Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Weight Loss Wednesday, October 30


Well, I finally made it back to the gym after about a six week absence.  I was hoping I could turn over a new leaf (again) and get back to a minimum of ten thousand steps every day, but I blew it already today.  My intention had been to go to the gym again tonight, but my day was long and stressful.  Which, really, is exactly the kind of day that should be burned off in the gym, but I just didn’t have it in me after class tonight, especially since I had some homework to get started on.  I thought about maybe jogging in place to get there tonight, but I’d be looking at at least another half hour, maybe forty-five minutes, and I’m not sure I have that in me tonight, either. 

Still, since my basic goal is always to improve my activity level week over week, I have to say this week was a success in that regard.  Even in step count alone, last week I only racked up 33,036, and this week I had 63,899.  That’s pretty dang close to double, and I’m pretty good with that as a starting point.












Football game; approx 2 mile walk to stadium and back to car


38 min treadmill; 2.69 miles


40 min treadmill; 2.65 miles


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Song for Bernadette


If I’ve never said it before—though I probably have—comedies really are just about my least favorite genre.  They’re very difficult to get right, and even more difficult to keep right week after week, year after year.  There are exceptions to every rule, though, and one of the other things I’ve probably said in the past is that The Big Bang Theory is definitely an exception.  It’s into season seven now, and I still find it just as funny and enjoyable as I did in the beginning. 

The secret is that it’s not really about the situations or even really about the humor, but it’s all about the characters.  Some shows never get that, regardless of genre.  Because funny only works in the long-term if you care about the people in the funny situations.  BBT gives us people to care about.  And, besides that, every once in a while they give us a really sweet moment—one that can even bring a tear to the eye, and how often does that happen in a comedy?

If you don’t watch BBT and don’t really know Howard Wolowitz, this might not be quite as meaningful for you, but surely you can still appreciate a nerd who actually got his dream girl, right?  Besides, is there anything more romantic than being told that without you, your significant other would be like Doctor Who without the TARDIS?  I think not.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Remembering Nathan


It’s weird the way the mind works.  Driving home from school tonight, I passed a home that had Christmas lights on in the tree in their back yard.  I mean, I suppose it could’ve been party lights or any other kind of lights, but it looked like Christmas lights.  And, while I can’t swear it with 100% certainty, I’m pretty sure I also caught a glimpse of a Christmas tree through their window. 

Of course, my first thought was, What the hell?  Who puts Christmas stuff up in October?

But immediately my mind conjured up possible reasons for such a seeming travesty.  Maybe someone in the home is being deployed and won’t be around to celebrate the holidays with their family, so they want to do it now.  Or maybe someone has some terminal disease and won’t ever be around again to celebrate the holidays.  If I’d known Granny wouldn’t be here this Christmas, I would’ve put my tree up early to give her one last holiday celebration. 

And, finally, I thought that maybe someone lives in the house who just loves Christmas, like Nathan.  Nathan was my best friend’s son, and as long as I can remember, he loved everything about Christmas, particularly Santa. 

Nathan was born with Down Syndrome, and that may have been at least part of why he was such an open and loving person, I don’t know.  And maybe it’s part of why he didn’t have any qualms about wearing a Santa suit in the middle of the summer or having his room decorated with a Christmas motif to be enjoyed year-round.  But I don’t know; that would be sort of like wondering if I’m the way I am because I’m a female.  You can’t really speculate on how someone would be without a fundamental piece of who they are.

Anyway, seeing those lights tonight made me remember back to when I traveled to Manila for work six years ago.  I don’t even remember now how it came up, but I mentioned to someone that I might like to try and find some sort of holiday trinket for Nathan as a souvenir, something a little different than the things we can always find at home, but I wasn’t sure that would be possible, since I was going to be there during the month of October.  To my delight, I was told that for some reason the Filipino people seem to love Christmas, and you could find holiday decorations there any time of the year.  Perfect!  My mind started swimming with ideas of maybe stockpiling quite a few interesting pieces for all the Christmases ahead.

As it turns out, I only ended up buying one holiday item during that trip, and I placed it on Nathan’s grave when I returned home.  That dear, sweet boy died while I was away, taking the joy of Christmas away from his mother for years, and ensuring that I can never see Santa without at least a passing thought for Nathan. 

As all of those thoughts ran through my head while I completed my drive home, I admonished myself that I should not be so quick to jump to conclusions and think that people are strange for choosing to celebrate in any way they choose, any time they choose.  I should realize that there is holiday joy to be found every single day, if we choose to find it.  Surely I could have learned at least that much from Nathan. 









                                                                                     This is Kim’s photo, but I think she’d be okay with me sharing it.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday Night



I have long been of the opinion that we should have two day work weeks and five day weekends.  Is there someone who could take care of that for me?

