May 30, 2006

Where have all the marshmallows gone?

Had an impromptu barbeque over the weekend and we could not find a bag of regular marshmallows anywhere. Who knew Memorial Day meant such a marshmallow run. I told my husband to pick up a bag from the grocery store and he came back and said there were four empty shelves where the marshmallows should have been, but that was it. There were plenty of bags of miniature marshmallows, but you can't roast those unless you're a gnat or something similarly as small. So I said that we'd pick up a bag at the drugstore across the street after church. My husband goes in and comes out sans marshmallows. "They were out," he said. WTF? Then came the crucial moment of truth. How badly did I need the marshmallows to actually drive around to more stores? We were already out of luck at two for two. I wanted those marshmallows. I'm not going to lie. But how much driving around was I willing to do? In the end, no more. I went without the marshmallows, but I'm still thinking about them. They haunt me.

May 26, 2006

Girls just want to have karaoke.

I don't consider myself a huge Cindy Lauper fan or anything, but I am fond of several of her songs. I like this song a lot. Here I am singing Time After Time. Hope you all have a good holiday weekend.

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May 25, 2006

Back to the barn.

OK, tonight some of the officers for the ghost trackers group are going back to the barn where the spirit with the black hat and all was cast out because the single-toothed psychic I will call Scruffy had a disturbing dream about the barn. Anyway, as the story goes, the dream woke him up and he went to take a shower and when he got out of the shower, he saw the message, "There are always two," written in the steam on his mirror. This is not part of the dream. Supposedly, that really happened. Scruffy thinks there an elemental called Malice living in the barn and that now that Black Hat is gone, Malice has nothing to hold it back. So they're going to go check it out. I wish I could go, but only officers can go. I guess they don't want us newbies mucking up the hunt. Anyway, my husband is concerned because if anything is out there, it's a demon and he thinks we're crazy for getting involved in anything that could introduce us to that kind of evil, and he's probably right. But there's just something in me that makes me want to see what happens. It's especially creepy to me because those books I read by Fr. Amorath explains that demons don't have names, but rather go by monikers such as Malice or Despair or Anger or what have you. I told my friend who is going to take a gallon of holy water with her and douse the hell out of whatever she sees.

May 24, 2006

Ghost busters apparently are freaks.

Had lunch yesterday with a couple of friends, both of whom do the ghost busting thing. One of the gals filled me in on the background of some of the other ghost hunters and it would seem they are not as benign as they appeared to me. One's a womanizer, one suffers from multiple personality disorder, a couple of others are evil, hateful bitches with souls as black as coal, and yet another is a psychic with only one tooth. Interesting bunch. Anyway, learning about these storied pasts makes me more interested in watching these people. Probably even more interested than watching for ghosts. Unfortunately, I'm going to be out of town the weekend of the next hunt, so I'll have to wait two months before I can analyze these people. I'm actually interested to see what happens with the split personality person because I think it would be fascinating to witness something like that. I'm probably treating this too much like a spectator viewing a freakish sideshow, but, damn, this is going to be better than Jerry Springer show.

May 22, 2006

Ghost hunt, the second.

Went on my second ghost hunt over the weekend to this farm in a town called Goshen. This farm is an ongoing investigation site for the Indiana Ghost Trackers and the group went there with a psychic and paranormal investigator named Rob Conover. He had come and made a presentation earlier in the day, and then investigated this farm himself. The very basic history of the place is that there's a long history of murder and mayhem. The farm is over a hundred years old, although it's no longer a functional farm. A woman owns the property and lives on it, but doesn't work it. We went into the barn where a lot of activity supposedly takes place. It's also a place where a lot of "sensitives" report feeling a presence. I didn't experience anything myself. I was freaked out at some points when it came to going inside darkened rooms, but I think that had more to do with me freaking myself out. Anyway, Rob the investigator said he saw a man in black clothes and a black hat and that he didn't much like a couple of the people with the group who were "sensitive." The presence isn't nice according to people who say they feel it. Again, I didn't feel anything because I am apparently frigid when it comes to ghosts. I took pictures and got some with orbs in them similar to the cemetary pictures I took on my last hunt, but from what I have been told, most of the time those orbs tend to be dust or something like that. I didn't get anything particularly interesting. Rob supposedly sent this spirit into the light after talking to it for awhile. Rob said the ghost was afraid of what God was going to do to him because of the violence he had committed against the people and animals of the farm. I can't confirm or deny any of this because I didn't see, hear or feel anything. Once again, I am apparently frigid. Anyway, I had a good time and I'm still planning on going ghost hunting. The people are all fun and it's nice way to get out of the house.

