Sunday, July 31, 2005

still more about me...

borrowed from: My Life So Far....: Another list about me

Ten years ago: i was putting myself through college & surviving on about 3 hours sleep a night
Five years ago: to the day, i was going out for a drink with Ken after work...
Yesterday: i did the grocery shopping & saw "Must Love Dogs"
Today: i laughed till my stomach hurt & somehow managed to freeze my butt off in Florida in July
Tomorrow: go to work which is something most people hate to do especially on Monday but i won't mind because i have the best job ever
5 snacks I enjoy: ice cream. Pringles. cheese & crackers. popcorn. reese's peanut butter cups.
5 bands/music artists that I know the lyrics of most of the songs: Dave Matthews Band. Billy Joel. Matchbox 20. Blake Shelton. Keith Urban.
5 things I would do with $100,000,000: pay off all my debt. build a house. take a vacation all over the USA. make the people I care about financially comfortable. plan so that i would be able to live comfortably for the rest of my life.
5 locations I’d like to runaway to: upstate New York. Las Vegas. someplace quiet & secluded with the man i love. Boston. Washington DC.
5 bad habits I have: procrastinating. tapping my fingers. putting off the ironing. stressing out over things i can't change. not taking in enough calcium.
5 things I like doing: going to Disney World. taking long walks. flannel sheets. playing with my camera. singing with the radio when i'm alone in the car.
5 TV shows I like: Friends. Sex & the City. Everybody Loves Raymond. CSI. What Not to Wear.
5 movies I like: The Notebook. Jerry Maguire. Serendipity. Coyote Ugly. Must Love Dogs.
5 famous people I’d like to meet: Brett Favre. Al Pacino. John Cusack. Blake Shelton. Meg Ryan.
5 biggest joys at the moment: Alison is coming to FL in September. Heather, Jason & Catherine are coming to Florida in October. my sweet Catherine-girl took her first steps. i have a man that loves me. i got to spend the day with Andie at Disney World.
5 favorite toys: my computer. my camera. my heap of scrapbook supplies. my blog. my tv remote.

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it's raining...it's POURING

so how did my day at Disney with Andie go you wonder? i had a blast but there really was no question we were going to have fun. and i have not laughed that much in i don't even know how long. but somewhere out there in internet-land, one of you was doing some really effective rain-dancing...and when i figure out who it was...i am hunting you down.

btw...you know you're a Floridian when:

  1. you step outside into the 81* morning (that feels like 87*) at 9:30am, with 77% humidity & you think to yourself: hmmmm, not so bad out here today.
  2. you're rolling your eyes at all the people whining about the fact that it's hot...that there are too many people...that it's raining on your vacation: this is FLORIDA, in July, when everyone of questionable sanity flocks to Disney, the temperatures soar into the 90s with a matching humidity percentage until the sky opens up & pours down rivers of liquid sunshine. what do you expect to find at one of the largest tourist attractions in a tropical location in the dead of summer during the rainy season??
  3. you comment how rain that doesn't hurt when it hits you doesn't qualify as worthy of dashing for cover--it is actually somewhat refreshing.
  4. you say to the person you're with: i hope it's not raining on the other side of the hotel.
  5. you don't bother running to the car when you get caught in a torrential downpour because you were already drenched just riding on the tram back to the parking lot & you're merely laughing hysterically as you blindly fumble in the general direction of the car, clicking the lock button on your car remote, so you can follow the sound.

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word association for the week of July 31, 2005

courtesy of Unconscious Mutterings

I say ... and you think ...?

Risks:: what you sometimes have to take in order to have a chance at a great reward

Abdominal:: ultrasound

Radiant:: glowing

The usual:: what police officers in tv shows seem to always order in diners

Mix and match:: wardrobe of separates that you can interchange with one another

Wireless:: means you'll probably lose a signal at a critical moment

Remedial:: the class level i should have been in for geometry & algebra in high school

Mile:: one of many i drive each week

Long lost:: relative (independently wealthy perhaps?)

Only one:: the number of cookies my Grandmother usually said i could sneak before dinner which i chose to interpret as "only one HANDFUL" ;-)

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Saturday, July 30, 2005

must love this movie


i do so love me a good John Cusack romantic comedy. Must Love Dogs did not disappoint. sure the plot was super predictable. that was unimportant. it was simply a feel-good movie. there was the usual witty dialogue & John in his typical black attire with his unconventional good looks. i have a soft spot for all his romantic characters. the soulful eyes & the philosophical comments he never fails to deliver when he plays this type of character--it was so "him", that i swear he improvises on the script & only manages to improve it.

there were several lines that stuck with me. one was Jake (John Cusack) talking about he's always wanted that love like in his romantic epitome, "Dr. Zhivago", an all-consuming love of epic proportions--"a love so intense that even after you die it still hurts". or when Jake tells Sarah (Diane Lane) after she breaks his heart & she wants to explain: "Let me do it for you. You were lying to me cause you didn't want to hurt my feelings. I get it." we've all been right there. that's what i loved about this movie: it's identifiable. i won't ruin the rest though for anyone who plans to see it.

it wasn't a deep movie designed to make you think. it's just a good little chick flick that will leave you feeling good because you knew what was coming & you got a few good laughs along the way. i thought john & diane had good chemistry & i always love when he plays these light-hearted romantic roles--but you might have to be a John Cusack fan to truly appreciate this movie. we'll just say i'd go see it again in a minute & i'll definitely be owning it when it comes out on dvd.

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sneak preview

remember how i was whining last weekend that i wanted to see my newest Epcot photos...NOW? well i forgot that i had a couple left on the old roll that i finished off before i stuck the new roll in & i had the old roll processed today. thought this one was worth sharing till i get the next roll done--which i get to work on tomorrow when i meet up with Andie to take on WDW!!

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Friday, July 29, 2005

more useless facts that you didn't need to know about me

1. When was the last time you went to the bathroom outside? i don't believe i have *ever* gone to the bathroom outside

2. When was the last time you saw one of your parents? saw them both in June 2004, will be seeing my mother in Sepetmber

3. Which family member do you most resemble? depends on who i am standing next to

4. Do you wear cologne/perfume? scented lotion from Bath & Body Works--moonlight path or whatever smells like vanilla

5. Do you wear deodorant? of course--no antiperspirant though, the aluminum ruins your clothes

6. Do you ‘clean up nice’? so i've been told. haven't really had a reason to in quite a while, not since moving down here anyway. i hope i remember how come November for Tony & Darna's wedding cruise...

7. When was the last time you tripped and fell? dramatically enough so that i actually remember? about 6 months ago when the dog got excited, wrapped the leash around my legs & then took off running. he really messed my knee up for about a week too.

8. What are you listening to right now? the dryer & the Devil Rays/Royals game on tv

9. Have you ever started an uncontrollable fire? absolutely not

10 . Ever run out of gas on the road? me personally? no way. i am neurotic about refilling my tank when the gas light comes on. as a passenger though? yes...2 weeks ago & it was pretty funny. i'm not allowed to go into further details though. hee hee.

11. Would you rather cut the grass or rake the leaves? lol rake the leaves...i live in FL...we don't have autumn lol. our grass grows like 10 out of 12 months though.

12. What is the last thing you downloaded onto your computer? the latest virus definitions update for Norton AntiVirus

13. Last time you swam in a pool. ummmm...maybe the 6th grade? i hate swimming. now a hot tub? that i like.

14. Have you ever been in a school play? only as part of the stage crew

15. How many kids do you want? as many as i end up with

16. Type of music you dislike most? most rap, anything techno sounding & i never understood jazz very well

17. Are you registered to vote? yes i am

18. Do you have cable? yep, digital

19. Ever prank call anybody? not that i recall

20. Best friends? FOUR =) i am so lucky

21. Would you go bungee jumping or sky diving? are you out of your flipping mind???

22. Do you have a garden? no & i don't as a rule do well with green things but i would love to try growing a couple of tomato plants sometime...

24. What’s your favorite comic strip? Pooch Cafe and For Better or For Worse (links in my side bar)

25. Bath or Shower, morning or night? shower. every morning. very occasionally a bath at night if i am ultra stressed or really achy or not feeling well.

