Friday, March 27, 2009

For Fun Friday March 27, 2009

I'm taking a bloggy vacation next week during my school spring break. I'll be back on Monday, April 6. And there will only be 42 days of school left this school year at that point. And there will be much rejoicing. Much.

Dora is growing up.

What kind of blogger are you?

A cardboard office. I just hope nobody spills a drink in there.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Claire and Jamie

Check out my Herald-Leader post today about some of my favorite time travel books.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Testing My Patience

I was just reading a blog post on a travel blog, written by an English teacher who believes in lots of travel so he will have interesting anecdotes and information to share with his students to encourage them to write. Perhaps your first reaction is "Man, I wish that guy taught my student!" or "What an inspiring teacher!"

My reaction? Well. He used the phrase "...test my medal..."

And I immediately lost all respect for him. Especially as an English teacher. Because the correct expression is (and I'm SURE you knew this) "test my mettle."

As soon as I read it, I thought hmmmm...isn't that supposed to be...and I checked with my BFF Google and, sure enough, I was right.

This sort of thing makes me crazy. I am positively ANAL about making sure my spelling and grammar are correct on my blogs. I don't always succeed as my proof-reading sister will attest and I bless her for emailing me my mistakes because I instantly go back and fix them.

I will sometimes email a blog writer and offer a correction but not often. You just don't know how something like that will be received. I have done it and been thanked but I have done it and never heard back. They were probably too angry and cursing too loudly at the UNMITIGATED GALL of this person who dared to correct them. So I usually ignore it.

What about you?

And I realize it is at this point that I will make some glaring mistake on one of my posts and everyone who read this will be snickering and pointing. Such is life.

Updated just to show what happens when you get too full of yourself: A comment from Maggie: This is from an old English teacher. You have a punctuation error here: "test my mettle".
The quotation mark should be outside the period. Quotation marks always go outside a period or a comma. J

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Try It Tuesday: Wendy's Twisted Frosty

I just ran to Wendy's for lunch and made an astonishing discovery. TWISTED FROSTIES! Did you already know about these? And, if so, why have you not TOLD ME? Because they come in M & M. And you already know my passionate love for M & M Blizzards. I immediately ordered one with my taco salad and have come to the following conclusions.

1. They are BETTER than blizzards because you can get them in a chocolate frosty. So. Double chocolate. Need I say more?

2. They are NOT AS GOOD as blizzards because the M & M's were not swirled all the way to the bottom. The bottom third was just chocolate ice cream. Good. But not as good as ice cream with M & M's in it.

I will, however, give them another chance because maybe the swirler was just not very good at her job. Maybe they have swirlers who can swirl better. And I am really enjoying the word swirl right now.

So, give them a try. Let me know what you think.

Check out my great weekend at my Herald-Leader blog today.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Holy Frak!

OK, who else out there is also a fellow geek who was COMPLETELY immersed in the season finale of Battlestar Galactica Friday night? Yeah. Us too. Luckily, we are such INCREDIBLE geeks that we had to watch it live because we were taping two other shows at the same time and with our current cable setup, we can only tape record two shows at the same time. And I will never remember that we are not actually TAPING. Because I am of the VCR generation. Who actually PAID a membership to a video store at one point. Back in the dark, dark ages before anyone had thought about putting a movie on a flat little metallic disk. With a MENU so you don't have to fastforwardrewindfastforwardrewind until you find that scene you were looking for.

Because we watched it live, we were able to catch the last 11 minutes which I am sure we would have missed because we would have set the DVR to tape record for two hours because we did not get the news that the show was actually 11 minutes more than 2 hours. And, seriously. 11 minutes? What, are they just frakking with us or what? Sorry. Had to get that in.


We were pretty satisfied with the conclusion as a whole. I think they still didn't explain every single last detail but maybe they just forgot some after all those years on the air. I would have like it better with more happy endings, as I said in a comment on Heather's post this weekend: I also would have been more content with a happier ending - Laura is cured by Hera! Starbuck and Lee can finally be happy together! - but I was at least relieved that Helo didn't bleed out and die. I guess someone came along that corridor and helped him, huh?

And Starbuck was an angel! I guess that's what they meant anyway when Lee turned around and she was gone. And, incidentally? Did you know that he is actually BRITISH? We saw an interview with him the other night and there he was, talking in an extremely BRITISH way. That always amazes me that they can speak with a completely believable American accent. That an American can speak with a British accent is not amazing at all. I know. Makes no sense.

