30 November, 2008
Christmas ornaments on a hairy red blanket? What's THAT all about?
You'll have to stick around next month to find out...
(I will tell you this much now: I think I have gone above and beyond during this year's NaBloPoMo and posted a lot of actual substance. Next month, however, I'll be on vacation for a few days, working hard for the rest of the month, and attempting to squeeze in some holiday cheer and memory-making, so posting will probably be light. But I've got a plan in place to keep you entertained)
29 November, 2008
Honestly, I nearly cried. What a wonderful world!
"Mom...he's sitting on me!"
He may be cranky and anti-social, but he'll always be my baby! (and in case you were wondering how we got to be the same height, Milo sometimes thinks he's a parrot, only instead of sitting on my shoulder, he perches on my chest!)
"Seriously! He SAT on my HEAD! What's up with that???"
28 November, 2008
Of course, I'm not going to tell you what I bought. But I am going to tell you I got a great price, and picked up some additional stuff from the same store. The total was less than I'd expected to pay for just that product.
And so, today I leave for work knowing that my holiday shopping is now about 80% complete. Can't beat that!
27 November, 2008
26 November, 2008
4 baked side dishes
2 stove-top side dishes
1 cold side dish
7 cups of chicken stock
4 hard-boiled eggs
Here's how that breaks down in the actual menu:
- Cornbread dressing (new recipe this year that used 7 cups of stock and 4 eggs)
- Sweet potatoes a-la-Jamie - less candied than sweet-potatoes a-la-Joe (and made with real sweet potatoes instead of canned yams), but still with marshmallows on top
- Green bean casserole
- Yeast rolls
- Mashed potatoes
- Stove Top Stuffing (you know - for sandwiches, and in case the cornbread stuff doesn't come out... and because I don't really like cornbread dressing)
- Cranberry jelly
- No-bake two-layer pumpkin pie (and I think I got the seasoning right this year for the first time!)
I'm also making single-serve pumpkin pie "jewels" for the work pot-luck tomorrow. We got phyllo shells from Publix and I'll be using the same two fillings as the whole pie. And if the phyllo shells don't work, I have mini muffin papers and the ingredients for graham cracker crusts. (I'm *really* hoping the phyllo tastes ok!)
25 November, 2008
After that fun was over, Scott and I went over to Universal. We finally got to try out the Simpsons ride (fun, but it made me a little nauseous). We did three rides in Islands of Adventure, and just the one on the Universal side because Men in Black went 101 right when we walked up. Oh well... we still had fun and got sore feet. :)
Then, trip trip to Publix to buy a pound of butter... and some other stuff. Scott's got cornbread in the oven, which means that Thanksgiving food preparation has officially begun. Mmm... gluttony...
24 November, 2008
On Tuesday's Big Ten media call, Paterno gave a rare acknowledgment of his age.
"I know nobody's immortal, but I thought I was the exception," said the coach, attributing the quote to Tennessee Williams. The reference sailed past his audience of sportswriters, many of whom wracked their brains to recall if Williams coached at Tennessee or merely played there.
Penn State is one last-second field goal from having a perfect season. That's pretty darn good.
Unfortunately, we lost that game to an unranked team. (shakes fist skyward and bellows, "damn you, Iowa!")
And so, we finish our regular season ranked #6 in the AP Poll, #6 is the USA Today/Coaches Poll, and even #7 in the ESPN Fan Poll. Can someone please explain to me why we are #8 in the BCS?
Oh well, let's focus on the positive. And let's send good thoughts to Joe Paterno, who had a hip replacement yesterday. Hopefully next year he'll be back coaching on the field instead of the press box. (side note: who has a scheduled surgery on a Sunday? Paterno does!)
23 November, 2008
I was at a steep hill - picture lawn seating at a stadium - for some kind of public fireworks display...
I was with someone else's toddler, which was probably a residual Molly from spending time with Jenn's family, but was unexplained in the dream...
The kid and I were walking down a line of people to get to a specific spot (maybe the rest of the family?), when she stopped and sat on someone else's blanket. Before I could reach down to scoop her up, the woman on the blanket (early 60's, curly short hair, red t-shirt) picked her up. I thought she was going to hand the kid to me, but instead she rolled her down the hill!
