Entries 150 - 126

ENTRY # 150
DATE:  06/25/06 (Sunday)
SUBJECT:  An Evening With Zachary...

     Back in May I attended Zachary's sixth birthday party. That afternoon I made the mistake of asking him when he was going to spend the weekend at my house. Jen and Mark (Zachary's parents) were ready to kill me because for the next three weeks all they heard was:

When am I going to Dove's house I wanna go to Dove's house How long will I be at Dove's house Can I sleep over at Dove's house Does Dove have a cat at her house What kind of cat is at Dove's house Can I bring my toys to Dove's house When is Dove coming to get me When are you bringing me to Dove's house I wanna go to Dove's house When do I go to Dove's house Dove said I could sleep over at her house When is Dove coming to get me Are you dropping me off at Dove's house What day do I go to Dove's house How long am I gonna be at Dove's house I wanna sleep at Dove's house.........
     Needless to say Zack was very excited about this... and, YUP!, Jen and Mark wanted me dead, I think, after listening to that - nonstop - for weeks.
     Last weekend I received a phone call from Jen. She told me that on Saturday (June 24th) they were going to a wedding, and the following morning (today) they were leaving for vacation. She wanted to know if this weekend would be good for me to take Zack for the night. I said, "You bet, I'd LOVE to!"
     They dropped him off on their way to the wedding, so he didn't get here 'til about 2:00pm yesterday afternoon. And they picked him up early this morning on their way to Sesame Place for the family vacation. Basically, his "weekend visit" was only about 18 hours, and that's including a good 9 hours of sleeping.
     It was a quick visit but we had a blast while it lasted. He brought a whole bunch of toys with him, and I also had some coloring books, Hot Wheels cars, and a couple dinosaurs here already for him to play with so we were busy! One of the things he decided to bring was the Spiderman jigsaw puzzle I gave him for his birthday. That was the first thing we did. We put it together... again. Then we spent about three hours on the kitchen floor with all his cars and Monster Trucks.
     When it was time to eat dinner, I told him what his options were. Since I'm familiar with all his favorite foods, I made sure to have ALL of them on hand just in case he was going to be "picky." I told him we could have either chicken nuggets, hot-dogs, or Mac n' Cheese. Apparently - after four hours of some hard playing - he had worked up quite an appetite because once I read him the menu selections he didn't just pick one. After I said, "chicken nuggets, hot-dogs, or Mac n' Cheese," this little six-year-old looked me dead in the face and said, "yes." LOL! So I made all three. He ate everything, so I guess I did a good job.
     After dinner we relaxed in front of the TV for a while watching "Madagascar" and one of his Monster Trucks DVDs. Madagascar was awesome, but the Monster Truck stuff wasn't holding my interest. I was kind'a bored, so I broke out the coloring books and crayons. An hour later the front of my refrigerator was covered with our artwork. I did one picture, he did three.
     The next activity on our agenda was a game of Hide n' Seek. That was fun! I am truly amazed at how many hiding places we were able to find in this little apartment of mine. Zack is a much better "hider" than he is a "finder." When it was my turn to hide he kept saying, "Where are you? Where are you?" LOL. It was really cute!
     We had a quick snack - which consisted of Graham Crackers shaped like bugs - then I let him type on the computer for a while in order to "wind him down." It actually worked too! By the time he filled my WordPad screen with letters and numbers he was pretty sleepy.
     He got into his pajamas and brushed his teeth with no complaints at all.... and twenty minutes later he was out like a light!
     I, on the other hand, didn't sleep a wink. I ended up watching a Three's Company marathon all night long.
     I woke him up at 7:00am this morning and we both dined on Eggo waffles for breakfast. He got dressed and brushed his teeth all by himself, and I packed up all his toys. Jen and Mark showed up at 7:30 and off they all went to Sesame Place.
     It was a great weekend.... but, right now, I'm in desperate need of a nap!!! In fact, I think I'm gonna go do that right now. The couch is calling my name. While I'm sleeping feel free to take a peek at the pictures I took during Zack's visit. He's a cutie!!!

Zachary's Visit to Dove's House


ENTRY # 149
DATE:  06/24/06 (Saturday) 10:00am
SUBJECT:  A Letter to Our Pets...

     To Our Beloved Pets:

     When I say to move, it means to go someplace else, not to switch positions with each other so there are still two of you in my way.
     The dishes with the paw print are yours and contain your food. All other dishes are mine and contain my food. Please note that placing your paw print in the middle of MY plate and food does not stake a claim making it YOUR plate and food.
     The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Beating me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help in your quest to reach the bottom first, because I fall faster than you can run.
     I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think that I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort.
     Dogs and cats actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to one another, stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.
     For the last time, there is not a secret exit from the bathroom. If by some miracle I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, and try to turn the knob, or get your paw under the edge of the door and try to pull it open. I must exit through the same door I entered. Honest.
     Also, I have been using the bathroom by myself for quite some time -- canine or feline attendance is not mandatory.
     I can't stress this one enough -- kiss me, THEN go smell the other dog's/cat's behind.
     To pacify you, my dear companions, I have posted the following notice on our front door:

Rules for Non-Pet Owners Who Visit and then Complain About Our Pets:

     1.  The pets live here. You don't.
     2.  If you don't want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture. (That's why it's call "fur"niture.)
     3.  To you, our pets are just animals. To us, they are an adopted son/daughter who happens to be hairy, walks on all fours and doesn't speak clearly.
      4.  Dogs and cats are better than kids because...
             ...they don't ask for money all the time.
             ...they are easier to train.
             ...they usually come when called.
             ...they don't hang out with drug-using friends.
             ...they don't need a gazillion dollars for a college education.
             ...AND - most importantly - if they get pregnant, we can sell the children.


