Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Happiest Place on Earth

As I handed the parking attendant my $8, I yelled, "YEAH! It's baseball season again!!" The lot was bustling with cheerful, energized people...eager to smile and say hello and welcome each other back! Ah,baseball fans, ready for the commencement of OUR season. I was over an hour early for the game, as I planned. Just enough time to grab a hot dog and a bag of peanuts and sit down and watch the Dodgers' batting practice. Smiling (with tears in my eyes), I absorbed the gorgeous view...I freakin' love this place! There is absolutely no where in the whole world that I would rather be.
My friend, Richard showed up to join me (he didn't want to come quite as early as I did) with a couple of beers in his hand. NOW, it was officially the most wonderful time of the year!
The Angels beat the Dodgers 4-2, in a game that ultimately means nothing.
...except to those of us who have counted the long dark days of winter in anticipation of this annual "kickoff the season" game. Tonight we rejoice in the spectacular reunion of the glorious sights and brilliant sounds and superb smells and delightful excitement of this magnificent game!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Blades of Glory

The BEST part of Blades of Glory was the PREVIEW for Oceans 13.

One of the best days of my life

...was the day I graduated from college seven years ago. I had finished one year of college before Allison was born in 1982 and I knew someday I would have a Bachelor's Degree. I just had no idea how long it would actually take to complete. From 1983 forward I took 2 or 3 classes every single semester for 17 years. I was married with two children, keeping a house, working at Coco's, being team mom and room mother and writing papers and doing homework with my kids and then writing MY papers and doing MY homework until late every night. I would bring my text books to read at Zac's baseball practice or while in the car waiting to pick up kids after school.
As 2000 approached, I decided to pick up the pace and take THREE classes those last two semesters so I could graduate at the same time Allison was graduating high school. At that point I was working at Saddleback, had two kids in high school and I knew it would be tough. But I also knew it was time. We would BOTH be Class of 2000!
Honestly, there were so many times over those 17 years when I was ready to give up. And there were ALWAYS people who would tell me I was crazy. They would say, "It's gonna take you 20 years to finish--you'll be 40 years old by then!"
My answer was always the same: "How old will I be in 20 years if I DON'T finish?"
Exactly. I would rather be 40 WITH a degree than without it. AND THE TIME GOES BY ANYWAY! As it turned out, I graduated 8 days after my 37th birthday. One super sweet day!
We threw a big party after the ceremony. The invites read: After 17 years, 28 semesters and layer upon layer of parking stickers, Julie Hibbard is finally graduating college.
All my friends and family came to celebrate...all who had supported and encouraged me over the many, many years!
I am so thankful to have my Bachelor's Degree in Communications from Cal State Fullerton. Even my diploma is something I am proud to display at my home. It tells the story of a goal, a dream, and something that I worked very hard for. It was an amazing feeling of accomplishment.
I am still always the biggest cheerleader for those who want to go back to school and finish--or start!--their degree. I especially encourage those who have to work and/or raise children at the same time. Hang in there! Keep going! Finish the race!
It was one of the greatest feelings I have ever known.
Actually, it still feels good.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Complete my album

Most of you probably received this email today from itunes. Sounded like a great idea, a super deal! So I went through and most of the incomplete albums would still cost me about $9.00 to complete. Tho, I was tempted when I saw that it would only be $2.97 to finish a couple of the John Mayer albums, and only $4.97 to finish the Johnny Mathis Christmas album. (Do you want me to Jaime?) But I decided I better not start with it. I had 181 "incomplete" albums to look through and the $$$ started ringing in my head.
Business Week had an article about it today. Read it here.
Then I started thinking...Hey, wait a minute! I never "double buy" anything...I never clicked on "buy album" if I already had 4 or 5 of the you? I just buy the remainder of the songs at 99cents each.
Hey! I think they are just trying to get me to buy more songs!
Ya think?

Happy Birthday Sarah!

Happy Birthday to my baby sister, Sarah...
I was 12 when Sarah was born.
(of course there are three OTHER sisters between us)
And then Sarah was 6 when Allison was born.
Sarah is due with her second baby any minute...
It would be so cool for the baby to be born today!
Love you Sassy

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Robin Thicke

Did you know that Robin Thicke is the son of Alan Thicke, the dad from Growing Pains? Yep.
"Show me that smile again..."

Low fat and delicious!