At this point, the kid was no longer in the dream. I don't know whether she was hurt, and I never went down to look. I feel a little guilty about that. But the most important thing to me at the time was vengeance on that woman. I yelled at her, I was outraged, I said a lot of curse words (which strikes me, because I can't recall ever hearing profanity in a dream before), and I told her if she didn't effing leave right now that I was going to call the police.
She didn't, so I did.
I went to the bottom of the hill and into some strangely empty building to call the cops. The dispatcher was very nice and promised to let the general manager (don't ask me...) as soon as we got off the phone.
And then a few minutes later I got a call on my cell phone (which, amazingly enough, was my actual real-life cell phone) from the chief of the Vatican secret police. I guess they were in town for the fireworks? He told me they were going to take care of her. I didn't even have to point her out - they just knew! And after they took care of her (I think they may have shot her by sniper, but I'm really not sure), they all ran out of the amphitheater. And that's when I noticed that the Vatican secret police looked like they belonged with the Joker. They were wearing navy blue tuxedos (with tails!) with teal and purple accents.
I wish I could draw a picture of the herd of them running out. It really was funny.
So that's most of what I remember. Believe it or not, there was no Taco Bell before bed last night. There was no Nyquil either. I just had a freakishly random, vivid dream. I guess it happens sometimes!
22 November, 2008
I caught up on the last three episodes of Ugly Betty last night. I really love that show, but I have to be in the right mood to watch it. That's why DVRs are so great!
The story arc of the last episode was about Betty trying to get into a management training program and how her boss was supporting her, but was too busy chasing around a pretty girl to help her with her presentation or write her letter of recommendation. At the end of the episode, he made it up to her by writing her a six-page letter of recommendation and calling the judges to speak to them personally. And she got in. And he said the same thing he has said every other time the story takes Betty to a higher place - I hope that you're still here a while longer because you're great, but I know you won't be here forever because you're great. And I'm proud of you and I support you. (yeah, total misquote... that's why I didn't put it in quotes!)
I'm about to indulge in a paragraph or two of pointless whining, so please stop reading now if you might be inclined to say something snarky or mean.
And so, I had a total moment of "waaaaaaaaah - nobody I work with cares whether I ever do anything other than what I'm doing right now." I've been banging my head against this wall for over a year - I ask to learn new things and I ask for different responsibilities and what they hear is "Jamie needs more busy work." I also told both of my managers in the past two days that they are bad managers for not nominating one single person for the quarterly award since I got it last August. "What do you think that says to your employees that you don't think enough of any of them to nominate them?" I even sent them reminders for the past two quarters! In a company that prides itself on its advancement training and its culture of recognition, this location falls dreadfully short.
That moment in Ugly Betty took me back to that feeling I get every time I watch Finding Nemo. "Waaaaah - my dad would never cross an entire ocean and battle sharks and jellyfish to see me. He won't even battle my Wicked Step Mother!" Sigh...
And thus concludes my whine for the day.
21 November, 2008
It turns out the southern boy who has become a scrapple addict, and eats greens and cube steak by choice doesn't like liverwurst!
To tell you the truth, I don't think I'll be eating it again any time soon either. But I'm sure I'll try again in 2 or 3 years... no such guarantee for Scott!
20 November, 2008
- 2 dentist appointments, ZERO cavities!
- Pumpkin pie ice cream at Cold Stone
- New work shoes and a new RED purse from Payless - in and out the door in less than five minutes!
- 3 hours at the Saturn dealership to check on Scott's squeaky brakes. The verdict? Annoyance, not hazard. They're good for another 3-6,000 miles.
- "Lunch" at Buca di Beppo at 3:30, with take-out purchased for dinner
- Watched Casino Royale on DVD, in preparation for going to see the new one next week (we think)
Don't be jealous of the fabulous life we lead. We're just normal people like you. ;-)
19 November, 2008
Milo finds a to-go bag in the kitchen and assumes it contains a yummy treat for him.
"Where's the meatballs? Sardines? Pepperoni? Anything???" But while poor unsuspecting Milo explores the bag (just like a box, only floppier), he gets attacked from the back...
