Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Best Searches of May

Here it is - my 300th post and what better way to spend it then to comb through my Stat Counter records and see what it is that has lured people to my blog through the likes of Google, Yahoo, Alta Vista, AOL, etc.

In the month of May I had 2,575 unique visitors of which 776 came via a search engine. Of those 776, 693 came via a Google search with Yahoo! coming in at a distant second with 53 visitors. There were other search engines used but they only registered one or two visits each so I won't mention them by name.

It came as no surprise to me to see that over 40% of my visitors came looking for the ever-popular WFSB Traffic Reporter, Rachel Lutzker. Most searches for Rachel came via simply a name search but there was one misguided soul who was looking for "naked pictures of Rachel Lutzker". No doubt it was a disappointment not to find any such pictures on my blog and I rather doubt he or she were able to find any elsewhere on the Internet. Rachel seems to be way too nice of a girl to stoop to such behavior.

Speaking of being a nice lady, I emailed Rachel awhile back and she emailed me back stating, "I hope you all had a great week for National EMS Week!" For anyone from work who reads my blog (hey, Bulldog, I'm talkin' to you!) I'm sure you appreciate her sentiments.

Now then, let's put Rachel Lutzker aside and look at the rest of ...

The Best of My Stat Counter Searches, Part Two!

  • Antietam or Gettysburg best choice to visit (my personal preference is Gettysburg but that's just me - they are both great battlefields and should be visited by everyone!)
  • If it is working don't change it (exactly!)
  • People joining the NYPD (this one has got to go all the way back to my 9/11 posts)
  • Once there was a war (actually, there have been way too many wars but that is another story)
  • What is Floridian Slim Whitman? (I'm sure they meant "who" and to answer the question, he was one of my parents' favorite country & western singers)
  • Finger flicker toward the door Simon Cowell (uh ... what?)
  • On the first day God created the (there are so many things I could say here to finish this sentence but I won't!)
  • Memorial Day weekend CT things to do (I would be willing to bet that CT had some great things to do but I didn't do any of them as I worked the entire weekend)
  • What's a Mexican fortune cookie? (good question - what IS a Mexican fortune cookie?)
  • Gerard Way's mom lives in Massachusetts (I'll have to remember to stop by and say "hi" next time I'm up that way!)
  • Should I let my seventeen year old go to the Warped Tour (and I would have the answer to this how?)
  • Tobey eyeliner is hot (yes, yes it was - sorry, Bulldog!)
  • Eye candy videos (speaking of which ...)
  • Chicken fried steak (I love chicken fried steak though I don't remember ever mentioning that in my blog though I must have)
  • Meme favorite anime character (I shall have to ask Queen Mimi if this is an approved meme!)
  • Sympathy pregnancy symptoms edema (how well I remember this when my dispatch partner was pregnant last summer - ugh!)
  • Will painted toenails help (help what may I ask?)
  • Has anyone ever won a duplicate prize? (I'm sure that someone, somewhere has though not on my blog!)
  • Funny sayings about police dispatching (the stories I could tell on this one!)
  • M&Ms for telecommunicators (what a great idea!)
  • Linda likes men (yes, actually I do but, sadly, they don't seem to like me)
  • Employee happiness in 911 centers (see above "M&Ms for telecommunicators" to make that happen!)
  • If I had enough money (this is something I say to myself constantly)
  • Scared about first hematologist appointment (I can understand this a little bit)
  • Having life single working mom (life? what is this life you speak of?)
  • Stolen parts, oatmeal thighs (sometimes you really have to wonder just what it is people are searching for!)
  • Audition test for Who Wants to Be A Millionaire (this reminds me, I have to tell that story one of these days)
  • Which direction should a lucky elephant face (with its trunk up, towards the window if I remember correctly)
  • And last but certainly not least, I have had lots and lots and lots of searches for My Chemical Romance in various forms - some pretty normal and some pretty out there!
It should be interesting to see what the next month brings for searches and visitors to my little part of the blogosphere as I continue to creep towards 30,000 visitors (I'm close to 27,000 now so I'm hoping that by my Blogaversary on July 25th I'll have gotten to 30,000).

In the meantime, I hope you continue to enjoy yourselves here and I thank each and every one of you for visiting as well as an extra thanks to those who also comment! I have no "torture devices" for lurkers like my blog-friend Claire used to have so you needn't worry about being punished for not commenting but it's always nice to hear what you have to say!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A Wordless Wednesday Update

Due to the fact that I worked a total of 48 hours from 7:00 a.m. Sunday to 3:00 p.m. this afternoon with yesterday being another double-shift, I just didn't have the time to do a Wordless Wednesday post this week. However, I thought I would do a Wordless Wednesday post of sorts this evening.

Anyone remember my Wordless Wednesday post on April 4th? I had taken a picture of the very large tree out in front of the Norwich Free Academy while waiting to attend Amanda's Spring Concert Band performance. It was still pretty cold here in Connecticut so the trees had not yet begun to bud and were still looking pretty barren.

Many thought this looked like a "ghost tree" or something out of Lord of the Rings or The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and I would have to concur. I think many a director of a Hollywood fright-fest would find this tree to be quite fascinating.

As they say "time changes everything" and that most definitely applies when it comes to trees every Spring and Fall. The below picture is the same tree and was taken last week when I was attending the outdoor Pop Concert at NFA. Big difference, isn't it?

I apologize for the quality of the picture but I was obviously facing the wrong way in regards to the light and it was hard to get the whole tree in the picture. It probably would have helped if I had been able to remember the angle that was in the original picture and had tried to replicate it but, truth be told, it was a spur of the moment thought to take a picture so that I could do a comparison post and I couldn't remember from which angle I took the original.

You can't really tell from this picture but the tree is not a weeping willow as a lot of people previously thought even though it tends to look like it. It doesn't have tendrils but rather regular, rich green leaves which cover the branches that all hang down giving it the weeping willow effect.

I doubt that most kids who attend Norwich Free Academy give much thought to the beauty of the campus but it really is quite the place with quite the tree.

Monday, May 28, 2007

"Eye" Candy For Us Ladies

While trying to think of what to do a post on today, I finally decided that maybe it was time to go more for the "visual" rather than the "cerebral" after remembering a comment that Gem had made in a post over on her blog about Captain Jack Sparrow where she stated that "eye liner on a man never looked so good".

