Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Observations from the Gym

During the week I go to the gym after work.  On the weekends I go in the morning, usually 30-60 minutes after I get up.  Here are some observations I've had while I'm been there….

I’ve seen way too many butt cracks (male and female, but more male).  Yuck!  People, please pay attention to what is going on with your clothes.  Can’t you feel the breeze back there?

During the week six of the nine televisions are on news channels.  The remaining three are tuned to a sports channel, a channel showing 20 year old reruns of Seinfield (haven’t we seen them all at least 10 times by now?) and one that shows almost exclusively hip-hop music videos (enough with the Beyonce and Jay-Z already).

On the first Tuesday of every month they give away free pizza.  Boxes of pizza are stacked on a table for anyone to eat.  That’s just cruel.

I’ve seen women in full makeup wearing dangling earrings, several necklaces and they are almost always wearing designer workout clothes.  Honey, do you know where you are?

Even though there are several huge signs on the wall that say no cell phones, there is always someone talking on their phone (and it’s usually the woman who gets on the elliptical next to me).

The signs also say no grunting but almost always there is some guy grunting (yes, only the guys do this).

Monday is the busiest day of the week.  And with each passing day the crowds get smaller and smaller.

There are some people who don’t wipe down the equipment when they are done. Disgusting!

The New Year Resolutionaries will start filling the gym soon.  They usually last until March or April.

And lastly, if you don’t sweat you’re not doing it right and you’re just wasting time.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Book List - November 2012

34. When it Happens to You by Molly Ringwald.  This was a collections of short stories about different types of betrayal.  I really like it better than I thought I would.  All the characters are intertwined in the stories. 

35. Broken Harbor by Tana French.  This author writes murder mysteries set in modern day Ireland (mainly Dublin).  The mystery parts are always well written with lots of detail and main character, always a cop, has issues as well (mostly related to the mystery).  This was a good book but I'd recommend some of her other books before this one.

36. My Mother was Nuts by Penny Marshall. I grew up watching Laverne & Shirley and I knew a couple of things about Penny Marshall. She started out in front of the camera and then went behind it. This was a entertaining memior of her life.  She knows everybody.

37. Digital Fortress by Dan Brown.  This a thriller about cryptology.  It was published in 2004 and reading it now in 2012 is dated.  If you can get past that it's not too bad of a read.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Book Signings

I went to my first book signing when I was in my early 20s.  I was working as a reporter in a small southeast Colorado town.  I drove over 1 1/2 hours to Colorado Springs to get a book signed by mystery writer Mary Higgins Clark (who I started reading in high school).  That's what started it all.

Authors, like rock stars and movie stars, have to promote their work.  Most don't go on TV talk shows but instead do books tours.  I am extremly lucky to live in a city that has an awesome independent book store, the Tattered Cover, that draws these authors.  In the last 20 years I've been to a variety of book signings that included Craig Ferguson (funny AND gorgeous), Sarah Ferguson (beautiful), Rick Steves (informative - he also runs a tour company and I asked if he was hiring - he wasn't), Jennifer Weiner (ranchy and funny), Jane Green (British delightful), and Jodi Picoult (this woman does her research), just to name a few.

Two book signing made a big impression on me.  The first was Judy Blume.  I don't know any women from my generation who doesn't know who she is and hasn't read one of her books. Back in May 1998 she came to town.  I was #19 in line to get my book signed.  She spoke awhile and read from her new adult novel Summer Sisters.  I got her to sign her new book and also asked her to sign my battered old copy of Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, a book I had probably had in my possession for 18 years.  The price on the cover says $1.50.  She signed the book and the entire experience was trilling.

The second signing was Maeve Binchy.  She is the Irish author who wrote Circle of Friends which was made into movie. All her books are filled with wonderful characters.  She also came to Denver in 1998 to promote Tara Road.  During her talk she said she kept a notebook where she wrote down interesting names that helped her name characters, something I do as well.  When my turn came to get my book signed I told her I was an aspiring writer and also keep a book of names.  She asked my name and said she had a character in Circle of Friends named Heather (of course, I knew that because I read the book) and she made me promise that if I ever got published I would include her in the Acknowledgement.  I told her I would.  In my copy of Tara Road she wrote "Heather, I'll be waiting for your book! Maeve Binchy."

Sadly, Maeve Binchy passed away a few months ago at the age of 72.  She will be missed.  But she did leave us one last book to look forward to which will be released in February.  And if I ever get published Maeve Binchy, as well as Judy Blume, will most definitely be listed right there in the Acknowledgements. Until then, thank you Maeve & Judy!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Book List - October 2012

33. To Marry an English Lord by Gail MacColl and Carl McD. Wallace.  This was a rather interesting book about real American heiresses who married their British peers.  This book was one of the inspirations for Downton Abbey.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

I Dreamed a Dream

Everyone has a dream, something they want, something they want to do, something they want to be different.  But let's be honest, most people's dreams don't come true.  They are just ideas that for a moment make you feel like something is possible.  You can't win the lottery if you don't buy a ticket.  If your dream is to be on Wheel of Fortune, Vanna White and Pat Sajack aren't just going to appear at your door and beg you to spin the wheel.

Whatever you're dream might be, you have to work at it.  It won't just fall in your lap.  Last night I was watching Charlie Rose interview J.K. Rowling and once again I realized how much I am failing at my attempt to be a writer. Yes, I write and some people think by doing that I should consider myself a writer, but I don't.  My dream is to get a book I wrote published and until that happens I don't consider myself a writer.

The three Ds of writing are desire, determination and discipline. And actually you can say you need those three things to make any dream come true.  I have the desire and the determination but I struggle with the discipline.  Finding time to write is always difficult and making yourself write after you've worked an 8 hour day is hard.  At any writers conference you go you're told that you have to give something up in order to find time to write (sleep, watching TV, reading, spending time with friends, Facebook, blogging - wait that counts, doesn't it?).  If you can do that you're half way there.  The other part is where discipline comes in.  You have the time, now write.  It was kind of like when you were in school and it was time to study.  Who hasn't made their bed, cleaned out the closed, sorted their socks, before they could start studying (fondly called procrastination)? 

