A big family, a reading addiction, and the occasional celebrity scandal are the ingredients of life that create one woman's opinion on just about everything.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Bon Jour Je m'appelle Linette!

Your French Name is:

Linette St. Aubin

I saw the link to find out your French name on another blog site and couldn't resist it. So hey...call me Linette!


Saturday, April 29, 2006

Got Friends?

Ah...the treasure of friendship. If we are lucky we have one or two real friendships in our lives. I've been fortunate to have my three sisters as dear friends along with some very special women, Steadman, Kellstance, Vicki and DivaZ. I've known all of them for years and we keep in touch and keep up with each other's lives. We've laughed, we've cried, we've shopped, shared meals, joys, tragedies and drinks. I have many other friends with whom I spend time, but these women are the nearest and dearest. For each of them I am truly grateful for their presence in my life.

So imagine my surprise when I had the good fortune to find out recently that I'd lost my "last" friend. No she didn't die...her over inflated ego and arrogant self righteousness helped her deconstruct an already tenuous association.

Of course she lacks the courage and integrity to give me the devastating news herself that she is the self-appointed last friend I have. No, she gave the news to a poor unsuspecting third party who didn't know that I'd lost my "last" friend. In the ultimate act of passivie agressiveness she favors, she makes the "last friend" comment as though it is with regret and sadness for me. Could she get more pathetic? The comment was made with the express intention that it would be dutifully repeated to me. Guess what happened? I laughed out loud! Joke's on you lonely old lady living with a dog, two cats and neglectful husband. Good God your two two closest companions are also lonely old women who are both drunks. Have a nice life!
What's really sad is that this self appointed "last friend" hadn't realized that our friendship had ended more than 8 years before. She strangled it single handedly. Ka-put!! Didn't she notice when I started working with her 3 and 1/2 years ago that I never engaged in the relationship in the same way as years before? At best we were co-workers. Despite all my personal feelings about her and her behavior and ethics, I was loyal, respectful and hard working during the tenure of our work relationship. Now this. This past month when I didn't think she could sink any lower she has. So she wants to write nasty letters? Gossip with the tenants? Go ahead. What she doesn't get is that she doesn't matter.

The real head scratcher? If her life is as fabulous and care free as she professes, why meddle in mine? Why does she care? Why does she bother? Why doesn't she get a life of her own?

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Friday, April 28, 2006

So Sue Me!

I forgot to calculate into my blog schedule that there would actually be days when I wouldn't be able to post. Last night after work I had to hurry home inhale some food, spackle and re-paint my face, meet up with the guy I live with, throw a chain around number 2 son, number 1 son was at work, and then race to my niece's Confirmation.

For those of you who aren't Catholic, Confirmation is a sacrament in which you become responsible for yourself and are an adult in the eyes of the church. Of course, as with most things Catholic it ran long. It also didn't help that the Bishop was late because he was stuck in a traffic jam on the freeway on the way to the service. So everything started a half hour later to begin with.

End result...no post. But I did get to see the beautiful and newly confirmed niece's prom dress. There was also the added bonus of getting to spend some time with my sister's family.

One sad note though, my (same) sister just found out their 12 year old dog Brady has cancer. They rescued him from the pound when he was a puppy. The disease is spreading rapidly and they are going to have to put him down. The family is understandably devastated. Last night in addition to celebrating Kenna's milestone we told Brady stories about this gem of a pet. He was laying nearby wrapped in his blankie occasionally lifting his graying muzzle and thumping his tail. He really is a swell doggie and will be sorely missed.

Ciao kids. More later!!

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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Send Up a Flare!

Thanks to GEMMAK DESIGNS this dull little blog site is going to get a face lift. It's early days yet so it will be a while before the new design is rolled out, but I'm excited anyway. What better time for a change than Spring!

Now if the !@#$#@ weather would cooperate I might give the yard a face lift by getting some flowers planted. I can't believe it is almost the end of April and I don't have a single flower planted or herb in the ground. Normally I'd have stuff in the ground for over a month by now. I've got my fingers crossed it will be this weekend.

This is it for today folks. I'm pooped! After my tirade on weird celebrity names I'm going to step away from the blog and read and decompress tonight. I think I'll indulge in a low fat latte ice cream cone while I'm at it.

I know...you wish you were here.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Suri??? What kind of name is Suri?

So I recently read an AOL entertainment article from the NY Times you can check out yourself here. This article discusses the escalating trend for well known and (in)famous people to pick out weirder and weirder names for their kids in an effort to be singular and unique.

