Friday, March 31, 2006

Post Season Mardi Gras....!

So, tomorrow night is another gathering of the La Femme Nikitas....And this time, the theme is Mardi Gras!
Karla is our hostess this time. And I have to get a new battery for my digital camera because I gotta take pictures of this one! And of course - I will be happy to share them. We've been tasked to make our own masks for this - so as I haven't had any time this week to make one, I'll be scrambling tomorrow! I've got some great ideas, but just hoping I can find all the right parts. Absolutely - think "fou fou" meets Christina Aguilera.'s only a mask for goodness sake!!!
Or is it......?

While there will be beads - there will be no flashing, clearly.
(Ben, sorry to dissapoint you! I know the scenarios you've got going around in your head right now!!)

I'm bringing the Jamabalya - but I'm not sure what else is on the menu - outside of alcohol - of course!

More to come soon....

Thursday, March 30, 2006

J'aime le Printemps!

Otherwise known as... I love Springtime!

It's 67 degrees according the the temperature gauge in my truck....
The sun is shining.... the air is sweet despite the lack of flowers blooming...and I am so bright and cheery today!

When I get home, I'm going to get my propane tank filled because I need to barbecue for dinner tonight....I can not wait! A little grilled filet mignon (wrapped w/ bacon).....grilled potatoes w/ peppers....a spinach salad....and a nice, crisp glass of Alsace.

Hope there's a little bit of Spring in your step today!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Not 10, not 20 - but over 40 Minutes ON AIR!

Last night, the radio show went really well. I had so much fun!

And we didn't talk just wine - nor did we really focus on the products I brought, which was actually pretty interesting. We talked about everything from the wines that were there, to the neighborhood - to being a working mom! It was really nice, and it took all the pressure off of my having to control the flow of conversation - which is normally what I have to do at tastings. Actually, I was afraid that I'd say too much - because I'm so used to controlling the conversation!

They told us afterwards they definitely want to bring us back on, were we flexible?
Am I flexible??? Absolutely!

Are you kidding me? I'm sending a thank you note this morning - with some potential ideas for future shows!

My husband actually talked quite a bit as well, which was such a surprise because he was adamant that he didn't want to be on air...but he loosened up and had a good time as well. I don't know that he'll do it again - I may go on my own - but I'm glad he gave it a shot!

The experience made me wistful for the career path I didn't follow. "I so should do that for a living...." was the first thing I thought as I walked out the door. I went to college intially for broadcasting - specifically sportscasting, hockey play by play - but broadcasting was the focus none the less.

You never know what the future holds though.
My toe might be in the door, just a crack...

Friday, March 24, 2006

15 minutes of fame....

I've had a few "15 minutes" in my life. Not Hollywood celebrity crazy 15 minutes - but local publicity kind of 15 minutes.

On Monday - I'll get to have 20 minutes more.

Those of you who live in Boston (and probably greater MA) can hear me on WRKO 680's "Taste of Boston Tonight" show, on Monday night! I got an email yesterday asking if I could be on Monday at 8pm to do a live wine tasting on air.

HELLO!! Could I be available????
Clearly they don't know who they're asking.
Absolutely! I can be available every night of the week if they want.
Because I'm so "shy."

I'm so excited - I can't stand it!

Now if only I could find a way to do a live tasting on television.......

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Meet Timmy...

This, is not the real Timmy. But a very good representation thereof.

The day before yesterday, my husband took my son out for "Boys Day". While they were waiting to see "The Shaggy Dog", they ventured into the pet store at the mall.

I got a phone call shortly thereafter saying "Mommy - can I get a hamster? Please.......?". Of course - I had to say yes.

I'm so glad my children took after my love of animals.

So, we have this very, very affectionate baby blonde teddy bear hamster named "Timmy". He loves to come and sniff your nose when you peer into the cage, and in the two and a half short days that we've had him, he's grown to love little hands (and big hands) reaching in to pat him while he runs on his wheel. This morning, he even climbed into my hand and sat there.

He's got such kind eyes, and is so gentle - which hamsters are not always so agreeable to being handled. And my son is just thrilled - as is my daughter.

So now, our menagerie is Brandy the Jack Russell; Rocky Marciano Crusher the Betta; and Timmy the Hamster.

