Saturday, August 30, 2008

Shopping in Bermuda

Over the next few days, I’ll be blogging about my recent cruise to Bermuda. Rather than write one big long review, I think it’s better to break it down into manageable topics, such as Shopping, Excursions, Entertainment, Overall Ship Review, etc.

When we docked in Bermuda, our first order of business was to do a little shopping, before heading to the beach. We got off the ship and decided to take the ferry into Hamilton, because it’s faster than the bus and more fun. NOTE: The ferry runs promptly every half hour in the morning, but then switches to once an hour as the day goes on, so it’s better to go early. My in-laws just missed the 10am ferry and got stuck waiting for the next one. We managed to time it better, and just made the 10:30 ferry. If, like us, you’re cutting it close, and the line for tickets near the ship is really long, just start walking over to the ferry loading area and buy your tickets there from the ticket agent on the dock. There’s also a TLC Trolley that can drive you over to the buses and ferry area, but it ran infrequently, so walking ended up being the faster option, even with the kids in tow. It only took us a couple of minutes, and if you look down into the water, you can see a nice variety of beautiful fish (including the big rainbow parrot fish—our favorite).

Once you get to Hamilton, start walking to the right to get to the shops. We went left, and trust me, there was nothing much there to see, so we had to double back.

There were lots of clothing stores and art galleries, but we had no interest in those. After a few minutes, we found ourselves at Riihiluoma’s Flying Colours, 5 Queen Street, Hamilton Bermuda

An assortment of fun souvenirs, including a silly Flamingo pen

We purchased a good chunk of our souvenirs from this shop. The prices in this store were the lowest, compared to any of the others, including the dockyard shops. It’s got all the typical “touristy” items—most of them made in China—but if you go upstairs to the top level, you’ll find all of the sale merchandise, along with some locally made items. We got the obligatory magnets here (something we collect from every place we visit), a dolphin Christmas ornament, and a bunch of sale-priced t-shirts. My daughters picked up a couple of other odds and ends, including a mug and a keychain. I purchased some beautiful pictures of Bermuda (one is for my Mom) and found a kitschy Flamingo pen for my sister, Maria. (It’s our “thing”: we try to buy each other the most gaudy or strange souvenir we possibly can whenever we travel. This was perfect.) The store was a nice "one-stop shopping" shop, so after that we headed for the B7 bus to Horseshoe Bay Beach.

The Clocktower Mall is walking distance from the dockyard, so on our second day (after snorkeling) we shopped there for a couple of hours. We peeked in at the Glassworks factory on the way, but the prices were ridiculous. A simple ceramic mug was $35. We didn’t stay there long.

The Mall itself had a variety of stores, but some of them were too “high-end” for me. There was a jewelry store and a perfume store and a bookstore, in addition to a Haagen-Daaz ice cream shop. There was a sundries shop where we purchased some new sunglasses to replace the ones that the girls lost in the ocean the day before. They also had drinks, snacks, and toiletry items.

Rum cake, a sand dollar ornament, and a Bermuda mug

I found some nice things in A.S. Cooper, including a Bermuda Rum Cake and a locally-made Christmas ornament. The prices here were almost as good as in the store in Hamilton (they have a location there on Front Street as well), and lower than the other souvenir-type shops at the Clocktower Mall. I picked up a bottle of the infamous “Outerbridge’s Sherry Pepper Sauce” for my brother-in-law. I took one whiff of it and it melted the hairs in my nose. I can’t imagine actually ingesting the stuff, but Angelo was excited to try it. My daughter bought a pink house votive candle holder that was adorable. You can see many of their items on their website: They take all major credit cards, and they don’t charge sales tax.

