Saturday, November 24, 2012

Mutants, UFOs, Conspiracy Theories and Time Travel

Last night I had the pleasure of picking Cam up from a friend's house at 1am (it was an hour-round trip altogether) because don't we always tell our children, "I don't care what time it is, you can always call us for a ride home" - a policy which he has taken advantage of twice this week: Wednesday night Mark headed out at 2am and last night it was my turn. But I'm not complaining because...

I love driving in the car in the middle of the night or the early morning - as I often have to do when I'm traveling and need to get the airport early. The first thing I do is turn the station to WHAM1180 for "Coast to Coast," which describes itself as:
A media phenomenon, Coast to Coast AM deals with UFO's, strange occurrences, life after death, and other unexplained (and often unexplicable) phenomena.
I love this show. It really reminds me that are people out there with an alternate reality who truly believe they have experienced "Shadow People," aliens/UFOs, Bigfoot sightings, and last night featured a guy who believes he's a mutant (think: X-Men) who can jump off roofs and land softly, levitating inches from the ground rather than crashing into it. He talked about how he and his other mutant friends (in particular he has a buddy who can appear and disappear quickly) are waiting for the "portal" to open in early 2013 at which time their powers will be understood by all.

Another talked about how such quick advances in technology over the last "112 years" are surely the work of aliens influencing inventors (he gave the Wright brothers as his prime example). Or how about the fact that NASA knows how to use time travel to distant planets (in, say 100 days vs. 100 years) but is not releasing that information to the general public. Conspiracy theories abound. And you know the advertisers defintely understand their audience as most ads are about Doomsday products (food and food storage, shelter) or a pill that cures cancer (that doctors don't want you to know about). Fun, fun stuff!!

Who knows, maybe it's me that's crazy one and all these people are sane. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

Or, "the truth is out there."

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

30 Day of Wha...???

"Thirty Days of Thankfulness" is all the rage on Facebook. That's when the user posts something they're thankful for every day from November 1 through 30. C'mon people. We all know that we're thankful for family, friends, food, jobs, homes, health, pets...I'm not sure I could keep up with a such a task and keep it interesting for those who peruse such blather over their morning coffee (which is another thing I'm thankful for ~ especially Jamaican Me Crazy).

So I thought I'd try to post a few things I'm thankful for (for which I'm thankful?), which are a little out of the ordinary:

  • The quiet mornings when I don't have to go to work and can indulge in my news junky tendencies over a Wegman's marathon roll with raspberry jam and a 20 oz up of Green Mountain Coffee.
  • Those occasional warm winter nights when I'm taking the dog for a walk and keep going past my usual route because I just want to enjoy the solitude of a clear, starry warm night with my pal.
  • Vermont
  • Surrounding myself with others with similar off-beat, silly senses of humor (you know who you are).
  • Groundhog's Day
  • The sun streaming into my upstairs three-season porch. And, at night, hanging out with the heater blowing directly on me.
  • Memories of a great childhood surrounded by family and friends (and the occasional old boyfriend).
  • Apple products
  • My niece, Nicole, now lives in Fairport
  • My naturally sunny disposition (Ha!)
  • Our yearly girls weekends
  • Eating out
  • Music. All kinds of music, except for jazz, rap, techno, country (I do like the classic/cowboy country that I grew up with), hip-hop, blues. Okay, maybe not all kinds of music but lots of kinds of music. Except those I listed.
  • Books
  • Fat-free half and half
  • Great neighbors
  • Feeling younger than I actually am (which shall not be revealed here)
  • Turkey dinner on Thanksgiving (and any time of the year for that matter)
There are a lot of things I'm not thankful for/annoyed by, but that's a story for another day. A wonderful Thanksgiving to all!! 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The End of the Quarter

Friday ended the first academic quarter for both kids: Cam at RIT and Annalisse at FHS. I am SOOOOOO (infinity) happy to report that both kids did great in the first 10 weeks. Cam, especially pulled of a 3.5 average for 18 credit hours in a very difficult program. WOW. We are so happy that his grades are on the upswing. In fact, HE KICKED IT. I'm sure it was not without cost to him as I get the sense from his tweets (on Twitter - which I'm not supposed to be reading BTW) that school work has taken over his life for the last three weeks. So I'm trying not to nag or pressure him too much during his week home as I think he really needs the down time.

Annalisse also did really well, although her course load this year, with the exception of AP Bio, is relatively light. Which is a good thing since the bio course taking all her energy (and free time). She received a 74 in the class, which is actually pretty good considering where she was in the first weeks of the term. Overall, her average for the term was a 91.25. Great for her!!

It's just a couple of days until the Thanksgiving break, which we are all looking forward to (Turkey...YUM).  It's so awesome to have everyone home!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Dreams of Nantucket?