26. Best movie you’ve seen in the past month? Meet the Fockers

27. Favorite pizza topping? cheese

28. Chips or popcorn? either

29. What color lipstick do you usually wear? a clear or lightly tinted gloss

30. Have you ever smoked peanut shells? why is this even a question...?

31. Orange Juice or apple? not a big juice drinker other than straight unsweetened cranberry. if i must drink either of those i prefer apple CIDER or completely pulp-free OJ--i do not enjoy chewing my juice or straining it with my teeth.

32. Favorite type of chocolate bar? does a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup count?

33. When was the last time you voted at the polls? i was still living in CT

35. Last time you ate a homegrown tomato? Summer 2003

36. Are you a good cook? i used to be. haven't had to exercise that skill too often in recent times though as i am the only one who would be eating it. the few things i've tried though have been yummy. =)

37. Ever order anything from an infomercial? never

38. Sprite or 7-up? no carbonation thanks

39. Have you ever had to wear a uniform to work? yes

40. Ever thrown up in public? sort of...i was working at a sandwich shop & came down with a bad intestinal infection in the middle of my shift. pastrami sandwich pushed me right over the edge. fled to the back room though & barely made it to the garbage can. sure the patrons could have done without that little display...

41. Would you prefer being a millionaire or find true love? no question about it: true love

42. Do you believe in love at first sight? i don't know about first sight but i think you can know very early on when it's the right person

43. Can ex’s be friends? in some situations yes--like if you started out kind of dating but it never really progressed past being more than glorified friends...or with more serious relationships, after enough time has passed that both parties are over everything.

44. Who was the last person you visited in a hospital? my grandma =(

45. Did you have a lot of hair as a baby? hardly any

46. What do you think about most? i could tell you...but then i'd have to kill you ;-)

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something to say

you don't see me getting political or controversial here very often. stands to reason since i don't do that "in real life" much either. but i heard something that i feel the need to speak out on.

i think we (as a generalization) have forgotten why we have our men & women over in the Middle East. we talk about how we should or shouldn't be "over there". c'mon. do you really think these men & women WANT to be there, in the armpit of the world, where they have been fighting amongst themselves since the beginning of time?? whether we agree with the way things are handled over there or the duration of time we have been there is not the topic here--and really until we are world leaders & military decision-makers ourselves, i don't know that the general public ever comprehends how & why these decisions are reached. and no matter what they decide to do over there, someone is going to have a problem with it. not my point. my point is WHY we are there in the first place which has apparently gotten lost over passing time.

we aren't there because we feel like imposing democracy & freedom upon unwilling peoples. we are there defending our own rights & freedoms. whether they want to or not, our military personnel receive orders & they go. they go put their lives on the line so that you, at your computer or at your job or on your vacation at Disney World, can lead a life that isn't haunted by the shadow of impending terrorism day after day. they are there not to wield power over the Middle East but because a group of religious extremists came HERE, to OUR COUNTRY, and flew OUR JETS, filled with OUR INNOCENT PEOPLE, into OUR BUILDINGS, filled with MORE OF OUR INNOCENT PEOPLE. here. in this great country. where we have had "outside invaders"...what...4 times over the course of our history? the Revolutionary War? the Alamo? Pearl Harbor? 9/11? how many more can you think of?

seriously. when i hear people saying our armed forces have no business over there it makes me seething angry. we should be thanking these men & women for selflessly putting themselves in harm's way trying to reassure that we won't have to worry about terrorist acts every day of our lives. how would you feel if it was your son or daughter, husband or wife,father or mother, brother or sister, lover or friend? you would be proud that they have so much pride & honor that they are willing to DIE to keep their country safe...and every night you would pray that they wouldn't have to make that ultimate sacrifice...

the unofficial motto of the Marine Corps is: "We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence upon those who would do us harm." but it applies to all our armed forces. we sleep soundly...and we judge...we judge the very people who risk their lives to protect your "right to judge". and we conveniently forget in light of our own inexperienced opinions of how the War on Terror whould be handled, instead of just saying thank you to the men & women who protect everything you have as an American. and yep that pisses me off. (edit to add: i expect people to have varying opinions. i just don't get how we condemn our troops for serving their country--volunteer or draft. disagree with the government. disagree with what we're doing. but support your troops & be proud of the fact that they would give their life to defend this country because they're asked to.)

i leave you with some words from Darryl Worley's song "Have Your Forgotten?" & "American Soldier" by Toby Keith:


I've been there with the soldiers
Who've gone away to war
And you can bet that they remember
Just what they're fighting for
(Have You Forgotten)

I'm just trying to be a father
Raise a daughter and a son
Be a lover to their mother
Everything to everyone
Up and at 'em bright and early
I'm all business in my suit
Yeah, I'm dressed up for success from my head down to my boots
I don't do it for money, there's bills that I can't pay
I don't do it for the glory
I just do it anyway
Providing for our future's my responsibility
Yeah I'm real good under pressure, being all that I can be
And I can't call in sick on Mondays when the weekends been too strong
I just work straight through the holidays
And sometimes all night long
You can bet that I stand ready when the wolf growls at the door
Hey, I'm solid, hey I'm steady, hey I'm true down to the core
And I will always do my duty, no matter what the price
I've counted up the cost
I know the sacrafice
Oh, and I don't want to die for you
But if dyin's asked of me
I'll bear that cross with an honor
'Cause freedom don't come free
I'm an American soldier, an American
Beside my brothers and my sisters I will proudly take a stand
When Liberty's in jeopardy I will always do what's right
I'm out here on the front lines, sleep in peace tonight
I'm an American, an American Soldier
(American Soldier)

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ta-da!

TA-DA!

"Children get to say ta-da!, and I guess magicians, but other than that, it's an underutilized expression. I'm trying to think--and adult might say it as she waltzes in with the turkey, or a homemade cake. But a self-congratulatory ta-da! would certainly be warranted for any number of daily accomplishments. I cleaned out the trunk of my car. Ta-da! I finished filling out the insurance application. Ta-da! I made the bed. Ta-da!"

(excerpt from "Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Mind" by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, pg. 188)

how bout today we go with:
ta-da! it's friday & we made it to the weekend!

btw...anyone with big travel plans this weekend: have a safe trip & a wonderful time! =)

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Thursday, July 28, 2005

naps are good

naps are our friend. ya know how they say that youth is wasted on the young? well, so are naps. i did daycare. let me tell you if you are unfamiliar with the workings of these small humans, not many kiddos go down for naps without putting up a valiant fight. they don't realize the great gig they have going. by the time we comprehend how great a nap really is, we are usually at a place (like employed full time) where partaking in such a luxury would be frowned upon. it's a cosmic injustice that we finally become able to appreciate something at a time when we can no longer indulge in it.

think i could possibly master the art of sleeping with my eyes open...? my attempt at a caffeine kick in the pants to jumpstart my afternoon is failing miserably...in case my preoccupation with napping doesn't make that abundantly clear. so far all it has accomplished is making me get up to pee twice in 25 minutes. and not even the shock of a freezing cold toilet seat has been effective at waking me up...

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random thought for July 28, 2005

PMS makes my tastebuds bipolar. reese's peanut butter cup. pringles. snickers bar. popcorn. miniature hershey bar. fritos. this is driving me insane.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

on the job hazards



there are few things quite as sickening as watching an athlete get injured right before your eyes, thanks to the high tech camera equipment piping these large-as-life images right into your home, so close up you feel like you're right there on the field of play. whether it's a hockey stick across knuckles. or a football player with a dislocated shoulder leaving his arm dangling limply or his leg broken & twisted at a disturbing angle. or as was the case in last night's Red Sox game against the Devil Rays, when the Sox star pitcher Matt Clement took a line drive right in the side of the head. knocked right flat to the ground. made my stomach clench up & my eyes water to see him grab near his ear & crumple to the picther's mound dirt. to see him laying there so still & the medical team moving frantically & team mates gathered round in concern. i realize that these injuries are an understood hazard of the job these men have but i hate to see any athlete take a serious, potentially career-ending blow. it doesn't matter if he's the best pitcher on my favorite baseball team...an obscure player i've never heard of before...or one of my least favorite professional athletes from a team i loathe. when you get past the uniform & the sports equipment, we're all still people--flesh & blood & muscle & bone. the pain is still the same, regardless of how much money we make or what job we hold. my thoughts are with Matt Clement & those who care about him & the doctors who are tending to him. and i hope that he has not sustained an injury, both mentally as well as physically, that will end his still young career.

