A fun week of new

Got some other stuff to share from this week.

http://shop.bellybuttonringsandthings.com/images/1272429144966-1448568312.jpegMonday, the maternity belly button bar I ordered came in. A mutual friend I know mentioned this site to me on Facebook a few weeks back and since I'd hate to take out my navel ring I've had for 8 years and risk it closing up, we were thinking about just using fishing wire for it. But then I checked out this site and decided to get one of their maternity belly ring bars. It's basically just a flexible piece of plastic, but it's long enough so when your belly grows it will still fit and you don't have to worry about the hole closing up. It also came with a free titanium steel bar too so you can wear it after your go back to your normal size. I got the metallic blue colored one, as it comes in blue, pink or purple and well, I like the color blue.

On Tuesday I finally went out and bought a new bra - I had noticed the week before that my regular bra, despite being on the loosest hook, was just too tight, it was smashing and smothering my girls, no wonder wearing a bra for more than a few hours started to hurt! I ended up going from a 36B to a 38C - wow! And I think they're still growing too... but this one'll last me a little while... I think.

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/413Dg1lyeAL._AA300_.jpgI also made the announcement to my bosses on Tuesday as well by showing them our ultrasound photos. I wanted to wait and tell them last, after we had our first doctor's appointment, just in case there was something majorly wrong with baby - no point in letting your bosses know you'll need time off in 6-7months if something ends up going wrong and well, you don't (for awhile, I was scared I was having an etopic pregnancy due to the strange abdominal cramping). I wanted to be completely sure before I told them. They were excited, my boss's wife (who I also consider one of my bosses) talked with me about pregnancy stuff for a bit too and showed me stuff online that she recommends I put on our registry, such as this huge swaddling blanket that a company on Amazon sells in different patterns - they're bit expense ($18 a piece) but she said they're huge and work great and even if you got 2, you'll be set. She also showed me this teether named Sophie the Giraffe - it's got long legs and a long neck and is made out of the soft plasticy material that all teethers are made out of. She said her daughter has one that her boys (one's right around 1 I think while the other is maybe 2 and a half), she said now that their mouth is bigger, they like to stick Sophie's head in their mouth and chew on her that way, lol... it's pretty cute though!


On Wednesday I attended my first ever Twitter Party, which was hosted by The Survival Guide for Rookie Moms. Rookie Mom found me on Twitter awhile back and invited me to enter in one of their Infantino baby playmat blog giveaways, and I learned about the Twitter Party through their website. The Infantino baby stuff is REALLY cute - if you're a new or expecting mommy, I definitely recommend checking out their site and enter to win some of it through the Rookie Mom blog. Anyways, at the Twitter Party, they were giving away 36 items total and it was a fun way to meet some moms of young ones as well as other expecting moms like myself. I was a little bummed when the party wrapped, as I hadn't won anything despite my participation, however they did have one last giveaway, but due to technical difficulties they had to announce the winners the next day. I woke up Thursday, checked my Twitter and sure enough - I had won something! I won one of these really neat EcoSash Baby Carrier by Infantino, so that's one less thing for us to put on our registry! Yay!

I was so excited! 

http://www.hallmark.ca/wcsstore/HallmarkStore/images/Canada/MK/GCS_mk_baby_1.jpgFriday was a fun day - my old friend Jackie from Jr/Sr High Youth Group was coming into town for the weekend for her brother's 21st birthday and we were getting together for lunch. We went to Chili's since the Noodles and Company they're building wasn't open yet and had this really good smoked turkey sandwich combo with a bowl of potato soup. It also came with fries. I had a strawberry lemonade to drink too - the whole thing was pretty good! She also gave me this neat Pregnancy Calendar that you can get at Hallmark and writing fun, memorable things about your pregnancy and there's stickers too! She said her mom had one for each of her pregnancies and she used to love looking back through hers and thought it would be fun - I already started filling it out when I got home =) After lunch we went over to my friend Erika's to spend some time with her since she couldn't make it to lunch with us since her husband wasn't home from work til 3 and she didn't have anyone to watch the kids. Her 3 yr old went over to the neighbors to play, while we had fun watching her 4 month old - she's definitely a cutie!

After I filled out some of my new pregnancy calender, I took a little nap while waiting for hubby to get home from work and we went out later that night for Buffalo Wild Wings as I had a craving for chicken wings. Usually I get the Caribbean Jerk ones, which are a bit hot and spicy, but I knew I wouldn't be handle them pregnant, so I opted for the the medium sauce on my boneless wings... however it was still really spicy! I think next time I'll just go with the most mild, the the sweet barbecue, although hubby's honey barbecue ones weren't bad, although I could taste the honey in them more than I normally can!

I'd say it was a pretty fun week!

Bloggerstock July 2010: Potential Postcards

http://bloggerstock.net/Bloggerstock/Badges_files/bloggerstock_badge4.jpgDo I have a special treat for you guys today (although I'm sure most of you won't see it til Monday, as Blogland tends to be a bit dead on the weekends)!

Today is Bloggerstock day!

What is Bloggerstock, you ask?

According to the official Bloggerstock website:
Most bloggers have heard of blog-swaps where bloggers are paired up and each writes a post for the other’s blog.  It is a way of sharing followers and just shaking things up on your blog.

We decided to take this idea to a different place.  Essentially what Bloggerstock aims to do is link a bunch of bloggers together in a “blog-ring.”  We will pick a common topic, starting line, or post title that all the participating bloggers will write about.  Then each blogger will post on the next blogger’s blog.  So, blogger 1 posts on blogger 2’s blog and 2 on 3’s and so on.  This way we create a series of related posts all linked together.
I first heard about it a few months backs and thought it would be fun to do, but missed the deadline for sign-ups that month and thought it was only a yearly thing. To my surprise, it turns out that Bloggerstock is monthly! So after learning that, I promptly signed up for the next month - which you too can do here, if you wish to join in for next month!

For this month, the topic is "Potential Postcards" and I have been assigned to make my post on my good Blogland friend Heather's Blog High Heels and Heat Transfers. So go visit her blog today and check out who I wrote my potential postcard to in the post I made over there for her.

Nadya, from Journey Keeper, has been assigned this month to post her Potential Postcard here at Point Me to the Sky Above. Nadya is a mother, not too much older than myself, and her blog is similar in subject matter to mine here, as she writes about her life and her thoughts and a whole range and variety of things that interest her - she has some really interesting and neat posts so I would suggest taking a bit and checking out her blog - Journey Keeper.

Take it away, Nadya!

I'm all for trying out new things even when I have to figure out how it all works as I go along.  So I joined Bloggerstock (www.Bloggerstock.net) thinking that this would be an easy way to get some exposure for my Blog (www.journey-keeper.com), as well as a fun way to interact with some of the residents of Bloggerville.  Ha!  The joke was on me, for sure.  'The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry' is the correct phrase to use here and at a certain stage I even thought I was going to have to cancel my first ever Bloggerstock, but luck returned and inspiration hitched a ride.  So, without further adieu, my manifistation of this month's BS topic (write a postcard to anyone, anywhere, anytime as long as the person is not fictional):

A little personal info that might let you in on what’s important to me and what not:  The greatest compliment anyone could ever give me is to say ‘you know your mother / Nadya / your daughter / your sister / etc., she’s always off somewhere, saving the world’.  The most valuable things currently in my house are my books and I wish they did not have to be printed on paper.   I love trees, forests and our earth and I believe in doing what I can to protect her and to speak up for those that cannot speak for themselves.  I believe that everything is infused with God and therefore contains spirit.  My brother refers to me as a modern day hippy.

Anyway, now that we know how weird I am, let me set the scene for you:
The year is 2018, six years after the current ‘Prophecies of Doom and the End of the World 2012’ have not come to pass, 8 years from now.

In 2011 through till 2012 the consciousness of the human race climaxed and the shift took over the world (imagine the days when the Age of Industrialization broke, then Materialism – it came slow and then snowballed.  This is like that, only completely different.).

World Peace came about in the early days of 2013.

Instead of United Nations we got United Earth, and like the name suggests, it did not consist of just a few countries.

Animal torture and enslavement was stopped all over the world and with the recognition of hemp as a viable material to make almost everything of, animal furs/skins, trees for paper and materials like cotton and the like, were no longer required.

Arms were laid down and eventually recycled.

