Thursday, August 14, 2008

Olympics

I'm watching men's beach volleyball right now. Gibb/Rosenthal from the USA against Asahi/Shiratori from Japan.

All I can say is…so many beautiful, talented men in one place. Be still my beating heart.

Friday, August 1, 2008

On Writing

I found this entry that I wrote on one of my now defunct blogs over 4 years ago and decided to repost it here.

-----------------
A Box Full of Memories

I found myself walking down memory lane yesterday thanks to a big Rubbermaid container filled with notebooks of things I'd written in the past. About 21 years ago, I started writing stories that coincided with the role-playing game I was running each weekend. I guess I thought that I'd sit down one day and turn it all into another Dragonlance series. (Weiss and Hickman) Below is a brief example of something I wrote up at that time. It's a rough draft and the writing is quite laughable. I hope I've improved with age. :)

*~*~*~*~*

"Are you intending to sleep the entire day away while I STARVE?!!?!!" came a high pitched, glass shattering voice.

The six adventurers jumped from their beds, weapons readied in their hands. They paused upon seeing the foot and a half long faerie dragon sitting on top of a small table in the corner of the room.

"Why you horrid, little beast," Aslova shouted as she stared at the creature threateningly. "I should run my dagger through your tiny gut then use your bones for dragon soup!"

Suddenly, the small dragon vanished from sight.

"Get back here you..."

"Calm yourself, Aslova," Erlic said, cutting off her words. He tried to stop a grin from spreading across his mouth. The rest of the companions sat back down on their beds, composing themselves after such a rude awakening.

"You know how Darliska gets when she's hungry," Erlic continued. "I'm sure she's sorry for frightening us like that." His eyes panned the room. "AREN'T you, Darliska?"

"Yes," came the screeching answer from the opposite end of the room, "but I'm still HUNGRY!"

Aslova turned and threw her dagger in the direction of the voice. The weapon stuck into the wall near the door. "Show yourself you miserable piece of cow's dung!"

Erlic placed a restraining hand on the arm of the beautiful thief. "You've succeeded in getting Aslova upset, Darliska. But if you apologize for your behavior and promise to be good for a few minutes, I'll give you the nice, juicy apple that's in my backpack."

The faerie dragon materialized on top of Erlic's pack. "Okay, I apologize. But, I don't think you should let that crazy woman get away with calling me names and threatening to use me for soup. She probably can't cook anyway!"

Erlic had to use all his strength to keep Aslova from attacking the little dragon.

"Let go of me," she screamed. "I promise I won't kill it. I just want to hurt it a little."

"I've got a better idea," Erlic said as he led the woman to the door. "Why don't you go downstairs and order us all some breakfast? You look as though you could use a nice cup of tea. I'll take care of Darliska then we'll come down to join you."

"Fine!" the female thief snapped. "I think I've had just about enough of you and your terrible, little pet." With that she stormed out of the room, slamming the door behind her.

"A few minutes are up," screeched the dragon. "Now, where's my apple?"

The remaining companions looked toward the creature and shook their heads. Lana was suddenly struck by the absurdity of the situation and began to giggle. Everyone else soon joined in, the room exploding with laughter.

The end
*~*~*~*~*

One of these days I need to sit down and start writing again. But it's going to be difficult to get back into the swing of things since I recently ended a 9 year stint of collaborating with other amateur fantasy writers, creating wonderful stories on a play by post forum. Hmm, maybe I should start by going through all my old writings and seeing if anything is worth revamping. Ahh, yet another project to tackle during those long, cold winter months when I'm cooped up inside.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Wii, Webpage update

I spent a couple of hours this morning updating my webpage. Added some links to other sites I frequent. I had to use Firefox again because IE keeps needing to shut down because of run time errors. What's up with that?? I've used IE for 10 years and like it a lot. Firefox is great too. I'm just not used to it yet. Having both browsers open is kind of cool.

On the healthier eating/exercising front: I started keeping track of what I eat and realize I'm sticking to around 1500 calories a day. I've lost 14 pounds so far. I attribute that to moving around more while cutting out all the junk food. For example, this week I managed a 45 minute walk every morning, and a 30 minute workout on Wii Fit in the afternoon.

A couple of nights this week the hubby and I were on our feet playing other games on the Wii too. We rented Wii Ski from Blockbuster and love it. What a blast. You get to ski, AND bump into things, (ouch lol). Your can import your Mii, have them talk to people on the slopes, and get clues to find missing skiers and such. I enjoy games like this because they give your body a workout instead of only your thumbs.

