29 January, 2007

All About the Food...

What would a post about food be without a picture of my custom m&m? She's drinking coffee and wearing bunny slippers because I was cold (and still am) when I designed her. Want to make your own? Click here!

Really, the point of this entry is to tell you what we're having for lunch today: braised pork chops in cider-horseradish cream sauce. I was going to link to the recipe, but apparently is having some issues with its recipe search this morning. Anyway, we're out of baby carrots, so we're going to have spinach instead. I'll be sure to post an update to let you know how they've come out.

As for the rest of the day, Scott is working, and I am going to Mike and Reyna's to help them pack for their big move tomorrow. I'm not exactly sure where they are moving to, but she says it's closer to us. And it's in a house. That's a step in the right direction. Every other renter we know is moving into our apartment complex. Really, 3 of my former co-workers are here, 1 of my current co-workers, and Scott says he knows almost 10 others. It's time to move!

Update: the pork chops were decent. the recipe could use a little tweaking - more horseradish maybe - but I found it highly edible.

28 January, 2007

Darn Pig

Zoe scratched open her head wound again in the wee hours of Saturday morning. Last night it was much less shiny and oozy, but just the same we decided to change out the litter in her cage for towels ($1.50 each at wal mart). My theory was that the towels have less dust and other particles to settle onto her head. Of course, the little poops are also WAY more visible, but since she's not entered into any housekeeping competitions, I think that's ok.

I just wonder what the vet is going to do now. I'm pretty sure he ruled out staples because the cut was too wide. Don't they have some kind of liquid bandage for animal cuts? We're obviously not going to be able to stick her in one of those anti-scratching-satellite-dish-collars. Not only is her head the wrong shape, but if she could wear one, she'd just walk around like a tiny shovel scooping up litter from her cage.

Oh well, I guess we'll find out on Tuesday. Unless she's looking bad tomorrow and they can actually see her.

26 January, 2007

What Not to Wear

Scalzi's Weekend Assignment: Reveal Your Teenage Fashion Disasters! Yes, whether it's big hair, Nehru jackets, acid-washed jeans or an ill-advised tattoo, let us know what about your style as a teenager you would change today.

You know, part of dressing conservatively is that you rarely have those "I wore that? In public???" moments. I managed to avoid the 6" high bangs that some of my classmates had in junior high altogether. I did have a pair of "Skids" that I begged my mom for, but only wore them to school once.

My big weakness seems to be color, even to this day. I'm just not that into tans and grays, and I enjoy seeing every color of the rainbow in my closet. Sometimes I wear things that don't quite match as much as I'd like, but I work in an office with two men. I bet I could wear jeans and they wouldn't notice.

My other weakness: free and cheap things. My last year of college, I think I owned maybe 3 shirts that I didn't get for free from some music festival or credit card company. And I still love the discount/clearance racks. After all, where else am I going to find a suede jacket (and it's green!) for $12?

Extra Credit: Are you kidding? Pictures, baby!

Well ok. I must confess, this picture is from a band recital in fifth grade - hardly my teenage years. But I thought it definitely brought home the "bright colors RULE" mentality that I have carried through life! (did I mention I no longer wear flourescents? I just wanted to make that abundantly clear. nowadays I stick with primaries and pastels)

By the way, who pairs a skirt like that with a polo? Yeah, me. That's what makes it "conservative," I guess.

Some other interesting things about this picture:
* the waistband of my skirt reads "Italian Boys" - don't ask me why!
* yep, that's a trumpet.
* and white leggings.
* ...but at least my ponytail isn't on the top of my head!

Nice Touch

Recently I got two mailings from companies I was affiliated with. Both have convinced me that if I ever decide to run a business (doubtful, but work with me here!) that I must remember this message:

People love to get mail.

Really. I got a thank you card from my vet's office yesterday. It's not personalized, or even signed, but I really like the thought. About a month ago, I got a postcard from Locks of Love thanking me for my donation. It's not going to convince me to grow out my hair again, but it was still a nice touch... and a better souvenir than the shaggy mess I'm currently growing out!

23 January, 2007

Baby's Got a Buzz Cut

They shaved my baby's head! Thankfully, they let me wait in the waiting room, but boy oh boy did we hear her!

At first, the vet was talking about staples and needing to use gas to knock her out and all sorts of stuff, but once they shaved her head they realized the cut was wide but shallow. Of course, this means she still has an open wound. Open wounds require daily washing and lots of attention and a return visit next week, but as long as she's eating normally that's all they require.

