Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Share the Love

My brilliant almost-lawyer friend Niki suggested that we bloggers band together for a good cause this Valentine's Day instead of obsessing over heart-shaped boxes of chocolates and bouquets of flowers. Donors Choose is a great organization that allows teachers to submit proposals for funding for various classroom projects. Many of those classrooms are in schools with a high percentage of poverty-level students. And we - Niki, Andi, Megan, and the guys at Notes from the Muck - are asking you to help us fund four very worthy projects. You can read about our projects and make donations here. Our goal is $1,381. Helping us out will help some deserving kids with writing skills, theater productions and growing imaginations. For those of you in NC, two of the projects are a stone's throw from us. Fellow bloggers, feel free to link up to our challenge on your own blogs.

Please consider - yes, I'm going to say it - opening your heart and throwing in a few bucks. We'd all appreciate it. And I'll love you more than I already do.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Happy Trails to You, Mr. Potter

For those of you who don't know, 17-year-old Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe is about to make his West End stage debut in Peter Shaffer's Equus. Radcliffe portrays Alan Strang, a disturbed stable boy and will appear onstage in full frontal nudity. The promo shots just got released, and well, I guess we're not at Hogwarts anymore. And I'm guessing those abs didn't come from magic. Apparently, Radcliffe didn't have any qualms about dropping trou. And with that information and these photos, teenage girls the world over are swooning. Is it hot in here?

Additional promo shots can be seen at Mugglenet - just click in the links to the right.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Separated by A Vile of Angelina's Blood

When I saw the previews for Catch & Release, I thought Johnny Knoxville was in it. But he's not. It's Timothy Olyphant from Deadwood and The Girl Next Door and, believe it or not, from the episode of Sex & the City where Carrie dates the twenty-something Sam. He's Sam. And the Johnny Knoxville thing niggled at me when I saw the movie this weekend...but there was something else. Something in the teeth. And the facial expressions. And the voice. And then it hit me.

Extra Credit: Shower Scene

Pen's post about her weirdness surrounding the shower caddy reminded me of my own shower-related neuroses(and since she shared extras, I'm stealing her idea). I shower with the door to the bathroom open. Ever since I've lived alone, I must shower with the bathroom door open. I have the overwhelming fear that something terrible will be behind the door when I open it after my shower. This is also the reason that I only buy clear shower curtains. No fish or flowers or world maps for me. If Norman Bates is lurking out there, I want to see him coming.

And by the way, a review of my first weird confessions made me have to clip my nails last night

Sunday, January 28, 2007


A little PSA about the contents of your refrigerator:

* Hot dogs should never be gray. Or shriveled like raisins.

* Pineapple, by the same token, should never be blue. Or smell like really awful liquor.

* And peaches should not be black.

* Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale is UNdrinkable.

For your own safety and well-being, please consult your own refrigerator for conditions such as these. Any combination of the above listed items in your refridgerator may require a call to the EPA.

The Kudzu Jungle Five

Since Meg so kindly tagged me to reveal five facts about myself, I'm obliging. And they're, as she says, a little left of normal because that's so much more interesting.

1. I have not played a video gaming system since the Atari 2600. We never upgraded to Nintendo or Sega or Playstation. I've played the occasional handheld game, but my skills have never moved beyond the old rubbery black joystick with the single red button.

2. I love hats. Not that awful thing that Camilla Parker Bowles wore in her wedding to Prince Charles. But I wish that we all still wore fantastic hats like they did in the 40s and 50s. I have a hat face. I can wear just about any hat and it looks good on me. It's a sadly underutilized asset of mine.

3. I love Elvis. I love the cheesy movies he made - especially Blue Hawaii, Viva Las Vegas and G.I. Blues - and I love his music. I really love his iconic status and how there's something inherently classic and wonderful and at the same time over-the-top and tacky about it. I have a blue suede coffeetable book about Elvis. And a lunchbox.

