30 November, 2007


Those of you who know Dora the Explorer will understand why, upon realizing that today is the last day of November, and therefore the last day of NaBloPoMo, I have this stupid song stuck in my head.

And for those of you who have never seen Dora... oh well, your loss! ;-)

It's the song they sing at the end of every episode, changing the verses to fit the plot of the show, and leaving the "We Did It" in place.

If I were doing my own Dora song about this month, I don't really know which of the following exciting bits I would include:

* I got my back adjusted today...

* My high school reunion was cancelled again...

* I cooked dinner twice...

* I bought stamps online...

* The Christmas Cards are ready to mail

We did it!!

Is it any wonder that I was able to keep the blog up for the entire month, when I had such a wealth of fascinating life stories to share?

29 November, 2007

Cookie Monster

I made a batch of experimental cookies last night. I finally got around to making the fluffer-nutter ones I had been contemplating for a while. Originally, I couldn't decide between peanut butter cookies with marshmallow and tollhouse cookies with peanut butter chips and marshmallow. In the end, I went with the peanut butter cookies.

My limited preliminary online research yielded a bit of help: if the marshmallows are sticking out of the cookie (just mixed into the batter like chocolate chips), they will melt and taste of burnt sugar. Well that's certainly not what I wanted! So I made the cookies like small thumbprints, stuck a few mini marshmallows in the hole, and then covered them with another flat layer of cookie dough. The results? I'm pleased.

The majority of the batch are fluffer-nutters. The ones along the bottom are plain peanut butter (so that at least some of the cookies would be edible... you know, just in case), and the crumbly ones on the left are PB&J. Sadly, the squeeze bottle of jelly has portion-control issues and is impossible to control. But they still taste good - that's why we saved the crumbles.

28 November, 2007

Fifteen Down

There is a pile on my desk: 15 envelopes, all with personal messages, addresses, return address labels, and stamps. They are ready to be mailed!

There are two other envelopes in front of me with addresses but no cards. And thirteen others that are completely blank. We don't have 13 more on the list. There's at least 5 - for which I am waiting addresses from Scott - but the others are pretty much in limbo.

In other news, I got 2 sweaters at Target today - one short sleeve, one long sleeve - and I also got a new pair of pajama bottoms. Woo!

Scott and I are making him a palm tree with ornaments and lights for work. We couldn't find any damn trees, so we're making our own. For the cost of supplies, we might have just afforded to buy him a real one. But what fun is that?

And I'm trying to take it easy tonight. I'm working for the next seven days straight. I think I already whined about that, so I won't bother to do so.

27 November, 2007

"I've Got a Package..."

Scott and I saw something at Downtown Disney this evening that pretty much defied explanation. There, exiting the AMC, was the UPS guy. A foursome of pretty young-20's girls stopped him. We couldn't hear the conversation, but as we were walking past, one of the girls whipped out a camera and two of the girls were posed with the UPS guy.

They were having their photo taken with the UPS guy!


So Scott and I were trying to figure out WHY someone would do such a thing. The best explanation I could come up with was that the girls were from a country where UPS doesn't go, but where they could have seen Legally Blonde.

I wonder if this happens to random service people often in tourist areas. Do they go to L.A. and ask a cop to pretend-beat them for a souvenir photo? I guess maybe it's like us idiot Americans who want our photo taken with the Bobbys, the Beefeaters, the Palace Guard, etc.

the UPS guy? That's definitely a first for me!

26 November, 2007

Snail Mail

In a week or two (or maybe less... but let's not hold our collective breath), if you find an envelope in your mail box with Yoda stamps and a return address label that features skeletons playing percussion instruments, that would be from us.

I bought the Yoda stamps because I didn't like the Christmas stamps or the Holiday stamps. And Scott and I couldn't agree on the Eid stamps. So Santa Yoda it is.

"Know what you are getting for Christmas I do! Felt your presents I did!"

As for the return address labels, they match Scott's checks. And they are so old, they have our old zip code on them. But at least the names and the rest of the address are still accurate.

I am addressing as many envelopes as I can today. I ordered the stamps online because I hate the post office THAT MUCH. It was worth the extra $1 and the 3-5 business days. Still, the cards should all be done and stamped by Friday.

