Friday, December 30, 2011

Furry Friday: See you next year!

Riley wanted to wish you all a happy and safe New Year!  He'll be ringing in the New Year with  his mom, dad, Aunt Elise, and a few close friends.  More than likely he'll be sleeping on the back of the couch before midnight.  Hey, it's tough to be four in dog years.  

For those of you who plan on partaking in the bubbly, please don't drink and drive.  This year AAA is offering their Tipsy Tow service from 6pm-6am on New Year's Eve/Day.  They will take you and your car home for FREE! You don't have to be a member to call: 1-800-222-435.

See you next year!


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Change

Christmas eve was always a time of midnight mass/candlelight vigil and opening gifts late with Justin's maternal grandmother.  For the past two years, however, the Catholic church in our area has only offered a 4:00pm and a 6:00pm mass.  So we've revised our plans to include attending the 4:00pm, going back to his grandmother's for supper and then opening gifts and enjoying some cookies and wine for dessert.  Seeing as how we're all getting older, this did enable us all to go to bed at a decent hour.  So in this respect, change was good.  However, what changed recently at mass I'm a little perplexed about.  Granted, I am a "C&E Catholic" (Christmas & Easter) so I don't attend regularly, but I grew up going to mass every Sunday and to the Sunday School classes which followed.  I learned all the prayers and could pretty much recite the mass word-for-word... until now.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Afternoon Siesta

So after four long days off filled with holiday eating, this fat-kid could really use an afternoon siesta.  Unfortunately in America a nap during the workday is frowned upon.  So I'll start the count down to five o'clock and consume a few caffeinated beverages between now and then.  By the time I'm done with supper later, I'll be ready to snuggle up on the couch and call it a night. Who's with me?

Speaking of caffeinated beverages, the Dunkin Donuts Mint Hot Chocolate has taken that special place in my heart normally reserved for the Dunkaccino.  Boy that stuff is good, but pretty heavy on the calories... all 310 of them!  I'll have to enjoy them now before everyone else's New Year's resolutions kick in worse than Catholic guilt.  Supposedly after January 1st, I should be replacing my preferred caffeinated beverages for two black coffees a day while chomping on almonds in order to boost my metabolism.  Well, seeing as how I don't like black coffee I can cut those calories out and exchange them for two glasses of red wine, although in America this is also frowned upon during the workday... oyyy, I should have been born European.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Furry Friday: Fugly Sweater Time

It's time to break out your fugly sweaters and show some Christmas spirit. Even Riley has a few for the occasion. He has a plain red sweater, a t-shirt that reads "I ate Santa's Cookies" and his new favorite: the snowman sweater. This one was a gift from Aunt Jessie last year and he'll be rocking it for Christmas this year. Just call him stud muffin. Merry Christmas to you and your fur children!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Baby, It's Cold Outside


This time of year there are a lot of old black and white and/or "technicolor" movies on the television (White Christmas, It's a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, etc).  All these old holiday movies take me back to watching the movie "Neptune's Daughter" with Esther Williams when she sings "Baby It's Cold Outside" with Ricardo Montalb├ín. 

You see, many of my breaks from school (including winter break) were spent at my paternal Grandmother's house.  My Grandma is a huge Esther Williams fan and we would watch all her old black and white films in a movie marathon over hot cocoa and popcorn.  Esther Williams was a famous swimmer back in the 1940s and then became an MGM movie star with starring roles opposite Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Ricardo Montalb├ín, Cary Grant, Gene Kelly, and Frank Sinatra.  Many of her movies included musical and synchronized swimming scenes.  I just found her fascinating.  Not only was she a movie star, she was a multi-talented woman paving the way for future female Olympians and Hollywood actresses.  

Many of my summers were also spent with my Grandmother either at Ronkonkoma Lake or Smithpoint Beach where she would teach me the ins and outs of swimming.  My Grandmother was an excellent swimmer herself.  Growing up in the city, she would swim across the Hudson with her sister just for fun.  In looking at old photos of my Grandmother, I could see many other similarities between she and Esther Williams.  The classy hairstyle, the reddish/brown hair, and even her stature.  One word comes to mind: glamorous.  My maternal Grandmother's old photos also made her look like a Hollywood starlet.  It must have been wonderful living in that time period. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Furry Friday: Give a dog a bone


The things we do for our dog...

The other night Justin makes a pitstop at Agway to get a replacement bulb for our back  porch light.  He also, feeling "Christmasy," buys Riley a carrot squeak toy and Apache a funny little corn cob guy.  Feeling badly that he didn't have anything to give to Riley today, he found the perfect sized cow bone.  Normally we have a hard time finding the right sized bone for Riley because, well, Riley's a little guy but he's too aggressive for the small bones designed for dogs his size and the big bones are way out of his league.  

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Updated: Pantalones

The eighties were a time of parachute pants (the brighter the better), stretch denim, patterned leggings, cavaricci pants, and "pegged" jeans with slouch socks.  For those of you who are too young (or old) to recall "pegged" jeans, it involves an origami type skill to fold excess fabric tightly at the ankles with a hold that'll last all day.

The nineties was the introduction of wearing pants too large and too low (i.e. JNCO Jeans).  For males, it was popular to show off whatever boxers they were wearing that day and to talk "gangsta".  It was a straight take away from rappers in Hollywood who's pants were staying up by some miracle unknown to science and who's hats were never forward facing.  Think Eminem, Ice Cube, Outkast, etc.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Dear Karma


"Retribution is tricky. . . . The insult isn't usually worth the risk of punishment. And eventually one learns that karma has a surprising way of taking care of these situations. All you have to do is sit back and watch.”  ― Candace Bushnell

I agree with the above quote 100%, however I am of the millennial generation.  I want instant gratification.  I want results NOW.  I want Instant Karma.  None of this waiting around three days to six months to finally hear Karma in fact played it's card.  I want justice.  Someone call the Karma police, a few have escaped.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Icing on the cake



Back in February I put together some peanut butter inspired cupcakes for the hubby's birthday.  I incorporated a box of Girls Scouts Peanut Butter Dreams candies, a box of German Chocolate Cake, and a tub of vanilla butter cream frosting.  But it's what I added to the frosting that made it a huge hit.  Since February requests have come in for more of these little gems and no one believes they are so simple to make.  Being that I just made another batch (the Girl Scout candy/nut orders just came in), I figured I'd share my semi-homemade recipe with you:

