Saturday, October 23, 2010

Simple Pleasures

Let me tell you the quickest way to experience and enjoy simple pleasures in your life--have a really crappy memory! Last night as I was leaving work, I happened to glance at the schedule and realized I HAVE A 3-DAY WEEKEND!!!!! Everybody channel Harry Carey now...HOLY COW!! Yes, I had completely spaced that the schedule was a little jankity this month giving me the Monday off before my weekend, and thus, 3 glorious days of freedom. Even better is that it follows one of my roughest weeks of work in recent memory. Was it because the kids were really sick? No. Was it because the census is super high or turn-around is particularly rapid due to respiratory season? No, no. Was it because some people don't think before they act? YES! And, some people have attitudes that don't mesh uber-well with the teamwork mentality of my department.

And so, after a night of really strange dreams (forgetting my pager at work and then going to return it but convincing everyone at work that I was really an astral projection of myself, and then finding a retractable leash in the parking lot to replace the one Kolbe chewed through), I sit enjoying a giant Marauder's Map mug full of coffee and pondering how best to kick some serious football butt today. Last regular season game, and yet another dreaded reffing opportunity, but you know what? I don't care, because even if it sucks two hours out of my day, I still have Monday off!

So remember kids, if you always forget the good things you have going for you, it makes it extra fun when you remember. :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lunar Lunacy

The sight of the moon never ceases to induce romantic inclinations in my mind and heart. Walking outside after work every night, I am greeted by the ever-changing stages of the moon, and I find myself constantly in awe at its power to direct my thoughts to sharing that particular view with one that I love. I find I have a hard time putting the sensation into words. It's like I step into view of the moon, and all of a sudden, anything is possible. Time is meaningless. Stress disappears. And in that moment, I am filled with a feeling that is half longing for something I have never had and half hope for something that I know will someday find me.

I realize it's a little cliche. After all, bad movies are filled with bad moon moments. Case in point- the ridiculous Dear John conversation of "the moon is never bigger than your thumb." Cheeseball to the max. However, I appreciate the sentiment of sharedness that comes with looking up at the nighttime orb and feeling something a little bigger than yourself. Feeling a part of something spiritual and otherworldly. Knowing that wherever they are, someone is seeing the same moon I am and sharing in the magic. It feels like a secret pleasure, meant just for me and whoever is open enough to appreciate the sight.

Every night the moon is slightly different, a shade larger or smaller than the night before. And yet, it brings with it a sense of homecoming, of feeling perfectly connected to ... something ... someone. Some nights, the luna halo gives me chills. Other nights, the moon is just a tiny sliver against the black abyss. And yet each night, it feels like it's all mine. I know someday I'll be able to share my moon with somebody. And we can sit out on the back porch, wine in hand, conversation soft and meaningful, watching it rise to light the night sky (because by that time, I'll no longer be working these ridiculous hours). And I'll know what moment each of my moon encounters was pointing towards. Until then, I drive home, eyes on the road but mind on the sky, enjoying the beauty of my own secret light. I can't help but wonder if the moon room of my childhood has me more inclined toward lunar romanticisms than the average person, but analyzing it makes some of the mysticism disappear. So I'll sleep tonight dreaming of the moon and all the romance (in the Chestertonian sense of the word) that it holds.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I'm blind, I'm deaf, I wanna be playing, NOT reffing!!!

Today was the second week in a row that I had to ref a football game, and I have decided that it is possibly my least favorite thing in the world. I constantly feel overwhelmed and under attack, and I don't have enough attention cells in my brain to focus on everything I need to focus on. And when I see something that I potentially want to call as a penalty, my brain goes through this sequence..."well, I think I saw it, but it really wasn't that big of a deal and they are going to ask me which player it was on and I don't remember if it was the guy with the black shorts or the muscle shirt and if I choose the wrong one, they are going to object, and look it didn't have an effect on the play anyway." So then I talk myself out of calling anything. But I have to remind myself that it isn't like soccer where the ref can just indicate "play on" due to advantage. There are definitive penalties that need to be assessed whether they had an impact or not. I finally figured this out at the end of the game and ended up calling a stupid too-many-men-on-the-field penalty even though the girl wasn't anywhere near being involved in the play, she just hadn't quite reached the sideline. But, I just need to call things I see and put the responsibility on the team not to break the rules rather than on me to draw a gray line on what constitutes a false start.