One of the glass pendants my daughters purchased at Enchanted Grand Bazaar

A flower necklace, made in Bermuda

Another store that I consider a must-visit is the Enchanted Grand Bazaar. They have a wealth of items that are made in Bermuda, including beautiful ceramics and jewelry. My daughters bought locally-made glass pendants, and I couldn’t resist a gorgeous wooden pencil holder for my desk. It had mother-of-pearl inlays, and even though it was made in Egypt, not Bermuda (although, it was considered an “exclusive” to that shop), I had to have it. We also purchased some locally-made necklaces with real flower pendants. Very pretty! The store offers volume discounts (e.g. Buy 3 or more ceramics and you get 10% off), so bring a friend along and pool your purchases.

Pencil Holder w/wood & pearl inlays

There are several places to eat at the Dockyard, but the kids were getting tired so we didn’t have an opportunity to try them. The Frog & Onion Pub is recommended by Royal Caribbean, and the guy who ran our snorkeling excursions raved about the Freeport Seafood Restaurant. He said that if you go there, you have to have the Wahoo Fish Sandwich with English Chips. **NOTE FOR INTERNET ADDICTS** The Freeport restaurant also has a Cyber Café where you can surf the web if you need a fix.

We did a little bit of shopping onboard the Explorer of the Seas, but not much. The prices were, as expected, high. The one thing I just had to get was the Christmas ornament that looks like a miniature replica of the ship. We purchased one of the Celebrity Millennium back in February, so we thought it would be fun to get a Royal Caribbean ship, too. **WARNING** These ship ornaments are VERY delicate, and chip quite easily. So many of the ornaments on display had little nicks and chips in them, it took me a long time to find one that was perfect. I went to the register to pay, and the cashier wrapped it loosely in a plastic bag because she had no tissue paper or bubble wrap. Sure enough, when I went to show it my family, the ornament slipped right out of the plastic and got a chip in it. I took it back to the store, and there was a different cashier there. She reached behind the counter to a box that was filled with the same ornaments, only they were encased in a protective plastic shell. “Here,” she said, “take one of these instead.” So, if you’re looking to get one of those ornaments, DO NOT buy the ones on display—go to the register and ask for one that’s still in the plastic.

Ship Ornament

There were some nice sales towards the end of the voyage, when the shops offered handbags for only $10, discounted logo t-shirts, and 50% off many of the costume jewelry pieces. If you’re looking for bargains on board, wait until the last At Sea day to do your shopping.

Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain's VP: Oops

Sarah Palin: 44 years old, scarcely 2 years' experience as Alaska governor, NO foreign policy experience, NO experience on a national level. Pro-life, pro-death penalty, lifelong NRA member.

I can't understand this choice. Sure, party loyalists/Republican conservatives will be happy, and McCain's choice is certainly historic, but I don't think it does him any favors with the voters he needs to beat Barack Obama. If anything, I think this choice makes Obama MORE palatable (can you imagine?) to those of us who were most concerned about his lack of experience. With 4 years as a United States Senator and another 7 in the Illinois Senate, he looks like a grizzled veteran next to Palin.

As a woman, adding Palin to the ticket does not make me want to vote for McCain. Given McCain's age and prior health record, it's a sad reality that his VP pick needs to be held to a high level of scrutiny. How can I possibly vote to put someone in a position that is a heartbeat away from the Presidency, when she only has 2 years' of experience? With tensions escalating in Georgia (Russia has said they blame the United States for orchestrating the entire situation), our troops in Afghanistan dying in record numbers, and the Iraq War still raging, we need someone who knows what the heck they're doing when it comes to foreign policy.

The President doesn't make those kinds of policy decisions alone, and while he doesn't have lots of experience, Obama has proven that he can surround himself with good people. McCain picked Palin as his right-hand after meeting with her ONCE. He's done nothing but reinforce his reputation as an impulsive person.

I think that Palin will get lots of press in the next two weeks, as people try to figure out who the heck she is. Perhaps there'll even be a honeymoon period where she'll enjoy the spotlight and McCain will see a bounce in his polling numbers. But, in the end, I'm betting that folks will be turned off by McCain's pick, and will put Obama and Biden in the White House come November.

