Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Forgive Me...

The pumpkin juice is on my hands... I can't deny the terrible crimes I have committed. Surely there is a dark place in hell for my atrocities.

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Monday, October 30, 2006

Halloween - The proverbial broomstick in my side.

Yeah, I know the saying goes "Like a 'THORN' in my side, but since it's Halloween....

I HATE HALLOWEEN!!! Go ahead, send me your comments, especially you Julia with your posted treasure maps, meticulously laying out the route you intend to take through your neighborhood so as to reap the greatest haul of delectables! What Halloween trauma have you ever had to endure? To you, it's all about the candy... To me, it's all about the humiliation. JR knows what I'm talking about, dontch'a lil' buddy?

When I was 8 yrs. old I wanted nothing more in the world than to be either an Angel, a Princess or a Bride for Halloween. Angel was top of my list because it was all about the wings... Oh how I longed for a beautiful gown with gold cording around the bodice, a sparkling halo upon my curly hair and those most beautiful set of gossamer wings perched proudly on my shoulders... In my minds eye I just knew I would be the most beautiful Angel this world had ever seen (I was an extremely dramatic kid... Today they call 'em Drama Queen's, back then it was just considered being a pain in the ass!)

My step-mother had other ideas (insert evil music here)... It's no secret that she came into the marriage thinking me the most spoiled, obnoxious little attention hog she'd ever met... I was 7, gimme a break! So after nearly a year of being 'broken' like a wild horse she determined that she would not feed any dillusions I might have had of self beauty. She laughed at me and said, "You? An angel?" She told my dad that I couldn't be an angel because there was some hard and fast rule that you had to dress as scarey for Halloween and scarey it would be! She dyed an old hooded robe of mine black, handed me the kitchen broom and bought me a cheap 'Broom Hilda' mask, which I should note was ANYTHING but scarey... The only scarey part about it was that it made me feel like I was suffocating because of the tiny slit at the mouth and the pin-prick nose holes it provided for fresh air.

Every year it was the same thing, "A baby?... No, that's not scarey... This year you'll be a scarecrow!".... "A cheerleader?... Absolutely NOT!... This year you'll be a bum!" All those Halloween's and not once did I ever fulfill the dream of being something pretty. Some would say, "Go ahead, live the dream, get yourself an angel costume and go trick-or-treating this year!" But I have to tell you it just wouldn't be the same... Halloween sucks for a 42 yr. old angel... It just doesn't hold the magic that it would have for that little 8 yr. old.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Anna Banana Sunday

Happy Halloween from Devil Dog!
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Random Acts of Kindness

A true story witnessed by my in-laws, that took place in a Northern Virginia town.
Picture the scene:

A busy intersection at rush hour... Each car jockying for a position that will get them to their destination a few moments earlier than their last commute... A vendor selling flowers on the median... And a giant 18 wheeler trying to enter the busy thoroughfare from a side street... No one but no one wants to let THIS guy in and give up the few precious car lengths they've gained through meticulously planned lane changes.... All except one, a woman who realizes this guy is never going to get the opportunity to merge into traffic if someone doesn't let him in. She must hope someone would do likewise for her if she were in the same situation... So she holds back and waves the trucker on, seemingly unfazed at having missed yet another cycle of the light... The trucker, now safely tucked into the waiting traffic, jumps from his cab and runs over to the flower merchant and purchases a large bouquet. With a wide grin he runs back to the gracious woman who let him pass and hands the flowers through her drivers side window... She accepts the flowers with a gracious grin of her own.... No one honks, all the witnesses smile, the trucker climbs back into his cab and everyone goes home that evening feeling a little lighter and a little brighter.

How about this weekend, we all give a little something of ourselves to make the world a brighter place.
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Friday, October 27, 2006

Of Brides & Toads

My daughter, 'Nature Girl' like most every other little girl I've ever known (including myself) has already spent time thinking about her wedding... You have no idea how much this pleases me, as the first thought that jumped into my head when the doctor announced that I had given birth to a 'Girl' was "I get to be the mother of a bride!"**... My second thought was, "Well, that was the kiss of death... You've just insured that she'll NEVER marry NOW!"

Anyway, like I was saying... My daughter has been sharing with me some of the thoughts she has when considering what she'd like for her wedding... Mind you she's ONLY 13 but I'm encouraged that I might have escaped that so called 'kiss of death'.

