Friday, December 24, 2004

Feliz Natal

With things looking much better on the family front, our first day in Brasil has been wonderful. A bit jetlagged from an overnight flight, but between the Guarana and espresso, and the best Christmas Eve I´ve had in three years, I´m feeling pretty energetic.

We exchanged gifts, had a delicious dinner of lamb (yes, I tasted it and, to my surprise, liked it), turkey, rissoto, and rice, panettone filled with ice cream for dessert, and then listened to Daniela´s very talented friend Edrick play the guitar and sing for us. After Edrick sang, another friend of the family, Caroline, played the piano and sang opera. The evening was topped of when Daniela´s Dad sat down at the piano (something he rarely does) and played some beautiful music.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Paradise Found

Thank God for frequent flier miles. They have made it possible for Hubby & I to go to Brasil to be in Daniela's wedding. We leave tomorrow (today). We are so excited. Her family is so incredibly kind and generous, they take us in and take care of us. I feel like I am getting the gift of parents for Christmas because Daniela's family are the kind of people who treat you like one of their own. I just hope I don't get overcome with emotion and start bawling.

The wedding is on Sunday and I know it will be beautiful. Chuck is in charge of the rings, so I hope he doesn't faint or, worse yet, forget them.

The next day we all head up to the beach house in Mara├║. The drive will be incredible, taking around two days, it will take us through the small towns in Brasil that most tourists don't get to see.

Then, relaxation on the beach for the next week.

Damn, after the month I've had, I need this. Though I am sure I am going to worry like crazy about my Brother. He does seem to be doing better today though. One day at a time, as they say in the program.

Have a safe, warm and happy holiday!

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

I
think
I
am
officially
turning
nocturnal.


Rebates Repulse Me

I hate rebates, they're the biggest scam EVER. These companies KNOW that 98% of us are schlumps who let them expire or just don't even bother. So today, when I bought new memory cards for my digital cameras, I tried to be very proactive and fill out the forms right away. On the form I noticed a web address - FINALLY - they're making it easy with online registration... so I went to the Office Max website and, lo and behold, it's BEING UPGRADED and ISN'T AVAILABLE.

YEAH, RIGHT! Why don't they just add a link to buy the Brooklyn Bridge.

em effers.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Cookie Monster

Well, I missed Jenny's Cookies & Cocktails party, major bummer. Her party was inspired by our favorite restaurant here in LA, Lola's, who serves hot fresh baked cookies as a dessert... so damn good!

So to make up for missing the party, on Friday night, bro called Lola's to order Cookies for take out... but much to our dismay, they were having a private party and weren't providing food. So we called again tonight, another private Christmas party. No fresh baked cookies. How sad is that?

Then again, I'm the type who puts my cookies in the fridge and my Faux Ho's in the freezer... and since Hubby grabbed me some molasses cookies that I will be sinking my teeth into within the next 48 hours, it really isn't so bad.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Day 4

Still in LA, in the midst of helping family. Things are going much better, though the stress is giving me migraines, upset stomaches, and crying spells. But it's what needed to happen.

Had a good day today, lunch at Bossa Nova, about the best Chicken Lasagna I've ever had... and for the first time in what seems like weeks, a REALLY GOOD Starbucks Vanilla Latte (non-fat, sugar free, extra vanilla, with whip - whew!)... a visit to some inspiring friends, and a stop at Costco - which was so insanely-mobbed, it's reason enough to keep me from moving to LA.

That said, having not shopped in quite some time, especially given the actual NEED to shop this time of year, I feel like I'M jonesing*. Driving by M.A.C., Kitson, Beverly Center, and Fred Segal about put me over the edge. I need SOMETHING, just a little bit of Target or Gap would get me through...

*I am NOT a Shopoholic, I checked the symptoms, hubby is well aware of all my purchases and I don't have to sell off my collection of Beanie Babies to pay my bills.

Friday, December 17, 2004

On a Mission

Family crisis got too much to bear, so at at 1am Wednesday I booked a flight and at 6am I was on my way to Las Vegas. I have to try to help, even if I'm not really the one who can change things. If something bad were to happen, I wouldn't be able to forgive myself if I hadn't at least visited.

Meanwhile, I think my body is feeling the effects of extreme stress, but I can't worry about that right now.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Winter Wonderland

Back in NY and greeted with cold and snow. I really don't mind the snow as far as looking at it and snowboarding on it... but the driving in it and walking through the parking lot in it (and nearly biting it) I could do without.

But for me, growing up in the Northeast, it just wouldn't be Christmas without it.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Love, Actually is Putting me on The Edge of Reason

Parts of my life seem to mirroring Colin Firth movies, but not in the way you might think.

