Saturday, December 29, 2007

with TiVo

So there is no better time to reconnect with my friend TiVo then when I have some time. I haven't had a lot of time to keep up with my favorite shows (except the Hills and ANTM) - but this weekend (with poor Bruce slaving away at work - I had time to veg) now I am all caught up. I finally got caught up with this season of the Project Runway. And so far so good. I must admit this group of designers (at this point) seem like a nice bunch. They are not so caddy but then again it's still early in the season.

I have also had a chance to watch everyone's Project Runway favorite Tim Gunn's Guide to Style. I know I had mentioned before that I wasn't excited about watching this show because his co-host is Veronica Webb (her TV personality was much better than the in person personality that I meet at the Auto Show a few year's ago.) Well the other day I got a chance to sit down and watch the show - it's kind of "what not to wear" but not. Tim let's them keep their own personality, but helps them find clothes that make them look good. However, they do end up in a lot of dresses and skirts, which are cute, but really how many of us (with the exception of the summer of the dress) wear dresses and skirts all the time especially in winter (when all I want to wear is jeans.) The best part of this show is the witty, caring commentary of our Project Runway Fav - Tim Gunn.

I also got a chance to enjoy the Office, which I must admit has grown on me. Yes I was never a big fan of the office. I would always get excited about it especially during the opening song, because it is just so catchy, but somehow it just lost me somewhere if the first five minutes of the show. However all my friends love love love office so I kept coming back. And it turns out that with this show the 37th try was the charm. I ended up watching five episodes in a row.

So needless to say I won't be bothered by re-runs because I have a lot to catch up on. Yes even with my loyal TiVo it turns out if you neglect him long enough he must delete some episodes to continue to record more. So I have missed some of Desperate Housewives, Brothers and Sisters, now the Office and Heroes. So I am hoping that despite all the production of all these reality shows, I will still get some reruns. Also I am looking forward to the celebrity version of Donald Trump's The Apprentice.

Also I will be watching Eli Stone on ABC. Why? Well at the request of Olive due to the fact that it will feature her favorite George Michael. It premieres on Thursday, January 31st at 10pm EST. So what is it about, well according to IMDB: "A legal drama centered on a lawyer who begins to think he might be a prophet." Each of the episodes is named after a George Michael song and Olive's George will be appearing in multiple shows. The picture is my holiday treat for Olive. Yes, I don't think G. Love and Special Sauce will have their own television show anytime soon, so I will have to enjoy this one.

Speaking of G. Love there are signs everywhere - like today when I was eating a buritto the size of my head at Chipotle - right there on the paper that they use to line baskets was G. Love and Special Sauce - along with about a hundred other bands, that I have never noticed until I saw G.L.A.S.S. And G. Love will be in Germany when I am in Germany this summer. So all of these things are getting me excited about the January concert in Royal Oak (which I will be arriving late to - so no front row for me - and sadly Olive can't be there either - Angie will have to do her best to fill in.) However, I will be front row in Chicago at the Rivera Theater with Olive, my dear sister Krista and Megan (who will be inducted in the club with her first G. Love concert, hey it could be Krista's too.) I am not sure, well they better be ready to stand out in the cold to be first in line. (Angie ther eis still time for you to join us!!!!) Yes, I am slightly insane, but we already knew this so this is not what we would call "breaking news" in the biz.

Friday, December 28, 2007

A New Look for 2008

So I am coming down from the holiday high. This week I think I consume more candies, cookies and cake in one week time than I do all year. The kicker is the holidays aren't really over yet.

So now we are just days away from 2008-- which means resolutions (and of course the new look for the TiVo Changed My Life Blog.)

First the New Looooooook.

Well I must admit it's not my favorite, but I need to spend a little more time with the html until I can decide I can produce something better looking than this. However it is green, a color which I thoroughly enjoy - I know I sound like a kindergartener but it's my favorite.

What are my resolutions:
  1. Run the Chicago Marathon
    This has been a goal of mine since 2001. I have technically been signed up and paid my money twice for this race. The first time, was after my first marathon and I was still working in the news biz. The race is in October and when September 11th happened, work became my number one priority. Then there was 2005. It was the first time I was training on my own for a long run, and I was doing pretty well. I had finished my 12 mile run, then I trip at work over the railroad tracks in Greenfield Village and broke my fifth metatarsal in my left foot. Which well stopped my training -- so this year (with the help of the 7:11 club) I am hoping that I will finally be able to register and run. My goal time is 4hours 30 minutes - which is 50 minutes faster than my first one. We shall see if I can do that. Anyone else in? Bruce?

  2. Finish Graduate School
    This one is a no brainer because well it's a 15 month program and graduation is set for 08/08/08. But as I found out this fall classes can get a little much when you are trying to go to work and be a good student. I also need to put our grad school project into high gear, it's easy to let that fall behind with our other school work, work and well life.

  3. Be More Organized
    Ok, I have a slight case of a type A personality, but sometimes it gets lost to the public, but it's always there. I crave organization and honestly without it, I don't sleep as well. Just ask Bruce, I have to make the bed before I can sleep in it. The question is why am I not organized. Well can you say, I have a lot on my plate. In reality I don't have as much as others, but I get so overwhelmed by the details - that I just get consumed. So in 2008, I am going to stop spreading myself so thin, instead, I am going focus on organizing Graduate School (set aside for school - so that I don't get too stressed out - don't wait for the last minute to get assignments done - which leads to burnout by the end of the semester,) my students (this one is hard, I need to set time aside to grade, so I don't get behind, and to realize that I can say no, and to organize my desk - stop the piles - start a filing system that works - but is not hard work for me) and my running (see number 1 - I need to hit the gym for at least 2 days a week even in the winter blahs - try to run in Marysville at 3:30 pm right after work - on the Helen 5k route.)

