Thursday, January 31, 2008

Get Lost!

So why am I sitting here typing right in the middle of the much-anticipated 2-hour Lost season premiere? Because stupid ABC moved stupid Lost to stupid Thursday nights. And James has class until 9:30 on Thursdays. And that is besides the fact that nearly every other tv show I indulge myself with is also on Thursday night - Survivor, The Office, Grey's Anatomy, and ER. Is there no other night for television to broadcast? Goodness.

To console myself for having to wait until 10:00 to view the show that most of you (by the time you read this) have already watched, I underwent a little shop therapy. I threw Zoe in the car and headed to Target. Here is where my rant gets personal. Remember when we had a discussion about ice scrapers? Here is another tip:

Never buy yourself a wicked awesome ice scraper and tell your husband about it. Inevitably he will use it and "accidentally" leave it in his car before you even get a chance to use it. And, inevitably, you will traipse out to the car after properly bundling you and your child with a glimmer of hope in your eye because it's the first time you've really gone anywhere in 2 weeks and you just slaved over dinner, ate it alone, and just need to get away. And since you finally remembered to buy an ice scraper (and found a wicked awesome one) you don't even worry about the 3 inches of snow covering the inch of ice on your windshield. And then, after strapping said bundled child into a cold car in the diminishing daylight, you discover that your wicked awesome ice scraper has vanished into wicked awesome thin air. Sorry I hung up on you on the phone James, but maybe now you understand why I was a little worked up. I did make it to Target after removing the snow and ice with my hands and sleeves. I bought myself three shirts.

And now I am sitting here, returning e-mails, blogging, and in general finding ways to pass the time without actually resorting to accomplishing things (like cleaning my house, planning the next family menu, creating a shopping list). I find myself completely occupied and content. On a lighter note, I'm glad that a few of you are enjoying Grandaddy. When I called them "weird" I was really meaning "unique." But in the world of pop music, their brand of unique is generally regarded as weird. I like weird. No, wait, I am weird.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Music Snobs Anonymous: Grandaddy

No, this is not about my dad's dad. Or my mom's dad. Or James' dad's dad. Or James'... well, you get the idea. Once upon a time there was a band named Grandaddy. They made some really weird music which most people don't like. James and I are not like most people. We don't expect many of you to like this, but for the sake of rounding out your musical education, we now present to you "Now It's On" from the album Sumday. If you don't like it, don't worry - the band broke up right after their last album came out. I would say "Enjoy" but I'm pretty sure most of you won't.



It's love it or hate it music and we love it. Some of my favorite songs include "I'm On Standby," "Hewlett's Daughter," "Wives of Farmers," "The Warming Sun." I could go on, there really are quite a few I enjoy, although their most recent album is barely tolerable (to me, James loves it). I also have to add that if any of you checked our blog during Christmas time and immediately hit "Stop" on the song playing then this is not the first Grandaddy song you've hated. You can add "Alan Parson's in a Winter Wonderland" to your list of music you wish you'd never heard.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

God Bless Our Prophet Dear

President Gordon B. Hinckley - 1910-2008

God bless our prophet dear;
May health and comfort cheer
His noble heart.
His words with fire impress
On souls that thou wilt bless
To choose in righteousness
The better part.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Tag!

I'm not big on the tagging, but I like that this one had specific questions. It's also been a while since I've been tagged so I figured I would share. Plus this time I was double tagged. Which means that more than one person should be obligated to read this. And if you were wondering, I actually filled this out on Thursday afternoon but am just getting around to polishing and posting it tonight.

