Saturday, September 26, 2009

As I said on Facebook... I could be doing more...

After countless years of disappointing myself (and others) I have realized that it is time to make a change. I read voraciously, and I think it has come time to finally do some writing myself. Do I think I can get published? Who knows, but I'm going to at least try. Right now, I am stagnating and I don't like it. I don't like who I have become, a stay at home mom that is content to just watch people on television doing the things that I want to do. That is content to read about people doing the things that I want to do.

I am going to start writing. Probably a memoir style book, but I don't necessarily want to call it that. I don't have a specific plan as of yet, but I am going to start tonight. I am tired of being financially dependant on someone that doesn't really have a sense of finances, and being in charge of all of our money. I want to be able to provide the kids with some sort of cushion. I want to buy a house. I want a new car. I want to be able to pay off bills. I want to be able to send the kids to college. I want a new bike. I want to not have to worry about money.

Goals... hopefully they are attainable.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

iTunes 9

Holy wow. I don't know if this feature has always been here... granted, it probably has, I just didn't know about it...

iTunes U is fantastic! I just found a ton of really cool lectures from all over the world. I can feel like I'm learning something while the rest of my family is sitting in front of the television watching movies or playing video games. Yippeee!

In addition to that... I just also found a TON of video casts from PBS too! I am so excited for later tonight when they want to watch movies! :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Avatar... one more time

Okay. So, I am a total dork concerning this particular show. I don't get into too many television shows... I'm more of a book person (speaking of, Dan Brown's new one comes out tomorrow) usually. That being said, however, I finished the Avatar series this afternoon. HOLY COW. Normally, I check Perez and Facebook several times during the afternoon - I usually knit and do crafty type stuff while Xavier naps, but I got sucked in. Again. Go figure.

I did finish all of the third set of DVDs. Once again, am completely impressed with not only the storyline, but also the development of the characters and the evolution of the Buddhist philosophy that the monks had originally taught Aang. I am sooooooo excited for the movie, and if there is a midnight showing for this one, I will find a babysitter for Xavier and Ethan, Todd, and I will be there. Cannot wait.

For an idea of what the commotion is all about (well, at least at my house... ) click here: and enjoy. :)

Patrick Swayze and Chris Farley

After the passing of Patrick Swayze today, kind of makes me sad to watch this particular skit, but somehow, it is still absolutely hilarious. Perhaps they will re-enact it for others now that they have joined back up again.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Last Airbender

One more post for today, as this is something that I am crazy excited about. Long ago, when it was cool to watch cartoons, there weren't very many that had a really good story line. They were all one episode, get in, get out, save the girl, move on.

A few years ago, when Ethan was younger, there was a show on Nickelodeon called "Avatar: The Last Airbender." As the show progressed, it drew you farther and farther into the story. It tells the story of a boy named Aang, who was trapped (intentionally - kind of) for 100 years in a glacier and found by a brother and sister. Aang is the Avatar, the only one in the world who can master the four elements (earth, water, air, and fire). During the time Aang was in the glacier, the Fire Nation came along and has basically taken over the world. This cartoon, which is well done - both in plot line and artistry, caught our attention.

Once we moved, we no longer had cable (I didn't think it was necessary), we lost track of the story. Recently, we rediscovered one of the DVDs that I had purchased for Ethan. The youngest, Xavier, LOVED it. He likes anything involving ninja type stuff. Each of the elements can be controlled by "benders" and each of these benders styles are based on different martial arts techniques. It goes into a lot of Eastern philosophy and belief systems, which makes it interesting on a whole additional level. So, naturally, we had to go out and buy the entire series on the 3 different sets of DVDs. :)

I just found out that M. Night Shyamalan (I know I spelled THAT wrong. :) ) is making a live action version. I am soooooo excited for this movie, yet very hesitant at the same time... as I am such a huge fan of the show, that I would HATE for the story to be ruined. Even Ethan said that it wouldn't be the same without the same voices, etc. Hopefully, it will be as fantastic as the show...

I realize that I am sitting here talking about a cartoon, but it is just that good. I am not normally attached to movies, characters, etc., but you find yourself being sucked in to this particular group of characters - every show on television should be this well written in order to catch both kids and grown ups alike.

