The day has come.

Steve's vasectomy is scheduled for today.

He's been waffling between shrugging his shoulders, saying, "No big deal!" and curling up in the fetal position while clutching his balls and crying, "Oh my god, I'm SO scared!"

I think he WANTS it to be no big deal but in reality he's a bit scared. He is a man after all. (No offence men, but you can be babies sometimes.)

I keep reminding him that the procedure is advertised as being virtually pain free and no "scalpel" is used. Still, they have to get inside the scrotum somehow to make the snip so there will be a couple punctures through some very sensitive skin.

Now, I'm not sure but I'm guessing that it's probably not quite to the same degree as someone who might have, oh I don't know, say... endured two rounds of IVF, been through two difficult back-to-back pregnancies and given birth to two children without any pain medication - but you know, I'm sure it's probably really close.

He was given a list of supplies to pick up prior to the procedure. They included Extra Strength Tylenol, Extra Strength Ibuprofen, ice gel packs and antibiotic ointment.

Also required were some snug fitting underwear and an "athletic support" which is to be worn outside of the underwear on the day of the procedure.

I happlily went out and did the shopping for him - after all, I'm trying to be as supportive to him as I can. I tell him he's going to be fine and he probably won't even feel it. It will be a piece of cake. And I will do whatever I can to ease any fears or discomfort that he may experience. Because after all, I am a compassionate, caring wife who wants to support her husband any way I can.

And just to prove that, I went through the supplies he needed for today and I laid some of them out for him last night so he would see them first thing this morning. I put them in the kitchen... on the chopping block...

Good luck, sweetheart!!

With one-third gone- College Football Report - 4 games in.

Right, with four games gone we'd be hard-pushed to say that this college football season's been one of the most exciting on record.

Alabama survived at Arkansas. Boise State came back against Virginia Tech. Ohio State hasn't gone on the road yet - but beat 4 sides, including Miami and, er Marshall. Texas and Oklahoma have battled it out to be the country's most disappointing thus far, and Penn State's red zone offense have, well, been offensive - in all the bad manners.

The Best Five Teams

1) Alabama - We hate him, but Nick Saban is the best coach in the land, bar none.
2) Ohio State - A test against Miami, but otherwise solid. We'll see how they fare outside of the 'Shoe.
3) Oregon - This team seems to score at will. And to think we missed Jeremiah Masoli. LaMichael James ain't half-bad, either.
4) Boise State - Beat Virginia Tech and Oregon State. Which is one good team more than Ohio State has beaten. Or Oregon (but we think the Ducks will beat Stanford on Saturday night).
5) Nebraska - Taylor Martinez has been a revelation for the Huskers, who are now Big XII favourites

Top Five Most Disappointing Teams

1) Georgia -This SEC dark horse suddenly becomes the bandwagon that nobody wants to jump on. They miss AJ Green like hell. They also miss a run defense, too.
2) Virginia Tech - James Madison, cough, cough, James Madison. Need I mention the 2010 version of Appalachian State-Michigan anymore?
3) Texas - The offense is horrific. Garrett Gilbert keeps making mistakes, and he'll get replaced by the end of the year. Suddenly, you figure the 'Horns as underdogs for the Red River Rivalry and the trip to Lincoln. A&M becomes a toss-up.
4) Oklahoma - They can't seem to convince anybody. If they finish unbeaten, then their fans well have all died of small heart attacks by the end of the season. Either way, they ain't going to the NC game (barring BCS meltdown).
5) Penn State - Disappointing so far. Eking out wins about Temple and Kent State doesn't exactly have you thinking beyond one game at a time in the Big Ten. If they win at Iowa it'll be a miracle (though they do happen!)

Top Five Pleasant Surprises

1) Michigan - Something good is going on at Michigan. And it's not the Michigan fans, or RichRod's defense. It's Denard Robinson, the QB with the Midas touch.
2) Nebraska - Honestly, I didn't think they'd be THAT good this year.
3) Auburn - Gene Chizik has the Tigers ticking.
4) Michigan State - Ladies and gentlemen, the Michigan-Michigan State game will be summed up in two words: Shoot-Out.
5) Nevada - Nice to see that there's another non-BCS school out there other than bloody Boise and TCU.

