Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 1/30

1.  In the USA this coming Sunday millions will be watching as the Baltimore Ravens take on the San Francisco 49's in the Superbowl.  What was the last event you attended that could be described as super?

The Divine Miss M's birthday party was pretty super!  She loved the smash cake, and had me in stitches as she tried to feed it to her mama.  Some of the other little party goers were pretty entertaining. too.

2.  Share something you're a fan of these days?

After binging on the entire first season again over the course of the weekend, I am officially a fan of the television show, Smash.  It had some weaknesses, yes.  But when you watch it as one piece instead of in episodes, it's easy to see what they were trying to do.  And what they were trying to do was pretty ambitious and creative.  I'm anxious to see what the second season (which starts next week) will hold.  It sounds like many positive changes have been made, including the addition of the adorable Jeremy Jordan (you may have seen in him in Newsies on Broadway or in the movie Joyful Noise.)

3. How do you feel about wings?  In case anyone is confused, I'm talking the edible appetizer kind.  What's your preferred seasoning on a wing-hot, mild, teryiaki, sweet and sour, other?  Do you make your own or is there a favorite place you like to go for wings?   

They have to be boneless.  And I'm not a big fan of super spicy.  I don't make my own or even make them at all.  But they are a perfectly nice idea.

4.  As long as we're talking sports today...have you followed the Lance Armstrong story?  Did you watch his interview with Oprah and if so what was your reaction to his confession and subsequent remarks?  

I think we have paid a tremendous amount of attention to someone who lied about everything he ever was or did.  However, he really did raise a lot of money for cancer research, no matter what his means were.  I think that LiveStrong should look at Chuck Pagano as a front man.  You want to talk real courage and dignity in the face of adversity, look there.

5.  What's a question you hate to be asked?  

"So, are you seeing anyone?"  I know that there aren't many ways to ask this question, but it still annoys me. If I was seeing someone, it would be a front page headline in the newspaper of my life.  And even though it shouldn't, it makes me feel crappy when I have to make the "No" seem all bright and cheery, because if you don't (and sometimes, even if you do), you get the pity face.  (And all single girls or married women without children know what face I am talking about.)

6. The coaches in this Sunday's big game happen to be real life brothers.  Jim Harbaugh coaches the 49er's and his older brother John Harbaugh coaches the Baltimore Ravens.  Were you and your sibling(s) competitive?  In what way? Are you still?  If you're an only child how did you handle competition growing up?  

I used to hate playing games with my little brother.  We are all pretty competitive, but he was always the most.  If he didn't like the way a game was going, he would knock over the board.  He's still that way about sports and whatnot.  But we aren't that way with each other.  We have all been good about going our separate ways and doing our own things.

7.  What's your favorite game involving a ball and when did you last play?    

Does skee-ball count?  Because that's pretty much the only game with a ball I am any good at.  And I haven't played since we took the kids to the skating rink for a good behavior field trip last spring.

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

Last night, I had to wait out the storms in my basement.  That was pretty much the last thing I wanted to do at bedtime, but thankfully it blew over and I didn't really see any damage in my neighborhood.  Living alone doesn't really bother me until I'm in a situation like that.  To have anyone to be scared with, not even necessarily a man, but anyone, is preferable to having to face it all alone.  (Delilah only sort of counts, as she was just confused as to why I let her go down to the off-limits-to-kitties basement in the first place.)

Sorry, that's kind of a bummer random thought, but it's what's been on my mind this morning.  

Monday, January 28, 2013

I'm Still Here!

I've been a pretty terrible blogger as of late.  I blame it on a combination of not having much to say and not having enough time to actually sit down and write.  However, here's a little random list action for you...

