Thursday, January 31, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #40

As promissed, this week's Thursday Thirteen takes me back to my youth, my love affair with the New Kids on the Block. This is of course brought about by the rumors which hit the interwebs (and radio and television news) that a NKOTB reunion might be in the works. As rumors go, there are suspicions, there are theories, and there are, of course, denials. As a die hard NKOTB fan, (once a fan, always a fan, admit it), I'll choose to keep hope alive, and hold onto the fact that their once defunct website has been revived, and the little video playing on that website teases us to stay tuned by asking "Are You Ready?" AND the song playing over that little video is no New Kids song I ever heard...and trust me, any true NKOTB fan would know all the songs, so, a new song perhaps? Only time will tell.
In the meantime, I give you 13 NKOTB memories and tales, and reasons why they played such an important part in my life during my adolescence.

Hangin' Tough, The Right Stuff, Please Don't Go Girl...yes, now that I'm older I realize they weren't exactly musica masterpieces, but oh, how those sounds bring back a sense of nostalgia only music tied to memories can evoke.

2. The New Kids craze was something I shared with my cousins M&M and PM, and we would spend hours pouring over teeny bopper magazines, clipping articles, hanging posters up on our walls, memorizing facts about the five members of the group. We all have not only great memories of that time, but we also still have boxes full of binders with those clippings, the buttons, the t-shirts, the books...yes, we kept them.

3. My first concert. New Kids on the Block at Foxboro Stadium (now Gillette Stadium) in the Boston area. Our seats were terrible,in the nosebleed section, but man, we could have sworn Donnie and Jordan and Joey were singing directly to us. They could hear us screaming how much we loved them. What an event that night was.

4. Pen Pals. The NKOTB craze came long before the internet boom, long before myspace and facebook, so as fans, we had to find a way to connect. Those not involved can not even begin to imagine the network of fans, how connected and amazing it was, via regular snail mail. We wrote letters, we exchanged photographs, created "friendship books", shared stories. At one point I had over 50 pen pals, all New Kids fans. My cousins and I even had a small fan club, we created a newsletter, sent it out to members/fans. Looking back on it, with the knowledge of how easy technology makes it today, I have to admit, we were ingenius in how we made it work.

5. Pen Pals. I met girls from all over the place through this pen pal network. The most memorable was a girl from Germany, who spent a summer a few towns away, with a host family, and spent a weekend at my house. We became fast friends, through our love for the New Kids. Amazing experiences all. I wonder where they are now, my pen pals.

6. Friendships. I met my best friend in high school because of my "NKOTB buttons" on my denim purse (ah, the early 90s). She was a fan too, we got to chatting, we became fast friends. Made many other friends that way...some enemies too.

7. Life lessons. The New Kids craze was one of those "love them or hate them" situations. Being a fan meant you had to have a strong character, you had to be able to take a lot of criticism to defend them from the critics, mostly made up of the teenage boys who hated them so.

8. Crushes. I learned early in life that I'm prone to like the bad boys. My first clue? Donnie Wahlberg was my favorite New Kid. He of the "allegedly" setting fire to hotel rooms, starting fights, and being the general "bad boy" of the group. Oh, how I loved him so.

9. Crushed dreams. All good things must eventually come to an end. We got older, they got tired...the group broke up, and with it, went a bit of our youth, our innocence.

10. And yet...a lifelong love affair. I'll admit it, I have followed their careers, in particular, Donnie's career, and I get a secret thrill whenever I hear of a new movie or television show he's in. I've seen them all. Well, all except for those "Saw" movies he's in...I just can't handle the blood and gore of those. I'll continue to follow them too, and be proud of their successes.

11. It's a silly thing, but it's those "idols" from our youth that hold a special place in our hearts, is it because of a crazy "fan" fantasy, or is it because it's in reliving those moments that we feel a certain sense of that carefree time in our lives. That time when it really was all about dreams of a cute boy on a poster smiling at us from a stage miles away? Whatever it was, watching these old videos, looking at these old photographs, gives me a sense of peace, and's hard to explain it really.

12. Just another video for you:

13. And one more:

Ah well...thanks for traipsing through my youth with me for a's been fun.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Movie Reviews

I love going to the movies and yet, i don't do it nearly as often as I'd like to. However, for some reason, in the last month, I've made it to the movies more often than I think all of last year. So, I bring you some movie reviews.

For the record, these reviews contain NO SPOILERS within.

I'm actually going to start off with a dvd before I move on to those Now In Theaters:

Movie: The DaVinci Code

Starring: Tom Hanks, Jean Reno, Audrey Tatou, Alfred Molina, Ian McKellen

Synopsis: Famed symbologist Professor Robert Langdon is called to the Louvre museum one night where a curator has been murdered, leaving behind a mysterious trail of symbols and clues. With his own survival at stake, Langdon, aided by the police cryptologist Sophie Neveu, unveils a series of stunning secrets hidden in the works of Leonardo Da Vinci, all leading to a covert society dedicated to guarding an ancient secret that has remained hidden for 2000 years. The pair set off on a thrilling quest through Paris, London and Scotland, collecting clues as they desperately attempt to crack the code and reveal secrets that will shake the very foundations of mankind. (From Yahoo Movies)

My Two Cents: I actually read this book a few years ago and really enjoyed it. As I have a tendency to be seriously disappointed with a movie after I've read the book, I've decided that the best way to handle this in the future is to either watch the movie first, or wait until enough time has passed that I don't have a very clear memory of the book. I took the latter approach with this one, and it worked well for me. I thought the movie was very well done, and for as confusing and conplicated a book as this was, they did a fairly good job of translating it to film. The vital parts of the story were there, and having the book as background knowledge, I had no trouble following along and grasping it. However, my friend Shopaholic wasn't so lucky. She hasn't read the book, and was completely lost during several key parts of the movie. She's also not a Christian, so she doesn't even have the religious background to be able to follow the basic Jesus, Mary and Joseph ideas in the storyline, so I'm sure that added to the hindrance. That aside, I feel they did a fairly good job of developing the story in sync with the novel, and as a stand alone movie, I enjoyed it as well.

Tom Hanks was great as Robert Langdon, if a bit different from how I had pictured the character. Still, I was reminded that I actually am a fan of his work, and should watch more of his movies. I felt the rest of the cast was also well put together, but I wasn't particularly blown away by anyone, except for Silas. The actor who protrayed him was excellent in his role as the tortured, not-quite-evil, not-quite-pious soul. Overall, a good movie, but nothing spectacular.

Rating: I'd go with 3 1/2 out of 5 Martini Glasses on this one.

Movie: P.S. I Love You

Starring: Hillary Swank, Gerard Butler, Lisa Kudrow, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Gina Gershon, James Marsters

Synopsis: A grieving young widow discovers that her late husband has left her a list of tasks revealed in 10 messages, delivered anonymously, intended to ease her out of grief and transition her to a new life. (Again from Yahoo Movies)

My Two Cents: I loved this movie. Yes, it's a sappy chick flick, but I like sappy chick flicks, and as far as sappy chick flicks go? This one was one of the best I've seen in a long time. It's very hard to write a review of this movie without giving anything away, and I make it a practice to NOT post spoilers in my reviews, so I'll keep it short. I've never quite gotten what all the hype about Hillary Swank is, but I thought she was wonderful in this movie as the grieving widow. I'd never really noticed Gerard Butler before (sorry Julia, I know that's blasphemy), but after this movie, I GET IT. I love Lisa Kudrow, and thought she was her usual cynical funny self in this, and loved it. I was tickled by the surprise of James Marsters (SPIKE) in this, small as his role was. I fell head over heels in love with Jeffrey Dean Morgan, again, as I had before when he played Denny on Grey's Anatomy. I laughed at the funny stuff, and boy did I cry. I cry very easily, for the record. But with this movie? I'm pretty sure I started crying about 10 minutes in, and I didn't stop until the end of the movie. Just when something would happen that would help me to laugh, and compose myself a bit...there it would be again, another tearjerking moment. Still, even with all the crying (perhaps because of it), it was a great movie, just bring tissues.
P.S. - I loved it.

