Friday, May 31, 2013

Five Questions to End a Stormy Night


I’m coming down off a fairly tense evening, all courtesy of the expected storms that actually did materialize.  There were major storms all over the metro area, with several tornadoes.  Thankfully, the tornadoes themselves were not as strong as last week’s, but my guess is the light of day will show that there’s still plenty of damage.  And, saddest of all, more people lost their lives.  The details are not yet confirmed, but it seems like maybe a handful of people perished.  And, apparently dozens of folks have been taken to the hospital, some in critical condition.  So, so sad.  Things got close enough to us tonight that I insisted we move to the bathroom for a while (if you’re not familiar with shelter procedures, the idea is to be in the smallest, most interior room in your home, which is almost always a bathroom or closet), which I think is the first time we’ve done that in the almost 15 years we’ve lived in this house.  Not a bad record, but it wouldn’t have bothered me to go a bit longer.

Anyway, like I said, it was tense.  I’m going to spend a little bit of time unwinding with Five Question Friday, and then I think I’m just going to bed.

five question friday

1. What is an acceptable age for girls to start dating?

In terms of a real date, just the two of them, all on their own, probably 16.  About a year—or maybe two, for a mature girl—earlier than that would be okay for something like a movie date or something, where parents pick up and drop off, even if they aren’t around to be chaperones. 

2. Do you think your kids should have summer homework?

I don’t think there should be official school homework, but I also don’t think the kids should just put their brains on standby for the summer, either.  I think reading during the summer is the best way to keep the learning ongoing, even during vacation.  When my son was young, we would set reading goals, usually in conjunction with the library summer reading program.  Since he got to pick all the books and all, he always enjoyed it.

3. Would you prefer to live without AC or heat?

I get cold really, really easily, but even so, I think I could do without heat easier than AC, mostly because you can always put on some extra clothes or stay under a blanket to stay warm, but it’s really hard to get cool.  Especially when I sleep I need the air, because I get really hot when I sleep, and I can’t sleep if I get hot.

4. What the worst thing about staying in a hotel? (Besides not being with your family)

I actually like staying in hotels, so I don’t really have a long list of bad things about it.  As you might expect from a confessed TV junkie, I don’t like it when the available stations are limited.  And I don’t like noisy air conditioners (because, as I just mentioned, it’s going to be running when I sleep).

5. So, do your kids really get "104 days of summer vacation"? (Bonus points for those of you that get this reference!)

First, I’ll confess that I had to Google the reference, but that’s probably because my “kid” is 21 years old, so I’m a little out of touch with some of the things that the kids these days do.  As for the question, uh, no.  I’m not sure kids around here even get 100 days.  Like I said, I don’t have need to keep close track of that these days, but my guess is it’s about 90ish. 

Okay, and that’s it.  I’ve got a headache and I’m kind of beat, so I’m heading off to bed.  Hope you all have a great weekend.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Storm Warning


A friend of mine posted on Facebook today, “Mother Nature needs a psych eval and some strong meds.”  I can’t say that I disagree.  And, the poster was Mandi, the young lady I told you about last week who lost her home in a tornado, so I figure she should know if anyone does. 

But, seriously, even though severe weather is fairly standard around here in the springtime, I think we could all use a break.  The photo below is just one of the storms that was being tracked in the state today.  Thankfully, it turned out to be less drastic than it looks, though my guess is there are plenty of folks who’ll need to be making claims for hail damage. 



I think this is the storm that actually did spawn a small tornado down in that area (like I said, there were several and I kind of lost track of which one did what), though last I heard, there was not a ton of damage, so that’s a major plus.  There was another large storm up north of our metro area which moved further northeast, and a tornado did touch down up there.  That area is outside the viewing area of our local television channel, so we didn’t get too much information; I’m hoping there wasn’t much destruction left behind.

But, even without more tornadoes, all these storms are, of course, bringing plenty of rain, including on the areas that have already been hard-hit by last week’s storms.  More difficulty in getting on with their lives these people do not need.  Oh, and unrelated to the current weather, but in terms of not needing more trouble, there are also looters rummaging around in the rain and the rubble.  Sometimes I really don’t understand people.  It seems Mother Nature is not the only one who needs a psych eval.  And maybe a punch in the face, though I would not typically promote violence. 

Anyway, this is the second day in a row there have been severe storms throughout the state for most of the afternoon and evening.  And, as you can see from the next picture, we’re expecting more of the same tomorrow.  As you might expect, people are on edge these days, and the blaring of tornado sirens is really starting to wear on the nerves.  Honestly, it’s absolutely time for a break.



Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Weight Loss Wednesday, May 29


No weight loss this week, sad to say.  Of course, since I was up half a pound halfway through the week, I guess I should be glad to have held steady at the end of it all. 

Brian retrofitted my FitDesk with a bigger work area, so now it can comfortably hold both my laptop and a book, or a textbook and notebook, or maybe even all three, though I haven’t yet tried that.  It’s just in time, since I’ve got to get back in the routine of studying again. 

One of the other things I need to get back in the habit of doing is eating breakfast; I’m really bad about waiting until way into the afternoon to have my first bite to eat.  But, besides not being particularly hungry first thing in the morning, I also do not like to start my day by preparing food (even pretty simple food).  So, all over the web people talk about making steel cut oats overnight in the crockpot.  I’ve never had steel cut oats, but I’m a fan of regular rolled oats, so I’ll give it a try.  I have a tiny little crockpot, and I only plan on making a small amount, but I’ve not had good luck with that tiny little thing, so it sort of scares me to think about leaving it plugged in all night.  I think I’ll just make my small amount in my large pot; if it works out well, I’ll either make a larger batch next time, or get myself a basic in-between size pot that I can trust not to burn my house down while I sleep.