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ripping my heart out

it should be no secret to you if you've been reading here for very long that music & especially song lyrics strike a huge emotional chord with me. in fact, if i can't identify or connect with the lyrics, no matter how much i like the sound of the music, i will never really love the song. i think there is a conspiracy in the music world this morning to make me cry though.

started the day off by seeing the premiere of Gary Allan's new video "Best I Ever Had". the ache in that man's soul is so raw & intense it's almost painful to see. he looks haunted. this the first video i've seen him in since his wife took her life back closer to the beginning of the year. he just looks so dark & hurt now...if you're familiar at all with his videos, you'll maybe understand what i mean when i say that even if he was singing a sad song, there used to still be a light about him...and it seems to be struggling now to avoid being completely extinguished. i can't shake the way that video made me feel. (there isn't a video code available for it yet but when it is, i'll add it to the player...)

so i get in the car. first song that came on was "Go Rest High on That Mountain" by Vince Gill. that song really gets to me. i can't hear it & not think of my Grandpa & his last few years with us as he suffered from Alzheimer's. i hear that song & tears just roll down my face. especially: "I know your life / On earth was troubled / And only you could know the pain / You weren't afraid to face the devil / You were no stranger to the rain / Go rest high on that mountain / Son, you work on earth is done / Go to heaven a shoutin' / Love for the Father and Son". and when i hear that song, i can't turn it off. i have to listen.

recompose. change the station. hear Trace Adkins on a morning show talking about his latest single "Arlington", sung from the perspective of a soldier who gave the ultimate sacrifice & is being buried in Arlington. here is this huge man, rough around the edges, getting all choked up talking about how this song came to be & i was already on the edge. of course i had to listen. there isn't a video code for this yet either but i will put it up as soon as there is. in the mean time, here are the lyrics to "Arlington":

I never thought that this is where I'd settle down.
I thought I'd die an old man back in my hometown.
They gave me this plot of land,
Me and some other men, for a job well done.

There's a big White House sits on a hill just up the road.
The man inside, he cried the day they brought me home.
They folded up a flag and told my Mom and Dad:
"We're proud of your son."

And I'm proud to be on this peaceful piece of property.
I'm on sacred ground and I'm in the best of company.
I'm thankful for those thankful for the things I've done.
I can rest in peace;
I'm one of the chosen ones:
I made it to Arlington.

I remember Daddy brought me here when I was eight.
We searched all day to find out where my grand-dad lay.
And when we finally found that cross,
He said: "Son, this is what it cost to keep us free."

Now here I am, a thousand stones away from him.
He recognized me on the first day I came in.
And it gave me a chill when he clicked his heels,
And saluted me.

And I'm proud to be on this peaceful piece of property.
I'm on sacred ground and I'm in the best of company.
I'm thankful for those thankful for the things I've done.
I can rest in peace;
I'm one of the chosen ones:
I made it to Arlington.

And everytime I hear twenty-one guns,
I know they brought another hero home to us.

And I'm proud to be on this peaceful piece of property.
I'm on sacred ground and I'm in the best of company.
We're thankful for those thankful for the things we've done.
We can rest in peace;
'Cause we are the chosen ones:
We made it to Arlington.

Yeah, dust to dust,
Don't cry for us:
We made it to Arlington.


i think the only thing that could have punched me musically in the stomach any harder this morning would have been hearing Sherrie Austin's "The Streets of Heaven". can i just tell you that i am NOT turning on the radio in the office this morning? i think i'll stick to surfing blogs that play music i know is safe.

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Monday, July 25, 2005

easing into monday morning

from Unconcious Mutterings

I say … and you think … ?

Believing:: faith
Invasion:: of ants
Boys:: blue
Island:: tropical
Repeatedly:: fab shop manager at work who has the ability to make any short story long
Normal:: huh? (lol)
Hex:: curse
Tuxedo:: wedding
Virgin:: pure
Cereal:: is gross when it gets soggy

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Sunday, July 24, 2005

*happy sigh*

returned to the magical world of Disney this afternoon. after 6 weeks of withdrawals, wandering around the Epcot's World Showcase felt so good. doesn't matter how many times i've been, i still find something new to capture my attention. tonight it was the largest frogs i have *ever* seen in China's water garden. and always with my camera. think i got some great shots too--not of the frogs though, they weren't very cooprative & i don't have a powerful enough zoom lens. but we won't know quite yet about the ones i did take. still have half a roll of film to finish off...said it before & i'll say it again: i so need to go digital. this suspense is killing me!!

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G is for...

...Good grief. these tropics need to settle down for a bit.
...Give me a break!
...Grimacing: what i am doing with each new storm. it feels like we're in a mine field with explosions going off all around us...and i am just waiting for it to be our turn.
...Great record setting year for hurricane statitics with this being the earliest there has ever been 7 names storms.
...Tropical Storm Gert who poses no threat to the U.S.


edit to add:
...Giggling because Gert sounds like the name of someone's great aunt sporting hot pink lipstick with a tissue up her sleeve, not so much a destructive force of nature. it's hard to take something seriously when it's named "Gert" (no offense out there to anyone who is or loves a Gert!)--but couldn't they at least call the storm by Gertrude instead of a nickname...?
...Grateful. because i am. we've been spared & after last year this is not something i take lightly.

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Saturday, July 23, 2005

not that i needed further proof

but it came in today's mail:

Posted by Picasa

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the Bruschi effect


we've (we being the Patriots fan base) waited with bated breath for the official announcement. it came this past week & while i can't say i'm all that surprised, i'm sad & a little concerned by what this will mean for the team.

Pats Face Dynasty's Top Test Without Bruschi

it is, of course, first & foremost about his health. no sport, no championship, nothing is worth a man's life. don't think i am so selfish as to think he should risk his well-being just to play football & i completely agree that if he doesn't feel ready to play, then he shouldn't. from the shallow end though, i can't help but wonder how this will affect the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots. after all, this team is like a well-oiled machine. all parts work in unison to accomplish that which they have proven they can do on the football field. sure i know that they have gotten there with Ty Law out with injury as well as some other key players, often against what appear to be insurmountable odds. and i know that they are a team that pulls together, some opting to take pay cuts just to stay with this franchise, playing multiple positions & showing dedication, doing whatever is asked of them, behind a quarterback who is far from a showboat, just another hard-working team member who gets the job done with amazing style. it's certainly a thing of beauty in the realm of professional football. they are gritty. they are determined. they are often far from pretty. but they play hard. they are for real. and now one of their own, a team captain, a key component in their defensive line & a huge piece of the team morale, will need to sit on the sidelines & cheer them on. for a whole season. a team player who has been a piece of the Patriots puzzle for all 3 Super Bowl victories. i know it's got to be killing him not to be out there with them this year...but then again it could kill him to do so. i am definitely glad that the team is behind his decision--just another reflection of how this team is different from most.

i hope the go-to attitude will prevail, that they will rally & continue to astound people with their ability to find victory when the odds start stacking up against them. they've done it before. i just hope their luck hasn't run out. and if it has, that talent & perserverance, blood, sweat & tears will pick up the slack where luck leaves off.

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*happy dance*

today has been an awesome day. i love good saturdays! and just what happened to qualify this as a "good saturday" you ask? ok so you aren't asking...but seeing as how this is my blog, i'm telling whether you asked or not. how's that strike you? lol

1. ALISON IS COMING TO FLORIDA IN SEPTEMBER!!! talked to her just this morning to confirm. airfare is purchased & she will arrive on the September 16th to play at Disney World with me! i am *so* excited. and roughly a month after that, Heather will arrive with Sweet Baby Girl & Hubby in tow for their Disney vacation--just waiting on an official date from her so i can *really* start getting excited & add her to my countdown list over there on the left.

