Monday, March 31, 2008

To a productive week

Status: Well, I did find and balance the checkbook (ouch!), we're in phase 1 of de-cluttering (the sorting piles stage-so right now it's actually really messy), I did 20 minutes on the elliptical, and I put all our tax forms together in one pile. Hopefully I'll maintain some sense of productivity during the week and get some things checked off the list. I wanted to say I put that skeleton away but it gathered a lot of dust since Halloween and I didn't get a chance to hose it down.

Have a great Monday all!

Friday, March 28, 2008

To Do

Here is my To Do list this weekend:

- Exercise
- Clean up clutter
- Balance checkbook

I don’t know why I think weekends are these huge blackholes in time where I can accomplish so much in two days. Then I get so bummed when I get, like, 10% of it done. Like this weekend, I’ll probably install TurboTax on the computer, work up a sweat doing laundry, put dishes in the dishwasher, and find the checkbook. If I down some Red Bull, maybe I’ll even pack that skeleton on the porch and put it into the garage. Or should I just leave it? Halloween, after all, is merely 7 months away…

Another observation, totally unrelated: About 10 years ago, I used to get Bill Pullman and Bill Paxton mixed up all the time. Also Dylan McDermott and Dermot Mulroney. You know who I’m starting to get mixed up? Justin Timberlake and Ryan Phillippe. Anybody else? Or have I just earned my membership into the Crabby Old Fart Club? That new movie they’re promoting—StopLoss. Who is that? JT or RP? Who is that in the Pepsi Commercial? RP or JT? Who is the one who moved from a long term relationship and is now with a younger, and oh-so-less-uptight, version of their former partner? Wait…oh right, that’s both of them.

Is that the sound of my Vice President nameplate going up at the Club?

Thursday, March 27, 2008


The theme for Elise Blaha's Paper Adventure this week (because I'm actually caught up and current) is Spring. Well after yesterday's post, you can bet your butt that Spring definitely means some Spring Cleaning. But I also think of Spring as another chance, a chance to renew oneself. This layout probably could have used a picture with a head on it (Velina took this picture when she was 4). looks as though a schmear of glue was applied to the right side and I sprinkled on a bunch of embellies, shook the page, and this is what stuck. But I'm going to allow myself artistic license to not be artistic, and let myself enjoy the process. As you can see I'm still hooked, hooked, HOOKED, on the owl and tree stamps.

Anyhoo, I made myself a ridiculous To Do list for this weekend, which includes putting away that Halloween skeleton that's lounging on my porch. Maybe I should do some horrifying before and after shots...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Home & Heart

Isn't this classy? Susan dropped off the RAK I won--this issue of "Home & Heart" magazine. Isn't this cool with the tag and ribbon? I've got to remember to try something like this. If it was me, the magazine would've arrived in the mail in a manila envelope with a post-it saying Here you go, you lucky bastard. Susan is obviously much sweeter than me.

If you dig paper crafting, this magazine is full of great ideas. Love it. One of the things that was great was the huge editorial content. I'm sure that won't last long as this magazine becomes more popular and gets more ads. I really enjoyed going through each page--it makes me to want to throw some sort of party.

I have to confess that when Susan dropped it off she must have been totally mortified that I still had Halloween decorations (yes, I said Halloween) and the extension cord for the holiday lights on porch limbo (taken down but not fully put away in the garage).

Do you ever do that? Let things slide and then suddenly look at things with a possible guest's eyes and get totally repulsed at what you see? Say, like a bathroom sink you've let go for a while and then you suddenly look at it and think, hey who got wasted on toothpaste and hair and threw up in my sink? I'm looking at everything now and I've renewed my resolve to clean up. Especially the clutter. Okay, it's official. I'm attacking it this weekend.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Paper Adventure continues

I can’t believe I’m caught up with Elise Blaha’s Paper Adventure…for now:

Week 10’s prompt was Got Talent? I really don’t have any amazing knack for anything except…I can really clean my plate. When I was in the 8th grade, we had a school trip where we stopped by for pizza for lunch and I ate the most slices out of everyone. A whole pizza, back then, was sliced into 8 slices and I ate 6. Three-quarters of a large pie went into my 14 year old, 110 pound framed gullet. Man I loved pizza as a kid.

