Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is a milestone birthday for my mom. To celebrate, I made a video montage of her years on planet Earth. I used a song that was one of her favorites when I was a kid--I'm sure it will bring back a lot of memories for some of you. I remember listening to it on LONG road trips all the way from Camarillo to Bakersfield, and blasting it while we cleaned the house on Saturday afternoons, always with WAY too much Pledge. In fact, the smell of Pledge makes me think of mom, and this song. I hope she still likes it. I love you mom, happy 28th! Have a great day!


Monday, January 28, 2008

Family Home Video Day: Bored People Visiting Other Bored People

This FHVD clip has three parts, all from the 1990 Bailey Family Reunion. Nearly all the cousins are in the group shot at the end (Molly=super cute). But first, I got a good clip of Cristin--one of the few bloggers I haven't embarrassed yet, and Amy will blow you away with her Spanish.


Thursday, January 24, 2008

They Made It...

We just heard the news that Maddie, Frances, Cord, and Gus made it in to the highly competitive, annual Bilbray Elementary school talent show. I’ll video tape their performance (w/o the lens cap on) and post it on my blog after the talent show.

Maddie choreographed the whole dance on her own, and whipped Cord, Gus, and Frances into shape in time for the tryout. Great job Maddie! I video taped some of their practices, but I’ll save their real performance for my blog. Here’s a video of them messing around with different song from the CD while taking a break from practicing their real, much more energetic, routine. Making things up as they go (with a little input from some stage moms)…


Monday, January 21, 2008

Family Home Video Day: How to Eat Ice Cream...

This FHVD clip is in honor of Becky's upcoming birthday (Jan 22). It's sort of a famous home video in our family. Hope you enjoy. Happy 28th Becky!


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer: A Book Junkie Review

About three things I am absolutely positive.
First, Edward is a fictional character.
Second, I am unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.
Third, despite the fact that I’m a real-life married stay-at-home mom of three, somehow, this could work between us...

My date with destiny began on an uncommonly cold January evening--a Sunday, depressing by anyone’s standards, but for some reason I was unhappier than usual. Perhaps it was the bout of stomach flu I felt coming on, or the feeling that my life held no meaning. Things took a turn when Anthony arrived home from work. He found me on my knees, scrubbing the kids' vomit from the game room carpet. He tossed me a clear, plastic grocery bag, weighted by a book. It was Twilight, by Stephenie Meyers. My stomach churned. Was it the book, or something else? To this day, I shall never know, although I had been running a fever.

If I had known that a vampire named Edward would cause my pulse to race, my palms to break out in cold sweats, and keep me up until 3AM, perhaps I would have never opened the book, and its spine would still be taut with disuse. (In fairness, again, all of that could have been caused by the fever.)

What’s the premise of the book, you ask? For those of you who don't know:

Bella Swan needs sunshine like preteen-boys need an Xbox 360, but even more than that, she needs to please her self-centered mother. So, giving her recently remarried mother the freedom she desires, Bella leaves behind the thriving metropolis that is Phoenix, to live with her father in Washington State. Little does she know that in the rainy and fog soaked town of Forks, located in Washington’s Olympic peninsula, a family of vampires resides.

On her first day at her new high school, she notices a group of pale skinned rare-beauties sitting together at a lunch table… not eating. No big deal, right? A common sight, really. WRONG! They’re vampires, but the whole thing is really hush-hush, shhhhhhh, nobody knows. Also unbeknownst to Bella is the fact that one boy from the group, the deliciously handsome Edward, immediately lusts after her blood—something that vampires-living-as-humans must control very carefully. However, his secret begins to unravel when he saves Bella from certain death, using abilities that no human could possibly possess. Bella begins a dangerous dance with the devil as she falls unconditionally and irrevocably in love with a vampire who thirsts for her blood. Oh yeah, he loves her, too, I guess.

It was a “just one more chapter” kind of book. A “just one more chapter, because Edward wasn’t in that last chapter but maybe he’ll be in the next one” kind of book. A “just one more chapter, because, even though Edward was in that last chapter, it sounds like he’ll be in the next one, too, because he said he’d be at school the next day. HE PROMISED HE WOULD BE THERE! EDWARD DOES NOT BREAK HIS PROMISES!”

