Friday, November 30, 2007

Friday Follow-Up - the two week edition

Last week I was too busy braving the crowds and getting some killer bargains to do my "Friday Follow-Up". I apologize for this, but as we've discussed here, it was the shopping Olympics people! I train all year for this event, I'm not going to just sit at home and let it pass me by.

But, not to worry, we'll just go back in time and review all the stuff I missed.

We'll start with Saturday, November 17th. If you missed it, this is where I shared the story of my first kiss. Remember all the romance, the love, the perfectness of it all? You do? Well, then obviously you didn't read my post...there was none of that involved folks. Kissing didn't get any of those things for me until much later in my dating career. Qualcosa di Bello commented: "i wonder, as a mom to an 18 yr old & 19 yr. old ~ both beautiful girls...should i really be reading your stuff??" Worry not QDB, my stuff really is mild at best, at least until we get to the post college relationships. And the guys, for the most part? Harmless. Besides, if they're your daughter, from what I know of you so far, then they've been raised right and have a good head on their shoulders, so they'll be just fine!

Sunday, November 18th, I stuck with some silly "blogthings" quizzes and we found out I am 44% cynical, I am "Big Black Boots", "Wedge Sandals", and "Very Happy Being Single". I could have told you the last one without a quiz! The cynical thing? I guess that's accurate. But the big black boots and wedge sandals? Both a little too "bulky" for me, I like my shoes more slim and sexy...but, then, the quizzes weren't really about shoes, were they. haha. Oh, and Frigga, no wonder we get along so well, we're practically twins! Or not. haha

Fun Monday on November 19th was a fun one. Okay, they all are, that's why we call them Fun Mondays after all, right? Still, it was fun taking a trip down memory lane and sharing some of the family stories that are repeated time after time within our families. I had so much fun reading everyone else's tales. Tiggerlane said: "Too cute! And your mom - she is beautiful in those photos.Now I want to know the word for "ashtray!" - First off, mom thanks you. She really was a beautiful woman (still is), and I love old pictures of her. I'll share more in the future. And as Willowtree said in his comment (smart guy he is looking it up on the web) the Portuguese word for ashtray is "cinzeiro", I, in my four year old voice, used to call it "cinzello". Oh and WT...stubbing cigarettes out in mashed potatoes? GROSS.

Tuesday, the 20th, I answered some of the questions posed to me by you, my lovely readers. I picked the silly ones for this particular post and had so much fun answering them. I'm glad everyone agreed with my coffee, chocolate and Johnny Depp choices. I mean, really, how could you go wrong?

Wednesday, the 21st, I posted pony pictures for Wordless Wednesday. Frigga, no, I do not have a pony of my own, but boy, it would be fun, wouldn't it? The title was indeed a reference to the toys of our youth. I had "Megan and Sundance", and I still sing that song from the commercial every time I hear the words "My Little Pony"....if only our memories held IMPORTANT stuff this long. Julia said "I'm so glad you seem to have your camera at the ready, Karina. I miss a lot of shots that way". I never leave my house without my camera for that reason exactly Julia, because you never know what you're going to drive past, you know?

Thursday Thirteen on Thanksgiving Day was, not surprisingly, all about giving thanks. I want to thank everyone who commented on that particular post, because you all had such nice things to say, so a little moment of "link-love" here: Adelle, Mom on the Go, jayedee, damozel, Linda R. Moore, Nicholas, and Qualcosa di Bello who said "you are blessed for sure & you are a blessing as well...especially to all your readers :D" How sweet is she? I truly am blessed though, in so many ways.

As we all know, I crapped out on Follow-Up Friday last week, because I was shopping. In keeping with NaBloPoMo, I posted, but it was just a short "here's what I'm doing today" post, besides, I think everyone was in turkey comas that day, there wasn't much blog traffic on Friday in these parts.

Saturday I spent with my friend "The Traveler" who was visiting from Florida, so not much blogging was done that day either. I posted, it's NaBloPoMo, so I had to post, but...really, nothing to see here folks.

And Sunday wasn't any less busy this past weekend, so you all got a fun little youtube video to entertain you. Haven't seen it yet? Check it out.

And we're back to Fun Monday again. This week it was all about our unfinished projects. Of course, after posting mine, I remembered a MAJOR unfinished project in my house that I didn't share, but by then I was at work and couldn't take photos, and don't really need to know about the wall in my living room that still needs some kind of crown molding or something to hide the quite obvious unfinished paint line against the ceiling, do you? Nope, didn't think so. Now, I know Susan was trying to make me feel better by telling me that my kitchen wallpaper was "vintagey" and all, but uh....didn't work. I still hate it. ;-)

Tuesday I answered some more of your questions to me. This time I went with some of the more introspective ones. Turns out Frances shares my "head under water" phobia, and although I shouldn't be happy about this, I kind of was giddy at the thought that someone else understood how I feel. I know it's irrational, but phobias are irrational fears after all, aren't they? It was also interesting to see how others could relate to the whole phobia thing in general. Unless you have a "TRUE" phobia, there is no way you can understand it though. That "panic" feeling is unlike anything strange.

In my Wordless Wednesday this week I shared with you some drinks. These were drinks from dinner with "The Traveller" Saturday night. I had the Espresso Martini (oh yum) and she had some fruity concoction. The picture was taken with my new cell phone camera, and I'm impressed it turned out as decent as it did. Not bad. Lissa said: "I'm wondering is this what you're going to do when you finish NaNo and NaBlo."...Yeah, I didn't wait, I did that on Saturday. I'll celebrate again this weekend. ;-) Jannis recognized the place immediately by the glassware, saying: "before I saw the beverage napkin. I am a part time server at Applebees. ps I hope you had good service...." I actually had exceptional service Jannis. Our waitress was a real sweetie. In fact, in all my years of eating at Applebees, I've never had bad service at one.

On Wednesday I also shared my rejection story. Okay, technically I wasn't rejected, as I didn't really "put myself out there" to be rejected. Again, you were all so sweet with your comments...y'all make me feel so loved! Lissa said "Sounds to me like you're better off - I mean an ex-girlfriend stalking him?" This could in fact be true...but then again, not entirely his fault that he has a psycho ex, right? Frigga said "Oh, and as for being a *new* girlfriend, it could be that he's the one for you and you'll just have to wait until the timing is better." and Lisa said: "Damn - you waited this long and . . . well, maybe she'll be a temp, you should check back with him next year. :)" --- Good point ladies. After all, we've played the "once a year" game for 4 years now, what's another year? hahaha

By the way, I've decided that just in case this "new girlfriend" is really new, and in the option of it not working out (not that I'm wishing that on anyone, but hey, these things don't always work out, right?) time I have to send a complaint to the condo association (and it will happen as soon as we have a snowstorm, I'm sure), I'm going to send him a cc and include my phone number, you know, in case he needs to follow up with me or something...because he might have questions or something...WHAT? I'm just sayin'... ;-)

Yesterday, my Thursday Thirteen was a reflection back on the month of November. And what a month it has been.

So, this is it...NaBloPoMo - COMPLETED, and successfully accomplished. NaNoWriMo...not so much.

See you all in December!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #32

With November coming to a close this week, I'm taking some time back to reflect on the month that was...a month of Thanksgiving, NaNoWriMo, NaBloPoMo, and so many other things. I give you Thirteen Thoughts about November 2007.

1. I'll start with the bad. The weather turned colder, and there was even some snow. Worse yet, it now gets dark around 4 PM. I am not a fan of the winter, and in fact,suffer from the "winter blues" every year around this time...the less sunlight I see, the less pleasant I become. November is the "introduction" into this dark time and I've already noticed a change in my mood.

