Friday, April 30, 2010

You cant make this shit up.

Talk about poor planning on the part of the city managers in Troy, Michigan.

My sister Ginger is up there on the outskirts of Detroit on business this weekend and she snapped this picture earlier tonight....


Yes thats Big Beaver Road....but let me make it a little bigger so you can see the Exit number...


Umm yeah. Exit 69. Really???

This Is A Hero


I know the word Hero is thrown around a lot these days but Lt. Zilberman is the eppitomy of the word. I thank you for your service and the ultimate sacrifice you paid to keep my family and country safe. I can only hope your family will eventually find peace.

RIP Lt. Zilberman

Story from Military.com today:

Navy Pilot's Last Act: Saving 3 Crew Mates
April 23, 2010  The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio
The plane had blown an engine over the northern Arabian Sea, and the lead pilot, Lt. Miroslav "Steven" Zilberman, had to make lightning-quick decisions.

The E-2C Hawkeye, returning from a mission in Afghanistan, was a few miles out from the Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier. Zilberman, 31, was a veteran U.S. Navy pilot who had flown many times in the Middle East with the Hawkeye, a turbo-prop aircraft loaded with radar equipment.

The starboard propeller shut down, causing the plane to become unstable and plunge. Zilberman ordered his three crew mates, including the co-pilot, to bail. He manually held the plane as steady as possible so they could jump.

"He held the plane level for them to do so, despite nearly uncontrollable forces. His three crewmen are alive today because of his actions," Navy Rear Adm. Philip S. Davidson wrote to Zilberman's parents.

Zilberman went down with the aircraft on March 31. The 1997 graduate of Bexley High School was declared dead three days later, his body lost at sea.

The Navy soon will start recovery operations to try to pull the wreckage from the sea, said Lt. Cmdr. Philip R. Rosi II, a public-affairs command officer for the Naval Air Force Atlantic fleet in Norfolk, Va. The crash is being investigated.

Zilberman's last act earned him the Distinguished Flying Cross, one of the highest honors the U.S. Navy bestows, Rosi said.

The medal was presented to his wife, Katrina Zilberman, in Norfolk, where she lives with their children, Daniel, 4, and Sarah, 2. A copy of the medal also was given to his parents -- Boris Zilberman and his wife, Anna Sokolov -- who live in the Eastmoor area of Columbus.

"Now we have unbelievable pain," Sokolov said this week. "He was our one and only son."


Full story here.

These stories always drive home the inherant danger my own child is in everytime she boards her plane. Stay safe Bug. I love you.

Dear Employee


This is a memo a company sent to its employees recently due to economic hard times.

Dear Employee:

As a result of the reduction of money budgeted for various departments, we are forced to cut down the number of personnel.

We plan to accomplish this by Offering early retirement to older employees.

This program to phase out older personnel will be called SLAP (Sever Late-Aged Personnel)

SLAPPED employees can request a review of their employment records before actual retirement takes place. This review phase of the program is called SCREW. SCREW (Survey of Capabilities of Retired Early Workers).

All employees who have been SLAPPED and SCREWED may file an appeal with upper management.

This appeal is called SHAFT (Study by Higher Authority Following Termination).

Under the terms of the new policy, an employee may be SLAPPED once, SCREWED twice, but may be SHAFTED as many times as the company deems appropriate.

If an employee follows the above procedure, he/she will be entitled to get: HERPES (Half Earnings for Retired Personnel's Early Severance) or CLAP (Combined Lump sum Assistance Payment).

As HERPES and CLAP are considered benefit plans, any employee who has received HERPES or CLAP will no longer be SLAPPED or SCREWED by the company.

Management wishes to assure the younger employees who remain on board that the company will continue its policy of training employees through our:Special High Intensity Training (SHIT) for continued eligibility in vocational employment.

We take pride in the amount of SHIT our employees receive. We have given our employees more SHIT than any company in this area. If any employee feels they do not receive enough SHIT on the job, see your immediate supervisor.

Your supervisor is specially trained to make sure you receive all the SHIT you can stand. And, once again, thanks for all your years of service with us.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bubble Gum

I took Jake on my walk with me tonight and I was nice to him. We only walked 4 miles instead of my fairly new 5 mile jaunt. I have to get him in a little better shape before I drag him too far. Poor pup was wiped out by the time we got home. I'd take Remi too but he is a (pardon my french) fucking spaz on a leash. My fault I admit, nonetheless its true so its a no go with him. But thats not what this post is about really. Its about bubble gum.

I LOVE bubble gum. More specifically Double Bubble Gum. You know the kind you chewed as a kid when you played baseball softball?? And yes it still loses its flavor after about 5 minutes but it blows the BEST bubbles ever! Big giant sturdy bubbles. I blow really good........ bubbles. Get ur minds out of the gutter.

Back in the day I could fit 10 pieces in my mouth at once. SHUT UP!! Get ur minds out of the damn gutter please. I haven't done that in years. Putting 10 pieces in my mouth at once I mean.

Anyway, I do love my bubble gum and its the ONE thing I havent given up since I've been dieting. In fact I save 6 - 10 carbs of my precious 75max carbs a day for my chewing habit. I go thru a 1lb bag in a week and a half easily.

When I walk I chew. I have a piece when I leave the house and thats replaced 1/3 of the way with a new one and then again a new piece at the 2/3rds mark. Chewing and music.

Tonight while I was walking I was thinking as I was blowing a big ol' bubble about how I chewed to the beat of whatever song was playing. Then it hit me. I thought of a song I havent heard in YEARS.

Chewin' out the rythym on my bubble gum
The sun is out and I want some
Its not hard,not far to reach,
we can hitch a ride to rockaway beach

Up on the roof, out on the street
Down in the playground the hot concrete
Busride is too slow
They blast out the disco on the radio

Rock Rock Rockaway Beach
Rock Rock Rockaway Beach
We can hitch a ride
To Rockaway Beach

It's not hard, not far to reach
We can hitch a ride
To Rockaway Beach

Ramones - Rockaway Beach

I was 12 years old in 1977 when this album came out and I can remember playing it over and over and over again.

I'd be remiss (to only myself I guess) if I didnt post my all time favorite live performance of the Ramones.
Baby I Love You


RIP Joey
RIP Johnny
RIP DeeDee

Gabba Gabba Hey Hey!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I need more hours in a day


I have a bunch of post to write that have been floating around in my head for a week now.

