Monday, March 30, 2009

Sundance Kid

A double sigh for the two lovely men who created and starred in one of my all-time favorite films: the late, great Paul Newman and the wonderful Mr. Robert Redford of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid fame.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Long Time No Post

Yeah, sorry 'bout that. Along with being busy with several different projects and chores clinging to my ankles (preparing the garden for April planting {I hereby promise pictures shortly}, baking some goodies with the kiddos {Elvis' favorite pound cake}, doing a bit of spring cleaning, trying to get a head start on my next papers, trying to have a romantic and social life), I've also just been trying to vegetate. After that 30-page paper of mine my brain was fried.

But the weekend included several trips to the pool (great for letting the kiddies blow off some steam and great for startin' ma tan), lots of fun sleepovers and playdates (am I the only mom who hates that word? When I was a kid we used to just "play" - now it's all about the schedule of things... *sigh*), and generally just enjoying the lovely sunshine and time with family.

Alongside all of this, I've been doing a lot of soul searching, too. Mostly this consists of trying to define and solidify who I am, which in turn consists of finding out what I do and don't like and allowing room for changes. I seem to have a lot of interests that really don't fit well together and I think this is what creates the dissonance inside for me. It's really quite frustrating, actually. Thus the soul searching. I am trying to find out who I am. But I also believe that this is a lifelong persuit, it's not an event and it's not something that only takes place in one's youth. I believe that if a person isn't constantly evolving (with certain values, etc. as pillars that are mainstays) then they aren't being honest with themselves, or at the very least are missing out on life. As Socrates once said, "The unexamined life is not worth living." And I agree.

So here's to all of us. To the search, the path, the changes, and the growth. As long as I (and we) are honest with my- ourselves, we really can't go wrong. At least I believe this to be true.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Miss Audrey Tautou

Sunday, March 22, 2009


The late, great Layne Staley.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Beautify Ethically

As someone who abstains from purchasing and using any product that is either made from or tested on animals as well as being a girl who likes her beauty products, I thought I'd give a list of some of my favorites that I highly recommend.

Aside from the animal-friendly benefit (very important!), these products frequent my shelves because they're also of good quality.

First up from Aubrey Organics is Honeysuckle Rose Moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. First off, I love, love, love the scent, and since I heat-style my hair, I need the extra moisturizing components this shampoo and conditioner set offers.

Next up from Bare Escentuals is, well, pretty much everything! I love the foundation with the SPF15, I love all their eyeshadows, blushes, and lip products. The only thing you have to avoid if you're 100% vegan is the red-dyed products as they use cochineal. But other than those, it's all animal-product free and 100% NOT tested on animals! Yay!

Finally is Dr. Bronners' Magic Rose Soap. And let me just say that it is magical! This soap, probably unlike any other kind you've used or heard of, can be literally and truly (I know this from experience, folks!) be used as a body soap, TOOTHPASTE, dishwashing detergent, laundry detergent, household cleanser, and more. There are all different scents and even some new products in their line which wern't around when I started using Dr.'s years and years ago.

Hope you enjoy trying some (or all!) of these nifty products out for yourself and your family. Two thumbs up from me!

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Ok ok ok... this is SO hilarious! You've gotta go check out this site -

ewe aren't going this raff you're hed of!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Before I start, I want to wish my father Michael a very happy 60th birthday today, and to anyone reading, please do me the honor of wishing my Pops a happy one. He was a great man, who like many of us, suffered more than his fair share but still held his head high in the face of adversity. Through trials and tribulations, he always loved me and I knew it. Whatever our fate after mortality, I hope that at the very least, he's in peace. Much deserved peace.

You will always live on in my heart, Dad. I will do my very best to honor you and live the life you were never able to live. I dedicate my degree to you - something I know you'd be so proud of. My Irish eyes always smile at the memory of you.

I love you, Papa. I love you...


Now on to gayer events! Today, as you all know, is none other than St. Paddy's Day! A day when we Irish get to be vocal about the many things we have accomplished as a people. Not only those in Ireland today, but those of us here in the US and of course, of course our ancestors. Irish immigrants. More than 12% (just over 36 million) of the United States population can trace their ancestry back to Ireland. A great deal of the hard work it took to make America the country it is today was done on the backs of Irish immigrants in work such as canal building (Erie being the most famous), bridge building (Golden Gate again being the most famous example), railroad laying (the first transcontinental railroad prior to WWI), servitude, lumber work, civil construction, and so much more. Despite their hard work, it largely went unappreciated and Irish immigrants were discriminated against and harsh stereotypes were cast upon them, many of which I still hear today. Even though the Irish have been primarily Catholic since before our recent memories will allow, they were originally a Pagan peoples, as were most of the Western Europeans before the Crusades.