Great Tips for Wine Drinkers

Anthony Giglio is old friend of mine from college. He and I were on the school newspaper together many moons ago, and he's become quite the expert on all things wine-related since then. He's the author of Food & Wine's 2009 Wine Guide, has written numerous articles on wine and spirits for a variety of national publications, and is a former board member of the Sommelier Society of America. Trust me--he knows his stuff.

The book isn't available until October, but in the meantime, here's a link to some of Anthony's Best Wine Tips from It's got great information on storing wine, ordering wine in a restaurant, how to serve wine, and lots more.

Very nicely done, Gigs...I'm proud of you!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

What might have been...

I know, some of my blogger friends aren't big fans of my Al, but I thought he did a fantastic job tonight on his speech at the Democratic National Convention. I couldn't help but think about what might have been 8 years ago, if only the electoral votes had gone his way.

We're back!

The open and airy promenade deck
aboard the Explorer of the Seas

We're back from our cruise to Bermuda. The weather was perfect and the ship was impressive. We had a fantastic time, which I'll blog about in more detail in the days to come.

I'm looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Cruisin' to Bermuda

Yes, it's time for another cruise vacation--my third one this year!

In February, we sailed aboard the Grand Princess to the Caribbean. In July, I had a girls-only trip with my Mom and sister to Canada on the Carnival Victory. And now, I'm heading out for 5 days aboard Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas, along with my husband, my kids, and husband's extended family (his mom, his sister & her husband, and his brother & his wife).

Explorer of the Seas

This time, we're bound for sunny Bermuda. I'll fill you in on all the details when I return!

So, it's Biden.

Sorta anti-climactic, after all that hype.

Just goes to show you: the bookies in Vegas know best.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Bayh or Biden?

Well, if you listen to the betting sites, Biden's the pick. But, according to the Huffington Post, there's a printing company that's been making Obama Bayh 08 bumper stickers.

Hmm.....if a picture is worth a thousand words, then this is pretty compelling:

UPDATE: The news media says that Bayh is "out of the running", and Rich said that it hit the news wires earlier today that Kane was the VP pick....then the news was withdrawn. Very strange.

And now, they've decided to push back the announcement from today to tomorrow. Why would they announce on a Saturday?

Text messaging into history

Barack Obama is set to announce his pick for a V.P. running mate...via text message.

It's a strategic move, designed to snag him a valuable bank of cell phone numbers that he can use to his advantage as the election draws closer. It's not difficult to understand the appeal of this unique approach.

But, am I the only one who sees this as a bit "gimmicky" and disrepectful? Something as serious and historic as the Democratic Vice Presidential candidate for 2008, trumpeted via the same medium my teenager uses to set up mall dates with her friends?

Perhaps I just prefer old fashion methods of communication, like the one the Papal Conclave uses: black smoke, no decision yet; white smoke, we have a new Pope.

ah well...time marches on. Still, I can't help wondering if this is "progress," or just more smoke & mirrors.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

More warnings about Gardasil vaccine

Readers of this blog know that I have expressed serious concerns about the Gardasil HPV vaccine, and have refused to administer it to my teenage daughter. I'm not convinced of the drug's safety, or its value long-term. At the end of July, reports began to surface about the increasing number of side effects being reported now that the drug has been widely recommended for young girls.

Now Diane Harper, one of the vaccine's developers has raised concerns about Gardasil's use for girls under the age of 15. She likened it to "a great big public health experiment."

I've said it before, but it bears repeating: The effects of Gardasil on a young woman's ability to reproduce has never been tested. We cannot use our daughters as guinea pigs.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wheaties Schmeaties...Pass the Frosted Flakes

I've been reading reports that Gold medalist Michael Phelps is taking some serious heat from nutritionists for his decision to appear on the Frosted Flakes box for Kellogg's, instead of the ubiquitous Wheaties box. He's also agreed to appear on the Corn Flakes box.

Seriously...I know people expect the guy to be a role model, but this is ridiculous.