1. What time did you get up this morning?
Um, 8:30 or 9. But 8:30 makes me sound like less of a slacker, so we'll go with that
2. What do you usually have for breakfast?
Honey Nut Cheerios or a bagel if there's juice in the house. I can only eat bagels if I can have juice. Pancakes if we're out of everything else.
3. What is your favorite CD at the moment?
Ooh, toughie. I guess I am going to say Mojave 3 "Puzzles Like You" but really it depends on the time of day.
4. What kind of car do you drive?
03 Honda Pilot. Teal.
5. Favorite sandwich?
Any kind I don't have to make. Subway's chipotle chicken is one of my all-time faves, though I haven't had one for a long time.
6. Favorite item of clothing?
Jeans. I would wear jeans to church if I could.
7. If you could go anywhere in the world for a vacation, where would you go?
New Zealand, England, Ireland - anywhere off this continent where some form of English is spoken, basically.
8. What color is your bathroom?
Bright blue and green (at least the linens). The walls are all white, except for the rust and mold stains. Eww.
9. Where would you retire?
Maybe Northern California. There's No Cal Like Nor Cal!
10. Most memorable birthday?
I can't remember. So maybe that means it is yet to come.
11. Favorite sport to watch?
Basketball. (Unless American Gladiators is considered a sport...)
12. Are you a morning person or a night person?
NIGHT - unless you count 1:30 am as the morning, then I guess I'm a morning person after all.
13. What is your shoe size?
7 1/2 or 8, but I think my feet are shrinking, I used to wear 9 1/2!
14. Pets?
Only Zoe. But someday we'll have a beagle named Bosco and a cat named Cosmo (Seinfeld anyone?)
15. What did you want to be when you were little?
I think I remember wanting to be a teacher or an astronaut, but mostly I just wanted to be a mom.
16. What are you today?
Domestic Engineer. Childcare Specialist. Not-So-Gourmet Chef.
17. What is your favorite candy?
Reese's Peanut Butter Freakin Cups. Hands down, no competition.
18. Your favorite flower?
Snap dragons, Irises. I'm not a huge flower person in general.
19. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to?
Jan 31 (Lost), Feb 7 (Survivor) and a couple other travel dates that we have planned but will not be disclosing on the www.
20. What are you listening to right now?
The silence of Zoe's nap. And garbage trucks. Always with the garbage trucks around here.
21. What is the last thing you ate?
Zoe's leftover chicken nuggets from lunch.
22. Do you wish on stars?
Not that I'm aware.
23. What faith are you?
I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
24. Who was the last person you spoke with on the phone?
James, maybe. I don't know.
25. Hair Color?
Is dark blond a legitimate hair color? Who cares, it will be changing shortly....stay tuned!
26. Name of your favorite school teacher?
Ms. Davey. AP English rocks my world!
27. Chocolate or vanilla?
Chocolate. Unless I am baking and the recipe calls for vanilla. Then Vanilla.
28. When was the last time you cried?
I don't cry. Or at least I won't admit to it.
29. What is under your bed?
Wrapping paper, extra bedding, empty duffle bags, various holiday decor.
30. What did you do last night?
Made a late run to the library, let James record me reading a book for one of his classes. I am so serious.
31. Favorite smell?
Dinner, Zoe after a bath.
32. What are you afraid of?
Nearly everything.
33. How many towns have you lived in?
3, 4 if you count Orem and Provo as separate towns.
34. Do you make friends easily?
Depends. If by easily you mean that once people realize and accept that I'm tactless, blunt, and sarcastic then they still want to associate with me, then yes, I make friends with the greatest of ease.

I'm not big on tagging others, especially since I don't know who all's been tagged already. If you read this and think that you would like to share this information about yourself, feel free to do so. I would encourage those new to the blogging world (like Andrea G., LaDonna, Megan Jane, Alisha) but please don't feel compelled.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Flashback Friday: Soggy Bottom Boy

Before we begin today, let me just revel in the fruits of my labors. When will you people just realize? Blackmail works! I only wish LaDonna had waited a few more weeks. I didn't even get to her volleyball pictures. Oh well. Welcome aboard the good ship Blogger, Counihans. As promised, no more compromising photos.

Moving on. Today is EXACTLY 12 years since James was baptized as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I don't know how I can express my gratitude for all the wonderful people in his life back then that made this possible. I didn't know any of you back then and I am only getting to know some of you now, but I will be eternally grateful for your wonderful influences in his life. We literally owe our family to you.

Travis and James
Just so everyone knows why I love Travis so much - he is the one who actually baptized James. Good work Travis. I feel like we should have a feast in you honor.



James and Fern

Again, there is no way to thank all of you adequately for what you've done for James and, indirectly, for me. I hope he has made you all proud. Oh, and the title of this post is from O Brother, Where Art Thou? Looking at these pictures just makes me think of George Clooney saying, "Baptism! You boys are dumber than a bag of hammers." Not that I'm saying anyone is dumber than a bag of hammers.