As you can imagine, she's SO not speaking to me right now, since I'm the one who took her out of her cage and manhandled her in and out of the cat carrier. The vet put some sort of powder on her cut to coagulate it a little bit, which just looks like an extension of her white streak. But the buzz cut (he said, "she'll look like a monk.") just looks silly. And I feel guilty for laughing at her.

But the baby is going to be fine. And she's definitely getting all the carrots she wants for the next week. This isn't going to be easy for either of us, that's for sure!

On a side note, I think I like this vet. I definitely like his office staff. Of course, there's three other vets between here and there, so I'm not sure whether I'd take my cats to him or not. Milo, I believe, would prefer to avoid any vet! The mere mention of the d-o-c-t-o-r just seems to annoy him. Wouldn't you agree?

22 January, 2007

A Crisis and the Dentist

A Post in Two Acts

ZoePig has a gaping head wound. (which, thankfully, you can't see in this picture) I'm not quite sure what happened to her, but Scott and I were absolutely heart-broken last night when I found it.

She's been squeaking a lot recently, shaking her head and scratching, so I did a bunch of internet research. It seems she may have ear mites (though who knows how that would've happened?) or an ear infection. The short-term cure was to apply a little mineral oil to her ears with a q-tip. Since we already had her out and in a secure death grip, it seemed a good time to clip her toenails as well. (not something that was covered in my original guinea pig primer... and she had grown curly old man toenails) And for the past few days, she hadn't been squeaking or scratching as much and we thought we had solved the problem.

Then last night as we were getting ready for bed, she started absolutely freaking out and when I went over to see what was going on, I saw this big spot (ok, "big" in this case equals slightly smaller than a dime) on the top of her head that was completely fur-less and all bloody. I don't know if she was scratching and one of her newly-trimmed nails was cut ragged and sharp, or if she banged it against the edge of her rainbow tunnel. We took her out and gave her a bath (her mantra for the event was "don't touch my head"), blow-dried her, and spent some quality time on the bathroom floor. When she went back to her cage, we gave her some carrots. She was eating and drinking normally, so we decided to call around to vets first thing this morning.

Note: guinea pigs are considered "exotics" and not seen by most vets. The one vet that was recommended by all of the other "small animal" vets in the area was in emergency surgery this morning and they were already rescheduling their clients who already had appointments.

So after a half dozen phone calls, I gave up. Ultimately, Scott took over phone duties and found a vet down on 50 who could see her tomorrow. Her head looks much better today. I really think that whatever she did had just happened when I noticed it. She's been quiet today, but still eating and drinking a lot. I think she's fine, but she obviously still needs to go to the doctor.

As for the dentist, he numbed up both sides of my mouth, which resulted in tons of fun saying tongue twisters (and having a Frosty for lunch because I was afraid to chew). He put a crown on my root canal tooth (#2 - upper right) and a temporary filling on the molar that's been throbbing for the past few days (#19 - lower left). If the filling stops the pain, he'll just do a regular filling. But it's close enough to the root that he wants to make sure I don't need a root canal. So I go back in two weeks to have fillings done on #18 and (hopefully) 19 (coincidentally, the same ones that Scott just had done) and also on #14. After that, just one more crown on a previously root canal-ed tooth and I'm done with my original treatment plan.

So in case you were wondering what I have planned for the next few weeks, Zoe's appointment tomorrow, then Scott has various dentist appointments and consultations this Wednesday and next Tuesday, then my appointment Feb 5, then he has two others on the 6th and 7th, and then I have jury duty on the 12th. I bet everyone on earth is jealous of the fun and excitement in store for me!!!

21 January, 2007


So this random woman on the phone today gave me a recipe for chocolate mousse. Seriously. I didn't ask, she just gave it to me. I called to confirm a reservation for her husband's 70th birthday (shh... it's a surprise!) and she started listing ingredients. And I wrote them down. So now I'm passing it on to you. Feel free to pass along to someone else who needs an unsolicited chocolate mousse recipe!

6 oz. Nestle morsels
6 eggs, separated
1TBS vanilla

Melt chocolate in double-boiler. Whip egg yolks. Whip egg whites to soft peaks. Mix yolks into melted chocolate. Add vanilla. (it's very important that you add the vanilla AFTER the yolks. from personal experience, she told me that adding the vanilla first will cause the chocolate to harden. she doesn't know why.) Fold in egg whites. Pour into serving bowls, refrigerate.

I was also told that it looks nice in stemmed glassware. And that the lack of added sugar makes this a guilt-free dessert.

Bon Apetit!


