Jun. 23rd, 2010 03:46 am
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 So FIFA coverage here in the USA  has moved on from "What the hell is that noise??!" to "Flopping: it's for pussies - I told you this game was crap!".  I remember my first World Cup experience as a kid in England: I was watching a match, watched a player from Argentina throw himself on the ground, seeming to writhe in agony, and then when he saw the ref ignored him he leapt up and scored a goal.  I blinked at the screen and have remained skeptical since.

Coverage in the US had moved from VUVUZELAS SUCK (but we all downloaded the iPhone app, LULZ) to FLOPPING PROVES THAT THIS GAME IS FOR DRAMA QUEENS AND PUSSIES.  Yes, he caps are warranted, oh you who don't listen to US Sports Talk. There was a brief distraction over Tiger Woods proving he can't perform under stress at the Masters (sure, when you  were King of the World and all 12 of your mistresses kept it on the Down Low you were Cool Joe but now - hey not so much!) but now the US has a pivotal game coming up.  There's zero discussion of the squad, really  - never mind tactics - but it's getting air play.  But if comes down to one astute observation from *my Dad* of all people: if the US doesn't advance, FIFA's vuvzela drone will be momentarily drowned by the sound of millions of TVs in the USA swtiching stations and the motto "I told you this game sucks" happening at once.  If the UK hangs on, that moment can be diverted since we care about them as well, but if they both leave, that's it.  Soccer is shut out for 4 more years.  The pundits have latched on to flopping - which is a disgrace - and since there is really no action against it or means in place to control it, the fangs are out.  My fav from today: "You need to be fined if you grab a body part more than 4 feet away from the potential foul  - these guys who get clipped on the ankle and then grab their FACE in agony just need to be kicked in the n**** for a start.  Then give 'em a card". 

Soccer: It's one big social experiment here.
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 Toy Story 3.

Yep, I cried.

Tears of relief, tears of amusement, and of course tears of retrospection.

I went home and washed my beloved Old Snoopy dog - 37 years, one traumatic stuffing replacement, and endless happiness later.  We;re catching up right now.
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Okay, sports fan that I am, I have never really cared for soccer football. I have no idea why.  I like it much more than Basketball, but on my scale that's not a reach.

However, it's hard not to get caught up in the World Cup, because next to the Olympics, it is the only *true* global event.  And at the risk of angering all the ribbon-twirling fans out there, I'd almost argue that passions over the World Cup run much deeper than with the Olympics.  Americans don't really *get* this, becuase they are only privy to the massive vomiting of Olympic pimping and TV coverage here - they have, for the most part, never really been immersed in FIFA.  Then again, we get rightly called out on our versions of 'World Events' - like the World Series, which we win every year!  Go us!

Anyway, so this year I decided to embrace the World Cup and listen to/watch as much as I could.  The US/UK game started just as Nico's last tball game was ending.  I loaded Sophie into the MINI and tried to convince her to listen to the game as we headed to the massive family whip-up my mum was hosting that day - partially successful.  When we got there, I knew that the score was one/nil, but had no idea which team was up.  We were all FOBIDDEN to even risk spoilers  - all had TIVO going - so I sort of forgot about it.

Then get home and open my email to find this:

Which, let's face it, it pretty funny (overlooking the horrific tragedy of the oil spill of course).  PE coaches always love to ramble on about how sports puts life in perspective.  And you KNOW there are a lot of people out there who consider the missed block *much* worse than the busted pipe.  We'll ignore that, becuase this is intended as a happy post.  Just kudos to whoever made this as it has Great Burn to it.