There's a beautiful park not far away that we've taken 'Nature Girl' to ever since she was a tiny thing. 'Valley Garden Park' is quite literally the MOST beautiful place on earth... well, in Delaware anyway. The park is situated in a valley with a pleasant stream that runs through the middle. Fragrant blossoming trees grow everywhere and during the spring entire hillsides are blanketed with daffodills... Every year we take 'Nature Girl' to this park on or around her birthday so she can revel in all things nature related, but most importantly satisfy her need to make friends with the 'Frogs & Toads'... Toads winning out over Frogs every time!

When she was smaller she would don her favorite footware, a pair of green 'Frog face' rain boots or 'puddle-ducks' as most people call them. She'd carry her trusty net on the 6ft. pole in one hand and a giant utility bucket in the other, wander down to the stream and catch her little heart out. All manner of critters would emerge from the stream... Pollywogs, Snapping Turtles, Frogs, Fish and yes, even Snakes. Her greatest joy though has ALWAYS been catching the toads near the stream or along the forest edge. This is why she's decided when she marries, she wants toads prominently featured in the ceremony.

My little 'Nature Girl' wants her marriage ceremony to take place along the stream in Valley Garden Park but before the ceremony begins she wants to have toads with ribbons attached and bells tied to the ribbons to hop down the aisle ahead of her... Quite literally 'Toad-Maids' or 'Toad-Masters' (depending on the color of their throat, did you know that's how you determine their gender?... Neither did I until 'Nature Girl' told me so.) making way for the bride or the hills as I'm not sure you can train a toad to jump down an aisle, but if anyone can 'Nature Girl' would be the one! I think 'Nature Girl' is going to have to choose her groom wisely as this idea might not 'fly' with most men. I rather like it though... It seems to have such an ethereal quality... Surely if there's such a thing as fairies, elves or wood gnomes they would want to attend such an event... As long as no 'Toads' are strangled in the process. In fact I think the idea has merit! I'm thinking if we use those little rubber bands you can get at the orthodontist and tie on the ribbons & bells, they should slip easily onto the front leg of a toad.... Hmmmmm, yeah... This could work!
One of just a million beautiful spots in Valley Garden Park.

This here is a FROG... NOT to be confused with a TOAD... 'Nature Girl' has little patience for those who can't tell the difference... Because to HER the difference is HUGE!!!

**Yes, it's silly that I would have such a trivial thought at such an important moment... But if you knew the disappointment of my own wedding day you'd understand... Not to say the man I married was any problem it was just the event that SUCKED!
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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Alien on a stick...

My daughter, 'Nature Girl'... Has a knack for finding every creepy crawly creature known to man and even some that aren't. Here she displays one of the strangest looking, albeit quite beautiful in it's own weird way, catapillars (Or as she so sweetly used to call them 'Callapidders') that I've seen to date.

Lord knows what kind of butterly or moth this turned out to be... But you should've seen her face light up when she found it... That's my 'girly-girl'... Yeah, right!
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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Freaking Squirrel!

Have you ever heard the screeching sound a squirrel makes? Frankly, it creeps me out.

Growing up in Southern California, we never saw squirrels around our house, NEVER! Here in the East they're everywhere... In the trees, In the yard, In the street, On my deck... I used to think they were cute... Now I would have to agree with my husband that they're nothing but giant rats with big bushy tails... And who would've thought that they could make such an awful noise?

There's been a big nasty squirrel sitting in the tree outside my house this morning screeching away... The sound is much like that of nails being raked along a chalkboard.... And if I didn't have a headache before I do now! Freaking Squirrel!!!!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Madonna - Shock & Blah

An article in today's paper stated that NBC has decided not to air the 'mock crucifiction' scene from Madonna's 'Live to Tell' concert next month. This action taken to calm the religious groups who are up in arms over the act. Religious leaders called it a "bad taste publicity stunt." When are people going to realize that's exactly what it is... A stunt, merely to gain publicity. When people make a BIG deal about such shenanigans they feed the publicity... Which quite literally feeds Madonna, the publicity hungry whore that she is. She played this whole game back in the 80's with her 'Like a Prayer' video & Pepsi commercial... It was a blatant attempt at tongue wagging then and now it's just a tired and really, pretty sad repeat of the same. What's up Madonna? Can't get your name in enough tabloids? Why not find a new way to piss off the religious right and if that doesn't work, adopt an orphan from a third world country.

