Friday, February 29, 2008

My First Starbucks from the new Lapeer Starbucks. Those of you who are wondering, I got a Soy Chi Latte - it was delicious. As I said to the barista, all we need now is a Target.
Happy Leap Day!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Quick TiVo Update

Project Runway is winding down. Next week is the finale - if you haven't kept up with it - I have them all saved on TiVo. My favorite this season is the spunky Christian. Last night they narrowed it down from four contestants to three. Yes this season they did something different instead of choosing the three finalist at the last runway show at Parson's they chose four, but Chris March & Remi had to come back with their final looks and duke it out for the last spot. Remi was the winner of that competition. After looking at their collections it was not really shocking, the most shocking part of the show was me trying to figure out what was going on with Jillian's head. Yes, here is a picture captured from Tivo for your enjoyment. Can anyone explain that hat to me? Anyone? Maybe I just don't understand style, but all throughout the season I thought Ricky's hats were ridiculous, but this one is over the top in my humble opinion. Jillian - why? Did your grandma knit that hat and you promised her that you would wear it on the show? Really?

In other news, I know this is alarming that it is the second week into the 10th season of America's Next Top Model and I have yet to write about it. Well I know and I will think of the proper way to punish myself. This season started off with more model school - but with a twist they are having a "homecoming" (yes if you saw it Tyra did this awful version of a homecoming queen with tears, mascara and all) but they are headed back to New York. So that will be interesting. I was a little bummed that they didn't pick the doe-eyed girl from Portage, Michigan, because you know you always like to have the Mitten State represented. But they did pick a couple of characters like the spaced out girl from Hawaii. Wow? There were already crazy tears and fighting and they haven't even started living together. So far the girl from the small town in Wisconsin appears to be somewhat of a snotty diva, but really people this is the first show so how can you tell. Yes, I am blogging tonight after working on homework instead of watching last night's episode. But trust me, my handy TiVo has it waiting for me when I have time this weekend. God Bless you TiVo.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

It's Official....

We're Running the Chicago Marathon. Bruce and I signed up tonight. This will the third time I have registered for this race - and you know what they say the third time is a charm. I hope so because it's now up to $110 for registration the last two times I registered it was cheaper - like $35 cheaper. Well this is it, if I break another bone this year, I think someone is trying to tell me to not run.

So what does this mean, well Krista & family - prepare to become our cheering squad. Oh and Mom & Dad, don't think you are off the hook, I expect full participation. Megan - get your homework done early - you must also come out of your dorm room to cheer. Plus anyone else (the 7:11 crew) you are more than welcome (and/or required) to come and have fun in Chicago with us! Tony & Robert- we will be in GR for you - so well I guess what I am saying I expect the same. And Robert I don't want to hear anything about Chicago - you are coming and you are going to like it!!

I am excited, I don't expect to break any land speed records. But I am hoping to run about 11 minute miles - which would put me at about 4:45 for completion of the marathon. So here's to another summer of training... who's with me. Bruce - you don't have a choice you are in - we've already paid for your registration.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Five Words: Should have used a tripod. Consider it more art and less photograph.
Well anyway - happy lunar eclipse - with the crazy day I had I can hoping that things get better tomorrow!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Cleveland Rocks

So this Mid-Winter break Bruce and I packed up the Sebring and headed to Cleveland to visit our friend Todd. Todd has moved downtown to the West Flats of Cleveland (those of you from Ohio my know what that means.) He has a rockin' new apartment. We hung out for a while and then we headed out with his friends to a local Japanese Hibachi restaurant. Then we went to the "soft open" of a new establishment in his building. We had a good time. It was a quick trip arrive Saturday - leave Sunday, Bruce and I plan it this way, because we are certain that if we stay to long the mystery will wear off and you will be sick of us. Here are a couple pictures from our trip. The picture above is Todd in the big stump chair at the Hibachi Restaurant.

First recorded picture ever with Bruce smiling - now one could argue that he is about to say something, but I clearly believe that is a smile. And really how can you not smile at this picture of two grown men in a stump chair.
Bruce and I in the big stump chair.

Todd and I at the "soft open" of the new establishment in his building - I have no idea what this place is called.

According to Todd this is the old Cleveland power company - which is now a chop house/brewery. Currently Todd is very annoyed that the letter C is burnt out - I think it's funny.

View from Todd's apartment window - this is the viaduct and the Cleveland skyline.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Why drive 80 miles for an annual physical?

The answer is when your doctor is
Becky Patrias - you would drive as far as you have too! I get this question a lot from people who learn that I still drive to Chelsea, Michigan to go to the doctors. But clearly they have never had a doctor, like Dr. Patrias. She is the kind of doctor that everyone should have. The kind of doctor that cares not only about your health but about you.