I am constantly struggling to find that balance.  There are things I won't give up, like sleep.  Waking up an hour early to write before work is not an option.  And even if I did, anything I would write at 6 a.m. would be totally unreadable,  Lately I've been trying to write during my lunch hour (time I normally spending reading) but it's hard.  It's a limited time period and part of that time is finding someplace quite and seclusive to work.  I know, I know, excuses, excuses.

So after watching J.K. Rowling last night I realized I won't ever have the perfect situation in which to write so I somehow have to make due with my current situation.  And if I want this dream to come true I'm going to have to work at it every single day (not just days when I feel like it or the time presents itself).  I am going to keep trying.  And whatever your dream might be you should keep trying too.  I've heard that all the hard work pays off.  We'll see....

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

What was your major?

Kiplinger’s just came out with a list of the worst college majors in terms of getting employed after graduating.  Unfortunately, a lot of them would be considered very creative career choices.  Here is the link to the list that includes unemployment rates, average salary, job growth, and (my favorite) likelihood of working in retail.

And here are the top 10 worst college majors:

10. English
9. Sociology
8. Dram and Theater Arts
7. Liberal Arts
6. Studio Arts (painting, sculpture and other media)
5. Graphic Design
4. Philosophy and Religious Studies
3. Film and Photography
2. Fine Arts
1. Anthropology

I wasn’t surprised by most of these, although I didn’t expect to see Graphic Design.  I did expect to see my major, Journalism (my emphasis was in editorial, which meant I wanted to be a newspaper reporter).  It was hard enough back in the day to find a reporter job and now with so many newspapers going out of business it’s probably be even harder.  Plus, in my opinion, the quality of work done by journalists today, especially television journalist, is appalling bad, really, really bad.  My journalism degree did help me get jobs in other semi-related fields such as advertising, public relations and marketing (which is what I’m doing right now). 

Around my senior year in high school the only thing I was really interested in was writing.  I had a GREAT language arts teacher who was encouraging.  I had taken a creative writing class and was on the school newspaper.  I thought I’d have a better chance of getting a job with a journalism degree than with a creative writing degree (which isn’t even offered everywhere).

My senior year in college I interned at the Windsor Beacon (Windsor, CO), which has since been bought by Gannett, graduated and spend 9 months looking for a newspaper job before landing in southeastern Colorado at the Rocky Ford Daily Gazette.  That was the one and only journalism job I ever had (it lasted about 3 years – and that’s another story for another time).  While I did work at the now defunct Rocky Mountain News, that was in the advertising department.  Today, many, many, many years after graduating college, I don’t think I would want to go back to reporting but I do enjoy creative writing and hope to have some success with that.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

No Ice Cream For You

Road trips mean junk food.  You may start out with good intentions, you pack fruit and trail mix but the first time you stop to get gas and walk into that convenience store the healthy food you packed goes out the window.

Mid-morning on the first day driving back to Colorado from Texas my Mom wanted vanilla soft-serve ice cream  She just spent 6 days in the hospital and her medication was upsetting her stomach so we wanted to get her ice cream  We stopped at the first McDonalds we saw for ice cream and a bathroom break.  I walked inside, waited in line, placed my order, paid my money and waited.  Then I was told that the machine was broken, there was no iced.  I got my money back and we got back on the road.

Down the road at the next McDonalds (because there seems to be one at every highway exit) we stopped again and pulled into the drive-thru.  I ordered a soft-served ice cream and was told the machine was broken.  What the heck?  We drove across the street to Burger King were we got ice cream (I always preferred BK over McD anyway).

About the same time the next day Mom wanted ice cream again.  We were still in Texas (that is one big state) and hundreds of miles from where we were so we stopped at the first McDonalds.  And guess what?  No ice cream.  We got back on the highway and thankfully there was a Dairy Queen at the next exit.  And yes, they had ice cream.

Moral of the story: if you're in Texas and want vanilla soft-served ice cream, don't go to McDonalds.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Book List - September 2012

31. Off Balance: A Memoir by Dominique Moceanu.  Dominique was on the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics "Magnificant Seven" gymnastics team.  I have always loved watching gymnastics and this book really goes to show you don't know what goes not behind closed doors of public figures whether they are entertainers, politicians or athletes.

32. Getting the Pretty Back by Molly Ringwald.  This is kind of a self-help/memoir.  None of the self-help stuff is new (basically common sense stuff) but there were a few insights into this 80s icon life that was interesting.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Finally Fall

Fall is almost here (Hip Hip Hooray!) and that means the fall television season is starting.  I don't have cable for a couple of reasons so I'm limited to the tradition network's selection of shows.  Here are some of the new and returning shows I'm looking forward to:

Sherlock (PBS) and Elementary (CBS).  I was never a Sherlock Holmes fan.  I never read any of the books and the only Sherlock Holmes movie I saw was the Robert Downey Jr. one (and I wasn't that impressed).  But last year Masterpiece Mystery aired Sherlock and I was hooked!  In this very modern-day telling Sherlock is pompous and knows it.  It's witty and suspenseful with great writring and acting.  Now I'm looking forward to Elementary as well.  This Sherlock just got out of rehab and his Watson is a woman.  And the creators have promised there will never be a romance between this Sherlock and Watston.

Glee (FOX).  I admit I've been a Gleek from the beginning but this season premier didn't really do anything for me.  A bunch of characters were graduating seniors last season and I missed them (although we've been told they will be back at some point).  And the two new main characters were rather dull.  The best part of the season premier was guest star Kate Hudson as a alcoholic washed-up NYADA dance teacher who used to work on Broadway.  Hope this show improves as the weeks go on.

Downton Abbey (PBS).  I am a SUCKER for British period piece dramas and this one totally fit the bill.  If for nothing else than the wickedly witty lines from Maggie Smith.

Once Upon a Time (ABC).  Last year two "fairy tale" drama debuted and for me this one was the clear winner.  If you were a fan of Lost, the same people are behind Once and you'll notice.  It's a mix of fairy tale characters in present time and past "fairy tale" time.  It had a great cliff hanger last season so I'm looking forward to where things will go from there.

