Wednesday, August 31, 2005


So I have recently started reading magazines again, specifically Figure and InStyle; not sure why those two in particular, as I am hardly a fashion maven, but they have for one reason or another piqued my interest. They are good, light fare, and while I am thoroughly enjoying my current book of choice, a short book break is never a bad thing. I used to be a diehard Yankee magazine fan, but where their propensity for the pretentious was once amusing, now I find it just too annoying, and really, I can be annoyed for free; I don't need to spend $21.00 a year for it!

Which brings me to a question; do you shop for magazines in stores, or get them delivered to your door via subscription? I had that Yankee subscription for, oh, 16 years, and I looked forward to seeing it in my mailbox monthly, and I felt no desire to go out to the store and buy it myself. As I was perusing the pages(or better yet, ADS) in InStyle this evening, I was confronted by no less than 6 subscription cards. After throwing the first five away without bothering to even look at them, I noticed on the 6th one that I could save something like $1.60 off of the newsstand price( there are newsstands around anymore??Where??), and for a few minutes I seriously considered checking off the Bill Me box, and dropping it into the mail. I had the same ponderous moment when I read through the latest issue of Figure; as it is a fairly new mag, and hard to find, I figured,"Hey, why not just get it delivered, and that way I will be assured of always have the latest issue without the hassle of trying to find it?" Would it not be easier to just find that coveted latest amongst the bills and credit card solicitations? Yes, it would be, but it wouldn't be as fun as actually going out to the local bookstore and physically looking for it myself. Because while in the search of what I am looking for, I am forced to notice other publications, and maybe even pick up one or two that are not necessarily geared to me and take a glimpse into another world, if you will. Besides, what is better than spending quality time browsing through a bookstore, drinking in the smell of various forms of virgin reading material( new book smell is good, and no, I'm not weird!),and allowing yourself to slow down and become aware with almost all of the senses? For an escape from the daily grind, head to the nearest bookstore, turn off that internal switch that makes you rush through everything, and let yourself enjoy. I guarantee that once you find the magazine you came in search of, your attention will be turned to the books, and even if you walk out without purchasing one, you will most likely be back for a book in the not too distant future. I am partial to Borders Express in Hanover,formerly know as WaldenBooks; I guess that that name and image was too staid, according to the powers that be known as the people running the show, but thankfully the store has retained the charm that drew me to it in the first place. I don't have a set date to go. I go when the spirit moves me, and I prefer it this way,as so much of my life is time-sensitive and ordered, it's nice to have a small piece of it that isn't.

Even if I pick up one of my two magazines in the less aesthetically pleasing surroundings of the supermarket, at least I am still participating in the act of getting off of my butt and getting out and going. For as much as I love to internet shop, and can greatly appreciate it's convenience, especially where time is concerned, there can't be enough said of the benefits of enjoying things and people and experiences in 3D.

Favorite Websites

Here are some of my faves, in no particular order, and certainly not a complete offering: (especially the link to Howie Carr's site) ( 95% of Christmas shopping is done here- HIGHLY recommend it!) ( if you are serious about quitting smoking, this is the place to go!)

For some reason..

when I go to my own blog, I can't see my new posts? I can only see them when I go to my dashboard? Weird..... anyone that can help at all?

Christine and Edward go today...Robert goes tomorrow...YYYYEEEEEESSSSSSSS!! I love 'em, but I am always glad to be able to reclaim my house come school time! To quote my kids, "I call couch! I call t.v.!!" Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Fall is coming....I can feel it in the air...cooler days, crisp nights, the aroma of shedding trees, that certain pleasing concoction of fallen leaves and pre-frost dew that permeates the senses, pumpkins and nature getting ready for it's summer hibernation and winter's awakening just makes me feel so damn good! Posted by Picasa
HAWAII WON THE LITTLE LEAGUE WORLD SERIES!!! 7-6 in the bottom of the 7th with a solo homerun!! YAY!!!! What a great game! What a great series!!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

The Man. Posted by Picasa

Couldn't end the night without a little Looney Tunes, courtesy of the GREAT Bob Clampett! (look up ) As Bugs would say, I LOVE that man!! Posted by Picasa

