Friday, December 31

Smile; it's a good thing!

I feel like I'm safe in saying it now, because there are all but 30 minutes until the year is done. Thank you, everyone I know and love, for not dying this year. 2010 has the dubious distinction of being the first year in four years in which I have not had to deal emotionally with the death of a loved one. I know I asked you all at the beginning of the year to not die, and I really, really appreciate you indulging me in this.
I understand that it's been a long year, and that a lot has happened, but I thank you for keeping me in mind regularly, and knowing that dying is just not an option, because Kimmie would not be happy about it. That resolution though, that I asked of you, will be requested of you again as we all head into 2011. I'd hate for 2010 to be the anomaly year in which no one died, rather than the year in which we breathe easier in the knowledge that, from now on, we've got a few years to not have to worry about someone dying. (I won't be naive and suggest that no one in my circle ever will die, but please, a couple years would be awesome.)
So, thanks for staying alive everyone! You rock!

Happy New Year, 2011!!

I've got a random list of wants for my New Year's Eve tonight. In no particular order:
1.) Mulling cider. We've had the quart of cider waiting on the counter since Christmas, and I bought fresh mulling spices a few weeks before that. Also, we've got some nice, new cinnamon sticks to put in the mugs. I need to get that heating, because only by starting this afternoon will we be able to get through all the cider tonight!
2.) Popcorn. Every decent holiday deserves a fresh batch of popcorn. No one else in the house likes the way I make it, which I find completely bizarre, since my popcorn is AWESOME, so I get to eat it all myself.
3.) Movie. I have no idea which movie we'll watch tonight, but we're watching one. The movie, of course, will have to be watched before the ball drops, because watching the ball drop is a train wreck that simply must be viewed. It's the perfect way to end a year.
4.) Bizarre dinner made up of what's left in the kitchen. We really don't have a menu for the evening's meal, and I'm okay with that. Maybe we'll go pick something up once Brian gets home.
5.) Resolutions. I probably won't have started on any resolutions, since the new year doesn't really start until you wake up on January 1, but I would like to have a good idea of what all those resolutions will be.
6.) Optimism. I have a really good feeling about 2011, and I'm excited to get started on it.

Thursday, December 30

All I want is a ringtone, pleeze!

I'm getting frustrated with iTunes. It doesn't take a lot to get frustrated with iTunes, but tonight, my tolerance level is at an all-time low. The source of my frustration? Ringtones. I want nothing more than a Katy Perry ringtone for my phone. My iTunes is not allowing this. More than that, my iTunes is not allowing any ringtone production at all. I don't require a lot from my technology, in general. But I do require that it, you know, do what I want it to when I want it to. And this temper tantrum from my iTunes store is pissing me off. It's like, daring me to figure out exactly why it's feeling sassy and uncooperative. It's taunting me, really, because the Help menu in iTunes is giving me some very specific and, seemingly, easy instructions to fix the issue, but the menu options I'm being told are available, actually are not there at all. Once again, frustrated.
Also, I've figured out the two things I want for my birthday. And if you can believe it, they're both kitchen appliances. 1.) Cuisinart's CleanWater 2-gallon counter-top water filtration system. It has to be the 2-gallon, because that supports the instant hot, cold and room temperature water dispenser. Oh yeah, and filters for it, too, please. 2.) Keurig Elite Brewing System. This is the lesser of the fancy models, with two different cup sizes to choose from, and the ability to accommodate travel mugs. I feel like we need an easier way of making our hot chocolate and coffee whenever we're thirsty for it.
Then, I could at least be enjoying some delicious hot chocolate while I was screaming at iTunes.

Flamingos in the snow!

My resolution list is growing, fast and definitive. I just hope I can keep up with it. But on the up side, most of my resolutions are promises I've made to myself, and just kind of lost sight of over the last year, or even, two. A couple have already been put into effect, in regards to Sydney, of course. Not that she understands resolutions, but she does understand when Mommy changes the routine. 1.) Bedtime preparations begin at 8 p.m. sharp. 2.) No more kiddy television after 7 p.m. By that time, you know, the sounds and words from talking puppets starts to get really, really irritating.
The resolutions for myself also are in the works:
More daily water intake. I used to drink much more water than I do now, and I need to get back into that habit. I am reminded of this by the foot cramp I am experiencing right this moment, and how drinking more water makes the cramp go away.
Back to the gym for cardio. Must, must, must get back into shape.
Read a book a month. I resolved to do this last year, and I did it. I read more than 13 books through the year, and feel like a better person because of that. So, back onto that wagon.

Wednesday, December 29

Resolution: No more whining about weather

So, I've been listening to the pitter patter of the raindrops all day, and I have to say, it's been pretty nice.
I miss weather.
I know this isn't the first time I've said it, nor is it the last time I will. Unfortunately, whining about the weather I'm in, or not in, apparently, is one of my things.
I wonder when that happened. The whining. ... Hmmm ... it must have something to do with Arizona. I remember when Mom, Howie and I came out here for my first semester at school, and, in August, we bought me a jacket ... just in case. And then we laughed about it, because really, in August, who imagines that it could ever get cold enough here for a jacket. Well, of course, in the course of that semester, it got pretty chilly here, and that jacket came in very, very handy. (Side note: I still have that jacket, and will never, ever get rid of it.) But it wasn't the cold that began my like for complaining about the weather. I'm sure it had more to do with the summer. And continued to have more to do with the summer in Arizona. But then came the winters in Boston, and I was able to roll from one extreme to the other.
And here I am, back in Arizona, whining about my summers, and whining about my lack of winters. Weird.
I'm done now.
Remember how much I am enjoying the rain?

Getting ready for the New Year

Well, I certainly took a break for the holiday, didn't I? It was not at all intentional. Instead, we'll call it a casualty of Christmas, wherein I wanted to blog, but simply didn't have the energy, time or, let's face it, inclination, to do so. Still, it was a great holiday for me and mine, and I hope it was for you, too.
I only have a few minutes to type something up, as Sydney has set a timer on our morning preparations, and I only have minutes to get ready for the zoo. A timer. Really. For whatever reason, it was set for 38 minutes. So I figure I've got about 27 minutes right now. I should get going.
I cleaned out my "Blog Photos" folder on my computer's desktop a couple days ago, and am pleasantly surprised to find this season-appropriate image still in there.
Also, I resolve to have a cleaned-out e-mail inbox for the New Year, so no one e-mail me with anything until after January 2, okay?