My other talent? Love a good deal. Almost to a fault. Like the times I buy those Value Stacks of Scrapbook paper…a LOT. I’d say to bury me with it, but there’d be no room in the coffin for me.

Week 11’s prompt was Habit. I thought about the habits I have so far (e.g., check gmail before work every day) but I really thought about habits I wanted to have like exercising and crafting regularly. And more importantly, connecting with people more regularly—and I don’t mean electronically, I mean live! Sigh. Someday.

Week 12’s prompt was Luck. I have no luck in Vegas or Lotto, but I have to say, that I’m very lucky that I’ve met so many good people in my life. Seriously, I couldn’t be much wealthier when it comes to good peeps. Besides my family, I’ve met people who have impacted me with their kindness, sharpness, and insight. Some people have struck me in passing as kind strangers and some for much longer as good friends. Believe me, I’ve also met plenty of top tier A-holes too but the positive effect of the good folks really outweigh the jerks. But maybe my luck is turning--I did recently win an RAK on Susan’s blog! My guilty pleasure is magazines so I’m thrilled to have won a copy of Home and Heart magazine from her. Maybe it’s time to buy a lottery ticket…

Monday, March 24, 2008

Hoppy Easter

Hope everyone had a peaceful Easter Sunday. I made a simple Easter basket for Velina. It was like Christmas Lite in a basket. She loved the Cotton Candy Lip Smacker and she's been sketching in the cartooning pad since yesterday. And the highlight is the Cadbury Mini Eggs. If you haven't tried these yet, you are missing out on a fine chocolate experience. That brittle candy shell yielding to very smooth milk chocolate--really, really good.
I usually load up on about a dozen bags every Easter. Thankfully the Cadbury folks wised up and finally did a holiday version in December so the mini egg drought isn't so long anymore.
Have a great week everyone!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Happy belated St. Patrick's Day

We actually made a cake that Velina decorated and spelled out "Happy St Pat's" in green sprinkles but we ate it before I could take a picture. Instead here is my attempt at making a cookiewich. Unfortunately I think I needed a softer cookie because the ice cream would just squish out whenever I took a bite.

A clear memory about St. Patrick's Day is that it was a good night to stay indoors in NYC. I lived in the East Village which had a couple of famous old time Irish bars, including McSorley's whose floors were generously coated in sawdust every day to make clean up of vomit easier. On St. Patrick's, there were lines to get into these pubs, and let's just say most streets and sidewalks would have benefitted from this protocol.
Believe me, cake is better. Hope everyone had a good (and safe) one!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Devil on horseback

Does anyone ride horses? I should just confess that I don't. We had an opportunity to take a couple of trail rides on horseback and basically I feel like I fell on my butt about 90 times in a row. Paul says I should have been an "active" rider, not a passive one. Wha? The lady who led the trail says when she started giving these tour rides she lost about 30 pounds in 30 days. Again, wha? To me that's like saying she lost weight driving to the Costco everyday. I really don't know what I'm supposed to be doing so actively on the horse. I'd probably lose a couple of pounds in bone enamel from my rear end slamming down on that saddle whenever the horse decided to jog if I did this every day.

This is Blaze, we're following Dolly:

Do you see her pretty face? No? That's because Blaze would gallop into Dolly's rear end if she could. The trail guide kept telling me that Blaze should be giving Dolly more space. But I could only get Blaze to stop or go. Nothing in between. The only time she gave Dolly room was when Dolly dumped a load of horse poop or poured out a gallon of urine. Frankly, it was a nice alternative to me anxiously murmuring, easy Blaze, give a little room, now, to no avail.

Fortunately, Velina enjoyed the riding. Made the gluteal bone loss worth it.

She does listen

She says: "Isn't this so Rami? He just loves Grecian drapery."

For those that watch Project Runway, she's a keeper, isn't she?

Friday, March 14, 2008

Thank goodness for Daylight Savings Time, now I can go running after work

That’s what I would be saying if I enjoyed running at all.