  4. Write
    I love to write (if anyone who is still reading this) you know. I am not sure if I am the best writer, but that does not stop me. I have a secret dream of being both a fabulous children's book writer or chick lit novelists. I have many ideas and many book titles, but they are all in my head. So this year I am going to try to take them from my head to paper. Then figuring out if they are good enough for someone else to read them is another thing.
So that's just a short list. We will see how long these last. I think the hardest is organization - but I am committed.
TiVo Changed My Life
2007 Stats*

6,411 Visits

1,530 Unique Visitors
11,081 Page Visits
2:16 Average Time Spent on the Site

Top Visits
1. April 12 - 49
2. February 19 - 43
3. August 8 - 42
4. March 22 - 38
5. July 12 - 36

Top 10 Searches of 2007
10. Krista Sahakian

9. Kathy Griffin Emmy Outburst

8. Jennie's G Love Channel
7. Tivo Switzerland

6. G Love Cleveland

5. how tivo changed my life jenny holladay
4. tivo changed my life

3. "port huron to mackinac" emmy

2. benny ninja

1. tivochangedmylife

Top Traffic Sources

10. Taawd's Blog
The "TiVo Did Not Change My Life" Blog
Broken Road Blog
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3. Blogger Referral


Who's Visiting
(Oh Yes We Are Global!)
North America

  • United States (All states except North Dakota, Wyoming & Alaska)
  • Canada
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Central America
  • Panama
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South America
  • Venezuela
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*as of December 28, 2007

Oh yeah everyone need ones of these a 5 foot tall Nutcracker!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Max Hard at Work

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Holidays with The Holladays
(Bruce & Jennie Holladay)

This has been a busy couple of days. We have celebrated in Attica, St. Clair (The Holladay's), East China Township (The Salisbury's), Manchester (The Sahakian's) and Sharon Township (my Mom & Dad.) Needless to say the Holladay's Holidays can be exhausting in travel alone.

It started out at in Attica with Bruce and I exchanging presents. I got the totally awesome iPod Touch (Grandpa and Max are enjoying watching a movie on the it.) And Bruce got a couple of zip up sweaters, because it may have been the summer of the dress but for Bruce it is the winter of the zip up sweater. He got some other fun stuff including NHL hockey for the PS3. We played before we let the house and quickly learned that we aren't very good. We ended with a tie game of 0 to 0, then we had a shoot out after about 20 loser shots, we finally had two go in. I ended up winning but there was no skill involved whatsoever.

Then we went to Bruce's parent's house in St. Clair. We exchanged gifts with his Mom, Dad and sisters. They were very accommodating to us because well Bruce and I have a holiday negotiation that starts in about September that usually is challenged by the Local 4 holiday schedule.

Then we headed over to Bruce's mom's side of the family celebration. Bruce has a very large extended family, they are all there. When I first started going I needed a flip book with pictures and names to keep track of them all. But I am happy to say after three years of marriage I know most everyone, I am not sure if they know who I am, but I have got the names down. We have a lot of fun and eat a lot of good food (you will start to see a theme here.) That is a picture of Bruce and his cousin Michelle.

Then we headed out to Manchester, well Bruce made a pit stop to work in Detroit. He directed the morning show. I headed out to Aunt Mary Ann's for the annual Sahakian gift exchange, that has turned into gift pandemonium with the addition of a two and four year-old. What I couldn't believe was that they waited for me to open gifts, I thought for sure that all that would be left was remnants of wrapping paper. It was fun seeing the kids open up their presents. I gave Max and Sophie a book of them making cookies with grandma. It wasn't a huge hit when it was opened, but I think it will grow on them. Max was so funny, he got a pair of Christmas pajamas and when he opened it he was like - oh I love it, this is exactly what I wanted.

Then we headed back to my parent's house. It was kind of a dicey ride home because it had rained and then iced the roads up. But we all made it home safely. When we were getting for bed, the kids were pumped up on chocolate and full of funny moments.

On Christmas day - Bruce arrived early to open presents with my sister, Josh, the kids and my parents. Then we began to prepare for the big Sahakian/Kump/Ryan/Dutkowski dinner. That is when we take my small childhood home and cram as many people in it as possible (approx. 26-28) and stuff ourselves silly with food. Good food. I always eat way way too much. It sounds painful, but it is a lot of fun. We are all loud and there is a lot of laughter. This year Bruce and I brought Rock Band, as I said earlier - we had Base of Ace breaking it down in the living room (the Ace of Base cover band - however Rock Band doesn't include any Ace of Base songs, I wonder if we can fix that because clearly that is an oversight.)

Then Bruce and Daisy went home to get some rest and tend to the cats. I stayed back at the Sahakian Home to hang out with the fam a little longer. The kids crack me up. We went to McDonald's and played. It was sweet when I left, both Sophie and Max where sad and they said don't go Aunt Jennie because we will miss you. It was so sweet. It almost made me want to stay but I needed to get home and let out the dog because Bruce was working the Piston's game tonight.

So that is the summary of the Holladay's Holiday. We cap off the week with a New Year's Eve hanging out with the 7:11 Club in Lima, Ohio. Woo Hoo!!!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!
This is my first post from my iPod Touch (thanks Bruce who got me it for Christmas) it takes some getting used too. Today was fun, we ate ourselves silly, hung out with the fam played some rock band after dinner, Base of Ace really rocked it with Kellie on vocals, Brent on drums and me on guitar. We couldn't have a base player because we don't have a base. Really the Dutkowski family band really stole the show with Jill on drums, Vincent on guitar and Uncle Tom on vocals. Well I am off to sleep too much fun and food.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Well the Gifts are all Wrapped....

Today was spent wrapping presents (well I am not going to lie, after I slept in.) Yes, Christmas vacation has officially arrived. I wrapped presents for both Bruce's family and mine. Bruce told me that he would wrap the presents for his family, but well let's just say his wrapping standards aren't up to mine and if my name is going to be on this present, it better look pretty.

