Thursday, April 30, 2009

Fashion Backwards.. opposed to fashion forward. I was talking with one of my sisters about my lack of nice everyday clothing and lamented the fact that I have lost the "clothes coordinating" gene, and maybe I never had it to begin with. Will someone just PLEASE sign me up for "What Not to Wear?" so I can get five grand to shop? :)

I went shopping for Isabel on my lunch break, at Target. She needed cheap solid-colored shorts as she has outgrown the ones she has. Four pairs of solid knit shorts (pink, hit pink, light blue and purple), for $3.50 each. You cannot beat that.

The following evening, a Friday, I took the kids to the mall for dinner and a stroll. Feeling bad that I have not gotten my son new clothes since school started last August (he did get some for Christmas but not much), I offered to take him shopping at JC Penny for shorts and/or jeans.

After several changes, Jake ends up with two pair of shorts and one pair of jeans, and I end up out $76! Holy SMOKES! Why can't his items cost the same as a 5 year olds? *sigh*

Let me leave you with a smile.

THIS grainy video is from my cell phone (which STINKS. I have been eyeballing some new ones). It shows Isabel dancing in front of the dressing room mirrors while her brother tries on pants. I sent it to one of my sisters, who cracked up and said Isabel was doing the "Elaine" dance.

Monday, April 27, 2009


We all know I enjoyed the book "Wicked" by Gregory Maguire. Ever since I heard that it had been made into a play, I have really wanted to go. The play is based on the book, but several things had been changed, and I knew this. I still wanted to see it.

The Broadway Across America series was showing "Wicked" throughout the U.S. and was coming to Jacksonville, FL, about 2 hours away.

My nephew bought tickets for himself, his girlfriend and his mom (my sister Brenda). I bought tickets for myself, David and a friend, Mo, for a different day. Then, my nephew and his gf split, and he asked if I'd like to go instead.

Uh, YEA. Opening night.

My sister Brenda, me and Isabel (who is looking at the tv screen, as she is playing with the Wii).

Brenda and Jon spent the night Wednesday night. I went to work Thursday for 1/2 a day and came home at quarter to 1 p.m.

Jacob and Gansta-Jon. Don't ask.

We got dolled up, but we're wearing heels and David didn't like that we were taller than him. I was not about to unbuckle my 3" heels, so...squat picture!

We arrived in Jacksonville 2 hours earlier, parked at the $10 lot right across the street from the theatre and walked over to the Landing to find something to eat.

Me & my big sis.

We're cool. Fo' Sho'.

While in the restaurant, Jonathan points out a man walking out and says "That guy's an actor." Both he and I could not name him, but we knew him. Someone in his party was carrying a backpack with a "Wicked" tag on it so I guessed he was in the production.

We walked back to the theatre, got our programs and found our seats. There really weren't very many bad seats in the place, although I'm pretty sure the seats I have for the time I go with David and Mo are probably the worst. :)

There were to be no photos or videos taken in the place, so we left my sister's camera in the car (now at the $15 parking lot. They upped the price an hour before the show! Ha! We saved $5)and my nephew took the above 2 shots with his iPhone before the lights went out and the Magic began. And it was magic.

The actress playing Elphaba had a beautiful voice and great acting. The actress playing Glinda was HYSTERICAL!! At intermission, we find out that Elphaba is actually being played that night by the Standby, Carrie Manolakos, and not the lead, Marcie Dodd. Kudos to Ms. Manolakos for her portrayal of Elphaba! She was amazing. Glinda ("The GUH is silent") was played by the extremely talented Helene Yorke. No offense, but Kristin Chenoweth has nothing on her (or at least, the few pirated clips of KC we found on "the YouTubes.") Ms. Yorke was superbly funny!

Except for Mister "burping his dinner" next to me (aye aye aye), the evening was great! Oh, guy in the restaurant? Tom McGowan, playing The Wizard. We saw him again walking in front of our car in the parking lot. He parked there too. Hope he only paid $10! I rolled down the window and said "Great job!" He smiled and nodded (he was carrying luggage and could not wave).

My nephew bought us all t-shirts while I was waiting in the 15 minute potty line. Being a woman has its drawbacks!

Can't wait to go again! It was WICKED!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility Pictures, Images and Photos

Sense and Sensibility is another Austen classic I picked up at Borders for $1.74. This is the story of two sisters, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood. (There's a third sister, but she's rarely mentioned).

Elinor, the eldest, is all Sense. She's smart, she's polite and she knows when to be quiet. There are specific, strict rules of etiquette back then, and a woman must know these rules and know her place.

Marianne, on the other hand, is impulsive, rash, honest to the point of embarrassment and socially, does not follow the rules.

