Saturday, December 26, 2009

Let The Good Times Roll

I know I should be talking about what a lovely Christmas I had and how it was great to see family and the fun and everything - and it was great and fun and lovely.
But USC just beat their opponent in the Emerald Bowl, making it thirty-two post season bowl wins for my university - the most of any school - and that makes me happy.
The happy that will only be topped if Alabama can grind Texas into the ground on January 7th. It's not my usual call but for this one it'll do...Roll Tide!!

This is me and the Bowl games are in full swing.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009

We're heading out to The Desert to see my family for the next few days. Their Internet is spotty at best so who knows if I will get a chance to post. It's the 'off' year where all my siblings are with their in-laws so it'll be just me, Tarzan and the three kids who still live at home with my parents. We might be back to ring in the New Year; I do like to watch the ball drop in freezing Big Apple downtown while I sip sparkling apple juice in 75 degrees. Plus there's all the football. We'll see:
This is me and in the meantime; Merry Christmas everybody!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

It's All True - Part 2

I bet you never thought I'd be back with pictures. *I* sure didn't. In fact, having seen the raccoon once - and having had him run/waddle away from me - I would have laid bets I'd never catch him on the back porch again.
I would have lost that bet.
Lost that bet really, really badly.
After the last encounter I tried to stop feeding the cats at night. I put their food down in the mid afternoon and let them wait until the next morning for more. Apparently this was working because last night, I opened the door to let one of the cats out and they were all milling around meowing and their bowls were empty. I figured - genius that I am - that if I fed them they would eat it all before the raccoon could.
HA!
No sooner had I poured a scoop of food out then I heard this rather large rustling and a sizable something jumped on the fence and then to the garbage cans. There were two large shiny eyes staring at me and not in fear or agression. He was hungry and wasn't stopping for nobody. So he hopped down to the step and lumbered on up. The cats were not afraid exactly, but they did back away and let him eat. I ran to get the camera hoping he wouldn't leave before I got proof for you all and he sure did not:
He did not like the flash on the camera however:
But he was so completely unafraid - or hungry - that I was able to switch to video: video
The constant shushing sounds are are the busy street that runs by the front of our house.
But wait, it gets better: video
It gets really dark at the end, when I closed the door to let him go by, and then you can't see anything, but I think he would have come in the house had I let him.
So you see, I was totally not kidding. And now I have to figure out how to catch him and give him to my father for Christmas.

This is me and you think I'm joking.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Still Quality Viewing

I know, it's been a while. No excuses, it's just that time of year and cliche as that is, it still is. But I heard this line tonight and I laughed harder than I have in a long time. And because I love you, I thought I would share.
"Christmas is a weird time of year. When else do you sit in front of a dead tree eating candy and snacks out of your socks?"

This is me and that was awesome.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Only His Wife Would Understand

So I suppose it's a testament to how long we've been married that Tarzan can walk into the kitchen sniff the air, declare dinner smells like turpentine, announce he's thrilled to see what it tastes like and I don't even blink an eye.

This is me and I guess we understand each other even if no one else does.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

It's All True

We speak with our neighbors on a purely random basis - our lives being what they are and theirs being what theirs are - and the subject matter can vary widely. The mailman, the garbage collection, our cars, the cats, sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll...
A few months ago our neighbor of the leaky pipe and car battery variety stopped me to chat and as nice a guy as he is, I have to wonder if he's all there considering some of the things he brings up. This particular time he said he had seen a raccoon on our back porch eating the cat food one night. I was sure he had mistaken one of the larger feral cats in the neighborhood - who all eat on our back porch - for a raccoon. No one else had mentioned seeing anything remotely like that - and Tarzan seems to see EVERY thing that goes on in our area. Where would the thing live? There aren't many trees and no dirt except under people's houses and nearly everyone has dogs. So I dismissed the thought and promptly forgot about it.
Let me publicly apologize to my neighbor right now.
It is all true.
Last night I opened the door to let one of the cats out and sitting right there, all plump and furry, black mask and striped tail attesting to his species, chowing down on the cat food, was a raccoon.
A huge raccoon.
Like four times the size of my alpha male cat.
And something clicked in my head, all the clues I hadn't seen, how my six cats managed to eat an entire month's worth of food in five days, some of Ocelot's freak outs and wounds from fighting, why there are always puddles near their water bowl...the raccoon is washing his (their) food in the water.
Of course this all went through my head in 3 seconds and by the time I thought to get a camera the raccoon was gone and out of the yard. Past my cats who looked as surprised as I felt.
What I haven't figured out is where he's staying.

This is me, and you are totally getting a picture the next time.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Nicely Done

It might be considered a lack of post rather than a post to have a viral video two days in a row and if that's so then I apologize. This:
Is a pretty good trick though. Who knew physics would allow stuff like that happen?

This is me and what about the soaring music makes me tear up?

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Doubly Good

I know, I'm waaaay behind in the hype with this one but you have to admit it's adorable AND amusing:

This is me and I am a self admitted cat lover.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

It's My Eye Doctor

It's been a little over a week since I rubbed my eye so much it bled. It hasn't hurt at all in that time, not even while flying in the dry, over used air that exists on airplanes. Tarzan has been good about helping me dose it with drops every day so the itching has abated mostly and I think there might be some improvement finally:
At least, the red is getting lower in the eyeball such that little children don't run screaming when they get close to me.
This is me and that's better.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The Pressure's Off - Or Is it?