A couple of bling blings to accept and give out.

I'm walking 5 miles, 5 nights a week now. I've added crunches and leg exercises for toning. I want to write an update/accountability post that I cant seem to get to. I'm at the halfway point of my weightloss. =D

I'm preparing to go away camping a week from this friday for a long weekend so I gotta get the tent and all the crap out and ready.

I have a diagnosis and update about all the Neurobehavioral testing that was done. Did I write a post about that yet?? I cant remember. Shit, still cant remember shit! lol

I'm off probation at work, but expected to keep up these insane numbers. I'm not sure how long I can keep it up. Or how long I want to keep it up. I'm miserable there.

I'm being slightly sidetracked by someone and I have only one thing on my mind lately. Cryptic I know but think about it. You'll figure it out. And I'm not complaining about this. No, definately not complaining.

I need more hours in my day or a twin.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Michael Jackson wasnt stupid

Her name is Chloe, she's a baby chimpanze AND she's my new friend.

Talk about bundle of love rolled into a furry ball. She is sooooo sweet. Ginger and I are now friends with the owner so I'm gonna get some Chloe love on a semi regular basis. That is until she gets to be 60lbs and can rip my face off. Then I'll love her from a distance.

She's 1 1/2 years old and pure sweet. She gives kisses and rocks back and forth when you hold her.

This is updated with the pics Ginger took since I first posted...

She gives kisses


Come to Auntie Paula


She loves me already. =)


She holds my finger...


Baby Chloe sleeps.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Let the Earthquake begin



Damn tan lines. Yeah, I told you they werent much but I Will Do My Part Damnit!!! And shout out to Vicky's Secrets without which there would be NO cleavage. ;)

Fuhk Iran. Thats all this is about for me. Since I was a wee one Iran is the devil. Evil people/clerics spewing idiocy and abusing women. Not much has changed since I was little and THATS a long time ago.

If you want me to post ur cleavage......send me the link or the pic!!

Leslie at Omnibus has her Earthquake worthy cleavage out too!!

Nancy over at Garden Spot is showing her lovely flowers today as well!

OK all, my childhood friend Meredith wants in! So in she gets! Now this is some cleavage!! Makin me all jealous and shit Mer!!


Ok Ladies....Sage over at Welcome to Sageville has some cleavage (?) for us. I dont know about you all but thats one hawt cowboy right there!



EDIT: HOLY SHITBALLS!!!
Major earthquake hits off Taiwan coast
Although it hit reaaaaaaaaaally early...before I had my girls out in public...

and other reports of an earthquake in Texas today.
WTF Ladies??? Really?? We can cause earthquakes??

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Boobquake 2010. I'm in.

What started as a snide remark by a blogger about an idiodic Iranian clerics statement is going to cause the mother of all earthquakes if he's right.

This is a smidgeon of what he said...
“When promiscuity spreads, earthquakes increase,” he said. “There is no way other than taking refuge in religion and adapting ourselves to Islamic behavior.”


Read the whole story here.

Boobquake is going to be big. I estimate the number of cleavage photos on the web is going to explode in numbers like you've never seen come Monday night.

I dont have much boobage but every little bit helps when your trying to cause the mother of all earthquakes. So I'm told.

Will you join Boobquake 2010 and post your cleavage?? I'm gonna. =D

EDIT: Since Sage wants me to post the C's I'll post anyones cleavage that wants to send me their pics. sheeeeeesh, my blog just went from "R" rated to "XXX"!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Breakthrough

Remi had a couple of breakthrough seizures today.

The first since he started on the phenobarbitol in January. My mom came upon him at the end of what (we now) think was one earlier this afternoon. She told me when I got home from work that she went looking for him at one point because he wasnt coming when she called him. She found him on my deck by the kitchen door. She said he wasnt acting right and wouldnt get up. I thought at the time she told me he was probably just hot because it was really warm here today.

Then after dinner tonight he came wandering out from my room and when I looked at him I knew it was gonna happen. Before I could get to him, down he went into a full tonic/clonic siezure. I didnt have to give him the valium because it stopped in about 3-4 minutes.

Crap. He was doing so well.


On another note, my thoughts and prayers go out to a Miami-Dade undercover police officer that was shot this evening during a sting. It sounds pretty serious, but it just occured so not too many details about his condition yet.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Walk

So I've been walking to the beach and back at least 4, sometimes 5 nights a week for the past month or so. According to mapquest its 4 miles and takes me about 50 minutes to complete. Last night I decided to take pics to show you my path and all the fun things I get to look at along the way.

I must say, I felt like a tourist with my iPhone out taking pics. lol

My walk takes me down a short road from my house to one of the main roads that leads to the beach. My Beach! I've been here 20 years and I still laugh a little and smile when I think I live this close to Ft. Lauderdale beach. Kinda makes me giddy. =)

I pass no less than 10 restaurants on my walk. 4 Italian, 3 Mexican, 1 Sushi (that happens to be my favorite ever!), 1 sub shop and the best Chinese food EVER - PF Changs. Every single one of them smells sooooo good. I cant wait to eat again. Although I have actually had sushi a couple of times since I've been on this diet.

(click on pics to enlarge and read my witty remarks)


Soon after I pass that, good ole' PF Changs awesome smells are wafting my way.


My watering mouth and grumbling stomach are given a break for a little bit as I approach the bridge over the intracoastal waterway. The halfway point is looming....


But alas, as soon as I get to the bottom of the bridge an Italian AND Mexican restaurant await me...


The pics in this part of the post are for Capt Schmoe and Lt. Morse...firemen/rescue stuff!
Fire Station 13. The coveted Beach station.

I actually snapped this on my way back. When I saw it I thought of you Capt and the post you did last week.


There is a story behind this sign thats on the parking lot fence of the firehouse that sits on the frontside of a county park.

Sooooooo many memories behind this sign. It was put up probably 15 years ago. Imagine Lauren, 4 or 5 years old, golden tan from a day at the beach, still sandy and standing in front of that gate with 10 racoons surrounding her. Some are reaching up for the cheese doodle she offers, others waiting patiently, a little too shy to get that close. The locals new about the racoons for years and an occasional tourist would get lucky and stumble upon the gathering. The racoons gathered at dusk everyday, trained by the constant presence of locals who would feed them everything and anything. Sometimes a cop would stop and shoo us away. Now its a crime to feed them. Ever since the sign went up I've not seen one racoon.

