Friday, November 30, 2012

Jersey Shore: Revisited

Earlier tonight, I watched the latest Jersey Shore episode. This is the final season--I think it's the fifth. I don't know why I continue to watch; I guess it's just habit. I haven't really enjoyed the show since the second season.

Like cast members of many reality shows, the people featured on Jersey Shore are not nice nor intelligent. It'd be hell to be friends with any of them. But obviously, something or someone was appealing--the show became a big hit.

Reality TV fame made the cast members more obnoxious, but the show never addressed their fame. It tried to ignore the crowds of people following the cast around. It tried to pretend that the management of The Shore Store would tolerate such bad employees.

Another strange thing about this season is that the cast now includes fresh-out-of-rehab and pregnant cast members. This is a challenge in a show that celebrates crazy, drunken behavior.

One reason I continue to watch is Superstorm Sandy. I look at the shots of the boardwalk and know it is no more. The roller coaster landed in the ocean. Who knows how much sand remains on the beaches. I wonder if the topography of the shoreline has changed--will Seaside still attract surfers? 

I may be bored by cast antics, but I enjoy glimpses of what used to be.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Shopping: Brick and Mortar Edition

I've been to a mall every day for the past three days. This is weird because I don't think I've been to any mall in 2012 before this week. I used to enjoy shopping at malls but now, not so much.

This week was a combination of having convenient, non-busy times to hit a  few malls, and Christmas shopping season. Although I've completed most of my Christmas shopping online, I did find a few things in stores. Probably these things were available online but I didn't know exactly what I wanted and so couldn't search for them. There's something for seeing things in their tangible form.

Earlier tonight I asked Jeff if we used to go to the mall often. We were both unsure of how often, but we definitely went more often than we do now. I remember we used to split up to shop at the local mall and meet in a restaurant on the 7th floor. The malls used to have nice restaurants; now they usually just have food courts.

But it wasn't just the restaurants. I also think the malls used to be more unique; now they all seem to have the same stores (unless it's a store that I like--such as The Body Shop.) It's more fun to shop at crafts and art shows--you see different things.

I don't think I'll go to the mall again for another year, unless I need a specific item that I can't find elsewhere. I definitely won't return as the crowds grow this holiday season.






Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dreams

Last night I dreamed about my sister. She had started a business with a partner called the Muses. The Muses had hired about four people to help them. One woman said that I knew how difficult it was to nail the muses down. I knew the people hired; they were capable but I was mad that I hadn't even heard about the jobs.

Later in the dream, I was on some kind of party cruise. My estranged brother-in-law was there but he wasn't my real b-i-l. I wanted to talk to my (real) friend Elaine about my problem, but she was too busy chatting with others to talk seriously with me. An old male friend also appeared at the party as a guest of my b-i-l. The friend looked like a cross between RA Dickey of the Mets and I'm not sure who else.  I made some conversation with my b-i-l.

At one point, someone told me I shouldn't drink so much. I protested that I hadn't drank that much and had a bottled water, wasn't I good? Then I remembered how someone insisted I drink a shot when the cruise first started.

The rest of the details are vague.

I believe that dreams sometimes offer valuable ideas--for example I've gotten story ideas from dreams. Unfortunately the ideas easily fade away. For a while I kept a dream journal--I'm not sure why I stopped.

Some dreams are random. Why did I dream about my sister Joanna who died 16 years ago and never had her own business? Am I harboring some other kind of resentment towards her?

Elaine is usually a good listener; why did she blow me off in my dream?

Do I need a dream to tell me that drinking too much isn't good?

I don't have the answers but that's typical of my dreams. I figure I just need to ask the questions and go from there.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Worries

I used to laugh when my mother lay awake at night worrying about things, especially things only tangentially related to her, such as the death of a member of the The Flying Wallendas.

