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30 July 2008

A happy ending to a tragic story

You may remember my friends who tragically lost their baby late last year. (see here for the story) Well, they gave birth to Jeffery David on Saturday! He was four weeks early, but both mom and baby are healthy!

God has truly blessed them.

27 July 2008

Restoring faith in humanity, one tv program at a time

I'm not pre-menstrual so I can't blame hormones for my crying jag.

I've recently gained access to certain digital channels (thanks to an antenna and a converter box), and, of course, I spend a decent amount of time on the couch watching crap. Tonight I watched Extreme Makeover - Home Edition with Ty Pennington. Within three minutes, I was in tears. WTF?!? It so refreshing and invigorating to see such wonderful things happening for people in desperate need of help. It makes me doubt the barbarity and savagery that I assume to be human nature. People can actually be good and do decent things to improve the conditions of others.

It's so easy to forget that there really is so much good in the world. All we hear and see is the bad. Murders, rapes, victimization of the weak and defenseless, extortion, and just general disregard for others. But there really is a lot of beauty and wonderful things in this world. It just doesn't make headlines because it doesn't sell papers. But it's there. I was listening to the radio the other day and the DJ was talking about this young kid who sells sodas on the side of the road in Winston because he has no money for college. He's trying to raise some money so he can go to school. He's not running a scam and he's not taking advantage of anyone. He's just trying to improve his situation in the only way that he can. So, the DJ is talking about this young man, and a caller phones in to offer the young man a job. Point blank. No questions asked. He tells the DJ (who has the contact info for the young man and his family) that he wants the young man to come work for him and his catering business until the end of the summer so he can make some money. It was so generous and giving and selfless. Of course, hiring a young kid doesn't seem like a big deal, but to hear the story and be willing to take a leap of faith like that is so wonderful. Of course, I teared up in the car. The DJ was choked up. Everyone was weepy.

Why do such wonderful displays of humanity make us (or is it just me?) so emotional? It shouldn't. It should be so commonplace -- these random acts of kindness -- that we are immune to such behaviors. Instead, we are immune to acts of violence that devastate lives. How backwards is that? We lavish do-gooders with such glory for doing the "right thing." We shouldn't have to give such recognition for simply doing what is right. But in a world where there is so much wrong, I guess we have no choice. It just seems sad. And backwards.

But it is nice to know that there are still some good things happening out there. Hopefully it is contagious. Maybe we'll have an epidemic...

I'm definitely a Batman girl.

In the age old debate of Batman or Superman?, I've always sided on the Batman side. I mean, he's human, he's angsty, he has great toys, he dresses in black and has an amazing body, and he walks the thin line between good and evil with a fantastic swagger. My kind of man. Superman ... wears a red cape and is an alien. No, thank you. Batman has it going on. Superman is lack luster.

My firm beliefs were only confirmed today after watching The Dark Knight. It was 2+1/2 hours or awesomeness. Of course, casting my heart throb as the leading man didn't bias me at all! The movie was really great. Heath Ledger as the Joker was ah-mazing. I'm not saying that simply because he died before post-production was complete and his death was shrouded in mystery. He really was fantastic. He totally deserves Best Actor, and not Best Supporting Actor. With all of my love and adoration for Bale, he got totally out-acted by Ledger. Ledger was sinister and charismatic and completely comfortable in the role. It's sad that this movie really showcases his true acting talent like it has never been seen before, but it is his last movie. Very unfortunate. It is definitely worth the price of admission to see this movie. Even on our poor grad student stipends!

20 July 2008

Birthday reflections

The birthday weekend has come to an end, and it was not too shabby. It was actually rather fun!

On Friday night, The Boy took me to see Hellboy II. We were going to go see Dark Night, but we knew that everyone and their uncle would be there. We had a lot of fun. We snuck some beers in and had beer and popcorn and laughed and enjoyed ourselves. Good times, good times.

Saturday we went to the Farmer's Market and loaded up on fresh produce. Groceries were next, followed by a THREE HOUR NAP! That was absolutely marvelous. When I woke up, The Boy had made my birthday meal -- lobster and champagne -- ready and then we headed to Tate St. to watch Marty and Liz (and the rest of their band) play their farewell concert. After the first set, MealyMel, her Bloke and we all went to Christie's to celebrate my birthday. A very fun night, indeed!

