Friday, June 29, 2007

Fantastic Friday - and the backstory to my WW picture

As I mentioned in my TT entry yesterday, I'm on a bit of a "vacation". I took Thursday and Friday off work this week to enjoy the weather, and relax. So far, I'm having a wonderful long weekend.

Yesterday I completed quite a few of the tasks on my TT, I cleaned my house, did laundry and ran some other errands. Then I traveled to Gloucester with a friend, and we went to my cousin's house for a cook-out. It was a great time.

Today I've had a wonderful day. I got up late, got some much needed extra sleep, had breakfast, and then caught up on some e-mails and downloaded some songs onto my MP3 Player.

Then I went to have lunch with my mom at her work, and after that I went to my mother's house to use her new pool. I lounged around there for about 2 hours, soaking up some sun and swimming to my heart's delight. After that I ran a few more errands, including buying some much needed shirts for work (also on my TT list).

Then I came home, and sat on my balcony chatting with one of my neighbors for a bit. And for the past few hours I've been catching up on reading some of my favorite blogs. I still have a bit more catch up to do in the blog world, but it'll have to wait until tomorrow now because it's time to go back out and enjoy my Friday night.

My friend Chan and I have decided to go into Boston for the evening, for dinner, and then maybe to a club or something, nothing too young and hip, because we are way past that stage in our lives, but something more laid back and relaxed.

I have no definitive plans for tomorrow, but am probably going to head to Portsmouth, NH with my friend Chan (she's my weekend buddy), for some walking around and shopping and picture taking...

Sunday is still ENTIRELY up in the air for plans...I'm absolutely loving this weekend.

OH, and before I forget, I received many comments to my Wordless Wednesday this week, requesting a back story. If you'd like to see that picture, click here.

As for the backstory: Yes, I took this picture. It was taken in May of 2006, in Cancun, Mexico during a horseback riding excursion. I was on vacation that week with my parent's, my 23 year old brother, and my grandfather (and also my brother's godparents and their 24 year old daughter). It was a wonderful vacation, and that excursion I took with my brother's godparent's daughter (did I lose you there?), my brother went with us, but he chose to go ATVing instead of horseback riding.

The man in the shot was our riding instructor for the day, and was, by the way, a total hottie who I flirted with shamelessly throughout the day.

I took this photo with a cheappish, non-digital camera, and had no idea how wonderful it had come out until I developed the film months is my second favorite shot from that vacation. My favorite is another black and white, of my family.

That's pretty much the story in a nutshell. Not very exciting, I know, but it holds great memories for me.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Thirteen Things I'm going to do on my days off

Earlier this week I decided I needed some mental health days, so I took today and tomorrow off of work. I don't have any specific plans for this weekend, but I have some general are some things I'm planning to do with my four day weekend:

1. Clean my house - this doesn't sound like a whole lot of fun, but my house was in need of some cleaning, and I already did that this morning, so now it's nice and sparkly and feels good to be in it.
2. Do laundry - again, no fun, but once it's done, I'll feel great...I'm only about 2 loads away from being done.
3. Go to Gloucester, MA to hang out wiht my cousin and her daughter, for the annual "St. Peter's Feast" which is going on this weekend. I'm actually leaving to go do that in about 20 minutes.
3. Catch up on my blog and on visiting all the blogs I've been neglecting all week. This will be done tomorrow morning, since I don't plan on being home the rest of the day today.
4. Go shopping - this almost goes without saying, because when is there ever a weekend I don't go shopping? BUT, I actually really need some summer shirts for work, so I'm planning on doing that this weekend.
5. Go swimming in mom's new pool - I was there last night, and plan on spending a good portion of my day tomorrow there as well.
6. Clear off some of my tivo'd tivo is SUPER full, so I'm hoping to watch some of the Planet Earth episodes that are taking up 5 hours of space...but the weather is really nice, so this one may not happen.
7. Go take pictures - I think I'm going to grab my camera and just drive to places I can photograph tomorrow.
8. Go to the movies - I want to go see Ocean's 13...but again, the weather is really nice, I may not want to be inside
9. Relax - I just want to enjoy the summer weather and the extra time off.
10. know what...I'm out of things to list, because it's my time off, and I don't really feel I should be making a to do'm stopping at 10 in honor of my 4 days off!


Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Thanks for visiting

Hi there! Thanks for stopping by my corner of the blog world.

If you're here for Wordless WEdnesday, scroll on down to the next entry!

To read about my love for traveling solo, and a bit about my trip to NYC this weekend, scroll down, or click here.

If you're here for my VERY LATE entry to Fun Monday, here it is.

Check out my even later entry to Sunday Scribblings here.

And if you're a fan of dancing, I dug into my love of the art form on Friday, and shared a fantastic video from "So You Think You Can Dance" as well...check it out.

Thanks again for visiting...please do come again, I have so much more to share with you.

Wordless Wednesday - Solitude

See other Wordless Wednesdays here.

If you are participating, be sure to leave a link in comments and I'll add you here:


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

When I travel alone...

I wasn't always an independent soul like I am today. As a young child I had a deep connection to my parents and would cry whenever they would leave me at home with a babysitter (even if that sitter was my grandma, whom I loved dearly). When I started school, I was shy, and a bit of a loner, but only because I was insecure. Once I'd make friends, I was a social butterfly.

I've been blessed in my life to have been surrounded by a wonderful family, and some incredible friends and I've been lucky to have experienced some fantastic romances so far. But I've also spent a lot of time on my own.

Maybe it comes from being an only child until I was almost 10 years old, or maybe it comes from my introverted "writer's" personality, but my "alone" time has always been invaluable to me.

So, it's only natural that when I was bit by the travel bug several years ago, I learned the beauty of traveling on my own. When I travel alone I experience the world as an observer, more so than as a participant. I get so much more out of my solo voyages than just sight seeing, or visiting with friends, or seeing new places. Each time I enbark on a new adventure, I learn a little bit more about myself.

So it was this weekend when I hopped on a bus to New York City for my friend's Bachelorette party. When I say "hopped on a bus", what I really mean, by the way, is...took a train (45 minute ride) from my hometown to Boston, took a subway (actually, two subways) from North Station to South Station in Boston, took a greyhound bus for 4 1/2 hours to Manhattan, took a subway (actually, two subways) from Manhattan to Queens (about an hour's ride), and then did it all over again on the way back...but I digress...

I have a good, scratch that, GREAT friend who lives in Queens, and through the years of our friendship, traveling to NY has become something I do at least yearly, sometimes several times a year. I love NY. When she lived in Long Island, I loved taking the ferry over, driving through wine country, picking up a bottle of wine on the way home. Now that she lives in Queens, I've taken to taking a greyhound into Manhattan, and then the subway into Queens. I really enjoy these trips for several reasons. Obviously, because I get to visit my friend. Also because I get to visit NYC, which really is one of my favorite cities, second only to Boston (because Boston is home and will always hold a special place in my heart).

