Monday, December 11, 2006

New York State of Mind

Who would have thought that I'd enjoy it so much and want to go back so badly? Ah, let me explain. Family and I went to NYC this weekend (Friday to Sunday). I was glad to come home, but I want to go back.

Please - don't get me wrong. Home is fine, home is great. The Merrimack Valley area has lots to offer, and beyond that, there's Boston and what a fine city it is. I'm glad to live here. I don't want to live in New York, but I want to go back soon.

It's a kind of place, for me anyway, that takes so much time to absorb and enjoy.

New York is BIG.

Not just big in acreage, population, and number of taxis, NY is enormous in concept.

Entertainment - how many novels, movies, television shows or plays were set and/or filmed in this city? So many. Songs inspired by this place? You get the idea.

Finance - I walked on Wall Street. No, I'm not a closet financier or day trader. But man, Wall Street!

Advertising - I didn't get to Madison Avenue, but still --

Publishing - No one was as interested as I, but still, for me it was cool to walk right by McGraw Hill.

Museums - Now, Boston has some super museums. I've been to the MFA a few times, and of course the Science Museum in Cambridge is always a good visit. Didn't get to ANY museums in NY, save the 9/11 Tribute Center (more on that later). But if I had been to the Morgan, I could have seen Charles Dicken's original manuscript for A Christmas Carol. Imagine that!

Obviously I could go on and on, but I don't have a NY size blog.

Friday, December 01, 2006

A California Christmas

No, not in Cali. I'm right here in good old New England. It's December 1st - and damn it, I feel like putting out my Christmas decorations. Actually, I've been putting out a few things here and there, but today I'm really feeling the joy. Got some holiday CDs in the player - set on shuffle.

So, big deal, right? Well no, not a big deal. But I must discuss the irony of this day, as the temperature is an unseasonable 67 degrees. It's been rather warm the last few days but the forecast calls for dropping temperatures, and perhaps snow by Sunday or Monday.

So, warm temperatures and decorating for Christmas. What's the big deal? Nothing really, but it just feels funny. It's been gloomy all day, very dark and looking like rain. It'd be easy to let the grey seep in and start some serious seasonal affective disorder type baloney. But perhaps because it's been warm, or because of the tasks of arranging evergreens and holly, and lighting candles keeps away the Grinch, but this just feels good.
Joann Weber

The co-owner of The Lowell Spinners, Joann Weber lost the game to pancreatic cancer this Wednesday night, November 29, 2006. Before owning a Minor Leauge team with her huband Drew, Weber was involved in charties and the arts in New York.

The Webers' love of community continued as their team grew in both talent and popularity in the Lowell, MA area, and they were both very visible at the games. Through the Spinners organization, the Webers became involved with various charitable groups, and Joanne Weber's loss will be felt by so many.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Random Thoughts.

Just like a day ago, I either read or heard someone referring to Dan Brown and his novels Angels and Demons and The DaVinci Code. The comment had to do, not with religious controversy, but with the protagonist’s penchant for being a frickin’ know-it-all. Robert Langdon is this neato cool Harvard bred symbologist that ends up in all kinds of predicaments. But because of his experiences, for example with – and I’m not kidding here – water polo, he is able to prevail in an underwater struggle with a bad guy. Or, Langdon’s extensive knowledge of Renaissance Masters ended up being more than useless trivia. So, this makes me wonder, what do I bring to the party? What can a 40something mom offer up in a pinch if things got dicey?

Taking stock, I begin with the obvious:


Yeah, I can do that one very, very well. But that gets old quick, and when my fellow, ah, victims, comrades, or people I’m stuck in an elevator with get bored with slapping the white out of me – what can I do to help?

Well, the next obvious thing is my martial arts training. Sure, I’ve been doing it for over eight years, and learned a thing or two to be sure. But what if I’m on a runaway freight train? What am I going to do, use the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique on the rail lines? Hop into a crane stance in an attempt to channel my chi and calm down the other passengers?

And what about the ‘Mom’ thing. I can yell at people – ohh yeah. I suppose you want me in your group if we all fall in a cave or something. I can yell for help, and yell at everyone else to play nice and share the water – or else I’ll have to pinch the disobedient castaways, or something.

But what about all those little life experiences, like my horseback riding lessons. I really can’t see me having to saddle up anytime soon. What about my several years spent in the warehouse/office of a national mail order lingerie company? Besides causing some chuckles and nudges at parties, my ability to discern between “Home of the Whopper”, and “Home for the Whopper” is not going to get me any closer to an incarnation of MacGyver.

And sadly, my love of movie and TV trivia probably won’t get me any closer to Alex Trebek nor keep me from being voted off the island. I’m just not equipped to run with the likes of Robert Langdon, James Bond, or even Nancy Drew.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

TV Review - 3 LBS

(Originally posted on

Television audiences love a good medical show, comedy or drama, from M*A*S*H to ER; they always seem to go for the unique mix of healing and the human condition.

3 LBS is a visually captivating show. The opening scene of a string recital is lush in its lighting and setting. We see a young woman, Cassie Mack, playing her violin superbly, accompanied by her mother on the cello. Suddenly, the girl falters and her fingers stop working properly. Next, the camera begins to slide through Cassie’s layers: clothing, dermis, subcutaneous tissue, bones, and then travels the path of nerves from her fingers to her brain.

So, we see that this girl’s brain is ailing, as lights flash around her gray matter. Then, the camera backs out just the same way it went in, until we see Cassie’s worried face, as she too realizes something is very wrong. Finally, the focus settles on her violin, slowly falling out of her hands, and dropping to the floor. The beauty of the gleaming instrument striking the floor produces not only discordant sound, but image as well. Simple, but powerful.

As the scene cuts to a busy New York street, we are jolted back to reality. Dr. Seger (Mark Feuerstein) has just arrived from the West Coast. Seger is to join a neurosurgery team headed by the famous (or infamous) Dr. Doug Hanson (Stanley Tucci). Seger is greeted by one of Hanson’s assistants, who politely, but pointedly remarks that “he’s late”. She brings him into the hospital, and as she guides him to the Neuro wing, she casually mentions that the staff turnover is high on Dr. Hanson’s team, and advises him not to unpack all his things just yet.

Even before Seger enters the patient conference in Dr. Hanson’s office, we already know that there will be conflict, or at the least, tension. Dr. Seger has been portrayed as the empathetic eager beaver; while we’ve been made aware that his soon-to-be mentor has sent lesser men packing.

Oh, and we are not disappointed. Tucci’s Dr. Hanson is not a bad guy, nor boor, yet he states his findings and his solutions without handholding or any evident compassion. Dr. Seger senses Mrs. Mack’s growing alarm and confusion during Hanson’s discussion of her daughter’s condition, and he attempts to translate the medical terms into simpler language, and to inject a little comfort into the situation.

While Drs. Hanson and Seger prepare for a mapping procedure on Cassie, a side plot is introduced. A beautiful neurologist, Dr. Adrianne Holland (Indira Varma) is examining a patient in her office. While he submits to some standard tests, he quizzes the Dr. on why she does her exams barefoot. So here, we learn that not only is Dr. Holland is not only beautiful, but a bit eccentric as well. We also find out that her patient, Mr. Wills has been getting lost, and becoming forgetful. He also cannot distinguish between certain items when held in his hand. Dr. Holland used a fancy term for that problem; I’ll just say his tactile sense is messed up on the left side of his body.

Now we have two patients who need top-notch care, or is it three? The great Dr. Hanson is evidently mortal, he suffers from visual hallucinations, and during his brain scan (to test a new piece of equipment), an abnormality appears. However, he seems to be on top of his game, until his patient Cassie loses her expressive language skills after he completes his mapping procedure.

Again, the creators of 3 LBS use some unique and beautiful visual techniques to illustrate Cassie’s loss of speech. There is a dreamlike scene here that is very compelling. The camera work is one of the strengths of the show, right along with the writing, direction and acting. Feuerstein and Tucci are set up to play a bit of Good Cop – Bad Cop, but neither is drawn to such extremes.

Dr. Seger is kind and articulate, but is not above flirting with Dr. Holland, despite his acknowledgement of his girlfriend back home. On the other hand, Dr. Hanson is distant and abrupt. As much as I adore Hugh Laurie’s portrayal of the over the top grouchy Dr. House – Dr. Hanson is a bit more palatable, and is very capable of showing humanity when it is needed.

I shall not give spoilers, but there are some very intriguing twists at the end of the episode. One gives a sort of closure, and the other, makes us ask more questions. Those questions, along with the fine work helmed by Peter Ocko (Boston Legal) should bring viewers back for more.

3 LBS makes its network debut, tonight at 10:00 PM (ET)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Ah, the great elixir, savior to man-(and woman)kind, a treat for all the senses (gotta love those scalding drops on one's thighs while navigating rush hour traffic).

I have received much teasing, scorn even from my Mondo Project and Blogcritics brethren for my taste in coffee. As much as I love coffee, I try not to be a snob about it. Yeah, I drink 'light' beer too. But I have my limits.

I do not care for the flavored stuff. French vanilla, hazelnut, apple-fricken-strudel? Now, sure, I have had a flavored coffee. It's OK. But for me, it's like food scented candles. Aside from cinnamon, I really don't want to smell food unless it's acutal - like - food. Too damn frustrating otherwise. I'd much rather have pumpkin spice in a muffin or bread, rather than in my damn coffee.

