A place for anything and everything that comes to mind.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Time's Running Out

Here I am...60 minutes from 30. Don't really know what to talk about. I said on Monday I'd be talking about some of my favorite things, but tonight I just can't narrow it down. So, here's a list of memories that make me smile even bigger today than they did when I experienced them for the first time:
  • Lunches with me bruder at any Mexican eatery

  • Going to Pages for All Ages with my mom on a Friday night and picking out a new John Bellairs

  • Eating Grandma's mashed potatoes and green beans--and only mashed potatoes and green beans--on Thanksgiving (why waste time, and tummy space, with anything else?)

  • Seeing the view from the top of Kinnoull for the first time

  • Asking a cute Scottish guy if he wanted some gum

  • Finding out that cute Scottish guy liked "The Power of Love"

  • Making snow forts in the Tocks' backyard and then running inside to dethaw with Swiss Miss and microwave popcorn

  • Sitting in a cozy kitchen in Jackson, MO, playing games and talking with Clarkie and Kendra, while the Big Car made us potato soup

  • Realizing the smell of a paperback book is the best smell in the world

  • Driving to a little condo on Christmas mornings with one of the coolest aunts in the world and my blonde, spiky haired brother, singing along with the Christmas songs on Lite Rock, and watching for that ever present Christmas Day jogger

  • Birthday sleepovers with 20 girls jammed into the small living room at 1216

  • Walking around campus on a bright, sunny March day on the hunt for Illini hoodies during plan time with Red, Pickle, and Masty

  • Getting long johns every Friday morning from Big Mac

  • Watching the best dog in the whole world run around in circles in the snow

  • Listening to my dad's wonderful reading voice tell me about Giant Grummer's Christmas

  • Getting flowers from my mom after a musical or concert

  • Coloring in Jem with a fresh set of Crayolas

  • Making friends with the Keatons, Huxtables, and Seavers

  • Watching Haverchuck eat Entemann's and grilled cheese

  • Walking home from Murphy's with Sissy and discovering Jason wasn't insane for ordering a vanilla Mountain Dew

  • Sitting on a wall in the Memphis heat in August, getting sweaty with my best friends

  • The first day I cracked a real smile and knew teaching at Franklin really was the job for me (first day of 4th quarter, my first year)

  • Hearing a cry and then yelling out, "Is she here???" And then looking at the most beautiful face I've ever seen over a sheet of crinkly blue

I suppose, when I think about it, the only--and I mean ONLY--thing I'm not looking forward to as I get older is time flying by quicker. I just don't think this is fair. As you get older, and you enjoy life more, time moves by faster and faster. I mean, seriously, you can't truly enjoy yourself when you're a kid. You can't really appreciate the abundance of free time you get to play with your She-Ra toys, read your Encyclopedia Brown and Nancy Drew books, and watch You Can't Do That On Television. You only truly appreciate that when you get NOW. What I wouldn't give to go back in time just to appreciate and relish my free time with my mom, dad, and brother. (Dad, I'm still sorry I ever complained about going a walk with you around Crystal Lake park. I want to take a DeLorean back to those weekends and slap my little punk ass silly. Pardon the harsh language.) That's why today I try as hard as I can to make every free second count (which is why I hate that the weekends are taken up with chores).

Watch out, 30, I'm about to take over, and I'm gonna be the happiest, bubbliest, can't-get-enough-of-itest 30-year-old you've ever seen!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Lookin' Toward 30 & Thinkin' 'Bout THE ILLINI

I was chillin' out at the Hall, tonight, the Assembly Hall that is--the ORIGINAL Assembly Hall, NOT the one in Bloomington, IN--and I was ruminating on my days as an Illini fan.

In my almost 30 years on this earth, I've spent a lot of time in that place, and I've clocked a lot of hours in section B-19, row 20, seat 1, 2, or 3. I bleed orange and blue, through and through. I honestly don't remember how old I was the first time I went to an Illini basketball game, but they've always been a part of my life.

Me ole grandad, Ted B., played for the Illini and went to two Final Fours with them. Me golfin' aunt Beck was a part of the first UI women's basketball team. My fondest memories of the Illini date back to that amazing 1989 season when we went to the Final Four: Battle to Seattle. The Flyin' Illini is what they were called: Kendall Gill, Nick Anderson, Kenny Battle, Lowell Hamilton, and Stephen Bardo, among others. They were a dream to watch. I still remember the three pointer Nick Anderson hit at the end of the Indiana game to put us over the top. Even at the young age of 9, I relished seeing Bobby Knight turn as red as his Hoosier sweater.

