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31 December, 2010

PotD: Midnight, Shmidnight

It doesn't look like Milo is going to make it another 2 1/2 hours.  You know what? Neither will I.  Oh well.  Happy New Year to everyone!

2010 in Non-Sequitor

It's my favorite post of the year!

Take the first sentence of the first post of every month this year on your blog and put them all together.
If you love the Muppets as much as I do, I bet you'll enjoy spending time on the website for Disney's new volunteer-and-we'll-give-you-a-park-ticket campaign.  I'm pretty bad at peer pressure. I was going for a clever play on 'Pride and Prejudice' but I think I failed.

Once again, I find myself the victim(?) of peer pressure in the form of NaBloPoMo.  I made sticky buns for breakfast.  Rationally, I understand that boycotting BP doesn't hurt BP as much as it hurts local station owners and workers and that's it's a pretty ineffective emotional response. 

After dinner Thursday, Scott and I stopped in to Bath & Body Works because I needed some pretty-smelling hand sanitizer for my work desk. The problem with blog posts that write themselves is that they don't publish themselves. I woke up this morning an hour early to bake a loaf of banana bread to take to work. 

I read today on Twitter that October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to present you with my new computer desktop image.  Scott pulled out the Christmas tree this afternoon and put it up. 

Happy New Year everyone.  Best wishes for health and wisdom in 2011!

30 December, 2010

PotD: Love from Greenpop

I had some other contenders for Photo of the Day, but none as sweet as this!

Thanks, Greenpop :)
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

29 December, 2010

PotD: What's a Motto With You?

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Nesting

Alternate misleading post title:
What to Expect When You're Expecting
(Baby Eagles)



Do you see it in the picture up above? It's pretty well camouflaged. How about in the picture below?


I could barely see the birds in the nest with my naked eye. And not at all in the camera viewfinder. I lucked out with my timing - one bird had just flown back to the nest with a new stick, and they (I assume) were tucking it in where it needed to go.


So while I don't have any clue if or when we'll actually have a whole big eagle family, I know that for the immediate future I'll have plenty of photo opportunities.

Cotton Balls Dipped in Pea Soup

I took this picture at about 7:20 this morning at the entrance to my development. Even if you can't tell from the photo, let me assure you that the visibility was crap. And believe it or not, aside from a few clear patches, the visibility was this bad or worse for my entire drive in to work.
It was panic-inducing bad. Like driving through cotton candy... or cotton balls... or pea soup... or cotton balls dipped in pea soup.
It reminded me of a news story my mom once told me about a bridge that was destroyed by a boat in heavy fog (a Google search leads me to believe it might have been the Sunshine Skyway?) and cars kept driving right off the road into the water because they couldn't see that the road in front of them had disappeared. All my life, I wondered how a person could be so stupid as to not know the road was gone.
At one point this morning, when the fog was at its thickest, I was convinced the road in front of me was going to disappear. Now I understand.
On the bright side, driving slowly and concentrating on the white line painted on the side of the road made me notice all of the frost on the grass. I wish I could've stopped to take a picture of some feathery marsh grass that was thick white and sparkly. It was pretty awesome.
And speaking of taking pictures, I'm going to try to take and post a photo a day in 2011. Whether terrible camera phone pictures (dear Blackberry, yours is the worst camera phone I've ever had. love, Jamie) or planned outings with the camera, I think it'll be a fun and easy way to document the year.

28 December, 2010

Paranoia Justified

Preface: This story starts with a simple Christmas gift: a thermal cup for work that's got a built-in straw. The cup is important because it's established Jamie Fact that when I have a cup with a straw I drink more. Lots more.

At 11:30 this morning, I was on my third work pee of the day. I had washed my hands and was reaching for the paper towel dispenser when I noticed a small roach-ish (oval-shaped brown crunchy body, about 1" long) bug on the top edge of the trash can below. So I went to the far end of the bathroom and used the other towel dispenser and left the bathroom.

I called Scott and whined that I wasn't going to be able to pee for the rest of the day because of the bug. Of course, with all that free-flowing water, there was no way I'd make it another 5 hours without a pit stop or six.

On my fourth pee of the day, I was sitting on the toilet when I realized I hadn't done a full inspection of the stall first. Instantly, I started imagining the tickle of bug feet on my butt and thighs.

On pee #5, I abandoned my regular stall (too close to the last known location of the intruder), but still lifted up the seat and peeked around a little to make sure I was alone before closing the door. I felt silly, but I figured better safe than sorry.

On pee #6 (yes six!), I returned to my regular stall. I grabbed a wad of toilet paper, wiped the seat, and used the same wad to lift up the seat. And there it was. The roach. Under the very seat where I imagined it hiding all along. I tossed the TP into the toilet and went 3 stalls away. And then I went back to my office chanting, "heebie jeebie, heebie jeebie, HEEBIE JEEBIE!!!"

I hope it's gone completely by tomorrow. I love my new cup, and would hate to have to abandon it just because I have to go to another building just to use the bathroom!

17 December, 2010

Appreciation

Allow me to preface this blog post by stating unequivocally that I do not feel taken for granted at home. If anything, I don't do enough to tell Scott how much I appreciate him. But this post is all about work.

As you know if you're caught up on my Twitter or Facebook accounts, I made sticky buns for the 3rd shift safety meeting. This was a three-day process that caused me to bail on a friend's holiday party Wednesday (though as it turns out, Scott's day got all haywire and we wouldn't have been able to make it anyway) and not sing in a previously scheduled show of Candlelight on Thursday. But I promised them a month ago.

It turns out one of my 3rd shift managers had a family emergency and had to go out of town (which, by the way, sucks any time but double-sucks right before Christmas), and one of our attractions had some big issue that took another manager away. So this morning was a small crew. I begged them to eat, begged them to take some back for people not in the area, and still had 1/3 of their batch left.

(their batch - an entire 9x13 Pyrex dish - spent 45 minutes in a warm oven and was transported in a thermal carrier so that they would be warm and gooey. you're right mom, I do spoil them!)

I also had packed a separate container for my core group that I work with every day. So I spent much of this morning trying to give away sticky buns to everyone who walked in (or past) my office*. Everyone who took one pretty much gave me some version of "wow, that's really tasty," but my crowning achievement came just a little while before I left.

One of our electricians took a sticky bun to be polite. Really, when I offered it the first time he said "I'll come back after I eat my sandwich," and I didn't think he's come back. He did come back, took a small bun, and left. About 45 seconds later he came back, plate clean, mouth full, and exclaimed, "oh my God Jamie that was the best thing I ever ate. I need another one!" He grabbed a second one out of the container and left. And I almost melted in a big puddle of happy-to-be-appreciated goo!

To be fair, I'd never brought anything more culinarily complex than an apple pie to The Restaurant. But it's tough to "wow" people who generally eat scraps of 5-diamond food for dinner every night. There, I often felt invisible or, in the case of pot-luck dinners, out-matched. Now, every day I'm thanked for something. And the only thing I've brought in that didn't end up completely eaten was the cranberry sauce I brought in for Thanksgiving.

I know that a time will probably come when I no longer LOVE my job and LOVE my co-workers and LOVE the people I support and LOVE my office-mate. But right now, I really do love them, at least in part because they love me.

*I was SHOCKED by how many people had never heard the term "sticky bun" before. I weep for those people and their hollow, empty lives!

12 December, 2010

Cruise Food

Well, I promised "something" about the cruise, this weekend, so here are some food pictures. Who doesn't love food pictures?

These first two pictures are of dessert from our first night. Really, I only took them because we were amused by the tiny strawberry pieces. Scott's dessert is the one on the left - some sort of chocolate cake thing - and mine was cranberry-orange cheesecake.


And now for some pictures from Palo. I had monkfish with mascarpone risotto and red pepper sauce, and Scott had lamb chops. We also got to try the lobster ravioli.



