saving Carter's life because of that. I love that he gave Carter a hard time about marrying Kem. I love that they seemed to enjoy their character's giggles. I did not like that Reese, Benton's son, is 13 years old. That makes me 13 years older than I was when I watched the episode in which Reese was born.
I paused the television during the preview scenes for next week's episode to check out the doctor and nurse tags hanging on that wall. I was pleased to see, not only Benton, Ross and Hathaway, but Greene, Weaver and Romano (even though he was a huge jerk) on the wall. None of those other characters will be reappearing, as far as I know. Should I bother watching the last few episodes? I think I will, only for curiosity's sake.
As a whole, I give tonight's episode of ER an enthusiastic and fanatical thumbs up. And any reason to post some pictures of Clooney's face on the blog is a good one.

Wednesday, March 11

They're small, but heavy

Boxes packed today: 9 small.
I started packing in the office today, and with my bookcase and shelves, which filled up five boxes on their own. Then to the "sittin' outs" (as I call them), in the living room; and then to the bookcase and coffee table books in the bedroom. That's all I could handle for my first day, even with the "help" I got from the toddler. Tomorrow, during naptime, I'm going to dig into Brian's bookcase. I seem to be having decent energy during that time period, and am interested in exploiting it. Brian's bookcase will be a large and heavy job, as it is filled to the brim with textbooks and binders. Also, since I only have small boxes right now, I need to stick to the heavy stuff that goes in the small boxes. This weekend, I shall get some medium and large boxes so I can expand my packing scope to cover lighter and larger things (kitchen appliances, vases and accessories of every kind) as well. I'll also put away my St. Patrick's Day decorations tomorrow, as I would like to have all the decoration boxes ready to go.
As for movers, I did make a couple calls today. One company sends out two guys and a truck and charges $68 per hour for the local move. That, I won't lie, is a fantastic estimate. The second company is sending a representative who will be here tomorrow morning to create an in-home estimate. I'm intrigued by the potentially minimal cost of this move ... so far. We'll see what tomorrow brings. But if it's less than $1,000, I may just giggle uncontrollably. I mean, I was thinking this move would end up costing us about $2,500. I never would have imagined it would be, on the high side, maybe only $680. Not possible!

[Editor's Note: The Editor would like to apologize right now for what, she assumes, will be a ridiculously high number of posts that will focus on this move, the cost of it, and/or the overwhelming responsibilities involved with it over the next few weeks. Really, she's sorry. She'll try to keep the bitching to a minimum, but will not guarantee any kind of restriction on the actual topic.]

Tuesday, March 10

Taxes, taxes, taxes

I put all our tax information together for Frank this afternoon. I actually feel quite happy that it's done, though still somewhat perturbed at knowing that, even though I may get this to Frank before the end of the week, it'll still be close to April 15 before I see any of it back from him. Grrr. Here's hoping for a decent refund though! Really, I know that we'll get one, since we're still paying a ridiculous amount of interest on Brian's school loans. That's where our refund is coming from again this year. (It wasn't always so when I was working, but oh well. The things we trade when I'm not working!)
I have a stack of empty and folded boxes leaning against the hallway wall. I bought my first batch of boxes yesterday, and even though I insisted to myself that I would get started today, I did not. They all are still empty. I think I'll start on the books tomorrow. Happily, I think I've got an idea of where all the furniture will go in the new place.

Monday, March 9

Back in the voting booth ... DWTS style!

Big news! We got the house! Yay! Now, all I need to do is pack the entire place, find some movers, figure out what day we'll make the big move, decide on what to do with my dogs and kid so they are somewhat out of the way, and change the addresses on every bill, magazine and person in my address book. No problem! I'm on it!
I've got issues about Rihanna getting back together with Chris Brown. And I'm happy that a big celebrity, umm... Oprah!, said something about how bad an idea that is, on national television, no less. And Oprah was right, if he hits once, he'll hit again. I fear for the girls who really look up to Rihanna, and how they'll be effected by this. The last thing we need in this world is a new generation of girls growing up thinking that if he's famous, or means that much to you, it's okay if he hits you and then says he's sorry. This is a bad thing, certainly. Girls need to know that love doesn't hurt. Rihanna included.
So Monday is a big television night again. Tonight, I'm logging hours in front of the tube. Check it: Dancing with the Stars, Chuck, Castle, Heroes. It doesn't sound like a lot, but DWTS was two hours. And here I am, at 10:21 p.m., watching the beginning of Chuck. I don't think there is any new Gossip Girl for another week or two, so that's good. I'll watch Heroes tomorrow night with Brian. You know what? Blah, blah, blah, TV.