Rating: I'm actually going to go 5 out 5 Martini Glasses on this one. I'll buy the dvd.

Movie: The Bucket List

Starring: Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman, Sean Hayes

Synopsis: Two terminally ill men try to fulfill a wish list known as "The Bucket List" before each kicks the bucket.

My Two Cents: I wasn't even sure I wanted to watch this movie when I first heard of it. It seemed like a pretty morbid premisse to me, and another tear jerker, and I'd just watched PS I Love You, I didn't need another tear jerker. But circumstances and timing left this as the only viable choice on a night out at the movies, so we settled on it. I'm glad we did, it was actually a lot less morbid than I expected, and in fact, was quite uplifting and funny. Really funny. The combination of Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman and Sean Hayes (very much out of his "Just Jack" character), was a fantastic mix. The story was sweet, if bittersweet, and I shed a few tears, but not nearly as many as I'd expected to. (Again, I cry at everything). And the movie was beautifully shot, some amazing scenery and images. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Rating: I'll go 4 out of 5 Martini Glasses here.

Movie: 27 Dresses

Starring: Katherine Heigl, James Marsden, Malin Akerman, Edward Burns

Synopsis: Jane is idealistic, romantic and completely selfless--a perennial bridesmaid whose own happy ending is nowhere in sight. But when younger sister Tess captures the heart of Jane's boss--with whom she is secretly in love--Jane begins to reexamine her "always-a-bridesmaid..." lifestyle.

My Two Cents: I had already mentioned in this post that I really wanted to see this movie because I was SO this girl. I've got about 20 less dresses than her, but man, am I the eternal bridesmaid! So I was giddy with anticipation at seeing it. The difference between myself and Jane is that she actually loves Not so much. The movie was most certainly 100% chick flick, and as such, there were several moments where I found myself wanting to slap Jane for her stupidity, her lack of a backbone, her inability to stand up for herself. This happens pretty much anytime I watch a chick flick, or read a chick lit novel, so I wasn't really put off for too long. Again, without getting into spoilers, I'll just focus on the basic stuff. The movie made me laugh A LOT. It was funny, it was silly, it was cute, and it was sweet. It also gave me a fantastic idea for my wedding, if I ever have one, but we'll leave that on at that. Katherine Heigl was great in it, James Marsden is adorable, Malin Akerman as Jane's sister was annoying (but she was meant to be, so I think that's a compliment to the actress) and the rest of the cast? Forgetable mostly. Yes, even Ed Burns, his character did NOTHING for me. The movie itself? Cute, funny, I'd watch it again.

Rating: As far as chick flicks go, we'll go 3 out 5 Martinis

And there you have it. Happy movie watching!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

All The Boys - The Slick One

Let me tell you about Slick. I briefly mentioned Slick in passing in this post, but I think it’s time you meet him. I met Slick in high school, therefore, you should know a little bit about who I was in high school.

The short version is that I was one of the smart kids, but not one of the “nerdy” ones. I wasn’t popular, but I was also not ridiculed. In fact, I was in all the classes with the “popular” kids, and they all talked to me and knew who I was…during school hours. After school, I was pretty much non-existent and not a part of their circle. I had my own circle of friends, and we pretty much referred to ourselves as “the outcasts”, but we each had an “in” in our own way. Whatever. You need to know this, because you need for know that for me, high school wasn’t anything at all like what you see in teen movies. I didn’t play sports, I didn’t go to dances, I didn’t really belong. I just sort of was there. And with the exception of “first kiss guy”, I didn’t have boyfriends. I had crushes, oh, I had lots of crushes, but no boyfriends. And I was young, na├»ve, and influential.

Enter Slick. Slick was on the soccer team, and where I went to school that meant that although he wasn’t one of the members of the “In Crowd”, he was still pretty popular, he just ran with a different crowd. The soccer team had a popularity all its own. They were division champs, the best in the area, and they knew it. And they had the groupies to prove it too. I met Slick because his best friend had one of those on-again/off-again things with a friend of mine. It was mostly off-again, but then, that was probably for the best for her sake. And yet, Slick was different. He was slick, no doubt about it, but he was a good guy. I’m pretty sure he told me right off the bat that he had a girlfriend (who went to another school), and we sort of stuck up a friendship. But it was the sort of friendship that involved my bemoaning the existence of his girlfriend, and him flirting shamelessly with me and sending me mixed signals. I spent much of high school in a state of love/hate with Slick. I wrote many a poem about my tortured feelings for him as well. Ah, such is puppy love.

Nevertheless, nothing ever came of it, high school ended, and I moved on. Until one day, my sophomore year at college, I ran into Slick again. I can’t even really remember how we reconnected, but we did. And by then, things had changed a bit. For starters, he no longer had a girlfriend. And I? I was a different person now. I had other “does he or doesn’t he” situations preoccupying my mind. Man, I was a sucker for those in my youth.

Still, before I knew what happened, Slick has pulled me right back in. The one who got away, and he was back. He had a knack for saying just the right thing, at just the right moment, to convince me that he was a good guy, and the guy for me. And yet, he was just slick enough to keep me at arm’s length, never promising enough so that I couldn’t get too comfortable. Love/Hate all over again.

Love: Driving our two cars, him in front, me behind, in a downpour, so he can drop his car off for his mother to use, and I can drive him back home. Stop at a red light, he runs out of his car, up to mine, and asks me to roll my window down. I do so, he leans in and kisses me, runs back to his car. In a downpour.

Hate: I get mad because while we’re hanging out at his house, he spends 20 minutes on the phone with some girl he says is a friend. After assuring me she’s only a friend, he adds “besides, you can’t get mad, you’re not my girlfriend”. Always putting me in my place.

Love: We spend an hour digging his car out of the snow, where he’s been stuck in my parent’s driveway, after driving through a blizzard to see me off the night before I go away on a trip. We get the car free finally, he jumps out of his car, runs over to me and hugs me, kisses me, we land on the snow…scene straight out of a movie.

Hate: The whole time we were….well, whatever we were…he had managed to joke enough about my dancing that I was embarrassed to do it in front of him. ME, someone who has always been proud of my ability to out dance ANYONE at ANYTIME. Me, the girl approached by complete strangers at night clubs and asked “Where on earth did a white girl learn to dance like that”. I never danced with him.

Love/Hate…over and over again. He’d pull me in, just to toss me back, like a fresh water fish on a nature show. It wasn’t until years later, when I was with Cognac, that I’d realize how abusive our relationship had been. How blinded by what I thought was love was I, that I lost myself in the process. I let him set the boundaries, I let him break them, I let him tell me how much or how little I should feel for him. I was like a puppy, begging for attention, wagging my tail when I received the slightest affection, sitting dejected in a corner when he couldn’t be bothered with me. In the meantime, I neglected the warnings of HIS friends that I should walk away. HIS friends telling me I was too good for him. HIS friends telling me that I was only going to get hurt.

It was one of his friends, The Bullfrog, who had in time become more my friend than his, who finally called me one day and said “K, you need to know something”. The Bullfrog, who had a thing for me, but I wasn’t willing to see it, because I was so wrapped up in Slick. The Bullfrog, with a heart of gold, and a smile to die for, who held my hand as he broke my heart, to save my soul, by telling me the truth. What I needed to know was that Slick had allegedly knocked up another girl. A girl I had suspected him of being with, but had been told time and time again was just a friend. But I knew better. And yet, I stayed in our…whatever it was…our limbo. But this, a baby? This was going too far. See, with this, I could no longer turn a blind eye and pretend. Still, I needed to get to the bottom of things, I needed to hear it from the horse’s jackass’ mouth, didn’t I?

I called him.
He answered.
I asked him: “What’s this I hear about you getting some girl pregnant?”
He replied: “Yeah, I’m going to be a dad.”
SLAP! (my face stinging from the impact of the words).
Matter-of-fact. Happy almost. Laughing a bit, I think.

My heart? Broken. My pride? Non-existent. It was over.

For months Slick would continue to call me, try to convince me to…what? Forgive him? No, he hadn’t done anything wrong, I wasn’t his girlfriend after all, was I? Give him another chance? No, he was with her now, he just wanted to see me again, didn’t want to lose our (laugh) friendship.

