Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Aint nothin' but a germ thang....

I have no voice today. At all.

Sunday, my daughter came down with a head cold. Last night, my son came down with a cough.
And today, after being exposed to all those wonderful germs, and sitting in a cold church and outside in the cold at the cemetary - I have something inbetween those two ailments. Everytime I get something other than just the sniffles, it always settles in my chest, and robs me of my voice. Every guy's fantasy: a woman with no voice. (bada-bump-crash!)

It's funny because my kids aren't in preschool, so often I wonder why they catch so many colds. It must be all those nasty germs I'm bringing home from my office! Ugh. I knew I didn't like those people.....

Which brings up a scary topic: biological warfare. See how easy it could be to destroy a population by contaminating the air with an airborne virus? Mix something scary with the common cold? It's a frightening thought....but a very real possibility.

I definitely believe that there is a threat of that type of warfare. It's something I've been reading about for years. And while it may not have been uncovered in our recent venture to Iraq - I assure you it's out there. It's only a matter of time...

Well, I guess this cold is bringing the dark side of me out. I have quite a rant coming up about Massachusetts and the leniency of the laws here regarding child abuse and murder....but that is for another day. I think I need to change into some cozy clothes, give my kids big hugs....and all share our germs over dinner!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

If I could talk to the animals....

My first career aspiration was to be a veterinarian. I was going to save all of the dogs, cats, birds, horses - and every other animal in this world. That lasted until I was about 8, when I realized that vets put pets "to sleep". Needless to say I put that career path aside. Of course, that didn't end my love for animals.

I'm an avid dog enthusiast - I love reading about dog psychology - specifically wolf behaviour. Prior to my getting married, I volunteered at a wolf education and rehabilitation center here in Massachusetts. Prior to becoming pregnant with my son, I was signed up for a wolf behaviour seminar in Indiana at a well respected education and rehabilitation facility. I always wanted to own a male and a female wolf, and take them to schools to teach children about the myths and misconceptions of these animals; and to treasure and respect them as a valued part of our ecosystem. I haven't done this, because it's not condusive to have small children and wolves together. But, maybe someday.

If I was ever a billionaire - one of the thoughts I'd always had was that I'd open two shelters. One for your standard types of pets - and the other for exotic animals being kept illegally and stuck between two worlds. Unable to fit in their natural environment, and unwanted by zoos. These animals would have a 24 hour a day staff to tend to them. And I would be there every day to spend time with them. Whatever animals were there to live out their lives, would at least die knowing that someone loved and cared for them.

I'll always have a passion for animals. I still try to save birds with broken wings....I let bugs out of my house during the summer... I'll save the stray that wanders into my yard.

I'm trying to instill that same love for animals into my children.
Chances are, if you're kind to animals - then you're probably a nice person overall.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Loss of a Life...

It's the little things in life that often go underappreciated.

The smell of the air after it's rained outside. The feel of soft sheets in bed. Warm food from the oven. The sound of dogs barking on a sunny day. The sound of a child's laughter. Spending time together with your family on a Sunday afternoon. Walking across the lawn barefoot in the summer to get mail from the mailbox. Taking a hot shower. Eating an ice cream cone. Saying "I love you." Hearing "I love you". Making plans for tomorrow. Next week. Next month. Next year.

We got a call last night that my husband's aunt passed away. She was 45 years old.

She had been diagnosed over the summer with leukemia; we knew that with the type of leukemia she was struggling with she would have a few years at the most; but while she was deemed "terminal", she was not on death's door. She was responding well to chemotherapy; she had put on weight - and despite the loss of her hair, she looked and felt great. Better than she had in months. Maybe even years.

It wasn't the leukemia that took her life so suddenly. It was an aneurisim in her brain. She was in the hospital for a marrow transfer, and that went well. She was preparing to go home, and she was complaining of headaches. And then, she was gone. Literally here one minute.....gone the next.

I suppose in retrospect, it's better to go quickly than to have withered away from the disease that was inside of her. She leaves behind a family that loved her tremendously, including two heartbroken children. Their lives will never be the same again.

So whatever your trouble is for today....financial, personal, professional, emotional...put it aside. Take a few minutes to step back and appreciate the world around you.

Because life is too short.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Not just any Top 10....

A question was posed to me this morning as a request for a blog topic.
One of my girlfriends asked if I would post my Top 10 list of who I'd have unadulterated, wild, passionate, unabashed sex with if I could.

Not if "god forbid" my husband was no longer around.....nothing cheesy like that. But if I had a kitchen pass and just could. For funsies.

