Saturday, December 27, 2008

Where Can I Find?

Yes, I know it's an English staple, but I'd love to know if anyone knows where I could find HP. It's very similar to A1, but with a tarter bite, and not as thick. It's wonderful on eggs, and with getting ready for my new fitness minded lifestyle, I will be eating plenty of egg-white omlettes. Please give a shout-out if you know!

I've Made a New Committment

Ever heard of P90X? It's a series of fitness dvd's sold on late night informercial-vision. A new friend and I are going to be whipping ourselves into shape each day at my new gym, 3rdDegreeFitness. It claims to be able to transform your body in 90 days... although I think I may need to do it twice... I've never been so out of shape in my life, and I am ready for the changes to come!!!!

My new workout buddy is a trainer at this gym, and I have been following his fitness and weight loss battles on youtube for some time. At first, I didn't realize that he lived in Hot Springs, but it is such a small world sometimes, isn't it?? Anyhow, I've been doing my own battle with the bulge, as many of you who know me already know. My biggest mistake this year though, was taking on too many other obligations, and the gym somehow slid into bottom priority. By slacking off my gym time, I was able to re-gain nearly 20 lbs. that I had lost... and I did it in only the length of 16 weeks, or i.e., one Fall Semester. I'm not dissapointed, I just now realize that the committment I make to fitness and overall health must be a daily consideration, just like eating or sleeping, or I will die a very premature death. I don't want to die young. I refuse.

Luck would have it that my new friend and I would finally meet face to face yesterday, and upon discovering that we're to turn 40 years old within a month of each other, we have made a pact to celebrate our 40th Birthdays in the best shape of our lives. I am so, so, SO very excited about this! You know how when something is so exciting to you that you cannot sleep? THAT is how excited I was about this. (Which today, makes Alan a sloppy, dragging, tired fool.)

I am making certain preparations for the journey today, even though I feel like crap-o-la. I am getting the kitchen and pantry ready for a make-over as well. I know I will need to free up space in the pantry and fridge and freezer, for the new bounty of healthy foods I will now be keeping on hand. I am also rearranging the cupboards as best I can, and any other way possible to help me help myself in the kitchen.

And as tired as I still am from a severe deprivation of sleep.... I am still SO very excited. Tomorrow will be the day it begins.

Number 3

John Costelloe, also known as Johnny Cakes... the closeted gay love interest of Vito on The Soprano's, also has died.

Actually, Christmas Day brought us three deaths with one big wham. Besides Costelloe and Eartha Kitt, Nobel-winning and otherwise famous playwright Harold Pinter, all died on the same day.

In threes, ya know.....

Johnny Cakes and Vito share
a special moment.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Classic Eartha

You can even hear a Cat Purrrrrr!

RIP, Eartha Kitt

Eartha_Kitt, made famous for her role as Catwoman on the 1960's television series, Batman, as well as for her vixen-voiced rendition of "Santa_Baby", has died. Ms. Kitt comes in as my #2, in reference to my earlier post this month, "It_Happens_In_Threes,_You_Know...?

Isn't this ironic? Santa Baby is one of my favorite Christmas songs, and today, December 25th, was THE DAY Ms. Kitt would take her last breath. She recorded the song in 1953.

Coming a long way from her South Carolina roots - the daughter of a poor cotton farming family, her father was white - she proclaimed herself as a sex-kitten, Orson Wells called her "the most exciting woman in the world", and through her 6 decade career, earned herself three Emmy nominations... two of which she won, and also numerous Grammy and Tony nominations. Stage and screen icons like Eartha are a disappearing type of hybrid performer. Even entering her 80's, she had a large fan base that was less than half her age. I happen to be one of them! As of the past few years, Eartha had taken part in several children's animated series, doing voice characterizations. I will follow this post with a video or two (hopefully there's a clip on youtube).

Good Night, sweet and sexy Eartha. You were loved by many.


My friends at Wikipedia are a fascinating bunch. I just took the time to make a donation to show my appreciation for their hard work.

Where else in the world wide web can one search for information without the pesky ads and pop-ups? I can spend hours (and have) looking at anything and/or nothing specific, just to expand my knowledge. Of course, I was one child that read the dictionary and encyclopedia... for fun. Does that label me as a nerd?

Here's a link to donate. Do it!!!

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Monday, December 15, 2008

Open House Photos

Christmas Open House

I was able to take photos at the very beginning and at the very end. Sorry for the gap, but we had such a good time, that toting a camera was not on my mind. The photos in the kitchen were at the end of the evening, and things were getting messy:) My friend Sharon is actually wearing a shirt of mine, b/c she was 'burning up' in her Christmas sweater.

