Friday, August 31, 2007

Sending a Prayer North to Boston

********************
I know from past experience that those in the Blogosphere are very good at sending warm wishes, good thoughts, words of encouragement and support, and whatever sort of comfort or aid is needed for those in time of need so I'm going to ask you, once again, to send some of those good thoughts and prayers on to those who need it.

The Boston Fire Department suffered a major loss last night when two of their finest died in the line of duty while battling a restaurant kitchen fire in the Roxbury section of the city. Killed in the blaze were Paul Cahill, 55, of Scituate, and Warren Payne, 53, of Canton. Both men served on Engine 30, Ladder 25, which was the first unit to respond to the fire. Payne, a 19-year veteran, leaves behind a wife and two children. Cahill joined the department in 1993. He is survived by a wife and three children.

Boston Firefighters
Warren Payne and Paul Cahill

In addition to the two deaths, nine other firefighters and one paramedic were injured during the blaze and have since been released from area hospitals. Another firefighter is still being treated for smoke inhalation but could be released today.

These kinds of tragedies seem to be happening way too often lately along with an increased number of senseless line of duty deaths in the police community. Statistics that were released last month showed that 101 local and federal law enforcement officers had died on duty in the first half of 2007, 31 more than had died at the same time last year. Even more disturbing is the fact that it was the first time in three decades that the toll had reached more than 100.

All of these men and women know that they go into a dangerous career field when they choose a career in either law enforcement or firefighting but that doesn't mean we shouldn't do all we can to protect them and ensure that they are able to go home to their families at the end of their shifts.

Please join me in sending up a prayer for the families of Firefighters Payne and Cahill during this time of tragic loss. Also, please send out thoughts of support and encouragement to the other firefighters injured in the Boston blaze. May God bless and protect them all.
  • Firefighter Paul Stanley, Rescue 2
  • Lieutenant Don Mullen, Rescue 2
  • Firefighter Reynaldo Estremara, Ladder 16
  • Firefighter Ken Gibson, Engine 55
  • Firefighter Ed Saniuk, Tower Ladder 10
  • Captain Stephen Keogh, Engine 30
  • Firefighter Bryan Dale, Engine 30
  • Firefighter Charles Follet, Engine 30
  • Lieutenant Michael Palizzolo, Ladder 25
  • Firefighter Robert Hayes, Ladder 25
  • Firefighter Michael Feeney, Ladder 25

Thursday, August 30, 2007

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

********************
This has been a very strange week when it comes to the weather so I'm going to make this week's question short and sweet based on that. Here in New England we have had nice weather, we have had hot weather, we have had humid weather, and we have had fog - all since Sunday. August has had major rain with cold temperatures, chilly and windy days, and hazy, hot, and humid days with some really gorgeous days thrown in as a tease. It's been a veritable cornucopia of meteorological mayhem at times!

How about you folks -

What's the weather like where you're at?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Christmas in August and Air Guitar in New York City

********************
I generally try to check my email before heading out to work in the morning just in case something good came in overnight so imagine my surprise and delight to find the following message nestled in amongst the other stuff in my email box this morning:

SantaClaus has left you a message at MyBlogLog:
"Ho! Ho! Ho! Linda. I was just going past and thought I would drop in and see if everything is ok. I hope you're having a great day. Lock the girls in the bedroom for 10 mins and have a deep breath. Ho! Ho! Ho! Come by and see me any time but watch out for the elves because they're very naughty today. You'll always be welcome."
Why, it's almost like waking up on Christmas morning to find unexpected presents under my tree! What a great way to start my day! Who knew that Santa had a blog? Who knew that Santa had time for a blog?? I stopped in at MyBlogLog to leave a reciprocal message to the jolly old elf and what to my wondering eyes should appear but not just one blog but six Santa blogs - Santa-Mail.com, Santa's Elf Club, Santa Wish List, Santa's Community Blog, Santa's Wish Tree, and Every Day Should Be Christmas - along with one other entitled She Walks In Beauty which is credited as being the home of the blog fairy and has this message posted on the sidebar as a welcome:
"Thank you for visiting the humble little blog of TheBlogFairy (Gracie Belle) and her partners Zubli and Santa. They will be posting about beautiful people doing beautiful things and helping us discover the beauty that is in all of us. They will let you know about ways to help others and will showcase truth, beauty, love and freedom. The very special Blog Fairy awards will also be given out here. If you'd like a special visit or message from The Blog Fairy, please let us know in the comments of any posting."
Santa and the Blog Fairy all at once - who says there's no such thing as magic??

Now on a completely unrelated topic, but one that I found rather amusing and thought some of you might also, I had another email of a slightly different nature from Adam Rosen, the public editor at Gelf Magazine which is touted as "an online publication about just about anything". The email read, in part:
"As befits our mission to cover some of the lesser-known, yet exceedingly entertaining/peculiar phenomena across this great land of ours (and occasionally beyond), we recently published a chronicle of the U.S. National Air Guitar Championship in NYC. Far from a conventionally dry news piece, this article offers a wide-eyed look at the hot (pink) world of competitive Air Guitar. Your blog touches on this topic, so I thought you and you're readers would particularly appreciate a follow-up."
The only thing I can think of that got my blog noticed for this particular topic would be the post I did back on June 15th entitled Rock On - Virtually! in which I talked about learning how to play Guitar Hero II on the Sony PS2. I've wracked my brain mightily and can't recall ever confessing to having played air guitar (which is not to say that I never have!) but apparently the good folks at Gelf felt that attempting Guitar Hero II was close enough and so they provided me with a link to their article Air Guitar Hero.

I popped over there and perused what turned out to be a fun article that had me both smiling and laughing while I learned that "According to the organizers, competitive air guitar began in Finland—where the world championship is held—under the mantra, "If you're holding an air guitar, you can't be holding a gun." Makes perfect sense to me!

For more fun articles like Glimpses of Gustatory Gladiators about the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog-Eating Contest held each year at Coney Island on the 4th of July; or Spring Breakdown a low-down on chocolate-syprup wrestling during Spring Break in San Francisco, you really need to stop by Gelf Magazine where they are "looking over the overlooked". I definitely bookmarked the homepage!

Hmm, for some reason I seem to be craving a hot dog and some chocolate sauce while playing Christmas tunes on an imaginary guitar ... how odd!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Badges and Quizzes and Memes - oh my!

********************
Memo to self - going to all-day rock concerts takes up a lot of time and puts me way behind in the wonderful world of blogging. That isn't to say that Projekt Revolution wasn't more than worth it - it was! - but good Lord almighty am I swamped with blog-stuff and I fear I shall never catch up! I'm going to try, though, and in this post I shall make a Herculean effort to at least tidy up a bit. Did you take a vitamin before you started reading this or at least have a big ole' cup of Joe? If not, take the time to do so before diving in because this may take awhile ... I'll wait while you go take care of that ... Ready now? Okay, great - then let's go!

