Thursday, December 31, 2009

Looking back

December 31, 1999 - The big Y2K scare and I was at home, sick, in bed. I was working at Edgetater at the time and began a payroll. I had a cold. By 1 pm, I was in such horrible condition that I could barely lift my head off of my desk. It was year end and I had no coverage to help me finish the payroll, as well as run the reports and the W-2 tapes. I ran upstairs to see my doctor for something. I wanted pills but what I got instead was orders to go home and get in bed. My counterpart at our other location came over to do my payroll. I was in bed for the next two days. I managed to go in to work for a couple hours on 12/31 (I lived 2 blocks from work so the commute wasn't an issue) but that was just to take care of a couple clerical tasks. I had already been excused from being in the building that evening for the Y2K team. Besides, if they needed me I was just down the street. For the rest of the day I watched all of the turn of the century events occurring around the world. And as it turned out, the world did not implode, nobody lost power, VCRs continued to work and I was asleep by 12:15.

What a difference a decade makes.

Things that happened in the past 1o years:

I left a place of employment where I had worked for 18 years.
I came out to my friends and family (later to find out that many had figured it out...)
I earned the privilege of working on a website project for The Go-Go's, thus opening doors which allowed me to meet and befriend members of the band.
I was named "Employee of the Year."
I met a group of people who have become my core and my pilars of strength, my best friends.
I've traveled to some great places.
I've felt love and I've felt loss.
I've grown as a person.
I started this blog.

This year alone has been a busy one. There has been counless dinners with friends, birthday celebrations, martini Thursdays at Marty's with Steve, parties at Dan and Luis' house, street festivals, coffeee talk at Starbucks, a trip to Los Angeles, a trip to Madison, a trek or two to Indiana with Vahona, and a rebuilt hip for my mom, among other things.

It's been an interesting year. For every "bad" thing that happened, something good happened. Yet, I'm happy to say goodbye to 2009.

Tonight, the plan is to have dinner with Dan and Luis, then join them at a party, then we will join Denise, Tina and Polo and the six of us will ring in the new year together. A great way to begin a new decade.

I wish each of you a very Happy New Year. Here's to a new year and a new decade filled with love, happiness, laughter and prosperity.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009, in Pictures

Just some random shots from 2009, along with a few comments.

Jell-O shots, made by Tina - June 2009.

With my dear friend Steve, at Andersonville fest - June 2009.

Millennium Park - August 2009

4th of July celebration in Dan and Luis's back yard. A man, his dog, and his smokey fireworks.

Steve says "Now THIS is a wine glass!" - July 2009

Sonny, saying goodbye to our boss Steve - August 2009.

Tulips at Old Orchard - Spring 2009.

New TV - January 2009.

Polo, master of the Segway - Luis' birthday celebration - October 2009.

Denise, Luis, Dan and Tina - learning to Segway - October 2009.

Reunited with friends from high school - Lovey, Jim, Kris and Trish - April 2009.

"Really, it's just a sparkler!" And then, we all jumped back...way back. My birthday - May 2, 2009.

California - April 2009

Khan's going away party - May 2009

Vahona, John, Anthony, Jane and me - November 2009

The Witches of Hood Street - Halloween 2009.

Go-Go's concert - House of Blues, Hollywood, CA - April 2009.

Mark, DeDe, Kim and me - at the House of Blues, April 2009

All 10's from the judges !

Funky Monkey welcomes us to Marty's - February 2009

Mom - Christmas 2009 - 2 months post-surgery and now walking with a cane.

Steve and George - pre-Christmas gathering at my home - December 13, 2009.

The Tree - December 2009.

Equality March - Chicago - October 2009

Dan and Luis' end of summer party - September 2009.

A winning day at Arlington Park race course - outing with Sonny - September 2009

Andrea, enjoying 16 Candles at Andersonville Fest - June 2009.

The inflatable jumpy thing at Andersonville fest - June 2009. Yes, a child is emerging from it.

So there you have it. My year, in pictures.

The To-Do List, Revisited

On December 31, 2008, I wrote this blog entry.

Live. Live a healthy life. Live for tomorrow. Live your life be free. Live on the edge. Live green. Live each day like it’s the first day of your life. Love yourself. Love your family. Love your pets. Love someone who needs to be loved. Love your Country. Make love. Make someone’s day. Make yourself happy. Make breakfast. Make a difference. Make a change. Give hugs. Give hope. Give a damn. Give yourself a pat on the back. Give back. Take a vacation. Take a chance. Take two, they’re small. Take pictures. Take care. Take the scenic route. Take five. Take your time. Take a friend to lunch. Take time to smell the roses. Take a bubble bath. Relax. Enjoy. Dream. Breathe. Hope. Jump for joy. Celebrate. Be yourself. Be there for someone. Be happy. Be the best person you can be. Laugh. Cry. Shout. Sleep. Reach out. Reach for the stars. Don’t just sit there. Don’t worry. Don’t lose hope. Don’t skip dessert. Don’t overdo it. Don’t forget. Don’t go to bed angry. Wave at small kids riding in the car next to you. Hold the door for an elder. Hug a rock star. Thank someone who has made an influence on your life. Smile.

I think I did pretty well in doing most of the things on this list. How did you do? Is there something you didn't do that you wish you did?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


I came home from work today to find Shirley parked in the living room. Shirley is my mom's walker. Yes, she named it. The one that I borrowed from work for her was Laverne. She decided that they need names. Anyway, back to Shirley in the living room. Mom was not with Shirley. I went in to see what was going on and she had her cane next to her. She's no longer reliant on the walker! She can get around with the aide of a cane. She's slow, but it's progress!! And it's quieter, too!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Strange Dream

I had a really weird dream this morning. It involved me going out to dinner with Dan, Tina, and I think Steve. We were in a crowded restaurant waiting for two other people to join us, one of the two people was to be Matthew (the guy I dated last year). I was really mad and very confused as to why we were having dinner with him, yet I felt at ease knowing that three of my friends were with me. I recall looking around a lot and seeing other people walk by, they were all faces of people I see on a regular basis - people I talk to at the gym, coworkers, friends from the bar. I was getting really impatient with the situation, I decided I wanted to leave but Tina and Dan would not let me. I woke up before the other two guests arrived. When I looked at the clock, it said 6:15 (which meant it was 6:00 but my clock is 15 minutes fast). Turns out I forgot to set my alarm and I woke up at the time I normally get out of bed. I was actually glad to be awake.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Everybody should have a Tina in their life

Tina's one of my close group of friends. Here's the connection. She, Luis and Polo were friends long before Dan, Denise and I knew them. When Dan and Luis began dating, there was a meeting of the two sides of the family. Thankfully we all got along famously.

Tina's the go-to girl. She's there if you need a ride. She can throw together an elegant party in a matter of minutes, even if all that she has to work with is cocktail weiners, a cabbage and a box of grape Jell-O (mind you, that has never been the case, but she could, I know it!). She is tireless and always has a smile on her face. She's a friend who is there for you when you need one. My point is, she's awesome.

Tomorrow we're celebrating her birthday. We've been throwing dinner parties for each other whenever there's a birthday. Tina has chosen a Tex-Mex theme. The menu is set, I have been assigned dessert. She said "oh, anything chocolate is great. Well, she's getting Tex-Mex inspired cinnamon chocolate cupcakes with chocolate cream cheese frosting. I wish I had time to bake her a cake but I think the cupcakes will be fun and festive, just like Tina.

I'll let you know how they turn out.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving, and it seemed like the right time to sit down and share my thoughts about today as well as a bit about all that's been going on since I last posted.