But a major reason I enjoy these trips is because of the feeling I get from doing them alone. I enjoy the quiet time on the bus, when I am forced to STOP for several hours and just sit back and read, listen to music, or write, which I did quite a bit of on this trip. And I get this incredible sense of pride and accomplishment at the fact that I'm not afraid to travel to a big city alone. I'm not afraid to take a subway to parts unknown, figure out the subway routes on my own, where I need to switch trains to get where I need to be, look bored while doing all of it, so I don't look like a tourist. It's silly, but it is what it is...I'm confident in my ability to feel confident in a strange place. And I'm proud of that.

The bachelorette party itself, by the way, was a blast. 10 girls, all with a few drinks in them, at a comedy club, and some bars after that. A bride who drank WAY too much, and I'll spare you the grizzly details, but managed to get QUITE sick, but still had a great time. We had a lot of fun, and I'm really glad I went, even if I spent more time travelling this weekend, than I actually did in the city. It was worth it. For the visit, as well as for the travel experience itself.

When I travel alone...I realize how great my life truly is.

Monday, June 25, 2007

FUN MONDAY - Shelves

Better late than never right? Here is my Fun Monday entry for today:

Fun Monday is being hosted by Swampwitch of Anecdotes, Antidotes, and Anodes this week. This is what Swampy asked for....

Post pictures of your bookshelves or stacks of books. Hopefully, we will be able to read some of the titles. If you want, while you're at it, post pictures of ANY shelves...shelves with toys, dishes, collections, Aunt Gertrude's ashes in an urn, etc. Also, post pictures of your garage, carport, or places where you store 'stuff.' (No fair cleaning first, but if you must, maybe this will be the motivation to do so.)

So...without further ado:

The first two pictures are a close-up of an item that was featured in my last Fun Monday entry (wall hangings), my shot glass collection hangs on these you can see all the places I've been:

The next pictures are of the baker's rack shelves in my kitchen, or actually, of the cookbooks on those shelves...these are only some of my cookbooks, I have a bit of an addiction to cookbooks, and yet, I never use them...the second picture is of a collection of Portuguese cookbooks my mom gave me...they are a bit ragged and old, but treasured!

The next shots are of my favorite shelves in the house...they are on my bedroom wall, and I bought them unstained and my dad stained them for me, and I think he did an excellent job on them...they contain my collection of Anne Geddes dolls (I collect her photo books too), and some African themed knick-knacks, as well as my collectible Barbie Doll:

And I've also included a shot of my bathroom shelves, this only represents HALF my collection of perfumes (man, I have some serious shopping problems), and other randomness...

And here are a few of my books, on my bookshelf in my office. This first picture is of a collection of all the "Classics" that my grandmother left to is probably one of my most prized possessions, because before she died, she specifically asked me what I wanted, and these books were the only thing I wanted, so she left them to me.

The rest of that bookshelf:

Note how that shelf is warped with the weight of the books? haha...

Finally, I don't have a garage, shed or any of that, since I live in a condo...I do have a storage room in the attic, but as it is probably 120 degrees in there today, I will not be taking pictures of instead, I give you my closets:

Office (mess on the floor because my cat likes to hang out in this closet and knock EVERYTHING off the hangers.
Hall closet (yep, that's my big ol' pile of laundry)
And is pretty clean...
Hope you enjoyed travelling through my shelves and stuff...Be sure to visit Swampwitch for other participants. And make sure to pop over to Jennie at Prairie Air, as she's hosting next week's FUN MONDAY!!!

Fun and slightly hectic Monday

If you are here for Fun Monday, my apologies, it'll be up later tonight...I spent the weekend in NYC for a bachelorette party, and am at work right now...I'll make it worth the wait!!!

In the meantime, I invite you to scroll on down to learn about my passion for dance, and watch an AMAZING dance video from "So you think you can Dance".

I'll have some stories about said bachelorette party and my travels to NYC later on too...check back!!!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Sunday Scribblings - Shhh...don't tell

I'm late to the game with my second ONLY Sunday Scribblings, but when I read the prompt, it inspired here's my entry anyway:

“I have a secret”
she whispered with a mischievous smile
“I have to keep it”
she said with all the pride of a child

“My mommy told it”
she grinned, so grateful for its mystery
“so I could hold it”
she spoke, beaming delightedly

“but I can’t tell you”
she shook her head and looked down
“cuz then you’d know too”
she turned her smile to a frown

“and it’s my secret”
she said, her smile returning once more
“I have to keep it”
she nodded, and then she walked out the door.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Friday Find and the love of dance.

So, I am completely hooked on "So You Think You Can Dance" (SYTYCD). Anyone who knows me, knows how important dancing has always been in my life. I started with ballett when I was 4 years old, and then did rhythmic gymnastics until I was 10. When we moved to the States, my parents couldn't afford to send me to gymnastics or dance, so I had to stop. Still, I would always dance whenever I had a chance, and my cousins and I spend many hours choreographing dances and creating our own routines. When I was old enough to hit the club scene, you would find me on the dance floor ALL NIGHT, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, whatever chances I had. I've never been cocky about much, but my dancing is one thing I was always confident about...I can dance! REALLY WELL.

Or I could...because now I'm way too old for the club scene, and dancing is unfortunately just not part of my life anymore. I keep thinking of signing up for a dance class somewhere, but haven't found anything that works with my schedule and/or my budget yet.

One of my greatest regrets...perhaps my only TRUE regret in life, is that I didn't pursue dance further. I would have loved to have made a career of it. But it was not to be.

This is why I am addicted to all things dance related. I watch ALL of the dance movies, from "Honey" to "Save the last Dance" to "Step Up", the plots all tend to be the same, but I don't watch for the plot, I watch for the dancing...for the LOVE of the dancing that is protrayed in each and every one of these movies. I watch live concerts so I can watch the dancers...I'll never forget watching one of Janet Jackson's "Rhythm Nation" concerts on television, and crying, because I just wanted to live that so much. My heart aches with not only the loss of what I never had to begin with, but also with the beauty and art form...there is nothing like a dancer to show you the true beauty of the human form.

And now it seems television has discovered that same love affair. With "Dancing with the Stars", "Dance Life" (on MTV), and of course "So you think you can dance", it seems dance is the next big thing. And I'm loving it.

To be honest, I can't watch "Dancing with the Stars". Then dancing is just not that good, and I want to watch dancing that touches me...that show does nothing for me. I'm not knocking it, or the people on it...It's just not for me.