Comities were raised to put some serious action into repairing what we had destroyed up until 2011.  These included re-habitising the zoo and aquarium animals (those that were not able to be reinstated into their natural habitat were returned to their homeland anyway and given farms to dwell on), repairing sites of mountaintop removal as well as deep earth mining, putting a stop to oil drilling whilst implementing serious solar / wind / hydro options for electricity.

By no means is this a return to the stone age.  Things are just more effective, peaceful, secure and coincidentally, sustainable. 

Personally, my family and I have gone to Indonesia to aid with a 5 year plan of reforestation. 

The postcard will be written on Hemp or Bamboo paper and will contain seeds so that it can be planted once the card has been read.  It will be known and won’t be printed on the side because the world right now KNOWS that everything is sustainable.

The stamp will be a United Earth stamp because the world is borderless, although we haven’t changed the names of countries or cities or such. 

My daughter, Erin, will be 9 years old.  She drew a little picture on the back of the postcard for her grandmother. 

On the front of the postcard will be a picture of what our Rainforests use to be.  On the inside.  This would be what we are aiming for in the very distant future.  We are rebuilding the soul of our world.

I would send the postcard to my mother because she is the only one who accepts me for who I am without making fun of me or mocking me.  She understands the seriousness of what’s important to me.  She is a healer, a reflexologist hence the PS.  She recently put her house in the market, I am putting in a note to the universe that I think the perfect place for her to set up again is in a suburb called Irene.  it's lush and green and almost like a little bit of country in the city (I would say big city, but that might mislead people from the USA where cities like NY is the standard).
All of this might seem a little Utopia or idealistic to some.  I agree.  But it is not impossible.  And that is the most important thing.

The postcard would read:

Hi mom, just to let you know we are done here in Indonesia.  The 5 year re-forestation plan has gone well.  We are on our way to Canada to witness the 3rd Peaceful Annual Mating and Breeding of the seals.  Will be gone for 8 months.  Communication might be sparse.  We will be home for Christmas this year though.  Will discuss further plans when we get there.  Erin is growing really fast.  She loved the jersey, gloves and scarf that you sent for her birthday and which will come in really handy.  Well, we're off. Got to get to the rest of the world.  All our love, Nadya, Eric & Erin.

(PS - Erin sends xoxoxoxox times infinity)

(PPS - how are things with your community planting projects?  And the healing and reading program?)

That would conclude my inspiration on this topic. Thanks for giving your sharing space, RAY J. Please check out my guest blogger, Bobby, and the postcard that he sent to his grandfather @ Journey Keeper.

You're very welcome, Nadya!

And don't you guys forget to head over to Heather's Blog, High Heels and Heat Transfers, to check out my Potential Postcard!


Classic Nickelodeon Shows part 3: Original Shows


A few weeks ago I started a 3-part series where we flashback to classic Nickelodeon programming. Last week we looked back at some Nick's classic game shows and the week before that we revisited some of the early Nicktoons. In addition to those, Nickelodeon also had some pretty good original programming as well!

One of the early shows was You Can't Do That on Television, which was sort of a kid/teen version of Saturday Night Live (or an early version of All That), where it featured an ensemble cast of kids and teens (including a younger, super short haired Alanis Morrisette) with a few adults helping out and they did various comedy sketches each episode. Some of the characters from some of the sketches would pop up again throughout the series. This show also gave birth to the infamous green Nickelodeon Slime - an unsuspecting cast member would say or do a certain thing and green slime would come pouring down on them, covering them in the goo.

While Nickelodeon was a kid's network, they also had a few high school related shows, such as Welcome Freshman and Fifteen.

Welcome Freshmen first started out as a sketch comedy show, where each episode followed a bit of a theme and the characters (were incoming high school freshmen) went about their various school days via these sketches, often reconvening in the hallway between periods. Near the end of the series though, it became more of just a standard sitcom about the cast making it through the school day. While I'm sure quite a bit of this show went over my head, my young self still found it to be pretty funny.

Fifteen (or known in Canada as Hillside) was more of a high school soap opera, following several high school kids around as they dealt with various issues teens run into, such as dating, divorce, alcohol etc. It also had a young Ryan Reynolds as part of the cast, playing one of the main teen's younger sibling. I don't remember a lot of this show as I wasn't allowed to watch it - my parents didn't think a drama about fifteen year olds was appropriate for a 7-9 year old. I remember my childhood best friend would watch it sometimes though (it aired Saturday afternoons) and occasionally I'd catch an episode or 2 but yeah...

Other Saturday afternoon original programs Nick aired were Hey Dude and Salute Your Shorts.

On Hey Dude, we watched several teens work for Mr. Ernest and his teenage son Buddy on the Arizona dude ranch Bar None. Originally the additional staff consisted of Ted (the troublemaker who was replaced briefly by Mr. Ernest's nephew Jake), Danny (a Hopi Native American with long hair), and girls Melody (a younger Christine Taylor - aka, Mrs. Ben Stiller) and Brad (who had a love/hate relationship with Ted). Also joining the cast later was a guy named Kyle, who, once Ted came back to the series, often competed for Brad's affections. There were 65 episodes in this series over the course of 2 seasons and it took place over several consecutive summers as the staff would recollect memories and pranks that took place previous summers. Something was always happening at the Bar None Ranch though - there was never a dull moment!

http://quizilla.teennick.com/user_images/P/pacosmotorbike/1056350851_uressalute.jpgSalute Your Shorts was another show that took place during the summer time, as it followed the adventures and antics of a group of campers at Camp Anawanna and their strict camp counselor Ug-Lee. We had girls Telly (who was the athletic one), ZZ (who was super into nature and saving the enviroment), and Dina (who was the rich, pretty girl and often acted stuck up). On the boys side of things, we had Bobby Budnick (who was the mastermind troublemaker tough guy who had a crush on Dina for awhile), his best friend "Donkey Lips" (who was the resident fat kid at camp) and Sponge (who was a geeky, computer whiz). In the first season we also had an average boy named Michael, who Dina had a crush on and Budnick often picked on, but we learn at the beginning of the first season Michael came down with the chicken pox and his parents came to pick him up. Replacing him, was the obnoxious Ronnie Pinsky who was also a mastermind troublemaker like Budnick, but his tactics were smarter and he often butted heads with Budnick for resident bad boy at camp. I recall Dina also had a crush on him, much to the dismay of Budnick. While this series made it seem like these 7 kids were the only ones at the camp, occasionally we'd see other campers in the mess hall or walking around the grounds - apparently these 7 were the only ones that actually mattered though!

http://notascenester.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/250px-peteandpete.gifOriginally created as series of shorts during the summertime, airing between shows, Nickelodeon made a full series out of The Adventures of Pete and Pete, which followed the Wrigley brothers (both named Pete) and their friends and family. Big Pete, a high school student, was often the voice of reason in his family, while Little Pete (played by Danny Tamberelli), with a tattoo of a woman on his arm he called Petunia, was often known for getting into trouble. Mom Wrigley had a metal plate in her head, which often disrupted the microwave rays, causing her to pick up radio and TV broadcasts in her head. Dad Wrigley was pretty out there too, as he cared deeply for his lawn and was very competitve. Big Pete's best friend was a girl named Ellen, who lived in their neighborhood and went to school with him - she often posed the question "Why?" which once stumped their Math teacher, giving her a mid-life crisis, and also stumped all the substitute teachers that followed. Ellen's dad was played by Steve Buscemi. Little Pete's best friend is Nona F. Mecklenberg (played by a young Michelle Trachtenberg) who often wears a cast on her arm for no other reason than she enjoys the scratchy sensation it gives her. Her dad is played by musician Iggy Pop. Both boys are friends with the local superhero, Artie - the strongest man... in the world, who helps them face their neighborhood bullies. They also have adventures both at school and in the neighborhood. Throughout the 3 season course of the series, the show had many, many guest stars in addition to the ones previously mentioned - there was also a young Selma Blair, a young Heather Mazzarato, Chris Elliot, Janeane Garofalo, Debbie Harry, LL Cool J, Larisa Oleynik, JK Simmons, Michael Stipe, and many others.

http://cdn2.ioffer.com/img2/item/132/725/049/P7ztHi0SzqoPH0S.jpgAnother fun original show Nickelodeon had was the cute and clever Clarissa Explains It All, starring a young Melissa Joan Hart. This series followed the adventures of Clarissa Darling, her parents (her father an aspiring architect and her mother who was kind of a blonde) and her brainiac obnoxious younger brother Ferguson. She also had a best friend, a boy named Sam who climbed into her bedroom window via a ladder. I remember thinking back then Clarissa had the coolest clothes and bedroom - she even had a pet baby alligator named Elvis! Clarissa was often faced with some dilemma each episode or there was something going on. Often she'd imagine possible outcomes of things before she did them, helping her make up her mind, and sometimes she'd even play a computerized game of the scenario to determine if the outcome would be worth it. She also briefly had a boyfriend, the leather clad, always eating Clifford, who at first terrorized Ferguson at school, but won Clarissa over when he sang "You are so beautiful." I recall her and Sam toyed with the possibility of becoming more than just friends at one point too, but eventually decided against it, as that would just be too weird. The show lasted 5 seasons, ending with Clarissa taking a Journlism internship at New York newspaper (which was supposed to be a pilot for new Clarissa series that didn't take off). This is credit as the first Nickelodeon show with a female lead.