I'm not laughing anymore. I now have the same bouts of sleeplessness. Last night, technically this morning, I woke up around 5:30 thinking about cleaning I didn't do. Last week I woke up one thinking I forgot to input my hours for work. Sometimes I worry about not saving enough for retirement. Sometimes I worry about random things--why didn't I tell Donna why I was mad at her; why didn't I go out with Don?

It may not help in the dead of night, but I feel better when I wallow in my worries by listening to this.  And this one is the most upbeat worry kind of song. I feel better already.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Veronica Mars Re-Watch: Season One Episode Nine

Drinking the Kool-Aid: This episode first aired November 30, 2004. I may have only seen it once since then. I only remember the core plot points and consider this a weak episode. I am re-watching with fresh eyes.

The episode opens with the closing of Like A Virgin. Veronica is crying: Lilly's confessed killer has told her that Jake Kane is her father. She later looks at the pictures taken of her with a target drawn around her face (from You Think You Know Someone.)  She discovers that Clarence Wiedman, the head of security for Kane Software, took the photos.

The week's mystery has Keith investigating one of Veronica's classmates, Casey, who has been hanging around with members of a cult. The group seems harmless but his parents grow anxious as Casey will inherit a fortune of $80 million from his dying grandmother. Will he turn over the money to the collective?

Overall, I stand by my opinion of the episode was weak: possibly the weakest of the season pending a complete re-watch.  The introduction (in name and voice only) of Clarence Wiedman is intriguing, but feels tacked on. Wouldn't Veronica have investigated the photos earlier? 

The best part of the episode: Veronica tricks Keith into giving her a DNA sample to find out if he really is her biological father. But she shreds the test results before reading them.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Veronica Mars Re-Watch: Season One Episode Eight

It's been over a month since my last re-watch post; it's time to return to Veronica Mars.

Like A Virgin: This episode may not rank as one of my favorites but it has a lot going for it. The mystery of the week has a real high school feel; a purity test is emailed to Neptune High students asking questions about smoking pot, having flings, lying to protect reputations.Then someone offers test results of anyone for $10 each.

The mystery introduces Meg and Mac. Veronica offers to help nice '09er Meg when someone forges impure test results of 48 for her. (According to Pam,who scores 63, anything under 60 means you're a slut.) Veronica consults Mac because Mac is the resident computer expert. It ends up that Mac is the one selling test results for $10 each; it nets her a new car.

A subplot involves Keith helping Wallace's mother deal with an unstable tenant. Alicia learns that the bad gossip about the Mars family is not necessarily true.

In the season long mystery, Veronica visits Lily's confessed murderer, Abel Koontz, in jail. Abel shocks her by claiming that Veronica is not Keith's daughter, but Jake Kane's (Duncan's father.)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Writing

Because I've been so bad with my writing goals for 2012 (I didn't even make SMART writing goals) I made a goal of 10,000 words (excluding blogging) for November. It's the 24th and my word count is 667. Oddly enough, that's 1,000 words less than the daily NANO total.

Theoretically, I can make my goal of 10,000 words. Excluding today, I can make the goal by producing 1,555.5 words a day for the rest of the month. Since I won NANO before, I can easily pull that off. I also have the advantage of not limiting myself to one piece. I wrote a bit on Jersey Shore memories and started some sort of story about a woman returning to her home town for Thanksgiving and a family wedding. I wrote a twist that surprised me--I never saw it coming.

If I keep on writing, I may really surprise myself.

Another Dog Park Photo

This is from yesterday at Taylor Farm dog park. I didn't do a good job of capturing the beautiful evening sky--but I captured Jeff trying to capture the same image and Spike checking me out.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Variations on Black Friday

I love a bargain as much as (if not more than) the next person. I do most of my clothes shopping at sales or factory outlet stores. I proudly take advantage of every discount or promotion I can find in Christmas shopping.

But going shopping on Black Friday is like descending into one of Dante's circles of hell. I just don't get it. Why leave a holiday celebration early or get up at dawn to wait in line and fight the crowds? I'd be stressed out just finding a parking space before even getting into the store.

