Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Waking Up the Monster

That monster is me, by the way.

I am not a morning person, and that's the polite way of saying I'm NOT a morning person. Plain and simple. I've never been one: I'd rather stay up late than wake up early; I'd rather spend another ten minutes sleeping than take ten minutes to actually do my hair; I'd rather frantically look for clean clothes in the morning than wake up all of those two minutes earlier to plan out what to wear a bit better (this is a little easier in the summer when I live in dresses and sandals).

When I was a senior in high school, my sister was in her freshman year. This meant she could wake up earlier, take her shower, and wake me up when she was finished. . . . I had a reason to sleep in more because she was in the bathroom. Regardless of the fact that we had two other showers in the house. This does not mean that when it was time to wake me up I listened, it usually took a few (sometimes loud) requests to get me up. And at 6:45 she would be at the back door waiting for me: backpack on, my keys in her hand, her foot tapping, and her face suggesting I get a move on it. She clearly got the morning-person genes in the family.

In college I always signed up for the later classes if possible, but let's be honest, there's really nothing unique with this statement. This is just the college way of life.

And now every morning, when Mike leaves for work, he kisses a half-stunned, barely awake wife before he walks out the door. He says he can tell which days I'll get up on time and which days I won't based on my reaction, my body position in bed (Am I sprawled out and using all of the surface area? Am I still on my stomach? Am I half-buried in pillows?), whether my eyes are really open or not when I say "Good-bye" and "I love you," and how wide open my mouth is since I'm, sadly, a mouth breather. (There you have it, blog friends, I just admitted to you that I am one of the ugliest/least graceful sleepers out there, but then again, some of my college friends already knew this as they have said Sid from Ice Age reminds them of me . . . awesome.) I was notorious for going back to sleep after Mike said good-bye to me even though I should just get up then and there (I have been much better at getting up when he leaves, now that Mike has switched jobs and leaves the apartment a little later than he used to). But sometimes I'll still lie there for a few extra minutes because it's just so nice to have that extra time to myself without hearing him getting ready, and I can have all the space and pillows I want.

So you can imagine why Mike laughed at me two nights ago for a good solid minute when I told him Ginna and I were going to a spin class . . . before work . . . at 6:30 a.m. the next morning. I think it was the pure determination to prove him wrong (and the idea that Ginna would be ringing our buzzer to wake up my lazy tush if I wasn't downstairs) that got me out of bed yesterday morning.

I think I like spinning. I think I may even like the whole working-out-before-work thing (Ginna, read "may"). The class was less full, the machines available. I got a great sweat and then went home and showered, made coffee, ate breakfast, made the bed, AND did my hair.

Does this mean I'm a morning convert? Nope. Let's not get crazy here, folks, it's only happened once so far, and it's very hard to break a twenty-six-year-old habit. But then again, I'm making the bed every day. And I had a just-as-long habit of not doing that consistently. Not to mention, I've only bought my breakfast three times this month (and that's only because we were out of milk). So that means I'm taking the five to ten extra minutes each morning to at least eat breakfast, if not make it (cereal seems to be the easiest option, obviously, but I also love making oatmeal from scratch)--and this was another hard habit to break because it was so easy to pick up breakfast on the way to work and eat it at my desk.

I wanted to work out this morning, and had planned on it, but when Ginna had to bail for a legitimate excuse, I decided to sleep for another hour instead (not a legitimate excuse). The last two nights I was so worried about not waking up on time that I woke up every hour thinking it had to be time to get up already, which caused a very disruptive sleeping pattern. And while I had a lot more energy yesterday than I thought I would (I thought I'd hit a wall around 2 or 3, but it didn't happen), that energy was still around at 11:00 when I wanted to be asleep so I had enough sleep before waking up the next morning. Hopefully tonight won't be as bad, as Ginna and I are taking a beginner's yoga class tomorrow morning.

I know that this will be a good thing. I won't have to worry about working out after work, which I always hate doing because I don't want to eat dinner at nine. And of course, even when I think I'm going to have a slow week, my nights always seem to fill up (like this week: seeing Company with Andrea last night, Brad's birthday tonight, kickball tomorrow, and softball on Thursday), not to mention the fact that I have a freelance job due on Friday and one due next Wednesday, so all the hours I am not doing other stuff need to be spent on freelance work (probably should be the other way around, but hey, I need a life, too!).