Top Five Heisman Picks

1. Denard Robinson (Michigan) - Seems to have self-propelled a program back to the fore.
2.  Mark Ingram (Alabama) - No knee, no problem. Back to his SEC best.
3. Trent Richardson (Alabama) - Carried the Tide for two games, and if Ingram gets hurt, he's an incredible replacement.
4. Terrelle Pryor (Ohio State) - A lack of road mistakes could make him the No.1 Heisman pick.
5. Andrew Luck (Stanford) - Playing well, and the Cardinal is 4-0.

BCS Conference Picks (Four Games In)

1. Big Ten: Ohio State - Too solid
2. SEC: Alabama, beating Florida in Title Game
3. Big XII: Nebraska, beating Oklahoma in Title Game
4. Pac-10: Oregon - Too much speed
5. ACC: Miami, beating Florida State in Title Game
6. Big East: West Virginia - simply because no-one else is any good

Top Five Games Of The Season So Far

1. Boise State's "away" win over Virginia Tech in DC. What a comeback, what a game.
2. Michigan State's win over Notre Dame with THAT fake field goal
3. Auburn's win over Clemson that was, quite simply, a brawl
4. James Madison over Virginia Tech in one of the upsets of the century. Who says "No-One treads all over the Hokies in Lane Stadium"?
5. Arkansas' win over Georgia was quite simply, breathless (and heartbreaking, if you are Dawgs-inclined!)

Top Five Cheerleaders Of The Season 

1. Texas (Better than their offense!)
2. Oregon (Usual service resumed out west!)
3. Florida (SEC favorites in this department year in, year out)
4. Auburn (A Good effort, and definitely No.1 in Alabama)
5. Miami (Must be the Floridian sun)

It could be... worse...???

Wow, how incredibly naive of me to have felt so sorry for myself a few weeks back when I thought I was in "Hell" .

Dammit I KNOW better than to say stuff like that because sure as shit as soon as it leaves my lips (or my fingertips), then it then becomes a big open invitation for the Universe to say, "Oh yeah? You thought that was bad? Wait till you get a load of this..."

The *vertigo came back. And while it wasn't quite as "violent" as a couple of weeks ago, it was still quite strong and very persistent. In fact, despite a couple of visits to my family doctor and 3 visits to a physiotherapist who has been performing the **"Epley Maneuver" on me, I still suffer. In fact I am sleeping pretty much sitting up, can not sleep on my left side, must not bend over, look down or up or tilt my head to either side.

That's a load of fun with two little kids.

Like when I bent over to help Ruby put on her shoes and I had an "episode" and fell down.

Or when I leaned over to pick up Lincoln and I lost my balance and stumbled.

And the looks you get when you are standing in line at the grocery store with your kids in the stroller and you rock back on your heels.
If only that was all I was dealing with. But no...

A day after the vertigo returned, I noticed that Lincoln had been super fussy. And warm. I took his temperature and realized he had a fever. One which Tylenol wouldn't bring down. Which is a bad thing. Babies that age are not supposed to get fevers.

So with vertigo, I was in and out of emergency rooms with Lincoln no less than three times. The first night we were in the hospital until 2am. Two different nurses took turns trying to get viles of blood out of his chubby little arm, poking him three different times and digging around in his arm trying to find a vein while I had to hold him down and he SCREAMED and SCREAMED. They gave him a catheter which was NOT a good time either. And before we left they gave him an antibiotic injection in his little thigh.
The whole time I wanted to die inside for what he was going through. And each time I tried to lay my head beside his naked, little, overheated body the room spun hard and I had to clutch the hospital bed.
That night there was pretty much no sleep.
Vertigo is aggravated by fatigue.
Then there was a blur of more emergency room visits, physio treatments for me, doctor visits.
Eventually it was determined that Lincoln has a urinary tract infection (from ***bubble bath?!!??). He will be on antibiotics for a week. Hopefully his diaper rash will clear up soon too.
During this time we found that Ruby had a giant boil (GROSS!) on her ear - which disturbed me greatly but I didn't have the energy to fuss too much about it and it thankfully went away.
Over the past week or two any little bit of normalcy or routine that I had established has been completely wiped out. We are in full on survival mode. Ruby has eaten more meals of goldfish crackers than I care to admit and Lincoln has been reverted back to sleeping in my bed with me at night and has spent far too much time in his baby swing. There have been moments when I was sure I was not going to survive, yet I dare not be so foolish as to label this time with anything such as Hell, Purgatory, or ABSOLUTELY FUCKING BRUTAL. Because... I know that things could be worse. And I do not wish to temp the Universe to show me how "good" I have it right now. So I will endure. I will survive. I will get through this.
And when it's over I am going to be kicking some ass because life will seem soooo easy. Right?
Post Script: Part of the reason I was/am able to get through this is because of my family.
My dad who is a workaholic took a half day off work so he could come care for Ruby while I napped with Lincoln for the afternoon.
My inlaws drove over an hour to come help with the kids (and brought lunch) so I could go for physio treatments, take Lincoln back to the doctor, and get a bit of rest.
My mother came and helped with the kids, did some housework for me and baked me a zucchini loaf.
And Steve who hasn't taken a sick day in the past 3 years - has taken many hours off to take me to appointments when I couldn't drive myself or to help me manage the kids when I couldn't pull up my underwear without falling over.
I am ever so grateful.
*I was actually diagnosed with severe left side Horizontal BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo)
**The Epley Maneuver is extremely effective in treating vertigo. It is suspected that I had vertigo on both my left and right side which is why the treatments haven't fully worked yet.