Palo has a "famous" chocolate soufflé that they recommend, but to me a soufflé isn't really any more special than a warm piece of cake. We had it once, just because everyone says "did you have the soufflé?" Now I can say yes, "but next time you should try the pineapple ravioli...it's amazing." And Scott loves their panna cotta so much he'll probably never order something else.



And thus concludes the gratuitous food pics from the cruise. I'm sorry I didn't get pictures of the amazing eggs benedict or Scott eating caviar at the Palo brunch. I did, however, get a picture of Scott's traditional start-of-cruise shrimp feast. Enjoy!

10 December, 2010

Nothing Under the Tree

Scott pulled out the Christmas tree this afternoon and put it up. We'll be decorating it tomorrow, adding ornaments picked up during our stay-cation in Tampa (Dali Museum melting clock, of course) and our way-far-away-cation in the Caribbean. I love Christmas, and I love our tree, even though it's too small for the angel we got last year. But this year, there won't be any gifts under the tree.

Like we did in 2008, we have decided to forgo gifts for friends, family, and co-workers and instead donate to charity. This year, we'll be giving to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. In '08, we had a lot of fun shopping for Toys for Tots, and it's something I'd love to do with my future hypothetical children. But this year I felt really strongly that our money should go to a more practical fund. Second Harvest actually provides food to other nonprofits - everything from homeless shelters to breakfast programs for school kids - and I would rather make sure that there's no one hungry on Christmas morning (and for the rest of the year) than give away toys.

But before anyone accuses me of Scrooge-ing underprivileged kids, please read on...

In 2008, we had plenty of gifts under the tree for ourselves, and this year we're buying nothing but stocking stuffers. That's because we decided to make an unexpected donation to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Florida. "Unexpected? How can that be?" Well you see...

As Disney Cruise Line prepares to bring its newest ship – Disney Dream – online, a special two-night and invitation only preview cruise will take place [...] in support of Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida. As part of this one-of-a-kind sailing, 100 percent of the cruise fare will be donated directly to the organization, while select Boys & Girls Clubs children and their families from Brevard, Osceola, Orange and Seminole counties will have a unique opportunity to sail onboard.
(from the Disney Parks Blog)

Merry Christmas to us!

The money we spent on the cruise really wasn't that much more than we would have spent on actual gifts, and we justified the extra expenditure by telling eachother that the money was going to charity. I'm not even pretending that we booked the cruise strictly as a charitable donation. Scott and I have been gobbling up every story about this ship since they started hinting about the awesomeness aboard, and dreaming about the day - more than likely over a year from now - when we'd be able to get a booking cheap enough for us to afford. This also gives my inner journalist the chance to "scoop" ALL of our friends. And did I mention that the inaugural cruise is after our cruise? We're going on before all those Disney nuts who booked 2 years ago!

Plus, we'll be able to give all of you the "gift" of another vicarious vacation. Sure, I've been remiss in blogging at all about our last cruise, but aside from the ports of call (and Cozumel doesn't even count because we never even got off the ship. don't judge - it was raining AND Mexico!), it really was quite similar to the Disney Magic cruise we took in 2007. I'll put something up this weekend, I promise. But this will be a NEW ship with NEW restaurants and NEW shows!

You're welcome!

...and I hope you have some money in your budget to donate to your favorite charity. All kidding (and cruising) aside, I'm grateful that we're in a position to do so. And I know that our gift to the food bank will go to better use than a gift card or knick knack would, and that the memories we make on our mini vacation - and the ones the kids make at the local B&GC's - will last longer than a video game or jewelery would have.

26 November, 2010

It's Been A While...

...since I shared any backyard wildlife photos. And truth be told, these pictures weren't taken in the backyard. They were taken by the dumpster at the end of the street.

25 November, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving


Sure it's pretty, but will there be horcruxes? Scott and I are going nontraditional after work - Harry Potter 7.1 and then modified Thanksgiving dinner of chicken breasts, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and probably a vegetable. I made cranberry-orange cookies for us to take to work, but no dessert for tonight.
Anyway, have a great turkey day and don't forget to stop for a moment and remember what you are thankful for: ME! ;-)

21 November, 2010

Making Things

Whenever I make anything, there's this moment in the process where it goes from an abstract to an actual thing. For me, that's a bigger accomplishment than seeing the completed product. When making cookies, it's adding the flour that turns the slimy sugar-butter-egg goo into cookie dough. With soft pretzels, it never seems real until the dough has risen.

Today, I made a vest for Scott. I cut out most of the pieces yesterday, before realizing that we couldn't find the iron (umm...this also means I haven't ironed in over a year...is it wrong that I'm proud of that?). I quit for the night, and then finished cutting this morning after a run to Target for a $7 iron and an eggnog latte.

So really, 80% of this process happened today. After the cutting, I attached the front and back at the shoulders. Then came the long and tedious process of pinning and then ironing interfacing to the lining. (still not quite sure what the heck the point of that was) Then I attached the back and front of the lining at the shoulders. Then I spent an hour pinning the whole outside to the whole liner. Then it was finally time to sew more than 6" at a time.

Much like making a pillow, you sew the vest together with the "good" sides facing each other, leave a hole, and then flip it right-side-out through the hole. It wasn't until I did that flip that I looked down at the work table and thought, "holy shit - this might actually work!"

It's done now, except for the buttons. I'm waiting to have Scott try it on while I pin the buttons in the right spot. I'm so proud of myself. I haven't sewn anything since 9th grade sewing class and half expected to have a temper tantrum and never finish. Quite the contrary, I considered the extra fabric that I bought, and seriously thought about making a vest for myself. But then I realized how small our office is, and how I haven't had anything to eat since 8 am, and I thought perhaps I'll just take it easy for the rest of the day.

No vest for me, but I am going to use some extra fabric to make myself a matching belt/sash thing and a headband. You're going to love these pictures, I'm sure!

09 November, 2010

More Water, Please

I'm having a glass of water for breakfast.

Yesterday, I had multi-grain Cheerios for breakfast, a tuna salad salad (tuna salad on a bed of romaine) for lunch, and dry honey nut Cheerios for dinner. Dinner, by the way was partly before Candlelight rehearsal and then as much as I could swallow before 7:00.

That's right, I have fasting blood work this morning. And yesterday's meal was a feeble attempt to skew the results. Some may call it cheating, but I think it's just good sense. Plus, I had those home-made ravioli the night before last, so it's not like I've been sensible for long.

I know from a non-fasting cholesterol test I had at work that Cheerios for breakfast significantly lowered my triglycerides. I have my fingers crossed that I'll be back in the normal range without pharmaceutical intervention. Wish me luck!

...and after the blood test? McDonald's for breakfast!

06 November, 2010

Imodium

I took two Imodium Wednesday night. I rarely take Imodium at all, and when I do I've been known to take 1/2 a pill. I don't know how it works, but I picture it as one of those novelty capsule-that-turns-into-a-sponge-animal things, but with concrete instead of a sponge.

Anyway, at the time two pills seemed like the best thing for me. Trust me - I was near tears and tweeting to God for mercy.

Fortunately, the pills worked.

Unfortunately, the pills are still working.

I may be putting prunes on the shopping list.

02 November, 2010

Sad Jamie is Sad

Wow, it's worse than 2004. Rubio and Webster will be representing me and my district. I don't think I'll be excitedly waiting up for results tonight.

Damn...

01 November, 2010

The 'Dream' is a Floating Reality

Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to present you with my new computer desktop image:


photo credit. there are 71 photos in the gallery, and it's definitely worth spending a few minutes there


The Disney Dream took a major step forward (while being tugged backwards) over the weekend when her Floating Out took place at the shipyard in Germany. The official Disney take on the event can be found here (along with some other cool pictures).


It's hard to gauge the size difference between this ship and the Magic/Wonder ships until you take a look at a picture of the stern. At least that was true for me. Not only is this ship 3 or 4 decks taller, it's also broader. I don't even think that there are verandas on the other ships that face that direction.