I'll start with the Portuguese I am trying to learn, ala Colin Firth in Love Actually. We are going to Brasil in a couple weeks for Daniela's wedding and I don't want to be a completely ignorant American who can't even attempt to communicate. But I did also, just in case, buy the Point It book with all the pictures of stuff you might need, and I will be surrounded by beautiful Brasilian women - Daniela, Mika, Sofia and Charlotte - who will help me shop =)

This weekend, we're visiting the in-laws, who live in Florida's premiere retirement hotspot, The Villages - smack dab in the middle of the state. Earlier today, we went to a Christmas brunch, where I felt like Bridget Jones, mainly because we were half as old as the majority of people there, and most of them were wearing Christmas jumpers.

And the worst of all, I'm spending most of my time here worried about my family. I'm like Laura Linney in 'Love Actually', on the phone all the time, trying to make their lives better while nearly sacrificing my own sanity.

At least it's sunny here, not very warm, but sunny.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Gorilla Tears

Having a rough time as of late. Our family can't have good without bad rearing it's ugly head. Too much to mention, too depressing, and no matter how bad you think you have it, someone else is dealing with much worse crap.

So given my state of mind, when I read about the wake they had for Babs the Gorilla at the Brookfield Zoo, I bawled my eyes out...

"Babs' 9-year-old daughter, Bana, was the first to approach the body, followed by Babs' mother, Alpha, 43. Bana sat down, held Babs' hand and stroked her mother's stomach. Then she sat down and laid her head on Babs' arm."


Waaaahhhhhh!!!

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Wake me Up When I'm Skinny

It's not new, I've heard it before, sleep affects your weight. But the new research spells it out a bit more. When you're sleep deprived your body makes more of the hormone that makes you want to eat and less of the one that tells you to stop eating. It also makes you want to eat all the crap that you didn't sleep long enough to dream about... Krispy Kremes, lasagna, Butterfingers, Big Gulps...

If sleep were the key to eating less, I should have been emaciated on those summer vacations when I stayed up until 2am watching tv but then slept until 3pm - getting up just in time to see Blackie & Jackie go at it General Hospital. Unfortunately, I was still a chubby girl exposed to a few too many late night cable movies.

So basically, I've tried the Stay in Bed all Day Diet (SO ahead of my time) and it didn't work. Because, realistically, you only have to be awake for an hour to down a box of Fruity Pebbles, some pop tarts, some leftover pizza of which you ate most of the night before and wash everything down with a few pepsis... and appetite has little to do with those food choices, while instant gratification and tastebud extacy do.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Surviving Thanksgiving

Major Holiday of the Season #1: Survived

I made Thanksgiving dinner for six of us, but cooked enough to feed 20. I kept telling myself, "everyone needs leftovers" - that combined with the $.17/lb turkey sale and the Italian gene to provide waaay too much food, drove me to cook up thirty-two pounds of turkey (a 13 pounder on Wed and a 19 pounder on Thurs).

I'm not normally a very organized person, but for this shindig, I opted to pull things together early, make lists, create timelines... in other words, I channeled my inner Jenny.

In case you've never pulled together a Thxgvg dinner, here's what I did before the big day...

Shop for stuff
Thaw turkeys
Make Pumpkin Cheesecake
Cook Mrs. Smiths Pumpkin Pie
CLEAN
Make artichoke Dip
Cook turkey #1 (which, btw, was the most delicious, moist, yummy turkey ever - not sure how/why)


And here's my actual list from the day of:


Fear not, the unchecked items went off without a hitch and though I got a little off schedule, we were all sitting down to eat at about 3:30pm. And, needless to say, everyone had PLENTY of leftovers!

Here are family pix from the day.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Bring on the Cheese

It's not new, but it's gaining momentum - dairy appears to be the new low-carb. Drink milk, eat cheese, lose weight. For the past few days I've been having yogurt and milk for breakfast and with lunch and I always find it easy to down some cheese - not sure if my fat is melting away - I'll letcha know more later, like after I gain 5 lbs on Thanksgiving.

The milk marketers are on top of the situation, with their weight loss website - 2424milk.com.

The cheese marketers haven't used the weight loss spin to their advantage yet, but they certainly do have a nice site with Ilovecheese.com - they even have a Snackulator.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Bono-fide Dream

Saturday night, couldn't sleep, so I turned to my drug of choice - TV. First watched SNL, watched U2 perform, flipped past a Joe Pesci movie over to Gia with Angelina Jolie...the on to Point of No Return in time to catch Bridget Fonda enticing Dermot Mulroney into a kiss using a ravioli... until I finally faded off to sleep at about 4am.

All this worked out well as, in my dream, Bono made an appearance and we had quite a nice kissing session - just nice strong lip to lip kissing. Then Joe Pesci showed up and ruined it.

