Friday, December 15, 2006

Favorite Paul McCartney Songs

My husband is a huge Beatles fan and doesn't have much use for Paul's solo work outside of "Wonderful Christmastime" and even that in small doses. I too, find myself not liking all of Sir McCartney's catalog, but there are a few absolute standouts that manage to make me happy every time. If you search in YouTube, you can find videos for all of these:

Here Today (1982)
No More Lonely Nights (1984)
Press (1986)
Put It There (1989)
This One (1989)

And this amazing clip from Give My Regards to Broadstreet
It's a medley of "Yesterday," "Here, There and Everywhere," and "Wanderlust."

"Wonderlust" is from one of my all time favorite albums, Tug of War (1982) I know it seems odd that an 8-year old would get into an entire album (well, with the exception of "Dress Me Up,") but I loved the whole thing - not just "Ebony and Ivory." I distinctly remember seeing the video for "Take it Away" and developing a HUGE crush on Paul right then and there.

(For a rather comprehensive and pull-no-punches commentary on all of Paul McCartney's post-Beatles work, try this: Wilson & Alroy's Record Reviews. Their tagline is, "We listen to the lousy records so you won't have to" - LOL)

We're making Christmas cookies this weekend, which has apparently kindled a nostalgic note in me, not that it takes much. I hope you're having a wonderful weekend - stay warm!


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Crazy days

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!

Our cup ran over in terms of food, folks and fun, but I think everything came together nicely. Wednesday afternoon I left work at noon to pick up Geoffrey and meet up with his sister and cousin at Noble Fish for lunch. Noble Fish is a store in Clawson, Michigan that is 75% asian mart, 25% sushi bar. There are teeny tiny tables in the back for dining in, mostly tables for two. We decided to order our sushi to go, but thankfully a table opened up once the order was ready - I have no idea where we would have been able to take everything except all the way back to our house. I love shopping at Noble Fish - I just wished we were heading back home so I could have picked up some green tea ice cream and sweet red bean topping.

Thursday continued the furious cleaning and sorting that was supposed to have been happening all month - but at least I didn't need to pull an all-nighter this year! Thursday was my and Geoffrey's fifth wedding anniversary. We made brunch and exchanged cards and gifts. Geoffrey was really sweet and decided to give me a traditional anniversary gift by giving something made of wood - in this case, a Scottish Love Spoon. I was very surprised and touched. He picked out one with a heart at each end. It's carved from a single piece of wood and it's just lovely. According to one website, this type of spoon is referred to as Love Grows - "Cast a spell on the ones you love - this spoon symbolizes how love can grow"

Photo from

I can't even believe it's been five years since our wedding day and almost 14 years since we met in 1993. Like all couples, we still have our bad days and our good days, but I love each day and I love my Geoffrey with all my heart (all together now, "awwwwwwww....")

But there wasn't a whole lot of time for kisses and cuddles, since we still had a turkey to cook (which we didn't start thawing until the day before - oops!) And a few more loads of china to run (we used our wedding china for the first time since we got married!). Geoff's family came over around 4, and his cousin Marcie stayed over so we could take her to the airport the next day. Well, with her flight being at 6 (the poor thing had two other connecting flights to get home), we decided to pull an all-nighter. I shooed Geoff and Marcie down to the basement to catch up and watch "Wallace and Grommit" and I cleaned up the kitchen and made Turkey Carcass Soup (no joke, that's what the Betty Crocker Cookbook calls it). Very domestic, I must say. True to form, I fell asleep in the car on the way home.

Friday was a bit of a blur, and Saturday I had a dress rehearsal for Handel's Messiah at the Cathedral before racing home to prepare for a dinner party with our friends. It was also a chance to get caught up on birthday celebrations (mine, Sara's, Doug, Sonia, and Steve.) Unfortunately, Patti and Ann Marie (who is also a November birthday) were not able to make it, but Patti called from her mom's house and we were all able to day hello.

Dinner was a delcious pasta with Italian Sausage, tomato and basil with grated parmesan cheese. I love thowing things together and having them come out well. Sara made a hilarious and tasty cake roll, shaped like a log (at our request, to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary - get it? Wood anniversary, log cake? HAHAHAHA). Bad jokes about giving wood were abundant. We'll all get together for New Year's, so that will be fun.

The concert on Sunday was standing room only, and it was quite a rush to know I actually sold 20 tickets! I almost never manage to sell tickets, either because it's on an odd Wednesday or because I don't send out notice until a week before the concert. The Cathedral looked lovely and Geoffrey took some really good shots:

Liza's 2006 Handel's Messiah Flickr Photoset

Monday was an honest to goodness do-nothing day, and now I am back to work. It wil probably be a few weeks before I can properly sit down and chronicle life in general, so I hope all is well with you and that you are staying warm and cozy.


Sunday, November 12, 2006

November 11 already????

Ok, that's just a little messed up - I mean, it was just my friggin' birthday! But it's true - I've been home from Indy for three weeks or so and Geoff's been to Edmonton and back (for pics of Geoff's adventure in the Great White North, go here).

It's been so crazy that I've I'm still way behind in my e-mail message replies - just ask anyone who sent me an e-mail requiring more than just a sentence or two. Honors students get to register three business days before everyone else, but there were a whole bunch of technical difficulties and students who hadn't had the chance to see me and all sorts of crazy fun that meant very little downtime for me once I got back from Indianapolis. Between November 1 and November 7, I responded to over 350 e-mails and my lead peer advisor, Craig, cranked out another 100 or so.

Still, I guess it's better to be busy than not, and the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday should be fun. Geoffrey and I will be celebrating our 5th anniversary on the 23rd, so it will be turkey and pie for our celebratory feast. We have plans to get together with friends that weekend and I am singing with the Detroit Archdiocesan Chorus for Handel's Messiah on the 26th. If you live in the Metro Detroit Area and want to hear an amazing work in a fantastic space (the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit), this is a performance I highly recommend.

Other than that, the house is overflowing with pet hair and unsorted paper receipts, I am trying to keep at least two brain cells firing at one point in time, and I have new pictures posted on my flickr site

On one of the photos, I mention really loving the newest version of iPhoto (v. 6.0.5). I must admit, I am a total amateur but I love what I see in my photos and iPhoto helps me bring out that vision. The amount of tweaking you can do to a photo in edit mode is astounding, yet simple. It *almost* makes me want to go through all of my other pics and redo, maybe not.

Ok, I am off to bed.

"Good morning, and in case I don't see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!"
-The Truman Show

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Thank you for the lovely day

Just a little thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday, or who held down the fort while I was out of the office, and especially to my family and my sweet husband Geoffrey.

For more photos, click the cake!


Friday, October 20, 2006

OMG! Now I have a photo on John Hodgman's blog!

And he thought it was fun. Gawsh. Wow - I wonder how much time is on my 15-minutes-of-fame-meter. You can view Hodgman's post from Thursday, October 19 here.

And of course, I've already squealed excitedly about my meeting both Mssrs Coulton and Hodgman (once more, with feeling - wheeeeeeee!). I've added a new photo, and here it is:

If you click on the photo, it will take you to my flickr page - snazzy!