Some heavy storms just ended here. Guess I'll go outside with the dogs for a while before it starts pouring again. Then I have to figure out what to make for dinner. "Burn Notice" is on tonight. Yay! I'm such an action junkie. :p

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Way too hot

MY DECK

It's TOO hot to do anything today. So I think I'll make some lemonade to sip while I laze around on my deck with the dogs underfoot. Today might be a good time to start making my way through all the "to read" books piled up on my desk. Up next is: Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton. I've heard a lot about Anita Blake, her vampire hunter and think it's time I find out what all the hubbub is about.

Does anyone watch "Wipeout," or "I Survived a Japanese Game?" Both are on tonight and both are hysterical.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Avatar

The final 10 episodes of, Avatar: The Last Airbender air this week on Nickelodeon. Check your local listings for the time. Last night's episode was great. But then again, the entire Avatar series has been great so far. I can't wait to see the remaining episodes.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Old characters never die

I haven't played tabletop dungeons and dragons or done any play by posts in quite some time, but the characters involved in those endeavors remain alive. We simply use them in other ways, like as avatars for the Wii game system for example. :D

Below are my characters of Azzy and Marz. They are followed by my husband's characters of Erlic and Corum. I guess this proves that certain characters we breathed live into will remain in our minds and hearts forever.

    

    

Friday, June 27, 2008

New camera

I now have a new Sony Cybershot W-120 camera that I intend to carry with me at all times. (it's small enough to stuff in my purse) Maybe I'll start posting more pictures. Whoot! Bet y'all can't wait. LOL

Anyhoo, I think I'll start off with a shot of the path through my neighborhood that I walk down every morning when weather permits. I usually meet my friend, Rosa at the local restaurant. It's only a 13 minute walk from my house but I don't take a direct path. Instead I walk down this block and that block until I've pounded the pavement for about 30 minutes. The coffee and oatmeal taste extra special after that nice, long walk. :D



Oh, I thought I'd mention that I downloaded Firefox and have been trying it for the last 2 days because I'm tired of IE having to shut down on me because of some stupid run time errors. So far I'm liking Firefox very much. *nods*

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Fitness Update

I've lost 8 pounds since starting my exercise/eating healthier routine last month. Whoot! Go me! *does a happy dance* I've still got a long way to go but at least I'm feeling very encouraged and that helps.

Wii Fit is a blast! I love doing the hula-hoop, step, and running routines. The balance exercises are pretty cool too. Hitting soccer balls with your head and getting smacked in the face with a shoe because of failing to duck cracks me up every time. It's hard to explain. You have to play the Wii Fit to understand. Right now I can't really get into the yoga and strength stuff for some reason. Guess I'll save them for later. 30 minutes flies by on the Wii. It's a good thing when exercising is so much fun you don't realize how long you've been at it!

I'm very grateful for the nice weather we've been having lately. I look forward to walking when it's not so ungodly hot. I'm still managing to get two 20-30 minutes walks in each day. It's getting a "little" easier to do. (finally)

I just incorporated lifting 4 pound weights on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays. I'm starting off slowing with this though, doing only 2 sets of 8 reps for biceps and triceps. I think my legs get enough of a work out with the walking, and Wii Fit stuff.

Now I have to do a bit more housecleaning before I hit the pavement again. :D

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Feathered visitors



I saw these cuties sitting on my deck yesterday afternoon and rushed to get my camera. I had to take the picture through the window because I knew I'd scare them off as soon and I opened the door.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Exercise fool

We got our rebate check last week. And, in an effort to get back into shape we bought Wii Fit AND Dance Dance Revolution for the Wii gaming system. I messed around with both games yesterday for a long time. Maybe that's why I feel so dang tired this morning. Anyhoo, I'm off to take a walk. Hopefully, that will wake me up. Until next time. :D

Friday, May 9, 2008

Still around, but mostly in lurking mode

I haven't updated in some time because...

1. I've been spending lotza time outside, and doing things away from the computer.
2. I couldn't think of anything interesting to say.
3. My computer has been acting up...A LOT! Some days I don't even bother to turn the damn thing on because it upsets me. Guess it's time to save up for a new one. It would be nice to have it for the winter months when I don't mind sitting inside and working on graphics, etc.

My husband had the walnut sized tumor removed from his left leg on the 10th of April. He was told to stay home from work for a week and I did my best to pamper him during that time. :D Now he's going to therapy twice a week because he's walking a tad funny. The tumor was growing in a nerve so it will take a while for the nerve to get back to normal. That's what his doc says. The great news is that the tumor was benign. Yay!