Now on with the journey. I'm gettin close to the prize now...


And the prize. Worth.Every.Step.

The sunset behind me was reflecting in the giant stormclouds from that afternoon. I want to stop, sit, take it in for just a little while but I dont. I'm on a mission so I snap a pic and turn back for the return trip home.

The sky was on fire last night.


Walking back over the bridge with a quick pic looking northward on the intracoastal.


The rest of the trip is uneventful and the sun was going down too fast to get any more viable pics with a phone so thats it! If anyone wants to join me, I leave an hour before sunset. Its gettin hot!! I cant imagine how fun this is going to be when its 93degrees and 100% humidity. ugh! lol

I really am lucky. I do love Fort Lauderdale and MY beach. =)

I snapped this tonight on my walk since I forgot to last night! ;)

Have a great Friday and weekend everyone!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My New Yacht House

I would be Wally Hermes 27th mistress just to chill on this insane"ness" for a couple of weeks.



Powerball gods, please???

Traitor

Why Jason? Any other team but THEM! Lets remind them of some choice words you've had about the Jets and their fans in your long history as a Dolphin.

“Each game in NY I expect a bunch of them chanting their dumb-ass chant and all that other stuff, being the ignorant fans they are. I said it. I don’t care if they get mad at me or not. They don’t like me anyway. Quite frankly, I don’t care.”


and how could we forget:

“The Giants fans are a different type of people, just put it that way. There's a little more class on the Giants side and some Jets fans take the 'cl' out of class.”


or:

“Jets fans don't have a whole lot else going for them, and they rely on the Jets beating the Dolphins. I wouldn't want to live in NY in Nov. or Dec. either, so they come down here and fill up our stadium. They sit there and yell their [J-E-T-S] chant. That's the only word they know how to spell.”


Oh Jason, Jason, Jason. Enjoy NY in Nov. AND Dec. because instead of taking your beat up, worn out defensive end ass into retirement as a franchise player beloved by South Florida, YOU sold out for a measley $3.75 million to the archenemy, the JETS.



Personally Jason, I don't really care. BUT, you hurt my kid. She loves the Dolphins thru good and bad. You were one of her 3 all time favorite players and to go to the Jets, well, you betrayed the love of a kid that grew up watching you. No biggie, lesson learned again for her. Even the great ones sell out.

I'm switching sides

I'm tired of working already. I dont want to work anymore. I know I'm young but so what. Haven't I earned a little break? Like for the rest of my life?? I'm not into paying my bills anymore. Its so damn much responsibility and its stressing me out. I want my free cheese and free healthcare and foodstamps and free rent and free utilities. Dont I get some sort of cash stipend too?? I need some cash to live too. Not much. Whatever you give the rest of them will do as long as your paying all the other bills for me. And dont even ask me to get some of them foster kids. I dont want to deal with any kids anymore. I dont care about the money they would give me for them. I already raised one.

I want to be a Democrat. I'm tired of working and giving a shit about this country.

What stops me from doing this when so many others do it everyday?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Twofer Tuesday + 1

Live Aid June 13,1985 JFK Stadium. It was an experience of the HOLY SHIT kind! My friend and I were such a mess. One of the smartest things I did was tell my friend to LOOK exactly were we are parked. LOOK...look at the entrance...it says C gate. Ok, Christine we are at C gate. If we get seperated during the show.....well, have fun, then meet me at the truck. Where was the truck Chris??? ummm, by the gate. No, Not quite right, what gate Chris??? D!! NOOO Chris, Gate C. Gate C, like C for Christine. We're at your gate Chris!! And this is only if we get discombobulated and cant find each other and after the shows over. "But that wont happen. Promise. PROMISE ME RIGHT CHRIS?!?!?!?" "Yeah, yeah, yeah, we'll be ok. You have the car keys, I'll be there waiting." Yes I do have the car keys. I sewed them into my ribcage so they wouldnt be lost. My father would KILL me if we came home without his truck.

My friend and I got tix the week before and we're drving down to Philly - Veterans Stadium, ass early that bright shinny June morning. We only had a coupld of bucks on us ($10?). Wearing t-shirts, shorts (and I mean short shorts) (in fact I might have been wearing my rugby shorts for some reason unbenownst to me.) Confession time. We were near drinking age. ummm lets see, summer of 85 would have put me ummm, yup, underage. 6 measly little months until I turned 21. pffffft. My friend was a year younger than me and she was not haveing any, Not Having Any adult beverages.

We get inside JFK stadium at 7:00am. The whole floor is open (mmmhm I told ya so). Some people milling around, laying blankets down setting up their little areas, picnics chairs whatnots. We had seats up in the stadium bleacher area. I think we even knew some people near our origional seats! Eh, we'll find them eventually. Afterall, they are at the SEATS!

So we drag our little cooler with 2 waters and two cupcakes in it along with us. My goodness, its hott already! It had to be 86degrees with a humidity up around 96%. It was only 7:30am. Oh this was gonna be a pressure cooker. So we're getting prepped. Layed our blankie down and set our shoes on the corners and just waited. Chris last 2 minutes wating. "I wanna go see if anyone is at our seats yet." umm, ok. come back though!! "Of course I will silly!" And she was gone. Once I realized she was gone I also realized she had all our "party favors" and our $10.00. Looking around I had the blanket, the cooler with some water and cupcakes in it and our shoes on th corners of the basket. hmmmmm, she definately got the good end of this deal. $$ & party favors. What to do, What to do.

Start making friends with your nabors, thats what!! There were some really nice people sitting on either side and in front of me. Some young like us and some older in their 40's and some 30 somethings too. Chris showed up about 45 minutes later bouncing and telling stories of her adventure. She met some friends we knew from High School up near our seats and she partied a little with them then decided she needed the restroom. She then grabbed my arm and said..."if you gotta go to the potty, DO.It.Now.!!! It was getting more unusable by the hour.

I bid my farewell and ran to find the skank house potty. All the while yelling to Chris....Dont Leave That Spot!!

