Friday, January 29, 2010

A Bump in the Night

This past Sunday night, I was sitting on our sofa watching a movie and wondering why my upper arm seemed to hurt. I reach up to my left armpit to try to rub out the muscle when I felt the bump. There was a rock hard lump about the size of a pea in my left armpit. It startled me so much that I went upstairs, woke hubby, and asked him to feel it. He said he couldn't feel anything. I tried to see if I could see anything in the mirror, but it just looked like my normal armpit. Since there was nothing I could do at 10pm on a Sunday night, I went to sleep.

I woke Monday morning, and the lump was still there. I decided I would call the nurse hotline provided by our health insurance company. The lady was really nice. I could hear her typing on the computer to get further information. She advised me to wait a day and see if it was still there. I decided I needed a second opinion, so I went to Google.

The internet is a horrible place for medical advice. I typed in "lump in the armpit" and immediately got a thousand hits on cancer. The lymph nodes are located in the armpit region, and a lump may indicate a built up of cancerous cells. All of these sites seemed to scream BREAST CANCER at me. I was scared out of my mind, so I called my regular doctor for a same day appointment.

I arrived at the doctor's office at 2pm. I have to doctor check the lump which was now harder to locate because the swelling had gone down. Basically, I rushed to the doctor and spent $121.00 for nothing. She said it was too close to the skin surface to be a lymph node. She suggested it may be from shaving and would probably go away in a day or two. She was right - the thing was halfway gone when I got to the doctor's office.

I felt like an idiot, but I guess it is better to be safe than sorry. I think next time I will just listen to the healthline nurse and wait a day. No more Dr. Goggle for me.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Avatar - maybe it's me

Hubby and I finally went to see Avatar last weekend. I will admit, I wasn't really too excited to see it when I first saw the trailers. I am really not a huge sci fi/fantasy person. I didn't think the movie looked like something I would enjoy, so I made no plans to see it as soon as it came out.

Since its release, I kept hearing good things about it. Several friends said they were not huge fans of this genre either, but really liked the movie. I heard that the visual effects were truly amazing, and worth the price of admission. The movie also won the Golden Globe Award for best drama motion picture, so I figured it must be good. So, I pre-purchased tickets at the IMAX for a Saturday night showing.

I figured that if I was going to see the movie, I needed to see it on the best screen possible. I was glad to have purchased the ticket in advance. Our showing was sold out, as were the next three shows (about 4 weeks after the opening). We sat down near the front (we were a bit later than I expected) with our lovely 3D glasses and prepared to be wowed.

Well, I was underwhelmed to say the least. Sure, the effects were fine. The screen seemed to have a bit of depth to it. The big blue Navi people were kind of cool. It just was not what I expected. I expected to have the jungle popping out of the screen all around me. I expected to see objects floating in the air and to feel like those things were close enough to reach up and touch. I remembered effects like these when I was a kid watching Captain EO at Disneyland. I didn't get any of that.

The plot of the movie was lacking, too. Sure, the natives of Pandora were unique, but the overall plotline of the movie was the same story that had been told a million times over. Within 5 minutes, I could tell you exactly how the story was going to play out. Unfortunately, we had to sit there for just under 3 hours to confirm we were right. The movie was way, way too long.

Hubby and I seem to be the only two people who did not like this movie. Maybe we saw it too late in the day. Maybe we expected more than was possible. I don't know. All I do know is that I will probably pass on Avatar 2.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Awards Season Begins...The Golden Globes

I am usually a big fan of awards season. I enjoy seeing all of the celebrities dress up and walk the red carpet. I like to see what others think were the best performances of the year, and I like to hear about different movies and shows. I was not disappointed by this year's Golden Globes awards.

I will admit that I DVR'd the show. I an glad I did. I was able to cut out all of the excessive commercials, the clips from each nominated film, the speeches by the boring people (sorry directors and writers) and the lifetime achievement section (I am a fan, Marty, I was just not interested in your speech). I was able to get the the heart of the matter - the acting awards.

I was thrilled to see my new favorite win. I think Michael C. Hall is very deserving to win best actor in a drama series. It was good to see him since he announced he is fighting cancer. I looked like a person who has gone through chemo, but his energy seemed good. I was also glad to see Julianna Margulies win for The Good Wife. I have been watching the series since the beginning and I really like it. I think she is a fantastic actress, and I am glad she got her due.

There were a number of great speeches. I enjoyed Mo'nique's speech for best supporting actress in a movie. She seemed genuinely touched to win the award. Her shout out to her husband was so full of love - I teared up a bit. I also liked Meryl Streep's tribute to her mother in her acceptance speech for Julie & Julia. While I did not expect him to win, Robert Downey Jr.'s "not thanking anyone" speech was funny and very touching. I also really liked Sandra Bullock's speech about family are the people who have your back, not just the people to whom you are related. I really want to see The Blind Side now.

As for the dresses, there were many great looks last night. I really liked Kate Hudson's white gown and Toni Colette's golden shimmer. My pick for best dressed, however, goes to Halle Berry. She is just so stunning, and she seems to get better and better looking with each passing year.

Awards season is off to a good start - can't wait for the Screen Actors Guild awards next weekend!