ENTRY # 148
DATE:  06/22/06 (Thursday)
SUBJECT:  Happy Birthday Mom!!!

     Today is my Mom's birthday. I didn't get to see her, but I sent her a card [that made her cry] and we talked on the phone earlier this afternoon.
     My Mom is the most incredible woman on the planet. I've come to believe there's nothing she can't do. She sews, she crochets, she quilts, she makes candles, she draws, and she paints. And that's not all!!! She's a certified Scuba diver, a professional cake decorator, a horseback rider, a licensed hunter, a gardener, and a carpenter. She even learned to fly those little two-seater airplanes when she was younger. Actually, the list of what my Mom is capable of could go on for ages, but I'll stop here... I have other Blog entries to work on tonight too, LOL!
     She's lived in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, California, and Connecticut.... and she's worked in a dental office, an Italian pastry shop, and an eye doctor's office. She was also a chimney sweeper, and a school-bus driver for a while! How's that for versatility?
     And, of course, on top of all that, she's also a wife, an aunt, a niece, a sister, and a mother...
     She's an amazing woman! When I grow up, I want to be just like her!
     Happy Birthday, Mom! I love you...

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Famous Birthdays

Amy Brenneman
Ed Bradley
Dan Brown
Carson Daly
John Dillinger
Kris Kristofferson
Cyndi Lauper
Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Joseph Papp
Freddie Prinze
Todd Rundgren
Meryl Streep
Eric Stretch
Lindsay Wagner
Kurt Warner
Billy Wilder

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Today In History

1807 - The crew of the British man-of-war Leopard fired upon and boarded the U.S. frigate Chesapeake. James Barron, the commander of the Chesapeake was convicted following a court-martial. The reason for the court-martial: Barron was not prepared for action. This incident, along with a few others, led to the War of 1812.

1815 - Napoleon abdicated his throne for the second time after his defeat at Waterloo.

1832 - J.I. Howe patented the pin-making machine, better known as a pin-maker.

1874 - Dr. Andrew Taylor Still began the first known practice of osteopathy.

1894 - Legendary magician and escape artist Harry Houdini married Wilhelmina Beatrice Rahner. When they met, she was performing as one of the Floral Sisters at the Sea Beach Palace, West Brighton Beach, New York, and he was a virtually unknown magician. Extremely happy for over thirty years, the Houdinis never attempted escape from the bonds of matrimony.

1939 - Bing Crosby and Connee Boswell joined in song to perform An Apple for the Teacher, on Decca Records.

1942 - V-Mail, or Victory-Mail, was sent for the first time. V-Mail used a special paper for letter writing during WWII. It was designed to reduce cargo space taken up by mail sent to and from members of the armed services. The letters written on this special paper were opened at the post office, censored and reduced in size by photography. One roll of film contained 1,500 letters.

1944 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the G.I. Bill of Rights.

1952 - The U.S. Olympic Fund increased by $1,000,000, thanks to a nationwide 14-1/2 hour telethon that starred Bing Crosby and Bob Hope.

1964 - Barbra Joan Streisand signed a 10-year contract with CBS-TV worth about $200,000 a year. Both CBS and NBC had been bidding for Streisand’s talents.

1968 - Herb Alpert used his voice and his trumpet to run to the top of the pop music charts. This Guy’s in Love with You became the most popular song in the nation this day. It would rule the top of the pop music world for four weeks. It was the only vocal by Alpert to make the charts, though his solo instrumentals with The Tijuana Brass scored lots of hits. Alpert performed on 19 charted hits through 1987.

1969 - Singer/Actress Judy Garland died.

1985 - People magazine had an interesting story in the week’s issue. It took a death count in Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo flick, finding that there were 44 people killed directly. The wizards at People figured out that this was an average of one body biting the Rambo dust every 2.1 minutes. There were also 70 explosions that killed an undetermined number of people, according to the magazine.

1987 - Actor-dancer-singer Fred Astaire died.

1989 - Batman, the movie, opened in U.S. theaters. Michael Keaton plays the big guy (Batman) and Batman’s real-life self, Bruce Wayne. Jack Nicholson is at his evil best as the Joker aka former crime enforcer Jack Napier. And Kim Basinger is Vicky Vale, photo journalist on a quest to unmask the batman person. Billy Dee Williams, Jack Palance and an all-star cast made this first Batman flick a hit. It did $42.71 million at the box office the first weekend.