Wednesday, December 22

Countdown to Christmas: 3 days

I think I've got everything in my house that needs to be wrapped for Christmas wrapped for Christmas. Most everything is now out of Mom's closet in the guest room, and I've got a nice pile of gifts under the tree. Yay!!
What I've got going on right at this moment though is the pitter patter of raindrops on my skylights and windows. I'm loving it. I prefer a little bit of weather in my winter. Arizona's been pretty boring lately. Not to mention that it's been warm, as well.
I gave baths to both of my dogs today. I haven't ever done that, and it was not as painful as I had imagined it would have been. Sydney got to choose who went first, and she picked Daisy. Which, in retrospect, I'm glad for, because if Daisy was a minimal struggle, Oliver was no struggle at all. Brian declared shenanigans on Oliver behaving for the bath, but I consider his good attitude a function of the fact that his mommy was giving the bath.
Tomorrow, the last of my Christmas shopping, and Mom arrives in town. Christmas is upon us!!

Monday, December 20

I take my calendars VERY seriously

Brian and I like having a Boston wall calendar in the kitchen. Every year, since 2003, we've had a particularly beautiful calendar from that city in our home. When we lived in Boston, it was easy to come across these calendars. In Arizona? Well, not so much.
So every year for the last five years, I've had to order the calendar from Barnes & Noble. B&N, usually, is right quick about getting books and calendars to the customer, or so that has been my experience. This year though, is bordering on the ridiculous.
Witness my frustration:
I ordered the calendar on the website on December 7. On December 10, I got an e-mail shipping confirmation, that the calendar was being shipped via ARGIX-USPS from New Jersey. It is now December 20, and I still don't have the calendar. The timeline, according to my "tracker": Calendar left New Jersey on Dec. 10; Arrived in Denver on Dec. 13; Left Denver on Dec. 14; Arrived in Phoenix on Dec. 20. Six days to get to Phoenix from Denver??!! What the hell??!!
I honestly believe that Barnes & Noble may be the only vendor employing the Pony Express this holiday season. Because this is crazy. Anyway, here's the e-mail I just sent to B&N's customer service department.

Good evening~
I'd like to lodge a complaint about your shipping service, ARGIX-USPS. I am having a real hard time understanding why a calendar that was shipped 10 days ago, according to the tracker, STILL has not arrived at my home. I understand that the United States Post Office also is involved in this particular shipping. The USPS can get an envelope from one side of the country to the other in three days. How is it that a shipping service AND the post office seem to be incapable of shipping a calendar from New Jersey to Phoenix in, at the least, 10 days?
The delay on getting this calendar is unacceptable.

As a website devoted to getting products to customers in a timely manner, as well as keeping them happy, you should be working with a more dependable and FASTER shipping service.

So, bets on the response I get? If any?

Sunday, December 19

Christmas is coming!!

So, we've had a perfectly lovely visit out to Cali, but it's time to head back to the desert tomorrow morning. It should be raining for the entire drive, but you know, whatever. Done and done, and we'll be home. Sydney certainly is heading back to her house with a sizable haul of gifts. Favorites: Hungry, Hungry Hippos; Buzz Lightyear doll; Lite Brite; and dinosaur books. Most everyone did really well for her this year, which is the case when she has definite things that she's into.
At any rate, tomorrow afternoon begins the list of stuff for Christmas, including and consisting primarily of one task: wrapping. I still have a couple things to pick up here and there, but for the most part, I'm pretty well done. Yay!!
I hope y'all had a good weekend!!

Saturday, December 18

PLEASE go on the Buzz ride with Mommy!

Tired. Tired. Tired.
It rained at Disneyland today, but we still had a lovely time. In fact, we were there at 8 a.m. when it opened, and were the first people on the Winnie the Pooh ride. The staff there even offered for us to ride the ride again ... without getting off it ... and Sydney said, no, she didn't want to ride it again. Wait. What? Really? We can just stay put on a DISNEY RIDE and not get off to ride it again??!! Clearly, the baby had no idea about the significance of this event, because she still was all, no, I don't want to go on it again. So, we got off, and proceeded to walk onto other rides instead. I did take her on Big Mountain Railroad -- her first big-kid roller coaster -- and she had a blast on that. We hit a couple rides in Fantasyland, but I have to tell you, I was a little disappointed in my baby girl at the D-land. She didn't want to go on anything! We had to talk her into going on "It's a Small World," the submarine ride, and Buzz Lightyear. Talk about your buzz kill. I had hopes for a day full of riding everything, and instead had to bribe, argue and cajole her into going on some of mine and Mom's favorite rides. Boo! She had better be over this by the next trip, that's all I have to say. Or we'll start leaving her home with Brian!

Wednesday, December 15

D-I-S-N-E-Y-L-A-N-D

Of all the things I like to say in my life, "I'm going to Disneyland" ranks among the highest on my happiness scale. And that I get to say it because we're going tomorrow makes it even better. Yay to Mom, Sydney and I!! Yay Disneyland!!
It makes for a very special and awesome way to begin our holiday visit to California, yes? I think so. Can't wait!! Of course, I'll be getting up at 5 a.m. tomorrow morning so Sydney and I can be on the road at 6 a.m., so as to get there with enough time for almost-a-full day at California Adventure. And then, the main park on Friday. This, I hope, will be as awesome a visit as we had last year, though it was before Thanksgiving.
At any rate, we're going to Disneyland!!

Tuesday, December 14

Shady, shady people out there

Public Service Announcement ... for, you know, the people that read my blog.
I got an e-mail tonight from "Bank Of America" telling me that my checking account may have been compromised, and that I needed to click to go to another web page to reactivate it. On that page, it requested my screen name and password to reactivate the account. My browser, luckily, threw up a warning that the site I was trying to get to was a known phishing site, and to be very careful and sure of what I was doing. Having seen that warning, I spent another moment reading the initial e-mail, which, of course, had a couple errors in it that reaffirmed to me that the e-mail itself was bullshit.
First, and everyone please note this, Bank of America does NOT capitalize "of." They never make this error. If you see it, stay away.
Second, the e-mail used "some one" instead of "someone." Another error, this one a more obvious spelling mistake.
Third, a funky grammatically odd sentence in the text of the e-mail.
The takeaway here is that, when you get an e-mail like this, spend the extra time to read it carefully, and notice everything about it. I don't know if I would have caught all this if the browser warning hadn't popped up, but I'm glad I had the chance to re-read the text and get to the bottom of this issue.
So, please, please, please keep an eye open for these kinds of things. These people are smart, clever and incredibly tricky. Keep your head about you, and take the extra moments to read any e-mails from "your bank" incredibly carefully, especially if they want you to go to another site and give away any of your personal information.

Monday, December 13

No more warm!