Anyway, it's pretty awesome. And apparently the first 450 crew members will be moving on board soon to get the inside sparkling and pretty. She'll be doing sea trials for the next two months, and then heading "home" to Port Canaveral for her inaugural cruise in January. I can't wait to see her in person!

31 October, 2010

Killing Myself for a Bargain

I had a coupon from Snapfish - buy one calendar get two free - and decided I couldn't pass it up. I didn't read that there was a specific size calendar included, so my first three hours of work (on three separate calendars) was pretty much wasted.

Round two of calendars took me a little less than two hours, and they actually came out better than round one. I guess I can't complain. Except about my aching click & drag fingers! My hands HURT!

Anyway, now Scott and I each have calendars for our offices, and I made one for home that's mostly pictures of us. It's my favorite!

My creativity has been sapped for the day, so please excuse me while I go dig into leftover Halloween candy and then head to bed.

30 October, 2010

Label Fail

This is an actual tab on an actual hanging file in my desk. I spent a few hours over the past week cleaning out the desk, mostly recycling a half-ton of various papers (hello? isn't that what computer archives are for?) and moving folders around.

Despite all of the unsentimental brush clearing I did, I couldn't bring myself to get rid of the "Scap Paper" file, because every time I see it I chuckle.
I have approximately 100 hanging files in three drawers in my desk, and personally use five. There are another ten with stuff I haven't yet decided it's ok to toss. And of course, 2" of scrap paper that's been memorialized in an otherwise unused drawer (note: the folder in front of the tab is full of half-used notebooks. WTF?).

I'll leave you with two other pictures, for S&G's. These are the other file drawers. The first is the one I actually use (the first five files, at least). The second has 62 files - two sets labeled 1-31. Obviously I didn't do that zig-zag with the tabs. It pings my OCD every time I see it!

29 October, 2010

Do You Know What Time It Is?

It's BEDTIME!

It's been a long day, but now it's the weekend, I finally got my contact lens prescription filled, and tomorrow is the Rally to Restore Sanity.

If you can make sense out of that last sentence, you're probably as tired as I am.

Good night!

28 October, 2010

Hooray! The '10-'11 Straz Season Has Started!!

If you're lucky, perhaps tomorrow there will be a review...

27 October, 2010

Out of the Loop

I'll be honest: I missed the whole Marie Claire kerfuffle a few days back. I knew something was up because I read a few random tweets about it, but I am just about at my saturation point for journalists (and I use that term loosely) saying stupid things and being fired so I tuned out.

Then one of my favorite author-bloggers took the magazine to task.

Nutshell: columnist writes ridiculously insensitive column about how fat people gross her out. Nope, I'm not oversimplifying:

"So anyway, yes, I think I'd be grossed out if I had to watch two characters with rolls and rolls of fat kissing each other ... because I'd be grossed out if I had to watch them doing anything. To be brutally honest, even in real life, I find it aesthetically displeasing to watch a very, very fat person simply walk across a room — just like I'd find it distressing if I saw a very drunk person stumbling across a bar or a heroine addict slumping in a chair."

And so Jenn Lancaster, author of comic memoirs such as My Fair Lazy and Such a Pretty Fat, has stepped up to the plate to offer a well-reasoned, thoughtful, humorous, and downright amazing analysis and response. It's long, and you should read every word. Here's one paragraph to set the mood:

"Here’s the thing - I’ve spent my career trying to give readers the message that they should love themselves no matter what. I’ve worked hard to set the kind of example that will help empower women to embrace who they are and what they look like. Sometimes I’m stupid and vain and I get caught up in silly things like whether or not my teeth are properly whitened, but the point is I do my best to build myself – and, by extension, other women – up and I get pissed off when some self-righteous asshole tells us we aren’t of value because we don’t fit into some arbitrary standard of beauty."
I read the rest of the post with tears in my eyes, ready to attend a Fatty Rally and wave a Cacique bra over my head with one hand while holding a Five Guys burger in the other. I read the whole thing out loud to Scott. When I finished, his response was, "I love her!" And I love her too. And I agree with Jenn's ultimate conclusion that the girl who wrote the Marie Claire piece isn't the enemy. She's got opinions, and God love her for being brave enough to share them with the world. But shame on Marie Claire. Well, I guess they won't have to focus on plus-size fashion for a while - my guess is they just lost themselves an entire demographic!

As for Jenn, I've never actually read any of her books. I've got one that I bought earlier this month and hid from myself so that I'd have something new to read on the cruise. Maybe as a thank-you to her, I'll buy another one. After all, Scott will need something to read too!

26 October, 2010

Florida Ballot Amendments

It's one week until election day! And so today, I present a sneak-peek at Jamie's Votes on Florida's Amendment Proposals:

1. No
2. No
4. No
5. Yes
6. Yes
8. Yes

Want some more specifics? Sure! Well, I used Scott Maxwell's Amendments for Dummies column as a guide. And since he's already boiled down each proposal into 10-words-or-less synopses, I hope he'll forgive me for not paraphrasing them further...

1. Should Florida stop offering subsidies for statewide campaigns? I said no, because I like the idea of someday (obviously not this year) non-billionaires being able to competitively run for public office without dumping millions of dollars of their own money into mud-slinging ads. In college, the USG presidential candidates were held to a spending cap, and the election board had to log and stamp each and every sign, banner, and flyer before they went up. I think it made sense then, and I wish it worked that way in the real world.

2. Do soldiers serving abroad deserve property-tax breaks? This one was tough for me. I respect and revere soldiers, but this is just too vague. I don't think serving abroad in Germany is really that tax break worthy. I also don't like the idea that parents could add their adult soldier child as a co-owner on their home and live there tax-free indefinitely. Had the wording been more restrictive, I would have said yes. But now I say no.

4. Should voters have a more direct say on growth? No thanks...I elect city council so that I don't have to be bothered with little issues. Want more say? Go to council meetings and argue to your representatives. Otherwise, what are you paying them for?

5 & 6. Should Florida have compact, geographically sensible congressional and legislative districts? Yes. Have you seen our congressional districts? Thank you!

8. Should we make the class-size cap more flexible? Yes. It's ok to have 30 kids in a class, as long as that's the exception and not the rule.

Thanks to Scott Maxwell for paring down the amendments into normal-speak. And thanks to anyone who read all the way to the bottom. If you disagree with me, I hope you'll leave me a comment.

25 October, 2010

Today, It's the Nose

Does anyone remember that Puffs commercial with the kid whose nose literally ran across his face when the tissue approached? Today, that's me.

Aside from painful congestion, my nose is runny. But it's doing that thing where you just need to have a tissue on stand-by to catch drips. Any attempt to blow will just further compact the congestion.

And the sneezes! Big sneezes that seem to come from my toes! They are as painful as they are disgusting!

I was up on and off all night with a cough. No worries there - it was the tickle-in-your-throat annoying type of cough, not the honking-goose cough that I had the past few days. I made it through the day at work, and have found my way back to the couch. Don't look for me elsewhere.

...unless I decide to go out to the garage and take the drywall saw to my nose. It's not so much spiting my face as solving a problem!

24 October, 2010

Couch-Bound

It's a good thing I went and got the antibiotics yesterday, because I'm feeling about 100% worse today than yesterday. My sinuses realized they were missing out on the congesting, mucus-producing fun. And damn, am I tired!

It's unlikely that I'll be going to work tomorrow, but by antibiotic day #3 I know I'm at least not going to infect anyone else. But damn, I'm so tired!

Coughing is exhausting, as is nose blowing and keeping my eyes open. I'm not sure I could handle sitting up all day on top of all that!

23 October, 2010

Whine

I'm officially sick again. Hopefully 2 days of Azithromycin will make me better enough to go back to work on Monday. I've already accepted that the weekend is a wash - but full of soup and juice and other good things. And naps. Naps are the best part of being sick!