Monday, December 12, 2011

Buried Alive

Recently making headlines was news of a woman being buried alive in a cardboard box by her fiance.  She managed to escape with the use of her diamond engagement ring (how ironic) after a half hour struggle upside down underground.  Her fiance states that he only meant to scare her and left the hand holds open on the box to enable her to breathe.  This is after he tasered her into submission, bound and gagged her, taped the box up, buried it and left her for dead.  But it was just a scare.  He sounds angelic, doesn't he? A real catch.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Furry Friday: Doxie Ornament

TGIF!  You know what that means.  A Riley Chance related post.  Every year around Christmas Justin and I scramble to find a new Dachshund calendar that at least has one photo in it representative of our breed of dachshund.  It's a hard feat since Riley is a reddish-brown wire-haired (I think the technical term for his coloring is wild boar) whereas the standard wire-haired looks more like a Scottish-Terrier with black and silver coloring.  We also scour the shelves for dachshund ornaments, again finding plenty of smooth coat  and long-haired dachshund renditions but no wire-haired. Well, yesterday our luck was about to change.  I arrived home to a package from my Aunt Cheryl.  She has really outdone herself this time.  A dachshund ornament that is "furry" like Riley with a red collar.  It's made of recycled wool which gives it a wire-haired appearance.  And it's "earth friendly."  Not too shabby!  As you can see I couldn't wait to get this guy on the tree!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Speedy What?

So last night I was perusing the twenty four odd channels we get through Time Warner and decided upon Lifetime Movie Network (LMN) because they were the only channel with anything Christmas related on.  What happened to ABC's Countdown to Christmas?  Anywho, while on LMN a commercial came on for the SpeediCath Compact.  Has anyone seen this commercial?  If anything warrants an out loud "What the f**k," it would be this commercial. 

First off, why is a young lady advertising for it?  Since when did your ureter close up after thirty?  If that's the case, someone should have forewarned me long before now.  I'm only about a year off from that milestone.  Secondly, I'm sure the last thing a catheter user is worried about is how it sizes up to a tube of lip gloss or mascara.  And lastly, why is their marketing team acting as if this is just as common as a tampon?  This is the first I've heard of portable catheters, whereas Kotex has been around forever.  Every woman pretty much 12 and over nowadays has that affliction in common. But a portable catheter?  I can't name one person I know who has this need.  I guess I didn't realize it became commonplace enough to advertise on national television, as opposed to the privacy of a doctor's office.  Thoughts?


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Merry CHRISTMAS

I guess it's a good time to broach this subject since we are officially past the first of December.  Even though we don't have any snow on the ground it's getting to be "that time of year" again where gift giving, family celebrations, Christmas tv specials, and other such niceties take place.  I love this time of year.  I love going to the first Christmas movie of the season, the first day of snow flurries, dinners via crockpot, evenings by the fireplace, decorating the house, tuning into a Christmas radio station, and of course hot chocolate.  It just makes everything seem special.

What's not special are advertisements by Best Buy marginalizing Santa Clause and groups opposed to Christmas renaming our Christmas Tree a "Holiday Tree."  Why is it that Catholics are forced to change and manipulate their holiday because someone else found it offensive? Hannukah isn't attacked quite like Christmas is. They aren't required to say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Happy Hannukah" and redefine their Manora as a mere candlestick. It's not requested that Muslims call Eid the end of starvation and their Quran a fat book. If they were asked to change anything it'd be documented in the NY Times as a hate crime and start a whole new Holy war. So why in a society that claims to value diversity and inclusion are we forcing Catholics to conform?  Since when did Christmas become a curse word?  What happened to freedom of religion?  

I would like to point out that I found it refreshing that while shopping in Walmart and Home Depot the word "Christmas" was clearly displayed and workers actually said "Merry Christmas" at check out.  Obviously I'm not saying that everyone should celebrate Christmas.  It is that time of year though, it'd be nice if it could be recognized for what it is and not what society reduces it to.  I personally like saying "Merry Christmas" and hearing it once in a while.  Who's with me?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Furry Friday: Mister Softy


There are two things as of lately that make it really hard to get up and go to work.  One, of course, would be the winter weather setting in.  All this cold, dark, dreariness makes me want to go into hibernation for the next six months.  The other thing would be Riley.  He is such a little cuddle bug lately.  If there's a microfiber blanket or a sueded duvet cover, count him in.  He could care less when I bought him the $60 cave bed, but a $25 microfiber throw for the couch has made his day.  We've had it for about two years now.  I didn't even buy it, I think it was a Christmas present.  It's gone through the wash about once every two weeks, acquired a small hole thanks to a Riley tooth, and yet it still manages to be the most sought after blanket in the house.  

I got to thinking about this and have realized that any time I need to find Riley I check all the soft spots in the house.  The couch (which is microfiber), on his dark blue dog blanket (microfiber), snuggled in the creme-colored microfiber throw, on the bed wrapped in the sueded duvet cover, or anywhere there are pillows.  I wonder if it's a "pack" thing.  As if the softness of some of these fabrics reminds him of snuggling with his siblings earlier in life. Of course, we'll never know unless he learns to speak.  So for now he's earned a new nickname: Mister Softy.

Do your pets have any favorite spots?  What do you think of the "pack" microfiber theory?




Thursday, December 1, 2011

Someone To Watch Over Me

This morning I should have been at a meeting in Albany for the Capital Region Human Resources Association.  I'd already preplanned to be there, mapquested my way as it was a new location, and for whatever reason when the alarm went off this morning I talked myself out of it.  I couldn't justify the amount of commute time that would keep me away from the office this morning.  For those who know me, the commute has never been an issue.  For over eighteen months I commuted more than 3 hours round trip just to get to work.  Some might call me a Road Warrior.  However, this morning was different and for that I am now thankful.  There was a fatal car accident on I-88 near Duanesburgh this morning around the exact time I would have been traveling through.  That mangled mess of metal could have been me.  Apparently someone upstairs still wants me here.  My condolences to the families of those involved.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

26 & Counting

Since 2009 the hubby and I have selfishly taken over the holiday of Thanksgiving.  I say selfishly because we host both sides of the family which means we don't have to bounce houses for once.  The first year two years we had 27 people.  This year we had 26 as my cousin Richie wasn't in attendance.  You are probably wondering how we pull off such a feat.  Well, we have a wonderful sunroom which converts very nicely into a long dining room.  We borrow tables and chairs from the local high school where my mom works and everyone brings a dish to pass and/or a dessert.  My sister-in-law and I take care of the turkey, the stuffing, and a couple sides that we can make on the stove top (since oven space is at a premium).  I will tell you the first two years were chaos.  Year one was just mainly because we had no idea what we were doing, our timing was off, and we over did it on food.  Year two would have been perfect except for the fact that the turkey took forever since it was still a tiny bit frozen inside.  This year was a piece of cake.  We had a 26 lb turkey and he was thawing in the fridge since the Thursday before the holiday.  This year I can especially count as a success because the left overs fit in one fridge.  The prior two years we had so much food left over that a majority of it ended up in fridge out in the garage, aka Jay's "man cave."   I guess it's like they say "third time's the charm."  

