Wednesday, May 28, 2008

O is for Oscar

For today's installment, I shall discuss all things Oscar.

For example, we have the Academy Awards, commonly known as the Oscars. Last year, When I was a little girl, I would practice giving my acceptance speech - for Best Actress, of course. I would wear a gorgeous strapless turquoise gown. I would be in Us Weekly for Best Dressed. Yesiree.

All right, time to wake up.

Next, we have Oscar the Grouch. I mean, who doesn't love "Sesame Street?" For Christmas when I was no older than 3 years old, I got an Oscar the Grouch jack-in-the-box. I cried and cried. It terrified me. Needless to say, that gift was promptly returned to Wal-Mart.

And then, we have Oscar De La Hoya, the boxer. You know you watch too much reality TV when you find him to be most famous for being Atiana's dad from "Meet the Barkers." Oh yes. I could care less about boxing - in fact, I hate all violent sports. To me, he's just Atiana's dad who never came on the show.

Any of you from the Golden Triangle in Mississippi must be familiar with Anthony's restaurant. While my favorite is the Chicken Anthony - a fried chicken breast over a mushroom-y, creamy sauce and linguine - Bert is partial to the Chicken Oscar. I think it has something to do with hollendaise sauce.

I'm hungry.

And who can forget Oscar de la Renta, the fashion designer? Now, he is mostly known (at least to me) for making the First Lady's gowns. Me, personally? I'd much prefer to own something by Valentino or Gucci or Chanel. Lots of his stuff looks like an upscale version of Casual Corner clothing. Not that I'm knocking Casual Corner - which strangely enough, I do not think is casual at all. Didn't those stores go out of business? I do have a gorgeous red suit from there. It no longer fits. Probably never will.

And so, there you have it. O is for Oscar.


posted by Anisa @ 1:43 PM | 5 comments

Thursday, May 22, 2008

N is for Names

I am obsessed with Names. From the time I was a little girl, I owned baby name books. I would study them at night, fascinated by the sounds and meanings of all the names. I loved the lists in the books that would have the most popular names listed by country. I still remember many of the "real" names of celebrities, a special section in my favorite baby name book.

Now with the internet, I find myself looking up names on sites such as this. I can't help it; my love of names has been with me most of my life. I thought it was so perfect that my mom's name (Rani - pronounced like Ronnie) means "Queen" in Sanskrit, while my sister's name (Sara) means "Princess" in Hebrew. It wasn't planned like that, but I always thought it was a great coincidence.

I love the history of names too. My mom's name isn't her birth name, but rather a nickname that stuck. My grandfather changed his last name to honor a saint. My name honors two of my great-grandmothers (Anise and one with the middle name Nisa) and my grandmother (middle name - Margrett). My given name literally means "friendly black-eyed pearl." I do like to think I'm friendly, I was born with black eyes (the meaning of my maiden name) and I was born in the month of June (and pearl is the birthstone). Again, not planned...but I think so interesting how it worked out.

Hopefully, one day I will have children of my own and can name them the secret names I have chosen. Sure, they will hate their names just like we all do when they're kids, but I hope one day they would grow to love them - just like I do mine.


posted by Anisa @ 2:33 PM | 6 comments

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

M is for Miles for Miller

On New Year's Eve, one of the assistant principals at Bert's school was stabbed to death by his mentally ill son. His son took not only his father's life, but his grandfather's as well. It was devastating.

The school decided to start a scholarship fund in honor of the assistant principal. Bert was really shaken by the events and decided he had to do something. An avid runner, he decided to seek sponsors to fund the miles he ran from February 1-May 1 and donate 100% of the proceeds to the scholarship fund. Bert came up with the name for his cause, Miles for Miller. I put my PR skills to use and made the logo (above, minus the hot pink border of course), flyers, stationery, etc. We were able to raise most of the $1,000 goal from a variety of local businesses and friends. Bert ran his miles diligently and visited business after business.

As May 1 neared, we were still over $250 from the goal. One of the teachers at his school suggested he contact R.E.M., as they are known for being really generous in our community. I tracked down the name for the band's manager and Bert got in touch with him. Thanks to a very generous $300 donation from R.E.M., a $300 donation from R.E.M.'s manager and his wife and several last-minute other donations, Bert ended up raising $1433.00 for the scholarship fund. Thank you, R.E.M.!