I could have done without the last few minutes of the show. I think it should have ended with them on the planet all happy and settling in for their new lives. I really didn't care to know that it was going to happen all over again in a few thousand years. Or was it? The angels(?) left that up in the air.

So, we will miss it. We enjoyed it. We came to the party late but caught up thanks to the magical world of Netflix and have enjoyed every single episode.

And now we are immersed in the world of three powerful and beautiful witches. Yes, we have succumbed to the allure of "Charmed". We are not exactly charmed yet although we find it mildly entertaining but we are assured it gets better and better. It was on the air for 8 frakkin years. It must get better.

Updates as the seasons progress.

So say we all.

Friday, March 20, 2009

For Fun Friday March 20, 2009

Great way to get your computer screen clean!

See how well you do on this test. Read CAREFULLY. It takes an average of five tries before you can get 100%.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Channeling Patty Duke

Seriously. I have Patty Duke hair today. Does anyone else remember The Patty Duke show? I LOVED that show. In case you can't remember the theme song, you can click here. Or you can request that I sing the entire thing from memory, because I can actually do that for you. Yes. I remember it all. I wanted to BE Patty Duke. Or Cathy. And now that I have watched that youtube video, I realize that I am actually channeling Cathy and not Patty because my hair is doing a very distinctive 60's flip under. Read more at my Herald-Leader blog HERE.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

10 Things I Hate About You

OK, I don't actually have 10, I only have 1, but I was making a point and also trying to get your attention with a catchy title. And it worked. Because here you are reading, now aren't you?

So. There are a few things I hate reading about on other blogs but my absolute number 1 thing I hate is hearing about other people's illnesses. This is a prelude to telling you that even though I have been coughing for three weeks, I am not writing about the cough but about a direct side effect. Which is...wait. how do I say this in a ladylike manner...ok there is no way...peeing a little bit when you cough.

Yes. That's what I said. PEEING when you cough. Luckily this is not a HUGE issue. There is not, like, a deluge of urine. Just a tiny bit. Just enough to be annoying. And not every single time I cough. Just once in a while. So I decided it was time to really get onboard with the whole kegle exercise regimen which, now that I think about it, I have written about before because I am NOTHING if not CLASSY.

The only way I can keep up with any sort of regimen is to have a regular schedule so I decided I would do 10 kegels every night after I say my prayers. I started a few days ago and will keep you updated. Or maybe not.

God. THEN my bladder.

Do I have good priorities or what?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Try It Tuesday: Scrubbing Bubbles

This is one of the few times I can remember that I have recommended a cleaning product. Normally, it's food or some sort of product which involves pampering myself. Which would lead one to believe that I spend a great deal of time eating and pampering myself. Which would be COMPLETELY untrue. I also nap.

If you have not yet discovered a product that will clean your tub practically effortlessly, look NO FURTHER. This stuff sprays on, bubbles up and then you wipe it off with a damp cloth. That's it. It is totally fabulous. I don't like it for the sink or toilet because it's just too foamy but it is perfect for the tub because you can just rinse away any extra foam.

In between bathroom cleanings, I will sometimes just spray my whole tub and then get in and take a normal shower. The hot water and steam cleans the tub all by itself and the bubbles just disappear, like magic. It's a little slippery when you first step in, so be careful. But it seriously works great. Try it and let me know what you think.

Check out my Herald-Leader blog post today if you like horse stories.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The New Girl At School

I went to my first actual, official meeting as an actual, official employee of the travel agency the other day. I would link to my new actual, official travel blog, but I'm still waiting for the IT guy to transfer the blog to the server after almost a month when HE SAID IT WOULD TAKE TWO DAYS but I'm not bitter. Not AT ALL.

Anyway. Signed the contract. Went to the meeting.

Do I have to tell you that I looked FABULOUS. Of course I don't. I had on a brand new black pant suit that fit perfectly, a peach colored stretchy shell that was not completely form-fitting, unlike some unfortunate choices I have made lately so my fat rolls were COMPLETELY camouflaged and also the most fabulous pair of shoes you have ever seen in your life. No, really.

And OMG. Sidenote here that totally is off the subject. What? I NEVER do that. What ARE you talking about? I just went to link to the shoe post and saw a comment from Betty, the lady who does my alterations - the one who actually recognized me as a blogger in real life and, apparently, came and read my blog which mentions her which, really, I think should totally count as having a FAN. Really. God. I would absolutely link here to the blog post where I wrote about almost being a millionaire from blogging, but I figure at this point you are kind of tired of clicking on those blog links, so you can just go find it yourself if you want to read it. Whoa. I already sound a little conceited. I better be careful. You know how easy it is to get a little full of yourself when you have FANS.