A Sticky Situation

On Monday I was preparing to have our neighbors over for a good ole Family Home Evening. We had just finished dinner and I had left some of it out while I flitted around the house making myself look decent (or at least attempting to). Suddenly I had the strange feeling that Zoe was being really quiet. Not that she's abnormally loud, but something just seemed odd about the silence. Call it a mother's intuition, if you will. I dropped what I was doing and looked around for her. What I found, in the kitchen, was this:

I guess she wasn't quite finished with her peanut butter. The most amazing thing was that she managed to dip her fingers into the jar without knocking it over, or onto the floor, or, even better, getting ANY on her outfit. That is a miracle in and of itself! We got her all cleaned off before she could spread her sticky mess to the rest of the house and got on with our evening.

Want to know what's not sticky? My kitchen floor. Over the last few days it has been unreasonably slippery. James and I have both nearly fallen as we've crossed the room. So weird. Not that this has anything to do with what I've just posted about, but I just thought I would let you all know that for some unknown reason I have a slippery kitchen floor.

Also in an unrelated matter - Happy Birthday Mom! When are you coming out here again? It has been a little too long since October. We love you!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Music Snobs Anonymous: Track of The Day



















Well, this pretty much catapults James into the hierarchy of music snobs, but I am SO PROUD of him. If you haven't noticed, James writes and records his own music. Every so often he puts his music on GarageBand.com where other bands can review and rate his songs. His new song "By and By" was selected to be Track of the Day today (in the category of folk rock). It currently has 4.4 stars (out of 5) and is ranked 72 out of 233 songs ( it was 70 yesterday). Other awards for this song include Best Male Vocals (this week), Best Lyrics, and Best Beat (both for last week). In December 2005, James won Track of the Day for "Now I Understand." That was in the category of Power Pop. He also made it to #7 in the rankings.

What's really nifty about Garage Band, is that the reviews come from other artists and are usually very precise and constructive. The whole process of entering and reviewing songs is pretty involved and you can only enter a song after you have done so many reviews. And the reviews have to be pretty in-depth. All of this is way over my head and I'm only pretending to know what I'm talking about. What I do know is that this is a big deal for James and he really deserves it. This is also another opportunity to remind everyone that his music is available through Amazon or iTunes. (Or you can contact us if you want a cold hard copy of one of his albums). Either way, if you've heard his music and have an opinion about it, James would love to have you review his music on those websites, whether you are a music snob or not!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Stitch In Time...


I just wanted to let everyone know that Zoe is doing absolutely fabulous now. She really hasn't cried (over her stitches) since they were put in. She is back to her happy, active, normal self and it looks like there will only be a little scar (probably even smaller if the doctor had taken a bit more time). The stitches should dissolve soon.

Zoe had another great day in nursery. I could drop-kick her into the room and she would still be happy to be there. The newest additions to her vocabulary include: lion, yellow, and chin (as she pinches someone or some thing's chin). James has Monday off work so hopefully we will get some things done around the house and - cross your fingers - have his car up and running again. We are hoping that the battery is just dead. Otherwise I might be without a car for a bit longer. Not that I have anywhere to go, but it's so confining not even having the option of going anywhere.

So that is the news here, or lack thereof. Thank you to everyone for your concern over Zoe's (and my) wellbeing. I don't know what I'd do without all of you supporting me.

P.S. Obviously all the pictures are from before Zoe's accident. But what is a post about Zoe without pictures of her?

Friday, January 18, 2008

Flashback Friday: It's Snow Fun

It snowed today. It seems to be snowing most days around here. I have to say that I haven't been so cold or surrounded by snow since I spent a winter in Idaho. Rexburg, to be exact. So how does one while away the winter months? Oh, the usual - skiing in dresses on the 3-foot hill between the dorms. Well it was a Sunday, and we didn't want to be too irreverent.

Other winter pastimes include ice skating on an outdoor rink with my roommates Erin and Paige.


This doesn't have much to do with snow, but this is the picture on a Christmas card James received on his mission. LaDonna, today you have company. I was going to blur April's face or do something to protect the "innocent" then I realized that April is just as guilty as you. Sorry, April, but a seldom-updated MySpace page just isn't cutting it for me anymore.


This was the clencher for me. I wasn't sure about posting this one, and then I saw the writing on the card:


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sewing Group

I went to sewing group at our chapel this morning but it turns out the only stitching that would get done was on Zoe's head. Just as we were leaving I heard her fall down and start crying. I thought she ran into or fell into the window in the foyer and wasn't too disturbed (or in a hurry to help her). When I finally got there she had blood all down her face. I guess she hit her head on the metal casing around the window and had a pretty gnarly laceration. It just wouldn't stop bleeding and I could tell it was fairly deep. I ran her home, grabbed Tigger, the pacifier, our insurance card, and the camera (of course) and headed to the ER.