Bert capped the miles he would charge sponsors for at 300, but he went on and ran 395 miles over 3 months -- an average of nearly 4.5 miles per day. And I force him to take one day a week off. :) In fact, due to his class schedule this semester (he's working on his Ph.D.), he had to take two days a week off. This man ran some serious miles.

I am just so happy that we are able to help future generations of students reach their goal of a college education. It was a lot of work, but I think both of us are glad we took on the challenge. And more than anything, it showed me even more what a kind and generous heart Bert has. From this tragedy, we hope that Miles for Miller will help a legacy live on for many generations.

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posted by Anisa @ 11:11 AM | 2 comments

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

L is for Lovey

L is for Lovey, one of the many names I call my sweet Matty. His first name is actually Mattingly, an homage to Bert's favorite baseball player of all-time: Don Mattingly of the New York Yankees. Most of you probably know the miraculous story of how Matty came into our lives, but if you don't, here's a quick re-cap.

Matty is the first cat I ever held in my life, almost two years ago. I loved him immediately. However, I didn't want to be hasty and we looked at some other cats. By the time I decided I really wanted him, this weirdo cat lady who wanted to put him in cat shows adopted him. It was awful. I cried a lot. A LOT.

Bert tracked Matty down for me and the lady ended up deciding he didn't get along with the rest of her cats. Yeah right. It was fate. It was a miracle. I have cried buckets over this sweet cat. I used to write for the paper here and wrote one of my columns about Matty. The lady who actually rescued him called me and told me about how he'd been abandoned in the woods as a little baby kitty. Bless his heart.

Now, this sweet cat has his own queen-sized bed. He is pampered and spoiled. He loves, loves, loves people and is usually purring. I have had many people comment that he is like a dog, in that he has loads of personality. This is not your average cat.

In honor of my sweet baby, I wanted to share with you all some of the many nicknames I call him.

Love Angel
Angel of Love
Baby Love

No, I do not know why I call him these crazy names. What? You know you do it too. You know you call your pets loads of crazy names. You know you rock your pets like babies.

So tell me, readers. I'd love to know some of the silly names you've come up with for your furry friends children.


posted by Anisa @ 10:56 AM | 6 comments

Friday, May 16, 2008

K is for Kim's Wedding

I should be in Mississippi.  I should be getting ready for my dear friend Kim's wedding tomorrow. But I am not.  My honorary bridesmaids dress hangs over my door.  The suitcases are all still packed from Wednesday night.  Unfortunately, life had other plans.

Thursday morning, I woke up screaming because my arms were hurting so badly.  Along with that, I was greeted with a headache, earache, nausea, numbness, a sore throat, headache, runny nose, etc. The day before, I had noticed the sniffles, so I took massive doses of Vitamin C, as Bert had been sick and I didn't want to get what he had.

Well, I got what he had plus many more symptoms.

I went to the doctor who informed me I had the flu.  THE FLU.  I got a short of cortisone and B-12 in my butt and two prescriptions.  I slept most of the day.  I allowed myself to cry when I realized that I wouldn't be able to go to the wedding.

I am feeling a little better today.  I still get tired really easily and my ears hurt.  The Tamiflu has also given me an extra superfun illness--diarrhea.  Oh joy.

I know I'm contagious and it's not my fault that I'm sick, but I am still so sad.  I told my sweet friend and she was understanding, although disappointed.

This sucks.

Posting has worn me out.  I think I need my 90th nap in the past 2 days.

But first, I think I'll allow myself one more cry.


posted by Anisa @ 11:57 AM | 4 comments

J is for Jump

I am cheating a little bit and Jumping over J because I need to post about K.  Just go with it. :)


posted by Anisa @ 11:56 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I is for "I"

Here's a fun survey circling the blogosphere. So, I shall tell you all about me:

Maybe I should - learn to relax. Frankie says relax.
I don’t understand why - this lady I know wears her pants and skirts right under her boobs. Every day.
When I wake up in the morning - I wish really hard for it to be Saturday or at least an hour earlier. Then, I hit the snooze approximately 5 times (no kidding) and stumble out of bed, cursing myself for not getting up earlier.
I lost my willpower to - be svelte. I just want to lose 10 pounds. Forget being a skinny biatch. I gotta live.
Life is - what you make it.
I get annoyed when - people are argumentative.
Parties are not a good time to - argue with your husband. I have witnessed this before and it was clear they had been fighting long before the party. Seriously, don't put everyone in that awkwardness. Stay home if fighting with your significant other.
Dogs are - not appropriate in the workplace (unless you work at a veterinary clinic or if it's a seeing eye dog). Seriously.
Cats are - splendid, wonderful creatures. They don't get nearly enough credit.
Tomorrow - I get to pack for MS! I am so ready to go home and see the fam.
I have low tolerance for - closed-minded people. Their intolerance and hatred is disgusting. Maybe this is some weird thing that I have low tolerance for the intolerant. Hmmm.
I’m totally terrified of - a long, long list of things. I am a scaredy cat.
I always knew I would - do something creative as a job.
Never in my life have I - been to California. I want to go so badly!
High school was - great. I really loved it and had great friends. I have no desire to relive it, but am excited about the 10 year reunion coming up!
When I’m nervous - I get OCD. It's this weird thing. I start to get superstitious. Then it passes.
Take my advice - Talk to your grandparents regularly.
I'm almost always - applying lipgloss. Or on the computer. Or trying to convince myself I don't have to go to the gym today. But I'm going.
I’m obsessed with - cleanliness.
I want someone to - take me on a shopping spree to Anthropologie.


posted by Anisa @ 3:08 PM | 4 comments

Monday, May 12, 2008

H is for Hot Damn!

Friday, I received an email from Bert. It was a forward, and his part simply read Hot Damn! Why, might you ask, was that what he sent me? Well,'s because we were chosen for tickets to:


We started watching the show a few months ago and found ourselves really enjoying it. Bert has several antiques he was given over the years and on a whim, we applied to the ticket lottery...and were chosen! We will be at the Chattanooga show on July 19. Hopefully, you will see us on PBS!

Now, everyone please keep your fingers crossed we win a trip to NYC for the MLB All-Stars game. Hopefully, we can keep the streak alive!


posted by Anisa @ 12:10 PM | 3 comments

Thursday, May 08, 2008

G is for Giada and Gene

Ever since we got a new TV and HDTV, I have been obsessed with FoodNetworkHD. The food is so gorgeous and you can see every texture, every crumb, etc. I don't make very much I see on there - except green beans, which now I know how to make really yummy - but it's really mostly for entertainment value and of very little practical use to me.

My favorite show on there actually has nothing to do with cooking. Maybe that's why I love it so much. Anyway, it is called "Weekend Getaways" with Giada de Laurentiis. Here is Giada, who Bert thinks is hot. Therefore, I no longer save the shows on DVR for him (just kidding):

Anyway, she travels all around the country (and in two special episodes, she goes to Greece and Italy, which made me crazy jealous) and she goes to great restaurants and tries to get a real flavor of the city. From five star eateries to dives, it is so much fun to watch. I always get really, really hungry when watching this show.

However, it is on her cooking show, "Everyday Italian" where you can see her gorgeous nail polish. No, I'm serious. I became obsessed with her nail polish. I mean, it is the perfect color. I searched on the internet and found others who shared my obsession. Dear readers, run to your local Trade Secret and purchase a bottle of Bubble Bath by OPI, Giada's nail color. It will change your life. However, here's a free tip from me: this is one of those crazy times you only need one coat. Two coats and it'll look like you painted White Out on them 5th grade style.

I think she has the cutest personality, but I do get a little tired of her pronouncing Italian words in Italian. I know, I know...she is from Italy. However, it is unbelievably annoying, which I have also found that many people out there agree with as well. She sounds just like you and me - minus your Southern accent if applicable - but then BOOM - there's another crazy Italian word. Also, she shows a ridiculous amount of cleavage. I think this is a FoodNetwork thing (except for sweet Paula Deen and Barefoot Contessa). All the young'uns show tons of cleave - if you or I had on their shirts, we would surely wear a tank under it.

But I digress. Overall, I love Giada.

Next up for my reality TV fave is Gene Simmons Family Jewels. I am obsessed with this family and think they are just the greatest thing since sliced bread.

When I was a little girl, I loved KISS. Strange, but true. I loved them because my uncle loved them and I thought he was just so fabulous...which I didn't realize then because we fought like cats and dogs, but anyway...

So, I actually grew up knowing tons of KISS songs. My fave is "Hard Luck Woman." Here is KISS, so you are sure to remember their scariness and crazy make-up:

My mom started watching the reality show on A&E and told me I should tune in, but I wasn't really interested at first because I thought they would just be all insane like "The Osbournes." Boy was I wrong. This is one of the most well-adjusted families I have ever seen. Ever. Gene lives with his live-in love Shannon Tweed, a former Playboy model. She is fabulous. They have been together for something like 25 years. Gene refuses to get married, but they act married and are so loving to each other. They never fight and they just have a great time being together. It is beautiful.

