Sunday, August 31, 2008

Spot's Sunday Entertainment Roundup

Ok, so this post series didn't get off to a resounding start. Let's give it another go, shall we?

As I've mentioned many times here, I am a HUGE fan of tv & movies. I'm picking up books again too, so add another category to the list. LOL! My plan here is to mention some of my favorites of the past week that will either save you some time in the video store and clue you in on a gem you might not know about. And without further ado...

The Movie Roundup
1. Vantage Point - If you liked Memento, you'll probably like this. If you didn't, save your time.
2. Cake - Cute flick with Heather Graham and Sandra Oh. Bad language alert if you're easily offended.
3. The 40 Yr Old Virgin - I think I was the only person on this earth who hadn't seen this yet. I loved it. Steve Carell is comic genius.
4. Juno - Words cannot express how much I loved this movie. I wouldn't recommend it as viewing for anyone under 18 or really irresponsible, but anyone else, go for it!
5. In the Valley of Elah - Wow! Great film. I love Tommy Lee Jones and he's great in this along with Charlize Theron.
6. Rendition - There's a good reason why this one went straight to DVD. It's not a total stinker, but I would only recommend it if you REALLY love Reese Witherspoon or Jake Gyllenhaal and have about 2 hours to kill.
7. Election - Speaking of Reese, this is one of her earlier films. Man, that girl can act. This film is pretty funny and Matthew Broderick plays a character that I just find hysterically funny.
8. Penelope - This is a cute film that stars my future hubby, James McAvoy. And he looks mighty fine in it. Great acting by Christina Ricci also!
9. Starter for Ten - Ok, I wasn't kidding a while back when I said that every James McAvoy film was in my queue. This is another one of his. It's a brit film (which I tend to love anyway) and the soundtrack is PERFECTION. For anyone who loves late 80's brit rock (i.e. The Smiths, The Cure) then the soundtrack alone is worth checking this film out.
10. Mamma Mia! - Who knew Meryl Streep & Pierce Brosnan could sing? This flick was great and I have been singing ABBA's greatest hits all week. My thanks to Shannon for laughing along with me!

The T.V. Roundup
1. Big Love - After reading many things about this series, I finally Netflix'd it and am so glad I did. I'm a big Bill Paxton fan and he doesn't disappoint in this series. The whole polygamy thing is kind of lampooned in this show, which makes it very entertaining. I've only seen the first 2 episodes of season 1 (because Netflix screwed me over on shipping this week), but I'm hoping to catch up this week.
2. Max & Ruby - For any preschoolers reading this week, I've seen many episodes of this cute little show on Noggin and I highly recommend it. There are now more eppy's of this on my DVR than 90210. Yep, I'm officially a mom.

The Book Roundup
1. Bright Lights, Big Ass by Jen Lancaster - I'm halfway through this book and I have yet to stop laughing. Hubby seriously cannot believe the tear-induced laughter that happens every time I open up this book. So far, I highly recommend it!
2. Tempted by Megan Hart - Warning, this book REQUIRES an NC-17 rating. I've read some racy stuff in my years, but this one takes the cake. I'm only a few chapters in, but it's a pretty good story line mixed with a lot of memorable scenes. Hey, I don't party anymore and I've been married for almost 12 years now. I have license to enjoy some racy reading every now and then. Ha ha.

And there you have it! Join me next week for a smaller roundup (since I'm not catching up 4 weeks worth of info). And join me in giving a resounding "Hooray" that the fall television season is almost here. Only a few more weeks until I get my weekly McDreamy fix. Yum!

And the Winners are...

I'm so excited about how many of you entered my little giveaway! And I'm REALLY excited about how many of you entered multiple times. Having regular readers means a lot to me. I mean, this blog is really an outlet to put my thoughts and pictures in color, but to know that there a few wonderful people out there who enjoy reading my drivel consistently just makes my day! Ok, shmaltzy talk aside, let's get down to business.

I let do some random number picking for me. We had 82 entries and the winners are...

The $25 Giftcard goes to comment #13 who is: Kat from Sunshine & Lemonade!!! She also wins the award for most persistent commenter. Luv ya Kat!

The Rachael Ray cookbook goes to comment #30 who is: CrystalChick from Mary Says...!!

Both winners have been contacted, but if they do not respond within 48 hours, then a new winner will be chosen if necessary. Congrats to everyone and thanks so much to all who entered and who continue to come back!