Raising Hope (FOX).  There are a lot of good half-hour comedies out there but this one is really quirky and funny.  The story is about a young man who becomes a single father (the mother was a serial killer who ending up in jail and SPOILER ALERT supposedly got hit by a bus at the end of last season) but the stars of the show are the parents (Martha Plimpton and Garret Dillahunt) and  dementialy challenged Maw Maw (Cloris Lecchman). 

So let the viewing begin....

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Book List - August 2012

27. Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness. This is the second book in the Discovery of Witches trilogy. This fantasy is the continuing story of witch Diana and vampire Matthew. You definitely need to read the first book to understand all the intricate characters and plot twist. It does get gruesome at times but a good read.
28. Where We Belong by Emily Giffin. I read almost the entire book in one four hour sitting waiting for my car at the mechanics. It's the story of a women who, 18 years earlier at the age of 18, gave up her daughter for adoption. The daughter finds here and she now has to own up to her decisions. It's a story that's been told before (and probably will be told again) but also a good read.

29. The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner.  If you know anything about this author you'll know that this book reflects some of her recent experiences and is also more like her first few books.  A young single woman tried to make it as a Hollywood TV writer with her grandmother in tow.  It's another good Weiner book.

30. What the Nanny Saw by Fiona Neill.  A young college student goes to work as a nanny for an upper-class finance family in London two years before the market tanked in 2008.  Lots of finance terminology but interesting characters.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Bronze Medalist With Heart of Gold

The summer Olympics are over. The top winning athletes are now seen on TV talk shows and cereal boxes. All their hard work paid off and the payday begins. I’m sure everyone who competed at the Olympics dreamed of winning a medal, but of course, not everyone can. Many know all their hard work will result in them being able to say they competed at the Olympics (which IS pretty cool).

Zofia Noceti-Klepacka of Poland is a very unique athletes. The 26-year-old windsurfer promised her 5-year-old neighbor Zuzia that if she won a medal she would sell it and give all the proceeds to her Zuzia’s family. Zuzia suffers from cystic fibrosis and has already under gone five operations. Last week Noceti-Klepacka won the bronze medal in women’s RS:X windsurfing (finishing just three seconds ahead of a rival from Finland).

(Side note: how many people knew windsurfing was even an Olympic sport? I didn’t. Other Olympic sports I didn’t know about: hand ball and trampoline.)

Nobody can say how much she’ll get for it, but it sure is a very selfless thing to do. Think about, she probably trained for years, sacrificed a lot and forked out a lot of money for this once in a lifetime opportunity. She got that medal and now she’s willing to part with it to help someone else.

Many athletes would never do that but some have. Ukrainian boxer Wladimir Klitschko won the gold medal in boxing at the 1996 Olympics (the first year Ukraine completed at an Olympics). Earlier this year he auctioned off his gold medal, earring $1 million to go to a foundation to help fund children’s sports camps and facilities in the Ukraine (side note: the anonymous winner returned the medal to Klitschko after the auction). U.S. swimmer Anthony Ervin won the gold in the 50 meter freestyle at the 2000 Sydney Games. He put his gold medal on eBay and donated the over $17,000 he got to victims of the Indian Ocean Tsunami. And Polish swimmer Otylia Jedrzejczak donated the $80,000 from selling the gold medal she earned at the 2004 Athens Olympics in the 200 meter butterfly to a Polish charity that helps kids with leukemia.

“I don’t need the medal to remember,” Jedrzejczak was quoted. “I know I’m the Olympic champion. That’s in my heart.”

So while some athletes will be raking in the money, others know it’s not all about the money.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Emmy Nominations!

This morning nominations for the Emmy (television) Awards were announced. If’ you’re new to my blog you may not know that I’m sucker for award ceremonies. Every year I watch the Emmys, the Oscars and the Tonys. And even though I don’t get cable, I am aware of the popular shows on cable. And if one looks interesting I try to get DVDs out of the library to watch those shows.

You can see a complete listing of the nominations here:


I was excited by a couple of things. Mayim Bialik was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy for Big Bang Theory. Amy Farrah Fowler has some of the best lines on the show and Mayim executes them perfectly. I think she can even outshine Jim Parsons (Sheldon Copper) although the two work really well together. She’s my pick in that category.

I loved that Dot-Marie Jones got nominated for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her role as Coach Shannon Beiste on Glee. She’s probably the underdog in that category but was glad she was noticed.

And I was thrilled to see not one but two Masterpiece (PBS) shows singled out: Downtown Abbey and Sherlock. I am fans of both and was glad to see the shows and the actors nominated (especially Benedict Cumberbatch for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie).

I think there has been shift in television over the last few years. Categories like Outstanding Drama Series are dominated by cable shows (six out of seven). HBO, Showtime and AMC are producing better dramas than ABC, CBS and NBC. The exception, of course, is PBS which, in my opinion, has been producing great dramas for years but they are just now getting noticed.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Book List - July 2012

23. Cottage at Glass Beach by Heather Barbieri - This is a novel about a wife and mother of two girls who escape to an island off the coast of Maine after her polititian husband is caught cheating. She called the island home until she was five when her mother disappeared. The desciption of the island and it's inhabitents is great and there are mystical elements to the story but the plot moves pretty slow and the ending is abrupt. Still an enjoyable read.

24 Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Lights (and Dark Chocolate) by Amy Thomas. In 2008 the author of this book got the opportunity of a lifetime, to temporary relocate to Paris for a year. Thomas is a self-proclaimed sweets fanatic and the book revolves almost exclusively around eating everything from bon-bons and cupcakes to macaroons and tarts in Paris (and New York City). Even for a big dessert person like myself I found this book a little to sweet for my taste. Thomas' life (at least during her time in Paris) totally revolves around desserts and based on the author's photo, she somehow doesn't weigh 400 pounds!

25. Witness by Nora Roberts. Yes, another Nora Roberts. This one is a stand-alone book about a 17 year old girl who witnesses a mob murder and has to go into witness protection. Things don't go as planned and most of the book occurs 12 years later. While the story was rather good, the ending was a little too quick and clean for my tastes, like Nora got tired of the story and just wanted to end it.

26. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. A writer friend and work "bestie" gave me this book on writing. Has some good insight.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Book List - June 2012

Books I've read in June.