Then I headed down to Ann Arbor for dinner at the Cottage Inn with my parents and my favorite teacher of all times Frau Davis, she insists that I can call her Susan since I have been out of school for 11 years, but frankly it doesn't feel right. We usually just call her Frau, which means lady. But I guarantee that if you know someone who graduated from my high school and you say Frau they will know exactly who you are talking about. I had to drop off a photo montage I complete for my dad, actually my dad's friend, it's a long story but it is done! And my dad watched it when he got home so he approved.

Last night Bruce, KC and I went down to the MGM Grand casino. It's brand new so we wanted to check out our luck. Needless to say, I was lucky but that quickly faded. I won 60 dollars shortly after sitting down at a slot machine, however, then I went to video blackjack and lost it all. Oh well it was fun. Then after we left there we went to the anchor bar (a famous Detroit Dive for TV people) and sat and talked. We got home late last night, well I did sleep most of the way (if not all of the way) home. Meghan would be so proud.

Tomorrow we are heading over to St. Clair County for some Holladay celebrations and then out to Manchester for more with the Sahakians. I am very excited to see everyone. I am thankfully done with all of my shopping.

Also breaking news G. Love is playing in Chicago on February 2nd. It's a Saturday, so anyone that's interested in going to the show, let me know, because I will be making the trip west.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Fall Semester: Over

Today I officially finished my first fall semester since my undergrad at the University of Missouri. Let me say (knowing that it could have been much much harder) it still wasn't easy trying to fit school in with work. Needless to say the "TiVo Changed My Life" blog has been neglected. To all my loyal readers (if any are left) I am sorry. Other things that have been neglected, well TiVo. I really haven't had time to stay current. There are really only two shows that I have been able to see all the episodes of
The Hills and ANTM (which I will cover later.) So needless to say I am very happy to have a little break.

Speaking of break I got a small Pre-Christmas break on Monday - thanks to Mother Natu
re. On Sunday we had about eight inches of snow. Since it was Sunday, I was certain that the roads would be cleared by Monday morning, I wasn't counting on a snow day - especially because in order for me to have a snow day all 9 school districts that send students to my school have to be closed. During the 6 o'clock news - I saw on the TV that Bruce's school was closed. Then shortly after I got the call. The call that we all as teachers hope for the call from my boss (aka as the beginning of the phone tree) saying school is closed on Monday. Then of course I did the "woohoo no school" whoop (yes to my boss) I quickly recovered by saying, "I will see you on Tuesday."

So what to do with a free Monday. What I should have done was work hard on my paper for my Intercultural Communications class, but instead I went to the Somerset Collection to finish my Christmas shopping. I am almost finished.

Speaking of snow that leads me to school. I have been pushing my students for the past week or so with book work. Which if you know my students is like Kryptonite to my students - I swear they think I am trying to poison them. So I made a deal with them - they will have a test on Friday regardless. Since it snowed - I thought let's get outside and take some cool photos: and have some fun while we did it. So today my kids (11th & 12th graders) came in their snow gear and we headed outdoors. We had tons of fun. The other perk is that my boss let me wear jeans to work which is a huge deal. Tomorrow we are back to the books and Friday we will be taking test. I know the other instructors at my school sometimes look at me like I have lost it - but hey we are creative types. The picture to the right is me right after being hit by a bunch of snowballs - it's my patented "get in line" point. It gets the kids shaking in there boots, trust me. I have some super cute photos of my students but we were warned this year about publishing photos of our students from school, from the school lawyer. So just imagine your a bunch of creative kids in snowpants with cameras, sometimes I call them my own paparazzi. Teaching digital imaging is a blast.

Now back to TiVo and ANTM. Last week the winner was announced. Salesha was the winner. Which I have to say she isn't my favorite winner. I really liked Jenah, because we was sassy, sarcastic and not so bubble gum. This season was ok, but I am ready for the next cycle. The best part of the season was Miss Jay. He had this fabulous growing Afro during judging. So Tyra I challenge you to get some sassier girls next season. I need to get rehooked. She has to be worried because Bravo is introducing a new show: Make Me a Super Model where the viewers get to decide.

Speaking of Bravo, tonight I am watching Project Runway, I am going through TiVo so I am going back and forth in the season. I must admit I love this show and I it is easy to get hooked. I don't know the characters like I have in the past, but I am enjoying it. Right now I am watching the show with Sarah Jessica Parker as the guest star.

Monday, December 17, 2007

An Ipod vending machine

I saw this at Macy's at the Somerset Collection on Monday. I thought it was so cool that I had to snap a photo!

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Hills Finale

OK, if you haven't figured it out, I have been so busy that I have relied on TiVo to hold my great shows in it's memory until I can have time to enjoy them. However, I have been able to keep up with the Hills and ANTM (despite not having time to write about them.) Maybe because The Hills is just a half hour -- so with TiVo it's 24 minutes max.

This season has been a good one. Lots of drama with Heidi and Spencer - it ends with them looking like they are in shaky ground. And as we all know we all love to hate Spencer. We get to know Audrina... This season she was dating the scummy Justin Bobby - thanks God he's over. Lauren and Brody got pretty hot and heavy this season. What's not to like about Brody? Those puppy dog eyes.The season ends with Lauren headed to France with TeenVogue.

So I am watching this aftershow and Lauren makes a big announcement - the announcement is that there is more. YEAH! Will Lauren end up with Broday? How did the France trip go?

Ok and since we are talking about TiVo and ANTM -- I know I have been out of touch but the big news this week is the sassy girl from Brooklyn - Bianca was ousted. So now we have Chantel, Saliesha, and Jenah - so far my fav has to be Jenah - I am not super excited about her, but she's the best. However, I am not sure that the judges like her as much as I do. We will see how it ends.