I like this picture. It's like the polar bear is all, "Stop! Polar time!!"
I wish I could say that this bear, and the snow it's playing in, was analogous to the weather here in Arizona. I really do wish I could. But no, we've been dealing with record-high temperatures here. In fact, today, it reached 81 degrees in Phoenix. There is something very wrong with that, especially when you consider that this is mid-December. You see all that sow in the middle of the country? We could use some of that coolness. It doesn't make for a very Christmas-y Christmas spirit when the sun is shining and the air is warm. For weather on the holidays like this, I'd rather be in Hawaii!

Sunday, December 12

Santas skiing down a mountain

I had a lovely weekend, you know. This morning, we had an impromptu brunch with my dear friend, Roberta, and her family. I love surprising social events, and this morning's brunch was no different. Such a lovely day. Following lunch, Brian, Sydney and I made our way to Old Navy to get the kiddo some long-sleeved shirts. The plan was to go to the mall after Old Navy, but my maybe getting a red-light flash ticket on the way to the mall killed the mood, and instead, we just came home.
But at home, having gotten over the maybe-a-ticket, Brian made the beginnings of bread pudding, which I didn't think anyone could make any worse beyond the fact that it's bread pudding, but that he intends to make worse by adding banana. I was more helpful than he thought I would be, so he was in a much better frame of mind the rest of the afternoon.
Then, we watched Eclipse. Anyway, I have a plan for tomorrow, and hope to be done with all my Christmas shopping this week. Yay me!!

Saturday, December 11

SOUP AND COOKIES ... er, brownies

I love my friend, Maria. I'm horrified to realize that, before tonight, I had not seen her since last year. Maria and her main man, Doug, host a Cookie and Soup Party every December. The party actually started as a cookie exchange, which it really still is, but they always have the most delicious soups for dinner there, too. So I have, in my head, dubbed it the Cookie and Soup Party.
Tonight I brought brownies for my exchange food. I've brought peanut butter cookies, sugar cookies and chocolate chip cookies, but today I thought, no, I'll bring brownies. I had a wonderful creamy chicken noodle soup, and a white bean and something chili that also was very good.
But, like I said, I was upset to realize that I haven't seen Maria since last year's party. This is bad on a few fronts: 1.) We only live 30 minutes apart. 2.) With few real friends in the area, I should be better about seeing the ones that I have. 3.) Maria is one of those people that makes me feel privileged that she has chosen me to be a friend. She's such an angel, and I'm truly lucky to have her in my life. So, I should really be better about seeing her.
We have decided on brunch, early in the new year, when Sydney's at school. I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to catching up with her, with a real chat.

Friday, December 10

Better in New York

Well, I think I see why Sex and the City 2 got such icky reviews. It just seemed so ... cheesy. And even though they mentioned in the movie how awful the "economy" was, it was still vaguely unsettling to see such disregard for money. Granted, it's a movie. And I'm all about that. But really, it just made me envious! Also, I just didn't like the writing. Weirdly off-putting, I suppose. At least now I've watched it, and now I can send the disc back to Netflix.

Thursday, December 9

It could happen

We decorated gingerbread houses today, and I think I may have the only child in a several-miles' radius that wants to tear her house apart and eat it. I have no idea where this kid got her sweet tooth, but it is crazy aggressive. Every five minutes I'd get asked if she could have another piece of her house. Relentless.
She's picked candy pieces off the roof all afternoon, snacking on them with no regard whatsoever for the little fairies, gnomes and mystical creatures that might reside in the gingerbread house at night while we're all asleep.

Wednesday, December 8

"Cars," "Dinosaur Train" and Disney. All good.

I had the weirdest shopping expedition to Toys "R" Us this morning. My local Toys is up the street from my house, and it's a regular stop for us. I was prepared for the full parking lot when I arrived this morning. What I was not prepared for was the quiet in the store. It was weird. Walking around and wandering the aisles, the store was so eerie quiet. All the moms and dads were cruising around with purpose. Everyone had their mental and physical lists, and they were focused. Of course, I had my list, too, but I also had the need to wander and find stocking stuffers, so I could spend some time observing everyone else in the store. Everyone had such precision in their actions. Looking for the blue, because it has to be blue, Lalaloopsy doll. The specific robot figure. The particular game. The right size play food. It was kinda awesome, being a part of that mob mind, where we all were operating in the same store, at the same time, but with very different and specific purpose.
And I'd love to share my list with you, and let you know how happy my kid will be on Christmas morning, but I'm still hugging it to myself.

Tuesday, December 7

Happy Big Number Day!

Well, we've reached a milestone today. This is my 1,500th post.
When I started this blog way, way, way back in 2005, it was pretty much a lark. I got the idea from, of all places, MySpace, and its blog feature. Michelle and JJ had just convinced me to open a profile on MySpace, and I did it, but when I noticed the blog feature on the profile, I decided that the blog is my better bet for self expression. I canceled the MySpace account pretty quickly, and did a quick Internet search for blogging sites. And huzzah, I found Blogger, and, shortly thereafter, "It's All About..." was born. (I'm still not sure I love the name of the blog, but it continues to serve the purpose. Also, I can't think of anything I like better.)
But what began as an exercise in writing randomness has become more of an outlet to my psyche: emotionally, intellectually, and creatively. I am not sure what I'd be doing with myself if I didn't have the blog to be a sounding board for my thoughts, whether I had readers or not. I certainly appreciate the readership, but what's more comforting is the fact that I write the blog for me more than for anyone else. And that it probably wouldn't be any different if it was a private blog that no one else read. (Of course, I LOVE that you all do read it!!)
I guess 1,500 posts in five years isn't too bad. Considering my spotty record in various months. It was always my intention for the blog to represent me, in my sanity and my crazy, and I think I've accomplished that. I like that I'm ready to start a new year on the blog soon. And I like that I'm as dedicated, and not bored with it, as I could possibly be all these years after I started it.

Monday, December 6

It's just an anomaly

I'm starting to get concerned. I mean, I am moving way, way, way ahead of schedule for Christmas. Honestly, I've got my cards all addressed and ready to mail out tomorrow? On what planet is that normal?? It's not, which is why I'm so flabbergasted! I've got my list for shopping, and plan to get a good portion of that done on Wednesday.
My goodness, December is shaping up to be quite a month! Yay!!

Sunday, December 5

A dinosaur, a zoo and a rock house

I'm kind of blown away by how Christmas-y productive I've been this weekend. Not only did we get our tree and get it all lit up and decorated, but we also put up the outdoor lights. Incredibly, I also managed to get the Christmas card photos done, and have ordered the cards themselves, which are done and ready to be picked up, by the way. I don't think I've ever had the cards ready this early. I'll get them and the stamps tomorrow, and then get them in the mail in a day or two. Wait, cards out before the 15th of the month? What the cuss? How is that possible?
Tomorrow, the Christmas planning begins in earnest. I'm beginning to figure out where the budget begins and ends, and what is necessary and not so much. This year is all about making it awesome for Sydney, which means that, yes, there will be the exact three things she wants from Santa under our Christmas tree. So, like I said, planning begins tomorrow.