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Six Word Victory





Great game today, plus ended well!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Feel Good Friday, Just in the Nick of Time


I know I’ve flirted with the idea of a Facebook Friday theme here on the blog, and it will likely surface again, maybe even fairly regularly.  But today’s story to share didn’t come from Facebook, but rather from CBS Evening News.  And it was perfect timing, because I’d been thinking tonight that today’s theme needed to be “Feel Good Friday”.  Why?  Because I needed to feel good.  It’s been a long and tiring week, what with being sick all week long and still trying to drag myself to work and school.

But, more important, I had a spat with Billy tonight that really made me not feel good.  A glaring reminder that the people who mean the most to you can always hurt you the worst.  It will pass, of course, but in the meantime, I was particularly glad to see Steve Hartman’s story tonight and put just a bit of a positive spin back on my Friday.  I hope it will do the same for you.

I’m including the text of the article, but you really should do yourself a favor and watch the video.

Mich. middle school football team conspires for touching touchdown

Steve Hartman

(CBS News) OLIVET, Mich. -- Between classes, they schemed and conspired. For weeks, the football players at Olivet Middle School in Olivet, Mich., secretly planned their remarkable play.

"Everyone was in on it," says Nick Jungel.

"But the coaches didn't know anything about it," Parker Smith says. "We were, like, going behind their back."

We've never heard of a team coming up with a plan to not score.

"It's just like to make someone's day, make someone's week, just make them happy," Justice Miller says.

The play -- which was two plays, actually -- happened at a home game earlier this month. The first part of their plan was to try to get as close to the goal line as possible without scoring, even if it meant taking a dive on the one-yard-line, which it did.

The crowd was not happy.

"But us kids knew, hey, we got this, this is our time, this is Keith's time," Parker, the quarterback, says.

Keith Orr is the little kid in the brown jacket. He's learning disabled, struggles with boundaries -- but in the sweetest possible way. Because of his special nature, it's no surprise that Keith embraces his fellow football players. What is surprising is how they have embraced him.

"We thought it would be cool to do something for him," Parker says.

"Because we really wanted to prove that he was part of our team and he meant a lot to us," adds Nick.

"Nothing can really explain getting a touchdown when you've never had one before," says Justice.

Which brings us to part two of their play. If you didn't see Keith, it's because they were so protective of him, but he was in the middle of the rush.

When they crossed the goal line, Keith says it was "awesome."

"It was like, 'Did he just score a touchdown?'" Keith's mom, Carrie, says.

"Get your camera out!" his dad, Jim, remembers saying.

Keith's parents almost missed the moment, but they got the significance.

"Somebody is always going to have his back -- from now until the day he graduates," Carrie says.

She's right. When the football team decides your cool, pretty much everyone follows suit. Today, Keith is a new kid, although by no means was he the only one who was profoundly changed.

"Once I saw him go in, I was smiling to here," says Justice, a wide receiver, pointing to his cheeks. "Nothing could wipe that smile off my face."

Asked why it affected him so much, Justice turns emotional.

"Because he's never been cool or popular, and he went from being, like, pretty much a nobody to making everyone's day," he says.

Justice admits the play wasn't his idea, saying, "I would have not really thought of that."

He says it never crossed his mind to give Keith any glory.

"I kind of went from being somebody who mostly cared about myself and my friends to caring about everyone and trying to make everyone's day and everyone's life," he says.

Which may just make that touchdown the most successful football play of all time.

© 2013 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Creeping Chaos



Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

I’m kind of a disorganized person.  I’m not bragging about it; that’s just the way it is.  I don’t really like it, but honestly, there’s an awful lot about it that doesn’t bother me too much, either. 

What does bother me, though, is when I’ve reached a breaking point with the chaos and I can’t seem to find a way around it.  For instance, my work is totally disorganized.  You should see my desk.  Though, really, I’d be embarrassed for you to see my desk; it’s that bad.  But we’ve got processes that make too much organization a difficult task, and we’ve got constant emergent issues that could make any sane person go just a little bit bonkers.  But I haven’t yet figured out a way to mold the office into my way of doing things—mostly because I haven’t yet found my way of doing things at this job.  How long does that take, anyway? 

And, you know how it is once chaos starts overrunning you in one aspect of your life:  it snakes its creepy little tentacles into every crevice of your existence.  I’m convinced some sort of chaos overload is why I almost forgot to turn in an assignment today.  Seriously, I did the vast majority of the thing two weeks ago, then almost forgot to put the finishing touches on tonight, and then almost failed to hit the ‘submit’ button when I had to upload the finished product to my professor.  Even as disorganized as I am, I’m not usually that bad.  Wait until the last minute to do things for various and sundry reasons?  Yeah, more often than I should admit.  But just let something so important just slip my mind?  Not usually. 

