October 30, 2008

5 Shows You Should be Watching

Eli Stone

Eli Stone is the story of a lawyer by the same name, portrayed by Johnny Lee Miller, who begins to have visions after being diagnosed with a brain aneurism.  The visions often involve some type of musical performance, often by other cast members.  The day I saw Victor Garber sing a tune on this show, I didn't need anything else to make me happy!  It's a cute show with great themes - the question is, where do the visions come from?  They seem to lead Eli to being able to prevent bad things from happening, or to help people who really need it.  It's funny, but also makes you think.  The show is currently in it's second season.

Pushing Daisies

Ah, Pushing Daisies.  This is absolutely my favorite new show from last season.  It's also just started it's second season, but you can catch up with most of these shows by renting DVDs.  If not, you could just jump in - do a little reading online and you'll be all caught up.  Lee Pace is ABSOLUTELY charming as the talented piemaker who owns "The Pie Hole" and has another special talent - he can bring people back from the dead with a touch of his finger - but there's a catch.  His second touch will put the body back to death, permanently, but if they stay alive for more than 60 seconds, another soul life will be lost in the surrounding area.  Anna Friel is lovable and perfect as Chuck, the girl he loves who he managed to bring back from the dead - but can never touch again if he wants her to stay alive.  The main couple are supported by Kristin Chenowith and Chi McBride, as a pie shop employee and PI, respectively.  It's narrated, but not to the point of being annoying, and visually stunning.  My husband and I watch it together - he likes the narration, the cuteness of it all, and the family show sort of vibe you get from it.  The 'no touching' rule pretty much prevents any sex and there is rarely any violence, when there is it is quick and not graphic, showing what happened to a victim whose case the pie maker and his PI are trying to solve.  You need to pick up the remote and watch it right now.

30 Rock

If you've been paying any attention, you noticed that 30 Rock won a few Emmy's.  Well deserved ones at that.  I don't watch a ton of sitcoms, I hate the fake laugh tracks and the jokes that aren't funny, just overacted.  But then there's 30 Rock.  I literally laugh out loud more than once at EVERY episode.  I've always liked Tina Fey, so I was really excited when she got her own show.  Tina plays Liz Lemon, the head writer of a SNL style sketch show called 'The Girly Show'.  Add to that the complete hilarity of Alec Baldwin as her boss, and the out of control ideas and suggestions brought in by the show's new star, played by Tracy Morgan, and you have a recipe for success.  There are tons of other cast members, and each one bring their own unique character to life perfectly.  I especially love Jack McBrayer as the eager and naive page, Kenneth.  If you liked Fey on SNL, and/or you are looking for something TRULY funny to watch on TV, this is the show for you!

Chuck

Chuck follows the life of Chuck Bartowski, a Nerd Herd member at the local Buy More whose life is drastically changed when a database of government secrets is downloaded into his brain - and erased from everywhere else in the world.  Chuck must work with his CIA handlers, who are charged with using the information he remembers as well as protecting him from harm, as he is now the sole source of a lot of important information for the CIA.  Chuck is a reluctant hero, he gets flashes of information that are triggered by something he encounters- a face, a symbol, or a voice.  I absolutely love Adam Baldwin, he was genius as Jayne on Firefly, and I love him on this show as Casey, the straight laced agent who isn't really sure exactly what to do with this new 'partner' - a geeky civilian.  There's action, romance, and comedy as we follow Chuck's daily life living with his sister and her too-perfect fiance, his job at the Buy More, and his nights spent on secret CIA business.  It's an original idea, and a great story with lots to enjoy for everyone.  It also has what my husband and I agree is the best title sequence on TV - how could it not be with a song by Cake?  Chuck is in it's second season.

Medium

Medium has been on longer, but is still one of my favorite shows on TV.  It gives you the mystery of a crime show, but with added elements to make it unique and interesting.  Patricia Arquette plays Alison Dubois, a woman living in the suburbs with her family who has a special gift - she sees dead people.  As a medium, Alison can see dead people and has dreams sent to her by dead people.  Sometimes they're things that have already happened, sometimes they're things that are going to happen.  Sometimes they're not straight forward - she has to interpret the messages the people on the other side are leaving for her.  Sometimes she's able to have direct contact with them, and sometimes she has to figure it out for herself.  One of the things I like most about this show is it's portrayal of Alison's family.  At home she is with her husband Joe, and three daughters.  The middle daughter, played by Maria Lark, is absolutely adorable and incredibly quirky.  The family is amazingly REAL.  They fight, they are awkward, and they love each other.  I love their portrayal.  The things that happen in the show affect them, and it makes it all more real and more interesting.  If you like crime shows, but sometimes feel like they lack a human element, this show is a great place to turn.  Medium is currently off the air, I believe it's coming back on mid-season this year.

Now go watch some dang TV!
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When did Halloween become HO-lloween?

NOTE: The photos from this post have been removed from Flickr because skeevy people were adding them as favorites. You'll just have to use your experience/imagination (sorry!).

I wasn't going to write this post. I really wasn't. But then I was walking through the mall today and saw THIS in the window of the Halloween costume store:
WHAT THE FUCK?! I know that they call it "Wizard Academy Student" but you and I both know that that is a SLUTTY HARRY POTTER costume!! At what point did dressing up for Halloween become an excuse to whore it up? Seriously. When? When did Halloween stop being about dressing up as something creative, something original? At what point did it stop being enough to dress in an actual costume, and someone decided that you should eliminate about 90% of the material and not look at all like the actual thing you were dressing up as in the first place?

Perhaps you'd like to offend one of America's civil servants. A policeman, soldier or border patrol agent maybe?

Or maybe you'd like to take a beloved Children's character and whore it up a whole bunch. By wearing lingerie.

Who decided that this was okay? Do you know what I saw at the store today? Sexy Spongebob! It was basically a tight yellow t-shirt with Spongebobs face and a really short brown skirt. Seriously, who thought of this stuff? Does it not bother these people that they're taking characters made from little kids and turning them into sex outfits? *shudder*

If you're going to do all of that, why not just forget where the costumes originally came from? You can take anyone and just sex it up.

