Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving without dressing is still Thanksgiving

I realized something this Thanksgiving.

My life is changing, including the traditions I associate with the holidays. Even some of the usual holiday food will not always be the same.

Because it's not longer just me. In less than five months, I'll be part of a pair. A package deal. You would think that new or different traditions would have been an obvious change to me by now. And it was in a way.

Only this year it was a bit clearer. Perhaps it was the lack of rolls and cornbread stuffing at Thanksgiving dinner that lit this particular light bulb.

Whatever it was, my life is changing in so many ways. In ways that I'm prepared for. And ways I've yet to realize. And even though I was a bit disappointed to miss out on dressing this year, I'm okay with the changes. Because what I'm gaining is worth everything.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hump Day Humor: Happy Thanksgiving

A clip from Friends', one of my favorite Thanksgiving episodes.

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Presidents

Who was the U.S. president during all six of the manned moon landings?

Richard Nixon.

Congratulations to Rockman for being the first, and only, to get the correct answer!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tuesday Trivia: Presidents

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer, or guess, and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

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Who was the U.S. president during all six of the manned moon landings?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Avoiding the Dreaded Title of Bridezilla by Following the Recipes for the Life of My Dreams (a book review)

Wedding planning can be stressful and overwhelming. It's like many things in life that way. The key to dealing with stress is to find the joy in life. To find ways to insert smiles, laughter and fun not just occasionally but daily. One of my secret weapons in the fight against stress is Kim and Jason. (Much less calories and easier on my ass than a pint of ice cream.)

Kim and Jason are a couple from Madison, Wisconsin, whose mission is to fight Adultitis by uncovering the secrets of childhood. I've been reading Kim and Jason's blog, well, I'm not sure for exactly how long. At least two years. Maybe more. I can't even remember how I came across their blog in the first place. I do remember being instantly attracted to what they had to say about living with a more childlike attitude.

According to www.adultitis.org, Adultitis is a common condition occurring in people between the ages of 21–121, marked by chronic dullness, mild depression, moderate to extremely high stress levels, a general fear of change, and, in some extreme cases, the inability to smile. Patients can appear aimless, discontent, and anxious about many things. Onset can be accelerated by an excess burden of bills, overwhelming responsibilities, or a boring work life. Generally, individuals in this condition are not fun to be around.

Just because we're adults - with all the responsibilities and duties that go with that noun - does not mean we have to sacrifice joy. Yes, some daily tasks can be menial, unpleasant or boring, or all three. Why don't we find ways to make them a little bit less so? Let's not give in to the stress, anger, and frustration!

That is the essence of Kim and Jason's new book There's an Adult in My Soup. Observations on where and in what shapes Adultitis can be found in our lives:

"You might have Adultitis if you consider your cell phone to be a body part. You might have Adultitis if it's dark when you leave home in the morning and it's dark when you get home, and you don't live in Alaska."


Not only that, Kim and Jason give you tips and ideas on how to release that stress and find the joy. Treatments and prescriptions for Adultitis. They range from the most simple of things to some more outrageous ideas that may seem uncomfortable at first but are so much fun.

"Laugh. The average preschooler laughs 450 times per day. The average adult laughs just 15 times per day. Quit taking yourself so seriously."


"Delight in the joys of today for we don't know how many tomorrows we will have."


Possibly one of my favorite things in this book is their take on a condition they see as potentially harmful.

"I'm officially making 'busy' a bad word, in order to avoid the trap of not only the aforementioned conversation, but mostly the mentality. It's poisonous. The funny thing is that everyone has the same amount of time, so if you are 'busy,' it's your own fault. The flaw is in you... It's all about the little choices you make every day, your time management, and your priorities. It all comes back to you."


Since reading this book, I've notice how many times I want to answer "How are you?" with that answer. It's not really an answer. We're all busy. And it doesn't even describe how I'm feeling at that particular moment. Now, I take a deep breath and answer with an enthusiastic, "I'm fantastic!" Because I am. There's so much in my life to be thankful for. And all of them make my life fantastic.

There's An Adult in My Soup is a great book for reminding you to stop and be in the moment. To enjoy life. And find what will bring you joy.

Plus it'd make a great present for just about anyone for this holiday season.

"Everyone talks about the comfort zone, about stepping out, but I don't see very many people actually doing it. I don't think it's a 'zone' that you step beyond. I think it's a wild and crazy horse ride. You have to jump on, embrace the adventure, accept the fear, and keep riding."


Grab a horse and join us for a ride.