Why You Should Give a Hoot about Woot.

Yes, I said a hoot about
Woot. What is a Woot? It's one item on one day on the website. How it works? Well there is a new woot (item)at 1am EST. That Woot will remain on the website until it's sold out. The best part of Woot -- I think it's the witty podcasts. Also these Woot Guys come up with the wittiest writeups for nearly any item. Here's an example for today's Woot - A Polaroid Ultra-Compact 7 Megapixel Digital Camera for $79.99:

‘Roid Ragin’

Wassup, Polaroid T737? I suppose you think you’re pretty hot mustard there, with your—your seven megapixels and your 16mb of memory built-in. “Ooh, look at me, I’ve got image stabilization, I’m super cool, no one’s as cool as I am, I’m the coolest thing since… like, whatever.”

Well, you know what? Whatever!

You can also take a look at the past
Woots. Along with the Woot there is the Shirt.Woot too. The shirt Woot usually sells out pretty fast. Why do I like woot? Well I enjoy their sharp sense of humor. For example if you are interested in working for woot here are some of their most important qualifications:
  • No shirt, no shoes, no job
  • Must be more intelligent, adaptable, and motivated than a typical bucket of gravel
  • Must treat people as you would wish to be treated, unless you’re some kind of weirdo who wishes to be treated badly
Well I can't take the credit for finding Woot, I have to thank my husband Bruce for introducing me to Woot. I know make it a daily stop on my internet surfing. It's usually good for a chuckle and who knows there may be a woot that you can't live without.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Saturday, November 24, 2007

My Tigers Win Big!

So tonight I watched the big Mizzou vs. Kansas game. AND THE TIGERS WON!!!! The pets and I (Bruce was a work) hunkered down in the living room for the big game. I must admit that all my yelling and screaming made them a little nervous. Every time I let out a yell, they all quickly ran from the room, only to creep back into the room carefully. It's pretty much the reason that I don't watch too much football, because I just get a little too crazy.

Yes, this college football season (filled with upsets) has put the Big 12 in the national spotlight. And the Missouri Tigers are front in center. Before going into this huge game they were ranked 4th in the BCS poll and KU was ranked 2nd.

Now the Tigers face off with Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship. Oklahoma is the only loss, we have had this season. Some may call me a fair-weather fan, but it's hard to be a fan of a Big 12 school in Big 10 country. As part of my marriage vows, I have shown full support for Michigan State. Tonight - in my joy - Bruce who has declared the Big 12 a sub-standard conference (I beg to differ)- admitted that Mizzou was his favorite Big 12 team. I am glad he is finally showing his support.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Monday, November 19, 2007

TiVo and I Meet Again

Ok, it's been a while since I have had a chance to get close with TiVo. I got a change to catch up on all the favorite shows. Okay not all but most. I ingested the past three episodes of ANTM. Not to much to recap, except the girls are getting caddy. They are hating Heather because the judges are loving her. Now they are heading to China. Not much to say really. Maybe it was an ANTM overdose.

Then I refilled my prescription of Grey's Anatomy. IT was filled with Mcsteamy and McDreamy. However all I have to say is I am over this Meredith little sister thing. It's getting boring. However, next week looks like it is going to be an intense one.

Now I am going to cap it off with a nightcap of Heroes.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Busy Busy

Ok, I know I am not the busiest person in the world, but in my world I have been busy busy. This past weekend, I made a long overdue trip to visit my sister in Chicago. It was fun hanging out with the Sahakadethian gang. The kids crack me up. I brought Sophie a Halloween Fairy Costume that I had gotten half off at Meijer. That was a big hit. Then Max is just well hilarious. He was cracking Bruce and I up. First he is pretending to be a dog, when we asked the name he matter of factly looks at us and says, "Terri." Now mind you, he knows no Terri, so it's just an odd name for him to pick out. It made us all giggle. (Well Bruce and I more so than anyone else, but none the less we were amused.

Then on Saturday we got to hang out with Megan! One of my former prize students who is now studying at Columbia! I am so proud of her, all grown-up living in the big city! I introduced her to the Chicago clan, yes she met Krista, Josh and the kids. We suckered in her into babysitting - while we hit the town. She was a hit with the kids, which I knew she would be.

Then it was back to Michigan and back to work and grad school. Bruce and I had a paper we both had to write. Plus I had a busy busy week at school. I ended the week (yes I started writing this blog nearly a week ago and I am just finishing up,) with a killer cold. But thanks to my new found friend Thera-Flu and sleep - I am now feeling much better!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

My House May Hate Me

If you are a homeowner you know that just when everything seems to be going right you get a surprise. It's commonly called "the joys of being a homeowner." The truth is there is no joy to these surprises (which are more like sneak attacks, if you buy into my conspiracy theory.) I believe that my house just may be against me - which is odd because I love it so.

Yes the reason we moved into our beautiful Attica homestead is because well I fell in love with this house and then really Bruce had no choice in the matter. So after last year's Christmas fiascoes I thought we deserved a reprieve from home catastrophes. Apparently I was wrong - which pains me when these events happen and I get that look (no words just a look) from my dear husband that says - "you are the one that wanted to buy THIS HOUSE."

This morning, I wake up after a couple of snoozes (it's getting to be that time of year -- when I could use a break -- and the snooze seems to be enough of a tease that I keep going.) Well I get up, go to the bathroom, brush my teeth turn the shower on only to realize that there is no hot water. I try the sink - no hot water. The bathtub - no hot water. I try the sink again- NO HOT WATER! I immediately call to my loving husband, who begrudgingly gets out of bed to investigate.

Well some time between 11:30 pm and 6 am - we had a plumbing disaster. Bruce went into the basement to find at least a foot of water. The supply pipe to my washer had simply popped out of its connector (yes I am sure that is a plumbing term - ok I made it up, but you get what I mean - if not picture this a pipe turned into fountain spewing water in the little room under our stairs that houses my cats liter and food, then flowing through the sub floor into the basement.)

