Friday, February 29, 2008

What's new on my iPod?

I'm giddy whenever I add something new to my iPod. There is no doubt that music is an integral part of my existence. I prefer a new playlist over a new pair of shoes. And I love shoe shopping. What makes music so different is that it never wears out. My feet never get sore with a new CD. I have never had blisters as a result of building a new mix for the iPod.
Some of the playlists consist of new artists I stumble upon via myspace, but more likely from Sean Daly's Pop Life blog. I have shamelessly downloaded more music since becoming a comment regular. When it comes to the timeless tunes of my youth, I rely upon Steve Spears' Stuck in the 80s and his blog/podcast devotees for song suggestions.
Recently, I was racking my brain for songs that are great, but put on the shelf and in need of a good dust bunny removal. This was due to a blog post by Spears. I was asking a friend his suggestions for such a list when it hit me who needed to be on that list: Joan Armatrading.
I recalled one of the first times I heard Armatrading's songs. I was visiting my brother at Eastern Illinois University. It had to be 1985. We were watching television and he exclaimed, "Joan Armatrading!" I've always thought women who played guitars were seriously cool. That is, women who weren't sporting Spandex and only using the guitar as a sexual symbol. Armatrading exuded cool to me. However, being a new waver, I just let the notion of her music pass me by. She was the woman who Tracy Chapman hoped she would be. This is, by no means, a hit to Chapman. She's great, too. However, in a side by side/song by song showdown Joan would win by more than a nose.
Last night I plugged her name into the music search on iTunes. Up came a bevvy of available music. I opted for her Gold album. It's awesome. If it was on cassette, I'd have it warped and worn out by the Ides of March. There are 43 tracks on this 'double' set. Get it. You need it. If not all of it, I recommend these gems: Me, Myself, I; I Love it When You Call Me Names; Love and Affection; Drop the Pilot; Willow; A Woman in Love. Oh hell, just download all of it. You can't go wrong.
As I typically do when I download music, I go on a video search on youtube. Scads of visuals of the divine Joan. This particular song made me think of a friend. His relationship with his significant other leaves me questioning what the hell is wrong with people. She verbally assaults him at every turn, but he's held on with high hopes that it will change. What was once a sturdy rope of hope is now a thin thread of silly string. I dedicate this video to him. Dorkus, it will get better. You know what ya gotta do.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Leather and the Suedes

The other night -- while talking with a friend -- I inexplicably began talking about Leather Tuscadero of Happy Days. The singer/songwriter Suzi Quatro portrayed the leather clad, reform school bad-ass, sister of Pinky Tuscadero. Pinky, of course, was one of the few women who truly made Fonzie's heart go pitter patter. This discussion led me to a search on youtube.com(duh). I found plenty of delightful gems featuring the Happy Days gang.



Suzi Quatro only appeared on six episodes of Happy Days, but she left an indelible mark on young men and aspiring rock chicks in the late 70s. My girl friends and I would emulate her trademark double slap to the hip followed by a double 'finger/thumb' gun shoot motion. You know the one. She wore leather. She played guitar. She sang with a raspy voice. We loved her.

Her only hit in the US was Stumblin' In with Chris Norman. Despite her lack of success in the states, she's a big hit abroad and still rockin' at 57. She is, without a doubt, still slinking about on stage with those leather pants, too. According to her official website, she's been on a book reading tour of her autobiography Unzipped.
So, without further delay, I give you one of the memorable performances of Leather on Happy Days.


Caterwaulin' extreme ~ American Idol 7 Ladies Night part deux

I just spent the good part of a half hour watching the videos of the ladies' performances. Last night reminded me of the time I went to the Humane Society kitty shelter. Like nails on a chalkboard; the ladies took the stage and kept the momentum of the guys started on Tuesday.

I will say that Carly Smithson did a really great rendition of Crazy On You made famous by Heart. That's a tough one to tackle since Ann and Nancy Wilson seriously rock it. When an artist takes on Heart, they are asking for comparison. The only problem with Carly's performance is not working the stage. It's small. There shouldn't be such an issue. In fact, none of the ladies are comfortable working the stage or the audience.






This woman just scares me. It seems that her range is all of 5 notes. Then, the hoarse squawking begins. I saw this and immediately started singing the song from 101 Dalmatians. 'Cruella DeVille. Cruella DeVille. If she doesn't scare you then no evil will.."
She's pushing to a point of being way off key. I'm expecting to see a loogie shoot out. And what's with the spasms? It just isn't working for me. Sean, she didn't get the digi-pyro. She got the green funk treatment.
I apologize for not being able to give a blow by blow run down on the videos I watched this morning. I don't have the time or inclination. I haven't eaten and the dry heaves aren't appealing at this point in time.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Where the boys are ~ American Idol 7 ~ Weak 2



That's not a typo you see in the post title. I meant it wholeheartedly. W E A K! I wanted my favorite men/boys to be stellar! Fantastic! Knock it out of the park fabulous! Meh. That's what I say.

Michael Johns aka Love Kangaroo was up first and he just didn't rock it or sock it. Did he look great? Hell yeah. In his pre-perfomance video he told us how he loves tennis. I love his tennis legs. Mmm mmm. However hot his appearance may be, his performance was just shy of glorious. He performed Fleetwood Mac's Go Your Own Way. It was alright. He's capable of so much more. He stated that he'd always wanted to do a Fleetwood Mac song and that's why he made the song choice (The judges questioned his judgement). Being that it was 70s night, I would have loved to hear him rock a Queen tune.

Next up was my darling dreadlocked Jason Castro. I am really hoping he had enough appeal and fan base from last week to carry him into next week. The kid is adorable and truly has talent. I just think he got lost in the Andy Gibb song, I Just Want To Be Your Everything. It's not a bad song, but it was bland. Once again, he stood behind the protection of the mic stand and guitar. What works one week, might leave the performance limp in another week. I don't know that anyone will be racing to iTunes to download him this week ... iTunes might see a slump in downloads.

Some guy performed third. Oh, Luke Menard. For a guy who sings in an a capella group, he sure falls flat in tone and clarity. He hurt my ears, the cats exploded when he sang Killer Queen by Queen. Sorry homies, I can't get behind a guy just because his family is from Kankakee. He's cute, but looks won't carry this fella.

Robbie Carrico: As my blog buddy Bassnote calls him, Axel Poser. This guy is about as 'rocker' as I am anorexic. Egads! Wash the hair, Robbie! Or stop running hair paste through it make it look like you're disheveled. It's not helping your campaign to be the rocker-dude on the show. Hot Blooded? Try tepid. Next! I hope you're outta here.

Danny Noriega seriously just needs to be straight with us and fess up that he's really a girl trying to be a boy (Hollywood scenario). He's cute, but if 13 year old girls are voting for him for the attraction factor, they are WAY off base. He sang a goofy, over-vibratoesque rendition of Superstar by The Carpenters. Bad song choice? Bad hair-do? Bad.

He wore tights as a kid. He could do back handsprings with a twist. Yes, it's David Hernandez. He would have impressed me more had he done one of his tumbling stunts down the steps and stuck the landing just as he broke into song. He didn't do terribly, but I have no recollection of what song he sang. I just know he didn't make the cat explode.

Jason Yeager needs to stop the cheeeeezy grinning. Dude! This is American Idol, not a Pepsodent audition. You're not singing to grannies in gold lame' sneakers on a cruise ship. Please, oh please! I implore you to watch yourself on video. If you don't make yourself vomit a little in your mouth, then I don't know what to say. You might be able to sing well, but I can't get past goofy grinning. It's buggin' me out and you're probably going bye bye tomorrow night.