20 minutes wii step



20 minutes wii step, 50 jumping jacks, 25 squats



25 jumping jacks, 25 squats






15 minutes wii step



10 minutes wii step, 45 minutes fitdesk



25 jumping jacks, 25 squats, 60 minutes fitdesk




weight loss wednesday 1-23-13

Image courtesy of africa at

Back to Florida


Summer time has long had a dearth of television excitement, because all the major network shows are in rerun. Not that I have anything against reruns overall, but it is a little sad when I would like a new story to enjoy.  But, as I think I’ve probably mentioned before, the cable networks swoop in to save the day.  USA will begin its summer run of most of its original programming very soon (undoubtedly there will be more about that later), there are a couple of TNT shows I watch that will also return in June, and just yesterday, A&E aired the season four premiere of The Glades.

glades 5-28-13

Like the vast majority of shows that I watch, The Glades is a cop show.  But, of course, all cop shows have to have their own little hook, right?  For this one, its that the lead detective, Jim Longworth, is a smart-ass, ignore-the-book, prefer to work without a partner type of guy.  Only these days, that’s not enough differentiation.  So, let’s make Longworth a difficult Chicago cop, shot in the butt by his old commanding officer for philandering with the CO’s wife, who collects a hefty settlement for his trouble and then moves to Florida.  Oh, and let’s also make him someone who’d almost always rather be golfing, so it makes perfect sense for him to routinely carry around a golf club.  That ought to just about set him apart from all the competition.

As you might have guessed, if you’re looking for high-brow, intellectual crime solving, this probably isn’t the place to find it.  But, if you want to spend an hour with some mostly likeable characters, enjoy a few snarky remarks, and like to watch some scenery (including some of the human sort), then this is a show you could add to your list.

Longworth is played by Matt Passmore, one of many Australian actors who camouflage their natural, lovely accent to pass as their American character.  He’s a cutie, and the twinkle in his eye is enough to make you cut him some slack for the detective’s smarty-pants attitude.

And what’s a cute detective without a girl to charm?  Longworth has Callie Cargill, a nurse working her way through medical school as she raises her teenage son alone—first, because dad was in the slammer, later because she had sense enough to divorce him, and then he ended up in witness protection.  Callie is played by Kiele Sanchez, who many people probably recognize from Lost, though I never really watched that particular juggernaut.  She’s cute and smart and feisty, and more than a match for her policeman paramour.  Honestly, in real life, such a girl probably wouldn’t put up with a guy like Jim, because she’s responsible and stable and he’s got this streak of capriciousness that could drive a person crazy, but they’re a cute couple. 

The other major character is Carlos Sanchez, the medical examiner at the department.  Though Longworth prefers not to have an actual partner, he still likes to drag Carlos into the middle of his investigations.  It’s an endearing quirk. 

Rounding out the rather small ensemble cast of characters is Daniel Green, a young intern at the police station; Jeff Cargill, Callie’s aforementioned son; and Colleen Manus, the obligatory tough-but-fair commanding officer, who recognizes that it’s worth putting up with Longworth’s quirks because he’s a top-notch detective. 

So, no, The Glades isn’t really breaking any new ground anywhere, but it’s doing a good job at breathing life into what could be a pretty tired routine.  It’s light-hearted and fun, with enough interesting characters to keep the murder mysteries lively.  It’s perfect summertime viewing, and you can find it on A&E Monday evenings, at 9/8Central. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

As They Say, Freedom Isn’t Free



Ever since the Civil War ended, there have been celebrations of remembrance, paying tribute to the American military men (and later, women) who gave their lives in service to their country.  In this day and age, when there is so much vocal opposition to many aspects of the American way of life, our leadership, and even current wars and military alike, I think it’s important to take a moment to remember the sacrifices made that ensure we are free to voice that opposition.

So, to the memory of those who are no longer with us, and to their families who suffered the deepest loss, I say, “Thank you.”

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Snapshot Sunday, May 26


It’s been the perfect kind of Sunday—slow paced and low key, hanging out with family, laughing and talking all day.  Oh, and even good weather to go along with the day; we spent the whole day sitting outside by the pool (only the nephew was brave enough to get into the pool, which hasn’t warmed up yet), sunshine but not too hot, and a breeze but not horribly windy.  Like I said, perfect. 

So, let’s take a look at a few photos, which is always fun for me, so a good way to end such a perfect day.

First, a couple of pics from our afternoon at the lake . . . including Brian showing off his butterfly hitchhiker.








And, a few from today . . .



Warmer weather brings back my favorite photographic subject.














A new bird visitor today—House Finch!

And that’s it for today, heading off to bed just at the stroke of midnight as I continue to try and adjust my sleeping patterns.  If you’re in the U.S., I wish you a happy Memorial Day tomorrow.  And, wherever you are, my guess is there are still service members who’ve sacrificed everything for your country, so let’s all take a moment to remember them and give thanks.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Six Word King



A lazy afternoon of Elvis movies.

Elvis movies 5-25-13



It’s Six Word Saturday over at Show My Face

Friday, May 24, 2013

Five Questions on a Holiday Friday


Friday again, and time for more questions from Mama M.  No build up today, let’s just get rolling.

five question friday

1. Do you wake before the alarm or stay in bed until the last possible second?

I’m really not much of a morning person, so if I have to get up even a little bit early, it definitely takes the alarm, and usually at least one snooze.  In fact, as part of my preparation for becoming employed again, I have to spend the next week adjusting my sleep/wake patterns so that I can be where I belong at 8:30 every morning.