With 1/3 the sugar and double the fiber of Frosted Flakes, Wheaties is certainly a healthier choice, but let's be honest: it tastes an awful lot like the box itself. Frosted Flakes are YUMMY. Sugary, yes, but it's just one breakfast choice out of thousands, and eating a bowl of the stuff every once in a while is not going to turn anyone into a roly-poly couch potato.

Yes, childhood obesity is an epidemic in the United States, but parents need to take more responsibility for what they put in their child's mouth. Instead of complaining about what box of cereal Phelps' picture is printed on, how about you get your kids off the couch and bring them down to the town pool, like Phelps' mom did, and have them swim a few laps? Add some fruit and fresh juice to your breakfast table, and offer healthy choices more often than the "bad" stuff, and you'll be fine. It's certainly more productive than blaming other people for "setting a bad example."

The ultimate role model for a child is their own parent. If our kids are getting obese, it's time for parents to stop pointing fingers, and take a good long look in the mirror. Chances are, you'll find the real problem staring you right in the face.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Saddleback Forum

Dear Senator Obama,

I watched the Saddleback Forum on CNN last night, because I was curious to see how you and Senator McCain would do in that type of setting. I am an Independent voter with Democratic leanings, so this should have been a cake walk for you. It was not.

You bored me. Your answers did not come across as thoughtful and nuanced. They sounded rehearsed, practiced, and careful. I yawned and lost focus and contemplated changing the channel to see what the Olympic athletes were up to. I didn't hear anything new from you, and, dude, I'm sorry, but your ears looked huge at that angle.

McCain cleaned your clock, Barack. He came out there and seemed so at ease; his confidence drew me in immediately. You got owned, plain and simple. His answers were quick and to the point. His response on the most gut-wrenching decision he ever made (to remain a tortured POW rather than go free ahead of others who were captured before him) made your response to that question (deciding whether or not to cast a Yea or Nay vote on the Iraq war) seem pitiful and minute by comparison. The breadth of his life experience helped him win the day. Suck it up and move on, my friend.

But no, today there is hand-wringing and protest over whether or not McCain had an unfair advantage because he wasn't literally placed within a "cone of silence." Oh, puh-leez. As if having a one-hour heads up is going to make that much of a difference in how either of you were perceived. His camp claims that he did not listen to the broadcast, but even if he did, that's not going to change the fact that he did well and thrived under the same format in which you stumbled.

There's even some "proof" on YouTube that shows McCain answering a question before Rev. Rick Warren fully asked it. Problem is: I watched that forum live, as it unfolded, and I remember full well that Warren mentioned what he was about to ask before actually posing it in the form of a question, so McCain did not "read minds"....he simply LISTENED and was succinct in his response. No matter how the kiss-ups try to edit that clip, it won't change that. Nice try, though.

Please, stop the bellyaching, and start prepping for the debates. Something tells me you're gonna need it.

To read transcripts from the Saddleback Forum, click HERE. The exchange in question happens in Part 5, about halfway down the page.

Good morning, Mittens

Recently, a friend sent me the link to these hilarious "Simon's Cat" videos on You Tube.

If you are a cat owner, they are a must see. I never realized that the annoying-yet-strangely-endearing behavior exhibited by my cats is so universal to the feline species.

The constant meowing, in particular, reminds me of Mittens. Every day, try as I might to enjoy a nice cup of coffee in the early morning solitude, he starts calling to me from the behind the basement door. Incessantly. He isn't happy until I let him up, so that he can stare out the window at the birds. Crazy cat.

This morning was no exception:

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Confession time: when it comes to plants, I have what is commonly referred to as a "black thumb": I kill everything I touch. Doesn't matter how hardy the plant is when I get it, within a few weeks, it's toast.

The only exceptions up to this point were the two large houseplants that Rich used to have at his office. He takes care of them himself, because he sorta grew attached to them and hated to see me destroy them with my awful mojo. All of the other plants we have scattered about the house are fake, and so far, I haven't managed to kill any of those yet (but trust me, if there WAS a way to slaughter a silk plant, I'd inevitably find it).