  • The Divine Miss M had her first birthday party over the weekend.  You better believe there will be pictures of that coming at you soonish.
  • My second job is going to be insanely hectic this semester.  If you weren't aware, the GED test will change in 2014, so many people are trying to take advantage of being able to take the old test.  It means my classes have been packed so far.  At least I won't have to worry about being bored!
  • I didn't do the Hodgepodge for the first time in forever last week, and I missed it!  I will certainly be back with bells on this Wednesday.
  • Last Monday, my friends and I got together for some day-off winery time.  It was the first time we had been together in 2013, and I think it was officially decided that we will never go that long without getting together again!  There's something about getting together with your girls that cures a lot of ills. (Of course, a bottle or three of wine doesn't really hurt, either.)
  • In my classroom, we are currently studying The Civil War, The Holocaust (through Number The Stars), The Outsiders, and Jazz and Blues music.  To say I feel a little all over the place creatively seems like an understatement.  (And this doesn't count the school musical, set in another time and place entirely!)
And it's Monday again.  The good news is there are only 13 more this school year!  (And now I wish I hadn't counted because that seems like a really long time...)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Avoidance Behaviors or Why I'm Finally Writing About The Golden Globes

If you follow me on Twitter, you already know that I was watching the Golden Globes with baited breath.  Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are my she-roes.  I think they are the funniest, smartest, all-around best women writing and performing comedy out there.  And the opening to the Globes proved why.

That James Cameron joke?  Priceless.  Only thing funnier is when they announced the Television Actress in a Comedy nominees and cut to Amy Poehler sitting on Clooney's lap, drinking champagne and whispering.  I would lose a million awards if I could lose them while sitting on George's lap.  The show moved at a good pace, had a nice mix of happy and sweet with a little bit of crazy in there, and overall was a lot of fun to watch.  I think that overall the awards went to the right people (though I think Homeland is overrated and I haven't seen many of the big movies nominated because Hollywood doesn't seem to come to the boondocks).  Adele's speech was so adorable.  (I just really feel like we could be great friends.  She's a broad like the rest of my Chicks!)  I was thrilled for Ben Affleck.  I think he was robbed by the Academy for not being nominated for an Oscar.  (I have loved him since Good Will Hunting, even when he went through his awkward phase and was dating JLo, because that's what truly loving someone is all about.)  I thought Jennifer Lawrence's speech was funny, and it wasn't her fault if you didn't get the "I beat Meryl" joke.  And, bless her heart, I think Jodie Foster's speech was probably really together when she was practicing it in the bathroom mirror, but she got a little off point on stage.  And I am irrationally happy for Jessica Chastain, who I loved from the moment she bounced on-screen in The Help and then promptly broke all of our hearts with that scene in the garden.  (But I didn't really love her dress.)  

Which brings me to my final  It seemed like everyone was either sedate yet sparkly or red.  I wished there had been a little more color variation.  However, there were some very lovely dresses.  (Nope, not JLo's.  There's classy lace and trashy lace and I'm pretty sure I know where her's fell.)  I loved the dresses Tina and Amy wore in the opening.  But I really think my favorite dress of the night was the date of a nominee (her sister, Zooey) and actress in her own right, Emily Deschanel.  (You can see it here.)  I don't know why I love it so, I just do!  Also really loved Adele's.  (You can see it here, as well as JLo's and Taylor Swift's, which felt a little too prom for me.)

Thoughts?  Feelings?  Wondering about why it took me so long to get this down?  Are you ready for the Oscars, The Golden Globes stuffy, snotty older sister who won't share her clothes?  Tell me about it in the comments.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 1/16

1. Lake Superior University has once again published a list of words/phrases they think should be banished from the Queen's's the list for 2013-  fiscal cliff, kick the can down the road, double down, job creators/creation, passion/passionate, yolo (an acronym for you only live once), spoiler alert, bucket list, trending, superfood, boneless wings, and guru

Which of these words/phrases would you most like to see banished from everyday speech and why? Go here to read more about how the words were chosen.

I'm going to have to vote for YOLO.  It's pretty much an excuse for people do irresponsible things.  Also, it seems to be something only people I dislike tend to use.  (At least not for ironic purposes)

2.  When was the last time you rode a train?  Where did you go?

I have never been on a train for an actual trip (unless you count subways/metros).  I did, however, go on a field trip in grade school and ride on an old train up the tracks and back.  We felt like the coolest kids ever!

3. Bagels-yay or nay?  Favorite 'flavor'?  Favorite topping?

YAY!!  I love Panera's Cinnamon Crunch bagel with cream cheese.  But I also enjoy a good asiago cheese bagel, as well.  

