Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The calm before the storm (and a request for your help)

Whew...yesterday was quite the blog day for me. I had no idea hosting Fun Monday would turn into such a serious responsibility for me. Don't get me wrong, I LOVED hosting, and thank you all for letting me host, but with my slightly OCD personality, as the hostess, I felt I had to be sure to visit EACH and EVERY participant, and comment (and make sure my comments meant something), so I was a busy busy bee.

Glad I got that out of the way, so that now I can concentrate on NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo...imagine if I'd volunteered to host during the month of November? Whew...dodged that bullet! haha...

Yes, you read that right, I'm doing NaBloPoMo an NaNoWriMo BOTH, as well as working full time, attempting to have some sort of a social life, and continuing to visit my favorite bloggers, AND keep in touch with all my other friends that I only communicate with online...oh, and keep track of my other addiction, Fall TV, as well. And then there's Thanksgiving, Christmas shopping, my new found interest in football, cleaning the house, sleeping...Good GOD what was I thinking?

But see, this is me, overachiever. I always have that need to do as much as I can at any one time, because life is short, and I want to LIVE IT.

So, I'm going for it...the worst that can happen? I won't complete NaNoWriMo, but hey, even if I don't, at least I'll focus more on writing something that I have been in past years, and that'll be an accomplishment in and of itself. I'm not so concerned about NaBloPoMo, because I already post daily, with the exception of weekends, so I'll just have to add 2 posts per week...I can handle that.

But I am going to ask for your help here. My friend Sognatrice has done this on her blog twice now, with much success, so I'm stealing borrowing her idea. I'm going to ask you to ask me any questions at all you might have about me or my life. I will answer almost anything within reason, and who knows, you might spark up a memory and get a story out of it. And this will give me some fodder for November blog posts. So, please in the comments, leave me your questions, and I will have them all answered by the end of next month.

Finally, if you are participating in NaBloPoMo, please click on the button in my right sidebar and lets be friends. I don't really know how the NaNoWriMo site works...I haven't spent nearly enough time there to figure it out, so if you're participating in that one...uh...let me know, and I'll come visit and say hello.

Well, I have to get some work done (as I am actually AT WORK), so get to questioning, will ya? ;-)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Fun Monday - Don't Leave Home Without It

Scroll down for the next post, for your list of participants this week!

UPDATED because I'm an airhead!!!

Well, it would figure that on the week I'm hosting Fun Monday, I'd run into camera issues just as I was about to take my pictures! sigh... No worries, the camera is fine, the batteries were just running out of juice, so I kept getting out of focus pictures. Anyway, the assignment this week was:

"I want to see your security blankets. No, not the kind Linus carries around with him in the Charlie Brown cartoons, although, if you have one of those, by all means share it. What I want to see are the items you just cannot leave home without. What is it that if you leave your house without, you feel naked, incomplete, not quite right? This can be one thing or many things. And since most of us don't live in a clothing optional society, lets just assume we all leave the house fully dressed...I want to hear about those other things...the extras. The things that make women's purses so heavy and men's pockets so messy (I'm going to get grief for this one, aren't I?) What can't you leave home without? Show us pictures, tell us stories...have fun!"

So, what are my "must haves"? I think my things are pretty typical ones. For starters, there are my keys. By themselves, this is not that unusual, after all, most people need keys to get in their car, back in their house, etc. We all take our keys with us when we go out, right?

BUT, my keys:

My keys include not only my house and car keys, but also keys to my parents house, which I always carry with me, and the one thing I never leave home without...yes, that's a tube of chapstick attached to my keys. I have a bit of a chapstick addiction...at any given time I will have three tubes of chapstick with me. In my purse, jacket pockets, in my desk at work, and yes, attached to my keys.

Then there is my cell phone:

Isn't it cute? I just got this phone a few weeks ago, and it has all the bells and whistles (mp3 player, camera, GPS, etc.) so this will definitely be something I always carry with me. However, even before the bells and whistles came along I can't leave home without my cell phone. Not even to go take out the trash. Seems paranoid? But what if I lock myself out of my house? How do I get back in? I need my phone to call someone, don't I? See what I mean? If I leave my phone at home, panic attacks are not far behind...a true security blanket, you see?

Next up?

My wallet of course. I may not always take the whole wallet, but I go nowhere without at least my driver's license, debit card, and whatever cash I've got on hand. A pen, because you never know when you'll need to jot something down...I ALWAYS carry at least one pen, and gum. Not always the same flavor, but always gum...I'm addicted to the stuf.

And finally?

Sorry for the poor quality of the photo, but that, my friends is my eyeliner. I don't take the actual pencil with me, but I never leave the house without applying eyeliner. I may not put on any other make-up (though I usually do), but eyeliner is a must. I feel washed out, not awake, not quite me, without eyeliner.

Other things I completely spaced out on? My sunglasses because I have a wicked sensitivity to light...I think I forgot these because technically they are never "at home", I wear glasses full time, therefore I have a pair of prescription sunglasses, and I keep those in my car, but therefore, I always have them because I drive everywhere. Also, my watch...I will NEVER leave the house without my watch. And of course, my camera. I seriously think I forgot the camera because I was holding it as I was studying the contents of my purse trying to figure out what else was in there that I needed to photograph...forgetting to photograph the camera itself. DUH...I'm sure I'll think of other things I forgot, but...

There are plenty of other things I carry around with me on a daily basis, including my mp3 player (the cell phone needs a bigger memory card, which I have yet to purchase), a book, eyeglass cleaner, lipstick, etc. But the above are the things I am NEVER without.

