Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It's the Holiday Season

I think I had a little too much holiday cheer this past weekend.

It's Tuesday and I think that I'm still recovering from my exploits. Either that, or I'm getting sick. Which I refuse to believe.

Friday night, I did something that I've been wanting to do for the longest time... I saw the light display at Tilles Park. For years I've driven past it, but never turned in. This year, Barry and I, along with Dev, Peggy and Jim, piled into Barry's Rav4 and took in the sights and sounds. While it wasn't the most comfortable of viewings, the company was truly enjoyable and us in the back seat were united in our discomfort.

I'm sure there's an adage about out of discomfort comes strength, or some other bullshit, but it's eluding me at this point.

Rather than write a review of the experience, I'm going to say that if you enjoy drive-through Christmas light displays, then it is well worth your time. I would go during the week, though, when there is less traffic. If it's not your scene, then hit something else.

I enjoyed it immensely.

Saturday, our house was Kid Central. Our friends Jason and Jennifer brought over their children so that we could give them their Christmas presents. I fretted a bit over whether the gifts would be enjoyed. I needn't have. Lots of squeals and pestering of Uncle Barry to play with them ensued. Love the sound of children's laughter... especially in this house.

A couple hours later, Cara and Todd brought over their boys. I had been warned that they would swing in, then out, because the boys had already had full days and were starting to get tired.

But when they arrived, their oldest dropped his coat on the floor and joined the melee. The youngest apparently was power napping when they arrived, for he soon woke up and joined the commotion.

For those of you not in the know, my house has a kitchen that connects to both the family room and dining room. Which are also connected. So there is a zig-zagged wall that acts as the center, making it perfect for kids to run circles through the house.

I loved it!

So did Lance, who followed the parade of children running through the house, occasionally giving kisses to whomever would stop to catch their breath.

After they left, Tom came over to watch 'The Ref' and 'Bad(der) Santa.' I had never seen 'The Ref' all the way through and Tom had never seen 'Bad Santa,' so it was new for everyone but Barry.

Popcorn, cookies and cherry limeade was consumed, but none of us can stay up late the way we used to back in the day, so we called it a night.

Sunday, Barry and I went to his sister's so he could get his hair cut... and so we could help her pick up a metal cabinet that she bought at an antique mall. And while not the most festive day of the weekend, there was certainly an air of giving that day. Plus, the desire to shop weighed heavily on my mind.

I don't know if they exist, but when in doubt, always feel free to give me a gift certificate to an antique mall.

So as I sit here on the couch, I truly think that I OD'd on the holiday spirit this weekend.

Or maybe I just want to get out of going to my brother- and sister-in-law's house on Thursday.

Naw. Couldn't be.

But thank God Cara and Todd dropped off a bottle of holiday wine on Saturday. I plan on sampling it on Christmas.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

No Child Left Behind

John Walsh is one of my heroes.

When people ask me who my hero is, I invariably think of my mother. After all, she had everything... good looks, a family, multiple college degrees... and then had to become a whole new person after she had two massive strokes. But she survived, and even thrived to a degree, when most others would become despondent over their lot in life.

But John Walsh took what could only be described as the most horrific of circumstances to befall a parent -- the abduction of a child from a store and subsequent murder of the child -- and turned into something absolutely amazing. Instead of internalizing his hate and despair, John Walsh became empowered.

I won't rehash the details of his son's story. It can be found on hundreds of thousands of websites if you don't know it. But it was 27 years ago that a hotel developer turned into an activist, co-founding the Center for Missing and Exploited Children and then hosting the show America's Most Wanted.

John Walsh did not sit idly by and let the world forget what happened to his son, nor would he allow what happened to his son to happen to other children. Not on his watch. And there are those who argue that he took away the innocence of a generation of children who have to grow up fast enough. But I must comment, as a person who does not have kids herself, that anything you can do to protect children -- even if it's one situation out of 10,000 -- is information worth knowing. Parents are not supposed to bury their children.

So for all his devotion to saving other children, John Walsh and his wife, Reve, never got closure on the case of their son, Adam. Because for 27 years it was an open case.

Until yesterday.

Now, finally, there is no more wondering if the creature responsible for such an atrocity is still walking the streets. While knowing won't bring back their boy, having closure certainly has to be bittersweet.

Rest in Peace Adam Walsh and may God bless you John and Reve Walsh.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Whatever Happened to Saturday Night?

Saturday night I did something I don't normally do.

I not only fought back against a creep who was invading not only my personal space but also presumed that his physical attention was welcomed, but I had the best comeback ever. Movie line perfect, if I may say so myself.

And despite this shadow on my evening, I had a great time.

Let me back up.