4.  'Tis the season of awards shows...if you could star in a movie already made which one would you choose?

Steel Magnolias.  Hands down.  Dolly, Sally, Julia, Olympia, Shirley, Daryl.  This is the only movie I ever manage to quote correctly and I love it with all of my heart!

5. The move towards single gender classrooms has been making the news in recent months....what say you?  Do you think kids perform better if separated by gender and are taught differently or is that discrimination?  If you're a parent, is this something you'd support in regard to your own children? 

I think that it's an interesting concept.  Teaching in junior high especially, I can see where taking the opposite sex out of the equation would be something that might increase focus on studies and decrease drama.  I don't really think it's about teaching differently, but I do believe that in a room full of girls, I might relate things differently than in mixed company.  I'd have to do a lot more research to see if this was something that I would ever want to be involved in, but I do think there may be some merit to it.  I will be interested in hearing what others have to say about this.

6. What's your favorite thing about staying in a hotel?

I have always loved staying in hotels.  I don't even really know why.  I guess because it means that I'm on a vacation of some sort.  My favorite part is not having worry about washing the towels or making the bed or any of that.

7. Do you have a 'word' for 2013?  What's the story behind your choice? 

I've been thinking about this a bit.  I don't really know what my word for 2013 is.  I had thought about grace or balance, but what I really think is my word is for this year is presence.  I need to remember that this year, no matter what is going on, God's presence is here.  And if I am faithful to Him and to His plan for me, then I don't really need to worry about the rest. .However, right at the moment, I would settle for 'nap' but I'm pretty sure that's not the point of this exercise..

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

One of my goals for this year is to eliminate all of the excess and clutter from my life.  It's a little out of control around here.  I'm starting small, cleaning out one storage area or space at the time.  But I'm hoping that by the time 2014 rolls around, much of the junk and clutter is out of here.  

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

It's Awards Season, People!

I'm watching the People's Choice Awards.  No, I don't really know why.  They mostly make me terribly angry because it has nothing to do with actual talent.  Let's face it, when we let "the people" vote, nothing good comes of it.  (Save your political rhetoric for Twitter.  I'm talking about picking celebrities here.)  For instance, Jennifer Aniston and Taylor Swift won the first two awards.  While both are perfectly fine, Jennifer is not the best comedic actress out there (don't make me start listing movies, people) and Taylor can't sing live to save her life.  (I'm sorry, I love her songs.  But the girl consistently disappoints me live.  And I even tried to defend her for a while after last year's Grammys.)  I'm sure they are perfectly nice women and all, but seriously.  See, I'm ranting and I'm two awards in.

Anyway, a show that I am really excited about is this Sunday's Golden Globes.  Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are hosting!  I don't know that I can convey in words how wonderful this is to me.  These are, in my humble opinion, two of the smartest, funniest women in the business, and I have to say I love that they are besties, as well.  (Amber and I dream of being as awesome as Tina and Amy.)  And I'm just positive they are going to rock the whole hosting thing.  Plus, it seems like the Golden Globes telecast is always a little surprising.  (I'm guessing this has something to do with the free-flowing alcohol.)  It at least guarantees one or two memorable moments.  If you follow me on Twitter, I will be live-tweeting, and I apologize in advance for that.

I just can't help it.  I've always loved awards shows, even the crappy ones.  I'm a sucker for a little pageantry.  I like the fancy dresses, the impassioned, teary speeches, the bad jokes.  I love a good cold-open, a little funny mixed with a little awkward.  There's just something about it.  Maybe it's all those times I dreamed of what I would say in my own speech or how I would tell my story to Barbara Walters as a kid.  Acting was my first dream, even if I didn't really see it that way then.

Are there any other award show lovers out there?  Surely I'm not alone in this.  Right?  (Help a girl out.)  Anyway, I have the People's Choice Awards to watch (in horror) at least until Nashville comes on.  (Connie Britton on anything trumps any awards show!)  See you in the comments!

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 1/9

1. What is ONE thing or area in your home or life you hope to report is completely organized when 2013 draws to a close?  Do you  have a plan to make it happen? 