2. However, November also means that crisp feeling of Autumn in the air, and the changing of leaves. I really enjoyed driving around this month with the beauty nature had to offer. I got some great photographs too.

3. November also means Thanksgiving. This year I enjoyed Thanksgiving more than I have in years. There was something special about it, though I can't pinpoint it. The family were all in good spirits, and there was more laughter than I can remember in recent Turkey Days.

4. This November was also a return to faith for one of my family members. My brother somehow agreed to attend a religious retreat. The same retreat I attended 15 years ago. A weekend that changed my life such a long time ago, and now it was his turn. My brother found something this past weekend that he'd lost a while back...I couldn't be happier for him.

5. With the change in temperature, I got to bring out my fall/winter wardrobe. This means BOOTS and sweaters. Two of my favorite things. As much as I love summer, I love my fall wardrobe.

6. My tan? The one I was so proud of this summer, from all that time spent at the pool? Almost gone. So sad.

7. Black Friday. Shopping Olympics for someone who is a shopaholic as I am. I got some fantastic deals, and didn't even get hurt (or hurt anyone) in the process.

8. I became an auntie. Sort of. My brother adopted his gorgeous puppy Diamond. She's the cutest girl ever, and I'm such a proud auntie.
9. Comcast still sucks. OH, you thought I was done with hating them? Not so much, I've just decided not to focus on it too much. Let's just say that I now have YET ANOTHER reason to hate them. This one involves Tivo and how they've decided to screw all their customers who have Tivo so that we'll get their dvr's instead. Long story short, their customer service is anything but, and as soon as Verizon Fios becomes available in my area, I'm jumping ship.

10. My condo fee did not go up. Good news, 'nuff said.

11. NaBloPoMo - What a fantastic thing this was. I posted every day, I met some fabulous new bloggers, and discovered some great new blogs, and I had a blast blog-hopping and celebrating with other participants. I didn't have nearly enough time this month to visit others as much as I wanted to, and for that I'm sorry, but it was still a wonderful month to be a part of the blogging community.

12. And then there's NaNoWriMo. I didn't so much "quit" as I just didn't focus all my energies on it. After the "crash", I lost my muse, my momentum, whatever you want to call it. I know I could have gotten it back if I had just "focused" but I got distracted by other things, and somehow it just didn't seem important enough to finish that novel in November. I'm still working on it, slowly, but surely, on my own time, but I've never been a fan of deadlines...I knew it wouldn't work...maybe next year. Maybe not. I don't know if I should be more disappointed or upset about this, but I'm really okay with it. It wasn't for me this time around.

13. And the strangest thing about this November? It was all about my past. I found some old journals and spent some time reminiscing about old boyfriends. I revisited old stories about childhood and even encountered some mementos from that time period with my cousin at Thanksgiving (it was all about the New Kids on the Block stuff, my friends), I reconnected with friends I hadn't seen in nearly a decade when my brother went on his retreat, and I even found out some scary stuff about a man I almost dated.

What a month it's been. I'm looking forward to finding out what December has in store, aren't you?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

All the good ones are taken

OR Candid Karina gets shut down.

Let me set this up for you. My condo complex has two buildings. Building A where I live, and Building B across the way. Once a year we have a "Condo Meeting" to go over budget, condo fees, and any other issues owners want to discuss (and gripe and bitch and moan about, nonstop for two hours). There are four Board members and the representative from the Condo Management company who chair this meeting. I go to the meeting every year, find out whether or not my condo fee is increasing, listen to some of the bitching and moaning, make my ONE yearly complaint about the dink who lives upstairs from me, and parks next to me, who never moves his car in a snowstorm when the plow comes, therefore causing my parking space to never be plowed clean, and then I go home.

But at this meeting every year, I also have a bit of a flirtation going with one of the board members, Fred. Fred is good looking guy, funny, smart, and we hit it off at the first meeting I ever went to. Since then, every year, we tend to joke a bit with each other at the meeting, and flirt a bit, but that's it. He lives in building B, and I only ever see him once a year, at these meetings.

So, last night, he was there, and we did our flirtatious bit, and then I decided that this year I would stick around at the end of the meeting, and see if I couldn't find out what his situation is, because, I actually like this guy, he's a good guy. I know he's not married, and I know he has a daughter, but that's about all I know about him, besides the fact that we seem to hit it off and sort of "connect" on some level.

After the meeting, I walked over to him and he gave me a hug. A HUG.

Interesting, right?

So we chat for a bit, about the condo stuff, and then he shares with me the reason he no longer has a listed phone number (this came up when residents were asking for his number for complaints and stuff) and he reveals that his ex-girlfriend was stalking him, so he had to get a restraining order against her, and change his phone number (fun stuff). And I'm thinking "Okay, ex-girlfriend...heading in the right direction here".

AND then he drops it...he makes some comment about his new girlfriend.


All the good ones ARE taken.

Wordless Wednesday - Drinks anyone?

See more Wordless Wednesdays here.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

You asked - Part 2 - The Inner Me Edition

Today I answer some more of your questions. I answered the first batch here and had so much fun answering all your silly questions. But you all had more than just silly questions, you had some pretty deep ones too. In today's post, I'm digging into what makes

Frigga asked:

"What are your thoughts on the lottery?"

I don’t give the lottery much thought, actually. I’m one of those people that says “Oh, I’d love to win the lottery”, but knows I never will, mostly because I don’t play. Haha. Seriously, though, I don’t play because I’m not a lucky person when it comes to gambling, or winning things. I could count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I’ve won anything based on luck. If it is a prize based on talent, knowledge, trivia, or accomplishing a specific task, then I have as good a chance (if not better depending on the challenge at hand) as most people. But if it is a prize based solely on luck of the draw, count me out. I’ll go to a casino with a group of 6 friends, for example, and I will bring my allotted $50 (I never spend more, it is not worth it). Within the hour, my $50 will be gone, and I’ll be benched, watching everyone else play. My friends, be who they may, will invariably come home having tripled their money, I’ll come home empty handed. I will walk in a store with two other people and we’ll each buy a scratch ticket…they’ll both win, I will not. I am one of the only people I know who’s been to Vegas, seriously enjoyed herself, and spent less than $10 actually gambling. And most of that was spent on the nickel slots while waiting for my free drinks. Seriously, I don’t win at things. Therefore, I don’t play. I might as well open my car window while I’m driving and fling the dollar bills out as I go. Same return. Once in a blue moon, if the lottery prize is large enough, I’ll give in and buy a ticket. I think I do this mostly so I can participate in the “what would I do with the money?” conversations. But I’m not a gambler, and thankfully, I don’t have an addictive personality, so I don’t feel the need to keep trying. Besides my personal feelings about myself gambling? My feelings are that if you can afford the tickets, and it makes you happy to fantasize you will win, then by all means, have at it. Somebody’s got to win it, right? I don’t have many thoughts on the political repercussions of the lottery. It’s just not something I’ve given much thought to.

She also asked: "Would you be more, or less, stressed out if cell phones didn't exist?