4. I rub my feet together when I go to sleep. Usually, I'm laying on my stomach and I rub the left foot over the sole of the right. Until a few years ago, I didn't know that my mother does the same thing. And so did her mother.

5. I have recurring dreams. In one, my parents have a fourth child. His name is Samuel, but we call him Sam. I am four when he is born, and I am always sitting on the couch at my grandparents' house and holding him in my lap while everyone gives me too many instructions about how to hold him properly. In another, I am playing basketball and it's the state tournament (which my high school team went to in real life) and it's either me now that's playing - 10 years out of practice - or it's me then but I've forgotten some essential element of my uniform.

I know most of my fellow bloggers have been tagged, but I invite my non-blogger readers to leave their own weirdness in the comments. Think of it as a weirdness confessional of sorts.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Words Words Words

We all rely on certain words and phrases to fill in conversations - the useless "so" and "yeah". I've been in the habit of saying "all such as that." And sometimes you can't help but pick up on these sorts of phrases that other people use - especially, say, at work where you talk to the same people over and over again, day-in and day-out, about the same sorts of things.

Growing up, we had this book in which Grover from Sesame Street attempted to play hide-and-seek with you using the book. And he tore the pages and tried to hide in the binding. And on one page, he tried to fill up the white space speech bubbles with words like peanut butter and jelly and ladybug and rubber baby buggy bumpers and hide behind them.

At times, I feel like the office is like that - there are these speech bubbles floating around the office filled with phrases that get repeated over and over again. Sailing just over your head are "You know what I mean?" and "If I were you" and "There needs to be a protocol." These verbal tics are funny at times; but some days, they make you want to claw your ears off. One more "Here's the thing, guys" or "typically" overheard from the office next door - or worse, said from across your desk - and it's going to be a bad scene. And unfortunately for you and Grover, no matter how many of these little bubbles are floating around, there's no place to hide.


I confess. This hurts me. How am I going to feel when the next album comes out and there's some syrupy love song that I know is about Jessica Simpson? It's bad enough that "Your Body is a Wonderland" was written about Jennifer Love Hewitt.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Can't Buy Me Fame

For me Tuesday is a slow night on television. Yeah, yeah, I know that the new season of American Idol has just started and I could be watching Randy Jackson calling everyone "dawg" and Simon making snide remarks and Paula...well, acting all hyper and coked out. But instead, I'm watching Can't Buy Me Love on the Lifetime Movie Network. I used to love this movie when I was about 9. I used to watch it with Anna all the time after we taped it off TV. And a little trip to IMDB revealed a few little known facts about this Before-He-Was-McDreamy movie.

* Seth Green plays Patrick Dempsey's little brother (and P.S. he also guest starred on two episodes of The Facts of Life)

* The movie costars Gerardo of "Rico Suave" fame

* The Monkeys' Mickey Dolenz's daughter is in the movie

* And - here's the clincher - Paula Abdul appears as an uncredited dancer

Otherwise it's a veritable feast of has-beens. But I'm counting on a major comeback by Cindi Mancini.

Can You Stand It?

I promise not to turn the blog into a Dillon shrine. But...look at this face.

Failure to be a Responsible Adult

When I was in Atlanta, I made a grocery store run with my brother and my dad. We wandered through the aisles, picking up essentials - eggs, OJ - and nonessentials - beef jerky (2 varieties), Snickers ice cream. In the car, we talked about the first time we went to the grocery store in college and realized we could buy anything we wanted - sugary cereals, Hostess Cupcakes.

Last night, I went to the grocery store and tried to overcome the desire to buy Lucky Charms and DiGiorno Pizzas and call it a night. And I did. I bought real food: a tuna steak, green peas, the makings for soup and a shrimp pasta. I was on my way to the checkout, my cart brimming with fresh fish and vegetables. Enough for three very sensible meals with no ridiculous extras. And then on a whim, I turned down the cookie aisle and picked up a pack of the new Chips Ahoy Soft Baked White Fudge Chocolate Chunk cookies. Totally unnecessary.