For some reason I've been thinking a lot about Nantucket lately. I'm not sure why...I even had a lengthy dream about visiting the island "30 miles out to sea" last night.

Mark and I visited for a quick overnight in 1990, so it's been quite a while since we've been, but I really really loved our time there. We went during the pre-season in mid-May, so it wasn't too crazy with tourists yet. The trade off was that not too many places were open yet, and we stayed at a cute B&B, The Chestnut House, my first time at a Bed and Breakfast. (While the place was nice, their idea of breakfast was juice and crackers. I've since spent time at places with amazing breakfasts.) We had lunch at the legendary Brotherhood of Thieves, a place at which a friend of mine's husband is currently the chef. Maybe that's why I'm thinking of Nantucket - because if we go to visit again I know someone there!!

Anyway, maybe a return trip will be in order in the next year or two. During these cold, dark days of November I guess wanderlust is kicking in!!

Friday, November 9, 2012


My love for the band Train began over 10 years ago with the release of "Drops of Jupiter," a song I nostalgically relate to being a hit around the time my father was first diagnosed with leukemia (he passed away two years later). Pat Monahan, the lead singer, has famously said that the idea for the song came to him in a dream from shortly after his mother died and says it's about her. If you've never heard this song or seen the video, it is a must hear/see:

(I watch this video once a month or so, when I need a mood lift.)

I've followed the band through a break-up (them, not me) and was sooooo happy when they got back together and began making music again. I dare say I like their newer stuff more than the "Drops of Jupiter" era and especially their new album, "California 37" which has some really awesome toe-tapping numbers on it. One of my fave songs is "Bruises," a melancholic, heartfelt ditty that I just can't get out of my head. The video for Bruises was just released, and the concept is not what I would have pictured, so I guess I'll just stick to listening to the song full blast in my car.

Seeing Train this summer was definitely one of the highlights of my year. Awesome, just awesome!

Mom Update and a Trip to Boston

This week I took a quick overnight trip to Massena to see Mom as she fell in the bathroom and was hospitalized for a couple of days. She's doing well and in good spirits back at Carol's house, and none the worse for wear except for a nasty bruise over her right eye. That woman is so resilient! She's in good hands at my sister's, and we (Mary and I) are so lucky that Carol is willing to take care of her. In November, when everyone on Facebook is posting "the 30 days of Thanksgiving," we eternally grateful to Carol for what I'm sure is not an easy undertaking.

In other travel news...

Annalisse left this morning for Boston for her senior trip. My how these milestones keep creeping up on us. I cannot even imagine how quickly June will come, then the summer, then YOU KNOW WHAT (that is, if we make it through AP Bio)! I'm sure she'll have a great time. Even though a (crazy) Nor'easter hit the East Coast this week I think Boston will be cold but otherwise not treacherous. I'm not sure Mark and I will know what to do with ourselves this weekend. I'll probably do something exciting like put on my sweats and curl up in front of the space heater or fireplace and watch a movie or two. Just another wild and crazy Baker weekend. Meh.

Monday, November 5, 2012


Last night I took Annalisse and a couple of friends over to RIT for the Fun concert (you may remember that we gave her two tickets to Fun for her birthday present). The concert had originially been scheduled for Saturday night but needed to be rescheduled because Fun was invited to appear on SNL. That made for a little planning on Sunday (and all weekend, actually) to ensure that Annalissse was well studied and well rested for her AP Bio exam first thing Monday morning. The timing was not ideal, but what can you do?

While the kids were at the concert I hung out in RIT's Java Wally's, the very cool and comfortable coffee house within the Wallace Library. (If I went to RIT I would hang out there all the time. Cam claims he never goes there...probably just the thought that his mother loves that place is enough to keep him away, thinking it's super un-coool). I sipped creme brule coffee while finishing a book for bookclub and catching up on other reading. I also spent a lot of energy trying to stay awake.

By 10pm (which was really 11pm since the time had just changed on Sunday at 2am) I was nodding off big time. At around 10:30 Annalisse texted to say the band was playing their encore, so I headed to the car where the girls met me a little while later. Annalisse reported that she tried to hang with her brother but he would have none of it. Big surprise! She did manage to get some awkward shots with him.

Here's a video of Fun's "Some Nights," their current chart topper:

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Eve Leaves

This morning, amid tears all around, Eve and the Irish kids boarded a bus heading south to Newark, NJ to catch a plane back to Ireland tonight. I'm not sure what time they're "taking off," so hopefully by the time we wake up there will be news that the kids arrived home.

Our visit couldn't have been better. Eve was a really sweet girl, and Annalisse (and all the kids) are counting the days until they go to Ireland. I think the count was 107 the last I heard!

Safe travels, kids! 

Update, 11/2, 7am: The Irish kids arrived safely home around three hours ago.

The gang
Weary, sad kids