I have to weigh myself every single day. I absolutely LOVE food, and unfortunately, I gain weight very easily. Thankfully, there are so many delicious low fat items on the market these days, it really is getting easier to eat low fat, low calorie, enjoyable meals (including dessert, of course!)
Some of my new favorites...
  1. Lean Cuisine's Barbeque Chicken Pizza is fabulous--crispy crust and all.
  2. The Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwiches are fantastic and have only 1 gram of fat.
  3. Nabisco has a whole new line of 100 calorie cookie packs, including Oreos, Chips Ahoy and Nutter Butters. They are all really tasty!
  4. The BEST EVER low fat dessert is Dreyer's Slow Churned Light French Silk ice cream. Ooohh! I try to just have one scoop (usually a LARGE scoop) and it is amazing!
Having all these good choices makes it just a little easier to get on that scale every morning.

The BEST gift

My friend, Sarah, (who happens to also be my boss) gave me a $25.00 itunes gift card as a thank you gift. After about two hours of itunes shopping and listening, I had added 35 new songs!
Some great new songs and, of course, a few classics too...
Among them:
  1. It's Not Over-Daughtry
  2. Into the Ocean-Blue October
  3. Boston-Augustana (thank you Allison!)
  4. Candyman-Christina Agulara
  5. Sewn-The Feeling
  6. You Could Be Happy-Snow Patrol
  7. What Goes Around-Justin Timberlake
  8. Love of my Life-Queen (again, thank you Allison!)
  9. Suddenly I See-KT Tunstall
  10. The Sweet Escape-Gwen Stefani (my new favorite song)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

One of my favorite pictures

Allison and I at the Del Coronado Hotel for my nephew, Jason's wedding a couple of years ago. Allison sang at the ceremony.
I think she paid $250 for the dress, and I'm pretty sure she never wore it again.

GREAT movie

"Maybe it wasn't meant to be..."

EXCELLENT movie. Multiple award winner.
It's about death, disaster, making choices and understanding fate and destiny. Or not understanding...

Only getting better!

Me and my cousin, Robin when she was here a couple of weeks ago.

And today I ran across this picture of us from about three years ago.

We have each lost nearly 40 pounds in the last three years.

I heart my new scanner!

Here are some GREAT old photos...
more to come!

My dad has a blog!

My dad is addicted to reading blogs now (can you imagine??)
So much so that today he started his own...
check out his blog here

Pete DiLallo

Monday, March 26, 2007

Best video I've seen in a long long time...

Allison and I were talking today about what a BLAST these guys must have had making this video. The choreography is actually genius! How GREAT would it be to see the outtakes? You know they had to have messed up, fallen and crashed into each other 100 times before they got it this perfect!
I love it!

It will be mine. Oh yes, it will be mine

I'm thinking in the next year or so it will be time to buy a Porsche. Not a new one of course--an older, more classic (and much less expensive!) one. My dad had two Porsches while I was growing up (one of EACH of these shown) I always just loved them.
He had a 1987 (his was red) and I drove it on a few occasions. Brilliant.
I was fortunate enough to drive the 1967 (his was blue) to and from Orange Coast College my first semester out of high school. It was a classic...and SO amazing to drive.
I actually test drove a 1996 Porsche Boxster with my dad last year when I was buying a car...just for fun...and MAN, was it fantastic.
But I decided I need to hold out for the 911...
It is so sweet.

To my dear friend in Tennessee...

Happy Birthday!
Hope it's a GREAT day and
the beginning of a FABULOUS year!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Aunt Ju Ju

My youngest sister, Sarah, is going to have a baby any minute.
(She gave me permission to post this was taken yesterday)
Sarah is mom to my beautiful niece, Sunny...
They do not know if it's a boy or a girl...and are not sure about a name.
Sunny and Rainy?
Sunny and Bright?
Sunny and Share?

This will be the 8th child for the DiLallo sisters. We are so excited!
Hang in there, Sassy!

Take it away, Bruins

Take it ALL the way Bruins!

(Other) things you can do with beer...

  1. Bathe in it. (You will smell delicious!)
  2. Put out a fire. (It's mostly water.)
  3. Tenderize and marinade meats. (Do not drink the marinade.)
  4. Cure Insomnia. (The hops are a natural sleep-enhancer. )
  5. Loosen Rusty Bolts. (The carbonation breaks up the rust.)
  6. Clear up brown spots on your lawn. (The fermented sugar makes grass grow!)
  7. Help you pass a kidney stone or clear up a bladder infection. (You probably have noticed that beer is a diuretic. Plus it will take the edge off the pain.)
  8. Kill snails and slugs. (Use the Casper cup please!)
  9. Catch mice. (It's not just for snails anymore.)
  10. Bake delicious bread! (Lots of good recipes available...and your house will smell GREAT!)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Dodgers Bracelet

My parents gave me this bracelet for Christmas. I will be wearing it one week from tonight when I am at the Freeway Series at Anaheim Stadium! I will also be wearing my Angels hat and my Dodgers jersey. Or maybe my Dodgers hat and my Angels jersey. I haven't decided yet.
One thing IS sure. I will be wearing this SWEET bracelet.
And I will be at a baseball game!

