Friday, March 29, 2013

What's wrong with this picture?

I keep seeing this all over Facebook:

It's funny, except...

...according to my calendar, Easter is on Sunday, March 31. April Fools Day is on Monday, April 1.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Goodbye, dear friend

Last week, I said goodbye to a dear friend. I've known her since she was born, almost 16 years ago.

I held her when she was a baby, and I held her the day she passed away.

In between, she stood by me as we moved from one apartment to another and another - and finally to a house, her last home. There was that one time she tried to hide in the cupboard, but she came out when I asked.

She knew me when I got married...and she knew me when X left. She watched him leave, and has greeted him at the door countless times since, when he would come to visit. She only ever tried to poop on him or scratch him when he was trying to wash her or trim her nails. There was the time he gave her a cold, but I think she forgave him for that long ago.

When I was sad, she would sit in my lap. When I was sick, she would lick my hand. When I messed up, she still loved me. Even that time I put the Santa hat on her, and she got it caught on her head. She stood still so I could take a photo (I helped her right after, I swear).

People think when you have a cat, you're a pet owner. I don't consider myself an owner, mostly because I don't consider my pets possessions. I own a pair of shoes - pets are my family. They're four-legged, furry kids who depend on me for food, shelter, water, and care. They look to me for guidance, love, safety and strength.

How do they repay? With unconditional love and friendship - something no person I've ever met can give.

Goodbye, dear friend. You will always be loved, and you will always be missed. I promise your ashes will always sit under the Christmas tree.

Found it here
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown...

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Olympus has Fallen

I went to see the movie Olympus has Fallen last night. If you're thinking it looks stressful and a little disturbing - you're correct. If you can get past the imagery of (**small spoiler alert**) the White House being attacked, our government in disarray, and innocent people dying in every direction - you'll be fine.

From IMDb
A few thoughts that I had during the movie:

~ We're big on "traditional family values" in the US. We always want a President with a wife, 2.2 kids, and maybe even a dog. I get that image makes people feel more secure. I would think from a national security standpoint, a guy with a little less to lose would be easier to manage, and protect.

~ Gerard Butler makes me smile.

~ I get the theory behind code names like "Olympus" and "the package." But if anyone went to the trouble of intercepting Secret Service communication, don't you think they'd know what the code words mean?

~ Movies are a thousand times better when you don't have to pay for the ticket.

~ Derrell still owes me shoes. (Don't worry, he'll know what that means....)

~ It's reassuring to think that in a million years, no one would ever pull off the attack portrayed in this film - but that won't stop it from making you jump and cringe.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Kids and movies

Let me preface this by saying that, though I prefer them to be the variety I can hand back to parents at the end of the day, I really do like kids. Having none of my own allows me to be choosy, and I choose to spend time with the good ones. Sorry if that offends.

I was 3-years-old the first time my dad took me to a movie in a theater. Star Wars: A New Hope. Yes, the original release - let's not discuss how old that makes me.

I don't remember much, but my dad assures me I talked my way through the whole movie. The people around us were, apparently, not amused. My dad did not bring me back to a theater for a movie until after I was in school.

Proper etiquette was always a big deal. Arrive on time (early, even) to avoid disrupting others looking for a seat. Don't get up in the middle of the movie unless it's an emergency. If you're going to snack, do so quietly - no one wants to hear your wrapper crinkling or your soda slurping in the middle of the big scene. Don't talk sort of went without saying. Just because your feet can reach the seat in front of you doesn't mean they should touch.

Breaking these rules was never acceptable. I was told once, it was explained to me why, I never questioned. Had I pushed the limit, I suspect it would have been a few more years before I set foot in another movie theater.

(By the way, the rules are even stricter at a live performance; something I learned when I was 5-years-old and my mother took me to see Annie on Broadway).  