Saturday night, I had dinner with several friends, old and new. Tom, Timmy, Matt & Laurel and I went to dinner at Sen, one of the best Thai restaurants around. After indulging in some truly delicious food and imbibing in the best martini ever, I popped away to go see Barry at an art event.

He was a participating artist and since I was downtown, I had to go see him.

It was crazy packed. It was also loud and pretentious.

I couldn't find Barry to save my life, so I went outside to text him, in the hopes that he would be able to direct me better than my aimless wandering seemed to do.

I set my purse on a column base, then proceeded to text. All of a sudden, I'm spun around. My phone goes flying (although, to be quite honest, it seems to work better now). I'm face to face with a guy at least ten years my junior... and drunk.

"What's a pretty gal doing here by herself?"

"Leave me the fuck alone," I reply, my eyes rolling. Here I am not talking to anyone, let alone making eye contact, and I'm still singled out. Fly paper for freaks, I am.

He tsks, then pulls me closer. "I think we got off on the wrong foot."

I'm internally cringing, watching his hand arc up to stroke either my cheek, my hair or -- worse -- my breast.

None of them are an option.

The fact that body parts are touching freaks me out, so I say sweetly, "Nope, the right knee." Then my right knee makes contact with his groin.

I grab my phone, then head inside.

Security asks what happened. I tell them that I was accosted, but fine. However, I'm not too sure how he is. Then I book into the crowd, determined to find Barry. And not deal with any more questions.

I do find him, crammed into a small wing, a live model wearing a skimpy bikini just a few feet from him. It's too loud to talk and to cramped for me to sit by him. Besides, he seemed to be in the drawing zone, so I kiss, chat briefly, then head back out to meet up with everyone at the Cabin Inn, over at the City Museum.

It's relaxed and laid back and just about perfect to just fall into a chair and drink a beer. I of course tell them all what happened. I'm then applauded for my line. And then we settle into our obligatory potty talk.

Who would have thought that my altercation would be overshadowed by the sad, drunk, possibly high woman at the bar?

Since my back was to her, I missed out on most of it -- thank God.

But the fact that her tag was sticking out of her t-back just HAD to be pointed out to me. And then it was proposed that someone go stick it back in for her. Now, mind you, this woman saw Matt's V8 tattoo on his forearm and mistook the engine symbol as something more astral. I said that I'd do it for ten bucks.

Tom ponied up and I was stuck. Crap.

But I squared my shoulders and went up to her, trying to gently explain the situation. She didn't understand and proceeded to get louder and louder, so I just tucked the tag back in and ran.

I think she yelled after me that she wanted me to tear off the tag, but I refused to make eye contact. Unfortunately, Tom, Matt and Tim got an eyeful. I could be wrong, but apparently she proceeded to pull her pants off.

I do know that she was escorted outside.

Barry had rolled into the madness around 10ish, but around 11:30 it was decided that breakfast food was on the menu. Barry parted ways and the rest of us headed over to Uncle Bill's on South Kingshighway.

Love me some bacon and blueberry waffles, but it was too bright to see such garish decor while having previously consumed three drinks. Since I don't drink much, I was grooving.

Plus, Uncle Bill's reminds me of illicit meetings and dirty thoughts, hence why it was way too bright in there.

But the food is cheap, fast and pretty good.

After giving Tom shit about his eating choices, because it was his health that we were out celebrating, we consumed, we became overstuffed, we all began to crash.

I desperately wanted to drive everyone back instead of Tom, but I parted ways in the parking lot and let them all get appropriately dispersed.

And while I certainly am much more low-key, homebody even, I really could do that night again.

Minus inappropriate guy and drunk woman.

Here's hoping they met up. Really think that they deserved each other.

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Turn On, Tune In... Drop Out

I just finished watching the last episode of Boston Legal. And while saying that I feel that a chapter in my life has closed seems rather silly, I do feel like my world did get a little less bright.

The numbers for the show were never fabulous, but the fans were fanatical. I count myself amongst them. It certainly was not written for the masses, but rather a small niche market – people who enjoyed intelligent television, rather than the mindless escapism that peppers the broadcast television spectrum.

It was political. It was topical. And it was irreverent. It didn’t pander to its audience; it brought the audience up to its level. It not only pushed boundaries, but thumbed its nose at the boundaries after it had already hoped them and moved into the next obstacle supposedly blocking its path.

Here’s hoping that this spin-off of a spin-off (from The Practice which came out of Ally McBeal)has yet another spin-off in store because I fully admit that I tuned in merely to see Alan Shore launch into one of his tirades – and to hear his latest lecherous comment – and to see what crazy antics Denny Crane was going to perform in the newest episode. Many great characters were introduced, then were either written out… or disappeared altogether.