Am I the only person on the planet who isn't shocked to find that the rich and famous want to draw attention to themselves and their children with these names?

Gee, even us mere mortals want names we feel are special for our children. Is it such a hard stretch to believe that someone who has already achieved a certain amount of celebrity and notoriety wants that to extend to their children? What other possible explanation could there be for someone to name their child Moon Unit, Apple or Suri? My personal favorite for the "What were you thinking?" award goes to Penn Gillette, one half of the magician team Penn & Teller. Daddy Gillette named his daughter Moxie CrimeFighter Gillette. Yeah, there's a fun name to bubble in for tests. Thanks Mom...thanks Dad.

Of course, a couple of the quoted stars say that people they know who have unusual names love them. Really? Like maybe other celebrities? C'mon do you really believe all these children are going to thank their parents for these names? Personally, I'm betting the best seller list some 15 or more years from now will include some tell-all book about how difficult it was to grow up with a name like Lourdes.

When we took parenting classes which were required as part of the adoption process, one of the recurring points hammered home was to note that as much as kids rebel or even want to be thought of as unique, what most kids want is to feel like they belong and are a part of the family, school, team, etc. The feeling of belonging, and being loved makes a child (person) feel safe, secure and validated. I'm sure little Moxie CrimeFighter will feel those things every day as she manuevers the roller coaster ride called high school.

Today I read another article in AOL entertainment news from April 21st that noted many people have blogged and made comment about baby Cruise's name Suri. Apparently Cruise/Holmes publicists had released the information that the name was chosen partly because Suri means "princess" in Hebrew. According to
this article, that is not true. Hebrew language experts were contacted and they are quoted as saying Suri is not close to any deritive of princess that they know of. The admiring throngs have come up with another theory. It seems the founder of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, was born in Surrey England. So Surrey became Suri to honor the father of Scientology. The adage "Truth is stranger than fiction" might apply here. Suri...really?

Poor little baby girl. Don't think she won't have a few trips to the therapist office. Oops! Wait, I forgot. Can't do that 'cause her Daddy doesn't believe we need medical/psychological intervention. No wonder little baby Suri Cruise has already made the
"Sucks to be You" list and she's not even a week old yet!

By the way, while I think Gwyneth Paltrow's daughter Apple has an unusual name, I don't understand why the article discusses her new son's name, Moses, as being "different". Huh? Moses has been around along time. A very long time...remember the guy on the mountain with the stone tablet?

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Monday, April 24, 2006

The Power of One

This evening, quite by accident, the guy I live with clicked on a movie called THE POWER OF ONE. I groaned when I saw the actor Steven Dorff was in it. For some reason he just bugs me. Despite this handicap, the movie grabbed our attention and we couldn't stop watching it.

The movie was made in 1992 and is about apartheid. It is a narrative of one person's life from boy to man from the mid 1930s to early 1950s. Other than wondering when Mr. Dorff was going to show up, I found myself so involved with the story that by the time Mr. Dorff made his appearance, it didn't matter any more. In fact I was pleasantly surprised at how well he did in the part and he certainly nailed the South African accent. Luckily we caught the movie from the very beginning so we could understand and accept the events and experiences that shaped the main character and his beliefs.

Another surprise was the appearance of Morgan Freeman in a small supporting roll that was not even noted in the program notes. He was excellent as usual.

It is always hard for me to explain how ashamed of the human race I am when I either watch or read about the atrocities and inhumane treatment of one human being to another. Man's inhumanity to man. I can't think of anything more perverse or inexplicable. Conversely, I'm astonished at the resiliency of the human spirit and the courage and determination it takes to live and struggle to make a change. Inspiring to say the least.

THE POWER OF ONE is definitely a movie worth watching. It is a reminder of the injustices still going on around the world today. It reminded me to never get lazy or complacent about my personal responsibility to stay informed, to make my voice heard with my vote and most importantly to watch, listen, and witness what is taking place in the world. It reminded me to never, ever forget.

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Sunday, April 23, 2006

Contrary ~ Contrariness? Or just CRANKY!

Normally for me to browse the net and visit my favorite blog sites is a departure from reality and a joyful journey to see what is happening in the world, who's reading what, who's doing who, and for goodness sakes what is everyone wearing (or not) while doing it.

Today I think I'm just in a contrary or CRANKY mood. I was irritated by the word game the Cherry Bombs are playing on the Mayer-Crusie site in their comments. They are making sentences or phrases out of the word verifications. Don't get me wrong some of them are outrageous and funny, but today...it irritated me. It was deflating, and for me, took something away from my enjoyment of the posts and comments. It's a complete experience there. Sometimes the comments are more outrageous and funny than the posts and considering the blog is written by two witty, intelligent and well published writers, that's saying something.

