Wednesday, October 31, 2007

What Were You for Halloween??

*********************
No doubt you are all quite familiar with my darling daughter who has absolutely no problem dressing up in some pretty outrageous outfits! So of course she couldn't pass up the opportunity to once again take on the persona of Jimmy from Mindless Self Indulgence on Halloween!

Amanda as Jimmy from Mindless Self IndulgenceWe were given permission at work to dress up for Halloween ourselves, as long as it wasn't too outrageous, so I decided to take a page (and a couple items of clothing!) from Amanda and become "Emo Mom" for the day!

Emo Mom!Looks like we know where Amanda gets it from, don't we??

Amanda and Emo MomHope everyone had a fantastic Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Halloween Night on The Mo Show

*************************
7pm Eastern on Blog Talk Radio
Graphic courtesy of Jannagraphics.
It's a special Halloween night on The Mo Show on Blog Talk Radio when your host Morgen talks about some of the history and traditions of his favorite holiday along with a bit of pumpkin lore and the real truth behind the reason Bigfoot scares the beejeebus out of him!

If can't catch the show live because you're too busy bobbing for apples, hanging out at your favorite haunt, or taking the kiddies trick-or-treating then be sure to catch the show in the archives!

Looking for a New Place to Live?

************************
One of my blogging buddies, Ms. Maggie Moo, recently sold her house here in Connecticut and is going to be moving to Boston once she lands a job up there. She's already had one interview that sounds really promising so the next step is going to be find someplace to live. To that end, I think she should check out Roomster.net, a rental site serving the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

By creating a simple profile using their free membership, Mags can create an "apartment wanted" ad which all of the property owners within the system can then search and contact her directly if they think they have what she's looking for. She doesn't have to worry about her private information getting out either as at Roomster.net they never post a member's name, address, phone number, or e-mail address anywhere.

Other features like like Instant Messenger, Apts-to-Share, Show Interest, Google Maps, and Hot lists help to complete the Roomster experience. They have lots and lots of listings which was indicated by the amount of available listings that had as of the time I did this post which was 995,468. That's a lot of possibilities to find the perfect apartment or share rental that Mags is looking for!

If you, like Mags, are looking for a room, sublet, apartment, or share rental check out Roomster.net - it's free, confidential, and extremely easy to use!

Monday, October 29, 2007

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

************************
ImageChef.com - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more ImageChef.com - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

With Halloween just two days away there are lots of things that run through one's mind - picking the perfect costume, carving jack-o-lanterns, bobbing for apples, things that go bump in the night, and candy - lots and lots of candy.

I have to think that the candy manufacturers take more delight in this time of the year than they do any other and thankfully you never hear them say things like "this year's Halloween candy sales fell short of expectations" like you hear retailers bemoaning Christmas sales. And thank goodness for that because Halloween is supposed to be fun. It's the one time of the year when you can go knock on virtual strangers' doors dressed in an outrageous costume and they give you something yummy rather than throw you off their property and call the cops! How cool is that?

And that brings me to our question -

ImageChef.com - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more
I'm rather found of the miniature Mr. Goodbar candy bars myself but when I was a kid I absolutely loved the little wax bottles that had some sort of syrupy goo in them or the wax lips - anyone else remember those??

Let's Get Some Shoes!

***********************
I wear a uniform at work which includes a snazzy pair of black zip-up work boots that are quite comfortable to wear however, every great once in awhile, I like to wear a pair of nice dress shoes - like at the Employee Holiday Party the company holds every year in January. It's the one time of the year that I go all out with the hair, make-up, dress, and shoes. Even though finding the right dress is tricky, finding a pair of comfortable yet stylish shoes is even trickier.

I think this year when I'm looking for that perfect pair of stylish dress shoes or evening sandals I'm going to check out Samantá where they specialize in stylish footwear with unique comfort features - like this lovely pair called the Veronica that has Swarovski crystal detailing on gold-colored leather. I don't wear dress shoes very often so comfort is very important to me even if it's just for one night out. My feet just aren't used to it and comfortable shoes are going to make the difference between a great night or a somewhat painful one!

At Samantá they have a wide selection of boots, special occasion shoes, sandals, and mens shoes as well as jewelry ad handbags, too. They offer large size womens shoes in sizes 11, 12, and 13 so even if you have bigger feet, you can still get fashionable shoes that look great and will be sure to elicit compliments from everyone who sees them. Samantá offers free shipping both ways which gives you the opportunity to try the shoes on in the comfort of your own home and return them hassle-free if they aren't exactly what you wanted.

If you're looking for stylish shoes that combine comfort and elegance both then check out Samantá where they specialize in exactly that!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sunday in the Cemetery

*************************
On a beautiful sunny Fall day in New England what better thing is there to do than take a walk through your favorite cemetery? Well, apparently not much as that's exactly what Amanda and I decided to do ...

Yantic Cemetery Norwich CTThis is Yantic Cemetery and one of my favorite haunts - no pun intended! Established in July of 1844, the cemetery covers 28 acres near the William W. Backus Hospital here in Norwich - ever wonder why cemeteries are so close to hospitals??