Capt Jack SparrowWhereas I am certainly NOT going to argue with that statement!, I thought it might be nice to introduce you to some of the other sexy guys out there who have the whole eyeliner-wearing thing down to an art. If you've been a regular reader of this blog then some of these names are going to ring a bell and if not - well, just enjoy anyway!

Capt Jack SparrowAnyone who has read this blog for any amount of time has got to be familiar with Gerard Way, the front man for My Chemical Romance, Amanda's favorite band and one that I have come to like quite a lot myself. Yeah, yeah - I'm 48 and should be listening to Neil Diamond or Bob Dylan but what can I say? Those guys are old and not all that hot whereas MCR's music is good, their lyrics have meaning, and the man is damned cute!

Gerard WayFor those not familiar with Gerard, he is a New Jersey boy and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York City where Amanda hopes to go after high school. He formed My Chem (as they are fondly called) in 2001 after the 9/11 attacks prompted him to want to make a difference. Despite the fact that people like to label them as an "emo" band, My Chem does not promote violence of any sort and encourages their listeners to seek help if they are depressed or feel like they want to hurt themselves or others.

Gerard WayNext up is a guy who knows how to wear eyeliner better than a lot of women - Jared Leto. Jared hails from Louisiana and is the lead singer and back up guitarist for 30 Seconds from Mars, a band that he formed with his brother Shannon who plays drums. Their last album, A Beautiful Lie, produced not only some excellent music but some great videos, too. I highly recommend checking them out!

Jared LetoJared also attended the School of Visual Arts in New York City and he holds a BFA in Film and Video. In addition to his work with 30 Seconds from Mars, Jared is an actor and has starred in many films as well as playing Jordan Catalano in the series My So Called Life on television. He's also 35 which doesn't make him all that much younger than me - not that it will make a difference in the big scheme of things!

Jared LetoLast, but certainly not least, is a guy that I don't think I ever would have even considered putting in this post were it not for his recent performance in Spiderman 3 as the "dark, Emo Spidey". When Toby Maguire, as our hero Peter Parker, put on the black Spiderman suit, he went from a mild-mannered Clark Kent wanna-be to an eyeliner-wearing, hip-swaying, finger-snapping, downright smoldering Super Hero who also was a bit of an ass. Ah, but the ladies loved him and Amanda practically squee'd (again) right there in the movie theater.

Spiderman 3I had a little trouble finding a second sexy picture of our friendly neighborhood Spiderman so I hope you'll enjoy this little dance instead!

Dancing Peter ParkerSo there you have it, four guys who I think look pretty damned sexy in a cosmetic formerly reserved for ladies and one that I can't apply myself because I end up sticking myself in the eye with the pencil causing myself to cry and smudge what small efforts I might have made!

Anyone else care to contribute a guy who fits this list? I'm always up for more calorie-free "eye" candy!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Leaving on a Jet Plane


My youngest daughter, Jamie, will be coming out for a good part of the summer next Wednesday so I have just ten days to prepare myself for having another teenager in the house. Double the food consumption, double the computer usage, double the water bill, double the amount of dirty laundry, double the looks of teenage angst & despair when told we don’t have the money to do something … I suspect the list could go on and on but I’m pretty sure I can suck it up and deal with it for the 7-1/2 weeks that Jamie will be here before moving to her new home in Florida.

For the past three years, she has lived in Kentucky with her father and step-mother (some of you may be familiar with the story) but her Dad recently transferred within the company he works for to another job in the Tampa/St. Pete area. When Jamie leaves here this summer she will be going to a completely new home in a completely new place. She’ll be starting her high school career knowing absolutely no one else at whatever school she ends up at but she tells me that she’s looking forward to it. Jamie has always been the most adventurous of my children so I’m sure she’ll have no problems adjusting and making new friends.

The change of locale and impending move lent itself to an adventure of a different sort when it came to making plane reservations to get Jamie out here for the summer. Due to financial constraints, she wasn’t able to come out for Christmas this past year (some of you may be familiar with that story) so there was no way that I was not going to figure out some way to get her out here this summer. The biggest problem came in trying to determine whether she was flying here from Kentucky or Florida and, for the longest time, her father wasn’t able to give me an answer on that one as he just wasn’t sure himself.

First he said that Jamie could drive down to Florida with her stepmother in mid-June and then fly up from there but after some negotiating it was finally decided that she could fly out from Kentucky after her 8th-grade graduation and then fly down to Florida at the end of her visit with us. After that was established, we entered into “time negotiations” with her father stating that she could only come out from June 6th to July 14th. This seemed like a fairly paltry amount of time in my book but he seemed pretty adamant about it stating that she needed time to register in her new school, etc. I didn’t like it but I could see some of his reasoning.

After finally having a confirmation on her departure city and date, I then began the “fun” task of combing the internet for what I hoped might be a reasonably priced one-way fare. Expedia, Travelocity, Priceline, Yahoo Travel, Booking Buddy … the number of websites that one can go to is just as mind-boggling as the number of airlines! My eyes were beginning to cross as my mind was going numb {insert headache here} when I was finally able to find a dirt-cheap flight on Delta Airlines. Trust me when I say “dirt-cheap” as the actual price of the ticket is LESS than the cost of the unaccompanied child charge. Can someone please tell me what is wrong with this picture {insert look of confusion here}.

Because Jamie is returning to a different city I didn’t book her return trip at the same time as I wanted to take a little extra time and see what available options we had going in that direction. Fortunately, Southwest Airlines offers non-stop service from both Providence and Hartford to Tampa and they don’t charge an unaccompanied child fee over the age of 11. Oh happy day {insert dance of joy here}! I saw a couple possibilities that looked quite do-able but I still hesitated in booking her return flight as I was hoping that her Dad might relent a little and let her stay at least until her birthday towards the end of July. Well, that and I was doing the usual paycheck juggling that I do every two weeks!

Last Sunday I took a phone call from the ex fully expecting to be read the riot act for not having booked a return trip yet but - much to my amazement - he was calling to tell me that he had given it some thought and decided that Jamie could stay until the weekend after her birthday {insert look of incredulity here}. Seems that a friend of his that still lives in the area pointed him in the direction of this little blog and he read some of the posts that I’d written during the Christmas holidays lamenting Jamie not being able to come out (some of you might remember some of those posts). He decided that because I hadn’t had the chance to see her then that perhaps it would be okay for her to stay longer this summer. Well, what could I say except ‘thank you’ and ‘wow, I’m glad I hadn’t booked that return trip yet’!

