Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Movie Fest: Call of Cthulhu


Today was my day off and Steve had a free day because the university closed due to the snowstorm. So we spent the day together and did a lot of work around the house, library stuff, etc.

Tonight at 8:30p.m. we stopped everything and settled on the couch. Steve's picked the movie, and he decided on Call of Cthulhu, based on the works by H.P. Lovecraft and created by the
H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society. This is a must-see for fantasy, gamers, horror, and science fiction fans. It's a short film: only about 50 minutes long.
It was interesting... the movie, filmed in 2004, was set in the 1920's. It was a silent film and in black- and-white. Dramatic horror. It reminded me of Nosferatu. I enjoyed the music, too.



Monday, January 28, 2008

After Nine Months, a Brown Belt is Delivered

I was awarded my brown belt tonight in taekwondo class. What a relief. The graduation to this belt and the next one is exciting. I am now in the advanced belts. Time to focus and set a good example for others at the school. Forms are starting to click. My forms are actually taking form rather than stumbling through them. I embrace the forms rather than shirk from them. Martial Arts, like Librarianship, is starting to morph into a lifestyle. Like reading more to improve reader's advisory, I am practicing more to improve martial arts. Thank you, Master Sponseller, for your kindness and patience during my journey. You rock! And now the journey continues...I will appreciate the brown belt and look forward to attaining the red belt. Love, Lolo

Driving Through the Drive-Through: Greenie Takes a Bath (at the Car Wash)

Hello, Greenie and I drove to the Drive and Shine and paid for the cheapo wash and detail, since I will be driving staff to the neighboring library for a joint staff meeting. (Greenie was getting pretty dingy.) So my mind is on other things, library deadlines, taekwondo forms, and such, and I drive up to the kindly attendant. After he tells me to put Greenie in neutral, he explains to drive to the right after the wash for the detailing. Well, I must have zoned out during the part of keeping greenie in neutral before driving to the right because I started to drive through the drive- through. "Ma'am! Wait!" The attendant yells. "Keep the car in neutral!" Oops. I wonder what would have happened if I did drive through the drive-through. It would have been interesting. Would the suds and rising agents and the air dryers implode? Explode? I really wanted Greenie washed and didn't want to aggravate the attendant, so I kept it in neutral, and sat there. And thought about my favorite car song: Working at the Car Wash. After Greenie was sparkling clean and I turned right and Greenie was detailed, I drove away, but had difficulty fnding the exit. Where is the exit? I took a lap around the Drive-n-Shine and almost washed Greenie a second time. I am the mouse and where is the cheese? This is like a mouse maze! Then, I found a little path, covered with slushy snow. I drove through with my new, clean car! But alas, I found the exit and Greenie and I were on our way home. Love, Lolo

Friday, January 25, 2008

Friday Night Musings: Oscar the Grouch is on Prime Time


It's been an interesting day. I spent half a day playing library and then came home. I surfed on the net, chatted with family and friends, attended tae kwon do, and then came home. I briefly saw Steve (although we carpooled together this morning) and he teased me about being eccentric. (Hrumph.) (He did say he was teasing.)

I'm watching 1 v.s. 100 on NBC and believe it or not, Oscar the Grouch is one of the Mob. I didn't know puppets were on Prime Time! :)

I finished a book entitled Whiskey Sour by J.A. Konrath. The story is about Lieutenant Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels. It takes place in Chicago, and the main character is trying to catch "The Gingerbread Man." It's definitely a book for adults, and mystery lovers.



Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Tuesday: the Night Journal

I called off library and visited my doctor. What I thought was a simple sinus infection turns out to be acute bronchitis. Yikes! So I retrieved my meds and headed back home for a long winter's nap. Jack the cat even came up to my face and meowed at me to make sure I was still breathing. Nurse Jack... he's a sweetheart.Then he spawled out over my feet.

Enough of that. I'm currently reading The Night Journal by Elizabeth Crook. It's about a woman named Meg, her crotchety grandmother Bassie, and a journal written by Meg's great-grandmother, Hannah. There are basically two stories woven into one---one takes place in the 1890's and the other--- in the present, in New Mexico. It's a 451 page read, rich with details and lore.

