This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Hit the Trail

Um, all I can say is, COOL...

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Thank You!

That was the e-mail I received from John Edwards about 16 minutes ago.

I knew what was about to happen. I have felt that way from the start, but you know, I wasn't going to stop supporting him until he was out of it.

I read the blurb on Yahoo this AM that he was rumored to drop out. And then CNN reported it and shortly thereafter, the John Edwards campaign from Chapel Hill called to let me know. It was cathartic to speak to someone who was as disappointed as I was, and we went on and on about the great facets of the campaign that drew us into his corner.

It's disappointing, without a doubt, I think the public has missed out on being informed -- INFORMING THEMSELVES -- about what this man had to offer this country. The average joe that goes out to vote -- which is mostly not me, nor most of you that read this...we HAVE health insurance, we HAVE job stability, we HAVE money to pay the bills, and we HAD a great opportunity to get our college degree, let alone our high school degree -- will probably not have this information and will vote (as they did four years ago) for someone that has no desire to empathize with that "low class citizen". This is what is ironic to me -- the very people that this man is aiming to help are the people who have "voted" him out.

So now, it's back to the drawing board. I had intentions of reading up on Obama and Clinton. I feel like I have a bit more knowledge on Hilary than Obama, but not enough to make the right decision for myself.

But it will be a comparison to what I believed in Edwards, and I sure hope I can find someone close to the inspiration and invigoration that Edwards gave me.

If anyone has any suggestions, I'm open. I am starting from scratch, so I'm going to have to learn about these candidates. I can tell you right now, I'm nowhere near looking at any republicans...not unless you can give me someone liberal, who doesn't give a shit about marriage between two men or two women, who will allow women, no matter how shallow they are, to choose what they want to do with their pregnancy, who will provide healthcare for all people, who won't give "benes" to freaking CEOs, who will do what they can to stop and analyze this fucking war on terrorism, and who won't be so fucked in the head that they believe that "god" has chosen them to rule the world...

Of course, it seems "we" buy into all that, hence dubya still being prez.

On second thought, if you have any recommendations for moving to another country and just leaving this behind, I'm all ears.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

My Fantasy

I have a fantasy of moving and living in another country. Yes, the fantasy includes mi familia.

As an Air Force brat, I lived in many places -- mainly on the Pacific side of the world. Tim and I were talking about that today, how being in the military, moving from place-to-place was the norm and there was no option to 'think about it'. The military dictated where you would live next and you went and made do with what that place had for you.

Now, I don't have that luxury. Tim was in the military, which brought us to North Carolina, but now, we are civilians at heart. And so, there is no force behind us to move us anywhere, except, of course, our own desire.

I won't go into all the details of why living in another country appeals to us. On the surface, for me, I want to experience another culture. I want my children to experience that more than anything, but it would be less about moving from place-to-place as the military life, but more about living somewhere that was more liberal than this country. And I don't mean that politically, because liberal to me also means being less-politically correct.

Where teaching respect is the norm and the concept "it takes a village" is part of life (thank you Hillary). I think KNOWING another language is truly intellectual, which on a whole in the US of A, is resistant to, since we have a canip-shit about learning espanol as a second language.

And just the slower pace I imagine other societies to be.

The strength of family.

The value of simplicity.

And the beauty of the people and the countryside.

My ultimate fantasy country to live in would be Spain. I have never been there but I have a couple of friends who have visited there and came back telling me how amazingly beautiful it was -- the most beautiful country they have lived in. Tim has been through there and recalls its beauty, but he wants to be reminded.

Reading about Amsterdam, our trip is in April, makes me want to push that fantasy to a reality even more. Not so much moving to Amsterdam -- that may very well be the case after we visit the place -- but the whole attitude about "freedom" -- yes, with prostitution and drugs (to a certain degree) -- which, they claim, makes life less hazardous in their country. That attitude is what I want to surround my family with.

Will it happen? Only if we make it happen. We don't have the 'luxury' of the military making the decision for us; it's up to us if we're serious about making a fantasy come true...

Tap Out

I have no earthly idea why this has happened to me, but I LOVE Ultimate least, The Ultimate Fighter Challenge.

I got Season 1 for Tim for christmas. After watching the last season, we were hooked, so I thought we would start from the beginning.

We are halfway through the first season and it's awesome. Well, except for the challenges -- which I think came along because during those reality TV years, challenges were big on these things. The first season of The Contender was no different. But fortunately, over the years, they modified it to just pure training, house stuff, and cage fighting. I'm getting better at watching it without covering my eyes with my hands. Well, I don't cover my eyes entirely. I actually peek through fingers and stuff, which makes me feel "safer" watching it. It's the same tactic I use when I watch scary movies.

Anyway, I'm ready to invest in Season 2. I'm kind of excited that I started late so I have A LOT to watch before I catch up. Especially since the new season of the UFC hasn't happened.

The Challenger

I was reminded that 22 years ago tomorrow, the space shuttle Challenger disintegrated into our atmosphere. Although it doesn't feel like it was just yesterday, it sure the hell doesn't feel like it was 21 years ago.

I was a junior at Simon Sanchez High School (home of the Sharks) in Yigo (pronounced Jigo), Guam. I seriously dreamt about a space shuttle/rocket exploding, but I attribute it to the fact that I slept with the radio on and most likely, the news of the challenger explosion came on and I "dreamt" it.

But the reality didn't hit until my mom woke me and told me that the challenger had blown up. Even as a shallow high school teen, I was shocked by the news. I had the privilege of seeing one of the shuttle launches in Florida, one of my other "homes" (my dad was in the Air Force -- I am a purebred Air Force brat) and so, well, it feels like a bit of a connection. But, remembering back to those years, the shuttle launches were big news, with a lot of media attention prior to the launches. And this one in particular had a lot of attention because of a civilian flying on that shuttle, Christa McAuliffe, a teacher from New Hampshire.

Things really have changed since then but I'll never forget seeing the images of the shuttle disintegrating up in the sky...and the total shock that something like this could happen. Remember, in 1986, we weren't at war, we weren't exposed to such was pretty sombering. It still is and it sends me chills to think that those people on that shuttle have never changed -- frozen in time -- and here I am, 22 years older, reflecting back.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Shut Me Up

Last night, Tim and I had a night out on the town. Well, not all over the place, just one place.

Our favorite comedian, Robert Schimmel, was coming to Goodnight's and as soon as I heard he was coming back to Raleigh (this would be our second time to see him), I wanted to run -- not walk -- to get tickets.