So over night gallons of the warm water (then cold after the 50 gallon hot water heater emptied) spewed into this small room and then into our basement. Bruce springs into action and I follow trying to clean up this disaster. We manage to get enough cleaned up to get to work (I was an hour late - which means my students got a reprieve from a quiz - hmmm maybe they are part of this conspiracy.) However, trying to clean a liter box filled full of water at 6 am is not pleasant activity. But that became a priority because I could not let the cats go all day without a liter box, that would had led to more cleaning up- yuck. Bruce focused on shot-vacuuming the water out of the basement. He was able to get all the water out of the basement.

So what have we learned, well with all this house conspiracy we have a little to be thankful for - that this did not happen when we were gone for a weekend outing where one foot of water could have been many feet (the water will be now turned off when we are not home) and that it was the hot water because if I hadn't needed a warm shower, I may not have noticed the problem until we got home from work.

So this November, Bruce and I will be gifting ourselves a sump pump - so in the rare case that our home has another plumbing disaster up its sleeve we will at least not have a foot of water in the basement. Anyone have a line on a trusty plumber?

So the question I pose to you - fellow homeowners -- does every homeowner really go through what we have been going through? I don't remember these things happening to my parents year after year. Yes every so often something would happen, but it always felt like they got at least a two year break. Maybe I was oblivious because I was a kid and I couldn't fix it, but I beg to differ.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

How many leaves can one tree have?

I am guessing nearly a million - maybe more. Today it was me against the leaves - with a little help from my dad, mom and his super-duper raking machine. It's called the cyclone rake and it was like a gift from heaven. Let me say after last year when I nearly killed myself trying to rake all the leaves, it was such a blessing this year. Now don't get me wrong it wasn't magic. We worked all day, but the same yard that was blanketed with leaves yesterday is now clean today. That would have taken me a week to do by hand. For proof please take a look at the before photo and look to the right for the after photo.

The day didn't start in the yard, it started in the kitchen with me
baking more pie. I promised my dad pie for his birthday. So I made 2 apple pies today (Uncle Jimmy - Dad owes you a piece, I sent him home with a whole pie and instructions to give you a piece.) I am not the best baker in the work, but I can bake pie. My grandma would be proud, however she would disappointed that I don't use lard. I say if I use lard, vegetarians couldn't enjoy the pie. So I use butter so we can all enjoy the calories.

On another note last night was the first time playing Whirlyball. We had a TEC outing. Organized by Tammy and I. It was fun! If you haven't heard of Whirlyball - don't worry I hadn't until last year, when a student told me about it. In whirlyball, you are in bumper cars, with those nurf basket like rackets and wiffle ball. Then there are two goals that look like basketball hoops without the hoop. We played at this place in Clinton Township - which of course I was late too. We got there and I learned I am still not coordinated. I spent more time bumping into the wall as I tried to scoop up the ball then I actually did playing. I also ran over the ball several times. The one thing I was good at was defense - I like bumping into people. Bruce claims that he now has a case of whip lash. I wonder if anyone else is sore? Regardless it was a fun night on the town with my fellow co-workers.

Then this leads me to the sad part of the day. The MSU Spartans despite having a 10 point lead going into the 4th quarter could not hold onto it against those Wolverines. I am sure all of you who are currently thinking why does she care she went to the University of Missouri need to know that I am a Spartan fan through marriage. As part of my marital vows I had to learn the MSU fight song, which I am glad to sing upon request. (I do not know the entire Mizzou fight song - I only know the beginning, the end and about three words in the middle. However the Tigers dominated Colorado yesterday 55-10.) These are the same vows that allow Bruce to put up with my G.Love nonsense. I am also not a die hard sports fan and I have cheered for Michigan but here is how it breaks down. I wanted MSU to beat Michigan. Then I want Michigan to beat Ohio State which would have put the Big 10 in the tailspin and I like that. But it doesn't look like I will be getting my way - however there are still hopes that Michigan can beat OSU.

Friday, November 02, 2007

It is fall - clearly

Monday, October 29, 2007

It's Apple Pie Season.

Tonight I baked apple pies - mainly to practice for my dad's birthday present. (Yes, I am aware it was October 10th, however good things come to those who wait.) I had some crust and filling left over so I made six mini apple pie muffins. Robear says I should try marketing them to Tim Horton's. I am currently overstuffed on apples covered in flour, sugar and cinnamon. Yumm. Well this tired baker is off to bed.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Episode 2 of ANTM

Today's special guest is Tyson Beckford. Yes he got me watching. The girls did a PSA -- I should show this to my class - a bunch of models producing a PSA. And let me say they weren't that bad.

Then the photo shoot came and it was all about garbage. We found out the Ebony just wanted to go home. The bottom two came down to Ambreal & Ebony. I am not sure if she will get what she wants or if it will be Ambreal.

Wow a turn of events - Ebony told Tyra she didn't want to be here. And Tyra said G-O! She was sassy and so was Tyra. I thought it was a lack-luster show, but the last two minutes made it worth watching. Tyra looked pissed.

So now I am all caught up. Yeah -- ok all caught up on ANTM I still have to catch up on 4 episodes of Desperate Housewives, 4 - Brothers and Sisters, 2 Heroes, 3 Beauty and the Geek and 3 Grey's Anatomy. Thank God I didn't pick up any new shows this fall.
Catching Up with TiVo

This weekend was my weekend to do nothing, however that is easier said than done. Friday night Bruce and I headed down to the new Apple Store in Clinton Township. We got the new Leopard operating system four our Macs (yes we have a family - my laptop, his laptops and our work computer.) On Saturday, I worked on a photomontage, I promised for a charity auction last February. I figured I could get it done in a couple of hours - ummm wrong. Yes, I spent the entire evening editing this photo montage for a 75 year-old grandmother - which meant no TiVo.