Here's a thought... If you ignore the monster, it doesn't eat... And if it doesn't eat, it'll end up dying of starvation... So folks how about just ignoring the monster.

Monday, October 23, 2006

I, Me, Mine, Myself...

I wondered to myself earlier today if I could write a blog entry that wasn't about me... It's obvious from the first sentence out of the gate, I CAN'T!

It's no secret that 'blogging' is a narcissistic activity... Why else would one want to post snippets of their thoughts and circumstances of their lives for all the world to see (though my world so far, consists of roughly 1800 some odd people, most never to return again due to my admittedly lack-lustre writing skills and poorly formed ideas.) Yes, I'm such a narcissist that I keep a running count!

The reasons I blog are little more than vanity driven. I enjoy writing very much and envy those who can sculpt words, much like an artist manipulates clay to create an awe inspiring piece of artwork. 3(pathetic attempt at flowery prose.) Blogging is my attempt to practice that art. Blogging also gives me the interesting challenge to dissect my thoughts and feelings and then mend those thoughts together into something that might be considered thought provoking or interesting to others... And yes, it's a therapeutic way of examining my issues.

There are some things I've desired to write about, but worry about revealing too much to those who know me... That's when I wish I would've opted to blog anonymously. However, to write anonymously means to forgo the possible praise from those who know me and read my musings.... I admit it, I've got to feed that hungry monster that is my self-esteem... It's an ugly fact that I figure I might as well own up to.

(26 references to myself... uh, make that 27!)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Anna Banana Sunday - The Lap of Luxury

There's nothing better than a snuggle and a belly rub while lying in the lap of my best girl... It's a curl your toes, eyes roll in the back of your head kinda feeling... Ahhhhh!
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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Paying Respects...

We attended a family funeral yesterday and I got to thinking about the greetings given at funerals. It's awkward to approach a member of the grieving family and know exactly what to say... "Hello, it's good to see you." Well, that doesn't seem quite right... Yes, it IS good to see them but never under such conditions. The deceased family usually says, "Thank you for coming." I always reply with, "I'm glad to be here."... Well, yes I am glad to be there for them but NO, I'm never GLAD to attend a funeral. I overheard one attendee say to a family member, "I'm sorry." That's an appropriate thing to say I guess, but I tend to say the same exact thing when I've accidently bumped into someone or interrupted a conversation... And "I'm sorry for your loss." Sounds so trite and greeting card'ish to me.

Here are some other comments people make at funerals that don't make much sense...

"Is there anything I can do?"... Well no, unless you can either raise the dead or turn back time so you could've convinced him to have quit smoking, exercised more and lived a healthier lifestyle... But thanks for asking!

"He will be missed.".... Ya think!?... Actually we're missing him right now... What do you mean by will be?

"How are you?"... Uh, my throat's a little tight... I'm not sure these shoes go with this dress... I should've eaten some breakfast this morning... AND I'm wondering how the hell I'm going to manage without my Dad (or my Husband) in my life anymore!.... Other than that I'm fine, how are you?

"Let me know if you need anything!"... Yeah, sure... You've been such a comfort thus far I'll be sure to call you right up when the lonliness seems more than I can bear.

I hope to NOT have to attend anymore funerals for awhile but I'm interested to know if any of you out there know what to say in these situations... My preferred approach was to simply walk up and give a huge heartfelt hug, but I'm not even sure that was enough.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Grass is Always Greener...

This morning I was listening to one of my favorite radio call in shows and the topic of discussion was, 'What is your dream job?'... The host of the show was perturbed at some of the callers for not thinking BIG enough... One guy said he dreams of opening his own Guitar/Music Shop, another said he wished to drive the zamboni at the hockey games... The host kept saying things like, "But why not be the lead guitarist in a rock band?" or "Why not wish to be a hockey all-star player?" I liked the reply of the first guy who said, "I have a wife and two kids and my life is no longer condusive to living the life of a rock star. I just know I would love getting up for work every day and going to my own shop to sell guitars." The second guy didn't give an answer but my bet is that he doesn't want to get hit in the face with a slap-shot... The zamboni is a much safer gig, and some folks don't need to find satisfaction from the glory and adoration of others.

The topic reminded me of a circumstance that occurred years ago...