The only bad thing I can see is my morning good-bye kiss. This may sound cheesy (okay, it does sound cheesy), but I love when Mike kisses me good-bye in the morning, even though it sometimes means waking me up to do so. There's just something so comforting about it and it's a part of our routine. It felt weird being the one to kiss him good-bye yesterday morning . . . though I'm sure he's not complaining about it. He got to experience that extra time in bed that I so enjoy--now he'll be the one sprawling out and using all the pillows--at least a few days a week.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Daddy's Little Girl

With Father’s Day approaching this Sunday, I have decided to once again pull from the memory vault (aka the external hard drive) to honor my daddy. (That’s right, I'm nearly twenty-seven and yes, I still do call him Daddy. Or Pops. Or Popadoodle. Like I’ve said, we’re a family of multiple names/nicknames.)

This is a biographical story I had to write for one of my English classes. Some of you may recall the second paragraph (my father used it during his Father of the Bride speech).

Enjoy! And happy Father’s Day to my friends and family with kids, and especially to my dad! Love you, Daddy. Oh, and get out the tissues. Because let’s face it, despite the fact that you’ve read this story many, many times, you'll still cry. . . . We have that in common too, after all.

I can remember the way the new rosin bag smelled as I tossed it gently into the air. The white dust billowed in my right hand and the chalky smell permeated my nostrils. I can remember turning my back to the plate and taking a deep breath, trying to compose myself. My heart continued to beat faster and faster, despite my mind telling it I wasn’t nervous. I can remember the weatherbeautifully sunny with just the right amount of heat. A few sweat beads rolled down my cheekwere they from the heat of the sun or the heat of the moment?

I can remember why I was there and how everything was riding on me. I can remember. . . .

I was a tomboy. Really, what girl wasn’t at some point in her life? My hair fell to the middle of my back, and yet I tied it into a ponytail every day. If I didn’t have to go to school, I’d throw on my Yankee cap . . . maybe even backwards. I guess you could say I was the son my father would never haveand I was proud of it. After all, I’m an identical replica of my father, all the way from our blue eyes to the way our toes naturally curl. The only thing I’m missing is the Y-chromosome.

My father and I have always shared a common bond: our love of baseball. He had me in Yankee uniforms before I had hair or the ability to speak. There was a glove and a ball in my hand as soon as I could walk. But he never forced baseball on meI loved every minute of it from the very beginning.

When I was five, I started playing softball. You know the kind—coach-pitch with all the little girls on the field using their fathers’ first gloves (which are way too big for their petite hands). They all wear those trucker hats with the brim flat as a board and their stirrup pants to their belly buttons. Yup, I was one of those girls.

I played coach-pitch softball in New York for three years and then my family moved to Virginia. The first thing my father and I did (after unpacking, of course), was to find out about softball leagues. Fourth grade was the first year after coach-pitch, and in Virginia, girls didn’t play fast-pitch until high school. So my father signed us up—me as a player and himself as a coach.

When our team was assembled, my father realized he had twelve girls but no pitcher and no one who wanted to try since the plate was only forty-five feet away from the mound. I would be lying if I said I didn’t think about getting hit by a line drive that close to the plate (and trust me, it did happen more than once). But my dad needed a pitcher, so I learned how to pitch.

My dad brags that, to this day, I’m the best slow-pitch pitcher he’s ever seen—a natural. I think he just has to say that because he’s my dad. Regardless, I cannot deny that I was a natural and that I loved pitching! Every play started with the ball in my hand and every play ended with the ball being tossed back to me. . . . You could say I had a hand in every play.

While I was on a recreational team a year later, a scout asked whether I would be interested in a select softball tournament league. Double the softball in one season? I was in heaven. And it didn’t hurt that I had a scout watching me—I could hear the Yankees calling for their first female player.

I tried out for the select team the Lady Renegades as a pitcher. However, the coach, Robin, didn’t see a need for another pitcher since we already had one. That was okay with me, because as much as I loved pitching, I loved playing the game even more. I was just thankful that my father had conditioned me to play each position so I wouldn’t be a bench warmer.

Before each game (and we would usually play two to four a weekend), I would warm up by pitching with my dad, just in case they needed me. And every game, when the line-up was called, I found myself in a position other than pitcher, usually center field. My dad used to tell me that center field was like the pitcher of the outfield, you have to back up everyone and you get to call off the other players for fly balls. I could deal with that until Robin needed me to pitch.