I passed a dead cow on the side of the road on my way to work today. Whole cow, just laying off the roadway. I would have thought it was sleeping, except for the rigid legs sticking straight out. Maybe it was sleeping - Scott drove by 3 hours later and it was gone!

Also, there is a hubcap tree on my way to work. So far it only has one hubcap growing on it, but I bet it will just keep blooming.

Empty Nest

I finished with my trainee on Friday night. Yay! At least we made it all the way through training without her just not showing up for work anymore. She's really good. The Boss likes her (hopefully not as much as me... I have favoritism issues...). And most importantly, she's a competent person who will be spending 24 hours a week making phone calls. That's bound to be a big help.

But now that I'm done juggling (remember, she started during the busiest two weeks of the year), I find myself looking around thinking, "what have I missed?" because I'm not doing three things at once anymore. And I miss having someone in the office with me. I just couldn't believe how quiet it was in there last night.

Alas, it will probably take me some time to adjust to the slower pace. But for now we have these "Standards of Business Conduct" online courses to take before the end of February. They are annual refreshers, spiced up with new graphics every year. I've already taken the harassment (lesson: wet t-shirt contests, and discussion thereof, are not appropriate in an office setting) and e-mail (lesson: don't e-mail crude jokes to your entire company) courses. How thrilling!

And of course, today is my FRIDAY!!! And I'm not even working any overtime this week. But between my dentist appointment tomorrow (crown for that kick-@$$ root canal) and Scott's dentist appointment on Wednesday, it's not going to feel like much of a weekend. Oh well, at least it's three days away from work.

20 January, 2007


Overheard on JoJo's Circus:

We're going to show you some things to do with your body that will make you feel good.

I had to change the channel before I saw the cartoon lion doing something naughty!

19 January, 2007

Fun With Cats

You know, a title like that should really come with photos. Sadly, this just happened and there was no time for a photo.

I came out into the living room to an empty cat food bowl, which means two unhappy cats. Usually Kilo does that walk-directly-under-my-feet-until-I-accidentally-kick-him routine, but this morning both cats were in on it. And rather than walk under me, they both walked side-by-side about 3 feet in front of me all the way through the kitchen (yep... all 10 feet of it!). I looked down and it was as if I had a feline security escort, or maybe my cats wanted to enter a dog sled race. As soon as they guided me to the pantry, they turned around and walked back to the bowl, side-by-side. My little sentries!

Anyway, it amused me. Now I'm going to go finish my cereal.

18 January, 2007


That's it - I am no longer acknowledging the mail. Why? Because every now and then the mail throws a real dandy at you - like a jury summons!

Apparently I am destined to be one of those "lucky" people. Ask Scott how many time's HE has had jury duty. Yep - never. And certainly not twice in four years.

I had Jury Duty the summer before my wedding. I sat around for one full day getting my happy @$$ hauled from one waiting room to another, and then was assigned to a trial that took place two days later. As an alternate. So not only did I have to drive all the way back to Tavares two days later, I had to spend the entire day in an uncomfortable chair listening to some loser white trash woman complain about the loser white trash man she couldn't decide whether or not to have a restraining order against (she kept canceling it and then changing her mind). And then the judge released me and sent me home. Before the deliberation. I never found out how the case ended.

Honestly, my jury pool is in February, and there's a chance I won't even have to go. And even if I do, it's not the worst way to spend a day. I believe in the criminal justice system at least as much as I believe in the legislative system. Still, opening an envelope that says I have to be in Tavares at 7:45 am on my regular day off makes me a little cranky.

You probably haven't heard the last of this from me. But I'll try to not whine too much.
(btw, the weird font is because I'm e-mailing this in. blogger is down for maintenance)

17 January, 2007

Julia Child I Am Not

We had to go to Target today to get bedding for ZoePig's cage, and since we were there, we decided to do the small amount of shopping we needed. $100+ later, we left the store with all sorts of strange and interesting dishes to spice up our daily eating.

On the way home, I decided that we should have fish with lemon-spinach couscous (out of a box) and steamed asparagus. Sadly, the fish that we bought was beer battered cod - better with tater tots than couscous. So we went to plan b - chicken.

I went online to find a chicken recipe with a sauce that only required ingredients we had in the house. So I found this one for spinach chicken (note: not my typos):

1 Onion; Chopped
2 Cloves Garlic; Minced
1 pack Spinach - Washed; (10 Oz)
1 teaspoon Lemon Rind; Grated
1 teaspoon Dried Mint Flakes
4 Chicken Breast; Skinless
¼ cup Old Cheddar Cheese; Grated
1 can Cream Of Chicken Soup

Saute onion and garlic in lightly olied skillet - 5 minutes Stir in spinach, lemon rind and mint, cook 2 minutes covered. Slice shicken lengthwise (not all the way through) starting at the thick side. Stuff each breast with 1 Tbsp. cheese Nestle chicken into spinach mixture with soup. Simmer covered 20 to 25 minutes.