And I will be doing another giveaway later this Fall, so make sure you come back for info on it. Thanks!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday's Foto Finish Fiesta - Angie's Birthday Recap

Just in case you missed it last week, I had a birthday. I don't know how you could've missed it because I mentioned it no less than 3,105 times over the last month. But, we'll put that aside.

Ok, I'm seriously just kidding. My birthdays have never really been a big deal because my family really never made a big deal about it. So, I now overcompensate BIG TIME with my kids because I want them to feel important on their day each year. But, that's a post for another day.

Hubby bought me a cookie cake on my actual bday last week and presented it to me after I had a REALLY bad day. Have I ever mentioned my love affair with the Great American Cookie Company? Oh my. It's bad. So bad, that the cake you see below was mostly inhaled by yours truly. Which would explain why my pants are tighter this week. Bleh. Here's me being presented my cake. Yes, those are Mickey Mouse ears on my head.

I'm just thankful that hubby opted for the single digit candles. We would've visited fire danger territory if he had gone another direction. Did I mention how yummy the cake was?

So, last Friday, hubby surprised me with an appointment at my fave local day spa. I was pampered with a massage and other services. It was heavenly. And then he took me out to dinner at a local fave restaurant. It was yummy Italian, followed by ice cream at Coldstone Creamery. (This could also be a contributor to my pants issue this week) We ended the night at a local arcade where hubby kicked my arse at basketball and air hockey. The air hockey was a rematch from last year where I whipped up on him pretty badly. And suffered a pretty nasty cut and bruise on my arm for getting just a bit too wrapped up in my level of play. Did I mention I'm a wee bit competitive? And a sore loser?

It was a lovely birthday! And just for the record, I'm still holding out for a surprise party. Just one. Before I die. Please.

Now, go check out Candid Carrie for more Fx4 entries for this week!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

School Daze

*I'm prefacing this by saying that I've worked on this entry for a week now and I've HAD IT. Blogger formatting SUCKS. Ok, let's move on.

After reading all the "first day of school" posts last week, I am finally throwing mine into the hat. Both of my girls go to preschool and it's curriculum based, so they're learning far more there, than they do sitting at home watching me blog all day long. Ok, maybe not ALL day long. They do still nap sometimes.

Anyway, here are the first day pics for you to enjoy. This is of course, more about the outfit selection than anything.

Here's Little A on her very first day of preschool. She was so excited! She's been wanting to go ever since we dropped off Big A for her first day last year. She even picked out this adorable dress from the sale rack at Gap Kids. See, I am teaching them a useful skill. Discount shopping.

Here's Big A in her adorable polka dot dress (again from the Gap Kids sale aisle). She's VERY excited to be starting back to school.

My girls together. Do you know that people ask me ALL the time if they are twins? Sometimes I feel like I'm on an episode of Little People, Big World. If you've seen the show, you'll know what I'm alluding to. If not, explaining it would cancel out the humor of it.

Here's Little A in front of her school. What, you mean she's in a different outfit? Oh my, you're right! You see, I got them all dressed up on the first day for what turned out to be me filling out paperwork for an hour while they destroyed 2 classrooms. Ha! That'll teach you to dupe me into not having my first day of freedom without the kids. Oops. Did I say that out loud? Moving on.

This is her ACTUAL first day of school. Where I actually got to leave and go to Starbucks without kids in tow. A whole new experience.

And here's Big A on her REAL first day. Recognize the dress? It made it's debut appearance in this post. See, I did get the green icing out!

I'm happy to report that both girls are having a ball with school and mommy is a little less stressed with her minimal amounts of free time so far. Once phase-in is complete, mommy will have ample opportunity to hit the gym and stop making excuses for never having time to get things done. That is until she takes on 3 new things to do and then wonders why her stress level is off the charts again. Ah, school daze is here!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Angie 3, Best Buy 0

Well, score one for the little guy today because I took on the giant that is Best Buy and came out on top.

My father & I showed up at my favorite store at 4:30 this afternoon to pick up my new computer. The manager-type that we talked with yesterday informed me that my new computer was in fact, NOT there. Pardon me while I pause with surprise. After seeing my face literally turn beet red, he informs us that he will have this situation rectified in 15 minutes. Alright buddy, my stopwatch says GO! As he runs off to presumably suck his thumb under a table in the breakroom, I decide to take out some aggression on the idiot "working" the Geek Squad desk.