With the fare sale at Southwest Airlines ending last Thursday, I finally booked a return flight for the 28th of July for what I thought was a pretty reasonable price, especially considering that there was no unaccompanied child fare attached {insert happy dance here}. I was pretty pleased with it right up until I got an email from Southwest yesterday announcing another summer fare sale which I made the mistake of looking at. Turns out that the same flight that I just booked could have been booked at half the price had I just waited another couple of days {insert look of abject misery here}. Somehow I feel cheated. I could have used that extra $50 to help feed the two hungry teenagers that will be occupying my house this summer or bought a good pair of earplugs for myself!

Oh well, at least the tickets are bought and paid for – that’s the important thing, right?? {Insert continued grumbling at the airlines here}

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Emo + baseball = bad

Dodd Stadium
We here in Norwich are able to brag about being the home of the Eastern League Double-A Affiliate of the San Francisco Giants - the Connecticut Defenders (they used to be called the Norwich Navigators and were the Double-A team for the New York Yankees but that's old history and not something I have the time or desire to get into tonight).

The Defenders play at Thomas J. Dodd Stadium, which is a very nice ballpark and one that I worked at for three seasons when it first opened back in 1995. By the end of my first season, I could pour one heck of a beer and made some pretty decent tips doing so but again, that's old history and not for tonight's post!

As part of EMS Week at American Ambulance, my current place of employment where I've never poured a single beer, they offered tickets for last night's game against the Trenton Thunder (who are now the Double-A affliate of the New York Yankees though they used to to be the Double-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox). Having not been to see a game since the last season I worked there, I thought it might be a fun evening out and something different to do. In retrospect, I'm not quite sure what I was thinking.

Amanda invited her usual posse along but Nicole wasn't able to attend as she had to be in Rhode Island at her mother's house this weekend but Dan said that he was up for it and it "would beat sitting around the house on a Friday night." I arrived at the ballpark with two black-clad teenagers in tow and we took our seats directly behind home plate.

home plate at Dodd Stadium
The seats couldn't have been better (well, except for that annoying safety netting one has to look through but I guess that's better than being beaned with a foul ball) but the company was soon to prove otherwise. Dan had apparently never been to a baseball game in his life (huh?? and this kid lives in America??) and Amanda seemed a bit put-out that there appeared to be no other kids their age in the entire ballpark. Now, I'm sure that wasn't true but I suppose it may have looked that way to them. Before the first inning was even over, they had started to amuse themselves by drawing (Amanda had her trusty drawing pad and pens with her for just such an occasion).

Emo doddlings
Heaven forbid she do some sketches of the ball players or the people around her - oh no, not my daughter, she appeared to be doodling figures from the Emo Drawing 101 course that surely had to be offered at the local school.

Don't Look at MeNext came a series of tic-tac-toe games between Amanda and Dan while I attempted to watch the game and enjoy the between-inning antics of Cutter the mascot or the people that were called out of the stands to participate in assorted contests.

As the game slowly progressed (no one had scored by the 7th inning or even barely gotten on base), neither nachos or fried dough had managed to perk up either Amanda or Dan but instead they seemed to be slipping even further into boredom and - dare I say it? - angst as the picture below shows. It was at that point that I decided that enough was enough and perhaps it was time to exit stage right and call it a night. I rather doubted that even the fireworks after the game were going to be of much interest to either of them and besides, leaving during the 7th inning stretch insured that I would get out of the parking lot long before the crowds - long, long before!

Emo drawings
As we were walking through the parking lot, trying to find the car, Dan apologized profusely for having not been more "into" the game and then came up with the equation which is the title for this post: Emo + baseball = bad. No kidding; though my daughter constantly tells me that she isn't Emo! At least Dan admits it, Amanda is apparently just in denial.

On the way home we did what apparently the rest of Norwich was doing and stopped in at the local Dairy Queen for an ice cream cone so at least the night wasn't a total wash! After dropping Dan at his home, we made our way back to Norwich and enjoyed the night air with the moon roof and windows open in the car. Amanda had seemed to have perked up by leaps and bounds and decided to fool around with the digital camera producing the following picture:

picture from the car at nightI'd say that it was one of her most colorful achievements of the night!

Moral of the story: Stay home on Friday night!

Saturday Photo Hunt - Colorful


After having been out of the Hunt for the past two weeks, I felt it was about time I got back in the saddle and posted something. Fortunately, this week's theme of "colorful" coincided nicely with the blossoming of the beautiful azalea bush in front of my house. Unfortunately it doesn't bloom for long but for a few days at least we've got some gorgeous color in front of my humble abode!

For those with eagle eyes, you're right - there are no flowers in my window boxes yet but I hope to rectify that soon after a trip to the local plant nursery. You will, however, notice that the hanging petunias that I got for National Telecommunicators Week are blooming quite nicely and also add to the color in the upper right-hand corner of the picture!

Everyone have a great, safe, and colorful weekend!

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt Participants
1. And Miles To Go...
2. Hummie
3. Goofy girl
4. Jolene
5. tnchick
6. hanneng
7. Crazy Working Mom
8. Barbara H.
9. PowersTwinB
10. Amy in NY
11. tray
12. kathy
13. eastcoastlife
14. SargeCharlie
15. mousey
16. Bengbeng
17. alisonwonderland
18. maiylah
19. Jane
20. Callie Ann
21. mar
22. eph2810
23. jmb
24. jenn in holland
25. amy
26. sassy mom
27. ipanema
28. Nancy
29. eija
30. Gewels
31. Lynn
32. chupieandjsmama
33. Dragonheart
34. Pearl
35. Hootin\' Anni
36. crookedeyebrow
37. Patricia
38. pat
39. on the Rock
40. Bobbie
41. Twisted Cinderella
42. planet3rry
43. Barbara
44. Rachel
45. Janet
46. Chen
47. letha
48. Judi
49. PEA
50. empress bee (of the high sea)
51. Gattina
52. Melissa
53. Coonie
54. Loni
55. Shawna
56. Frances
57. bonggamom
58. Heidi
59. Carmen
60. Skittles
61. JO
62. Samantha & Tigger
63. smalltown RN
64. Sophia
65. Pastormac\'s Ann
66. Rach
67. Claire Rachael Pitt
68. chateau

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Pop Goes the Concert Band


Slater Memorial Museum Tower at NFA

Last night was one of those picture perfect New England Spring evenings that we're lucky enough to get one or two of anymore; beautiful sunshine, moderate temperatures, no humidity, and just enough of a breeze to keep any annoying bugs away. It was the perfect evening for the 2007 Pops Concert which was held outdoors at Norwich Free Academy, the very picturesque high school that Amanda attends.

