Friday, April 30, 2010

What a week!

It's Friday morning and I'm sitting at my desk thinking of all the awesomeness that has come my way this week. And even some awesomeness that's on the horizon.

The week started off great with Not-So-Ex coming back from his camping trip with fresh fish (even though I didn't eat much of it), got even better when I found out I won Cupcake Hero: Caramel (I always thought I didn't have a shot but my family and friends REALLY showed me I was wrong), and today is a beautiful, sunshiney day that perfectly matches my pink and orange flowery sun dress.

As for the horizon, Monday is Not-So-Ex's birthday, which is one of my favorite days. Why is that? Because Not-So-Ex is a little less than a year younger than me and loves to tease me about it. So from Monday until September, we are the same age! Plus, a birthday gives me an excuse to make special cupcakes. However, since we've been trying to eat healthier, I wanna experiment with making killer cupcakes that won't actually kill you. So we'll see how that goes! LOL

If that wasn't enough, for his b-day I got him a couple's massage, which he's wanted us to do for ages. I've never had a massage, but I think I need one right now. Age is starting to take a toll and my back's been giving me more trouble than normal. And he ALWAYS is in need of a massage. He does hard, physical work and deserves to be babied. I'm excited for both of us.

AND we have vacation coming up towards the end of May. Of course this means more for Not-So-Ex and I than for the heatherns, since they just got off a cruise to the Bahamas and are in Disney World as we speak. But we'll all enjoy a short break before the chaos of summer and thesis filming gets in full swing.

Anyway, have a great weekend folks!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I'm a winner!

Woo Hoo! I won Cupcake Hero: Caramel! So, to all of those who voted for me, THANK YOU!

And for those who didn't vote for me... neiner, neiner, neiner! LOL

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ask and you shall receive

So I love Facebook. Everyone knows I'm totally addicted. But what consistently amazes me is how often it comes in handy. Back when we were looking at houses, I needed a house inspection done and had no clue who I should call. I mentioned it on facebook and within 5 minutes had found out that an old friend of the family did them and how to contact him. It was awesome.

For the past few weeks I've been pondering buying a new Mac so that I can edit my thesis film without having to log a gazillion hours in the film lab at State. I looked at Apple and found some MacBook Pros that would fit the bill. They were affordable, but I hated to spend the cash knowing it wasn't an absolute necessity. I looked at the refurbished models and, while the prices were a little easier to justify, I hated to spend so much in taxes. I checked out eBay, where I found a slew of pretty decent options, but eBay stresses me out. Just too many choices.

So yesterday I mentioned on Facebook that I was looking for a MacBook Pro and can you guess what happened? Within maybe 10 minutes I had a message from a chick I graduated from high school with saying that she had a used MacBook Pro that they were considering selling. By dinnertime we had a deal all hammered out. No taxes, no shipping, no waiting. So now there's no more stress or shopping around. I'll get my laptop in plenty of time to spend a bit getting used to it and then for when we're shooting in July! Woo Hoo!

Monday, April 26, 2010


I'm sitting in my office, all nice and clean, with a bottle of pink lemonade and all is right with the world.

I learned a lot this weekend. Mainly that I've gotten so used to having Not-So-Ex to take care of me that I kinda suck at doing it on my own. I spent the weekend (well aside from the shopping on Saturday) holed up in my apartment watching tv and movies and eating nothing but subs and yogurt. I have never been so thrilled to have to come to work as I was this morning.

But all will be well later this evening when Not-So-Ex gets home. We're gonna hit the grocery store HARD, then probably settle in for some more tv and movies. LOL May not sound like much, but it's perfection as far as I'm concerned. And hopefully he'll even make me some popcorn (his popcorn is the bestest).

I also have to say (on a completely different note), I've been really amazed by the response to the White movie. For the first time, people are responding to a film I was integral in. Even though I have the overwhelming desire, every time a friend says they're gonna watch it, to ask to watch it with them so I can tell them all the backstory and such. So far I've let them watch it on their own though. And the response has been pretty good. At least so far.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

In case anyone else is bored on a Saturday night...

You can buy and watch The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia here.

*I almost forgot my standard disclaimer - Watch at your own risk. Not for anyone anywhere near children. If you'd like to discuss the film (AFTER you watch it), feel free to hit me up. But you have to be interested in discussion and not yelling. And you have to have watched the film. And no just watching the trailer doesn't count.

The oh so elusive weekend post

So I'm on my own for the weekend since Not-So-Ex went camping with his dad and brother and my kids are on a boat to the Bahamas (poor heatherns). I haven't been on my own for quite some time and I was afraid I was out of practice and would be really lonely but so far so good.