Next weekend I am going to have a Colin Firth Fest - who was just named one of People's Sexiest Men Alive (use the code GLAMOROUS if needed). I am going to pile up my Netflix queue with CF movies - Pride & Predjudice, Fever Pitch, Girl with a Pearl Earring, Valmont, along with my own, Briget Jones and Love Actually - and hope for some more tv-to-tina dream influence.

All romantic and very sweet, of course.

Monday, November 22, 2004

B-day Pix

I'm finally getting around to posting Jenny's pix from my birthday.

They start with pix from my family pizza party, with Hub, Sher (sis), Mya (niece), Tyler (bebe), Jenny, Gram, Aunt Del, and Deb (stepmom). Most notably, my hammy niece (who has the lovely habit of shoving a finger from each hand waaay up her nose*) and the yummy cake Jenny made.

The pix then switch over to the next day - the kidnapping to Niagara Falls. Note - I didn't know we were going, which is why I look like a hobo, though this doesn't explain why I thought it was ok to go to the mall looking like a hobo.

*In my naivety, I didn't think MY niece would do something so unseemly, so unsophisticated, so disgusting, SO two-years-old... as if I didn't get photographed picking my army green flowered bell bottoms out of my butt at age 5.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Relief

I was a bit worried because a few years back, I took the Death Test and it said I'd die at 36 - so, as you can imagine, I thought I'd have so start staying very far away from busses, pianos being dangled out of buildings and the like.

But I re-took the test and, WHEW, I now have until 67 - not sure what I'm doing differently but I welcome the reprieve.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

B-day

Today is my 36th birthday. THIRTY-SIX! Not that I think that's old, I don't. I just think I should be 27. I used to think 21 was the perfect age - I could drink, drive (not in that order), vote, and was done with school... but then I got older, and 25 was nice - I could rent a car on my own... but my mid twenties were mostly boring - not alot of money, not alot of style, hubby worked ALOT so no social life... then I came to work at kodak.com and for the first time, most everyone else was younger (and hipper) than me... so I caught up... went out alot, began to travel alot, earned more money, learned about design and style (from my stylish Designer friends), found my talent for shopping, and had a blast... even hitting the big 3-0 wasn't painful.

My best and my worst year were one in the same, I was 33. We went to Brasil with Daniela, then later that year went to London, Scotland and Paris with Jenny & Aaron... but that was also the year Mom died.

I still have alot of fun because I have a wonderful husband, loving family, and great friends, but there's now (and will always be) that VERY big void in my life. Birthdays are bittersweet. I love celebrating, but I miss that morning phone call from Mom saying, "at this time {howevermany} years ago, I was giving birth to my beautiful baby daughter"...

So if I could pick an age to freeze at, I think I'd stick with 27. Ask me again when I'm 45 and you might get a different answer.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Kidnapped!

Yesterday, under the guise of going shopping, Chuck, Jenny, & Aaron took me to Casino Niagara for my birthday.

I thought that Chuck missing the exit toward the mall was too good to be true, yet I held fast to the idea that he may have made his one annual mistake.

Further down the road, I realized that a surprise was being deftly executed. I called them out on it, then began guessing... "are we going to the Jello Museum?"... "are we going to Six Flags?"... "are we going to the Buffalo Zoo?"... "are we going GAMBLING?!!" YESSS!

We played slots, lost, then played blackjack. Chuck and I were doing so well, Aaron got in on the action. Chuck and I were up about $100 bucks at one point after about an hour of play, but in two shakes of a rattlesnakes tail, we were down $15 and called it a day. Aaron left the table a winner, making up for the losses at the slots. All in all, a good gambling day.

The fun evening was capped with dinner at the Hard Rock, a sundae with a sparkler, the servers singing happy birthday. Redemption from last year, "The Incident at Rainforest", when I was denied my "Volcano Spectacle", despite many attempts by Aaron to remedy the situation. I could only handle so many crowds of singing servers walking up to what appeared to be my table yelling "VOLCANO" only to turn at the last second and bring it to the tables next to, behind, over near ours.

It was a great surprise and alot of fun. I'm a lucky girl.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Art by Benny

My brother's friend Benny Coyle is an aspiring artist. Here are some photos from my visit to his house/studio.

He sometimes uses a burning technique with chemicals. He also did an interesting series of portraits of assassinated political figures - MLK Jr., JFK, Ghandi - covered in plexi that had bullet holes in it. They make quite a statement - too much of a statement according to his agent.

Benny's Titanic painting will be part of a nautical-related exhibit in Venice next week (CA, not IT).

Thursday, November 11, 2004

National Treasure

Went to the premiere of National Treasure monday night. It was a fun movie - especially if you like action/adventure or if you're a history buff.