Ooh! Stuffed chicken! But this recipe wasn't quite right for our ingredients. And if you're going to go to the trouble of stuffing chicken, why would you just stuff it with cheese? So I made my own:

1 pack frozen spinach, nuked for about 4 minutes
1 generous sprinkle of garlic powder
1 slightly less generous sprinkle of onion powder
4 cranks of fresh-cracked pepper
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
5 chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken and herb soup (because that's what we had)
a couple splashes of milk
some salt

So I mixed the first 5 ingredients and had Scott stuff a little wad of it (1-2 tablespoons) into the chicken that he had already sliced (you know... because I don't touch raw chicken) and then sprinkle some salt on the tops of the chicken breasts. We mixed the remaining spinach mixture into the soup and milk at the bottom of a baking dish, "nestled" the chicken into it, covered with tinfoil...

And now it's baking at 375. I must say, the spinach stuffing was quite tasty before we stuffed the chicken. I have pretty high expectations for it. And we're still serving the couscous and asparagus. If nothing else, it will be a well-balanced meal. And it'll definitely be something we haven't had before!

16 January, 2007


American Idol Season Five starts tonight. I've decided not to watch. As it turns out, I went through the first two seasons without ever watching an episode. And I think it's best for me to return to that simpler time. Chris Daughtry's loss last year just broke my heart, and I think that maybe web sites like are really having an impact. Besides, that's two nights a week I'll have to do other things.

Speaking of TV, I watched the Golden Globes last night. It was a big night for big girls. Jennifer Hudson (of A.I. Season 3) and America Ferrera both won Globes, plus Ugly Betty won best comedy series. That was pretty cool - Betty and Grey's Anatomy (which won best drama) run back-to-back on ABC on Thursdays and are the cause of my sleep deprivation Friday mornings (I tape them and watch both at 11:30 after I get home from work at watch The Daily Show).

And that's all I have to say about TV for right now. I have decided to finish the 2006 scrapbook-o-cruises tonight. Wish me luck!

15 January, 2007

Lunch with Friends

So... yeah... it's nice to get together with long-lost friends. I can't believe I haven't seen Matthew and Kristin since our Hoop Dee Doo outing last March for my birthday. Anyway, we hooked up for lunch at the Yacht Club Galley (mmm...New England clam chowder...) and dessert at Beaches 'n Cream (mmm...frozen sunshine...). And we also spent lots of time just chatting. It's good to catch up. Really good.

Also today, I stopped by Scott's office and freeloaded some cantaloupe. I went to Publix and bought ONLY the two things I went in there for (cat food and deodorant... and coincidentally, I found a deodorant named after one of my cats!). And then I came home and checked my e-mail.

Scott started work at noon today, which means he should be home by 9. That will be especially pleasant since he didn't get home until after 2 this morning.

And if anyone was wondering how bird-sitting went, it was fine. Of course, the bird tried to groom the freckles off my neck on Sunday morning. But other than that, it was a pleasure. I would also like to point out that the entire time I was babysitting for the Rugrat Trio, the only time the phone rang was when their parents were going to be late coming home, or if the baby was sick. Cat was separated from the bird for less than 48 hours, during which time my phone rang FOUR TIMES. "How is the bird?" "How was her water dish? Cloudy? Green?" "Have you checked on the bird yet today?" (that last one came in at 9:30 am) Really. I'm not making this crap up. I ended up actually turning my phone off yesterday at work because I didn't think it was ever going to stop ringing!

Tomorrow's agenda includes a 2-hour work meeting (please don't let anything blow up in my face...). Scott wants to go see Casino Royale. We'll see how that one plays out. I can probably be bribed with some mac n cheese from Puck's.

Fun with Google

I can hardly remember a time when Google didn't exist. OK, sure I can. I'm pretty sure I didn't even discover the site until 1999 or 2000. Still, Google has the amazing ability to brighten any day with a variety of games.

The "How Did I Die?" Game: By typing "[your name] died" into the Google search engine, you can find out how you died. For example, "Jamie... is a pop star and former member of boy band Boy*d Upp. He died in a helicopter crash." That's funny!

