Friday, October 31, 2008

Body by Tae Bo

I have loved Tae Bo, ever since I bought my first videos in the early 90's. I enjoy the dance, martial arts and high energy levels it takes me to. I love Billy Blanks' enthusiasm. His 1990's videos kicked my butt.

Tae Bo Complete

The red one, instruction, is a one or two time thing. Just learning the steps. I have no idea where it is anymore. The 8-minute workout is just too short for me to even think it works.

When I started working out again this year, I started with the 1/2 hour Basic and 1 hour Advanced, alternating them. The 1/2 hour one made me sweat and the hour one kicked my patoot.

After about a month, the half hour one just wasn't cutting it, so I bought Tae Bo Cardio, a 45 minute dvd to supplement. It was good, but the one hour VHS from the 90's still kicks its butt and mine.

Tae Bo Cardio

I received gifts cards and bought "Tae Bo Ultimate." An hour and a half! An HOUR AND A HALF!
Tae Bo Ultimate

Right around minute 42 or so, Billy gets hysterical with this hip-hoppy, booty popping moves that make me laugh out loud. I LOVE IT. He is such a positive person. How could you not like him? But again, the 1.5 hour video still does not kick my butt like the hour one.

I alternate the 3 Taebo's (having dropped the half hour basic VHS, as it does nothing for me anymore) and one other dvd my sister sent me with some big-headed lady that dances and uses a band to tone arms and legs. It's a fun video though and a little break from Tae Bo.

Four workouts = 4 days a week.

Isabel wants to work out with me, so every so often, I let her do her own thing for about 6-10 minutes before putting her to bed.


Thursday, October 30, 2008


eclipse Pictures, Images and Photos

I finished book three of the Twilight series about a week ago and sadly, I needed to go grab it again to do this review. I read all three books so fast together, that they're blurring. Not a lot happens until the last 50 pages or so. Mostly it's Edward being his usual overprotective, a little bit condescending self (still love him, but he's too protective over Bella, to the point of condescension) and Jacob still acting 16 in the body of a giant, the two of them fighting over Bella. Not really much of a fight. Not so much a Jacob fan.

The last 50 pages or so have the main action of the book and it ends fairly quickly, wrapping up one of the threads/villains from the last book. There's confessions of love for more than one person, a wedding proposal and acceptance and not much more I can remember. This book, again, feels like filler for the last one. So far, book 1 has been my favorite.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

She Gets Bored...

Do you guys remember that game called "Mr. Mouth?"
mr mouth Pictures, Images and Photos

I bought this for Jacob when he was 3 or 4, so it's about 10 years old. We have almost all the pieces (just missing a few of the "flies.")

Isabel discovered this in the Harry Potter closet a while back and loves to play with it. It. Is. Annoying. The sound it makes as it's rotating? Ugh.

But, she gets bored, and can't quite fling the flies in the mouth. So...


The Other Bob

Spongebob # 2 went to the Maryland after my friend saw I had made the first one and how well it turned out.

This Bob slid a little to the left in transit (you can tell from the cake board), but he was a hit at the birthday party.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Dinner and Intrigue

Last Saturday, we had some letterboxing friends over to the house for dinner

Scarab and Night Owl (his wife) came down from the DC area to visit their daughter Alexa, because she attends Embry-Riddle, a fantastic school In Dayton (a friend of mine went there to be an airplane mechanic). She's studying....some kind of engineering. I forgot! We offered them our guest room and they were our guests for 2 nights.

The Gamecock (Mo) stopped by as well for Saturday night dinner.

Scarab had this AMAZING AMAZING BOX, that I don't know if I am allowed to tell anyone about! Gah. (I took pictures but don't want to post them without permission).
Between David's History brain and Mo and my logic and deciphering skills, we managed , in THREE HOURS, to figure out ONE clue. It was wild.

We had a long night of dinner, coffee, cake and brownies, stamping, frying our brains on clues. Much fun was had!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Giver

9780385732550_giver.jpg Pictures, Images and Photos

Jacob had to read this book in 8th grade, and when he saw how much I liked Farenheit 451, he recommended I read this book as well.