May 19, 2006

It's all karaoke Talk Talk

When I was in high school I really liked the band Talk Talk and I loved their song It's My Life. In fact, I got their tape as booty in a battle of love. I dated a boy for a couple of weeks the summer before my senior year in high school. He ended up dumping me without any explanation, but he didn't do it before he accidently left his copy of Talk Talk in my glovebox. When I discovered it there a couple of weeks after "The Dumping," I asked my father if I should call him to tell him it was in my car and that he could come get it. My father's response was, "Hell, no." He told me that tape was mine now, so I kept it and enjoyed many listening hours. It's funny how it makes you feel better knowing that the dumper lost something, too. Even if it was only a cassette tape. Anyway, here I am sing No Doubt's version of It's My Life.

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May 18, 2006

Say Cheese! or How I Landed in the Orthodontic Poorhouse

It has begun: my daugther's money-sucking journey into orthodontia. I took her to the orthodontist yesterday for a consultation at the recommendation of her normal dentist because my daughter has a little jaw and big teeth. Well, at least her permanent teeth are big, as has been evidenced by the fact that the dentist has had to pull our roughly four baby teeth in addition to the five that came out on their own to accomodate her overly large chompers. Her dentist thinks she'll need to have some pre-braces work to shorten the time she'll actually require braces once her permanent teeth are in. At any rate, we're going to be putting in a lower lingual holding arch this summer. This is supposed to keep her teeth in place to help maintain space as her permanent teeth come in. Here's an explanation of this device that I just copied and pasted from off some orthodontic site:
A lower lingual holding arch is a space maintainer for the lower teeth. It maintains the molars where they are, it does not move them. This is fabricated by placing bands on the molars and connecting them to a wire that fits up against the inside of the lower teeth. It keeps the molars from migrating forward and prevents them from blocking off the space of teeth that develop later. This is used when you have the early loss of primary teeth or when you have lower teeth that are slightly crowded in a growing child and you do not want to remove any permanent teeth to correct the crowding.

Here's a picture.

This little baby is going to cost me $240. That doesn't count the $300 I'm going to have to pay for them to take x-rays and make impressions and whatever other preliminary stuff they have to do to make this thing. My insurance will likely pay a good chunk of it, but I've got to pay upfront. That's just for one little wire thing. But I knew this day would come. I've been mentally preparing for it ever since my parents failed to get braces for me. My teeth are jacked-up to put it mildly. They're all crammed in there. I have what is sometimes affectionately refered to as snaggleteeth. I hate it. I'm embarassed of my smile and try to smile with my mouth closed most of the time. I don't want my daugther to experience my shame. Anyway, I've known that when I had kids I wouldn't condemn them to my sad, sorry fate. As soon as I pay for my daughter's braces, I'm getting some.

May 17, 2006

That makes me happy.

Am I mean because I'm glad to see Katie Holmes has stretch marks? Even if I am, I don't care. I'm just glad I'm not the only person who has to live with them. I'm doubly glad to know that celebrities have to deal with them. I like this picture because it looks like Katie has nearly as many stretch marks as I do, and that's good in my book.

Let's get physical.

Or not. My doctor told me I don't have to go to physical therapy after this week. I will still need to work out my knee at least three times a week, but I can now do it without paying someone $20 a session to watch me do it. So that's good. I told my physical therapist that I'd like him to write up a program that I can follow on my own at the gym. The doctor told me to only worry about things like a stationary bike or elliptical to work on movement, but not to worry about continuing strength training, which I'm not going to listen to. I don't know why he doesn't think the strength training is beneficial, but it only makes sense to get the muscles as strong as possible, as far as I'm concerned.

My daughter told me last night that she doesn't want me doing taekwondo when I'm back to normal because she's afraid I'll re-injure myself. I told her I'd be careful. She seems to think I'm going to permanently maim myself or something. It's cute that she's concerned and all. That means she's empathetic, which means I'm an awesome mother.