You know what the big talk is on all the sports programs though, World Cup related?  Not the standings, not Japan's victory, not the brackets, no - all they are taking about is how horrible the sound of the vuvus are.  I am not kidding.  As I came into work, I wanted to hear a breakdown of the Cameroon/Japan game that had just ended but no - VUVU BITCHING. Switched to the other sports station in disgust - MORE VUVU BITCHING.  Gave up, switched to talk radio....yep.  VUVU WINGING AD NAUSEUM.  What's so amusing about this is that it is coming from people who habitually attend Professional American Football games, where the noise level from the *constant rap music* is unbearable.  I just stopped going - I only go to College games where at worst the Band won't shut up, but that's at a manageable level of noise.  I'm just waiting for the latest theory on "Why don't American's like football" to involve a vuvu tangent.
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You know, the most frightening thing about this right here is that the shock value of that picture is somewhat minimal for me, thanks to years of exposure to online fandoms.  It's more of a *facepalm* reaction and a "that's IT?" than a fullout OMGWFTBBQ that real people have.  I didn't gag, I laughed and nodded...and then started thinking "if you people think that's disturbing, let me google a combination of 'Snape' and other dangerous words".

On the plus side, reading the comments in the article is extreemly entertaining!

For double-points time wasting, here's the FARK thread discussing it.

Now, if there was some placenta eating involved....
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 So, watching America's Got Talent (always a questionable premise, but fun) I watch a dog act.  The act was rubbish but they got through.  The issue was the troupe features rescue dogs, and they called out their oldest  - 18.  FML, I have no real idea what motivated me, but I burst into tears.  I suddenly had a vision of my beloved old and smelly here, and counting his days, and then I was flashing to   - and I seriously have no idea why - being told I had to 'end his misery' and how I would handle it, and would the vet come here to the house to do it because the vet scares him so much and I don't want his last moments to be terror and WHAT THE HELL!?!

Sebi is *fine* - spry, in fact.  He's only 8!  Well 8 and a half.  He's a grey face, but it doesn't slow him.  HE'S FINE!  I just fell apart over an instant flash of WTF.  Maybe it was because I absolutely banished him earlier for trying to bite one of the cats - such a NoNo - even though he didn't really *try* but he absolutely snapped too close and I was so utterly cross with him.  And he *knew* he was bad immediately, almost before I shrieked. 

In conclusion - work stress has started to screw up Real Life and that's not on; I clearly need to get out of the house more: and finally, I need to relax.  Seriously, what was all that about?  

Focus on amusing:  I scored Adam Lambert tickets for sis and I to celebrate our bdays.  I said we need to be *fabulous*, Tori said "well i'm pregnant".  Screw her, I'm breaking out my sequins that night.

Hope everyone is more sane!
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To those who thought i was kidding when i said i was flying to Seattle
"just for a baseball game".


Sent from my iPhone

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 So - 

Work continues to be mad.  It doesn't make for fascinating blog posts, so we'll leave it at that.  I may have some exciting changes, but they are slow brewing so there we are.  Right now I'm a mad dance to keep everyone Playing Nice while not appearing to be A) Lazy and not helping and B) Lying.  Yeah I'll get into the painful positions I'm assuming later.  Things are tough all over, right?

I am off to Seattle for a few days - HUZZAH!  I get to play & relax with friends, and although at this moment my shoulders still ache from work stress, I'm hoping to come down @ 1pm tomorrow when I am safely on plane.  Sophie offered me a massage yesterday, which actually was rather nice.  Tough little 8 year old, she is.

We're going to a baseball game in Seattle - I am ridiculously excited about this because I've not been to a major league game yet.  Oh I love love LOVE going to Nico's Tball games and cheering them on, no worries.  And they have all gotten so much better!  It's rather amazing what a few months does - their coaches are terrific.  The patience and dedication they show to the kids is cool - if Nico sticks with it, I'll put myself up as a coach next year.  I think he will - he does enjoy it and when I asked him if he still wanted to go to a Major League game with me the other day, I had a *very* enthusiastic thumbs up.  Yay!

