31 January, 2006


The sky has fallen. Chicken Little, which I absolutely loved, was snubbed by the AMPAS and did not receive a nomination for Best Animated Feature. The only three films nominated were Howl's Moving Castle, Corpse Bride, and Wallace & Gromit.

I think I'm most disappointed about Wallace & Gromit. Sure, I didn't see it, but I never enjoyed any of their shorts. Never trust a genius dog that doesn't speak. That's just wrong.

I acknowledge that I never see the movies that get nominated for major Oscars in the theater. I haven't seen any of the Best Picture nominees, although I wanted to see Crash and Good Night and Good Luck. I'm going to load my NetFlix queue with the nominees that are out on DVD so that I can be more informed before making my (historically 75% wrong) predictions.

Of the movies that I did see, Memoirs of a Geisha was nominated for the most awards with five. Chronicles of Narnia was nominated for four awards, including Visual Effects (Lord help the Academy if it gets beaten for that one by War of the Worlds!!). Batman Begins, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Harry Potter, Star Wars Episode III, and Corpse Bride were each nominated for one.

I'm sure you'll have to suffer through many more Oscar posts in the next month. So I guess that's it for now. I'm going to go sulk some more about Chicken Little. Poor kid!

'Hanging' Aroung

I hung a clock in our office tonight.

My manager had bought a wall clock for 40% off and wanted to hang it where she could see it easily. Here's the tricky parts though: Officially, nothing is to be hung on the walls by anyone other than a professional (ok...union) workman. And our office is glass on two walls (thus the name "bubble"). And I'm afraid of heights. I got nominated for the job because I was the only one taller than 5'5".

The people outside the bubble got to watch me wobble up on a step stool while three other people stood and watched. Just like that tortilla chip commercial! It took three tries with hammer and different nails to find the perfect spot for the clock (don't blame me -- I ASKED if the thing was centered!). And every time I hammered, my manager would say "shhh!" By the time I was done, we had laughed so hard my stomach ached. I really thought I was going to puke!

So anyway, nothing really happened at work tonight. There's a new clock hanging up in the bubble, but no one knows where it came from. Strange, huh?

30 January, 2006

Calling All Car Repairmen!

I called the transmission place this morning and spoke with Eric. He remembered me -- "the dashboard with the missing pieces, right?"

"Yeah, but that's not why I'm calling. The car died on my way to work on Friday. And I'm guessing it's the transmission since the engine would just rev and not go anywhere like I was in neutral."

"That sounds like the transmission. Is it running now?"

(was I supposed to attempt to drive this death trap again!?!?)

", it's in the parking lot where I work. I had it towed there."

He's going to have his tow truck guy give me a call so that I can give him directions and set up a time to meet. So far, so good... I guess. I was very nice. Didn't yell or scream or threaten. Maybe I won't need to at all. **fingers crossed**

UPDATE (1:07): I talked to the nice tow truck driver. He said he'd meet me up at work whenever I got there - "no sense making two trips." I couldn't agree more!

29 January, 2006

Tax Time

I really don't like filing income tax returns. I skipped a year, back in the 90's, when I only made like $1000 and would've gotten a little refund. It was just more trouble than it was worth. When they owe you money, the IRS hardly knocks down your door! Scott is intimidated by the whole process, so I have been deemed the official filer of the family.

Last year, I owed a lot of money, and Scott got a lot back, so we filed jointly and ended up with a whopping $63 refund. This year, since I didn't owe too much, I filed us separately so that he could actually get the refund to pay off a credit card or two. (since those dang student loans eat up any money with my SSN associated with it)

You know what really stinks about filing income taxes? I finally got used to writing 2006 on all of my paperwork, and then I had to write 2005 on the tax stuff. Now that that's all over with, I'll have to re-adjust to 2006. oy!

28 January, 2006

Not Cool!

Yesterday my car died on the side of a road without a shoulder. Luckily for me, the car died on Disney property and they have a free tow service. So now my car is safe at the back of the parking lot at work... until the nice people from the transmission place come to pick it up and repair it free of charge. Well, I haven't spoken to the nice people from the transmission place yet, but if they don't come and repair it free of charge, we're going to have a serious problem.

Here's where I think I'm going to get screwed over: there is a 1 year warranty on parts and labor on what they fixed the first time. I anticipate that they are going to tell me that whatever just broke wasn't part of what they repaired. But really, it's only been a month. Wouldn't it be logical to assume they looked at the entire transmission for signs of wear and parts that were about to break? (Yes, I know I just used 'logical' and 'assume' in the same sentence to describe the behavior of these obviously irresponsible technicians.)

Honestly, I know practically nothing about cars. But I know that when the car starts downshifting while I'm going 50, and ultimately refuses to do anything more than rev the engine like I'm in neutral, that's a transmission problem. And considering I just spent almost $2000 to rebuild my transmission, I shouldn't be having *any* transmission problems.

27 January, 2006

Surprising Gems - Three Mini-Reviews

One of the things I like most about my NetFlix subscription is that I have the opportunity to watch movies that I wouldn't spend the money to see in the theater or rent from the video store. NetFlix enables me to throw as many movies onto my list as possible, and then they get sent to my mailbox. But this isn't an ad for NetFlix. Honest.

I can't figure out why I added the last three movies I've gotten to my list. It was probably 2-3 months ago and I was probably in a very eclectic, eccentric mental place. How else would you explain The Aviator, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and The Longest Yard? And you know what? I loved them all!

I was pleasantly surprised with The Aviator. I didn't really know anything about the movie, outside of the Oscar hype. I was totally impressed with the performances of Leo DiCaprio and Kate Blanchette. I squirmed a lot watching Howard Hughes transform from rich playboy to OCD poster boy. And I found myself fascinated by yet another true story that I never learned about in school. JJJj out of JJJJJ

I had absolutely no idea what to expect from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The all-star cast including Jim Carrey, Kate Winslett, Mark Ruffalo, and Kirsten Dunst really turned in excellent performances. IMDB explains the film, "A couple undergo a procedure to erase each other from their memories when their relationship turns sour, but it is only through the process of loss that they discover what they had to begin with." The film was definitely not linear, but it wasn't nearly as hard to follow as I expected. I absolutely love Jim Carrey in dramas (OK, in this one and The Truman Show). He's a great actor, and I love to see him step out of the Ace Ventura/Grinch box every now and then. Oh yeah, and if I wouldn't get fired from my job, I'd absolutely dye my hair a lovely shade of blue, green, orange, or pink like Kate Winslett's character Clementine does throughout the movie. JJJJ out of JJJJJ

Fans of Adam Sandler movies will get a chuckle out of Rob Schneider's "you can do it..." character in The Longest Yard. I actually laughed out loud a few times during the movie. I had very low expectations going in -- a remake of a 1970's Burt Reynolds movie? Come On!! But I must admit, I enjoyed it. I like movies where the underdogs win in the end. I enjoyed watching the cons exact revenge on the guards. And I really got a kick out of all the giant thugs playing football and taking orders from tiny guys Adam Sandler and Chris Rock. I wouldn't call The Longest Yard a good movie, but it was a fun movie. And sometimes that's more important than being good. JJJj out of JJJJJ

Presidential Library Disaster


Associational Press
Crawford, Texas -- A tragic flood this morning destroyed the personal library of President George W. Bush. The flood began in the presidential bathroom where the books were kept. Both of his books have been lost. A presidential spokesman said the president was devastated, as he had almost finished coloring the second one.