These sisters and their mother are basically kicked out of their home, although very very politely, very very meanly, by their half-brother's wife. See, the Misses Dashwood's father passed away recently. Mr. Dashwood was married once and had a son. Then he remarried and had his 3 daughters. Upon his death, his entire estate reverted to his son, leaving Mrs. Dashwood and the 3 daughters to rely on the goodness of their half-brother's heart. This would have been ok, had he not been married to the vain, money-hungry disgusting (in my opinion) Fanny Dashwood, who quite quickly convinces her husband that these women really need to be elsewhere. Spineless fool. Needless to say, I was NOT a fan of that couple and really saddened over how very little rights women had at all back then. Oh, I get all romantic about that era, but I understand and know how terrible it really was for a woman with no father or money to take care of her.

The story deals with their lives. Elinor's quiet sufferings, her love for a man she knows she can never have, due to their stations in life. Marianne and her loud feelings for John Willoughby while Colonel Brandon politely and quietly suffers in silence. It deals with all the quirky people they meet, the webs Marianne stupidly weaves for herself, and trying to get out of the mess in one piece.

I loved it. I love Ms. Austen's writing. I already saw the movie before I ever read the book, but the movie is back on my Netflix queue.

Sense and Sensibility Pictures, Images and Photos

I'll pass on this review

There are books you just can't wait to review...and others, you just want to pass.

Running with Scissors.

I'm just going to pass on this one. Google or Wiki it if you'd like, but you'll most likely find the movie that was made based off this book.

The book was part of a round-robin book club I am in. It's an autobiography and was on the New York Times best seller list. As I am a prude and born in the wrong era, I don't know why it's on there. Maybe because the world's going to hell in a hand basket. I don't object the theme, be & do whatever you want. I object the language used. A fellow round-robin reader could not even finish it. She put it down.

The book got rave reviews, that the author is so funny.

Totally not even my cup of tea. It was sad, but not in an "aweee, I feel sad for him," way. More of a "Wow, if this is really truly true, it's just sad."

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Day 7: New York City 04/10/2009

Friday: New York City day! We took the Lincoln tunnel, drove into "THE" parking lot, and away we went. Professor was spending his weekend at his NYC apartment and we chose a spot to meet. He was to be our tour guide, hooray!

I can't even begin to tell you all the places we went to. I can't. I'll let the pictures tell the story for a bit.

Central Park

Central Park

(Friends don't let friends talk politics. Really)

John Lennon's memorial.

The final stop was the Empire State Building. It reminded me of Disney. Why? Line, line, line, elevator, line, line, buy tickets, elevator, stairs, line, line.

We left the ESB and hailed a cab. (can anyone find me an Empire State Building patch too? I've Googled and E-Bayed to no avail).

Off to Little Italy for dinner with the Prof.

We had a great meal at La Nonna, which the Prof paid for even though we wanted to treat him for letting us stay in his Princeton place and being our tour guide that day!

We jumped on the subway to head back towards the car. We said goodbye to the Professor at his stop and headed to ours.

We spent the night again at the Princeton apartment, and got up the next morning to pack up and leave. Saturday was spent driving from 9 a.m. until about 2:45 a.m. on Sunday. Straight shot to Florida. We are nuts, yes.

We had a FANTASTIC vacation and I want to thank ALL of our friends and family (Aunt Joan & Uncle RON, Inge & the entire fun family, Niki, Barb & Batt, the Professor) who accommodated us, fed us, got us in to places and showed us fantastic things.

Squeee like a fan girl

Because I am a dork,

Check out the April 20th posts from this Twilight website:

See anything interesting there?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Day 6: Princeton, NJ and Liberty Enlightening 04/09/2009

Bright and early, we left the Takoma Park, MD house and headed towards New Jersey. One of David's college friends is a Professor there. The Professor (as I will call him throughout my posts) has two apartments, one in Princeton, NJ and another in NYC, NY. He's in the Princeton one Monday through Thursday, and then heads to his NY abode for weekends. I believe that is fantastic. Single, no kids, Princeton Professor? Have at it! I'm personally jealous. :) So, another place to stay, free. Whoot!

We arrived at his beautiful Princeton pad in time to say hi, get the keys to the place, get the password for the Internet, and he ran off to meetings with his grad students.

We decided to take a stroll through Princeton. I'm thinking it was their Spring Break too, because there was hardly any activity to be seen.

From Once More With Feeling

We ate lunch on the main street at the campus at an authentic Italian pizzeria, Iano's. Seriously good stuff. Isabel ate the heck out of that pie. We were hoping the Prof could meet us, but his meetings ran late.

We jumped in the Jeep and headed towards the New Jersey side of the ferry boats that would take us to see Liberty Enlightening, or as you might know it, The Statue of Liberty.

Had we driven to the NY side, we would have "missed the boat." When we arrived at the parking lot for the NJ side, the parking booth attendant told us that we were just in time; the last ferry leaves at 3:30, and it was around 3:15. We parked and David ran to get the tickets while the kids and I walked.

It was cool on that ferry, so Isabel and I stayed in the lower section while the boys braved the winds to see Lady Liberty come in to sight. Because it was so late, on this trip, you could get off at Ellis Island OR the Statue, not both. Usually, you can get off at Ellis, walk around, and then hop on the next ferry to take you over to the Statue. Since it was so late, it was either/or. Only just slightly saddened, we chose the Statue. Click on the pictures to make them larger.