And, I'm going to do my best to start paying more attention to downs, girl plays, which first down marker they started the drive behind, etc. I'm going to be a good ref. Or at least, not a bad one.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

My kingdom for a dreamless sleep

Last night I dreamt that I was stranded on an island because a demon sea spirit had inhabited Paul Walker's body to attack anybody that tried to leave. So while I was stuck on the island, I played with a red-headed baby and tried to convince Nina Dobrev that I couldn't marry her. What!?!??

Friday, August 27, 2010

Like Having a Kid, Without Husband Help

I'm having trouble finding reasons to smile this morning because I just had a glimpse into the life of a new parent last night. Only dogs aren't quite as cute as babies. Kolbe Washburne, as you may know, has just finished a course of antibiotics for his kennel cough, taken mostly in a wad of cheese. Only the last two nights the cheese was crumbly and not molding around the pills, so I had to try peanut butter. Worked like a charm on Wednesday. Last night I must have given too much PB because at 2:30am, about 20 minutes after I'd fallen asleep (thank you happy hour at Old C's), Kolbe decided to vomit all over his kennel. Yummy. Peanut butter and bile, mmmm. So, I clean the carpet with Woolite which kind of gives the carpet a bluish tint but I didn't think much of it. I took Kolbe's blankets and the cover off his kennel pad to wash, and we tried going to bed again. At 3:30, up comes more peanut butter and bile. Gross!!! I put Kolbe outside and pulled out the Woolite again. Apparently the combo of the bile acid and the basic cleaners created some litmus-paper-from-hell reaction and turned my carpet bright blue. Gah!!! Fortunately, there was just enough of another carpet cleaner to undo the blue disaster. By that time, I was of course no longer tired. And it's 4am. Brilliant! Kolbe comes in, seems to feel better. I finished off a library book about some Knights Templar magical skull (not worth my time, but helped me get tired again), and slept until my alarm went off at 8:00. The blankets went in the washing machine, Kolbe went to the 'rents house since he couldn't go in his kennel, and I went to Mass for the feast of St. Monica. Which would have been a great way to turn my day around except guess who managed to catch the first school Mass of the year? That's a rant for another time. Coffee and a venting session with Laura helped. Now I'm off to brave the 95-degree weather to take Kolbe on a run to work off some of those Old C's calories. It's a good thing that kids are not in my near future.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Somewhere in Middle America

My whirlwind trip to Omaha was successful for the following reasons:
*Bangkok Cuisine chicken pad thai...check!
*Dark Side Vanilla Porter...check!
*An excuse to wear my Abby Wambach jersey...check!
*Trying a new Omaha restaurant...check!
*Seeing many wonderful friends...check!
*Reminding myself why I love Denver...check!
*Back in time to go to work...check!
*Safe drive, clear weather, nap time...check!

My whirlwind trip was, however, lacking the following:
*A trip to Theodore and Wallace's (I did make it to the eCreamery for some yummy pumpkin gelato)
*An extra hour of sleep because I miscalculated the time we needed to leave Omaha in order to be back in time
*A USWNT victory
*Face paint and an ESPN-worthy sign (something like "I drove all the way from Denver for Kate Markgraf's 200th cap!")
*An extra car for Mary to chauffeur herself around

All in all, I had a great time. Pics to be posted on facebook later, just from the game

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Someone Needs Your Help, Michael

Props to Sharon Gless for her tenth (TENTH!!!) Emmy nomination for her superb work as penitent yet meddling mother Madeline Westen. I'm glad to see the show getting some recognition that is well-deserved. Sharon's performance in the season three finale was nothing short of phenomenal, and I'm sure that season four has been more of the same. Yay Maddie!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Arise, Greet the Dawning

My yard has proved more of a stress than a joy lately. And I keep lamenting every time I see a new plant crop up--is it a weed? is it supposed to be there? will it get too big? how am I supposed to care for it? does it need extra water? is there any end to this jungle?