For the last 2 seasons of Clarissa Explains It All (which was Nick's highest rated show at the time), the it was moved to Saturday nights, as the lead show for Nick's new Saturday night programming, SNICK (Saturday Night Nickelodeon). The original SNICK lineup, starting at 8/7c, was Clarissa Explains It All, followed by the new variety musical show Roundhouse, then Ren and Stimpy, and ending the block with Are You Afraid of the Dark?

The only reason I remember the short-lived (1 season) Roundhouse was because when we went to Nickelodeon Studios at Universal Studios Florida we took a tour of the studio and they showed us the soundstage where Roundhouse was going to be filmed. Roundhouse was filmed on a round stage, that was divided into sections and would rotate around with different cast members in a different section/scene. The show included a cast of teens and consisted of comedy sketches, serious sketches, music and dancing and was taped before a live audience too. Like I said though, it was very short-lived.

http://cdn3.ioffer.com/img/item/949/449/06/uJvbtlhk39cbjUy.jpgAre You Afraid of the Dark? was another new Nick show, exclusively as part of the SNICK lineup. It was like a kids version of Tales From the Crypt or the Twilight Zone as each episode started out with a group of teens (including a young Rachel Blanchard) who called themselves the Midnight Society meeting late at night in the woods around a camp fire. The members would take turns each week telling a scary story around the fire, which would be that nights episode. The stories ranged from the scary, to fantasy, to paranormal to just downright strange, creepy and weird, often taking elements of things people are commonly afraid of (ie: clowns, the boogyman, video game monsters, vampires, witches, aliens, the dark, being alone, the phone police, and much, much more!). The original series lasted from 1991-1996 and was later brought back from 1999-2000, with Tucker (Gary's younger brother who would often follow him to the original Midnight Society meetings) being the only returning cast member (which also included a young Elisha Cuthbert). The series also would sometimes include guest stars from other top kids shows at the time, such as Melissa Joan Hart, Tia and Tamera Mowry, as well as others such as Jay Baruchel, Hayden Christensen, Entourage's Emmanuelle Chirqui, Neve Campbell, Ryan Gosling, Gilbert Gottfried, Tatyana Ali, Holly Marie Combs, and American Pie's Eddie Kaye Thomas just to name a few.

Roundhouse was eventually replaced by the hipper All That show, which was more like a kids Saturday Night Live, as it was a sketch comedy show with teen cast members (including Lori Beth Denberg, Amanda Bynes, Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell) and always featured a musical guest (which for awhile was usually the current hiphop, rap or R&B artists at the time). While Roundhouse didn't work, for some reason All That did. It also spawned several spin-offs, including the movie Good Burger, based off the sketch known by the same name, as well as The Amanda Show (a sketch show starring Amanda Bynes) and the Kenan and Kel show which was a sitcom following the 2 teen comedies - Kel playing the goofy dumb-witted best friend to Kenan's smarter character.

http://tvnovelasbg.30.forumer.com/uploads/tvnovelasbg/post-45-1225732117.jpgWhen Clarissa Explains It All ended, a new show with a female lead was introduced to fill its timeslot - The Secret World of Alex Mack, starring Larisa Oleynik. In the first episode, we are introduced to Alex, who is an average girl in Paradise Valley just starting Jr. High and has big shoes to fill, as all her teachers are familiar with her smart, brainiac older sister Annie who is now in high school. They live with their parents, in which dad works at the local chemical plant while mom works in public relations. Like Clarissa, Alex's best friend is a boy, named Raymond. After a rough first day at school, Alex is walking home when she almost gets hit by a truck, carrying the chemical plant's chemical called GC-161 - Alex gets doused with the stuff and quickly runs home to wash off, only the chemicals have merged with her body, giving her telekinesis, and she can also shoot electricity from her fingertips, morph into a puddle of silver liquid, and turn yellow when she experiences extreme emotions. Scared, she turns to her sister and best friend for help, where they help her cope with her new changes - talk about a rough adolescences! The majority of the series follows Alex as she copes with her new powers and struggles to make it through typical Jr. High (and later high school) experiences all while trying to keep a low profile as Danielle Atron, head of the chemical plant, has her goons searching for "the kid" that got doused with the chemicals as they want to run "scary" tests to find out what the chemicals have done. Many times does Alex have close calls with Danielle and the chemical plant and almost gets discovered (often due to some random mishap her powers have caused).

What classic Nickelodeon original shows did you watch and enjoy?


Return to WoW

So I've been back playing WoW for about 2 weeks now and decided for this week's Warcraft Wednesday, I would give a little recap of sorts of how the first 2 weeks have gone.

First night back, I didn't do too much, aside from login to all my characters, check their gear and their money and professions and all that. I learned my main alliance guild is pretty dead, which is surprising as it was one of the top raiding guilds on my server throughout Burning Crusade and in Wrath up until I stopped playing. Turns out, they were having trouble with 25man raid attendance for progression nights and so those that wanted to raid new content left, some formed their own guild with non-guild friends, etc. So my main alliance guild is like a ghost town, as no one ever seems to be on. I also learned I got booted from my horde guild for being gone too long, despite telling the guild leader I was taking a break from the game and would be back closer to the release of Cataclysm. The casual raid guild I was in spawned off the casual RP guild my hordie was in for years and so I knew a bunch of the players in the guild.

My 2nd night back I joined a ToC10 pug (pick-up group) on my Boomkin. About half the members were all from the same guild so I felt okay with it - when I stopped playing pugging ToC (10 or 25) was a bad idea as most struggled with the PVP boss fight. We did pretty good though and cleared the place in under an hour. Despite not playing my Boomkin since last summer, my dps was pretty good considering my gear - I kept up and was on top of most the others in the raid. It was about 2am when we finished and I asked some of the members of the guild if they usually run raids late at night like this - they said sometimes, saying they often do stuff late at night with whatever guild members are on - if they can get a group going, they go. They seemed pretty decent so I asked to join on my Boomkin since my guild was a ghost town and promptly got an invite (they were trying to recruit most of us in the raid that weren't in the guild).

The Saturday I leveled my rogue a little bit in Borean Tundra and finally ran into Jeny via the ingame Real-ID - she had sent me a friend request weeks prior and it was there when I logged in, but we kept missing each other by hours and even minutes. I only have 3 people on my Real ID and I like it like that - Jeny (old roomie), hubby, and hubby's ingame friend who lives nearby and hang out with every so often (he was in our wedding too). I'm also relived that it somehow displays my generic common married name instead of my unique maiden name, as you can view the names of all the friends that your Real ID friend is friends with. Kinda creepy. My stalker-like tendencies kicked in and of course I looked, just to see if I recognized anyone, lol... I also put my rogue into my Boomkin's new guild, as she was in my banker guild and that was pretty lonely as it's all my unguilded lowbie alts with 1 of hubby's lowbie alts.


I also joined a VoA pug (forget if it was 10 or 25man). I soon realized as we were about to start that they had added a 4th boss to the instance, so I quickly pst'd Jeny and asked in my guild chat if there was anything special I needed to know about this new boss - basically, I pew pew the bosses, don't step in orbs when they spawn and pew pew them down and then go back to the boss. Easy peasy. Sadly, no one seems to finish VoA anymore - you're lucky if you get a group that still wants to pwn the fire boss!