I raise my glass to my Irish family, to my Irish ancestors, all Irish peoples of days gone by of today and of tomorrow...


Monday, March 16, 2009

Us and Them

For a few years now I've had a keen interest in politics, moreover, the sociological implications of our two-party system here in the US. That is to say, what the precise differences are in the mindsets, ideals, and motivations between Liberals and Conservatives. I've had my own notions of what they were, but being the social scientist that I am, I needed the facts. Studies, statistics, evidence, if you will. Of course there are many of all three, but the most concise and reader-friendly compilation I've found to date are the explanations found on none other than Wikipedia.

Now there have been harsh criticisms of Wiki because of the fact that it's an open forum, anyone can change data on a page there. But. I have found thus far in my academic pursuits that Wikipedia has thus far proven to be a pretty good resource (I've also heard the same affirmation from professors). So, in short let me say, if you're really and truly interested in finding out all the facts, look beyond Wikipedia. This I've done on this very topic of bipartisan politics in our country, but I wanted to offer up a quick explanation for anyone interested.

Why I like these two sites for explanations on Conservatism and Liberalism is because of the psychological and sociological studies that were included. This not only gave me a clearer idea about what makes the average Conservative and Liberal tick, but also heightened my awareness of all the different offshoots within each party and school of thought. I did this research for my own personal interest, as political sociology is an area I plan to study further - I hope to be minoring in poly. sci. and history at university come fall - my major is soc., of course.

If this were biased information, I wouldn't give it credence in terms of garnering truth. Biased information only gives insight into the details of current waves within a school of thought - that's why it's interesting to read both Conservative and Liberal blogs, news forums, etc.

Anyway, without further ado, I present to you Liberalism and Conservatism. Enjoy.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Home Sweet Home

More Emerald Isle love. Can't help m'self!


And the lovely Celtic Woman.

To Get You Started...

I've compiled some traditionally Irish goodies that are a mainstay in my home and that I highly recommend to anyone who's not yet Irish. ;)

This set is inspired by my Irish heritage (I'm half Irish, half Italian - read: very hardheaded), the upcoming St. Paddy's Day, and me father's birthday - which would also be St. Paddy's Day - he would have been 60 this year. Love ya, Dad!

Hope you get the chance to try some of these out, whatever your preferences may be. Oh, and I'll have an official St. Paddy's Day post on the 17th, you can count on it.

First up on the list of lovelies: Irish Oatmeal, as that's the first thing we all eat at our home. I love McCann's (~ 10 min. to cook) and a much more time-consuming but very tasty breakfast to make at ~ 40 min. is Country Choice Organic. These oats aren't rolled and are thus a whole grain - very good for you. A treat one of my Irish uncles David would make for us kids years and years ago was Irish oatmeal with vanilla ice cream mixed in for dessert. Oh how we loved that!

Next up (you guessed it!): Irish beer, as this is what we all have for lunch in our house (I kiid, I kiid!!). As a bit of a beer aficionado myself, over the years I've come to have a few favorites from three categories: stouts, ales, and cream ales. Now, there are other styles of brews, and I'll be posting on those in the future to be sure, but as for Irish beers, these kick arse. Top o' the lists for me are: Beamish Stout (like Guinness), Harp Lager, and finally, Kilkenny Cream Ale. Drink up! Responsibly, of course. And remember, indulgence not compulsion.

Finally, no Irishman is complete without this traditional Irish fare: Colcannon. Makes me mouth wada. My Irish grandfather Donald would hide coins in our colcannon when we were little as this is done in Ireland (and many other countries, too). I make mine with kale versus cabbage because I just love the bitterness of this leafy green and really like my cabbage on the side, but recipes vary according to region and personal tradition/preference. BTW, this recipe can be made into a vegetarian, vegan, or meat dish (I happen to be a near-vegan {meaning that my diet is primarily vegan with a few variances now and then}, or as some like to call it these days, a flexitarian), there's really a lot of ways to prepare it and many can be found all over Ireland.

