Things I learned this week…

“Resistance is not a peripheral opponent.  Resistance arises from within.  It is self-generated and self-perpetuated.  Resistance is the enemy within.”  – The War of Art:  Winning the Inner Creative Battle – Steven Pressfield

“Resistance has no strength of its own.  Every ounce of juice it possesses comes from us.  We feed it with power by our fear of it.  Master that fear and we conquer Resistance.” – The War of Art:  Winning the Inner Creative Battle – Steven Pressfield

This week I learned…

…that if I want to succeed at this writing business, I need to suck it up and just do it.  My fellow WC-er Bill Chance turned me onto a book by Steven Pressfield called The War of Art.  Absolute brilliance.

The-War-of-Art_Pressfield

…that discovering a new thing, no matter how small and insignificant, can really change my whole outlook.  This week I discovered how to make comment notations is my Word documents.

What?

You’ve been doing it for years?

Nobody likes a braggart.

This is eye-opening to me because I struggle with the  need to produce perfection.  I think it comes from my profession.  I am a paralegal.  When I write, it needs to be damn near perfect before I hand it over the my attorney for review.  Otherwise, I look like a complete moron, and they wonder why it is that they are paying me good money for crap they have to rewrite.  Unfortunately, this bleeds over into my personal writing.  It’s a habit I have vowed to break – not at work, at home.  These little notations help me tag something that needs review, ask myself questions, offer suggestions, and move on.  By getting it out, even if the issue is not resolved, I am free to continue.

…that meeting my first weekly writing goal within two days of making it was a great feeling.  Maybe I should up the ante.  Or maybe I should just wait and see how next week goes, and the week after that.

…that the holidays are finally over.  Finally.  I can file them away under “done” and move on to the next thing.   Though, I don’t really have much to complain about this year.  I had one of the most laid-back, stress-free holidays ever.  I can only think of a handful of instances when I seriously contemplated body dumping sites and weighed the likelihood of a criminal conviction over a temporary insanity plea.  That might be a record for me.  Usually, during the holidays, I fantasize about having a Bond car with a machine gun and rocket launchers.  Maybe I am mellowing.   Yeah, what are the odds of that?  Maybe I just had an off-year.  Maybe I should go book my December Caribbean trip now.  You know, just for peace of mind.

…that aside from the fever, ringing in the New Year from the warm, cozy comfort of my bed was fabulous.  I spent New Year’s Eve battling a nasty little cold and watching a Jason Bourne marathon on one of those “not in HD” channels.  I should try that again next year – well, minus the fever.   I might even splurge and dig out the DVDs.

…that on January 6, 1540, Anne of Cleves married England’s Henry VIII.  It didn’t work out too well for them, but at least she didn’t lose her head.  On January 6, 1996, I married the love of my life.   So far, so good.   At least I think so.  He does keeps telling me I’m no picnic to live with; that I’m snarky, moody, and unreasonable.  I’ve no idea what he’s talking about.

…that the Kardashians have entered the building – or more accurately – the city of Dallas.  Hold on to your hats, folks.  We now have ourselves a couple of genuine Hollywood “celebrities” in our midst, and they are taking the metroplex by storm.  Screw substantive news, or anything else that might enlighten or educate our feeble minds.  We are now to be subjected to a chronology of every breath they take, every move they make, every vow they break…

****Warning – Pet Peeve of the week****

…that with the New Year, my gym has been inundated by folks who have vowed to get in shape.  That’s great.  Awesome, even.  I applaud anyone out there willing to get fit the old-fashioned way – by sweating.  What I don’t applaud are the newbies with no manners.  I realize that there are those among us who believe their time more valuable; that waiting their turn is a foreign concept.  However, I will not be cowed by the intimidation tactics of others.   I will be done with my reps when I’m done.  Not before.  Staring at me will not make me move on.  Asking me how many reps I have left will only motivate me to do more, at a slower pace.   I can’t wait until February.  By then, they will have either learned a little gym etiquette or fallen off of the fitness wagon.  I hope, or else I might need to find myself a good criminal lawyer.

