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What a Week!

Time really is flying. Is it really already March 18? How did this happen? Spring will OFFICIALLY be here in just a few days! But Chicago’s been having some wonderful Spring weather already. Seriously, every day has been gorgeous out! I love it.

Monday, I went to a yoga class, then I headed downtown to do some shopping (I needed some school supplies, a new yoga mat bag, and Old Navy is having their stock up sale. Buy one tee/tank, get one free.) and to get a mani/pedi! The mani was just OK but the pedi looks fantastic!

Sparkly Toenails
yay shiny!

Tuesday was my first day of yoga teacher training! An entire day of learning about downward facing dog. Everything you ever wanted to know about downward facing dog. And we didn’t even scratch the surface. There is so much. I was honestly a bit overwhelmed, not just at that, but at the amount of information I have to learn overall. I was also overwhelmed at how excited I was to be learning all of it and how eager I was to share what I learned to help my friends with their downward facing dogs. My friend Missy doesn’t believe for one second it will ever become a “resting pose” for her. I told her that takes time. It took me six months before I ever thought to myself (while in class) “Thank GOD down dog!!”

Wednesday, I took it easy. It was soooo super gorgeous out! We took a very exciting trip to The Home Depot, where Adam got a new grill, some charcoal, and other assorted grilling fun things. I took to the back porch to sit out in the warm air.

Enjoying The Lovely Day
I look like I have a football head here.

Thursday, I was back in the office at VSA.

Ready to do some Hardcore Proofreading
All right, misspellings and grammatical errors.
It’s ON.

I like it there. They give me the work and leave me alone to do that. When someone does that, it means they trust me to do the work they hired me for. And that makes me feel good. Plus, the person I work most closely with? She has bleached hair with BLUE TIPS, and she likes Doctor Who. She HAS A TARDIS ON HER DESK. HOW awesome is that? There was also free breakfast that day. ROCK. ON.

The Heroes The Eleventh Doctor The Doctor and His Tardis

Nine, K-9, and Captain Jack Nine and Child Slatheen
some of MY Doctor Who toys

I got of work out early enough that I was able to go to the yoga nidra class at Moksha. Very nice. Friday was another day at work, but I was done at 4:30!

Which takes me to Saturday. I was awakened at 5am by sirens and sirens and sirens. I’d heard sirens stop on my street before, but it was usually an ambulance or something. Not this time!


[via]

Yeah. That was happening. Across the street and down a few doors. I didn’t get that close; Adam found this picture on his instagram feed.

It scared me. Once I realized everything was under control, I couldn’t stop shaking for ten minutes. But the floors were unoccupied, and one of the businesses in the building was open at 8am! I didn’t get back to sleep until 7am, then I rolled out of bed at noon. Spent the day doing a few errands and cleaning the living room like a MOFO. See, part of teacher training is that we have to do a 15-20 minute home practice every day. That’s kind of difficult when the living room is so cluttered that one can barely walk across the floor. So, I handled that. Then I was cruising through practice when Crookshanks happened.

Cat Savasana

Crookshanks ALWAYS happens, and it’s going to be interesting as I progress through the training, to see if he’ll get in my way every single day.

I moved to Chicago on March 17, 2008. It was an overcast, cold day. Temps were in the 30s and there were flurries. I didn’t know what to expect. And I definitely didn’t see myself where I am today (except for the being married to Adam part). Life is funny, don’t you think? And also wonderful.

Also:

Only 4 DAYS, 22 HOURS ’til THE HUNGER GAMES! (I’ve already got my tickets.)
Only 6 DAYS ’til I get to see s00j again!!

OK, I’m hungry. See ya later!

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MMC’s Got It Going On…Funky Style! (Long, Multimedia)

I know I have blogged about this before, but watching YouTube today brought it back to the forefront of my mind.

When I was in high school, I LOVED LOVED LOVED the all new Mickey Mouse Club. This is the show that spawned Britney Spears, Keri Russell, and Justin Timberlake. I was a fan from the beginning–well, once we got The Disney Channel installed in my house. Back then, I had to beg and plead for us to get cable in the first place, and The Disney Channel was a premium channel, like HBO or Showtime! My parents knew how important Disney was to me, so they sprang for the premium. Back then, my cable life revolved around The Disney Channel, MTV, BET, and VH1. I loved music videos and there was no shortage of them in the early 90s.