And a bonus...this is a follow up to last week's Fun Monday...I mentioned my Care Bears T-Shirt, which I couldn't find. Well, after a thourough cleaning of my closet this afternoon, I found the shirt. So, this is for you Frigga:

(It says "I'm Having a Bad Day")

And the back:

Yeah, you know you're jealous! ;-)

Be sure to visit Deborah, The Humble Housewife, as she's volunteered to host next week!

Thanks again for letting me host this week, it was fun...can't wait to see what you all came up with!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Fun Monday #39 - Don't Leave Home Without It - Sign Up Sheet

Welcome to FUN MONDAY ladies and gents! This week's hostess is yours truly!

Your assigment this week:

I want to see your security blankets. No, not the kind Linus carries around with him in the Charlie Brown cartoons, although, if you have one of those, by all means share it. What I want to see are the items you just cannot leave home without. What is it that if you leave your house without, you feel naked, incomplete, not quite right? This can be one thing or many things. And since most of us don't live in a clothing optional society, lets just assume we all leave the house fully dressed...I want to hear about those other things...the extras. The things that make women's purses so heavy and men's pockets so messy (I'm going to get grief for this one, aren't I?) What can't you leave home without? Show us pictures, tell us stories...have fun!

If you'd like to participate, leave your link in the comments and I'll add you to the list, there's still time to join!
Here is your list of participants for this week. If I missed you, messed up your link, etc., please let me know...
Junebug (who signed on not knowing the assignment);
Swampy (who also signed on not knowing the assignment, but she planned on breaking the rules anyway);
Janet (from another planet),
Lisa (from Lisa's Chaos),
Nikki (the crazy mom),
Robin (the pensieve one),
Deborah (the humble housewife - who's volunteered to host next week - Thanks, you're on!), Alisonwonderland,
Sandy (of myanderings),
Lisa (the food snob),
Beckie (at Give it a Try),
BS ,
Robin (of my two blessings),
And a few late entries (better late than never, I say):
Izzak (my4kids' son - he's 12, so mind your manners)
Thanks for letting me host this week! See you all next Monday!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Sticky Post

This is a sticky post..please click here to sign up for Fun Monday next week and find out your assignment.

Scroll down for newer posts.


Follow-Up Friday

It's been a busy week for me. Not only have I been a bit overwhelmed at work, but I'm hosting a small party this weekend, I've signed up to host Fun Monday next week, and NaBoPloMo and NaNoWriMo both begin next week, so I've been trying to gear myself up for that. OOOH boy, what was I thinking?

So, before things get completely nuts and out of control, a little bit of catch up.

Let's start with the Comcast situation, only because I never did provide a conclusion to the whole fiasco. It was Friday at 6PM (one FULL WEEK later) when I finally had my service re-instated. At that point I'd already pretty much resorted myself to the fact that I was going to go without a home phone. I'd done all the fighting I could do with Comcast on the phone, and I was tired, done, beaten. The phone is now working, and I'm too tired of the whole situation to fight their lack of customer service any further...they win this battle, but I did walk away with a $35 credit at least. However, I'm still telling anyone who will listen that COMCAST SUCKS...thank you, good night.

Also, a quick LawBoy non-update. It has now been three weeks (boy does time fly) since the weird "phone call/plan to make plans" thing, and on Wednesday evening of this week, at around 7:30PM I received the following text message: "Hi, How are you?". I have not replied. I can't be bothered at this point.

Moving on to following up on your comments this week:

Fun Monday this week was a fun trip through my t-shirt collection. It seems my "Hell on Heels" t-shirt was a favorite amongst many, it is one of my favorites too, I think I'll wear it this weekend! Hootin' Anni had her Rockies t's up, while I had my Red Sox ones on display...I'm not saying anything Anni...just uh...GO SOX. Oh, and that goes for you too Swampy! ;-) Frigga wanted to know if I really have a "Care Bears" t-shirt. I really do, but I REALLY can't find it. I'll locate it one of these days, and I promise pictures!

OH, and Junebug, I was going to tell you that I'd come visit later and tell you how to add the Meez to your sidebar, but I just visited and it appears you figured it out! Nice, she's rockin'!

Susan commented that the fact that I put my t's into categories gave a glimpse into how my mind works...damn, it is that obvious? I have never been diagnosed as such, but I definitely have some OCD tendencies. I like groups and lists and organization a bit too much.

OH, and Robin, thanks for directing me to that list on your blog of previous Fun Monday hosts and topics. I think it's great that you have that list there! It was very helpful.

Which brings me to the fact that I volunteered to host next week's Fun Monday. If you haven't already done so, please sign up here if you'd like to join in the fun.

On Tuesday I finally accepted and acknowledged some Blogging Awards I've been granted. And then passed them off to just a few of my favorite bloggers. If you missed this post, please stop by to find out about some great bloggers.

My Wordless Wednesday was a fun one. I loved finding a marriage proposal among the thousands and thousands of carved pumpkins at the Pumpkin Fest I attended last week, and just knew it was another one of those "blogger" moments. "I have to share this on my blog" was my immediate reaction.

I also posted some Movie Reviews on Wednesday. Don't worry, no spoilers here, and there are really no spoilers in the reviews either...nothing you wouldn't find out by reading the back of the DVD box anyway. Lissa, I totally agree with you that I didn't think Kate Bosworth was the best choice for Lois Lane, she was probably my least favorite character in the film. Julia, I totally agree with your assessment of James Marsden's character being a stand up guy, added a nice twist to the mix.

