August 31, 2005

Achy, breaky stomach

It's dark, I'm sitting here typing and my little daughter is in my bed complaining of an upset stomach. She's been complaining about the stomach since yesterday, but there doesn't seem to be any rational reason for the pain. She doesn't need to vomit, doesn't need to poop, isn't nervous about anything, isn't hungry. I gave her a little, itty bit of motrin just to induce a placebo effect in her. The fact that she seems so confident medicine will make her feel better also makes me wonder about what's going on. Having once been a medical journalist, I feel quite confident in my ability to diagnose any sort of ailment and I'm always ready to start poking and prodding in my quest for a diagnosis. So when she started complaining of the stomach, I started pressing her stomach in various places to see where it hurt. She would complain of it hurting when I pressed in around her bellybutton, but it's not like she reacted in a violent way, so I don't know how much of that is really of any concern. My conclusion? I don't know what the hell is wrong with her. I think it's somewhat psychosomatic. She's complained of mysterious stomach aches in the past and I took her in to the doctor to figure out why she was having this problem. They did urine tests and blood tests and didn't find anything. Even though she says she's not nervous about anything, I think she just generally spends most of her day worrying about shit, which is what leads to these physical manifestations of emotional instability. I worry all the time, so I think it's a genetic thing.

Ah, and now she's asleep. Kids are funny when they sleep because they look so innocent. I think she's the most beautiful when she sleeps. Her face always looks so serene and I get lost in looking at her. I think it's the only time I can hold onto her in a way that belongs just to me. When she's awake, she never just lets me look at her. Anytime I stare at her longer than ten seconds, I get the whole, "What?" routine. But when she's sleeping, I can stare as long as I want and be amazed by the fact that I brought something as beautiful as her into this world. It's probably the only truly wonderous thing I've done in my life. Well, that and sucking the life force from my husband like sweet marrow.

Cannibal crickets

Did you know that crickets eat each other? Yeah, I didn't know that either until last night when my husband walked through the door last night carrying a small cardboard box with airholes punched all through it. So of course I see the box and know that he's brought some kind of creature home. He tells out daughter to take a look and she opens the box to find a praying mantis inside. My husband has somehow managed never to have seen a praying mantis in real life, so when he saw at work, he immediately caught and boxed it so he could bring it home and "study" it. He set up one of the extra critter tanks and put the mantis inside and then went out to round up some grub for the little alien. He caught a couple of crickets and threw them into the tank to watch the unbridled carnage of the praying mantis consuming its meal. He and my daughter sat and watched and nothing happened. So we went on with our normal evening activities. My daughter spent some time introducing her snake to the praying mantis, but no feasting on the part of the mantis. Anyway, shortly before my daughter's bedtime, I look in the tank and only see one cricket, so I'm thinking, "Ah, nuts, they missed the praying mantis eat a cricket." Then I look a little closer and I notice the one cricket seems to be undulating in a weird way and I look even closer and realize he's eating what's left of the other cricket's bottom half. And he was chowing down on it. I don't know what crickets eat, but I really didn't think it was other crickets. I don't know what really happened. I don't know if the mantis ate part of the cricket and the other cricket was finishing up the scraps. I don't know. But that cricket worked pretty steadily eating away at the other one. This morning I woke up and the remaining cricket was still alive, so the mantis didn't get him during the night, but all that's left of the dead cricket is just a little butt nub.

August 29, 2005

New addition

We had a pretty busy weekend. Well, it wasn't really busy, but my daughter got her much-coveted snake this weekend, so it made it seem like it had been busy. She got a corn snake which looks like this:

It's just a baby right now, only about a month old. This isn't a picture of my daughter's snake, just one like it. Apparently, according to my husband anyway, they grow to be four to five feet long. And will look like this as an adult:

Guh, what the fuck? That's like a snake snake. That's what that little thing is going to end up looking like? Oh my lord. What in God's name have I let them bring into this house? Seriously, it's like that worm thing is going to be a snake when it grows up. It's fine now because it's cute, but what the freak am I going to do when that starts looking like the star of Anaconda 2? I think I'm hyperventilating right now. There's going to be a fucking human-sized SNAKE in my house. It's not venomous or anything, what I don't think I was really thinking it would look like an actual snake when it grew up because it looks like a little rubber toy now. Anyway, let me shelve my heebie-jeebies long enough to tell you that my daughter, in all her naming creativity, named the snake Corny. This is her usual method of naming animals: Let me just stick a "y" at the end of whatever animal it is and that's its name. I told her to name it Nagini, like from Harry Potter and she said, "No! That's evil."

For a second, I thought she might name it Maize after I suggested that, but no. That was not meant to be, either. Then I said she should name it Candy or Pop or Buttered, and she was like, "Those are dumb names." Oh, yeah, she also decided Corny's nickname would be Snakey. See, what did I tell you?

Anyway, this thing eats mice--"pinkies" to be exact. Pinkies are newborn, blind and hairless mice. The snake can't handle anything bigger than that. It needs to be fed once a week, so my daughter and husband plan on making Saturdays their go-to-the-petshop-and-buy-a-pinkie day. My daughter's pretty excited for this Saturday because it'll be the first time she gets to watch Corny feed. I have to say she handles Corny with a good deal of confidence, which isn't incredibly surprising for me but it's still a little funny to watch. If I had a digital video camera, I could film Corny devouring its prey and post it for you, but I don't so I can't. Actually, I'm wondering what's going to happen when Corny gets bigger. I'm wondering if the rabbit will sense it and if Corny's presence will freak it out or anything. I know cats and dogs raised together end up as friends, but what about the rabbits and snakes of the world?

August 28, 2005

Daily Dancer Interview, Part III

Here we are again, folks, with your favorite hoofing master, Daily Dancer. My latest round of questioning exposes an egalitarian spirit harbored beneath the sparkle of his jazz hands. We find a man who would balance out the world's wealth if it were in his power. We also find a man deeply in love with his special woman, looking forward to their shared future. While I'd like to keep pestering DD with my possibly endless line of questioning, I'll probably only impose on his time for another two or three rounds. I'm chock full of questions, but if there's something in particular you're interested in knowing, leave your inquiries in the comment section below and I'll try to incorporate some in future e-mails.

KC: Naw, you mean there are people who would consider labeling your socks weird? Surely you jest. At any rate, it's easy to see you're definitely an "unusual" guy. What are some of your life plans? What does the future hopefully hold for Daily Dancer?

