Let me tell you ’bout a boy I know…

You will have to excuse me today as I turn this mish-mosh of a blog that touches on everything from coffee and nail polish addictions (separately, of course) to my encounters with the evil kind (Other Parents in the park) making it very much a "mommy blog" today because I just can't help but boast and brag about how proud I am of my oldest son.

Of course I am proud of all my boys, but this past Saturday was E-man's day. It was his day to take all of his hard work – five weeks of double the MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) training – to fight in his first ever MMA tournament, the 2011 Pankration Tournament. As it would turn out, he would not only get his moment in the spotlight, but would prove to shine in a big way.

My boys play/train for a variety of sports – baseball, soccer, MMA, ice hockey – but never are expected to play for the sake of winning. At their age, it's about learning how to play, learning to be a part of a team, exercising and having fun. Of course it's also about learning how to win gracefully and about understanding how to lose humbly, but the boys are there to play because they like it, not because that's how they're going to make a living someday or even get a full-ride to college. MMA is no different. Excellent discipline, self-defense, consistent exercise, a huge confidence builder, great friends and no, I'm not even remotely hoping one of my dudes ends up in the UFC. (Your loss, Dana White.)

So when the tournament idea came up, it was up to E-man. And he was eager. Being a pretty shy kid, I was surprised but because he really wanted to, it was a no-brainer: "Go for it, dude." Of course I hoped he would win at least one match, so that he didn't walk away from his first tournament feeling disappointed, but we also didn't know what he and the rest of the fight team would be up against so they all went to the tournament with a "this is a learning experience" understanding.

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Ready for the first bout

Right there, sitting on the hard, wood bleachers in the USMC gym, E-man submitted his first opponent more quickly than I could grasp that he had even won. I was crying. I don't cry. Did he just win? DID? HE? JUST? WIN? BY SUBMISSION? Everyone was cheering. I was screaming. I was bawling. Oh my god, did he ever need that. Not just for the sake of winning, but in the grand scheme of life right now, my god, did he need that.

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Thumbs up after his 1st win

He had another fight. His opponent was a good foot taller than him and an excellent fighter, having one their first match easily. I relaxed. That's ok, I told myself. He won one. I started filming the match. He won again. He. Won. Again. BY SUBMISSION. This meant he had won 1st place in his weight division.

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The Champ!

I can't adequately put into words how much pride I have for this boy. Saturday didn't change that. I've always been proud of him. Long before this Saturday. Since the Saturday he was born, actually. This particular Saturday just made him a little prouder of himself. And we all needed that.

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E-man, I'm super proud of you. Saturday, Sunday, Monday… every day.

Santa Monica in photos

In between storms, literally and figuratively, Miss and I took in a few hours of a sunny Santa Monica including the Third Street Promenade where we window shopped with our non-dollars and walked the Pier where we saw a very pregnant Pink rubbing her baby belly.

And no, neither Miss or I were arrested… we merely gawked.

Miss and I took in the awesome fashion at Third Street…

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and I admit to having a bit of a meltdown when I encountered the 468th cropped t-shirt.

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Miss found a fantastic outfit to wear out the next time she has somewhere fancy to go

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while I drooled over this hot number for summer…

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After the fashion fest we headed to the pier

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You can buy this print (sans signature) here.

where we encounter THE ONLY MALAYSIAN CONTORTIONIST!

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At least, that's what his cardboard sign claimed. Check out the sparkle!

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We perused the souvenior stores and realized we, uh, live here so postcards aren't really required…

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And squeeeed a little when we saw this. BIG!

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Then we stopped to take our own photo. Of course.

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And what's the Santa Monica Pier without a photo of the Ferris Wheel?

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You can buy this print here.

Now bring on the rain… But only the literal kind, please.

Prints for sale

I've been asked if I ever sell my non-portraity, non-weddingish photographs a number of times and I keep thinking "I ought to" but then again, there's a lot of things I "ought" to do like scrub that crockpot that's been, um, soaking for a couple of days now.