SOLV Activities

So, in order to be a "proper Portlander", Ethan and I have been doing volunteer work for an organization called SOLV, which participates and organizes clean up efforts across the state. We have done everything from pulling ivy off of the side of Mt. Talbert (in Oregon, ivy is an invasive species) to picking up trash and litter along the side of the Springwater Trail. This is a great organization, and a great way to pitch in... but also a great teaching tool for me with Ethan to show him that it is important to do volunteer work - "just because".

Some of the other things that SOLV does is participate in classroom education programs for K-12 schools, they also organize the "Great Beach Clean-Up" twice a year all along the Oregon Coast. One of the other really cool things is that REI will sponsor some of the events in conjunction with SOLV and you get cool water bottles, shirts, and other fun stuff - like lunch. :) It's nice to be around others - that range in age from 7 to 70 (really, my partner two weeks ago was 72!).

We are looking forward to our next event, tomorrow, at Atkinson Park in Oregon City, and then again next weekend at the South Waterfront. Sadly, we are not able to make it all the way out to the coast for the fall beach clean up due to Todd's work schedule, but I felt that we should participate in something that weekend!

Eventually, I hope to get Xavier involved as well, and I have looked into volunteering in their offices - at least until I get a job! Eventually.... hopefully....

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Jobs and School

Soooo, another two interviews, still no job. I'm now bordering on flat out irritated. Until this year, I haven't ever not gotten a job that I have interviewed for. Talk about a blow to the self esteem! Oh well... just found out that my dad was offered a job, so perhaps that is a good omen for me too. Sent in a few more resumes this morning, so hopefully something will come of that.

On a more positive note, school starts in three days. THANK GOD.

That's all I really have to say about that. :) Will do a longer post soon, when I don't have an impatient child sitting next to me... hopefullt will have info regarding starting Tai-Chi classes with the kid.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Cancellation of an Icon

Sadly, the great television show known as Reading Rainbow has come to an end. I first heard a rumor about this a few weeks ago, and it was confirmed the other day on Perez Hilton's website, as well as various others.

I remember when I was younger, not wanting to leave the house until after Reading Rainbow was over. I have always been "a reader" and I firmly believe that this particular show reinforced that trait. From the stories in the middle of the shows to the silly situations that LeVar Burton would find himself in.

A different sort of personal connection - my maiden name is Spock, and I thought it was hilarious when my dad would turn on his Star Trek:The Next Generation show, and there my Reading Rainbow guy was... with a banana clip over his eyes... :)

Within the past few years, I introduced my son to this show and the child who HATED reading slowly started coming around. Now, I have to explain to him why one of the shows that he really liked has been cancelled... because of money. It is unfathomable to me that we can go out and spend millions of dollars to make horrid children's movies, but no one can step up to save this terrific show.

With great sadness, we say goodbye to the third longest running children's televisions show in PBS history.

Head Case - Post number 1 for today...

One of the things that I have noticed about working out... riding the bike, going to the gym, running, hiking, whatever... is that I tend to shower far more frequently - twice a day (okay, sometimes three times). Due to this, and the fact that I have to wash my hair each time I shower... I have had the WORST case of dry scalp/itchy head. I have tried the shea butter shampoos, which I love-but it isn't quite enough when I am washing my hair that frequently. I did find a GREAT home remedy - I usually have to do it two nights in a row...

Take about a cup of olive oil (yep, just the stuff you cook with), about a 1/2 cup of milk, and some honey (no real measurement here - maybe about a tablespoon or two - just make sure that you drizzle it in as you whisk, otherwise it will just get gloppy). Mix this together - make sure to heat it in the microwave for about 30 seconds to make it nice and warm. Lean over the bathtub or sink and SLOWLY work it into your hair. It helps to have a helper. Wrap head in a shower cap or a towel for about ten minutes (longer doesn't hurt, but shorter doesn't work) and then wash your hair like normal - with a very gentle shampoo... a baby shampoo works great for this process.

Two treatments later, my head isn't nearly as itchy, I just have to take a day off of the workouts to let my head get some of the natural oils working again....