But SYTYCD? HOLY CRAP...those kids CAN DANCE. I mean, WOW. No joke! The top 20 this year are quite possibly the best group of dancers I've ever seen anywhere...they're amazing. Each and every week I'm completely blown away by what they can do. And the choreographers do an amazing job with the routines, for an effect that is at times just mindblowing.

Last week one of the couples did a routine that actually brought me to tears, it was so beautiful. (Look, I said I have a deep emotional connection with dance, right?) I've now watched this routine countless times, and I still get chills every time I watch I share it here with you, my Friday Find.

This is Lacey and Kameron, two of the competitors on SYTYCD, and obviously, my favorite couple to win it:

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Thank you for visiting my blog! If you are here for Thursday Thirteen, that post is right below this one.

For Wordless Wednesday you can
click here.

Here are some other things I've been up to this week:

On Sunday I posted a mini-tribute to my DAD.

Yesterday I posted a much longer tribute to my Little Sister in honor of our six year anniversary as "Big/Littles" through Big Brother Big Sister.

I got a new Beta Fish this week, you can meet him here.

I had a great time showing off the stuff on my walls for FUN MONDAY.

And if you're in need of a laugh today, you really have to check out this video I found last Friday.

Thanks for visiting, hope to see you again soon!

Thirteen Things I love about SUMMER

In honor of today being the first day of Summer, I thought I'd share some of my favorite things about this season:

1. Flip-flops and sandals and any excuse to bring out my collection of summery shoes, which are hidden away from the snow all winter.

2. No need to dress in layer upon layer of sweaters, coats, scarves, hats, etc.

3. No snow. No matter how long I've lived in New England, I'll never be happy to see snow...sorry.

4. Trips to the beach, the smell of the ocean, collecting seashells, the smell of suntan lotion and the feel of the sand under my feet.

5. SUNLIGHT! I swear I suffer from the "Winter Blues" or SAD, I'm a cranky person in the winter. The fact that not only is it still daylight when I leave work, but it's light out until 9PM is one of my favorite things.

6. Driving with the windows open.

7. Cookouts, pool parties, picnics and random excuses to be outside and celebrate with people.

8. Swimming (not that my parents got a new pool, I can finally spend all summer in the water).

9. Everyone is in a better mood. Seriously, people are nicer in summer!

10.No school buses on the drive to work to slow me down and make me late.

11. Television is full of reruns so I spend a lot more time NOT watching it.

12. Sleeping with the windows open.

13. Sitting on my balcony after a long day at work, with a glass of wine, and a good book.

What do you love about summer?

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Wordless Wednesday - Gloucester

See other Wordless Wednesdays here.

If you're participating in Wordless Wednesday, leave a link in comments and I'll add you here:

1. Tegdirb
2. Maggie
3. Lissa
4. Kelly
5. Ingrid
6. Jenn
7. Jennie
8. Comedy+
9. The 108

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Big Sister, Little Sister - 6 years later

LINK IT UP at the bottom of this post...

This past weekend I attended the 8th grade graduation for my "Little Sister" K. In case you don't know, K is my "little" through Big Brother Big Sister. It was six years ago this month that I decided to check out the BBBS program and see if it was something I could do. I was going through a rough patch in my life, having just recently come out of a serious relationship, and also having started to drift away from my college friends, and was finding myself home alone too often on the weekends. I needed something to get me out of the house, and more importantly, something to give my life meaning. I also think my biological clock had started a really subtle ticking, and I wanted to quiet it down. On my way into work one morning I saw a sign posted at a local Dunkin' Donuts for BBBS. I had always wondered about the organization, and it just seemed like perfect timing, so I called. After a lengthy and thorough interview process, and background check, I was ready to meet my "little".

It all started on June 2, 2001. That’s the day I met K, and the day that would change both of our lives forever. It has now been SIX years, and I can’t imagine what my life would have been like these past six years if she weren’t in it. Last year, around this time, I posted a blog entry at a different server about our 5 year anniversary...I'm going to steal from myself and re-post some of that here...In that entry, I included some stuff that I'd written in a Yahoo group from around the time I met K.

"I met my little sister on Saturday...and she is just the cutest little thing. She is 8 years old. She is a beautiful little girl, with this gorgeous smile with dimples and all...K was very quiet when I first met her, but when hergrandmother asked her if she wanted to go out with me for a little while, she shook her head YES very excitedly..."

"It was pouring out on Saturday, so we decided to go to the mall...and then when we got to the mall and had to run through the pouring rain to get in, and were soaking wet...she was laughing really hard and we were having a great time, and instantly she completely opened up. It was great. We had a great time at the mall, trying on hats and sunglasses, playing with all the toys that had buttons and made one point in the Disney Store I found a toy piano, and figured out how to turn it on and she looks at me and goes "You're cool".

Anyway, I was hoping that this experience would be a good one, and that they would do a good job matching me up with someone that I could help and get along with. I had no idea they were going to match me up so perfectly...this little girl could really be my little sister. She's a "lil' me". ;) I'm totally looking forward to the rest of the summer with her...and on an emotional tip...I cried when I went home because it felt so good to be helping someone and to be instantly liked by a little kid...I can tell we're going to be really close."

Reading over those words again just made me teary eyed. I couldn't have been more right, K and I have become as close as any two "sisters" could be.

I have such fond memories of our first few months together, all the fun things we did, and the ways I saw her personality change from this shy introverted little girl, to someone who just began to trust me completely and be really open and excited whenever we’d get together. It was always fun to do things with her that she’d never done before. Go to the circus, take her to the beach, the Museums, and just simple things like the mall, or something as silly as go to Jordan’s Furniture for free ice cream and cookies and walk around and check out all the furniture we’ll never be able to afford.

Over the years we’ve visited butterfly farms, bowled, had sleepovers, painted pottery, gone to hundreds of movies, visited the Aquarium, mini-golfed, hit the mall about a zillion times, spent countless hours at Barnes and Nobles, gone to the zoo, got matching haircuts, visited amusement parks, checked out medieval fairs, I’ve brought her to "bring your daughter to work" days, we’ve roller skated, soaked in an inflatable backyard pool, gone grocery shopping, run errands and just hung out.

More recently, as she's entered her teenage years, we've spent less time together, but still enjoy our trips to the mall, or going out to dinner. She loves to just come hang out at my place to watch movies and hang out. Just last week I took her shopping for shoes to wear to her semi-formal, and to look for a bathing suit she could wear on a field trip to a local amusement park. As she's started being interested in boys, I've tried to not be preachy while I give her advice on the things she should be careful with, and the fact that she does not need a "boy" to be happy. And as she develops into a young woman, I'm glad to be able to help her through some uncomfortable situations, sharing my experiences so she knows she is not alone. (For example the recent bathing suit buying excursion revealed that she, like me, is not ever going to be able to wear little "bikini" tops, as she's been cursed/blessed with a larger chest than 14!! Poor kid).

