27 February, 2009

Five Dollar Lullaby

Seen at the AMC PI 24 today: a mom hunched over her stroller, cooing a song and dancing for the infant inside. Cute, right? (I mean, except the part about the mom bringing her INFANT into the movie theater, but I digress...) It took Scott and me a few seconds to catch on to what she was singing:

"Five... (complete with 5-fingers shown to the baby)
Five dollar...
Five dollar foot long"

Really? THAT'S the song you're singing to your impressionable youth? Sure, Rock a Bye Baby is a little traumatic, what with part about the baby falling out of the tree, but at least it's not advertising sub-par sandwiches!

We went to the movies after our delicious lunch at Fulton's Crab House. Neither of us had ever been (it's generally more expensive than we're willing to pay for seafood), and they're having a 35% off lunch promotion that ends this weekend, so we decided to give it a try. The dinner menu is still out of our usual price range, but lunch wasn't too steep, and the food was pretty good. I had possibly the best clam chowder I've ever had, along with a shrimp po' boy. Scott had the crab & lobster bisque to start (meh - it tasted like spicy tomato soup with chunks of crab and lobster) and had the chilled platter of crab, shrimp and scallops. I would go back for the chowder alone.

The restaurant is the paddle boat at the DTD Marketplace, which was originally called the Empress Lilly (I ate there as a very small kid when it was a character breakfast). We were seated on the second level at a table overlooking the water and Saratoga Springs. It was lovely. Plus, they have some great art on the walls...

Scott was a great sport about posing in front of this "fresh crab," right up until he mentioned that there would be no picture of me because there wasn't a sign on the wall that said "angry bitch."
I laughed all the way out the building.
Well, I'd love to stick around, but I made stuffed shells for dinner and they just came out of the oven. This is the first time I've made them, and I can't wait to dig in!

25 February, 2009

Service? I'll Say!

I renewed my vehicle registration online at noon yesterday, and my new sticker came in the mail today.

Holy crap!

The back of the Lake County Tax Collector envelopes says, "Serving you is our only business." Apparently yesterday afternoon, serving ME was their only business.

24 February, 2009


There is an epidemic of raisin hating at The Restaurant.

I made oatmeal cookies over my days off, and made the first dozen without raisins. They were for one manager and "Harp Girl," who both don't like raisins. I'm not going to see Harp Girl again until Saturday, so I brought in 9 of the plain cookies for the manager, and put the other 3 in a mixed bag to share with everyone else.

It turns out that Girl Chef and another of the reservation girls also don't like raisins. That's FOUR people in a fairly small population.

Does anyone else think that's strange?

Oh - the rest of the cookies were a combination of traditional oatmeal raisin and a batch with orange zest and dried cranberries. They're all delicious. It's weird - I've always liked oatmeal cookies, but I don't think they're the kind of cookie that we ever made at home. We made tollhouse batter and put raisins in it. As you may have noticed, I'm on this cranberry-orange kick. It's possible the next cookies I make are going to be tollhouse batter with those two add-ons. Yum!

23 February, 2009


Scott and I went to Gatorland last week, mostly to see the white alligators and to take advantage of the $9.99 Florida resident tickets. I like it there - it's definitely worth 10 bucks. This time we didn't see any of the shows, didn't ride any gators (sadly, the link to the slide show seems to no longer work), and didn't toss any hot dogs. We took lots of pictures and fed the birds. Most of the photos are up on Facebook, but here's a few:

The white, or leucistic, alligators are in a dimly-lit habitat with glass walls. There's four of them, each in their own little pool. It's a nice display, but terrible for taking pictures. This was my best attempt.

Scott assures me this isn't what it looks like. Even still, the photo makes me giggle!

Best action shot of the day. Sadly, I can't claim it as my own. We were the only people in the aviary, and the lady who works there came in and took my camera.

When the photographer becomes the subject. By the way, these little guys are heavier than they look!

I love this guy, content to sun himself, and calm enough for a perfect reflection in the water. It was COLD that day, so we didn't see a whole lot of alligators actually moving. Most were either snoozing on the ground or mostly submerged in the water.

19 February, 2009

More on House Hunting

more accurately, Moron House Hunting

I thought I'd share some of my other favorite houses, since this really is my own personal diary. After all, it'll be nice to have them in one place. I sent this list (plus a bunch more) to Scott with some comments, and he replied with his own.

Note: Joanne believes we can afford a house that costs around $150,000. Scott and I would both prefer something MUCH less expensive. We'd rather have an "ok" house and be able to vacation and go out to dinner than have the best house ever and be trapped in it all the time. And really, after 5 years in a one bedroom apartment, there's not much out there that wouldn't feel like a palace!

