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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bathroom Cleaning Tip

All right, all right ....Alisa politely inquired (see comment in Catch-Up Week) about the whereabouts of the promised "Who is ...?" post that was supposed to be posted last night.  Answer: Well it's ready except I've somehow LOST all the pictures of the "Who is ...?" subject!  And this particular "Who is ...?" really requires A LOT of pictures because he (clue) is SO CUTE (tantalizing teaser clue). 

Several weeks ago in preparation for this post, I asked Thing One (for new readers Thing One is my oldest son who goes to school at Virginia Tech) and Thing Two (sixteen year-old head-banger son at home) to email me their pictures of "Who is ...?" because they have some really good pic's taken of him with their phone-cameras.  They both dutifully complied.  And now I can't find them even though whenever I clean out my Email inbox (which is only every 2 months or so, but which I did 2 days ago), I always (very clever) leave all old Emails in the deleted folder in case I need to retrieve one later.  So all deleted items sit there for 2 months until the next big clean-out.  Fool proof!

Apparently not because the pictures from both boys are nowhere to be found.  So am now waiting for both Things to send them again .....heh, heh.  Can't nag about it too much either.  One Thing is in class in Blacksburg right now and the other Thing is in class in Chesapeake right now (both claimed to be studying last night)  ....really?? (eye's squinting in disbelief

Sigh.  Can't stand self-incompetence or I'm-busy-studying deception!


In the meantime, Alisa asked me if I have any bathroom cleaning tips since I announced yesterday I was zipping off to scrub toilets & things.  I thought, Me?  Cleaning tip?? No ..... but then I thought, Yes!!! I DO have a cleaning tip!

This may not be terribly original, but if you don't happen to use Mr. Clean's Magic Eraser® already, you're seriously missing out on the best thing to remove soap scum in history.  NOTHING removes soap scum except this baby.  And you must buy the "Extra Power" with the ridges:

Don't mess around with any other Magic Eraser® rendition.  This one works the best and lasts the longest.  Umm nice.  No wonder I like Mr. Clean it so much!

Oh I must add there is a serious amount of elbow-grease involved here, but I'm usually so excited so see so much soap scum going down the drain and telling myself that slim, muscular arms will be envy of all that I don't mind.  OMG!  Just realized I have First Ever Cooking Tip and First Ever Cleaning Tip posted in the same week.  Eech!  Am regressing to Domestic Goddess ....not part of the "finding my bliss" plan!!

(plan involves finding my bliss in area that pays so profusely that I, in-turn, pay maid to be domestic goddess for me)

PS--"Who is ...?" will post as soon as Things (eye-rollingly) get around to sending me their pictures again.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Catch-Up Week

I realize that on several occasions I've made reference to an upcomimg post that I plan to post .....and then don't!  So I'm introducing Catch-Up Week where I literally catch-up those seemingly, yet not really, forgotten posts.

And I have this cute idea that in my usual have-to-make-things-harder manner may stress me out a bit later because I only have the "who" and the "what" worked out so far ....but I can't resist it.  Later, sch-mater!!  Each catch-up post this week will follow the who, what, when, where, and maybe even the how format!!!! 

I know you're rather ho-hum dying to see how this plays out, so keep posted because right now I have to go clean a bathroom, but as I scrub, I will be working out "Who is ........????" to post later tonight.  Fun!

not me, but it should be

PS--Oh!  Please (always) feel free to send "post requests" whether I've alluded to it as a future post or not.  I'm always open to suggestion .....not of the "you are getting sleepy" variety ......but of the "whatever happened to ....?" or the "why don't you write about this ......?" or the "wtf ........????" or the "have you found your bliss yet?" variety.  Ok?

Monday, February 15, 2010

First Ever Cooking Tip

I think?  I don't believe I've touched on anything in the cooking-category yet on this blog?  Except to recommend Lick The Bowl Good which is my super-favo cooking blog.  Check it out and say hi to Monica for me--lurrvv her!

Anyway, who ever thought the following combination would be a reality??
1)  the Idaho Potato
2)  Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island
3)  Cooking Tip

But it is!  I received an email from my BFF Wendy who lives in Chandler, Arizona near Phoenix (Hi Wendy!) with this unexpected combo packaged handily into a YouTube video.  After watching it, I grabbed a potato, boiled that sucker, and Voila!  It worked!!

