Happy Monday

A few weeks ago The Inspired Writer, who’s quite inspiring to read herself, pointed me to a blog she follows: The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.

I’m quite happy with my life, but I’m finding Gretchen’s posts interesting and, as you might suspect, postive reinforcement for what I already know.

Her recent post on perceptions and watching characterizations had me thinking in a new light just today:

Not-so-Happy: Blech, it’s another Monday.

Happy: I’m at work, which means I’m employed! Which means I can (almost) afford the Disney vacation I just booked for all of us!

Not-So-Happy: Where did that 50+ degree weather go from Friday? It’s only 20 degrees…again.

Happy: The cold air is invigorating (in a numbing kind of way). I feel alive!

Not-So-Happy: That Nintendo DS has turned my 7-year-old son into a Super Mario zombie.

Happy: He’s quiet! The boy has finally stopped talking! (Note that at his parent-teacher conference this fall the one comment his teacher had was: “T-Rex doesn’t stop talknig from the moment he arrives until he leaves for the day.”) His thumb-eye-thumb coordination is getting so much better!

Anyway, you get the idea. If you’re looking for a little pick-me-up, inspiration and/or some good tips for living, check it out. Bonus for parents: her one-minute movie “The Years Are Short” is wonderful and sob-worthy. In a good, happy way, of course.

A few words for Ann Coulter

I couldn’t let Ann Coulter’s latest rants about single mothers escape without response…but instead of ranting right back, I tried to respond like any good parent would: with love. And advice. Lots and lots of unrequested advice.

Read more and share your words of wisdom with Ann in this month’s Dinner for One at The Imperfect Parent.

And, as any good parent would say:

I do this to save you from yourself;)

A good day

Let’s see. It’s the end of a Monday in and around Pittsburgh: a day to celebrate the contributions of Martin Luther King, Jr., tomorrow’s inauguration of our next President, wind chill temps above single digits (barely) and for some of us, an extra day off of work.

Oh, and there’s that trip to the Superbowl, too.

It’s cold outside,  but if you’re wearing black and gold — and you better be if you live in these here parts* — the day was surprisingly warm.

*It took me over ten years of living here before I bought a Steelers t-shirt — and that was only after they won the 2005 AFC Championship. Give me a few more years, and I might end up looking like this:

Source: The Disturbingly Named Killer Among Us

Or not.

Photo credit to “Killer Among Us”. (I wish I made that up…but, um, I didn’t)

4×4

The Exception tagged me to respond to a "4×4" meme. Perfect for a Sunday night — how could I say no?

(Funny coincidence that I did a rather sarcastic "5×5" right about this time last year, too. Maybe they lop off a number each time you get closer to being old?!)

Here goes…

Four places I go over and over again:

The kids’ daycare center

The grocery store (with a gas station and a dry cleaner as a bonus!)

Target

Work

Four people who mail me regularly:

By snail mail: that would be my darling FlyBoy, who has sent me quite a few sweet and/or very funny notes and cards since we started dating. I also receive once a month these very unsentimental notes from some guy named Chase —  or was it Morgan? Oh, right. It’s J.P. Morgan Chase! He seems to think I owe him money for my house or something…

By email, it would be FlyBoy and my sister.

Four of my favorite places to eat, (apart from home):

God knows I like to eat, but "favorites" are hard for me — I like so many different kinds of cuisines and dining experiences — and appreciate those differences from place to place. That said, these were the first to come to mind…

My parents’ house — my mom is a great cook!

Cliffords — in a small town in a small house in the middle of nowhere. Seriously, it only has 8-10 tables. Wonderful food and service!

On the lawn in front of the Eiffel Tower. This is one of my memories from when I backpacked in Europe for 6 weeks right after graduating from college. My friends and I had brie and baguettes, probably some cheap wine and chocolate, too, right by the Eiffel Tower that summer. I just remember it being the perfect kind of picnic.

The Cranberry Creamery — best. darn. ice cream. EVER.

Four places I’d rather be now:

In bed.

Back in San Diego or on a Carribean beach.

Partying somewhere (inside) with crazy Steeler fans after their first (but hopefully not last) playoff win.

No, really, I’d rather be upstairs in bed. And it would be a Friday, not a Sunday, night!

Four favorite TV shows:

Despite what I wrote in my last post, I don’t watch much TV except for:

Lost

The Office

Just about anything on HGTV — I still dream I can do this stuff. Fool, fool, fool….

What Not To Wear — It’s great to root for the underdog (but not her underwear) while picking up a few tips for yourself — and yet you can still feel surprisingly good about the sweatshirt and jeans or flannel PJs you’re wearing while watching the show.

(Little known fact: I’m also rather entertained by The Girls Next Door. And, to follow along with The Exception’s flashback to the 80’s, I was rather enchanted back in the day with Moonlighting!)

Four movies I would watch over and over again:

The Shawshank Redemption — again, not big on "favorites" but if I had any, this would be at the top of the list!

A Christmas Story

The Princess Bride

Raiders of The Lost Ark…maybe? (possible alternate: Star Wars — did I mention I used to have a thing for Harry?)

Four people I would like to tag:

You know who you are.

New year, new love…sort of

The holidays are over. My Christmas tree is now in a recycling/waiting-to-be-woodchipped pile. The decorations are packed away. I’m back to work 5 days a week and the kids are back in school. And, perhaps most importantly, there are new seasons of Rock of Love and The Bachelor on TV.
 
 
Why do so many otherwise good people like me find themselves watching such unreal worlds of narcissistic men and seemingly/actually desperate, slutty, dimwitted, and/or catty women? I’m all for people trying new ways to meet people, really I am. I’ve done different things: online dating, speed dating, blind date-dating. This blog, in fact, was instrumental in my meeting FlyBoy (there’s a hint…yes, I promise to post the full story of our meeting!).
 
 
But, seriously! When Bret Michaels declares that if he can’t find lasting love on the Bus, he’s giving up on it forever. Love, that is, not the bus.
 
Oh, honey. Don’t you see you might just be looking for love in all the wrong places?
That possibly that bandana has been wrapped around your head a little too tight for a little too long?
Just look at this face of confusion:
 
 
(And, sweetie, if I were you, I wouldn’t place any bets on this one…or reviving your career as a result.)
 
And when Rachel of SingleMomSeeking asked if promoting Bachelor Jason as a single dad was a double standard, I agreed yes, yes, yes! … but, then I thought, oh, who the heck cares?! He’s setting a low standard spending 6 weeks making out with 25 women in his determination to give one.of.them.if.its.the.last.thing.he.does. an engagement ring. It’s more like promoting an ill-advised Prince Charming caught up in his own fairy tale!
 
 
Is it me, or are his teeth twinkling?
 
 
 
I know I’m already in too deep with these shows. I knew I had a problem when one of the final contestants on Charm School 2 declared that she took her roles on Rock of Love, I Love Money AND Charm School very, very seriously. Suddenly, my resume seemed so…bare.
 
I really must stop.
 
In other nearly love news, Drama Girl and T-Rex have both admitted to having crushes: DG with Michael-but-they-call-him-Mike, a classmate who shares the same hair color as she does (always good criteria), and T-R with two girls, Morgan from his class, who “is nice to look at,” and Megan, who was on his soccer team last year and for no specific reason.
 
 
Drama Girl told me that when she sees Michael-Mike her head feels "kind of blurry." I think that about sums up most relationships, don’t you?