Lou Henson. Ah, Lou--the Lou Do--the sweetest man to ever utter the words "ball club" (over and over and over again). He made orange sports coats fly off the racks at Delbert's and Joseph Kuhn's. He'd stalk the sidelines, hands on hips, comb over so sweet and patted in to place by his dear Mary. He is still THE Illini coach for me--Kruger, Self(ish), and Weber ain't got nothin' on him.

Then there was 2005--a long drought between trips, but the second final four was just as sweet. I still remember standing in the middle of my living room at the end of that Arizona game, Deron leading the way, with arms in a V, tears streaming down my face, saying, "OH GOD! OH GOD!" And, there was no one there to celebrate with me except God. I think He didn't mind me shouting out his name in acclamation too much that night for a small, insignificant thing like basketball.

I can't even mention my grandad again or the Chief without a couple of tears in my eyes. One of my favorite things to do, even today, is to look down and see Ted B. behind the bench. Sure he might not keep the time anymore, like he did for 40-odd years, but he's still there helping out the refs and keeping all of his praise and swears inside, for he must be a model of stoicism while helping out. (It's always amazed me how he could do that!) One thing that struck me tonight during halftime is that there will soon come a time when incoming freshmen have no idea who the Chief is. It'll be like losing the Chief all over again on that day, but until then, I'll still always see his dance in my mind during the halftime three-in-one.

Illini basketball has brought me a lot of pain, sure, but the joy is what counts. I hope I can spend a lot more time in one of those three seats at the top of B-19 before I part ways with this earth. Thanks for the memories, orange and blue!

The Next Gerber Baby?

I knew my kid was cute, but apparently she's SO cute that certain webcomic authors are using her likeness without permission. After being outraged at first, I have now decided that I should pursue a career in little miss beauty pageants and commercials. SERIOUSLY! Look at that FACE! Wouldn't you also be relieved it wasn't shingles after seeing those eyes!?!Click HERE if you want to see the strip in full (and much larger).

Monday, November 16, 2009

One More Thing

Um, in case you've been living under a rock...



You know you want to go...JUST DO IT.

Did you really think I'd let the first day of my birthday week go by WITHOUT mentioning it? Shame on you.

P.S. I have to be honest, though: Kristen Stewart's face is REALLY starting to annoy me. Well, actually, this was happening last year, but it's kickin' into high gear now. I liken her acting skills to Neve Campbell's: all breathing. (Ask Michael: he knows.)

Friday Night with Jonathan Ross: A Recap

For those of you who don't have BBC America, or who forgot to set your DVR's (shock-horror!), I will give you a quick recap of Robbie's latest appearance.

1. Robbie's happy. He has a lovely lady friend, who is--GET THIS--American! OK, there is NO excuse now: HE NEEDS TO TOUR THESE STATES. Sure, no one has given him the credit he's due over here, but if one lady can love him from these stupid states, he should know more can as well. Three of them are sitting in the midwest right now, so come on over here to these parts. We'll set ya up real nice-like!

2. Take That reunion!?! Well, it's true. Apparently the lads have mending their broken hearts, and bruised egos, and are finally getting along again. (Click HERE for more info.) They're performing for Children in Need, and of course, being stateside, this is something else I won't get to see. Thank goodness for youtube! You can bet your bottom dollar that the sun'll come out tomorrow, AND this performance will be posted here and on the fb.

3. The new single, "You Know Me," is outstanding. I was floored. I can't wait to hear it again...and again...AND AGAIN!!!

4. The Robster is starting to get a second chin...maybe! It's adorable! Go on, be happy, and eat lots of food the missus will make ya! Huzzah!

And, NO, I have not streamed the CD online yet. I'm a purist: I'm waiting to hear it in full on CD. I want to open the package, inhale the smell of the ink, and then pop it into my CD player and enjoy. Yes, some people still own a CD player. Not everything is digital yet.

Happy Birthday Week to...


Yes, folks, this is my birthday week. In fact, it's the 30th birthday week I've ever celebrated! I can't believe I'm going to be 30!

It's not that I'm mourning the fact that I'll be 30: I just CAN'T believe it! I've seen a lot over these 30 years, and I plan to ruminate on a few of these things this week. I want to start the week on a serious note, however, and tell you all how blessed I am.