Of course, you can also Google Stalk people you used to know. Google Image Search is especially good for that. For example, I have no idea who the guy is who owns this site, but I do know the person in the second picture. The one in the blue shirt with the buttons. Yeah, he was my first boyfriend. Of course, we were in the sixth grade and we played trumpet together in band. We never kissed, and I don't even think we held hands... but that's beside the point. I haven't seen him since 7th grade when he moved to Virginia. Good to see he finally grew some shoulders! (btw, anyone want to guess whether he gets the distinction of being yet another one of my gay ex-boyfriends?)

And when you run out of people to stalk, you can always do a vanity search. But don't do this unless you're prepared to find out what's out there. What does that mean? Well take a look at this e-mail I got today. It refers to this fake page I made one night at work to torment Matthew.

Hi,I'm hoping you can delete or edit a page from your GeoCities site. My name is listed on the fake OCSO page - I assume created in support of a friend of yours since you seem to be from the area.My charges were dropped by Orange County before I had a chance to defend myself in court, but not until after I had to suffer the humiliation of having my face posted on their web site.

The details of the case are a matter of public record, however if I 'google' my name, the arrest information still pulls up on your site (I've attached a screen shot). I'm sure your friend's situation has been resolved by now.

Again, I appreciate your assistance. Thanks,

So I have to say I feel a tiny bit bad about this. I mean, here I am trying to slander a friend (that page was one of the best practical jokes EVER... especially when it had all the pictures of druggies and hookers filled in like this page) and I end up slandering someone I don't even know!

Of course, I don't want to cause anyone any more pain and suffering than they already experienced by soliciting a cop (reportedly). I'm never intentionally cruel. Now the problem is that I have no idea what the heck the password is to that geocities account. I tried to reset my password, but I also don't know what zip code I used to register (including college, I have resided in 7 zip codes since I started that page). And I tried so many passwords that I locked myself out!

So I'll have to update this story as it develops. In the meantime, I am still laughing about it. Ahh Google... how you amuse me!

13 January, 2007


Hi! Today, I believe, is going to be a great day.

Yesterday, I found a hole in a bra I've only had for about a month. I thought it was an omen and I should stay home from work. Scott convinced me to go. Then when I got to work, I found that there was a little bit of water in the green beans in my lunch, which had leaked out of the gladware and puddled bean/meat juice on the passenger seat of my car. By that time, Scott agreed that I should just turn around and go home. It turns out the night wasn't as bad as all that. But we did have some setbacks.

But like I said, today is going to be a great day. The restaurant is closed for a private function that doesn't start until 7. Of course there's almost 70 guests, and I have to have their menus ready by 6:30 so they can be arranged by table. But I'm still going in 2 hours late. And I'm still going to be productive.

Before work, I'm going to hang out with Cat's bird. She and Mike are someplace else this weekend for a wedding, and I am going to visit the Nameless Baby and shred some greens, some carrot, and some broccoli for him/her, change his/her water, and give him/her some seeds. I shall do all of this while the bird sits on my shoulder (or Scott's) and poops on me (or Scott). I also need to feed the fish and check on the rats. The dog is at the kennel.

I know what you're thinking: "What? They have rats? What kind of freak petshop are they living in???" Well they have a burmese python (yep...a snake too) who a few weeks ago wasn't hungry when they brought the rat home for her. So they threw the rat in an old aquarium, gave it some wood shavings, food and water. The next week when Mike wanted to feed the snake, Cat made him go to the store for another one. Apparently once you feed an animal (even a rat) and give it a name, it becomes a pet. So they got yet another rat and the snake STILL wasn't hungry. So now there's 2 "pet" rats, 1 fish, 1 dog, 1 snake, and 1 bird.

Of course, all of their pets combined don't make the mess that my 2 cats and 1 piggie make. So I will just have to keep my mouth shut.

11 January, 2007

BIG things

Scalzi's Monday Photo Shoot: Take a picture of something that's larger than life. From statues to stuffed animals, snap a shot of something super-sized.

I wish that I had my camera with me on our little voyage to Sarasota on Tuesday. Not only did we pass Dinosaur World on I-4, we also passed a giant ice cream cone, a big blue gorilla, and some other ridiculous creations. Alas, I shall have to go all the way back to my December 2006 archives for photos (surprise!) from the cruise - Scott feeding a giant jack rabbit and me applying giant lipstick.