My Dancing with the Stars voting (13 votes allowed):
Gilles Marini ~ 2 votes. I was blown away with how well he did on his first night out!
Shawn Johnson ~ 2 votes. She's just too cute.
Lil' Kim ~ 2 votes. She did a shout-out to her girls in jail. That's kinda awesome.
Steve-O ~ 2 votes. Who thought this guy would be at all decent? He was.
Belinda Carlisle ~ 1 vote. She's got the beat, and I'm mad about her.
David Alan Grier ~ 1 vote. I was impressed with his dancing ability.
Chuck Wicks ~ 1 vote. I think he and Julianne may just break up when they lose this competition.
Melissa Rycroft ~ 1 vote. With only 48 hours of practice, she got better scores than others who worked for weeks. Yay her!
Lawrence Taylor ~ 1 vote. I like it when the big football players do the dancing.
Holly Madison, Ty Murray, Steve Wozniak, Denise Richards ~ 0 votes: I'll admit to holding back my voting love on a few of these people because with the field this wide, I've got to put the support where I really want it. Once the number goes down, I'll be able to be more diplomatic.

Sunday, March 8

Three topics, one low price!

We filled out our rental application for the house this afternoon. Brian liked it, too, and we're getting excited about moving. I'm getting super nervous and stressed too, as this is the beginning of a rough couple weeks. Packing? Moving estimates? Random fixes to the house? Ack! I'll go by U-Haul tomorrow and pick up my first batch of boxes. I am concerned about how many I'll be able to get in the car, especially with someone else sitting in the backseat.
Brian and I watched a couple shows on TLC tonight about morbidly obese people getting gastric bypass surgery at a hospital in Texas. (Why? No idea!) I was completely grossed out by them, sadly, and continuously fought the urge to run into the bathroom and purge myself of the bowl of macaroni and cheese I had for dinner. Instead, I'll keep going to the gym, and will endeavor to cut back even more on the junk food. What did I have in common with these people? I enjoy McDonald's, too. What was not in common? I stop at one burger. They had several.
Also, I joined Twitter. I'm not going to describe the service, because I'm fairly certain that it's a creepy and self-indulgent way to get your voice, whether interesting or not, out into the world. I think I may cancel the account tomorrow, as I've already got my way of doing that (hint: You're reading it!). Still, now that I consider canceling it, I also reconsider canceling it. I may just choose to hold onto it, so if I need it (or the account), I've got it.

Friday, March 6

A shoe girl, just like Mommy and Grandma

Sydney and I officially have two pairs of matching shoes. Look to the left. You can say it, they're frickin' adorable. I've got weird issues about it though. I'm firmly against the thought of us wearing the matching pairs on the same day. In the interest of full disclosure ... and because it's fun ... I'll tell you that Katy also has a pair of the sparkly All Stars. And they are sparkly. Look at the picture closely to see it. (I bought Sydney's weeks ago, and when I saw the adult sizes, I ordered a pair for myself and my darling niece.) Mom suggested that we all wear the matching sneakers whenever we go to dinner. I said, "No. Cheesy." I shared the idea with Katy, and she liked it. Again, I was all, "No! Cheesy!" But I can feel that I'm getting railroaded, and I'm not going to put up much more resistance either. The night we all do wear the shoes, I will take a picture of our feet and post it here for you to enjoy.
The second pair are some loafers that were on sale several weeks ago, that I let Mom talk me into putting on Sydney. (I adore them!) I fell immediately in love with the baby shoes, and the more I stared at them on Sydney's feet, the more I decided they also must be on my feet! And huzzah! There they were in big girls' sizes, too! And they were crazy on sale! It's not often you can find gold shoes with purple bows that are really quite fantastic.
I've got a weakness for buying shoes for Sydney. And if this trend -- of the cute shoes also coming in my size -- continues, I'll be in real trouble.

Thursday, March 5

Take me, not her!

I think that I should replace one of the damaged celebrities on the upcoming season of Dancing with the Stars. Both Jewel and Nancy O'Dell have had to drop out of the series due to fractured tibias and knee cartilage tears, respectively. The injuries are said to be results of a too vigorous training regimen. The official news is that the show executives won't announce the stars' replacements until Monday night, but I have already heard that one of the Playboy bunny girls from that ridiculous show, Girls Next Door, is replacing Jewel. Honestly, if something happens to Belinda Carlisle, I'll have no reason to watch the show this season.
Jewel's husband, Ty Murray, is still competing, though the main plotline between them being on the show was that they would be the first husband-wife pair to compete against each other.
Among DWTS celebs injured in prior seasons: Olympic volleyball player Misty May-Treanor (torn Achilles tendon); comic Jeffrey Ross (eye injury); actress Susan Lucci (fractured foot); and actor Cristián de la Fuente (torn arm tendon).
Perhaps the problem is that they are all celebrities. (Run with me on this.) They need a couple no-name fans in there to bolster the non-injury quotient. You see? They need me there.

Wednesday, March 4

A sunken tub and a beehive fireplace

I looked at another house this afternoon. It was the one that we drove by on Sunday morning, and that Brian decided he liked very much ... from the outside. Truthfully, it's a bit older than I would like, and it has some work to be done, but it's also got a couple weird, kooky little things about it that are becoming more and more endearing as I think about it. I'm excited to get another look at it on Sunday, when Brian and I are to check it out together. Big problem: again, no grass in the backyard. But it isn't as big a backyard, and we figure that we can do some work ourselves and get some sod in there and growing. We'll have to water it ourselves, but I imagine that there are much worse things to do than water your own grass, right? Really, I'm finding that, the more I consider the place, the more I'm liking it.