DD: I see two futures for myself. The first is more likely to happen, but I can dream:
1) I continue in my current role as a software developer, developing my skills and becoming more important within my company (or another company).
2) I receive a substantial amount of money (millions), which enables me to start my own software company and run it in a way that favours fairness and internal (code) quality over features and profits. Maybe my DD fame will lead me there.
Either way, I plan to spend the rest of my life with that wonderful person I am with now, and I plan to start a wonderful family with her, with little Dancers running around.

KC: It's interesting that you've taken some tap lessons from your girlfriend's
mom (from here on out girlfriend will be referred to as G and girlfriend's mom
will be referred to as G-Momma), only because I've wanted to take tap lessons
ever since I saw that Liza Minelli movie about tapping. Did you learn how to do
that windmill move where your arms and legs fly out? Can you do that on a future

DD: Windmill move? I haven't gotten that advanced. Shuffle-ball-change, shuffle-ball-change, shuffle-ball-change, step, is about as far as I had gotten. But, I'm up for most new things.

KC: It seems obvious that G-Momma has a performing past considering how well she got down and dirty with it on her guest post? Is she a former dancer and has she helped you in other ways with your blog?

DD: She was not a dancer in the professional sense, but she enjoys taking--and teaching--classes in many different kinds of performance, including dancing. She has certainly helped me with my blog, giving me a great amount of advice.

KC: What do you see as the greatest problem plaguing mankind today and how would you solve it?

DD: The greatest problem I see is the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. The world is run by huge corporations that care only about revenues, profits, and shareholders. They crush and/or take over smaller businesses and put their own names on them. I believe that the cost of what a business sells should not determine its worth. A person who sells marbles should end up with the same amount of money as a person who sells diamonds, even though the diamonds cost more. A janitor, who works as hard as a CEO or professional athlete, should be able to attain the same kinds of salaries as those others. Implementing such a fair system would require governments to take considerably more control over where profits go and how money gets distributed amongst employees and other companies. I feel that a large, influential, nation--like the United States--must re-evaluate the entire monetary system and make some revolutionary changes. Otherwise, like I said at the top, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

KC: Besides dancing and software development, what other interests do you have?

DD: Well, I have been playing guitar for about 11 years, and I have gotten fairly good. However, I must increase my repertoire and learn some new songs (I play way too much John Prine). I have had periods when I was into oil painting (I used to do landscapes and portraits); but lately, I find I don't have the patience for it. Growing up, I used to play a lot of golf, but, as much as I love it, it has gotten a bit expensive for me these days.

KC: Are you a Mac person or a PC person?

DD: I am a PC person. I never use Macs. Now, the real question is whether I am a Windows person or a UNIX person. The answer is "both." For the most part, I use Windows, as it is so common and easy to configure. When it comes to free software and a good development environment, I choose Linux.

KC: If you could meet and have dinner with one famous dancer, who would it be and why?

DD: Famous dancer? How about Britney Spears? She dances. I wouldn't dump my wonderful partner for her, though.

<< previous interview, Part II/ next interview, Part IV >>

August 26, 2005


I don't know if you can tell or not, but I'm trying to be a little more creative with my Karaoke post titles. Seeing Karaoke Friday over and over again was really starting to bore me. Like I'm sure you care, right? Anyway, today's song is one of Madonna's better songs, in my opinion. It's from the Like a Prayer album, which is also one of her better albums, in my opinion. Listening to the album always brings back good memories of college. Actually, I don't know if I have any bad memories of college becuause I've effectively blocked out all the studying and working parts so I only remember the drunken orgy parts. Yup, college was a really good time. When else in life will you ever be able to hit the bars four nights of the week and not have it affect your life in a negative way? Good times, good times. Anyway, here's me singing Oh Father.

this is an audio post - click to play

August 25, 2005

I did it. (And it's not what you think.)

I finally managed to get my editor to let me buy two new eMacs for my grad students. Now there's some serious stuff gonna happen up in here. Woo woo. You'd think that at a major university, I wouldn't have to beg and plead for computer equipment that was at least made in this century, now would you? But I must. It's all about the persistence, though. Finally, everyone just gets so sick of listening to my endless harping, that they give me what I want just to shut me up. It's a bit labor intensive on my part, but I don't mind.

We had a very nice, impromptu dinner party last night with our friends. We ordered Thai and had a good time catching up. Both our families have just gotten back from vacation, so we hadn't seen each other in a little while. It was an altogether nice evening. I also found out that my daughter's school is going to have another Trivia Night next month. As you recall, my team came heartbreakingly close to winning last time around, but lost in the last stretch. Victory will be ours yet, my friend. I'm trying to round up the crew from the last time so we can kick some serious booty.

August 24, 2005

Easy come, easy go.

Did I mention that we got rid of our guinea pigs over the weekend at our neighborhood yard sale? If not, we got rid of our guinea pigs over the weekend at our neighborhood yard sale. My daughter wants a snake and my husband convinced her to get rid of the guinea pigs before he'd even contemplate getting her another pet. This is why we don't have a dog or a cat, they're just not disposable enough. My parents can't believe we got rid of them, though.

"How can you be so cruel?" my mom asked.

I don't care about them. They're not my pets. I mean they were cute and everything, but I wasn't really emotionally attached to them or anything. What really surprised me was that my husband spearheaded the whole get-rid-of-the-guinea-pigs movement. They loved him and would squeak anytime they saw him. If they only understood his betrayal, I'm sure they would curse him for 100 lifetimes.

"We gave you our hearts," I'm sure they would say. "And you threw us out without a second glance. Bastard." Then they would collapse in tears and succumb to their grief. That's how I picture it, anyway.

August 23, 2005

New Mac

So here I am fiddling with my new iMac G5, and I'm feeling good. I like getting new computers at work. It makes me happy. Very, very happy. The only thing I hate about going from OS 9 to OS X is that I've got to write in file extensions on all my files so the new computer will recognize the application. Well, not all of them, but a lot of them. Otherwise, it's all good getting to mess around with my super-fast computer. And of course I'm having some driver compatibility problems with devices from my old computer like the scanner and floppy disk drive, but that's the computer person's problem to deal with. At least, that's the way I look at it. And reinstalling my software takes a little time, but other than that everything's OK. And some of my crucial layout fonts from the old computer can't just be dragged from the old file and redumped into the new font folder because the operating system doesn't want to recognize them. But a new computer is still fun. Wait a second, this isn't fun at all. Sure I can play all the music in the world now, but I can't get any of my work done. I still like new computer equipment, but this is a major pain in my ass. Plus I'm right in the middle of laying out an issue and I've got to make the necessary conversions from what I've already got to the stuff I still need to lay out and, well, damn, just screw it then. I'm going to just read blogs for a while.