When you can drop your last name, you must be fantastic, right? Chikezie claims he did it just to make it EZ (pun there) on pronouncing his name. Whatever. You managed to rock the house with your voice. I just can't figure out what you were thinking with the doubled up polo shirts and jeans. Last week he looked like he was a right out of I'm Gonna Git You Sucka and this week he looked like wannabe frat guy. Sean Daly suggested he not wear such shirts as it displays his man-boobs. I prefer moobs. I prefer they be strapped down, kept under wraps.

He hauled out his electric guitar. I don't know the brand. Randy made some remark about it. David Cook seemed to be attempting to steal role of token rocker dude from Robbie. What the hell did he sing? I don't know. It's not important. I didn't vote for him. He back talked Simon and was scolded for his remarks. I'm certain he watched his future flash before his eyes. He's a word-nerd. That much I do recall. Dig it! I do crosswords. I can see promotional t-shirts in the making, "Real Rockers do it across and down " You saw it here first.

The highly coveted pimp spot went to the boy who has wormed his way into my heart. My maternal instincts are kicked into overdrive when David Archuleta came out to sing John Lennon's Imagine. That's a mighty hefty undertaking. His vocals were strong and clear. He probably gave THE best performance of the night. I would have selected a different arrangement. My suggestion for such a high calibre song is keep it simple: You and an accoustic guitar. Let your vocals and emotional message do the accompaniment. End of story.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Randomosity

There's no doubt that my blog has no format. I'm all about being random. That's the one thing you can count on with me; randomosity. I don't even know if that is a legitimate word. I am adding it to my repertoire of blog labels. I have a feeling it will be used quite frequently.

Today's subject matter is another insight into the mind and life of Marissa. Once again, I lifted this from Jane's blog. She's clever, what can I say? I'm drawn to the manner in which she indulges and divulges.




Here's a short questionnaire:




By what nickname(s) were you known as a child?


Most commonly: Missy -- only family and close friends are permitted to still call me that. Rissie: I think only my Dad used that name. Snaggletooth and Sarah Heartburn: Painful reminders of torment inflicted upon me by my siblings. Snaggletooth came from me having a chipped front tooth. I slipped on the steps during a pillow fight with my brother. Thank God it was a baby tooth and the dentist eventually yanked that sucker out. Sarah Heartburn was due to me crying easily ... and being kind of dramatic.




Do you have a favorite poem and, if so, what is it? Recite it (or a snippet) here:


"There once was a man from Nantucket, Whose ..." Kidding! Although, if I give it some thought I'd be able to complete the limerick.


Sincerely, I love this passage from The Book of Ruth. It was sung at my wedding, and it applies to many facets of life regarding those I love.


"For wherever you go, I will go; wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried."




What is your greatest regret in life, something that you failed to do that you wish you did?


I wish I would have moved to California when my close friend Tommy moved out there to go to school. I can't imagine how my life would be different had I just thrown caution to the wind and left the safe yet miserable comforts of home. If I could go back and do it all again, but it would mean having to give up the Man-cub, I'd give a resounding hell no! I love motherhood.




You are tired and hungry, but it's too late to cook. If any snack food were available to you, what would you choose and why?


Popcorn. It's salty, crunchy and satisfying. Not to mention easy to make!




What is the oldest item of clothing (not jewelry!) that you wear
regularly and what do you love about it?


A black, cable knit sweater. It's full of pilling; it's nappy but warm and snuggly. It's about 5 yrs old. Even older than that is a pair of slip on black shoes. Eight years old and going strong. The low wedge heel is worn, but those are my go-to shoes.

Winter-f@%&inWonderland UGH!

This is what it looks like from my front door. Yes, that's snow. When I went to bed last night it was a mere dusting of the dreaded white stuff. We've had a great deal more this winter than in the past few years. It's great -- for penguins and polar bears. It's not idealistic for this girl. What makes it worse is that the DOT got out there and started cleaning the crap up early. NO flippin' snow day! C'mon! This is the stuff snowmen and snow forts are all about. It's wet snow; packing snow. It wouldn't matter to me, mind you. I'd still have to work. The mall never closes; therefore, my place of employment would still be open.






This is the view from the back door. It's all around me! I can't get away from it. I had hoped I simply dreamed about being stuck in the white muck, but I'd wake up in a warm climate. Nope, that would be a dream. This is a nightmare. I have to brave it and drive later this morning. The wind is picking up and drifts are developing. No matter. I still have to get out there and battle the idiots who drive as if they are on dry pavement. Clowns to the left of me; jokers to the right. Here I am. Stuck in a snow drift with you!




Notice how the weight of the snow pulls down the branches of the evergreen tree. Lovely, isn't it? You should see what it's doing to power lines. I'd capture a picture of those, but that would require dressing like Nanuk of the North. I've had one cup of coffee. That ain't happening, my friends.

My co-workers tend to giggle and snark when I walk in bundled up from head to toe. I wear the goofy hat that flattens my hair. I wrap a scarf around my neck and face. I wear extra layers. I protect myself from the elements. I also don't care. Should anything happen, say my car stalls out or I end up in a ditch -- I will be warmer than the dingbats who dress as if they live in sunny Cal-i-forn-I-A!
Clark has posted pictures on his blog of public declarations of love on public property. Go to his page to see the ultimate in such expressions. I suggested how romantic it would be for someone to write "I *heart* ::insert name of choice" in the snow. I might walk around the neighborhood to see if any such snowrigliphics exist. Wait! That means going into the cold, harsh winter with which I am so disenchanted. The wind is causing the trees to shake and shimmy like a go-go dancer on speed. No thanks! Declarations of love be damned.

Monday, February 25, 2008

seX-Files

So, I took another one of those goofy quizzes. The chicken is cooking and I have time to kill while I contemplate making a delicious margarita. The result of this quizaroo is far more appealing than the one down below.

Boyfriend ala television

I can't believe everything an online quiz tells me. However, this was amusing. The guy is sorta cute. I'd prefer a Jim Belushi type, but what the hell do I know? I only took the quiz. Surely it wouldn't be biased to characters on NBC, would it? I swiped this quiz from Jane's blog. Her results were the goofy guy from The Office. I should be delighted that it wasn't the character played by Rainn whatshiface.
Burly, sarcastic, witty and intelligent; is it too much to ask? Oh well, here are my results.

He's shtooping Ben Affleck

I wouldn't normally post something that is horrifically crass in nature, but this had me giggling this morning. I'm also running late, but felt this was campy and hilarious enough to risk racing the clock.
There's a star-studded cast that comes together in celebration as they did for USA for Africa. Sit back, be astounded and keep the liquids away from your mouth until it's complete.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Bill Murray is my boyfriend

So, Bill Murray isn't really my boyfriend, but there were often times I fantasized he was. The span of my crush on Mr. Murray dates back to his days on Saturday Night Live. What made it even more intriguing was my former brother in law's affiliation with one of the funniest men alive. He told us of his days hanging out with Bill at Loyola Academy. There were photographs documenting his claims. A young Bill Murray, in a suit, standing next to my bro by marriage.











Funny goes a lot further than incredibly handsome. By normal standards, Bill is not a looker. However, he exudes a sensuality that rips through the movie and television screen. I remember seeing Stripes for the first time and experiencing tingles. His caddish portrayal of Army recruit John Winger just sent me over the edge. As a result, I developed a crush on a guy who had a similar sarcastic, witty and charming personality. He, too, wasn't pretty to gaze upon. However, he captured my interests for many years. He was my real-life Bill Murray.








As time progressed, my Bill Murray fixation was put on the back burner. Oh, I never stopped adoring him from afar. With stellar performances in Scrooged, What About Bob?, Groundhog Day, Kingpin, Osmosis Jones, his voice work as Garfield, he was never forgotten. Admittedly, my heart palpatations diminished slightly until ... Lost in Translation. I fell in love all over again. When his Bob Harris sings More Than This to Scarlet Johannson's Charlotte, the intimacy of their relationship is revealed. The movie; awesome. My boyfriend; phenomenal!