The Giver, by Lois Lowry is another view of a dystopian future society. A world where there is no violence, no anger, everyone is peaceful. Everyone shares their dreams in the mornings and their emotions at night with their families. Family is a loose term; you don't live with your birth parents. Birth mothers are assigned the job of carrying babies, and it's looked down on as a lower-class profession. You are then raised by the powers that be, until about a year old, and then you are placed with a compatible couple.

At age 12, you get placed in what will be your future career, during a grand ceremony. Jonas is 12 and will be receiving his job soon.

What he gets chosen for is more than he bargained for. He gets chosen to be The Receiver of Memory. The ONE person in all the community to store the knowledge of "life, the universe and everything." (different book, I know).

The current Receiver becomes The Giver. He's giving his memories to Jonah, and little by little, Jonah begins to realize how not perfect life really is.

It's a great book and I don't want to give anything away. I interpreted the ending as a positive, wonderful event, then I read that there were two interpretations to the ending, and it bummed me out a bit. OK, a lot, so don't read the end interview of the author. ;)

For me, Jonah and the baby Gabriel were successful.


I was late to work this morning, due to no fault of my own.

I drop Jake off at school on my way to work. It's about 4 blocks out of my way, and then the same 4 blocks back.

The school has the parent drop-off area well planned. It looks a little weird but it keeps traffic moving. They have all drop-off traffic and students with cars go through this round-about loop through a couple of parking rows that eventually weaves around to the semi-circular drop-off area. Once you get to the drop off area, parents dropping off stay to the right, while students going to the student parking lot stay to the left and keep going around the loop, to their parking area.

I drop Jake off at the loop and merge with the student drivers going ahead (this is always scary, they drive too fast through there and don't know what 'merge' means). Right before the right-turn for student parking, (I go straight out to the main road), a school security officer runs in front of my car with his arms up, asking me to stop. He starts speaking into his walkie-talkie. Traffic is now backing up behind me. I hear him say something about "If I let this Jeep go, they'll get away." He taps my window and I roll it down.

He says "The car behind you just picked up a female student off the curb. We can't let that happen." I hear him talk on the walkie and say "I got them, I need an administrator here immediately." A golf cart shows up, as well as a man in a suit. They tap on the window of the car. The girl gets out. They make her get in the golf cart and the guy driving (young, but not sure if he goes to the school or not) gets out of his car. They tell him to get back in his car and pull into the grass. He does, and they block his car with the golf cart.

Had she waited for him outside of school grounds, like down the street, they could have gotten away with it. My thinking is, she either takes a bus or has a parent drop her off. Either way, she's on school property and cannot leave then.

The security officer thanks me and lets me go.

All the while I am LAUGHING aloud, saying "BUSTED!!!"

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ants in my Pan...Purse?

*I* just got a cute purse in the mail today! I "purchased" it with the points I earned by using my Visa card (the one with zero interest for 2 years cause someone forgot to turn the interest on after 6 months...yea that one).

It arrived today and I am excited about it. I noticed...that all around the purse are little ants. What up with that? No matter. I LIKE IT.
(ant right above the name plate)

What About (Sponge)Bob?

So 'Bob made it to Boston.Remember, this is Spongebob # 2. Number 1 was practice. How, you ask? Very very carefully. :)

First, Bob was placed on a cake board and covered in plastic kitchen wrap. He was then wrapped in tissue paper and placed in a cake box.

The cake box went to work. I wrapped the entire cake box in lots of industrial cling wrap - the entire box. Then I got another box, a cardboard one and padded the bottom inside of it with bubble wrap. I put the cake box in and padded the sides and then the top.

I stuck some "This side up" arrows on it and sent it on it's way, Next Day Air.

The next day, Boston gal calls very happy. But first off, she almost killed the express driver who was carrying the box....upside down. The "This side up" stickers facing down! When she opened the box, Spongebob was fine and dandy. His black shoes had popped off his legs, but that's just fondant that can easily be put back on by wetting the fondant with water.