19. Mr. Darcy's Dream by Elizabeth Aston. I'm a sucker for P&P sequels. This one, the story of Georginia Darcy's daughter Phoebe, was rather dull. The title refers to Mr. Dary's ambition to create a large glass house (greenhouse) at Pemberly. There is a misunderstanding between Phoebe and the man she loves. Much focus is on reputations but it all works out in the end.

20. The Red Book by Deborah Copaken Kogan - This a book about four women who attended their 20th college reunion. The title comes from a type of Who's Who that is printed every five years for Harvard alumni. There is a lot of affairs and deaths but it's main focus is that even the lives of graduates of Harvard don't go the way they're planned.

21. The Last Boyfriend by Nora Roberts. This author's trilogies are great summer reads. Three characters each have their own book to discover love. And there is always a happy ending.

22. The House I Loved by Tatiana de Rosnay. Unfortunately this book had absolutely no plot and as a result was boring. In the 1860s Paris neighborhoods were being distroyed to make room for large bouelvards. One woman, a widow in her 60s, refuses to leave her house and insteads hides in the basement writing leters to her dead husband about what has happened over the last 10 years since he died. The person from People magazine who called the book "mesmerizing" must have also spend hours watching goldfish in a glass bowl.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Heather's Movie Viewing Trivia

(Today’s blog was inspired by questions this week’s Entertainment Weekly asked actress Emma Stone, with my answers.)

The First Movie I Remember Watching
Disney’s Cinderella (1950). Of course, this was a re-release. I remember thinking it took a really long time to drive to the movie theater.

The Movie Character I Wanted to Be
Samantha Baker (Molly Ringwald) from Sixteen Candles (1984) because (SPOILER ALERT) she gets really, really cute Jake at the end.

The First R-Rated Drama I Ever Saw
My mom took me to see The Breakfast Club (1985). After the movie, Mom (who had gone to an all-girls Catholic high school in the 50s) said that high school wasn’t really like that. I told her that it was.

The Scariest Movie I Ever Saw
I never got frightened by most horror movies. To me the blood and guts were kind of boring and overall the movies were so stupid they were funny. The one exception was The Blair Witch Project (1999). That movie TOTALLY freaked me out. Haven’t been camping since.

The Last Movie I Bought
The Dark Knight (2008). I thought Heath Leger was brilliant in this movie and totally deserved his Oscar (even thought it was sadly given posthumously).

The Movie Musical I Know Every Word To
No brainer, Grease (1978).

The Movie I Can’t Turn Off When It Comes on the Television
This is a really hard one. Pretty much any movie based on a Jane Austen novel, or stars John Cusack or Colin Firth, or John Hughes movie from the 80s, or Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (As Ferris said, Life move’s pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you can miss it.).

The Movie I’ve Seen More Times Than I Can Count
Again, this is really hard. There are so, so many. But if I had to choose just one I’d probably say Real Genius (1985) with Val Kilmer. It's hokey but I still love it.

My First Movie Star Crush
Christopher Atkins but not in Blue Lagoon (I didn’t see that until years after it came out), in The Pirate Movie (1982). This was a cult favorite with my friends and I in high school. If you’ve never seen it, it’s an extremely cheeky 80s version of the musical, The Pirates of Penzance.

The Last Movie That Made Me Cry
I don’t normally cry at movies. I may shed a tear or two but I cannot honestly remember the last time I did that so I’m going to answer this with the movie I cried the most at, Finding Neverland (2004). I was sobbing at the end of the movie when the credits were rolling. I was still sobbing as we left the theater, as we walked through the parking lot and didn’t finish sobbing until we were driving away. So, so sad.

The Movie I’m Always Telling People to See
Sliding Doors (1998) with Gwyneth Paltrow. For a long time I’ve been tired of Hollywood producing so many re-makes of movies and (mostly bad) television shows and movies based on children’s games. This movie has one of the MOST original stories I’ve ever seen. Serious, its super good with a great ending (LOVED the ending)!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

God Save the Queen!

I love everything British. I’ve been lucky enough to have visited England on four occasions and, if I could, I would love to live and work there, so I am excited about all the celebrations surrounding Queen Elizabeth II’s 60th anniversary on the throne. She’s 86 years old and while the last 60 years haven’t been perfect, it is generally acknowledged that she’s done a pretty good job as Queen.

A lot of people don’t understand the duties of the monarch or think that there is even a need for a monarchy. While the Queen can technically dissolve the British Parliament and get rid of the Prime Minister (she has reigned through the terms of 12 prime ministers), it will probably never happen. Basically the purpose of the monarchy is the promote unity (and is that a bad thing?). While most of the Queen’s duties (she attends more than 370 events every year) are symbolic, she is the Queen of State in 16 Commonwealth which includes 53 countries. Queen Elizabeth has various official, ceremonial, diplomatic, and representational duties, and she is a patron of 620 charities.

So while she may not have a lot of political power (although she meets with the Prime Minister ever week and serves as a counselor – she has enough life experience) she does have a purpose. And Queen Elizabeth is the longest living monarch and has the second longest reign (after Queen Victoria who reigned 64 years).

Whether you think the monarch should continue or not you have to give Queen Elizabeth some credit. For 60 years she was dedicated her life to her country, probably sometimes over her own family. I don’t think you can say that about any American political leader.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Book List - May 2012

It was a disappointing month, only two books. I ended up reading a book that is taking a long time to finish (I'm not even half way done).

Here is what I read in May:

17. These Girls by Sarah Pekkanhen - This is a story about three women and their friendship. Each have secrets and struggles, but nothing extraordinary. It was an okay read.

18. The Queen's Handmaiden by Jennifer Ashley - This is a fictional story about Queen Elizabeth I from the time her father died and she became queen through the point of view of her seamstress. I've read a lot of historical fiction about Queen Elizabeth and this was an okay but again, nothing extraordinary.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Book List - April 2012

Here is what I read in April:

14. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern - I don't normally read fantasy (although the cover says this is a novel) but a friend recommended it so I decided to give it a read. The title is very straight forward - this book is about a very unusal circus that is open only at night and the people who run it (and no, they are not vampires as one friend asked). Of course there is an underlying mystery throughout the book so you'll need some patiences but it was enjoyable just the same.