I’m telling you, it’s the curse of the creeping chaos, and I need a cure.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Weight Loss Wednesday, October 23


First, as if I didn’t talk enough about White Collar yesterday, I’ll just mention that today the show posted on their Facebook page that it’s the fourth anniversary.  How could I lose track of such a momentous date?  Winking smile  Anyway, happy anniversary to my favorite show for four years running, and here’s hoping the next four are equally fun.

But, other than that, it’s time to take a look at this past week’s depressing activity numbers.  On the upside, I did lose almost a pound while being sick this week.  Always a positive spin, eh?  Can you tell, though, that I did spend almost all day Friday and then again Sunday in bed?  Technically, on Sunday I think I spent most of it dozing in the recliner, but Friday?  Almost six o’clock before I dragged my butt out of bed, and I was back in again about time for the nightly news.  Glad to have lost a few ounces, but even more glad to be finally starting to feel decent again. 

















Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Boys Are Back


Well, it’s the first Tube Day Tuesday since the new season of White Collar premiered, so it’s really not much of a shocker what I want to talk about today, right?  Fair warning:  while not a full recap, there will definitely be spoilers ahead (though probably not much more than could have been deduced by promos).

We ended season four with our illustrious FBI agent, Peter Burke, arrested for murder.  It’s no surprise to anyone that he got out of jail, though I have to say I was surprised the whole incarceration was downplayed as much as it was.  Not that Peter behind bars was the point of the story, of course, just a way to put his partner, not-quite-reformed con man, Neal Caffrey, back on the wrong side of the law.  Still, I had expected it to take longer than fifteen minutes or so—maybe even a whole episode or more.  I’m really on the fence with how I feel about wrapping it up so quickly.  On the one hand, there really is no suspense, since we all know he can’t stay in jail forever and have the show continue.  And, of course, the longer the storyline focuses on the situation, the longer the viewer has to wonder just how likely it is that a highly respected federal agent would really be forced to remain in custody pending the grand jury.  Though, it was a murder charge, so certainly most people don’t get bail under such circumstances—and especially with such damning evidence—but if anyone was likely to get that exception, I’m pretty sure it would be Peter.  But on the other hand, I wouldn’t have minded seeing some of the stuff that was happening in the outside world while Peter was locked up, particularly what was happening with Neal and whoever his handler was for those six weeks.  hmm.  I wonder if there’s a fanfic hiding in there somewhere?

But, anyway, like I said, Peter was really only in such dire circumstances to give Neal an opportunity to be a bad boy again, even if it was all in the name of righting a serious wrong.  So Caffrey makes a deal with the devil—in the form of Curtis Hagen, the criminal Neal helped Peter catch in their very first case together—and the devil makes a well-placed call to get Peter sprung.  More important, though, is that the deal causes more problems for Neal than he anticipated, leading Peter to get just a little bit suspicious and Neal being asked to pay a price far higher than he had planned.

All of this puts White Collar squarely back where it shines the brightest:  Peter and Neal trying to maintain their unexpected friendship while wrestling with problems of honesty and trust.  And that dynamic will be amped up an extra level this season with Peter accepting a promotion out of the field, thereby putting someone new directly in charge of Neal, all while Neal is being forced into actions that will directly betray the bureau and its most recently promoted assistant special agent in charge. 

So, things have been nicely set up to get us through at least the first half of season five.  Whether this new set up lasts much longer than that remains to be seen, but, as always, I will count on the cast and crew at White Collar to keep coming up with fun and fascinating stories to tell, and I’m just going to sit back and enjoy the ride. 


Monday, October 21, 2013

Fun with Amazon


So, the other day, there were a couple of books Brian wanted to order from Amazon.  I’m the online shopper of the family, so he always sends me his wish lists and I go in and place the order.  Sometimes I can be strong and not buy anything for myself while I’m there, but often times I find something that strikes my fancy. 

Currently I’m wanting to purchase some sort of kitty condo type thing to put out on my porch for our cats.  As I’ve likely mentioned, our cats are barely a step away from being feral, but I still count them as my pets.  Or my friends, as I usually call them.  Still, the condos I liked were sort of expensive for something to buy on a whim, so I put that thought aside for a while.

Then I decided to browse around and see what Stephen King might have to offer these days.  I mean, it’s been at least a year—and maybe two—since I read 11/22/63, and since I’m pretty sure he puts out a book in about the time it takes me to need a haircut, so I figured surely there was something interesting to find.  And I was right; I selected something called Doctor Sleep, which seems to be a follow up of sorts to The Shining.  Should be interesting.