K has become a part of my family, first getting close to my parents, my brother and my grandfather, and then meeting the extended family, all my friends, and even my co-workers. She loves my family, and my family loves her. Her family regard me as one of their own, and again, I feel the same about them. My brother has threatened to beat up boys when it became apparent that she was now into them. I have small heart attacks every time I realize how mature she’s beginning to look. There are definite maternal tendencies there that I can't control....Lord help me when I have kids of my own.

More than once she’s been my plus one to birthday parties, baby showers, and work events. She’s spent holidays, from Easter, to the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving and even Christmas with my family. I’ve thrown her birthday parties; she’s come to birthday dinners with my family. She became close with my cousin’s little girl, and with my friends' nieces and nephews.

I still remember vividly the first time she said "I love you" as we were hanging up the phone. I called my mother crying "K said she loves me". Just a smile from her, and I’m instantly in a better mood. I worry about her, stress about her future, fret about her past. I will drop anything if she needs me, and miss her when too long goes by without seeing her.

She’s entering a time in her life that both frightens and excites me. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for her, but am scared to death of the challenges she faces. The road has been wonderfully unpredictable so far, and I look forward to what bends it takes next, hoping I’ll be able to travel them with her, as her guide, or even just as her seatmate. Things have gotten more complicated lately, with her mother (who'd been absent for the last 7 years) entering her life again, and bringing with her no new level of maturity or responsibility. She's not a good influence and her grandmother and I will have to work that much harder to counteract whatever damage she does.

For me personally, K’s been a gift. I’ve been able to pause the biological clock, when the timing wasn’t quite right for me to enter motherhood, and I’ve still been blessed with the unconditional love one shares with a child and receives in return. What a blessing. And when motherhood does present itself, I now have a built in babysitter. Bonus!

But it was watching her cross the stage as she received her 8th grade diploma (and also an award for being the "most improved student") that made me realize what an impact we've had on each other's lives. She's a smart, beautiful, and overall good girl. From the shy 8 year old I met that day in June, so long ago, she's turned into this social butterfly, ready to take on the world. And I've been blessed enough to be there to see it all happen. She starts high school next year, and I can only pray that she'll continue on the right path. I'm looking forward to watching her cross another stage in four years, get another diploma, receive some other awards. God willing I'll be there, crying, taking pictures, feeling proud.

If you stuck it out through that whole LONG post, then you too deserve an award! Today I'm participating in "Link It Up" found at Skittle's Place. Leave a link in comments, and I'll come visit! If you would like to visit other commenters as well, that would be nice. And please go visit Skittle's!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Fun Monday - Hanging

Well, better late than never right? I had so much fun with last week's Fun Monday I knew I had to participate again this week...This week's Fun Monday is being hosted by MJD over at "Return of the White Robin". This weeks challenge is to show something that hangs on your wall that is fun, interesting, endearing, sentimental, or otherwise enticing.

I'm going to start with a picture I posted for a Wordless Wednesday two weeks ago, because it really is the favorite piece of art that hangs on my wall:

This is a painting my mother bought off a street vendor in Africa while I was still a baby. I have always had big eyes, and the girl in the picture reminded her of me. The name of the painting is "Deborah", and it was painted by an Italian artist, G. Morliz in 1937 (this information is all included at the bottom of the painting...which leads me to believe this is a reprint, even though it FEELS like a real painting. Anyway, research online has led me nowhere on this artist, so he was probably nobody well known. Still, I love the painting for it's sentimental value, and also because it is just beautiful.

The next item is a lot less serious:
This lovely wooden house was something that hung somewhere in my parents' house for ages. Eventually it was taken down and put aside somewhere...shortly after moving out, I found it in their junk room, and decided it would be a perfect place for me to showcase my shot glasses. The shot glasses are really what I love the most about this piece. You can't see them clearly in this shot (maybe I'll post a close up of some of them for a Wordless Wednesday some day), but every glass on there represents somewhere I have visited on vacation. The tall glass is from a Celebrity Cruise Lines glass, there are several from different parts of Mexico (Chichen Itza, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Cancun, etc.), also from the Cayman Islands, Canada, and various parts of the U.S., such as Hollywood, Vegas, St. Louis, New York and even as close as Maine and New Hampshire. Unfortunately I didn't decide to start this collection until after I had already traveled so certain places, so I still need some from Phoenix and Flagstaff Arizona, Portugal, and Orlando Florida...maybe one day I'll go back and be able to pick those up. Hopefully I'll be able to continue adding to this collection.

The next item on my walls is actually a shot of what I call my "Brag Wall".

On this wall are my high school and college degrees, along with pictures of my moment on stage accepting each of these degrees, and my graduation caps and tassles. Also on this wall are a few placques and trophies I won while on the debate team in college, and some Honors certificates. It is a brag wall, no doubt, but I'm proud of these accomplishments, and hey, it's my house, why should'nt I display them? In my defense, they are in my office, which is the least visited room in my house. haha...
The next two items are hanging in my bedroom. My bedroom has an "African" theme, and this first item was purchased LONG before I even had my condo. In fact, it was hanging in my bedroom at my parents' house when I still lived there, and I used it as my inspiration for my new bedroom. It is a tapestry, and not only does it fit the African them, but it also encompasses one of my other loves...reading (which is what the little kid is doing):

This next one is actually two items, and they are photos taken while on a cruise with two friends. The frames fit perfectly with my African theme as well. The smaller one is a shot of the three of us with our "table mates" from the cruise. The larger one frames three shots of a sunset I took.

The final item is another picture frame. This one isn't necessarily a beautiful frame, and even the pictures themselves aren't anything spectactacular, but it was a Christmas gift from my uncle, several years ago, and is something he made himself. He made one of these (with different photos) for everyone that year, and they all contained photos of people near and dear to us. Mine has a photo of my dad in the upper left hand corner, mom next to him, then a photo of myself with my two cousins (who were my best friends growing up) and my little brother, a smaller shot of my brother, and one of my cousin's daughter. Then there are three shots of myself and my two cousins, posing for my uncle, who was quite the photographer back then. Finaly, the bottom two shots are of my grandmothers. My dad's mom on the left, my mom's mom, with me (I'm the one laughing on her lap) and two cousins.

It's been loads of fun to share my wall hangings with you, I hope you enjoyed viewing as much as I enjoyed sharing.

Please visit MJD's blog for a list of other participants!

