Sunday, September 30, 2007

Happy Birthday to Callie Ann!


You didn't think we were going to get out of September without at least one more birthday, did you? This big Happy Birthday wish goes out to Callie Ann of Scrappin' With Life!
Go on by and give some birthday wishes to one of the sweetest brats in the Blogosphere!

Stepping Away From the Blog ...

After my day spent chained to the vacuum on Saturday, I could really use a nice vacation at someplace like the Rio Las Vegas but alas and alack, I must go to work for sixteen hours instead. Sitting in front of a bank of computer and radio equipment all day is absolutely nothing like sitting by the side of a pool sipping tasty beverages all day but someone's got to do it I guess.

Due to a new IT policy at work, I am no longer going to be taking my laptop to work with me on Sundays so I anticipate it will be a very long day having only very limited Internet access to things that are only work-related. Translated that means absolutely, positively NO blogging on Sundays so I apologize to all of you whose blogs I have not had the chance to visit recently. I know that I am horribly behind and I do apologize sincerely. Between the cleaning of the house and having to work, blogging has had to take a bit of an unaccustomed backseat these past few days. Give me a little longer and I'm sure I'll start to have withdrawal symptoms!

In the meantime, I hope that everyone has a very nice Sunday and I will hopefully be back amongst you when I get home from work Monday afternoon. If not, I will definitely be going through withdrawal at that point! Do they make something for that?!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Lots of Cleaning = No Blogging

I took a day off from blogging today to do some much needed cleaning here at my humble abode as it was beyond cluttered and messy as far as I was concerned. Amanda could happily live in squalor and think nothing of it but I can only handle it for so long and then something needs to be done. So, while the daughter was off frolicking at The Big E with Jason, Amy, and Cate I was here practically chained to the vacuum cleaner!

Amanda left to go "play" around 9:30 and even though I had started picking up a few odds and ends around the house before she had even left, I didn't start cleaning in earnest until after she had left on her way to clam cakes, baked potatoes, and other Fair-type delicacies. At that point I launched a full-scale attack on the living room followed by a charge upon the dining room before I finished up with a full-scale assault on the kitchen. In between the major battles, I fought minor skirmishes with the laundry and Amanda's bedroom, too. The battle has been won but I definitely feel like I just spent the day in the trenches!

I had hoped to mow the lawn and clean the rims on the wheels of my car, too, but I never got to outside tasks as it seems that the time just flew while I was cleaning the inside. I couldn't believe it was after 2:00 when I glanced at the clock while filling the bucket and grabbing the mop to do the kitchen floor. It seemed like I had just started, how could I have been over four hours into the project already? And I have a small house to boot! I guess this is what happens when you get so absorbed in blogging that you forget that you have a house to keep clean around you!

My friend Paula called around 4:15 or so to firm up our plans for the evening which entailed a dinner out at a local restaurant that I had a gift certificate for. We settled on 6:00 to meet which we figured gave us both plenty of time to finish up what we were doing, hit the shower, and get to the restaurant. Personally, I could have happily stayed in the shower for hours on end but that wasn't part of the plan. Rats!

Meanwhile, fun times at The Big E were wrapping up and Amanda was on her way home to grab clothes and plushie supplies as she had been invited to spend the night at Cate's again. I got to hear about all the great stuff they saw at the fair - a miniature horse, a display of cbu mailboxes (yeah, okay, I had to work that in somewhere!), cheese from New Hampshire, lobsters from Maine, jerky made from ostrich, deer, and buffalo ... the list went on and on. She brought home treasures, too - a piece of papyrus with her name spelled out in hieroglyphics, a pan flute, incense, and a slingshot ... a slingshot?? Why on earth did Amanda buy a slingshot? I don't think I want to know!

She also had a bag of deep-fried Oreos for me and proceeded to eat one herself and get powdered sugar all over the floor I spent a good part of the day cleaning! AUGH!! I told her to go eat the thing over the sink before I beat her with the broom (ah yes, there's goes my nomination for "Mother of the Year" yet again)! Apparently she had an absolutely wonderful time and didn't drive Jason and Amy too crazy as they were willing to keep her overnight again. I've not decided if they are Saints or gluttons for punishment!

Shortly after she left again, I met up with Paula and we had a lovely delayed birthday get-together where I actually tried fried calamari for the very first time and found it to be quite tasty after all. I think I was just afraid of the whole oh-my-gosh-I'm-eating-squid thing but it appears my fears were for naught! I also had a delicious drink called a "Frozen Alligator" which was a Pina Colada blended with Creme de Menthe and Creme de Cocoa. YUMMY!! It was nice to have a chance and get caught-up as I hadn't seen Paula since before Jamie left in July. She's been pretty busy getting settled into her new school year at Grasso Tech as well as working a part-time job and she was definitely up for a break, too!

So, now it's time for me to call it a day and none too soon as I am hideously sore and still can't breath through my nose despite having taken both an allergy pill and a separate Sudafed on top of it. I feel like the vacuum cleaner blew up in my face or something!

Hope everyone else had a wonderful Saturday doing something more fun than cleaning!

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt - "Original"


Celtic Cross Yantic Cemetery Norwich CT
This week's theme was an easy one as I'm going to assume that "original" means any "original" photo that I have in my collection and this one looked pretty "original" to me! This one was taken last Fall at one of my favorite haunts (sorry, couldn't resist!) the Yantic Cemetery. I rather liked the colors of the sky and I rather like this particular tombstone also, I bet it would make a nice tattoo.

For more great "original" photos pop on by TNChick and see what everyone else scared up on their haunt hunt!

Checking HIM Out in Germany

Recently Amanda has added another band to her repertoire of ones that she listens to over and over and over again until I have no choice but to know all the words to the songs and then she gets mad at me if I sing along! But as I've said in the past, what's a Mom to do??

Actually, she used to listen to HIM, who used to be known as His Infernal Majesty when they first started out in 1991 but changed it to simply HIM awhile back, prior to becoming a major MCR and MSI fan so I guess it technically isn't so much adding another band as rediscovering an old one! HIM is a Finnish band, the first and only to sell Gold in the United States by the way, and they were one of the many bands that played as part of Projekt Revolution. My Wordless Wednesday picture from this past week was a drawing of the lead singer, Ville Valo, that Amanda had done based on an image she had seen elsewhere.

When we went to Projekt Revolution we more or less paid half-attention to HIM when they performed because obviously they weren't the big draw for Amanda (that would had to have been MCR and MSI obviously!) but she knew quite a bit about them and kept wishing that Ville would take his hat off - which, sadly, he never did. HIM is going to be touring again this Fall and have a concert date in nearby Massachusetts that we might get to if Amanda behaves herself and is lucky. And stops yelling at me for singing along with the songs!