…and last but not least – this week’s awww moment is brought to you by this prehensile tailed porcupine.  Look at that face.  Don’t you just wanna hug him?

A Year in Review

cabo

Poof!  Another year gone, just like that – in a flash – never to be heard from again.  It seems the closer I get to 40, the faster this ride goes.  I don’t really like fast rides, they make me nauseous.  It’s why I’ve lived in the Dallas area for some 12 years and have never stepped foot on the grounds of Six Flags Over Texas.

But that is a blog for another day, isn’t it?  Perhaps I will try to conquer my fear of amusement park rides by making a trip over to Arlington in 2012.

Yeah, right.

Anyway, with 2011 coming to a close, and a new year looming on the horizon, I thought it would be fun to take a look back and reflect upon what I’ve learned this year.

This year I learned…

…that Cabo San Lucas, Mexico is beautiful and romantic.  The ideal place to celebrate 15 amazing years of marriage, with the love of my life.  The “two shots of tequila + 5 beers for $5.00” specials made it all the better.  At least, I think so…I don’t remember much after…wait…we went to Mexico, right?

…that whale watching in the Pacific Ocean is surreal and terrifying.  I’m glad I stood up to my fear of water/boats and went on the excursion.  I can mark it off my bucket list with a big fat black Sharpie (with a notation in the margin that reads: never, ever try this again).

…that sometimes it is necessary to stubbornly take a stand, even if it means alienation from family you love.  Things tend to work themselves out in the end.  And, well, if they don’t then, so be it.

…that marking the four-year anniversary of my father’s death was just as painful as year three.

…that the weatherman on my local NBC channel either has a sick sense of humor, or his degree in meteorology is just an honorary one. The snow event captured below was only supposed to be a light dusting.    As in, not going to stick, or cause any trouble on the roads.  We ended up with a foot total. Epic. Fail.  Why is this a problem, you ask?  It’s only snow.  Well, down here in Texas, measurable snowfall is a sign of the coming apocalypse.  I didn’t leave my house until it melted.  It’s just better that way.

2011_0204_02 (2)

…that with three or four inches of ice coating everything (in a separate, unrelated winter weather event – another epic weatherman fail), including the street, I can survive an entire week without leaving my house.  On day two, I did attempt to check the mail.  My mailbox is across the street.  I made it to the middle of the road, fell on my ass, promptly got up, dusted off my pride and went back into the house.  There was nothing I needed in that mailbox, I was sure of it. Well, except for those two Netflix movies, but I made my husband go get those for me.  Have I mentioned that he is the most awesomest dude ever?

…that even at my age, a little recognition and validation can put a spring in my step.  In April, I received a scholar award from my favorite professor, in my favorite subject (history).  It might not mean much outside the confines of my campus and academic world, but it certainly went a long way to helping me feel like I wasn’t wasting my time.  Though I’m sure my family would tell you that my ego was so inflated from this unprecedented honor, that they had to keep reminding me that I did not, in fact, win a Pulitzer.

…that just when I thought I was getting the hang of this aging nonsense, I get the call informing me that I could expect to be a grandmother by the end of the year.  Let the months of denial begin!

…that even though I swore I had absolutely no interest in the British Royal wedding; that I scoffed at the crazy people who were planning to get up in the middle of the night to catch every tantalizing second of it, I couldn’t help but be mesmerized.  No, I didn’t get up in the middle of the night.  That would be ridiculous.  I got up at my normal time, switched on the television, and there it was.  I couldn’t get away from it, and I happened to catch it at the precise moment that she entered the church.  I watched every stinking minute of it and was nearly late for work.  Damn you, England!

…that I’ve lived in the Dallas area for a long time and this was the first year we have braved Scarborough Faire in Waxahachie.  I’m ashamed at our stuffiness.  So much fun.  Maybe next year we will dress up.  Don’t tell Nolan.  It’ll be my surprise.

…that turning 39 this year wasn’t all that bad.  Of course, a gift of diamonds goes a long way in making the aging process bearable.  Oh, and an a Happy Birthday wake up call and an afternoon visit from my nephews didn’t hurt, either.