And tonight, instead of cooking one of the well-balanced meals I shopped for, I sat on the couch finishing a book. I had fifty pages left after staying up til 1 reading last night. So in the end, I ate Honey Nut Cheerios. And cookies. Good job, Ash.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Beautiful Boy, Darling Boy

It's been my policy thus far not to put my own photo up on the blog. But if there's ever been an occasion for it, it's the first few days I spent with my nephew. Despite inclement weather and flight cancelllations and rebookings, I did make it to Atlanta on Thursday night. I hardly even spoke to Eva and Justin before I had Dillon in my hands.

I've always been close to Justin - we're three years apart in age, but as a September birthday, Justin was only two years ahead of me in school. It was an incredible realization that he is now a daddy. And his little boy is beautiful, with blue eyes and the most amazing blonde hair. Apparently, blonde babies are somewhat unusual. He looks like a little cherub with his round pink cheeks.

And holding him was overwhelming. It is amazing to me that after all the anticipation, there is a wonderful new life and a new member of our family. When he fixed me with those big eyes and turned his head at the sound of my voice and smiled a litte, it nearly made me cry every time. In just a few short days, I couldn't believe how much I loved this little guy who can't talk - can't even hold his head up. But he's truly amazing and wonderful. Even if he peed, pooped and spit up on me - I think it's love.

My Little Frog Prince

Crunchy Granola Shable - DIG!

Happy Yesterday Birthday to my favorite almost-Neil Diamond Shable! Kim, whose name if she had been a boy would've been such, turned 28 yesterday! Thanks for going into old age before me, friend! ;) I suspect it's going to be a good year - since you're getting married and all. If I had a million dollars, we'd have gone to Martha's for karaoke in your honor with all the classics - "Me and Bobby McGee," "9 to 5" and the epic duet of "I Want You to Want Me." Hot and fresh from Krispy Kreme to follow. VISIT SOON! Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Sound of Music: A Personal History

Let's start at the very beginning. It's a very good place to start.

*1965 - My parents go to see the movie in the theater on one of their early dates. The thought of my father sitting through this in the theater is...laughable. But it must've been a good date. They married two years later. And then 10 years later, there was me.

*1984 - I figure I was about 5 when I started listening to the record we had of the soundtrack. I clearly remember sitting in Anna's room with its yellow and white shag carpet and striped daisy wallpaper and trying to learn the words to "Sixteen Going on Seventeen." And thus began my obsession with song lyrics.

*1980s - For a long time, one of the channels would run the movie every year at Christmas or just after. It was always a big family event to watch together - we were easily entertained.

*1993/4 - Somewhere along in here I got the movie on VHS. And I also developed a terrible crush on Christopher Plummer. Captain Von Trapp is HOT.

*1997 - Our high school put on the musical as the spring production. Jenn was totally robbed of playing Leisl by this horrible girl who thought she was headed for Broadway. Instead, Jenn and Allison were cast as backup nuns. Oh, the agony. It led to many, many inappropriate nun jokes for which we will certainly burn in hell.

*1998-2001 - I learned in college that I could use this movie to study. No, really. I would let the movie play while I was studying for tests and then I would listen to the soundtrack on the way to class. Excellent memory trick. It's the only way I made it through Dr. McKee's Public Relations Theory course - I had confidence in me.

*2002 - Hoang-Anh discovered my love of The Sound of Music. There was a communal viewing. And possibly a sing-along. But I'm not confirming anything.

*2006 - At Christmas, Mom and I happened to catch the movie on TV. We had forgotten how cheesy it is. Particularly "Something Good" sung by Maria and the Captain after they declare their love for one another. It was so silly in fact, that Robert Wise chose to shoot it in silhouette because Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer couldn't keep a straight face.

*2007 - Excellent distraction to pass the time while counting the hours until meeting my nephew.

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, good night. I'm off to see the baby. Copious amounts of pictures from every imaginable angle upon my return.