And my Thursday Thirteen yesterday was just an excuse to show off some more of my pictures taken last Saturday up north, on our way to the Pumpkin Fest (and while there). I'm really happy with how some of these pictures came out, so I was happy to share them.

And that was the week for me. I'm dragging a bit today after having stayed up WAY too late the past two evening watching the Red Sox beat the Rockies. And tonight I have to clean my house, and tomorrow I have some cooking and baking to do, as I have a few of my girlfriends coming over for a little get together. What was supposed to be a fun little party has actually turned into the source of some aggravation for me, because it seems quite a few people have lost the etiquette of the RSVP, so until two days ago, I didn't even know how many people were coming. This leaves me with the shopping for food and drinks to be done tonight or tomorrow. GREAT fun. Still, I love having people over, so I'll get over my annoyance by the time everyone shows up.

I'm going to take the weekend off blogging, so I can properly host Fun Monday next week, and then get ready to tackle NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo...deep breaths...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #27

This past weekend I took a drive up north with my cousin M&M and her daughter Brainiac. We decided to go get some shots of the changing leaves on the trees before it was too late and they had all been blown away. We also attended a Pumpkin Fest in Keene, NH. For those who don't know, a Pumpkin Fest is when THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of people carve 100's of thousands of pumpkins and they are displayed for all to see. In my 32 years of life put together, I've never seen as many pumpkins as I did on Saturday.

My Wordless Wednesday post yesterday was of a marriage proposal among the pumpkins. We found it to be both odd, and romantic...oddly romantic. Hopefully Jessi said yes, guess we'll never know.

Here are 13 other photos I took that day:


2. 3. 4.


(M&M and Brainiac)


12.And my favorite:

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Movie Reviews

Wordless Wednesday is below this post.

When I first started this blog (before anyone was reading it, that is), I used to do pretty regular movie and book reviews. It was more a way for me to keep track of what books I was reading and movies I was watching than anything else. I haven't read all that many books lately, mostly because all my reading time is being dedicated to blog hopping, but I have watched quite a few movies lately. Here are some reviews of some of the movies I've seen recently. I'm not promising these to be in-depth reviews, just my opinions mostly.

Annapolis (2006) - Starring James Franco, Tyrese Gibson, Jordana Brewster, and Donnie Wahlberg (which, let's be honest, is the reason Tivo chose this movie for me).

Synopsis: This is the story of a kid (James Franco) from the wrong side of the tracks who wants nothing more than to get into the Naval Academy he's grown up across the river from. It appears his dream as come true when he manages to get in on a scholarship, but life inside the academy is harder than he ever imagined. With Tyrese Gibson as the hard ass officer in charge who wants to see him fail, Donnie Wahlberg as the guy who gave him a chance, and wants to see him succeed, and Jordana Brewster as the love interest.

I actually really enjoyed this movie. As a "military" film, it was your typical "underdog" prevails story, but I'm a sucker for these types of tales. I thought it was well acted, had some really funny scenes, and a bit of a corny romance subplot. As far as "military" movies go, this was the chick flick of the genre, I thought. Throw in a pretty boy, Tyrese Gibson as the bad guy in charge, a former New Kid, and a female character who kicks ass, and you've got chick-flick ingredients. Again, I'm a sucker for that too. It worked for me. Its not one of those movies that'll make much of an impact on you, but it was good for a few hours entertainment.

The Last Kiss (2006) - Starring Zack Braff, Rachel Bilson, Casey Affleck, Jacinda Barrett (wasn't she on one of MTV's Real Worlds?)

Synopsis: A group of 30 year olds struggle to adapt to life as adults.

Yeah, I don't really know what to say about this movie. Seeing as Garden State (another of Zack Braff's movies) is one of my all time favorite films, and having read the synopsis for this one, I was expecting some more of the same genius. To say I was disappointed is a bit of an understatement. Zack Braff's character is a man in a good relationship, with a woman (Jacinda Barrett) he is in love with and has a good relationship with, but he's going through a bit of a "mid-life crisis" at 30. So, in order to resolve this "crisis" he decides Rachel Bilson might just be the solution. At the same time a bunch of his other friends are going through relationship crisis of their own. I really didn't find any redeeming qualities to any of the characters in this film or to the film in general. I can't even recommend it to anyone.

Brokeback Mountain (2005) - Starring Jake Gyllenhall, Heath Ledger, Michelle Williams and Anne Hathaway.

Synopsis: Everyone knows the story. It's a love story between two men in the American West from 1963 to 983.

I have a real problem with watching a movie simply because it's gotten a lot of hype in Hollywood, and received all kinds of awards. As a general rule, I'm usually pretty disappointed in the critically acclaimed films (see Crash as an example here), so I tend to let the hype die down and watch it on my own time, to formulate my own opinions. So, I've just now gotten around to finally watching this movie.

I think I'm glad I waited for the hype to die down, but I'm also very glad that I did finally watch it. I was going to say I enjoyed this movie, but that would be an inaccurate choice of words, it was a terribly sad film, not something you actually "enjoy". But I did think it was a beautiful film. All controversy aside, this was a love story of star crossed lovers, and I thought it was told in a poignant and emotional way. I thought both Jake Gyllenhall and Heath Ledger did an excellent job portraying these characters, and although I think Gyllenhall got most of the media attention and praise surrounding this film, I thought it was actually Ledger who out did himself. He played the tortured and displaced Ennis so intensely that you couldn't help but feel his pain and confusion. Credit is due to Michelle Williams as well for her portrayal of Alma, his wife. She too did a wonderful job of portraying the tortured soul she was.