I have been going to Dr. Patrias since I was in middle school - soon after I was a patient my mom became a patient and we both agree. Dr. Patrias makes us look forward to our annual physical. (I know what you are thinking - that's weird.) But when you think about it - it shouldn't be weird. The medical profession has become a hierarchal society - where the doctors rule over you and your health - and you feel powerless, when in the end it's YOUR health. However, when it comes to my health - Dr. Patrias and I are a team. I know that she is there to help guide me in my best interest. Whenever I have had any issues with my health - we work together to find the best solution for me.

When I arrive at my annual - her first question is always - how are you? And she means how are you - what have you been up to? And you sit and chat for a while - and she knows you - you just aren't another number. I can be honest about things that are going on with my body and not fear that she will look down on me or scold me (like the dentist does when they find out that I hate flossing.) So I am not afraid to tell you that I love my doctor and I will continue to drive to see her.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Bruce surprised me this Valentine's Day with beautiful flowers delivered to school. I must admit it was a welcome surprise on Friday - he is such a great Valentine!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Clear Sign that I am Aging...

...I pulled my groin the other day by sneezing. Enough said.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

An Evening with Ira

So last week I was in Chicago at a G. Love concert, this weekend I was in Ann Arbor with my Mom listening to Ira Glass, host of NPR's this American Life series. So who will it be next week to complete my celebrity tri-fecta.I must admit that I was not a huge NPR fan until I met Bruce. He got me hooked and now I love it - especially the weekend programing and most of all This American Life. Bruce had to work so he was very very jealous of me tonight.

Tonight Ira Glass was at Borders for a talk promoting the release of the This American Life DVD. The radio show hit television screens last year for the first time on Showtime. I actually saw a few episodes because DirecTV who was over charging me gave me three months of Showtime free for the inconvenience - because as we know I am a Sahakian and we DO NOT pay for premium channels!

The evening was an hour question and answer. If you have never listened to This American Life - you should, you can listen on NPR or download the podcasts. The thing I enjoy about Ira Glass is that you feel like he is having a conversation with you, even if you are listening on the radio or in a huge room filled with hundreds of people. The evening was more of a question and answer as opposed to talk. People asked him all sorts of things, like to sing to their girlfriend. He talked about the show and the process of picking out stories for the show. I even asked a question! He was talking about their huge list of contributors and I ask him what it takes to be a contributor - because who knows he made need a contributor from the hit blog: TiVo Changed My Life.

He also talked about how before he was in radio that he was a magician at children's birthday parties and that NPR was not the geekiest thing he had ever done. Which when anyone claims to be a geek, I find them to be a kindred spirit. For instance he was talking about the music he listened to in his childhood, which was during the 1960's - he said a neighbor asked him who he thought was better the Beatles or the Monkeys and he was like I didn't listen to either. "As a Jew in Baltimore I listened to Showtunes, it was the music of my people." (that's not an exact quote but it's close - actually soon Borders will have the video of tonight's talk online because they had an entire crew there filming it.)

Then we lined up to get him to sign our DVD's. When I got a chance to talk to him, he was such a nice person. Sometime when you stand in those lines they shuffle you through like cattle, and the person signing doesn't even have a chance to look up. He was great, taking pictures with people. I told him that we listen to This American Life in my classroom. We talked about which ones we listen to, of course I was nervous and could not remember the theme of the show despite having listened to it several times (it is "Sounded Like a Good Idea at the Time.") But we talked about the stories and what the kids liked. I told him that my favorite and many of the kids favorite was 'Dancing for the Lottery.' Which if you haven't heard it - it's where all these River Dancers decide that if they put positive thinking and energy into their performance of the show River Dance that can lead to them winning the Mega Millions. I think I like it so much because I have been there - especially when I was in a job that I didn't love - we would buy these syndicate tickets and for a night think about what we would do if we one - and how there would be no news on Monday morning because we were all millions and we wouldn't show up to work. But I digress. The coolest thing was that on my DVD that he signed he wrote, "I envy your job!"

I also had my camera ready as usual and I had my trusty mother there ready to take a picture. Needless to say my mother was somewhat nervous, the following are the pictures that transpired.

This is her first picture after I gave her the camera.

This is her second picture when I clearly wasn't expecting a picture to be taken -- so needless to say I wasn't ready and I think I was exclaiming something like "stop." Which amused everyone around us. She claims that this is actually her best picture. You decide.

This is me talking with Ira Glass, ignoring the paparazzi (a.k.a my mom.)


