Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Travel Tuesday - Do the Crazy Thing

How often have you thought about doing something outside your comfort zone? Travelling to some part of the world you've never been to? Challenging yourself to do something most people would only dream of?

What has stopped you? Was it fear that you wouldn't succeed? Was it fear that you *would* succeed and then you'd have to go out and try other things?

For a good friend of mine, the thing standing in her way is something both easier and more difficult than that. It's fundraising.

My friend Julie - who used to be the mild-mannered, yet intrepid, Group Sales Coordinator at CenterStage Theater in Baltimore - is part of a two-woman team (called the "X elles") who have challenged themselves to enter the Rallye Aiche des Gazelles this March. (You can read about the team, here.)
This Rally is the kind of crazy thing that most of us only dream about doing. It's 9 days in Morocco (read "in the desert") with nothing for guidance but a map and a compass. And it's not really a race, because the goal is simply to get from point A to point B in the shortest possible distance, not the shortest amount of time. (Which, because you don't put out as much pollution at lower speeds, means that this is actually rated as an eco-friendly event.)
As if that wasn't enough, on top of all of that, the racers will also be building a school to give back to the people of Morocco.

PLUS this is a women-only event - the only one of it's kind in the world. (Which, honestly, probably explains the eco-friendliness, the lack of major competitiveness, and the fact that they're building a school.)

But here's the thing: even though the Rally is in March, Julie and her teammate Rachelle are still in need of funding. So...

If you've ever thought about doing something "just because it was there," or if you've ever wanted to help build a school in Africa, or if you just happen to have a few extra bucks because it's payday, PLEASE send them your support. (And please forward this blog posting - or their direct info - to anyone you think might be interested in helping out.)

You can donate via their website, or their brand new indiegogo donation page. In either location, although the site suggests a minimum donation of $100, you can donate as little or as much as you want (just choose the "no perk" option on the Indiegogo page).

Here's to the people in the world who go out and do things just because they can!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Movie Monday - One Day

I'd really been wanting to see "One Day" when it was out in the theaters. There was just something about it that drew me in. Perhaps it's just that I really like Anne Hathaway in movies, but I think it's more than that. I liked the premise that the movie is looking at two people on one day each year over the course of their friendship. And it finally showed up in the mail via Netflix, and I had my time with it on Saturday morning.

As I've mentioned, the premise is that Emma and Dexter (who had met before - although Dexter doesn't remember that) run into each other on the 15th of July 1988 as they're graduating from University. They have a rather bumpy St. Swithun's day together - which we see snippets of - and thus begins the 20-odd years of their days together.

For anyone who was in college in the late 80s, this movie nails so many things perfectly. The clothing. The music. The causes. Even the minutiae of the books they're reading is dead on. And, unfortunately, so is the way the movie captures the passage of time and friendship over decades.

One of the amazing things about the movie is the way we're only shown one specific day of each year. Not always a day when they're both together. Not always a day when anything terribly monumental happens. Just days. Of course, to make it as a movie, there are a remarkable number of things which - coincidentally - happen to fall on July 15th, but not so many that you find yourself doubting the premise. And we're left to fill in the other 364 days.

And they stick to the premise really well - much better than I had expected at the start.

They move ever-forward throughout the movie, never spending more than the allotted 24 hours in any given year. And, wow, the Costume and Make-up people really deserved tons of awards (although I don't believe they were nominated for any), because at no time did we doubt the ages of Emma and Dexter. They grew from their early 20s through the next 20-some years (the movie ends in, basically, the present day) without missing a beat. And, yes, due to the fact that I am - in essence - just one year younger than they are, I have a decent frame of reference.

Overall: A. It's not an A+ because... well... it just isn't. But it's so earnest and true and real and quiet and hopeful and sad and joyous that it made me wish for just a few days more. Granted, I don't know if I would feel that way if I hadn't graduated from college in 1989, so don't hate me if you think I'm wrong on this one.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Vegas Food - Incidentals

So we covered the main meals on Friday, but Christopher and I obviously ate more than just dinner while we were out there. Here's a round-up of some of our other eating.