1992 - CBS This Morning co-host Paula Zahn announced, “Making headlines this morning: Bill Clinton comes up with a plan for the economy. Tax the rich, cut the deficit, and help just about everyone else.” Very similar to the Robin Hood system, wasn’t it?


ENTRY # 147
DATE:  06/20/06 (Tuesday)
SUBJECT:  Worth a Thousand Words???

     They say one photograph is worth a thousand words. Well, if that's the case, consider this my "1,000 Word Essay" on the current gas prices in Connecticut...


ENTRY # 146
DATE:  06/18/06 (Sunday)
SUBJECT:  Happy Father's Day...

When God Created Fathers
     When the good Lord was creating fathers, He started with a tall frame. And a female angel nearby said, "What kind of father is that? If you’re going to make children so close to the ground, why have you put fathers up so high? He won’t be able to shoot marbles without kneeling, tuck a child in bed without bending, or even kiss a child without a lot of stooping." And God smiled and said, "Yes, but if I make him child size, who would children have to look up to?"
     And when God made a father’s hands, they were large and sinewy. And the angel shook her head sadly and said, "Do You know what You’re doing? Large hands are clumsy. They can’t manage diaper pins, small buttons, rubber bands on pony tails or even remove splinters caused by baseball bats." God smiled and said, "I know, but they’re large enough to hold everything a small boy empties from his pockets at the end of a day, yet small enough to cup a child’s face."
     Then God molded long, slim legs and broad shoulders. The angel nearly had a heart attack. "Boy, this is the end of the week, all right," she clucked. "Do You realize You just made a father without a lap? How is he going to pull a child close to him without the kid falling between his legs?" God smiled and said, "A mother needs a lap. A father needs strong shoulders to pull a sled, balance a boy on a bicycle or hold a sleepy head on the way home from the circus."
     God was in the middle of creating two of the largest feet anyone had ever seen when the angel could contain herself no longer. "That’s not fair. Do You honestly think those large boats are going to dig out of bed early in the morning when the baby cries? Or walk through a small birthday party without crushing at least three of the guests?" And God smiled and said, "They’ll work. You’ll see. They’ll support a small child who wants to "ride a horse to Banbury Cross" or scare off mice at the summer cabin, or display shoes that will be a challenge to fill."
     God worked throughout the night, giving the father few words, but a firm authoritative voice; eyes that see everything, but remain calm and tolerant. Finally, almost as an afterthought, He added tears. Then He turned to the angel and said, "Now are you satisfied that he can love as much as a mother?"
     ...and the angel shutteth up!

Written by Erma Bombeck
Happy Father's Day!!!


ENTRY # 145
DATE:  06/13/06 (Tuesday)
SUBJECT:  "The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada"

     Tommy Lee Jones' new movie, "Three Burials," was released on DVD last week. It hit the stores on June 6th. I didn't come across this information until late this afternoon. On my way home from work I stopped at Tommy K's to buy my copy and I watched it as soon as I got home. In fact, I watched it twice... once with the "Commentary" feature turned OFF, and once with the "Commentary" feature turned ON.
     I've been anxiously awaiting to see this movie for about three years since it's been referred to as Tommy Lee's "baby." He stars in it, he directed it, he co-produced it, and some of it is actually filmed on his own cattle ranch down in Texas. I've also heard that he spent quite a bit of time working on the screenplay alongside Guillermo Arriaga. On top of all this "technical stuff," he even managed to involve his family in its production. His daughter, Tory, has a couple cameo appearances; and his wife, Dawn [Laurel] Jones, lent a hand behind the scenes as "Still Photographer," taking over ten thousand images.
     I missed it when it was playing in the theater(s), but I was able to find quite a few of its reviews posted online here n' there. Ebert & Roeper gave it "TWO BIG THUMBS UP!" Clay Smith from The Insider was quoted as saying, "First-time [feature film] director Tommy Lee Jones has taken the American Western to astonishing new heights!" And Kevin Thomas (Los Angeles Times), A.O. Scott (The New York Times), Lou Lumenick (New York Post), Michael Phillips (Chicago Tribune), Gene Seymour (Newsday), David Sterritt (The Christian Science Monitor), Christopher Kelly (Fort Worth Star-Telegram), and Ruthe Stein (San Francisco Chronicle) all proclaimed it as being "ONE OF THE BEST FILMS OF THE YEAR!!!" And, of course, all the Tommy Lee Jones fan-sites I visit regularly had nothing but good things to say about it. After hearing all the positive feedback from the fans and film critics both, I was pretty "pumped up" when I finally sat down to view it for myself.
     I was not disappointed. "Three Burials" is an awesome film! Since I don't want to "give anything crucial away" by talking about the story's plot, here's the text on the back of the DVD in case you're interested in what the movie is all about...

