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31 December, 2008

December 31

5-4-3-2-1...

"Kitten New Year" wishes you an energetic 2009!

Milo wishes a happy 2009 to everyone who wasn't involved in the taking of this photo!

Kilo wishes you a well-fed 2009...and asks if this hat makes him look fat.


Scott wishes you all a great 2009, and dedicates this photo to Aunt Rose, who inspires him to jazz hand greatness!

...and I wish for a healthy and prosperous 2009 for everyone.

Happy New Year! Go kiss someone!

2008 in Non Sequitor

It's a tradition now!

Take the first sentence of the first post of every month this year on your blog and put them all together.

Check out the website for the PedEgg. The cats are grateful for the cloudy sky today. Won't you wear a sweater?

This picture of my fat white foot should cure anyone with any special love for feet! After almost 18 months, I finally managed to be in Animal Kingdom on a sunny day with my "new" camera.

I received an e-mail last week informing me that I am no longer accruing vacation hours because I have too much time stored in my bank. I got an interview.

I don't know what it is with our cats and boxes... but somehow I feel that I was more surprised by this image than I should have been. If you don't give your kitten enough toys to play with, you may end up surprised at what they choose to play with:

Scott and I spent this weekend working our way through the World Showcase like grazing livestock, eating all sorts of interesting foods - most really good, some colossally terrible. We heard that the Hall of Presidents was going to be closing until July 4, 2009 (hopefully so that they can move Bush 43 into a barely visible corner) so we made a special trip to the Magic Kingdom to take one last look.

I hereby proclaim December at Adventures in Park Hopping is the Month of Holiday Cat Photos!


Well I think that pretty well sums up my year - weather, a pedicure, cats, work, park hopping, food, and more cats!

30 December, 2008

Bonus Feature

You know how I said Elphie wants to be a model? That didn't last long. Now she wants to be in movies.
For now, she'll have to settle for being in between movies!

December 30

On Day 30 of her month-long modeling gig, Elphie decided this was her passion. She would like to debut to you, her closest fans, her first head shot.

29 December, 2008

December 29

Suffering from post-holiday fatigue? Cozy up for a nap with someone you love. Everything will be better when you wake up.

28 December, 2008

Wasted

While driving 42 mph in the left lane of a road where the speed limit is clearly marked 55 mph, I saw a shooting star.

I thought, "I wish this asshole would get out of my lane."

And as soon as I did, he did, moving into a left-turn lane!

What a waste of a wish!

December 28

"Who's going to help me put these things away?"

Mullet Jamie and Clown

From the comments of my last entry:

mamajoy said...
you never had a mullet!

Here for your mocking pleasure is the photo I lovingly call Mullet Jamie and Clown. If that's not a mullet (and I still think it is), it is definitely the most tragic hair cut to befall a fourth grade girl. Ever. Plus, I'm looking a little "special" in that photo!

Mock-Worthy Things in this Photo:
1. The hair
2. The expression on my face
3. The multiple shades of pink that don't quite go together
4. The yellow sunglasses dangling around my neck by a red cord
5. The "totally 80's" white button-down shirt under a sweatshirt

Cool Things About this Photo:
1. That clown in the picture with me was the head clown - he had a whole page in the program
2. Grandpop bought me a PROGRAM! That's one of those things parents never shell out the money for!
3. I also came home with a stuffed elephant.
4. It's the circus! This was the only Ringling Brothers program I ever saw as a kid. I don't remember anything about the show, but I know I loved it and wanted to go back every year. I've only been to one circus since, and it was in 2002 with Eric. I probably paid for both tickets.
5. The expression on my face. Sure, it's laughable, but that's a kid positively squeeing with excitement.

27 December, 2008

Unexpected, in a Good Way

I've been PMSing pretty madly for the past few days, so apologies for not writing anything warm & fuzzy. Honestly, I was watching stories of people stranded in airports and yelling at the TV. Sometimes it was, "you're having a WHITE CHRISTMAS! be HAPPY!" and other times it was, "this wouldn't have happened if you had just stayed at HOME!" Of course, the latter came when I was pissed off about work. Every year at this time, we have the same diners who have come in for the last 5-10-15 years to have Christmas/Eve/NYE dinner here. Repeat diners give The Boss stress, and stress, much like shit, rolls down hill.

