Friday, August 29, 2008


August in NY has been a strange one. For a couple of weeks, we were having lots of cloudy days. But not just any clouds, big, overlapping clouds: white clouds covered with gray clouds. If that wasn't odd enough, we were only in the 70s. Usually we are around 90 and about 90% humidity with no rain. I'm surprised I didn't get into an accident every day as I was always looking to the sky when I was driving to or from work. I tried to capture some of them as best I could with my little Kodak camera.

I think this is my favorite one.

I really loved the edges and the contrast between the white and grey...

Peekaboo sun...

What does this look like to you?...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I think loneliness is an infectious disease. Passed from person to person the same way a yawn travels...insiduously.

I haven't read the Time Traveler's Wife yet. It's one my big list of books to read someday. Nicki's review leaves me optimstic that I might like it. A friend of mine recently sent me a box of "chic lit" books that she was done with. Not normally my preferred reading material, but they go quickly. In one week I've read four and a half. (After working to exhaustion, I'm too brain-dead to make conversation so I read. It's better than going to bed just to wake up right away to go back to work).

I've read: Talking to Addison by Jenny Colgan - It was ok. I kept skipping ahead because I got impatient with the main character. And it was a little too simple to see how things would end. If you're going to make it obvious how it's going to end, you should at least make the trip getting there enjoyable.

Spin Cycle by Sue Margolis - silly book about affairs and the washing machine man. Probably what most people call a "beach read"

Diary of a Mad Bride by Laura Wolf - I never want to get married (again) and have to plan a real wedding. Holy shit. I got a headache just reading about the fictional planning of one.

London Holiday by Richard Peck - I liked this one. Even though I could kind of tell what was going to happen, the characters are likeable and I was actually caught by surprised by something that happened at the end. I kind of feel foolish I missed it. But, props to author for that one.

Almost finished with High Maintenance by Jennifer Belle - Interesting main character but I'm getting annoyed with the douchebag boyfriend and I'm waiting for the shoe to drop. As I get more annoyed I read faster (re: skim) so I can hurry up and get to the end.

It's rare for me to Not finished a book, even if I don't like it. The only time in recent memory I have done that is with Anna Kourina (I know prolly mispelled that). Damn if I didn't try hard to like the highly praised "classic" but my god was it a total bore. And such a wordy bore! I gave up after 100 pages. Classic my ass.


I always feel like I accomplish a monsterous feat when I finish a book. I finished The Time Traveler's Wife last week and it was fantastic. It is one of the best books I have read in a while. It is a great mix of sci-fi (the time traveling portion), romance (the continuous love story), comedy, and tragedy. I highly recommend it. It is over 500 pages long, but it goes by fast since I found it hard to put down. They have made it into a movie starring Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams due out around Christmas.
My next book, which I'm about 35 pages into is Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk. Chuck is in my top five of authors. I am anxiously awaiting the film adaptation of Choke to come out next month. If you like things on the more dark and sinister side, I highly recommend checking him out.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Deer Hunter

I have finally finished and posted by piece on The Deer Hunter project I did with my father. Check it out here and let me know what you think!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Gimmie More Arm Baby

I suppose there may be many women (and men, I guess) wondering what it'd be like to be held by olympian Michael Phelps. Well I'll tell you what it feels like. It's a lot of arm. At least, that's according to my dream. I was laying in bed and Michael Phelps was holding me. And I remember thinking, "so this is what it's like to be held by Michael Phelps".

And now you know too. A lot of arm.

I've been working ALOT this past three weeks and it seems like even my dream life is taking a toll. I should have had a crazy sexy dream about doing it with Phelps in the Olympic pool as cameras rolled and people cheered and then crowned with his eight gold medals when it was all said and done with. But instead? We cuddle.

Doesn't seem fair. Damn you dreaming brain. Give me something better next time.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Last night's Project Runway was one of the best of the series. This week the designers had to create a look for drag queens. What's up awesome! It was one of the best runway shows yet. However, the more I watch this season, the more I can't wait for Blayne and Suede to get the axe. My favorite looks came from Terri and Leanne, but Joe's was also really well done. I highly recommend catching the rerun if you didn't get to see it last night. Tim Gunn's blog has all of the pictures from the show: Good Queen Fun.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Fur babies

I have mentioned my son a couple of times, but we also have three other children, they just happened to be covered in fur. Our biggest one is Logan. He is our six year old Rottie, weighing in at 140 pounds. He is really a big baby once you meet him, but he has that Rottie presence which sends people walking by our house to the other side of the street. Which always makes us laugh ;)

He had a couple of weeks of transition when we brought Dominick home, but now they are very much pals...