I explain to Thing #1 that I'm going to need a new copy of Microsoft Office Professional since my licensed copy resides on the computer being held hostage. He says no because "it can be installed on 3 computers". Try again dummy. So, he brings over Thing #2 who also tries to feed me this line of bull. After giving these boys a copy of Hooked on Phonics, I finally get them to understand that the package clearly states that only the Student version can be installed on 3 computers. And their response? "Wow, look at that. You're right." Finally, an intelligent answer from these morons. The female manager-type who overhears this conversation pulls rank on Things 1&2 and immediately obtains a new copy of the program for me. Score! Angie 1, Best Buy 0

Then, this rockin' female manager-type sees that my Dad & I have now been sitting in this store for over an hour waiting for my new computer that was supposed to appear in 15 minutes (an hour ago). And first she offers us something to drink. And then she offers copious apologies. And then she gives us a $50 giftcard. Score! Angie 2, Best Buy 0

After waiting for an hour and 40 minutes, my new computer FINALLY appears. And after they do their fancy register tricks, they send us out the door with a brand new (and much better) computer than what I had. Score! Angie 3, Best Buy 0

So, now my beautiful new Sony computer is sitting where my old one used to reside. I'm still mourning the loss of my old Sony, but I know that she'll probably find a new home with some techno-geek that actually knows how to fix her. In the meantime, I think I'll watch a little James McAvoy movie to ease my pain. Yeah, that should do the trick.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Angie vs. Best Buy...Round 2

For those just tuning in, here's the original post so you can catch up on this techno-fun.

So, I call my friends at Best Buy this morning to see what the status is on my computer. I thought, for a brief moment, that they might have taken the opportunity to combine their collective brain cell and figure out how to ship my computer to the correct repair center. Wishful thinking. "Tim" informed me that apparently no one in the entire Best Buy empire can fix my computer. Wow, I didn't realize that Sony made a computer THAT complex. Furthermore, if Best Buy knew this, why did they not hesitate to sell us the extended warranty on a machine that they can't repair. Things that make you go "Hmmmm?" Oh wait, you in the back...what's that? They're a bunch of idiots? Now, that wasn't very nice. Possibly true, but not very nice.

And so, upon hearing my head explode, "Tim" decided that he'd better come up with something quick before my hand came through the receiver. He said that he would talk with his store manager and they would figure out some resolution for me. I said "Good idea Tim. And I'll be there at 2pm to take home my resolution. And it had better be a brand new computer."

Tim calls me back an hour later explaining that his store manager has "authorized" him to give me a brand new HP with all the bells & whistles and that this is actually an upgrade from my Sony that I left with them. Really? The only upgrade I'll be accepting for my SONY is a SONY, pal. Is that clear enough for ya? See ya at 2pm, Tim.

Just as I suspected, when I arrive at 2pm, not only has my pal Tim fled the store, but the store manager has fled as well. You mean, they didn't want to deal with my 5'3" frame of Spanish temper in person? Smart guys. However, this is bad news for the backup store manager who gets to deal with me instead.

While my Dad is in the background throwing around terms like "my attorney says" and "questionable business practices" and "reimbursed damages", I very calmly explain to the poor store schlub what's been going on. And he asks me something that I never expected to hear. "What can I do to fix this?" Did I hear this guy right?

I show him a printout from the Best Buy website of a Sony computer comparable to what I had. And he proceeds to track one down at another store and assures me that it will be there tomorrow for me to pickup and take home. So, tune in tomorrow, for what had BETTER be a happy ending to this ridiculous story. Anyone care to lay odds on this turning out the way I hope it will turn out? Yeah, me neither.

A Hair Raising Adventure

This past weekend marked a big milestone in my girls lives. They each had their very first haircut. This has been a long time coming. Big A is creeping up on 4 years old and her hair (as you'll see) was completely out of control. Little A, at 2 years old, just needed some evening out of her wisps.

Little A wasn't too thrilled with the lady who had to comb out the mega-tangles from her hair. Maybe NOW she'll let me do it the easy way at home.

Big A finally got over her fear of having her hair cut. She was actually jovial during this little event.

Little A was pretty good at following directions. She only moved her head about 100 times, instead of the 150 that she normally would have. Consequently, we have a little uneven line in the back. Oh well.