2. Who should get a baby shower? Is it just the first baby or all babies?

I think all babies.  Unless the children were pretty close together, there’s a good chance the parents have already disposed of the earlier stuff.  And even if they kept it, every baby deserves some new stuff all their own, and to be celebrated as a precious gift.

3. How will you spend Memorial Day?

We don’t have any big plans, so it’ll be pretty low-key, whatever it is.  Probably just hanging out, maybe grill a hot dog or two, or try to take in a movie (though our theater of choice is still closed due to tornado damage).

4. Do you have a Storm/Hurricane/Tornado/Fire plan for your kids, house..?

We discuss frequently where in our home we would take shelter in the event of a tornado, though we also say every year that we really need to invest in an underground shelter.  As recent events have made tragically clear, trying to withstand those sorts of winds inside any building is not always a reasonable approach.  And, like everyone everywhere, whenever we talk about any of these sorts of disasters, we have to ponder which of our personal treasures we would try to save.  It’s a hard decision.

5. What is your favorite morning drink?

My favorite?  A nice Sonic Coke.  The one I actually drink?  Water.  I’ve fallen off a lot of the health/fitness wagon in the past six or eight months, but the drastic reduction in soda intake has managed to mostly stick.


Thanks for dropping by, and enjoy the holiday weekend.

Bringing Home the Bacon—Almost


I wasn’t going to say anything about this until I had a few moreEmployed 5-23-13 pieces of information, but what the heck—might as well share:  I got a job!  That’s right; you’re chatting with the newest paralegal/legal assistant in OKC!  Well, okay, I’m not quite a paralegal yet; the job doesn’t start until June 3rd, but I figure that’s close enough.  Anyway, it’s been a couple of months since I mentioned that one of my classmates was going to recommend me for a position at the firm where he works, long enough that I’d decide nothing was ever going to happen, but I’m glad to be wrong about that.  He definitely got me the hook up, networking at its finest.

Image courtesy of photostock at

But, the excitement of renewed employment does not stand alone; there’s plenty of anxiety and uncertainty to go along.  I mean, don’t get me wrong; I am truly glad to have a job.  As I told you before, I’ve worked for the vast majority of my life, and being without a job—especially unwillingly—can be a big drain on the ego.   But a brand new job, in a brand new field, might turn out to be a smack upside the ego, too.  Plus, these are real attorneys, practicing real law, with real consequences, and I’m still just a student.  What if I screw something up?  Yeah, there’s some anxiety there. 

And school is another concern all its own.  It’s important to me that I be able to maintain a focus on my studies, learn well the lessons my instructors have to teach, and—hopefully—keep up the grades that go with that.  There’s no denying that will be more difficult with a full-time job.  Today I started into my reading for summer classes, hoping to get a bit of a head start so I can stay on top of things. 

But, even with all those worries, I still can’t deny being excited about rejoining the workforce.  It has been 15 months since I lost my job—not quite the longest time I’ve ever been unemployed, but quite long enough.   Somehow, having a job makes me feel like I’m contributing something, and it will be nice to feel that again.  And, for whatever reason, a job makes me feel more complete.  I honestly don’t know why that is; I’m fully aware that no job should really define a person, but somehow it does, at least in part.  And, lastly, from the purely practical side of things, it will be nice to have a second income again; that’s the kind of contribution I will be very glad to be making again. 

So, that’s what’s going on here.  I’m sure I’ll be telling you more about the new position once I’m actually in it and back in the daily grind, but for now I just thought I’d share the good news.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Continuing Coverage


I hate to have three posts in a row all about the same thing, but the truth is, there’s not much on my mind right now except the tornadoes and their victims.  I’ve seen posts on Facebook from people all over the country, and I’ve seen national coverage of the storm damage, so I know it’s a big story everywhere, but, as you can imagine, it’s almost the only story here locally. 

I’ve spoken before about the way that television seems to really come alive during times of disaster, and this is no different.  And, as I said then, the reason they keep doing it is because we keep watching.  And I’m included in that; I just can’t seem to tear myself away.  Honestly, there’s been no real news since early this morning.  And, by the way, that was the best kind of news, when they announced they’d somehow over-reported the number of deaths and rather than the confirmed 51 and feared 91, it now stands at 24.  But since then, not much is going on that really warrants the ‘round the clock coverage, but our local stations have provided it just the same.  (I think the national news channels have also had extensive coverage, but I really haven’t watched much of that.)  Both last night and tonight I had to force myself to turn it off for at least a couple of hours, escape into the haven of pre-recorded programs on the DVR for entertainment, because there’s only so long you can watch and listen to all the heart-wrenching interviews before you go just a little bit crazy.  But I keep getting drawn back, some sort of strange addiction, a need to be aware of every little detail, even if the details are heartbreaking. 

And, don’t even get me started on the stupid and insulting stuff that shows up on television (and then get shared all over social media) in the midst of disasters.  The most recent offender was Pat Robertson on The 700 Club saying that God doesn’t really send tornadoes, but only made a world with different weather currents which can create tornadoes.  And I am okay with that assessment of nature, but I’m not so okay with his further comments that maybe people shouldn’t build houses where tornadoes are apt to happen, and that maybe if more people had been praying the storms could have been stilled.  Yeah, I’m really not okay with the idea of blaming the victims.  But, that’s one of the downsides of television (or any mass media): lots of people have a platform but not all of them use it responsibly. 

I will say that our local stations returned to regular programming following their late news tonight, so the normal talk shows are airing.   Letterman and Ferguson are hit and miss in terms of whether or not they entertain me on any given night, but I was really glad to see them tonight.  It’ll be a long time before everything is back to normal around here, but late-night comedians are a start.