I am fascinated with Mt. Everest. Don't ask why, not sure myself, but I DO know that this fascination began over 5 years ago, right before I quit smoking. I swore when I quit smoking, that I would make it to the Base Camp of Everest in my fortieth year. I was going to do it, by cracky! Well, I didn't make it to Base Camp, but I'm really not too disappointed. For instead of making the actual Everest Base Camp climb, I have tackled more personal 'mountains'. I quit smoking, and remain smoke free today. I am 7 courses away from FINALLY getting my associates in business. I have a cool job that I actually like and get paid pretty well to do, and my kids are turning out to be pretty cool in their own unique ways. So though I may never make it to Everest( note I didn't say I WILL never make it- never say never!), I am tackling some pretty tough, albeit satisfying and exhilarating mountains right here in good ole Whitman, Taxachusetts. P.S. for good Everest reads, try The Climb by Anatoli Boukreev(this is about the tragic '96 expedition), Climbing High by Lene Gammelgaard( she was on same '96 expedition), and The Other Side of Everest by Matt Dickinson. The Climb is, IMHO, the best of the bunch. Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer(sp) is another offering about that '96 expedition, but he got alot of facts about exactly what went wrong, and of Boukreev in particular, wrong, and he has an air of superiority and 'not meitis' that can be hard to stomach.But try to read both his book and The Climb one after the other, and see if you took away from it what I did. I RARELY read a book twice, but The Climb is one of those rare exceptions. I am just glad that Boukreev got it done before he tragically passed away while climbing in Nepal on Christmas Day, 1997. Posted by Picasa


really sucks, but moreso when it is in the form of idiotic comments left on blogs. I was perusing blogs earlier, and the amount of spam comments( you know, like "Hey, LOVE your blog! Will be back! Check out mine at xxxxxxxx to see how YOU can save money AND get more action in the bedroom!!") is ridiculous , and disturbing! So therefore, I have enabled this verification thingy in the comment section where you have to type in a word in order to comment. Sorry,( please don't be turned off by it and not comment, it's not that bad, really!), but maybe it'll help to keep them nasty spammers away.

Friday, August 26, 2005

So The Raspberries are touring again...whoda thunk it? Not me, that's for sure, but hey, more power to them! I do like their song, "Go All the Way", and as a kid I had their single, 'Let's Pretend", one of my first 45's..I am not knocking them, just a bit amazed at their staying power and fan base after 30-something years. You go, guys!( and did Eric Carmen have like, a 20 inch waist, and hips to match, or what?? His torso looks absolutely TINY in this pic!) Posted by Picasa


is the directional signal of the internet; no-one uses it, I swear, and it is so annoying! Call me anal, or say that I let little things bother me too much, but to see a plethora of misspelled words littering emails, articles, blogs, what have you, amazes me. It really does.
Almost any program that one can use online comes with a spellcheck, and really, it's not hard to use. Takes ,oh, maybe a minute, if that, to highlight your text, click the spellcheck tab, and fix any errors. Easy, yes? So why don't more people use it? Is it due to the fact that they were never taught the correct spellings to words from the beginning, and therefore have no idea that they are making spelling errors? Have we let so much slide in schools that proper spelling isn't viewed as that important anymore? It is especially sad to see college educated people continually misspell, and I am not referring to overly hard or lengthy words, either! If so, then shame on the schools that they attended, but that is a different topic for a different day. Is it due to the fact that with the advent of the pc, we as Americans have let our writing skills fall far by the wayside? Case in point, instant messaging, or texting on cellphones; I have glanced at some of the stuff my son has written in an IM(he knew I was there, I wasn't spying), and it's a wonder people have no idea how to spell anymore! Every word is chopped up, chewed up, and spit out into this strange , condensed mass of unintelligible gibberish that is only comprehensible to those cool enough to know the lingo( I,to the dismay of my kids, am not one of those 'cool' ones). In fact, my boys laugh at the way I still capitalize and punctuate my emails and instant messages. Yeah, so I am old and not hip; at least I can spell correctly( and I do employ spellcheck alot, as though it may sound as I think I am, I am not perfect, and I know it) for crying out loud!
So is it poor schooling, laziness, or plain apathy? I say a mixture of all of the above. For example, kid #2 of mine brought home a book report that he scored a 93% on. Excellent, yes? Yep, it was, and I was very proud of him, but as I read the paper, I picked out at least 6 words that were misspelled. So why didn't the teacher pick up on this, and just point out the errors to him, so that he could spell the words correctly in the future? Remember the days when misspellings on a school paper meant lost points? What happened? Is it that we as a society feel that ,' hey, so what's wrong with a few misspelled words here and there, it's really not that big a deal, compared to what is going on in the world today, blah, blah...' or 'we wouldn't want to make anyone feel bad by pointing out their mistakes; just let it go'. I mean, God forbid we correct anyone with the intention of helping them to improve! sigh....
Ok, so maybe I am anal about spelling; but I just feel that along with letter writing( you know, the kind done with paper and pen), proper spelling, and caring about how one spells is a dying art, something that once left to fall too far away will be very difficult to bring back, if at all. That's all, my aimless ranting is over now, and hey, feel free to spellcheck this; go on, I dare ya!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

I seem...

to continually dance around things, things that I know I could meet head on , and successfully, too. Why the rug cutting? (???)
Lack of confidence?
The answer, I do not fear, is clear; just need to open wide the eyes, and the rest of the fives.