…that a girls only trip to Key West is quite the adventure.  I learned a lot, made some new friends, discovered mojitos, and the wonders of drag queens.  If you’re interested, you can read more about my adventures [here].

…that cursing Mother Nature for bitch slapping us this winter only resulted in several summertime bitch slaps.  I think I might even classify it as a beating.  I’ve been through hot, dry, miserable summers before, but this year was by far, the worst.  Wish I had known this little bit of trivia in February.  I might have been a little nicer to that fickle whore.

…that middle school parents are all bugger eating morons who wouldn’t understand a rule if it slapped them upside the head and introduced itself.

…that having my granddaughter born on Thanksgiving Day was certainly a surprise.  She was a few weeks early.  I will be completely honest, I was emotionally unprepared.  Mostly, because I am a realist and don’t look at the ooey gooey side of things.  I see the cold hard fact that becoming a parent in your early twenties, is tough stuff.  I became a parent at the tender age of 18.  I know of what I speak.  However, after much thought and reflection, I was able to remove myself from that side of the equation.  Grandparents, after all, are meant to be the fun ones – it is not our job to dwell on the struggles of first time parenthood. Instead, as reward for the years we spent rearing our irrational and, at times, ungrateful children, we are allowed to bask in the splendor of a child we can spoil, fill with excessive sugar products, and send home to torture their parents.  Acceptance grows out of denial.  But be warned, call me Granny and I will gut you like a pig.  My willingness to accept such a position only goes so far.

…that I don’t completely hate the holiday season.  I discovered that I like Christmas music, baking cookies, and long walks on sandy beaches sipping fruity drinks with little umbrellas…oh wait…that last one was just my holiday happy place.  My bad.

2011_1001_01

…that saying goodbye to a kitty I’ve had for 16 years is one of the hardest things I’ve had to do in a very long time.  We will miss you and your sweet, quirkiness, Pistachio.

…that my daughter becomes more and more like me every day.  In some ways I think this is a good thing – I am independent, dedicated, and emotionally tough.  Good traits.  On the other hand, I am sarcastic, snarky, and bitchy.   Not traits one strives to pass along to their children.

The other day, my daughter and I were standing in line at the Gap, in front us were a mother with a young girl.  When they reached the counter, the woman at the counter said to the child:

“Oh, I love your Hello Kitty shirt!  Do you know what my name is?”

The woman moves her sweater and shows the girl her name tag.  Her name was Kitty.  My daughter rolled her eyes and, in a voice laced with sarcasm, said:

“Oh Jeez!  That’s what I want to do when I grow up.  Name my daughter Kitty.  Wonder if her last name is Cat.”

Of course, being the responsible parent that I am, I admonished her for saying such a thing – after I was able to stopping myself from laughing hysterically.

All in all, I think 2011 was a pretty good year for the Isaacs family.  I’ve had worse.  Much, much worse.  I have high hopes for 2012.  It is the year I will finish my novel.

Seriously.

Stop laughing.

Screw you.

Happy New Year!

Things I learned in the last two weeks

Yes, yet again, I am running behind with my weekly blog entries.  I always have the greatest of intentions.  I really do want to get them finished and posted in a timely manner, but sometimes that nagging little thing called responsibility screws up everything.  However, I think I have myself back on track – at least until classes start again in mid-January.  Then I will try to think up new, more creative excuses for my tardiness.

In the last two weeks, I’ve learned…

…that there is some unknown force that seems to have invaded the brains of the parents at my daughter’s middle school and sucked out all of their common sense.  Or perhaps, they are just booger eating morons.  I don’t know.  Of course, if I had to choose, while the former is more visually pleasing to the writer in me, the latter is likely the most obvious conclusion.  I can tell you, though, that it does not require a doctorate in civil engineering to know that there is only one way in and one way out when navigating the carpool lane.  School administrators have even been kind enough to paint brightly colored directional arrows on the concrete for those among us who are visual learners.  Even so, day after day, these parents just don’t understand that parking in the out lane is counterintuitive to the overall spirit of the intended process.

