Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Guess what - I'm not remotely like Tyra Banks. Oh well!



Quiz can be found at BuddyTV - along with many more amusing ways to waste your time.

Wordless Wednesday - Pony Conquers Chore Chart


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Lost Bengeance and Survivor Antics

Quick, quick thoughts on my two favorite shows - I know I'm way late but I have reasons. Actually no, I don't. I'm a terrible procrastinator and we all know it.

But hey - guess who was in a TORNADO yesterday? ME!!! And my Muffin! And it was scary and loud and really sucked - but we're OK. Yay.
Anyway so, Lost - Back with a vengeance! Or, Bengeance as I like to say. Because sometimes I think I'm clever and I insist on sharing.

Am I the only one who is kind of re-thinking my initial distaste for Ben? I feel sorry for him now, but I still think he's creepy. Sayid is a hot hot hottie and I wonder why I never saw him that light. Maybe because he had the misfortune of falling for (*ick*) Shannon? Hmmm, maybe. Anyway - love him now! Love Sawyer - love how he wanted to protect Hurley's curly head. Awww... Love how he managed to avoid a rain of bullets - thus proving that he is indeed rather god-like.

Curious as to how Claire managed to emerge from that blown up house relatively unscathed. What's up with that? Very curious about Smokey and Ben's ability to control it. (And hey, Ben? Can I borrow Smokey?) Definitely wondering about the freighter doc who is still alive? Or something?

Could really care less about Jack's abdominal pain - we know he makes it. Not especially sad about Alex, more sad about Rousseau.

Finally - Time Travel Baby!! Bring it! I'm ready.

Moving onto Survivor...

I love how the commercials are painting the Hidden Immunity Idol out to be some sort of curse. It's not a curse - it's just in the hands of idiots! That's all! Now, don't get me wrong - I loved the blindside of Ozzy because he was cocky and deserved to go down. However, I felt a little bad for Jason (even though he was quite often a jerk) because he was mentally unprepared to do battle and those ladies took advantage of him.

Natalie! You Bitch! I have a teensy bit more respect for you but not much. We never heard a thing out of your mouth until this episode and to my mind you came across very fake. It's like you got a little taste of power and it all went to your head. Plus, you look like a porn star. I'm ready to see you go now.

On the flip-side, I'm liking Parvati more! I never thought I'd say that - but there it is. James is amusing as always and Erik is doofy. The other girls are forgettable, which is probably exactly what Cirie wants. She wants to pull the strings and let others take the blame. Gotta respect that!

In an exit interview Ozzy said that goes off on someone. So, that probably means that either Parv or Cirie makes it to the end. I'd like to see it come down to those two. Sure, they aren't Fans, and I was really rooting for the fans, but they've played the game to the best of their ability. I guess we'll wait and see!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Thank You!

A stranger bought my lunch today. When I asked for the bill, my waitress told me that it had been taken care of and that the person wished to remain anonymous.

Isn't that the nicest thing? It's never happened to me before and I didn't know what to do. I wanted to thank them, but that was impossible - so I'm sending this out to the person responsible for my lunch and for everyone who commits random acts of kindness. You are truly appreciated and you made my day.

THANK YOU!!!

I'm inspired to do something nice like buy the person behind me some coffee or pay for someone's dry cleaning. However, I'd better act quickly because I'm sure this feeling will pass soon...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Fun Monday - The Tuesday/Late Edition

"What have you done in your life that was worth doing? I want to know the moments in your life that you hope will be the ones to pass through your mind when your time comes. ... I want to know all the moments, big and small, that make life sweet!"

This question was posted on Planet of Janet yesterday as part of Fun Monday (which I didn't know existed! Mondays need more fun - that's for sure).

Even though I'm a day a late and several dollars short I'm going to answer this question. There are three things in my life that were totally worth doing.
A. Finish my bachelors degree. It took me nine years and I had to go part-time so that I could work three jobs in order to pay for it but it was totally worth it. The advantage of going to college for NINE YEARS is that you get to meet all sorts of people. They are my best friends - I'll always cherish them AND that stupid piece of paper.

