BlogExplosion

Saturday, February 28, 2009

March Madness Is Coming!

When I first started blogging in earnest back in February 2008, one of the first things I shared with my loyal Roxiticus Desperate Housewives readers was my love of March Madness college basketball. It occasionally divides our household, when London and I root for my alma mater, the Syracuse Orangemen, and Maddie and Rex root for PostBoy's alma mater, the Villanova Wildcats. One year later, we're coming up on one of our family's favorite times of year... the end of winter, preparations for Maddie's 7th birthday, and bracketology time!

For those of you who are interested in winning a million bucks, stay tuned... I've just started researching the best web sites to win a million dollars for my perfect bracket in the NCAA Tournament. As of today -- Saturday, February 28th and the start of "Judgment Week," the last week of regular season college basketball games -- neither ESPN nor Sports Illustrated have posted any big money contests. A Google search on "March Madness million dollar bracket" points out the gambling sites that want access to your credit card or bank account in order to enter their "free" contests. A few years back, before they required the financial background info to enter their contests, I signed up, including my mailing address, and they've given me all the swimsuit calendars a girl could ever want.

I will hope that as championship week gets underway and the Madness begins, the large sports sites like ESPN and Sports Illustrated, as well as big players like AOL and Yahoo, will launch free contests. In the meantime, take note of the following important dates:
  • Thursday, March 5th through Sunday, March 15th: NCAA Championship Week
  • Sunday, March 15th at 6:00pm: Selection Sunday, when the 65 teams are announced
  • Tuesday, March 17th through Monday, April 6th: NCAA Tournament
Stay tuned and we'll keep you up to date on the million dollar opportunities, sports fans!

Homework and Screen Time

It's Saturday morning in the Roxiticus Valley and we're getting ready for a crazy busy weekend -- starting with Mendham Patriots basketball, leading into two kids' birthday parties, and a Girl Scout roller skating, roller blading bash in Florham Park this evening. As London and Maddie were getting ready for their busy day, I shared with Rex the long list of homework assignments required for Maddie's first grade class... dioramas, puppets, posters, reading responses and a new "at home journal." Rex thought it would be easy to find time for more academic pursuits if we cut back on Maddie's screen time.

While London can settle in and read a Nancy Drew book in an afternoon, Maddie still prefers to log on to an online video game site like MagNext Virtual, which is free to play indefinitely, and Maddie could go on playing indefinitely... bumping and battling, riding and racing, making new virtual friends for chatting and showing off. Since we signed up for our free MagNext Virtual account a few weeks ago, London and Maddie have tried racing their hot rods at roaring speeds, and I've even tried the star-scraping rollercoaster shown in the picture here. The girls enjoy collecting virtual money called Magz and saving up to purchase special paint jobs, action skills and super cool gear in the online shop. On more than one occasion, I've used counting and spending Magz to fulfill London's daily math activity requirement for her second grade class.

If you have kids or enjoy online games yourself, visit MagNext and sign up for a free account, then look for London and Maddie (we go by "RoxiticusDH") and challenge the girls to your favorite game.

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Music Monday: The Macarena (Los Del Rio) In Honor of My Little Flower Girls


It's almost bedtime here in the Roxiticus Valley, but I wanted to give you just a hint of PostBoy and MathGirl's awesome wedding in Connecticut this weekend. In the photo above, Maddie is on the left, London is on the right, and their niece is in the middle, and they're all doing the Macarena at the wedding reception. As I read through the lyrics that you'll find below the video, I'm thankful that none of the innocent flower girls were singing along.