So, it is with cautious optimism that I report on the extraordinary survival of two plants that have been under my care for almost 2 years now. They were sent right after my father died, in November 2006, to be displayed at his wake/funeral. Afterwards, my mother divvied up the plants and tabletop florals my dad received, and even with my murderous track record, she gave me one. It had a green flat leaf plant in the middle, with a bit of ivy surrounding it. Very cute little plants. Much too young to die, really. I accepted them with a heavy heart.

It is truly a miracle that these little guys have not only survived, but apparently, thrived under my care. Maybe because they started as "death plants", they're immune to my horrible gardening energy?

All I know is, it's been a year and nine months, and they're still here. So, I finally got a chance to experience that "re-potting" situation I'd read about--you know, when plants do so well, they actually need to be relocated into a bigger pot? Yup...first time for everything, I guess.

So, here they are....perhaps you will remember them in your prayers tonight, just in case? Thanks.

Strong little ivy plant

The other green plant (seen on the right), sitting next to Rich's big plant. I hope they'll be friends.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Carpe Diem

I had a looooong day. I drove to Pennsylvania very early this morning for the funeral of a friend that I loved dearly. It was a 4 hour drive round trip, and a rough day in general. Nellie was an old neighbor of mine from my childhood in Brooklyn, and her husband Victor was absolutely devastated by her death. Watching him grieve today was a sobering reminder of just how precious our loved ones are, and how important it is to relish every single day we have together.

When I got home, I was feeling a bit pensive, sad, and tired--understandable, after the day's events. Vic and Nellie were married for 56 wonderful years. I can't even imagine the pain that he is feeling tonight.

Instead of giving in to the grief, Rich and I decided to spend some time together in the kitchen, whipping up a dinner we'd seen featured on Tyler Florence's "Ultimate" series: the Ultimate Seafood Feast.

We made Raw Oysters on the Half Shell with cocktail sauce and cucumber mignonette, Oysters Casino, and Roast Lobster with Panko breading, with some Zesty French Fries on the side.

Rich shucked the oysters expertly, while I made the panko stuffing and casino butter. The cucumber mignonette was a little vinegary when sampled by itself, but paired with the oysters, it was PERFECT. Very fresh and light and summery. The Oysters Casino was very tasty, with nice notes of lemon.

The lobster was absolutely delicious. I had the fish monger at the grocery store split it for me ahead of time (poor little lobster) and roasted it with the panko stuffing for 30 minutes.

We had a shot of Limoncello to start, and then paired the dinner with a bottle of 2006 Rodney Strong Chardonnay.

Dessert was a berry-topped Creme Brulee imported from Bindi. Yum-O-licious!

The thing that struck me most about today is that it wasn't some special occasion--it was just an ordinary day, really. But, the dinner helped elevate it to one of those days that will stand out as one to remember. It was a beautiful evening, spent with my family, just enjoying one another's company, and appreciating all that we have, most especially our deep and abiding love for one another.

I can't think of a better tribute to my friend and former neighbor, Nellie DeRosa, who passed away on Monday at the age of 77. She was the glue that held her family together: a loving, giving, generous woman who was taken much too soon. Right now, I'm sure she's up in heaven, catching up on old times with my Dad, and watching over her wonderful family. My heart goes out to them tonight as they grapple with their loss. I also take a moment to offer up a prayer of thanks and gratitude, for the time that I have with my own family.

Carpe diem. Seize the day. Words that resonate with me, especially on days like today.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog

If you haven't been over to Hulu yet to see Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog, find some time this weekend to check it out. It was created by Joss Whedon during the Writer's Guild of America strike, and is a rock-opera short film (42 minutes long) featuring the talented Neil Patrick Harris (aka Doogie Howser, M.D.).

The story is a classic romantic tragedy, and the songs are surprisingly good. A compilation of the music is going to be available by the end of this month, and I intend to buy it. There's also talk of turning it into a Broadway musical, although I'm not convinced this quirky short will translate to a larger scale.