Idaho Potato + Mary Ann + Cooking Tip

It's too handy to pass-up handing it on for dinner tonight?  Cheesy Potato Soup!  And for breakfast tomorrow morning??  Breakfast potatoes.  Of course!!  I will be trying out these recipes: Lick The Bowl Good--Potato Recipes

PS--I guess Mary Ann really did have a "thing" for The Professor .....(see video--he's the only cast member she talks about ....and keeps talking about .....The Professor and the Idaho Potato ad nauseum!)

Aww, not very nice Professor ...don't laugh at Mary Ann!

No!  This one must have killed her!!

PPS--purposely avoiding any Valentine's Day discussion still reeling from Kathleen's death spent V-day at movies with two teenagers "The Wolfman" (very romantic) ......and finally, found myself at the laundromat (washing machine at home making scary noise and emitting "electrical" smell) last night fumbling with quarters while other laundromat patrons look on placidly.  As in cows chewing cuds.  I know life could be super-way-worse but am having to remind myself of that every 3 seconds. 

Btw, everyone's kind sentiments have helped tremendously ....thank-you all from the bottom of my heart.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Dear Kathleen

                                   It is fitting after a fitful
                                   few hours
                                   to wake to a crow’s caw
                                   through a slightly open window.

                                   Wet snow muffles everything else.

                                   Goose down keeps me
                                   but cold air
                                   heedless and unknowing greets my exposed foot.
                                   The tang of warm
                                   grapey alcohol—
                                   undrunk wineglass on the nightstand—
                                   you, an odd comfort.

                                   Everything I see
                                   I haven’t seen
                                   since I heard you died.
                                   I’m so sorry.
                                   Now you know too.

Heartbroken Cartoon Saturday

Dearest Readers,

I have so many things I can't wait to write about but for one reason or another, lately, I keep running into (the proverbial) roadblocks.  Not writer's block mind you .......yikes!  Now that I've written that, I probably will get writer's block! (us writers are a superstitious lot--the baseball players of artists--now I'm gonna have to keep a cherry lifesaver under the arch of my foot in my right shoe every time I sit down to write)

So I was thrown, horribly, late yesterday to learn that my voice teacher and dear friend died unexpectedly at home last night, a presumed heart attack.  Her 50th birthday is today.  She leaves behind her husband and her fourteen year-old son, her extended family, and thousands of friends. 

It's shocking to me know ......I truly loved her for many, many reasons ..........I thought she'd be around for my whole life (and that her whole life and my whole life would be "the same"--who can imagine otherwise?).
Kathleen, you possessed the most unfailing kindness and the most beautiful voice of anyone I've ever known.
My post yesterday didn't happen because I was bawling and beside myself.  Now, of all things, here I am faced with Cartoon Saturday which I haven't had for awhile and it's due.  Plus my favorite political cartoonist was on a real streak this week and I've been looking forward to highlighting him today.

So the show must go on.  Thank-you Mr. Toles for making me smile through tears.  And thank-you all for your patience.  I know "life" happens to you too.

Tom Toles, The Washington Post, January 27, 2010

Tom Toles, The Washington Post, February 4, 2010

Tom Toles, The Washington Post, February 5, 2010

Tom Toles, The Washington Post, February 7, 2010

Tom Toles, The Washington Post, February 8, 2010

Tom Toles, The Washington Post, February 9, 2010

Tom Toles, The Washington Post, February 10, 2010
PS--I was in the same hotel (actually I think I was eating the best southern food in the farthest West Nashville you can imagine--still close by) when the hand-crib-notes incident happened last weekend! 

Tom Toles, The Washington Post, February 11, 2010

Tom Toles, The Washington Post, February 12, 2010


Note to self: tell people you love them.  Even when it's not almost Valentine's Day. Especially when it's not almost Valentine's Day .... 

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Two Conclusions

I have realized (particularly this past week) two things: 1) that my inspiration to blog comes in the feast or famine variety (all at once or none at all) and 2) that I think I was a man in a previous life.

