Showing posts from May, 2006


I was at my parents' last night for dinner. My Mom said several times, "When does the game start?" She meant the Suns game and we mocked her for thinking it was on last night and not tonight.

So, of course, the gods punished me for being mean to my Mom and made me forget all about the game tonight. Good thing they don't need me to watch to win.

Poker + Two Year Old = Not So Good

I finally hosted Chick Poker on Friday night after begging off the last time since my place was nearly declared a disaster area by the Feds. Since my last foray into decorating, the place actually looks quite inviting so I was happy to have folks over.

Stacey had asked if she could bring her two year old monster (her word, not mine), Devon, and I said yes for a couple of reasons. We've played before at her house and he was relatively content with a DVD and the TV as a babysitter. I have a good collection of Disney films and lots of toys and stuffed animals to play with and nothing of any value whatsoever except my laptop and that's purely an emotional attachment to me (love my laptop, cannot be away from it for more than 20 minutes at a time, must check email, must check blog's sick, I admit). We've also had him at Angela's before, and while he got a little fussy, he eventually fell asleep and all was well.

It wasn't so much all well on Friday, thou…

You Know What?

You know what goes through the washer and dryer cycle really well?

$45 in tens and fives that you left in your pocket. They come out nice and crispy clean.

You know what doesn't go through the washer and dryer cycle really well?

The envelope that the $45 in tens and fives was in while it was in your pocket. It comes out in little bits and pieces that stick to the rest of your clothes and show up several loads down the road.

Thought you might like to know for future reference.

Movie Review - War of the Worlds

Had to balance out my TomKat ratio so I watched the Spielberg/Cruise version of War of the Worlds.

In one word: eh.

In more than one word: too long, too hokey, too screamy and too stupid kid actions.

My advice: don't bother.

Movie Review - Batman Begins

I had some time this weekend to catch some flicks on HBO, one of which was Batman Begins.

Pretty good flick but not perfect. Bale was a good Bruce Wayne and Michael Caine made a great Alfred. Liked the intro to the Scarecrow. That guy was creepy. Didn't recognize Gary Oldman at all. I knew it was someone I should have known but he was way too nerded out at as Jim Gordon for me to figure it out. Katie Holmes was OK but was what up with Liam Neeson's mustache? Dude! That was just plain bad.

I know Batman's supposed to be all dark and moody but man, I just wanted to tell the guy to get over his childhood drama already and move on.

Worth watching though a tad long.

Movie Review - X-Men: The Last Stand




Ok, those were the only X words I could come up with. I know it was a kinda cheesy exercise.

Sugar Daddy, Steven and I took in the latest installment of the X-Men series and it was frakking awesome! There were lots of shocking moments. I'm not sure how many time Steven and I turned to each other and made 'surprised' faces.

I was a little worried that Kelsey Grammer as The Beast wasn't going to be a good choice. It's hard to not think of him as anyone but Fraser. However, it worked out and I thought he was great. Hugh Jackman showed once again how perfect he is as Wolverine. If it were possible, I even more want to do Wolverine now. Hubba hubba. Halle Berry's Storm finally does something besides turn her eyes white and make fog. She was actually pretty tough in the movie.

There was a surprisingly high fatality count with a few very emotional deaths. The fight scenes were really well done and the mutant special effects were boffo. (I…

Jimmie's An All Star

I know this post seems late since the All Star event was last Saturday but I didn't actually get to see all of it until last night. Let me just get this out of the way: Jimmie's a stud!

Anywhoo, I've learned to always add at least an hour to any recording I make of a racing event because I've gotten burned when there are a lot of cautions and the race runs long. A couple of years ago, my recording ended with 2 laps to go. That hurt.

So, I set up the DVR for Saturday with an extra hour thinking I was good. Turned out to be not the case and I had to track down a rebroadcast to record to see the end.

See, there's this phenomenon called 'weather' that we just don't seem to have here in Phoenix. You could put down a forecast of "Clear and Sunny" for every day of the year and be right 360 times out of 365. However, in North Carolina they have this thing called 'rain'. It ended up holding up the action for quite a while. My recording ended befor…

Don't Try This

It's just not a good idea to drive home during the last 4 minutes of a Suns game. You're clearly a menace on the road while you're trying to follow the action on radio. Then, you end up sitting in your car while the game runs down trying to evaluate if you can make it from the car to the door, open three locks, turn on the tv and the cable and get it to the right station in a 20 second timeout.