Oklahoma Heart 5-22-13


Monday, May 20, 2013

Too Close to Home


Oklahoma 5-20-13

You know, most of the time we gripe because our weather forecasters can’t get it right.  We carry an umbrella and there’s not a drop of rain.  We put on a sweater and it’s 85° outside.  You know the drill.  But when they say we’re going to get strong tornadoes, we really hope they’re wrong, even if we do like to gripe about it later on.  Unfortunately, today they got it right.

The city of Moore, OK—maybe 25 or 30 miles north of us, which seems very close on days like today—was devastated today by a storm that they’re starting to call the largest tornado in history.  I don’t know if all the calculations will cause that designation to hold, but it was certainly big enough.  At last count, 51 people have lost their lives, and that number is expected to rise.  Scores of people have lost their homes entirely, hundreds more have damage to deal with.  Perhaps worst of all, an elementary school was leveled and they anticipate that a couple of dozen children may have perished; they are still digging through the rubble. 

I know many people who live in Moore, and thankfully most of them are unharmed, though there are still a couple who have not yet managed to make it home, so they don’t know if they have a house to go home to.  I’m praying for everyone who’s been impacted.  All in all, it’s heartbreaking.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Snapshot Sunday, May 19


So, I was going to post a couple of photos from yesterday’s picnic out by the lake, maybe a bird or two, and chat just a little bit about seeing the new Star Trek movie this afternoon.  But, we had severe weather in our area today.  Not unusual for Oklahoma; it happens every year.  The different thing this time around is that I found out that someone I care about lost her home in the storms today.  Her name is Mandi, and I’ve known her since she was a baby when my mom started dating her dad.  She’s all grown up now, but no one is ever so grown up that they can possibly know how to deal with such an event.  Thankfully, Mandi and her family are safe, but they have lost everything else.  It doesn’t seem right to chatter on about such meaningless things as movies and bird watching when she’s experiencing such tragedy.  And, of course, she isn’t alone in her loss; lots of people lost their homes today.  And at least one person lost their life. 

The tornado that cost Mandi her home was not quite as powerful when it went through our town just a mile or two from my house, and it didn’t touch down until it reached the lake, so Norman was mostly spared.  We did lose power several hours ago, and my guess is it will be off all night, as such a thing is trivial compared to other needs at the moment.  And, the weather folks say tomorrow is likely to be just as active as today.  (“Active” is the euphemism they use around here to say there are going to be dangerous storms popping up all over the place.)  Whatever type of positive thoughts you are given to, I’d appreciate if you’d send a few of them this way tomorrow, for all of Oklahoma, and especially for Mandi.


shawnee tornado


This is a picture of the storm that moved through Norman and then further east in a path that included Mandi’s home. 

Image courtesy @EverythingWX

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Six Word Sandwiches


picnic table 5-18-13

Picnic at the lake—

nice afternoon.






Image courtesy of franky242 at


Find more Six Word Saturday entries at Show My Face.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Five Questions and Sandwich Shopping


So, my first day of summer break passed far too quickly, and without quite as much relaxing as I would have liked.  And, we’re doing a family picnic tomorrow, which will be fun, but I’m unprepared.  It’s nothing fancy, just sandwiches, but it turns out I don’t even have those meager fixin’s here in the house.  I really should have shopped this evening, but I was far too tired, which means I’ll have to be up at the crack of dawn to run to the store and get things going.  I’m pretty sure that means the pasta salad and Jell-O cake I was planning to make are going to become macaroni salad and cupcakes from Wal-Mart.  Don’t judge.  But, since I do have an early rise tomorrow, let’s get the Friday questions rolling so I can hit the sack.

five question friday

1. Do you have a doppelgänger?

First, this question makes me laugh, and makes me think of How I Met Your Mother.  But, unlike the HIMYM gang, if I have a doppelganger, I haven’t found them yet.  Guess I’ll have to keep looking. 

2. Do you keep your car cleaned up?

Let’s just say that I almost couldn’t stop laughing long enough to type this answer.  As I mentioned just yesterday, cleaning out my car will have to be on my to-do list for this vacation, but I can guarantee you it won’t stay clean long.

3. What is a current fashion that drives you crazy.

Well, for the most part, I’m so far removed from current fashion trends that I don’t have much of an opinion about them.  As far as I’m concerned, jeans and a tee shirt are timeless.  Though, like many people in my generation, I could live without the whole baggy pants hanging down over the boxers bit.

4. How often do you go grocery shopping?

Brian does our regular shop once per week; I usually make a mid-week run for whatever miscellaneous items we need to get us through.  Though, as discussed earlier, that doesn’t always mean we’ve got stuff to throw together a sandwich. 

5. What has been the best surprise of your life?

That’s a hard question.  I don’t know that I’ve had a lot of really big surprises along the way.  The huge things that are often surprises—marriage proposals, pregnancies—those things were discussed and planned.  One time I had a surprise birthday party—well, dinner gathering more than party—and that was nice.  I think I told you once before about the day my dad surprised us with cable television, and that was a nice surprise.  Oh, and I was really surprised by The Sixth Sense; does that count?  Mostly, though, I like the little surprises in life—a butterfly landing on your arm, the rainbow that pops up over the highway, a sudden cool breeze on an unbearably hot afternoon.  Those are the best surprises of all.

And, now, dear friends, I believe I will sign off, go to bed, and awake bright and early for morning grocery run.

Do drop by My Little Life for more 5QF entries. 