However, by 3AM, since I had to take my son with the unbeatable immune system to school in a few hours, I finally put the book down and went to bed. But I tossed and turned all night. I could smell the book’s scent from its resting place on my nightstand. I wonder what Edward is up to?”

Fighting through one of those killer head aches that come from lack of sleep, I finished the book the next morning. About two thirds into the book, it turned into a suspenseful thriller that, although captivating, did not distract me from Edward--scanning the pages ahead, looking for his name, counting how many pages I had to read before Edward came back, reading as fast as I could, but it wasn't fast enough, and then finally... I have a reason to breathe.

I have to thank Cristin for bringing this book to my attention. I also recommend it toeveryone else, based solely on Edward. To be balanced, here are a few of the things in the book that made me go, "Whoa, wha... ?"

1) The idea that vampires, who have been alive for at least a hundred years, were repeating their junior and senior year of high school, over and over, at different schools. Can you say "living hell?" What kind of sick-o would you have to be to subject yourself to that? I mean, not that I have bad memories of high school or anything, I can barely even remember it, it’s all suppressed now, but even if you loved high school, wouldn’t you go crazy after, say 30 years... or 40... or 50... or 100 years? They couldn't even develop friendships, or any kind of social relationship with the other students, because they’re vampires and it was too dangerous, so they are basically just participated in the educational aspect of high school, but went to the same classes, year after year, and learned the same stuff over and over. Supposedly this was some sort of cover for the vampires so they could stay in one place for an extended period of time, but those extra two years they got out of it hardly seemed worth repeating the prom 100 times. I thought it was a bit contrived.

(Prom pictures, and other high school dances that were fun at the time but experiences we wouldn't want to live through twice, let alone 99, times:)

OK, maybe some of us would like to relive prom:

2) Though my love for Edward was unconditional, I still longed to reach into the pages of my book, pry open his mouth, and shove those fake jellybean chill pills you can get at Spenser’s Gifts down his throat. He was angry then pleasant then angry then laughing then angry then loving, all in the space of one page. Bella was no different. Let it go, Bella. Let it go. Edward is way out of your league as it is. You are in no position to be angry at him because he wants to take his car to school today. He's a hot vampire who has saved your life more than once, and you're throwing a fit because you want to drive?

3) If you can't tell, I didn't particularly love Bella--she was just OK. I’m just going to come out and say that I despise her name, though I know that’s not her fault. It’s a presumptuous name that should be reserved for cats with dietary problems. (Just my opinion. All of you who love the name, have a daughter/sister/mother with the name, please accept my sincerest apology).

Cat named Bella:

4) I'll try not to give away the circumstances, but there was a crossroads in the book when they needed to leave Forks. All I kept thinking was, "
please don’t take the dark and mysterious vampires to Phoenix, please don’t take the dark and mysterious vampires to Phoenix, please don’t take the dark and mysterious vampires to Phoenix…" Next thing I know, they were boarding a plane for Phoenix. Nothing personal against Arizona, but you don't take vampires there.

Forks, Washington; where vampires live:

Phoenix, Arizona; where ordinary people live:

BTW, these are the actors set to play Bella (Kristin Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) in the movie:

Bella is prettier than I had imagined, and the Edward I had imagined in my head cannot translate to real life so Cedric Diggory will have to do.

For those of you who made it all the way through that, here is a special treat: my favorite quotes taken out of context...

“The smell of his breath made it impossible to think.” --319

“’If you let anything happen to yourself—anything at all—I’m holding you personally responsible.’” –388 (<--sounds reasonable to me)

Friday, January 18, 2008


I don't have my official glamor shot, it's either at my mom's house, or Amy still has it on her nightstand. We only got one 8x10, since that was all the orthodontist would pay for. My mom could have paid out of pocket for extras, though. She didn't.
Here's a picture of my softball team. I think we look pretty glamorous for softball players, what with our hats resting precariously on top of our permed hair: (you'll have to click on it to enlarge it for a close up view)

(I'm the on the far left in front, in danger of losing my cap to a light gust of wind.)

Also, here is one of Anthony's old girlfriend's glamor shots, taken with her mom. So, yes, your ex-boyfriend still has that glamor shot you gave him. Anthony has at least three, and I still look at them from time to time. So, yes, your ex-boyfriend's wife will use your glamor shot to make herself feel prettier. They might even post it on their blog.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Into This...