First off, I have been awarded this lovely badge by two fantastic bloggers that I am proud to call friends - Polly of Polliwog's Pond and Sandee of Comedy+. What a treat to have this in my email not once but twice and ladies, I love you both whole bunches in return. 'Tis another badge that I have added proudly to my "massive" sidebar!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Even though I could very easily award this badge to everyone listed on the Blogroll on my "massive" sidebar, the rules say just pass it on to one person so I am happy to present it to Dayngr of Dayngrous Discourse. I love her "Thought For the Day", I love her regular posts, and I love her blog - she's warm, she's funny, she's dayngrous!

One of the other additions to my "massive" sidebar is this cute little ole' button here that proudly proclaims that I am a Fo Mo (never to be confused with a Mo Fo!). As a friend and supporter of the one and only host of The Mo Show blog and blog-talk radio show of the same name, as well as author of several other blogs including It's a Blog Eat Blog World and Purrchance to Dream, I am more than proud to post this badge and clutter up my sidebar even more to show Morgen that I am behind him all the way!

When he isn't taking care of stray little kittens with gastrointestinal problems which keep him up all night and let him experience first-hand what a Mom with a colicky baby goes through, Mo also runs his own store in beautiful downtown Dowagiac, Michigan called The Wren's Nest that you can visit on-line if you can't make it to Michigan. Seriously now, with all that going for the man, wouldn't you want to be a Fo Mo, too? If so - grab the badge and display it proudly!

Speaking of proud badges, this next one was designed by Miss Maggie Moo who Talks 2 U over on her blog and who is a shining example of a caring, compassionate, and concerned friend. In honor of the Empress Bee of the High Sea, Mags has posted the following over on her blog:

"On Sunday October 14th I will join hundreds of other CT residents in the Making Strides walk for Breast Cancer. My team name is Empress Bee.

Please consider donating, if even a tiny amount-it is a wonderful cause, and is in honor of a wonderful person...I will post this badge on my sidebar and it will link to my walk's donation page. In the meantime, you can click HERE to make a donation."
As a fellow Nutmegger I will most definitely be supporting Mags in her efforts but if you'd prefer to sponsor someone from a more northerly direction, our friend Asara is walking on behalf of Miss Bee also. You can check out her post with the details at Asara's Mental Meanderings. Two great ladies walking for one great cause - now that's something you can't beat with a stick as my old Gram B used to say!

Moving on now from Badges to some fun Quizzes that I found in my blog travels this evening - this first one comes from Sandee at Comedy+ and I just couldn't help but take it and see how smart I was ...

How smart are you?

I am proud and happy to say that I got 23 out of 25 questions right and there is no doubt in my mind that the two I missed were math-related. I hate math. I hate math lots. I have hated math since I was in 8th grade and had the worst math teacher in the world (yes, Mr. Gallow, I'm talkin' about you!). But I liked this quiz and encourage you to go on over and see who you're smarter than!

This other quiz I snagged from Patti at Late Boomer Bloomer and it was supposed to tell me what kind of animal I am. Patti was a flamingo but it appears that I am an entire singing group:



You're The Animals!

You're just a soul whose intentions are good. You are praying for some understanding, but somehow you seem to know already that it's not going to come through. You wouldn't have thought that a mere house could ruin your life, but now you don't even look forward to the sunrise anymore. With all this ruin, you think it might be time to go on some sort of tour. You've got to get out of this place, if it's the last thing you ever do.
Take the Animal Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Well then, if that's not incentive to stay on my lo-carb diet I don't know what is as I certainly never thought of myself as an entire singing group! But then again, in another life I would have been a drummer in a rock & roll band so maybe this isn't entirely off base!

While visiting Patti's blog, I also stopped in to see what hubby Ralph was up to over at Airhead 55 and took a quiz to see what kind of book I was. After all, if you're going to find out what sort of animal you are, you might as well check out your book type, too - right?

I am Catch-22! (Joseph Heller)…Incredibly witty and funny, you have a taste for irony in all that you see. It seems that life has put you in perpetually untenable situations, and your sense of humor is all that gets you through them. These experiences have also made you an ardent pacifist, though you present your message with tongue sewn into cheek. You could coin a phrase that replaces the word "paradox" for millions of people.
Ah yes, perpetually untenable situations that require a sense of humor - those sound very familiar and I do like to think I have a flare for irony so sure, why not? - I'll go with this one. At least I wasn't the entire Encyclopedia Brittanica or some other large multi-volume set to go along with being an entire group of singers! Want to know what book you are? Take the Book Quiz at the Blue Pyramid and find out!

From Quizzes we now proceed to Memes as I've managed to not move fast enough and dodge the tag yet again from some fellow bloggers. In all seriousness I don't mind, I just tend to get a bit behind on these from time to time. Please forgive me and don't tell Queen Mimi as that dark and dank dungeon of hers can really cause my sciatica to kick in!

First up from Mighty Mom at My Wonderful Life is the ever popular Middle Name Meme that I'm sure you've seen elsewhere on your blog journeys. Praise be to my Mom and Dad for giving me a short middle name though it's not one that I've ever particularly liked (no offense to any other Jeans out there!). Here be the rules but I should advise you that I'm breaking them right off the bat as I have no intentions of tagging anyone else with this one. If that violates some rule of the Bloggers' Code of Ethics in Regards to Completing Assigned Memes then I guess that Mimi shall have to lock me up after all! Just please allow me to bring a blanket and pillow to the dungeron with me - that rack can get so uncomfortable!
Players, you must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had. When you are tagged you need to write your own blog post containing your own middle name game facts. At the end of your blog post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.My middle name is...........
  • J - Just about worn out right now! You, too, right??
  • E - Excited about nearing the end of this post!!
  • A - Achy and sore from being glomped by an over-enthused 15-year old!!
  • N - Nodding in understanding if people stopped reading several paragraphs ago!!
Finally, from Akelamalu at Everything and Nothing it's the Scattergories Meme that she filched from the aforementioned Empress Bee and then had the audacity to tag other poor unsuspecting bloggers with. That Akelamalu is a woman after my own heart!! Again, I am not going to tag anyone else but if you want to filch from me, feel free! Now, again with the rules ...
RULES: Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following...they have to be real places, names, things...nothing made up! Try to use different answers if the person in front of you had the same 1st initial. You CAN'T use your name for the boy/girl name question.
  • What is your name? Linda
  • 4 letter word: Love
  • Vehicle: Lexus
  • TV Show: Lassie
  • City: Lubbock, Texas
  • Boy Name: Lance
  • Girl Name: Lacey
  • Alcoholic Drink: Liquid Cocaine (the original) I'm even going to give you the link on that one!
  • Occupation: Lawyer
  • Something you wear: Long pants
  • Celebrity: Larry King
  • Food: Leftovers
  • Something found in a bathroom: Lots of towels
  • Reason for Being late: Late? I wouldn't know, I am never late!
  • Cartoon Character: L'il Abner
  • Something You Shout: Look out below!!
Whew! Made it! I think this was a marathon post of sorts and frankly, now I'm too worn out to do a Wordless Wednesday again this week! That's okay, though, you folks go on without me and I'll catch up later - I hope! If not, I'll still be waiting here when you get back!