Yantic Cemetery Norwich CTThe final resting place for many of Norwich's prominent citizens, a former Connecticut governor, several Civil War generals, a host of other politicians. and a lot of other 'regular folk', I've enjoyed walking around this particular cemetery many times and have taken a lot of pictures there.

Yantic Cemetery Norwich CTAmanda figured that with it being so close to Halloween and it finally being a nice day (we had rain pretty much all week), it would be a good time to get some new pictures for her MySpace page as well as maybe get a few shots of some foliage before it all blew off the trees in the strong winds we've been having.

Yantic Cemetery Norwich CTWe tried to find some of the more unusual looking graves to get pictures of. This is a table top crypt (the type that Mo probably liked to dance on in his college days!).

Yantic Cemetery Norwich CTThere were a few trees that had some very colorful foliage while others were completely bare while still others didn't have a single leaf that had turned yet. It was quite cold while we were walking amongst the stones and monuments but it seems like it's always colder in a cemetery for some reason.

Sarah & Amanda Yantic Cemetery Norwich CTHere Amanda poses with Sarah, my very favorite monument in the cemetery. Kind of neat how the color of Amanda's hair almost matches the green that Sarah's copper has turned to, isn't it?

Harry Potter Grave Yantic Cemetery Norwich CTOh - and for all those Harry Potter fans out there - look what we found!

Potter Grave Yantic Cemetery Norwich CTObviously there were a lot of Potters that lived in Norwich and were buried in the Yantic Cemetery as we found another monument close by the first one.

Yantic Cemetery Norwich CTAll in all, it was a nice day to be walking amongst those who lie in peace near the Yantic River. Soon there will only be bare trees watching as silent sentinels over the many headstones that stand as monuments to those who lie beneath them.

How was your Sunday?

Yantic Cemetery Norwich CT

Aw, You Shouldn't Have!

A new reader who has been visiting my blog and leaving some very lovely comments, Misty Dawn at My Dog Keeps Me Sane, was kind enough to present me with the Wonder Woman Award with the following words:
"She is a dispatcher, a mother, and the assistant to creating really cool plushies. When a long-awaited for concert is canceled, she plans a whole day of doing something that she doesn't enjoy, just to lift her daughter's spirits. I think she deserves a Wonder Woman plushie, but I don't know how to make them, so I'm giving her this award instead."

Wonder Woman AwardI don't know what to say other than wow! and thank you! And a Wonder Woman plushie would be cool, especially if it had those awesome boots she always wore!

I am going to pass this award along to Jeni of Down River Drivel - a Nittany Lioness who raised three of her own kids to become fine adults and who now watches over her granchildren Alex, Kurtis, and the Princess Maya. She likes her Penn State football and her Bushisms and a visit to Jeni's blog is like sitting down at a friend's kitchen table and chatting with an old friend. Only problem is you have to bring your own coffee! She is most definitely a Wonder Woman in my book!

In addition to that wonderful award, I was the recipient of another little treat this week from Patti of the Late Bloomer Boomer and my favorite Erstwhile Librarian, Joan. Thank you both so much for this sweet little fella!

Patti got the award from Lynn of A Tired Mama who received it from Michelle at the Rocky Mountain Retreat who also gave it to Joan. Michele was honored with it by its creator, Trista, at the Pumkin Patch. Isn't it fun to see where these awards started and what path they took to get to your blog?

Thank you so much Misty Dawn, Patti, and Joan for thinking of me and making my week that much brighter by your thoughtfulness and kindness! You're all treats for me to read, too!

Plushies for Peace

********************
Take a look at your calendar and you'll see that November 7th is coming up and it's coming up fast. If you don't know what's so special about November 7th then you obviously haven't been over to visit Mimi Lenox - Queen of Memes and founder of the Peace Globe Movement and the Blog Blast for Peace. The next Blog Blast is taking place on November 7th when bloggers all over the Blogosphere will proudly display their Peace Globes and blog about peace.

The last Blog Blast for Peace took place on Wednesday, June 6th, and it was a beautiful thing with Peace Globes being displayed on hundreds and hundreds of blogs, myself included with a Peace Globe that Amanda did the artwork for. You can check it out here or on my sidebar if you're so inclined.

This time around I really wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my Peace Globe but then it occurred to me that with all the work that Amanda and I had just done on the plushie dolls for My Chemical Romance, a band that was started due to the events on September 11th, 2001 in an effort to make a difference in the world, that perhaps the plushies might want to step forward and be spokesmen (spokesdolls?) for peace.

So, to that end, I present to you my Peace Globe for November 7th's Blog Blast for Peace -

I'd like to think that the boys in the band might be rather flattered that they are, vicariously through stuffed images, taking part in something as important as the quest for world peace.

Do you have your peace globe yet?? If not, click here to get your very own Peace Globe and join this list of bloggers across the globe who are participating in the Blog Blast for Peace on November 7th. My friend Mimi will thank you, I will thank you, and the world will thank you, too!