I can't even tell you how pleased/chuffed/geeked I am. Geoff and I went up to Toronto last weekend to celebrate my birthday a few days early and wound up at Shopsy's for dinner right before "Gotta Skate 6.0" As we were waiting for the bill, it looked like I could create a nice tableau with the beverage napkin. I actually took two shots - one with the H and one without, and I didn't even bother keeping the non-Hobo picture.

I am currently typing this from my hotel room in Indianapolis, which has been not too bad (they have a really awesome Borders), but I have not had the opportunity to spot Hobo-sign anywhere. They do have a questionnable slogan that I will grab a photo of tomorrow before I leave, "Indianapolis, Amazingly Always New." Wha????

I'll post pictures to my flickr account soon. In the meantime, I need to pack and get to bed.


Thursday, October 05, 2006

I'm linked from Jonathan Coulton's Blog!


I almost can't think how to write this up, since I am at this point up way past my bedtime. I did indeed complete my "Geeky Pilgrimmage" described previously with an even geekier addition - I received an e-mail from the Barenaked Ladies HQ that the band would be performing and signing CDs at 12:30 on October 4. The Areas of My Expertise reading and book signing was at the same store on the same day!

I will now take this opportunity to say that my husband was an absolute peach about encouraging me to go, even though it would have been great fun for both of us (darn work and other adult responsibilities!).

So I left the house four hours earlier than expected, forgot the flash card for my camera, thanked God that there was a Ritz Camera on State street, and took some really great shots of both BNL and my true purpose for taking the day off, Jonathan Coulton and John Hodgman.

You can view the whole set on my flickr page:

To make the whole thing even more amazing, I sent the link to Jonathan Coulton and he included it on his site:

Pretty darn spiffy, I must say!


Sunday, October 01, 2006

You Tube Time Capsule

Wow - here's a gem I hadn't thought of in awhile What Does It Take from Honeymoon Suite. This was the song that played during the end credits of One Crazy Summer. I went through quite a bit to get the cassette copy for mix tapes when I was in high school. And since I didn't grow up with cable at home, I never did see the video (you would think that CBC Channel 9's video show would have shown it - Honeymoon Suite is a Canadian group). So, here it is - bad hair and all, plus a crystal clear acrylic baby grand piano - LOVE IT!


Thursday, September 21, 2006

Geeky Pilgrimmage

Ok, so a while back I mentioned my jumping on the Jonathan Coulton bandwagon (, mainly as a side outlet from my obsession with John Hodgman (Hodgmania, to borrow a phrase). Never mind that I have yet to read any of "The Areas of My Expertise" and have not technically given any monetary support of Mr. Coulton's Thing-a-Week (sorry, I'll get on that eventually), I have, however, read quite a few of Hodgman's magazine articles on the net and think he's just nifty. Anyone who has Sarah Vowell (whom I have not read either, but mean to) describe their artistic adventures as "Mondo Pithy Entertainments," has to have some sort of merit. Well, that and it makes me giggle while not feeling like my brain is turning to mush (not that there's anything wrong with that every now and then). Being solidly in the midwest and not inclined to roam eastward, it is unlikely that I will ever be a part of the Hodgman literary salon. I feel like an outsider cyber-spying on a great dinner party, with the foggy restaurant glass replaced by several hundred miles and the internet.

So, upon hearing that Hodgman and Coulton would be touring to support the paperback edition of AoME, I have been planning what I can only call a geeky pilgrimmage to finally buy the book, take a few photos and hopefully, get a signature. I am thinking of printing off an actual e-mail exchange I had with Mr. Hodgman where I was called, "an admirable researcher." We'll have to see. I have a few weeks to think about it. I suppose I could also take a photo of the Hobo sunray somewhere on campus and bring a print of that for signing.

After practicing fandom at a few Star Wars conventions, I think I am ready. And, due to an odd quirk of scheduling, I am taking a Thursday off from work and going to Ann Arbor solo. Now, before you fling any mud at my wonderful husband for not taking the day off to make this trek with me, may I remind you all that I am an adult, with a cel phone. The trip will only require one hour of driving each way (if that, really) and I will be surrounded by numerous coffee shops. Believe me, I feel very fortunate to have such a great and indulgent partner who is willing to tolerate my odd, goofy literarly "crushes," He has Darth Vader and Gojira (that's Godzilla, to you Gaikokujin), I have BNL, some figure skaters, the Algonquin Table authors, and Hodgmania. Not that there isn't some overlap, there more certainly is!

Speaking of which, I am off to feed my Utada ( addiction, which was fueled by G's Final Fantasy/Kingdom Hearts connection. Later!


Saturday, September 16, 2006


So, as I said earlier, I lost of few of my blogthings when I switched templates. Lo, and behold, one of my MySpace friends from high school had two of them on his (thanks, Erik!)

Funny thing about this one - I think I scored higher last time!
You Are 27 Years Old

Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

I am pretty sure this one is different too, but I still like the description!
Your Hidden Talent

Your natural talent is interpersonal relations and dealing with people.
You communicate well and are able to bring disparate groups together.
Your calming presence helps everything go more smoothly.
People crave your praise and complements.

And now a few more new ones
You Are A Fun Friend

You're the one who keeps your group laughing
And you've always got an idea for something fun to do
The party's not complete without you
And you wouldn't miss it for the world

Your IQ Is 120

Your Logical Intelligence is Below Average

Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius

Your Mathematical Intelligence is Genius

Your General Knowledge is Above Average

You Scored 70% Correct

You are a solid child of the 80s
You'd never confuse Tiffany from Debbie
And while you may not know Prince's first #1 hit
You know every word to Little Red Corvette

If I could do it all over again...

...I probably wouldn't!

Last night, my friend Patti (whom I have known since kindergarten - that's 27 years at this point) came over and we watched our graduation video from high school and a home movie from our sophomore summer before junior year. Let me tell you, it is very useful to watch footage of yourself, if nothing else but to breathe a sigh of relief that it is not good to stay the same always. I was really gawky, bossy, and not all that funny. Which was exactly as I perceived myself at the time, but didn't think I could change. Hmmmm...that doesn't make a lot of sense, but I'll try to explain it after I've had some coffee and breakfast. But, here is a short list of things that I am glad have changed:

1) Plus sizes for women are now everywhere, as opposed to being muu muus ordered through the mail (or XXL men's shirts)
2) There are much better choices in eyewear - even the "cool" kids at graduation were wearing some of the most hideous eyeglasses!
3) Atlantic Star was only a one-hit wonder with "I Miss You"
4) Men's boxer shorts are no longer worn over bicycle shorts - it looks like a baboon butt in the back and a camel toe in the front
5) No more sprial perm, surf the wave bangs, worn over one shoulder long hair (shudder)
6) I expanded my friendship base and can now stay in better touch with everyone through e-mail and myspace
7) Digital cameras - though this is both good and bad
8) I don't have to drag a guy to the dance floor to dance with me (thanks, honey!)
9) I think I'm a little more subtle now (lol - maybe)
10) My husband thinks the gawky geeky me is cute, though I am sure he's glad we didn't try to date in high school.


Thursday, September 14, 2006

More Blogthings!