All be told, I think we had around 50 people show up.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Sprint through Christmas

Joe and I both took today off from work to prepare for our Christmas festivities. For those of you who have been in our home, you well know the amount of 'stuff', and the difficulties the 'stuff' have presented in allowing for a living flow throughout the house. Should any of you be able to visit within the next few weeks, you will notice the drastic changes we have made!

  • The front parlor has been totally cleaned, including each and every individual piece of antiquity, and the black baby grand has been tuned.
  • The library has been cleared and rearranged... and cleaned.
  • The dining room has been cleared of all the Brown_County_Art, cleaned, and selectively had its antiquities rearranged.
  • The back parlor has had all of its bookcases cleared of chachkies and replaced with, well... books... and cleaned.
  • The kitchen... cleared and cleaned.
  • The laundry room/powder room has had a nice treatment of Kenneth_Reeve hanging art added to its walls... and cleaned.

And I hope that if you are not able to drop-in on The 602 this Christmas season, that all of the work that has gone into it recently will remain as is. (I can only hope.)

The reasons for all the 'to-do' are two fold... On Saturday, we will be having our first ever Open House. It is for our friends and neighbors, Ron and Leigh Linton, who will be having a jewelry show. They are fine artisans in precious metals and stones, and we have thought of hosting a show for them for quite some time. It is also a way for us to be motivated to get our house 'guest-ready'.

Then on the following weekend, my family will be gathering here to celebrate our Christmas. It will be the first time I have hosted my family Christmas in several years. The last time, Rachel and I were still married, and Luke had just been born less than a month prior. Needless to say, my circumstances have changed drastically since then, and I am very excited to be able to welcome my own flesh and blood into a home full of warmth and love.

I've got a lot more to do, so I'd better get crackin'!!!! I'll post pictures as I can.


By taking the Comprehensive Final in Accounting last evening, I am done with school for one whole month. I am proud of myself enough to post my grade chart! I hope it's large enough to see... The Green columns are my grades, the Blue represent the class average.

Click to embiggen:

Prior to my exam, I did the necessary calculations to know how well I would need to perform in order to maintain my A grade, and it turned out that by working so hard throughout the semester, I needed only make a 63% on my final. Had I totally bombed or skipped-out, my class grade would have suffered a drop to an 85%... or mid-B. So, I was in no way stressed about my test performance. After handing in my exam last night, my instructor graciously graded it, and I discovered I exceeded my expectations. 98%! When I arrived at home, I called my parents to congratulate them, in that their son is - for the first time ever - a straight A college student.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Goodness!

I had not realized it has been over one month since my last post. Blame it on schoolwork. My last final will be Thursday (tomorrow). And after doing the necessary calculations with my grade, I've established that if I totally bomb that comprehensive final, I will still squeak-by with a strong "B"...! That was very comforting to discover, I might add. And in order to maintain my "A" average in Accounting, I need only score a 63%.

I have completed all my course work for Business Law this week, too. Our instructor, who just happens to be one of our esteemed Circuit_Judges, dismissed us after Monday evening's session, and not without letting us peek at our course grade. When he began class that evening, he immediately scaled-out the entire body of scores in bell curve fasion on the blackboard, from highest to lowest, and then drew dividing lines, so as to separate the scores into groups. Of course, this was to show the different grading divisions. Five students recieved A's, around 12 B's, then fewer C's, etc... I knew that I did not have the highest score in the class. I was really just hoping for the #4 or #5 spot! But to my surprise, I clearly saw that I was #3!!!!

Thanks Judge!

It Happens In Threes, You Know...?

Everyone knows the face. Having appeared in around 40 films, 200 plays and many television shows, Robert Prosky had a face you would not easily forget. Knowing and remembering his name was not so easy.

His son, Stephen Prosky, was quoted in today's Associated Press, "Everybody knows him as a fairly famous actor. My brothers and I know him as a marvelous father."

It always seems that it is at this time of year that deaths of famous persons somehow are quick to gel in our memories. Here it is, just two weeks from Christmas, and we have our first for 2008. Who might we mourn next? It never seems predictable, but I am sure to count on at least two more noteworthy deaths before the stroke of Midnight, 12/31/2008. Any predictions out there?

And a good-night to you Mr. Prosky. You now join an ever growing list of those who have become immortal by means of cellulose. Now, whenever I watch Mrs. Doubtfire, or reruns of Hill Street Blues... I will know your name.