Thanksgiving one year ago was much different. My mind was in a different place. Things change, life goes on and you learn from experiences. I learned just how much of a support system I have in my friends and family.

Obviously my core group of friends mean the world to me and I'm thankful that they're always around. Never have I had such a group where I could just let myself go and be myself. They love me and my quirks.

Another friend who has always been there but only in the past year really gained more of a presence is my friend Steve, whom I often refer to as "my dear friend Steve." In the past year, we began getting together more often. Whether it was a planned day of shopping or just running into one another on the street and spending time together, it's been a great pleasure getting to know him better. I'm thankful to have him as a friend.

Last weekend, he and his partner had a bad experience at their home. It left them shaken but thankfully not seriously hurt. I, being the friend who wants to help and protect all of his friends, felt completely helpless and angry over the whole incident, even though there's not a thing I can do except wish them well and hope for justice. I'm thankful that they are both alright.

My mom has been on the road to recovery for about 4 weeks now. She's getting around with the help of a walker. Home health professionals have been visiting her. The one issue that she's had to deal with is a bedsore which developed in the hospital. It was healing when she was discharged but since she sits a lot (it's not like she can be on her feet for a long time), it opened back up. The home health nurse has been treating it. Mom's got a donut cushion which keeps pressure off of her tailbone, and again, it's healing. I'm thankful for that.

I'm also thankful that my mom, my sister and I had a nice day, we finished having dinner together a couple hours ago and everything turned out great. My sister and I cooked and my mom ate just about everything on her plate. It's nice to see her eat such a big meal.

I'm off from work tomorrow, and I've got plans to run to Target for the 5 am madness. I'm hoping to get some deals, including the GPS unit that is on sale for $97 bucks.

So back to Dancing With the Stars, I was pleased with the way the season ended. The semi-finals came down to Joanna, Kelly, Mya and Donny. Surprisingly Joanna was eliminated, I thought for sure it would have been Kelly. Joanna was a better dancer, but Kelly has a big fan base. It was hard to see Joanna go, I found myself really liking her. But I liked all of them. I was not surprised to see Kelly finish 3rd, however, similar to last season, the best dancer did not win the trophy. Mya proved she could dance all of the dances with grace and artistry, but Donny won due to his overwhelming popularity. He has a better on-camera presence and the fans are drawn to it. He wasn't a bad dancer at all, just not the best. But he sure was a gracious winner and that alone makes it OK in my book.

I think I'm back to blogging now, I'm going to try to post a few times a week. This is a busy season, but it's also one of my favorite seasons. The fun and excitement of it all offers much to discuss. And speaking of thankful, I'm so thankful to have this forum to air my thoughts, and I'm thankful for all of you who have read my blog, left comments and been supportive of me.

I hope you and yours had a very Happy Thanksgiving, and here's to a magical holiday season!!


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Have you missed me?

Hello...I'm back, sort of. I'm going to try to get back into a regular routine of blogging again. For some this may be a relief. For others, a curse but too damn bad.

So, to catch everybody up on what's been going on, I'll summarize. Early in October, my mom injured her leg but didn't quite know what she did to it. For two weeks she hobbled around on a walker, thinking it was a pulled muscle. Finally the pain was unbearable and I had to take her to the hospital. Turns out she broke the head off of her femur. The femur is the bone that connects to the hip socket. She had surgery to repair the break and was hospitalized from 10/19 to 11/3. She's home now, and able to get around the house with a walker. For at least the next month, she'll have a nurse and a physical therapist visiting twice a week. Her goal that she has set for herself is to be without the walker by her birthday, 12/11. It's an ambitious goal but a good one to set for herself.

Meanwhile most of my time has been spent going to work, then going to the hospital, then going home to cook or clean or just try to have a bit of quiet time. It has been a lot to try to process. I let my workout routine go, and my eating habits changed. My big meal for the day was lunch at work, Dinner was usually something small since I was geting home at around 8 each evening.

Not that there hasn't been some play time. I did enjoy the fact that I was alone, something I don't often get to experience. Mind you, for the most part I was too busy to care about entertaining. Still, it was nice knowing that I could.

For Halloween weekend, I spent the afternoon and evening at Dan and Luis' house. However, they weren't home. Our friend Tina was house sitting and taking care of Ozzie, the bulldog. Last year for Halloween, we learned that their block is very into the holiday so to get into the spirit (no pun intended) we all dressed as pirates. This year, since they weren't going to be home, they left it up to Tina, Denise and I to protect their reputation (and their home from eggs and toilet paper). Tina and Denise chose a witch theme, I was a warlock. Two of Tina's Valpo gal pals joined us and we had a good time handing out candy to kids, althugh I'm still a bit miffed that they wouldn't follow my suggestion and hand out broccoli and tomatoes to kids without costumes or ones that didn't say "trick or treat." Oh well... Over the course of 4 hours, I believe we handed out about 900 pieces of candy.

Two of the Valpo Girls (it pains me to say that I can't remember their names because they are super-sweet and so much fun!), Denise and I. Three Witches and a Warlock, or three Witches and the lead singer of The Killers. You decide. Tina managed to not be in this picture she took it.

On Thursday 11/5, Reeling - The Lesbian and Gay International Film Festival began. Over the course of 10 days, a bunch of theatres in Chicago will host screenings of gay and lesbian themed films from around the world. I attended opening night and saw "The Big Gay Musical" with my friends Steve, Vahona and Anthony. In the audience was Jane Wiedlin, who was in town for the Chicago premiere of her film "Stuck!". Afterwards there was a fun party at Architectural Artifacts with a performance by The Joans, a Joan Crawford tribute band. Visit their website here!

Friday 11/6 I attended the Chicago premiere of "Stuck!", a women in prison movie shot in black and white. As mentioned above, one of it's stars is my friend Jane Wiedlin. She invited us to attend the film and the after-party. Vahona, Anthony and my friend John were along for the festivities. The movie was really good (and I'm not just saying so because Jane's in it, I swear). Afterwards, the party was held as a club named Circuit, which on Fridays hosts a lesbian themed party. this one was billed as as "lesbian lockdown," so we didn't know what to expect. When we got there, it was nothing I hadn't seen before. It was actually a lot of fun. Jane came over and talked with us for a while. We did shots and took pictures. She thanked us for being there for her. Honestly, I would not have missed it.

Pictured left to right is Vahona, John, Anthony, Jane, and me. We're about to down a round of delicious lemon drops. Photo courtesy of Anthony Meade/Bear Lens Photography

Open enrollment for benefits began at work today. I held my first three meetings today. I fared better than last year, when I had to hold meetings on the same day I had to present benefits at orientation and participate on a conference call. I lost my voice that day. Not to say that it won't happen at some point, it usually does.

Did you miss me??

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Quick Mom Update

Hi. Just haven't had a lot of time to blog lately, not that there's much going on in my life other than work and hospital visits and sleep.

Mom's doing well! She has been working her little butt off in therapy all week. She walks daily and yesterday the occupational therapist had her walking stairs. She got up and down three of them. Progress is being made.

There's a kitchen set up in the occupational therapy "apartment." She decided that it's too tidy so she talked her therapist into letting her bake cookies. That's going to be her Monday project. I've been assigned the task of bringing her hand mixer. I think she was tempted to ask me to bring in her Kitchen Aid but she knew better. LOL

Hopefully things will be a bit more "normal" in a week or so, and I can return with some fun stories instead of blabbing on about my Mom. Thanks to all who have sent well wishes and good thoughts. We both appreciate them very much.