     Oscar winner Tommy Lee Jones (Best Supporting Actor, The Fugitive, 1993) directs and stars in this poetic and striking modern-day Western.
     Pete Perkins (Jones) is a veteran cowboy who embodies the values of the old west, living in a small Texas town bordering the U.S. and Mexico. He hires Melquiades Estrada as a ranch hand and quickly befriends the man. But when Estrada is gunned down under mysterious circumstances, Perkins takes justice into his own hands and kidnaps trigger-happy border patrolman Mike Norton (Barry Pepper - Saving Private Ryan), forcing Norton to unearth Estrada's body and accompany Perkins on horseback on the long and treacherous journey through the frontier mountains and back roads of Mexico to bring his friend's body home.
     Tommy Lee delivers a vengeful (yet quite endearing), emotionally charged character, offering his viewers a flawless performance. The folks at the Cannes Film Festival seem to agree, since he walked away with the award for "Best Actor." His acting abilities in front of the camera are topped only by his abilities behind the camera as director...
     "Three Burials" is not TLJ's first time in the Director's chair. His "directorial debut" was, in fact, back in 1994 when he masterfully dramatized Elmer Kelton's best-selling novel "The Good Old Boys" for TNT.
     The 1994 experience definitely paid off. His camera angles and lighting techniques are exceptional. His "photographic eye" of the surrounding Texas/Mexico vistas is very charming... he was able to elevate the landscape from a simple "set" into what felt like an actual [human] character. And the performances he "pulled out" of Barry Pepper, January Jones, and Dwight Yoakam were top-notch.
     His presentation of the screenplay was interestingly done as well. The movie is delivered is three parts, "The First Burial," "The Second Burial," and obviously, "The Third Burial." The audience witnesses the burial at the beginning of each part, and we're then given the back-story to fill in the gaps between the burial scenes.
     With the story, the set, the casting, and the direction - all combined - "The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada" is a work of art! Bravo, Mr. Jones!!! YOU ROCK!!!!!!
     "3B" has - without a doubt - taken over the #1 position on my "Favorite Movies" list.


ENTRY # 144
DATE:  06/12/06 (Monday)
SUBJECT:  Thought of the Day...

     If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.

*grin*


ENTRY # 143
DATE:  06/11/06 (Sunday)
SUBJECT:  Happy Birthday Adrienne!

     Today is Adrienne's birthday. Since I had to work all weekend, I took her out to dinner Friday night instead. We went to "On the Border" in Orange for Mexican food, and what a meal we had! The food was fantastic!!! And, from what Adrienne tells me, the Watermelon Margaritas were slammin' too, LOL! I'm not a big fan of Tequila myself, so I had a plain ol' glass of Merlot with my meal.
     Happy Birthday, A!!! Hope you had a great day!

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Famous Birthdays Today:

Shia LaBeouf
Caroline Quentin
Hugh Laurie
Joe Montana
Adrienne Barbeau
Chad Everett
Gene Wilder
Vince Lombardi
Jacques Cousteau

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     Other News:  I'm still working on The Waste Lands by Stephen King. Since I've been putting in so much overtime lately, I haven't been able to read that much. I'm about three-quarters of the way through it now, and it's turning out to be a damn good book!
     I'm beat from all the extra hours I've been putting in at work, but the overtime is definitely paying off. Saturday, when I got to work, the first thing I did was call my credit card company to pay my bill. I owed them $703.11. I gave them $750.00 instead, so I have a "credit" on my account. For the first time in about five years I am completely debt free! I'm actually "in the black." How cool is that?!?!? WOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
     Now that I'm finally home from work, I'm gonna get back to The Waste Lands. If I can manage to stay awake long enough, maybe I can finish it tonight...


ENTRY # 142
DATE:  06/06/06 (Tuesday)
SUBJECT:  "Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street The Dark Tower?"

     So I finally started Stephen King's "Dark Tower" books the other day. I can't say I'm "hooked" on them, but they are turning out to be pretty good. I'm approximately a hundred pages into the third one, The Waste Lands. This is why "The Dish" has been so quiet lately. I haven't been online all that much since I started these books...
     The first book, The Gunslinger, I wasn't too crazy about. The second book though, The Drawing of the Three, kicked ass. And, as of right now, I don't know how to feel about the third one yet, 'cause I'm not far enough into it to tell. It's gotten off to a pretty slow start, so I'm hoping it'll get better soon...
     Once I finish The Waste Lands, I'll still have four more books to get through before I'm done with them all. For the next couple of days (maybe even a week), I probably won't be online much, so "The Dish" will - most likely - remain pretty quiet during that time. Just wanted to let all my "regular" visitors know ahead of time that I haven't fallen off the edge of the world. I'm just trying to find my way to the Dark Tower with Roland and the gang.
     Wish me luck!


ENTRY # 141
DATE:  05/29/06 (Monday) 4:00pm
SUBJECT:  A Bath & A Haircut...

     Sweety Face went to see the Groomer today! She was in desperate need of a bath... and since Summer is right around the bend, I had her shaved so she won't swelter in the heat.
     She wasn't crazy about the bath (to say the least), but she loves her new haircut. I took my camera with me, and I've just uploaded the pics for all to see.
     There's only one shot of her in the tub. That's all I could manage since she refused to hold still. The rest of the pictures are all taken at home...

