“I think so much about everything. I’m obsessive.” ~ Rob Zombie

Things I am currently obsessing over, for no particular rhyme or reason:

Look: It’s Tom Hiddleston and a jacket with golden dragonflies!

Certain I was a flapper/torch singer in another life, and this is what my wardrobe would have looked like.

fashion wings

I luuuv this. I could buy it and wear it to Target.

bluepueblo:</p><br /><br /><br /> <p>Floating Market, Bangkok, Thailand<br /><br /><br /><br /> photo via sabi

Thailand’s Floating Market: Exactly how does one purchase anything? Do you hop from boat to boat?

Okay, so this is almost a legitimate case for concealed weapons . . .

I know that Homer Simpson is not the best role model; however, in this case . . .

georgetakei:</p><br /><br /><br /> <p>The zombie snowpocalypse. http://ift.tt/19BYSVy

So “The Walking Dead” may be infiltrating too many areas of day-to-day life.

notordinaryfashion:</p><br /><br /><br /> <p>Zac Posen Pre Fall 2014<br /><br /><br /><br />

In my mind, I look at things like this and think to myself, “well, I could have designed that . . .” Too many seasons of “Project Runway” have led me to believe that I can design and sew.

and finally

<br /><br /><br /> Abandoned hotel.<br /><br /><br />

If this is an abandoned hotel, why is there a cane? Who would leave their cane? How did they walk away? And their shoes? They have no shoes and no cane. Why? Why did they leave these things. They limped out in bare feet? Why????

And now you know a little bit about how my mind works . . .

“. . . In movement there is life, and in change there is power.” ~ Alan Cohen

 My Last Collage in My Last Office

My Last Collage in My Last Office (bottom left) 

                                

“After you’ve done a thing the same way for two years, look it over carefully.  After five years, look at it with suspicion.  And after ten years, throw it away and start all over.” ~ Alfred Edward Perlman, New York Times, 3 July 1958

So, what do you think? New layout. New header.

Collage (top right)

I’ve been wanting to change my format for a while, but doing so takes a lot of time and thought, and I just haven’t felt like thinking that much. I’m happy with this layout. For some reason, it feels cleaner. I like the fonts, and I like have the sidebar on the right for a change.

I know that it’s nothing drastic, but any change for me is drastic as I tend to find my comfort zones and then languish in them for too long. I also changed my header from the cropped picture of my big collage in my last office, so I thought that in this post, I would insert sections of the wall that I had decorated with my favorite stuff, accumulated over the years.

No one else may find these images interesting, but I like them because they remind me of several good things: having a huge office with a window, being able to decorate said office in the manner of my choosing, and not the last of which, having a job. You can tell a lot about me as a person just by looking at the kinds of things that I have saved: a Mardi Gras mask and beads, artwork my kids made, birthday cards from friends, postcards from everywhere, magnets, bookmarks, bumper stickers, and buttons (yes, that is an original ERA button).

“Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.” ~ Anais Nin

Collage (bottom right)

Just an amusing aside: When I was re-reading yesterday’s post today, which I always do to find those errors that I have missed the first time around, I came across a wonderful typo: I referred to Corey as getting a goat instead of a boat! Too funny. No, we are not getting a goat, although goats are really cute animals, especially when they are babies. Corey’s mom caught the typo before I had corrected it, and sent him a text message with one word: Goat??

I love how my mind works, or perhaps, fails to work might be more appropriate.

So last night was the finale on this season’s Project Runway. Emilio did not win (audible sobs on his part). Seth Aaron won, which was too cool. Mila came in third (tee hee). Actually, I was really impressed with all three collections. I loved Emilio’s evening gown and his coats, and I even liked one of Mila’s dresses (not the blocked one). But Seth Aaron’s collection showed the most creativity as far as I’m concerned.  So that’s a wrap, and now I just have to wait for the next season.

Real Housewives of New York was bo-ring. Bethenny got her engagement ring (can I just say humongous), but other than that, ho hum. Speaking of change, these women really need to change their attitudes: The Countess (“Darling, there’s a wall there,” when commenting on why she didn’t like one apartment. Geez. It’s New York. Of course there are walls.) I mean get a life, a real one. And who says “darling,” anyway?