If i'm going to indulge in flavors, I'd rather discern from the nuances of Sumatran, Kona, Columbian, Arabica, or Jamica Blue. Today I wandered into a local bakery, not looking for a pastry, just a cup of New England Coffee. I've had this brand before, and it's OK. Sure enough, on the board listing of flavors, I see all the fancy hazelnut, pumkin and whathaveyou. So, naturally I picked 'Breakfast Blend'. Nothing fancy.

More like, nothing like coffee. I took my first sip on the way home. Not only wasn't it hot, but it wasn't even coffee. Now, no matter how comforting warm milk is for some, there is nothing at all appetizing about warmish half 'n half, that had a distant, vague relationship to something that might have been (in a former life) a coffee bean.


So, I poured it out when I got home, and brewed up some Dunkins. I have to go teach karate to some six, seven, and eight year olds - and I need something more than lukewarm, weird, fake coffee!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I just read an excellent piece by the excellent Rick Reilly. Reilly is a long time columnist for Sports Illustrated - and he's one of my favorite writers. In this column, Reilly is apparently dealing with writer's block or some variation of such - until he reads a letter from an athlete's dad.

Please take a moment to check it out.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I’ve been meaning to make some sort of grand announcement here about the Godspell performance that my son and I are going to be a part of this fall. (November 3,4,5,10,11,12) More on that later.

Godspell Notes

So, last night we had our rehearsal at the Tewksbury State Hospital. Sounds strange, but they did have a great stage, and it was wonderful to have a whole stage to move around on, instead of a church basement. (Actually our stage movement wasn’t all that wonderful, as our fearless director kindly pointed out to us – but that’s another story.)

I find the place relatively OK. Luckily a few other cast members arrived at the same time, so we could walk in together. Confusion is best when shared, I always say. The guards laughed off our earnest requests of badges and ‘signing in’. “Naw, there’s too many of you – just go down stairs take (left or right, I forget now) and there you are.” Easy enough, but then when one of our group preferred the stairs, so the guards said, “OK fine, but take (right instead of left – or whatever) or else you’ll end up in the morgue.

Ah, the morgue. Now there’s a grand place to visit, if you’re a coroner. For the rest of us, not so much. We all made jokes, but I know that deep inside, the ‘hospital queasiness’ that we all felt was just compounded. Shiver.

So, as we are trying to find the auditorium, we move past shiny, but queerly empty hallways. Scenes of Nightmare on Elm Street, or just about any other horror movie I’ve ever watched raced through my over-active imagination. I don’t know about the others, but I think I sang “Bless the Lord”, and “Light of the World” with a little extra vigor.

Cut to the end of the night. We stayed even later than usual, I’m guessing we reached the exit doors at 10:45 – give or take. So, it’s late, and it’s absolutely pouring. Pour – ing. As in rain. As in, oh great, all our stuff is gonna get wet now.

But after a minute of whining, Mike and I start hiking towards the parking lot. Of course, I don’t quite remember where I parked, and it is pouring. And – we manage to find a nice ankle deep puddle, but not the car. All those creepy feelings from earlier start to nudge their way back into my brain.

Where the fuck did I park?

Tewksbury State Hospital is not where I want to spend the night. Oh, whew, there it is. I finally get to the car, plunk everything in, and off we go. But, how do we get out of here?

Now, I’ll admit, I’m not the best at these sort of things. I try like heck, I really do, but I can get lost pretty easily. And it’s STILL pouring. So, I just drive where I think I need to be, and hope for the best. But my defroster is a bit glitchy, it’s not really defrosting. I have to keep pulling over because I literally cannot see anything ahead of me.

We drive on this very narrow, winding road. Part of me imagines that Freddy Krueger will pop out from behind some tree, with his crazy claws glinting in my headlights. My heartburn comes back, and my head aches. I kind of think I may end up near Andover, but when I finally reach some sort of civilization, I’m further south in Tewksbury than when I started. But I know where I am, and get home without any other mishaps.

It’s now 11:30 PM.

Mike heads right to bed, he’s got school in the morning. I take a shower and go to bed about an hour later, after unwinding from all the happenings. I actually fall asleep pretty quickly – but around 1:10 we are awakened by some strange cry. “What was that?” I ask my husband. “I don’t know”. Then I hear my 11 year old open his bedroom door. “Mom, I puked”.

Now, the real nightmare begins.

[A good place to end, as I still need to finish my Jericho review, as episode One airs like – tonight]

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Off the top of my head –


A mix CD of mine was stolen over the weekend. I can re-create it easily enough – well not that easily. I don’t remember the order that the songs are in, but I should have all the songs still in me sweet little library. So, the loss of the CD is not so horrible. But still that was a little piece of me. Or, hmm – let’s see – 12 or so tracks, more like 12 little pieces of me. And someone stole it. The fu%*er.

Of course, they also made off with a couple of my son’s PS2 games. Now, there’s about $100.00 right there. And neither games nor CD should have been left outside the cabin of the campground we where in. But – there ya go, that’s the way it was.

Luckily I have not had a lot stolen from me. Not even my innocence. (It was given away with pleasure, mixed with a little guilt – of course) But it’s happened to people in my family. Houses, garages, vehicles, that sort of thing. What a lousy feeling. Someone poked around your stuff and decided what was valuable and what wasn’t. And what does that even mean? Would we be a little insulted if someone didn’t take our stereo or plasma?

“What, this isn’t good enough Mr. Thief? Just because I got it as a half price floor model, is no reason to get all snooty. My stuff is JUST as good as the neighbors!”


Loved watching Conan making his way through the sets of the ‘biggies’ like Lost, House, 24 even South Park. Very clever stuff.

Barry Manilow looked like he was in pain. Not talking about the poor hips that were to be fixed up – but his face. There wasn’t a visual resemblance, yet I keep thinking of Jack Nicholson’s version of The Joker in Batman. The whole grimace thing.

Anything is more fun when Kareem is there.

Kate Jackson was eloquent – but I kept getting distracted by her bone structure. Farrah did OK too, she seemed much more lucid than she did on the William Shatner roast (Comedy Central). Oy!

I can’t remember who she was – but one of the presenters, though very beautiful, well - something was awry. She had long pointy eyelashes that looked like they needed to be registered with the L.A. police department. Fairly scary, those.


I don’t think any stone was left unturned that night. Nothing was taboo. If anyone didn’t already hear the news that George Takei (Ensign Sulu) was gay, then it was drilled into them that night. (Wait – no, not like that). Ditto for Andy Dick. What a night! What laughs! What jabs! Ouch!


Whoever said that (paraphrasing) they didn’t understand why cereal boxes were SO freakin’ hard to open – yet light bulbs are packaged in lightweight cardboard, with cutouts! – Anyway – so true!

Friday, August 18, 2006


1. "I feel like I swallowed a hot mitten"

This is from the beloved classic, The Mary Tyler Moore Show. The news crew were feeling the effects of food poisoning, and this was Murry Slaughter's response. Sadly, no one got this : (

2. "I'm OUT!"

Now, here most of you shine. Of course, this is from Seinfeld's famous ep - "The Contest" - Kramer was the first to cave.

3. "I saw this in a movie about a bus that had to SPEED around a city, keeping its SPEED over fifty, and if its SPEED dropped, it would explode. I think it was called, "The Bus That Couldn't Slow Down." "

Y'all did pretty good here too. Everyone's favorite dope, Homer Simpson keeps us laughing. Rock on Homer!

4. "Hi, I'd like a Cheeseburger, please, a large fries and a Cosmopolitan"

Damn, must be more of a chick thing, Sex in the City.

5. "I didn't swear. GD. The first word is God. How can that be a swear word? It's the most popular word in the bible. The second word, damn, that's a perfectly good word, you hear it all the time, like they dam the river to keep it from flooding it. And you read in the Bible that some guy was damned for cheating or stealing or having sex in the family. And who damned him? Who else? God. God damned him. Edith, beautiful words right out of the Bible."

All in the Family. I didn't love this show, but it had some fabulous TV moments.

6. "I love it here. You can sing as loud as you want. That dude wails away on the organ. That dude up there tells stories. It's almost a religious experience!"

Tommy Chong's character Leo, and his observations about church in That 70's Show.

7. " you have any idea what happens to a butter-based frosting after sitting 60 years in a poorly ventilated English basement? I have a feeling that what you are about to go through is punishment enough. Dismissed!"

Seinfeld #2. Elaine had gotten used to the late afternoon office parties, so she was craving sugar. Sadly, in her managerial frenzy, she banned the parties, but retained the cravings. So, she snuck into boss J. Peterman's office to sneak a snack. What she thought was an Enterman's cake was really an expensive piece of history. The Duke of Windsor's wedding cake.

8. "I'm having a good ass day"

Mad About You. Fran's glib comment to Jamie regarding some nice jeans she was wearing.

9. "Hey, you know, I have had it with you guys and your "cancer" and your "emphysema" and your "heart disease." The bottom line is smoking is cool and you know it."

Not that I agree, but it was cool when Chandler Bing ranted this on Friends.
Below is a piece I originally posted on Blogcritics. It was my official "stance" on the scams, spams and slams that I was dealing with in the Life Electronic. Also, was a little something I zipped off to one of my new 'friends'.