09 January, 2007


First, AIDA was even better than I had imagined. I had a little qualm with the costuming and props (much like taking a Shakespeare play and dropping into L.A., I don't think that blue jeans and AK-47s really meshed well with Egypt), but was completely blown away by the performance. I cried through the second half of Act II. And the curtain calls. And in the car. Oh, and the music... it was superb. And our seats were third row dead center, which means we had a great view of Radames' spitting problem. (tee hee) There's a montage on the website that really emphasizes everything I loved (and hated) about the show.

So since we were going all the way down to Sarasota for a 2 pm show, I looked at the map and decided it wouldn't be more than a half hour out of our way to take a different route home and hit our favorite Brooksville eatery for dinner. Riiiight. I need to learn to look at mileage next time such a whim strikes me! Take a look at a map of today's voyage:

special thanks to Google maps

The magenta shows our route down - 27 to 4 to 75 to a bunch of dinky roads in Sarasota. It took about 2 hours to get there. The aqua shows our route home - dinky roads to 75 to 50 to Johnny Carino's to 50 to 27. My "logic" and partial justification for going to Brooksville for a meal was that we'd hit Lakeland at rush hour if we took I-4 home. What I failed to account for was that we would instead hit Tampa rush hour on I-75. oops! It took 2 hours for us to get from the theater to the restaurant! And poor Scott was worn out from all that driving and sitting (and crying).

I still think that dinner was worth it - we split an order of Prince Edward Island mussels, and added to the bread and salad, I barely ate 5 bites of my baked tortelloni (dinner for tomorrow! yay!).

And now I'm in a carb coma. Please excuse my while I try to stay awake through The Daily Show.


Today was to have been the middle of my three-day weekend - a day to sit on the couch and watch TV, a day to get housework done, and then a day trip to Sarasota to see AIDA. I was actually thinking of how great and refreshing it would be to work a mere 40 hours.

...then one of the part-timers got sick.

So I went in to work this afternoon. So much for the housework day! I got lucky and was able to escape in 6.5 hours, getting home in time for a late dinner of baked chicken and asparagus.

...then Scott got off late.

So I decided to make cheese sauce and we were going to have all veggies for dinner.

...then the asparagus turned out to already be rotten.

So we made "fondue" with cheese sauce, broccoli, and triscuits. Hey man, that's about the healthiest dinner I've had in a week! Bonus: I made an entire batch of cheese sauce, and now 1/2 of it is in the fridge awaiting use as a tasty spread on even more triscuits.

In other news, Scott and I each recently acquired a pack of Bloonies. Randomness, thy name is Christmas! Somehow, my childhood didn't include Bloonies. That might, perhaps, explain my great burning desire to create bubble sculptures and then squish them together and pop them like bubble wrap.

Of course, eventually my inner mad scientist kicked in and I decided to perform a little experiment: How long will a bubble sculpture last if I'm not poking at the bubbles?

To avoid temptation, I needed to put the sculpture out of my field of vision during the aforementioned sit-on-the-couch day. So I stuck it to the bathroom mirror:

It was great! I have a pretty short attention span, so every time I went into the bathroom it was like a little surprise party for me. And then Scott came home from work and he had forgotten about the bubbles too!

But alas, this evening (the sculpture had been on its mount for about 30 hours) we decided that the experiment was over. (Solution: The sculpture will last longer than I am willing to wait to form a theory) It turns out that the plastic goo the Bloonies are made out of is part shrink wrap and part super glue. I have taken multiple passes at scrubbing the remaining plastic off the mirror, but it just won't budge.

This is possibly not funny. I mean, it was funny when I peeled about half of each bubble off the mirror and the other half remained behind. It was funny when I realized you couldn't just peel the stuff off like sunburned skin. And I'm still laughing at the fact that the glass wipes barely scratched off the surface. I just worry that it might not be funny when we move out and lose valuable deposit money.

Until then, I choose to laugh. What else is there to do?

07 January, 2007

After School Special?

I only hope they are showing this to the little spiders in classrooms at an early enough age!

(thanks, Scott, for the link)

06 January, 2007


This requires no commentary whatsoever:

Photo Happy

And now for something completely different. Boy, the smell of those baking brownies must have induced euphoria! I know that my first few posts of the year have skewed toward the negative, so I decided to throw some happy into the blog! And what could be happier than focused pictures of my babies???

This is my first picture of 2007. ZoePig braves the world outside her rainbow cave for a few carrots. Yes, her cage does need a cleaning. Thank you for noticing!

Milo proves that even supermodel kitties have an "ugly moment" or two! This picture would have been great if a) I had taken it a second before when he was in mid-roll and b) if I had not snapped it from the "look at the remains of my feline gonads" vantage point. For some reason, he reminds me of road kill in this picture. Perhaps it's the vacant stare...