While at work yesterday on my break, I looked for something to read. I found a copy of the magazine featured that the top of today's post. Movies Rock is a new mag that had the brilliant idea to feature Mr. Murray on its cover as Elvis. GENIUS! Inside the back cover you'll find the final page featuring the comedic icon. The editors chose to keep it short and simple: They ask Bill the same Tiger Beat questionnaire devised for The Monkees in 1967. Here is the Q & A:


How would your mother describe you in one word? Troublemaker

What is your favorite flower? Columbine

What is the most insane question you've ever been asked? "Bill, can I ask you a question?"

What word in the English language do you wish you had invented? Blubber

Where would you like to live? On the dark end of the street.

What is the first quote that comes to your mind? "Sit down and shut up!" ~ Various

What animal best describes the kind of girl you'd be interested in? Wounded Duck

What do you miss about your childhood? My mom and dad

If you could change your name, what would you change it to? Bill Murphy

What is the main fault in your character? Caring about others

Who is your favorite historical figure? Abe Lincoln of Illinois

Describe how you kiss in one word. Semi-sloppy (is that one word?)

If you met the right girl today, would you propose tomorrow? I met her twice, pal.

What in the world do you least desire? My neighbor's wife and lawn.

Why do you think most girls date you? Morbid curiosity

Finish this sentence: "Happiness is a thing called ... " Freedom

Friday, February 22, 2008

First results: American Idol Season 7


Oh, let the tears flow. The odd thing is that the stage wasn't being drenched by the victims of the American Idol guillotine. No, the crying came from the girls camp. The Fembots' faces were shmeared with mascara. I should clarify: The Fembots and Danny Noriega. I'm sure they were tears of relief. Considering the amount of suckage emitted from the "best top 24 yet," -- with the exception of my top 3 choices -- the sighs of relief could have been heard around the globe (even if you don't have a television).
The night started out with this ridiculous showcase of all 24 contestants. Seriously, that stage is too small for that much hair! The girls appeared to be trying to upstage one another. I was certain one of the big haired girls would get an elbow to the eye. They pulled out the best of the worst vocal gymnastics when it was time for their solo. What should have been 8 notes easily turned into 24. Oh the dread! Just give Michael Johns more air time and be done with it.
I don't have to time give a run down on the horrendous attire of the ladies. Joanne was wearing bobby socks. Amanda channeled the spirit of Bea Arthur's MAUDE. That hair! Can we please talk about Amanda's hideous hair? Adding extensions is not helping. I get it! She's the hardcore poster chick. I have two words to describe her black over bleached blond look : DARK HELMET.
So, here are the poor souls who were ejected into the cold hard world last night : Joanne Borgella, Amy Davis, Garrett Haley and Colton Berry. See you at the finale, kids. Oh, if you felt robbed of Amy's presence, you can see a lot more of her in Maxim magazine online. Her off key rendition of "Where the Boys Are" is proof she should have stuck with scantilly clad pictorials as a career choice.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Quarters Only

Today was just one of those days off where I had no ambition. Having a hacking cough and congestion that starts at the base of my skull , I feel justified in doing very little.


I have loads of laundry to do. I woke up knowing very well that I might trip over it on my way to the bathroom. Lucky for me, I sort of wobble when I walk first thing in the morning and I managed to bypass the heap that sat on the floor. In neat piles of white, dark, delicate and brights; it sat there. With sickly defiance, I ignored it's call.
I dread the manner in which I have to accomplish doing laundry. It's downright humiliating at times, but it's the only means in which to have clean clothes, towels, bedding, etc... I have to humble myself at the coin operated laundry. Planning is everything along with timing. Even if I had a washer and dryer in my older than dirt rental home, I would have to wait days to complete one load. The water pressure is a mere trickle. I consider it a banner day to have enough force from my shower head to rinse the shampoo from my mid-back length locks.

Tomorrow will come and I'll be rummaging through my closets trying to find a pair of slacks that aren't too small or too worn in the crotch -- fat thighs make friction that just eats away synthetic fabrics. In order to prevent a serious panic attack and a late call to work, I came up with a viable solution. It's an effed up solution, but on days like this, this is how I roll: I went shopping.

I know how ridiculous that sounds considering I just stated that I felt too blechy to do anything. I should clarify that it takes me far more energy and time to haul the laundry to the car, unload the car, fill the washers, mosey around with my iPod shoved in my ears with hopes that no one will attempt to converse with me ... put the wet clothes in the dryer, shove in dozens of quarters only to find 47 minutes later that my cottons are still wet. Move them to another dryer -- Well, you get the picture. It's a pain in the keester. In fact, just writing that makes me want to take a nap.

So, anywho ...

I also realize I just spent a copious amount on NutriSystem. And in a couple short months I'll be at least one size smaller. Ah! But I was sort-of kind-of smart in buying britches with waistbands that can be easily altered. With a bodunkadunk junk in the trunk ass like mine, it's the last place weight is lost; first place it is gained. Plus, I only bought from the clearance rack ... and I didn't use my laundry quarters.

Michael Johns -- American Idol Season 7

I have no idea when this performance was recorded. He looks younger, but still the sounds is phenomenal. I downloaded this particular stint in Michael's career from iTunes. The band name is FILM and the CD title is ROLLING


Even with longer, Eddie Veder like hair he's gorgeous, but seriously, I am focusing on his talent. I mean it!

Onions? How about a parfait?



I totally pilfered this from Citizen Jane (she's the muse for the day, I guess).


A meme to peel away the layers of you.




LAYER ONE :





  • Name: Marissa aka Miss Riss


  • Birth date: August 11*


  • Birthplace: Illinois*


  • Current Location: Illinois*


  • Eye Color: Green*


  • Hair Color: Naturally: Dark Brown ... currently: Honey Brown*


  • Height: 5'11"*


  • Righty or Lefty: Righty*


  • Zodiac Sign: Leo




  • LAYER TWO *


  • Your heritage: German/Irish/Cherokee*


  • The shoes you wore today: Slippers*


  • Your weakness: I'm super woman I have no weaknesses... except for that charming, witty, tells a good tale sort of man. Oh, and McDonald's fries.*


  • Your fears: Losing my son*


  • Your perfect pizza: Loaded with veggies and cheese. Medium thick crust. *


  • Personal goals you'd like to achieve:To lose this extra weight so I can be a healthier more active person.
    To always be a good influence on my child.
    Become a better writer.




  • LAYER THREE *


  • Your most overused phrases on IM: Groovy, F*ckin' idiot


  • Your first waking thoughts: I feel like hell!*


  • Your best physical feature: Thelma and Louise, my luscious long locks.*


  • Your most missed memory: I don't understand this question. If it's missed, how could I remember it?




  • LAYER FOUR*

  • Pepsi or Coke: Diet Coke, but Pepsi gives me Amazon points for MP3 downloads*


  • McDonald's or Burger King: Mickey D’s*


  • Single or group dates: I'd be happy to have A date at this point. I don't care if the circus tags along.*


  • Adidas or Nike: Nike*


  • Lipton Ice Tea or Nestea: Lipton -- homemade*


  • Chocolate or vanilla: Swirl*


  • Cappuccino or coffee: Cinnamon Dolce Latte




  • LAYER FIVE*


  • Smoke: If you want to see me blow chunks..*


  • Cuss: Far too often*


  • Sing: Constantly -- The rule in the lab is "if Marissa ain't singin', something is wrong.