As part of life on the Internet, most of us have received strange emails. They are a nuisance at best, and at worst, could lead to real trouble. If we believe that a little child is dying somewhere, bereft of joy, balloon animals and our email wishes we might think that sending a harmless cyber cheer-up is the way to go. But no, we’ve just provided our email address to potential phishers, spammers, and other no-goodniks. We also helpfully added an invisible label that proclaims, “SUCKER!”

When eBay sends me an email to tell me that my account will be suspended because I’ve been abusing it – am I going to go rectify this matter by replying with an account number, social security, or mother’s maiden name? Gates-All-Mighty – NO! One, because I’m lazy, and two, because I don’t have an eBay account!

And so it goes, a different twist is the “I am Somebody connected with Something Important. In a former life I was related to Prince Abdullah Droola – I am rich/used to be rich/dream of being rich/need to unload some dough” I have started a collection of these entreaties on my own website, just for fun. Here’s a sampling:

I have the tendency to invest this money in a company with good line of product like your own company and with potential for good capital returns, since your country is one of good investors friendly nation in the world, I would therefore like you to help me in every possible way in securing the fund in your country

What product am I selling? Besides my superb writing that is. Perhaps they think I’m The Mary Kay. (The fact that she’s passed on probably doesn’t matter)

And another:

Meanwhile, my plan is to withdraw just some amount from the accumulated Interest, which will not even affect the main fixed deposit, I will Give you the details of procedure and my full ID when I receive your reply and indication of partner. Your reward and amount to withdraw will be our mutual agreement to avoid any misunderstanding. We have nothing to lose, we only courage to do this

In this case, the sum was the interest (at 7%) of $150,000,000.00. My eyes did roll around for a moment, not unlike the free-flying pupils of Coach Comet in Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer when he saw the real glowing red nose that poor Rudolph had been hiding under a black rubber thingy.

I can’t flatter myself to think I am alone in the receipt of these scam emails. But vanity ensnares me – and I like to think that these people see something special in me. So, finally I fashioned a response, which will most assuredly fall on deaf, um – IPs. But I had fun anyway!

"Naw, not going to help you steal there, Ms Woodward. Or whoever you are.

Assuming you are a person, and your inquiry is not generated from a machine, I need to inform you that these emails are such old news. Evidently there are all kinds of monies languishing in various bank vaults or safe deposit boxes all around the world.

And I - lowly non-financial-background me seems to be the ONLY person in the good old capitalistic USA (or any other industrialized nation) with a pulse that is capable of receiving said monies. To do what with though, that always changes. Sometimes I'm asked to open up accounts, sometimes just put the money under my mattress. I assume it's all start up capital for a cleaning business - must have something to do with laundering - I guess?

That is a bit sad, don’t you think?

Not that I count myself to be among the great unwashed of the world. I don't see why a disposed prince from Fill in obscure African Country here or an official of Fictional Asian Corporation wouldn't want to become my pen pal. I'm kind to animals and I've been told that I'm a decent conversationalist.

So, Ms Woodward, as delightful as this current proposal seems, I'm content with staying on THIS side of the law, at least for today anyway."

Thursday, July 27, 2006

It's Official - I rock. Got another one. I on my way to Wall Street Wizardry. (I start my lecture circuit of the East Coast B schools in September)

"My Dear Friend,I am interested in a partnership investment programme with yourself/corporation.

There is this huge amount of Five million Seven hundred and fifthythousand U.S dollars($5,750,000.00)which my late father kept in asecurity/financial company before he was assasinated by unknown persons,during a political crisis in my country.

My father deposited it as a family treasure and that was before his death.

Now I and mother left Angola to Senegal,through the help of my latefather's good friend.Right now we are in refugee camp andwe have decided to invest these money in your country or anywhere safe enough outside my country Angola and the whole of Africa for security and political reasons.We would want you to assist us to transfer this fund to your countryfor safty and investment purposes on the followings below:



3).Real Estate Business

If you will be able of rendering an assistance to us we willadequately compensate you 25% Of the total fund.We will arrange all the necessary procedures in ensuring a smoothprocess for the funds to get to you.We will also appreciate if you contact me once you receive this mail to enable me give you more details.This matter requires your urgent attention ,confidentiality and discretion no matter what your decision maybe.Thank you and God bless you.

Your's Sincerely,
Duoala Mbale"

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Another one! Life is good!

From: Mr. Lawrence Omenda.
Tell : 66-59055478
Dear Sir.
Compliment of the day, before I proceed, I must be grateful to introduce my self, I am Mr. Lawrence Omenda a former personal aide to finance minister in Sierra Leone government, prior to the time of crisis which is presently on, I was able to secure some amount of fund which was safely deposited in Thailand.Due to my position, I was able to come away with the sum of { Four Million five hundred thousand United State Dollars}$4.5m, it was part of my share in over inflated contract awarded to foreign companies during the crisis.

I have the tendency to invest this money in a company with good line of product like your own company and with potential for good capital returns, since your country is one of good investors friendly nation in the world, I would therefore like you to help me in every possible way in securing the fund in your country.Furthermore , I will like you to assist me in finding a good business that I will invest this fund.However upon acceptance, you will be required to come to Bangkok Thailand for a meeting, this will enable us to know our self better and finalize arrangement towards moving the fund to your country.

In view of your participation, I am ready to give a good negotiation percentage for your assistance or better still commit it into joint venture project, be assured that you stand no risk of any kind as the fund legitimately belongs to me.I strongly believe that associating with you to embark on this and other business ventures will derive a huge success hereafter. .Presently, I am here in Thailand under the immunity of United Nation due to the war in my country, feel free to ask me any question in view of any doubt from your side, kindly reply with this Email law_omenda45@thaimail.orgAlso add your phone number probably mobile for ease of communication.

Best regards.
Lawrence Omenda.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I have been recieving these emails in my spam filter - about two or three a week. Though I understand that there is nothing genuine about them, I am intrigued nevertheless. To think, someone has determined that I am the glorious solution to their grave financial issues. This most recent plea is 'from' a industrious women in Bangkok. I may post up other ones, if I havn't deleted them alltogether.

Also forthcoming is my response to the dear dear Ms. Woodward.


I am a lady accountant with a bank here in Bangkok Thailand. There is a fixed Deposit of $150,000,000.00 (One Hundred and Fifty Million Dollars) made to this bank since 1994 which is twelve years now and since then no claim or withdrawal have been made on that deposit.

Fortunately, I have been the person working the interest from the day Of deposit to date, The interesting part of it is that the fixed deposit belongs to the late Nigerian dictator General Sani Abacha, this means that the account may have been abandoned by the surviving family members or that they are not even aware of the existence of the deposit.

However, I just finished updating the interest of the deposit this June, and it has come up to pound; $105,000,000.00 at the 7% interest rate per annum. It is this interest that I am interested in because I know very well that the family will care less on what happens to the Interest if they want to redeem the deposit, they will be interested on The main money, that is if they are able to claim it at all because all The money lodged into different banks here in Europe and United States Are now been claimed by the Nigerian government.

Meanwhile, my plan is to withdraw just some amount from the accumulated Interest, which will not even affect the main fixed deposit, I will Give you the details of procedure and my full ID when I receive your reply and indication of partner. Your reward and amount to withdraw will be our mutual agreement to avoid any misunderstanding.We have nothing to lose, we only courage to do this.

Sincerely yours,
Miss. Cynthia Woodward"

Sunday, July 16, 2006


OK it's not all that BIG, but let's not quibble over length
Leave your guesses in the comments - and when I get around to it, I'll post the answers. And for the love of Aaron Spelling - try to not Google or IMDB for answers - it's not very cricket, ya know? : )~

1. "I feel like I swallowed a hot mitten"

2. "I'm OUT!"

3. "I saw this in a movie about a bus that had to SPEED around a city, keeping its SPEED over fifty, and if its SPEED dropped, it would explode. I think it was called, "The Bus That Couldn't Slow Down." "

4. "Hi, I'd like a Cheeseburger, please, a large fries and a Cosmopolitan"

5. "I didn't swear. GD. The first word is God. How can that be a swear word? It's the most popular word in the bible. The second word, damn, that's a perfectly good word, you hear it all the time, like they dam the river to keep it from flooding it. And you read in the Bible that some guy was damned for cheating or stealing or having sex in the family. And who damned him? Who else? God. God damned him. Edith, beautiful words right out of the Bible."

6. "I love it here. You can sing as loud as you want. That dude wails away on the organ. That dude up there tells stories. It's almost a religious experience!"

7. " you have any idea what happens to a butter-based frosting after sitting 60 years in a poorly ventilated English basement? I have a feeling that what you are about to go through is punishment enough. Dismissed!"

8. "I'm having a good ass day"

9. "Hey, you know, I have had it with you guys and your "cancer" and your "emphysema" and your "heart disease." The bottom line is smoking is cool and you know it."

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Because this is SO cool, I had to share it with -- well -- anyone that stops by? Check this out.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The (model) Number of the Beast
(Originally Posted on

A few years back Nickelodeon had this great show, Rocko’s Modern Life. Like many of their cartoons past and present, the dialogue always had something smart and funny for the adults as well as the kids. I don’t remember a lot about the show, except I really liked it. Plus, the B-52s theme song was cool.

Anyway, the episode I remember most is when Rocko got a new vacuum cleaner, the SUCK-O-MATIC. The thing sucked all right, not much escaped it. By the way, I found an online petition to resurrect the show, but they ask for a donation. Ah, I guess I don’t need to see it that bad. Funny episode though.