On my way back, the amount of people that had filed into the stadium was 10fold. Holy mackeral, where the hell did all these people come from!!! Ok so now where I thought the blanket, Chris, water, cooler, cupcakes, partyfavors and $$ were no where to be found. Ok, regroup! I did a sweeping circle around where I thought she'd be and finally did find her. I was so far off in the begining. Weird. She was now good friends with my new friends the nabors and the first acts were starting to take the stage.

The music went all day long!!! When they were changing the stage out for the band at JFK, Wembly stadium would be rockin and we were seing it live on huge screens.

Here is the set list for Philly:

Bernard Watson - "All I Really Want to Do", "Interview" (JFK 13:51);

Joan Baez (introduced by Jack Nicholson) - "Amazing Grace"/"We Are the World" (JFK 14:02);

The Hooters - "And We Danced", "All You Zombies" (JFK 14:12);

The Four Tops - "Shake Me, Wake Me (When It's Over)", "Bernadette", "It's The Same song", "Reach Out I'll Be There", "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)" (JFK 14:33);

Billy Ocean - "Caribbean Queen", "Loverboy" (JFK 14:45);

Black Sabbath (introduced by Chevy Chase) - "Children of the Grave", "Iron Man", "Paranoid" (JFK 14:52);

Run-D.M.C. - "Jam Master Jay", "King Of Rock" (JFK 15:1

Rick Springfield - "Love Somebody", "State Of The Heart", "Human Touch" (JFK 15:30);

REO Speedwagon - "Can't Fight This Feeling", "Roll With The Changes" (JFK 15:47);

Crosby, Stills and Nash - "Southern Cross", "Teach Your Children", "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" (JFK 16:15);

Judas Priest - "Living After Midnight", "The Green Manalishi (With The Two-Pronged Crown)", "You've Got Another Thing Comin'" (JFK 16:26);

Bryan Adams (introduced by Jack Nicholson) - "Kids Wanna Rock", "Summer of '69", "Tears Are Not Enough", "Cuts Like a Knife" (JFK 17:02);

The Beach Boys (introduced by Marilyn McCoo) - "California Girls", "Help Me, Rhonda", "Wouldn't It Be Nice", "Good Vibrations", "Surfin' USA" (JFK 17:40);

George Thorogood and the Destroyers - "Who Do You Love" (with Bo Diddley), "The Sky Is Crying", "Madison Blues" (with Albert Collins) (JFK 18:26);

Simple Minds - "Ghost Dancing", "Don't You (Forget About Me)", "Promised You a Miracle" (JFK 19:07);

The Pretenders - "Time The Avenger", "Message of Love", "Stop Your Sobbing", "Back on the Chain Gang", "Middle of the Road" (JFK 19:41);

Santana and Pat Metheny - "Brotherhood", "Primera Invasion", "Open Invitation", "By The Pool"/"Right Now" (JFK 20:21);

Ashford & Simpson - "Solid", "Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)" (with Teddy Pendergrass) (JFK 20:57);

Madonna (introduced by Bette Midler) - "Holiday", "Into the Groove", "Love Makes The World Go Round" (JFK 21:27);

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (introduced by Don Johnson)- "American Girl", "The Waiting", "Rebels", "Refugee" (JFK 22:14);

Kenny Loggins - "Footloose" (JFK 22:30);

The Cars - "You Might Think", "Drive", "Just What I Needed", "Heartbeat City" (JFK 22:49);

Neil Young - "Sugar Mountain", "The Needle and the Damage Done", "Helpless", "Nothing Is Perfect", "Powderfinger" (JFK 23:07);

Power Station - "Murderess", "Get It On" (JFK 23:43);

Thompson Twins - "Hold Me Now", "Revolution" (with Madonna, Steve Stevens and Nile Rodgers) (JFK 00:21);

Eric Clapton (with Phil Collins) - "White Room", "She's Waiting", "Layla" (JFK 00:39); Phil Collins (having taken Concorde from UK to USA) - "Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)", "In the Air Tonight" (JFK 01:04);

Led Zeppelin (with Tony Thompson, Paul Martinez, and Phil Collins) - "Rock and Roll", "Whole Lotta Love", "Stairway to Heaven" (JFK 01:10);

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - "Only Love Can Break Your Heart", "Daylight Again"/"Find the Cost of Freedom" (JFK 01:40);

Duran Duran - "A View to a Kill", "Union of the Snake", "Save a Prayer", "The Reflex" (JFK 01:45);

Patti LaBelle - "New Attitude", "Imagine", "Forever Young", "Stir It Up", "Over The Rainbow", "Why Can't I Get It Over" (JFK 02:20);

Hall & Oates (with G. E. Smith of Saturday Night Live fame on guitar) - "Out of Touch", "Maneater", "Get Ready" (with Eddie Kendricks), "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" (with David Ruffin), "The Way You Do the Things You Do", "My Girl" (with Eddie Kendricks and David Ruffin) (JFK 02:50);

Mick Jagger (with Hall & Oates / Eddie Kendricks / David Ruffin) - "Lonely At The Top", "Just Another Night", "Miss You", "State of Shock"/"It's Only Rock 'n Roll (But I Like It)" (with Tina Turner) (JFK 03:15);

Finale at JFK Stadium:
a) Bob Dylan, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood - "Ballad of Hollis Brown", "When the Ship Comes In", Blowin' in the Wind" (JFK 03:39),
b) USA for Africa (led by Lionel Richie) - "We Are the World" (JFK 3:55)

NOW Please make a mental note of all the bands but in particular two of the morning crowd....
Ozzy Osbourne blew us away at oh around 10:00am. =0 and just a few minutes later around 10:30am I'm listening to Rob Halford and Judas Priest tearing it up. It was so surreal.

Nothing like a little Judas Priest with your Wheeties.


How bout a little Ozzy with your morning paper....ummmmmm
I Am Ironman! Love it!!


I had a lot of favorites that day but hands down was the "reuniun" of Led Zeppelin. Or at least as good as it could get. They rocked the house and blew us away!!! It was a dream come true for me to see the remaining members on stage doin their thing.
Led Zeppelin - Stairway to Heaven


Proof. I dont know how I held on to this ticket all day but I'm glad I did.