FYI, you'll end up .3 seconds short on that.

Stupid Human Tricks

We celebrated the May I.T. birthdays today at work. It used to be all about me since I was the only May baby but our new guy, who just started on Monday, was born on Cinco de Mayo so we're now sharing the festivities. I'm OK with that since I still got presents (including another tiara - a Princess can never have enough!).

Sugar Daddy got put in charge of the game for the day. He picked a game with a really bad name that conjures all sorts of nastiness.

Chubby Bunnies.

I mean, come one, that's just bad. Is it something like Choking the Chicken? Or related to Chubby Chasers? I didn't know and, when I found out what it was, I was actually grossed out.

The goal of the game is to stuff your mouth with marshmallows (no swallowing) while retaining the ability to clearly say the words, "Chubby Bunnies". Whomever can do it with the highest marshmallow count wins.

Need I say that none of the women in the department took part?

A bunch of the guys lined up around a table and …

Book Review - 5th Horseman

The latest in the Women's Murder Club series by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro, 5th Horseman, revolves around a series of mysterious deaths in a local hospital, the trial of said hospital for mass malpractice and the serial killings of beautiful young women found posed and dressed in designer clothes.

Patterson and Paetro aren't afraid to bump people off. The main characters and the people close to them are fair game so you never feel 100% comfortable that the heroes are going to survive. That makes for good reading.

All in all, a worthy addition to the series.

Book Review - Beach Road

Beach Road is the latest collaboration between James Patterson and Peter de Jonge. They wrote Miracle on the 17th Green years ago and one of my prized possessions is a copy of the book, autographed by Patterson when I met him in my bookselling days. Really nice guy.

Good book (I mean Beach Road though I really like the other one, too) - the plot line involves the execution style murders of three White townies in the Hamptons which is blamed on a young Black basketball phenom. The chapters are told from the viewpoints of several of the main characters including the failed basketball player/small town lawyer who defends the kid, the kid himself, a NYC detective, a ruthless drug dealer and the former townie girl now big time lawyer who comes back to work on the case.

The style is typical Patterson; very short chapters, red herrings and plot twists abounding but compelling reading. I read most of it in one sitting and finished it in an afternoon.

Must Accept I Live in the Desert

It's been rather toasty lately here in The Valley of the Sun. And when I say pretty toasty, I mean hot as hell. It's the kind of weather where you run from your air conditioned house to your air conditioned car to your air conditioned office as fast as possible in the fear that you will turn into a pile of smoking ashes if you're exposed to direct sunlight for more than a cumulative 30 seconds per day.

And, it's not even really summer yet.

The problem for me isn't necessarily the unrelenting heat. I just wear fewer and skimpier clothes to combat that. It's that I have to keep the house locked up in a vacuum seal to keep the ever so precious cool air inside. That makes for a stuffy house. Not gym sock smelly, more like old attic dusty. So, whenever we get a little cool spell, I like to open up the doors (with safety locks on, of course, so the axe murderers just don't waltz right in) and air the joint out.

Yesterday, we had a break in the temperature. I think i…

Clearly Not The Best Quiz

Because, yeah, the fish thing. Didn't work out too well.

Your Ideal Pet is a Fish
You're both laid back, quiet, and content with your own little worlds.
Just don't stare at that fishbowl for too long!What's Your Ideal Pet?

It's Astrology's Fault

The thing is, I share the same birthday with Machiavelli (not the year, wiseacres) so I really can't help that I'm so much like him.

Is anyone buying that?

You Are Machiavelli's Spawn
You're going to get what you want, and no one's going stand in your way.
(Even if it's just knocking out your roomie to get the last ice cream sandwich!)
People who slow you down, simply need to be taken out - by any means possible.
You are the master of charming, wooing, manipulating, and intimidating.How Machiavellian Are You?

Got this from Wastnawa who's on a quiz binge. You can see his results here.

Good Finale for 24

Give it up for the crazy First Lady! At the beginning of the day, she was a boozy, drugged up nutjob. At the end, she managed to get her scummy, treasonous husband to spill the beans on his whole crazy plan and she saved my Aaron from certain death.

Unfortunately for her, she did have to have sex with Charles (trying to not vomit at the thought) but, according to the timeline and no surprise to me, it only appeared to last about 3 minutes. I predict she will have Aaron between the sheets in no time. After she douses her entire body in Lysol to get the Charles stink off of her, of course.