Off to rest now. Have a peaceful evening.

Love, Lolo

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Essay for Taekwondo: Part Three

Here's the final installment! Love, Lolo I am most impressed with the children in Sponseller’s Taekwondo Academy. They are agile, smart, and strong! Kudos to parents who give their children the opportunity to take martial arts training to carry with them into adulthood. And kudos to teens and adults who return from an absence to finish training or like me, discovering martial arts later in life. Sponseller’s Taekwondo improved all facets of my life. Personally, taekwondo has helped with my improvement in different ways. My defenses, insecurities, and obsession with perfectionism had to be broken, not unlike the boards we break in class. Then, with an open mind and clear heart, my confidence restored and I could progress through the belts. During my progression, I turned into a happier, more confident, and more patient person. I am also more forgiving of myself when I make mistakes, because that is the taekwondo way. Taekwondo has also helped with my professional life. Soon after I started taking classes, I applied for and received a promotion at my workplace. It was my first professional management position, and I needed the mental strength combined with the physical stamina to handle situations with my patrons, staff, and superiors. My coordinator commented that I handled my first year very well, and I told her about taekwondo. She was pleased and encouraged me to keep taking classes. As I ascend upon the brown belt, I look back and think, wow, I have come so far. But I look ahead, and think there is so much more to learn. But I need to be patient. I recently asked Master Sponseller a question concerning promotion to a higher belt (I believe it was the one from blue to brown) and he responded: "Be still, Grasshopper." And I am. It’s all about the process-- the tips among the belts.

Essay for Taekwondo: Part Two

Here's the next segment. (It's easier and less daunting for me to write in pieces.) Love, Lolo Upon entering the school, I was hesitant, insecure, and vulnerable. As a person who was not particularly athletic and was the last proverbial student to be picked on the athletic teams in school, I had my concerns. Will I get hurt? Are the instructors mean? Does this program encourage people to learn how to fight? At this writing, I am happy to report that, no, I did not get hurt, no, the instructors are kind and patient, and no, the program encourages people to work on the self, only to use techniques learned in self-defense. In my opinion, Martial Arts students are people from all ages and backgrounds who come together to work on developing the self--mind, body, and soul--so we can be better people, contributing and positive members of society. Like the instructors, Martial Arts students are humble and kind and always want to assist.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Essay for Taekwondo: Part One

Hi, I'm working on my essay for promotion to brown belt. I'll blog it in snippets, since I'm still drafting it. Enjoy!-Love, Lolo The Tips Among the Belts:Reflections on Martial Arts By LCS After graduating from Indiana University with my library science degree in June 2005, I planned to find a program that would help with my fitness and overall well being. I exhausted the Jane Fonda and Kathy Smith video collections and joined a health club in the 1990’s, took fitness walking and yoga classes, which all were beneficial. However, I wanted something more. I spoke with my husband, Steve, who was a martial artist (taekwondo) in his teens, and he encouraged me to check around and see what was offered locally. I checked through the yellow pages, surfed the internet, talked to a friend who was taking taekwondo at a different school and spoke with the Sponsellers. I did not know anyone at Sponseller’s until later and taking the first step inside the school was a risk.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Thursday Night Musings:A Book and a Hat

Good evening,
It's brisk outside! You would think it was January or something. I'm steeling myself for the big snowstorm we're supposed to have this weekend. I am so excited that my favorite hat was returned to me by my friend. (Thank you, Jenn!-xo)

Also, I finally finished a fun book by Robert B. Parker: Now & Then. Murder, mystery, humor, and food. (The main character can cook!) Anyhow, I'm gearing up for a busy, fun weekend.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Early Tuesday Morning: Playing with Snipshot

(Experimenting with Snipshot)
Good morning. I woke up at 4:30 a.m. I think I'll play library extra early today since I'm already up. Then I won't have to travel back in the tundra to the branch after my meetings. I may bring my palm to meetings today. I really don't feel like hauling in the laptop.