This was Amanda's third concert of the year which featured Combined Percussion and Concert Band and the first of what is, hopefully, an annual tradition of being held outdoors. As I sat comfortably on a folding chair on the lawn of the Cranston Building amongst all of the other family, friends, and fellow students of those playing in the band I reflected on how very quickly Amanda's freshman year had flown by. It just didn't seem that long ago that I was sitting in Slater Auditorium on December 13th enjoying the Holiday Concert but obviously it was. My how time flies ...

After a brief performance by the Combined Percussion, the band began with the 42nd Street Overture followed by Themes from 007, a piece that Amanda particularly enjoyed. Up next was Cole Porter's Begin the Beguine which Amanda had warned me wasn't their best piece but I thought it sounded great. She said that she had some trouble with the scales with that one but if anyone else did, you certainly couldn't tell.

NFA Concert Band performing at The 2007 Pops Concert

Their next selection was Superman (Suite for Concert Band), another favorite of Amanda's, and finally The Klaxon which I thought was their best piece of the night. That's probably because I really enjoy marches. The full name of the piece is actually The Klaxon: March of the Automobiles which was was composed by Henry Fillmore in 1929 for the Cincinnati Automobile Show and was originally performed on twelve automobile horns. There were, however, no automobile horns in the concert last night as the ones passing outside of the campus by Chelsea Parade didn't count!

After the recognition of the graduating Seniors, where each Senior was given the traditional gift of a music dictionary, the Seniors presented Mr. McDonald, Director of the NFA Band, with an assortment of gifts that got both laughs and applause from the audience. The concert then wrapped up with the Seniors' choice of their favorite piece of music from their entire four years, Havendance, which was performed by Concert Band II only. In other words, Amanda got to sit that one out. Again, the students did a great job with the piece and the concert ended on a very upbeat note.

This was Mr. McDonald's first year as Band Director and I must say that he did a marvelous job as every concert that I attended this year just seemed to get better and better. He obviously cares about his students and about the music that they play and it shows in every single performance.

Needless to say, I'm looking forward to hearing what the next school year brings.

Amanda after the concert

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I've Got a Question, You've Got an Answer

Memorial Day, a federal holiday in the United States which is celebrated on the last Monday in May, is heralded as the holiday that normally kicks off the summer season.

I get the feeling that when the holiday was first observed as a way to remember those brave men who had given their lives in the Civil War (or as Empress Bee likes to call it, The War of Northern Aggression) back in 1865 they weren't thinking about all of the vacations, barbecues, ball games, fireworks, trips to the beach, and other summer activities that ensue following this much-anticipated three-day weekend but the times they have a-changed and people now look at Memorial Day as the official start of summer and all that is fun and relaxing.

With that in mind, my question today is:

Are you doing anything special on this 3-day weekend?

Monday, May 21, 2007

National EMS Week


Remember back in April when I was going on and on about National Telecommunicator Week and asking everyone to say thank you to the people behind the phones and radio consoles? Remember that? Good! Now I'm going to ask you to say thank you to the 750,000+ paramedics, EMTs, first responders, and other emergency medical personnel who provide day-to-day life-saving services on the medical "front lines" because this week marks the 34th Annual Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week.

The National Association for Emergency Physicians, who sponsors this week of recognition and honor, has given the week the theme of "Extraordinary People, Extraordinary Service". They feel the theme exemplifies the excellent services provided every day under all kinds of circumstances by the many EMS providers - both professional and volunteer - who serve their communities; service that can sometimes require personal sacrifice and risk.

Here in Connecticut there are a lot of towns that rely strictly on volunteers to provide their fire coverage and emergency medical services. These men and women respond to calls for help at all times of the day and night oftentimes leaving meals half eaten, warm beds on cold nights, or special family functions. They have acquired, maintain, and utilize the skills that are so vital in times of need and they don't hesitate to provide help when needed.

I work with an amazing group of people at American Ambulance. A good majority of them not only work professionally as paramedics and EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians) but they volunteer with their local departments, too. Even if they've put in a long, hard day or night at their paid job running from call to call that I or one of my dispatch partners send them on, they're right there when the tones drop at their volunteer departments, willing to go that extra mile for someone who needs the type of help that they are skilled in giving.

I've always said that I know my place when it comes to ambulance service and that place is sitting right behind a console with a bank of computer screens, phones, and radios. I have neither the talent or the stomach to deal with medical emergencies. I am what's referred to as a "sympathy puker", if someone vomits in front of me chances are real good I'll join right in. I am a wimp. I am a wimp who can't ride backwards in a moving vehicle without getting extremely nauseated and in need of the very stretcher that the patient is lying on. I am a wimp who cannot look at broken bones without feeling like I'm going to pass out. I am a wimp with a bad back that couldn't lift a patient and load them into the back of the ambulance without requiring a trip to the ER myself.

But thank goodness that there are people in the world who don't have my shortcomings and can not only deal with these sorts of things but can jump right in and take action. Those people can provide pre-hospital care that can make the difference between life and death as well as provide comfort and support to the patient and their families. They provide an invaluable service and I think it's only right that there be a week dedicated to them and the services that they provide.

So I ask you to please join me in saying thank you to the men and women who have answered this calling and who work tirelessly to save lives and limit suffering in all kinds of situations. I can't even begin to imagine the world without them and I bet you can't either.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Of webslingers and weeping

SpidermanThe past two days have been cool and rainy here in the great State of Connecticut and less than inspiring to actually accomplish anything (up to and including the Saturday Photo Hunt) so when my friend Paula called this afternoon and suggested a movie, I was all for it. Actually, her timing couldn't have been better as Amanda had Dan and Nicole over visiting and they were getting a little bored and I had been debating a movie myself.