I recently chose a new template, so many of my favorite blogthings are no longer on this page - so I get to re-take them


Your Seduction Style: Sweet Talker

Your seduction technique can be summed up with "charm"
You know that if you have the chance to talk to someone...
Well, you won't be talking for long! ;-)

You're great at telling potential lovers what they want to hear.
Partially, because you're a great reflective listener and good at complementing.
The other part of your formula? Focusing your conversation completely on the other person.

Your "sweet talking" ways have taken you far in romance - and in life.
You can finess your way through any difficult situation, with a smile on your face.
Speeding tickets, job interviews... bring it on! You truly live a *charmed life*

You Are Strawberry Pocky

Your attitude: fresh and sweet
Comforting, yet quirky ... quietly hyper
You always see both sides to everything

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


So I'm packing up to go home yesterday afternoon and Geoffrey calls and says, "the new iPods are out and the shuffle is HAWT!" Ok, maybe he didn't say it exactly like that, but when I saw it, that was certainly what I was thinking:

It's so new, I can't find anything more about it other than what's on Apple's website (which I am sure will not be the case for long). It can play approximately 250 songs for around 12 hours and it only costs $79 dollars. My fingers twitch around my credit cards just thinking about it. It's ridiculously tiny.

Thank goodness my birthday's coming up, I can justify the splurge (in addition to going back to Toronto in October to see BNL and Kurt Browning). But goodness, it's just beautiful.


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I apologize in advance

I added a song to my MySpace profile (links to the right). I know it gets annoying. I'll try to change it periodically.

Right now, it's set to Geggy Tah, "Whoever you are." It's a totally fun song, and I hope you enjoy it!



I have to dig them up, but I have a survey just like this that I had my high school friends answer. I wonder how their answers would compare now....

Birthday?October 23
City and State you live in?Harper Woods, MI
Eye Color?Brown
Hair Color?Dark Brown/Black
Are you underweight, overweight, or average weight?Overweight, which I guess is better than side-by-side
Smoked in the past 30 days?No
Drank alcohol in the past 30 days?Does vanilla extract in cookies count?
Number of brothers and sisters?1 (biological, many in the adopt-a-friend sense)
Own a house, rent an apartment, or live with parents?Own, though it\'s more accurate to say it owns me
Ever smoked marijuana?No
What style of underwear do you most often wear?Clean
Ever been suspended from school?No
Ever fall asleep in school?LOL - yes, indeed
Ever fall asleep at work?Yes, and once while I was trying to advise during an appointment!
Ever been fired from a job?No
Ever gone to work or school while buzzed or drunk?No
Ever been beaten up?Emotionally, but who hasn\'t?
Are you in a relationship?Happily so - married 5 years in November!
Do you play an instrument?I noodle on the piano and I sing in a choir
Do you have any children?No, but I would like to
Number of things you regret from your past?Regret\'s a strong word, it\'s more like I\'m wistful about a few things - but I certainly don\'t keep count!
Number of tattoos? What and where are they?No - I have a strong dislike of needles
Number of piercings? What and where are they?My ears are pierced
Ever driven a car after drinking too much?Too much water - and then you can never find a rest stop!
Has anyone ever taken a picture of you without clothes?Them, or me?
Pizza toppings on one pizza?Onion, Mushroom and Pepperoni
Ice cream flavor?Peppermint
Non-alcoholic drink?Diet Pepsi
Alcoholic drink?Grand Marinier and Hot Chocolate
Fast food restaurant?Arby\'s - darn Potato Cakes
Expensive restaurant?PF Changs - it\'s not that expensive, but I love the ambience and the food!
Make/model of automobile?Mini Cooper - it\'s adorable
Color of underwear you wear?White or black, generally
Breakfast meal?Harvest Grain pancakes from IHOP with Canadian Bacon and Hashbrowns
Dinner meal?My mom\'s cooking or Steak with Baked Potatoes
Vacation location?I am good almost anywhere
Preferred height?Vertical?
Preferred weight?I like men with mass
Preferred age?Legal
Preferred eye color?Hazel
Preferred hair color?Brown with little hints of red
Preferred race/nationality?Heinz 57
Favorite type of clothes for them to wear?Their own - better to get a sense of their personal style
Turn ons?Sincerity, Intelligence, Humor, Compassion, Technique
Turn offs?Shallowness, Lack of gratitude, Not being playful
Tell us YOUR answers to this survey! Click HERE!
Created by , taken 2 times.
Created at - Kwizzes, Polls and Surveys!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Old Friends

A friend from my undergraduate days called today. Thanks for the wonderful conversation, Maureen. There's something about the fall that seems like a good time to connect with old friends, especially ones I have met through school. Maureen and I met, I think, in an Honors Political Science class. If it wasn't in that class, it was right around that time (which is also when I met Nedda, Heidi and Becky). I just took a look at my transcript, and that would be fall 1993. 13 years ago. Zoiks!

We spoke for an hour about nothing and everything, which means it was perfect. Friends we have known have lost parents, had children, or moved into/out of Michigan. I love catching up, though I am not the world's best correspondant (just ask my friend Maureen in London). But as I told Geoffrey the other day, and Maureen today, as long as I know where people are and that they are doing well, I'm good.

Which is one of reasons I really like MySpace. It's established enough at the moment that some of my classmates are starting to post their pages, and Geoffrey figures it will be about two years before the whole thing collapses under its own self-importance. In the meantime, I can find some of the people I haven't spoke with or thought about since I graduated from Bishop Foley.

The nostalgia jones are bad enough that I am typing and watching a very old VHS of my high school graduation. It's pretty much the same as most high school videos - footage of a pep rally, prom and graduation. I just watched myself cross the stage. I had long hair and a sprial perm. It's pretty darn funny. I'll have to scan in a prom photo sometime.

If I were the drinking sort, I would probably be bleary-eyed from a mist of nostalgia. But you know, by the tiime I was a senior, I had already been though a house fire, three months living in a Residence Inn (which, I assure you, is not a glamorous as it sounds), and my father passing away. My yearbook entries my senior year were pretty bland, and I slept for a week after graduation. And I really liked high school. I am happy to say I am still in touch with many good friends (shout out to Patti, Lori, Doug, and my newly rediscovered MySpace crew), I just felt like I couldn't relate. I am not saying this was anyone's fault. I imagined myself as the maiden aunt and resorted to extreme sarcasm to keep boys at bay who I thought wouldn't like me anyway. I didn't give myself the chance to find out.

By the time I got to WSU, it was time for a fresh start. I got involved in Student Council and made up for the fact that WSU was (and probably still is) 98% commuter. I say probably it's probably still 98% ccommuter since many of the res hall students go home on the weekends. But this was 1993, and we moved into the offices in the Student Center and made it our home for three or four years.

Oh man, it's at the part of the graduation ceremony where I led a small crackpot choir in our Alma Mater. I grafted the start of a song in "Sing" to the beginning and then we went into the Foley Alma Mater.

One more time
Sing the song
There's a power in our voices
Hopeful and strong

Years from now
Somewhere down the line
We'll remember and we'll all sing
One more time

And then, oh the horror!, Jeff C. and I sing "Just for a Moment." Many of you know the song as its instrumental version "The Love Theme from St. Elmo's Fire." Dan created the instrumental on the computer, and it went just a touch too fast. Oh, I'll have to digitize those parts of the video, at least.

