Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tuesday Tidbitch...I Mean Tidbits

- I'm tired. I'm not going to bed later or getting up earlier than usual. I am having weird, vivid dreams though, and I think they are disturbing my usual sleep patterns or something. I don't know. But I'm tired.

-Today is my dad's birthday. I called him before I came to work today. I admit to being somewhat relieved when he didn't answer and I could just leave a message. It is always challenging for me to have to speak on the phone to he and my step-mother simultaneously. They seem to have some sort of policy against alone time on the phone and it bugs me!

-My daughter got a really good report card! Yay! But I found out she is 2 units short of being able to get the "good driver" discount on our auto insurance. They bumped up my monthly payment. A lot. I'm so tired of struggling financially.

-My youngest son got a fairly horrible report card. It is frustrating, because he is an intelligent, but unmotivated young man. I've seen him to so much better when he cares to. I am going to have to go very, very hands-on this next semester and try to get him going. It is harder than it should be, since he's living with his dad.

-My current negativity is poisonous and I know that. Hopefully I can hoist myself up by the bootstraps and look at the bright side again soon. I guess that's up to me...and there is some comfort in something, anything, being up to me.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Fritter and Waste the Hours In an Off-Hand Way

Tick tock...TIME for Saturday Scavenger Shots. I choose this week's word. Possibly it was done before, somewhere in the mists of TIME.  I used to be able to go back to AlienCG's blog to see a chart of used words, but during his last change he removed it.  Totally understandable. Luckily, Tara has the most current incarnation on her blog, so I won't use anything too terribly recent :) Thanks Tara, for taking the TIME to keep track!

Is TIME on my side? I like to hope so!  Here's a couple of poor phone photos I took only moments ago.

We have his & hers calendars on the computer desk in our room. Mine has Modern Family quotes. DR's has brain teasers.  This is a way of making TIME that is nice and concrete. You will notice that my calendar is current and his is living a few days in the future. The TIME of the return :)
There are these pinata parts sitting on the floor of the kitchen. When DR gets back, we will have to take the TIME to turn them into an actual pinata...maybe for Miss Personality's birthday! TIME flies. SomeTIMEs...
Hope you are all having a good TIME this weekend. I will have a look around the blogs and see what's what and all that. Thanks for stopping in and wasting some TIME with me. xx 

PS- Can I try one more TIME to tag Silly Rabbit? Let's give it a whirl!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Word

Haven't heard back from Silly Rabbit this week...she seems to have gone off the grid. So I'm throwing a hail mary pass to myself and just putting up a word. I will try tagging someone else again on Saturday. This week's word will be - TIME.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Trying to Forget My....

Feelings. This is a Wednesday Choose and Defend all about feelings.  Won't you share yours with the group?  Tell us how you'd prefer to spend your time feeling -

Nervous, but Excited


Relaxed, but Bored

As usual, probably neither is quite ideal...but you know that you must still Choose one or the other. Then you must Defend your choice, as strongly as possible :) So what will it be? Choose and Defend!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tiny Mind Thoughts

On my mind -

1. Sunday my mom called me to tell me she was retiring from work in May. Since she is going to be 73 on her birthday in couple of weeks, I am very happy that she finally feels ready to retire! Her Social Security isn't much, but she has a bit saved up and she has always been a very careful person. I'm a little worried about how she'll spend her time and if she will be too isolated. She doesn't care too much for socializing. She may end up living with my sister. Not ideal, but probably better than being alone all the time. Her memory isn't what is used to be and we do worry about her a bit. But anyway, for now she seems happy and excited about retiring, so I will be too.

Hi Mom!

2. Yesterday Little Prince had the tubes in his ears reinserted for the 3rd time. They also decided to remove his adenoids.  Everything went fine and today he is bouncing around like nothing ever happened. Kids are so resiliant and awesome :)

Hi Little Prince!