2. apparently Disney World has decided to give their seasonal pass holders a special treat again this year and MY DISNEY PASS IS NO LONGER BLOCKED OUT AS OF YESTERDAY!! thanks to Michelle, who totally rocks by emailing me with this info, i have learned that we have been granted permission to get back into the parks 4 weeks early this year in honor of the Happiest Celebration on Earth! (ha!! take that Andie after yesterday's conversation...LOL!!)

yes i realize that it apparently doesn't take much to make my day. what can i say? it's the little things in life...
=)

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Friday, July 22, 2005

counting down to...

...my Disney Pass coming off summer block out: 28 days

...the start of football season: 48 days till the Thursday-night season opener Raiders at the Patriots! (15 days till week 1 of preseason play!!)

...the end of hurricane season: 132 (long) days

...Darna & Tony's wedding cruise to Cancun & the Grand Cayman Islands!: 127 days

...the Memories Expo in Orlando: 78 days

...opening day for "Must Love Dogs": 7 days

...my mother comes to Disney World (first family to visit down here since i moved to FL 3 1/2 years ago!): 50 days

...hearing back from Alison (which will hopefully lead to a NEW countdown!!): sometime in the next 24 hours! (if she obeys the message i left on her machine lol)

dates TBD but also looking forward to:
**they just announced that a cast is being assembled for the 2nd sequel to "Meet the Parents" & "Meet the Fockers", tentatively titled "Meet the Little Focker". not normally a huge fan of sequels but "Meet the Fockers" was even funnier than "Meet the Parents" so i am hoping we continue this trend!
**Heather, Jason & Catherine's arrival in FL for a Disney Vacation: coming some time mid-October!!

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exactly what i was hoping to see


it appears as though Franklin sorted himself out overnight & understands that he is not welcome here. good for him, bettter for us. =)

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Thursday, July 21, 2005

F is for...

...Feeder bands. they talk about these alot. these are the outer edges of the hurricane that sort of resemble a pinwheel. they rotate around the eye & they are essentially what fuels (or *feeds*) the storm. they can extend out from the center of the storm for hundreds of miles & they often contain tropical storm force winds & heavy rains & can spawn tornadoes.
...Fantastic. that would be dripping with sarcasm for those of you who missed that part.
...Front right quandrant: this is usally the most common area of the storm to produce the tornadoes i mentioned earlier.
...First storm of the season to come up the Atlantic coast as opposed to following along Cuba & turning up into the Gulf.
...Florida, where we have unbelievably high odds of being hit with hurricanes, higher than anywhere else. i had the actual statistics here somewhere but for the life of me, can't figure out what i did with them...
...Fort Lauderdale area where Andie lives. hope this storm leaves them (and the rest of us) alone.
...Figures we couldn't go for more than a week without another named storm. i'm not even surprised at this point.
...Four: the number of major hurricanes that hit FL last year. so far we've been very very lucky. and for that i am thankful.
...Frances: the 2nd major hurricane to hit FL in 2004. point of reference for you: it made landfall in the Ft Pierce area on September 5th. we are on the letter F a full 6 1/2 weeks earlier this year!



...and finally: meet Franklin who recieved his name earlier this evening. i've yet to see a 5-day projected storm track like this before! there's not even a cone of error...it's a giant...circle...? i don't get it. but hey if he wants to be confused & stay out to sea & away from us, fine by me!!

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just a passing thought

this moment brought to you by "the morning commute"

it sure is nice to have all 3 lanes open on I-4 the whole time i'm on it for both directions of my commute. as i was breezing along down the highway toward work this morning, enjoying the wide-open feeling of no more orange barrels or concrete barriers crowding my lane, it crossed my mind that so many people who travel this stretch of I-4 have whined & moaned about how long it took for the construction to be completed. it made me laugh to myself.

see...they began this little expansion project to add the third lane & do some necessary ramp reconstruction in January 2003. if you count with me, faithful readers, that would be about 2 1/2 years ago. the work is scheduled to be completed in its entirety in late 2005/early 2006. that would be 3 years max. beginning to end. sure it had its moments of inconvenience. like when they shut down entire ramps. or when they condensed all traffic down to one lane. at 7:30am. but!! there were crews working various jobs, virtually round the clock, 6, sometimes 7 days a week. and WORKING. if they were standing around it was very obvious that they were discussing some instructions or taking a quick break (usually sitting right on their piece of construction equipment) but more often than not, what you saw were road crews actually laboring in the scalding FL sun & the thick humidity. sometimes even in the rain. (unless you have experienced FL rain, you can't appreciate what i'm saying when i say they worked IN the rain. FL rain is frequently in likeness to a monsoon. you can't see a darn thing, you look like a drowned rat in under 8 seconds & it comes down so hard it HURTS.) and even more than seeing the road crews working, you actually saw real progress. sometimes just from one commute to the next. the whole thing would look different. and now the work is almost done, the lanes are all open, the ramps nearing completion & even the "landscaping" along the highway has been so much improved. the whole commute is so much more pleasant.

yet i hear those complaints. those rants about what a pain it's all been & how long it took. and i have to laugh to myself. why? well...i'm from CT. if you're from CT. or have been to CT a few times. or even happen to be from the surrounding area. you know about I-95. and you totally understand why a 3-year highway improvement project that is completed right on schedule & does what it was intended to do is a beautiful thing. if you are unfamiliar with the CT highway to which i refer, i'll just say this: I-95 has been under repair for as long as i have been alive. possibly even longer than that. there are always crews that appear to be on a perpetual coffee break. for 30 years. or they are standing around staring at something on the ground. i have news for them. if they haven't figured it out after 3 decades, they're in the wrong line of work.

my point--and yes i DO have one lol--3 years of mild inconvenience while they successfully make the highway more capable of handling the traffic that travels it & subsequently making MY commute much less stressful is not something i find worth bitching about. you want to bitch about highway construction, move to central CT & work in the southeastern coastal section so that you have no choice but to use I-95 5 days a week. i think you'll find that the FL DOT is way more efficient than you give them credit for!

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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

things that drive me crazy

  1. the sound of a fork or knife scraping against the plate. that sqeal sends a shiver right through my soul.
  2. when your body is exhausted but you can't get your brain to shut off & the thoughts tumbling over one another keep you awake.
  3. conversely, when your mind has had enough & needs to sleep but your body doesn't cooperate so you lay there, jittery & uncomfortable, praying for unconsciousness to take over.
  4. when someone shuts a door but not all the way. how much extra effort does it take to push it that last 1/8" so it latches??
  5. when someone takes out the garbage but doesn't put a new bag in the garbage can.
  6. the lighting in walmart. instantly sucks your life-energy right out of you.
  7. people who find a way to be miserable AT DISNEY WORLD. seriously folks. Happiest Place on Earth. repeat after me...
  8. when 3 cars ride side-by-side across all 3 lanes of the highway at exactly the same travel speed--and always about 10mph lower than the posted speed limit. like they can't see the other cars piling up behind them or something.
  9. people who insist on waiting until the very last second to pull out in front of you when they had plenty of time to do so, even though you are travelling at full speed, causing you to have no option but to jam on your brakes. and of course once they pull out they proceed to drive 3mph.
  10. people who flip you the bird because you won't allow them to cut you off.
  11. Tampa-area professional sports, sports casts, sports commentators, sports news coverage...see earlier entry on this.
  12. commercials for Red Stripe beer. you may not be aware of this commercial of you never turn on ESPN as this is the only place i have ever seen it. if you've never been subjected to this experience be grateful. if you have, i need only say this: "Red Stripe. It's beer. Hooray beer." please shoot me.

there's more but we'll stop it with a nice even dozen for tonight.

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remedies for rotten days--part 1

having a not-so-great day? how about trying some of these. more to come...on another day...
(Good Housekeeping July 2005)

1. do a love inventory
take a few moments right now to think about all the times you have been loved in your life. the affection may not have come in the way you expected or imagined; it may not have lasted as ong as you wished. but you have been loved!

2. overtip
a small act of generosity not only brings a spot of pleasure into a hard-working person's life, it also floods your body with feel-good hormones. no matter what amount you choose, overtipping is a wonderful way to lift your spirits and assure continued good service.