I took my kids and parents to the airport this morning and decided that, since they flew out of an airport that's a bit further away then I normally go, it would be a great chance to do a little shopping on the way back home. But, instead of doing a little shopping, I did a LOT.

I really hate to shop (unless it's online) so I will put it off until I really need a bunch of stuff. So, today, the more places I went, the more things I realized I needed and wanted to knock out so I wouldn't have to go shopping again. And I shouldn't have to go again for a good long time.

I also got the call that my glasses were ready and picked them up. I still can't decide what I think of them. Sometimes they look a bit cool and funky and then other times I look like a librarian. I'm gonna wear them a bit and rest my eyes, but I don't think it's a permanent change.

And my hair's really red again. The pic doesn't quite capture the depth of red but, while I didn't think I liked it yesterday, I'm adjusting to it now. We'll see if the color sticks. LOL

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Spring on the outside, winter on the inside...

So it's a beautiful, sunshiney Spring day here in Charleston. Or at least it looks it from my office window. Inside my office, however, it is COLD. I might have to grab a sweater and some real shoes when I go home for lunch. We can't have Snoopy and Woodstock (on my feet) falling off from the cold!

But anyway, today is Earth Day, so I'm gonna be a bit earthy. One of the things that Not-So-Ex and I have started recently is trying to eat better and eat fresher. In the past, we've lived very rushed, frazzled lives so we got used to living on crap basically. So we're trying to actually pay attention to the stuff we put in our bodies. Shocking isn't it. LOL

As part of the whole eat fresh part, we've started our little urban garden. We did this last year too, but it was more of an experiment than anything back then. This year, we've done our research and have a pretty good idea of what we can and can't grown. Now that doesn't mean everything in our little garden is practical. I insist on planting melons every year knowing full well they probably won't actually yield any fruit. But I keep trying.

So far, we have one planter of watermelon, one of honeydew, 6 pepper plants, 6 tomatoes (4 of which are in nifty little upside down planters), and a surviving strawberry plant from last year. Soon, we'll get some plants I ordered which include some more strawberries, some other berries, squash and zucchini (if memory serves). Not-So-Ex also has an herb garden, most of which survived the winter.

As we go along, I'll pass along any good recipes (even though they'll be Not-So-Ex's recipes, not mine, since he's the cook) and lots of pics. Growing season is definitely my favorite time of year!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Is that a nine? (and other funny crap from yesterday)

So my big plan for after work yesterday was to go get a new pair of glasses. I have God awful eyesight but wear contacts. My eyesight is so bad that one doctor told me I really needed to just stick with contacts all the time or else I might hurt myself in the shower (cause you can't really shower in glasses) or getting out of bed in the morning. So the other night I was having contact issues and couldn't find my back-up glasses anywhere.

So I called my eye doctor (which is a story in itself since they were jerks), got my prescription, headed to the eyeglass place at the mall, found a pair I liked, and sat down with the lady to get them all worked out. I handed her my prescription, she looked at it, looked at me, looked back at the prescription and said incredulously, "Is that a NINE?" I told her I had no idea but had terrible eyesight. Her response (with a smile) was "clearly." She then proceeded to tell me that I'd have to get the polybicarbonate (or whatever) lenses because glass at that prescription would just be "way too heavy."

But anyway, I'll get my glasses in a week or so and we'll see how they are. It should be great timing cause I'm gonna get my hair did tomorrow so everyone around me is being warned to expect big changes. The color's gonna change big time for one. I've been rockin the blonde for a bit now and, due to the begging of the hubs and son, I'm gonna get back to red. I'd been avoiding it cause the red hair has some negative associations for me, but it's time to put the past where it belongs and get on with life as I wanna live it. It's also going shorter baby!

Yesterday was a pretty killer day creatively too. I got my producer the list of locations I need to secure to shoot my thesis and she's to work on them already. I also have been involved in the planning stages of a film festival and had been asked to come up with some naming options. They were looking for something fresh and new and, apparently, my idea was the winner. I'm not gonna give too much away cause I don't know what's public and what's not, but I was psyched.

Also, the White movie is moving full steam ahead. A movie poster was just released the other day. It available to save on Netflix (although it doesn't give a release date). The director has narrowed it down to saying it will be released on DVD in July. Regardless of the movie itself, which is a bit painful for me, I'm glad to see my friends get some publicity and hype! I'm supposed to hit a film fest with them this summer and I'm excited to get to experience the hype and chaos first-hand.

But anyway, I'm functioning a bit better today that yesterday so let's hope as much good stuff happens!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Where's that swimsuit again...