Good Stuff!
Click here( )to find out about, IMHO, one of the best drummers ever, Gene Krupa. And if you don't like swing/big band music, or have just never given it a try, initiate yourself with Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman, to name but a few. Damn good stuff!!
~Moonlight Serenade and Sing, Sing, Sing(with a swing) - excellent starting points for the Big Band neophyte)
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 21, 2005

?????'s and Comments

~ no wonder the majority of Avril Lavigne's songs are about guys dissing her, leaving her, wrecking her life, ad nauseum; she's depressing as hell! Know what's worse than a bad day at work? A bad day at work with Avril(my life sucks) Lavigne wailing on Musak in the background. BLECH.
~ wearing a shirt that that says PUNK in gothic styled script across the chest does NOT a punk make.
~ when sizing up the opposite sex, are looks alone paramount in the approval process, or do you take into account the whole package?
~ do you find enjoyable , insightful, thought provoking, laughter producing conversation to be ... stimulating at times?

Happy(belated) 14th Birthday to my Edward! His birthday proper was the 19th, and though I certainly didn't forget it, I did forget to mention it here.So, Happy Birthday, Edward, and wow, as you can see, they grow fast, huh? Posted by Picasa


to eating, sleeping, resting, doing much of anything... is how I feel when I feel as I do now, when I have a COLD. Like a bad for the middle class legislative move in Massachusetts, it hit me quickly and silently. Felt pretty good on Wednesday day, had the sneezes start Wednesday evening, and !BAM!, there it was on Thursday, and here it still is on Sunday, regaling me in all of it's miserable glory! Guess I was due, as aside from being acceptably tired, I was feeling pretty damn good.Oh, well.
The good news is, though, I think that I may have sweated a bit of it out yesterday. I went to a company held Employee Appreciation Day at Six Flags, which was a blast! ( thank you, Dari Farms!)I had never been before, and as my boys are practically regulars there, they led the way on a nine hour journey through lots of exciting rides, lots of food, and LOTS of walking! This place is BIG, and even though the humidity was fairly low yesterday, and the the sky practically sun-free, it was still fairly easy to work up a good sweat with all of the activity. I will provide pics of the day after I get them developed, and not to worry, there will be none of yours truly in all her sweaty glory!
P.S. Best ride for me was the log ride , the one near the picnic grove. No, it's not terribly thrilling or scary, but nonetheless, it is so much fun!! You get soaked, especially if you sit in the front of the car, and beware when crossing the bridge that is situated over the part of the ride where the car comes crashing down into the water at the finish , because if you aren't paying attention, you will get a second soaking , most likely of the posterior kind! It's hardly tragic, but wet butt is a bit..uncomfortable to be walking around with, especially when not dressed for 'swimming'!

Friday, August 19, 2005

Just rediscovered these guys - The Hoodoo Gurus were/are too damn cool.Just dipping your toe into the Gurus waters? Try 'Like Wow Wipeout'; if you don't like this one, then..I dunno! Oh, and they're Aussies to boot-fantabulous!Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Running in very quickly to say...

congrats to ~South Shore Muse~ for winning the Battle of the Blogs, and a ton of thanks to those of you who supported me, and continue to do so. It was alot of fun, and hey, I am $250 richer; cool!!!

Monday, August 15, 2005


furlough, leave-taking, liberty, time off, vacation, withdrawal

Maybe I need one? Feeling a bit drained. Right now, I feel as if I could not sit at the 'puter for quite a while, but as I am known to not be able to stay quiet for long, this so called sabbatical will probably be a shortie. ;)
No, this post will not go down as inspiring or upbeat by ANY stretch, but this is my journal, and one should never pretend or make all sunshine-y for show when journaling, because that kind of defeats the purpose, dontcha think?
Anyways, a good night's sleep and a double shot of 100 proof perspective will get me back to where I need to be.
Here's a link to info on the Student Trooper Program; just type in Student Trooper in the search box on the right side of the page, and that will take you to pictures from the program, and all of the details on it. For anyone out there with a 15-17 year old male or female who has a desire to either join the military, or to become a police officer, I would highly recommend looking into this. (as would Robert) It is held in two one week blocks in July and August at the Academy in New Braintree, Ma. and it is beautiful country up there! So different from the hustle and bustle we are used to here on the South Shore, so quiet, lots of fields and open space. Robert made it clear that it was no place he would want to live( too isolated) though the beauty of the area was not lost on him.
So check it out, and if you do venture out that way, it is a pleasant enough ride to boot, despite the Mass Pike and it's nasty, outdated, hack-backed tolls!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Brief Observances

~ subtlety is highly underrated, and sadly underused.
~ isn't it better to make people think, than to always spell it out in bold black and white?
~ it's been said many times before, and it still holds true; keep 'em guessing! Keeps things interesting.