Monday, October 26, 2009

DWTS - Season 9, week whatever

Again, no official recap this week. Just don't have time to do them right now. Tonight, I watched, with my mom, at the hospital. Yesterday she was moved to a rehab unit (which is 5 doors down from the room to which she was originally admitted. She began major therapy today, lots of walking, sitting, practicing body mechanics. She said she's proud of herself for managing all she did today. She knows there's work ahead of her, but she knows too that she's not getting out of there as fast as she had thought. She's comfortable with the idea of being there for another week. Granted, she wishes she could be left alone, she's tired of them checking her vitals every 2 - 3 hours and she wants to be in her own bed, but she's less anxious about it. She wants to get as much out of rehab as possible.

Anyway, I thought Mya did great tonight, Louie wasn't bad, and Joanna did a good job. Apparently Donny didn't have a great week, nor did Kelly Osbourne. The Mambo (or was it a Rumba) side-by-side competition was fun to watch. I think it's time for Michael Irvin to go home, but if it's not him, it will probably be Louie or Aaron.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bathtub of Spaghetti

So I made myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dinner because that's all the energy and creativity I had in me. it tasted good. I watched some TV then took a Xanax and went to bed.

At about 10:50, the phone rang. It was the hospital. I was petrified to answer it but when I did, my mom was on the other end. She had awakened from a nightmare. It involved her, at home, trapped in the bathtub which was filled with spaghetti. She was tangled in it and couldn't get out. I was home, my sister was home. Then she felt like someone was holding her legs down. I asked her if she wanted me to come there, she said yes. So I got dressed and made it to the hospital in 9 minutes. The evening nurse was still there, finishing up her report for the night shift. I went in and Mom was laying there quietly. She was unhappy with the thing that was squeezing her leg. It's an apparatus that keeps her circulation going. The nurse decided they could shut it off for a few hours. I talked to mom and convinced her that she was having bad dreams because of the morphine. She said "oh yeah!" Then I told her that if I could, I would trade places with her, that I hated to see her like that. But I told her that she had to be patient because she was going to begin to improve immediately and that tomorrow would be better. She fell asleep as I told her that. I sat with her for about 45 minutes then went and found the nurse to ask her to have people look in periodically. When i went back, mom was opening her eyes, so I talked to her some more and then told her that I was going home to get a good night's sleep and that she should try to do the same, but to call me if she needed me. I told her that I would see her tomorrow and I'd be bringing her a present, her new robe.

One last stop at the desk and the staff assured me that they would look in on her.

Now...back to bed.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Mom Update

Surgery was today. I don't know the exact nature of the surgery, but it sounds like they replaced the ball that is at the top of the bone (femur) that goes into the hip socket. Surgery didn't take very long but she was in recovery for a long time. When they finally brought her back, she was disoriented and upset and in a lot of pain. My sister and I did our best to reorient her to her room, she began to recognize her things but kept asking if she was in the hall. Her doctor came in and talked to her and she was a little more lucid and was happy when he showed her the pain button, the magic trigger that delivers a dose of morphine. She hit the button and then fell asleep for a bit. We got her some water and then some ginger ale and she then said she just wanted to sleep.

I left to go and find her a robe. I'm not thrilled with what I bought but at least she has something to wear when they get her out of bed and start walking.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Dancing With The Stars

No recap this week. I'm sorry. I watched but didn't feel up to the task of doing a proper recap. Maybe next week.

Mom Update

Mom broke her hip. She's hospitalized and will undergo surgery on Wednesday.

Today has been surreal. We got to the hospital at about 10:30. One of the paramadics was the husband of someone that we've known for a long time but haven't seen in about 20 years. Bill, the paramedic recognized me, then when we made the connection, he and my mom were old pals and talked football on the ride to the hospital. The two paramedics took great care of her. I followed along (well not really because the lights were flashing and they were driving really fast).

The xray showed a break that the ER doctor said was her leg. Right away she said that surgery would be necessary. Eventually we got mom to a patient room and got her situated.

The orthopedic surgeon came in and explained the surgery, which was a hip replacement surgery. I asked him if we were talking about the same case since the ER doctor had described it as a broken leg. He said that it was a broken leg but the placement of the break required that the hip be replaced. So, that's what will happen on Wednesday. He's confident that it will be fine and that he'll have her feeling great in no time. There will be rehab, she'll be in the hospital for about 10 days.

By 5, she was scared, tired and very hungry. She only had a bowl of cereal at 7:30. When dinner arrived she ate more than I've seen her eat in a long time. She sent me home at 6.

I've been on the phone all evening with relatives, just cluing them in on the situation. She's a private person, doesn't like a lot of fuss to be made over her and will be upset that I told her brother and sisters. But, they deserve to know.

I'm exhausted. Part of me wants to cry my eyes out, part of me wants to just enjoy the silence here at home. Then there are times when I just feel numb. I'm not ready for all of this.

A Bit Stir Crazy

I'm sitting here and a little anxious because I'm waiting to call my mom's doctor.

She's been struggling with a mysterious pain in her leg for about 2 weeks. The first couple of days she just quietly fought it, then she finally spoke up about it. I saw her doctor and he sent me home with a walker for her but wanted to be kept up to date on things. She thought she was feeling better but it doesn't seem to have improved very much.

This morning she said "I'm ready to go to the hospital."

But first, she wanted coffee, breakfast, she's packed a bag and made sure that her bills were paid. Now she's getting washed up. I'm waiting to call her doctor and then see about arranging for an ambulance to take her. I can't because she's unable to get down the stairs and we live on the second floor of a walk-up.

Needless to day I'm a bit anxious right now. I'm bouncing from Facebook to Twitter to my message board, QTS, and pacing the hallway. Ugh...I'm not happy right now. I want my mommy to feel better.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sugar High Sunday

On Sunday, October 11, Andersonville held it's 4th annual Dessert Crawl. It was a cold, sunny day but I, along with my friends Steve and Jim, set out to visit a dozen local establishments and sample desserts at each one. We had hot chocolate and cookies, rice pudding, cheesecake paired with a dessert wine, deep fried Twinkies, a very strange pudding dessert, an intersting banana in coconut milk dessert and a rather dreadful brownie. We ate, we shopped a bit, and we laughed a lot. It was a really fun afternoon, even though we all decided that we officially had enough dessert for a day.

I did a little shopping. I had to have this:
Incidentally, after coming home down from my sugar high, I had a couple cookies after dinner. :)

DWTS - S9W4 Results

Surprisingly, Michael and Anna were saved. The bottom two ended up being Chuck and Anna and Aaron and Karina. In the end, Chuck's adventures in Dancing ended, he and Anna were eliminated. He was a good sport and very gracious upon learning the news.

Next week, the Argentine Tango and the Paso Doble, along with the group dance, The Hustle!

Madison Madness

Saturday, I took a little road trip with my friends Anthony and Vahona. We traveled up to Madison Wisconsin to visit our friend Jane Wiedlin as she performed with her band Lady Robotica. They were taking part in a benefit for the Dane County Humane Society. It was billed as "Dogtoberfest," and guests were invited to bring their dogs to hang out and participate in contests and games.

For the ride, we had drinks and snacks and good music. We get together and laugh our butts off, it was much needed time together which doesn't happen all that often. We all met at my house and hit the road, accompanied by Vahona's GPS, which spoke to us in multiple languages. During our drive, we found rain, and then snow but once we got past it, the day was cold but beautiful.

We enjoyed seeing the dogs, many of whom were dressed in coats and costumes. But we were all happier to see Jane. She arrived and came right over. We chatted for a little while before she had to set up for her show.

Afterwards we visited a while longer. She signed autographs and took pictures with people, then when it came to us, we took all sorts of pictures together. She was really happy to see us and thanked us for making the trip. It was definitely worth the drive.