Retail Therapy 101 & 102

********************
Providence Place MallI think I may have mentioned this in the past but allow me to reiterate it one more time just so we are all clear on this particular subject - I totally despise shopping malls. I do not enjoy going to a place that is a veritable mass of merchants out to relieve me of my money with wares that I neither need or want. However my darling daughter, being the teenager that she is, thinks that the mall is the mecca of society - a place to go and spend lots of time in even though there are only about three or four stores that she will set foot in. And that includes a mall that has over 170 shops! A mall that has three very high stories, carpeted floors, and over 170 shops! A mall that took us over an hour in the rain and wind to drive to with a parking garage almost bigger than the State it's in and over 170 shops! A mall that will make you feel somewhat dizzy if you stand too close to the rail on the third floor and take a picture looking straight down at the kiosks below and has over 170 shops!

Providence Place Mall
So after all that, you might ask how the Retail Therapy to Get Over Not Being Able to Go to the Canceled My Chemical Romance Concert went and I would have to say that it went okay for the most part but it took a trip to more than just one mall to affect a total cure. After all, missing a concert that you had your heart set on for almost a month requires some heavy-duty shopping - at least that seems to be the case for Amanda!

We got to the Providence Place Mall around 3:30 in the afternoon and, after finding our way through the labyrinth of a parking garage, we made our way through the Macy's entrance to access the mall. Both Amanda and Cate cringed while having to walk through a store that sold "prep" clothes and appealed only to the masses who were merely brainwashed conformists but they survived the short walk through what I thought were a lot of cute looking clothes. Sadly, my daughter has no interest in 'cute looking clothes' and was chomping at the bit to get to Hot Topic where they sell things goth and Emo and non-conformist. It's a store that not too many adults frequent but boy-oh-boy do kids like Amanda and Cate just love it!

The one at the Providence Place Mall was surprisingly small for such a large mall and it was pretty well packed with kids who looked like they were more than ready for Halloween. After looking through their displays and not seeing anything that jumped out and screamed "Buy me! Buy me!" we went next door to a very large Newberry Comics store. There were more than several things in that particular store that screamed "Buy me! Buy me!" and Amanda walked out with two hard-to-find Mindless Self Indulgence CDs and a pair skeleton gloves. Don't ask!

Skeleton gloves, CDs, and suspendersGloves, suspenders, and two CDs

From there we went to Dave & Buster's for a late lunch so that the girls could play some arcade games while we adults sat and relaxed for a bit and talked about the stress and frustration that Amy is experiencing with her whole house-buying experience. In talking to her I am reminded why I will probably never be, or even attempt to be. a homeowner. The whole process of buying a home does not sound in the least bit like fun!

After lunch we stopped in at Claire's where Amanda got a pair of green-heart decorated suspenders and then the girls popped into Spencer's where nothing appealed to them. At that point we had hit pretty much the only stores in the mall that the girls had any desire to go to and we decided to get the heck out of Dodge as it was pretty crowded and there really wasn't anything else to do as far as we could tell. It seemed to take longer to get out of the garage then it did to walk the mall but we eventually made our way out onto the turnpike and headed back towards Connecticut in a rainstorm that provided absolutely no visibility.

Amanda wasn't feeling particularly thrilled with the whole shopping experience as she had expected more from a mall the size of the one we had just left so I suggested that perhaps we could stop in at the mall closest to home and maybe the Hot Topic there would have something that she liked. At the one in Providence they had jackets that can best be referred to as the type that were worn by the members of My Chemical Romance on their Black Parade tour but they only had smaller sizes and Amanda was disappointed that they didn't have one in her size.

Thankfully it had stopped raining by the time we got back into Connecticut and I was actually able to see the road in front of me! When we got to the Crystal Mall the girls happily piled out of the car and into Hot Topic where Amanda was able to find the jacket she liked in her size. I told her that if I got her the jacket that was it - Retail Therapy would be complete at that point - and she was happy with that.

Amanda does the Black ParadeShe really is happy despite the serious look!

After walking through a Halloween shop and trying on silly glasses for awhile we finally headed home with a very large moon hanging above and illuminating the way. I still don't have anything for a Halloween costume for myself but I guess we're going to try to hit a few thrift shops today and see what I can find there. Truth be told I've had enough shopping for the entirety of the year but as long as we don't go to any more malls I should be able to handle it. Hopefully! Besides, it beats working a 16-hour shift on what may be the first day of sunshine we've had in over a week!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Back-Up Plan

********************
We should have been almost to Maine by now but due to the sudden cancellation of tonight's My Chemical Romance concert at the University of Maine we have had to make other plans. Amanda is still quite bummed about the whole thing but these things happen and one just has to swallow the disappointment and find something else to do.

After discussing it with Amy, we are going to take the girls over to the Providence Place Mall in - where else? - Providence, Rhode Island. I've never been there but it's supposed to be quite the place with more than 170 stores, eight restaurants, and entertainment venues including an IMax Theatre and a Dave & Buster's which is sort of the adult version of Chuck E. Cheese (blech!) with much better food and arcade games.

What impresses me the most, and sounds the best to my back in this rainy weather, is that they have carpeted floors! Can you imagine? Carpeted floors in a huge shopping mall that also has the essential stores that two teenage girls require - Hot Topic, Spencer's, and Newberry Comics. I need to put together a Halloween costume for work so perhaps I'll be able to find something I like while we're there - with over 170 stores I should be able to find something!