The kitties are worn out from their early morning Thundercats routine, which consists of trotting around the living room and up and down the stairs.

(Jack does this really cute growling/warbling thing downstairs when he is playing with his toys.)

For training at library, I went on this website. ( It's great if you like to post photographs on your Blog, Facebook, or MySpace. You can format your pictures online. The basic stuff is free but the fancy features cost a little bit more. I'll be frugal and use the free features. Enjoy!

Have a good day. Stay warm.

Love, Lolo

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Crablog: Big Crabby Splat


It's Sunday night. Dumb Sunday night. I'm overwhelmed--stuff to do at home and at work. And I'm too tired to ice skate, which makes me more irritable. I've had a few interactions on Saturday and Sunday which irritated me on the phone, online, and in person. I won't go into details... I want to keep what little positive vibes I have left tonight flowing...
The highlight of my weekend was spending time with my friends and my parents. And I went to the mall today to buy a pair of cute black boots from a store called ALDO. And stop the presses, they actually fit without pain!
I saw a friend at the makeup store. I saw my friend who works there. She was really good, but the service from the others pretty much sucked. Why is there one cashier with a line of people? Du-uh! (Claws sprung out in full force. SNap!SNap!SNap!)
(Claws retracted.) Well, I got it off my chest and purged onto my blog like a big crabby splat. I should name this posting (The Crablog). I think I will. I hope tomorrow will be a good day, despite the fact that it is Monday.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Time of the Concrete Sky

It's almost the middle of January. These are the days my brother-in-law named
Time of the Concrete Sky. Supposedly, it's a midwestern thing. I do admit I take better photographs when the sky is grey. This is the time of year where I usually escape to the music studio, break out the coconut tanning oil (the stuff I would fry in if I was out in the sun too long), put some of it on and listen to my meditation Caribbean CDs. However, with the re-discovery of ice skating, I'll almost be sad when spring takes over winter. Almost... I'll be ready to attack my yard by then.
Enjoy the rest of your Saturday. I need to finish a book so I can blog it!



Thursday, January 10, 2008

Dough-Ray-Me-Fa-So-La-Tee-Dough! Food Musings

(Couldn't find the croissant ones, but close enough.)


Since this is about food, I suppose it can be considered an id blog. I am on my own tonight (Steve is at a bar with our friend Kenn Kong. Who knows what adventures those two will get into. I'm on standby with bail money, except I'd have to hail a cab right now...) I just ate the last part of a block of mozzarella cheese... I am sipping on a 2003 Chardonnay which is okay, but a little dry. It's still yummy. I should have eaten the cheese after wine so I could have truly had cheese with my w(h)ine. (I know, new material.) I'll switch to hot green tea later.
I'm also eating small tomatoes soaked in low-fat ranch dressing. It's pretty tasty. (Too bad Steve is not here to exclaim, "EW!" That's part of the fun of eating odd food--the gross-out factor. If Steve was a cat, he would definitely be Morris. Although he is trying new things. ;))
Here's my oddest food discovery of late... croissant biscuit dough in the tube.
I have always liked dough. I was probably the kid who ate playdough in kindergarten.I always stalked around the cookie dough in the big yellow bowl while Mom was baking chocolate chip or sugar cookies. When she wasn't looking, I'd sneak a spoonful.
"Salmonella!" She would exclaim.
My first job out of high school included dough. I was the biscuit queen: I made the biscuits at Hardee's at 4:00a.m. during the summer of 1989-1990 before college. It was horrible and I pretty much wore most of the profits. (It was an incentive to excel in college.)
In recent years, I have taken to the chocolate chip cookie dough in the tube and I actually found one in a plastic container! That was heaven for me. (Until I stepped on the scale. That's the downside of dough... you have to burn off the dough calories. Do-oh! Cheesy Simpson Humor.)
And Steve would plead, "Don't you want to cook them up?"
"No, it will ruin the taste, dear."