Please excuse me as I continue my convalescence on the couch and watch Harry Potter.

22 October, 2010

One Story, Two Versions

The Short Version:
I woke up this morning, brushed my teeth, washed my hair, dried my hair, got dressed, and left for work. I went to the safety meeting, shared pretzel nuggets, and then worked the rest of my shift.

The Long Version:
I woke up this morning at 3:51 - ten minutes before I was supposed to be at work. I flew out of bed, brushed my teeth, washed the top half of my hair from outside the tub, dried enough of my hair to get it started curling under, got dressed, ran downstairs, grabbed my purse, keys, and the bowl of pretzel nuggets, and left for work at exactly 4:00. I called to tell one of the third shift managers that I would be late and drove quickly but safely to work in exactly 30 minutes, went to the safety meeting where I was openly mocked for my tardiness, shared pretzel nuggets (and was forgiven for my tardiness because they were so darn tasty), and then worked the rest of my shift.

Strangely enough, I set two alarms last night. One went off an hour early and one didn't go off at all. It's good to know I can make it from passed out asleep to sitting at work in 39 minutes. It usually takes me longer than that just to drive to work, plus over an hour of awake time before leaving the house! Just the same, I don't think I'll be doing that again any time soon!

21 October, 2010

RIP DVR

The DVR is dead.


For the past few weeks, the quality of the recordings was getting worse and worse. Then the quality of the signal on the HD channels started to get worse and worse. Then it failed to record Glee on Tuesday. Then when we tried the old shut it off and turn it back on trick tonight, it refused to reboot.


Sigh...


So tonight I won't be able to watch Night of Too Many Stars, because I'd rather watch Grey's Anatomy on the TV tonight than on abc.com tomorrow. I'll probably still end up watching Private Practice on the computer, because I'm tired and will be making a concerted effort to fall asleep early tonight.


That's right, tomorrow is my monthly 4am meeting. I made pretzel nuggets (the last sheet just came out of the oven) for them, because I'm just awesome like that.

Also not connected to anything else, Scott grilled turkey burgers and veggie burgers for dinner tonight. The veggie burger was surprisingly tasty. The turkey, even with fiesta dip (I read the label - it's not that bad for you), wasn't spectacular. It was good, and even moist, but just a little ho-hum.

And now it's time to get in bed and watch TV until I convince my brain to sleep.

20 October, 2010

Antici...

...pation

Anyone want to know what I'll be doing starting in 10 minutes? Watching all of these songs performed at the White House by such fabulous performers as Idina Menzel, Nathan Lane, and Audra McDonald.

Can't wait!

19 October, 2010

Dinner

Tonight for dinner I had cheese soup, escargot, bison chili, and a sausage in a pretzel roll.

Thank you, Food & Wine Festival! I look forward to hitting the other half of the world on another visit!

18 October, 2010

Headaches of the Literal Type

Saturday I woke up with a headache. It came and went, but when it came it was a doozy. It felt like an ice pick was being inserted into my head above my left ear and then wiggled around. Ibuprofen helped, but it didn't completely go away.

Tonight I had a different headache. This time, an elephant was sitting right on the top of my head. Still is, actually. So please excuse me while I turn the lights down low and wait for the pills to kick in.

17 October, 2010

Sunday (Not) Funnies

There's a reason I read the news online...


16 October, 2010

Mischief Managed

Scott and Katie and I tried to go to the corn maze this afternoon, but despite getting there almost 3 hours before closing time we were turned away. The experience wasn't positive, and I'm very sad because I'd been looking forward to going for 3 years. So we went to World Market in search of eclectic things instead. Katie got a cool hat, Scott got 2 fun new glasses, and I got a bottle of cherry soda. (I told you I was sad!)

And then I walked over and caught Scott being mischievous. He was doing our old trick of setting all of the timers so that they go off at the same time and then walking away. I had to take a picture of his handiwork:

It was the look in his eyes as he flipped them over that made me smile. And when I asked what he was doing and he responded wide-eyed that he was "setting all the timers so that they go off at the same time," I belly laughed.

And if I do say so myself, that's a pretty sweet picture. There is one other picture I took today, of the sign across from the corn maze parking lot (where, by the way, we were greeted by a man dressed as a scarecrow, complete with burlap sack over his face!):

Had it said "Grower of Truly Truly Truly Outrageous Sod," I would've hopped out of the car and made someone take my picture with it!

15 October, 2010

One Year Later

What were you doing a year ago today? If you were "Balloon Boy," you were not floating high above Colorado in a giant Jiffy Pop bag. If you were Scott and Jamie, you were signing your lives over to a mortgage company whose ability/professionalism left a lot to be desired. Then you went and spent more money at Rooms to Go, and then you visited your brand new house before going "home" to your apartment.

Has it really been a whole year? Has it only been one year?

It didn't take that long for me to feel like we've been here forever. After all, once there is clutter on the counter and a cat puke stain (or 20) on the carpet, it's basically "home." But the past year has absolutely flown by.

I love it here, with the windows open and the sound of the fountain (and the turnpike noise) floating in on the evening breeze. I love that my drive to work is at least 80% tourist free. I love that the cats have room to run. I love the water dispenser in the refrigerator door. I love having a garage for my car to live in.

The only thing I don't love is seeing what the houses on the other side of the pond are selling for now. And the goober next door. I don't love him either!

Happy Birthday, House!

14 October, 2010

Double Nickels

Happy Birthday, Mom!



Maybe now that you have matured to 55 you'll stop trying to steal Carol's family.

BWAHAHAHAHA

13 October, 2010

Good for Her

Apparently this week's theme is setting boundaries. It wasn't intentional - that's just how things worked out.

Also, now seems like a good time to say, "blah blah, miracle in Chile, blah blah, emotional, blah, heart-warming, blah blah blah." And I truly mean that. I watched #9 come up this morning and I saw him hug his waiting family. And it made me happy.

At work, my office-mate and I were talking about it, and since we're both of the age where we think bitter realism is better conversation than fairy tales, our conversation turned to that one miner with the wife and the mistress.

I'm shocked that he wasn't asking to remain down in the mine indefinitely. Well, it seems that in the many days that he had to consider his predicament and figure out how to handle the situation, he decided to play the stranded miner card:

Barrios reportedly asked both his wife and his mistress to be there to greet him when he emerged from underground.

After that, Salinas was done.

"He asked me to come, but it turns out he also invited the other woman and I have decency," Salinas said before the rescue, according to ABC News. "This is very clear: It's her or me.

"I'm happy because he was saved. It's a miracle from God. But I won't attend the rescue."


As a wife, I have to say good for her. Not only did she stand up for her values and her own self-worth, but she did so with class. It's obvious that she loves her husband, and was willing to forgive (or at least try to forgive) him for having had a mistress, but not for continuing to have a mistress.

I'd like to imagine that once Yonni has a chance to settle back into some semblance of normalcy, he'll realize his "love" of the mistress was mostly lust mixed with the fear of getting caught. Now that she's not the forbidden fruit, she'll probably not taste quite as sweet.

And then the question becomes this: does Marta Salinas have it in her heart to forgive him? Can she forgive that he strayed in the first place? Can she forgive that he wanted to keep them both? Can she forget that he kissed that other woman with the whole world watching?

And now, we return to live-streaming of more blah blah amazing rescue blah blah blah.

12 October, 2010

Announcements for Family and Friends

please stick around to the end (or just skip to the end) if you are just here for the tickets

For Sale: Two fabulous tickets to see Irving Berlin's White Christmas at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa. The show is on Thursday, December 2 at 7:30 pm. Face value of the tickets is over $60 each, but our price is very negotiable. This was part of our season ticket package, and we aren't going to be able to go. E-mail me if you're interested.