As for the "controversial" love scenes? Eh...maybe I've watched one too many episodes of MTV's Real World, but I just didn't get what all the fuss was about. You watch a movie about a love affair between two men, you'd better expect some physical contact, and if you are uncomfortable with that, well then, you shouldn't be watching the movie, now should you? Did I think it was over the top? Unless I watched some censored version, I really didn't see the big deal. (for the record, I did not watch a censored version).

I thought it was a beautiful, if sad, love story.

Superman Returns (2006) - Starring Brandon Routh, Kate Bosworth, Kevin Spacey, James Marsden

Synopsis: After a long visit to the lost remains of the planet Krypton, the Man of Steel returns to earth to become the peoples savior once again and reclaim the love of Lois Lane.

Going in, I actually had NO IDEA what this movie was about. Okay, wait, let me clarify, I knew it was about Superman. And yeah, okay, the title should have given it away, but I hadn't really followed any of the hype on this movie, so I didn't know it would be picking up 5 years after the last movie left off. That was kind of cool for me. (Unlike the Star Wars movies, I've actually seen most of the Superman movies). I enjoyed this one. It was a bit campy at times, but hey, it's a comic book superhero, if it can't be campy then...but it was cute. It's Superman, so you all know what happens, bad guy has kryptonite and wants to take over the world, Superman has to stop him, while at the same time keeping his true identity as Clark Kent a secret from everyone, and trying to keep his feelings for Lois Lane in check. There was a cute twist in the film that I won't spoil for anyone who hasn't seen it, but it left me hoping for more Superman movies, to see where it goes. Overall, I enjoyed it and thought Brandon Routh makes a good Superman.

Ice Age - The Meltdown (2006) - Starring the voices of Ray Romano, Queen Latifah, Dennis Miller and John Leguizamo.

The Original Ice Age is probably my favorite cartoon movie of all time. Well, maybe not of all time, but definitely that I've seen as an adult. It has to be one of the funniest cartoon movies EVER made, full of that double humor these movies are so great at...funny stuff for the kids, and then the not-always-subtle jokes that only the adults get. I have wonderful memories of watching it with Lil'K at the theatre, and there being a father with his son sitting in the row behind us, and the kids would laugh at certain scenes, and then this guy and I would laugh at others, and our respective "kids in tow" would look at us and go "What's so funny?" and the two of us would look at each other and just start laughing even more. But I'm totally digressing here, aren't I?

Back to the Meltdown. I LOVED IT. It totally kept the same level of humor, and I laughed pretty much beginning to end. Highly recommend it if you just need a night off from the seriousness of life. It was especially refreshing as we had just come in from watching "We Own the Night", which is definitely not a "light" movie.

We Own the Night - Starring Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Wahlberg
Synopsis: Two brothers on opposite sides of the law. Beyond the differences lies loyalty.
Joaquin Phoenix plays a night club manager, Mark Wahlberg plays his brother who is a cop. Throw in the Russian Mafia, illegal drug trafficking, and some family conflict, and you've got "We Own the Night".

Sigh...Marky Mark, why must you insist on these dorky hairdos for your movie roles? First there was that GodAwful THING you did to your head in The Departed, and now THIS? Please stop.

Oh, right, the movie...this film has been compared to The Departed for obvious reasons. It's a cop/gangster/mafia type film, which takes place at around the same time (sometime in the 80's) and Mark Wahlberg plays a cop in both. But I think that's pretty much where the similarities end. Where The Departed was a movie I walked out of thinking "WOW, that was so good, I have to see that again", We Own the Night didn't quite pack as much punch. Still, I thought it was an excellent movie. The movie begins with quite the uh...let's call it "unexpected" scene, and I'm not entirely sure what the purpose of that scene was, but from there it moves a bit choppily through the introduction of the characters and their situations. I was actually a bit lost in the beginning and annoyed that I couldn't understand half of what the actors were saying (and I'm not referring to the Russian ones, because they actually had subtitles to make that part easier to follow). Therefore, I'd say the first 30 minutes or so of the movie just didn't grab me. But once the action kicked in, the movie hit its stride and moved much more seamlessly through to the end. What I really loved about this movie though was the subtle bits of tenderness strewn throughout. More than a "gangster" flick, this was a story of human relationships, without professing to be so. Both Joaquin's relationship with his girlfriend, and the relationship between the two brothers had such unexpected tender touches that they took me by surprise. I wanted to explore more of that side of the story, but that wasn't the purpose of the film. I liked how they kind of snuck that human side into a genre that has been done over and over again. This saved the movie for me. It was a good film, and both Wahlberg and Phoenix carried their roles with the talent we are used to seeing from them.
And there you have it.

Wordless Wednesday - Do you see what I see?

Go here for more Wordless Wednesdays.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I'd like to thank the Blogosphere...