Check out the length of Big A's hair. CRAZY. She was born with a head full and we have great hair genes in my family. Contrary to popular belief, we do not put Miracle-Gro on our kids hair.

Here's Little A after her trim. That face! She finally has even bangs and pretty even length. She couldn't wait to jump out of that chair.

Big A is getting the final amount of length taken off. We opted for no bangs and only had about 3 inches of length taken off. Just enough to even it all out.

Little A got a gold star for her bravery. Not her listening skills.

Big A got a gold star too, for finally being a big girl and getting that first haircut. We're so proud!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Monday Morning Eye Candy

*Thanks for visiting today! Make sure you visit here to get in on the super cool giveaway that I'm hosting. You don't want to miss out. We now return you to your regularly scheduled Angie's Spot programming.

It's Monday, so let's get this party started! Here's another edition of Monday Morning Eye Candy. This week I'm bringing you some of my favorite prime-time hotties. Enjoy!

Michael Vartan - He was great on "ALIAS", but my favorite flick of his is "Never Been Kissed". What a cutie!

Dylan McDermott - Smokin! "The Practice" was one of my favorite shows for 1 BIG reason. Any guesses?

Robert Buckley - Does anyone here watch "Lipstick Jungle" on NBC? If not, you might want to start. This guy plays Kirby. Talk about "must see t.v."!

Andrew McCarthy - I fell in love with him during "Pretty in Pink" and fell even harder with "St. Elmo's Fire". Now he's on "Lipstick Jungle" as well. Mmm. Two for the price of one!

Eric Dane - Ok, I'm giving y'all a break from my Patrick Dempsey obsession this week and serving up another Grey's Anatomy hottie. Say hello to McSteamy.

And that concludes this week's cold rag inducing post. Enjoy and come back next week for more goodies! And if you have a request for a future edition of MMEC, please leave it in your comments. Have a great Monday!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

An Open Letter to Best Buy

Dear Best Buy,

This is that really angry chick who just hung up on your techno-geek that you apparently thought could "talk me down" by speaking slowly and REALLY condescendingly. Not.a.good.idea.

I accept the fact that you completely lied about the amount of time that you would hold my computer hostage. I really do. However, when you offer me the excuse that you did, in the hopes that I would just grin and keep waiting patiently, well, that's where you were wrong.

You see, I do NOT find "my computer won't let me ship it to the correct facility for repair" as an acceptable reason for your ineptness. I further do not accept that excuse as the reason that my poor, incapacitated computer has been sitting at your store for more than a week now, after it's 2 week trip to the WRONG repair center. Oh yeah, YOUR computer won't let you ship it to the "correct" repair center. I forgot. And the reason that you've had my computer for 3+ weeks now, is because someone 2 hours from here won't fix a glitch in the system, so that you can print a shipping label? Hmm.

I've got it! There's this handy little invention called a pen and paper. You can actually write the CORRECT shipping address on the paper with your pen, so that my computer is shipped to the CORRECT repair center. Better yet, how about I just come pick up my broken computer and drive it down to the CORRECT repair center myself. Maybe that will get the message across that I'm not sitting around for one more day while you idiots get your act together and stop blaming technology for all your laziness. Your thoughts?

Your Raging Mad Customer,


Thursday, August 21, 2008

I'm here, I'm here!

Please excuse my best impression of someone in the witness protection program. It's been a crazy, busy week around the old homestead. We've had first days of school and activities, a little birthday, a LOT of cookie cake, and all kinds of additional fun that have just about run me into the ground. I've been trying to catch up on some of my blog reading, but even that has suffered. So, while I'm enjoying my birthday present from hubby tomorrow, rest assured that I will be back in full form this weekend with lots of witty banter, cute pics and plenty of comment love for EVERYONE! Y'all be good and don't do anything I wouldn't do. (snicker, snicker)

In the meantime, here's my peace offering to you. See, I'm looking out for ya.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Birthday Thanksgiving

*Thanks for visiting today! Make sure you visit here to get in on the super cool giveaway that I'm hosting. You don't want to miss out. We now return you to your regularly scheduled Angie's Spot programming.

So, today's my birthday. Woo hoo! I was all set to post about some wonderful gifts that I've received and some hilarious cards, texts and emails that I've gotten, when I decided to go in a different direction.