So, why bring up the show and the machine? Because somehow, now I have a Suck-O-MATIC. I dunno, all I did was change the bag. And it wasn’t anywhere near full, just had that funky vacuum cleaner smell. Anyway, my machine is a Kirby 6000. Or some high number made to sound very impressive. (On a side note, these fixing high numbers on these machines, what does it really prove? I’m thinking I’d rather my appliances were all #1.)

Not that I’m complaining so much about this vacuum cleaner – I just did my carpeted stairs with the handy-dandy hand-held, ah – handle thing, and they look incredible! I suppose my entire discussion of this Kirby would lead you to believe I just bought it. Naw, I’ve had it kicking around for a few years. Today for some reason it really showed its power. By the way, just because we are inching closer to that date of 6-6-6, is NO reason to think anything is creepy is going on or for that matter, to question why the toaster burned my hand yesterday, or why it looked like I had my own Zuul in the refrigerator this morning. No, no reason at all.

Back to the Kirby – I had been going nuts in the living room; finding cobwebs here, pollen there, cleaning like crazy. I now have the hose and tube attachments going strong. I’m clearly in the zone, as I conquer dust and dirt in every corner. What’s this, a dusty spool of twine? Not for long! I take the tube and lightly hold it over the twine, delighting in how the baby dust bunnies are disappearing faster than you can say, “Oh shit!”

Yeah, not only were the bits of dust being speedily sucked up, but the end of the twine was fast disappearing as well. In a heartbeat, the vacuum cleaner shuddered slightly, belched, and shut itself off.

My mouth just hung open.

How the HELL did that happen, and SO fast? I started to pull the kelly green half-inch of twine out of the tube. It came out for about five inches, and stopped. Stuck tight to the insides of the beast. I unscrewed one tube, two tubes – still stuck. I pulled off the hose and saw a small ball of twine wound tighter than an Eagle Scout’s best clove hitch to the silver knobby thing. (Yeah, that’s a technical term)

I pulled off the twine, having to cut parts of it as I went. Dear God, how did this much friggin’ twine unravel so fast? Seriously, it only took about 30 seconds for over 24 feet of twine (yeah, I measured) to be sucked up and rendered useless. 24 feet! Imagine If I was Rapunzel! Oh, and I checked the model number again of the Kirby. Should have known, 666.

I’m done cleaning for the day. I’m going to be calling Dan Brown, Father Damien and Gregory Peck’s ghost over for a little chat. Good thing I cleaned up the place!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Below is my stab at playing substitute for a vacationing friend and fellow Blogcritics writer, Mark Saleski. Mark, an accomplished music writer, publishes a weekly column called the Friday Morning Listen.

Friday Morning Listen: A Substitute Mix
(Previously posted on

For starters, this isn’t Mark Saleski. This is a humble and somewhat jealous Sir Mary filling in for the vacationing Sir Saleski. As you all know, Mark’s been doing the Friday Morning Listen for three years now, relaying tidbits of his life, and the music that allows him to contemplate, celebrate, or just plain cope.

I know that often Mark’s ‘listening’ occurs on his drive into work on those Fridays. What a great idea, but my work commute consists of the few steps from the kitchen to the sunroom. I do get out and drive around on various errands during my day, but for months now I’ve been stuck with whatever I can find on the radio, as my CD player is broken.

However, I can relay what I might listen to as I work, which is a whole procedure itself. Sometimes I’m extremely picky when I’m writing. I suppose the closer a deadline looms is directly proportionate to what I listen to.

Anyway, lets swing over to my Windows Media Player, set it to ‘shuffle, and take a listen to some of my favorites:

“Sogno” – Andrea Bocelli. Not that conducive to writing, as I tend to just close my eyes and practically weep when ever I hear it. It’s just that gorgeous. But it puts me in a reflective state, and that’s not a bad thing.

“Music for a Found Harmonium” – Celtic Fiddle Festival. This unassuming little instrumental caught my attention when I became enamored of the movie Napoleon Dynamite. I heard this piece near the end of the movie and was captivated by its simplicity. As soon as I could, I searched the ‘net high and low to find the soundtrack. Well, finding the soundtrack wasn’t that hard, but this song wasn’t on it! Finally I narrowed it down to a version by the Penguin Café Orchestra. Not bad, but it wasn’t what I thought I heard in the movie. Actually, I thought I was hearing something of Latin origins, probably because the song continued through Pedro’s election celebration scene. I think part of the appeal of this piece is that it assumes different flavors in different settings. Wow, tofu music!

Another piece from ‘across the pond’ is Babyshambles’ “Bollywood to Battersea”. Now, I’ve been hearing lots about this group from the rest of my Mondo comrades – and a while back I randomly downloaded this piece. What a charming little song – reminiscent of early British Invasion, kind of Dave Clark Five-ish. However, I read that other Babyshambles selections range from punk to reggae styles – overall, something I think I’ll need to be purchasing sooner rather than later.

Next up is some pleasant jazz; an instrumental called “Highway Blues” by New Stories from the Speakin’ Out CD. Now this is my kind of writing music. Not too jumpy, and no distracting lyrics. My only problem is, I have no idea how this ended up in my player library. Must have been the music elves and fairies that play around in the house at night.

Oh awesome, nothing better than getting’ the Led out, with the timeless “Kashmir”. Sexy, soothing and stirring at the same time. Strangely, the lyrics don’t distract here. I barely acknowledge them, instead getting lost in the relentless bass and percussion.

From the classics to the new – my player shuffles right to Red Hot Chili Pepper’s “Stadium Arcadium”. Me likey.

Here’s another Napoleon Dynamite favorite – I’m kind of a sucker for certain 80s tunes like this. Strangely, during Holy Week, I found a deeper meaning in the simple but profound lyrics of “The Promise” by When in Rome:

“When you need a friend, don't look to a stranger,
You know in the end, I'll always be there.
But when you're in doubt, and when you're in danger,
Take a look all around, and I'll be there”

Works for me!

The beauty of this media player is that I can combine my son’s play list with my own. Otherwise I wouldn’t have developed an appreciate for the likes of Nirvana and Creed, evidenced my not shuffling away from the currently playing “Come as You Are” by Nirvana.

Oh yeah, let’s get jiggy! Will Smith you think? Not that I don’t like the Fresh Prince and all, but take that phrase back a decade, and you’ll surely feel jiggy listening to Van Halen’s “Everybody Wants Some”. I defy anyone with a pulse to sit still during this incredible mix of driving beat and wild shredding. OK so I don’t write so well with this stuff, but man, can I clean house or what!

I could let the title of my last selection, “Are You Experienced?” the Hendrix cover performed by Eric Johnson, taunt me. The song represents my half crazed efforts to bone up on the music of Johnson and Joe Satriani to prepare for my review of their Boston show last month. Experienced, I was not. I had never done a concert review before, and wasn’t extremely familiar with either musician’s material. But I knew what I liked, and tried to do justice to their work while driving myself slightly insane in the process.

And now, I will leave you in the much more experienced hands of Mark Saleski as he returns next week for another Friday Morning Listen.

Monday, May 08, 2006


1. “Run Shadowfax. Show us the meaning of haste”

This one wasn't too hard - from the last of the LOTR trilogy, The King Returns. This is what Gandalf commanded of his loyal horse, Shadowfax. Of course our friend Eowyn pegged this one. If she hadn't - well I would have had to knock some sense into the poor dear. : )

2. "She's so sexy. Look at her body language. All verbs!"

Infatuation at its best as Jason Biggs refers to Christina Ricci's character (and body) in Woody Allen's Anything Else. (2003)

3. "You know, one of these days, you might want to consider sitting down with someone. You know, have a little share time? Get in touch with your inner child? Also, you just might want to consider blinking once in a while."

A super pairing of the comedic genius of Ryan Reynolds with stoic hero Wesley Snipes in Blade: Trinity (2004) They both kicked ass, along with Jessica Biel against the likes of Parker Posey, WWE's Triple H, and Dominic Purcell. IMO, Reynolds stole the show.

4. "Franks and Beans! Franks and Beans!"

There's Something About Mary - Of course!

5. "Oh, no no no no. Dead broad OFF the table!"

Yes, Eowyn, 2004's Shrek 2

6. "Doesn't anybody notice this? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!"

She does it again, right again Eowyn, Will Ferrell was crazy enough protraying the bitchy, evil fashion designer, Mugatu from the 2001 Ben Stiller comedy, Zoolander. (You really should see this. We'll do a movie night!)

7. "Welcome to Earth!"

Yup, line delivered with mucho 'tude by the awesome Will Smith in Independence Day. (1996). Smith, as U.S. Airforce pilot Captain Steve Hiller. He has shot down an alien space ship, bailed out of his own plane before it crashed, and was so pissed off that once he approached the alien spacecraft, that he punched out the alien creature as his own special 'welcome'.

8. "They all have husbands and wives and children and houses and dogs, and, you know, they've all made themselves a part of something and they can talk about what they do. What am I gonna say? "I killed the president of Paraguay with a fork. How've you been?"

I never tired 1997's Grosse Pointe Blank. John Cusak, who is one of my favorite actors, portrays hitman Martin Q. Blank. Martin is 'splaining his reticence in attending his high school reunion. Yeah, he has a good point.

