Three things I’m loving this week:

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1. Mad Men. We just got Netflix (Yeah, I know…we’re about 10 years late to the party, but whatever. You know what? We still have a cassette tape deck and a VHS, too. And, yes, we use them.). ANYWAY….I can finally watch all these shows all you cable-addicts have been raving about for years.

Mad Men was the first show I could recall wishing I could watch. It’s fun to get a glimpse of the ad agency life in the ’60s and…a reminder of just how far women have come since then.

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2. Dave Blazek & Loose Parts. Did you know that the author & illustrator of Loose Parts, that hilarious single-panel comic at the bottom of the funny pages in the Erie Times-News is an Erie native?

He grew up in Erie, went to Cathedral Prep and attended Behrend for a couple years before moving to main campus and getting a degree in journalism. He sort of took a back road into cartooning and now has two syndicated cartoons, he’s published four books, and he still works full time at the in-house ad agency at a newspaper.

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This is Dave…and total proof that he’s an Erie native. (That’s my attempt at a joke…maybe I should leave the funny stuff to Dave?)

I interviewed him recently and can tell you that in addition to being hilarious, he’s also humble, hard-working, gifted in all things creative, and….get this…he’s a runner.  So, you know…I liked him right there.

His 92-year-old mother still lives here in Erie (as do his brothers) and he told me that she cuts his cartoon out of the paper every day and pastes it into a scrapbook.  How awesome is that?

Anyway…if you love his cartoon, too, write the Erie Times-News & tell them so. In a cut-throat, cut-back newspaper world, every good word helps. (Oh…you could also buy a book).

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3. Loquacious Lauren. My youngest never shuts up. No, you don’t understand. She talks continuously without pausing. When we go somewhere together in the car, I usually end up shutting off the radio because she’s far more entertaining.

On Monday, she told me she had to write a poem with a word that has the same first letter as her name. I suggested loquacious and told her what it meant. She didn’t get why I’d say that she talks a lot and accused me of making things up.

Then she told me about how Ragen won’t stop hugging the boys and while she normally never feels sorry for boys, she’s actually starting to feel sorry for them now. And how now Brynn says she’d doesn’t know if she’s going to go to Penn State and that’s going to be a big problem because Lauren is definitely going there and …. .

Also, I love the word loquacious. It’s just fun to say….when I can get a word in.

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This photo cracks me up…so much for using that shot for a new blog header. *sigh*

4. Steelers games. I’m always amazed at how easy it is to get in & out of Pittsburgh for Steelers games. We always get right off the highway and park in the ramp (HIGHWAY ROBBERY, but whatever). The first time we did it, I expected to wait for an hour getting out of the ramp. Didn’t happen. I thought it was a fluke. Apparently not. We drove right out again this Sunday….making the $35 parking fee totally worth it.

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5. First snow. I could not wait to get up and run the morning the day after we got our first substantial snow this week. Then, I was reminded how much slower winter runs are because the footing sucks, but at least the snow makes things brighter in the morning …so I can see when I fall.

Three things I’m not loving this week:

1. The ending of “Gone Girl.” Rarely does a book piss me off, but this one did. Loved it…all the way up until the end. Felt like a cop out…or a big, wide open door for a 2nd book.

2. Skiing expenses. *sigh*  Teaching our kids to love winter comes with a high price tag. $100 each for lessons, $60 each for the ski team jacket, $60 each for rentals (or $100+ for used skis).  Every year, Dan and I talk about getting our own skis (I have some, Dan needs them) and buying a family season pass…and every year we do the math and think, nah…we’re good sitting in the lodge reading magazines while the girls ski.

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3. Destroyed dog toys. I actually felt sorry for Sam now that we’re inside so much more, so I bought him three new toys. He destroyed them all in as many days.