Introducing...BLUEBERRY 2.0

FUN MONDAY POST coming later on today... in the meantime:

As some of you may know from reading this post, the original Blueberry, my beta fish who sat on my desk at work, swimming round and round in his little fishbowl and making me smile, swam off to the big fish pond in the sky a few weeks ago. I finally picked up a new Beta today at lunch...thus I give you: Blueberry 2.0

This one has slightly more red in his coloring that the original Blue did, and also seems to have a bit more spunk. Since putting him in the fishbowl today, he's explored every nook and cranny, and spend quite a bit of time just staring at me. Something I find amusing, because Blue 1.0 never even noticed my existence, but this one will swim right up against the glass and face me...and kind of give me the eye...haha...He also seems to want to swim right through the glass, hopefully he doesn't knock himself out.

Anyway, there should be a Fun Monday post later on tonight, but for now, here's Blue 2.0 to tide you over...

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day

In honor of daddy's day, I figured I'd introduce you all to my dad. Of course, since my mom and dad are a true example of a "love story", there's really no introcing my dad without introducing my mom...So, here's my dad, with my mom, while she was pregnant with me...yep, that's me in her belly!

Mom and dad have truly always had this wonderful relationship, that even in the worst of times, there was never any doubt they would make it through. Here's another shot of my dad, with mom, and my christening:

Check out the bellbottoms! My father is the sweetest, nicest, hardest working guy I know. Personality wise, my dad and I are a bit too much alike, and when I was a teenager, this meant that with our stubborness, and short tempers, we butted heads a lot. I hate to think back now about how much we fought at that time. But thankfully, we've both mellowed out a lot, and I absolutely love my dad, and we get along fantastically now. My brother is also a bit hotheaded, but being 9 years younger than me, he was lucky to get the more mellowed out version of my dad...(I think I'd already worn dad out by the time my brother hit the teenage years). Here's one of my favorite shots of my dad with the two of us. It was taken during a vacation back to Portugal almost 10 years ago.

I'm sure I've got some recent pictures around somewhere too, but I have to go get ready to go hang out with dad today, so these will have to do.

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to all the dad's out there.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday Find

It's Friday, after what for me at least has been an incredibly long, stressful, sad and cold week. SO, I share with you a video I found yesterday at "Cute Overload" (by the way, you must GO THERE to see the pictures of the baby panda...OMG!!! HOW CUTE IS HE??

Anyway, please note that in order to view this film, you will need to be in a place where you can, quite literally LAUGH OUT LOUD...I just about fell off my chair watching this.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Thirteen Things I love about BEING SINGLE

Now, before all the coupled people out there attack me on this, I want to make it clear that I’m not knocking relationships or love. I think they are a beautiful thing, and maybe one day I’ll find myself in both of those situations again. That said, I am single, have been single for quite a while now, and I am not one of those women who spends all her time looking for a man to complete her so she can begin her life. I am complete, and I am living my life NOW. I am loving my life as it is, as a single woman in her 30’s. Life is good, surrounded by great friends, a wonderful family, and my independence from what society tells me I should be doing. And just like there are perks to being in a relationship, there are definite perks to being alone. Here are my top 13, in no particular order:

1. I don’t have anyone stealing my covers at night, and have my big bed all to myself.

2. When I leave work, I can go home, or go out, and don’t have to check with anyone else about what his plans were for that evening.

3. No gifts to buy on Valentine’s Day, one less birthday to buy for, one less Christmas gift to purchase. (Actually, I love buying gifts, so this isn’t a very strong reason).

4. I can change plans at a moment’s notice if I want to, take off for a long weekend, or spend a Saturday at home all day in my pj’s without anyone feeling “neglected”.

5. Closet space…I don’t have to share my closets…EVERY CLOSET in my house is MINE, all mine!

6. I can go all winter without shaving my legs if I want to (okay, maybe not ALL winter, even I can’t stand that).

7. I can watch whatever I WANT on television, and never have to give up the remote. ;-)

8. I have the pride of owning my own home, all by myself, and paying all of my bills on my own. Knowing I can take care of myself, even when money is tight, is an incredibly powerful feeling.

9. I can still have the fantasy that one day I will meet Mr. Right, and imagine all the wonderful things he will be. And I still have that excitement you get when a stranger smiles at you that you can flirt back without feeling guilty. The “what if” is a wonderful thing.

10. Imagine all the things I’ll have to blog about when I decide I’m ready to head back into the dating world?

11. I have a larger group of female friends than most women I know, because due to being single for this long, I’ve surrounded myself with the most amazing women and had the time to cultivate and nourish these friendships.

12. I’ve gotten to make the “always a bridesmaid, never a bride” thing not only a reality, but also a positive thing. I’ve learned all the things NOT to do when it does come time for my wedding, and all the important things I should focus on.

13. Unlike most of my friends who are married, I don’t have to hide my purchases in my car until “he’s not home” to see me bring them in. Why do women do that anyway? You work for your money right? I can buy all the shoes I want without having some man tell me I have too many shoes. MEN, repeat after me: “There is no such thing as too many shoes”.

I just reread that list…yep, its no wonder I’m still single, I’m going to be ONE DIFFICULT girlfriend after all this time alone! Ha!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Tale of a Portuguese Rooster

So, yesterday in my FUN MONDAY post, I had a photograph which included a picture of my Portuguese Rooster. A few commenters asked for a close-up of that rooster, so I am happy to oblige.

Here, ladies and gents is my "Galo de Barcelos" (Barcelos Rooster):

The Barcelos Rooster has long signified good luck in Portugal. Every house should have one, as it brings luck into your abode. I had requested a small rooster from my grandfather on his last trip to Portugal...I wound up with this one instead...It is about a foot tall. That's my grandpa, when he gives...he gives!

I promissed a bit of the history of how the Rooster came to be the national symbol of Portugal, but I'll admit it here, I actually DID NOT KNOW the story myself. Some research on-line led me to some wonderful sites, each with slightly different versions of the same story. The gist of it is as follows (taken from here):

"This is the Galo de Barcelos, the national symbol of Portugal, symbolising honesty, integrity, trust and honour.

The town of Barcelos is celebrated for its pottery, handicrafts and earthenware. One of the most typical baked clay items is the renowned rooster of Barcelos, with its crest well reared up and with its spurs standing out.

The origin of the cult of the rooster can't be pinned down with accuracy, but people at Barcelos keep worshipping the rooster, and an ancient legend has been passed on from generation to generation.

Once upon a time the inhabitants of Barcelos were quite alarmed with a crime, and this was even more alarming when they couldn't discover the criminal. One day a stranger from the neighboring Spanish province of Galiza, appeared in the village. Suspicion fell on him at once.

The authorities resolved to seize him and in spite of all his oaths of innocence nobody believed the stranger. Not one villager, and no one in authority, could believe that the man was on his way to worship St Tiago, the patron saint of a nearby town. Finally the hapless stranger was condemned to death by hanging.