15. Miss Darcy Falls in Love by Sharon Lathan - This is another continuation of Pride & Prejudice but you don't need to know the original story.  I always find it interesting how other authors tell what happen to the characters onces P&P is over and this one tells how Georginia Darcy falls in love.  It was okay and kept to the speech and manors of the time but it did get a little too Harlequin-y for me, especially at the end.

16. The Lost Years by Mary Higgins Clark - I don't read a lot of mysteries but I've been reading MHC since I was about 12.  She has written over 40 books and I've probably read most of them.  She seems to have a formula that she follows in her writing (all the books are written the same way and are somewhat dated) but I always end up reading whatever she puts out.  Most of her books involve a murder.  The man murdered in this story may have found a letter written by Christ.  This was easy to read and enjoyable.  If you like "who-dunnits" then you would probably enjoy this book.

I feels as if I've been slacking this year.  Only 16 books in the first four months.  There just doesn't seem to be as much time to read as their used to be.  I'm not really sure what has changed.  I don't think I need more hours in the day, I'd rather just spend less time on things that aren't as enjoyable, like work.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Things I've Learned

I was cleaning out my desk and found the following. I don't know who wrote it (I cleaned it up a little bit) but I really like. Hope you do too.

Things I Have Learned

I've learned that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is stalk them and hope they panic and give in.

I've learned that no matter how much I care, some people are just jerks.

I've learned that it takes years to build up a trust, and it only takes suspicion, not proof, to destroy it.

I've learned that you shouldn't compare yourself to others - they are more screwed up than you think.

I've learned that you can keep throwing up long after you think you're finished.

I've learned that we are responsible for what we do, unless we are celebrities.

I've learned that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades, and there had better be a lot of money to take it's place.

I've leaarned that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down will be the ones who do.

I've learned that we don't have to ditch bad friends, because their dysfunction makes us feel better about ourselves.

I've learned that no matter how you try to protect your children, they will eventually get arrested and end up in the local paper.

I've learned that the people you care most about in life are taken from you too soon and all the less important ones just never go away.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

How Much Do You Really Know?

Next week, on April 15, will mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. Thanks to Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, pretty much everyone knows the story of the Titanic but quess what? Not everyone knows that the movie is based on a true story!!!

The Huffington Post is reporting that it had tweets from real people who didn't know the sinking of the Titanic was a true story:

How does that happen? If you read through the tweets you can probably guess that these are young people, some may not have even been alive when the movie Titanic was first released in December 1997 (14 years ago for those who can't do the math). But come on, the sinking was such a huge story in 1912, aren't they teaching it in school? There have been documentaries, museum exhibits, books, etc. how can people not know it wasn't a true story?

This is really sad. It's like that segment on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno called Jaywalking where people can't answer basic questions everyone should know the answer to: Who was the first president of the United States? Who did the U.S. fight in the American Revoluation? What color is the White House? What country is the Panama Canel located in? I often wonder how many Americans would be about to pass a citizenship test.

See how many of these actual U.S. citizenship test questions you get correct (click on the question to see the answers):

1. What are the colors of our flag?
2. How many stars are there in our flag?
3. What color are the stars on our flag?
4. What do the stars on the flag mean?
5. How many stripes are there in the flag?
6. What color are the stripes?
7. What do the stripes on the flag mean?
8. How many states are there in the Union?
9. What is the 4th of July?
10. What is the date of Independence Day?
11. Independence from whom?
12. What country did we fight during the Revolutionary War?
13. Who was the first President of the United States?
14. Who is the President of the United States today?
15. Who is the vice-president of the United States today?
16. Who elects the President of the United States?
17. Who becomes President of the United States if the President should die?
18. For how long do we elect the President?
19. What is the Constitution?
20. Can the Constitution be changed?
21. What do we call a change to the Constitution?
22. How many changes or amendments are there to the Constitution?
23. How many branches are there in our government?
24. What are the three branches of our government?
25. What is the legislative branch of our government?
26. Who makes the laws in the United States?
27. What is the Congress?
28. What are the duties of Congress?
29. Who elects the Congress?
30. How many senators are there in Congress?
31. Can you name the two senators from your state?
32. For how long do we elect each senator?
33. How many representatives are there in Congress?
34. For how long do we elect the representatives?
35. What is the executive branch of our government?
36. What is the judiciary branch of our government?
37. What are the duties of the Supreme Court?
38. What is the supreme court law of the United States?
39. What is the Bill of Rights?
40. What is the capital of your state?
41. Who is the current governor of your state?
42. Who becomes President of the United States if the President and the vice-president should die?
43. Who is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court?
44. Can you name thirteen original states?
45. Who said, "Give me liberty or give me death."?
46. Which countries were our enemies during World War II?
47. What are the 49th and 50th states of the Union?
48. How many terms can the President serve?
49. Who was Martin Luther King, Jr.?
50. Who is the head of your local government?
51. According to the Constitution, a person must meet certain requirements in order to be eligible to become President. Name one of these requirements.
52. Why are there 100 Senators in the Senate?
53. Who selects the Supreme Court justice?
54. How many Supreme Court justice are there?
55. Why did the Pilgrims come to America?
56. What is the head executive of a state government called?
57. What is the head executive of a city government called?
58. What holiday was celebrated for the first time by the Americans colonists?
59. Who was the main writer of the Declaration of Independence?
60. When was the Declaration of Independence adopted?
61. What is the basic belief of the Declaration of Independence?
62. What is the national anthem of the United States?
63. Who wrote the Star-Spangled Banner?
64. Where does freedom of speech come from?
65. What is a minimum voting age in the United States?
66. Who signs bills into law?
67. What is the highest court in the United States?
68. Who was the President during the Civil War?
69. What did the Emancipation Declaration do?
70. What special group advises the President?
71. Which President is called the "Father of our country"?
72. What Immigration and Naturalization Service form is used to apply to become a naturalized citizen?
73. Who helped the Pilgrims in America?
74. What is the name of the ship that brought the Pilgrims to America?
75. What are the 13 original states of the U.S. called?
76. Name 3 rights of freedom guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.
77. Who has the power to declare the war?
78. What kind of government does the United States have?
79. Which President freed the slaves?
80. In what year was the Constitution written?
81. What are the first 10 amendments to the Constitution called?
82. Name one purpose of the United Nations?
83. Where does Congress meet?
84. Whose rights are guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights?
85. What is the introduction to the Constitution called?
86. Name one benefit of being citizen of the United States.
87. What is the most important right granted to U.S. citizens?
88. What is the United States Capitol?
89. What is the White House?
90. Where is the White House located?
91. What is the name of the President's official home?
92. Name the right guaranteed by the first amendment.
93. Who is the Commander in Chief of the U.S. military?
94. Which President was the first Commander in Chief of the U.S. military?
95. In what month do we vote for the President?
96. In what month is the new President inaugurated?
97. How many times may a Senator be re-elected?
98. How many times may a Congressman be re-elected?
99. What are the 2 major political parties in the U.S. today?
100. How many states are there in the United States today?