Normally I'm not much of a movie theater person as it's somewhat cost prohibitive but there are just some movies that are better seen on the big screen to get the full effect. Today's choice, Spiderman 3, was one of them. The next installment of Pirates of the Caribbean is going to be another one as Johnny Depp is one man I don't mind watching in larger than life size. I've got to agree with Gale of Gem-osophy on this one - eyeliner never looked so good on a man! Well, except maybe on Gerard Way and Jared Leto but that's another post!

I have actually seen all of the Spiderman movies on the large screen and I'm sure that they would just lose something on a TV-size screen. When you're webslinging and flying from building to building it's just got to be on as big a screen as possible! This third movie in the series was no exception and even though it was good, I'm not sure it was the best in the trilogy.

For those who haven't seen the movie yet I don't want to ruin the plot but if you've seen any of the trailers at all then you know that our hero Peter Parker succumbs to the lure of the dark spidey suit and rather loses his boyish charm for awhile there. Actually, he turns into a swaggering pompous ass if I am to be perfectly honest!

But, it's still a good movie in spite of the fact that it made me cry. Yep, I will admit it, I was the one at the end wiping the tears away from my eyes and trying to make sure that no one else saw me sniveling at a Spiderman movie of all things! Do me a favor and don't tell anyone what a soft-touch I am, I would hate to ruin that tough reputation I have going!

Anyhow - for those who have seen it, what did you think? The best Spiderman ever or the one where you really wanted to jump out of your seat and give Peter and MJ a good shaking so that they'd wake up and stop acting like idiots? And am I the only one that cried??

Friday, May 18, 2007

What's In Your Cookie? (A Reprise)

I'm sort of cheating on this post as I pulled it from the archives of my Live Journal blog and am resurrecting it here. I originally wrote this on May 5th, 2006 so it's just a little over a year old. I was reminded of it this evening while I was at the same restaurant that I wrote about with the same two people - Amanda and my friend Paula. Enjoy ...

The past week has seen me at the Eastern Sake Buffet not once but twice as it seems to be Amanda's favorite food-joint of choice right now because she's wild about the (be still my roiling stomach!) octopus. Being amongst the large group of large Americans that likes to eat way much more than I should, I like the buffet but it's getting a little old because, contrary to popular opinion, there really can be too much of a good thing!

Anyhow, I thought I'd share my latest fortunes courtesy of the American Chinese Fortune Cookie Company or whoever it is that makes these things (visions of a little Mexican guy sitting in El Paso, Texas come to mind for some reason!). After all, what self-respecting Chinese restaurant, be it buffet or order-off-the-menu, doesn't offer a fortune cookie along with the bill? Why, that would be just downright unAmerican if they were to do that!

Last Saturday's fortune read "Reconcile with an old friend. All has been forgotten." Now there's a fortune that calls for some contemplation rather than the standard rolling of the eyes and you've-got-to-be-kidding look. Chances are good that everyone has someone from their past that remains there simply because all has not been forgotten. And what a shame that is.

One person from my past readily leaps to mind here but somehow I think that all has neither been forgotten or forgiven where he's concerned. And that's sad because I really do miss his friendship. Could I dare hope that the cookie is right? Well, if it is I guess I'll never know for I'm certainly not going to drive up to his new palatial homestead, knock on the door, and say "my fortune cookie sent me".

Last night's fortune cookie asked "What is the distance between the eyes and the soul?" Good question and one to which I don't readily have an answer. I've heard it said many times that the eyes are the windows to the soul but if you look into someone's eyes long enough will you actually see into their very soul?

I very distinctly remember staring into someone's eyes for so long and so intently that all I wanted to do was climb into the same body with him and stay there forever but does that mean that I saw into his soul? Had our souls joined through our eyes? It certainly felt like it. And no doubt all of us know someone who's eyes are about as flat and devoid of life as one can get - chances are good their soul matches that same sort of vacancy.

I have no intentions of visiting any Chinese food place anytime soon (though we all know the way of good intentions!) but it will be interesting to see what my next fortune cookie brings. I just hope it isn't like the one Paula got that said "Made in the USA" ... what the heck kind of rip-off is that?!? Brings me back to that little Mexican guy sitting in the Chinese fortune cookie sweat-shop in El Paso!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I've Got a Question, You've Got an Answer

Amanda had concert band practice tonight from 5:30 to 7:30 for her upcoming concert next Thursday which left me with the choice of make dinner early, make dinner late, or stop by one of the local fast food joints. Guess which option I chose? Yep, off to the local Wendy's for a quick stop at the drive-thru before coming home to try to catch up on some of my blog reading.

So that brings us to this week's question:

What is your favorite fast food restaurant?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

When I'm Wrong, I'll Admit I'm Wrong

When I did my post last week about the My Chemical Romance concert (was that really only a week ago?) I wrote that the opening band, Circa Survive, was "one of the worst bands I've ever heard". In retrospect that seemed rather harsh as it's very possible that the reason they sounded so bad to me was because of their sound system's inadequacy which could be attributed to the fact that they admitted that they weren't used to playing in a venue the size of The DCU Center and that they were a last-minute add-on when Muse canceled.

Wishing to be fair, and knowing that I wasn't being so by making that blanket statement, I decided to do a little more research and find out what Circa Survive sounded like minus the horrendous bass reverberation. What was their music like if I could really hear the lyrics? First I stopped by their My Space Page (here) and listened to some of the music they have there and then I checked out some of the lyrics to their songs as well as their blog and message boards (here).

After listening to four songs, I have to be perfectly honest and say that theirs is not the kind of music that I would normally listen to - not because it's bad, mind you, but because it just doesn't appeal to me. However, once I could actually listen to the music without the distortion they had that night, they certainly didn't qualify as "one of the worst bands I've ever heard".

What I found most interesting, though, was that in a post on their blog that they wrote announcing that they were going to be playing with MCR in Worcester some of their fans felt that they were "selling out". For example this post:
"Please, for the love of all that is holy, never EVER play with a band like MCR ever again.

If people want to listen to MCR, fine. More power to them. But the 14 year old girls that call themselves MRC fans really are not deserving of the genius that is (or possibly was..) Circa Survive.

And now you’re doing Warped Tour? Come on guys. You don’t belong on such a venue, simply because you are way out of all of those bands’ league. I don’t care how much they are paying you to do the tour.

-A worried fan"

Now if I did my research right, it's my understanding that Circa Survive actually went on tour with My Chemical Romance during the winter of 2005 so last Tuesday obviously wasn't the first time they had ever played with them. Why the uproar from their "devoted fans"?