I'm still working on getting back in shape. Thanks to the nice weather we've been having, I've been able to take a couple of walks each day, 30 minutes each. And I've really been watching what I eat. Sometimes I think I'm pushing things too fast with the exercise because gods I ache! lol

It's not Sunday yet, but I want to shout out a Happy Mother's day to all you moms out there. I hope you enjoy the special day.

Until next time...

Monday, March 31, 2008

Anime and stuff

We haven't bought any anime in quite some time. I think that led us to somewhat splurge on it this weekend. We picked up Volume 1 of XXXholic by Clamp along with a Clamp double feature movie that features, "Tsubasa: The Princess in the Birdcage Kingdom," and "XXXholic: A Midsummer Night's Dream." We haven't watched either movie yet.

Also purchased: Volumes 1 and 2 of the laugh a minute, "The Wallflower." The hubby really gets a kick out of this anime series for some reason. lol At some point in time I'd like to pick up the Death Note series too. That's one I really enjoyed.

My computer is still acting up but I guess I shouldn't complain much since it's over 5 years old and hasn't given me too much trouble. I suppose it's time to start saving up for a new one. I'd like to get it with XP instead of Vista though. I think that's possible if we order it from Dell.

Did anyone turn off their lights for Earth Hour on Saturday? We turned off everything and then played cards by candlelight. I don't think they did a very good job of advertising for Earth Hour though since my daughter didn't know a thing about it until I mentioned it to her. That might explain why only 5% of electrical power was saved in Chicago during that hour. I thought it would be a lot more.

I think I'm finally getting the hang of giving my cat insulin shots. At least I'm not cringing when I do it anymore. And Thistle seems to have gotten used to the idea of getting stuck with a tiny needle two times a day. Thistle is also on a special diet. It's hard keeping her away from her brother's regular food.

It's a dreary, rather depressing kind of day thanks to all this rain. Where in hades is Spring???

Smoke free days: 76! *pats self on back*

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Weekly update

Easter was nice, especially since I didn't have to cook or anything. :D My 84 year old mom-in-law (bless her heart) did the honors, and once again she overdid it with the food. Here is her menu for 8 adults and 3 kids. (ages: 2, 6, and 10)

Egg drop soup
Salad
Lasagna (Yum! My favorite. This with some bread is all I need.)
Pork Roast
Fried chicken
Asparagus
Brussels sprouts
Mashed potatoes
Sautéed mushrooms
Endless bread basket

I won't bother to go into all the things she set out for dessert. With so much food, it's hard to enjoy one thing because she looks disappointed if you don't sample a hearty portion of "everything." *belch* Naturally, I overate. I'll have to compensate by extending my daily workouts this week.

In other news: My hubby will finally have surgery to remove a tumor growing on a nerve in his leg on April 10th. He was supposed to have the surgery done on February 15 but it was cancelled the day before. Sheesh. The doctor said he's been doing this kind of surgery for 30 years. There is always a chance of nerve damage but he made it sound like the risk is minimal. Hope so.

Last week we took Thistle (my calico) in for tests since she started drinking a lot of water and urinating often. Well, she has diabetes. :( I still flinch when I have to inject her with the insulin. Supposedly this gets easier over time.

My computer has been giving me a whole lot of grief lately. Some days it stalls completely and doesn't start working properly again until after 3 reboots. I've done a number of virus scans, ran a registry clean program, defragmented my hard drive, etc, but nothing has helped. Now, my network doesn't work. I can't even ping my computer from my husband's computer. *sigh* Anyhoo, if I disappear for awhile it will probably be because my computer crashed completely.

Now, I'm off to get a workout in before I get too lazy.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Spring is in the air...

...Well, not really. It's since pretty cold here in Chi town. But I had a bit of Spring erupt on my computer monitor this morning. You can experience it too by clicking on the link below. It will take you to a black screen. Click your mouse on that black screen as often as you like and enjoy. :D

PS: Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Click for a touch of Spring

Monday, March 10, 2008

Cats and blankets

My cats love the spare bedroom. And they love it even more when I toss extra blankets on the bed. :D

Sneak playing peek a boo


Sneak and Thistle enjoying a lazy Sunday

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Yah! It's the weekend

After much growling, cursing, and pulling my hair out I finally got my old PDA to sync up with my computer. I'm still not sure what I did to finally succeed so I hope I don't have to do this again. But I know that's too much to hope for because this isn't the first time the pda and the computer stopped syncing. And every time it's a pain in the arse trying to make things right again. Anyway, now I can download some stuff I want to read when I'm not in front of the computer.

We're going to watch some anime later and then a movie we got from Netflix called Game Plan. It stars Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson. I like him. We would've watched "Crash" too, but the disc arrived cracked so I returned it right away. Today's pizza night too. Whoot!