Tim had it all set up and we decided we would try The Grille at Goodnight's, bearing in mind that my thought was that the owners of The Underground had moved 'up' to The Grille. We even noticed that the menu had been updated, although not quite in line with what we remembered from The Underground.

I was very skeptical and had a more negative view of what was to transpire. As I mentioned in a previous post, I am none-too-happy with Goodnight's 'driving' The Underground out. And it is truly speculative on my part, as I have no idea of The Underground folks decided to leave the business. But my attitude is a bit sour towards Goodnight's. BUT I want to give them a chance -- give The Underground folks a chance -- and try out the Grille -- the place I visit often to use the bathroom (still find this extremely cheesy...).

We arrive and are seated in an area that, well, doesn't really seem that fancy. I suddenly notice that there is a whole other section, near the front of the building, that is actually quite beautiful. Black molding and window sills, around old brick walls and big beautiful windows, with candle lights on white covered tables, setting atop hardwood floors. I thought: why wouldn't you sit people there? The aura was so much more in-line with their 'fine dining' approach. Whatever. I have something nice to say about the place, but I'm not sitting where the "niceness" is. So, I am still waiting to be impressed.

We meet our waitress, Sarah, who seems nice. But again, I'm thinking, she ain't no waitress -- she's a cute sales girl who knows nothing about the menu. Eye candy -- which actually is lucky for us because there is a male waiter that we could have ended up with. The curse of Tim -- when a male waiter is around, we usually get him.

Not tonight...we get Sarah.

So we order our drinks and the trick question that Tim throws in (it's not a trick for him, but becomes the "test" question for me, with regard to how knowledgeable my waitress/waiter is going to be): he wants an orange-y martini.

For the record, the first time he had an orange-y martini was at Bogart's, where the asian bartender -- who rocks and still works there -- advised Tim to try the Lady from Shanghai martini. How appropriate, huh? Anyway, he loved it (still does) and when we dined at Hayes Barton and Tim requested an orange-y martini, our waitress just nodded at him and said "i've got just the thing" and left and concocted something on her own, and then ta-da! Love at first taste (the martini, that is).

Since then, he's asked at other establishments and it's obvious when someone does not know anything about their drink menus. Not a big deal probably to most, but it's impressive when they do and just plain ordinary if you don't.

So Sarah suggested an orange-sicle type drink for Tim. It was on the menu and she seemed to sort of stumble along, so she wasn't starting off GREAT, but not below either. She -- at least -- was trying.

We get our drinks and yum yum, my Shiraz was the bomb. I had been looking forward to that first sip all day...

Before we order, Sarah mentions that the menu has been recently updated (this I know). I ask if the folks from The Underground are working The Grille. Sarah knows immediately and says no, that the Underground people decided not to continue as they had originally planned. So the Underground was no more (yes, I know that) but that she thought they would be starting their own restaurant somewhere else. Stay tuned... (she really said that).

Now, I am really bummed because the whole point of trying The Grille was to support the people from The Underground. Great. I could be eating somewhere else good, like The Irregardless Cafe, which is next door. But, we have tickets ready for us as soon as we eat and I decide that my bad time here would make good fodder for a blog posting.

We decide to order items to split: a starter, a salad and an entree. This has been our modus operandi for awhile -- a good suggestion for those who tend to eat all of their food to obscene fullness. It's quite enjoyable and REALLY filling...but you can get dessert in too, that is, if you weren't planning to drink more after dinner. I still have a comedian to watch!

Anyway, we start with Crispy Polenta with Wild Mushrooms and Goat Cheese. I am thinking this is a little "big" for these people to pull off. I don't even know "these people" but my bad attitude is there making assumptions.

When we got it and I took the first bite, wow. THIS is polenta? It was WONDERFUL and came out aesthetically pleasing to the eyes. The polenta was moist but firm and a touch of goat cheese gave it that nice tartness that goat cheese is known for. And the mushrooms -- well, I am a mushroom lover -- and this dish made me love it more.

We then had our salad: Bibb salad, Bacon, Blue Cheese with Buttermilk Dressing. This dish, for a salad, appeared fresh and clean and appropriately arranged to make it beautiful to the eyes. A very simple set of ingredients that made for one of the best salads I've eaten in awhile. The dressing was drizzled on, as it should be, and so, very little of this was on the salad. But it was enough to enhance the flavor of everything. The bacon was done perfect (no bacon bits) and chopped small enough to give a salty edge to each bite of the salad. The blue cheese -- one of our favorites -- was also titillating -- and a few finely sliced red onions were thrown in for the crunch. I was truly impressed.

Our last portion of the meal was the entree. I love steak but Tim and I agreed that no one -- especially this place -- could make a steak as wonderful as Hayes Barton. Remember, I have no idea what any of these items are going to taste like when I placed our order. We decided on the Tagliatelle, which is "hand rolled in-house" pasta, served with goat cheese and roasted peppers and tomatoes. I had wanted something a bit more meaty, but upon finding that the Bolognese sauce was made with the Veal Osso Bucco, I went for this instead.

Sarah had mentioned that the tagliatelle was one of her favorites, so I was going to test her out on this one.

When the dish came, it was again, very beautiful. The manager, I think, was the person who was bringing out our dishes. He was very sharp and non-creepy-restaurant-manager-type. When the tagliatelle came out, he apologized for the length of time it took to bring it to us (I was clueless, enjoying my second glass of shiraz), but the tagliatelle had not come out exactly the way they wanted and did it again (I think -- I didn't catch it all because I was 1) shocked that he was apologizing for something I had no idea had happened and 2) I wanted to dig in to the dish).

WOW. This pasta dish was incredible. Again, simple ingredients -- nothing but pasta, roasted red peppers, roasted tomatoes and a sprinkle of goat cheese. But it was soooo good because of the simple flavors put together. It was light but hearty -- surely a vegetarian's premier pasta entree -- that I think Chef Ramsay would agree was "spot on!"

We ate everything, which is easy to do when you split the meals *and* not worry about all the calories you've consumed.

I stand humbly corrected about my shitty attitude to The Grille and have to find a way to be more unbiased before I know the truth (which is so completely different than the media). The Grille, Sarah, the manager, were superb and I would definitely go back for another Goodnight's show.

Our seats were good too. By dining at The Grille before the show, patrons get a better seating choice. Our seats were too good. Right up next to the stage. I had to move a seat back (same table) because my neck was killing me trying to look at the first two acts. Or, I could simply look at their shoes. But that seemed weird.