Robin did need me eventually. During one of our games, our pitcher gave up a grand slam to the most gargantuan ten-year-old girl I had ever seen. When I ran into the dugout, Robin pulled me aside and asked if I was ready to pitch this game. I bravely told her that I had been ready to pitch all season, keeping the butterflies in my stomach hidden. This was my chance to prove myself as a pitcher, and if I screwed it up, I might not get another chance. In my determined ten-year-old mind, this was a life-or-death situation.

Two innings later, Robin finally pulled the other pitcher and I walked to the mound, ready to go with a rosin bag in my hand and determination written on my face. I stepped on the mound, kicked it like I had seen the big leaguers do, flipped the ball a few times in my glove, and then turned around to see the batter I was facing. The monstrous girl who had hit the grand slam was wearing the same look of determination. She was cocky. She slammed the plate a few times with her bat and gave me a sneer worthy of any major league player. I swear she was considering pointing to left field.

I can’t remember if the first pitch was a ball or a strike. But it doesn’t matter; I sent her back to the dugout with that stupid look wiped straight off her face. I had struck out my first batter and their biggest hitter. I tried not to let it go to my head, but I couldn’t help but smile when I saw her getting a warning from the umpire for stomping back to the dugout and throwing her bat. It felt good to be in control—I couldn’t have been happier. I can remember looking to my right at my father in the dugout—I don’t think he could have been any happier either.

I thought I had solidified my fate as a starting pitcher that day. And yet, the next weekend I found myself back in center field. Maybe I was just a clutch pitcher, used to get the team out of sticky situations.

That sticky situation occurred when our team headed to the state championship at the end of the summer. My father and I woke up at 5:30 a.m. and drove to Hampton, Virginia, for the ten-and-under state tournament. I had two new rosin bags in my batting bag, two packs of cotton candy Bubble Yum, and a few frozen water bottles—we were ready for the long haul. Dad, being the great guy that he is, let me sleep the whole way so that I was rested for the tournament.

For the first game, it was no surprise when I started in center field, as usual. But in the very first inning, our pitcher had already allowed two runs to score and the bases were loaded with one out. Robin walked out to the mound and waved me in from center field. She placed the ball in my hand and told me to get out of this situation. My heart was pounding as I warmed up with a few pitches. All the possible situations ran through my head: I could strike her out, I could walk her, I could lose the tournament for my team . . . the thoughts just wouldn’t stop. I looked over at my dad in the dugout, his arm raised above him, gripping the fence. Don’t disappoint him, I thought. I threw the first pitch, a strike! I looked back at my dad, who just winked and nodded back toward the game. Okay, here we go. We got out of that inning and ended up coming back to win the game, moving onto the next round.

I finally became a starting pitcher for the second game of the tournament. When our team won and moved on to the final round, Robin pulled me aside and asked if I had one more game in me. I could have pitched five more games I was so pumped! And so, with the state championship on the line, I walked back out to the mound.

It’s amazing what you can remember after many years. I can remember the defining moments in my “career.” Who I warmed up with, which batter I faced, the emotions I felt walking to the mound, and the way the dirt and the rosin bag smelled are all distinct episodes that I can remember. I can remember the championship game like it was yesterday, feeling the seams of the softball underneath my fingers as I turned around to look at my team. The girls were cheering me on, holding up two fingers to signal the amount of outs. I can remember that final out, how I fielded a short grounder and threw it to first base to end the game. I can remember my team running toward me as the Lady Renegades won the state championship.

And yet it’s amazing the things I can’t remember, like the details of the awards ceremony. I was in a tired yet euphoric state—after all, I had just pitched three games back to back to back. My coach was making some sort of speech, with a plaque in her hands. I wasn’t paying attention at all, even when my dad was pushing me toward my coach I was still oblivious to what was going on around me.

When Robin placed the award in my hands, she said something about me pitching more games in one day than I had pitched all season. I can remember that much—but I can’t remember anything more than that. I returned to my beaming dad and figured he could fill in the blanks later. I didn’t even look at the plaque until I got to the car.

Eleven years later, my father and I are sitting in Minute Maid Park, watching the first World Series game in the state of Texas between the Houston Astros and the Chicago White Sox. We’re talking about pitchers, how the fate of the game can ride on them. It all seems too familiar to me. I still play softball, recreationally, but I’m no longer a pitcher. I just couldn’t make the transition from slow-pitch to fast-pitch and back to slow-pitch. But when you play first base, you have a pretty good connection with the pitcher regardless . . . especially if you used to be in his or her shoes.

As we sit at the game, enjoying our common love of baseball, I think about the day my team won the state championship.

“Hey Dad, want to know something funny?”


“Remember when Robin was giving out awards at the state tournament?”