Can you count to 12?

OK Allison...
In my house there is/are:
1 Giant Photo Album of my Europe Trip
2 Glass Bowls FILLED with wine corks
3 Italian Cookbooks on the Kitchen Counter
4 Big pots of Geraniums on the Balcony
5 Framed Vintage Travel Posters
6 Pillows on my bed
7 Plates on the wall from cities around the world
8 English Tea Pots
9 Bottles of wine on the bar
10 Eiffel Towers
11 Vintage Suitcases
12 John Grisham Novels

Friday, March 23, 2007

Heroes in a half shell...

I hate to admit it, but I will probably go see this movie. I feel like I KNOW these guys--intimately! And I like them! Zachary owned EVERY SINGLE one of the TMNT (back when they were simply called, "Ninja Turtles") action figures and I put their arms and legs and heads back on hundreds of times...just for them to lose a limb again in the next fight.
I was thinking about the HUGE bucket of these guys that I am pretty sure is still in Zac's old room at home. He used to line them up and he could name them all, match them with their weapon of choice and tell you their secret power. I usually could at least tell you if they were a good guy or a bad guy. What else do I remember? Besides Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael and Michelangelo eating lots of pizza and fighting crime in the sewers of NYC...I remember April O'Neil. And Master Splinter, and Shredder, and Casey Jones (with a baseball bat). Baxter Stockman? And Rat King. Bebop and Rocksteady (a hippo? Rhino?) I know there was a Panda and a Duck. And didn't one turn into a giant fly?
Zac had the helicopter, the van and assorted swords, guns, and head gear. He had the Pez dispensers, t shirts, video games and sleeping bag. We ate Ninja Turtle cereal, vitamins and lots of turtle-shaped macaroni and cheese. We enjoyed the movies, cartoons and even saw the TMNT live action rock concert!
I feel like I grew up with these guys. They entertained Zac and his buddies (and me) MANY hours for MANY years of his life. They are GOOD guys, FUNNY guys and had GREAT adventures. And the only thing they love more than fighting crime is eating.
My kind of heroes. Cowabunga dude!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

In retrospect, the best vacation ever...

In the Summer between my freshman and sophomore year, my family (mom, dad and FOUR younger sisters) set out for Montreal, Canada in a motor home. From Orange County. I bitched and moaned and complained the entire five weeks, mostly because I was away from my friends and was unable to blow dry my feather bangs.
But it did not take long for me to realize it was TRULY the trip of a life time. The highlights included:
Twenty Seven states and Canada
Yellowstone National Park and "Old Faithful"
The Grand Tetons in Jackson Hole Wyoming
Devil's Tower (of Close Encounters fame)
Mount Rushmore
Montana's Big Sky
Niagara Falls
The Statue of Liberty
The Mormon Tabernacle
Brice Canyon
The Grand Canyon
A HUGE DiLallo Family Reunion in Montreal
This was the trip that brought us
*My first attempt at "mixed tapes" consisting primarily of John Denver, The Eagles, Peter Frampton and Supertramp's Breakfast in America.
*The KOA poopida song
*Crazy Horse Campground water slide injuries
**and, the day my mother threw a book at my sister, Gina. (A DiLallo legend!)
There are HUNDREDS of pictures of this trip. Unfortunately, they are all slides. Let me know if you want to come over to my mom and dad's to see them all projected onto a hanging sheet. Seriously, when my sisters and I get together to watch these, we laugh hysterically and have the most incredibly vivid memories of that spectacular trip.
Except, of course that we missed our friends, had dirty hair throughout the trip and spent 5 weeks with each other in a motor home...
Actually, that really was the best part.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Pei Wei with Thea

My sister, Leesa is here from San Mateo with her kids, Thea and Sidney. We just met for dinner at Pei Wei in Lake Forest...the food is excellent!
Thea is quite the's a few of the 20 or so pictures we took while dining tonight! She's hilarious and was insistent on having a photo of her Jungle Book DVD.
I asked her where she was planning to go to go to college. Without hesitation she said, "Cal Berkeley...I want to stay close to home."
Seriously. She's not even 5.