I think there will be some other hookups. Buchanan and Karen (he's hot for an old guy), Chloe and her sexy in a Eurotrash way ex-husband (who knew?) and Jack and Horse Face...I mean Audrey. (BTW, you'd think someone would have told her it's not appropriate for the office to wear a black bra under a sheer white blouse.)

Oh wait, this being 24, Jack isn't allowed to be happy. I knew when al…

It's Probably OK If You're A Little Jealous, Though

Steven went to Game 7 of the Suns/Clippers series last night.

He called me to tell me about it yesterday afternoon and I told him it was very cool. He said I was the only one who felt that way. The other people he'd told (and I'm sure he told quite a few) were a little bit...shall we say, envious and bitter? He got called several names that I'm not willing to put on the old blog.

He seemed genuinely a little disappointed that they weren't happy for him but, deep down inside, he probably enjoyed lording it over them a bit.

We Gave A HOOT

I am often so very, very proud of the contributions The Arizona Parrot Head Club makes to our community. Saturday was a prime example of us doing some good and feeling really good about it.

We rented out a small theater and hosted 13 kids and 4 staff from a local Crisis Center. We bought each kid a snack pack of a small soda, popcorn and a small bag of candy. Kids being kids, they all wanted something different (Icee, big popcorn, etc.) but in the end they were satisfied with their snack. We also bought drinks and popcorn for the staff. They need treats, too!

In addition to the kids, we had 29 folks from the club in attendance: parents, 'keets (that's what we call members' kids) and grand-keets.

We got a little held up at the snack bar so the kids, staff, Steve (who coordinated the event) and I got into the theater just as the movie was starting. The gang had left the first three rows open for the kids and I sat in the very front with about 6 of them. Yes, my neck is still a …

Not Entirely Accurate...But I'll Totally Own the Opinionated Part

You Have a Choleric Temperament
You are a person of great enthusiasm - easily excited by many things.
Unsatisfied by the ordinary, you are reaching for an epic, extraordinary life.
You want the best. The best life. The best love. The best reputation.

You posses a sharp and keen intellect. Your mind is your primary weapon.
Strong willed, nothing can keep you down. Your energy can break down any wall.
You're an instantly passionate person - and this passion gives you an intoxicating power over others.

At your worst, you are a narcissist. Full of yourself and even proud of your faults.
Stubborn and opinionated, you know what you think is right. End of discussion.
A bit of a misanthrope, you often see others as weak, ignorant, and inferior.What Temperment Are You?

Found this at Vern's.

Finally Got Together!

A couple of girlfriends and I get together every few months to touch base. We used to go to Rio Salado Brewing Company (God rest its soul) but now hang out at Sportsmen's.

We finally got together last night after an utterly ridiculous stretch of rescheduling. We actually cancelled 6 times before we finally met. Each of us had to nix it two times for work, sickness and HOOT (that last incident was me).

It just shouldn't be this hard to spend times with your friends.

The good thing is that we had plenty to talk about. I love that we all seem to give each the other the same amount of time to tell our stories. There are no conversation hogs there, nor are there any non-talkers.

We got completely caught up (they didn't even know about Steven's ankle, that's how long it's been). They're both married so they don't have the single escapades that I do (man, I wish I had more to tell them) but they have plenty else going on in their lives.

I found out that one of my f…

The Two Stooges Hang Pictures...

The plan was set. Grandpa was coming over between 5:30 and 6 for dinner and to hang my pictures (really, that's not a euphemism for some under the sheets activity). He'd told me that he saw a half circle table at Fry's that would be perfect for my phone table. I looked at two Fry's but didn't find it and then used my subtle behavioral control to get him to pick one up at the Fry's Marketplace near my house on the way over. I am good.

He got here just as I was putting the finishing touches on the chicken enchilada casserole. I popped it in the oven and started on the rice. He asked how long until dinner and I said about 10 minutes since the chicken was precooked and just needed to get heated. So, he decided that he'd put together the table while I was doing my little woman in the kitchen routine.

Yeah, so it took more than 10 minutes to assemble. A lot more. First, he had to go out to the car to get his reading glasses. Actually, that was second. First, he had…

Past My Bedtime

Those inconsiderate Suns. Don't they know we have day jobs? Couldn't they cut out all of the adrenaline packed overtimes so we can get to bed at a reasonable time?