“Yeah.” (My dad’s always been a man of little words.)

“I was completely tuned out throughout it. I can’t remember her speech and I had no idea what the hell M.V.P stood for until you told me in the car on the way home.”

“Are you kidding me?”

“No! You try pitching three games in a state tournament and tell me if you think straight!” (Another thing my dad and I share is our sarcasm—my mom says that’s not one of our attributes.)

“Well that’s why I was never a pitcher.”

“Valid. Is it sad that that is the highlight of my life so far?”

I look at my dad, it’s about 1:30 a.m., the game is going into the thirteenth inning, but for this moment, it is just the two of us. I’m looking at my dad’s blue eyes, the same ones I inherited, as he smiles back at me.

“Erica, I’m fifty and it’s one of the highlights of mine.”

July-August 2009: Dad and I went on a nine-days, nine-games,
seven-cities baseball tour—starting in Chicago for the Astros at Cubs
(and ending at Yankee Stadium for a Red Sox-Yankees game).

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Denise Richards, California Dreamin', and Spider-Man . . . oh my!

Well, my blog friends, it has been a very eventful couple of weeks. I'm beginning to realize blogging is quite the slippery slope . . . you get caught up in life, and before you know it, you're trying to catch up on weeks (and weeks) of blogging. And now I'm trying to write this post as I catch up on So You Think You Can Dance episodes (which is really hard to do since you actually have to watch the show). Something tells me that two weeks' worth of blogging is going to take me two weeks to write (it's already been a week since I initially started) . . . so let's just jump into it, shall we?

Denise Richards
Why on earth is Denise Richards a part of my blog? Well . . . I received a freelance job the weekend before our big California trip, a rush job that was due in just a couple of days, and it just so happened to be Denise Richards's memoir. For a freelancer, getting your first celebrity memoir is huge (or at least it is for me). It means the production editor trusts you with something that is going to, most likely, do well on the bestseller lists. Because, let's face it, there's a reason why so many celebrities write juicy memoirs: they sell. Especially if an ex-spouse is making headlines for something (or for being) crazy and ridiculous.

There was a lot of inner turmoil as I was offered this job. I had just finished a project (that was very long and tiresome) and I swore that was my last before the trip. And this new one might come in on Friday . . . but it may not come in until Monday. In which case I was looking at some editing on the plane and FedExing the job back once we landed in L.A. Not to mention, even if it did come in on Friday, I would have to work around the Texas A&M/UT Chili Cookoff. What to do, what to do? Socially and personally, my mind was saying, "Don't do it. Don't take it. Take a break. You have plenty of other things you can be, and need to be, doing." But professionally? My mind couldn't imagine saying no. I don't think Mike or my mom had any doubt, as I weighed the pros and cons out loud to them, as to whether I'd take the job. They know I like to stretch myself thin, and, I guess (reluctantly), I know this about myself, as well.

Thankfully, the job did come in very late Friday afternoon. I worked all night. I woke up the next morning, ate chili and drank some beer (only some though, since I knew I needed a clear mind), while hanging out with some friends on top of a building looking out at the Empire State Building (I know, tough gig, right?). I came home, worked some more. I woke up Sunday, worked some more, and did my laundry so I'd have clothes to pack, if I ever got to packing. I went to work on Monday, came home and packed (the night before and not the morning of my departure? I am becoming a grown-up!), met Asad and Nada at Shake Shack for dinner before they went on their month-long traveling adventure, and came home and worked some more.

The hours passed. The Dr Peppers flowed. The Tootsie Roll Pops were demolished. Before I knew it, it was 6:30 a.m. and I was finally finishing up the book. Which, by the way, was pretty good. There's some Charlie Sheen discussing, of course, but there are also some fun stories about Denise's upbringing and her career decisions, as well as some tough emotional chapters as she experienced and mourned her mother's passing (Mike was worried when he saw me crying at one point, but I just couldn't help it).

So, if you buy the book, don't tell me if you find a typo. I pray you don't because I sure as heck pored over it. Though, when you work in publishing, you know, inevitably, something will always slip through. And yes, as a perfectionist, this is very hard to come to terms with.

I'm glad I took the book. It was a good read, and definitely needed after the project I had before it, which went very slowly. It's great for my résumé. And since it was a rush job, I got a better rate. And the contact person was someone new who I haven't worked with yet. Here's hoping he likes my work and will use me again/pass my name along to other production editors.

Now it's time for the next freelance project (seriously, I got one today, so I definitely need to write this post before I get caught up in that job). . . .