Never mind that it makes no sense at all because the point of being something for Halloween is to actually LOOK LIKE THAT THING. Sexy Female Elvis? SEXY FEMALE ELVIS? Elvis was not a female. Sexy maybe, in some days, but not a woman. How does that even make sense? And the "Bride" costume... what makes it a bride? The bouquet? The veil? It looks like it's from Frederick's of Hollywood. I guess it could be "Wedding night bride". Perhaps next year you'd like to go as Sexy Vladimir Putin, Sexy Barbara Bush or Sexy Gary Busey. Why the hell not?

There are a lot of things about these trends that are disturbing to me, not the least of which is that most of these costumes are not only available in adult sizes, but in TEEN sizes. I can't imagine what parent would let their teen out of the house in any of these costumes, but it's super disturbing to be in the store watching 12 and 14 year old rifle through the sizes.

What ever happened to creativity? What happened to wearing costumes that don't look like they came from a lingerie store and that they were meant for playing dressup in the bedroom?

Maybe next year, you could just by this costume, titled "Stripper Costume". The ironic thing is that it actually covers more than some of those other costumes...



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Hai BOO

Haiku Friday

Halloween is here!
I love the kids in costumes,
their little faces.

My best friend's two kids
Mario and Luigi
How freaking cute, huh?

My little guy roars
A tiger this year, the last
>year it is my choice!

Next year holds something
new, he'll want to pick his own
costume, I suspect!

I can't wait to see
What he comes up with then - and
for the years to come!

Sam is 2 1/2 this Halloween.  I don't think he'll understand a lot of the Halloween stuff, and we'll see how he does with Trick or Treating.  He might think it's fun, but maybe just because he gets to run around outside at night.  I don't know if he'll keep his costume hood on or not.  I do know that NEXT year at this time it will be Sam's first REAL Halloween.  I know that by next year he will be excited about Halloween.  He'll look forward to trick or treating.  He'll want to choose his own costume, and I will let him.  If we can't buy it, we'll piece it together.  Maybe we'll do that anyhow depending on what he wants.  I can't wait.  So, I'll enjoy this year, but I will also look at it as a stepping stone to next year - to watching him enjoy Halloween that much more!

For more Friday Haikus, click here!
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Let Me Blow Your Mind

What do the following have in common?
  • An I-Pod for every person in the world
  • A college education for every single high school student in America
  • House 15 million homeless families, get a million kids out of foster care
  • Produce enough ethanol and cellulosic ethanol to virtually eliminate America's dependence on Middle-East oil
All of those things could be bought with the trillion dollars we've spent on the Iraq war.  Plus more.  Today I discovered this book:  What We Could Have Done With the Money: 50 Ways to Spend the Trillion Dollars We've Spent on Iraq byRob Simpson.  You can buy it on Amazon.com, or if you're poor like me you can check your local library - I have it on hold and am picking it up tomorrow!

Earlier today, Todd at Iced Tea & Sarcasm shared a post that talked about Rob's book and a link to the website created after the book was published - What We Could Have Done With the Money.  At first it seemed like a novelty.  Even seeing the number, it's really, really, really hard for an average person like me to comprehend what a trillion dollars is.  $1,000,000,000,000.  That's a freaking lot of money.  

I'm against the war in Iraq.  I have been from the beginning.  I'm pretty much against war in general.  Of course, this doesn't mean I don't support the troops, but I cannot fathom the amount of money we've put into a senseless war that's killed so many people - soldiers and citizens alike.  But it's hard to get what it really means.  Unless you log on to Simpson's website and use his ultimate shopping spree widget.  I went into it, and selected the following:
  • Feed 10,000 starving children from birth to 18 years old ($2160 each)
  • Build 10,000 Habitat for Humanities houses, and house 10,000 families in the U.S. ($60,000 each)
  • Protect 99,900 acres of tropical rain forest ($1500 per 100 acres)
  • Buy 15,984 meals for hungry people across the U.S. ($1 for 16 meals)
  • Build and equip 999 hospitals in third world countries ($41,300,000 per hospital)
  • Build 999 miles of mass transit monorails to reduce polution in the U.S. ($150,000,000 per mile)
My total?  $191,731,799,499.  All of the above could be bought FIVE TIMES OVER for the same amount that we've spent on this horrible, idiotic war.  Food, housing, medical care, support for our veterans, public transit, reducing dependency on foreign oil, making our education system number one.  ALL of it could be reality for the same amount we've spent on this war.

I haven't read the book yet, but I'm going to.  I'll post an update when I finish it, but without even having picked it up, I know that it is going to make me mad, make me that much more eager for January 20, 2009.  I can't believe this has happened to our country.
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October 29, 2008

Frustration!

So I decided I wanted more control over my template and I decided to take the template from my original blog and use it here. The only problem is, it will not change the header image! As you can see, on my other blog I have a custom header I created and then uploaded by going into the page layout and editing the header, then telling it to use my image instead of the header text. I can do the EXACT same thing here and it will say it's saved the changes, but the header image doesn't show up on the blog! ARGH! Any ideas?
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Photopalooza!

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I just uploaded TONS of new photos to flickr, pics from my trip, random shots from September, and from last weekend visiting friends. These were a couple of my favorites. I'm finally up to date on my photo uploads and it feels great! To see more click here!
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October 28, 2008

City of Ember

I picked up the book 'The City of Ember' by Jeanne Duprau a couple of years ago, it was one of those impulse purchases based almost solely on the lovely cover design.  It seemed like an interesting concept, but I never got around to reading it although it's still sitting on my bookshelf.  I had a vague interest in the movie because the previews looked pretty cool, but I hadn't thought about it much before last night, when I was at Violet's and we were deciding what to see.

There were so many things that I liked about this movie!  Although I didn't get a chance to read the book before seeing the movie, Violet did.  She said that despite some changes, she thought that the movie stuck very closely to the book, and that they did a good job.  The underground city was absolutely amazing.  It was totally believable that they were deep underground and that no concept of natural light or being outside existed.