Saturday, December 4

Lights, lights, lights

I like 10:30 at night. It makes me feel like it's still early enough to finish the movie and maybe have a cookie, but late enough to allow for a bedtime that gives plenty of sleep but won't make me an old person who gets up a 4:30 a.m. to wait for the newspaper. At any rate, at 10:30 p.m. this evening, everyone else in my house is asleep; I've not yet put on my jammies; Sherlock Holmes is mostly over; and a cold glass of milk sounds like a lovely nightcap.
As for productivity out of today, I will brag that we got our tree ... much cheaper than last year ... at Home Depot, transported it in Brian's rental car, and have put it up and lighted it. The initial plan was to buy the tree at the same lot we bought last year's, but their $69 price tag for a 5-foot tree turned us off and sent us to Home Depot. HD's $35 5-foot tree was much more appealing, and cuter.
I had thought that this year, I would let Brian do the lights on the tree. You see, I'm crazy freakish about the complexity of my Christmas tree lights (thanks, Mom!), though felt too tired psychologically to get them done this time. It takes me about 45 minutes to do them to my satisfaction, and I end up sweaty, dirty and sappy all over the arms. So, to Brian goes the light strings. He started out with the all-red strands (ugh!), and was about to start placing them from the bottom, but my outburst preceded my head and I corrected that potentially psychotic mistake. Anyway, to the red. So he covered the whole tree in the all-red lights, which looked fine, but then he decided to only place one string of the multi-colored lights ... at the bottom ... with one line going up the back of the tree for some inexplicable reason. Then, frustrated with his effort, he dropped the lights and told me that I can finish them and make them better. He had actually done most of the grunt work, but I still spent another 30 minutes fixing his lights and adding more multi-colored ones on my own.
And honestly, once I'm done with the lights, I need to rest and motivate myself for the ornaments. But, since we had lights to put up outside yet, I have left the tree for now. Tomorrow, when Katy comes over, we'll all put the ornaments on the tree. Another set of hands is a good thing.
Also, we did get them done, and our outdoor lights look pretty awesome.
Sydney is freakin' loving this holiday this year. I think this might be the best Christmas ever.

Friday, December 3

How DO they make a rolling pin?

I think I may have finished the book. I added the final two sections tonight, and, as of now, I'm pretty happy with it. I'll read it again tomorrow and make any changes it needs, but I think it may be ready to send off to my adviser. And Assignment 10 will be done, and the course will be finished. And my Christmas gift to myself will be delivered.
Also, Brian's making me watch Polar Express right now. I don't like this movie ... visually. And because of that, I've never actually sat and watched the film. I feel the same as with Antz. The heads on those ants creeped me out in the worst way, and I refused to see the movie. To this day, I've not seen it. Polar Express is out, too. No thanks. The graphics, we decided, look like an old video game, and that's not a compliment. But since I finished the last sentence, Brian's changed the channel to How It's Made on the Science Channel. This is okay, but still not ideal. I'm about to finish up this post so I can make my way into the bedroom so I can watch my own television.

Thursday, December 2

Buddy is watching

ITEM!: I read this magazine, called Entertainment Weekly, and I'm pretty obsessive about it. I read it cover to cover every weekend, and I feel kinda lost without it. So when two weeks go by without my fix of entertainment pop culture reading necessity, I notice. I notice A LOT. So imagine my surprise when I discovered that the problem was not a thief-y neighbor, but that my subscription just up and ended! With no notice or anything! Thank goodness for the Internets though, because I was able to hop on the website and renew my subscription right quick. And guess what came in today's mail: a notice telling me that my subscription lapsed. Thanks, EW. You're a couple weeks late. I burn for those issues I missed. It's a problem. I'm shaking. No kidding. The only thing that can make this better is having another issue in my hot little fist tomorrow afternoon.
ITEM!: Elf on the Shelf may be the best thing ever. Our elf's name is Buddy, like from Dinosaur Train. He started the night on Sydney's dresser, and has moved already to the plant stand in the hallway. I can see that Brian and I are going to have as much fun with this as Sydney. She, of course, took issue with the fact that Buddy has to leave every night to report to Santa. She doesn't want him traveling by himself. I can see though that the main argument in regards to Buddy will be between Brian and I about where to put the little elf every night. So fun!!
ITEM!: I need to get to buying my 2011 calendars. I've dates and appointments to write in them already. Not the least of which are the two weddings next August. Five days apart. In two separate countries. On opposite sides of the country. August 21 in California, and August 26 in the Bahamas. I love my girls!
ITEM!: I think the Christmas plans are coming together rather well so far. I've got a tentative plan for all the family members, and for both the states. I'm actually getting pretty excited about my month. Making it a good Christmas for Sydney is the highest priority, but it looks like it might become super cool for the rest of us, too.

p.s. I found this photo of the cast of Glee online today, and simply had to post it. I'm glad it actually is relevant to my first item up there. Yay!

Wednesday, December 1

It's December, damn it!

Well, having said all that, I move on.
To WHAT THE CUSS, I CAN'T BELIEVE THAT IT'S DECEMBER ALREADY. WHERE THE HELL HAS THIS YEAR GONE?
I'm blown away by the fact that I've got all my Christmas decorations up in my house, I'm trying to figure out the Christmas plans, and despite my sudden urgency, Sydney is just beside herself that Christmas is so far away. But, in lieu of a crazy Christmas list of presents to buy this year (we are cutting back drastically on our shopping this season), I am going overboard with the Christmas spirit, which may turn out to be more fun. Like I said, all the decor is up, and we've got a countdown to getting our tree this weekend. My decor staging area is still taking up half the garage, and there still is dish packing paper all over the kitchen, but I'm really pretty pleased with where I am for the holiday so far. All our stockings are hung by the chimney with care.

Wednesday, November 24

Tomorrow is Turkey Day!!

Okay ... the passage of time. So crazy. Like, for instance, the lightning bolt that struck me square in the forehead two minutes ago while I was looking at my Netflix queue, and realized that DECEMBER is next week. I had such high hopes for this year, as I'm sure you'll remember. I. actually, can't remember them right at this moment, but I feel certain that the list was at least five items, and that probably only one of those items was actually accomplished. I'm not sure which, because, as I sit here, I can't really come up with any serious accomplishments for the year. And that's disappointing, isn't it? Thank goodness I can have a smile on my face as I write that!
So, tomorrow is Thanksgiving. We are off to celebrate with Brian's family. Of all the things I wanted to have done before we leave in the morning, I think maybe two or three are done. I'm having a crazy giggle right now about my apparent lack of ability to get anything done lately!!
But, as a point of random information, I am taking the Thanksgiving weekend off from my farming. I've got no crops growing, and all is just going to chill for the next few days. I'm feeling oddly liberated. Oddly.