So, after spending a few minutes hacking at the giant Russian Olive tree in my backyard and trimming back an overgrown rose bush on my side patio, I decided to take a little time to rejoice in my garden. Or at least to capture on film the many colors and shapes and hidden treasures in my yard. Some are intentional, some are accidental, but all are mine. (Note: I'm not a photographer, nor do I pretend to be)

Monday, June 7, 2010

0 for 2, and yet, happy to be clean, dry, and alive

Well, my family won't be winning any marketing competitions promoting the climbs of Mts. Harvard and Columbia. You'll understand why when you hear about our slew of misfortunes. (Warning: I got a little long-winded)

Clue #1 that we were doing something wrong: at the trailhead, there is a registry box to document the number in your party, hometown, purpose, duration of stay in the wilderness, and method of transportation. Well, if 'llama' was an option, then clearly 'hiking' is the inferior choice. Shoulda brought the pack mammals. Since we were carrying our own packs, we continued up the trailhead, in good spirits and in search of knowledge. (We were attempting two of the collegiate peaks, remember?) We started out on an "excellent trail" followed by a "great bridge" which were both accurate descriptions but made seem like the superlative brigade.

Other than the fact that the directions weren't exactly accurate on the altitude of a "clearing" and a "fork in the trail", we reached our camping destination with little difficulty. Unless you count just over 2 hours of uphill with full packs and intermittent snow as easy. The campsites were abundant at 11,200 feet and we found a great spot to drop our stuff off as we headed toward Columbia. About five minutes into the next portion of our hike, we missed the trail junction delineating the paths to Columbia vs. Harvard. Not realizing this, we just kept looking for "cliffs to keep on our left (from the directions)" and kept going upward figuring elevation gain to be a positive thing. We somehow actually ended up on the Harvard trail and when it veered significantly toward Harvard, we started blazing our own trail, still unaware that we were completely lost. We kept checking the directions and pictures, but it wasn't until we were at 12,400 feet and an hour and a half into a climb consisting primarily of loose rock and scree that we realized we had missed the trail. Of course, we had led five other hikers on our treacherous route, which only magnified our idiocy. We entertained brief thoughts of trying to work our way around the east side of the mountain to reconnect with the trail before we decided that the incoming clouds and our tired legs may spell disaster. Failure #1.

Eager to avoid repeating our mistake, after lunch we scoped out the trail to Harvard to ensure we started the next day on the right foot. The nap which followed was probably the only part of the day that went according to plan. Building a fire could have proved interesting as the first several "strike anywhere" matches failed to light. Good thing Dad brought a lighter. We quickly had a campfire going and then proceeded to use our brand-new JetBoil to boil water for our dinners-in-a-bag. Turkey Tetrazini proved to be delicious and nutritious, but it turns out it looks like vomit if you dump it all over yourself. (Laura, the food is supposed to be consumed orally, not transdermally.) Chili Mac was a little heartier, and nobody felt the need to wear it. Even our water purifier was working nicely. Our trip seemed to be back on track. Until we tried to go to sleep.

Let's just say that the birds were not agreeable to silence. And the night was colder than it should have been with a sleeping bag rated to 20 degrees. And the ground was hard. The sleep was intermittent at best, but I did wake to a beautiful, albeit chilly, morning with a roaring campfire. After two cups of coffee and a full bowl of breakfast scramble (love that JetBoil), we were all ready to hit the trail. The right trail this time. Oh, forgot to mention that the scrambled eggs were a little soggy because someone forgot to read the directions as to how much water to add. "Dad, before you do that, maybe I should check how much water." "It'll be fine." Fine was as good as breakfast got.

Things were all well and good despite some sogginess on the ground, until we got to the stream crossing on the north side of the basin. The stream probably doesn't have a name, but I'd say 'River of Death' is appropriate. It took two steady poles and some brave steps to get us all across, and my right leg shook for a good ten minutes from the adrenalin. No biggie. Since it was so early in the season, snow plagued us pretty much from here on out. It wasn't always on the trail and sometimes it was nice enough to be hard-packed and ankle deep instead of slushy and knee deep, but it did require a lot of extra effort to avoid the worst of it. Fortunately, trail maintenance was good and some tricky sections of rock and more sogginess were the worst of our troubles for the next couple miles.