B. OCS. Deciding to join the Navy after college was one of those random things. I knew I wanted to do something important and at the time, the job market was bleak. Fortunately for me, the Navy needed Officers so off to OCS in Pensacola I flew. Holy F*ck, that was the absolute worst time of my life. Thirteen weeks of pure hell. I learned a lot about myself and my capabilities during that time and since then the Navy has taught me a lot about leadership and responsibility. Most of the lessons sucked ass, but I suppose they "built character." At any rate, I'm not afraid to try something anymore because I've failed at more things than I could ever have dreamed of. And, I'm still here!
C. Muffin. Sweet, sweet little girl. She was not planned, but she's the best thing that ever happened to me. If OCS and the Navy taught me how to handle external adversity - Muffin conquered all of my internal demons. I've never been able to make a relationship work and I know now that it was due to my own insecurities. For some reason, I never felt worthy of love - I think it's a girl thing. Anyway, my daughter's love is unconditional and so strong that it hurts. Having her in my life has brought about many changes, but they were all for the best. I'm a strong mama bear that fights for her cub, I don't back down, and my insecurities are not so important anymore.

So, there it is. My three things. I could list many fun, cool things I've done - but none of them have changed my life more than these three. I think it's because I made the choice to commit. And that decision, whether right or wrong, shaped my character. I hope that getting my Masters and transitioning into the civilian world will end up being the forth big thing that was worth doing. However, since I can't see into the future I guess I'll just have to play it out and see what happens!

How about you - What have you done in your life that was worth doing?

Visit these sites for some really great answers to that question!

Planet of Janet

Tales of a Southern Doll

Jo Beaufoix

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, April 21, 2008

100 Words Challenge

Lips - 100 Words Challenge paying homage to my daughter

Sweet little rosebud that looks nothing like mine, you must have inherited a rouge gypsy gene to make such a perfect bow. Either puckered in frustration or pulled wide in happiness, I never tire of your expressions. I remember the first sounds that crossed them. I remember the first words they formed. I remember all the laughs and cries in-between but what I’ll remember most fondly is their best friend - Thumb. Between you and Thumb many sorrows could be cured. A tired little girl is comforted, a reassured soul drifts to sleep and a gratified mother is forever grateful.

Interested in the 100 Words Challenge? Check out Velvet Verbosity! Ciao!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Slow Cooker Sunday - Roast Beef Sammies

A couple of weekends ago I slow cooked a roast that I had purchased at Trader Joes. It was a beef roast marinated in a Cabernet wine sauce and I thoroughly enjoyed that Sunday knowing that dinner was taken care of. Therefore, today I decided to revisit the idea of Slow Cooker Sunday.

Years ago my friend Tina from Wilmington, NC introduced me to the simplest and most delicious slow cooker roast recipe. Here's the brief list of ingredients:

One beef roast (pretty much any size, though I generally use something around 1.5-2lbs)

One can/bottle of beer (today it was Corona! Could be any brand though.)

One can of beef broth

One packet of Onion Soup Mix
Sprinkle the soup mix on the bottom of the cooker, place the roast on top and pour in the beer and beef broth. Slow cook for 6-8 hours on low. Since beer acts as a meat tenderizer the roast will wind up all "fally aparty" as our family likes to say. You can literally pulling apart at the roast at the slightest glance. Mmmmm.... Savory yumminess!

Incidentally, today I'm making sandwiches (using onion rolls) so I like to use the remaining liquid as an au jous dipping sauce! For tonight's side - Lima Beans! (my absolute favorite veggie/lentil) Later this week I'll warm up the left over roast, make some risotto and add a side salad for a sophisticated mid-week meal in very little time.

Looking for a wine pair? I like either Zin or Pinot Noir. Their fruitiness is a nice complement to the earthy beef flavor. Some might prefer a more robust Merlot, but I'm not a big fan of Merlot. What can I say? Meh. Tonight I'm pairing my roast beef au jous with Lindemens Pinot Noir because I'm in the mood for Aussie! Maybe I'll even pretend that Russel Crowe is joining us for the meal (speaking of YUM)!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Pizza on the Grill


But first - let me just remark on the gorgeousness of today's weather here! Absolutely fantastic. I was inspired to be outside as much as possible - and that includes cooking! Why heat up the house when you can heat up the great outdoors! The grill, it called to me ... and I answered.

So, that brings me to today's post - my first ever recipe-related post! Yay! (See, I can do more than talk about my kid, show off my shoes, complain about work and obsess over reality TV.) "Pizza?" you say. Yes! Yes you can fix pizza on the grill. It's incredibly easy and super fast to boot. Here is a play by play breakdown (with witty commentary)

First, heat up the grill. Since this is the first time in about two months that sucker had been fired off I decided to turn it up to full blast and leave it for about 10 minutes. Thus rendering all remnants of previous meals to charcoal. Clean the grill after every use? I'm too lazy busy and have neither the time nor the energy for that nonsense. I leave the heat on high with the lid closed and afterwards I knock off the charred remains with this fellow - the handy-dandy wire grill brush!