Today was sleeping in late, Mass, studying, and hanging out with The Boy. I had no real responsibilities all weekend, and it was pretty fantastic.

Happy birthday to me!

15 July 2008


As of August 1st (or, perhaps, retroactively today), I will have real health insurance! I'll be able to go to real doctors!! Even the dentist!! And eye doctor! Whenever I want! With no referrals or stupid campus health center visits!!

Granted, I have to pay out of pocket for my insurance, but it is only $120 a month. Far better than the bullshit that school offers. I'm already making a list of appointments to make ... teeth cleaning and check up (It's been since before I got married since my teeth have been cleaned!), ob/gyn yearly visit (I haven't had one in, oh, three years), sleep specialist (at the request of The Boy), and maybe a few more. I am so friggin' stoked. My dental plan is 100% preventative. That means I pay Zero, Zilch, Zip, Nada for cleanings, impressions, and all that stuff. My eye exams and care will be $50. Yup. That's it. I can go to any doctor I want without having to get referrals and authorization and all of that crap. Yeah!


Barely a muffin top in sight

I just slid myself into a pair of jeans that I haven't worn in six months and shouldn't have worn for the last twelve. They are one of those low-rise, boot cut, two-inch zipper pair that barely cover my hips. I stopped wearing them about six months ago because I was a bit heavier than I wanted to be. I mean, they fit but you know how jeans can look when you are carrying just a little (cough cough) extra weight. There are lumps and bumps and bulges where there shouldn't be. Truth be know, I shouldn't have worn them for the last year, but I had a bad case of denial.

But they are on today and look good! No bumps. No bulges. No lumps. Dramatically reduced lovehandles. And hardly a muffin top! Go me!! Just in time for the birthday!

14 July 2008

Life in the Fashion Lane

I'm currently on my lunch break. I close the store today for the first time on my own, and I'm pretty excited about it. You all know how much I like to be in charge and boss people around. Hey, it's what I'm good at.

It's nice living 8 minutes from work. I can zip home for lunch and chill with The Beast. Plus the office at the store isn't all that homey and comfy. Not like my house. So, here I am. Blowing away my lunch break on the computer. Yeah.

My friend Megan may be moving into the neighborhood! We might be neighbors! VERY excited about that. She has two pups and we go to the same church and we are from the same home town and we both are Boston fans. Very cool. We totally just happened upon each other at church. Had no idea about the other. Life is funny that way. I hope she gets the apartment. We would make very good neighbors. Yeah!

I got to meet Sawyer last night! He laughed at me and was "talking" to me as well. He's so friggin' adorable. But, with those genetics, I expect nothing less! I look forward to getting to spend more time with him in the future. What a lover boy!

After meeting Sawyer, I chilled with Rae and Marty for a while. It was a nice break. I needed time to catch up with them. We talked weddings and people and places and music and tv. Good times. Good times.

Holy rambling blog post, Batman!

09 July 2008

Just the kick in the ass I needed ...

Turns out that setting hard-fast dates for my comps was quite the motivator. I have caught myself up in the past few days. I typed up all of my notes (that I had written but not entered into my notes spreadsheet), and I am totally on schedule for my reading for the week. I've revised my calendar to reflect my actual dates, so now I have a really good idea of what's ahead. I feel less panicky (I hate how that word has a "k" in it. It's just like "garlicky." WTF?) and more focused. Hopefully this is a trend that will continue.

My new gadget:

My previous phone has been sucking A LOT lately. The battery dies after only a few hours (which just happens to be a "feature" of the Razor), and my calls keep getting dropped. I convinced Verizon to let me exchange early, and I got this bad boy. The Palm Centro. For those of you who have made fun of me in the past, my giant red agenda is a thing of the past!! This phone/PDA has an agenda/calendar/address function that syncs directly to my computer. It also has Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. I can totally write documents on my phone or computer and have them loaded into the other device. The especially cool thing is that this little gem is just slightly larger than my Razor. I'll never have to purse shop with my agenda again. That thing wouldn't fit in anything! This little guy can fit in my friggin' pocket! It's a $169.99 phone and I paid $50 for it! Partly because I got the NYS teachers' discount. No one needs to know that I'm no longer a NYS teacher. Especially conglom-o companies like Verizon.

