Friday, February 27, 2009

Venus Rising

My husband called me to the front yard tonight to see the moon and Venus. It was gorgeous. I have to admit that, even on our busy street with cars zooming by every few minutes, I felt incredibly peaceful as I looked at them. It's hard to tell in this picture, but the moon is really just a sliver, on the bottom part - so it looks as if Venus is just about to be scooped up by the Moon.

I do love Venus - from a visual perspective. Although I must admit that I recently played around on an astrology website (I honestly can't remember how or why I found it in the first place) and read about how I'm a Libra in Venus or Venus in Libra...or something like that. (You know, like e.e. cummings, Calista Flockhart, and Richard Gere - whatever that means....)

At any rate - if you're reading this on Friday night and you haven't seen the moon and Venus, I recommend the view.

Laundry Observations

Dude, I know I've blogged about this before but it never ceases to amaze me. There is a freakin' &^**load of clothes at the end of my bed, waiting for my poor folding abilities to be put to use. I swear....

I wouldn't mind the pile of clean clothes so much if there wasn't still a HUGE pile of dirty clothes in the laundry hamper. Would someone PLEASE explain to me how that is even possible????? Bah. And....humbug.

Ok, then - if that's the way the laundry is going to be - it's movie time. Tonight I think Meryl Streep is calling to me, so Mamma Mia it is. (See that girl, watch that scene, diggin' the dancing queen....ooooooooooo........) She'll help me through this tough time. (sniff...)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

15 Days, Baby!!!

Walt Disney World is 15 days away, and there are simply NOT enough "woo-hoos" in the world to capture how I feel about that fact. I'm sure there will be at least one phone-blog entry while I'm there, possibly more. What I really need to figure out is how to send pictures straight to Blogger from my phone - along with text. I know there's a way to do that and I've played around with it a bit but haven't quite gotten the hang of it. If anyone out there feels like posting specific directions (other than telling me to read the Blogger directions...that would just be rude), then I welcome your advice!

I was doing my traditional obsessive reading of the TourGuideMike Disney forums this evening and I noticed a post about "adult drinks" at WDW. Oh, baby. Now that was an inspiring set of posts. One drink in particular caught my eye. It's served at our resort (we'll be at the Port Orleans Riverside, in case you're wondering) and it's called the Southern Belle... Southern Comfort, Peach Schnapps and cranberry juice - yummy!

Now I've just got to take care of the last few details - such as buying a bunch of earplugs for my kids since they have SUPER sensitive ears and will spend the entire vacation complaining about the loud shows and rides if I don't stuff plugs in their ears. (Or, alternatively, I could just plug my own ears so I won't hear the complaints...)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I've said before that I don't want my blog to take on a political bent - that's important to me, although it's hard for me to explain exactly why. I will say, however, that I'm watching President Obama's first address as I blog and I'm compelled to write about how different this feels to me. It's not about him, or his party - I think it's a generational thing.

Probably because he's only a few years older than me, I feel - for the first time ever - that I'm responsible for what is said and what is done in Washington. It's as if I am up there because my generation is up there. His kids are really close to the age of my children (and I can't even begin to imagine how stressful it would be to try to find time for them with that and - well, he grew up watching Sesame Street too. (Or at least I assume he did!)

So - I have to say that I think it's pretty cool that Gen X gets a shot at history now.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Jenn Bops

One of my good friends once told me that I am the oldest teenybopper around. I certainly couldn't disagree with that analysis. Why deny who I am?

Tonight I was in my teenybopper element. I'm finally starting to feel like a human again after being sick for about a week and I celebrated by playing the Disney XBox360 karaoke game with my eldest. She introduced me to Ali and A.J. and I spent about an hour rockin' away to the latest teenage angst emo-songs.

And all I could think was... "Like Whoa." (If you're not the mom of a tween girl, you probably don't get that reference, so sorry if you're not as cool as I am. But it's a really great song.)

It's going to be fun while I have a legitimate teenybopper in my house. It might, however, become awkward when she outgrows the stage and I do not. :)

Friday, February 20, 2009

I Forget

I sometimes forget how fortunate I am
foriget that I really am loved
I forget, occassionally, that I have every opportunity to do great things.

But then my friends and family remind me.
Thanks, guys.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Birthday Season

Birthday season is upon us. My son will be 6 on March 1, and my daughter turns 10 on April 28. So I am well in the midst of the season in which birthdays seem to sneak up on me and throttle me senseless.

Ok - I suppose that's a bit dramatic - but sometimes it feels as if that's the case.