I've been a bad bad blogger! Over the last few weeks (perhaps even months) a few of my fellow bluddies (blog+buddies=bluddies) have presented me with various awards and tokens of their appreciation for me as a fellow blogger. And I may have appeared ungrateful to them all, because I have not acknowledge these awards. Let it be known that I am absolutely grateful to each and every one of them for each and every one of these. I've had a draft "thank you" post going for a while, and yet kept getting sidetracked. But without furhter ado, I give you my awards, and the wonderful people who've nominated me. As well as some nominees of my own:
My girl JennieBoo (who has been away from her blog for a while due to an injury...I miss you Jennie and hope you are well and back soon!) awared me with this one. It is the You Make Me Smile Award. The creator of this award said: "the thing that I love most about blogging is that I learn so much about a person just by reading their blog. I have met MANY wonderful people with wonderful stories to tell, and I am grateful every day for each person that I have the pleasure of crossing paths in life with. I wanted to create something special for the top ten people who have inspired me through their blogging; the stories they tell, and the lives that they lead with grace and dignity. I visit their blogs for inspiration and encouragement. Please grab your badge and wear it(with a smile) proudly, and pass it on because you inspire and encourage me, thank you. So, now it is my turn to pass it on." And Jennie said: "Thanks ladies, for your sweet, honest, wonderful "blogginess"! I am honored to be in the company of such great ladies...." Thank YOU Jennie, you have a heart as big as they come!

I'm going to hand this one off to the following bloggers:
Susan at A Slice of Life - Because her posts always make me smile. Read this for example...see what I mean?

Wicked H at Avert your Eyes - Because not only does she make me smile...she makes me outright laugh most days. Check out this post and you'll see what I mean.
Beckie at Give it a Try - One Day at a Time - because I love her blog and posts like this one, and also because whenever she comments on any of my posts, she makes me smile.

I also was once again awarded with the "Nice Matters" award by the fabulous Frigga! (Jennieboo had previously presented me with this one as well).

"This award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world.”
Frigga went on to say about me that "This woman has a heart bigger than her shoe collection - and that's pretty darn big!" Besides making me laugh out loud, it mad me all verklempt...Aww Shucks!
I'm passing this one on to:

Qualcosa Di Bello at Piacere, It is a Pleasure - because I just think she's a nice person who totally deserves a "Nice Matters" award. If you read any of her posts, you'll see exactly what I mean. Try this one for starters: Pretty in Pink
Also a while back I was also awarded this one:

by my buddie Literary Feline. At the time I promised to pass this one on in the future, but have yet to do so...today is that day, and it goes to:

Sognatrice at Bleeding Espresso - because of posts like this, and this and then ones like this...because not only does she think of others and what is going on in society around us, but then she gets us all involved in thinking about it (and discussing it) as well.
Also a while back, the lovely and wonderful Julia awarded me with a "Blogging Star" award.
"This award is for bloggers who shine their light throughout the Blogoshere. Some do it with humor, others with creativity, and others with their kind and thoughtful natures. We all know more than a few of them so why not give them some recognition?"

About me Julia said: "Karina is a two-blogger gal who posts her thoughts, photos and commentary on Candid Karina, and fiction on Creative Karina. Her poetry is fresh and unexpected, and her delight with shoes is quite contagious. Her Wordless Wednesdays got me started with a weekly feature I truly love. Shine on, Karina!"
About Julia I say: YOU JUST MUST visit her. Start with this post where she accepted her own awards, and handed them off to others, for just a peek at her creativity, and then stay and browse around. You'll love her.
So, I'm handing off the Blogging Star award to:
Frances - because nobody deserves it more. Talk about a blogging star...not only does this lady have...umm...wait let me count them...SIX blogs of her own (I may be missing some here), but she also is our fearless leader in the She Who Blogs yahoo group, and heads up our She Who Blogs BLOG. And she does it all with such grace and finesse. She's a SuperStar in my eyes.
Mushu at A Spot of T - Hey, this is the first time I'm giving an award to a blogging pet...but Mushu is such a superstar he deserves it...and he totally should have his own blog. Hopefully mom won't be too jealous of his award, I wanted to give her the "Fabulous Award" but she just gave that one to me...so...

Last, but definitely not least, Joy T just awarded myself (and all my fellow SheWhoBloggers) with this one:

As I said above, I'm totally handing this one back to her, so Joy, consider yourself re-awarded.
I'm also going to give one to:
Julia at A Piece of My Mind - Because she is totally fabulous.
I could give many many more of these away, but I should totally get some work done now and stop playing around in the blogosphere.
This is not about quantity folks, it's about quality, and all of the above are some QUALITY bloggers. Be sure to visit them, and tell them I sent ya!

Thank you EVERYONE for the lovely awards. I really love them and feel special for getting them!

Also, if you have also presented me with an award and I missed you, I SUCK I'm sorry, and please let me know so that I can properly thank you. (This goes for any memes you may have tagged me for that I have yet to respond to...please give me a gentle (GENTLE I SAID) reminder and I promise to respond.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Fun Monday - Me to a T

This week's Fun Monday is being hosted by Willow Tree of "A Dingo's Got my Barbie, he wants to see some clothing art. That's tee shirts, baseball caps, hoodies, sports uniforms or any bit of clothing that you or your kids own that has interesting, funny or artistic graphics.

I went with my t-shirts for this one. I do own a few baseball caps, and some great hooded sweatshirts, but by the time I got done photographing the t-shirts, I decided I had enough here.

So, we'll start with one of my favorites. I love James Dean. I've always loved James Dean, since the day sometime in high school when I watched Rebel Without a Cause. Yeah, yeah, I know, typical teen girl movie start crush. Still, I love James Dean. So, when I saw this t-shirt I just had to have it.

These are my "school" shirts. I've had the two Lowell shirts since high school. I don't wear the "peer leader" one at all, but can't seem to be able to part with it. I was a peer leader in high school, and have some great memories from that time. The shirt has that sentimental value things often do. The other is a tank, and I only wear it to work out in, but I do love it, I mean, after all, it's Mickey! The Suffolk shirt I wear maybe once a year, if that, but it's one of the few things I own with my university logo, so again, I can't get rid of it.