Saturday morning - In-room American Breakfast. The package deal we got included "American Breakfast" for each of us one morning. First of all, the waiter who delivered it was great. Very charming as he brought it in and set it all out on the table. He had brought the wrong juice, so he disappeared for a bit and brought back a full carafe of apple juice - which we kept iced the entire time and had for the next two mornings. Each of us got 2 eggs, potatoes, pastries (we each got two croissants and two English muffin halves), bacon (FIVE pieces each), and a broiled tomato. Plus coffee and juice. It was more than I usually eat for breakfast in a full weekend. Seriously.

Saturday afternoon - Paris hotel Creperie. We'd gotten a suggestion that the Creperie in the Paris hotel was a good place for a quick snack. And it was. We got a very nice Nutella crepe and a couple of drinks for about $15. The only issue was one that we stumbled across multiple times: There was never enough seating. Tons of tables, but never enough chairs.

Saturday afternoon (later) - Jean-Philippe Patisserie at the Bellagio. It took a little searching, but we found the massive chocolate "waterfall" and each went down one side of the case. Christopher went for a Napoleon from the pastries, I went for an Almond Croissant from the "bready" side of the case, and also picked up a Madeleine while I was at it. It was really quite good, but the combination of problematic servers (on Christopher's side) and annoying customers (on my side), made this quick bite take a lot longer than expected. And, again, really hard to find anywhere to sit and eat.

Sunday morning - Bouchon Bakery in the Venetian. Christopher had much better luck with his coffee and pastries at the Bakery than he had at Bouchon the night before. Fairly quick service, and the pastries were fresh. I kept meaning to get back there for macarons, but never quite got there.

Sunday afternoon - Max Brenner (Chocolate by the Bald Man) in Caesar's Forum shops. We'd had multiple people say we had to go there, and we'd stopped in to look around the shop on Saturday, so we went back on Sunday to actually have something to drink. Christopher had the Italian Thick Hot Chocolate, while I had the Choco-Pops (which has little balls of crunchy in it). They were both good, but... well... maybe not quite outstanding. (Of course, this didn't stop me from buying chocolates from the "shop" and bringing them home with me.)

And, honestly, I think that might wrap up the food listings from the trip. I've got to say that it's a really good thing we walked all over the place - fighting the wind all day on Saturday - otherwise, I think I'd have come home about 20 pounds heavier.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Food - Vegas style

I realize that putting "Vegas Style" in the header kind of makes it seem like I should be including neon or showgirls or something in this posting. I apologize to anyone who is feeling misled. But the point of this post is to talk about the food we had last weekend when I was out in Las Vegas. And here are the high points for you.

First of all... Most of the places we ate were actually in our hotel complex at the Venetian. Long gone are the days when all the hotels offered were cheap buffets or diner food. We probably spent more on our meals than we usually do on food for a couple of weeks, but we acknowledged that it was going to be a splurge weekend since it was Christopher's birthday, and we went with that. Our three dinners were as follows:

Friday night: Delmonico Steakhouse (an Emeril Legasse restaurant, apparently). Overall, this was our best meal of the trip. The restaurant was a nice mix of bright and cozy (we were, luckily, tucked in a corner), and the wait staff was incredible. We shared the Caesar salad for two which is prepared at the table - but the waiter kind of stood behind me and just did the whole preparation, which was definitely a letdown considering the price and the fact that it's promoted as being done tableside. But the salad was definitely fresh and really good. Christopher had a Steak au Poivre, and I had the Filet Mignon Medallions, and we shared a twice-baked potato. The steaks - no surprise - were amazing. Perfectly cooked, and mine was just melt-in-your-mouth good. The potato... well... it left a little to be desired, and we were surprised that there wasn't a good ole steakhouse hashbrown on the menu. We didn't order dessert, but they presented Christopher with some rum raisin ice cream on a plate with a chocolate "Happy Birthday" since we had mentioned that that was why we were in Vegas. Overall for the meal - A-, mainly because I was looking forward to a showier Caesar.