Today is a lot about me being thankful for the amazing life that I lead. I'm able to be a full time mom to my 2 beautiful girls. I'm able to work from home to help subsidize some of the extras that we participate in. I have a great hubby who continues to surprise me with his thoughtfulness. I have family that can be trying at times, but I can't imagine life without. I also have the most wonderful group of friends (live and online) that a gal could ever hope for. I am truly blessed in many ways!

A couple of my online friends have bestowed some awards to me over the last few weeks and I want to give them some proper shout outs. One in particular gave me an award today that I want to give some special attention to.

First, I want to send a huge THANK YOU to my new buddy Hot Tub Lizzy who gave me the Arte y Pico award and the Brillante Weblog Award! She's the second one who's given me the Arte y Pico award, but this is my first time getting the Brillante Weblog Award. I'm just a little excited! Oh, and here they are in all their glory.

The next award that I received, actually came in today, from my bud Steph. Not that I don't appreciate all awards given to me, but this one in particular really hit me sideways in the emotion department. It was created by a mom whose son was saved from an organ donor. He would've died without the life-saving heart that he received. The story made me cry and I simply love the rules that surround this one. I'm simply to pass it on to other bloggers who inspire me and ones that I want to Share the Love with! So, first let me show you this adorable award.

And now for the list of bloggers that I want to give this award to. Hey, it's my birthday and I'll give away love if I want to. Each of you inspires me, makes me laugh or cry (or both), and makes me happy to be in a circle of bloggers who encourage each other. Thanks for sharing the love with me.

Angela at Hello Dahrlin' - My BFF forever and ever...amen
Tressa at American in Norway - Such a cool gal and friend
Carrie at Candid Carrie - Too many reasons to list why I luv her...I'll start with her humor
Jennifer at Crazy...Life - She's a mom who's crazed, just like me.
Nik at Exceptional Voyage - She's a gal from TN. Who doesn't love that?!
Michelle at Honest & Truly - Participating in the push up challenge alone garners this award.
Holly at June Cleaver Nirvana - I'm one of Holly's biggest fans. I'm just glad she doesn't think I'm weird or anything from all the comments I leave. Or do you, Holly? :-)
Lula! at Lulaville - Another southern belle sista. She & I are like peas and carrots. In a Paula Deen butter cream sauce.
Kelly at Song for Whoever - My thanks to Tressa for introducing us. Kelly is da bomb.
Kat at Sunshine & Lemonade - Anyone who shares my love of trashy reading is a friend for life.
Lizzy at Journey to the Hot Tub - So she can share the love with Mr. B
Rhea at Texas Word Tangle - My first commenter ever and a friend for life now
Shannon at Welcome to the Nut House - Blogging has reignited a great friendship. Woo hoo!
Eleanor at News from Nooga - She needs all the love we can share with her right now.

Ok, I'm cutting it off there because I could literally go on for ages. But, I do plan to issue another list of blogs that I'm sharing this with, because it's just not right to keep this one to myself. So, go share the love with others and hug your loved ones tight. We never know how long we'll have them. Mwah!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Monday Morning Eye Candy

*Thanks for visiting today! Make sure you visit here to get in on the super cool giveaway that I'm hosting. You don't want to miss out. We now return you to your regularly scheduled Angie's Spot programming.

It's Monday, so what time is it? Anyone? (Tap, this thing on?) Oh, THERE you are! Yep, it's Monday Morning Eye Candy! Today's batch of cuties is a blast from the past. It's guys that maybe aren't in their prime now, but once upon a time, I totally found them adorable! Enjoy and please let me know in your comments if you have any requests for upcoming weeks.

Christian Slater - Loved him in Heathers. Loved him in The Legend of Billie Jean. Loved him in Pump Up the Volume. We'll see how his new series on NBC this Fall fares. I'm cautiously optimistic.

Pierce Brosnan - He made me fall in love with James Bond. I refused to watch 007 movies until Goldeneye came out. Totally hot. I also dream fondly of his version of The Thomas Crown Affair.

Harrison Ford - This guy is a true classic. I totally see what Calista Flockhart sees in him, aesthetically anyway. And he's a daredevil. Flying his own helicoptors and such. I still haven't seen this last Indiana Jones, but only because it hasn't come out on DVD yet. I'm lazy.