May 16, 2006

Podcast #14

As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. And so it is with my podcasts with Sexy American Girlfriend. She is flying from this big ole nest to tackle the next thing waiting for her. However, she dropped in for one last conversation before heading off into the sunset with Culo, the irrepressible Italian.

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May 15, 2006

The girls like to humpty dump, too.

Took Mookie to the vet this past weekend for her latest round of shots and asked the vet if girl dogs are known to hump. I explained about Mookie's special friend, the blue sheep. The vet said that, yes, girl dogs will hump but that it's usually a dominance issue when they do it.

"Mookie's trying to show she is in control of the sheep," the vet said.

"Oh, she's definitely in control of the sheep," I replied. She owns that damn sheep. Knows it in the biblical sense. Anyway, if all it takes to satisfy Mookie is a stuffed blue sheep, more power to her, I say. On a gross note, we had to wash the sheep over the weekend because it was getting kind of ripe, if you know what I mean. I don't really want to know what it means, myself.

So the kids are gone for the summer and I now enter the boring summer phase of the job where I have to sit in the office and mentally bang my head against the wall because it is soooooooo slow and deadly dull. Perhaps I will use the opportunity to work on that card house I've been meaning to get to.

May 12, 2006

Icy Karaoke

So it's been a week or so since the last karaoke post. Bet you thought I wasn't doing it anymore, didn't you? Well, no such luck for you because I am back with a vengeance. Today I am presenting the first of my karaoke posts recorded off my new kick ass karaoke DVD player that my husband got me for my birthday. I've just been really busy lately with my daugther's communion and all to record a few songs. Anyway, let's say good morning to the dawn of a new karaoke era which I will dub the Taijin Years. Here I am singing Madonna's Frozen.

And as a special treat, here is my daughter singing We Are the Champions by, as she likes to say, The Queens. BTW, the points of the song where you hear her laughing are due to the fact that the dog was doing something amusing and you know kids and dogs, they've got to react to each other. It's in their blood or something.

May 11, 2006

My baby girl is growing up.

Last night my daugther asked me to look at one of her--for lack of a better word--nipples because it was feeling weird to her. She said it hurt when she touched it and that it was feeling kind of lumpy. So I felt it and I immediately knew why it was bothering her. She's starting to develop breast tissue. I told her what was happening and that it was nothing to worry about and that it was perfectly natural. Anyway, I couldn't help saying, "My little girl is becoming a woman." She was a little surprised about it and replied, "I didn't think I would start my final stages already." I told her I was about the same age when I first noticed tenderness and a slight lumpiness in my own girl-nipples. I remember it very well because I'm a hypochondriac and I had just watched a show about breast cancer, so when I felt the lumpiness, I immediately thought I had breast cancer and was freaked out about it for awhile. I also told my daughter that this was just the beginning and that she probably won't have to worry about wearing a bra or anything for several years. I didn't start wearing a training bra until I was in fifth grade and it was really only to have something to cover my little mosquito bite boobies than anything. Support certainly wasn't an issue. In fact, it's never become an issue because it looks like my boobs stopped growing in sixth grade. But that's an entirely different story. So my daughter asked me to tell my husband about it and he's kind of freaked out now because she's becoming a woman. The time does go quickly.

May 09, 2006

Busy, busy, busy

Too much to to do, too little time. So to recap, entire family was here for daughter's communion. It was nice, but a little bit hectic getting everything together. Party was nice afterward. We all sang karaoke. Here's a picture of me, my husband and daugther after her first communion. Nice, huh?

May 05, 2006

Pictures, pictures and more pictures

My daughter had her first communion retreat yesterday at school. It's an entire day devoted toward celebrating and learning about the kids' upcoming communion. Here's a picture of my daughter in her communion dress; although, she doesn't actually have first communion until Sunday. They had a group photo session a couple of days ago.

Family is starting to come in today. Most people will arrive tomorrow, but we've got a couple coming today.

I've also got some pictures of my brother's new dog. Despite earlier postings of the dog he was getting, the dog he actually ended up with was a different dog. This one is a girl, but she's still named Porkchop. She's also a different color. Mookie is very excited to meet her cousin this weekend and I'm sure they will get along famously sniffing each other's butts and all. So let me introduce Porkchop to all of you.

And not to be left out, here are some new shots of Mookzilla, the thing from another dimension. I tried giving her a bit of a haircut recently, but I'm no professional. Let's just leave it at that.