  • Take a shower everyday: Yep*


  • Do you think you've been in love: I have been coerced into believing I was in love. I want to know what being in love feels like.*


  • Want to go to college: Been there, but didn't finish. *


  • Liked high school: It helped me maintain sanity when all hell was breaking lose in my home life.*


  • Want to get married: I did, but not to the right person. Maybe one day I'll get it right.*


  • Believe in yourself: I try to, but I always forget to remind myself.*


  • Get motion sickness: Only if I already feel ill.*


  • Think you're attractive: With the danger of sounding like a self-absorbed egotistical bitch: yes, I do...from the neck up..*


  • Think you're a health freak: Hell, no.*


  • Get along with your parent(s): Uh, I got along with my dad once I moved beyond the past and we made amends. I didn't have long enough with my mom to not get along with her.*


  • Like thunderstorms: Rainshowers I like. Thunder and lightning not so much. It freaks the Man-cub out too much which leads me to be overly concerned if I'm at work. Panic sets in and I can't concentrate.*


  • Play an instrument: My vocal chords.




  • LAYER SIX


  • In the past month...*


  • Drank alcohol: Yep.*


  • Smoked: Negativo.*


  • Done a drug: Nothing illicite.*


  • Made Out: Jeez, no. Damn it.*


  • Gone on a date: Hell no, but I'd be willing to change that factoid.*


  • Gone to the mall?: I freakin' work in a mall. I HATE it. Yuck.*


  • Eaten an entire box of Oreos?: Gross... Even for me that's disgusting.*


  • Eaten sushi: I've never eaten it. It's just one of those things I don't set out to achieve.*


  • Been on stage: It's been a year and a half. And let me just say that I sang a high G that I never thought I'd hit again..*


  • Been dumped: Ya gotta date to get dumped.*


  • Gone skating: No.*


  • Made homemade cookies: No, but I make brownies regularly for the Man-cub.*


  • Gone skinny dipping: Skinny dipping would infer one is thin enough to be seen nekkid. I have not done that for several years. Let me note that it was under the influence of mucho tequila.*


  • Dyed your hair: Nature didn't give me this shade of honey (see above question about hair color).*


  • Stolen Anything: No way.




  • LAYER SEVEN


  • Ever...*

  • Played a game that require the removal of clothing?: Nah, I just strip because I want to.*


  • Been trashed or extremely intoxicated: Note skinny dipping question.*


  • Been caught "doing something": Since "doing something" is in quotations I will assume this means something naughty. I can't recall. I'm pretty discreet.*


  • Been called a tease: I'm accused of being a flirt all the time. I've been rumored to have slept with many male co-workers. I get around with out 'getting around' due to my God given nature of being.*


  • Gotten beaten up: No, thank goodness.*


  • Shoplifted: Never.*


  • Changed who you were to fit in: Yes, how horrible is that? Who knew that conforming would be so painful.




  • LAYER EIGHT*


  • Age you hoped to be married: I had no age limit..*


  • Numbers and Names of Children: Uno -- Spenser aka Man-cub. Although, now that I've named him the use of Man-cub might be obsolete. Nah, it's a term of endearment..*


  • How do you want to die: In my sleep. Painlessly ... but a long time from now. Just putting that in writing so God knows that. Man-cub needs me.*


  • Where did you want to go to college: Anywhere that took me out of Kankakee. I ended up at Kankakee Community College (poor kid, not-so stellar grades). Then, Governor's State University where I failed to complete my degree. A result of getting married and having a slacker husband who wouldn't work 2 jobs. So, I did to help support us. blah. Asshole.*


  • What do you want to be when you grow up: Queen of the World, but without the responsiblity. I just want the pretty dresses and tiara.*


  • What country would you most like to visit: Australia.




  • LAYER NINE*


  • Number of drugs taken illegally: One -- pot. I laughed like a retarded hyena and that was it. I fell asleep and didn't care to do it again.*


  • Number of people I could trust with my life: I never really thought about it. Four.*


  • Number of CDs that I own: I'm so into the digital age now. I don't count.*


  • Number of piercings: Six. Three in each ear. However, I only use one hole in each.*


  • Number of tattoos: None*


  • Number of times my name has appeared in the newspaper?: Counting "leaves behind" mentions in obituaries, engagement announcement, marriage announcement, wedding participant, pageant participant, pageant runner-up? Maybe 15. Nothing notable or thrilling.


  • Number of scars on my body: I have scads of battle scars from being a kid. I have a big nasty scar on the ball off my left foot..that pad right beneath the big toe was ripped open when I was barefoot and got hung up on a nail while playing catch on the neighbors porch. That left me with a gimpy foot and 7 stitches on summer vacation. Most recently, I ripped open my right hand on a broken glass. It required 13 stitches and I was millimeters from losing the use of my thumb. Which, in turn, would have ended my career as an optical technician.*


  • Number of things in my past that I regret: I can't count that high, but let's just move forward, shall we?.

Larry the Cable Guy did it ...

...so can I. Actually, Larry isn't the inspiration behind this at all. I just wanted to put something that's probably highly searched on the web so my blog gets hits. People will think they are going to find a "Git R Done" homage and they find my sexy pin up girl blog banner instead. Sorry! Well, not really. Maybe they'll like what they read. Chances are that someone who likes Larry will also appreciate the curvy form of a 40s goddess.

What I'm really here to write about is my jump-head-first into changing my life. Earlier on in my blogging here I wrote about how 2008 was going to be the Year of The Riss. I haven't really done much to prove that. Like so many resolutions before it, I lost sight of what I meant or intended. It doesn't take much to throw me off track. I have a lot of ooh! something shiny moments.

I had a friend who told me he had a friend who worked high on the food chain with NutriSystem --sounds shady already, doesn't it? He insisted that he could get me food for pennies on the dollar. Here's the short version: I received some food from my friend, but it was the OLD NutriSystem Nourish style and most of it was expired. The shelf life had long been past. I should also mention that the boxes reeked of gag-me-with-a-spoon mildew. It hit me like a whif of sewer gas. I was certain that the only way I'd lose weight with that was from a serious case of botulism. No thanks. I like my intestines intact. I'm sure his intentions weren't to kill me; however, I declined further random shipments from my 'friend'.
It wasn't long ago that I received an encouraging email from my brother. He and I have recently reconnected and have been developing a new relationship. He and his family visited in early January of this year. I hadn't seen my big bro in nearly 9 years. In fact, the last time we were in the same location it was due to our father's funeral. It sounds ridiculous, but circumstances being what they are/were, we were just never in the same place at the same time. I'm telling all of this to lay the ground work for a p.s. that was included in one particular email. He expressed his concern about my weight. He added that he feels I am beautiful, but worries that I am not caring for myself well enough to do what I can for a longer life. The gist of it was Man-cub needs you. Initially his words stung like a giant black hornet, but he is right.

This morning, I was reading Citizen Jane's blog. I knew that she was using NutriSystem, but I wasn't aware of anything more than that. I had no idea when she started or how much she'd lost as a result. She rightfully boasted about wearing capri pants that were two -- count 'em -- onetwo sizes smaller than those she wore in December when she started the program. T W O SIZES!! I have no idea nor concern for her starting point. That's all the inspiration I needed to stop what I was doing and head on over the NutriSystem website for more information.

When I got there, Larry the Cable Guy was staring at me. It was as if he was daring my rather robust and rotund self to attain the goal he reached. I hate; no, I loathe the phrase he is famous for using. It annoys the hell out of me to hear him say it ... let alone every man, woman and child who watches NASCAR. I digress.

