BlogExplosion

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Survived the Slumber Party!!

London's birthday slumber party was a great success... the girls didn't get to sleep until 2:30 in the morning, so we're all a bit exhausted. Rex and I were pleased to find that London has a terrific bunch of girlfriends... polite, sweet, but FUN!

We baked the "popcorn bowl" cake ourselves... we've been practicing since the Christmas holidays and it came out just about perfect on the third try.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Happy Birthday, London!!

My baby girl turns nine (9) today!! Over the course of those nine wonderful years, we've moved from getting infant London to sleep through the night to wondering whether anyone will sleep through the night at her very first slumber party on Saturday...wish me luck!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Goodbye, Uncle Joe

My Uncle Joe passed away this morning. Last weekend, I had the chance to say goodbye. I'd like to make a special note of gratitude to the nurses who cared for him for so many years, and specifically the one who worked hard to wake him up on Sunday afternoon so that we could say goodbye. London and Maddie have always brightened his day, so the girls sang for Uncle Joe one last time... he woke up just long enough to smile through Grand Old Flag and Party in the U.S.A.

My sister has made arrangements for a true veteran's burial at Arlington National Cemetery...full military honors, complete with a bugler and Gun Salute he deserves.

Even though we knew it was coming, I'm still filled with sadness...that more than 65 of his 90 years had to be so hard; guilt... that I couldn't (or didn't) do more for him; and a sense of relief and comfort that comes from my faith that he'll soon be reunited with his beloved brother (my dad) in some form of a better, eternal life.

Goodbye Uncle Joe, we love you.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Terrorism in Roxy's Hometown: Branchburg, New Jersey

Back in December, before the school holidays, police arrested two teenagers who had planned a Columbine-like attack on Bridgewater Raritan High School and Immaculata High School (down the street from my alma mater in Somerville, NJ). As far as I know, that story never made national headlines, perhaps because they caught the would be murderers before they succeeded in their plan.

Tonight, I learned that the Branchburg Police (the same guys who show up to help my 84-year-old mom no matter how many times she falls and dislocates her hip) seized a grenade launcher and weapons cache from the Red Mill Inn motel room of a creepy terrorist-type after (thankfully) someone reported suspicious activity at the Quik-Chek convenience store on Route 28. Suspicious? I'd say! At the time of his arrest, Woodson was wearing a military-style ballistic vest with a reinforced steel plate and carrying a .223-caliber assault rifle that had been altered to fire .50-caliber ammunition. He was also carrying four loaded magazines with hollow-point ammunition.

Branchburg police confronted Woodson at 3:55 a.m. at the Quik-Chek convenience store on Route 28 after receiving a call reporting a suspicious person. Branchburg Patrolman Steven Cronce noticed a large bulge beneath the green, military-style jacket that Woodson was wearing, which was later determined to be the assault rifle with a defaced serial number. Woodson appeared "extremely nervous" as Cronce questioned him, and he ultimately ran from the convenience store toward the Regency Trailer Park on Route 22, Forrest. Officers found Woodson hiding in the bushes and he attempted to run, officers tackled him and used pepper spray to subdue Woodson. Nice work, guys...Branchburg's finest, we salute you!

Detectives later searched Woodson’s room at the Red Mill Inn on Route 22 and found weapons including a .308-caliber semi-automatic assault rifle with a defaced serial number, a grenade launcher, hundreds .50-caliber and .308-caliber rounds, a police scanner, and the maps of a U.S. military installation and an out-of-state civilian community. Woodson, who is a Navy veteran, had been staying at the hotel since last week. Investigators also found Middle Eastern red and white traditional headdress.

What I want to know is what the hell the guy was doing in Branchburg, New Jersey??

Check out the whole story at the Star-Ledger's NJ.com.

Music Monday: Two Versions of You Look So Good In Love -- Jamie Foxx and George Strait

London, Maddie and I spent part of our weekend catching up on the American Idol auditions. We're late to the party... we just started tuning in during the final episodes last season, and the girls are hooked. After researching the American Idol age guidelines (minimum 16, maximum 28) and seeing a sister duo make it to Hollywood, the girls are already planning their first Butter Bites audition in 2018.