My notorious bad-celebrity-spotting-luck held true. While I did see some celebs (including Olympic athletes), most were not very close. And as I perused the red carpet photos, I realized there were alot that I didn't even get a peek at.

There were a few that might have said "bless you" and wiped their arm had I sneezed - Patrick Swayze (and his brother), Crispin Glover, Jerry Bruckheimer, and Justin Gatlin, the gold medal winner - he seemed very nice.

I saw a few others from a distance, including Nick Cage and Justin Bartha - who steals the show in this movie with his excellent comic timing, IMHO.

Also saw alot of other olympians, including Annia Hatch (the gymnast) who looked as though she'd had a few too many (not that there's anything wrong with that as long as you're not driving - Michael!).

More pix here...

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Viper Room

Saw two good bands at the Viper Room Sunday night - Tyrone Wells and The Gavin Bellour Trio.

The Gavin Bellour Trio rocks an upright bass but much more rock 'n roll than a swing.

Silly Pix

Eddie and I took some silly pictures in the mirror.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Happy Birthday

Oh, and tonight is Eddie's birthday. We celebrated earlier with Chicken Madeira at the Cheesecake Factory and now we're about to head to the Viper Room. This time his friend (a different friend) DID get him on the list. I better not be made to feel like a hobo again.

In honor of the Rock-n-Rollness of the Viper room, I am wearing my original AC/DC concert t-shirt from 1981!

Sunday, November 07, 2004

I love LA, or Not

I love some of it. I enjoy the food - Jamba, In-N-Out, Lola's Mac & Cheese. I enjoy the view of the hills. I enjoy the weather. I definitely enjoy the shopping (helloooo Sephora)! I enjoy the openness and tolerance for alternative lifestyles. I enjoy hanging with my Brother who can make strangers laugh and drives even more "strategically" than me.

I don't enjoy the traffic, the crowds, but especially, I hate the "velvet rope" situation that occurs. I don't like feeling like less of a person because I'm not famous (or slutty).

My Bro asked his friend, who works at the Mondrian hotel, to get us on the list for the Skybar (the pool area turns into a club at night). Well, the friend forgot, so when Eddie and I got there, we were, as he says, "treated like hobos" and turned away. I hate a doorman delusionally thinking he is powerful and important because he tells people they can't get in.

Eddie and I have agreed that we will never attempt to go to the Skybar again, on the list or not, and will never stay at the Mondrian. So when he is a huge celebrity, I'm sure he will tell them to kiss his shiny butt cheeks.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

United We Fall

I truly hate United Airlines, I get nothing but ulcers from them. Major saga today that ended with me arriving in LA after midnight instead of 10:20, when I was supposed to.

Get a call that flight out at 6:20 is delayed such that I'll miss my connection.

Call USAirways (as it was a codeshare flight), wait on hold for 10 minutes, but they can't do anything for me.

Call United, wait on hold for 10 minutes, get a very nice lady who says she can rebook me thru Chicago and get me in an hour later. She also agrees to let me change to a later flight on my return. Just as she's about to do it all, we get disconnected.

Call United back, wait on hold for another 10 minutes, get a rude bitchy guy who changes me thru to Chicago, but tells me he can't do anything for the return flight, says things like, "it's only an hour difference" and "the return flight has nothing to do with it"... doesn't care that the previous woman said she could/would do it, then we get disconnected.

Call United back a third time, wait on hold for another 10 minutes, get a rude bitchy woman who also says they can't change my return flight and also says, "it's only an hour and if I change your return flight, you'd be gaining a whole day". I hate people like that.

So after all that, they say they can't do anything about my return.

But it's not over yet...

The flight out of Rochester was delayed.

Though we arrived in Chicago a half hour before my connection, we sat on the runway for 15 minutes, causing me to have to RUN about a mile through the airport (NOT in sneakers) to catch my plane. I arrived at my gate sweaty, nauseous, and with my lungs about to explode, only to sit there for another half hour while this flight was delayed also.

They put people through this crap all the time and don't seem to think they need to be polite or compensate them. I think I'm about to cut up my Credit Card that earns United miles and always try to fly JetBlue or AirTran or Virgin Atlantic.

UGH!

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Viva La Scorpios

November is a busy birthday month in my family. Yesterday was Mom's birthday. Sis and I went to her grave and sang to her. It's still hard to believe she's gone.

Sunday is my brother's, next week is mine.

Traditional Scorpio Traits

Determined and forceful (sometimes)
Emotional and intuitive (very)
Powerful and passionate (on a good day)
Exciting and magnetic (after a couple cocktails)

On the dark side...
.