Every year seeing all of our family in one place makes me feel extremely blessed.  Usually one of the kids, either a cousin or a sibling of mine, will say the standard "Bless us oh lord" grace, however, this year my Grandfather came prepared.  He said such a beautifully touching prayer over the meal and followed it up with "and that was from Dear Abby" which of course had us all chuckling, but the prayer itself was awesome enough that I thought I'd share his version on here:

Dear heavenly Father:

We thank you for the food we are about to enjoy here today and 
we ask you to help us to remember the hungry.

We thank you for our health and ask that you help us to remember the sick.

We thank you for our family and friends here with us tonight and 
ask that you help us to remember those who are without.

We thank your for our freedoms and ask that you help 
us to remember those who are oppressed.

For all these blessings we are thankful in Jesus name, Amen.




Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Parking

I'm going to let you in on a little pet peeve of mine.  If you have off-street parking available to you, USE IT.  It bugs me to no end to drive down cramped side streets to get to work and see that you have a 30 foot driveway but you are parked on the street in the way of oncoming traffic.  How many times does someone have to clip your mirror before you decide it's a good idea to use the driveway?  Does your driving-in-reverse skills suck that bad?  Or are you that lazy that when you finally get off your duff to go to work you merely have to turn the key and put it in drive since you are already in traffic?  Well, you have been warned.  I'm going to print a bunch of these buggers up one day...


Monday, November 21, 2011

FEMA Housing


As many of you are aware, Upstate NY got slammed in September by two storms causing much of some counties (i.e. Schoharie) to call for aid from FEMA.  Over the past month or so, probably close to sixty or more FEMA houses have found their way to a lot within a mile of my house, however that is where they have stayed.  Empty.  It makes me wonder how much help these houses are offering for those who have been without homes since the storms occurred in September.  We're already midway through November.  What's gives?

In talking with a coworker who has friends awaiting housing, she indicated that many cannot afford to take on a FEMA house due to the inability to pay for septic, water, and electric hook ups.  Not to mention that these units are "rentable."  So even though your house was destroyed and you probably still have to pay a mortgage on it, now you are faced with the costs of renting a unit from FEMA and paying to have septic, water and electric hooked up?  I don't know as though this makes any sense to me.  Sounds like just another way for the government to make a buck off those who don't have fifty cents to give.  Keep in mind however, that I am merely reiterating what I've heard.  I don't know how this process works for sure.


Is anybody else familiar with this process?  Good, bad, indifferent?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hit and Run - Middletown NY/Slate Hill area

I normally don't post on the weekends but I am hoping to engage readers to help assist police in apprehending a hit and run driver.

My sister Jessie was hit last night by a presumably drunk/high driver on her way home from clinicals last night. 

A young blonde woman driving a four-door silver car hit Jessie in the rear end three times while driving on Kirbytown Road between Waywayanda and Mount Orange. While on the phone with 911 Jessie got out to get the license plate number and the woman ran her over and took Jessie's driver door with her.
Jessie is banged up, but ok.  She is having some trouble walking. Nothing broken bone-wise but her right knee is not cooperating.  There may be ligaments damaged.

If you have any information you are urged to call police.  If you reside in the Middletown/Slate Hill area, please be on the lookout for the vehicle and alert police should you spot it.

Thank you!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Furry Friday: Chatty Cathy


It's been a while since I've written a Furry Friday post.  As wonderful as my dog is, I've found it difficult to come up with new and exciting things to say about him (gasp!)  He does so many cute and quirky things throughout the week, but come Friday I have a writers block.  I really need to start writing things down when they happen and then Friday's posts will be much better prepared. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Subway

Back in the day I ate a lot of subway at college.  I did not get famous like Jared, but I can tell you that I did grow tired of it.  All I ate was a chicken bacon ranch wrap or a club salad (yes, when I went to college they made salads) and it became very monotonous and boring.  However, it was the best option I had. The dining hall sucked.  I only went there for cereal, bagels, waffles, and more salad.  Then there was the Terrace where you could get popcorn chicken, chicken quesadillas, or enough grilled cheese to ensure you were entirely constipated.  So, Subway it was.  It took me quite a few years after college before I could bring myself to order at Subway again.  I've recently gone back and had my chicken bacon ranch on a 6" italian herb and cheese sub.  It was refreshing.

Last night I'd seen a Subway commercial and even though I'd seen it before it has now made it into my "Favorite Commercial" hall of fame.  I love a good laugh now and then, don't you?  Makes me want to go to Subway now.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Insanity

The Duggars are expecting their 20th child.  That is pure insanity to me.  According to Babycenter.com the average cost of center-based daycare in the United States is $11666 per year ($972 a month) per child.  Aside from getting a television show to help pay their bills, how else would a family handle the astronomical costs of such a brood??  Notice how I didn't say a typical, normal, or average family since none of these terms captures the Duggars for what they are.  Average they most certainly are not.

I read an article not too long ago, I think when they had their last child, about how their children have to schedule meetings with their parents in order to get any one-on-one time.  I also read that their household is basically children raising children.  I can believe it and in all honesty, that saddens me.  What is the purpose of having so many children if you have to schedule meetings with them for them to feel loved?  The concept seems wrong to me.  Obviously they have something in common with Kim Kardashian's wedding fiasco - they're doing it for the attention, the television show, and the money.