So the other day, I went to a movie in the afternoon. Parental Guidance is rated PG, so the local discount theater was showing it at 1:20 PM. Just because a movie is playing at that hour doesn't automatically mean it's OK for little kids - but apparently, many think that's the case. The theater was full of small children.

Personally, I didn't think the movie was OK for little kids. First, it was way too long. Second, some of the themes in the movie were too difficult for a small child to understand - which would add to the boredom. There wasn't any inappropriate language or scenes, but I'm not convinced that just because a kid can make it through a movie without needing therapy doesn't mean he should.

Most of these kids were, I'd guess, at least 8 years old. Some were a little older, there may have been one or two even a little younger. Definitely all school age. Yet, it wasn't long before I noticed these kids were not really that well-behaved. They talked - a lot. They kicked seats in front of them. They get out of their seats and ran around the theater. They made a lot of noise.

It made me wonder why their parents are not teaching them better - or why aren't they listening. I mean - they're all the age I was when I was taught not to behave this way. So what's the problem?

Then, I started to notice something else....

Adults getting up and climbing over people to leave the theater in the middle of the movie...the woman next to me eating candy from a cellophane wrapper and not even trying to do so quietly...the couple behind me having a conversation.

Apparently, in order to be a good kid, you need to start with a good example. This says a lot about the parents of my favorite kids.

Thanks again, Dad.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday five and a fill-in

I want to tell you about Pudge, but I'm not quite ready yet. So in the meantime, a few good things...

I enjoy this blog by Kateri Von Steal. My work browser is a jerk and won't ever let me post comments, so I rarely get to react to what she writes - but you should check it out.

I don't think I say thank you enough to Baking Suit. She's a wonderful friend, sushi date, and shopping partner. Actually, she just makes my life better, period.

Today is my cousin Joey's birthday. For three years, he's been bringing giggles and sunshine into my life. I love him more than I can say. He, his mom and his older brother mean the world to me, and embody what I've come to think of as family.

Amazingly enough, my family was able to make Easter plans with very little drama or confusion. Though I still don't know what time dinner is, at least I know where I'm eating - and that I don't have to (attempt to) cook.

Though it was recently pointed out to me that working for a large corporation is "Satanic" - doing so allows me the ability to volunteer time and money, pursue other endeavors, and buy shoes. It also keeps me from living on the street, or having to rely on anyone else for a place to live or pay my bills. To me, that's a fair trade-off.

And a little fill-in fun...

  1. The wind blew wildly and the ocean crashed.
  2. Derek and Shemar make me feel warm and happy all over.
  3. The smell of coconut makes me think of the beach.
  4. When I am feeling lazy I give in.
  5. Brilliant purple is my favorite color.
  6. The door creaked and a cat came in.
  7. And as for the weekend, tonight I am looking forward to the gym, tomorrow my plans include a flower show and church, and Sunday I want to give my cousin a happy birthday kiss and eat cake

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


I keep seeing this image all over my facebook feed:

The point being that Jackie O had more class than Michelle Obama. I suppose an argument could be made that's true - no one can argue Jackie O was all class. But if you truly wanted to make a valid point, wouldn't you use a photo of her that is similar to the other? There are thousands of them (I checked). How about one of her two Vogue covers?

Cover of the April 2013 issue.

But I suppose that wouldn't make your point.

Personally, I find Michelle Obama to be fabulous - smart, articulate, beautiful, and yes, she carries herself with a lot of class. She has championed childhood obesity (by the way, that photo is of her leading an exercise class, even though some on facebook commented someone should "get her a pole").

If you don't agree - that's fine. To each his own. That doesn't excuse putting an unflattering photo (we all have them; hers just happen to be all over the internet) next to someone who lived in an age where every photo was staged, and make an unfair comparison to make a point. It also doesn't excuse making some of the ugliest, most hateful comments about the First Lady of the United States. Show a little respect.

Have a little class.