Schimmel was hilarious. He's one of few comedians who can manage to make me laugh where I actually stop breathing. And I've seen his HBO special, um, maybe half a dozen times AT LEAST, and I can still laugh until tears come out of my eyes.

In fact, we bought the DVD, met Schimmel, who notified us about the lady, stage left, who was talking and texting on the phone his whole act. He said he couldn't wait to see her, have her come up and tell him what a great show he had so he could put her in her place.

Bill's Last Day of Work

Don't worry -- it's not about you, $Bill. But another one of my favorite of three Bills, Bill Gates. I saw this a couple of weeks ago and today I wondered why I had not posted it on my blog.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Book Review: The Keep by Jennifer Egan

I am not really sure how to explain how I felt about this book. I didn't hate it but I truly felt like, towards the end of this novel, that it was going downhill. I even explained to friends of mine that it would be a true miracle for this book to end on a positive note for me.

Well, lo and behold, the book surprised me by not ending on a shitty note. It ended, but it ended with me trying to figure out what happened...backtracking through the story line to figure out what happened. To explain it too much would give the book away, and well, I just can't allow myself to do that!

So the story revolves around "Danny", who joins a cousin, somewhere in Europe, to help him transform a castle into a hotel. It's not going to be just any hotel, but a hotel where people leave their electronics behind and be, whatever. Kind of like fantasy island without literal fantasies coming true...

But there is another story mixed into this novel, that takes place in prison. And that story is just as intriguing as the castle story and for most of the novel, there is little connection. Well, an implied connection is there, which is what made me think the story was going to end shitty.

But surprise! A whole other story enters the picture the last two chapters that brought me to my feet. And that part was pretty good and then when it ends, it left me puzzled as to how to fit everything together. It fits, but just not perfectly.

Will You Remember Me?

Yesterday, as I drove Mi-Mi and I home for the day, the song "Ready, Set...Don't Go" by Billy Ray and Miley Cyrus played on the Disney Channel over my XM radio (what I won't do for my kids...this is NOT why I have an XM radio...but it's ending up that way).

If you aren't familiar with that song, and you wouldn't be unless you have fans of Hannah Montana in the home, the song is a duet between a father (Billy Ray) and his daughter (Miley), where the daughter is leaving home to start her own life -- and is excited about it -- and the dad doesn't want her to go and is extremely sadden by it. It's not a great song, but it's reeeeaaaallly sad when you listen to the words.

My daughters LOVE this song. I don't mind it...IOW, I don't hate it. The gist of the song makes it 'special' for me.

So yesterday, as it played, Mi-Mi asks me if I know what the song means. She continues to tell me that it (the song) means that the daughter is leaving and her daddy doesn't want her to become a grown-up.

I thought that was such a sweet statement from her, that she understood the song. I assumed it was an episode of Hannah Montana she might've seen, where they possibly sang this duet together, and that is how she understood its meaning.

So I told her: Well, that will be you one day. You will leave home one day to go to college, or marry, or just go out on your own, and mommy and daddy will be left at home without you.

She then said: Can I have a picture of you and daddy? I want to bring it with me so I won't forget you.

That's my girl. She's not sad about leaving me...just >>a little<< concerned she might forget who she left behind.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Dragon

Finally, pictures of my tattoo after eight sessions.

This is sort of the side view. The dragon's head actually sets right under my right breast - right at the ribcage - and goes toward the right of my body, then to the right side of my backside, where it will disappear into some lava rocks and clouds.

And this is the back side of the tattoo. These are rocks and clouds and most will replicate into the upper right shoulder of my back, covering my old dragon tattoo. The bottom half of the dragon will then curve down, and slightly to the left, where the tail will end up coming over my left shoulder and ending on the top half of my upper left arm. There is no color - it's all black and gray wash. Yeah, it's a doozy!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

My New Tattoo: Session 8

I almost thought I would be unable to make this one, The weather forecast was not looking promising for a drive to Durham, and especially, back. But fortunately for me, the weather people are wrong again and I make my way to Durham.

Today was entirely drawing -- no needle work. Kat mentioned she was concerned whether I would show up (I did call the night before to give fair warning) because she was ready to draw the next part of the tattoo on me.

First, she mentioned that it was great she took pictures of it the last visit. She said it came in handy when she and Nathan worked out some details on where the tattoo would be going. She took me into the back to show me and the first thing I noticed was how much of my right ass cheek was showing in the picture.

The second thing I noticed was how fucking amazing my tattoo looks in the picture.

But let's get back to my ass...she is showing me the tracing of the new drawing and how the tattoo will look with my existing tattoo...all I could think of was "What was Nathan thinking as he saw that big butt staring at him?" "Should I increase the number of squats I do?"

Whatever. What's done is done. Nathan has already seen me entirely nude so...whatever!

That's what I say to make myself feel better about the whole thing. It sorta works.

So the next step was for me to strip. I love how Kat shuts the little curtain to her room and says "let's get some privacy". It's not total privacy but again WHATEVER.

So truly, today was drawing. Based on her little picture she drew (with Nathan's help) to go with the photo-sized picture of my ass, she drew this on my body.

Let me tell you: that is too cool.

It is literally drawing. She uses sharpies of varying colors: first red for her initial thoughts, then to blue for the next thought and the final thought is in black. And she drew all over my back, colored in my old dragon (which is what I'm covering up) and drew all the way to the other end of my shoulder, which is diagonally opposite from where the dragon begins. IT IS HOT!

For about five minutes, however, I was suddenly hit with a wave a nausea and sweats and I thought I was going to pass out. For what reason, I have no clue. Just totally hit by something which Kat had me sit down and continued her drawing. It passed and we moved on.

But except for those five minutes, someone tracing and drawing on my back for an hour in a half is RELAXING and feels sooooo good.

After she drew everything with the sharpie, she had Nathan come in to check it out again. This time, my jeans were down to where you saw just a little butt crack and enough butt that, well, if I must say so, was deceivingly attractive. I thought that Nate might remember this view and never see that picture again.

After all of that, Kat then re-traces it onto saran wrap, which becomes her hints for drawing it up on paper. It's incredible and absolutely amazing. What a patient and detailed artist Kat is. I trust her (and Nate) completely.

So, although there was no needles involved today, it still made for a productive session for Kat and me. I went my merry way back home before the "snow" hit and decided that I'll do more squats.