Then I turned to one of my very favorite hang outs. Karen Scott's blog. One just never knows what Karen is going to say next. How she keeps things fresh, honest and interesting...it's amazing to me. So I go to her site and link to a couple of others and feel...well irritated again. Or, maybe I'm just being contrary or CRANKY. I went on to link to a series of 3 or 4 different blogs. It amazes me! It really does.

I swear every site I went to was well-layed out, bright, interesting, focused. No two ways about it. I was green with envy. Hey, I have enough ummpf and ambition (usually) to feel competitive. Normally this would be the impetus to finally get me off my @ss and revamp my blog...as I've been saying I would for the past several month.

Nope. Not today. Today in the midst of my jealousy, wonder and admiration I felt irritated by it all. How the hell do these women have families, homes, jobs and have time for their blog too? See? Contrary! While I admire them, I'm confounded and irritated.

And this my dear friends and gentle readers is why I don't post every day. I loathe when I give into my inner bitch and wank. But WTF, I decided to post 14 days in a row come hell or high water and this is what you get. But, maybe I'm just irritated, or contrary, or CRANKY.

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Saturday, April 22, 2006

Uh - Oh!!

Okay, I already missed my second day. But that's what happens when you have a 12 hour work day. Aiiieeee Carumba! I was so tired I didn't even make my daily blog rounds. In fact I'm writing this totally clueless about what happened in the world yesterday. Frankly, I haven't decided whether or not that is a good thing or a bad thing.

So far today I've showered and went for my nail and pedi appointment that was rescheduled due to horrendous work day yesterday. Now I'm home to snatch up the guy I live with and then we will be out doing the errands that keep our household going for another week. This we will follow up with a trip to Bed & Bath for new sheets for the new mattresses we bought back in December for our boys.

I know I've been busy, but I completely forgot about those mattresses. Number one son happened to mention the other day that he has been waiting for us to get the new sheets. He goes on to explain that it is like having a wrestling match to try and fit the regular sheets on the bed, the mattress pad is ripping and oh yeah...he feels like the meat in a taco every time he gets in the bed. Obviously, I'm a horrible mother! *g* What I can't believe is that he's waited so long to remind me I need to buy him sheets.

On the up side they wash and change their own sheets (only every OTHER week and usually after some nagging) so I've remained clueless to their plight. Hopefully everyone will sleep well tonight. Later gator!

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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Visiting My Blog

Something is seriously wrong with me. Honestly...I visit my blog site each day with every intention of writing and end up bouncing around cyber space reading everyone else's blog.

So I'm going to steal a page out of Jennifer Crusie's book...er blog...or life and try to write something here every day for the next two weeks. My goal is not to think too much and just write whatever I'm thinking about...no censoring. Should be interesting.

I have to say that while I love romance, mysteries, suspense, erotica and the mixtures and sub genres of all these books, the articles, reviews posts, and drama have been kind of a drag lately. It continually surprises me how the written word is interpreted so differently by each reader. Perception and opinion of what was written is influenced by age, gender, religion, ethnicity, economics...so many factors. I've read the same material as several other people and come away with a different (sometimes COMPLETELY different) perception of what was written. It is often enlightening and gives me a fresh point of view, but just as frequently makes me scratch me head and say "Huh?" "Really?" "WTF?" "Oh, for Gawd's sakes!!"

I have found that there are lots of great people out in in the cyber world who are smart, clever, witty, and funny. However, there are an equal number of wanking weirdo overly sensitive freaks. Oh, and I don't want to forget the person who comments with great authority and frequently insensitivity and posts anonymously. Still and all...I usually get quite a kick out of reading, observing and commenting on all of it. It makes me feel connected to the fast paced and busy world in which we all live. I like knowing what is going on...whether I agree or participate in all of it is moot. I still want to know.

Now the interesting thing about writing a blog? That while I was getting myself all revved up to go on about bloggers and how the internet is my main source for news my #2 son who turned 16 on Easter Sunday, asked me to take in a new collared shirt he bought at American Eagle this evening. So right when I was getting warmed up I had to leave for 34 minutes to take in his shirt for him. Of course he had to do all the set up and putting away of the sewing machine...so that helped. Well, it helped convince me to take in the shirt at 10 p.m. at night, but didn't help me with my blog.

Yeah, I'll get one of these suckers written every night for the next 14, or only 13 now...days.