As a last request before his execution, he asked to be brought once more into the presence of the Judge who had condemned him. The request was granted and they lead him to the residence of the magistrate, who was just banqueting with some friends.

So you are innocent, are you?” laughed the Judge.

“Yes Sir, I am. Before God, I swear it,” answered the stranger.

“Ah, but you have been accused and sentenced to death, and I can’t change the sentence on just your word without proof. How do you think you can prove your innocence, my good man?”

“But Sir, I swear that I am innocent,” the man insisted.

He looked around the banquet room in desperation, seeking some way, some help. His eyes fell on a servant carrying in a large platter of fowl, steaming with seasonings. He fell to his knees.

“Lord God,” he prayed, “as Peter, your servant, denied you at the cock’s crow, would that you show my innocence as your humble servant by this rooster’s crow…”

All eyes turned to the platter of steaming cooked fowl and widened in wonder and amazement as the rooster got up, ruffled his feathers and crowed loudly.

“The Lord has indeed spoken,” the Judge said in awe, and rising to his feet, he proclaimed, “Let this be a lesson to each of us never to sit in quick judgment of our fellow man. The rooster, henceforth, shall be a reminder to us and to our children after us, of this, the Lord’s message. So shall it be in our land forever!”

To this day the Galo de Barcelos is the national synbol of honesty."

Another fun site I found actually sells all sorts of Rooster paraphenelia, and will probably become a bookmarked site for me...they actually have a really cute cartoon version of the above story that you can watch. Check it out here.

So, there it is, the rooster story. Hope you enjoyed learning about it as much as I did.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Fun Monday #1 - Show us your Kitchen

My first Fun Monday is hosted by my new She Who Blogs buddy over at A Spot of T.

The assignment? She wants to see our kitchens. I'm tempted to say something along the lines of "Nothing to see here folks, move it along", but I figured what the heck, I'll play along.

My kitchen is, by the way, my least favorite room in my place. I have put lots of tender loving care, personal touches and hard work into most of the other rooms of my house. The only thing I really did (okay, actually my dad did it) to my kitchen was to remove the linoleum floor and put in tiles. I LOVE my kitchen floor. I hate my cabinets and counter top and the godawful backsplash WALL PAPER, all left over by the previous owners. I had grand plans to paint the walls, and tile the backsplash and do all kinds of fun things in there, but money and time both ran short, and it's stayed as is.

That said, I've made the most of it, and love my jalapeno/spicy decor, sparse as it is.

The above is a view of my kitchen taken from my living room, looking to the left. The door you see is my front door. That rooster on the table is a traditional Portuguese rooster. The little house on the wall houses my shot glass collection, of shotglasses collected on my travels. I have one from every place I've been. Also visible is the tracklighting I installed to replace a horrible light fixture that came with the house. I'm very proud of my tracklighting.

This is taken from the same place, facing the right. I thought it looked better by candlelight. Seeing as I live in a condo, there are no windows in my kitchen. The mirror in front of the kitchen sink was actually one of the first things I fell in love with when I saw this place. It opens it up, and makes it seem larger. Oh, and those are my ugly cabinets.

This final view shows off my pretty kitchen floor tiles. (sort of)...I love them. I also love my jalapeno rug in front of the sink. On my refrigerator hang a birthday card I received from my parents in March, it is so sweet I don't want to take it down, and also a drawing my cousin's daughter made for me at Easter.

Well, there you have it, that's my kitchen. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sunday Scribblings #1 - SPICY

I have decided to join the Sunday Scribblings
group. I did, after all, start blogging so that I would WRITE more...I'll use Sundays for my creative writing day...

"A pinch of salt
some garlic too
a little spice
I give to you"

I never cook without at least two forms of pepper by my side. I was born in ANgola, Africa, where my parents both lived for much of their young adulthood. The cultural influence of that country followed them, and in turn me, back to Portugal. It was in the music we listened to, in the art work we displayed, and most definitely in the food we ate. Mom was never afraid of spices, pepper, curry, paprika, you name it, she used it. She never met a recipe she couldn't add to and make better, tastier, spicier. And this is how I learned to cook. Through my teen years and up until today, I have also surrounded myself with friends of different cultures. Laotian, Thai, Indian, Cambodian, Haitian, Liberian, Nigerian, Italian, Irish, Portuguese, American, they've all a little something to the table. My table. I take things I learn from each of their cuisines and I apply it to mine. I live alone, therefore, I don't really cook very often. It isn't as much fun to spend hours over a meal, only to eat it alone, in front of the television, in minutes. But I do love to expirement. My spice rack is an entire cabinet in my kitchen. I never cook the same thing twice, because I never measure, I never follow directions, I grab things haphazzardly from the spice cabinet and throw them in. Very seldom do I end up with an undesirable product. And the spicier it is, the better.

I have to remind myself, when I am cooking for others, that not everyone can handle spice the way I can. Cut back on the pepper a bit, I don't want to make you cry at my table. From years of throwing everything from chilli peppers to jalapenos to wasabi in my food, my tongue is desensitized. I'll sit at a table with other and they'll comment on how hot something is, and I'm barely blinking. "It could use a bit more" I'll think.

And I try to live the way I cook. Surrounded by different colors, experiencing unique flavors, giving it all I've got, and throwing in just a little bit more for an extra added jolt. I't always about how spicy it is. More pepper anyone??

See other "Sunday Scribblings" here

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Saturday Photo Hunt - Shoes

I've never participated in this "Photo Hunt" before, but the theme this week is shoes and If anyone knows me, they know it's ALL about the, without further ado...three of my current favorite pairs:

Learn all about the Photo Hunt here

Lazy Saturday

It is rainy, cool and kind of dreary outside today. It is, in my opinion the perfect weather for a lazy Saturday.

There is something about our society today that makes one feel guilty if a day is spent with no plans, no goals, no list of to do's. The truth is, we are generally so busy, overworked, over extended, that a day of just doing whatever we feel like doing, is sometimes absolutely necessary.

I find that in the summer, when the sun is shining and the temps are up, I have an urge to be outside, doing something, anything, before the weather turns cold again. I think this is because I live in New England, and we all know it is winter 9 out of the 12 months of the year here. When it is nice out, you'd better take advantage, because it will not last long.

So lazy days tend to, for the most part, take place in winter. There will be many Saturdays or Sundays in the winter time when I will get up and just not bother to get out of my pajamas all day. Laze around watching television, playing on the computer, doing some housework, reading a book, drinking hot cocoa and loving every minute of it.

In the summer, I tend to get restless if I'm home for too long, and have the desire to GET OUT I spend my week days working, and my weekends running around. This is fine, I have a busy life, and I enjoy it. But it leaves me little time to just relax, and I find myself exhausted come Monday morning, only to start the work week all over again.