***WHY did I not know that bubble bath is a leading cause of UTIs in kids??? I swished Lincoln around in the tub with Ruby while she was having a bubble bath, trying to kill two birds with one stone. The bubble baths are now gone. Nobody gets bubbles anymore - despite Ruby's protests..

Week 4 Poll

This is the VFA poll. We polled billions and billions of people, and they came up with this remarkably incisive answer. SERIOUSLY.

So here it is-

1. Alabama  Overcame a scare in Arkansas to win through
2. Ohio State  Solid, solid team.
3. Boise State  Overplayed Oregon State in front of Gameday crowd.
4. Oregon  This team scores. Frightening. Can't wait for Saturday vs Stanford.
5. Florida Hammerd Kentucky
6. TCU Unexciting performance at SMU
7. Stanford  Road win at Notre Dame might just make this team the class of the Pac-10
8. Nebraska  Taylor Martinez was dreadful in Saturday's win. Thankfully it was only against South Dakota State.
9. Oklahoma  They are only in the Top 10 because they didn't lose. But they nearly did.
10. Auburn   Breathless win over South Carolina
11. Wisconsin   How good is John Clay? Answer: Very.
12. LSU  Strong performance against West Virginia.
13. Arizona   Woeful game against Cal, but rode their luck - and defense- all the way to a win.
14. Arkansas  Ryan Mallett should be blamed for the Alabama loss, but this team is still strong
15. Utah   Utes keep going post-Pittsburgh upset.
16. Miami   Ripped Pittsburgh apart on Thursday night football. Prove much? Probably not!
17. Iowa   Ship righted on Saturday, and will continue to do so against an anemic Penn State team.
18. South Carolina   Heartbreaking loss against Auburn, but this team could be a winner in the SEC East.
19. Michigan   Wolverines fans praying Denard Robinson isn't injured. Yep - the defense is THAT bad.
20. USC   The Trojans continue to bore. We'll see how good this team is in proper Pac-10 play (WSU doesn't count!).
21. Texas  Woeful performance indicates a long season coming for 'Horns fans
22. Michigan State   Lightning fast offense will cause EVERYBODY problems. Defense, however, won't.
23. NC State   4-0, and one of the best teams in the ACC. The problem? It's the ACC.
24. Nevada   This team keep on going.
25. Penn State  Offense=awful

Texas Roasted At Home While Alabama Survives: College Football Afternoon Round-Up

You know a good team when it's up against the wall yet in comes out with a victory.

Alabama was losing 20-7 going into the last third of its game at No.10 Arkansas, but rode Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson and some clutch stupid throwing from Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett to ride out a 24-20 victory. Was it a vintage victory? Nope. Was it one that distinguishes the men from the boys? Sure.