I also have to wonder if they need their heads examined.  Are they sex-addicts like Tiger Woods?  Are they religious extremists who don't believe in birth control?  Is she a pregnancy-hormone junkie? Are they attempting to start their own Baby Boomer generation and take over the world?  Whatever their reasons, I think they took "go forth and be fruitful" a little too literally. 

The thought of popping out one child scares the hell out of me.  How can someone subject their body to this process twenty times??  I imagine her feminine organs must be extremely tired by now, not to mention the other stresses pregnancy puts on all the other organs in the body.  Geez... I'd like to see Dr. Oz do a show on the detriments of multiple births to a woman's body.  It's got me curious.

Any thoughts on the Duggars?  C'mon, don't be shy.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Chxn Pox

I can remember the very week that I developed chicken pox.  The uncomfortable blisters began exposing themselves on the long car ride to my grandparents in Upstate New York.  By the end of that mini-vacation, I had blisters so bad they were even present on the roof of my mouth.  Pleasant, right?  Fortunately I was old enough to semi-control my scratching because I understood that permanent scarring could result.  My sister Jessie, five years my junior, had them within the next few weeks after having been exposed to me. Scarring was a little harder to contain with her, but Mom did her best.  Which brings me to an article I read today about parents going so far as to order used lollipops from children supposedly infected with chicken pox.

I know my mom was a little concerned that the older I got, the less likely I was going to have chicken pox and apparently it's better to have them while your younger... blah-blah-blah.  She did try to expose us to neighbors' kids who may or may not have been contagious at the time.  However, I don't believe my mother would have ever stooped so far as to order used lollipops.  I don't believe any mother in their right mind for that matter would either.  

First off, chicken pox are only contagious when they aren't visible.  So good luck having your kid suck on that lollipop so you can sell it on ebay.  If the spots are already present, it's run it's course.  Secondly, the internet is a criminal's playground.  "Here little kid, want some candy?"  God only knows what was present on that lollipop before you stuck it in your kids mouth. 

It never ceases to amaze me what this world is coming to!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

SNOW!


Ah, the joys of living in Upstate New York.  It wasn't even Halloween yet and already we had a few inches of snow come down.  In a way it's depressing that I already have my heat turned on at home.  And, of course I wasn't ready for any of that white stuff to be flying around.  I had to have my snow tires put on this weekend.  And do you remember that tree we had taken down only a few weeks ago?  Yeah, that puppy still needed to be split into firewood sized pieces and stacked.  For those of you who don't know me, manual labor is probably my least favorite part of home-ownership.  Yeah, I'm a whiny baby  and I'm okay with it.  My arms (mostly in the forearm area) and my lower back are still protesting today from the splitting and stacking that needed to occur before the snow fell.  Not to mention I hadn't yet swapped out my summer clothes for my winter clothes so this was a must seeing as how I only had a few sweatshirts in my drawers.  Side note: for those of you who do not have to swap clothing out by season, let me explain. We own a 1950's Cape Cod so our closet sizes  unfortunately make this a necessary chore. 

Aside from the nuances of getting ready for winter, I can say that I enjoy the snow moreso now that we have a snowmobile.  The last two winters have resulted in a decent amount of snow and we've made the most of vacation days and weekends to get out and about in it.  Last year we went as far as Utica, which is quite a ways from us by car so you can imagine how long of a day it was via snowmobile.  The great thing about getting out and snowmobiling are all the little bar/pubs along the trails.  There are some real gems that we look forward to stopping at along the way.  The Pleasant Brook Hotel, for instance, has the best honey-mustard wings.  The Red Barn in Summit has awesome texas style bbq, and Jack's has a humongous burger and sweet potato fries.  All relatively cheap, but equally delicious.  The only downside is snowmobile season does not open until December.  So you can imagine my dismay with snow in October and November.

Do you partake in any seasonal sports?  Do you snowmobile?  Any little places you recommend?


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Beer & Teddy Bears

In keeping with tradition, the Krueger side of the family planned a fall pilgrimage to a remote location roughly four hours from home.  Last year we'd decided to imbibe at a few wineries in Western NY.  This year we'd decided to do a brewery tour in Burlington, VT.  The tour included the Vermont Pub & Brewery, American Flatbread/Zero-Gravity Brewery, Switchback Brewing Company, and the ever famous Magic Hat.  I would strongly recommend utilizing a touring service such as Burlington Brew Tours.  It's a good time and a good excuse to start drinking before noon.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Due to the ruralness of our home location, we do not get trick-or-treaters at our door.  So every year instead of staying in to hand out goodies, we go out to adult Halloween parties.  Last year we were Mr. & Mrs. Freddy Krueger.  I know, how unique with the last name of Krueger dressing up as The Kruegers.  It didn't win us any prizes, but we definitely looked good.

This year we ran into a little bit of a pickle.  The last few weekends were jam packed which left us little time to go to the store.  Instead I ordered Admiral/Sexy Admiral couples costumes online from Party City to save time.  Well, let's just say that their costume sizes are all over the place.  I ordered a medium and couldn't zip it up.  My husband's was a "one-size" costume which was more like a 2x.  Needless to say we had to return both and brave the stores the Friday night before Halloween weekend.  I can tell you this experience was almost unbearable.  First off, Party City stores don't take online orders as returns unless they are "corporate owned" (translate that as "a bunch of BS").  Aggravating.  Then we store hopped to find another set of couples costumes which actually fit.  Fortunately there are three costume stores in the Capital District.  Even though each were jam-packed and picked-through, we survived and came out with two decent Greek costumes so we could party it up on Saturday night.  This year we were invited to a friend of a friend's house and had a great time despite the snowfall in Upstate NY.  Next year I'll have to be proactive, maybe even host our own costume party.  Well...we'll see.  Sounds a little ambitious.


What are your plans for Halloween?  Do you do anything special?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Furry Friday: Ho Ho Ho

It's that time of year again that I start making a list of what to get folks for Christmas, my dog included.  Year to year I try to think of something creative for him.  Last year we bought him the Cave Bed, although I can count on one hand how many times he's actually used it.   One other year we bought him a Columbia jacket, which we really have gotten a lot of use out of (hello upstate NY snow!)  Of course we buy him toys too, but it gets harder each year to buy him something he doesn't already have.  Yes, he is spoiled.  And yes he is a dog, so as long as it squeaks he probably won't care what the heck I get him, but you know he is my fur baby.