When I dance they call me Macarena
And the boys they say que soy buena
They all want me, they can't have me
So they all come and dance beside me
Move with me, chat with me
And if I could I'd take you home with me

Now don't you worry about my boyfriend
The boy whose name is Vitorino
I don't want him, couldn't stand him
He was no good so I
Now come on, what was I suppose to do
He was out of town and his two friends were so fine

Come find me, my name is Macarena
Always at the party con las chicas que estan buenas
Come join me, dance with me
And all you fellas chat along with me

When I dance they call me Macarena
And the boys they say that I´m buena
They all want me, they can´t have me
So they all come and dance beside me
Move with me, chat with me
And if your good I take you home with me
Dale a tu cuerpo alegria macarena
Que tu cuerpo pa' darle alegria cosabuena
Dal a tu cuerpo
Eeeh, macarena

Now don't you worry about my boyfriend
The boy whose name is Vitorino
I don't want him, couldn't stand him
He was no good so I
Now come on, what was I supposed to do
He was out of town and his two friends were so fine

Come find me, my name is Macarena
Always at the party con las chicas que estan buenas
Come join me, dance with me
And all you fellas chat along with me



Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.





Friday, February 20, 2009

Big Weekend! PostBoy and MathGirl Are Getting Married!

We're off to Connecticut for a big, big weekend... Rex's son PostBoy is marrying MathGirl, and London and Maddie are going to be flower girls. We're all thrilled to have MathGirl as part of our family. I've posted more about it on Roxy's Best Of... Shelton, Connecticut, and will have more to report when we return home on Sunday.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Music Monday: Man in Motion (St. Elmo's Fire) by John Parr

As Music Monday approached, I knew that I wanted to share John Parr's "Man in Motion" from the 1980's Brat Pack movie St. Elmo's Fire, with all of you. What I didn't know was how hard it would be to find a YouTube video to go along with the lyrics. I found some music videos dubbed with bad amateurs singing along, too creepy to share. Instead, here's a short video of a live John Parr performance, which unfortunately doesn't include the entire song, but it's the best I could find. I find the lyrics and the music incredibly energizing, which is something I need lately. I'm reminded of a quote from a former employer: "Let's not confuse motion with progress." For the past two weeks with our new business partners, Rex and I have been very busy and involved in meetings... we'll have to determine whether the time has been productive as well. In the meantime, let the video take you back with Rob Lowe and Demi Moore...




Growin' up
You don't see the writin' on the wall
Passin' by
Movin' straight ahead you knew it all
But maybe sometime if you feel the pain
You'll find you're all alone
Everything has changed

Play the game
You know you can't quit until it's won
Soldier on
Only you can do what must be done
You know in some way
You're a lot like me
You're just a prisoner
And you're tryin' to break free

CHORUS:

I can see a new horizon
Underneath the blazin' sky
I'll be where the eagle's
Flyin' higher and higher
Gonna be your man in motion
All I need is a pair of wheels
Take me where my future's lyin'
St. Elmo's Fire

Oooh...

Burnin' up
Don't know just how far that I can go
(Just how far I go)
Soon be home
Only just a few miles down the road
I can make it
I know I can
You broke the boy in me
But you won't break the man

(CHORUS)

I can climb the highest mountain
Cross the wildest sea
I can feel St. Elmo's Fire burnin' in me
Burnin' in me

Just once in his life
A man has his time
And my time is now
And I'm comin' alive

I can hear the music playin'
I can see the banners fly
Feel like you're back again
And hope ridin' high
Gonna be your man in motion
All I need is a pair of wheels
Take me where my future's lyin'
St. Elmo's Fire

(CHORUS)

I can climb the highest mountain
Cross the wildest sea
I can feel St. Elmo's Fire burnin' in me

Burnin'
Burnin' in me
I can feel it burnin'
Oooh, burnin' inside of me



Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.




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Sunday, February 08, 2009

Music Monday: London's Birthday Party with Three BFFs and Cirque Eloize at NJPAC

London described it as “the best birthday party ever.” Maddie just loved having our own private balcony for ten, looking out over the crowd. Rex said, “Weird… but wonderful.” One of the other moms kept looking for Eloise from the Plaza Hotel… she didn’t find that naughty little six-year-old, but enjoyed many other surprises. I loved the trampolines, trapeze and contortionist but worried that London’s sister Maddie would be twisting herself into a pretzel during the after-party at home.

For those of you who are out of the loop, we’re talking about London’s 8th birthday party last weekend. Rex, Maddie, London and I were joined by three of London’s BFFs (best friends forever) and their moms for the Saturday matinee performance of Nebbia by Cirque Eloize at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC).