I think we should be good for now!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

"Shooting at the walls of heartache...bang, bang - I am the Warrior..."

You Are a Warrior Soul

You're a strong person and sometimes seen as intimidating.
You don't give up. You're committed and brave.
Truly adventuresome, you are not afraid of going to battle.
Extremely protective of loved ones, you root for the underdog.

You are picky about details and rigorous in your methods.
You also value honesty and fairness a great deal.
You can be outspoken, intimidating, headstrong, and demanding.
You're a hardliner who demands the best from themselves and others.

Souls you are most compatible with: Old Soul and Peacemaker Soul

Monday, March 20, 2006

No Tolerance for Bureaucracy...

Last week, someone from my office was unexpectedly removed from their position. He was second in command - a hard charger, strong decision maker, good leader and team player. These types of qualities in the civilian workforce aren't easy to come by. Inadequacy runs rampant within those ranks.

This person was brought in as a temporary fill, as he is one grade below the allocated slot grade. And because of alot of breaks in the "system" - the extension for his position was never made. And while he'd been told he was covered and would be able to stay - in a moment's notice that was changed. And so he was removed from his position with no warning. And the powers that be, would not change the grade of the position to match his; and he was low on the list to submit for the position in the proper grade. Why? Not for lack of experience...not for lack of schooling...but for the bureaucracy of appearances. Perception. The cutthroat competitiveness of the GS folks feeling like they were not given the same possibilities as another GS person. And he's clearly the most qualified for the role.

What I don't understand is: Good enough for 5 months temporary; not good enough for permanent.

Yup, I'm a little bitter. I don't have any tolerance for this kind of political gaming. I think it's wrong. I'm a direct, straight shooter, and I expect more from my workplace. I expect more from my government.

So they let the right candidate go, for the wrong reasons.
Remove the person who is getting the job done effectively, to calm the savage beasts who would roar.

Puts a whole new spin on the phrase "good enough for government work"....doesn't it.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Sunday Sampler

Blogging, can sort of be like reading the Sunday Paper. You have your favorite sections, the parts you can't wait to read - and then there's everything else. Sometimes, there's just too much to the paper and you can't seem to find where to start when it comes to looking for another section to include to your favorites. The internet is a huge place, and while it seems that there are only 6 degrees of seperation with blogging, I thought I'd pass along a few that I've added to my blog roll recently, incase anyone else is looking for some more sites to add to your reading pleasure.

A Moment in Time - This is my Dad. He's quirky and funny - and some of you might really appreciate his sense of humor. Just a warning: I am not responsible for anything he says! hahaha.

An Oversized Canadian - Big Ben from Canada. He is a freaking riot. I love, love, love reading him - I'm practically addicted, dare I say it. But another warning: If you aren't a fan of the sexual innuendo, don't go. He absolutely kills me with some of the things he comes up with!

Mr. Fabulous- He is somewhere in the middle of my Dad, and Ben. He's very, very funny.

So, grab a cup of coffee - sit back, and browse. You just might find something you like!

Friday, March 17, 2006

When Irish Eyes are Smiling......

St. Patrick's Day in Boston is a pretty big deal. It's a holiday that goes on for a week in many a bar; and officially - everyplace else - from today, through the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Southie on Sunday.

I used to love St. Patrick's Day. I loved wearing those "Kiss Me I'm Irish" pins in High School. I didn't get kissed - but it was still fun to wear the pin. I started dating my high school sweetheart in my Senior Year - and he was Irish. Very Irish. His Dad was President of the Irish American Club - and his grandparents and aunts all lived in Southie. So, he would take me into see the Parade, which is quite the experience. Being with the "locals", I suppose I saw a better side of it than most. It was amazing - strangers would just invite us into their homes and feed us! They'd say "Who are you with?", or "Who are you related to" - and my boyfriend would answer "the Ryan's on D Street"....and we were welcome. I guess you could equate it with going to the Italian feasts - but with more danger. Southie was always a little rough, especially if you didn't know someone to bring you around. At least from this girl's perspective. I grew up 5 miles outside of Boston, but it was far enough away to be wide eyed and innocent to certain walks of life.