Bath & A Haircut

     And now I have to get back to the "Criminal Intent" marathon. It's on for four more hours. Ciao for now!


ENTRY # 140
DATE:  05/29/06 (Monday) 11:30am
SUBJECT:  Tory's Blog...

     If any of you have spent time perusing my "Dove's Reading Room" page, you're probably aware by now that "Dialogues," by Stephen Spignesi, is one of my favorite books. I've read it three times... so far.
     "Tory Troy," the main character of the novel, now has a Blog of her very own. You can check it out at
http://torytroy.blogspot.com!!!


ENTRY # 139
DATE:  05/27/06 (Saturday) 3:00am
SUBJECT:  Ahhhhh, I Love Long Weekends...

     It's three in the morning and I JUST got home from work. After working an eighteen hour day, I am definitely ready for a long weekend. Good grief!!!
     We are completely swamped at work, and I had two choices... I either had to work over the weekend (NOT!!!), or I could work late Friday night instead. I chose to work late, so I could enjoy the Memorial Day weekend. I have absolutely no plans for the holiday except for lots of rest and relaxation, and I can't wait to get started!!!
     And, WOOHOOOOOO, I just saw an advertisement for "Law & Order: Criminal Intent." There's gonna be a "CI" marathon all day on Monday! Excellent!!! LOL, now I have plans!
     As for the rest of the weekend, it's gonna look just like this........


ENTRY # 138
DATE:  05/25/06 (Thursday)
SUBJECT:  "Excuse me, Waiter, there's a hair in my salad!!!"


ENTRY # 137
DATE:  05/23/06 (Tuesday)
SUBJECT:  Car Shopping...

     I spent approximately three hours last night browsing through numerous automobile websites. Even though I can't afford a new car right now, I figured I'd at least see what's out there and how much they're selling for. I looked up Toyota, Kia (as a last resort), Hyundai, Dodge, Honda, and Chevy just to name a few...
     When I got to the Chevy website, I came across a new model I've never heard of before. It's called the "Aveo." The one that caught my eye was the five door hatch-back. The pictures online looked pretty cool, and the price was even better. The "Special Value" edition is selling for only $9,900.00. No air-conditioning, and no CD player, but - hey - it's a brand new car, right? It was worth looking into, I thought...
     On my way home from work tonight, I stopped at the Chevy dealership on Route 1 to take a look at it. It's a "cute" car, but it's way too small for me. And they didn't have the "Special Value" edition on the lot anyway. The only one they had was the "LT," which is selling for $14,500.00. That's not a bad price either, I guess.... considering I bought my Chevy Corsica (in 1991) for fourteen grand.
     All of a sudden a salesman appeared out of nowhere. He insisted on showing me the inside of it, even though I had already decided it wasn't the car for me. While we were sitting in the Aveo, I told him I thought it was too small, and he actually agreed with me. He said that for the exact same price, I could get the Chevy Cobalt instead which is bigger, and - honestly - a much nicer vehicle.
     We walked all the way across the lot to find the Cobalt LT, and I gotta tell ya, as soon I saw it, I fell in love with it. The one I looked at was a dark gray/light blue color, with a lighter gray interior. It's a four door V-4, with a 2.2 liter engine... and it has air-conditioning and a CD player which are two of my "MUST HAVE" requirements. I gotta have AC, and I gotta have a CD player. Although, I think I'll end up yanking the CD player out of my Kia, since the one I bought is a lot nicer than the manufacturer's CD players...
     Since I was already sitting in the Cobalt, the salesman told me to drive the car back up to where my car was parked so we wouldn't have to walk. Even though I only drove it from one end of the lot to the other, my mind is pretty much made up. I think that's the one I want to buy when the time comes. I wanna take a look at the "LS" also, since it's a thousand dollars cheaper.... but I've definitely decided it's a Cobalt I want, regardless of which model it is. It's a GREAT car! But then again, after driving my Kia Rio for the last five years, anything would be considered "great" at this point, LOL.
     SO... now all I have to do is come up with a decent down payment to keep my payments affordable, and I'll be all set. Wish me luck!


ENTRY # 136
DATE:  05/20/06 (Saturday)
SUBJECT:  Famous Birthdays/Today In History...

     Today is my step-father's birthday. With this in mind, I visited www.famousbirthdays.com to see who else is celebrating today. Here's the folks I found:

Dean Butler
Cher
Joe Cocker
George Gobel
Stan Makita
Bronson Pinchot
Ron Reagan
Busta Rhymes
Jimmy Stewart
Jane Wiedlin
Anthony Zerbe

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Today In History...
1506 - Christopher Columbus died in Spain.

1861 - North Carolina voted to secede from the Union.

1927 - Charles Lindbergh began the first solo non-stop transatlantic flight, departing from Long Island aboard the Spirit of Saint Louis.

1932 - Amelia Earhart took off from Newfoundland to become the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic.

1939 - Regular trans-Altantic air service began as Pan American Airways plane, the Yankee Clipper, took off from Port Washington, NY, bound for Europe.