Lyle is Coming!

If you thought my desire for William H Macy was strange, let me tell you how much I adore Lyle Lovett! He's funny, clever and, okay, I can't quite go with really hot. But, I will give him attractive. I'm still mad at Julia Roberts over the whole marriage thing.

Anywhooo, Norene and I have literally been waiting for years for Lovett to play in Tucson or Phoenix. So, I was overjoyed when I saw an ad in Sunday's paper for a July 15 show at the Dodge Theater.

I bought our tickets today (good ones, too, center section on the floor) so we are good to go!

Let me now bitch about the evilness of Ticketmaster and concert venues. I bought two tickets at $42 face value. My total purchase price? $111 and change! That's with using standard mail for delivery which is the only thing in the entire purchase that doesn't require additional monies.

Ticketbastards, indeed!

Book Review - Micah

This addition to Laurell K Hamilton's Anita Blake series was disappointing.

I felt like it was mostly a throwaway story. The plot revolved around Anita and her King of the Wereleopards partner, Micah, going to Philadelphia to raise a zombie for a trial. (That sentence really only makes sense to someone who's read some of these books, I realize.) It's their first time being alone and Anita freaks out about the intimacy (which she does in every dang book), we get Micah's backstory and find out that Anita has an even stronger connection to the dead now.

It could all have been told in a few pages of exposition in another book. There just didn't feel like enough here to justify its own tome.

Book Review - Undead and... Series

As part of my weekend binge reading, I plowed through the first four books in Mary Janice Davidson's Undead... series. The titles are: Undead and Unemployed, Undead and Unwed, Undead and Unappreciated and Undead and Unreturnable.

Davidson combined two of my favorite genres, Chick Lit and Vampire, into a wonderful series. The main character, Betsy Taylor, gets hit be a car on her 30th birthday and wakes up in a coffin at the funeral home. What concerns her most is not that she's dead (or undead if you want to be picky) but that she's dressed in a polyester suit and shoes from Payless.

She eventually finds that she's the prophesized Queen of the Vampires. What follows are several adventures where she spends most of her time critiquing the wardrobe choices of her friends and foes and stressing over her men troubles. If you've read the Shopaholic books, you've got the idea. Despite bumbling through and thinking mostly about herself, she manages to resolve all of th…

I Must Be Made Of Money...

...because I'm sure spending it like I am!

Apparently the fact that I've lived in my place for 6 months and still haven't finished decorating (or unpacking for that matter) has finally sunk in and I feel compelled to do something about it.

I've bought a big picture for the bathroom (beach scene, natch) and I've bribed Grandpa with a home cooked meal to come hang that and all of my other pictures. I've got a bunch of collage photo frames that I need to put up somewhere.

BTW, Grandpa left the menu choice up to me. I actually browsed through some cookbooks at Border's tonight then decided I don't need no stinking cookbook (though I would like a good spaghetti sauce recipe for the crock pot if anyone has one) so I'm making a chicken enchilada casserole...without a recipe! Man, I live life on the edge.

OK, digression over and back to the story. I also bought a water hose for the patio. I really only need about 20 feet but the shortest I could get was 50. And…

Downtown Chamber Series

We caught the latest bi-monthly Downtown Chamber Series event on Friday night. It was at the Bentley Projects, an art gallery that's in a very cool, bricked industrial space and filled with really expensive pieces that I often look at and say things like, "Who would pay $90,000 for that!?!"

There were 6 musicians this time playing the piano, clarinet, two violins, viola and cello. They took turns performing and the music was awesome. Adding a clarinet into the mix made it so interesting and different from the usual strings and piano thing. It didn't hurt that the clarinet player, Alex Laing, was hot either. They got through the first half of the performance and all of us girls were atwitter over him.

They played a clarinet trio by Mozart, three elegies for clarinet and piano by Peter Schickele, a cello sonata by Brahms and closed out with an overture on Hebrew themes by Prokofiev.

My favorite pieces were two of the elegies: Song for Bert and Ceremony. Distinctively diff…

It's Almost As Bad As Crack

Hello, my name is Kathy and I'm a bookaholic.

I've read 5 books in the last 4 days. That's not all I've done. I went to work, to dinner and to a concert on Friday, a BOD meeting and club bowling function on Saturday and out with the family today.