I, despite my appearance - am not Irish. I've always been asked if I am, guess it's just because I'm blonde with light eyes. And - contrary to usual - I did not wear green today.

The only thing green about me today are my eyes and my Martini's!
Oh - and the cabbage that's cooking in my pot right now - alongside the Corned Beef.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Messages from beyond....

I've been to a few mediums over the past 5 years. I'm pretty selective about who I go to, and I never go more than once a year. I'm not really looking for anything necessarily - but I am curious about the hereafter. I definitely believe that some people truly have a gift, and can interpret "messages" from another dimension. Personally, I believe we all probably have that ability as children, and just some of us are aware of it and sharpen it - some do not.

And I do believe, or rather - would like to believe - that if there truly is a "heaven" or alternate dimension that we go to when we leave this Earth, that maybe they are watching over us and are really with us in spirit. So, it sort of is interesting to me that messages can come through various channels as signs of letting us know that we are surrounded by those who have passed before us. I don't go for any purpose other than mere curiousity - and an appreciation for someone who may truly have a gift. If nothing comes through - or the person is really "reaching", well then - I'm no less worse for wear.

The best mediums I've been to, were the last two . They were exceptionally specific with their expressions of who they felt were around me at those times. The last one was so specific, she referred to them by name. Which is pretty amazing. What's even more amazing, was that she was correct. There was no guess work about it. It was just their names. And that particular day, and interesting fact was that none of the people coming through were for me. They were for people around me.... I was a messenger. I've been told by ever medium I've been to that I'm a strong conduit for those on "the other side". So I spent that day calling everyone whom I had messages for from their loved ones. It was a nice feeling. One instance where there wasn't any "don't shoot the messenger!"

I'm very excited because I'm going to see one of THE BEST mediums around, ever. If you've ever seen him on television, then you have to agree that he's pretty damn good. I started watching his shows as a cynic - I don't buy into most of what I see on television. And while I would like to believe - I'm stil very skeptical. But I became addicted, because he was so good.

Then I had to stop watching, because it was almost addictive. It's been almost two years since I've watched his show...and he's coming to Boston.

I'm going to see John Edward. It's a gallery group that's being filmed for his show. That means there's probably no more than 50 people there in the room. There's a pretty good chance that I might have some of my "spirits" come through for me, since I'm such a "strong conduit". We'll see.

I've been fortunate enough to say that in my immediate family, I've felt pretty comfortable with the passings that took place; there's only one unresolved one, mostly because it was rather sudden. This is the one person who has never come through for me.

I have to admit - I'm hoping that April 21st is that day.

Monday, March 13, 2006

"You're one in a million you've got that shotgun shine..."

It finally arrived....
The debut of this Season Six of "The Sopranos".

And while the rumors surrounding the show led me to think it was going to be a more shocking episode - it was very good none the less. I wish it didn't take 21 months in between seasons, but hey - what can you do.

I'm so looking forward to the return of all of my favorite shows....Entourage should be back soon, as well as Deadwood - hopefully this summer Rome will make an appearance, and I'm thinking Curb your Enthusiasm should be back soon as well.

HBO was smart - they debuted a new show after the Sopranos last night. It's called Big Love. Its about "back hill Mormon" polygamy and how a "family" of three wives, 9 children and one husband survive (or don't?) in middle America. There's a whole backstory of how they've moved away from the compound in which they lived prior to moving to suburbia - and how the church is chasing them for some 15% mandatory cut that they feel they're being shorted on. It's actually pretty good. While I don't love the actors that are in it (Bill Paxton, Jeannie Tripplehorn, Chloe Sevigny), I found it pretty interesting. I think that despite the oddness of their circumstances, I'm going to enjoy their storylines. HBO is always so gritty - and I really like that.

Even still, the last thing I want to see is Bill Paxton's "little guy" flopping around in all his nakedness. Can't he just wear "whitey tighties"???? Gross....

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Bordeaux, Malbec, Shiraz, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Uchizy & Eiswein

Tonight, one of the "Amys" from work is having a wine party.
And I - am hosting it.