When a band gets the chance to play in a bigger venue to people who may not have had the chance to hear their music before that shouldn't be considered a bad thing - it should be considered an opportunity to gain some new fans. If Circa Survive's music has so much passion and emotion like their fans say then they should want more people to be exposed to it and become loyal listeners and not knock those people for being MCR fans (which a lot of commenters did).

What those people are doing is basically the same thing I did last week when I wrote what I did about the band. I hadn't given them a fair chance based on technical difficulties that distorted their music. My daughter - one of those 14-year old girls that calls herself an MCR fan - encouraged me to listen to Circa Survive outside of the show and reevaluate my opinion rather than base it on that one time. Which I did and I admit that I was wrong in my opinion.

Maybe Circa Survive's fans should do the same for My Chemical Romance and stop thinking that their band is selling out when I'm sure that was the last thing on their minds when they were given the opportunity to fill in for the other opening band that had canceled.

In music as in life, why can't we all just get along?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Behold the Long-Awaited M&Ms!

At long last it's the final chapter in the Personalized M&M Saga that began way back on April 3rd when I found out that I had won the contest to be the 500th commenter at Bobbarama - the very funny humor blog of an inkblot named Bob (who looks rather like a smiley-faced M&M with hair himself!)
BobbaramaI'm sure that when I won the contest, Bob had no earthly clue that it would take me over three weeks and seven different posts to finally decide what to put on the M&Ms but it turned out to be the dilemma of a lifetime that was finally resolved with not one but two polls wherein I asked you, my faithful readers, to cast votes for your favorite sayings. Had it been left to me I might well have ended up with M&Ms emblazoned with "duh ..." and "uhm ..." on them!
When I arrived home today, the above box was sitting on the front porch and immediately brought a smile to my face as I knew that all of the waiting was over and inside would be not just any M&Ms but my M&Ms. Not to be overly dramatic but the excitement was just about as good as Christmas morning as a child when you come downstairs and see all of those presents under the Christmas tree! Granted, it's the middle of May and the box was sitting under the mailbox but I'm sure you get the idea!

Even though I wanted to rip right into the box as soon as I came in the house I decided to be an adult about things and changed out of my work uniform first, read my latest utility bill (and gasped in shock and dismay at the amount listed), and then thumbed through the rest of the junk that passes for mail these days. Finally Amanda told me to quit fooling around and open up the box for crying out loud!

Inside the cardboard box was a foam container and inside that was an abundance of bubble wrap along with the above four packages of my personalized M&Ms. Aren't they pretty? Amanda immediately snatched up a package and attempted to beat a hasty retreat out of the kitchen with it. I managed to stop her and a hand-to-hand battle ensued whereupon I wrested the bag from the hands of a hungry teenager! As a way of killing time until I actually opened one of the packages, she began popping the bubble wrap which was annoying but at least kept her from devouring an entire bag of M&Ms in what would surely have been no time flat!

Because I'm getting old and apparently blind, I really wasn't able to read the sayings on the candies very well until I took the above close-up picture! Part of the reason that some of them are upside down is because I couldn't even see well enough to position them all in the same direction! If I could make one suggestion to the good folks over at the M&M factory - they might want to change the printing to the same color as the lone "M" on the front of the candy as that's in gray and much easier to read than the black print - at least for those of us who really should wear glasses but are stubbornly refusing!

Upon completion of the photo session, I finally allowed Amanda to eat some of the M&Ms and then sat down to write this post. Halfway through she came into the living room and grabbed the bag that sat next to me on the couch. When I told her to give them back she asked "Why? Do they have your name on them? Besides, they're telling me to eat them!" Ah yes, my daughter the wise ass, I have no idea where she would have come by such a trait!

In conclusion, a big thank you once again to Bob for giving me the opportunity to have so much fun with this and for such a fantastic prize! The only thing that would have made it better would have been to have Bob deliver them in person but I guess it's a long trip from San Diego just to deliver candy! I'll be taking one bag to work with me tomorrow to show off over there and hiding the other two before my chocolate-crazed teen decides that they need to melt in her mouth and not in my hand!

You're all welcome to help yourself to a cyber-handful!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day Memories

Five years ago, I received a Mother's Day gift from Amanda and Jamie in the form of a small fig tree. I don't believe the tree was more than two feet tall and fit very nicely in my living room next to the TV. When it got to be too big for the living room, I moved it into the dining room during the winter where it took up a good part of one corner while in the summer I would wheel it outside and let it sun on the front porch until it got to be too cold when I would haul it back into the house.

Last year at the end of the summer I came to the sad conclusion that there was no way this no-longer-small fig tree was going to fit back in the dining room without having taken over the entire corner and then some. But it was a beloved Mother's Day gift and I didn't want to just get rid of it either. What to do? What to do?

Then it dawned on me that at the company where I work, the entrance lobby has very high cathedral ceilings and a good number of other plants already taking up residence so why couldn't my beloved fig tree take up a spot next to them? Besides, there are times when it seems like I spend more time at work than I do at home so I'd still be able to see my tree from time to time while it thrived and grew in the perfect environment. I made a few inquiries, was given the go-ahead, and a helpful friend bundled the tree into the back of his truck and delivered it to the lobby where it took up its spot next to several other semi-large indoor trees.

Today being Mother's Day and me being at work, it seemed like the perfect time to go down and check on my gift of many years ago so I descended the stairs from dispatch down to the lobby and "visited" with my tree for a bit. As I stood there and looked at how much the tree had grown over the years, I reflected on how much the givers of that gift have grown, too. Amanda will turn 15 in just a little over a month and her sister Jamie will then take her place as the 14-year old in the family a little over a month after that. I haven't quite figured out how they have both gotten to be in their mid-teens yet but I do know that they got there very quickly!

Just as the fig tree grew taller over the years (now close to 6 feet tall), Amanda also shot up to 5'10" and, though I haven't seen her since last summer, Jamie tells me that she has gained some height, too (she's always been the short one in the family). I will probably barely recognize her when she steps off the plane on June 6th for her summer visit.

A lot has changed since that small fig tree was given to me for a Mother's Day five years ago but to me those years have gone by in the blink of an eye. I shudder to think how quickly the next five years will fly by and how much will have changed by then.