My husband and I were both working in the aerospace industry at the time and attended a party with a bunch of people from the company. At this time my husband was a 'Flight Test Engineer' which is pertinent to the story. One of the guys at the party, who I'd never seen before, happened to be a 'Flight Test Pilot' and my husband pointed him out to me saying, "See that guy right there? He is one lucky man, because of his job he can get any girl in this room!" I, of course was happily married but have to admit that a little 'Top Gun' fantasy ran through my head.

I never did get the opportunity to meet 'The Pilot' at the party but several months later I was asked by the friend who hosted the party if I'd like to spend a weekend in Vegas with her and some friends. My husband was away on business so I thought, what the heck and said, "Sounds like fun!" Now here's the kicker, we ended up staying at the house of 'The Test Pilot' himself. He was a really nice guy and a wonderful host. The handsome, single 'Test Pilot' had an office in his home with pictures of all of his travels and planes he'd flown. He kept his helmet on a shelf there and a flight suit hung in front of the closet. He showed us a photo of himself with his niece and her 2nd grade class he had gone to visit on 'Career Day'.... He was proud to show off his accomplishments to his guests but the real irony was when he said, "Yeah, but what I'd REALLY like to do is go back to school and become a 'Flight Test Engineer'." "You're kidding me!", I said. "But it must be so cool being a pilot?" That's when he told me that his job was for the most part, extremely boring. "You can sit for hours in a plane just waiting to perform a 15 second test, so it's really not very intersting at all... But being an 'Engineer' that's where all the excitement lies." I didn't have the heart to tell him that the engineering job can be just as slow and frustrating and definitly void of the thrill one must feel strapped to a rocket. I did however, go home and tell my husband that being able to 'Get any girl in a room' apparently isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

In Loving Memory of Uncle Jack

You will be missed.
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Monday, October 16, 2006

Anna Banana Sunday... Uh, Monday.

It's been a VERY busy weekend... Lots of people to sniff, lots of dropped food to snarf and far too much to do!

Today, this dog is just gonna RELAX!
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Friday, October 13, 2006

Just me and my Monster...

"My beloved monster and me, we go everywhere together. Wearing a raincoat that has four sleeves gets us through all nasty weather. She will always be the only thing that comes between me and the awful sting that comes from living in a world that's so damn mean..."

I was listening to one of my favorite cd's just now ('Shrek Soundtrack') and when this song came on it just struck a chord with me... I'm feeling kind of down and sorry for myself, a little angry, a little frustrated. I determined that this song would be my mantra for today... I anticipate being back to my old self tomorrow but for today I'm just gonna hug my monster.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Double Edge Sword...

The good thing about throwing a big party is having a beautifully clean house.
The bad thing about throwing a big party is all the work it takes to get your house beautifully clean!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A 'Smoker' can quite Smoking... But an 'Eater' can't quit Eating!

There's NO chance in hell I'll be able to lose 20 lbs. by Christmas!!!

I'm looking at all of the EATING to be done from now until then...
1. Big Golf Tournament Weekend at the Blystone's - AKA 'Food Fest'
2. Halloween - C'mon folks, CANDY... Hello?
3. Thanksgiving - AKA 'Food Fest Part Deux'
4. Christmas - Holiday parties and goodies can fill up an entire month of fist to mouth good eats!

I'll try to be good... I'll keep in mind that when I over-indulge I feel like crap, both mentally and physically. I will keep up my daily 2 mile walk and occassional run. Maybe that way I can at least maintain what I've thus achieved.

You know what would be really nice though, a metabolism overhaul!... Yeah, one of those sporty kinds of metabolisms that no matter how much you eat, your body burns it off so quickly that you must always eat more... What I need is the 'Indy 500' of Metabolisms to get me through the next few months.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

It's Coming...

Today was gorgeous... The sky was blue and the temp reached a balmy 80 degrees... But it's coming... Those cold, grey days... The days when the wind feels like it has teeth and it seems to suck the life right out of me.

I like fall weather but as soon as the trees begin to thin, I can feel it... That sad, sort of lonely feeling... The barren trees, void of color and life, serve to remind me of the high desert tumble weeds I grew up around and they depress me. I love living in a place that has definitive seasons but Winter is the one season I find difficult to embrace. I guess due to the lack of activities, it just seems to drag on far longer than any of the other 3 seasons.

photo by S. Blystone

There's no dodging the inevitable however, so I'll try to embrace the greyness of life... Pray for a little snow to add a bit of sparkle to the nothingness and when it seems to me the earth will forever remain a grey and dismal place, I'll refer to my photographs of springtime in the park and be reminded of the joy Spring, my favorite season brings.

photo by, M. Blystone Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 09, 2006

Too Many Magazines... Too Little Time.