I started watching MMC when I saw the video for Summer Vacation by The Party on MTV. I thought Damon Pampolina was the hottest thing on TV. I was ready for a new crush–I was over my New Kids on the Block phase, Joey Lawrence and Kirk Cameron did nothing for me, and Dino and Glenn Medeiros were just too old. I am not sure how I figured out that The Party had to do with The Disney Channel, but once I realized that The Party was made up of Mouseketeers from MMC, I was hooked. My crush on Damon was short-lived, though. I started watching MMC in its third season, and that’s the season that Ricky Luna started. More on that later.

The show, to me, was so different from any other show. It wasn’t a typical multi-camera sitcom filmed in beta. It was a variety show, with skits, singing, and dancing. My favorite was the musical numbers. I liked learning the dance steps and I liked singing along. The cast members used their own names, and at the end of a taping, they let the audience come down and dance with them, which made them seem more approachable than say, the kids on Blossom. I really wanted to be friends with all of them.

My life back then mostly consisted of school (ugh), an after school job at the deli, marathon phone conversations with my best friends (our record: 13 hours), writing (mostly fanfic), and music. I wasn’t getting out much nor was I participating in a lot of school activities. My life was MMC and those kids. I wrote fan fiction about them before it was cool. If I wasn’t planted in front of the TV at 5:30pm Monday through Friday, then the VCR was recording the show. That show was the reason I got up some mornings, the reason I got dressed and did my hair. Maybe I was just going to be in front of the TV all day, frantically rewinding the VCR so I could learn yet another dance step, but I was up and moving. And that was a good thing.

There were two Mousketeers who inspired me the most. One was Mylin Brooks. I thought she was absolutely beautiful. She had this gorgeous dark hair, this beautiful face, and she was on a TV show that was filmed at Disney World. She was smart and talented and I desperately wanted to be her.

It was this video here that started my fascination with Mylin:

Please refresh if the videos aren’t showing up. YouTube is being a pain in the rear.

Ah yes, Disney Channel’s watered-down pop lyrics. I didn’t care. I watched the video all the time. I even learned the steps. I can still do most of the steps. I NEVER in a million years would have imagined that one day, this would happen:

Me and Mylin

Through the wonders of the Internet, I reached out and asked Mylin to be my friend on MySpace back when MySpace was cool. She accepted, and we began talking back and forth. When everyone moved to Facebook, she and I kept in touch on there. I was part of her “American Girl” street team back in 2006. It was amazing to get to work with her.

In July of 2010, I finally got to meet and spend the day with this woman, and let me tell you, she is just as sweet as she is beautiful. My mom is tickled pink because she knew how important MMC was to me, and she knew how important those kids were to me.

The other Mouseketeer that changed my life was Ricky Luna. I had an obscene crush on him when I was a teenager, and I didn’t care. Every single day from 5:20-6:00pm, I would sit in front of my TV, VCR remote in hand, ready to tape anything with Ricky in it.

When the MMC came on, the Mouseketeers would pop into a circle and say their names. He popped into his circle, yelled “Ricky!” and I was instantly head over heels. Well, as much as a girl can be with a guy whose first name is the only thing she knew about him. But we don’t need to worry about that. Look at this video:

He’s the one in the red shirt and the suspenders. I dare you to say you don’t understand how teenage me could have fallen for that total Mr. Hottyness.

I got to meet him for the first time in 1993, when MMC came to Cleveland to do a tour. Boy did I make a fool out of myself. I grabbed him and yelled “I’M IN LOVE WITH YOU.” Mortifying. Forgive me. I had no social skills and I was face-to-face with the object of my teenage fantasies OMG what was my life??? Don’t judge me.

Here are a couple of pix from that weekend:

MMC in Cleveland 1993 MMC in Cleveland 1993

Forgive the blurriness. I scanned these back in 1997 when I had no idea how to really work a scanner.

In late 1997, Geocities came out. I could make my own web page, what! So I did. I made a Ricky Luna fan site. If you google “Ronni’s Ricky Luna Fan Page” some old, old, old mirrors of that site will come up. Good times. I made that site in hopes that Ricky would do a search of his name and find it. He did. That site was the top hit in all the search engines. He contacted me and we kept in touch on and off over the next several years. MySpace and Facebook kept us even more in touch. Back in 2009, this happened:

Ricky Luna & Me

Yeah, it was pretty awesome. I got to hang out with him and his manager’s family. It was a really fun day. He lived up to the crush that 17-year old me had on him and then some because he’s just an awesome, kind, and warm human being. We laugh about my declaration of love for him at Tower City mall back in 1993. I still can’t believe I did that. Anyway, now he’s a super talented producer and he makes really good music, which you can download for free from his site. I recommend the Electro Bomba mini mix. You can get it here. :)

I’m proud to call him my friend.

I leave you with this video. I just watched it again and it gave me chills because I loved it so much back then. And as I belted along with it, remembering all the words, I realized that I still love it today.