I'm into this song right now (and it has nothing to do with my name being Jennifer--the name mentioned in the song--because my name isn't Jennifer, it's just Jenny), so I thought I'd bring it to your attention. It's from The Killers newest album, Sawdust (all B-side type songs). This song's called "Leave the Bourbon on the Shelf."

(This is just the song, not a video.)

**I made the comment about my name not being Jennifer because once, Katie told me they almost named their dog Jennifer but didn't because they thought I would be offended. Even knowing my name is Jenny, some people seem to consider the names Jennifer and Jenny one and same. BTW, Katie's real name is Katrina. Nobody better name their dog that--it's taken.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Family Home Video Day: How Long can You Go...

FHVD: How Long can You Go... ?
Amanda steals the show in this one--I thought maybe if I featured her this week, she would drag herself away from her porcelain throne and check out my blog.

*At one point, my dad chews me out for cherry-dropping Andy, but, unfortunately, he didn't get the cherry-drop on tape, only the part when he yelled at me. Then he zooms in on my guilt.
**Cherry-dropping, in the context of teeter-tottering, is when you hop off your side of the teeter when the opposite person is tottering in the air, resulting in a jarring impact with the ground below for your friend.


TO DECODE PREVIOUS CRYPTIC POST: Write down every fifth letter, forming a five by ten box. Then, starting from the bottom right-hand corner, write down every other letter. Read it right to left--The whole thing is easier than it sounds **Hint: if you don’t get it the first time DON’T WORRY, you were probably off by a letter somewhere, double check it, or start over.

Happy Birthday Wolfe!

My handsome nephew, Wolfegang Strasser (or The Wolf, as Gus calls him), is six years old!
He was the last of the Magnificent Six:

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Bad Blogger

Sorry I didn't update my blog much last week. I knew that particular week was going to be bad for blogging--I've had a few things I had to focus my attention on, and unfortunately my blog had to suffer for it. When I picked last week's FHVD post, I was hoping it would be entertaining enough to carry my loyal visitor(s) through the week, and, although the comments have numbered in the forties, it has not escaped my notice that most of them were from fictional characters. My blog has turned stale.

What has distracted me from my blog last week (and from the real world in general, as anyone who has tried to call me can attest to, i.e bill collectors, telemarketers, and the like) continues to be my focus at the moment, so forgive me if things are slow around here. I promise to post a FHVD clip tomorrow--an oldie. I also have a few things I need to blog about, including, but not limited to, my review of Twilight--a book I read within a day of Cristin mentioning it in one of her "favorite things posts" (the book junkie in me couldn't resist). So, look for that post, where I shall wax poetic about the gloomy and fog-soaked Olympic peninsula, vampires, forbidden love, and the Phoenix airport.

**I just realized that I came across a bit cryptic in this post. Will I explain? No. Please don't ask, I am not good at lying. --it's not that interesting anyway.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Family Home Video Day: Sara's Gonna Kill Me...

This is from my private family home video collection. I can honesty say that no other video has ever made me laugh so hard in my life--tears come to my eyes every time I watch it. You can even hear me giggling in the background as I video taped her--I couldn't hold it back. Once, I showed this video to Sara when she came to stay with me a long time ago, and she didn't think it was funny. If it annoys her too much, I'll post the matching one of me next week, but for some reason mine isn't nearly as funny. Pay attention at 1:10.


Saturday, January 5, 2008

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Look what we did New Year's Eve..

*Please watch FHVD post entitled Walker, Texas Ranger before watching this video, or watch Walker, Texas Ranger, weekdays on the Hallmark channel (check local listings for times).

(Write brilliant letter into family newsletter before posting amazing video on "No Blog Day"? Check)

Tom, Katie, and I made this at our huge New Year's Eve bash. It's a lost episode of Walker, Texas Ranger. None of us have actually seen an episode of Walker, Texas Ranger before, just a few clips on Conan O'Brien, so if any of you are familiar with the show, you'll have to lets us know if we were true to character.


Walker... Tom
Violet... herself
Thomas... himself
Brief cameo appearances... Cord & Gus
Editor/co-director... Jenny