August 22, 2005

Daily Dancer Interview, Part II

So we've got Daily Dancer back in the studio to answer more of those burning questions that you've just got to know the answer to. As we found out last time, DD's family is unaware of his extracurricular dancing activites and he expands a little futher on why he's not fessed up yet. I think as you continue on with my probing interview, you'll discover DD is a complex and multi-faceted soul yearning for artistic freedom in a cold, harsh world.

KC: So you're nervous about letting your family know about your blog, huh? That's interesting considering that you're basically sharing yourself with the rest of the world. Does it make you nervous just because you think they'd find it silly?

DD: I know it is a bit strange that I don't tell my own family. I guess I am expecting a negative reaction from them and I am just avoiding it. My girlfriend's family knows, though, and they all love it. But, they have always been involved with all kinds of performance. I am really surprised that no one at work has found out, given my popularity. I'm sure they will soon.

KC: Obviously, from reading the comments section on your blog, you've got a true and faithful following. Do you have a name for us? You know, instead of Deadheads, what should we be called?

DD: Ummmm... "my fans"? I never thought of giving a name to these people. It is great, though, that they keep coming back. It keeps me coming back with new dances.

KC: Before launching your dancing blog, what would you say was the most unusual or crazy thing you'd done in your life? Are you generally a person who walks to the beat of their own drum?

DD: Hmm... I don't know. Many things I do would be unusual to others. Like the fact that I label all my new socks (like "L1", "R1", "L2", "R2", etc.). Nothing huge stands out, though.

KC: What's your girlfriend's reaction to the massive popularity of your blog? Will she ever be making a guest appearance? Perhaps a little ballroom dancing?

DD: My girlfriend enjoys it most of the time. She reads my comments every day, just as I do. However, I doubt she will make any guest appearance soon. For now, she enjoys being behind the camera and controlling the music.

KC: If Hollywood decides to make a movie based on your life, who should play you?

DD: If not myself, then Jon Heder (the Napoleon Dynamite guy). He kinda looks like me as well.

KC: Have you ever taken formal dance lessons?

DD: Before starting my blog, I have not taken formal dance lessons, except for the bit of tap I learned from my girlfriend's mom. Recently, I started taking a hip hop class. I am finding it difficult to follow all the choreography, but I'm sure I will get better.

KC: You've already shortened your posts from five to three, do you think you will burn out on the blog eventually? When you started, how long did you think this would be a part of your life?

DD: I am not planning to quit any time soon -- well, as long as people keep coming to see me dance. Three dances a week is working just fine right now. It seems optimal for me. When I started my blog, I thought that I would, most likely, keep it around for a month and then stop. But, I didn't realize that I would actually get the following that I have gotten.

<< previous interview, Part I / next interview, Part III >>

August 21, 2005

Parish picnic day.

Well, another parish picnic has come and gone. Thank God. Planning this thing has become a real thorn in my side because, as I've mentioned in the past, the people in my parish aren't exactly much for participating in church-sponsored activities. So each year, I put less and less effort into it because it really doesn't seem to matter how big or fancy it is, the same families come over and over again. Which is fine, but I'm completely uninvolved emotionally. I just make the phone call, buy the food and get everything where it's got to be. It's alright, I just wish people, in general, felt more invested in the church. Anyway, something really interesting happened to me last night at Wal-Mart when I was picking up a couple of things for the picnic. I head for the restroom and right before I go in, I notice this teenage boy going in to the women's room. So before I actually walk in, I yell in ahead of myself, "This is the women's room," and then I walk in figuring I've given him as much notice as he deserves for being so stupid. Anyway, I walk in and he's in there looking around in a very confused way, I assume because he can't find the urinals. I go up to him and I say again, "This is the women's room."

And then he look's at me and says, "What?"

"This is the women's room," I answer again.

"No it's not," he says while looking directly at the Tampax dispenser.

"Oh yes it is," I laugh. "Go look."

Then he walks out and I hear him say after just enough time for him to have gone out and looked at the sign on the entrance, "Oh."

Anyway, he seemed kind of out of it regardless and he was probably hopped up on something, or just stupid. Either way, it was funny in a really sad kind of way. If you were curious, my bronchitis seems to be clearing up. I forgot to mention that I also have pink eye, and that's clearing up well, too. I don't know who I caught all this from, but they're dead when I find out. I don't think I've ever even had bronchitis before. I've only been taking my cough syrup at night because I made the mistake of taking it at work Friday and I was pretty much a vegetable all day long. I've been having some interesting conversations with my daughter, though, the last few nights as I drift off into my drug-induced coma. It's like I'm aware my mouth is moving and words are coming out, but I have no idea what I'm saying. It's like my husband has some hearing problems and my daughter will ask him a question and he'll answer in a completely inappropriate way.

"Hey, Dad, did you see what I did at school today?"

"Oh yeah, bunny. I think you look really cute in that outfit."

That's probably what the conversations have been like as I drift off to sleep. I also think I've been having weird dreams, but I can't remember them. I just have a feeling they've been really weird.

August 19, 2005

Karaoke Friday, Friday, Friday! Shake hands with the Devil as you race through the gates of Hell.

I'm on the codeine cough syrup right now and it's fun. I went to the doctor today thinking maybe I have Strep, but she seems to think I have bronchitis, so she hooked me up with the controlled substances. I had to show my driver's license to the pharmacist to get my medication. That's kind of cool. Actually, I'm on the codeine, the mucinex and the rhino- something, something nose spray. I'm totally hooked up, man. I don't think I've ever had these many perscriptions in my body. Seriously, my head is rolled off to the side and my eyelids are half closed. I don't even know how I'm managing to type all this right now. I had my cousin's husband adjust my back while we were in DC, so that's good. That's like Sudafed, you can only buy like two boxes at a time and they've got it behind the pharmacy counter so you can't buy as many boxes as you want. It's because of the meth problem here. It's backwater country here so all the trash can think to do is make that dirty shit out in the woods. Why is it when they bust meth labs there's always like five two-year-olds running around the joint? That's messed up, you know. It's like in Trainspotters when the one baby dies because they're all a bunch of heroin jinkies. How can you say you love your child and make meth in the next room? Anyway, why am I posting right now? Oh yeah, the karaoke thing. Today's song isn't exactly what I would call one of my favorite songs of all time but it is the song I consider my personal theme song, if people could have their own theme song playing as they walk down the street, that is. It's Sheryl Crow's Strong. Also, what's with Sheryl Crow and Lance Armstrong. You know, I can't quite respect him because his wife goes through all his chemo and everything with him and has his kids and he just leaves them. I'm sure they billed it up as an "amicable" split, but you can't tell me she didn't play a damn major part is saving his life and now he's running around with Sheryl Crow. Wasn't she having an affair with Eric Clapton when he was still married? I only have Sheryl Crow's first album because I didn't like her songs as much after that album, but my daughter loves that Soak Up the Sun song. She sings to it everytime she hears it. My husband is downstairs watching TV right now. He said I was snoring really loudly last night but I totally don't believe him. Why does Tara Reid get paid money to be the drunken slutbag that she is? It's like people weren't getting to see it for free before E! stuck her on television. I'm sure her parents are so proud to see her up on the small screen with her fucked-up lipo stomach and fake boobs, chugging down bottles of Dom. This is the best we can do in the way of female role models? You know, I always wanted to one of the reporters on E! I want to be the person who does the "up close and personal" celebrity interviews because I'd ask them real questions. Like Eminem, I'd just straight up ask him why he hates women and is it because he really wants to have sex with his mother. It would be my test to see who really has balls. If you answer the questions, you're OK. If you don't answer the questions, then you're a prick.