Three hours and 2 stitches later we are home and safe. The doctor kept us waiting so long that all of the nurses and technicians were apologizing to us for how long we had to wait. If an ER nurse is apologizing, you know it is above the normal waiting time. Zoe was fine and kept quiet and busy until the actual stitching process had to occur. The doctor didn't want to sedate her so he numbed up the area and then the nurses wrapped her up in a blanket so we could hold her down. This she did not like so much. If you didn't know, Zoe is a screamer. She has a really high-pitched, loud scream. The doctor was actually complaining to everyone about it. I was so mad I nearly slapped him. Here we are waiting for hours with a toddler who has behaved herself magnificently the whole time (despite having a head wound that would not stop bleeding and being past her lunch and nap time) and yet, when we pin her down and ram a threaded needle through her skin, she screams and HE has the nerve to complain. Naturally I held my composure and he did compliment me for that (am I the only mom who doesn't cry when their kid gets shots, stitches, etc?). I think he was going to use regular stitches, but he didn't want to have to repeat the screaming process to take them out in a week so he put in the kind that dissolve.

What an ordeal. James was supposed to be coming home early to help me out - I am just a little too stressed out, Zoe won't take a nap, and Garth is here as icing on the cake - but he just called and his car won't start. And I still have our laundry (some of it bloody) and dinner calling my name. Can I get a do-over for today?

I do have to add, that at the hospital I ran into a guy I knew in high school and hadn't seen for years. He works there and is pre-med at BYU. Small world. Maybe we should have to rush Zoe to the hospital more often!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Two Reasons to Love Church Again

Reason the First:
11:00. That's right, folks, we now meet two hours later. Which means that I don't need an alarm clock (other than Zoe) to wake me up. Most importantly, I don't have to make important decisions like: shower or eat breakfast? Do my hair or get Zoe ready? Poor James still has to get up really early because they moved all the meeting he needs to attend (PEC, Ward Council, and Ward Welfare) to before church. Technically I should be going to Ward Welfare also, but he is the only one who can attend for the Ward Mission, and there are three other sisters able to attend for the Relief Society Presidency. So I'm off the hook for now.

The only drawbacks are we are done so much later in the day and the new schedule is going to be a bit rough on Zoe. Lately her napping schedule has been erratic at best, and nap time can start at anytime between 11:30 and 2:00. Then we have to adjust lunchtime accordingly. So her most unpredictable and, often grumpiest, time of the day is right when we're asking her to sit on a pew for an hour. Yesterday was the first time we had to take her out of Sacrament Meeting in a very long time. She is usually an angel and very willing to be distracted by whatever toys and snacks we bring for her. Yesterday she was just too tired. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Which brings me to.....

Reason the Second:
NURSERY! Nursery, nursery, nursery, nursery, nursery! Is there any word that has ever sounded so sweet to my ears? Nursery! Just saying it brings a smile to my face and quickens my step. We took her into the room and she made a beeline to the toy chest, took one out, sat on the floor with it and played contentedly. We stood there thinking, "Is this it? Shouldn't we have to sign some sort of release form?" The teacher came in, asked us which Sunday School class we attended and said we were good. We left and Zoe didn't even notice.

I still missed most of Sunday School because I had to go to the intake meeting, where we meet with the new move-ins and get the information we need to get their records transferred. But when I finally made it in, I felt like a new person. James and I just kept looking at each other and smiling. I tried not to jump out of my skin shouting "Hallelujah!"

We checked on her after Sunday School and she was sitting in a little chair, watching the teachers and the other children singing "Popcorn Popping." She never attempted the actions on her own, but when they were finished, the teacher started clapping, and then Zoe joined in - clapping and squealing in delight. I had to hurry off to Relief Society to teach the lesson and I felt like I had so much energy. I really had to rein in my enthusiasm to keep my words-per-minute down to a level suitable for human comprehension. The only way I can describe it is this - I felt like I'd grown a new pair of lungs, like I was just realizing how to breathe again, but had never noticed that I wasn't before. And it was a totally different feeling than when James would relieve me and take her to Priesthood. I just can't explain how elated I am to have her in Nursery. When James picked her up, he said she didn't even notice that he was there. The teacher said she was fine the whole time and only cried once, when another kid took a toy away from her. She was in a great mood when we got home, as well. So good, in fact, she only felt the need for a one-hour nap. Oh that silly Nuggle Bear. Excuse me, Nursery Nuggle Bear.