Now, I've seen the advertisements on the telly. I even tried NS way, way back in the day when you had to report weekly, weigh in, pray not to be scolded for not losing enough and THEN ante up a large sum of cash for really shitty tasting food. I actually ended up spending three times the amount I normally would on food. This was over 20 years ago, by the way. I was living on a pittance of a salary. Even though I make quite a bit more now, I will still have to cut back in other areas (fast food/take out). I also have a rapidly growing 13 year old son to support. I'm investing in our future. I can't do this alone. I lack sensibility regarding healthy food choices. I know what to do, but I am lazy. I can't take an apathetic approach to my own existence. That's just crazy thinking!
I took a giant leap and signed up. I placed an order. I have received confirmation. I am on my way. I've added my Leslie Sansone Walking For Weight Loss to my iPod. I'm pretty well set. All I need to do now is lift my wide derriere from this chair and get moving!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

American Idol ~ Aussie Eye Candy


Nice, huh? He's married, but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate his artistry and delivery of a song. He's taller than Ryan Seacrest; which means he's probably at least 5'6". This is Michael Lee Johns who leaves out the Lee portion of his name. The producers of American Idol had this fine performer go last on Tuesday night. They know what the viewers want and need. His vocal performance wasn't the strongest, but he owned that circular portion of the stage. As one of my Pop Life co-bloggers stated,



"Crocodile Hunkee goes back to the Val-Kilmer-doing-Jim-Morrison thing and
the girls drool pumps go all the way up to 11" ~ Jeff in Cuba
He performed "Light My Fire." I'm relieved he didn't inhabit the essence of Jose' Feliciano. Randy Jackson said that he felt MLJ was feeling the spirit of former INXS frontman Michael Hutchence. I don't know and don't care who he is most inspired by. I want to see more of this man who makes me do the Kangaroo Hop. Sean Daly commented:


The first video flames of the year! Idol only busts out the digi-pyro for people it loves. Seriously, this cat's as good as Final Four.
Posted by:
Sean Daly











If you take away the gurgling on my own drool factor, I wouldn't say Johns had the best vocal performance. My choice on vocals goes to the 17 year old "gee whiz golly" kid David Archuleta. He came out with strong rendition of "Shop Around." By the way, I should mention that it's music of the 60s this week. He belted it out with confidence and acted completely surprised by the judge's adoration of his performance. He's already been given the Melinda Doolittle feigned humility award. I think his reaction was ernest.






I have a soft spot for the guy sporting dreds: Jason Castro. He was the only guy to take advantage of using an instrument. I thought maybe he'd come out with steel drums and give us a reggae flavored take on a 60s favorite. Now, that would have been totally bitchin'. Instead, he played guitar while singing "What a Day for a Daydream" made famous by The Loving Spoonful. It was safe. I think he has more charisma than he's letting on. We'll see if he makes it this week. My blogging pal Jane said this about Jason:





Maybe my cold has made me too soft, but I liked earnest guitar-playing
Jason. He, unlike some others tonight, didn't annoy me.
Posted by:
jane


I don't know that Paula and Randy disliked any of the guys last night. They had some sugar-coated criticisms, but it was Simon (no surprise) who really unleashed the venomous remarks. I'm guessing he is aware that his critiques have influence over how the general population votes. Again, I guess we'll just have to wait until Thursday.


Tonight the ladies perform. Sadly, I'll be at work until 9pm. I'm so disgruntled that I won't be able to participate in the live chat on Sean Daly's Pop Life blog.









Here's a little sum-sum to hold you over until Michael performs next week.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Whoa, whoa, whoa Paula's Cryin'

This is just funny. I don't know who put this together on youtube, but they have provided me with chuckles, giggles, and nearly aspirating on my coffee. So, this is fair warning: DO NOT drink or eat while viewing this video.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Amazon Alert!

Although I stand at 5'11" barefoot, I am not referring to myself in the title of this post. I've been called Amazon Woman countless times. For some reason, it never strikes me as flattering. It's like being told, "you're a big boned girl -- you carry your weight well." to which I think in reply, "Uh, thanks ... you realize you just told me I was fat in a backhanded way, right?" I've learned to live with it.

Amazon.com is the culprit I refer to in the post title. I've never had any complaints about service with them. In fact, I find it all too easy to order on that site. It has everything I could conceivably ever desire. OK, not everything, but you get my drift, yes? I've been purchasing quite a few MP3s as a result of getting a digital download gift card with the purchase of my 8GB iPod Nano. I seriously needed someone to tell me what a GB was prior to buying. I'm going need a bigger one. That's what SHE said ::snort:: I love when I'm cheeky. Anywhoooo, going to Amazon to use my digital gift card is what started my boredom perusal extravaganza -- which often leads to sending items I've ogled straight to the shopping cart. The IRS was nice enough to give me a little money back this year. How nice, eh?


Sean Daly recently posted on his Pop Life Blog those soundtracks he feels are the best of the best from John Hughes films. He and Steve Spears will be recording a new Stuck in the 80s podcast relating to the recent birth of Daly's second daughter. She's Having A Baby tops his soundtrack picks just hedging out Some Kind of Wonderful. I've always loved anything John Hughes put out. He just had a knack of encapsulating the human spirit and nature. All the while, putting a humorous spin on it. He also manages to give us something that touches the heart. What typically happens when Sean gives his readers musical insight is that I end up spending money buying tracks or entire CD downloads. When I read Steve's blog I typically find myself rushing to Target to buy up movie DVDs.


I realized that my VHS of She's Having A Baby was left in Georgia with many other movies and CDs. I thought buying it on DVD would be no problem. There's an FYE in the mall where I work. However, much to my dismay, they didn't have it! The clerk offered to order it for me, but I stupidly told her it wouldn't be necessary. I did that under the assumption that Target or Blockbuster would have it in stock. WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!


This is where Amazon.com comes into play. I would just order it, log off and go about my business. Not so fast, Miss Riss! We have MORE to offer you. The 'bots tell me that 79% of the people who bought the DVD also bought the soundtrack. To sweeten the deal they offer a package value price if I buy both. So, I click the add to cart icon. I'm not taken to the point of purchase, though. I'm informed that 87% of the people who purchase She's Having a Baby DVD and CD also buy Valley Girl. Steve often mentions that movie and soundtrack. Sure! I'll take both -- click add to cart icon. Well, what do we have here? Yes, 72% of the people who bought Valley Girl also buy Fast Times at Ridgemont High. You can see where this is going -- Brokeville: Population: Marissa.


Then, I spy down in the righthand corner of my screen a photo of a lovely bra. It beckons to me. I'm always in pursuit of a bra that will suit my boobalas perfectly. Must. View. Bra. No surprise, but the bra of the day doesn't come close to the size I require. Out of curosity I type in the size that I assume I will need based on the fact that the last one I purchased from JCP online didn't quite make the grade. In other words, Thelma and Louise were left a little cramped. I did find bras in my assumed size and clicked away at 'add to cart.' Then, I clicked proceed to checkout. Something had to go. But what?! I wailed like Veruca Salt at not being able to have it all. I WANT IT ALLLLLL!!!!! Sorry, chica ... you're Marissa, not Miss Veruca. Put something back. So, I did. I need the bras, but merely want the DVDs and CDs. I hate having self control. I hate it, but Thelma and Louise need comfort along with my shoulders and back.


Since the Man-Cub and I are venturing out to shop, I will look for She's Having a Baby on DVD at Best-Buy. So what! My self control isn't all it's chalked up to be afterall.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Being right is so wrong!



I hung up the phone a mere 20 minutes ago. Blue Eyes called to fill me in on what's going on. I can't go into detail, but it has nothing to do with me. He did need my advice on something big that is taking place in his life. There isn't a new femme fatale beckoning; nor has he reduced his threats of showing up on my doorstep one day. Keep in mind that he's dared to do that for 6 years.

What he needed from me was to speak parent to parent. He trusts me and I think I managed to calm him down. I did let him know I was a little disappointed that it wasn't more about me. He laughed and a comment about Redi-whip was made. PURE TORTURE! It's all par for the course with us. Old habits die hard.