I also looked at the items you can buy with Frost emblems and decided I want the caster druid idol for my Boomkin, which is 30 emblems. This prompted me to finish the ICC opening instance quests, which upon completion unlocks the next 5-man instance in ICC for you and gives you like 2 Frost emblems per instance quest, so I got 6 that way. Then I realized that the first random heroic instance you queue for, you get 2 Frost emblems upon completion, so I've been doing that daily. I also finished the ICC instance quest chain on my paladin and my belf hunter too and try to squeeze in a random daily heroic in each night too.

I also remembered you can buy tier 9 gear with Triumph emblems, which drop in all the instances and raids now and if you keep running random heroics after the first one, you get Triumph emblems at the end of each instance. My druid got a pair of tier 9 gloves off the fire boss in VoA10 and she had plenty of emblems so I decided to upgrade her 2 pieces of tier 7 to tier 9. My hunter also bought a new piece of tier 9 gear and has her 2-piece bonus. I'm working on my pally's gear - she got some nice upgrades in the ICC instances, including a new 2h axe (she'd been using the one off the final boss in Naxx10 since early 2009!)

http://space.offgamers.com/images/gameguides/2009/8/oculus-pic.jpgI finally got to run Oculus on my Boomkin and Pally and my pally got her Northrend Dungeonmaster achievement - everyone on my server hates that instance (it's not so bad...) and prior to the battlegroup dungeon queue you could not find a group for it. The battlegroup dungeon queue was new around the time I took my hiatus so I'm just now getting to use it.

I also saved a random heroic group I was in from wiping in Halls of Lightning - we were fight a mob of baddies when a pat (patrol) aggro'd and killed our healer and then 1 of our DPSers, so it was just me, the tank and another DPSer. I switched out of Boomkin and started healing, as healing is my offspec, I just hadn't gotten back in the habit of doing it yet. I did a good job but the healer wanted a druid battle rez, so I gave him one... only for him to die. Again. So I just kept healing and I kept us all up. I was very proud of myself for the save, since I hadn't healed a group in ages and wasn't even in the right spec/gear for healing.

I also went through one of the guild banks hubby and I inherited and sold off a bunch of useless stuff that neither of us would ever use again (old profession leveling mats, potions, etc) and put it all up on the Auction House last weekend - I had like 700+ individual items for sale and sold all but like 50 or so. I made so much I was able to transfer most of what I made the first day to my Boomkin to buy her epic flying - yay!

My Belf Hunter also rejoined her old RP guild, as I ran into some old friends from there that were playing again and needed a guild home (I was tired of getting "ninja invited" to guilds while in major cities). Things seem a lot more lax though, like there's still RP, but you can talk about anything else in guild chat now too and use phrases like "lol" and such. 

Other things I learned:
  • Heroics are super easy now and are pretty much a joke - the bosses are as easy as trash to kill because everyone is currently so over geared - in Heroic UP, we killed the first chick before she came down from her first time in the air!
  • My rogue sucks in 5mans when there's casters in the group - their AoE pwn's my melee dps
  • You can now transfer heirloom items to your toons cross faction! On my pally, since I had so many useless Conquest emblems, I bought my level 30 horde priest a piece of heirloom gear and sent it to her.
  • If you don't wear a tabard in instances you'll get rep with the Alliance Vanguard (if you're alliance) and if you're exalted with them you can buy your epic flying for 4000g in Borean Tundra or Howling Fjord instead of 5000g in Dalaran. I did this on my Boomkin

Also, there were quite a few "dumbasses" playing Monday night.

Let me explain.

http://phase3profit.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Scarlet_Monastery.jpgSo I'm playing my Blood Elf shadow priest and decide to use the random dungeon finder. I kept getting the Scarlet Monastery Graveyard, which is one of the shortest instances in the game. The first group I had went fine, but the 2nd time... wow the tank was a jerk! As we're passing through the graveyard and headed into the crypt I completely run out of mana, so like I normally do when that happens while in combat, I start wanding the mobs until I have enough mana to cast a spell. And the tank is all "Why the f*ck are you wanding?!" to which I respond, I was out of mana - would he rather I just stand there and do nothing? He says yes, and yells at me to "drink" (which fills your mana bar) however he keeps chain pulling everything so I can't get out of combat to sit and drink up to refill my mana. Then on the final boss, this off-hand spell power orb drops - the mage and healer both roll need for it, as does the warrior tank... and he wins the roll. I saracastically comment that warrior need so much spell power and he's like "yep, enchanting FTW!" And disenchants the item promptly - there's a reason there's need/greed buttons and a disenchant button but whatever... a leatherworking pattern also dropped and he rolled need on that too - doubt he could use it though.

http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/wowwiki/images/thumb/6/69/WorldMap-ThousandNeedles.jpg/501px-WorldMap-ThousandNeedles.jpgThen later, I'm questing in Thousand Needles, near the Raceway killing scorpids and this dwarf rides up next to me on his ram. He says something, but being that he's an alliance toon and I'm on a horde toon, I can't read what he said - it shows up as gibberish as horde and alliance can't communicate outside emoting (gestures). He then runs and rounds up a good bunch of the mobs nearby. They start attacking him however they soon drop aggro... and all latch onto me, killing me in the process as I can't handle 5+ mobs that are each several levels higher than me. He says something else, but again, it shows up as gibberish. Annoyed, I log over to one of my alliance toons and ask the guy if that was really necessary. He's all "what?" and I'm like "dude, you aggro'd all the mobs and then stood right next to me as they dropped aggro from you and went straight to me, killing me - was that really necessary to do?" "Well, I said something to you... sorry I haven't played in like a year" I was about to mention I hadn't played in 9 months, but decided not to, instead I remind him "Horde can't read what alliance says - it shows up as gibberish. Blood elves are horde toons." "I didn't see any blood elves." "Dude, look again - the character you got killed was a blood elf." "You're a blood elf?" "Not on this toon - the toon I was playing on was though." "Well I said something to you..." "Dude, horde and alliance can't talk - why do you think I had to pop on this toon to have this chat with you?" I got annoyed and switched back over to retrieve my poor blood elf's corpse and finish my quest. He rode off to wherever right as I rezzed. Talk about annoying though...

And that's my recent adventures in the World of Warcraft.


My Birthday Wishlist

So my birthday is exactly 1 month from Thursday and I started thinking about what I want this year, as I always have family ask "what do you want for your birthday?"

One thing I saw recently and think is really cute that I want is this guy:
He's a Horde Wind Rider Cub plush from WoW - they also have a Gryphon cub, but it looks more like a duck head on brown body with wings and yeah... not as cute! Hubby has a bit of an obsession with griffins so maybe I'll get that one for him as a gift sometime... and we can let the kiddo play with em both! hehe

He also comes with a loot card with a code you enter on the WoW site that gives him to all your characters and any future ones as an in-game novelty pet!

I guess he also flies in game too, even when you're on a flying mount!

Hubby's the only one I would expect to get me this guy though, as my family doesn't "get" WoW or how to order things off the internet... (last I knew).

Other items on my birthday list include several video games:
  • I *really* want Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 for the Wii. I've currently been playing the Lego Stars Wars: The Complete Saga for the Wii and I LOVE the Lego games - they're fun and full of puzzles you have to work through to advance but the game play isn't hard at all. And the fact that everything is made of Legos is pretty funny and amusing! Your character dies? No biggie, he just bursts into a million Legos that instantly piece back together and you can keep going!
  • I also would like the Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Trilogy game for Wii too - I hear this one is just as fun as the Star Wars one, only you get to fight Lego Nazi's and stuff instead of Storm Troopers!

There's also a few DVDs I would like too:
  • Hot Tub Time Machine - hubby and I saw this one in the theaters and it was really pretty funny, like Hangover funny! It's got a lot of the awesome 80s nostalgia that I LOVE, plus a grown John Cusack wearing Lloyd Dobbler's clothes from Say Anything and well, it was just plain funny (minus a few gross out moments). This is one I definitely would like to have in our movie collection!
  • Alice in Wonderland (the recent live action version) - it was a good family movie, plus it has Johnny Depp and was done by Tim Burton with a score by Danny Elfman. Um... why wouldn't I want this movie?
  • Disney's Beauty and the Beast - somehow it totally escaped me that this one was released on DVD sometime when I was in college. I have no clue how I didn't know about this, but the only places I can find it is on Amazon, as I'm sure it's back in the stupid Disney "vault" by now. While I have a lot of the Disney classics and ones that came out when I was a kid on VHS, I've been trying to buy my favorites, this being one of them, on DVD as they come out, since VHS is a dead technology.
  • Disney's Aladdin - same as Beauty and the Beast, another favorite Disney film that came out when I was a kid that I somehow missed the DVD release of that I would like to have on DVD so our kids can enjoy em like hubby and I did.
  • Disney's Cinderella - same as the previous 2. While this one is an older one, released way before I was born, it was one I would watch over and over again as a kid. If I had to choose, I'd like to have Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast over this one (I already have the others from their era on DVD - Oliver & Company, Little Mermaid, and The Lion King), but I would like to get this one on DVD eventually...

