Coll Writes

You know how I do.

I Always Believed

Written By: Colleen - Mar• 24•15

I have been a huge fan of The X-Files since my dad & I first watched it for my 14th birthday on February 8, 1998. I’ll never forget my first X-Files experience. The episode was “Chinga,” written by Stephen King. I was hooked immediately. I went on a quest to watch all of the episodes I had missed from the previous four seasons, taking the VHS tapes out of the library and catching up with it in syndication on FX. Anyone remember when FX used to have their big X-Files marathons for Thanksgiving? I LOVED THOSE. Seriously, I read behind-the-scene books and delved into Internet forums (this was 1998-1999, so it was way back in the beginning stages of Internet fandom). I even created a big binder that had the plot of every X-Files episode printed out along with trivia about each episode and season. My grandpa helped me make that. I think I still have it somewhere and will have to take a picture of it.

Anyway, I seriously loved The X-Files. I bet I could still pull up random trivia and episode knowledge. I probably could still name an episode title for seasons 1-5 if you described it to me. I had a poster in my room growing up. I made Top 10 lists of my favorite episodes for no one to see but me! So yeah, I love me some Mulder and Scully.

Naturally, I was super excited to hear rumors and a confirmation today that The X-Files would be going the 24 route and returning for a new season of six episodes, probably sometime next year. Hopefully, the show will return as strong as it was in its first six seasons. There are more details here. I have to admit that as bad as the show was in its final season (I actually liked the Robert Patrick season), I nearly cried with joy just to read this Twitter exchange:

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I always knew we’d get more X-Files, but I figured it’d be another movie. I am so excited for another season. I just have to find time to do a rewatch. Man, this is seriously awesome news. Who else is excited for more Mulder, Scully, and Skinner in their lives?!

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Kelly Clarkson Covers Tracy Chapman

Written By: Colleen - Mar• 19•15

I love Kelly Clarkson. I love when she covers other artists. Here’s her cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Give Me One Reason” for @ SiriusXM // Hits 1.

Treats by Theresa

Written By: Colleen - Mar• 16•15

I always love the chance to plug my friends’ endeavors, whether it’s an Esty shop, Kickstarter, their blogs, listening to their podcast, etc. Today, I need to give a shout out to my cousin Theresa and her delicious Etsy shop. It’s call Treats by Theresa, and it features a variety of delightfully tasty goodies, particularly different flavored gourmet jellies and jams, pickles & peppers, and desserts. She also has a few other non-food items up for sale, as well. If you have a moment, please check it out: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TreatsbyTheresa

TreatsbyTheresa-caramelapplejellyMy favorite item sold on Treats by Theresa is the Caramel Apple Jelly. I love it so much that I can go through an entire jar by myself in less than two weeks. I got Jay into it, too, and now when we order it, we have to order two so we can each have one. I highly recommend it. Another good one is the Pepper Jam. That’s my sister’s favorite. The California Red Wine Jelly is also quite delicious. Her desserts are great too, particularly the tree bark (which I don’t think is up right now, but she’ll make it on request). We also have a jar of pickles in our fridge right now that she made for us for Christmas. Also outstanding.

I know that they’re a little pricy after shipping, but if you’re into gourmet jellies and jams, I can’t recommend Treats by Theresa enough. Please consider checking out her store and giving some of her items a try. Thank you!

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[Side note: This is a great article on how “commercial” Etsy has become. From now on, I’m going to try to support the individual shops on there rather than the ones that probably belong to “the man.”]

The Lost Sherlock Holmes Story (Maybe)

Written By: Colleen - Mar• 12•15

I saw this story a couple of weeks ago, but I finally got around to reading it tonight and I wanted to share it in case anyone hasn’t heard about it yet. A “lost” Sherlock Holmes story was recently found by a Scottish historian in the attic of his home in Selkirk. I say “lost” because the man knew he had the book it was found in, but for the last 50 years, forgot about it. Oh yeah…and the authorship is up for question.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle allegedly wrote the short story in 1903 to help raise money for a new bridge after the town’s old one was swept away in a flood. “Sherlock Holmes: Discovering the Border Burghs and, By Deduction, the Brig Bazaar” was a part of a collection of stories that were compiled together during the fundraiser and featured in The Book o’ the Brig.