Tuesday, November 23

You see it? The shadow looks like a bear

ITEM!: You remember how I had that tantrum not-too-long ago about how Cox Communications and Facebook changed their font and made it harder to read? Well, let's just add FarmVille's Market to the changed and harder to read, and Netflix to just changed. (I imagine Netflix must have felt they had to do something to the website to make it seem like they would make good use of the more money they will start charging their customers in January.) I'm really pissy about the FarmVille thing, too. They took a very simple, straight-forward menu, and turned it into a multi-sectional, less intuitive, and, yes, harder to read, market. I feel like all my complaining about things being harder to read will make you all wonder about my own vision acuity. Rest assured, my eyes are fine; I'm just cranky about change when it's pointless.
ITEM!: I had no interest in watching Dancing with the Stars this season, and, in fact, I didn't see a single episode. Though I have been peripherally aware of my friends' frustration, entertainment website commentary, and the news, so I do know the current happenings on the show. So, to find out that Jennifer Grey, she of Dirty Dancing and "No one puts Baby in a corner," won this season's contest is good news. I'm having mixed feelings about missing this season though, I feel kinda bummed that I have no ownership in Grey's win, but I feel kind of good to have stayed so far from the Sarah Palin thing. I think she exploited Bristol's participation on the show, and used it for her own publicity. Bad form.
ITEM!: I have so much to do tomorrow, that it ended up being a good thing that almost all our social plans for the day were foiled by various incidents. Our whirlwind weekend begins in earnest on Thursday morning, so it all needs to be ready to get going by Wednesday night. That means, everyone needs to be packed, there must be copious amounts of preparedness, and more importantly, that Kimmie needs to take an attitudinal chill pill before embarking on any of these adventures.
ITEM!: Also, Glee was frickin' awesome tonight. This show is, by far, one of the best television shows ever. Love. It!

Monday, November 22

This must be awesome to see

Okay, so I did get a lot of my story written today, and I'm pretty excited about it. Actually, I shared my idea with Brian this morning, and he was impressed, too! But, it's super late right now, and I just want to go to bed.

Sunday, November 21

Random image in "Blog Photos" folder

To answer your question, no, I did not write my story today. I actually didn't think I would. Did I even promise that last night? I don't remember, and will not check. So, it's all good, I've done some "research" on the piece, and am, in fact, debating how subtle or not-at-all subtle the poetry will be in the story. It's rolling around in my head, I assure you. I will not forget it.
Anyway, as Sundays go, this one was okay. I feel like it lasted long enough. We tried a Five Guys Hamburgers place for lunch today, and walked away with a distinct feeling of "meh." But having checked in on Facebook for Five Guys, we discovered that for checking in at Chipotle right next door, we would get a two-for-one deal on burritos, tacos and salads. So, after eating our lunch, we walked next door and bought our dinner ... for $8. Can't beat that!
Tonight's Family Movie Night film was Finding Nemo. I'm beginning to wonder if Sydney might just be too young for this exercise, because she won't sit still, and gets easily distracted from the movie. Yeah, yeah, that's a kid thing. And she does get excited about Family Movie Night, so I'll keep it going, but my goodness, child needs to learn to sit still.
Also, could someone tell me why I seem incapable of sitting down and writing out these thank-you notes from Sydney's birthday party? Jeez, they're like the craziest monkey on my back, and I can't ring myself to take care of them. I'm a dork. And becoming borderline rude and ungrateful. I need to get on those. Like yesterday. Or tomorrow.

Saturday, November 20

The story is not about a cow

My Christmas present to myself is going to be sending in the last of my 10 assignments for the children's writing course that, yes, I still have yet to complete. I bet you all thought I had totally bailed on it. Not the case, though I forgive you for thinking that.
It's a bizarreness to me that I can go a couple months in between assignments, to the point where the course I fancied would take only a year to finish is now closing in on its third year. You don't have to say it, because I will: "That is ridiculous, Kimberly." Because of that, I'm more embarrassed than proud for having gotten this far in the course.
All my assignments have been praised when they should be, and critiqued when they should have been, so I don't have a negative opinion, merely a LAZY disposition. And this concerns me on several fronts. The most obvious of which is my complete and utter disdain for a deadline when I'm writing my own fiction. And really, my low esteem for the fiction as well. But, that is neither here nor there, as I have an idea for my final project, and will get to work on it soon.
Okay, okay. You want to know. I get that. Well, I've had an affinity and talent for cheesy poetry all my life, and I really love bright, fun books. The answer, and therefore, my calling, must be children's read-aloud picture books. This really has been my goal since I started this course -- figuring out how to write these kinds of books and getting them published.
Unfortunately, the focus of the course is more along the lines of magazine articles written for kids, and chapter books, too. I know that this is why I take so much time between assignments really: I've no interest in writing these kinds of pieces. But, with Assignment 10, we are encouraged to write our own story, for either a magazine or a book, and take advantage of the instructor's advice. (I'll admit to thinking that this kind of encouragement should have been put out there in Assignment 2 or 3, but whatever.)
They make me feel like there's a smaller market for picture books by saving it to the end. That could be good, and it could be bad. But I'm liking my story idea, and I can see it becoming a series, of sorts. Tomorrow, I write cheesy children's poetry! I'm so excited!!

Friday, November 19

Is there really a place like that?

I'm watching this movie, Letters to Juliet. I'm actually liking it. I didn't think I would, but I find myself quite entranced. In fact, every time I start to type, I get all sucked into the film again. I've been staring at this screen for an hour. Honestly. Okay, but the end was kinda cheesy. Fantastic!

Thursday, November 18

Cookies! Cookies!

I wish I could tell you about all the lovely things I did today, but since there are no things I did today, I've got nothing to tell you. And that sucks ... right out loud. Sydney and I left the house for exactly one errand -- swim school -- and that was it. I hate living the life of a sick person, but colds just do that to you sometimes. I'm so over it.
I think a chocolate chip cookie will help.