...and the front...He tried to fight back, but she had the tactical advantage in this match. And so he had no choice but to cower inside the bag until she got bored...Luckily, Elphie's attention span is about 10 seconds, and she quickly reverts to cuddly kitten mode, whereby she and Milo make a truce and decide to be friends again and to gang up against me and Scott if either of us attempts to clean eye boogies or clip front claws!
18 November, 2008
1. How many pets do you have?
Four! How did that happen?
2. How do you style your hair?
By blow-drying it with a round brush. :)
3. What’s new in your life right now?
Well, we have a new President-elect. That's pretty exciting! On the home front, there's the new(ish) kitten, and the new project at work. And I'm buying new shoes today.
4. How many colors are you wearing now?
Well, just a white t-shirt and navy sweat pants... but throw in Scott's psychadelic slippers and I can't count all the colors!
5. Are you an introvert or extrovert?
Introvert by choice, but my job requires me to be all friendly with the rest of the world
6. What was the last book you read?
I believe it was John Scalzi's chapbook, Waiting for Athena. The last whole book I read was probably Zoe's Tale.
7. Do you nap a lot?
Not as much as I'd like
8. If you could live anywhere else than where you live, where would it be?
In a city... with seasons
9. Is there anything that has made you unhappy these days?
Money, credit scores, the fact that I'm sort of trapped in my job...
10. What was the last thing you ate today?
Water. Breakfast is on the stove: scrambled eggs and bacon
11. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
I get up at 9 to leave by 11:15, but only spend 15 minutes for the shower and 20 minutes to blow dry, dress, etc. The rest is spent letting my hair air-dry while I goof around.
12. What websites do you visit daily?
This one and most of the ones on the side bar over there --->, plus facebook, cnn and the Orlando Sentinel.
13. What kind of animal or insect do you not like?
14. Do you like to clean?
15. What’s the last TV Show you watched?
The West Wing, and I thought if Aaron Sorkin ran for President, I'd vote for him.
16. What are you doing right now?
Typing this, and smelling bacon.
17. What is the last song you listened to?
Well, I have "Santa Baby" stuck in my head, but I'm not sure why. The last music I listened to was the Across the Universe CD in my car.
18. What would you do if you see $100 lying on the ground?
if there was no way to find its owner, I'd spend it on something stupid.
19. Best time of your life?
I hope I don't look back some day and realize this was it!
20. Tell me something good.
Breakfast is ready! :)
17 November, 2008
16 November, 2008
Mia, our first downstairs neighbor, who had aerobic sex on weekend mornings,
Ghetto Superstar, our second downstairs neighbor, whom we hated. He of the loud wall-shaking music. To be fair, I think he hated us as much as we hated him. I can't imagine why! ;-)
Granny-Smokes-a-Lot: her granddaughter used to get dropped off by the school bus outside our side of the building, but Granny lived on the parking lot side. The bus would sit there and idle and HONK HONNNNNNNNK until Granny would come to get the girl. This was tough on us because each of us worked grave shift at some point and would be woken up by the noise.
There's also Mr. Loud Car down on the first floor, a.k.a. Taco Bell Guy, a.k.a The Drug Dealer. This guy is now on his second loud car - the kind that's been modified to be even louder, guaranteed to wake you from a sound sleep while it idles for five minutes before he goes anyway. Scott noticed that he starts the car and then walks around it as if he's doing a NASA-grade safety inspection or something. Quite often, he does the car starting ritual, leaves, and comes back 15 minutes later. Scott used to joke that he was going to Taco Bell. "Where else could he be going and getting back so fast?"
Now that our windows are open, we get to know even more about him. That's because he's always on his cell phone. I'm convinced that he's a low level dealer of some type of drug, and that he gets a call for a delivery and that's why he's not gone for long. Or he has an elderly family member that lives close by, and he drives over to help them to the bathroom or something.
One night, I was sitting by the window playing on the DS and he came rolling in. As soon as the car door opened, Scott and I both heard his whole conversation. There were lots of expletives thrown in (so we can also surmise that he doesn't have a good vocabulary), but the gist was "I just came from Taco Bell and they charged me for guacamole but I didn't get it." And so, Scott claimed victory, now having proof that Taco Bell Guy does in fact go to Taco Bell!