Jealous and resentful (jealous: no; resentful: damn right)
Compulsive and obsessive (about food: yes; about cleaning: NO)
Secretive and obstinate (nope)

For three related Scorpios, we were all quite different. My brother seems to fit the stereotypes, Mom and I were much more similar, more mellow.

I'm off to LA tomorrow to visit Eddie for his birthday. I've asked for "no drama", since, like a true Scorpio, he seems to be a magnet for it...

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Rock the Vote

It was a bit surprising to me to realize that the last time the Sox won the World Series (prior to 2004), women did not have the right to vote. You've come a long way baby.

I was outraged at one of my magazines that had an article about celebrities that could run for president. The first one they listed was Madonna. That reformed skank wouldn't stand a chance. Then again, I think there's been a few presidents who have been reformed (or full blown) skanks.

The article (if you can call it that) also listed Ben Affleck and said he's "already got the ladies' vote". Honestly, any moron who thinks we'd vote for a guy just because he's good looking needs to have a cookie with his lobotomy. Eye candy has it's time and place, but the White House is not it. I want my President to be a Rocket Scientist, not a beefcake.

It's serious business, but sometimes you have to laugh: Election Day humor.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Happy Day

Happy Birthday to Daniela!!

and

Congratulations to Sarah and Denis on the birth of baby Carolyn!!

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Bromo

My brother did a promo commercial for a hair loss company's website. You can see the video here... that's him, fretting over his thinning locks.

He qualifies it with, "my hair is actually thicker now, they made me slick it back to look thinner" and "that close up is not me"... he does swear their stuff works though.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Cereaously?

This is the coolest idea ever created. A restaurant with just cereal. Well, cereal... and toppings... and a Moo Machine... and colored crystals to add to your milk... and "pajama-clad Cereologists" whose pj's say things like, "United Flakes of America"... and the bowls, JUST LOOK AT THEM!!

I so want to open a Cereality, NOW!! Why on earth, after surviving off cereal for a good portion of my life, did I not think of this???

Thursday, October 21, 2004

One Sox, Two Sox, Red Sox, Blue Sox

Normally I don't really care about sports... unless there's emotion involved. Take the Olympics - national pride, lifelong dreams, horses - and I'm THERE, glued to my TV.

Take an underdog baseball team with a curse on them and there I am, watching baseball at midnight.

But I actually find it very stressful to watch sports when these circumstances exist. The "everything is riding on this pitch" and "this is the most important moment in his life" thing raises my blood pressure instantaneously.

And then, God forbid there's an announcer's jinx statement made - like, "Haibin Teng is flawless on the pommel horse, all he has to do is stick this landing" and boof, he falls - I'm through the roof. I would bet $ that there is a statistical correlation between what an announcer says and what happens in the game, I'm sure of it.

It almost happened during the game last night, but luckily the announcer countered with an equally jinxing statement about the Yankees, so they cancelled each other out. Whew! Go Sox!

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Funny Monkey

I think I love Jon Stewart. Probably also in a Paris-Tinkerbell way rather than a Paris-guy-with-a-pulse way, but love nonetheless. I was very fond of him back in the MTV days, but now, with the Daily Show, I can barely contain my admiration. Anyone brave enough to call that annoying bowtie pundit guy on Crossfire a "dick" on national tv is my hero (see video). What can I say, humor is my lavender and pumpkin pie.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

It's a Banner Day

Getting cray-zee. Along with the awesome new banner Jenny made for me - complete with Jamba Juice and an In-n-Out cheeseburger, I took the plunge and picked a new template. Slowly I will peck away at their html and overtake it with mine.

Thank you again for the banner lj, you know me well.

Membership has its priviledges.

Wine-OH

Went on a wine tasting tour last week. If you live anywhere near the Finger Lakes (or any cluster of wineries), I strongly suggest it. I learned alot about what I like and what I don't like.

Basically, I really like sweet wines - the more sugar, the better. I know, SHOCKING! Hunt Country was my favorite vinyard, not just for the wines (of which, the Vignoles and the Ice Wine were dee-lish), but also the tour, the friendly people, and especially, for Gus, their Bernese Mountain Dog. He looked at me with heartwarming eyes that seemed to say, "I've been waiting for you my who-o-ole life". I'm madly in love with him (in a Paris-Tinkerbell way, not a Paris-guy-with-a-pulse way).

Monday, October 18, 2004

Oooh, Look at the Bay-Bee

Had the "Welcome the New Baby" party Saturday. Jenny finally got to decorate with a mini hay bale, which nearly got ripped (and bitten) to shreds by the 2yr-olds (mainly because I let her put it on the coffee table, saying "don't worry, Mya won't touch it"). She also took this awesome mirror pic of Mya, who is quite the posing ham.