To all the Moms out there - I hope that you had a fantastic day and that you have many happy memories to carry into the future with you; a future that I am sure will come way too soon for most of our likings.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Weekend Wrap-Up

Normally on Saturday I do the Photo Scavenger Hunt but decided to opt out this week due to several factors with the first and foremost being the fact that I couldn't find a picture of anything with the theme of "five" and just didn't have the time to go out and take a new picture either.

It has been a busy week between the My Chem concert and a mixed-up schedule at work. I've barely had a chance to even look at my favorite blogs, never mind leave any comments, and I feel like I'm still playing catch-up with just about everything. Add on the fact that I want to get up to visit my mother today for Mother's Day in lieu of tomorrow as I have to work and I just don't have the time to dedicate to the Photo Hunt that I usually do. My entire blogging schedule has been thrown off this week - augh!!! Oh well, it was worth it to have reached "epic Mom" status.

So, in the meantime, what else has been going on? For those who are curious about my personalized M&Ms and their status, I had an email from Bob of bobbarama this morning to advise me that my 3.1 pounds of chocolaty goodness should be arriving on Monday. 3.1 pounds?? Woohoo!!! And they're mine! Mine! All mine! Bwaahaahaahaa! I shall be sure to post a picture of this most monumental prize so that you can all be jealous!

In other blog happenings, Ed of The Pisstakers recently posted his review of my blog that I second-hand won as the result of Polli of Polliwog's Pond giving her second win of gummi bears and a review to me. You can check out Ed's review here and I wish that you would and let me know what you think.

For those of you that might remember the "review" that I got from back on January 30th (and if you don't, you can certainly read it by clicking here) where I was one step up from sucking, I must say that this review from Ed is quite glowing and complimentary - even though he does point out that I have "the mother of all sidebars" which is similar to a comment made in that other review.

Sigh ... what's a blogger to do? I have tried trimming it down from time to time but there are just so many good blogs that I read and other things that I want to put over there to the right that I just get carried away! I've been thinking I should get in touch with my totally awesome blog designer, Se7en, and ask him about going to a three-column format (though I'm not sure how or if that would work for this particular layout). Chances are good, too, that if I go to three columns then I would have double "the mother of all sidebars"!

Meanwhile, over at Pretty Good on Paper, Caveblogem studied the words used in my blog to add to his "Which Words Do You Own?" study that he is compiling. The word cloud that he did for my blog ended up looking like this:

You can click on the picture to get a bigger look to see what words "I own". Per the post, "Linda added 630 new words to the vocabulary database, quite a lot of new words after seventeen blogs and a total of more than a quarter of a million words (I was expecting maybe 450)." I think that means I use a lot of words! If you'd like to read the rest of Caveblogem's post on my blog and use of words, click here (I'm in a "click here" kinda mood today apparently!) Also, if you're interested in seeing what words you own, volunteers are being accepted!

I think that about catches me up with the things I've been meaning to post about this week and just never got the chance. For those of you who are anxiously awaiting your questions from me for your 5 Question Meme, I promise to have those out to you soon and I thank you for your patience!

Okay, I need to attend to my "other" life now! Hope everyone has a fantastic Saturday!

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Stuff Which Dreams Are Made Of

I am feeling somewhat disoriented today in spite of the fact that I have had a very large cup of coffee to try to clear the cobwebs.

Have you ever woken up from a dream that has left you feeling somewhat dazed and confused and you just can't shake it? I think that is what's going on with me today and no doubt it will eventually clear but for now it's still messing with my mind.

For the record, I generally don't have what one might call "normal" dreams, meaning that they don't follow any sort of normal order - things always seem a bit skewed somehow for lack of a better way to put it. Sometimes my dreams remind me of the old Batman TV episodes where the camera was always turned at strange angles and people walked up the sides of buildings. Hmm, perhaps I dream in "comic book"? This dream, though, actually fell into the realm of normal, or normal for me maybe!

The dream was about someone that I haven't spoken to in a few years - someone who basically won't speak to me anymore due to circumstances that I won't get into here as a) I'd be typing until midnight tonight, b) it isn't really necessary to know the details, and c) I'd rather not dredge up that part of my past.

So, that said, I had this dream where I was out with one of my current co-workers and ran into this other person who apparently had finally decided that it was okay to talk to me and the heavens would not open up so that God could smote him down on the spot. The dream mostly consisted of catching up - the "so, how has your life been going?" kind of catching up - but I guess it threw me off because it just seemed so real. And that's probably what has me so messed up still - it seems like it really happened even though, in reality, I know it didn't.

Dreams are funny things as Sigmund Freud pointed out many times. When you want to dream about someone or something, you can't but when you least expect it - they pop into your nocturnal slumbers uninvited and then totally mess up your whole day! I think it might be the Native Americans who believe that you actually do travel in your dreams and visit places and people so that's why sometimes you wake up more tired than you were when you went to sleep to begin with. Maybe I was out visiting rather than getting some much-needed sleep? Hmm ...

I'm sure the dream meant nothing, other than that I still have some residual feelings for the person, but still ... anyone know a good dream interpreter??

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I've Got a Question, You've Got an Answer

In honor of Tuesday night's My Chemical Romance concert (for which a post of epic proportions appears below this one!), I thought this week's question should be along those same lines.

Therefore, let me ask you -

What was the best concert you ever went to?

P.S., To all my favorite blogs that I haven't visited lately, I'm sorry! It's been a horribly busy week but I shall catch up - just not today as I'm working a double shift - ugh!

I Am No Longer a "Cool Mom"

Excited fans waiting for the show to start.

When I bought tickets to go see My Chemical Romance back in March, I don't think I had any idea exactly what I was getting myself into. I figured that I would drive Amanda, Nicole, and Dan up to the concert, we'd all have a good time, and then we'd head home possibly grabbing something to eat on the way back to Connecticut. Wrong!

Amanda had very different plans as to how this whole thing was going down and it included meeting some of her MCRmy friends (other fans that work tirelessly to promote the band) that she had made on-line and during her trip to Anime Boston as well as staying after the show to try to meet some of the band members and give them some of the artwork she had drawn for them. I had a feeling that we were in for a very long night and that feeling was pretty much right on the mark.