Does today "affect" or "effect" me?

Hey, you all, it's National Grammar Day!
Straight from the web page, nationalgrammarday.com, comes this:
Do you adore clean, correct sentences? Do ungrammatical advertisements make you cringe? We understand completely, and this is why the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar and MSN Encarta have designated March 4 as National Grammar Day.
How can I participate?
Speak well! Write well! And on March 4, march forth and spread the word. We want people to think about language and how it can be used best.

Also on this web site is a list of the "Top 10 Grammar Tips," including the explanations behind:
* Me, myself and I
* Is it "good" or "well"?
* Less vs. fewer
* Which vs. that
* i.e. vs. e.g.
* Affect vs. effect
* Insure vs. ensure
* To split or not to split: The truth about split infinitives
* A preposition you can't refuse
* Conjunction function
You know what I've noticed about my grasp on grammar? When faced with something grammatically wrong, I can feel it, in fact, I smack against it as if it were a brick wall, and then I quickly fix it my head to move on to the next thing. But when asked why something is wrong, I seldom can come up with an intelligent explanation. Sometimes my best reasoning is just, "Well, I just know it's wrong, that's all." So it's nice to have some of these issues spelled out somewhere (even if I didn't even read them, and probably won't bookmark the page either).
So, go into the world today with a clean mind, and give everyone you know the gift of good grammar!

[Editor's Note: Thanks to Alison for the heads up!]

Too big; too rocky; where's just right?

I looked at two houses today in my search for someplace new for the Family G. to live. The first, this morning, was way too big for our purposes. It would be perfect for a buy, since there is a lot I would like to do to it, but as a rental, there were too many things I would rather change about it. It also had four bedrooms and three bathrooms ... again, just a bit too big for us at this stage in the game.
The house I saw this afternoon though, was almost perfect. The bad side was a backyard, a large backyard, that was covered in nothing but desert rock. Desert rock. Not a single blade of grass, or tree, or shrub. Just rock. I told the realtor that, really, the only bad thing about the entire place, my only disappointment, was the lack of landscaping in the back. (How hard is this going to be, this quest for grass for my kids?) The realtor suggested that he may ask the owner to put some grass in if we are serious about it. A good response, but I don't think that's likely.The rent there is about $100 less than our apartment, so my interest is real. I just don't think I want to do that much landscaping fixing up.
I'm looking at another place tomorrow afternoon, and am pretty excited about it, actually. Brian and I drove past it on Sunday, and really like the neighborhood and area. This looking at houses thing is pretty fun .. assuming I eventually end up with something that I like. And end up with it soon.

I think the saddest thing I read today is how Bill Gates, of Microsoft fame, won't allow any iPods or iPhones in his house. That's a serious drag on his wife and kids, I bet, since those two things are quite possibly the coolest electronic devices on the planet.

Monday, March 2

Who needs all that entertainment anyway?

I think I'm going to give Jimmy Fallon and his new talk show, that which is replacing Conan O'Brien's, a chance at entertaining me. I will probably set the DVR to record it, as my late-night brain is a bit sluggish and glassy, and incredibly unable to judge humor or intelligence in what I may be watching at that time. That is the primary reason why I record The Daily Show and The Colbert Report to watch during the following day's naptime. I need an awake head to appreciate that kind of sarcasm and brilliantly funny insight. Who knows yet if Fallon will deliver, but I'll give him a shot. After all, what I really need is another television show I am compelled to watch.
What's weird is that I never watched Conan at 11:35 p.m. I probably still won't watch him at 11:05 p.m. I've never been a big fan of Jay, and I think Letterman is purposely rude, so the entire late-night television thing wasn't ever a big deal to me. I'll give Conan and Jimmy a chance at their new nightly gigs, but should point out that, if they are not impressive, are too juvenile, or are too "network," I'll happily ditch the entire enterprise.

Sunday, March 1

Swing legs back, then forth, then back...

I just finished my very late homework assignment, Assignment 5A, wherein I had to observe a child or teenager, document their (presumably somewhat interesting) actions, and then write a descriptive 350-word essay on them. I decided on the railroad park as the perfect place to find my subject, which was also an opportunity to give Sydney a good time this morning. So we traveled out to the park, and while Sydney and Brian ran around the playground, I subtly checked out my surroundings. I wore my sunglasses, and took notes on my phone, taking every precaution to appear more like an uninterested mother who was texting, rather than a potential freak checking out all the little kids in the sandbox. (Ew.) Anyway, I decided to "observe and document" a little girl just learning to swing on her own. She was really very darling. And I think the assignment turned out well.
Part B of the assignment is to get into the kid's head, and right the activity from their point of view. This, actually, should be pretty fun, and I'm looking forward to it. Tonight though, it's too late to dig into it, but it's on my naptime to-do list for tomorrow.