3. haul out the photo albums
the older the better. look at yourself and your friends and family with those funny clothes and haircuts. remember that shack you used to live in? that old VW Beetle you used to drive? how incredibly cute your 3-year-old daughter was in her first tutu? you'll soon be smiling. ***ETA just for Chele: these would be EXAMPLES of POSSIBLE memories...not actual ones i was suggesting you remember. =P LOL!!***

4. trash it
write down each problem on a separate piece of paper. make a stack. read the sheet on top of the stack. spend a few minutes thinking about how to solve the problem and then throw the paper in the trash can. repeat until the whole pile is gone. now focus on something else.

5. belt it out
so many of us have cut ourselves off from this natural joy maker--mostly out of embarrassment out of our voices or lack of vocal talent. it's too bad , because singing lifts our spirits and opens our hearts. and making music has been shown to lower blood pressure and alleviate depression and sleep disorders. so sing today, even one short silly song. if you find singing in public too intimidating, wait until you are your only audience and sing in the shower or the car.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

words of wisdom

"life is not a path of coincidence, happenstance, and luck. but rather an unexplainable, meticulously charted course for one to touch the lives of others and make a difference in the world. you dont know what you get back until you give. live to the point of tears."

this was on Tara's blog and then Cathy Z had her own thoughts on it in her blog. both times i encountered this quote, it spoke to me. not in a loud, yelling and jumping up in down sort of way. but in quiet undertones, like the gentle voice a mother uses to calm her child. it whispered to my soul rather than shouting in my face.

i love that quote. because i don't believe that things happen by accident. i believe that we *are* on an "unexplainable, meticulously charted course", one that we can neither understand nor predict, but we're on it none the less & it's how we choose to act while we're on it that matters. things happen but not for no reason--we just don't always get it till we have a little hindsight.

and i was saying this to someone just the other day: to love, *really love*, you have to risk. it's not about what you're going to get out of it. it's not about YOU. it's about the other people, those you care for. you don't wait to see what they will give you before you give of yourself. you just risk it & give. whole heartedly. not knowing what the return will be until you've already put yourself out there. when we live like this, the payback is immeasurable.

love this quote. thank you Tara, for sharing it & Cathy, for repeating it & driving it home. =)

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Monday, July 18, 2005

why i hate the Tampa sports teams

it's come up on more than one occasion here that i am NOT a fan of my "local professional sports teams". let me explain to you why, in light of tonight's Red Sox game against the Devil Rays. it was broadcast on television down here on FSN (Florida Sports Network). in my experience, sports announcers are supposed to remain neutral & objective. it's something i was accustomed to, living in New England. it was nothing to hear the local announcers & commentators even criticize the play of a local team. it's not that they didn't want them to win, but if they performed poorly, they weren't afraid to say so.

so back to tonight's game. there was a call out on the field. it was the top of the 9th, 2 outs, Tampa at the plate up by 2 runs, one man on third. the batter hit the ball, the man on third headed for home but the play they went for was the 3rd out at first. the play was made, but very very close. the first base umpire called the runner safe & that would have left a runner on first & the Rays now up by 3 & still with 2 outs. of course the Red Sox protested the call. that's what you do on a close call like that. there was some exchanging of words & the manager had to come out & get between Schilling & the umpire as it was Schilling insisting he had made the out.

can i stop here & say that the tv announcers were GLOATING about how Schilling clearly didn't make the play even as the replays were showing it was a very close call but appeared that he had beat the runner to the bag. at this point the umpires are conferring & after a quick discussion in which i can only imagine that there was the exchange of second opinions from other perspectives, the umpire reversed the call & made that definitive hand motion that the runner was being called out. now i would expect to see the Rays manager get mighty peeved about this. i wasn't at all surprised to see him slam his hat to the ground, mouth off & get ejected from the game. but what floors me is the commentary, how the people who are supposed to provide neutral calling ofr the game for the viewers, can say the following: "are you kidding me?? clearly this is the wrong call. you can't reverse a snap judgment call that's been made just because it's argued. you can't reward the defensive team for not doing their job. it's obvious that the Red Sox just got a hometown call. and it's a case of the World Champion Red Sox (said extremely sarcastically btw) getting preferential treatment over the Devil Rays just because the Rays are having a losing season."

give me a freaking break. no one is giving anyone "preferential treatment". the umpires get to call the game & they have the right to confer on a call that's close. period. but that's how it is with Tampa sports. their teams can suck, be the worst in their respective leagues, yet somehow it's all a conspiracy against them because EVERYONE knows that they can do no wrong, they are in reality the greatest teams playing & would have every championship if the officials would stop spinning all the calls in the other teams' favor.

please. maybe i wouldn't have such a bad taste in my mouth about the local teams if i didn't have to hear announcers & commentators sing the praises of losing teams season after sports season ad nauseum. at least in New England when our teams stink & deserve to lose we aren't afraid to admit it & be critical of how they could improve. we wish they would be champions but when they aren't champion caliber material, we don't live in delusional dream worlds. we keep supporting them & hoping for next year & major overhauls taht will make the teams better. c'mon. the Red Sox didn't win a World Series in 80+ years & no one ever made excuses for them. every Spring we hoped & every October we just shook our heads & hoped that the next year would be different.

and so my loathing of the Devil Rays, Bucs & Lightning thrives, alive & well thanks to the inane delusional self-promotion of the sports casts i am subjected to.

vent over.

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how true it is

No tool is more beneficial than intelligence. No enemy is more harmful than ignorance.
(Abu Abdullah Muhammad al-Harithi al-Baghdadi al-Mufid)

amazing how many people one encounters over the course of a day that can illustrate this quote to perfection. amazing and sad.

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Sunday, July 17, 2005

happiness

celebrate we will cause
life is short but sweet
for certain
(lyrics from "Two Step" by Dave Matthews Band)

had a much happy weekend
hope you did too
=)

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Saturday, July 16, 2005

hanging on by a thread


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i can tolerate the Orioles tying for first place if they win later today. as long as those damn Yankees don't get in there.

nice play by Varitek throwing Matsui out at third. (video available here, for now anyway) i love when it goes off with such fluidity that it looks like a choreographed dance. and it was great to see Schilling come in & have a clean 1-2-3 inning, getting back in the groove.

now if the 2nd half the season goes much like the first, we can still squeak in, even "by the skin of our teeth"--as my Gram would have said. which by the way is an odd mental image. not that thathas to do with anything lol.

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of band geeks & goofballs & great memories

found this little bit of fun on My Life So Far & i couldn't resist. i've been meaning to get back to this topic since i posted some fun old pics for Chele's birthday anyway & this is the perfect opportunity! 4 years in the halls of Bristol Central High School...

1) Did you overall enjoy your high school years? oh heck yes, as much as anyone ever does. i think if you had asked me at the time i would have given you whatever typical teenage answer there is to that question but looking back, it was a lot of good times. would i go back? GOD NO. are you crazy?? who would want to relive their teenage years lol. but in retrospect, it's something i look back on with a ton of fond memories. (i'm probably just able to edit out the awful stuff at this point by sheer power of denial lol...)

2) Name of your best friend(s)? Chele, Brain, Shannon, Michael, Angela, Bev, Mike, Dan, Katie, Theresa

3) Did you have a boyfriend? a few Their names? Jamie, Dan (and his mother lol...), Todd & Michael

4) What was your favorite subject? anything related to English, creative writing, advanced vocab & anything in the music department

5) Jock? Geek? Rebel? Queen? Other? i really think i was just me with a healthy dose of band geek thrown in lol, able to get along with everyone

6) Favorite Teacher(s)? Ms Norton (3 years of homeroom & junior year English), Jim Tardif (senior year band director), Mr Geitz (sophmore & senior English), Dr Powers (advanced vocab)

7) Special Awards? National Honor Society & some Peer Leadership Award for band my senior year

8) Did you attend prom? sure did! both my junior & senior proms and the senior prom for the graduating class after me as well

9) Still live in same hometown as your h.s.? not even close!