Monday, March 18, 2013


Senator Rob Portman came out in support of same-sex marriage last week. Why is that a big deal? He's a Republican (from Ohio). Mr. Portman reversed his position on this hot issue because his son told him that he is gay

The first argument I heard against the senator reversing his position is that it's not right to flip-flop on an issue. 

Apparently those people feel we should pick a side early on in a argument, before we have all the facts and without considering all points of view, and then hold that position no matter what we learn. 

These are not the people I want running my country.

It isn't like his son came out on Wednesday and Mr. Portman held a press conference on Friday (though if he did, I honestly don't think there'd be anything wrong with that). His son came out to his family in February 2011 - two years ago.

For two years, Mr. Portman has had the benefit of closely observing how a ban on same-sex marriage would impact individuals. He has had the chance to hear and see a different perspective. A chance that not many with his background and in his position do. He had the chance - and he listened. 

Isn't that who we want making decisions that will shape our country? Someone who will listen? 

The other argument I've read is that he has a responsibility to represent the interests of the people who elected him, not his own personal preference. 

That's not true. He has a responsibility to represent the interests of the people of Ohio - all the people, not just those who voted for him. The trend in the United States is a growing support of same-sex marriage. If 51% of Americans support it, what are the odds that at least a few of those people live in Ohio? 

The bottom line is, the man was elected to do a job. Part of that job is listening, learning, and interpreting information to enact laws that protect all of his constituents. Like many Americans, he's learned - and in doing so, his opinion has evolved. 

That makes him a better representative. It's how this is supposed to work. 
“I have come to believe that if two people are prepared to make a lifetime commitment to love and care for each other in good times and in bad, the government shouldn’t deny them the opportunity to get married,” Portman wrote in an essay for the Columbus Dispatch.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Coffee date - time to write

I visited Rags to stitches this morning, and Alissa is talking about finding time in her busy schedule to write and blog.

I give her a lot of credit for doing the vlog (video blog); that idea is very intimidating to me. I think I'll just stick with typing words on the screen you can read. In your head, feel free to imagine me beautiful and very perky.

As for finding time to write....I write whenever I'm inspired. If I get inspired and I can't write, I make a note (usually on my phone, though I've been known to actually put a pen to paper if necessary) of the idea, maybe even write a few lines. When I come back to the post, it usually flows quickly because it's already started.

I also write in my head. In the shower and the car especially, I'm often thinking about topics, and what I might want to say.

As for when I actually form the posts on the site and click "publish" - I do that whenever I have time. On breaks/lunch at my full-time job and in waiting rooms are a favorite. When I don't have enough time there, I try to pick one night a week to work on various writing projects, and give myself a couple hours on the weekend.

I admit, sometimes I'm behind on what I want to do - or I forget completely. I'm working on getting more organized. As I said to a friend the other day: Balance is hard, yo.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
For more Cats who can't wait for St. Patrick's Day - click here.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A post full of shameless plugs

You may know that I am a member of The Cornerstone Group - a volunteer group of professionals who plan and execute fundraising events for Girls Inc of the Greater Capital Region.

You may know I am the Marketing & Publicity Chair for 2013 (hence the shamless facebook page plug).

You may also know that I can be woefully disorganized, late for everything, and tend to forget appointments and projects. Keep in mind I'm cute and nice and have many other fine qualities, so people are often willing to overlook these flaws.


I wanted something that I could dedicate to Cornerstone work. A place to keep paperwork, make notes, track dates, etc. all in one place. Oh - and I wanted it to be cute, and small enough to fit in a purse.

I searched...and searched...and searched - nothing. Unless I wanted to pay around $30 (I didn't) I wasn't finding what I wanted.

So I turned to a friend who said...hey, I can help you - and she did.

Court is Crafty took an e-reader case and a boring planner with all the features I needed, did some sort of magic and - bam! I have a cute, functional, budget-friendly tool to keep me organized. Now - if I actually show up on time and remember to do everything, I'm pretty sure this will qualify as a miracle product.

