Celebrity Death Pool

It appears that most of our readers are women who are not as interested in fantasy sports and dark humor as I am, so I am offering a post that will be more interesting to you, interactive and still interesting to the men in your life. If you are anything like Melanie, then you are obsessed with celebrities and their crazy antics. I will admit that I have thumbed through an occasional People, EW or National Enquirer before and been amused and disgusted with what celebrities get away with and why we are so fascinated with them. I would like to offer a bit of a challenge to you celebrophiles out there. Without further ado I introduce the first annual Smith Celebrity Death Pool. The object is to pick five famous people; they can be actors, musicians, athletes, politicians, etc. who you think will die in 2008. My list is:
1. Amy Winehouse
2. Fidel Castro
3. Bob Barker
4. John Madden
5. Britney Spears

My other possible guesses would include, Bea Arthur, Lindsay Lohan, 50 Cent, Elizabeth Taylor, Kirk Douglas, Courtney Love, Charlton Heston, Horatio Sans, Prince Harry, Muhammad Ali, Pete Doherty, and Michael Jackson.

There are very few rules and an easy format.
  • List five famous people in the comment section who you expect to die.
  • You can list the same celebrities as someone else.

  • People on death row do not count.

  • You only get one list, but you can enter an additional list for your significant other.

  • Scoring will be 100-age=score. This way you get more points for picking a younger person correctly.

I will keep track throughout the year and the winner will receive a wonderful prize courtesy of the Smiths. Good luck.


Babies, Puppies and Bruisings

Alright, well, I have heard the cries for details...so I will cave to peer pressure this one time, and one time only! :o)
Yes it is true, I am knocked up. Oh my parents will love reading that! (Hi Mom!). Not that they didn't know, just the using the "knocked up" terminology - that's something that would be expected to come out of Mark's mouth, not mine, right?
Anyway, so the details. I am approaching my 15th week of pregnancy and everything has been hunky dory. No morning sickness (or afternoon, or evening), no aversions to food, nothing more than pants that don't fit me so well anymore and occasional tiredness. So I can't complain, and just ask that those friends of mine who have had kids, or are pregnant currently, but haven't had it so smoothly don't hate me too much.
Our due date is June 8th (not too far into the hot, humid MN summers), but as my Mother so lovingly pointed out to me when I told her the news, "Just so you know Melanie, that is just an estimate. It might be earlier or later than that." (Thanks Mom!) You know I love you Mom. Not too many other details to really share. Mark is holding a gun to my head to make me find out gender, which won't be until the end of January or early February, so I might still have a little bit of time to change his mind. Although he always brings up my one weakness, and that is shopping. Of course I can shop more if I know if it is a boy or a girl, right?? So we will find out, and when we do, you'll all be the first to know.
Well, not sure what else anyone wants to know...if I missed something, leave me a comment and I will be sure to answer it. Oh one thing, for those of you who see me, either regularly or intermittently, I just wanted to give everyone a pre-warning...don't touch my belly. Not that any of you would...I just wanted to cover that topic so that there are no hard feelings if I punch you in the face for rubbing the belly! I have never understood the need for people to touch other people's stomachs. Okay, maybe the father of the child, but a complete stranger?? Does pregnancy give random people on the street carte blanche to just rub your belly?? Not in my book. So if the urge ever comes over you to put your hand on my stomach - be warned, I can not be held responsible for what happens next (just ask Mark what happens if he tries to tickle my feet!). I am also not looking forward to the unsolicited baby advice everyone and their dog will try to give me. Well I might be interested in what the dogs have to say. I think if they can pop out a littler of like 8 puppies...they might know what they are talking about, and how cool would a talking dog be? I know, complete tangent (think I want a puppy maybe?).

It will be an interesting next few months, I guess my trip to Greece in March and Iceland in June are going to have to wait, aren't they? Thank goodness the folks live nearby so that we can drop of little GW (George Washington), John Rambo/John Wayne or Boone so we can go on vacation (PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE tell Mark how RI.DIC.U.LOUS. all of those names are). That is a major reason why this child had better not be a boy!
So, on a completely unrelated note, I discovered tonight that one of my previous co-workers is a sometime visitor to my blog, but he's never left me a comment to let me know. Just want to say hi to him (Hi Joe!!), hope everything is well! Tell the MCIB crew hi for me! Hopefully we will see you guys early next year!


Things I Hate About Christmas

Melanie’s previous post does not do justice to my utter disdain for certain new Christmas songs. Paul McCartney deserves a slow death from cancer, toothaches or rape for inflicting the world with that Christmas song. I would rather eat the Depends off the cast of Matlock than listen to that song again. How much coke does a douchbag have to do before writing those lyrics? I think Mark Chapman had Lennon and McCartney confused.