10) Keep in touch w/anyone? a few people =)

11) Classmates would be surprised to know that I ____________ today: live 1200 miles away from Bristol, CT

and just for some added fun *evil laugh* and yes i do expect some hate mail for this but it'll be worth it ;-)

Spring 1994 on our music department trip to Virginia Beach. the pimp-daddies: Mike (on the left) & Brian (obviously on the right lol)

taken at my locker sometime in 1992 of my very own Chele--i think i have this same expression in about 5 other photos but this one is the best so try to ignore the finger in the way at the bottom lol




first of all there had to be *someone* posing in our wonderfully flattering marching band uniforms. it had to be done. can't relive a little high school without recalling those...things...lol. modeling this breathtaking fashion ensemble would be Michael (not to be confused with the Mike in the earlier photo)--my senior prom date--although he looked a lot better in a tux ;-) LOL









another of Chele, this time with Shannon, who, as you can see, did not get nicknamed Poofy for nothing!

and last not least, another of my high school boyfriends, Dan. i sure knew how to pick 'em back then huh? LOL

hmmmmm...seems someone is mysteriously missing here...who could it be?
=P

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Friday, July 15, 2005

counting down...

three weeks. three weeks till week 1 of preseason football! have we *any* idea how happy i am to be closing in on football season??

don't get me wrong. i like baseball & i'm rooting for the Red Sox & the Astros but i just don't get into it deep till we get closer to the playoffs. and i am really starting to enjoy Nextel Cup racing, getting into it more each week. and finally--dare i say--LET THERE BE HOCKEY!! well next season anyway. but as sports oriented a girl as i am, nothing grabs me & raises my adrenaline like the NFL. sports-wise i live for this time of year that we're approaching. i wanna do a little happy dance of anticipation just thinking about it! LOL

just a little break-down of what you can expect to see here during those wonderful 17 weeks (plus pre- & post-season play!):

OBVIOUSLY:
much elation & support for the New England Patriots & the Green Bay Packers
there should be no question of this. my perfect Super Bowl match-up right here. the only way i would be okay with the Patriots losing would be if Brett Favre got one last ring.

OTHER TEAMS WE LIKE:
Kansas City Chiefs (although not expecting much yet again from them defensively. unfortunately.)
Pittsburgh Steelers

TEAMS WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE DO WELL:
Houston Texans (young but showed some real heart last year)
Carolina Panthers (love a good underdog team)
Detroit Lions (would like to see them finally having some good times after their years in the dumps)
Arizona Cardinals (i feel bad for them--i'd just like to see them have a better season)
San Diego Chargers (really liked the way i saw them play last season!)

TEAMS WE HATE TO SEE WIN EVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES:
Denver Broncos
Miami Dolphins
Tampa Bay Bucs (you haven't been reading very carefully if you are unaware that i LOATHE all Tampa sports teams)
Minnesota Vikings
Indianapolis Colts (Peyton Freaking Manning. gag me with a spoon.)
New York Giants (Ego...oops i mean Eli Manning. only thing i like less than Peyton.)
Dallas Cowboys
St. Louis Rams
Phildelphia Eagles

the rest i could take or leave, depending on who they're playing. but be prepared to hear my thoughts on the teams listed above. cause it's coming, baby. football season is on its way!

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just who is this girl you all know through my thoughts & ramblings...?

a "conversation through blog comments" with Marianne has prompted me to uncover a little piece of me that for some reason so many people find surprising or they just think it's nonsense. given what would appear to be my outgoing personality in expressing myself here & having zero qualms about leaving commentary on the blogs of people i wouldn't know in real life from a whole in the ground...i am in reality very shy & quiet, reserved in unfamiliar company & very guarded. i say this & people think i am insane & i can't imagine why this is! (LOL...)

let me quote to you exactly what i said to Marianne:
i am so shy & quiet & hesitant...until i'm comfortable. then look out!! ;-)

i am admittedly a LOT better than i used to be, but i still prefer to hang back & observe for a while before i break the ice with people i don't know. and i like it much better when i am approached as opposed to initiating the conversation myself. i have been told my sunny friendly personality & my ability to make others feel comfortable is what misleads people to believe that i am not shy. i guess i'll take that as a compliment! but at the end of the day, i still am drawn to the quieter people as opposed to the really loud & obnoxious, the intimacy of one-on-one or a small group of those i know over the party scene for sure!


i am sure those of you who know me casually will take the stance of everyone else i've met & say that you can't believe i'd call myself shy. but the smile i turn on & my nature to be as helpful as possible combined with the fact that i firmly believe in treating people with a smile & genuine "nice-ness" must somehow cause others to classify me as outgoing. i guess i just feel like greeting people with a smile, making eye contact, paying attention, calling them by their name when at all possible--it all has the potential to catch them off guard, make their day a little brighter in a world where so many just hustle other people right along without any real acknowledgement, like they are somehow bothered by someone else approaching them. maybe that is what throws people off of my shyness. but i think those that know me well will attest otherwise--that the smile & the friendliness are for real, but they seem to overshadow the quiet girl who bestows these qualities on the world around her.

yep, that's me. little miss quiet the moment i feel out of my element but always with a friendly smile. something i used to hate about myself but have finally just embraced as part of who i am. and that is apparently far more apparent to myself than the world around me.

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Thursday, July 14, 2005

if you need me...

...i'll be in my own little corner of heaven

every girl needs to have a "grandfatherly figure" where she works who goes back home to Germany twice a year & returns with yumminess for her such as




























mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...

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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

public service announcement

New Ways You Can Avoid Identity Theft
(Good Housekeeping July 2005)

1. Read all your mail, even of it looks like junk. If a theif opens a credit or banking account in your name, a statement may come to you. Letters from collection agencies soliciting payment for purchases you didn't make are a sure sign you've been scammed.

2. Stop the credit card offers. The average household receives 60 credit offers in the mail each year. Thieves can steal these, fill out the forms, and open a new account in your name. Call 888-567-8688 to stop these offers.

3. When banking online, always go directly to your bank's web site. Never use a link in an email. It could be part of a "phishing" scheme in which scammers try to trick you into divulging financial information over the internet.

4. Post a fraud alert. If you suspect your identity has been stolen, you can place a free 90-day alert with the 3 major credit bureaus. This warns creditors that someone may be trying to impersonate you. In some states, including California, you can freeze your credit files. For more information, go to www.privacyrights.org .

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so far so good



while she's not really following my earlier request to head more north & east (which actually i would now prefer she not lol), TS Emily does appear to be headed on a much different path than she was the other day. at least according to the National Hurricane Center's 5 am update anyway...

**keeping my fingers crossed*

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Glamour List (July 2005)

just a little something light for today =)

9 things you should remember forever:

  1. the heat of your first kiss
  2. your social security number, blood type and European shoe size
  3. those stories your grandmother told you about escaping from the old country with diamonds and a loaf of bread hidden in her coat
  4. the best compliment you ever got in bed
  5. the exact scientific combination of hair products that resulted in the greatest hair day of your life
  6. just how brilliant and gorgeous you thought you were when you were five years old
  7. for every relationship that didn't work, the true reasons why
  8. the scents of your baby's head and your mother's perfumed hug
  9. how good it feels to do the right thing

...and 7 to forget as quickly as possible:

  1. your urge to make him over
  2. the astonishingly low weight you reached once and will never reach again
  3. any "advice" that makes you feel worse, not better
  4. the rules to the drinking game you aren't ever allowed to play again--right? right
  5. your married-guy crush
  6. that incredibly embarrassing moment from which no valuable lesson can be learned
  7. Murphy's Law--why not assume that if the best can happen, it surely will?

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Monday, July 11, 2005

E is for...

...ENOUGH ALREADY!!!
...Excited: what these storm chasers & meteorologists are by all the record-setting tropical activity & quite frankly, it bugs me
...Enormous--the size of tropical storm that the Atlantic is breeding this season
...Electricty: what i like to have in addition to a roof over my head, both of which become threatened by powerful forces of nature, like hurricanes
...Evidently this will NOT be a quieter season in the tropics huh?
...have i mentioned i've had Enough already...?
...Exhausting: what it's like to wait for these storms to hit somewhere & what it feels like to actually go through one
...i am also Exasperated by these storms that just don't stop coming
...the End of hurricane season: November 30
...Eternity: the amount of time between now & November 30...or so it seems
...much further East--the direction this latest storm needs to start heading, north & east
...EEEEEK! a SIXTH tropical wave has been spotted right behind the one we're watching now
...Eternally optimistic: what i am NOT feeling right now in regard to tropical weather
...meet Tropical Storm Emily
















....oh yeah...i think i may have forgotten ENOUGH ALREADY!!