But, I’m actually more excited about finally picking up a copy of On Writing.  Part autobiography, part how-to guide, I’ve read excerpts from this book over the years and never failed to be just a little bit inspired.  Seriously, the man is prolific, and perennially successful, so, yeah, I’m interested in the tidbits he has to offer about the craft.  I’m very excited for it to arrive.

Oh, and I also picked up a copy of Strunk and White’s Elements of Style.  I am not nearly so excited about that, but my Little, Brown guide is hopelessly our of date and my capstone professor says Strunk and White is the official reference for the paralegal certification exam, so I guess it’s important. 

And, that’s how it goes.  I drop by Amazon to pick up two books for Brian and end up leaving with another three for myself.  And I still don’t have that kitty condo.

How’s your willpower when you visit Amazon?

Snapshot Sunday, Musical Edition


Have I mentioned before how much I really like Keith Urban?  If not, I have been remiss.  I’ve been listening to his music for . . . well, I don’t know how long, really.  Five years?  Ten?  A long time. 

Well, a quick check of Wikipedia tells me that the first song I really noticed from him (“Where the Blacktop Ends”) was released in 2001, and my favorite song ever from him (“Days Go By”) in 2004, so I guess a little longer than ten years that he’s been on my radar, and just under ten that I’ve been truly smitten.  So, yeah, a long time. 

Anyway, his Light the Fuse Tour came through OKC last night, so of course I had to be there.  That seemed like a much more sure thing back when I ordered my tickets this past spring, and even last week when I was looking so forward to it.  But by Friday, it was seeming less and less thrilling as I spent the day in bed fighting what I thought was maybe a weirdo migraine.  By Saturday morning (almost noon), when I woke up with gunk running out of my ear, I decided it was likely some sort of sinus problem and I probably should take myself to the doctor.  A quick visit to the walk-in clinic and a $100+ visit to the pharmacy later, I was back home and ready for a nap.

Still, I’d been looking forward to the show for months, not to mention spending seventy-five bucks a pop for the tickets, so there was no way I was missing out.  So after my nap, I loaded up on my expensive medications, stuffed my ears full of cotton balls, and donned a big pair of dark sunglasses, and I was ready.  I can’t say that it was the most fun I’ve ever had at a concert, but I can tell you I’m glad I went.  Mr. Urban puts on a great show—full of energy and fun to go along with the fantastic music—so it’s not really the sort of thing you want to miss out on.  Oh, and at our stop, he had opening acts of Dustin Lynch and Little Big Town, plus a surprise appearance by Miranda Lambert, so lots of bang for your buck. 

Of course, all that energy equals a lot of movement, which, when combined with concert lighting, crowds, and distance, makes it a little difficult to capture photographs of the moment.  This seems especially true when the photographer has to keep closing her eyes to avoid particularly painful direct lighting or strobe effects, but I did manage to get a few that turned out pretty decent, so I’ll share those.  And, if you’re a country fan, (though Brian says, “In what universe is that country music?”) keep an eye out for Keith’s tour in your neck of the woods; it really is an awesome show.

Keith Urban Collage  10-21-13


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Six Word Determination

Ear infection won't keep me away.

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Friday, October 18, 2013

Facebook Friday, October 18

Well, it's not really just on Facebook; it's been everywhere. But those guys that knocked over a rock formation that had been standing for millions of years really chap my hide. The Boy Scouts are also seemingly disgusted by the actions, but we'll see if they go so far as to kick the men out of scouting.

If you haven't heard about the story, you can read more about it at the link.

Bad Role Models

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Noteworthy Day


It’s been a nice day.  A quiet morning at work, then a quick lunch with the co-workers before we headed off to a seminar for the rest of the day.  I enjoyed the seminar, too, though I think some of my co-workers were less than impressed.  Still, as I noted on Facebook, it’s just one more reminder of the fact that I really am something of a nerd.  But, really, I was learning new stuff about a topic I’m interested in, and I was being paid to sit there and do it.  Oh, and I even won a $20 Target gift card.  Score.

Then, Brian had already eaten dinner before I got home, so I made a quick trip through the drive-through for dinner, and they even managed to get my order right, and that’s always a plus.

After dinner, BFF Kim called and we got to have a nice little chat, which we don’t get to do all that often these days because of our conflicting schedules. 

Finally, I hung up the phone just about three minutes before the season premiere of White Collar, so I had time to settle in and get comfy before Peter Burke and Neal Caffrey returned to my screen.  Oh, and it was a good episode, too.  A nice set-up for the drama we’ll see unfold over the season.