Done! (For Now)


Schools out 5-16-13

  Whoo-hoo!  The long semester is finally over!  It’ll be a few days before the last of the grades are posted, but I’m pretty confident I’ve managed to pull As from each of the classes.  The one I was most worried about turned out fine (thank goodness for prompt instructors who post final grades quickly and put students out of their misery), and I think the others were strong enough that even if I totally bombed the finals—which I hopefully did not—the grade should survive. 

  Either way, I’m just glad to be done with it all.  Come fall, I’m sure the then me will be grateful to the now me for sucking it up and getting those classes out of the way this spring, but there were times it seemed like quite the ordeal.  And this summer, I’ll crank out a few more so that my final semester can be light and easy and let me concentrate on putting it all together and preparing to go out into the working world.  It’s a good plan, but it means not much of a break.  18 days, to be exact, so I have to decide how best to spend them.

Of course, I’ll have to devote some time to working through the DVR queue.  I wouldn’t be living up to my title of TV Junkie if that wasn’t at least part of my plan, right?  And besides cleaning off the DVR, I probably need to clean out my car, do some laundry, and clean up my studying area.  In fact, now that I think about it, I should probably tackle my study area first, so there are at least a few days of cleanliness before it gets all cluttered up again.

I’ve also got some PTK business to attend to at least for the next few days, so that will keep me occupied for a bit.  And my professor that wants help with the paralegal club says she might want to do some work in this break before summer classes begin, so I’m probably not entirely done with school stuff, even for these 18 days.  And, of course, sometime around day 16 or so, I probably ought to crack open the new books and take a peek at what’s coming up.

Other than that, my only big plan is to also do a bit of straightening up in my exercise room and find a way to get back into a fitness routine.  There’s still room to work out in there, sort of, and I’ve even managed some simple things a time or two in its current condition, but it’ll be much easier to stay motivated if I don’t have to squeeze into a tiny little spot to do what needs doing.  Though, the truth is, that probably won’t happen until Monday.  Tomorrow is one of the days I need to devote to PTK, so I’ll throw a roast in the crockpot tomorrow morning then head up to school.  And this weekend . . . oh my gosh, I almost forgot!  This weekend—Sunday—I’ll be seeing the new Star Trek movie!  Brian’s work schedule wouldn’t allow us to get to a showing on Friday, and Saturday we’ve got family plans, so it’ll be Sunday before I can get there, but there I will be.  I’m sure you’ll be hearing my thoughts about it soon enough.

So, those are my plans for my semester break.  Once I write it down like that, it doesn’t really sound like all that much of a break, but I forgot to mention one very important task: naps.  There will be lots of time for naps, and maybe even out in the nice spring sunshine, if I’m very lucky.  Because, really, what’s school break without naps?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Weight Loss Wednesday, May 15


Man, there is a clear-cut correlation between sitting my butt on the couch all day and not getting anywhere close to my step target.  Imagine that!  But, I’ve only got one more day of finals left, and then I hope to be able to start getting in at least a little bit of a regular workout.  Of course, if I could get rid of this crud, it would help immeasurably.  Still, just one more day of intense studying, and then maybe I can at least make a loop around the neighborhood every day.

As for last week, another half pound down.  Still not huge, but still in the right direction, and still managed without a ton of activity.  Oh, and also with several servings of ice cream over the course of the week.  My throat is raw these days, and ice cream feels oh so good. 











15 minutes jog in place, 50 jumping jacks



5K walk



25 jumping jacks, 25 squats



15 minutes dancing, 50 jumping jacks, 10 squats




weight loss wednesday 1-23-13

Image courtesy of africa at

One More Day


24 5-15-13

Yesterday, there was a bright spot on the television landscape.  FOX network has announced that Jack Bauer will return.  Yes, you read that right.  Kiefer Sutherland has signed on for another outing in the action drama, 24.  (Now that his new show, Touch, has been cancelled, what does he have better to do?)

If you aren’t familiar with the show, let me start by telling you that you really missed out—especially that first season, when everything was new and exciting.  But, to provide just a little bit more background, 24 starred Sutherland as a government agent working for CTU—Counter Terrorism Unit.  As you might have guessed by the agency name, that meant he spent a lot of time chasing after terrorists, and a lot of time saving America.  But the really cool part about 24—aside from Sutherland himself, of course, because he is really cool—was the “real time” approach it took to story telling.  Each season represented a single day in the life of Jack Bauer and those around him, twenty-four solid hours of derring-do, thus the name of the show.  Each season was twenty-four episodes, with each one hour episode representing one hour in the traumatic day Jack was facing.  There was a clock counting down at the start and end of each segment, and it even accounted for commercial breaks, so the show always ended at the top of the hour.  It was really pretty awesome.

The show ran for eight seasons, from 2001-2010, and like a lot of shows, the earlier days were certainly the better days.  However, even at the end of season eight, our household was still watching, and still wishing Jack was coming back for another day of adventure.  Even before the final season had aired, there was talk that once the show was done, there would be a follow-up feature film, and those rumors have floated around in the years since.  And while I would gladly be there if this particular adventure ever made its way to the big screen, the thing I always wondered about was how they would keep it from being just another action-adventure movie.  Now, don’t get me wrong; I love a good action-adventure movie as much as the next person, but the thing that set 24 apart was its format; the way it was presented helped build the suspense and intrigue, and kept you glued to the edge of your seat.  That damn ticking clock could really get to you.