3. Only a couple more weeks until DR get home. I was telling him the other day that when we were apart before I couldn't really think that much in terms of missing him. I felt like I could drive myself crazy with that, since there was no real end in sight! This time though, I have that sort of luxury of allowing myself to feel the things you feel when you miss someone and want them there with you. It isn't a great feeling...but I feel lucky I can allow myself those feelings! When we speak on the phone I say - I miss you. I tried not to say that before. And I don't really think he likes hearing it, truthfully. It probably just makes him feel bad about not being here. But I do miss him. Hoping these next two weeks go quickly!

Hi DR!

4. Please everyone, be thinking good thoughts for our friend Tara and her mom who is in the hospital. All prayers, good vibes, positive thoughts would surely be welcomed.

5. Also, please come back here tomorrow to play Choose and Defend. You know you want to. Or at least you know I want you to!  Thanks.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Baby Take Off Your Dress, Yes, Yes, Yes....

...But you can leave your HAT on.  Hey! It is Saturday and therefore time for the displaying of the Scavenger Shots.  For anyone unfamiliar, this is a game that some of my blogging associates and I have been playing, on and off, for several years now.  Every week someone suggests a word, then that Saturday we post photos that reflect that word in some (sometimes very nebulous) way. The photo(s) can be old or new...they are generally something you've taken yourself, but occasionally someone will put up something they found online that spoke to them :) We're pretty lax about any actual rules or guidelines in the game. It is always just fun seeing people's interpretations of the themes.

This week, the word word word is HAT, chosen by me, me, me!  Here are some HAT-tastic photos for you to enjoy or, um, simply view.

Here are some cute guys in HATs. We all get along because we like 
carbohydrates quite a lot. And wearing HATs.

I call this Still Life with Apples, Cherry Tomatoes, and Wizard HAT. 
You need these things for a good day, yo.

Aye aye! It is I, Cap'n Dork! You don't see me in a HAT too often, 
as I have a giant noggin. But here you go. Enjoy.  haha!

If you enjoyed, even a tiny, tiny bit, this Saturday Scavenger Shots post, I'd love to persuade you to play along too! Just drop me a note in comments and I will come check you out and make all sorts of admiring noises :)  

For next week, I'd like to tag Silly Rabbit to choose a word, if she would please. Thanah queueah.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday 5 - A Stitch In Time

Having myself a quiet Friday off work, so I thought I'd do a Friday 5 here. Time, time, time is on my side. Yes. It is.  If you have some time, please play along in comments or on your own blog or even in your moleskin journal.

1.What was your first wristwatch like? I would really like to be able to answer this, but I have no memory of my first wristwatch! I don't even remember how old I was when I began wearing a watch. I guess I never really wore one entirely regularly and now, with my phone almost always on me, I no longer wear one as a rule.  Remember Swatches though?  haha! I did rock one of those :)

2.What lately seems to have been a thief of time?
Sleep. I go through periods of time, like now, where I wish I could somehow just skip it. Other times, sleep is a great treat. Lately, not so much. Just let me carry on with other things and sleep at some later date.
3.What were yesterday’s quietest five minutes like?
I probably talked to myself through them. If not right out loud, then certainly internally. Shut up, laura, shut up!

4.In what way have you lately been saving time? This week was a nice change of pace for my morning commute. My youngest son had finals this week and had to be to school 30 minutes earlier than usual. That meant I could begin my commute 30 minutes earlier. And even though the travel time was the same, I didn't feel as rushed, of course. I got to work early all week and it felt somehow like I was saving time...but I guess I was really just saving stress. Next week, back to the same old mad dash.

5.We are often charged hourly rates for labor, but we never get to reciprocate in kind when promised completion times don’t match actual completion. If you could bill people for the time you spend waiting, what would be a reasonable amount? Hm...if I could bill people for time I spent waiting, I would be a rich woman, no matter what I charged! I wouldn't need to be greedy about it at all. I should set myself a little base amount of, say, $8.50 an hour. That is CA minimum wage. I wonder how much extra I could bring in over the course of each month? I'm guessing enough that I could at least go out for a nice meal a couple of times a month...where I'd make more money waiting!

