28 February, 2007
Sadly, it seems that those of you who predicted that Scott could grow anything were a little mistaken. Marjoram and dill are all but gone - sad, defeated versions of their former vitality.
Marjoram was, on day five, surprising us with its growth. I guess perhaps slow and steady really does win the race.
On the bright side, we have one plant doing really well, and another that just might survive. In fact, the cilantro seems to be trading in its little sprout leaves for some that are the shape of actual cilantro leaves.
We are a little concerned about the droopiness, but we just can't give up completely. More sun? Less sun? More water? Less water? Time for more space? Who knows?
26 February, 2007
Me? Refrigerator magnets? Well ok, but remember you asked for it!
Here are the front and side of our fridge, in all their magnetic glory:
As you can see, we - ok, I'm not even going to ask Scott to share the blame on this one. it's all ME - I am a big fan of magnet picture frames. There are pictures of me and Scott, my bridesmaid Bridget (back in the college years), me and Minnie Mouse, me and the Grinch with two guys I haven't seen since around the time of the photo, Mike and Reyna's kids, my cousin Jenn and her family (this year's Christmas photos haven't made it up yet), and two little girls whose names I don't remember. Perhaps it's time to reevaluate the fridge-o-pics...
Of the non-photo magnets, most are from places we've been:
Moose X-ing, from my last trip to Wyoming.
Hershey's Syrup from - you guessed it - Hershey Park. There's also tons of Disney ones scattered around. In fact, the big tacky pink castle on the side of the fridge was a gift from a girl who works at Disneyland. We've never met, but she came east once and we exchanged random tourist stuff.
...and the statue of David, dress-up edition. I prefer David in the dirty construction worker jeans, but he always seems to end up in the boxers (or, when certain friends used to come over, nothing but his tool belt).
Also featured in this picture is the local Papa John's magnet. And the one shaped like Alabama is from the "Alabama Radon Education Program." What? Like you don't have one too?
Actually, growing up, my family had magnets shaped like every state we'd been to. They were in geographical order, but not to scale (Delaware was almost the same size as Florida). My mom still has them on her fridge, and I think she may actually have all of the continental US now that she's actually been everywhere.
Colorful and tasty! Just steam broccoli to just-before-mush, mix with some mayo, season with a little salt and pepper (or whatever), plop on buttered bread and cook like it's a grilled cheese.
25 February, 2007
No problem! I figured I'd just tape the show and watch it tomorrow morning before my 1:00 dentist appointment. I can control my media intake - I'll just watch the whole thing before even checking my e-mail.
When I called the dentist last week to find out if they had any sooner openings (had half a root canal done, was supposed to come back 1 week later, but they were totally booked until THREE weeks later), I found out that the 1:00 appointment on my card had been given to someone else because the **** woman who checked me out never bothered to put the appointment in the computer. Luckily, there was still an appointment available - at 8 am.
So now I'm torn - tape the Oscars, watch them when I get home (11 pm to 2 am if the show doesn't run long), and then catch a few hours of sleep before the appointment and doze on the couch the rest of the day... or I could keep up with the results from work on oscar.com and still tape the show to watch after the dentist appointment.
Well, at any rate, I should probably set up the VCR now before I forget.
24 February, 2007
If you really want to spend money on me, come on over and take me out to eat. I never (ok, never say never) refuse free food.
But if you're one of those people who insist on buying something, wrapping it, and making a grand presentation, here's some things I'd be happy to own:
* Movie Soundtrack: The Phantom of the Opera (yes, I did used to own this. just like I used to own a dozen other CDs. they were lost in the great car CD heist of '05)
* These books, or any others by John Scalzi:
- The Sagan Diary
- The Android's Dream
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (book 7, pre-order)
* KODAK Photo Paper Kits (any size will do)
* XD Memory Card for my new camera (1 GB or higher preferred - any brand will do) UPDATE: I bought my own on amazon.com. but thanks for offering!
21 February, 2007
20 February, 2007
Obviously cilantro is our big success story. The others (L-R: chives, marjoram, dill) are holding their own. But the cilantro is actually ready to be transplanted to a real pot.
19 February, 2007
Well, Scalzi had an amazing picture of NYC taken from an airplane to show off this week. Thus the photo shoot. I, however, am in short supply of really high heights. I do, however, live on the third floor of my building and have a different perspective from up here. I really wanted a picture from the top of a palm tree, but it turns out none of my windows are near one. So I settled for "street lamp from above" instead.