Adrian Paul - You probably won't know this guy unless you watched the Highlander t.v. series. This guy is totally hot. I miss that show. I need to find it on DVD so I can enjoy the hotness once again.

Sean Bean - Ok, recent news shows that he has an anger management problem, but he's still good looking. Or at least he was several years ago. Loved him in Patriot Games (with Harrison Ford). Loved him in Goldeneye (with Pierce Brosnan). Hmm. I'm seeing a pattern here.

And that concludes this week's issue of MMEC. Hope you enjoyed it and will come back soon. And don't forget to leave me a comment with any cuties that you would like to see featured in upcoming weeks!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

It's giveaway time!

I've thought quite a few times over the last couple of months as to what kind of giveaway I could do. Since I like the idea of multiple winners, I've decided to offer 2 prizes. Here's the skinny.

1. The contest begins today, Aug. 17 and ends on Aug. 30.
2. The winners will be announced here sometime on August 31st.
3. The winners will be chosen by Random Drawing.
4. Limit 1 entry per day, per household. (Except a day that you choose the bonus entry option)
5. If you do not have a blog, then you must leave me your email addy in your comment. If I can't contact you via email or your blog, then you will be disqualified.
6. Contest is open to my readers from all over the world.
7. To enter, you must leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite post is of mine. It can be something recent or something way back in the archives of greatness that you've discovered. I'm interested to hear your feedback!

Now, wanna know what you're playing for? Here's the exciting news!

1. First prize is a $25 giftcard to ONE of the following merchants: Barnes & Noble, CVS, Gap, iTunes, LLBean, Macy's, Old Navy, Pier One, Pottery Barn or Starbucks.

2. Second prize is a brand new copy of Rachael Ray's "Yum-O: The Family Cookbook". It's got some great family friendly recipes and some wonderful uses for leftovers that result in yummy meals.

So, take a look around, read some posts and leave a comment on this post telling me what little nugget of blogging brilliance is your top choice. I can't wait to read your comments! Good luck everyone and feel free to tell your friends. Oh yeah, and I'll give you an extra entry if you blog about my contest (and link back to this post) and then come back here and comment that you did that.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Lunchtime Conversation

Big A: Where did you find Little A's cup?

Me: It was next to the Winnie the Pooh couch.

Big A: You mean the chair?

Me: No, the couch.

Big A: Mommy, that's a chair, not a couch.

Me: No, it's a couch. If it seats more than 1 person, than it's called a couch. The Winnie the Pooh thing in your room seats 1 person, so we call that a chair. Right?

Big A: Right.

Me: And how many people fit on the Winnie the Pooh thing in the living room?

Big A: Two.

Me: So, since it fits 2 people we call it a couch. Or we could call it a sofa too.

Big A: (long pause with her finger on her chin) Or we could call it a chair too.

Me: (hilarious laughter ensues after whacking my head on the table)

Big A: Are you ok mommy? What's so funny?

Me: Nothing honey. Let's just call it a chair.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Danger, Will Robinson

I have developed a pretty serious fear over the last several years. I'm not sure where it manifested from, but I know that it's getting worse. Here's an example.

I attended a home sales party at a friend's house last week. As I'm driving towards her house, I'm enjoying the scenery. The farms, the livestock, the nuclear plant's cooling towers. SCREECH... See Angie. See Angie driving merrily. See Angie having anxiety attack on the side of the road.

Yes, I live rather close to a nuclear power facility. I've grown up listening to the sirens being tested once a month, EVERY month. I've seen the road signs indicating which direction I SHOULD run in, just in case a meltdown occurs. However, if that were to happen, I'm not very optimistic that running in any direction would really help. But I digress.

And so, many have patted my shoulder and tried to comfort my fear of the nuclear plant. Except, that isn't what I'm afraid of. It's the cooling towers. Yes, I'm afraid of 2 large concave structures that are pretty innocuous. I'm not sure why, but I know that upon catching a glimpse of these things, my heart starts to pound, my breathing becomes labored and I need to move in the opposite direction. Quickly.

As a friend pointed out to me yesterday, it's really the 2 domed buildings NEXT to the cooling towers that I SHOULD be afraid of. You know, the buildings that actually house the nuclear material. But, they don't even put a blip on my screen. ???

I was hoping to take a step towards dealing with my fear by putting a picture of a cooling tower on this entry. However, when I almost passed out just looking at Google Images, I decided against the picture. See, I told you this was bad.