You can watch it in 3 acts (14 minutes apiece) if you're pressed for time. Wonderful performances by Harris and his co-stars, Nathan Fillion and Felicia Day. A surprisingly entertaining gem!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Some new friends

We had a few visitors to the backyard this evening. First, there were two deer: a painfully-thin doe and a badly-injured buck. They were feasting on our perennials and evergreens, and we did nothing to stop them because they looked like they really needed the sustenance.

Then, minutes later, Rich spotted a new bird on top of the feeder pole. We could tell immediately by the way his head rotated that it was an Eastern Screech Owl, to be exact. It was too dark to get a picture, and he flew off into the trees after just a few moments, but this pic comes close to what he looked like:

Reminds me of the owl on Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood.


It's a little "Laura Petrie", but I like it!

updated to add: for those of you unfamiliar with the old Dick Van Dyke show, here's a picture of Mary Tyler Moore, in character as Laura Petrie:

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

And...they're out!

For those of you keeping score, it's been 10 days since the unfortunate "Golf Club to the Back of the Head" incident. Which means, it was time to remove those staples Rich had.

He was very brave--perhaps bolstered by the fact that he and his buddies took first place in their Member-Guest Golf Outing today. All hail, the power of the staples!

I tell you this much: the implement used to remove them is pretty nasty looking:

I did my best not to hurt him as I yanked the staples out. The first one gave me a bit of trouble, but after a few tugs I got the hang of it, and the second one was a breeze. I asked Rich if it hurt very much having them taken out, and he said, "Not really. Well, put it this way: it felt about the same as they did going in."

Poor baby. Here's hoping I don't get the opportunity for more practice in the future.

Tonight's fortune cookie

Monday, August 11, 2008

Deck the Halls...

I've been busy as heck with assignments lately, most of which are Christmas-themed. I have two more articles due by the end of the week, and getting myself in the Christmas spirit can be difficult when it's 85 degrees and humid as heck.

Time to strap on the iPod and crank up Vincent Guaraldi's Charlie Brown Christmas. Wish me luck.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Feliz cumpleaños, guapo

A very happy 48th birthday to the long-standing object of my undying affection, wherever you are:

Saturday, August 9, 2008

A very special day

Today I had the pleasure of celebrating the Baptism of my little cousin, Matthew. He was such a good boy all day long, and even though I got to hold him for quite a while, it still never felt like enough.

My cousin Salvatore did the honors. So nice having our very own priest in the family!

P.S. Father Sal's big sister, Elisa, is the baby's godmother. I love the look on her face as he blesses the baby. It's almost like she's thinking, "Hey, you better not screw this up!"

Bernie Mac

wow...just logged on and read that comedian Bernie Mac died, due to complications from pneumonia. I had read that he was sick, but that he was responding well to treatment and was on the mend.

What a shock this must be for his family. He was only 50 years old! I know that pneumonia can be life-threatening, but you just don't think it will actually happen in this day and age--especially for someone who can afford the best possible medical care.

My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Work, Play, Read

I thought summertime was a time to relax and slack off. Instead, I find myself busier than ever. I've got two articles due next week, and I've been working on my novel, trying to whip it into shape once and for all.

I've also been making an effort to keep the kids busy with fun activities, as the summer winds down more quickly than any of us expected. How the heck did it get to be August already?

Oh, and in the middle of all of this, I somehow managed to get hooked on the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer. After taking my daughter to the debut event last week for the fourth and final book in the series, I picked up the first book to see what all the fuss is about. I finished it in a day and a half, and just plowed through the second one (563 pages) in less than 24 hours. I was planning to wait until my vacation at the end of the month to start the newest release, but at this rate, I'll be done with the series before the weekend is over.

Monday, August 4, 2008


Yesterday, my husband Rich took our eldest daughter out to the golf course for some practice. They each had a lesson with the golf pro there, and were on the range practicing. Christina was in her little zone, driving balls off the tee, when Rich walked behind her and stood just a bit too close.


Right in the back of the head.