Needless to say, I did lose Chris that day. Sometime right after The Pretenders were on stage. She went somewhere and never came back. I still had a blast. Met a bunch of cool people and saw a great show. If your looking at the videos, we or at least I was parked about 30 feet back from the center stage most of the day. Good times for sure.

Christine, true to her word, was standing by my truck when I finally made my way outside after the show was over. We hugged and laughed and told our stories about our lone adventures during the day. It was 11pm and it had been a lonnnnnng day! But sooooo worth it.

Pooh"isms"


"If ever there is a tomorrow when we're not together. There is something you must always remember. You are braver than
you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart.... I'll always be with you."
~ Christopher Robin to Pooh Bear

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The story of Jake



Nine years ago today, April 17, 2001, Jacob Jeremiah, aka: Jake, was born.

He was born in New Mexico according to his paperwork if I remember correctly. And unfortunately, probably on a puppy farm. Although the place my parents purchased him from insist it was not, I dont believe them. He does have the "alternate" paperwork for the ACC American Canine Club or something or other. The fortunate part for Jake is he was the "chosen one" by his new mother, aka: Lauren. And he was chosen exactly 12 weeks after he was born.

Lauren wanted a dog for a long time. Begged me in fact from the time she was about 7 years old. I just kept putting it off. We had too busy a lifestyle for a puppy. We got a cat named Larry instead. Larry acted like a dog because we treated him like a dog since we are "dog" people. Larry staved off the begging and it worked for about 5 years and then he went and got sick and passed away on us. The childs begging for a dog started up again not two weeks after he was gone.

I had a dog everyday of my life growing up and I did feel a certain amount of guilt over denying my child this pleasure. I really do feel kids should grow up with a dog if its a possibility. A dog adds to childhood a special bond of the furry kind. I had some great dogs and still remember so many times when they were at my side during my adventures.

I won the No Dog battle for a total of 6 years and finally lost it when my parents asked if they could get Lauren a puppy for her 13th birthday. I just looked at them and shook my head. They new perfectly well this was a perfect way to get me back for all the dogs I had as a kid that I "swore I'd walk and feed and play with forever!!!". Yeah, anyone who begged for a dog as a kid is born with the "I'll take care of it plea" and then mom or dad ends up taking care of it after the dog has been around for a couple of months and the newness has worn off. I know I did it everytime. =) But thats because THEY LET ME. I would not allow this to happen when we got this dog.

We lived in Tampa at the time and my parents were here in Fort Lauderdale. So on the weekend before Laurens 13th birthday we drove down for a visit. I didnt tell her we'd be coming home with a puppy.

Saturday morning dawned bright and sunny. All of Fort Lauderdale heard the squeals of joy when the grandparents announced the news that this was the weekend that Lauren would finally get her puppy. I'll admit, I was happy too. I'd missed having a dog around. We'd been without one since moving to Florida, so almost 12 years had gone by.

The shopping was intense. Lauren came from a "Lab" family and she wanted a yellow lab. We'd never had a yellow before. Black and Chocolate were our flavors of choice, but she had to have a yellow. I wasnt that into it but hey, it was her dog so she got to choose.

The first stop was the animal shelter to see if there were any labs to be had. Not a one. Not even a mixed breed lab. According to the employees they are the first to go. Always. So we were off to the store to see if there were any yellows around.

We entered the chosen store and my lord I kid you not they had the mother load of yellow labs. There must have been 30 of them, all different ages from 8 to 12 weeks old to choose from. Lauren was (and still is) a very selective, yet no nonsense shopper. It doesnt matter if its underwear, a prom dress or in this case a puppy. She knows what she wants when she sees it. There is no checking out ten other stores to see if there is something better. If she sees something and it suits her, its a done deal. No muss, no fuss.

All the puppies were delicious! Some fat and rolley polley, some crazy jumping beans, some quiet and reserved, some barkers and others sleeping through it all while some were chewing on each other. So many puppies!! How was she going to pick just one?!?!? The right one?!?! I was so glad this was not my decision. I'm the opposite type of shopper as my kid. I want to check them ALL out, Just To Make Sure I'm Getting The Right One!

She walked the circut of puppies...looking them over. Eyeing them up and down. She walked front to back and back again. There was a puppy she was eyeing. And he was eyeing her apparently. A quiet, reserved puppy who sat so still in the back of the pen. On her second pass he made the move. Walking ever so slowly to the front of the pen. He waits for just the right moment and makes his move. He just sat down, tail wagging slowly as she strolled past, eyeing her all the way, ears perked just so. Other puppies were frantically jumping at the gate, trying to get her attention. Barking, yapping, being crazy. Not him. He just watched. I of course had already held half the puppies...showing her..."how bout this one?? He's cute!" "No mom, not that one."

"That one. I want to see that one" as she pointed to the still sitting puppy. The clerk reached in and picked him up then placed him in his mothers arms. Little did they both know at the time they would be together forever. She held him with one hand under his butt and the other around his back. His paws were over each shoulder and he looked into her eyes as she looked into his. She put her face in his furry neck and snuggled him. She was enveloped in puppy breath. When she pulled away he sat still in her arms. No squirming, just stillness looking at her. She put her nose on his nose. He didnt pull away instead gave her a little lick on the tip of her nose. His kiss.

The clerk showed us to an area where she could put him down and spend some time with him. My father was inspecting him with a critical eye. "His ears are too big and he's too quiet, he's not big enough." He did just stand there. He was scared. Not so scared he tucked his tail but you could tell he was afraid. I personally thought he was trying not to get his hopes up. How often had someone done this to him before?? Picked him up, played with him only to put him back and choose another littermate.

Lauren announced he was the one. They had bonded already. My father wasnt having it. He wanted her to look at this fatty mcfatty that was sure to grow into a huge georgeous perfect dog. She was not having it. She made the clerk hold the boy in a seperate pen until she convinced her grandfather no other puppy at this place would do. After about 30 mins my father announced he wanted to take her to see some other dogs at another place. I could tell by the pouty look on my childs face she was not happy about this. But she is not one to "tell" her grandfather different. She would not disagree or stomp and cry. He told her he wanted her to think on it overnight and make sure she really wanted him as it was a lifelong commitment on her part. If she still felt this way after seeing some other dogs he'd bring her back tomorrow for him.