In the midst of an emotional weekend, I felt the emotional ups and downs of the auditions fit my mood and I found the show compelling. One of the singers who got a golden ticket to Hollywood was a guy named Bosa, who sang "You Look So Good in Love," a song I knew from the days when I was a single Jersey girl in love with a country music d.j. in Boise, Idaho. The lyrics "take me there"... to a situation in which the singer, seeing his ex with another man, wistfully laments: "he must do something that I didn't do, whatever he's doing, it looks good on you."

I told Rex, "I like this guy, partly because it is unusual to see a black guy singing country music." However, as I searched YouTube for a George Strait video (scroll down for that one, too), the first one I found was this one from Jamie Foxx:





Oh how you sparkle, and oh how you shine.
That flush on your cheeks is more than the wine.
And he must do something that I didn't do.
Whatever he's doing, it looks good on you.

You look so good in love.
You want him, that's easy to see.
You look so good in love.
And I wish you still wanted me.

He must have stolen some stars from the sky,
And gave them to you to wear in your eyes.
I had my chances, but I set you free.
And now I wonder why I couldn't see.

You look so good in love.
You want him, that's easy to see.
You look so good in love.
And I wish you still wanted me.

Darling I've wasted a lot of years not seeing the real you,
But tonight your beauty is shining through.
And I never took the time to let you know,
So before he takes you away please let me say.

You look so good in love.
You want him, that's easy to see.
You look so good in love.
And I wish you still wanted 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.





PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!

Grandmom's Tuna Noodle Casserole

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of HealthyTuna.com. All opinions are 100% mine.

Rex says Grammy (his mom) made the same thing for him when he was growing up and called it "Noodle Kadoodle," but I like to think my mom's famous Tuna Noodle Casserole is unique... or at least special. The ingredients are pretty straight forward and the recipe clearly came off a can of Campbell's Soup back in the 1950's: one can of healthy tuna, a bag of egg noodles, some bread crumbs, and a can of... here's where Grandmom (my mom) and I have a bit of a dispute... I believe mushrooms are the work of the devil, so I substitute Cream of Chicken or Cream of Celery for the can of Cream of Mushroom (eeeew) soup called for in her traditional recipe. Since Grandmom makes it for me on special occasions like my birthday (this year, I'll take a photo), or when Rex and the girls and I have dinner with her on our way to a 4-H meeting, I don't often cook Tuna Noodle Casserole for myself... but I think you boil the egg noodles, then add the soup and the tuna to a casserole dish, top it with the bread crumbs, and cook it in the oven... I'll have to check with my mom and get back to you!

I know there's a lot of confusion out there lately about seafood and pregnancy...many pregnant women simply stop eating seafood entirely for the whole nine months. Now, I'm not a doctor, I don't even play one on TV... (remember, I play a desperate housewife on TV!!) but when I was pregnant with London, I craved sushi soooo badly that my ob-gyn told me to go ahead and eat it as long as I stuck with my usual restaurant and the usual fish (like spicy tuna and crunchy salmon skin rolls) and didn't get too adventurous in trying new things. While it's true that pregnant women should stay away from fish high in mercury (shark, mackerel, swordfish, and tilefish), it turns out I was actually smart to eat seafood during pregnancy. A scientific study was just released in which the findings show that women who skip seafood during pregnancy could be putting themselves in danger of depression. So what's the message? Seafood and tuna is healthy and important for pregnant women and for the healthy growth and development of small children. And as long as pregnant Roxy had my sushi and Tuna Noodle Casserole, I was happy as a clam... excuse the pun.

Visit my sponsor: Tuna: Everyone's favorite gift from the sea!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Goodbye, Uncle Joe

My uncle is dying. I'm filled with sadness...that more than 65 of his 90 years had to be so hard; guilt... that I couldn't (or didn't) do more for him; and a sense of relief and comfort that comes from my faith that he'll soon be reunited with his beloved brother (my dad) in some form of a better, eternal life.

