April 28, 2008
April 24, 2008
"....and I'm addicted to Facebook".
Lawdy lawdy lawdy. Ever since Axe, and some of my other friends, invited me to join Facebook, I've been a Facebook fiend. I put it off joining for awhile b/c I thought it'd be like My Space. Not that there's anything wrong w/ My Space, I just never bothered to open up a My Space page b/c it didn't seem like there was much I could do w/ it. Little did I know how much fun Facebook really is.
I can't get enough of it. It's unbelievably fun and so interactive. Brian started a Facebook for himself but he finds it a bit too "ADD" for him. lol
The one thing I don't like is that you are required to forward applications requests to your friends in order to get them to stick on your own page. Until I built up my friends network, I had to bombard some of you guys with tons of requests in order to get the applications onto my own page. Or as my cousin Sharon very tactfully put it, "You've been a real firecracker on Facebook, haven't you?" So, for those of you with pages who don't update regularly, like Sharon, I apologize for the mass carpet bombing of applications requests from me. Although in my defense, I have sent some of you guys Vincent D'Onofrio flash.....
On Tuesday, I had to call in sick b/c I'd twisted my ankle on Monday afternoon. I wanted to stay home and keep ice on it. Now, everyone who knows me well, knows that I cannot sit still. When we were first married, my constant buzzing around used to make Brian practically hyperventilate. I've mentioned before that his nickname for me is "Schmaby" so when I start buzzing around the house doing stuff, we call it "Schmabing". So there I am on Tuesday, on the couch, and I start to fidget. My mind starts to race, "I have soooo much to do. What cleaning can I do w/o having to be on my feet?" I put that thought to rest quickly b/c I knew I'd get read the riot act when Brian got home. In fact, he even called me at 9:00 a.m. to make sure I wasn't cleaning. He graciously granted me the use of his laptop computer, in order to keep me sedentary. I found out that it is possible to spend an entire day on Facebook. By 3:00 pm, I couldn't even feel my ass, because I'd been sitting so long.
So with every spare minute of my day, after I make my regular blog rounds, I am on Facebook. As soon as I see that my boss is on a phone call, I dart over to Facebook. The second he takes a client in his office or leaves for Court, I'm on Facebook.
Well, gotta go for now.....Facebook awaits.
April 20, 2008
There on her father's knee
How he had promised her
You'll always be my baby....." Dave Matthews
photo taken approx. November, 1966 I have so many wonderful memories of my beloved dad. The family gatherings and parties, his memorable solo performances in the annual Minstrel Show, the Red Sox games he took me to in Boston, vacations together, his incredible fondness for fart jokes (just saying,"Hey dad....FART!" to him and he'd bust up laughing), his distinctive laugh, parades he marched in, being out and about in town with him and have him stopped by people everywhere we went, his quiet faith. However, every now and then, a simple, long forgotten memory will make it's way through, usually brought on by hearing a song that he liked or used to sing. This past Saturday, I had one of those memories surface.
My dad was born in 1922 in Georgetown, British Guiana in South America. He, his older sister and younger brother were orphans. Dad left school after the 8th grade and went to work as a cook on freighters that ran between S. America and the USA. He obtained his US citizenship when he was around 19 and immediately joined the US Army and fought in World War II, where he was wounded & received the Purple Heart. Because his last name of "Mendonza" came alphabetically after my Uncle Pete Mendola, Pete befriended this nice boy who had no family, and brought him home to meet his family. My great-grandmother took my dad to her heart immediately. My mom and dad corresponded during the war, mom was only like 16 at the time, and they married in 1947.
My dad had absolutely no role model on how to be a good father. Yet it came sooo natural to him. He was the best daddy a little girl could have. One of my earliest memories from before I went to kindergarten was when I'd see dad's truck pull in at the end of the work day. I'd go hide under the diningroom table or behind a chair and tell mom, "sshh! Don't tell daddy that I'm hiding!". Dad would come in and say, "Where's Joanne?" I'm sure my mom quietly gestured that I was hiding....because then daddy's voice would get louder, "I wonder where Joanne could be? Is she in the desk?" then he'd open the desk. "Is she under here?" and he'd lift up the notepad....but by then my giggles would give me away. He'd stoop down and find me under the table and go, "THERE SHE IS!!" and catch me up in a big hug. Sometimes he'd have brought me a little toy & would have it in his shirt pocket for me to find. But I digress.....
This past Saturday, it was snowing at my house, believe it or not. I'd left work early on Friday and did all my errands, so when I got up on Sat., I didn't have to leave the house. I came downstairs in my jammies, grabbed a colouring book & markers, got under my blanket and settled in. I'd DVR'd a Bugs Bunny 90-minute cartoon/movie so Brian suggested that we watch it, since it was Sat. morning.
Now, for those of you not brought up in the States, or brought up after the 1970's, Bugs Bunny cartoons were the cornerstone of Saturday mornings. We had no Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon or Disney Channels. Cartoons were on NBC, ABC or CBS. Bugs was shown on CBS at 10 am, and always ran 90 minutes. I never missed it. I love the whole Warner Brothers gang - Yosemite Sam, Michigan J. Frog, Taz, Bugs, Daffy, Elmer Fudd, Sylvester & Tweety, Roadrunner & Wile E. Coyote, Gossamer, Marvin the Martian.....etc. Some of my friends' parents thought that Bugs Bunny was too violent. Fortunately, my parents did not view it that way.