Born to Run

A very, very happy 31st birthday to my dear friend Tom! Despite having to spend all day in Jacksonville, I hope you had a great day. We'll celebrate when I get back from celebrating the little bald guy.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

A Very Happy Announcement

I am overjoyed to announce that my nephew Dillon Bradley arrived today at 4:47 p.m. at Northside Hospital, shown here with his proud papa. He weighs 8 lbs., 6 oz. and is 21.5 inches long. According to Mama, he is very bald except for some light fuzz and has blue eyes. According to Justin, he is perfect. So far in life, he does not like baths - he told me so over the phone.

Eva is tired, but doing well. A mishap with her first epidural gave them a scare and briefly put her in terrible pain. But after that, the delivery went fairly smoothly. Eva did admit that at one point, she demanded that the doctor pull him out instead of making her push again, but I guess they settled that score.

Everyone is happy and healthy. And this aunt is already madly in love.

It's 4:30 a.m. on a Tuesday

A line from my favorite Counting Crows song "Perfect Blue Buildings" shows that my nephew already has good taste in music. Since that's when he started to make his appearance. Eva started labor around 4 a.m. this morning - oddly enough on her due date and just prior to being induced. Contractions reached about 4 minutes apart by the time they went to the hospital at their scheduled appointment at 6. I spoke to Justin while the nurses were prepping the delivery room, and he sounded good. I, on the other hand, almost started to cry. Updates as they come...

Monday, January 15, 2007

Dillon's Day Has Come!

Justin and Eva went to the doctor today and have been scheduled to induce tomorrow morning! They're checking into the hospital bright and early at 6 a.m. to start the process. Dillon could make his appearance any time after they administer the pitocin, but the doctor advised them it would probably be early afternoon. After much family debate, I am sadly not going to go for the birth due to time and travel constraints. But I did buy a plane ticket to fly into Atlanta on Thursday evening so that I can visit with him once he's at home - and I can stake sole claim on him since everyone else will already have seen him. Birth announcement to follow as soon as I know something. I'm already on pins and needles with anticipation!!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

I Ran

No, this is not a post about Flock of Seagulls. I don't know what happened to me. Maybe it was the salt air. But when I got home from the beach, I felt like...running.

Believe it or not, fond as I am of saying that I only run when chased, I played basketball for 12 years and ran 100M hurdles in high school. Yes, me. Really.

I haven't run in I don't know when, but I was feeling it, so I got dressed and laced up my running shoes. And stretched with Kudzu looking at me like I'd lost my mind. I ran from Grace down to Water Street and all the way down the riverwalk to Orange. I don't know how far that is, but pretty far to run for someone who's woefully out of shape. But it felt good. In the way that things that burn sometimes do.

Mother, Mother Ocean

With another run of unseasonably warm weather gracing our fine city, I thought I'd take advantage and do something I haven't done in a long time: I went to the beach. It was strange to see Wrightsville so crowded in mid-January. Girls shivering in their bikinis. Shirtless college boys throwing football, kicking soccer balls in roving gangs. Dogs of all breeds - terriers, retrievers, maltese.

After sitting on the dunes for awhile, I walked down under the pier and down the beach a stretch. At first, I tried to keep my feet and jeans from getting wet, but then I gave in and decided there was really no point trying to stay clean and let my jeans get all wet and sand-crusted.

I like to pick up rocks and shells when I'm at the beach. But only the ones that are flat and smooth and edgeless. Those are the ones that remind me why I love the ocean - it is ceaseless in its movement, the tides rolling over and over and over again. That tumbling water can make any jagged edge smooth over time as the waves crash in on each other and the surf bubbles up along the shore.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A Little Algebraic Word Problem

Person A is assigned to carry jobs X, Y and Z. Person B is assigned to carry jobs P, Q, R and S. The combined weight of jobs XYZ is half the weight of jobs PQRS. Person A has twice the amount of time to finish jobs XYZ as Person B has to finish jobs PQRS. However, the completion of jobs XYZ by Person A is complicated by the addition of job L, which is outside of the jobs subset (defined as work not assigned by the company, or as work that should be completed in Person A's free time).