Now we go to Texas, smoking hot co-eds, cougars and cheerleaders. Being ranked No.7 at home to UCLA? 'Horns to win, right? Wrong. The Longhorns were absolutely awful in a 34-12 home hiding by the Bruins, who certainly didn't look like a team that was shut out by Stanford. Texas was outfought in every department, and suddenly the stormy Texas clouds are whirling around Mack Brown's head - as they usually do when the Longhorns lose one. If they don't play any better, we'd like to put forward games against Nebraska and Oklahoma in the 'L' column too, please (and maybe A&M, in the world's ugliest game!). One quick point: Akeem Ayers was the star for UCLA- watch him in the NFL next year, folks.

Alabama had already taught the world that Penn State wasn't a great team, and suckage continued in Beaver Stadium today as the Nittany Lions failed to convert in the red zone SIX times in seven attempts (putting up 5 field goals in a 22-13 victory). And it wasn't against Ohio State, either. It was against TEMPLE. True, people thought that the Owls might well upset the octagenarian, but still.... But before we go Nittany Blue with rage at the Lions, we'd like to give a standing ovation to Evan Royster, who ran for 187 yards. That's a heck of a rushing effort. Can we now have more against the good teams, please?

Meanwhile, Ohio State, Wisconsin, USC, Michigan, Iowa all brutalised the opposition. Tennessee survived UAB - thanks to a horrible

These evening awaits, but at the moment, the cries of "Rammer Jammer" - yet again - can be heard reverberating around SEC land.....

Oh, and cheerleaders of the day go to: Texas. Which is about the only good thing going for the Longhorns after such an horrific performance.

poetry in motion

Preparation began last month, with the addition of new softboxes and attachment pieces for the strobes, plus new black seamless paper for a low key backdrop. Set off at noon to set up. Group shot in front of the local theater, then back to the studio for headshots and then what I have wanted to do for two years...action shots. Home at 9. Sleep elluded me while images bounced in my head. Post production has begun. Half are the headshots, half look something like this... More to come. So many critiques I have of myself but the dancers were wonderful. Here are a few, in no other order than chronological.

will close with my girl. :)

watch for the full gallery of Le Tableau Magnifique at:

Bug-Eyed in Boise: Week 4 Predictions

College Gameday seemed to commit sacrilege by not including a SEC team in its programming on Saturday, instead focusing on the blue turf of No. 3 Boise State, who will host a monster game with ranked-and-frankly-dangerous Oregon State.

So here are our predictions:

Oregon State vs Boise State

The commentators didn't look as though they were actually looking forward to hitting up Boise this weekend, but they are probably going to one of the games of the week. Oregon State has one of the best running backs in the Pac-10 in Jacquizz Rodgers, while Boise State's quarterback Kellem Moore has proven himself as a rather good quarterback. This is going to be a cracker, which Boise wins. Just.

Alabama vs Arkansas

Hey Alabama, this game's going to be more difficult than the road trip to Duke. In the last few years, it's been Arkansas with the skill at running back, with Darren McFadden and Felix Jones doing the honors for a Houston Nutt-coached Hogs team. But now, it's the Alabama RBs who rule the roost, with Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson the best 1-2 in the nation, bar none. Everyone has everything to fear. Arkansas will try and use Ryan Mallet to pick on Alabama's weak(ish) secondary, but it will probably be in vain. Alabama wins - by 7.

Miami at Pittsburgh

Jacory Harris and the sheer athleticism of this Hurricanes team have made Randy Shannon's team fun to watch of late, but Pittsburgh's Dion Lewis is going to be a tough cookie to stop on Thursday night. This is going to be one of the games of the (long weekend), people. Hurricanes win by 7.

South Carolina at Auburn

Auburn hosted a special game on Saturday night, squeezing by Clemson in overtime in a game that saw the tree at Toomer's Corner dressed in toilet paper and everyone trying to regain their breath. Funnily enough, the moment of the day was probably Justin Harper's catch, which was worth seeing. Auburn fans will hoping their players' bodies have coped from the battering of the 'other' Tigers, while South Carolina will be carrying another boulder on their backs - the apparent suicide of former wide receiver Kenny McKinley, who died earlier this week. We think that South Carolina will win for McKinley, Spurrier on the back of Marcus Lattimore, who's already one of the better RBs in the SEC.

West Virginia at LSU

LSU has been terrible thus far this year, but has escaped with boring the pants off us and going 3-0. West Virginia  have beaten Marshall and Maryland on their way to a 3-0 record, and might just have a good little quarterback in Geno Smith. This one's going to be a good game, which LSU wins by 4.