I've always toyed with this concept, and there's one small problem. See, I'm the kind of girl that's never been good with casual intimacy. I've never had a random "makeout guy". I never just met a guy and kissed him - let alone sleep with him. I'm all about the connection, the respect, and the big picture.

And with regards to celebrities - I think I'd always want to be the one that they wanted, but could never get. Because let's be honest - 9 out of 10 times they can get whomever they want!I've always wanted to be the one they couldn't have. The one that got away......

So part of my struggle with this is morally based -- part of it is ego.

So I'm going to throw caution to the wind, and pretend that I'm not like that at all, and that I'm capable of having wild unabashed sex with no emotional attachment with the following men.

Sit back, and enjoy the ride - because my taste is eclectic to say the least.
And I'm sure, you're going to laugh. Alot. And loudly.

10. Danny Bonaduce: Man, do I dig redheads. And insane as this guy is - I can't help but be attracted to him! Sure, he's a total wackjob - but hey - he looks pretty darn good right now. And there's some thing inside of me that says it would just be amazing. But then - after we were done, I'd have to absolutely kick him to the curb. WAAAY too needy, thank you very much.
9. Marky Mark aka Mark Wahlberg: Unfortunately, I don't think he's aging well. But there's a quality to his speaking voice....I would just melt hearing him whisper to me.
8. Edward Burns: I have a thing for Irish guys too. Wonder if ties into the redhead fascination? I love that he's just an average guy, not overly polished - and amazingly boy next door sweet.
7. Simon Cowell: Yes, from American Idol fame. Love, love, love him. LOVE him.
8. Nick Lachey: Not only is he absolutely adorable - he's a good guy!!! He should've been rid of Jessica years ago. She just didn't appreciate him the way I would! (Oh wait, I'm getting emotionally attached the further down this list I go....) What I meant to say was "We'd make beautiful music together...."!
7. Billy Ray Cyrus: I love the mullet, I love his voice, I love his eyes.... he's so freaking good looking.
6. Patrick Dempsey: I thought he was sexy in a quirky kind of way pre-plastic surgery. Now, he's really sexy...
5. Matt Light: New England Patriots Offensive Line. 6'4, 305, facial hair. Need I say more?
4. Jason Varitek: There are few things that turn me on more than facial hair - and the thighs of a catcher. He's handsome, great thighs - AND he's good at his job. Now that's a turn on!
3. Tom Welling: Somebody save me. Please..... I'd light myself on fire to have this Clark Kent rescue me. Seriously.
2. Kid Rock: He's dirty.... he's sexy...he's rock and roll, hip hop and country all rolled into one. I can't help it - he brings out the wild girl in me. :)
1. Brad Pitt: I'm sorry...I know he doesn't do it for everyone, but he totally does it for me. And then some.

Can I get a second kitchen pass to go twice with him??? Because to me, he's like a Lays Potato Chip....Betcha can't have just one!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Must. Get. Motivated...

So, as my good friend Anonymous pointed out in my last post - I blew off karate last night.
I couldn't help it.... we had a mini-blizzard that I wasn't expecting, and by the time it was time to get ready to go, I was already in my cozy clothes and eating up a storm. Ugh.

For the past two days, I've been just hungry non stop. Not sure why - and no, it's not hormonal.
I think the winter just does that to a person once in a while.

For example, I never eat lunch at work. Because I just sit all day and feel disgusting afterwards. But today, I couldn't resist. I ran to the store one of my friends and the sushi was just calling my name. It tasted so good going down....but I'm really feeling so lousy now.

So tonight, despite my internal protests that I know will kick in - I am going to get my butt on the bike and hustle for a minimum of three miles. That should help some. And then a healthy dinner of boneless chicken and steamed kale with brown rice. Not as glamourous as sushi - but hey, we can't have it all.

And I've come to the conclusion that I can't announce publicly when I'm actually going to make it back to kickboxing/karate, because that will just doom it - and I won't make it.

Didn't I say the very same thing this past Friday?

And you know what's funny - all it will take is just attending one session and then I'm back into it full swing. It's just making that first class....

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Space Invaders....?!?!

So, last night I watched "War of the Worlds".
Can I just tell you...I despise alien movies.
I'll tell you why.

I hate that since Roswell, all these movies about aliens show how they're wanting to take over the world. Destroy mankind. Exterminate the human race.

I find it hard to believe that intelligent beings from a planet outside of our own, would waste their time and efforts to travel to Earth, just to destroy us. And to destroy our planet. Why? What's the point? Just because they can?