Boo-ya, a day in which I don't HAVE to post.
You'd think something fun would happen today, a witty anecdote I could relate, but no.
Just the usual panic I experience every year as December starts when I realize that there is barely over three weeks until Christmas. Less than three weeks until the Christmas program at church - and we haven't had any rehearsals yet. Only three DAYS until I have to have the tree set up and decorated for the Christmas party which is in four days. Presents that have to be shipped far distances, cards that have to be thoughtfully filled out in a hurry, food to be made, lists of people and parties to attend or not.
You know, the usual.

This is me, all stressed out which has become the norm around here.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Multi-Purpose

Just kidding kids, one more day of NaBloPoMo.
NOW it's in the tank.
All month long I've been thinking that we were flying home on the 30th - despite all the tickets and calendars saying yesterday was the 29th - but I am sure I can pull out one more intriguing post in a row for you all.
Observation for the day: telephone books, not just for finding a number.

This is me, and I am not about to tell you how I know.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Aren't We Pretty?

So we're heading home later today and for the last post of the month - another NaBloPoMo in the tank - I give to you the results of Saturday afternoon. Among others there is this:

This is me and Tarzan and this was Thanksgiving 2009.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Un-Captionable

There is really nothing I can say - who knew that such a thing could happen? - about the adorable-ness of Woody in this video: video

And it was totally random. I have probably a dozen other videos in which I tried to get him to smile and laugh and it's all my voice saying silly things. This is all Woody all the time and he's cute. And that is Tarzan's CLEAN sock.

This is me and I give you this video.

Friday, November 27, 2009

She Makes It Look Easy

So what is with November and secrets? This makes the third surprise party in as many years and they've all been in November - well okay, one was in June but close enough. This keeping things from people makes it very hard to blog in the first part of the November, having to watch what I type and everything...
This year Rocketgirl turned 30 and while I did a post for her, we - her family, friends and I, thought it wasn't enough.
30 is big y'all.
But, most people having jobs and/or kids and Rocketgirl just having moved to a place not near any of us the planets were just not aligning for a get together, surprise or otherwise. So we did what all great party planners do and moved the party. That's right, Mohammad and the mountain babies, Mohammad and the mountain. Tarzan and all of his siblings were going to be in The Rockies for Thanksgiving this year, not even on purpose but just because the planets WERE aligning, so we thought, she'd never suspect a party in November - which is true, she sure did not. In fact, it took a moment for her to realize the party was FOR her.
But she recovered beautifully and the party raged until the wee small hours - or until 10pm because we all work or have kids, as mentioned previously.
But I think fun was had, and no one puked, lost a finger or even cried so I call that a good party. Thanks Rocketgirl for letting us celebrate how well you turned this:
Into this:
In only 30 short years.

This is me, and Happy Birthday again, with lots more fanfare!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving 2009

Screw the three kernels. I am thankful for this:
A hot tub full of buff men. Who wouldn't be? But I am most especially thankful for this: video

This is me and I love family.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hindsight

There is a lot more to come including pictures and all that juicy stuff, but let me leave you with these words of wisdom the night before we eat and give thanks:

This is me and if I'd known we would be sleeping on an air mattress in the living room, I would have brought different pajamas.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Eye, Eye, Eye, Eye

We're off to the airport - with an awful lot of luggage to my way of thinking but if I leave something at home I will no doubt need it right away. It's the law of the jungle - to hang with some family and eat lots of food. It'll be awesome.
But before we go I leave you with a picture of my latest freak show novelty. My eye was itchy all day yesterday and despite repeated rubbing it did not dissipate. When Tarzan came home I asked him if he could see something in my eye and when he looked he nearly had a heart attack. Because my eye looks like this:
According to the nice doctor I saw in Urgent Care last night it's nothing serious. It's like a bruise on my eyeball and it's really common. (He had seen three other cases previous to me.) He said to keep dosing it with drops and it should go away in about a week. In the meantime I get to look even more conspicuous than usual.
This is me, and my eye is all red and nasty looking.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Last Week In So Many Ways

It's the last week of NaBloPoMo, the last week of November - which could be a redundant situation but we won't dwell on that - the last week of Dancing With The Stars for the year, the last week before all the Christmas stuff takes off. It was like the calm before a storm if one wants to get poetic. And I would but it's been a long day and tomorrow's going to be longer - yay for travelling - and it's going to be wild when we get back. So here's what turned out to be a rather low impact final competition.
Kelly certainly is the most improved. While her Argentine tango was not the most precise it was a far sight better than any one she had ever done and it looked like she was dancing instead of stumbling.
I am sure I have mentioned this before, but ever since Mel B danced it with Maksim, EVERYONE has worn a pleather bikini and cape to dance the paso doble. And Mya was no exception. It was a good dance, strong and precise, but outside of the box people, outside.
Donny's cha-cha was not bad but it wasn't up to the level of the other two. He needed more hips and arms in his down time. But I missed a lot of it watching Kym, so afraid that her outfit was going to fall off. Who thought that was a good idea?
And what was going through the minds of the people who created the Megamix? I thought all the dancers did a great job but it was oddly constructed and each part of each dance was so short that it didn't mix together well. It was like they had some pieces of dances left over so they threw them all together and everyone danced it all at once. Not really what I expected of a team dance in the the finals. But the judges placed each couple in the right order for me in the end and they all tried really hard. So, there you go.
The words 'free style' can be really great or stink really bad - as we were told about a thousand times - but it really did define them all for the competition.