Just celebrated my sister's bday, where my dad decided he would regale the kids The Story of the Day Mommy Was Born.  Now, it's actually rather *poor showing* for grandpa, but he told it anyway.  My Mum woke up @ 2:30 and thought 'yes, NOW'....at @6:30 (after dad had shaved and got ready for work) they set out.  he dropped me off at Grandma, then DROPPED MUM AT THE HOSPITAL AND WENT TO WORK.  My sister was born about 40 minutes after he dropped my mother off at the entrance.  The nurses and the doctors called him At WORK to say "Where the hell are you?" .  Dad's theory was 'hey it's all over - I'll be there at noon'.  His grandchildren were *outraged*.  Personally, I couldn't believe I had to listen to this again.  If this is the entertainment for my birthday, I'll pass.  We did edit the tale to leave out the scary parts about hemorrhaging.  I wonder about my dad at times - I got there late so i have no idea how this started.  *Sigh*

I've been "spoiling" myself for the Harry Potter adventure by looking at videos people are posting of the park - but it's only making me more excited.  Video has nothing on the real thing: my real issue now is how I can convince Nico to go on "the Flight of the Hippogryph" without thinking it is too scary. The Quidditch thing is OK, and double dragons is a NO all around.  I also have to manage how Sophie will not feel gutted if she is not the one chosen for the demonstration in Olivander's.  These are worries I can manage, however.  It looks like just walking down the street there is going to be more fun than we three can handle :)

To complete my boring and pedestrian post, I can report that Sebastien *played with a puppy* today at the dog park - astonishing.  Generally he is a cranky old man and tells puppies to bugger off out of his airspace, but he actually played with a gorgeous and sweet 4 mo. old vizsla with no whining and no snapping for 5 whole minutes.  I love puppies, but generally have to ignore them or his majesty gets all snippy - nice change! 

So there is a staid update.  I've left out reporting my gym times and diet choices because that really would take the biscuit.  I DO have juicy, but it has to wait.  My fingers are crossed it's not for much longer!

Hope all are well and Summer had properly set in - I barely made the pool on Memorial Day, and it was bloody freezing but DAMN I was not to be swayed. I actually prefer cooler temps, but there is a limit!
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Ah, Saturday!  The sun is shining, I can hear birds in the garden, I have a whole day of happy poss...

Seriously, laying there planning your weekend in the comfort of your bed only to have the alarm go off, wake you up, and make you realise it is *Thursday* and that feeling of bliss was a mis-fire from your cerebral cortex is no way to start the day.

And where the hell are 2/3 of my icons, LJ??
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To be honest, RuPaul is infinately more fierce than my goofball of a dog.

But Sebastien can work a camera!  Here, like most models, he's giving the classic 'I'm beautiful but I'm starving' look, with a touch of 'Pity Me' for good measure.  He will follow the session with a meal, however, and not half a pack of Marlboro Lights.

And here's Sebastien's agent shot for the moonlighting work as a basset pin-up.  Look at those leeeeeps! He says "fuzzy stlightly whiffy smoochies for ALL!". WOOF!  Well, rather, MOOOOOO was that is the general sound he makes. 

So there we are. He's got his little old man face now with all the grey, but still a handsome thing at 8 1/2. Bassets are funky dogs; if I had been prewarned, I probably wouldn't have risked it.  But fate had other plans, and I love my stinky, mumbly, optionally deaf, shockingly heavy, mooing, loyal to the death frog dog. Vive la Basset!

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So all that talking head opining about what did or didn't cause that 1000 point plunge in the U.S. stock market?


Darth Vader rang the opening bell this morning.

I think I see the problem!

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Now, I did not actually name myself that, Sophie did.  I simply didn't discourage the behavior.


So, Way back in time 'Harry Potter Land was announced'.  Sophie was 6, but stated "I'm SO GOING THERE with Auntie!" And in that manner where kids never remember where the shoes they took off 5 minutes ago have gone, but can remember the exact date and hour you promised them an ice cream 5 years ago and have YET to deliver, she brings it up from time to time.  And now, we no longer can say "Hon, it's not *built* yet".

