"I want, I want, I want ... but that's crazy"

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Fat season

As I sit and look at this giant bowl of candy comprising leftovers from the candy I bought to give out for trick or treat (only two kids showed up at my door) and candy my kids didn't like and thus gave to me (that includes all of their Reese's cups and Snickers bars. Score!), I realize that Halloween is the beginning of fat season.

Next comes Thanksgiving, which includes a day (or two in this modern world of split families) of overeating from morning to night on turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, three kinds of pies, cheese balls and crackers, noodles, baked beans, cheesecake ... and anything else the family happens to put on the table.

After that is the whole Christmas season. That's assorted candies and chocolates, hors d' oeuvres galore, drinks made with cream and rum, and probably another big dinner.

Then there's New Year's Eve, and about 120,000 empty calories' worth of drinking.

Moving on to February, we wrap up the fat season with Valentine's Day and boxes of chocolates.

So tell me, was this carefully planned to unfold in this way? Is it cruel that they've given us five consecutive months of overindulgent consumption just when the weather's crap outside, and we aren't out running around in the sun getting exercise? Or is it kinder because we can hide all the excesses under bulky sweaters?

Friday, October 29, 2010

iNetVideo supports Charity: Water

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of iNetVideo. All opinions are 100% mine.


I went downstairs for a cold glass of water. I don't really like the taste of our water from the tap, but I've got a great water filter pitcher that makes it taste fantastic. Oh, there's nothing wrong with our tap water. I've seen the water analysis reports, and it's perfectly safe.

A lot of people aren't so lucky.

Have you heard of Charity Water? It is a favorite charity of Will and Jada Smith, and it provides wells for safe drinking water for areas of the world in need.

How big is the problem? Well, 4,500 people die EVERY DAY from water-related illnesses. Is that big enough for you?

iNetVideo.com is getting involved to help Charity: Water by donating $1 for every purchase of selected items on their website. Just look for the items marked with a water drop, and $1 from your purchase will go to a great cause. You can also donate directly to iNetVideo's campaign. One hundred percent of your donation goes directly to fund water projects in developing nations, and all donations are tax-deductible in the United States.

If you want to do more, you can even get your own campaign page. By the way, the top three fundraisers can win a trip to Africa with Will and Jada, if you really want to go all out with your effort.

You can just help out by promoting iNetVideo's water project campaign via e-mail, Facebook and Twitter.

You can do that much, can't you? Think about it the next time you're standing at your sink.

Visit my sponsor: Charity Water: iNetVideo.com Gives Back!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A different perspective

My daughter Gin (age 12) and I spent about an hour tonight just sitting and talking about the time her eye got injured and what it means for her future.

It started when she sat down to tell me about a silly game they'd played in gym class today, which involved bumping a volleyball to a player, who then had to hit it and then run around the bases while the other players passed it, then one player had to throw the ball into the basketball hoop to get the runner out. Gin said she was designated to shoot into the basketball hoop, and out of 15 tries, she didn't make it once.

I told her, "That's no surprise. You can't shoot into a basketball hoop if you have no depth perception."

I might have told the story of her injury before, but I'll tell it again anyway.

She was five years old, and it was the summer after kindergarten, shortly before her sixth birthday. She'd just gotten a new kitten early for her birthday that week.

Unbeknownst to me, she'd gone into the garage and picked up the metal stay out of a windshield wiper from some rubbish out there. She took it with her when she went across the street to play with her friends.

At some point she sort of forgot about the metal stay and started playing on the swing while eating a blue sherbet pop. The neighbor's four-year-old boy found it on the ground and - being a boy - began to whip it around like it was a sword. Gin was swinging and by freak accident, she swung directly into its path. It pierced clear through her eye, ripping a hole in the cornea, the lens and piercing through the retinal wall at the back of her eye. I was to learn later that another quarter of an inch of penetration could have killed her instantly.

The neighbor saw that she'd been hurt but didn't know to what degree. She walked Gin back home, as Gin cried hysterically, her face covered in blue goo.

All I could get out of her was that she'd been poked in the eye, and I asked her to calm down as I tried to clean the goo off her face from the sherbet. Then the neighbor showed me what had poked her, and I carefully lifted her eyelid to get a closer look. I could see what looked like a blob of clear jelly on her eye. I looked again at the thin, flat, long sliver of metal.

"This isn't good," I said.

I grabbed Munch, then age 3, and put the girls in the car, calling my ex-husband to say that I was dropping Munch off with him and taking Gin to the hospital.

In the emergency room, fortunately there was a reputable eye surgeon on call. He rushed her off to emergency surgery right away.

He removed the lens, which was irreparably damaged, and stitched up the cornea. After surgery, he told me that the best case scenario was that her eye might look somewhat normal, but she'd never see out of it.

She spent the night in the hospital and the next morning we were to take her to Kettering to see a retinal surgery specialist. She used laser surgery to repair the hole at the back of the eye.

Gin ended up coming out of it better than anyone expected. The damage to the retina occurred in the one small place that would not damage her ability to see, so she can see colors and light and vague shapes - just without a lens in her eye, she cannot focus at all.

With her good eye, she sees perfectly, just without any depth perception, which of course requires both eyes. For most activities, her brain has been trained to read what she sees and *interpret* depth - I explained to her that it's much like paintings that illustrate depth with layering of objects and diminishing perspective. For most things it works just fine. She rides her bike, and she can walk up and down stairs, because her brain knows there is depth, and it's not a flat surface. However, for things such as shooting baskets, where it's necessary to actually perceive the distance, it's not so good. She can learn with much practice, but she hasn't really worked at that, so she'll not be much of a shooter. More difficult is where she's playing a sport where a ball is flying at her - such as baseball or catching a pass in basketball. She can't judge from experience as the ball is constantly moving, and the depth illusion from perceived size doesn't work because there's not enough difference for her to see it. (A ball looks pretty much the same size when it is one foot from your face as it does when it's two feet away. Without depth perception, a ball flying at your face is especially dangerous.)

