Candy Gram

(First of all, I’ve been scouring the darn interwebs for an embeddable version of this video and I just can’t find it, so you’ll have to click through. Really. You should.)

I think I mentioned that last weekend I watched the Saturday Night Live Halloween Special which was maybe 90 minutes of absolute hilarity considering most of the skits were pre-1998 meaning they were really flipping funny.

One of my favorites? The LandShark. You can view it here. (Sorry, couldn’t find an embeddable one!) I don’t know why but it cracks me up every time.


I have no idea why I remember this but one year my best friend and I decided to audition for the school talent show by doing a dance/lip-synching routine to The Time Warp from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Actually, I have no idea why we thought that was a good idea. (Confession: I’ve never seen the entire film, either.)

Could you picture me doing any of this?

I don’t think we actually made it to the audition once our parents realized what we had chosen to do. Ah, to be young and innocent!


So it’s Halloween tomorrow which means I have to be on my guard because, um, well I’m terrified of people in masks. It’s amazing to me how a mask can transform someone you know and love into a scary, freaky specimen of a person that you suddenly do not recognize. The maintenance man at our building scares me every year (yes, every year, even though I know it’s him) by creeping up to my desk in one of his freaky masks. Uncool.

I think it all started when I was in high school, driving home from a Halloween party and a masked/face painted dude showed up out of NOWHERE and jumped onto my car and just stared at me. My friend and I screamed and just stared at the guy. He disappeared just as quickly as he showed up. My nerves were rattled for a few hours!

Here’s hoping that the kids who come to the house don’t scare me!

Do you have a Halloween fear/phobia or conversely are you the type of person who enjoys scaring the crap out of the rest of us?

Ten on Thursday

It’s raining. It’s pouring. I wish I was snoring. This means I’m going to participate in Ten on Thursday which I found courtesy of the lovely Lisa D and evidently, it was started by Chelsea.


1. What are you going to be for Halloween?

A girl from the TV Show Laugh-in, a la Goldie Hawn. Sort of and only because I already have the costume with pink go-go boots hanging in my closet.

2. Have you ever been on television?
I was in high school when I protested for Free Speech. I was in the Journalism program at my high school and one of our papers was published with some fairly controversial topics on the cover (forgive me but I can’t remember what it was). The principal pulled the paper immediately and so we all rallied outside the school with signs, posters and picketed our high school for infringing on our right to free speech. We were basically told that when we are on school grounds we didn’t have the right to free speech and that just added fuel to the fire. TV crews came out and so I was on the news as part of the protesting group.

3. Do you have a toilet paper preference?
I don’t like the scratchy kind if that’s what you mean. But other than that, no, I don’t really care if it’s up, down or sideways so long as its there when I need it.

4. When you’re pregnant, will you find out the sex of the baby? (Or if you’ve already had babies, did you find out the sex?) Why or why not?
Hmm. I am inclined to say yes because I’m an over-planner so how could I have a baby and not know the sex of the baby? That gives me hives just thinking about it.

5. What are three items that every kitchen must have?

The fixings to make chocolate chip cookies from scratch, an Ove Glove and ample room to spread out and create.

6. Do you enjoy Christmas shopping?
Yes! It’s one of my favorite things to do. I’m already starting to plot and plan what I’m going to get for everyone. I love wrapping presents, I love giving presents and I love the joy that surrounds my house during the holidays.

7. What is your go-to recipe? (The thing you cook more than anything else because it’s easy and mindless.) Please share the recipe.
It’s what Irish calls spicy chicken & big rice. Basically, I season a few chicken breasts with some spicy spices and bake until done. In the meantime, I make big rice (aka risotto) which is simply risotto, 3 cups of chicken/vegetable broth, parmesan cheese and parsley to taste. I always serve with a side of broccoli. It’s pretty delicious.

8. Do you sleep on your back, belly, or side?
I fall asleep on my side but wind up on my belly by the morning. I am a frantic sleeper in that I move A LOT, thrash and kick. I’m told it has something to do with when I was in the womb and managed to entangle myself with the darn umbilical cord around my neck & knee resulting in me nearly killing myself. Fun, huh?

9. How do you feel about Tom Cruise?
Ick. I used to have a crush on him when I was in middle school. Top Gun was the soundtrack to our sleepovers. And then it was Jerry Maguire. And Cocktail. But now? He kind of freaks me out.

10. What books are in your “books to read? stack?
How much time do you have? (Sorry I don’t have complete titles/authors. I’m not in front of my bookshelves.)
Sookie Stackhouse Book # 6
Two Jane Green Books (Dune Road & Second Chances)
Vampirates (go ahead, laugh)
Kingdom Keepers
Ellen Burstyns Memoirs
An Anita Shreve Book
My Japanese Challenge book, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles
A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving
Persuasion, Jane Austen
The Bridges of Madison County
Catching Fire
. and much, much more.

Your turn! Answer in the comments or post this on your own to all, some or none if you like.

The Horse Phobia

I’m not afraid of a lot of things. As a matter of fact, the list includes heights (namely in terms of flying in planes), roads with no sides (as in there is no guard rail), being alone when I’m old and horses, which I mentioned in yesterday’s post.

I’ve had three bad experiences with horses and as far as I’m concerned, that’s three bad experiences too many. It all started in sixth grade, at a friends birthday party which included a trail ride for all of us. Sounds fun, right? WRONG. I managed to get one of the only horses in the group that didn’t want to listen to the commands. So rather than enjoying a nice, relaxing trail ride with my friends, my horse took off into the woods after the one in front of us did. My best friend and I were stuck on these horses, screaming, limbs and leaves smacking our faces, terrified out of our minds. I don’t even remember how in the world we were rescued.

Fast forward about six years and this time I’m at Sixth Grade Camp as a Counselor a school district-wide week where we went to a local YMCA camp which is a pretty fun week except for the horseback riding event that all students and counselors must do. And guess what!? They give me the bad seed horse again. Doesn’t listen to commands. Doesn’t responds to the reins. Either stands there and doesn’t move or takes off into a run. So once again, I’m running wildly through the woods (though fortunately on the trail for a change) much to the enjoyment of my charges. This time I at least didn’t get any scrapes or cuts from the woods.

You’d think I’ve learned by now, but alas, not so much. I was a camp counselor twice because it really is a rewarding experience and so I had to ride the darn horses again. And would you believe they gave me the same horse the second time? Yup, they did. Same thing, only this time the horse was a tad wilder and decided to stand up only two legs while I’m on him and I really thought I’d fall off him and break my back.

So now you know the story of Nora & the horses. And why standing in a stall with a large horse (a Quarterhorse to be exact) was such a feat for me on Sunday. His name was Scott and he was quite interested in his hay + water combo he had going on so he paid little attention to me. That and I was very careful to move slowly, quietly and always stay within his eyesight. I confess, I even enjoyed it for a few moments. (Most of the stalls were empty as the horses were in the pasture while we were there, but only females on Sundays it seems.)

I moved onto another stall where there’s a 25-year-old pony named Vera. The sign on her stall says she’s afraid of people and recovering from a badly broken leg of some sort so I approached her cautiously. Much to my surprise, she warmed up to me and even let me pet her. I instantly fell in love with her, for whatever reason and kind of hope she’s there when I go back. (Though really, it would be better for her if she’s adopted. Does anyone need a pony? She’s only $100! She’s beautiful, too.)

I guess the next step for me would be to ride a horse but I don’t think that will happen anytime soon. Baby steps are just fine with me!

Tell me, do you have any animal phobias? If not, what are you most afraid of/do you wish you could overcome it?