Tori and I brought it up in January, and started to sketch out how we would pull it off.  It's quite doable money-wise, since they have really good packages.  Then, of course, Tori got knocked up.  August in Florida is a NO even without being 7-8 months pregnant.  So I decided to take one for the team, and said "Well, how about this - why don't I take the kids myself, say for Nico's 7th birthday in February.  Right about then they will be getting a little less enamored of the baby and you and (the brother in law) will probably be in serious need of 5 days of relative quiet".  

Today I asked Tori if she liked the idea:

"Oh GOD that would be amazing - I'll probably be near dead from exhaustion then!"
"So you have no qualms about sending them off on a big trip with me?"
"Well, you realise if you lose one of them you can't come home...."
"That's understood, yes."
"Sounds good to me!"
"Jason has to agree too."
"Allow me to speak for Jason.  His response will be 'F*** YEAH!'"
"Well that's set then."

My mother later commented that if I do lose one, she will make sure I can come home briefly under cover of night to drop off the remaining child with her, and then scarper to Antarctica. 

Let's face it, this is a win for me  - a fun trip with the little dudes.  It would be more awesome if Orlando was slightly easier to get to (non-stops from CA are, basically, non-existent.  But at least we can go direct through Austin).  The kids, at 9 and 7, are easier to wrangle and yet still enough of kids that it will be worth the effort.

Tori's final suggestion was to 'try to convince one of the twins to go with you".  The Twins are my best friends Fran and Alexandra, who have traveled with our extended family group before.  LOL - I'll ask them, but I figure that will be mostly for the amusement of their expressions. 

Of course I can't actually *book* anything until July/August - however I've already started to plan the Xmas reveal of the gift.  I'm thinking of making them each an owl, then attaching a hand-made "invitation to Hogwarts".  

Now all we need is a 'Doctor Whoville" and my journey to the nerd-side will be com-plee-tah! 
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 So, I left the house with A LIST.  Spring cleaning is here, lots to do.  Needed to:

Get to Home Centre (mulch & vegetables to lay in)
Get to CB2 (2 new carpets to put on order)
Get to Target (Sundries)
Get to Grocers (Week 9 of Super Healthy Meals, need *everything*)

Only, it was 75 degrees here today.  

And the dog park was pretty puppy free so we loitered.

Then I wandered into the pet store and hey look professional pet portraits!  On Sale!

And a very determined (and GOOD) photographer lures me over with "hey, it's all digital, so if he just won't sit, no worries!".

So I then wandered home with a receipt for a '4 page collection' of SUPER CUTE pics of The Idiot, a large bag of treats he earned by sheer force of actually looking at the camera,  and just played Lego Batman for the rest of the day. Must practice for when Lego Harry Potter gets here in June, you know.

Ate bread, cheese and red wine for dinner sacked out on couch watching Doctor Who.  A healthy fat, some excellent tanins for the blood, and fibre; so not evil at all. The Doctor has no nutritional value, but benefits the soul which is just as "Thrive" friendly as broccoli, thanks.

I still can't believe I bought dog portraits

In conclusion, a Bugger All day, but I'm good with that.  

Oh crap, I just realised laundry was supposed to be on that list....
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Probably trippled my risk of adult onset diabetes just making them,
but may I say it was an afternoon WELL SPENT.

Thank goodness Nico is here to eat them.

Sent from my iPhone

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 This is how it's done.

I can imagine that just having an afternoon's conversation with this woman was an awesome, awesome thing. 

It used to be a very trendy 'corporate exercise' a few years back when having 'team building retreats' to write your obituary and then grade it judge it share it.  As a way of 'sharing yourself' with your coworkers.  Uh huh.  One of the more loathsome touchy-feely exercises that made you simply more suspect of anyone who actually *did* the exercise without throwing it.  That said, I hope my actual obit shows that I followed what I loved in life 1/4 as much as Shirley Nash did.