On more than one occasion I have commented on how smart my dog is.  He is especially witty with his Kong treats (for those of you who don't know, these are tough toys that usually challenge your pet).  He has pretty much figured out how to get the bones out every time.  On more than one occasion he has climbed to the back of the couch with his Kong and dropped it so that the bone would fall out.  It's quite comical.  So this year, I think I will try to get him more items that test his skills.  Doctors Foster and Smith have a lot of toys that fit this category.   I think I'm going to get him the IQ Ball which will make him work for the treats.

As for the "boring" item which he'll care less about, he's getting a dental kit.  Nothing says "I love you" quite like a dental kit, but hey - dental health is important in little dogs.  I don't want him to have to undergo anesthesia to have the veterinarian do it, nor do I want him to have to have teeth pulled due to infection or decay.  He is getting older and as the years go by his chances of having to have a tooth pulled increase exponentially.  I'm just not so sure how good he'll be about having me brush his teeth, but he'll have to get over it.

Do any other pet parents out there brush their dog's teeth?  Any tips or tricks?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tequila

When you hear "Tequila" what comes to mind?  A gold colored liquor?  Mexico perhaps?  At any time did it cross you mind that this was a great name for a child?  Probably not.  While I was driving into work I caught a snippet on the radio about a local woman by name of Tequila who was upon charges for an exorbitant amount of cocaine in her possession.  My first thought was with a name like Tequila, it's no wonder she's in trouble.  I know, I know... I really shouldn't judge someone by their name, but  in all honesty I do think her parents did her a disservice by pegging that name on her.  I mean, really, what parent in their right mind would think to name their child after a very potent alcohol? 

Let's discuss what other names could set children up for failure, shall we?  I played around on google and here are some odd ones I found:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Craigs List

You'll be happy to hear that the Bottom-Feeder is no longer a headache of ours.  I finally convinced the hubby to unload the money-pit and use whatever money we get from it towards a household project or a down payment on a second snowmobile.  Less than a month ago we'd posted an advertisement with a few photos on Craigs List and were surprised at how many calls and emails we'd received (some were even from out of state!)


We'd never utilized Craigs List before and actually opted for this service first (since it was free) before moving on to a paid service such as the Want Ad Digest.  Fortunately no rendezvous with any Craigs List killers took place and a successful sale was made.  I can now attest to the saying that the two happiest days of a boat owner's life are the day you buy the boat and the day you sell it.  I'd even go so far as to say that the latter of the two is even happier.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Self Sufficient

Every day my husband and I become a little more self-sufficient.  Home-ownership, in all its glory, hasn't exactly been easy for two twenty year olds who have no prior background in home improvement projects.  Since we've bought the house we have become quite adept at wallpaper removal, painting and trim work, texturing ceilings, building mail boxes, installing sump pumps, and switching out electrical outlets.  We've dabbled in some light gardening, both flowers and vegetables, but haven't really enjoyed the weeding and upkeep. This weekend we have entered the uncharted territory of tree removal.

When we'd moved in there was a beautiful Elm tree next to the house.  Unfortunately since we've moved in, it decided to die.  With the last few storms we've had and the sorts of winters upstate NY goes through, we opted to take it down prior to it taking out a portion of our roof.  A friend of my sister's offered to assist us in the removal as it's sort of his thing, and Saturday was slotted as doom's day for Mr. Elm.  Well, this tree didn't want to go out without a fight and decided to bend a few gutter clips on the way down.  I guess it could have gone worse, but now we'll have to add "mending gutters" to our repertoire of skills.   Justin purchased a chainsaw (insert manly grunt here) and together we managed to dismember the tree into firewood and dispose of the less useful branches in a matter of a few hours.  

As sore as I am today, it does feel good to look back on one more household item we've managed to tackle successfully.  Now to get the guts to demolish and reassemble the upstairs bathroom on our own.

Do you have any successful (or unsuccessful) home-ownership stories to share?  Any tips or tricks for do-it-yourself bathroom restorations?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Midnight Train to Georgia

I hope you all had an excellent holiday weekend.  Mine was jam packed with multiple personalities, train stations, emergency rooms, four hour delays, and a wedding.  Sounds like a movie (Four Weddings and a Funeral) but sadly this is just my life.

Friday
6:55am -  my family and I board a train to Georgia for my cousin's wedding.  So far, so good.  No hiccups.  We have a two hour layover in Penn Station where we have Tim Horton's for breakfast and the kids get to experience the hustle and bustle of New York City.  Our train is on-time and we all find seats around each other and settle in for the long ride.  Somewhere around Virginia we pick up Creepy McCreepo who is high as a kite and carries a duffle full of vending machine items.  He tries multiple times to pass off candy and other goods from his bag to my nine year old sister, each time with us politely declining.  Sometime after dinner the train stops briefly to allow another train to pass.  McCreepo gets into a heated argument with one of the train attendants about needing a smoke.  Because we were not at a platform he was not permitted to leave the train and was told if he couldn't behave himself he would be ejected at the next stop (one could only hope...)  He proceeds to kick the door and mumbles obscenities and such directed at the attendant who has since left the car.  And it only gets worse.  Come 9pm it's as if a switch has flipped and he now has a direct channel to Satan.  He is having obscenity laced arguments with himself, turrets-like outbursts, grunting, and seemingly uncontrollable jitters in his arms and legs.  He proceeds to tell me my sister is his "buddy" and "she's in trouble".  Needless to say, I don't get to sleep the entire ride for fear he'll try something on one of us.  Instead I proceed to read "The Help" with one hand in my purse on a bottle of mase.

Saturday
6:55am - we detrain in Jacksonville, FL.  My Uncle is already waiting for us and takes us to the hotel  in Kingsland GA which has agreed to check us in early free of charge.  We all cycle through showers, iron the wrinkles out of our packed dress attire, and then head to Cracker Barrel for brunch.  The wedding is at two o'clock and goes off with out a hitch.  Shannon and Joel are husband and wife in less than an hour's time and every one heads to the reception hall which is beautifully decorated.  After all is said and done, the family decides to meet at a local bar/restaurant afterward to continue the party.  Unfortunately my Grandmother takes a spill off the median in the parking lot and spends the next four hours in the ER (side note: she is fine aside from some bumps and bruises and a split lip).  The Bride and Groom, of all people, end up driving her there because she refused an ambulance.  I must say, Joel (the groom) is a really good kid.  In the moments following Grandma's slip up he managed to grab napkins for the blood and draped sweaters over each of our shoulders to keep the chill off.  He's really too nice for our family. 