1969 - US and South Vietnamese forces captured Apbia Mountain, referred to as Hamburger Hill by the Americans, following one of the bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War.

1989 - Comedian Gilda Radner died in Los Angeles at the age of 42.

     Happy birthday, Dad. I hope you have a great day!!!


ENTRY # 135
DATE:  05/14/06 (Sunday)
SUBJECT:  Happy Mother's Day!

What Is A Mother?

A mother is someone to shelter and guide us,
to love us, whatever we do;
with a warm understanding and infinite patience
and wonderful gentleness, too.
How often a mother means swift reassurance
in soothing our small childish fears...
How tenderly mothers watch over their children
and treasure them all through the years!
The heart of a mother is full of forgiveness
for any mistake, big or small;
and generous - always - in helping her family,
whose needs she has placed above all.
A mother can utter a word of compassion,
and make all our cares fall away.
She can brighten a home with the sound of her laughter,
and make life delightful and gay.
A mother possesses incredible wisdom,
and wonderful insight and skill.
In each human heart is that one special corner,
which only a mother can fill!

Written by: Katherine Nelson Davis

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"A mother's arms are made of tenderness and children sleep soundly in them." - Victor Hugo

"All that I am or hope to be I owe to my angel mother. I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. The have clung to me all my life." - Abraham Lincoln

"A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials, heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine, desert us when troubles thicken around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts." - Washington Irving

"Because I feel that in the heavens above, the angels, whispering one to another, can find among their burning terms of love, none so devotional as that of 'Mother'..." - Edgar Allen Poe

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Happy Mother's Day!!!


ENTRY # 134
DATE:  05/13/06 (Saturday)
SUBJECT:  A Twelve-Hour Birthday Party...

     Zachary's birthday party was a huge success. The weather was awesome, there was lots of yummy food, and he received a TON of gifts.
     The party started at noon, and ended "officially" at 5:00pm, but I ended up staying all day long. Once all the guests left, Zack and I were finally able to play with some of his new toys. The dinosaurs I gave to him were a major "hit," and I was really happy when he dragged them out of his Birthday Pile for us to play with first.
     Once Jen's living-room was thoroughly cluttered with dinosaurs, we then took over the kitchen with the next two selections on Zack's "lets-play-with-these-now" list. Someone else gave him two dinosaur jigsaw puzzles, and they both kept us occupied for about an hour. We put them together in the kitchen 'cause they're magnetic jigsaw puzzles. Obviously, both puzzles are now prominently displayed on the refrigerator door for all to admire!
     When those were done, he dug out the Spiderman jigsaw puzzle I gave him. Back into the living-room we went to take advantage of the hard-wood floor. This one was a hundred pieces so it took us about two hours to put it together... and about eleven seconds to take it apart so we could put it away, LOL.
     Next came the Match Box cars! For two hours, we pushed the cars back n' forth across the living-room floor. This was more fun than it sounds, trust me. He was on one side the room and I was on the other. As the cars were zipping across the hard-wood floor, Zachary's cat, Prince, chased after them frantically. The cat was running in circles, crashing into furniture, and sliding all over the place. Zack thought this was the funniest thing in the world!
     By 10pm he was exhausted so Jen put him to bed. Ten minutes later he was out like a light! It was a long day for him. He was beat. And, actually, after crawling around on the floor for five hours, I was pretty tired too. I hung out with Jen and Mark 'til about midnight, then decided to make the trek home....
     It was a really cool birthday party... I had fun.  :-)


ENTRY # 133
DATE:  05/12/06 (Friday)
SUBJECT:  Shopping for a Six-Year-Old...

     My friends, Jen and Mark, are hosting a birthday party tomorrow afternoon for their son Zachary. He's turning six years old. This means that before I was able to come home from work tonight, I had to stop at Toys-R-Us to do some shopping. Since he's six, and since he's a boy, he's very easy to shop for. He loves Spiderman, Sponge-Bob, dinosaurs, Batman, Superman, and - of course - cars and trucks of all kinds. Finding something to buy for him was not a problem at all...
     The problem I was faced with was the fact that I love toys too. An hour after setting foot in the place, my shopping-carriage contained a Slinky (for me), an Etch-A-Sketch (for me), a bright pink piggy bank that goes "Mmmmm, Oink, Oink, Oink!" when you drop the coins in (for me), a Red Sox T-ball bat and ball set (for me), and a jigsaw puzzle (also for me). The only thing in my carriage for Zachary was a little Spiderman jigsaw puzzle.
     When I came to the "Animal Planet toys" section, I finally realized that I wasn't shopping for MY birthday, LOL. Thankfully, "Animal Planet" has a fabulous line of "dinosaur stuff" on the market. I dumped a whole bunch of dinosaurs into my carriage and decided to leave as soon as possible before I spotted something else I wanted to buy for myself.
     I ran over to the wrapping paper aisle to find a gift bag that would hold all the dinosaurs. While I was at it, I also found a smaller gift bag with Sponge-Bob on it, so I grabbed that one too as an afterthought. On my way to the register, I collected all the Sponge-Bob candy I could find to fill that bag.
     When I left Toys-R-Us, my wallet was $136.00 lighter than it was when I walked in.... and I honestly don't know who I spent more on, Zachary or myself. LOL! Toys-R-Cool!!!