So. The meeting. Looking fabulous. I also had a simply marvelous new black leather tote bag that I had picked up to carry all my important travel information because none of the closet full of tote bags were EXACTLY RIGHT for this task. Of course, it only contained an empty notebook and a pen, but they didn't have to know that. I looked all official and stuff.

The meeting was great and I enjoyed meeting everyone and we had presentations from American Express and Celebrity Cruises and I actually knew what the Celebrity woman was talking about when she said they made all their own food on the ship, even the ice cream and I chimed in about how really, really delicious it was and everyone was taken aback at how TOTALLY KNOWLEDGEABLE I am about travel. Or ice cream. One or the other.

I really felt pretty comfortable even though I was in a room full of strangers, having only met two of them previously and this tends to make me a little self-conscious and usually causes my nose to run profusely. Really. It's a known fact. I always have to stuff tissues in my pocket whenever I present at a conference. But then the meeting was over and it was 12:00 and I kind of thought/hoped that someone might invite me to lunch but people paired up and went out in groups, chatting animatedly so I just acted all cool and stuff and slung my tote bag over my shoulder and pretended that I was oh so totally busy and had big plans for lunch with ALL MY FRIENDS and walked out the door and drove home to make some soup for myself.

So the meeting was pretty fabulous.

But I hope someone invites me to lunch next time.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Quest For The Perfect Shoe

Last week, I told you about buying a new suit at Meijer and how completely incongruous it felt to buy clothes and milk at the same store. But I didn't actually go into details about my suit and I can tell you have been fretting about that. Wondering what it looked like. What color. It has probably CONSUMED your thoughts since you read that post...Read the rest of this post at my Herald-Leader blog HERE.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

If Only I Looked Like That. Or Not.

I guarantee, you will never look at a model in an advertisement in quite the same way again.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Try It Tuesday: Betty Crocker Cinnamon Streusel Muffins

I have been really in to baking fresh, hot muffins for breakfast lately and have tried several of the boxed varieties. Those that come in a plastic envelope are OK, but the boxed ones seem to taste fresher and better.

The other day, I picked up a package of the new Cinnabon Cinnamon Streusel muffins and OMG you must immediately go and buy these! They come with a package of this cinnamon streusel crumb stuff that you sprinkle on the top of each muffin and that really makes them taste like something you would buy at a bakery.

If you want to make them a little lower in fat and calories, try this recipe. I may do that next. Because I will definitely be buying more of these. Here's another recipe I found when I was searching for more information which includes chunks of apples. Mmmmm. Apples AND cinnamon.

Let me know what you think.

Check out some free books at my Herald-Leader blog.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Remember When We Couldn't Go To Dinner At That Restaurant Because Someone Was SHOT In The Parking Lot?

The First Thursday of every month, I pull together a group of my BFF's and we head out to a different restaurant to nosh on fabulous food and dish about the friends who couldn't make it.


That last thing NEVER happens.

But I bet you'll make sure you come next time, now won't you?

Anyway. About an hour before we were supposed to meet, my friend Barb called and asked me if I was watching the news. First of all, Barb, obviously, you did not read this post or you would know that I NEVER watch the news and keep up with all the happenings in the world merely by reading People magazine. Because if it's not in People magazine, it's not news. Obviously.

In this case, it might have been a mistake to not watch the news because she was calling to tell me there has been a shooting in the parking lot of the shopping center and they were advising people to STAY AWAY from the area.

A shooting. In the parking lot. In the middle of the afternoon. In broad daylight. With people walking in and out of the shopping center. If it had happened a couple of hours later, we could easily have been walking into the restaurant and witnessed what eventually turned out to be, unfortunately, a murder.

I still can't get over the fact that this happened in my town, just a few miles away from where I live, in a place I go to all the time. Not some big, dangerous city. My town.

It always happens somewhere else to someone else, doesn't it?


Apparently, it doesn't.

Friday, March 6, 2009

For Fun Friday March 6, 2009

A cake for that techie geek in your life.

Physics? Uh. Not for me. But here's some pretty cool games you can try.

You were NOT just going to throw away that VCR, were you?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I Am So Technologically ADVANCED I Just Participated In A Webinar. Or Not.