One of the things I liked most was that this was an adaptation of an intermediate reader book, meant for kids in grades 4-7 and the movie stayed true to that.  The scariest parts had to do with a giant mole and a flume-like ride in a small boat, but there was barely any violence, and no romance or sex.  We both felt confident that even if she hadn't been able to understand all of the plot points, her six year old would have been able to safely watch and enjoy this movie.

Bill Murray was perfect as the greedy, plotting Mayor of Ember who cares mainly for himself and his next junk food fix.  It was nice to see Saoirse Ronan in this as a hopeful and cheerful child.  I think the only other movie I've seen her in was Atonment, and her character in that was decidedly un-hopeful and un-cheerful.  It was great to see her in something else, and I enjoyed her performance - I have a feeling that she's really going to go somewhere in the world of movies.

This movie was fun, whimsical, and with a unique plot interesting enough to entertain adults and kids alike.  I'd definitely recommend it, and if you've got a kid who's a reluctant reader, this might spur them on in wanting to read the next two books in the series!

After I came home from the movie, I was eager to start reading the series, including the first book, and find out where the story goes next!  I would love to see the next book turned into a movie if they do as good a job with it as they did with this one.
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Heads or Tails: A Scary Story




This week's theme for Heads or Tails Tuesday is 'Tell a Scary Story'. Here's something scary for you...



To read more scary stories, go to Heads or Tails Tuesday!

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October 27, 2008

The Breakup

Dear 2008,

I'm sorry to do this when we've been together so long, but I think it's time to end this relationship.  Before you get all defensive, I assure you that it's NOT just because I am suffering from this horrible flu and my kid hasn't slept more than 3 hours at a stretch for several days.  Really, it's not.  In fact, I had decided to end it last week, before this even happened.

It's just not working out.  It's not that you're not a good year, but I don't think our relationship is healthy.  I can't just keep holding on to you when you haven't brought me much luck.

I'm not saying it was all bad.  We had a great time together in June when my Mom got married, and in August when Sati got married.  I had a couple of good trips to New Jersey, and we definitely enjoy being back in Bellingham.  But sometimes, the good things just aren't enough to overshadow the flaws.

I know you.  I know you'll want to know why I'm doing this, and I'll tell you, but it might be hard to read.  We both should have known that this relationship wasn't meant to last when the first experience we shared was my husband losing his super awesome job that we'd become accustomed to and spoiled by.  If that had been it, bygones could be bygones.  But then...

>My Dad got arrested for a DUI and the end of his marriage was imminent.  For the last 7 months I've watched my Dad and Stepmom's relationship fall apart, my heart aching for both of them and my 10 year old sister and all they are experiencing right now, and the fact that I can't do much to help right now.

Then Sam turned two and he still wasn't talking.  We worried about him, we got him evaluated, he was behind.  That was a lot of stress on Justin and I, even if you didn't see it.  

My father-in-law's Parkinsons became worse and worse.  It became apparent over the months that our plan of moving into the house Justin grew up in was not to be.  Now we're living in a rental unsure of where we will go after this.

We can't afford to buy a house because we make so little money, and because of another event I've shared with you, 2008.  That would be our bankruptcy.  We've filed and our hearing is in a few weeks.  We struggle financially.  We were doing okay until last month, I also lost my job.  My job that fit perfectly into our lives.

Now I'm struggling with the idea of going to work full time.  I don't want it - I know that you might say I'm lucky I've been able to spend the last 2.5 years home with Sam, but I hate the idea of putting him in daycare full time.

My sister moved back to Seattle, and I miss her.

Last week, three people I know, directly or by association died, and I found out about all three on the same day.

This week, I found out that my father-in-law has moved to a retirement/assisted living community.  Because of his Parkinson's and it's progression, he's no longer able to live on his own and will most likely have to sell his house - the one he built with his own hands, that my husband grew up in, that we were planning on living in someday.

It's just too much.  I'm afraid I just can't stand to stay in any kind of relationship with you and your negativity.  I know you've got others - people who have had a great year.  So, you can run off and be with them, and hopefully they'll comfort you.

I know that you think you still have something for me, that you think our relationship still has hope.  I suspect that next week you'll try to win me back with this election.  But it's too little too late.  After all, if Obama is elected, he won't ACTUALLY be the president until 2009, right?!  Nice try, but no cigar.

I'll always remember you, but it wasn't meant to be.

Rachael

PS  If you get spiteful because of this and try to put John McCain in the White House, I will hunt you down, I swear.
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October 26, 2008

Supernatural

I loves me some Supernatural. I just watched last week's episode and I love it that I can watch a show that simultaneously creeps me out and makes me crack up in the same episode. Jensen Ackles is hot... um, I mean, Jensen Ackles is so great in his role and he and Jared Padalecki have such good chemistry together. If you were a fan of The X-Files, you should be watching this show. Every season has a different spin to it, but still keeps with the creepy... well, supernatural theme. If you haven't been watching from the beginning it's worth checking out the DVDs - while you're at it, check out the gag reels, because they're pretty funny as well. I have a lot of shows on my list, but this is one that I look forward to every week and often watch the same night it airs even if I've got other stuff recorded.
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October 23, 2008

My Horrible List

So, I was thinking that if I am going to be writing about my TV Shows, I should make a list of the shows I watch. I'm pretty sure this is a comprehensive list...

On Now

American Dad
Bones
Boston Legal
Chuck
Criminal Minds
CSI
CSI: New York
Desperate Housewives
Dirty Jobs
Dirty Sexy Money
Eli Stone
ER
Family Guy
Fringe
Ghost Whisperer
Grey's Anatomy
Heroes
House
Kath & Kim
King of the Hill
Law & Order: SVU
Life
My Name is Earl
Mythbusters
Numbers
Private Practice
Pushing Daisies
Samantha Who
Supernatural
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
The Mentalist
The Office
The Simpsons
Time Warp
Ugly Betty
Worst Week

Not On Now

30 Rock
Battlestar Galactica
Eureka
Flashpoint
Hell's Kitchen
Law & Order
LOST
Medium
Monk
Project Runway
Psych
So You Think You Can Dance
The Cleaner
The Closer
Top Chef

Go ahead and laugh at me.  It's just what I do.
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Giving Thanks

Haiku Friday

I sit on the couch
he sits on my chest this boy
little man of mine

Some days I hold him
look back on the last two years
every moment there

Some days I hold him
and wonder where the time went
when did he get big?