She did ask if the clerk could mark the puppy she'd chosen in some way so she could positively identify him tomorrow, when she was SURE we'd come back for him. The clerk tied a green ribbon on his coller and put a little tag with Laurens name on it and "hold". She also placed him in a seperate area from all the other puppies and said he would be there. This satisfied Lauren and we left to go in search of other puppies that had no chance. She'd made her choice. I know my child but my father had his reasons so I didnt get involved. They had to work this out.

Once in the car Lauren said she really didnt want to look at any more puppies today. Maybe tomorrow we could look again. So we went back to my parents house. That night my father and her talked about the puppy she'd chosen and by the end of the evening she had him convinced that, THAT was the puppy for her.

Sunday morning my child was buzzing. She was on cloud nine and getting HER baby today. The wait till noon when the store opened was nearly unbearable. Upon entering the store she immediately went to where the clerk had left her dog. She stopped dead in her tracks because he wasnt there! She turned and looked into the other pens with all the yellow labs and was in a panic. She searched and searched but no green ribbon!!! Finally we did a puppy by puppy search until we found him. The ribbon apparently was torn off by another puppy but not the tag. We found him!

All the appropriate paperwork was done including the paperwork to this ACC with all of Laurens info on it. He was hers. Forever. We left the store to go in search of all the other supplies needed for the perfect puppy. This included food, crate, collar, leash, TOYS(!) and a name tag. His name would be Jake. It had been decided years before while she'd been dreaming of her yellow lab she'd have one day.

He came home with us and has been the BEST damn dog I've ever met. This dog barely chewed on anything. Lauren would leave her shoes, toys and leather softball glove laying around and he wouldnt touch them!! He was the first dog I'd tried crate training with. It soooo worked!! By the time he was 5 months old he was out of the crate all night in bed with Lauren. By 10 months he had free roam of the house during the day. He proved himself trustworthy so freedom he got.

Lauren had her job cut out for her. She had to get up early every morning to feed and walk him before school and even on the occasional weekend when she could have slept in because there was no tournament to go to. I wasnt doing it. She had to walk him when she took him out of the crate to play and before he was put back in the crate to rest. Feed and water in the evening as well. Lotsa work that had her rolling her eyes when reminded about her puppy that needed to go out even though she was in the middle of a video game. But I must say, she didnt complain. She fed and watered and took care of her dog until she left for college. Every day. I had stuck to my guns. And she learned what type an obligation a fluffy cute puppy that turns into a big fluffy drooly dog can be.

I often wondered in the early days of Jakes life with us how I'd feel when Lauren grew up and moved out and took her dog with her. I consider myself lucky that he is entrusted into my care while she serves her country in the Navy. He still remembers his mother and every visit she makes he is the first to greet her with crazy wagging tail, wiggling butt and kisses. Jake is very stingy with kisses, but his mother always gets them.

You've all seen lots of pics of current Jake. These are old school Jake. ;)

Jakes very first night at home in Tampa.


I love this face!


His first swim in the Gulf of Mexico


My snugglebunnies worn out after swimming in the Gulf. =)


Lauren didnt care that he was 50lbs. He was still her baby.


Happy Birthday Jake! Frosty paws doggy ice cream and extra cookies for you today. =) Just promise me you'll live for another 9 years buddy. Because you are the best damn dog everrrrrrr!! Muah!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

For Sisu - Lets play Calvinball for your Birthday!

I've been reading Sisu's Verbal Incontinence blog since I started reading blogs just over a year ago.

She is funny, sarcastic, patriotic, sassy and crazy. Plus she delivers babies for a living. Hello?? Does it get any more fun than that? She's raising two boys as a single parent after losing her soulmate way too soon. And doing it right. From what I can gather she gives huge doses of love, humor and guidance. They're all going to survive each other and look back one day and realize how much fun they've had.

Today is her birthday and as a tribute I give her a blog post and something else she loves probably as much as I do.

Calvin & Hobbes. I love certain running themes that Bill Watterson did with the comic. One of my favorite was Calvinball. I could totally see myself playing Sisu in Calvinball. lmao!!

The Calvinball theme song:

Other kids' games are all such a bore!
They've gotta have rules and they gotta keep score!
Calvinball is better by far!
It's never the same! It's always bizarre!
You don't need a team or a referee!
You know that it's great, 'cause it's named after me!

(click on the comic to enlarge)




And we can not forget the official "no rules" rulebook...

The Unofficially Official Rules of Calvinball

1.1. All players must wear a Calvinball mask (See Calvinball Equipment - 2.1). No one questions the masks.

*IMPORTANT -- The following rules are subject to be changed, amended, or dismissed by any player(s) involved.

1.2. Any player may declare a new rule at any point in the game. The player may do this audibly or silently depending on what zone (Refer to Rule 1.5) the player is in.

1.3. A player may use the Calvinball (See Calvinball Equipment - 2.2) in any way the player see fits, from causal injury to self-reward.

1.4. Any penalty legislation may be in the form of pain, embarassment, or any other abasement the rulee deems fit to impose on his opponent.

1.5. The Calvinball Field (See Calvinball Equipment - 2.3) should consist of areas, or zones, which are governed by a set of rules declared spontaneously and inconsistently by players. Zones may be appear and disappear as often and wherever the player decides. Zones are often named for their effect. For example, a corollary zone would enable a player to make a corollary (sub-rule) to any rule that has been, will be, or might be declared. A pernicious poem place would require the intruder to do what the name implies. Or an opposite zone would enable a player to declare reverse playibility on the others. (Remember, the player would declare this zone oppositely by not declaring it.)

1.6. Flags (Calvinball Equipment 2.3) shall be named by players whom shall also assign the power and rules which shall govern that flag for particular moment in that particular game.

1.7. Songs are an integral part of Calvinball and verses must be sung spontaneously through the game when randomly assigned events occur. These random events will be named and pointed out after the player causes the event.

1.8. Score may be kept or disregarded. In the event that score is kept, it shall have no bearing on the game nor shall it have any logical consistency to it. (Legal scores include 'Q to 12', 'BW-109 to YU-34, and 'Nosebleed to Trousers'.)

1.9. Any rule above that is carried out during the course of the game may never be used again in the event that it causes the same result as a previous game. Calvinball games may never be played the same way twice.