“To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.” ~ Henri Bergson

Collage (top left)

Well, Brett’s graduation announcements arrived via UPS today. Another major milestone for our family. His graduation will be in the evening on June 14. I know that he will be glad to be leaving high school. In May, he takes his IB exams, and depending on how well he does, he may be able to accumulate some college credits so that he doesn’t have to take some of the general studies classes his first year. That would be wonderful, not only because we will save money, but also because Brett gets bored when he is repeating things that he has already studied.

I cannot remember if I mentioned it, but he has received his admittance letter from Old Dominion University. The plan is to attend ODU for the first year, and then depending on what he wants to study, perhaps to transfer to Virginia Tech. I am really happy for him as I believe that he will enjoy college so much more than high school. The atmosphere is different. The learning process is different.

Eamonn called today to let me know that he got a job at a pool store that is owned by someone with whom both my ex and I attended high school. They are a really nice couple, and their business is very successful, so I hope that Eamonn acts professionally and shows up when he is supposed to be there. Now we know where we will buy pool supplies. On the downside, he told me that he is failing Western Civilization. Not good.

Alexis picked up Brett from school today, and the two of them went by their grandfather’s house to visit, and he was so happy to see them. He does have liver cancer, but Alexis says that he seems to be doing well. Other good news is that Alexis has found a job, although it might be temporary. It’s working for a manufacturer, but when I asked her what the company makes, she wasn’t sure. Oh well, at least it’s a job, and we should be thankful for that.

Corey works tonight, so it will be television for me. I wish that I had a book to read.

(This last picture includes my magnet board, which was to the right of the collage, as well as my rock fountain, and some of my personal photographs.)

More Stuff

That’s all for now. More later. Peace.

Music by Mazzy Star, “Fade Into You”

“We are our own dragons as well as our own heroes, and we have to rescue ourselves from ourselves.” ~ Tom Robbins

 

More Finger Pointing from the Countess on Real Housewives of NY

“Television is an invention that permits you to be entertained in your living room by people you wouldn’t have in your home.” ~ David Frost

Fierce migraine that began Wednesday night kept me from posting yesterday. Instead, I curled myself into a ball (I was going to say little ball, but who am I kidding?) and slapped an ice pack on my head, only to find that it wasn’t an ice headache; it was a heat headache. Don’t you just hate it when that happens? So switched out ice pack for heated thingy and ingested medicine. 

Mila's Boring Collection on Project Runway

Better by late last night, which allowed me to watch Project Runway and Real Housewives of New York.  

On PR, Jay and Mila duked it out with their scissors. No wait. That was what I was hoping. They duked it out by sewing some bizarre clothes. Mila’s were . . . wait for it . . . black and white. Jay didn’t do the exploding hip pants, and actually had some über-cool black gaiters on one model. Of the two, I liked Jay’s three pieces better, which meant, of course, that Mila won. 

Great, we get to see Mila put twelve (ten?) black and white retro outfits on the runway at Bryant Park. Can’t wait. No really. Can’t wait. Poor Jay. He’s such a sweetie, and he lost to the evil Mila. Even though Emilio has made some beautiful clothes, I just don’t like him. There. I said it. I mean, he’s nasty, the male version of Mila, which is probably why they can’t stand each other. Seth Aaron is funny and out there, so of course, I love him. 

Next week’s big finale should be interesting. I’m pulling for Seth Aaron. 

“Welcome to the wonderful world of jealousy . . . For the price of admission, you get a splitting headache, a nearly irresistable urge to commit murder, and an inferiority complex. Yippee.” ~ J. R. Ward, The Dark Lover

Ramona's Crazy-Eyed Runway Walk (RHNY)

On RHNY, more kvetching and bitching about  Bethenny and Jill. Bethenny popped positive on her in-home pregnancy test. Now that’s interesting. Seems the producers want to inject yet another woman into the show, probably because Bethenny is leaving to have her own show on Bravo. 

All of this leads me to take issue with the title of the show: Real. Housewives. First, let’s talk about the real part. Most of the OC housewives are plastic surgery retrofitted, which eliminates pretty much all of the real. Not sure how much of NY is plastic and silicone, but it looks to be a lot. So I vote for elimination of the word Real from the title. 

Next, the word housewives. If any of these women actually do housewifery things, then I’m a Rockette. I mean, pleez. Dusting? Vacuuming? Grocery shopping? Bills? Anything? Anything? I feel like the teacher on Ferris Beuller: “Anyone? Anyone?” 

