31 May, 2009
I most definitely give this movie JJJJJ out of JJJJJ. I'm trying to reserve "best Pixar movie ever" judgement for a few years to see if it holds up to the way I love Monsters, Inc. or Finding Nemo after 50+ viewings. But something about this movie got under my skin and stuck with me the way no movie I can remember has.
Without ruining any potential surprises for anyone, I can't possibly do anything close to a proper movie review. But really, go see it. We saw it in 3D, which was cool, and I have every intention of going to see it again in 2D, just to make the comparison. And, you know, maybe I'll make it through the movie without crying next time.
(and yes, I promised a post about our day with Beth and Pete and the girls. I've decided to just post the photos on Facebook.)
30 May, 2009
I stayed up late last night to watch Leno's last Tonight Show. You know, he was never my favorite. Unless he had a specific guest I wanted to see, I defaulted to Letterman. That said, he really is a good entertainer. Last night involved "best of" Jay Walking and an interview with Conan O'Brien (including a clip of their first meeting in April of 1993 when Conan had just signed on to do his show). The end was my favorite part though. Rather than doing some self-centered tear-jerker montage of clips set to "Thanks for the Memories" or something, he ended the show by talking about all the crew members who had met and married each other in the past 17 years and then brought up the curtain to show the 63(?) production babies born during his run on the Tonight Show. It was sweet.
Stay tuned for Monday, when Conan takes over in a brand new studio.
29 May, 2009
Bananas stuffed with marshmallows and chocolate chips, plus pineapple with caramel dipping sauce.
The bananas weren't bad, but we didn't really do a great job with the grill and they never quite warmed up. So we put them in the oven while the caramel sauce was finishing up.
Yep, I MADE the caramel sauce (out of a bag of square caramel candies and some half & half). Good Lord, that stuff was tasty! The pineapple was WAY acidic, but overall I give myself a pass.
Did I mention how good that sauce was?? The leftovers are in a cup in the fridge. Hopefully we can nuke it back to a good consistency. We have a bowl full of apples and 2 bananas left crying out for a little un-healthy-fication!
28 May, 2009
Me? I've actually been pretty good about this. This time, I even remembered that our days off would be changing. But still, life got in the way and I had to reschedule the appointments that we had - on the same day at the same time - to today 3 hours apart. That's ok, today was already going to be incredibly busy. This just adds to the jigsaw fun of the day. Check it out:
* 10:15 dentist appointment for one of us
* then hair cut for me (OMG I almost hacked off my bangs last night at work!)
* then lunch somewhere
* then potentially a quick run through Kohl's or Ross, depending on where lunch is, to find some summery capri pants
* 1:30 dentist appointment for the other one of us
* grocery shopping
* grocery put-awaying
* drive to Dave's to burn things on the grill for dinner
* plus laundry. Scott has that started already.
Tomorrow is a family day, Beth and Pete and the girls are in town and my mom is coming up at some point, but neither Beth nor I are sure what her plans are. We had two different stories and aren't sure whose is most current. "How do you keep a wave upon the sand?" No, really, if you know, can you tell me?
So it's not going to be much of a relaxing weekend. But that's ok - I can sleep Saturday at work!
27 May, 2009
One of the bloggers is Real Radio's own Jim Philips. His first post was poking fun at the local weather people:
Hipwader madness (HWM for short) can be seen every night on any of the local television news programs. Reporters don all manner of foul weather gear in their never-ending effort to inform the audience that it's raining outside.
At times I expect one of them to announce that after their "live shot" they will have to head to the docks and loosen the lines on the "Mary B" because the lobster pots have to be hoisted aboard. I swear I saw one of them in an advertisement for fish sticks.
May a merciful God intervene before one of these reporters sloshes into a nest of water moccasins or steps on a snapping turtle.