The White House tried to call FEMA but there was no answer.

You know I love some "dumb Bush" humor! This one came to me from my right-wing, conservative, republican mother. She's an equal-opportunity offender.

26 January, 2006


Seeking home for a very loving 3-4 year-old male cat. Kilo loves to cuddle and play, and is also a great bug hunter. Unfortunately, he also has a peeing habit. If his litter box isn't kept in pristine condition, he will refuse to use it, substituting not only the floor and anything on it, but also blankets and furniture.

So perhaps he isn't the best housecat. Unless you are a compulsive cleaner with a steam-cleaner. He still has his claws, and would make an excellent addition to any barn or other outdoor space.

In all seriousness, I am heart-broken about losing him. This whole situation makes me feel as though I somehow failed as a pet owner. And I worry that Milo will be terribly lonely without Kilo to play with. But he destroyed a sofa and who knows what else, and now we have nowhere to sit except for two chairs... one of which smells a bit like pee also. And I can't bringing another stitch of furniture in here until he's gone.

...or until I find kitty diapers.

25 January, 2006


I haven't been blogging a whole lot during my weekend because I've been in a word slump. I've had a headache in some form (currently mild) for the last two days. Scott and I have been spending a lot of time playing Narnia on Playstation and ToonTown on the computer.

Toontown isn't really getting along with this computer any better than it did with the other computer, but I'm still enjoying playing. My new name is Miss Scooter McScooter. Scott's name is sheriff Scooter McScooter.

They are doing fire alarm testing in my building and a few others today. They haven't gotten here yet, but we already put the cats in the bathroom. And then when I realized that Milo wanted to play with my ceramic Nemo bathroom accessories, I let them out of the bathroom! I moved their food and water onto the balcony, but I haven't kicked them out yet. It's a little chilly on the feet, and the noise from alarm testing in the next building is freaking them out. So I'll boot them out there when someone comes and knocks on my door. In the meantime, I turned off the A/C and left the balcony door open. Ahh... fresh air!

23 January, 2006

Expedition Everest

I worried that I was building up Expedition Everest a little too much in my mind.

I worried that it would be like Space Mountain - fun once in a while, but too rough to be one of my all-time favorites.

I was especially worried after my friend Melissa said it was like a "glorified Big Thunder Mountain."

I had no reason to worry.

I will be the first to admit that this isn't what coaster enthusiasts would call a great roller coaster. It doesn't have the world's highest, fastest, or steepest anything. It does have a smooth ride, lots of hills and valleys, banked curves, and plenty of surprises. The train goes forwards and backwards, inside and outside, through pitch-black and water mist effects. Plenty of reasons to scream. And of course, there's the Yeti. I wished the ride could have stopped so I could get more than a 5-second glance at the **amazing** animatronic beast that we were flying past.

I woke up this morning at 9:30 (for the second day in a row) to get up and meet a crew of people including Chuck and my new friend Nancy to ride Everest. Today is the last day of Cast previews, and the posted wait time was only 10 minutes. Actual wait was nonexistant... but it does take 5 minutes to walk through the queue. We rode three times in a row. Of course, now my throat is raw, and I was fairly dizzy walking out of the park, but it was SO worth it.

Scott found this link with an amazing picture of the Yeti. It was obviously taken by someone standing still (**cough**c.m.**cough**), and there are wind and lighting effects during the ride that aren't evident in the picture. If you're a chicken and never going to ride Expedition Everest, click on the link and take a look at what you're missing. But if there's any chance you'll ever ride, I would recommend against seeing the pictures in advance. He's so much more impressive in person.

I'm really glad that Disney is building such great new attractions. The last three actual rides (Everest, Soarin', Mission: Space) have been absolute home runs. Of course, the shows haven't been great. Lights Motors Action was exciting once... but it's not something I'll do again unless I'm with someone who hasn't seen it yet. And of course, Cinderellabration was awful. And that says a lot coming from a Princess like me. ;o) Shame though - to the best of my knowledge, there's nothing else under construction right now, so it'll probably be a while before I get this excited about a Disney ride again.

Expedition Everest now joins Rock n Rollercoaster, Tower of Terror, Soarin', and Splash Mountain (in no particular order) on my list of Top Five Disney Attractions.

Actually, it also joins my Top Five Attractions Anywhere -- Kraken (Sea World Orlando), Hulk (Islands of Adventure), Everest (DAK), Tower of Terror (MGM), and Montu (Busch Gardens Tampa).

22 January, 2006

Worst Transition Ever!

Mix 105.1 is having a 90's theme weekend right now (they call it the 90's Class Reunion). And since I have fond memories of many 90's songs, I've been tuned to them almost exclusively. I'm rather glad, since if I was listening to one of my four other pre-sets, I may have missed the worst radio transition ever:

In 1990, Nelson Mandela was released after 27 years of being a political prisoner. Now here's Nelson with 'Love and Affection.'

Honestly, using a Nobel Peace Prize winner to transition to the long-haired twin rocker sons of Ricky Nelson is just... tacky. And yet I'm sure that the DJ, whoever she is, was so proud of the clever tie-in she used.

21 January, 2006

Postcard from Paradise

Yesterday we got our confirmation/itinerary from the nice folks at the Disney Cruise Line. Basically, it's just one page with "you've paid this much... you owe this much... travel dates... stateroom..." but in the envelope was also a giant postcard from Mickey Mouse! I might as well start a scrapbook right now so that I don't lose anything. Want to know what it says?
Hiya Pal,
Gosh! It's great to hear that you're coming on a Disney Cruise. There's a lot of big doin's going on our here! I can't wait to see ya on the ship!
See ya real soon!