I went running with Bruce this morning, then it was back to that photomontage. We had to make a quick trip to Target to get chow for the cats and candy for the kids. Yes, we get more trick or treaters here in Attica population 5,000 then we got in Berkley approximately 15,000. For Halloween, I am have my costume for school picked out, I hope it is as funny as I think it will be. Last year I wore a crown and I was the princess of St. Clair TEC.

Now I am doing laundry and enjoying/catching up with TiVo. I watched two episodes of the Hills - I enjoy Lauren. I just keep wondering will she and Brady hook up. I guess that is what producers want.

Now I am catching up on two-weeks of America's Next Top Model. Benny Ninja returned with another posing challenge. Holy cow, where to start? Well - breaking news - Heather is awkward. Yes, I am sure you are as shocked as I was - when they did the challenge they were being lifted by a male figure skater. I thought she was going to plant it on the ice. The stripper won the challenge - Lisa is her name I think. I didn't see what the judges saw.

Then came the photo shoot. It was on the top of a very tall building and Ambreal was freaking out and of course I could feel for her because you know I would be in tears too. As for the photo shoot - Awkward Heather rocked it. Janet sucked, which is sad because I like her however the fact that the show focused on her so much that I am betting she is out.

Olive told me to look out for something in the show - that they were using a word wrong. But I am feeling stupid because I am not catching it. Help what is it? Is it the use of the word Gargoyle? Maybe I am just not paying enough attention.

So who was kicked off - this week we said goodbye to Janet. Yes, I was right - when you are the focus of the show that means you are OUT. I am sad because they made me like Janet and now she's gone.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Max = Circus Boy

Here's a picture of Max, Olivia & Sophie from our trip to Frankenmuth with the Fam for Mom's Birthday!
Sophie is a Star

Checking In

As you can see I haven't been blogging much, I blame Canada. Really I blame grad school because apparently they make you work a little, which frankly I don't have time for when I am trying to keep up the TiVo changed my life blog.

School is going well. Currently my students are working on their news projects. This time their news projects have kind of double duty.. I am going to use them as part of my grad school website called: Fliknews. It's a journalism based website that will provide commenting and feedback (similar to website like Youtube, Myspace and Facebook.) The idea is to mix the things my students like with social networking with education. My kids are excited so I hope it comes through in this project. I am not going to lie I usually have a really hard time getting my students jazzed about journalism but this time I talked about journalism is really story telling and they seemed to dig that.

This weekend, I have declared as official rest weekend. I will be catching up on school work, laundry and most importantly TiVo. Oh and how can I forget... blogging! However as I type this Bruce continues to try to sabotage my rest. Every question is do you want to go to Cedar Point, Ann Arbor, Chicago and today it was Solvakia? Can you see why I am so tired? But I am holding firm on my stance. I also plan on doing some running, but that is about as strenuous as it gets.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

7:11 Reunites For the Detroit Marathon

It's been a busy week that ended with a 7:11 reunion. We entered the Detroit Free Press Marathon as a team. Meghan flew up from Florida to join the festivities. The member noticabley absent: Joachim, who could be a first time dad at any moment. So he gets a pass.

The marathon is split up into five sections: 7.4 (over the bridge into C
anada - Robert,) 5.4 (Canada through the tunnel back to downtown - this leg was me,) 4.7 (downtown to Belle Isle - Tony,) 3.0 (Belle Isle - Meghan) and 5.8 (to the finish - Bruce.) KC was going to run the half-marathon but it closed early so she joined another team to compete. The official 7:11 team time was 4 hours 14 minutes. Which we were pleased with. Ok, I am not sure for the rest of the team, but I was pleased with.

It was fun hanging out together. The race was fun too, the only
complaint - they didn't have enough shirts in the right sizes, so all the girls ended up with Larges. Which means, I will be giving my shirt to Bruce. And we all know why most people (including me) run races: the free t-shirt. We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day for the run. It was a little chilly in the morning but by the time we finished it was sunny and 75 degrees, a welcome relief for Meghan who left the 91 degrees of Florida to come here. I don't know if she could have handled the usual cold, wet rainy weather that accompanies the marathon. I was pleased too.

We are talking about our next run: Florida in January for the Disney Half Marathon. Yes, after we get together we make these crazy commitments that I end up regretting two weeks later when I am trying to squeeze running into grad school, work and life. But I guess it's a good thing because if I didn't have these commitments I wouldn't be running.

Which leads me to another topic of discussion being so busy that I have a TiVo full of shows waiting for me. Which I plan on trying to fit in some time this week and I also have some blogs to catch up on. But despite taking a long nap, it's 8:18 pm and I am tired. So I think I will start the week right and head up stairs to enjoy some sudoku and head to bed.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Sue buy this horse

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Catching Up With TiVo

I should be writing my paper for grad school, however I am catching on two weeks of TiVo. I think i just needed a release. What a better way to do that than with two episodes of ANTM?

What have we learned from the first show (which would have originally aired last week - remember I am catching up) was that there are some DIVAS this season. Wow! We are having cat fights and we are hardly into the season. Bianca - that girl has got a tongue on her and she is willing to whip it out at anyone. This episode was ok. The girls are starting to be nicer to Heather the model with Aspbergers. In the end Bianca was in the last two and Kimberly the girl from the small town in Florida was kicked off.

Now the show I have been waiting for the Makeover Show! (Sorry Helen I only ignored your email because I hadn't watched it yet. So I ran home to watch it so that I could give you the skinny!) When the girls got the news of the makeover they were cheering, but I knew there would be tears and all I have to say is bring on the tears. The first couple are very disappointing. Then they got to Ebony - Thank good the wig is gone. That thing was nasty. Jenah looks so different as a blonde. Then there was the drama Bianca hair was so damaged that they couldn't make her go long and blonde like Tyra wanted - so she had to go so short and then got her look via a wig.