While on the topic, Melanie mentioned the second worst Christmas song of all time, Last Christmas by Wham. I would rather wear a crotchless thong to a Ricky Martin pool party than be subjected to hearing this song. The only redeeming quality of this song is that it reaffirms my heterosexuality. Any Christmas song is probably crap unless it is sung by Nat King Cole, I challenge you to find a better Christmas album. While on the topic, Mannheim Steamroller, Celine Dion (sorry Jay) and all other modern musicians should stop trying to change and improve Christmas music, and can we cut back on the schmaltz in new Christmas songs? Hey kid, your mom’s dying, I don’t think she really cares about getting new shoes. I will make two exceptions, Barenaked Ladies/ Sarah McLachlan version of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and Crash Test Dummies version of The First Noel.

Other pet peeves at Christmas time are the terrible movies that people watch; if it doesn’t have Jimmy Stewart or Ralphie, than it probably isn’t worth watching. The other night the Peanuts Christmas special was on TV and I realized what a weenie Charlie Brown is. Someone should smack that whiney little brat. Additionally, why do they have to remake Christmas classics? The original Miracle on 34th Street is perfect; it doesn’t need a new ending or a modern twist. Any Christmas movie with Tim Allen, Schwarzenegger, or Jim Carrey should be banned. I will make an exception for Die Hard which was awesome.

I like my Christmas traditions of waking up early to open presents, eating nothing but candy until dinner, and not putting on real clothes all day. Here are some trends that should be stopped:

  • Going to the movies on Christmas day. (This is the only day our Jewish friends have to enjoy the Chinese restaurants and movie theaters by themselves, let’s let them keep it.)
  • Opening presents on Christmas Eve. (If it’s not pajamas, it shouldn’t be opened.)
  • Putting up decorations before Thanksgiving.
  • Leaving Christmas lights on your house all year.
  • Nuts in your Christmas stocking.
  • White elephant gifts.
  • Batteries not included.
  • Blowout football games.
  • Snotty, spoiled kids who get everything they asked for.
  • Smaltzy jewelry commercials. (Hey Zales, my wife realized I am a cheap, unoriginal jerk after the first year, you don’t need to keep reminding her.)

Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas. I love the tradition, eggnog, chocolate, oranges, gift giving, good music, and being around family and friends. I miss the days when I was a kid and got to listen to my father tell the story of Christ’s birth before we went to bed, and I miss hearing his other Christmas Eve talk about how it was a tough year and we had better enjoy the presents we got, even if it isn’t exactly right, because if someone complains or makes Mom cry there will be hell to pay. I love getting to pick my annual pair of socks out of the tub at Grandma’s house for my Christmas present. I love big family dinners even if you have to put up with the a-hole uncle that everybody thinks is probably a child molester; food like baked turkey, smoked turkey, fried turkey, stuffing, pies, mashed potatoes, Nanaimo bars and Lindor Balls. This truly is the most wonderful time of the year when good people become even better and a-holes turn into even bigger a-holes. Please have a Merry Christmas (not Xmas or Holidays) and if I hear Sir Paul McDouches Christmas song again you may be seeing me on CNN.


Ingredients for Perfect Christmas Music

Murder, alcoholism, prescription drug abuse, neglect of senior citizens and probably animal cruelty...sounds like inspiration to me!!

Grandma got run over by a reindeer
walkin' home from our house Christmas eve.
You can say there's no such thing as Santa.
But as for me and Grandpa, we believe.
She'd been drinkin' too much egg nog.
And we'd begged her not to go.
But she'd forgot her medication,
and she staggered out the door into the snow.

When we found her Christmas mornin,'
at the scene of the attack.
She had hoof prints on her forehead,
And incriminatin' Claus marks on her back.
Now were all so proud of Grandpa.
He's been takin' this so well.
See him in there watchin' football,
drinkin' beer and playin' cards with cousin Belle.
It's not Christmas without Grandma.
All the family dressed in black.
And we just can't help but wonder:
Should we open up her gifts or send them back?
Now the goose is on the table.
And the pudding made of fig.
And a blue and silver candle,
that would just have matched the hair in Grandma's wig.
I've warned all my friends and neighbors.
"Better watch out for yourselves."
They should never give a license,
to a man who drives a sleigh and plays with elves.