I’m not sure. I’d probably be more stressed, because as I mentioned in Fun Monday a few weeks ago, my cell phone has become a sort of security blanket for me. Being that I am single, and spend a large portion of my time alone, my cell phone gives me a certain sense of security. I’m never completely alone as long as my cell is with me. If I’m feeling unsafe, I call someone to keep them on the phone with me and keep me company until that feeling passes. If I’m lost, or the car breaks down, I call for help. If something interesting happens, I can have someone to share it with instantly on the other end of the line. If I’m feeling lonely, the cell phone, and whoever I call, can keep me company. If some freak is trying to talk to me, I can grab the phone and appear distracted, so they leave me alone…I’ve even been known to fake a conversation with my non-existent husband or boyfriend, to ward off unwanted attention. Therefore, for me, my cell phone offers a level of comfort. My cell does not stress me out. If I don’t want to be reached, I turn it off, or I don’t answer it. It’s easy. The only time cell phones may add stress to my life is when others are using theirs in ways that irk me. As in, when store clerks are too busy talking about their sex lives with their friends on their cell phones, and don’t notice that they’ve rung up my shoes twice, or when the idiot behind me in traffic is so into his conversation that he almost drives into me as I stop at a stop sign. Or by far, the biggest cell phone pet peeve, the inconsiderate jerks who insist on using their cell phones in a movie theatre. But for the most part, I ignore these idiots, and don’t let them get the best of me. And for me, the benefits of having a cell phone, far outweigh the negatives. The thought of losing my cell phone now that I’ve become accustomed to having one…oooh, yeah, my blood pressure just went up a bit…

Julia asked a fantastic question:

Have you ever suffered from anxiety? Or do you have a phobia?

I’ve never suffered from anxiety. Like most people, I’ve had moments of high anxiety, and even slight panic attacks, but never anything that would qualify as anxiety in the clinical sense. As far as phobias, however, I have two major ones, neither of which really fit into any actual “named phobias”. I have this unreasonable fear of “ledges”. It’s not exactly a fear of heights, because I can be in high places, and as long as there’s a fence, a window, a barrier of some sort, I’m okay. My fear is more a fear of falling over a high edge. It doesn’t even have to be that high either. If I sit on a wall, say a 6 foot wall, and someone makes a sudden movement, that panic feeling, quickening heart beat, breath catching, hands sweaty feeling, instantly overtakes me. And it’s not with just me either. I remember going to the grand canyon and I was having mild panic attacks watching others stand so close to the edge…the fear of them falling over was overwhelming. It's a strange phobia to suffer, because it's not limited to your typical "scary" locales, I can sufferit at any time, anywhere there is some sort of "edge" someone could lean over...scary. By the way, I wrote the answer to this question last week, and then I went to bed, and proceeed to have an extremely frightening dream about exactly this fear. I even wrote a poem about it for last week's "Writer's Island".

My other fear is harder to explain. It has to do with water, but it’s not exactly a fear of drowning. I can swim, be out in open water, in a pool or the ocean, in a boat, and I’m not afraid of water, I’m not afraid of drowning. My fear is very specific…I cannot in any way shape or form stick my head under water. This does not include running water, such as showers, but still water. Whether it be the ocean, a pool, or my bathtub, I cannot stick my head under water. I just can’t do it. There is no talking me into it. There is no holding my hand and telling me you are right there…there is NO Way. I panic immediately and hyperventilate. But the minute I lift my head up, I’m fine. I can float on my back with my ears in the water, no problem. I can even snorkel with goggles on and something to breathe out of (though that took some doing), but sticking my head under water and letting go of that control? CAN’T DO IT, WON’T DO IT. This stems from being thrown off an inner-tube when I was a child and getting stuck under it for a few moments (seconds really), but I just cannot do it. I don’t’ think I’m going to drown, I don’t think anything bad will happen, it is not rational, it just is.

And LilMouse(Jill) really made me think with her request: Tell me 5 fundamental things that make up your life/character, etc.

Wow. That’s quite a question. Fundamental, basic, essential, that’s a loaded question.

1. Easily the first one is family. I would not be anything if it were not for my family. Everything I have accomplished, everything I believe in, everything I am, has its roots in my family and my upbringing. I have the two most amazing parents a person could ask for. Life was not always perfect, and our relationships were not always as solid as they are today, but they have always had my brother and I, and our futures, at the forefront of everything they’ve done. Now that I’m an adult, my parents are my friends, my mother, without question, my best friend. My relationship with them, with my brother, and on a lesser level, with other members of my extended family, is at the root of my purpose for being.
2. My independence. I think something that really defines my character is my ability to be alone. Unlike most of my female friends I don’t mind being alone. In fact, I sort of thrive on it at times. It brings me a certain amount of strength to know that I CAN be alone, and be okay with that. It’s not just being alone in terms of not having a man in my life, it’s the ability to be alone in general. To live alone, to shop alone, to travel alone, but to not feel lonely. To make decisions about my future, such as buying my own place, alone. To figure out how to fasten a bracelet or zip up a dress without someone to help me. Bit things, little things, all signs of my independence, all make up an essential element of my character.
3. My relationship with people. On the flip side, another fundamental characteristic of mine is the ease in which I make friends. I will talk to anyone, young, old, male, female. I have made some amazing friends in the strangest of places, on a train for example. I think I can be highly approachable, so it makes it easy for folks to open up to me. Complete strangers will tell me their lifes woes, or their greatest successes, and I don’t mind either, I’ll listen, I’ll advise, I’ll celebrate with them. I truly feel that “people person” is a fantastic way to describe me, I love people, and am comfortable around them, love to study them, get to know them, be part of their lives.
4. My creativity. Whether it’s writing, taking pictures, or just putting together outfits, creativity is a huge part of who I am. I don’t do anything without trying to add some sort of creative flair to it, and I’m known by friends and family as the one who can add a little extra special “something” to a letter, an outfit, a gift.
5. My faith. I’m not a highly religious person, but I’m a supremely spiritual person. Without getting too deeply with my issues with organized religion, I’ll just tell you that for the most part, it doesn’t work for me. That said, I believe in God, and have a faith that travels with me no matter where I am. I see God in everything I lay my eyes on. I’m one of those people that can see the colors on the leaves of a tree and be amazed at God’s touch. Without my faith, I’m not really sure how I’d make it through life, and am thankful I don’t have to find out. I don’t preach, and very rarely do I even discuss my faith with others, unless the topic comes up, but I live it every day, and it shapes who I am in every way.

And there you have it. Thank you all for your very insightful questions. I still have about 10 more of your questions to answer...stay tuned, I'm working on those.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Fun Monday - Works In Progress

Fun Monday this week is being hosted by Blue Momma. She wants to see our boobs. No, really, she does. But she decided to play nice and give us a different assignment. Here it is:
I want you to show me your......projects. More to the point, I want to see your unfinished projects. I have so many that I really need some reassurance that I'm not the only one. Home improvement projects are what I have in mind, but it you don't have any of those show me any kind of project - needlework, cooking, scrap booking, etc. You can even show me your spouse if they qualify as a work in process.
So, I could take the easy way out, and not post anything and say "There you go, my work in progress"...but what fun would that be?
Therefore, trusty camera in hand I took a little trip around the house...I'm proud to tell you that I don't currently have a whole lot of "unfinished projects" per se. Well, at least I don't have a whole lot of visible ones...ahem.
But digging a little deeper I started in the kitchen:

This here in the corner? My Halloween decorations, which need to be carried up into my attic storage, where I will find my bins and bins of Christmas decorations, and bring those down...yeah...that will happen at some point soon, but the Halloween decorations? I've been meaning to put those away since November 1st...alas, there they still sit. Also in the kitchen we find this little doozie:

What is it you ask? Look closer...see that atrocious wallpaper behind the stove? I HATE that paper with a passion. When I moved in, there was a lot of wallpaper removal, wall painting, and even tile and hardwood floor laying...but I ran out of time and money. However, I told myself that one of the first things I would do, when I had some more money and time, would be to get some sort of back splash that was NOT wallpaper with tea kettles and whatever the hell that is on that wall...yet...almost 5 years later, and there it still is. I can't exactly call it a "work in progress" or an "unfinished" project, as I never started it...but I always meant to...sigh...