It's....Winnie, the Wonder Dog! She is my parents dog, and is the ABSOLUTE sweetest dog ever! And she loves to see Auntie Chris, because when she sees me come through the door, then she knows that it's 'walk' time! Posted by Picasa

What is YOUR decade?

Everyone has a decade, a period in which they come into their own, experience the exhilirating firsts of freedom in the form of young adulthood, and a period in which the music , for most, really shapes their memories and sometimes their destinies.

My decade was the eighties. As I wended my way through junior high in the seventies and high school in the very early eighties, the musical landscape came along and evolved with me, as well. While the late seventies ended with the death of disco and the suburbanisation of punk rock, the eighties were born with the sounds of bands like Madness, The Vapors, SoftCell, the B'52's, Blondie, Tears for Fears, R.E.M., The Plimsouls, The Clash, Sousxie and the Banshees, The Cars, The Pretenders... and many more playing in the background; and there I was in the background as well ,an impressionable wide eyed 16 year old high school sophomore, just waiting to break free and discover and explore. As the eighties gained momentum and surged forward , so did I; I graduated from Cardinal Spellman in 1982. I gained a circle of very cool and oh so wonderful friends, friends with whom I shared some of the best times of my life. Although I followed the styles of the day(remember skinny ties, straight-legged pants and lots of stripes??), looking back, I tended to develop and hold onto a fashion sense that helped to strengthen my self confidence and independence. I did all of the things that older teens and young adults tend to do, some not all that good for us, but fun nonetheless; I went to so many concertsI have lost count, I had some wicked parties that people still remember to this day(!), I bar-hopped(yes, I was legal), I traveled to Europe, had my first child...and there, always just a stereo speaker or walkman away was the music. Though social and political events shape and define those oh so important years between the ages of 16 and 25 as well, those things are always accompanied by a certain beat, riff or melody, and it's funny how we don't really appreciate how much our decade's soundtrack meant to us until we are about 15- 20 years past it. I guess that can be chalked up to nostalgia, and thank goodness for it, as it gives each generation something that we can call our own, and a special something that can be shared with future generations.

My oldest is laying claim to his decade now, andthe younger two will follow suit in the not too distant future. And when they hit their 30's and 40's, I have a feeling that they will cringe at their first hearing of their music on the oldies station, as I did,but I hope that they will take that with a grain of salt, and discover a newfound love for the music that went along with them on their youthful firsts, and will continue to see them through many more mature firsts to come.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Good (Saturday) Morning!

First off, I would like to send my condolences to my friend Tom on the passing of his mother. Tom, thoughts and prayers to you and your family, and I look forward to seeing you when you return to work.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Here he is! Robert is 3rd row from the bottom, in the middle off to the right. This picture was taken the first day; it was hotter than hell in the gym, and this picture was taken at the end of what was the toughest day.Though they were told not to smile, Robert informed me that not one of them would have wanted to anyways! P.S. Yes, I am glad he's home! Posted by Picasa


~ Robert comes home today-YAY!!
~ my parents are having there annual cookout tomorrow. Looking forward to alot of sun, swimming, wine coolers, food I shouldn't eat but will, and relaxing!
~ my sister Nancy leaves Monday for a much needed vacation to Hawaii. I can't remember the last time she had a real vacation, and if there's anyone who truly deserves one, it's Nancy, so I hope that she has a blast! I'm so happy for her!
~ thank goodness for a/c!!

Thursday, August 11, 2005


~ do you dream in colour?
~ do you vote along strict party lines, or go to the dark side from time to time?
~ if you could meet any historical figure from the past, who would it be?( without hesitation,two for me, Sherman and Lincoln)
~ remember when seeing a padiddle(sp) meant you got a kiss? Do you know what a padiddle(sp) is?
~ if you could play any musical instrument, which one would it be? (violin)
~ there is nothing quite like holding close a soft, chubby baby(Hi, Anna!)
~ isn't it nice when you get a good song stuck in your head for a change? (todays offering-Must Be Love by Madness)

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Christine came in SECOND while doing the medley relay! She swam freestyle, and she looked good, if I do say so myself! She placed third and fourth in her other races;most respectable, definitely and she had fun which is what's it's really all about, isn't it?
Yay, Christine!

WoooHoooo for Wednesday!