I would also like the book "A Touch of Dead" by Charlaine Harris - it's the book of all the short stories she wrote that take place in the Sookie Stackhouse universe (Sookie's in most, but there's a few without her that are about other characters).


Meet Jay or Alexi!

Today was our first OB appointment and ultrasound!

Here's one of our first ultrasound photos:

Meet Jaydran (Jay) Alexander if a boy or Alexandria (Alexi) Nicole if a girl!

The official estimated due date that the doctor's office is going by is Feb 20, 2011, but we all know how these things can go - the kiddo can be either late or early. I was 2 weeks late, hubby was a week or 2 early.

Baby is 3.49cm (~1.4inches) long and has a heartbeat of 180bpm - the doctor's office said everything is in the normal range, so that's good!

It was pretty amusing - the kiddo was wiggling around and moving A LOT, like it was having a little party in my uterus. It's like it was like "oh! Mommy and daddy are watching - I wanna make sure they see me so I'm going to dance around all crazy-like!" hehehehe... too cute!

After the ultrasound, they had me go pee in a cup and hubby went back out to the waiting room - by the time I got back out there he had already sent the photos they gave us via text to our families and posted em on facebook! lol...

We went back into one of the exam rooms and met with the lady in charge where she asked all kids of health related questions pertaining to family medical history and that sort of thing. They also gave us a bag of goodies which had a lot of info packets she quickly went over with us - I still have to look and see what all is in there - she mentioned journal or something... then I had a pap smear, which was about a few weeks early from my regular 6 months check up, but they said that counts for that and they'll do another post pregnancy and then I'll be back on the 1 year check ups (yay!).

Then they took my blood, which sucks as I always get faint and start feeling sick when I have blood drawn (which is why I can't donate plasma or blood), but after telling the girl that, she took us into one of the exam rooms so I could lie down while she did it, saying that lying down sometimes help, and it really did. I felt a little faint, but not as bad as I did the last time I had bloodwork done. I was able to walk out within a few minutes afterward - I was still feeling a little weak, but we were going to get lunch after and I knew getting something in me would make me feel a lot better and back to normal.

My next appointment is in 4 weeks - August 23 (right before my birthday!) and they'll be doing another ultrasound to check my cervix, as I had the LEEP procedure done back in December 2008 and they just want to check and make sure my cervix is open enough and isn't shortened or anything bad like that that could cause complications later on.

They said they do appointments every 4 weeks for the first 28 weeks, then they go to every 2 weeks until 36 weeks, and then once a week until labor.

Meet our kiddo!!

Okay, so I said I was going to keep the baby/pregnancy-related posts on this blog to a minimum, so as to not drive some of you who are away (cuz I'm sure not all of you started reading my blog for that stuff), but here's one of the few baby-related posts I'll make on here (I have a separate baby blog for those that are interested in following that).

Here's one of our first ultrasound photos:

Meet Jaydran (Jay) Alexander if a boy or Alexandria (Alexi) Nicole if a girl!

The official estimated due date that the doctor's office is going by is Feb 20, 2011, but we all know how these things can go - the kiddo can be either late or early.

Baby is 3.49cm (~1.4inches) long and has a heartbeat of 180bpm - the doctor's office said everything is in the normal range, so that's good!

It was pretty amusing - the kiddo was wiggling around and moving A LOT, like it was having a little party in my uterus. It's like it was like "oh! Mommy and daddy are watching - I wanna make sure they see me so I'm going to dance around all crazy-like!" hehehehe... too cute!

Funny (geeky) story about the name Jaydran - hubby came up with it awhile back as sci-fi-ish name (he writes sci-fi stories and hopes to have em published someday) and actually used it for the name of his Draenei Shaman in WoW. When we were talking about having kids and names and stuff awhile back (like our first few months of marriage) he had suggested it for a boy, but I immediately veto'd it - who names their kid the same name as their character, right? Well... after thinking about it some more, especially when we started trying and soon after we found out, it had grown on me and I brought up to him, as I know he likes the name a lot so we decided to go with it and it works pretty well for a boy, we think.

Music Shuffle Monday 07.26.10

http://www.veryicon.com/icon/png/Media/iPod,%20Therefore%20I%20Am/iPod%20Mini%20Blue.pngWelcome to the 2:15 am insomniac edition of Music Shuffle Monday! Yeah, I can't sleep (which happens often the night before I have something major/exciting/important to do the next day - in this case, our first ultrasound at 11am today!) so I decided to go ahead post this, in hopes that staring at a computer screen will at least make my eyes tired enough to help me fall asleep...

1. "Ambulances" by Institute
Institute is basically Bush 2000, as it features Gavin Rossdale and other member of Bush, in the post Bush days (although they recently got back together and are putting a new album out and may possibly even tour again soon - yay!) as well as the infamous Josh Freese (of both A Perfect Circle and mid-2000's touring NiN). They only lasted 1 album though, during my early college days. While the lead single was Bulletproof Skin (featured in the movie Stealth) the rest of the album was pretty good - typical Gavin Rossdale stuff (although I like his band-related stuff better than his solo stuff). Apparently (according to Wiki) Gavin's wife, Ms. Gwen Stefani of No Doubt, is on this track as well, but it doesn't say how - I don't hear any female vocals on this one...

2. "November Rain" by Guns N Roses
This song will always remember of internet boyfriend, as he first played part of it over the phone and I had to go out and by the CD - I fell in love with the piano in this song, as well as the guitar, as internet boyfriend was/is quite the guitarist (he aimed to play as well as Eddie Van Halen and once played me some Van Halen riffs - it was REALLY good). This song is in 3 parts, or acts as some might say. I especially love the part at 2 minutes left of the song, with the piano and guitar and the haunting "don't think that you need somebody? don't you think that you need someone? everybody needs somebody - you're not the only one..." chant. Despite being just shy of 9 minutes, it really is a great, classic rock ballad!

3. "She's Like Heroin" by System of a Down
Off the album Hypnotize, the conclusion to the 2-disc set that was released in 2005, it's a pretty typical song for the album, as it has crazy rhymes that at first sound just stupid, silly or plain comical, but at 2nd glance, it's more of a social commentary. This was a really good 2-disc set and the marketing of it was clever, as it was in 2 parts released about 6 months apart. And I believe I'm mentioned it before, but the packaging... omg I LOVE the designer that came up with the packaging - my mind was blown by the way the 2 separate disc packaging combines into 1 2-disc set. You'd have to see it for yourself but I was just like "wow..." I couldn't get over it - I think I drove my boyfriend at the time nuts at how much I just couldn't get over the packaging when the 2nd disc came out, lol... What can I say, I did go to school for and work as a graphic artist! lol...

4. "Hush" by Deep Purple
While I also love the Kula Shaker faster paced version of this song, you still can't beat the original Deep Purple version. This is one of my favorite classic rock songs - while the lyrics are pretty simple and are repeated several times, the catchy "nah nah-nah nah nah-nah nah nah-nah nah..." is well, catchy!

5. "Boom Boom Pow" by The Black Eyed Peas
I got introduced to the Peas back in like 2003/2004 when their Elephunk CD came out (the first BEP album with Fergie if I recall) as one of the guys I worked with at my college newspaper brought in (when the one guy worked, our listening selection was mostly limited to either Dave Mathews Band or Pearl Jam, while the other guy that was in charge of our department played the same few CDs but they at least consisted of more than 2 bands so there was a little more variety). Anyways, that album grew on me, I got my own copy and I've casually listened to the Black Eyed Peas ever since (haven't bought another album though, I just get the singles I like that I hear on the radio or TV).


My current dilemma - suggestions?

So, I have a bit of a dilemma.