The show kicked off at exactly 7:30 p.m. with one of the worst bands that I have ever heard. (Please bear in mind that this is my own opinion and not the opinion of anyone else lest you take offense; Amanda said that they sound much better on their MySpace page!) The original opening band, Muse, had canceled so a group by the name of Circa Survive was filling in. Hailing from Pennsylvania, this was apparently the biggest venue the group had ever played and their sound system was absolutely horrible. Due to the extreme reverberation, no one could understand a single word they were singing and their lighting kept them in the dark most of the time. Thankfully they only played for 37 painful minutes, though the reverberations did make for a rather massaging type affect with the seating so there was that.

Word must have been out that the opening act was not all that great as the crowd in the arena looked to be pretty sparse at the beginning of the concert but before My Chem began, the place had filled up quite nicely. The general admission section in front of the stage, where Amanda really wanted to be, had gotten quite crowded and I was thankful that GA tickets had not been available when I purchased our tickets as it didn't look like any place I wanted to be! Going to a rock concert is one thing, standing shoulder to shoulder with hundreds of sweaty teens in general admission is another thing entirely! Young at heart will only take you so far!

When the lights went down and Gerard Way, the lead singer, was wheeled out onto the stage on a gurney while dressed in a hospital gown to begin singing the opening words to "The End", almost the entire arena jumped to their feet while hundreds of girls began screaming in unison. I looked at the lady sitting next to me, who looked to be about my age, and we just smiled and shook our heads as we knew we were in for it then.

Gerard Way
Amanda sprang to her feet along with everyone else and didn't sit down again until the lights came back up at the very end of the show. She sang, she jumped, she waved her cellphone in the air, she danced, she cried ... she had the whole rock concert protocol down to perfection while I sat there looking at her wondering who this kid was and what had she done with my daughter?? I had to smile, though, as she was having the time of her life. Plus I think it was the most exercise she'd gotten in her life to boot! I can only imagine how she would have been down in "the pit" {shudder!}

My Chemical Romance in concert
As this is The Black Parade Tour, the band ran through the entirety of the album and it seemed that everyone in the audience knew all the words to all the songs (myself included) as it sounded like the entire arena was singing along with Gerard while he gave one heck of a performance on the stage. Let me just tell you that the guy can move ... no wonder the girls were all screaming! These guys do a fantastic show complete with pyrotechnics, fire, and black and white confetti that rains down like snow for almost an entire song and the audience loved every single minute of it.

My Chemical Romance in concert
At the end of the first set, MCR did a quick change and came back out to do five songs from their previous album, Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge. Having listened to this CD along with the other for the past several months guess what? - I knew all of these songs, too! I could have stood and sang and jumped and yelled along with Amanda but I decided to not embarrass her and stayed in my seat to enjoy the show. After over an hour and a half, My Chem wrapped up but the night was far from over.

My Chemical Romance in concert
We met up with Marisa, an MCRmy buddy who took these wonderful pictures of the band performing with the camera she managed to sneak in, near the merch stand (that would be the counter where they sell all the band merchandise to those not familiar with the lingo) so that Amanda could get a t-shirt and arm band before we proceeded to the back of the DCU Center where she hoped to meet at least some of the band members when the poor guys tried to get out of the building!

The mob at the stage door

Amanda had drawn some special pictures (I got to hold the folder during the show as she was too busy with the aerobics portion of the program) and she really wanted to be able to get them to someone in the band. While waiting with the rest of the fans, Amanda was showing her drawings to someone when suddenly a whole group of people came over and ooh'd and aah'd over her artwork proclaiming it to be the some of the best they'd ever seen. Next thing I knew, she was sitting in a circle on the pavement with her own flock of groupies while Nicole, Dan, and I stood back and were somewhat amazed.

Amanda and her fans
Amanda showing her drawing to "her" fan club
Finally, at almost 12:30, there was movement at the door and Frank Iero, who is the rhythm guitarist, came out to meet some of his adoring fans. Amanda was standing in a group over near the door with her MCRmy buddies while I stood across the driveway and watched the whole thing unfold. Shannon, whom Amanda had met no more than half an hour before, managed to get Frank's attention and told him "Before you sign anything of mine, you have to see my friend's artwork because it's totally amazing and you're going to love it." Frankie then turned to Amanda and said "Hello, is this what she was talking about?" Amanda managed to nod her head and gave him the sketches. He took a minute to look at the drawings and said "Dude, these are amazing, you are so (expletive) talented. Thank you very much, I'll make sure that the guys will see this." Amanda stammered out "Thank you, I mean you're welcome" and that's when Frankie gave her a big hug.

Frank Iero, MCR guitarist
Frank Iero, MCR guitarist

A little later, after signing autographs for some other people, Frankie turned back to Amanda and autographed two tickets from the show - one for her and one for Nicole. At that point Amanda gave him the rest of the things she had for the band, including a small plushy doll of Gerard she had handmade. Frankie told her that he would get the things to the guys and assured her that they'd love them and ended by telling her the things were "(expletive) awesome".

Amanda's autographed ticket

I've got to give her a lot of credit as after that Amanda merely walked across to where I had been standing and simply stood there with a shell-shocked look on her face. No squeeing, no passing out, no shaking (unlike some of the others there!). After Dan and Nicole had gotten a chance to meet Frank, I decided that chances were good no one else was going to come out and it was high-time to head home. It was 12:45 in the morning at that point and I was still looking at an hour drive back home and I was starving!

Once we all got in the car with the doors shut and seatbelts fastened, Amanda let out with the longest and loudest squeal I have ever heard come out of her mouth! Luckily, I was still partially deaf from the concert so it wasn't as bad as it could have been! She said she had wanted to hold it in just in case anyone else came out because she didn't want to seem like a deranged fan-girl. Again, I give her credit for her control!

So now, a little over 24 hours, later my hearing seems to have returned to normal while Amanda still can't speak above a loud whisper but she also hasn't stopped glowing or smiling or being totally excited about the whole thing. Amazing. There have been a lot of us telling Amanda for a long time that she's got talent when it comes to her artwork but apparently she refused to believe it until a rock star told her that she's "talented and awesome" (expletives again deleted!). What's a Mom to do?

Oh, and speaking of Moms - when I said that I was no longer a "cool Mom" it's because I am now "epic" according to Amanda and some of her MCRmy buddies because I not only took her to the concert and got her a t-shirt but I let her stay to give her artwork to the band. Hmm, I wonder what comes after "epic"??

Frank Iero, My Chemical Romance guitarist
Frankie holding Amanda's artwork