So tonight, we were talking about when the time comes for her to drive a car. Fortunately, it is possible that a special, powerful contact lens will allow her to gain focus - and thus depth perception - in her injured eye. We'l see when the time comes. If not, she can still probably drive, she'll just have to be extra careful about it.

I'll warn you when she's on the road.

Get moving!

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of PlayStation MOVE. All opinions are 100% mine.

Winter's coming, which means the holiday season as well as cold weather that keeps us all cooped up inside. The kids occasionally venture outdoors. They also occasionally find quiet activities, such as reading, to occupy their time in the house. But more often - and I think all mothers know this - they get cabin fever, and need some physical activity. For two girls ages 9 and 12, that often means yelling and screaming at each other.

This Christmas, I might just have found the perfect outlet for them - something that will keep them entertained and physically active even while they're cooped up indoors - the new PlayStation Move.

I've been thinking about getting something like this for quite a while. It's something we can do together, have fun with and keep the kids entertained (kids this age are always "bored"). My youngest loves to play her video games, but that keeps her sitting still for hours - and considering she love to eat. That's a bad combination. The PlayStation Move will give her the fun of video games with the added bonus of getting her up and moving around. Maybe it'll even help get her interested in sports. Her older sister can't wait to try out archery on Sports Champions. And I think we're all pretty excited about trying out some football tricks.

And I could use it too. Winter time finds me running out of energy as I stagnate inside the house.

Added bonus, we can do all this together.I can't think of a better family Christmas gift.

You can even upgrade your existing PS3 system with Move for only $99! It's a whole new game!
Visit my sponsor: PlayStation®Move

Let hell week begin...

Yesterday was my usual slow Monday at work. Mondays are always the easiest day at the office because we don't publish a paper on Tuesdays, which means we don't have any pages to build. It's catch-up day for everyone, and I usually cut it short, because the rest of the week gets pretty hectic.

This week is even more hectic than usual though. Today, our lifestyles editor is taking the day off, so I'll be doing her pages. The other day-shift paginator is working the evenings this week doing the front section because our news editor is working on building the annual cookbook, so I'll be doing his pages too. Yes, very busy day.

The rest of the week, I won't have the lifestyles pages to do, but I'll still be picking up the rest of the inside pages. And there will be more of them, thanks to extra space needed to run election letters to the editor.

Oh, then there's Election Day on Tuesday, which means working day...and that night.

Ugh. I should be getting more sleep. This is not going to be pleasant.

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Face That Makes 'Em Say "Wow!"

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of BH Cosmetics. All opinions are 100% mine.

Most of the time I go for a pretty natural look, but sometimes I want to play with my look. I'll glam things up, or go sexy, or play rocker chick - or sometimes just play around with the make-up tricks I've seen on TV.

I'm a former model, and I find myself sometimes just locked in my bathroom experimenting with different looks.

But we all know how expensive cosmetics can be, and getting a great variety and huge palette can really break the bank. A lot of times I'll shy away from a new makeup color if it's something I'm not sure I'll be using a lot.

But I've just discovered something that will let me play with my look all I want, without breaking the bank.

You can find huge and amazing palettes of eyeshadow at BH Cosmetics for less than you ever thought possible.

These shadows are blendable - so you can experiment with all the latest techniques - and highly pigmented - so when you perfect that look you were going for, it'll last.

They've also got blushes, lipglosses, concealers, primers, brushes - everything you need! And it won't cost you a fortune.

You can get mattes or shimmers, cool or warm (to perfectly complement you skin tone every time), even beautiful tropical shades.

I'm going after the neutral palette, since I spend nearly all of my time at work. This way, I can mix up my look while staying work-appropriate - and bring out my big blue eyes. I might want a certain someone to notice. ;)
Visit my sponsor: Let your Beauty shine!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Back to life, back to reality

I'm keeping so busy I've barely had time to breathe lately, but I took advantage of the "extra" day off I got by working the annual cookoff recently by taking that "comp" day and a vacation day to jet off to Las Vegas for a mini vacation.

No, I'm not suddenly rolling in the cash. The trip was a treat provided by F, who generously offers to fly me to wherever he is when he comes stateside. This is our second trip to Las Vegas. We also had one to Tampa. I had the opportunity to go to New Orleans last February, but I passed it up as I was still looking for work and feared being away if something should come up.

This trip was much better, though all too brief, certainly. F and I have had our tensions in the past, but it seemed to be a much smoother visit this time. I avoided being oversensitive, and he curbed his occasionally sharp tongue. Really, it's always been about misunderstanding, but I think as we've grown more accustomed to each other, we're starting to find a comfortable ground. I told him that I looked forward to seeing him again - and I meant it.

I was off Monday and Tuesday for the trip, arriving home late Tuesday night. And I was back in the office Wednesday morning - needless to say, exhausted. Nothing ever slows down there.

The timing is good. I managed to complete a freelance project that was proposed to me last April but did not finally come to fruition until a couple of weeks ago. It turned out to be very easy and will be surprisingly lucrative as well. The writer sent me the appendix to edit today and said to send an invoice. He also said he wishes to continue writing and wanted to know if I would be available for more work. Absolutely!

Tomorrow is another Friday night in the office. It's got some perqs, including getting to roll over and go back to sleep in the morning. Oh, and one li'l other perq that shall remain nameless at the moment. :)

Night all!