OK, I admit that there are some reporters that I enjoy watching outside in the rain.... and that water moccasin thing would make great TV. Otherwise, Jim is spot-on. Last week WFTV pre-empted Oprah for a one-hour special on the rain. And then ran their regular 90 minutes of local news, primarily focused on - you want to guess? - the rain! Even Kevin Oliver, the space reporter, got shoved outside without an umbrella to hold a model of the shuttle and explain why it couldn't land in that weather. Apparently rain hitting your exterior when you're coasting in at mach-2 can do serious damage. I can't really remember the specifics though - I was too distracted by the little waterfall pouring straight off Kevin's nose!
I hope he was wearing his hipwaders!
26 May, 2009
(More accurately, I'm having watermelon for breakfast now, and will be having nutri grain blueberry waffles in an hour for brunch. And then I'll probably have something for lunch a while after that.)
If I'm lucky, Number Two will have left his birthday cupcakes in the fridge at work and I can make myself sick on sugar like I did yesterday. In the words of Juno, "woah! dream big!"
Yep...that's all I have to say!
25 May, 2009
I might have to take the opportunity to turn my Encore pictures into an album. Other than that, I don't think I have that many pictures worth printing. (nope, not doing a Christmas with Elphie album!)
So anyway, here's what to do if you're interested: Go to snapfish.com, upload your photos, order your photos, and then use coupon code LETSPRINT.
Oh yeah - offer expires June 1.
24 May, 2009
Nicurnmama: omfg! we're going to hospital by ambulance. jodie cant see! pulse thready. pray, pass this on RT. i'll keep.y'all posted
She and her daughter were away from home for a dance competition, the daughter started puking non-stop, and now she's in the hospital with meningicoccal meningitis. The doctor put Laura on antibiotics "just in case," but not soon enough. She's got the same diagnosis and I'm guessing as a result she probably is no longer sitting at Jodie's bedside. If I'm reading correctly, Jodie is stable, but will be in the hospital for a while. Still, some scary stuff going on there.
A little closer to home, and less emergent, it seems Matthew and Kristen aren't having such a good time on their camping trip in Georgia:
Data_Byte: 255/70/r18 -- help -stuck at river rock
I (don't laugh) thought the wacky numbers were map coordinates or something. It turns out it's a tire size. Though I guess they're ok - Kristen just posted an update that the tire is being replaced and then they'll be on the way home. As much as they take that Jeep off-roading, I sort of wonder how many tires they've already gone through (since December).
As for me, I've got nothing tweet-worthy going on. I guess I should contemplate going to work some time soon...
23 May, 2009
LOS ANGELES -- Barack Obama was standing on a riser inside a warehouse here, delivering an inspirational speech about the blessings of freedom, when his left index finger began to twitch uncontrollably, unnerving his aides.
The nation's 44th president was in obvious distress. At least it looked like him. But with silicone skin and a tangled nest of wires for veins, this Obama was a 21st-century reproduction.
More specifically, it was an audio-animatronic representation of the president, as imagined by the Walt Disney Company, and assembled with the direct involvement of the White House staff -- and of Mr. Obama himself. The president supplied not just his measurements, but he also recorded that speech (which was initially drafted by a Disney writer) -- and yet another recitation of the oath of office, this one in Disney high-definition sound.
That's right, boys and girls, let the hype for the July 4 reopening of The Hall of Presidents officially begin! Having read the article, I'm more excited for the new show there than for the refurbished Space Mountain. Just a few more weeks!
''Young children watch this, and you want them to feel a sense of identification with the president,'' said Doris Kearns Goodwin, a presidential historian, who was recruited by Disney two years ago to write a Hollywood-style treatment about the presidents, which became the basis for a 20-minute documentary made for the exhibit. ''This makes the president someone not so far removed from them.''
As much as history isn't my thing, I absolutely *love* Doris Kearns Goodwin. Not only is she one of the most amusing regular Daily Show guests (along with Fareed Zakaria), but she wrote the book about Abraham Lincoln that inspired Obama during the campaign. She rocks!
The exhibit will open with the new film, narrated by the actor Morgan Freeman. At a certain point, the Abraham Lincoln figure will rise and speak to the audience, as it always has, but now it will deliver the Gettysburg Address in its entirety.
''And this is the first time George Washington will have a speaking role,'' said Kathy Rogers, a senior show producer for Walt Disney Imagineering, the unit that oversees the creative side of the theme parks.