Okay. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t mind the OC women so much when I had a job, a career, a nice wardrobe that fit. Then NY came along, and I almost liked them, all except for the Countess. And Ramona. Okay, I liked half of them. And then the introduction of Kelly last year—”I’m up here, and you’re down here”—so shy and retiring that one is.  

But this season has reached new heights of ridiculousness because these women (and I don’t watch Atlanta or New Jersey, only because I can somehow justify two of the four but not four of the four) are so far from real housewives that it just isn’t funny any more. Granted, the term housewife is antiquated and sexist, but it’s the show’s premise, so roll with it. 

But I digress . . . 

Back to the insanity of this season: For example, last night’s show featured Jill’s pact with Kodak. Not sure what the two will do for each other, but who am I to judge. Let’s leave judging to crazy-assed Ramona, who opens mouth and bleats, “They’re not relevant. I know. I’m a businesswoman.” Really Ramona? Relevant? Are you sure you want to choose that particular word? Especially after your eye-popping, alien catwalk (oh, yes, that was relevant . . . not). Nothing these women do is relevant, or understandable, or likable. And as far as being a businesswoman: You design ugly jewelry, so that gives you the right to make snarky remarks about Kodak? 

I’ll finish the NY season just because I’m already committed, and unlike half of the housewives on the show who are not married or in committed relationships (another contradiction), I try to honor my commitments to television shows. Don’t ask me why. But I’m fairly certain that this will be the last Housewives season for me. Once Bethenny leaves, I’m pretty sure that it will become doubly hard not to gag whenever the Countess or Kelly exude their self-proclaimed superiority. Besides, it’s the principle: They aren’t real (at least not in my world), and they aren’t housewives (at least not within the scope that traditionally encompasses the word). 

“Cocooned inside our private dramas we often don’t realize life is rolling by us like it should.” ~ Waiter Rant

In the Workroom with Seth, Emilio and Tim Gunn

Okay, now that I’ve gotten all of that out of my system . . . Corey worked 11 to 7 last night, which meant that the dogs were out of control. Three times during the night they converged on the front door, barking and yelping like there was no tomorrow. Of course, there was no one there. And when they weren’t having barking fests, they were waking me up to let them out—every single hour. Consequently, I slept in fits and starts and just feel numb. Corey got home around 8 this morning and crashed. He’ll be out for hours. 

I’m hoping that after I finish writing this post I’ll be able to get a few hours of uninterrupted sleep. Now that Corey is home, the dogs no longer feel it necessary to keen at unknown sounds and moving air. 

I wanted to take a minute to acknowledge you guys, the people who read my blog. You have been tremendously supportive during this health scare with Alexis, and a few of you have offered information about banks in light of my daughter’s desire to work in a bank. I am always heartened by the wonderful comments and e-mails that I receive. These gestures of support mean more than I can express. Thank you so much. 

That’s all for now. More later. Peace. 

Body Rockers, “I Like the Way You Move” 

If it’s Friday, it must mean leftovers . . .

Another Full Moon by Lachlan Donald of Melbourne, Australia

“Living is strife and torment, disappointment and love and sacrifice, golden sunsets and black storms.” ~ Sir Laurence Olivier

Well, last night was a bit better. I managed to fall asleep by 3:30 a.m. and slept for three straight hours before Tillie woke me to go out. It took a bit, but I fell asleep again around 8:30 and might have slept longer, but Eamonn called from his Dad’s house to complain that his phone wasn’t making outgoing calls. He was rather peeved when I told him that we would not be paying the phone bill anytime soon as we were between a cash influx.  

You would think that I had just stripped him of all his human rights in the way that he carried on. It’s amazing, though, this parenting thing. I used to get distressed whenever Eamonn got distressed until I realized that the maxim about boys being easier to raise than girls was a complete and utter lie. Eamonn is just as dramatic, if not more so, than Alexis was at his age. So I have finally gotten to a point at which I subtly tune out his beseeching until he sort of wears himself out, and then I comment.  

Is that an awful thing to admit? Not really. Don’t judge me unless you’ve raised teenagers.  

“Time has been transformed, and we have changed; it has advanced and set us in motion; it has unveiled its face, inspiring us with bewilderment and exhilaration.” ~ Kahlil Gibran

January Snow

So about 6 hours of sleep, more than I’ve been getting lately, and almost enough to make me feel refreshed.  

It is quickly darkening here, and the forecast calls for 5-8 inches of snow. I will be completely surprised if that happens, but who knows. I was looking at the weather report, and Lima, where Corey’s parents live, was a whopping 18 degrees today, so our 34 degrees is almost tropical.  