Disclosure: Kim and Jason did not ask me specifically to do this review. They wrote a post on their blog asking for people to volunteer to review it. I raised my hand as quickly as I could and with much enthusiasm. In exchange for reading the book and posting a review, I received two free copies of There's an Adult in My Soup and a can of soup.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Grey's Anatomy S6ep10

Chief is kind of a jerk at the moment. Actually he's been kind of a jerk all season. But now especially. He asks Meredith if she told anyone about his drinking. And when he's satisified that she hasn't he makes up excuses for why he was drinking and bribes her with private lessons to keep is secret. Jerk. And that doesn't say good things about Meredith that she's so quick to accept his excuses and offer of private lessons. Of course she's always had daddy issues. And she sees the Chief more as a father figure than she does her real father. So I get that she wants to believe him. But hopefully after he told he's quitting and then she saw him drinking again on New Year's she won't be keeping that secret for much longer.

Mark has a daughter. Really not that surprising considering how much of a man whore he is. Understandably freaks Lexie out. And then she cuts her finger off. Gross. I wouldn't be surprised if Sloan turned out to not be pregnant, and she lied to take advantage of Mark. But maybe she is. It'll be interesting to see regardless.

Teddy's awesome. She gets it. A patient teetering on that last cliff needs her favorite thing to find the courage to hold on until she can get a heart. A concept that Cristina has yet to really learn.

Miranda's outburst at her father over Christmas dinner had to have been mortifying for her. The doctor who does everything she can to keep her private life out of the hospital. I'm glad she was able to stand up for herself and tell her father that it's not ideal but it really is better for her and her son that she not remain in a marriage that's unhappy.

This is why I love Owen. So many others would have kissed Teddy. But not Owen. He loves Cristina. And he stays true to her. A bit harsh to say it in Teddy's mouth like that. But Owen didn't do it to be harsh. He cares for Teddy. But he loves Cristina.

Cristina Yang when a man kissed you like that and says he loves you, he wants you. You do not ask him if he's sure! You kiss him back!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Yes I Like Picking Up Small Pieces of Foam All Over the House

I came home one day to this sight.


And the next few days it got steadily worse. Until all that's left is the material.

And now I catch him multiple times a day sneaking naps on the couch. He thinks he's being sneaky anyway.

This is why we can't have nice things. Or things.

No new bed for Cooper until he's past the destroy everything stage.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

For We are the Aggies - The Aggies are We

It was the wee hours. I came home after a night spent watching a meteor shower and fell into bed.

The phone rang four hours later. I groggily opened an eye just enough to read the caller ID. It was my mother.

"Becky, are you okay?" "Yeah mom." "Bonfire fell." "Okay."

And then it was back to sleep. Until a loud knock, no pounding was more like it, on our door. It was our RA.


"Bonfire fell. We're doing a head check." "We're both here."

And that's when I realized. Bonfire had really fallen.
12 died. 27 were injured. A school and her students would never be the same.

That was ten years ago today. And ten years later, I can vividly remember walking across campus to my 8 o'clock class. A campus that was broken by a tragedy it never saw coming. Never thought possible.


I remember the sound of the helicopter over the polo fields, where stack used to stand tall and proud. I remember the dazed look I saw on other students' faces that was a mirror image of my own.


I remember all the events and emotions of that day with a clarity that before November 18, 1999 I never would have thought possible. Everything from sitting in my dorm room watching the news to deciding to go to the memorial service at the last minute and being one of the last people allowed in Reed Arena because it was so packed.


How at the end of the service we started singing Amazing Grace and arms were thrown across the shoulders of strangers as we swayed and leaned on each other in our mutual grief. To this day, I cannot hear that song without tears threatening to appear.


The emotions and memories of that day flood me every time I visit the Bonfire Memorial.

There's a saying at A&M. "From the inside looking out, you can't explain it. From the outside looking in, you can't understand it." (Or vica versa. I can never remember if it starts with inside or outside.)

To some of you, Texas A&M is a big rival, one to be beaten and crushed on the field of sports. To others, all you may know of the school is it is that place that one time had a bunch of logs fall (When I lived in Boston and told people I went to A&M for undergrad, I did get a few responses that were along the lines of, 'Oh, that place where the bunch of logs fell." True story.)


Just know, that for us Aggies today, though 10 years has passed, we still feel the loss. And for this Aggie, who has never seen Bonfire burn and never will until it returns to campus (if it ever returns to campus), this favorite Aggie song brings chills because to me it's what an Aggie is.

Some may boast of prowess bold
Of the school they think so grand
But there's a spirit can ne'er be told
It's the Spirit of Aggieland.

(Chorus)
We are the Aggies - the Aggies are we
True to each other as Aggies can be
We've got to FIGHT boys
We've got to fight!
We've got to fight for Maroon and White
After they've boosted all the rest
They will come and join the best
For we are the Aggies - the Aggies are we
We're from Texas A.M.C.

GIG 'EM AGS!