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just a little something

located these on Stacy's blog who got them from the 2 sites referenced. you can get to the original sites by clicking on the buttons! =)




1) What is your favorite fast food restaurant? Wendy's

2) How many times per week do you eat fast food? probably once every 2-3 weeks. sometimes more, sometimes less. not if i can go somewhere better though!

3) Describe your favorite fast food meal. #1 from Wendy's: Classic Single with Cheese, no onion. fries. usually a kid's sized rootbeer which is pushing it--i *really* don't do carbonation.

4) Do you always Super-Size your meal? actually we do if i go with Ken. then he gets the big drink & we split the fries. by myself though? nope!

5) What is your least favorite fast food restaurant? mall food court chinese. scares me silly.







1. What book are you currently reading? the sidebar of my blog lies. LOL i have not in fact been reading that Mary Higgins Clark book for 3 months now. i finished it in about 36 hours actually. just too lazy to change the image & nothing really to change it to. there are a ton of books i would love to be reading. you can see a whole stinking list of them if you check out my amazon.com wish list (link also located in the sidebar!) but at the moment i am weeding through a pile of old magazines, pulling out the stuff i actually want to keep & categorizing it into binders for easy references and tossing the remains. i REFUSE to relocate the magazines again!

2. Have you ever experienced the loss of a pet? as a very very small child. i barely remember the cat, truth be told. it's not something i want to think about. as big of a cramp in the backside as the beastus is capable of being, i would miss his aggravating furry little self.

3. Is anyone in your family in the armed services? not that i know of. my great uncle served in WWII. my dad is a Vietnam vet. i think i have a cousin who will be going to boot camp now that he has graduated from high school. but a friend of mine is in the Army, has served in Iraq & will go back again.

4. If you have or have had a girlfriend/boyfriend, did you tell your parents about her/him without them prying for the information? what's there to hide?

5. What was your favorite childhood pet and tell me a few things about it. we only had that one cat i mentioned earlier. i was probably 2 or 3 years old so my memories are hazy at best. she was a black cat (i think...) & the runt of her litter so she got the name Squirt. that's the extent of it!

6. Have you ever been in love? i am lucky enough to say yes, more than once.

7. What’s your favorite activity? well i love playing around online. i love playing with my camera (which would ultimately be *much* cheaper if i went digital! *hint hint* for anyone who cares lol!!!) & i love going to the movies if there's actually something good playing. but what makes me the happiest? i have been in the Disney World parks probably close to a hundred times combined over the last 3 1/2 years & i never ever get tired of going to play there. =)

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*banging my head against the wall*

Tropical Depression 5

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you have got to be kidding me...

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Sunday, July 10, 2005

sweet victory

Dale Jr finally celebrates a win

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after watching him struggle the whole first half of the season, it sure was great to see Jr. back in victory lane. let's hope this is the start of a new trend with very few races left for him to sneak into the 400-point window for the race for the Cup. *crossing my fingers* it's good to see him finally running strong & consistent the last couple of races but there's still 91 points to catch if he's even going to be in the running for the Cup...

Go 8 Go!!

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on making mistakes in life

(from an interview with Michael Bolton in Good Housekeeping magazine July 2005)

Is there any part of your life you would do over?

"You know, I don't think so. At some point, you realize that the decisions you make are all part of the bigger picture, one that you cannot understand until later in life. So I really like to think that the mistakes I've made may have happened for a reason that I just might not be aware of yet."

for a girl who takes everything to heart, who hates to let anyone down or disappoint them in any way, this is very much an attitude i would like to adapt into my way of thinking. Lord know i've made my share of mistakes & then some. it would be good to be able to write them off as having some larger purpose, some lesson learned, something that will become apparent as more of my life unfolds. it shouldn't really be that far a stretch for me as i already believe that my life experiences are priceless--even the bad ones--as they made me who i am today & without them i may not be where i am now or have had some of the good experiences that have happened since. i guess that's back to the inspiration for my blog title as well: "every long lost dream led me to where you are-others who broke my heart, they were like northern stars-pointing me on my way into your loving arms-this much i know is true-that God blessed the broken road that led me straight to you"

here's to taking our mistakes & letting them be part of the bigger picture.

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Friday, July 8, 2005

everything you never cared to know about hurricane history

i probably ought to warn you know that if there's a hurricane setting sights on where i live, you're going to hear alot about it here. it may seem like just another windy rainy storm to you, but unless you hunkered down & waited one (or three as the case may be) of them out, you just have no clue the effect it has on you mentally. the incessant winds pummeling your house & shaking its walls all around you. the rain falling any direction you can imagine--except for down like you normally see it. the fear of the unknown once darkness falls & you can no longer see what missles an angry Mother Nature is hurling in you direction. it feels like it will never end. you long for silence. you pray that your roof stays on. it was like nothing i ever experienced before, a total mental assault even if you sistain no physical harm.

we're waiting on Hurricane Dennis. watching. wary. remembering Hurricane Charley from 2004 who took a last minute sharp right turn & ripped up through Central Florida with a furious vengence. like Charley, Dennis is a Category 4, meaning he has sustained winds of 131-155mph, with gusts even stronger. a hurricane of this magnitude is catastrophic. causes on average more than 8 billion dollars worth of damages.

this is only the 2nd time in recorded history that there has been a Category 4 hurricane in the month of July. this is also the first time the Atlantic hurricane season has had four named storms this early since record-keeping began in 1851. to see them on radar is impressive. to expect it to barrel down your street is terrifying.

yet all we can do is wait. and watch. prepare. hope. and see the destruction left behind in his path as he heads for the Gulf...

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Thursday, July 7, 2005

oh yeah...

...and we have our first official huricane of the season. a full month earlier than last year's. yippee. Dennis is a solid Category 2 with sustained winds of 105mph & looking like he's gaining strength. they are watching for him to become a major hurricane before he makes landfall sometime on sunday or monday. thankfully it looks like he will be staying well off to our west in the Gulf...although my thoughts & prayers are with those where ever he decides to come ashore--right now looking like it could be Alabama.

thoughts & prayers for London as well with the terroist attacks on their transportation systems. and a watchful eye cast as threats against more cities have been made by this same group taking responsibility for the explosions. so grateful for our troops who tirelessly & selflessly risk themselves to protect us all from these vicious attacks against innocent people.

and one last passing thought:

Across a crowded room
I know you know what I'm thinking
By the way I look at you
And when we're lying in the quiet
And no words have to be said
I think to myself, I think to myself
This love is a beautiful gift

I have been blessed
And I feel like I've found my way
I thank God for all I've been given
At the end of every day
I have been blessed
With so much more than I deserve
To be here with the ones that love me
To love them so much it hurts
I have been blessed

(from "Blessed" by Martina McBride)

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and a Happy Chocolate Day to you!

yep you read me correctly. July 7th is Chocolate Day. as if there were any question that it deserves a holiday all it's very own...and you know that of course you are obligated to have some in honor of this very special day of celebration right? ;-)

a few chocolate facts for you (as borrowed from the July/August issue of Simple Scrapbooks):

**the Aztecs considered chocolate an aphrodisiac & forbade it to women (kinda glad we didn't adopt that ideology...)
**North Americans--including women--have been enjoying the treat for 250 years
**the average American eats 11.6 pounds of chocolate every year

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Wednesday, July 6, 2005

from bad to worse

i suspect i will be rather quiet for a bit. feeling completely beaten down by the universe today...

=*(

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a little presidential trivia in honor of george dubya's birthday

20 Things You Didn't Know About U.S. Presidents
(courtesy of MSN Encarta)

Not only were these men leaders of the United States, they were multitalented, unique, and sometimes even downright quirky. We've heard a lot about their contribution to United States history. But would you have guessed the following?

1. In warm weather, 6th president of the United States John Quincy Adams customarily went skinny-dipping in the Potomac River before dawn.