Other interest groups have gotten into the mix: I've heard about buy local Saturdays and Cyber Mondays. There's the anti group too.

The most intriguing Black Friday variation for me was one about drinking good beer. We had two Guinness stouts and a Sam Adams gingerbread stout in the refrigerator. We picked up a pizza and celebrated that version of Black Friday.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving 2012

I like the idea of Thanksgiving--a time to celebrate the good things in life. It's too easy to think about all the things that are wrong or missing. I like that Thanksgiving has usually been a four day weekend for me. I like that this is not an overtly religious holiday. I also like the traditional Thanksgiving foods.

I recognize that many don't share my positive feelings about this holiday. And of course, many things can go wrong. But tonight I'm going to list a few things that I am thankful for.

I'm thankful to have a nice home. Our condo is far from my dream home. With the benefit of hindsight--we wouldn't have bought it--at least not when we did and for as much as we did. But it has much going for it as we learned when we were considering moving about six years ago.

I'm thankful to have family members to celebrate with--family members who don't spend all their time mocking, criticizing and chastising others.

I'm thankful to have Spike. He's been a joy.

Most importantly, I'm thankful to have Jeff. He's been a supportive and loving husband and we are good together.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Stay Close-to-Home Day

Today is the day before Thanksgiving--traditionally the biggest travel day of the year. I heard a report on WCBS Radio yesterday that the day before Thanksgiving is actually the biggest travel driving day, at least in the NYC area.

I hate traveling for holidays; it means more crowds, more traffic and more stress. I'm happy that we only have an hour's drive for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow.

I didn't want to travel far today; in fact, I turned down a dental appointment because I didn't want to take the chance that a traffic jam on I-95 North would start in the morning. I went to the gym in the morning and the dog park in the afternoon. Otherwise, I stayed home: did a little cleaning, wrote a few emails, did some online shopping.

All-in-all a good day--staying off the highway.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Deja Vu

Jeff put on the Daily Show tonight; it's a rerun of the night following President Obama's re-election.

It's fun to watch the clip of Fox anchor Megan Kelly asking Karl Rove ask if he's just doing Republican math when he insists that Ohio can't be going for Obama.

It's surreal to hear Bill O'Reilly deplore minorities who feel entitled to things.  Did Mitt steal that idea when he said a week or so later that Obama won by gifts. Didn't anyone tell him that didn't fly?

Don't forget the role of the media and the negative Obama campaign (as tested by Romney's Republican rivals in the primaries.) Then there are the blacks and other minorities who didn't disappear (or perhaps didn't have their votes suppressed.)

And what of the young guns? Marco Rubio was quoted the other day saying that it's impossible to know how old the earth is; it's a great mystery.

I don't understand these people.




Monday, November 19, 2012

What I'm Watching

We just finished watching The Dust Bowl, a two-part Ken Burns documentary on PBS.The stories were powerful, enhanced with diary excerpts, photographs and interviews with survivors.

I had never learned much about the dust bowl in school. I had heard the term and imagined an arid land with a few tumbleweeds blowing by (no doubt inspired by old westerns.) In reality, the Dust Bowl was the worst man-made ecological disaster in American history.

About three years ago, I was visiting my father and picked up a book, The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan, that was on his dining room table. I read a few pages and was impressed with how well the book was written. I later borrowed the book; it lived up to my good first impression. Egan was one of the historians interviewed in The Dust Bowl.

I strongly recommend both the film and the book. It's important to learn what happened in the Dust Bowl, so we don't continue our short-sighted use of our land and threaten our long term survival.

More Lost Photographs

After I wrote my post yesterday, I read another New York Times article about  photographs lost in Superstorm Sandy that have been transformed. Some remind me of Jackson Pollock's work; they are all strangely beautiful

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Photographic Flotsam and Memorabilia

I read an interesting article in yesterday's New York Times. After Superstorm Sandy, some people set up a Facebook page and posted photos that had been lost in the storm, including a drawer with over one thousand family photos.