To my credit, I have designed my son's birthday invitations, complete with a fighter jet on them. He loves them. Now I need to actually PRINT THEM OUT AND MAIL THEM. (Details, details....)

I shouldn't complain. My kids love Crenshaw's bday parties and they are a LIFESAVER for me. I don't have to do very much. They also love the cookies made by one of my former co-workers (she's incredible - can make any design in cookies) so I use those for favors. It all works out pretty well - but somehow I still feel a bit out of control until it's all over.

Oh, man - cakes. I haven't even BEGUN to think about cakes. Hmmm.....guess I'd better hit HEB this weekend. And I WILL NOT think about the fact that my mom made our cakes from scratch and intricately decorated them for us. (She made side money by decorating wedding cakes.) Nope. Not gonna think about that little detail.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

(cough, cough...)

Here I am, playing with my Blackberry as I waited ENDLESSLY for the doctor this evening. I decided to hit the after-hours clinic because, on the off-chance that it was flu kicking my butt (as opposed to some vague virus-type thing), I wanted to get my whole family on Tamiflu before it ruined our Disney World vacation.

Because, don't you know that would be the worst?????

My mom had flu the first time we ever went to Disney World. Ugh. No kidding.

Anyway - no flu for Jenn - whoopee!! Just a cough, fever, aches, and really bad headaches. Luckily the after hours doc didn't seem to be one of those conservative types. She said it was probably a virus but since I'd been dealing with it for about a week, she'd go ahead and give me a Z-Pack "just to be sure." You go, doc!

Of course -half of Austin was at my Walgreens so I don't have the drugs yet...but I will. Maybe I'll pick up some food while I'm out because I'm so hungry. Ooooo....but wait.... aren't you supposed to starve a fever? If so, that sounds rather uncool tonight. My fever wants to EAT, darn it.

Monday, February 16, 2009

International Women's Day

Did you know that since 1909 there has been an International Women's Day, and that it began right here in the United States? As a matter of fact, although it's not really recognized here, it's a huge deal in some other countries (according to an article I read in Working Mother magazine), and on that day men honor the women in their lives.

Now that I know it exists, I want to do something to honor the day (and honor women in other countries who still struggle for their rights). The problem is that this year, IWD falls on the same day that I'm hosting a six-year-old's birthday party. So I'm not sure I'll be able to tackle that day with a big shin-dig. (Or even a little one, for that matter.) I figured the least I could do is make sure that a couple of other people know that on March 8, women around the world will join together to inspire each other and support equality.

I was going to post a local IWD activity here in Austin (in case you were interested and in case you wouldn't be at Crenshaw's for our birthday festivities) but, there is only one event listed in the whole state of Texas! (Free admission to the Women's Museum in Dallas.) Now - if you wanted to travel to Pakistan on that day, you'd have a lot more options. You could attend the National Convention on Women's Empowerment, go to a Workshop on Gender Role in Development of Science, participate in the All Pakistan Women Rock Climbing Championship (you go, girls!), or work with women farmers from Pakistan.

Ok, Austin - just you wait. I can't do it this year (birthday parties must have priority in our household) but NEXT YEAR I'm planning something for International Women's Day!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Wasting a pretty day....

It's kind of a bummer for me because today is just gorgeous and I'm stuck inside. I'm looking out my bedroom window, just as I did in my first blog post, watching the trees sway in the sunshine and breeze. It's lovely but I would rather be UP and out there. Unfortunately, my body has different plans. Cedar fever, or a bad cold, or something (perhaps the ubiquitous "exhaustion" celebrities face??) has me flat on my back today. I got up earlier, hit Walgreens and then Half Price Books (I needed my next literature fix) and then straightened my bedroom just a little bit. (Not very much - you'd hardly notice the difference.) The brief spurt of energy did not last very long - so I had to cancel my date for tonight (darn it!!!) and now I'm back in bed. I decided I might as well whine about the situation in my blog.

Because, really - what's the point of a blog if you can't whine in it?

Now that I've sufficiently delved into my angst on this issue, I will begin reading the Leo Tolstoy novel I picked up for 98 cents. I'm no expert on Russian literature, but I do believe that Mr. Tolstoy could teach me a thing or two about angst. So this should be interesting.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Heart Day!

It's the most wonderful day of the year! (Yup, better than Christmas in my mind.)