Of course, that's a little boring. So I'm also showing off my workplace from a height of... umm... outer space, courtesy of Google Maps:
The red roof made it much easier to find than the warehouse building I used to work in!
Due to the ongoing widening of US 27, a lane shift was enacted 2 days ago onto a new section of road, ending at 192. At this time, the intersection of 27 and ##### became extremely unsafe. There are a total of 3 left turn lanes across 27 (2 from Wal Mart onto 27 S and 1 from ##### onto 27 N) and there is not enough space in the intersection for all three lanes to turn at the same time. I personally have narrowly missed an oncoming car twice already.
Also, the lanes exiting ##### have been painted incorrectly. According to the arrows painted on the street, there is one lane for left turns and going straight, and one lane for right turns only. However,there is a left turn arrow, so those abiding the law and waiting in that lane to go straight are blocking access during the green arrow for anyone behind them wishing to turn.
I got to work, and got on my "power to the people" activist soap box. I decided to find out who in FDOT to call and complain, and then I was going to e-mail their phone number and a script to everyone we know in our apartment complex. The website, however, had convenient e-mail links for construction, safety, right of way, and a dozen other "concerns." So I sent an e-mail to those three (you know - that one up at the top of this entry) figuring that my concern fell to all three departments.
Yesterday was Sunday. And today is a government holiday. Imagine my surprise when I got a call from guy named Bill this afternoon apologizing for the striping error and telling me that it had been fixed! I called Scott, who sounded dubious, reporting that there had been about 30 guys in the middle of the road when he left for work. So I decided to walk down to the intersection and see it for myself.
Would you look at those beautiful arrows? Not only do my tax dollars work, but they work on holidays (probably for overtime pay... but let's not think of that right now). Sure, there's still a backhoe - or whatever - in the middle of the highway. Sure, there's a stop sign with a flag sticking out the side so that the morons from my apartment complex don't drift into the intersection like we've become accustomed to. But now I won't have to worry about a) breaking the law or b) getting honked at by a left turner when I go to the gas station.
While I was out, I also took a few pictures of the new condos being sold in the front of the complex. First, I'd like to mention that these condos start in the $190's for a one bedroom. One hundred ninety thousand dollars for a one bedroom condo on top of a Chinese restaurant (or worse, over the 24-hour fitness center). No, the toilets aren't made of gold. Although apparently the appliances are stainless steel.
I noticed a few balconies with a rather unique feature: a total lack of balcony! I am guessing that this is just some safety gate to stop the construction guys from stepping out for a smoke and plummeting to the lovely brickwork below.
Of course, the balconies that actually are balconies aren't much better. They are WAY small. Probably small enough that furniture out there isn't an option. And without furniture, do you really want to stand on this in bare feet or sit on it? Ouch!
Alas, that "town square" is really pleasant to walk around. Hopefully some day there will be more than the three currently advertised shops filling that bottom section. And who knows? Maybe life a mere seconds from won ton soup is somebody's American dream.
18 February, 2007
True False Hot cocoa powder, even without added moisture, will leave a sticky residue on your desk
True False The powder will also stick to the handle of the mug
True False A Clorox wipe will remove most of the remaining granules from the desk and mug handle
True False The remaining granules on the mug handle should not be licked, because they will taste like bleach instead of chocolate
True False At least one of my co-workers will probably wonder what the random grit on the desk is
Sadly, it's all true. I really tried to clean up the mess. Really! T.G.I.F.
17 February, 2007
So, after a night of fitful sleep on my part, our journey all to familiar to us down highways 27 and 50 began at around 10:15 this morning. For those who haven't been near our place in a while, 27 has endured quite possibly the longest road reconstruction project, other than the never ending I-4 debacle, known to man. Well, they decided to do a switch over yesterday, so now there are about 4 lanes of un-used space in the middle of the road between north and south bound lanes. Well… while exiting our complex this morning, turning left onto 27, and in the left turn lane with the left green turn arrow… imagine our surprise when we decided to play chicken with one of the early morning Wally World fuddy duddies. That's right, they apparently either A) Didn't take the turn lanes into consideration when the geniuses at the DOT planned out their "temporary fix" traffic pattern, or B) moron couldn't drive. Really, either is possible. But as WWFD blared his horn, I did escape and evasion techniques so we wouldn't get hit, and Jamie "waved hello."