Person A divides jobs XYZ among a variable quantity of people who should not be involved in the equation and then raises complaints to the nth degree. For right answers accidentally derived in jobs XYZ (or earned by the variable quantity of other people), Person A will take full credit.

Person B derives the completion of jobs QPRS by adding the square root of sanity to the average number of swear words uttered in closed door meetings about Person A.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Scooby Doo, Where are You?

It saddens me to report that the creator of Scooby Doo died today at the age of 81. He also did animation work on Disney classics like Cinderella and Peter Pan, but his crowning achievement was the sleuthing Great Dane and "gang." Scooby Doo was undoubtedly my favorite cartoon as a kid, and I admit to watching it a great deal in college - it used to come on the Cartoon Network at 2 a.m. before they only played weird cartoons. I was a little bit in love with Shaggy for a time. Maybe I still am. Rest in peace, friend.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Music Evolution

I've kept a journal since I was about six. No really. Six. I started in a little pink journal with My Melody on the front. Around age 9, I decided I needed a new journal with a lock (to deter snooping brothers), and so for my birthday, I received a purple ice-cream cone adorned locked diary. It never quite had the right feel to me, and I never journaled in it consistently. Instead, I kept a catalogue of lists that I updated with some irregularity over the years - favorite colors and who my friends were and what my favorite songs were.

I came across the journal one of these last times I was at home, and I couldn't help getting a chuckle over the development of my music taste over the years. And so, for your amusement, I give you the following favorites songs and bands of yours truly:

*July 1989, Age 10 - New Kids on the Block, Richard Marx and Paula Abdul

*February 1992, Age 12 - While I am pleased to report that I scrawled "I Hate NKOTB" in the margin, I also listed my favorite song as "That's What Love is For" by Amy Grant

*December 1995, Age 15 - "No Rain" by Blind Melon and "Ice Cream" by Sarah McLachlan. An improvement in musical taste, but my favorite TV show was "Lois & Clark."

*June 1996, Age 16 - "Time and Time Again" by Counting Crows. Here I wrote "Pie in the Hood" in the margin. I have no idea what this means.

*February 1997, Age 17 - "Elsewhere" by Sarah McLachlan and "Lovefool" by The Cardigans

*August 1997, Age 18 - Les Mis. Everything Les Mis. Enter the freakish obsession with musical theatre.

*January 1998, Age 18 - "Brick" by Ben Folds Five

*May 1998, Age 18 - "Wish" by Pearl Jam. I had just bought tickets for Lilith Fair.

*March 1999, Age 19 - "Northern Lad" by Tori Amos and "You've Got the Music in You" by New Radicals. It had one hit wonder written all over it.

*May 2000, Age 20 - "Dancing Virginia" by Jump, Little Children and "Anybody Home" by Our Lady Peace

*June 2001, Age 21 - "Space Between" by Dave Matthews Band and "Tiny Dancer" by Elton John. Ironically, this was before grad school, and I have no recollection of why I might have noted that song...musical clairvoyance perhaps?

At least this list shows improvement. But I confess that I thought of it because my brother and I were talking at The Grill about the first tapes we remember getting as kids. His? The Ghostbusters Soundtrack and Tracy Chapman's Fast Car. Mine? Lionel Richie's Dancing on the Ceiling. There was nowhere to go from there but up - no pun intended.

Taking His Own Sweet Time

Eva had her weekly doctor's appointment with the man who's gotten us all a-flutter about the baby's arrival the past two visits. Despite his predicition of a weekend arrival, all was quiet on the western front and Dillon stayed put.