At the beginning of the year, I started a jar to hold notes that memorialize the good things that happen in life—you know, the little things that you might forget over time but that brought a smile to your face at the time.  I hate to admit that I’ve gotten away from taking the time to make those notes and drop into my jar, so it’s not nearly as full as it could be, but today is exactly the sort of day the jar was made for, and I’m going to make a note as soon as I finish this post. 

Really, the day was nothing spectacular; I didn’t win the lottery, get a big raise or a new car, didn’t even have any sort of grand adventure.  It’s the kind of day that will probably fade from memory before too much time has passed.  But that’s too bad, because it really was a nice day. 


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Weight Loss Wednesday, October 16


I’m never taking off my fitbit, even as discouraging as the results have been lately.  I know as soon as I quit wearing the thing every day, that will be the day that I admit I’m content with my current fitness level.  But I’m not.  Content, that is.  Really, I should take advantage of fall break and get myself back into the gym routine, but the fact is, I’m just going to enjoy a bit of a break.  Maybe I’ll try to drag myself out there Saturday.  I’m definitely ready to start feeling better, and there’s a big part of my that knows becoming more active could help with that.  But there’s also a big part of me that is just exhausted—physically, mentally, emotionally.  Hard to find much joy in a treadmill.  But maybe a couple of days of no classes after work (oh, and a White Collar season premiere!) will help me feel at least a little bit rested. 


















Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Television Tidbits


So, first on my chopping block this fall? Mom.  I watched two episodes, even though I really thought the first one was pretty weak.  The third one that was sitting on the DVR got deleted, along with the auto-record.  I’ve probably mentioned before that comedies are not my favorite, and I don’t know that I have a real good idea of what it is that makes one work for me, but it’s pretty easy to tell when one just isn’t going to click.  In this case, there was nothing subtle about the show—big, broad, loud characters, stupid one-liners, predictable situations and outcomes.  All pretty typical and over the top, which is almost always a deal-breaker for me.  (Almost always, but not always always, as we’ve currently got Two Broke Girls bucking tradition.  If you really break it down, there’s really nothing particularly good about that show, but it still makes me laugh.)

Homeland continues to be intense, intriguing, and satisfying.  I am often annoyed that cable programming gets so much more positive press than the network offerings, but there’s no denying that sometimes it’s just totally excellent.

This past weekend, I finally started watching some of this past season’s Covert Affairs (yes, I had the entire summer season still taking up space on my DVR), and I was disappointed to see a change in their opening.  Or, more accurately, a departure from their opening.  I used to really enjoy the opening sequence and thought it was really good looking and creative, but now it’s all gone.  Just a flash of the title and that’s all we get.  I have already bemoaned the passing of opening sequences, and now there’s even one fewer to enjoy.

Also this past weekend (long weekends are made for marathon television sessions), I caught up on another USA show, Graceland.  I was really excited about it when it premiered this summer, but I only managed to keep up with the first few episodes before my schedule just overwhelmed me.  So, I watched the rest of the season, and I found it to be pretty solid.  Brian thinks it’s too dark to be enjoyable, and there’s no doubt it’s a departure from the typical USA fare, but I still liked it.  But I do have one complaint (spoilers ahead):  The premise of the show is a newly minted fed is put into a group house filled with other undercover feds, but he’s put there to investigate one of the roomies.  We went through about the first half of the season not sure whether the one being investigated was actually a bad guy or just a good guy with his own peculiar set of rules.  Then, we found out he really was a bad guy, but still something of a good guy.  Then, we find out he’s even more broken than we knew, and for good reason, so we get a little bit of sympathy for him.  And, then, finally, he executes what seems to be the perfect cover-up of all his wrong-doings and suddenly everything is back to normal for him.  Which leaves me wondering, now that his “brokenness” has been addressed—and avenged to some degree—are we to believe that he’s done being a bad guy and he’s just going back to being the good old FBI agent he used to be?  Or, is he going to continue working both sides of the fence, forcing us to continue believing that a house full of top-notch federal agents, trained to recognize deception and criminal activity, can be continually kept in the dark about his double identity?  Either way, I’m likely to be annoyed.  I do have a lot of faith in the ability of creator Jeff Eastin to develop a great deal of mythology and character motivation, so I’m not giving up yet, but I’ve got some concerns.  We’ll see what the next season brings.