I hold him those days
his body long and lean, he
is so amazing

These days, new words are
spilling out like water from
a fountain of glee

Every day so full
of love, laughter, wonder, and
exploration - LIFE

At 29 months, Sam is finally REALLY talking.  He has words that he uses regularly, and every single day now, there are new words, pouring from his mouth.  He repeats things we say, repeats things he hears on TV - and we can really tell what he's saying.  It's just amazign, incredible to watch.  Whenever he repeats a word for us, we just laugh and cheer and celebrate.  What a truly amazing time.

Last week I got news that three people I knew by association or directly had died.  I read some posts online about hardships that people are facing, and I felt so blessed.  I have this amazing life, despite the hardships that we have faced this year - we have each other.  I have this amazing little boy who is a total joy and the most incredible husband that I could have asked for.

No matter how hard it gets, life can be good if we make it good.

For more Friday Haikus, click here!
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Sarah Palin Embarrasses Me

I have been thinking a lot about politics lately - really, who hasn't? I have been doing more research than I've ever done, paying more attention to the news and debates and interviews than I ever have before. One reason for this is that if I thought I was afraid in 2004, if I thought I was heartbroken and disappointed when Bush "won" again, that will IN NO WAY compare to how I will feel if McCain/Palin somehow come out on top in this election.  Before you read on, know that I'm not debating the issues here.  I'm talking about feelings, and a primal anger that bubbles within me.  I'm not going to go over the talking points, and compare them - there are tons of websites out there that do that.  I'm just talking about what I think right now.

When Sarah Palin first became the Vice Presidential nominee for the Republicans, there was a lot of talk about her being a woman. Now, some time has passed and she has had a chance to come out and show us who she is. I still feel that the focus should be mostly on Obama and McCain's policies - shouldn't we be focusing on what they will do for us as President? However, because of McCain's age and health concerns, I feel that we need to take a really good look at the person next in line to become the President if something happens to him.

John McCain is 71 years old, which means that if he won this election, he would be the oldest person ever to take the office of President. McCain's doctors have given him a clean bill of health at this time. Even if he's healthy, things happen. At 71 years of age, you just never know. And I feel that if something did happen, and Palin was put into office, it would make a complete mockery of our country.

Some people vote on a single issue. Maybe they refuse to vote for anyone who is anti-abortion. Maybe they refuse to vote for anyone who supports gay civil unions or gay marriage. For me, I have a fundamental problem with Sarah Palin as a woman and mother. There's something I don't understand... Sarah Palin does not believe that a woman should be able to have an abortion even in the case of rape. To me, saying that someone should carry and bear a child created during a violent attack, or created during a terrible, scarring incestuous moment, is completely heartless and cruel. As if being raped isn't bad enough, as if being forced to have sex against your will didn't scar you enough, now you should be required to bear the child of that event? I just can't agree with that.

And that's where my fundamental issue begins... I'm a little confused. If you believe that a baby has the right to be protected and born NO MATTER WHAT, how do you justify putting your baby in the amount of danger that Sarah Palin did? Her amniotic fluid started to leak in Texas, but instead of heading for the nearest hospital, she decided to hop a plane back to Alaska, pass up a bigger, more equipped hospital, and head to the one in her hometown. As if this wasn't bad enough, she was pregnant with a baby who had Downs Syndrome, which frequently causes heart problems. How can she, as a mother, have put her baby in that amount of risk? Once amniotic fluid is leaking, your body and your baby are open to infection. She doesn't believe that other women should I find it incredibly hard to believe that when her amniotic fluid started to leak instead of heading for the nearest hospital for the safety of her downs syndrome baby (who often have heart problems), she would hop some planes and then get into a fricking car to an airport with an inferior pediatrics unit. If you believe life starts at conception and that ALL babies should survive, why would you put your baby at risk in such a huge way?? It just doesn't make any sense to me. It's totally hypocritical.  As a mother, I just can't stomach it.

The bottom line is this...  If Barak Obama is elected, it will be an amazing step for our country - our first African-American President.  Wow.  If Hilary Clinton had made the democratic ticket, I would have felt that it was an amazing step forward for women if she'd been elected our next President.  But if Sarah Palin is elected... I feel it would be a step backwards.  Whatever she would do in office as VP or President, it certainly would not be an advancement of women as a group, she would not be a representative of the women I know, nor of the rights we hold dear or seek to gain.  These past eight years, I've been embarrassed.  I can't believe the mockery that has been made of our contry by our current administration.  With McCain/Palin in office, I can't imagine how people will see us.  I can tell you for sure that if I travel abroad, I'll definitely be saying I'm Canadian, because I will be a little too ashamed to admit that I'm from America.  And in this country, we should never feel that way.  
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October 22, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Ethereal Child

My best friend's six year old daughter somehow managed to get this completely awesome photo while playing with my camera. I seriously love it.

For more wordless wednesday photos, click here!
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October 21, 2008

New Shows - My Take So Far

So, we're not far into the TV Season, but I've started watching a few new shows.  Here is my take on them so far...

Eleventh Hour:  New crime show by Jerry Bruckheimer about a guy who travels around saving people from "the worst abuses of science", whatever that means.  It's based on a British show, so I guess we'll see what Jerry Bruckheimer does with a convert.  Aside from The Office I am not recalling any recent shows that have been based on British shows that have been very good.  I find Rufus Sewell a little bit creepy.  Especially when he explains cloning by using grapes, then he eats one of them.  I don't like either of the main characters that much at this point, but maybe I'll get used to them.  I'm afraid that after the first episode, I'm a little bit worried about the scientific parts simply seeming ridiculous and unfeasable.  I'm afraid that Rufus Sewell's character might take on a Matlock-esque quality of explaining things to people and somehow making them see some kind of light, like Matlock getting everyone to confess on the stand.  I'll give it a couple more episodes, but I'm definitely undecided on this one.  