I honestly don't know where to begin. After a 2 hour plus commute home yesterday (wouldn't you think Minneapolis could handle 3-5 inches of snow throughout the day?? Apparently not), we got off the bus and into the car, where the radio is tuned to the all Christmas song station (although I know Mark only listens to it because I am in the car - once I am gone, or that hideous Paul McCartney song comes on, he quickly turns the station). So as we drive home, the station comes back from break, and this is the song they play. I know this song gets played a lot, but I sat there thinking..."Why??" Is this a serious Christmas song? Mark pointed out that maybe it was written in jest...I say who cares, it is the stupidest song ever. Who writes a song about their old, medication-needing, drunk Grandma getting killed on Christmas Eve by a reindeer?? That is one home I do not want to be in on Christmas morning. Lovely how Grandpa deals with the death by watching football and drowning his sorrows in beer. I know that's what I would be doing if my Grandma was hooved (or would it be hoofed?) to death. I guess the moral of this song is that even if your loved ones bites the bullet on Christmas Eve, just hope that it is due to Santa or one of his reindeer...that way at least you'll know that Santa is real (hopefully he didn't lose any of your presents while he was busy killing your Grandma). How this song has anything to do with the actual reason, or even the commercial reason at the very least is completely lost on me. Why do stations play this song?? The WORST. THING. EVER. about this song? The fact that it has been stuck on repeat in my head since I heard it in the car 3 hours ago!! Nice. Thanks a lot.
I was just going to ramble on about the stupidity of that stupid song, but I thought since I brought it up, I would do Mark the favour of sharing with the world his complete hatred (and I say that with the strongest emphasis possible of that word) for the ever popular Christmas ditty...

The mood is right
The spirits up
We're here tonight
And that's enough
Simply having a wonderful christmastime
Simply having a wonderful christmastime
The party's on

The feelin's here
That only comes
This time of year
The choir of children sing their song
Ding dong, ding dong
Ding dong, ding Ohhhh Ohhhhhhh
The word is out About the town
To lift a glass
Ahhh don't look down
The choir of children sing their song
They practiced all year long
Ding dong, ding dong
Ding dong, ding dong
Ding dong, ding dong
The party's on
We're here tonight
And that's enough
The moon is right
The spirits up
We're here tonight
And that's enough
Ohhhhhhhhh Christmastime

Just seeing those words typed here will probably send him into a subconscious-induced fit of rage, so hopefully none of his co-workers are within arms length of him. Just look at those lyrics...poetry! How Sir Paul came up with them is a mystery. This should be studied in English classes the world over!! Mark's hatred of this song runs so deep, that he would rather listen to his one other dreaded Christmas songs (which is one of my personal modern favourites - but I will spare the sprawl of lyrics) Last Christmas by Wham (LOVE it). He would also rather listen to any song by Swedish sensation ABBA AND Mr. Roboto by Styx. I think he would probably listen to any of these alternatives on a solid loop rather than hear Sir Paul wax lyrically on his Christmas enjoyment. Perhaps Paul shared a little of Grandpa's beer with him after Grandma was run over by a reindeer?
As for me and Grandpa....I think we'll stick to the classics, accompanied by a few mandatory modern hits like the Barenaked Ladies/Sarah McLachlan collaboration. Of course Sir Paul's rendition is now making it's way through every nook and cranny of my grey matter. Thanks. I'll go to bed dreaming of murderous reindeer and wonderful Christmas times with the right spirit, the moon up and my banging my head against the wall hoping the songs will depart from my brain!!


Cruisin' the Caribbean!

So we just got back from Florida and the Caribbean, and we had a great time. Always nice to escape the below freezing temperatures for a few days of fun in the sun. We were able to spend some time with some of Mark's family in Florida - Mark going to the NASCAR races with the boys and me seeing the Rockettes!! Yes Christmas wasn't ruined this year -the Rockettes touring show was in Fort Lauderdale this year...phew!! I know everyone was worried about how I would make it through this holiday season without my annual dose of Rockettes. No need for worry, it all worked out!
No huge adventures to tell from this trip - we ate, sunned, ate a bit more, slept, sunned, and ate again. A pretty relaxing trip. I think next time we try the cruise route we will opt for a Northern European or Mediterranean destination though. Nassau is VERY touristy and not super pretty to look at (not the parts we saw anyway - the Atlantis resort is very nice though!). There has to be something positive about that place though because so many celebs and such have homes there, or nearby. Oprah has her house and one for her guests, Anna Nicole was there, a few world royal dignitaries and some sports folk too. I suppose they aren't hanging out at the port locales with all of the tourists though.
Now we are back in the Minneapolis 'burbs and right back into the swing of life - work. How nice it would be to not work and travel anywhere you wanted, whenever you wanted!!
Oh well, it is the Christmas season, so time to get those decorations up, the gifts bought, the cards mailed and the Nanaimo bars made. It may be below zero with the windchill, but a cup of eggnog and a slice of nanaimo bar can take the nip right out of the air!!
Just remember folks, only 27 more days until Christmas...have you started shopping yet?? :o)



I am about to share with you something that may knock the wind right out of you.
You might want to sit down before you read any further. Mind you, if you're reading this, it means you're at a computer, which probably means you're already sitting down....so I guess we're covered!!
Ok, here it goes, deep breath... ready?