After I've scraped off the debris, I turn the heat down to medium/low. Since it is still plenty warm, I leave the top open. If you were just starting from scratch, I'd leave the lid down in order to pre-heat the grill.

Next, I prep my pizzas. I use the "personal" sized ones since everyone in this house has different tastes. Maybe someday in the future I'll actually make my own pizza dough. At this time I rely on Boboli.

First, apply some olive oil to the backside of the crust. This is something that I either read about or decided on impulse to try. I'd like to say it's the latter, but I'm pretty sure it's the former. Anyway - the olive oil creates a "non-stick" surface for the grill. Trust me, you don't want your pizza to stick. It's messy and quite disappointing.



Next, apply sauce and whatever pizza accessories you desire. Then, top with cheese.



I added green olives to my pizza. Muffin does not care for the "green slimey things." I can't believe she's my daughter...

Eh, voila! Your pizza is ready for the grill! By now the grill should be quivering in anticipation.

Plop the pizzas on the grill (which have been preheating at medium/low) and close the lid for about five minutes. FIVE MINUTES! No more! You'll find the cheese is melty and the crust is crisp and brown.


Please note the deliciousness of the melty cheese:


Please further note the delightfulness of the crispy crust:


Here's the WW Points breakdown:

Crust - 8

Sauce - 1 (actually the points are zero but I always round up)

Pepperoni - 2 (the entire pizza takes about seven pieces)

Cheese - 2 (I used around 1/4 cup 2% milk Italian Blend)

Total - 13 points

I usually cut mine in half and pair the pizza with a spinach salad dressed with Salad Spritzer. Therefore my total points value for the entire meal is 7 and I've got lunch for tomorrow! Enjoy!

Looking for a wine to pair with that pizza? I recommend Frascati! Here in the States I've only seen the Fontana Candida Frascati, but it's a deliciously light white wine that the Italians always drink with thier pizza! Grab a glass and imagine you're in an Italian piazzo watching the world go by...

Footnote - Ladies, I highly recommend taking control of the grill. I know that it has traditionally been a man's job to "burn the meat" and all that, but grilling is a low fat, low cal way to cook and you can do amazing things! Stay tuned for more grilling adventures!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Survivor - BEST EPISODE YET!!

So. Much. Awesomness. But first, here's my favorite quote:


"Damn that betel nut!"

I like this quote for two reasons: First, it highlights how good natured Erik is. I don't know about you, but I was surprised at how a guy his age can get drunk, cheerfully vomit and bounce right back. He was all "damn that bedel nut" and then said "I'm going to get something to eat!" What a trooper! Second, I've uttered very similar curses - only they went more like: Damn that vodka tonic, or Damn that last shot of Tequila. And for the record, I wasn't very cool about it - unlike Erik. I made sure everyone in the general vicinity was aware of my suffering because I'm a prima donna that way.

The challenges were alright - nothing we haven't seen before. I was frankly surprised to see the team with James, Alexis, Natalie and Parvati actually ahead of the other guys. But, of course, they lost in the end. Nothing is more bitter than choking at the last second. Ahhh, bitterness. I know thee well.

Reward was entertaining - again an Erik highlight. He was all "BOOBIES!" and I just had to laugh. You have to admit, Ozzy's description was pretty much spot on - he's an adorable, naive little puppy. Who managed to out-scam Ami. Which is a pretty lethal combination when you think about it.

Poor Cirie! Stuck on Exile, in the rain, without any hope of finding the idol because it's in Ozzy's pocket. I really felt bad for her and I can totally see why she would cook up the scheme against Oz. I mean, if I was picked last and sent to Exile - in a storm - I'd be plotting serious revenge too. Remember Sandra from Pearl Islands? Remember when she thought she was going home so she sabotaged the camp? That would have been me. I'd have come back from Exile with a sweet smile and an evil heart. Go Cirie! I'm starting to kind of like you again (but I'll never forgive you for ousting Yau!)

Immunity challenge was fraught with unwise choices. First, how confident are you to give up IMMUNITY for some stupid candy/donuts/pizza/whatever? As I've said before, I'm not there so I don't know how they suffer, blah, blah, blah. I do know that Immunity guarantees one more day on the island that's one step closer to a million. Donuts? Million? Hmmm?