But! Years later, I have finally put up a link to where you can buy a variety of my photographs in varying sizes and even on gifts like mugs or mousepads (do people still use those?) so there's hope for the crockpot yet.

You can buy prints here, however there is a new link sitting pretty (ugly) at the top of this blog where you can always access these photographs and of course others as I add them.

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A few samples from the website (my lovely signature not included in the price of purchase, sorry) that you can buy:

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Yes, there are other, non-flowery photographs up on the site like Times Square in NYC and a pier at a local beach I have hanging in my own hallway. I will also be adding more photos in the days to come and as I take them.

Aaaand the shameless self-promotion ends here. For now.

Love & loathing

There is no in between for me right now. Here are some things I'm loving and some things I'm loathing…

I am loving every single second I get with my dudes. Loving, devouring, soaking it up. And loathing the moments they're not here.

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Couldn't help but loathe Christina Mascara Aguilera's crazy bad mascara/fake eyelash job on the Grammys. It was like the back-up singer on the Wedding Singer with Adam Sandler. Holy scary.

I am deeply madly in love with this song:

Current favorite OPI by Sephora nail polish color: Just A Little Dangerous (a deep purple that still looks purple and not black, even after two coats)

Loathing the whole jegging movement. Add the stir-up bottoms and we can just cut ties right now thankyouverymuch. I mean, what's next? Bodysuits making a comeback? Were snaps in the crotch area ever a good idea once we were past, oh I don't know, age 18 months? Hint: The correct answer is NO.

Sorta completely over: Lady Gaga, the Glee phenomenon that I was never a part of (sorry, I know you OMG LOVE IT but for those of us who don't, it's like OMG MAKE IT STOP), Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Lindsay Lohan and dishes. I loathe doing dishes. Oh and Taylor Swift. MAKE HER STOP.

In lust with that Diet Dr. Pepper commercial "I Exist"

and loathing the Stella Artois commercial with Adrian Brody. Good god, way to ruin a beer's reputation in 30 seconds flat.

Internety things I love: The Oatmeal and Fail Blog

Internety things I loathe: Overwhelming Twitter parties in ALL CAPS.

What are you loving and loathing? Discuss.

Don’t stalk-block me, thankyouverymuch

We have a little problem. Every other day when I venture on to Facebook there's a new frantic status update from 78 percent of my friends in all caps, panicked, urging me and the rest of the world to OMG PROTECT YOUR PRIVACY! BLOCK ALLYOURINFO.COM BY GOING TO PRIVACY > SETTINGS > DELETE! ANYONE CAN SEE YOUR INFORMATION THAT'S REALLY JUST COMPOSED OF YOUR NAME, CITY AND A TOTALLY BULLSHIT HOUSE VALUE BUT STILL YOU SHOULD FEEL VIOLATED, SCARED AND PANIC! COPY AND PASTE THIS IF YOU DON'T WANT DOLPHINS TO DIE!

Eye to the roll.

Worse, are those of you using apps on Facebook that tell you who has been looking at your profile page. Then telling others to CHECK IT OUT! SEE WHO HAS BEEN VIEWING YOUR PROFILE!

Um, isn't that the purpose of Facebook? To stalk other people via their profile pages? And, uh, I'd kinda like to read your shit without you telling everyone I did, thankyouverymuch. I mean, I think I have a right to my Facebook stalking privacy. Respect it, asshole.

You people, blocking these harmless little websites that are often wrong anyway (I know your house isn't work $1.5 right now, sorry), are totally stalk-blocking me. How am I supposed to stalk you if you go and block your shit? Or worse, embarrass me by outing my snooping? This is being very uninternety and frankly I'm ashamed of you.

Also, you can friend me here and like me here. If we're already friends, you're probably blocking me right now. NO BIG DEAL, I've already read allllll your likes, comments and seen your mobile uploads. Or something less stalkerish.