Last week, I got the check from Mary Kay HQ for the remaining inventory I had that I returned. Now it's just slightly short of how much is left on the MK Visa I opened, but it covers a good chunk of how much I have left on it.

https://www.chase.com/ccpmweb/card_servicing/image/MK-Visa-Rwds-2008.jpgAlso, last week I just added about $230 onto it when we purchased our tickets to a Cowboys game when we visit Dallas this fall, as we learned they went on sale a few weeks earlier than we thought and wanted to buy em early because 1) the game we're going to is against the main Cowboy's rivals the Giants, and it's a Monday Night nation-wide televised game so it's likely to sellout and 2) if we waited and it did sell out, we'd have to pay a lot more for tickets than we did and aside from hanging out with Jeny for a few days, going to the game is kinda one of the main highlights of our trip down there. Anyways, hubby has always said we'd have the money to cover the tickets (which we ended up paying about $15-20 more each as we had to get em via Stub Hub) at the end of this month, so that's no biggie as I can pay off the tickets when I make my next payment on the card in a few weeks.

So, my original plan was to just take the check I got from MK and put it all in my account and pay off as much as I could of the card, and then pay the rest off within the next month or so.

Well, hubby has now asked several times if I would be interested in taking the check I got and buying myself a new laptop with it.

I know I've mentioned before, I have an older Mac Powerbook (just over 6 years old now) that I've been able to upgrade from the Leopard OS to the Tiger OS, but I'm still like 2 OS's behind now (I think). I also spent $300 on it like 2 years ago to replace the keyboard, as playing too much WoW for several years straight kinda wore out some of the keys (the Apple store guy noticed the WoW icon on my desktop when he looked at it, asked if I played a lot and was like "yep, that's probably what did it... I've gone through several keyboards myself!"). It still works pretty good though, however for gaming, it's a little slow as it is old and like I've mentioned before, the internal part that the power cord plugs into is on the verge of death - unless it's positioned a certain way, half the time it won't read the power cord and charge.

So hubby and I were talking in the past several times about getting me something decent like a Dell laptop or something for $500 or less that I could use for gaming so we could both play at the same time (the past 9 months or so I've been using his Desktop when he's not on it).

So, what should I do?

Pay the card down like I originally intended or buy myself a new laptop?

http://www.carolinawoman.com/images/stressed-woman-cartoon.jpgThe thing is, the laptop isn't something I need right now - it's more like something I might need closer to winter when the Cataclysm expansion for WoW comes out. Right now hubby works enough that I have plenty time to play without him around wanting to use the computer too (kinda why I wanted to reactive my WoW account, as I was getting kinda bored around here during the day and sometimes at night).

Also, the card isn't really hurting my credit any at this point either - they just upped my credit limit to like $2000, and my balance is definitely under half that, which the bank told us that if your balance on a loan or credit card is less than half the credit limit then you have nothing to worry about, as it then counts as revolving credit (so long as you've made all your payments) which actually helps build your credit score up. I'm just tired of paying it off all the time - it was partly why I quit MK, as I felt like all I was doing was paying this stuff off and ordering more rather than actually making any money.


What would you do if you were in my shoes?


Classic Nickelodeon Shows part 2: Game Shows

Last week, I started a 3 part series, where we take a look back at some of the classic Nickelodeon shows I grew up watching. Last week, we took a look at some of the early Nicktoons.

In the 90s, in addition to the Nicktoons, Nickelodeon also had some memorable game shows.

http://www.gordtep.com/files/2009/07/doubledare2.jpgWe had several physical activity game shows, such as the infamous Double Dare (and later Family Double Dare) hosted by germophobic Marc Summers (kinda ironic, ain't it?), as well as Guts and Global Guts hosted by Mike O'Malley with sidekick ref Moe. In Double Dare, 2 teams of 2 kids (later 4 family members) would be asked trivia questions (some of which seemed near impossible for the average kid to know) for points. If they didn't know the answer, they could dare the other team to answer the question. If the other team didn't know, they could then double dare the question back to the other team. Since the original team didn't know, they would often physical challenge the other team and some crazy competition would occur that always involved the infamous green slime. The winner of the challenge would get the points. At the end of the game, the team with the most points would get to run the obstacle course, which included 8 obstacles where you would need to find the hidden flag in the obstacle. Finish the course with all 8 flags and you win the game and often a trip to space camp (or a cool Huffy bike!)

In Guts, each episode had 3 kids competing in various sporting competition spin offs from playing soccer goal with balls flying at them in which they had to block (the kid with the least amount of balls in their goal won 1st place), to "flying" over foam block hurdles while being attached to a bungee cord, to playing basketball, only the hoop was like 30 ft off the ground and they had jump up and shoot with a bungee cord attached to them (person with the most balls through the hoop won 1st place). At the end  of the games, there was the infamous race up the Astro Crag - the kid with the most points at the end of the show (usually the one that won the race up the Crag) would get to take home a piece of the rocky mountain.

http://lh6.ggpht.com/bakerg1/SJeSzL6SnoI/AAAAAAAABNg/1WPGlIp5oBQ/s400/wildandcrazy.jpgThere was also Wild and Crazy Kids, hosted by Donnie Jeffcoat, Jessica Gaynes (later replaced by Annette Chavez) and Cuba Gooding Jr's brother Omar Gooding. Each episode consisted of one of the hosts emceeing a physical activity competition with 3 teams of tons of kids all wearing a different colored shirt (ie: Green, Blue, Black, Red, Purple and Pink) for the respective teams. There wasn't much of a point to the show, other than watching the kids compete in these wacky competitions that included messy items such as mustard, slime, water, and anything else wild and crazy and messy! As kids, we ate it up!

http://i.ytimg.com/vi/__m9BYzYmIg/0.jpgAnother memorable Nickelodeon physical activity game show was Legends of the Hidden Temple. Hosted by Kirk Fogg, he was aided by the help of a talking head statue named Olmec. At the beginning of the episode we were introduced to 6 teams of a boy and girl duo wearing a colored shirt - Red Jaguars, Blue Barracudas, Green Monkeys, Orange Iguanas, Purple Parrots and Silver Snakes (since I have an Indiana Jones dislike for snakes, I always boo'd the Silver Snakes). The first challenge consisted of all 6 teams crossing The Moat using whatever method was available that week (ie: jumping rocks, swinging from ropes, etc) - the first 4 teams to cross and ring their "gong" got to move onto the next challenge, called The Steps of Knowledge. In this 2nd challenge, Olmec would tell a (often boring) story about something old and then would ask the teams questions. For each correct answer, the team would move down a level - the first 2 teams with 3 correct answers would get to move on to the next challenge - The Temple Games. The Temple Games consisted of 3 different activity competitions - in the first 2, 1 member from each team would compete for half a pendant while in the last competition, both team members would work together to win a full pendant. The team with the most pendants at the end of the 3 competitions would get to run the Temple Run. Hidden in the Temple, which was 2 stories high with a total of 12 (sometimes 13) rooms, was some "artifact" (the one Olmec tells a story about in the 2nd challenge) that the winning team would have to retrieve. But you had to be careful, as there were several guards hidden throughout the Temple who would snatch you up if you ran into them - if you had a pendant though (from the previous round), you could hand them that and have another chance to continue before a guard took you out and your teammate would have to enter the Temple and try and finish the race to the artifact and back.

http://www.gesturetek.com/images/gx/tv_nick_arcade.jpgA fun Nickelodeon game show that often is forgotten is Nick Arcade. Having grown up playing video games, I loved this one, as the contestants would face-off playing video arcade games (whoever scored the most points at the end of 30-60 seconds of playing would win that round of the competition) and eventually other consoles while answering trivia questions. The winner at the end would get to battle in a video game simulation, via blue screen (although at home it appeared they were actually in a video game) having to compete 3 levels before time ran out and defeat an evil Wizard at the end.

Stay tuned next week for our final installment of our Flashback Friday to classic Nickelodeon shows, with a look at some of Nick's original programming!


To be an innocent Noob again...

 Last week, hubby showed me this pretty amusing video on TankSpot (despite the name, there's all kinds of WoW related information on TankSpot aside from just tanking).

Anyways, in this video, it shows a Noob's experience with the game, filled with some cute, clever and fun commentary!

Speaking of newbies to the game, thanks to TradeChat on Twitter (which if you're a WoWer, I recommend following her on there, whether or not you follow her YouTube channel, as she posts some interesting WoW-related things from time to time), I was introduced to Bethany and her blog Sorority Girl Plays WoW.