The rest of the drive was uneventful. Our usual 40 minute drive to the vet, followed by 10-15 minutes in the waiting room, where we met Zoe the beagle, and then… The doctor. We haven't really talked about the vet himself. He is a very nice Hispanic gentleman. He's very soft spoken, but he's good. I believe Jamie said it best when she said that if we ever had need to take our cats to a vet, we would bypass the ones closest to us and go to him.
Well… The nice assistant came out and took our little girl back to the dreaded exam room. Jamie told me to just leave her our credit card, and go wait in the car. You see… when they put the staple in… that was rough. In case you didn't know, Zoepig will voice her displeasure at lots of things. But when she is in pain… that is a sound. I don't handle that sound very well. So, Jamie tried to save me the pain of hearing this sound. But I knew that Jamie needed support on this one, so I stayed firmly planted in the chair, bracing for the screams… That never came… ??? Literally 30 seconds to a minute after taking her back, the vet came out with a smile on his face, and a staple in his hand. He clapped his hands and said "Let's have a party!" Waaahhh?! That's it? It's over? Did I black out? Wow, good times! That's right folks, it appears the ordeal is over! Zoepig has no more metal in her head, only a small scab. And let's all knock on wood, find four leaved clovers, hang up horse shoes, toss salt, WHATEVER, that she will not scratch and open that sucker back up. Really though, it's been healing for a week and half without her doing anything to it, so I think we are okay!
After our 40 minute ride back home on the nicely new paved section of the road, Zoepig went back into her nice new play area, with fresh food, towels, and veggies, and promptly went to the chube, where she stayed at least until I came to work. I put some of her parsley in the chube with her as a peace offering, and she ate it all, so she's fine, just maybe a bit traumatized as usual with her dad's driving abilities. And thus, hopefully, ends yet another of life's little adventures. :o) If any of you need a good vet, and don't mind the LONG drive, just ask. :o) And now back to the resident blogger in the family.
9 new messages when I came in to work this afternoon -- 5 from the same guy.
1) This is *****. I need to cancel my res for tonight - emergency came up.
2) This is ***** again. We cleared out the emergency - please don't cancel. Call me.
3) This is *****. Wanted to make sure you got the last message and we're still coming tonight. Please call me.
4) This is *****. Looks like the emergency isn't cleared up after all and we'll need to cancel.
5) This is *****. I think we'll be able to make it after all.
So I called him back as soon as I got off the phone with all of his voicemails, and he didn't even answer the phone! I give 2:1 odds that the guy isn't coming.
UPDATE: He's not coming. They have officially rescheduled for next Saturday.
(and on an unrelated topic, ZoePig had her staple removed. She's fine. There's still a little scab on the top of her head, but I definitely think the worst is behind us. I asked Scott to write me a whole entry about our odyssey - keep your eyes out for that)
16 February, 2007
A salmonella outbreak that has slowly grown to nearly 300 cases in 39 states since August has been linked to tainted peanut butter, federal health officials said Wednesday.
It is believed to be the first salmonella outbreak associated with peanut butter in U.S. history, said officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
About 20 percent of the 288 infected people have been hospitalized, but none has died, said Dr. Mike Lynch, a CDC epidemiologist.
About 85 percent of the infected people said they ate peanut butter, CDC officials said.
How salmonella got into peanut butter is still under investigation, Lynch said.
The Food and Drug Administration warned consumers not to eat certain jars of Peter Pan or Great Value peanut butter because of the risk of contamination.
The affected jars have a product code on the lid that begins with the number "2111." The affected jars are made by ConAgra in a single facility in Sylvester, Georgia, the FDA said.
Would anyone care to guess the product code on the 3 (ok, two and 1/10) jars of peanut butter in our home right now? Man, we have 2 apples left, and they just won't taste as good without that delicious Peter Pan honey peanut butter. Damn that salmonella!
15 February, 2007
Compared to my last two days of work, which were full of chaos and confusion, the weekend was spectacular. And it makes me not want to go back to work.
Oh well. It turns out my birthday is right around the corner and I'm taking a long weekend (5 days... that's long!) for that. I can hang in there for another 2ish weeks.
And hopefully now that V.D. is past, work will return to normal.
14 February, 2007
13 February, 2007
So I tried to capture a little bit of that piggy magic with my digital camera. Sadly, the tiny memory card it came with (which is a different size than the card that my other camera uses) only captures a whopping 13 seconds of video. Just the same, I'm proud to present ZoePig's first movie, 13 Seconds with Parsley:
Perhaps some day I'll get a memory card large enough to record an entire vegetable!