Maybe I’d enjoy running if those two purses would stop bumping me when I ran. Oh wait...those aren’t purses...those are my own a$$ cheeks.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

But it speaks to me

My mom used to lament when television shows she didn't like were dropped and the shows she did like stayed on. Why? She was disappointed that her tastes were no more sophisticated than the general public.

In some ways, I'm the same way in that I'd like to think I can smell a fad and sophisticatedly sidestep it like dog poop on the sidewalk. I avoided neon shirts, stir-up pants, bubble skirts, and that annoying Matthew Wilder song, "Break My Stride". I fared less successfully with perms, a "Tin Grins are In" t-shirt, and "Come on Eileen" (so darn catchy!). I'd like to think nowadays that there is something for no judgments from me if you bought that entire Crash Test Dummies album.

In crafting I know trees and owls are all the rage now, but these stamps from Hero Arts really speak to me:

Or maybe I'm just a Nora groupie.

I know, owls border on being soooo 2007. (Shout out to Cheryl who appreciated use of the owl stamps on the blank tickets yesterday.) Anyhoo, I loved playing with my new loot, including...the Bind It All. I tested it out by putting together this quick mini album, made from 4x6 photo graphs and patterned paper and cardstock cut to size:

Here's a quick page inside with one of my favorite Dymo labelers: vertical.

I think I'm digging this new gear. Anything popular now that's speaking to you?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Paper Adventure Week 9

The theme for Week 9 (I'm still 2 weeks behind) was Take It or Leave It: Advice. There are a few things my mother advised when I was younger that I related better to as an adult. Like lately, the one that resonates with me is getting up early. I totally remember her saying that when she got up "late" she ended up wondering where her day went. This past Sunday with Daylight Savings Time going into effect I slept in, and adding the hour we lost and running a few errands, it was 4pm before I knew it. That Sunday night dread of Monday coming for me combined with what did I do today? was just so disappointing. Mama was right.

I also included the only bit of advice I tend to give out--follow your instincts. I think at the heart of most situations we know what we should do but we may try to convince ourselves of a different action. For example, a recent one for me was whether or not to finish off a whole box of Girl Scout cookies. I barely followed my own advice on that one. I didn't say it was easy!

Monday, March 10, 2008

I have arrived--Tagged!

I have truly arrived in the blogging community: I have been formally tagged!

Linda tagged me to reveal 7 things about myself:

1) I was captain of the Math Team of my high school. You heard me. Captain. In fact, I received a varsity letter for it.

2) I was absolutely dateless in high school. Did I just hear the hugest collective gasp? I know, that looker on the ID card who loved to wear rummage sale clothes (though that unisex number in picture might have been a mall purchase) and lettered for the Math Team?
Is this kind of like when Nathan Lane officially came out a few years ago--what, he's gay in real life?!

3. One of my favorite flavors: baby aspirin. Yum-O.

4. Another one of my favorites: butter

5. You know how Liberace was known for his glittery capes? 50 Cent for his grill? Me--it's the hoop earrings, specifically the thin, silverish, 2-inch hoops. Or maybe my Fluevog shoes.

6. I was once a member of the Teamsters union. I worked for UPS during my junior year of college. I won't bother getting into too many details now but I worked the "sunrise shift" (4am-9am) Monday through Friday loading those brown trucks. Being a night owl as most college students are, I barely got any sleep. Surprise! I got my worst college grades that year.

7. I just tried Yogurtland today. It's a self-serve frozen yogurt bar where you can choose from about 10-12 flavors, especially extra tart ones, and top it with various toppings. And then you pay by weight. I could've sworn these were around when I was a teenager. (Are roller rinks coming back too? Is the NBA going to be wearing those short shorts again soon?) It was definitely good--I had the sugar-free blueberry yogurt topped with fresh strawberries and mochi balls. Though Paul was right, I do feel a little guilty for all those castrated mochis.

There you have it, 7 revealing facts about me. Fascinating, I know. Now to tag much more interesting people than me (I'm supposed to do 5 but I only know 3 other bloggers): Jamie, Cheryl, and Susan.
I was also tagged by Cheryl with this:

This is a way to honor a fellow blogger to acknowledge that their blog has made their day. I'm totally flattered by Cheryl's inclusion of me and I hope the post she read that day wasn't too ranty. Here are 10 blogs that make my day (in addition to ones tagged above):
Elise Blaha
Maria Grace
Made it through my first Tag! Happy Monday People!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Who had the nerve to take a dump in here?