But the emotional high point is intended to be the introduction of the Obama figure, who will yet again be heard taking the oath.
...and then he speaks some more, hopefully with words that turn out to be less hollow a few years down the road than the equal rights mumbo jumbo in W's HOP speech.
I can't wait! And if you told me even five years ago that I would be giddy anticipating the new guy in the Hall of Presidents, I'd tell you to lay off the crack. Funny how things change, huh?
* You really should click on the NYT article. Even if you don't want to read the rest of the text, you can at least see the little picture of "Robobama!"
22 May, 2009
Earlier today: "AAAAAH! MY NIPPLE'S BLEEDING! IT MUST BE EBOLA!"
Nope... not Ebola... Elphaba!
The cats occasionally chase each other across whomever is in their way, resulting in scratches, punctures, and other minor feline "war wounds." Today, I happened to be in Elphie's path as she jumped from the climbing tree in the corner down to the floor.
I grabbed my boob and started yelling before I actually assessed the injury. Generally I tend to exaggerate my war wounds. Imagine my surprise when realized I had actually bled through (Scott's) t-shirt!
Scott offered me a Q-tip and alcohol, which I declined in favor of soap and water. The cut is only maybe 1/3" long, so I'm pretty hopeful it won't get infected. After all, it would definitely be a shame to, in Scott's words, "lose a boob."
21 May, 2009
20 May, 2009
The name says it all. Unfortunately, I'm guessing the ABC attention increased their viewers by a lot and it's taxing their servers. If at first you don't get the page to load, hit refresh until it does.
If only I had any awkward family pictures to share... Sadly, my dad was always smiling for the camera, and I don't have any weird wedding pictures worth making fun of. (that last one might be the best... the "no one told me we were supposed to look angry" photo)
19 May, 2009
...and in case the video won't play for you (won't play for me!) here's the link.
18 May, 2009
17 May, 2009
This is the month that doesn't end...
It just goes on and on my friend...
We turned the page on the calendar because of when it was,
and now we will be living it forever just because...
This is the month that doesn't end...
NaBloPoMo has definitely been tough for me this time around. All I want to write is variations on the theme of "I hate my job." But when it comes down to it, I don't hate the job. I'm bored of the job. And I feel taken for granted. But given the state of the economy, I should be thankful that I have a job, and even more thankful that I got a less-than-cost-of-living raise this year. That's really everything that needs to be said on the subject, so for the rest of the month I'm declaring a moratorium on work posts.
I still don't have anything to say, so be on the lookout for more pictures of the ZPMKPZ (now with tropical palm tree) in the coming days. Or, you know, more quotes from college commencement addresses. I like those too.
16 May, 2009
"I come here not to dispute the suggestion that I haven't yet achieved enough in my life. ... I come to embrace the notion that I haven't done enough in my life; I heartily concur; I come to affirm that one's title, even a title like president of the United States, says very little about how well one's life has been led -- that no matter how much you've done, or how successful you've been, there's always more to do, always more to learn, and always more to achieve."
...and then there's Joe "Chicken Little" Biden, who informed students graduating from Syracuse University that they "are graduating into a world of anxiety and uncertainty." To be fair, the whole passage wasn't that bad:
"You are graduating into a world of anxiety and uncertainty, but these are the moments you can embrace. Throughout the span of history, only a handful of us ever get a chance to actually shape the course of history."
photo and both quotes from abcnews.com
Congratulations, class of 2009. Good luck out there!
15 May, 2009
The date on the bottom of the photo was 9-26-02, right around the time our lease together was up. Actually, I think it was right after I moved into my shoebox apartment. I couldn't tell you much about this day in Epcot, except that we had our yards-o-beer and then thought refills were a good idea. I believe this photo was taken during that second round. I can also tell you that the anonymous and certainly not now a Law Enforcement Officer person in the photo with me LOVED that purple shirt and wore it all the time. I'm sure whatever I was wearing, it was either a theme park logo t-shirt or a free shirt. That's all I wore back then!