More from my sketchbook: I drew this rose at the end of January, referencing the book "Drawing for Dummies," by B. Hoddinott.



I hope everyone has an enjoyable weekend!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Humor

A funny tidbit from this morning's Chicago Sun Times:

Every Woman's Struggle

One day a housework-challenged husband decided to wash his sweatshirt. Seconds after he stepped into the laundry room, he shouted to her, "What setting do I use on the washing machine?"

"It depends," she replied. "What does it say on your shirt?"

He yelled back, "University of Illinois."

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

No pain, no gain

Whoa, I forgot how hard exercising could be, especially when your body hasn't done much moving in a while. I just finished doing a 15 minute aerobic routine following Gilad on Fit TV. Then I lifted 5 pound hand weights, doing 2 sets of 8 reps for biceps, triceps, back, and chest. Whew. That doesn't really sound like a lot, but it's a lot for me right now. *wipes brow* I'm trying to establish a routine of doing some form of exercise every day for at least 20 minutes. So far, so good. Getting my body to move will be much easier when the weather warms up because I love to walk and plan on doing a lot of it this year.

We watched "New Amsterdam," last night. I'm not sure what to say about it except that I thought it was so, so. I didn't think there was anything spectacular about it, but I plan on watching it again.

On American Idol: I thought the worst performances were by Luke Menard and Danny Noriega. I'd kind of hate to see Danny go though because he cracks me up. He's got just enough attitude going on to be funny without being annoying. (yet) Tonight the girls get to sing.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Cold and bored with winter

I guess winter has me down because I'm feeling blah and bored. Inspiration is seriously lacking right now. I pushed my drawing books, pencils, and paper off to the side and grabbed hold of an old, "teach yourself css" book instead. Think I'll work with that for a while. The change of pace might do me good since I have a bad habit of sticking to one thing for far too long and then a kind of numbness sets it. I don't need any more numbness, thank you very much. This lousy weather is doing a good enough job of it.

We watched "Eastern Promises," and "Across the Universe," this weekend and really enjoyed both movies. I cancelled my Netflix subscription about 7 months ago but recently decided to start it up again. In the long run it's cheaper than renting from Comcast or the neighborhood Blockbuster. Plus I've found that Netflix has a much bigger selection than Blockbuster, especially when it comes to anime.

American Idol is on tonight. I don't have a favorite yet although David Archuleta shot to the top of the list after his wonderful performance of "Imagine." I like Jason Castro too but would like to see him concentrate on vocals only. He needs to stash the guitar for a while. IMO, the guys are doing a lot better than the girls this season.

The premium of New Amsterdam airs right after Idol. It's another series about an immortal. The scenes they've been showing look good. I plan on watching tonight.

My jaw dropped this morning when the radio dude said we turn our clocks ahead one hour this weekend because I totally forgot about that. Well, I didn't actually forget about it, I just didn't realize that the time to spring the clocks ahead was upon us already.

49 days without a cigarette. Whoot. Go me. *brrrr* I'm freezing. Stupid cold weather!!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

No pressure

Sometimes I feel very guilty for not blogging every day or for not posting long, well thought out entries. So you can imagine how good I felt when I found this. It made me smile. :)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Drawing practice - doggie 1



More drawing and shading practice. I did this one using "Drawing Dogs and Puppies" by Nolon Stacey for reference.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Good for a chuckle

I got this in an email from a friend and wanted to share. Enjoy. :D

-AMAZING ADVICE

1. IF YOU'RE CHOKING ON AN ICE CUBE, SIMPLY POUR A CUP OF BOILING WATER DOWN YOUR THROAT. PRESTO! THE BLOCKAGE WILL INSTANTLY REMOVE ITSELF.

2. AVOID CUTTING YOURSELF WHEN SLICING VEGETABLES BY GETTING SOMEONE ELSE TO HOLD THE VEGETABLES WHILE YOU CHOP.

3. AVOID ARGUMENTS WITH THE FEMALES ABOUT LIFTING THE TOILET SEAT BY USING THE SINK.

4. FOR HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE SUFFERERS ~ SIMPLY CUT YOURSELF AND BLEED FOR A FEW MINUTES, THUS REDUCING THE PRESSURE ON YOUR VEINS. REMEMBER TO USE A TIMER.

5. A MOUSE TRAP PLACED ON TOP OF YOUR ALARM CLOCK WILL PREVENT YOU FROM ROLLING OVER AND GOING BACK TO SLEEP AFTER YOU HIT THE SNOOZE BUTTON.