Oregon at Arizona State

After licking their wounds against Wisconsin (where they lost a game they really should have won), the Sun Devils entertain the highest-scoring, fastest offense in college football in the Oregon Ducks. On the field, we think that Oregon wins by 14. Off the field, where ASU cheerleaders do battle with Oregon cheerleaders, and ASU co-eds remain stunning, stunning, stunning, things will be a lot closer.

Take a moment to think about...

Temple at Penn State

Temple's visit  represents a possible banana skin for the Nittany Lions, who haven't got going all year. Evan Royster's form at running back has been downright abysmal, but Silas Redd and Stefphon Green's speed is evident. Brett Brackett and Graham Zug need to sort it out and become good, strong targets for freshman Rob Bolden. But seriously, look out for quarterback Chester Stewart and running back Bernard Pierce. Both have been great in helping the Owls to a 3-0 record.

Georgia at Mississippi State

If Mark Richt - even bearing in mind the loss of AJ Green until after this visit to the sultry southland - goes 0-3 in the SEC, then he'd better get thinking about his job prospects. There is no fury like Athens scorned. MSU's defence held up well against LSU and Auburn in the game before it, but they have no offense. This ain't gonna be pretty.....but the Dawgs win.

UCLA at Texas

Texas fans must be overjoyed to be playing a non-conference teams they've actually heard of after years of playing complete dross, and they'd better be praying for something better than the horrific showing that they put on against Texas Tech. Better teams would have barbecued the 'Horns on Saturday night. For Rick Neuheisel, he's got a team that's horrific at passing and almost as bad at point scoring. Expect Johnathan Franklin to do a bulk of the carrying against Texas, but don't expect the Bruins to win. Texas by 21.

This is advanced sound of no hands clapping for....

USC (on the road to dangerous Washington State (if dangerous is Barbie); Ohio State (at home to the dangerous Eastern Michigan (how about a road game, Buckeyes fans?)); Michigan (at home to Bowling Green (after nearly slipping up against UMass, expect Denard Robinson to be on a path of destruction for RichRod's men)) and Florida at home to Kentucky (we don't care if this is the SEC, Kentucky will be meted out with a battering)). Also, go to sleep on Wisconsin (home to Austin Peay).
Downtown Livermore Art Association Art Show and public performance opportunity for the ballet company. What I saw.

(Gallery: Livermore School of Dance Events 2010 - 2011)

Week Three Rankings

It's a little bit late, but after a quarter of the season already gone, we thought we'd get our act together by putting out some rankings. You'll probably disagree.

  1. Alabama  Best team in the nation so far
  2. Ohio State Terrelle Pryor & Co are solid. Can't see anyone beat them this year.
  3. Oregon  One question: Who's going to be able to deal with THIS offense?
  4. Boise State  Rose Bowl bound, but Virginia Tech's loss to (laugh) James Madison may kill them in the stretch
  5. TCU  Andy Dalton leads a team that has everything.
  6. Nebraska  Taylor Martinez and THAT defense has Bo Pellini flying.
  7. Florida  Beat Tennessee comfortably, but they really aren't that good. 
  8. Oklahoma  Too many mistakes against Air Force to think they'll challenge for a National Title
  9. Arkansas  Won a difficult game in Georgia, and could prove to be a monster test for Alabama on Saturday
  10. Texas  Woeful at times at Texas Tech.
  11. Arizona  Beat Iowa in a stunner in Tuscon in one of the games of the weekend
  12. Stanford  How good is Andrew Luck? NFL good!
  13. South Carolina  Marcus Lattimore is a ferocious running back and will be difficult to stop. Stephen Garcia, however, sucks
  14. Wisconsin  The victory against Arizona State was more luck than skill.
  15. Iowa  Their comeback in the second half against Arizona showed that their first half performance was an aberration, not the norm.
  16. Auburn  What a game in Clemson. What an atmosphere
  17. LSU  Unspectacularly trundling their way through a 3-0 SEC record. Alabama/Arkansas will prove to be the test. Ole Miss won't. 
  18. Michigan  Denard Robinson has the Wolverines buzzing, although questions have to be asked about the defense.
  19. Utah  Got some respect for the home win against Pittsburgh. Let Mormons reign!
  20. Miami  Will be an ACC threat this year
  21. Georgia Tech Good win at UNC. Offense is covering defense's butt, but the Jackets are going to be a lot of fun
  22. West Virginia The pick of the Big East. But then again, how good is the Big East this year?
  23. Clemson  Unlucky to lose at Auburn, but how will they be if Kyle Parker gets injured.
  24. Oregon State  We'll see how the conversation about Pac-10 superiority goes when the Beavs go to the Blue Turf. Jacquizz Rodgers is good, by the way.
  25. Penn State  This team's offense is like watching a tanker turn in the night. Ugly.