I truly am blessed. The Lord blesses me everyday. To be honest with you, I'm not really sure why. I don't deserve His love, blessings, or grace, yet He freely gives these to me everyday. It's such an awesome thing to be a child of God.

You often listen to me wax philosophical on the pop culture things of this life, but these are fleeting. Tons of fun and entertaining, yes, but only with us for a short time (even though my memory is long). God's love is everlasting, and how wonderful it is to know that I was made to be loved by Him. Only recently have I become fully aware that that is why He made me.

I also like to think He made me to help spread His joy and love. I hope that when you see me sometime, on the street or yakety-yaking on the interwebs, you might see His light shine through me. It is because of Him I've been around for 30 years. It's because of Him I met my Martin and got to marry him. And, it's because of Him that we now have a beautiful daughter that gives us countless smiles and giggles everyday.

So, yes, it's my birthday week! And, yes, I'm also blessed by you few who actually read this little bit of writing I call a blog. Hey, it's one of the things that keeps me entertained, and I hope, every once in awhile, that it might entertain you, too. God bless! :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Holy Crow...

...I MET RUDY!!!

Luck was with me Monday night: I got front row seats at the Sean Astin talk, got some great pictures of him during his lecture, and met him after the show. It was absolutely awesome! For those of you who want the whole story, read on.

The night started with me wolfing down my dinner. I made some nice oven baked sandwiches, but just like the dinner before New Kids on the Block, in 1990, I could barely taste it. I was too hyped up, and my stomach was churning with excitement.

By the time we got to Foellinger Autitorium, on the lovely University of Illinois campus, there was a queue waiting to get in. I grumpily walked to the end, thinking for sure we wouldn't get good seats. As I listened to Astin Amateurs talk about Samwise Gamgee and getting Peter Jackson's number, I tried to figure out where we would be able to sit: middle would be okay, but I wanted some good pics for the FB. As the doors finally opened, I held my breath as I gave my ticket to the ticket taker and then proceeded to the auditorium's doors. OHMYGOODNESS! There were still front row seats at Stage Right, where the podium was placed! I raced to the front to get these precious seats.

We waited in our seats [somewhat] patiently for approximately 20 minutes. I kept talking to Husband about my favorite Astin films, and Friend and I hoped against hope that he would mention Toy Soldiers and Memphis Belle, two Astin greats that are rarely brought to the public's attention. The lights went dim, and then the screen lit up: LET'S HEAR IT FOR A MONTAGE! Just what I was hoping for: a montage of Astin clips with his greatest speeches as Mikey, Samwise, and Rudy (among other films). And, since Friend was on my right, she got a swift slap on the leg when the montage started.

His lecture was adorable: he kept shifting from foot to foot, read right off the page, and lost his place more than once. I think this was one of the first times he'd given his lecture in public. He said he wants to travel around to campuses across the country and speak in an academic setting about the importance of leadership and fellowship (in a non-secular way), and he used his characters from The Goonies, Rudy, and LOTR to illustrate his point. He closed his time with the group with a Q&A session, in which Friend got him to talk about the aforementioned favorites, Toy Soldiers and Memphis Belle. Niiiiiiiiiice.

The evening was supposedly over, until we hit the exit. After trying to get backstage to get a picture taken, and failed, we exited on the east side of the building. Upon exiting, I looked to the right, and 10 feet away, there stood Mr. Astin amongst a bevy of fans. He was politely signing autographs and taking pictures with fans. OMG, I WAS TOO EXCITED! I patiently waited in the relatively short line (when I got there) and eventually got up to him. I thought of my friend, Mr. Bill, and how he would be fainting if he was there now. (Well, maybe not: he's too cool for that.) I kept looking back at Husband, to make sure he was with me, and he kept reassuring me, "Yes, I'll take your picture." I got up to SEAN ASTIN, and I said, "You and Michael J. Fox shaped my youth."

"Wow. That's nice! I mentioned him twice tonight."

"I know. I counted. Could you take a picture with me?"

After the pic was snapped, I thanked him, and he warned me, "Be careful of that chain. I don't want it to hurt you."

He was so nice, humble, and modest! He kept talking about coaching his daughter's soccer team, and all of the everyday things he does. And, I always knew the guy was short, but he seemed even littler in "real life." He was my height exactly. What a fun evening it was! One of the best, thanks to Husband, the Illini Union Board, and Mr. Sean Astin.