I miss New York City.

Phew! It feels a little better to finally get that out in the open.

Now let me follow that up with the WHY part of N.Y.C.
The holidays are quickly approaching which means the Rockettes have already begun performing their Christmas Spectacular. I LOVE this show! I went the past two years and wanted to go (SO BAD!) this year!!! It's the 75th anniversary show - it's an EVEN BIGGER Christmas Spectacular - how can I miss it?!!! We had planned on coming out for a visit, pretty much so I could see the show, but it just didn't work out. Instead Mark gets to fulfill his wish list and go to NASCAR in Florida. Now don't get me wrong, I am excited to take our cruise that follows, but every time I see an ad for the Rockettes, or someone we know in NYC blogs that they went and saw the show, my heart whimpers.
Christmas was the only time that, if someone asked me if I liked living in NYC, I would respond with a yes. Nothing against NYC (okay maybe a few things), but it just wasn't my city long-term. I can see why people would love it - I just don't fall under that category (and no it's not because I am from some small, isolated town in the tundra covered arctic of Canada and can't handle the big city!).
I didn't mind the crowds quite as much, or the people pushing everywhere you went. I loved to stand at Rockefeller Center and stare at the light shows on Saks forever. Carol of the Bells is my favourite Christmas song, and it just puts me in the Christmas mood. I loved walking to the subway on my way home from work and be standing on the corner of 48th and 5th when the music would start and the lights would come on. I would cross the street, and move off to the side, just to watch the show for a few minutes before heading home. I loved looking at the window displays in Bloomies, Macy's, Saks, and all the other department stores. Seeing the tree all lit up at Rockefeller as I walked to and from work always provided some Christmas joy - even melting away the hatred I felt for the lack of sidewalk etiquette that New Yorkers possess. Even the Thanksgiving Day parade got me an itsy bitsy bit excited, mainly because it meant there was only about a month until Christmas. When the first snow fell, and I would walk out of my apartment and see all of the trees and grass covered in front of our building - for a split second NYC actually looked clean!! The vendors in their booths at Bryant Park and Union Square....I never bought anything, but we would always go walk around and "window shop", even if there were a gazillion people running into you every which way. It was Christmas!!
The one other thing I am having a hard time coming to terms with that we won't be doing this year....Thanksgiving dinner and our Christmas party!!! It was great cramming in as many family-orphaned friends that wanted to come over to eat turkey. Everyone brought a special dish, we all ate too much food, and had a great time. The Christmas get together, with all the goodies, people standing in the kitchen, hallway, probably even the bathroom because there wasn't enough room (probably because our massive Christmas tree took up half of the apartment!!)... we sure are going to miss everyone who would come to them and wish we could be there this year to do it all over again.
Those are my NYC holiday memories.
I am sorry I am not going to get to experience them this year.
We'll be coming out for a visit in January or February...maybe we can do it then! :o) Everyone loves Christmas in February!!
So, yes I miss New York, but only at Christmas time. Any other time of the year...I'll pass.

Now you know my secret.


Victims of a Tagging

So, Camille thoughtfully tagged Mark and I, and not wanting to be party poopers, please find our quirks after the rules!
The rules:
A. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning.
B. Each player lists 6 facts/habits about themselves.
C. At the end of the post, the player then tags 6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.
Melanie's Loveable Quirks

1. I like snow. This might not qualify as a quirk, but the more people I meet, I feel like I am in the minority!! Today we had a few snow flurries (probably only noticeable because I am on the 31st floor) and I was so excited by the prospect of snow!! I love the fresh, white canvas on the ground. That crisp, quiet feeling it gives.... Now Mark may disagree with me on this one as he'll be the one shovelling all of this goodness off of the driveway, but nothing is better than a quiet, early morning after a snowfall. And it totally gets you in the mood for Christmas!!