Sunday Reminders: Week 3 Recap

On Week 3, we were reminded of a few things:

Michigan State reminded us that trick plays at the end of overtime is the most exciting thing in college football. Especially when it's against Notre Dame. That overtime - and college overtime in general, reminds us why college football is soooooo much fun (and that the NFL needs to change its overtime rules!).

Clemson and Auburn reminded us (and Brent Musberger did about 9000 times) that these kids can hit hard. Both sides should get a week off after that game. They need one.

Clemson's Jamie Harper reminded us that running backs can catch the ball - his catch against Auburn was something unbelievable. The Tigers' field goal unit reminded us that stupid penalties during overtime can cost you games.

AJ Green continues to remind Georgia fans why they miss him so damned much after the 'Dogs slipped 0-2 in SEC play. Stunning comeback by the Dawgs, by the way, but then Arkansas' Ryan Mallett reminded us why he's a Heisman contender, cuing the great line from the ESPN commentator: "Childs, please!" I giggled.

Penn State and USC's stumbling performances reminded us that two historical college football superpowers aren't going to be on the map this year, for differing reasons. USC's reason is that they aren't allowed to be, while Penn State's reason is that they really aren't that good. However, Alabama reminded us that the battle for the lead running back spot between Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson might be the most interesting thing about the SEC this year - the Tide are so, so much better than anyone else out there.

Brent Musberger would, again, like to remind you of the hard-hitting nature of the Clemson-Auburn game. 

Denard Robinson and Terrelle Pryor reminded us that the Michigan - Ohio State game at the end of the season will be one of the seasons game to watch. Sure, the Buckeyes are solid, but can they stop Denard Robinson? And can Michigan's shaky defense (37 points conceded to UMASS) stop Pryor?

Iowa and Arizona State reminded us of the crucial nature of kicking an extra point. While both kicks didn't cost them victory in Tuscon and Camp Randall, they sure were a kick in the balls to their fans, and cost them leads and ties. Aaargh....

Despite the loss of the Sun Devils (who really should have beaten Wisconsin), the Pac-10 reminded us that it is the conference to watch this year. We can't wait for Oregon State's journey to Boise State on Saturday night. Kirk Herbstreit didn't seem to happy about it, though...Having said that, the SEC has the Pac-10 in its pocket when it comes to co-eds - on the evidence of Saturday, anyway...

Brent Musberger would, again, like to remind you about the hard-hitting nature of the Clemson - Auburn game.

Florida would like to remind you that in the race for the country's No. 1 cheerleaders, they aren't going to go away quietly. Arizona, Arizona State, Tennessee, and Auburn aren't either, for that matter.

Speaking of Florida, Gators head coach Urban Meyer would like to remind you they aren't a dirty program. Doesn't EVERY team have 30-odd kids arrests. Verne Lundqvist reminded us all that Tennessee weren't perfect in that department, either. Speaking of perfect, that was a horrible game at Neyland Stadium. Florida won, and we were bored early and late. The middle bit wasn't great, either...

And speaking of imperfection, Texas is a perfect 3-0, but they are horrible. Against Nebraska's Taylor Martinez (who reminded you why he's a freshman Heisman contender with a standout performance in the blowout against Washington) and THAT Bo Pellini defense, the 'Horns will get tested. Oklahoma and Texas A&M were equally poor in escaping to victory. This will all make it interesting come in-conference play.

And quickly, I'd just like to remind you of two great plays of the weekend. Just a take a breath before watching and screaming: "Oh My Gosh!!"

And, of course, this....

Spartan Stunner: Michigan State's Play Of The Year

In the words of one of our favourite commentators, Jack Buck: "I don't believe what I just saw!".