As a rule, I hate malls but there isn't too much else one can do in rainy, windy weather and perhaps this shopping excursion will help dissipate some of the disappointment of not going to Maine. As long as there isn't some sort of clown convention going on, it should be fine!

I'll keep you posted!

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Word of the Day

**********************
As taken from Thesaurus.com the following describes the mood of the day:

Main Entry: disappointed
Part of Speech: adjective
Definition: saddened
Synonyms: aghast, balked, beaten, blue funk, cast down, chapfallen, complaining, defeated, depressed, despondent, disconcerted, discontented, discouraged, disenchanted, disgruntled, disillusioned, dissatisfied, distressed, down, downhearted, foiled, frustrated, hopeless, let down, objecting, shot down, taken down, thwarted, unhappy, unsatisfied, upset, vanquished, worsted

I just got an email from the online ticket broker for the University of Maine telling me that the My Chemical Romance concert that we were so looking forward to going to this weekend has been canceled and that there are no plans to reschedule it.

It's hard to say exactly how disappointed both Amanda and Cate are but I can tell you that tears have been shed. Amanda has recovered at this point but she's still pretty upset about the whole thing. We don't really know why it's been canceled; rumor has it that Bob, the drummer, is either sick or injured but that's just the word on the MCR message boards as there is nothing official up on the band's website yet.

Could be though that more evil forces than a simple illness or injury are at work here - I'm pretty sure that dreaded Pennywise the Clown had something to do with this as he didn't want me coming to Maine for some reason! Warning: Evil clown picture below!

There is no way that I am not going to believe that evil red-headed buffoon did not have something to do with this. All that plushie work for nothing ...

I am so chapfallen.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Brief Plushie Update

************************
Today was most definitely "Bring Your Plushies to Work Day" for me as before I left this morning I packed up the entire band along with whatever sewing supplies I was going to need and hauled the whole kit and kaboodle into Dispatch with me. Amanda thought I was merely bringing Mikey in as he was the last one I needed to get pants sewn on but I wanted to do something with eyebrows and mouths as well as hem the sleeves on some of the shirts.

Being an anal retentive Virgo is not a good thing when it comes to stuff like this as I am so picky it's pathetic and I start having to fix every little detail! Normally when Amanda makes her plushies I don't have anything to do with them at all but being that she asked me to contribute to this project, I figured I could do more than just pants, boots, and belts without her being able to squawk too much! Besides, how could she possibly protest about improvements?

I'm quite glad I brought them into work with me as it turned out that Renee, our Employee Scheduling Coordinator, is a real whiz with all this artsy-crafty stuff and she had several really good suggestions for the eyebrows and mouths. My friend Paula, who is an art teacher, had made the suggestion that perhaps some sort of crewel work might finish them off nicely but I wasn't too sure how to do that without leaving loose ends of knots visible. Renee suggested gluing on matching pieces of yarn from the plushies' respective hair and that actually worked out perfectly. She also figured out how to do their mouths as well as fix Bob's lip ring (it was looking more like a fish hook!). I tell ya, the woman is a genius plus she had clear-drying craft and fabric glue in her desk - what a gal!

A couple co-workers asked what on earth I was doing but, for the most part, everyone seemed quite accepting and helpful of the whole process. I had to laugh when one of the supervisors came upstairs and asked what sort of dolls they were. When I told him that they were representative of a rock band he said "Oh? Is it Fall Out Boy?" Had Amanda been there she probably would have choked! When I explained to Paul that no, they were the guys in My Chemical Romance he just shook his head and rolled his eyes as he walked away.

Before I left work I had Mikey's pants sewn on as well as all the other little things done that I had wanted to take care of. When I walked in the door with them Amanda was quite surprised to see that I had all of them with me but was quite happy and almost squealed in delight at their new faces. At this point Mikey and Gerard still need ties but otherwise they are done - yay! I will be sure to post another picture when they are completely done.

Oh, and to answer several questions that were left in comments yesterday ... to Akelamalu - yes, this is Amanda's project but she roped me in by pleading great time restrictions and also by claiming that she couldn't sew the pants (I think she could have if she tried but there wasn't a lot of time to argue about it); to Travis - the reason they have shirts and boots before pants is because the pants have to be sewn on over the top of those two things (but you're right, I'll keep a towel around for modesty next time I take pant-less pics!); and to Asara - Amanda said that she could probably do an Amy Lee for you if you wanted to commission one from her sometime - just let her know!

Thank goodness my part in this project is over as I've got to get things together tomorrow before heading out to Maine Saturday morning plus I'd like to get caught up on my Google Reader before I go as I know I definitely won't be reading this weekend - again!

Highly Logical!

***********************
No doubt we all do it from time to time ... search ourselves online and see what comes up, right? It can be fun, it can be interesting, it can be strange! There are a lot of search engines out there that you can use but I recently found a new one that I'd like to suggest you check out called Spock. With Spock you can do a search for celebrities, athletes, politicians, people you used to go to school with that you haven't heard from in ages, your friends, your neighbors - pretty much anyone and everyone!