Wednesday, November 17

A good, and a badder, day

I am both incredibly pissy and incredibly loved at the same time right now.
First, because it'll make me feel better, I'll start with the being incredibly loved. You remember how I dropped my cold-beverage Starbucks reusable cup a few months ago? Do you remember how frickin' upset I was about the loss of this ridiculously difficult-to-find cup? Well, a week or so ago, Brian found the grande-sized cup on the Starbucks site, with a peppermint-striped straw. I promptly forgot about it. Then, yesterday, my hubby came home with the awesome cup for me! Yay me!! Then, I told my mommy about it later that night, and guess what!! She had bought me the venti-sized cup (which, admittedly, is my preferred size for cold drinks) that day, too, and was saving it as a surprise! And THEN! I got a text from Katy this evening that had a picture of a surprise she had gotten for me today: ANOTHER STARBUCKS CUP!! Check me out! I am plentiful of Starbucks cups!! Having said that, I told Katy to hold onto the one she bought, because there is no way that even I could use three cold-beverage Starbucks cups.
Now, on to the incredibly pissy. I have a child who, with a snotty nose, does not appreciate sick-person boundaries. She's all in my face, which, on its own, is okay. But let's add to that the husband who seems to just refuse to cover his mouth when he coughs. And so, with that lovely little grouping of gross ickiness, I submit the following: my nose is running, my throat hurts, and I taste a cold in my mouth.
My family, that I love, has come together in a seemingly benign fashion to wreck my health, and make life miserable for the next few days. I swear, we simply can not have the same kind of winter as we did last year, where we, as a family, were sick for the entire season. I have to get this illness out of the house. Anyone know how to anti-bacterialize a house? Because I need a sterile environment; STAT.

Tuesday, November 16

Catching some waves, dude

Check out this picture. It was taken by Michael Cunningham, a surfer, photographer and advocate in New Zealand. The orcas come to the area regularly, and are frequently seen surfing the waves. The anomaly here is that someone had a camera to take their picture doing it. Here's the article, found on GrindTV.com:

New Zealand orcas join surfers in search for the perfect wave
When the latest big swell arrived at Sandy Bay in northern New Zealand, it wasn't the waves making headlines, but the sleek black-and-white surfers who rode them.
Orcas, or killer whales, positioned themselves prominently and made it clear they were the real experts -- and that no mere human on a surfboard was going to deny them whatever waves they wanted.
"They knew what they were doing," Michael Cunningham, a Northern Advocate photographer and witness, told the newspaper. "They looked like they'd done it before."
New Zealand's orcas, unlike those in other parts of the world, are known to occasionally embark on surfing forays, but rarely is someone on the beach ready with a camera.
Cunningham had been bodysurfing when the orcas arrived Friday, but quickly swam ashore to grab his camera. His images, which show orcas charging through the waves, remain in high demand.

Ingrid Visser, founder of the Orca Research Trust near Sandy Bay, said few sharp images of this phenomenon exist and that Cunningham's photos could be used in a research paper on the island nation's surfing orcas.
Visser, a foremost authority on orcas, said she does not know of anywhere else on earth where orcas spend a significant amount of time riding waves. She and a research crew had observed the same orcas surfing at different beaches the day before and after their now-famous session at Sandy Bay, which is north of Auckland.
Because Visser spends so much time studying orcas she has witnessed them surfing many times, but always from a boat behind the breaking waves. However, that's also a sight to behold because their kick-outs, as the waves close out or get too close to land, are far more dramatic than those of ordinary surfers.
"They'll often come right out of the back of the wave and breach out into the trough that follows behind," Visser said in a Monday interview. "And that's really exciting to see as well."
She said New Zealand orcas are a distinct population and that playfully riding waves, the way dolphins ride waves in many places throughout the world, is part of their culture. However, since orcas can weigh up to eight tons and are atop the food chain, surfing alongside them can be unsettling, to say the least.
"Some of the surfers, like the orca, just go for it and have an absolute buzz," Visser said. "And then other surfers freak out and tell people how it was a life-threatening situation, so you get both extremes."
New Zealand's orcas prey largely on rays and small sharks and have never been implicated in attacks on humans.
Cunningham said foreign tourists were the first out of the water when the orcas appeared Friday. He had been swimming for about an hour before they arrived, and after catching a wave in he looked back and saw several orcas, including a calf, riding a large wave shoreward.
Had he been holding a camera then, it would have been quite the family snapshot.

I still have such a love for these amazing animals. I love that they're playful ... and surfing ... in New Zealand. This is just an awesome story.

Monday, November 15

Monday, Monday, Monday

ITEM!: The pediatrician has verified my thought that perhaps it may be time to lose Sydney's naps. The kid is taking her naps later than she should lately, and because of that, she's falling asleep way past her bedtime. So, to get her to fall asleep at the appropriate time, we need to not take naps. This, of course, is more an issue for me that for her. She's happy to roll with quiet time, but me, I prefer the couple hours of uninterrupted solitude that the nap provides.
ITEM!: Today was free bundtlet day at Nothing Bundt Cakes. I made my way to the store after a reminder text from Mom, so didn't have the opportunity to stop at home and print out the coupon. And you know what? They would not give me the bundtlet, even though I had the damn notice on Facebook on my phone! So, we left, and I was pissy. Then, I realized that there is a FedEx Office (formerly Kinko's) next door to the shop. I showed Sydney how easy and fast it could be to bop into a shop, log on to the Internets, print out a coupon, and BAM!! get a free cake. You see? I am a good mother.
ITEM!: I am getting a total kick out of my love for the canceled television show Firefly tonight. The fact that Castle's Nathan Fillion is my TV Boyfriend is no secret, but on tonight's Chuck, we saw both Adam Baldwin and Summer Glau together on screen again. Fillion, Baldwin and Glau all starred on the wonderful Firefly. It's pretty awesome that they're all on TV, and that I got to see them all on one night is gravy.
ITEM!: I need a babysitter for a couple hours this weekend. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 hits the theaters on Friday, and I simply can't bring my four-year-old little girl, who has no knowledge of Harry Potter's universe, and therefore couldn't appreciate the movie. Also, she'd talk the whole time.

Friday, November 12

Pained neck, TV trays and iPads, oh my!

ITEM!: I have the weirdest neck pain right now. I really can't explain where it is very well: along the back, but right at the base of my head. The weirdest part is that I can feel it through my jaw, and when I lean my head back, it seems to travel up my head. I am incredibly excited to take some NyQuil and go to bed.
ITEM!: Katy had the most brilliant idea on how to solve my current issue with Daisy stealing Sydney's food off the coffee table: TV trays. This, actually, is incredibly brilliant. The problem stems from our eating arrangements. Sydney eats her food in front of the television. I always swore my kid wouldn't do that, but she does. The coffee table is low, as coffee tables are, making any left-over, or unattended, food a prime target for the shark. Getting a TV tray, and setting Sydney up on the floral chair, which still is in front of the television, is a great solution. Sydney has a safe place to put her food; Daisy can't get to it; and maybe there will be a bit less trouble rolling around.
ITEM!: The battery on my laptop decided to shut down abruptly this evening, so I'm composing is post on the iPad. I see up at e top of the screen that there is a place to attach a photo to the post. I am intrigued to see what kind of artwork is available for me to use.