Kelly's shoulder pads were huge and she fell but she had fun and to use a quote I really dislike she "left it all on the floor."
Mya's was weak, sad to say, though it was a great song and a great outfit.
Donny's probably was the strongest in showmanship and ofttimes that is what wins the freestyle round and wins the show. I am prepared to be surprised and have him win the whole shebang.

This is me, and while we won't be available when they announce the rundown tomorrow night - we will watch the whole thing when we get back - let me know if it doesn't go down as Donny, Mya and Kelly as 1, 2 and 3 respectively.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sew, A Needle Pulling Thread

And while we're on the trend of my housekeeping skills, I finally got around to trying out the free sewing machine Rocketgirl lauded on Cheapskate.com last year. Let me first say, that if you have grand ideas of making party dresses and stuff with this thing, think again. A miniature marvel it is not.
Sure, it looks cute and all:
But that is one erractic machine with no self control. I am glad that I started with something that doesn't matter too much - one of our bottom sheets that had a huge hole:
I am not saying whose foot put that hole there but let's just say that it wasn't mine. It took a long time to repair and a lot of thread - maybe the stuff I have is old and therefore more brittle than usual? - because it kept breaking. The tension knob does not adjust particularly well and there are a lot of thread guides you have to untangle every time the thread breaks. BUT.
All the whining and cursing aside - and there might have been a lot of that - in the end it does look fairly fixed:
So, for the small things that no one else will see, it's not a bad free, tiny sewing machine.

This is me and for anything tougher than a sheet I'm gonna need a Singer.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Do You Want Quotes With That?

Rocketgirl suggested that a Jane's Top 10 Quotes list be generated. I don't know that I am that interesting but as she reads and comments on EVERY SINGLE POST I feel I should indulge her. So we're changing the layout a tiny bit and instead of Jane's Current Favorites - which I neglect to update on a regular basis anyway - we're going to have Jane's Top 10 list and you can submit your favorite quote at any time. We'll worry about what to do if we get more than 10 suggestions.
First up "...their songs did not make me want to jab a stick in my ear. So that was good."


This is me and someone thinks I'm quotable.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Reflections On The Third Year

Happy Blog Anniversary to Jane!
It's been three years, 600+/- posts and what have we learned?
Firstly, we learned that Jane is a champion whiner. Also super stubborn, a control freak and probably a little - fine, a lot - bossy. Maybe a tad critical.
We have learned that she likes her cats, her football team, live musical numbers, TV, talented women and nerdy cute men, a random selection of music that may or may not include the Top 40 depending on the decade, we know she likes to cook, and she LOVES her few devoted readers. She is overly scheduled nearly every week, especially with church stuff and she doesn't always get it all done. She's not a perfectionist when it comes to housework but she is about pie crust. Jane likes to read a lot of blogs and wants others to post more often since their lives are more interesting than hers.
But lastly, and not least, we know that she does love the weird, funny, kind, abstract sequential man known as Tarzan.

This is me and it's been three years. Are you bored yet?
This time last year in The Jungle: Reflections on the Second Year.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I Vant To Not See It Everywhere

I realize I take me life in my hands when I ask this question but I'm feeling tough today so I dare to forge ahead anyway:
What is with the love affair America is having with vampires right now?
And because I do not understand, I find THIS
And this:
So very hilarious.

This is me, and you may now proceed to stone me for heresy.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Countdown

As I was posting last night, all complacent about the BIG DWTS finals next week, I realized that I won't be watching the BIG show. I won't know who wins for hours, or even days after the final BIG show airs. And I won't get to see the whole two-hour episode until we get home because Tarzan and I will be on a plane heading to his parents' house for Thanksgiving when Tom Bergeron is announcing the winner of Season 9. Now, while I do enjoy my Dancing With The Stars, it is not that all-encompassing.
Really. It isn't.
My amazement when I realized I won't see the show next week was more along the lines of HOW IS THANKSGIVING NEXT WEEK ALREADY?!
I am not ready. There are presents I need to buy to take with us so we don't have to ship things in the Christmas rush. There are things I need to ship to The Other Side Of The World so they don't get caught in the Christmas rush. The week after we get back starts the Christmas parties and the tree decorating at church and with the cub scouts and there's cards and things and I have to pack and it all starts with Thanksgiving.
So rather than get a leg up on it all, what am I doing? Blogging for you Internet friends. My priorities are SO in the right order.

This is me, and I'm not ready.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Under Pressure

I was hoping the judges would ask to see Donny's tango - done the way he had practiced it instead of the way it came out - but no, they encored Mya's salsa tonight on Dancing With The Stars.
The dance troupe from Nine was...interesting. It's from the movie about a guy who has a lot of women - nine apparently? - in his life and how each one influences his career. One of them is a prostitute it would seem and I'm guessing that dance came from her section of the film.
Alicia Keys and Leona Lewis are not my cup of tea, but their songs did not make me want to jab a stick in my ear. So that was good.
The film blurb was amusing - there is not a lot of lip syncing skills amongst the remaining few - but the antics were good for a laugh. The behind the scenes looks, with the professionals, are one of my favorite parts of the show.
Now the Bee Gees were awesome, especially noting there were only two of them left, but I did not see the necessity of Melissa Rycroft for the dance. In fact, she kind of stunk.
I was a bit surprised that it was Joanna was sent home, but then again, she likely has a smaller fan base than one of the Osbournes right? Did anyone else catch Ozzy's face when it was announced Kelly will be dancing in the finals? That man is still so strung out from his hey day it's really a tribute to his wife that he's made it this far.