Brian and I began watching the Bugs show and we are both in hysterics over the antics. Even though we knew what was coming, we were still laughing; it's just classic stuff. In this particular set of cartoons, Sylvester was really taking his lumps. One after the other, Sylvester's attempts to eat Tweety and/or mice were thwarted. At one point, I glanced up from my colouring book to see the snow falling, then my eyes went to the TV where Sylvester was getting creamed and I was transported back 35 years.
Pick any cold, snowy Saturday morning from November thru March, between 1970 and 1979, and you'd find me on the couch in our livingroom, watching cartoons, under the throw blanket. I'd get up pretty early, grab my shoebox of "treasures", some crayons & paper, my fave stuffed toy horse Trax, and set up shop in the livingroom to watch my shows. Mom always let me do my chores in the afternoon after the cartoons were over.
My dad owned his own business, "John Mendonza Plumbing & Heating", and for awhile, was the only plumber in our town & everyone knew him. He worked 5 days a week, and usually till 1:00 on Saturday. He'd usually pop back in during the day to get more supplies from the barn, have lunch, & ask mom if she needed anything at the store. These were the days before answering machines and he needed my mom to stay home to answer the service calls, which is why she couldn't break away to get to the store if we ran out of bread or milk, so dad would always ask what we needed.
Sometimes if he got home early on Saturday, like at 11, he'd drift into the livingroom to say Hi to me, glance at the TV to see what I was watching, then sit on the little footstool in front of the rocking chair and watch the last half hour of Bugs Bunny with me. He would just roar with laughter every time Wile E. Coyote was smashed by a boulder and they'd make that accordian sound as he walked away all folded up, or whenever Tweety would outsmart Sylvester. He got a serious charge out of it.
So there I was this past Sat., lost in my own memories and trying not to start weeping. When I shut my eyes, I could see the cheery, yellow livingroom at my parent's house, and the green carpet....I could see their old Zenith TV on the TV stand, dad in his grey work pants and shirt, perched on that tiny little footstool, sometimes balancing a plate with his sandwich on his knees, the two of us watching Bugs Bunny cartoons and laughing. I'd always clear off the endtable and a space on the couch and beckon to him to make himself more comfortable & eat at the table, but he always loved sitting on that footstool. Even at family parties when the guests would be occupying the chairs, couch and rockingchair, he'd sit on the footstool.
Dad and I always shared a love for cartoons, and thinking back on that 1970's Saturday morning memory, made me also remember that we'd watch a lot of Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, Trixie Dixie & Minxie, etc. together in the afternoons after school too. I remember one day in junior high, I was up in my room listening to records, but I could hear my dad downstairs maniacally laughing. I went down to see what he was watching and it was Yogi Bear!! In the early 80's, Channel 38 in Boston showed "Night-toons", a half hour block of Bugs Bunny shown at 11 pm on Saturday nights, and dad and I ALWAYS made a "date" to watch "Night-toons" together.
I consider myself a very lucky girl to have had a daddy like mine.
April 17, 2008
So last night, we were watching The Learning Channel and we saw an ad for yet another reality show. Is anyone else as sick of them as I am? Isn't their 15 minutes of fame up yet? I loathe them. I won't watch them. I don't care about American Midol. And now it seems like everyone has them. There's one about a couple raising 8 kids. Um.....not that big a deal people. My great-grandmother, an Italian immigrant, was a widow at age 37 and raising 8 kids, alone, in New York, in the 1920's. And who the hell are The Kadashians and why do they have a show?
The way those houses lean crazily kind of creeps me out. It reminds me of those super weird early Disney cartoons where houses would be dancing from side to side; their windows were eyes and doors were mouths.
Finally, I'm still pretty goal-oriented, which was my new years thing. Am still working out a couple times a week. I've thoroughly cleaned a good portion of the house, and hope to get the kitchen completely done this weekend. I've also kept up with my craft projects and I feel like I've gotten more done on them in 3.5 months than I did in all of 2007. And 2 weeks from today, I'll be on the east coast.
April 14, 2008
In our townhouse in Fairfax, CA, we had skylights in the cathedral ceilings and twice a year, a beam of light would creep down the wall on the stairs and light up the usually dark livingroom for a brief few minutes. We even hung a crystal prism that didn't see sunlight for most of the year, except on those few days in the spring and fall, when it would shoot rainbows all over the walls. Every time someone new would come over they'd say the same thing, "um...why do you have a crystal hanging there?"
Unfortunately I did not realize I had black & white film in my camera when I shot this picture, the one day that we were actually home for the full-on sunbeam hitting the crystal, in September, 1998. It was the only time I was able to shoot the effect and I blew it w/ b&w film! Oh well.