Our visit to the vet, by the way, included a 40 minute drive there, a 15 minute wait, 3 minutes with the vet, a minute of him telling us that he wants to leave the staple in a few more days, 2 minutes to schedule an appointment for Saturday morning, and a 40 minute drive home. I feel like we should ask him to reimburse us for gas!
He did say that he thinks she's healing well, but just wants to give it a little more time. We're ok with that.
This is the first time I've had caffeine since... well, since Scott and I went to Outback for our early V-Day dinner last week. But I don't remember our server being so quick with the refills that time.
This is also the second post I've written in the past twenty minutes. However, the CHIA update will have to wait until Blogger sees fit to allow me to once again publish photos. :-P
Since I'm here, I thought I'd mention that ZoePig has left her staple alone all week long, and has acquiesced to a certain amount of holding. "Holding" in her case means laying on the bed and letting her sit on my chest or my lap and eat carrots while I pet her (not near the head). That has absolutely got to be the silver lining in this whole head wound debacle - we had really given up on socializing with her when she was little, but three solid weeks of being forced to hold (and clean and, to a certain extent, torture) her has actually somehow made her less skittish and made me more inclined to hang out with her for a half hour a day.
We go back to the vet tomorrow, and I'm curious to see what he says. I'm just worried that he'll take the staple out, and that the scab is still fully formed under the two pieces of skin that were pulled together, and that we'll be back to square one. But even if that's the case (the worst case?), she will have still kept the same scab in place for over a week (it last came off on Saturday the third).
Wish us luck!
Do you see what I see? Little tiny green sprouts in all four pots. Ok, so the chives only have a tiny bit of growth, but we'll be enjoying marjoram before we know it! Of course, we'll have to figure what exactly one uses marjoram for (the McCormick "EnSpicelopedia" says it's used for practically everything).
This post was a special request from Mr. ParkHopper. He thinks daily updates are in order. I think not. But since we both fully anticipated the "day seven" update to look exactly the same as "day one," I thought I'd snap a photo and make him happy.
...And if that doesn't work, perhaps I'll prepare a coctail from the assorted bottles behind our little greenhouse. I swear, we don't drink that much. We barely drink at all. The plants just happen to be living on top of the fridge, which is also where we store the rum. Really. Stop looking at me like that! Mojito, anyone?
10 February, 2007
I'm really glad I don't have to get up at the crack of dawn on Monday.
As you can see, my house is in the bottom-right corner. Tavares is allll the way up, more north than the top of Orange County. It's a long trip along country roads. At 6 in the morning.
I shudder just thinking about it!
I have always been of the opinion that Valentine's Day is no more than a Hallmark Holiday. Men, tell your women that you love them the other 364 days a year. Surprise her with balloons or flowers or chocolates when she's not expecting them. And stop buying those $99 heart pendants from department stores!
I am especially jaded this year because I work in what is arguably the most romantic restaurant in my area, and we have had people "celebrating an early valentine's day" for a week already, and have "belated valentine's day" dinners booked until at least the 20th. Not to mention our restaurant has been booked solid on the 14th since October. And our wait list has 2 dozen parties on it - most of whom attempted to give me some sort of guilt trip about why they deserved a table more than all of the people ahead of them.
That being said, I do enjoy those little paper valentines designed for kids to exchange in class. The past few years I have bought them and distributed them to my co-workers. I haven't decided whether to do it this year since I'm not going to be working on Wednesday. I also have a soft spot for those heart-shaped boxes of mixed chocolates.
Oh - and last year ZoePig came home on Valentine's Day. So now it's almost like we have a birthday to celebrate that day. That makes it special for us.
Extra credit: Suggest a nice romantic movie. Romantic? Of course my go-to movie in this category is The Princess Bride. However, a little bit off the beaten path is Much Ado About Nothing, the one with Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson, Kate Beckinsale, Denzel Washington, Keanu Reeves... you get the picture. The dialogue generally takes me a little bit to adjust to, but it's absolutely one of my favorite Shakespearean plays and the movie is done well, without adding heavy metal or changing the setting to modern-day L.A.
09 February, 2007
08 February, 2007
Really, when was the last time you saw a helicopter on the roof of an apartment building?
OK, so it's not really on the roof. They are building a Lowe's across the street, and the helicopter is there today lugging big heavy things across the lot. Scott and the cats all ran out on the balcony to watch, and I just had to snap a picture of the fun.