Dog in a fancy red coat.
Little bulldog.
Jim and Jane - Yes, the picture is crooked, thanks to the yellow-toothed woman who told us she was a "professional photographer." Oh I get it, crooked = artsy.

Jane and Vahona. Jane decided she would make funny faces in her pictures with Vahona. When Jane wants to make funny faces, you let her.

Three geeky fans and the object of their affection. Yes, the "artsy" photographer took this photo, too.
(photo courtesy of Anthony. He actually let the "professional" hold his camera. )

Monday, October 12, 2009

Dancing With the Stars - Season 9, Week 4

Tonight, we are introduced to FOUR new dances, the Texas Two-Step, the Bolero, the Charleston, and The Lambada, also known as “The Forbidden Dance!”

I don’t know why, but I still get excited when I hear the intro music and the dance partners make their way down the steps. Seeing them in their costumes for the first time is really fun.

Chuck and Anna – The Two-Step – Oh boy, looks like he’s going to throw her around, based on the rehearsals. He doesn’t have much flourish..he’s just sort of walking her around whoiel she does the fancy stuff. He did a few steps, but he just showed off how he can lift her and swing her around. Len liked the lift and was entertained BUT said that the quality of his dancing isn’t there. Bruno said it looks somewhat like a two-step. Carrie Ann said the same thing. 17/30

Melissa Joan and Mark – Charleston – Cheezy opening looks like a 20’s film. Cute basic moves, and then a lift. Nice. She seems a bit flat-footed in spots. Maybe it’s the lack of heels. But, it was really cute and sweet. Bruno LOVED it. Carrie Ann LOVED it, said it’s a breakthrough! Len saw Energy, Excitement and Entertainment. 28/30 (Bruno gave them a 10!) YAY!

Natalie and Alec – Bolero – She’s pretty to watch because her limbs are so long, they make for really fluid movements. It looked nice. Carrie Ann said she sensed a struggle. Len thought it was beautiful and lyrical but wanted to see more romance. Bruno thought it was sometime beautiful and dangerous but lost something when the arms started swinging. HUH? 24/30

Aaron and Karina – Lambada – Wow, those are some fancy dance boots he’s wearing for rehearsal. The funny thing is, they rehearse in Los Angeles. Why is he wearing suede and fluffy boots? Okay, they’re gone for his dance. I think he’s got chest glitter. WOW opening. Lots of hips from them both but I’m not seeing anything “forbidden.” Len didn’t see rhythm or raunchiness and for this dance he wants to see the raunch. Bruno didn’t see the character of the dance. Carrie Ann told him to chill out, because he’s trying too hard. 18/30 Karina’s top is about to fall off! But it didn’t…barely!

Mark and Lacey – Two Step – Okay I’m feeling it. It’s cute. He’s moving as much as she is. Butt wiggles, some stunts, clever footwork. I liked it! Bruno saw confidence and said it was fun but said he lost footing in a portion. Carrie Ann said it was an exciting routine. Len loved the choreography and saw that he’s a good partner for Lacey. 22/30

Kelly and Louie – Charleston – Ho how cute! She’s doing very well with this. Timing is a bit of an issue but but overall she’s got it and did beautifully! FUN number! Oh there’s mum Sharon, she looks so cute! Carrie Ann said that she lived up to her look. Len was impressed and called it a “proper dance,” though he wanted a bit more swivel in her steps. Bruno said it was “a very good performance and she should be happy.” 23/30

Joanna and Derek – The Lambada – They spent time with Dogs to help with their routine. Hmm…OK. Derek is now shirtless. This is feeling a bit more forbidden. Okay, a lot more forbidden. Lots of body parts shaking and grinding and it’s got clever footwork and stunts. The move they stopped on looked like total penetration. Hope they were safe. Len called this as tomorrow’s encore. Bruno called it “bursting with sexual energy. “ Carrie Ann said she hoped the children were in bed because the dance is “fueled by the crotch area.” 26/30

Donny and Kym – Charleston - Theatrical, and fun, good footwork, they seem well-timed. Lots of dance steps. Bruno liked the theatrics, said that the kicks need to be sharper. Carrie Ann noticed a stumble, but called it good. Len was pleased. 24/30

Michael and Anna – Bolero – Kind of feels like he’s walking thru it, not a lot of footwork from him. More poses than anything. Eh. Carrie Ann saw romance but said it lacked dancing. Len said this was his most difficult dance and he earned higher scores than he’s ever given. Bruno said it lacked steps. 16/30

Louie and Chelsie – Two Step. Chelsie brought in Ty from last season to up the Country feel. He looks good in jeans! Too bad he’s just sort of shuffling thru the dance. Oh except now it looks like he’s just walking . He’s got the arm movements down and managed to pick her up and swing her. Len called it a “series of walks.” Bruno called it “dazed and confused.” Carrie Ann said that Chelsie seemed to be doing her best to distract while Louie just shuffled. 16/30

Mya and Dimitri – Lambada – Hips from the start, good spins, and leg work. SEXY! More thrusting. Not too dirty but very sensual. Well played! Bruno called it “an erotic and exotic roller coaster” Carrie Ann said “Mya’s on Fire!” and said it was sophisticated. Len was expecting more. Jeez, no pleasing him as far as she’s concerned! 28/30

Leading the pack is Mya and Dimitri, and tied at the bottom are Louie and Chelsie and Michael and Anna. My guess is that tonight was Michael’s final dance. While I didn’t think Louie was any better, He and Chelsie are more fun to watch. Chuck may also have danced his final dance but I think people are entertained by him.

We also learned that next week is the group dance, and it’s a Hustle. Yay?

Stay tuned…

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Mom Update

Monday evening, mom informed me that her left leg was bothering her, to the point where she was having a difficult time walking. Mind you she told me this as she was attempting to carry two dinner plates from the kitchen (at one end of the apartment) to the dining room (at the other end of the apartment.). Yes, I'm aware this is a stupid layout for an apartment. However, I digress. I carried the plates, then after dinner cleared the table, washed dishes and put everything away. She stayed in bed for the remainder of the evening.

Tuesday I came home from work to learn that she could hardly walk. She was unable to put pressure on her leg. Immediately I questioned her if she had fallen, if there was bruising or swelling or heat or redness. None of the above, just intense pain. I rigged the apartment with chairs so that she could brace herself if she needed to walk to the kitchen. I set up things so they were easy to access.

Wednesday, I talked to her doctor, who happens to see patients at the hospital where I work. He arranged to get her a walker, even though his first wish was to send an ambulance, get her to have xrays, and possibly admit her, either for acute care or to a rehab facility for a few days. I convinced him otherwise, because she's stubborn. I borrowed a walker from work. I left work early for the day and I got it home and she was thrilled, she proceeded to name it "Laverne." Well, she and Laverne have become the best of friends. She's able to get around the house and the word "OW!" isn't as present as it had been.

Today I had things set up in the kitchen so everything was an easy reach. I spike to her doctor today and explained the situation a bit more and he's less convinced that it may be bone related and it's more likely that it's a muscle injury. That was a relief. Today was one of my work days where I began the day at one office and ended at another, so on the way to the second office I stopped at home. Mom was in the kitchen about to have lunch. She said she's feeling better, and I can hear it in her voice. The constant pain is gone, just some pain when she stands up. This fades after she's been up a couple minutes. After work I came home and did chores then fixed dinner. I'm dining out with friends visiting from out of town but she's a little more mobile now. I'll get her situated for the evening.

I'm off tomorrow, so I'll grocery shop, tidy up the house and do whatever else needs to be done around here.