Yeah for new phones!!!

Kiki and Sawyer and Kiki's Momma get here Sunday!! I can hardly wait!!Let's all pray that they travel safely on that long-ass car ride.

08 July 2008

Houston, we have dates.

I got the okay for my comps exams today. Here's what it looks like:

October 27th - 9am-1pm - 19th Century American
October 29th - 12-3pm - 20th Century American
October 31st - 9am-12pm - Literacy and English Education

I plan to take my orals on November 11th.

With any luck, Thanksgiving will truly be a time of thanks-giving (and Halloween will be nothing but a hazy, boozy memory!)

I'm not sure how I feel about having concrete dates. I think it makes it more real and far more terrifying.

06 July 2008

A good weekend ...

The Boy came over on Thursday night, and we went to see Hancock. Surprisingly, it didn't suck! We actually enjoyed it. It raised a lot of good questions about identity and belonging and purpose in life. It certainly wasn't a typical super-hero movie which is probably why I liked it. I'm not all that big on super-hero movies. And Charlize Theron looked AMAZING in it. Wow. I was impressed.

Friday was the ZOO! So much fun! I love the NC Zoo. Although it was hot as balls and suprisingly crowded for the 4th, The Fox, the Queen of the West Bank, The Boy, and I all had a ton of fun. But even the animals were sweltering and far less active than they normally are. Friday night was a 'Hoppers game with LL and her beau and NY Red and her beau. We got totally rained on so we relocated to McCoul's to finish our 4th celebration. Very good times. I love those people!

Saturday was a "training day" for my new job as sales lead at AT. I started at 9am and didn't end until after 6pm. I was supposed to leave at 2 but one associate called in with car trouble and another called in to quit ten minutes before her shift started (WTF?!?). I was exhausted when I got home, but The Boy had roasted a duck and some sweet potatoes for me. He served me a four course meal, completed with dessert! Fresh Panna Cotta with strawberries and balsamic vinegar. So yummy!!! We ate the dessert while watching The Glass Menagerie with Katherine Hepburn. Damn, I love her!

Sunday was an early mass and then back to AT for work. I was there from 10-2:30, and I got to stretch my wings as a sales lead. It was pretty great!!! When I got home, lunch was served by The Boy (pork and ziti and zucchini). He had also made me coconut macaroons (my all time favorite cookie!). He told me that, since it was my birthday month, he wanted to do special things for me. I'm like, "A month of special treats! Yes!!" It's not like he doesn't treat me phenomenally all the time anyway!

Now I'm sitting on my as, watching There Will Be Blood and trying to catch up on life. Tomorrow's going to be a long day. Perhaps I should go to be now ...

01 July 2008

12 Angry Men

I just finished watching this (the Henry Fonda version from '56), and I am utterly floored by it. This movie is amazing. The entire movie takes place in a jury room and consists solely of dialogue. There are no special twists or turns, but the movie is riveting and enthralling. Fantastic acting by all of the men in the film, especially Fonda.

What I liked most about this movie is the subtle commentary on the justice system and how our own prejudices and ideals of "truth" completely influence us to make decisions ... that control someone else's fate ... without really sifting through and considering all of the facts and possibilities. When we see a face in the paper or in a courtroom or n the news, we make up our minds within the first few moments about that person's guilt or innocence. Even when facts are presented to contradict our position, we cling to our initial assessment. Whether it's conscious or not, it happens. It is still unfair and dangerous, and this movie highlights that. It's truly amazing.

And, while I'm on the justice system, this whole idea of a "jury of our peers" is total crap. A jury of my peers would consist of people who hold terminal degrees in the liberal arts and live in the median to upper level of society. They are liberal-leaning and between the ages of 25 and 35. But I can guarantee you that if I were on trial for murder tomorrow (which I'm not! I assure you!), my jury would be comprised of conservative senior citizens (because, seriously, they love jury duty because they have nothing better to do) living just above the poverty line. Those are my peers?! They get to decide my fate?! Um ... no. I don't think so. In fact, the only thing that I would have in common with my "peers" is, most likely, my skin color. That's it.

So, long story short, if you haven't seen it, you need to. Now. Go to the video store today. I mean it. Seriously.


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