I've been on a magazine craze for the past year... I guess one day I decided I didn't have enough to read and thought a couple magazine subscriptions would be nice.

I enjoy magazines with helpful tips for the Home (Family Circle, Good Housekeeping), Card Making & Scrapbooking ideas (Card Maker, Paper Works, Scrapbooks etc., Creating Keepsakes) Decorating and Gardening ideas (Better Homes & Gardens), the latter at which I'm a bitter failure, but the pictures make me happy and the dream of an incredible yard one day keeps me yearning for more. I also LOVE Recipe Magazines (Taste of Home, Southern Living, Quick Cooking and all those little mini recipe idea magazines the grocery stores strategically place next to the register that serve to tempt me just like the candy rack tempts my kids.)... The problem is I have SO MANY Cooking mags I couldn't dare hope to try even half of the recipes that catch my eye, even if I prepared a new dish for each meal of each day for as long as I live... The irony is that if I'm in a lurch for a recipe, I typically turn to the internet for what I need. BUT, oh the joy of paging through all those delectible dish's and dreaming about how good they must taste.

My kids and my husband also receive subscriptions for magazines such as National Geographic and Woodsmith for my husband. My son enjoys new advances in technology so he receives Scientific American and Popular Mechanics. It's no surprise the Nature Girl, ie. my daughter, loves National Geographic World, Audubon, Ranger Rick and Nickelodeon... And the family favorite has always been Reader's Digest.

So my question is this... What do I DO with all of these magazines... They house a wealth of information that I find extremely difficult to discard. So I've devised a plan!!! During the long, cold months of winter I intend to purge each magazine for its worthy content and start a library of USEFUL information. I'll pick up some notebooks and page protectors and cardstock in which to hold all of these useful items and I'll be sure to categorize each snippet of useful info and then send the rest to the recycle bin.

Yeah, that's what I'll be doing with all that EXTRA time I have! Until then, I'd better swear off buying any more magazines!

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Sunday, October 08, 2006

Anna Banana Sunday - Shedding...

Anna is beginning to shed her 'summer' coat and obviously preparing to build up a 'winter' version of the soft downy fluff that helps keep her warm and leaves us covered in a dusting of white after petting her.

She's currently at what I like to call the 'Tuft Stage'... That's when hair falls off of her in large tufts which litter the floor like a ticker-tape parade, and serve as a road map for where she's been hanging out around the house.

Yesterday my daughter and I gave her a good brushing. But for all the grooming we do there's always more hair falling out behind the ones you just removed. I'm convinced that Anna is really made up of one big fur-ball with a head. Here she is pictured with a large grin, prideful of the fact that she appears to be creating a playmate for herself with the remnants of her downy fur.

*I'm a lucky gal that my carpet is the same color as the dog... Just wouldn't want to consider walking around here in dark colored socks.
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Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Dance

I took this picture at the wedding we attended a couple of weeks ago... Initially I thought it was a dud but upon closer inspection I've decided it has merit.

This is a shot of our cousin Lynn sharing the first dance with her son Nicholas after his marriage to Jen. The shot seems to so adequately depict the speed at which our children grow... And at the expense of sounding rather sappy... The dance we share with them along the way to adulthood. At first the dance begins rather shakily each finding their proper footing and who will lead... Every so often a foot gets stepped on, but the dance goes on...

At the end of this dance Lynn watched her son walk back to his wife and begin a dance of their own... A dance where they'll work to match one anothers moves, where there will be some mis-steps, but they'll always maintain a loving grasp on one another.

I hope the song my son and I are dancing to right now is an extremely long one, because I'm enjoying our dance so very much!
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Friday, October 06, 2006

When they invent teleportation...

There are days I miss my sister so much it hurts!

But what can I do? She lives as close to the West Coast as I live to the East Coast and that's a distance that can't be spanned in any resonable period of time. Oh, there's always the telephone, but it's just not the same as being able to look her in the eye, see her smile, watch her laugh... and share our joys and our sorrows in the same room together.