And, speaking of Jeff Eastin, the most important thing this week is that White Collar returns in just a couple of days.  In fact, 48 hours from now, I will likely be basking in the glow of the season premiere and settling in to watch the encore presentation before heading off to bed.  (Yes, I often watch it twice on the same night.)  The network has been blanketing social media with teasers for the upcoming premiere, but I’ve been strong and stayed away.  It’s been hard, because I’ve really missed spending time with Peter and Neal, but there have been so many snippets, I was afraid I’d feel like I’d already seen the whole episode and it wouldn’t be nearly as fun.  And, the best part?  It’s fall break at school, so I will be home to watch the premiere live.  Brian does not see the benefit of that, as it means putting up with commercials, but I am ecstatic about the scheduling.  I need to find one of those countdown clocks and keep track of the minutes. 

And I think that’s about it for this week.  But, like life, the great thing about TV is this week always rolls over into next week. 


Monday, October 14, 2013

In 1492, For Now, Still True


Columbus 10-14-13

  So, Columbus Day.  It’s not seen as quite the cause for celebration as it was when I was a kid—though you notice we’re not giving up the holiday.  I’m not all that old (though sometimes I feel it), but even when I was in elementary school, they taught us basic “facts” like everyone feared dear old Chris would fall right off the edge of the world if he sailed too far.  Now, the historians have proven that an awful lot of people back in those days had already figured out that they were living on a spherical surface. 

So, were our teachers lying to us back then?  Or, are revisionist liberals trying to destroy a great American?  In both cases, the answer is the same:  Probably not.

Let’s face it:  We learn new things every day, often causing us to re-evaluate things we already knew.  We can be honestly wrong, and we can correct those mistakes without harboring any animosity toward those who believed the original ideas.  That’s just the way it is with continually searching for truth rather than simply accepting the commonly held belief.  We have to relearn some things and move on.  I mean, heck, besides Columbus proving the earth was round, Pluto was a planet when I was a kid.  Who knows what to believe any more?


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Extra Time


I have to say that one of the unexpected perks of my job is an office that’s closed on all the federal holidays.  It’s sort of like extra time.  In my customer service life, I frequently didn’t even get all the major holidays off, much less things like tomorrow’s Columbus Day.  It’s nice to get a long weekend, and nicer still to have an extra day to spend hanging out with Brian.

Of course, it’s the very idea that we’re never open when the courthouse is closed that gives us a little bit of apprehension wondering what’s going to happen come Tuesday, when the judiciary apparently runs out of money and will have to make the decision about whether they’ll remain open through the remainder of the government shutdown.  We might find out the downside of that particular perk.

Still, Tuesday will come soon enough, and worrying about it isn’t going to change whatever might happen, so I think that I will just enjoy sleeping in an extra day, and maybe have a nice lunch with the hubs before I have to go off to class for the evening.  (Yeah, still have to go to school tomorrow, sad to say, but fall break happens later in the week, so only a couple of days of classes.)  Maybe we’ll even see if there’s a good matinee movie showing or something.  Have to make the extra time count. 


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Six Word Upset

Bad loss in big football rivalry. :-(

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Friday, October 11, 2013



You know that feeling, the one where your head is sort of thick, and your throat sort of scratchy and mucusy all at the same time?  Oh, and your stomach is just on the edge of queasy, your nose is almost runny, and your eyes hurt?  Yeah, that feeling. 

It’s a feeling that’s been going around our office lately, and I was hopeful I would escape it.  I sit here tonight thinking my luck may have run out. 











                                                   Image courtesy of marin at

Thursday, October 10, 2013

School Daze, Part 3


The first fall semester took some getting used to because everything was new. 

Then spring semester was 18 class hours of full-on craziness.

Summer semester was jam-packed with nine hours that I thought I might not get through.

And now this final semester, with only two classes, was supposed to be my easiest.  So why do I feel like I’m taking it all in from the outside, rather than actually taking part and absorbing it all?  Why is it pushing me harder than any of the semesters before, even though they were arguably “harder” in every objective sense?

Obviously, Granny’s passing has something to do with that.  And, I think the fact that those two classes couldn’t be scheduled on just two days plays a part.  I’m on campus four days a week, never home before eight, and often closer to nine, so I always feel like there’s no real time for homework or studying, and that I’m always running just a little bit behind, even though I spend almost every lunch hour doing school work.

And I had a mid-term tonight that I certainly didn’t feel prepared for.  Honestly, after the fact, I think I did okay—maybe even pulled out an A, though it will surely be far from acing it. 

Oh, and I’m not sure I’ve mentioned it, but I’m considering taking a couple of classes next semester, too, which I think also has something to do with why I haven’t just relaxed and gone with the flow.  I really do feel ready to be done with this chapter of life, but I’ve got scholarship money sitting in my account, ready to pay for two more classes.  It seems shameful to let it go to waste, when there is always something new and exciting to learn. 