Fringe:  I love it.  I am a huge fan of JJ Abrams, so I expected to really like this show.  It's quite X-Files-ish, which of course is a plus to me.  I also admit here and now that I love Joshua Jackson.  Despite the fact that I know it's not his name, I always call him Pacey.  I am not sure why I like him so much, but I definitely like him in this show.  In any case, I'm definitely going to keep watching.  I was surprised that after only a few episodes I was drawn in to the whole conspiracy - the events, the corporation, all of it.  How does Abrams do it?  With Alias, and Lost, and now this.  I just hope that FOX doesn't fuck up and cancel it before it has a chance like so many other shows I've liked.  This one is my favorite new show!  

The Mentalist:  The Mentalist is a little bit like Psych.  Only without the hilarity.  And with more smarm.  And the guy doesn't pretend to be psychic, he used to pretend to be psychic and now he just uses tricks and hypnotizes people into giving the police information.  I like the story so far, but I'm not a HUGE fan of the main actor - Simon Baker.  I'm not sure if it's him, or if it's the character but I find his brand of 'charm' a little annoying.  It could go either way at this point, I'm not convinced it will last.  Psych has it's crack-you-up funniness, Medium has the down-homeness of Alison and her family, Ghost Whisperer has... uh, Ghosts.  I'm not sure that this show has enough of a unique angle to last.

True Blood:  I've only watched a couple of episodes so far.  One of the problems is that I went into it already thinking that I did NOT think that Anna Paquin was right for the Sookie character.  I still don't think so, and I am not sure I ever will.  Other than that it's okay so far.  I will have more to say about it when I watch a few more episodes (I'm behind...), I'm wondering if it has the staying power to last more than one season.  

Worst Week:  I've only watched one episode so far, and I laughed out loud several times.  I hope that it continues to be funny, and that it isn't just going to get really OLD after a couple of episodes.  

What is your favorite new show this year?
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Heads or Tails: I think my wires are crossed.




This week's theme for Heads or Tails Tuesday is 'Wire'. Here's the thing - for the past few days I've been feeling a lot like someone crossed or unhooked some of the wires in my head. I'm sort of... out of sorts. I feel weird. To tell you the truth, I feel a little like I'm floating. I'm not really sure why. Everything in my life just seems a little bit off to me right now. My head feels cloudy.

I feel disorganized, but don't have the usual drive to get things in order. I feel anxious and relaxed at the same time. My house is dirty and I want it to be cleaner, but I also don't care that much. In a way, it's sort of nice. But it makes me feel weird.

I've been having mood swings. I'm happy then I'm sad. I love my son then I want to be alone. I feel weird.

I've been weirdly tired, I spent most of the day falling asleep on Sunday and dozing. It was kind of pleasant. But it made me feel weird.

I've been having weird appetite fluctuations. Some days, nothing sounds good to eat. I went out to dinner the other night and ate less than half my meal. It's not a bad thing to not overeat. But the lack of hunger and desire to eat up... well, it makes me feel weird.

I've been feeling funny in my tummy, not sick necessarily, but unsettled. It feels... weird.

I'm also walking on a wire. You know how Lotus and Loralee are pregnant? Well, last week I found out that one of my good friends, Amy, is expecting too! Which brings me to the wire... we all put ourselves up there sometimes, balancing between truth and dreams with no net. Here's the thing... I have the fever. The baby fever. I have ups and downs in this area, I want another baby, we both do, but because of the issues we've had in the past it hasn't always been as simple as just wanting it. For some reason, for the past week, I have not been able to get it out of my head.

The background is that we have Sam, who's almost 2. We started trying to get pregnant again when Sam was around 16 months old. We went back to the fertility clinic and they totally pumped me full of Clomid, which caused PCOS. I haven't had any fertility drugs for almost a year, but my cycles are still regular as anything - 28 days almost to the dot most months, which is not normal for me. We did one round of IUI earlier this year, but it (obviously) didn't take, we think beacuse it was right before Justin was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, and health was not abundant in our house at that time. Since then, we've lost money. We aren't able to afford going back to the doctor to try IUI again or have cycles monitored by ultrasound. Even if we HAD $600 extra a month, we'd have to put it towards bills and groceries at this point. So, we haven't been using birth control, but we haven't been trying - since Justin said he didn't think we'd be able to do anything until next year, I haven't even been monitoring my cycles (although I'm about to start again, cause hey, why not).

I don't trust or have much hope that we could get pregnant on our own, not after how things went last time. Yet, somehow, even though we've had sex... an embarrassingly low number of times, even though I've never gotten pregnant on our own before, even though I'm not even due for my period yet... I'm walking a fine line here. I'm walking a wire between my head trying to convince me that maybe my out-of-sorts-ness means that I could be pregnant, and my heart, which is about 99% positive that that is completely ridiculous and not the case.

Why do I do it to myself? When we're not even monitoring or trying in earnest, why sit here and daydream about a July or August baby, why think about how it felt when I was pregnant and the baby kicked, why give myself the hope of being pregnant and going through things at the same time as one of my friends? Why walk this wire?

I don't know why, but it is what it is. I will continue. Every day I will simultaneously hope not to get my period, and hope that it would just COME already so that I could stop this silliness and get back to reality.

What wire are you walking in your life this week?
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October 20, 2008

Blindness

I had seen previews for this movie starring Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo several months ago, and it had gone out of my mind.  When deciding to go to a movie last week, my friend and I came across it again and decided to try it out.  It seemed like an interesting concept.  The basic plot of the movie centers around a plague of blindness that is rapidly spreading, and the government response.