Not only is it my day off, but it is payday #1 of the week, and I finally get the chance to see my daughter swim in a meet; she is so excited! And another huge plus, is that the meet is taking place at the Whitman Town Pool-right outside my back door!

I just saw on CBS 4 news a piece on the first female drill sargeant at the State Police Training Academy in New Braintree, Ma., which just happens to be where Robert is-cool! They briefly mentioned the program for high schoolers, and interviewed one of them with the junior troopers in the background, but unfortunately, I didn't see Robert. I wonder, what his days so far have been like? What time does he get up, go to bed? What's the food like? Does he like it, hate it? Will this week re-enforce his desire to attend the Naval Academy, or send him in a different direction? I'll have to remember not to bombard him with a bazillion questions first thing on Friday, as I'm sure he'll be pretty wiped!

Back to the female drill sargeant; she had reduced the new class of recruits that will graduate in December from I believe it was 254 down to 117- WOW! Rob and I saw those recruits from across the compound Monday morning as they were arriving and getting into formation, so it was ironic to see the piece on the news this morning. I give anyone who enters the trooper program a ton of credit and respect; it will be a tough 25 weeks of training for the recruits, and the job that the graduates will be engaging in daily is extremely tough and challenging, to say the least. Hats off to them!

Monday, August 08, 2005


No, not of the hair kind, of the writing kind; believe me, I have enough hair for three people!

Anyways, I was complimented on my writing and encouraged to do more; honestly, I am humbly floored, and most appreciative of people taking the time to read my stuff, and leave comments in one form or another. I mean, the impetus of this blog was to provide for me another way of getting my thoughts across, a journal of sorts, as my handwriting has really suffered since I have discovered the computer. Don't get me wrong, I love to handwrite in notebooks and journals; I have numerous examples of each scattered throughout my house, hiding in desk drawers and my bedroom closet, and really, there is something about a blank piece of paper that is inspiring. But I can be very disorganised with my writing; I tend to scrawl horribly when a good thought takes hold of my brain, and I don't take the time to rewrite the finished product clearly. And that means that more often than not, I cannot even read my own writing, and what was once a good poem or the halfway decent start of something else is forever lost, and that is so aggravating! So I discovered blogging, and though I didn't think that a screen would be as inspirational for me as paper, I have happily discovered that it is, and I actually look forward to sitting down and letting whatever it is that happens to be populating my mind at that given moment come out in typed form. Blogging/journaling helps to clear my head, relax me , and also allows a place for me to wax philosophic on subjects that push my buttons, both positively and negatively.

I truly enjoy writing, and am so heartened to see that others have enjoyed my stuff as well. As I replied in a comment to one of my posts, blogging(and the contest that I am a part of) has helped to spark the flame that I have for writing; the contest especially, as I found myself writing in a different manner, one which I wasn't too sure that I could do very well, but at the risk of sounding conceited, one which I am proud of, and happy with.

So thanks to all who read, or have popped in briefly; I mean it sincerely when I say thanks(!), and as this blog/journal has been around long before the contest, I plan to continue to do add my randoms and scribblings and so on's as usual, and if people still continue to come round despite all that, well then that is just too cool! =)

p.s. tomorrow

~yes, I did cry a bit in the car, after I dropped Robert off at the State Trooper facility. He may be almost 17, but so what;I believe it's true that there is always a place in a Mom's heart and soul that forever thinks of their kids, grown as they may be, as their babies. So there.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Hey, Lisa! Check this out! Can you belive there is a whole website dedicated to Jem?? Posted by Picasa


I take Robert, my oldest, up to the New Braintree, Ma. State Police Academy for the Student Trooper Program. He doesn't want to be a state trooper, but he does want to be accepted to either the Naval Academy or West Point, and doing this will look very good on his transcripts. So off we will go at 5 a.m. tomorrow morning. I am used to be up and dressed at that time, he is not(what teenager is?), so the morning may prove to be a bit of a challenge! He's nervous, I'm nervous for him, and shhhh, don't tell him this, but I will miss and worry about him, but no, I won't boo-hoo or anything like that when I drop him off. One, because I know I won't, and two, it would embarrass the hell out of him, and for as aggravating as he can be at times(can't we all!) I wouldn't do that to him.
Oh, and his younger brother and sister will miss him terribly.....NOT!!!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Speaking of Renoir..this is my favourite work of his. I had the opportunity to see it up close and personal while in Paris in '86; (it currently resides at the MFA in Boston). I am still wowed by the memory of it, which is to me, pretty cool in and of itself! Posted by Picasa
Sometimes, you find support in refreshingly obsure places; and sometimes, you find a lack of it in disturbingly obvious ones.
Regardless, onward and upward is the way to go.