Bored this summer inbetween her job search, sorority girl Bethany's boyfriend (and 5 1/2 year WoW veteran) Nick suggested she play WoW with him. Having never played video games before, she decided to create a blog to chronicle her adventures in learning the game, day by day. It's pretty amusing and refreshing reading about someone and their experiences as they explore the game and all it has to offer, learning about talent trees and spells, etc. Considering she's playing a paladin and that was my first character too, it brings back a lot of memories for me of my noob days, especially as my boyfriend at the time was teaching me the ropes of the game too!

Feel free to check out her blog - Sorority Girl Plays WoW - and feel free to leave her comments with helpful advice!


My thoughts on Inception

http://www.cinemablend.com/images/news/18477/_1273247172.jpgHubby and I have both been waiting to see the new movie Inception for a few months now, as the premise looked interesting and it seemed like it had a pretty good cast. Since it came out Friday, hubby had the day off from the cell phone store, and our newly converted AMC theaters do $5 movies all day Monday through Thursday, we figured we'd go check it out today.

I was a bit worried going into it, as over the weekend I noticed on both Facebook and Twitter everyone kept saying what a "mind-fuck" (pardon the language - not sure how else to word that phrase though!) it was, and quite a bit were saying that they "didn't get it." This worried me a little as I hate seeing a movie that requires you to go back and watch it again to make sense, as these days I usually don't end up seeing it again until it's out on DVD.

We watched it though and as the credits started rolling the first thing I said to hubby was "Okay, so... I'm confused - how is it that people don't get it??"

I mean really... unless you weren't paying attention and actually watching (which then I have to ask: why are you spending money to see a movie you aren't going to watch?), how is that possible? I mean it really wasn't that hard to follow at all. Maybe it's cuz I have trippy dreams from time to time that seem to jump all over the place (although those dreams to tend resemble something you'd see in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus). But still...

It really wasn't that hard to follow. Yes, there's several things going on at once, but it all makes sense and again, it's not that hard to follow. (You can read my full review of it here on my movie blog, Movie Bits)

Hubby and I both really liked it though - it was thought provoking and pretty different from most films I can think of it. While Nolan directed the newer Batman films, this one is more reminiscent of his early film Memento, as it really makes you think and pay attention. They say he came up with the idea of Inception and wrote about 80 pages of the script nearly 10 years ago, but wanted to wait until he more experience with big budget films before making it. Glad it finally got made - it really was a great movie!

The only things that are left unanswered (without spoiling anything) are the ending, as it was purposely left open for you to decide and debate it, as well as the fact I don't recall them saying HOW Leo's character and his wife once got stuck in limbo (for those that have seen it - did you catch that? We didn't...) - he talks about their time there and the aftermath, but I don't recall them ever saying how they ended up there...

http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l1928mtETk1qag6zco1_500.jpgI must say though, both Leo and Joseph Gordon-Levitt have really come a long way in their acting careers. Okay, so Leo's always played more serious roles (ie: This Boy's Life and What's Eating Gilbert Grape where 2 of his early films), but remember how in the mid-90s all us girls were swooning of his cuteness and good looks in Romeo + Juliet and Titanic? Yeah, over the past few years, I've really grown to be able to take accept him as a more serious actor and not just a cute teen heartthrob from my junior high days. And Joseph Gordon-Levitt - while I thought he was pretty goofy and awkward as an alien disguised as a youngster on the 90s sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun, I've really enjoyed watching him in his last few films (The Lookout, 500 Days of Summer and now Inception). I still think he looks a bit on the skinny side though - especially in his neck and shoulders, which makes seeing him in a suit look a bit weird... he could use to beef up just a tad, or at least do something to fill out his shoulders more!

I'm still undecided about Cillian Murphy though... I didn't mind him as the lead male in 28 Days Later, but he was sure creepy in both Red Eye and Batman Begins, where he played villains in both. As dumb as it sounds, I think it's his looks that bother me the most - he has big lips I just want to put lipstick or lipgloss on and kinda girlish facial figures - I mean, looking at his Wiki page, he played a transgender character in one of his films, and honestly, he looks pretty convincing as woman!

Ellen Page is just Ellen Page. Sure she was also Kitty Pride in X-Men and of course smart-talking Juno... I haven't hated her in anything I've seen her in, but I haven't really loved her either. She just... is.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_R5WS6_kmmTI/SvSCq573_hI/AAAAAAAAfG4/qwgC0ng-8jU/s400/inception_window_2.jpgIt also drove me nuts that I couldn't remember what I had seen Leo's character's wife in before, until it dawned on me after the movie that she (Marion Cotillard) was the female lead in Public Enemies. I looked her up on Wiki too, just to see what else she was in and I was amused that she played Edith Piaf in the biopic La Vie En Rose (which I haven't seen) as a mix CD one of my college french instructors gave us had several of Edith Piaf's songs on it!

Well there's one more movie I can cross me and hubby's list of "must-see's" for this summer. Left to go on it are:
  • The Expendables
    (Jason Statham... *drool*) 
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
    (Hubby thinks this one looks too ridiculous not to see, whereas I read the first 2 graphic novels and thought they were decent, despite my annoyance that they cast Michael "I-play-the-same-awkward-teen-character-in-every-movie" Cera as the lead)
  • Machete
    (what was once a "fake" trailer made just for Grindhouse, Robert Rodriguez turned into a feature film starring the awesome Danny Trejo!)
  • Resident Evil: Afterlife
    (hubby and I both like Milla Jovovich, especially when she's kicking ass - 'nuff said!)

So what did you guys think of Inception? 
If you haven't seen it yet, do you plan on it?
If you saw it and "didn't get it," what about it didn't you "get"?


Music Shuffle Monday 07.19.10

http://www.veryicon.com/icon/png/Media/iPod,%20Therefore%20I%20Am/iPod%20Mini%20Blue.pngIt's baaaaaack! Sorry for the lack of this feature the past... month! I took a week or 2 off of it and then the whole problem with our computer and power supply caused me to put most of the weekly features on hold. But behold - Music Shuffle Monday is back!

This week I thought I'd change things up a bit from the norm, as I'm not sure where I put my iPod, so we'll be using me and hubby's joint iTunes collection (on shuffle) instead!

Here goes!

1. "The Only" by Static-X
I think I've shared before (and if not, now you know) that Static-X is probably one of my top favorite bands EVER! Some say they're rock, some say they're metal, some call them industrial, others call them something else... they label themselves as "evil disco" which I find amusing as clearly they're not disco, lol... Static-X is currently tied with Powerman5000 for band I've seen the most times (3 times each) and I've been fortunate to catch Static-X at the House of Blues Chicago each time (which is my FAVORITE venue ever!). They really do put on a great show - the lights are almost hypnotic, Wayne Static really knows how to get the crowd going and I just have such a fun time EVERY time I see them live! This song off their 3rd album, Shadowzone, which I bought used at a used CD store with my ex - even though we shared it, I paid for it so therefore it's technically mine and it was my first actual Static-X CD (I had burned copies of the previous 2 albums). To be honest, I wasn't sure if I liked Shadowzone, as it was as heavy and driven as the first 2 albums were, but it grew on me - it was a bit different, but in a good way. I have to admit though, The Only is probably the only song on the album like it - it's very clear that this was solely a radio track to market the new album, as the rest of the album sounds very different (in a good way) from this single. Eventually Static-X went back to the heavier, driven sound, this being their most "mellow" album, but it's still a good album in their discography (which I love every album of it!).

Also, if anyone wants to make (or knows of anyone who can make) a Wayne Static plushie for me, I will <3 you soooo much - it's gotta have the giant straight up whiteboy 'fro and his superlong braided gotee and come with a little plush guitar too. Thanks!

2. "Sweetness" by Jimmy Eat World
I'm not really one for most "emo" bands, and to be honest, I think Jimmy Eat World was really one of the first to start the whole "emo" trend in music, but this song and their other big hit "The Middle" were pretty big near the end of high school and so naturally I bought the CD... and only listened to those 2 songs as I wasn't too fond of the rest of the album. To be honest, these guys aren't really that emo... compared to the emo bands of today! I think anyone my age may have a little bit of a fondness for JEW, as it does remind me a little bit of the end of high school.