But today, I woke up to the sound of the rain outside my open bedroom window. I didn't have any pre-set plans, so I allowed myself to stay in bed longer than usual. Then I got up, threw on a bathrobe and moved to the couch, where again, I just lounged for a while. After breakfast I decided I'd do some housework, so I cleaned my kitchen, did the dishes, started a load of laundry. In this manner I have spend most of today. I'm still in my bathrobe. I've cleaned the living room, the bathroom, and my bedroom. I've stripped the sheets from my bed, and they are now in the dryer, I have done three additional loads of laundry. I have made lunch, watched a movie (in the background, as I worked), and cleaned up my desk. I have moved at my own pace, taking breaks to watch episodes of stupid reality shows on E!

Now I'm on the computer, catching up on some of my favorite blogs (and posting in my own, as you can see). After my computer time, I think I might go watch a movie. As of right now, I have no plans to leave the house, or even change out of my bathrobe. This is the benefit of living alone, I really don't need to get dressed if I don't want to, I've got nobody to see me! (although I will add that my bathrobe is adorable, and I have washed my face and brushed my teeth, I'm not completely funky). ;-)

I have plans for a foot soak/pedicure and a facial tonight (self-administered while I watch movies). A bit of pampering is just what the doctor ordered, after the sad way my week ended. There is a wake and funeral tomorrow and Monday, so the week will be starting on a sad note as well. I will need to be strong and available for my friend in the coming weeks, so I figured I needed to take today to refuel, recharge, and focus. She will need me, and I intend to be there at no less than 100%.

So, my cat and I are enjoying a lazy Saturday together. It's been a really nice day so far. How's your Saturday going?

Friday, June 08, 2007

Travel Questionnaire

One of my favorite blogs to visit belongs to Dan Renzi, who, in case you don't know, was a cast member in MTV's Real World, Miami (I think). By the time this season of the Real World came out, I already wasn't really watching it anymore, so I'm sure I caught some of the episodes, but I don't think I watched the whole thing. I have, however, watched almost all of the Real World/Road Rules Challenges, because the competition stuff is so much more fun to watch. Dan has done a few of these challenges, so I've seen him in those. At one point, I stumbled across his blog, and I really like what he writes, he's funny, he's smart, and he seems like a great guy.

Okay, all of that intro to basically say that while perusing his blog, "How Was Your Day, Dan?" today I came across a post in which he answered the NY Times T Travel Questionnaire. Since I love traveling, I decided that I wanted to answer it too. And since it is Friday and I'm not much for serious blogging on Fridays, here it is:

What was your first passport stamp?
This is a good question, because I'm not sure if I had a passport issued to me when I was 8 months old and moved from Africa to Portugal...if so, that would have been my first. Otherwise, it would have been when I moved from Portugal to the U.S. when I was 9...first U.S. Issued Passport stamp would be when I was about 23 or so and went back to Portugal for a visit.

Is there a tourist trap that you actually love?
Faneuilll Hall in Boston. Well, technically, all of Boston in the summer is a tourist trap, and I love the city...but specifically, Faneuill Hall with all the "souvenir" kiosks, and dozens of restaurants, and groups of street performers, it’s a fun place to eat and hang out for a bit.

Favorite hotel?
I don’t really have one. As long as the bed is plushy, the service is friendly, and the food is good, I’m happy.

With the amount of eating out I do, picking a favorite restaurant is damn near impossible. BUT, in the spirit of the travel theme, there was a sushi buffet place in the Alladin complex in Las Vegas that I absolutely fell in love with. I’d love to eat there again.

Carry-on or check?
Carry-on if I can help it. Sometimes, for longer trips, you have no choice but to check luggage, but I HATE to do so, and almost every single time I’ve had to check luggage, I’ve had issues with it being lost or delayed…sigh

Beach or mountains?
Beach, without a doubt. The mountains are beautiful, and I have great memories of summers spent at the White Mountains in New Hampshire, but there’s nothing like the smell of the ocean and the sound of the waves.

What's one unusual item you always travel with?
I don’t think there is any one item that I always travel with…but I do always carry a pair of comfy socks in my purse, so I can put them on when I’m flying, even if I’m traveling in warm weather, and wearing sandals. There are always the ear plugs too, because I have really sensitive ears and get horrible ear aches when I fly.

Favorite airport pastime?
People watching. I mean seriously, the people you see in airports? BEST kind of entertainment.

First class next to a crying baby or coach in total silence?
Coach in silence, obviously. Babies are very cute, but not when they’re crying in confined spaces.

If you were a boutique hotel, which would you be?
I don’t even really know what qualifies as a boutique hotel, so I don’t know how to answer this question…so I’m skipping it.

When I travel, I allow myself to ______:
Eat whatever I want, diets don’t travel well. I also allow myself to wear stuff I might not wear at home, i.e. the big J-Lo style hat at the pool.

What travel-related job would you least like to have?
Hotel maid. I hate cleaning up after myself, cleaning up after others would be 100 times worse. I absolutely appreciate hotel maids.

When your final day arrives, in which hotel would you like to die?
What a weird and morbid question. I’d rather not die in a hotel, but if that’s the choice, I’ll take some beach resort in Mexico, thank you very much!

There you have it! Happy Friday everyone, have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Thirteen Things you should do right now

I apologize in advance for the serious nature of this TT, but I am writing it with a heavy heart today. One of my oldest and dearest friends lost her mom to a long battle with cancer yesterday, and I just found out about it today. I met this particular friend on the very first day of college, and we have been true friends since then. Through the past 10 or so years, there have been loves and heartbreaks, marriages and babies (for her, not me), home purchases (for both of us), career advancements, and setbacks, and so many other things we have shared in. I knew her mother well, and she was certainly an amazing and strong person, who will most certainly be missed. My heart aches for her family today. Learning of something like this puts everything into perspective for your day, and makes you value every second you have with those you that sense, I give you my TT.

Thirteen things you should do right now:

1. Tell your loved ones how special they are to you
2. Do your job during work hours, but spend your free time enjoying your life
3. Take that vacation NOW, don't wait until...whenever
4. Say a prayer, send a blessing, project good vibes (whatever it is that you do and believe in) toward someone who is hurting today.
5. Go ahead, do that thing you've been scared to do
6. Love with all that you've got, regardless of the consequences
7. Turn off the television, or the computer, and go do something with a living breathing being
8. Call those friends you've been meaning to it, right now
9. Take a "mental health day" from work, enjoy the sunshine
10. Eat dessert (and hey, I'm on a diet)
11. Don't feel guilty for your blessings, but share them with others
12. Hug someone
13. Just LIVE as best you can, we only get this one shot

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Wordless Wednesday - Baby Blue

see other WW's here:
Wordless Wednesday

If you're participating in WW, leave a link in comments, I'll post it here:


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Diary of Rutka Laskier

If you have not yet heard about, or had a chance to read about the discovery of another diary written by a teenage Jewish girl, living during the Holocaust, do yourself a favor, and take a moment to read this.