This is me and next week's shows are going to be big, I tell you, BIG!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Dancing Etc - The Semi-Finals

One would think my entry would be shorter since there are only four couples left on Dancing With The Stars. But of course they now make them dance three routines in one night so it's like there are twelve of them.
I certainly was uncomfortable watching Donny and Kym's tango but not because of the sensuality of the dance. Let's start with Kym's dress and Donny's suit - she was hanging out all over the place and he was completely covered up including his hands. He was not holding her tight at all and the whole dress hem thing - does NO ONE wear their dress in rehearsal? - and WHAT was WITH all the jokes about Marie?
Joanna and Derek's waltz-that-was-not-Viennese was much better, but it still lacked something. I saw her shuffling her feet several times and she hesitated her turns so they looked awkward. It was a great song for the dance though.
For me, Kelly and Louis' rumba was much better than most of her dances this season. It was full of difficult poses but not as much content as maybe could have been. I have to wonder if Louis fell in that one part? Her solo bit looked like she was counting and maybe that's what she lacks...fluidity?
Mya and Dimitry's waltz was lovely - Tarzan commented on it - but I am surprised that Carrie-Ann did not mention the lift and her feet coming WAY off the floor.
Donny's samba was much better - though I do not know what Kym was wearing - his feet, his hips, his smile. It was fun and I liked it.
I did not like Joanna's cha-cha all that much. She seemed stiff and I don't like those fringed pants that everyone likes to wear. Her hips were lacking too.
Kelly's quickstep had a rather frantic song - I still would like to know who picks the songs for these things - but except for one rather poorly planned misstep in the middle as they were running across the floor, it was rather fun.
If tonight is any indication, Mya will win this whole thing. Her salsa was insanely good. My only criticism would be she misses her spots a lot in the turns and it looks a tad awkward coming out. Her song was awesome.
Donny's jitterbug was not as big as I expected it to be from him. (These little snippets of dances are so short it's hard to judge how it's going before it's done with. I don't know that they deserve a full score for only 30 seconds worth.) It was fun and it was good, but it wasn't as large as a jitterbug should have been I think.
Joanna is not thrilling me tonight. Her salsa was not all that great.
Kelly's cha-cha was cute and not bad. Can I just say that I LOVE Louis van Amstel? I really do.
Mya's cha-cha was good, no question.

This is me, and we're getting down to the end of it.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Once Was Lost And Now Is Found

For all those who were concerned, you may rest assured that we did find Tarzan's wedding ring. It was in the pocket of his pants, and fortunately for me, the washer filter does not accept metal items and spits them back out at me.


This is me, and there are times when my lack of housewifely skills is a good thing.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

To Wear Or Not To Wear?

Where else in the world does the temperature rise 30 degrees in two hours? When I accompanied Tarzan and the Academic Decathlon team to their scrimmage this morning - just past 6am - it was a cool 50 degrees. That's about right for November, yes?
When I left to do other things at 8:30am it was a balmy 81 degrees. It makes it very hard to dress one's self in the mornings not knowing if it will warm up later in the day - like today - or not. (The thermometer didn't make it above 70 on Thursday.)
On the other side of the coin, it's a great day for some football. Let's beat The Farm.

This is me and what's a girl to do?

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Rare Find

I was unaware that domesticated felines still made nests:
This is me and I learned something new today.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

SPLAT!

That, my friends, is what it sounded like last night when I was casually searching through the Internet Movie Database - tell me you all do that too - and found this little gem on Kristin Chenoweth's page
and my head exploded. Exploded all over the computer screen. It took me all night to clean it off enough to write this. They are making Wicked as a movie. Wicked! As a movie! AS A MOVIE, PEOPLE, A MOVIE! I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am. So excited, I am scared that it won't actually happen and someone is just teasing me.
It's been done before - the whole Gilmore Girls mini-series plot comes to mind.
But can you imagine how awesome a MOVIE of WICKED would be?
And with the original Broadway cast! I'm a tiny bit concerned because it lists a teen Galina - and a separate actress - on the movie page and that does not jive with the stage show I know and I would not be happy with a movie adaptation of the book, but still.
The possibility for my dream come true is there.

This is me and for once I would wish the next year upon us.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day

I think we've established I am not a crying type of girl. But apparently all bets are off when I visit a veteran cemetery. It being the 11th of November and all, and a holiday, we figured we should do something more patriotic than watching television. So Tarzan, ATL and I took a jaunt over to the local veteran's cemetery to look around and visit the memorials:
I'm okay with the flowers:
It's the plaques that started misting me up:
This one had me sniffing:
But it's the memorials like this that kill me:
"Dolores, I will love you always, Michael"
I suppose I don't remember that 'the soldiers' and 'servicemen' that are honored on days like this, are real individuals - people - and have lives that are left behind when they die. It's something I shouldn't take for granted. Like the liberty I enjoy that they ensured. Thank you.

This is me, and it hit me hard today.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

He Just Hasn't Met Me Yet

I was excited for the DWTS results show tonight mostly because Michael Buble was going to perform. And as much as I will continue to make excuses for him and delude myself, it's quite possible he was drunk while singing. Which would be a pity. I hope it's something else, like he has H1N1 or has taken a lot of decongestant. He fiddled with his microphone A LOT, like he had stage fright - which I would believe if I hadn't already seen him perform in front of large audiences and not mess it up. So I will pretend he's sick and that he's not sloshed. It's happier that way.
Loved the professionals though. Anna and Jonathan, Cheryl and Maksim were great.
The encore dance was alright. Didn't love it, didn't hate it.
I have only ever heard Susan Boyle sing the one song but she did it well. Again.
And I am sure this has been said - possibly even on this blog - but I love Dance Center. Love. It. Kenny Mayne has made more out of losing than anyone, ever, I am sure.
The Design-A-Dance number was one of the better ones I think. It was interesting involving a previous celebrity - instead to two professionals - and having a guy, the costume design winner, but whatever. It was a good paso doble. Mark didn't wear high water socks or weird glasses, so that was a plus too.
And Aaron went home. Is it bad to say I was glad. I don't think Kelly will win but every week they save her makes me happy. If I had to guess, it's going to be Mya with the trophy and Joanna and Donny in second and third place. But that's just me.