I love that she had such a great first day. I just can't help wondering what goes through her little head when we leave her in a room of unfamiliar toys and faces. And how does she act when she is away from us? Shy and quiet or demanding and aggressive? Since she was the youngest, and smallest, I'm guessing she is pretty quiet, taking everything in. We just can't believe how fast she is growing up. And how much we thoroughly enjoy each new stage.

Here is the product of her first day. Don't worry I won't post EVERY scribble she ever brings home, but I know the grandmas will eat this up.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Calling All Jane Austen Fans!

I just wanted to give you all a heads up that PBS is going to play all of the Jane Austen movies (the older original ones, anyway) as part of their Masterpiece series. It all starts tomorrow and they will show one each Sunday. In Utah, it is on KUED (as opposed to KBYU) and as far as I know it starts at 8 pm. Persuasion is up first and then next week will be Northanger Abbey. Which will then be followed by Mansfield Park, Miss Austen Regrets, Pride and Prejudice (the 6-hour version, but cut up into a couple parts), Emma, and Sense and Sensibility. So, check your local listings and set your VCRs!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Flashback Friday: Remember the Memory (Card)

This is what I would have posted last week had I not been puking ( I had a BUG, people! James had it 2 weeks before I did).

Our camera does this nifty little thing where if you forget to put the memory card in, it stores any pictures you take on it's own little hard drive. Problem is, you usually forget that the pictures are on there because you can't view them if the card is in, and to retrieve them you have to plug the camera into the computer (and we usually just take the card out and put it into one of our card readers). So a few weeks ago we came across these pictures. Sure, they are fairly recent, but why can't we flash back to the recent past? Are there any rules against that? No, I just checked the manual. Don't worry, I won't get all Lost on you and try and pass off a Flash Forward as a Flash Back. What?

Dec 1, 2006

July 9, 2007
Looking at those pictures, combined with reminiscing over Zoe's 18-month mark, reminded me of this stunning photo. Zoe is about a half a day old. Thanks for visiting us in the hospital, LaDonna. Now start a blog!
Here is Erin's more subtle attempt at persuasion.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Zoe at 18 Months

Well, Zoe is 18 months old, as of last Sunday. So why is the nursery countdown still, well, counting down? Because Sunday happened to be Stake Conference as well. Grrr. This whole nursery debacle has been so frustrating. I found out a couple weeks ago that a boy only 3 days older than Zoe has been going to nursery for about a month with no complaints from the leaders. I refer you to this rant, I mean post, to see why that is maddening to me.

I waited to post until today because Zoe had her 18-month check up and I wanted to let all the grandmas know how she is faring. She is awesome! Small, but awesome. Her head is now in the 13th percentile, which is higher than ever. She is 31.5 inches tall and weighs in just under 21 pounds. I'm guessing that last number would be better if we could EVER get her to eat dinner. She flat out refuses even her favorite foods at dinner time and freaks out when we put her in the high chair. And if by some miracle she does eat a particular food for dinner she won't eat it twice in a row (i.e. leftovers). We are pretty much at our wit's end with her. So much wasted time and food. But she seems happy (other than when we are trying to feed her) and she has tons of energy and sleeps through the night, so we are more annoyed than worried.

As far as physical and verbal skills go, Zoe is right up to par. Here is a sampling of her "every day" vocabulary (words she says without being prompted):
  • Mommy, It's Mommy
  • Dada, Dada's here
  • Hi
  • Tigger
  • Ball
  • Baby
  • Bear
  • Doggy Woof Woof
  • Moo
  • Eat
  • Nose, Eyes, Ears, Mouth, Tummy (and identify all)
  • Cereal, Crackers, Fish, Cheese, Milk, Water, Toast, Chicken (the only foods she eats are foods she can say)
  • Snow, Snowing
  • Outside
  • Shoes
  • More, Please, All Done (and their signs)
  • Up
  • Toys, Book
  • Soft (as in , Zoe, be SOFT)
  • Jump (she yells "DUHM DUHM" while she jumps)
She also repeats a lot of what we say (everything from "bath time" to "shiny" to"fluoride") so I will refrain from listing all that. She loves to dance, twirl, twist, and especially jump. A couple weeks ago she finally figured out how to get both feet off of the ground at the same time! Before that she just stomped around in a circle. She loves to watch her Baby Einsteins so I can get ready for the day. She loves to go outside, as long as we don't make her walk in the snow. She is so independent and strong willed (that becomes a problem sometimes) but generally mild-tempered and well-behaved. It usually takes us by surprise if she is in a bad mood (apart from the whole dinner time issue). Everyday seems to be more fun than the previous and she learns so much it just amazes me. I just can't believe she is the same little "bean" we brought home a year and a half ago. I know she misses you all and we can't wait to visit as much family as we can this year!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Music Snobs Anonymous: Elevator Music