Unlike social networks like MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and the like, Spock is a people search application - you just type in a name, location, or keyword and once you find who you are looking for you then go ahead and click through to see where they are on the web. Searches are the result of information that has been gathered from news sites, blogs, directories, social networks, bio pages, etc. which has then been organized into easily understood results. Members can then add pictures, tags, web links, and other additional information to increase the relevance of the search or simply vote on the results that are there. It's free and open to anyone who wants to join.

I decided to check Spock out by running a search for one of the band members of My Chemical Romance, Ray Toro aka "The Fro". I thought the chances of there being less information on a back-up singer rather than a lead singer might be possible but I was actually quite wrong! With my Spock search I found out that Ray's full name is actually Toro-Ortiz and he plays Gibson Les Paul guitars with Seymour Duncan pickups through Marshall amplifiers. He's a fan of Queen and Metallica and he cites Brian May and Randy Rhoads as large influences on his playing. Pretty cool, eh?

Check out the new Spock yourself, run a few searches of your own, and see what you think. Become a member and you can make a difference on what search results show up, too! How cool is that?

Sending Thoughts and Prayers to a Blog Buddy

**********************
I got this from my dear friend Callie at Scrappin' With Life ... and I have to say that her timing as perfect as I had been wondering how Bob was doing with all of these fires. I hope that he is safe and that his home is not in any direct danger but I'm sure that just being in San Diego County is a horrifying experience right now no matter where you are. To that end, as Callie posted: "Our good friend Bobbarama needs our thoughts and our prayers. Bob is located right in the way of the dreadful fires that are currently sweeping through the Great State of California.

I would like you all to add your name to this post and then pass it on to someone else so that we can send Bob our best wishes and let him know that we care about him and that we are thinking about him. Please copy this post, post it on your blog and pass it on and let's all let Bob know we are with him during his time of need."

Bob - wherever you are and however you're doing - you are in my thoughts and in my prayers. Be safe, my friend!

Mozilla Glitches

************************
I've been having to switch between Mozilla and Internet Explorer on my laptop lately as, for some reason, there are some websites that don't work well with Mozilla. I don't know why that is but they cause every single window I have open to continuously load over and over and over again. The only way to fix it is to log out and then log back in.

If I use Internet Explorer I don't have that problem at all even with the very sites that cause the problems with Mozilla. Problem is, I get a bit confused when I'm using IE vs Firefox as it has a totally different popup blocker and things get blocked that don't get blocked on Firefox, plus IE doesn't have that very handy built-in spellcheck feature that Firefox does.

Does anyone else have any problems with Mozilla that don't appear on IE? I really like Mozilla but sometimes the little glitches can get very annoying.

A Blog of BrainFoggles

************************
My best friend Cyndi has Fibromyalgia but despite the fact that it's a disease that can be quite debilitating at times and it was partially responsible for her medical retirement from the police department she worked at, she still manages to lead a very productive life. Recently I've found another person who suffers not only from Fibromyalgia but several other autoimmunue diseases who also leads a very productive life.

Connie is the author of Brain Foggles (subtitled "Forgetting to Remember") and how on earth she does it with all that she has going on in her life is totally beyond me! She's a Christian wife and mom to Peanut (who wants to be a cowgirl for Halloween) as well as a mentor on the Disabled Online Users Association (DOUA), a supporter of the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America and the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and a major Disney fanatic!

Recently Connie wrote a post entitled "What's For Dinner" and I found myself nodding along with it even though I don't have a husband to cook for because trying to figure out dinner is just such a chore most of the time. A lot of the things that I like, Amanda doesn't, and to be perfectly honest, I have just lost the enthusiasm for making meals that I used to have. One of her commenters, Omie, mentioned that she finds inspiration in the Food Network and that just so reminded me of Jen, my dispatch partner, who has become major obsessed with Paula Deen, Rachel Ray, and the whole crew over at The Food Network!

Connie has a very nice blog and even though it looks like it might be moving soon to another domain, I would suggest checking it out especially if you, or someone you know, suffers from a chronic illness. It's always encouraging to find someone who can take the burdens that life has given them and handle them with a sense of humor - much like my good friend Cyndi who I can't seem to talk into writing a blog for nothing! Barring that, though, I'm going to ship her over to read BrainFoggles - maybe she'll get inspired!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Plushie Progress Post

*********************
The plushies are taking over my life ...

I spent most of last night getting pants put on Bob in between trying to get some posts put up but I am happy to report that he was fully clothed before I went to bed last night ...

Turned out to be a rather handsome looking fella, didn't he? Oh, and that thing on the side of his mouth is his lip ring, just FYI!

Knowing that I had three more plushies waiting on pants and boots, etc. for me I decided to take some of my sewing to work with me this morning and managed to work on boots and pants in between dispatches. What good is it to be an excellent multi-tasker and not take advantage of it every once in awhile? At one point my supervisor did ask me what on earth I was making and when I told him "Pants", his response was "For who? Midgets?" I guess it might have looked that way to the uninitiated!

At any rate, I did manage to get all three pair partially done along with the two pair of boots and when I got home this afternoon I spent a good hour and a half fitting Ray's pants on him. It's a lot tougher than it might seem as the plushies have very wide feet and very tiny waists so you can't just make a traditional pair of pants - you have to make them almost in pieces. Not being overly crafty, it took me awhile to figure this out but so far the process seems to be working. So here we have three of the boys in the band looking pretty good if you ask me ...