This is me and the entries are shorter now that there are a manageable number of people.

Monday, November 09, 2009

You Spin Me Round

There's something about having two posts a week already decided that takes some of the stress off of this NaBloPoMo thing. I could do without the cheesey lines every single week though. "Bring it on," when they "take it to the next level," on DWTS just gets old after a while and means less than nothing. And I'm not exaggerating, it actually detracts from my enjoyment of the show. I realize I am not their typical viewer probably, but still. Credit us with a little intelligence and think up some new lines. The ratings might go up.
This week, with only five contestants, each couple does two dances and the producers have thrown in a twist - when have they not given the chance - whereby the Latin dances are each from a different decade. Oddly conceived. And it seems as though the ballroom dances are really long.
Mya's quickstep was pretty and fast and she cut out most of the tricks at the beginning but it looked like she missed her kicks in two different places. Maybe it was just me?
Aaron's foxtrot was timed nicely. I KNOW I saw him rise when he shouldn't have been and that was a lift though that's really Karina's fault. Plus, I have yet to see a pair of pants on a girl that I have liked on this show.
Joanna's quickstep was definitely fast...almost two fast. She missed steps, like she was trying too hard. I did like Derek's tuxedo though. Samantha Harris definitely needs a new career. She just doesn't interview very well and I would like to think it's the writers except Tom Bergeron is funny and not awkward so I have to think it's Sam.
Kelly's foxtrot was really fabulous, when she was committed to it. She needs the connectivity between movements to make it better and complete. And her dress I really liked.
If Donny messed up his feet in his waltz - that wasn't Viennese - I didn't catch it. It was a soft song, so it was good that the dance was gentle and easy. Kym's dress was pretty but odd for her.
That's a great mustache on Dimitri for his and Mya's 70's samba. And they did a really great routine. Samba is a party dance anyway so it worked well with disco and all that and she left the gimmick-y stuff out.
Aaron's samba via the 90's worked, I really think the music will be setting the bar in that area. Karina's dress was weird. Aaron did a good job though. He wasn't flailing or hyper, he really has grown as a dancer. Most improved for me.
Joanna's paso doble from the future - who's idea was that? - was both weird and kind of good. Their makeup was so weird but the steps really fit and it was a paso doble. Which was a bizarre concept. Lots of high scores in the Latin from the decades section.
Kelly danced a jive from the 60's that had the potential to be fantastic but was a little weak. The performance was there but the technique was lacking. Her feet were not flicking and the doll bit was excessive. Louis' sideburns were excellent though - very British.
Donny's paso doble from the 80's though, was hilarious. Maybe because I lived that decade and it was horrible in a fashion sense, it really was. The hair, the parachute pants, the make up, the lace and netting, it just was terrible. I didn't feel that Donny was a strong in his presence as he could have been. Needed more authority or something. Their song was great but what a weird image they made.

This is me and what will I talk about when this season closes?

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Not Untypical Sunday

Early meetings
Squirrely kids
Boys in the girl's room
Dinner for someone else
Late meetings

This is me and it's been a long day.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Groovy Man

I think we discussed this long ago, but finally there is proof of the hipness of Tarzan and myself.
Yes, I know Halloween was a week ago, but the timing of many things just did not let me get a good picture of Tarzan and I and our costumes. But because I love you my Internet peeps, I made us get all dressed up again, in November and take a groovy picture. Just for you all.
You are welcome:
This is me, with proof.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Two Things

  1. Went out this morning to find one of the cats had puked something fluorescent orange on the back porch. What are they DOING all night long? I need to get one of THESE:
  2. Spent all day driving around looking for an expansion pack to Muchkin: for Tarzan to play with the young men tonight. Do you know how many parts there are to that game: About forty-five...hundred:Do you know how many stores carry the game at all, let alone the expansion packs? Maybe three. Do they know that they carry the game? No, no they do not. Oy:

This is me, and now it's time to make some pizzas for the boys.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

I Am So Grossed Out Right Now

I have seen some gross things, living in The Jungle as we do, including but not limited to a Jerusalem cricket and I kid you not peeps, those puppies are GIGANTIC. Yes, yes, harmless and helpful and totally not dangerous or even likely to bite you since they are herbivores and enjoy the dark, damp dirt, like earthworms, but seriously, I walked out of the house last weekend - in the DARK - and this:
was hanging out on the back porch. (I was so freaked I didn't even bother to get the camera so I stole all these photos from the Internet.) Do you KNOW how BIG these things are? I haven't seen a bug this large ever except for tarantulas and they were always in aquariums or on TV. But this one was a few inches from my toe. I could have stepped on a bug this big:
That's three INCHES long. Three. Inches.
EW.
But, there was something even worse in my kitchen last night. Papayas were on sale this week so we picked one up to try - never had a fresh one before - and when you cut it open it looks like this:
Like barnacles on a pier, only creepier. And since it was ripe the flesh was very forgiving and once in a while one of those seeds would move or fall out of the rind. Gave me hives to dig the insides out. And the best part - it tastes nasty. I don't know what has been done to the canned ones I've eaten but the fresh one was like soft, juicy, moldy cheese.
Ew, ew, EW!

