Wednesday, August 12, 2009

[Shrek and Fiona] We've Moved!!!!

Yep, we're shutting down this blog and, well, an identical blog with a different URL.

Everything is (just about) exactly the same at our new home over at

The reason for the move is a shorter URL, so some new friends will find us easier.

All the posts already here will stay here, and they are also mirrored at our new home.

We hope you'll all join us at our new place.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

[Fiona] The Train Man

The awe factor disappears with youth. That's what really separates children from adults. Perhaps it is just a casualty of growing up and seeing beyond the magic. I for one miss that sparkle of excitement over a new discovery. My dad and I struggle with his dementia. Somehow we manage. We laugh, we argue, we cry and sometimes together we discover that deep in our souls we still have the ability to be awed.

Recently one Sunday after church dad and I made a discovery. On the corner of a little side street down a short distance from our church we found the train man. The look on my dad's face, as he realized that the movement he'd caught was not an animal but an actual miniature railroad in fine working condition, was amazing. I stopped the car, put down the passenger window and told the man operating the train how cool dad and I thought his setup was. The train man said we should stop sometime and have a look.


I usually have my camera with me when I take dad out just because it helps keep life interesting. I want to make as many memories as I can with my dad before the curtain of dementia comes completely down and I lose him to it. As luck would have it I did not have my camera that day so dad and I drove away. I was a little disappointed and pretty sure that we would never be lucky like that anytime soon.

Most Saturdays I take dad out. We do everyday chores and goofy things and if time allows we go to mass. Much was our mission yesterday. I always make a list of every thing that needs to be done for both households; mine and dads. If I didn't mayhem would ensue. I am only one person and it is a near impossible task to remember everything for everybody and let's not forget about all the pets. So with list in hand and my camera I drove to dads to start our Saturday adventure. First stop after getting dad? The gas satation followed by DD and then off to the bank and the pharmacy. Like most people I am a creature of routine. I drive the same streets to get to the same markets and stores I go to.

Dad made a remark about how neat it would be if the train man was outside. So I changed my routine which paid off handsomely. Not only was the train man outside but he was working on his passion. I parked the car. I approached the chainlink fence surrounding his yard and asked him if it was ok if I took some photos. Happily he agreed.

There are three separate sets of tracks and trains. The trains go into the basement on bad weather days. The tracks are stainless steel so they stay put rain and/or shine. Herb,the train man,told me it has taken him nearly five years to get his front yard turned into a tiny working railyard. It has bulidings, people, vehicles and animals. The attention to detail is mind-blowing. Dad and I chatted with Herb for a good ten minutes and only left because chores needed to be done. Herb I thank you. You gave my dad something there are no words for, a new memory. He doesn't get many of those anymore. My dad talked about the train man all day.

[Shrek] King Once Again

Last month I posted about the King of the Hill tournament at Colonial Lanes in Worcester. Well, sans the 44oz Diet Coke, I returned to defend my title. Even though I didn't need to arrive until later in the evening, I went for the start and stood around to watch the preliminary rounds.

The 5v4 match ended in a tie, with both bowlers having to bowl two additional boxes to break the tie. The rest of the matches weren't even close, which included my two string finals match. It was really over after 7 boxes when I threw 4 spares in a row (and had a fifth waived off because of a lob).

So next month I get to defend my title again...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

[Shrek and Fiona] Theme Thursday 8-6

Well folks, it's time for another edition of Theme Thursday. This week's theme is "KISS", and that turned out to be a lot harder than we thought it would be. Usually there are no real rules about Theme Thursday, but there was one specific rule mentioned for this week: keep it clean.

OK, that eliminated idea number one.

Our second idea was to post pictures of celebrities kissing each other, and turn it into a long chain of celeb #1 kissing #2, and then #2 kissing #3, and so on until #7 or #8 was back to kissing celeb #1. While not a bad idea, we couldn't get the chain beyond four celebs while still following the "keep it clean" directive.

So much for idea number two.

Doing something about the rock group KISS seemed to easy, but we did find one pic worth posting along that vein.

And there's another kissing pick that has made the rounds as the punchline to the joke about where the swine flu came from, and while we suspect many will post it the pic is funny enough to share again.

It's kind of ironic that KISS can also stand for "keep it simple stupid", because at this point it was anything but simple to come up with a good idea for the theme. We did find a few cute picks of kissing...

...but, in general, not really a great path to take as there really isn't anything there that results in a punchline.

But then we remembered one pic that follows every rule we need to's a kiss, it's clean, and it's funny. It's a picture of Cristie Kerr kissing the trophy she just received after winning the LPGA Longs Drugs Challenge at the Twelve Bridges Golf Club in Lincoln, California.

You can create your own punchline.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

[Fiona] Tuesdays in the Summer

I am a repeater. When I am cold or I don't feel well, I will tell you at least a half dozen times. It is just part of the charm that makes me who I am. Shrek has this silly rule. I can complain/whine about the same thing only twice and then I need to move onto a new subject and/or complaint. I think it's funny but it actually helps me most times to move on.

All except for Tuesdays.

It is a matter of fact I loathe Tuesdays for no particular reason and yet a few come to mind. Tuesdays in the summer simply means I have to bowl. I stink at bowling. I am a visually inspired person and, let's face it, there is nothing visually appealing about bowling. My mind wanders. I often throw that little ball in the gutter and it makes me get creative with my language (not ladylike in the least).