One talented bird...

My neighbor's bird can whistle the tune to the Andy Griffith Show. I can hear him out my patio right now. Seriously, it's perfect.

The best afternoon snack...

Peanut Butter and Blueberry Jam on Trader Joe's thick slice Cinnamon Bread.
Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

My tax return...

I got so excited today, when in the mail BOTH my tax return checks had arrived. I started spending the money before I got the rest of the mail out of the box.
In a perfect world, your tax return would come and it would be "extra money" would be like the days when my sisters and I would pull out the Sears catalog and circled all the things we wanted Santa to bring us. I could go to Target and START on the DVD aisle and really treat myself! Go ahead! Buy the whole series of "Arrested Development", "Six Feet Under" and, what the heck, finally buy "The Godfather" trilogy! At that point, I would head over to the brand new kitchen appliance area of Target and I would start by purchasing a gorgeous Kitchenaid Mixer. I LOVE to cook and bake and this is one item that has truly been on my "wish list" for 25 years. I would then add to that the matching high-end Kitchenaid blender (at this point, I don't even own a blender!) and just for good measure, to complete the set, I would treat myself to the Kitchenaid coffee maker in the same beautiful red accent color. My coffee maker is literally on its last leg anyway. (it's the one we used at the Crave coffee bar!!)
My cart would be bursting with delighfulness!! Who says you can't buy happiness?
Unfortunately, the world is not perfect, and this money is not even close to being "extra". I will deposit the checks and pay off a few bills and stock up on groceries and fill up the gas tank to the tune of 50 bucks...
Maybe I can just figure out a way to at least get the mixer.
And the Godfather trilogy.

Monday, March 19, 2007

That Thomas...

Leave it to Thomas, the wonder man of English Muffin fame, to come up with a thinner, SQUARE bagel that is perfect for sandwiches.
Talk about the greatest thing since sliced bread!

I am woman...

On top my illness, my kitchen sink backed up last night and I could not get it to drain. When I got up this morning, it had not gone down one I left for work with 6 inches of brown mucky water sitting in the sink. I had one long hard day, running around between sneezing and coughing, and finally left work around 1pm. I stopped at Home Depot and bought a plunger and a big bottle of extra-strength Drano. (Yes, it's spelled Drano) When I got home the sink had not budged. I plunged, and plunged and plunged for about 20 minutes. Nothing. I poured half the bottle of Drano. Nothing. Plunged more. More Drano. (You must picture me in my pajamas, coughing and sneezing at the same time!) I decided I had to go lay down...I came home to rest and was about to plunge myself to death.
Here's the thing: I don't call in sick and I also don't call repair men. I refuse to pay anyone (probably $100!) to what I can do.
I woke up a couple of hours later and came back in--the water had not moved. And now I was mad. I started plunging for all I was worth! I plunged for about 5 minutes without stopping, using every last bit of energy in my body...AND IT HAPPENED--IT FINALLY ALL WENT DOWN! Hooray! I ran the garbage disposal, let the water run-- perfecto!!
See, I knew I could do it. I AM woman...hear me cough.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

I just don't feel GOOD...

I have actually been battling a bad cold all week. But I am one of those people who will NEVER let it stop me. I refuse! I am one of those people (the few! the proud!) who have NEVER once called in sick to work. NEVER in 30 years of working! (Through TWO pregnancies also, mind you!) I live under the rule that if you get up, take a shower and get dressed, you will feel better. Ask my kids. I didn't allow them to give in to sickness either.
That's why when I really get sick, I get angry. Today, I am sick.
I went to Ray's party last night, coughing and sneezing and dancing in a Prom dress out in his back yard...yeah, probably shouldn't have done that. And though the guys SWORE to me that the two shots of tequila would cure my cold, I woke up today feeling worse than ever.
Thankfully, I was off today. I stayed in my jammies and read the paper and watched "The Prestige" and then realized I was out of drugs...I had to get dressed and go battle the confusing wall of cold medicines...JUST GIVE ME SOMETHING TO MAKE ME FEEL GOOD AGAIN...Certainly $26 worth of cough drops, Emergen-C and cold tabs will help.
I am back home, and back in my jammies and back on the couch and full of drugs again.
And, tomorrow, at 4:30 am I will get up, get in the shower and get dressed and go to work and I will feel better. Well, it doesn't matter how I feel. I will go to work.
Cause that's what people like me do.

While I was at the store...

I treated myself to a big box of my favorite cereal. It will be my dinner tonight.
I think I feel a little better already.