The ever protectful guardian...

Finally someone to romp in the snow with...

Lots of hugs on a daily basis...

Our other critters are cats: Charlie and Mystique. We are pretty dorky in that we have managed to name our pets after X-Men characters, and not by accident. My husband is very into comic books and X-Men is one of his favorites. Logan = Wolverine, Charlie = Charles Xavier aka Professor X, and Mystique is well... Mystique.

Before we got Mystique, we had Buffy. She was my first kitty and she was the first pet I had after I moved out my parents' house. I still miss her and it has been two years since we lost her to cancer.

The animals have always gotten along... more or less. The cats, in their true nature, love to torment poor Logan. He's big, so he doesn't move so fast, so they use that to their advantage. But, in his older age, I have caught him and Mystique snuggling up together. Some day I will be able to snag a picture of it. We have come to the conclusion that there will always be some four-legged critter wandering our house, and there will probably be more than one of them.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Crossing blogs

If you haven't noticed in our little blog roll, I contribute to another blog called Band of Outsiders. It is a movie blog with a couple of friends through work where we review movies, post and comment about trailers, and any other movies news/gossip/etc. Our head hancho gave the site a huge overhaul this weekend and it looks fantastic (the link is coming, hold on). Yesterday I was finally able to partake in a little project I have been wanting to do for a few months. My father is a Vietnam Vet and I had never seen The Deer Hunter so I asked him if he would be up for a little Q&A and then viewing of the movie. After a trip to Applebee's, we hunkered down for three hours and hashed it out. Most of this idea stems from an article I read in Vanity Fair about Vietnam war movies, mainly Coming Home and Deer Hunter. It's a long, but very interesting article that you can read here. I have about three pages of notes to compile into one cohesive piece, but I am determined to get it done by the end of the week. I will post here when I am done, but for the meantime, check us out over on BoO and let us know what you think!
Band of Outsiders

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Awkward Timing

The timing of this storm is annoying for me, as we have certain deadlines we have to meet at work this week, and if we miss a whole day of work, it throws a huge monkey wrench in things. And now that I've just been promoted, I'm going to be running around with my head cut off tomorrow, making phone calls galore, trying to schedule everything. AUGH! I'm trying not to stress. But enough of that.

I am participating in my first football fantasy draft this year. I had to pick 3 NFL winners and 1 loser, and 4 college winners and 1 loser. Along with 19 other people, so that meant options got pretty limited pretty quickly. I did absolutely no studying up on it, I just made my picks based on whimsy. Well, that's not totally true. I do know more than I let on...but I'll never let them know that. For example, my first NFL winner pick was the Colts. Because I love Peyton Manning (he's such a nerd athelete and I so admire that). Then I picked Green Bay because I feel like they're going to have a burning desire to win and show that they don't NEED Brett Favre. "Favre? Favre who?" I was tempted to pick the Bills as my loser (sorry Brad!) but then figured with my luck, they'd have a good year. I don't expect to win or even place very high. I think my strategy was just to try not to come in dead last. Time will tell.

Haven't started my new short story yet. Surprise surprise. Maybe if I have a hurricane day I'll have some time to do so. Otherwise, it'll be another long long week of work. Oh, I guess I have a birthday this week, but I don't know if I'll have time to celebrate it in any way. Ho hum.


I am sitting on our couch on this sunny Sunday morning watching Sesame Street with Dominick when I happen to look at the screen and what should my wandering eyes see? Neil Patrick Harris with a funky light whitish grey suit on and.... wings. A tie that looks a lot like those curley cue ribbons you buy to put on presents, and he is singing about shoes. Using his magic shoe horn (aka a trumpet), he gave Sully green sneakers with yellow stripes. Neil continues to crack me up. I have only seen the Act I of Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog, but it cracked me up beyond control. I also have a very soft spot for Nathan Fillion...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A day to myself