So the fam and I have been pouring over vacation spots trying to decide where to take off to once I finish shooting my thesis in July, which will probably push us all over the edge. We've deliberated over whether we wanna be beach bound or hit the mountains. We've rehashed every possibility over and over (we are a rather indecisive bunch).

Today I was looking at the calendar and realized that, since my daughter finishes school a few days early cause she's a big sixth grader and all, we could get away for a four day weekend the end of May! And, just like that, any clouds on the horizon (and even the upcoming storm called thesis) dissipated.

So, next month, we'll get through Rena's big graduation ceremony and then get up at the crack of dawn the next day and head to a condo on the beach. There we will sun and lounge and chill like nobody's business for four days.

We're still pouring over a location for a week-long vacay in August (with the dogs), but I'm glad to have this little get away to look forward to. God knows pasty Paige could use a wee bit of sun.

Monday, April 19, 2010

It's Hip-Hop Monday!

So I was actually excited to get to work this morning. I know - bizarro. But my main grant program has a deadline of the end of this month so, in the next two weeks, I will be receiving around 30 grants to read, evaluate, and process. It's gonna get busy and I LOVE being busy!

Since I first woke up, I have totally been craving Hip-Hop. For those who haven't known me long, Hip-Hop used to be a central part of my life and career. No, I'm not the female, Appalachian Eminem. I used to do Hip-Hop based youth development work. But, while that time has passed, every now and then the music pulls me back.

And I do love the music. It's like meeting up with old friends. Oh, Jay-Z... I remember the time you almost got me in a fight at South Park. And Kanye... I remember the conversations with Cyn about how you might just save Hip-Hop (of course that was before you went schizo on me). Pac... my dear, dear Pac... I remember the conversations with almost every local rapper about how you'd still be alive if you followed your own advice. There's my Fugees theory, which is that Wyclef and Lauryn are too serious on their own and could only make fun music because of the influence of the much lesser known and respected Pras. Then DMX... who I can't hear without seeing images of one of our kids doing dead-on DMX impression. And there's always Biggie. How many 33 yr old white, female state employees know every word of Juicy by heart? If there's another one, I'd love to set up a lunch!

I could go on for days. But I won't. I'll just sit in my office bouncing my head for a while with a smile on my face.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Films and Sunshine

I have a hard time naming my blogs lately because the bright, warm weather makes me wanna include the word awesome in every title... and, sooner or later, folks will get awesomed out.

But anyway, the highlight of my day (so far) was an excellent lunch at Bluegrass Kitchen, one of my favorite places to eat, with my friend and thesis producer. I walked there and the weather is just spectacular. The sun is so bright and just warm enough and the breeze is just cool enough to make it the perfect walking weather, even for an uber white chicklet like myself.

But, again, I digress. The point I was getting to was that my thesis film is truly coming together. The person I wanted for my lead is going to be in town at just the right time and seems interested. The crew seems to be coming together. The script is long, but golden. I've just gotten get my locations set, lock in my important actors, and fill in all the bit parts and we'll be ready to shoot.

The plan, which I'm sure will change early and often, is to film on the weekends for a month. It's really gonna be a rough month. I count on my weekends for my downtime... my recharging time. But I'll just have to get through that month and then it can slow back down. I'll just have to keep reminding myself, and Not-So-Ex, of that.

I'm also hoping we'll be able to take a nice vacation after we wrap. Be able to go veg out for a week after a month of chaos. We'll see though. As it is, we can't even settle on a vacation spot, much less a time. LOL

But there's a LOT of work ahead of me. I look forward to it, to an extent, but I also dread it. I definitely wanna be finished though!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I almost forgot!

My beautiful girl headed south yesterday for her 6th grade trip. They're going to Alabama to Space Camp. I'm so proud of her, even if that sounds silly. My mom (who teaches at her school) will be on the trip, which is tremendously lucky since they had to tell parents they couldn't go (I mean seriously I've been waiting 13 yrs for her to get to this point so I could "chaperone" and get to go to space camp). I don't know that she's ever been to an overnight outing, but I'm glad she's growing and maturing enough to get to go.

This is really just another opportunity to look back at how far we've come. Had you told me about 4-7 years ago that she'd be functioning well, achieving well, and even making friends, I wouldn't have believed you. It was more than I even dared dream about. But here she is.

Here's hoping everything goes well and she has a blast!