That said, Scott and I did have a lovely Christmas (Eve) together this year. We opened gifts in the morning, had Japanese for lunch, and since it was just the two of us, we decided to have steaks for dinner instead of ham or turkey. We each knew what our "big gift" was going to be, having picked them out ourselves. But neither of us really had a list this year, so the other gifts were a surprise. And I think we both did pretty well.

By far, my favorite unexpected gift was a pastry bag with multiple tips. I actually used the classic Jamie phrase, "I didn't know I wanted this!" But it turns out I totally did. He also bought me all of Scalzi's "Old Man's War" books and "Agent to the Stars" in paperback to complete my collection. I've already read one, and am about to start on the others.

When I asked Scott what his favorite unexpected gift was, he had to pick two: the 2009 Chick-Fil-A calender ("Cows in Blue" - if you like cop shows, you need this calendar!) and the DVD of Airplane, "Don't Call Me Shirley" edition. These were two of the last things I bought, and were both impulse buys. Much better than the year I bought him the plastic yellow bell pepper!

Oh - and the most unexpected gift of all (for both of us) was a Pennsylvania care package from my Grandpop. It has Tastykakes and Goldberg's Peanut Chews (which don't go by that name anymore) and some other stuff in it. How wonderful! ...and I was touched when he sent an old picture of "Mullet Jamie With Clown" in the Christmas Card earlier this month. (yeah - I totally need to scan and post that!)

I'm working really hard on focusing on the positive right now, but work really is kicking my butt this week. So please enjoy the remainder of the Month of Holiday Cat Photos. I'll be back when I have something else nice to say!

December 27

Kilo, on Christmas Eve, enjoying the fresh air just before sunset. I caught his moment of solitude about 30 seconds before Elphie jumped up and Kilo left for quieter pastures!

26 December, 2008

December 26

Caffeinated wrapping paper is the best gift EVER EVER EVER! Time to play!

25 December, 2008

Crash!

6:51 am

Scene: the bedroom, where Scott and Jamie are nestled snug in their bed

A loud noise rouses them from their slumber.

Could it be Santa on the roof? Or at the door?

Scott goes to investigate. When he doesn't return with a report in a minute, Jamie goes out to see what's wrong. As she opens the door to the living room, she sees a hand pop up from the sink area, holding the remnants of what was once a beautifully decorated confection. "Cupcake?"

----------------------

For the past few years, Scott and I have had a post-it note on the fridge with a recipe for pumpkin cake. He made it once, and the note never got filed with the rest of the recipes. So we decided to make the cake with my cream cheese frosting. And ultimately, we decided to do cupcakes instead of a 13x9 or layer cake for optimal frosting-to-cake ratio. Scott made the cupcakes, I made the frosting, and we piped the frosting using zip-top bags.

We had some Tuesday night, we had some for breakfast yesterday, and I had one as a mid-afternoon snack. There was no room in the fridge, so we had them sitting out on a baking sheet. The baking sheet was moved off the stove yesterday to keep out of the way of dinner preparations and was balanced precariously on top of a vase on the counter.

As you may have guessed, we forgot to move the baking sheet before we went to bed.

And you know how the kitten loves to go where she's not supposed to be.

As you may have also guessed, all of the cupcakes landed icing-down.

We considered scraping off the hairy frosting and piping new frosting on (since the recipe made about twice as much as we needed). Ultimately, I decided that God didn't want us to eat that junk food, and re-frosting them would bring bad juju to our home.

May your holiday feasts not suffer the same fate!

December 25

Merry Christmas!
Milo: Thank you for the delicious kitten-flavored snack, but it's a little hairy.
-or-
Milo gave Elphie a coupon for one free bath, which she redeemed right away!