However, the Way Brothers (Gerard and Mikey) are still in desperate need of pants so guess what I'm going to be doing the next couple of days? Sigh ... I'm seriously thinking about taking an entire doll into work with me tomorrow along with the partially made pants and working on it there. At least then my supervisor will have a better idea of what the heck I'm doing!

Oh, and on a totally different side note - my dispatch partner Kevin had one of the coolest promotional pens at work today that I've ever seen. Not only did it write really well but if you turned it the right way, it had a stylus for the tablets that we use in the ambulances. It's a pen - it's a stylus - it's two, two pens in one! Okay, I'm getting loopy ... must go make more pants now ... my boss is glaring at me from the dining room!

The Important Stuff

********************
I was talking to my friend out in Northern California tonight about the wildfires that have been ravaging Southern California the past few days (thankfully she's up near San Francisco and is nowhere near where this is happening) and that conversation led to a discussion about what she or I would want to save if ever there were a fire near our homes that threatened to overtake and burn them to the ground.

Cyndi is a major cat person - and I do mean major! - so naturally the main thing she would want to make sure she got out of the house, other than her beloved husband, would be her cats. Hopefully she has a lot of advance notice of any sort of fire as she has lots and lots and lots of cats! I swear the woman is a 'cat magnet' as any and all strays in Stockton seem to gravitate to her. They know they're going to find a kind and compassionate woman who opens her heart and home to them regardless of how disheveled, bedraggled, or feral they may be. Cyndi has a heart as big as all of California when it comes to cats.

The other thing that she said she would have a hard time leaving behind would be her plants and she has almost as large a collection of those as she does cats. Now I'm not talking about silk trees here - I'm talking about a plant that sat in her father's office at the business he owned and is one of the few things she has left from him, a plant that her grandmother had back in 1965 that she has lovingly cared for way too many years to count, and a plethora of other plants that mean just about as much to Cyndi as her menagerie of cats does.

Beyond that - there isn't too much that she said she couldn't live without. Things can be replaced.

I agree with her completely. I can't really think of too much here in my house that I couldn't live without except maybe for some family pictures and maybe a memento or two - and my laptop, of course. Other than that it's all 'stuff' ... stuff that can be replaced if I felt that I really needed to replace it or I could learn how to live more minimalistic. Sometimes I think that minimalistic might not be a bad thing - a lot less clutter to try to clean up around here.

I'm not saying that having one's house burn down is not a tragedy because it is and it has to be more than devastating to those people in Southern California who are coming back to their homes to find them completely gone. I cannot begin to fathom the heartbreak that they must be feeling or the sense of loss that must be pervading their lives right now. In no way am I trying to minimize what they're feeling in any way, shape, or form. I'm just saying that sometimes you need to sit back and take stock of what's really important in your life and what can or can't be replaced.

Despite their losses, I'm sure that those people who have been affected by the California wildfires are still ecstatic that they and their loved ones got out alive - much like those people who lived through Hurricane Katrina and went back to live another day. Your life, your family's lives, the lives of your friends and loved ones, and the lives of your pets - those are the important things to try to save no matter what disaster might be knocking on your door.

Don't Take Me Out to the Ballgame

*********************
All across New England tonight, thousands of households will be glued to their TVs watching a sports event unfold (and no, Jeni, it isn't Penn State football!). Tonight is the first game of the World Series between the Colorado Rockies and the Boston Red Sox.

Even though I live in Connecticut and am surrounded by BoSox fans, I'm not one of those who is going to be watching the game as I just have no interest in the whole thing. I find televised baseball to be one of the most boring things ever to watch and there are just too many other things to do that don't include watching seven guys stand around a field while three others (the pitcher, the catcher, and the batter) do most of the work. If this makes me unAmerican then so be it!

Long ago I used to watch the Red Sox regularly and I still remember with rather vivid clarity their loss to the Cincinnati Reds in the 1975 World Series. I have hated Pete Rose ever since. Then there was the heartbreaking loss to the New York Mets in the 1986 World Series for which the entire debacle was unfairly blamed on Bill Buckner when he made an error in fielding.

When the Sox swept the Cardinals in the 2004 World Series and finally ended the dreaded "Curse of the Bambino" I was actually rather amazed. I had become so used to the team coming so close to winning and then blowing it that I had truly expected them to do it yet again. I was happy for them to finally have a win under their belt but do I expect them to triumph over the Colorado Rockies this time and become World Champions once again? No - I don't.

I don't because I think that the Rockies want it more and I also think the Rockies have a much more impressive record. I can't quote the stats (like I said, I'm not a fan) but I know the Rockies have a better record than the Sox do and this is their very first time in the World Series. You know those guys are going to try above and beyond to bring that trophy home to Colorado because who doesn't want to win the whole enchilada their first time out?