Today he declared that she had made progress and dilated to two centimeters. (I feel like the Count - TWO! TWO CENTIMETERS!) And she could go any time now - just like he's been saying. Next Tuesday is her due date, and if she hasn't gone before then, she has the option to induce. Now, this seems really strange to me. Shouldn't the doctor make the call whether or not he's going to induce? Shouldn't that be an educated medical decision and not when-do-we-want-the-baby's-birthday-to-be? No word yet on what decision the expectant parents will make. But I must say, a Tuesday birthday would be most inconvenient for Auntie Ashley, Dillon, and if you could see fit to come out, say, Friday night, that would be most appreciated. I'll buy you something nice. I promise.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Film Fluff

While taking a break from my manic cleaning last night, I caught the beginning of Down with Love on Oxygen. I'd forgotten this movie - and forgotten that I own it! But I pulled it out today and watched it. I think it floated under the radar of most when it was in the theater, but it's definitely worth a watch.

When I was growing up, TNT used to run blocks of old movies in the summer time (instead of its current hit parade of Law & Order). I can remember watching Doris Day & Rock Hudson marathons, the Elvis week and Esther Williams specials. No one shows Esther Williams anymore - the bathing beauty who took synchronized swimming to the big screen in movies like Million Dollar Mermaid, Dangerous When Wet and Neptune's Daughter (which also featured Red Skelton and Ricardo Montalbon). The slapstick situation comedy of all those old movies from the 50's and 60's is parodied so well in Down with Love - and with so much respect to the movies to which it pays tribute. Ewan McGregor's portrayal of a suave sixties cad is spot-on perfect.

And I had forgotten that Sarah Paulson from Studio 60 plays Renee Zellweger's editor - reminding me of Penelope's post the other day about movie connections. And then when I looked her up on IMDB, I realized she'd also been on Deadwood. She's just as fabulous in this film as she is on Studio.

As a bonus the DVD credits include a music video with McGregor and Zellweger who wanted to match musical talents, having both just come off huge musical successes (McGregor in Moulin Rouge! and Zellweger in Chicago). So put on your Jackie O sunglasses, mix a martini and get down with love.

Hunk o' Cleanin' Love

Armed with Elvis' #1 Hits and a little elbow grease, I set about cleaning my apartment this evening. I knew I was really into it when I caught myself playing air guitar on the broom to "Hard Headed Woman." Also, the running shoes Anna and Ronnie gave me for Christmas are also excellent for on-toepoint Elvis hip swivels. And now, thanks to Elvis, I don't need shower shoes in my own home.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

In Good Company

A violent storm arrived in the wee hours this morning, buffeting the windows and shaking the house until the bed rattled. But in its wake dawned a perfectly sunny day in the mid-seventies completely out of character for early January. Despite the desperate need for me to tend to my long-neglected apartment, I opted for a quick run to Dunkin Donuts for coffee and a healthy breakfast of chocolate frosted and jelly donuts. I took my morning fare out onto the porch for some reading and dozing in the rocker, amused that I could be wearing flip flops and a tank top in the winter.

Kudzu and this little green fellow joined me for a time. Kudzu was very earnestly watching a mocking bird in the tree at the opposite end of the porch. And the lizard seemed to be seeking a nice place on the stucco to sun himself. Photos courtesy of my new digital camera - which will be used especially to provide more delightful photos to the blog.

Today was one of those days where - with the exception of a couple of phone calls and the drive thru at Dunkin Donuts - I was in complete solitude. Alone in my little world on the porch, with my book. And for the day, it was nice to not have to hear my own voice so much and live instead with the sound of silence.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Wednesday Knight Comedy Emergency

The previews for two new shows on ABC intrigued me enough to watch the pilots. "Knights of Prosperity" is the story of a motley crew of people stuck in dead-end jobs who decide to rob Mick Jagger (and subsequent celebrities) to fund their dreams. Any left over monies will be given to charities of their choosing - including feline AIDS. Best character is a tie between Rockefeller, the giant black guy who has the best lines, and Louis, the skinny white guy who gets drawn into the group thinking he's going to be an intern on Taxi 2 starring Jimmy Fallon and Queen Latifah.