Really, I was just tickled! And the postcard now lives on the front of the fridge, being held in place by a photo magnet that I bought on my first cruise with my mom. In retrospect, I look kinda cute with dark auburn hair in braids.

Public Service Announcement

If you are an actor, a socialite, a politician, a musician, a professional cheerleader, a Miss America, or aspire to any of these careers, simply abide by the following simple instructions to maintain a long and sex-scandal-free career:
  • Don't have sex on tape. Ever. Black & white does not make your naked @$$ look any more artsy.
  • Don't have sex with your intern. Let me rephrase: don't leave genetic evidence behind if having inappropriate contact with your intern.
  • Don't have sex in public. No, sorry, "in a closed bathroom stall" is still not private. If you do get caught having sex in public, don't get in a brawl.
  • Don't get involved with someone younger... younger than 18, that is.
  • Don't pose for nude photos.

There, that doesn't sound too hard. Does it?

20 January, 2006

Great Feats of Cash

Weekend Assignment: What's the best money you've ever spent? Whether it's something you love, something you use all the time or something that doesn't owe you a nickel, what is it?

I've spent a lot of money on a lot of stupid crap over the course of my life. And I have a lot of stupid crap to show for it. But the best money I ever spent was on something that I have nothing to show for now -- my first apartment on my own. I was spending $380/month on a tiny studio apartment, and barely eeking by. There was no ceiling fan, no garbage disposal, no dishwasher, and barely any space. It was truly a shoebox. But it was my shoebox. I lived there without anyone else helping me with the bills, or telling me to do laundry, or expecting anything from me at all. It taught me independence, and I proved to myself that I could do it on my own. I think that's something every young adult should experience, if even just for a year.

Extra Credit: Aside from food, what's the next purchase you plan to make?

The next major purchase will probably be a TV, or a TV stand. Ours is dying and every day the picture gets a little worse. And the ones we're looking at have side-mounted speakers and won't fit in our entertainment center.

19 January, 2006

Lousy Service

Over our weekend, Scott and I experienced three examples of piss-poor customer service. Don't get me wrong... I don't always go out of my way to make people happy... but at least I generally do what's expected.

On Tuesday at J.C. Penney, I had such a bad experience that I was bracing myself to return all $75 worth of clothes I had just bought and never come back. We had the misfortune of having some woman with 2" hot pink nails waiting on us when we checked out. (her name is Deborah... watch out for her) I had originally picked up this really cute sweater that I thought was on the $10.19 clearance rack. It turns out it was on sale, but for $29.99. I decided it wasn't that cute, so I asked her to take it off the purchase. Well, she took off a $16 shirt instead. With much attitude. We didn't want to have to deal with Deborah again, so we went over to another register. Where we waited at least 3-5 minutes for the second cashier to finish her personal conversation with another girl before she realized we were waiting. At least she was competant and able to refund the difference.

Yesterday, we thought it would be fun to hit the Prime Time Cafe for lunch while we were in MGM would be a good thing. So I called Disney reservations and spoke to a super-friendly gal who sounded a little like she was reading off of a script. She checked for lunch, and told me there was nothing available. She also checked for dinner. Still nothing. So when we got to the park, we decided to check with the podium to see if they were really that booked. Well, there was no availability... because the restaurant is being refurbished!!! WTF?

And finally, we stopped at Publix to do some grocery shopping on the way home last night. (by the way, we're shopping at Publix now because they are so much more customer service oriented than wal mart. keep this in mind as we go on) We found some good stuff on the clearance rack at the front of the store, including a pack of the flea stuff that we prefer to use on our cats. As we were checking out, the cashier scanned the flea stuff and it came up with a "not for sale" error. She looked at me and told me that the computer said it wasn't for sale. I just shrugged and made the "I don't know" face. She put it to the side and continued checking the rest of the groceries. She made sure to tell me at least once more that there was some kind of error there, clearly hoping I'd say "nevermind...I don't want it that bad." But it was marked down to $2.50, which is about half off. I wasn't leaving without it. Besides, even the wal mart cashiers have a dump SKU that they can use when the barcode doesn't work. She ended up having to get the girl from customer service come over to process it for her.

These are three businesses where I have traditionally been treated very well. Who is hiring all of the friendly, competant people nowadays? When I go into wal mart after midnight, I expect the rude woman at the register to slam my eggs into a bag. I guess I just expect more from stores that aren't wal mart.

17 January, 2006

Shopping Spree

Scott and I both needed new clothes. So we set out to have a shopping day today. I *hate* shopping, but we had a gameplan, started out with lunch at Scott's happy restaurant, and then hit the Florida Mall.

And boy did I do well! We each had a set budget, and with mine I got a pair of nice-@$$ jeans and 3 button down shirts (green stripe, blue stripe, "bright flamingo") from J.C.Penney, a wall calendar and a desk calendar for $4 each from the little mall kiosk, and then finished off with a pair of really nice khakis and a v-neck purple sweater from Wal Mart.

Scott still has about half of his money left. He's only bought 2 button-down shirts and a pair of pants. And a pack of undershirts, which really doesn't count.

Anyway, tomorrow I think we're going to go check out the Narnia exhibit at MGM. This is really just an excuse to wear my new @$$ pants. Shame we didn't look at the forecast -- we could've done a water park today, but tomorrow it's not going to be as warm. Oh well...maybe next week!

16 January, 2006

Why Are You Calling Me?!?

So...I wrote this post last night when I got home. OK, this morning at around 3:00. But instead of hitting the "publish" button, I hit the little red X in the corner of the window. Poof! A half hour of writing vanished. Oh well. Anyway, it's never as good when I re-write, but I'm going to try anyway. Last night I had a handful of dooozy calls, and I thought I'd share them.
  • A man called one of our operators. There was a name-the-song contest on his local radio station, and he couldn't remember the name of the song. So he hummed it to the operator. She didn't know the song either. He probably didn't win the contest.
  • In the first half hour of my shift, I got a ranting and screaming nutjob on the line. Her issue? Glad you asked! Apparently she lives in California and she heard a story on her local news about some emergency five-day healthcare plan that the governed created. She was wigging at me because there wasn't any information on her local news stations website and she was very offended that I suggested she look on the state government website instead. She wanted my supervisor. She got a voicemail recording. And surprisingly enough, she didn't call back!
  • A tour guide for a group of 30 people called last night around 11:30 for wake-up calls for her group. Generally with a list that long, they have to go to the front desk, and then the front desk faxes the wake-ups to us to be inputted. She had a kid asleep in the room and didn't want to leave, but had a laptop. So I let her e-mail the list to me. She sent me the list of rooms, but neglected to write what time the wake-ups were for. I didn't bother writing down her room number, so I had to call the cell phone number on her e-mail sig. file to ask what time she actually wanted to wake up. She was a little sheepish after that.