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Okay, So I Didn't Win

Friday night after work I bought five Mega Million lottery tickets. Yes, I know my chances of winning $640 million with only five tickets was a long shot (I think it was a long shot for pretty much everybody who played), but you can't win if you don't play, right?

So if you've seen the news you know that I didn't win but I admit that for two days I fantasized about all the things I could do with $640 million. I can't even grasp the concept of that much money. I know I wouldn't live extravagantly (only two houses - one on the beach and one in England - and just one or maybe two cars) but it would be nice to never have to worry about paying your bills ever again.

First, I'd pay off mine and my family's debts. I would set us all up so that we would be comfortable for the rest of our lives. And then I'd start giving all that money away, because really, what is the point of saving all that money? You can't take it with you when you die so why not spend it?

And it would be so much fun. I'd give the money to churches, charities, non-profit organizations, schools. I'd go into a restaurant and pay every one's bill. I'd go to a gas station and pay for everyone to fill their tanks with gas. I'd give away college scholarships, help the homeless, make sure food banks were always fully stocked. I'd fund scientists to find a cure for Meniere's.

It looks like three people have won the $640 million. Even after the government gets it's share, that's a lot of money someone could do a lot of good with. I hope they do.

Book List - March 2012

10. The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesley - This is a modern telling of Jane Eyre, set in the 1950s and 1960s Scotland. It follows the original Charlotte Bronte story pretty closely (so if you've read Jane Eyre you'll know what happends) but was an easy and enjoyable read.

11. The Litigators by John Grishom - If you like John Grishom books you'll like this one. Although it is similar to all his other books and the end is rather predictable it's still an okay read.

12 I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella - This is the same author that wrote the Shopaholic series. The main character decided she likes footnotes so this book is full of them (112 to be exact) and after #7 I was over them. The plot kind of came and went, wasn't oneof Kinsella's best books.

13. Another Piece of My Heart by Jane Green. Jane was at the forfront of chick lit back in the day of Bridget Jones but what I really like about her is the her characters/books changed as she changed. She no longer writes about twentysomething single women because that's not who she is anymore. She has grown as an author and I really like that about her. This story about a woman in her forties who marries and man with two daughters too a little bit of time to get going but was good in the end.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Cookie Search

Earlier this month was the 100th birthday of the Oreo cookie. On that day I brought into work a package of Oreo cookies to share with my co-workers. It was yummy, it had been a really, really long time since I had an Oreo cookie (I tend to eat them more in the form of a DQ Blizzard).

Earlier this week the co-worker who sits next to me said they have a birthday cake Oreo for sale. Now if you are an Oreo connoisseur you know there are many different variations on the Oreo: double stuff, mint, vanilla, peanut butter, chocolate covered to name a few). When I was in the grocery store this week I went to the cookie aisle to find these birthday cake Oreos but couldn't see them anywhere.

Friday afternoon when I asked my co-worker if he wanted on of the last three Oreos he said no, he'd had some birthday cake ones at lunch. What?!?! And he didn't bring me any. I told him I looked for them and couldn't find them. And he said (as men often do) that I must not have looked very hard. My response was, well, I probably shouldn't mention it here. Instead I told him I expected some birthday cake Oreos on my desk when I came in Monday morning. Let's see if he comes through.

Update: 8:38 a.m. Monday, March 26 - No Birthday Cake Oreos on my desk.

Update: 1:24 p.m. Thursday, March 29 - Came back from lunch and there were three Birthday Cake Oreos on my desk. Way to go Adam!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Kitchen Flee Market

My office, like I suspect many offices do, has a kitchen. It’s a typical office kitchen: lazy people leave their dirty dishes in the sink even though the dishwasher is right next to it; the refrigeration is probably half full of long forgetting (and expired) food; and it’s not really the place you want to sit and actually eat lunch because of the various smells coming from the two microwave between the hours of 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Our kitchen also has two round tables and a couple of chairs, even though nobody ever really uses them. But the tables have become a place to put items that you are willing to give away. Often times it’s old office supplies or swag (shirts with an old company logo or used 3-ring binders). But in the past few weeks I’ve learned that you can pretty much put anything on those tables and someone will take it.

Just last week I went into the kitchen and saw two big cans of pumpkin sitting on the table for anyone who needed pumpkin and wanted to get a head start on this year’s Thanksgiving pies. Three hours later I went back in and they were gone. Yes, canned pumpkin. Any food items, it seems, will go fast. I have also contributed to this kitchen flee market. I bought some granola bars that, unbeknownst to me, had coconut in them. Since I don’t like coconut I put them on the kitchen table and proceeded to get myself a some water from the watercooler. Before I had even left the kitchen three of them were gone.

I have a small lamp on my desk and bought the wrong type of light bulbs for it. I had mistakenly bought chandelier bulbs. I had already opened the package and since they were only $5 I decided not to return them but put them on the kitchen table. They were gone later that day. Apparently someone in my office has a chandelier and needed light bulbs for it. Go figure.

So now I think I’m going to do some spring cleaning. I don’t have a lot of crap in my apartment (there isn’t a lot of storage room) but I do have some things (think White Elephant-type gifts) that I am going to put on the table and see how long they take to disappear. I’ll keep you updated.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Book List - February 2012

6. 77 Shadow Street by Dean Kootnz. One of my all time favorite books (Lightning) was writting by Dean Kootnz. It isn't his typical supernatural gore type book. This one is gore and scifi and reads like it would make a great movie.