Mark Ruffalo plays an eye doctor - the first to see a case of the strange illness, and Julianne Moore is his wife.  Once the blindness starts to spread, there is a panic, and the blind are shipped away to a seemingly abandoned hospital type facility.  When the po-po come for Ruffalo, Moore tells them she has also gone blind so she can go with him.  She ends up as the only seeing person in what increasingly becomes a horrifying prison for the blind.

The movie follows the main couple and several central characters through their time in the facility and eventual abandonment of it, as well as what happens after that.  The blind are surely subject to the stench and outright filth of the makeshift prison, but as the only seeing person, Moore is subjected to watching the horrors unfold.

When it was over, I didn't feel much of anything about it.  I didn't like it.  I didn't hate it.  It just... WAS.  I'm not annoyed that I saw it, but I don't necessarily think it was worth the $10 I paid for the ticket.  There were some things I liked about it - it's certainly an interesting concept, and some of the filming, especially the shots of what it looked like as the people were losing their sight, were really cool.  I liked that the story took place in an unknown city/country - there were people of all races, and no signs as to where the story took place.  

But I felt unsettled by the squalor portrayed in the prison.  I suppose that I felt that much of the movie was gratuitous.  I would have rather watched the story from a different side - scientists trying to figure out what happened, or repair of the society - what happened afterwards?  Instead we watched the people fall apart and criminals take over the food supply, ultimately leading to a pretty graphic, very disturbing rape orgy.  

This is one that I wouldn't recommend to the faint of heart.  It was disturbing and unpleasant to think about.  If you do want to see it, there's no reason to see it in the theater - you might as well save a few bucks and rent it when it comes out on DVD.
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October 19, 2008

Exciting News!

Pssst.... hey, did you notice something new?  Over there, over there to your left.  It's a shiny new button, and it leads to my brand new REVIEW blog!  Woo!  If you've been around, you've seen my Movie Monday posts, and some of my book reviews.  With the TV season started up again, I really felt like I needed to have a place where I can write about the shows I'm watching without creating too many posts here, or overshadowing the other things I have to say.  Thus, SNOTW Presents was born!  From here out, I'll be posting my movie reviews there, as well as book reviews, occasional music reviews, and of course my thoughts, opinions, and rants about the WAY TOO MANY TV shows that I watch!  I hope you'll come see me there, and enjoy it!  
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October 17, 2008

My Brain is Total Mush

Haiku Friday

I am back at home
after a weeks vacation
oh so tired now!

A vacation from
vacation is needed now
Oh, so ironic

My brain is mushy
I can't compose a normal
or smart post right now!

So, sorry for the
copout, but a bullet list
is all that I could

manage... that and a
heartfelt request - an update
to my prayer list

If you are the type
to pray for those in need, please
join me in mine now.

I've updated my Prayer List, located here.  I got some wonderful news this week, and some sombering, and found some people who definitely need positive energy right now.

I'll close for the week by emptying my head of the following random thoughts:
  • You know what I forgot before this vacation?  How it feels to go days on end without taking tiny toddler steps!
  • Airplanes are much more comfortable, and flights much shorter, without a 2 year old in tow.
  • I really hate Sarah Palin.  I have been drafting a post about it for a week, and it gets me all riled up whenever I see her.  Sigh...
  • My husband is growing a beard.  I told him to do it because I wanted to see what it would look like.  It's been a couple of weeks and I really like it!  I think it looks good on him.
  • I watch too much TV and after being gone for a week there are a billion shows on our computer to watch!  AGH!  Overload.
  • My house is a complete mess and it's driving me insane, but I've been too tired to do anything about it!
  • I applied for 5 jobs today.  Hopefully I'll get an interview SOMEWHERE!
  • Still trying to stay positive, applied for unemployment for the time being and am confused about how it works, so it makes me nervous.
That's all I can manage for tonight... I hope that after this weekend I'll have some intelligent thoughts to share with you all!  Read more Friday Haikus HERE.
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October 14, 2008

Heads or Tails: Going Home




This week's theme for Heads or Tails is "Anything that starts with G". Today the only thing I can think of is "Going Home". Today is my last day of vacation. Tonight my sister and I will stay at a hotel near the airport so we can be close to catch our 7 AM flight tomorrow.

I'm not ready. I miss my husband and my son. I miss 2 year old cuddles and kisses. But I have found the last couple of times I've come to visit my stepmom and little sister when it comes time to leave I'm wishing I could have more time.

I want to keep working on the house, organizing, moving furniture, making improvements. I want to keep helping my little sister with her 5th grade homework and studying for tests. I want to keep hanging out with both my sisters and making cookies and jokes together.

My youngest sister is 10 years old. She just got a saxaphone, and she's really good at it - she has an ear for music. She isn't the best student, but we're all trying to help that along. She loves Webkinz and Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers. She has long black hair and wears flannel pants and capri sweatpants and grey and purple skater shoes. She has way too many stuffed animals for one person. She has accumulated an amount of belongings in her 10 years that are almost unmanagable. She sleeps in a bunk bed with a cool new bedding set she got this summer. She's funny. She makes jokes and teases and I love the sound of laughter taking over her words as she tries to talk. And...

She lives in New Jersey. This year I was lucky, I've gotten to see her 3 times and will hopefully see her again at Christmastime. I just wish it could be more. But we live 3000 miles apart, and with school, work and finances, it just isn't always possible. I miss her when I'm gone.

And if that's bad, don't even get me started on leaving my Stepmom...

Later this week I'll probably be back to my regular blogging schedule. I'll come up with good ideas, I'll resume Movie Monday. It may be time to resume TV Tuesdays (or maybe Thursdays) now that the new seasons have started. I'll do Wordless Wednesday and Haiku Friday. I'll write about my family and what I've done that week and what got on my nerves, my hopes and fears.

For now, all I can think about is Going Home. Sometimes it's really hard.
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October 10, 2008

Haikus, Vacations & Poetry

Haiku Friday

I hear you knocking
but I'm not home now, you see
I flew out Wednesday!

Back to Jersey for
my cousins wedding, and a
short visit as well.

As you read this now,
I am with my Dad for the
first time since Christmas!