Today is a Holiday Pay day. Really, that's the only reason I went to work yesterday. I'm glad I did though - it reminded me that not every day is awful, and that you have to get through the bad ones and get back up on the horse so that you can savor the good ones.

15 January, 2006

Other People's Works

I worked a total of 4 hours of overtime at the end of my shifts the last few days. This overtime also comes on the heels of three v e r y stressful days where anything that could go wrong has, some managers have disappeared for hours at a time, some have blamed us for mistakes that were made by other managers, and even without the finger-pointing, the work (you know what they pay me for as opposed to the bulls**t) has been stressful enough.

Needless to say, I'm a little grouchy. And I have no amusing anecdotes from work. But I have been seeing some amusing things elsewhere. So today I'm just pirating other people's stuff.
  • "Apathy -- If we don't take care of the customer, maybe they'll stop bugging us." This poster comes complete with a picture of a telephone covered in cobwebs. It's a parody of those motivational posters you always see in offices. There's a bunch of other good ones, and a 2006 calendar, at (courtesy of Patrick's Place)
  • There's a blog over there ---> on the right side of my screen called PostSecret. The basic jist is that people write their secrets on a postcard (thus the name) and mail them in for all the world to see. I guess it's therapeutic. It also makes for good reading. This one could quite possibly be my favorite of all time!
  • The Fat Man is in Illinois now. I thought it would be cool to walk across the country...until I saw some pictures of his feet. Now I'm over it!

Well, I'm off to eat my lunch. I only hope that our grave shift person comes in... on time... tonight so that I can get home and sleep for more than seven hours. Ironic, dontcha think, that all of this overtime comes on nights when I have to babysit the next day.

14 January, 2006

24 Hours Later...

What a difference a day makes in the reporting of local news. Yesterday at lunchtime, Scott and I turned on Channel 9 to watch the news. The noon news was dominated by one story: Middle School Student with Handgun Shot and Killed by SWAT Team. They had two reporters at the school, one at the hospital, and one in the helicopter circling above the school.

Yes, it's a shocking and horrible story, and I'm not trivializing it in the least. But we watched them repeat the same information over and over for 20 minutes and never even saw the weather.

And in the heat of the moment, some important details were messed up:
  • The gun was actually a pellet gun, with black paint over the red markings
  • The student isn't dead

Honestly, I can understand that they didn't know about the gun. That wasn't an immediate revelation. But how could they report that the kid was dead without knowing that for sure?

Now that I'm done chastising WFTV, I thought I'd point out what a good job the school did during all of this. As soon as a teacher became aware of a student with a gun, the entire school went into lock down. No kids left their classrooms until instructed by police. Of course, the nervous parents who swooped in to rescue their babies said the school did an awful job "because it took too long for the kids to get to the parents." Umm... really... what does the term "lock down" mean to you? To me it means, "we're keeping your kids safe. sit there and chill until we determine that it's safe to let them out to you."

I guess this just goes into the books as another example of how crises either bring out the best in people or the worst in people. And may I always fall into the former category.

13 January, 2006


I watched the movie Sideways this afternoon. Sideways, for anyone who may have missed it in the theaters or last year's Oscar buzz, is the story of "two men reaching middle age with not much to show but disappointment, who embark on a week long road trip through California's wine country, just as one is about to take a trip down the aisle." (IMDB)

The single guy is depressed. He's a school teacher and wannabe novelist with a divorce shadowing his recent past. And he's a wine snob. With a drinking problem. The engaged guy (Thomas Hayden Church, who should've stopped acting after Wings went off the air) is a hornball who isn't sure he should be getting married, and wants to have lots of sex during their guys' weekend. And lots of sex he has.

One guy has lots of sex. One guy has lots of wine. That's about it.

The movie didn't make me laugh. And it didn't touch my heart. Come to think about it, it didn't really make me feel anything at all. It just made me want to punch both men.

Wine -- wine tasting, wine pairing, wine making -- doesn't have to be an overbearing subject. It doesn't have to be pretentious. It can just be an enjoyable beverage. This movie, I think, could have been like a fine wine. Instead it became a fine wine shared with a wine snob - pretentious and condescending, and leaving me wondering why *I* couldn't smell the oak and asparagus in the glass.

I give it JJj out of JJJJJ.

Meow Meow Meow

Weekend Assignment #94: What's the worst possible song to get stuck in your head? You know: the song that once you hear it you cannont drive from your skull, even with an ice pick and a centrifuge. They have a word for that kind of song: "Earworm." We want to know what you consider to be the most evil earworm possible.

Possibly the most evil song of all time is a little tune from a Disney ride. Need I say more? Let's all sing together...

It's a world of laughter
A world of tears
It's a world of hopes
And a world of fears
There's so much that we share
That it's time we're aware
It's a small world after all

There is just one moon
And one golden sun
And a smile means Friendship to every one
Though the mountains divide
And the oceans are wide
It's a small world after all

It's a small world after all
It's a small world after all
It's a small world after all
It's a small, small world

What really amazes me about this song is the love-hate relationship people have with it. Frankly, I love it. I want to learn how to sing it in all the languages that they have through the attraction. But I only love it when I ride the ride. I don't love it at elementary school recitals. I don't love it when I call Disney and get put on hold. And I certainly don't love it when I hear random goofy parents singing it to their children.

Extra Credit: Is there a song you can use to drive the evil earworm out? Unfortunately, the only way for me to knock out one annoying song is to replace it with another. I've found that usually the only reason a song gets stuck in my head is when I can't remember the next line. It's like a scratch in a record that causes the track to skip over and over. That's why I like the jingle for Meow Mix!

Meow Meow Meow Meow
Meow Meow Meow Meow
Meow Meow Meow Meow
Meow Meow Meow Meow
(yes - I know it has real words too)
I've found that I can walk past someone at work and sing this under my breath and the next thing I know, it's stuck in everyone's head and noone knows why. Shh...don't tell!

12 January, 2006

Three Weddings and a Honeymoon

The Weddings...

  • Beth & Brian -- February 11
  • Rowan & Janice -- February 24
  • Chris & Cathi -- October 22

How many of these weddings are we going to? Probably only one. It depends. Make that two if Mike gets married in '06.

The Honeymoon...