I hope you didn't find this a waste of your precious time. Have a great weekend you guys...and come back tomorrow to check out my HATS in the Saturday Scavenger Shots!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Never Ever Let It Cool

Welcome to Choose and Defend Wednesday! Today's choice is inspired by one of my assignments at work today.  In just a while, I will be judging a Marshmallow Madness Castle Building Contest. I know, my job is awesome :) So, anyway, I have marshmallows on the brain...which leads to hot chocolate on the brain...which leads to my question for today!  Which do you prefer on your hot chocolate?



Whipped Cream

What a yummy choice, right? So Choose, then make us feel your conviction and Defend your choice!

****And please note that if you are playing Saturday Scavenger Shots, the word for this week (January 21) is HAT.****

Thanks for playing Choose and Defend Wednesday. Makes my week :)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Sacred Geometry of Chance

Here I am!  I didn't forget! I am ready to do my Saturday Scavenger Shots...today's word, SHAPE, was chosen by the lovely Tara @ Eclectic Spaghetti.  What a great word, right? You can do a lot with SHAPE. Or at least *I* can, because I'm fairly awesome at this game.  Not to brag or anything, but I can basically make anything photo fit in with any theme. It's a gift. 

Speaking of gifts...I got one today! And it is one for my favorite SHAPEs!  Scheck it out, mang -

 This SHAPE is one of my favorites. It is the SHAPE of a book. 
It is, in fact, a book! I just got it today, courtesy of one of my favorite people in 
the world and the chooser of this week's word! Thank you, Tara. You rule!!!

I did some granny duty today and we had some art time outside.  
There were many SHAPEs involved.
Doesn't Miss Personality look intent on her work? The babies, as we call them, 
were in no SHAPE to compete with her commitment to her art.
 Here is one of the little foam SHAPEs that we employed today. Lovely.

Finally, finishing up with an image that is not so lovely. My apologies, but really, you must see this.  

I took this picture yesterday...one full week after the embarrassing heel debaucle of '12.  See how I suffered? Clearly my gigantic feet are in no SHAPE to be wearing fancy lady shoes. I am just not fancy lady material.

Thank you for joining me for this week's Saturday Scavenger Shots!  I am going to take a look and see if anyone else manned up here and showed a SHAPE or two.  I hope you are still able to enjoy the rest of your weekend after being forced to gaze upon my horrible, horrible injury ;-)  TTYL, Alligators!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday 5 - Type

How about a little Friday 5? We haven't done that in awhile and I always get to missing it. This one is cool and simple, I think. Please feel free to play along on your blog or in comments. Good times, good types :)

1. What’s a decorative font you really like?   Forte is pretty cool.  I use different decorative fonts when I do flyers...not for standard forms, of course. It is fun to be able to mix things up and feel somewhat creative by choosing a decorative font.

2. MS Word uses Times New Roman as the default plain font; Apple Pages uses Helvetica. Is there a plain font you like better?   I like Georgia (which is what you see here) and also one called Lucida Bright. I will also say that of the two mentioned, I prefer Helvetica to Times New Roman.

3. In words per minute, how fast do you type? (if you Google “check your typing speed” or something like that, you’ll find many online options for testing yourself)  Oh, I am not at ALL a fast typist. Especially for someone who spends most of the day on a computer. But I tend to type in short bursts...book titles, for example. And my blog posts are not speedily typed, not quite.  I think maybe 70 on a good day. haha!

4. Who in your life is just your type, but for some reason not romantically compatible with you?  A lot of people are just my type in one way or another. I find many people to be attractive or interesting and I can imagine getting along with them in many ways. But I cannot think of one person who stands out as being "my type", but not compatible romantically. If someone was truly my type, I tend to think maybe the romance might work itself out...or am I just not getting it here?

5. What’s your blood type? The attitude and the blood: B+

Hope you all have the type of weekend you want to have! I also hope you join me tomorrow in posting at least one Saturday Scavenger Shot using the idea of SHAPE.  kthxbai!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

It's Alive! Alive!