Anyway, Alexis dropped her hand without seeing what Jeff had and when he denied her the treat (DENIED!!!) she got all mad and he said something like "Yeah, go off and sulk over there on the bench." God, I love that man. Then, Ozzy dropped his hand for three stupid donuts? Dumb-ass. Finally, Jason somehow got conned by Parvati into making a deal with the rest of the tribe so that they could all eat. Double Dumb-ass!

And finally, the tribal council that made my week. Oz had no idea. NO IDEA! First there were smug smiles all around, followed by incredulous looks of "Wait? More than one vote against me/Ozzy?" Then, that turned to looks of horrified realization "F*ck. We've been double crossed!" And finally, at least for Ozzy, the sour grapes. As his torched was snuffed he turned and glared at the entire cast. So beautiful! In his final words he cursed his double crossing team mates and said to the offending party "Right now, I pretty much hate you. Screw you!"


I curse all of you, and your children, and your grandchildren and your pets too!

As lovely as that was, it was the look on Eliza's face that really made my day. Bug-Eyed surprised mixed with devilish delight! Mouth wide open, head whipping around - she was the perfect pantomime for the entire proceeding. Cirie was second best - smug and relieved at the same time. Parvati looked as though she was feeling a twinge of regret and James, of course, was a picture of outrage. Ha! Good luck getting in his good graces again, Parv.

Amanda looked downright crestfallen. There went her cash-bull! She'd better start scrambling to make up with Parvati so she's not left out again (and next Immunity challenge I suggest you go potty beforehand, ok?). In the previews, it looks as though she does just that and the females form Team Estrogen. Too bad Ami couldn't see this, she'd have been so proud. *sniff*

Thursday, April 17, 2008

ANTM - Where I learn what HIMYM means...

First off: Why is everyone trying to emulate ANTM and adopt their own acronym? Last night I saw a commercial for some interview show where someone said "Here I am on the set of HIMYM..." (pronounced himyim) and it literally took me about five minutes to puzzle it out. Even with a picture of Doogie Howser on the TV. Cause I'm that smart. Geeeeeezzz.... Yes, How I Met Your Mother is an incredibly long name - but that's the fault of the creators. ANTM has been around for 10 Cycles and needs every single word in it's title. I suggest that HIMYM shorten their title to "New Brittany Show" or "Doogie's Last Stand." and quit the copy-cat thing. Cause I'm a hater. (And I'm a hater having never seen the show! Amazing!)



Moving on... I'd kind of stopped giving my opinion of ANTM because the show was getting dull. Last week's recap episode was actually quite entertaining. I'm now certain that Marvita left too soon and Dominique is really a drag queen.

Anyway, this week one of my personal favorites (and picks to go far) was eliminated. :( Stacy Ann!! Cute, sweet, low-drama and decent pictures. I figured they were saving her story arc for later on, but I guess she just didn't have one! What do we know about Stacy Ann except that she's from Miami and has a stunning jaw line? Not much.

So, it looks as though the show is gearing us up for an Anya/Lauren face off. The judges love Lauren's awkwardness but can't understand her lack of presence at panel. Anya consistently delivers good pictures, her personality is "unique" (to say the least - that accent is bizarre!) and she's been winning lots of challenges.

Speaking of challenges... Freaking $10 GRAND!!! I need to lose some serious weight and get in THAT business! Ten grand for ONE photo shoot? For-Shizzle? I'm there. Sign me up for the next cycle. I know how to "squint with my eyes open," I'm "real sized," I have a kid to sob about and I can be meaner than a snake if I don't eat. I'm a winner!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

No, really. It's not me, it's you.

Alternate title: Why I hate being a manager.

It's people. I hate managing people. I don't mind work, however I do mind personnel problems.

If only I could come to work after two glasses of wine... I love people after two glasses of wine! Alas.

Since being the Equal Employment Officer is one of my collateral duties, I'm not supposed to share what happened today. Suffice it to say, someone with a long history of "not playing well with others" is about to make yet another EEO complaint. This time against me. Yay! Little do they know, I don't give a shit. And I mean that in the nicest way possible. Actually, no I don't. Here is what I refrained from saying today:

Dear crazy misguided employee. I know that you have been shuffled around more than Brittany Spears's kids. That's because nobody likes working with you. You are mean, agressive and then there's that tendancy to blow the old EEO whistle whenever you don't get your way. I realize that you feel as though everyone here hates your guts so I have some advice for you - find another job. Pronto.