6. IF YOU HAVE A BAD COUGH, TAKE A LARGE DOSE OF LAXATIVES. THEN YOU'LL BE AFRAID TO COUGH.

7. YOU ONLY NEED TWO TOOLS IN LIFE - WD-40 AND DUCT TAPE. IF IT DOESN'T MOVE AND SHOULD, USE THE WD-40. IF IT SHOULDN'T MOVE AND DOES, USE THE DUCT TAPE.

8. REMEMBER - EVERYONE SEEMS NORMAL UNTIL YOU GET TO KNOW THEM.

9. IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.


DAILY THOUGHT:
SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES - NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Nasty little girl

omg Last night...Supernatural...Lilith...

Wow, I wasn't expecting that. Very cool!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Eclipse

It's way too cold around here! I nearly froze my fingers off trying to snap a decent picture of last night's eclipse. Usually, whenever there happens to be something neat to see in the sky we get nothing but clouds covering it up. But for once the sky was crystal clear. Naturally, the cold put a damper on things. Even gloves didn't help. Anyhoo, below are a couple of pics.

I used a tripod for these. I did try taking some pics through my telescope but they all sucked. :(

The roof of my house is in the corner. I believe the star above the moon is Regulus and Saturn is to the lower left of the moon.



Got rid of the roof in this one, and zoomed in a little.


Now I'm off to bake crescent cookies for my son-in-law. His birthday is tomorrow. :D

Friday, February 15, 2008

New year, new me

I haven't updated this journal since Christmas. I felt the need for a short hiatus from the internet in order to get my act together. This hiatus enabled me to focus on a couple of goals I set down for myself for the new year.

GOAL #1: Quit smoking. Like many others, I started smoking in my early teens. I enjoyed it. Cigarettes were like good friends. I often thought of quitting but kept putting it off, maybe because I didn't think I could do it after being addicted for so many years.

Almost 2 years ago I found myself puffing away like a friggin' chimney while glued to my pc every evening rapidly adding posts to my now defunct yaoi role-playing board. That soon led to a horrid hacking cough that embarrassed the bejeezus out of me whenever it gripped me in a public place. I was becoming rather anti social because of it.
GOOD NEWS: I have been cigarette free for 30 days now. And that nasty cough is gone. Yeah! Quitting was very hard. I did it cold turkey after preparing for the quit day for a couple of weeks. The first 3 days were the worst. I still crave a cigarette now and then, but I hope I never go back to the habit of lighting up.

GOAL #2: Healthier eating and exercise. I've always had a weight problem. I mean I was measured for a size 22 dress for my brother's wedding, and that took place when I was in 7th grade! I managed to get down to a reasonable weight by high school then gained it all back when I got pregnant. The roller coaster ride of weight loss/weight gain has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.

Several years ago, I got into a health kick. I gave up fried foods, limited my intake of red meat, and started walking, A LOT. I walked to work each morning and home from work each afternoon. (I worked part-time) 2 and a half miles each way. When the company closed down and I started working at home (beautician) I kept up my walking routine for over 8 years, sometimes managing 8-10 miles a day. Whoa, it's hard for me to believe I actually walked so much in a single day. I didn't overeat at this time either so I managed to stay at a healthy weight.

Things changed 4 years ago when my mother passed away. She lived with us and since she was the overbearing type I was always eager to get out of the house. That really kept me walking each day. Anyway, once I had the house to myself I started spending more time on the computer. The walking went right out the window and eventually so did the healthy eating.

Recently, I discovered "Fit TV" and reconnected with Gilad. I love that guy! I used to work out to his Step tapes years ago. For the past 2 weeks I've been working out for 30 minutes every morning, rotating days with aerobics and weight lifting. Sometimes I follow my own routine but I keep Gilad playing on the tv for inspiration. It felt great to pull out the old hand weights again. I'm using 4 pound weights now. Once the weather warms up I plan to start a daily walking routine again. I no longer have the desire to become a skinny minnie, but I do want to get rid of the excess weight. A 10-15 pound loss would be excellent.

In other news: My husband was supposed to have surgery today to remove a tumor growing on a nerve in his leg. Yesterday afternoon I got a call from the hospital saying the surgery is cancelled because the doctor scheduled to perform it is no longer going to be doing that kind of surgery. WTF?? So now, my hubby has to wait until his primary physician refers him to someone else, blah, blah, blah. I hate HMO with its numerous referrals and the other shit they put the patients through.

Art Update: I'm still practicing and will toss up some drawings soon.

Reading: Brother Odd by Dean Koontz

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. :)

PS: I would be remiss if I didn't mention the tragedy that occurred at NIU in DeKalb, Il. My heart goes out to those gunned down in another senseless act of violence. My prayers are with them.