I never did forgive him. Not to his face anyway. I got over it, I learned from it, I became a stronger person for it. But from me he never heard another love-sick, pathethic word. He never saw me cry, I didn’t yell, I didn’t ask for an explanation…I just moved on. It had been long enough for me in that tormented state, I was done.

Years later I’d run into him here and there. A club one night, where he told me his girlfriend and daughter were out of town, did I want to come back with him? I laughed in his face, and walked off. A party another time, where I’d; perhaps emboldened by a few too many kamikaze shots; approached him, he told me I looked fantastic, I grabbed hold of one of his short little dread locks and said “What’s this shit on your head?” My friend laughed hysterically and pulled me away. Another night at a dance club, he stopped me, told me I looked great on the dance floor. “Where did you learn to dance like that?” he asked. “I always danced liked that, you just couldn’t see it”. “Who are you here with?” he asked looking at my girl friends. “Them,” I said pointing around… “And him”, I motioned to Cognac, in all his 6’2”, muscular hotness, who winked at me as I signaled him. “Oh, shit”, said Slick “I’ll be walking away now”.

Oh, the sweet sweet taste of indifference. Best served cold, they say. Or is that revenge? Either way, it worked wonders for my no longer broken down ego.

It has now been, gosh, nearly a decade, since our last encounter. I’ve forgiven him his youthful arrogance. I’ve forgotten most of the abusive behavior. I remember mostly the sweet moments. The fact that he was, to date, the best kisser. And the gift he gave me. Because from him I learned never again to forget myself. Never again to allow a man to control my life, my heart, my self-respect. I learned so much more than I lost. And if I had to do it again? I would.

Only this time, I might have kissed The Bullfrog.

Monday, January 28, 2008

What I've got cooking

Fun Monday is right below this post. I've got all sorts of things cooking for you this week, however, so I wanted to give you a head's up.

I got busy with family stuff yesterday and never did my "Sum It Up Sunday", stay tuned, I'll follow up on comments and stuff later on this week, or do a double version next Sunday (I promise).

Tomorrow come on back for another tale of "All The Boys I've Loved", where I'll introduce you to "Slick", the guy who broke my heart, but taught me a lot about who I am.

On Wednesday I'll have FOUR movie reviews for you. I've made it to the movies more often in the last month than I did all of last year, and want to tell you all about what I've seen.

Because this article made me giggly like a teenage girl with a crush, my Thursday Thirteen will be all about my teenage love affair with the New Kids on the Block.

And for Friday? Well, you'll just have to see, won't you?

Oh, right, and there will be the promised non-update over at Covert Karina sometime today. Password remains the same. (Don't have it? Ask me about it).

Fun Monday- Bedside Manner

Fun Monday this week is being hosted by Angela at the Lurchers. The assignment:

For today's Fun Monday, continuing in the spirit of "being interested in people", I would like to know, or see, what's on, in or under your bedside table! So open those draws and bare your soul to us! Is there anything special there that has a story or a memory that you can tell us about? Books that you keep there to delve into from time to time? Trinkets that you don't know where else to put? Let's see!

Well, this is my bedside table:

I can't, (or won't) show you what's in my drawers though, because then I'd be showing you my drawers. (UH, that's undergarments to you). So, we'll leave that up to your imagination, and we'll keep the drawers closed.

I will instead zoom in on my favorite piece that sits on my bedside table:

This little trinket was given to me by a friend quite a long time ago, and has special meaning to me. It has the following inscribed on it's base:

In case you can't read it, it says: "Palm of My Hand - See! I will not forget you. I have carved you on the plam of my hand".

But, in keeping with the whole "bare your soul" directive, I figured I should give you something, here's what sits on the other side of my jewelery stand:

That creepy looking thing on the stand is a melted down candle.

Yes, I have a bit of a jewelry addiction's not just shoes.

Please visit Angela for the list of other Fun Mondayers, and be sure to stop by Tiggerlane's tomorrow (or anytime this week), as she's hosting on the Monday after the Superbolw.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sum It Up Sunday

Sum it Up Sunday will be up a bit later today. Spent the morning volunteering at the church and am on my way to have lunch with my parents right now. When life gets in the way of blogging, it's not all bad, is it?

I leave you with this until later:

Have a lovely Sunday.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Saturday Photo Hunt #4 - Old Fashioned

This week's PhotoHunt theme is Old Fashioned. When I saw the prompt, I immediately thought of this picture. It was taken in 2003 and is one of those "Old Time Photos" taken on a trip to an amusement park. In the photo is one of my friends and her "Little Sister" (through Big Brother Big Sister) my self, and my own "Little Sister"...Lil'K.

Friday, January 25, 2008

You tell me

I've got NOTHING today. I have a few posts in the works, but not time to work on them because I am busy busy at work. And besides that, my font of creativity is dry...I've got nothing for you.

So, I'm leaving it up to you today, because I trust you, my readers, to write my post for me today.

I'll even get you started...ready?

Today, Candid Karina couldn't write a blog entry because ________________________.

P.S. For those of you in on the Cover Karina business, please remember to not spill the beans in here. And no, there's no real update to report yet, but sometime this weekend I'll post a non-update over there.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #39

Having the day off work on Monday, I undulged a bit, allowing myself to spend the day surrounded by some of my "Guilty Pleasures". So, on that note, for today's TT list I give you Thirteen of my Not-So Guilty Pleasures.

1. Staying in my pajamas ALL DAY, drifting around the house from couch, to kitchen, to computer, back to couch. (As I did on Monday)

2. Blogging and bloghopping. Being part of this community is certainly a pleasure. Guilty only because I spend way too much time doing it when I should probably be doing other things.

3. Gossip Girl, the tv show and other "teenybopper" type shows (remember the O.C.?) I can't help it.

4. McDonald's Breakfast Burritos.

5. Celebrity gossip.

6. Make-up. I'm obsessed with make-up, buying it, trying new kinds, playing "up" my eyes, covering up my blemishes, making it look like I'm not wearing any make-up when I am...etc.

7. My new Sanseo coffee machine and the UNBELIEVABLY good coffee it makes. I used to drink coffee because I needed a caffeine boost in the mornings, now I anticipate that cup of coffee and savor every second of it.

8. Cheese. All kinds of cheese, any kind of cheese, at any time, with anything, or by itself. Oh, how I love me some cheese.

9. lifehouse, the band, the music. If I'm down, it cheers me up, if I'm angry, it calms me down, if I'm happy, it takes me to a whole other level. I haven't had a love affair with a particular band and/or musisican like this since my New Kids on the Block days. Only now, it truly is about the music.

10. Speaking of which, Donnie Wahlberg, Mark Wahlberg, or any of the teen idols I grew up plastering my walls with. I get a (not so) secret pleasure out of seeing them in new projects today.

11. Tivo. This one is obvious to anyone who knows me even a little bit, but coming home and checking what Tivo has decided I might want to watch is definitely one of my secret (again, not so anymore) pleasures.

12. Sneaking off for a drive to go take pictures, when nobody knows what I'm doing. I say I need to go "run errands" and I drive around looking for photo ops. I'm almost giddy with the covertness of it all.

13. My love affair with Blueberry, my fish. I realize most people think fish are the bottom of the barrell in terms of pets, but my little guy has a personality all its own, and I get such joy out of his antics. Since most folks wouldn't get it, I keep that mostly to myself.

There are so many more...I realized as I was writing this list that I've managed to create a life for myself in which I allow myself to enjoy the little things. So, although they may seem like "Guilty" pleasures, I don't feel so guilty about them. Well, except maybe for Gossip Girl. x0xo

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Tag, I'm it!

I was tagged quite a long time ago by Ana at Eclectic Closet to do the 7 Random Things About me MeMe. Since I'd just done this same meme as well as the extensive 200 Things About Me posts right around the time I was tagged, I decided to hold onto this one for a later date. Well, hey now, it's a later date!

The Rules: 1) List 7 random facts about myself, 2) tag 7 people, and 3) leave a comment on their blog letting them know.