Recently Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle was playing on TBS (or USA?). Paul couldn’t help but notice that they cut the infamous “Battlesh!ts” scene in the Princeton ladies room where Kumar is hiding out and overhears two gorgeous women try to outdo, or more accurately, out doo-doo each other. Was it too risqué for TBS? (or USA?), my dear husband wondered.

Sigh. No, sweetie, it’s because it was one of the most unrealistic scenes ever played in this or any other movie. More unrealistic than riding on the back of an escaped cheetah? More unrealistic than having your car towed by a guy named “Freakshow” and then get propositioned by his amorous centerfold of a wife? More unrealistic than Neil Patrick Harris stealing your car…and then returning it? Yes, yes, and yes.

I have yet to meet an adult woman who doesn’t covet privacy and anonymity when busting a move in the bathroom. Now I’m not talking about the huge restrooms at the airport, stadium, or movieplex where there is constant commotion. I’m talking about places like restaurants and offices: quiet restrooms where there are two to four stalls and it would take total deafness to not know what someone is doing. In talking to other women, I’ve confirmed all the various ways we try to hide any auditory evidence of our business (besides praying that we’ll have the ladies room all to ourselves): we’ll cough, ahem-ahem, spin a hopefully squeaky toilet tissue dispenser, shuffle our shoes, fiddle noisily with the seat cover dispenser, mutter to ourselves, anything to mask any aural proof of what we’re doing.

When I went to Tokyo last winter the ladies room stalls have a button that just makes a flushing noise—legend is that they were installed to save water as ladies were actually flushing water to disguise any noises. I bet that would be a big hit here.

When I talk to men about it, they’re bewildered. What? they say. That’s ridiculous. As if someone is going to walk in there and sniff, “Heeeyyyyy…who had the nerve to take a dump in here?” And I don’t have an answer. I admit I’m a little jealous with their comfort level.

I’ve seen men tuck a newspaper, a magazine, a paperback, even a writing pad (!) under their arm as they head into the rest room. Seriously, it’s like waving their arms in the air and yell, hey, I’m going to lay some cable and I’m taking the sports section! I’ve even heard they talk to each other when they’re in the stalls, like they’re not self-conscious at all. Whoa, did I have a burning tire for lunch?…I should know by now that spicy food totally gives me the squirts. My understanding is that executing their business a stall away from another person is no big deal. Hey is the post office delivering tomorrow? No? But Fedex and UPS still are, right?

I hear there is a sequel to Harold and Kumar coming out soon. I wonder what ker-razy concept they’re going to put into that one.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Paper Adventure Week 8

For Week 8 of Elise Blaha's Paper Adventure, the prompt was Something Old. Reflexively I was trying to think of some treasured jewel or well-loved piece of clothing, but I happened upon this old picture of me when I was at my peak of activism. Rallying for the oppressed, fighting for equality, trying to save the world. In this picture, I (with others) was protesting a Chinese restaurant in Queens that was trying to keep its workers from fighting for better wages and working conditions by intimidating them. Unfortunately the sign I picked up misspelled "intimidation"and a (less flattering) picture of me screaming with this sign was printed on the second page of the New York Post.

When I think back on Old Me, I marvel at how much of my time I spent doing these various rallies and protests. Now with a husband and daughter my efforts are toned down to annual TeamWalk fundraisers, petitions, and donations. I like to think I'm still encouraging progress and changes but at times I feel overwhelmed by all the greedy machinations and suffering in the world. I try to think what I could do to be a part of the solution. Sadly, sometimes I feel too tired and jaded to save the world. But in the end, I know I can't stop trying to make a difference.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The most wonderful time of the year

If you happen upon my willpower, send me an e-mail.
If you happen upon any Girl Scouts with more cookies, CALL ME.

Now I know to order more than a week's worth.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A new campaign for this Tuesday

You know how the fans of the tv show "Jericho" brought it back out of cancellation by flooding CBS with e-mails and bags of nuts?