That said, here's the most expensive one we both liked. It doesn't look like most other houses, has a pool, and even has a detached garage. When was the last time you saw THAT in Florida?

Breakfast nook! And I dig the blue walls. Scott says he's reserving judgement until he sees more of this house, but I'm in love!

Have you noticed yet that we have a thing for big kitchens with counter space? It's a theme. Anyway, this one is out in Clermont close to Mascotte, but may be worth the extra few minutes of commute.

One more for now. Scott's rule of thumb is houses built in 2000 or later. This one was built in '99 (still less than 10 years old). I really like it - garden tub in the master bath, nice sized kitchen... looking at them all again, I'm actually rather partial to it.


Feels Like a Sick Day

Today is a regularly scheduled day off, but Scott's schedule was switched for his regular department meeting (which was subsequently cancelled, but he still had to go), so I'm home alone.

The sky is gray, and the apartment is so dark I'm about to turn on some lights.

And I had the worst cramps in recent memory this morning. I moaned, I whined, I medicated, I paced, I drank water, I cuddled with the heating pad, and I Wiied. I also spent time on the floor alternately laying on my stomach and curled up in the fetal position.

Alas, things are looking up. My uterus is slowly relaxing, and the rain has started. I love the sound of rain, especially when I don't have to drive or otherwise function in it.

Today will continue to be a pajama day. I'm doing laundry so that we don't have to worry about it tomorrow. The trade-off of me doing laundry by myself is that Scott will grocery shop by himself on Saturday. He doesn't know that yet. Shh... no sense bothering him at work!

18 February, 2009

Can You Believe This?

It's amazing what $115,000 will buy you in this housing market. I spent the other morning putting together a list of 11 houses in our theoretical price range and sent them to Scott. He liked almost all of them. Then I found the townhouse above the same night and we both fell in love. Ever since then, nothing else comes close. The bathroom! The kitchen! The paint colors (that don't match anything we own)! By the time we're ready to buy, I'm sure someone else will have already snatched up this beauty. I hope the new owner loves it as much as we would have! I also hope that there are still deals like this to be had in 6 months...

In other news, a new round of old news to report: I officially found out yesterday that I have been nominated for PIE! Four of us at The Restaurant front of house were nominated - two from my office (I nominated the other one), one manager (Number Two - I also nominated him), and our hostess who secretly runs the restaurant. Bring on the awkward cake & punch reception!

14 February, 2009


Happy V.D. everyone!
classic Milo, February 2007

13 February, 2009


Open Letter to the Woman Sitting Orchestra Left, Row V, seat 19 in the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center Last Night:


I did not pay $50 per ticket to see A Chorus Line to listen to you singing along. Yes, I'm sure you think you sound great in your car, but you're in your 60s. It's time to give up the dream.

To be fair, she only did it twice. And both times, the first time I heard a note come out of her mouth my head spun her direction so quickly I think I got whiplash!

Other than that (Mrs. Lincoln), the show was pretty good. The dancing was fabulous. Unfortunately, apparently there aren't that many triple threats out there doing tours. These were dancers who could sing, but they weren't fabulous singers. The only two stand-outs in the cast were the girls playing Cassie and Diana (Morales) and maybe Richie. He got the biggest applause in the curtain call, but I think that was because the whole audience was thinking "the black one! We recognize him!" Because once you put them all in gold sparkly outfits, they all look the same.

And once again, just like the other two times I saw the show, I was sad about who gets the job at the end. It's funny how I block that scene in my memory.

Our seats, aside from the human mockingbird to my left and the man with the carcass breath behind us, were really good. We were far back, but right next to the tech booth, so pretty well centered. Bob Carr is still a crappy theater, but it beats hauling tail to Tampa. I'm happy I went, and Scott didn't hate the show, so I guess that's two thumbs up!

09 February, 2009

5 of Diamonds

I started a rap group.

OK, I started an imaginary rap group. At work. With a random assortment of people who absolutely DON'T belong in a rap group. So far we have a name (see above - which is a clever pun on a certain rating and will make advertising easier because we'll have a calling card, just like The Joker). Next up, PhotoShopping a funny album cover. I haven't gotten that far, and probably never will. That's the kind of thing you really can't do at work, and I don't have enough time at home to do it. Plus, I don't have PhotoShop, just Paint and some other cheap photo editing software. Anyway, back to the members:

That's me. I haven't really flushed out my character as much as some of the others. I know that I'll need long hair in a tight ponytail and giant hoop earrings.

The skinny kid from the kitchen. He's going to have a big gold chain with a knife or whisk hanging from it. Much like some rappers do songs about shooting or being shot (am I showing my ignorance of the genre? oh well!), he'll be rapping about cutting. It will sound bad-ass, but if you really listen to the lyrics, they're about butterflying shrimp (think about it: "I'll cut out your insides") or dicing vegetables.