I don't want to take you step-by-step to the top, but let's just say that there were many heart-pounding moments of slowly walking across uncharted snow, hoping it held my weight, or picking my way up rock crevices and across boulder fields. And the fact that what we thought was the summit was actually "Unnamed Peak to the East," standly at a measly 13,600.

Oh, let's not forget the 40-50 mph winds. Yes, I thought I might blow off the mountain. In fact, after all of our efforts, detours, near-misses, and yesterday's failure prominent in our minds, it was the wind that forced us to turn back 100 feet from the top. Well, the wind, and the jagged rock face that stood between us and the summit. See, with the snow covering most of the trail, we ended up on the wrong side of the summit with no trail and no discernible path to the top. We worked our way down to just below the worst of the snow to try to angle our way to the right side, but the wind picked up again and we decided it wasn't worth being blown off the mountain. Summit bears at 14,350 feet ended up as small consolation in the face of Failure #2. Dad wouldn't call it a failure. We agreed to call it a "completion" rather than a "summit" since none of us have any desire to try it again.

Oh, but wait, there was more fun on the way down. The way up didn't seem that challenging until we started retracing our steps. Then, the snow shelves proved less forgiving, resulting in snow down my pants. From the top, as in, waist-deep snow. Loads of fun. Then, my dad thought it would be a good idea to avoid the waist-deep snow by just sliding across on his rear-end. Nevermind the inherent danger is sliding right off the mountain onto the jagged rocks below. Nevermind that he had a giant walking stick in his hands that could have been dug in to halt his free-fall. Nevermind common sense. Nope, "don't worry, I'm aiming for the rock!" He hit the rock with his feet, not his face, and came to a nice calm stop. Meanwhile, I think Laura had a heart attack. And more snow and rock on the way down. More sogginess because the snow melting in the last four hours has added significantly the run-off. And we come to the River of Death. Which is now at least an inch and a half higher than the first time we crossed it.

We chucked a couple extra rocks in the river for additional stepping stones. Let me tell you what happens when you do that. The rocks end up underwater and raise the water level even higher. Brilliant! Regardless, there was no better place to cross, so again we set out to defy death. About halfway across, I was unsteady on my right foot trying to decide if I could get my left foot to the next semi-above-water stone without having my poles swept out from under me by the current. Umm...ummm...NOPE. Direct footplant in the stream onto a stone at least two inches underwater. At least it was stable and allowed my right foot to reach the next rock safely. Laura's luck was no better. She took a step on one of our "new" steps that we made, only to have it fall out from underneath her. Four inches of her leg were submerged before her next safe step. Dad made it through the driest but definitely looked like he could fall downstream at any moment. Before all of this, I thought I was being optimistic when I said, "Worst case, if we fall in, we can grab onto that branch." Laura didn't think that was funny. We made it back to camp intact and Laura exchanged her soaking sock and boot for a dry sock and trail shoe. Yup, she finished the hike in two different shoes. No point in putting both shoes on because we knew there was still snow to come on the rest of the way down.

What we didn't know was that the rapidly rising height of the River of Death was a foreshadowing for the rest of the runoff we would encounter. Let's just say that several times on the way down, a stream had washed over the trail, leaving us shaking our heads and saying, "that wasn't here before." It was very wet, very muddy, and very slow-going. Apparently, it also was the wrong trail. Yup, not only can we not find the right path UP the mountain, but we are also stupid enough to find the wrong path DOWN the mountain. And when I say "we" I suppose I mean "me" because I was leading. Laura had been hinting that she thought we were on the wrong trail, but we were going down, which was at least the right direction, so we kept going. Then we came across an avalanche path (read: dozens of fallen trees down the hillside) that was definitely not there before, and we were all convinced it was not the right trail. Still, downward ho. Then the trail came to a dead-end. Wonderful. Dad set off to find another way down. He came back after several minutes (while he was gone, we checked the signal on my phone to see if we could GPS our way out of it, without success), and said he found "a trail." Not "the trail," just "a trail." What choice did we have? Eventually, we discovered the trail was the fork to Mt. Yale and we eventually ended up back on the right path. And that brings us to the end of our encounter. Doesn't it make you want to climb Mts. Harvard and Columbia?