I love it when a plan comes together

So I had the most awesome evening yesterday. Not-So-Ex picked me up from work, we got a quick bite to eat downtown, then headed to Taylor Books to meet my thesis advisor. He had nothing but good thoughts on my script and we're all excited to get to the next stage. It was actually the first time Not-So-Ex got to meet my advisor, whose first thoughts on seeing Not-So-Ex were "I'd like to get you in the ring." (My advisor also does wrestling... and I mean the masked kind.) While he may want to see Not-So-Ex in the ring, I would rather not since I would benefit from my thesis advisor being alive and well rather than flat as a pancake. LOL

After the meeting, we headed over to Ellen's, which has the best homemade ice cream in the entire universe. Hunt and I enjoyed some Pink Lemonade sorbet and it was just perfection. It made for a wonderful spring day in the city.

Of course the day didn't end there. We went home and caught up on U.S. of Tara on Showtime and then watched the first episode of Treme on HBO. If you haven't watched Treme, do. It has so much promise. I'm fascinated by New Orleans. It's a city with so much life and history whose story that can only be told with loud, raucous music and spots of incredible color. And Treme had every bit of that.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Evil genius at work...

Jacque Jo just sent this to me and it's too incredibly awesome to ignore.

I wonder how much he charges?

Spring is awesome

I love spring! It's my favorite time of year. I love watching the plants get green. I love watching my roses bud and eventually bloom. I love planting my little urban garden. I love it all.

This year, Not-So-Ex is having a hard time reigning me in when it comes to the garden. I have a deep love of fruit trees, so when I found out there were all these dwarf trees I could plant in pots and bring in during winter, I was soooooo psyched. The fact that I killed my first one, a dwarf key lime tree, didn't even damper my excitement. So this year I'm gonna try a dwarf key lime, lemon, pomegranate, and blueberries (which I've tried before but Jake ate the plants before I could even pot them). And I just found a dwarf apple tree in a catalogue over the weekend that must be mine!

But anyway, I love the freshness of this season! Once I get stuff planted, I'll make sure to post pics frequently! Especially once my roses start to bloom! God they're gorgeous.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Throwback Monday

So I'm sitting in my office on a Monday feeling very old school. I cut myself some bangs over the weekend, and the new fringe, especially when paired with my new "Flashdance" shirt (only reminds me of Flashdance cause I can't seem to keep it up on my shoulders) makes me feel very 80s. And I guess that's a good thing since the 80s are all the rage these days.

I went to the movies with the fam yesterday and saw Clash of the Titans. When the original was big, anything referencing "the gods" was probably not allowed in my home, so I never saw the full original. Not-So-Ex was a huge fan, and I had seen bits and pieces, but the material wasn't as familiar to me as it was to most. It was a fun movie. And the popcorn was good. That's pretty much all I ask for.

The one thing I found funny was that almost every preview was for a new remake of an 80s movie. In general, I see this as a bad, BAD thing. I mean it's only a matter of time until Miley Cyrus is starring in a "re-imagination" of Pretty in Pink (OH the horror). Is Hollywood really out of good stories (hell I'll even take mediocre ones)?

But I have to make one exception here. One of the previews was for the new, silver-screen version of A-Team. When this preview came on, the 10 yr old fangirl in me shrieked in excitement. I started whispering in my daughter's ear on one side of me and then my son on the other side to convince them that this was a definite must-see. While both gave me a brief "you're such a geek" look, they both agreed.

But anyway, it's time to get the flashback over with. I've got grants to approve and a film to plan. Hollywood may be out of tales to tell, but I'm not!

Friday, April 9, 2010

It's so easy to fall back...

So yesterday I got a surprising email from my mom about my daughter. It basically said that her behavior had gotten out of hand and that she was really concerned that something was wrong.

Let me give the background here. I've talked about her Aspergers, and she has other issues as well, but her treatment has been working spectacularly for about 2 years now. Now before the treatment, she was completely unable to control her temper, her behavior, or her general emotions. She was often cruel and, at times, abusive to the people around her. And, when she would hurt others, she often was equally abusive to herself. She was hurting and anyone that came in contact with her was hurting. It was absolutely the worst experience I've ever been through.

When the email came yesterday, I panicked. What could we do? Who could we call? How could we insure that this wasn't history beginning to repeat itself?

In the end, it turned out to be a misunderstanding. But it made me think about how hard it is to believe the best sometimes. I'm an optimist by nature, but, at times, I've found myself beaten down to the point that it becomes hard to believe anything but the very worst. And that's just the beginning of a vicious cycle.

But I do have to admit that, after being faced with that fear and seeing the sun come out again, it made me appreciate today. And maybe it's a reminder that I needed. Maybe I need to make sure I remember that my worst day today is far, far better than my best day in years past.