And so, I ask, do you have an unnatural fear about anything? Something that makes people look at you strangely when you tell them about it?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

I haven't done a Thursday Thirteen in a few weeks now. I keep getting side-tracked with all the madness fun stuff that's been going on. We're heading into a very busy weekend and next Tuesday is going to be a momentous day. Yes, it's a national holiday my birthday, but that's not even the MOST exciting thing happening that day. It will be Little A's 1st Day of Preschool! I'm really excited and really sad all at the same time. I simply cannot believe that little munchkin is ready to start school 2 days a week already. Where does the time ago?

So, before I start singing "Cat's in the Cradle", let's lighten things up here. First, I made mention of a little giveaway that I'm brewing. It's going to be cool and announced here on Sunday, so stay tuned!

Second, I love lists and I love gifts, so I REALLY love it when I can combine the 2. And so, I bring you:

Thirteen Gifts I Would Buy Myself for My Birthday (if I had the cash)
*And this is in NO WAY meant to be a hint dropper. It's just fun and I was running short on fab blogging ideas.

1. I am a purveyor of kitchen tools. I am currently coveting a Japanese Santoku knife to add to my cooking repertoire.

2. Since I am trying to reignite my love of reading, there are a couple of books that I would like to add. I loved Jen Lancaster's first book so much, that I want to get her 2 follow ups. "Bright Lights, Big Ass" and "Such a Pretty Fat"

3. On my trip to Maine this past May, I finally acquired a pair of incredibly comfy L.L. Bean flip flops. I want another pair. I've worn this pair almost every day this summer and they're quickly approaching worn out status. The good news, they're on sale right now!

4. I love chocolate. Godiva chocolate more specifically. The milk chocolate truffles show up in my dreams frequently. Mmm mmm mmm.

5. Since I'm going to jump back on the weight loss bandwagon VERY soon, I need an appropriate receptacle for my iPod while I run. I have yet to find earbuds and an arm band that will work. It's very frustrating. Any recommendations out there?

6. With all this weight that I'm going to lose, I'm going to need to buy new clothes. What a shame. So, an Old Navy giftcard would be at the top of my list.

7. It's no secret that I love to take pictures and I'm hopelessly inept when it comes to using my DSLR that I got for my bday LAST year. I need a workshop where an expert can show me how to use this silly thing (because I am NOT reading the owner's manual).

8. And after I master using my DSLR, I would go buy a copy of Photoshop so I could make my pics look even better. Oh, and I'll need a workshop on how to use Photoshop. See reason above.

9. I am slowly but surely getting caught up on my scrapbooking endeavors. A couple of things I would get myself are a prepaid plan with Shutterfly so I would actually PRINT a fraction of the 2000 pics that I've uploaded in the last year. And then, I would drop a load of cheddar at one of MANY local scrapbooking supply stores.

10. Something that I enjoyed tremendously as a younger person (ahem) was horseback riding. I am dying to go again. I'm not talking barrel racing. Maybe a trail ride or something.

11. And after that horseback riding adventure, and all this exercising, I'm going to need a spa day. Yes, a spa day full of massage, manicure, pedicure, & waxing. The whole kit & kaboodle!

12. I love B&B's. I've stayed in a few different ones and so far, I've yet to be disappointed. I would love a weekend at our local Stone Fort Inn or drive up the road to Whitestone Inn. Ah, can we say "relaxation"?

13. And finally, I would acquire a full time personal assistant to do housework and other silly tasks that take away from me spending time with my family and my hobbies. Wait, this belongs on the list of "Things I would do if I won the lottery". Oh well, how much do you think an assistant for the day costs?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Fun at the Children's Museum

Today was a fun day with the girls! After dilly-dallying at the house this morning, I finally got dressed and tore myself away from my new DVR, so we could do a little road trip. We headed downtown to our AWESOME children's museum.
The upstairs of this place hosts rotating exhibits. Currently, they've got a Clifford exhibit that's been quite popular. This is actually our second visit to Clifford, but the last one was SO CROWDED that this might as well have been the first visit.
And so, the first stop was to see Clifford. Here's Big A, oh so happy to pose for me.

Here's Little A, barely peeking out of Clifford's bowl. Too cute.