I think not.

And they never are successful. They never survive. Either we destroy them (just because they're from other planets, they're clearly vulnerable to our weapons! Shhhaaaa!), or as in the case of the movie last night - our bacterias break them down and they die.

Seems to me, that if aliens were going to make their way all the way down here to our little planet (which has only been around a fragment of a second in comparison to the rest of the galaxy), they they might want to stick around a little longer. I'm thinking that there probably are aliens, and intelligent life outside our own --- and they've done their homework. I think they may want to learn from us - or better yet - educate us. Maybe even breed with us to create a superbeing. Or maybe breed just for "funsies".

This depiction of alien interaction is clearly Man's way of deflecting guilt over the way the human race treats every other creature in this world. Including ourselves. We've done it to several animal species...and we've done it to various ethnicities within our own family tree. Seek, dominate and attempt to destroy.

"Close Encounters of the Third Kind" is more along the lines of the alien movies that I enjoy. They're with us, studying us, attempting to communicate with us. Or maybe, just maybe....they're just sitting back, watching us destroy ourselves.

Why do to us, what we're seemingly destined to do to ourselves?

I'm officially addicted...

So, to add to my list of addictions is EBAY.
Yup. Should've seen that one coming.

Let's see...in order: 1. Lip Fusion, 2. Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, 3. Sexy boots, 4. Ann Taylor, 5. Buying Ann Taylor and sexy boots on EBAY. New, with tags of course.

Friday night, I had a wonderful evening with my girlfriends. It was our monthly gathering and as usual it was a blast. I'm hoping to have a nice group shot of us to post one day this week. My digital camera's battery died and I wasn't able to get one in time considering I didn't realize it was dead until I was on my way there! So.... I'm relying on one of the girls to share with me. The theme for the evening was "Comfort Foods", so our hostess with the mostess had BLTs and soup - and we all brought things to go along that line. I had meant to make Broccoli and Cheese soup - however I worked late on Friday and didn't have time to do it. So, I stopped on the way and bought some meatloaf at the local deli/caterer in my town. I didn't have any - but rumor has it, that it was pretty good.

We had lots of laughs, lots of stories (that I can't share here!), and most of all - I think we made lots of memories yet again. I'm thinking that Karla might post a little something something in her "oh so witty" way next week.
So sad to see the end of a really nice weekend yet again....

Saturday, January 21, 2006

One Fish, Two Fish...Red Fish, Blue Fish...

Today, I'm being Auntie, instead of just Mom. My nephew who's 5 is staying over and having a sleepover with my 4.5 year old son. This is their first sleepover together, so it's been quite a buildup all week. Even though they're first cousins - they're more like brothers. And, they're best friends which is really great. They love each other.

And they're behaving wonderfully together, which is great.
Normally - they're running around like banshees, so clearly - I'm thrilled with the serenity.

Auntie's not stupid.....we played outside for over an hour today before it got waaaay too windy out; then we came in and painted Tshirts. My son, daughter and I got up early to go to the craft shop to get the shirts, and paints, etc... Now, they're watching a little television and playing imagination games - and soon, we'll be making home made pizza for dinner.

Then it's off to change for bed...rent a movie and have popcorn....and promptly to bed at 8 in a Thomas the Train tent we set up in my son's room. (We had to move the train table out, which my son was not at all happy about - until he saw the tent!) And then Dr. Seuss storytime....

My husband is going to be out, so when the kiddies are in bed - time for me to relax, unwind...and drink some wine and surf the blogosphere.

Not such a bad way to spend a Saturday!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Daydream Believer...and a Home Coming Queen!

When I was a kid, I loved "The Monkees". I mean loved. Okay, I'll be honest - obsessed.
Our local tv station used to play them every day for an hour between 4-5 p.m., and when they were going to change up the schedule for new programming - I protested. Literally.

My next door neighbor and I wrote petition letters under 40 different names; some in marker - some even in crayon - stating how much we loved that show and did not want it taken off the air. I was 10, she was 11. Her favorite was Mickey Dolenz, and mine was Davey Jones.
It didn't work. But hey - we gave it the college try, right?

We used to go into Boston with her Mom and go to these little record shops (which, back in 1980 still existed, because of course there weren't CDs at that point!) and we'd buy the eclectic 45s that carried the "B" sides of their songs. I was one of the few people who knew every single Monkees tunes in their entirety - not just the popular ones. "Shades of Gray" was one of my favorites because Peter Tork actually sang on it.