Other than the weather report, not a lot happening around here. I finally got the 2010 calendars up for everyone. I mark all the birthdays, holidays, school events, etcetera on the various calendars throughout the house. My logic is that perhaps one of us will glance at the calendar for the day and remember an appointment, although I must say that I have been much better about going to appointments on the correct days since I stopped taking that horrible medication for migraines (originally typo as migration—ha), Topamax.  

In some circles, it is referred to as dope-amax because it really wreaks havoc on the whole cognitive/short-term memory function—as if I need any more quashing of that particular ability.  

Anyway, the calendars have been marked, and in so doing, I realized that my youngest son will be graduating from high school this coming June. How wonderful and horrible at the same time. I know that he’ll be elated to be out of high school, but I’m really not sure how I feel about such a rite of passage.  

Anyway . . .  

“Change alone is eternal, perpetual, immortal.” ~ Arthur Schopenhauer

Icy Sunset, Point Woronzof Park, Anchorage by Janson Jones

I’m in the middle of book four of the Harry Potter series. Getting through all the books is taking longer as I haven’t been able to focus enough to read lately. I was reading a bit just before writing this post, and I came across a word that just doesn’t appear that much in the U.S. but probably is used more often in the UK: betweentimes. What a lovely, polysyllabic word. I love words that are different, words that aren’t used much in casual conversation. I’ll have to manage to find a way to work betweentimes into something soon, which is likely to get a raised eyebrow from Corey.  

I watched “Real Housewives of Orange County” last night, and I have to say that the women are getting annoyingly tiresome, I mean, more than usual. Recent shows focus too much attention on Lynne’s daughter Alexa, who is out of control, and now that Vicki has decided to act nicer, the timbre of the show seems to have shifted. I don’t care for the superior attitude of housewife Alexis and her controlling husband, and Tamra is essentially a basket case.  

Speaking of which, it’s really grating on my nerves how she says “between Simon and I” all the time. It should be “Simon and me.” Me. Me. Objective. Geez. I know, I’m nitpicking, but making the same grammatical error over and over and over again makes me cringe. (Yes, I need something else on which to focus my attention).  

So I believe that I’ve gotten to the point at which RHofOC has grown old. With any luck, RHoNY will be a bit more fun as it hasn’t been on as long as the original.  

I watched my other reality television addiction last night (both on the same night—how convenient), “Project Runway.” I don’t know if it’s just my state of mind, my inability to focus, or what, but that show is also starting to seem like a rehash. After the season with Christian Siriano (fierce), everyone else seems boring. However, now that I think of it, a few other shows seem less interesting this season: “Leverage” (what happened to the fast pace?), “CSI” (don’t even watch it any more), and then there’s the new one that just came out: “Spartacus: Sand and Blood” or something like that.  

Boy was that a mess. It was kind of like a horrible mishmash of 300 and Gladiator, only with lots more fake blood and stop-action for every fight sequence. I wanted to shake the television. I mean please.  

“None of us knows what the next change is going to be, what unexpected opportunity is just around the corner, waiting a few months or a few years to change all the tenor of our lives.” ~ Kathleen Norris

NOAO Enhanced Image of the Moon

Okay. You know that my life is slow when I go on and on about television. Maybe once I begin to sleep more normally, I’ll be able to focus on other things of more importance.  

Along with my winter/moon-themed images, I thought that I’d feature a new photograph from Janson Jones’s newly-revised Floridana v3.0 blog. He has decided to drop the Alaskiana from his blog’s title, but it’s kind of hard for me not to think of the two words together as they flow so well (Floridana Alaskiana).  

Other than that, let me close with a few ponderables:  