Our dear, recently returned blogging friend Tara over at Eclectic Spaghetti, has suggested that we give Saturday Scavenger Shots another go. You know how I love that game, so I am all in!  She even gave us a word for this Saturday, January 14.  The word is SHAPE. 
Now, go look through your photos or take some photos and give some SHAPE to your blog this Saturday!!!  Do it!

Also, please Choose and Defend just below ↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓  Ta.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I Wouldn't Spend My Life Just Wishing

Welcome to Choose and Defend Wednesday here at Fresh Hell.  Today's Choose and Defend was inspired by some recent photo-worthy gatherings that I've attended...from the holidays, to the zoo, to Cougar Town.  I've noticed the different nature of those who photograph and those who are photographed.  So I thought I'd throw it out to you, my favorite people to throw things out to! 

Who are you?

The Photographer

The Subject

We've probably all been both.  Even the smallest child can take a decent photograph in this age of digital magic :)  But at heart, you are one or the other...so which is it? Choose. Why is it? Defend.  I await your comments with bated breath! Choose and Defend!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Cougar Town

Do any of you watch Cougar Town? I watched the first episode or two when it started a couple of years ago and didn't care for it.  DR stuck with it though, and after awhile encouraged me to give it another chance. I did and it ended up being one of my favorite shows...really funny, sometimes sweet, always quite clever.  The name makes it sound like a show about older women prowling for younger men...and it kind of started out like that. But it grew in to a show about the adult relationships that we form with the people around us.   The show is very well acted and helmed by one of the most dynamic writers / producers working in television today. 

Right now, the show is on hiatus. I haven't heard a definite date for its return, but there has been speculation that it will be in March.  In the meantime, the creators of the show, Bill Lawrence and Kevin Biegel decided to step outside the box and do something to keep the fans interested and enthused.  They began sponsoring Cougar Town viewing parties all over the country.  They promised that at least one cast member and one writer would be in each location. There would be lots of time to talk and ask questions. Also, they would preview an episode or two from the coming season at each event. Ticket giveaways have been organized through Twitter, mostly in a fairly last minute way to keep things interesting :) I was soooo excited and happy when I got the email saying that we were in!!!

Last night DR and I got to go to what was probably THE best of all of the nationwide events. Living in Los Angeles does have the occasional advantage.  We were able to go to Culver Studios where they actually do their filming. Since it was homebase, all of the cast and a great deal of the writing staff and other crew where in attendance.  They visited with the fans in a very casual fashion, right on the fake street that stands in for their Florida neighborhood.  They ran a Penny Can tournament, provided free drinks, and most importantly, just made themselves available for questions, comments, and photo opportunities. 

Me and my new boyfriend, Bill "VDOOZER" Lawrence.
DR and I spent the longest time glued to Bill's (I call him Bill, that's right) side.  He is the most gregarious person in the world.  He is the guy who created the show, as I mentioned.  He also ran Scrubs, which is one of my favorite shows ever.  He encouraged people to ask questions and answered them honestly. He had many great stories. He is married to the beautiful and funny actor Christa Miller. If you don't watch Cougar Town, you might remember her from The Drew Carey Show or Scrubs. Talking to him, and Christa, briefly, was absolutely amazing.

Here are some pictures of other people we met -

DR and Bob Clendenin. Bob plays the creepy neighbor, Tom, on the show. Nicest guy ever.

Me and the adorable Ian Gomez, who plays Andy Torres on the show.

DR and very cute Dan Byrd, who plays Travis Cobb.
DR made him laugh by mentioning remembering him from 28 Days.

This is a dark picture of me with Brian Van Holt. He gave us a tour of the sets and
 I have a small story about his extreme kindness.