  • Scott & Jamie -- December 2006 -- three years late

We're going on a cruise!!!!!!!!!! I've paid a deposit and everything. And that's all I have time for right now. I'm just too excited to deal with details. But some time in the next eleven months I'm sure I'll calm down and actually go into the specifics. Let's just say there will be a five-day hole with no blog entries, no calls, no e-mails, no cats, and no stress... followed by a million blog entries, calls, e-mails, etc.

Learning to Pack

Living in a touristy area, we see some strange things driving down the road. Every day I see a family (generally in a minivan) with one of those cargo holders on the roof. On some days, I see a family with one of those cargo holders pulled over on the shoulder of the highway... with their belongings scattered 100-500 ft. behind them. Oops kids... sorry... Daddy screwed up... but don't be too angry at him... Mommy is already taking care of that!

Yesterday I pulled up at a traffic light next to (gasp!) a minivan with something hanging out of the back door...

Can you see it? Right under the license plate? Here's another shot...

I's still kinda blurry. What's hanging out under the door there? A pair of tighty whities! So how does someone end up with underwear hanging out the back of their car? I don't know!

Generally when I travel, I pack my clothes inside something a suitcase or duffel bag. Even when I was spending a lot of time away from home and practically living out of my car, my undies were always in an overnight bag. Why? Because I would die of embarrassment if I got to my destination and realized that thousands of other drivers had seen my business hanging out of the back of my car! (or worse...posted a picture of the incident on the internet!)

Paranoia much?

Last night I had to learn how to disable voicemail in somebody's room. This came at the request of the front desk manager because she wanted to shut this man the heck up. He ranted and raved at multiple people that by offering voicemail service we were invading his privacy. He also declined the complimentary USA Today because he's "pissed off at the editor" - something about being in George Bush's pocket.

So I told the front desk manager that we'd disable his voicemail, and she said she was going to call and tell him. Keep in mind that she has already spoken with him and he does not want to use the voicemail system. Apparently he wasn't in the room, so she left him a voicemail. We had a good laugh at her expense. And then we turned off the voicemail.

11 January, 2006

Hair-Raising Photos

Monday Photo Shoot: Photograph a body part. Tell us something interesting about that body part.

I've mentioned before that I'm in the process of growing my hair out into a 10" ponytail so that I can chop it off and donate it to Locks of Love. I believe I'm close to the end of this journey (well, within 6 months). The hair at my temples is now 14" long, and this ponytail comes to almost 11". Of course, if I chopped of this particular ponytail, I'd have hair WAY shorter than I want to take it. But on the other side, after having my hair this long, I'm looking forward to having it much much shorter some day soon.

Bonus: there are some pretty nice salons in the Orlando area that will cut & style your hair for free if you're donating it. I have less anxiety about having a short cut if it's being cut by someone who has been out of beauty school for more than a month!

10 January, 2006

What happened in YOUR neighborhood today?

There is a nine-hours-and-counting bank robbery/hostage situation about 5 miles from where I live. This put a crimp in our plans for the day, as we had to drive about 20 miles out of the way to go play mini golf with Dave. It's ok though - we made it out to Fantasia Gardens. Dave won by 10 strokes. We had a lot of laughs... and Chinese food for lunch.

Speaking of food, guess what I made for breakfast this morning. That's right -- Cinderella waffles! I know... you're thrilled for me. Actually, I need to get some cornstarch. Of all the recipes I've found, the ones with cornstarch are the ones that claim crispness. These come out crispy, but then turn chewy within 10 minutes.

So...the Cinderella waffler works pretty well. It's got this mold on the bottom, and the top makes pockets like a regular belgian waffle. So I told Scott that these are mullet waffles -- business on the front, party on the back. He wasn't quite as amused as I was.

I'm back at work tomorrow. We have a meeting with our operations manager, so they changed my days off. Luckily for me, they also gave me an earlier shift. So I'm 15:00 - 23:30. I can handle that. Home by midnight...assuming they get those two people out of the bank by then! Let's keep our fingers crossed!

09 January, 2006

My Little Little World

Above you will find the state of Florida. I have not left the state of Florida since spring of 2004 when I went to my cousin Dawn's wedding in Pennsylvania. Sadly enough, I realized just how small my world has become in the last 18 months when I pulled up this map and put some dots in the places I've traveled:
  • As far Northeast as the Altamonte Mall (wedding dress shopping with Beth)
  • As far Northwest as Hernando Beach
  • As far Southwest as Venice Beach with some people who no longer speak to eachother.

Is it too late to make a resolution to freakin' go somewhere? Honestly, I want to hop on a $99 flight to anywhere other than here. Or maybe a cruise ship. I don't really like Nassau...but I'll take it over Orlando! I'll even let the crazy women braid my hair if it means adding another pin to the 2006 map.

this message has been brought to you by a woman who made a circle of about 3 blocks today - to the rental office, the mailbox, and home again. 'stir crazy' might be an understatement!

Dude...You're Not The Terminator Anymore

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger received 15 stitches in his lip after he and his 12-year-old son were involved in a motorcycle accident near their Los Angeles home, his spokeswoman said. Schwarzenegger was riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle Sunday with his son Patrick in the sidecar when another driver backed into the street, spokeswoman Margita Thompson said in a statement.

"The governor was unable to avoid the vehicle in his path and collided with it at a low speed," she said.

...In December 2001, Schwarzenegger broke six ribs and was hospitalized for four days after a motorcycle crash in Los Angeles.

Really...once you've got your teenager in a sidecar, maybe it's time to just get a minivan.

A Peek into Operator Life

The life of a telephone operator is not glamorous. About 1/2 of our calls go something like this:

Operator: Good morning/afternoon/evening, how may I assist you?
Caller: I need to be connected to {fill in the blank}
(notice the lack of 'please' or 'thank you')
Operator: Certainly. Thank you for calling.

At this point, the operator presses the TRANSFER button on the phone, waits for the other line to ring, and presses TRANSFER again, which connects the two parties and disconnects the operator.

Last night, one of our operators had a brain fart of epic proportions. Here's how her call went:

Operator: Good evening, how may I assist you?
Caller: I need to be connected to room 1234
Operator: Certainly. Thank you for calling.

She then presses the TRANSFER button, and has a mini-stroke or something, because the next thing she knows, the woman in room 1234 has answered the phone, and she launches into...

Operator: Good evening, how may I assist you?
Woman: You called me.
Operator: No, you called me.
Woman: I didn't call you.
Operator: Oh well, the lines must be crossed. Have a nice evening.

The woman in the room disconnects, and then the operator notices the original caller sitting on hold. And the world shifts back into focus. She re-connects with the original caller...