I'll try to post more on this later. The big thing is, I am so completely blessed. I married a friend I grew up with during those undergraduate and graduate years, and I have kept many of my friends from high school, some of whom I have known since kindergarten.

I'm pretty sure this is just the start of a (hopefully) short maudlin phase.

More later!

Saturday, August 19, 2006


I have to admit, this is yet another guilty pleasure. When did this blog becoome a list of my vices and time-sinks. Oh right, it's what I do when I'm supposed to be typing up yet another e-mail or alphabetizing my socks. Anyway, here are a few blogthings whose results I particularly thought turned out well (except the "dimpomatic" thing - maybe it means I smile a lot?):

You Are a Peacemaker Soul

You strive to please others and compromise anyway you can.
War or conflict bothers you, and you would do anything to keep the peace.
You are a good mediator and a true negotiator.
Sometimes you do too much, trying so hard to make people happy.

While you keep the peace, you tend to be secretly judgmental.
You lose respect for people who don't like to both give and take.
On the flip side, you've got a graet sense of humor and wit.
You're always dimplomatic and able to give good advice.

Souls you are most compatible with: Warrior Soul, Hunter Soul and Visionary Soul

You Are a Natural Flirt

Believe it or not, you're a really effective flirt.
And you're so good, you hardly notice that you're flirting.
Your attitude and confidence make you a natural flirt.
And the fact that you don't know it is just that more attractive!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Guilty Pleasures

Ok, so I was up in East Lansing and picked up the soundtrack to a movie titled, "Swing!" in a cd store that was closing up shop (RIP, Wazoo's). The movie got so-so reviews (think "The Committments" - "The Full Monty" X "Brassed Off" and you get the general idea) but get this - Lisa Stansfield sings most of the songs. You probably know her from "Around the World," which was a major single for here in the US. Many people couldn't believe she was this little petite English girl singing with the large, bluesy voice.

You can hear sample clips at Not all of the songs are winners, but it definitely counts as a guilty pleasure. This should make a great addition to a brunchy playlist.

My other guilty pleasure has been Charlotte Church's new pop album, "Tissues and Issues." Yes, that-little-girl-who-sounds-like-a-castrati-Charlotte Church. Seems she's gone all Melissa Joan Hart on us, looks-wise, though that's not a bad thing. She looks like a beautiful big 'ol friendly girl, with a phenomenal voice. The album has an early 90's R&B flavor (which I guess are still fairly popular over the pond) so I am debating about importing it, but then again, it might be easier than grabbing each track individually from iTunes UK. You can listen to samples from the album and hear commentary on the tracks here. Her speaking voice sounds like Helena Bonham Carter with a head cold and a teenaged vernacular.

Cool trivia: Charlotte explains that "Even God" was written by a 17 year old Boy George. I am hoping that someone releases the sheet music to it soon.

There are microsites for two of the releases from the album, which so far are the ones I like best:
Even God Can't Change the Past
The videos are great - good for her, I say!

On the main site,, you can find videos for two other songs, Crazy Chick and Call My Name, which are catchy, but I don't like them as well as the other two.

Which, brings me to my third guilty pleasure - staying up way too late blogging. Bedtime for bonzo! At this point, the dogs have given up trying to get me to go to bed at a decent hour.


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Like riding a bike...

Actually, there was no "like" about it - after three long years in storage at the back of our garage, Geoffrey and I actually took our brand new bikes for a spin around the block on Sunday. When we first moved into our house, my mom agreed to get both of us new bikes, so we went all out and got outfitted with a six speed Huffy for me and a seven speed Eddie Bauer for Geoffrey. We also picked up bike chains, water bottles and helmets, though I grew up never wearing one. So on Sunday, we were cleaning out the garage and the weather had fiinally started to feel less humid, so we went around the block. There were quite a few false starts and stops - adjusting the height of the seat, tightening the handlebars, pumping air into the tires. It seems like ages since I felt the wind blowing past me and felt like I wanted to bike somewhere, anywhere.

When I was growing up, our house was on a cul de sac. There really weren't sidewalks, but the street was extra wide to allow for parked cars and, I suppose, us kids to play outside. Let me tell you, when you are one of two Catholic school kids on the block and no one really wants to play with you, riding around the block in an endless circle gets boring really quick. I wasn't a very athletic kid (can you tell by my comfy pillow-ness?) and my dad didn't really want us going out of the block without his permission, so I stayed indoors a lot. So much so that I didn't even know that the mall near my house used to be cool, with a GAP and other stores until it really began to die out, which it has verrrrrrry slooooooowly been doing since 1992 or 1993. But there was at least a Winkleman's and a Woolworth. Now Universal Mall just has a bunch of discount and craft stores and imported boutique stores in improvised store fronts. There is a 16 theatre dollar show, but it's decorated like a giant neon watermelon, so I woudn't say it adds class to the venture.

I used to work in Universal Mall, at a coffee shop where I met my good friend Sonia. I learned how to make espressos and cappucinos and iced mochas. There are many days where I miss the simplicity of that job. We didn't have tables or anything to clean up, and there wasn't a whole lot of prep work. It was a good time people watching and gossiping and OD'ing on coffee-flavoring syrups. There was also a brief stint selling novelties (meaning a LOT of those plastic little trolls) for a Hallmark store spin-off called "Today's Trends" or something like that. Since we got a discount for working there, I spent a lot of money on some fairly useless crap. I didn't manage to buy the "Where's Elvis?" glitter wand, though. Darn.

After that, I worked right next door in a Perfumania, where the goal was to earn a higher commission by trying to substitute name brands for perfumes and colognes that were in the same family. Not a bad gig, but I only sort of miss it. It was kinda fun, seeing the new merchandise and learning how to properly fold tissue for gift bags (the trick? find the center of the sheet and pull the ends out, like a large hankerchief. Stick the pointy end in the bag. Oh, and if you want to add another nice touch, staple a bow to the bag so it doesn't fall off). I was a "third key" which is a sort of third or fourth level assistant manager deal where I could open and close the store almost by myself. Heady times, I must say, or was that the fumes? Hahahaha.

Anyway, I didn't start working in the mall, which is literally across the street from my mom's subdivision, until I could drive myself there. It just wasn't an option to ride a bike there for some reason. And I had a couple of great bikes, too. The first one was sky blue with a banana seat (remember those? You could fit two people on them) and my mom won it for me selling gift wrap and stuff like that to her coworkers. You pedalled backwards to break. I was a bit of a late bloomer, and my parents worked opposite shifts, so there wasn't a whole lot of instruction on how to learn to ride the darn thing. I remember my dad helping me, and I remember very painfully scraping my toes on the pavement, and I eventually got the hang of it. I don't remember what happened to it, it probably went to a cousin when I moved up to a 10 speed. The problem with going from a banana seat to a 10 speed is that your butt is pretty sore after being on a 10 speed. Once I could drive, that was it for the bike. Even after spending almost $100 (which was a pretty big deal at the time) to get the bike tuned up and have the tires replaced.