John Calvin - Unknown source…that studying for my Western Civilization final too close to bedtime will result in dreams of John Calvin and Martin Luther with a side of Petrarch and Machiavelli.  Needless to say, the resulting Renaissance/Reformation mash-up did not leave me feeling well rested at all.

…that the office manager in my former dentist’s office is evil.  I’ve never liked her, or the dentist for that matter, but I tend to suffer through such things out of convenience.  However, I do enjoy getting back at her in my own passive/aggressive way.  She’s a stalker.  By this I mean, she will run you down to confirm an appointment or make you that appointment for the 6 month check up you don’t need but they want you to think you need.  I like to dodge her calls.  It’s become a sport to me.  You know, to see how many times she really will call before she gives up.  Mature, huh?  Well, it backfired on me this week.  I dodged all of her “please confirm your appointment” calls and when I showed up for my appointment, she informed me that she had given the slot to someone else.  What?  Oh, the agony of defeat…

…that the little elf thing parents have resorted to using, in an effort to incite good behavior in their unruly children, is creepy. Really, really creepy.  If my parents had done that to me as a child, I would have ended up in therapy, at the very least.  With my overactive imagination, I might have even ended up locked in a padded room for insisting that the elf was hiding a big butcher’s knife beneath his pointy hat and had been sent by Santa to murder me in my bed.  After all, I did think that there were cobras living under my bed for the better part of a year after seeing a certain Disney movie when I was six.  I’m still traumatized by that experience.

xmas_middle

…that Asian tacos are pretty tasty even though they look strange with all that pickled cabbage stuff.  Thai coconut soup, on the other hand, not to so tasty.

…that it’s just weird to have the FedEx guy ring your doorbell and hand you Styrofoam cooler with a ham in it.  For a minute, I thought I’d received someone’s transplant organ by mistake.

…that Rick Perry is a…um…well…hmmm…I find that I have no words to adequately describe my feelings toward the governor of my fair state.  Until now, I have remained largely indifferent to him.  Well, I say that, but I still hate his guts for that whole HPV mandate debacle.  Aside from that, by and large, and though I do like to ridicule his backwater way, I’ve not allowed myself to be bothered by him too much.  Most of the nonsense he spews does not amount to much, in the grand scheme of things.  Now, I am mortified that he has been unleashed on the nation.  It’s kind of like when your crazy cousin Larry shows up uninvited to your wedding and spends the entire night reminding you why he has been permanently banned from all family functions.

…that conquering the elliptical has become an obsession for me now.  Let’s face it.  Working out can be boring.  To stave off the boredom,  I set goals for myself.  Like:  I am going to do X amount of miles today in X amount of time; or I will go until the indicator tells me I’ve burned X amount of calories.  One of the biggest challenges with the elliptical is resistance.  It’s easy to truck along at a low setting, but I don’t want easy.  Up until now, I’ve played it safe and stayed within the level 8 range.  This week, I kicked it up a few notches.  I started out at level 10.  I did a good steady pace for 5 minutes, then raised the level by 2 to 12 and did that for 4 minutes.  For the final one minute, I raised the level even further, to 14.  Then I started over.  I did this for 6 repetitions for a total of an hour.  It was awesome.  Of course, the next day my body bitch slapped me and reminded me that I am staring down the business end of 40.  But it’s nothing a little over-the-counter pain reliever can’t fix.

…that there are 22 days left until the end of the holiday season.  Just sayin’.

…and last, but not least, this week’s awww moment is brought to you by this amazing photograph of two baby chameleons.  It is, of course, altered but still…

N6dS3 (2)

Source:   http://takacica.deviantart.com/art/A-Tree-Branch-Separates-Us-189658504

Things I learned in the last two weeks

The threat of Christmas hung in the air, visible already in the fretful look of passersby as they readied themselves for the meaningless but necessary rites of false jovialities and ill-considered gifts. – Peter Dickinson

I couldn’t help myself.  Now that Thanksgiving is over, I must turn my attention to bashing the holiday I find the least appeal of them all.  This is only the beginning.  There are 28 shopping days left until Christmas.