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 It has been cold, wet and rainy here in Northern California for *weeks*.  

And yet here I sit, again, watching the local HS kiddos leaving for the day in the rain....and I'll be damned if even 5% of them have on a jacket, let alone are using an umbrella.

The super cool kids are still in jackass shorts and don't even put their hoodie top up!  Yes, 'jackass shorts' is my own term for those things where the crotch is at your knee, each leg is bigger around than your thin-ass hipster self, and you are clearly impervious to both good sartorial taste and the sound of derisive snorting laughter delivered in your direction. It's the Universal right of a teenager to look like a fool as they rage against the machine, but those pantsesque things really, really do make one the fool of fools.  Never go full retard.

I'm pondering posting a huge sign in my office window that reads "PUT ON YOUR DAMN JACKET ALREADY" for my own amusement. However, while I know the physician leaders would also be amused, the administrators tend to be ... less appreciative of installment humor, and I already have my full LEGO Hogwarts Castle installment atop my book cabinet drawing suspicions. 

Dudes, come on.  Come on.  I am down with the need to be fab, with the desire to fit in, even with the stubborn belief that your life will never recover from the loss of 'cool points' should you don a particuarly goofy looking slicker.  However, the daily drenchings you are all receiving - and I can tell you are all at drowned rat status when you pass by - are too much.  Put on a coat, as you are making ME cold by proxy, and even though you think it's all about you, it isn't.  It's about me.
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Well!  We got TOLD!:

Dear Generation X: Get the fuck out. Love, MTV.

Tidbit from the HRTS rubber-chicken luncheon over in sterile Century City: MTV Networks president Van Toffler reiterated the network's devotion to millennials (a.k.a Generation Y), but also made it clear that Generation X shouldn't let the door hit them on the way out.

"We're pushing Generation X out," Toffler said. "We're slaves to our different audiences, for MTV that's millennials, who are vastly different than Generation X; they're definitely less cynical -- they're more civic minded."

As evidence of the fine taste of this benevolent new generational breed, Toffler cited ... "Jersey Shore."

The network president said, "Millennials are really about authentic reality and family" and that MTV "played up the camaraderie and family elements [on 'Jersey Shore']" to appeal to them.

Hear that Gen X? You're too cyncial too appreciate the civic-minded wholesomeness of "Jersey Shore."


Well, I'd rant about how MTV hasn't actually been relevant in at least 10 years, but clearly they can't hear me over the sound of how awesome they are!  I feel so, so left out by being part of generation who can't see the greatness of the delightful individuals on "Jersey Shore".  I'll just cry m'self to sleep RIGHT NOW!  Actually, the only thing that would make me cry would be the knowledge that anyone in my gen. still bothered to watch MTV at all.  So thanks, but Dude, we already left.  Enjoy those cool business acumen skills, yo!

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 Hooray!  The Winter Games are on!

The opening was great - I loved the slam poet the best; great idea, and terrific poem. 

Streaming this all at the computer: will I move for the next few hours?  Not after the men's short track qualifying - Good Lord!

Ah, to celebrate the greatest athletes by sitting on my duff.... I may have to get up and run on the eliptical because they are working me up, but that puts me at the mercy of NBC, and not my lovely CBC streams because although we got *great* reception sending this to the TV last night, today, not so much.  So, NBC?  My sore back and continuing flabby thighs?  Yeah, so your fault. ;)

Oh and Nico started tball today.  He's got the air of a natural about him, provided he keeps focused.  He can *throw*, but not excelling in the control department just yet.  Catching is still an issue because he continues to step away from the ball, not towards it.  He seems obsessed with getting hit in the mouth & losing teeth - what TV has this boy been watching!?!?  Auntie will cure this. We learned about *closing* our mitt when the ball hits, and he was delighted with the results.  SO, he can be taught....  Why yes, I've already drafted his first World Series victory speach, why do you ask? LOL.
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Here I sit, happily writing out a special birthday card for Nico, ready to tuck in his Disney Dollars, and I sneeze.