If only The Disney Channel was still this awesome. Oh well. At least they have Phineas & Ferb.

This post is cross posted at my Disney blog. Feel free to visit and follow!

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The Test Audience Experience (Multimedia)

The Rosie Show Test Show

Today, Adam and I attended a test taping of The Rosie Show. As you may know, The Rosie Show has moved into Harpo Studios, and the show will begin airing next month on OWN.

I’d never attended any sort of big scale show like this, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I freaked out about my outfit. They asked for bright colors and warned us that the studio would be cold, so to wear long sleeves. Well, guess what? All of my bright colors are summer clothes, thus short-sleeved or sleeveless. All of my long-sleeved clothes were pretty dark. I wore a boring grey tee-shirt and skinny jeans.

When we got to the studio, we stood in a big line. Someone came down the line asking people for funny stories about meeting celebrities. I told them about how I met Mario Lopez when I was 17 and wanted to stick my finger in his dimple.

When we got inside, Adam gave them our name, and we had to show them our IDs. Once we were checked in, they handed us a blue card and a green card to fill out. We were then moved into a room where they searched my purse and had us walk through medal detectors. Then it was time for a potty break. Harpo Studios has one men’s room and two women’s rooms. Smart. There were still lines.

We headed upstairs to the holding area, where they passed out bottled waters, pens to fill out the cards, and cupcakes from Sugar Bliss. They were cute and yummy.

The Rosie Show Test Show

The green card had information that could probably be used in a show as filler. The blue cards had a number on them and asked for some basic contact information. After we snacked and turned in our green card, it was time to head into the studio. They called a bunch of people by name, and then the rest of us by the number on the blue cards, which they collected as we filed into the studio. They were NOT kidding when they said the studio would be cold. IT WAS FREEZING. And naturally, my bladder began sending signals as soon as I got settled. Typical.

Someone came out to warm up the audience, and I was really amazed at how warm and responsive the crew seemed to be. We were introduced to the house band. The leader is the person who wrote “Dick In A Box” for Saturday night live. How cool is that? Then, Rosie ran across the stage and yelled “You can’t see me!” and everyone screamed. She looks fantastic. She opened the show with a monologue that was very funny. Then she introduced the guests: Randy Jackson, Noland Gould (who plays Luke on Modern Family), and Crystal Bowersox.

It was fun watching the guests. It was really cool when Randy Jackson talked about his new eyeglasses line, and then announced that all of the audience members were going to get a free pair! Wooo! Crystal sounded amazing, and Nolan was hilarious and super cute.

At the end of the taping, Rosie stood on stage and allowed people to take photos of her. If there were children in the audience (she allows kids–how cool is that?), she let them actually come on stage. She was really great with the audience, making personal connections and letting people ask her questions in between segments.

The Rosie Show Test Show

I snuck and took this tiny video of her thanking us for being there:

We got to watch them tape a short segment for Access Hollywood, then we were led out. We were then given gift bags (which consisted of a The Rosie Show tee-shirt, a small bag of Garrett’s popcorn, a bag of PopChips, and a Vosges peppermint candy cane bar). We were given a coupon for a free frosting shot from Sugar Bliss, and a postcard to mail in for the free Randy Jackson sunglasses. We’re also going to get tickets for a real taping that’ll take place in October or November!

I’m looking forward to it. I also know not to drink a thing and to layer like a mofo. It’s really, truly freezing in those studios. And I apologize for camera quality–I didn’t want to take any chances of having my Canon T3 confiscated.

Thanks for reading! :)

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The Winding Down of Summer (Pictures)

Summer will be officially over in a month. That makes me sad. I’ve been waiting all year for it, and it’s already almost over. I’m not looking forward to nine more months of cold!

Aidan went back to Ohio on the 14th. It was not a happy day. He was actually fine until it was nearly time for him to board. He didn’t sob, but he was whimpering and crying and that made ME whimper and cry. Didn’t help that I was alone; Adam was in Atlanta to celebrate his grandmother’s 80th birthday. So, what did I do when I left the airport? Went shopping, of course.

As you all know, Borders is going out of business. I went there and got some books and started Christmas shopping. How disturbing that it’s already time to start sort of thinking about Christmas shopping?