ENTRY # 132
DATE:  05/11/06 (Thursday)
SUBJECT:  How to Tell the Sex of a Fly...

     A woman walked into the kitchen to find her husband stalking around with a fly swatter.
     "What are you doing?" she asked.
     "Hunting flies," he responded.
     "Oh. Killing any?" she asked.
     "Yep, three males, two females," he replied.
     Intrigued, she asked, "How can you tell them apart?"
     He responded, "Three were on a beer can, two were on the phone."


ENTRY # 131
DATE:  05/10/06 (Wednesday)
SUBJECT:  Random Topics...

1.  As I've mentioned before, I live in an apartment on the third floor of a 3-family house. I've lived here since July of 2004. During the last year and a half, I've come to know the folks on the second floor fairly well. Their names are Cathy and Barbara. They're a mother-daughter pair. Cathy is the daughter, Barbara is the Mom. They also have two pets. Rocky the dog, and Oscar the cat.
     I came home from grocery shopping Saturday night (May 6th), and found Barbara outside taking Rocky for a walk. As soon as I saw her, I gave her my usual greeting, "Hey Barb, what's up? How'ya doin'?" She replied with, "Not good," and immediately began to cry.
     To make a long story short, she was crying over the fact that Cathy moved out. Cathy has a new "girlfriend," and she decided to move in with her. She left Rocky behind with her Mom, and she took Oscar with her. Barbara is now faced with caring for a dog that suffers from epileptic seizures... and she also has to figure out how she's going to pay the rent now that she lives alone.
     Of course, after hearing all this, I felt pretty bad for her. She's a very sweet lady, and it's a shame her daughter has sprung this on her all at once. I just hope Barbara won't be forced to move out. Hopefully her other kids can help her figure out a budget, or maybe help her with the rent. I don't know what's gonna happen at this point. Everything, right now, is up in the air.
     After thinking about this for a few days, I'm also hoping that this won't effect me. IF Barbara does have to move out, that'll mean the second-floor apartment is gonna be vacant for a while. Which means there's a slight possibility MY rent might go up to make up some of the difference. Goody, goody. I'm not looking forward to that happening.
     Although, the vacant second floor might come in handy. If Barbara does move, I'm tossing around the idea of moving down to the second floor, depending on how much more the rent is. I'd have more space, grocery shopping would be a little easier, and my address wouldn't even change. How cool would that be???

2.  Sunday (the very next day), May 7th, my phone rang. It was Barbara... and she was crying again. She had Rocky put to sleep. His seizures were just too much for her handle. Plus, his "quality of life" had become very poor. Now that Rocky's gone, she's all by herself....

3.  My friend Ana (in Mexico) just got a new job. This means our plans have changed again. We had settled on a 4-day visit, but now that's not gonna happen either. Since she just started a new job, she has no vacation time so she can't come at all... at least not for a while. At this point, I think we're gonna have to wait 'til next year. We'll see.

4.  MY STITCHES ARE OUT....... AT LAST!!!!! Monday, May 8th, I left work early so I could make it to my appointment on time. After a quick SNIP SNIP, I am completely stitch-free! WOOOOHOOOOOOO!!! The incision is still draining a little so I've been forced to wear a Band-Aid, but that's a lot better than dealing with those stitches! Most of the itch is gone too. Double WOOOHOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! And, hopefully, by Monday, I'll be Band-Aid free also! Wish me luck, will ya?

5.  Sweety Face is doing great! She has fully recovered, and Poop Patrol is a thing of the past!
  I'm also happy to report that her "shower curtain anxiety" has cleared up. I can now take a shower without her staring at me. That's always a good thing...  ;-)

6.  "The DaVinci Code" hits the theaters in 8 days!!! I am so there! Can't wait!


ENTRY # 130
DATE:  05/06/06 (Saturday)
SUBJECT:  Stitches Suck!!!

     THESE STITCHES ARE DRIVING ME CRAZY!!!!! They've been in for almost two weeks, and I've had enough. I'm about ready to yank them out myself. I can't take it anymore. I have to go back to the Doctor's office on Monday to have them removed, but I don't know if I can wait that long.
     Bending, reaching, and lifting have all been nearly impossible. Basically, just about every time I move I can feel the stitches pulling...
     Bathing has become a chore. The stitches can get wet, but I have to remember NOT to use a face-cloth (or anything else) on my back 'cause it might tear them out. And the same is true when it comes to toweling myself off. If the towel snags on the stitches just right, RIP!, and they're gone, so I'm forced to "pat" my whole back dry...
     And changing the bandage twice a day is a royal pain in the ass! I live alone. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to change a bandage yourself when it's located on your back??? Lemme tell ya, IT SUCKS!!! And now, because I've had approximately 20 bandages applied, removed, and applied again, the skin around the stitches is irritated from all the damn tape!
     Oh, God... and don't even get me started on the constant itchy sensation!!! The incision is healing, which is good, sure, but the itch is driving me up the wall. ANNOYING!!!!!!!
     I am NOT happy. I can't wait 'til Monday. My appointment is for 4:45pm. I'm practically counting the hours.....