I had the episode of the Brady Bunch that Davy Jones guest starred in memorized. I envied Marcia to the point of feeling like Jan on a bad hair day! I wanted him to come to my school....I wanted Davy Jones to kiss ME on the cheek.

It never happened.

By the time I was 13, I outgrew the obesession and was merely just a fan.
Until my honeymoon.

There I was, on my cruise - not knowing what the evening would bring us. We decided to see a show.
Imagine my surprise to see Mickey Dolenz as the main showcase for that evening.
We sat in the 5th row (I wanted 1st but we weren't first in the room - who knew he'd be there?!?!) and it was like I was 10 all over again. When he started singing the songs from the good ol' days, I was singing - I was laughing, I was clapping.

I had him laughing...honestly.
I clearly was enjoying myself more than most - no alcohol involved.
He even pointed at me and chuckled while he was singing.
Yup. He laughed at me.

I didn't care. I was pumped because I saw 1/4 of my childhood favorite group!

By the way...I just visited Davy Jones' official website.
He's still adorable!

Hmmm, Maybe he can make my Christmas party next year?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

I feel like the life has been sucked out of me....

I think it's the weather. Gray, dark, dreary, rainy and windy.
It's enough to make even the perkiest of girls feel like she needs a vodka straight up and a warm bed.

So, I've been procrastinating on getting back into the swing of working out. Partly because my kickboxing and karate class is only twice a week - so if Monday is a holiday, for example - to get started on a Wednesday seems silly. All that time between Wednesday and Monday! But I do have a gym in the house. It's just not as much fun to work out alone. Once I'm in the swing of things, and feel like I'm doing good - then I find the motivation to work out at home. But for some reason it's just not the same when you're first starting out.

So Monday.... Monday. Monday. I am not putting it off another Monday longer. The busy season is over...we aren't expecting any blizzards...no more holidays on a Monday. I'm back to business and kickin' butt on Monday.

I saw this cute test over at Cissa's and I decided it would be fun.

What Looney Toon Character Am I?

Wile E. Coyote!
You scored 57 Aggression, 85 Sophistication, and 85 Optimism!

You are intelligent, sophisticated, and the physical personification of the can-do attitude. No matter how many times something blows up in your face (figuratively or literally) or prized project collapses around you, you will pick yourself up and try, try again. There is a good chance that you are very skilled in problem solving and would probably make a fine engineer. Your main weaknesses (and this is likely obvious to everyone but yourself) are your overconfidence and complete lack of perspective. When you inevitably fail at a task (you can’t possibly achieve all of the lofty goals you set for yourself), you tend to take it personally. If you are not careful, you can become thoroughly obsessed with what is not really a very meaty goal. Try taking a step back from time to time and figure out for yourself if it is really worth it, or if your talents could be best put towards a more rewarding goal. Also, your desire for things to work out the way you’ve planned can make you a bit gullible.

Link: The Which Looney Tune Are You Test written by coolguy3000 on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Whats my guilty pleasure?

Who am I kidding.
I am so NOT guilty about it.
I love, love, love American Idol.

I'm just as enthralled with Season 5 as I was with the first season.
I AM a little scared about the competition we're going to see in Boston though.
It's so sad to see some of these people. They're so serious...and they're so bad.

I'm riveted because they're so awful.
I'm riveted because they're so good.

And I don't care what anyone thinks....Simon Cowell is hot.
I'm a mediocre at best singer...I can carry a tune, but Kelly Clarkson - I am not.
I would give anything to have Simon tell me that if he was "being honest, I was terrible".

Now this my friends, is the best reality television around.
But then again, this is just this girls opinon!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Only the good die young...

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." - Martin Luther King Jr.

We took my son today to see The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe.
Love, love, love this movie.

However, I did not get to see the end of it - so please, don't tell me about it. I never saw it as a child, nor did I ever read the book. I plan on going back myself to finish it.

My son, on the other hand - has. And so while he's seen the cartoon, and heard the story - he's pretty sensitive, and seeing the Lion as magnificent as he was - being brutalized, he had enough. And despite that he knows it has a happy ending (I'm guessing, I heard my husband telling him that!!) he said he didn't want to watch the rest. He said he knows the story and just didn't want to see it. Hmmm. Well, he IS only a little over 4 1/2. I didn't find it scary or too violent for him, but he said the Lion was just such a "great person" he didn't want to see that part.