The reaction of the Michigan State fans, the stunned Irish band, the even more stunned Brian Kelly, our reaction at 5am in the morning local time (I write this from London, England) which was: "OH MY GOD!!" (in apartment blocks we'll sure that someone will complain tomorrow (oops!)), was what college football signifies to all of who who love it. Drama.

Michigan State- Notre Dame games have generally been the games to watch over the years, but this was a little bit special.

Now excuse me, I have to get my breath back.

Matthew worked with his dad this morning at the Joe Jonas iWin Fun Run fundraiser event for Special Olympics. Well. He got to go to the VIP meet and greet, where he met both Joe and Nick, plus two other actors Alyson Stoner and M Dot (?). He even went through their RV!

Good news Alabama, Your Competition Is Horrible: Afternoon game recap

Here's some good news, Alabama - you won't lose a game in the SEC this year. After seeing back-to-back 'big-time' SEC games today, we can safely say that no side's as good as you.

Highlights of the Afternoon

1. Remodelled Neyland, same old team: Florida goes into Tennessee, plays badly, but unfortunately karma isn't on the rest of the world's side and they win in Knoxville against an untidy and not terribly good Tennessee team. Florida wasn't great today, and last year's team would have crushed the Vols. But they didn't, and this game was a lot closer than the scoreline suggested More importantly, they also win the SEC Cheerleaders battle, beating out their opponents. Mind you, thumbs up to Knoxville's finest co-eds, beautifully captured on HD....

2) Georgia Says "Goodbye" To SEC Hopes, Mallett Says "Hello" to Heisman contention... This heartbreaking 31-24 loss for Georgia was one of the games of the day. Coming back from 24-14 down, the Bulldogs ripped off 14 straight points to tie it late, before Ryan Mallett punished Mark Richt for conservative play-calling late on in the game with a touchdown with seconds left. Quote of the day from the ESPN commentator after Arkansas' Greg Childs: "Childs, Please!" Brilliant. But UGA are 1-2 and 0-2 in the SEC. And the defense can't stop the run. On the other hand, Ryan Mallett was brilliant today, cementing him in the Heisman battle. Next up, Alabama. Oh.

3) Alabama Rolls. Welcome back, Mark Ingram, who ran roughshod over Duke in a crushing, if predictable victory in Duke country.

4) Evan Royster, What's Happened To You? The leader of the 'Blue Royster Cult' ran for 38 yards against mighty Kent State, as Penn State's offense spluttered to 24 points in a win. Going into Big Ten season, we're not exactly confident about this Big Ten future, especially as teams like Michigan look good.

5) Well, When We Say Good.... We meant, er, fun. Michigan's 42-37 hands-to-the-ankles victory of UMass demonstrated to us two things. One, Denard Robinson isn't the second coming of Michigan Jesus, but he's getting there. Two, unless Michigan shapes up its act defensively, RichRod has a season's worth of problems. They can kiss goodbye to the Ohio State game now (BTW, the Buckeyes beat Ohio handily today), unless something changes.

6) Our New Big Ten Rivals, Nebraska, C-R-U-S-H-E-D Washington on the road, with an incredible performance from their quarterback Taylor Martinez, who was virtually unstoppable today. Suddenly, Texas has problems. The Huskers are suddenly favorites for the Big XII (especially as Oklahoma struggled against Air Force, and Texas is still stuck in neutral).

7) And The Game Of The Day Came From.... Camp Randall. A blown coverage on an extra point got Wisconsin out of jail (unlike Florida's Chris Rainey, who could well be heading the opposite way!) against Arizona State. ASU has a new QB saviour in ex-Wolverine Stephen Threet.

College Football Week 3 Predictions

Week One was fun. Week Two was not so fun (if you're a Penn State fan). What will Week Three bring us?

The VFA lays out some predictions:

Arkansas vs Georgia

The visit of the Razorbacks represents the second good SEC team in a row that Georgia will face. Last Saturday didn't work out too well for the Bulldogs, who were run over by South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore on Saturday. This week, the Bulldogs face Ryan Mallett, who's meant to be one of the nation's best quarterbacks. We'll see. Prediction: Georgia by 4 in a classic.