I'm relieve she's feeling better. Hope it continues...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


My mom hurts. She did something to her left leg, she can barely walk. I've got dining room chairs in her bedroom to act as rails that she can hold when she gets out of bed. I've got a chair in the hallway so that she can stop and rest on the way to the kitchen. I've got a step ladder next to the toilet so she has something to hang on to when she's sitting and then getting back up.

I've got her cell phone charging, so that she can put it in her pocket and have it with her if she falls when I'm not home.

Tomorrow she'll call her doctor. Wonder what he'll say...

DWTS - S9W3 - Results

Tom Delay was saved but then informed everybody that he won't continue due to stress fractures in his old, brittle feet.

Debi Mazar was eliminated tonight.

Tonight has been a busy evening, DWTS hasn't been my priority.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Dancing With The Stars - Season 9, Week 3

Welcome to Latin night. Tonight, the contestants will dance either the Samba or the Rumba.

It’s been announced that Tom Delay’s pre-stress fracture is now a stress fracture and it’s unsure whether he’ll dance tonight. He made his way down the steps with Cheryl, they’re of course going to tease us as to whether he’ll dance this week. Now on with the dancing!

Mark Decasos and Lacey S. – Rumba – They have good chemistry together. He’s got some sexy moves, very full with the arms, very fluid. Sort of looks like a Latin ballet. Len felt it lacked chemistry but then said it was nice. Bruno agrees with Len that it lacked fluidity. Carrie Ann said that it was kind of uncomfortable to watch. I liked it but I’m not a pro. 18/30

Joanna Krupa and Derek H. – Samba – Ooh, they’re going to attempt the shadow roll. Let’s see how they do… Okay, Derek came in swinging on a rope. Looks good, nice legwork. She look a bit stiff at times. Finished with the shadow roll, seemed kind of blah. Bruno said it was good but she seemed unsteady in spots. Carrie Ann liked it. Len called it quality. 23/30

Mya and Dmitry C. – Rumba – Looks sexy, they look connected. She can really move. They’re fun to watch. Oh look Paula Abdul is in the audience. Carrie Ann was moved to tears. There may have been a lift but she said she was so caught up she didn’t see it. Len said it was complicated. Bruno said it embodied the dance and was fabulous. 10’s from Carrie Ann and Bruno, 7 from Len. 27/30

Melissa Joan Hart and Mark B. – Samba – Lots of fringe to show lots of movement, but she looks stiff. She’s great at times but not all there. Len said parts were excellent but didn’t see rhythm in hips and upper body. Bruno sees improvement and was pleased. Carrie Ann still senses fear in her. 19/30

Louie Vito and Chelsie H. – Rumba – Sexy and connected, but not a lot of footwork on his part. More just moving and letting her pose. Bruno said it was a bit jerky in movement. Carrie Ann said the connection was great, and his frame was good. Len said it was wild and lacked finesse, he was disappointed. 20/30

Debo Mazar and Maks C. – Samba – Mel B was brought in to inspire Debi. NICE! A little slow at parts but she had some moves. Carrie Ann called it safe. Len said things were done well but it wasn’t hot. Bruno pointed out a couple flaws… 17/30

Donny Osmond and Kym J. – Rumba – expressive arms, swivel hips and they both look connected. It was romantic. Len said he did a great job. Bruno said it looked a little “hairy fairy?” and then Donny jumped him on the judged platform. It was awkward. Ooh, Carrie Ann just said so too! She called him off in the musicality. 21/30 Samantha said that Donny should have given Bruno tongue.

Awkward Paula moment. She suggested that she and Carrie Ann make out.

Michael Irving and Anna D. – Samba – I sense difficulty, rehearsal is not going well. Lacks chemistry!! He doesn’t seem like he’s really trying. But, he’s got a great smile. Bruno said he’s going in reverse and didn’t have rhythm and lacked steps. Carrie Ann thinks the problem is that he’s dancing small. Len said it was disappointing. 14/30

Natalie Coughlin and Alec M. – Rumba – Edyta was brought in to show how to do the dance with Alec, who is her husband. She’s got gorgeous long legs and great moves but I don’t see the connection between them. Carrie Ann is thrilled, called it gorgeous. Len said it was excellent. Bruno loved it. 26/30

Well…that’s disappointing. MY DVR stopped recording the show. Maybe I stopped it as I was replaying it. That’s all I’ve got.

Okay…favorite was Mya. I hope Delay goes home. I think Debi needs another chance. I think she’ll get another chance because Michael Irvin will go home, if Delay doesn’t.

Stay tuned…

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

DWTS - S9W2 - Results

The couples were brought up on stage in groups of their score and told if they were safe or in jeopardy. All of the high scoring couples were announced as safe. Debi and Maks were told they were in jeopardy, then Louie and Chelsie. The bottom group was brought to the stage and Tom and Cheryl were told they were safe. DAMN!! Kathy and Tony were the second couple in the bottom two.

When all was said and done, Kathy and Tony were sent home.

Another week of watching Tom Delay dance. Hopefully it'll be a fast dance and it will knock him on his ass.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Dancing With The Stars - Season 9, Week 2

All 14 couples will dance tonight. Filling in for Len Goodman tonight is guest judge Baz Luhrmann. It was noted that his early film “Strictly Ballroom” was the movie that "Dancing With the Stars" is based upon. Who knew?

Joanna Krupa and Derek Hough – Jive – Some of the moves are very herky-jerky (is that a word?) and it look awkward because she’s so tall but she’s got good lines. It was good, I think. Carrie Ann said “spastic and out of control feet.” Bruno said it wasn’t “clean.” Baz wants to see more of a connection between them. 20/30

Natalie Coughlin and Alec Mazo – Quickstep – Yay, this is nice. She’s smiling and dling nice kicks and the footwork is there. I think it looks good. Bruno said Natalie needs to relax a bit more and she’ll be amazing. Baz said the second half of the performance was great, her smile lights up the room. Carrie Ann thinks she has potential but wants to see her connect a bit more with Alec. 21/30

Chuck Lidell and Ana Trebunskaya – Tango – Now with Ultimate Fighting moves. Yay? He’s very powerful and intense, looks like he’s angry. Footwork is flat but he’s trying and it’s actually sort of charming. Baz was impressed (think he was scared to say otherwise), Carrie Ann saw impact but didn’t say much else. Bruno saw the work, and the steps; he saw imperfections but said there’s potential. 19/30

Melissa Joan Hart and Mark Ballas – Jive – She’s having fun but looks like she’s still holding back a bit. Okay, getting better. Timing a bit off. Ooh, cute hubby!!! Carrie Ann is happy! Bruno saw some imperfections with footwork. Baz said the steps were “a bit defeating.” 19/30

Michael Irvin and Anna Demadova – Quickstep – He looks a little clumsy but all smiles. He’s kind of got the kicks down. It was fun. Bruno said the content was there and he’s improved over last week. Baz saw charm and thought it was “gorgeous and fantastic.” Carrie Ann was pleased. 20/30

Debi Mazar and Maks Chmerkovskiy – Tango – Okay, Maks is proving that he’s an ass as a teacher. Ooh, very sexy dance. I think her timing is off in spots. Baz thought they did fantastic. Carrie Ann was pleased. Bruno referenced timing in his comments. 21/30

Louie Vito – Chelsie Hightower – Jive – Louie’s got cankles and always looks stoned. Oh this is cute! At times it looked like she was doing more of the work but he kept up with the steps nicely. He’s cute! Carrie Ann thought he looked lost a few times. Bruno saw what I saw. Baz saw joy, but said he dropped out a couple times and that the jacket threw him off. 19/30

Aaron Carter – Karina Smirnoff – Quickstep – Okay…apparently it’s a Muppet performance. They’re dancing to The Muppet Show theme. He looks good. Posture is nice, great steps, good energy. It was cute! Bruno called it “Spectacular,” and said he was a mini-Fred Astaire. Baz was impressed and called it a great show. Carrie Ann called it a pleasure, good contact in hold. 27/30

Kelly Osbourne and Louis Van Amstel – Tango – Intense, quick footwork, I think her timing is off but her movements are great. Baz saw mistakes but said she’s great and should not give up. Carrie Ann gave her pointers to keep up the momentum, Bruno was positive but saw mistakes too. At least they were polite. They had to be or Sharon would have punched them. 19/30 (she’s pleased!)