7. Perfect on Paper by Maria Murnane. I'm a sucker for chick lit and this is a typical chick lit book. Easy, fun read.

8. Good Christian Bitches by Kim Gatlin. I'm a big fan of Kristen Chenoweth and she is in a new ABC show called GCB based on this book so I had to read the book before the show airs. Most of this book was a big build up to a rather lame ending. Hopefully the tv show will be better.

9. Fairy Taile Interruped by RoseMarie Terenzio. This was written by the woman who was John Kennedy Jr.'s personal/professional assistant for the last five years of his life. I liked the fact that this author didn't exploit the deaths of John and Carolyn Kennedy. Yes, she has a story to tell but didn't write this memoir immediately after their deaths for personal gain but waited 13 years until she was ready. John was not only her boss but he and his wife were close friends with the author. I thought this book honestly portrayed what it was like to be a assistant to an American icon who wasn't a perfect person.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

And the Oscar Goes To...

This Sunday movie lovers are going to be watching the Oscars. I watch them every year so here is who I think should win and who probably will win. Let me know what you think.

Best Picture

The Artist

The Descendents

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

The Help


Midnight in Paris


The Tree of Life

War House

I think there are too many nominations in this category. I will admit I haven't see all these movies but I'm not so sure these are Oscar nomination worthy movies. Anyway, I think either The Descendants or The Artist will win but I think I'd like The Help to win.

Best Actor

Demian Bichir - A Better Life

George Clooney - The Descendants

Jean Dujardin - The Artist

Gary Oldman - Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Brad Pitt - Moneyball

George Clooney will win this. He is the Golden Boy of Hollywood. Either he has a really good publicist to hide his dirty laundry or he just doesn't have any dirty laundry. Everybody loves him. I really don't have a favorite in this category.

Best Actress

Glenn Close - Albert Nobbs

Viola Davis - The Help

Rooney Mara - The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Meryl Streep - The Iron Lady

Michelle Williams - My Week With Marilyn

I would like Glenn Close to win this year. She was great in Albert Nobbs and although she's been nominated a couple times before she has never won. I think either she or Viola Davis will win.

Best Supporting Actor

Kenneth Branaugh - My Week With Marilyn

Jonah Hill - Moneyball

Nick Nolte - Warrior

Christopher Plummer - Beginners

Max von Sydow - Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Christopher Plummer is going to win this. He's 82 years old and has never won an Oscar before. I really don't have a favorite in this category either.

Best Supporting Actress

Berenico Bejo - The Artist

Jessica Chastian - The Help

Melissa McCarthy - Bridesmaids

Janet McTeer - Albert Nobbs

Octavia Spencer - The Help

I would like to see Janet McTeer win this one but I think it will go to Octavia Spencer.

I guess I'll see if my predictions are right on Sunday.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Didn't see that coming...

Today was the day after our two day snow storm. But 1 p.m. the sun was starting to peak out through the clouds and melt the snow. I got my car out of the snowy parking lot, picked up my Mom and we did some errands. While I has the car stopped in the far left turn lane at an intersection a car going the other way drove by. It going pretty fast and drove through a rather large puddle which totally engulfed my car with a splash.

No big deal, right? It wouldn't have been except I had my window down at the time. Yes, I got a slushy and not the fruity kind they get on Glee. I was absolutely drenched from the top of my head down to my knees in dirty street slush. My mother in the seat next to me was ever so helpful by laughing and laughing. Then she gave me a tissue.

And to make matters worse my mouth was open when the big splash occurred. It was like in those chick flicks when a girl is standing on the side of the road and a car goes by and splashes her. Yup, just like that except I was sitting in my car!

What a day.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Book List - January 2012

So here is the start of the my 2012 book list. I have two rules:

1. If I don't finish the book it doesn't go on my list.
2. Every book I read will go on the list. You may be surprised by some of the things I read.

Here is what I read in January:

1. The Next Aways by Nora Roberts - I'm a sucker for Nora Roberts Trilogies. I don't know why. They are always the same - three characters (sometimes four - usually a trio of brothers, sisters or girlfriends) and each book in the trilogy is one character's story of finding true love and each book ends with a marriage proposal (sorry if I spoiled it for you). But I started reading this book during my Christmas vacation and was a light, easy read.

2. Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James - I am a big fan of Jane Austen. I've read all six of her books (some more than once) and have read my fair share of contemporary re-makes and possible continuations of her stories. And while this book very much captured the essences of Pride & Prejudice, as a mystery it totally lacked intrigue and tension.

3. Remarkable Creatures by Tracey Chevalier - This was an interesting work of fiction about two woman who really existed in the English seaside town of Lyme in the 1800s. They were fossil "hunters" in a time before evolutions was a fully flushed out theory (before Darwin's On the Origin of Species was published) and the field of fossil collection and examination was dominated by men.

4. Still Missing by Chevy Stevens - I was enjoying this book (fiction) about a woman who was abducted and held for almabout a year, locked in a cabin in the mountains. The man holding her not only raped and beat her on a regular basis but control everything about her life: when and what she ate, when and how she bathed and even when she went to the bathroom. But a little more than 2/3 into the book the plot took a weird and kind of unbelievable turn. I found the ending contrived and a little disappointing,

5. High on Arrive by Mackenzie Phillips - Poor Mackenzie, she never really had a chance with such a sad and totally screwed up father. This book was exactly as I expected, full of drug abuse, sex, drug abuse, hedonism, drug abuse, incest, drug abuse, mental abuse, drug abuse, rape, drug abuse, physical abuse, drug abuse, kidnappings and more drug abuse.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

It's All About the Cut and Color

This week I'm going to color my hair. I've been coloring my own hair for about 20 years now. I first did it when I was in my early 20s because I wanted to lighten my dark brown hair. I color my hair now because it's going gray and it sucks. I totally expected to start going gray at some point but not as early as my mid-30s. I have also noticed over the last few years that my eyebrows are going gray as well. WTF?

Women are very attached to their hair. A great haircut can make you feel beautiful (that is until you try to replicate the salon style the next day). A bad one can make you feel like a troll that needs to hide under a bridge until it grows out. And we've all had our share of bad ones and they can go back, way back, to pre-teen times (or earlier) and scar you for life.

