29 May, 2010

Scenes from the Florida Aquarium

Things I Learned at the Dali Museum

At the Salvador Dali Museum I learned:

* Dali made some truly beautiful art - paintings that looked exactly like they should have

* Dali was in love with himself

* Dali was in love with his wife, who had previously been married to a poet who composed sonnets to her beauty (or something like that. the point is Gala was apparently quite the muse)

* That pixelated thing that kind of looks like Abe Lincoln? It is Abe Lincoln...with a naked Gala in the middle

* I still don't really get the whole melting clock thing, but we did buy a Christmas ornament because Scott loves it.

* Unless you want a print of melting clocks (which wasn't even on display) or the floating rose (also not on display) or 2 or 3 other of the most famous paintings, don't even think about a souvenir.

* The people who write the descriptions next to the paintings are flaming morons... or are under contract to only write PG-rated descriptions. Case in point, this litho had a description that literally had me laughing out loud. I can't remember the exact wording, but apparently the cross-section of the peach represents an eye. I basically looked at Scott and asked, more loudly than I should have, if that was an eye, then why was there a penis-vine poking through it? C'mon...that is NOT an eye!

My favorite part of the museum was Scott's least favorite - the botanical sketches called "Flordali" (for obvious reasons - "flor" for flower, and "Dali" because he was egotistical!). The 'fruits' collection can be seen at the link above. There's another set of flowers with different personalities as well.

My favorite piece of art in the museum was the one to the left,"Pecher Penitent (Penitent Peach Tree)." The description next to it was probably accurate, given the title, but I disagreed and promptly forgot the details. And since art is in the eye of the beholder, let me tell you what I see:

I see a Romeo & Juliet scene. The peach is Juliet on the balcony, and the flower-insect guy on one knee is Romeo. The crying "eye" (apple?) at the bottom, and the sinister tree trunk dude in the background contribute to the tragedy. And the guy with the guitar sketched in at the bottom is the narrator of the story.

The kneeling flower dude is really spectacular in person. I told Scott I want a tattoo of that...and I don't even want a tattoo!

I guess it's safe to say I enjoyed the museum. And of course, I know Scott did too!

The Job Offer

So...I found out yesterday that my "fire drill" interview went pretty well. They offered me the job. And of course, I took it. There's no pay raise, but I won't be topped-out over there. At least that means I won't get another 6-cent raise next year.

I don't have a transfer date yet, but my guess is 2 weeks. And I also don't have a whole lot of information about the job, other than it's MINE! Oh yeah, and it's day shift with weekends and holidays off. How crazy is that!?!?

28 May, 2010

Casual Friday

You have to work the Friday before Memorial Day. You don't want to go in. But hey - it's casual Friday. Maybe you'll get to practice your putting while you chat with clients.


It's just another fabulous sight-seeing day here at the Hotel Watergate Tampa!

(I've got a whole thing to write about the Dali museum, and about the job offer I got today, but I'm tired and would prefer to enjoy my last 12 hours in the hotel)

27 May, 2010

It's All Watergate to Me

I'd like to believe that I'd point my computer monitor away from my office window... if I had an office window... and especially an office window that overlooked a hotel and a shared lobby! Still, if my camera had just a little more zoom we could be reading trade secrets right now.

I'd also like to believe that I wouldn't glare at hapless tourists taking my picture like this Alton Brown look-alike in the right corner of the second photo!

Then again, I'm sure these people would prefer to not be a tourist attraction. I guess not everyone gets what they want!

Aside from the bizarre view, the room is quite nice. Scott's got the AC cranked down to icicle level, but I deal with it because I keep the house so warm (*cough*cheap*cough*). I'm still not sure what our plans are for tomorrow. That's the great thing about vacation though. The world is our oyster!

Cool Surprise

We just had an A/C tech come out because there was a puddle under our upstairs air handler. It turns out 2 pieces of the handler were either installed wrong or came backwards from the factory. He fixed it, and as a result, the actual air coming from the vents is actually cold now.

We're keeping our fingers crossed that this solves the problem of our super-heated bedroom.

26 May, 2010


Tuesday: wake up in a king-size bed a few hundred feet from the Gulf of Mexico

Wednesday: wake up in our own "little" queen-size bed, missing the fabulous down pillows in the hotel

Thursday: go to sleep in our third bed in as many days

Strange, no? I love vacation!

23 May, 2010


Dear ________,

Vacation so far has been fabulous. The Gulf, as always, is impossibly blue. The weather has been practically perfect. And we have been as stress-free as possible. The only snag seems to be the complete lack of postcards that convey the awesomeness of where we are (or even ones that aren't generic FLORIDA postcards). We couldn't find any that we liked, so we made our own.

Wish you were here!
See you soon!