In fact, this format question is the only thing that brings me a bit of trepidation about the new announcement.  You see, 24 is not returning full-time, but rather as a “limited series”; word is that it’s slated to have twelve episodes.  Now, that’s certainly not as big a difference as trying to cram an entire day into a single two hour movie, but it’s still cutting the screen time in half, and it’s still means each episode has to cover two hours of the day instead of just one.  Sure, they can set that on-screen countdown clock to say whatever they want, but, again, the format is a big part of why this show worked, and I think I’m going to miss the real-time factor.

Still, that little worry isn’t enough to dampen my enthusiasm about the return of Jack Bauer.  In fact, if I could set my DVR to record twelve months in advance, the thing would already be set.  Yep, twelve months—the new season is not set to air until May of 2014.   I might have to get my own countdown clock going.  

Tube Day Tuesday digitalart






Image courtesy of digitalart at

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

No Phones Allowed


no cell phone 5-14-13  You ever have one of those moments when you realize you’re just not sure how you ever functioned without some seemingly indispensable piece of technology?  I mean, intellectually we can usually recognize that whatever we’re feeling so attached to is actually relatively new to the landscape, but we just seem so dependent.

  Well, I had one of those moments today about my cell phone.  As you can imagine, phones aren’t precisely encouraged in the classroom.  But, while every instructor has a rule about not using your phone in class, none of them (or at least, none of mine) really mind if you have it out on your desk just in case something important comes up.  You know the drill: just keep it on silent and leave the

Image courtesy of Feelart at

room if you actually have to take a call.  But, during exams, it’s a different story.  I suppose if phones were really only phones, even then it wouldn’t be much of a problem.  But since what they really are is tiny little computers capable of turning even the biggest slacker into an A student with the touch of a few simple search buttons, you can see why the instructors are a little more particular during the testing times. 

Anyway, this is finals week, so during my exam tonight, I had my phone tucked safely away in my pocket, knowing it was off limits.  But it was still powered on (on vibrate), so I could tell I was getting some text messages while I was testing.  Honestly though, I didn’t think too much about it.  It’s not unusual for the PTK gang to send out a group message and then blow up my phone as everyone starts chiming in to the conversation.  And I never received a phone call, so I didn’t figure it was anything too important. 

But, as soon as I left the classroom, I pulled out my phone to see what the chatter was all about and found that my husband had taken himself to the ER.  We’ve both been fighting this crud for the past week now, but he’s definitely worse than I am.  He went to the doctor yesterday and got some meds, but today his blood pressure was really high.  Now, it’s been running a little bit high for a while (and I haven’t been able to talk him into a doctor), but today was approaching dangerously high.  I checked his medication info sheets since he hadn’t bothered to read them, and found a list of possible side effects that all screamed “increased blood pressure”.  So, I had him call the doctor’s office and they told him to stop taking one of the pills.  Then I saw him briefly on my way out the door to school tonight, and he still wasn’t feeling too great, and was reporting yet another symptom—loss of hearing. 

Well, as the evening wore on, apparently the whole hearing thing got worse, and the BP didn’t get a whole lot better.  He called the doctor yet again, who told him nothing he was taking should be impacting his hearing, nor should his BP still be so high many hours after having taken his last dose of steroids.  They directed him to the ER, so off he went.

So, as it turns out, the hearing is just a really bad ear infection (though why they didn’t find that yesterday, I’ll never know), and they finally convinced him he needs to see a doctor for some actual management of his blood pressure, so it’s not all bad.  But the weird thing was the moment of panic I felt when I realized something at least mildly important had been going on and I wasn’t aware of it.  For a minute, I was trying to figure out if there was some sort of emergency number for the school I could give out or something.  I mean, what if this had been really important?  What then?

But then I realized, as I always do when these moments arise, that the world got along just fine for an incredibly long time without cell phones and the ability to be instantly and constantly connected.  For myself, I’ve only had a cell for about 16 years.  Now, in some ways, that’s a really long time, and you can see how a person can become dependent.  But it’s also not even quite a third of my lifetime, which means I’ve spent the vast majority of my life—even most of my adult life—without a cell phone.  And I survived.  It might be hard to imagine sometimes, but it’s true.  The younger generation might not be able to conceive of a world without such instant communication, but I certainly know it existed.  And, when these odd moments of panic arise now, I can take some comfort in knowing that I could live without such newfangled technology, should the need every really arise. (A confidence I’m not sure my son or others his age could muster.)  But, I’ll be honest:  I wouldn’t like it.  Maybe I need to devise some sort of code for my husband to use in cases of emergency, so I can recognize the important events just by the buzzing in my pocket.


Monday, May 13, 2013

Snapshot Sunday, May 12


Well, the day almost got away from me without a blog post.  In fact, I was just about to shut everything down and go to bed early for once when something clicked into my brain that I still had something left to do.  In truth, there’s still plenty I could be doing, primarily studying for my upcoming finals.  I think I’ve got a fairly solid grip on most of the classes, but I still have an awful lot of material to review.  And most of tomorrow will be centered around one single class, as my first exam tomorrow evening is the one class I am least confident of finishing out with an A.  I know it really shouldn’t be about the grades—and for the most part it really isn’t—but there’s no denying I’d prefer an A to anything else.  And while most of my classes will be fine as long as I manage a C or D on the final, in this one, I’ve got to have a pretty strong B.  So cross your fingers for me, would you?

Anyway, what photos do we have?  Well, it was Mother’s Day today, so I guess we’ll start with a little something for that.  Billy had to work all day, so Brian and I took Granny out for lunch this afternoon.  (Billy did at least call on a break to wish me a happy day, so I’m glad of that, at least.)  We went to my favorite restaurant, which—oddly enough—would not have been my first choice for today, but you can never go wrong with good Mexican food.  And it was good, too; even Granny ate well, which is not always a guarantee.  But, no photos of the food, but I do have a pic of her at home, posing with her Mother’s Day flowers.