My dad, who passed away almost eight years ago at the age of 87, was a World War II veteran. His younger brother, my Uncle Joe, who celebrated his 90th birthday in August, also served in World War II, but has been a living reminder that our freedom isn't free. He was shot in the head and spent the past 60+ years in the care of the U.S. Veteran's Administration, primarily at the VA hospital in Lyons, New Jersey. Despite the fact that Uncle Joe enlisted in the army to serve his country instead of going to the University of Alabama on a baseball scholarship, he has never seemed bitter about his incredible sacrifice. He's had his good days and his bad days, and is extremely hard of hearing, but his eyes always light up when London and Maddie dance into his room to share their latest news.

Tomorrow morning, I'll head over to Lyons to say goodbye in person. Goodbye, Uncle Joe.

Back to Branson

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Hiltons of Branson. All opinions are 100% mine.


After our relaxing Martin Luther King Day weekend, when we stayed warm by the fire and practiced baking London's birthday cake, the rest of the week turned quite stressful. Rex was away on business, I had deadlines to meet on three different M&A projects (the owners of Project Rocket Science decided they didn't like their secret code name!!), and I just couldn't wait for the weekend. It's the best kind of weekend, when we don't have too much planned. Maddie and London have Mendham Patriots basketball on Saturday morning, we have the real birthday cake to bake for London's ninth birthday and some fun preparations for her first ever slumber party.

I'd also love a getaway weekend, particularly an unexpected one. My niece, Candy, was swept away by her husband last week for a surprise MLK weekend in sunny Miami. A winter weekend in the Ozarks would be fun, too... with the exclusive Romance Package, I could surprise Rex with a weekend getaway at the Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel and Hilton Promenade at Branson Landing, maybe for Valentine's Day... raise a glass of in-room sparkling wine upon arrival, shake off the stress in the hotel health club, pool and hot tub, a full American breakfast for two without leaving our room... you get my drift.

If we decide to go out, the two Hilton hotels are situated within the electrifying entertainment capital of the Midwest in Branson, Missouri, with winter events like the 4th annual professional ice sculpting competition or the Master’s Trout Championship. We'll also be within easy driving distance of Branson’s championship golf courses, lakes, museums, theme parks and 49 live entertainment theaters....whatever my Valentine's heart desires.

Visit my sponsor: Relax, recoup and rekindle your love in Branson!

Monday, January 18, 2010

MLK Music Monday: U2's Pride (In the Name of Love)

Early morning, April 4
Shot rings out in the Memphis sky
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride

In the name of love!
What more in the name of love?


This Music Monday post honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.




One man come in the name of love
One man come and go
One man come here to justify
One man to overthrow
In the name of love!
One man in the name of love
In the name of love!
What more? In the name of love!

One man caught on a barbed wire fence
One man he resists
One man washed on an empty beach
One man betrayed with a kiss

In the name of love!
What more in the name of love?
In the name of love!
What more? In the name of love!

...nobody like you...there's nobody like you...

Mmm...mmm...mmm...
Early morning, April 4
Shot rings out in the Memphis sky
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride

In the name of love!
What more in the name of love?
In the name of love!
What more in the name of love?
In the name of love!
What more in the name of love...


First commenter this week goes to Mariuca, who posted U2's Pride for Music Monday back in March 2009.

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.


PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Flesh-Free No More! Back to Sammy's in Mendham Tonight!!

Starting on January 1st, for ten days, Rex was following a "detoxification diet" at the recommendation of his nutritionist, Corinne Bush at the Far Hills Pharmacy. Thankfully, he continued to cook for the rest of the family, so London, Maddie and I devoured steaks and lamb chops while Rex went "flesh free" and loaded his plate with salads, brussels sprouts, and broccoli. Tonight, we celebrate Rex's return to the flesh with rib eye steaks at Sammy's Ye Olde Cider Mill Restaurant in Mendham, NJ. I will try to post a few photos from tonight's festivities.