Next Winter HIM will be doing a European tour and will be getting to Sanni's part of the world when they stop off in Germany for six dates. If memory serves, Claire's sister is moving to Germany soon so maybe she might want to catch a HIM concert, too? The scheduled dates and venues when they are in Germany are:
  • 2/17/2008 at Rose Garden Mozart Hall, Mannheim
  • 2/18/2008 at George Elser Halle/Kleine Elserhalle, Munich
  • 2/20/2008 at House Auensee, Leipzig
  • 2/23/2008 at Dortmund Westphalia-resounds 2
  • 2/24/2008 at Palladium Cologne, Cologne
  • 2/26/2008 at Dock Hamburg, Hamburg
No doubt tickets will probably go fast so if either Sanni or Claire's sister, Heather, do decide to take in a concert, they should check out for their koncert tickets as they are a leading ticket hub in Germany. The company matches buyers and sellers of concert tickets, sports tickets, theater tickets, and other events with a safe and 100% guaranteed system that is simple, uncomplicated, and offers assistance 24/7 should it be needed.

Maybe Claire could even go visit Heather and the nephews and go to the concert, too? I think she'd really like this band and then Amanda could be jealous of Claire for a change!

My Chemical Romance tickets

Ville Valo of HIM, drawing by Amanda

Friday, September 28, 2007

Tagged by the Queen of Coffee!

So there I was, minding my own business just innocently blogging away when - BAM! - without warning I get hit upside the blog with a tag from across the ocean by Sanni of Coffe2Go. D'oh! I never saw that one coming!

The meme that she tagged me with, "My Desktop Free View", was started by iRonnie at I Set No Corner with the idea that
"Most people spend a considerable amount of time in customizing or in finding a desktop wallpaper that suits their taste. Sadly, our computers often remains… personal. Why don’t we brag to the world our good-find wallpapers and let them have a peek to our personality via our desktops?

On the other hand, aren’t you curious on how does your favorite bloggers’ desktop look like? Don’t you want to find out how organized, or disorganized :D, they are?"

Interesting concept for a meme - I like it! Actually, I had seen the same meme over at Asara's Mental Meanderings and thought about picking it up from her (she didn't tag anyone in particular being the gracious blog-hostess that she is!) as it looked like fun but first I had to figure out how to do a print-screen on my trusty Dell laptop. With some instructions from Asara, I was able to figure it out and good thing, too what with that tag from Sanni coming out of the blue like that! I think Sanni really enjoys tagging people, she's so good at it! And how can you say no when she's just so darned cute??

So, without further ado - here you have it - the desktop on my laptop ...

Look familiar? Yep, being the proud mama that I am, l like to keep some of Amanda's artwork on my laptop so I decided that the vinegar-fry-eating-Pegausus-with-rainbow from my Wordless Wednesday a few weeks ago was perfect! Actually, this one looks a bit different as Amanda made some revisions to it. As a matter of fact, if you really like this one - it's available on t-shirts and a few other items at Artistic Intoxication, Amanda's on-line CafePress store! Sorry, couldn't resist the shameless plug!

Meanwhile, back at the meme, there are some desktops that I am most curious about so I'm going to tag a few people with this one myself! The instructions on how to do this follow below and it's really not hard, especially if you get technical guidance from an expert! I tag the following folks:

Ed of The Pisstakers
Morgen of It's a Blog Eat Blog World, etc.
Jamie of Duward Discussion
Sarge Charlie of Sarge Charlie
Mimi of Mimi Writes

Once you've picked up the "tag" gauntlet and posted a picture of your own desktop, don't forget to add your link to the bottom of the list! I added Asara to my list because I saw the meme at her blog first and I'm sure Sanni wouldn't mind in the least! Now, go ... read the directions and let's see what you've got!

My Desktop Free View Instruction:

A. Upon receiving this tag, immediately perform a screen capture of your desktop. It is best that no icons be deleted before the screen capture so as to add to the element of fun.
You can do a screen capture by:
[1] Going to your desktop and pressing the Print Scrn key (located on the right side of the F12 key).
[2] Open a graphics program (like Picture Manager, Paint, or Photoshop) and do a Paste (CTRL + V).
[3] If you wish, you can “edit” the image, before saving it.

B. Post the picture in your blog. You can also give a short explanation on the look of your desktop just below it if you want. You can explain why you preferred such look or why is it full of icons. Things like that.
C. Tag five of your friends and ask them to give you a Free View of their desktop as well.
D. Add your name to this list of Free Viewers with a link pointing directly to your Desktop Free View post to promote it to succeeding participants.

List of those who participated in the tag:

maiylah’s snippets
My Memoirs
Coffee 2 go
Are We There Yet??

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Thinking About a "Maine" Attraction

Ever vigilant when it comes to her bands, Amanda recently found out that My Chemical Romance was going to be playing at the University in Maine towards the end of October. Since then, she has been trying mightily to convince me that it's really not all that far and wouldn't it be great to take a road trip to Maine? Uh? Uh? Can we? Can we?

I checked the map and it's not all that far to Orono, Maine from Connecticut - just a bit over five hours - which to a 15-year old is simply the blink of an eye, especially when they aren't the one doing the driving! It wouldn't be all that much to me either except that the 5-hour drive up also requires a 5-hour drive back and with the concert not starting until 8:00 at night, there is just no way that I would be trying to do this all without spending one night in Maine (something I have always said I never would do because I have this irrational fear of the place based on reading way too many Stephen King novels!).

Out of curiosity, though, I decided to check out the accommodations in the general area and consulted an on-line trip planner to see what might be available and how much it might cost should I decide that maybe a weekend in Maine might not be too bad after all. A short road trip might not be a bad idea just to add a little spice to life and give me something different to blog about!

Anyhow, I did some searching over on as it was voted one of "twelve essential travel sites" by Forbes Magazine as well as "Best of Web for Trip Planning" by Business Week. I figured those two magazines should know what they were talking about and they were right! What I really liked about the website was that all I had to do was I enter the location and dates I wanted to go and I was then redirected to another page where I could choose from six different travel sites to compare rates. Rather than have to visit Orbitz or Hot Wire or Priceline or any of those places myself, they were all easily located right on one page for my convenience. Sweet!

In addition to being able to search for air flights, cars, hotels, etc. has a weekly list of travel deals that are hand-picked by their editorial team. There you can find flights, hotels, and even vacation packages all at some pretty amazing prices and, because it's updated weekly, if you don't see what you're looking for one week, you can always check back the next. Pretty cool!

Anyhow, getting back to Amanda and yet another MCR concert ... I'm not saying 'yes' but I'm not saying 'no' either as it looks like there are some pretty reasonably priced hotels in that area but I just don't know yet ... it's that whole "Maine" thing because I can't even think about the place without hearing Pennywise the Clown whispering "We all float down here!" Shudder!