Hi, my name is Desta and I'm a music snob. I've been a music snob for about 3 years.

Hi Desta.

Hi, my name is James and I'm a music snob. I've been a music snob for about 7 years.

Hi James.

Welcome to Music Snobs Anonymous. We know we're music snobs and you might be one too. Here are some signs:
  • You haven't listened to the radio in a year
  • Your family has more than one iPod
  • You've utilized Excel to rate and rank your CD collection
  • You own at least 2 music DVDs (not musicals, but DVDs of concerts or band documentaries/anthologies
If you or someone you know is a music snob, or you would like more information about becoming a music snob, please check back here every week as we share some of our favorite musical moments* with the world. Even if you have no interest in our musical choices we still love you and hope you keep reading our blog.

In a perfect world, this would be our elevator music:



That is The Arcade Fire and yes, they are performing live in an elevator. This is the same band we saw back in September and we just can't say enough great things about them. To me (and James will probably concur) this is as close to musical perfection as it gets. I mean they're in an ELEVATOR for cryin' out loud! And that one guy is ripping a magazine! It's so beautiful it brings me to tears, and that's saying a lot. Stay tuned for future meetings of Music Snobs Anonymous.

* Most of these moments will come in the form of YouTube videos, but we want to clarify that we don't just mindlessly comb the internet looking for this stuff, this is all music that we already LOVE. YouTube is just the easiest way to share it with all you lovely people.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Contenders Ready?

Ok, so first I have to apologize for flaking on Flashback Friday. I was a little busy fighting a losing battle against nausea (read: I was puking). And then on Saturday James and I got a little swept up in saving the universe. Yep, we beat Super Mario Galaxy! It was dang fun too.

But now I'd like to get to the point. And the point is, the highest-rated 90s show (in the category of muscle and spandex content) has returned! It's time for American Gladiators folks. And just when you thought you were safe from stupid posts about stupid reality shows. Speaking of, check out the newest cast of Survivor Fans vs. Favorites here.



I have to admit that I loved American Gladiators in the 90s so of course I had to watch the new AG tonight. And I'll probably watch the episode tomorrow as well. I guess you could call me nostalgic. It's strange how even though the show has maintained many of the cheesy, um, I mean, "endearing" elements from 15 years ago, I just don't like it as much. I have yet to decide whether or not I will learn to like it.

For one, the original AG was a reality show before that genre even existed. Now every Ronny reality TV "star" thinks they are verbose and should be able to say whatever they want as long as there is a mic nearby. So instead of the contestants sticking with the tried and true "Whoo! Yeah! This is awesome!" they usually lapse into some speech about how this totally pertains to their day job (which it doesn't) and then they actually proceed to TAUNT the gladiators. Not smart. So now we not only assume these people are blithering idiots for wanting to be pummeled by body builders, but they've pretty much left no doubt in our minds by opening their big yappers.

Now, the gladiators. Oh the gladiators. First I have to give a shout out to "Titan" for looking exactly like the original gladiators - both male and female. His frosted, feathered-yet-gelled hair, and that little tank that is both too high-cut and too low-cut at the same time makes me laugh each time I see him. I don't know how the contenders can take him seriously. And then there's "Siren" which I don't have a problem with except I vividly remember the original "Siren" - she was the deaf one - and shouldn't somebody have thought of a new name (I'm on the fence with "Venom," can anyone confirm a previous AG with that moniker?) "Mayhem" absolutely scares me. He really is creepy. Like a voodoo shrunken head, but only bigger. Does that make any sense? Is anyone still reading this? OK, and I have to mention "Toa" who I thought was going to be a rip-off Maori warrior, but really delivered and did the whole Haka thing dead-on (as far as I am aware). I'd say my favorite new addition is "Wolf" although I don't think actual wolves would wear that much makeup. As a whole, the gladiators suffer from the same malady as the contestants when it come to thoughts uttered and come off a little more viscous than their predecessors. Maybe this has something to do with the events themselves, though.