Mostly, though, with everything combined, I’m just tiredI thought it would be such a simple semester, full of fun and excitement as I neared my graduation.  So far, it hasn’t really been that, but there’s still a couple more months to go.  I’m not giving up yet. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Weight Loss Wednesday, October 9


Wow.  Can you tell I did absolutely nothing last weekend?  Honestly, not much of anything all week long.  It’s been almost a month since I was at the gym, since the night before Granny died.  And, as an aside, I can’t believe that’s been almost a month, but that’s a whole other thought process.

Anyway, somewhere, somehow, I have to find the motivation to get back to doing what I know has to be done if I’m going to lose this weight.  I haven’t found it yet, but I’m praying the secret is out there.



















While browsing through the web today, I found a little tidbit of information that said that today is the anniversary of Friends 100th broadcast episode.  Airing way back in 1998, and simply called “The One Hundredth”, the episode was about Phoebe finally having her brother’s babies. 

I mentioned once before that for a program to reach syndication, there is some logic that holds that you need about a hundred episodes to make it profitable.  As time has rolled along, that number has been tweaked and isn’t really accurate now (if it ever was), but a program’s hundredth episode still gets quite a bit of commotion. 

Running across the blurb about Friends got me to thinking about one of my very favorite one hundredth episodes ever, and it comes from Criminal Minds.  (Spoilers ahead, if you can call something a “spoiler” when the episode in question first aired back in 2009.)

Their offering, called “100”, finally brought to an end* the saga of the Reaper, an “unsub” the team had been chasing for months, and that team leader Aaron Hotchner himself had first chased years earlier.   The Reaper was fixated on Hotch, taunting him, following him, almost killing him.  He was the reason Hotchner’s ex-wife and son had to go into witness protection, though the Reaper eventually outsmarted them and found Haley and Jack, ultimately killing Haley while Hotch was on the phone with her, both of them knowing the end was coming.  The entire Reaper storyline was well done—a feat that I’ll admit Criminal Minds does not always get right; sometimes their story arcs just annoy me—building tension and fear as he got closer and closer to trying to destroy Hotchner.   It wasn’t just Aaron who was on the phone when Haley died; the entire team was listening to those horrific final moments of her life, each of them dying just a little bit with her.  It’s one of the most emotional things I’ve ever seen on television, and still remains a high point for CM, even four seasons later.  I must have seen that show at least a dozen times, and I still bawl like a baby every time.  If you are even remotely interested in Criminal Minds and have not seen the Reaper story arc, do yourself a favor and hunt it down on Netflix or something.  “100” has to be experienced.

* Though Hotch killed the Reaper in “100”, there are reports that he shows up again early this season in a series of flashbacks; that should be interesting.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Anger Is . . .


Thanks to the Language is a Virus writing prompt generator for today’s topic:

Write 10 lines, each starting with the words, Anger is...

  1. Anger is hurtful, even to the angry one.
  2. Anger is healing, if you let it be.
  3. Anger is natural, but that doesn’t always make it right. 
  4. Anger is overwhelming and hard to manage.
  5. Anger is a hot in the gut, but cold in the heart.
  6. Anger is best in small doses.
  7. Anger is the first step to making up.
  8. Anger is uncomfortable. 
  9. Anger is insidious and sneaky.
  10. Anger is one of my least favorite feelings.  anger 10.7.13






Image courtesy of farconville at

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Taking Time


dinner 10-6-13

  My siblings and I—along with the families—got together this afternoon for lunch.  This year we’ve been trying to make it a monthly thing.  Like many families, we seemed to fall into the habit of getting together for holidays and birthdays and other special occasions, but not too often just to sit around and visit and catch up with each other.  So, we’ve set a date for the first Saturday of the month for lunch.  Sometimes circumstances have forced us to choose a different time—like today’s Sunday gathering—but we’ve been pretty good about keeping the monthly date.

Image courtesy of piyato at

Unfortunately, “for the most part” doesn’t mean always.  We missed last month.  And for myself, it’s a regret I will carry forever, since the first Saturday of September was the last Saturday my grandma was alive.  She always liked to get together with us all, even though it wasn’t really easy for her to get out anymore, and she couldn’t read the menu, or hear a lot of the conversations that were going on.  She still enjoyed being with us.  I will never be able to forget that if I hadn’t been too busy that day, we could’ve had one last family meal.  It’s the kind of regret I wouldn’t wish on anyone. 

So, I’m glad we found time today, even if we didn’t talk about anything more important than what actually constitutes science fiction, the surviving cast members of Gilligan’s Island, and the ever popular Mac-PC debate.  I think those are the sorts of conversations that real life is made of.  And since none of us ever really know just how much of that life we have left, it’s important we find the time for those who matter most.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Six Word Season

Looks like fall has truly arrived.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Facebook Friday, October 4


Okay, I’m going to try really hard not to fall asleep after I write this tonight, since apparently I am really bad about doing that!