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A house slowly becoming a home

I had a long list when I bought my house, a list of to-dos and to-buys and to-learns. I'm not very far down the list, but since I lose perspective when I only think of everything left on the list and not the things I've accomplished, I sat down to do an accounting of my house.

Check, double check:
dining room table and chairs
wireless network printer
basketball hoop (this is just a check, not a double check...still crooked)
rip out massive juniper bushes
re-landscape with two-tiered retaining wall (close enough to count as done)
program the sprinkler system
trim and mow my own lawn
fertilize the yard
gas grill for the back porch
flower pots for the front steps (thanks, Laura)
artwork hung on the walls

Still to come:
refertilize (this time with crab-grass killer)
kill the woodpecker
giant painting for above the fireplace
new kitchen table after Laura moves out
new curtains for the living room and dining room
paint the family room
sofa table/hutch for the entryway
vegetables and flowers for the planting beds in the retaining wall
an adult desk
for that matter, adult bedroom furniture
overhead lights for the living room and family room
stainless steel kitchen appliances
change the furnace filter and clean the dryer vents
start cooking, seriously
table runner for the dining room
patio furniture

So, the to-do is still longer than the have-done, but some of that stuff can be years down the road. I'll just keep slowly plugging along. Congrats to all my friends who have recently bought houses or are days to weeks away from closing. Here's to many happy homes.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I was addicted to saying things and having them matter to someone.

That subject line is a quote from the movie Waitress, which by the way, if you haven't seen, go rent it. Or buy it. That line always hits me because aren't we all occasionally in need of just someone to listen. Really listen, not just hear. I was watching You've Got Mail the other night, for the third or fourth time, and as Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks are writing back and forth about nothings that mean more than so many somethings (paraphrased from a line in the movie), I realized that that's sort of what blogging could be. Granted, there is nobody to write you back. But sometimes the need for someone to listen is really just a disguise for the need to just say what's on your mind. So, here's a nothing post.

I recently decided to relandscape my backyard, to remove the offensive and overgrown juniper bushes that filled the bulk of my yard. We aren't talking a couple bushes planted to add some green to the space. We're talking dozens of nightmarish stumps and branches towering over me, blocking my view, covering the entire downhill slope of what would otherwise be a pleasant outdoor space. The project started with my desire to get a dog. I need the bushes gone so I can see the yard from my kitchen window, keep an eye on the mutt, give him/her a little room to run. So, as a new homeowner with no negotiating skills and no landscape experience, I started calling for estimates. We are now a week past the original estimate, and my yard looks like a war zone. About 35 hours of labor has gotten me piles and piles of dead branches and gnarled roots waiting to be delivered to the dump. You should've seen the place on Saturday. I thought the landscaper was going to spend eternity cursing my name after he got about 8 hours in and realized he had drastically underestimated the scope of the project.

It is almost to the point of being ready to relandscape the hill. And if I thought I was in over my head before, I'm now thirty feet underwater, tied to a bait box while sharks circle, not unlike my shark diving experience in Nassau. At least then I was floating on the surface. I have not a single creative bone in my body. Well, maybe my inner ear bones, but they hardly count, being so small. So trying to picture how to best design my yard is taxing my mental capacity. Do I risk trying to sod a steep hill, knowing the grass may not grow? Do I try for a retaining wall that at best estimate would need to be about 50-feet long. I'm not exactly working with an unlimited budget. Do I plant anything else, staying as far away from juniper as possible? Rock? Flowers? Vines? I haven't the slightest idea. And yet, I'm grateful that as I find myself in a situation above and beyond my comfort level, that I am at least spurred into action by the disaster that exists in my yard now. I can't leave the place looking like the aftermath of an explosion. I have to do something, anything, to make it functional and mildly aesthetic. Plus, there is the motivation of a puppy just around the corner. And by that time, my biggest worry is going to be choosing a name.