Helping people reconnect with lost photos is a thoughtful way to help people make their lives whole again after a tragedy. I started to think about where recovering photos would rank in after storm activities.

I love photographs. I have several displayed in almost every room. They remind me of vacations, special occasions and loved ones. What would I save if I had to leave home in the midst of a disaster and only had a few minutes? Jeff and I would focus on getting Spike out safely. But what next? I suppose I could grab my great grandmother's wedding ring--that would be (relatively) financially and sentimentally valuable. If I grabbed a photo on the way out, which one would it be?

I don't know.

I've been watching the show Revolution; it depicts life after all electricity has been turned off. One plot thread involves mother who carries around a smart phone because it contains her only pictures of her children. For a brief moment, power is restored and the first thing she does is turn on her phone to see her kids.

One appeal of digital photos is that you can easily delete the bad photos and save the good without filling up drawers.  But are digital photos more easily lost and forgotten?

These thoughts are running through my head as I think about organizing my own photos. I need to take another look through the photos my father left to me. My mother recently gave me an envelope full of photos. Plus I have several photos of my own. I previously have culled through them, but need to do more. I'll take some of the better photos and frame, display and appreciate them. The rest, well, I'll see.

Christmas Shopping

There was a time when I enjoyed Christmas shopping. I loved finding special presents for everyone. There is still a part of me that loves finding good gifts for people.

On the other hand, Christmas shopping can be stressful. I remember bursting into tears (yes, it's a cliche but it expresses my feelings well) on Christmas Eve trying to get last minute presents after a sleep deprived college exam week. Today, I went to Bed, Bath and Beyond for toiletries and perhaps some small gifts and the parking lot was packed. Could this be the beginning of the holiday traffic jams?

Tonight I did Christmas shopping online, working out of catalogs and emails that I've received. While it's much easier than fighting the crowds at the mall, I don't get the tactile pleasure of handling the merchandise. I almost bought something today, but questionable reviews made me pause. But overall, shopping online beats the lines and hassles of brick-and-mortar shopping.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Family Get-Togethers

When Jeff and I got married, family get-togethers were relatively easy. Except for my dad, everyone lived within 35 minutes of each other in Southwestern Connecticut. My father lived in New Jersey, two-and-a-half hours away, so at least weekends were doable.

I thought Christmas could be an issue; Christmas Day was the only holiday when my family would be together. We soon worked out a schedule of Christmas Eve with Jeff's family and Christmas Day with mine. For a few years, Jeff's parents even joined my family for Christmas Day dinner.

After a few years, Jeff's sister, Thea, moved to Ithaca, New York and then Iowa City, Iowa. Later our parents moved south. My dad went to Stuart, Florida; my mother and stepfather headed to Hilton Head, South Carolina; Jeff's parents moved to St. Simon's Island, Georgia. That meant long distance visits, and after we got Spike, road trips. Visits became more expensive and required more planning.

We actually got into a good road routine and never pushed ourselves for too long. On our first road trip, we found a pet friendly motel that we liked--Red Roof Inn in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. I'll never forget our first night there. Spike was so excited to get out of the car that he jumped on my lap straining to get out the door.

We had celebrated Christmas with Jeff's family the night before we hit the road and we were beat. Luckily, a good Chinese restaurant was next door to Red Roof Inn and we had brought a bottle of red wine just in case North Carolina had Sunday blue laws. To top it off, we turned on TCM and watched the original version of "To Be or Not To Be."

In the past three years, we've lost my stepfather and my father. Jeff's parents and my mother have returned to Connecticut: Jeff's parents are an hour away and my mother a half hour. We can take comfort in knowing that we are close to our parents.  I remember how much I worried about my father when he lived alone in Florida.