It didn't hurt much at all, and Rich didn't realize he was bleeding until about 15 minutes later. Even then, it didn't seem so bad--he couldn't see it, naturally--so he shoved a folded up napkin under his baseball cap to keep pressure on it. They finished their lessons, went inside to grab some lunch, then drove home.

When they got home, they told me all about how great she did with the lesson, what they ate for lunch, and....oh yeah, will you have a quick look at this bump on the back of my head before I take my shower?

OMG. One look and I knew stitches were in order. Trust me on this one--I've had 3 c-sections--I know when a person needs more than a band-aid to close things up.

Off we go to the emergency room. He was taken in right away. I was immediately cast under a cloud of suspicion, as are all spouses who accompany their injured partner to the hospital. The fact that I still had a couple of steri-strips on my face (from a minor biopsy I had last week) didn't help matters. We looked like we just stepped out of the movie The War of the Roses.

Lots of questions and nervous chuckles with wary, narrowed eyes directed our way. Fun.

Poor Rich. He got to describe getting clocked in the head by his 14-year-old daughter to 3 different people. He felt terrible, and took full blame for standing too close. Classic victim mentality. That woman is short, but she must be vicious.

Apparently, needle and thread is passe these days. The way to care for something like this is with staples. "um...did you say STAPLES?" gulps Rich. (He's never even had stitches before--he prefers to bleed profusely and stick a band-aid on things and call it a day, in case that wasn't clear earlier.)

The impossibly young doctor inspects the wound one more time, and casually asks the nurse for the staple gun. Cah-fumpf, Cah-fumpf. "All set," says the embryo in the lab coat, "now just wait here while the nurse gets your tetanus shot."

"A shot?" says the man who waited 3 hours before seeking medical attention for a split scalp, "why do I need a shot?"

"Well," says the nurse holding the syringe, "the chances of getting tetanus are actually really, really low, so it's probably not necessary."

sigh of relief

"But then," she continues calmly, "if you do get tetanus, it's fatal 92% of the time."

"Give me the shot."

I smile at the nurse. So much to learn from her, this wise one.

They hand us instructions on the way out, along with an industrial sized staple remover. We can have our doctor remove the staples, or go to urgent care to have it done, in about 10 days.

Rich wants me to do it. He doesn't want to go back to the doctor until, oh, maybe he needs a hip replacement or a new kidney.

"Now my head hurts," he says.

And how was your weekend?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

R.I.P. to a sweet cat

Some sad news....yesterday, my sister-in-law and her husband had to say goodbye to one of their beloved pets. Her name was Maria, and she was 20 years old. She came to live with them about 5 years ago, and was a sweet and delicate little cat that received a tremendous amount of love and caring in her final years.

It's never easy to lose a pet, but losing little Maria will be especially tough on them. Rest in peace, little girl.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Friday, August 1, 2008

At the stroke of midnight...

...I'll be with my daughter at our local bookstore, getting her the latest book in Stephanie Meyer's' "Twilight" series.

I confess, I've never read any of Stephanie Meyer's books, but judging by how enthusiastically my daughter devoured the three previous novels, I'll have to give them a shot one of these days.

NEW Harry Potter book, coming 12/4/08!

Just heard the news: J.K. Rowling is adding another volume to the her Harry Potter offerings: The Tales of Beedle the Bard. It will be a book of 5 fairy tales, "translated" by Hermione Granger, with commentary from Albus Dumbledore and illustrations throughout.

Previously, only 7 copies of this book existed. Six were given to friends of Rowling's, and the 7th was auctioned off to for $4 million. Now, the book will be made available to the masses, with the proceeds going to charity.

I'm going to be counting down the days till December 4th.

Scoff if you will, but I thoroughly enjoyed all of the books in the Harry Potter series, and find J.K. Rowling's books imaginative, creative, and fun. Her other Potter-related offerings (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Quidditch Through the Ages) were slim volumes that were surprisingly enjoyable reads, so I have high hopes for this latest addition.