I learned the last couple of weeks…

Source: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/hamlet-agnieszka-reichelt.html

…that group projects don’t suck after all.  Okay.  Perhaps that is being a bit overly optimistic.  Let’s try that again.  Group project, in general, suck.  However, there are rare occasions when you are grouped with a person who is a bigger overachiever than you are.  In Western Civilization last week, we were divided into four groups and instructed to develop an argument that was either for or against the Protestant Reformation and explain its impact on Western Europe.  The guy who sits in front of me is a devote Christian and….wait for it….an award winning debater.  SCORE!

…that I love Shakespeare’s Hamlet more this time around than I did last time.  I didn’t think it was possible.  But I always did love it when all the important characters die at the end of a story.  Is that weird?

…that hard drives will crash at the least convenient time possible.  It’s like they wait patiently, biding their time, for the most advantageous moment to strike.  Unaware of the treachery lurking, you spend the day writing and revising.  Just as the last word is written, the very last source properly cited, you make the fatal mistake of turning your back on the lecherous laptop – just for one brief moment – and BAM!  It’s all gone in the blink of any eye, never to be seen or heard from again.  Bastards.

…that my little old lady kitty, the one I thought was misdiagnosed, does indeed have a tumor.  The vet has offered to biopsy it for us.  I think I am going to decline.  We’ve spent a fortune the last few months with no real answers or solutions.  As sad as it makes me, I think it’s time to throw in the towel and allow nature to take its course.  She’s had sixteen good years of life and we are going to do our best to make sure the rest of her time with us is as comfortable as possible.

…that I should probably stop cursing my overly sensitive tire pressure sensor.  Turns out that my tire really was low, though not for the reason I thought.  My tire was fine.  My rim was not.  Apparently, somewhere in my travels, I hit a pothole lethal enough to crack my front driver’s side rim.  Rims for my car at the dealer aren’t cheap ($600 each), but the internet is wondrous place with many deals to be had.  My car is as good as new.  Well, almost.  I still have that door ding that irks me every time I see it, but that’s a rant for a different blog.

…that looking into the face of your child’s child is a strangely emotional thing, especially when the newborn baby girl strongly resembles her father.  It is even stranger and more emotional to see pride and love etched in your child’s face and he gazes at his own child.  Very surreal.

…that Black Friday is an atrocity that does nothing but feed on the greed and depravity that is overtaking our society.  Call me old-fashioned.  Call me a cynic.  I don’t care.  I remember when nothing – and I mean nothing – was open on Thanksgiving, people weren’t camped out in front of big box stores looking to snatch up flat screen TVs, Blu-Ray players, and laptops, and no one was “neutralizing” the crowd with pepper sprayed or getting trampled to death.  Yet another reason to ditch the holidays for a warm, sandy beach on an island far, far away.

…that – in keeping with my Scrooge-like attitude – nothing makes me want to throw the remote at my own flat screen TV like the intro credits to “It’s a Wonderful Life”.  I hate that movie.  Yeah, I said it.  I HATE THAT MOVIE!  If they are going to make me watch Christmas themed shows, the least they could do is make it “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”  The original.  Not that “update” Charlie Brown mess.

…that jacket shopping with my daughter is worse than shoe shopping.  This weekend brought a blast of cold air to our little neck of the woods.  The coldest of the season and thus, it was necessary to replace the winter jacket my daughter had long outgrown.  She is a sweet girl with an easy-going personality, but she has very clear likes and dislikes.  She likes jackets with zippers.  She does not like puffer jackets.  She likes a little faux fur.  She does not like jackets that make noise.  She likes jackets with hoods.  She does not like jackets that are too long.  It was a long, arduous process.  We finally found one that was deemed acceptable at Macy’s, a store that I really don’t like all that much and only went into because I desperately wanted out of the mall.