9. "And that's what she is, the Queen of Refuse. So bow down to her if you want, bow to her. Bow to the Queen of Slime, the Queen of Filth, the Queen of Putrescence. Boo. Boo. Rubbish. Filth. Slime. Muck. Boo. Boo. Boo."

Definitely a classic, The Princess Bride is tops in writing, acting, and directing.

10. "If I'm curt with you, it's because time is a factor here. I think fast, I talk fast, and I need you guys to act fast if you want to get out of this. So, pretty please, with sugar on top, clean the fucking car."

From a classic of a different sort, Pulp Fiction had some of the best dialogue in a movie. Ever.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Concert Review: Joe Satriani Super Colossal Tour
Berklee Performance Center - April 14, 2006

First posted on

It all started way back when, as many things do, with a dear friend from college. I was at Bryan’s house; he was playing something interesting on the stereo. “What’s this?” I asked. “Joe Satriani”, came the answer. He didn’t elaborate, and I just listened. The music was something very different from what usually blazed from Bryan’s Infinity speakers. Not necessarily better than Ted Nugent, Van Halen, AC/DC or Led Zeppelin, just very unique. The style of music and the name stayed in my head for a long time. I didn’t pursue the artist, but every time I heard the name mentioned, I would nod in appreciative recognition.

Then in the early ‘90s another instrumental rock guitarist got my attention – Eric Johnson. His Grammy winning “Cliffs of Dover” was getting airplay all over the place, so it was hard to ignore. But why would I want to? The song was incredible and I had to go get the platinum CD, Ah Via Musicom. I’ll confess right now, for the most part, all I listened to was “Cliffs of Dover”. The rest of the wonderful stuff went ignored. (I am a lazy music connoisseur – if there is such a thing)

But those two names still remained in my musical consciousness. Fast-forward to 2006 when I saw a concert announcement for Joe Satriani and Eric Johnson – in Boston. This was too good to pass up.

And it was that good.

The night started off with a rather loud and tasty dinner at Fire and Ice and moved on the Berklee Performance Center for the Boston stop of Joe Satriani’s Super Colossal tour. Eric Johnson opened up the show at about 7:30, and played for a little over an hour. I have since read that there was a hum coming from his equipment that night, but it wasn’t anything that I noticed personally, nor affected the show that much. Johnson went through a set that opened with “Summer Jam” and went on to include a great Hendrix cover of “Love or Confusion”; a very long but fun “Roctopus”; an undeniably country tune, “On the Way to Love”; and “SRV”, a rocking tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughn.

The crowd was more than appreciative during the show, yet this was the first concert that I’d been to in a long time when everyone stayed in their seats. The performances of both Johnson and Satriani were fairly no-frills, especially Johnson’s. Again, this was quite different from the pyrotechnics that I might see at an Aerosmith show, or the upside down drumming of Blink 182’s Travis Barker.

Of course, my favorite (and everyone else’s it seemed), “Cliffs of Dover” closed out the set. I’ve heard that Johnson turns the ‘Cliff’s’ into a whole separate art form during his shows. Annoying to some, and exciting for others, his teasing and hinting at his famous hit went on for – well – quite a while. But the reward finally came while Johnson, bass guitarist Chris Maresh and drummer Tommy Taylor brought it all together with the true ‘Dover’ melody, in a tight, bright finale.

One thing I never realized until this show – the guitar is such a ‘guy thing’. The BPC was packed with guys. I didn’t notice the disparity at first, even with a dead giveaway of a line for the men’s room. Sure, there were a few women here and there, but this was so definitely a guy thing.

So, it wasn’t until Joe Satriani – the headliner – began, that I really became aware of the conspicuously testosterone filled environment. First, it was the three men seated in front of my husband and myself. These guys were going wild, head nodding, air guitar, fists pumping…the works. And I heard of a lot of cheers and whistles, but not much above a low-end resonance. In Eric Johnson’s set, there was a hollered profession of, “I love you!” But, from a guy. Very interesting!

I said that both performers put on “no-frills” shows. Well, that’s not quite true. Satriani did have a modified light show. It was pretty much just white spots and some red and blue gels, but it helped rev up the crowd even more, especially working with the opening song, “Flying in a Blue Dream”. Hearing this one first was exciting, because I actually recognized it. As I mentioned earlier, I wasn’t the strongest JS aficionado, but I did manage to listen a few of his songs in the week or so before the concert. Though I would have loved to have recognized more pieces, the man is so talented that the whole set was amazing, even to the novice Satch fan.

During concerts, whether rock, classical, or somewhere in the middle, performers often change clothes for different numbers. Satriani doesn’t change clothes; he changes guitars. Now, I don’t know a Les Paul from a Fender Strat, but I noticed at some point that he seemed to change his guitars for every song, or close to it. During the performance of the title track from his newest CD, Super Colossal, he actually played a guitar with his picture on it. This customized and autographed Ibanez with the CD cover art will be raffled off at his last tour stop in San Francisco. (Proceeds will benefit two programs, Little Kids Rock and Music in Schools Today)

After hearing him perform “Super Colossal”, it all seemed to fit. This really is the song to play on a guitar with one’s own image on it. I listen to it now, and I can picture Mick Jagger or Steven Tyler strutting their stuff. It’s all about the front man. It’s a big, full, swaggering song, a definite rock anthem, without words.

But the fact that Joe Satriani’s music is mainly instrumental can be both a detriment and a plus. Vocals do get the attention of mainstream rock radio. Take Van Halen. Now Eddie Van Halen is a solid shredder. (Just listen to “Everybody Wants Some”). But for the most part, the average listener is going to first focus on David Lee Roth, or Sammy Hagar. The other instruments sometimes need to vie for attention, lead guitar included because people will identify a band with the vocalist. But without vocals to contend with, Satriani revels in a love affair with his guitar. Whether cajoling the achingly beautiful melody of “A Cool New Way”, showing off the power of “Redshift Riders”, or unleashing the authority of “Satch Boogie”, Joe Satriani and his guitar make an incredible pairing.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Some News:

I and seven fellow writers: (Will Harrison, Jeannie Mobley, Steve Pulley, Leslie S. Russell, S. Michele Smith, Gisela von Brunn and Mike Walton) are now published in Brewed Awakenings. This is an anthology of poetry, short stories and essays. We worked on this for the last year, and are proud to have this book available for you the unwitting gracious public. So, take a look and we think you'll enjoy!

Friday, April 07, 2006

My Excellent Curling Adventure
(originally Posted on Blogcritics)

The family and I probably attend about five professional sporting events each year. We usually make it to three or so Lowell Spinners games (local Class A minor league baseball team), perhaps a college or minor league (Lowell Lock Monsters) hockey game, and the odd Red Sox or New England Patriots game.

Last weekend, we delved into the exotic, a professional curling tournament.

Not just any tournament or bonspiel, this was the Men’s World Curling Championship. Now, ordinarily I don’t think I’d travel all over the place for a sport I have barely no knowledge of – but this event was staged right next door at the Paul E. Tsongas Arena (Lowell, MA). We opted for tickets during the first weekend of the round-robin style matches, and now I wish our calendar conflict would allow for our going this coming weekend, it was that cool.

There was not a huge crowd at the 7,800-seat arena. The empty seats were a bit obvious – but once the action got going, the enthusiasm of both fans and players made up for it.

I knew this was going to be a special event, – there were cowbells. To me, the cowbells added a bit of sporting chic. After all, I only hear them when watching some sort of Wide World of Sports televised event. Oh yeah, this was the big-time baby. I swore that Amanda Peet was sitting in the row in front of us. I thought about getting an autograph, but I eventually realized it was just a doppelganger. Still – you never know who could have shown up. No, I didn’t crane my neck for a glimpse of Jack in his ever-present shades, but I felt that celebrity vibe for sure.

I noticed that seeing this sort of event live was quite different from the few times I’d seen curling during Olympic coverage. As a matter of fact, it strangely reminded me when I went to see a WWE live event, Backlash, last June. When my sons force me to sit and watch the televised wrestling antics of JBL, Triple H, or John Cena – a huge part of the show is the back and forth of the commentators. It was very strange, almost disconcerting to be at the live event, and to think how quiet it was. Oh, the audience was wild and strange - and loud, but the action in the ring was very quiet. And no commentary! Or, rather commentary that was intended for the Pay-Per-View home audience, not us in the Verizon Wireless Arena.

And so, this curling thing was not quiet by way of passionate fans, but missing was any Curt Gowdy (RIP) type broadcasting that a TV viewer like me is spoiled by. I had to rely on my in-laws knowledge of the sport. Not that they were huge curling aficionados, but they had at least watched just about all the coverage from Torino, and knew which ‘end’ was up.

I needed the help too. First of all, I thought I was just going to see Ireland vs. USA, but there were there were four busy sheets in the arena. Sheets are the ice ‘fields’ that the matches are played on. So, even though it was somewhat distracting, it was also pretty cool to see these fine gents in the additional and simultaneous contests: Finland vs. Norway, Denmark vs. Japan and Germany vs. Switzerland.

Right after the Star Spangled Banner ended, the players took to the ice to stretch out. That alone was an interesting scene. Seeing the all the curlers gliding across the sheet in that funky low down - parallel to the ice – throwing stance was kind of amazing. It almost had the feel of synchronized swimming; there was a certain grace exhibited, to be sure.