Saturday night: Bouchon. I *really* wanted to like this place. We made reservations on Saturday for Saturday night and so we ended up with a 9:15 reservation (a tad late, considering we hadn't really adjusted to the timechange, yet), but we were game for it and it seemed like fun. The menu was really promising, and the restaurant - though big and open and loud - seemed rather nicely bistro-y. Unfortunately, the waiter was a little off, and Christopher's Steak Frites came out Medium Rare, instead of Medium Well. By the time it came back from the kitchen, I'd pretty much finished my Gigot d'Agneau. Christopher did enjoy it, but the flow of the evening just never quite got back to speed. We had skipped appetizers in favor of desserts, and my "Ile flottante" was incredible, but Christopher's profiteroles were a little dry and crispy - which is a little strange for a place known for its French food. Luckily, after the issues we'd been having, they did comp us our desserts and Christopher's coffee (okay... we might have mentioned his birthday...). Overall, I'd give them a B-. The food was kind of spotty, our waiter was way off his game, and the place was kind of loud (which, I realize is not really their fault, so I'm not rating them lower than that.)

Sunday Night: Canaletto in St. Mark's Square near the Grand Canal in the hotel. For me, this was the surprise. The menu looked good, but it was simple, and I think that's what won me over. We were sitting right along the "fence" so we had tourists walking by the whole time, but we could also hear the performers in the piazza and see the "sky" above us. I had a Pizza Christina, and Christopher had a Calzone. The crust on my pizza was thin and gorgeous, and I even brought the leftovers home with me - yes, HOME, to Minnesota, for lunch on Tuesday. Our waiter was incredibly attentive and we had a very nice - and fairly inexpensive - meal. Overall: A-, mainly because it wasn't actually better than Delmonico, but it was just very different.

Okay. I have to run ot pick up Christopher at the airport, so I'll have to fill you in on incidental meals later.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Photo Dearth

I downloaded my photos from Vegas onto my computer tonight. And there are some good shots.

The room looks good. Hoover Dam looks good. Christopher looks good. Even the Bellagio fountains look good.

I, however, look like crap. I'm not sure what it is about how I photograph these days, but I just don't really like how I look a lot of the time. I seem to have this "I'm smiling for the camera" look on my face that I can't get rid of.

Of course, what I should have been doing tonight was a whole list of other things not remotely related to picking apart my photos. But that would have been productive.

Instead, I spent a bunch of time moving them over, and then deciding I really don't like most of them. I'm desperately hoping that Christopher has some good photos of me/us on his camera.

Oh. Alright. I'll see if I can find something I don't mind posting of me, later this week.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Travel Tuesday - It Happened in Vegas

Christopher is currently in Las Vegas for a conference, and since his birthday was yesterday we opted to spend a weekend in Vegas as a mid-winter getaway. (Hence last Friday's video posting.) Considering that, on Friday, my commute took almost twice as long as usual due to cold and snow, the prospect of being in Vegas with highs in the 60s and lows in the 30s was pretty much perfectly timed.

So we flew out on Friday afternoon and landed 3 hours later (give or take) and walked out of the airport to catch a cab in the gorgeous weather. In true Vegas style, we were delayed getting to the hotel because a major week-long gun show had just wrapped up. Apparently it was running concurrently with a porn convention. The marketing teams must have had a field day with that combo.

We stayed at the Venetian (since it was a birthday - and a rare mid-winter vacation - we did a major splurge), and after check-in we went up to our suite. A lovely bathroom, a king-size bed, and a sunken (two steps down) living room. Three phones. Three TVs. And a view of the mountains east of the city, which changed colors during the days.

I'm going to talk about all of the food on Friday, but tonight I thought I'd mention a few things about the hotel, itself.

Of all of the hotels we walked around in over the three days, I would have to say that the Venetian has one amazing thing going for it: You don't have to walk through the casino every time you turn around. In the other casino hotels, you seem to have to walk through the casino any time you go from the hotel to the outer world. But at the Venetian you can stop on the second floor and walk out through the "Grand Canal Shoppes." And we did almost every time we went anywhere.