If you are planning on coming to see the Candlelight Processional this year, please let me know when. Show preferencing and sign-ups start soon, and I have no idea what to sign up for! The show description and narrator list can be found here. I won't be available for shows until December 7, but after that can do the 2nd/3rd shows Mon-Thurs or the 1st show on Sunday. Friday/Saturday I'm only available if Scott wants to go. (my decision, not his, we're working opposite shifts right now and his days off are the only time we see each other) If you're coming, I strongly recommend the dinner package. That way you have guaranteed seating and won't have to wait in line for an hour or more just to get a crappy seat in the back. I'm planning on trying to sing when Jodi Benson, Thomas Gibson, and Marlee Matlin are narrating, but can certainly be available on another date. Please let me know ASAP if you might be coming.

What about park admission? Thank you for asking!

For anyone planning on inquiring about free or discounted theme park tickets in 2010 or 2011, please keep the following in mind: I am given a limited number of free admits every year, and I have to physically go to the park with you in order to use them. For discounted tickets, I need to have your money in advance and have to go buy them during my time off. While I am more than happy to go out of my way for my friends and family who treat me like friends or family (especially the ones who come to see me performing in Encore or Candlelight), I am disinclined to do so for anyone who never calls, e-mails, or even contacts me on Facebook until they need something.

I'm not saying I need my ego stroked or hand held, but a Christmas card or the occasional "hello, how are you?" is a great gesture.

And if this has somehow offended you, I apologize. Setting boundaries is an important part of life, and this is my boundary.

Thanks, and I look forward to seeing you for Candlelight or in 2011!

11 October, 2010

Exhausted

I had my cholesterol measured, got a flu shot, did some light grocery shopping, walked a bunch, made pot pies for dinner...

oh yeah, and worked for 8 hours.

If you need me, I'll be that pile of work clothes melted into the couch facing the TV playing Dancing with the Stars. And after that, I'll be asleep.

10 October, 2010

Another Trip to the Mall?

For real, I found myself at the mall for the second day in a row today. Unfortunately (or fortunately?), the mall closes really early on Sunday. And so do most of the stores at Winter Garden Village. So I did a lot of driving today, but not a lot of shopping.

That's probably for the best.

Cat and I had a really good time though, catching up, sharing work stories (hers - mine aren't interesting), eating greasy food, and whatever. When the company is good, the rest is inconsequential.

09 October, 2010

Lots Done

Floppy hat shopping at the mall was an epic failure. This time of year, unless you want a ski cap or a dressy hat with feathers, you're basically out of luck.

We did, however, stumble across a doorbuster sale at JC Penney. I found an 80% off rack in the men's department with Scott's short-sleeve button-down shirts on sale for $5 each, got him 2 polo shirts, and bought an argyle sweater for myself (also men's...but with purple in it). The bottom of the receipt says we saved $185.12, and when the cashier read that out, I literally high-fived Scott.

After the mall, we swung by Target, where I found a floppy hat last week but didn't buy it. I got one (on clearance, 1/2 price) that works for me, and bought a big pair of sunglasses to go with it. Paired with the cover-up I ordered from Old Navy, I'm going to look so fabulous walking to and from the pool/beach during our vacation...right up until the hat flies off my head and into the ocean!

After Target, we grocery shopped, came home for a little while, and then headed off to the park formerly nicknamed MGM (now DHS) for dinner. We made good time, so we had time for a quick ride on the Great Movie Ride, where we were treated to a surprise show by my Encore friend Melissa, playing the part of the gangster who hijacks your car. She's really good at it.

And then dinner at Mama Melrose's was spectacular as always. I had tomato & mozzarella salad and goat cheese ravioli and Scott had clams and the pork chop. Mmm...delicious!

And now we're home and my feet hurt. It was a great day, and I think we both really needed a great day. Tomorrow Scott's back to work and I've got some laundry to do. Back to the real world!

08 October, 2010

Friday!

It's Friday!

Scott and I are hoping for a better weekend than last week. Tomorrow, we're going floppy hat shopping and having a 50% off dinner at one of our favorite Italian restaurants. Maybe we'll have some more fun too.

Tune in again tomorrow for the exciting conclusion!

07 October, 2010

Oh Really?

Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Thomas thinks I'm a lousy democrat, and wants me to stand behind Kendrick Meek through the Alamo-like slaughter to come:

And so I say this to the Democrats: There's right and there's wrong. So grab your muskets and go down swinging with Kendrick Meek.

Democrats who have embraced Charlie Crist are dead as a beaver hat.

Their justification for bayoneting Meek in the back is that Charlie is the only guy who can stop Marco Rubio.

Anyone who thinks that is putting too much K2 in the incense burner.

Thanks, Mike.

His justification for throwing out the term "back-stabber" (page 2) is that Rubio is so far ahead in the polls that there's almost no chance he can lose. So since it doesn't matter whether he wins by 1 vote or 5 million, I should throw mine to the candidate destined to come in third so that he feels better about his loss? Because he was blinded by ambition and gave up his "safe" seat in the House to run for the Senate? Maybe if he hadn't been running, a stronger Democrat would've stepped up. If he campaigned more effectively, maybe he wouldn't be in third place now.

Look, Mike, those of us who are worried about the ridiculous havoc someone with Tea Party values could wreak in the United States Senate are willing to swallow our party loyalty and cast the vote we feel is best for the state of Florida and for the country.

I resent the implication that my vote doesn't count. I learned that lesson the hard way in 2000. My vote does count, and I will continue to take that responsibility seriously, balancing my morals and values with what I think is best for the future of the nation. Blindly voting along party lines? That's irresponsible. Voting your conscience? That's called civic responsibility.

Who knows? Maybe one of Custer's men had a better idea but was bound by tradition and loyalty to follow his leader to his death. Thank goodness we have a choice this year.

06 October, 2010

Senate Debate

(look, it was either this topic or one about my new fruity-scented cat litter. we'll probably get to the cat litter another day)

I watched Florida's US Senate debate tonight and came out with a few sad realizations:

1. Kendrick Meek is way outmatched. He reminded me of the speeches I heard from kids running for high school president. I hate to think he was the best candidate the Democrats had to offer.

2. If I agreed with half of Marco Rubio's positions, I'd vote for him in a heartbeat. He obviously believes what he's saying, he's passionate and articulate, and had facts to back up his positions. But I do believe in Obamacare, I don't think rich people will turn into apple sellers if their taxes are raised, I do think the stimulus was what we needed when we needed it, and I disagree with his positions on gay (erm, HUMAN) rights. The last point is almost enough to make me a single issue voter.

3. I think I'm going to vote for Charlie Crist. (yes, I did vomit a little in my mouth as I typed that) His current positions are my positions, he's more articulate than Meek, and if he flip-flops on less than half of the issues again then he's a reasonable choice for me. He's really unreliable though, which worries me. It's obvious his vote can be sold to the highest bidder (or the most powerful one).

I tuned in tonight wanting to get fired up and get back on Team D, but I just couldn't do it. I'm selling out to the candidate I believe has the best chance of defeating the far-right candidate. Even if that means voting for Chuck Putz.

Remind me to bring my nose plugs with me on election day...

05 October, 2010

To Be Continued

I waited a little longer than I should have to schedule my doctor appointment. I waited until I had calmed down from being pissed off at her, and decided that if I needed to break up with my dentist and my doctor in the same month that maybe the problem was me. So I did the grown up thing. The appointment was for this coming Friday after work.

But they cancelled it.

So when I called to reschedule and she couldn't see me until next Wednesday mid-day, I decided it was fate. Scott's doctor had an opening tomorrow, so I took it.

Hopefully this one will go better.

And in case you were wondering, I decided I didn't really want to be on birth control. So I'm going to switch to another blood pressure medicine instead. If he'll let me. Fingers crossed!

04 October, 2010

Open Sesame

The windows! They're open!

The downstairs windows are open, and with the ceiling fan on it's perfectly pleasant in the living room. Upstairs, all of the windows are open, and all of the doors in the hallway are open too. However meager the breeze, I am determined to suck in the fresh air as much as possible.