14 May, 2009
13 May, 2009
So... there's this new reservation system set to "go live" in a few weeks. Actually, it already is live, since people have been booking in said system for weeks now. Now we're nearing the event horizon where the restaurants will have to start using it exclusively.
I'm not happy.
The old system, while antiquated and not willing to conform to the great data-share in the way that the company feels ALL systems should, works just fine. The new system, which apparently shares information just fine, does NOT do anything else just fine. I've been dealing with this system since the testing phase in November. We identified problems, and were told that said problems would be fixed. Indeed, situations arising for The Restaurant especially would be priorities because of our status in the hierarchy of dining.
Fast forward 6 months to the present.
While some things have been fixed, most "have been requested" and have no ETA. We just got access to the last piece of the puzzle - reporting. Reports are the bread & butter of the way we do business. It's how we know who is coming, when they are coming, what allergies/occasions/special quirks they all have. The new reports take 5 minutes (literally) to load, are incomplete, and have little grasp on reality. Case in point: a date in late July where we have 5 parties of 2 showing on the report. Total guest count: 12. WTF???
Someone (maybe Scott?) asked me last night why we're changing systems if the other system was ok. At the time, I made a bad heart transplant analogy. This morning, I think I have it. It's like going to a (bad) surgeon because you have a splinter in your foot. The surgeon thinks in terms of surgery, so instead of grabbing tweezers and pulling out the splinter, he amputates the whole foot. Recovery? That's YOUR problem.
One of my co-workers had a chat with the manager of another restaurant yesterday, and he said he was ready to jump off a bridge. It seems that the only restaurant people who aren't stressed about this change are the ones like The Boss, who have delegated all responsibility to other people and choose to remain blissfully ignorant. This train is rolling towards the edge of the Grand Canyon, and I'm betting they're not going to build the track around in time for us to not derail.
And now, I shall take my bucket of mixed metaphors and do some deep breathing.
12 May, 2009
Anyway, I made myself laugh this morning when I came out and greeted my menagerie. Elphie was closest, so I started with her. As I scratched them each on top of the head I said, "good morning baby girl... good morning fat boy... good morning angry cat." And then I thought I should say "good morning John Boy," but I would have just confused the cats.
In retrospect, that might not have been a story worth telling. Sorry. Only other news around here is that our CD matures today and I have to move the money to our savings account. And now, the will power kicks in!
11 May, 2009
As for Obama, I think Scott and I agree that Dick Cheney's memoir, "How to Shoot Friends and Interrogate People" was the best shot of the night.
You know, for $200/plate, I'd love to go to one of those some time.
In case you missed it: Wanda's Routine, Obama's Routine
Very sorry this wasn't more in-depth. I could've written a substantive post, but I'm meeting up with a cousin this morning.
10 May, 2009
09 May, 2009
Scott: apparently, on Take your Kid to Work Day, at some FL correctional facility they felt it was okay to show the kids how electronic pacification devices worked… You know...TAZERS! A few supervisors have been fired for SOME reason from the facilities. FOR TAZING KIDS maybe?
Jamie: at least they didn't strap them into the death chamber and hook up an IV of anything
Scott: oh now that'd be funnier'n hell
Jamie: "who wants to sit on Old Sparky?" (which is not, incidentally, an electric chair, but the pervy old man who watches the showers)
Scott: is he the guy with the walker? Ol' Ssssssparky
if you're not a fan of Family Guy, or just didn't get the reference to the guy in the walker, check this out...
08 May, 2009
07 May, 2009
Finally Milo joined the party. Though with Milo, it's less 'party' and more 'let's nap.' He really is my grumpy old man!
This picture is my best chance to show & tell all the cool features of the ZPKPZ.
* The bottom level doesn't really have anything special about it. The two cubes facing the camera are open, but don't connect to the back side. This section is basically still intact from the cage.
* The second level has 2 sections - an open square and an L-shaped section (where Milo is). The left corner is open on top for "secret" access to the third level.
* Kilo is camped out on the third level, which is basically just the one platform.
* The fourth level has two squares with a wall in between. The section where Elphie is sitting doesn't easily connect to anywhere else, and she had to jump to get in there.