Then I will get to
visit with my stepmom and
little sister too.

Will be back to my
normal posting by next week
But in the meantime

I leave you with a
poem, a hello and goodbye
hope you enjoy it!

Hello there! I will be back to posting as normal next week, and hopefully will have gotten some more great inspiration on this trip like I did last time! For today, I am posting an old poem I wrote that I still really like. Hope you enjoy!

South Ken

I walk, surrounded
by the sounds of buskers,
the sight of husks full of people
sleeping bag cocoons of bodies.

These sights, sounds and feelings
send me reeling with awe,
the shock of a flaw in such a magical city
overflows my mind.

Voices pull me back, flush
with the rush of normal people bustling,
by, accustomed to hustling by and ignoring
“Homeless and Hungry – Please can you help?”

Imagine living
a life dependant on the giving of strangers
facing the dangers of cold and sickness
with only a sleeping bag and cardboard sign.

Playing a flute
in a putrid underground tunnel
people funneling by with glassy, uncaring eyes
thinking ‘maybe if I had smaller change’.

I pause before wood,
tiny statues laid on blankets, and should I buy
a polished lion or butterfly just to feel better?
I don’t meet his eyes.

And we walk
surrounded by din, talk winding around us like a snake
I can’t seem to shake off this white noise
wondering why
we never stop to wonder why.

That's all for now! Goodbye, have a great weekend, and to read more haikus, head over here.
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October 9, 2008

A delayed flight gives me a little perspective

We arrived at the airport just over an hour early for our flight to Pennsylvania via Chicago. When we stepped up to the kiosk to check in, we found that our first flight had been delayed for over two hours, meaning we would miss our connecting flight. So, we headed over to the customer service line to wait for an agent to help us find a different flight.

There were about 10 people in front of us in line, and only one agent. Because of all of the rescheduling they were doing, each customer was taking a significant amount of time. We were worried. Would we have to leave the airport? Would our trip be cut short? Would we have to arrive at 4 in the morning and really inconvenience someone by making them pick us up at such a crazy hour? Would we have to stay somewhere overnight? Would we have to stand in this line for 2 hours waiting for our turn?

That's when I saw her. She was four people behind us in line. She was wearing a white sweater and holding a kleenex and her eyes were red. I couldn't help overhear her conversation....

...in the hospital...going into surgery...head and neck okay, lungs and heart okay...bleeding around liver and spleen...broken femurs...broke all her ribs...crushed her legs...

She was waiting in line to buy a plane ticket to the east coast. Someone she cared deeply about had been injured. My heart ached for her. While we were waiting, she got a call from someone at the hospital. I watched her crouch down, crying, hiding her face as she listened, and my heart stopped. For a moment, I feared that whoever she was going to see had not made it. But, that was not the case. I don't know what they told her.

She moved through the line, making notes on a crowded piece of paper, pulling out more kleenex when needed. She made and received phone calls, she explained who was driving from where to get to the hospital. She waited.

And suddenly, my delayed flight... it didn't really matter. As tears filled my eyes for this young woman, I just felt lucky to be going to visit family. I prayed for her to get a flight soon, to make it, for the person she was speaking about to be okay.

We ended up getting on a different flight through Denver instead of Chicago, only arriving an hour later than planned. I hope that she got where she was going, and that when she arrived, she was with other people that shared her love for this person and could be there for her as she healed.
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October 7, 2008

Saturday Share: Tuesday Edition!

Well, the truth is that I was sick over the weekend, and busy, so I didn't get my Saturday Share links up on time.  So, since I'm going to be busy packing and spending time with Sam before I have to leave him for a week on Wednesday, I decided to put up my links today!

If you need some good reads for the week, check these out - you won't be disappointed!
  • Lotus at Sarcastic Mom and Loralee at Loralee's Looney Tunes have some AMAZING NEWS!  Go congratulate them!
  • Todd at Iced Tea & Sarcasm helps us figure out how to be an AWESOME debator, like Sarah Palin.
  • Auds at Barking Mad gives us a chance to help her decide who to vote for.  For a great read, and a good think, keep reading through the comments.  For a lighter read, see this post, where she shows us what happens when markers go bad.
  • Mrs. Chicken at Chicken & Cheese reminds us how hard it is to find balance, but also why it's totally worth it.
  • Mrs. Flinger created the perfect birth control!
  • HUGE congratulations to Rebecca of Girl's Gone Child on her beautiful new daughter Fable.  Check out her cuteness & congratulate Rebecca here!
  • I just can't help posting this link to Zoot because the pictures are just tooo cute!
  • What if the world could vote?  See what, at Sweetney's Linkblog.
  • Don't forget to head over to Petroville and check out the September Perfect Post nominees.
  • Y at Joy Unexpected posts a hilarious story that you have to read to believe.  Three words:  dancing midget elf.
  • Black Hockey Jesus writes something beautiful (again).
  • Lindsay at Suburban Turmoil has a really important message - protecting our kids is up to us!
  • And of course, never to be left out - fourfour's recap of last week's ANTM!
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October 6, 2008

Movie Monday: Eagle Eye

No spoilers this week!  Justin and I had been looking forward to seeing Eagle Eye since the previews started.  I really like Shia LeBeouf and it seemed like an interesting concept.  I got more interested when I read an article about how Steven Spielberg had come up with the concept for the movie over 20 years ago and it just hadn't gotten made, and at the time he came up with it, many of the things in it were more futuristic - cell phones, computers etc.  In any case, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie.  It was a good action movie, and the two main characters were played really well with good chemistry.  Do you know what the best thing about the movie for me was though?  I didn't figure out every single thing before the end of the movie.  I watch a lot of TV and movies, so I frequently find that I have figured out the ending or at least a main part of it before the movie is over.  This time, I didn't!  Granted it is totally possible that happened because I'm so tired, but either way it made it that much more enjoyable.  If you're an action movie fan, a computer based sci-fi fan, a Shia LeBouf fan, you'll enjoy this movie.  With all of the explosive action, it's definitely worth seeing on the big screen too.  