We correspond by phone periodically... But a phone call can also be such an interruption to the daily routine that my sister (the mother of two small children and young-adult daughter) works her butt off trying to maintain. If I were there with her we could share in all those tasks that keeps mothers with busy little people always moving... We could share and we could laugh.

There was a time in our lives when we were far away from eachother emotionally... We shared the same space but we each had separate interests. Then there was a period when we lived close but our lives were so different from one another that we barely had time or understanding for what was driving us. Now finally, I feel we're at a point when we are emotionally connected like never before but it's the distance that separates us. I hope there's the opportunity lying in wait for us one day, to indulge in eachothers company and finally enjoy the fact that even though separate families brought us together we really are sisters.

I love you Deb!
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Thursday, October 05, 2006


For my morning routine I engaged in the walk/run method once again. As I was sucking in air after one of my brief sprints, I noticed a gnat heading straight for my face... It's no surprise that at this point I wasn't quick enough to dodge the little bugger!... I'm not sure if he went up my nose or down my throat... All I could think was, Well at least HIS death was quick and painless!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Crappy Job!

It's not the grocery shopping that I dislike so much... It's the job of putting everything away!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Too Violent For Me....

You know those previews for upcoming films and tv shows they show at the theatres before the real movie trailers and movie begins? I think they call it 'The 20'... Because it consists of 20 minutes of pre-movie advertisements...

Anyway, While at the theatre a while back, our family caught a mini-movie about a new fall tv show entitled 'Heroes'... We were intrigued... It seemed to have an X-Men quality to it that had my son saying, "I've GOT to see that show!" Like I've said before, we really don't watch much tv anymore. But we do make exceptions for certain interesting offerings that come down the pike. I too thought this to be an interesting premise and we kept our ear to the ground to find out when the show was going to aire.

Last week was the season premiere for 'Heroes' and we really enjoyed it... That is until the end when the show ended abruptly with one of the characters waking up to find that she had brutally murdered two men while under the influence of some alter ego. I thought to myself, well there's part of the plot line that I'm not fond of seeing more of.

I am anything but a fan of 'Horror' movies... Some of the 'Action Adventure' genre also leaves me feeling queasy. Anything with too much blood, too much gore, too much gun battle, too much brutality makes me want to leave the theatre or turn off the television... I also can't take it when one of the ads for these movies aires on tv or in the theatre... They frighten me and I wonder about the small children who are subjected to viewing such things.

Last night we watched the second episode of 'Heroes.' It seems last weeks ending was just a precursor to the story line to follow... Episode 2 subjected us to a body riddled with knife wounds suspended from a banister... A trail of blood led to a body which had the top of the head severed off and the brain removed... And then there were the corpses of the poor schmucks who met their brutal demise last week, staring up at the camera from the trunk of a car.

This was all FAR too much for me!!! WHEN did tv begin featuring such brutal images? I don't recall seeing stuff like that 2 yrs. ago? Then again, I DID watch one episode of CSI during that period and made a choice to never watch it again... I frankly don't care to see people crouched over bloody gunshot victims discuss the trajectory of the bullet that took them down. Oh, I'm not denying that we NEED people to carry out those tasks in real life scenarios... I just don't need to watch them do it!

So after last night, I decided that 'Heroes' was a huge disappointment... But for the most part isn't just about everything on tv?

Monday, October 02, 2006

Fon-DO-ing It!

Fondue is a meal best planned for a day when you have vast amounts of time to graze... Fortunately yesterday was just such a day. We were invited to our friends Amy & Scott's home for a Family Fondue Event. The party consisted of 3 couples, 6 kids and 2 dogs that greeted us with their own version of 'Smack-Down Doggie Style'... That's a LOT of fondue sticks!

Funny thing 'Fondue'... It doesn't seem like you're eating a lot portion wise... And then all at once you feel like you're going to bust at the seams... And that was just the first course which consisted of two different pots of cheese, one curry & one ginger and a large assortment of veggies and bread for dipping.... Mmmmm Good!

Second course was the Meat... And oh, the choices! Amy had Beef, Chicken & Shrimp which you could either cook in hot oil or broth. This was the portion of the evening that left me just a tad uncomfortable... Too many forks, in too hot of a pot... I guess I was in a fatalistic mood, and sat back with my hands over my eyes, peeking through my fingers and just waited for the inevitable call to 911... However, everyone managed the meat cooking portion of the evening relatively unscathed so my anxiety was unfounded, but I can't help it... I'm a worrier, that's just what I do!