And following was "In Case of Emergency" about a group of people from the same high school graduating class starring Jonathan Silverman, David Arquette, Kelly Hu, Lori Loughlin and Greg Gormann. Based on the pilot, I'd say this one is the more entertaining of the two. In the first ten minutes, Gormann's character, a motivational diet guru, hijacks a dessert truck after his wife leaves him. Arquette shoots himself in the foot trying to commit suicide, and Silverman meets up with Hu in a house of ill repute - him, a failed writer turned greeting card hack and she the former valedictorian.

I'll be tuning in next week to see if both hold up to the promise of the pilots. Just for giggles.

Don't Go Breakin' My Heart!

I go out of town for a week - one week! - and stop reading the celebrity gossip sites while I'm getting a little r-and-r, only to come back and find that Perez spent New Year's Eve with John Mayer and...Jessica Simpson? Quelle horreur! I can't believe it! I have staunchly defended his honor, assured people that the previous rumors of their togetherness were all hype generated by her camp. And now I have been betrayed. What is he thinking? I mean, I know she's not as dumb as she pretends to be, but she's still no Einstein. And I know you could say, "Well, look at her" but somehow her stupidity (pretend or real) totally diminishes her attractiveness to me. But who am I to say? I just can't believe that John Mayer - my beloved John Mayer - is dating a breathy-singing witless wonder who peddles hair extensions and edible makeup. This will put a temporary kabash on my love of Continuum.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Current Baby Forecast

Last week, Eva's trip to the doctor revealed that Dillon, who had dropped the week before, had actually climbed back up. As though he stuck his head out and decided not to make his entrance in the world after all. This morning, she went for her weekly visit, and he has pushed his little head down again. Her cervix is thinning and the doctor can feel his head. He's now predicting a weekend birth (as in this weekend!). I'm on standby - and tenterhooks. The anticipation is killer. Now all I can do is pack my emergency bag, review the carefully typed directions to the hospital, and wait for the phone call - I'm on the second limb of the phone tree.

Res-o-LU-tion (rez-uh-loo-shun)

Resolution is a funny word whose varied meanings include both the onset of a decision (resolving to do something) and the ultimate outcome (the final resolution). But for most of us at this time of the year, resolutions are about promises we make to ourselves that we don't intend to keep. They are the lofty goals. The proverbial carrots hung out to give us something to strive for in the coming year. We say we will lose weight, eat less, exercise more. Quit the bad and take up the good. Put aside selfish and embrace selfless. And with these resolutions, these declarations of improvement, we hope to have a better resolution to 2007.

My resolutions are usually empty, dashed off on New Year's Day to the first person who asks me what mine are with little thought to ever keeping my word. So each year, I make the same thoughtless promises about the kinder, gentler, thinner me, but end up pushing the same rock up the same hill just to have it fall back on me the next year. Yet, even with such a jaded view, it seems such an opportune time to really reflect and make change where change is necessary - to put my shoulder to the rock once more.

Perhaps my problem in the past has been making the wrong resolution - resolving on things that weren't truly important enough to abide by. And so this year, in an attempt to make progress with the rock, I'm making just one simple resolution. And that is to be to be happy with myself. To very simply recognize those things which make me happy and embrace them. To discern what is clouding my view and dispel it. To laugh more and cry less. To be good company when I'm the only one in the room.

Musically speaking, resolution is the moment in which a tone or chord eliminates dissonance. Chemically, it is the reduction to the simplest form. And for me, this year, resolution is both of those. Happy New Year, y'all.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Now Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

Let's ring in the new year with a nod to my favorite pastime.

Twelve Days of Christmas

The holidays have come and gone in the last twelve days since I've been at home. The hustle and bustle of the season has kept me from the blog for the most part, so here's little summary of the twelve days of Christmas.

* One duet of "Me and Bobby McGee" with Mom
* Two Grill Milkshakes (both strawberry)
* Three hours watching old SNL on YouTube
* Four new pairs of shoes
* Five days of shopping!
* Six outfits selected for Baby Dillon
* Seven new CDs
* Eight furry relatives visited - including Anna's puppies
* Nine hundred miles traveled
* Ten late nights reading
* Eleven times listening to Wintersong on repeat
* Twelve extra pounds