this is an audio post - click to play

August 18, 2005

Daily Dancer Interview, Part I

Hi folks. Today I've got a very special interview with that blogosphere booty-shaking phenom Daily Dancer. He took some time out of his rigorous dancing schedule to answer a few questions and open up a bit to you, his adoring audience. What you see below are just the first set of questions I've sent his way, and I've currently got a second batch out as I speak. I hope to be able to bring a multi-part interview that will bring to light the enigma that is Daily Dancer.

KC: What prompted you to throw caution to the wind and put up videos of yourself dancing on the internet?

DD: Around Christmas 2004, my girlfriend and I were at a friend's house. Our friend was showing us her great DJ-ing skill, and I started dancing, as I love to do. My girlfriend, with her brand new digital camera, started filming. We showed the video to some friends, who thought I should start making videos for the web. Over the next few months, I started planning my site. And on May 19, 2005, after taking advantage of a great launch opportunity (the Contagious Media Showdown), I started sharing my passion for dancing with the world.

KC: Are your friends and family aware of your blog? If so, what are their reactions to it? If not, why haven't you told them?

DD: My family does not know yet. I am not sure what to expect as a reaction. My brother and sister have always wanted me to act "cool", and me dancing is not "cool" to them. So, they may not approve. If I ever become a guest on a talk show or something, I will reveal my blog to them at that time.

KC: After watching your videos, it's hard to imagine you have much shame. However, what do you consider embarrassing and what was your most embarrassing moment in life?

DD: That's a tricky question. I cannot remember any embarrassing moment off hand. However, I may feel a little embarrassed the first time I get recognized by a fan in public or when my family or co-workers find out. It is certainly easier to dance in the safety of my own living room, as opposed to out in public. On a recent trip to San Francisco, I recorded several in-public dances, which were fun.

KC: What were your original expectations for your blog? Did you think it would take off as it has?

DD: I did not think it would take off so fast. I knew many people would find it amusing (I even love watching myself dance). However, I had thought that it would get some hits for about a month and then die off.

KC: What have been some of the more bizarre reactions people have had to your blog?

DD: Well, some people completely hate it and think I am sick. But others follow my blog religiously, saying that they cannot live without their daily dance. I disappointed many people when I dropped down to three dances a week, but I felt that was something I needed to do to preserve my energy. Probably the most touching reaction I have gotten was when a family sent me a picture their 4-year old girl had drawn. It was after I fulfilled their "Chicken Dance" request, and it was a picture, in crayon, of myself and her.

KC: Would you chuck your programming work if you could have the opportunity to make a living from your dancing?

DD: I would not want to "chuck my programming work", as I love software development so much. However, if I could make a living from my dancing, I would be able to leave my current job and have time to work on my own projects, programming or otherwise.

KC: Who are your dancing inspirations?

DD: My dancing inspirations are characters like Napoleon Dynamite, who are geeks like myself, but don't let that stop them from sharing their passions for dancing.

next interview, Part II >>

August 17, 2005

Who's my match?

Everytime I see the eHarmony commerical, I want to do their test just to see what it says because they play like they've got the entire human psyche as it affects relationships thing figured out. So I went and took it, and here's what it says about me. Unfortunately, since I'm married, the eHarmony folks told me to not count on them sending any matches my way any time soon. They don't want to be party to busting up a good thing.

By analyzing your answers to the Relationship Questionnaire we have created the following Personality Profile. Everyone has a set of subconscious wants and desires that drive their choices and attitudes. By asking you questions about a wide range of emotional issues, this report has established general patterns in your values.

Some of the following information may seem inaccurate or incomplete. Remember, that this profile is a snapshot of your personality at a specific moment. It is not intended as an in-depth analysis of your complete being, but as a tool to aid in self-discovery.

  • You love challenges and competition. Those who know you may consider you to be a high risk-taker.

  • You respect those who win out against the odds and show persistence. You set high goals for yourself and others.

  • You love challenges and competition. At the same time, you must realize and appreciate that others may not share your zest for challenges and competition.

  • You have a natural enthusiasm for the activities you prefer. Because of your enthusiasm, you may forget that others have different wants and needs.

  • In social situations, you prefer variety, adventure and the unusual. You may lose interest if you feel a situation is becoming routine. As a result, you must be kept busy and involved with making things happen.

  • You will take issue and not shy away from confrontation when others disagree with how you feel or think.
Each person has a unique way of communicating. We use a combination of body language, facial expression, verbal tone and word choice to share ourselves with others. The following statements offer a look at the natural behavior you bring to an interpersonal relationship.
  • Having a variety of results at stake brings out the best in you. Your great strength is in directing yourself and others toward specific activities results.

  • Not having a climate of challenges and competition may cause you to create such a climate. You perform best under pressure, and may assume that others want the same...your assumption is not always true.
Improving Communication
Many different factors determine the communication styles with which you are most comfortable. Some individuals thrive on the challenge of pointed criticism, while others are at their best in a nurturing environment where criticism is offered as a suggestion for improvement. Each of us has a unique set of requirements and preferences. Below is a list of communication styles that will mesh well with your own. Having a partner who understands and practices these traits is important to your long-term happiness.
  • Flatter ego.

  • Be precise about the use of time for an active and busy person.

  • Present ideas logically--be efficient.

  • Prepare for demanding questions, and perhaps objections.

  • Be on time.

  • Ask specific questions--preferably "WHAT" questions.