He is a better picture of Brian Van Holt, who plays Bobby Cobb, with DR.
Aren't they the cutest?
  They divided the group into smaller groups for tours and had cast and other crew members give the tours.  Our tour was led by actor Brian Van Holt, who plays the hapless Bobby Cobb on the show. He was accompanied by one of the charming writers, Greg Mettler. By the time we were touring, we'd been on our feet for over an hour. Usually that would not be worth mentioning. However, I had decided to be cute and wear these new heels DR got for me.  I underestimated the amount of walking around the evening would entail and I was suffering. I NEVER wear heels and I don't know what I was thinking! Well...cute. I wanted to be cute. Anyway, Brian noticed that I was sort of pained looking. Later, after.we'd toured and I was sitting lamely at this little table all alone, he came up and asked me if I wanted him to get a golf cart to bring me back to the theater for the viewing.  Wasn't that nice? I was embarrassed though, at seeming infirm or something. I declined, but thanked him.  It was one way to be noticed I guess....the hobbler.  haha! So, not cute. But I tried.

Anyway, after another glass of wine and sitting around the big heaters they had out, it was finally our turn to go see some preview episodes of the show. We were in the second group and had a bit of a wait. When we went in, the cast were all seated in front for some more Q and A. It was the first chance to see Courtney Cox, who didn't really mingle before hand.  While this was going on, they were also handing out souvenirs. DR got a Cougar Town tour tee and I got a complete Season One DVD set.  After that Bill released the cast and we settled in to enjoy a couple of brand new episodes. We watched Eps. 1 and 4 from the coming season. At the last minute, we were invited to view Ep. 5 if we wished. We did!  Made me look forward to this third season so, so much...which of course was the point.

After that we hobbled off to the car and home. I think it was one of my best evenings ever and I was so glad that DR and I got to do it together before he takes off again in a couple of days. Go Cougar Town! :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy Birthday, Girlie Girl!

Today my baby girl turns 19!  Happy Birthday Shelly Girlie Girl!  She's kind of my idol :)

Girlie Girl on your right, with a couple of her friends. They make their own rules.

Everybody Gets a Nice Autographed Picture

How about a little Choose and Defend Wednesday? I missed last week...did you notice? haha!  Anyway, I'm not giving it up! Choose and Defend is one of my favorite things ever.  Here we go...

This week, your life just got a little more dramatic.  You will have a choice about what form that drama is going to take. So, would you rather have each moment of your life...

Narrated by Morgan Freeman

Scored by John Williams

  What will it be? How can we dramatize your life?  Choose one and then, please, Defend your choice.  Choose and Defend! It is Wednesday and that's what we do here.  Thanks :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Welcome to What Comes Next....

Welcome to the future! 2012 is here and I'm ready. Just returned to work after another long weekend.  Not sure how I will be able to make it through a standard work week after the past couple of abbreviated weeks!

Had a great New Year's Eve. DR and I went to his sister's house for lasagna, board games, and sparkling cider at midnight. I really appreciate how welcoming his family has been....and I'm even willing to learn games for them :)  We ended up staying over there until around 5 am, then we drove on home and went to bed for a few hours.

On New Year's day, we went to the zoo with Kick Back Dude's family.  I was not in picture taking mode at all...not sure why! But there are pictures somewhere and I will post them if anyone sends them to me. The weather has been so sunny and pretty and the animals were so active. It was a really fun, but tiring day.

But here now...listen to this bit of bad news.  Not BAD bad...just, you know, not good.  DR is going to back to NC for another month. I am told his round trip ticket is Jan 10-Feb 8.  His mom would like one last bit of assistance as she gets settled into her new place.  So, I'm not exactly thrilled.  But am I going to be the horrible person who would deny his elderly mother help in getting situated?  That doesn't sound like me :) But honestly, I am feeling a bit resentful.  They had a year and a half to do all of their projects. Also, I'm upset because like when he left the first time, it was presented more or less fait accompli. I tend to think they had this plan in mind for some time.  DR didn't want to ruin at least the beginning of our time together, but by NYE he had to tell me or risk me hearing about it from someone else. 

Anway, if it is really a month, fine. I mean, what is really to be done in this sort of situation? I appreciate his sense of responsibility to his family.  I hope someday I will mean enough to engender those feelings of commitment.  I did have to say, though, that I am not willing to pin all my hopes on some date they've laid out. As I've seen, anything can happen.  So when he is at the airport then I will get excited again about his presence in my life. I'm going to try and enjoy this week, wish him a nice trip, and then just wait and see. I seem to be alright at doing that.