Instead, I said "Thank you for your lovely input. I assure you that we will have a meeting with the Chief of Staff at his earliest convenience."

Oh yeah, and my neck turned red. Way to play the cool card, right?

On a better note - the weather is lovely here today! And tomorrow I'm hosting a bake sale for the Christmas Party! I'm making...

wait for it...

MUFFINS!! :) natch.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

What's your line-up?

I have a question. Which websites, and in what order, do you visit in the morning? I'm curious because I have found that I am spending an increasing amount of time checking my favorites.

In the beginning, I would only check my various email accounts. Then, I started checking other more entertaining sites. Now it takes me nearly 45 min to check in on all the sites I'm interested in. And that doesn't include the sites I save until lunch time! Often, I'll save my favorite blog sites to read while I'm eating lunch. It makes me feel like a "lady who lunches" with my virtual high society friends. :) In addition, I generally save my "recap" websites for lunch as well since I prefer to savor them over a hot cup of soup rather than bolt them along with some yogurt.

Now I'm curious. What sites do you consider "must read" first thing in the morning. What site can linger until lunch time? What sites do you periodically check back on throughout the day?

Here's my line-up:

Morning:

Email sites: Hotmail, Yahoo, G-mail, Ureach (don't ask about the last one. I had to establish it at OCS because they didn't allow access to outside email. ???)

Cute sites: Cute Overload, Lolcats, Loldogs, Lollost (I need a pick-me-up first thing in the morning. Cute critters are better than coffee.)

Entertainment sites: EW, Buddytv, People, US, IMDb, io9

Random sites: Blogger, Netflix, Bank, WW, passiveagressivenotes.com, LILEKS, Blackboard (that's for school)

Lunch: Television Without Pity, TVgasm, TV FunSpot, email, Blackboard and lots of blogs... See blogroll to the right and then go to those sites and visit THIER blogroll. I find myself wandering all over the web.

Sites I check back: Mostly entertainment, school and email sites but sometimes I'll run back through a few blogs to see if anyone had an afternoon epiphany. :)

That's it for me! What about you?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Survivor: Fakes and Schemers

Jeff, come on, that thing took ... hours to make.


I love the little pause between "took" and "hours." To me it indicates that Ozzy was trying to come up with a plausible amount of time to make the destruction of the fake HII more poignant. In truth, I think it took all of five minutes to make. And that includes finding the stick.


Good episode, though! I love the Merge! Typically we get to see more drunken obnoxious behavior but overall I was satisfied. Amanda was peeved by the wanton behavior of Alexsis... Actually, I think she was more peeved by the faithless behavior of Ozzy but she couldn't take it out on Oz could she? She and Parvati are playing the old "ride the coattails of a strong dude" game and outing Oz would eliminate her cash cow. Or bull, as the case may be.


And yet, the flies. THE FLIES!! Did anyone else notice the swarms of flies that were ALREADY feasting on the Merge Feast? I did. I creeped me out. Yes, I'm sure that if I were a Survivor I wouldn't give a damn, but I'm not a Survivor. I'm a single mom with a clean kitchen and the flies grossed me out. bleh!


Know what else grossed me out? The challenge. Normally my heart rate accelerates because there's so much tension/action. This time, my hear rate increased because I was empathetically drowning with those people.


(Aside: This is why I can't do anything in the horror genre. I get too emotional about it. It's like I'm actually living the horror. Yuck and scary.)


By the time the challenge was over I had a cold sweat. I hope they strike that challenge from the books because it was too brutal. But keep the one where you tie two people together - that was brutal yet entertaining! :)


I'm sad to see Eliza go. She was fun and spicy. Amanda and Parvati are so boring! Come on girls - you guys control the game now! Make it interesting!!! The exchange between Eliza and Jason concerning the not-exactly-HII was awesome, and I paraphrase:


Eliza: (after walking quite briskly across the entire camp to chase Jason down) What are you trying to pull here? I mean, I'm already getting voted out!

Jason: Whaaa???....


Yeah, she had to break it down for him. It's a STICK!!! But, in this game you play what you have. Sadly, Eliza only had a stick. So long Eliza. Thanks for all the bug-eyed eye rolling!

And so the torture continues...

As if subjecting my four-year-old to the terror of IMAX was not enough, today I took her to the dentist. Before today I thought that the infamous WORDS would be measuring stick of horror by which all future scary episodes are measured. That was before THE LIGHT!