Anyway, medication or not, I still know what I saw on Facebook this week that caught my attention:

Heartless B Word of a Daughter: Grandpa Pens Viral Letter Disowning His Daughter for Kicking Her Gay Son Out of the House


My first instinct was to simply cheer the grandfather for the support of the grandson, but it does occur to me that  the mother in this situation is being treated essentially as Chad was—totally dismissed by her parent simply for who she is.  Clearly, the circumstances are not really the same; as Dad points out, Christie could choose to be more open-minded and accepting, but the end result ends up essentially the same. 

And, of course, the cynic is me always wonders how such things make their way to the web, which has to make you question their authenticity just a little bit, especially when—typically speaking—the younger generation tends to be the more open-minded about social issues, so it’s unusual (at least in my experience) to see an older person ahead of the younger family member.  Still, if it’s even close to an accurate representation of drama going on in someone’s family, you have to be glad that Chad has someone in his corner.

ps:  I didn’t fall asleep tonight after writing, but during.  Stupid medicine!  But I am going to make sure I stay awake long enough to hit publish. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

A Pain in the Neck—and the Back


Seriously, here’s yet another problem with being doped up on pain pills and muscle relaxants every night: apparently you don’t notice when the blog post doesn’t actually post when you hit the button.  I suppose, in fairness, I’ve done that before, even without the drugs, but it usually hasn’t been almost twenty-four hours later before I noticed.

So, I’m thinking about making an appointment with a chiropractor. 

I’ve been taking an assortment of pills for the past two weeks, but my back still hurts.  Every day it feels a little better in the morning (after a night of being practically comatose from drugs), but every night, by the time it’s time to pop those pills and fall into bed, it’s hurting pretty badly again.  I can’t imagine that’s normal.

So, I’ve been reading around looking for reasons, but that hasn’t been particularly helpful (if no one’s ever told you, the Internet is really not the place for those given to hypochondria; it’ll turn your headache into a brain tumor in a matter of seconds).  But, one thing that keeps popping up, and something that some people I actually know concur with, is sciatica. 

Well, let me say first that I sort of always thought that was just something that plagued old people from the old neighborhood.  I mean, is there anything more stereotypical?  But, as I keep realizing over and over again, I really am getting older every day.

At any rate, back to the chiropractor.  With the symptoms I have, some sort of manipulation—stretching, exercise, chiropractic—seems to be one of the primary means of relief.  So that’s what I’m considering.  But I have to admit, chiropractors sort of get a bad rap.  “Not real doctors”, “quacks”—I’m sure you’ve heard it.  I’ve never been, so I can’t judge, and I know just about equal numbers of people on both sides of the argument.  But, I have to wonder if the “real” doctors aren’t just about equally quackish, when they think it’s reasonable to ask someone to stay doped up just to be pain free.  My meds say to take every 4-6 hours as needed for pain, even though it takes a good eight or nine hours for me to feel normal again after I take them.  Though, in truth, if it weren’t for that pesky job and the inconvenient classes, I probably would take the meds all day long and just stay asleep.  Constant medication would seem reasonable if I didn’t have to function.  Or, if I was one of those people who is not quite so susceptible, and could function while on the medication, even if in a slightly impaired fashion.  Yeah, that doesn’t strike me as a slam-dunk decision that the “real” doctors have all that much of an advantage.  So maybe it really is time to try out a different sort of quack. 

What about you?  Have you had any experience with chiropractors?  Good or bad?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Weight Loss Wednesday, October 2


Suffice it to say that I’m disappointed with myself, but not sure I’m disappointed enough to drag myself out of the quagmire in which I seem to be stuck.  Hard to say.  But I do have a vacation coming up in a few months, and I’d like to be a few pounds lighter by then.  Maybe that will be motivation enough.  Only time will tell.

















Tuesday, October 1, 2013

I’d Rather Be Watching Television


Timely as ever, David Letterman is poking fun at the government shut down, the ACA website crashing, and national parks being closed to tourists.  It would probably be funny if it wasn’t so annoying.  And the furloughs are already becoming a pain here at my household.  Brian would normally be sleeping right now, and I would finally have been able to see last week’s premiere episodes of Big Bang Theory.  Instead, he’s trying to file a claim for unemployment (which no one can tell me if he’s actually eligible for), and raising both our blood pressures fighting with the damn website.  So, I managed to play the whole first BBT episode, though I certainly didn’t get to give it my full attention.  And by the time the second ep had started I finally had to give up and turn it off.  It’s bad enough this whole political debacle is messing with our livelihood; when it starts messing with my TV, that’s really taking things too far.