* The fifth level is where the cats go when they want to taunt me by threatening to jump to the top of the book shelf. So far none has made the leap, but I'm sure it's coming. Elphie jumps up there all the time when we're not around, making the "bad cat" trip from the back of the TV to the top of the TV to the top of the book shelf.
If we had it to do over again, we'd have done something cooler with the bottom section, and used some common sense to connect the two squares on the fourth level. So far, they seem really happy with their new space (though as I type this, Elphie is on my lap, Milo is asleep under the desk, and Kilo is laying right behind my chair). And in case you were wondering, the lovely burnt orange fabric covering the levels are cheap Wal-Mart towels that we got for Zoe's cage that never got used.
So, are you jealous? I am - I totally want a grown-up size Play Zone!
There's a pile of cookies cooling on a plate on the counter. The pile looks pretty substantial, but isn't going to be nearly as impressive when it is divided in half and shipped to two different locations later this afternoon. We should have made them smaller.
Lessons learned with this particular batch:
* "Softening" butter in the microwave is a delicate process. 2o seconds and the stick is still rock hard, 30 seconds and it's in a puddle.
* Check for all ingredients before starting. This recipe called for 1.5 cups of granulated sugar. The cookies got 1.25 cups of granulated and .25 cups of powdered!
* Pay attention to what you're doing! The cookies were supposed to be pink/white swirled. Instead they are pink with white blobs, sort of like sausage.
* And possibly the most important lesson of all: cookies are forgiving. Despite the fact that these are certainly not the best incarnation of the recipe, they are still tasty. And made with love.
06 May, 2009
We'll keep working on it. It's good to have goals, right?
05 May, 2009
Usually our local newscasters can be counted on to deliver a bad pun or mispronounce a common word. Sometimes they come up with some real gems. This morning though, Diane Sawyer must have taken her stupid pill. Coming back from a story of something that happened yesterday, she quipped "So that happened on cinco de cuatro!" One of the guys paused, trying to decide whether or not to say it, and then responded "cuatro de Mayo."
I love Diane, and GMA is the only morning news show that I watch, so please understand that I poke fun in a good way. I just don't think I've ever seen her fumble like that before.
04 May, 2009
This gruelling challenge will have us lugging our impressive frames on a 5k run to raise money for web-based educational systems to help developing countries. The money raised will be used for innovative IT software to connect the world's most remote schools to online learning tools. If I reach my goal, its estimated that it will connect one secondary school in the developing world.
Honestly, she could be running for beer money and I'd still pitch in. Apparently in my world, humiliation = cash. Must be all the reality TV I watch!
I wish I could have given more, but she's in the UK and the exchange rate sort of sucks. So help me out - click on the link above and send her some money. It really is for a good cause!
03 May, 2009
02 May, 2009
Today marks the beginning of a very busy stretch at work. I say that with an actual amount of excitement, because business has not been great for the past few months. But this week we have wait lists for some days, full seatings for other days, and none of us can figure out why. Someone remarked that it's spill-over from Mother's Day. Good theory, except we're pretty dead on Mother's Day.
Sweet of the day: left-overs from last night for dessert at work: fresh fruit salad from Publix. There's watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, grapes and pineapple. Yum!
01 May, 2009
Scott and I did another hour of biking at Ft. Wilderness this morning, followed by lunch at Sweet Tomatoes (now open at Crossroads!). Now, we're on our way to what is becoming a weekly cook-out at Dave's.
We have a few pictures from today's outing, but they are, for now, still on the camera. I'll try to post a few when we get home. (or after midnight for tomorrow's post)
As for the theme, I'm not sure if they were talking about sweet treats or sweet things like kitten photos. Today, I'll tell you about the desserts we had at dinner last night at The Ravenous Pig. We split a strawberry-rhubarb crisp and a caramel-chocolate tart. Both were divine... and WAY sweet! The best part of the meal though was the veggies that came with my fish. That's the first time I've ever had okra served as a vegetable instead of deep-fried. I'm totally in love!
TTFN... I'm off to a decidedly less high-brow dinner tonight!!