Next we move to the office, where we find this:

Those would be just SOME of the many pictures and picture frames I own, that I always "mean" to organize, but never quite get around to it. I've got a Christmas project in mind as well having to do with of yet, all I have are piles and piles of things, with notes, ideas, and...more piles...

Still in the office, we find these:

Those would be my journals, which I recently found, and they represent my newest "unfinished project", right here on this very blog. My tales of "All The Boys I've Loved", which I've started to tell you about, but have lots and lots more to write...this is probably my funnest "unfinished project", because I'm thoroughly enjoying working on it.

Also in my office, in fact, this very second as I type this:

That would be my new cell phone, hooked up to the computer, with all my music, that I'm trying to transfer to the handy MP3 feature of the phone...I've been trying to do this for 3 days now...I think I have about 15 songs done so shouldn't be this hard, but I can't decide on what songs to transfer over...and I'm doing this post, so I keep getting distracted...oh, and I'm doing laundry...hang on, the dryer just beeped...

Right, where were we? Still in the office then?

Those things in that corner? This would be my one unfinished project that would actually benefit me greatly to complete. That is my old printer, along with a brand spanking new Wireless Router, Laptop bag, and printer ink...and something else, I forget what now...all things I've been meaning to list for sale on Craigslist or ebay or something of the like, because I don't need them...and there they sit, collecting dust. Anyone need a used, sort of but not completely broken printer? How about a laptop bag? Router? Anyone?? ;-)

And last, but most certainly not least:

That, my friends is my "box" of unfinished projects. Poems, short stories, longer stories, and right in front, my novel from which I was drawing inspiration for NaNoWriMo...ah...NaNoWriMo...My truly unfinished project...I lost the wind from my sales with the "Great Novel Crash" incident, and never quite got it back. Barring some miraculous inspiration, I will NOT be completing NaNoWriMo this year...alas, I tried...

So, there you have it, my incompletes. Go see more at Blue Momma's and make sure to stop by Robinella's, because she's hosting next week.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A little Sunday humor

Busy busy with family stuff today...but I thought I'd share a little video I found on YouTube...this is really cute:

There are some pretty creative folks out there, aren't there?

Hope you're all having a great Holiday Weekend...see you tomorrow for Fun Monday!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

So I lied...

Okay, not lied exactly, but I won't be getting to Friday Follow-up or even Saturday Follow-up this weekend. It's a busy weekend with all kinds of activity, so Follow-up will probably hold off until next Friday...I'll just do double duty.

Thanksgiving was a lot of fun with the family this year, and somehow, in keeping with what's been going on with my life lately, there was quite a bit of reminiscing going on. My cousin even dug out a box of old things from our teen years, inlcuding all her New Kids on the Block paraphenelia...that led to quite a few laughs, I'll tell you. There was also a book of "fashion designs" that my cousins and I drew and created...hours upon hours were spent drawing these fashions, and going through those was a riot. Boy, were we living in the 80's! I'll be scanning some of those to share in the future...but I left the book at my aunt's house, so need to go pick it up sometime this weekend.

Shopping yesterday was an adventure, but some of the deals I got made it well worth the efforts. We even managed to get prime parking spaces everywhere we went, so the shopping gods were with us overall. Unfortunately (or fortunately as it may be), Black Friday shopping with Shoppaholic and I, always consists of the two for me, one for you variety of shopping. I spent quite a bit of money, but only walked away with three Christmas gifts. At least I got some great deals on items that have been on my "must get" list for a while now.

Today I will be spending the day with my friend "The Traveler" who is in town for the holiday from Florida. We are heading up to a hockey game tonight at UNH, and it should be a great time.

Tomorrow will be about family again, part 2 of Thanksgiving, as mom likes to make her own turkey, with her signature stuffing, and we NEVER miss that.

Hope you are all having a wonderful holiday weekend so far.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Opening Ceremonies

Today is known throughout the nation as Black Friday, but Shoppaholic and I like to call it "The Olympics". After all, the shopping we do every weekend all year long is basically our training, the Friday after Thanksgiving...the Olympics.

So, due to this all important day in a shopper's there will be no Follow-Up Friday. My apologies to those of you waiting for responses to your comments. I will attempt to do a Follow-Up Saturday, but my friend "The Traveler" is home from Florida this weekend, and we're spending Saturday, you may get a photo post from Thanksgiving instead.

Have a great shopping (or not) day everyone.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #31

Well, it's Thanksgiving Day, so of course, today's Thursday Thirteen will be a list of just 13 of the many many things I am thankful for this year. (I apologize in advance for the way everything is pushed together, for some reason Blogger will NOT allow me to enter spaces between numbered entries today, I've tried 5 times now...I give up).
1. My family. I am blessed with the most wonderful family a girl could ask for. From my mother, who is without doubt my best friend, to my father, who is the gentlest and silliest dad out there. My little brother, who is growing up into an exceptional man, my grandfather, who I'm still blessed to have in my life. And my extended family as well, uncle and aunt, cousins, their kids, and Lil'K, my "little" sister.
2. My friends. I consider my friends to be part of my family as well, and I have through the years formed some very sisterly bonds with my girlfriends. Shopaholic, Double D, The Traveler, BFF especially, but so many others that bless me throughout the year with their friendship and company.
3. My internet connection. Seems like a strange thing to be thankful for, but through the internet I've made some incredible friendships. The sort of connections that only fellow users of the web can understand. From California, to New York, Texas to Virginia, and even folks across the pond, have become folks I consider friends, even if I may have never laid eyes on their face. I'm grateful for that.
4. My job. I may have my moments at The Firm, but overall, I'm lucky for the job I have. I have a boss that actually values my work, I get to use my brain daily, and I get a decent paycheck at the end of the week. And in the process, I'm actually doing work that matters, interacting with clients and helping them maneuver the difficult times in their lives. After some other jobs I've had, I'm really grateful to have landed where I am.
5. My home. Being able to buy my own place in my 20's was an amazingly satisfying feat. Being able to maintain it, pay for it, and enjoy it all these years is a blessing. I still get a sense of accomplishment and pride whenever I walk in my front door, and for that, I'm grateful.
6. My health. Obvious, and not much else needs to be said, I'm grateful to get up every morning and enjoy the day.
7. My Independence. I'm grateful every day that my mother did such a great job of instilling in me the belief that I could do anything I wanted to, and that I could do it alone. I've spent a large portion of my adult life on my own, and instead of that being a negative, it's always been a positive.
8. My faith. I couldn't make it through life without the faith I carry in my heart that there is a higher purpose, a higher being. I'm grateful for that.
9. My gadgets. A lesser thing, but still important, from my laptop, to my cell phone; my mp3 player , digital camera and tivo, technology and all these little gadgets that make everyday life so much easier and more entertaining...I'm grateful for those.
10. My maturity. When I was younger, I took life way too seriously, and let even the smallest things get to me. As I've matured, I've learned to let those little things slide, and not focus so much on all the details, but instead enjoy the larger picture. I spend a lot less time being stressed, cranky, and pissed off. It's a much better way to live life.
11. My muse. I love to write. I get sincere pleasure from forming thoughts with random words and making them coherent on paper (or screen), and I'm so grateful that I've been blessed with the ability to do so.
12. My love of learning. Kind of going along with the muse, but the fact that I love to learn new things, my thirst for knowledge, is a wonderful gift. I'm constantly trying new things, experimenting with new adventures, and that makes life so interesting.
13. My shoe collection. WHAT? Shoes make me happy okay?
Here's to hoping you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

You Asked For It

Before NaBloPoMo began, I asked for some help from you, my dear readers. I wanted to be sure I wouldn't run out of blog fodder, so I gave you the chance to ask me anything you'd always wanted to know. I promised to answer all questions, and boy, did you give me some doozies.