I should also say that I get hopelessly lost at times, and this was the pre-cel phone era, so I guess it's understandable that I didn't want to go for a ride up to the store to then find myself out in another city or state. My other biking memory was renting bicycles on Mackinac Island and being able to go almost anywhere. It was as though we couldn't get lost (and we probably couldn't, there are two main paths around the island, as I recall).

So happily, I have mostly good memories of being on a bike and Sunday brought that back to me. Hopefully, it won't be another three years until I get that feeling back again.


Monday, July 24, 2006

Well played, CLERKS

Well, it wasn't opening night but it was full price and included popcorn, humongous pop and $1 Buncha Crunch. Craig, Nicole, Shad, Geoff and I went to go see Clerks II. I don't think there was a moment when I wasn't reacting in some way - revulsion, attraction (Dante has a nice set of puppy dog eyes, but not as cute as my honey's), breathtaking anticipation about where in the heck this crazy thing was going next, all while laughing my butt off (don't worry, it's still there - there's a bit to laugh off and don't forget, I did have Buncha Crunch with my popcorn),

If you've seen the trailers, you know that one of our heroes is in love. A gooey sloppy sort of love. However, I will say that the sugary coating is more than enough to help the nasty stuff go down easy. Kinda like a coney dog with extra chilli and onions with a great big glass of fizzy pop. In fact, the stuff that my brain was saying, "ewwww...that's kinda gross" was exactly the stuff that made the funny stuff funnier. I could analyze this crap all day, but I won't. Somehow, a good analogy occurs in the first third of the movie when Becky says, "in the heat of passion, it's sometimes okay to go ass to mouth." The passion and love for these charaters plus the potent combination of some of the best slapstick, pop culture riffing, and exquisitely timed comedy creates a hedonistic frenzy where the scatalogical jokes and potty humor take that premise to a figurative, if not literal level ("I miss my donkey...")

Please do not take all this as an endorsement, 'cause there is something to offend everyone in here. I would hate to say, "Good God, what do you mean you haven't gone? Get thee to the theatre - NOW!" And then have you absolutely hate it. I did that once, and it was Ally Sheedy in Maid to Order. Since then, I don't recommend movies to anyone. But I will say, as Buddy Christ is my witness, that I had a fantastic time. To quote SNL, "I loved it. Much better than Cats. I'm going to see it again and again."


Wednesday, July 05, 2006

More Blogthings!

My birthdays on the cusp of Libra and Scorpio, so I thought the juxtaposition of these two things were kinda interesting:

You are 73% Scorpio

You are 73% Libra

73% on both - what does that mean? I'm apparently 146% a bit of both! I did think it was interesting, because many of the questions asked for each blogthing really did seem to capture my Scorpio side and my Libra side. I think I am more of a Libra though - it includes more of my flirty personality that has started to emerge in my late late 20's and 30's.

Ok, I have to get to bed. I stayed up late to finish a report and now it's way to late to be up playing with blogthings and not sleeping.


Random brain fart

It's funny - you would think that having to memorize words and notes would be more difficult than just words alone. But we remember thousands of song lyrics and tunes and can't recite the Gettysburg Address or the Nicene Creed. And sometimes, those songs come unbidden, unrelenting, and incomplete. I have one song from choir that's been kicking around my head for almost 15 years. I don't know who wrote it, and the last time I tried to smuggle a copy out of the old music room, the box was there, but the music was gone. I've tried to Google, but the lyrics are fairly basic and so many things come up as similar. Plus, a lot of websites that sell choral music reference the music, but don't necessarily show you the goods.

Anyway, here are the lyrics I remember, and if you know who the composer is, drop me a line. I think it was written for SSA, and it sounds a lot like something from the Sound of Music...

My Shining Hour
I have heard it said, that into each life there comes a time
A time to laugh, a time to learn and a time to love
To each their own, to each their day, to everyone their time
And when that day is here and now, you will hear this song

This is my shining hour
This is the best of times
This is my finest day and this day is yours and mine
This is my shining hour
This is best of times
This is my finest day it belongs to you and me

I am sure it's very popular at graduations.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Kickin' it old school

Fall is usually my more my nostalgic time - it's the start of a new year, friends seem to come out of the woodwork and there's something kinda exciting about fresh school supplies (if you ever doubted my geekiness - doubt no more).

But like everything, nostalgia is quickly become a 24-7 commodity. Pop culture seems to be trolling through its high school yearbook, trying to answer the age old question of "Where Are They Now?" (And really, that question is almost an age old - the show premiered in 1998). Just look at our movies - the comic book characters we could only dream of seeing in real life are now on their third or fourth sequel (Geoff and I went to see "Superman Returns" Saturday night, mom and I saw X-Men III a few weeks back). Even the Transformers are coming back with a live-action movie directed by Michael Bey. I doubt they are going to include the universal greeting, though (and if you Google Transformers and universal greeting you get "Bah Weep Granah Weep Ni Ni Bong" - gotta love it!)

And to put it in print to my ever-lovin' husband, Geoffrey - you were right, babe - we should have bought stock in Marvel when we had the chance. I'm very sorry about that.

I am finding increasing evidence on the web of people I would have been in high school with (who would now be anywhere between 28 and 35), posting pieces of their childhood online, demanding their favorite songs on iTunes and writing tributes to their glory days of eating Froot Loops and watching He-Man (or She-Ra). From IMDB to to the growing number of TV series available DVD, we are cataloging to an amazing extent the things we grew up with and loved. We're not waiting for the experts to remind us of what life was like growing up in the 80's and 90's. We're basically making fun of ourselves and celebrating the best and worst of it all before someone else gets the chance to. There are pros and cons to this, of course, but I'll leave that to another time.

On Friday, rather than working on work (too obvious), I was digging up the following list of songs I loved to dance to, but I either haven't had the cash or inclination to buy a bunch of dance compilations or the original cds and they haven't yet shown up in iTunes. And not only could I finally look up the lyrics without having to buy a copy of "Song Lyric" magazine (I am not kidding, and I think it's still in publication), I could listen to 30 seconds of it, or watch the video on YouTube and remember if it was actually a good song or just the pixie sticks talking:

Come on and Get My Love
Cathy Dennis and D Mob - Cathy's solo career didn't last, though this track was quite popular. She's more known now for writing hit singles (such as "Can't Get You Out of My Head" with Kylie Minogue) and co-writing the "American Idol" theme song.

It Takes Two and Joy and Pain
Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock - Blame my brother for these two. He had 12" LPs of both of these. If someone says they hate rap, they very well might still dance to either of these tracks.

Show Me How to Dance
BingoBoys with Princessa - The video for this is on YouTube. We didn't get cable in my house for a really long time, so I didn't see it when it first came out in 1991. Did you know that this year's incoming freshman class was three years old when this song came out? THREE YEARS OLD!

Paperboy - This song that went platinum in the US in 1993, and the reviews for Paperboy's first album are actually pretty funny (I can't tell if they're serious or not). All I will say is this: when you find yourself in a sports bar type place in the middle of a seriously suburban outlet mall and you think you're there to dance, know your audience before you place those requests at the dj booth, kids. You may find that you and your friend are the only ones on the floor. Props to Becky for not leaving me alone on that dance floor!