I am on vacation from work this week, but instead of going anywhere, I have been doing things around the house and hanging out with my little guy and my parents. Today, however, was a day just for me. I dropped off the little guy at the sitter and headed off to an appointment. From there, I wandered around Borders for a half hour before deciding on what to get to use up a coupon I had. They are having a pretty decent $8 DVD sale, so I picked up Lars and the Real Girl and the unrated version of Serentiy. I saw Requiem for a Dream for $7. What a deal, but damn, there is no way I can sit through that movie again. From the buy one get one half of table I picked up The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and The Yiddish Policeman's Union. I am anxious to start to read both, but I am fully engulfed in The Time Traveler's Wife, so I will have to hold off. From there, I headed over to the theater and watched The Dark Knight for the second time. There were five other people in the theaters besides me and it was great. Large soda and pretzel nuggets in hand, a hunkered down for another viewing of my favorite movie so far this summer. And it was just as awesome the second time around. I still could've sat through another viewing and want to see the next movie already.

You can check out my review of it here. Keep your eye on the site as we are working on an overhaul of the layout and I think you'll like it. It sucks that my vacation is already winding down, but it has been a great and very much needed break from the grind. Tonight, I will hopefully finish up season one of Mad Men and watch the new Burn Notice.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The music of my life

I come from a fairly musical family, mainly my mom. She has played guitar since college. Her main musical outlet was playing in the church choir and playing and singing around the house. I remember going to her favorite guitar store, Stutzman's, to pick up or buy a new guitar. For quite some time, she had three guitars: a regular six string, a classical, and a 12-string. I tried teaching myself how to play, but didn't have the patience. When my mom wasn't playing or singing, she was playing her favorite albums: Neil Diamond, Jesus Christ Superstar, John Denver, just to name a few. I will always have a special place in my heart for Neil as I remember singing along to his songs with my mom on many occasions.

My father on the other hand, was all about the motown: The Four Tops, The Temptations, Aretha, and anything else from that era. It didn't take long for me to share in my dad's love for this music. We would also sing along to any of the song that came on the radio. There were no Butterfly Kisses at my wedding, it was My Girl all the way. From each of my parents, there is a certain genre of music that I have a deep fondness and love for.

For my brother and I, we picked up on all of these influences and turned them into our own. My brother picked up the bass and mastered that. Later, he also took to playing the drums. His music taste went from rock and roll, to heavy metal, to death metal. My love of metal came right from him. I think I was the only kid in elementary school wearing an Anthrax shirt (thanks to my brother). We listened to new music together and stayed up late on Saturday nights to watch Headbanger's Ball and record our favorite videos. For most of my life, my ears were filled with Scott Ian's guitar, James Hetfield's voice, Cliff Burton's bass, and Vinnie Paul's drums.

When I reached fifth grade, we had the choice to learn how to play an instrument. I managed to pick the least feminine instrument a girl could play: the trumpet. But, I loved it. I dare say, I was kinda good at it. Even though I received countless dirty looks on the bus when I had to sit with someone, band was worth it. We had fun at practices, concerts, and getting for our NYSSMA solos. I learned how to read music, how each instrument was crucial to one piece of music, and developed my appreciation for jazz (thanks to Mr. Rowe in elementary school). But, once the high school years came around, my interest in playing took a hard hit. After a fight with my parents and then with my band teacher, I packed away my trumpet and started the four most miserable years of my life.

I was still a metal head, thought I opted for jeans and a band shirt instead of the 80s/early 90s metal chick attire of skin tight jeans, a tattered t-shirt worn off the shoulder, sneakers, and over-processed hair. The grunge scene started up and I fell into the Soundgarden/Alice in Chains group. A bit more hard and noisy than Pearl Jam or Nirvana. I went to a lot of concerts in high school: Ozzy, Metallica, Aerosmith, Soundgarden, Megadeth, Biohazard/Sepulture/Panters (free tickets and backstage passes made this one of the best concerts I've ever been too), among many other club shows I can't remember.

Always sticking to my metal roots, bands like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beastie Boys (though I always liked them growing up), Weezer, and Nine Inch Nails were catching my attention. A different kind of noise and a different kind of rock. NIN made its way into my regular cd rotation and I traveled to Buffalo to see them live for the first time. Almost getting crushed during March of the Pigs aside, it was one of the best best concerts I've been to. There has always been something in the way Trent wrote and composed his music that reached a part of me that no other music has. Struggling with my inner demons, NIN has given me an outlet like nothing else.