Tiger Taunting

Seriously, am I supposed to believe that those men that were attacked by the SF tiger are to blame for their friend's death and their injuries?

I mean, that is just as ridiculous as the quote from the cops (that I mentioned earlier) where they told the tiger to "Stop!" while he attacked the kids.

And now, the media wants me to believe that the mauling by said tiger was instigated by the kids taunting it.

I don't know, but if I were a stupid, idiot person that thought it would be fun to tease a, I would think I could do it at the zoo because, well, my chicken-shit self would think that I would be safe...and stroke my immature ego:
Me-with-the-stupid-ego: Hey tiger! Nanny-nanny-boo-boo!
Vicious-but-contained-in-a-zoo-tiger: What an idiot. Why I outta...

And outta he did.

So WTF charges do you apply to the idiot kids? I'm sorry, but this is utter stupidity on the media, or whoever the hell is making this headline news.

I can't tell you how many times I heard little kids tapping on the glasses of zoo creatures, with the sign clearly stating "Don't tap on the glass". Or how many people "talk" to the animals -- funny, sad, intimidating. And while I think it's just plain silly and makes good fodder for me and Tim to make fun of them, I certainly don't think they would deserve to be mauled...wait, let me think about that for a, I mean it. The idiots shouldn't be mauled by the animals KEPT CAGED OR AWAY FROM PEOPLE BECAUSE THEY ARE IN A FREAKING ZOO.

Seriously, stop this madness and let's start making sure that idiot people everywhere are able to freely make fun of the animals at the zoo!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Book Review: My Secret: A PostSecret Book by Frank Warren

This was on my library list and I randomly picked it for auto-delivery to my local library.

What I found was a little bit of surprise: A picture book. And not just any picture book, but a book full of postcards. Not just any postcards but a compilation of postcards that have been sent to Frank Warren in Germantown, Maryland -- home of PostSecret.

And it's what the two words mean -- an outlet for persons to post their secret and remain anonymous. I vaguely remember hearing about this several years ago but never paid much more attention to it.

It started out as a community art project for Frank and then became what it is today. You can see postcards everyday on its blog, The postcards reveal secrets from the ordinary, "I used to think the Sistine Chapel was called the 16th Chapel!", to innocuous, "I told my family, the school nurse and my optometrist that I couldn't see the last rows Just so that I would get glasses like my friends", to sorrow, "I've been reaching out for help for over a year. But no one pays enough attention to even notice. What's the next step?"

It's not just the words, although I think it's primarily about the words. But the postcards are related to the author's thoughts. For instance, the "I told my I could get glasses.." is on a card where the letters are aligned as an eye chart. The '16th chapel' has pictures of the sistine chapel 16 times. Very, very interesting which will probably have me reading more of the books about the stories behind PostSecret.

It's a great concept and I wondered what secret I had to share. I haven't figured one out yet...I'm pretty revealing about myself but I'm sure I've got a secret somewhere in me that I've hidden.

Oh, but two things I read that I related to. The first was Frank Warren's dedication of this book:

The first:
This book is dedicated to my daughter, and every other young person making that journey from the home they were born into toward the home they will create for themselves.

The second I would borrow for myself. I would put a picture of "the" douche bag -- and dedicate it to all the assholes out there who think they are better than your everyday joe -- and it would say "I am avoiding you because you are socially below me".

Book Review: The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

What a great book to start the new year off in reading. Of course, I started reading it last year, after The Heroin Diaries. But this one was a long book -- 406 pages typed in a small font. I was worried that at some point, I would get bored or lose interest, as I had with Heat, but this was not the case.

I initially heard about the book earlier last year. I even got the audio book from the library, but never listened to it. I was under the impression that this was something about vampires, or something paranormal.

Although there are some ghostly allusions, for me personally, this book was not about that at all.

The premise of The Thirteenth Tale is this: a bookworm that lives in the bookshop where she works alongside her father. She is very much a connoisseur of fine literature. She has also written biographies and it is this work that allows her to enter the home of the most sought-out author, Vida Winter.

Vida Winter has been a best-selling author with a mysterious tale missing from one of her most prized writings, whence the title of the book comes from.

She is reclusive and has never revealed the truth about her past. Now, Margaret the bookworm, is about to enter the world of the truth from Vida Winter.

And the truth is the story of Vida Winter's life, who she really is, and how she came to be. We also learn a good deal about Margaret the bookworm and so comes a fascinating story that is worth every 406 pages.

Diane Setterfield is prosaic and I felt like I was reading classic literature. I felt REFINED. But nevertheless (can you tell that I am writing refined words in this post) it was just a joy to read. A great story with great characters who won't leave me for a long time.

I even cried when it was done.

The Scariest Words I Heard Today...

...were when my daughter opened the front door to walk the dog while I was attending to my other daughter's socks.

She said "There's someone standing outside".

I actually didn't panic and rushed to her, although I was right next to her. I must have had my scary face on because the young kid on the other side was a bit tentative.

But he said something to the effect that he wasn't there for me to be alerted -- I am paraphrasing from memory because, well, I was surprised that someone was standing right outside my house without alerting me (I have a doorbell). And if you've ever read the book The Gift of Fear, anyone that has to tell you they're not they're to hurt/alert you, it usually means they ARE.

But he stood at the bottom of my steps and started his spiel on some work being done in the neighborhood and would I be interested (sales pitch). He stayed away. I hope I intimidated him because I was on mom alert when I heard those words come out of my precious girl's mouth.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Party Time

So this past Saturday was the company prom.

Generally, I'm not a big fan of attending. I've become the party pooper but my husband prefers to go. Every reason he has is reasonable and basically it comes down to one reason: the company provides a party for you - we should go.

Can't argue with that.

I can go into some reasons why I am so cynical with regards to the prom. But instead, I'll focus on this past weekend's festivities.

First, and I've pondered this out loud to many co-workers today: why do "we" hug one another at these things as though we haven't seen each other in ages? I mean, for most of the people I had seen, I had seen just the day before. Yet I seek them, with open arms, genuinely happy to see them with a nice hug. I'm not complaining; I just think it's odd behavior.

Second, well, there is no second, just a bunch of notes on my behavior - on just three glasses of merlot (gasp! merlot! say it isn't so! i watched sideways and _they_ don't drink merlot, why should I? shame shame!):

I lost count on the number of times I hiked my dress's lower hem way up to where my dragon's talon exists, which is directly adjacent to, well, my "down under". I was thrilled to hear exasperations at, well, my audacity.