1. I'm can't wait to see the movie "27 Dresses". This is because I am that girl. I have been a bridesmaid 5 times, but have actually been asked to be a bridesmaid 7 times. Those two other times? I had to gracefully bow out of one very early on due to lack of finances, and the other wedding was called off. When previews for "27 Dresses" started showing up, all my friends started joking that this movie is totally about me, the eternal bridesmaid. Go ahead, you can laugh, I do.

2. When I was young, I suffered serious separation anxiety from my parents. They would go out to a movie and leave me at home with my grandmother (who lived with us, and who I loved dearly) and I would cry the entire time until they got home. This lasted pretty much until I was in first grade, and the first day of school I cried the whole day because I was away from home. I think there are still remnants of that left in me, I can never go too long without talking to my parents, something doesn't feel right if I do.

3. Even though I've never really given serious thought to being a mother, knowing that it'll happen one day, whether biologically or through adoption, but not focusing too heavily on it...I've already picked out my daughter's first and middle names. And no, I won't share them with anyone until the time comes.

4. I almost hate to admit it, but I'm a little sad today about the news of actor Heath Ledger's death. I only watched Brokeback Mountain recently, and I thought he was amazing in it, and found him to be a fantastic actor. The reason I say I hate to admit it is that as much as I you want to step away from the "Hollywood" stuff, it's always been one of my guilty pleasures, so when something tragic like this happens, I get all wrapped up in it. The fact that he has a little girl makes this one heartbreaking, and my prayers go out to his family and friends.

5. I have written more poetry and short stories and other creative works since starting Creative Karina last year, than I have in the 5 or 6 years prior to that. I had some crazy writer's block for all that time, and really believed that my life as a writer was done, that I wouldn't get it back. I'm so relieved that I seem to have found my muse again, and am extremely proud of the work I've created recently.

6. I'm wearing white pants today. They are "winter white", and The Nazi this morning said I looked "Springy" and that annoyed the crap out of me. Doesn't she know what winter white is? At times like this I miss working in the city, where fashion was actually something people appreciated. I'm a fashion fanatic and get annoyed that noone around here gets it.

7. I still haven't had a pb&j sandwich...EVER...

Well, there you have it. Random enough for you? Now to tag seven others.

I'm going to go with:

1. Frigga (because she always seems so happy when she gets tagged);
2. LilMouse (because then I can learn some about her);
3. The Ex (because, although I'm pretty sure she hates being tagged, and will probably ignore my tag and/or complain that I tagged her, I think her answers could be hillarious with her wry sense of humor);
4. Beckie (because she just came back from a short blogging break, so I figure I'd give her something to write about on those days she doesn't feel like coming up with her own topic);
5. Jannis (because I also want to know more about her and her travels throughout Spain);
6. Isolda (because she's new to blogging, and a very good friend of mine, so I want to get her "out there");
7. Wicked H (because she's a busy bee, so a meme might be something she'll enjoy doing right now).

I know some folks hate memes, so if you don't want to do, then hey, don't do it. ;-) Trust me, I won't be offended, I just wanted to throw it out there.

Now, Whisper Wednesday has begun at The Firm once again, so I'm going to close my office door and turn up my music. You all have a great day, won't you?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

No Autographs Please

As with celebrities who choose their careers in the limelight, only to be hounded by papparazzi at every waking moment, bloggers too invite the public into their private thoughts.

When a Britney or a Paris go out every night to the local hotspots, and then cry and bitch about how the paps don't leave them alone, we feel no pity. After all, isn't this what they want?

And yet, when a more private celeb, one who makes big movies, or sells millions of albums, and yet isn't out on the "scene" every night, is hounded by paps day or night...well, then we might feel just a bit more sympathy. They are still public figures, yes, but if they choose to have a quiet dinner at a local out of the way restaurant, they should be able to do so in peace, shouldn't they? And if not in peace, they should at least be able to go on about their life without being criticized for every little thing. For example, recently, there was all this hoopla surrounding Jennifer Love Hewitt and some beach photos of her in a bikini. Since she's a celeb, she can expect that if she steps out in a bikini on a public beach, photographs are going to surface. Fair enough. What she certainly couldn't have expected, and probably shouldn't have expected, was the amount of press those photos received with negative, disparaging remarks attached, attacking her weight. Not only were those comments insensitive and unnecessary, they couldn't have been more off base. But this isn't about J-Love, it's about the fact that press, any press, whether good or bad, means that you have "arrived" as a celebrity.

As a blogger, it is in the stats, the amount of readers one has, and of course, the comments, that we know we have "arrived". And don't let anyone tell you otherwise, we love comments. We want comments, we dig for comments and we do little happy dances in our chairs when our inboxes are filled with comments.

But you know you've truly made it as a blogger when you receive your first "spam" comment. I'm not talking about the machine generated, check out this adult website sort of comments. No, I'm talking about the ones that were actually composed by what is presumably a fellow human being. Someone who took the time out of their oh so busy scheduled (read sarcasm here) to stop by your blog and leave a disparaging, insulting, or just downright offensive comment. To, perhaps, stir the pot, if you will. To see if you'll respond. To see if they can hurt you. Who knows, really, the reason why someone would want to waste your time (and in turn their own) with a comment that offers nothing? But there it is. And of course, in the true manner of the blog world, the comment is left anonymously.

How we, as bloggers, react to these comments is of course up to us. I received my first one of these a while ago. In response to an older entry, and certainly meant to offend. I chose to hit delete, and move on. It didn't anger me, it didn't hurt me, if anything, I felt sorry for the person who left it. How empty their life must be that this is how they get their kicks. A shame, really.

But it did give me pause for a minute. Does this mean I've "arrived"? Should I start wearing sunglasses and a wig when I step out to my local grocery store? What do you think? Should I go with red hair, or black?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Fun Monday - Its an Anniversary Party

This week is the One Year Anniversary of Fun Monday, so the Fun Monday powers that be (the group of bloggers who somehow make Fun Monday happen every week without a main blogsite or any "true" leader, which still sort of amazes me that it works this way), decided to contact the person responsible for the very first Fun Monday. Vicki was glad to do it, and here is her assignment to us:

It all started with "Your View". I wanted to see what you see when you look out your front door. So for this Anniversary Fun Monday lets do it again!
Here's the assignment. For those of you who did NOT post a picture of your view from your front door, then your assignment is to post a view from your front door. To do this you stand in your doorway looking outside and take a picture. That simple. We (I) want to see what you see when you look out your front door.
For those of you who DID post your view, link back to that post you posted a year ago, and then re-list your very first post ever. We want to see how far you've come baby! Also, if you can, post the comments you received on that post.

Okay, so, I wasn't participating in Fun Monday when it all began, therefore I'll give you my view from my front door. Ready?

Yeah, pretty lame huh? I live in a condo complex, therefore my front door faces my neighbor across the hall's front door. I can't exactly leave you with that boring site and call it a day, can I?

I've previously posted the view from my balcony in several posts, and since my balcony faces the front of the building I live in, that is trully the view from the "front door". You can see some of those shots here and here. Or here (the following taken last night):

For a view from a condo complex, I've got a pretty good one, don't you think?

We've also been given the option to re-list our very first post. I actually started blogging elsewhere, and mostly to keep in touch with family and friends then. So, when I started this here blog, I never did an introductory post or anything of the sort, I just kept right on writing. I won't copy and paste my first post here, because it was pretty long, but you can read it here. It was all about Corey Haim and his "fall from grace" if you will, and how that related back to me personally. I received no comments to that post, like I said, noone but a few friends were reading my blog then, and they didn't comment, they just lurked. I have, by the way, done a follow up post on Mr. Haim since then, but should probably do another one, since it seems he's fallen off the wagon once again. Oh Corey!

Well, this was a great Fun Monday to be a part of. Thanks Vikki for hosting. Please be sure to stop by Angela at the Lurchers for next week's Fun Monday assignment.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sum It Up Sunday - The Patriots Edition

Because today is a big day around here, with the New England Patriots standing 17-0 and playing to get into the Superbowl this afternoon, and because this video is hillarious, I'll start off my Sum It Up Sunday by giving you this: (Even if you're not a Pat's fan, watch it, it's worth it).

Okay, now moving on with Summing up my Blogging week.