  • Why did Heidi Montag have 10 plastic surgery procedures done at once? I mean, she’s only 25, and now she looks like a bad version of a Barbie Doll. Let me just pause here to say that I am not a Montag follower, but I read a blurb in Newsweek about her plastic surgery addiction, and it made me cringe. Botox at 25? Really? Supposedly Montag prayed over the decision to have the head-to-stomach reno done; might I just say that this is not the kind of thing you pray over . . . I mean how about Haiti? Or the economy? But a boob job? Again, please.
  • How did my much-shorter-but fluffier Jack Russell Shakes learn to get into the kitchen trash, which is a pedal-opening container? I now know for sure that it’s him and not Tillie (apologies to the Lab) because Tillie was sound asleep next to me when I heard the commotion in the kitchen. Very strange.
  • Why do Little Debbie oatmeal cookies taste so much better at 3 in the morning? Just saying.
  • What gives with being cloudy and overcast on the night of the Wolf Moon? According to an article on MSNBC, tonight’s moon is expected to be the biggest and brightest (in appearance) of the year, and the term wolf moon dates back to the Native American notion that hungry wolves howled at the winter moon. I love looking into our backyard when the moon is full. The entire yard just glows.
  • Which idiot decided that sending formaldehyde-laced trailers to Haiti would be a feasible idea? Remember the trailers that FEMA sent to New Orleans, the ones that actually made people sick? Yep, those trailers. Let’s send them to Haiti. No, I don’t think so. Yes, the Haitians are dirt poor, but do they deserve to live in infected dwellings even temporarily?
  • And finally, what would cause a Roman Catholic priest to shoplift a tub of butter and a sofa cover from a Wal Mart? Okay, maybe the butter if he was starving, but a sofa cover? I just don’t get it.

More later. Peace.  

Claude Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” (and by the way, this song existed loooong before that hack movie Twilight) . . .  

    

  

 

If it’s Friday, it must mean leftovers . . .

 

Video of  Avalanche Creek in Montana’s Glacier National Park by Janson Jones

“Start a huge, foolish project, like Noah…it makes absolutely no difference what people think of you.” ~ Rumi 

Well, one of the only good things about being bi-polar is that sufferers of this condition have manic bouts in which they become very hyper and have a lot of energy. Granted, I don’t have these bouts of mania the way that I used to, mostly because of my medication, but since I’m not taking my medication as I am supposed to, I am now having these spurts of energy. Did you follow all of that?

Anyway, yesterday I don’t know what got into me, but I cleaned the kitchen and then proceeded to do all of the paperwork that has been backed up, which meant forms to seven pharmaceutical companies requesting participation in their patient assistance programs. In addition to the forms, I had to include supporting documentation showing why I need this assistance. After completing the forms online, I then tried to get all of the packages together but ended up confusing myself, so I enlisted Corey’s help in going through each package to make sure that I had everything.

I also had to do an explanatory cover letter, and a cover letter to my doctor explaining everything that I was trying to do. In addition, I finally got the paperwork together for my student loan requesting forbearance due to poverty, and I completed a form for another withdrawal from my retirement, this time to pay my health insurance premium. At this rate, I will have absolutely no money left in my retirement, well, very little.

But the point is that I got all of this paperwork completed and ready to go to the various places to which it needs to be disbursed; I also filed my copies and filed a pile of other stuff that was cluttering up my desk. Finally. And of course, Corey helped. So a very productive day. Today? Well today my back is killing me and I have a headache—the price for doing too much in one day.

“It is not the perfect who always succeed in life, but those who keep trying even in the face of tremendous hardships . . .” ~ Steven Apel

Termination Dust, Chugach State Park, AK by Janson Jones

The director of the publishing program at George Washington University denied my grade appeal, which I predicted he would do, but at least I finally found out what grade I got on my project for the infrastructure class. He claims that the grade was posted on Blackboard, but it was not posted for the three months that I checked. I got an A on the project, but since the project only counted for 15 percent of the grade, it wasn’t enough to balance my abysmal performance on the midterm or final exam.

Quite frankly, that class was a failure as far as I’m concerned. The professors who were team-teaching did not mesh well. Entirely too much material was presented without there being any type of background preparation. It was a very advanced course without a background course preceding it in the cohort.

A bit of background here: The publishing degree that I completed in the summer of 2008 was set up as a cohort, which meant that everyone took the same classes for the sequence of the degree, with the exception of the concentration classes. I took the e-publishing concentration, which included this computer infrastructure class. However, at no point in the sequence was there a basic HTML course or a course in creating a website. As a result, those of us with little or no HTML backgrounds were completely lost in the infrastructure class.

We were also the second cohort to complete the program, which is now undergoing a complete restructuring. In essence, our cohort, along with the first cohort, were the guinea pigs, the ones they got to experiment on to see what worked and what didn’t work. There was duplication among the courses, and then there was the problem with the e-publishing concentration.