Is everything an acceptable answer?  This house has got to get organized.  I know I joke about what a terrible housekeeper I am, but some things have got to change around here.  It's a small house and I'm the only one who lives here.  I don't need this much stuff.

2. What's the worst uniform you've ever had to wear for a job?

I have never had a job where I had to wear a uniform.  I was a secretary in college, then a tutor, and then went right into teaching.

3. What was your last kitchen 'mishap'?  

When I'm in the kitchen, everything's a mishap.  I routinely burn things, due to my inability to pay attention.  And judging by the number of times I've seen my mom burn garlic toast, I'm going to guess it's genetic.

4. How do you protect yourself from other people's negativity?

I'd like to say leave the room or pound them with my crazy positive attitude.  Honestly, I probably just join in.  Really trying to work on that for this year.  I don't want to be the marshal of the negativity parade anymore.

5. Who in your family do you most resemble (physically)? If you have children, who do people say they favor? Do you agree? 

I have my dad's coloring and eyes, but if you put my mom, sister and me in a line we look like a time lapse of the same person.  Which I means I look like Mom.  (This is good news as she does not look her age at all.  And you should see my grandma!)

Old picture, but you get the idea.

6. January 8th is National Bubble Bath Day...will you be celebrating?

Nope.  I have a fairly shallow tub and I am a person who has to shower in the morning before work or I'm not worth anything.  But I do like bubble baths, in theory.  

7.  Some of the 'world's best winter festivals' are - Mardi Gras (New Orleans),Quebec Winter Festival (Canada), Sundance Film Festival (Park City, Utah),  Rio Carnivale (Brazil), Sapporo Snow Festival (Japan), VeniceCarnival (Italy) and the Harbin Ice Festival (Northern China).  Of those listed (and if cost were not a factor) which would you most like to attend and why?

I would love to go to Mardi Gras (never been to New Orleans and have always wanted to go.  Why not for the big party?) and Sundance (hello, movies! Celebrities!) for sure!  And probably VeniceCarnival, because isn't Venice sinking? So it stands to reason that it won't always be there to see.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I am almost back to full schedule post-break.  There seems to be so much to look forward to between now and May that I wonder how I will fit it all in.  I'm sure it might be stressful at times, but I am really trying to focus on how wonderful things will be.  (See, look at all the positive energy!)  Of course, ask me again the week my first co-directed musical is about to hit the stage...

Monday, January 7, 2013

If God Is For Us...

I laugh when I read my post about the things I am going to do in the New Year.  I mean, I still fully intend to do each and every one of them, but it seems like God's ready to test my perseverance on a few of them already (particularly that one about fretting less).  Let's just say I have work to do on that one.  I did however, spend most of Sunday getting loved on by my sweet niece.  She is at the stage where her kisses are open mouth and mostly slobber and she loved to pull on my hair and pat (sometimes not so gently) my face.  It's pretty hilarious, of course, I am hopelessly biased.  She will forever be the best thing that happened last year for me!

The rest of my weekend was pretty low-key, which is welcomed.  The older I get the more I enjoy just hanging out with my family.  (In my teens and early 20s, I was entirely too cool for all of that.)  So thankful I'm wiser now.  One of the best moments of my weekend was at Mass.  Fr. Chris spoke on God's presence and how in any trial we are not alone if we have faith.  God's presence is in the situation, the place, whatever.  All we have to do is remember that believe in His plan, even when it seems all hope is lost.  Such a beautiful timely message for us all.  That's at the heart of what I am going to work on this year.  God's presence is in the situation, no matter the situation, and He knows what is best.  Being someone who likes to see the big picture, that's sometimes really hard for me to live by.  But, I'm really trying.

P.S.  Thank for all your sweet comments about my efforts to lose weight.  I didn't even manage to blow my diet this weekend, even though it was really tempting.  I have to figure out how to step up the exercise portion, especially once job #2 starts next week, but so far so good.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

One More Thing

I am doing one thing again this year---I'm back to trying to lose weight.  I know that this is only in the 973rd time I've started trying to lose weight on this blog.  To say I've been mildly unsuccessful seems like a bit of an understatement, as well.  Every time I get all geared up and make a big deal of how I'm going to lose weight, and it last about two weeks then it's over.  My resolve is gone and back where I started or worse.