The kids and I. Jake was upset that we could not go up in the Statue. We got there too late to.

Working with the B&W setting of my camera.

David and the kids, with NY in the background. (Note Isabel pouting. Two seconds after I took it, she said "lemme see!" and giggled at her own pout.)

Walking back to the Ferry, I took this amazing shot.

We got on the packed ferry (last call), headed back to the NJ side, drove towards Princeton, where we stopped at a nearby Chili's for dinner.

We were excited about the following day, Day 7. Manhattan!

P.S. If anyone in New York can get me an embroidered Statue of Liberty patch, I will love you forever.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Day 5: Another Day in DC 04/08/2009

Wednesday, day 5, found us riding the Metro again, after breakfast at Einstein Brothers. We walked along to see the White House. Ask Isabel who lives there and she squeals "Barackobama" as if his name were one word.

The rear of the White House.

We wanted to see the front of the WH, and as we walked around, we stepped into the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum nearby.

This piece is called "Game Fish." Want to know why?

Cool, huh? (I set off a small alarm taking this picture. OOOPS!)

We eventually walked to the front of the White House to have a look.

Next up, we went to two buildings in one; connected by a walkway. The American Art Museum / National Portrait Gallery.

The Preamble, done as vanity plates for the 50 states. FUN!!

Say hello to Edith Wharton, as a child. (I have not read her Pulitzer winning "Age of Innocence," YET. It's on the list.)

Isabel stands next to "Barackobama."

On the second floor, we went to the permanent exhibit, "American Presidents." This is where all the presidential portraits that are not in the White House are kept. This portrait of President Bush, remember it? I saw it up close and personal. Every president was there. Each portrait has a brief bio about each President and the painter. It was educational and not boring. I read each and every one.

The most famous portrait of George Washington, the "Lansdowne" portrait (1796) by Gilbert Stewart was the main attraction.

Mr. Stuart's most well-known piece, "The Athenaeum" was also there. Mr. Stuart stopped working on it, and used it as a proof, to do other paintings. Oh, and it's the one on the dollar bill.

We headed up to the Lunder Conservation Center.

From the Smithsonian Website:

Lunder Conservation Center
The two museums share the conservation center, located on the third- and fourth-floor mezzanines. The center offers a unique, behind-the-scenes view through floor-to-ceiling glass walls of the techniques American Art and Portrait Gallery conservators use to examine, treat and preserve paintings, prints, drawings, photographs and other works of art. Ask about weekly behind-the-scenes tours and other special programs at the information desks.

David and I sat that one out while Jacob went around exploring the area.

We left DC via Metro back to Takoma Park, where we rested for about 45 minutes before heading out for dinner with my co-worker Barbara, her hubby Batt and their granddaughter Courtney. Thanks for buying dinner guys! We'll make it up to you next time you are down!

And thus ended Day 5.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Day 4: Baltimore, MD 04/07/2009

Day 4 had us getting up bright and early for breakfast near Laurel. Being near one of my company's branches, I stopped by to say hi and see a close friend/co-worker who once-upon-a-time flew all the way down for my wedding.

I'll get her permission before posting our picture together. :)

After leaving the branch, we headed to Fort McHenry. This Fort was fantastic compared to Fort Sumter. No offense, S. Carolinians, I know Fort Sumter was bombed like mad.

There was much to see and explore. Several barracks and houses are there, and we were able to walk though most of them.

Isabel gets a little freaked when I asked her to stand in this little alcove area.

Look! It's me!

This is what happens to teens who talk back!

She got over her fear of this place real quick. (blue tongues = lollipops).

They had really a really cool interactive board that dotted the path of the attempted attack on Ft. McHenry. The yellow are the shots being fired. We watched the entire thing.

In one of the barracks.

After the Fort, we headed towards the harbor in Baltimore to go to the Maryland Science Center, where David's friend Niki is the Supervisor of the traveling school division. I know I have the name of your division wrong, Niki. Please correct me and I will fix it. She hooked us up. Tee Hee.

The boys pushing Isabel up the ramp to the Science Center. FUN was had by all!

Isabel thoroughly enjoyed the Kid's Room. We had to drag her out.

Jacob views how the bones in your arm work when opening a door, in the Your Body: The Inside Story exhibit.

We even found out some things about the body that maybe we didn't want to know.

We ate lunch (Hooters - lol) with Niki at the dock, then went back to the Science Center for a little while more, where she bought me a patch for my blanket. Yay Niki! Thanks Niki, for the fun time! To see some pictures she took, go here to her blog.

We headed towards the home of a high school friend of David's, Inge, and her family (husband, 3 sons, Inge's dad Herman the German, Inge's mom, sister, brother & his kids - full house. They all came by to see David). We were there for dinner and dessert and I had a great time meeting them. Herman the German sat next to me and we chatted. He's a trip. At one point, he tells me I need to be in drama (acting) because I have excellent speaking skills and expression in my conversing. I like Herman!

Isabel spent the time playing with all the kids. I only took one photo that evening.