Kathy Ireland and Tony Dovolani – Quickstep – It’s pleasant, but lacks wow. I didn’t see many of the quickstep footwork I’m used to seeing. Carrie Ann said Kathy is too reserved. Bruno said she’s not engaging, lacks couple connection. Baz said it wasn’t exciting. 18/30

Mark Decascos and Lacey Schwimmer – Quickstep – Looks like he lost his footing, and may be like he’s a little jiggly but it was pretty good. I think she’s wearing a back brace or something. Bruno saw footwork errors but appreciates his dancing. Baz is complementary. Carrie Ann encouraged him to breathe. 21/30

Mya and Dmitry Chaplin – Jive – Wow she’s pretty. Wow she can move! She’s working her little flapper dress and those legs. Nice! Baz said “fantastic.” Carrie Ann said “great,” and “good connection.” Bruno loved it. 27/30

Tom Delay and Cheryl Burke – Tango – Respectful, reserved. When he shakes his head, his chins follow, that’s kind of fun. The kicks are pretty funny, too. Uh-oh, a tumble at the end. Nearly broke a hip. The Golden Girls sitting along the sidelines are still clapping. Carrie Ann told him that he needs to “Squeeze them together at the end!” Tom said “historically that’s never been his problem.” LOL Bruno was polite, as was Baz. 18/30. Audience is booing. Score too high? I think so.

Donnie Osmond and Kym Johnson – Jive – Really good. Footwork is just right, kicks are good, moves are not too flashy, it’s fun! YAY! All three judges are pleased. 25/30

Tied at the top with 27are Aaron and Karina along with Mya and Dimitri, tied at the bottom with 18 are Tom and Cheryl along with Kathy and Tony.

Hopefully Tom won’t have enough Republican cronies who will jam the phone lines and vote so that he’ll get sent home this week, but Kathy could be boring enough to be just who gets sent home. I think she deserves another week, then it can be her turn to go. We’ll see…stay tuned!

Saturday, September 26, 2009


I've got a head cold. I'm blaming it on the applicants that I saw in my office yesterday. My office is small and not well ventilated, and the two women who came to see me yesterday both had on fragrances that caused my nose to react. Because my door stay shut, I couldn't air out the office and after lunch, I was feeling post nasal drip. By yesterday evening I had a major headache and my upper body was aching. Today, I don't feel near as bad as yesterday, but I'm still congested.

I'm taking advantage of the down time and just resting. I've got some movies to watch, I've got some things on my DVR that I need to burn onto a DVD, and if I feel like it, maybe I'll clean off this desk.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

DWTS S9 - Results

Tonight was the first results show, a double elimination.

The spotlight dance that the judges wanted to see again was Kelly and Louis' Viennese Waltz. It was gorgeous the second time around.

After all of the hoopla, including a tribute to Patrick Swayze, and a really cool dance production from The Lion King, the results were revealed. Tonight we said goodbye to Ashley Hamilton and Macy Gray. The professionals will be back throughout the season to dance in performances. Sadly, Jonathan once again left earlier than he should have because he's such a sweet and engaging professional. Unfortunately this year he was stuck with a partner who had the grace of a bag of sweaty gym clothes.

Next week it's a more traditional show, with all of the dancers competing on the same night.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Computer Update

My computer is very noisy. Tomorrow I will be taking it in for service. I will probably be without it for a week. I can check my message board and Facebook using my Blackberry, I can access my blog, too. I can probalby post using it but it will be laborious since it's a little keyboard typing with thumbs only. I can at least post updates.

Dancing With The Stars - Season 9 Week 1, part 2

The Ladies dance tonight.

Show opens with the women pro dancers performing a number to “She’s a Lady.” It was cute, though some of those moves weren’t so lady-like.

The contestants did their descent from the bit staircases and some were so graceful (Melissa Joan Hart) and some were clunky (Macy Gray)!

Similar to last night, the women will do a dance on their own with their partner, and then participate in a relay dance with three other contestants. The points earned from the second dance will be added to the scores after my comments.

Debi Mazar/Maks Chmerkovskiy – Salsa - She’s got nice legs and can kick high. The stunts are there, but the hips are frozen. Okay good…no handstand. Len said hips were missing, but sees potential. Bruno said she worked her busom but she lost timing. Carrie Ann didn’t see a connection between the dance and her expressions. Maks looks hot. 16/30 + 6 = 22 for the night.

Melissa Joan Hart/Mark Ballas – Viennese Waltz - Off to a nice start. Full arm extensions and nice steps. Looked a little lost at one point. Nice finish. Bruno said it was prim, proper and adequate. Carrie Ann saw good moments, but said there was a lack of connection. Len liked the holds but saw poor footwork. 18/30 + 6 = 24 for the night.

Mya /Dmitri Chaplin – Viennese Waltz – She’s very elegant and moves beautifully. I’m sensing a little bit of Mel B here. Of course what I say and the judges will say may be completely different. Carrie Ann is thrilled. Len said it was NOT a Viennese Waltz, he called it fluff. Bruno is fighting him and has riled up the room. Such controversy. 21/30 (Len gave her a 5!) + 10 = 31 for the night.

Kathy Ireland/Tony Dovolani – Salsa – She’s kind of square in the hips so her hop action isn’t there. She’s doing some OK footwork but the whole things looks awkward. Len sees potential but said it lacked energy and was careful. No sizzle. Bruno said she couldn’t sell the salsa, it lacked sex. Carrie Ann said she needs to work on loosening up. Belinda’s salsa was better! There, I said it! HA! 16/30 + 4 = 20 for the night.

Natalie Coughlin/Alec Mazo – Salsa – We have hips! An athletic number with some clever arms and some shimmies. However, it feels a bit slow. Nice though. Bruno saw stops and starts but liked it. Carrie Ann called her a diamond in the rough. Len said the dance was not sexy enough, it was plain. 19/30 + 8 = 27 for the night.

Macy Gray/Jonathan Roberts – Viennese Waltz – Oh dear…she looks lost and stoned. HA HA Poor Jonathan looks like he’s dragging a sack of potatoes around the dance floor. Now she looks like she needs a nap. Carrie Ann called it “fascinating, Beautiful in a bizarre way.” Len said it was charming. Bruno called her child-like. Macy was censored when she said that the first dance “busted her cherry.” 15/30 + 4 = 19 for the night.

Joanna Krupa/Derek Hough – Salsa – Hips and swivels. Sexy. Cute arm tricks. Nice footwork. It was great! Len is happy, called it hot and smoking. Bruno said it was sexy and seductive. Carrie Ann said it was hot and is excited to see more. She’s cute…nice personality. 24/30 + 10 = 34 for the night.

Kelly Osbourne/Louis Van Amstel – Viennese Waltz – She looks so pretty. The footwork is a bit messy but not terrible. Arms nees to be fuller when extended. She looked good though! Oh, there’s LaToya Jackson! She ran to hug her parents. Sweet! Bruno called her a vision of grace and elegance. Carrie Ann said that her parents should be proud. She spotted a lift. Len said it was the best Viennese Waltz he saw all night. I agree. 23/30 + 8 = 31 for the night.