Sure, it's still 80, but it feels like fall to me!

03 October, 2010

Helping

What could be more of a comfort when you are sad than a hug? A big two-arms-stretched-as-far-as-possible hug can make any sadness go away, right?

Milo thinks so, too.



He's been on my lap every time I sat down today (granted, not usually treating me like his human teddy bear...). Right now, he's purring loudly as I reach over and around him to type. He has always been my 'therapy cat,' and right now I'm more grateful than ever for it.

We're ok, Milo. At least I think we are.

Hard to Say Goodbye

It's been a rough 24 hours around here. Our plans for a fun day out and about were replaced by an unplanned trip to the local Humane Society. Did you know that spiteful non-litterbox peeing is behavioral and once it starts is nearly impossible to stop? It took me the better part of 8 years to come to that realization and to finally act on the decision that Scott and I had made at least twice a year for at least the past four years.

So I sobbed in the shower, sobbed after the shower, sobbed as I sat in the bathroom with Kilo, brushing him and scratching his head while he sat on my lap and purred, sobbed when I had to man-handle him into the cat carrier, sobbed when I let Elphie in to say goodbye, sobbed in the car the whole way there, sobbed while I waited in the car for Scott, sobbed the whole way home, and sobbed for a while after that.

It took me a while to realize that no matter what happens now, we gave him a good home and we loved him. Milo and Elphie loved him. And even if he's not here with us, he'll always be a part of this family. He's peppered throughout the photo albums, this blog, and the one before it. I just hope that in time the guilt and anger I feel now will fade and I can focus on the happy memories like the ones below...














And here's one more. I took it Friday night, before we knew that would be his last night here. He was howling at the glass door, and when I went to investigate I saw he and the neighbor cat were having quite a conversation. They could be (fun house) mirror images of eachother.


Truthfully, I didn't think I'd miss him at all. But the house seems a little too quiet now. I hope he's ok, and I hope he forgives me for giving up on him. It really was the hardest decision I've ever had to make.

02 October, 2010

Doing Something

Both the PSU and 'Bama games start at 8:00 tonight, so Scott and I are going to leave the house today and do something. We just haven't decided what. We're both a little sore from our little furniture moving party* so I'm not sure I'm up for anything that involves walking a million miles in the heat.

Movie? Mall? IKEA? I know for sure we're going grocery shopping, but we haven't made any plans beyond that.

I hear my stand mixer going... I guess I should go find out what's for breakfast. My money is on biscuits.

* Our one-year house warranty expires this month, so we brought up a laundry list of little broken things that needed to be fixed. The sink faucet in the upstairs guest bath now has full pressure, the cosmetic cracks have been caulked, there are baseboards on the landings of the staircase that weren't there before, and the painter who did the baseboards was nice enough to run around with a bucket of paint and touch up some scratches and dings.

Last but not least, the horribly squeaky floors in our hallway, master bedroom, office, and stairs have been eliminated (again) (for now). But in order for us to make that happen, we had to move all of the bedroom and office furniture into the cats' room and move the cat box into the bathroom (and then the hallway). It was actually fun in a weird way, and now that everything is put back together, the upstairs is actually neat and tidy.

01 October, 2010

October

I read today on Twitter that October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and Breast Cancer Awareness Month . There's got to be a joke in there somewhere. (a one-armed man, a wife-beater, and a boob walk into a bar...) According to Wikipedia, it's also the awareness month for infertility, Down Syndrome, blindness, SIDS, and dental hygiene. So in short, we should spend the next 31 days being aware of the world around us.

October 1 is also the anniversary of the opening of the Magic Kingdom and Epcot (a few years apart, of course). And since the summer tourists are gone and the heat index is below 100, it's time to head out to the theme parks as well. Perhaps I'll finally hit 10,000 steps on my pedometer in one day.

What are you doing or observing this month?

30 September, 2010

The Little Things

Have you ever run a load of dishes that so silverware heavy that you wonder who's been using six forks at once? I just unloaded one of those. There was literally one dinner plate, 5 smaller plates, some other assorted things, and about 90% of the flatware.

It was while I was unloading the dishwasher that I noticed that Scott had loaded the little basket in the same order as we keep the silverware in the drawer - big spoons, then little spoons, then little forks, etc. For all I know, he's been doing this for the past almost seven years and I've never noticed. I knew he segregated the different pieces, but I never noticed the order.

And you know what? Having them in order makes it just a little easier to put them away.

It's the little things that remind me how much I love him.

29 September, 2010

Political Minute

I think I've made up my mind to not vote for Alan Grayson. As a Democrat, I'm sure our opinions align on most important issues. I'm sure that not voting for him could severely hurt what MY president can do in the next two years. And I really have some party-line guilt. But his mud-slinging ads with barely a toe hold in reality are the worst I can remember in local politics.

I don't want a man with a moral compass that points south-southeast representing me in the House of Representatives.

If you want my vote, tell me your position on the issues. Tell me how you're better than your opponent. But don't waste my time telling me why your opponent is worse than you or by twisting his words into balloon animals full of toxic gas.

28 September, 2010

Tropical Depression

It's raining.

It's been raining for the better part of the last four hours.

I drove home in a downpour.

And it's dark and gray.

There's a reason I live in Florida. Sure, it rains most days here, but it only rains for 1/2 hour! Days like today (and tomorrow I hear) just make me blue. Maybe blue-gray. And so, as Tropical Depression 16 dumps misery on us tomorrow, I'll be here wallowing in the weather.

27 September, 2010

Idea Drought

I'm looking for new and interesting ideas for my next vacation photo album. On our last big trip, I put together the A to Z album. But in the end, that was a monster PITA and I had to cheat on 3 or 4 letters. Oh, and I think I finished it about a year after we got home.

So this year I thought I'd try to come up with something equally as creative, but I can't seem to find anything I want to commit to.

Birds?

Food?

Tourist photo ops?

Who has a suggestion or request for me?

26 September, 2010

Hi

Aside from a visit from the cable guy and a trip to pick up my car, I didn't really do anything today. Everyone needs a lazy Sunday every now and then, right?

I hope everyone else had as relaxing a day as I did.

25 September, 2010

Who's Ready?

Who's ready to hear Jamie's embarrassingly stupid illness/injury story for September? (you can catch up on August's sunburn or July's self-imposed bronchitis if necessary)

On the way home from the grocery store, we stopped at the mailboxes and I hopped out to check the mail. I told Scott to drive home, that I needed a walk (damn that pedometer strapped to my hip!). So I picked up the mail and set off home.

Because the first house on our street hasn't been built yet (don't ask me - they built the second house first), the sidewalk doesn't go all the way home. Where the sidewalk ended, I walked down the little ramp to get to the street, slipped on some mud, and then I think I tripped on my own shoe.

What happened next was something of a slow-motion blur. I know for sure that when I tripped with my right foot, I fell onto my right knee, and then my left foot slid in the slippery mud about 8 feet to the side, away from my ass.

It was sort of like this, only replace the blue sky with mud, switch out a handful of mail for the pom in her left hand, and a palmful of pebbles and mud in the right hand. Oh, and erase the enthusiastic smile. An embarrassed smirk is much more appropriate.

Scott was mightily freaked out when I got home and he saw that my jeans were soaked from the knee down in the front of my right leg and in the back of my left leg.

The injuries are minor. I have road rash on the top of my right foot and a pretty wicked goose egg on my right knee. My left hamstring will likely hurt pretty badly in the morning, but I made Scott go out and walk with me when football was over, hoping a little stretch would relax the muscle and convince it to not freak out. I'm also a little concerned about my left ankle, but I don't think it really hurts that much more than normal.

I'll take a bruised knee any day over last month's sunburn. But allow me just a moment to whiiiine about it.

Thank you!