On Saturday's Photo Hunt last week, the theme was "Skinny" and for that I dug out an old picture of myself with my brother when I was about 11 or so, and he was 1 1/2 or so...I love that picture. Thank you all for your sweet comments, it's always fun for me to share older photos on here...I'm not self-conscious about how I used to look, and there's a certain magic in photos of you as a child, isn't there? And my brother? Oh, how adorable was he? I remember that when he was that little, he was my little guy, I loved showing him off...guess not much has changed there.

On Sunday I shared a bit about my experience feeding the poor at the YMCA. I'm still really glad I participated in that, and will definitely be doing it again in a few weeks.

Fun Monday this week was all about websites that have changed our lives. Mine were mostly about how I got involved in blogging...and also about the great friends I've met online. But I had so much fun visiting other Fun Mondayers and discovering a million new places on the web to waste my time at! ;-)

On Tuesday I waxed poetic about re-entering the world of dating. I really want to thank everyone for your comments to this post. They all were really sweet and helpful. It's hard to be re-entering this world after some time away, and I do so with trepidation and not just a little hesitation, so your words were encouraging. I especially want to thank Lisa for her resonated with me. Thank you all.

Wednesday I was having a bad day at The Firm so the blog suffered for it.

Thursday Thirteen this week was all about American Idol. Probably because it was being written as I watched the show on Wednesday night. I was glad to see that I'm not the only one on whom the "humor" of the bad singers is lost. Although I do understand what some of you said about it bringing in a wider audience, I just don't know if that is true anymore. I know in the beginning, the bad auditions were actually what brought me to the a car crash, you couldn't look away. But I think it's just become a complete farce, and practically everyone I've spoken to says they'd rather less of that, and more of the actual, who's this wider audience? I guess they're out there.

On Friday I posted a meme I'd been tagged for. It involved a bit of self-indulgence, which I'm all for once in a while. And it was fun to fill out. Check it out, and hey, save it for a rainy day to do yourself.

In yesterday's Photo Hunt, the theme was "Important". I thought about this one for a bit before I decided that nothing is more important to me than my family. The picture I featured is hanging on my wall at home, and happens to be one of my favorite shots from a family trip to Mexico in 2006.

Also, over at Creative Karina I had a pretty inspired week. I wrote not one, but two short stories that I'm pretty happy with. I also participated in Pensieve's Poetic License, a new monthly poetry meme that I'm extremely glad to be a part of. Hosted by Robin over at Pensieve every month we not only get a new "theme" to write about, but we also get to try our hand at a different form of poetry. Having been a poet all my life, I've never actually experimented with different types of poetry. I just write, not paying attention to iambic pentameter, or stanzas or even rhymes. It's been a fun challenge to have to stop and think as I write something. Thanks for the challenge Robin, I'm loving it.

Oh, and finally, there is an update over at Covert Karina today. Password remains the same. And again, if you have no idea what I'm talking about then you need to catch up...where have you been? ;-) Read this.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Saturday Photo Hunt #3 - Important

Today's Photo Hunt theme is "Important". This was a tough one for me because there are several things that are of extreme importance to me...but how to translate those things into a photograph is not readily apparent. But then there's this:

My family. This picture was taken on a family trip to Mexico in 2006. Being able to take a vacation with not only my parents, but also my grandfather and my brother, now that we're all "grown-up" was a special treat. Family time is vitally important to me. (in the picture counter-clockwise starting with my brother front and center, we have my dad, mom, grandfather, my brother's godfather and godmother, their daughter, and myself).

Friday, January 18, 2008

A Month of Me

Before I get into today's post, I just want to let you all know that Follow-Up Friday has been will now be Sum It Up Sunday. I have decided that since I'm blogging daily now (including weekends), Sunday is a better day to "wrap up" the week, if you will. Plus I have more time on Sunday mornings for a more complete post that way. Also, there is a small update today at Covert Karina. Password remains the same for those who have it. If you have no idea of which I speak, read this.

Okay, moving on. I've been tagged by Julia for a "Birth Month Meme" if you will. The rules:

1. Mention the person who tagged you and create a link back to them.

2. Copy-paste the traits for all the twelve months (see below).

3. Pick your month of birth (see below).

4. Highlight the traits that apply to you.

5. Tag 12 people and let them know by visiting their blogs and leaving a comment for them.

6. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve done it!

Okay then. It feels a bit self-indulgent, and perhaps a bit silly as well, but hey, what the hell, isn't blogging self-indulgent anyway? And silly? Well, what's wrong with silly? I'll play. We'll start with numbers 3 and month of birth is MARCH, the following are the listed traits and my feelings as to how they apply (or do not) to me:

Attractive personality: I think this applies. I'll admit that sometimes I wonder what it is about my personality that appeals to others (especially when I'm feeling particularly down on myself), but the truth is, I've never had trouble making friends. And although I always say that all of my friends are the best, therefore I could never say I have ONE best friend, I am the person a lot of my friends consider to be their best friend. Must mean something, right?

Sexy: If only! Although, to be honest, although most days I would be down on myself and not be able to imagine how this adjective could possibly apply to me, I have been told that it does. A lot. I'd believe it, but...well...I don't.

Affectionate: This one absolutely 100% fits me. I'm highly affectionate and cuddly, and huggy and just that sort of person.

Shy and reserved: Hear that? That's the collective laughter of everyone who knows me. 'Nuff said.

Secretive: Not generally, no. Although, as much as I read like an open book most of the time, I do have secrets, and in fact, they are so secret, that nobody, and I mean NOBODY knows them. And then there's Covert Karina.

Naturally honest, generous and sympathetic: Honest, almost feels like a contradiction of the above, doesn't it? I think I am honest in the really important stuff, but due to my overactive imagination, tend to embelish at times, exagerate if you will. I don't lie. Or at least, I don't even intend to lie. But sometimes I may stretch the truth a bit. But really, only when it doesn't matter, and then why do I do it? I blame it on the writer in me. Generous to a fault. I've mentioned before my love for giving gifts, how I get all giddy and excited as someone opens something I gifted. I'd give you the shirt off my back, but...well, nobody needs to see all that now do they? And sympathetic? Boy, am I ever. I'm the girl who can't watch the news because I will cry beginning to end for all the pain in the world. Which leads me to:

Loves peace and serenity: Indeed. Again, I've said before how one of my greatest pleasure is coming home to my empty, quiet home, lighting some candles and sitting back with a glass of wine. AH serenity.

Sensitive to others: I'm going to say this is pretty much the same as sympathetic, and I've already addressed this above. I feel for others as if I were them. Their pain is my pain, their joy is my joy.

Loves to serve others: In a word? No. What, I'm honest, remember? I don't mind helping others, really, I'll go out of my way to help someone. And I'll work for others, I realize it is the way of the world to do for others as you would have done unto you, blah blah...I'm okay with that. But do I LOVE to do it? uh...No. I don't.

Easily angered: Yes, I am, but only with certain issues, and the great thing about me is that I'm just as easily pacified. I'll get worked up, usually without anyone's knowledge, and then I'll take a breath (slam an office door and blast some music, for example) and work myself right back down.

Trustworthy: Yes. You can trust me always. I will not voluntarily ever betray someone's trust. I just don't have it in me.

Appreciative and returns kindness: Yes and yes. As much as I can, as often as I can.

Observant and assesses others: I am observant. A regular people watcher and admirer of the world around me. Do I assess others? Sometimes, yes, I do. But I usually give them a chance to show their true colors too.

Revengeful: No, not at all actually. I'm of the "let karma do it" school of thought. I may never forget when someone has hurt me, but I do forgive, and I don't need to seek revenge. IN fact, I think it's a complete waste of energy, and my resources are better spent elsewhere. Shopping for shoes, for example.

Loves to dream and fantasize: always dreaming, always fantasizing. On the outside, I conduct myself accordingly, and meet my responsibilities, go about doing what needs to be done. On the inside I have a million alter-egos living lives you can't even begin to imagine. Thankfully, I can't translate some of those into my writing.

Loves traveling: Do I ever! The only negative of being a homeowner in my eyes, has been the lack of traveling funds. Damn mortgage.