3. "Stop Me" by Mark Ronson
Near the last half of college I got into techo/dance a little bit, thanks to Dance Factory 92.5 based out of Chicago and our college town picked up a bunch of stations from both my hometown and Chicago. Managing the theater in the evenings til close, we had a boombox in the office and 92.5 was one of the channels we could actually get to come somewhat clear and in the evening it went from a "we play anything" channel to Dance Factory, so I got hooked at work and proceeded to switch over to it sometimes at night while driving home. This was one of the songs that got regular airplay at the time. A fun fact about it - Mark Ronson is the (I think older) brother of Lindsay Lohan's former gal-pal DJ Samantha Ronson. I haven't actually heard any of Sam's stuff, but I'd like to think she learned from her brother, in which I kinda like this song of his.

4. "Healing to Suffer Again" by Hatebreed
Not gonna lie, I think this one of hubby's tracks, as I never really got into Hatebreed... unless a friend gave it to me in college and I never actually got around to listening to it! Either way... I haven't heard much Hatebreed and I'm unfamiliar with this song, which is off their album Perseverance. They sound like a heavier, early Atreyu with the scratchy screaming vocals (but less pukey sounding like Atreyu's were on their early albums!). He sounds pretty angry too... and the song's over. Not even 3 minutes, okay then! Next!

5. "The Scientist" by Coldplay
I never really heard or got into Coldplay until I heard this song and saw the video my freshman year of college. My roommate at the time knew the song and said it always made her sad. To be honest, from an art perspective, the video for it fascinated me, as it was shot completely in reverse - it was one of those videos at the time that you just couldn't help but watch, as everything is like in rewind! So neat! I recall reading somewhere that singer Chris Martin had to learn the song backwards too so in the video, while he's lip-syncing, it matches up - that's loco!


For the Truebies AND the Twihards...

Lady Mel posted this on her Twitter the other night and I thought it was pretty funny - Barbie and Ken dolls act out Bella, Edward, Sookie and Bill (wish there was some Eric!), there's also cameos at the end by Jacob and Alcide. Hope this helps your True Blood or Twilight fix.


Classic Nickelodeon Shows part 1: The Nicktoons

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_utpn85k5ndo/S38v5P_J4bI/AAAAAAAAAJw/mw1r8Sd4oxE/s1600/flashbacklogo.jpgThe other day, while on 20 Something Bloggers, I came across a discussion about "classic" Nickelodeon shows and it dawned on me that that would make for a great Flashback Friday post. Since there's so many great, classic Nickelodeon shows I grew up watching in the 90s, I thought it would be best to break up into a 3 part series - the Nicktoons, the game shows, and the original programming.

Anyone remember Nickelodeon's original Sunday Morning lineup with the 3 original Nicktoons?

We had Doug, followed by Rugrats and then Ren and Stimpy. I remember as a kid procrastinating Sunday mornings when it came time to get ready for church because I wanted to watch the Nicktoons. Sometimes we would tape them, other times I'd catch them on the afternoon reruns or marathons.

In Doug, we followed the adventures of Doug Funny and his pet dog and sidekick Porkchop as Doug's family moves to the town of Bluffington. Joining Doug and Porkchop, are Doug's best friend Skeeter, his crush Patty Mayonnaise and her friend rich Bebe Bloom, and the school bully Roger. I believe Doug was supposed to be in Junior High. He also had an alter ego named Quailman, who wore his underwear outside his brown shorts with a belt around his head like a headband. Doug and his friends were also huge fans of the Killer Tofu rockband The Beets. While Doug's family were more background characters, his older beatnik sister Judy did occasionally help out her younger brother. Doug lasted for several years in the early 90s on Nickelodeon until Disney made a version of the show for their ABC Saturday morning lineup (which many have cited as not being nearly as good as the original).

http://gordonandthewhale.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/rugrats.gifRugrats followed the adventures of baby Tommy Pickles, his pre-school aged cousin (and spoiled brat) Angelica, and his baby friends Chuckie and twins Phil and Lil - later on they were joined by pre-school aged neighbor Susie (who would frequently butt heads with Angelica), Tommy's newborn baby brother Dil, and Chuckie's stepsister Kimmie. Rounding out the cast were the kids respective parents (Tommy's parents inventor Stu and his wife DiDi; Chuckie's anal-retentive widowed father Chaz; Angelica's workaholic mother Charlotte and clueless father Drew; and Phil and Lil's feminist athlete mother Betty with quiet father Howard); the Pickle's family dog Spike and of course Tommy's live-in grandpa Lou. Throughout the years the babies had quite the adventures, like the time Tommy was out shopping with grandpa and got mistaken for a rich baby and was kidnapped, only to have the kidnappers return him after a few hours because his curious antics drove them nuts; or the time Angelica thought she really was a princesses and that her "real" father - a king - was finally coming to get her, so she stows away with her doll Cynthia in the Plummer King's truck, thinking he's the king; or the time when Phil and Lil switched clothes to confuse their parents. The kids also loved a t-rex dinosaur named Reptar and had to have everything Reptar-related. There's a reason this show was on the air for so long, spawning several theatrical movies as well as an All Grown Up special and spin-off series taking place 10 years after the original series. The show had a certain magic to it - kids loved it due to the antics and adventures the kids got into, while adults loved it because it reminded them of when their kids were little.

Rounding out the Sunday Morning lineup of Nicktoons was Ren and Stimpy, which followed the adventures of chihuahua Ren and his fat cat pal Stimpy. Clearly, Ren was the brains of their antics, as Stimpy was pretty naive and sometimes stupid. While the show did have some memorable moments (like Log, from Blam-O), and in the first episode we were introduced to the 2, showing how they were orphaned and left to live alone on the streets before finding each, but as the series progressed, it delved quite a bit into gross-out animated antics with a lot of "bathroom" humor - of course the kids loved it, mothers loathed it and dad's being dad's thought it was pretty funny. In 2003, Ren and Stimpy was brought back to television, this time on SpikeTV as part of a late-night block, but it was a more mature version of the show brought to us by the original creator (who was fired by Nickelodeon during the 2nd season of the original series run) and only lasted for 9 episodes (several of which were originally banned by Nickelodeon during the original run). Despite some of the grosser episodes, Ren and Stimpy, like The Simpsons, has been called one the pioneers for adult cartoons, paving the way for the adult cartoons shows we have today.

*Fun Fact - What do 2 of these original Nicktoons have in common with Futurama?

Billy West! That's right, the voice of Stephen J. Fry is also the voice of Doug Funny and his nemesis Roger, as well as the voice of Stimpy and later Ren.

With the success of these 3 original Nicktoons, Nickelodeon decided to add more Nicktoons to the channel throughout the years, with the next one being the cult classic Rocko's Modern Life.

http://a5.vox.com/6a00cd970d30ae4cd500fa968deaa50003-320piIn Rocko's Modern Life, we follow the adventures of a bachelor Australian wallaby named Rocko and his cute little dog named Spunky who live in O-Town. We also regularly see his best friend the steer named Heffer, a geeky neurotic turtle named Filburt, Rocko's next door neighbors Mr. and Mrs. Bighead. A few memorable episodes include one focused on garbage day, as Rocko hears the garbage truck coming up the street and tries to gather up all his trash, only to have the neighborhood bull dog Earl in his way of getting it out to the curb - Spunky also finds a nasty slime in the fridge and proceeds to play with it, as it sticks to nearly everything. The humor in the show was similar to that of Ren and Stimpy, as it did some have some gross out moments, but compared to Ren and Stimpy it was a lot more tame! Despite only lasting 4 seasons, this is another one that became a cult classic.

http://i46.tinypic.com/118du1t.jpgAnother early Nicktoon was the Aaahh! Real Monsters. In this series, we follow the adventures of 3 young monsters - Ickis who is a reddish-purple creature who often gets mistaken as a bunny rabbit by the children he tries to scare; Oblina who is a black and white stripped female upper-class monster with big lips - one of her memorable scare tactics is disguising herself as an umbrella handle; and Krumm, a fleshtone monster with a big mouth whose eyes are carried by 2 human-like hands, he is also known to wreak of stench. The 3 monsters all attend a monster-like academy with other students and are taught by the unpleasant headmaster Gromble. Each episode followed our 3 main characters as they tried to carry out their scare assignments for the week in order to appease Gromble, although they did on occasion have other adventures as well. Like Rugrats, there was a planned movie for this series, however it was canceled when the proposed script was deemed too disturbing for kids. Like Rocko's Modern Life, this one too lasted for 4 seasons.

Stay tuned next week, for our 2nd installment of Flashback Friday to Classic Nickelodeon shows, taking a look at some classic Nick game shows!