2. I prefer to keep my food separated on my plate. You know those plates for kids that have divisions on them...I would be happy to use one of those for my meals. There are very few reasons that foods need to touch, the one exception being gravy. Gravy can touch everything and make it better. Seriously though, my mashed potatoes don't need to invade my turkey. The asparagus doesn't need to mix with the chicken. Food needs to be eaten individually so your tastbuds can enjoy the separate and wonderful tastes. If food was meant to co-mingle, wouldn't we just put it all in one big pot (or blender) and cook it up all together?? Unless it's chili or stew of some sort, then the answer is no. I also hate when the juices from vegetables and other foods, pool onto the plate and run into other foods....I have been known to grab a paper towel and wipe this excess drainage off - I don't like soggy foods.


YES ------>

3. While this next quirk is highly improbable, it still overtakes my mind every time I drive. Large trucks scare me. Not just because they are big, or that I fear they will turn into robotic creatures like Optimus Prime. I am scared that they will tip over when I drive by them. Seriously. The worst ever is when I am driving in the outside left lane and a truck is to my right, and we go around a corner to the left. The pedal is to the metal in case the truck loses its balance and topples over me, crushing me and my little Mazda3 like the grapes we are. I can't help it! I don't know where the fear (ok, so it's not really a fear, it doesn't paralyze me or consume my every waking thought) comes from, but honestly, think about it. Thise trucks can be blown over by the wind!! What if it is a windy day when you're out for a drive??
Another scary situation is when you are in the middle lane and come up between two semis. What if they don't see you and one tries to change lanes?? They'd never know you were there!! You'd be crushed between the two like a little bug. Unless of course you drive some sort of awesome car that fits underneath a semi - then you could just veer away and drive out the other side, escaping death, or serious injury! Semis cause me to speed...think a police officer would let me off the hook if he caught me at the tailend of one of my escapes from a death run? He would understand, right?
Don't hate me because I'm weird.
Mark's Mostly Disgusting Quirks

  1. 1. I can't drive by an oil change business with the word "Lube" in its name without getting a big cat eating sh*! grin on my face. I don't know why I find the word lube so funny and lovable, but I do. This bugs Melanie everytime we are in the car together. Yes, I am a twelve year old boy who vocalizes his thoughts way too often.

2. I have a desire to push old people down. Usually it is in public places or when they are crossing the street. Living in NYC was difficult for me because everytime I saw a little old lady leaning over the subway platform to see if the train was coming I wanted to give her a little nudge onto the tracks. The desire is also very strong when I am at a stoplight and old people are crossing the street in front of me.

3. My dress shirts all have to be hung the same direction, with the top button done up, the hook of the hanger always facing in to the closet and often the shirts are color coordinated. I am the same way with books in our bookcase, in alphabetical order according to author's last name. I don't know how I became so anal about these little things, maybe it's some repressed anger towards old people.

So there you have it. Please don't judge Mark too harshly. While he may have the "urge" to push old people, he has yet to do it...he would never, you should see him when they show clips of old people falling on AFV - he doesn't like it.
In keeping with tradition, we now tag Krista and Marshall, Dawnell and Chris, and Katie and Steve.


Viral Infection

So apparently our computer has become the host to a plethora of viral infections....or so my lovely spyware keeps popping up and telling me. Unfortunately everytime I try to run the programs to remove them, the computer freezes, shuts down, or sits there blankly, like it has no idea what to do. How does one become infected so suddenly? One minute I am checking my email and/or facebook....hours later I come back and the screen is a deathly black and red with warnings all over it. Quite strange. Technology...how did we ever live with out it?
Until it is fixed we're not going to do too much from the home computer because you never know what may be lurking... but in the meantime I will leave you with this tidbit of advice: BROWSIE IS BACK!!! Sunday, November 4th, CBS, around the world again here we go....SO excited!! Melissa - make sure you watch and we can discuss all the teams - there is going to be some great clashes, attitudes and complaining this season. Can't wait!!! Oh Phil, how I love you.
Au Revoir for now... hopefully we'll be back up in full throttle soon! Enjoy the weekend - I know I am going to!


Let there be ART!

So it's been a little longer between blogs than there usually is...is it possible to have lost the will to blog.... ?

Here's the lowdown on the slowdown of the past few weeks.

We've never been people to move into a place and get things up on the wall rather quickly, the one exception being the penguin calendar. So it's no surprise that up until this weekend, the only things hanging on our walls were the calendar and the towel racks in the bathroom.
That's all changed now though!! The house walls have been adorned. We hung up 6 pictures on Friday! Joann's had a great sale on framing last month, so we decided to go check out their prices. Mark has a print that is very oversized and every time we went to have it framed the price was always way out of our budget. However, with this sale we were able to get 5 pictures framed for the same or less than the one picture of Mark's - so we decided to go for it!! Thankfully we loved the way all of them turned out, and I must say, it is nice to finally have some things on the wall, just to make your place feel a little more "yours". We still need to get some family pictures and odds and ends put up, but we have the foyer, living room, kitchen and hallway taken care of for now.