Because my Aunt can't bug me to have kids, she started to bug Jenny. "When are you going to have some little Jennies?"... "Are you and Aaron planning to have kids?"... then, as Jenny was holding Tyler, Aunt Del commented, "see, you look like you should have a baby", to which Jenny replied, "I also look like I should have a Lamborghini, but I don't have one of those either!" Yay, score one for ljc!

Lots of pictures here if you're interested.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Addicted to Tina

While reading "Details" magazine at the gym, I read that the street names for Crystal Meth (the current drug of choice in Hollywood - or a least as of the publishing of the March issue of Details) are ice, Christina, and, the "cute" version, "Tina".

Does that mean, if I go out to visit my brother and happen to be introduced to a recovering crystal meth addict that they will not even be able to tolerate looking at me for fear they will be induced to partake in what had previously been pulling their life into an uncontrollable abyss?

A Different Kind of Addiction

Something triggered it, I'm not sure what... it had been building for just over a week... the urge, getting stronger... couldn't resist much longer... finally, last night, faced with the opportunity - I could not pass it up.

I bought the bag of oreos, got home, poured a glass of milk and before even acknowledging my husband's existence, immediately started dipping... letting those luscious little round wafers soak in just enough milk so that they were soft yet still in tact... mmmmm

they were worth Every Last Calorie!

Monday, October 11, 2004

How Amuuuusing


Spent Saturday visiting sis. We took Mya and Tyler to the LaFayette Apple Festival. I honestly think Mya might have gone on the Ferris Wheel, but she wisely chose the Merry Go Round. (Here's more pix, a few from 2 weeks ago and many from Saturday. Mya loves getting her picture taken and can be quite a ham. Tyler is just starting to notice the world around him.)

Wouldn't want to have a situation like I had at about age 8 when I went on the Zipper, then started screaming like a maniac until my Dad made them stop the ride and let me off. Good thing, because he was seconds from getting barfed on.

Also had a Roundup stopped on my account at age 15. I didn't have to scream, the unnatural purple color my face had turned told them everything they needed to know.

A Real Superhero

A fond farewell to Superman Christopher Reeve. I believe his efforts will some day lead to a cure for paralysis.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Food Envy

Jenny and Aaron are heading off to Scottsdale tomorrow. I am envious of the food opportunities they will have while out there... Jamba Juice (stop #1 on Jenny's list I'm sure... she printed out maps of every location before she left), Chicken Madeira from Cheesecake Factory [salivating...], Baja Fresh, and In-N-Out Burger... MY GOD I would love a Double Double with Cheese right now!!

Jenny is so kind though, she is seriously considering trying to bring back a Jamba Juice for me.

LJ, I know your heart is in the right place, but I would never forgive myself if you ended up with sticky, soupy, staining Banana Berry all over your clothes. So I will be happy living vicariously through you until I too can get to a liberated city (that also has a Sephora =).

On a side note, if anyone knows how to ship food that needs to stay cold, let me know, because if it's easy enough, I'm pretty sure my brother would be more than happy to ship me some Lola's Mac & Cheese. I, in turn, will likely have to send some Sesame Chicken from King and I.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Missing Mom

Two years ago today was the worst day of my life. As most of you know, my Mom didn't survive the fifth surgery that started with what was supposed to be a "96% success rate" open heart surgery 3 weeks earlier.

It's not any easier, it's just that you focus on it less often (as if you had a choice to focus on it or not - if only it were that easy).

I still have alot of bitterness... the doctor made it sound like she was going in to get a tooth pulled - when she called to schedule her surgery, they joked, "we have an opening today, why don't you come on down". OH, that's just HILARIOUS... so she could have died a month earlier?

And how the doctors spun things... before the surgery, they made it seem like nothing to worry about, AFTER it was, "this was a very serious sugery" and "your Mother was a very sick person". Thanks, a little late to take that stance. You then always wonder if seriously understanding and weighing the risks might have changed things.

I'm also convinced that the ones that normally die are the old ones, like Rodney Dangerfield (God rest his soul), not the 56 yr olds.

I won't let the anger overpower my blog, I try to keep my blog light, but it's so hard without her. My Mom was the kind of person who made everyone around her feel special, she went out of her way to be generous or to make others laugh. There really aren't many people like that in life. I thank God she was my Mom.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Break a Leg Bro!

My brother, Eddie , moved to LA last month to rekindle his acting career. He's taking a class with Howard Fine and last week, auditioned for a movie in Vegas. Yesterday, he got cast! They told him he nailed the audition!

Here's the description of the film:

"The Run", a short film based on the short story of the same name by H. Lee Barnes, is about a degenerate gambler, trying to escape his debts and the lives he's destroyed, leaves Las Vegas for the last time on a midnight drive to better days in San Diego, but before he gets there, he becomes plagued by a hunch that one last time at the blackjack tables might be worth going back.