Monday, August 27, 2007

"Little Darling welcome to the show ..."

********************
Backstage pass for Projekt Revolution Hartford Connecticut
Backstage Pass for the Revolution Stage

Lyrics from the Mindless Self Indulgence 2005 song "Straight to Video" seemed an appropriate title for this post about our day at the Projekt Revolution tour in Hartford as it was quite the show and I don't believe that Amanda has stopped smiling about it yet close to 24 hours later. I can't say that I blame her as if this sort of thing had happened to me when I was 15, I'm sure that I'd still be smiling about it even now and chalking it up as one of the all-time best experiences of my life. With any luck the memory of this show will keep Amanda from rolling her eyes and sighing in my general direction for at least a little while!

While watching the weather forecast yesterday morning, I was none too inspired by what the weathermen were predicting and was thinking that it was going to be a very long, very hot, very humid day which I wasn't too sure I was going to survive. If I've never mentioned it before, let me just reiterate that August in New England can be a major crap shoot and the dice usually come up NOT in our favor for outdoor activities. Had the forecasters of doom been right yesterday, there would have been major storms right about the time Mindless Self Indulgence hit the stage but thankfully they were once again wrong and the weather actually turned out to be quite pleasant.

After arriving at the Dodge Music Center and realizing that the rules for what you could and couldn't bring had changed, Jason, Amy, Katie, Jess, Amanda, and myself checked in at the VIP Guest ticket booth and got our tickets and the above sticker that gave us access to backstage at the Revolution Stage where MSI was the headlining act. After walking around a bit and killing a little time as well as quite a bit of money on a bottle of water ($4!!), we went out to the Revolution Stage where Saosin, a southern California alternative rock band, was finishing up their set and placed ourselves strategically stage left where security would allow us through to the back once the show wrapped up.

The pit in front of the Revolution Stage, Projekt Revolution Hartford
The Pit in front of the Revolution Stage

Just before MSI took the stage, right on time, Amy was able to make eye contact with her sister LynZ, bassist for the band, so she knew right where we were standing once the band began their show - and what a show it was! I had heard that the group was pretty wild and had seen them perform on the Carson Daly Show when they made their television debut a few weeks ago but it was nothing like being there in person and experiencing their energy and music first-hand. Thanks to repetitive (and that would be very repetitive!) playing of their music by Amanda, I was familiar with just about all of the songs they played and was even able to sing along with a few of them though their lyrics are pretty tough at times.

Just for the record, I should point out that I was not the only "older" person there and I even spotted a few ladies who seemed a bit older than me as well as a couple of men that I know were older than me! Well, either that or they had led some very, very rough lives! Whether they were singing along or not, I don't know but I figured everyone else was so why not me? Besides, Amanda was having too good of a time to be embarrassed that her mother was singing as Jess, another EMT that I work with at American Ambulance, took Amanda out into the center of the pit for awhile so that she could get a feel for it. They only stayed out amongst the crowd-surfing mob for about 15 minutes before Amanda decided that breathing seemed like a better option and returned to the edge of the crowd with the rest of us.

Unfortunately, we couldn't see Kitty, the drummer, from where we were and LynZ was only visible when she'd come to the front of the stage or the one time she decided to leave the stage and do some crowd-surfing of her own (the lady has guts!). Front-man Jimmy had more energy than someone who had consumed ten Monster drinks in a row and he played the crowd for all they were worth while bantering back and forth with guitarist, Steve. It was like nothing I had ever seen before except maybe for a long ago concert in Philadelphia by The Tubes. No doubt about it, though - front-man Little Jimmy Urine (Euringer) made The Tubes lead singer Fee Waybill look and sound like a kitty cat!

At the end of the show we were ushered through the gates by security and into the backstage area where LynZ and Amy gave each other gigantic hugs. After spending the summer refereeing Amanda and Jamie, it was really nice to see two sisters who truly loved each other and were obviously ecstatic to be together again. Could there be hope for my two someday?? Was it truly possible?? Before I had time to really speculate on those questions, Amy was introducing LynZ to us and I was so impressed by what a friendly, lively, dynamic woman she is. She was no doubt thrilled to see Amy and her husband Jason and even more so her niece, Katie - who I've decided has got to be one of the luckiest 15-year old girls in the world!

In addition to meeting LynZ, which was a total thrill, I also had the extreme pleasure to shake the hand of Gerard Way, lead singer of My Chemical Romance, who had been backstage watching MSI perform. As he extended his hand to everyone and said "Hi, I'm Gerard" I was struck by the major difference in his "real life" persona and his stage persona. On-stage Gerard is off the scale but in person he is very soft-spoken and almost shy but very easy to talk to. Of course, idiot that I am, when he shook my hand and said "Hi, I'm Gerard" I replied, "Yes, I know." DUH!! How about "It's a pleasure to meet you." or "Hi, my name's Linda" or something more intelligent and eloquent then "Yes, I know"!! Who says you can't be star-struck just a few weeks short of 49??

Amanda had been so afraid that if she had the chance to meet some of her favorite rockers that she was going to say or do something stupid but she handled herself very well. No squeeing fan-girl at all but a very composed and calm looking teenager who respectfully shook Gerard's hand back and didn't drag the poor man kicking and screaming into a giant bear hug. Of course, being her mother's daughter, her reply to "Hi, I'm Gerard" was "Hi, and yeah, I know who you are." Yep, we're related!

From the time she knew that we were going to the concert right up until just before we left, Amanda worked on drawings that she hoped to give to the members of MSI and to maybe someone in MCR if she was lucky enough to meet one of them. She had showed the pictures to Jess earlier in the day and Jess told her that she wanted Amanda to design her next tattoo so when we were talking to Gerard and LynZ, Jess encouraged her to give them the drawings. Amanda was a bit hesitant as both Gerard and LynZ have attended art school and Amanda just didn't have confidence that her work was good enough to be judged by either of them but by the same token, she really wanted to give the drawings to them. For MSI she had done Chibi drawings of the band members and for MCR she had done drawings based on lyrics from some of her favorite songs.