Also on our table throughout the year, and yes, on St. Paddy's Day:

Irish Soda Bread (appetizer)
Corned Beef (main dish)
Apple and Barley Pudding (for dessert)
Cadbury Bournvita (after dinner drink for the kiddies)

So my friends, go out there and 'get your Irish on!' For me and my family, being Irish is a year 'round deal, but we were so generous we decided to let yous people who aren't Irish play Irish one day a year. Ain't we sweet? ;)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Happy... PI Day?

Yes folks, today, 3.14.09, is National Pi Day. A day for math and science nerds (and hey, academics of all kinds, really) to unite and celebrate our FREEDOM!!! Wait, not really. But that sure sounded cool, huh?!

As a former and recovered math-phobic, I can now appreciate this day as it should be, because the correct use of this non-repeating and un-ending number helped me finally, FINALLY get past the math classes that scared me so badly and were holding me back from completing my degree. Hooray! Even though I would be happy if I never had to solve a differential equation or utilize the quadratic formula again, I am so very grateful to all the mathematicians and scientists 'out there' from the past, in the present, and to be in the future that make my life better in countless ways because of their hard work and intellect.


Now go eat some pie!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday the 13th - Ooooohh...

Of COURSE I'm doing a post about Friday the 13th, well, at least I'm posting ON Friday the 13th - not too sure I really have an expanse of knowledge about this silly day, actually.

Let's see. Some say mention of it dates back to the late 18th century, but is more commonly found in folkloric writings and media portrayals in the 19th century.


Basically, it's just a fun day to party. Much like the *SCARY* 06/06/06.... just a made-up day to have some fun. No significant meaning to either one. But April Fools Day is interesting too, but I'll save that for the actual day. Hey, I need blogging fodder too!

Cheers and have fun tonight. Do things I would do!! Bwahahahahaha!!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Just For Fun

1. Rock Star name (first pet name, current car): Columbus Bavarian Motor Works.

2. Gangsta name (favorite ice cream flavor, favorite shoe): Rocky Road Clogs.

3. Native American name (favorite color, favorite animal): Green Elephant.

4. Soap Star name (your middle name, city you were born in): Joy Willits.

5. Star Wars name (first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 of your first name): Sench.

6. Superhero name (2nd favorite color, favorite drink): Purple Chai.

7. NASCAR name (first names of your grandfathers): Bobby Don.

8. Dancer name (favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy): Design Cadbury .

9. TV news anchor name (Last name of 5th grade teacher, major city starting with the same letter): Crosier Cambridge.

10. Spy name (favorite season/holiday, favorite flower): Autumn Hyacinth.

11. Cartoon character name (favorite fruit, article of clothing you are currently wearing): Clementine Cardigan.

12. Hippie name (what you ate for breakfast this morning, favorite tree): Muesli Willow.

13. Movie star name (name of first pet, first street you lived on): Columbus Seville.

Belly Dance!!

Another fun physical and metaphysical activity I enjoy.

First is Rachel Brice. I really look up to her as a dancer. Enjoy!

Here's a video of a dancer who I think really has it goin' on. The following excerpt is less important, but the dancing's where it's at!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Order Must Be Kept

The one, the only, the amazing Otep.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Note To Self

Read this book:

Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott.

For this reason:

"Rose leaned where she was, and fell to thinking how many good times she had had lately, for the gardening had prospered finely, and she was learning to swim and row, and there were drives and walks, and quiet hours of reading and talking......she could work and play all day, sleep sweetly at night, and enjoy life with the zest of a healthy, happy child."

The LDS church, or, Mormons

This video is an interesting and respectful panel discussion that took place at Harvard Hillel a few weeks back between I think 4 or 5 Harvard students of 4 or 5 faiths, among them was a young LDS girl who did a fine job answering questions and explaining things about her faith.

Over the past few years, I have had a keen interest in the LDS church and although I already knew the answers to these particular questions, I thought I'd give you fine people who read my blog the chance to hear an eloquent woman answer some common questions about the church.

I still don't allow comments. Perhaps I will at some point in the future, but for now, just watch and enjoy. Email me personally if you have any burning questions (I am not a practicing Mormon, but I know quite a bit about the church) or go to their websites here and here.

Day of Faith: Personal Quests for a Purpose - 3. Rachel Esplin from Harvard Hillel on Vimeo.


Someone wrote to me asking why I would post this video and links to official LDS websites.