I hate clowns.

Repeat After Me - DUH!!

I got this "Quiz For People Who Know Everything" in my email today from my good buddy Bulldog and I've got to say, it's a rather humbling experience to find out that not only do I not know everything but I don't know a heck of a lot! I got three of these answers right and that was after putting my brain through some major stress! See if you do any better and don't cheat by scrolling down to read the answers first either!

  1. Name the one sport in which neither the spectators nor the participants know the score or the leader until the contest ends.
  2. What famous North American landmark is constantly moving backward?
  3. Of all vegetables, only two can live to produce on their own for several growing seasons. All other vegetables must be replanted every year.
  4. What are the only two perennial vegetables?
  5. What fruit has its seeds on the outside?
  6. In many liquor stores, you can buy pear brandy, with a real pear inside the bottle. The pear is whole and ripe, and the bottle is genuine; it hasn't been cut in any way. How did the pear get inside the bottle?
  7. Only three words in standard English begin with the letters " dw" and they are all common words.
  8. Name two of them. There are 14 punctuation marks in English grammar. Can you name at least half of them?
  9. Name the only vegetable or fruit that is never sold frozen, canned, processed, cooked, or in any other form except fresh.
  10. Name 6 or more things that you can wear on your feet beginning with the letter "S."
Feel good and dumb now? Alright then, here are the answers to the quiz:

  1. The one sport in which neither the spectators nor the participants know the score or the leader until the contest ends . . Boxing
  2. North American landmark constantly moving backward . Niagara Falls (The rim is worn down about two and a half feet each year because of the millions of gallons of water that rush over it every minute.)
  3. Only two vegetables that can live to produce on their own for several growing seasons. Asparagus and rhubarb.
  4. The fruit with its seeds on the outside .. Strawberry.
  5. How did the pear get inside the brandy bottle? It grew inside the bottle. (The bottles are placed over pear buds when they are small, and are wired in place on the tree. The bottle is left in place for the entire growing season. When the pears are ripe, they are snipped off at the stems.)
  6. Three English words beginning with dw. Dwarf, dwell and dwindle.
  7. Fourteen punctuation marks in English grammar . Period, comma, colon, semicolon, dash, hyphen, apostrophe, question mark, exclamation point, quotation marks, brackets, parenthesis, braces, and ellipses.
  8. The only vegetable or fruit never sold frozen, canned, processed, cooked, or in any other form but fresh...Lettuce.
  9. Six or more things you can wear on your feet beginning with "s". Shoes, socks, sandals, sneakers, slippers, skis, skates, snowshoes, stockings, stilts.
The ones I got right were - #5, which was probably more of a guess than anything!; #6, I use a lot of punctuation marks!; and #8, though I didn't guess 'stilts' as I never thought of those as something you "wear on your feet". Oh well, I shall now go hang my head in shame now, care to join me? Maybe I should have taken some Miracle burn before I took the test, maybe that would have helped?

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

Last week's "I've Got a Question, You've Got an Answer" begged to ask the question:

Which vacation home would you choose and why?

With 21 comments to the post, 11 people choose a Lake Tahoe vacation home over the other three locations which were Myrtle Beach, Orlando, and Nova Scotia. Not surprisingly no one choose Arizona luxury real estate but that could also be because I didn't list it as a choice!

Those who know me at all know that I'd take a Lake Tahoe vacation home over the other three in a New York minute! I absolutely love Lake Tahoe with its breathtaking scenery, myriad options of things to do, and crisp mountain air. Pictures do not do it justice - it's a breathtaking and majestic land and if you've never been - what are you waiting for?

That's not this week's question but it does lead up to it as it always seems that when asked, people are fairly evenly split when it comes to choosing the answer to this question:

Mountains or Ocean??

P.S. - I apologize for not getting around to anyone's blogs on Wednesday, I had a medical procedure done that waited until the next day to wipe me out and I was barely able to keep my eyes open long enough to knock out a couple of posts. Hopefully I will be back to my regularly scheduled blog-reading later today!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Walk! In the Name of Love - Volume II

Scroll down for Wordless Wednesday!

In a previous post I mentioned that one of my blogging buddies from here in Connecticut is participating in the 5k walk for Breast Cancer in honor of Empress Bee of the High Sea. She's doing wonderfully well in reaching her goal and is almost there but I wanted to make mention that Mags is not the only blogger I know who is doing something in honor of one of the most wonderful ladies in the Blogosphere.

Asara, another one of the most wonderful ladies in the Blogosphere, from Asara's Mental Meanderings is taking up the same cause on October 20th when she walks for breast cancer in her home state of Michigan. If you haven't donated yet, there's still time and you can either visit Asara's page and click on the pink ribbon on her sidebar or even easier, click here for to visit her personal page for the walk.

If each person donated only $5 think what a difference it could make! By itself these days $5 won't get much but when you add it to lots of other $5 it can do lots and lots and lots! Click the link and donate - you know you want to!

Wordless Wednesday - Art-Munkey Tries Realism

Amanda decided to try doing something a little more "realistic" with her artwork so she did this drawing of the lead singer of HIM. Yes, that's an oxygen mask he's holding up to his face and no - I don't know why! I think she did pretty good and wish she'd do this sort of thing more often!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Walk! In the Name of Love

My fellow Nutmegger and blogging buddy extraordinaire, Ms Maggie Moo , has taken up a noble cause and is going to be participating in the American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk this October.

She is walking in the name of another blogging buddy extraordinaire and all around great gal, Miss Bee, for whom she has named her team in honor of - "Empress Bee". If you are able and haven't already, please donate to this fund raiser by clicking here. Mags is very near her goal of raising $1,000 and every little bit helps attain this goal, with your help I'm sure she can reach it and beyond!

House vs Boston Legal vs LA Ink

I have a scheduling conflict of major proportions tonight! Normally there is just about zip, zero, and zilch that I care to watch on TV and if there is something I think I'm going to want to see, I program the DVR to record it so I can watch it later sans commercials. Well, leave it to Fox, ABC, and TLC to go and totally screw things up for me!

"Is this an intervention? You're a little late, since I'm not using drugs anymore.
I am, however, still hooked on phonics."

Tonight is the long-anticipated season opener of "House MD" on Fox. Those of you who watch the irascible Dr. House will remember that he lost his entire staff at the end of the last season - Foreman, Chase, Cameron, all of 'em gone - leaving our favorite physician with no team at all. What's a curmudgeonly curer to do? Well, I could find out at 9:00 tonight except that the show overlaps with one of my other favorite shows ...