New movies I can't wait to see:  Nick & Nora's Infinite Playlist, How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, and Zak and Miri Make a Porno
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October 3, 2008

Trying to Let Go

Haiku Friday

I have to let go
life is complicated now -
well, it always is

Instead of worry
and stress, I'll try to enjoy
time off from working

Instead of anger
I'll try to let go, to see
the positive side

Now, I will try to
live from the example I
heard this week - it's good

Focus on love, on
light and moving on, instead
of mem'ries and dark

Things happen. There are some things I can talk about here - our bankruptcy, losing my job, worry about how much we owe in taxes for last year. Some, I can't talk about in detail except to say that my Dad and Stepmom are getting divorced and there are a LOT of feelings there and a lot of details. There's disappointment, anger, blame, sadness, all floating around. So, here's my resolution for right now.

I will try to let go of my anger. Instead I will try to focus on my family - my Dad, Stepmom and little sister. I will try to focus on love and building my future relationships with each one of them, and as much as possible try to let the past go and move towards the happiness I know each of them will achieve someday.

I will try not to stress out about being unemployed. I will try in earnest to get a new job, I will search and apply and interview. But for the time being, instead of being stressed out, I will enjoy the time off from work and not having to have that extra responsibility for a few weeks (or however long it takes).

It's not always easy to do these things. But I'm going to try. What are you trying in your life right now?

To read more Friday Haikus, click here!
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October 2, 2008

The Stepmom



This is by far my favorite picture taken during my visit to New Jersey this summer.  I'm sure that when she sees it, she will not think it is beautiful, but I do.  I think it is amazing.  Going through hard times, she is stressed and unsure.  In this picture, she is all grace and sadness and quiet and peace.

It wasn't always easy.  I had strained relationships with both of my step-parents as a child.  I have always been very outward with my emotions, and this was no exception.  I remember a time that she read something I'd written that said I hated her.  I was probably in middle school, or maybe a freshman in high school.  The moment broke my heart.  She said she didn't know what to do, didn't know how she could try more, or be what we wanted her to be.  She said she was finished.  Looking back at it now, all I can imagine is the pain she must have felt.

As an adult, I see things differently.  She was our caretaker.  Our Dad was there, but my stepmom was the sinew holding our little family together.  She made sure we got to go shopping for school clothes, she planned activities for us.  She cared for us as if we were her own even though she had come into our lives late and didn't have the ability to appreciate her for what she was.

How difficult it must be coming into a child's life.  A child who is hurt by her parents divorce, not sure of who she can trust, and unable to even understand exactly what she might be feeling.  To come into her life and make sure she is loved, she is supported.  To work hard to foster a relationship between her and her father when he's not able to handle it on his own.

Now I am an adult.  I see her going through hard times.  The last year has been full of heartache, pain, shock, and ultimately will end in an awful divorce.  I can't imagine being in her place.  My heart is broken, I want to make it better.  I wish there was something I could do for her, some way to help, to make things easier and let her believe that it will all be okay.  I wish I didn't live so far away, and that I could be there for her in the middle of the night when hope flees and she is alone.  She knows that I'm there for her.  That this won't change anything, she will always be in my life and will always be a very important part of Sam's life.  Watching her love him is amazing.  Watching her cope with her 10 year old in the middle of the night in full blown anger mode manifesting in something small and inconsequential, but reeking of anger and fear over the divorce, I wanted to take her in my arms and hold her until she fell into a deep sleep and could rest her weary mind.

She doesn't know she is amazing.  Some days, I don't think she believes she'll make it to the other side of this tunnel.  She doesn't know her place with her family-in-law anymore, or how they will deal with her.  I know she will work hard to continue relationships with them, especially for the sake of her 10 year old daughter, who she loves with all her heart.  She is alone now, unsure of what it means that the last 20 years culminated in this end to her marriage.

She doesn't know what I know.  That she is beautiful.  That she is kind.  That one day, she will find love again.  That she doesn't have a lifetime of being alone to look forward to.  That she deserves more, and that I'll be praying, no matter how long it takes, that she'll find it.  That she will heal, and her heart will be whole and stronger than ever.

She is beautiful, and I love her more than I can say.
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October 1, 2008

Perfectly In Love

The Original Perfect Post Awards 09.08 That's right folks, it's that time of the month again for our Perfect Posts to get the recognition they deserve! I'm really glad to have participated last month, and to continue until the end of the year. 2008 will be the last year for the perfect post awards, and in January we have something AMAZING to look forward to when Lindsay and Kimberly will hold a special award where we can choose our overall perfect post. What a difficult task that will be - it's hard enough just choosing each month!

This month, I'd like to award the perfect post award to Casey at Moosh in Indy for this post about her husband, Cody. Here's one of my favorite parts...

"I was always cautious about admitting how in love with my husband I was. From the moment I met him. I knew people were watching us, waiting for us to fail. As the years passed by I still never proclaimed my love for him openly. When in reality I would squee internally every time his truck pulled up. Or every night when he would reach over to pull me close to him as we fell asleep."

Casey and Cody met young, fell in love quickly and married young. I can related to her. I met my husband when I was only 18 years old, we talked about getting married within a few months. But of course, we NEVER told anyone! They would have thought we were crazy. But we both knew we'd found the one. This December will be 9 years together with us, and even with everything we've been through this year, I find our relationship as strong as ever.

I loved Casey's post for a lot of reasons. Because I could feel her love for Cody, and the smile she must have been wearing as she wrote it. Because she shared something that showed that Cody feels the same way, and that kind of bond is just amazing. I always love hearing stories from people who got together young, knew they were going to be together - and are still in love years later. People can be so cynical in this world about relationships, love, and staying power, but there are TONS of success stories just like Casey's out there. It's truly inspiring.

So, for making me smile, and for making me think about the love I have for my husband, here's to Casey and her post. For me, it was perfect.

To see more perfect post winners, head over to Suburban Turmoil or Petroville!
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Wordless Wednesday: Recent Favorites





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