Then we moved into our house in Washington in August, 1999. That September, we witnessed the same kind of "Stonehenge effect", only this time it was with the cut glass in our front door and the hallway wall downstairs. Then it happened again in April, 2000, where the circle was centered on the wall. We decided that we would not hang any posters on this wall, and just call it the "Sun Canvas". Although the cut glass provides pretty rainbows and light during the long summer days, only in Sept. and Apr. is the design centered like this. I shot this on Sunday, 4/13. See the kind of pointy shadow on the left? That's Sagan's ear. He, of course, had to escort me to the landing and sit next to me as I shot.
April 12, 2008
I'm starting to gather stuff together to pack for my trip to Cape Cod, and I always take along a small "travel album" of pics of my sweet little furkids. Here are some pictures of little Pepper from that album.
Brian shot this about 30 minutes after he'd brought her home from the Humane Society. Isn't it sweet? The info left by her family said she was about 2. She was still very puppy-like that first year. She was an outside dog at the time, and so for a few months, she lived in a kennel next to the garage, but she was inside by summer. She didn't know what toys were, and she didn't even know how to walk up and down stairs!! We had to teach her all that stuff, as well as housebreaking. OK, this may be the reason that Snuggsy doesn't like having her picture taken. She was not on board with these bunny ears and it took a lot of time and patience to get a decent picture of her with the Easter stuff on the table. What I was doing was taking seasonal photos of her to compile into a custom-made calendar for 2004, and I needed a shot for the Easter page. This particular photo is one of the outtakes, as the best one is in her scrapbook.
Her first snow, November, 2003. "Wut dis cold stuff?"
Christmas Day 2003. We had this photo made into holiday cards for the following year.
April 10, 2008
Brian has studied Buddhism for many years, but I don't have the personality for it. It just seems like every time I try to do a good deed, or show compassion, it blows up in my face. I've just gotten so cynical and angry. I also can't sit still long enough to meditate and I admit that I am VERY attached to material possessions. But I do have great love and admiration for the Dalai Lama. He is an amazing human being. If only the world could heed his message of peace, love and compassion.
This is a fantastic opportunity for Brian and I'm really pleased for him. Fortunately one of the local TV stations is carrying the event live, so I can DVR it and we can watch it when he gets home.
This is one of my favourite scenes, from the classic comedy "Caddyshack":
April 6, 2008
Boopie, on the other hand, is a complete ham. He loves to have his picture taken. He's always up for it. If it seems fun for us, then it's fun for him too. What's especially hilarious is sometimes he'll be upstairs, looking out of our livingroom window with this bone in his mouth, perfectly grasped in the middle. We're always hoping that the neighbors can't see.....it's a bit embarrassing to have this 80+ lb. police dog looking out the window with an outragously large, bright yellow stuffed bone in his mouth.
Fiercely guarding a new toy from Bubba, and giving me that, "seriously mom, enough with the camera" look.
April 3, 2008
Anyway, this was the scene at our house a week ago. It kind of took everyone by surprise as we'd been having a run of dry, partly sunny weather for quite awhile. March definitely went out like a lion this year.
The one (and only) nice thing about it being lighter, later, is that for the first time, we were able to enjoy the falling snow for a little while after work. It was very relaxing.
The snow was especially pretty on the pink-blossomed trees. As you can see, it was really coming down. (note: the stained glass thing was my one foray into stained glass. It was a kit.).
Some of the flakes were as big as your hand. It was a very wet snow, however, so there was a lot of concern about snow laden branches tearing down the lines.
April 1, 2008
Child molester attributes his start to Bigfoot
Date published: 3/26/2008
BY KEITH EPPS
A man who claims that he was molested by Bigfoot as a child was ordered to serve 20 years in prison yesterday for his own molestation-related activities.
Gene R. Morrill, 57, of New Ipswich, N.H., had previously pleaded guilty in Stafford Circuit Court to 20 charges stemming from his efforts to solicit 13-year-old boys over the Internet.
Defense attorney Terrence Patton cited Morrill's mental health issues in seeking leniency from Judge J. Howe Brown.
Morrill told an investigator preparing his pre-sentence report about being sexually assaulted by the legendary Bigfoot, a North American folklore character said to be between 7 and 10 feet tall, and covered in dark brown or dark reddish hair. Patton said Morrill really believes the assaulted happened.
However, Morrill was determined to be mentally competent to stand trial. The judge also couldn't have been impressed with Morrill's criminal record, which includes a rape conviction involving a child in New Hampshire.
According to the evidence presented by prosecutor Jim Peterson, Morrill was one of several out-of-state online predators identified last year by Detectives Darryl Wells and John Chapman.
The detectives made Internet contact with Morrill and others while pretending to be young boys.
Chapman introduced another suspected predator to Wells, his "13-year-old friend," and both detectives received pictures and movies of boys having sex with other children and adults.
The real boys were between 5 and 12 years old. The other predator brought Morrill into the conversations and Peterson presented pages of online discussions in which Morrill expresses his desire for sex acts with young boys.
Morrill was convicted of five counts of attempting to take indecent liberties with a child, five counts of using electronic equipment to solicit a juvenile and 10 counts of reproducing child pornography.
Morrill is still facing similar charges in Prince William County.
So that's how it is in New Hampshah!