Also, there was something about that clunk of one rock hitting another one. I love that sound! It’s a bit like the smack of billiard balls hitting one another. Fittingly, because curling has been likened to both billiards, and chess. It’s a simple game in design, but very difficult in execution. Also, each play is different from the one before, in tempo and temperament.

In basket ball, or hockey for example, you see variations of the same thing, not that these sports aren’t exciting to watch, but pretty much the speed will remain the same, fast.

In one respect, curling could be compared to baseball, some plays are slow, a player might walk on base – or even if someone hits a home run, he’ll take his bases slow and leisurely. Other times, speed is crucial to a win or loss. In curling, you could have a fast hard throw of the rock down the sheet, in hopes to either knock the opponent’s rock out of the way, or to place yours exactly in the button. Other times, the rock will get a softer throw, and the sweepers simply act as escorts, keeping the same pace as the rock, not too fast, not too slow, when suddenly the skip will start yelling, and the sweepers start brushing…”Hard, hard, hard!” Then they slow down, watching the rock, then speed up again until they manage to get the rock exactly in the right spot. Incredible.

Though we were able to watch all four games at the same time, USA and Ireland was the match-up we were all most interested in. Wouldn’t you know they wound up tied at the 10th end. When the teams went into the 11th overtime end, USA had the hammer, which means the advantage of throwing the last rock. They deftly used this to their advantage, winning the end, and the game.

Currently USA is in 2nd place, right behind Scotland.

What’s even better is that BOTH my sons enjoyed it as well. The 17 year old had complained quite vigorously all the way leading up to the 4:00 start time, but when it was all said and done, he was the last one who wanted to leave. He, and the rest of us, had a great time.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Adam is leaving us. I feel like I've been kicked in the gut. No pun intended. Adam V. has been my man since... forever.

Foxboro Stadium - 1996, Bill Parcells was head coach, Drew Bledsoe was first string QB. One of those newbie expansion teams, the Jacksonville Jaguars, were playing at New England.This was my first Pats game in about eight years; I was excited, and having a great time. I didn't care so much who won, I was just having fun out with adults. It became quite cloudy and started to drizzle during the game. By the 4th quarter it was pouring rain. I wasn't having so much fun anymore. Even the close score didn't matter to me. I wanted to go home - wah!

Yes, I'm a bit of a wuss. Anyway, the score was so close, the game went into overtime. I didn't care WHO was winning, I was soaked! Next thing I knew, Adam was lining up for a field goal, kicked it - and wham - Game over N.E. 28, Jacksonville 25. Done. Thank YOU Adam!

As the years passed, I began to pay more attention to the game and the team and saw that Adam was actually an incredible player! Soon I was at the pro shop buying my #4. Cool. He's saved our collective asses on more than one occasion and I wore my jersey proudly.

And now, he's off to be a Colt. Drats. 'Course, that's not what I said last night when I heard this. But even so, not much we can do about it except wish him well and thank him for all he's done for New England.

Thank You Adam!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The March issue of Hot Psychology is up! Lot of cool stuff - interviews with Olympians, thoughts on privacy vs safety, same sex rights to marry, and the business of torture. Go see. Go now.
Here's the latest stuff - BlogCritics Radio - I am one of the guests on this weeks Podcast. It was a lot of fun, and sounds like everyone else had a good time doing their segments as well. Go give it a listen!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Well - I've been a busy gurl and have not been here to update much at all. A kind of cool thing that happened a couple weeks ago was that I was named Blogcritic of the Day. I don't remember exactly what day that was, I think the weekend of February 18th. Every couple of days a new Blogcritic is named, and we are urged to visit their home blogs and "pay homage". Kind of funny, yes? Funny but a nice honor.

The current Blogcritic of the Day is Jeff Kouba, he also happens to blog on the Fox show 24, just like I do. Our Blogcritics postings are linked together, along with any other BCers that wax so eloquently on the doings of Jack Bauer and Friends. There. I was going to throw my last two 24 posts here on All About Us - but now I don't have to! Just click the above! Easy!

Hey, speaking of easy, has anyone seen that Staples commercial - part of the Easy Button series? Invading soldiers rapidly approach a very small group of Chinese nobles - and well...just go click on the above. They can 'splain better than I. Anyway, it was pretty clever. You know, they sell those Easy Buttons. We used one at church, for a family game night. I'm trying to remember what it says, I think something like, "Now that was easy". Hey, it makes me laugh. What can I say.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

An interesting piece by Blogcritc's John Spivey, about education. Check it out!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

(reprinted from my first piece for Hot Psychology, February 2005)

Can You Hide in the Hype?

So, it seems as if we’ve just put Christmas to bed, and are now taking a breather. I have a lot of thoughts on Christmas, pleasant memories, over-commercialization rants, shopping frustrations, and all those ads! What hopes they conjure. I now know that if my husband brings me to a beautiful woodland setting, and the snow is lightly falling, the sun’s already slipped past the horizon – that the huge elm tree in front of us will magically light up – just – about --- now – AND, I will be presented with a fine piece of diamond jewelry. It’s true!

And what wonderful trinket might come my way on February 14th? I am holding my breath in anticipation.

But what about someone who is not attached, married, coupled up, or in love? What will they do for Valentine’s Day? Should a single person feel deprived, or left out? I had been that person in the past. Oh, not despairingly so. Mostly during high school and college, when the dating was intermittent. Luckily, for me, I was not alone in my ‘aloneness’. Being single on Valentine’s Day was not a huge issue as a teen and young adult. Dating life improved as I got older, and before I knew it, I was married so any angst over ‘V-Day’ was banished.

It has been well documented that the holidays, especially Christmas can bring about this angst, stress and depression, particularly if one is alone. But, if so inclined, there are lots of things to be involved with, at least at Christmas time. Everyone has someone to shop for, even if it’s your landlord. There are charities for donating and cookies for baking. You could gild everything in sight and craft cool swags out of evergreens and household items. Point is - Christmas has come to mean many things to many people. A single person can blend in, diffusing attention away from their solo status. Romance to be sure, is just one part of Christmas, but it’s the whole bloody reason for the holiday we know as Valentine’s Day. Of course, it all began quite differently.

Who Was Saint Valentine?

Way back in about the 3rd century the Romans were having a swell time celebrating a pagan festival called Lupercalia. This partying and carrying on was typically during mid February, and there would be goats and or dogs sacrificed to honor Juno, Goddess of Fertility. (Supposedly, also being honored was Fannus, Roman God of Agriculture, and Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome.)

Anyway, with the sacrificing and all, the young men would run around chasing the young women, whipping them with strips of goat hide that had been dipped into the sacrificial blood. Strangely, this was desirable for the women, the more blood, the more promised fertility. The women would then write their own names (presumably in blood) and place the names into an urn or something, hoping for the hottest of young Roman hotties to pick their name. Once the names were picked, and the girls and boys would be coupled up for the rest of the festival. Sometimes these matches would last for the next year, and then result in marriage.

Obviously all the young hormonal coupling and marrying was generally thought to be a good thing. Except to the Emperor, Claudius II. You could call him the Grinch of Valentine’s Day. Except there wasn’t any Valentine’s Day – yet. Actually, ‘ole Claudius’s nickname was Claudius the Cruel, which, when you think about it, is rather Grinch-like.
In those days, Claudius II was having the devil of a time with all the wars and such, and military enlistment was (so I’m told) at an all time low. He assumed the reason was that the men didn’t want to leave their wives and girlfriends. (Suppose any underlings dared to ask him “Hey Claude, you know what happens when you ‘ass’ume”?) Actually it does make sense that the dudes wouldn’t want to join up to fight Charlie or whoever the enemy of the time was. I suppose what we know as the draft, wasn’t yet invented, so Claudius banished marriage. Gasp. Pretty cheeky I’d say. You can see why he earned his nickname.

Somewhere around the same time, give or take a bunch of years, there was a kindly (some say epileptic) priest by the name of Valentine. Actually history has blended fact with legend, and it’s quite foggy, but there were at least two, if not three priests and or holy men all named Valentine. (Curiously, they are all reported to have been martyred on February 14th.)

Now, from what I can gather, the kindly (and possibly epileptic) priest was secretly marrying the Young Lovers. Obviously, once Claudius found out, he ordered Valentine to be put to death. It’s either this same Valentine or a subsequent Valentine who was helping Christians with whatever Christians needed help with at the time. Like staying alive, for example. This aid to Christians was quite the faux pas of the time, and naturally Valentine was jailed. In jail he fell in love with the jail keepers daughter, named Julia. Julia was blind, but the love of a good Valentine cured her. Amazing! Anyway, This blindness-curing, Christian-aiding Valentine was put to death, but not before he had a chance to send Julia a little love note, signed “From your Valentine”. I’m guessing priestly vows of Celibacy weren’t the fashion of the times. In any case, there was turmoil, lust and bloodshed surrounding the origins of Valentine’s Day. Luckily things have changed.

But Wait – What about the Singles?

Or have they? Well, there is still lust. Lust is always in fashion. Bloodshed? Not so much. Wait, I’m forgetting the Valentine’s Day Massacre. OK Chicago mobsters aside, what’s left? Turmoil. Oh boy, is there turmoil. Like I said, I am married, so I have not thought about Valentine’s Day as a single person in quite a while. But this is a day targeted for love, so what does it all mean for the unattached?