…that my daughter is moving out of the kid’s department and into the junior’s department.  Have you seen some of the things these teenagers wear?  Scary prospect, indeed.  Just for the record, bedazzling the bum of jeans, regardless of the targeted demographic, is a bad idea.  Very, very bad idea.

…that the onset of the holiday season brings a whole slew of new faces to the gym.  The day after Thanksgiving was crazy.  I was predictably annoyed by the newbies who hampered my workout process with their ignorance, but I was also secretly thrilled.  I find a lot of my character inspiration at the gym.  There’s just something so special about those people.

…that Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2 is grosser than the first.  I didn’t think they could top the “cheese touch”.  I was wrong.

…that I really liked the movie Fair Game.  It is Hollywood’s version of the Valerie Plame scandal.  I love spy thrillers and political conspiracies, so this one was right up my ally.  Of course, I am sure the story has been enhanced for the pleasure of the viewing public, but it was entertaining and gave food for thought on the far-reaching power of the White House.

…that since my last “Things I learned…” post I’ve sat and watched Pride & Prejudice on the Oxygen channel twice.  I’ve also watched Bourne Identity (my second favorite movie) twice – in the same day on Starz.  Don’t you judge me.

WARNING!  WARNING!

My pet peeve of the week is…

…that I can’t seem to get away from those radio commercials that swear that you can lose weight and keep it off simply by subscribing to their prepackaged “restaurant quality” meals.  No exercise or life style change required.  Is this company on crack?  Are people so desperate to avoid sweating that they buy into this crap?  Calorie in/calorie out people.  The weight may come off initially, but it will be back.  With vengeance.  Serious lifestyle change is required to obtain good health and certainly, if you want to keep it.  Believe me when I say it is easier, and less expensive, to just suck it up and get your ass moving.  [Okay, I shall step off the soapbox now.]

…and lastly, this week’s awww moment is brought to you by a very over-ambitious hamster with eyes bigger than his stomach…or mouth.

Get in my belly!

Things I learned at the Sting concert…

Photo by Anna Webber/Getty Images North America

Sting, my favorite musician of all time, made a stop in Dallas on his Back to Bass tour this week.  I was fortunate enough to be there.  I won’t bore you with too many details of the show.  Suffice it to say, Sting is a God.  Head and shoulders above the rest.  Still a class act after all these years.  This I know to be true.  I have seen him perform before.  His vocals are flawless, his backing band without equal, his set list a great mix of commercial hits and lesser known glittering gems that set a true fan’s heart fluttering with excitement.  All in all, it was a superb show.

While Sting may be top on my list of favorite things, people watching comes in at a close second.  What better place to people watch than a rock concert, right?  Right.  I can’t help myself.  It’s all in the name of character inspiration.  At least that’s what I tell myself as I gawk unabashedly at the masses swirling around me.

Here are a few of the things I learned at the Sting concert:

I learned that…

…that it was not hard to spot the husbands and boyfriends who were dragged kicking and screaming to a concert of an Englishman they couldn’t care less about.  They were the ones whose faces were illuminated throughout the concert by the light from their iPhones and Blackberries.  I image they do not have very happy relationships and are one banana peel away from a nasty, hate-filled break up.  While it is true that they may have earned “points” by showing up, they prove just how uncommitted to the unity they really are.  It’s sort of like when you go on a date with your husband or boyfriend and instead of engaging you in conversation over dinner, they browse their mobile twitter feed.  I feel pretty certain that their deeds will not go unpunished.  We women are a spiteful lot.  Their wives/girlfriends will make them suffer.  Even if done subtly, revenge can leave its mark.

…that there is something inherently wrong with women over a certain age showing their faces in public while wearing thigh high leather boots, skin-tight leather pants and skimpy glittering tank tops.  Denial?  Not just a river in Egypt.  Look, I know that age is relative.  You are only as old as you feel, but have some self-respect.  60 and dressed like a hooker at a Sting concert?  It just reeks insecurity and is, frankly, pathetic.

…that walking ten steps behind the aforementioned 60-year-old hooker and carrying her swag bag, is her mate – a short, pudgy, bald man who she has dressed up to look like Charlie Harper.