I shall begin by apologizing for the recent famine portion of You Must Take Your Chance. Yes, first I was busy getting ready to go to Blissdom '10 (bloggers conference this past weekend). Then, I was busy at Blissdom '10. Then, I was exhausted after returning home from Blissdom '10. And finally, I think I was a little "tweaked" out by Blissdom '10.

Let me say it was an amazing experience.

Andi of Misadventures With Andi and Alisa of Project Happily Ever After and I were the three amigos at Blissdom '10. Andi and Alisa being infinitely more knowledgeable than me, way more "connected" than me, and inexplicably kind and patient with me. Here's a cute example of what I'm talking about: one of the first things you do upon arriving at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville is to toddle over to the Blissdom '10 registration counter to register that you have arrived. Upon registering you receive I swear the nicest canvas bag Land's End has to offer (which is going to become my favorite beach bag this summer) filled to the brim with stuff! Make-up, bags of chips & candy (Bliss Chocolates, of course), a sweet necklace with a freshwater pearl & a silver charm embossed with "bliss", facial products from my super-fave facial products company, Bliss! A pair of nice socks, an aluminum water bottle, etc. You get the idea. The bag was overflowing with cool stuff. Swag. So I exclaim to A & A, "It's like a swag bag!!!" And A & A who did not flinch and were sweet as could be said, "Yes Laurie IS a swag bag". In my defense, I was referring to The Night At The Oscars-variety of swag bag because, until now, I didn't know people besides celebrities ever received such things. Ultimately I had to leave half of the swag there because I couldn't fit it all in my suitcase. But that's ok because I left the baby pacifiers and the salty onion strings that give me canker sores and other swag that I wouldn't use anyway. Hopefully the hotel cleaning staff can use such swag.

My emptied out swag bag--nice huh?

But I obsess. Here's something else at the conference I obsessed about--the attendees and their laptops. Ok it's a bloggers conference. There are going to be lots of laptops. There were. At one point during a session with distinguished panelists blathering on helpfully informing us about successful blogging technique (which btw includes consistent, predictable posting), I was drifting a bit and I began to count how many laptops were in my range of vision--I'm assuming these people are taking notes. By the time I got to thirty-eight, I finally realize that every single laptop in my view (and I wasn't done counting yet) had the same exact screen open--Twitter!!! (Y-e-s ....I kind-of tweet. In the one-way announcing what I'm doing at that moment manner. You can imagine how many re-tweets I get)  But even though I was a bit bored at this particular juncture, I didn't have to remind myself that I was paying for this advice! I'm not going to sit there and monitor the thousands of people I follow (in actuality I follow 12) on Twitter. It's rude! It's living in an alternate universe. It's kind of creepy. And I feel about one hundred and fifty years-old. Like what it must have felt like to be sitting up high on your rather elegant horse-pulled buggy as the smoke-belching, ear-splitting cacophony of the first Model A's jalopied by.

Eventually I counted sixty-seven laptops in view; fifty-five on Twitter and the remaining twelve appeared to be shopping. Nobody was blogging. And apparently no one was listening. Including me (too busy counting and getting creeped out, imagining if I peel back their skin, I will discover androids as in the "Ash"-variety from Alien).

At one point, in the throes of all this, both Andi and Alisa agree that there are far fewer laptops than they've encountered at previous bloggers conferences!!!!!!! I'm speechless. Up on my buggy.

There is more to tell which I will elaborate on in future posts: my moment with Harry Connick Jr. in which he has his arm around me (of which there is a picture and of which I'm only one of the five hundred or so attendees of the conference that he (poor guy) eventually had his arm around for what must have seemed like ten-thousand pictures); my night out on the town in Nashville; the best southern food ever eaten at what must be the best southern fried food restaurant in the world after what must be the most nerve-wracking and expensive ride around the Tennessee countryside after dark ever; and the pièce de résistance ......the fact that during the entire weekend of the conference I shared a hotel with the First Annual National Tea Party Convention where the keynote speaker was Sarah Palin!!!!!!!!!!!!! Keeping my snarky comments and opinions about this fascinating "opportunity" all weekend long was a study in serious self-control.
But finally, I must comment on why I believe I may have a been a man in a previous life.