Hump Day Humor: Sims Horror Movie

Really funny, especially if you've ever played The Sims.




From Cary.

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Geography

Which are South America's only two landlocked countries?

Bolivia and Paraguay.

Congratulations to Cottage Travel for being the first, and only, to get the correct answer!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

One Last Time

Two years ago I met a man. He was cute, sweet, incredibly smart, and had a sense of humor that was similar to mine and a glint in his eye that I felt a connection with.

Now that man is my fiance. And today is the last day we will officially celebrate our dating anniversary. (I think DF is a little too happy about that.)

But I'm excited. Though it may be a bit sad to say goodbye to this particular anniversary, I cannot wait until 2011, and we celebrate our first anniversary as husband and wife.

(I told DF he won't be expected to remember the exact date, but if I look at him a day in November sometime in the future and ask him if he remembers what we did X number of years ago, he better have the right answer.)

Tuesday Trivia: Geography

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer, or guess, and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

<><><>


Which are South America's only two landlocked countries?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Grey's Anatomy S6ep9

Dr. Singer was so cute! What a sweet man.

Love that Owen got Cristina a cardio god(dess) as a gift. Cristina being a hard-core surgeon should appreciate that. But of course she's ungrateful until Teddy proves she's worth her respect. It's a process with Cristina. If she knows nothing about you before she meets you, you have to prove that you're worthy.

Remember when way back in the beginning Alex was this ass their group got stuck with? So they just put up with him. At some point, and it's hard to finger exactly when, Alex became a part of their group. Still an ass but now a core member of the inner circle. So much so that Meredith makes it a point to get him to talk to Izzie. And then to get him drunk when that didn't turn out well. I kinda love it.

And Richard's a drunk. Well, we knew that. But he's still drinking. The clip montage made it look like he's been drinking for a while and possibly never stopped (with Joe the bartender playing along). Though it could be that he's just started it up again recently. Maybe because of the merger. Or when their ranking dropped. Interesting to find out exactly how long he's been drinking.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fictional Five



There's The List. That list of 5 celebrities you're allowed to sleep with if the opportunity, ahem, arose without any repercussions or guilt. A fun game to play ala Friends.

This week's Girl Talk Thursday is The List, with a twist. Instead of celebrities, it's fictional characters.





Mr. Darcy from Pride & Prejudice
Really I could stop here and the list would be complete. Mr. Darcy. His intensity, his passion, though a bit repressed, boils underneath the surface. The stares of desire and longing. Makes me go weak at the knees, and I want to swoon. In fact. I'm long overdue for some quality Darcy time.





Pacey Witter from Dawson's Creek
I love Pacey for his sarcasm, his wit and his stubbornness to be nothing less than who he is. I wanted to be Joey Potter if only to kiss Pacey.





Dark, brooding and the type of guy you definitely don't want to bring home because of the whole vampire factor. So yummy and delicious.



Sawyer from Lost
Smoldering. This guys smolders. And I would gladly give up all the perks of civilized life - running water, electricity, my iPod, deodorant, etc - if I can be deserted on the Island with Sawyer.





Gerry from P.S. I Love You
I know technically even in the story he's dead. Doesn't matter. He sends his wife letters to help her deal with losing him. So incredibly sweet that I lose focus.

BONUS: More pictures of Darcy. Because there can never be enough pictures of Darcy. And I can't end this list on anyone but Darcy.

Book Review: The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shafer

Disclosure: No one paid me in any way to give this review.

Taking place in England just after WWII has ended, Guernsey is written in an epistolary style, meaning the book is written as letters. The letters, though involving multiple characters, centers on one character an author by the name of Juliet as she finds herself and the inspiration for her next book.

Some may find the epistolary style disjointed and hard to follow. I admit I was skeptical when I first picked up this book. Though I was soon charmed by the authentic, sweet characters who despite living and suffering through the German Occupation have a bright outlook on life.

I worried that there wouldn't be a plot, and the book would be hard to follow because of the letters. For me that wasn't the case. I found the multiple perspectives, while some were more articulate than others, to bring a fresh perspective from many angles to a piece of history you think you know well.

A quick, enjoyable read that I was surprised to find I liked as much as I did.

Next month - Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hump Day Humor: Sexual Harrassment PSA



From Cary.

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Television

Which of the four female stars of TV's Sex and the City had a no-nudity clause in her contract?

Sarah Jessica Parker, who played sex columnist Carrie Bradshaw.

Congratulations to Mochaface friend The Introvert for being the first, and only, to get the answer right!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tuesday Trivia: Television

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer, or guess, and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

<><><>

Which of the four female stars of TV's Sex and the City had a no-nudity clause in her contract?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Santa Claus, the Pimp

Scene: On our way home last night, I was explaining to DF what the Parade of Lights is.