For those whose relationships have failed this last year, Valentine’s Day has not been observed, with feeling anyway, for a while. Even for those who are married or part of a couple, this day can cause anxiety. In troubled unions, nothing forces the couple to face the reality of their relationship like shopping for an anniversary or Valentine’s card. For the newly single person, they might be in too much pain to even acknowledge that such a hearts and flowers time is on hand. The holiday goes right under the emotional radar.

And for those who have been single all along? Do they cringe and mope every February? Yes. And no. I have known my share of Lonely Hearts, and they honestly do bitch and moan about their single state. And I know other singles, they take it all in stride.

Love, Actually

Simply put, it’s all relative. It really is. In the previous talk of Christmas, I skimmed over the ‘wrong’ parts of the holiday. Things that, if I let them, really get to me. I’m quite horrified to see garlands and candy canes on retail display BEFORE HALLOWEEN. Each year, I practically resent family members asking me what’s on my wish list. I whine that anyone who really knows me should not need to ask. PS2 becomes a dirty phrase. And so on. But what is key here - is that these things bother me, if I let them. It seems so cliché, but we really do have choices. We can celebrate all kinds of holidays whether they pertain to us or not. We can celebrate love in all its forms, not just romantic. We can continually work to become better people and love ourselves in the process.

In the opening narration of the film Love Actually, Hugh Grant muses about love. While voicing over everyday reunion scenes at Heathrow Airport, he tells us that despite the despicable acts of 9/11, the numerous phone calls made that morning weren’t filled with talk of hatred or vengeance. The calls were all about perhaps saying goodbye, but mostly “I love yous". Expressions of love made to spouses, lovers, families and friends. Grant advises us that all you have to do is look and see that Love, actually is all around.
Something very special for Valentine's Day.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Grey’s Anatomy

So, ya, you knew George was going to find his balls again and get Bailey all pumped and ready to deliver her possibly fatherless child. I really thought Tucker was checking out there. I really did. Speaking of dying, I thought Meredith was going to check out as well. Actually, no. I didn’t think that she was going to get killed off – up until I saw her lying on the ground, covered with ash and debris. For a moment I thought she was gone. But the Bomb Guy(s)? Did they turn into the ‘Pink Mist’ that chicken-shit Dr. Milton spoke of? Maybe the Mist would take Dr. Milton too?

Shame that Kyle Chandler seemingly bought it. I thought Meredith and he were going to start something. Why would they bring him? It was good to see him being a little disagreeable. The role he had in Early Edition (from what I remember) he was a little too nice. Oh, it’s not that I don’t like nice guys. They rule. But it was nice to see him a little less ‘nice’. Too bad he didn’t have that newspaper with him at the Bomb Squad headquarters. Maybe he and the squad could have stopped by the WW reenactment site before the damn bazooka was fired.

I love Yang, but why oh why the fuck did she have to open her mouth to Shepherd about Meredith holding the bomb? Why??? She seems smarter and less emo than that. But, sigh; guess it had to be part of the story. A bit corny that Tucker starts to flat-line at that instant by the way.

And the music, oohh the music has got to be the best soundtrack-y stuff out there. I have no clue what it is most of the time, but its perfect.

Well, tonight is another 24 episode, so I’ll be needing to get all psyched up for that.

Sunday, February 12, 2006


You know when you see those artistic images, perhaps on Christmas cards, or some such rendering of wintertime? You see maybe a window, outlined in frost and snow? The window I look out of now, has that white wave of snow at the bottom. This occurs though, because the wind fiercely whips snow about, creating those smudges on the panes. The wind outside is wild right now. You can hear it against the house, you can see the white whirls creating the drifts that might block our front door if we let it.

I'm lucky I don't have to be out in that right now, but will probably do some shoveling assitance later on. I'll maybe make some cookies too. I don't know why, but I always seem to make cookies when we have a snow storm. I guess I want the kids to have that 'fresh baked' smell to come back to after being out in the snow.

That's it for now -

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

I was recently reminded that I had never posted the results of a previous Movie Quiz - So, I'll get right to it!

1. "...the soft glow of electric sex" - From A Christmas Story referring to the 'Major Award' leg lamp

2. "I've got a bad feeling about this" - taken from numerous Star Wars films, spoken by actors such as Harrison Ford, or Ewan McGregor

3. "...and the schnozberries taste like schnozberries!" What else could this be but Willie Wonka

4. "Sometimes you just gotta say, 'what the fuck' " Spoken by newcomer Tom Cruise, in the 1983 classic Risky Business

5. "At my signal - unleash Hell" My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius - aka Spaniard, aka General, aka Slave, aka Gladiator.

6. "Quid pro quo!" Eww, this still gives me the creeps, when I imagine the words spoken by a creepy Anthony Hopkins' 'Hannibal Lector' to Jodie Foster's 'Clarice' in Silence of the Lambs

7. "Are you stalking me? Because that would be super" In the 2002 flick, National Lampoon's Van Wilder, a very funny Ryan Reynolds asks this of Tara Reid, fellow student and journalist.

8. "I'm gonna give you to the count of 10 to get your ugly, yellow, no-good keister off my property before I pump your guts full of lead! One, two, ten!" - Home Alone! Love that movie!

9. "Fuck Grandma" This is 'Gramps' response whenever family members would ask him if he missed his deceased wife, Grandma - in 2002's The Sweetest Thing. This movie didn't really go places, even with a cast including: Thomas Jane, Christina Applegate, Cameron Diaz, Parker Posey and Selma Blair. Oh well, I still liked it.

10. "Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony." A little nothing of a film made in 1975, created by and starring some blokes in England - Oh I don't know...something to do with a Holy Grail - or some such nonsense - Monty---something?

: )~

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

24 - Hour Seven: The Art of the Bitch Slap

[Previously Posted on]

Interrogation in Logan’s office, Walt sweats and trots out his “Patriots” line again. No Honey, sadly they were not in the Super Bowl this year. Déjà vu as Logan asks Pierce to get Walt out of his office again. Jack thinks Logan was talking to him, he heads out as well. “Jack – wait, we can work this out, I still love you!” No, Logan didn’t actually say that. But I giggled, cuz that’s what it reminded me of, when Prez pleaded with Jack to stay on the case. When love doesn’t work, Prez tries another tack, “Jack, please, we have to do it this way, so we can introduce your daughters’s story arc!” Jack considers briefly, “Yes, Kim is rather hot, sure, I’ll stick around and search for that…” (scratches 5:00 shadow)…”nerve gas – right, sure, let’s get that nerve gas, maybe Hot Kim can help”.

Logan sighs in relief, not that Jack will help, not that Hot Kim might swing by, but relieved that he can stop making so many faces.

The Russians realize that they cannot work the canisters. Sucks to be Russian! YellowTieKeyCardMan, who thankfully now actually has a name, Earwig? Airwick? knocks his buddy to the ground with a swell elbow strike, an elbow bitch slap – if you will. Airwick growls and reminds stricken Ruskie to stop messing around and improve his accent. Just in time, Airwick gets a call from a secret admirer – “I saw your name on, liked your profile, say – need help with those pesky canisters?” Secret Admirer has one of those great voices you never forget – is that Sydney from The Pretender? Yay!

Eventually CTU traces phone call ‘tween Sydney and Airwick, pin points where Sydney is – and who he is. Dude is named Rossler, in some high-rise, conveniently close enough for Jack and Curtis to rendevous there.

Another interesting phone call, is the one Samwise McGill gets from his sister Jen. Who is that girl? She looks a little like Amanda Plummer, most famous for her role in Pulp Fiction, and this Jenny person definitely seems as nervous and strung out as Honey Bunny was.

Chloe asks Bill to let Spenser help by hacking into the convenient high-rise, Edgar blusters, Chloe kicks him under the table, and Bill gives in. Spenser tries to make nice-nice with Chloe, she just makes one of her faces and tells him to shut up and work faster. Or something like that.

Logan still scrambles to apologize to Martha for nearly shipping her off to Vermont. She talk about the good old days, when they used to be a team, he looks at her with affection, and suddenly, wham – she totally bitch slaps the Prez! Just then, Mike knocks at the door, “Mike, PLEASE come in”. Prez is feeling so wussed out he apologizes to Mike as well, and when Mike suggests yet another cover-up to explain Walt and his ‘Patriotic’ ways, Martha disagrees, saying ‘let’s be honest’. Mike and Prez snicker for just a second, but Prez is still wussed and agrees with Martha. Martha sticks her tongue out at Mike, Mike looks dejected. Poor Mike.

At the convenient high-rise penthouse, Curtis, Jack and CTU folk storm the building. Wee! Such excitement, shots fired, guards down, Curtis down! Oh no! Whew, just got his vest. God bless Kevlar! They shoot Sydney/Rossler (but not enough to kill him – of course) and find Michelle Trachtenberg’s clone in the bedroom, all banged up and scared. “I was left behind on that Eurotrip. And that bad man with the cool voice hit me!”

(Red Alert - Senator John McCain is working at CTU, hiding out after bitchslapping [verbally] Illinois Senator Barack Obama.!)

Meanwhile, nerve gas toting Russian bad guys Airwick and friends get help from friendly Orange Country Chopper dude. The fact that there are weapons involved had nothing do to do with it OCC dude helping out with his precision cutting tools. Swell!