I miss my little boy. *sigh*

The first weekend of August, I went to MuseCon. It was everything I could have asked for in a con. For one thing, SJ Tucker was the guest of honor. I had been aware of that since 2010, and I’d already blocked this weekend for the con. If SHE’S there, then I’m there. Secondly, the con was less sci-fi based and more creativity based. There were two photography panels, a fire spinning show, and I even got to participate in an improv class! The hospitality suite was incredible. Loads of my con friends were there, and I got to make some new friends. It was awesome. It was also very relaxing. The panels and workshops were long, and there was a lot of downtime. There were people sitting in the lobby playing instruments and singing. There was time to sit and have great conversations with people. There was a wedding; my friends Lizzie and Eric got married. The sound system didn’t want to cooperate during the processional, so the guests all hummed Canon in D as the bride was coming down the aisle. Gorgeous. And finally, it was in the Itasca, IL, Westin, and I LOVE Westin hotels. We had a really good time and I am very much looking forward to going next summer.

Tango/Conga Line Fire Spinning Fire Spinning Lizzie and Eric

Then, if that wasn’t enough s00j (and let’s face it, there’s never enough s00j), she did a show at the Life Force Arts Center that Sunday night! Check out this beauty:

SJ at the Life Force Arts Center

:)

Also since I last wrote, I cleaned like a madwoman. The poor apartment needed it. I’ve been doing more yoga, eating more junk food (eek), and reading more books. My face has been breaking out like a teenager’s, and I can’t figure out why I’m suddenly being so blessed by the acne gods. Maybe it’s the junk food. :O Anyway, I’ve made some major life changes (OK, just one) and I’ve been so much better for it. :D Oh, and I got this neat little toy:

LEGO-compatible Doctor Who building set
LEGO-compatible Doctor Who building set

I also got some really cool Monster High and She-Ra stuff b/c my awesome friend Seanan (who TOTALLY gets the doll and toy thing) was nice enough to pick them up for me when she was at Comic-Con a few weeks ago. (No pix yet! Soon, my friends. Soon.) I have FIVE Monster High dolls coming in the mail from Amazon. It is my goal to own every version they make of Frankie Stein because I adore that doll. So basically, I’m getting three Frankies, a Spectra (YEA!) and a Cleo de Nile. Because I’m crazy. And as far as my doll obsession goes, these are the less expensive ones that I’m gaga over.

I’ve begun blogging for Sharemickey.com, a social network site for Disney fanatics like myself. If you’re into Disney, you’ll want to check this site out. It’s pretty rad. My first post will be up this Wednesday.

Summer’s winding down, but there’s still a lot to look forward to. There’s the Chesire Moon show this weekend at the Life Force Arts Center, the new Doctor Who starts Saturday (OH YEAH), a party thrown by one of my favorite yoga teachers, a wedding shower, Labor Day weekend (a possible trip to Ohio in the works), and another wedding! So yeah, it’s going to be busy but not overwhelming, which is good.

OK, I think that’s about all. I’m getting hungry. Also, I’m hearing noises coming from the kitchen that sound cat-made, which can never be good. ‘Til next time!

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Happy Ronni is Happy! (Multimedia)

It has been a few weeks of friends old and new, family, pampering, love, delicious anticipation, and spiritual fulfillment. :) Let’s see. My last update was May 23rd. Since then, Adam and I have decorated the back porch. He stained the wood, we got some flowers and hanging plants, and new chairs.

Butterfly In The Sky
Butterflies like my new flowers, too.

It’s such a nice place to sit and read when it’s warm out. Helps that we got some new neighbors who are cool and friendly. The yippy dog from next door moved to California, so it’s been pretty quiet around these parts. That will change Tuesday, when AIDAN gets here!!!

He gets into town Tuesday morning. Tomorrow will be a busy day of trying to meet up with (more) old friends, a doctor’s appointment, and the finishing touches on Aidan’s room. It should go fast. Then, Wednesday, Eli & Melissa get into town, so we’ll all get to spend time together. I’m excited to see them! I haven’t seen them since January 2009, and they’ve never met Aidan. I’d better get my cameras all charged up!

My friend Claudia Gray flew off to Rome for the summer last week, but the Friday before she left, she came over for dinner. Adam grilled steaks and veggies, made homemade mashed potatoes (honestly, are there any other kind?), and corn on the cob. For dessert, we had shortcake cups, fresh blueberries and strawberries, French vanilla ice cream, and whipped cream. We ate VERY WELL. We also talked muchly about yoga, and watched Doctor Who. While she was here, apparently Critical Mass took a turn to my neighborhood. I have never seen so many people riding bikes before in my life. They just kept coming and coming and coming, and yelling “HAPPY FRIDAY.” Some had on weird hats. Some rode funny-looking bikes. It was mind-blowing. You can see the video here. You’ll hear me yelling and see Claudia’s lavender nails make a few cameos. :)

It was a great evening!