Granny Mothers Day 5-12-13

   I think she liked them.  And she said the vase was really pretty, too.  And I have to agree; I thought it was pretty nice.  It’s actually pinker (more pink?) than it appears in the picture, but pink or purple, I liked it.

  And, of course, you know I couldn’t keep the photos of yesterday’s color run to myself, right?  I made the walk with one of my PTK brethren, and we had a good time.  The weather was just about perfect, which is always nice if you’re going to be outside.  The course was set up at the fairgrounds, which isn’t exactly scenic, but at least that made for mostly decent pathways.  We even broke into a wog (that’s a walk-jog, you know) a time or two, though mostly we just kept a pretty good walking pace. It’s an untimed event, designed for fun, but I was glad to finish it in about 55 minutes.  That’s significantly quicker than I had anticipated, and not all that much slower than last summer when I was actually working on the C25K program.  Which really doesn’t say as much about my walking speed as it does my running speed, but still.

Anyway, it was fun.  And, though I’ve seen plenty of pictures from color runs from all over the country, I have to say that I was still unprepared for the sheer amount of mess.  First of all, I had color in places I would have sworn were well protected.  And, second, I’m two showers in by now, and I’m pretty sure there are parts of me that still aren’t clean.  The bad part is that by the time you get most of it off, it’s the bluish-purple dye that sticks around, so you sort of look like you’ve been beaten, or something.  I’m glad the still-stained parts of me are hidden

Anyway, here are a few photos so you can see how we go from splendidly clean to . . . not.  Oh, and then there’s a picture of me in the car on the way home, wrapped up like a mummy in towels because Brian didn’t want me to get the stuff all over his car!

Color Me Rad 5-12-13

And that’s about all the photo ops from this past week.  We’ll see what next week holds.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Six Word Fun




   Walked my first 5K event today.

Friday, May 10, 2013

5 Qs Today, 5K Tomorrow


five question friday

   Hidey ho, folks, and welcome to another Friday.  Lots of errands today, but trying to save some energy for the 5K tomorrow.  Even walking it is going to be a bit of a push for me, but I’m still looking forward to it.

  But let’s get to the questions, shall we?  Provided, as always, from Mama M.

1. What's the one personal hygiene thing you will not do in front of your spouse?

Well, we’ve been married a long time, so there’s not much we haven’t been privy to.  But, since I usually check my weight as I’m getting dressed, I prefer not to do that with an audience.

2. What's your favorite thing about a newborn?

Of course, the smell is the first thing that comes to mind; who can resist the way a baby smells?  And, while it takes a few months, so I suppose not technically still a “newborn”, I absolutely adore the sound of a baby laughing.  I’m not sure there’s anything better.

3. When is "too young" to have a Facebook account?

Definitely younger than thirteen is too young, IMO, maybe even 15.  There are crazy people in the world, and, unfortunately, they like to take shelter in the anonymity of the internet.  Before they’re teenagers, kids have absolutely no idea how to protect themselves.

4. What are you hoping for for Mother's Day?

More than anything, I’d love for my husband and my son to finally get along again, but my instinct is that that happy day is still a few years down the road.  They both need to grow up a little bit more first.  So, I’d settle for a nice lunch out somewhere.  We’ll be taking my grandma out, but I’ll get to pick the place.

5. What was the best field trip you ever took in school?

When I was a kid, the annual 8th grade field trip was always a trip to the OKC Festival of the Arts.  It’s the thing you looked forward to for all of your middle school years, and our 8th grade class was no exception.  When the day finally rolled around, it was a typical spring day here in OK—which means you never really know what you might get.  In this case, it was sunny early on but cloudy and then rainy before the day was over.  But the part that wasn’t typical was that it was actually a gentle spring rain, the kind you always read about in books and see in movies but that rarely come to pass around these parts.  (For us, it’s drought or torrential downpours, rarely anything in between.)  We had the most fun, walking around in the rain, just wet enough to stay cool, even a small puddle or two to splash through like little kids, and singing, “It’s Such a Pretty World Today”.  I still remember some of the other patrons looking at us like we were a little off-balance, but most of them just smiled as we passed by.  I’m pretty sure they wished they could be having as much fun as we were, instead of feeling like their day had been ruined by the rain.  Hands down, best field trip ever. 


And that’s it for today.  It’ll be an early night tonight so I can get a good night’s sleep—though I am going to try to get at least a few hours of stuff off the DVR, and maybe even get at least one study guide put together.  Now that I read over that, I suppose I should reverse the priority of those tasks, but I’m just not sure that I will!

Good Day


Good morning to you all.  It’s just about 2:00am as I sit down to write this, and I can barely keep my eyes open, so you’ll understand if it’s a bit brief, right?

Mostly I just wanted to take a minute to comment on the fact that sometimes you just feel right with the world.  My sister posted on Facebook a day or so ago about the list of little things that went right in her world that day (friendly cashiers, good conversations, and the like), and it’s nice to just have an easy day now and again.  (I will say, on the downside, I’ve still got some crud, but the cold medicine helps keep it at bay—especially the night time stuff, which is part of why I can barely keep my eyes open!)  But, about the good stuff . . .

Today I met an old work friend for lunch.  I’m trying to remember if I’ve even seen her since I left my job—over a year ago now—and I think the answer is no.  We’ve talked a time or two, and she’s on my Facebook, so we’re sort of in touch, but I’m pretty sure I haven’t actually been in her presence since about February of 2012.  She was pregnant then, and now her baby is almost nine months old.  Wowser. 