Thank you for indulging my inner mommy for a moment there.


Well, I think the Boss came up with a good idea: a daily checklist for everyone in the office to complete. Of course, the conversation went something along these lines:

Him: Do you have a checklist?
Me: (working on something else because I assume he's talking to Number Two)
Him: Jamie?
Me: Checklist? Me? We? Umm... no... we don't have a checklist.
Him: Why don't you make one?

LOL... so his response to me saying I'm terribly burned out is to give me another project! Of course, his justification was that I know the job better than he does (problematic? possibly... but not for me!). And I managed to pop out a checklist, broken down by time of day you work, within 2 hours. Luckily for me, GT is getting to the point where I can give her a project and she works independently for a while, so I had a little free time.

Scott's first reaction to this news was wondering whether he'll actually hold us accountable for what we do or don't check - I believe the term he used was falsification of documents. And frankly, right now I don't care. Having our duties in writing can only be a good thing for all of us. It also impressed me that the Boss added just two things to my checklist: a line for number of outgoing confirmation calls made (my biggest pet peeve with the others), and a signature line. The latter leads me to believe that perhaps we will be held accountable.

So I guess it's safe to say that I had a pretty decent day. And for now, I can be content with the knowledge that my concerns have been addressed, that our office is fully staffed (for the first time since I've been there), and that I actually have my three days off next week.

(oh yes, and the smell of brownies wafting from the fridge? that makes me happy too. thanks, Scott!)

04 January, 2007

Not "Almost" This Time

One of my favorite Jamie-isms is, "I got so mad I almost said something." That one sentence really shows a lot of my character. Although I seem it superficially, I am really not outspoken when it comes to dealing with real problems. And ever since the week before Christmas when I actually cried out of work-related frustration, Scott has been imploring me to talk to the boss.

And really, I let it go on for another 3 weeks for one simple reason: I'm a chicken. I hate face-to-face confrontation. I don't want to look like a whiner or like I can't handle my job. Because I'm not and I can. And besides, I don't think he really likes confrontation either. And I worry that rather than asking the guilty party/parties to work harder, he'll just offer out more overtime to the over-worked secretary from downstairs. And her "help" ends up being a hindrance because she only half pays attention to what she's doing and I (of course) get the angry phone calls when we've ruined a surprise or didn't note an allergy or screwed something else up.

**deep breath**

Well at 1:30 this afternoon, after spending the first 90 minutes of my shift doing work that should have been done the night before and fuming, I decided to actually say something. I started an e-mail. Yeah, it's a bit of a cop-out. But this is not the kind of conversation I want to have in front of another member of the team (I still have GT for another two weeks). And he and I are never not busy at the same time. So among the three paragraphs I sent, I think I did an ok job conveying my point without coming off as a spoiled brat. Here's some choice sections:

I am really starting to feel put upon. I don't mind being the unofficial coordinator of the office. I like taking on special projects. And in some masochistic way, I even enjoy the stress of training. But I am getting increasingly irritated looking around me and seeing other people not doing half of the regular work that we should all be doing...

In addition, it is very frustrating for me to come in on Thursdays and consistently
spend at least the first hour of my shift doing work that should have been done the night before... But this is at least 4 out of 5 weeks.

Honestly, I don't know if I have been cleaning the mess quietly and that you're not aware, or if you just don't expect her to do as much work as I do. But it was 1:30 this afternoon before I was able to start making calls. The workload over the past two weeks has caused me to nearly crack a half dozen times. And I understand that by the beginning of February, when **** is back and GT is working on her own, my stress level will go down. But I still think it's unfair that I have not only my special projects to keep me occupied, but also the lion's share of the regular day to day responsibilities as well...

And of course, the Boss was in meetings all day today and won't be back until tomorrow. I've pushed him a little bit in the past on other things, and he generally seemed to not know that whatever was wrong, and agreed with me and fixed the problem. But I've never pushed this hard. And I'm a little worried that the response is going to be, "you're the full time person. make it work." But I have faith in him, and at the very least I believe that they (if not my direct boss, then certainly the Chefs) don't want to lose me more than they don't want to lose anyone else in the office. And I'm certainly not saying "she goes or I go." At this point I'm not even saying "she does her GD work or I go." But I might be saying that in another few months.

But I'm not seriously considering anything right now. I sent my e-mail. I got the angst off my chest. And I put the ball in his court. For now, all I can do is wait... and of course, do a damn fine job training GT (which, if I do say so myself, I am) while doing my work and the work of two other people at the same time.

I Heart New York!