Eddie will be playing "Slick" - a guy who basically distracts the lead character. It doesn't surprise me, Eddie's always been slick and too hip for his own good. It films in Vegas in November...

Monday, October 04, 2004

Knitty Night

Amy's book, Knit Wit, is awesome and the party was so much fun. I wandered around Lettuce Knit saying, "I want to knit a stuffed animal"... later, I got my number pulled for a door prize (shocking as I rarely win) and, lo and behold, of the two prizes left was this wonderful book, The Knitted Teddy Bear: Make Your Own Heirloom Toys with Dozens of Patterns for Unique Clothing and Accessories.

So I better get my butt busy making heirlooms for Mya and Tyler... and maybe a few other "kids at heart" if I can be quick about it!

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Maybe I should rename my site "The Daily Buy" since shopping is also a focus... But first, I must rant.

Yes, I love food and I love to eat - but that doesn't mean I eat until I weigh 300 pounds. And, yes, I love to shop - but that doesn't mean I buy $300 purses or $400 shoes.

To the contrary, I have strong limits on what I will spend on any given item, limits that are likely much lower than most in my tax bracket. How much is too much? It varies depending on brand, opportunity, covet-ness, discount, etc. But in general, whether it's a Marc Jacobs or not, I am unlikely to pay more than $50 for a purse. Yet because I love to shop, some people assume I spend a boatload.

Maybe because I was brought up in poverty, I actually take offense to being considered a frivolous spender*, especially when the accusation is levied at me from my Sister's Mother-in-Law.

Seriously, can you believe I am being criticized by MY SISTER'S MOTHER-IN-LAW? That's what MY m.i.l. is for.

I get extra bitter when I think about the fact that our Mom would never comment on someone else's family like that. My Mom would have been the most wonderful Grandmother in the world to Mya and Tyler. Instead, they're stuck with this self-centered (not to mention alcoholic) person.

Rant over.

*This rant is not meant to criticize frivolous spenders. For them I say "more power to ya". It is meant to criticize my Sister's Mother-in-Law!

Monday, September 27, 2004

Did a bit of shopping this past weekend. Me trying to be on a spending freeze is like Ben Affleck trying to be celibate - good in theory until some woman throws herself at you.

This little baby threw itself at me... and given that I'm not about to pay over $100 for a handbag, I broke down and bought a much less expensive but still utterly adorable Dooney & Bourke Heart Flap Wristlet.

Friday, September 24, 2004

My apologies for being slow on the draw. Here is a link to pictures of my new Nephew and my favorite niece (which I can say because she is my only niece).

And more pix of Mostly Mya (is that like "Just Jack"?)

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Ok, hubby is now officially addicted to Party Poker which means I may never have use of my home computer again.

Toronto was excellent, though I can't help myself from envisioning how the Colin encounter should have gone (no, I'm not talking raunchiness here, I'm talking conversation).

My brother is having major drama. I won't go in to detail, but let's just say he could easily provide rivetting content for a few of these reality shows for E!

Saw Jerry Seinfeld live tonight, totally hilarious. Even "Not so Goodtime Charlie" was laughing like crazy. Especially at all the wife jokes.

And finally, I heard on NPR that the Germans are developing a cell phone that detects bad breath. It's about damn time! Now we need a shirt that alerts you to BO and shoes that tell you you're a little unfresh. OK, I'm a little obsessed with smelling good.


Thursday, September 16, 2004



In regards to Phobias... Jenny doesn't think she suffers from Metathesiophobia (fear of change), but I think she might suffer from Ophidiophobia (fear of snakes). Aaron may suffer from Coulrophobia (fear of clowns - though just claims to dislike them, not fear them). And I definitely suffer from Apiophobia (fear of bees) and Spheksophobia (fear of wasps)! I don't think Chuck particularly fears or dislikes anything, except of doing something wrong, like, say, parking on the wrong side of the street before 6pm.

I also have an aversion to belly buttons but that's not a phobia, just a negative physical reaction in response to the mention of, pictures of, but most especially, the poking of bellybuttons.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

I've been a bad blogger. Keeping busy... update:

Truck broke down on the way home from 1000 Islands... lug nuts broke, wheel almost came completely off (would have surely caused havoc), waited 3 hours for a flatbed tow truck to bring us and the truck 106 miles to a garage 4.5 miles from home... as we begin to ride our bikes the rest of the way home, Chuck sees that his bike has a flat tire (no, REALLY)... I am already determined and defiant, so I ride my bike home, at 7:15pm, almost dark, 4.5 miles, ALL UPHILL... then get the car, drive back and get Chuck, who's bike won't fit in the car, so we wait another half hour for Jenny & Aaron to come help us and, after leaving the inlaws house at 1pm and missing Matt's going away party, we finally get home at 9pm that night. Whew!