Amanda asked LynZ if it was okay if she gave her some drawings she had done and she said absolutely, that she would love to see them. When she saw them LynZ told Amanda that she thought they were great and she then showed them to Gerard. At that point Amanda told him that she had done some for him, too, and as she handed the drawings to him, it was easy to see that she was a little nervous but as soon as Gerard said "These are fantastic!" and told her what a great job she had done drawing the feet on the angel as well as how good the wolf was, she relaxed quite a bit. She had thought she hadn't done a very good job on the feet and had never drawn a wolf before but when Gerard told her that he couldn't draw feet or animals very well at all but that she had done a terrific job on them she just started beaming. I can tell her that her art is great until the cows come home but like it says on Guitar Hero II, "your mom doesn't count as a fan" so I'm sure it meant a lot more to hear it from people who are artists themselves. LynZ and Gerard's compliments really meant a lot to her and hopefully gave her some more confidence in her art.

At that point, Gerard left with Worm, his bodyguard, to go over and join the rest of My Chemical Romance and LynZ was going to take Katie over to meet Linkin Park and a few other people backstage at the main stage. Before she did, though, she took Amanda over to the tour bus so that she could maybe give Jimmy the plushie doll that she had made for him.

In Amanda's own words from her journal, what happened was: "He took it and was "AWW MAN! THATS AWESOME! LOOK AT THOSE WINGS AND THE LITTLE OUTFIT!" and he started playing with the little wings and made it run in the air. Then he got this really excited look on his face and said:" Is this mine to keep?!" And I was just gonna have him sign it, but I couldn't say no to that face! So he was all happy and hugged me, then I turned to him and asked him for a picture. He said sure, but that he was all sweaty and icky from performing. I said that was to be expected and LynZ proceeded to take our picture."

Amanda and Jimmy of Mindless Self IndulgenceAmanda, Jimmy, and the plushie

As she was turning to come back to where the rest of us were waiting, Steve was walking over to the tour bus and Amanda said "Hi, Steve!" and he said "Hi, Person!" She then asked if it would be okay to take her picture with him and he said sure so she took it MySpace style.

Amanda and Steve of Mindless Self IndulgenceAmanda & Steve, righ?

As Amy, Jason, Jess, and I stood backstage talking Amanda came walking back from the tour bus but as soon as she saw us her held-back excitement finally got the better of her and she started to run over to where I was standing to show me the pictures she had. Instead of running up and stopping next to me, though, she ended up barreling right into me and glomped me into the ground. I wasn't familiar with the term until yesterday but apparently "glomping is is a form of greeting used mainly among Anime fans and a typical glomp involves bear hugging someone, tackling them, and latching on tightly, though not enough to intentionally hurt the recipient." I don't know about being glomped but I felt like I had been run over by a small deer or something as I lay on the ground amongst all the stones and dirt with Amanda on top of me. It felt like it happened in slow motion but Jason assured me that no, it happened pretty quick and I'm just glad that there wasn't a video camera around or it may very well have been one of the hottest new searches on You Tube!

My first thought was "oh no, my back!" but after being helped up off the ground and dusting myself off I was thankful to find out that I was a little sore but everything still seemed to be in working order. I'm sure that had I really been hurt the three EMTs that were standing there laughing at me would have swung into professional mode and rendered assistance but thankfully it wasn't necessary, though I am still somewhat bruised and banged up today. Oh well, better me than Gerard or LynZ or Jimmy or someone else and Amanda did apologize profusely for a long time afterwards. A very long time! I wasn't mad, though, as after all it was an accident and she hadn't meant to glomp me, she just had too much forward momentum to stop until we were both in a pile on the ground! Still, I'd rather not repeat the performance any time soon!


The stage at Dodge Music Center Hartford ConnecticutView to the stage from our part of the "Grassy Knoll"

Later on after getting more over-priced water, we met up with LynZ and Katie at the top of the "Grassy Knoll" and stayed there for the rest of the show. By the time we settled onto the grass HIM was playing followed by Taking Back Sunday and I was just relieved to be getting off of my feet for a little while, though I kind of wondered if I was was going to be able to get back up again!

My Chemical Romance took the stage around 7:45 and of course put on an excellent show, as I had no doubt that they would. Amanda actually managed to stay seated on the ground next to me for a little while but when they started playing House of Wolves she kicked off her boots, jumped to her feet, and didn't sit down again until they left the stage. We stayed up in the corner of the lawn for the show where the sound was excellent and there were big TVs that gave a great view of the stage so we didn't miss being closer. Plus the bad weather that had been predicted never materialized and it was a perfect night.

Amanda on her cell phone, Jess, Amy, Jason, & Katie (not visible behind her Dad) before MCR performed

Neither Amy or Jason were familiar with My Chem except for two songs that they had heard (The Black Parade and Teenagers) but I'm quite sure Gerard won them over before the end of the show. Again, I had no problem singing along and even stood for a couple of songs though I wasn't doing the jumping and arm waving that Amanda had down to a science. If Gerard said "jump" then Amanda jumped; if Gerard said "wave your wands in the air" then Amanda waved her arms in the air. I wonder if I could get Gerard to tell Amanda to clean up after herself and she'd do it? Hmmm .... Anyway, I do have to admit to the occasional scream of approval and cheer at the end of the songs. Hopefully this doesn't ruin my reputation as a cool, calm, and collected emergency medical dispatcher but I just couldn't help myself! I suppose it should be kind of scary that I know all the words to all of the songs they played but I really do hear them a lot at home and in the car so what's a Mom to do? Sing along and cheer I guess!

After a group discussion, we decided to leave after MCR was done in order to beat the crowds even though Linkin Park was the headlining act as most of us had to be at work early in the morning, it was already after 9:00, and the ride home was almost an hour long. Plus it had been a long, tiring day and I think there would have been a good chance I could have just fallen asleep in the grass if I stayed there much longer! The thought of sitting in traffic with thousands of other people just wasn't very appealing so we opted to head out early.

As we were walking out, we met up with LynZ again near the main gate and Amanda finally asked her if it was okay if she got a picture with her. Considering that it was LynZ we had come there to meet I was surprised she hadn't asked before but she had been hesitant to ask as she didn't want to bother her and act like a star-struck fan. I give Amanda a lot of credit for respecting the fact that rock stars are people, too, and tries to give them some space. LynZ happily agreed and Amanda walked back to the car one very happy 15-year old while I limped along beside her wondering if I was going to be able to get out of bed in the morning and crawl into work!

Amanda and LynZ of Mindless Self IndulgenceAmanda and LynZ

All in all, I have to say that it was an absolutely fantastic day and I am very thankful and grateful to Jason and Amy for inviting us to tag along. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that Amanda could meet some of her favorite musicians and singers as well as show them some of her art, which they were very complimentary towards. What an end to Amanda's summer but now I've got to wonder - what tops this??