Loves attention: Yes, okay, I admit it, I do. Of course I do. I have a blog, don't I?

Hasty decisions in choosing partners: This one couldn't be any further from the truth for me. Any less hasty and I might never date again in fact.

Loves home decors: True. Have you seen my home? No? Well, you should definitely come by. We'll have coffee and I'll show you my rooms, all designed by yours trully with love and care.

Musically talented: Only if listening to music counts. OH, I can dance too. Other than that, I'm pretty sure I'm tone deaf, and can't play any instruments either.

Loves special things: I'm not even really sure what this means. Doesn't everyone love special things? What are special things?

Moody: Yes, I'm moody. I can go from zero to PMS in seconds and back again. The good thing about me is that I tend to live in my happy moods a lot longer than my down moods.

And there you have it. Definitely a bit self-indulgent, but I had fun with it.

Now, before we get to all the other monthly traits, I'm supposed to tag 12 people. But...I'm not going to. I'm a rebel, yeah! No, what I want to do is tag YOU. Yes, you dear reader. If you are reading this and think it would be fun to do, then consider yourself tagged. Even if you don't have time right now, save the tag, and on one of those days when you just can't come up with any blog fodder on your own, you can use this tag. See, I told you I was generous!

Birth Month Traits:

JANUARY: Stubborn and hard-hearted. Ambitious and serious. Loves to teach and be taught. Always looking at people’s flaws and weaknesses. Likes to criticize. Hardworking and productive. Smart, neat and organized. Sensitive and has deep thoughts. Knows how to make others happy. Quiet unless excited or tensed. Rather reserved. Highly attentive. Resistant to illnesses but prone to colds. Romantic but has difficulties expressing love. Loves children. Loyal. Has great social abilities yet easily jealous. Very stubborn and money cautious.

FEBRUARY: Abstract thoughts. Loves reality and abstract. Intelligent and clever. Changing personality. Attractive. Sexy. Temperamental. Quiet, shy and humble. Honest and loyal. Determined to reach goals. Loves freedom. Rebellious when restricted. Loves aggressiveness. Too sensitive and easily hurt. Gets angry really easily but does not show it. Dislikes unnecessary things. Loves making friends but rarely shows it. Daring and stubborn. Ambitious. Realizes dreams and hopes. Sharp. Loves entertainment and leisure. Romantic on the inside not outside. Superstitious and ludicrous. Spendthrift. Tries to learn to show emotions.

MARCH: Attractive personality. Sexy. Affectionate. Shy and reserved. Secretive. Naturally honest, generous and sympathetic. Loves peace and serenity. Sensitive to others. Loves to serve others. Easily angered. Trustworthy. Appreciative and returns kindness. Observant and assesses others. Revengeful. Loves to dream and fantasize. Loves traveling. Loves attention. Hasty decisions in choosing partners. Loves home decors. Musically talented. Loves special things. Moody.

APRIL: Active and dynamic. Decisive and hasty but tends to regret. Attractive and affectionate to oneself. Strong mentality. Loves attention. Diplomatic. Consoling, friendly and solves people’s problems. Brave and fearless. Adventurous. Loving and caring. Suave and generous. Emotional. Aggressive. Hasty. Good memory. Moving. Motivates oneself and others. Sickness usually of the head and chest. Sexy in a way that only their lover can see.

MAY: Stubborn and hard-hearted. Strong-willed and highly motivated. Sharp thoughts. Easily angered. Attracts others and loves attention. Deep feelings. Beautiful physically and mentally. Firm Standpoint. Needs no motivation. Easily consoled. Systematic (left brain). Loves to dream. Strong clairvoyance. Understanding. Sickness usually in the ear and neck. Good imagination. Good physical. Weak breathing. Loves literature and the arts. Loves traveling. Dislike being at home. Restless. Not having many children. Hardworking. High spirited. Spendthrift.

JUNE: Thinks far with vision. Easily influenced by kindness. Polite and soft-spoken. Having ideas. Sensitive. Active mind. Hesitating, tends to delay. Choosy and always wants the best. Temperamental. Funny and humorous. Loves to joke. Good debating skills. Talkative. Daydreamer. Friendly. Knows how to make friends. Able to show character. Easily hurt. Prone to getting colds. Loves to dress up. Easily bored. Fussy. Seldom shows emotions. Takes time to recover when hurt. Brand conscious. Executive. Stubborn.

JULY: Fun to be with. Secretive. Difficult to fathom and to be understood. Quiet unless excited or tensed. Takes pride in oneself. Has reputation. Easily consoled. Honest. Concerned about people’s feelings. Tactful. Friendly. Approachable. Emotional temperamental and unpredictable. Moody and easily hurt. Witty and sparkly. Not revengeful. Forgiving but never forgets. Dislikes nonsensical and unnecessary things. Guides others physically and mentally. Sensitive and forms impressions carefully. Caring and loving. Treats others equally. Strong sense of sympathy. Wary and sharp. Judges people through observations. Hardworking. No difficulties in studying. Loves to be alone. Always broods about the past and the old friends. Likes to be quiet. Homely person. Waits for friends. Never looks for friends. Not aggressive unless provoked. Prone to having stomach and dieting problems. Loves to be loved. Easily hurt but takes long to recover.

AUGUST: Loves to joke. Attractive. Suave and caring. Brave and fearless. Firm and has leadership qualities. Knows how to console others. Too generous and egoistic. Takes high pride in oneself. Thirsty for praises. Extraordinary spirit. Easily angered. Angry when provoked. Easily jealous. Observant. Careful and cautious. Thinks quickly. Independent thoughts. Loves to lead and to be led. Loves to dream. Talented in the arts, music and defense. Sensitive but not petty. Poor resistance against illnesses. Learns to relax. Hasty and trusty. Romantic. Loving and caring. Loves to make friends.

SEPTEMBER: Suave and compromising. Careful, cautious and organized. Likes to point out people’s mistakes. Likes to criticize. Stubborn. Quiet but able to talk well. Calm and cool. Kind and sympathetic. Concerned and detailed. Loyal but not always honest. Does work well. Very confident. Sensitive. Good memory. Clever and knowledgeable. Loves to look for information. Must control oneself when criticizing. Able to motivate oneself. Understanding. Fun to be around. Secretive. Loves leisure and traveling. Hardly shows emotions. Tends to bottle up feelings. Very choosy, especially in relationships. Systematic.

OCTOBER: Loves to chat. Loves those who loves them. Loves to take things at the center. Inner and physical beauty. Lies but doesn’t pretend. Gets angry often. Treats friends importantly. Always making friends. Easily hurt but recovers easily. Daydreamer. Opinionated. Does not care of what others think. Emotional. Decisive. Strong clairvoyance. Loves to travel, the arts and literature. Touchy and easily jealous. Concerned. Loves outdoors. Just and fair. Spendthrift. Easily influenced. Easily loses confidence. Loves children.

NOVEMBER: Has a lot of ideas. Difficult to fathom. Thinks forward. Unique and brilliant. Extraordinary ideas. Sharp thinking. Fine and strong clairvoyance. Can become good doctors. Dynamic in personality. Secretive. Inquisitive. Knows how to dig secrets. Always thinking. Less talkative but amiable. Brave and generous. Patient. Stubborn and hard-hearted. If there is a will, there is a way. Determined. Never give up. Hardly becomes angry unless provoked. Loves to be alone. Thinks differently from others. Sharp-minded. Motivates oneself. Does not appreciate praises. High-spirited. Well-built and tough. Deep love and emotions. Romantic. Uncertain in relationships. Homely. Hardworking. High abilities. Trustworthy. Honest and keeps secrets. Not able to control emotions. Unpredictable.