I met up with several girlfriends that I adore: one bff and two, hopefully soon-to-be bffs. One I decided to call my "saucy aussie" and inquired several times "Where is my saucy aussie?" when I couldn't see her in my sights. Don't worry - she was found to my delight.

One was MT, or Montana, as $Bill and I like to nickname her with. She and her hubby had been vacationing in New Zealand for the past five weeks so I was SO in search of her all night long. When she finally appeared, I was in deep in a conversation with the other soon-to-be BFF, so I couldn't just leave the conversation to give a big hug to MT. But as soon as I heard the period to the end of the conversation, I was out of there. I missed her although I was thrilled to death that she was enjoying her vacation dream. But it sure was nice to see her.

The other soon-to-be BFF was absolutely gorgeous. She looked amazing and she knows it (in a good way). It was great to see her and what I appreciated in a bizarre, humorous and naughty way was when she came by and mentioned she wanted to grab a martini. I said that Tim was in line already for one - just mosey up to him and act like you're with him. She took it to heart and I saw her grab his shoulders from behind, then wrap her arms around him as if she were with him. I knew Tim would LOVE that (he did) and I did too.

All in all, a good evening to socialize with friends. I get dolled up and allow myself to act a bit loose (um, as if that is unusual for me) and drink and eat for free.

However, if Tim would have said "Let's get out of here" after a mere hour...I would've been ready to go.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Movie Review: The Orphanage

I couldn't wait to see this movie once I saw it advertised, approximately two weeks ago. Of course, it didn't debut here in Raleigh on its opening, but the following weekend (yesterday) it did.

I made sure to fit in some time to do it with a busy party weekend planned (recall my dress shopping entry?). I would have rather come home Friday and enjoy my new cheeses that I got from, with some wonderful red wine, and relax my work week stresses away, but instead, I HAD to go see this flick.

We went to a local theater, although not "local" in the sense that I would be supporting local ownership, but next time, I will.

The theater was virtually empty. A handful of teenagers and a lesser handful of us old fogies.

The movie is in espanol, so another delight for me: foreign movie!!

Way back when, my life in Greenville, my weekend evenings were spent grabbing several foreign movies and some chinese food from my favorite chinese place and eating and watching, all alone while Tim worked with hot chicks at the newly opened, and very crowded, Lone Star Steakhouse. One of my great pleasures of the past.

So I don't do that anymore, mainly out of desire, vs. time, but when something of that genre comes along, I jump at it.

The Orphanage has been getting a lot of press. For good reason: a nice story-telling with a slant towards the eerie. A woman who was an orphan returns to the home (orphanage) of her youth, but now, it's her house. Of course, things have note "left" the home and the spirits roam the home.

It's not entirely a ghost story, but it is. It's a story that someone from a previous generation would sit and tell their children -- "That house, it used to be an orphanage..." and recounts some eerie tales of its history. These are stories that I grew up with that scare me and awe me at the same time.

That's what The Orphanage did for me. If you like subtlety and just good story-telling, then this movie is for you.

If you are like every other American stereotype and needs blood, guts, cursing, nudity, high-end effects, masked murderers (um, wait, there are masks in this one...), shallow story line, big actor names that make way more than they ever should, then I'm sorry, this one is not for you.

And unfortunately, it was telling since, well, I mentioned earlier, the theater was virtually empty.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

From the Mouth of Babes

Mi-Mi is my four year old. She is the most positive, upbeat, affectionate person I've ever known. If you have seen the movie Enchanted (see my review), she is just like the character Giselle.

But not always...she has a mischievous side...VERY VERY hard-headed in the way that she marches to the beat of her own drum. Despite how frustrating that can be, it is fascinating and admirable and I love her all the more for it.

Her language skills are incredible, but when you can have conversations with your own child, it is amazing. I can still remember some of my first real conversations with CJ, who is now nine (and I am still amazed at our conversations). Mia, I feel, is slightly more advanced in her terminology *and* the spectrum of her subject matter is sophisticated (to, well, what is important to a four year old).

Okay, enough boasting. That's what mom's love to do. :-)

We have been encouraging Brenna (the dog) to sleep in the girls' bedroom, instead of ours. In order to do this, we shut our door so that her only place for sleep is the girls' bedroom. It has worked and we can tell her "go to bed" and she goes right into their room.

The past couple of mornings, Brenna has gotten up earlier and attempts to come into our room. She will scratch at the door and whimper. Quite annoying when one is trying to "sleep in". And actually, when trying to sleep after my cysto, she woke me up with her clawing and whimpering.

Mi-Mi apparently heard her this morning do that, but I had no idea. Until this afternoon, when I picked her up from daycare and she said, out of the blue, "You know, Brenna is not trying to get into your room to sleep. She's just trying to let you know that it's morning time. You shouldn't get mad at her." How can I now?

Then, this evening, as I drove to Quail Ridge Books & Music (support local!), again, out of the blue, she mentioned she had a boyfriend. "A boyfriend?!" I say, surprised, because if anything, she doesn't much care for boys.

So I question her - who is your boyfriend? She replies "Parker".

I have never heard this name.

Who is Parker, I inquire. Is he in your class? She replies, quite exasperated "No...he's not in my class!" She tells me something about how she and Stella and Krista like to play with Parker.

It becomes quiet for a little bit and then she says to me, "Sometimes, I just can't stop thinking about him."

Holy shit.

Monday, January 07, 2008

A Day of Recovery

Well, sort of.

I had an outpatient procedure done this morning that required anesthesia, "sedation" as the anesthesia dude called it. And all day I have spent battling a massive headache and neck pain (which for me, tends to be chronically intermittent). I have been rendered useless for the day.

I don't know if it's totally the fault of anesthesia.

We had to wake up at 4 AM to get me to the hospital at 5:15. A hard thing to ask from your 4 and 9 year old who rarely, if ever, need to get up that early. Hey - I'm not used to getting up that early!!

Patients are supposed to arrive two hours prior to their procedures and I was thinking "what the hell am I going to do for two hours?" I swear, it took the entire two hours to prep me.

I had to wear the nice gown. Mi-Mi was asking me prior to getting to the prep partwhat a gown was. I said 'it's a flimsy piece of material you have to wear '. She replied with "What's a gown?"