Cards in the mail before December? Who am I and what have I done with Jamie??

25 November, 2007

Down the Toilet

I got the following from an article on entitled Toilet Conference Eyes Revolution.

To the celebratory rhythms of a percussionist beating on toilets, dozens of government delegates and U.N. representatives began two days of discussions on improving bathroom facilities for the 2.6 billion people worldwide who lack access to proper restrooms.
The South Korean government has given strong backing to the World Toilet Association, which has been spearheaded by the country's "Mr. Toilet" -- parliament member Sim Jae-duck. He earned his nickname for improving public restrooms for the 2002 World Cup as mayor of Suwon city.

"The restroom revolution will provide hope and happiness to mankind," Sim told delegates.

If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I would have sworn this story came from The Onion.

24 November, 2007

Red Socks

I was throwing in a load of laundry this morning* and got to thinking about that classic sitcom gag: the red sock in the load of whites. And while I was thinking about that, I reflected on my own personal history of footwear and I don't recall ever owning red socks. Even my toe socks, which come in every color of the rainbow, have never had more than a red stripe.

Does anyone own red socks? Do you think people subconsciously avoid red socks because they are afraid of turning an entire load of undershirts pink? Do YOU have red socks?

OK, time for me to get some breakfast.

*notice how I said that all casually like it's something I do every day? "I'm so domestic. Look at the apple pie I baked and the clothes I made from these old curtains!"

23 November, 2007


They didn't feed me last night at work. They fed me last year. I sort of thought it was a perk of the job.

Guess not.

Oh, and the first half of my day: pretty much mimicked last year. Possibly even worse. But I did get to meet a guy that I was able to get in off the wait list. He gave me a big bear hug. I think Number Two may have tinkled himself a little bit when he saw. I was pretty shocked!

Well, at least Scott got to come over and have dinner with me. That was the silver lining on my otherwise overcast day.

22 November, 2007

Thanksgiving, Jamie Style

Fact: Of all the people you know, I am the last one you want preparing a Thanksgiving feast.
Fact: Of all the people in my household, I was the one who had days off this week.

Moving on, I was planning a mini Thanksgiving of sorts to take to work today. I was going to make sides - sweet potatoes, Stove Top and a green vegetable - and buy a rotisserie chicken from Publix. Well it turns out that I wasn't the only one with that plan. When I got to Publix around 4:00 yesterday, they were out of chickens (except fried, and I just couldn't do that).

But we had chicken breasts thawing in the fridge, and I volunteered Scott to cook them when he got home from work. So I baked the sweet potatoes, nuked the Stove Top, and made broccoli casserole (lest the meal get healthy). And then Scott and I decided to not even bother with the chicken. There's a pot luck at his work today, so I know he won't go without meat, and I don't really care one way or another whether there's meat on my plate.

Oh yes - and there's pie. I bought a blueberry cheesecake pie at the store too. That's what I'm having for breakfast.

H a p p y T h a n k s g i v i n g ! !

21 November, 2007

Happy Holidays(?)

It must officially be the holiday season. (did I say that last week already?) I passed three separate major accidents on the same road today. Each had EMS/FD on scene, and each had at least one lane closed.

Public Service Announcement: If you are the one driving, let someone else hold the hot casserole on their lap. This is a recipe for disaster!

In other holiday-related news, both The Hotel and The Apartment Complex are having their annual holiday party on the same night: Thursday, December 6. Really? Couldn't do it on Friday because...?

Oh well, I wouldn't have gone to the apartment one anyway. But the Hotel one required notification of allergies on the RSVP, so I'm guessing there's going to be real food. Oh well... I hear I have dinner plans that night already. ;-)

20 November, 2007

Talking to God

About a month ago, I asked my mom to pray for someone on an e-mail listserv that I belong to. She said she would, but that God would listen more if it came from me.

You know, I don't feel like I have that kind of relationship with God. I mean, I acknowledge that he exists (but can't quite bring myself to capitalize the "h" there). But we don't chat regularly. And I hate to be one of those crappy friends who only calls when they need something.

Well, I've had a lot of very personal Crap-with-a-capital-C in my life recently. I don't want to talk about the details here, but trust me - it's lousy. And hard. Really really hard. So this morning when Scott was driving me to the chiropractor, I was thinking about my Mom, and hoping that she was praying for me. And I remembered what she said.