This building is definitely more like Avenue Q than Sesame Street!
15 November, 2008
Anyway, training is going well, but it's so darn stressful. And for the past two days, my boss has been off from work but still checking his messages and sending me stupid crap to do. Tonight he's back and the other manager is off to go to a wedding. I just know it's going to be a looooong night!
14 November, 2008
C'mon guys... give us cheap gas. We deserve it!
13 November, 2008
She's the size of a real cat now, but still weighs practically nothing. Perhaps that's just a matter of perspective, since all I have to compare her to are the two moo-cats. She chases her brothers all over the apartment, but I can tell they both think she's the best thing ever.
She also likes to wait until we turn out the lights and stumble blindly toward the bedroom at night and then lay right in the middle of the floor. She's actually pretty easy to pick out if you squint and really look for her - she's the black hole. She doesn't lurk in the shadows, she is the shadows.
Alas, while I was typing this, Elphie moved on and Milo jumped up. If I don't start petting him soon, he'll start gnawing on my wrist.
12 November, 2008
Yep, this is what happens when you set me and Scott loose with skulls and a digital camera with fresh batteries. Of course, while we were horsing around, we missed the hippo swimming right along the glass wall behind us.
And for anyone with Facebook who saw my status yesterday and wondered what 1-2-3 Whee is, here's a blurry action shot to help explain:
From left to right, that's Trip, Molly (in the stroller with her tongue out), Jenn, Kara and Scott. It's hard to tell who is having the most fun!
We had a whole lot of fun at Animal Kingdom today, despite a little afternoon shower and the humidity that followed. The whole park smelled like Vo-ban, which was a little disgusting, but we made it through. In addition to everyone in the photos above, Aunt Mary and Uncle Rich were also around. Anyone with Facebook will see pictures in the coming days. For now, you'll just have to believe me that they were there.
I love my family a whole lot. We're a whole lotta fun!
11 November, 2008
Oh yeah. And it's made with wasabi. Lots and lots of wasabi.
They were more potent than usual today, and the second one I ate caused me to convulse in pain, much like the feeling when you've been drinking soda and you burp and it comes out your nose. I had tears actually coming out of my eyes!
Normally, wasabi burns my sinuses. I know my limits, and though I love a little of that burn, I don't overdo it. Today, I was describing the pain to Scott. Rather than burning between or above my eyes, it felt like someone stuck a red hot poker up my nose, through my sinuses, and stopped about an inch before they hit the back of my skull.
Scott's reply? "Hurts so good!"
10 November, 2008
And ever since I left them, I haven't stopped telling Scott what a great day I had. Precocious kids are the most entertaining thing ever!
Of course, tomorrow I'm looking forward to sleeping in and not walking 3 miles in circles!
09 November, 2008
When an e-mail from the company CEO includes the following, everyone starts looking over their shoulders:
During the last several weeks, our senior management team has stepped up to the task of identifying and implementing steps to reduce expenses and to create more efficient operations. Many of these steps are designed to mitigate current conditions, but some we expect to have long lasting benefits. Significant savings will be delivered.
Rumors across the company are running rampant. Talk includes everything from eliminating all seasonal employees to eliminating part-timers to cutting full time hours to 30/week. I'll admit: it's scary. Of course, we're still busy through the holidays, which means that January will be the time for those cuts.
Scott and I keep looking at the seniority list for his area and are pretty confident that he's high enough that cuts by seniority won't affect him. My gut instinct is that his worst-case scenario is a cut in hours. I know that my job and my hours are safe as long as The Restaurant is open. I just wonder if a restaurant with such a specialized niche - $300+ for dinner for two - is like the canary in the mine shaft.
One of my managers pointed out that The Restaurant stayed open after 9/11, with the company choosing to temporarily shutter another Hotel restaurant instead. And besides that, people with big money still have big money.
Even still, I'm keeping a closer eye on our savings. That seems like the responsible thing to do.