…that I should start carrying around a small travel size bottle of bleach in my purse to sanitize my eyes.  The gentleman in front of me was kind enough to flash me a good two inches of his butt crack every time he stood.  I’m not sure I will ever recover from the sight of his hairy ass.

…that there are those among us who will pay a premium price for tickets and then spend the entire show engaged in an activity that does not involve watching or listening to what they have paid to see.  I don’t understand this.  I paid $200 to see Sting.  I want to see Sting.  I want to hear Sting.  I want to feel his music seep into my pores and surge through my veins.  I don’t want to continuously have to pull my eyes away from the stage in order to let these inattentive people in and out of their seats at regular intervals.

…that copious amounts of alcohol will make the man sitting behind me who, by his own admission, had never seen Sting and didn’t really seem to know who he was, a very vocal and ardent fan.  I’m just grateful that he didn’t spill his super-sized wine on me.

…that though I felt like one of youngest people at this concert, it was nice to see children scattered through the crowd.  There weren’t many, but I am encouraged by this.  There is perhaps a smidgen of hope that this younger generation will know real musical talent when they hear it.

…that I am still sad I missed the reunion tour.

Things I learned this week (November 7 – November 13)

I learned this week…

…that snickerdoodles will be added to my holiday cookie line up this year.  I’ve made all sorts of cookies over the years – chocolate chip, pizzelles, peanut butter, spice cookies, etc. – but never snickerdoodles.  I made them for the first time this week.  I’m not really sure why I’ve excluded them in the past.  However, I will rectify this mistake as I delve into the my marathon of holiday baking in the coming weeks.  They were very tasty.

…that it is time to up the resistance on the elliptical to a solid 9.  I surpassed my best distance record this week.  I was able to cover 6.56 miles in one hour.  I think it’s safe to say that I’ve mastered the elliptical and am officially a convert.  I’m going to have to expand this thought into a blog entry.  I have a lot to say about it.

…that my little old kitty does not have lymphoma, after all.  Misdiagnosed.  She does have a slew of other health issues, but all of them manageable.  It’s always much easier to take a misdiagnosis when the error is in your favor.  Of course, this doesn’t alleviate the sting of the vet bills.  I’ve spent a fortune over the last month or two trying to find out what is wrong with my kitty and if it was time to make THE decision.

…that Shakespeare’s sonnets are much more entertaining than Petrarch’s sonnets.   Though, if I am to be completely honest, I probably only understand the meaning of one in three without prompting from dear Dr. W.  This sonnet, No. 130, I understood perfectly, however.  I’m sure you will, too.

An earlier version of Summer, 1563. Giuseppe Arcimboldo
My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun
Coral is far more red, than her lips red
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head
 
I have seen roses damasked, red and white
But no such roses see I in her cheeks
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks
 
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound
I grant I never saw a goddess go,
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground
And yet be heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.
 

…that inexplicably, I will experience a surge of excitement when I stumble across Pride & Prejudice on the Oxygen channel.  It matters not that I own it on blue ray and can watch it whenever my little heart desires.  It seems I am too powerless to change the channel, and too lazy to get up and pop in the DVD.  So, here I sit typing away at this blog, watching my favorite movie in low resolution, and suffering through endless commercials.

…that crazy gymnastics moms + vendor selling racks and racks of bedazzled leotards = calamity + a near homicidal me, squared.  You would really think that after four years of twice weekly practice at the same gym, surrounded by a lot of the same people, I would be more tolerant of these magpies.  I’m not.  I don’t think this is any fault of my own, but rather the fact that these woman have had their brains sucked out by some unknown force.  I am convinced that I am the only person in the entire place who is somehow immune to this mystery brain sucking foe.  I wonder if this is how Ripley from Aliens felt.

…that ineptocracy is a fun, new word.  I wish I could take credit for this one, but I learned it from my fellow WCer, Bill.   [Click here to for more from Bill].