Tomorrow we celebrate or observe President's Day. My son is off school; and, for the first time in a long time, I am off work! Not that I don't get normal days off, but I'm off on a special No School day. Yippee!! What is on the agenda? Well, we will most likely shop a little. He has money burning a hole in his pocket. Target, Wal-Mart and Best Buy will most likely be our destinations of choice. I'd like to go see a movie at the theater. Matinee prices are so kind to my pocketbook. "Yes, I'll take extra butter ... and a large Diet Coke, please."

Saturday, February 16, 2008

It don't mean nothin'



It don't mean nothin'! That's what I'm telling myself, anyway. I've learned to never get overly excited about anything having to do with other people. What I mean is that I know I can only count on myself in the long run. If I have reduced expectations of others then I have a decrease in disappointment.


One of the most dastardly things a girl can do to herself is get her hopes up, or read into anything the male of the species has to say. I'm not man bashing. Don't go accusing me, Douglas. I've just learned that it's best to see it for face value. No matter how baffling and hard it is to resist, it is best not to put the cart before the horse.

It was Valentine's Day, Thursday, February 14, 2008. Yes, it's a little dramatic for something that just happened two days ago. I have a flair for such things ... let me enjoy it. I had written in my previous post that I hadn't received any calls from the men of my past. I was groovy with that fact. I was content for the first time in many years with Valentine's Day. I spoke too soon.

I arrived home to bestow a V-Day gift upon my son. To my delight, my sister had also dropped by and 'helped' Man-cub manage a gift for me -- a lovely watch. The band is adorned with Swarovski crystals and silver beads and heart charms. Glorious! I love watches even though I rarely wear them. Weird, huh? Anyway, back to the matter at hand.

I noticed the message indicator flashing on my answering machine. I glanced at the caller I.D. and noticed a familiar area code. I told my sister that Old Blue Eyes called at 10:02 am that morning. I can't recall her reaction as I was too busy trying to disguise my own. I rolled my eyes and just shrugged it off. She and I visited for awhile when her cell phone began vibrating. She checked to see who was calling and it was her son. So, she took the call. While she did that I hit 'play' on my answering machine.



  • "Hi, Happy Valentine's Day. Bye" ::click:

Blue Eyes hadn't ignored me this year. It's not as if I had sent him acknowledgement of the gigantically over accessorized velvet-lined-heart day of the year. I just brushed it off.


After my sister left I headed for the computer and pulled up my email. Nothing from BE. I had received a very sweet e-card from someone else, though. I waited until Friday to send BE an email.


Hi,
I got your message. What a surprise to get a call from you in the morning on a week day. I'm sorry I was at work when you called, though. I hope you had a nice Valentine's Day. I worked, came home, talked to my sister who dropped by with a gift. It was from Man-cub, but she helped him with the shopping.
Talk to you later,
M.


I had to give myself at least 12 hours to decide on a proper manner of handling the call/message. It shouldn't be a question of if or how, but with BE, I tread very carefully. I wasn't expecting a response from him. I just assumed he desired to feel needed or loved. So, he called upon someone who has never let him down; me.


If he did respond, I can't remember what he said. Odd, huh? I looked in my emails and it's been deleted if he had. I worked last night (Friday). When I was leaving the store I heard my cell phone beeping. Again, a familiar area code showed on the caller-ID. I had to call the Man-cub to let him know I was on my way home. I asked if anyone had called. He said yes, but didn't answer the phone, "you told me I don't have to answer if I don't know the number." No message had been left, either.


After hanging up with my son I dialed the all too familiar; yet, infrequently dialed Savannah phone number. I let it ring 4 times. It was then that I realized my carelessness might have awakened him. It was 10:45 pm in Georgia. He says since he has no one to spend the mornings snuggling, he might as well work. Bleah. Go grab a barf bag. I can wait.


He sent me an email this morning, and this is what it said:


Hi Baby, I am sorry i missed your call last night. I was in bed. I had to be up at 5 this morning to be at work by 6. We are very busy down here as usual. I wanted to talk to you about a few things. I will try to reach you sunday night. I have to go pick up the supermodels tonight and they usually go home about 8 on sunday night. It is going to be 78 degrees here today, if you were here we you could lay out TOPLESS in my back yard, lol. see ya sexy girl.


He always makes some retarded remark about me topless. It's just normal. Don't jump to conclusions or assume he's a pig. Well, he has pig moments, but he IS a man, afterall; a man who has seen me in all my glory. So, who can blame him for being slightly fixated on Thelma and Louise? Ha!


So, immediately my girly brain jumps to curiosity about why he'd call to wish me a happy heart day when he, obviously, is going to tell me he has found THE ONE! The girl to end all dating for him. The woman who'll put an end to his workaholic ways. The chica supremo who has saved him from eating tuna salad everyday. The femme who is a lady on the street but a vixen in the boudoir. This time I didn't vomit at the idea of this happening. Would it make me sad? Sure as hell it would. I'd be quietly devastated. Would I cry? Most likely you'd hear a sigh, mild gasp and a sniffle. Once off the phone I'll let it out and really have myself a good old fashioned sobfest.


See! Did you just witness what I just did? I jumped to conclusions. I'm assuming the worst. Do you know why? Exactly! If I think that woefully, then nothing will surprise me.


I called him when I left work today after 4 pm. I know I shouldn't have, but it was killing me to know just a teensy bit about what he's thinking. He didn't answer. He was either enroute to picking up his daughters or doing something fun with them. So, it's HIS time with the girls. It's not my place to intrude. He said he'd call Sunday night. I will just have to be patient and pretend that he never wrote, "I wanted to talk to you about a few things." That's a pretty broad scope of items to discuss. Hell, he might simply want advice on new eyeglasses or, or ...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day ... AT LAST!


I'm really quite relieved that Valentine's Day is finally here. My friend Shanna is delighted for the day after V-day as the candy is marked down tremendously. She's quite the little super saver gal. I don't blame her. Fannie May will probably mark things down quite a bit. I don't think I need anymore candy. I still have the eggnog creams in my freezer. I bought an entire tray (like 100 pieces) for a mere $4.98 after Christmas. Target will no doubt have their gift bags, rose wreaths, anything red marked down tremendously. Love the bargains!
I haven't had any calls from past men. I'm sort of grateful. That whole schtick gets tiring. I mean, how many times can I do the emotional hula per year?
I'm feeling a bewildering sense of neutrality on this eve of Valentine's Day. In one respect it's nice not havnig to worry about anyone other than myself and Man-cub. I did send out some myspace comments. On the other hand ... no, there is no other hand. I'm content. I think that's what I'm feeling, but I'm such a stranger to the concept, and that feels wrong.
I struggled earlier attempting to compile a list of anti-Valentine's Day songs from my favorite decade of the 80s. Aside from J. Geil's Band obvious choice Love Stinks, I was pained to think of tunes exemplifying love gone wrong. I managed to throw in a few good ones, but the bottom line is that my mind trailed off to songs that were upbeat. It wasn't an easy task, but I did myself proud with the help of yahoo search.
I'm sincerely wishing everyone who reads my quaint little blog a Happy Valentine's Day. I'm grateful that the next few holidays don't require the purchase of special cards, candies and flowers and gifts. Plus, finding songs to play for President's Day is a much more daunting duty than anti-love songs.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Cupid

Who pleads with Cupid better than Sam Cooke? No one. That's why I'm poting this song.

Ghosts of Valentine's Day past






There was a time when I had excuses beyond excuses for why I hated Valentine's Day. I can't think of any right now. Perhaps I've finally managed to let the ghosts of the past move on to a higher plain of existence. Just maybe I've managed to exorcise them from my existence. Nothing good comes from holding on to bitterness.