Hope all of you are having a love-filled Valentine's day. Here in Austin, a cold front came through last night and right now I'm watching Beauty and the Beast with my girl. She came down with a fever about an hour ago so I've put her to bed and we've canceled our family plans for this evening. That part is kind of a bummer but we'll still have fun. As a matter of fact, all I need to get is some heavy cream and we can use the little fondue set I gave my husband for Christmas to have chocolate dipped strawberries. That's bound to help my daughter feel better, right?

Ok, back to Belle. My all-time favorite Disney heroine.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Facebook Games Rock!

So, I've finally been dragged into the Facebook Games world and it is so much fun. Check out this one that I just did tonight....(with my answers attached)

Ask the Lonely

Today at 7:36pm
RULES:1. Put your iTunes, Windows Media Player, etc. on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
4. Tag 12 friends.
5. Everyone tagged has to do the same thing.
6. Have Fun!

WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL? Something in the Air (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers)
HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY? Praying to the Wrong God (Jon McLaughlin)
WHAT IS YOUR LIFE'S PURPOSE? Lifesize (A Fine Frenzy)
WHAT'S YOUR MOTTO? I Can't Make You Love Me (Bonnie Raitt)
WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU? (If You're Not In It for Love) I'm Outta Here! (Shania Twain)
WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU? Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most (Bette Midler)
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN? The Foggy Dew (The Chieftains and Sinead O'Connor)
WHAT IS 2 + 2? Manage Nighttime Wakfulness ['s an audiobook, guys....]
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND? Late Night Grande Hotel (Nanci Griffith)
WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY? What You Feel (Reprise) (from Buffy the Vampire Slayer Soundtrack)
WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING? O...Saya (Slumdog Soundtrack - A.R. Rahman and M.I.A.)
WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL? That's How You Know (Enchanted Soundtrack - Amy Adams)
WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST?? Happiness is a Warm Gun (Across the Universe Soundtrack - Joe Anderson)
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST FEAR?? Rollin' and Tumblin' (Eric Clapton)
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET? To Be With You (The Mavericks)
WHAT DO YOU WANT RIGHT NOW? Is It Any Wonder (Eric Hungate)
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS? Politicians (Switchfoot)
WHAT WILL YOU POST THIS AS? Ask the Lonely (Ally McBeal Soundtrack - Vonda Shepherd)

Is it just me?? I think it's awesome when I get answers that seem right on target with a game like that. Of course, I also get "Manage Nighttime Wakefulness" as the answer to "What is 2 + 2..." So maybe it's only moderately cool. But it's fun! Especially when you're seeing what answer the great iPod-of-wisdom will give you next.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Fairy Tales

Tonight my bed was simply COVERED in clean clothes requiring folding (well - truth be told it was a bit pointless to fold by the time I got around to it, as usual...if you ever wondered why my kids and I walk around in wrinkled clothes, just take a look at the end of my bed for a few days after I do laundry and the pile of wadded up clean clothes will tell the tale). At any rate - the ONE thing that makes folding laundry an ok thing to do is that I get to watch my all time favorite movie. (I've blogged about this odd little habit of mine before.)

So... as Danielle and Prince Henry kissed each other, I got to thinking about fairy tales and (more to the point) my need to keep them in my life. The truth, dear readers, is that it is absolutely impossible to understate the importance of fairy tales in my psyche. Perhaps most 37 year old women would be loathe to admit this (perhaps most 37 year old women would not NEED to admit this...) but I am here to tell you that fairy tales really do keep me going.

As a teeny, tiny little girl I remember having trouble falling asleep so I would create elaborate tales in my mind. Unfortunately, they were sometimes scary - but I think it's how I tried to figure out the world around me.

I know I have friends who worry for me - they fear that my romanticism will get me in trouble. To be fair, they have reason to be concerned. Romanticism and real life are not always able to co-exist. (Although sometimes they surprise us and manage to do so for a while...)

Occassionally, I have to pull my head back out of the clouds. That's a good thing. But when I go back to my stories - to my fairy tales - I am able to see the truth about so many things. That's really the value of fairy tales, you know. Historically, they were used as lessons - as warnings against evil and as an example towards which we should strive (kindness, love, faith).

I don't always get it exactly right - but I've ultimately decided that the best approach for me is to allow myself an immersion within my fairy tales (within reason) and then to take the lessons I learned with me as I go through "real" life. And I do learn from them, really I do. One can hardly work as an associate at a law firm without learning how to face manipulation gallantly!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

In Honor of My Daughter

At the end of April, I will have been a mom for a decade. My eldest has truly blown me away during these last few weeks so, even though her birthday is still a few months away - I am inspired to sing her praises today.