(look, it wasn't my idea to have two guys named Chris. that's just how it happened) He has already decided that his look is going to involve a chain with a giant Mercedes symbol hanging from it. I also want to put him in pin-stripes. He'll be like the Posh Spice of our group.

The Iz
The man is 7 feet tall, so I have made him the one who stands in the back and spins the records. He's going to need a sweat band or something. Perhaps a bandanna tied around his head? I also see him in sunglasses all the time.

E-Sharp you can call her F for short
Her name starts with E, and she plays the harp. So she got a musical stage name that makes me laugh every time I think about it. She was the last one added to the group, and I spent all my creative energy on her name. Right now her persona is blank to me.

C'mon... admit it... you want to see an album cover... Actually, no lie, three of the people in my imaginary group know about it and really do want to see an album cover. Somehow this little imagination exercise is getting me through the boring moments of my job. Every life needs a little silliness.

And speaking of silly, here's a poem that C-Money and I collaborated on yesterday:

There once was a man from Nantucket...
He had
small scallops.

08 February, 2009

David Gone Viral

I came across this via Rachel Lucas, who found it from somewhere else. Once I see a funny YouTube video, it's generally safe to assume that it's already considered viral. That said, watching this kid makes me want to go to the dentist and say, "give me what David got!"

Catch Me!

It's possible I threw a temper tantrum at work. It's actually possible that I threw multiple tantrums, but the first one was a doozy. I may have yelled a bad word or two and slammed my hands on my desk. I may have accused a co-worker (who wasn't there) of drinking on the job, being unconscious, or having a stroke... after all, what other rational explanation could there be for the complete lack of anything done correctly over my days off?

I may have scared my boss. I assume so, since a few minutes later he came back into the office with a cup of chamomile tea.

And then, after the tea, I might have had a meltdown in the kitchen. That time there was no yelling, just despair and frustration, and me being near tears. It was determined (by someone other than me) that creme brulee might help.

To be honest, I absolutely needed to be handled today. It was bad. And yet it wasn't so much a wake-up call as the last snooze alarm.

Since there's a hiring freeze in place, I can't leave this job. But I've had a few days recently where I come home miserable or I dread going in the next day. I've been contemplating going back to my psychiatrist so that I can pay him to listen to me whine, he can kick me in the @$$ and tell me to get over it, and maybe teach me some deep breathing or something, and then I can get on with my life.

Today, when I found myself yelling for the third time (this time about another coworker, in the direction of the other manager, that went something along the lines of, "WHY AM I THE ONLY PERSON IN THIS OFFICE WHO DOES THEIR DAMN JOB CORRECTLY???"), I actually stopped and told him I thought perhaps I needed some type of anger management intervention.

So that was the snooze alarm. I'm going to make a call on Monday and see if I can get in to see the shrink some day next week. I know that I'll be ok for the next three days - tomorrow I'm by myself (and I know that I won't have to clean up anyone else's mess because I was the only one there today), and Monday and Tuesday I share the office with my favorite morning worker. Wednesday could be a challenge, since I have to deal with the girl who was the subject of that last rant, but knowing that she's in big trouble with the managers (you know, because she's not doing her job correctly) is going to keep me tongue-in-teeth.

For now, I'll be breathing in good air, and breathing out bad air, and hoping that keeps me going.

06 February, 2009

Trapped in an Ice Cube

8:30 class this morning.

I left the house at 7:30, and was met with this:

Sunrise as seen from inside an ice cube.

That's a solid sheet of ice on my windshield. And since I live IN FLORIDA, I don't own an ice scraper. So I sat in the car drinking coffee and shivering and blasting the defroster. I might have had to sit less than 10 minutes, had I not also been out of windshield washer fluid.

All's well that ends well. I made it to class in plenty of time. And I don't have frostbite.

05 February, 2009

Baby Love

It's time for some gratuitous kitten pictures!

I suppose that it was only a matter of time until Elphie, like her brother before her, took the leap into FridgeLand. She wasn't nearly as amused when I closed the door while I went to grab the camera. Oh well, no harm done. And really, we're thinking about saving electricity by opening up the fridge and letting nature cool it, so I know the cold couldn't have bothered her!

Please ignore the fact that Elph does not have pupils in this picture. Also, please ignore the messy desk behind her. What I would like you to notice is the color and shading of her fur. Her daddy was a black cat, and her mommy was black and gray stripes. I'm not quite sure how feline genetics work, (like her freakish long hair!) but this picture shows that she is the product of both her parents.

I love her dark brown and black stripes, but my favorite part about her is her little gorilla nose. If I ever get good pictures of all three of them, I'll do a little photo comparison of my cats' noses. They're all so different!