If all five of these songs were to be played in a row, I would need to sit down and catch my breath, so I think I'll stop here for now. Have a great weekend and hopefullly you don't have to work on Monday!


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Long day

I feel compelled to post, even though there really isn't any new news. Perhaps I could start with a weather report - it is currently damp, a little on the cool side, and overcast here in Michigan. This has to be one of the longest spring-like stretches in recent memory (yes, I know it's now officially summer, it just usually goes from freezing to blazing in a matter of a day). It's been great - the lawn has not required watering, and I am hoping the lake levels won't be nearly as anemic as they have the past few summers. If I wasn't still full from dinner, I would say a pot of darjeeling with cream and sugar and some toast with marmalade would be very nice indeed.

I am leaving for a conference in Lincoln, Nebraska next week - I am not sure what all there is in Lincoln, Nebraska other than the University of and this conference, but I am hoping it will be useful. Despite my constant movement, I am finding that I am not by nature the most disciplined of people and I am, sad to say, rather lazy. I can't even begin to tell you the number of articles I have set aside to be read, or piles of documents to be sorted or shredded, or winter wardrobes that should be put away for summer wardrobes, etc.

At any rate, I am off to play a video game and perhaps turn in early. I hope this post finds you good and well.


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Sentimental lyrics, part 3 I am a bit late jumping on the Jonathan Coulton bandwagon, but I was sidetracked following every bit I could read about John Hodgman (he's more than just a PC, but that's another post). Coulton does this amazing, "Thing a Week" post where he tries to write a song once a week to keep the creative process going. This particular song is number 28. He is currently much beloved by artists and web geeks because he become an unofficial champion of creative commons. Coulton allows other folks to use his work, within certain parameters, without the need for contracts and lawyers and the impending doom of endless court costs and so on.

Anyway, that's just the quick background. Check out his website and Google the guy. Go to iTunes and subscribe to his Podcast. And while you are on his website, look for this lovely tune:

When You Go

Only a moment ago we had nothing but time
Everything lasted forever and you were all mine
Only a dream I know
Thinking you’d never go
Tearing off pieces of myself
Just for the time it buys me

Fold my heart up small
Or break it into pieces
Find somewhere and keep it there
Take it when you go

There in the frame of your face in the cast of your eyes
I saw this coming but still I am caught by surprise
All of this time I knew
That I’d be losing you
That doesn’t mean that it’s OK
That doesn’t mean I’m ready

Fold my heart up small
Or break it into pieces
Find somewhere and keep it there
Take it when you go

Some things we always remember, some things we forget
No way to make it up now no room for regret
That’s no good for anyone
And so I come undone
Now I am less than what I was
Whatever’s left is yours now

Fold my heart up small
Or break it into pieces
Find somewhere and keep it there
Take it when you go

I would say that this ranks right up there with "Adieu" as one of my all-time sweetest songs. It takes a few tries for it to really bloom and take hold, but now I can't stop listening to it.


Sunday, June 11, 2006

Song Sung Blue

You Are Indigo

Of all the shades of blue, you are the most funky, unique, and independent.
Expressing yourself and taking a leap of faith has always been easy for you.

Race for the Cure 2006

Just a quick post - today I volunteered as a photographer for Race for the Cure down at Comerica Park. I've been volunteering for this thing with my mom since it started at the Detroit Zoo. Since the office was nice enough to purchase a Canon Rebel XT for office events, I figured volunteering as a photographer would be great practice and more interesting than distributing t-shirts (which mom enjoys for various reasons). Mom wasn't able to make it this year, the 7:00 am call time would have been a long day out in the sun and on her feet, since you can't leave the area until the race is over around 11:00 am. I took about 200 photos, but they are going to be used for various promotional things, so I haven't posted more than a few images on my flickr site (

The event is a humongous undertaking and very moving in terms of the number of people who participate to support friends and loved ones who have battled breast cancer. I had a great time getting people to smile. For more information about Race for the Cure, including a link to where the photos from this year's event will be available, please visit the website at


Saturday, June 03, 2006

Blogger Karaoake

I am going to cue you with a song lyric and you have to sing the next line -- it's fun for the whole family (provided said family was listening to the radio in the 80's and felt the need to jam to songs like this)...

Don't call me when your toaster won't pop up
Don't call me just to cut your lawn
Don't call me when your radio cuts off
In the middle of your favorite song
Don't call me when your shower just went Uh-uh, no, baby, don't call me
I think I told you this about a million times
You know, it's not my cup of tea

If you suddenly busted into "Baby, I can rocket 2 U..." by The Jets, you win! Double bonus points if you can hit the falsetto in the chorus!


Tuesday, May 30, 2006

New Photos in my flickr

I've been busy with picture taking lately, including this pretty one from the backyard:

To see more, including our three cats and two dogs, please visit here.


Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day weekend

So, not really knowing any of my relatives that have served in any military, I am not very familiar with Memorial Day, other than having the day off and knowing that it's a good day to work if they pay overtime. I happened to notice that there is an actual Memorial Day and an observed Memorial Day. Digging around on the 'net, I found that Memorial Day became a three-day weekend in 1971. I am not sure I have enough information to set my conviction about the matter, but I find it interesting that there is a movement out there to move the observation of Memorial Day back to May 30, and to consider it a national day of mourning and solemn respect, rather than a holiday.

Which of course, brings me to the idea of a holiday, or holy day, and how we observe these dates. This is similar to the debate about the "War on Christmas" or I suppose to a larger extent, the supposed death of our morals and values. I guess we could stage a fight by pittting crass commercialism ("President's Day Sales" make me giggle) against the idea that holidays are a chance to take time off to spend with family and friends. I don't know which argument would win or if anyone would even attend the fight. It certainly wouldn't be on pay-per-view.

As for Memorial Day, like I said it's hard to relate. I don't think anyone should be forced to serve, and yet I know some sort of call to serve the greater good should be something that we, as a nation, do togther. I admire those to decide to enlist and to challenge themselves mentally and physically. I hope that we as a nation are not taking them for granted or assuming that the right choices are being made on how to use the talents and stength of these brave men and women. I don't know if there is any true way to pay our respects, and I certainly don't know if once a year is even enough.

I think that if there wasn't a need for war or military force the price they have paid might barely (and just barely) be considered an even exchange.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Lookout, sidewalk, mom's clear for take off!

Hello all (and you know who you are!);

I am happy to report that mom is definitely on the mend. She was given the all clear to start driving again. It's always such a good thing to know that you can leave your house and go somewhere, even if it's just to the corner store or to the dollar show right near her house. It's definitely a good milestone and I am very proud of her. This is a very sweet Mother's Day for me because anything could have happened between my mom not having surgery at all, which would have probably led to either a stroke or heart attack, to any combination of other complications or additional issues. So, this Sunday I will be kicking back with my mom, having dinner, going to mass and being grateful that she's here.