So she finally got to see it. I thought I was done: clothes off, Tim helped tie me up (in the gown), and I had my fancy new hospital socks on (CJ asked "Do you get to keep those?!" as if I had won the jackpot). But as I contemplated walking to the bathroom, outside of my private Idaho, to see if I could take my nose ring out (no jewelry in the OR), I recalled that my undies were still on. I panicked and looked at Tim, 'do I have to take everything off?' And he was like, yeah, that's what we are here for.

I had a cystoscopy with a radial something to look at my kidneys. Don't worry, everything is fine. I'm going to live.

The IV goes in and it hurts a little, but I'm trying to manage and not panic. Shouldn't I be used to all this pain by needle by now? Anyway, the nurse explains she is putting some antibiotics into my system and it will sting as it goes into my system (it did) and just let her know if I start to itch. I jokingly scratch at my face to Tim.

About a minute later, my arm starts itching. I think it's psychological and then I decide, you know, this is really starting to itch! She turns it down (the amount entering my system) and it helps, but I continue to feel itchy until I'm sedated. I just dealt with it at some point...

I am wheeled from room-to-room. Alone. With other cattle waiting for their call.

I finally get wheeled into the OR room and move from my warm bed to the cold table. But the nurses -- and I've been lucky to have amazingly, sympathetic, warm-gestured people in my life -- wrap me up with some blankets.

The anesthesia nurse dude (why is there two types?) explains what he's going to do: blah blah blah. The last thing I remember hearing is, how are you feeling?

This is very similar to the time I went under for my wisdom teeth removal. My dental surgeon said "Are you ready?" and I'm thinking "Um, I'm still talking to you, aren't I, so no" but it came out loud as "Yes".

The next thing I know I am waking up and the nurses are telling me I'm done. I don't remember everything other than I had the most amazing graham crackers ever and a coke. I vaguely recall given options for drink, to which CJ reminded me that I kept going on-and-on about "They gave me other choices but I can't remember what they were". Which is true, but I'm not quite sure why it was so important for me to figure out.

What I find truly amazing with anesthesia is the on-and-off click that happens to me with this stuff. Same with two other procedures I've had in the past, one being the aforementioned wisdom teeth removal. How can I be speaking in one second and the other out like a light bulb? HOW?? HOW?? HOW??? And then, the ability to snap me out of it!!! And on top of that, having no recollection of anything happening! Well, except for the 'invasion of privacy' pain. Something happened..."down there"... Science is amazing.

I must have asked "Did they take x-rays" several times because the nurse turned to Tim and said "Don't be surprised if she repeats things". I do remember the answer (yes) and that all was clear.

But I slept solid for the next several hours, watched some shows, then tried to get back to sleep. But my head and neck have been KILLING me all day, which is not good, since this is one of my many infamous chronic problems I have that just conjures up bad memories and frustration.

I'm not there yet, but it certainly starts to feel like 'a waste of a day' but I tell myself that it is not.

BTW, not once did I see my doctor. Well, at least I don't remember...

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Dress Shopping

Today I decided to venture to the mall to see if I could find a cool dress for an upcoming party. "Cool" being something that could possibly show off my tattoo. Well, some of it, since strategically, it would be impossible to wear something in public to show the entire thing.

It wasn't easy. It's not like we live near Rodeo Drive where one could easily find such an exotic dress. Backless in Raleigh? Ha!

I only wanted to hit one store and just get whatever I could find, backless or not. But Tim egged me on to find something close to what he/I wanted. The Guess store, he suggests.

We find the Guess store and the nice Guess guy, Carlton, helps me out. In fact, he is so good at his job that he noticed me eyeball this cool blouse that would have fit the bill, so to speak. I wasn't opposed to a blouse...I had passed by many-a-beautiful skirts that I would drop dinero down in a heartbeat.

I find a dress and Carlton, the best Guess guy every, comes over with the blouse and says "You're a small, right?" I start to protest but the truth is, when it comes to the top part of my body, I am small. It's the other half that, well, I don't have to elaborate...

So I hit the fitting room with my two pieces of clothing to try on. Carlton has placed them outside of the door to let me know I have a room reserved for me.

I try the dress on and it looks fine...nothing fancy. I open the door and Tim shakes his head no. I don't disagree.

I am now excited about trying on the blouse. It's cut perfect to show the tattoo under my ribcage and then goes towards the back to show my lava rocks and clouds.

But getting it on was a puzzle. It took me a minute to look at it and set it the way it's supposed to look, so I could figure out where my arms, head and neck would fit. Once that's done, however, I'm screwed because now one has to turn it upside down and the visual representation is GONE.

A couple of tries and I _think_ I have it on correctly...but I'm beginning to wonder if I'm truly a small. I felt ridiculous and I stared at my reflection for a good many minutes, analyzing whether I had it on correctly and if not, what other configuration could possibly be the 'right' way.

I seek help.

I open the door partially and ask CJ to tap her dad and motion him to come inside the fitting room. I ask if the blouse is on right. He questioned how else could I put it on? Well, that's why I'm asking him!!

But as you can imagine, if I don't think I have the damn thing on right, it just isn't going to look that great on me. And it didn't. So Guess is a bust too.

But before I can leave the store, I have to get my clothes back on. And before I can get my clothes on, I have to get the blouse off.

Getting it on wasn't that bad. Getting it off? I almost panicked. I managed to get my head through another part of the blouse, since I couldn't pull it off easily. But then I was stuck with my arm. And that made it even tighter for the possibility of pulling it off.

I'm trying to think straight so that I don't swell. You know, kind of like trying on rings and then it gets stuck and you keep pulling it and now your finger is swollen?

So, how do I get my head back to where it was and just start over? I guess it swelled because that wasn't going to happen.

I'm beginning to wonder if I need Carlton's help, but NO WAY is that happening because he still thinks I'm a small.

I decide this thing is coming off, as forcefully BUT GENTLY as possible. There's not much material there, so it's somewhat fragile, and well, it's a really cool piece of clothing. Handle with care.

Thankfully, the sweat that broke out on my back from the stress acted as a nice lubricant to move the back enough to loosen it and I was able to get out of the damn thing.

I quickly dressed, shook my hair back into place and walked out of the room, trying to be as 'radiant' as when I walked in.

I think Carlton's co-worker knew my struggle, though, as she kind of gave me "hey girl, I feel your pain...been there done that...but I *am* a small".

Saturday, January 05, 2008

My New Tattoo: Session 7

I am beginning to feel like Pavlov's dog...I am anticipating excruciatingly painful sessions...but not quite there yet.