... "Boston Legal" which is on ABC with its season opener from 9:30 to 11:00 - damn the luck! I have watched this show since its very first episode and I will be darned if I'm going to miss out on the antics of Denny, Alan, Denise, Paul, Shirley, and the rest of the gang at Crane, Poole, and Schmidt! The big problem, though, is that my DVR isn't the type where I can record one show while watching another so I'm probably going to have to record one while watching the other on the small TV upstairs. The question is, which one?

I rather like to think that Alan Shore and I have much in common as we're both slightly irrational, are masters of deadpan humor, are hilarious, and yet are still kind though people tend to think otherwise! Granted, James Spader, who plays Alan Shore, just won an Emmy and I can't seem to even win Employee of the Month at work as I must be truly awful despite having been the Employee of the Year in 2004 but still ... I think we are very much alike!

Alan Shore: ...I'm bored.
Paul Lewiston: I beg your pardon.
Alan Shore: You people keep assigning me these boring cases. At my old firm, I got murderers.
I had clients who would touch themselves in public restrooms. These were people you could root for,
not to mention relate to.

Paul Lewiston: Is there some other place you'd rather be, Mr. Shore?

Alan Shore: Yes, I want to be on cable. That's where all the best work is being done.

If all of that wasn't bad enough, TLC has managed to throw yet another monkey wrench into the mix by airing the episode of "LA Ink" featuring rhythm guitarist Frank Iero of My Chemical Romance that Amanda has been waiting all summer to see and it runs from 10:00 to 11:00 tonight! The TV gods are surely mocking me this evening, are they not??

Luckily, TLC likes to "chew their cabbage twice" as my Dad used to say and are running the same episode back to back so we'll simply set the DVR to record "LA Ink" from 11:00 to 12:00 and Amanda is just going to have to wait one more day to see it as she's got school tomorrow and is NOT staying up until midnight! I think she'll live, though I'm sure she'd beg to differ!

"If you don't listen, you're never gonna learn."

How about you folks? What are you watching tonight??

Talk Down to Me!

The things you read about in the news sometimes ...

I came across an article this morning on the internet entitled "Deep-Voiced Men Have More Kids" and it was one of those things that I just had to read what with curiosity oftentimes killing the cat and all that good stuff.

In the article (which you can read here), David Feinberg of McMaster University in Canada reveals that a new study, which was detailed in a recent issue of Biology Letters, showed that "women are more attracted to men with deeper voices, judging them to be older, healthier and more masculine than their higher-pitched rivals." On the other hand, "Men go for women with higher pitched voices because they find them more attractive, subordinate, feminine, healthier and younger-sounding."

If I'm reading this article correctly, what it's trying to tell me is that guys who have voices like Barry White, who was known as "The Man with the Velvet Voice", are going to have more children than guys who have voices like "The Artist Formerly Known as Prince" who is now known as Prince again. Well, after some quick research I found that just may very well be the case as Barry White fathered eight children while Prince has absolutely zero - or at least none that he lays claim to!

Gee, looks like maybe David Feinberg is on to something. Of course, he and his researchers might want to study more than the Hadza tribe of Tanzania before proclaiming this to be the case universally as Elvis only had one child while Michael Jackson has two. Scary, isn't it??

Monday, September 24, 2007

Two Awards + Two Teenagers = One Post!

The ever-thoughtful and oh-so-nice Akelamalu from Everything and Nothing was nice enough to award me with this cool little "splat" award! She gave it to me for being "basically a fantastic wordsmith", which I think means I write too much! Either way I think it's just the sweetest thing ever from the sweetest lady ever!

Speaking of sweetest things ever, I am hideously behind in mentioning this other award that was given to me a long, long time ago by two of my other favorite bloggers - Jean-Luc himself of Captain Picard's Journal and Morgen of It's A Blog Eat Blog World. Thank you ever so much, gentlemen, you both make me smile, too, and I sincerely apologize for the delay in getting this posted!
Amanda has been pestering me to write about the fun she had this past weekend with new friend Cate so on to that next. Being teenage girls they, of course, wanted to have a sleepover so I brought Amanda over to Jason & Amy's later on Saturday evening armed with three types of pizza and all of Amanda's plushie making materials. After pizza consumption and a bit of "Dodge Ball" on the TV, the girls broke out Guitar Hero II where Cate has already progressed up to the medium level and will no doubt be playing at hard before too much longer.

After a rousing discussion about politics and the horrors awaiting us in the 2008 Presidential Election of all things (by the by, Jason does one of the best Bill Clinton impressions ever!), I took my leave and came home to an empty house devoid of all children - something that hasn't happened in a very long time. I'd like to say that I treated myself like I was spending a great night at a lovely Bed & Breakfast but alas, I had to be at work the next morning so it was merely off to bed for me.

Meanwhile, over at Jason & Amy's, the girls went back to playing Guitar Hero II and overdosing on all things MCR & MSI until somewhere around 2:00 in the morning. I'm going to guess that Jason & Amy donned earplugs and retired to their room for the night, which is generally the smart thing to do when teenage girls engage in a sleepover!

One of the other things the girls did was work on a couple of new plushie dolls. Cate is making a new version of the famous JimJamz (who took to the stage with Mindless Self Indulgence in Chicago and Colorado) whom she has named JimZy and who I'm sure is going to be a work of art in felt once he's completed. Amanda, in the meantime, is still working on Steve, Righ?, the plushie she has had under construction for awhile now. She wasn't sure how she was going to do his orange hair but after looking at a Cabbage Patch doll in Cate's room she hit upon an idea and this is what she's come up with so far:

For now, Steve remains pantless but hopefully Amanda will get motivated enough to get him further clothed soon though it sometimes takes her even longer to do things than it takes me, if that's possible!

The girls apparently had a great time this weekend and Amy has mentioned that they'd like to take Amanda to the Big E this coming weekend with them. The Big E is New England's largest fall fair that is held annually in Springfield, Massachusetts and runs for 17 days. I haven't been in years and years myself and though I've been invited to go along I'm weighing my options between a nice quiet day at home or a chance to go eat some of the finest "fair food" around. Mmmm, fried dough and clamcakes ....

That's going to be a hard choice!

"It was a dark and stormy ..." Meme

Frank at Foxxfyrre's Honk'n'Holl'r assigned all of us who are members of the Unofficial Gale Martin Novel Writing Cheering Squad a meme project back on September 11th called -

Even though I had close to two weeks to work on this ... I didn't. Ah, procrastination thou art a good friend of mine! Maybe, though, my thinking was that I would work better under pressure (hmm, isn't that a David Bowie song??) and waiting until the day before would require my muse to put in a little extra effort and not be such a slacker. That was the plan at any rate! So, let's see how I did, shall we?