At any rate, I don't believe I will be watching a single game myself but I can guarantee you that a lot of people will. Baseball is, after all, America's sport. Along with football. Oh, and NASCAR, too.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Pausing for Plushies

********************
Once again I find myself apologizing for not having the opportunity to visit a lot of my regular blog reads but it appears that a lot of my free time is being taken up by my daughter who apparently has named me the assistant to the head plushie-maker. It's not enough that I spent a good part of Saturday sewing body parts together - oh no! - now I have to help make boots and pants both or else the poor guys are going to remain pantless much like poor Steve Righ who is still standing in the kitchen without any pants!

With the concert only four days away, that doesn't leave a lot of time for Amanda to get this plushie project done all by herself so, push-over that I am, I spent over an hour and a half this afternoon sewing a pair of pants for Frankie ...

As you can see, he looks vastly improved over where he was on Saturday ...

The only thing he's missing is his guitar and maybe some snazzy fashion jewelry but I think that he's as completed as he's going to get. Now I must go forth and create some pants for Bob while Amanda finishes making Mikey's shirt and tie. As you can see, I already finished his boots!

It appears that an assistant's work is never done!

Moving On Up!

**********************
I am so excited for my friends Jason & Amy - they just found out today that they've been approved for a mortgage and will now be able to move out of the little apartment that they've been renting and get themselves some real estate! Ever since they started talking about buying a house Amy has been feeling a little sick around the edges because it's such a big step but I can see why they want to make the transition from renters to homeowners.

Personally I will probably never own a house myself because I have a horrendous fear of getting into a mortgage and then not being able to make the payments for one reason or another. Most likely it's because I'm a single parent and I barely make ends meet right now. I know that a lot of people say that paying rent is just throwing money away but I like where I live, I like my landlord, I've got a pretty darned good deal compared to most of the rentals in the area, and I don't have to worry about being foreclosed on. I tread water when it comes to my car payments so I can only imagine how things would be going with a mortgage. I am - to put it mildly - very dysfunctional when it comes to finances. Sad - but true.

Jason & Amy found a house that they really liked when they were looking last Friday so I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that the offer they make on it is accepted and everything else goes smoothly for them. Even though I'll never be a homeowner myself, I can sure get excited for my friends that are going to be. Plus Amy has already invited me for her annual St. Patrick's Day get-together and after the description of her corned beef slow-cooked in beer all day my mouth is already watering!

Good luck, you two, I am so happy for the both of you!

Monday, October 22, 2007

I'm In a Right Frame of Mind

**********************
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I've seen this a couple times now - the first was from my supervisor at work last week and then this week I got it in an email from a friend. I thought it was cool when I first saw it and still think it's cool now so thought I would pass it along to see what you thought.

The way this works is that if you see the dancer turning counter-clockwise then you are using the left side of your brain. Left brain functions are considered to be:
  • uses logic
  • detail oriented
  • facts rule
  • words and language
  • present and past
  • math and science
  • can comprehend
  • knowing
  • acknowledges
  • order/pattern perception
  • knows object name
  • reality based
  • forms strategies
  • practical
  • safe
If you see the dancer turning clockwise instead then you are said to be using the right side of your brain (is that like being in your right mind??). If that's the case, right brain functions are said to be:
  • uses feeling
  • "big picture" oriented
  • imagination rules
  • symbols and images
  • present and future
  • philosophy & religion
  • can "get it" (i.e. meaning)
  • believes
  • appreciates
  • spatial perception
  • knows object function
  • fantasy based
  • presents possibilities
  • impetuous
  • risk taking
Some people are able to focus and make the dancer change direction. Even though the dancer appears primarily going clockwise for me, I can change the direction but I think it's more the angle that I'm looking at her from so I'm not sure if that means when I tip my head my brains pour more into one side or the other (kind of like a sand sculpture!) but either way it's fun and a good way to pass a few minutes!

So how about you? Are you in your right mind or do you use more of your left?

A Mo Show Promo!


Seances, Past Lives, and Reincarnation
This week's co-host is Dr. Kathleen Jenks,
an expert on past-life regression.
Tune in Wednesday @ 7pm Eastern on
Blog Talk Radio


This week The Mo Show explores a topic that I've always found very interesting as I'm quite sure I've "been here before" - though I sure hope it was as a thinner and richer person! How about you? First time around on the planet or do you feel you've got unexplored past lives? Listen in and see what you think!

Monday Morning Thoughts Before Work

********************
Just a quick post to say 'hi' to everyone as I am off to work again here in about 15 minutes or so. I feel like I didn't sleep at all last night so this is probably going to be one very long day in the trenches at 911-land and I am so not looking forward to it. I can only hope that people feel good today and don't feel the need to go to the hospital!

I'm not sure why I slept so lousy, I didn't have any sort of caffeine anywhere near close to bedtime, but it seemed to take me forever to eventually drift off and when I finally did it was one of those kinds of sleep that feels like you never really went to sleep. Needless to say, the look I gave my alarm clock this morning when it rudely started beeping was not one of fondness and love!

Thankfully, yesterday was my last 16-hour Sunday shift as with the new schedule that goes into effect on the 4th of November I won't be working them anymore; I am trading them for 16-hour Monday shifts but will be off on Tuesdays so don't have to try to drag myself out of bed the following morning to drag back into work. I can't for the life of me remember the last time I worked a 40-hour week so even though it's going to hurt big-time financially, I am really looking forward to only working 5 shifts a week and having 3 days off. Gives me more time to blog!