  • Expect some resistance if you don't get your way.

  • Look for details that might get ignored.

  • Support results, not the person, if you agree.

  • Motivate and persuade by referring to objectives and RESULTS.
Following are some of the specific strengths and/or personal characteristics that you bring to a relationship. These may form the foundations of many of your friendships and dealings with other people. Some will seem obvious, but you may be surprised by others. Take a moment to reflect on each and consider what role it may have played in your past successes, and even failures.
  • You tend to give others a sense of self-reliance and strength in a relationship.

  • You tend to approach problems in a creative way.

  • You tend to be self-reliant and not enjoy relying solely on others.

  • You tend to have a strong sense of what is "right."

  • You tend to be tenacious about solving problems, not liking to give up until something is resolved.

  • You generally don't like to back away from a challenge.

  • You enjoy situations where you can demonstrate your skill or mastery of a subject.

  • You are a big thinker with big plans and a big image that usually carries through.

  • You are passionate about your ideals.

  • You like to resolve issues well the first time, and then move on.
n general, human beings are defined by their needs and individuals by their wants. Your emotional wants are especially important when establishing with whom you are compatible. While answering the Relationship Questionnaire you established a pattern of basic, subconscious wants. This section of the report was produced by analyzing those patterns. Our wants change as we mature and obtain our life goals. You may find it valuable to revisit this section periodically to see how your wants have changed.

You may want:

  • Time to adjust to change.

  • Others to "catch up" to your speed of doing things.

  • Others to adhere to your high standards.

  • Others to behave with the same sense of urgency.

  • Many activities, so there is never a dull moment.

  • A variety of activities.

  • As much travel as possible: short trips, long trips and excursions.

  • Recognition for your concern for quality relationships.

  • Others to work and play as hard as you do.

  • Security and safety procedures around the house: fire safety, smoke detectors, electronic security systems, etc.

  • Freedom from boredom and routine.

  • Freedom from pressure to perform or to act quickly without precedent.

School is back in session.

So today is my daughter's first day back to school and so far, so good. I did notice that the dreaded Gabby is in her class. That's what happens when you wish for not so nice things, they land right in your lap. My husband asked about Gabby this morning while we were eating breakfast and our daughter again said she didn't want her in the class because she's her arch enemy. My husband said, "You're to young to have an arch enemy." And our daughter said, "OK, well maybe not my arch enemy, but she's still my regular enemy."

This will be an exciting year because this is when the kiddies learn cursive writing, which has my daughter all a flutter. Actually, I totally understand her excitement. I couldn't wait to learn cursive writing either when I was young. I only knew how to do a cursive capital "L," so I'd write it over and over and over again and feel very proud about it.

"Is learning cursive writing really hard?" my daughter asked this morning.

"Uh, not any harder than learning regular writing," I told her.

For me, once I learned cursive writing, that meant all adult secrets and knowledge were open to me. There was nothing that was inaccessible to me anymore once I knew cursive. Anyway, that's what I figured would be the case when I was little. I was surprised to learn that they start cursive writing in second grade now. I remember we didn't learn it until third grade. The times they are a changin', yes sirree.

Man, I'm noticing my ears are hurting. I hope I'm not getting an ear infection or something. That's all I need right now. My husband has been talking a lot about wanting to move to Montana lately. I think he's just sick of being here, which I totally understand. I'm sick of being here too. It would be a nice change to move somewhere new. I get the heebie jeebies anyway after being in one place too long. Side effect of being an Army brat, it's hard to think of life in terms of permanence because everything's just a pit stop until the next thing comes up.

August 16, 2005

Last day of summer vacation and I'm sick

It's of course my daughter's last day of summer vacation. We working slobs don't get no stinking summer vacation. I'm IMing my sister right now. I think she's reading the blog as I type. She said she laughed at me singing Tori Amos. That's OK. I had wanted to do a family karaoke taping while I was home, but we never had the time so it must wait until another time, alas. I'm sick. I caught something from someone in DC. My throat hurts and I'm coughing a bit. It pretty much sucks. I forgot to mention how excited my daughter was to be home after six weeks away. She ran around the house for five minutes singing, "I'm home, I'm home." And then she asked if she could play her Gameboy. She's like her mom, not much for sentimentality, but huge on pragmatism. I asked her who she hopes is in her class tomorrow and she said, "I don't know, I just hope Gabby's not in my class." Gabby is, as my daughter calls it, her arch enemy. This title hails way back to kindergarten when my precious girl and Gabby nearly came to fisticuffs over whether or not my daughter's jigging was actually Irish dancing. I think Gabby takes lessons in the sort of dancing one sees in Riverdance, which I think of as clogging, and didn't think my daughter's attempts at jigging as she sees performed by leprechauns on television fit the bill. My daughter was, of course, outraged by Gabby's accusations and has never forgotten this huge offense to her pride. For a while I thought my daughter had gotten over it because she said that she offered a truce to Gabby and was going to put the entire thing behind her, but then first grade started and my daughter quickly abandoned the fragile peace when she realized what a "girly girl" Gabby is. I've tried to get my daughter to not pay much attention to Gabby but, unfortunately, my daughter is the type who focuses on the one person who doesn't get along with her instead of concentrating on the many number of other people who do get along with her. I figure I've just got to let things happen as they will because I'm out of clever life lessons to help her understand why it isn't worth the energy to waste time on people who don't enhance your own life. Granted, she's only seven, but I hope she gets it sooner than later.

August 15, 2005

I'm Back.

Hiya. I'm back, as I'm sure you've guessed by the fact that you're reading this post. We got back yesterday and now it's back to normal life. No rest for the weary as they say. Anyway, the wedding was very nice, although the ceremony itself took place outside on what had to be the most humid and hottest day in DC all year long. The only thing I can say about that is thank God it only lasted about 30 minutes and thank God the reception was inside. Everyone in the wedding party was sweating during the ceremony, as I'm sure all the guests were. I was sweating for sure. Then I had to feel sorry for my brother and new sister-in-law because they had to stay outside while the photographer took their pictures. It was so hot and humid, people were getting angry when they had to go outside for their pictures. I know because I got angry when I had to go outside for pictures. I don't know how they did it. And then one of my uncles (by marriage, I'm not claiming him by blood, that's for sure) did nothing but complain and make rude comments while the photographer got everyone situated for the family shot. Finally, I was like, "Shut up and smile." Everyone was miserable, but acting like it's the photographer's fault that it was hotter than Hades is just stupid. The man's getting paid to do a job, he wants to do it right.