To quote Juno, "woah! dream big!"

04 February, 2009

Pardon Mii...

Wii have been playiing wiith our new viideo game system a lot. As a result, Ii have not been spendiing as much tiime iin my other non-real-liife pursuiits, such as bloggiing.

Ii do have thiings to share, iincludiing a really cute kiitten picture, so please don't leave forever! For now, enjoy this Facebook meme Ii diid a few days ago...
Bless me Father, for I have been peer pressured into participating in this!

Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.(To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right-hand corner of the page), then click Publish.)

1. I'm going to be 30 in 29 days.

2. I have a blog for this sort of stuff. You should go there!

3. I know a good amount of HTML code off the top of my head. This stems from the night my friend Maura and I spent in the South Halls computer lab until 6 am making our first web pages. That was freshman fall in 1996.

4. I have more cousins than I have fingers and toes, but no siblings. It makes me sad that my hypothetical offspring won't have any cousins of their own. They're a big part of my life.

5. On the subject of family, my mom is the youngest of 6 and my dad is the oldest of 4. Mom is the only one of her family with only one child. That explains all the cousins!

6. In my life I have worked in the following fields: disability services, theater, theme parks, restaurants, security, and I ran the campus movie channel in college.

7. I cross-trained in custodial a long time ago. On my first day, I had to clean up bright pink vomit from 3 adjoining toilet stalls. To this day, I won't touch Pepto no matter how ill I'm feeling. And here's a hint: on a hot summer day, if you're walking around and feeling sick, stop and sit for 20 minutes and drink some damn water. At least then if you puke, it'll be clear!

8. Another custodial tale: the trash cans in the Japan pavilion have more giant cockroaches per capita than anywhere else in the World Showcase. **shudder**

9. I have more gay ex-boyfriends than I care to admit.

10. Scott and I are saving for a house. We would already be living in one if we didn't have a love of fine dining and travel!

11. My biggest pet peeve involves being used for Disney tickets/discounts. I have an unpleasant number of people in my life who disappear until 3 weeks before their Florida trip and then all of a sudden we're BFFs. Note to anyone who thinks this might apply to them or someone they know: my birthday is in 29 days. Time to start card shopping!

12. I share my one bedroom apartment with three cats, a husband and a guinea pig.

13. There are 3 video game systems plugged in behind our living room TV. Of course, the Playstation is no longer hooked up to the TV, but it's still plugged in. We're quite green...yes we are! (the other two are Scott's Xbox 360 and our shiny new Wii)

14. My favorite movie of all time is The American President. It's possible I used it as escapist therapy during the "W" presidency...

15. I am currently working my way through the complete West Wing DVD set that I got for Christmas. I'm at the beginning of season 3 right now. What can I say? I heart Aaron Sorkin!

16. I also heart Barack Obama. His is the first campaign I donated money to.

17. My Aunt Rose instilled a deep appreciation for a good food/wine pairing in me during the Food & Wine "fesshival" a few years ago. It comes in handy now in my job, and when I go out to eat.

18. Even after all this time working for the Mouse, I still love Disney. I love Disney fireworks most of all. You just don't see them like that anywhere else.

18. When I was little, I was convinced I was going to have red-haired twin girls and I was going to name them Harmony and Melody. Thank God I didn't get pregnant when I was 11, huh?

19. A cautionary tale for any slackers out there: even if you don't graduate, they still expect you to pay back your student loans!

20. I mentioned fine dining before. Actually, it's ANY dining that we love. From McDonald's to Victoria & Albert's, we've rarely met a restaurant we didn't like. My current recommendation is Red Fish in Hilton Head, SC. You should go there. Have the scallops with lobster macaroni and cheese. Yummmm....

21. At this very moment, my husband is with some guys from the Super Bowl Champion Steelers. I'm not sure what he's doing, but he probably looks tiny in comparison!

22. I am ghetto fabulous. I say that because Jamie isn't a name that lends itself to nicknames and "J-Mo" is the only one that has ever stuck. Plus, there's a skinny little white kid named Chris in the kitchen at work and I have started calling him C-Diddy.

23. I love to sing in the car. There, I am Aida and Audrey, I defy gravity, and I'm a total rock star.

24. For Valentine's Day, I'm taking Scott to see A Chorus Line. I paid for the tickets (my gift to him), and he is going to go and not hate it (his gift to me). Actually, us going has nothing to do with V-Day. That just happens to be when the show is in town.

25. I have a 16"x20" poster of a whale shark, taken by me at the Atlanta Aquarium. I love taking pictures, and took about 200 that day. Other more local favorite photo spots are the nature trails at Animal Kingdom, Epcot during the Flower & Garden Festival, and Scott's balcony garden.