Monday, January 11, 2010

My Latest Obsession - 1/11/10

Wow. You know it is really bad when you have to title your blog entry with My Latest Obsession followed by a date because you have already used that title. What can I say? I am an obsessive person. I tend to get in to a book series, a TV show, or a movie, and I think about it all the time. I want to see what happens next, and I try to guess what will happen. Sometimes, I even dream about it at night. Yep, sounds like an obsession to me.

Well, my latest is the TV show Dexter. I know I am late on the bandwagon with this one, but I don't pay for premium channels. So, I am starting to watch the DVDs for all of these series that I have heard of over the years, but have not seen.

Dexter is a blood splatter analyst for the Miami Metro PD. He helps the police capture killers every day. What people don't know is that Dexter is himself a serial killer. He is a serial killer with a code taught to him by his stepfather. Kill only those who have killed. Do your research and make sure you do not get caught. So far, it has been a fascinating story to watch. I love Dexter's dark humor and charm. You actually like him and hope he can continue on his killing spree. The cast of characters around Dexter are great, too from his fragile, yet tough cop sister, his broken, yet strong girlfriend, and his cop co-workers.

We are on Season 2 of this great show. Four seasons have aired so far, with three seasons released to DVD. Check it out if you haven't see it yet. I think you will enjoy it, too. I sure hope season 4 comes out soon. After all, I am obsessed.
By the way, Michael C. Hall is a new addition to my list which already included Jason Statham and Hugh Jackman. Sigh.

Friday, January 08, 2010


No snow. Not a dusting, not a flake. Had to go to work on time. Or, at least I had to go to work as on time as I can be. Bummer.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Baby, It's Really Cold Outside!!

I love winter. I love big sweaters, bundling up, hot cocoa, and lit fireplaces. I really do. After this week in the Triangle, however, I wish Old Man Winter would back off a little bit.

We have had unseasonably cold temperatures this week. We are talking crazy temperatures like highs in the 30s (we would normally be around 40-50 degrees), and lows in the teens. It has been so cold that you don't really want to go outside at all.

It was a bad week for me to start running again. It has been close to 20 degrees in the mornings when I have gone out for a run. It has made me want to not want to run, but I have and I warmed up well once I got started.

We now have a prediction for snow tonight. We may get a dusting, we may get an inch, or we may get nothing at all. Predicting snow in our area if always difficult. The only certainty is that people will overreact. There will be runs on milk and bread, and several counties have already delayed their start tomorrow. Luckily, I have a fridge full of beer, half a loaf or bread, and some milk to get me through the day.

I really wouldn't mind an inch of snow. I would love a delayed work start tomorrow. It has been much harder than I thought to get back in a work routine this week. I could use a day of sleeping in. We will see what happens.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

New Year, New Challenge

"Courage is about doing what you're afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you are scared." - Eddie Rickenbacker
I like to have a new challenge when I start a new year. In 2008, the challenge was a half marathon. Last year, the challenge was a full marathon. Well, yesterday I signed up for an international distance triathlon. As a former PE class loser, I think I may be going crazy.
This triathlon will take place in September (thank goodness - it gives me lots of time to train) at a place called White Lake. It is supposed to be the flattest and fastest course in the great state of NC (again, thank goodness - I will need all the help I can get). It consists of a 1500 meter lake swim (double the distance of the Triangle Tri last year), a 45K bike race (longest I will have ever done), and a 10K run (double the distance of the Triangle Tri last year). It all has to be done within 4 hours. It will certainly be a challenge.
I was able to complete the Triangle Tri last year in 2 hours, 26 minutes. At that race, I did not have my road bike. I know that having the new bike will make a huge difference. Also, the course of the Triangle is not exactly flat (not bad, but not flat). I think with decent training and a good day, I can make it before the deadline.
Time to get to work - a new challenge awaits.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

And the holidays are officially over...

It's over. Christmas is behind us. It is now official in our house as all the Christmas decorations were taken down and put back in the attic. Today, the new begins. It is a day for cleaning the house and putting the familiar back in its place. Maybe it is a cathartic cleaning of the Christmas holiday, or maybe is it just getting back to the norm. All I know it that it is over. Tomorrow at 9am, I go back to work. I am back to reality. No more holidays until April 2, 2010.

Not only are the holidays gone, my favorite time of the year is over. I have always loved September 1 to January 1. Now, I am left with winter ahead struggling to find something to look forward to in the near future. I do have our Orlando weekend in March to think about, but it seems so far away. I think it is time to begin the planning of the big summer trip so I can really have something exciting ahead.

It is sad to see the holiday go, but it is time. As my dad used to tell me when I cried every year as we left Gammie and Grandpa's house after the holiday break "All good things must come to an end." It's true. If it were the holidays everyday, we would not appreciate them when they come every year. They would lack meaning. Still, it may be fun to try.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Hello 2010!!

2010 started great for me. It wasn't the most exciting New Year's ever, but it was really, really nice. Bill and I decided to stay home with the puppies. We went to Whole Foods, and got two gorgeous steaks and two nice lobster tails. It was a delicious home cooked surf and turf dinner with asparagus. No crowds, no noise, but great food.

We slept in in the morning, and had a really nice breakfast together. I went to meet a dear friend for lunch, movie, and shopping. After a great afternoon, I headed home to my hubby. We went out to our favorite bar for a few beers and met up with another dear friend. What better way to spend New Year's Day than with good friends, doing the things you love. That's the way to start off the year.