Calvinball Equipment

2.1. Mask - All participants are required to wear a mask.

2.2. Calvinball - A Calvinball may be a soccerball, volleyball, or any other reasonable or unreasonable, spherical or non-spherical object.

2.3. Calvinball Field - The Calvinball Field should be any well-sized field, preferably with trees, rocks, grass, creeks, and other natural hindrances to health.

2.4. Miscellaneous - Other optional equipment include flags, wickets (especially of the time-fracture variety), and anything else the players wish to include.

** This rulebook is not required, nor necessary to play Calvinball.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Dolphins are just gay sharks

Had a great dinner out tonight with Ging, her ex and my parents. We went to a local place in Wilton Manors called Rosie's. Good food, good people and did I say really good food? lol I was good though, had the Ranch Hand minus the bun. ie: grilled chicken boob, cheese, bacon, lettuce and avacado. It was soooooooo good. I'm so sick of yogurt, granola, bananas, tuna, salad and an occasional Lean Cuisine.

I'm down 19 lbs. I'm gonna be effin svelt bitches!

So we get home and I immediately switch on the tube. Its Tuesday night people!! American Idol was ok. I really only watch to see Crystal. If she doesnt win there is seriously something wrong with America. But eh, I already know that based on the current gov't chosen by the majority of the people. This "people" didnt vote with the majority in case you havent figured that out yet.

But enough about the drivel. Let me get to what I really want to talk about. I was so excited Glee was starting again tonight that I checked the DVR was set properly at least 3 times today. I just really enjoy the show that much. So tonights show was funny and I enjoyed the musical numbers well enough.

Best line in the show tonight: Did you know dolphins are just gay sharks?


This just made me roll laughing. Its the little things. Obviously.

But the BEST part of the show was at the END of the show when they showed a teaser video that gives a hint of next weeks episode. Jane Lynch gets her Vogue on. You might remember her from Two and a Half Men or her multiple tv series appearances. Go here to see 'em all. She is the gym teacher on the show and she is probably the best part of the show. She has some of the best lines. Next weeks episode is called, "The Power of Madonna". Ok, I'm in my glory here. LOVE me some Madonna. Watch and enjoy Janes version.

Twofer Tuesday

Ok, so I've avoided the one type of music that I think most of you won't/don't like. Who knows, I think I'm all knowing of your taste. Like I know you or something.

Rap. I like more than I'm willing to admit to in certain crowds. But when you've got a teenager (or should I say, lived thru a teenager of today) you hear it all. Shoot, I was listening to Run DMC and Dr. Dre back in the day, so maybe I was a fan longer than I thought.

Ludacris is my boy. He makes me laugh and his lyrics are funny as hell!! Yes I pay for his music. In fact, I've paid for just about everything he's done. I am a fan and he is my favorite.

How Low


Move Bitch

Causin' confusion, Disturbin Tha Peace
It's not an illusion, we runnin the streets
So bye-bye to all you groupies and golddiggers
Is there a bumper on your ass? NO NIGGA!
I'm doin' a hundred on the highway
So if you do the speed limit, get the FUCK outta my way
I'm D.U.I., hardly ever caught sober
and you about to get ran the FUCK over

HAHA!! LOVE IT!

Tomorrow I show you all my knee. Its juicy. lol

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Lazy

Boredom reigns supreme today.

Yesterday (Saturday) I went to the beach to count grains of sand. The weather was so so with peeks of sun and mostly clouds. Not ideal mind you but its not all about the sun for me. The beach is relaxing too. I breath in the salty air and it rejuvinates me. Makes me near whole again. Also, no one bugs me at the beach. Its quiet. No work, no errands, no favors.

If I won the lottery I'd live on the beach and I'd quit work until I WANTED TO WORK AGAIN. I'd give away half my winnings to family and friends and tell them dont ask for a penny more and dont bother me. About anything.

Today its been off and on showers. We are at the cusp of rainy season and its my least favorite time of year down here. Fronts have this tendancy to hover over south Florida...one day just north of us, the next day over us, and the next just north agian. Craptastic weather pattern. Just fucking rain and shove off already!

Remi is bummed because today was his swimming day. Sorry buddy, talk to Mr. Weatherman.
You know we're bored. Watching Snakes on a Plane for the 57th time.

Remi watches with me...Jakes over it.

Samuel L Jackson: Enough is ENOUGH! I have had it with these motherfuckin' snakes on this motherfuckin' plane! Everybody strap in! I'm about to open some fuckin' windows.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

U2

Fridays on tap. =)

U2 is touring this summer. I'm still trying to get tickets. If you get a chance Go.See.Them. You wont regret it. I've seen them twice (kinda 3 times really). Once for the Joshua Tree Tour in 1986 or was it '87(?) at Madison Square Garden, NYC and then for the Zoo TV tour down here at Joe Robbie Stadium, Miami in 1992.

They are amazing live.

My favorite song..BAD
I watched this performance Live from Wembly Stadium, London on the big screens at JFK Stadium in Philly at Live Aid. Yup I was there. Great day and the day I truly fell in love with U2.


Live at Red Rocks - I Will Follow



They ended every show of the Zoo TV tour with this Elvis tune. I sang it for three days afterwards. So stuck in my head.


Have a great weekend all. ;)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

1 Down, 3 To Go

This pic is shamelessly borrowed stolen from Old NFO over at Nobody Asked Me. I find it beautiful, breathtaking and so damn American.
I LOVE it.
Space Shuttle Discovery over Walt Disney World April 5th, 2010.


In case you didn't know, the Shuttle program is being scrapped. Only 3 more missions are scheduled unless some political maneuvering keeps them going for another year or two. I keep hearing the current administration is to blame for this. I'm all for finding any reason to blame the current administration for anything. BUT my research shows the scrapping of the shuttle program was put in motion long ago. If I'm right, back in GWB's day. But aha! There was a reason...

The reason: We need a new transportation system into space. The current shuttle(s) are (and I'm simplifying this) 29 years old and not as efficient as the new proposed system.

Anyway now I get to blame the current administration for something. The POTUS has decided we DON'T NEED a National space program. He killed NASA’s Constellation Program last year refusing to fund it as a successor to the shuttle which NASA had hoped would ferry astronauts to both the International Space Station and the Moon. The Constellation Craft would have been capable of making turnaround trips to the moon and back. Did this little announcement even make the news?? How the hell did I miss this?