Anyway, the point is, we had a really nice lunch, just chatting and catching up.  It would’ve been nice to linger a while longer, but it was a lunch break for her and I was on my way to class, but the 75 minutes or so we shared were really nice.

Then I wrapped up regular classes for the semester—nothing left but finals now.  There were a few times this semester that I doubted my sanity for carrying 18 hours, and I wasn’t always sure I was going to make it through, so there’s a sense of accomplishment to be coming out the other side.  I even turned in my last three assignments tonight, even though only one of them was due now.  I’m just ready to put the normal class routine behind me and clear my mind to prepare for exams.

We got grades back today from one of our regular exams that we took last week, and I aced it.  It was pretty short, and only a few points, but it’s from an instructor that I’m never quite sure what she’s after—even with what seem to be straight-forward questions—so that was a nice relief.

Another of my instructors asked me to help her get the flagging paralegal club back on its feet next semester, so that’s a nice vote of confidence and will be something interesting to do. 

I saw some cute fuzzy baby geese today.  They’re so adorable.  Also, a couple of cute things on Facebook (and hardly any annoying stuff, which is really the key). 

Oh, and lest I forget, Criminal Minds was finally officially renewed, with the entire cast returning for another season  Yay!

It really doesn’t take much to have a good day; sometimes I think we just need to slow our minds down a bit so that we can recognize it.

Here’s wishing you a day where you sail through life and all is right with the world.


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Weight Loss Wednesday, May 8


Well, activity-wise, this has been a pretty crappy week.  And the new week isn’t starting off any better, since I’m sick today, so slept a solid 12 hours last night, dozed off and on a couple more after that, then dragged myself to class and made a bee line back to the couch when I got back home.  I’ve got three more assignments to get finished up—hopefully by Friday at the latest—so I can devote a good chunk of the weekend to preparing for next week’s finals.  I seriously have no time to be sick.

Oh, and on Saturday I am supposed to participate in a Color Me Rad event.  People usually refer to these things as a “run”, but since I intend to walk it, “event” works just fine for me.  I hope I get some energy back between now and then.  Brian is sick right now, too, and he was supposed to walk along on the outside of the course and take pictures, so I hope he’s up to it, too.

However, even with almost zero activity, I did manage to lose half a pound last week.  Is that anything to brag about?  No, not really.  But it is the first downward motion I’ve seen in a while, so I’ll take it.

Also on the weight front, the internet is abuzz with news out of the Abercrombie & Fitch camp that the CEO is perfectly comfortable with the idea of excluding large size women from wearing his brand and discriminatory hiring practices.  Charming.  I’m not sure we’re ever going to teach kids to be kind to others when we’ve got these kind of adults running loose.






40 jumping jacks, 20 crunches



50 jumping jacks, 15 min fitdesk



55 crunches, 30 min dancing, 10 lunges



10 jumping jacks, 10 lunges












weight loss wednesday 1-23-13







Image courtesy of africa at

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Bad News at the BAU


Criminal Minds 5-7-13

If you’ve been a regular reader around here, you probably already know of my fascination with Criminal Minds.  Yeah, I’ve always been a sucker for a good cop show, but I really like this one.  That surprises some of my friends/family, because I’m not usually a fan of the creepy stuff, and there’s no doubt that sometimes this show is about as creepy as they come.  Still, the stories are often compelling, the individual characters are interesting, and the group dynamic is really good.

That’s why I’m very annoyed to be reading lately that the group is in jeopardy of being split up because TPTB can’t come to terms on salaries.  The vast majority of the cast is currently involved in contract negotiations; only Matthew Gray Gubler and newcomer Jeanne Tripplehorn are not up for renewal this year.  That means five of the seven could be moving on at the end of the year.  This is not something I want to consider.

Now, those who claim to know say that Thomas Gibson and Joe Mantegna are pretty close to coming to terms, so that’s good news.  As the “bosses” of the BAU team, there’s a lot to be said for maintaining that sense of continuity.  And, Shemar Moore is said to still be negotiating, so that doesn’t necessarily sound too bad, either. 

But, the really worrisome part is that reports are circulating that A.J. Cook and Kirsten Vangness have flat-out rejected offers that are being called “final”.  Apparently, they are being paid significantly less than their male co-stars and have banded together to try and get themselves some pay equity.  And, oh, the conflicting emotions I feel.  I’m absolutely horrified that equitable pay between the genders is still a problem these days, particularly in a situation like this, where you’re truly dealing with an ensemble situation where everyone is a fairly equal part of the whole.  (Not entirely equal, maybe, but pretty darn close.)  But, as a fan of the show, I’m also horrified at the idea of losing two characters that I really enjoy, and really make a difference in the feel of the program. 

First, you’d think the producers would have learned their lesson with Cook already.  A couple of seasons ago, she was written out and the viewers were far from thrilled.  She didn’t stay gone too terribly long.  And as for Vangness, her Penelope Garcia is consistently a fan favorite, and we’ve seen the character grow since the beginning of the series, both in dimension and in screen time.  Losing Garcia would be a major blow.  I don’t want these ladies to leave.  Really, I don’t want any of them to leave, so I hope things get worked out.

Now, these same reports also said that the negotiations probably had to be finalized today in order for the show itself to be renewed, but I have not seen anything flit across my computer screen to reassure me that it’s a done deal.  As much as I don’t want to lose any of my beloved characters, I really don’t want to lose the show altogether. 

So, please, CBS, producers, actors, everybody: put your heads together and find a fair and equitable solution that will get everybody back to the BAU conference room again next year.  Losing this show like this would be, well, criminal.