In fact, one of my favorite characters – who was the perfect foil for Alan shore and perfect crony for Denny Crane – was Melvin Palmer. Truly one of the most underutilized characters from the show. If there is indeed a spin-off, I hope that he – and Christopher Rich who played him – is a featured character because, damn, if he didn’t make my sides hurt. He’s a funny guy, that’s what he is.

But my boys… Ah, two such fully developed men – I mean characters – really were a joy to watch. James Spader was at the top of his professional game on this show and William Shatner was… in the role of his life. I may have some personal biases towards Mr. Spader (whom I have crushed on since the beginning of time), but I sincerely believe that the character of Denny Crane was tailor made for William Shatner and that no one but William Shatner could have played the character. Forget Captain James T. Kirk! The name’s Denny Crane.

I must say that the capper was appropriate, if unnecessary. I certainly felt that the show had not run its course. That there were many more mountains to climb, conquer and tumble. I know I’m holding out false hope that there will be a spin-off, but David E. Kelley, the creator of Boston Legal, has two shows in development for next season. I don’t suppose saying ‘pretty please?’ will help?

I will miss my friends at Crane, Poole & Schmidt. Thanks for some of the best television I’ve seen for the past four years. Nay, for some of the best television I’ve seen. Period.

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I Love This Country!

I've posted here before about how the National Anthem makes me cry. It's not the best song, but what it represents, the history behind the lyrics, and the thought of the thousands of men and women who have fought -- and given the ultimate sacrifice -- just moves me beyond words.

And then I found this video.

I'm not sure what game this is, but the video was shot at Boston’s Fenway Park. At Disability Awareness Day at the ballpark, mentally challenged fans were given VIP treatment. One such fan was even given the honor of singing the National Anthem.

Others before him have gotten flustered singing the National Anthem before a large crowd. So did he. And as I watched in horror at what the crowd was going to do, I thought it was going to go so, so wrong.

Instead, it went so, so right.

Kinda made me not hate people quite so much.

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Sunday, December 7, 2008

I Think I Found Meself a Job!

So I took a quiz online.

And now I'm almost frightened by the results.

But they were too good not to share.

In fact, if I were single I might be sharing a bit more than just the results of the quiz... if you know what I mean.


(sort of)

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Found this on one of the websites I frequent, although I have seen it a few times before. Thought it was hilarious, a counter-balance to the cold and dreary day outside.

I also thought most, not all, was brilliantly true.

1. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either. Just pretty much leave me the hell alone.
2. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and leaky tire.
3. It’s always darkest before dawn. So if you’re going to steal your neighbor’s newspaper, that’s the time to do it.
4. Don’t be irreplaceable. If you can’t be replaced, you can’t be promoted.
5. Always remember that you’re unique. Just like everyone else.
6. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.
7. If you think nobody cares if you’re alive, try missing a couple of car payments.
8. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you’re a mile away and you have their shoes.
9. If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you.
10. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.
11. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.
12. If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.
13. Some days you’re the bug; some days you’re the windshield.
14. Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.
15. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.
16. A closed mouth gathers no foot.
17. Duct tape is like ‘The Force’. It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.
18. There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works.
19. Generally speaking, you aren’t learning much when your lips are moving.
20. Experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it.
21. Never miss a good chance to shut up.
22. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008


In no particular order...