So, I will not be making a big deal about it this time.  I'm back on Weight Watchers and I found this additional site to be a big help. I'm trying to exercise as I can.  I'm going to be all about the little victories and whatever happens, happens.  Maybe taking that approach will do the trick.  I will probably post about it from time to time, but I'm having a hard enough time just blogging, so it will not be a regular thing.  (No worries about me becoming one of those crazy fitness bloggers, even if I am wildly successful that's just not my thing.)

My weight has never really been a big concern for me. I know that I'm not healthy at this weight, but I don't suffer from body image issues, thankfully. Never really have.  But what it amounts to is that I love myself enough to want better than where I currently am.  So let's go, 2013.  Maybe this will be my year.

In 2013, I Will. Will You?

I'm terrible at traditional resolutions.  So, I don't make them.  Instead here's the list of things I want to do in the new year.

In the New Year, I will:
  • Use the good dishes for no apparent reason.  The real glasses too.
  • Give more---of my time, of my resources, of my heart.
  • Wear glitter nail polish if I feel like it, and not question if it is age appropriate.  
  • I will laugh more and fret less.  (And that's hard, because my internal setting is always set to worst-case scenario.)
  • Have more mid-week dinners, winery days, and just all-around more time with my friends.  We keep each other sane and by mid-year, we will all be back together again.  
  • Take as many sloppy wet kisses as my niece is willing to dish out.
  • Dance if the mood or the music strikes.
  • Say yes to things that interest me, and no to those that don't.
  • Not be so afraid to live my life.  
What will you do with 2013?  Let me hear all about it in the comments.  (Little makes me happier than your comments, by the way!)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Google Does It Again

Google's done it again.  Their commercials always seems to get to me (remember the love letter from earlier this year?), but I loved this commercial that ran on New Year's Eve.  It actually brought tears to my eyes.  Whenever I feel like 2012 was not anything special, this is the video I'll be watching over.  (2011 and 2010 Zeitgeists are also on YouTube.)


Wednesday Hodgepodge - 1/2/13

1.  How did you ring in the new year?

I rang in 2013 holding my sleeping niece and watching the ball drop on TV.  Seemed right since she's easily the best thing that happened in the last year.  (Hard to believe she will be a year old in just a few weeks!)

2.  What is one thing you are looking forward to in 2013?

I don't have anything in particular right now.  2013 is kind of an open book as it stands.  And for once, I think that's okay.

3.  Steven Spielberg is quoted as saying, "All of us every single year, we're a different person.  I don't think we're the same person all our lives."  What say you?

I think that is completely true. I wasn't same person at 20 that I was at 30.  I can only assume that is truer with each decade.  I'm a person who is very bad with change, but I do agree that it's necessary and even vital to our lives.

4. The Pantone color of the year for 2013 is emerald green. Like or dislike? Do you already own something this color?  Will you add something in this shade to your home or wardrobe in 2013? 

Love it!  My favorite cardigan is that color.  And I do want to add more green to my house, particularly in my front room (new roman blinds) and living room.

5.  Speaking of emerald...what's your favorite gemstone?

I have always loved rubies and sapphires.  Rubies are my grandma's birthstone, and she always had pretty pieces that were gifts from my grandpa.  And sapphire blue is my favorite color!

6. Share a favorite book or movie from 2012.

I just finished Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and felt like it was really brilliantly written.  It's been a long time since I have been so thoroughly manipulated by a book.

7.  What is something you want to tell yourself at the start of this brand new year?

It's okay to try, to put myself out there, to believe in the impossible. If I'm not the person I want to be, I can make whatever changes necessary to become that person.  And if I fail miserably at all of that, it will still be okay.  Sometimes permission to try and fail is the best permission you can receive.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I'm officially back to work today.  This is the semester that we are putting on our first full scale musical, my first season of coaching track without my former co-coach.  It's mid-year and also a clean slate. I think I'm ready for the next adventure.