Many years later, in a new age bracket (plus being a wife and mom), NIN is still my number one. My iPod has every release they've done and barely has room for much else. Nowadays, I have strayed from the mainstream and have started delving more into indie music. Along with NIN, my iPod contains, just to list a few: Lacuna Coil, Jane's Addiction, The Twilight Singers, She & Him, Saul Williams, The Sounds, Reel Big Fish, and the most recent addition of Spiritualized. I saw NIN for the second time about two and a half years ago, right on my birthday. I hadn't realized it until Trent addressed the crowd, but it had been 10 years since they had been in western NY. NIN was just as good, if not better, than the first time I saw them. I took my usual concert stance: close to the stage, off to the side leaning against the barricade, singing/yelling along, and letting every single beat wash over me. It had been since that NIN show that I'd seen a band live when my friend Jason asked if I wanted to go see his favorite band in Buffalo, Spiritualized. It was just as good as either NIN show I had been to, and on a much smaller scale. I can very much see why they are Trent's favorite band, as they are creeping up into my current top five.

Where is all of this going? I don't know. I had been thinking about all of this as I was painting our bedroom and watching/listening to Beside You in Time. Yup, I will probably be 50 years old, still blasting my car radio and rocking out while the kids in the next car over laugh and say, "Ha ha, nice try grandma!" And I will smile and say, "You don't even know."

Fuzzy Wuzzy Was A Bunny

I currently count 3 different marsh rabbits that like to come out from the water preserve to nibble in the grasses for breakfast and dinner. Marsh rabbits aren't as cute as your stereotypical cottontails, but they can walk on their hindfeet and they swim very well.

It makes me wonder just how much these rabbits swim, because after a good afternoon rainstorm, that marshy area gets pretty darn flooded.

The ones in the backyard don't spook to easily. Though they will pay very close attention to you if you happen to be stalking them with a camera...

So they are kind of cute, but I prefer my snugglebunnies...all five of them. I'll post proud parent pics of them soon enough. Though it can be awfully tiring cleaning their litter boxes and cages...every two to three days. I'm a slave to bunny poop!

In other news, I had a wicked wicked dream the other night and I'm totally inspired to write a short story based on it. If I do, I mean, when I do, it'll be the first piece of fiction I've written in at least five years. I can't wait. Hopefully I will get a chance to start writing it this weekend....

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Attempting to grow a green thumb

This year I decided to give gardening a whirl. I've always liked flowers, but I just never had a desire to sweat like crazy to weed and keep things looking pretty. With some help from my in-laws, who have green hands, not just green thumbs, I have a rather colorful area around our front porch. The marigolds that they planted have taken over the joint...

This isn't the best shot, but the Snapdragons are growing nice and tall and making their presence known...

What I am really proud of are the two containers I have packed with Zinnias...

Every time I walk out the front door and see them, I feel like I have accomplished something. Hopefully I can continue the green thumb trend from here on out. It's funny to go down to Florida where everything is so much more tropical (big leaves, lots and lots of green) from up here in NY where everything is colorful and more... small.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Hello Mr. Frog

I've lived in SW Florida for...five years now. I miss certain things about living up north, but I have to admit I've started to become fascinated with the bugs (eeewwww and icky!), birds, wildlife and plants that you can find around here. It's such a variety! And where I live now (I've lived in a different town each year I've been here), there is a marshy area behind the back yard, and that really steps up what kind of...things...I might see.

Like this little green treefrog on my front door. My Audubon guide to Florida (which I bought three years ago to take with me when I kayaked) tells me that: these guys are only about 2 inches long, feed on branches and windows, are great leapers, and often sing in chorus at different pitches. Think they argue over who gets to sing soprano that night? I hear these guys all the time, singing out back in that marshy area. After a good rain, they are LOUD.

Coming home late last night, I almost stepped on another frog or toad in the driveway. I took a pic with my cell phone, but it came out really dark. He was kind of big and ugly, so my guess, per my guide book, is a giant toad. Glad I didn't touch him...the guide says he's toxic if eaten by animals and the skin secretions can inflame human eyes.


Welcome to a different kind of project

Hey there! Welcome to a different kind of project. This blog is a bit of a brainstorm between myself, Nicki, and my nearest and dearest friend, Mary. The main difference is that I live in Upstate New York and Mary lives in Florida. We are very similar, and also very different, but one thing that always brings us together is our desire to be creative. This blog is going to be a place where we can play with that creativity and discuss whatever is happening in our ends of the country. So we hope you like it and that you'll come back often! Here we are...