California Dreamin'

(A little note: I've been trying to add more photos, but they're coming in sideways--like this one--even though the originals aren't saved that way, and Blogger keeps freezing when I try to fix it . . . so you'll have to rely on Facebook. And now that my mom's back on Facebook, most of you who read this probably already saw the photos there, anyway.)

Now for the big chunk of this blog! Mike and I just spent a week in California as a nice kickoff to the summer. My friend Brittany was getting married up near San Jose over Memorial Day weekend and we decided we could do one of two things: fly to California for only Memorial Day weekend and pay for the more expensive tickets . . . or, fly a few days before, stay a few days after, and see a bit of California for around the same price(ish). Since Mike's never been to California, and I haven't been in years, we decided to do the latter and make a vacation of the trip.

After my all-nighter, Mike and I headed to JFK, where we were delighted to have a flight leave on time, something that doesn't seem to happen for the two of us often. Since I hadn't slept yet, it was pretty easy for me to do so for most of the six-hour flight. Though the times I did wake up, I was annoyed by what was happening in the row in front of us (which would be nothing compared to the flight home). I can only imagine how parents worry about entertaining their children for a long flight like that, especially when they have three of them under the age of nine (a guess). But the way to keep them entertained is not to give two an iPad and the other a portable DVD player and allow them to watch movies and play games without headphones. Side rant over.

We arrived in L.A. and were immediately met by palm trees, the sun, and seventy-degree weather. Hello, California! We picked up the rental car, drove to Mike's friend Tad's apartment, and found a place to park. Since Tad and his wife were out looking for an apartment, Mike and I decided to just aimlessly wander around Hollywood. We walked down Sunset Boulevard, found a place to eat, and then found and walked down Hollywood Boulevard (Tad said our walking to all of these locations was very New Yorker of us . . . I guess you can take the couple out of New York, but you can't take the New York out of the couple). We saw Kodak Theatre, and were surprised to see it was really a galleria-like mall with an outdoor shopping center as well. It will be interesting to watch the Oscars next year to see how it's set up, now that we know what it looks like. We went past Grauman's Chinese Theatre and saw some of the handprints and footprints. I'm not really sure I understand what the big deal is about getting a star on the Walk of Fame, it seems like just about everyone has one. But that's just my opinion. We had dinner with Tad and his wife, Monica, and then we crashed.

The next day we drove to the Griffith Observatory to get a closer look of the Hollywood sign. There were a lot of hiking trails that we would have loved to explore, but we were doing California on speed . . . and there just wasn't enough time.  Then lunch down in Santa Monica before heading to the pier. Even Mike, whose generally not a beach lover (okay, he's not a beach lover), loved Santa Monica. As one of his friends said, it's the fool's weather that wins people over, which I could totally see. I mean, even the bums have the right idea: If circumstances lead you to that sort of life, might as well do it in the sunshine. We hung out again that night with the newly married Tad and Monica (and when I say newly married, I mean they were just back from their honeymoon for like a week or two). And the next morning we were off. . . .

We drove about four and a half hours to the Hearst Castle, which is ri.dic.u.lous. Is it a castle? A museum? So many things, and we only saw bits of it (very smartly, California Parks breaks the tours up so you can't actually see everything without paying for multiple tours). The views were beautiful. I wanted to jump into the pool; I wanted to pick the fruit from the trees (an assortment of grapefruit, lemon, lime, and orange). We left and started driving the Pacific Coast Highway, even though the signs said it was closed in thirty miles. Assuming there would be a turnaround point, we decided to drive a bit anyway. There didn't seem to be one, and we eventually had to double back, but it was well worth it because we were able to see the elephant seal beach and drive up and around a winding mountain with only a barrier separating us and the Pacific Ocean. And very unlike my type-A style, we had no idea where we were staying that night. So we just stopped at a Marriott Courtyard along the way and hoped there was vacancy. There was, and we crashed once again.

On to Friday: We drove to San Francisco, which was supposed to be just a drive-by to pick up Stephanie on our way to Livermore for Brittany's wedding the next day. Only, we underestimated the power of David's persuasiveness. Within the first minutes, David had us convinced we needed to go to Napa. But more on that in a bit.

We drank Irish coffees at its U.S. origin, the Buena Vista Cafe. We walked up many hills to get to Lombard Street. I bought chocolate at Ghiradelli Square. And then we walked the Golden Gate Bridge, all 1.7 miles one way . . . and all 1.7 miles back. Therefore working off the Irish coffees, chocolate, and the pizza we would get later . . . right? Sure.