This past weekend we decided to take a drive and explore some of scenic Minnesota (and Wisconsin!). While we were a week or two late to see the leaves in all of their colour changing glory, there were still some beautiful reds and yellows to be seen and we stopped in a nice little city called Stillwater - cute little stores and restaurants (of which I took no pictures naturally). We ate a picnic lunch and had some ice cream. The weather was perfect for a scenic drive!

Other than hanging art on the walls, life is pretty slow. Which isn't always bad!

I guess one newsworthy tidbit is that we are looking forward to our trip in a few weeks! We are heading to Florida so Mark can partake in the NASCAR experience again (you'll never find me in attendance) and then we are off to the Caribbean for a 5 night cruise. We're very excited for the vacation. It's the first cruise for both of us, so we will see if we'll de-board the ship being converted cruisers, or tried and true traditional vacationers!! Either way it will be nice to have some time off work, visit with some family and see some new places!

Hopefully we'll have some more exciting weeks, or at least something will tick me off enough to blog about (it's either that or Mark gets back on here and blogs about baseball, bodily parts/functions, and other things that are better left in his brain)! Any one have any blog topics they want me to discuss to keep Mark away from the blog? :o)
I'll try to make next time more exciting!!


Perks of the job

Since high school, I have worked a good number of jobs for all sorts of companies. Currently I work for Target Headquarters, and I have to say, it, hands down, has the best work environment of all my jobs. My first week there, we had food and snacks almost every day, how can that be wrong? We have monthly social events, volunteer opportunities (you go on work's dime), training classes, speakers, tours, poker games...you name it - anything you want to participate in, no problem!
One of the most exciting things that Target does is bring in "guests". When I first started I was told that Brad Paisley, and Kenny Chesney had performed, a few American Idol contestants (Elliot Yamin - I would have loved to have seen him!), Fall Out Boy, Hoobastank and others. Since I started in July, there has been Trisha Yearwood (not a country fan, but she is a funny lady!), some race car drivers (didn't go to that one), and my (so-far) all time favourite.... Isaac Mizrahi!!!!

The ladies I went down with were able to slide past the crowds and get right to the front - we had a great spot! He spoke for a few minutes and then took questions. He is quite an engaging speaker. Then came the autograph session!! I can now add his to my collection of celeb autographs!
I have been a huge fan of his ever since I became aware of the world of high fashion. I used to dream of being a fashion designer and I would spend many nights in front of the television watching Fashion File and Fashion Televison (my Dad loved that). I loved his shows, and his designs. During my teenage years you would find pile upon pile of Vogue, Flare and numerous other fashion magazines in my closet, the pages dog-earred with the designs I could only dream of coming up with. Over the years, as I realized I did not have what it took, or what was needed to become a fashion designer, the piles slowly shortened and I stopped spending all of my allowance on magazines, but I have always kept the love of high fashion - even if you would never imagine it in a million years by looking at me.
It was so great to listen to Isaac today, he is so funny (who knew??), and you can tell he loves everything he does whether it is runway couture, home goods, or his line for Target - it's all Isaac.
As Mark frequently says "who do you work for??" Ahhh the perks of the job! Who will be next?


Does this face look 29?


Well it is!!
Mark turns the ripe old age of 29 today and here are some of the faces only a mother could love!

Happy Birthday Mark!! I hope your day is great and that you get everything you wish for - even a mid afternoon Zinger and Coke Zero snack!
Hope you all enjoy the montage of Mark pictures (sadly I don't have the guts to put up the really good ones).

Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to you!!
You look like a Monkey,
and you act like one too!

Happy Birthday, Love you!!! :o)


Checking in on the Fall Season

So now that Fall is well underway (thank you cooler weather!), here's my initial thoughts on the shows I said I was going to try out this year:

Chuck - think this one will stay on the DVR. Three episodes in and it is pretty entertaining.

Reaper - funny! Two episodes in and it is good! Some very laugh out loud moments - staying on the DVR; man who knew the Devil could be THAT hilarious!?

Aliens in America - cute, funny, reminds me of The Wonder Years a little bit, I will check it out again.

Bionic Woman - only caught part of the first episode, have another episode on the DVR have not yet watched it...hoping to though!

Journeyman - on the DVR, haven't watched it yet - have 2, maybe 3 episodes on DVR, need to watch it this weekend or I might just have to cancel it without watching. Anyone checked this show out? Any thoughts?