ENTRY # 129
DATE:  05/05/06 (Friday)
SUBJECT:  "Derailed"

     So I bought "Derailed" on DVD the other day and I was finally able to watch it tonight. This movie kicked ass!!!! It was awesome! I loved it!
     This was the first time I've ever seen Jennifer Aniston in a hardcore "serious" role. She was fabulous!!! What an outstanding performance!!!
     I was a huge fan of the sitcom "Friends." I used to schedule my entire evening around that show. And - even now - I still find myself watching the reruns every night after work...
     I've also seen her in "Picture Perfect," "The Good Girl," "Bruce Almighty," and "Along Came Polly." But, to be honest, when I watched those movies, I saw Jennifer as "Rachel" from "Friends." I just wasn't able to disassociate her face from that role. I kept waiting to hear her say, "Seriously?" or, "Ross, we were NOT on a break!" It made it kind'a hard for me to enjoy her performances in any of the movies.
     I'm not sure if it was because of the subject matter, or if she's just matured as an actress, but I saw no signs of "Rachel" in Derailed at all. Well, there might've been one moment in the beginning when I had a "Rachel Moment," but it was no big deal. It was when they were in the hotel room, and she says, "I think I want to f**k you." I freaked out when I heard her say that. I was like, "OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD! RACHEL SAID THE F WORD! RACHEL SAID THE F WORD!!!" LOL.
     Other than that, the movie was fantastic. There was a great "twist" at the end too! But, like "Flight Plan," I had already figured it out by the time it happened. That was OK though, 'cause seeing my "guess" unfold made the movie even better.
     It's still in the DVD player... I'll probably watch it again before I go to bed. It was really good!


ENTRY # 128
DATE:  05/04/06 (Thursday)
SUBJECT:  Home Remedies...

AMAZINGLY SIMPLE HOME REMEDIES

1. If you are choking on an ice cube, don't panic. Simply pour a cup of boiling water down your throat and presto! The blockage will be almost instantly removed.

2. Clumsy? Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

3. Avoid arguments with the Mrs. about lifting the toilet seat by simply using the sink.

4. For high blood pressure sufferers: simply cut yourself and bleed for a few minutes, thus reducing the pressure in your veins. Remember to use a timer.

5. A mouse trap, placed on top of your alarm clock, will prevent you from rolling over and going back to sleep after you hit the snooze button.

6. If you have a bad cough, take a large dose of laxatives, then you will be afraid to cough.

7. Have a bad toothache? Smash your thumb with a hammer and you will forget all about the toothache.

8. Sometimes, we just need to remember what the rules of life really are: You only need two tools:  WD-40 and Duct Tape. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape.

9. Never pass up an opportunity to go to the bathroom.


ENTRY # 127
DATE:  05/02/06 (Tuesday) - 6:30pm
SUBJECT:  Update On Sweety Face (Part 10)...

     As of right now, Sweety Face's diarrhea is gone! As soon as I got home from work I checked the litter box and everything is back to normal... though as I sit here typing these words, I'm also knocking on wood! Just to be on the safe side, I'll continue Poop Patrol 'til the end of the week.
     Oh, and before I forget, thanks for all the "Get Well" emails y'all sent to her. Sweety Face (and I) loved, and appreciated, every single one!

     Added Note For "Dana" (of East Haven):  Yup, the little house I bought at Lick Your Chops IS the brown and red plaid one. It was the only one they had. Even though I wasn't crazy about the color of it, I knew Sweety Face would love it, so I brought it home. I just couldn't resist...


ENTRY # 126
DATE:  04/30/06 (Sunday) - 1:00pm
SUBJECT:  Update On Sweety Face (Part 9)...

     Poop Patrol continues! As soon as I woke up this morning I scrubbed out and disinfected the litter box. When I finished with it, she immediately hopped into it to pee. That's good... at least she's peeing with no trouble. She ate all her dinner last night, and most of her breakfast this morning, so it seems like her appetite is still normal... for now. Hopefully it'll stay that way!
     I heard her scratching around in the litter again a few minutes ago so I went out to the kitchen to check it out. She pooped... and this time it wasn't as runny as it was yesterday. The color was normal, and so was the smell, so I guess that's a good sign too. It's not as firm as it should be, but it's definitely a poop in the right direction.
     I'll be keeping a close eye on things for a couple of days... if there's no further improvement by Wednesday, I'll take her in to see either Dr. Piper, or Dr. Wong.
     Her general behavior seems about right. Every once in a while she insists on racing from room to room for no apparent reason just like usual. And right now, she's curled up in the new house I bought for her the other day from "Lick Your Chops" in Branford, taking a nap.
     Everything - all except for the loose stool - seems normal, so I'm not not gonna worry too much... yet.



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