At the ugly convenient high-rise penthouse, Jack and Curtis interrogate Syndey/Rossler. His voice doesn’t sound so nice now, a little scratchy. Still he has chutzpah. Even tells Jack to “go to hell!” Wow! Sydney must have balls of steel. Doesn’t he know Jack will bitch slap him? Or at least cut his eye out? Jack does not disappoint, wham – slap. Nice backhand slap. Love it.

At CTU Spenser has outlived his usefulness, Chloe offs him. Not really, just fires his ass, Edgar gloats. Senator McCain nods approvingly.

Orange Country Chopper dude finishes cutting all 20 canisters. Airwick bitchslaps him with a bullet. Saw that coming a mile off, right?

Sam/Lynn goes to meet with sister Jenny, it was supposed to be ’20 minutes’ later – but in the weird space/time thing that is 24, it’s more like 30 minutes later. Honey Bunny sure looks like she’s using. Sam/Lynn wants her to go see the White Wizard, and offers to pay for everything, but that’s not good enough for Honey Bunny or Pumpkin, who comes from behind and mugs Sam/Lynn. Wham! Bam! Ker-Plooey! Pumpkin takes some cash, and a curious card. Now, you know that’s going to be of importance later on, either it was a Yu-Gi Oh! “Blue-Eyes White Dragon”, or Sam’s CTU ID card. Both very important.

At ugly Penthouse, Jack has arranged for Sydney/Rossler to get some perks, such as a signed certificate of authenticity that he can go anywhere he wants, and get the keys to the City of Los Angeles. Also in the package is Eurotrip Inessa, who balks at the plan. “Bad man hit me, no wanna go – you can’t make me” Jack tells her to go get dressed. No Jack, don’t’ be stupid! Remember what happened when Martha went to get dressed? She fuckin’ ran! OK so Inessa IS in high-rise, the chance of her escaping out the window is nil, but seriously Jack. Never let a woman get dressed alone!

Martha and Prez finish speech, good vibes all around. But wait, Mike calls. Is this a little one-up-man-ship? Mike says, “Sure, you and the wifey made nice-nice, wrote a little speech, but come lookey at what I got!

At Penthouse, Jack and CTU folk get ready to ‘move’ Sydney, someone orders, “Bring the girl out”. Out comes Eurotrip Inessa, but wait – she has a gun! She knows how to handle it too. Nice! Sydney is dead, Curtis verifies, checking his watch, “time of death, about 20 minutestoofucking soon!”

Prez and Martha meet Mike – oh no! It’s Walt! He’s hung himself! Ouch! I guess he and the Secret Service were playing hangman to pass the time, and they suggested playing by White House rules. Ooohh, now that’s some bitch slap.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Quiz Hint: For #2, the 'sexy' one in question, also played the role of 'Hannah' in last night's Grey's Anatomy. (February 5th, 2006)

Friday, January 27, 2006


1. “Run Shadowfax. Show us the meaning of haste”

2. "She's so sexy. Look at her body language. All verbs!"

3. "You know, one of these days, you might want to consider sitting down with someone. You know, have a little share time? Get in touch with your inner child? Also, you just might want to consider blinking once in a while."

4. "Franks and Beans! Franks and Beans!"

5. "Oh, no no no no. Dead broad OFF the table!"

6. "Doesn't anybody notice this? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!"

7. "Welcome to Earth!"

8. "They all have husbands and wives and children and houses and dogs, and, you know, they've all made themselves a part of something and they can talk about what they do. What am I gonna say? "I killed the president of Paraguay with a fork. How've you been?"

9. "And that's what she is, the Queen of Refuse. So bow down to her if you want, bow to her. Bow to the Queen of Slime, the Queen of Filth, the Queen of Putrescence. Boo. Boo. Rubbish. Filth. Slime. Muck. Boo. Boo. Boo."

10. "If I'm curt with you, it's because time is a factor here. I think fast, I talk fast, and I need you guys to act fast if you want to get out of this. So, pretty please, with sugar on top, clean the fucking car."

Sunday, January 22, 2006

CD Review: Sarah Brightman – Love Changes Everything
The Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection: Volume Two

First posted on

Of course I’d heard of Sarah Brightman, I knew she sung, mostly in musicals or opera. I knew that she had been married to Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, the amazing genius behind Jesus Christ Superstar, Cats, Evita and much more. I also knew she had a pretty face and a prettier voice. A few years back, I channel surfed into a PBS show, nearly at the end – as is my luck. Sarah was singing something – I didn’t know what it was – but it took my breath away. I’ve since tried to remember what the song was, and I still don’t know because now I have been hearing so many beautiful songs on this CD.

Sarah Brightman – Love Changes Everything is full of familiar Webber tunes, a couple from Jesus Christ Superstar, a couple more from Phantom of the Opera, and a few that I was not familiar with, but are now becoming new favorites. I can’t get enough of the anthem-like title track, “Love Changes Everything” from 1989’s Aspects of Love. I’m looking forward to when I get my car CD player fixed so I can do the sing-along on road trips. Also from the same show, is the duet “Seeing is Believing”, sung with Michael Ball. Simply gorgeous. Another unknown tune was “Whistle Down the Wind” from the 1989 show of the same name. I only had to hear it once though to consider it a favorite.

Of the more familiar tunes, I especially like “Think of Me”, from Phantom of the Opera. I had been listening to the Phantom soundtrack beforehand -- I have a serious theatre lover in the house – so I recognized the song. Sara soars on this one. She should, her future husband Andrew Lloyd Webber created not just the song – but also the role of Christine Daae expressly for her. And damn if it doesn’t fit like a lyrical glove!

Also familiar, sort of, was the song, “No Liores Por Mi Argentina”. You’d probably recognize it as, “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina”, from Evita. Familiar yes, but delightfully new to hear it in Spanish. At first I was mildly frustrated that I couldn’t sing along – four years of high school Spanish and one year of college Italian still wasn’t enough for me to translate instantly. But without the distraction of the English lyrics, I actually could appreciate the intended beauty of the song. Maybe that’s why I’m so addicted to Andrea Bocelli’s, “Sogno”, sung in his native Italian. If I heard it in English, would I like it as much?

A minor complaint is Sarah’s rendition of “Any Dream Will Do”, from the 1968 Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Oh, she sings it beautifully, but to me, that’s a song to be sung by Jason Donovan, Michael Damian, or Donny Osmond, who all portrayed Joseph in various productions of the show. Brightman’s wonderful 4-octave range could easily handle any of the female Narrator’s pieces and I wonder why those weren’t chosen instead. But who am I to quibble of minor points? Sarah Brightman has the vocal chops to perform darn near anything, and Love Changes Everything surely proves it.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

As many of you know, I've been affiliated with Hot Psychology Magazine for a year now, first as a writer and now as Features Editor. We’ve been growing and looking better and better, and it has been pretty exciting!

This is just a heads up on Hot Psychology’s ‘appearance’ on the web radio program “Stars of PR”. This show, web-cast at business.voiceamerica, is part of the Voice America group.

PR specialist and "Stars of PR" host Cindy Rakowitz will interview our Editor-in-Chief Jim Idema and our Culture Editor Kimberly Berg tomorrow, January 19, 2006 at 7:00AM PT (10:00AM ET) Please tune in!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Check out my post on, and while you're there, look for other posts on 24. Pretty funny!

In case you were too lazy to click on that link - and you know who you are - I was borrowing just a lil teeny bit from Dave Barry's hilarious commentary on 24.
It's almost time for 24 to start up again! Yeehaw! Or as Bruce Willis would put it...

"Yippeekaiyai^*$%&@*" Or something Like That.

I bet Chloe is now sporting a blackbelt in whoop-ass, and Edgar will have conquered numerous battles on G4's "Arena", and after each victory he declared with his sour stone face, "I'm dedicating this to my Mom, may she rest in Peace". Then after adjusting his Comm headset, he'd snap his fingers, give a quick gangsta style head bobble, and mutter, "That's how I roll - bitch"

Also, following a CTU directive, all Home Depots now maintain a "No-Shop List". Jack Bauer's name is right at the top.

Tony and Michelle are still together, but Michelle is now the drunk in the family. Tony likes it though.

For more 24 mania, or to at least understand a wee bit of the pop references I oh-so-coolly sprinkled throughout this post, check out the link. Yes, that link in the previous sentence. YES - THAT ONE. Sheesh!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

OH Me Aching Blog!

Yeah, my poor lil' blog has been used and abused. Or actually more like neglected. I'm lucky there is no DYS or DSS for Bloggers, or else I'd have me arse hauled off to Bloggie Jail. So, its high time I get something down in print. I suppose it should be about quality not quantity, but maybe I'm still feeling the effects of NaNo (NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month) - which is all about quantity. Sadly I could not produce the necessary word count to 'win' NaNo, I was about 47,000 words short. HA! Yeah, that's a laugh. Couldn't produce much quality either, but it was fun going for a week or so.

And so here I sit. With bruised knuckle no less, courtesy of Eowyn. Now, Eowyn honey, don't feel bad, it's not like its the first time you bruised me. You know I don't hold a grudge. I'm sure by the time you go up for your black belt rank - and I'm on the panel - I'll have forgotten ALL about it.


Anyway, we did have a blast doing the rolling stick drills, DAMN that is so much fun. Maybe next time I'll bring the lightsabers.

Speaking of sticks, when I have time I will try to write about Guro Carlito Bonjoc, an Escrima Master. Way, way cool.

Off to basketball practice!