First, I should tell you what this meme is all about and post the rules should anyone else choose to play. From Frank's keyboard to your eyes this is how it goes:
Meme Description:

You have just finished writing the greatest novel ever written. It is getting rave reviews. War and Peace is mere pulp fiction when compared to your novel. Nobel Officials created a new category to award your work for they felt it would far overshadow previous works awarded for fiction if yours was awarded in the same category. Accolades and reviews for your novel pour in along with one unanimous criticism -- your novel has the worst opening sentence in an equally atrocious first paragraph, ever.


1. Choose two genres from the ones listed below in #4
2. Come up with a suitable title for a different novel for each of your genre choices.
3. Write a different opening 'atrocious' paragraph of your 'highly praised novel' in context to each genre you chose, paying particular attention to the "Dark and stormy" quality of your first sentence of your paragraph. Don't just rewrite the "Dark and stormy" sentence for your paragraph. Come up with something new and fresh, but 'atrocious' too. The sentence and paragraph should follow good English grammar rules. Don't just write a grammatical mess of a sentence. Remember, you are a Nobel Prize worthy author.
4. Choose two of the following genres for each of your "Prized Novels": Western, Science Fiction, Romance, Historical Fiction, Modern Contemporary Fiction, Mystery, Comedy, Horror.
5. Post the meme description and rules.
6. Post your first genre choice, title and paragraph, followed by your second genre choice, title and paragraph.
7. Prepare yourself for accolades of laughter and ridicule for your "Highly Praised Novels" atrocious openings.
8. Contact the Nobel Prize officials for you may just continue and write that award winning novel.
9. Tag people, lottsa people.
Bad writing shouldn't be all that difficult for me to accomplish as I've had years and years of practice starting when I managed to win a writing contest in 7th-grade with a story that I was sure had to be one of the worst ever in the history of the Dr. Helen Baldwin School of Canterbury. I think I only won because I had the nerve to not only write about but submit a story about a boy and his beloved dog while using, as the main character, the guy I had a hideous crush on for two years. I'm sure I only won so that the story could be published in the school newspaper and cause acute embarrassment not only to myself but to the guy I wrote it about because if I remember correctly, the story itself wasn't very good at all!

Anyway, I digress and this post wasn't supposed to be a painful walk down memory lane but an attempt at some good bad writing! As my two genres for this meme I have chosen Western and Romance and I hope that I have done justice to the meme. When I'm done here I shall go work on my acceptance speech for my Nobel prize. I'm thinking I'm going to need a new outfit for the awards ceremony, too ...
Entry Number One

Three Oxen for Father Santiago at Whiplash Pass

"It was a pitch-black night on the desert mesa brightened only by the occasional jagged bolt of lightning which was accompanied by an unrelenting curtain of water and wind that howled louder than the wolves that slunk their fur-soaked bodies back into their rocky caves as the prairie dogs took refuge in their dark underground homes (as prairie dogs are wont to do) while the cacti merely stood stiffly, like large needle-covered silent sentries, weathering the storm in sullen succulent silence as their prickly bodies were rooted firmly to the ground and they were unable to escape the fury of the storm that lashed the desert landscape with its wind-blown anger."

Entry Number Two

Tenderness in Tallahassee

"The sky outside was as black as ink and as unsettled as a creaky wooden vessel upon a storm-tossed sea while Vanessa stood at the window of her opulent and, despite all of its grandeur, empty bedroom; a solitary and forlorn figure who wrapped her arms around her not-ungenerous breasts as she looked out upon a magnificently rain-tossed landscape that no longer held any appeal for her since the love of her life, the dark-haired gallant and dashing Jerome, had ridden off on his magnificent specimen of a stallion leaving her bereft in her heart and aching from unfulfilled needs in other parts of her lush woman's body; unfulfilled needs that threatened to bring her to her knees in their unrelenting desire to be quenched and sated by a man who no longer held her tenderly in his arms due to a misplaced allegiance to the man whose seed had fathered him and then chosen to abandon him when he was just a mere boy."
And there you have it, my attempt at literary greatness! I hope that I have made my favorite soon-to-be-best-selling author and blog buddy Gale proud. Let me just say that even though I stink on ice when it comes to this stuff that she is writing one heck of a fantastic novel. Go Gale Go!!! Go Gale Go!!!

If you'd like to try your hand at this particular meme go for it and do let me know; it really was a lot of fun doing this despite the procrastination!

Manic Monday - Kit

This week's Manic Monday word is "kit" and after debating whether I should pack up my troubles in my old kit-pack or explore the West with Kit Carson (which I felt fairly confident that Jamie was going to do!), I finally decided to spell the word just a little differently and take you on a trip to Tucson, Arizona.

Back in the mid-1960's, my Dad was stationed at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson. This was back in the days when people still took Sunday drives and I can remember many times we'd all pile into the car and take off to destinations unknown, at least they were to us kids as we never knew where we were going until we got there! My parents were great at keeping secrets and despite lots of guessing, the four of us in the back seat generally had no idea where we would end up.

One of those impromptu road-trips brought us to the Kitt Peak National Observatory which has the world’s largest collection of optical telescopes. Located 56 miles southwest of Tucson, the observatory sits high above the Arizona-Sonoran Desert on the Tohono O'odham Nation and is home to twenty-four optical and two radio telescopes representing eight astronomical research institutions.

Perched atop a 6,880 ft peak of the Quinlan Mountains, Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO) lays underneath some of the finest night skies in the world. Founded in 1958, KPNO operates three major nighttime telescopes. The other 19 optical telescopes and two radio telescopes are operated by a consortium of tenant facilities including the Calypso Observatory, the only private telescope on the mountain.

The McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope, named after astronomers Dr. Robert McMath and Dr. Keith Pierce, is the largest telescope of its kind in the world. Built in 1962 it contains a three-mirror heliostat at the top of its main tower which collects the sun's light and focuses it down a long shaft that continues underground where the telescope's prime focus is located. The McMath-Pierce is used to study the structure of sunspots, as well as sunspot spectra, but unlike other solar telescopes, the McMath-Pierce is sensitive enough to observe bright stars in the night sky, too. As a second-grader, this was pretty darned cool to tour as its 100-foot tower seems even bigger to a 4-foot child.

Other telescopes at KPNO include the 18-story 4-meter Mayall which can be seen from over 50 miles away and the Steward Observatory's 0.9-meter Spacewatch telescope, on the left. If you're interested in seeing more of the Kitt Peak National Observatory, check out the KPNO webcams which are located on the catwalk of the 2.1 meter telescope and the 4-meter telescope. Should you ever find yourself near Tucson, I highly recommend a visit in person!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A Blog for Inspiration

Sometimes life can get us all down. I know that's a pretty generalized statement but it's true. Life. Can. Get. You. Down. 'Tis the nature of the beast. One of the things that can pick me up is to find some good blogs out there that offer some inspiration and encouragement, that help me to remember that there is more good out there than there is bad, in spite of how it may seem!