This is me, and maybe I should stick with cereal and milk.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Ode To The Happy Couple

Do you know how old I was when my parents celebrated their ninth anniversary? 7 1/2. I remember that day. My father brought home flowers and they went to dinner. How can Tarzan and I be at that same point now?
Time. It doth fly.
Nine years ago, at this moment, Tarzan and I were on our way to our hotel near the airport before we flew to Hawaii for our honeymoon. It had been a very long day and we were exhausted. But we got to the room that Tarzan's parents had graciously reserved for us and there was a HOT TUB on the balcony. A hot tub. Just for us. Outside. We weren't even nervous skinny-dipping for the first time because the water was SO nice and we really needed the relaxation. We ate pizza and root beer from room service and then went to bed.
Probably the best wedding night ever.
And I got the best husband ever for me. No one else could love me and get me like Tarzan does. With no one else I've ever known have I been able to be myself 100%. That counts for a lot with society being what it is I think.
Celebration wise tonight, we're old fogeys. Cards, I made dinner and we stayed in. For the first time since we were married Tarzan asked that we pull out the wedding album. It has some interesting memories that day and the photos dredge up the weird ones as well as the great ones, so we don't look at the book very often. We did take some new photos from tonight though. So we're toasting us here:
And smooching here:
This was the weirdest effect ever in a photo and totally unplanned:
It's kind of cool - my being transparent - but I don't know how it happened so I don't know if I could duplicate it.

This is me and we've been married for nine years.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

And Now There Are Five

I suppose this demonstrates my music ignorance but who is Colbie Caillat?
Additionally, there must be a reason - and I am totally missing it - why all the female guests on the DWTS results shows are wearing black mini-dresses and gold high heels?
Ballas/Hough was a strange experience. The boys have the moves but I'm not so sure about the chords. Vocal chords that is. Mostly a heavy beat and a lot of synthesizer. And do I want to know what that was in Mark's ears?
Rod Stewart is looking a tad rumpled these days..or maybe I'm not remembering him correctly? Maybe he was always like that. Fun song anyway. Why don't his performers have proper dance shoes?
Otherwise it was a fairly tame show. Loved that the Tango group got to encore - love the song and love the steps. Len Goodman was wearing his yellow shirt again which is mighty bright. It was not a big surprise that Michael was eliminated. After his jive last night I was a little surprised that Aaron was one of the dance off-ers, but at this point, it's always a shame that someone goes home. He was better in the dance-off than Mark though so it was good that he got to stay for one more week.

This is me, can I just say that this double elimination thing is messing with my pyramid chart.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Shot Through The Heart

I always love it when the professionals dance. That's my favorite part of Dancing With The Stars. In fact, that's the only reason I watch the show at all.
But we're getting down to a manageable group now, and despite my whining, the ones that are left are indeed getting better.
Michael Irvin being not my favorite. He doesn't sell it, and I think some of it comes from his being an athlete not a performer, and I wonder if he's just not comfortable. His foxtrot was good - they're back to dances we've already seen - but he still doesn't extend his lines as much as he could and it looks stunted. Just a bit. He DID design a gorgeous dress for Anna though.
Donny Osmond, on the other hand, did NOT design a nice dress for Kym in their quickstep. The dance was fast, his posture was good and the monkey suit was classy.
Mark Dacastos - my Iron Chef buddy - has improved dramatically. Probably the most of them all. His samba was not all that it could have been, but considering his week, with Lacey sick and going through two other partners, it was not too bad. I definitely noticed Tony's work on Mark's costume - anyone like a gauze shirt cut to the navel? - and Anna's was not pretty at all. There were some good parts.
Mya has always been good, so it's more refinement and connection with her partner. She had a gorgeous dress too for her foxtrot. I would like to comment that I don't think Bruno knows who Lena Horn is. He always compares celebrities to her but I think it's just a name he's heard somewhere.
Aaron Carter is young and I think it shows - Bruno has certainly made enough jokes about the boy becoming the man - but the jive is a young dance so it fit. And he was pretty hot. I think he made one misstep but it didn't screw the rest of the dance up and it was fast - super fast - and quick. The song was awesome and the costumes -again -were fantastic. I wonder if the celebrities should do the outfitting all the time.
Every time Kelly Osbourne dances I get tense and in part it's because I want her to be good and when she does well she does really well, but when she mess up it's a royal obvious one. There were a few hesitations in her salsa but overall it was very good. The pants on Louis were terrible so I was really glad when he took them off.
Joanna Krupa was wearing the ugliest swimsuit I have ever seen on a person during their little promo video. Her hair was cute for their rumba routine but I didn't feel it. She needed more hip action and she messed up one of the - many - poses. Eh, not my favorite of hers.
Now, the team dances I love. Especially when it's the paso doble. And I do enjoy me some 'O Fortuna.' I thought the paso doble team was fairly good - the synchronicity fell apart a bit at the end.
My question to the professionals is, wouldn't you know how long a skirt can be before it gets in your way? And isn't dress rehearsal supposed to indicate if the costume is going to mess you up?
Team tango, on the other hand, was spectacular! I usually side with the paso doble people, but not tonight. It was smokin'. They were all together, it worked. I thought Kelly did awesome. The ending was excellent. So, so, great.
That was the way to end a show.