It wasn't exactly quiet in the shoppes - after all, it's a massive shopping center that's open almost 24 hours a day - but it was so much less frantic than the casino. This is the kind of area that has earned Vegas the nickname of "Disneyland for adults" - the ceilings are painted with sky. The gondolas float down a real canal. People walk around with open containers of all kinds of booze. And it goes on at every hour of the day.

The window shopping is incredible all over the place. Christopher kept saying "Is the shopping at (insert casino name) higher end or lower end than this?" and the bizarre thing is that the same high-end shops are everywhere. There are a few mid-range places, but so much of what you see is just flat-out expensive. And, since we were mainly there to eat and window-shop, that was fine with us.

And, since Monday was the Chinese New Year (the Year of the Dragon), there was a massive (180-foot-long) dragon in the walkway between the Venetian shops and the Palazzo shops. So very cool. The signage said that they took more than 10 days to just do the gardens around the dragon. I can't imagine how long it took to create the dragon. (I hope to have some photos on here, soon. Sorry I don't have them, yet.)

We did our good luck walks around the dragon, then wandered off for drinks and dinner that first night. Of course, since food will be the topic 3 days from now, I guess I should stop, now, so I don't go too far. (I can't imagine that many people say *that* about Vegas...)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Cheap Airfares (?)

I realize that just a few days ago I shared a video on here, which was the first time in quite a while. (Yes, I know, without embedding it - if someone wants to teach me how to do that on a Mac, please let me know.)

Well, I'm about to do it again.

You see, I get shown - or "offered" really - a bunch of videos from people all the time. Some through social media. Some through email.

The following one came from my mom. The woman who taught me almost every swear word I know. And, more importantly, was never ashamed of that fact. (My dad might turn a little red at the fact that I've just written that, but I doubt that Mom will.)

Anyway... She sent me this video - which is not for the faint of ear, nor for the young'uns. Although, most of it is done with an accent, so the swear words aren't really American swear words. (If, however, you're reading this in some portions of the world where British English is prevalent, you might want to be a bit careful.) (Yes, Mrs. Griffiths, this means you. ;-)

Since I'm travelling this weekend on a "cheap" fare, it seemed appropriate to send this out.

So, you know the drill. Click HERE for the video - and make sure you don't stop watching until it's all the way done.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Pooh Day

Today, it just so happens, was A. A. Milne's birthday. The guy who wrote - among other things - the stories about Winnie the Pooh and Piglet and Christopher Robin and all of the characters in the Hundred Acre Wood. (For the record, there are also Eeyore, Rabbit, Kanga, Roo, and Owl in the theme song, while Tigger and Gopher simply show up in the stories.)

The odd thing about Milne is that he never started out to write children's books. He was a journalist (as were so many writers at the time), who decided along the way that he might like to write - you guessed it - murder mysteries.

I'm not kidding. He left journalism to write mysteries. And, for a time, he was apparently incredibly successful at them. I've read one of them ("The Red House Mystery") and although it's a very 1920s mystery - so there's an awfully lot of talking - it was quite good.

There's only one problem, though. After writing his mysteries and becoming successful at them, he decided that he didn't want to do them any more. Because he wanted to write - you'd be right, this time - tales about a stuffed bear.

His editors told him he was insane. They figured that there was no way in the world that he could make the transition. But he was adamant that he wanted to change to the other genre, and so he did.

And, while I truly did enjoy the mystery I read, I must admit that I definitely prefer the stuffed friends in Christopher Robin's bedroom.

Either way, here's to a man with imagination and the wherewithal to follow through, even when he was told he was crazy to step out of the comfort zone others had put him in.

Monday, January 16, 2012

I Have Dreams, Too.

(With all due apologies to, and respect for, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)

I have dreams, too.

I have a dream that, one day, people will be judged not by who they love, but, rather, by the fact that they are simply loved.

I have a dream that, one day, our politicians will vote for things that are morally right and good and true, not simply the things that people with lots of money and power say they should vote for.