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Only time for a tease

Not enough time for a full post tonight because it's late, it's been a long day, and I need to go to work in the morning but I just had to say that the Projekt Revolution concert was absolutely fantastic and that there will most definitely be a longer post to follow tomorrow complete with pictures because it turned out that cameras were allowed in after all - woo-hoo!

Just as a tease I leave you with this picture of Amanda and Jimmy, the lead singer of Mindless Self Indulgence, holding the plushie doll of himself that Amanda had made for him. The picture was taken by Lyn-Z, bassist for the band.

Come on back tomorrow evening for the full story and more pictures!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt - "Happy"

********************

This week's Photo Hunt, hosted by TNChick, has a theme that is actually a relatively easy one as far as being able to find a photo to post. There were more than several choices that I could have made but I chose this picture that was taken in the summer of 2000 as it's one of my very favorites of Amanda and Jamie as - get this - they're actually getting along and smiling! Don't they look happy??

I'm more used to them looking something like this -

Have a very happy Saturday and enjoy the Hunt!

Friday, August 24, 2007

We're going to have a Revolution

********************
I have a sneaky feeling that I'm going to need a certain period of recovery next week as, for the very first time in my life, I'll be spending almost an entire day at a rock concert. Heaven forbid I have been smart enough to do this sort of thing when I was teenager - oh no, I have to wait until just about my 49th birthday to attempt the sort of feat that leaves teenagers worn out for days! I shudder to think what my dispatching abilities are going to be like come Monday morning but I am taking my double-shift off from work on Sunday so that Amanda and I can go to the Dodge Music Center in Hartford for the Projekt Revolution 2007 tour. For those not familiar with the ins and outs of rock concerts, Projekt Revolution is an annual concert tour headlined by Linkin Park, a rock band formed by three high school friends from California that has sold more than forty million albums and won two Grammys. Projekt Revolution is dedicated to featuring revolutionary, cutting-edge talent with each band invited personally by Linkin Park to perform. This year the tour totals eleven bands with two of them being Amanda's all-time favorites - My Chemical Romance and Mindless Self Indulgence. Needless to say, Amanda has been talking about this concert ever since we went to go see MCR at the DCU Center in Worcester back in May.

The road to the concert has taken some rather interesting twists and turns along the way, especially when I found out that one of the EMTs I work with at American Ambulance is none other than the sister of Lyn-Z, bassist for Mindless Self Indulgence. The day I told Amanda about that fact I thought she was going to hyperventilate or something and she was beyond thrilled to meet Lyn-Z's sister Amy at the annual 4th of July fireworks show here in Norwich. At that time, Amy told Amanda that she would be happy to take her to a concert sometime and would be able to get Amanda backstage to meet Jimmy, Steve, Lyn-Z, and Kitty - the four amazing musicians who make up Mindless Self Indulgence. I'm sure I don't have to tell you how incredibly excited about that Amanda was and still is. What 15-year old wouldn't be psyched at the possibility of meeting one of her favorite bands? Exactly ...


Lyn-Z, Jimmy, Kitty, Steve are Mindless Self Indulgence

With MSI performing as the headlining band on the Revolution stage for Projekt Revolution Amanda spent the entire summer really hoping that she would have the opportunity to meet Lyn-Z at their show this Sunday. I spoke to Amy about it a couple times at work and tried to remain hopefully optimistic while also cautioning Amanda that there was always the possibility of it not happening for one reason or another.

All speculation ended yesterday when I was walking into work and met up with Amy in the ambulance bay. She said that she had finally been able to talk to Lyn-Z and that there was no problem getting Amanda in to the concert and getting her a VIP backstage pass but that she wasn't able to take her up as she already had a car full. A short, very short!, discussion ensued as to whether I should try to take the day off to take Amanda myself whereby I decided that if I told Amanda she had the chance to go to the concert but I opted to work instead I would have a really, really depressed teenager on my hands and that wouldn't be good. Plus she had been looking forward to this concert all summer long. I made a command decision at that point to do my darnedest to get the day off on very short notice, told Amy to put both of our names on the list, and went up to dispatch to beg one of my co-workers to take my Sunday evening shift in exchange for his Saturday evening shift.

Even with the evening shift covered that left Jen by herself for days but she assured me that she could handle it on her own as she has done so in the past many times over. Once Matt, my supervisor, came in I explained the situation to him and he told me that getting the time off would be no problem. Gotta love the fact that the man not only understands the importance of a rock concert but knows how much it means to Amanda to have the chance to meet a favorite band! When I called Amanda at home to tell her the news, I'm pretty sure I could have still heard the squee'ing with my cell phone ten feet across the room! Excited might not begin to describe how she feels right now.

So, come Sunday I will be following Amy and her entourage up to the Dodge Music Center where we will give our names to the folks at the gate, get our VIP passes, and have what I hope is an excellent time doing something that most teenagers only get to dream about. I'm rather psyched myself that my first time at an all-day concert event includes the opportunity to meet members of some of the bands that are performing while watching my daughter's head spin in awe. Ah, who am I kidding? I'm sure my head is going to be doing some of the same spinning as I just love Linkin Park's music and it's another chance to see My Chem in concert, too. Maybe I'll even get the chance to meet Gerard Way! The one downside is that there are NO cameras allowed at the concert at all so you guys are just going to have to take my word for it that we were there and that we met some totally cool people!


This is going to be good ...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

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

********************
Today's post is inspired by yesterday's post and some of the comments that I received in regards to Moulin Rouge. It's definitely one of those movies that you are either really like or really dislike and I can certainly understand that as Baz Luhrmann's movies seem to be that way; anyone who's seen his version of Romeo & Juliet with Leonardo DiCaprio would probably agree with me!

So, of course, I had to wonder what movies have made other people sit up and take notice or leave the theater with a slight case of the sniffles - movies that left you thinking about them long after the final credits rolled or that were so good you've actually gone out and bought the DVD so you can watch it over and over.

A few of mine are What Dreams May Come, For Love of the Game, Message in a Bottle, and Ladyhawke. If anyone notices a theme in there just nod your head and move on, I have already professed to be an incurable romantic so of course I'm going to like movies along those lines! Now enough about me, what I really want to know from you is:

What's your favorite movie(s)??