Family get-togethers are a little more complicated now. Jeff's parents no longer drive.  We usually make a day of it when we visit since it's a two hour round trip. We may take them shopping or pick up things for them. My mother still drives, but I'm not sure how long that will continue. We're lucky that they live in nice retirement communities.

I try not to wonder what will be in store for us.





Friday, November 16, 2012

A Friday Afternoon at Taylor Farm

Dog Park Fridays aren't the same in the late fall and winter. On spring and summer evenings, we have time to relax and hang out together with beer, wine and conversation. Now that sundown occurs around 4:30, there's less opportunity to even make it to the park before it gets dark.

Jeff and I took Spike to the park this afternoon and saw even got to see a few friends.

We also saw these beautiful sky views. The moon was just a sliver in a dark blue sky.






Happy Friday.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Two of a Kind

The other night Jeff and I were watching TV and saw a commercial for the Ipad mini. It used the song, "Two of a Kind" by Bobby Darin and Johnny Mercer. I know the song because my father had the album and recorded a copy for me on a cassette. (Yes my car is so old, I still have a cassette player.)

I enjoy listening to the tape though none of the songs are classics. I got a good feeling hearing the song on TV.

But I have to wonder--who's in charge of marketing the Ipad mini? Presumably the target market is relatively young users. Have they even heard of Bobby Darin and Johnny Mercer?

I don't get that marketing campaign, but if it leads to a revival of Bobby and Johnny--I'm in.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The 2012 Cy Young Winner is RA Dickey

This evening I came home and told Jeff that they were going to announce the Cy Young winner in ten minutes. We turned on the television; ESPN had announced the American League winner (David Price) with the National League announcement to come. In a few minutes, we got the good news.

I've written about RA Dickey several times before (I should have added a label just for him.) I can't overestimate what he has done for the Mets this year. By the end of July, Johan Santana's no-hitter (the first in Mets history) was a distant memory. It was clear that barring a miracle (more likely a combination of miracles) that the Mets would not make it to the post-season.

RA was the bright spot in the second half. He gave fans something to cheer. Citi Field rocked that bright afternoon in late September when RA secured his 20th win.

Thank you RA. Mets management, don't trade him.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Creative Procrastination

I had a few hours free today. It would have been a good time to clean the kitchen floor or the bathroom. Actually, I had something to clean in every room.

Instead of cleaning, I tried on clothes. I pulled blouses, pants and skirts from the back of my closets. I was ruthless--packing up things that I hadn't worn in a while or didn't feel comfortable in. I filled two tall kitchen trash bags with clothes for the Goodwill.

My choice today reminded me of the time I cleaned out the linen closet instead of dusting and vacuuming the living room. Really. Who would even see my linen closet?  Shouldn't I have used my time more productively?

My normal rationale is that when I feel like doing some random chore--I should just go for it. But that's not always the right choice. I need to focus. Maybe this will help.

Climate Warp

Two weeks ago today, Sandy blew into town literally (one of the few times I can use "literally" literally.) We were better prepared than we had been for any previous storm and emerged virtually unscathed.

A little over a week later we were hit with a Nor-easter; we got about four inches of snow. Other parts of Connecticut got up to a foot.

Then there was today: partly cloudy in the mid-sixties (even nicer than yesterday's weather.) We spent an hour at the dog park. Walking around we saw remnants of Sandy; large fence posts that were uprooted and deposited in the middle of the field and branches strewn around the park. Many people in New York and New Jersey are still without power, continuing to struggle through destruction and devastation.

As much as I appreciate a day like today, I wonder about it. We've seen too many 50- or 100-year storms in the past few years. The way Sandy turned back inland after heading out to the Atlantic was unprecedented.

The world's climate is broken.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

What I'm Watching

Today the Science channel is showing a Firefly marathon.

Jeff and I missed Firefly when it was first broadcast in 2002-2003; we finally watched it sometime earlier this year. We loved it. We were disappointed that there were only fourteen episodes and only one movie. The show deserved much more.