Did I mention it's cute? See for yourself.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Change what you want

Being happy is a choice.

I always thought that was nonsense. I always figured there was a reason I wasn't happy. I didn't have the right job, or enough money. I didn't have the house I wanted, or hadn't reached my goal-weight. If I could just get to that place/weight/salary/whatever, I could finally be happy.

It took a long fall and a hard landing at rock bottom to learn that isn't how happy works.

Happiness isn't defined by my jean size, my address, or my bank account. I define my happiness. That's a good news, bad news sorta thing. Sure, it's great that the choice is mine. But it also means that if I'm not happy, it's up to me to admit why.

Sometimes, the life we wanted - and planned for - isn't available. Even if we followed all the rules, stuck to the plan, kept to the schedule, life can still throw a curve-ball. We may have to face the fact that what we envisioned can't ever happen. The unfortunate reality is that not everything, or everyone, is within our control.

But how do you fix what you don't control? You may not control the circumstances - but you can control how you react. So if you're sure what you want is outside your reach, you need to find a new way to be happy.

You need to change what you want.

That's a hard pill to swallow, especially if you're a stubborn planner who believes she can fix anything. It's actually easier to blame the outside stuff - your jean size or your bank account or your job title. Those are things you can change - and it's much easier to think your happiness is connected to something you control.

It's frightening, that we don't control our own destiny; that we can't force the round peg into the square hole and make it fit the way we want. It's frustrating and depressing and very scary.

You would think that finally accepting certain things are outside of our control would be the scariest thing any of us would have to face. No wonder so many never want to admit that there is anything we can't fix, including the life we wanted.

I have found one thing scarier. Reaching those outside goals, checking them off your list one-by-one, all the while realizing you're not any close to the happiness you thought you'd find.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Friday Fill-in fun - March 8

Borrowed from here....

1. Life goes on!

2. It was warm and then a little snow fell.

I can too love a phone.
3. I knew it was love when I saw its 4.52" super AMOLED display lit up like a bright summer sky, and I saw the power of its 1.2 GHz Dual Core, 1200 MHz processor.

4. I would prefer sunshine and blue skies.

5. A little nap is wonderful anytime, but especially on a Sunday afternoon.

6. Sushi is one of my favorite things to eat for dinner (and lunch!).

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to a Target shopping trip (and sushi for dinner), tomorrow my plans include the gym and a birthday drink with a fabulous friend, and Sunday I want to do absolutely nothing.

...feel free to leave your own if you like. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

I'm such a crab

Though I've had mixed results when it comes to psychics, tarot cards, mediums, etc. One area of spiritual interest that I'm finding more and more accurate is horoscopes.

I'm not necessarily talking about the daily what's-going-to-happen-today horoscopes - though those are sometimes accurate. Those seem pretty generic, and like they could be hit or miss for anyone on any day.

What I have found to be accurate is the characteristics and qualities that astrology attributes to each sign - and in particular, how people of each sign will interact with each other.

For example...I'm a Cancer. The fourth sign in the zodiac, Cancers ruling planet is the moon (which is weird, since it's not a planet), and the ruling element is water. By most counts, being a Cancer makes me:

Emotionally manipulative

....and I wear my heart on my sleeve, should listen to my gut, and am used to getting my own way.

Now - anyone who knows me can tell you that just about every one of these things is true. While nurturing and domestic would suggest I'm a good cook, that's where our unique experiences come in. Do I cook? No, not really. But anyone whose ever been to my house for a meal will tell you there will be more than enough food.

Emotionally manipulative? I suppose, though I try to control those tendencies. Again, experience has taught me who I don't want to be. But if I wanted to be vindictive and manipulative to get my own way? I know a few tricks.

Thrifty? Not anymore, though I can be when I want to be. I've clipped coupons with the best of them.

As for moody, sensitive, introverted, protective, and used to getting my own way...