Now I must pause here to say that overall, the instructors in the program were wonderful, with diverse backgrounds in the publishing industry. I learned a great deal, and wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. However, I do feel that we were short shrifted in that the kinks in the new program had yet to be finessed. Oh well. Live and learn.

“A thousand words leave not the same deep impression as does a single deed.” ~ Henrik Ibsen 

Paint Cans from marthastewart.com

Now that I’ve complete my major paperwork project, I’ve finally gotten Corey to agree to painting the bedroom. I really hope that he comes through this time. Originally the bedroom was supposed to be painted for Mother’s Day . . . 2008! Since it was never done, the new bedroom bureau has been sitting in the living room taking up much-needed space and is part of the reason for the clutter that I go on about so much.

We have all of the supplies to do the bedroom, but it’s such a huge undertaking that we haven’t gotten around to doing it. We have to move furniture out of the room, move things into the middle of the room, removed everything from the walls, spackle, prep, etc.

To be fair, I know personally how hard it is to get motivated for such an undertaking when you just aren’t feeling right. Being out of work for as long as Corey has been has really taken a toll on him emotionally. His self-esteem is shot, and in essence, he cannot really concentrate on anything too big. I know this feeling well.

But Corey’s job with Vane Brothers is fast approaching; his point of contact said the end of December or beginning of January. I can’t believe that it is almost December, but if we can all make it through the upcoming holidays, things should be looking up by 2010. I know that Corey will like being back at work, and I also know that it will greatly improve his state of mind.

Unfortunately, the apprenticeship with the shipyard did not pan out as Corey does not have the required background in advanced math classes, which is a requirement for acceptance. By the time he takes the 12 hours of math and technology, he will have a semester of college completed. The way he looks at it, and I agree, is that if he has to take a semester of college to get into the program, which he would complete with an Associate’s Degree (four to five semesters of work), he might as well go ahead and register for classes and get his Associate’s in his preferred field.

With the upcoming position with Vane Brothers, the disappointment with the apprentice program has been cushioned, and Corey is looking forward to getting back on track professionally.

 “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” ~ Winston S. Churchill

As for my own career, who knows? One of the areas that I would like to explore would be book indexing, which is something that I could pursue at home, which would allow me to work at a more comfortable pace without the pressures of a regular schedule. If anyone out there knows or works for someone who is looking for a book indexer, I’m available, and I’m good at it.

However, part of me really wishes that I could go back to a real job, one in which I interact with other grownups, have responsibilities, make a decent living with benefits. The reality is that I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to do that again. But I’m not giving up on the idea entirely. I suppose that it’s just one more thing in my life for which I’ll have to wait and see what the future holds.

So other than those tidbits, I don’t have a lot to report, but here are a few thoughts for Friday:

  • How did Heidi Klum manage to walk the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show only six weeks after giving birth to her fourth child? That woman must have incredible elasticity in her skin, that and very good genes.
  • Carol Hannah Design from Project Runway Finale
  • Speaking of Heidi Klum, Project Runway finished last night with Irina being declared the winner. Personally, I liked Carol Hannah, but I knew that Irina would win. That show is one of my guilty pleasures.
  • I read that a man in London has been found not guilty for strangling his wife. Apparently, he has suffered long-term from a sleep disorder and has automatism, a condition in which the sleeping individual has no control over his or her actions. Brian Thomas, the man on trial, strangled his wife because he mistook her for an intruder. Hmm, things that make you go hmm.
  • In Peoria, Arizona, a family’s home was burglarized. The intruders took electronics and a music box containing their deceased baby’s ashes. Man, I’d like to know what kind of person steals ashes.
  • Linday Lohan is upset that she wasn’t allowed to take $15,000 worth of jewelry from an event. She was promised between $1500 and $2,000 of loot for her appearance. Hello? I would show up wearing a gopher suit to get $1500 worth of free loot, and I wouldn’t complain. I mean, I’m a lot funnier than Lohan, whose only claim to fame at the moment is that she does nothing.
  • Hershey Co. is making a bid for Cadbury PLC. This disheartens me. I don’t really like Hershey’s chocolate, but I absolutely love Cadbury as it’s the chocolate that I ate as a child in England. Cadbury Fruit and Nut Bar, Cadbury Caramello. Um Um Good.
  • MSNBC regularly posts photographs of people who have had Ambush Makeovers. These are “Today Show” fans who are grabbed off the street and given a makeover. I wonder if they make house calls . . .
  • Speaking of house calls, I am seriously thinking of submitting our house for “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” I know that we don’t have eight children, but geez, does every deserving family have to have a boatload of kids to qualify? What about normal everyday people who have a real need? Maybe they could consider someone like us for a change.
  • And speaking of houses, I’m not liking the current season of “House” that much. I mean, the two-hour season premier was wonderful, but since then, it doesn’t seem to have its usual bite.
  • Dr. Warner (Tamara Tunie) of Law & Order SVU
  • And while I’m on shows that have lost their bite, “Law & Order SVU” might be on its last leg. What makes that particular L&O franchise so good is the interaction with the criminals and the nature of the crimes themselves. This season is spending too much time on the personal lives—a show about Olivia, a show about Elliott, a show about Huang. An episode about ADA Paxton. Get back to the squad room and the victims.
  • The long nightmare is over: Jon & Kate are finally saying buh bye. Never watched the show myself, but am soooo tired of hearing about this two. And what’s with her hair?
  • And finally, an image of the Virgin Mary holding the baby Jesus has appeared on a piece of glass in a church in Latvia. I don’t mean to be mean, but the image that they are showing looks more like the snow suits that Luke and Han wore on the ice planet in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. Does that make me a bad person?