DECEMBER: Loyal and generous. Sexy. Patriotic. Active in games and interactions. Impatient and hasty. Ambitious. Influential in organizations. Fun to be with. Loves to socialize. Loves praises. Loves attention. Loves to be loved. Honest and trustworthy. Not pretending. Short tempered. Changing personality. Not egotistic. Take high pride in oneself. Hates restrictions. Loves to joke. Good sense of humor. Logical.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #38

Okay, fine, I admit it. I'm one of them. One of who you ask? I'm one of the millions who watch American Idol every season. And yes, I watch from the God Awful audition process all the way to the finale. I love music, I love discovering new voices to add to my music collection, so I enjoy Idol. So, this week I was excited about the return of the show, and have been glued to my television set the past two evenings, watching the audition shows. And this brings me to my Thursday Thirteen today...Thirteen Observations about American Idol:

1. Enough. Seriously...enough. Enough with the William Hung's of the world. ENOUGH! Does anyone really still find the audition process with the obviously staged bad singers making complete and utter fools of themselves fun or funny?? Really? Because the brain cells I've lost the last two evenings as I fast forward through all the bad auditions? I can't get those back. OH, enough already!

2. If only they would focus on the actual "singers" who try out, and let us hear some more of the talent that exists out there, we as viewers could get so much more out of this show. There are some AMAZING singers out there, incredible, and every once in a while they showcase one of them and blow me away. MORE of that, please.

3. Simon Cowell? I Love the guy. I love him. I know he can be a real jerk, and I know that if I knew him in real life...well, no, actually, I think we could be great friends in real life. He's funny, he's sarcastic, he's a jerk, but he's right. He's right 99.9% of the time. Think about it, how much fun would it be to be friends with this guy and be out places with him, picking on the people around you? Admit it, FUN.
4. Paula Abdul? I know it's early in the season yet, she more normal this time around or is it just me? I'm just sayin'.

5. Randy? I don't think I've heard him say "dogg" once yet...could it be? Has he retired that annoying need to be "young and cool?" Still with the "pitchy" though, but I guess you can't teach an old "dogg" all new tricks, right?

6. Do you think they'll change the voting method this year? After the whole SanjayaGate, I can't help but wonder if perhaps they'll change it so that the judges have some weight toward the vote (a la "dancing with the stars"), or if they can select the bottom three or the audience to vote from (a la "so you think you can dance"), or will the voting stay the same? And if so, then who will be the next Sanjaya, Scott Savol or whoever else "" has targeted in the past? Will the judges be more careful to not allow someone like them through?

7. Back to the bad auditions for a minute because I'm actually typing this as I watch the show...okay, seriously, do these poor children not have parents, friends, siblings, enemies...ANYONE at home to tell them that they should stay home? Anyone?
8. My favorite American Idol to date? Hands down Kelley Clarkson. Funny thing is, I never watched the first season of AI, and I wasn't even really a fan of hers until recent years, but that girl can SING and I just love her "angry" music. It's fun, it's powerful and it's really good for "angry days at The Firm" too.

9. Close second? Carrie Underwood. I love her. That's it, I just love her. She's talented and her music is beautiful.

10. And then there's Daughtry. I loved Chris Daughtry from the very beginning, and was one of the many really pissed off when he got voted off. But hey, he laughed that loss all the way to the top of the charts didn't he?

11. And then there's the other winners...Ruben who? Taylor what? Guess it doesn't work for everyone, does it? Is it something about the "guy" winners? Because all the girls seem to be doing pretty well for themselves. Fantasia's on Broadway, and it's too early to tell, but Jordyn Sparks seems to be doing alright too. Yet, the "guy" runner's up seem to do fairly well for themselves. Odd?

12. Okay, so I get the whole "back home I farm and own 3 horses" stories for those who actually make it through, or at least the ones who stand a chance...but for those who obviously won't be going through...see, this is where the staging comes in...when you've got them going home with the crazy chick with the eye glitter...can we save this stuff for when we actually care about the singers (emphasis on the word SINGERS here)?

13. I'm thinking of doing an Idol recap post (in addition to regular posts) as the season progresses on the day after the performances (and again a short one after the results show)...what do you think? Should I do it? I think it could be fun...

Okay, that's it, I'm done. I know it wasn't the best TT list ever, but I told you, my brain cells are shrinking in number by the minute as I watch this audition show...see, there goes another one...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Whisper Wednesday at the Firm

Rough day at The Firm today. Very busy, extremely annoyed, closed office door, streaming angry music at eardrum bursting levels, kind of day. Nothing blogworthy can come of such a day, so I leave you to talk amongst yourselves. You can entertain yourselves with this post, or this post, or even this one. Or the little quiz below. Going for drinks with friends tonight, good timing for sure.

The Recipe For Karina

3 parts Daring
2 parts Fearlessness
1 part Superiority

Splash of Wit

Serve over ice

Have a good HUMP DAY!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

It's like riding a bike, they say

Here's the thing, I don't date. If you've been reading my blog for any period of time you've probably come across my philosophy on life, and the fact that I am a rarity perhaps, in being a single woman who is perfectly content with her "singledom". It's good, it's comfortable, it's stress free, and I enjoy the freedom it grants me. So, I don't date. I haven't dated in years.

When I was younger I had quite the fulfilling and entertaining social life, love life, whatever you want to call it. I have many stories to tell, even more than the few tales I've already shared in my "All The Boys" posts. I was popular with the boys, and had fun playing the field, or being in relationships, either worked for me. And yet, being single also always held a certain appeal to me, and I'd go long stretches of time between relationships on my own.

My heart would be broken, and I'd take what I used to call my "self-imposed dating hiatus". I'd recenter myself, focus on finding an understanding on who I was for a bit, and then I'd be ready to face the battlefield of dating once again.

And back then, I always enjoyed dating. I loved the attention, I loved the anticipation, I loved the what ifs, the is he or isn't he, the sweaty palms and what outfit should I wear deliberations. I lived for that adrenaline rush you received just before he leaned in for that first kiss. What a thrill.

Then, about 6 years ago, my last relationship ended. I was heartbroken, but more than that, I was discouraged. I had put so much faith on this one working out this time, that when it crashed and burned, I was exhausted. Disillusioned. I needed another of my self-imposed breaks. I stepped back.

In the meantime, I was house hunting, bought my condo, decided I needed a new job closer to my new home, changed jobs, went through some changes with my friends, and had to reevaluate those relationships as well, made new friends, and got caught up in the daily grind of life. I got busy with life. My work, my home, my friends, my family. And suddenly, the need for a man, for a companion, wasn't there. I was content, fulfilled, satisfied.

The longer I spent single, the more comfortable I became on my own. And I think at some point, a sort of complacency sets in. You get used to living your own life, and it's hard to let someone in and uproot it, you know? Through the years, there have been a handful of dates, or attempts at dates, but none have stuck past the initial "nice to meet you, goodbye". I think a part of me has been relieved by this, I didn't have to change anything about my life, I could go on about my way.

But I'm gettin older, and as much as I still feel at peace with the life I live, there is a piece of me that is beginning to wonder at the what ifs. What if I don't try to meet someone now? The older I get, the harder it'll be, and do I want to be single forever? (the answer is no) What if grow so accustomed to my life, that I don't challenge myself to try again? Will I grow bitter and resent my own decisions when I have no family to speak of later on in life? (the answer, is maybe) And what of children? Because boy do I want children! What if I wait too long, and then can't have them? What if...

So, with that focus on the future, I spent most of 2007 in a preparation mode. Preparing my mind, my heart, my soul, for the eventuality that I would have to try my hand at dating once again. Without any set plan ahead, I began the new year prepared for the challenge. Or so I thought.

After all, how hard could it be? I used to be so good at it, derive such pleasure from the game. Just like riding a bike, I should take to it with grace and agility, even after all these years, correct?

Then why, pray tell, is it that as the prospect of possibility turns the corner to meet me, my stomach is in knots? Good God, why am I moments away from running screaming from the room, locking my door and unplugging my telephone? I feel the bile rise in the back of my throat, and I think "this can't be a normal reaction".

Is it nerves? Fear? Has my complacency set in so deeply that I'm physically fighting the possibility of change?

I should be enjoying this new venture in my life. I should be looking forward to the challenges ahead, the experiences, the giggly butterflies in my belly sensation. So why do I feel like I swallowed a gnat?

Is this what dating in your 30's feels like? If so, please stop the world, I want to get off. But maybe...well...not just yet, I'll go along for the ride just a bit longer still...deep breaths, this could be fun, enjoy the view, take photographs, and blog.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Fun Monday - I found it on the internet

Fun Monday this week is being hosted by Ann.