Today I wanted to answer some of them, so without further ado, today I give some of the easier and even sillier questions:

Pam wanted to know all about the photo on the header up there...look up...yeah, that one. She said:

"So my question for you is, what is the background on that photo? Who? What? Where? When? Don't bother with Why? -- I mean, duh -- it's a beach. Why not?"

This is an easy one. The photo for my header was taken this past summer at Hampton Beach, in Hampton, New Hampshire. Some more photos from that day can be found here. Unfortunately there isn’t a rather exciting story to go with it. My friend Shopaholic and I made a trip out to the beach that day, for some walking around and relaxation. It was actually late in the day when we arrived at the beach, so we just strolled around, took a seat on some blankets and watched the ocean waves dance upon the shore. I took many pictures that day, just playing with the different settings of my digital camera, trying to capture the waves breaking, and the sea gulls swooping in for a kill. There were two little boys off to the side (you can see one of them, as well as Shopaholic in the above photos), in gleeful hysterics every time a wave would reach them. Fully clothed, as it was later and cooler out, they were soaked by the end of it all. I’ve always felt the sound of the ocean to be calming and can almost equate a trip to the beach, in the early evening hours, when it is quiet, and less crowded, with going to church. God is ever more present in those moments. Nature to me is a manifestation of God’s presence like few other things can be. The ocean, in all it’s awesomeness and infinite mystery, one of His greatest examples of his presence. Anyway, I’m not really sure what it is about the waves and feet, but I’ve seen this same type of photo on several blogs in my travels. It seems that when you are at the beach, with a pedicure, and a camera, you can’t help but take a picture of your toes. There’s something romantic about this pose. It’s a “look at me, lounging and relaxing” sort of thing…a bird’s eye view (or in this case, the photographer’s eye view) of what they see as they are sitting, taking it all in. I have a similar shot I took at the lake a few months ago. And I don’t even like my feet. I was one of those girls who wouldn’t wear open toed shoes for the LONGEST time (I now live in them all summer long). GO figure.

Frigga had a whole slew of great questions, among them, were a few not so serious ones, let's do those first:

If you were driving in your car, by yourself, with the windows rolled up, just rocking out to your music, and suddenly you were stung by a bee right in your jugular, what would you do?
UH…well, I don’t know. This might be one of those situations to which you don’t really know how you’d react until it actually happens. But I’m not one to freak out about bugs in general. I’m not a fan of spiders, but even they don’t freak me out as much as they used to, so I don’t think I’d panic. However, I’m not a fan of pain, and if I remember correctly, bee stings are quite unpleasant. I’m sure there would be a moment of “OH SHIT”, and perhaps even a quick turn of the wheel, or slam of the breaks, or something equally instant, but then I’d probably safely make my way over to the side of the road, and nurse my wounds with whatever I could find…either that, or suffer miserably until I could get home and nurse my wounds properly. OH, and I would no doubt grab my cell phone and call everyone I know to bitch about my misfortune.

So if you had a 3rd eye, where would you like it to be located?

Random much Frigga? Haha. I’m going to go with the back of my head, because who doesn’t want to know what’s going on when they turn their backs? The thing is, I’d want it to be hidden. Not only because then I wouldn’t look like a complete freak, but because then people wouldn’t know I had it there, so I could totally know stuff they didn’t know I know…you know?

If you could only eat three foods for the rest of your life, which three would you choose?

I’m sure I’d be a miserable human being, that I can guarantee you, but okay, three food. I’m assuming by three foods you meant three items, as opposed to three “meals”, so that’s how I’ll answer.

1. chocolate, because don’t tell me I’d get sick of it, it is chocolate after all, I’ll choose too much over none at all any day;

2. eggs, because there are so many different ways to make eggs, that at least there would be some variety.

3. I guess if I say fruit, I’m being too general right? Fruit salad. Yeah, there you go, fruit salad. Then I’d get some vitamins, and proteins and things. And I could pick and choose which fruits to eat daily, so I wouldn’t get sick of any one fruit.

Who am I kidding? I wouldn’t survive a month.

Same question, but with beverages?

This one is much easier. I might miss certain things, but I could easily survive without much effort on even one beverage alone.

1. Water. Nice mountain fresh, spring water. I LOVE water. There is nothing like an ice cold glass of water.
2. Coffee. I could do without it, but if I have three choices, I’ll take my caffeine in the morning please. (does adding milk or creamer constitute two beverage? Because I’d rather not drink it black, but I could)
3. White wine. This one for social events.
I don’t drink juices or sodas or anything else really. When I’m thirsty, I drink water, when I’m socializing, I have a glass of wine or a martini, in the morning I drink coffee.

Along the same lines, from Jannis:

You are banished to a deserted island. What 1 food would you take with you? What drink?
Hmmm…well, let’s see, since I’m on a deserted island, I’m going to assume that I could find fruit, and a fresh water source (Hey, we’re being hypothetical, I’m giving myself some leeway), so…I’m going to go with chocolate, because oh man, I’d die without it. And hmm…drink…a nice white wine, because besides water, I don’t really drink much else (in terms of sodas and juices, etc.), and a nice glass of wine here and there would be nice to enjoy the ocean breeze with.

And from Min: (I liked Jannis' question, but I want to make it harder. If you were banished to a desert island and you could only take one of three things, what would it be:
1. A Bible
2. A case of tequila
3. Johnny Depp

These are my three choices? I thought it would be harder, but of the three choices, hands down, Johnny Depp. I wouldn’t need the bible to pray, especially surrounded by all that nature on a desert island…I could find God in so many other ways, and I’ve never been a fan of tequila. So, Johnny Depp!..yeah...

oh and what do you know of the reconstruction of the economy in post-revolutionary France?

UH, yeah…not so much. And I’m afraid I’m not really all that interested in looking it up. I didn't know this was going to be a history lesson Min. ;-)

And there you have it! There were lots of other questions asked, and I'll be posting answers to those in the next few days as well...stay tuned.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Fun Monday - Set adrift on Memory Bliss...

Karisma is our hostess for this week's Fun Monday. She wants us to take a trip down memory lane. Here's what she had to say:

"I want you to take a trip down memory lane, and keep right on going, right back to your childhood. And I want to hear "THAT STORY". You remember the one? Yes, you do! The one your parents, siblings, extended family or friends, would never let you forget, live down or get over!"

I seem to be doing that quite a bit of reflecting on my past lately, so you would think this assignment would be right up my would think so, but it wasn't. I even employed the help of my mother to try and find out if I had "That Story"...but there doesn't really seem to be one that we could come up with. I was begining to think that I was going to have to bow out of Fun Monday this week, when mom started telling me about the "little things" that I'm always reminded of. So, I don't have that ONE story, but I have a bunch of little ones...I'll give you those.