Thursday, February 07, 2008

It's Winter in Attica

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

G. Love in the Snowy Windy City

So Saturday night I had my first G. Love & Special Sauce experience in Chicago bringing Megan & Krista into my madness.

First details on the show. G. Love wasn't feeling well. Earlier in the week he had canceled a show in Iowa - and when he got on stage you could still see/hear that he wasn't feeling well, but in true G. Love style - he performed well. I was lurking on the G. Love forum and there was some discussion as to whether or not he should have canceled, but let me tell you even G. Love sick is still a good show. Plus traveling all the way to Chicago, it would have been very disappointing to have him cancel.

Some highlights of the show: he started with my favorite song - I-76 which was closely followed by Holla. He played Back of the Bus. In his shorter than usual acoustic set - he played Gimme Some Lovin' and Beautiful. He also did a pretty cool beat-box with Rodeo Clowns. I had never seen that before and both Olive and I thought it was great.

This show I felt more like an anonymous fan again, which I appreciate. I was certain that G. Love would have long forgotten what his biggest fan contest winner looked like. So I got to be in the front row again and love ever minute. However, I was unable to take pictures because security cracked down - they wouldn't even let you bring your camera into the show, which is very disappointing. (More on that later.) To me it should be the artist's call - and it seems like G.L.A.S.S. has always been very receptive to that. Like when security was yelling at someone behind me: G. Love had this "what the hell" look on his face.

Overall the sound quality wasn't the best because G. Love was sick, but despite everything I had a great time. Sick or not the show still ended with great energy. The house was packed, he sold out the theater. And Chicago is also now non-smoking so when we left didn't smell like ashtrays.

So that was the concert recap - here is the weekend recap.

Olive and I drove out Saturday morning. We stopped at my sisters house to hang out with the kids and to pick up Krista for the nonsense. (And because I wanted to see my favorite niece and nephew.) Krista was shocked to hear that we were planning on arriving at the concert venue before doors even opened. So she opted out and decided to meet us there instead. I think here quote was "if tickets to a general admission show say 8:30 pm, I will show up at 8:25 pm at the earliest."

So we left her with her children and husband and headed downtown to check into the Hyatt Regency on Wacker (thank you I changed into my new H&M G.L.A.S.S concert attire. It was fun and not a normal Jennie outfit. Then we headed to the Rivera Theatre. We arrived at 6 pm and doors opened at 7 pm and we were lucky because we were the first ones in line! That meant we would have front row spots guaranteed! Which is what we were looking for. Despite the large amount of snow on the ground - it wasn't too chilly standing in line.

As we stood in line we chatted up this nice off-duty police officer named Brian who was working security. Brian has a house in Hastings, Michigan and likes Michiganders (which was helpful later on.) Soon there were other G. Love fans arriving. I again got to feel like a mini celebrity - when people recognized me from Biggest Fan Video. Here's a picture with me and Shark from the G. Love forums. She was super nice and let me snap a photo. She came to the show from Minneapolis, MN. Angie from the forum was also there, but I didn't get to meet her - because we didn't linger after the show we were anxious to get back to see Brian (see below for reasoning.)

The thing I like most about the G. Love fans is they are (for the most part) really nice mellow people. I enjoy meeting new people at shows and believe it or not there are people who may just be bigger fans than me, yes they fly all over the country to meet up and see him. I on the other hand stick strictly to the midwest - unless I already happen to be going there like Berlin this summer.

Well the show started after the opening band Rue Mello (she tried hard, but I am not running to by their c.d. - her outfit was enough to scare me away. I am sure you are thinking - why don't you show us what she looked like, well that's because I didn't have my camera, it's not that I didn't bring my camera, it's that they didn't allow them in and I wasn't feeling gutsy enough (I know shocking) to try to sneak it in.

Which begs the question what happened to the camera - well our new friend Brian, was holding cameras for both Olive & I. Yes, we trusted a total stranger to hold onto our digital cameras during the concert. And thankfully he agreed to and returned them to us at the end of the night as promised. Apparently you cannot bring cameras in the Rivera Theater, however that would be helpful to know in advance. Because they were like go put your camera in your car - Olive and I looked at each other and we were like - ummmm what car? We took public transportation. So Brian who felt bad for us, because we didn't have a car to stash them in and we were from Michigan, put them in his car and returned them to us as promised at the end of the show! Points for the big mitten state! So thanks Brian (pictured with me above) the friendly Chicago cop with a house in Hastings!

Right now I am still in the G. Love after glow, which Olive determines lasts about a week, for me it may be a month. So this will probably be my last show until Berlin this summer!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

I did this interview with my niece Sophie over brunch at the Handle Bar. The end is the best part!