Looking forward to the reunion next hour.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

"Dreams Don't Work Without Action."

If I were to choose one quotation to paste on my mirror, pc, notebook, etc., this would be the one.

I'm prone to dreaming; this would remind me that dreaming alone isn't enough.

The quotation is from the last episode of Roseanne, which ran from 1988 through 1997. Despite a weak beginning and a bad last season or two, parts of the show were brilliant, capturing a economically challenged reality rarely shown on TV.

Roseanne took a lot of flak for changing the history of the show in the last episode, particularly because she didn't just change the last season--her changes went further back into the show's story. I didn't like most of her changes either.

But the quotation and Phoebe Snow singing the final closing song worked for me.


Friday, November 9, 2012

Really?

Just the other day I wrote  "I realize that Presidential campaigns begin immediately after the previous Presidential election." But I didn't expect this.

Too much. Too soon. Too ridiculous.


Seen



Saw this on my walk with Spike today at the apartments next door. I was intrigued by the juxtaposition of the ripe tomatoes and the snow.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Future of RA Dickey

As anyone who read my profile knows, I'm a Mets fan. My team's season ended early. The Mets headed downhill just before the All-Star break (although at the time it could have just been a bad patch.)

The Mets had a good first half, including their first no-hitter in June. In the second half, we had the stellar performance of RA Dickey. I hope to hear next week that he is the Cy Young winner.

Today, I heard that the Mets are shopping him if they cannot negotiate a deal with him soon.

Doesn't the team owe something to its fans?  I'm frustrated.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Post-Election Post

I've read many posts today analyzing the election results.

Here's one by CNN and another from the Atlantic.

This is Melissa McEwan's perspective.

Perhaps Republicans doomed themselves by revealing their real agenda.  We were listening.

Jezebel pulls no punches here.

Women, Latinos, blacks and the young: we are the new coalition.





Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Our Long National Nightmare is (Almost) Over

I'm paraphrasing Gerald Ford in his inaugural address. But I'm not talking about Watergate and miscellaneous lawbreaking of the Nixon administration. I'm talking about the 2012 Presidential election.

I realize that Presidential campaigns begin immediately after the previous Presidential election. Did hundreds of Republican primaries start early in 2009 or does it just seem that way?

Political commercials have inundated the airwaves--thank you Supreme Court. Jeff started to hit the mute button every time a campaign ad came on TV.

Jeff and I voted this morning--not a big crowd in Norwalk, CT.  CT went for Democrats Obama, Murphy, and Himes (our representative.) No one was surprised that Obama took the state. Murphy's margin over WWE magnate, Linda McMahon, surprised me. Local news pundits suggest that voters resented McMahon's use of her own millions for her campaign.

CNN says it may not be as long a night that they thought: good news for President Obama (and me.)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Hooray for the Birthday Boy

Today is a special day--Spike turned 12.

In addition to our normal neighborhood walks, Jeff and I took Spike to Taylor Farm dog park around noon. After several unsuccessful attempts (my battery was low and Spike always looked away at the last second), Jeff was able to get his picture.

We picked up sandwiches at Blue Cactus, Spike's favorite neighborhood deli (and ours) for lunch.



For dinner, we cooked a duck breast--one of Spike's favorite foods. He had a Frosty Paw for dessert.

Time to relax after a busy day.



Sunday, November 4, 2012

Fall Back Day

This morning at 2 am, daylight savings time officially ended. I didn't bother to change the clocks on Saturday night before we went to bed. After all, our cable boxes and cell phones did it for us--giving us a frame of reference. Today, we adjusted the rest of the clocks.

I keep thinking that I should write a poem, "Fall Back", as a companion piece to "Spring Forward."  I've scribbled a few lines but nothing seems to work. Maybe something will come to me in the future.

I never really understood the whole daylight savings rationale. I react badly to the spring habit of losing an hour. And it doesn't seem like a great boon to get the hour back now.