In the first I was about 4 years old. I come from a family of smokers, everyone in my family has smoked as long as I can remember. (I wonder if that has anything to do with the fact that I hate smoking and won't touch the stuff...hmmm). Anyway, while sitting around with the family one day, my uncle took his cigarrette and shook the ashes out into an espresso cup. And I, in my little girl voice, pointed at the cup and said "Is this an ashtlay too?". The story is much cuter told in the Portuguese it was originally spoken in, with my mispronunciation of the word for ashtray. It is also one of those that anytime anyone in the family taps their ashes into anything that is NOT an ashtray, my family says, in that same voice, with the same mispronunciation "Is this an ashtlay too?" I wonder if now that my parents, and most of our extended family no longer smoke, that story will die out? hmmm

(That's me and mom)

The second story has me at about 5 years old. I was never a fan of naps, or of going to bed in general. This hasn't changed much, I still will do anything possible at night to put off the moment when I have to go to bed. I love to sleep, don't get me wrong, but I have a hard time "calling it a night"...I love to be awake more. Anyway, the story goes that when I'd be told as a child that it was time for bed, I'd fight it tooth and nail, and repeat endlessly "I'm not sleepy, I'm not sleepy", and I'd actually fall asleep saying those words. Then there were the times my mom would go lay down with me in the afternoons, to put me down for my nap. For years my grandmother would tell the tale of the time I walked out of the room, into the kitchen where my grandmother was on tiptoe, and whispered "Shhh...mommy's sleeping".

(Me, mom and grandma -and dad with his big mustache in the corner)

And that's it, that's all I've got. Not too exciting around these parts today, so I'm sending you back to Karisma's so you can check out other stories, which are sure to be a lot more fun!

And be sure to head over to Blue Momma's Fish Bowl for next week's assignment.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A few silly blogthings

It's been a productive Sunday, I ran some errands, went out to take some pictures, and hung out with Lil K' for a while. Now I'm catching up on some blog stuff, and plan on doing some writing, here are some quizzes I took to entertain myself for a few minutes:

You Are 44% Cynical

Yes, you are cynical, but more than anything, you're a realist.
You see what's screwed up in the world, but you also take time to remember what's right.

You Are Big Black Boots!

You can be best described as: attitude
You've got lots of it - and you love to give it
A guy has to be pretty gusty to hit on you
But if he's your type, you'll warm up... a little

You are Wedge Sandals

Bohemian and sexy
You're a free spirit - both in life and in fashion
You have a style all your own, and it turns heads!

You Are Very Happy Being Single

You're not anti-relationship. You just don't need one to be content.
You find plenty of happiness from your life as it is.
And if you find someone you love, then that's just icing on an already decadent cake!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

All the Boys - First Kiss

For this one we are going to go back...way back...back to SHUDDER...high school.

As much as I may have had "IT" while during and post college, I had not quite found IT in high school. In fact, I was quite the late bloomer and although I'd had my crushes and the like, when I entered high school, I'd never had a boyfriend. And as we all know, at that impressionable time in your life, life is not quite complete unless you can say you have a boyfriend.

Enter Ronnie. I can't be bothered to give this guy a nickname, because I don't remember enough about him to give him an appropriate one. Besides, it took enough energy to just remember his first name. Oh the funny way your mind blocks certain things from your memory. So, we'll just go with Ronnie, I'm pretty sure that was his name. I think. Uh...yeah...

Ronnie was a neighborhood boy, a few years older than I, who also went to my high school. But, while I was an honor student, in the upper level classes, somewhat of a cross between a geek and a nerd, he was none of those things. He was one of the "smokers". The long haired, ripped jeaned, D-average, smoking behind the school building variety. I'd like to tell you that he was cool in a James Dean kind of way, and I was attracted to his "rebel without a cause" alure. I'd like to, but then I'd be lying. To put it bluntly, he was just kind of a loser. But he was also one of the first boys to really show me any attention, and I think at that point (in my sophomore year)it was more important to have a boyfriend, then to have a "good" boyfriend. So I let him walk me home from the bus stop, and I let him call me his girlfriend, and walk me to class. For a short while, it was kind of cool. I had one of the bad boys as my boyfriend. Look at me, I'm a rebel. Yeah.

That was, until he kissed me.

Picture this: I've never been kissed, and as a young girl, I've got visions of romance, and skin tingling chemistry. He's going to kiss me, and I'm going to swoon with the romance of it all.

Let me set the scene for you. My backyard, behind the garage, away from any of the house windows. Leaning up against an abandoned car that has been parked there as long as I've lived in that house. He says "I want to kiss you". I, quite nervously, say "Okay". He leans in, I close my eyes, and ...

...holy shit I'm being swallowed whole. Suddenly he's all over me, hands everywhere, mouth wide open and I'm not sure whether I should push him off gently or knee him in the groin. Eventually the "kiss" or whatever you want to call what just happened, is over, and he's smiling at me like he just gave me the prize of a lifetime. This was my first introduction into the knowledge that men and women, boys and girls, are truly two different species. AND he tasted like cigarrettes - the first and last smoker I ever kissed.

Needless to say, after this event, I was in no hurry to indulge in kissing activities with him again. Within days, however, I had the perfect out. I was informed by another girl that she too was being told by Ronnie that she was his girlfriend. I informed her that he was all hers, and told him thanks, but no thanks. Another first. The first, but certainly not the last time I would be "cheated" on. Or more accurately, that I would, unbenknownst to me, be the other woman. Because she was his girlfriend before I was.

For obvious reasons, I don't reflect back on my first kiss very often, and in fact, had done a pretty good job of blocking the memory from my mind until I dug it out for your reading pleasure here. THIS is how much I give of myself to you, dear readers.

But wait, there's more. Because Ronnie and I had no classes in common, no friends in common, in fact, no interests in common, it wasn't too hard to remove him from my life. For the first few weeks, he attempted to convince me to give him another chance, stopping by my house, dropping by my classes, etc. But eventually, he moved on. Although he only lived about 10 houses away from me, I stopped seeing him around.

About a year or so later I was working at an internationally known burger joint. Minding my own business working the drive-through window, when I hear someone say my name. Ronnie is in the restaurant, and wants to talk to me. Thinking it would be harmless to catch up with an old boyfriend, I take my break, and sit with him for a few minutes. And I seal my fate. For the next few weeks everytime I was working, Ronnie would show up at the restaurant wanting to talk to me. In fact, friends and coworkers said he was there on days I wasn't working as well, asking if i was coming in. He wouldn't leave until I paid attention to him, and the one time I told him I didn't want him coming around anymore, I remember he didn't react well. My manager actually had to ask him to leave. It got to the point where my coworkers would warn me if he was coming, and I would hide out in the back room, while they told him I wasn't working that day. Eventually, I employed the aid of a group of guy friends from highschool (about 80% of our soccer team, in fact) to hang out at the restaurant until he showed up, and threaten to beat the crap out of him if he didn't leave me alone. Luckily for me, Ronnie hadn't risen to professional level stalkerism yet, and this threat was sufficient. I never did see him again.

I drive by his old house weekly, as it is on the way to my parents' home, and once in a while I wonder about him and how he turned out as an adult.

And after the whole "Mr. Vain" thing last week, I can't help but wonder what it was about me that attracted guys that I look back on now and cringe..."What was I thinking, and boy, did I dodge that bullet".

Is it any wonder I don't date now?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Follow-Up Friday - The one where I revisit my past

Well, this was a week of memories, good and bad. A lot of looking back, and looking in.