Scott says he's only watching now because the guy is flying poorly and he's waiting for the crash. That's my husband - always seeing the silver lining!
(here's a reminder of what it looked like before)
The other bonus to the new cage is its height. I had enough left over cube sections to make a basement of sorts to store all of the pig-related paraphernalia.
ZoePig also digs the height. I think being up high has made her a little less skittish about us - we're over a foot shorter than we were this morning!
Of course, this is definitely a work in progress. But this cage is plenty big for ZoePig and her hypothetical sibling.
I'm really excited about the way it's looking so far. I can't wait to finish the project.
Staple Update: It's still in after over 36 hours. Good sign? Too early to say. But we're still keeping our fingers crossed.
07 February, 2007
...or we'll be transplanting other plants into the cute little terracotta pots that the CHIA herb garden came with when we come to the realization that they're never going to grow.
At any rate, they are living in personal greenhouses (sandwich bags) on top of the fridge until they are 2" tall. My bet: at least two will never actually make it outside.
Anyone else want to make a prediction? I'll try to update their progress weekly. Just think - I'm now actually blogging about grass growing. It just doesn't get more exciting than this, does it?
06 February, 2007
Oh what fun! Finally a chance to show a little bit of my darling husband's evil genius side. The one-eyebrow-up trick is something I totally envy. I just can't do it! Not to mention, it really does make him look just a bit evil!
Milo and Kilo have the same color eyes, which is surprising because they look so different otherwise.
And the last picture is poor little ZoePig. She's got the big bug eyes of a rodent who has been terrorized.
After today's vet visit, she's sporting a hot little staple across her head (that horizontal line between her ears isn't just another white stripe of fur! The vet suggested stitches, but we ultimately ruled that out because if she scratched at them she would end up having an even bigger wound. So he pulled the skin together and stapled it. And next week we'll be spending yet another morning at the office following up. I really hope that she'll not scratch it anymore. One good week is probably all she needs to get past the big scab phase.
Woman: Hello? (chew chew chew)
Me: Good evening. Mrs. Lopez? (not her real name)
pause a few seconds while I figure out which way the conversation is going to go
Me: OK. This is Jamie from...
So I think maybe I paused for too long and the woman thought I had disconnected. I was pretty sure she heard me still talking, but you know - she was obviously involved with her chewing. Maybe she was distracted. So I called her back.
Me: Is this the wrong number for the Lopez family?
Me: Well you could have said that the first time before you hung up on me.
Then I hung up on her.
But SHE started it!
04 February, 2007
Yep, piggie parenthood caused yet another restless night. ZoePig decided about 5 am yesterday to scratch her scab off - again - and then be upset about how much it hurt. WHEEEEEEEEEEEEK WHEEK WHEEK WHEEK WHEEEEEEEK. She'd stop squeaking long enough to run a lap around her cage, shake her head, and start all over again.
So we took her out of the cage, and Scott held her and pet her for a while before I pulled out the medieval torture ointment. I wish this cut was anywhere but her head - she hates having anything at all near her face and her ears.
After we finished cleaning and dressing the wound, we put her back in the cage, but she continued to squeak the low sad squeaks of one who has just had enough of life's troubles. By about 6, we couldn't take it anymore and took our pillows and blankets and camped out on the living room floor. I got maybe an hour's worth of sleep, tossing and turning and dealing with Kilo trying to crack my ribs and then meowing when I wouldn't let him.
Work yesterday ended up being 10 hours of me shaking my own head violently trying to get the cobwebs out.
ZoePig was better last night. She let us hold her for a while, and didn't give me too much trouble when I dressed the wound. Let's just hope this lasts. I like sleep, and would prefer to not live without it!
02 February, 2007
01 February, 2007
Anyway, the first of the four appointments is today for ZoePig. She had to reschedule her appointment from Tuesday because Scott got scheduled for a last-minute dental appointment. Sadly, the only time we could get was 11:30, and since I work at noon Scott has to go do this on his own. He's not thrilled.
We're a little worried about what the vet is going to say. She's gotten in the habit of scratching the scab off of her wound every other day. But I think it's healing regardless. We need to find out if she's got mites, since she seems to spend an awful lot of time scratching. And we're also worried about her ears, since after all this time she still seems to be shaking her head. And I don't want to end up spending $500 on a rodent. It's a fine line.
And when we're done with the current head wound issue, we might revisit the idea of getting her a companion. A female one, of course! And a new cage without the divider in the middle. Like this one. But first, the vet visit. We'll just have to take this step by step.