I have a dream that, one day, our religious institutions will get back to the root of all that they preach (you know, the whole Golden Rule of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you... and loving all of God's creation equally... and judging not lest they be judged), instead of spouting hatred, bigotry, and venom in God's name.

I have a dream that, one day, I won't be looking at a political pool and praying that the least of the evils is elected, but, rather, praying that the best of the best can take office.

I have a dream that, one day, countries won't be going to war over trivialities and will, instead, spend their billions of war-mongering dollars on helping the poverty-stricken, homeless, orphaned, starving, and ignored.

I have a dream that, one day, as much money will go to research into cures for cancers and AIDS and diseases of all sorts as currently goes toward merchandise which supposedly supports that research.

I have a dream that, one day, teachers will make as much as professional sports stars.

I have a dream that, one day, schools will get as much funding as sports stadiums.

I have a dream that, one day, I will be able to donate my perfectly healthy blood to save other people's lives without being told I am unable simply because of who shares my bed.

I have a dream that, one day, the wealthy will realize that their legacies will be better if they are known as benefactors and philanthropists, instead of misers and oppressors.

And, okay, I also have an occasional dream that one day I win the lottery, become a wildly-popular philanthropist, donate blood on my way to my own wedding, and impose two-term limits on all of Congress so that no one becomes complacent. Oh, and in that dream I'm perpetually young and hot and can eat anything I want. But I think I've gotten off the topic.

Here's to the legacy of great people who can inspire us all to dream big.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Why I Love Our TiVo

(Let me start by saying that most digital TV set-ups can probably do the same kinds of things, but we have TiVo, so that's my point of reference.)

When Christopher and I were talking about getting TiVo, I was a little skeptical about why we would need it. We had a DVD recorder, so we were able to record TV shows without any problem. (Heck, I still have a VCR, too.) And I had no idea why anyone would want the rest of the options.

Well, Christopher - being the tech person in the family - decided that he wanted to move to a TiVo, so we did. At first, I only used it as another VCR. Just another way to record shows to watch them later. Granted, we were suddenly able to record hours and hours and hours of TV, instead of just 4 or 6 at a time, but it was still just the same stuff.

Then I started getting used to pausing live TV. It still kind of weirds me out to do that, but I do it all the time. We do it if we need to answer the phone, or if we need to take dirty dishes into the kitchen, or if the clock decides to chime right in the middle of someone giving a pivotal plot point. And, if we didn't pause in time, we can rewind and watch the scene again.

And, well, that's kind of addictive.

Today there was a "Glee" marathon on TV. Since they were jumping around through the seasons, and I wasn't trying to follow any of the storylines, I was all about the musical numbers. And I watched a few of them multiple times. (Luckily, Christopher wasn't around for most of this.)

Would it have killed me to miss them? No. Would it have been horrible if I'd only seen them once? No. Was it completely enjoyable to get to see them multiple times? Totally. I mean, didn't you notice the headline? Like I said, I kinda love our TiVo.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Changing of the Coat

Did you know that, in the winter, the Royal Guard outside of Buckingham Palace wear kind of all grey uniforms? None of that bright, flashy, red and black stuff. Basically they wear stuff the same color as the winter weather in London.

The same seems to happen in Minnesota in the dead of winter. People go from a broad spectrum of colors of coats to almost exclusively black and grey.

Now, if you live somewhere like Paris or New York City, you're probably used to people only dressing in black. Which means that nothing changes no matter what time of year it is.

In Baltimore, the weather never quite got cold enough for most people to have to resort to the all-black coats. There are a decent number of colors. You see browns and blues and reds and all sorts of colors all year 'round.

Before I left Baltimore, I got myself a brown leather jacket which is relatively well-lined, so with a scarf and gloves it was perfect for winter weather out there. After I moved to Minnesota, I learned that it was to become my fall jacket. I can sort of wear it until November most years, but that's about it.

And, happily, for the past few weeks, we've had "East Coast winter" - with highs back up in the 40s. And I've gotten to wear that brown jacket a bunch in the past month.

Then the temp dropped this week. And, in response to the return of January temperatures (today's high was 16), I reached into the closet this morning for my semi-black, well-lined, trenchcoat-style coat.