The beautiful thing about children is that they see people and creatures for who they are, as opposed to how they appear. To him, the Lion is a "great person" - rather than a great animal. He sees him for the characteristics he portrays, rather than the obvious outside description of being a Lion. I hope it stays that way... it's the way we've shown him the world, and I hope that his views stay that way despite his exposure to others that will soon happen as he enters school.

To see each other for who we are, and not how we appear - that is part of the dream.
Not just MLK Jr's dream - but hopefully, everyone's dream.

Because I believe that truly is what we all want....
Truth. Not perception.
To not be judged.

And while I know that there are people still today, who don't believe in what Martin Luther King stood for, fought for...died for; I certainly hope that there are fewer and fewer of them as each day goes on.

That is part of my dream. And my job as a parent, is attempting to fulfill it.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Comfort Food!

Today, we need comfort food. Why? Well, aside from the TLC we need here in New England from that sorry, sorry loss last night....we had a 40 degree drop in temperature. We need some comfort food to make us feel good!

Okay - last night's game: The WORST officiating I've ever seen....but that only affected the first half, truly. The second half was purely a giveaway. The Bronco's didnt' win that game so much as the Pats lost it. Very dissapointing. It's certainly not as if Denver beat us. But that's okay... they capitalized on our mistakes, which is the nature of the game. And we can't always win. You can't be a true champion unless you rise from defeat. And we had a very difficult season...this was probably our most trying year, and we did really well.

So today's activities consist of relaxing and enjoying quality time at home. Our Sunday dinner menu consists of Pot Roast and Pudding Pie. Pot Roast is one of my most favorite meals to make...it's easy, delicious and is just perfect for a cold New England day. I'll share my recipe with you... you won't believe how easy it is, and if you try it - you won't believe how delicious it is. Every time I make it - everyone asks for the recipe.

1 pot roast (I usually make at least a 5lb one)
1 large can of Tomato Sauce
2 cans of Cranberry Sauce
Carrots & Potatoes (however many you want to add)

Cook on medium heat, covered. High simmer for at least 1 hour per pound.

You still have time if you want to make it today!!!!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Once upon a Pen Pal....

When I was 8, I used to watch a television show called "Big Blue Marble". It featured stories about children from all over the world, so that each of us in our little corner of the world could see that we weren't all that different from one another - despite our geographic locations, or cultural differences. At the end of each episode, this cartoon Earth man would come on and sing this little ditty: "Your pal may be living somewhere, maybe far - maybe near ..." (yes, I remember all the lyrics, I won't bore you with them here!) And all we had to do was drop a SASE in the mail, and we'd be matched up with the perfect person to be friends with, via the postal service. So, I did it.

I waited, and waited, and waited. Shortly after my 9th birthday - I got the postcard with my perfect penpal's information. She was a girl a year younger than me from Washington State. I couldn't wait. I wrote her a letter introducing myself - along with one of my school photos - and sent it off. She wrote back, including a photo of her as well - and this began the journey of our friendship.

We used to play games through our letters, like Hangman, or Tic-Tac-Toe; as we got older, it became trivia - and as we became teenagers, we talked about more normal girl things. Boys, dances, movies, music...we talked about it all. And we always exchanged our photos as each year went by. She went off to college - and we still kept in touch. I was working full time and on my own as well, though not in college - and at this time, we sort of ventured from letters to phone calls. It was easier to talk quicker and catch up in greater detail.

When I was 23, I got a call from her and I knew something was different. She called to tell me that she was getting married to her boyfriend of many years - and would I be a bridesmaid in her wedding. I was thrilled. I could not wait - aside from being so honored and touched that she would even consider me to be part of her bridal party - I just couldn't wait to meet her.

She met and my then boyfriend at the airport - and he recognized her before I did, actually! It was funny, though I knew her face, I had a mental image of how I thought she would appear and she was smaller than I had imagined! I'm only 5'1 and she was shorter than I was...but aside from the first few seconds of saying hello - it was like I'd known her forever. Well, because I had. There was a comfort and familiarity there that despite the fact we hadn't met eye to eye - we had been friends our whole lives.

Shortly after the wedding, her and her husband moved to Germany where he was stationed with the military. My then boyfriend and I had broken up - and my life was in disarray. She and I kept in touch through phone calls mainly - and I had been hoping to visit them in Germany. She was expecting her first child, and I had hoped to spend time with her before the baby was born. But then, I met my husband. And while life was still not normal, it was slowly shaping up. I moved, and hadn't had the opportunity to stop and write or call to catch up. About a year later, I got a letter at my parent's house that she had her first child, a daughter. I wrote back, apologizing for being gone for so long.... we got back in touch via letter. A few years later, she had her second child, a son.