Sunday
After sleeping off the excitement from the day before, we check out of the hotel and chillax at my Uncle's house until it's time to head to the train station for the return trip.  Our train is scheduled to leave at 5:00pm and arrive in Albany no later than 3:30pm Monday which happens to be my two year wedding anniversary.  Well, we end up delayed 4.5 hours in the Jacksonville train station due to a fatality on the tracks.  The girls keep occupied playing skip-bo and other assorted card games that they packed.  The train does not pull out of Jacksonville until 9:30pm.  Fortunately there were no creepy passengers keeping us awake for this leg of the trip.  Upon arriving in Penn Station I quickly exchange out our tickets since we've long since missed the connection we were scheduled for.  The only train they can get us on for the return trip to Albany is the 3:15pm, so we hustle to find our gate and are excited to be only 2.5 hours away from home.  However, between Hudson and the Albany station we are stopped again for 1.5 hours due to an "obstruction" on the tracks (lord help me if another body is found on the tracks...)  We don't arrive in Albany until 7:30pm and meet my husband for a less than romantic (although delicious) pizza dinner by 8:30pm. Justin surprised me with flowers which provided a nice ending to an otherwise miserable day of traveling.  I must say, it was nice to finally be home with my boys.

How was your Holiday weekend?  Do you have any horrible travel stories to share?  Misery loves company...

Friday, October 7, 2011

Furry Friday: Well Traveled

I have reported before that Riley loves the occasional car ride.  He has a harness that works with the seat belt system and a travel duffel with mesh ends for breathability.  Unfortunately Riley is such a well traveled dog that his travel duffel has worn out over the past four years. The zipper along its bottom likes to unzip itself which could be problematic in the event that we are carrying Riley in it.  Truth be told, Riley may in fact be a little heavy for the duffel. He has come a long way from his 5lb puppy days. 

In deciding upon the purchase of a new travel bag for the Rye-guy a few things were quite important (especially since these things are not cheap): durability, construction, intended uses, comfort, and airline acceptance.  We went with the IGo2 Traveler because its base is solidly constructed (no zipper to come undone), it doubles as a carseat and/or backpack, it has expandable sides, it also has wheels and a telescoping handle much like luggage nowadays.  It's also accepted by most US airlines, a plus if we ever decide to fly with him.

I was a little nervous that he would not go in it because its slightly different than his duffel, but he's a smart little guy.  It didn't phase him one bit. He did have a slight challenge hopping enough to clear his back legs (remember he is a dacshund with 3 inch legs after all) but a few practice tries and he is now a pro.  I love this little guy.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Right, Wrong or Indifferent

I was reading "My Way is the Right Way" over at On the Edge, a Times Union blog kept by Kristi Gustafson Barlette.  I must say I was intrigued by the topic.  Kristi is newly married and sorting out nuances with the husband (i.e. which way the toilet paper goes).  It got me thinking of things Justin and I do differently and whether these things are right, wrong, or indifferent they can be frustrating at times.  

Toilet Paper.  I believe the roll should be installed so that the paper pulls from the top ("over") and Justin couldn't really care which way it rolls as long as their is toilet paper available when he needs it.  This have never been a heated item of contention in our household.  On the rare occasion the paper is installed wrong, I simply turn it back the right way. 

Socks & Undies.  My husband folds neither of these items and yet he insists on doing the laundry in our house.  I affectionately call him the Laundry Nazi because once he learned how to use the machines, he finds every excuse possible to run a load of laundry.  I'm one of those folks who folds the socks over and tucks them into one another, he leaves them loose which makes for a messy drawer.  He does put his laundry away though, so that's a plus.  Now if only he could slow down on the laundry cycle so I had less of my own to put away...

Cooking & Cleaning.  My husband and I have two different styles for each of these.  Justin likes to cook everything on high which doesn't always work out too well.  Justin also waits to clean up until after the meal.  I'm a fuss pot who puts everything away whilst I'm cooking.  When it comes to cleaning house, similar to his cooking style he does everything as quickly as possible, not necessarily as thorough as possible.  But he does help keep a tidy house, so I take what I can get.  I'm in charge of cleaning the bathroom and he helps with the floors and dusting.  It's a good trade off.

How to Make a Bed.  I was always one of those people who had to have the perfectly tucked sheets.  Justin would rather they not be. We have compromised and only the end gets tucked, the sides are left wide open.  I have converted to the comfortableness of loose sheets.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

TV Time

We all know that Superbowl Sunday is known for its awesome commercials.  Yes, I am aware there is a football game involved as well, but I today I want to focus on commercials.  I want to commend advertisers on stepping up their game to provide entertaining commercials year round and not just on Superbowl Sunday.  There have been some real laugh-out-loud ones that I dare say may be my favorite commercials of all time.

Allstate's Mayhem Series.  OMG.  Not only do I think Dean Winters is easy on the eyes, but these commercials are downright funny.  My favorite would have to be the one where he plays a raccoon.  "I've already had like four babies" - that line gets me every time. 


E*Trade's Baby Commercials.  I love the commercial where he's put in time out and sarcastically asks the dog for a warning bark. 


Geico's Rhetorical Question ads.  The best one yet I think is the "Do Woodchucks Really Chuck Wood?"  It cracks me up when the old man yells out "hey you wood chucks, stop chucking my wood!"


There are also commercials that just plain creep me out.  Burger King's "Big King" ads, which thank God have been discontinued, seriously gave me nightmares.  The newest ad that creeps me out is Toyota's People Person ad about their Prius.  It contains a bunch of contortionists hanging on to each other awkwardly to make up this huge creepy person.  I just get the heeby-jeebies watching it.



Let's share some laughs.  What are your favorite commercials and are there any you can't stand?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Dear Reuben

I was reading online early this morning and happened across two articles that peaked my interest.  The first was entitled "The One and Only Reason" citing that sauerkraut was the only thing keeping the writer's husband from trying a Reuben sandwich.  The second article was called "5 Lessons Learned from 18 Years of Marriage" (title is self explanatory.)  I've decided to write my own article called "Dear Reuben" to describe how marriage is like that of a Reuben sandwich.  Reuben's made with pumpernickel bread, btw, are my absolute favorite sandwich.