In just a couple short days, Valentine's Day will come knocking. I'll be at work watching the scads of flower arrangements passing the window. I'll see the flurry of husbands and boyfriends making a mad dash to the jewelry stores, Victoria's Secrets, Fannie May, and Bath and Body Works. Carlton Cards will be a mad house as people attempt to find the perfect last minute card. I'm a sucker for those cards that plays the idiotic tunes when you open it. I'll laugh and make fun of the last minute shoppers. However, there's no doubt that I'll secretly long for a surprise delivery from an admirer. Now I'm laughing a tad over that concept. As if!



My Valentine's Day will be spent with the love of my life: Man-Cub. I'll spring for Chinese take-out and we'll go about our normal rituals. Of course, I'll give him a video game and designer chocolate bar ... and the obligatory stuffed animal. He's 13, but he privately loves the reminders of being my little boy. He does! I say so!!



I do believe too much importance is placed on obligatory Hallmark gift giving days. It's shameless. When I was married those days never phased me until the women with whom I worked bragged about the things they received. Then, I would want to slug my (ex) husband for listening to me when I'd say, "don't waste the money on flowers, candy or lingerie." I should note that these times were the only ones when he listened to me about not spending money.



I have matured and I'm far less envious of those people who are showered with unnecessary gifts. When a gift is given out of genuine love, not sense of obligation, I think it's great. There's no greater surprise when I'm given something out of blue simply because, "I saw this, and knew I had to give it to you."



Through knowing someone who is a nauseating braggart about materialistic gains, I realize what a hideous and unflattering personality trait it is. This is the person who quotes the prices of things when you inquire about the item. "Oh, that's nice. Where did you find that?" She'll go on about how much money was spent. This is a grown woman who counts the number of gifts that don her name under the Christmas tree. She is the epitome of bad behavior. Should I thank her for making me feel even better about myself? Nah, she's an insipid twit. I just grin. She has no clue.


To those of you who bask in the delightful nature of Valentine's Day, I applaud you and wish you well. I know that, traditionally, Valentine's Day is about Cupid zipping around and shooting people with his magical arrows of love. However ... you knew this was coming ... love is all around if you just let it in.






Sunday, February 10, 2008

COME WHAT MAY

Color me a slacker blogger today. This is one of those romantic songs that the cynic in me spits upon. However, the romantic, prose writing girl in me has caged the cynical beast for the time being.
The first time I heard this was long before I watched "Moulin Rouge." It raised the little hairs on the back of my neck; tingles radiated through my spine.

Elephant Love Medley

I'm a sucker for a musical. Although, "Moulin Rouge" wasn't my favorite movie in the world, I do adore this corny song. What can I say? Love lifts us up ... where eagles fly ...

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Love is Innocent

While driving home after shopping at Target and Marshall's, I was listening to Colin Hay's solo venture, Man @ Work. I highly recommend it if you loved the 80s Aussie band, Men at Work. His acoustic rendition of Overkill and Land Down Under are absolutely sublime. One of the tracks is Love is Innocent. It led me to think about what a bad rap LOVE gets from the world. It's not isolated to specific locales. It surrounds us, but love isn't to blame. Love is innocent! ... People? Not so much.

I resent the number of times I've heard (personally and second hand) the phrase, 'If you love me ... " What a haphazard, horrific means of abusing the one pure thing the world has to share! For one reason or another it is we humans who've perverted the idea of love. It's not a recent occurance, either. It's as old as time. So, why is it so hard to put a little love in our hearts? Pride, perhaps? Fear? We're all too often left saying, "love,look what you've done to me!"

Maybe Hollywood should be blamed. Love is supposed to be difficult, right? No relationship is worth having if you don't have to fight tooth and nail for it ... if you're not giving up something, then there's no liveliness, right? How could something that comes so naturally and easily be passionate? In virtually every movie where a romantic relationship is involved, there is a major struggle for the couple to come together ... love is a battlefield. It's the dynamic that makes the movie worth watching. We root for the underdog and hope there will be a happily ever after. It's a movie. A script for which the actors to follow. I repeat: a movie! I don't know about you, but I don't have a script to follow with a director telling me how to deliver the lines.
The catalyst that brings me to the Hollywood interference reference comes from a letter I read that was sent to a friend by a former significant other. Had I not known better, I would have assumed it was retrieved from one of those form letter websites. It was Hollywood scripted cliche' after cliche'. I seriously laughed when I needed to be more sympathetic. This isn't the only incident that has made me think this way. Time after time, I read about real life accounts of break ups, listen to friends and co-workers talk about relationships. I can't help but cramp up mentally when I'm trying to figure out in which movie I saw their specific scenarios. It's nauseating. Movies can help us gain insight about human nature, but we can't live it by the script.

Love is love. We can't explain it, but we make excuses for why we'll never fall in love again. I'll admit that I've declared myself a victim of love numerous times. Momentarily, I would blame love itself for my angst. It's so much easier to push the blame off on something we can't taste, smell or touch. Once the tears stopped flowing, I could see my way through the gamut of red flags that littered my sensibilities and realize that incompatibility, dishonesty, and/or timing would be the culprit.

Love is in the air. It's less than a week away from the big V-day. Nothin' 'bout love makes sense, but when you just let go you'll come to realize that all you need is love ... love IS a many splendoured thing.

Friday, February 8, 2008

To Flink, with Love ...

It's Friday, and it's been a couple of days since I posted. It's not that I've felt less than inspired to write, but I didn't want to write when I was absorbed in negativity -- work negativity. I gave stern consideration to expressing my frustration about the workplace; however, a little gut instinct made me refrain. It's truly not a worthy venture.

I walked by Fannie May Candies today. Our store is just around the corner from this confectionary nightmare (at Valentine's Day season). The place looks like it was hosed down with a crimson spray gun that was out of control. I don't know what upsets me more: The fact that people will pay such exorbitant prices for chocolate. Or that I know I won't be given a heart shaped box to rip open and devour its contents ... or share.

I know that I should find solace in knowing that I have a loving family, a son who adores me, friends who dig me. BUT! BUT!!! There's always that incredible sensation that someone chooses you to be their special sweetie for as long as time permits -- or until the red flags start smackin' you in the kisser. Either way, it's comforting that some soul took the time to endear themselves to you when they had other choices. Sigh ...
Okey dokey! Enough with the melancholy. I just needed to get it out of my system. I was reading in Reader's Digest, an article written by a relationship expert. Sorry, I can't recall who it wrote it. It might be the joker who created eHarmony.com. Regardless of who the author is, I found truth in one particular statement: "A couple is only as strong as it's weakest link." I paraphrase, obviously. However, that's the gist of the comment. I read that over and over. Then, I took into consideration my past relationships. I suppose that's how co-dependency evolves.
I do believe that God has given me nearly 3 years of celibacy as a means of being able to heal from the past, gain insight to my own psyche, escape the bonds of physical cravings ... confusion begins when sexual intimacy is embarked upon too early. You are free to disagree with me, but from personal experience, I know this to be true (for me).