Operator: Thank you for holding. That was room 1234, right?
Caller: Yes.
Operator: I'll connect you. Thank you for calling.

I realize this probably isn't funny to anyone who doesn't work in my workplace... or anyone who doesn't know the woman involved in the story (uber-blonde). But I wanted to write it down because it will always make me laugh... or at least remember how I belly-laughed when I first heard the story for myself!

Of course, last night I had my own embarassing phone call. This is especially impressive when you consider it was the ONLY contact I had with a hotel guest at all yesterday. We got a call from Mr. Johnson in room 4321, but the profile that came up was for Mrs. Smith in room 4312. Mr. Johnson was distraught because he had gotten Mrs. Smith's voicemails, and none of his friends or family had been able to reach him. So we at the Help Desk did what we know how to do (we're assuming at this point that it's not a physical telephony problem, but a computer problem). We checked both people in and out of their rooms, re-sent their reservations to the telephone system, and waited a few minutes.

hmm...but how will we know if the changes worked?

I volunteer to call Mr. Johnson, since we know he's still awake. (did I mention this was after midnight?) So I call room 4321, and a very sleepy woman answers the phone.

me: Mrs Johnson?
her: no it's not.
me: I'm this Mrs. Smith?
her: yes it is.
me: I apologize. This is the hotel operator and your telephone lines were crossed and we thought we had fixed them. I guess we didn't. I'm so sorry for waking you.
her: that's ok.
me: good night.

At this point I hang up the phone, get laughed at by everyone who heard the conversation, and practically fall on the floor from the embarassment and lack of blood flow to my extremities because my face has turned six shades of red.

Looking back, I wish I had gone with the classic, "sorry wrong number" instead of launching into a description of who I was and why I was calling. What a mess! Oh well...I guess I really just don't think fast on my feet!

Two News Stories

Scott spends a lot of time reading news online. I spend a lot of time reading about other people's lives. So sometimes Scott sends me news articles that I otherwise may have missed. I wanted to pass along two of them to any other news-deprived individuals out there:

Women's Group Wants Penn State Coach to Quit
The coach in question? Joe Paterno, of course! Here's the gist - right before the Orange Bowl, one of Florida State's players got suspended from the game for an alleged sexual assault. When asked, Paterno said the following:
"There's some tough - there's so many people gravitating to these kids. He may not have even known what he was getting into, Nicholson. They knock on the door; somebody may knock on the door; a cute girl knocks on the door. What do you do?"

"Geez. I hope - thank God they don't knock on my door because I'd refer them to a couple of other rooms," Paterno continued. "But that's too bad. You hate to see that. I really do. You like to see a kid end up his football career. He's a heck of a football player, by the way; he's a really good football player. And it's just too bad."
While I don't know whether or not a crime was committed, I don't think that Paterno's comments "represent an institutional insensitivity that endangers women." I kinda thought it was funny.

Cow Escapes Meat Plant, Dodges SUV, Train
A cow that escaped a slaughterhouse dodged vehicles, ran in front of a train, braved the icy Missouri River and took three tranquilizer darts before being recaptured six hours later. News of the heifer's adventures prompted a number of people to offer to buy the animal.
Really, think about this one in another week or so when you bite into a particularly tough steak. I really hope they send her to a petting farm somewhere in the country...she's earned it!

08 January, 2006

Marathon Madness

Please don't think less of me, but I really enjoy knowing that right now there are thousands of men and women in short shorts and tank tops, with every conceiveable body part taped to another body part to stop it from rubbing, flapping, or bouncing around, standing outside in a parking lot somewhere... and that it's probably less than 40 degrees at the start line.

It's marathon day!!!

Who runs that far for fun? Who enjoys a sport where people have to tape their nipples so that they don't bleed from rubbing on their shirt? Who voluntarily sucks arctic air into their lungs while forcing their bodies to run unnatural distances? Who pees while running down the side of the road? Marathon runners freak me the heck out!

Anyway, in honor of the Disney Marathon, my co-workers and I collaborated on some "still life" art up at the help desk:

Marilyn made little race numbers for Chip and Dale. I made them each little sweat bands (not that they will need them in this cold!). And today "John X" (also known as BloomingJohn, BeJohnCe, and now Boomer) added a caption. Yep... you read it right... "26.2 miles to bloomingdales." John actually called it a "cosmic coincidence" that he realized the closest bloomingdales to his house is, in fact, 26.2 miles, and that he made this realization the day before the Marathon.

He's very precious... and today he was obviously very bored.

07 January, 2006


According to the AOL welcome screen, it is currently 43 degrees outside my home. And there is a window open about an inch in the living room.

It's so cold that Scott brought in the two plants he cares about last night and put them in the laundry room (after a brief feline incident on the kitchen counter).

It's so cold that I slept all night in a sweatshirt and socks and didn't take off either.

It's so cold that I wore my wool coat in the car all the way home WITH the heater running and didn't have to open a window for cool air.

If it's this cold tonight, I'm pulling the down comforter from the closet and double-blanketing my side of the bed.

...but turn on the heat? No! We shall not be defeated!

06 January, 2006

The Waffler

I really thought I was over my whole "Princess" obsession. After all, I upgraded my Cinderella lunch box to a Rosie the Riveter one. I haven't had the Princess bathroom set-up since I got married. Really, all that remains of that particular era of my life is my Princess steering wheel cover and some other assorted trinkets.

...Until I saw this beauty. From the moment I saw the Cinderella waffle maker, I had to have it. It was originally $30 online, and $50 in the parks. However, it's now marked down to $19.99 online. So I bought it. Honestly, although I love the girly pink & blue exterior, and the awesome imprint on the waffle, I'm more excited about actually having a waffler. I can't wait to use it! There's also a Cinderella toaster that makes an imprint of the glass slipper on each piece of toast, but we already have a toaster. The only reason to upgrade from that one would be for a toaster oven. (mmm... cheese toast...)

I also got this adorable set of Muppets canisters. What can I say? I'm a sucker for the Swedish Chef! Strangely enough, I got this set during a sale and didn't even realize it. They're currently listed as $34, but I ordered them last week and paid $11. Sweet!

Anyway, the canisters will probably stay in their packaging until we move somewhere with a bigger kitchen. Sadly, we don't have the counter space to display them. Unless I put them on top of the cabinets with my mini tea sets and the never-been-used ice cream maker... Now that's a good idea!

REALLY Opposite Schedules

Ever since the week before Christmas, Scott and I have been working almost opposite shifts (he 9am to 5:30pm and I 4:30pm to 1am). The result is that we don't see eachother when either of us is awake. We do, however, get to sleep together. We talk on the phone a couple of times a day, and we e-mail back and forth, and that's really the extent of our communication 5 days a week.