Now, don't get me wrong, my relationship with my mom has not always been a mutual admiration society. I have certainly had my emotional baggage packed by things we have said or done to each other that would not have made for good family tv (unless you're talking a reality show, and even then...). There was a period of about 4 - 6 weeks where my mom wasn't talking to me (long story, not worth repeating here) and I had to make some decisions about how to handle myself. I decided not to beg for forgiveness of whatever she thought was the problem, but I didn't make her grovel either. It was definitely a sea change in how we regarded each other. When we finally cleared the air, I think we both realized that nothing says we have to have a relationship with each other unless we wanted to work at it. I would like to think she respects my ability to take care of myself, and I would say that I don't take her presence in my life for granted.

On a much lighter note, if you haven't seen LEGO Star Wars, I highly recommend seeking it out. There is going to be a sequel, based on the episodes IV, V and VI, and the poster is a riot! Check out the minisite at LucasArts

More later! ^_^

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Home again, home again

Ok, so we've been home for almost a month, but hey, I have spiffy new photos!

This is going to be a really short post, as I spent all of my time uploading photos last night, but I wanted to wish my hubby a Happy-Day-After-His-Birthday!

Geoff's birthday was fairly low-key, as we had run around like mad on Monday buying a new Subaru Forrester (pics to follow) and getting the dogs to the vet. He was able to sleep in just a little bit and then we needed to run errands. We ended the day with a great dinner at Steve's Back Room in St. Clair Shores.

Anyway, there are still more photos from Las Vegas that I will add to my flickr site and I will try to post more later.

^_^ Liza

Monday, April 10, 2006

Greetings from San Diego

Well, here we are in week two of our vacation. I've touched base with mom almost every night since we have left and I am just now starting to feel the fatigue of the last couple of months lifting. Just in time to get on a red eye on Wednesday and fly into Detroit at 5:00 am. Wheee - at least I can sleep in almost any moving vehicle. Poor Geoff will have been awake for nearly 24 hours when we do get home.

Don't get me wrong - hotels are great and I am enjoying being on vacation. I have managed to reduce my compulsive e-mail checking to an average of once a day and I haven't spent more than an hour answering messages since we arrived in LV last week. Mom has been doing her best to sound upbeat and comfortable, but I will be happy to get back and help share the responsibility of spending time with her. My brother has been shouldering all of that for the past week and a half and I really admire the way he has stepped up.

Mom is still in the hospital, but she thinks that her care team is really working to have her go home soon. Her hemoglobin has increased, which means that her bone marrow is returning to normal and she doesn't sound like she's nearly in as much pain as she was in right after her third surgery. The poor dear has been in the hospital since February 25. She's had a triple bypass, an abraidment of her chest wound, and a muscle flap to fill in the gap between her sternum from where the bone infection wore away her bone. It's been a long 6 weeks and I can't imagine what it's been like for her.

Geoff and I did discuss not going, or delaying our trip, or even just having him go for his conference here in San Diego. Mom wouldn't hear of it. I am glad she insisted we go, I was starting to feel the stress and I knew it would only get more intense as time went on. Geoff's sister is staying at our house during the vacation to watch after the pets. I wasn't able to get the house as cleaned up as I would like, but when the time came to leave, there wasn't anything I could do but apologize and get on the plane.

When all is said and done, I can't help but be grateful for so many things - the love and support of family, the ability to wash my own hair and take a shower, the finanacial ability to take a two week vacation (partially sponsored by work). I know that when I get back there will still be mountains of paperwork to sort through and tons of chores to get done, but I think I will be better centered for this time off.


Saturday, March 25, 2006

End of March, already?!?

It's now been a little over three weeks since mom had her triple bypass. Her heart seems to be doing well, but now there are a whole ton of other complications. She actually has not been home since February 25. She had the bypass on March 1, after which she had a prolonged stay in ICU because her lungs were not recovering the way they should. Mom apparently has pulmonary hypertension, which combined with the diabetes has meant a much slower recovery time. Plus, being a 34-year veteran of the hospital you are staying in does earn you a break in the whole, "okay, you're not openly bleeding so off you go" sort of approach. Eventurally, mom was discharged from the hospital and tranferred to a rehab center for continued PT and OT. We were just about ready to take her home when she wound up with a fever and a quick trip to the ER.

Essentially, mom wound up with an infection in her sternum. There was some erosion of the bone, so right now her chest is open and she has a pressure pack keeping the area closed off from the air. She's back in ICU and the doctors hope to close her up on Monday. Unfortunately, they won't be able to bring the bones back together, so there will be something called a muscle flap, which is essentially grafted muscle bringing her chest together. I am cringing even as I type this, and needless to say mom can't quite imagine how the whole thing is supposed to work either.

For the most part, mom seems to be okay, she's being given drugs for the pain, but she can't sit up and she drifts in and out of consciousness. I was pretty near to collapse on Thursday and couldn't stop from crying when I spoke with her during my lunchtime visit. I had to sleep close to 12 hours on Friday to get myself back together. Of course, it's now allergy season, which leaves me in a constant drippy state which is not very conducive to visiting the ICU. I must have washed my hands 10 - 15 times today.

Mom is still insisting that we leave for Las Vegas as planned this Friday. I am a little scared to go, but I almost feel as though I need to. Never have I been more grateful for cel phones and the instant connectivity they bring.

There is so much to do, so little time. Mom will be okay, I know it, but it makes stupid insignificant things seem even more asinine. And big, important projects feel almost overwhelming in light of what little mental energy I have. Of course, in times like this, it is the love of family and friends, the aid of coworkers, and the solid partnership of my husband that keeps me from true dispair. I am grateful for all of my blessings.


Friday, March 03, 2006

March already?!

Oh dear, what a long two weeks since Valentines Day!

First off, our office found out that a dear colleague had suddenly passed away from a heart attack. We will miss you, Guy, and the work will continue. Put in a good word to Ganesh for me!

The afternoon after the funeral, one of our best men from the wedding called to say he and his wife have welcomed Abigal Dee-Ann into the world. Everyone is now home and resting comfortably. Much like the Jewish way of celebrating baby showers, the baby will be able to go to the party next weekend - I have a choir concert that afternoon, so we'll be sending along our gift with an additional bonus.

But then, in the wee hours of Saturday morning, my brother called to say my mom was having chest pains. Mom's a nurse, which means that she tends to ignore a lot of her own symptoms, so something had to be seriously wrong for her to ask to be taken to emergency. This was also the weekend I needed to be at work from 8:00 - 12:00 Saturday and Sunday, so I dressed for work and met them at the urgent care center. You have probably heard a lot of ERs advertising 29 minute or less waits in the lobby - which is true - they just can't guarantee you won't spend 5 hours once you are in one of the beds and waiting for a doctor to come and diagnose the problem. And in this case, mom needed to be admitted so they could make sure nothing was wrong and run a whole lot of tests. She had had a stress test late last year and knew there was a blockage, but I guess she figured it was fairly small and could wait. Now seemed to be as good of a time as any to get that taken care of.

So I spent the weekend bouncing back and forth between work and the hospital. On Sunday, Alex called to say that there was a lot more blockage than expected and mom would require a triple bypass. Yikes. Monday and Tuesday were spent getting paperwork together (mom had recently met with a lawyer to document her estate and draw up a will) and make sure that if anything drastic happened, we would have said what we wanted to say. It was very emotional and heart-wrenching, but I think it was good. To be sure, mom was in very good hands - after all, many of her friends and my brother work there. The cardiologist and heart surgeon both had good reputations amongst everyone who worked there. Mom was pretty popular - with each shift change a new wave of well wishers would pop through the door. One of my cousins came by - she and several other members of our extended family are expecting in the next six months. We're still trying, so keep your fingers crossed!