Beautifully written via iPhone or iPad.

Thursday, November 11

No! I will win!! I will win!!

If you can believe it, I'm feeling icky again. And this one, I completely blame on my husband. He's been fighting a nasty cold over the last few days. I say "fighting," but really he's just suffering from it and refusing to take any medication. So, because of him, I woke up this morning with a soreness in my throat, and my left nostril all closed up. I've sneezed a few times today, blown my nose a few times, and even coughed twice. It's a problem.
Of course, what I am not telling you is that the kid has had a runny nose for the last week, and she doesn't appreciate personal "sick" space. But still, this illness is completely Brian's fault.
As it is, I declare war on this one. W-A-R. I will not submit.

Wednesday, November 10

The second yearly anniversary

I love today as a cheesy anniversary. Nineteen years ago today, Brian and I kissed for the very first time. It's ridiculous that I remember it so well, but until the actual wedding anniversary came along, this was the date by which we judged our longevity. I know it because it was our first year of college, and I had the next day, Veteran's Day, off from school. I'd love to tell you that it was all about romance and flowers and a date and all that, but if I remember right, we were kinda drunk and in my dorm room. Still, it was an awesome first kiss. As it must have been, to keep me around for 19 years.
I've given up insisting that this date be remembered as significantly as July 21, but in my head it really is as important as the wedding day. It's like my own special day. I like reminding my hubby about it, because in the same look that tells me I'm being silly for remembering it, he holds my hand and smiles. It's fun to remember ourselves all those years ago, how young we were, and how bright the future was ahead of us.
Damn. I wish Brian didn't have a crazy, bad cold right now. I'd suggest a make-out session. Boo.

Tuesday, November 9

Cruises, actually, are pretty awesome

So, Mom and I were kind of giggling about this unfortunate cruise ship incident. (We know that no one is hurt on the ship. We're not totally evil.) See, for Mom, she gets perverse enjoyment out of someone else being stuck on a cruise ship in the water, as she and Howie had a similar incident one year when cruising through the Panama Canal. (My terror from that incident was in learning that they were coming home four or five days earlier than their original itinerary. Not that the house was trashed or anything ... because I was a good kid. It's just, you know, everything had to be put back in its place really fast.)
Mom was disappointed that Carnival Cruise Lines couldn't do more for their guests' comfort, as in barbecuing food, as well as serving yummy cold entrees. Her cruise made the most out of the situation, and the guests really didn't suffer a whole lot. I mentioned that yes, their food is an issue, and that the USS Ronald Reagan is on the way to save the cruise ship, but reminded Mom that she was on a Crystal Cruise. These people are on a Carnival Cruise. The passengers may have to develop a taste for Spam once the aircraft carrier arrives, but you don't hear a word about how the ship's low on booze. Plenty of that!

Monday, November 8

Finally!! Cold nights!!

Even though it's not cold, cold outside yet, I've begun the cooler-weather preparations in the house. Our micro-fleece blanket is in the dryer, and Sydney's is in the washer. I knew it was time because I had to lay a throw blanket over our regular blanket for me to get cozy warm in bed last night, even with my two little space heaters cuddled up next to me. And this morning, at about 6:30 a.m., Sydney crawled into be with me saying that she wanted to sleep under the warm covers. And when I asked her to clarify if she was cold last night, and was told yes, I knew it was definitely time to get the warm blankets out. I will not have a cold baby in my house. It's just not allowed. So, to the blankets we go. Of course, I do have a space heater for her room, but I figure that with the new bed and official covers instead of just a blanket or two, she should be okay without the actual heater. We'll see though. No. Cold. Babies.
Also, I'm having a hard time explaining to my kid why no one else is really decorated for Thanksgiving, and why everyone is just going straight to Christmas. I do have Thanksgiving decorations, which include turkeys and pilgrims out and about through the house. I enjoy the process of building up to the big holiday, which means only turkeys and pilgrims through November, and that Christmas only comes in December. In my neurotic, holiday-crazed head, I get really tired of any decorations that are out for more than a month, so to keep it nice and fresh for my head, any holiday's accessories are out for only those 30 to 31 days. Any longer, and I start to get bugged by them. That's why I love January so much: no holiday. And why May is such a welcome month: no holidays for six months. It's no secret that I love my holidays, but I can only take so much of them. I hate that stores have so much Christmas stuff out already. It starts my inner-holiday-decoration-appreciation clock too early.

p.s. This picture is of Mt. Erebus in New Zealand. I don't know if it actually is cold here, but it sure does look it!

Sunday, November 7

I like pumpkin

I think I can safely say that I like the taste of pumpkin. Examples that verify this: good, old-fashioned pumpkin pie; The Cheesecake Factory's pumpkin cheesecake; Starbucks' pumpkin latte; and finally, Einstein's pumpkin bagel. The pumpkin bagel is actually the one thing that made me think, "Wow. I like pumpkin." I tried one last week, as I thought to take a chance on the 99-cent delight behind the glass, and was very happy that I did. In fact, I've been craving another ever since. So, I asked Brian to stop and pick up a couple bagels for me, including the pumpkin (because blueberry is always the required bagel purchase). I ate a blueberry this morning, saving the pumpkin for later today or tomorrow. Since my food selections ranged in different ways over the course of the day, and the pumpkin bagel was not eaten, it waits in the kitchen. Good stuff that I can't wait to get to eating tomorrow morning.

Saturday, November 6

Time changes, again

I know I whine about this every year, but I hate, hate, hate that Arizona does not follow Daylight Savings Time. I think that every state should either do it, or not do it. I don't think they should be allowed to be all, whatever, about staying in step with the time zones throughout the rest of the country. It's just wrong. It's just the consistency of it. When we were in Boston, at the least, I was always three hours ahead of California. Summer, winter, spring or fall, it was always a three-hour difference. Living in Arizona means that half the year it's one hour ahead, half the year it's the same. It's lame. Also, I don't get an extra hour of sleep tomorrow.
Though actually, I might, because Sydney didn't fall asleep until close to 10 p.m. tonight.