This next one is another of my favorite finds. Loving shoes as much as I do, I think it pretty much speaks for itself.

This next batch are my "I still think I'm a young girl" t-shirts. I don't really wear these all that often either. In fact, I can't remember the last time I wore any of them...but hey, I still own them, so:
The next batch are my "ironic" tees. See, I like to think of myself, at least when it comes to clothes, as having a trendy, sophisticated style. Even in my casual wear, I tend to put outfits together with thought, accessorizing and classing up even a t-shirt and jeans. And yet, now and again, I like to go shake things up a bit and be silly. I collect all things Betty Boop, so this is only one of the many Boop t-shirts I own. The Grease shirt I bought at the Broadway show I went to in July, and the My Little Pony shirt? Well, it's My Little Pony, that's why! I searched high and low for my Care Bears shirt, but I couldn't find it, so you'll just have to imagine that one.

This next one is just a fun artsy/bohemian shirt.

Another "sentimental value" type shirt, is my Big Brothers Big Sisters shirt. I never wear it, it's HUGE, but I don't see myself ever getting rid of it.

And finally, like any true Bostonian, the sports shirts. The Red Sox, the Patriots...you're not a true Bostonian if you don't own AT LEAST one of each...I have a few more than just these, but these are my faves. (And two of them are wrinkly because I had to dig them out of my hamper to photograph them, after all, it's playoff season in baseball and the Pats? Well, they're just kicking ass this year, now aren't they?)

And there you have it, some of my tee shirt art! Thanks for hosting WT! Be sure to go visit him for the list of other participants. And for next week's assignment, be sure to visit...ME! That's right, I'm not really sure why I did it, but it appears I've volunteered to host next week. GULP. Such responsibility, such commitment...have I mentioned I have commitment issues?

I volunteered because I had an idea, but now I've got a few floating around...the thing is, I've only been doing Fun Monday for 18 weeks, and you've all been doing it for 38...so, what happens if I pick a topic that's already been covered? Is there a list somewhere? Any help from the veterans would be great. Otherwise, I'll just pick something and go for it.

Anyway, come back tomorrow for your assignment, I'll have it figured out by then. Really, I will!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Follow Up Friday - Comcast still sucks.

Bitter me? Not at all...

Let's get to it, shall we?

Fun Monday this week was an opportunity to share how you met your significant other. As I currently have no significant other, I chose to tell you about my meeting with an ex. I'm actually really glad I did, because most of you seem to have enjoyed my tale. Beckie wanted to know if I plan on writing a romance. You know, I've never considered it, but you never know. If I do, I'll definitely hire you out as "proofreader" haha. And yes Susan, you can help too. Qualcosa di Bello wanted to know where the name "Cognac" came from. Ah, but this tale could possibly divulge too much of his real name. We'll keep it as vague as possible. His real name lends itself to an alcohol related nickname. It is a nickname he's gone by most of his life, and everyone (except for me) addresses him by that nickname. In fact, he introduced himself to me using that nickname. Once I found out his real name, that was the only name I would use for him, never the nickname. When looking for an alias for him here on the blog, I decided to go with a different brand of alcohol. Cognac seemed to fit him even better than the original nickname. Pamela made me laugh out loud with this comment: "Meet cute or cute meat, therein lies the subject of your story". As did Willowtree with this one: "well, at least you got to try him out". Wait till you read the rest of the story WT! ;-) And Jill, I consider myself to be an equal opportunity dater. I've never discriminated who I date based on race or skin tone. That said, there was a time period where white guys just didn't pay ANY attention to me at all, while the black guys were all about me....who am I to argue at that point? ;-) Even now, working in a predominantly white town, most of the flirtatious attention I do get comes from the few black men who's paths I cross. Go figure. Anyway, I promise all more Cognac stories to come.

On to Tuesday: On Tuesday I gave you my second Interview, this time conducted by Ms. Frou Frou. This is where I admit that I'm really clueless sometimes. Frigga commented "Before the internet came along I never once wondered about another persons toilet paper preparation... ;-0" and I said "OH...so that's what that question was about!" Yep, clueless. Lisa and Qualcosa di Bello both were reminded that they have memes to complete...take your time ladies, it's always fun to discover these later lying around in your drafts! There's no other follow up because noone else read that post it seems. (this is me pouting now)...

Okay, I'm over it. My Wordless Wednesday this week will illustrate how much being a blogger has infiltrated my "real" life. First of all, if you haven't seen the picture yet, you must go look. Go ahead, click on the link in this paragraph. I'll wait...


...Back? Okay. So, Sunday afternoon and mom and I go shopping. We make a quick stop at a Wal-Mart plaza, and pop into a Payless Shoes. Walking from Payless to Wal-Mart and we see the doll. "Aww, that's so sad" says mom. "OMG, that would make a great picture!" say I. "You should put it on your blog". Says mom, who, by the way, is not the most tech savy person out there. Too funny. Even funnier? Blue Momma's comment. "Is that one of Britney's kids?". Seriously, you had me laughing all the way home on that one.

Also on Wednesday I finally answered a meme that had been sitting in my drafts for quite a while. In this Me Meme, I improvised and gave you five things I'd never done. I was glad I wasn't completely strange and some people (okay, only Beckie really) identified with me. Everyone else seemed baffled, but hey, I got myself an invitation for grilled cheese and skiing from Jill, and a fishing trip from QDB...I'm so in! And Jannis has already answered her tag, so be sure to head on over and visit her for me!