Too often when we find ourselves in over our heads, it doesn't take much for despair to overwhelm the impetus to action. And our feet tread back and forth until we are standing in a shoulder-high rut. Fortunately, the only rut in my near future is the massive one in the dirt outside my back door.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Clean soul, clean slate

I'm watching Garden State on my couch while finishing my coffee. Large's friend who made the silent velcro was sitting in the graveyard talking about "drugs of choice" and how it reminded him of Brave New World which I've always thought was one of the better books I had to read in high school. Anyway, he couldn't remember who the author was and said, "Aldous, Aldous, Aldous...[side shots of Large and Mark while the other dude drones on in the background]...Aldous Huxtable. That's it, Huxtable." It cracked me up.

But the reason I took the time to log in to blogspot was to say that two Mormon elders just knocked on my door to invite me to have a relationship with Jesus. Only I was Stone Cold Michelle from the second that I opened the door, not because I have all that much against the missionaries, but because I didn't really want to take the time to talk to them. And they definitely sensed it. I have never been so aloof in a conversation before. My body language and my tone and my words basically said "Get off my porch." And enter the massive amounts of Catholic guilt that have plagued me for my whole life. Why was it beyond me to be courteous to these people who are walking around in the cold? Why couldn't I have said, "I'm a happy Catholic who already has a relationship with Jesus and the fullness of truth in the Church, but I wish you well in your door-to-door evangelization." Would it have killed me to be nice?

Anyway, sometimes talking about my guilt helps me get over it and forgive myself faster, so there you go. There's my confession for the online world.

Monday, January 25, 2010

What you can get me for my birthday

A little on the pricey side (not relatively speaking in the boot world, just for me to buy after having purchased a $550 plane ticket), but with a day off to shop, I have found the cowboy boots I would like to get. They feel like slippers once they are on for about five minutes. Unfortunately, I think Sheplers is the only place that sells them and I don't anticipate being able to find them any cheaper. Still, next time I'm in a splurging mood, for a hundred buckaroos, I can have...

More info in case the picture doesn't do the boot justice. Visit Sheplers.

MLIA for Pharmacists

Well folks, I had envisioned grand things for my 100th post. No such luck. Maybe I'll think up some phenomenon for number 101. In the mean time, I wanted to jot down a funny story even though nobody gets pharmacist humor. Last night at work, I was in the IV room which normally doesn't involve a large amount of critical thought. However, I was filling a dose for 998mg of acyclovir (10mg/kg on a large kid), after having just a couple days prior found out that our ID team likes to cap IV doses at 800mg, even on the really big kids. I mentioned this to the other pharmacists working, hoping that one of them would have time to call a resident and ask about a dose change. About forty minutes later, the dose change came through. I poked my head out of the IV room and yelled, "Sonia, thanks for taking care of that acyclovir." She looked at me like I was crazy. Nobody had called the resident. Good thing our medical residents are telepathic. I might never have to make a phone call again. MLIA.

Also this week at work- events that make me think that doctors/nurses should sometimes be required to experience what they subject their patients to. Cases in point: A 1,000ml vancomycin enema. A 5.8ml IM injection. Running IVIG at nearly 3x the max rate, giving the kid rigors, HA, LOTS OF PAIN!!! And, after taste tests, any po suspension dose of clindamycin, levofloxacin, dexamethasone, ranitidine, acetylcysteine, etc.

And that's enough thoughts of work for my day off.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Well folks, I have an hour to kill until the 2-HOUR SEASON PREMIERE OF CHUCK!!! and I am stuck at my parents' house because I promised Kelly I'd watch it with her but she won't drive to my house to watch it because she doesn't want to drive herself home afterward. So I agreed to stay here until 8:00. And while an hour isn't nearly enough time to finish this blog, I figured I could start it because I've been wanting to write on this topic for some time. In no particular order, my favorite movie scenes of all time:

While You Were Sleeping- dinner scene, a la Beef and Nazis. It probably takes a few times through to catch every bit of conversation and the randomness in between. "You like brunettes." And it makes me laugh every time. Kind of like the lost "Go to your room" when Mary tells the Callahans that Lucy is pregnant. It's like knowing a secret that nobody knows to watch that scene and know exactly what's going on. And it reminds me of the wonderfully chaotic Zapapas family Christmas brunch.