Many thanks to my comrade Janson Jones for the inspiring video. More later. Peace.

One of my all-time favorite songs: “Chances Are,” by Bob Seger and Martine McBride from Hope Floats.

 

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

Insomnia Leads to Bad Television Habits

“Last night I dreamed I had insomnia. I woke up exhausted, yet too well rested to go back to sleep.”

~ Bob Ingman

Every once in a while, when I cannot get to sleep and I have already seen the episodes of “Without a Trace” and “CSI” that are on at 2 in the morning, I’ll try to find something else to watch on television that will bore me enough so that I can fall asleep. That is when I find bizarre programs like “Bridezillas” on WE. I’m not even sure what network WE is, but I must admit that the show “Bridezillas” and its companion show “Platinum Wedding” or something like that are really something to behold, especially if you are looking for polar extremes.

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WE's Show "Bridezillas"

Apparently, “Bridezillas” is television’s answer to “Cops” for women. I haven’t seen behavior like this since I taught middle school for one year. These women actually do things on this show that cause the censor bleep button to have to be used repeatedly. One wedding, and I’m using the term very loosely here, used shotgun shells as part of the decor. In another, the bride left her rehearsal dinner to go to the store and returned two and a half hours later. All of her guests were gone, and her fiance was a tad upset. She managed to turn the whole thing around to an impeachment on her guests’ impatience. The show is like an accident waiting to happen, and the viewer wants to turn away but just can’t because it’s only going to be worse, which means that it will only get better.

One bride’s rehearsal in the church turned into such a fray with the groom-to-be’s side of the family that the priest actually had to ask them to leave. Another bride-to-be gave the wrong location to her bridal party on where they were supposed to get their nails done, and then she had the audacity to throw a tantrum because half of her party didn’t show. She got on her phone and told them all that they were out of the wedding because they “didn’t care enough to support her on her big day.” At this point, I’d be thanking my lucky stars that I was out of the wedding party, but no, the bridesmaids always want back in. What, are they crazy?

But the best one was the bride who got upset when her nephew turned up missing during the reception. Everything stopped so that everyone could search for him. The bride threw herself on the couch and had a complete meltdown because no one was paying any attention to her. Luckily, the boy was found safely and all eyes could be turned back on the bride before her makeup was smudged. I’m not making this up.

In “Platinum Weddings,” viewers are treated to weddings that are examples of the most incredible examples of conspicuous consumption known to man. Everything from traditional Indian weddings in which the groom rides in on an elephant, to weddings in which the lighting alone costs $50,000. One wedding had a drink that was designed especially for the bride and groom to be served at their after dinner cocktail bar and dance room. Of course, fireworks were set off at the appropriate time. Cakes can cost upwards of $50,000, and the flowers can run anywhere from $25,000 to $250,000. Where do these people live? On Venus?

Needless to say, I don’t fall asleep when I watch these shows because I get caught up in the complete idiocy of the whole thing and end up watching three episodes in a row. I then find myself totally disgusted with myself and feel as though I need a bath to wash off the excess in which I have immersed myself.