Recently I came across a new blog that fits into that category and it's called Karl's blog. The blog is written by Karl Moore who is an entrepreneur and best-selling author of “Karl Moore’s Visual Basic .NET" and “The Ultimate Code Book”.

Karl started his blog in order to reach out daily to others and help them in their spiritual growth by use of inspirational messages. Two of his special features are a "Random Act of Kindness" on Mondays and "Friday Factoids" - each things that will make you smile and brighten your day. Go check Karl out and see if you can be inspired, too!

The Middle Name Meme Redux

Awhile back Jamie of Duward Discussion fame tagged me with the Middle Name Meme that has made its way around most parts of the Blogosphere. If failing memory serves me correctly, I already did it once using my own pathetic middle name (again with apologies to the 'rents, I've just never liked it but I don't really know why) so I thought that I'd use the middle names of my three darling children instead. After all, I like their middle names and because they're longer than just four letters, it requires me to be a little more creative. Not that I'm exactly running on all cylinders when it comes to creativity lately but I shall give it the old junior college try!

Oldest child Michael shares his middle name with one of his grandparents on his father's side:
  • J - Just - across the border from Connecticut in Rhode Island
  • O - Of - Irish descent on his father's side
  • S - Son - my one and only!
  • E - Envied - by his sister as he's got an XBox 360 complete with Guitar Hero II
  • P - Parental - he's Dad to both Christopher and Michael and he does a darned fine job!
  • H - Helpful - when I need my air conditioners taken out, I can count on Mike to come do that for me
Middle child Amanda was born on my mother's birthday and also shares her middle name:
  • E - Eccentric - her choice of descriptor, not mine!
  • L - Lazy - sorry, kiddo, you're a slob!
  • I - Imaginative - this one pretty much goes without saying
  • Z - Zealous - when it comes to art she wants to do
  • A - Artistic - yeah, that seems about right!
  • B - Bashful - talk to strangers? I don't think so!
  • E - Emo - sorry again, Amanda, it just seems to fit!
  • T - Trying - at 15 ears old this is a given
  • H - Humble - with her art because she doesn't believe it's as good as everyone says it is
Youngest daughter Jamie's middle came out of nowhere, I just liked the way it sounded with her first name!:
  • J - Just - too darned far away
  • E - Energetic - she has the most energy of all my children
  • S - Sneaky - always has been, always will be
  • S - Small - at 6 lbs, 6 ozs and 19-inches long she was my smallest baby
  • I - Into - boys with long hair and 80's classic rock music
  • C - Chatty - that girl can talk and talk and talk and then talk some more!
  • A - Animal lover - she wants to be a vet someday
I'm not tagging anyone as, like I said, this one ha been around the block a few times but if you like it and you haven't done it, feel free to snitch it!

Mane-ly Amanda

Amanda and I went up to visit my good friend and favorite hair stylist Trisha the other evening in order to get something done with our hair. I can't exactly remember when we'd had our hair done last (do you think if I bought a stick of IBM memory and installed it in my brain I might remember things better??) but I know that mine was looking pretty bad and Amanda's ... well, let's just say that Amanda's was in desperate need of a cut.

I don't know where she got it from but that child has got the thickest hair I have ever seen and if she doesn't get it thinned on a regular basis it gets way out of control. Generally by the time Trisha is done thinning Amanda's hair, there's enough on the floor to make a good-sized throw pillow! My hair isn't thin, it's probably average, and her father's is virtually non-existent but Amanda - well, Amanda has hair!

One of the biggest drawbacks to having such thick hair, though, is that a lot of the styles she'd like to have aren't really possible. Not only does she have a thick mane of hair but it's got a natural wave to it also that drives her completely nuts most of the time and again makes some of the styles she'd like out of the question. It's enough to make a 15-year old cry!

Amanda's hair was a constant argument between her father and I, one thing of many, as he insisted that she keep it long "in according with God's wishes". I always told him that God wasn't the one who had to deal with it but that never mattered to him; he wanted it long and so she kept it long and hated it. When she came out to live with me two years ago one of the first things she wanted to do was cut her hair and so I took her to see Trisha. Since then she's had a lot of different cuts and several strange colors but at least now she has some say in what her hair looks like. My mother generally tends to look at it and shake her head in disbelief but I give Amanda a lot of credit for not only wanting to be a little different from everyone else but daring to be so. She's creative and artistic and I don't want to squash that in her like her father always seemed to do. I'm not sure if that makes me a pushover as a mother or not, I hope not.

When we left Trisha's this time I really liked Amanda's new hairstyle and she was quite happy with it also. She's going for a certain look that is going to take some time to achieve because it needs to grow out more in the back but her hair grows very quickly so that shouldn't take too long and in the meantime, I can actually see her eyes and her face! Trisha and I both tell her she's got a very pretty face but just like when I tell her that her artwork is good, she doesn't believe me. Gee, I hope we run into Gerard Way again sometime so he can tell her it looks good and then maybe she'll believe it!

Amanda's Latest Style

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Happy Birthday to Kai!!

Bee-lieve it or not it's yet another September birthday! This one belongs to the wonderful Kai of The Buzz Queen who just recently moved to her new home close to her beloved ocean that came along with her beloved Mountie's promotion. Plus said beloved Mountie will be joining her at the new home just in time to take her out for a birthday celebration! What more could a girl want??

Swing by and tell her "Happy Birthday!" if you get the chance!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Starting My Day Off With a Bang!

Yay! It's my day off! You'll notice I said "day" off as in singular and not "days" off as in plural. Unfortunately, due to my having to call out sick the other day, I really needed to pick up an extra day this week to make up for the loss in revenue (and points) so I'm fortunate that another dispatcher is on vacation this week and I'm covering for his day shift tomorrow.

I don't mind working on Saturdays all that much as the pace usually isn't as bad as during the week and with less people in the room - heck, in the whole building! - things are a bit more relaxed. The downside is that with fewer people on the road, when it hits the fan, it really really hits the fan! Oh well, such is the nature of the beast!

Old person that I am becoming, one of the best things about a day off, in my opinion, is that I get to sleep in a little and am not a slave to the blasted alarm clock. Every morning when I wake up my first thought other than "groan, is it time to get up already?" is "how many more days until I can sleep in?". Today was a sleep in day.

Or, it should have been if I hadn't had my bedroom window open. My bedroom is in the front of the house which obviously faces the street and directly across from my house two of my neighbors park their boats. The neighbors are both nice enough guys and quite friendly once I got rid of my ex-husband who had a nasty habit of getting on the neighbors' wrong sides - imagine that! - but being avid fishermen that means they like to get up early and go out to catch 'em while they're still biting. Sometimes this means getting their boats ready to go way too early in the morning and sometimes that involves a little bit of noise.