As I looked at the people hurrying along the sidewalks and running across the streets, I noticed we were all back in the same uniform of dark, drab colors.

Unfortunately, we weren't in London to enjoy it.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Secret Life of Books

While I was at work, today, this video came across my desk. It kind of blew me away, both due to its subject matter, and due to the utter creativity behind it.

I watched it all the way through - and then again one or two more times - wondering at the amount of energy and forethought that went into it.

I decided that it needed to be shared, here, too, because I think you'll like it.

Of course, as anyone who has been reading my blog for a while knows, I have no clue how to embed a video in my postings.

So, please click HERE and check it out.

Let me know what you think!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Shards of Wisdom

Earlier today I felt a strange sharp pain in my lower jaw. In the way back along the side of my tongue.

At first I thought I might have simply bitten down on something strange, but then I realized I wasn't eating anything. It's weird how your brain goes through those steps, isn't it? "Ouch. Pain. What's causing it? It must be food. What am I eating? Nothing. Hmm... Maybe it's not food, then..."

Well, after my brain had that fun little conversation with itself, I started considering where the pain was coming from and realized that it's the same area of my mouth where - after having my wisdom teeth out a few years ago - I had the same problem a few times.

**At this point, if weird anatomy stuff freaks you out, you may just want to skip the rest of this post. Maybe think about unicorns and rainbows. Sorry.**

It seems that, when a tooth is yanked from its home, it can sometimes leave behind bone shards.

About six months after my wisdom tooth was pulled, I had this same kind of pain. It was a recurring jab for about 48 hours, then it became a weird bump that I could feel in my gum. The next day I could feel something kind of sharp in that same area.

The first time this happened, I went to the dentist because it kind of freaked me out. He kind of "um-hmm-ed" and then went into my mouth with a pair of tweezers and pulled out a tiny little fleck of something. It was probably a couple of millimeters long and about half as wide. He showed it to me and said "It's a remnant of the tooth that got pulled."

A little "irrigation" later, and I was on my way home, where I popped some Ibuprofen and went on about my life. For about another three months. Then it happened again. This time I just let it work its way out.

That was probably about 5 years ago - maybe more.

Since then I've had a couple more shards come through. And I'm pretty sure that today's pain is simply the next one coming through. Kind of makes me wonder what happened to that tooth when it was getting yanked out. And how much of it is left in there.

After all... I thought I was supposed to gain wisdom with age - not keep losing it (painfully) bit by bit.

Friday, January 6, 2012

An Epiphanatical Tiz List

*Epiphanatical (adj.) - pertaining to Epiphany and/or epiphanies.

Okay, so, since I've started this one out with a whole new word, I guess I'd better make it good. But here's the thing: a "Tiz List" is supposed to be a list of things other people don't know about me. For this one, since it falls on Epiphany, I'm going to also try to make it a list of things I've learned about myself in the recent past. Let's see how it goes...

1) I can get kind of jealous - and at odd times, and over odd things. Never used to be that way, but I noticed it, recently.

2) I'm becoming more and more intolerant of people who are rude or abusive to people in service roles.

3) People who correct other people's grammar/spelling/etc. in public for no real reason (and not simply for sarcasm's sake on social media sites) annoy me. That's been true for a while, but the fact that I'm now working full-time as an editor/proofreader, it bugs me even more when people do it for no reason.

4) It annoys me that people type/write as if they are texting and blame all of their errors on the technology. I know that this seems in direct opposition to #3. But I don't correct people for it. And I fully realize that there are some people who have trouble with spelling and grammar and I'm fine with that. But if you're taking the time to write me a message, please send a message and not either a massage or a msg, and don't blame auto-correct for the fact that you didn't take the time to proofread.

5) I'm finding that I don't actually hate massages as much as I used to.

6) I fully expect that I will find myself in an altercation over someone else texting or talking in a movie theater within my lifetime. I used to ignore it. Then I moved on to glaring meaningfully. These days I actually ask the person/people to stop. I fear that sometime in the future that will not end well.