A Great Ride

A drive down Route 105 through Middleboro is not unlike going back in time; back to a place where working farms are the norm, not the exception, where the fields seem to go on endlessly, and where the glare of too many streetlights and strip mall neon isn't around to detract from the natural beauty that lines the roadway that could probably use a new , even coat of tar, but that hopefully won't receive one too soon.

In the springtime, 105's scenery outdoes itself. There is a small stretch of the road where the trees overhang the roadway like a canopy, and even on the sunniest of days, driving underneath them is like going through a dusky tunnel, a tunnel of green and brown that really needs to be experienced to fully appreciate. While the road isn't a true straightaway, it can be tempting to go kind of fast through here, but don't; you would just be denying yourself the chance to drink in the views of the classic black shuttered white farmhouses, the 4-H Farm where I believe they still hold the annual fair, and wide open spaces decked out in the varying bright and muted hues that only spring can make possible.

While it's true that the price of gas has made the concept of going for a nice ride just for the heck of it almost prohibitive, there is way that you can justify a leisurely 105 ride; make Lorenzo's Restaurant on W Grove St in Middleboro your destination. Lorenzo's is an Italian restaurant that offers great food at great prices(two can enjoy dinner with drinks for around $45-$50), and you get to enjoy your food amidst old style murals that depict scenes from the Colosseum to theTower of Pisa. Being that the restaurant is on Route 28, I suppose it would be faster and easier to just follow18 through the Bridgewaters to hook onto 28, but why not take the route less traveled, and chill out after a good dinner with a relaxing 105 ride? Once you learn the backroads from 105 through Middleboro, you never forget the way( if I can remember, you can, trust me!), and don't discount the 105 ride in the winter; it's snow covered beauty is right on par with it's warmer weather cousin's. Enjoy!

Friday, August 05, 2005


~ When not only speaking face to face with another, but a good looking other, do you find yourself hoping and praying that you do not have any type of foodstuff lodged between your teeth?
~ My Mom is proud of me; she told me so last night, and it made me feel so good! See, Mom, we never really stop growing and appreciating. And thanks ;)
~ The Beatles' 'Flying' from Magical Mystery Tour is great to listen to as you are preparing to zone out after a demanding day.
~ If you could afford a cleaning service, would you get one? And if yes, would you clean before they arrived? (yes and yes)
~ Are you perpetually early, on time, or late?

What a COOL thunderstorm we just had!! WOW!! I was driving down my favorite route of all time, ~18~, and it was a little dark, but no rain or anything. It was the moment whenI got to the the drive thru window at B.K. to pick up my son's dinner that the fun began! The rain was so heavy, you literally could not see 2 feet in front of you, it was hailing (yes, hailing), the wind picked up fierce and strong out of was wild! The poor girl at the window practically threw the bag into my car, for fear of the lightning!(and no, I didn't blame her a bit) I got completely soaked making the short trek form car to front door, sloshed my way upstairs,dried off, sat on the windowseat to enjoy the fury from a safer vantage point was over. Just like that. Nature is so very cool. Posted by Picasa

It's going to be a...

very good hair day, and that's such a great thing! Why? Well, when it's been a year since your last vacation, and it's peak busy season at work, and you're feeling so very overdrawn and wiped, every little thing, such as a very good hair day, helps!
p.s. only... 9 more weeks till vacation!!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

It's no secret...
to those who know me that I would LOVE to visit Australia; the place just completely fascinates me! Could it be because it is so not like New England, the wickedly hot(which I hate, go figure) weather,the sheer vastness of it, or the people with their incredibly cool accents? Oh, it's definitely all of the above, and more! To find out more about it, I suggest reading In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson, and The Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes. GREAT reads!

Renoir in Black

The world, stood still
behind, my eyes
as the canvas breathed
an impatient, white
and waited
as Renoir, in black
the abstraction of colour
the windowless line
and the hand led the
through the barriers,
of time
and the fiction, opaque
got washed away
as the canvas, cried
and the mind
awoke, in vibrant
And I held
your face, in my hands
for the first time
and Renoir,
was pleased.
Chrissie 05.20.02

GOOD NEWS!! Rob got the job at Shaw's- he's starts week after next!! (my wallet is SOOOO relieved, and happy!) Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Update on Duval's

Seems it was a van driven by a 90 year old who mistook the gas pedal for the brake that caused the smashed storefront at Duval's Pharmacy; luckily, the man working directly behind that wall of glass did not get seriously injured!