The next morning we decided to wake up at 6:45 and leave by 8:30 to arrive at Napa as the gates opened. We only got one winery in (but if you're only going to go to one out of hundreds, good to be at the one that Seth Meyers chooses to start his day . . . right? He was arriving as we were leaving.). Then we drove to Livermore to go to Brit and Rob's wedding. Which was beautiful. Their ceremony was in an old mission church, which was awesome. And as the first wedding Mike and I had been to since our own, I was emotional (in a good way, of course). The reception was a lot of fun, Mike made me dance a lot, shocker, I know. There was ice cream cake in both of our favorite flavors (mint chocolate chip for me, cookies and cream for him) and we got to spend time with Stephanie, Regina, and Lindsey.

Phew, holy moly. You're still with me?  A few of you? Well, you're my favorites.

The day after the wedding, we got to see the lovely bride and groom at breakfast before heading out to lunch with Steph, Regina, and another bridesmaid. We dropped Steph off at the airport after that, walked around AT&T Park since the Giants were out of town, and then joined David, Kristin, and Duke at their local park. Generally I love being go-go-go on trips, but it was really nice to relax in the park . . . which just so happens to be the park in the opening of Full House (at the very end) with the Painted Ladies. We drove to Sausalito that night for a fantastic seafood dinner, which was soooo yummy. I love fresh seafood.

On Monday we went to a baseball game. But not just any baseball game. The Yankees were in town! We couldn't have planned that better (well, we thought about arriving the Friday before the wedding and staying a week later instead, driving down the coast so we could also see the Yankees in Anaheim, too, but that was pushing it). Colon threw a shutout and the game was over in less than two hours. We thought about doing the Alcatraz night tour since our night was now available, but the tour was all booked up. So we hung out at the park, went to an awesome German restaurant/bar, and watched a movie/drank wine. All in all, a great end to our vacation and we're very thankful to our friends who lent us their air mattresses. It was great seeing you guys! (And my ALOT girls, too.) :)

For our flight home, we were able to catch an earlier flight through Denver instead of Kansas City (since our flight to KC was delayed, we would have definitely missed our connection). It worked out because we actually got into New York an hour earlier than we would have on the original flight. The downside? The people on our flight screamed amateur hour. There was a row of people who were playing piss-poor music out loud on their phone (they were doing it in the terminal too, unaware to the people around them rolling their eyes, or saying things not so under their breath--such as myself). Thankfully the flight attendant came over and told them that only selfish, immature imbeciles think it's okay to blast house music on a phone, let alone on a plane. Well, maybe she said it nicer than that. The woman next to me was hammered. The people behind us felt it was necessary to scream at each other in a different language the whole time, not because they were mad, but just because that was apparently their normal level of conversation volume. But other than crazy people, our flights left on time and went without a hitch, so I guess we can't really complain. So the only downsides of traveling this go-around was finding a cab on the way to the airport, and waiting in line for one on the way home.

And because our life is never boring . . . on Wednesday, our first day back to the real world, Andrea produced free tickets to Spider-Man. So Mike, Andrea, Brad, and I went. I wanted to like it, I really, really did. But it was bad. The visuals were great. But.that.was.about.it. I mean Bono and the Edge . . . how could the music not be fabulous? Because the lyrics were forced. The background music was too loud and overpowered the singers. There were a few songs that I liked, but eh, I'll buy them singularly on iTunes and forego the album. The dialogue was bad, as was the story. And this was after they redid a lot of it! There was more hype for the American Idol Top 3 in the audience. Of course, the show still sold out, and the crowd gave it a standing O, which, call me a snob, I don't think every show should get. I think it devalues the shows that really blow your mind and deserve that last bit of recognition for how awesome theater can be. But I have to admit I have been a very fortunate theatergoer, and I may have seen more than others in the audience. So maybe for them this was the type of musical that blew their mind. All I can say is, I am glad I saw it for free.

So that's that! Denise Richards, California Dreamin', and Spider-Man. There's also been some softball in there, The Hangover Part II, catching up on our DVR, eating at a Spanish restaurant with my Spanish side of the family, and a lot of walking to/from the office to work off the California trip and prepare to get into a bridesmaid's dress in one month. Not to mention 90-plus-degree weather which is setting our poor little window unit into overdrive . . . oh the days of central air.

Thanks for sticking with me. I promise the next entry will be shorter . . . I won't have to recap three weeks of my life. Promise.