The title is pretty much self-explanatory, but the basic premise is that an editor demands that his reporter interview Sherlock Holmes, but refuses to send him to London to do the task. Instead, the writer decides to fabricate an entire conversation between Holmes and John Watson. The duo is discussing how Sherlock wants Watson on hand to help solve the ‘Mysteries of the Secret Cabinet,’ but Watson will be away attending the Selkirk bridge festival. The exchange sounds authentic if not – and I can’t believe I am going to give this opinion of a Sherlock story – more wordy Sir A.C. Doyle’s usual style. I think authorship is a 50/50 toss-up. It’s possible that the entire premise of a made-up Sherlock Holmes story is a tongue-in-cheek reference from someone that the story is also made up. Or, Doyle could have been having a little laugh with his audience at the time. I guess we’ll never know.

The story is after the break. It’s not too long. What do you think? Do you think Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote “Sherlock Holmes: Discovering the Border Burghs and, By Deduction, the Brig Bazaar?” Is anyone else having trouble imagining Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman having a similar exchange, and having that cloud your judgment?

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the greatest of these is love

Written By: Colleen - Mar• 11•15

My grandfather would have been 84 today. I still have a lot of emotions about his illness and passing, but this isn’t the time for that. I’ve done a lot of thinking and had a lot of realizations over the last 21-months, but again, not the time. However, I do want to share one of my favorite memories of my grandfather in honor of his birthday.

When I first began working in Manhattan, I lived with my grandparents during the weekend so my commute would be 40 minutes instead of 1 hour and 40 minutes. I lived there from February until June 2007. It was during this time that John & I began MetroBuzz and I first met Jay. It was some of the very best times of my life. The Lost community was in full effect, I had my own “apartment” at my grandparents’ house (the same apartment I lived in during the first year of my life!), I took classes at a gym, and I worked in NYC. Life was pretty awesome. When I think back to that time, one set of memories stands out in particular. It’s going to seem silly to most people, but to me, it was simply the best.

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House of Cards Season 3

Written By: Colleen - Mar• 09•15

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Jay and I finished watching Season 3 of “House of Cards” on Netflix this past weekend. Jay loved it. I had mixed feelings. Let me start with the good: I was enthralled the entire time and kept wanting to see more of what would happen to the Underwoods. The bad: I had this, “I’m not sure if I like this…” feeling the entire season. I think the payoff was both satisfying and unsatisfying. I don’t want to be too spoilery, so the rest is after the break. If you’re reading this from the direct link, SPOILER ALERT!

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Identity.

Written By: Colleen - Mar• 07•15

[Note: This one took me a four days to write. I still don’t know if I am quite expressing myself in the way I intend to, but I’ve wasted four days and need to move on.]

I am in that weird place where I am trying to figure out who I am as a mom. I don’t have a problem identifying as a mother. Zachary is the perfect baby for me. (Cheesy alert!) He fits me and Jay like a missing puzzle piece. I was always meant to be Zachary’s mommy. I feel like being a mother came easily and naturally to my own mom. While certain things do come naturally to me, I find it hard to figure out how to be the same type of mommy than my own mom was to me.

For starters, I work full-time and my mom did not go back to work until I was in middle school, and even then, she did not work full-time until my youngest sister was a little older. I am almost ashamed to admit that I like working, and I think that Zachary genuinely enjoys going to “school” (daycare). He gets excited when he is dropped off and is always happy when I pick him up. I don’t feel guilty that he is there when I see how social he is…and then I feel like I should feel guilty about not feeling guilty.

I have my strengths and weaknesses as a parent. I’m great at nurturing and having a conversation with him and the whole food thing (boob and solids). I like singing and dancing like a silly person for him to make him laugh. He’s started waving his arms around now to “dance” just like I do when I dance to music in front of him, haha.