Scalzi's Weekend Assignment this week asks us to talk about New York: New York -- America's largest and most important city. What are your thoughts about it? We're not all from New York, of course, but the city looms large in our collective consciousness. It's that whole "if you can make it there" thing. So share some of your thoughts about New York, whether it's an opinion about the city, a memory of a visit there, a screed on why you hate it and everything it stands for (if you're a Red Sox fan) -- anything, as long as New York, New York is the subject.

I have been to New York City probably about 10 times in my life. Twice were for high school journalism events at Columbia. I've seen 5 Broadway musicals, plus the Radio City Christmas Show. I went to the Museum of Natural History for an afternoon with an ex and his family. I even braved a train ride from South Jersey to Long Island with a stop at Grand Central all by myself when I was 18.

Hands-down, my two favorite things about NYC are Broadway and Central Park. Oh, and food - from pizza to bagels to Chinese, you just can't beat New York. I also think it's worth mentioning that at no point in any visit did I ever feel unsafe (except in the car with Evan's dad driving... that was pretty terrifying). And I think that's saying something for either a) my touristy rose-colored glasses, or b) the spirit of the city. Even in the subway, which smelled like pee, I didn't fear for my life.

And though I haven't returned to the city since '99, I plan to go back some day. How could I not? It's like the greatest city ever!!!

Extra Credit: New York Yankees: Love em or hate em? Completely indifferent. The Giants, however, have been on my poo-list ever since 7th grade when my English teacher had a huge Giants banner hanging over one wall of the classroom.

03 January, 2007

Happy New Year!

So... umm... I was trying to come up with this great post topic, because it's the first one of the year and might be a sign of things to come, but then I realized that I was putting pressure on myself for no reason. So here's a few paragraphs of what's been going on:

I read a book on Monday. Yep, 300+ pages of Hannibal Rising. I was underwhelmed. I kept reading and reading waiting to get to the point in the story where my heart would race. And it just never did. Even in Hannibal (the third Lecter book), which was about 200 pages too long, the story was thrilling. This one was flat and, in my opinion, uninspired. Sure, I found parts interesting. And I'll probably even see the movie when it comes out. But I have to agree with the readers who gave the book a mere 2 1/2 stars out of 5.

On Tuesday, Scott and I went to the movies. We saw Night at the Museum. It was everything I've come to expect from a Ben Stiller movie, including Owen Wilson. This was a very enjoyable popcorn flick that didn't try to be anything else. And I think we probably learned a little about history. I give the movie JJJJ out of JJJJJ, and I'll let you know after I've seen it a dozen more times whether I liked it or Zoolander better.

Today was my first shift of the new year. Please don't let it be a sign of things to come. By the time I finished reading my e-mail before my shift started, I was fed up. I really really need to have some face-to-face time with my manager when no one else is around so that I can find out if I really am the only one expected to do their job. It certainly feels that way. I am really making a concerted effort to not talk badly about my co-workers in front of GT (girl trainee. c'mon - it hasn't been THAT long!), but today I snowplowed right over my mental stop sign. I tried to stop, but I am so gall-dang frustrated with a certain co-worker's blatant disregard for the operation that I would love to spend a week doing exactly what she does just to see what happens to the entire restaurant. My guess: it wouldn't be pretty. My other guess: I'D get fired for it!

Scott and I also went over to Cat and Mike's house to meet their bird. They are going out of town for the weekend some time soon and I got roped into stopping by before work to feed and water him/her (it's a baby of unknown gender...he/she doesn't even have a name). I left there wanting a bird. This bird will just sit on your shoulder forever and groom you. You can walk around, or read a book, or watch TV and the bird just chills up there. Of course, if I had a bird it would probably end up just like ZoePig - afraid of people and not wanting to be touched. And I certainly am not in the market for a bird with my two killer watch cats keeping things safe!

Oh - and what's that in the middle of the living room floor? It's a Magic Bullet! My favorite infomercial now lives in my apartment!! I can't wait to make salsa and chicken salad and pesto and alfredo sauce and omelets and so much more with one simple machine! I have to say, this could be the coolest Christmas present I have not asked for and gotten since the year I got a DVD player from my dad and WSM (wicked step-mother... do I need to make a glossary for you???) (and yes, that was back when she was just the chick who was shacking up with my dad). Thank you, ShirleyMom!!!

Well, that's enough randomness for this entry. Stay tuned for my plea to womankind, coming some time in the next few days, and please keep checking in on my budget progress. So far: I have thought about making a budget. Not quite what I had hoped to have accomplished by this point!