Her assignment to us: I want to hear about a web site and not just about any old web site. I want to hear about a web site that's changed your life. A web site that you can't live without. A web site whose inventor you'd like to see win a McArthur Genius Grant.

As always, I'm highly incapable of following the rules, and can't possibly stick to just one website. I will, however, stick to one general theme.

The internet in general has changed my life in many many ways. One of the biggest ways, however, has been in the friends it has brought into my life. This is why I have to pick Yahoo Groups (Originally Yahoo Clubs) as my first website to change my life.

Seven years ago, around Thanksgiving time, I found a Yahoo Group, and through have met some of my best friends. Seven years of posting regularly online, and there are seven of us who have a bond like no other. I've been lucky enough to have met four of the girls in "real life", and am hoping to meet face to face with the other two eventually as well. This past summer I attended the wedding of one of those girls, and with two of the other girls, we turned her wedding into a "girls" weekend. These are friends I know I'll have for life, and I'll always have Yahoo Groups to thank for it.

The second website I'm going to point to is the first blog I ever read. It is actor Wil Wheaton's blog. Having been a fan of his growing up, when I learned he had a blog, I was intrigued. I was also immediately pulled in, he's a fantastic writer and I've had a great time following his life through his blog. It was also through his blog that I was introduced to the world of blogging, and eventually began blogging myself. Therefore, that website has indeed changed my life.

The final website I'm focusing on is one I stumbled across more recently. Sometime last year, through blog hopping, Thursday Thirteen, or something of that sort, I came across BlogJem. I just happened to stop by as its author, Frances, was starting SheWhoBlogs, a Yahoo Group for female bloggers. And so we've come full circle, back to yahoo groups. Through SheWhoBlogs, I was introduced to a whole new community of bloggers, and have made some great new "blog" buddies, who I admire, appreciate and enjoy. It also helped to increase my readership, and in turn has given my blog new life. As I consider my blog such a tremendous part of my life now, BlogJem indeed changed my life.

And there you have it. Be sure to stop by Ann's for the rest of the Fun Mondayers.

Also, scroll down to the post below this one for instructions regarding an update to the big "secret" situation!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

An update

If you have been following the "mystery" at Covert Karina, there is an update of sorts over there today. The password remains the same.

For those of you who have no earthly idea of what I speak, read this.

Also, please scroll down to the post below this one, I had a good day yesterday, and want to share it with all of you.

Good Deeds

Yesterday was a good day. A busy day, an exhausting day, but a good day. Yesterday I joined with a group of old friends, and helped to feed the poor at a local YMCA. The Y hosts this event every Saturday afternoon, and this group, part of a youth group I belonged to ages ago, has decided to participate. I've decided to join them. We will do this about every 6 weeks, yesterday was our first go at it.

They cooked all the food themselves (this time I joined in a bit later, as I had some things to do in the morning), and then we all headed over to set up the room, and hand out the food.

We met some characters, among them "Santa" himself, and served up smiles with our hot beef stew. Some were grateful, some were chatty, others were subdued. This goes for both the givers and the receivers.

It was a gift to be able to participate in something that reminds us how blessed we are. By the end we were exhausted, hungry ourselves, not having taken time to eat, but satiated with something much greater. For a few hours this Saturday, we made a real difference.

It's the little things.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Saturday Photo Hunt #2 - Skinny

The theme for this week is "skinny". Ah, skinny...such a dangerous word! Initially I was going to show you my favorite new jeans. A pair of skinny jeans that I have now bought in two different shades of blue, because I love them THAT much. Skinny jeans that I can wear beneath knee high boots. Skinny jeans that I just didn't think anyone who is NOT skinny could wear...but have since learned we can. In fact, the beauty of skinny jeans is that they actually make someone like me look taller, and therefore, skinnier. Fabulous, right? So, I was going to show you a picture of me wearing my skinny jeans, with my slouchy boots over them. I was going to...but then I took a closer look at the photo and realized that I'm really not nearly skinny enough to post a photo of myself under the "skinny" headline. It just wouldn't be right. Then I'd be forced to say something like "Skinny - Not so much"...or "Skinny - Or Not"...or...well, you get the point.

So, I opted instead to show you a picture of me from when I truly was a skinny minnie. See, up until fairly recently, I was actually SO skinny, that I used to get those "You're so skinny" kind of comments from perfect strangers. (ah, the good old days). In this photo, I'm about 11 or so, and that's my little brother, Shortstuff, about 1 1/2 or 2 yrs. old.

I love his little crossed leg in the air action. How cute was he?
Be sure to visit Photo Hunter for the other Hunters.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Follow-Up Friday - and then some

Please note that although I will continue to do Friday Follow-Ups, because I enjoy them, I am also responding to all comments as they come in in individual posts, so if I don't address a particular comment you may have posted in my Follow-Up, I will have addressed it at the original post.

Anyway, what a week it has been. It seems the new year started with a HELLO for me. As in, Hello out there Karina, here is your life, what are you going to do with it? New opportunities, new challenges and new adventures all on the Horizon.

For starters, speaking of NEW beginnings and Horizon's, I had a creative few days over at Creative Karina, with my Sunday Scribblings AND Writer's Island entries. I was also given an award, my first for that blog, but I will post about that over there next week.

Back over here at Candid Karina, I started off the week (or technically finished off last week) with an entry into the Saturday Photo Hunt, featuring the DELICIOUS Smiley, my cousin's son.

On Sunday I posted a few photos that I happened to take driving home last week. It was one of those moments when I drove past something and thought "what a beautiful picture that would make". And then turned my car around, and took the pictures. So glad I did.

I didn't participate in Fun Monday this week, but my fish Blueberry did. He wants you all to know that he had a fantastic time blogging, and hopes to do it again soon. He's also grateful for all your wonderful comments. He replied to all of them in the comments section of that post, so be sure to stop on by and read them.

On Tuesday I was a bit of a tease. I had a story to tell, but couldn't reveal it here, due to security not being as tight as I'd like it to be over here. If you haven't yet, you simply must check out what I'm talking about. I did finally find a way to tell, just go see, will you? And there will be a small update later on today as well, I think.

On Wednesday I started my first attempt at not participating in Wordless Wednesday post was practically invisible, and received the least comments I've received on a week-day post in ages...hmmm...maybe I should re-think this "no" wordless wednesday" thing. Still, I kind of enjoyed a day to just write randomly, so, maybe I'll stick to it a bit longer and see what transpires. What do you think?

And yesterday I took a page right out of my buddy Frigga's Thursday Thirteen book and went with an inter-active list. It was SO MUCH fun to read all your responses that I may make this something I do from time to time. I did NOT respond individually to those comments, but that's only because I'm planning on posting my responses sometime next week, and will address yours then. Stay tuned!

So, what's coming up, you ask? There will most certainly be an update to the "oh so secret" tale in the next few days. Saturday Photohunt this week will possibly feature yours truly. There is more creative writing on the horizon over at Creative K. And I have another edition of my "All The Boys I've Ever Loved" posts in the works. I also still have some "interview" questions my readers have posed that I have yet to answer and a few other goodies up my sleeve as well. Don't stray too far, I love having you here!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #37 - The one about you.

I'm doing things a bit differently here this week. I want to know a little more about all of you, my dear readers. So, a la my friend Frigga's inter-active Thursday Thirteens, I give you 13 fill in the blanks. Go on, have fun with it, grab your number two pencils and give me your answers in the comments section.

1. Today I _______________.

2. The last song I listend to was_________________.

3. When I was 10 I __________________________.

4. I should be _________________.

5. If I was a character on Heroes, I'd be __________________.

6. I have a hard time understanding _____________________.

7. If I was an animal, I would be a ___________________.

8. I've always wanted to ________________________.

9. If you spent the night at my house, ____________________________.

10. This year, I plan to ________________________.

11. If I could, I would ______________________________ all over again.

12. I wish I had NEVER ______________________.

13. Filling out this TT was _________________.

Looking forward to your answers, I'll post mine sometime in the next week.

TT banner courtesy of Write From Karen: Web Designs (