I often tell her that when I grow up, I want to be just like her. She honestly is inspiring to me. I think that we have a very similar spirit and drive - but when I see the way she tackles Life, I think - that's what I want to do too!

Yesterday morning I took her to kickball tryouts. She's never played before but we are ready to stop being slacker parents when it comes to sports - so we decided to sign her up for the kickball season. In this picture, you can see that she is darn nervous. By the time we left, however, she was grinning from ear to ear - telling me what an awesome time she had and about all of her new friends.

And...she's becoming a young lady as well. Last week, my husband came down with a 24 hour stomach bug and was stuck in bed for a few hours before I made it home from work. He asked our daughter to fix her little brother some dinner and she did just that. She pulled out crackers and melted some cheddar cheese on top of them in the microwave. I guess that doesn't sound like much (although it's more than I've been known to do for my kids in my laziest moments) but to me it seemed like a huge step that she could work basic kitchen appliances and take care of her kid brother.

So, my darling - I am so happy that almost 10 years ago you came into my life and made me a better person. And I think I want to join a kickball team too!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Omigod You Guys!

Just blogging from my phone during intermission at Legally Blonde. It's fun. LOTS of pink all over the place- including the audience! My dream is to just head to NYC by myself one weekend and see as many musicals as I can. Of course - that sort of conflicts with my goal to pay more attention to my personal safety. Hmmmm. I'll have to think about that one.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Lego House

Ever wondered what it might be like to live in a Lego House? Well, our hamsters know how it feels. They apparently don't appreciate the architectural style, however, because they kept trying to escape.

Go figure.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Last week, a friend of mine was walking downtown with another girl (they were walking in front of the Hilton) and they were kidnapped. Forced into a car with some guys who drove from ATM to ATM, making them withdraw money. Then the guys stole their purses and let the girls go, fortunately without physically hurting them.

Tuesday morning, I saw an article about a violent attack downtown.

Wednesday evening, as I was walking (granted it was after dark, but it was in my neighborhood - practically right in front of my house), the same car passed in front of me three or four times - slowing practically to a stop at one point until I really tried to peer into their window to see who it was. At that point it drove away. I have no idea who was in that car.

All of this has caused me to really question myself about my attitude regarding personal safety. Because here's the truth....the few times I've gone downtown alone (generally to attend a Buffy or "Women of the 80's" sing-along at the Alamo Drafthouse), my husband has made a big deal about me needing to be safe. As a matter of fact, he OFTEN tells me to be safe when I'm about to go do something on my own - even taking a walk in the neighborhood. And I've just pooh-poohed him. You know - I figured it's a public place and I could take care of myself.

But (and this is difficult for me to admit, since my husband reads my blog - at least sometimes) - perhaps he has a point. I am not NEARLY as safe as I ought to be. Never have been. As a matter of fact, I remember (with absolutely clarity) a church trip to San Antonio when my then-boyfriend (he later introduced me and my husband at a party...but that's another story) had to physically prevent me from walking in front of cars three times in one day. I kid you not. After the last episode he practically screamed at me: "Do you have a death wish????"

Um......................actually I think I have a real problem with awareness of my surroundings. You know - my head is so far in the clouds, or in my imagination, that I don't have the inclination to face the real world. (This would explain the fact that I've knocked the side-view mirrors off of our family cars at least three times. And, if I'm underestimating the number - I really don't need to know that, honey....)

What I'm getting at, I suppose, is that if I look at my history from an analytical perspective, it would appear that when it comes to personal safety issues - my judgment is sorely lacking. And, in my old age, I'm beginning to become concerned about this fact - because the truth is that my luck can only hold out for so much longer. At some point, I will walk headlong into a dangerous situation and no one will be there to pull me back to safety.

It's an easy solution, theoretically. I just need to pay attention to what I'm doing.

I'm aware of that. Really, I am.

But why does it seem so hard? The idea of becoming aware, really paying attention - like a grown up - almost scares me. For some reason it feels more comfortable to stay in my haze. I suppose there's a certain security in denial. Even if you know you're heading down a dangerous creek with no paddle.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Things I Wish...

I wish....
1. Pluto was still a planet.
2. the SW Conference still existed.
3. I could drink one beer and still be sober enough to drive.
4. I'd been a little wilder in my youth/20's.
5. I had more discipline so I could follow my artistic dreams.
6. churches were more welcoming to people who are "different."
7. passion never died.
8. my kids could see a White Christmas (someday...).
9. the Dilbert TV show hadn't been taken off the air after just one season.
10. that our nation wasn't divided into Democrats and Republicans.