The next day, my nephew Tyler Michael is born, doing well, but with a little hole in his heart (which shouldn't be a problem).

Mya is handling the new baby well for the most part, one meltdown yesterday, after which she broke into hives (watch out if she learns that she can use that to her advantage to gain sympathy)

Watched Bands Reunited - New Kids on the Block - have had "whoa oh oh oh oh" stuck in my head for the last week... just when I had escaped it, Jenny sang it again today, reigniting the insanity in my brain (she will pay)

Toronto was amazing, can't beat sitting there finishing up a nice dinner and seeing Colin Firth wander up!

Did more visiting/helping sis with two kids that are now, officially, "a handful".

In the midst of great joy at a new life come a deep, deep sadness that my Mom is not here to be the most loving, doting Grandmother to those kids.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Monday, September 06, 2004

Ooooh - my Sister's water

Ooooh - my Sister's water just broke, looks like Tyler is coming today! Chuck & I are on our way to Syracuse to babysit Mya!

Monday, August 30, 2004

horenda

horenda
horenda,
originally uploaded by tostina.
This is what Jenny thinks of Splenda.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

If shopping were an olympic sport, I think I'd have a shot... at least in the Bargainhunting category... I tend not to buy things that aren't on sale.

Jenny's a triathlete shopper too. Today she said, "if left unchecked, I would have a rice krispie treat maker, a bubble gum maker, a root beer machine...".

I can picture the Olympic story now, as told by Bob Costas...

"JENNY, UNCHECKED"

"This young woman, from humble beginnings, started small. She bought an egg cooker and a tupperware container specifically for Pizza.

Soon, she couldn't stop herself from buying the Presto hot dog cooker and the soft serve ice cream maker. Every specialized small appliance and kitchen gadget drew her in, until finally, broke and with only a small narrow path running through her house, she was forced to sell it all on eBay and use plain old ziploc bags to pack her lunch.

Today she's back in top form to compete for her first Olympic medal in Specialized Product Purchasing. We go live now to Fokas for the gold medal round against France."

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Do people in cars think they have an invisibility shield around them? The other day I'm in the car, on my way to Wegmans, when I look in my rearview mirror and, WHOA! The guy behind me has his finger so far up his nose I thought he was going to hurt himself.

HELLOOOOO, I can SEEEEE you!

I don't think you need to read an online FAQ to know that you shouldn't pick your nose while driving.

He was a young guy too, the type you might THINK would be SOMEWHAT concerned with decorum and image, especially when surrounded by other cars... Nope... after he digs in his nose, he sticks his other finger in his ear. Seriously, what is someone thinking when they're doing this? If I'm desperate, I will at least crouch down and do the whoops-I-dropped-something move while I correct any cosmetic difficulties.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

I'm still coughing and still an Olympics junkie, hence the lack of posts. I think Alexei was robbed of at least a silver on the high bar - the judging never seems to mesh for me...

I just watched Misty May and Kerri Walsh beat the Brasilians (sorry Yelli) to win the gold in beach volleyball - they won every game and every match throughout the Olympics - pretty amazing. And talk about a celebration... Between the butt cheeks and major displays of affection, I think that Beach Volleyball is going to be the new black.

Then, as if watching the medals ceremonies wasn't enough of a tear jerker, to know that Misty May recently lost her Mom and that her Mom's name was also Barbara, I was a sobbing wreck. I'm sure her mother is very proud.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

I'm sick. Coughing up a lung every couple of minutes. Stayed home yesterday and slept until after 5pm. Ya heard right! On the plus side, caught some of the Olympics. Yes, I am an Olympics junkie, there I said it.

Some Olympic Observations...

I thought Judo was highya-judo-chop! type action, but instead it was more like wrestling. I'm confused...

Soccer players have some serious stamina.

Andy Roddick about gave me an ulcer yesterday after blowing a 40-love lead, then 6 match points... to finally win his match!

Swimmers have very white teeth, likely from the super-bleaching-action of the pool water.

Michael Phelps gives Xtina a run for her money with the low-rise pants. Hubby insists his plumber crack must slow him down (but he's still winning gold, so I say, let the sun shine in!)

Swimmers win hands down for looking the silliest while preparing to compete.

Brendan Hansen (ths silver-medal-winning olympic swimmer) looks an aweful lot like a young John C. Reilly (the actor)



Oh, and what can I say about Sexy Aleksei, except... they should show more of him!!

Photo courtesy of nbcolympics.com