So I asked God to please let all of my Crap-with-a-capital-C work out the way I wanted it to. And if I couldn't have it the way I wanted, then to please make me be ok with the way everything does sort out. And a little while later, I realized that I was at peace. I was calm like I haven't been in quite a while.

I guess that means God is looking into it. And I figure the best thing that I can do is to not make the situation worse by trying any irrational quick-fixes. My emotions are running really close to the surface, and it's really hard for me to quell those knee-jerk "fight or flight" responses. But that's what I feel like I need to do. Lots of deep breathing, and re-reading the Harry Potter books to escape reality a little bit.

Today's cliche: it's all in God's hands.
Tonight's activities: reading with Milo on my lap.
Tomorrow morning: back to the chiropractor to see how I handled my adjustment.
Tomorrow afternoon: pedicure with Cat.

Hocus Pocus

I don't really believe in chiropractors. Don't ask me why - maybe because I've never been to one before. Maybe I don't think that back-popping is really a science.

So I went to the chiropractor this morning, and I'm no more convinced. Maybe that's because they haven't done anything to me yet. I had some x-rays taken, which will apparently be evaluated at the doctors' meeting this afternoon, and then I'm to go back at 5:30 for my first real appointment.

I wonder if I'll have to pay another $20 co-pay.

No co-pay. But they did tell me that the part of my spine from my head to my shoulders is curved almost the exact opposite way it's supposed to be. I'm still skeptical. I told Scott I feel like when you go to get your oil changed and they show you a brown blob on a piece of paper and tell you you need the super-deluxe $100 magic potion. So if there is something really wrong with me, I'm happy to let them crack me back into place, but I'm not as concerned as maybe I should be. On the bright side, the parts of my back that do hurt are just fine. Go figure!

19 November, 2007


I had to leave work early last night because I seem to have developed a pinched nerve in my lower back.

It hurts to sit. It hurts to go from sitting to standing. And it hurts to stand for more than a minute at a time.

I'll be laying on my back in the bedroom watching TV if anyone needs me.


18 November, 2007

French Toast A Palooza

Yesterday morning, Scott got up at the same time as me and made French toast for breakfast. But this was no ordinary French toast. He made two varieties, and I had trouble choosing a favorite.

The first was peanut butter & jelly, made like a regular pb&j sandwich and then dipped in batter and cooked on the top & bottom. Then he stuck them in the oven to make sure the sides were cooked as well. It was really good. But we both agreed there wasn't quite enough jelly.

The second was made with just bread - but with eggnog in the batter. It was quite tasty, but since we hadn't put butter or syrup on them, not quite sweet enough.

Oh - and he cut up pineapple to go with it. How lucky am I?

Today I'm having a glass of cranberry juice and then probably toaster waffles with cream cheese. Still, I know I'll have a good lunch break today at work!

17 November, 2007

The Drive to Work

My drive to work was full of blog fodder:

* Drove half way to work behind a Mustang with Nova Scotia tags. Tell me PLEASE why there are Canadians driving on my back roads? I avoid 192 and take the long way to avoid the tourists!

* Saw a man on a motorcycle standing with one leg on the seat and one leg in the air behind him like an ice skater. Oh yeah - and the motorcycle was on just its back wheel and going probably 50-60 mph at the time. He was showing off for the other 30 bikers hanging out in the median.

* Saw this in my work parking lot and thought it screamed for "Caption This!"

It's a group of men in business casual attire studying a cement mixer. C'mon... you know this is encouraging you to make a comment. My mind is full of them!

Hello, Kilo

I couldn't think of anything to say this morning, so I figured I'd just take a picture of Milo in all his feline glory and post it. Milo, however, had other ideas. He wanted to rub his face on the camera lens. He wanted to rub his face on my feet. He wanted to attack his brother. But he did not want the mamarazzi exploiting him.

So here's Kilo.

Sadly, I couldn't get this picture 30 seconds earlier when he was rubbing his face on the top of the paper shredder. Oh, the caption fun we could have had!