So, as I'm slumbering blissfully away this morning having the strangest dream about being asked by Gerard Way to help him design his new house (what the heck did I have to eat before I went to bed last night??), I am suddenly jarred awake by a loud clanging noise directly outside my bedroom window. God's nightshirt, what in the blue hell was that?? I immediately jump out of bed and look out the window where I see my neighbor has removed some unwieldy object from his van rack and unceremoniously dropped it on the pavement next to his boat. Well, thank God that's all it was as it had almost sounded like the entire Union Army had marched up the road and set up "The Dictator" directly across from my house!

Just as a bit of history for those not familiar with this particular piece of Civil War artillery, this 13-inch seacoast mortar weighed over 17,000 pounds and was intended for siege and fortifications and not field work. This particular monster, forged at the Fort Pitt Foundry in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1862, was made portable during the Siege of Petersburg, Virginia by being mounted on a railroad car which was specially strengthened with extra beams and iron rods to withstand the strain of firing. Since this mortar threw a 218 pound shell about two and one-half miles with a charge of 20 pounds of powder, the strain was obviously considerable.

Needless to say, if it had arrived across the street from my house, it would have involved considerable noise and fanfare! Of course my neighbors aren't that noisy and, yes, I am way exaggerating but at the time, that's almost what it sounded like! And it certainly ended my dream and sleeping-in time.

Oh well, time to quit fooling around and get on with the day. The sad thing is, now I'll never know whether I got to redesign Gerard's house or not! How did your day start out??

Happy Birthday to Lois!!

Yet another wonderful September birthday has arrived and this time it belongs to Lois Grebowski from Lowdown From Lois!

Swing on by and leave the first lady of Life in the Aluminotti some birthday wishes! You can even tell her I sent you! She's the big 45 today (awww, poor thing!) and she's serving up some cake so stop by, grab a slab, and say "Happy Birthday!"

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Saturday Comeback Challenge Kid

It is with a great deal of pleasure and delight, as well as extreme humility and not a smidgen of hubris, that I can announce – I WON! I WON! I WON! And for women everywhere let me just say, it’s about dang time!!!

What exactly is it that has me doing the “end zone happy dance”? What could possibly inspire me to set the laptop aside, jump up off the couch, and pump my fist in the air triumphantly? Well … glad you asked! For the first time in a long time, I managed to win first place in Mimi Lenox’s Saturday Comeback Challenge at Dating Profiles of the Day! WOOHOO!!!

Even though the contest is based on poorly written personal ads by men, it seems that every week the contest is won by a man. I have yet to figure this out as it just strikes me as funny – in the odd sort of use of the word – that men have snappier comebacks to other men than women do. The only reason I can think of for this phenomena is that men are so used to hearing women make snide comments when they themselves make a stupid statement that it has become second nature for them to be able to answer their own stupid statement with the exact snarky comeback that a woman would make. Does that make sense to anyone else besides me?

To put it another way – when men get shot down enough, they probably already know most of the comebacks they’re going to get shot down with. It’s sort of like when you’re paper training a puppy; after he has been chastised enough times for peeing on the floor, he catches on that if he pees on the newspaper laid out for him or, better yet, scratches at the door to go outside instead that he gets rewarded rather than scolded. Hmm, in rereading that, maybe that doesn’t make as much sense as I thought it did but I went to all the trouble of typing it so I’m going to leave it there.

This week’s Comeback Challenge also showed a female taking over the third place spot in the form of Katherine of Wading Through My Stream of Consciousness (and she didn't even get bleeped this week either!) while the ever witty and very snide Bud Weiser of WTIT The Tape Radio Blog claimed the second place spot. Even with Mr. Weiser sandwiched between us and putting up a valiant fight, it was the week for girls to rule! Oooo-rah!!

If you’d like to play along, Mimi posts the questions on Saturday and you have until midnight on Monday to email them into her. She judges the entries using a new system, so as not to accidentally play favorites, and announces the winners on Tuesday at Dating Profile of the Day. If you win you get a spiffy badge like the one I have below to post on your sidebar to tell the world that you have what it takes to be the snarkiest on the block. Just make sure you mark on your email really, really well that what you're sending is the entry answers or they might accidentally get deleted, right, Mims?

So what are you waiting for? Come on and play – you know you want to!

My Chemical Romance Comes to Claire

No doubt that anyone who has ever spent any time at all visiting my blog knows that we here at the House of Mouseski are big My Chemical Romance fans. Amanda started it - it's all her fault - but what can I say? I do love a man in uniform, even if that uniform is merely a marching band jacket like the boys wear for The Black Parade portion of their tour.

We were fortunate enough to get tickets to see MCR in concert not just once but twice this year and my good blogging buddy from across the pond, Claire, has told me on several occasions that she's jealous of that fact. She was especially jealous when we had the opportunity to meet lead singer Gerard Way backstage at the Projekt Revolution Tour.

Well, guess what, Claire? It could be my turn to be jealous of you now. The band is going on a European tour that hits England in November and it's your big chance to get concert tickets to see My Chemical Romance along with Mindless Self Indulgence who is touring with them. As much as I've talked about MSI lately, I'm sure Claire is beyond curious to see them, too! I'm not sure what part of England Claire is in but there's bound to be a concert date somewhere close to her as there are performances at the Metro Radio Arena at Newcastle upon Tyne on November 11th, The Aberdeen Exposition and Conference Center on November 12th, The Hallam FM Arena in Shelby on November 13th, and The O2 Arena in London on November 15th.

No doubt Claire knows all the ins and outs of buying tickets in her home country but if it were me looking to get tickets to any of these shows, the first place I'd look would be viagogo, an official ticketing site for concert tickets, sports tickets, and arts and theatre tickets. Maybe one of these days when I finally get to go on that United Kingdom vacation I keep dreaming about, I'll be able to get tickets to a fantastic event from viagogo myself.

In the meantime, Claire, if you can get to one of these shows could you do Amanda a big favor and see if Jimmy still has JimJamZ with him? Rumor has it that he didn't really throw him into the crowd in Colorado but she'd sure love some validation of that!

My Chemical Romance tickets

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

As I was sitting here wondering what I wanted to make this week's question about, I got to thinking about all the vacation spots I've mentioned recently. I also remembered that my buddy Bulldog and his Mrs. are off on what I'm sure is a great vacation somewhere this week while I can only dreams of places I'd like to go and things I'd like to see.

I don't know if it's the great American dream or not but I know that a lot of people try to buy vacation homes nowadays. They want their own little someplace special to escape to and, if what I'm seeing on The Travel Channel or HGTV is to be believed, a lot of these vacation homes look better than most people's regular homes! Sigh ... must be nice to have money!

This week's question then is a bit of a multiple choice question about vacation homes; I'm going to list several choices and I'd like you to pick your favorite and tell me why. If none of these choices appeal to me, tell me where you'd want to have your vacation home. The sky is the limit and money is no option! I think that most people who know me will have no trouble knowing which one I'd pick!