This is me, and it's dancin' time.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

With This Ring

Welcome to NaBloPoMo 2009 friends and neighbors.
Tarzan thinks he's lost his wedding ring and it's making him increasingly depressed. While I certainly don't see it as symbolic of anything dire, our anniversary is in three days and the absence of the ring bothers him. A lot.
It also bothers him that he can't remember where he was when he had it last - he was tapping it against something hard - so that's also giving him fits. We're looking but with no idea of the starting place, eight hundred square feet is a lot to search, especially when the not obvious places are all dusty - it's not under the couch or treadmill - or covered with piles of paper - it's not on either of our desks. I'm sure we will find it eventually but Tarzan is missing it pretty hard.
What's your most frantic lost story? It'll make us feel better that the ring doesn't have to be fed or watered or anything while it's gone.

This is me, and we're looking high and low.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bigger Than When I Trick-Or-Treated

Gah.
I thought the holiday rush was supposed to be for Christmas? Which - by the way - I am totally on top of this year. Presents, planning, trips, cards, food and programs I am all over.
So when did Halloween become such an eventful holiday? Not one, not two but THREE parties to be involved with this week. The one tonight I am not sure who is charge, so that makes my overly developed need for control flip out completely. Last night went well I think. So cold, relatively, that I didn't get a good picture of our costumes, but don't worry there are at least two more chances before Saturday.

This is me, running around again.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

That Was A Real Green Dress

This week the DWTS results show had Taylor Swift and Tiempo Libre as musical guests. The latter were okay, but since I didn't understand what they were singing and they weren't taking their shirts off, it wasn't spectacular. The former's first song was also okay, but the second had the professionals dancing in really great costumes - I am surprised at how excited I was that Anna wore green instead of red or pink or orange or one of those colors they always put redheads in - and it really made the number I thought. It was 'Love Story' one of Taylor's big hits and the dance really made it more than the sum of it's parts I think. I was impressed.
As for the eliminations, it's a double one this week - which always adds a level of anxiety - but I feel like one of the couples gets a short stick because everyone is waiting for the "last one." I thought Melissa's outfit and hair looked fantastic - better than anything else she'd worn in this competition - so it was a bummer that she didn't get to dance anything.
The dance-off is back and I don't know if I like it any better with the new rules. It seems an awful waste of materials to have everyone in new costumes and develop new dances but have only two couples ACTUALLY perform them. (And only for 30 seconds? That's not enough time.) Isn't it bad enough that they are dancing for the chance to come back next week - talk about nerves - but does it have to be a new dance as well? That has to be degrading all of the dances overall. Less time = less precision.
I would think.
Michael's samba was good - probably better than anything he'd done before - and Louie's jive was great, although he did mess up in the middle.
WHAT was WITH that elimination method? The paddles were weird and the decision process was so...odd. Not like the usual dramatic pause and then "group AWWWW."

This is me and they're messing with the show again.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Rise And Fall

Does it feel like a long time since I've posted anything about Dancing With The Stars? It sure seems like more than a week. Perhaps it's the complete reversal of weather patterns here in The Jungle since last week. Or maybe that there's been a lot of activity - birthday you know - or maybe it's just been a looooong week. Who knows?
Still, it's Monday and Monday means the discussion - i.e. my critique - of the celebrity dancers.
I don't see how the jitterbug and the waltz can be opposite each other. They're not similar dances, especially in skill requirements. So that's weird.
Mya's jitterbug was not as big as it could have been, and they spent way too much time on the opening bit.
I hated Melissa's dress and if she has posture problems that dress was not the way to fix it. Her waltz was awkward. Mark's hair was GIGANTIC.
Mark - the other Mark - had the energy that the jitterbug requires for sure. Lacey's outfit was nasty but she doesn't dress well very often. There were a lot of tricks and I think there could a been a tiny bit less of those and a tiny bit more content. Just my opinion.
Aaron's waltz did not suck. Karina's dress did a little bit, the top mostly, I liked the skirt.
Michael's waltz was lovely. Anna's dress was shedding feathers everywhere but it was soft and careful. His posture was poor, his shoulders hunched but the character was there.
Kelly's jitterbug was correct, but not terribly big and that seems to be what separates the jitterbug from the jive. She and Louis were SO CUTE though. And I want her to be great.
Louie is another one I really want to do well - he's so adorable - and the energy was awesome. Chelsie's dress was cute too. He missed some steps in the middle though and I'm not sure if he was supposed to leave Chelsie on her butt or not...
Joanna bugs me for some reason that I can't pinpoint. Don't know why, since her waltz was lovely. Derek does a good job in the choreography and it looked great. Maybe it just didn't feel right for me.
Donny's jitterbug was really cute. He's such a performer and he sells it, no question. It wasn't as big and wild as the others but Donny's a lot older than them too.
Can I just say that I love the marathon idea? They can't have planned the ENTIRE dance, since they don't know how long it will go, so there's got to be some following and leading going on and that's a spectacular idea.
In execution, it was nearly as good as I imagined. I thought that the judges didn't see it precisely right -they missed some key stumbles in my opinion - but I guess a real competition would have the same difficulties. I thought Mya did the best, especially near the end when they were all more tired, but it's not my paddle to use. Aaron did really good I thought and so did Donny. Kelly was weak and I thought she should have been excused before Louie who was holding his own.
Nice addition to the competition.