However, nearly every other waking moment was spent reading despite having lots of other things to do. (For those keeping track, I'm still not unpacked. I did buy another bookshelf for the guest room but it's still sitting in the box.)

I just couldn't stop. I found myself making mental deals:

Take the garbage out and you could read another chapter.

If you clean the bathroom, you can read for another half hour.

Is that the behavior of an addict? I'm thinking it may be.

At least it's not drugs or alcohol. I mean, no one ever killed themselves by reading too much, right? Looking on the bright side, I may be fighting compulsive behavior but I'll have plenty of book review material coming up. I'm sure the Je…

Silly Game

The girls and I played one of those pointless, whatif games Friday night.

The rules:

Pick 5 guys and 1 woman that you would sleep with (usual caveats, no strings, it's not cheating, blah, blah, blah).

My list:

1. Seth Green
2. William H. Macy
3. George Clooney
4. Phil Gordon (the poker player, not the mayor)
5. Jimmie Johnson

After thinking about it, I took Jimmie off the list. I mean, I have a lot of emotional investment in my driver and what if he turned out to be a real jerk? Or, even worse, really, really bad in bed? (And yes, I get that the whole thing is borderline crazy.)

I replaced him with the guy in the Sprint commercials. You know, the guy in the dark trench coat? I find him to be incredibly hot.

The Girl
This wasn't easy. First, I don't think of women that way and second, when going through the list of popular singers/actresses/etc., it's hard to find one that isn't a wafer thin mint who looks like she's made out of plastic. I mean, ick, why do guys find t…

If You Ever Wondered Why...

...I'm a Type A Control Freak, it's because the acorn does not fall far from the tree.

Shorty (that would be the tree in this story) called me earlier in the week to say we were going to The Quilted Bear in Scottsdale today for Mother's Day. Our reservation was for 2:30 and I told him I would come to their house first and drive over with them.

The Quilted Bear is, at most, 10 minutes from my parents' house.

I pulled up in front of my parents' house at 2:03.

As I was parking, my cell phone rang. It was Shorty...trying to find out where I was because he thought I was late. When I walked into the house, he gave me about 90 seconds to greet my Mom, Aunt Rose Mary and Uncle Jack before he rushed us all out the door.

Give me a break, dude! Life is too short to be that much of a stress ball!

PHINS Saturday

I woke up Saturday morning feeling remarkably chipper. Norene was surprised I got out of bed at 8ish but I had a club leaders' meeting at 9 to go to. Drank 6 glasses of water by the time the meeting was over which was a smart thing (and so unlike me on these weekends).

The meeting was good - all news about PHINS to the West, its past, present and future. It's very cool to see a bunch of clubs get together to help out and the event's raised a lot of money for the local community. Good stuff, Maynard.After the meeting, I hooked up with the O'Malley Babes and Liz and we had pizza for breakfast then hung around to shoot the shite with Angel, Bob, Roger and Todd. Until, that is, they all had to run off for their favorite activity that couldn't possibly be more boring to me, the Slot Tournament. ho humI headed out to the mini-mart area where our club members were shilling product and asked Norene for the room key so I could change into my bathing suit since it was damn ho…

Medical Update

Steven and I went to see the Cute Doctor today. His appointment was supposed to be Monday but loyal readers know the Cute Doctor's scheduling doesn't always work out. He got called to a trauma (I mean, he is doing good things when he cancels appointments but...) so Steven was rescheduled to today.

Great news - he's free to do whatever he wants to do. He can run, jump, bowl (he's going to try tomorrow night), etc. as long as he doesn't feel pain. We'll probably have just one last appointment in July then he'll be officially done with seeing the Cute Doctor.

Now, if I can just keep the rest of the family out of the hospital for a while...

Now, This REALLY Makes Me Feel Old...

Steven told me he felt old...that's not a good think when your kid thinks he's old.

Apparently, he fixed something at work and told the little chickies there that he "MacGuyver'd it".

They both gave him completely blank stares. No idea who MacGuyver was or what the phrase even meant.

Yep, I guess he's getting old. sigh

PHINS Friday

I actually planned a little ahead for our drive up to Laughlin on Friday. Norene came up Thursday night, we hit Four Peaks for dinner, watched Earl then hit the sack for an early departure. I'd called Grandpa to get the best route through town and had several options written down. However, that just got me out of town and on the road north.