2. 9th U.S. president William Henry Harrison was inaugurated on a bitterly cold day and gave the longest inauguration speech ever. The new president promptly caught a cold that soon developed into pneumonia. Harrison died exactly one month into his presidential term, the shortest in U.S. history.

3. John Tyler, 10th U.S. president, fathered 15 children (more than any other president)--8 by his first wife, and 7 by his second wife. Tyler was past his seventieth birthday when his 15th child was born.

4. Sedated only by brandy, 11th president of the United States James Polk survived gall bladder surgery at the age of 17.

5. 15th U.S. president James Buchanan is the only unmarried man ever to be elected president. Buchanan was engaged to be married once; however, his fiancée died suddenly after breaking off the engagement, and he remained a bachelor all his life.

6. Often depicted wearing a tall black stovepipe hat, 16th president of the United States Abraham Lincoln carried letters, bills, and notes in his hat.

7. 17th U.S. president Andrew Johnson never attended school. His future wife, Eliza McCardle, taught him to write at the age of 17. (Bonus fact about Andrew Johnson: He only wore suits that he custom-tailored himself.)

8. Ulysses S. Grant, 18th president of the United States, died of throat cancer. During his life, Grant had smoked about 20 cigars per day.

9. Both ambidextrous and multilingual, 20th president of the United States James Garfield could write Greek with one hand while writing Latin with the other.

10. Grover Cleveland, 22nd and 24th president of the United States, underwent a secret operation aboard a yacht to remove his cancerous upper jaw in 1893.

11. The teddy bear derived from 26th U.S. president Theodore ("Teddy") Roosevelt's refusal to shoot a bear with her cub while on a hunting trip in Mississippi.

12. William Taft, 27th president of the United States, weighed more than 300 pounds and had a special oversized bathtub installed in the White House.

13. Warren Harding, 29th U.S. president, played poker at least twice a week, and once gambled away an entire set of White House china. His advisors were nicknamed the "Poker Cabinet" because they joined the president in his poker games.

14. Calvin Coolidge, 30th president of the United States, had chronic stomach pain and required 10 to 11 hours of sleep and an afternoon nap every day.

15. Herbert Hoover, 31st U.S. president, published more than 16 books, including one called Fishing for Fun-And to Wash Your Soul.

16. 32nd president of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt was related, either by blood or by marriage, to 11 former presidents.

17. The letter "S" comprises the full middle name of the 33rd president, Harry S. Truman. It represents two of his grandfathers, whose names both had "S" in them.

18. Military leader and 34th president of the U.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower loved to cook; he developed a recipe for vegetable soup that is 894 words long and includes the stems of nasturtium flowers as one of the ingredients.

19. 40th president of the United States Ronald Reagan broke the so-called "20-year curse," in which every president elected in a year ending in 0 died in office.

20. George W. Bush, 43rd president of the United States, and his wife Laura got married just three months after meeting each other.

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Tuesday, July 5, 2005

the smile fairy visits

in a day i would mostly rather forget happened there's nothing like this to bring a smile to my otherwise rather unhappy face

american child =) love how her hair is doing the little "flippy thing" in the back at the bottom--just like auntie dawn's!!


or for that matter this which about sums up how i felt about this whole stupid day

sweet silly girl

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D is for...

...Don Germaise, the lunatic reporter from my local ABC station who becomes a storm chaser when a hurricane hits & is frequently seen blowing across the tv screen as he tells people how dangerous it is to be outside in what i will admit is very much sensationalized news coverage but he amuses me when the tension is high
don germaise

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...Dammit, TWO named storms in the same day?!
...Heather's dad, Dennis, who has a condo in Venice, FL. hope Dennis stays away from Dennis' vacation get-away!
...Dreading the idea of Dennis coming ashore in Florida
...Denis Phillips to whom i will be paying very close attention over the next few days
...Drama queen=what i become with the threat of severe tropical weather lol
...Tropical Storm Dennis whos is predicted to become the first official hurricane of the season some time between wednesday & thursday
tropical storm dennis

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...Dramatic looking satellite imagery of the two storms. that's Cindy to the upper left & Dennis down there to the bottom right
current infrared imagery

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C is for...

...holy Crap this has been a busy hurricane season for the first month of it!
...Crazy! which is what the tropics are right now. the third named tropical storm of the season coming up through the Gulf. the fourth named tropical storm of the Pacific bearing down on western Mexico. and a tropical wave in the Caribbean that is expected to be a named storm by this evening & suspected to become the first hurricane with a possible path projection in Florida.
...the Center of a tropical storm or hurricane that everyone focuses their attention on, often forgetting that there are still strong winds & heavy rains in those outer bands that can do damage.
...the Cone: what we should all take into consideration, not just the line up the middle since we learned last year that storms don't really care what track is "predicted".
...the Caribbean which is unfortunately starting to look alive with activity. i was much happier when all the storms were forming in the Gulf & being steered west of us by the Bermuda High.
...Counting: as in counting down to Novemver 30 when hurricane season ends. also as in counting on the Bermuda High not to weaken since its current location is preventing the storms from getting to close to where i live.
...Cuba: better start getting ready. Tropical Depression 4 is looking like it's headed your way before the week is over.
...Central Florida: where i live. and where we are hoping that the Bermuda High doesn't start directing these babies back over us in a replay of last year.
...Cringe, as in what i am starting to do when i watch the weather now.
...Cool water is not good breeding ground for tropical weather which fuels itself on the warm waters. maybe all these storms so early will cool the waters off quickly & prevent those whoppers from being able to form later in the season?
...Closely watching the tropics now for a potential Florida landfall.
...Current 5-day forecast for Tropical Depression #4.
Tropical Depression 4

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...Tropical Storm Cindy which is the sponsor for this blog entry.
Tropical Storm Cindy

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hey, it's ok...the July edition

hey, it's ok...

...to give up on the boyfriend hunt for a while. for the whole summer, even.

...not to be an exceptionally great self-tanning artist. so you have a brown blotch on your ankle--who's really gonna notice?

...to ardently wish Kirstie Alley would take a time-out.

...to have a second hot dog. honestly, only five-year-olds are full after one.

...to fantasize in secret how your guy would look if he fell into a vat of wax and emerged completely hairless. well, almost hairless.

...to consider, just for a second, wrestling that fourth-grader to the ground and swiping his copy of the new, sold-out Harry Potter book.

...to truly stink at something you love doing. the world has enough experts.
(as seen in Glamour magazine, July 2005)

love love LOVE that last one. i think there's something to that: who *cares* how "good" you are at something as long as you find pleasure in doing it! (ok well that goes for *most* things anyway. ;-) LOL)

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Monday, July 4, 2005

more on candles

i love having candles burning at home. i have them in almost every room & have one or two burning most of the time when i'm at home. (note: i make a point to burn them in seperate areas so the scents don't mingle & just smell nasty) i don't usually do large jar candles. i like to change the scents up so often that i need to be able to finish a scent on & break out a new one. unless it's an absolute favrote scent that i gravitate toward frequently, you will usually find a 3-4oz jar, a votive, a tea light or in the kitchen, a tart in the tart warmer. currently out for sensory pleasure are:

IN THE KITCHEN

cucumber & cantaloupe: very summery & fruity. nice & light.











lavender: soft & flowery without being too heavy or perfumed. there's something very fresh & airy about this scent.










IN THE DINING ROOM

caramel apples: this just smells yummy. i know it sounds like more of an autumn scent but it so sweet & yummy that i just couldn't resist.










lilac blossoms: this is about as floral as i get. still smells more clean & sweet than that heady over-powering scent of a lot of flowers though.








IN THE LIVING ROOM

applewood orchard: smells like an apple orchard in summer. like ripening apples, a little woodsy & sunshine on the grass. a seasonal scent from Yankee Candle that is not currently available but i have a couple kicking around. ;-)


IN THE BATHROOM

mango kiwi: i was surpised i liked this scent so much but it's nice. not super sweet. not really strong. just...happy.




IN THE BEDROOM

clean cotton: smells like freshly washed laundry & dryer sheets. i love that it makes everything smell clean. and something about it is very comforting & relaxing.









IN THE DEN

sugar vanilla fantasy: warm. homey. peaceful. i adore the scent of vanilla. warms me up & makes me smile.

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