The events. This is my main problem with the new incarnation. The arena is really dark and seems so much smaller than it used to be. Of course the world in general seemed larger to me in the 90s so my judgment might be a bit clouded. A lot of the old events are back, but it just doesn't seem like they function as well. The gladiators don't have any rules and seem to be more on the offensive (tackling people, throwing them off an apparatus) than is necessary. Has anyone told them that they don't get anything if these guys lose the event? Also, Hang Tough seems much, much smaller, though wider (for what purpose I have no idea). I've always been extremely envious of anyone who can work their magic on so many hanging rings. The Eliminator seems too tough in some spots, a walk in the park at times (like a 3-foot wide "balance beam") and just bizarre in between (there is a "barrel roll" where contestants cling to a giant spool and hurl themselves down a ramp). And the whole thing seems very thrown together and claustrophobic, but again I refer to the lighting problems.

Ok, so I said that it was the events, but then I remembered the thing that REALLY bugs me about the new version. It can all be wrapped up by two little words: "are the." In the old AG, the ref would shout "Contestants Ready? Gladiators ready? 3,2,1." And then blow the whistle. I don't know who the new ref thinks he is, but he wanted more lines so he added "Are the" to his repertoire. And using complete sentences just seems a little too high-brow for a show where spandex gets top billing. And instead of just nodding or grunting, contestants and gladiators alike have begun to respond verbally.

So I guess my main problem all boils down to semantics, in that people are talking when they really should just be bashing each other around. Oh, and did I mention Hulk Hogan is the host? How did I type all this without including him? Oh yes, because his performance was just that memorable. I guess it will have to do until February 7 - that's only 1 month away!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Year-end Clearance Blowout

Everything 2007 MUST GO!!

Hello all! Welcome to the Gillice Blog, 2008 Edition. Can you believe we've been doing this for a whole year? I haven't posted for "a while" for three reasons:
  1. James wanted his previous post not to get overshadowed by this post.
  2. I've been busy redesigning the blog (thank you shabbyprincess.com for the free downloads).
  3. It takes a while to edit and upload as many pictures and videos as I'm about to share today.
Anyway, with the new year, it is time to gut our hard drive, which means burning all of our pictures and videos onto DVDs and backing everything up. Then wiping our hard drive as clean as we can so it will continue to function until we get a new computer with our tax return. I'm guessing that if the pictures are on discs that I actually have to locate and then insert into the computer before accessing them, I probably won't post them. So here are some great pictures and videos from 2007 that I've meant to put up, but didn't really fit anywhere (or were bumped by my 12-day gimmick). This is pretty much pure indulgence for me and the few family members that read this. TRANSLATION: I won't be offended if this isn't your favorite post because I'm doing this for me and Zoe's biggest fans (the grandmas).

P.S. to my mom - This is what I've been doing today instead of sending your package out. Maybe tomorrow?

Zoe LOVES her water
video


This sequence I like to call "Zoe v. Stroller"


I am entirely bummed that Zoe's Christmas portraits didn't turn out as nice as I'd hoped. Mostly because her dress is gorgeous. So here is a not-so-great photo of Zoe, but a good shot of the dress. That feels a little better.

I'd have to say that this is Zoe's favorite video of herself. She's watched it a dozen times and each times she laughs and laughs. The kid has good taste.
video


The next few pictures are from the Ward Christmas Party. The first one is out of focus, but Zoe's expression is so adorable. So I tried to fix it up as best as possible.
Wow! My eyes are open and I have a real smile on. Very rare.

Zoe really likes to dance. She also really likes to say the word "outside." She also really likes to climb on the coffee table. I really like to film her while she's doing these things.
video

Christmas Morning
Zoe's favorite seat in the house. She takes the covering from her high chair and plops it in front of the fridge. This is the cheesiest grin I've ever seen on this girl. Glad I had the camera close by.
Zoe dances to sleeping beauty. On the DVD menu, the prince and princess are twirling around and Zoe picked right up on it. Before I got the camera she was twirling with Tigger and Gloworm as her dance partners.
video

Alrighty! Now all these pictures can be stored digitally for some indefinite amount of time. At least we will always be able to enjoy them here.