The cake was a hit. Here it is at the party and with the party boy.
Oh yea. I made a third one. IT went to Maryland. More on that one later.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

New Moon

new moon Pictures, Images and Photos

We finished "New Moon," book 2 in the Twilight series. It brings in to the forefront another character, Jacob, an Indian on a reservation with a secret of his own. Edward was not around so much (bummer) until the end. I don't know that I understood the depths of Bella's despair through most of the book. Well, maybe a little. I mean, it's Edward. Speaking of, I totally get his reluctance to change Bella. She really doesn't have a full grasp of what she's asking him/his family to do.

We liked this book, just not as much as the first. For me, it felt like setting up for the next two, which are not out on paperback, dagnabit! I bought the first two in paperback. I'm an either/or girl. Either all hardback or all paperback. Grrrr. Anyone want to buy these two paperbacks off me? :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008



Yea, yea, enough with the hype already!! Everyone I know who reads, is reading this book. Everyone. Fine, sure, I'll bite. (get it, bite?)

I purchased the paperback with one of my birthday Target gift cards, brought it home, and then proceeded to hunt for it, as my HUSBAND became a fan-girl and started reading the book.

Eventually, he finished and I got a turn.

"Twilight" by Stephanie Meyer is a teen novel about a young girl who falls in love....with a vampire. and I really liked it! I enjoyed Bella's inner-voice. I loved the interaction with Edward and how the author explains his crazy actions at the beginning of the book. It was crazy and romantic and made me sigh. *Sigh*

I THINK it may have to do with who is playing Edward in the movie this November:
Edward Cullen

I could be wrong.

(trying to figure out where you know him from? )

*sniff* His name is Robert Pattison. He played Cedric Diggory in the Harry Potter movies. *sniff*

Why I Love Universal Studios Florida

Jacob wanted to go to Universal's Halloween Horror Nights on Friday night with his best friend Alyssa, whose mom was taking them down there (an hour away). I said ok, fine, and paid $50 for him to go with her. We did the ticket on-line and they had a note that the person who paid for it may have to show id and credit card. Both his and my name were on the ticket. Well, shoot.

I sent Universal and e-mail asking if I *had* to be there. The very next morning, someone at Universal called me back. What? Customer Service? Awesome! I was shocked that they actually returned my e-mail with a call from a live person. He said no, I did not have to be there. That was just in case someone tried to print the on-line ticket twice and use it twice. The second scan would throw up red flags and then you have to prove who you are and why the ticket was scanned already.

Alyssa's mom takes them down there. They have a good time. I go to sleep and wake up at 2:15 a.m. because Jake's not home yet. I call Jake's phone. It ring and rings. I leave a message. I try again. Leave a message. I look at my cell and see a missed call from a phone I don't recognize at 1:30 a.m. I call and it's Alyssa's mom telling me she's driving Jake home (I was going to go get him at Alyssa's house).

Jake gets home, and I ask why he didn't call me. First words out of his mouth "Don't get mad." That won't end well.

He lost his new $179 cell phone on a ride. A phone he had had less than a month, because his last one died in the rain.

I go ballistic. He did file a claim and got a Lost and Found Claim Number from Universal.

Saturday, I call the number on the claim form and get an answering machine. I leave a message. They call while I am in the shower and David takes the call.

They have the phone! David goes down to Universal (an hour one-way) to go get it for Jake.

And that is why I love Universal Studios Florida.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Don Quixote , Book 1


This has been bugging me for a while. I read Don Quixote in high school, in Spanish. (I took a Spanish-For-Spanish-Speakers Class, kind of like regular old English class. We read books, wrote books reports, had vocabulary tests, but in Spanish). I just did NOT remember it being over 978 pages. There was no WAY I would have read that much, in Spanish no less.

When dad came over, he saw it on the counter and said he remembered reading this as well. He flipped to the last few pages and said he did not recognize any of the end.

Then I got to page 479 of this book....and it ended. It ended how I remembered it. The next part was Cervantes' second Don Quixote book. He wrote a book two! The novel I have has both books in it, like getting Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone and The Chamber of Secrets in one book. Ah-HA!

So technically, I am done reading what the world knows as "The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha."

I read the introduction which was really enlightening. The person translating it describes all the different translations through the ages. First translators of the 1600's did a poor job with translating the Spanish to English, not really getting the nuances or even the translations right. In the 1700 and 1800's, puritanical beliefs skewed translators do be literal, and not at all the humorous book it's supposed to be. They made it feel like a drama, a sad woeful tale.