24 September, 2010

Wild Kingdom

The local sand hill cranes were out this evening after my post-grave-shift nap, standing at the corner of our building and warbling non-stop. It turns out they were yelling at the next door neighbor's cat, who was innocently sitting at his front door curled up avoiding the last of the afternoon rain.

That seemed like unnecessary bullying to me, so I went out to hang out with the cat for moral support. He came running over and I pet him for a few minutes, which enraged the cranes even more. WARBLE! WARBLE! WARBLEWARBLEWARBLEWARBLE!

I went back inside, and Scott asked what I did to make the cranes squawk even louder, and I told him. They were still out causing a ruckus, so I took my phone out, thinking I could get a good picture. (I couldn't.) Scott came outside after he saw the wing flapping war dance through the window, and proceeded to imitate the birds. It was awesome!

Eventually, the cranes moved on and the cat lost interest in my company, so we went inside. Peace has been restored... for now.

23 September, 2010

The Doldrums

I've got nothing interesting of my own today, so he's real newsman interviewing fake newsman. There's a video, which for some reason I couldn't embed here.

Also, if you need a good cry, check out this story.

That's it for now. I've got a big night of Thursday Night TV to emotionally prepare for, and a 4am start time tomorrow.

22 September, 2010

Bummer

I'm sad to say The Hoff was the first person voted off Dancing With the Stars.

Sure, his dance was terrible (and performed to a cringe-worthy "Sex Bomb," ick!).

Sure, his popularity in the US peaked in the 80's.

But dammit, America. You left Kate Gosselin on for more than one week! The rest of the season is going to be much less fun now.

21 September, 2010

I Don't Know About You...

...but I'M going on vacation. Yes, I'm taking Scott too.

Sorry Internet, but I'm not going to tell you when I'm leaving so you can break into my house and steal my cats!

I'll send you a postcard!

20 September, 2010

Not a Paid Endorsement

...just a statement of fact:

The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser will clean baked-on gum out of the inside of the clothes dryer.

You're welcome.

19 September, 2010

Short & Sweet...but Not Quite Sweet Enough

I had a lightning bolt shaped cookie cutter made for me by someone at work.

Weird, right?

Well, probably, but it works for me. See, we are in the midst of this huge new electrical safety program roll-out at work, requiring most of my guys to sit through an hour-long online class and a 2-3 hour actual class. So the cookie cutter was made for me so that I could make "congratulations on finishing" cookies.

The first of my six departments finished their training last week, so I planned to make cookies for them this weekend. I just gave up after 30ish cookies. I got into a good groove, but damn - there's a reason sugar cookies are Christmas/winter staples. It's hot work, and ambient temperature around 80 makes it nearly impossibly to work with the dough.

Oh, and a lightning bolt has a zillion angles, which make it even harder to cut them out and move them around. But I figured out a workaround and they're coming out well - but only 6-7 on one sheet. So it's a slow process. I'll finish them tomorrow night and bring them with me on Tuesday.

For now, I'll just sit and enjoy the cookie smell.

18 September, 2010

Vocal Exercises

Whether or not you enjoy (or even appreciate) opera, I don't think it's possible to watch this video without at least admiring the control and discipline it takes to sing a song like this... and to make it look like you're having so much fun while you do it.



Incidentally, I found this song while flipping through YouTube for another song that Elphie might like, since she has recently shown a tendency to absolutely lose herself in a specific song I found by accident. If I can remember how to use my camera to shoot video, I'll see if she'll let me record her listening to her favorite song tomorrow.

(nope, Cecilia Bartoli didn't do it for her at all)

17 September, 2010

How Much is Too Much?

Is $24 too much for a ticket to a community theater show?

What if the show in question is Noises Off?

All of a sudden, $24 doesn't sound like too much...especially since Scott and I are both huge fans of the movie. And really, $50 isn't that much more than we spend in an average week eating out. It'll just be a different kind of date night - an actual dating event.

Yeah, I think we'll go.

16 September, 2010

Joy Joy Joy Joy

Tonight is my first Candlelight rehearsal of the season. I'm looking forward to getting my voice back in shape...and hopefully this year I'll actually perform in a few shows! When are you coming to see me?

15 September, 2010

Just Do It*

Back in the dark ages when I was still working at The Restaurant, we had a college girl working in the office with us for the summer. She was 18 going on 12 (for real - petite AND young looking/sounding). She spent most of the summer coming in to work exhausted after staying up until 3 or 4 in the morning talking on the phone with her boyfriend in Hawaii.

She talked about him all the time, too. See, they had been dating since the beginning of fall semester and plans were in the works for him to get together with her family so he could ask her father's permission to marry her. (don't even get me started on that whole asking permission thing...) When her family came to visit, she and her mom went window shopping for wedding dresses. They even had their honeymoon all planned out.

Now I remember my boyfriend from my college freshman year. I remember the puppy love. I remember wanting to spend every single second together. And I distinctly remember not even once seriously consider marrying him. I asked her once why they were in such a hurry, and her answer shocked me:

Well, because we're Mormon, we can't have premarital sex. So Mormons marry pretty young... because they want to have sex.

I'll be honest: I understand and strongly respect the moral choice to "save yourself" until you find your one true love. But I disagree with any religion that is so strict with its young people that they feel the only way to act on their natural impulses is to hurriedly commit themselves for an entire lifetime just to get on with the "getting on."

Perhaps my young co-worker was especially immature (or horny). But her parents were active participants in the marriage plans, which I believe means they support her decision to marry young. At any rate, we all got an e-mail from her last week saying that they are engaged now and plan to marry next summer.

Congratulations, kid. But I really hope you spend the next 11 months really getting to know each other and asking the tough questions. Are your career goals in line? Where will you live? Will you have kids? Buy a house? Spend your spare money on vacations or save for retirement? Anticipating that one day with the white dress, the party (where you're still not old enough to toast with anything harder than sparkling apple cider), and then "90 seconds in Heaven" for that long will only, in my opinion, lead to a lifetime of disappointment.

But don't worry, no matter how disappointing your first time is - and it will be disappointing - the sex will definitely get better!

*I agree, it was the best post title ever!

14 September, 2010

Things That Go Bump in the Night

Scott and I were laying back-to-back this morning, with our heels touching. I was in my final snooze when all of a sudden, BLAM BLAM BLAM - he kicked me three times (in the bottom of my heel, with his heel). A whole list of things went through my mind, including most prominently, "did I oversleep?" I looked at the clock and saw 6:02 - one minute before my final snooze would go off - so I did the logical thing.

I kicked him back, as hard as I could.

He didn't even budge. That's when I realized he was fast asleep and I felt bad for kicking him back. When my alarm went off, I asked him if he knew he had kicked me. He said he dreamed he was kicking someone.

I'm glad we were laying the way we were. I imagine that would've actually hurt if he'd kicked me in the shin instead!

13 September, 2010

Monochrome

Sometimes there's nothing an orange cat wants more than to lay on his orange pillow throne and just blend in.

...and not have his picture taken, thankyouverymuch!

(this is another of those tangled-legs-cat pictures - how does he get in these positions?)

12 September, 2010

Giving Peace a Chance

...And there's growing Islamophobia in this country.

How else would you describe the fact that mosques around the country are now being attacked? We are Americans, too. We are treated and talked about today as if Muslims are not Americans.

We are Americans. We are doctors. We are investment bankers. We are taxi drivers. We are store keepers. We are lawyers. We are part of the fabric of America.

And the way that America today treats its Muslims is being watched by over a billion Muslims worldwide. And the battleground today... is not between Islam and the West. The battleground has been moderates of all faith traditions in all the countries of the world against the radicals of all faith traditions in all parts of the world.
--Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf to Christiane Amanpour (transcript)

I think this is a really smart guy. And as someone who grew up in an incredibly diverse community, and who had friends of nearly every faith and ethnicity, I wish that the majority of Americans would stop persecuting the many for the crimes of the few. Here's an analogy I got from The West Wing: Islam is to Al Qaeda as Christianity is to the KKK (or more recently, as Christianity is to Terry Jones). Stop and think about that for a minute.