16 November, 2007


Scott and I tried something new this week: we cooked 3 separate dinners on Wednesday to make lunches with for the rest of the week. We've both gotten into bad eating habits, mostly pretending eating Aramark food was a good idea. So this week we are eating:

* angel hair with shrimp and asparagus,
* pork chops with mushroom risotto and mashed sweet potatoes (yes, it is a little carby. we like carbs!), and
* baked ziti with sausage, beef and mushrooms. (and salad)

It was actually pretty fun. The angel hair was my dish, and I did the risotto and helped with the sweet potatoes. Scott did everything else (plus my asparagus). And since we were reusing the same pots, clean-up was remarkably easy.

And so far, so good. I ended up not even eating my packed lunch yesterday because there were meetings at work with pizza and subs. On the bright side, this means my lunch for today is already packed. And Scott said his shrimp yesterday was muy tasty.

I told Scott perhaps next week we could think about healthier options. We'll see how that goes. Frankly, this is a HUGE step in the right direction and I'm proud of us just for this.

15 November, 2007

Do You Really?

I know - it's blurry and small. But take my word for it - this magnetic car ribbon says I (heart) my cat, and is covered with pink & blue paw prints.
You know what? I love my cats too. But I don't feel the need to advertise that on my car. And come ON. I thought that the ribbons were supposed to be an advocacy thing. Support the Troops. Save the Boobies. Autism Awareness. So does that mean this ribbon is advocating man-cat love?

14 November, 2007

It Must Be The Holidays

Jones Soda has announced both a Christmas pack and a Hanukkah pack of goofy-flavored sodas this year!

The Christmas pack will feature such flavors as Sugar Plum, Christmas Tree, Egg Nog and Christmas Ham. The Hanukkah pack will have Jelly Doughnut, Apple Sauce, Chocolate Coins and Latkes sodas.

(thank you,

I'm fairly intrigued by the egg nog, sugar plum, jelly doughnut and apple sauce flavors. However, drinking a Christmas tree soda ranks right up there with eating an ear wax jellybean. I think I'll pass!

13 November, 2007

What About My Airplane Ticket?

oh wait... I wasn't planning on going.

This is an excerpt of an e-mail I just got:

Hello Class of 1996!

I am sorry to say, but we will be cancelling our "make-up" reunion that was scheduled for Friday, November 23rd, 2007 at the Indian Springs Country Club.
The advertising of this year's "make up" reunion was not up to par...and for that, I apologize. I am certain to do a better job in future years.

If you are in touch with others from our class, please advise them that the reunion is cancelled.

A reunion with much more advanced notice will be planned in the future....I truly hope that this does not discourage you from future planned reunions because I'm sure once we get the date, a lot of notice, and most likely a less expensive ticket, we will be able to have a great event.

I admit, I giggled. But I'm not actually happy about it. I mean, I really would have like to attend - if they weren't expecting me to fly on the busiest travel weekend of the year and then pay more than I paid for my prom tickets. And I know that at least a little bit of work was put into the 10/11 year reunion.

Oh well... I guess there's nothing left to do but wait for the 15.

12 November, 2007

In the Mood

Scalzi's Monday Photo Shoot (which I'm actually doing on a Monday!): Make a moody picture. By which you can use mood lighting of some sort, or possibly arty black-and-white, or whatever you need to in order to give the shot that certain moodiness. It's hard to describe, but you'll know it when you see it, I'm sure.

It's amazing what fog adds to a picture: romance? mystery? anonymity? Well in this particular case, it was just bringing the camera from the AC of our stateroom to the hot & humid balcony that made the lens fog up. But the effect is interesting.

(By the way, yes that is that dress. It worked great that evening. Sadly, it met its demise in the dryer when we got home. I don't even think a professional dry cleaner could get the pleats back the way they are supposed to be!)

I Think I Might Be A Democrat

Stem-Cell Research
Health Care
Line-Item Veto
Death Penalty
Social Security

-- Take the Quiz! --

I can't remember who my #2 was (some other obscure democrat), but #3 was Obama, #4 was Giuliani, and #5 was Clinton.

Thanks for the link, Mommy Dearest!

11 November, 2007

Fun With Digital Cable

Last night, I found myself searching the "on demand" programming on my digital cable. I realized before that the free movies they offer are free for a reason - mostly because they are from the 1940's or they just suck.

So I skipped the movies.