Oh, and before I forget, Jamie gets bragging rights to yesterday's question about the Elephant Love Medley by correctly identifying almost all of the love songs it is compiled from. Those songs in order are:
  • "Love Is Like Oxygen" - Sweet
  • "Love is a Many-Splendored Thing" - Frank Sinatra
  • "Up Where We Belong" - Buffy Sainte-Marie, Will Jennings and Jack Nitzsche for An Officer and a Gentleman (later a hit for Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes)
  • "All You Need Is Love" - The Beatles
  • "Lover's Game" - Chris Isaak
  • "I Was Made For Lovin' You" - Kiss
  • "One More Night" - Phil Collins
  • "Pride (In The Name Of Love)" - U2
  • "Don't Leave Me This Way" - Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes (later Thelma Houston, The Communards, among others)
  • "Silly Love Songs" - Paul McCartney and Wings
  • (Repeated) "Up Where We Belong"
  • "Heroes" - David Bowie (and later by The Wallflowers)
  • "I Will Always Love You" - Dolly Parton (and later by Whitney Houston)
  • "Your Song" - Elton John
There was never any doubt in my mind that Jamie would be the one to get the answer right, she's a woman after my own heart and as she says, we appear to have been separated at birth! That's cool by me, I've always wanted a sister!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Silly Love Songs

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
I feel somewhat like being a rebel this week and not doing Wordless Wednesday and instead thought I'd try something a little fun for a change. As easy as WW can be, I just don't have a picture I want to post this week plus I honestly don't know how many other blogs I would be able to get around to. I'm having a severe case of the lazies and, as we all know, blogging requires energy, stamina, and a certain amount of enthusiasm - all of which are in short supply for me this week!

You don't have to have a lot of those things to search around on You Tube, though, and while I was doing just that I came across a video clip from one of my favorite movies, Moulin Rouge. Even though Come What May is my all-time favorite song from the film, Elephant Love Medley is also a favorite as it's made from a compilation of love songs - 13 of them to be exact. Sentimental sap and eternal romantic that I am, I love a good love story as well as a good love song and that's exactly what you get from Moulin Rouge several times over.

So just for fun, I'm going to post a video of Elephant Love Medley and I'd like to challenge you to name all 13 songs in it (without cheating and looking it up!).


Leave your answers in the comments and we'll see who gets the most right. No prize except for bragging rights that you really know your love songs!

And just because I like the song so much, I'm also posting a video of Come What May for those who want to see what a major league sentimental sap I really am underneath this hard exterior that I like to portray. Just remember - "the greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return ..." right, Stockton??

Monday, August 20, 2007

Annoucing the winner of my first contest ...

********************
Enough stalling. I know that those of you who took the time to enter my "Death Eating a Cracker" contest have been anxiously sitting on pins and needles waiting to hear who won so I guess it's time to quit torturing you and announce the winner. I apologize for the delay but between my trip to Boston on Saturday and then working a double-shift yesterday there just didn't seem to be enough hours in the day. Which of course is nothing new but it seemed like a viable excuse!

I want to thank each and every one of you who took the time to enter the contest as well as those of you who didn't enter but have been so kind as to promote Amanda's shop on your blogs. I wish that I was wealthy enough to send each and every one of you a coffee mug or t-shirt but as I appear to have failed to win the Powerball yet again this weekend the money still trickles in like a stream while flowing out like the mighty Mississippi! Perhaps construction of a dam is in order?

Anyhow - there were eleven fantastic entries to the contest (twelve if you count the fact that Asara was so inspired she wrote two posts!) -
I hope you can take the time to go check out the contestants' entries if you haven't read them already as even though feeling like "Death eating a cracker" obviously isn't the greatest thing in the world, all of these posts were quite humorous while at the same time evoking a certain sense of sympathy for the poor suffering authors! I seemed to notice a fairly common theme of alcohol being a contributing factor in a lot of the entries - though perhaps that's one of my own "Death eating a cracker" episodes channeling through which is a story for another day - maybe!

Like I said, I wish that I could give a prize to every single entry but there could only be one winner so all names were written on individual slips of paper and then folded and placed in a bowl for Amanda to draw out one slip. The name on that one slip was {{a drum roll, please!}} Tisha of Crazy Working Mom! Congratulations, Tisha, I guess it just goes to show that being the "poster child" for Death eating a cracker has its advantages!

Tisha NOT looking like Death Eating a Cracker!

Manic Monday - Deal Me In!

********************

I've been a 911 dispatcher for so many years now that I think I have lost count but I've also worked a lot of other jobs in my many years. One of my very favorite part-time jobs was as a blackjack dealer at the Mohegan Sun Casino here in Connecticut.
I have always loved the game of blackjack and enjoyed playing the few times I was in Vegas or at Lake Tahoe when I could get a low limit table. As much as I liked playing, I didn't like losing money which is inevitable unless you're a professional - which I'm not. Rather than lose my own money, I decided to try giving dealing a hand and was able to get into a class at the Sun back in the summer of 2001.

For eight weeks I went to Dealer School every Saturday and Sunday for eight hours. At School I learned card handling, chip handling, math in relation to pay-outs, customer service, security - a lot more than what one might think. At the end of School you had to pass an audition before you could actually get out on the floor and become a real Dealer.

Because one of my brothers works surveillance at the Sun, I could only work the 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. shift and let me tell you, there were times when I couldn't for the life of me figure out how I made it out onto the floor for 4:50 a.m. when I had worked my full-time job at the PD until 10:30 the night before. Regular readers might remember how much I hate mornings, right? Yep, I really hated mornings then! But I wanted to deal and that was the only time I could do it so I would haul myself out of bed and hit the casino floor and hope for a busy table.

One of the biggest downsides to dealing is when there is no one playing at your table because - boy o' boy - can the time crawl by! You try standing behind a table for 60 minutes at a stretch with your hands in visible site at all times and see what fun it isn't! I always knew I was in for a great day when I would report to my assigned pit for the day and find out that I was doing a relief rotation. A relief dealer has three tables assigned to them and you relieve the dealer at each table for a twenty minute break every hour. I'd do three different tables in an hour, take a 20 minute break myself, and then start the string all over again. People either loved me or hated me as a relief dealer as I was either coming back to the table to get rid of a tough dealer for 20 minutes or I was there to wreak havoc on the people at the table until the "nice" dealer came back. I never took it personally because it wasn't - it was just the nature of the game.

I loved the interaction with people who would sit down at my table to play, especially if it was a group of friends out to have a good time. There were times when I had some real miserable SOBs at the table - people that I knew had a problem and were gambling away the rent money - but I always tried to be personable and polite as they were customers and they were supposed to be there to have a good time. At least that was my hope!

I gave away a lot of money and I took away a lot of money over the course of the 8 months that I was able to keep up that brutal schedule. I was always happiest when people won, and not just because that meant they were tipping the dealer, but because it made me happy to see someone take a little of the casino's money out the door with them. I knew how happy I felt when I would play in the past and occasionally win and I wanted people to take home that same feeling.

Anyhow, it's been a long time since I've stood on the dealer's side of the table or even sat on the player's side but I still like the game. It's the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat all at the turn of a card!