Pushing Daises - SO much fun! I loved the pilot episode. It reminded me of a certain movie, but I am having severe brain freeze and can not think of it! It has a Big Fish / Tim Burton- esque quality to it. I am definitely keeping this one on the DVR.

SVU - returning show, awesome! Yet to disappoint. Melissa Joan Heart as a nutjob should be fun to watch!

Earl - funny as always - who knew so much could happen while you're in jail??

Office - funny, but seriously get rid of Michael, he has to be the least funniest person on there

ANTM - same old crazy Tyra, and same old crazier girls thinking they can become some huge supermodel

30 Rock - LOVE it!! Can't wait for Will Arnett's return this week

Ugly Betty - crazy antics as always, never disappoints

I will admit that I am not watching Dancing with the Stars this season. I watched the 1st 2 weeks, and I just can not get into it? Who are half of the guy contestants anyway? And why is Wayne Newton still on the show? I mean I love Cheryl, but come on, he is horrible.
The best news about Fall TV though - well, if you can call February Fall TV - LOST is back on the air on February 6th!! I totally need to re-watch season 3. Let the countdown begin!!

What are your TV opinions so far? Anything surprise you? disappoint you? Shows you can't live without now? shows you wish were never made? And for those of you who took my 30 Rock challenge - what are the results?


Iran So Far

I want to say a big thank you to Sheena for posting this video on her blog. As I don't always watch SNL...I am glad she knew about this skit and posted it because I have not laughed so hard at work in a long time.
Some things that I discovered or were affirmed in this skit - Mahmoud does look like a hairy Jake G, and Fred does a mean Mahmoud - I had to do a double take, and it was reaffirmed to me how incredibly hot Adam Levine is! I think I could watch him in anything!! Hope this makes you laught like I did!


Our House...in the Middle of the Street

And it actually kind of is in the middle of our street...what a coincidence that a great song by Madness would foretell my future??
Anyway, so we finally have some pictures to show. We haven't hung anything on the walls yet, and one room is still full of boxes of books that need to be put away (Mark!), but hopefully this will give you an idea of the place, if you're interested! We still have a few things we want to add, but I think there will always be a list of things we want to add, change etc.

Please enjoy!

The front of the house (obviously). Mark is taking great pride in his lawn and all of the maintenance that comes with it. He is adapting to life as an 80 year old man very well.

The "dining room" - it and the kitchen are joined, so I don't know if it is an official dining room, but it is where we eat. I am happy to say no meals have been eaten on the couch since we moved in! The kitchen over on this side... that would be were we cook.
More kitchen.
The living room. The wall behind the TV has a nice lovely square cut out of it - we are
trying to decide what to put there that won't be too heavy and crash down in the closet below! I'll post an updated picture of this room in November when the real curtains arrive - these are just place holders!
And this is the foyer. We bought this bench because I love it, but it might be a little too big for the space, so we may end up moving it elsewhere.
I didn't put up the bathrooms and bedrooms, because some of them are rather blah and boring, and others we just couldn't get a decent picture because of doorway angles and such, but who wants to look at bathrooms? Believe me, ours are nothing to brag about, no jetted tub, or italian marble going on. As for the bedroom, well it still looks like someone going to college lives in it because we don't have "grown up" bedroom furniture. That's next years purchase!!
Hope you enjoyed a little peek into our home.

Kitchen Nightmares

Unfortunately, this is not about Gordon Ramsey's TV show. So a warning - don't read this if you're eating, or are a big wuss like me. (You'll probably not even blink twice at this, but like I said, I am a big wuss).
So last night, Mark was out working in the yard, trying to clean out some old growth and such, I was in the house putting stuff away and trying to get my new table runner out of it's unnecessary over the top packaging. I first try to just rip it open, no luck. Then I try to undo those little plastic twist ties, you know the ones that you can tighten, but not loosen? No luck either. Scissors are needed, but Mark has them outside with him, and rather than spend 2 minutes walking outside to ask where he put them, I decide it will just be faster/easier to use a knife. I grab a small kitchen knife (probably a paring like knife), and I get two of the twists off (yes!), however this merchandiser has decided to put 6 of them on and two are on so tight you can hardly move it to get the knife underneath it. Of course, I manage to get the knife under it, but it is not working, I grab a serrated knife to try to saw it off, nope, not working. Back to the paring knife. I get the knife under and give it one big heave ho. I didn't find out until about 20 minutes later if I had succeeded in cutting off twist tie #4 because I had nicely stabbed myself in the hand. I dropped everything and ran to the sink (thankfully it was right behind me), the window was open so I said, "Mark, can you come and help me please?" to which he replied, "sure, one second". At this point I didn't know how bad it was because I hadn't taken my other hand off the cut, so I opened my hands up to see a nice lovely flow of blood. I returned to my previous hand position, and looked up to see Mark still working away in the yard so I yelled, "Mark I just stabbed myself with a knife, can you come here PLEASE!?!?" That got his attention. I did end up dripping blood on the counter, cutlery drawer, floor and sink, but thankfully it came off - nothing like blood droplets to christen your home, right?
We decided to call the 24 hour nurses hot line that our insurance provides and after some questions she suggested we head off to an urgent care clinic in the next few hours, unless it bleeding worsens or I lose feeling in my fingers (great!). Thankfully I didn't lose and feeling, and the bleeding stopped, but it was a pretty deep cut and you could see some of the fat tissue under the skin so lucky me, I got to have stitches AND a tetanus shot! You're so jealous, aren't you?
So if you want to take a peak at what we did Saturday night, pictures are below, and I know Krista is going to say that I am indeed the biggest wuss ever, but Mark was quite proud that I did not shed a single tear. Not even when that needle was jabbed into my muscle, or the 62 different stabs I got to numb up my hand!
There goes my career as a hand model.
Oh, and as a sidenote, the stabbing was all in vain as that stupid twist tie remained smugly in place..but I got it today (with scissors of course).
Good times.