Last night right before bed, I sent an e-mail about how Milo's picture got picked as another picture of the week over at one of my favorite AOL blogs. I realized that we're not even sleeping together as much as I thought. I sent the e-mail at 2:22 and he read it at 5:52! (of course, he had to be in at 7 this morning for something)

Hopefully this won't last much longer. He's been schmoozing a manager trying to convince him that he should take Scott into his area, at least temporarily. And that would probably be an afternoon gig. **fingers crossed**

Well dear, until that happens, I'll see you on Tuesday!! Meanwhile, I'll be working until possibly 3am the next two days. All those darn marathon runners and their stupid 2:30 wake up calls!

Let's Reunite in Orlando!

Have I whined recently about how disappointed I am over the plans made for my high school's 10-year reunion? Tough... I'm going to do it again! And this time I'm making a list of things about the reunion that annoy me:
  • The reunion is on November 24, which is Thanksgiving weekend. Not only could I never get the time off from work (darn that 24/7/365 hospitality industry!), but the airfare that time of year is obscene. And if I got the time off, how could I ever justify not spending it with family?
  • Tickets are $83/person. PROM tickets were $50/each, and I thought that was ridiculous, even for the "most special night" of our young lives. What does $166/couple get you? I'm so glad you asked! "Ticket price includes meal, nationwide alumni search, decorations, facility rental, staff, liability insurance, DJ, picture nametags, etc." Umm...our school has an alumni web board that has about 2/3 of our class registered. I would think that anyone who wanted to be found could be found! And unless those picture nametags are something other than the generic inkjet-printed ones that they use at conventions, they are hardly worth mention as part of the admission price!
  • The "invitation," which was sent by a company called Reunion Makers (as opposed to an extremely busy alum on a nonexistant reunion committee), is nothing more than a green piece of standard 8 1/2" by 11" paper. I'm sure that was included in the $83 also. I still have my prom invitation in a box somewhere. This invitation will be in the trash before sunrise.
  • The $83 doesn't even include beverages. A cash bar will be available throughout the event. Of course, considering some of the drunks in my high school, I guess this was a good decision.

Well, I guess that's enough whining... for now. I reserve the right to revisit this topic at least once a month for the rest of 2006. In the meantime, I invite any and all of my high school friends to reunite with me in Orlando... any time... there's lots to see and do... and I won't even charge you $83!

05 January, 2006

What do Jon Stewart and the Oscars have in common?

Jon Stewart hosts my favorite daily non-fiction TV show. The Oscars is my favorite annual TV show. And this year they are combined! Jon Stewart is set to host the Oscars this year!!!

"As a performer, I'm truly honored to be hosting the show," Stewart said, then joked: "Although, as an avid watcher of the Oscars, I can't help but be a little disappointed with the choice. It appears to be another sad attempt to smoke out Billy Crystal."

Really, there are barely words to express how excited I am about this. As soon as I saw the AOL News headline "Snarky Comedian to Host Oscars," I knew it had to be him. And just think: it has been noted that Stewart and some of The Daily Show's writing staff will be writing his material, so maybe next year, he'll win another two Emmys for TDS, and one for the Oscars!

This year's Oscar telecast will be on March 5. Since my birthday is on the 3rd, we're going to try to make a long celebratory weekend out of it.

04 January, 2006

Big Stick

What's that they say about carrying a big stick? Oh yeah...walk softly. I guess no one ever explained that to my darling husband. Scott figured the best way to get our Christmas tree to the dumpster would be to grab it by the top and drag it. The tree wasn't that heavy, so it wasn't a bad plan...except for the part where we live on the third floor of our building. I was locking up when I heard the familiar bangbangbangbang of Scott "walking softly" down the stairs with the tree. (Keep in mind, when we were disposing of an old couch, we just gave it a good shove and watched it go...we're pro's at making a minimal effort!) When he got to the the landing, I heard him say "sorry" rather sheepishly. I thought he had thrown a dead pine tree on one of our neighbors! It turns out she had heard the commotion and thought someone had fallen down the steps. Now she just thinks we're awful neighbors - an opinion that's not likely to change when she sees the trail of pine needles leading from our front door all the way to the dumpster 3 buildings away! lol

(correction: Scott took the broom and swept the pine needles... away from our front door. I guess he figures this will make it impossible to prove who blanketed half the building with needles!)

The other fun part of our day was our trip to a popular fast food chain for dinner. We pulled into the drive-thru at the Burrito Gong/Short John Gold's and started a 45 minute ordeal... all to get some fried fish and a burrito! Here's the short version: it took 10 minutes to get to the order box, another 15 minutes to get from the order box to the window, another 30 seconds to realize that they had screwed up Scott's part of our order (my burrito & mexican pizza were just fine), and 25 minutes to park, wait in line INSIDE, tell the guy that our order was messed up, tell his 19-year-old manager that our order was messed up, watch everyone around us get our orders, get asked by the order filler why we were standing there, tell him our order was messed up and that we were waiting for the correct food, and watch the manager scramble around to make our food. We each actually ate a hush puppy while we were standing there waiting. We bonded with the other poor suckers who had made the same bad restaurant choice that we made. And we came out with a pant-load more food than we paid for. And once we got home, it was soooo tasty!

But really, we could have actually run to the border in the time it took to get our food! What a mess!

End of Christmas

The presents have been exchanged, the ornaments have been re-boxed, and the pine needles have been vacuumed up. Christmas 2005 if officially over.

Of course, Milo had some fun with the empty boxes the ornaments were going back in to...

He is such a nutcase! He kept sticking his whole arm through the little handle, and then sucking it back in when I grabbed the camera. brat!

I also learned an important lesson about keeping a live tree - the water in the tree stand gets stinky after a month! Honestly, it was brown and smelled like quite the vile mixture of vomit and other assorted scents. And don't get the water on your skin, because the smell just won't go away, even after multiple soapy encounters!

By the way, the photo above officially serves as my Monday Photo Shoot - the first picture taken in 2006. Looks like it's going to be a whole year of Cats in Boxes. Maybe I'll have enough by December to make a Milo-in-the-Box calendar for everyone on my gift list! muahahaha


(no, this isn't another football post)

I cajoled Scott into going to see Memoirs of a Geisha with me this afternoon. Considering that this book is in my Top Ten, I was really looking forward to seeing the story brought to life. I'll admit that the movie was beautiful. The vistas, the tea houses, the dances, even the plinkety-plunk music of the shamisem were all lovely. But somehow the geisha didn't sparkle enough to me. There were several plot omissions from the book, which is understandable considering the movie was over 2 hours long, but Sayuri's fierce determination just didn't come through. Neither did the family dynamic of the Nitta Okiya. Sayuri's story in the novel tore my heart out, but the movie barely moved me at all.