Much like a sandwich, every marriage is in need of a strong foundation.  The perfect foundation for a Reuben sandwich is buttered pumpernickel bread placed butter side down in a frying pan.  The perfect foundation for a marriage varies by couple.  Family values, respect, trust, and honesty are pretty standard "foundation" items. 

Then you add in a bunch of other ingredients that make the sandwich what it's worth.  With a Reuben you add swiss cheese and let it get all melty; this is like the glue of the relationship.  Attraction, love, whatever works for you fits here as the "glue."  Then of course there's the meat and potatoes of the Reuben sandwich which are the sauerkraut and corned beef.  Communication, humor, common interests are the meat and potatoes in a marriage.  These are the things get you through day in and day out.  

And lastly, there's the dressing.  The silver lining.  The icing on the cake.  The romance.  Any proper Reuben sandwich is equipped with either russian dressing or, my personal favorite, thousand island.  When your significant other goes out of their way to do something nice, take you to a dinner or show, or even just help out around the house this can count as the "dressing."  It makes it all worth it, breaks up the monotony and makes you feel all warm and fuzzy.  I myself prefer my sandwich to have extra dressing. 


Monday, October 3, 2011

Ketchup

Today's title is a bit of a play on phonetics charades style.  One word, sounds like... you guessed it:  Catch Up.  Get it?  Ketchup = Catch up...

Anywho, this weekend was jam packed full of good things: friends, food, shoes and snowmobiles.  Not necessarily in that order but it sounded better that way.  Friday night the hubby and I had an excellent dinner out at the Reel Seafood Company.  We'd never been before and even without a reservation we had  absolutely no wait.  Unheard of in Albany, NY!  We should have bought a lotto ticket.  We enjoyed some fresh bread, adult beverages, fried calamari, stuffed shrimp and Alaskan Chicken (crab meat in a cheesy white garlic sauce over chicken). Delicious.  A little pricey though, so this will have to be something we do sparingly.

Saturday was the Big East Powersports Show in Syracuse, NY.  We went with friends of ours who share our affinity for snowmobiling.  This event features vendors from across the US who bring a butt-load of product with them at deeply discounted prices.  Deeply discounted must mean "jam packed convention center" in another language so I had to pretend not to be claustrophobic long enough to buy stuff.  I'm a bargain shopper and let me tell you...I was successful.  I got an entire outfit (Jacket and bibs) for $179.  Jackets alone normally retail over $300.  I also found Itasca snowmobile boots for $49.  At one point, though, I was trying on a modular helmet (since my current helmet is a hand-me-down that fogs up terrible) and was bumped from behind causing the face shield to slam down on the bridge of my nose.  I could have cried but I reminded myself this would all be worth it since we were going to Delmonico's for dinner afterward.  Delmonico's features their very own "Delmonico's Steak" which is a 24 ounce center cut seasoned angus rib-eye steak. This of course was the entree I ordered and subsequently ate the other half of for lunch today.

Sunday was a day of shoe shopping with my mom and sisters.  We have an upcoming wedding to look spiffy for, so we headed out to one of the malls closest to my house.  A new store had opened called Shoe Dept. Encore.  This store is like heaven for shoe addicts.  An entire room dedicated to clearance.  A tv and chairs over by the kid section.  Rows and rows of beautifully organized name-brand shoes with bargain prices.  Plenty of space so that you didn't feel overcrowded by other shoppers.  Plus the store was cooler on the temperature side of things, so that made it all that much better to shop there.  I despise shopping in a hot over-crowded store.  It makes me grumpy.  At the Shoe Dept Encore, I was far from grumpy.  I had more shoe selection than I could have asked for.  I probably tried on ten or so shoes that all could have been contenders for my dress.  I ended up with the black shoe pictured.

What did you do this weekend?  How do you feel about crowds?

Friday, September 30, 2011

Furry Friday: Riding Shotgun

Among the many great things about Riley, his ability to take long car rides is certainly something Justin and I count ourselves as lucky for.  When we first got him, we had a 3+ hour ride home from New Hampshire which he took like a champ.  He rode, or rather slept, the entire ride on my lap.  Riley never gets car sick. The worst he does is leave a few nose prints on the windows which is par for the course.

Because we lived in Albany when we first got Riley, many of our weekends and holidays were spent traveling in the car to see family.  Our little Rye-guy was completely unphased by this.  In fact he gets very excited to go for a car ride.  When we start packing up a bag for a weekend trip or even just a few essentials for a dinner over at my parents, he gets so antsy.  He just can't wait to get outside and make a dash for the passenger side door of the car.  

Recently I purchased a safety harness from Agway so that he can ride solo.  Normally he rides on my lap, however, on the rare occasion that just he and I are traveling together it's much safer for him not to be in my lap.  It was a bit of an adjustment for him.  He couldn't decide if he wanted to sit or lay down, but eventually he settled in for the long-haul. Fortunately he's light weight enough that he doesn't trigger the air bag to be on.    So all in all, it ends up being a win-win. 

Do you take your pets for car-rides?  What type of safety gear do you use?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Everyone's a Photographer


I love technology.  Love it.  I love it more so when it all comes packaged in a neat little bundle like my HTC smart phone.  Gone are the days when you need to remember to bring anything more than your phone in order to take pictures.  On vacation but you forgot that clumsy film-eating Kodak of yours?  What's that - you forgot your digital Coolpix?  No problem.  HTC to the rescue with an 8 mega pixel camera equipped with zoom, a flash, and other editing software built in for on the spot perfection.  Just about any cell phone nowadays has some form of camera and photo "effects" options.

Not only do I love sweet little bundles of technology for taking photographs, I love "FREE" web-based photo editing software.  There are so many online resources available that I almost feel compelled to edit every photo I take because a.) if you can, why not? and b.) it's just plain fun.  For a while my go to site was Picnik, but after a while it got a little boring to use only the free bits.  And then of course there's Picasa by Google which works hand in hand with Picnik.  But recently I've reconnected with my old Photobucket because they've kicked it up a notch.  Photobucket was someplace I used strictly for html codes for my photos so I could embed them on myspace (remember myspace?), but now I can do so much more.  Like that "touch of color" effect, but with more specificity than Picnik ever dreamed. 