It's been an interesting past couple of days. I got to play Domestic Supergoddess yet again, because my sitter wasn't able to work Wed - Friday of this week. With the New England weather cooperating and appearing to be a lamb - the kids and I have had some serious fun! Wednesday we went to the Children's Museum in Boston. I'd never been there before, but definitely plan on going back. It's funny - I'm so jaded to being in Boston all the time, I usually take the kids to places outside of downtown. But it's well worth going... I don't remember much of Thursday - oh wait - just a little shopping. Nothing spectacular.

Yesterday, we went to Cracker Barrell for breakfast. Love, love, love it there! This Yankee girl loves Southern cooking - and to find out that there is a restaurant near me that I can actually get grits and biscuits with apple butter and gravy - hold me back!!!! Then of course we were outside playing all day, which is just so good. It's been a long time since we've been able to actually work up a sweat outside. The sun is gorgeous - we actually shut the heat off because it was 68 outside and the house was too warm!

Today is just some of the same.... going to a playground, having a picnic for lunch....warm baths for the kiddies - and then I'm off to host some wine drinking. So, sorry if I haven't visited - I've been thinking of you, just won't be able to visit until Sunday. :)


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Me... I'm a part of your Circle of Friends...

Do I stress you out...My sweater is on backwards and inside out....And you say how appropriate
I don't want to dissect everything you say....I don't mean to pick you apart you see.....But I can't help it - Alanis Morrisette

I spit, I spit in the eye....I tear, I tear out my heart and I scatter the bits....
I stay unseen by the light....I stay untold by the truth
I'm sold by a lie....
By this I am able in all of my travels
To make these memories quit
But tonight I clearly recall ....every little bit - Patty Griffin

I am extraordinary, if you'd ever get to know me...I am extraordinary, I am just your ordinary...Average every day sane psychoSupergoddess - Liz Phair

'Cause it makes me that much stronger....Makes me work a little bit harder....It makes me that much wiser....So thanks for making me a fighter...Made me learn a little bit faster....Made my skin a little bit thicker....Makes me that much smarter....So thanks for making me a fighter! - Christina Aguilera

She can kill with a smile....She can wound with her eyes....And she can ruin your faith with her casual lies....And she only reveals what she wants you to see....She hides like a child.....But she's always a woman to me - Billy Joel

Monday, March 06, 2006

The Aftermath.....

I stayed up and watched the Academy Awards for the first time in many years. I think it was well worth it.
I actually thought that while Jon Stewart got off to a bit of a rocky start, he was pretty funny. Pretty, pretty funny.

As I mentioned a few months back - Crash was by far, one of the better movies to come out of La La Land in quite some time. And it's interesting that Matt Dillon was nominated for an Oscar, but it's so very difficult to select just one individual in an ensemble movie such as that. While I would've liked to have seen him win (he was my crush from the age of 10 through 16 - him, and only him! Well, until Bon Jovi came around...but I digress!), I knew it would be impossible to compare his character to one that is onscreen for longer than 12 minutes. But I'm thrilled that the movie won, because in my opinion - it was a well deserved selection.

One of my all time favorite actors won for Best Actor. I adore Philip Seymour Hoffman. He is one of the greatest character actors of our generation. I can not wait to see Capote. And while he's quirky, has hygiene issues (according to the latest that's come out about him) as well as drug issues - he's just such a talent. I admire his abilities tremendously. Love, love, love him.

Which brings me to Reese Witherspoon. While I really enjoy her movies - I even own a few on DVD - I have to say I'm surprised at her winning the award. While she was commercially the favorite, I really thought Felicity Huffman was deserving - as well as Judi Densch. We've rented "Walk the Line" for tonight, so who knows - maybe my mind will be changed after watching it.

This was one of the better years Hollywood has seen with movie production. And I'm really glad I watched the Awards. So many movies that I'm really looking forward to renting.

Yes.... it was bittersweet for me. And it probably always will be.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

La-La Land.....

Tonight is the big night in Hollywood - the Academy Awards.
I've got to be honest - this is going to be the first one in a few years that I'm going to watch.

Partly because there hadn't been any fantastic movies nominated prior to this year; and partly because it just gets me a little misty eyed thinking "I coulda been a contender.....".

Yup. You can take the girl away from the dream - but you can't take the dream away from the girl.

Friday, March 03, 2006

A little goes a long way....

