Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Every now and then I take the pile of unread magazines I have and sort them out to see what I haven't read. I subscribe to a lot of magazines but most are the results of reward programs such as MyCokeRewards or e-rewards so we aren't paying for them directly.

I knew it was time to see what I have when the stack got about 18-inches high. I put each magazine in its own pile; some have only one issue, some have three or more, some have each month's issue while others are missing a month somewhere between the January and April issues.

I get a variety of magazines. Martha Stewart Living, Body & Soul (which I recently heard will have a new name), Everyday Food. Conde Nast Traveler and Travel & Leisure. Teen Vogue. Health. Reader's Digest. Runners World. Money. Forbes. Family Fun. Interestingly, I don't have any unread issues of Entertainment Weekly! I read those within two days of receiving them.

So now I have to decide to I want to start with the most recent issues of each magazine and just recycle the rest (or leave somewhere that has even older magazine for customers / patients) or do I want to skim through and rip out the things I might want to look at later.

Guess I'd better get to reading.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ode to Extra Fruit Sensations

Oh Extra Fruit Sensations, how you enhance my day!
Your Berry Pearadise gum makes my tastebuds tingle.
How invigorating is your flavor.
Your purpleness makes me smile.
Not so crazy about the Sweet Watermelon.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

NCAA Tournament Basketball Picks

My favorite part about the NCAA Basketball Tournament is filling out the form. You know, where you start with 65 teams and bring it down to one.

I'm picking Kansas and Kentucky in the finals, with Kentucky winning.

Final four: Kansas vs. Syracuse, Kentucky vs. Duke.

At eight, I have Kansas vs. Ohio State, Syracuse vs, Pittsburgh, Kentucky vs. West Virginia, and Duke vs. Villanova.

Sweet Sixteen: Kansas vs. Maryland, Tennessee vs. Ohio State, Syracuse vs. Vanderbilt, Pittsburgh vs. Kansas State, Kentucky vs. Wisconsin, New Mexico vs. West Virginia, Duke vs. Purdue, and Baylor vs. Villanova.

From the beginning (my winning picks are in bold):
Kansas vs. Lehigh
UNLV vs Northern Iowa
Michigan State vs. New Mexico State
Maryland vs. Houston
Tennessee vs. San Diego State
Georgestown vs Ohio
Oklahomas St. vs Georgia Tech
Ohio State vs. UC Santa Barbara
Syracuse vs Vermont
Gonzaga vs Florida State
Butler vs UTEP
Vanderbilt vs. Murray St.
Xavier vs. Minnesota
Pittsburgh vs. Oakland
BYU vs Florida
Kansas St. vs. North Texas

Ark-PB vs. Winthrop

Kentucky vs. E. Tenn. State
Texas vs. Wake Forest
Temple vs. Cornell
Wisconsin vs. Wofford
Marquette vs. Washington
New Mexico vs. Montana
Clemson vs. Missouri
West Virginia vs. Morgan St.
Duke vs. Winthrop
California vs. Louisville
Texas A&M vs. Utah State
Purdue vs. Siena
Notre Dame vs. Old Dominion
Baylor vs. Sam Houston St.
Richmond vs. Saint Mary's
Villanova vs. Robert Morris

Now let's see how I do. Starting March 18th and going through April 5th.

Feel free to comment and tell me who you pick!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A letter about the letter - or You'll get your Census next week

Last week, I received an official envelope in the mail with 2010 Census printed in bold letters. The 2010 Census was here! I set it aside so I could complete it along with my usual weekly paperwork.

I showed the envelope to my son and we talked about how important it is to participate in the census. He will be doing several activities at school revolving around the census, so I wanted him to know that our family will be doing our part.

I carefully opened the envelope, slipped out the paper, and began to read. To my dismay, I found that it wasn't the census after all; it was a letter telling me to watch the mail for the Census that would be arriving some time in the next week.

Groan! I know that it's important to get the word out that the census is coming and I get that it's important to get as much participation as possible, but did they really have to send me a letter to tell me to look for another letter / envelope?

It's like at work sometimes when we have a meeting coming up. We'll have a pre-meeting, or as my middle schooler likes to say, "a meeting about the meeting."

In this case, we got a letter about the letter.

Wonder how much that cost?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Magical World of the DVR

We have just entered the magical world of the DVR. After months of debating the utility of adding DVR to our cablevision, we now have the ability to record television programs at literally the push of a button. No more looking for a blank videotape; no more making sure the time on the VCR is set correctly; no more having to find yet another remote control.
No more checking the time to not miss our favorite shows because we didn't want to have the hassle of setting the VCR. No more hurrying through household tasks or rushing around during the commercials to get things done. No more wondering what the characters just said because someone talked over the dialogue. 
But now we have so many shows to record! So many movies or programs we didn't even know we wanted to watch because they weren't convenient. Now we wonder how we'll ever watch everything we're recording. Because the hours available to watch television didn't increase just because we have the ability to watch at our convenience.
I think we're going to find that we watch the same amount of television and that we watch the same programs we were watching before. Only now we'll have a bit more freedom as to when we watch them, and how long it takes to watch since we can fast-forward through the commercials.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Dear Monday

Dear Monday,

Thank you for coming around only once a week. Your early morning wake-
up call always startles me back to the reality of work and routine. I
don't mind the work, and I thrive on routine, but there is always a
bit of shock to your morning arrival.