Monday, January 11, 2010

True Companion, Won't You Reconsider Your Choice of Name?

At the Adult Entertainment Expo in Vegas over the weekend, True Companion (a company in nearby Lincoln Park, New Jersey -- no doubt a fan of Roxy's Best Of... New Jersey) introduced the world's first sex robot, and her name is... Roxxxy.

According to her inventor, Douglas Hines, Roxxy, the self-described world’s first sex robot, is not about sex. She’s about artificial intelligence and preserving the unique but finite personality of an individual in the potentially infinite realm of technology. For Hines, Roxxxy’s inspiration was a friend who died during the September 11th terrorist attacks. Hines said he wanted his friend’s children to grow up and still be able to interact with their father. The former Bell Technologies engineer began thinking more seriously about artificial intelligence and its implications in today’s society.

However, with the non-sexual robot companion market being pretty slim, Hines’ concept was changed in order to capitalize on the adult entertainment industry.

Hello, Roxxxy!

If she were human, Roxxxy might be described as having split personality disorder. The robot has five distinct but customizable personalities — Frigid Farrah, Wild Wendy, S&M Susan, Young (barely 18, the press release clarifies) and Mature Martha — as well as the capacity for the owner to create unique personalities. Roxxxy will react differently to physical interaction based on the personality selected. If you take Farrah’s hand, she will tell you she enjoys holding it. If you take Wendy’s hand, she’ll tell you she has a place for you to put it. Roxxy's unique personalities will be “swappable” by True Companion owners, who will have to subscribe to a monthly service. It’s basically wife swapping without the “extra implications,” Hines explained.

Remember, however, that it isn’t all about sex. (If you’re curious, though, the doll has three “input centers.”) “Sex only goes so far, then, you have to talk to the person,” Hines said. “We’re more interested in creating companions.”

Roxxxy should be able to learn her owner’s likes and dislikes, as should her male counterpart Rocky (being marketed toward gay males). Will it lead to a reduced need for girlfriends and boyfriends? Only time — and men willing to pay a price point of $7,000 and up — will tell.

Music Monday: A Little New Year's Inspiration from Mick Jagger -- She's So Cold

Before I get to my Music Monday post this week, I have to note that Rex & I took Maddie and London to the 4-H Prep New Year's party on Saturday night.... we had a great time, lots of food (everyone brought something different), a disc jockey with dancing and games for the kids, and I won a contest!! To decide whether the boys' team or the girls' team received their ice cream sundaes first, the deejay played the first few notes of an '80s song for the adults to "name that tune"...Roxy guessed "Keep On Loving You" by REO Speedwagon and the girls won!!

Now the Music Monday theme: the temperatures in the Roxiticus Valley have fallen into the single digits, with wind chill factor making it so cold that even Rex has given up his shorts and polo shirts for pants, long sleeves, and a jacket. I needed a little heat, so I tracked down this energetic video of Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones singing "She's So Cold" on YouTube... has anyone else noticed that YouTube seems to be embedding advertising in their videos these days?



I'm so hot for her, I'm so hot for her
I'm so hot for her and she's so cold
I'm so hot for her, I'm on fire for her
I'm so hot for her and she's so cold

I'm the burning bush, I'm the burning fire
I'm the bleeding volcano
I'm so hot for her, I'm so hot for her
I'm so hot for her and she's so cold

Yeah, I tried re-wiring her, tried re-firing her
I think her engine is permanently stalled
She's so cold she's so cold
She's so cold cold cold
Like a tombstone
She's so cold, she's so cold
she's so cold cold cold like an ice cream cone
She's so cold she's so cold
And when I touch her my hand just froze

Yeah, I'm so hot for hot for her, I'm so hot for her
I'm so hot for her and even so
Put your hand on the heat, put your hand on the heat
Aw C'mon baby, let's go

She's so cold, she's so cold, cold, she's so c-c-c-old
But she's beautiful, though

Yeah, she's so cold

She's so cold, she's so cold
She was born in an arctic zone
She's so cold she's so cold, cold, cold
And when I touch her my hand just froze