On a scale of JJJJJ, I would have given the movie JJJJ if I hadn't read the book, but I was so disappointed with the adaptation that I'm giving it JJJ out of JJJJJ.

I did have a rather strange experience in the theater during the movie. About an hour into the film, a couple came into the theater and decided they needed to sit next to me (I'm a sprawler -- I love the AMC theaters because the armrests come up and I can put my feet up on the chair next to me). Without even thinking about it, I looked at them and actually said, "you've GOT to be kidding me!" So I put my feet down, and moved my purse, popcorn, and napkins to the other side of Scott. He and I, of course, exchanged some meaningful glances. The couple was in there about a half hour before they got up and left. Apparently they were theater hopping. I was still hoping that the movie was going to get good, so I resisted the temptation to follow them into the next theater and then go track down security or management or someone to throw them out. Really, I know a handful of people who spend full days in that building for the price of one show. But I'm pretty sure they don't spend a half hour in each movie. The whole situation was just bizarre.

Anyone else out there ever experience anything like this?


Triple overtime? Who plays a bowl game that lasts into triple overtime? So in case you missed it, Penn State beat Florida State in triple overtime in the Orange Bowl. It was the battle of the insufficient kickers, and ultimately Penn State's kicker got lucky and scored. Of course, there would've been no OT in the first place if FSU's kicker hadn't missed an extra point... or if FSU hadn't given 2 points to Penn State in the form of a safety... or if Penn State's kicker hadn't missed an end-of-regulation FG attempt.

If I leave the house tomorrow, I'll be wearing my Penn State t-shirt with pride.
Note to self: leave house!!!

Anyway, it was a really tight game (obviously), and it lasted for 5 hours. The crazy face-and-body-painted kids in the stands had paint dripping off of them. The bandies all looked sick of the songs. The players really looked like the least tired people in the stadium. I know they'll probably all be sore tomorrow. And although they barely eaked out a win against #22, I'm so glad that they did. Otherwise, it would be hard to show my face at work on Thursday.

Go State!!!

02 January, 2006

Rose Parade

I'm starting to get the impression that WFTV in Orlando is wanting to end its affiliation with ABC. They declined to show the WDW Christmas Parade this year, opting instead to air it on their independent "sister station" at 5pm Christmas evening. And this morning I woke up to watch the Rose Parade, and I was rather confused because all of the floats were covered with oranges. Yep - they're showing the Citrus Parade (or Capital One Parade...I don't even know what they call it now that it's no longer the Citrus Bowl). And so I am forced to watch the Rose Parade on NBC, which wouldn't be so bad if it weren't being hosted by Al Roker.

Apparently I wouldn't be watching the parade at all if Scott were home. The BAMA game (otherwise known as the Cotton Ball...erm Bowl) is on right now at Alabama is actually winning 7-3. And on the subject of football, the Orange Bowl kicks off tomorrow night at 8pm. Any guesses where I'll be? It's Penn State vs Florida State (which roughly translates to me vs my co-workers) -- the battle of the old man coaches -- and Penn State better pull off a great one!

01 January, 2006

Happy New Year!

How did you ring in the new year? I was at work, drinking sparkling grape juice out of a spill-proof mug. (Why spill-proof? They "refurbished" our office space last year, and the Powers That Be believe that only allowing spill-proof beverage containers will cut down on spillage. News flash: no spill-proof mug is as watertight as a soda bottle with the lid closed tight.) Actually, it turned out to be a pretty good night. We got to watch Dick Clark on TV with the sound off, and listen to all the fireworks displays around us. It's like being right in the middle of it all...without actually experiencing any of it!

Actually, one of the other Help Desk girls made paper hats for everyone who was still going to be there, and once she handed them out, it became a friendly competition to see who could make theirs the prettiest...or personalize them the best.

My hat was decorated with pink stars. What can I say? I like pink! Alicia (who left before midnight) made a giant blue tassel for her hat. "John X" (whose identity is being concealed, lest they take away his Bloomingdale's charge) wrote "Happy BLOOM Year" across his hat. And Melissa, who I think is the obvious winner of our non-contest, turned her hat into a cross between a chandelier and rasta beads.

Well, happy new year to all. May your resolutions last more than a week!

Marshmallow Monster

How I lost my Babysitter of the Year Award

Yesterday afternoon, I made myself some lunch, settled into the man chair and flipped on the TV. I had taken about two bites when I realized that it was 1:30 and I was supposed to leave at 1:30. I hadn't even showered yet! So I had Scott get in touch with Mike to get in touch with Reyna (ahh the joys of communication) to tell her that I was definitely going to be late. I ended up pulling into her parking lot at 2:25 (she works at 2:30) and we literally passed on the sidewalk. Luckily she works less than a mile away, and ended up clocking in at 2:29.

So I'm off to a grrreat start. The oldest wants me to watch him play his video game, and I want to sit down and eat my now cold lunch, so I settled on the floor of the boys' room to watch. The baby comes in to play with us, and I generally trust Middle Child enough that unless I hear a crash he really doesn't need to be supervised.

sidenote: There's a baby gate between the living room and the kitchen. The boys are allowed to jump the baby gate to go to the bathroom...but that's it.

I looked out of the boys' room to see M.C. climbing the gate into the kitchen. "Are you going potty?" "No." "Then why are you climbing the gate?" "For candy!" By the time I got over there, he had grabbed a marshmallow snowman and started to eat it. So I told him he should know better, blah blah blah, and went back into the bedroom. Less than 20 minutes later, he comes in, and he's holding the edge of his shorts. I asked if he had to go potty and he said no, and then I noticed his hands were covered in gobs of sticky gooey marshmallow and that he's not holding the shorts, his hand is stuck to them!

At this point, I found out that the sink in the boys' bathroom is filled with bathtub toys. So we washed his hands in the kitchen sink. Then I hoisted him back over the gate and he brought to my attention the sticky blobs on his legs. And the blob on his shorts that has gotten mashed between two layers of fabric. So we lost the shorts, and I scoured his poor little legs with a baby wipe, and actually had to peel some of the goo off of him.

When I asked him if he still thought it was a good idea to climb over the gate for contraband candy, he replied "yes!" without missing a beat. And that is how he came to be called Marshmallow Monster. (and he replied, "I'm not a marshmallow monster!")