At this point, they were still in Germany - and my husband and I were going through some very difficult times. Exceptionally difficult. I didn't stay in touch with her... I thought about her often, but didn't reach out. And when I got engaged - I should've called her and asked her to be in my wedding. I should have. But I didn't. I always kick myself over that, because it would've been wonderful to have her there. Sometimes you get so caught up in life that you don't stop and take time to reach out to those you should. It's a practice I try to keep...but I'm not always successful in my efforts.

I got a call when I was pregnant with my daughter - I was so surprised to hear her voice on the other line. She was pregnant with her third, a daughter - and was due the same day as I was!! We talked for hours - and apologized profusely for not inviting her to the wedding. She said she understood, but I know her feelings were bruised. Mine would've bee. At the end of the call, I got her house phone number and her email so that we could stay in better touch. And we have. It's been some time since we've spoken, but we email - and actually, I think I'm going to call her this evening.

I think of her often....and while I try so very hard to stay in touch and be a good friend, I'm not perfect and it doesn't always happen. But if she's reading this somehow...well, then she'll know that I have her in my heart always.

(This is the condensed version, but it gives you a general idea!)

Thursday, January 12, 2006

"Somebody Save Me...."

I know I knock network television - alot. But, there are a few good programs that I do watch. I admit that I'm eagerly anticipating the start of American Idol; I adore "Extreme Makeover Home Edition...but there's one other show that I love, love, love. It's sort of got a cult following - and while it's clearly geared towards the high school crowd, the writing in it is sharp enough that it holds the attention of us 30yr olds.

I love Smallville.

If you watch this show - please refrain from spoiling anything for me - I'm on episode 9 of Season 4. I don't get the opportunity to watch the season as they run, so I wait patiently for the DVDs and then watch them. Who am I kidding - I gorge on them. I have to hold myself back from watching the whole 22 episode season in one sitting.

It doesn't hurt that Tom Welling has got to be the most beautiful person I've ever seen. Ever.

But I always loved Superman; and I really enjoy the complexities of his relationship with Lex and the underlying struggles between the two. Most of all, I enjoy the relationship between Clark and his father. Very rarely do you see programs that show a close and affectionate relationship between a father and son. This is something that I really treasure when watching.

So I'm off now - with a glass of wine, some chocolates - and episodes 9 and 10 waiting for me. And that's all I'm watching tonight.


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Inside the Actor's Studio....

While I audition here and there for things around Boston, I don't do much "work" in the theatrical aspect. I did have an extra bit for last Friday in the Danny Aiello movie "Stiffs"...however, I had to decline at the last minute because they changed the call time, and it conflicted with something I already had planned. Things like this happen all the time in the entertainment industry (Cheryl can attest to this I'm sure!), which is part of the reason as to why I haven't been able to fully dedicate myself to that field. I've always been too pragmatic, too practical. And while I can fly by the seat of my pants with regards to planning - when you have children, that freedom sort of flies out the window. And so does your flexibility, which makes it virtually impossible to have an acting career.

I've come to grips with the fact that I will never be on stage, accepting an Academy Award saying "You like me! You really, really like me!". Nor will I ever be interviewed by James Lipton. So, I've decided to ask myself the 10 questions that are posed to every actor at the close of "Inside the Actor's Studio". (Warning: Offensive language coming. Cover your eyes if you don't like swear words!!)

Yet, in light of this realization - I still hang onto the dream. And I'll still continue to audition.
If you've ever been involved in the theatre or acting, you'll understand.
It's a high that you just can't give up.

And now, without further adieu.... My answers to the infamous questions:

01. What is your favorite word? Concurrent; I'm not sure why, I just love it.
02. What is your least favorite word? Arse, It's ass. It annoys me to no end when someone says "arse".
03. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? I thrive under pressure...that turns me on creatively.
04. What turns you off? Negativity
05. What is your favorite curse word? Fuck. It's a noun, a verb, an adjective. It can be reflective of a state of mind. It's so simple, yet covers so much ground.
06. What sound or noise do you love? Laughter

07. What sound or noise do you hate? Another creature in pain, physical or emotional
08. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Forensic psychologist
09. What profession would you not like to do? Human Resources
10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? It's about time! I thought you were going to live forever....!!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Can I just tell you....

I love owning a wine shop.