Waitress- "Dear Baby, I hope someday somebody wants to hold you for 20 minutes straight and that's all they do. They don't pull away. They don't look at your face. They don't try to kiss you. All they do is wrap you up in their arms and hold on tight, without an ounce of selfishness in it." Enough said. Also, every scene with Andy Griffith.

The World is Not Enough- any scene in which Denise Richards says something like "Do you wanna put that in English for those of us who don't speak spy." Because it cracks me up. She can't act, she is not even remotely believable as a nuclear scientist and she makes somewhat of a sissy Bond girl. And I love it. One of my fave Bond movies because it is so atrociously ridiculous.

Lord of the Rings: Return of the King- Pippin singing to Denethor as Faramir leads the assault on Osgiliath. The song is hauntingly beautiful and it brings the scale of a massive movie down to a personal level. It's been a long time since I've seen the movie, so I don't remember much except the ache that you feel as these men ride to their deaths. I could pick any number of moments from the trilogy (Aragorn kicking an orc helmet in anguish when he thinks Merry and Pippin have been killed, Arwen and Aragorn's reunion, Sunrise on the Battle at Helm's Deep), but this one in particular showed great acting, screenplay, score, direction, etc. For all I know about the technicalities of film-making anyway.

The Ultimate Gift- "My dream was a perfect day, and I'm just finishing it." Jason finally getting it, doing everything to bring joy to those that he loves. It helps that it included horseback riding. And Alexie Gilmore is charming as she realizes that Emily set the whole thing up for her. It makes me yearn with my whole heart to have a day like that.

Return to Me- There are so many quotes and little gems of moments to choose from. Picking up the red phone, answering it with "haven't you?" "She's not a Buick." "I will not have that name said in this house." "Is that possible?" "Potty-mouth's gonna change the bed." But the movie is stolen by Carroll O'Connor, Robert Loggia, Eddie Jones and William Bronder. Any scene with the four of them is brilliant! Especially when Angelo is screaming "He's got him in a choke hold." Love it! They play off each other so well.

Serendipity- The whole first 8 minutes or so. John Cusack being his adorable charming self and a world-champ flirt. That somebody could turn a chance encounter in a huge city into a romantic evening is encouraging to say the least. He's just so nonchalant about the whole thing, letting the night go where it may, and yet making it painfully obvious that he's trying so hard.

Ok, it's been 45 minutes but I'm getting kicked off the computer. Part two to be written at a later date. Sorry I didn't get as many in as I'd hoped. Cheers.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

A bit of superficial fluff to counteract the deeper considerations of starting a new decade:

Caution: reading this blog entry may cause you to think of me as a shallow individual.

A friend of mine has warned me that when I start dating somebody, I can just throw out any preconceived notions of what I find attractive. Inevitably, if I like dark hair, I'll fall in love with a blond. If I like outdoorsy, I'll suddenly find nerdy academic to be tragically hot. (This one I seriously doubt.) But that's okay, because the spectrum of things that attract me are so wide and random that anybody I meet is bound to at least have two or three qualities. And when I say random, I mean RANDOM. Here's a starter list (in case anyone out there is looking to find me a nice man):

Baseball tees, motorcycles, strong hands, cowboy hats (and cowboy boots, and horse sense, and western belt buckles, and a drawl), musical taste, musical talent, easy laughter, accents, Birkenstocks, Chacos, straight teeth, knowledge of literary classics, definitive favorites, ability to throw a spiral football pass, rapport with kids, a spirit of adventure (not stupidity), french blue button-downs, kitchen skills, humility, old worn t-shirts, did I mention musical talent?, leather jackets, having a dog, love of old movies, being handy, holiness, being a devoted fan (unless their team of choice is the Chargers), etc.

So there are a lot of options to choose from, and chances are if I'm attracted to him, he'll embody at least a couple of these. And then I can tolerate if all other qualities go against my preconceived preferences. Plus, let's be honest. It's the deeper characteristics- (moral conviction, honesty, compassion) that make the man anyway. The rest is icing on the cake. And I like all different kinds of icing.
I reserve the right to make this blog as worthless to read as I feel like, and also to write as infrequently as I deem necessary. Just thought I'd let you know since I finally decided to share my blog.