Instead he wants to help fund private aerospace efforts. I don't know that I want the private sector involved as the only ones in "our" space game. I think we should keep our National Space Program, well, NATIONAL. If private sector wants to help for the good of their country.....have at it! And we are talking YEARS before these private companies are ready to send anything, much less a manned anything into space. We are dependant on the Russians for rides now. Really?? The Russians? EW. And just an FYI their shuttles aren't nearly as "good" as our old shuttles. I just cant see them having the same safety guidelines. But then again ours are only as good as they are due to two tragic shuttle losses (Challenger and Columbia).

POTUS claims he would rather have NASA focus on deep space exploration. C'mon dude. Star Trek was fiction...yes it's what dreams are made of and the little kids of today may have grandchildren who travel like that, but I don't think its happening in our lifetime.

Central Florida or "The Space Coast" as us Floridians call it has an economy that's somewhat dependent on the existing Space Shuttle Program. How many "Rocket Scientist" jobs are there out there?? Where do these guys go?? McDonalds?? Wendys?? No, I got it...they can work the customer service phones at Comcast. Because we all know those people are rocket scientist.

Here are the last three shuttle missions according to NASA:

Date: May 14 +
Mission: STS-132
Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle Atlantis
Launch Site: Kennedy Space Center - Launch Pad 39A
Launch Time: 2:28 p.m. EDT
Description: Space shuttle Atlantis mission will carry an integrated cargo carrier to deliver maintenance and assembly hardware, including spare parts for space station systems. In addition, the second in a series of new pressurized components for Russia, a Mini Research Module, will be permanently attached to the bottom port of the Zarya module.

Date: July 29 +
Mission: STS-134
Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle Endeavour
Launch Site: Kennedy Space Center - Launch Pad 39A
Launch Time: 7:51 a.m. EDT
STS-134 Description: Space shuttle Endeavour will deliver an EXPRESS Logistics Carrier-3 (ELC-3) and an Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) to the International Space Station.

Date: Sept. 16 +
Mission: STS-133
Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle Discovery
Launch Site: Kennedy Space Center - Launch Pad 39A
Launch Time: 11:57 a.m. EDT
STS-133 Description: Space shuttle Discovery will deliver the Express Logistics Carrier 4 (ELC4), a Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MLPM) and critical spare components to the International Space Station.

I've seen a few launches, but from a distance. In Tampa they look like a roman candle. Very cool. And from down here in Fort Laudy depending on the launch...you may get lucky and see the smoke trail.

I'm going to one of them. A plan is being put in place to be at the May 14th launch. That way if there are delays...I have a couple more chances.

I've got to see this up close. At least once in my lifetime.


*If I'm wrong on anything I wrote as far as facts go, please by all means, correct me. I did a quick bit of research so.....

Monday, April 5, 2010

The boys play

When Remi was a puppy, Lauren taught him to put his head underwater and dive for things. It worked. He'll go to the bottom of the pool to get his ball. No fear!

This is the best example I could get, and its not the greatest as Jake jumps on him halfway thru his attempt to get his ball. But its funny none the less.


And Remi is a brat. He antagonizes Jake on a regular basis, then runs and hides.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

A Good Weekend

Friday had been planned. It was to be a mental health day of the beach kind. My rejuvination of sorts. I can sit on the beach for 8-10 hours easily and have done so in the past. This past Friday was going to be a shorter version but I was damned and determined to have a long chill out session.

In the past you could find me setting up my little area at 8am. I was good about getting there early and being the only one around except for the occasional jogger and the monster beach cleaning machine the city workers used to rake the beaches. I was a little late on Friday, just couldnt get all my shit together and get out of the house. So at 9:45 I'm setting up among a small crowd. I was happy though. I wasnt at work and I was at the beach. ahhhhhh.

I dont need to DO anything at the beach. People watch, snooze, maybe read and listen to my tunes. Thats all I need. oh, and the camera.

Blissful
Container Ships are always out there
Yup, got me again.
Boys and their toys.
Nice catamaran. A little bigger than the ones I sailed as a kid.


Right around 1:30 I'm sitting in my chair, enjoying the breeze and its definately more crowded but I'm still relaxing. My phone rings and I check the caller ID and its the sailor. I pick up with a happy "Hello bug, watcha doin??", to which she replys, "Nothing. Did you get a new bathing suit?" I only skipped half a beat and said, "um, what?". (my mind is thinking as she's talking, yeah I did get a new suit, did I tell her???) She replys, "You got a new bathing suit didnt you, I like it". Now I'm on to her and as I'm whipping my head around, "Where are youuuuuuuu?!?!?!" I see her, she's sitting on the sea wall behind me. It still takes a second to register that its actually her. I LOVE that first sight of her after not seeing her for months and months. Its always a moment of pure joy.

Now imagine the movie scene. I get up and jog over to her as she jogs to me. We hug, I kiss her, I smell her I tell her how much I miss her. Of course I'm blubbering a bit. She got me again! She told me earlier in the week that she wasnt going to see me till Saturday and I bitched and moaned all over this blog all about it. ::shakes head::

Needless to say, I said to hell with the beach and started packing my stuff up and she was going to her favorite mexican restaurant to grab some food to go. We were going to meet up at the compound. She still had to surprise my parents who had NO idea she was coming into town this weekend. My mom cried (as usual) and my dad sniffed. It was a good surprise for them.

We spent the rest of Friday afternoon together and then she took off out to the western part of the county (where we used to live and she went to high school)for the night to see some old friends. She gave assurances that she'd be back in the morning and we'd spend the day by the pool with friends and bbq'ing. =)

And spend the day we did. It was beautiful out and we had a really nice day. She had some friends over and we cooked some chicken and burgers on the grill, swam and drank a few beers.
The time flew by and before I new it she was headed back out west for the night again. Once again reassuring me she'd be back in the morning for a final goodbye before her flight at 10:00am.
She misses her puppies and has a quiet moment with Remi.


This morning was a quick hello, goodbye with hugs and kisses and promises to see each other soon. She didnt want to leave, she misses Fort Laudy a lot. But leave she did. Back to her training and totally different world.

She's matured even more. I saw more evidence of that this visit. I like what I see.