Now bearing in mind I want to work the opposite, what do I have to do to get Carl’s Jr. to cancel those Chili Cheeseburgers ads? I am the biggest UnFan. It’s the one where a couple are sitting eating their Chili Cheese Burgers and the woman looks up and says, uh, you’ve a little over here (indicating her face). You hear his attempts, did I get it? did I get it? and then it's revealed he has a full-on beard of chili on his face.

Ah, hahahahahaha---yaaaaaarrrrrrgh!

That's my response, except there's no laughter, just straight to the vomiting.

The paradox of their discussion on their attendance of a black-tie event and his face of chili is not lost on me. I believe it was supposed to enhance the humor. Too bad I was busy trying to scrub my brain of the final image and muttering it's just a commercial, it's just a commercial.

Seriously, chili? Anything saucy with chunks of anything is going to look gross applied to the face. Remember that weird cookie pizza ad where the dad incrementally grew a crushed Oreo beard on his face as the conversation wore on? I was busy shuddering from the creeps on that one. I mean chili-face and cookie beard are glazed looks and raised arms away from being monster zombies in anyone's nightmare.

Maybe I can start a campaign and mail Carl's Jr what, chili? my vomit? the rest of a zombie costume?

How do I make the horror stop?

Monday, March 3, 2008

PA08: Week 7

For Week 7 in Elise Blaha's Paper Adventure, the theme was Make a Bold Statement. For me I did: Try Again.
I'm a little "meh" about how this page turned out. I liked how playing with the spacing came up with alternate titles, like Try A Gain and Y Again, but the execution visually was better in my head. I feel like this made for a good rough draft but this project isn't about perfection--it's about creating so in the book it goes.
Happy Monday everybody. It's a new day.

UFC 82

The night of the Middleweights. They all had a story. The best story was in the Chris Leben/Alessio Sakara bout, which was a major slugfest--you're just waiting for one of these punches to connect to see who the winner will be. The big news--Leben finally stopped dying his hair stupid colors. He also, apparently, went through a life/training change--cleaned up on his drinking and eating and seems to be getting his head on straight. Did anyone see him in season 1 of The Ultimate Fighter? You alternately hated him and felt sorry for him. With his TKO (referee stoppage) of Sakara last night and his natural hair color, I'm starting to look forward to his next fight...

The other Middleweight story could have been a tear-filled comeback story. Evan Tanner coming back into the ring two years after purging some alcholic devil inside. Unfortunately, he had to fight Yushin Okami who had too many sweet punches, kicks, and that final knee that KO'd Tanner and his great comeback story, which I, underdog-rooter that I am, was hoping for. Buzz is that Okami may be next in line for Anderson Silva...

The Welterweight fight between Jon Fitch and Chris Wilson--Jon Fitch continued his undefeated record in UFC fights with a unanimous decision. What I wouldn't give for him to stop with that stupid "grr! face" he makes to the camera. I do have to say that Wilson was technically amazing with his defense--he avoided takedowns and chokes like he was reading Fitch's mind. Unfortunately his offense wasn't nearly on par with his defense, save for that last triangle which was too little, too late.

And finally, the surprise of the night--Heath Herring winning (by split decision) over Cheick Kongo. Herring had the best entrance music (Ennio Morricone's The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly theme) and the worst hair (semi-mohawk with stars stencil-shaved into the sides). Herring was expecting a slugfest but was surprised by Kongo's ground game. Both managed to have some ooo and aah moments but Herring eked out a split decision win.

The title fight between Anderson Silva and Dan Henderson: that fight went as expected with Silva submitting Henderson. Though a lot of us were rooting for Hendo, as he's symbolic for that toughness of age and experience and frankly, he's great. The predictions were even-keeled though I'm sure it would have been bigger news if Henderson won that fight.

Also Paul thought Dan Henderson had the best entrance music with Red Rider's Lunatic Fringe from...anybody? anybody? VisionQuest. Oh yes, that gem of a wrestling movie with Matthew Modine and Linda Fiorentino as the girl from Trenton, NJ. Trenton's in the house!