Florida vs Tennessee

If the UT football system lacked class in the off-season, then the UT football fans have taken it a whole new level by printing "Time To Die" T-Shirts celebrating wide receiver Chris Rainey's arrest for stalking a girlfriend. Tennessee were good in the first half of the Oregon game, before the Ducks reeled off 48 straight points in a 48-13 laugher. Last week Florida was awful against South Florida in The Swamp - a game they could well have lost if they hadn't kicked themselves in the teeth in important moments. Prediction: Florida continues hex on the Vols, winning by 10

Iowa vs Arizona

As many teams now know about going to Tuscon, it's not an easy place to play.  Iowa - one of the better teams in the country - will walk into a booze-fuelled night game, but they've been to Penn State, so UA will feel like nothing. Iowa's solid defense and great running backs will take some names on Saturday night. Prediction: Hawkeyes roll, winning by 10.

Clemson vs Auburn

Auburn hardly impressed us in their road victory at Mississippi State, but they got through a tough road game and now are 2-0. They might well be the second-best team in the SEC West (behind their local rivals). Playing them is a Clemson team who's 2-0 after playing nobody. Jamie Harper and Andre Ellington are good running backs at Clemson, but are they ready for Auburn's 'D' in a College Gameday situation? Prediction: Auburn win by 3 in one of the year's better games.

Nebraska vs Washington

Everyone loves to talk about Jake Locker about possibly being a Heisman contender - and we'll see about Nebraska's frightening Bo Pellini-led defense. This is going to be an absolute battle, that could well be one of the games of the season, let alone the day! Prediction: Washington wins in a USC-style shocker, and Locker puts himself in the Heisman and No.1 Draft Pick conversation.

Texas vs Texas Tech

It's undeniable that the Red Raiders have got a good offense, and Taylor Potts is a great quarterback. Having said that, the 'D' really isn't anything - although the Longhorns aren't as good as recent years. While Oklahoma and Texas A&M fans will wish that the 'Horns slip up to give them Big XII South hopes, it ain't gonna happen. Prediction: Texas by 21

Oh, and put wins in the bank for Ohio State and Alabama....easily.

Kent State vs Penn State

Oh go on....Push me....Penn State rebounds to win this one comfortably.

USC vs Minnesota

USC will go 3-0 after beating the Gophers, but they won't prove anything - apart from that they are good against crappy opponents. The real proof in the pudding for the Trojans will in the Pac-10, where we're now predicting a losing record. Prediction: USC by 21, but THIS is the sound of no hands clapping.

Thoughtful Tuesday - Coffee Delivery

All in all, Lincoln is a pretty good baby. Usually. But for some reason the past few nights he has not been sleeping well. Normally I only have to get up to feed him once in the night but lately he's been up every couple of hours. He does take a nice little morning nap when I *might* be able to catch up on some much needed sleep if I didn't have a very energetic and demanding toddler requiring my never ending attention.

So when I awoke on Tuesday morning at 6am to the sounds of that particular toddler's cries, I wanted to cry myself when I realized... I was out of coffee.

I had no vehicle to enable me to obtain coffee and even if I did it would be noon before I had my crew organized enough to get us somewhere that served/sold coffee - and by that time I would be needing something more... potent than coffee.

My friend, M and I chat regularly via BBM/iphone. Even at 6:30am. Or especially at 6:30am (or 11pm, 3am, 1pm) when one or both of us has something we need to discuss. M has a toddler who is the same age as Ruby.

Depsite the fact that M had to get herself and her own toddler ready for their drive to the babysitter and then work, she was at my door within an hour of me telling her my predicament, holding a venti sized cup of steaming hot Starbucks coffee and a scone. Because as she explained (and who am I to argue) you can't have a cup of coffee without a little treat.

This is the same friend who provided me with a plethora of East Indian treats for me to gorge myself with snack on while I was feeling sorry for myself recovering from vertigo.

M lives in the same neighborhood as me and when you live in the city, having a good friend who actually lives within blocks of you (never mind in the same neighborhood or city) is a very rare blessing.

So my Thoughtful Tuesday post is once again about having good women friends who help each other out when we need it. They may be few and far between but they are ever so valuable and a great treasure to have.

Open House and Installation

It is a lovely studio space with color, light, a costume vault from the old bank, and mysterious angles. It is now adorned by 2 dozen of my images that I am pleased to have installed there, at least for now. About performance, not competition, so glad to be part of this studio's growth.