Mohegan Sun Casino

Oh, I also dealt a few other novelty games including Caribbean Stud Poker but there were very rarely any studs at the table and I was certainly no where near the Caribbean! Sort of seemed like false advertising but it was still kind of fun! For more fun, head over to Mo's and see what else he's dealt out for Manic Monday fun!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

“I have just returned from Boston. It is the only sane thing to do if you find yourself up there.” ~ Fred Allen

********************
Do you ever wonder what you might change if you had the chance to go back and maybe do something different with your life? You know - the old "If I weren't married with a spouse, 2.3 kids, and a mortgage, I would love to do ..." or "If I had the chance to live my life over, I'd do this instead of that" ... those sorts of things? I'm sure that most of us do it from time to time and I have to admit that I was quite guilty of just that very thing while walking around in Boston yesterday as many times over I thought, "If I could do a few things over, I'd have moved to Boston and lived here."

I don't say that in too many cities as I'm not really a city kind of gal but Boston just kind of inspires that (the only other city I can think of that I ever said that about was San Francisco). You will never ever ever hear me say that in regards to New York City or Los Angeles as those places are just too overwhelming but I could see myself living happily in a brownstone in Boston or an old Victorian house in San Francisco. Well, let me amend that, I might have been able to see myself doing those things had I not chosen the path I chose. Now they are just places to visit and enjoy and hopefully get back to once in awhile.

Obviously it has been way too many years since I've been to San Francisco (I believe my last trip there was in 2002) but I sure did enjoy my trip to Boston yesterday despite the blisters on my feet today and the deplorable overload of carbohydrates I consumed while there! I figure I'll get over both and at least I know I'm dragging around like I need another eight hours of sleep because I actually did something fun for a change! I'll get over that, too, eventually!

Despite the fact that August in New England is generally too danged hot and too danged humid, yesterday turned out to be the perfect day to go to Boston (a little less wind would have been nice but I'm not complaining!). From the time I got off the "T" in South Station to the time I got back on the "T" in Haymarket Square, I had a wonderful time and managed to accomplish the two goals that I had set for myself - a visit to the Cheers bar and a cannoli!

The day started out with a walk down Newbury Street which runs from Boston Public Gardens out towards Fenway Park. The street is home to hundreds of historic 19th-century brownstones that contain an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants and is credited as being one of the three most expensive streets in all of the United States right after Fifth Avenue in New York City and Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles. The only store we stopped in was the original Newbury Comics,which was founded in 1976 by two Massachusetts Institute of Technology students, as Amanda was hoping for an issue of "Jelly Fist" by Juan Vasquez but much to her dismay, there were none.

After hiking all the way back up to Boston Public Gardens we watched the Swan Boats while relaxing on a bench under a weeping willow before heading over to Beacon Street and the site of the original Cheers bar. Obviously it was a popular tourist spot so we stayed only long enough to take a couple of pictures before grabbing a taxi and heading for Quincy Market where we ate lunch at the Cheers over there. It was good but there was pretty much nothing on the menu that was going to easily fit into my low-carb lifestyle so I said to hecks with it and dived into a bowl of some of the best New England style clam chowder I'd had in awhile - yummy! I had to beat down some of the guilt with a Screaming Viking, a drink that was invented by Norm on an episode of Cheers to play a trick on a know-it-all bartender named Wayne. It has since become a real drink (obviously!) and is made from a combination of vodka, dry vermouth, and lime juice.

More walking after lunch brought us over to the North End and Little Italy where I was bound and determined to have a cannoli while fighting back a compulsion to say "hey yo - fuggedaboutit!" every two minutes! The one bakery that I had wanted to go to, Mike's Pastry, was apparently the one bakery that everyone else wanted to go to also as the line was out the door and down the road. My feet weren't too thrilled with the idea of standing in a long line even for the best cannoli in Boston so instead we walked down a little further to a lovely little cafe where I relaxed with a delicious cafe latte and a scrumptious canolli that certainly helped to ease the throbbing in my feet! Don't ask me how eating a cannoli can help with foot pain, I just know it did! Must be some miracle properties in the ricotta cream filling!

After more walking around a little bit we decided to call it a day and headed to Haymarket Square and caught the "T" back out to Alewife where I had parked the car. Before leaving I made sure to give my one-day ride pass to a person who was waiting in line to buy a ticket as I figured it was still good and I wasn't going to be using it so why not let someone else enjoy a free ride? I doubt the Massachusetts Transit Board would be too happy with me but hey - what's the difference between me riding and someone else doing it? My point exactly so fuggedaboutit!

All in all it was a great day with beautiful weather in a beautiful city that I definitely need to get to more often as there is so much more there to see and do. It would take me over a day just to see all of the historic sites I'd like to see and even though I've walked the Freedom Trail once, I'd love to do it again sometime as after all, part of it goes through Little Italy where cannolis are in plentiful supply!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Sometimes You Want to Go ...

********************
I'm not participating in this week's Photo Hunt as I won't be around to visit other participants blogs due to the fact that I'm actually going to go somewhere and do something for a change. Alert the media and stop the presses!! Linda is putting down the laptop, getting up off of the couch, and actually doing something on her day off! Will miracles never cease??

I'm not sure how I'm going to survive without the Internet for what promises to be an extended period of time but I'm heading to Boston for the day with no particular agenda in mind except for two small things that should be easily accomplished.

First and foremost, I want "to go where everybody knows" my name:

I'm pretty certain that no one is going to know my name as I have no intentions of wearing a tag that says "Hello! My name is Linda" but this is just one of those stupid touristy things that people just have to do from time to time and I plan on being a stupid tourist tomorrow sans the belt bag. Besides, I figure it will be good for a blog entry at some point!

After visiting the home of one of my favorite sitcoms and perhaps doing my best Cliff Clavin impression and spouting bits and pieces of useles knowledge that is oftentimes wrong such as "It's a little known fact that the tan became popular in what is known as the Bronze Age", I then want to go in pursuit of the one other thing on my list and that is a trip to the North End and Little Italy where I plan on throwing my low-carb diet to the wind for a brief time and scarfing down a mouth-watering, totally decadent cannoli! I will then spend the next several hours jogging around Boston Common, the oldest public park in the country, in order to burn off said cannoli!

Beyond that, I have no idea what we're going to do and that's half the fun of this trip. Perhaps we'll take in some historic attractions like the Old North Church or Paul Revere's House; perhaps stop by the Museum of Fine Arts; perhaps check out the Fisherman's Feast of the Madonna Del Soccorso which is Boston's oldest continuous Italian Festival celebrating its 97th anniversary year; or perhaps just walk around Newbury Street and Quincy Market for awhile.

With a city like Boston the possibilities are endless and the forecasters are predicting a beautiful day so I'm looking forward to the trip even though I'm sure I'll really be dragging come Sunday morning when I have to schlep myself in for another 16-hour shift at the dispatch console. Oh well, I guess that's the price you pay for getting off the couch and enjoying life once in awhile!

Everyone have a great Saturday and try not to miss me too much! I'll think of you all fondly while I'm munching on that cannoli and feeling only slightly guilty. Gee, now that I think of it the Photo Hunt theme was two this week so maybe I should have two and take a delayed picture?? Hmmmm ...