Those of you who read the previous entry will understand when I say "and lo, there was a dalek smack in the middle of the card"....

Seriously?  Seriously.  But you know what, I reason that as this is a card for a 6 year old boy, and if I tell him I massively sneezed all over it he'll probably just laugh.

(You can't tell anything happened...but I know!)
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 So good news = FINALLY losing weight.  This whole insulin adventure is brutal, but am happy to say - almost astonished to say - that my body has remembered how to get *rid* of fat, rather than horde it.  I shall spare the sordid medical details, however, and cut to the amusing side of this.

I've been 'between' sizes for a while: I have two pairs of jeans, each on either side of that aggravating fence, and for a long time there have been rare days when I have been able to get into the smaller pair in a way where I can actually go out in public without shaming myself, and all of my ancestors back to Sarson du Belchere back in Normandy, egging on William Rufus (Sire, he's called Harold for God's sake and he doesn't even have a cool nik like the Bastard Rufus as you doth; I say we goeth for it!).  Today was my playdate with Sophie.  I grabbed the go-to jeans out of the dryer and hit the road.

I realised as I almost lost my pants in the middle of Japantown that *hey! these don't even fit straight out of the wash!* which would have been more exciting had I not almost just made the day memorable in ways unforseen.  Of course, then I gave myself that AI earworm..."Pants on the ground, pants on the ground....".  Sophie asked if maybe we should by a belt at the next store.  Sensible child. 

Support your local artists! Even when they make you hungry.... )

Also, Sophie is being successfully assimilated into Doctor Who fandom.  We listened to a new audiobook in the car, but were diverted into a lengthy discussion (or rather, a verbal dissertation from the Bug) on Why Daleks Aren't Scary - They're Just Robots.  Sophie finds them amusing, and we have this conversation:

" Why the Doctor doesn't just 'zap 'em with his sonic hammer...."
"... screwdriver, soph..."
"... his screwdriver.  That's what I'd do!  They're totally not scary."
"Well, they're pretty tough and not really zapable.  You need to blow them up, not sonic them."

She then asked what they looked like inside.  

"Well," says Auntie, being careful not to give the child with a wild imagination anything that will arm it for nightmares "you know what?  They look like a sneeze, actually.  With one eye."  
"So what The Doctor needs a SONIC HANDKERCHIEF!"
"That could work."
"Well If I were The Doctor I'd just zap open their robot shell and poke them in their big black eye and say TAKE THAT!"
"Actually, I think their eyes are blue...."
"NO WAY!" and she dissolves into gales of laughter.  "Who ever heard of a monster with a blue eye?  See, totally not scary."
"You know Mommy thinks they're really scary."
"Does she know they look like a sneeze?"
"They have tentacles, too."
"Oh well that explains it, 'cause you know how she gets about them."

I am so ready to start showing her the TV show!

And this time next week I will be down at Disneyland and yes, I am rather pathetically excited about that.  WoOt!!

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 The Bug has been busy letting her imagination go wild and draws up the most amusing pictures.  Today, however, she showed me a recent creation that simply charmed the socks right off me.  Well, it would have had I been wearing them, but you know what I mean.

So of course, proud Auntie must share.  This is the main panel from "Fox Trot'

The fox is wearing shoes, and yes those are dancing birds. Let's get a close up of the fox, shall we?

He just charms the heck out of me, what can I say??  I shall keep him close to make me smile when I am being brought down by one thing or another.

Sunday my fellow artist and I are going to the Cartoon Art Museum in SF, which was the museum Sophie selected out of her many options.  Her discovery of 'Calvin and Hobbes' is part of what is feeding this desire, but she is also excited to see the "Art of Batman" exhibit that will be the special display when we go.  

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