My Thursday Thirteen was one of good will this week. So, I'm just going to ask that if you haven't already done so, please check it out, and help where you can. Thanks!

AND then there was Comcast. If you were wondering where that heading for today's post came from, read this: COMCAST SUCKS and then come on back. So, the update? There is no update. Comcast seems to be even worse at follow through than LawBoy. Except today, if you were to call my home number, instead of receiving endless ringing on your own (which resulted in NO ringing on mine), you would hear this "The number you are trying to reach has been disconnected". Great, now I look like a deadbeat who doesn't pay her bills. LOVELY. Yes, I've called again today. No, they haven't done a damn thing to help me. And yes, I'm pretty damn close to going shopping for a hammer at lunchtime. (Thanks Lisa for telling me about that story, it actually made me laugh, which I really needed this morning).

The saga continues...but my bad P.R. for the company has only just begun.

Thanks for reading me this week. Come back later, I'll try to post something fun.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Comcast, How Do I hate thee...let me count the ways

Thursday Thirteen is below this post.

I don't usually do two entries on Thursdays, because TT takes a lot of my energy but today is a special day. A special kind of Comcast Hell day. I'm also not in the habit of calling out companies by name when I trash them, but OH COMCAST, how you've raised my blood pressure in the last 3 weeks!!!

Let me tell you a tale of a corporate giant and an abused customer.

It all started one bright sunny Saturday back in September of 2007. Candid Karina was minding her own business, going about cleaning her home when her telephone rang (oh Verizon, how I miss thee...) On the telephone was a representative from the Castle of Comcast, offering our heroine a deal she could not refuse. You see, Comcast had already sucked her in with the magic of digital cable and broadband internet, and now, they wanted her to sign on for the advent of digital telephone as well. And all it would cost her would be an additional 60 cents per month. This, combined with the fact that she'd no longer have to pay Verizon the $45 per month she was paying, was just too good a deal to pass up.

So a date was set. The Comcast Prince (aka technician) would be out to her house on the last Saturday in September. Candid Karina would stay home that day, and await his arrival between the hours of 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Saturday arrived and Karina awaited her prince. At 12:54 p.m.,when he still had not arrived, Karina telephoned the castle (1-800-Comcast) to determine where on his route he was, and when she could expect the pleasure of his company. She was informed at that time that he had just begun a job a few streets away at 12:25 and she would be his next stop. He should be arriving within the hour. Well, as you can guess, the hour came and went, and at 2 p.m. Karina called again to be informed that the prince had reported back to the castle that he had in fact been at her door at 12:35 and nobody was home. As this was a blatant lie, Karina got quite worked up as she informed the representative that this was unacceptable behavior from the prince and his court and she would not stand for it. She had in fact, not only been home, but had her window open (as the weather was lovely outside), and not only had she not seen the prince's carriage drive up her driveway, but her telephone HAD NOT rung to inform her he was out there, nor had her doorbell. After much discussion, and Karina making it clear that a wasted Saturday, along with a blatant lie, were not things she took lightly, a new date was set for the following Saturday, and Karina's account was credited $25 for her troubles. (yeah, Karina works with lawyers, she can pretty much finagle a credit out of anyone who pisses her off).

SO, the following Saturday arrives, and her prince shows up as promissed. A few hours later than she would have preferred, but still within the time frame she was given. Telephone service is established, and one would think we could now close the fairy tale with a happily ever after.

BUT OF COURSE, one would be wrong.

Fast forward if you will to a week later in the kingdom. It is now the second Friday in October, and the weather has turned chilly. The leaves on the trees have phased into varying tones of reds and oranges, and a sweater is required in the early evenings. It is getting close to 10 p.m. and Candid Karina is in for the evening. She is watching some form of entertainment on her television when Shakira begins her "Tortura". It is Karina's mother calling her on her cell phone. But why her cell phone when her home phone is sitting right next to her on the couch, you ask? Well, it turns out that Candid Momma has been trying to reach her daughter for quite a few hours now, but her telephone just rings and rings and rings and nobody picks up. In fact, Candid Momma was beginning to worry that her daughter had fallen down and hit her head. Then Candid Momma decided to call the cell phone, on the off chance that Karina had forgotten to shut it off. Thank goodness, she had, or Candid Momma and Candid Daddy would have been driving over to Karina's home that very Friday evening.

After some expirementing, it is assessed that Karina's telephone can make outgoing phone calls, but no incoming calls are making their way through. Strange. So, Karina calls the Castle again. (1-800-Comcast). She speaks with a representative who assures her that the problem will be fixed within 48 to 72 hours. Karina feels this is a bit of a long stretch of time, but she has a cell phone, and it is the weekend after all, during which she is rarely home, so she accepts her fate.

By Monday evening, 72 hours have elapsed, and her telephone is still not functioning properly. Karina decides to be patient and wait to call back the next morning if the problem is still not fixed. As you can guess, Tuesday morning, still no phone. Karina calls the Castle, and is informed that her trouble ticket has been open way too long, and they will have someone working on her problem within the hour, and it should be fixed in a few hours.

Tuesday evening...still no phone. Another phone call, during which Karina bites a few people's heads off (quite nicely, I might add), and a week's phone service is credited to her account. She is also assured that the problem will be fixed in less than 24 hours. You can see where this is going, right?