Norene and I were on the 202 when she said, "I meant to print out the directions to the AVI once I got to Laughlin but I forgot." I replied, "I have no's somewhere on the other side of town." She said, "Well, I thought that since my passenger had been there before she could tell me how to get there."

How long has this woman known me? Clearly, not long enough. I can find my way out of a paper bag but beyond that....well, let's just say it's a good thing that I have a cell phone and know people who can guide me. I've never been the driver to the AVI so I've never paid attention and had no …

Much Ado About Nothing...or Really Bad Mixed Message?

One of the local high schools got written up in The Arizona Republic for giving out beer mugs (to the boys) and champagne flutes (to the girls) as prom gifts. This, after telling everyone they were going to search them for alcohol before the dance and eject anyone under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

You can read the whole story here.

The school contends that it's a nice, inexpensive memento and the teachers filled them with candy before handing them out. Some of the parents and students found it hypocritical and offensive.

I think they'd be better off finding new gifts so they can avoid the entire issue.

I do find it offensive...that they gave the beer mugs to the boys only. What up with that? (written with tongue in cheek...)

Book Review - Freakonomics

I decided I needed to see what all the hullabaloo with this book was all about. Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores The Hidden Side Of Everything by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner has been chatted up in lots of articles and several of my friends read it and loved it.

The authors used economics to explain/find the correlation between various events and their possible causes. Among the questions they asked were:

Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool?
What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common?
Why do drug dealers still live with their Moms?
How much do parents really matter?
What kind of impact did Roe v. Wade have on violent crime?
How is the Klu Klux Klan like a group of real estate agents?
What's the affect of having an ethnic first name?

It was very thought provoking and fascinating.

Probably the most controversial finding was that legalized abortion was the real cause of the drop in crime rates. Not more cops, more guns nor capital punishment. The g…

Frakking 24!

Aye carumba, this show drives me insane!

How many times can the super-duper counter terrorist unit be infiltrated?

Do they really need to move the high profile terrorist in the middle of everything?

Was it not the stupidest thing ever to leave the evidence alone with just one person in the room? Come on, couldn't Buchanan have hung out with Chloe while she was 'cleaning' up the audio? And, why did she need to clean it up anyway? It's come through loud and clear so far.

At least the previews showed that Aaron's still alive...

Nice Evening

Steven and Garrison, my Good Son (not really my son but has been one of Steven's best friends for years and behaves much better than Steven does), came over to watch the Suns game. They had a good time and an introduction into my crazy world of being compulsively wired in. Pretty much the whole time they were here, I was on my laptop publishing pictures and answering emails.

I did pay attention to the game though, I swear.

And the Suns won so it's all good.

Boys Will Always Be Boys

When you take a picture of a woman, she tries to look as good as possible. That means turning to the side to look thinner, lifting the chin and smiling wide.
When you take a picture of a guy, he reverts to a 6 year old and tries to look as goofy as possible.Want proof?Check out these pictures from PHINS this past weekend.

My Kingdom for a Key

I've got lots of pics and stories from our PHINS to the West weekend but I need to get this particular story done so I can let it go...I'm not so good at that letting go stuff, though.

My roomie, Norene, and I got checked into the hotel on Friday afternoon. They let us in before our room was cleaned which ticked off the maid a great deal but we just dumped our stuff in a corner and asked her to work around it. It was no big deal to us.

A while later, I came back to the room to change and my key didn't work. It flashed me back to when we used to stay at the Key Largo in Vegas. I don't think I ever had a stay there where my key didn't demagnetize itself. Anywhooo, I was headed back to the lobby when Julia came by and offered to let me call from her room.

Security came up with a new key...which didn't work.

Fortunately, Norene came back to the room so I got in to change.

Later that day, I went back to the front desk, got another key and headed up to my room.

It didn'…

Career Day

My friend, Andrea, and I went to a local elementary school today for their Career Days event. It's a very low-income district with lots of kids with English as their second language.

We talked to both a third grade and a fifth grade class about programming, project management and database administration. Andrea was much better about simplifying the subject matter for their level of understanding. I generally think of kids as just short adults so I tended to get too technical.

We told them how we went to college and continue to take classes. We said we use math and reading/writing skills every day and that learning to type would be good for them. We also talked about making mistakes and how important it is to own up to them, learn from them and be able to fix any problems you may cause but that everyone makes mistakes on occasion so they shouldn't be afraid of doing so.