This translation of 1998 or 1999 tries to go back to Cervantes' roots; making it funny, sarcastic and witty. The translator understands that nothing is perfect in translation, but his job was to make Cervantes, and not him, speak.

If you live in a cave, Don Quixote is a man "nearly fifty" who reads SO many fictions of knights, battles, giants, kings, castles, wizards, beautiful princesses, etc. etc. that he believes them to be real and decides to go out into the world as a Knight Errant, righting wrong, saving damsels, slaying giants and defending kingdoms. He convinces his rather dim-witted neighbor Sancho Panza to become his squire and go out into the world.

It's funny; the windmills, the inn (castle) and the people in it, the "armies" that end up being sheep, acting like a fool naked in the wilderness, releasing convicts he thinks are prisoners. Everything he sees has a logical, magical explanation in his eyes. He's one crazy bird.

There were lots of times where I thought, "What is the point now?" because there are many times where Don Quixote is away somewhere and we start to hear the life story of this person or that person (at least 5 people tell their very-detailed life stories). And in the end, EVERYONE that they've met along the way is related somehow to everyone else and they all just happen to meet in this dumpy inn. That was a VERY large stretch/coincidence.

There was too much filler like that, but on the whole, the book was witty and fun.

And yes, I am reading the second book in this volume. Might as well, huh?

Friday, October 10, 2008

It Made It!!

The new cake I made Wednesday (the one on Monday was a practice one) and shipped on Thursday made it in one piece to Boston today!


More details later!

Night all!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Shuffling to Wal-Mart

You keep hearing people discuss food prices going up. You can see and feel gas prices going up, no doubt. Food? That's a little sneakier. I kept hearing about it, but never really noticing it.

Until I noticed it.

The past couple of times I've been to my local store, Publix, I've noticed. Now, I never used to shop at Publix in my old city because a) there was none near me and especially b) Winn Dixie was much cheaper. Moving to this new city, the nearest Winn Dixie is miles and miles away (6?) while Publix is less than one. I've enjoyed Publix, especially their Buy-One-Get-One (BOGO) sales.

Isabel LOVES Campbell's soups, especially Dora and Disney Princess cans. Yes, I am paying more for the stupid character. They used to sell for $1.25 a can and once a month, they'd put them on sale; 10 for $10, or $1 a can. I'd stock up. Last week, I go to get more. They're 3 for $5. I do the math. $1.66 each. Holy increase, Batman! Do they think by putting "3 for $5" we'd be fooled?

We like Cheez-itz. The 16 ounce box for $3 something has shrunk to a 10, yes 10 ounce box for the same price! I put it back.

General Mills fruit snacks - $2.25 a box?

The generic grocery store yogurts that were 10 for $5 (or 50 cents each) are now 10 for $5.50. Ok, they went up a nickle each....and came DOWN two ounces in size!!

I was stunned. I heard about it and never saw it until now. I came home dejected, telling David that we would be buying most of our items at the Super Wal-Mart down the road, that sells the soup for $1.36 instead of $1.66, that sells 16 ounce Cheez-Itz boxes at the same price as the 10 ounce at the grocery store. Where General Mills fruit snacks are $1.50 instead of $2.25.

I'll still stop at Publix for the meat department, and pick up BOGO items, but no longer can I justify going there for everyday staples.

It's crazy.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Spongebob Cake stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

A friend could not find a Spongebob cake for a birthday party this weekend. The boy having the party has had Spongebob as the theme for 3 years, so they've already seen them all. Talk about loyalty!

Stupid me says "Yea, I can make you one." Why am I stupid? She lives in Boston. How the heck am I going to get a cake to Boston?!?!? Then I panicked. Can I even make a Spongebob cake?!?!? Holy Moly, what have I done?!

I skipped my workout tonight, bad me, and I went to work on a practise cake.

Isabel...was beyond thrilled. She kept saying "You're a good baker" and "Where's your baker hat?" So cute.

Isabel holds a picture of what I'm going to make.