24 hours later, it is now Wednesday night, and sure enough, we still have a heroine with NO PHONE SERVICE. Another call is placed to the Castle. This time, after informing the poor representative that she will NOT get off the phone until she receives an explanation for the delay, Karina is finally told the root of the problem. It seems that Verizon has taken back her telephone number, and Comcast is awaiting it's release so they can activate it. Simple enough, no? Perhaps if the kingdom of Comcast had bothered to provide this explanation the first...second...third...fourth time Karina had called, then Karina wouldn't be nearly as upset, and her ulcer wouldn't be acting up. (Okay, I don't really have an ulcer, but after this episode....well, I might). Karina is informed that her telephone number will be released on October 18th (the next day) and she will then have her service resumed. Karina tells the representative that she does not for one minute believe this to be the case, but she appreciates that someone at least finally got to the root of the issue for her.

And so we have arrived, my friends, at the current time. It is now 4:06 p.m. on the 18th of October. As this tale is being told to you, Karina's telephone service has yet to be restored. A call to the Castle was placed about two hours ago, for an update, and one was provided that was unsatisfactory, to say the least. Basically, she was told that there was no "time" listed as to "when" on the 18th service would resume, and so they assumed that meant by the close of business day. 5:00 P.M.?? Karina then informed the poor representative (because Karina realizes it is not the individual's fault, simply the corporate giant that is Comcast's), that if she arrived at home this evening to find she still did not have phone service, her next phone call would be one to cancel her service. As Karina now believes Comcast is the 7th circle of hell, she will begin shopping around for alternate cable and internet service as well.

Not all fairy tales end in Happily Ever After...this one may have quite a different ending. If we can avoid bloodshed, or a trip to the emergency room for Karina due to her elevated blood pressure, we can consider it a happy ending.

Stay tuned...

Thursday Thirteen #26

Today's Thursday Thirteen is all about philanthropy on the internet. We all know the many amazing and incredible ways that the internet has changed our daily lives. In no way is this more apparent than in the opportunities it affords us to do good without ever leaving the comfort of our own homes. October, being Breast Cancer Awareness Month is one of those times when you can't help but run into some opportunity to help. But there are so many other causes and so many other ways to do so. I've decided to direct you to just some of those that I've come across online.

Here are 13 ways you can help with just a click of a mouse:

1. Email a Duck, Raise a Buck - This is such a cool website! Here's how it works:

"First, dress up your computer-generated duck - make it sassy, chic, funky or frilly using the dozens of accessories available. Then email your new creation to a bunch of friends. For each person that opens your email, Munchkin will donate $0.05 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure to help in the fight against breast cancer*.
You can return to www.munchkin.com/projectpink as often as you like to check your duck's "flight" on a map of the world and see how much money your duck has raised. Decorate, distribute, donate and you'll be just ducky! "

Sounds fun right? I just sent my ducky on his way... GO NOW. ;-)

2. Shelly at This Eclectic Life is the mind (and heart) behind the Share a Square projectsas_logo_new.jpg

Please do click above and go visit her site to find the many ways you can help. I'm not much of a knitter, but my mom is, so my contribution is going to be to buy some yarn so mom can knit a few squares...it'll be a team effort and mom will love that she gets to help (trust me she loves this stuff). Go check Shelly out, she's amazing.

The Rainforest Site

Click to save the Rain Forests. Just one click makes a small difference, one click a day, and a bunch of small differences add up to a big change. AND you can go shopping through their website and help out even more that way. Check out the gorgeous Jade necklaces for example...I might just have to pick up one of these. And for every order completed starting October 15th, a tree will be planted.


The Literacy Site Another click to give site. This one to give books to children. As an avid reader, I'm all for sharing the love of reading with all children. And again, you can shop their store for even more opportunities to give.

The Breast Cancer Site Yet another click to give site. And hey, you can get some cool pink items at their store all while helping the cause.


The Hunger Site

Click to help feed those who need it. Shop to give even more. And there is so much information on this site to educate yourself with as well.


The Child Health Site I can't tell you the amount of time I "wasted" while visiting these click to donate sights. I learned so much about so many causes. Here's another one you just have to go over and click, and do some reading on. And hey, SHOP.


The Animal Rescue Site And who could forget the animals? Another click to help site, and OMG the cute little pawprint jewelry you can by!


Donate to Big Brothers Big Sisters. This is an organization near and dear to my heart, as I've been a big sister to Lil'K for 6 1/2 years now. You can donate via the main BBBS branch here, or you can donate to my local branch here. Or even better, if you have some time and a desire to make a difference in a child's life, and in turn, change your life in ways you can't even begin to imagine, contact your local branch and sign up to become a big.

10. Sign up for Chemo Angels. I found out about this organization through my blog buddy Lisa of Lisa's Chaos. What a wonderful organization this is. Please click on the link and find out how you can help, it takes so little to do so much. There are so many ways to help on this site, from signing up to send weekly cards to someone going though chemotherapy to even donating your old cell phones. Coincidentally enough, I just ordered a new cell phone which I should get sometime this week, and guess where my old cell phone is going now?

11. Check out the World Community Grid. By simply letting your computer work when it is idle, you can help. Curious? Check it out.

12. Educate yourself. The internet is a limitless source of information on all things phylanthropic and otherwise. Learn about a cause you've always wondered about, and how you can help, or expand your horizons and learn about something you've never even considered before. But educate yourself.

13. Share the love. See a cause here you feel strongly about? Tell others about it, post it on your blog. Know a cause I missed, someone who's doing such good you just have to tell others about it? Spread the word. Leave a link in comments, let's all do some good today.

Speaking of those who do nice things...this week's TT header was created by Samulli, who just lets people come on over to her blog and take any of the headers she created for their own use...isn't that nice of her? Go on over and take a look, she has some great headers.