…that I don’t know squat about what a biochemical lab looks like, or what it may contain.  This poses a problem for me because I am currently writing a scene for my novel, Retribution, that is set in a biochemical lab.  Guess I am going to have to consult my friends over at Wikipedia and Google images.  If anyone wants to share some expertise…

…that my husband should not be allowed to “clean” the coffee pot.  For a few years now, we have had a couple of those dispensing pots.  You know, you stick your cup underneath the spout, press it against the big button, and coffee magically pours into your cup.  Every time my husband “cleans” it, the stream diminishes.  Last year, he decided to “fix” this little problem by taking the pot apart.  Needless to say, I picked up a new one on my way home from work the next day.  Yesterday, my husband decided to deep “clean” the pot again.  I am now the proud owner of a new Kitchen Aid 14 cup coffee pot.  It is not the dispensing kind.  Lesson learned.

…and lastly, this week’s awww moment is brought to you by this adorable little piggy.  I have a soft spot in my heart for pigs.  I think they are freaking adorable and when all my kitties are gone, I’m going to get me one.  (Shhhh don’t tell Nolan.  He thinks we are getting a dog).  This little piglet has a story.  [Click here to read it].

Things I learned this week (October 30 – November 6)

I learned this week…

…that big white angel wings are a hot commodity during Halloween.  My daughter decided at the last possible minute that she wanted to go to trick-or-treating dressed as Max from James Patterson’s Maximum Ride series.  For those you who don’t know, Max is a girl who has been genetically engineered to have wings so that she can fly. Big wings.  Not little fairy wings.  Not rainbow-colored wings made of wire and mesh.  Big white, feathery wings. Needless to say, my daughter went trick-or-treating as a grim reaper.

…that Christmas comes earlier and earlier every year.  This just proves my point that the holiday is nothing more than an over-commercialized farce.  For one year, one measly year, I would like to get through Thanksgiving before I am inundated with nauseating Christmas cheer.

…that there are those in my house who don’t share my cynical view of the coming Christmas season.

…that Petrarch was a miserable sap.  Seriously, who writes that many sonnets about a woman who obviously wouldn’t give him the time of day? Did he not have any drinking buddies who could have staged an intervention and gotten the man laid?  Good grief.  I think I’d rather read Beowulf again than have to read one more sonnet about the virtues of some courtly maiden named Laura.

…that karma does exist and sometimes people do get what’s coming to them.  I was leaving my favorite Target store this week and I happened to see a man trying to get his shopping cart to stay where he parked it – in the handicap parking space next to his Expedition instead of in the cart corral.  I called him an ass hat under my breath and kept walking.  People like that piss me off because we all know that cart isn’t going to stay where he left it.  Nope, it’s going to get caught by the wind and end up smacking the passenger door of my car.  It is inevitable.  Sure enough, the wind caught that cart, but instead of carrying it in the direction of my car, it came to rest behind the ass hat’s SUV.  Just as he began to back out of his space.  BAM!  That my friends is karma at its finest.

…that Andy Rooney died.  I loved that grumpy old guy.

…that with a little prodding from the guys in my Western Civilization class, my professor will find a scene from The Holy Grail that adequately depicts any aspect of our current curriculum.  This week – the Black Death.

…that sometimes a little booze is necessary – even if you don’t take a sip.  The comfort that it is there in case of an emergency is priceless.

…that I have an inner clock that doesn’t recognize the end of daylight savings time.  I didn’t get an extra hour of sleep.  I can’t really complain, though.  I was able to accomplish a little more, a little earlier today than yesterday.  I was at the gym by 7 a.m.; home by 8 a.m.; was showered and had a good dent in a writing assignment by 9; and had myself psyched up for a trip to the grocery store by 9:30.  Of course, that’s when things went awry.  I didn’t actually make it to the store until noon.  But hey, what matters here is that my morning was spectacular.

…that my cats don’t recognize the end of daylight savings time, either.  This is a lot less tolerable and makes me want to take them all to the shelter.

…and last but not least this week’s awww moment is brought to you by…well I have no idea because this was an email forward from Nolan.  Too cute for school, indeed.