One day, I was unable to get out of bed at all, and I watched an entire season of “America’s Next Top Model” from beginning to end. Usually on days like these I read, but my head hurt too much, so I tuned the television to something inane, hoping that it would put me to sleep. Of course, the reverse happened. I found myself watching the progression of these 14 or so candidates, slowly being weaned down to the final 3, then 2. I had a personal favorite, and I had one candidate that I particularly disliked. Why? Why did it matter to me? Was the winner going to go on to find a cure for AIDS?

I mean, Tyra Banks is a multi-millionaire. She has managed to turn her career as a model/Victoria’s Secret runway model into a television icon. She’s savvy, and she’s incredibly full of herself. The show is just as much about Banks as it is about the women who are competing. Tyra is always talking about how she did this for this photographer and that for said designer. Supposedly, it’s a lesson for the gawky young women who are learning to become models. And you do see some of them break out and change from show to show, but really, what’s the point? The two Jays are more interesting than the models. Trying to figure out what bizarre outfit Tyra is going to wear to judging is more interesting than some of the photo shoots. I can sleep through two episodes, wake up, and still not have missed much.

I suppose that is the point of reality television. There is no point, and to try to find one is an exercise in futility. I know that there are people out there who love their reality television. I just don’t happen to be one of them. I’ve never watched one episode of “The Real Life” or “The Surreal Life” or “Survivor” or “The Great Race.” My daughter tells me that “Jon and Kate Plus 8” is a nice show, but the thought of eight children scares the crap out of me. We did watch “Holmes on Homes” for a while to get some tips on home renovation, but that got too depressing when we ran out of money to continue renovating.

I will admit to loving “Project Runway” because I love Tim Gunn, and for some odd reason, I like “The Real Housewives of Orange County.” I think that it’s because Vicki is insane, and I’m waiting for her children to snap on her. I don’t like the other Housewives shows. They were bizarre knock-offs. But late-night reality shows are an entity all their own. I once was flipping through the channels and came upon some kind of dating show on which one man and three women went on a date, or something like that. I cannot remember the name of it, nor do I particularly want to. Five minutes of the Barbie-like verisimilitude, and I thought that I might be going mad. The women were flaky, too.

I suppose what makes late-night television interesting is that I haven’t seen it before in the way that I’ve seen every episode of Law & Order, Law & Order Criminal Intent, Law & Order SVU, and CSI. Whenever there is a Law & Order marathon on, I’ll watch, but I will fall asleep. The whole idea of watching television to cure my insomnia isn’t always truthful on my part. Maybe I’m watching just because I’m bored and because I don’t want to get out of bed to peruse our extensive DVD collection to figure out what I could put on the player.

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Asia Extreme "The Ghost"

Which brings me to another point: I will watch good movies over and over again, but I have to be in the right mood for a particular movie. For example, right now, I’m in a vampire/horror mood. I’m watching the Blade movies, Saw (all of them), and maybe others, but not zombies (zombies freak me out). I have discovered Asia Extreme movies on Sundance, and I really like them. I’m not really sure as to why, but part of it is that the movies can be pretty darn scary, and I haven’t seen all of them before. I think the other part is that almost all of them are based on some kind of ghost story, which is better than a slasher story any day.

What does all of this have to do with sleeping? Nothing, except that after watching scary movies, I can go to sleep and not have nightmares. Odd, huh? You would think that I would, but I don’t. I think that it’s because my brain knows that between an Asia Extreme movie and an episode of “Bridezilla,” the episode of “Bridezilla” is definitely the scarier of the two because it’s real. There are real women out there behaving that badly and thinking that it’s perfectly acceptable to treat people like crap simply because they are getting married.

Personally, I can really understand why some men run from the alter. If I were marrying some of these women, I’d get my butt in the closest pickup truck and floor it to the next state, change my name, shave my head, grow a beard, and go to work in a field that required me to be out of the country for extended periods. Those women on that show are crazy. It’s Cops on progesterone.

I’ll watch a scary movie any day. I find them to be much more soothing and less anxiety-filled. I kid you not. But lately, I like my new technique of trying to go to sleep: I turn on my latest bedtime music playlist, turn on one of the soothing visualizations on my great big screen, and turn off the television. The dogs seem to like it, not that they really care as long as I stay still long enough for them to get comfortable under the covers. And then I try to let Hypnos carry me off to sleep so that Morpheus can bring me dreams.

“Come, cuddle your head on my shoulder, dear, your head like the golden-rod,

and we will go sailing away from here to the beautiful land of Nod.”

~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox

More later. Peace.