Relay time:

Group 1 is doing a Fox Trot – Kathy, Natalie, Debbie, and Joanna. Natalie Has nice elegant moves. Classic elegance. Kathy looks more relaxed in this dance than in the latin round. Joanna looks precise and the footwork is nice. Debbie looked much more relaxed and really performed nicely! 4th is Kathy, 3rd is Debbie, 2nd is Natalie, 1st is Joanna.

Group 2 is doing a cha-cha-cha – Melissa, Macy, Mya and Kelly. Macy…not sure what to say. Poor Jonathan. It’s a bit better than her waltz. Melissa’s footwork loosk precise but a bit off beat. Mya is having fun and ls sexy with good legwork and arms. Kelly is awesome! Hips and legs and arms. Nice!! 4th is Macy, 3rd is Melissa, 2nd is Kelly, 1st is Mya.

Night two is finished. I think Macy’s going home, if not her, it may be Kathy Ireland. Stay tuned!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Bad Computer

My computer keeps shutting down. I think it's overheating. Not a good sign. I will probably take it in sometime this week to have it checked. I dread being without it. I dread having someone looking at my files. LOL


Dancing With the Stars - Season 9 Premiere - part 1

It's BACK! Tonight, the Men will dance!

Corny opening number “The Boys Are Back in Town” the male pro dancers (who will dance with their partners tomorrow night) did a routine. Maks looks great, Jonathan looks adorable as always.

The proper intro/descent from the big staircases took place, all of the couples made their entrance. Just judging how some of them came down the stairs, it’s going to be an interesting season. Chuck Lidell, Tom Delay and Macy Gray are going to be train wrecks. Kathy Ireland looks clunky but pretty.

Tonight the men will dance twice, the first dance with their partner, the second dance as a relay with three other couples. Each will do a ballroom dance and a Latin dance. The relay dance will not be individually scored by each judge, but they will be ranked, with an added score (1st = 10, 2nd = 8, 3rd = 6, 4th = 4); that score will be added to their individual score. Total score for the night is listed next to my critique for the first dance, notes on the second (relay) dance at the end.

Aaron Carter/Karina Smirnoff – Cha-Cha-Cha – Posture isn’t great, kind of wormy movements, footwork is sort of flat. Len sees potential and called him stiff. Bruno sees potential but says too much energy. Carrie Ann said “excellent” but feet were funky. 22/30 + 10 = 32 for the night.

Chuck Lidell/Anna Trebunskaya – Fox Trot – Stiff, probably nerves, but not horrible…oh wait, yeah, he is. When he’s holding her and letting her lead, he’s OK. When they’re apart, it’s messy. Bruno called it rough. Carrie Ann said “not graceful but smooth and charming.” Len said “better than I thought it would be, would like to see him work on grace.” 16/30 + 6 = 22 for the night.

Mark Decascos/Lacey Schwimmer – Cha-Cha-Cha – Of course a Kung Fu theme. Nice hip moves, good arms. Sexy. Maybe a tad stiff. Carrie Ann is concerned about the arms. Len called them out on the Kung Fu and said he doesn’t want to see it in other dances, said feet were “dodgy.” Bruno said timing was off and saw need for improvement in footwork. 21/30 + 8 = 29 for the night.

Ashley Hamilton/Edyta Silwinska – Fox Trot – not very exciting. He’s tall, probably makes him look even more stiff. Len saw correct footwork, but said it was rough. Bruno said lack of showmanship and rough. Carrie Ann said that he failed to “define himself.” 15/30 + 4 = 19 for the night.

Donny Osmond/Kym Johnson – Fox Trot – I’ll start by saying that he doesn’t have a single line in his forehead! Okay, the showman is showing his stuff. This one will be scored high. He’s good. Bruno faulted posture. Carrie Ann agreed. Len called it too theatrical. 20/30 + 10 = 30 for the night.

Louie Vito/Chelsie Hightower – Fox Trot – Okay, he’s a total stoner. He’ll be fun to watch. He’s kind of cute. He looks like a little boy trying to emulate big boy moves. Kind of stiff but not horrible. Oh he just stumbled a bit. Safe and nice. Carrie Ann enjoyed it, critiqued the feet a bit. Len said technique was good and enjoyed it. Bruno said it lacked fluidity, sees potential. 19/30 + 8 = 27 for the night.

Michael Irvin/Anna Demadova – Cha-Cha-Cha – Really trying to work the hips, but he’s not. Wow is he stiff. He doesn’t seem to have much sense of rhythm. Okay, loosening up a bit towards the end. Bleh. Len wasn’t fond of it, said it needed more content. Bruno said it was poor (footwork, timing, content). Carrie Ann agrees with Len, said there was lack of content and blamed the pro. 13/30 + 6 = 19 for the night.

Tom Delay/Cheryl Burke – Cha-Cha-Cha – He nauseates me with his comments as he’s rehearsing. Something about looking like a sissy. Eww..watching him shake his diapered butt is gross. Cheryl choreographed a safe dance for him. He’s got the steps but no flourish. Eww…more butt shaking. Bruno called him crazier than Sarah Palin. Said the dancing wasn’t too bad. Carrie Ann called it surreal and said he has a natural grace. Len said part magic, part tragic. 16/30 + 4 = 20 for the night.

Salsa Relay – Chuck, Ashley, Donny and Louie. - Ashley’s arms are like rubber bands, but his body is stiff. Chuck is a bit intense but better than his ballroom dance. Donny has the moves. Louie came out doing flips and has the body movements. 4th is Ashley, 3rd is Chuck, 2nd is Louie, 1st is Donny. Points added above.

Viennese Waltz Relay – Aaron, Mark, Michael and Tom. - Aaron has very big moves but looks good. Mark is looking very precise and refined. Tom looks like a dirty old crook. Michael looks lost but has a huge smile. 4th is Tom, 3rd is Michael, 2nd is Mark, 1st is Aaron. Points added above.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Dancing With the Stars - Season 9 Starts Monday 9/21!

While this season's episode of DWTS isn't as exciting to me as the previous season (see my seemingly endless posts about Belinda Carlisle's inclusion in season 8, even after she was voted off), I'm still excited that the show is returning for another season with the largest cast ever.

Above is the score sheet that I assembled for work. A handful of coworkers and I make our guesses on who will land where in the elimination process. Since we're often wrong, we allow ourselves to guess again after the half-way point (hence the "Rank 2" box). No wagers are placed, we do this for fun and it makes for some lively discussions at lunch after elimination day.

The way I understand this season's first week, the men will dance first on Monday night, the women will dance on Tuesday night. Both nights will have 2 hour time blocks. Another hour of DWTS will air on Wednesday, unknown to me at this time is whether it will be an elimination show or just a recap.

As I have done in the past, I will recap. You've been warned. :)

Stay tuned...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Mom's Words, Not Mine

Here's another Mom story. This one dates backa few years.

Mom's crafty. Since retirement, she took up knitting, quilting, decoupage and construction. Well, construction is a bit of an exaggeration, but she decided to build a doll house. There was no logical reason for her to build a doll house but she didn't let that stop her. She came home one day with a kit so big, I had to bring it in the house. Then came the tools. A sander, a router, a saw, hammer and screw drivers, and some tools I've never seen.

Even though she had a kit, she still needed more stuff. She quickly became a regular at Home Depot. Every couple of weeks she would go get more stuff.