Gene and Shannon put their family first (well, except for Gene's work-a-holic-ness) and they have two fab kids: Nick and Sophie. Gene is hilarious and is obsessed with boobs and sex. Yet, he is not a disgusting human being. It's weird. You like him. He is such the unlikely protagonist. Strange but true.

On a side note, Shannon reminds me of my friend Haley because that lady is so handy and is always trying to fix stuff. She is also incredibly easygoing. Haley is also very self-reliant (and beautiful and laid-back and a great mom like Shannon too :)). Anyway, Shannon is TOTALLY not what you'd expect from a Playboy model. She is just one classy lady. And their kids are lots of fun and so respectful of the parents. This is closer to "The Cosby Show" than "The Osbournes" by far.

I love the Simmons/Tweed clan.

I would love to live with them for a week and travel the country with Giada for...well, until, she said something in Italian. Therefore, scratch that. I'm perfectly happy to sit on my couch, watch my favorite personalities, all whilst keeping my nails perfectly painted with OPI Bubble Bath.


posted by Anisa @ 12:03 PM | 5 comments

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

F is for Freebies

I am always amazed to see people's reactions to Freebies. There is a table at my work where people put their give-a-ways and some people go crazy over it. I see people get stuff off of there that is truly garbage. Some years ago, people had to be warned that underwear was not appropriate for the free table. And it's true - there was porn on there at one point as well. Interesting place I work.

Anyway, people in general have such a wide variety of reactions to free stuff. I really don't want anything I can't use and I have no desire to have things en masse. Other people want crap just because it's free and they'll take all of it, thankyouverymuch.

Why is it when crap is free that to some people, it is no longer crap? I mean, serious crap - like outdated computer equipment, ugly vases and yucky tennis shoes. I don't get it.

So tell me, readers, what are your thoughts on freebies?


posted by Anisa @ 12:22 PM | 5 comments

Monday, May 05, 2008

E is for Evil Eye

Above is a picture of the Turkish Evil Eye, something I used to think was a silly superstition. According to Wikipedia, "The evil eye is a folk belief that the envy elicited by the good luck of fortunate people may result in their misfortune, whether it is envy of material possessions or of beauty, health or offspring...(it) varies between cultures."

You've probably seen lots of celebs wear the red Kabbalah bracelet. This is to ward off the evil eye. Therefore, this belief has basis in Judaism, along with Islam and in countries including Greece (where it began in 6 BC), Rome, India, Turkey, Bangladesh, Iran, Mexico and Egypt.

In my family, for example, if someone compliments you, you always say, "Masha'Allah." This means, "God has willed it." This is supposed to give praise for everything back to our Creator. I used to think it was silly to always say that. But hey, to God be the glory, right?

So, while I used to roll my eyes at the mention of the evil eye, let's just say I ordered two candles - one for home and work - with the image on it. Hey, better safe than sorry. :)

Gosh, I'm starting to act like an old person.


posted by Anisa @ 4:04 PM | 2 comments

Thursday, May 01, 2008

D is for Dogs (well, and a little about cats too...)

When I was a little girl, a dog chased me down the street and tried to bite me. Luckily, my dad saved me, but I am still a bit afraid of dogs. Before then, I loved dogs. I had a daschund as a tiny little girl and we had a pit bull - Thor - who was so fab. Thor let me ride him around the yard like a horse.

I miss that dog.

Anyway, I have a weird relationship with dogs. I am not as terrified, but I have definitely transitioned into being a cat person now. However, look at this:

According to Mr. Winkle's web site, "Most experts agree he is a member of the canine clan, mixed with something mysterious, like a teddy bear or Japanese cartoon character."

He really is adorable.

What I really think is adorable slash hilarious, though, is this:

Her name is Fern. This is Fern being coy. You, too, can order a wig for your cat here. I wouldn't recommend it, as I know Matty would NOT be happy.

And, of course, then there's Yoshi the Cat:

She has her own calendar, where she poses as Jackie Kennedy, Courtney Love, Queen Elizabeth and more.

People and their pets are funny.


posted by Anisa @ 1:52 PM | 2 comments