It started Saturday with some random Observations. I still want to be Samantha Brown in my next life. But now, I also want to be Heidi Klum. She was on Ellen this week, and while watching her on there I decided that she's be a good choice to come back as, as well. For starters, she is GORGEOUS...I mean, seriously...look at her. But then, she's also funny as hell. Seriously, funny in that "I'm not working hard at being funny, I'm just smart enough that I can be funny without really trying". And yeah, then there's that, she's smart too. And a savy business woman. She has a great career. Seems like a nice person. AND she's married to Seal. Seal! The guy sings to her regularly. And they have gorgeous kids. So yeah, if not Samantha Brown....Heidi Klum will work too.

On Sunday I showed you my new boots. I was surprised at the comments I received from those of you (Beckie, Laurie, Lisa) who said you wouldn't be able to walk in those heels. Really? I'm surprised because as far as my heels go...I almost didn't buy these boots because the heel wasn't high enough. Jannis commented on not being able to wear them because of "fat calves" (her words, not mine)...Jannis, these might actually work for you...they're slouchy boots, so not so tight around the calves. And I actually have some pretty muscular calves, so I have a hard time with fitting in some boots too...these were easy though. And Junebug commented that she has the opposite problem...her calves are too skinny. Well, again, these would be the perfect boots, because they're slouchy, so if they sag a bit...that's the style anyway. See, I'll solve all the world's shoe problems.

Fun Monday this week was a little game of Mother May I. After trying not to walk into walls, and dodging my shady neighbor, I managed some photos. Sauntering Soul said "I always tell myself that living in a small space prevents me from accumulating too much stuff. But that isn't true". Boy, do I hear you on that. I always wonder how I'd manage if I lived with anyone else...I'm out of closet space as it is. Jenni told a crazy story about a crazy neighbor of her own...What is it about these guys? I got a little bit of grief from a few of you for not getting a picture of my crazy neighbor. (Chrisb, Tiggerlane, Karmyn, Blue Momma, Pamela)...I'm very sorry ladies to have disappointed you. Truly, I am. But see...he's creepy. And taking a picture of him would have probably have led to some sort of conversation, or to him thinking I was interested (thus why I was photographing him) and even for the sake of blogging, I just couldn't take that risk. However, I blog for you, and I'm always aiming to give you what you ask for, so next time I see him outside smoking in his pj's, I promise to try and sneak a photo. Maybe...possibly...probably not.

What I will do for you all however, is tell you all my stories of loves past. See how I bare it all here for you? On Tuesday, I told you all about Cognac. Well, not all of it...part two of our relationship is yet to come. About my "fading light" next to Cognacs brighter one, Frigga said: "I really enjoy the company of that type of man, but I can understand the confidence issues that it brings". The thing is that normally, I really enjoy the company of that type of man too, and usually, with someone that confident, I only feel even more confident and determined, and challenged. I've never been able to figure out why it was different with Cognac. All I can figure is, it just wasn't meant to be between us obviously. Qualcosa di Bello said "in spite of how you felt/acted around him, your blog words exude a confidence right now. your attitude is terrific". Well, thank you, but I think it is perhaps BECAUSE of how I felt/acted around him, that I now exude this confidence. You live and you learn, you know?

In my Wordless Wednesday I shared with you a bottle of wine I discovered recently. Bitch, it is called. I bought this wine because I thought it was hillarious. I plan on buying some to give as gifts this Christmas to a select few friends who will get the joke. In terms of flavor? I'm actually not much of a red wine drinker, it's a world I'm easing myself into. This was a "Barossa Grenache" whatever that is...anyone know? Anyway, it's pretty decent. I can't tell you in "wine" language what it tastes like, because I'm really not well versed in it yet...I'm working on it.

Also on Wednesday, I posed a question of sorts about Censorship on the radio of Nickelback's song "Rockstar". I'm still annoyed everytime I hear it, not solely because of the parts that are censored, but because of the parts that are not. I'll be the first to tell you that I listen to music for entertainment, not for some sort of "life lesson", so to me, if a song appeals to me, I listen to it, if it doesn't, I change the station. Many times I've been in my car with "LilK" and a song will come on and I'll change the station because I feel it's inappropriate for her to listen to. Of course, I know she's listening to these songs when I'm not there, but hey, I can only control what she does when I am there. Besides, a lot of times, it's more because I'm embarrassed hearing or singing along with some of the lyrics with her in the car. But it's the self-censorship that Jennifer talked about, and I'm okay with that. We've all got to make our own decisions. My bigger issue is with censoring certain things, and not others. Particularly, censoring the word "drugs", but not the "we'll all stay skinny cuz we just won't eat" line. Now, let me clarify, I'm not advocating drug use, but my perception of this song is that neither is Nickelback (not in this song at least), just like they're not advocating annorexia, I really see the song as tongue in cheek. But, if the censors are so offended by the use of the word "drug", shouldn't they be equally offended by a line about annorexia? Anyway, I'm off on my tangent about this song again, because this really annoys me. So I'll stop here. Check out the post and the comments if you want to hear more about what everyone had to say...they all made some really good points.

My Thursday Thirteen got a bit buried this week, due to my second post that same day...and it's a shame too, because I shared with you some great eye candy of some of my picks for the sexiest men in television. So, have a looksie!

But, the post that overshadowed my TT couldn't wait for another day. If you missed it, you must read the story of a guy I knew in college, who has now been accused of rape. Seriously, I can hardly believe it myself, and am glad I have the blog as an outlet to share it with others, because I'm pretty sure my friends are sick of hearing me say "wow, I just can't believe it".

Before I learned of this story, I had been working on a post about my very first boyfriend/first kiss, so I'll have that for you perhaps sometime this weekend. I'm also working on answers to some of those questions I asked you all to ask of me...stay tuned for some of those next week.

Have a great weekend everyone, I'll be posting during the weekend per NaBloPoMo, and I'll be giving my NaNovel one last try before I decide whether or not the big "crash" really did throw my momentum off completely...I've had a hard time getting back into it, we'll see what happens this weekend.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

All The Boys - The Bullet

Oh boy, oh boy, do I have a story to tell you all.

First of all, as you know, I’m not in the habit of using real names of people I know on this here blog, in order to protect the innocent and all that. Okay, mostly it’s because I find it real fun to give people nicknames, but whatever, either way, I don’t normally use real names. However, the particular story I am about to share with you has been widely publicized in local newspapers (as well as all over these here interwebs) so, privacy is not so much an issue for this individual. The rest of the names will remain changed and coded in keeping with my modis operandi. Secondly, can we discuss how as soon as I got over the initial shock of this situation, all I could think was "I can't wait to blog this?".

Right, okay. That said, let me tell you all a little tale about how Candid Karina dodged QUITE the bullet in college, and she didn’t even know it until yesterday afternoon. This is a story of intrigue, and shock. It is a story about a guy, that in my planning for my “All The Boys” posts, I’d never even thought about telling you about. Because he hadn’t really made that much of a mark on my history to be included in these tales. That is, until yesterday. See…

Yesterday afternoon I’m minding my own business, heating up my lunch, when I look over to the table in the conference room (where our microwave is) and laying there is a “Lawyer’s Weekly”. This is the weekly newspaper in which attorneys get their scoop on all the goings on in the law world. Statutes that have passed, cases that have been won and lost, and ALWAYS, some controversy surrounding some attorney or other are the headlines in this paper. I barely glance at the thing, because, really, I have no time to read the paper at work. But, my eyes caught something, and I almost passed out from shock. See, my dear friends, the headline big as life, on this particular issue was this:

“The Rise and Fall of Gary Zerola”. And the reason it caught my eye? Because I KNEW Gary Zerola. I didn’t just KNOW Gary Zerola…I knew him well. In fact, we almost dated. But I’ll give you more on that back story in a minute. Let’s go back to why I was immediately shocked and almost had a heart attack. The sub-headline said this: “A promising young lawyer finds himself behind bars on rape and assault charges”. You see what I’m saying? SHOCK.