One of the kids asked us if we got checks. I tried to explain the concept of direct deposit which I think may ha…

Movie Review - Napoleon Dynamite

I felt like I was the only 'semi-cool' person left on the planet who hadn't seen Napoleon Dynamite. Because I try to stay versed in current culture, I knew about "Vote for Pedro" but I hadn't seen more than a few minutes of the flick. And, I only saw that much because Steven was watching it for the Godonlyknowshowmany time.

So, I recorded it on my DVR and decided to watch it last night.

Oh, so dumb but so hypnotically compelling. I was so hooked into it that I even paused when I was adding a new coat of polish to my toenails because I didn't want to miss a gesture. What a collection of characters! They all just slayed me.

It was one of the movies that you either 'get' or you're going to hate. I can picture Shorty walking out of the room 2 minutes into it and I can also see why Steven's watched it Godonlyknowshowmany times.

Movie Review - Fever Pitch

I actually found (made) some time to just sit and watch a movie. I thought something relatively mindless would be just the ticket so I watched Fever Pitch. It was, indeed, just the ticket. It didn't require a lot of thought and it was surprisingly pleasant.

The gist of it is that Jimmy Fallon's (of SNL fame) character is a diehard Boston Red Sox fan who hooks up with the uber-businesswoman played by Drew Barrymore during the year the Sox won the World Series. His Sox devotion causes issues, her work causes issues...pretty much it was a storyline straight out of chick lit.

However, Fallon was surprisingly appealing and generated a lot of sympathy. Barrymore was, well Barrymore, but with a minimum on the slapstick.

I enjoyed it as a pleasant diversion from the stuff hanging over my head (no, I still haven't finished unpacking and it's been five months since I moved).

Book Review - Bait and Switch

I was looking forward to reading Barbara Ehrenreich's latest tome, Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream. I really enjoyed Nickel and Dimed in which the author took on several minimum wage type jobs and tried to live on her salary. Her latest effort is a look at what the white collar folks go through when they get laid off/fired from their relatively high paying jobs.

It wasn't the story I thought it would be. I expected her to go through several forays into the craziness that is Corporate America and describe it from the perspective of the free wheeling academic. That world is so illogical and frustrating, I thought it would make a great story.

Instead, the book was all about just trying to get a job in the white collar world. She employed a resume expert, job coach, had a personal makeover and attended several workshops and networking group meetings to help her land a job. In one year, she was only offered a job selling insurance at Aflac (without benefit…

So Sad...

I was near the site that used to be the home of The Monastery today. It was one of our favorite hangouts. You could grill your own burger, drink copious amounts of beer and watch volleyball players for hours. In the cooler months, they had fire pits that you could gather around. There were lots and lots of trees for shade and cool artifacts like a big stone teacup you could climb into and a big, wooden monk.

But, that's all gone now. Torn down for future development.

We spent countless hours there and it hurt my heart* to see the now empty lot:

*Ya know, spell check doesn't help you when you leave the t off of heart...corrected on 5/2 thanks to Wastnawa's spotting of the error.

Countdown to PHINS

The emails about this weekend's shindig in Laughlin, PHINS to the West, have been flying. The boys (and Beth) are scheduling golf on Friday morning and my pals from Utah are planning a Thursday arrival.

I feel like I'm going to miss all the fun since I'm not getting there until Friday afternoon. I just hate missing any of the action which is why I usually end up crashing and burning early because I won't take a nap, sleep in or rest at all during the day. Hey, something incredibly amusing could happen while I'm asleep - I can't miss it!

I did tell my Utah friends that it's a marathon, not a sprint. Of course, I'm never good at taking my own advice.


The Cup race at Talladega was rained out yesterday. Bummer, because it was the first race I was going to get the watch live in weeks. I had it all set up to record today and was planning on avoiding all media until tonight when I could watch it.

However, a buddy at work suggested we go to lunch where they're showing the race. What a great idea! I had to blow off Sugar Daddy for lunch and he's going to hold it against me forever but it was worth it.

Jimmie won, Jimmie won, Jimmie won!

He made a great late pass and held on to the lead for the final lap. Ohmigosh, I was so tense, my heart was pounding and I was yelling (but trying not to) at the big screen. His win put him back on top of the standings, too, so it was just a great day.