Somehow I ended watching Autumn Leaves on Demand. It was a whole bunch of 30-second clips of pretty vistas and yellow trees tied together with some easy listening music. I thought it would be soothing. Instead, it was so bad I just sort of stared at the TV wondering when it would end. And then Scott came in and I made him watch it too.

Then we skipped to some other Central Florida on Demand programming. And we found possibly the Holy Grail of stupid: You on Demand. We watched kids cracking lobster claws, some little girl's dance recital, a terrible jazz band, and two teenage boys who made their own TV show. It was like Funniest Home Videos, but without the funny. Sadly, I can't embed their video here, but here's a sample.

I did want to share a video today though, so here's one courtesy of The Onion:

Ninja Parade Slips Through Town Unnoticed Once Again

10 November, 2007

Stupid Strike

As you may have heard, TV writers are on strike. This means no new episodes of The Daily Show or Colbert Report for a while.

Yes, I am sad.

Another unexpected issue for me: Grey Matter, the Grey's Anatomy writers' blog, is no longer being updated.


09 November, 2007

Now That's What I Call Thorough!

Dear Jamie,

Thanks for recently contacting Netflix Customer Service by phone. In order to serve you better, we would love to hear how we did.

I am satisfied with my Netflix Customer Service experience
I am unsatisfied with my Netflix Customer Service experience

Thank you!
-The Netflix Team

Yep...two whole choices. I can tell that they really care.

08 November, 2007

Dispatches from the In Box

This NetFlix debacle is, I believe, finally over. But that's not what I thought 10 minutes ago. I had the following e-mail this morning in my in-box:

Dear Jamie,

It appears that you accidently* returned one of your personal DVDs or CDs in a Netflix envelope. Rest assured, we will send your disc right back to you.

If you haven't already sent back the Netflix movie you intended to return, please include it with your next return along with a note including your name and email address so we can match the movie to your account.

-The Netflix Team

Umm... you mean the personal CD that you sent to me? You're going to send it back?!? But it's a Backstreet Boys song. I don't want it!

So I called customer service to figure out what was going on. The nice man (Derek) who answered my call assured me that it was an automated message, and that they had already processed the return and a new movie is on its way to me. Let's hope he's right.

Any bets on whether or not that other CD is being returned to me after all?

* I cut & pasted that right from their e-mail. Apparently NetFlix doesn't have spell check.

07 November, 2007

Time to Break Out the Big Dogs

...err, Big Cats

I couldn't think of anything to say today, so I decided to go to the archives to see what I was talking about this time last year. Apparently, November 7, 2006 was an election day. And I voted. I also posted a picture of Milo. And then had quite the comment thread.

Since I didn't vote this year (though there was some election drama in Mascotte), I thought I'd skip right to the gratuitous cat photo.

Has anyone else ever noticed that his milk moustache is so lopsided? Not that it matters... he's still my beautiful baby. He also got really mad at me when, after snapping this photo, I tried to take a picture of Kilo. He yelped and jumped down to where I was as if to say, "excuse me, did you forget who the STAR is?" Who knew he was such a diva!?!

06 November, 2007

No Joy

Yesterday was a pretty slow day for me. Thank God! Recently my Mondays have been filled with car appointments and other nonsense, leaving me with no day to just... be. I did have Candlelight rehearsal last night. That was about the extent of my excitement.

We are at the point now in rehearsals when they become less fun. Instead of running 3 songs a night, we run 3 songs, and then run the rest of the songs that need work. This pretty much guarantees that we will sing the first line of Joy to the World at least 5 times. Why? Because the choir (non-auditioned) has a talent level I'd rate as moderate. And the bone head who arranged this song thought it would be a great idea to have this moderate group of singers do a down scale a capella. It's almost always flat by the time we get to the word "world," and painfully so by the time we get to "come."

Needless to say, Joy to the World no longer brings joy to my world. I checked YouTube, and couldn't find one single clip of this particular song. That speaks to me about the popularity of this particular tune. But since I was on the site anyway, I found O Holy Night. Sure, the video is blurry, and taken from behind a pillar, but the audio is ok. Enjoy!

05 November, 2007

Unexpected Song

Well that was interesting!