In fact, today's session went fairly well and it was a good two hour needle-work session. I was expecting the worse, especially when Kat (her pet name in the shop) said "we'll work on the clouds and the rocks today". The clouds and the rocks are located in the tramp stamp vicinity, which is, for me, the most painful session I have had.

This was the area lined right before the Thanksgiving trip to the mountains and it was days of pain...weeks to heal. I was bracing myself for some painful work.

But thankfully, it was not that bad. There were some tender spots, but for the most part, it was about an "8" on the pain scale...the lowest I could ever rate a session would probably be a "7", so that's not too bad.

Today's background music was provided by the Rolling Stones. I am not NOT an RS fan, but you know, they get enough airtime so it's not my cup of tea. But today, I thoroughly enjoyed and welcomed RS, which sort of took me back to the session when Metallica played in the background.

Shiny Toy Guns also played, which was great because I didn't recognize who they were until the one song I know played. And I had thought "I need to ask Rachael who this band is". I have the album...well, someone gave me their copy, so I'll have to add that to my iPod.

ANYWAY, it was a good start to the New Year, not starting off with a whole lot of pain and being 'crippled' for a week. Everything that appears on my body is 'done'. Now, it's back to the drawing board to complete the work that hasn't been drawn out yet.

It looks awesome. Kat took some pictures and seeing them amazed me. That is what it looks like??? I felt like a star. I'll have to get Tim to take some pictures. I hope to do that this weekend so I can post them and, well, show off.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Results Are In

I am not entirely disappointed in Iowa's results. Although I'm a little frightened by Huckabee's win. I read that turnout was low for Republicans, so I'm hoping that is really the case (I didn't read too much into the Republican side, so if anyone wants to elaborate...feels the _need_ to elaborate...feel free) but I figure, someone has to 'win' on the republican side. I'll wait with bated breath to see where the hell he ends up in the next few months.

But I am pretty surprised with the results. I think the media had me fooled into believing a Clinton sweep. BUT OBAMA??? I'm not unhappy about that. It feels good to think that there are people out there who want a change. Not giving second thought to the so called 'experienced' politician. Or Iowans love their Oprah.

And although Edwards was second, I think beating Hilary was a milestone for him...and of course, Obama. But as it is pointed out in numerous places, Edwards is nowhere NEAR having the financial backing that Obama and Clinton have, so in some way, it speaks WORLDS of what he, too, has been able to accomplish.

Now we enter the primaries and New Hampshire will be the next hoopla. I'm still hopeful and unfortunately, doubtful. I hate that. I hate to be influenced by the media, but we are a society so driven by what the news people tell us...or bob at the bar...

Anyway, I believe I expected a big ZERO for Edwards. I felt like he just wasn't in the running and would end up third, or worse, behind the other lesser known democratic opponents. And of course, I thought Hilary would be on top (the way Bill likes it?) so I'm pretty happy with how Iowa has started off our political us a little bit of a twist.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Girls Night Out Part One

I never did (until now) write about my girls' night out party, that took place back in September.

A good friend of mine was getting married (she is now). And thus, a bachelorette party was assembled with a fine selection of attendees. :-)

I was REALLY excited about this as it has been a very looooooonnnnnnng time since I had an outing like this. We were to eat first, then be free to get merry.

Tim made sure that I was prepared. He gave me advice on not to drink too many shots and stuck a pair of condoms in my bag. When I protested the condoms (I won't need those!) he simply said "It's been awhile since you've been out..." as if I were 17 years old.

First stop: The Melting Pot. Tim and the girls dropped me off. And though it was supposed to be a SURPRISE, the bride-to-be (B2B) beat me there. BUT I wasn't the last one...I think.

We mingled with drinks for a good bit before we were seated. Then the cackling began! I know we were loud -- our gifts to B2B were, um, sex toys. And we enjoyed discussing the details of our toys. We compared notes: which rabbit did you have? What color was it? The pocket rocket was highly recommended with this type of lubricant. You know, the usual banter when us gals get together.

I believe the diners around us took notes. At least, no one came to complain to us or to tell us to keep our voices down. In fact, our waiters (male, thankyouverymuch), were just as loud and boisterous as we were.

We took our time with dinner. Kept the wine flowing. Next thing I know, I'm calling Tim at midnight to tell him that I'll probably have to take a taxi home because, well, we just got done eating!!! We haven't even made it to the second destination. He claims I said I'd be another hour, but either he was drunk or I was, because I knew I wasn't going to be another hour if we just got done with dinner...

Destination Two: Rum Runners. Ride courtesy of hot chick #3 (there were seven of us but lost one after dinner).

I had been to Rum Runners way back when it was located on Falls of Neuse. Now, it's a downtown bar destination. No food. Just booze and a couple of 'dueling' pianos.

And it seems that there is a following at this place as everyone (but me) knew the songs that were playing -- well, I knew the songs but there were subtle changes to the lyrics to bring the sex factor into them. Those were the words I hadn't been aware of but I let the crowd sing-a-long as I watched everyone, with a big grin on my face, just delighted to be out. It was as if I had been in prison and that day was my first day of freedom. I was just stupid happy.

So stupid happy I was that I was oblivious to my surroundings. Sure, I heard my fellow hot chicks mention "lesbians" but I saw some guys way in the back. Sure, there were a group of ladies sitting nearby but again, I did see a dude...where'd he go? And sure, one nice lady gave me her necklace and I thought Wow! People are having as much fun as I am! Such camaraderie! And really didn't give a thought to when Hot Chick #1 said "Now you can tell Tim you got leid by a girl!"

It's really all in retrospect...there really wasn't a lot of guys out at the bar that night. Hmmm...and then there was that trip to the bathroom with B2B...lots of crying and what! a dude in the ladies room???? Wait a minute...that's not a dude...

I did succumb to shots...but just two of them. For some reason, the State grads just had to have some kind of red wolfpack shot thingy. But B2B remembered her roots and bought a round of Pirate shots.

But overall, I took it pretty easy. The thing that screwed me up the most, other than being naive, was going to bed at 4AM. I don't think I ever did that, even in my youth. But I'm up there in my years...I can't remember that far back...

When Rum Runners yelled "Last Call", I was like, HUH? What is that? I mean, I've heard that on TV and the movies, but does that _really_ happen? And sure enough...we not only closed down The Melting Pot, but Rum Runners too! A freakin' bar!! I closed a FREAKIN' BAR! One of my proudest moments.

