Monday, January 26, 2015

Snowmaggedon 2015?

Woke up this morning to a light snow fall.  And I do mean light.  We are to get some accumulation but nothing compared to our northern friends.  KJ had school as usual, no delay or anything.  Which is good.  They haven't had to use a snow day yet!

This weekend was #LaxCon in Baltimore.  Cosmo attended this year as a "civvie" and not in an official capacity.  Which is just fine with me.  He was able to catch some of Coach Danowski's presentation which is always a highlight and he met up with some college friends.  So funny how once lax gets under your skin, you're a laxer for life.  All of Cosmo's college buddies, high school buddies, still play or coach in some capacity.

KJ had a v-ball tourney on Saturday.  I did not go because I had a hair appointment.  I know that sounds so incredibly lame but I had an appointment last week but had to cancel to drive to NY for the funeral.  So I rescheduled for Saturday not realizing she had a tournament.  I've been in MD since September 2013 and have not had my hair highlighted since leaving B'ham.  I was in desperate need of a cut, too.  I was starting to look Amish or like one of this Morman sister wives.  Ick.

Saturday night we watched the Interview on Netflix.  It was better than I thought . . . typical Franco/Rogen set-up -- lots of F-bombs, completely over the top, but I still chuckled.  After Bagel Boy took care of us on Sunday morning I caught up on Black Sails which premiered season 2 Saturday night.  I like the series a lot and this season looks like they'll be filling in some blanks with flashbacks.  Plus, they had a quick little preview of what to expect when Outlander returns in April. Squee!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

American Sniper

SPOILER and DISCLAIMER:  Wednesday Cosmo and I saw American Sniper.  I am one of the most patriotic people on the planet.  These are my feelings on the FILM, not a reflection on the heroic men and women who serve in the armed forces.  The following is not a political commentary in any way, shape or form.

I'm still not sure how I feel about the movie so I'll break it down into small bites:

Direction:  I think Clint Eastwood is brilliant and did an amazing job capturing the essence of the daily struggles of the US Marines and Navy Seals in the Middle East.  As you're watching the movie, you can't help but wonder how you would react given the same circumstances.  I thought the best, most compelling scenes were when Chris Kyle was on the rooftops having to decide to shoot or not to shoot.  It really came down to "Them or Us."  Again, how would I respond if I were in his shoes?  Could I shoot that small boy about to pick up the rocker launcher?  I thought the worst scenes involved his wife and his life States-side.

Screenplay:  Personally, the writing sucked.  I did not read Chris Kyle's book so I don't know how closely the screenplay followed the book.  I found the dialogue to be a little hokey and simplified and left a lot of unanswered questions:  How come he never wore his uniform when he was home (i.e., his wedding, at a comrade's funeral?).  Could he really blatantly disobey orders, jump off the roof and decide to join the ground forces?  What happened to his brother?  In the middle of combat Kyle picked up the phone and called his wife?  If that was my husband, I'd be yelling "put down the damn phone you fool!!!"  Why was Kyle honorably discharged . . . in the movie, his CO clearly said, "hold fire, stand your ground."  I felt as if Kyle was, at times, more concerned with personal demons (going after the Syrian sniper and the Butcher) than the overall mission at hand.  I also would have liked to have seen a little bit more about his PTSD and how he tried to assimilate to civilian life and his relationship with kids.  And what about claims that he shot at Hurricane Katrina looters?  What about that whole thing with Jessie Ventura?

Acting:  Regardless of my attitude towards the script, I found Bradley Cooper's portrayal to be outstanding.  He truly transformed himself.  His performance was credible and believable -- Chris Kyle he was just a kid from Texas who dreamed of being a cowboy.  And Bradley Cooper honored him brilliantly.  However, I hated the interaction between Kyle nd his wife.  Again, it felt forced and dumbed-down (and I hated the way she said, "baby" in every scene).

And last but not least, I need to address the elephant in the room -- that fake baby!!!  Geez Clint!  Get a real baby in there!

Turn Down for What???

OMG I'm dying.  Seriously.  I think my eyeballs have melted right out of my head.  My skin feels like parchment paper and my tongue is swollen to 10 times it's normal size.  The ladies in my office have the heat cranked to almost 80 and they all have the little space heaters under their desks turned on.  I keep my house thermostat set at 67 during the winter.  I feel like I'm working in the Amazon . . . the heat and humidity are killing me and I have a splitting headache every day I come in.  I've been drinking at least three or four 8 oz. glasses of water a day but it's not helping.  It's like Africa hot in here.  I may have to come into work naked tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Sweet Child O' Mine

My poor, sweet, innocent KJ has had a very rough couple of days.  Cosmo's mother, KJ's grandmother, passed away early Friday morning after a long struggle.  She fought as hard as she could and I really think she was just waiting for all of her kids to be together.  Cosmo, his sister and his two brothers had all made it to NY in time to be with her and I believe she knew they were there.

Cosmo has been handling it well but KJ has had some breakdowns.  She is definitely my more sensitive child and this was her first grandparent to pass away and this was also her first funeral . . . she was was worried about her dad and she just didn't know what to expect or what was expected of her.  She had a LOT of questions about the viewing, the funeral, the cemetery, etc.

Earlier in the week, in an ironic twist, KJ's sweet friend Kim had invited her to a bingo fundraiser on Friday.  My mother-in-law LOVED bingo and regularly played at local churches and even played when she was in the hospital.  Not knowing that her Grandmother had just passed away, Kim texted KJ in the AM to see if they were still on for that evening.  Of course, KJ broke down over this but I encouraged her to go and try to have some fun.  I told her Grandma JoJo's luck may be with her!  Sure enough, she texted me that she had won 4 times!  Sweet, sweet KJ saved one of her winning bingo cards and put it in the casket with my mother-in-law.