This conference conjured up a number of past experiences, none of which I count as I my favorite ones, and none of which I've lumped together until now. And let me say first that I'm the weird one here--but there is something about a bunch of frenzied, weepy women all obsessed on the same thing that makes me very uncomfortable. (As in how I imagine a man might feel in similar circumstances) My dear sorority sisters can attest to this. I always had one foot in and one foot out of that sorority house never quite completely committing to the Tri-Delta way-to-live-college-life pledge. My dear PTA friends will concur. Once I received Volunteer of the Year, they never saw me again! (my kids were literally begging me to "not do PTA"). And my friend Lisa who's helmed a very successful scrapbooking business for at least the past fifteen years knows by now that I will almost always say I'm going to attend the next big scrapbooking bonanza, I always pay for it, and I almost always never show up!! (I'm sorry Lisa)

So what is it about a mob of super-organized, super-estrogened women all focused on one common goal that freaks me out? I don't know. You can't complain about the literally "excessive" organization--it's WAY better than a strictly male-organized conference which would likely be a mess of monumental proportions. I'm more of a girly-girl than a not-girly-girl god knows I can be emotional. I don't know. I just wish this conference wasn't so strictly a woman's conference. It's not the sexual tension that would probably exist in a conference attended equally by men & women that I miss. I think it's just a balance I'm craving--not too much estrogen. Not too much frenzy. Not too much weeping. (Yes there was a fair amount of weeping!) Not too much female point-of-view? Ugh. I don't know. Girls’ rock! Maybe it was just my first bloggers conference and I felt a sense of being an outsider looking-in? Or being a man in a previous life?? What? Ok this post is getting ridiculous and making no sense.

I shall wrap up by reiterating (just ignore previous negatively-toned paragraphs) that the conference couldn't possibly have been lovelier. Or better organized. It was fantastic. I learned a lot. I had so much fun with Andi and Alisa. I met a lot of other great women too. Harry Connick Jr. had his arm around me (for a millisecond). And I got to see that Sarah Palin supporters are people too (people who wear baseball caps with white George Washington ponytails attached to the back and who carry around giant head-shot posters--of the ex-presidential candidate and the ex-Alaskan governor and the ex-mother-in-law-to-be to Levi Johnston--on sticks.)

As for my conclusions, I will just have to stick to blogging when I'm inspired and hope that I'm inspired on a fairly regular basis; and I'll bet that I was a man in a previous life who got stuck at an all-female bloggers conference and hope that I can get past this odd sentiment to completely enjoy myself as a female in this life at the next one.

Cute Picture of cute friends who are NOT the weepy females 
I was referrring to!

PS--be sure to check out Andi's and Alisa's blogs.  They are both very smart girls with very cool blogs who couldn't possibly be nicer.  Andi's blog Misadventures With Andi is simply fun and topical and very professional.  And Alisa's Project Happily Ever After is a wicked, laser-insightful blog on making marriages/relationships work (her book Project Happily Ever After will be out later this year!).

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Hokie Snow

Thing One was getting lots of snow in Blacksburg at Virginia Tech the same time we were having our big snow bonanza this past weekend so I asked him to send some snow pictures.  He first sent me this one (from his dorm room window) which I told him was about as lame as it comes and that I certainly hope he's putting more effort into school than he is in taking snow pictures for his mother's blog:

Gee thanks Thing One

So then he sent me these pic's ......good job honey!  You're redeemed!!  Thank-you. 

Thing One focused most of these pictures on the central feature of the campus which is the Virginia Tech drillfield.  It's at the heart of the campus; one could easily argue it is the heart of Virginia Tech landscapically (ok so that's not an actual word, but it should be) speaking.  And no offense to Thing One but pictures really don't do the drillfield justice.  It's huge; it's the most spectacular gathering point; it's fringed with one hundred year-old trees (maybe older, just guessing?); it has classroom buildings on one side and dormitories on the other (all built in famous Hokie Stone); at one end of the drillfield is the Virginia Tech War Memorial and the other end is open to the rest of the campus.  It is beloved by the students and apparently at least one parent because until this very moment I had no idea how much I [heart] that drillfield.  Suffice to say it's practically profound!

Get it?  Red Bull gives you wings ....cute

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I Love To Dance