Because I believe people should educate themselves about the world in which they live. There are many things that I don't follow or practice or believe, but I learn about them, I give them a moment of my time, I observe and form my opinions and beliefs thereon. You can't claim to know something if you're unwilling to look it in the eye.


Saturday, March 7, 2009

Monsieur Angel


Now that Criss is single again (eee!) I just might have a shot. Pft. Yeah, and pigs can fly. I've seen it happen.

There are of course much racier (read: sexier) pictures of him, but I don't want to offend the sensibilities of my senior readers. ;)

Friday, March 6, 2009


A little taste of some music I like. This is my favorite track from Ihsahn's latest album, angL.

Monsieur Depp

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


I've got a roaring case of procrastination (eek!) which I'm blaming on my current tummy ache (ouch!), so I thought I'd do something remotely productive and blog. Hey, "he without sin", etcetera, etcetera.

So, if you too are in a need of a good laugh, I bring to you without further ado, the beautiful, the funny... Demetri Martin:

Bikram Yoga

Pronounced *Beak*rum*, Bikram yoga (AKA "Fire or Hot Yoga) is simply good for the soul. Learn more here and here

Monday, March 2, 2009

Pleasant But Detached

That's how I feel lately. Especially in regards to how I relate to my sociology professor. I suppose this is because I feel intimidated by his vast expanse of knowledge - I just feel inferior, period. So I don't even try to relate in a meaningful way, even though I am a soc major and he will probably end up writing a very nice letter of recommendation for me in the near future.

I feel weird about this. I really want to be able to share my thoughts with him and relate when it's obvious that he wants to too. I have so many things to say about class, the subjects, questions about where to get more information, but all I manage to squeak out is a, "yes, thank you, OK, see you Thursday." This bothers me about me. I tend to revert to this sort of childish behavior when I feel I don't measure up. And the silly thing is that I know most people aren't even judging me, at least not as harshly as I judge myself. We are our own worst critics, right?

Oh, bah humbug. Maybe I'll try to break out of my shell a bit more tomorrow, even though I'll be handing in my rough draft of the first part of our thirty-page midterm for review. Yikes. Maybe tomorrow's not a good day to start...


Today was wonderful! We talked and talked about soc. and the state of the world/econ., etc. He gave me a lot of insider advice on the major and universities and what I need to do to step up my game in terms of an even better education and preparation for upper division work. I am so bloody jazzed! He's going to give me a reading list to supplement my education on things that I should know about soc. before I transfer in the fall. This is so good!

Lookin' To Lose A Couple...

LBs, that is. Starting today, March 2, I am really going to cut the cal intake and reach my goal weight by the start of June. That's three months, very doable.

I know you're just DYING to know what my starting weight is, how much I want to lose, what my end goal weight is and all those way-too-personal details, but well, you're just going to have to live in the dark on this one. I'm really just tracking this for my own records, sort of actualizing the goal rather than just keeping it ethereal.

Oh, and in other news, I just started up Netflix. So far it seems really cool. First movie in queue is Amélie . Can't wait!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A Month of Sundays, Part Deux

Ah, it's once again Sunday. My beloved Sunday. Some people like Fridays and some even like Mondays, but I, my friends, like - nay love - Sundays.

It's just that they're the slowest of all the seven days we have in a week. And, I relish the quiet. It's not that ours is a particularly loud house normally, in fact, if it were, I doubt it would be quiet on Sundays - I've seen those houses, where it's never quiet... couldn't do it. But we're not a loud house simply because we don't like loud, it's unnerving. On Sundays however, it probably has more to do with things slowing down than with quiet, now that I think of it. Playdates and sleepovers are done, friends go home to be with their families, the bulk of the household chores and duties have been completed, and the world doesn't demand our presence or attention. Many times we just stay in our P.J.s and simply soak up the calm. I love it.

And it's a double whammy today! It's the first of March! I love turning my Thomas Kinkade calender (one of the three different calenders in our house) with each new month - that's because I don't look at all the months, only the one we're on so the next one is a surprise I can enjoy all month long - I'll post on what I do with old calenders at the end of each year in a bit.

So with today being Sunday, the First of March (or as the French would say, premier de mars), and the day we're going to tell our eldest not only which school we've chosen for her and that her best friend's parents have also decided to send their daughter there, but that we've bought her her very own laptop computer to commemorate this next level of learning and growth in her life.

It's only 7 AM but it's already brewing up to be a great day. Hey, and it's raining too. I'm in Nirvana...
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