I quickly realized that I would have trouble describing it, so I was thrilled to find the following short video on YouTube:







Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.





Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Top Secret: Here's How Roxy's Going to Get Rich in 2009

London and Maddie are writing a screenplay and music for High School Musical 4 ("The College Years"), featuring our entire family in starring roles. They've already shared one song ("Good World") and a locker scene, and while I'm not ready to quit my shiny new day job, I think High School Musical 4 shows real promise.

Head Games

Rex and I spent the day here in the Roxiticus Valley in the home office, and just returned home from picking up the girls at Pavan's Tennis Academy in Chester, NJ, where London takes a lesson and then plays in QuickStart tennis matches, while Maddie, who dropped out of tennis last month, does her homework and "watches something" on TV. We came home and the girls wanted to check out one of the new online gaming communities they've joined. MagNext features free online games involving magnetic spheres with style, power and a hyper sense of adventure. At first, we tried to challenge another gladiator to a game, but SuperstarJosh declined Rookies London and Maddie in favor of tougher competition. So the girls and I took the Spheron Speed Challenge and had good fun on our own.

It's all part of MagNext Virtual, an out-of-this-world community, our family's very own high tech place in space built for riding and racing, bumping and battling, chatting with friends and strutting our stuff. We cranked our virtual hot rod to a roaring speed tonight, and maybe tomorrow London and Maddie will spin a star-scraping rollercoaster out of control, Every time the girls play, they collect Magz that they can use to purchase special paint jobs, action skills and super cool gear in the Magnetz online shop. If you and your kids join Magnetz, be on the lookout for a member named RoxiticusDH and challenge London, Maddie and Roxy to the adventure of your choice.

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Monday, February 02, 2009

Music Monday: Starting Over by John Lennon

This week's Music Monday on Roxiticus Desperate Housewives is "Starting Over" by John Lennon.

There are a few stories behind the song. I've been hinting for the past few weeks about big changes in our lives. Most significantly, after ten years on our own with our small investment bank, Rex and I have joined forces with another focused investment banking firm. Our first day is Music Monday, February 2nd, and it feels just like starting over... in a positive, energized way. Wish us luck!



"Our life together is so precious, together
We have grown, we have grown
Although our love is still special
Let's take a chance and fly away somewhere alone

It's been too long since we took the time
No one's to blame, I know time flies so quickly
But when I see you darling
It's like we both are falling in love again
It'll be just like starting over, starting over

Everyday we used to make it love
Why can't we be making love nice and easy
It's time to spread our wings and fly
Don't let another day go by my love
It'll be just like starting over, starting over

Why don't we take off alone
Take a trip somewhere far, far away
We'll be together all alone again
Like we used to in the early days
Well, well, well darling

It's been too long since we took the time
No-one's to blame, I know time flies so quickly
But when I see you darling
It's like we both are falling in love again
It'll be just like starting over, starting over

Our life together is so precious together
We have grown, we have grown
Although our love is still special
Let's take a chance and fly away somewhere"



Another back story to "Starting Over" is that we're a full month into the New Year 2009 and I'm not doing very well on my New Year's resolutions. While I haven't gained any weight, I haven't lost any either, and I haven't gotten serious about working out on a regular basis. There's always an excuse... from my rickety knees, to work and family commitments. So today, as we launch into a new month and a new work routine, I'm starting over on my fitness not fatness resolution. I'm headed down to the elliptical trainer right now, with a renewed commitment to work out every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, as well as finding ways to fit fitness into my everyday life.

Last but not least, I've made a new resolution to tame the paper dragon and reduce clutter in my office and home. Although (and perhaps because) I'll have less time to waste on paperwork, I've got a triple-pronged plan: I cleaned out our home office (I should have taken "before" and "after" photos), I'm going to make sure less comes in than goes out/gets thrown away each day, and I'm going to spend one hour per week going through the boxes of "memory book" materials to create attractive, well-organized scrapbooks for London, Maddie, and our family.




Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.