Which vacation home would you choose and why?

A Lake Tahoe vacation home
An Orlando vacation home
A Myrtle Beach vacation home
A Nova Scotia vacation home

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Let's Get Some Shoes! Or maybe we have enough already ...

It was back to work today for me after staying home and nursing my cold yesterday so I was able to get my morning fix of The Today Show. I only watch it at work as I just never seem to have the time to sit down in front of the TV at home anymore with my friends Matt, Meredith, and Al as I either never get up in time on my days off or there's this thing called the internet that I appear to be addicted to! We generally have the TV on at work until about 8:30 when it starts to get too busy and because of that sometimes I'm able to catch a little bit of what's going on in the world.

This morning on their "Free to Be Me" segment, Ann Curry did an interesting feature called "Why do we splurge?" What caught my attention was the statement that the average woman owns 19 pairs of shoes but regularly wears only 4. Really? 19 pairs of shoes? I made note of this little fact and vowed to count my shoes when I got home from work just to see if I qualified as being the average woman when it came to the number of pair of shoes I own and wear.

After looking through my closet, under the bed, and anyplace else I keep my shoes, the final tally was 20 pairs - if you count my 2 pairs of slippers and 1 pair of golf cleats. Good Lord, when did I get that many shoes? And how many of them do I wear regularly? Let's see, there are my favorite worn-out white slippers, my work boots, and my blue & white New Balance sneakers. Ha! I only wear 3 pairs regularly so that just goes to show I'm not average!

How about the rest of you, are you average when it come to shoes?? Inquiring feet wanna know!

Wordless Wednesday - In a Pickle


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Breakout Blogger Award

Recently my most favorite inkblot in the entire universe celebrated his first blogiversary and, true gentleman that he is, he gave out the gifts rather than receiving them. The one and only Bobbarama came up with not one but two new blogging awards that are sure to be coveted by any and all bloggers throughout the Blogosphere.

The first is the "Best Kept Secret" award which goes to "a blogger with great style and wit and warmth who hasn’t been discovered yet." It's a lovely award and Bob awarded the first of the awards to five very deserving bloggers who I'm sure won't stay a secret for very long ...

The second award is "The Break Out Blogger Award" which, as Bob puts it, "casts a spotlight on bloggers who are just beginning to draw lotsa attention — the equivalent of a song with a bullet on Billboard’s Top 100 chart. Lotsa good posts. Lotsa good buzz. These bloggers are going places in a hurry." Again, Bob chose five outstanding recipients for this most cool award ...

  • Christy’s Coffee Break ~~ Every blogger’s best friend. Reviews, poetry, awards, links.
  • Polliwog’s Pond ~~ Warm, witty posts about life on an island and on the ‘Net. Fun stuff.
  • Ordinary Folk ~~ A mini-empire in the making. A comic alien, blog reviews, great art.
  • The Pisstakers ~~ Amusing, satirical posts on tech and news articles. Lotsa laughs.
  • Mimi Writes ~~ The Queen of Memes and the Home of the Peace Globes.
I am familiar with the last four on the list and will have to make the acquaintance of the first as if Bob gave her an award, she's got to be good! I know the others are all excellent bloggers and if they aren't part of your daily read, they should be. By the by, it was Mike of Ordinary Folk who designed the awards for Bob and didn't he just do the best job ever?

One of my favorite bloggers is a recipient of one of those very first "Breakout Blogger Awards" and he, in turn, was more than nice enough to award one to me. Ed, of The Pisstakers, has been a staple in my Google Reader for as long as I've had a feed reader. Ed not only brings you the best in humor and techy news throughout the Blogosphere but he hosts the MyBlogLog Sunday feature that not only gets you a mini-review as a permanent part of his extensive archives but also gets you a lovely link back to a PR5 blog. For those of you who worry about your numbers, that's a major feather in your blogging cap! I have been lucky enough to be captured in a screen-shot of his sidebar while visiting on Sunday mornings more times than I can count.

Ed's choices for the "Breakout Blogger Award" were the following:
  • The one and only Lord Likely, a true gentleman and scholar and complete and utter bastard, currently terrorizing 19th century USA with his tongue in cheek and Lord Palmerston in hand.
  • The one and only Linda of Are We There yet? a bloggerette major, safe driver and killer singer whose birthdays appear to have all come nearly at once.
  • The one and only TechIT Easy, whose leader, Jeremy Fain, has occupied France under the guise of Microsoft. He is stealthily enlisting a stunning international line-up of tech bloggers par excellence and to cap it all, he even has a sense of humor too.
  • The one and only I Eat Snowman Poop who never ceases to amaze me with her turns of phrase and whacky humor
  • The one and only Wolf Bernz who worked through being scammed and finally produced a video upload site with plenty of potential for great things.
Trust me when I tell you that I am tickled pink and beyond honored to have received this award from a man whose wit and intelligence I truly admire. To have been included in the second round of receiving one of these spiffy new awards is something that I am just completely and totally thrilled about. Bet you never could've guessed that, could you??

Okay, all humble acceptance speeches aside, it's now my turn to give this award to several other bloggers that I feel are deserving. It's a tough call because there are so very many good blogs that I read on a regular basis and they are all breakouts in their own right but the instructions say to "give the award to three to five of my Breakout Bloggers" and, for once, I'm going to follow the rules! Go figure!

Without further ado, I now present to you my choices for the "Breakout Blogger Award":
  • Duward Discussion: Jamie has become like the sister I never had; a gal who enjoys history and Broadway shows. Her intelligence shines through in every single post she writes and she is always able to make me laugh at the times I really need it. If you're looking for quality posts and a quality blog, look no further - you have arrived!
  • Alien in a Foreign Field and Whitterer on Autism: How she does it I don't know but Maddie manages to write two fantastic blogs while keeping up with her two autistic sons and one very patient and understanding daughter all while trying to maintain her sanity while spending way too much time in a dentist's chair! The word "admiration" fails to come even close! Stop by either or both of her two blogs and you'll see what I mean.
  • Wading Through My Stream of Consciousness: Katherine is one of my newest daily reads and I have come to truly love the depth and feeling with which she writes. On her sidebar under the title "What You Need to Know", Katherine states "I try to always be a good person....I may not always be a nice person....but I always try to be a good person." You can't ask for much better than that!
I hope if you have the time you'll check out these three fantastic ladies and come to enjoy their blogs as much as I do. Jamie, Maddie, and Katherine - it's a pleasure to be on the same awards page as the three of you and now if you'll be so kind as to head over to the Awards Page at Bobbrama's for the instructions and code it would be greatly appreciated!

Once again a big thank you to Ed, I truly am honored!