However, I’m terrible at play time. I often find myself so exhausted that I can’t come up with half of the stuff that Jay does when I sit down to play with him – things like stacking his toys on top of each other so he can knock them down. It never even occurred to me to do something like that! I’m more of the “Let’s practice talking, standing, walking, and laughing and then, let’s sit and take a nap!!” kind of parent. Then, when we’ve exhausted those things, I sometimes just run out of ideas and life turns into a 30-minute game of peek-a-boo because that tends to get a laugh. I know that he doesn’t see me as inadequate, but I bet he doesn’t find me quite as fun as he does his daddy. And that is fine! That isn’t what makes me feel bad. Maybe another example will help me get to my point.

Last week, Jay and Jack had to record a podcast via Skype because it was a snow day. I worked the first half of the day while Jay watched Zachary. It was my turn to hang out with him while they recorded. I was so tired that I played with him while laying down until he eventually gave up and laid down next to me and we both took a nap for an hour. Jay came in and said, “Man, kiddo, your mom is a snoozefest – literally!” He was totally joking, but absolutely right. I felt so bad that I couldn’t even provide entertainment for an hour. I don’t ever remember my own mother being like that. She always had the energy to read to us, teach us things and play with us.

I’m also lacking in the developmental department. Sometimes, it doesn’t even occur to me when we play with his blocks that I should be telling him what color and shape they are. My mom does those things tirelessly with him. I do that on some days, but I am ashamed and embarrassed to admit that other days, I go through the motions with his “talking” toys. Am I just an average mother and not an excellent mother for sometimes taking the easy way out by trying to make him laugh at night instead of reading to him or working with him on colors? Am I selfish for wanting to work? Do I have any business working full-time when it makes me so tired? I don’t even have a cool trait like playing an instrument. I’m boring and lazy, aren’t I?

This is getting long. I know my son loves me. I know that we have a fantastic relationship and he’s always happy to see me. I get kisses and hugs constantly. I know he loves when we practice standing and walking. I’m just concerned that I’m not as good as a mother as my own mother was to me. I desperately want to be, but I also desperately want to have my own identity as a mother. I want to be my own person while still being just as great as she was. I just haven’t figured out how to do that yet.

Rebirth

Written By: Colleen - Mar• 02•15

Man, I have been a huge slacker again. Truth is, I’m in a blogging funk. I have no shortage of things to write about and have had a lot of moments in the shower where I’ve gone, “Oh, I should do a blog post about this…” But then, real life stuff always wins out. Darn you, Zachary! haha, just kidding. But in all seriousness, I have probably written ten blog posts in my head over the past two months and then failed to make them actually happen.

Anyway, I’ve decided to try to post at least 2-3 times a week in the month of March. I feel better when I’m updating this website on a more frequent basis. I’m actually in an all-around life funk. I’d explain now, but then what would I post about for the rest of the week…?

As far as content goes, I’m going to try to make it a combination of lifestyle, arts & crafts, reviews, “recipes,” etc. This blog has seen many iterations in the 8.5 years that I’ve been maintaining it. I used to write a lot of personal stuff, then moved towards sharing things I was doing, like pictures from birthday parties or trips. I stayed on the topic of what was going on in my life for a long time. It served as a great vehicle for me to be creative when I showed off my Photo-a-Day pictures every month for the year and did the 642 Things to Write About Challenge. Gradually, I started focusing more on reviewing different things and then moved on Pinterest-type posts over the last year or so. And of course, after Zachary was born, I did a lot of the one-picture “Adventures of Zach and Zoe” posts. I’m going to try to do a hybrid of all of these things this month. It hit me while watching Jay and Zachary play last week that I have no imagination anymore. I have no creativity anymore. I’m a zombie who doesn’t eat well anymore, barely sleeps (Zach is back to only one wake up per night, so I really should be sleeping more), doesn’t exercise as much, and is a mushy brained shell.

Anyways, here’s to the rebirth of Collwrites. I’m holding myself accountable for updating it 3-4 days a week with good content and I hope anyone reading this will help me stay accountable, too. :)

The Adventures of Zach and Zoe: Part 12

Written By: Colleen - Feb• 28•15

They watch their daddy shovel snow together…

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[Picture taken on February 17, 2015, when Zachary was 8-months-old.]

The Adventures of Zach and Zoe: Part 11

Written By: Colleen - Jan• 29•15

They have Saturday morning playtime together…

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[Picture taken January 24, 2015, when Zachary was 7-months-old.]