Me: And Santa's at the end.

DF: Santa's a pimp?

Me: Sure. He does get into a lot of houses.

DF: But that doesn't mean he's a pimp.

Me: Sure it does. Why else would all those people let him in?

DF: No way.

Me: You don't know. You're not there.

DF: But there's no way with all those people that someone wouldn't talk.

Me: Why would they talk? They wouldn't get presents.

DF: Yeah but they'd get to keep the money.

Me: What money? He's Santa, not the Tooth Fairy.

DF: If he's pimping people out, he keeps most of the money.

Me: True. But if someone talks and Santa gets arrested, no one gets presents. And no one likes anyone who gets Santa arrested so he can't give out the presents.

DF: He's Santa. He can't get arrested. And... well... actually he does kinda dress like a pimp.

Me: Exactly.

DF: And you know what Santa says... Ho ho ho

Internet, I win.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Grey's Anatomy S6ep8

Peds is not general surgery in miniature. It's miracles and magic. Love it.

Kinda liked the scene with the three couples and Callie cooking everyone breakfast. Probably not totally realistic. But it felt almost Friends-like. And then it's opposite when Owen and Cristina and Callie and Arizona were fighting. That one felt realistic.

I understand that the hospital needs to be paid for services rendered. But it still sucks that Alex got stuck with the bill. Although I don't think he would mind so much if Izzie were still around.

Alex in peds. I almost forgot how Addison used to tell him he should consider that as his specialty. Although Addison's specialty is different from peds. But Alex would be fantastic working with children either way.

Against her better judgment and at the Chief's pressuring, Arizona agrees to do the surgery. And when she finally grows a pair in the OR telling him to get the hell out, I think she may have dealt with some of her authority issues. Because the old Arizona would have talked to the parents rather than telling the Chief and Jennings to do it. I think she did a fantastic job shouldering the brunt of this episode.

Owen's right. Cristina does have a history of thinking she can get away with just about anything. Helping Burke hide the fact that he shouldn't be operating for one. And now the arrogance to perform a procedure she didn't have the authorization for. Granted if I had the choice, I would prefer a very confident surgeon to one that has to be told she's great. Because the belief, the faith that the impossible is possible is already part of the way to the desired result.

I can imagine the emotional toll of losing patients is tough for surgeons. And I imagine that for peds surgeons it can be at times worse. The emotional investment. The polarizing emotions. The incredible highs of performing miracles. And the depressing lows of losing a patient who should by all reasonable expectations have a whole future rather than such a limited one. They have tough job.

I was starting to wonder about the direction of this season as they try to move it to more single character-centric episodes rather than their typical all ensemble all the time. I wasn't too sure I was liking it. But if more episodes are like this one, I would be totally okay with it.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Kick It

Our kickball season has finally started. After what seems like an eternity of rain.

This, of course, means that Grey's posts will be delayed during the season since our games are on Thursday nights. But I will get them up as soon as I can.

By the way, with 1 hit and 1 RBI, my batting average is .500. Pretty damn good. Now if I can only maintain that for the season.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

And the list slowly shortens

There's a reason why they say planning a wedding is a full-time job. It consumes so much time because of all the tiny decisions - as well as the big ones - that need to be made.

So when I complete something, I take great pleasure in marking it off my to do list. There is one thing that I am incredibly glad to have off my list. And proud of how they came out. The save-the-dates.


Or rather book-the-dates. Because we're both big readers, our theme is "a love story". As an extension of the theme, I decided to make bookmarks. Love them. And I'm not just saying that because I designed them. (Though that doesn't hurt.) They're awesome.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Hump Day Humor: The Drunkiest Drunky McDrunkerson

Part of me feels bad laughing so hard at a guy this drunk. Then I remind myself that he did it to himself. And continue with the laughing.

I love when he falls down and just can't quite get up again. Also love how he's in there so long before anyone notices him.



Found thanks to The Bloggess.

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Presidents

Who was the only president to pay off the national debt and leave office with a surplus in the U.S. Treasury?

Andrew Jackson

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tuesday Trivia: Presidents

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer, or guess, and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

<><><>

Who was the only president to pay off the national debt and leave office with a surplus in the U.S. Treasury?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Trick or Treat

DF and I were invited to a party for Halloween this past weekend. Naturally, we wanted costumes.

After a trip to one of those temporary Halloween stores, we came home and tried on our costumes. DF was so pleased with himself (and his costume choice) that he giggled at his image in the mirror for at least 10 minutes.

What was his costume? Well... See for yourself:


Even better... I got some video of him having a grand ole time pretending he's actually riding a real ostrich.





Sadly no good pictures of my rockin pirate costume. But I was Rrrrrr-ockin!