One Sunday she came home from the Home Depot and was flustered. She loaded her purchases in the car, started it and rolled down the windows. She looked and then slowly began to back out of her parking spot. She stopped suddenly because someone appeared behind the car, almost out of nowhere. She waited until the woman passed, and once she did, she rather crabbily said to my mom "Didn't you see me???" My mom replied "See you? I was aiming for you!" The woman looked horrified. My mom said she then flipped the woman off, hit the gas pedal and drove away.

Yes, that's my mom.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My Dear Friend Steve

It's been a while since I've introduced you to one of my friends. This is Steve, and he's the only friend that I can say that I slept with before we became friends. And I do mean that we slept together.

We met a bunch of years ago, went home together, got naked, rolled around for a while and then passed out. Over the years, we would run into one another, chat and laugh about our non-romp. And then we would laugh some more. The key to our friendship is the fact that we always find something to laugh about.

Steve has a unique living arrangement. His partner lives in Miami, Steve has a good job here in Chicago. He spends 2 weeks out of each month here, then spends 2 weeks in Florida. Whenever he's back in Chicago, we hang out a lot. We've started having Martini Thursday. Sometimes we have Martini Friday and Martini Monday, too. Don't get me wrong, we're not lushes, we're just supporting the local economy.

Today, Steve started a a blog. It's called "Things I Know." I encourage you to have a look, enjoy his humor and wit, and leave a comment every so often. But don't ask him to sleep with you, unless you don't mind snoring. LOL

Just curious...

I came home from work, went into the bathroom, sat down, did my business then when I was finished, the used bathroom tissue was perfectly clean. Is it wrong that such an event made me happy?

I know, I haven't blogged much lately and I come back with this. Maybe I should have waited until I had a better topic to discuss. :)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Mom's words, not mine

There's someone who Tweets "Shit my dad says," and the comments are hilarious. It made me think that my mom says some pretty funny stuff. Her comments are a bit more verbose than Twitter's 140 allowed characters so instead, I'll share her comments with you, here. Keep in mind that mom will be 78 in December. She's able to get around, and she drives. She goes to the grocery store on Saturday mornings, often she comes back with stories.

One Saturday, she arrived home and as she often is, she was perplexed with her shopping experience. Our closest grocery store is Jewel. It's a regional chain, our store is one of their smaller stores. As you can imagine, Saturdays are busy days in the store. Apparently at the point she arrived, so did a van carrying handicapped adults, most of whom were in scooters. The scene, as she described it is as follows:

"I'm just trying to get my shopping done, I wanted to get in, get my groceries and come home. The aisles are small, and I kept running into these people on those damn scooters. I know I'm slow but COME ON, why do they have to be here when the entire neighborhood is shopping? I got to the end of one aisle and there's one of them, he's a big one, and he's slumped over in his scooter. I thought maybe he was dead. I said "excuse me," then said it again but he didn't move. I needed to get past him. The sticker on the back of his scooter read "I MATTER." I finally pushed through with my cart and said "I MATTER TOO, NOW GET OUT OF MY GOD DAMNED WAY!" I was so mad."

I would like to say that I was stunned, but this is typical. I just said "mom, you did NOT say that to him!" She paused and finally said "well, no...BUT I WANTED TO!"

I think she would have, had she waited much longer.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Miss Baltimore Crabs

(article courtesy of
Belinda Carlisle to Star in West End Hairspray

Pop singer Belinda Carlisle will take on the role of Velma Von Tussle in the award-winning West End production of the musical Hairspray at the Shaftesbury Theatre, beginning on October 26.

As of that date, the cast will include Phill Jupitus (Edna), Chloe Hart (Tracy), Sharon D. Clarke (Motormouth Maybelle), Verity Rushworth (Penny), Liam Tamme (Link), Adrian Hansel (Seaweed), Tony Timberlake (Wilbur), Nicola Brazil (Amber), Gavin Alex (Corny), and Raquel Jones (Little Inez).

Based on the hit film by John Waters, Hairspray has music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Shaiman and Scott Whitman, and a book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan. The production is directed by Jack O'Brien.

I really want to go to London now. My luck, I'd get there and she would have an understudy for the day. LOL

Monday, August 31, 2009

Random Act of Kindness

Tonight, while doing laundry, I stopped at Starbucks for a refreshing iced beverage. For most of the summer, Starbucks has been giving out a "treat receipt," meaning if you make a purchase before 2:00 pm, they give you a receipt that acts as a coupon, granting you any grande iced beverage for $2.00. Since every morning starts at Starbucks, I had a receipt. Unfortunately it wasn't with me, it was at home on my night table because I had emptied my pockets before going to do laundry. A woman heard me concede that I didn't have my receipt and offered me hers. She didn't need it, she opted for a warm beverage tonight. Her gesture was so nice and so random. It made my night.

Sometime this week, perform a random act of kindness for someone. Tell me about it!

Things You Don't Want to See on a Sunday Morning

Yesterday morning I got up and took a walk to my Starbucks to relax and have a cup of coffee. I lingered, watching people go by, looking at the dogs parked outside while their owners came in for their caffeine fix. It was cool but a pretty day. But I had sat there long enough and it was time for me to move on and do something productive with my day.

I approached the intersection of Ashland and Bryn Mawr and heard the sound of screeching tires. I looked up and saw a silver SUV approaching the intersection, apparently attempting to stop. In front of him was a man on his bicycle, stopped at the center of the intersection, perhaps waiting to turn. Well, the SUV didn't stop in time and the bike was hit, the man flew off the bike and went down hard. The SUV stopped, the driver jumped out and the man on the bike was screaming in agony. I called 911, while I was on the phone, others approached and were apparently doing the same thing. At this point, there were people in the intersection helping the cyclist, advising him to stay still. He appeared to not be seriously injured, but I'm sure he's covered in bruises today. it could have been much worse. First, a police car arrived, then a fire truck, then an ambulance. It all happened pretty quickly. I didn't wait to see what, if anything happened to the driver of the SUV. I'm just relieved it wasn't worse.

Thankfully the remainder of my Sunday was much less eventful.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Anatomy of a cake

For Dan's birthday, each of us decided on a dish to bring for dinner. I decided that I would make dessert. The plan was to bake a birthday cake knowing that I'm close enough to a few decent bakeries that if I messed it up, I could still bring a cake.

Baking isn't an issue for me. It's the decorating process that I found daunting. Originally my friend Steve was going to be my teacher, but the weekend we were going to have the party was switched so I was on my own. Below are the various stages of the cake.

The recipe was one from Cooks Illustrated Magazine. It was simple but from the ingredients I could tell that the finished product would be moist, thus making a good layer cake. This cake would be a two layer cake.

I decided on a chocolate icing, and a raspberry filling. Below, I've created an outer border of chocolate icing and I'm adding the raspberry preserves.

Layers are stacked and the cake is frosted.

Now the decorating begins. To contrast the chocolate color, I chose a light blue. Slowly I added gel coloring, and this was my final result.

Before actually writing on the cake, I practiced on waxed paper. I had never worked with a decorating bag, I've never written in icing.

Next up was the outer border. I haven't quite mastered the star tip to where I can create the peaks and valleys but I think it looks pretty good. Okay, there's a spot to the right that's kind of messy...

The cake was actually finished at Dan and Luis' house. I had to wait until I placed it on the pedestal to add the blue bottom border. Again, my technique isn't perfected, so it's one big strand.

After a delicious dinner and a walk, Tina and I put the candles on the cake and brought it out.

When we all sat down to eat, I was pleased that the cake was moist, full of flavor and it held together. I don't mean to brag, but it was delicious. It was a lot of work but also great fun, and worth it.