I hardly had any hair until I was almost five years old. Woman in the 70s who had the fashionable pixie cut had more hair that I did at the time. My friend's 14 month old daughter has more hair than I did at five. Eventually it did grown to be dark brown and straight. And, of course, when a woman has straight hair she wants it curly and vice verse.

When I was 11 or 12 I got my first perm to make my straight hair curly. My mother took me to the hair salon in JCPennys and I came home looking like Bozo the Clown (except it wasn't bright red and I still had hair on the top). I wanted to wash my hair immediately but my mother wouldn't let me (she paid good money for that perm - even if she admitted it was a bad perm) so I wore a hat to bed at night in an attempt to flatten it down (it didn't work). I was mortified.

I have always had bangs. And on occasion I have cut them myself. I have gotten much better at it but I have proof in the form of school photos that it's taken me a long time to get better at this skill and I'm still not great at it. And I usually just fess up to it every time I get my hair cut (I figure the person cutting my hair can tell so I might as well be honest). I don't recomment cutting your own hair (like giving yourself layers). Chances are you'll end up looking like your 7 year old niece snuck up on you while you were taking nap.

Over the years the length of my hair has also changed. It usually is at a medium length (rest at or slightly above my shoulders) but every so often I get the urge to cut it pretty short (but never pixie short - that look really on works on tall, thin woman like on America's Next Top Model). In college I didn't have a lot of money so I never got my hair cut. By the time I graduated it was the longest it had every been, halfway down my back. It was perfectly straight and, as it was the early 90s, I decided to get a spiral perm to give me lots and lots of curls. It was quite an ordeal and cost over $100 but it was worth it. I looked good. Of course about 9 mouths later it grew out and wasn't as curly so I cut it off to above my shoulder.

The last perm I had was a home perm done 6 or 7 years ago. It didn't really take. I probably won't ever get a perm again.

But I have learned some things over the years about coloring my hair and now I will share my wisdom.

1. If you have brown or black hair and you want to go blond, go to a professional. None of the boxes will do it for you so don't even try. Also, if you want to look like a natural redhead, do the same.
2. Stay away from weird color names. Stick with dark, medium or a light. Don't be tempted by colors that have the words golden, auburn, ash, reddish or chestnut in them. I know from personal experience that these will give your hair an unnatural color highlights to them (like mauve and purple).
3. The box usually suggests you test the color on a hair sample. I recommend you do this.
4. Follow the instructions. Don't keep the color on longer than recommended.
5. Wear a t-shirt that you don't mind destroying. This is a messy job and it's going to drip.
6. Pay close attention to the distribution of the dye (have a friend help you if neccessary). If you have thinning hair you might want to use more on top than at the bottom.
7. You might want to color your hair right before you get a haircut. Depending on the product, it might dry out the ends of your hair. Dye your hair, then get a hair cut to get ride of dry, split ends.
8. Finally be aware that the color will eventually go away and fade. If you make a drastic change in your color you will have roots showing eveutally. If you like your new color, stick with it. If you didn't, try another color or choose a color that is as similar to your natural color and then you won't have to worry about roots.

May all you ladies out there find the cut and color that makes you feel beautiful!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

New Year, New Book List

There are only two things I do at the beginning of every new year: buy a new calendar and start a new book list. This year I will be sharing my book list with you. I started doing this a couple of years ago because I wanted to see how many books I read in a year and because I had the tendency to start reading a book that I had already read. Yes, I needed to keep track of the books I read.

I will be open for recommendations. And if you are a reader, here is where I recommend you go to find a new book to read: Goodreads (http://www.goodreads.com/).

For me, calling a book "good" is subjective (kind of of like movies and works of art). It all depends on what you like and enjoy reading. If you don't like romances you probably don't think Nora Robert's books are "good" even though she's a best seller.

Of course there is a craft to writing which does make a good book (along with the mysteries of how a book actually gets published which I have yet to solve). A writer needs to have a grasp of the English language (grammar, spelling, sentence structure), have a good story to tell and know how to develop a plot, characters and interest, write dialogue and description, etc.

Just because a book in on the NY Times Best Seller list (the writing industries way of determining "good" books) doesn't necessarily make it good. And sometimes your personal preferences can hinder you from a reading a really good book.

Two personal examples: "The Time Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger and "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett. I read both of these books well after their hype died down. I really did NOT like "The Time Traveler's Wife." First, I thought the title was misleading, the book was more about the time traveler than his wife and second, I couldn't keep track of all the time travel. I was so confused as to where in the timeline the main character was it was a big distraction (and not to spoil it for anyone but there was one scene that I thought rather gross and unnecessary and very out of place with the story). And I never had any inclination to read "The Help." I just wasn't interested in a story about black maids in the 1960s south. But I read this book last summer and just loved it so much that it stayed with me for days after I finished it. Not many books do that and to me it's a sign of a good book.

So I am open to any recommendations. While I usually stick to novels I have been know to read books outside that genre so bring it on. Happy reading!

Monday, January 2, 2012

All Good Things Must End

The end is coming. In just a few hours I'll be back to a routine, back to work, back to an alarm clock. When my first stay at home vacation started 11 days ago I didn't have many plans, just Christmas day and the fact that I wouldn't have to set my alarm clock. And it turned out to be a lovely 11 days. I spent Christmas with my family and a couple days later join them for a sushi lunch. I went out with some girlfriends to lunch and a movie and lost $30 in about 1o minutes on the slot machines in Black Hawk. I was privileged to share a lovely and elegant dinner with friends who were celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary. And there were quite a few quiet days when I never left my home and didn't see another person. Those days I read and slept, watched TV and movies, did some cooking or had food delivered. I probably could have been a bit more productive but wasn't but that's okay. The only thing that could have made it better was if I was doing all that with the beach and ocean outside my door.

And I admit I get a sick feeling in my stomach thinking about where I'll be this time tomorrow, sitting at my desk, drudging my way through a week's worth of e-mails, catching up on things and feeling the same frustration I felt when I was last there. But you've got to have an income and to get that you have to work. And for now I have to be thankful that I had this time. The only place I've been in the last three days is the grocery store so I will probably venture out to B&N, use the great gift cards I got for Christmas and daydream about my next vacation.

May 2012 be a great year for everyone.