08 November, 2008
Oh I hate to be a blog party pooper (or to even sound all pollyanish) but do people really think that's the best way to win voters over to their side? I know everyone is ticked about the results right now (and rightfully so) but wouldn't a better plan be to better educate voters next time around? The Yes on 2 people won by misleading people and people generally don't like being misled. Flipping off well intentioned but uninformed voters isn't the way to help the cause.
Nope. I don't think anyone is going to be swayed by a flock of flipped birds all over the internet. I don't think there's enough well intentioned but uninformed voters out there who are going to change their minds. There will always be vocal opponents to this right, just like there are still vocal opponents to the rights of women and minorities. I don't see this fight ending until the US Supreme Court hears a case (which, since Prop 8 overturned a previous ruling by the California Supreme Court, I bet could happen sooner rather than later). If not for the SCOTUS, I don't think there's a chance until our parents' generation is greatly depleted and a generation of kids who grew up not using 'gay' as an insult are eligible to vote.
In the meantime, I am even more amused by this than I am by the flock of flipped birds. For every donation of $5 or more, the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center will send a postcard to Mormon Church President Thomas Monson’s office in Salt Lake City, acknowledging your donation in his name. The text of the postcard is beyond the link. (via Whatever)
07 November, 2008
I welcome supporters of gay rights to snap your own photo showing your wedding ring on your middle finger. Spread the word that this fight isn’t over. Whether you’re gay, straight, bi, white, blue or tan — show your support by letting freedom ring on your blog then go here to log it for everyone to see!
That being said, both ABC News and The Daily Show (not kidding... watch last night's show!) have called North Carolina for Obama.
She and I called three states differently. Here's the breakdown:
We both called Missouri for McCain, so it doesn't really matter to us how that one ends. This means I lose by one state. I was closer on the electoral count, but that was just our tie-breaker. She won the actual state count. Still given that Janette is a news junkie, I'm proud that I made it as far as I did.
Bring on lunch!
06 November, 2008
Believe it or not, I did recognize the name. Because the same woman yelled at a different co-worker about a month ago for the exact same thing. It's a plain chocolate cake, and I think it's table 14. I'll be researching when I get in today.
Actually, people like this are a big reason that we have our repeat customer database at The Restaurant. Her name didn't come up when the co-worker looked her up yesterday because the last two times she was in, she wasn't the primary name on the reservation and this time she's coming with a different person.
I can't stand people who think the entire world revolves around them. If I could do so without my name being attached to it, I'd cancel her reservation. And if we had a way to do it, I'd black-ball her from booking her there again.
05 November, 2008
I'm happy beyond words that my candidate was elected. My candidate from before the primaries! I finally got one right! In two and a half months, a man that I voted for, whom I respect and admire, will finally be President. For the first time in my "young voter" life. Oh My God. I can't even describe how happy that makes me.
Of course, there's a few gray clouds poking around in my blue sky of hope today. I am really disappointed (yet not surprised) that Amendment Two passed here in Florida. I am appalled that Arkansas passed a ban on non-married couples adopting/foster parenting children. Because marriage is obviously more important to these people than finding loving, nurturing homes for children in need. And let's not forget the 18,000 couples in California who woke up yesterday married to one another and who woke up this morning to a completely different reality. (side bar: if the state dissolves your marriage, do you have to return the gifts?)
I have been glued to Scalzi's Whatever for the past few weeks. It's helpful when I'm at a loss for words to find an author who shares many of my beliefs and says what I want to in a way that's infinitely more eloquent than I possibly could. For example:
I’ve had a couple of people write me and ask me if I had any thoughts about the fact the US elected a black man to the presidency. I do, but aside from saying I’m very proud we did, I can’t speak too much to it — or more accurately, won’t. I was obviously aware of Obama’s race, but it wasn’t close to being a factor for my vote, and I think it would be insincere for me now to push it into the forefront of my personal consideration. But more than that, look, you know what, I’m white, and the Obama victory doesn’t have the visceral weight in my psyche that it has for blacks in this country, and I don’t want to pretend it does. I stand outside that particular victory, and I am content to let others have it, because it is theirs. I have enough victories through Obama at the moment that I don’t have to have them all.