The surgery went decently well. It took from approximately 10 am - 2:30 pm. Geoff has been calm and supportive and I have received lovely notes and e-mails from friends. Mom spent an extra day on the ventilator, but it's finally out and she can start to talk, though it is very quiet. I didn't like all of the crazy machinery noises, so I brought in a cd player and some quiet music to play continously. Since everything went well (thus far), it's hard to truly grasp the surreality of the situation, even as this portends what it will ultimately look like when we do have to say our final goodbyes. But thankfully, it looks like mom will be around for a good long time and I would be willing to bet she comes out of this feeling better than she has in years. Her heart blockages were at least 80 percent or higher for three of the ventricles - she was essentially a walking time-bomb.

So, I am still bouncing back and forth between work, home and the hospital. It's actually very difficult to concentrate on any one thing, but that's an easy problem to have compared to how tired my mom is at the moment. I'm pretty much ready to sleep at the drop of a hat (more so than usual!!!).

All I can say is, thank God she's ok, and that we have amazing friends and family to show their support and love.


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

My love is like a big

Happy hearts day, all!

This has been a decidedly non-sentimental Valentine's day, but by design, so I'm okay with that. I only sent out a couple of Valentine's day cards and made decadent chocolate cupcakes for my office mates. Geoffrey picked up two dozen donuts for his staff (if you have a Tim Horton's near you, I highly recommend the Cream Cheese Croissant).

Geoffrey and I decided that with finances being a little tight we would share a gift. This year, it's The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes: the Complete Short Stories, a big beautiful hardbound set. It's slightly oversized and very heavy. I love it! We also had lunch together and grabbed a yummy bit of carryout from the on-campus Middle-Eastern restaurant on campus for dinner (there are serious advantages to working on the same campus).

In addition to displaying yet another piece of evidence of my geekiness, I would like to use my corner of cyberia to proclaim my love for my husband Geoffrey.
I love you!

And now, here's my pick for "Ladies Choice" at Skate World and the accompanying sentimental song lyric, dedicated to my love:

The Luckiest by Ben Folds

I don't get many things right the first time
In fact, I am told that a lot
Now I know all the wrong turns, the stumbles and falls
Brought me here
And where was I before the day
That I first saw your lovely face?

Now I see it everyday
And I know
That I am
I am
I am
The luckiest

What if I'd been born fifty years before you
In a house on a street where you lived?
Maybe I'd be outside as you passed on your bike
Would I know?
And in a wide sea of eyes
I see one pair that I recognize

And I know
That I am
I am
I am
The luckiest

I love you more than I have ever found a way to say to you
Next door there's an old man who lived to his nineties
And one day passed away in his sleep
And his wife; she stayed for a couple of days
And passed away
I'm sorry, I know that's a strange way to tell you that I know we belong

That I know
That I am
I am
I am
The luckiest


Saturday, January 21, 2006

More sentimental lyrics

At one point, like a lot of people my age, I made a lot of mix tapes. Geoffrey once noted that this Toad the Wet Sprocket song seemed to make it onto every one of them. It's a beautiful song, very simply arranged, and I love the lyrics:

"I Will Not Take These Things for Granted"
One part of me just wants to tell you everything
One part just needs the quiet
And if I'm lonely here, I'm lonely here
And on the telephone
You offer reassurance

I will not take these things for granted

How can I hold the part of me that only you can carry
It needs a strength I haven't found
But if it's frightening, I'll bear the cold
And on the telephone
You offer warm asylum

I'm listening
Flowers in the garden
Laughter in the hall
Children in the park
I will not take these things for granted

To crawl inside the wire and feel something near me
To feel this accepting
That it is lonely here, but not alone
And on the telephone
You offer visions dancing

I'm listening
Music in the bedroom
Laughter in the hall
Dive into the ocean
Singing by the fire
Running through the forest
And standing in the wind
In rolling canyons

I will not take these things for granted

Many of my romances had a very strong telephone component. Nothing thrilled me more than hearing that a fellow normally wasn't one for talking on the phone and lo and behold, two hours have gone by. Even now, I love talking on the phone with my husband - his voice is so sweet to me. And yes, he did once tell me that he wasn't all that great on the phone.


Friday, January 20, 2006

Here Today


I am sleepy. I called in sick today because I know it will be a full week next week. It's oddly warm outside (well, for January, anyway). And one of my bestest friends, Lori, called me last night because she was reading through a bunch of my old high school looseleaf notes. Apparently they fill an entire GAP bag. Those notes are more than 15 years old. Yikes. So, in honor of old memories and nostalgia, here is one of my favorite Paul McCartney poems/songs. On the Tug of War album it's simply, "Here Today," but in Blackbird Singing: Poems and Lyrics 1965 - 1999, it's actually titled, "Here Today (Song for John)."

And if I said
I really knew you well
What would your answer be?
If you were here today.

Well, knowing you
You'd probably laugh and say
That we were worlds apart.
If you were here today.

But as for me
I still remember how it was before
And I am holding back the tears no more
I love you.

What about the time we met?
Well I suppose that you could say that
We were playing hard to get,
Didn't understand a thing
But we could always sing.

What about the night we cried?
Because there wasn't any reason left
To keep it all inside,
Never understood a word
But you were always there with a smile.

And if I say I really loved you
And was glad you came along,
Then you were here today,
For you were in my song
Here today.


Thursday, January 12, 2006

Bad chicken(pox) leftovers

I wouldn't believe this if I had read it.

Or if a fortune teller had predicted it.

Or if someone had written about it in a blog and I thought, wow, that could be me!

But it happened: I, ladies and gentlemen, have managed to reawaken the dormant chickenpox virus that apparently has been hitching a ride in my spinal column, and now have a case of the shingles. Right on my left keister.

This is not something I would wish on anyone. Now thankfully, it's not as though I "caught" it from somewhere or that I could really give it to someone else unless they had never had chickenpox before (and came in contact on an open sore on my usually very covered butt). But it's not pretty and it kinda hurts, like being burned with a curling iron. And it takes a while to heal - two weeks on an anti-viral waiting for the shingles to scab and fall off. Mmmmmm-hmmmm tasty! I should go suck down a pound of tomatoes 'cause I don't think I'm getting a cold sore anytime soon.

So, sorry if this is more personal than you ever wanted to know about me, but it's just kinda funny (this usually happens in older people) and I am bound to ruminate on it in at least a couple more posts.

Oh, and for more information. not that you can do anything to prevent shingles really, I recommend this site: Shingles, an Unwelcome Encore!

How's this for a cool Christmas present? The hubby decided to immortalize me on the web by securing the following:
all of which currently link to this site until I can figure out how to create my own webspace.

I also received my very own pro-Flickr account with with to inflict my camera mania on an unsuspecting public:

It's a lot like being given my own little plot of land for a garden. Now I just need time to grow something other than weeds!