You know, weddings and family get togethers in general just have a way of bringing out the worst in people. It's not possible to get that many people together and not have sparks fly. My most difficult moment came when every God-damned person in my mom's family came over to get ready at my mom's house before the wedding. First of all, they all had hotel rooms. I don't know why they thought coming over to my mother's house to shower and dress and do hair and make-up was a good idea. They've got a big house, but not big enough for 25 people to get ready at the same time. That pissed me off royally. I claimed the powder room as soon as I saw the people streaming in and locked the door so no one could come in, and I stayed locked in until I was finished. Then one of my aunts complained that I took too long and why did I stay in there and I was like, "Look, if I didn't do what I did, there is no way I would have gotten ready in time. I'm not feeling your pain right now." But seriously, explain the sense in all those people coming over. You can't because there is none. I wished I was the one who had a hotel room because I would have high-tailed it out of there faster than Speedy Gonzales to get ready. Then my sister rented a strech limo to take the immediate family to the wedding (which was extremely nice of her), but then other relatives tried to cram in with us and my parents aren't going to be rude and tell them to get the hell out, so we're all squished in like sardines and because of all the people in there, it never cooled down (it was an hour drive to the wedding site), so instead of being a relaxing drive, it was hot and uncomfortable, plus the kids all wanted to drink the soda in the limo, which we didn't want them to do becuase they'd definitely spill it all over their clothes and then they were all crying and complaining about that and it was pretty much hell on the drive over. If I had a stick with me, I would have beat the snot out of all of them, and I'm talking about mine too. They were all pissy.

But the wedding went off well in the end. My brother cried a little when he said his vows, which was sweet. Of course everyone cried, expect me because I'm a cold bitch, but it was still touching. And I'm happy to have a new sister. I'll post a couple of pictures once I get them developed. If I had a digital camera, I could show you right now, but I don't, so I can't.

I got busted while on vacation. My husband found my stash of Trimspa tablets. I've been taking them for about a month and half, but I've hidden them because my husband threated to flush any diet pills I bring home. Anyway, I keep them in my gym bag and he found them when he was packing up the car to leave DC. He got all irrate about it and I yelled at him for invading my privacy. Then my dad got on my case and said my husband should beat me for buying diet pills. I only take one a day to kind of suppress the appetite a bit. It's not like I'm even taking close to the recommended dosage. They recommend a minimum of three pills a day. I would have told you all about the Trimspa much sooner, but my husband reads my blog, so I didn't want him to know. But now the cat's out of the bag, so I'm on the Trimspa and while I can say it does help with controllling appetite, I can't say I'm noticing any major weight loss. Of course, I'm not taking as many as they say you should, so I guess I shouldn't be too surprised about that.

August 11, 2005

Karaoke Thursday. (I'm on vacation, cut me some slack.)

OK, here I am singing 10,000 Maniacs Eat for Two.

this is an audio post - click to play

Vacation update

So, things are going pretty much the way you'd expect during a massive family get together. My brother's wedding rehearsal and dinner is tonight. I'm doing one of the readings which I completely forgot about until last night. Goes to show you how much I've been thinking about it. Then tomorrow is the wedding and it will all be over. It's been a good trip, but there have been some tense moments. I don't think it's possible to have a family together without some tense moments, but it's still a pain in the ass when they come up. They've the normal sort of things, parents and kids basically getting on each other's nerves. Old disappointments and hurts rehashed yet again. Same old story. Everyone is downstairs while my mom makes breakfast. Today is a busy day picking up relatives flying in and that sort of thing. Anyway, that's about it. I probably won't post again until Monday, so see you then. Oh wait, I do have a karaoke post for this week, so I'm going to post that early since I won't have time to do it tomorrow. See, I'm always thinking about you guys. I'm just that kind of girl.

August 05, 2005

Karaoke Friday

This week's song is one of my favorite Tori Amos songs. True story, a girl I used to work with at the National Institutes of Health had a big sister who went to high school with Tori Amos and my friend always talked about how much better a singer her sister is, which I'll take her word on since I never ever did get a chance to hear her sister sing. However, I know her sister used to (probably still does) sing with a trio that performed every year at the Maryland Renaissance Festival. They were buxom wenches who sang bawdy tavern songs. I think that may have been the name of their group, Buxom Wenches Who Sing Bawdy Tavern Songs. If you ever get the chance to attend the Maryland Renaissance Festival, do it. It's a lot of fun and the roasted turkey legs are super good. Mmmm, turkey legs. Anyway, here's me singing Silent All These Years.

this is an audio post - click to play

My husband and I are heading to DC later in the day for my brother's wedding, which is next Friday. So I may or may not be posting much next week. It all depends on how busy we are and/or how bored I am at any given moment. But I'm soooo excited to be seeing my little girl. I sure am missing the little tax deduction.

You know you're Korean if...