I learned that, once I succumb to physical lust, I sell myself and the potential of the relationship short. I would get so wrapped up in being my boyfriend's personal vixen, that I forgot where my brain and heart separated. Yuck! That gets boring and old fast. Men and women who read this might very well disagree. However, without the true ability to communicate and share mental/emotional intimacy, there's not an orgasm in the world that can save a relationship that has a foundation built on condoms and self lubricant.
I've often considered myself a fixer-upper. It's probably a detriment to regard myself as something of which Bob Villa would take interest. I've been communicating my concerns about feeling needy and attention starved to my brother. He has a way of expressing himself without stomping on my frail ego. I don't take offense when he shares his wisdom and learned knowledge of God's teachings, and how they apply to me. He sees me worthy of the spiritual drywall, spackle and paint. I know that I am, as well; yet, it is always so reassuring to hear it from someone you respect and love. Jesus loves me, yes He does. I believe God knows who can deliver His message to me in a manner that resonates perfectly.
Change is a very scary thing. I typically avoid it whenever possible. You could easily accuse me of working for the same company for nearly 12 yrs for that very reason. When it comes to personal growth there is a higher grade of difficulty. If life is a puzzle, then we're comparing the Fisher-Price chunky puzzles to the all one color 20 bajillion teeny piece puzzle: Difficulty Level -- Stephen Hawking says it's hard!
I'm up for the challenge. I imagine the rewards I'll reap and it makes it a much easier pill to swallow.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The ONE True Love

I saw these gents back in 1993 when they opened for Steven Curtis Chapman. Along with me were my sisters Maureen and Mary and my niece Amanda. It was an amazing time.

The love of Jesus Christ is what gets me through EVERYTHING in my life. I stumble. I falter. With the knowledge of HIS unconditional love I am able to get back up.

When I look into the eyes of my child I see pure love. His eyes shine with reassurance that God's love will conquer all.

What the world needs now... Love

As a parent, I always learn something from my child. I know it's typical for the parent to be the instructor of life. However, my son teaches me by executing the lessons I lecture. There is a young woman (refer to her as Ardel) who has been a real thorn in Man-cub's side for a couple of years. His past teachers did everything possible to keep the two children away from each other. The situation seemed controlled by the second half of 6th grade. I encouraged him to keep in mind that we don't know what Ardel's home life was like. We need to show her compassion and learn to turn the other cheek. Always report incidences to the teachers, but try to remain calm; give her the benefit of the doubt. Consider that she might not have anyone to tuck her in at night or wake her with loving hugs and kisses. Perhaps she hadn't eaten, and realize that we get grumpy when we're hungry and feeling sad.


Man-cub took this advice to heart and tried to show her the same consideration as others had to him. Without delving too deeply, Man-cub was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome in 2nd grade. He is functioning very well with behavior modification and incredibly understanding and well informed educators. He is in mainstream classes and doesn't require meds or resource therapy. Proud Mom alert!


Seventh Grade. Junior High School. Squirrely hormonally charged behavior. Lord give us strength. Everything changed. Ardel's locker is next to his. They have first period together. Let the games begin!


Man-cub hadn't complained about her nor had he told me she was in such close proximity. I assumed she was no longer an issue. The day finally came where he reached his breaking point and told me that Ardel was back to her old tricks. "She keeps slamming my locker shut on me, mom! I have a hard time getting it open. Then, she says mean things to me in the hall and in first period. She makes me so angry! I yelled at her today."


I sent an email to his first period teacher, the administration and anyone I thought might listen. I received an immediate response from the teacher. She informed me that she'd police the interaction between the two children and assured me Ardel's behavior was being monitored and not isolated to just my son. She didn't explain further, but stated that all such incidents were being documented and handled appropriately. She spoke with the kids and reassured Man-cub that he could talk to her about it. Don't feel threatened or fearful in reporting inappropriate behaviors.


Through speaking with a teacher's assistant who worked with Man-cub last year, I learned that my suspicions about Ardel's homelife were, indeed, horrific. She's one of seven children. She and her twin sister were put into foster care when their mother decided she could no longer care for them. She kept the younger children, but willfully turned her back on her twin teen-age daughters. They'd both been shuffled from foster home to foster home. I was saddened and dismayed that this could occur. It was an eye opening experience for me. I let Man-cub in on the information and made him promise not to mention it to Ardel. His actions of compassion toward her were even more important now. His heart broke to learn of her heartwrenching situation.
Each day after telling him, he would report to me his interaction with Ardel. He said he made an effort to keep his locker door from blocking her locker. He'd go out of his way to say hello, good morning, have a nice day and compliment her when appropriate. He'd tell me when he'd get frustrated with her and let his frustration show ...directing it at Ardel.


Christmas rolled around. He asked if we might buy Ardel a small, but special gift. "I want her to know she's special." Instead, he had free time in class. He used this time to make Ardel a Christmas card and wrote a note of apology expressing his remorse for having yelled at her. The week before Christmas break Ardel wasn't attending school. Man-cub wasn't sure why she was absent, but his thoughts turned to curiosity over her foster care. "Do you think she had to go to another home? Is she all right? What should I do?" I advised him to talk to his first period teacher. "It's okay to let her know you what you're privy to about Ardel."


So, he asked privately. She told him, without divulging too much, that Ardel had been suspended, but would return two days before Christmas break. We discussed the possibility that she might not receive his Christmas card well. However, I told him that she might privately cherish the card. In due time, she may appreciate his gesture even if she never shows it. I convinced him that even the grandest gestures seem to go unnoticed, but they can be life changing to the receiver. I suggested he slip the card into her locker or have his teacher deliver it. That way, Ardel doesn't feel obligated to react nor feel embarrassed. He put it in her locker and nothing was said again ...




On Thursday, January 31, Man-cub reported that a boy was picking on him. "He was being a real jerk to me." What came next surprised him. The following taught my son and myself that one good deed does not go unnoticed. "Mom! You won't believe this, but Ardel stuck up for me! She told the kid to leave me alone and to stop picking on me! Mom, you were right. I was nice to her even though she seemed to hate me. And now she's nice to me! Can you believe she stuck up for me?!" I fought back the tears. We rejoiced that The Golden Rule does work. Praise God.

Monday, February 4, 2008

My first crush. EVER.

Here he is. My first ever crush: Donny Osmond. Laugh. Go on. It's okay. I can take the heat.
For my birthday, my sister Maureen bought tickets to see Donny at the Rialto Square Theater in Joliet. Our friend Kris went along. There we sat -- three women over 40 -- screaming like 13 year old girls! When this song started I squealed so loudly that I think I pierced the eardrums of people in the neighboring county ... I'm sure I popped a blood vessel. I was shocked by my own reaction. There I was; mere feet away from the man who gave me dreamy eyed childhood fantasies. Nothing perverse, but I dreamed of Donny being my prince. The women who sat in front of us wasn't too happy about our fanatic behavior. Obviously, she was one of those Branson, MO ladies who was accustomed to the Osmonds show that catered to the folk who travels on coach bus and relies on Metamucil to help 'em go pooh.
The concert was out of this world phenomenal. Donny is quite a showman. After 50 albums, he surely knows what he's doing. He's the first boy to ever make my heart go pitter patter. Well, there was the boy across the alley who had a built in swimming pool. It's rumored that he was my first kiss. I was 5, he was 4. Billy Trout was his name. He could make a snarl like Billy Idol. I don't remember the kiss, but I do remember his pool. Needless to say, I guess my penchant for younger men started long before I sprouted boobs.

Love of Country


Hello my fellow Americans. I'm not sure why it is, but I almost always cry during our National Anthem: The Star Spangled Banner. There are cases when it's so poorly performed that I only well up a little. I'm an emotional girl, but I truly believe that my love of these United States of America is responsible for the outpouring of tears.


I was searching on iTunes for a song my son wanted me to download. The iTunes store front page advertised Jordin Sparks singing The National Anthem at Super Bowl XLII. I clicked and purchased The Star Spangled Banner. It brought me to tears, gave me goosepimples and made the hair stand on the back of my neck. Yes, I'd say that's love.


I proceeded to youtube to find the video of the American Idol Season 6 winner performing our nation's song. There were comments about it being pre-recorded, lip synched, yada yada. If that's true, I don't mind. It's a difficult song to sing. It's even more difficult when the entire nation is sitting on the edges of their seats watching and waiting for you to fumble. I think she did a beautiful job. I'm not posting the video on here. However, I'll gladly supply you with a link: Jordin Sparks-National Anthem. God Bless America