This begs the question: should there be a mandatory age where we require that the elderly be tested either yearly, or every two years to make sure that they are up to the demands of driving? I am not trying to be crass, and please don't accuse me of practising ageism. It's just that too many instances abound where an elderly driver falls victim to pedal confusion, and in the process they take out a storefront, or sometimes worse, they cause injury to another. What should the age be where testing is required? I haven't pinpointed an exact age, but I would say about mid seventies would be appropriate.

Is this fair, this concept of testing elderly drivers? I don't see it really as a question of being fair, more a case of wanting to protect not only the public, but more importantly the drivers themselves. Many times children of elderly drivers have tried to get either Mom or Dad to stop driving, whether it be due to poor eyesight, hearing, etc, and they have difficulty doing so, as it is a delicate subject to broach. But perhaps if testing were mandatory, it would seem less offensive, as all people of a certain age would have to comply, and could save not only lives, but the dignity of the elderly and all involved as well?

Retail 101

In many ways, shapes and forms, I have worked in retail for 24 years. My current foray into retail is in the form of a vendor; you know, people who stock the shelves and order like store personnel, but work for outside companies. I love my job; it affords me quite a bit of freedom, in that I can pretty much make my own hours, I travel between 5-7 stores per day, so I am never stuck in one place for very long,I work side by side and interact with some pretty interesting people, and the money is good. While I have tried a few jobs that were the total opposite of retail, i.e. office work, I keep coming back to retail; it's a good fit for me, and I'm good at it. Sounds to be , maybe, kind of easy, you're thinking, that it's just retail, or just supermarket or store work, so how hard can it really be?Let me dispel those misconceptions from your mind right now. I have heard those 'it's just retail' mantras for what seems to be forever, and to be honest, they really annoy the heck out of me. Retail is not easy; while it's not brain surgery or, to be cliched, rocket science, it is no cake walk. Working in retail, especially in the supermarket environment, is demanding physically. Want a decent workout? Haul grocery trucks filled with laundry detergent or charcoal or cases upon cases of canned goods for 8 hours a day, and believe me, you feel how hard you've worked by days end! The repetition of the up and down of putting product from case to shelf, moving product from pallet to truck, working in a hot backroom or a 10 degree freezer can make you feel muscles you forgot that you had, so believe me, retail is a tough task master physically. And on the non physical side? Let me sum it up in two ways: the customer is always right, and never let your bad mood or frustration show.

All that being said, here are some 'rules of the road' for shoppers of any stripe, and being that I straddle both sides of the consumer/worker aisle, I work hard to remember these, as well.
~ Please, don't leave your carriage smack dab in the middle of the aisle, especially if the aisle is narrow. It creates aggravations that can be easily avoided by simply pushing the carriage to one side of the aisle or the other.
~ Women, DO NOT leave your purse unattended in your carriage, even if you are only going a few feet from it! Someone can come up and swipe your bag in a heartbeat! I see this happen far too often, sometimes with the purse left WIDE OPEN, as inviting someone to come along and snag your wallet! Shop smart, and save yourself alot of time and aggravation!
~ I know that this next one may be difficult to do, but if it's close to little Susie or Johnnie's nap or feeding time, please, try to refrain from doing a week's worth of shopping until they have been satiated one way or the other? There is nothing worse than hearing a wee one screech and cry throughout the entire store, and I know that workers and shoppers alike share in this frustration.
~ If you are being waited on at the checkout or service desk, don't be so rude as to whip out the cell phone, and take or make a call while the employee is trying to wait on you! To me, this is just the apex of rudeness! I mean, how would you feel if the gal behind the register at say, your fave clothing store suddenly decided to make a call while in the middle of ringing in your purchase, or answering your question? I bet that you would either report her to management, or let her have it verbally. Most cell phones these days are equipped with the vibrate feature, or voicemail; use them. Oh, and I am sure that the guy down the aisle from you really doesn't care to be privy to how your son did at soccer camp, or the latest family crisis; please, stop yelling when using your phone.(this applies to any public place, by the by)
~ You decide that you no longer want to purchase that $20.- roast beef, so instead of bringing it back to the meat department, you toss it in with the ice cream. Did you know that lazy moves like that help to create higher prices, and that that roast beef now must be tossed, as you can't sell it frozen, so now you have helped to create unneeded waste? And believe it or not, store employees 9 times out of 10 have more important things to do than follow people around and pick up after them. A little courtesy here would be greatly appreciated, and trust me, the guy behind the meat case will not get angry if you bring that roast back.