My other proud moment, not necessarily coming home with unused rubbers (did I mention it was unofficially Lesbian Night at Rum Runners?) but having my house filled with four hot husband...was just steps away from seeing these many babes in one place...HIS HOUSE...but instead, he lay up in his bed, snoring away.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Eyes on Eye-oh-wah!

I am hopeful but I am also doubtful for an Edwards pull off. I am hopeful and yet I feel that I am going to be soooo disappointed tomorrow. I hope it doesn't speak the end for Edwards, no matter what happens.

People of Iowa, I hope you see what I see. If not, then I hope I can figure out what the hell you're looking at...

Here's to crossing my fingers, toes and eyes...

Book Review: The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star by Nikki Sixx

Tim bought me this book in early December. A great early Christmas present. This was one reason why I had to stop reading Heat and move on to a new book.

I know I mentioned this in my post on my favorite album, Shout at the Devil, but I will reflect with more detail.

For ALL of my teenaged years and most of my adult life (it ain't over yet), I was in love with Nikki Sixx. My heart fluttered every time I saw him, even just a few short years ago. In my youth, I kept track of what the media fed me: his engagement to Vanity, his marriage to Brandi Brandt, the birth of his children, his divorce from BB and another marriage to Donna D'Errico (and another child).

It was Brandi Brandt's tattoo influenced by her children that gave me the idea to use CJ's Chinese Year symbol for my second tattoo.

I was obsessed in high school and just out of touch in adulthood. In high school, every yearbook has a reference to the Crue or to Nikki. When I was three months pregnant with CJ, Tim took me to Greensboro to see the Crue (front row, with the other old farts that could finally afford front row tickets) and Nikki came on stage in this shaggy orange jacket and my heart swooned. Tim even lifted my big ass up, as if to hand me off to him, but alas, I went unnoticed by the man of my dreams.

Through the last few years, I've grown a bit disdained over stardoms. Their egos have left a bad taste in my mouth (don't go there) and while I think Nikki is still hot, I know it just wouldn't work between us. His ego would be too much for me...and it's a Hollywood, or rock-n-roll ego, which is a different mindset than I could relate to. I would akin it to mingling with dumb blondes...oooooohhhh, I guess I have an ego too.

But on to the book...the book is...well...very, very, intriguing. It's a diary so it is extremely interesting to read. To top it off, there are first-hand accounts relating to the diary entries. It is mind-boggling to read but it certainly is entertaining.

At some point, and he admits it, it gets redundant reading into his ego and his turmoil. But again, it's a diary so like my blog, it's all about me (or him, in the case of his writings).

It's pretty weird, to read this, to get so intimately involved with Nikki's thoughts. It'll be the closest I'll ever get to getting to know him and well, I didn't like him so much.

The entries take place in 1987, the year I graduated high school. I can closely remember the timeline well enough since I had been so obsessed with the crue back then. He has an entry to the day that I saw them first in concert and just information about filming videos, etc. I could remember it all (but not like it was yesterday...).

It's gory, sick and disgusting. Is it sad? Seriously, reading this did not make me feel sad for him. I didn't really feel sorry for him either. And I was thankful that I had never met him in 1987 because I surely wouldn't been in love and thinking that we would be happily married, ever after. That's how googly-eyed I was back then and he would have shattered me, as he apparently shattered every other human being he encountered then.

I may have even lost a little love for him...I don't know yet. I am still resounding from the book. I haven't decided how I feel about him, other than I have to agree with many a critic that it took balls for him to put this in a novel for the world to read. Because, maybe he's redeeming himself now, but he was a real dick.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The World According To Me...Part Two

I have a few more Best of 2007 to add to my list...

Best Vacation: My vacations this year all have been pretty darn good but the one I enjoyed the most was the most recent trip to the NC mountains. It was full of surprises: beautiful country, nice people, pretty hip (grunge) towns and the cabin ON TOP OF A MOUNTAIN was pretty incredible. Plus, even though my family did not make it, Tim's family made it and it made for a warped Norman Rockwell family scene. I think I opened up more (I type better than I talk) and really bonded with my sis-in-law. And meeting Scooter was the pinnacle of this wonderful trip.

Best Moment: I am pretty much making this category up. There are so many moments that elate me but again, a recent one warms me when I think of it. It was Coach's Night Out and me and my fellow GOTR coaches were celebrating the end of our Fall season at Champp's at Southpoint. Our table, and where I sat, faced onto the walking area of the open mall part. We had been laughing, reminiscing and such when one of the coaches asked if that was my family outside. I looked up and across and there was Tim and my two beautiful girls, beaming right at me, waving their little hands off (well, Tim's gigantic one). My heart melted and I knew it was time for me to run out there and give them all a big hug. A small moment that may seem innocuous, but it was a moment, that I later told Tim, that "made my life".

Best Wine: I love wine. Red wine to be specific. Merlots (and no, I don't fall prey to the pander of movies such as Sideways, that dissed Merlots and soon after, Merlot purchases across the nation dropped...can we say Baaaa! America?), Shirazes, Cabs and blends of all of them. My favorite of the year was Casillero Del Diablo Carmenere, which translates to Cellar of the Devil. OF COURSE IT WOULD BE MY FAVORITE! I drank it to celebrate the end of 2007. I see Riojas in my future for 2008...

New Year's Resolutions

Typically, I prefer to set small goals throughout the year. I usually have some idea of how my New Year resolutions will come out, but they're not items that I set up for failure, i.e. "Cure cancer", "Be nice to republicans", you know, stuff that's just IMPOSSIBLE to do.

I did find myself thinking about my own goals and I mentioned it to CJ. I asked if she knew what "New Year's Resolutions" meant (no) and explained how these are a series of goals that people typically make for the New Year. Usually, they are goals that you want to do for yourself.

So at dinner, I started mentioning my goals for the New Year: run at least one half marathon, (weights) exercise 3x a week, read at least two books a month, and aim to write in my blog once a day. Tim went next: continue focusing on his business, read at least one book, finish remodeling the kitchen and building our porch, and continue having a lot of vacations.

Then CJ surprised me when she said she had written hers down and left it upstairs. So she excused herself and ran upstairs to get her list. This is what she had:

Eat no trans fat
Eat sandwich's
Keep my hair short
Keep rooms clean
Watch ghost hunters
Invite sarah over
Try more lady apples
Eat McDonald's at least twice a month

Mia recited hers and then later, asked me to spell everything for her so she could have her list too. This is what she has:

Isn't that so sweet?