24 December, 2008

December 24

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house
not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse (because I ate it).
The stockings were hung by the Elphie with care
in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there...

23 December, 2008

Common Sense

I don't usually have it. But this morning, I got it right.

Scott left the house before 8 am for a very early doctor appointment (of the standard "come in or I won't refill your prescriptions" variety). And since I had a chiropractor appointment scheduled for 11 am, I decided the best thing I could do was wake up early and wrap presents. That way, I could do some damage and then go at my appointed hour and have him UN-do the damage.

The chiropractor was amused. He told me he gets at least one call every year that goes something like, "I'm sitting indian-style on the floor and I can't get up." I thought of that, and figured Scott would be able to fold me into his car and drive me if anything really bad happened. (that did happen to me one year - except I bent over and couldn't stand back up)

This year, I was fine after wrapping everything. Of course, then I came home and scooped a ton of stinky cat litter and now my back is a little stiff. But that's just old muscle aches. Nothing to worry about.

And in case you were wondering, I can now turn my head more than 90 degrees to the right and almost 90 on the left. And the sound of the popping in my neck when I get adjusted still makes me want to vomit!

And on an unrelated note, Scott and I met up after our appointments and went to Crispers for lunch. If you do the cup-o-soup and half sandwich combo, your sandwich options are somewhat limited. BUT you can get corned beef and swiss on rye and substitute thousand island dressing for mayo and it's just like a Reuben, but without the sauerkraut. It was delish! And their chicken & dumpling is a decent soup... even if they are cheap on the chicken.

December 23

Milo: What are you doing THIS time?
Elphie: (singing) Spider cat, spider cat...
{Milo exits stage left}
{Elphie continues her sideways stealth attack on the string of lights}

22 December, 2008

December 22

"Colored glass balls and furry black tails... these are a few of my favorite things!"
(YOU make it rhyme! I give up!)

Mail Call!

I got the following message from my darling husband when he got home from work yesterday:

Hey, I don't want to worry you, but I think someone broke into the apartment... It's weird, they just pooped on a plate and put it in the fridge...


What can I say? Except I love him because of stuff like this, not in spite of it!

(by the way, the bananas are just ok. the pretzels, however, are fabulous!)

21 December, 2008

December 21

Guard Kitten: "Don't eff with these presents!"

Willy Wonka I Am Not!

I got a tower-o-chocolate for Christmas from The Boss. One of the things in the tower was a pack of Ghirardelli dark chocolate "drops." At first, I thought they were just bigger Kisses, but then I realized that they would make an excellent product to melt and dip stuff in.

So this morning I made chocolate covered pretzels. We didn't have pretzel-shaped pretzels, so I used the skinny rods we bought for the houses. The chocolate melted beautifully, but as soon as I started, I realized there was going to be a problem. I had planned on holding them at one end and dipping the rest of the pretzel in chocolate, leaving a little handle to pick them up for consumption. Unfortunately, the bowl was too wide and flat, and I got as much chocolate on my knuckles as the pretzel. So I tossed it right in the chocolate. I did them 5 at a time, tossed them around, and used chopsticks to pull them out.

I made 20.

With the remaining chocolate, I decided to cover some banana coins. Tons went wrong in this step, including cooled chocolate hardening and reheated chocolate turning into brownie-like state. I pulled the bananas out of the chocolate and mixed in a little bit of milk, which seemed to work. Since the bananas already had random chocolate lumps on them, I figured they were never going to be pretty. So I just dumped the remaining chocolate on top of them. Now there's a little plate in the freezer of what looks suspiciously like lumps of poo. Hopefully they taste better than they look!

Perhaps it's best that I go to work now and leave the chocolate dipping to the experts.

20 December, 2008

Cricket!

A tale of why it'll be a cold day in Hades before I order from a certain retailer's website again

I ordered 3 clearance items from a certain online department store who shall remain nameless, but whose initials are JCP. The package was shipped by UPS and arrived on Thursday. Since I work on Thursday, the package was conveniently delivered to the rental office.