7) I'm always surprised when I have people ask me whether I drink alcohol or swear. I do both, I guess I just do them both gracefully enough that people don't notice.

8) I'm kind of terrified of losing my eyesight - and I hate the fact that the next time I get glasses I'll probably need bifocals. And it weirds me out that I may have something wonky with my retina that mainly only happens in dogs.

9) I'm also freaked out about the possibility of losing my hearing. Especially since many people know me for having "dog ears" and hearing everything.

10) Lately I've been having trouble finding the right words all the time. Sometimes I just keep going hoping that no one will notice. Sometimes I just look at Christopher and start hinting at the word hoping that he'll figure it out.

11) Some of the books I've been working on have me kind of freaked out about the climate changes we're seeing - even though the plots are improbable, reading the books has resulted in me pondering things I don't want to ponder.

12) I have survived for almost 14 months without a credit card. I have Christopher to thank for some of that survival.

13) I kind of hate not having a credit card, but I do enjoy not having credit card bills.

14) My dreams get wilder the closer we are to the full moon. I never used to pay attention to it, then I started noticing it. I usually have a night of really vivid dreams, then notice the next day that it's almost a full moon - not the other way around.

15) I don't make New Year's resolutions, because I figure the person I am on January 1st, is probably different than the person I'll be on December 31st, and I don't want to set my future self up for failure since that future self didn't have a say in the resolution in the first place.

16) #15 makes perfect sense in my brain.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

When Did Late Get So Early?

It's currently about twenty past ten on a Wednesday night. Christopher and I got home from dinner with a couple of friends about forty-five minutes ago. And it feels *so* late.

It's not like we did anything radical. We met up at 7 at a restaurant, had one-course dinners (no appetizers, no desserts) and left a little after 9. By the time we left, I was trying not to nod off.

On the way home, I ran to the grocery store to pick up about five things. In - out - home.

I've got a piece of freelance editing I need to work on. I've got some house stuff I need to do. But I don't think I could focus well enough on anything to actually do any of it justice.

(For that matter, I don't know that I'm doing my blog justice, either.)

But it wasn't so long ago that I used to get home from dinners at 10 or 11 and still have a couple of hours of focus left for the night. A bit longer ago than that, I'd go out with friends and not even get to restaurants until 10... or midnight... or 2am...

I don't know the last time I actually saw 2am - or that I wanted to, for that matter. But, then, back when I was dining at 2am I'd never seen my 40s, either. I think I might be okay with that trade-off.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Movie Monday (-ish)

Oddly enough, even though I've seen numerous movies in the past couple of weeks, I sat down to blog with something completely different in mind. Which kind of ties in to the movies we've been seeing.

Let me explain...

The two movies that Christopher and I have seen since we saw "The Muppets" were each sequels. We saw "Sherlock Holmes - Game of Shadows," which was very much like the first one (full of explosions, intrigue, and lots of Jude Law and Robert Downey, Jr.), lots of fun, but just a little less fun than the first one (we'll give it a B). We also saw "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol," wherein Tom Cruise and his crew perform a bunch of cool stunts in nifty locations, with James-Bond-y gadgets - and at the same time they fairly successfully re-launch the series (also a B).

So they're both kind of new, but also the same as what has gone before. Which says something about New Year's in general, doesn't it?

Well, today I also got to do something brand new. Something I'd never in my life dreamed of doing. Something I'm not even ashamed to admit.

Yep. That's right. I bought booties for the dog, today.

We did not do this because it's cold out. We didn't do it because there's salt on the sidewalks. We did it because the rain/slushy snow that fell off the trees on New Year's Eve froze in jagged stalagmites on the sidewalks. (Stalagmites are the ones that come up from the ground, right?)

It's bad enough that she actually cut her feet on her walk, yesterday. Which was rather scary and surprising. And, yes, it got us to buy booties, today, which resulted in a rather strange tap-dance as she skittered around the house trying to figure out if she should take them off or not.

Eventually, she got used to them and we all went for a walk.

And, lo and behold, we all actually did something brand spankin' new in the new year.

How 'bout you?