I just went over to the TV to play a NetFlix movie I've had for a few weeks, and I got quite a surprise when I removed the disc from its sleeve. There was no DVD in the sleeve - there was a CD-R with handwriting on the front. It says, "I love you like a fat kid loves cake. Musical Clue!" And the ! is dotted with a heart.


I didn't want to risk exposing the computer to some malicious hacker with girly handwriting, but I just had to know what was on the CD. So I put it in the stereo in the bedroom (you know - the one with 1/4" of dust on top that hasn't been used in about a year). The CD had one single track: I Want You Back, which I believe it by the Back Street Boys.

I wish I knew the story behind the disc. Was there a break-up? Did she try to surprise him with the disc by hiding it inside a movie sleeve, and then accidentally drop it in the mail? Did he send it back as an act of rejection? Is the movie I tried to rent really worth re-ordering?

Oh, the intrigue...

04 November, 2007

Bits and Pieces

And now, here are two completely unrelated thoughts:

I saw a snake on the sidewalk outside our building yesterday morning. By the time I noticed it, it was already partly in the bushes. But judging by the thickness of the part that I did see, I'd guess it was between 3 and 12 feet long. Probably closer to 3. The crazy part is that I was totally less scared of that snake than of the stupid roach in my bathroom! Now, a snake in the bathroom would be a completely different story!

Tonight is our annual $350/plate dinner with a guest chef and guest winery. Both of my bosses are planning on being in at noon. This in itself is stressful enough. I don't get anything done when they are in! Plus, last year, I had to re-print the menus 3 times because the wine guy kept changing his mind. Everyone has promised me that tonight will be smoother. I'll believe it when I see it.

03 November, 2007

Happiness Is...

Watching your boss freak the hell out when the food critic from the local paper checks in at the podium of The Restaurant under a fake name.

tee hee

Brand Loyalty

I stopped at Walgreens on my way home from work last night to pick up a certain female product that I was woefully out of. I was so pleased when I saw that the magical coupon machine spit out a $3 off coupon for the same product with my receipt. That's huge savings!

Then I realized that the coupon wasn't for my brand. So I threw it out. Bummer, huh?

02 November, 2007


Can't stay and play today. But you simply must check out Flickrvision if you haven't already. I'm a bit addicted really.

Basically, it's a world map that updates every second with a new photo being uploaded to Flickr by people all over the world. It's fun seeing other people's random vacation/party/vanity pictures just appear before your eyes.

Anyway, check it out!

01 November, 2007


(the Halloween wrap-up)

Yesterday I went to work at 10 am - which means that after finally falling asleep at 6:30 I got a whopping 1.5 hours of sleep - to train New Girl for a little while. I was supposed to be there until 4, but ended up leaving her in the care of M at 2. I'm sure she survived!

When I got home, I was supposed to take a nap, but that didn't happen. I did lay with my eyes closed for a half hour, but the 2 Chik Fil A iced teas (large) that I drank in the morning were causing my brain to go a mile a minute.

We went over to Mike & Reyna's for a party that ended up being just us and their crew. And we had a blast. We all took the kids trick-or-treating, with Hunter as a whining ghost, Conner as Spider Man, Autumn as Cinderella, and Cadence as generic princess (read: fancy dress and head band). I was dressed as me in pigtails, Reyna was Autumn's lady-in-waiting (carrying her candy bag), and once the baby got fussy and Mike was carrying her, Scott was pushing an empty stroller down the street, so I started calling him "Bad Daddy." Then we had all sorts of fun contemplating the fun to be had with an empty stroller...

- pushing it in the path of an oncoming car and screaming "MY BABY!!!!!!!"
- back-tracking past the houses we had already been to and asking if they had seen the baby
- and then Autumn jumped in the stroller and we could no longer contemplate pushing it in front of a car.

Trick-or-treating as a grown-up is actually sort of fun. After every single house, Conner would run back from the door with his bag above his head and yell, "I got CANDY!" He seemed genuinely surprised. We were also shocked at how consistently the boys would get one piece of candy and then Autumn would get a handful from the same people. Her bag at the end of the night probably weighed 50% more than either of the boys'.

And after all that, we got home around 10 and I was still up until 12:30. Yep - I'm a glutton for punishment! But as you might imagine, I sure did sleep well last night!