Earlier that day, Adam and I went downtown to meet Angelo, one of my best friends, who was in town for the weekend. We had lunch at Chipotle, the first time I’d eaten there in years:

Angelo & Me
Angelo & Me

Saturday the 29th, I went to the Moksha Yoga in Logan Square to support my friend/teacher trainee Cassandra who was doing a video review. It was a free class and an easy train ride, so why not, right? It was great. Then after that, Adam and I went to Margie’s Candies where I had my favorite Swiss Miss sundae. This sundae is so good. I’m sure you remember me going on about it in the past, right? You two scoops of ice cream, whatever flavors you want (I always get chocolate and vanilla), whipped cream, nuts (which I pass on), a wafer cookie, and a cherry, and warm chocolate-marshmallow sauce. HEAVEN! The first picture is my ice cream pre-sauced. The second…well, you know. Yum.

Ice Cream! Ice Cream Part II!

Last week was a spectacularly good week, with the exception of me forgetting about my emusic.com downloads and losing $6.50 for the month. I was annoyed at first, but chalked it up to a lesson learned. DON’T FORGET TO DOWNLOAD MY 12 SONGS FOR THE MONTH. Actually, last month it was 22 because I’d gotten the 10 free ones, but I think I’d gotten a few at least. Still. Oh well. Let it go. Om.

Besides THAT little hiccup, I had a good week. Wednesday, I got a pedicure and a massage, went to meet some other creative folks, and had a fun evening. Thursday was a yoga class with Cassandra that was the perfect length. Just as I was starting to get very tired, it was time for Savasana–Corpse Pose. There are some poses I am not a fan of (ahem, most standing poses except Wide Leg Stretch–Prasarita Padottanasana and Intense Forward Stretch–Uttananasa), but I do them because I am getting stronger physically and mentally. My favorites are sitting or lying down poses that twist and stretch me (I like to kick, stretch, and KICK!). Backbends, and Shoulderstand–Sarvangasana, make me all kinds of happy, too. I guess I could say yoga makes me happy, even when I am in the middle of a Triangle-Side Angle-Warrior II sequence and my arms are SCREAMING at me. I plan to take a class with master teacher Seane Corn this summer. How amazing will that be?

Anyway, Thursday night, had a delicious dinner of hickory-smoked tilapia and creamy parmesan risotto. My mouth is STILL watering thinking about it. So OK, the really good risotto might be $3 a box, but it’s still cheaper than eating out, and it’s good for us, right? (But now, I’m obsessed with grain. I got some couscous and other grains at the store today. Can’t wait to NOM!)

Friday, Adam and I went to the library. I love the library. I’ve already read some of my books. :O Speaking of that, I finished reading my 100th new book of 2010 today!! *golf claps* I wonder if I can get to 200 before the year is out? That would be a personal best. Friday evening, I went to the Life Force Arts Center to see my friend, my favorite gypsy, the amazingly talented musician and performer S.J. Tucker (aka s00j). She was so awesome! She is so tiny but her presence is so big, and her voice. It’s like angels. I could listen to her sing all day. It’s just so flawless and beautiful. To top it all off, I got to bask in many, many, many s00j hugs. They *should* hold me over until November, because I am definitely going to see her perform with her band Tricky Pixie at Windy Con. It just has to be done. The decision’s been made, there’s nothing I can do. If you heard their album Mythcreants (which, OMG you can hear in its entirety on that nifty little link there… and holy bananas and chicken, there are several FREE downloads there. I recommend Daughter of the Glade.), you’d understand why I am so adamant about attending to see them live. Adam and I had to miss OVFF last year which we are still sad about (because everyone we love was there: Tony & Vixy, Seanan McQuire, and s00j!). But we’ll get to see Talis Kimberly at DucKon in a few weeks, so I guess it all evens out in the end.

Here are a couple of photos of s00j:

SJ Tucker SJ Wailing Kevin & SJ

And here’s me, basking in some s00j love:

Me & SJ Tucker

Saturday was… wow, I can’t remember. Just relaxing inside, I think. Oh, and I managed to eat an entire pint of organic strawberries in one day. How awesome is that? I mean, they’re good for me, right? *innocent look* Speaking of being good to my body, I haven’t had McDonald’s since May 8th, and I haven’t had pop since April 4th. The McDonald’s fast MIGHT get broken on Tuesday, though. Every time I go to the airport to get Aidan, I crave the stuff. We’ll see if I can resist!

OK. This entry has gone on long enough. ‘Til next time! :)

P.S. Just found out they played a Deathly Hallows trailer on MTV tonight. Seeing as we don’t have cable, I had no clue. But I saw it on YouTube. Very excited about this movie! OK, good night/morning. :)

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