You may wonder why is it then that I participate in something that causes me so much angst? The short answer? The people.

I try to have some fun while my torment is on going. I like to laugh with Hilka and Pat is a real gem. My friend Chris taught me all about trying to do your best no matter what and I have to admit I look forward to seeing them each week. Yes bowling has been good for me in some ways. {{Don't tell anyone ;)}}

Fiona and Hilka



Dear Shrek joined a men's bowling league about ten years ago as a way to have a guy night out without causing too much mayhem. Skip is an old-time bowler and has been in the game 30 odd years. He is on Shrek's team in the mens league. Paul not only bowls but keeps the lanes in fine working order and has a vast knowledge of bowling greats past and present truly amazing.




Shrek found he enjoyed doing something with the guys and it allowed us some together time. It was only a short jump to the summer mixed couple league and a request from the Big Guy about having our own team. Shrek likes when I do the things in his life that he enjoys even if it means I need to "make believe" I also enjoy said activity.

So now each summer for approximately 17 weeks I bitch, I moan, I get really angry. I laugh, I cry , I enjoy my friends. I hate going to the bowling alley but I adapt. I accept, I move on until...the next Tuesday dawns when it all begins again. I told you I was a repeater.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

[Fiona] Tossing and Turning

The funny thing is I am wide awake. I have never learned how to relax. It drives dear Shrek crazy. It drives me crazy. I have this inner drive that takes me nowhere. I feel much like a tornado in a jar. I really think it is anxious energy. If you are lucky enough to survive a dysfunctional childhood it is likely that you have indeed dragged along a few neurosis to keep you company. I like to call my issues the demons in my head. Self-loathing is the hardest obstacle to overcome. My mom never made it. My kid sister never got over it. I am pretty sure my older sister suffers with it. I struggle with it everyday. Why am I so accepting of everyone and their shortcomings but not of my own?

I used to have this fantasy that when I grew up all of the pieces of my life that lay scattered all around me would somehow miraculously fall into place and I would be the cool put together person I always dreamed I could be. I find that I am still trying to get the puzzle pieces to fit. So I toss and turn.

[Shrek] Ten Thousand And Counting

Some of our new readers may not have heard, but earlier this year I was challenged to a bet for charity by a friend to read 10,000 pages in one calendar year.

Just moments ago, I broke the 10,000 page mark. Presuming my math is correct, I'm at 10,364.

The current list:
The Confession (Sheldon Siegel) ...423
My War (Andy Rooney) ...313
By Order of the President (W. E. B. Griffin) ...624
The Hostage (W. E. B. Griffin) ...750
The Hunters (W. E. B. Griffin) ...815
The Shooters (W. E. B. Griffin) ...737
Silent Snow (Steve Thayer) ...407
His Majesty's Dragon (Naomi Novik) ...356
Throne of Jade (Naomi Novik) ...400
Black Powder War (Naomi Novik) ...365
Empire of Ivory (Naomi Novik) ...400
God's Spy (Juan Gómez-Jurado) ...360
The Last Patriot (Brad Thor) ...480
Santa Olivia (Jacqueline Carey) ...341
Body Count (P.D. Martin) ...376
Victory of Eagles (Naomi Novik) ...376
Kushiel's Mercy (Jacqueline Carey) ...808
Empire (Orson Scott Card) ...351
Child 44 (Tom Rob Smith) ...509
Honor Bound (W. E. B. Griffin) ...550
Blood and Honor (W. E. B. Griffin) ...723

As I've done during the countdown to 10,000, I'll continue to list what I've read on the list to the right.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

[Shrek and Fiona] Theme Thursday 7-30

Well, it's Theme Thursday again, and seeing as we fired the staff after last week's debacle we're on our own to come up with an idea.

Oh, hold on a's "button" and not "butt on"?

Looks like we need a new staff.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

[Shrek] Congratulations Jim Rice

Congratulations to Jim Rice, one of my boyhood heroes, on his induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame. If you ask me, it was fifteen years too late in coming.

[Shrek] BOLO: Tom Clancy

When asked, I used to say Tom Clancy was my favorite author. I'm going to have to say that's not true anymore, and that he's been passed by W.E.B. Griffin on my list. I'm sure the reason for that is Clancy hasn't released a book in years (and his "latest", 2003's The Teeth of the Tiger, was terrible), while Griffin continues to pop out one great military thriller after another. Clancy has also been passed on my list by Vince Flynn and Brad Thor, two authors that are now as "hot" as Clancy was in his heyday.

I, of course, reserve the right to change my list if Clancy decides to release another book.

In a totally unrelated note--was Gilbert Gottfried ever funny? Fiona and I watched a One Night Stand On HBOcomedy last night, and in an episode obviously filmed in the mid '80's, Gottfried was spectacularly unfunny. I can't think of a single time I though he was even remotely amusing.

Since I mentioned my favorite author, I'll mention my favorite comedian is Lewis Black. For those that don't know who he is, he currently "stars" in a series of commercials for tourism in Aruba.

Contains some rated "R" language; not for the kiddies:

As someone that likes to tell jokes, I find the "science" of comedy very interesting. Perhaps someday I'll get into that more, but one thing I love to do is tell a joke and only have a handful of people in the room get it. That way the joke is twice as funny for some of us as we watch the folks that don't get it look perplexed.

Kind of like our Theme Thursday post.