I won’t delve into all the details of the story here, but if you’re curious to read it, you can click here, or here, or here (this one comes with comments from readers)…or just google his name as I did. Unfortunately the "Lawyers Weekly" article is not available to the general public (you have to be a subscriber to the newspaper to see it), but I can email it to you if you're really all that interested in reading. But the gist of it is this, he’s accused of drugging, not one, not two, but three different girls, at three different times, and raping them. All girls 18 or 19 years old. And the reason it is such a news item is because at 36, he had quite a bright future ahead of him, prior to these accusations. He is quite a well known and successful lawyer in the Boston area. He’s also made quite a name for himself in some media circles, even making People Magazine’s list of Most Eligible Bachelors about 6 years ago, and was a finalist to be the original "Bachelor". And now this? It would be sad, if it wasn’t so scary.

Now for my personal side of the story. I met Gary when I was in college and he was in law school. Even though he was in law school, he would hang out in the undergrad lounge quite a bit, for whatever reason. And while hanging out there, he would flirt shamelessly with the undergrad girls. I was one of those girls. He was quite a charmer at first, and really a good looking guy, so I’ll admit that at first, I was quite taken with him. I mean, here was this law student, paying all this attention to me. What bright eyed, innocent college girl wouldn’t be charmed? But, Gary was about as cocky as they come. Really, he was quite full of himself. In fact, my friend BFF and I called him Mr. Vain, and would sing the song (by Culture Beat) which was out at the time, every time we’d see him walking around. The irony of the lyrics of that song now...quite chilling. He had this air of superiority about him that was a complete turn-off. Another one of my friends, Evil, a male friend, despised him for this, and in fact told me several times that he would lose all respect for me if I ever dated Gary. (He was also quite jealous of any guy who ever talked to me, even though he himself never made a move, but that’s another story for another time).

But Gary did ask me out. Several times. And I turned him down. Several times. He was just too cocky for me, and I wasn’t having it. He would say things like “You’ll go out with me, you’ll see”, which in turn would only convince me further that I would not. Eventually Gary moved on to another undergrad, and I didn’t see him as much after that. And I’d really completely forgotten about him until about 6 years ago, when BFF called me and said “You are never going to believe who is in People’s Most Eligible Bachelors this year…Mr. Vain”. WHAT? We had quite the laugh about it, saying that the only reason he was an eligible bachelor was because he was an insufferable bastard and no woman would want to put up with him. Then my friend Evil called, annoyed that “that bastard” was in People magazine. “That pompous ass walks around the city like he owns it, and he thinks he’s some movie star”. No love lost between Evil and Mr. Vain. After this mild interruption into my post-college life, I again never thought of him again. Until yesterday.

What can I tell you? I’m shocked, because one never expects to hear that somebody they knew is accused of rape and assault. Seriously, I can’t quite wrap my brain around it. Do I think he’s guilty? I have no idea. I haven’t seen him in at least ten years, so it would be really inappropriate for me to make any judgments here. I find it pretty damning evidence that there are three women with the exact same accusations, but then, that’s what trials, and investigations, and whatnot are for, right? I’m not, however, surprised that he would skip town while on probation to attend a football game in Miami, or that he would use the bible as a prop in court. If he hasn’t changed, or worse, if he’s allowed his success to get even further to his head, he’d think he was above the law. He always had a superiority complex, and I always thought he felt like the world owed him something. I mean, the guy hired a PR firm out of law school to…to what? To pimp himself out? It’s all very strange.

When I emailed a copy of the newspaper article to BFF, she emailed me back immediately saying “Thank God you never agreed to dating him”. When I told my mom the story (she remembered me talking about him in college), she said “Maybe you could have saved him if you’d gone out with him”. My mom, the eternal optimist (UPDATED to was joking). I can't wait to talk to Evil and get his reaction. I for one, think I dodged a bullet. Don’t you?

All The Boys - Teaser

I hate to do a teaser post (okay, no I don't), but there's a developing story here that you just MUST come back for. I'll try to get it up today, but I'm at work, and don't know if I'll get the time. Plus, I'm having a real hard time wrapping my brain around it, and composing a coherent post for you all.

But here's the teaser...come back to read about the bullet I dodged in college, that I just found out about. The guy I hadn't planned on telling you about...but now MUST.

Thursday Thirteen is below this post.

Thursday Thirteen #30

Eye Candy Time!!! I've previously given you my opinion of the 13 Sexiest Men in Music, and the 13 Sexiest Men in Movies. This week, I give you my picks for 13 of the Sexiest Men in Television.
I'll tell you right now, this one was much tougher to narrow down to 13 for me. I watch quite a bit of television, and hotties abound on the small screen. So, I might just call this Part 1, and focus on the guys on the shows I actually watch. Also, no reality t.v. here..strictly scripted television shows for this one. In no particular order:
1. Wentworth Miller - Michael Scoffield - Prison Break:

I actually found him a lot sexier in previous seasons, but he's still on my list of hotties.

2. Milo Ventimiglia - Peter - Heroes:

I first realized he was hot when he appeared in Fergie's Big Girls Don't Cry video, and this season? Whooo Peter's a hottie!

3. David Andrews - Kensei/Adam - Heroes

Holy crap, where did this guy come from? HOT!

And one more Heroes guy...there's an abundance really on that show:

4. Jimmy Jean-Louis - The Haitian - Heroes:

He's kind of the smooth, silent, sexy type.
5. David Boreanaz - Seely Booth - Bones:

Ah Angel, how I missed you so. What makes him even sexier, in my eyes, is that he's funny too. I love how quirky his character is, miles away from the gloom and doom of Angel.

6. Taye Diggs - Sam Bennett - Grey's Anatomy:

Really, I would watch pretty much any television show if Taye Diggs is in it. And after last night's episode? Sigh...

7. Will Yun Lee - Jae Huang - Bionic Woman:

There's just something very sexy about this man. I think it's the chiseled cheek bones.

8. Justin Chambers - Alex Karev - Grey's Anatomy:

Forget McDreamy (I really don't like him) or McSteamy...I'll take McAlex please! I just love him.


9. Eric Dane - McSteamy - Grey's Anatomy:

Yeah...I wouldn't exactly kick him out of bed...

10. David Conrad - Jim Gordon - Ghost Whisperer

I'm not entirely sure if it's the actor I find sexy, or just the character he plays...I mean, man, that's the kind of husband I want...the stuff he does for his Ghost Whispering wife! Sheesh!

11. Scott Elrod - Cash - Men in Trees:

Marin's all hung up on Jack and she's got THIS GUY walking around naked in her house...uh, hello??
12. Donnie Wahlberg - Horst Cali - The Kill Point:

I'm sort of cheating a little bit on this one, because the Kill Point was a miniseries on Spike TV, that may or may not come technically Donnie is not currently ON's Donnie...I had to get him on ONE of these lists, because I have a special place in my heart for him.

13. Skeet Ulrich - Jake Green - Jericho:

Whatever...I always thought he was cute, and now he's all grown up, and kind of sexy. So sue me.

So, as before, these are just my opinion, and just from the shows I watch regularly. Give me yours...who did I miss?

Banner for TT created with an image I pilfered off Men's Health Magazine