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Friday, April 14, 2006

Good Friday

I was born and raised a Roman Catholic. I think it would be fair to say that for 45 of my 51 years I was what might be called a devout Catholic. By that I mean I practiced the tenets of the faith and went to Church every week. I participated in all the religious sacraments, holidays and services.

There have been many points in my life where I went to daily Mass. Attending Mass with a handful of the faithful can be a very powerful experience, much more powerful than a well scripted spectacle in a cathedral.

Anyway, I would be lying if I didn't say I still feel connected to the Catholic church. I'd also be lying if I tried to tell you I didn't miss it sometimes, because I surely do. I frequently say "I'm Catholic" when conversations about religion come up at work or in social settings. But, that is all just a passive and Pavolovian response. In my heart I'm not a Catholic any more. I don't know if it's possible for an organization to break one's heart, but if it is, then the Catholic Church broke my heart...many times.

My broken heart isn't over the larger issues of the lack of equality for women, or the despicable behavior and cover-up of the sexual abuse perpetrated by priests on young boys and women. Nope, all my heart break is personal. Personal disappointments of when either I reached out for some spiritual help or a member of my family reached out and not only experienced rejection, but sometimes even cruelty.

My heart is broken over a practice of faith that while richly rooted in history and tradition cannot embrace the diversity of people of the 21st century. While espousing to have room for everyone, it is an organization of faith that only flourishes in countries where education and equality are sadly lacking. It lashes out and suppresses and admonishes its' critics.

In the resilience of my youth I thought that a single priest or nun was not representative of a whole religion. This thought matured into the thought that one's faith is personal and not something you should put into the hands of a custodian. I felt I needed to take personal responsibility for my faith and not blame an organization or it's facilitators.

However, I came to realize that as much as I wanted to please my parents and give some sort of spiritual structure to my children, that place was not going to be within the confines and structure of catholicism.

It's an odd journey one embarks on when you are used to hanging onto the rails and support of an organized religion. I have questioned my decision often...more for my children than for myself. It just isn't the same talking about personal responsibility, meditation, prayer and the sharing of one's time, talent and treasure. As the saying goes, "talk is cheap".

Within the structure of organized religion there are good people. People your kids can see besides you, who try to live a good life and do good in the world. Church was a good place for my boys to see that. I just couldn't balance that one good thing against all the other things that made be unhappy, uncomfortable, disappointed and just down right angry.

So trying to live a good life, sharing our abundance with humanity, caring about the state of our community, country and world, and above all talking to our sons about what it means to be a responsible human being, man, son, brother and hopefully someday life partner and father...this takes a life time. While I will probably always miss the richness of the traditions of the Catholic Church, it's music and prayers, I've also found I don't have to be in a particular building, on a particular day at a particular time to remember and to sing.

Today is Good Friday...and I remember.

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Friday, April 07, 2006

My Brother the Fire Captain

Wouldn't you love to be rescued by this guy? He's a real life hero and fire fighter. He's my wonderful brother Kenny.

This is a picture from our local newspaper taken on March 26, 2006. I wanted to post it here to save for posterity. I'm so proud of him. Even taking into consideration my bias because he's my brother, don't you think he looks cool and sexy in this photo?!!

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Saturday, April 01, 2006

Tom Cruise and Aaron

Now I just have to ask you...who's cuter? My niece's boyfriend Aaron or Tom Cruise?

Mr. Cruise just made a pit stop at our small local airport and Aaron was there manning the fire station. I guess Tom was extremely friendly and nice enough to pose for the picture. Pretty cool, huh?

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One of the authors I've been reading for a long time, LOUISA TRENT, has a release coming out on April 4th at Loose-Id, titled TOUCH ME. I like her books because they are edgy and the characters have layers and depth. Two of my favorite things.

My favorite book of hers is CAPTIVE probably because it was the first one I read. It's a medieval and I'm one of those crazy people who still love a good historical novel. In reality I have to have a variety of genres and time periods or I'd just go mad.

I have all her books and she's never let me down. Good reads all. She was with EC for awhile and then Liquid Silver and now Loose-Id. I follow whereever she goes. One of the things I like most about her is that there is absolutely no formula to her stories. They are set in different time periods and about different types of people. No formula or tricks at all.

While TOUCH ME has been e-published before, Louisa has been working hard on re-editing and cleaning up the books before they are released again. Check her out, you won't regret it.

Now I have to go change all my clocks. Daylight Savings Time...Blech! It just irritates me every time we have to do this stupid exercise in April and October each year. I read last year, I think in the LA Times that a study has been done over the last 30 years and there haven't been any measurable advantages to DST. Get a clue people and let us stop the time change madness!

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