Today, let's practice tolerance. It's easy if you try.

11 September, 2010

Silver Lining

Well, Penn State lost. By a lot. But I went in expecting Alabama to score way more than 24 points. I'll take the moral victory! Not every cloud has a silver lining, but some have rainbows. I won't complain.
Elphie won't complain, either. She's had a great day of sunbeams and cuddling and trying to kill her brothers. No matter how big she gets, she'll always be my tiny baby girl.

10 September, 2010

Tomorrow?

I have an e-mail exchange between me and my dentist that I want to share, but I'm on the netbook and that's too much cutting and pasting to do without an actual mouse. For now, I'll just share this other tidbit with you:

Nothing says Friday quite like realizing you sent e-mails with major errors to three separate distribution lists, and that you need to recall, correct, and resend the messages in the last 10 minutes of your shift.

On the bright side, there was sure no thumb twiddling today!

09 September, 2010

Dr. Ponytail: The Series

My gynecologist was on the local news this morning. I tried to find the video so that you could feel my discomfort, but their website seems to suck.

Discomfort, you ask?

Yes.

Imagine the person who looks into your insides while you are pants-less looking straight at you through the TV while you eat your morning cereal. I thought maybe I should put up the recliner, put my heels on the corners, and scooch down to the edge of the seat. But I didn't.

I didn't think to see which pair of Chuck Taylors he was wearing, but I was happy to see he didn't feel the need to switch out his normal black scrubs for a more grown-up outfit just for the interview.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to put my pants back on.

08 September, 2010

Charlie in Wonderland

I'm not sure whether I've dipped my blogging toe into the midterm election madness, but I've been inspired to start.



Crist in Wonderland Episode 1 from RightChange on Vimeo.

...and part 2:



Charlie's In Wonderland Too from RightChange on Vimeo.

(hat tip: Scott Maxwell)

I hated Charlie as Governor. Oh wait - he's still governing, isn't he? I hadn't noticed. Really, as a Democrat and someone who supports President Obama, I feel like I should vote for Kendrick Meek. But if his chances are as slim as they say, then I might vote for Charlie just to vote against ultra-right Marco Rubio. Anyway, though I recognize the cartoons have a different political goal than I have, I still thought they were cute and well done!

I skipped the primary last month because none of the races I cared about were hotly contested. Now I have to start really paying attention - re-elect that loudmouth Alan Grayson? I'm not sure. Sink vs. Scott? Umm...Rick Scott is a total wacko and I wouldn't vote for him if he gave me $1,000. Orange County Mayor? I should probably study that one a little more closely.

Two months to go...

07 September, 2010

Attention, Please!

Attention Muslim World: Please please recognize that this crazy horrible man and his crazy horrible followers do not represent the rest of Americans, just as fundamentalist extremists in your own community do not represent you.

Attention Christian World: Keep praying that Terry Jones finds the "sign from God" that tells him this is a bad idea. If he goes through with "Burn a Koran Day" and one single American soldier dies as a direct result, it's not the Muslims he's going to need to worry about.

I stand behind the First Amendment. I'm certainly not asking the Florida or US Government to prevent the protest (is it really a protest, or just a temper tantrum?). I just want the people planning on participating to consider how hurtful their actions will be to the people of the Muslim faith, and instead turn their anger into something productive. Participate in a charity, read a book to a child, or just consider that Jesus probably wouldn't have provoked a group of people who thought differently than he did. Heck, maybe they should join a relief mission and bring the love of Christ along with much-needed food and medicine over to Pakistan. You know...just add something positive to the world instead of adding more hate. We don't need any more hate.

Vaguely related:

06 September, 2010

Labor Day

It's Labor Day, so I spent my day not laboring. I watched an NCIS marathon, did 3 loads of laundry, and...that's about it.

Let's not compare the "done" list to the "to-do" list, ok?

05 September, 2010

1-0 and 1-0

Coming off of wins for both Penn State and Alabama yesterday, Scott and I have one week to bask in our undefeated seasons.

One week only.

Next Saturday is Footballageddon as Penn State travels to Alabama. Two teams enter, one team leaves.

Too many movie references? Sorry. For now, I'm high on a win and enjoying it while I still can.

04 September, 2010

Who's 9?

Who's 9 today? Nope...couldn't possibly be Conner! (that's him in the front, in this picture from 2004)

I literally cried last night when I read on Facebook that his birthday is today. See, to me 9 sounds like an older kid - almost a tween - and I refuse to believe that a kid whose butt I wiped is that old.

I knew this kid when he chattered for hours on end without using any actual words. I knew him when he was little enough for Scott to throw in the air (and the accidentally drop onto his own head, causing both of them to bleed!). I remember watching a cartoon with him and proclaiming him to be a genius when he counted to 12 right along with Dora. I remember scrubbing marshmallow off of him.

Sigh...my little monsters are growing up so fast I can hardly stand it! Amazing, because I haven't aged at all...

Thanks for Asking

We are, in fact, ready for some football!


More on the NCAA Football 2010 season tomorrow.

03 September, 2010

Happy Birthday, Joshua*

*names changed to protect the innocent child

Scott and I just got back from dinner at TooJays, the closest thing central Florida has to a good Jewish deli. We were seated near 4 old people sitting at a big table. We ordered our drinks, and then the rest of their party showed up: mom, dad, a little boy, and a baby girl.

Fifteen minutes later, the cooing and cheek pinching and baby talk had slowed down enough that we could actually make out grown-up words mixed in. "Happy birthday!" "Do you like your new Star Wars bed?" "Did you think grandma for your new toys?" We got to sit through one of the women (my guess is not the mother) singing the theme song from "Elmo's World" to the baby girl. And then the conversation took a strange turn.

"Your birthday is important to a lot of people." Scott and I were trying to figure out why the Dad was trying to give the kid a Jesus complex. I wanted to turn around and tell the kid that no one outside of that table gave a damn about his birthday, and that some day soon he'd be old enough to know how obnoxious his family was and he'd be embarrassed. But I didn't. And that's a good thing. We had been mocking the conversation when all of a sudden snippets of conversation along the lines of "and a lot of people died..." and "they call it Patriot's Day" came toward us.

Oh. My. God. And so we learned:

a) 4(ish) is the age when you tell your kid about 9-11.
b) if your kid's birthday is on 9-11, you have to celebrate it a full week in advance. (really, the party is tomorrow)
c) TooJay's is the new Chuck-E-Cheese

Scott also got the fringe benefit of watching the family eating. I can't do justice to his description of Mom feeding the baby and herself at the same time, but trust me - I was suddenly glad they were only assaulting one of my senses!

Needless to say, the ambiance just wasn't great tonight. So we got a slice of cake (for my half-birthday) to go. If you'll excuse me, there's a zillion calories in the fridge calling my name.

Happy early birthday, Joshua.

02 September, 2010

3 Hours of Sleep Later

The answer to the question posed in last night's entry is only partly yes. The other part of the answer is "and continued low-grade constant pain with twinges of much worse pain."

The sunburn. It sucks.


This picture was taken Saturday morning when I was supposed to be packing to come home. That's the front of my right calf, taken from the perspective of the inside of the leg.

I've really tried to be strong and not whine, but jeez does it hurt! And stubble isn't helping matters any. My poor follicles are constantly being pulled back and forth by pants (pants are my new nemesis), but at this stage I still think the razor would do more harm than good. That's why there's no "here's how it looks 5 days later" photo. I mean, I normally crop my legs out of pictures. Taking a close-up of a fuzzy one? Unlikely!

Well, it's been lovely chatting with you and showing off my war wounds, but it's time for me to get ready to go to work. The timestamp is what makes that last sentence so funny.