1. The furniture in your house never matches the wallpaper, the carpet, the decorations or any of the rest of the furniture, and all the pictures on your walls are free calanders from the Korean dry cleaners.
2. You have rocks, sticks, leaves, deer antlers, and strange smelling, unknown substances in your pantry for use in medicine. You own a rice cooker or two.
3. You buy soy sauce by the gallon.
4. Your family owns butcher knives bigger than your head.
5. You live with your Hal-moh-nee.
6. You parents own a liquor store, dry cleaner, or some kind of discount store.
7. You drive a lowered, fixed up Integra, eclipse, or some kind of Honda.
8. You never tip over 15%.
9. You hate Denny's, even though you go there 24-7.
10. You love Sanrio stuff.
11. You have a pager.
12. You do that twirling thing with you pen.
13. You always have a box of Sapporo Ichiban ramyun or Yook-eh-jang.
14. Even though your family isn't super rich, you own a Mercedes or Lexus.
15. You bring home all A's and one B, and your parents yell, "Why did you get a B?"
16. There is a 75% chance that you'll marry someone with the same last name .
17. White people always say, "Say my name in Korean!"
18. When you have a family gathering, 50 little kids are running around your house, and YOU have to entertain them.
19. You can't stand Margaret Cho
20. When the bill comes, you practically beat each other up- saying that YOU'LL pay for the bill.
21. When you were in Junior High, you were either a nerd or a little "kkang ppeh" wannabe.
22. Your parents say, "The reason why we came to America was so that you could get a good education, so go to Harvard."
23. You either have to be a doctor, lawyer, or some big-time business tycoon.
24. Your parents say, "1600 isn't that hard... just study."
25. When some mega-mega nerd student is in the Korean newspaper, your parents say, "why can't you be like him?"
26. If you're a guy, then you always have to put up with the "20 questions" game when you call a girl if her parents answer but if you're smart, you ask, "Um hello? Is Bob there?
27. No matter how well your parents speak English, they can't say "wood."
28. Your dad hits you in the head with his knuckle, and it hurts REALLY REALLY bad.
29. Your parent's idea of a social life is church.
30. You have a container full of Kim-Chee in your fridge right now.
31. You own a pair of BYC socks.
32. You or your parents start singing when drunk.
33. You have the Asian decals stuck to your car.
34. Your parents are still shorter than you.
35. You call a Korean older than you "Oppah" or "noona."
36. You make daily stops to the local "Hello Kitty" store.
37. You know the "san-toki" song.
38. Your dad owns plaid pants.
39. You or your parents hand wash underwear.
40. "No-Rae Bang" is a common household word.
41. There's a bottle of Soju in your parents' fridge.
42. Your main source of income is New Years.
43. Your parents think anything goes with rice.
44. The rice you eat can stick to anything.
45. You can't believe your parents could have conceived children.
46. Your parents still spank you, even when you move out.
47. Failing a class means finding a new place to live.
48. Your mom rents Korean soap operas and watches them daily.
49. You have naked baby pictures of you.
50. Your parents read the labels of everything to see if it was made in Korea.
51. When you were little, relatives used to grab your genitals or breasts.
52. Your parents yell out your Korean name REAL loud in public places.
53. Ramen is the fifth food group.
54. You have to translate for your parents when ordering fast food.
55. Your parents are afraid of black people.
56. Your parents bought a gun after the L.A. riots.
57. Your parents used to cut your hair Okidoki.
58. You tell your parents you need to buy glue for school, but they reply, "just use rice!"
59. Your parent's idea of a social life is church.
60. People ask, "Hey, show me some Jackie Chan moves!".
61. When someone points you out, they say "that one Chinese girl (or guy)."
62. Your parents were ecstatic when the 88 Olympics were held in Korea.
63. You know how to do the "kimchi squat."
64. If you're a guy- you talk about fixing up the car that you will never have.
65. Even though you can't watch TV, your parents rent a million Korean videos and watch them continuously for hours on end.
66. Your parents took the TV out of the house.
67. Your mom sings chan-son-gahs (hymns) while driving.
68. Your grandmother sings chan-son-gahs really loud, while pounding her thigh, which is TOTALLY off beat.
69. You have a million black leather bibles.
70. Even though your parents are die-hard Christians, they don't want you getting TOO involved with church.
71. When you ask your parents if you can go out, they either reply "No" or "hmph" which means yes.
72. You go out two Fridays in a row, and they yell that you go out too much.
73. You have one of those silver kimhi-ttongs with buckles on the sides.
74. You have a gazillion small containers in your fridge with a different ban-chan inside. but even though it smells pretty raunchy, you still eat it.
75. When an Asian girl with a white guy (or vice versa) walks by, your parents STARE at them with their eyes popping out.
76. When you go to buffets, your parents make you eat until you think you're going to hurl, and even after you do, they say, "good, eat more."
77. Your parents yell at you for being short, but they're the ones that gave you the short genes.
78. Your parents raise their hand as if they're going to hit you, and you totally shudder, shrinking back.
79. The main reason why you want to go to college out of state is that you can get away from your parents.
80. When you go to church retreats, you long for some good ol' Korean cooking.
81. You have the ability to tell the different Asians apart (i.e. Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese).
82. You go to American restaurants, and your dad eats really wide and rudely, so you put your head down while whispering, "apppaaahhhhh stooopp!"
83. Your parents make you work at their business (i.e. liquor store, cleaners, discount store).
84. You bring home a white friend, and your parents immediately think that he/she sleeps around, uses drugs, and parties 24-7.
85. Your parents have absolutely no color sense, wearing totally mismatched clothes.
86. Your parents verbally abuse you, even when joking around.
87. Your parents never attended your Back to School Night or Open House at school.
88. Your mom is the BEST cook!
89. When your mom hears or watches something sad, she'll make this repeated sound really fast like "tte" a million times a minute.
90. When you're sick, your mom will pinch inside of your elbow REALLY hard, saying you have a digestion problem or something.
91. Your parents were supposed to get a divorce many times, but they never did for the children's sake, financial problems, or simply because,
"what would we tell church people?"
92. Your parents will be helping you with a math problem, but when you get something wrong, they'll start yelling and swearing at you so loud, as if you just committed some deadly crime.
93. Summer does not mean playtime to your parents. Summer means-bust out those workbooks so you can get ahead in class!
94. Kumon is a household word.
95. Whenever guests come over, your parents make you whip out your
violin/piano skills.
96. When guests are leaving your house, you have to stand outside your house saying bye to them, not to mention bowing a gazillion times.
97. You'll go to a movie with your parents, and afterwards, they'll say "I don't understand."
98. Your parents never participated in the "American" traditions of Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, or the Tooth Fairy. You'll say, "Where's Santa Claus?" and they'll reply, "Santa Claus! Ptch! He's dead!" And then you'll start crying.
99. When you had your first loose tooth, your parents promised to not to pull it out but just to LOOK at it, but when they did, they just yanked the baby out.
100. You'll buy a shirt full price, and your parents will yell, "What! You could have bought that for $2 at the swap meet!"
101. You're going out with a friend and your parents need to know their name, where they live, their phone #, what their parents do for a living, what kind of grades they get, what they got on their SATs, how they dress, if they go to church, and if they're male or female.
102. After you're get off the phone with someone from the opposite sex, your parents will start interrogating you about that person (except the last one). You'll talk to someone from the opposite sex two days in a row, and your parents immediately think there's something going on.
103. You bring home straight As, and your parents say, "So? You're supposed to get that!"
104. When I was in Korea...."
105. When you get a car, the only places you're supposed to go is school, the library, and maybe the grocery store to do grocery shopping for them.
106. When the doorbell rings, your parents get ALL suspicious and prohibit you from answering it. When they do answer it, they'll open the crack like 1 centimeter and speak through that. And if it's a salesperson, they'll slam the door screaming, "we no interest!"
107. Your mom will laugh with her hand covering her mouth.
108. You'll be somewhere with your boyfriend/girlfriend, and then you'll see an adult from church, so you immediately start freaking out.
109. You had to miss out on Saturday morning cartoons as a child, attending dreaded Korean School.
110. While on long car trips, your parents will get bored, so they'll think about something that bugs them, and start bugging you. (i.e., Why is your room so messy! Why do you always fight with your siblings! Why do you always go out so much!)
111. You have a mini-van which your mom drives.
112. Your parents will be yelling at you (or each other) and in the middle of all the raucus, will close the windows so that the neighbors won't hear.
113. You never feed your dog dog food but all your leftovers.
114. You'll be cooking kalbi outside, and neighbors will ask what the aroma is.
115. You think EVERYTHING is racial, like if someone is mildly rude to you.
116. When a fixed up Japanese car drives by, you can't help but look to see who's driving.
117. You go to church retreats to meet people from the opposite sex.