I picked up my package yesterday on my way to work. The nice lady in the rental office (as opposed to Fatty McBigHair, whom I usually deal with) checked my photo ID and went into their storage room, returning with a large box that had been really beaten up. She said to me, "this is a squeaky package!"

She went on to tell me that the UPS guy mentioned that the box was squeaking in his truck and thinks "it's alive." It sat in their office all day, chirp-chirping away, until she finally went in to investigate. Since the box was already beaten up, she opened the flap a tiny bit and a cricket popped right out of the box! "And then I think it went back in. But we haven't heard it all today, so it's probably dead."

Well, you know me: "I don't want that in my car!!!" So she was very nice and opened the box for me, pulled out my three articles of clothing, which, as warehouse purchases are usually, were wrapped in plastic and had no cricket cooties inside them. There, in the bottom of the box, were not one or two, but three dead crickets! OK, two dead crickets and one that was belly-up, legs curled, but still wiggling its antennae. She even dumped the crickets outside and disposed of the box for me.

Eventually I'm going to get around to calling JCP's customer service to tell them that they sent me live bugs. I doubt they'll care. If they do care, I may shop there again, because I really like the stuff that I bought. But I'm doubtful. Besides, I just keep thinking about what would have happened if we had been home and those nasty hopping, squeaking roaches got loose in my apartment... or if the rental office hadn't warned me and I had gotten them in my car.

**shudder**

I need to send a thank-you note to that girl in the office!

December 20

"I want to wear this one. It matches my eyes."

19 December, 2008

December 19

"No! We're not allowed to open the presents until Christmas!"

18 December, 2008

December 18

The beaded candy cane in this picture was moved a few days later... by Elphie. It was on the floor. This picture was taken while we still had the step ladder out and she was standing on top of it. I had no idea she could jump 4 feet straight up!

17 December, 2008

16 December, 2008

Habitat for Candy

Some pictures from Scott and Jamie's afternoon-o-fun:
Building supplies

Scott the BuilderOur houses from the back


Bird's eye view of the neighborhood. Please note that Scott's house has a pool. Sadly, it must not have a heater, since it's partially frozen!

The front of Casa de Jamie. I'm particularly proud of my flower/tree beds. And in case you noticed that the path was made from halved Ghirardelli squares, don't worry. They are left-over candy from last Christmas, just like those Kisses on the roof!

Scott's house from the front. He made a snowman, but it's out of focus in this picture. I also totally dig his pool and his shoveled-but-still-has-snow-on-it walkway. It's like he grew up in my neighborhood!

It turns out that gingerbread (ok, graham cracker) houses are another of those things that Scott never did as a kid. He did pretty well - cut his own crackers, made the icing, and did some really cool stuff with candy. What a fun way to spend an afternoon. Of course, now we have 20 pounds of left-over candy, and had to move the houses to the bedroom to keep the cats away from them.

How about a little contest with no prizes?

Who can name the most candies on the houses?

December 16

"Oh no, the purple one got away. Could someone get that for me?"

15 December, 2008

14 December, 2008

So This Is It?

Wow. 3 months before 30, and I officially feel OLD. I'm working the phones trying to get someone to cover my shift. Why? Nope, not a hangover from a night spent partying. Because there's something wicked going on with my back and I can barely turn my head and can't lift my right arm 45 degrees. If I could get to work, I could probably do my job (well, most of it). But there's no way I can drive.

In case you were wondering, no. This isn't the same back issue I was dealing with last week. Well maybe it is. I had almost the exact same problem on the left side last Tuesday. Yesterday morning was the first time I was actually able to lay on my left side. And this morning all of a sudden the right side was throbbing. Needless to say, this weekend's planned diversions have been replaced by finding a new chiropractor.

So I'm feeling old. And then this news story came to my attention. How cruel that a staple of life in my hometown should be shuttered!

Olga's Diner, a landmark on the Marlton Circle here since 1959, has served its last cup of coffee, its owner said Thursday.