Every day, I thank God for my health - and the health of my family. I pray that never changes - and that we won't have to face any tragic circumstances outside of the normal "wear and tear" sickness and illnesses that we have to endure as part of just being alive.

I always have believed that "what goes around, comes around", and so I always try to treat others the way I'd like to be treated. And while I donate financially to charities as best I can - and I always donate my children's toys and clothing to those less fortunate than we are, sometimes I think I can do more.

One of the things I am doing, is growing my hair. I want to donate it to
Locks of Love. This is an organization that donates hair from people who aren't sick - to make wigs and falls for people who are, usually Cancer patients. To see the women and children who are being ravaged by chemotherapy feel good about themselves again, is just a small way that I can help.

I need to have an extra 10" to donate, and so I'm trying not to lose patience while I'm letting it grow. The hair cut from yesterday, isn't a real "hair" cut per se - just a style improvement. It's all angled into my face, instead of straight down, as in the picture w/ Glitter. When your hair is as long as mine is at the moment - any improvement is a huge one.

Helping others who are sick, in need or less fortunate than we are at the moment - is something that I am hoping to teach my children by example. Small things such as "sharing" old clothes, old toys - and even extra hair - can help heal other people's hearts and spirits in ways that just donating money to an organization, can never do.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

6 Degrees of Separation...

The world is a small place. You just never know how small, until you meet someone and start talking about where you're from and who you know. Or when you see someone for what you think is the first time - and it turns out that it's not.
Blogging is a similar thing. It's sort of like - you can blog surf, and about the 6th blog you hit - you will recognize someone from your own blogroll.
It's a bizarre phenomenon.

I met Glitter for coffee yesterday..... She's absolutely adorable! And I think she does lead a charmed life. :)
Really, a nice girl - and we knew that we probably would know similar people because of growing up one town over from each other anyway; but the more we talked about where we've been in life, and who we knew - the smaller the circle got. I'm surprised we hadn't run into each other someplace previously - although chances are, we probably were at some of the same shows at the same time - and just didn't know each other at that point. We hung out for a couple of hours, and I could've stayed all day - except my massage awaited me! So, unfortunately when I realized the time - I had to bolt out of there. We're going to have to - at a minimum - have coffee again - if not go to a concert/show together.

Off to my massage..... the best massage I've ever had in my life. I'm not kidding. I prefer deep tissue ones as opposed to lighter touch massage - they just work really well for me. She was amazing. I didn't realize just how tense I was. I had told her that I wasn't all that tense, she should see me when I am - but let me tell you. I didn't realize how sore and knotted I truly was. I was able to breathe so much better after I left her yesterday. I was relaxed, my muscles were was wonderful. If anyone lives in the North Shore area - you've got to go to Evangeline.

Next stop - the hair salon. So, I had an appointment with Erika, who is practically a celebrity in the area. It seems that everyone I know goes to her and loves her! Since I'm more the "impulse" hair girl, rather than the "planned 12 week appointment" hair girl - it's been painful to get in to see her. I thought about it yesterday, and it's been just under a year since I've been trying. So - as I mentioned- the stars were aligned and I was able to get in. Well....

I walk up to the counter, and this really cute girl says to me "Hi, you must be Rebecca"...and so I said "Hi, you must be Erika!" and then she said.... "I know you from somewhere..." Turns out - this was a girl I coached when she was 14 and I was 19 - for Pop Warner Cheerleading! I LOVED Erika. So much so, that I made her Co-Captain for the Squad. We were only supposed to pick a Captain, but I loved her and another girl so much - we split it up. What a small world! When I told her how I knew her cousin - and rattled off the different clients of hers that I knew - I told her that it was so funny because no one ever mentioned her last name. Not even her cousin! She's always just "Erika at Nicolo's".... So, not only was I happy to see her - she did an amazing job. Amazing. I didn't even do my hair today really - and everyone's been commenting that it looks awesome. Which always make a girl freel good.

So now - I've booked ahead. Guess my days of being impulsive are over!

I had a great day....
It had laughter and friendship; it had relaxation and had coincidence and glamour, and satisfaction.
And I'm still feeling the after effects of it all today!

Here we are, just before leaving Starbucks...
(And pre- awesome hair cut!)