She's so cold, she's so goddamn cold she's so
Cold cold cold she's so cold

Who would believe you were a beauty indeed
When the days get shorter and the nights get long
Lie awake when the rain comes
Nobody will know, when you're old
When you're old, nobody will know
that you was a beauty, a sweet sweet beauty
A sweet sweet booty, but stone stone cold

You're so cold, you're so cold, cold, cold
You're so cold, you're so cold

I'm so hot for you, i'm so hot for you
I'm so hot for you and you're so cold

I'm the burning bush, I'm the burning fire
I'm the bleeding volcano


Congrats to Gagay, who was our very first commenter on today's Music Monday post.

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.





PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Music Monday for the Epiphany: Five for Fighting with 100 Years

At Hilltop Church on Sunday morning, we celebrated the Epiphany.

Epiphany, which falls every year on January 6th (the 12th day of Christmas) is a Christian feast day which celebrates the revelation of God in human form in the person of Jesus Christ. The celebration of the Epiphany includes the commemoration of the visit of the Magi, or "Wise Men" from Persia, who arrived in Bethlehem to bestow their gifts upon the newborn king.

Another definition of epiphany is the sudden realization or comprehension of the larger essence or meaning of something. The term can be used in either a philosophical or literal sense to signify that the claimant has "found the last piece of the puzzle and now sees the whole picture," or has new information or experience, often insignificant by itself, that illuminates a deeper or numinous foundational frame of reference.

As I wrote at the beginning of 2009, I can't claim anything that deep, but in celebration of the Epiphany, I've got an epiphany and New Year's Resolution of my own: continuing to look for a kinder, gentler Roxy in 2010. I know I have a lot of rough edges, and can be kinda tough... on my kids, and on other grown-ups. However, at the beginning of 2009 I committed to London and Maddie that I would try hard not to yell, and I think I made a lot of progress over the past year. So I'm going to keep the Golden Rule top of mind in 2010: Do unto others as you would have them do to you.

For my Epiphany Music Monday post, I remembered the Five for Fighting song, "100 Years," which has been around for a while, but I only recently listened carefully to the words. I think it fits with my 2010 resolutions to live in the present and enjoy the moments instead of dwelling on the past or spending too much time preparing for the future. Hope you find as much meaning in the song as I did. Happy New Year 2010 !!!






I'm 15 for a moment
Caught in between 10 and 20
And I'm just dreaming
Counting the ways to where you are
I'm 22 for a moment
She feels better than ever
And we're on fire
Making our way back from Mars
15 there's still time for you
Time to buy and time to lose
15, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live
I'm 33 for a moment
Still the man, but you see I'm a they
A kid on the way
A family on my mind
I'm 45 for a moment
The sea is high
And I'm heading into a crisis
Chasing the years of my life
15 there's still time for you
Time to buy, and time to lose yourself
Within a morning star
15 I'm all right with you
15, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live
Half time goes by
Suddenly you're wise
Another blink of an eye
67 is gone
The sun is getting high
We're moving on...
I'm 99 for a moment
Dying for just another moment
And I'm just dreaming
Counting the ways to where you are
15 there's still time for you
22 I feel her too
33 you're on your way
Every day's a new day...
15 there's still time for you
Time to buy and time to choose
Hey 15, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live





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.





PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!

Friday, January 01, 2010

Roxy's Resolutions: Enjoy the Moments

Particularly around significant milestones, I tend to spend time planning for the future, or looking back on the past (both wonderful memories and mistakes I've made). Today, however, I woke up thinking that I'd like to start the New Year and new decade with a focus on enjoying each moment as it happens. Right now, London and Maddie are at such a perfect age... I don't want to waste a minute of the present dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.

So we're spending the day living in the moment... relaxing around the house, taking time to snuggle up by the perfect roaring fire. I can't promise that I won't have a plan to lose a few pounds, exercise more, eat better, etc., but for now we're going to take it as it comes.
Happy New Year 2010 to all of you, and may you enjoy the moments.