Everyone is rushed these days, myself included, and alot of times, shopping can be the last thing that we want to do. But if these simple rules were followed a little more often, then it would make for a more pleasant shopping experience for employee and consumer alike.
As I was driving through Whitman center yesterday evening, I couldn't help but notice that the storefront of Duval's was smashed in, and covered with plywood, obviously due to an errant car? Will be interesting to find out hopefully in tonight's paper exactly what happened.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Traditions, Continued

I have read to my kids from day one; ok, maybe not DAY ONE, but all three were read to starting as young as 1 month old. They may not have been able to interact, but I honestly believe that their burgeoning little brains and senses were soaking in the sing-songy sound of my voice making it's way through the pages of a Little Golden Book, and benefitting greatly from the warm feel of Mom safely holding their tiny body. In my opinion, that simple but all important act of bonding helped to create a sense of belonging and safety in my kids, and also was the genesis of their love of reading, whether it be books or magazines. And, I feel that it has helped them to become good students; no, I don't have any scientific studies to back this up, just my motherly intuition.

All three kids liked to be read to before going to sleep; sometimes they would fall asleep before I was finished with the book, but more often than not, they would stay awake for the entire reading. When they were very young, they would 'read along' in that baby speak that only baby's know, and follow the meaning of the words more through the pictures that the words themselves. As they got older, they liked to read to me; sometimes this could make a 15 pager seem like War and Peace, and I admit, I wasn't always in the mood to be read to, but the confidence and knowledge they gained from doing so was immeasurable, and far outweighed any complaints that I may have had. Robert loved his Golden Books and anything Winnie the Pooh ; Edward was a huge Clifford the Big Red Dog fan, and Christine liked all that her brothers did, along with Little Critter books. Oh, and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom was always a Brewer favourite; maybe it will be with their own, as well? Time( and LOTS of it!) will tell on that one! Christine and Edward were three book a night junkies; it HAD to be three, no more , no less, and I didn't dare to try to deviate from that, because believe me, I'd hear about it if I did! Robert was usually satisfied with one or two; he wasn't as adamant about the amount as the other two.

Now my kids are way past the age that they like to be read to, and I admit, I miss it. Maybe it's a 'their getting older and don't need me like they used to anymore' thing, maybe it's me getting blindsided by my own progressing age and not always liking it, I don't know. But I do know that myself and my kids treasure those bedtime reading rituals; though they may be hard pressed to come out and actually admit it (God forbid!), I know that they will always hold those times close in their memories. It was just a cool experience that continues to leave a good feeling, and really, isn't that what helps to make the dailies, in whatever form they take, worthwhile?

Monday, August 01, 2005

So what do YOU think?

Today as I was traveling between stores for work, I noticed one of those license plate frames on the car in front of me, and what it said both amused and kind of disturbed me. It said, 'The Internet Makes You Stupid'. I guess I found it amusing because I tend to get amused easily, (especially when tired!), and disturbing that there are people that believe that statement to be true.I do not; there are many reasons why I disagree with this statement, but first and foremost, I disagree with it because the internet cannot make one stupid. It is not a living, breathing entity, and it is powerless until touched by human hands and minds. Nothing can make one stupid, feel stupid, or anything without that person's permission, especially an inanimate object. What was it that Eleanor Roosevelt said, that 'No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.'? This is so true, and her quote can be applied to the internet as well. Sure, there are a myriad of ways that one can waste time, and act stupid, immoral or just plain nasty on the internet. But it is that person's choice to spend their internet time that way. No one is making them do it. It's all about persoanl choice, and responsibility. Choose to abuse the internet, then what you will get out of it is what you put into it .
But when used responsibly, the internet is quite an amazing thing, a treasure trove of facts and info; I mean, where else could I possibly read the Sydney Morning Herald,( just TRY getting it home delivered!!) or Google a small part of what I am looking for, and have literally thousands of choices present themselves in a split second? It is indispensible as far as school goes, both for myself and my kids, as there is no better( or quicker) way to find what you are looking for for research papers, ideas for stories and essays, and basic info on the subject you are working on. And, as one thing links to another in the cyber world, you can often pull up info that perhaps doesn't pertain to what you are working on, but it interesting nonetheless and can be saved for later, to either use for another project, or just to enjoy. You can use the internet to help you lose weight, quit smoking( as I did), find help in locating support groups, for accessing maps and directions, SHOPPING( I highly recommend!), finding and/or keeping in touch with friends, banking, bill paying, an outlet to rant and rave of just get all the stuff in your head out(blogging is a blast!)..... the ways that the internet can be a valuable tool in a person's life is almost endless. IF it is used correctly. Again, use it stupidly, then don't expect much in return. Use it constructively and wisely, then of course you can have a ton of fun with it, and reap so many rewards from it in kind.

Happy Birthday, Kathy!!! Today is my sister Kathy's birthday, so if you're out there in internet land, Kath, I hope that you're having a GREAT one!And for anyone reading this, won't you wish her a happy birthday, too? Thanks! Posted by Picasa