Fall is in the airwaves!

So now that Mark has had his opportunity to rant...back to regularly scheduled programming!

I have a new mission in life. This epiphany came to me as I watched the Emmy's and read my latest edition of Entertainment Weekly. This is serious folks, we are talking life or death here. Something must be done in the next few months to ensure success and I am calling on all the open minded, faithful, risk takers out there.
30 Rock must be saved. Now, it was renewed for a full season this year, but EW brought to my attention that it finished last season in 137th place. Serious? Two and a Half Men get more viewers (have you seen that show?? No thanks.) If you have any doubt, I ask that you call upon Dawnell or Chris. We gave them the challenge late last season and she, while a little apprehensive, said they would give it a shot. They are now loyal fans. How can a show with Alec Baldwin, Tina Fey and newcomer Jack McBrayer be bad?? Add in guest stars such as Elaine Stritch, Isabella Rossalini, Paul Ruebens (probably my fave episode ever), Will Arnett and a plethora of others... it's magic!! Last season it progressively became funnier and funnier, leading to my ultimate fave episode that had me almost of the couch laughing. Who knew the Prince of Austria would illicit so many laughs!
In my opinion the breakout star of the show is McBrayer's Kenneth the Page. He cracks me up and steals every scene he is in. Just thinking about his character makes me laugh.
Now I know not everyone out there is a TV junkie like I have apparently become (my parents are so proud), but try it out, you won't be disappointed. and if you are, then you have no sense of humour and suck the life out of every room you walk into (kidding... sort of!)
Now I assume that all of you are on board, so we should have no problems bringing this intelligent, hilarious sitcom out of the abyss of TV show ratings into a much
more appropriate ranking. I can't give it my overall #1 ranking because that belongs to this, but I can give it my #1 top comedy easily.

And since we are discussing TV... I might as well launch into my plans for the Fall Premiere Season (Deal or No Deal started it off last night). Trustworthy EW gave me a lovely handy dandy reference guide of all the new shows and returning shows for the season to ensure I don't miss a thing! There looks to be some good freshman shows this year, and inevitabley there looks to be some stinkers (Cavemen anyone?), but I am looking forward to Pushing Daises (which I know I have previously mentioned) the most. I think I will also check out Chuck, Journeyman, Viva Laughlin (yes I watched CopRock when it was on too - but this one has Hugh Jackman!), Samantha Who (might be cute), Aliens in America, Reaper and Bionic Woman might be worth a looksy. I figure anything is worth a one time watching - some might be worth two, but some might never find themselves on my DVR again.
Returning shows that will find a place on my DVR though: Amazing Race (when it starts up), Medium, L&O (all of them), Scrubs, 30 Rock, My Name is Earl, ANTM, Idol, DWTS (love ballroom!), and Ugly Betty. Of course some of those get more of my love than others and might end up being erased without being watched!! The most glaring omission is LOST - when will February come???? - but that will be the most anticipated season opener ever, it's going to be so good!!

If there is only one thing you take from this post, please let it be to give 30 Rock (season premiere Thursday October 4th, 8:30pm) a shot - if you don't like it, I will send you a personal blogpology for making you sit through 30 minutes of time you feel was not well spent - just email me and let me know!

Now only one question left to be answered and that is: Why in the world did I not go into some sort of televsion related career field?? Anyone have an answer to that?