John Stavros, the aging patriarch of Olga's founding family, said a lack of family support and staffing, and mounting debt contributed to his decision to close the eatery's doors for good.

I didn't like the food, thought their desserts were terrible, and the waitstaff were mostly stereotypical old rude diner wenches. But I have a lot of really good (and some important) memories there. This paragraph in the article actually made me laugh out loud (which, by the way, really hurt!):

He said in an interview in November that he failed to keep up with both internal and external renovations for years because he wasn't sure what would become of the property after construction of the overpass, which has been in the works since the mid-1990s.

By "for years," did he mean since the mid-80's? That place hadn't changed one tiny bit since we moved to Marlton when I was in the third grade!

Well that's that. I'm sad that Scott never got the chance to experience Olga's in all its glory. Well, maybe the Med-Port is still there?

December 14

Don we now our gay apparel
fa la la la la la la la la...

12 December, 2008

Perfume

This should be a much longer post, complete with references to pre-crazy Britney commercials flooding the TV, but I'm supposed to leave the house at 11:15 and I'm still not dressed, hair-dried, fed, or lunch-packed. (oh the grammar...it hurts me so!) Anyway, the short version is this:

What's with all the perfume commercials on TV in the month of December? Do that many people buy fragrance for Christmas? None for me, thanks!

December 12

Elphie really loves the wreath. I think we made the right call not putting up a tree.

10 December, 2008

It's Beginning to Look Moderately Like Christmas

Scott and I decided that there will be no Christmas tree this year. Ironic decision, considering last year's investment in a pre-lit fake tree. No one told us last year that we'd have a kitten this year - one who likes to jump and climb and be everywhere she isn't supposed to, especially when there's no one around to tell her not to do that. So we went to plan B, the wreath.

It's not quite done. It's still rather barren, so we're going to hang some of these balls once we get some new ornament hooks. In case you were wondering about the eclectic selection of ornaments, the wreath only has "us" ornaments: (clockwise from top) the Lenox wedding couple from my Grandfather, one of our two "first Christmas together" ornaments, Milo's First Christmas, Santa riding a dolphin (from Hilton Head - see below for detail), the other "first Christmas together" ornament, the Incredibles, Cruise Line Mickey ornament, and the Wicked Witch, which represents Elphie. (nope...not mean spirited at all. haven't you seen the show??) And the candy canes were actually made by Scott and me a few years ago to hang on a tree.

And I'll leave you with one last picture. It prompted me to lament that we'd already sent out our Christmas cards for the year...

December 10

"Let's play light-up string!"

09 December, 2008

Home

We're back from Hilton Head. I have a monster ache in my left shoulder/back, so I'm going to keep this short. I'll be back later with details of exactly how much 'nothing' you can fit into a four-day beach vacation in December (lots!), and how good the seafood is (very!). For now, here's a few pictures. There's more (with captions) on my Facebook account.


December 9

"Let's hang these things!"

08 December, 2008

December 8

Kilo has confused Christmas and Easter. He's convinced sitting on these "eggs" is going to hatch them!

07 December, 2008

December 7

"Fingers would be a HUGE help right about now..."

06 December, 2008

December 6

"Happy anniversary, Daddy and Mommy! I wrapped you a gift, but decided to keep the bow!"

Five Years

05 December, 2008

December 5

"Merry Christmas? Not for you. I know where you sleep!"

04 December, 2008

03 December, 2008

From the Mail Bag

We got two cards in the mail today. One was an anniversary card (thanks, Janette!) and the other was a Christmas card. The first one of the season!

Amazingly enough, the card was from Bill. Why is that amazing? Because his was the last card of the 2007 season to arrive... in February of 2008! In his defense, there was some confusion with my address and the card kept getting returned to him.
Anyway, fa la la! Our cards will be going out this weekend, with a special bonus card inside.


...and in other news, ten days off seemed like plenty of time to dye my hair, let it fade, and have it be mostly back to normal before I go back.
It's a little penny-colored (less in the photo than in real life), but it's not as pink as I was worried it would be.