I must admit I enjoy the drama of other seasons makeover show better than this one. However the episode isn't over yet.

The photoshoot was plants - where they became plants, flowers and even weeds. Bianca rocked it in the shoot. Heather was the weed. Victoria is coming out as super nerdy and odd. And we all know that I love nerdy, but she is almost angry nerdy. Chantel got sumer emotional - I didn't get the drama.

Wow -- Victoria bite the judges heads off in panel. Bold mood - will they keep her for the drama or will they chuck her? Give or take her I could care. And the judges said - goodbye smarty pants. Now I am caught up and that means I must get to bed -- I have school tomorrow and a paper to finish tomorrow night.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Happy Birthday Family, Megan & Sue!

It's October - which might as well be Christmas if you are in my family -- because we celebrate the entire first 11 days. It's the Sahakian birth month.

Here's a break down of the celebration:

October 1 - Cousin Jessie
October 3 - Aunt Mary Ann
October 5 - Mom
October 10 (TODAY) - Dad & Uncle Jim (yes for those who are keeping track at home - they are twins)
October 11 - Cousin Olivia, Megan & Sue (The last two are not technically family, but they are loyal readers, so I count that.)

Now don't get me wrong, I enjoy birthdays so its always a good time and it always means CAKE & ice cream. Why do I love birthdays so much? Well my parents always treated our birthday like our very own personal holiday. We got to pick out a special birthday dinner. Every birthday morning I can remember as a child included being woken up to the tune of Happy Birthday by my mom, dad and or both parents. The entire family would come over for cake and ice cream and the annual picture at the end of the family dinner table behind a cake with the appropriate number of candles, as the rest of the family would sing Happy Birthday. Some people aren't into birthdays like I am and I feel bad for them. Regardless of the fact that every birthday adds another year to my age, I enjoy the celebration. I enjoy the happiness it brings. And don't get me wrong I love my birthday, but I love birthdays in general. I get just as excited for October as I do September. I try to do my part to make them feel as special each year as they make me feel.

This year my mom celebrated her 60th birthday, today my dad and Uncle Jim are celebrating their 29th... (+/- 30) They all look fabulous. I am grateful that I have good genes!

This past weekend, I went out to the Sahakian Family Homestead to hang out with the fam for the celebration. My sister came out from Chicago with the kids, who were hilarious as always. My niece and nephew had costumes from the secondhand store in town which they proceeded to sport for most of my stay. My nephew Max was a sweet clown that did awesome tricks. Stay tuned for the YouTube videos. Then there is Sophie who is the girliest girlie girl ever. I have no idea how my sister ended up with a child that loves pink, doesn't want to wear anything but a dress and loves Barbies (yes she ended up with her sister for a child - ha ha.) Sophie had a beautiful wedding gown that she wore while we played with her favorite Aunt Jennie's 25+ year-old Barbie collection in the basement. Good Times!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

I am a Klutz

This is a well known fact amongst my family members. I was the kid who couldn't walk down the hallway of our ranch home without hitting walls. Yes I would have failed the straight line test miserably due to lack of natural balance. Then there was the time in fifth grade when I fractured my wrist sliding into first base, apparently you don't ever slide into first base. (We all know that I wasn't playing softball for the love of the sport - it was merely social. Something to do!) Then there was the time I broke my foot on the railroad tracks while I was working with a film crew in Greenfield Village. As an adult, my klutz wounds are usually not so obvious. I have bruises on my legs from walking into stuff, but that usually can be hidden with the clothes I wear.

So why am I bringing up this now -- well let's say that I have managed to break out it again. This time a bathroom stall door hit me across the face. After the my nose stopped bleeding, I am left with an aching head, a sore nose and two black eyes that aren't that pronounced by seem to be getting worse. As one student asked me, "Mrs. Holladay are you ok - you just don't look right." The lighting isn't great -- but those dark circles aren't because I am tired - that is a bruise. And the bridge of my nose well that is swollen. So I am off to bed hoping that tomorrow will bring yet another shade of blue to my face.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

G. Love & Special Sauce
DVD Premiere

Last night the girls got together for the official viewing of the G. Love & Special Sauce DVD - A Year and a Night. I actually ordered the DVD when I was in Europe only to have it arrive while I was gone. But I knew that I couldn't watch it without the company of Olive and Angie. I left it sealed to prove that I hadn't watched it yet.

So last night with pizza and fresh apple cider (straight from the orchard -- yes I know what you are thinking we are real wild and crazy, I think that's probably what G. Love thought when he met us.) We settled in for the premiere of the G. Love DVD.

Here's my review:

The first thing I thought is I could have done this. Yes, that journalism degree and working in television would have done the trick -- to be honest the editing and video work did not blow me away. As I was watching I actually got a little pissed off thinking why didn't I do this, I could have hung out with the band for a year and produced a much better film. Then I remembered that would have never happened...

Things I liked. I really liked the band interaction, however most of the interaction we saw was fighting. It appears after 13 years of traveling on the road together you are more like squabbling siblings than anything else. Which I actually appreciated -- and which leaves me to say I wish there was more of. I love the band for the music, that is why I travel to places like Toledo and Grand Rapids to see their shows. However, I guess with the DVD I was looking for more insight into the band - things I don't get to see on stage. I got a little but I think I would have liked more. Also they introduced everyone but the newest member Mark Boyce, he joined the band during the middle of filming but there was no formal interview with him. I think it was noticeably missing.