Please coordinate with Sunday night so it can be a little longer and
you can arrive a couple of hours later.

Not a Monday morning person

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Crossing Magnolia

I've lived in the same city since 1982, yet it's not the same as it was 28 years ago when I moved here. And I don't live in the same area of town as I did when I was a fresh-faced, carless university freshman. Back then, I walked everywhere I wanted to go, or took the bus, or rode my bike, or occasionally got a ride with someone. I lived in the same house for four years of undergrad and during that time, my "world" was limited to where I could go under my own power.

I got a car at the end of undergrad as I was interning far enough from my home and not on a convenient bus route. My world expanded and I could drive all over town. And I did. But even then, "all over town" took about 15 minutes to go from one side to the other, and even then, most of the places I needed or wanted to go were within a small radius.

Another few years later and my job location moved across town and with it, so did my choice of apartment locations. I soon lived a mile from the office and nearly everything I needed was within a mile's radius. I was dating the man I would soon marry and he lived "way out" - about four miles from where we worked.

When we married, it seemed we lived "way out" at first, but then more and more businesses built and located to our side of town. Grocery stores, movie theater, Sam's Club. When WalMart and Costco built on the corner of the main intersection right on our regular route, we were all set.

We realized a few years ago that we never seem to have a reason to go further than about five miles from our house. And that five-mile mark is known as Magnolia Boulevard. We very rarely have to cross Magnolia, and we're comfortable staying on our side of town, in our sector of our city. We have everything we need. Library, post office, car service centers. We do so much business online or by phone that we don't have to drive across Magnolia. It has become a dividing line, or even a barrier to our lives.

Recently, though, we had reason to cross Magnolia. Firstly, I had jury duty at the courthouse. Which was downtown. Across Magnolia. I wasn't sure I'd find the portal to the other side going or coming home. The following day, we took our children to renew their passports. Funny thing about children's passports - they require the children to be presented in person. And then at the end of the week, we had to go by the cable company to get a digital converter box and yep, the local cable company is located across Magnolia.

During our journey across Magnolia, we found ourselves driving by our old haunts from college. I was amazed at how much had changed since the last time I had been by the university. When we were walking downtown to take the children for their passports, we remarked how it felt like when we tour other cities on vacation. We saw some local sites that we want to visit on another day.

Maybe it's ok to cross Magnolia!

Saturday, March 06, 2010

The Queen of Hearts

Several months ago, I had a brief encounter with the Walt Disney version of the Queen of Hearts. I was on the fourth deck of the Disney Magic, looking down into the Atrium watching the holiday festivities, when Alice came by clearing the way for the Queen to pass. I turned to look and came eye-to-eye with the Queen, and as she passed, she swished her robes at me. At that moment, I knew I had met my inner-villian!

So of course I had to see the newly released Alice in Wonderland movie which documented Alice's return to Wonderland. Only in this story, the Queen of Hearts was known as the Red Queen, and she had a tiny body and an outrageously big head. But her spirit was the same; irrationally dealing with everything that didn't suit her with a loud "off with his head!"

I embrace the Queen and my likeness to her, for at times, I find my response to things to be equally absurd. While I don't shout "off with their heads" when things don't go the way I expect them to, I do find myself checking my reactions for QOHness.

Whenever I channel the QOH, my family calls me on it. They are thinking of getting a QOH playing card for me to wear around my neck as a warning sign to all who cross my path. I say that recognizing the absurdity within ourselves leads to self-improvement and self-control.

Friday, March 05, 2010

What I love about Friday

1. It's the last day of work this week.
2. WhatAFriday club meeting
3. Date night at Costco
4. New episodes of Disney Channel shows
5. Knowing I don't have to get up at a certain time tomorrow.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

What I love about Thursday

1. It is one day closer to the weekend.
2. The Publix ad comes out.
3. Survivor!
4. The Office
5. Every other week is a payday!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

What I love about Wednesday

1. Listening to piano lessons
2. Bible class
3. Burritos for dinner
4. Leaving work by 5 o'clock
5. Reading the recap of The Biggest Loser on www.ew.com

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

What I love about Tuesday

1. Watching The Biggest Loser
2. "Kids Eat Free" at many restaurants
3. The branch library is open after being closed on Monday
4. Weigh in day
5. Pizza night means no one has to cook

Monday, March 01, 2010

What I love about Monday

1. Going to work because it means I have a job.
2. Reading the recap of The Amazing Race over at www.ew.com
3. 10-percent off at my favorite local Mexican restaurant
4. No crowds at Sam's Club
5. Turning the page in my calendar, although really, it would be nice to find a week-at-a-time calendar that put Sunday at the top of the page.