(from here, which also addresses Prop. 8 and some other electoral odds & ends. I also recommend his reality check about the election and the difference between Obama the ideal and Obama the President)
What he said is what I tried to say to Scott earlier tonight. Yes, it's fabulous that we were a part of history. I'm proud of that fact, and look forward to telling my kids about it some day. Right now, I'm less concerned about this moment's place in history and more concerned about the promise of tomorrow.
And tomorrow looks pretty sweet to me.
I'm still at a loss for coherent post-election thoughts, so I bring you a picture of the new First Family. I can't wait to see them (and their new puppy) in their new home!
ABC had one of their reporters holding up newspaper headlines from other countries and they were ALL positive. And I yelled to Scott (yeah, yelled, we were 12 feet apart...) that the rest of the world likes us again.
We popped open the bottle of pink champagne right after 11 when the "President Elect" graphics started popping up on every channel. (I wanted to open it when they called Ohio BLUE, but Scott is superstitious)
I cried during John McCain's concession speech ("best speech he's ever given" even though he still said "my friends" a thousand times). I cried watching Oprah and Jesse Jackson cry. I cried looking at the throngs of cheering people. And I cried - a lot - during Barack's victory speech.
...and I'm crying a little now, too.
So good night, world. I'm off to drink 2 glasses of water and take some aspirin before bed. Tomorrow (well, today, but let's not split hairs) I'm guessing will be the first day of a whole new world, and I for one would like to greet it without a hangover.
04 November, 2008
Hooray for me! I'm a young voter!
(by the way, right now Amendment 2 is up 63-37%. that's the cloud on my silver lining right now. COME ON Palm Beach County...)
The ParkHoppers: turning Florida blue two votes at a time!
We had quite a day. After voting (I think I waited 5 minutes before I had my ballot in-hand), we walked to Gators for lunch, walked to the rental office to pay rent, and walked home. And then we, in all of our be-stickered glory, went to DisneyQuest to burn off some adrenaline. (notice my giant pupils? Scott made me a super-caffeinated cup of coffee this morning that turned me crazy for an hour. oh what fun!)
Cat and I had a fun conversation back and forth via text messages, she taunting me with a picture of a NObama bumper sticker, and me retorting with a picture of me in front of the sign above, holding my Obama button and pointing to my I VOTED sticker.
Of course, Scott's text messages have been a bit different. He got one from a co-worker that said something along the lines of "Obama is ahead right now, but that should change after 5:00 when the white people get off work." Well if you're reading, co-worker, these two white people voted WAY before 5:00, and our votes had nothing to do with race.
But back to the fun. I'm off to watch the election coverage. So far they are projecting that McCain won Kentucky and Obama won Vermont. Can't WAIT for more!!!
03 November, 2008
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make your own map at cnn.com
Actually, our maps are really similar. Her final electoral count is 353 and mine is 352. On a quick glance, it looks like she gave North Carolina to Obama and Montana to McCain. I took Montana for Team Blue because they have that fabulous governor that I enjoyed so much during the convention.
I can't wait for tomorrow night! I've got a bottle of pink champagne in the fridge (sorry... they don't make it in blue) and we're going to snack ourselves silly. I'll be at the TV flipping between ABC and CNN from 7-10, and then Comedy Central from 10-11. Hopefully by then the race won't even be close and I can get to bed after that. Meanwhile, I'm sure Scott will be at the computer trying to pretend I'm not yelling/whooping like it's a college football game.
02 November, 2008
(sorry, I just have issues embedding videos from nbc.com)
On a slightly unrelated political note, a girl I work with went to the Obama-Clinton (Bill, not Hillary) rally last Wednesday and brought me back a button and a yard sign. The button is proudly displayed on the strap of my purse and the sign is on my front door (on the inside).
...and on a completely unrelated sports note, Texas LOST last night to Texas Tech. This means that when the rankings come out later today, Bama and PSU should be #1 and #2 in the country! There was some speculation by the commentators last night that Oklahoma could jump Penn State, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the fact that we're still 9-0 and Oklahoma has a loss will keep us up.
01 November, 2008
Dole Whips for President!
Actually, I think that caption is rather lame. How about "Registered Voters: Thanks, ACORN!" Anyone have anything better?