So, now that I'm all worldly and well traveled and have a travel blog and stuff (although I am STILL waiting for my travel blog to be transferred to another server and platform - what would we do without the tech geeks of the world?) I decided to participate in a Webinar that was put on by Princess cruises. I have never been on a Princess cruise and was interested to learn more about their small ships so I could be more knowledgeable when writing about them...oh, who am I kidding? I was hoping in some small way to be noticed enough that some Princess bigwig would say "Hey! Look how TOTALLY FABULOUS that writer is! We must IMMEDIATELY give her a free cruise."


It could happen.

I was not absolutely positive what a Webinar actually was - some sort of online class with audio and video, I think - but I carefully signed up and planned my day around the 4:00 presentation. And, in between the time I signed up and the event was broadcast, I received no less than 4 FOUR email notifications to remind me.

Man, I thought. These people are really ON THE BALL. They have GOT IT TOGETHER. This will be a GREAT PRESENTATION.

In every email they reminded us to login 10 minutes early so we would be all ready when things began. I was a little nervous so I sat at my computer 15 minutes early, with my fingers poised over the keys.

Who wants to be that kid who is late for class? NOT ME.

So, I signed in at exactly 10 minutes to 4:00. Others began signing in as well. And then. Nothing. 4:03. 4:10. Disgruntled people began conversing aloud. I felt like I was back in high school. What's going on, man. Where is the teacher? Can we leave? Should we leave? When should we leave? Finally. A note from Princess.

Technical difficulties. Hold on. We'll be on soon. 4:15. 4:20. Chitchat grew more animated. I listened, not participating. Didn't want to reveal myself for the travel newbie I truly am.

Then. Technical difficulties can't be resolved. Webinar will be rescheduled. We will email you.


I was so sure about that free cruise too.

Update - they rescheduled. Still didn't work.

Check out my Herald-Leader blog today.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I Am THISCLOSE To Making A Million Dollars From Blogging

Remember the post I wrote last week about the Elations drink? For the first time EVER in the two years I have been blogging, I actually had someone contact me about a product I had reviewed. And offer me FREE STUFF. She is sending me some of the new flavor drink. Man. If only I had written about SHOES. I could totally have scored a great new pair of open-toe pumps.

Not only that, yesterday I got a check from BlogHer. For $26. That's for three months. So I'm basically making about $100 a YEAR for running those BlogHer ads.

Free drinks. $100 a year.

Practically a millionaire already.

Really. It's just a matter of time.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Try It Tuesday: Quaker True Delights

I have talked about granola bars before but I just got a free sample of these Quaker True Delights and ate one after my lunch. Then I immediately walked to the computer desk, sat down and wrote this post because they are THAT GOOD. I have never had a granola bar that had such big chunks of chocolate and fruit in it before. It was so soft that I could actually smush it in the package - a real plus since I hate hard, dry granola bars.

Yes. It really looks like that picture.

They offer three flavors but I tried the dark chocolate, raspberry and almond one. Chocolate? AND raspberries? Yum. You can get a free sample here. Let me know what you think.

Check out some new children's books on my Herald-Leader blog today.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Who's Tired Of Hearing About My Fat? Raise Your Hand.

And then lower it and just take me right out of your Google Reader because, baby, the fat stories are here to stay.

I'm not saying this is a good thing. It's rather unfortunate.

But they are here to stay.

At least until I retire in the spring, join the Y again, get on a healthy diet and, basically, regress to the weight of my early 30's. Hey. One can DREAM.

Anyway. I carefully laid out my clothes to wear to school last week; a stretchy brown turtleneck, brown and gold tweed slacks, brown tights and my cute new brown Clark clogs - which TOTALLY deserve their own post. Because I am in love with the Clark clogs.

What I had forgotten in my quest for, apparently, the perfect BROWN outfit, is that this particular turtleneck, although perfectly DARLING because, really, which of my clothes is not? is actually a little. Well. Fitted. And I normally wear it with a jacket over it. To hide the fact that it hugs the rolls between my bra and the top of my pants.

I forgot this fact.

And it wasn't until I got to school that I realized my DARLING brown stretchy turtleneck was ADHERING to my two extra rolls of flab like some sort of mutant fat-revealing monster. There was no way I was hiding those rolls.

But when I went to the bathroom, I realized I had on CONTROL TOP TIGHTS. So when I pulled them up, I pulled to see just how far they would stretch and they would stretch all the way OVER THE FAT ROLLS. So I pulled them up.

And for a time I had a nice, smooth tummy line with no rolls.

But tights were not designed to cover your entire body and they eventually migrated back down to my waist.

Damn. And that was SUCH a great idea too.