No fondue party is complete without Chocolate... So we rounded out our meal with two pots of dark chocolate fondue with a load of tasty morsels to dip, which included even 'Gummy Worms'... It's terribly hard to consider weight loss when confronted with the likes of melted chocolate!

Remember what I said about fondue being a long process? Our meal started around 3:00 and we finished sucking down melted chocolate some time around 9:30... But there's nothing better than indulging in delicious faire for hours at a time when you're in the company of good friends... Thanks Amy & Scott!
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Sunday, October 01, 2006

But they make it look so easy...

I suffer from either an overblown ego or an immense lack of common sense.

I can watch others perform a task and more often than not I think to myself, "Hey, I can do that!"... Then I actually try it and am dismayed at my lack of ability.

I recently began taking 'Pottery Classes'... I just finished my second week of 'throwing pots'... Back when the 'Gallery' had its grand opening, there were featured a couple of guys who 'threw' pot after pot. They did so with such grace and agility that I of course said, "COOL, I want to learn to do that... It looked so easy!" Nevermind that these two gentlemen had probably 30 yrs. of experience working with a pottery wheel between them.

I've now 'thrown' a total of 5 pots and you know what?... It's damn hard work! Oh, it's fun... It's relaxing in the odd sort of way that difficult tasks can be... But it's certainly anything but easy! One of the things I'm currently working on is building up a callous on the sides of my hands because the wheel can be quite abrasive as you work the clay.... And as for my 'Pots'... Well, for now they all look like squat little mugs OR as I lovingly refer to them 'Change Pots'. You know what a 'Change Pot is, don't you? It's a place to put all of your loose change when you empty your pockets or purse. In fact, I think it's going to be a 'Change Pot Christmas'... Everyone will be receiving their own little handmade change pot... I bet you're all wishing you were on my Christmas list NOW!

Speaking of things that 'Look Easy'... I ran today. That loosely translates into, I almost died today! I spent portions of my 2 mile walk jogging and frankly all I can think of is that Running is highly over-rated! I did however push myself harder than I have in the last oh, say 25 yrs... The last time I can recall running as much as I did this morning was when I was in Jr. High gym class and had to run track... I was miserable then and I was just as miserable now... Even way back then, when I had a figure I would KILL for today, I did more walking then running.

Today, I decided to set a goal for myself before I began... I would walk the straightaways and jog the cul-de-sacs... There are 6 cul-de-sacs along my route including my street. There are also a lot of hills on the route. My problem seemed to be that once I'd stop running my walking would slow WAY down and I'd have to be mindful to keep up my walking speed. Also when I'd stop running I'm quite certain I sounded quite similar to a woman in labor, deep in the throws of a Lamaze breathing routine, huffing and puffing manicly... I began to wonder if I wasn't asthmatic... At least then I'd have an excuse for all the wheezing.

At one particular point on my run/walk I nearly caved but I kept telling myself, "You are going to DO this!"... I made it, but then had the steepest part of the walk ahead of me... So while I was trying to get my breathing under control from the running, I was also struggling through the heavy breathing I normally have to deal with at the steepest portion of the route. Once I made it to the top of that hill I struggled to get myself under control (this would be one of the other points where I almost died.) As I began heading down the other side of the hill I lost the breeze that was helping to keep me relatively cool. As soon as I lost that breeze I felt like my head was going to spontaneously combust! I imagined my head looked exactly like a giant sun ripened Jersey Tomato and my eyes must have bulged to 3 times their usual proportions.

I was fortunate at one point in the struggle of this entire exercise to come upon a guy with the cutest little puppy... This gave me an excuse to stop, bend over, pet the fluffy little creature and utter a few breathless words to his master... This was towards the end of my run/walk (I should probably refer to it as a walk/run, because there was more walking than running.) I came upon the gentleman during one of the 'walking' portions of my routine. I'm sure he thought me COMPLETELY out of shape to be such a mess from simply walking the neighborhood but since I'm really at the point in my life where I'm only trying to impress myself, I didn't really care what he thought.

I'm hoping by tomorrow morning my selective memory will have erased the more difficult parts of my attempt, so I'll have the fortitude to try it again. Right now, I'm not so sure. Though I'm certainly NO model of physical fitness, I am taking a little bit of pride in at least pushing myself to accomplish what I did, but DAMMIT!... Why does everyone else have to make it look so easy?