“The Diary of Anne Frank” is one of those books that will forever haunt me. I honestly don’t remember how old I was when I read it, but I was probably 14 years old myself, and I recall the impact it had on me then. I too was a teenage girl, I too kept a diary, and I too felt a bit like the world didn’t want me, I didn’t fit in, so I identified with Anne Frank. But unlike her, I wasn’t in fear for my life, I wasn’t “in hiding” and unable to tell people who I really was. I cried for Anne Frank and her pain and suffering, for the injustice she, and all others like her were put through. But I admired her strength, her perseverance, her ability to keep dreaming about a normal life, when she was living anything but one.

It has been decades since I read her diary, and when it was recently mentioned in another book I was reading, I wondered if I should pick it up again. Would it still have such an impact on me now, a grown woman? Would I still identify with Anne?

Then today I hear about Rutka Laskier’s diary. Another formidable teenager, caught in the same turmoil as Anne Frank, using her diary as a means of expressing not only her anger and pain, but also her dreams and fantasies. And as I read the article above, tears formed in the corners of my eyes and I had my answers to those questions. No, I probably wouldn’t necessarily identify with her still, but yes, Anne’s story, Rutka’s story, would still have an impact on me. Only now, as an adult who has seen more of the horrors of the world, who has suffered some heartbreak of her own, it would have an even deeper impact.

What an unbelievably cruel world this has to be for such things to occur. And yet, what a testament to the human spirit that a diary such as this has appeared after all this time to remind us that we can never forget. To teach us that we must remember to treat our fellow humans with some semblance of respect, to alert us to the fact that a 14 year old deserves and needs time to be a child, to have their dreams and fantasies.

I wonder what legacies we’ll leave behind. Will our teenagers’ diaries, most likely in form of “blogs”, hold such an impact for future generations? Imagine if Anne Frank, or Rutka Laskier had had access to the Internet, what form their blogs would have taken. And then I remember we have teenagers across the world suffering the same injustices, and I wonder if they keep diaries? I hope they do, and I hope they are full of their silly fantasies and dreams amidst all the atrocities they see.

I think I will re-read Anne Frank’s Diary, now and again, we need a dose of harsh reality, to keep us humble, to keep us feeling as blessed as we are. For, I am blessed.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Moody Monday - Random thoughts

What a crummy, rainy, yucky day it is outside today. You've got to love New England! On Saturday it was 90 degrees and humid. Yesterday and today? About 50 to 60, cold, wet, they say, if you don't like the weather today in New England, just wait till tomorrow. (you'll like it even less...haha)...okay, they don't say that part, I do.

Anyway, moody Mondays bring about a contemplative state in me, so...some celebrity centered random thoughts:

Paris Hilton: oh okay, I know, I know...not really something very deep to start off this discussion with, but I'm moody, so I read celebrity gossip to cheer me up. Because when you're feeling down in the dumps, there's nothing like a hotel heiress going to prison to cheer you up. She turned herself into jail last night to serve her 20+ day sentence. She is supposedly not going to receive special treatment, and is going to serve the entire sentence. And I'll believe it when I see it. Now, all things said, I actually feel slightly badly for her. Don't get me wrong, I think she's a spoiled brat, who was driving "recklessly" (aka DRUNK) and lost her license, and then continued to drive, because she figured the rules didn't apply to her. I don't pity her for very long, but, I put myself in her very expensive shoes, and I feel for her. Throw me in jail for ONE day and I'd freak out, and I'm not NEARLY as high maintenance as she is. This is certainly punishment, no doubt. And overall, spoiled brat or not, this is all her parents' fault...they should have thought her how to better handle her wealth.

Speaking of Paris, I watched the MTV Movie Awards last night, and man, did they single her out to completely humiliate her, WHILE she was sitting in the audience. I have to give her props for not storming out, and if I were Sarah Silverman, I'd hire a bodyguard, because I think the Hiltons might have a hit out on her at this point.

Now, about the MTV horrible were they? I'm a sucker for awards shows, so I tend to Tivo them, and watch them with my finger glued to the fast forward button. I think I watched this particular awards show in record time. Did I ever really used to find that type of humor funny? Am I just getting old or was it just bad? And how can actors of the caliber of Jack Nicholson lower themselves to be a part of such a childish display of...of...I have no idea what to call it. It was just bad. Not funny, not imaginative, not even slightly enjoyable, just bad. Or am I just getting old?

I will, however, give credit to Johnny Depp showing up, because you could totally tell it wasn't his scene, and he didn't even do the red carpet thing, and wasn't even sitting in the audience, but obviously aware that he was going to win something, he showed up to thank his fans, and then promptly walked off the stage and probably ran to the safety of MTV world. That was cool.

Well, my pounding headache is making it way too hard to write coherently, so I'm going to leave you with this:

No matter how moody your Monday is today, at least you're not Paris Hilton.

Friday, June 01, 2007

R.I.P. -Blueberry the Beta

Blueberry was a fish who lived the best kind of life that a Beta, Siamese Fighting Fish could wish to live.

His childhood spent in a pet shop, living in a small plastic container, Blueberry was adopted and given a home in a pretty fish bowl, surrounded by pretty blue rocks on a desk, in the office of his new owner, Karina.

And in his new home, he could swim around in circles and circles every day.

His owner Karina would feed him every other day, and change his water weekly. She had even purchased a lamp so that he could have some wonderful light to swim under.

He brightened up her office space, and gave her someone to talk to when she was having a particularly bad day. There were days where she knew if Blueberry wasn’t there to calm her down, with his peaceful travels around the fishbowl, she might have seriously punched one of her co-workers on the nose.

Then one day in May, the last day in May, Blueberry seemed blue.
He kept hiding under the pretty blue stones, and Karina kept asking him
“Are you okay my fish?”
But then he would swim to the top, and do his rounds, and she thought everything would be okay. Karina knew that Blueberry liked to burrow, always had, so she figured he was just in one of his burrowing moods.

Then one day in June, the first day in June, Karina came into her office and said
“Good Morning my fish”…but Blueberry didn’t swim to the top as usual. In fact, Blueberry wasn’t swimming at all…and Karina was very sad to learn that Blueberry the Beta, Siamese Fighting Fish…had ceased his fight.

Rest In Peace old buddy…I’ll get a Blueberry 2.0, but it just won’t be the same. You’ll always be my first Beta.