Poor Thanksgiving

The holiday season is upon us! For me, the holiday season starts with frightful Halloween, continues with blessed Thanksgiving, and then culminates with joyous Christmas. I love to celebrate and honor each one, but each year it gets harder and harder for others to remember Thanksgiving.

Halloween decorations are up in stores by August, and Christmas decs are up by the beginning of October. When I go to find a Thanksgiving tablecloth or some fun decorations, they are almost impossible to find. This makes me sad. ABC Family is now counting down to the 25 Days of Christmas, so basically they have two months of Christmas movies instead of one. Christmas commercials have been running for two weeks already (if not more), and Food Network usually only dedicates one or two days to this holiday that celebrates blessings and being thankful for all you've received.

Christmas is my favorite holiday: don't get me wrong. I just wish Thanksgiving would get it's due as well. So, this Thanksgiving, and the weeks leading up to it, actually take time to count your blessings and thank God for all you're grateful for. Also demand your stores get some more Thanksgiving tablecloths and acoutrement for those of us who actually like to decorate for this special November day.

P.S. I also think more Thanksgiving movies should be made. I love me some Son-in-Law, but I want more than that, Trains, Planes, and Automobiles, and that Holly Hunter movie with drugged-up Robert Downey, Jr.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

An Evening With...

Let me throw a couple of titles out at cha, and let me know what you come back with:

Memphis Belle
White Water Summer
Toy Soldiers
Encino Man
50 First Dates
Lord of the Rings

What do these all have in common? If you said SEAN ASTIN, you are correct. If you said SEAN ASTIN, THE MAN YOU'LL SEE TOMORROW NIGHT, you'd be even corrector. That's right, folks: I get to see Sean Astin tomorrow night. My amazing husband, got me tickets for "An Evening with Sean Astin: What I've Learned from Being a Goonie, Rudy, and a Hobbit."

I don't know what he'll talk about, nor do I care. I want to take off work early and hunt him down. He's one of my favorites, and I've been watching him since I was six. I so want to wear my Goonies tee Catherine bought me years ago, but I won't be that guy. I just hope to get close enough to get a picture. Oh, my! I'm SO excited!!! In fact, I might be even more excited for this than NKOTB...Yes, I just said that.

Wish me luck on getting good seats and good pics! Mr. Bill will kill me if I don't!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Robbie Overload

Yes, folks, it's true. We're in Robbie overload here at BBB! This is all in an effort to keep you posted on the latest whereabouts of our favorite Brit pop star.

Thank goodness for BBC America, for next Friday you'll be able to catch Robbie on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross. Sure it's a week's delay from the UK to the USA, but who cares!?! The show will air Friday, November 13, at 10 pm/9 central. Set your tivos, DVR's, old fashion VCR's, what have you. I'm sure it'll be great!
Check out more funky, fresh pics from the video shoot of "You Know Me" at Robbie's official website.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009






Robbie's Official Site

Buy the Album

U.S. Viewers, Get Ready to Meet Tennant

Yes, that's right, folks: David Tennant is making his way to the American airwaves. Thanks to our pop culture source*, I became informed of this today. Sure you can see him introducing Masterpiece Contemporary, but now he'll be working his magic in a "comedy legal drama" (according to the BBC). So, how excited is BBB!? Well, let me present a couple of points that drifted into my head upon learning of this exciting news:

1. If Tennant uses an American accent, lets hope it's better than his countryman's, Ewan McGregor's. That accent is the only thing worrying me about The Men Who Stare at Goats.
2. I loved legal dramedy Boston Legal, but I hope this show gets more play and accolades. Sure, Denny Crane won a couple of awards, but the show went largely unheralded...even though it was tons o' fun. (Spader was awesome.)
3. The show is based in CHICAGO...if they are filming there, I WANT A MEMO, AND I WANT ON THE VISITOR'S LIST. I think I'd squeal like a pig if I was walking down Michigan and ran into Tennant. My husband would be so embarrassed.

4. The show is called Rex is Not Your Lawyer. Weird titles usually spawn some interest. I hope that's true in this case.

Well, here's to crossing fingers, toes, and tongue that the pilot is successful and the show gets signed on permanently to NBC.

*AKA, my husband. I've been so busy with grading, feeding baby, and being a working mummy that I barely have time to keep abreast of what's going on in LaLaLand, so big thanks to him on keeping me informed on the whereabouts of my favorite Doctor.