Next as I kept watching, I realized how much I enjoy Houseman. They would go up to fans before shows and ask people who else in the band they liked and virtually no one knew anyone else's name. (I am proud to say I know the entire band - G. Love, Jimi Jazz, Houseman & Mark.) I have always enjoyed House Man and when we met the band this summer, House Man's stock grew. During the DVD, I kept waiting for more Houseman clips and felt disappointed when it was over because I wanted more Houseman. Funny, G. Love made a comment to Houseman that he could do it his way when it was Houseman and Special Sauce -- I am not going to lie to you, I would buy that DVD.
ANTM Takes a Stand

Ok, as I am sure you can all tell, I have been a little late in watching. But I finally got a chance to catch up today. And Tyra is taking a stand this season. It's the no smoking season! Yes, mabye she got this from the TiVo Changed My Life Blog. Yes during Cycle 8 I went on a little tirade about the amount of smoking on the show. Literally the entire time the girls were at the house all they did was smoke. This time Tyra put her foot down - she realizes that little girls are watching this show (and me) - so she declared this a no smoking season. Maybe Tyra reads the blog, maybe this blog is really making a difference -- in the world of ANTM. (ha ha)

The girls did a photograph that showed the girl looking sexy while smoking but then when they saw the reflection in the mirror showed the true effects of smoking. It was an interesting photo shoot.
So far what is the most interesting is that the girls are already having screaming matches at the photo shoot. Apparently one of the girls is a former exotic dancer and another girl has a problem with it. As for the rest of them, well this is a caddy bunch. They are already talking smack about anyone who isn't in the room especially Heather who has Aspberger's Syndrome.

This week Mila was kicked off -- she was sweet but forgettable.
I am hoping that next week is makeover week, because that is my favorite episode of the season - of the new non-smoking season.

Oh and I almost forgot - Benny Ninja returned to ANTM. He was just there for the first Old Navy Challenge when the girls had to show their personal style. However, I am not sure what the point of Benny's presence was -- but hey what can you say -- it was Benny Ninja. Which also explains why hits to this blog went up when people searched his name.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Michigan Government Shut Down?

Yes, I usually avoid talking politics, but this time it can't be avoided. The Michigan legislature has so far yet to agree on a budget for the next fiscal year which means we are facing a government shut down. Please this is embarrassing.

So what does a state government shut down mean? Well all state government employees (except the legislature - who are causing this mess in the first place) are sent home for a week of unpaid vacation. That's 35,000 people in a state.

So what won't run when the state government shuts down... State Police (85% of them) won't be working, State Parks will be closed, no Food Inspection, Rest Areas will be SHUT DOWN, no renewing your drivers license or license plates -- if you live on Mackinac Island there will be no trash pick-up or manure pick-up (for all the horses), no state lottery ticket sales, there will be a drawings still because of presale tickets, however if you won the lotto you won't be able to claim your prize, speaking of gambling you won't be able to bet on the horses -- horse racing will be shut down. With the state gaming office closes, the Governor tried to close the casinos in Detroit but a judge ruled against her.

The Michigan Supreme Court - Closed.

EDUCATION: All Department of Education operations will shut down, except for the Michigan School for the Deaf. If Department of Education employees have not returned to work by mid-October, the state school aid payment due on October 22 will not be made.

NATURAL RESOURCES: All DNR operations will be shut down, except a minimal crew to maintain the state’s six fish hatcheries and a small contingent of forest firefighters needed to continue containment operations at the Sleeper Lakes fire in the Upper Peninsula and to respond to other fire emergencies.

TRANSPORTATION: All road construction, routine maintenance, and administrative operations will stop. In addition, six of the state’s lift bridges, in compliance with U.S. Coast Guard regulations, will be locked in the up position, allowing only water traffic to pass. Those bridges are located in Manistee, Bay City, St Joseph, Port Huron and Detroit.

So let's get to work in Lansing... all I have to ask is what where these people doing all summer? Why did we have breaks in the session if this wasn't solved? Why did all the republicans head up to Mackinac Island two weeks ago to hob knob with presidential candidates when there was no budget? Democrats you are not off the hook either.

I just hope that all this political crapola can work itself out by Sunday at midnight to avoid this... because frankly.. it sucks. Not for the politicans but for all the hard working state employees that will be sitting at home with unpaid leave. Ironically the state will still be sending out unemployment checks -- does this mean that the 35,000 state employees are eligible - but how will they sign up the people who would normally take their application will be standing in line right next to them. So let's avoid this and get a freaking budget.

Someone suggested that we elect our stae representatives and senators by lottery from now one... I say why not. The ones we elected don't seem to be working.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Seven Random Things About Jennie

7 random facts about me

The rules:

  1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
  2. Share 7 facts about yourself: some random, some weird.
  3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).
  4. Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs.

1. Most times I refuse to participate in shinanagans like this, but I will do anything right now to get out
of doing my homework.

2. I was hit by Mikey Zelenski -- a neighbor -- with a baseball bat across the face. I was a catcher and apparently I moved a little to close to the plate while he backed up to get a better angle on the ball. When he realized what he did - he said sorry and took off running, because he was afraid of my dad.

3. I can't dance --- but I do a mean robot. Just ask anyone. The picture to the right is someone else doing the robot.. however, those of you who have seen me know... my pure natural talent for this dance. I can see you smiling from here.

4. I wore all black and listened to the cure in middle school. (see #3)

5. I watched American Beauty for the first time in the theater with CNN's Christiane Amanpour and the head of CNN International Eason Jordan. However, I never ended up working at CNN. Hmmmmm.

6. I hate (and I mean hate) heights -- especially when it comes to driving over bridges. It's an abnormal fear. For more explanation read here.

7. At one time I thought I wanted to be a nuclear engineer... clearly that didn't happen.

Here are my tags:
Amy: She might actually do this.
Jenn: I have never actually meet her but I have been reading her blog for more than a year and feel like I know her
Mary Ann: Because she was super blogger in Geneva and has not posted since August 10.
Todd: Because he clearly tagged everyone on my blog leaving me now one to tag!!!!! Carl & Megan - NO FAIR!!
Yeah -- I don't have seven.