KJ and I drove up to NY Saturday and made excellent time . . . lots of sunshine and 95 was blissfully clear!  Of course, the minute KJ saw Cosmo she broke down and cried and cried off and on Saturday night at my sister-in-law's house.  Sunday we woke to horrible, horrible weather . . . freezing rain, ice, fog.  Road conditions were horrendous and there was a 20-car pile-up on the Palisades.  The Outerbridge was closed and the Thruway and Parkway were awful.  Viewings were from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 PM.  I let her stay at my sister-in-law's house for the evening viewing and she helped baby-sit her much younger cousins.  It was a long day for everyone and Cosmo appreciated his good buddies B, Gunther and Drivas for making it to the viewing.  One of his friends from the Philly office somehow made it up (in a Porsche no less) and that meant so much to Cosmo.

Monday was bitter cold at the cemetery and again, my sweet KJ had a rough time.  The cemetery is always the hardest for me.  It's very final.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Flurries (or perhaps a McFlurry) ???

Had some flurries this morning.  No accumulation but it was pretty and it worked out perfect for KJ.  She had didn't get home from volleyball until close to 11 PM last night and with two finals today, she really appreciated that two-hour delay!  

Monday, January 12, 2015

And the Chick has Left the Nest

So quiet in our house this past weekend.  T flew back to Oxford on Saturday.  She is certainly racking up the Southwest frequent flyer miles!  Pony Boy met her at the airport and they had ribs at Rendevouz.  She's got CA training this week and classes start next week.  Ole Miss has a crazy long winter break.  She said she had a really good time while she was home and got to do a lot . . . New York City, DC a couple of times, drag queen brunch, etc.

KJ's got finals this week.  She is doing so incredibly well this year.  Freshman year has been great!  I'm very, very proud of her.  She's worked hard and has taken her classes and school work very seriously and has stayed on top of her grades.  She had her English exam this morning and texted me me she's "very confident" in her exam and her final grade in that class.  She's got a volleyball tournament this weekend and lax is starting up soon.  That should be interesting.  She's going to be exhausted but in a good way.

Got all my Christmas stuff packed and put away this weekend.  This year took a little longer than usual but I re-packed some things, threw some things away, etc.  And Cosmo put all of my Valentine's Day stuff in the front of my decorating room so that I can access it easily next month.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The First Snowfall by James Russell Lowell 

THE snow had begun in the gloaming, 
 And busily all the night 
 Had been heaping field and highway 
 With a silence deep and white. 

 Every pine and fir and hemlock 
 Wore ermine too dear for an earl, 
 And the poorest twig on the elm-tree 
 Was ridged inch deep with pearl. 

 From sheds new-roofed with Carrara 
 Came Chanticleer's muffled crow, 
 The stiff rails were softened to swan's-down, 
 And still fluttered down the snow. 

 I stood and watched by the window 
 The noiseless work of the sky, 
 And the sudden flurries of snow-birds, 
 Like brown leaves whirling by. 

 I thought of a mound in sweet Auburn 
 Where a little headstone stood; 
 How the flakes were folding it gently, 
 As did robins the babes in the wood. 

 Up spoke our own little Mabel, 
 Saying, 'Father, who makes it snow?' 
 And I told of the good All-father 
 Who cares for us here below. 

 Again I looked at the snowfall, 
 And thought of the leaden sky 
 That arched o'er our first great sorrow, 
 When that mound was heaped so high. 

 I remembered the gradual patience 
 That fell from that cloud like snow, 
 Flake by flake, healing and hiding 
 The scar of our deep-plunged woe. 

 And again to the child I whispered, '
The snow that husheth all, 
 Darling, the merciful Father Alone can make it fall! ' 

 Then, with eyes that saw not, I kissed her; 
 And she, kissing back, could not know 
 That my kiss was given to her sister, 
 Folded close under deepening snow.

Yesterday was our first official snow of the 2015 Season! We ended up getting a bit more accumulation than originally anticipated and the roads were a disaster. KJ had a 2 hour delay and then, moments before the bus was to arrive, they cancelled school all together. T-bone was happy to have seen some snow while she was home and the girls shoveled the driveway so Cosmo wouldn't have to do it when he came home. KJ, however, was a bit miffed. She had received a Keurig Mini as a Christmas gift but it was recalled so we returned it to Macy's last week. She was so mad becasue she really wanted to make hot chocolate with her Keurig!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Drag Queens are our Friends

Despite being a little gloomy and gray all weekend, we had such a fun time at brunch on Sunday!  The girls and I met my aunt and cousin and took the Metro to the Adams Morgan neighborhood in DC.  It was KJ's first time on the train (she really, really wanted to ride the subway in NYC but we really didn't need to) and, obviously, her first time at a Drag Queen Brunch!  The food was very good, the mimosas were flowing and the entertainment was great!

While we were gone Cosmo packed up the rest of the Christmas decorations, I just have my Christmas china to properly pack up.  It will be nice to have the house back to normal (whatever that is!).  Saturday the girls cleaned their closets and also organized the guest room closet for me.  New Year's was pretty quiet.  KJ had a couple of neighborhood friends over.  Nice group of kids who made a point of coming upstairs and saying hello to us.  Of course, one of KJ's friends told her "your sister's pretty hot" and they're all intimidated by Cosmo.  Which is so funny to all of us.

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