Who, me?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Mediums, psychics, cards - oh my!

I go back and forth on how much attention I pay to things like horoscopes, psychics, etc. I know some people consider it all the "occult" - even something as simple as checking your horoscope in the morning. Others aren't bothered by it, as much as they just think it's plain stupid.

Western religions have a real problem with all of these, saying they leave the door open for evil spirits. Don't get me wrong - I'm not about an open-door policy when it comes to evil. Even the idea of movies like Paranormal Activity 26 (or whatever they're up to) gives me the creeps. I'm all about surrounding myself with positive energy.

But aren't things like Feng Shui and karma also a problem for western religion? So, I mean, as long as you approach things with a pure, honest motive, won't you get pure honest results?

Found it here
In that spirit, I've visited a psychic, had a reading by a medium, and had my tarot cards read several times. I've done each with an open mind; never setting aside religious beliefs, but rather embracing the positive energy that surrounds us from every direction.

As for the idea that they are all "bubkis" - I think that's true sometimes. There are so many sources out there for this type of information, you're bound to run in to people who are just making stuff up as they go along.

I've had mixed results. I visited the psychic with some specific questions about a relationship, and she got it all wrong - but she hit on some other things that really made sense. My tarot card readings have all been pretty accurate (and fairly specific). The reading from the medium really did sound like Nanny was lecturing me from beyond, but it was vague enough that it's possible the medium could have surmised some facts about me and used those to make it up. Maybe.

I suppose there's no way to know for sure if these people truly have a spiritual gift, or if their real gift is just being able to read others very well. Either way, if you go into the experience with an open mind, you're bound to learn something, and maybe even take away a positive message.

Really, what could be wrong with that?

Friday, March 1, 2013

First coffee date

Baking Suit has been doing these coffee date posts, which are kinda cool. She got the idea from over here. What a fun little corner!

Today's coffee date post: Tell me your five favorite beauty products. I'm so glad you asked!

I could spend days in Sephora, if I had the time (and the budget). I've tried a lot of different beauty products. My current faves are:

Stila Silk Shimmer Luxe Gloss - Sunlight
- It has a brush applicator and goes on perfectly, and lasts forever. It also has a pleasant scent, which is nice when something is literally right under your nose.

Stila Custom Color Blush - Self-Adjusting Bronze
- You don't need a lot, it lasts all day, and has a little shimmer which I love.

Lancome Hypnose Star Mascara
- The applicator is perfect for small eyes like mine, it doesn't clump, and it really does make my lashes look better.

Too Faced Natural Eye Neutral Eye Shadow Collection
- Comes with the colors to do three looks - day, classic, and fashion. The real clincher? It comes with instructions (including pictures!) to help you apply the look perfectly.

Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer - Sin
- Because what's the point of going to all that trouble on your eye shadow if it's not going to last? This will make sure it does.

Honorable Mentions:

Too Faced Better Than False Lashes Nylon Lash Extension System
- This was a treat with a gift card. It really does work, it's just a little time-consuming for most mornings, and it feels funny when it comes off. But while it's on - it's awesome.

Sephora Eye Liner
- You don't need to spend a lot to find a great eye-liner that lasts and applies nicely.

Makeup Forever - Face
- This is the best brand I've found for your face. I'm partial to their HD Perfecting Primer, HD Liquid Foundation, and Duo-Mat Powder Foundation.

By the way....

If you shop Sephora regularly, be sure to sign up for their VIB Rewards Program. It's free to join and you earn points towards free gifts every time you shop. Another tip - shop online when you can. Orders over $50 get free shipping, and they put in all kinds of extra freebies. Plus, if you go through, you get 4% cash back on purchases, and ebates will keep track of any coupon codes Sephora has going.

More by the way....

If you like beauty products, I also recommend checking out For a nominal fee (I believe it's $10/month) you get a box sent to your doorstep each month, filled with samples of different beauty products. It's how I found Stila in the first place.