And it took about 2.5 seconds for the girls to find SOMETHING to fight about. This argument was over how much mail volume each girl had. Geez.
After exploring all that Birdwell Island had to offer, we moved downstairs to the permanent exhibits. Here, Big A channels her inner paleontologist.
And Little A tries not to fall over from the enormous hat that I made her wear for this pic.
After exploring many rooms, dealing with some pushy brats (others kids, not mine) and making it out of the gift shop without needing an installment loan, we headed home and marked this outing a success. Big A is already planning our return trip. You know, because we only came home with 1 of the licensed character plush. She simply MUST have the others in the collection. I don't know where this "collector" mentality of hers comes from. Ahem.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Hermit

An amazing miracle happened at my house this morning. And it's name is "Digital Cable". After 4 harrowing phone calls to my local cable provider over the last 2 weeks, the cable fairy finally showed up at my house this morning and waved his magic wand.

Suddenly, I had 200+ channels at my disposal. Oh, be still my pounding heart! I no longer have to dream of watching Absolutely Fabulous on BBC America or The Dog Whisperer on National Geographic. I can enjoy the Tori & Dean's Inn Love on Oxygen and have movies at my disposal on 6 different Starz channels. I can pause live t.v. and use my DVR to record all those classic 90210 episodes that I've been missing on Soapnet. I am in heaven.

And this might mark the beginning of a new chapter in my life. Angie the agoraphobic. If you don't see me out in public within the next couple of days, send help. Or an intervention team.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Monday Morning Eye Candy

Hi everyone! Welcome back to Monday Morning Eye Candy! If this is your first time visiting, be warned...this post is RED HOT! Every week, let this be your destination for some good looking guys. This week, I'm trying to honor reader requests. I LOVE comments, so if you have a request for a hottie, please leave it in your comments and I'll try to include him in an upcoming Monday edition. Here is this week's batch of hotties!

Clive Owen - Smoldering. Loved him in Children of Men (hated the movie). Loved him in The Bourne Identity (loved that movie). Loved him in Closer (hated the movie). Just love him.

Jonathan Rhys Meyers - This bad boy gets a lot of negative press and he's got VERY intense eyes. But he's super hot. I've got The Tudors seasons 1&2 on my netflix queue. Can't wait!

Kyle Chandler - This guy just gets better with age. I might have to start watching Friday Night Lights just to see him each week.

Brendan Fraser - He's got boyish good looks. Fell for him after seeing Encino Man (many moons ago). Did I just admit to seeing Encino Man? Moving on...

Jason Statham - (AKA: Lula's boyfriend) So back off ladies, he's taken. Just look and admire.

Josh Holloway - So, after featuring Matthew Fox last week, I got several comments about this Sawyer guy who is way hot. Since I've never seen LOST, I was...well, lost. I looked him up and phew, you ladies were right! And Lula, Kat & others, LOST is officially on the netflix queue. I'm trying to catch up before January!

Novak Djokovic - Not sure how to pronounce his name, but who cares. Oh my, this tennis star is HOT. And I love a good six pack.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Reading is FUNdamental...and maybe a giveaway?

Reading is something that I have always loved, but kind of let take a back seat in recent years. It's always been important to us to encourage a love of reading in our girls. Books are a HUGE staple in our home! Each year, our local library system hosts a summer reading program for all ages. This is the second year that my girls have participated. They get credit for each book that they sit and listen to us read to them. Big A is quickly approaching starting to read on her own. Very exciting!

At the end of summer, the library hosts a big party for all the participants. The kids get free books, coupons to local attractions and crafts galore. But most of all, they get a huge dose of fun!

The pavilion that hosts this event is pretty large. It would have to be to accomodate the masses that attend.

The girls favorite part of the event are the free popsicles. Daddy helps Little A with her cherry popsicle.

Big A is a popsicle pro! She loves grape the best.

One of the crafts was making alien hats. The theme this year was "A Space Adventure". In this case, here's my Little A-lien.

And here's my Big A-lien.

The next fave thing at this event are the inflatables. The girls can't get enough of them. Big A has scaled this slide and is ready for her turn down.

Whee! Here comes Little A.

We all had a great time and headed for home with our bags of loot. We'll continue to read lots and lots of books until next summer where we'll dive into the library program again! Who doesn't love FREE STUFF? Speaking of which, I smell an end of summer giveaway brewing. Do you smell it? Stay tuned for an exciting announcement this week.

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