While it may sound as if my child has recently been saved, I'm referring to the overhead adjustable light in the dentists office used to help Dr. Dentist see in the dark yawning abyss of children's mouths.

Being a pediatric dentist I was felt reassured that Muffin could safely be lead away from me with promises of cheap toys and stickers at the end of her session. Imagine my surprise when the technician emerged (after five minutes) to tell me that Muffin wasn't having anything to do with anything dental. I went back to find my daughter crying in the chair. I tried to reassure her but by that time she was in the "crying zone."

(Do you know what I mean? Where kids just keep crying because they're into it? Just sobbing because they like it? Or maybe that's just Muffin. Anyway...)

I managed to get her to lay down and Dr. Dentist came in. Dr. Dentist is a super nice guy who must drink ALOT to make spending a day with screaming kids remotely bearable. (Well, I'd drink a lot if it was me.) He pried open her clenched teeth, the technician turned on the overhead light, and the shit hit the fan. By the way she wigged out - you'd think aliens were abducting the poor child! The tech and I were holding her down when, belatedly, Dr. Dentist requests some sun glasses for her. Immediately the tech whips some out and smacks them on Muffin, but it was too late. She was in full Scream Zone and on top of that - I think she was mad. Face purple + rigid body + LOUD LOUD scream + zero tears = Mad Muffin.

When the doc was done I had to talk her back out of her tree and at least try and leave the office with some dignity. It was virtually impossible to communicate with the doc, but we managed - via hand signals and facial expressions - to concur that Muffin has good teeth and a pretty decent set of pipes as well.

Previously on Lost...

Debentropy sent me the link to this video. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

It's here!! It's already here!!

A snippet from my brief yet excited phone call to my mother last night concerning the arrival of my passport. Can you believe I got it so fast?!?! It's only been a week! I'm amazed. Anyway, here is the photo that will represent me across the world:


Mona Lisa Smile


I'm pleased to note that the gray roots, dark circles and miscellaneous wrinkles are cleverly disguised by the wavy lines. Someone at the State Department loves me.


Before writing this post I perused the web in search of a funny passport photo and let me tell you, that was the most entertaining ten minutes of my week so far. Here are a few that I came across:



Mr. Wild Hair.


Screaming Baby (Muffin? Is that you?)


My favorite - flipping the bird. Classy.


Dora Explores the World!!

And here is the future passport holder for my Muffin when I con persuade her Dad to sign off on the idea of a passport. Of course, I need to find a holder for myself now! Online shopping! Yay! Another half an hour wasted at work!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Muffin + IMAX = Disaster

It's raining. It's been raining forever for a few days and that rather limits the options with young children. I've found that my own small child will go crazy after about three hours of being cooped up indoors. This morning we got out, went to WW (only down .4 pounds! I knew the make-up was a mistake!) and did some totally unnecessary shopping but at least Muffin could walk around and expend a little energy.

Aside: We went to Target with the intention of purchasing the magical anti-aging cream suggested by Mrs. Farklepants. They were out!!!! Everyone in VAB must read her blog! Damn! To console myself, I bought a new shower head and some sports bras. Life in the fast lane indeed.

Knowing that the rain would continue all day I wracked my brain for something to do after nap time. More unnecessary shopping would likely cause my wallet to hemorrhage so I checked around the web to see if the local "educational/artsy" spots were offering anything interesting. As a matter of fact, the Aquarium was showing "Dolphins and Whales" in their IMAX theater. In 3-D! I thought: SCORE! Muffin loves the Aquarium and she loves dolphins and whales. The fact that it was in 3-D was a bonus! Showtime at 3:15pm - we're there!

We were there 30 min early because I'm a freak about arriving on time I knew there would be a line. We got tickets, 3-D glasses and climbed the steep stairs inside the theater to find a good seat. In truth, this was the first time Muffin and I had gone to the movies. I never attempted it before because she has the attention span of a gnat. However, I felt that combination of wildlife and 3-D would keep her in her seat. Wrong!

We were instructed to put on our special specs and the lights dimmed. I held her hand (she was already holding the trusty blankie I'd had the foresight to bring). The credits rolled and Muffin shrieked at the top of lungs! Quickly, I snatched the glasses off her face and held her close.

"The words hurt my feelings!" she cried.

"Poor darling, don't worry - look there's some whales!"

"Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo" (in a not very quiet voice)

Not being a fan of child torture, I scooped her up and we exited promptly. I'm sure the rest of the viewers exhaled a huge sigh of relief.

On the way to car, while buckling her into her seat, and on the drive home she explained in a running rant how the words flying out of the screen hurt her feelings. The feelings in her eyes. Words shouldn't do that. Her feelings were really hurt. And she was a little scared too. But it was the words that did it. Words shouldn't fly out at people like that.

I apologized and tried to think of a way to distract her from the evil 3-D words. Lucky for me, there was a putt-putt course open in the drizzle. I swerved in, grabbed the still muttering Muffin and we played 18 holes of mini-golf. In the rain. Had a blast.

Lessons learned: No IMAX for young children. No 3-D for sensitive little girls. Putt-Putt rules.

Saturday Morning at Chez Bebop

Joined in bed at 6am by squirmy four-year-old with cold feet. (please note, for some reason aforementioned four-year-old gets up one hour earlier on the weekends. Much to the horror of her mother)

Stagger to coffee pot, flick switch.

Stumble to computer, press "on" button.

Shuffle back to kitchen and fix breakfast for bright-eyed, bushy-tailed preschooler.

Pour large mug of coffee and carefully make way back to computer to check email, visit blogs, check weather, etc.

Bouncy little girl asks "Hey, Mama - how about a movie?"

Mama replies "Hey, Muffin - how about your coloring books instead."

Listen to bored little girl complain. Bored little girl can't find crayons (which are right in front of her). Bored little girl notes with despair that her pencils need sharpening. Bored little girl wanders off in search of pencil sharpener. Returns without sharpener, yet inexplicably wearing green mardi gras beads. Apparently, fashion accessories are necessary at 6:30am.

Gulp the first mug of coffee, return to coffee pot for refill, make way to shower. On the way to shower direct busy little girl to stay out of trouble and not kill herself.

After shower, ponder whether applying lotion will add ounces at the WW meeting. Decide to skip lotion.

Belatedly realize that wet hair will most likely add ounces at WW meeting. Damn.

Eye the make-up bag and wonder if a little powder will add ounces. Decide to risk it for the sake of humanity.

Drop hair accessory in mug of coffee. Damn.

Pull on capris for the first time this year. Rejoice!

Layout clothes for trendy little girl and holler request for her to get dressed.

Debate which pair of cute shoes to showcase at WW meeting. Settle on new peep-toed summer heels.

Shoo wild-haired little girl into bathroom for a good brushing. Pony-tailed little girl is then instructed to find shoes.

Realize that it's raining and worry that cute shoes may be ruined. Opt for sturdy Privos instead.

Pour out hair-accessorized coffee, grab purse, grab child, turn off coffee pot, turn on car and head for WW.

All before 8:00am!!!

Friday, April 4, 2008

This just in: Friday Funk Cured by Baa-zan-ya!

I've been in a funk all week so for me this Friday wasn't something to be all TGIF about. Grump. grump, grump.

This week was a downer. I had multiple confrontations with people at work (And I'm SOOOO non-confrontational). I had confrontations with people outside of work (Muffin's Dad and the evil helpful lady at Muffin's Taekwondo class). I even had confrontations with my virtual student peers! Can't a girl catch a break? It's enough to make me want to buy a big bottle of wine and drown my sorrows.

Alas, being the only responsible adult I know within a 50 mile radius, I need to behave myself look after the Muffin. She was kind of a pill earlier this week - right after her visit with dad - but that's worn off. In fact, let me elaborate on the highlight of my week - and I mean this sincerely!

Lately, Muffin has been playing the "I want my Daddy" card. I'm not sure if parents who are together experience the same pang, but separated parents see this as a personal attack. Part of me recognized that Muffin was trying to imply that her Daddy would let her do something I had forbidden but still, it hurt to hear that my little girl would rather be with her dad.

Tuesday evening, she refused to eat her vegetables. She said she wanted her daddy. Repeatedly. So, I called Daddy. They had a brief and teary (on her side) conversation. Afterwards, she handed the phone back and I tried to explain, in a nonchalant way, that I wasn't being a meanie - she was being unreasonable. He agreed! He said that when she was at his house she asked for ME on several occasions when he refused her something or told her to do something she didn't like. I was so relieved. I can't even tell you.

Anyway, that brief conversation made my Tuesday. Sadly, the rest of the week went downhill but today Muffin more than made up for it.