Steve purchased three of the croissant roll dough tubes last week. Much to his chagrin, I took some out of the tube and took a bite. His face said it all: savage.
It was really tasty! So now we have no croissant roll tubes and none were cooked up. And they must have fewer calories than cookie dough because I lost another half-pound this week. (My goal is to actually be the weight I have listed on my driver's license..)
Have a good weekend!
Love, Lolo

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Beautiful Day


It's been a happy Tuesday! Mom is doing well with chemotherapy. It's working!

That's the best news I've learned in a long time. :) Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. Please keep them coming her way.

I had a productive day, good news, and a warm homecooked meal (Mama Sigety's stew.)
It's wonderful to have a beautiful day.


Sunday, January 06, 2008

On Wednesday Nights, ABBA Rocked the Ice Rink

Lately I have rediscovered a winter sport: ice skating. It is also a re-discovery of my childhood in South Bend. My first outing was with my parents and sister at Howard Park when I was three years old. My sister and I took a liking to ice skating, and my parents signed us up for lessons at the Joyce Center at the University of Notre Dame. The weekly Wednesday night lessons, including bruised knees, various skating outfits and the occasional skating exhibitions occurred for ten years.

Besides watching the Zamboni driver clean the ice, doing endless crossovers around the rink, and smell of the fresh ice, I associate ice skating with songs of ABBA blaring over the speakers. Every time I hear Dancing Queen or Take a Chance on Me, the memories take me back to those Wednesday nights.

Now I could technically download ABBA on an iPod or MP3 player, take to the ice, and relive the memories.


Saturday, January 05, 2008

Skates, Cards, and Toes

Good Afternoon,
It's been a fun weekend so far. After playing library on Friday, I munched on my veggie sub, grabbed my trusty ice skates, and visited the rink down the street. I glided around the rink for about 40 minutes, managing to do frontward and backward crossovers, but could not perform a lot of tricks because the ice was extremely choppy. (Plus I do not want to risk an injury before taekwondo testing.)
Afterwards, Steve and I visited friends and stayed until after midnight. I passed out as soon as my head hit the pillow and woke up about nine a.m. My sleep is improving greatly.
This morning I attended taekwondo, visited The Crystal Connection (my favorite crystal store) and had my tarot cards read (for $5.00) by an old college friend.
I was able to ask one question. I asked if my book (one of many I have started!) will be written. The cards showed me that the great American novel will NOT be completed/published/on the market in six months. Fair enough. I need to put my writing projects on the shelf and let the ideas percolate.

Tomorrow I will spend time with another friend and possibly treat ourselves to a pedicure.


Thursday, January 03, 2008

Early Morning Haiku


Up at 4:00 a.m. and then at 5:00 a.m.. Oh, well. Restless night, I guess. My mind must be full again. I am choosing to play library today (9-8) so I can catch a ride with Steve and get ahead of things at work. I will probably take a long nap on the couch during my lunch hour.
While Steve drove me to work yesterday, I noticed all the trees and bushes have clumps of snow in them. So I wrote about them.

January snow
gathering on treetops
coddling winter squalls

Have a beautiful Thursday.


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy Happy New Year!

Hi! This is my first posting of 2008. Happy Happy New Year! Steve and I stayed close to home and spent a quiet but fun evening with friends playing Euchre (a card game played quite a bit in the Midwest) and Clue.
We drove over to a friend's house and the weather was clear and cool, around 30 degrees. By the time we left a bit after midnight, a winter wonderland greeted us outside! We are under a storm warning and are enjoying around a foot of snow!

I wandered outside to take photos and my snow angels called me over toast the New Year and chat. It was lovely.

Our chat inspired me to make the following New Year's resolutions:

In 2008, I resolve to keep my life as simple and as tranquil as possible.
In 2008, I resolve to spend more time with the people I care about.
(If you receive this blog link in my email, I am referring to you.)
Have a great day and enjoy the snow! Please let me know how you spent your New Year's Eve!

Did you stay awake until midnight?


National Lampoon's Garden Adventures, and Last Thoughts on 46

Update on Sake Sakura: We will be making an appointment to get Sake's MRI. It's been really hot and our schedules have been nuts,...