P.S. Notice Mookie's hump toy, the violated sheep in this shot.

May 03, 2006

The dining hall rocks.

I had lunch at the dining hall today, which is one of my favorite places to eat. I get really excited when I know I'm going to eat at the dining hall. I don't know why. If you haven't been to a college dining hall lately, you probably don't know what you're missing. Back in the day when I was still in college, our dining hall was pretty standard. Pretty much set up exactly the same way my high school dining hall was set up. You went through the line and picked from a couple of meal choices. When I was in school, the big favorite was a dish called Chicken Cosmos. It was country fried steak kinda. Like a breaded chicken patty. I don't know why everyone thought it was the bomb. But we had the same menu every week or month. I don't know how it rotated. Variety wasn't exactly part of the vernacular. However, today, it's a much different story. The dining halls here offer everything from salad bars to standard grill food to Italian food to make-your-own Belgian waffle to made to order stir fry and pizza and the list goes on. And this is everyday. There's a "homestyle" food counter, a "light choices" counter, a taco counter. Everything. No joke. I have to feel a little bad for the kids, though. It was tough enough keeping the freshman fifteen at bay with the sadly limited choices I had. I don't know how the girls today can do it when there's so much to choose from. Better them than me, I say.

May 02, 2006

Support the dream

A friend of mine sent me an e-mail from her son who is a struggling screenwriter in Hollywood. After kicking it around for over a decade, he's decided to finally go the indie route and make his own film. If you feel so inclined, visit this website to find out all about it and maybe make a donation to a worthy cause.

Here's a copy of the e-mail if you're interested:

Hi everyone. If you're receiving this email, it means that you are
either a long-suffering member of my family, part of my friend network,
a business contact, a combination of these roles, or you simply had the
misfortune of sending me an email at some point in time. I've tapped
every entry in my address book for this mailing.

As many of you know, I've been making my way in the screenwriting world
for many years now. I've had flashes of success, moments of extreme
promise, options and a screenplay sale. But as of yet nothing I've had
a hand in writing has been produced.

It's time for that to end.

So, I've taken matters into my own hands, writing an independent movie
called "Abducted" with my talented friend Stuart Acher, for him to
direct. And instead of waiting for, and relying on, Hollywood to say
yes, we've decided to make this movie on our own.

We have a budget and a business plan, we've commissioned storyboards,
and the script is in the hands of two Academy Award winning actors for
their consideration.

We're going to finance this production publicly. And toward that end,
we just launched our website --

It's only been up and running for about a week, and word is getting out
slowly, but we've already secured nearly $20,000.

So, please check out the site. Read about the movie, read about Stuart,
review his past work, and then if you feel compelled, click that donate
button. As the website states, every dollar really matters. Consume one
less grande mocha frappucchino this week, and throw the fiver to us
instead. Or, if you're not a coffee drinker, siphon your kid's college
fund and become a patron of the arts!

All who donate can opt to receive a special thank you in the film's credits.

I've been following my dream for over a decade, putting everything I
have into it. But doing things the "normal" way isn't working. The
normal way is broken. It's more about bells and whistles than merit.
More about flavor-of-the-month than integrity. It's time for me to be
proactive and cut out all the middle-man nonsense.

So, now I'm on my knees, inviting you to be a part of it.

If you'd like more information, or just want to catch up, feel free to
email me here. But please get the word out and circulate the link to
everyone you know.

You have my eternal thanks.

May 01, 2006

I have nothing to say.

I don't have anything to talk about today. There is absolutely nothing of interest happening to me. Oh, except that over the weekend, one of my grad students had an end-of-they-year get together and I brought my karaoke mic so that everyone could sing and have a good time and nobody would sing. (Except for the couple of people I basically bullied into doing it.) See how scared people are? See how we live our lives in fear? I told them all they were all repressed and that I was the only free person there. Even insulting them didn't motivate them do sing. Academics. What do you expect? I even told them they didn't have to worry about making fools of themselves because I already broke the ice by taking first honors. Still nothing. I will say that at the end, one woman did join me to sing Singing in the Rain, and then everyone sort of joined in for a group singing of Over the Rainbow. But I'm not counting those because you've got to stand front and center all by yourself and sing it, sing it loud.