Friday, August 17, 2007

Contest Update!

********************
The contest to win a cool coffee mug ends at midnight tonight and I'm just double-checking to make sure I haven't missed anyone who has entered thus far. As of this tally I have ten terrific entries from the folks listed below; if you entered and your name isn't here please let me know and don't forget - if you still want to play you've got till midnight to do so. A random winner will be drawn from all entrants but I've got to say that I wish I could send a coffee mug to all of you who have played!

Current contestants are: Akelamalu, Last Minute Lyn, Asara, Joshua, Jenifer, Jamie, Jeni, Katherine, Patois, and Tisha with Simon in pending. Please let me know if you entered and I missed your name here. If you enter before tonight's closing, I will make sure to add you.

Good luck to all who entered and thanks so much for playing along!

Win An Originally Designed Coffee Mug Contest!

********************
Sticky Post!
Scroll Down Below This Post for New Stuff!
I've wanted to do a blog contest ever since I won some wicked cool personalized M&Ms from Bobbarama and also got some delicious gummi bears from The Pisstakers. It was just so neat to get prizes in the mail and I had a lot of fun with the subsequent posts, too. But I was never sure what I could offer as a prize until recently when Amanda opened her on-line store, Artistic Intoxication, at CafePress.com.

I ordered a couple of the coffee mugs she offers and when they arrived at the house I thought "perfect prize!". Plus it will give the kid some additional promotion and plugging your kids' endeavors is one of the things we parents do best (I believe it's in the parental contract under paragraph 52, subsection 12b)!

"I Feel Like Death Eating a Cracker"

"Heart"

So how can you win one of these great coffee mugs that are large and hefty, 15 oz. ceramic beverage vessels in your choice of the two designs shown? Easy! Just enter my "When Have You Felt Like Death Eating a Cracker?" contest! Entering is easy - just write a post telling me about a time that you truly felt like Death eating a cracker, include a link to Artistic Intoxication, a link back to my blog, then leave me a comment letting me know you're up to the challenge and you're in the running for a really cool coffee mug shipped directly to your door from CafePress with an original design by Amanda on it!

The Artist Known as "Art Munkey"

Contest closes next Friday, August 17th, at midnight and a winner will be picked at random from all entrants. If you don't win, not to worry - both of these great mugs are available at Artistic Intoxication along with an array of other neat products and if this contest takes off, I might just do another one for a t-shirt some time down the road!


Don't have a blog of your own? Hmmm ... now might be a good time to start one!

Aw shucks and a meme

********************
This has been a rather hectic week at work what with a few more extra hours than usual as well as some required annual training that required even more extra hours. The combination seems to have put me behind in my blogging - not just writing but reading - but I believe that through the wonders of Google Reader I have finally managed to catch up with the 100+ posts that awaited me this afternoon and it only took me until 12:30 a.m. to do it! Now I have time to get in one post before I go upstairs to bed where I can stay until whenever I feel like getting up as there is no where I need to be until 4:30 in the afternoon. Sleeping in - what bliss!

Because I am only doing one post I need to combine a couple things so please bear with me here! First up -

This week I was awarded the above badge by some very lovely ladies - Christine of Ephphany Sanctuary; Angela of The Life and Times of Gran, and Asara of Asara's Mental Meanderings - and I was just really touched by this. The main reason being that I don't always appear to be the nicest person in the world due to the snide, sarcastic barrier that I toss up around me. However, trust me, under this crusty exterior is a person who really strives to be nice. It's not always easy and certainly I'm not always nice but it's just really special for me to know that there are people out there who think I am. Now, Jenifer, before you leave a comment saying I've got everyone bamboozled here just remember - "perception is half the battle"!

For those curious where the Nice Matters Award originated, it was the idea of Genevieve at Bella-Enchanted. She states that this award is for "those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration.Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world." I am really honored that three people think I am deserving of this award and I thank you all. I am also supposed to pass this one to five other bloggers but considering my eyes are crossing as I type this and I've still got another whole part of this post to go, I'm going to have to defer that to another time!

The second part of this post is a meme that I was tagged with by The Curmudgeon himself from Second Effort who got tagged by the Empress Bee who had been tagged by Sandee of Comedy Plus who had been tagged by ... uhm, I don't know! Suffice it to say that the meme seems to have originated with Bucky in a blog called "The WVb." ... The what?

Anyhow, this is the Seven "P's" Meme and the idea is to take the seven "P" words that you are given and give details about yourself using those words. Sounds easy enough, right? Considering my eyes are rolling even further up in the back of my head, I'm pretty sure I'm going to be amused as to what I finally ended up posting when I read it tomorrow morning!

Without further ado then I give you the Seven P's Meme...
  1. Passion - hmm, well, I have some but it seems to be going to waste!
  2. Purpose - to boldly go where no man has ... oh wait, that's been done, hasn't it? In that case, my primary purpose is to excel at my job while still trying to be a good mom.
  3. Pursuit - the almighty, elusive dollar - or at least enough of them for us to live comfortably rather than panic from paycheck to paycheck.
  4. Position - current position is darned near close to sliding off the couch!
  5. Pummeling - not in the remembered past!
  6. Progress - this meme is close to being done, I think that's progress!
  7. Personality - sarcastic, dry, cynical but underneath it all I'm just a bowl of Jello.
Now again I'm supposed to tag five people but I am too tired to even consider doing such a thing right now. Maybe tomorrow? Maybe you can just play if you feel like it? Maybe I need to go to bed??

Thursday, August 16, 2007

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

Before I get to this week's question I have two things I wanted to touch on - first and foremost is a big thank you, thank you, thank you to all of the wonderful people who took the time to pop over to 90 mph-uphill-in-Reverse to leave words of support and encouragement for my friend Cyndi. As I knew all along - you guys are the best!!! Second - I apologize for not getting around to anyone's blogs on Wednesday, I was working a double shift and just didn't have the time to do any blog-reading as sleep seemed just a little more important before I crawled back to work in the morning. I promise to catch up Thursday evening when I finally get some time off. Honest!

Now to this week's question which is going to be a quick one due to time constraints based on my work schedule and the need for sleep versus blogging! As some of you might have noticed, the contest that I've been having for the "Death Eating a Cracker" coffee mug closes tomorrow night at midnight (if you haven't entered yet, you've still got time to win a fantastic prize!) and while I was sitting at work having a cup of coffee out of my own Amanda-designed coffee mug, I got to wondering what people preferred as their beverage of choice. So, this week's burning question is:

Which do you prefer - tea or coffee? Or something completely different?


If by any chance I've asked this one in the past I beg forgiveness and chalk it up to old age and brain that can't remember much of anything anymore! Especially after working way too many hours in a row!