The first impact today of falling back was to adjust the time of our visit to the dog park. We left about an hour before sundown; it quickly grew cold and dark: no more dog park Fridays for some time.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

NaNo/NaBlo

Two people asked me if I were going to participate in National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo) this year. The idea is to complete a novel of 50,000 words working only in November.

I've participated in four NaNoWriMos: I washed out early in two, made a good showing in one (40,000 words) and won one.

This year I had no interest--no inspiration. I wrestled with ideas that I can't wait for inspiration; that not entering may be a self-fulfilling prophecy--i.e. that I know I'll fail so I won't try.

Ultimately, my heart isn't in it.

I've also been thinking about how far from my annual goals I am. I decided to try National Blog Writing Month. I can't find an official site; here is information from last year. I will post every day on this blog; I can't promise all posts will be meaningful, but I will post.

I also need to focus on some other writing. I decided on a goal of 10,000 words this month. Easy, compared to NaNo's 50K.

Right?


ETA: Apparently the correct term is: NaBloPoMo

Friday, November 2, 2012

Face Off Season Three Finale

I've written about my love for Face Off before. The Season Three finale was this week. We found a Face Off marathon on Tuesday, leading up to Part One. This year, SyFy showed the final competition on Tuesday with the artists returning to hear who won on a live Halloween broadcast on Wednesday.

The three finalists were problematic. I'm not sure I agree with the returning contestant idea, although I like Nicole. She made the the final, along with Laura, who produced stellar work all season long, and Derek, who was up-and-down all season. I think Roy would have been a better choice than Derek.

Nicole won. I was happy because she was likable and her work was good since her return (notwithstanding the standard werewolf.) I also would have been happy if Laura had won.

I enjoy that I can appreciate the final results (even if I don't get a close-up physical inspection) compared to shows such as Top Chef (in which I don't get to taste the dishes.) The best part of the show is the way the contestants support and help each other and (for the  most part) seem to like each other.

Looking forward to Season Four.



Venturing Out

Sandy brought strong winds to Norwalk, CT from Monday morning through Tuesday afternoon. Luckily, we didn't get much rain. Jeff, Spike and I hunkered down late Sunday afternoon after a dog park visit, only emerging for walks. We were glued to local TV and CNN for much of Monday and Tuesday morning. (until I found a Face-Off marathon and switched back to news during the commercials.)

Wednesday, we went a few blocks away to pick up a pizza for lunch. But it wasn't until Thursday that I left town. I had a tutoring student an hour's drive away. I saw that large stretches of my route were without power. I was stuck in traffic but figured it was worth it because the delays were due to electric repairs. I saw lots of debris, including large branches and tree-trunks--many chopped along the side of the road.

Close to my destination, I had to pass under a few trees propped against other trees--scary. Then the road I normally take was closed. I finally made it to my student's home, after a confusing, alternate route about a half hour later.

That wasn't the worst of it. On my way home, I passed through an intersection that  normally has a traffic light. I couldn't see anything without streetlights; it wasn't at one of the intersections that I recognized. A driver pulled out in front of me and I jammed on the breaks. Luckily he stopped midway through the intersection. Otherwise, I don't know where I would be right now. It was scary. It reminded me like nothing else to slow down and be extra careful. I needed to get back home to Jeff and Spike.



Thursday, November 1, 2012

An October Should-Have Post

October was Adopt A Shelter Dog Month. Better late than never. It's always a good time to adopt a shelter pet.

Many people think that there is something wrong with shelter dogs. I'm sure there are a few bad dogs. But for the most part, they are just victims of bad luck, especially in these tough economic times.

Spike is not technically a shelter nor a rescue dog. But he is a dog who needed a home when we wanted to have a dog join our home. We can't imagine our lives without him now. He has brought us love and joy and helped introduce us to a group of new friends. A win-win-win situation.