I noticed, as I was buckling her into her booster this afternoon, that there was spaghetti sauce all over her khaki pants. Here is the ensuing conversation:

Me: Let me guess. You had spaghetti for lunch today.
Muffin: No. I had baa-zan-ya.
Me: Lasagna? You had lasagna for lunch?
Muffin: No, Mama. I had baa-zan-ya. Buh, Buh, Buh. B for Baa-zan-ya.
Me: Oh, of course.

(insert shiny happy grin)

Survivor's Back (finally!)

Man, waiting for one week to watch Survivor again is tough - but the wait for Lost is EXCRUCIATING! Ugg! Clearly I need a hobby.

So, favorite quote this week is from the ever awesome Jeff Probst:


How about first you give immunity back? How about
that?

I love him. He does not pander to the survivors. In fact, I'd say that next to the weather and the challenges Jeff is the biggest source of torture for the contestants. He's ruthless. Grrr.

Know who else I love? James.

He's a funny dude. I'm not sure how he manages it, but nearly everything that comes out of his mouth is entertaining. And he's not bad to look at either. Also in his favor, he goes shirtless alot. ALOT. I can't blame Parvati for latching onto his big muscular guns. He's definitely the bread winner. Not only that - but the man can open beer bottles with his TEETH! TEETH!!! Seriously - I've never seen this feat completed successfully. Oh, I've seen several foolish boys attempt it over the years - but they usually come away with a bloody mouth and/or missing teeth. James - you are the man.

Parvati may actually have a brain rattling around that vacant head of hers. She began to cultivate relationships with the two Airai girls in an effort to solidify a voting block. Not bad, not bad. I would have tried to draw in Eliza since she's a Favorite too, but Parvati evidently finds her distasteful. Too bad, I kind of like Eliza. Bug-eyed, shifty and outspoken, she's an appealing reality contestant. It's a shame that Penner couldn't have made it further - they were two peas in a pod.

Other items of note:

Jason clubbed a rat and they ate it. Not since the very first season have contestants resorted to eating rats. I gotta say, I was a little nostalgic. *sniff*

Jason tried to sass Jeff Probst. Har-dee-har-har-har. If you are truly a fan or this show you would know that if you mess with J.P. you will get burned.

Erik schemed his way into the Favorites. Not a bad bit of scheming either! He saw opportunities and went for them. His relationship with Ozzy and wide-eyed innocent appearance probably did a lot of the work for him, but whatever - he didn't get voted off, did he?

Ami had a teary Tribal appeal that fell on deaf ears. Let's face it Ami, like the Godfather - if you cross Oz you will be terminated. All it took was the slightest hint that you might have voted against him. That's it, you're out! This just proves that Ozzy is the leader doesn't it? I mean, the girls were fine with keeping Ami and voting off Erik until Oz put in his two cents. At least Ami was a good sport at the end.

Well, next week is the merge and I'm excited. I love the scene where Eliza points out to Jason that his HII is just a stick. AWESOME! Although, I would love to see a repeat of last season where Jaime handed over the fake and Jeff tossed into the fire. Especially since Jason appears to be a complete ass. Still, you never know. He might not take the word of a former contestant and try to play the stick anyway. Guess we'll see!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Old MacDonald had a ... chicken nugget?

I know I don't talk about Muffin enough (*cough*) so I felt the need to share this little tidbit that occurred when I got her back from her daddy last night.

As I may have mentioned in previous posts, I'm trying to raise her without the joys of television and commercials because I'm an evil person I don't think brand recognition is good for young kids. (edit: except for Disney and Dora. Nobody's perfect.) We rarely go to fast food but when we do (usually to wait for daddy) she only recognizes the restaurant as "the place with the playground inside." Ok, enough - because I'm not trying to be preachy here.

When Muffin and Daddy arrive (1 hour 15 min. LATE!) the first thing she says to me is:

"I ate dinner at Old MacDonald's! I had chicken nuggets!"

At first I didn't quite comprehend what she was saying. I mean, she's four - most of the things that come out of her mouth are bizarre. But later, when we're driving home she points to the Golden Arches and says:

"Look, Mama! Another Old MacDonald's!"

McDonald's = Old MacDonald's. I see now. She's been corrupted. Philosophically speaking, I know it was bound to happen sooner or later. I just hope that I'm not the one who has to explain the disparity between "Old MacDonald had some chickens" and Old MacDonald serving chicken nuggets. I'll leave that to her dad.