There are pros and cons to all businesses. And owning a shop of any kind is no joke. The bills associated with a liquor store (be it a speciality shop like mine or not) are tremendous. Overwhelming. Suffocating. You get the picture. And January is an exceptionally difficult time of year. It's the slowest time of year with regards to sales; it's the heaviest time of year with regards to bills. See, all of your bills from what you ordered for the holidays are due; in theory - you should have money to cover what you bought. Sometimes you do...sometimes you don't. Fortunately - we will. But this is a time of year that alot of liquor business really struggle. And they spend all year catching up to get ahead just in time to have it be holiday season all over again. The liquor industry is a tough, tough one to be involved in; we're so very fortunate that we are a niche store otherwise we may not have fared so well over the years.

January is also one of the most fun months in this industry. It's time for the Boston Wine Expo! This is the time that we get to mix and mingle with all the distributors and other store owners in a closed arena (prior to it being open to the public) and tasting all the fantastic wine that is out there that we may not necessarily have in our store. It's hard to not drink what you sip...but there is so much, that unfortunately - it makes sense to spit (so unladylike!) - so that you can keep on tasting. It's very difficult to not be plastered within your first half hour there; so I try to eat as much as I can before I go and while I'm there. Another temptation that's hard to resist is not drinking everything I love....the point for us should truly be to sample wines that are unfamiliar - that would be worth bringing into our inventory.

I don't get to be involved in alot of the day-to-day operations of the store, and it really bothers me. I do all the wine parties, the newsletter, website, marketing, PR, etc; so I really enjoy this event because it's the one time I really get to taste product and make strong recommendations on what I think we should bring in. Women tend to taste and describe wine differently than men do; I don't mean better, necessarily...but different. My husband will often bring home a wine for me to sample that he's unsure of; I usually make the final decision if he's on the fence. I think there may be a reason why America's top sommelier is a woman.

I, am the lead female sommelier in my corner of the world. And I love it!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Cat and mouse...

Last night, I watched a show on Discovery Theatre (the High Definition version of Discovery Channel) titled "Into the Lion's Den". If you are a wildlife enthusiast as I am - you have to watch this.

Despite the fact that the gentleman who is the focal point of this show is a little gregarious for my taste - what he accomplishes with a pride of wild lions is breathtaking. This is some of the best footage of lion behaviour when they KNOW they are being watched, that I've ever seen. And to see their tolerance levels is awesome. It truly makes you realize how aggressive the human race is; lions tolerate our presence far more than we've ever tolerated their presence.

This guy is no novice; he's a large cat trainer for Hollywood, has been mauled by a lion during a performance (they show some video of it) and he genuinely has a love for large cats.

As I watched it, it made me wish I had pursued a different career path.
How cool would it have been to be a large cat trainer???
Oh well. In another life maybe....

Friday, January 06, 2006

The Saga of the Sofa....

Okay. So remember the sofa from a few posts ago that I had been hoping to use in my formal living room?
No go. And you know how I always say "Everything happens for a reason...". Well, I still believe.
Here's the story.

I've had this set for what, 3.5 weeks now - sitting in my garage - and I stare at it every morning before I leave for work. See, the Salvation Army refused to take my beautiful set that I presently have....why, you ask? Because it had a barely perceptible stain on the bottom of one of the cushions. (Translate that into them busting my balls because I had to call a supervisor twice - once because they never came when they said they would; the second time because they hadn't returned my call to reschedule. I always donate to charity; I find it disparaging to have the Salvation Army turn down perfectly decent furniture. Why, do people normally donate brand new furniture? )

As much as I love it - you know what? It really doesn't match my living room. It's too dark.
And the chair I had been hoping to keep - really doesn't match my sofa.

So. I asked around to see if anyone needed a set. Turns out, my sitter's son just got an apartment and needs furniture. He came by before the holidays and decided he could use the sofa; he said he'd be by after Christmas to get it.....but never came. I didn't want to pressure him (he is only 21 after all!), so I waited. And waited. And waited. Finally, this past week I said "it's got to go." I placed an ad on Craig's List - and lo and behold - I had a person chomping at the bit to pick it up tonight.

Then, yesterday morning - my sitter informed me that her son was renting a truck, and was picking up the sofa on Saturday. Now what was I to do? I went from being left with an abandoned set that I couldn't use - to having two people want it. And then - I got a phone call this morning from my mother in law; her best friend wanted to take it. I told her that she was welcome to the chair, but the sofa was spoken for.

So as it stands now - the sofa is being taken on Sunday, and the chair on Sunday evening.
And I, still have my old set.

Which I really love anyway.
Whatever was I thinking when I thought I needed a new set?

Thursday, January 05, 2006

"This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius...."