On one hand it's kind of sad that the art of photography is now something anyone aged six to sixty can achieve with the touch of a button on a cell phone, but on the other hand I see it as a challenge for the true photographers out there to make their photos that much more breathtaking.  I'll be honest, with how much I can do online at Picnik or Photobucket, it's certainly raised the bar for that of any photographer I'll be hiring (and I'm only an amateur). 

What photo editing sites do you use? Am I missing out on any gems out there?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cupcakes - AA Style

Source


To me a cupcake represents a little slice of heaven, sure to spike the sugar levels in my body and pump me full of feel good serotonin and dopamine.  I'm sure somewhere someone scientific has documented that looking at a picture of a cupcake, such as the one above, causes the release of feel good chemicals in your brain.  (You're welcome, by the way, for the photo and subsequent feel good chemicals.) On a non-scientific note my father insists we actually have two stomachs, one of which is specifically designated for dessert, hence why there is always room for dessert.  Now, with all that in mind, when has a cupcake ever been anything more than a delicious little bundle of love?  I'll tell you:  when students at Berkeley College use them as an Affirmative Action example.  

Monday, September 26, 2011

Time Warner Sucks

Ever since Irene and the subsequent "tropical storm" which followed, Time Warner's service at our house sucks.  It started with very slow transition channel to channel, sometimes sitting on a black screen for a while and then whatever show was on would reappear.  We seriously thought something was going on with our television.  However, then we would flip on our digital streaming through Netflix and the internet connection would drop out sporadically.  The same would happen with our laptop.  One minute all the modem lights would be on and then the next minute they'd be blinking like a Christmas tree.  I'm not sure what's going on with Time Warner's service, but it better resolve itself and fast.

For what we pay per month for Time Warner service, it seriously has me thinking of switching to another provider.  But who?  Time Warner seems to have a monarchy on services where we live.  I could go to a satellite, but then I lose out on local news/weather channels.  Internet selection is very limited as well... Hughes Net advertises a lot, as does Verizon's DSL, but I don't know anyone using these items with much success.  I had my own run in with DSL back in Albany.  I was being billed for a service they never came to install, a service I was never able to use/activate.  Then I got the 3-month run around from their rude customer service reps.  Seriously, it took them 3 months to figure out that a.) the service was never installed and b.) I should be reimbursed. Rediculous.

So, what to do?  Any suggestions?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Furry Friday: Sleepy Boy

With the onset of Fall, I can honestly say I myself have been sleepier than usual.  Getting up when it's dark out to get ready for work is a total bummer.  By the time I get home and sit down to dinner, it's dark out.  Pretty soon it'll be back to the old routine of driving into work in the dark and driving home from work in the dark.  The days will be severely shortened and I'll start to feel like Al Pacino's character in Insomnia.  Well, maybe not that tired because I am not subjected to the six months of darkness that Alaska experiences, but you get my drift.

There is someone else in our household who is much sleepier lately.  Riley is just about to go into all out hibernation mode here.  It's colder and darker now which means all he wants to do is snuggle and sleep.  It makes it especially hard for me to leave him in the mornings because, likewise, all I want to do is snuggle and sleep.  And he's so cute at it, just look at my sleepy boy:


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ch-ch-changes

Lots of changes going on this week with things near and dear to my heart.  Now don't go asking if I'm expecting or anything like that.  I'm talking about Netflix and Facebook.  These are items I utilize almost daily and apparently they've been shaking some things up.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Got any recipes?

Last week the hubby and I had a hankering for Chinese food and dug out a recipe my Aunt Michele had shared for Lo Mein.  We also picked up some assorted sushi rolls from Price Chopper.  Although not true sushi (all cooked California style rolls) they were delicious none the less.  In order to make the Lo Mein, I had to pick up Tamara Sauce (a dark soy sauce) and Hoisin Sauce.  The recipe only utilizes 3 TBSP of each, so I am looking for more recipes to use up both these items.  If you have any please share and I will do the same by posting the Lo Mein recipe, courtesy of Aunt Michele, here:

Ingredients

Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons Hoisin sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Tamara sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce

Lo Mein:

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • Salt / pepper to taste
  • 4tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 3 chicken breasts cut into strips (can substitute Pork, Beef, Shrimp, etc)
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped (I used minced)
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper sliced into strips

Directions

  • Mix together sauce ingredients and reserve.
  • Bring pasta water to a boil, salt water and cook spaghetti as per box instructions.
  • While pasta cooks, heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in nonstick skillet over high heat. When oil ripples, add beaten eggs and scramble them.  Remove and reserve.
  • Season the meat with salt and pepper. Heat the remaining vegetable oil then add meat and stir-fry 4 minutes.  
  • Push meat to the side and add garlic, red pepper, and mushrooms. Stir-fry 2 minutes, then drain.
  • Combine all ingredients (pasta, veggies, eggs, chicken) in the pot used for spaghetti. Pour sauce over all and toss to combine.    
ENJOY!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Monday Night

Monday night may be the best night on CBS.  Last night I watched "How I Met Your Mother" and "Two and a Half Men" and my night was complete.  I never really got into "How I Met Your Mother" before, but I am digging the mystery behind the narration of the show and in trying to figure out who ends up with who as per the title of the show. I think Mondays may become the night where I watch CBS in the bedroom while Jay watches football in the living room, but I am okay with that.  Isn't marriage all about give and take?  



Anywho, on to the real purpose of this post:  Two and a Half Men.  I must say I was surprised that Ashton's character wasn't some long lost son of Charlie's.  I was equally surprised at how the producers of the show literally killed Charlie off.  It wasn't enough to just have a funeral... no.  They had to drag his character through the mud as a penniless STD ridden drug addict.  I did have a hunch Rose had something to do with it though.  I figured they'd make his character run off with her, but I didn't foresee her character pushing him in front of a metro train.  I must say that I did find Ashton's introduction to the show a little cheesy (flung himself into the ocean for love, happens upon Charlie's house, sleeps with two women in the same night, and apparently he's a billionaire who can save the day by buying the house.)  Cheesy or not, I will probably continue to watch the show.  Mostly in hopes that Ashton will cut his hair.  I'm not digging the Jesus Christ Superstar look.



Did you watch Two and a Half Men?  What did you think?  What are some of the other shows you are a fan of?