This is me, and Boo. Yah.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Plus Three - Part 3

And the final chapter of the birthday festivities concludes with many thanks all around and of course, presents! First, thank you to all the lovely people who commented on my Facebook page. I even got an email from Roofus.
There were birthday cards from family:
This one cracks me up but Tarzan thinks it's a little annoying:
video
maybe because I opened it ten times in a row when it first arrived...maybe.
And there were cards from friends:
Sunday we went to my parents for dinner which was excellent, but also way more than I had expected. Who needs seven - that's right SEVEN - kinds of ice cream to choose from?
Apparently I do, and it was really hard to pick.
Then came PRESENTS:
That's the next book by the man who wrote Wicked - totally NOT the same as the musical, so if you read it, don't expect the funny light hearted comedy that is the stage production. The two are definitely not the same - a new water filter situation for the fridge and The Music Man with Kristin Chenoweth as Marian the Librarian. Again, a word of warning - Matthew Broderick is no Robert Preston and though everyone else plays it beautifully I wonder why they would be suckered in by this guy who doesn't even believe himself - but for Kristin, it's a good showpiece.

This is me, and that was a good birthday.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

From 1918, Iowa

FACTS:
Base to Shoulder: 150 feet
Right arm: 340 feet
Widest part of arm holding torch: 12 1/2 feet
Right thumb: 35 feet
Thickest part of body: 29 feet
Left hand length: 30 feet
Face: 60 feet
Nose: 21 feet
Longest spike of head piece: 70 feet
Torch and flame combined: 980 feet
Number of men in flame of torch: 12,000
Number of men in torch: 2,800
Number of men in right arm: 1,200
Number of men in body, head and balance of figure only: 2,000
Total men: 18,000

This is me, impressed.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Come Away With Me

So Norah Jones didn't suck in either of her performances. I haven't really heard her before, on purpose, but it wasn't bad. I was sad to see it was Natalie who got voted off tonight. I think the viewers have a grudge against Alec for being so hot. What other reason could it be? They also hate his wife Edyta.
Otherwise the DWTS results show was much as I remember it used to be before all the "reality" hype got stuck in it for ratings. The professionals do a number the guest sings and we send someone home. If it ain't broke...
The Michael Jackson tribute had a little too much crotch grabbing for me, but we've already decided I am an old fogey.

This is me and that that's all folks.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Once More Like You Mean It

Taking a break from, well, me, let's discuss what I thought - okay, sort of a break from me - about the celebrities on Dancing With The Stars.
First, wow. That was some hair on Samantha Harris. Little too long with the curling iron? (Though Carrie-Ann's hair is all poofy too.)
I thought Natalie and Alec's paso doble was odd - and maybe that was all the music, which was weird - almost stiff. She is precise, very, but I don't know that she feels the dance.
Aaron definitely reined it on his Argentine tango, which is good, and the girl is supposed to be the focus of the dance, so it was good that the eye was drawn to Karina, but it wasn't as "manly" as he said it was supposed to be. I wanted more authority out of him, especially in his feet. The guys particularly need to put their feet down as if they mean it.
Michael's paso doble was interesting - it kept throwing me off because Anna's hair was brunette not blond as usual - he did have the power and strength and he put his feet down like he meant it, but his posture suffered from time to time I felt. The final move was a little violent, yes?
I want to hate Mya, but I can't really because she's so good and her Argentine tango was no exception. It was hard to tell that she was not the celebrity.
Mark had a very cute paso doble - he's a cute little man. I hated Lacey's outfit and her hair, but Mark had the posture and the authority. There seemed to be a lot of Lacey but when Mark moved, he meant it. It was my favorite of his so far.
Donny and Kym's Argentine tango was good, Donny sold it as usual. I thought he was a little hesitant at the beginning and then settled into it more. The ending sequence was really good though.
Louie should always wear his hair slicked back like that - have I said this before? He just looks older and in more control. He's one who needs to out his feet down like he means it more often, but still his Argentine tango was good. The emotion was there, and they sold it.
Melissa's Argentine tango was musically spot on, the little kicks and flicks were right on the beats and it looked like it would have been really great had she not messed up the steps.
Louis seriously has to stop wearing such dark eye makeup. It looks like Kelly has belted him - twice - once in each eye. I felt really bad for Kelly when she missed the steps in her paso doble because it started really great and then fell apart in the middle and luckily she pulled it out at the end, mostly.
Did Joanna trip or did Maksim? I really like Maks so I am probably more forgiving of the routine than I would have if it had been Derek. I would be EXTREMELY nervous but also VERY excited to get to dance with Maksim.
Now the first group dance - the hustle - was mighty entertaining - especially the clothes. Well, all the group dances are entertaining since they have to dance together and try to show up each other while also being friends. But holy smokes - the 70's would cry if they could see how they are represented in this decade. What was on Alec's head exactly?

This is me, watching the dancing show.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Plus Three - Part 2

In the continuing saga of my birthday week, Tarzan, ATL and I went to dinner tonight at one of our favorite restaurants, CPK, and remembered why it is one of our favorites. Because the food is awesome. Tarzan chose the Cobb Salad:
Which says a lot right there, because given the choice between salad and pizza, Tarzan is more of a pizza guy.
ATL and I split the Thai Crunch Salad:
and the Greek pizza:
All so good.
Then we went to Pinkberry because none of us had ever been and it's the cool thing to do these days. It was too much for Tarzan - the yogurt is really tangy - but I kind of liked it. Not as a substitute for ice cream but in addition to.
I was so full they almost had to roll me home but it was awesome.

This is me, celebrating some more.

From Whence You Cometh