All day yesterday, and a little bit into today - I have had this song stuck in my head. I just can't shake it. I never saw "Hair"....and honestly, I don't even like the song very much. When I was a child, I had a kiddie jukebox that had this song in it - and it scared me. It always sounded warped when the batteries would start to die out, and it took on a very ominous, scary sound. It's not a song that I would normally walk around singing. So, I'm thinking it's' a sign. But a sign of what?

Am I thinking of it subliminally because it's January - the sign of Aquarius? Maybe. I doubt it though. So, I did a little research on what the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius really is. There is a long, philosophical answer to what it is, but the long and short of it is: Spirituality in the New Age.

Maybe, the real reason that I am hearing this song in my head is a bigger and greater message. Maybe, one of my resolutions this year should include working on a stronger sense of spirituality - not so much in the religious sense, but in the personal peace and serenity aspect.

There are signs everywhere, you just have to stop and see them. And if this is one - then it's not such a bad thing. I could use a little peace and serenity this year! Couldn't you?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

I'm finally seeing what the hype is about....

A few months back, I was playing some sort of trivia game with someone (I can't quite remember with who, or where) and the question was asked "What is the number one business that people have as a secondary income?". I guessed the answer correctly - Ebay. I only thought of this because my cousin Julie makes a killing selling everything she owns practically! She sells her knicknacks - she sells her children's clothing - she buys things and resells them! And clearly she's not the only person in the world doing this.

I often lurk on Ebay; browsing to see what's out there when I'm bored. I've sold something on there once - my girlfriend Karla has an account and was nice enough to sell my John Edward tickets for me when I wasn't able to go. I DID make double my money, which was a nice little incentive - so I can see the attraction on the reselling bit. But I've never bought anything online.

Well, today is a new day for me...I'm no longer an Ebay Virgin. I opened an account....and I was on a specific mission. My kids each have a favorite stuffed animal. My son has "Baby Bear", a Miniwear Classics Teddy Bear that is 4.5 years old now. I found it on Ebay yesterday but hadn't set up my account yet. It's now sadly gone...but I have no fear that it will show up once again. My daughter on the other hand, has "Connie" the cow - who's really Gund's "Otis" cow. And I've bid on him! So fingers crossed, I will be the BEST MOM EVER by having replacements for my children's beloved sleeping companions. Connie is wearing from being washed soooo much. My daughter carries her everywhere; Baby Bear is now wearing thin to the rattle inside, even though my son only relies on her at bedtime. She's been washed so many times - and I want to patch her, but he says "no...she won't be the same".

Now, I'm on a shopping spree...naaah, not really. I'm still pretty cynical about buying things online and paying for the shipping and handling when I can go to the store and buy something without the extra cost. But, for hard to find items like these (and maybe StovePipe jeans by Express which are now discontinued?!?!) I can make an exception....

Monday, January 02, 2006


So, I'm off to a great start on my New Year's resolutions!

I re-organized my closet...I mean REALLY reorganized. I started this project about a month and a half ago - but never got to complete it. Well, it's done. I could work for California Closets the way I got this bad boy straightened out! It did make me realize, however - that I just don't have nearly enough boots or shoes! I threw out old/damaged ones that I'll never get to the cobbler to fix, as well as ones that I just don't like anymore. Which has left me with the obvious fact that clearly - I need more!

While doing this, I also was able to try on clothes and determine what exactly needed to go to the tailor. I have a nice bag (large Ann Taylor, so you get an idea of what the amount is - we're not talking 25 gallon trash bag or anything) with about 10 pairs of dress pants and 5 skirts that need to be taken in/hemmed. Talk about rejuvenating my wardrobe! Whatever was I waiting for all this time.....?

I just completed going through my son's toys....sorting out what he has outgrown/broken, and storing away the mini toystore that he recieved this year so that it's orderly and neat. I like to give him one thing everyonce in a while; I don't let him have a free for all with everything. I find that he appreciates his toys more this way. (Or could it truly be just that I'm a control freak and that's the way I like it??? Hmmmm. Possibly a little of both!). Tomorrow, I'll finish up by reorganizing all of his arts & crafts supplies. I need to store them in a big rubbermaid container or something...

Then there's tomorrow, where I will take down my Christmas Tree and all the decorations that go along with it. Life will once again go back to "the time before Christmas". So for now, I'm going to sit back.....enjoy my "high maintenance but keeping it real" coffee my husband just brought home for me, and catch up on reading blogs.

And then...there's always dinner to be made!