Work wasn't too bad yesterday for the most part except that my weekend partner Jen, who is pregnant, has this new fixation with "The Food Network" and I got to spend almost 13 hours of our 16-hour shift watching all kinds of really delicious looking food - everything from a Pepperoni Sausage Lasagna to Halloween treats. Do you know how hard it is to do watch all that and then eat the tunafish sandwich you packed for lunch?? Exactly!

What would really have been nice while watching all those shows would have been some nice leather home theater seating to recline in and some snacks other than Munchos from the vending machine and an apple! Sigh ... I guess you can't have everything, can you?

Oh well, speaking of work, I'm out the door to go play with the ambulances for another eight hours. Everyone have a splendid day and I'll catch up with you when I get back!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Word From Your Mother

********************
In anticipation of the upcoming My Chemical Romance concert next weekend in Maine, Amanda has once again - at the last minute - decided that she needs to do some artwork, etc. and as the clock begins to tick down, she begins to do what she always does when under a deadline - she gets pissy and snappy and becomes quite the pain in the hind quarters. I recall this quite well from the time previous to Projekt Revoultion when she had decided last minute that she needed to do artwork for everyone in both My Chemical Romance and Mindless Self Indulgence which was a total of nine - count 'em - nine band members. Needless to say, she was still doing some of the artwork the morning of the concert but she did manage to get it done and both Gerard and LynZ ooh'd and aah'd over it and all was right with the world.

Fast forward to today ... it is October 20th and one week away from the concert which is on October 27th. We have had tickets in our possession since October 1st so this isn't a last minute decision or anything like that. Oh no, Amanda has known about this concert for the past three weeks and yet she has waited until the week before to decide that she needs to make not just one or two but five plushie dolls along with five coffins to put them in and design a t-shirt to wear to the concert to boot. Ambitious a bit??

Because she can't possibly do all of this herself and still have time to occasionally chat online with her friends so that they don't all disown her, I was put to work doing some of the sewing on the plushies. Truth be told, I don't mind helping out and do okay with a needle and thread but what I don't like is being snapped at by the very person who is asking me for some assistance! Amanda has a very bad habit of doing this and, frankly, I am getting quite tired of it. I don't mind being the supportive parent or the encouraging parent or the parent who helps out but what I do mind is having the very person who is asking me for these things to get snippy with me and expect me to just shrug it off and chalk it up to "she's under pressure". Bull excrement. This falls under that category of "biting the hand that feeds you" but apparently Amanda has not heard of that particular category or, if she has, she chooses to ignore it.

So, while I am sharing the couch with a pile of partial plushies ...

MCR plushies

MCR plushies

... I'd just like to remind my darling daughter of one thing ...

ImageChef.com - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

... especially if you plan on asking said mother for further help!

Oh, and just as a shameless plug, if you like the t-shirts Amanda designed, you can find them over at Artistic Intoxication at CafePress.com! I didn't say I didn't love her - I just said I was frustrated with her!

Trying On a Virtual Makeover

********************
It's Saturday and it's my day off and it's raining and I don't really feel like cleaning the house (shame on me!) or anything boring like that so I decided to check out this cool website called MakeoverSolutions.com where you can register for a free account and play around with a new look for yourself. All you have to do is upload a picture of yourself, preferably one that is a full face shot (I don't have any of those so the one at the left was just going to have to do!), and then you can try on all sorts of new hairstyles (including a celebrity hairstyle if you've always had a hankering to see what you look like with Jennifer Aniston's hair!), all kinds of makeup including lipstick, eye shadow, blush, etc., eyeglasses or sunglasses, headwear, nail polish, jewelry, colored contacts, etc., etc. The possibilities are endless and it's very easy to find yourself spending a lot of time playing around with one look after another. Once you've found what you consider "the look" for you, you can email it off to a friend or yourself - which is what I did.

After playing around with it for quite some time and first trying blue hair and then purple hair (after all, Halloween is just around the corner!), I thought I would go for a more conservative look so I added a new hairstyle, changed up my hair color a bit with a different shade of auburn to which I added highlights and lowlights both, threw on some mascara, eyeliner, and shadow, blushed up the cheeks, put on some lipstick, and then topped it all off with a nice necklace. So what do you think?? I would like to have whitened my teeth, too, but in order to do that I would have to upgrade to an All-Access Membership. With that upgrade not only would I have gotten teeth whitening but I'd have over 3,000+ hairstyles to choose from, 1600+ cosmetic colors, and over 300 accessory options. In addition to that, I could upload an unlimited number of photos so I could change up Amanda and Jamie's looks, or even my son Michael's, if I wanted to.

In addition to the really fun virtual makeover, MakeOverSolutions.com has all sorts of beauty & style tips, product reviews, and a Rave section where they give you all the hottest stories on fashion and make-up. You can try on all sorts of new styles and looks before you head out to the beauty shop which then gives you the chance to show your stylist exactly what you want. No more going in and saying, "I dunno, what do you think?"

Go check it out and try out the free membership for yourself - I think you'll have as much fun as I did!