August 04, 2005

I've blown my wad.

I feel like I spend so much time commenting on other people's blogs that I sort of run out of steam by the time I get around to posting on my own blog. I find it really interesting how you can engage in so many conversations so quickly through commenting. I guess everyone is excited for this Jennifer Aniston interview to come out tomorrow to find out the "truth" behind the break-up. When I was little I always wanted to be famous. Actually, I still want to be famous, but I've really got to wonder about its price. I'm not a particularly secretive person, but if I'm divorcing my husband, I really don't think I'd want the entire world to know the fine details behind the breakdown of my marriage. I know people say if you don't want to be a public figure, then don't go into a profession with a lot of public exposure, but being famous doesn't mean you're not allowed to have some privacy. It doesn't mean people all of a sudden have a right to stick their noses into your business anymore than they do with the guy down the street. I'll admit I enjoy reading celebrity gossip, but I wouldn't mind if I had access to less of the "juicy" details if it means the celebrities in questioned are allowed to take a dump in peace. It's just the little things in life, that's all.

August 03, 2005

It's all about the colon.

Lately, my husband and I have been trying to eat healthier, so we try to go with more organic foods and whole grains and all that other good stuff. We have two small health food markets in town and what amazes me when we go into them is the number of "colon-cleansing" products that are available. Seriously, I want to know what the connection between healthy living and colon cleansing is. I assume these products are laxatives. Is that really the key to good health, shitting all day? I mean the number of pills, powders and mixes intended for cleaning out the plumbing suggests an obsession for some to me. Just like these celebrities that do the whole colonics thing. That's just weird. Unless you've got something really lodged in good up there, I don't see a need for therapeutic enemas. And why is is always Hollywood types that buy into all this stuff? What about being a celebrity makes you want to try this?

August 02, 2005

Failed experiment

I tried to be tricky and see if I could upload my song files using Blogger's new picture upload function so I wouldn't have to store the files on my own server. It failed. I guess the Blogger picture function will only recognize image extensions. At least, that's what I'm guessing. But really, who knows? As usual, we're leaving for my brother's wedding in a couple of days and I still haven't finished my daughter's dress. I'm almost finished and it won't be a problem getting it done before I leave, but it's so typical of me. I've been procrastinating and using up the entire month I had instead of just doing it in the couple of days it would actually have taken if I'd just focused. What's that theory about using the amount of time you have to finish a job instead of using the time it actually takes? I can't remember the name of it. I can officially say I am very excited to be seeing my little girl. This week as been the real week of missing her. Everything up until now has been pretty easy, but I am really missing her today. You would think when you've got a break from your kid you'd take full advantage of it and just forget about them for a little while, but my husband and I still spend lots of time talking about our daughter even though she's not here. We basically tell each other the things she said when we talk to her on the phone and whatnot. Don't get me wrong, though. I have thoroughly enjoyed the downtime. There's definitely something to be said for only having to look out for oneself. I don't have to worry about my husband because he's an adult and can take of himself, so that's just been leaving me to myself. It is kind of like being on vacation. My husband and I have been using paper plates the entire time our daughter has been gone because somehow we're under the illusion that we just don't have to try as hard with life while she's out of town. Which is interesting because that's the sort of thing you'd expect the kid to do when the parents are away. "Woohoo, they're out of here, I'm only using paper plates so there are no dishes for me." Last night my husband said he didn't think we needed to go back to normal plates just because our daughter was coming home, but I put the kabosh on that pretty quickly. If we're too lazy when she's around, then she'll turn out lazy and God knows I don't want that happening.

August 01, 2005

Wedding Crashers will make you laugh so hard you pee your pants.

And that's the truth, straight up. As you can guess, my husband and I went to watch Wedding Crashers over the weekend and I have not laughed harder at a movie in my entire life. It's just so funny. I was seriously wiping the tears from my eyes I was laughing so hard. Granted, it's a crude kind of funny, but that's just how I like it. So go watch it. However, one thing that happened when we were leaving the movie was that we noticed a mother and father with their two children also leaving the movie. The kids looked to be anywhere between 10 and 12 to me. Wedding Crashers is an R-rated movie. It has cursing and nudity. I've said it before and I'm going to say it again, I do not understand parents who take their children to watch crazily inappropriate movies. Even as an adult, I wouldn't want to watch Wedding Crashers with my parents because I'd be afraid to know which parts they laugh at. There are some things about your parents' sexual knowledge that you just shouldn't know about. And seeing them laugh over the "just the tip" line would be way too much for me. Anyway, I certainly cannot imagine taking my own daughter to watch a movie like Wedding Crashers. Like there aren't enough things out in popular culture I've to keep away from my daughter, I'm going to shove her right into the middle of the crassest of it. I wonder if a lot of parents today even know what's age-appropriate anymore. This is one thing I can say with complete certainty: if the movie's got loose titties and hand-jobs, it's not what you would call a family film.

Speaking of family films, however, we also went to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory two weeks ago and that was alright. I'm not a huge fan of the original movie (which I also think is just alright) and I can say that this version didn't inspire me any more than the first. Have I already talked about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? I can't remember. Although, I do remember wanting to get a big ole chocolate bar after watching the movie, which I did. I don't know what it is about watching kids unwrap a beautiful bar of chocolate, but it makes me want one.

Does anyone watch Celebrity Fit Club on VH1? My husband likes this show, so we've been watching it and I have to just ask what in the hell is wrong with Willie Aames? They showed him going off the deep-end last night because they sent someone to his house to help him work out. He was pounding his door and generally acting like a major ass. Then he hoses down the exercise guy. Willie Aames is crazy as far as I can tell. Then he started yelling at Harvey about respect and I don't know how sending someone to your house to exercise shows disrespect, but I'm sure the dots all connect for Willie in some way. But isn't Willie Aames supposed to be all born again now? Why is he flipping out? Doesn't seem like he's gotten much peace from his religion. Watching Toccara do her pole dancing was pretty funny because she couldn't keep herself up on the pole. I'd like to try that one time just to see how hard it is to spin around that thing.