Mommy's little helper

Cake with icing, and yellow fondant.


(At one point, I gave him a moustache, and evil eyebrows. It was fun.)

See, I'm really making it.


This last picture was taken with my camera phone and sent to a bazillion people.....who I realized were probably ASLEEP! SORRY ALL!!


Friday, October 3, 2008

Pretties and The Princess Bride

Yes, I'm still reading "Don Quick-Soat" (gaaaaaaaah!) but when I can't take it, I grab another book. I finished two in the past week and a half.

First up, Part Two of The "Uglies" Series, "Pretties," by Scott Westerfeld.

Tally's a Pretty!! Oh Nos! WHY? You'll have to read it. *snicker*

I also am part of a Postal Letterbox ring involving books. You take your favorite book, carve a stamp and create a log book based on the book. The 3 items get sent around to a ring of people. I think there are 6 of us so I will get 5 other books to read, stamps to stamp in my log book and I get to sign their log book. Anywhoo, the first set I received is S. Morgenstern's "The Princess Bride (The Good Parts Version, abridged by William Goldman)"

It has been a while since I have enjoyed a book so much. Let me tell you, Mr. Goldman's one funny guy. The movie version, with the grandpa reading to the sick kid is based on Mr. Goldman's experience with pneumonia and his father reading him this book years and years ago. When Mr. Goldman tried to get his son to read it back in the 70's, and his son had no interest past the first chapter, Mr. Goldman was stunned. He could not believe it. He sadly picked up the book, began to read it, and stopped dead at chapter 2. Chapter 2 dealt with 60+ pages of Prince Humperdink's ancestry, political risings, who "begat" who. What was all this stuff?

Apparently, his father had decided to skip all the boring stuff! Mr. Goldman never knew. So in the 70's he took it upon himself to abridge the book, with only "the good stuff" in it.

He does a bang-up job, mixing his thoughts in the text, telling asides about what he cut out. Example:

Me again. Of all the cuts in this version, I feel the most justified in making this one. Just as the chapters on whaling in 'Moby Dick' can be omitted by all but the most punishment-loving readers, so the packing scenes that Morgenstern details here are really best left alone. That's what happens for the next 66 1/2 pages of The Princess Bride: packing.

What happens is just this: Queen Bella packs most of her wardrobe (11 pages) and travels to Guilder (2 pages). In Guilder, she unpacks (5 pages), then tenders the invitation to Princess Noreena (1 page). Princess Noreena accepts 1 page). Then Princess Noreena packs all her clothes and hats (23 pages).

He is quite funny, and the fact that he hated the same chapters in 'Moby Dick' as I did is a plus.

I am surprised at how spot on the movie was, but I guess I shouldn't be; Mr. Goldman wrote the screen play.

I read it in a day and a half (including work, mind you) and had great fun.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Last night, I received the following e-mail from AOL:

Dear AOL Hometown/FTP user,

We’re sorry to inform you that on Oct. 31, 2008, AOL® Hometown and FTP will be shut down permanently. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Though you will be able to modify your Hometown site and access FTP until this date, we urge you to save your AOL Hometown/FTP content immediately, and consider other options for hosting your site.

Read more about how to download and save your Hometown/FTP files here. In the meantime, please bookmark the People Connection Blog, where you can find out more about AOL Hometown/FTP. You can also subscribe to the People Connection Blog RSS feed to stay informed about any changes. We’ll be updating the People Connection Blog often, so please check it regularly.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we make this transition. Again, we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

The AOL Hometown Team

What does this mean? WHAT does this meannnn??!!??

It means that on October 31, 29 days away, each and every single web page I have ever created on AOL...will be gone. Gone, gone, gone!

My archives of Isabel growing up:

Our 2006 AMAZING vacation:

Our FANTABULOUS wedding (I wasn't even finished with it):

My "Walking with Daddy" pages:

My House pages:

Jake's first page:

MY first page:

Even pages I made for my sister:

There are 3 or 4 letterboxing clue pages, 2 pages I upload pictures to host as MySpace backgrounds. Lots and lots and lots.

Someone help! Where can I move these to? The thought of losing them makes me mad mad mad. Stupid AOL.