The windy city

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Spring Break 2008 to Trump Spring Break 2007

February 1, 2008 - Attica, MI
- Jennie Holladay could not imagine it possible, but it looks like Spring Break '08 maybe even better than the one she had in '07. Holladay, along with her husband Bruce and graduate classmate, Karyn "KC" Coles will be traveling to Bratislava, Slovakia for Spring Break '08.

"I never thought anything could top my Cleveland trip with Olive - where I met G. Love for the first time - but it looks like Europe just might," Holladay told friends.

The three will depart Detroit, Michigan for a crazy weekend in Prague, Czech Republic before taking the train to Bratislava. In Bratislava, they will be working with local high school teacher, Doug Hart and his high school students to film their own version of Romeo & Juliet.

Hart has high expectations from the trio.
Hart said, "I and my kids are very excited about your trip over here! They now have a firm deadline and their level of confidence in pulling this thing off has risen."

The group plans to not only work hard, but have a lot of fun. The source of that fun is still questionable. There are concerns on whether Coles will be able to tolerate an entire week traveling alone with the Holladays.

"I am not sure if I will be able to stand Bruce for that long, but I am sure Jennie and I will get along fine." Coles told sources.

The three have successfully traveled together in Europe last summer and over the New Year's Holiday with their "Rock Band" the "Skype Outs." However, during that time they were traveling with the rest of the 7:11 group. It is unclear if the band will be playing together this Spring Break in Europe, sources say one can never be quite sure.

The rest of the group was invited but it turns out that the state of Ohio does not believe in spring break.

"Do you people not work?" exclaimed lead singer of the Skype Outs and 7:11 member, Robert "Robear" Smith.

After five days in Bratislava the trio plans to spend a day or two in Vienna, Austria. Holladay says she will try to practice her German during her 40 minute commute to work each day. Previously she attempted to practice during the day, but due to her poor German skills and the fact that her students don't speak the language, the classroom made a poor place to practice.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Chicago Here we Come!!!

Ok - so Chicago has gotten at least a foot of snow in the past day and that's exactly where Olive and I are headed this weekend! Why? Well for the G. Love & Special Sauce concert at the Rivera this weekend! Krista and Megan will be joining us this weekend. So here's hoping that we will have a successful drive and that once we get there - that G & the boys don't cancel the show.

I am very excited about this concert do to the fact that I was so far from the front of the Royal Oak Concert. I have a new super cute outfit from H & M, however, it will be covered by boots and my winter coat. The question was posed today that G. love's biggest fan, will I receive any perks? The answer is absolutely: No. But I will have tons of fun and throughly enjoy hanging out with Olive in Chicago.
Eli Stone

At the request of the George Michael's Biggest Fan, I made sure I caught one of ABC's newest shows: Eli Stone. Why? Well much of the show featured illusions that starred George Michael and his hit single 'Faith.' So I tuned in this afternoon, thanks to the internet and watched it. I must admit, I wasn't quite sure what I was getting into, the premise is that a lawyer turns modern day profit.

So what did I think of it? So far so good! It was a cute show and I will admit I did get a little teary a time or two. I would say that I thought it would have more to do with George Michael, but it turns out the George Michael references are subtle - yet still enjoyable. I will have to wait to get feedback from Olive to see what she thinks, but for now my suggestion is to tune in. Other recognizable cast members - well there is the Eli's boss who is the dad from Alias. Then there is Eli's secretary who is the wife of the Chief of Staff from Grey's Anatomy. Other than George those are the only people I recognize. It stars Jonny Lee Miller - who was good, but I don't know him from anything else. It's on Thursday nights, 10 pm EST/ 9CST. I will make sure that I set the TiVo today - for a season pass.
Snow Day #2

Ok, so I must say that I love teaching and it's not all about making a difference with kids, because don't get me wrong that is great, but there is also a secret benefit that only mother nature can provide: the SNOW DAY.

This morning my phone rang at 5:40 am and it was my boss - saying, "Good morning, Jennie, there is no school today." I do my best to try not to sound too happy, because it is my boss on the phone, but hey who in the working world, regardless about how they feel about their job, doesn't want a free day off once and a while.

So my day so far has consisted of sleeping in, eating at Arby's, enjoying Tim Horton's coffee, a trip to Home Depot with Bruce, shoveling the driveway and watching Eli Stone on the internet, because I missed it last night and forgot to set my TiVo because I was busy finishing a paper on propaganda. I chose to write about President Bush and the "Axis of Evil." I am not how well I did, but I can say now that it is done.