1. I am thankful for Barry, who accepts me for who I am.
2. I am thankful for having the greatest Mom a girl could ever wish for.
3. I am thankful for having the most loving Dad a girl could ever wish for.
4. I am thankful for Lance, the best dog I’ll ever be owned by.
5. I am thankful for Pudge, the best cat a cat-hater could be owned by.
6. I am thankful for Gana, who is the yin to Pudge’s yang – a cat through and through.
7. I am thankful for Tom, who accepts our friendship for what it is – twisted and unconventional.
8. I am thankful for my Aunt Fran who, after my mother, has shown me what grace personified truly is.
9. I am thankful for my cousin Katie, who, when faced with adversity, lives life on her own terms.
10. I am thankful for my cousin Sarah, who knows what she wants and never waivers.
11. I am thankful for my ‘Aunt’ Ann and ‘Uncle’ John, who make me feel like the daughter they never had.
12. I am thankful for my friends Linda and Greg, who make it all seem easy.
13. I am thankful for my friend Maggie, who has shown me that the power of perverted prayer and sheer stubbornness can take you farther than you knew you could go.
14. I am thankful that my parent’s left me a house that is paid for.
15. I am thankful for B’lana, the pretty, pretty princess that she is.
16. I am thankful that I can look out my back window and see a creek rather than a neighbor’s backyard.
17. I am thankful for my friend Jason, who not only is the original ‘pretty,’ but also has a heart as big as the whole outdoors.
18. I am thankful for my friend Jennifer, who is a hot mess – and loves me because I am, too.
19. I am thankful for Alyssa, who reminds me of what I lost and makes my heart sing.
20. I am thankful for Aidan, who despite obstacles, embraces life more fully than anyone I know.
21. I am thankful for Cara, who has been in my life so long that I can’t remember her not being there… and thank God for that.
22. I am thankful for Todd, Elwood and Finn, who not only love Cara unconditionally, I love them for loving her.
23. I am thankful for my friend Kim, who reminds me that there is still hope and good in the world.
24. I am thankful for my friend Paul, whose political rants mirror my own leanings – and who is a true gentleman, underneath the trappings of… one who is not.
25. I am thankful for my friend Katie, who is effervescence personified.
26. I am thankful for Sharon, who never tries to be the mother I lost, but seems to love me as much as her own offspring.
27. I am thankful for Alan, who, while complete different than my father, reminds me of him when he dishes out and takes it.
28. I am thankful for Deb, my BFFAW always.
29. I am thankful for my friend Barb, who I never talk to enough.
30. I am thankful for Molly, who is wise beyond her years but also makes me feel 10 years younger.
31. I am thankful for my cousins Bill and George, who are always looking out for me.
32. I am thankful for Barry’s gaming group, who give him an oasis of (in)sanity.
33. I am thankful for my sister-in-law Jennifer, who is the little sister I never knew I wanted.
34. I am thankful for my brother-in-law Robert, who introduced us to the ways of Schwan’s.
35. I am thankful for Renee and John, who help keep us grounded.
36. I am thankful for snow.
37. I am thankful for The Custard Station.
38. I am thankful for thrift stores.
39. I am thankful for the Internet.
40. I am thankful for gift certificates.
41. I am thankful for Tom Waits.
42. I am thankful for Nine Inch Nails.
43. I am thankful for Billy Joel.
44. I am thankful for INXS.
45. I am thankful for the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.
46. I am thankful for Charleston, SC.
47. I am thankful for Facebook and it getting me in touch with old friends.
48. I am thankful for ‘Oops’ paint.
49. I am thankful for Satellite TV.
50. I am thankful for TiVo.
51. I am thankful for the oceans.
52. I am thankful for the mountains.
53. I am thankful for those who have saved historic buildings.
54. I am thankful for Bryan Fuller for creating the best television shows that never got a chance.
55. I am thankful for Forest Park.
56. I am thankful for the Arch, thus creating one of the most recognized and beautiful downtown skylines in the country.
57. I am thankful that Obama will be the 44th President of the United States of America.
58. I am thankful for the Lion’s Club BBQ.
59. I am thankful for Teva sandals.
60. I am thankful for tattoos and piercings.
61. I am thankful for Weekends Only furniture stores.
62. I am thankful for grape soda.
63. I am thankful for the City Museum.
64. I am thankful for root beer.
65. I am thankful for Oberweis.
66. I am thankful for knitting.
67. I am thankful for Petsmart, so I can take Lance there and let him have a little ‘Yappy Hour’ from time to time.
68. I am thankful for memories.
69. I am thankful for living in the greatest country in the world.
70. I am thankful for Route 44 Cherry/Vanilla Cokes from Sonic – and for my cousins introducing me to them.
71. I am thankful for the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series of books.
72. I am thankful for fanfiction.
73. I am thankful for The Royale.
74. I am thankful for Amigo’s Cantina.
75. I am thankful for Mental Floss.
76. I am thankful for St. Louis Magazine.
77. I am thankful for the book White Palace.
78. I am thankful for sales – of any kind.
79. I am thankful for zippered hoodies.
80. I am thankful for independent coffee houses like Kaldi’s.
81. I am thankful for Jon Stewart on the Daily Show.
82. I am thankful for Big Lots.
83. I am thankful for fabric remnants at fabric stores.
84. I am thankful for Phyllis Diller.
85. I am thankful for hammocks.
86. I am thankful for the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy.
87. I am thankful for Hellboy comics and movies.
88. I am thankful for the Indiana Jones trilogy (Not sure how I feel about the 4th movie yet).
89. I am thankful for the original Star Wars trilogy.
90. I am thankful for the movie, Heathers.
91. I am thankful for tiramisu.
92. I am thankful for crème brule.
93. I am thankful for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
94. I am thankful for Mutts comics.
95. I am thankful that I grew up when Bloom County was what the Daily Show is now – cutting edge political commentary.
96. I am thankful for chocolate milk.
97. I am thankful for Laumeier Sculpture Park.
98. I am thankful for Nordstrom’s in St. Louis.
99. I am thankful for the cheesecake selection at The Cheesecake Factory.
100. I am thankful for you.

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