So, for today at least, I do remember. And I'm fully aware of the lightness of my load today. And I am so, so thankful for that lightening.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Some late good news

So the lovely (if ornery) Lucy went back to the vet the other day and has a clean bill of health. That's right, our stubborn little redhead beat Parvo. And, when I'm not busy cleaning up after her, I'm totally thrilled.

And, while we're on the dogger thread, this weekend is the big fundraiser for the local animal shelter, the Fur Ball (I seriously couldn't make that name up). I'm actually psyched about it. Not-So-Ex and I will be providing a little food for the event and then look forward to taking part in some of the silent auctions and such. I'm sure a good time will be had by all and, hopefully, it'll provide the funds to care for a ton more dogs and cats.

Like most West Virginians, I have to admit to being just a bit off focus today. I keep waiting for news, hoping for the best but prepared for the worst. But I must say that I'm very proud of the way we've responded to the tragedy. We're a very loving people, really, although I expect Don Blankenship won't be one of the ones benefiting from that. But, in all honesty, I think he's benefited enough from us.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What year is it again Mr. Blankenship?

I was under the impression that we are living in the year 2010, but today's headlines seem more appropriate for 50-100 years ago.

It was through facebook that I became aware of what happened and, as it unfolded, I stayed glued to my iPhone. Despite being born and raised in rural West Virginia, I have no relatives that work in the mines (although my family is firmly tied to the equally dangerous and exploitative chemical plants). But a lot of my friends do. So far I know of one friend that lost a part of their family but, as the names start to be made public, I'm sure there will be more.

In a little while, I'll have to make a call I've been putting off and check on the various members of the White family. There were only a few members of the "family" (I put quotes because I am including the ones that may not be blood but are hangers on) that were miners and I don't believe any of them worked at this particular mine, but I'll still call and check.

While I have deep sadness for the families and communities that lost so many, I have to say that my overriding emotion this morning is anger. This mine was not safe and, sadly, we didn't know until too late. Mr. Blankenship, the blood of 25 fathers, brothers, sons, husbands, and maybe even some wives and mothers is on your hands. I would suspect the stain from that amount of blood will be pretty hard to wash out, no matter how much money you accumulate or how many judges you own. You should be ashamed.

Monday, April 5, 2010

This one's for my Peeps...

So we had a lovely Easter weekend. The Easter Bunny came through and left plenty of treats for all the kiddos (ever the four-legged ones), which means it was a good year. I will always remember the one year when my daughter was in big trouble and received nothing but school supplies from the Easter Bunny. Good times, good times.

But anyway, one of the best things about the weekend is that I was able to do some baking again. And everything I made had a theme. They were all about Peeps.

First off, there's the easiest recipe ever. Take some Peeps, line them up on a cookie sheet covered with non-stick foil, and bake them at 300 for 4 minutes. They are so freakin' good. The bottom gets all crunchy and the rest is just soft, gooey marshmallow.
Next come the S'meeps. These are almost as simple as the baked Peeps but are super messy and equally yummy. Take graham crackers and break them in half, then put a few pieces of Hershey's chocolate bar on them, and lay a Peep on top.
Bake at 300 for about 5 minutes or so (until the Peeps get puffy),
take them out, and put a graham cracker half on top. Squish them carefully (like I said... messy) and eat em up!

Last, but definitely not least, were my S'meeps cupcakes. I used my standard S'mores Cupcake recipe but, instead of putting marshmallow creme on top, I put a little chocolate frosting and then stuck a Peep on top.
Once we got to the in-laws' to eat, we used a torch and toasted the Peeps. The result was really, really good, not to mention the whole uniqueness thing. But it was definitely a recipe I'll do again.

Friday, April 2, 2010


So I didn't work yesterday because all the grass cutting going on around my place caused some hard-core sniffling, sneezing and sore throat. I knew that today, since it's Good Friday, I would be the only sad soul from my group in the office so I definitely needed to show up. Luckily I was feeling mostly better this morning so that shouldn't have been such a task.

Shouldn't have been anyway.

I was finishing getting dressed (brushing my hair to be specific) when I felt something weird happen with my back and then a sudden pain. And the pain hasn't stopped.

I did make it to work, although I look about as good as I feel. And, since my back was in such pain, I'm wearing flip-flops, the only shoes I could slip on without having to bend down.

Oh and once I got to work, I heard one of the secretaries asking some other people if they had ever had chicken pox since she had her daughter with her for a little while until she could get her to the doc to verify that she did indeed have chicken pox. Never had them. I've been vaccinated, so I should be ok, but I hightailed it to my office at the other end of the hall anyway.

Anyway, I just loaded up on tylenol so here's hoping today holds less pain and more good stuff as the day goes on.