Friday, November 5

I am a very productive farmer

ITEM!: My friend, Tara, just returned from a FarmVille sabbatical. I'm constantly surprised by my neighbors in FarmVille that a.) just stop playing, like Danielle, Shauna, Rosemary and Kim; or b.) decide to take a break from the game, like Tara. I've been playing this game for more than a year, and I can't bring myself to step away from it for more than a couple days at a time. And that's only when I've set up my crops for the time away. I'm envious, honestly, of those that can walk away without looking back, or without carrying a guilty conscience. I imagine most of my love of the game is the control over everything on it: crops, buildings, animals, design. It's my own little universe, I guess, where I'm in charge, and that's the attraction.
ITEM!: I'm beginning to love the Places function of Facebook. I check in most everywhere I go, especially Starbucks. I only check in at the locations that don't specifically link me personally to any place; for example, I don't check in at Syd's school, or at my home, or someone else's home. But I've got no problem telling people the cool places I go in my very exciting life.
ITEM!: My Thanksgiving decorations rock this year, and my kid agrees with me. In fact, when we were in Target the other day, and we spied all the Christmas stuff, Sydney asked me, "Don't they have Thanksgiving, too? Where are the Thanksgiving decorations?" I had to explain that some stores don't do Thanksgiving; they just go straight to Christmas. She said, "But don't they know that Thanksgiving comes first, and then Christmas?" Amen, sister!
ITEM!: You know, I vowed to not eat any McDonald's or french fries for the rest of the year, and I've held to that. I'm increasingly pleased that I did not choose to give up the peppermint mochas. Because they are delicious!

Thursday, November 4

Why make it hard to read you?

Okay, I've had two pieces of technology near and dear to me go wonky over the last 36 hours. Not really wonky, but it's like they're plotting against me to try to convince me I need glasses.
First, our cable company, Cox, changed the format of it's DVR guide, to what I'm sure some dork in programming thought was edgy, but instead is frickin' difficult to read. Instead of light purple background and white text, it is now some turquoise and teal combination that hurts my eyes.
Second, Facebook has messed with its font size on the news feed, making it smaller and black. It used to be light blue text, in a larger size, on a white background. No kidding, the font size dropped from 16 pt. to, like, 10 pt. It's ridiculous. And with the black text, it's painful to look at.
So, here I am. I love my Facebook, and I love my DVR. And right now, they both hurt my eyes. Is this some kind of conspiracy? Are the technology gods trying to tell me that I spend too much time with them? Are they ... *gasp* ... breaking up with me?

Wednesday, November 3

"I love you most of all, peppermint mocha"

Sydney and I had a playdate with some friends yesterday, and among other things Nicole and I discussed working out. She mentioned that her trainer had sent out an e-mail on Monday that asked her clients to reply back to her with one thing that they would give up for the rest of the year. Nicole hadn't yet decided what she wanted to give up, but the conversation has inspired me. I too will give up something that's not good. Well, it's good, but bad for me, workout-wise.
Is the suspense getting to you?
McDonald's and french fries. (Though probably the best thing for me to give up for the rest of the year is Starbucks' peppermint mocha. But since they only have red cups with peppermint mochas for this season, I will not be making that pledge. The peppermint mocha stays.)
McDonald's, in general and including all food, except iced tea. And french fries. Of course, french fries, because I really do love them, and because I think it might make a large impact on my eating habits. If french fries no longer drive my food choices, then we may just have hit on the best way to get me to change my eating practices. I feel better already!

Tuesday, November 2

I voted

I enjoy the process of voting. I've not missed a single election or voting opportunity since I was 18. I feel pretty strongly about it, and I think voting is a privilege and our right as Americans, and I think it's a waste of citizenship to not vote. I appreciate the struggles that the country's founding fathers put forth to establish a REPUBLIC, and I love the suffragettes for fighting for my right to vote and be counted with any man standing next to me.
Slight digression: I think that the men and women of the current military are brave and amazing, but I do not believe that anyone is fighting a war -- right now -- to ensure my right to vote. That war was fought a long time ago. The possibility that our country would actually be attacked to endanger our right to vote is highly unlikely. While I honor each person's commitment to the military, and I thank them for their service and protection of the country (and its interests), I don't think they're fighting a war for the civil rights of American citizens. Politicians should stop acting like the current military actions are the reason why we are able to vote today.
HOWEVER, I do sometimes feel like the whole political system and its "representatives" should be scrapped. The whole thing just seems flawed lately. I don't think any of the current crop of politicians really cares too much about "the people," and are all out to either make a name for themselves or make money for themselves. It's disheartening. As much as you hear about working together and compromise, the themes are just not part of the Washington, D.C. culture. It's the business of hate. And fear. And not caring about anything but money.
Yes, I'm incredibly blue in my opinions regarding the good of the "people." I'm incredibly liberal about a whole lot of stuff. I won't apologize for that. I want the government to do more for its people, and I want the people to do more for their government. Why can't we all just get along? How, in the stars, are we ever to become a better nation of better people if we don't make some drastic changes?
Ditch it and start over, with people who aren't politicians, but who are smart enough to know their stuff. Christine O'Donnell need not apply.
I submit no solutions. I merely voice my concerns. Isn't it cool how that's my right? And that's why I vote.

Monday, November 1

Noooooooo-vember

I actually really like the month of November. It's the beginning of the actual holiday season, as far as my neurotic head is concerned, and generally, it also is the start of the cooler months. (Not so much right now. It's highs in the 90s over the next couple days here.) I like that it's the end of the year, almost, which means it's about time to start fresh. I also like that it starts with "N."

Sunday, October 31

Mommy dinosaur seeks baby dinosaur

Sometimes I am reminded that a collaboration between Brian and I really can make for something wonderful. Sydney is, of course, my first example of a perfect collaboration, but so was tonight's trick-or-treat activities. The conversation, as we were in the car driving in a very general direction of north, went along the lines of me vaguely remembering, and spottily describing, a particular neighborhood we drove through months ago, and Brian remembering the correct street and the proper left turn to make. And there, in that random neighborhood, we found two streets full of decorated houses, people with candy, kids running and laughing, and moms and dads leading and following. It was beautiful.
Our particular neighborhood is an older one. Sydney is, by far, the youngest, if not the only, child on the street. They do not cater to trick-or-treaters here. It's like the grandparents' street where no one takes their kid because all the houses are dark specifically to dissuade children from ringing doorbells. And this is the neighborhood where we are raising an enthusiastic, engaging and excited toddler. Sometimes, we're dumb. But mostly, it's okay. Except on Halloween.
So, I checked around with our friends, and everyone had other plans, so it became Brian and I on the hunt for someplace to take our dinosaur to ask for candy. This is where the collaboration I mentioned really came together.
Sydney had a blast going from house to house, explaining to us how trick-or-treating works, forgetting to say thank you until we reminded her, and exclaiming, "Let's see what kind of candy they have for me!" I'm embarrassed to say that this was Sydney's first officially real, out-and-about trick-or-treat experience. But I'm proud to say that we made it a good one.