Scott & Jamie

22 May, 2010

Beach, Nap, Food, Repeat

Before our vacation, I had made very simple plans: beach, nap, food, repeat. Today, we spent a little under 2 hours at the beach, then showered and headed out to lunch at Aunt Rose's (where we also saw Gary and Aubrey and Laura). No nap. I've been in a sort of zombie trance for the past few hours, even after the tasty dinner we had at Scott's restaurant of choice.

I posted family pictures to my Facebook vacation album, but for here I thought I'd stick with another beach photo from last night. With a little editing, this picture might be really sweet.
If you'll excuse me, I'm off for cookies and then bed.

21 May, 2010

Please Don't Hate Me...

If it helps, future me already resents present me for this!
And Janette, I want you to know that I haven't stopped bird-watching just because I'm on vacation. In fact, here are a few pictures I took tonight ON THE BEACH OMG CAN YOU FREAKING BELIEVE IT?!?!?

20 May, 2010

Do We Have a Winner?

The glass tile samples came today. As you can see below, we think we might have a winner. Of course, we have to find a paint color that coordinates with both the tile and my stand mixer. This tile has such a fantastic variety of warm sunset colors, I have to believe we'll have plenty of color options. As for the other samples, I believe the term 'epic fail' may apply. From top to bottom:

* cobblestones - umm...they were buy 4 get 1 free...and I thought the stones would be smaller the actual cobblestones!

* the red ovals were out of stock, so there was a hand-written note on my invoice: "out of stock - try opal ovals." the opal is lovely, but what project could I possibly be doing where the two would be interchangeable?

* desert waterfall: I really do love this one. I bought it because out master bath is shades of sand and blues and some day we plan to get rid of the crappy plastic shower surround. It's too expensive to do more than an accent, but isn't it awesome?

* sunset mosaic - totally needs to be in my kitchen!'

* got twizzlers?

So now I have some fun glass tiles to do arts & crafts. I don't know what kinds of crafts, but there's got to be something!

19 May, 2010

To the Beach!

With stories like this, is it any wonder I'm escaping to the beach while I can? Who knows how long it'll be before we can do it again?

I'm sure vacation will be bittersweet, but boy are we looking forward to unplugging!


I didn't post yesterday, but it's totally not my fault. See, Scott and I carpooled, despite the fact that in the past two weeks, Tuesdays are the days where the s--t hits the fan in his job and he ends up having to stay late.

It couldn't possibly happen THREE weeks in a row!

It happened.

I ended up sitting around for two hours. We got home around 12:15.

I think we're carpooling today, which means I really should be in the shower by now! I've got a very exciting day at work that I can't talk about AT ALL publicly. And truth be told, I doubt the rest of the world would even be interested. But I'm bringing a paper bag with me in case The Boss starts to hyperventilate!

17 May, 2010

Sample Sale

I ordered some sample sheets of glass mosaic tile - potentials for an accent for our kitchen back splash. Here's a photo of what we're going for (a Facebook photo of a high school friend's recently remodeled kitchen), followed by some of the tiles we're considering:

Disclaimer: when I say "we" are considering these options, I really mean Scott hasn't vehemently objected to my ideas. As it turns out, red isn't an easy color tile to find. This means we're really going to have to find and commit to the tile and then find a paint color to coordinate.

Anyway, I'm quite excited to get our samples. I'm absolutely in love with the ovals (picture them sideways, in a row maybe 4 ovals high), but tile is one of those things you can't go too crazy with. It's forever-ish.

I'll update when the samples come in!

16 May, 2010

Muscle Memory

We bought Super Mario 3 on Wii yesterday. It's strange how many little shortcuts I remember, and yet so far we can't make it past the second world.

Anyway, if you need me during my spare time in the next few days, it's likely you'll find me in front of the Wii.

15 May, 2010

Lazy Day

Scott and I are home from grocery shopping, and we're doing laundry before our next outing. You can tell I've been sitting still too long because I've got Milo laying on my left (check out the new polka dot throw pillow) and Elphie on my right.

Milo, by the way, does not like the sound of typing. Ever since I started, he's been shooting me the meanest looks! And since he's mad at me anyway, to the right is a picture of all four of Milo's feet, twisted up in a most inexplicable way. The one at the bottom (pads up) is one of his front feet, and the curled one at the top (on the polka dot) is a back foot. Like I said, inexplicable!

14 May, 2010

Snapshots from the Day

Scott and I spent just enough time in Epcot today for me to get a raging sunburn (roughly two hours). During that time, we had margaritas, saw butterflies in various stages, saw a duck family braving its way across the sidewalk, and saw some flowers.

We also saw something unexpected (besides the ducks). As we were leaving the butterfly tent, I noticed 50ish goobers standing across a pond from us, staring in our general direction and clapping and taking pictures. I looked at Scott and asked what the heck they were looking at, half expecting to see a celebrity behind us. Just then, one of the people working in the area asked if we were going to watch the shuttle. Sure enough, we turned around just in time to see the flash of orange disappear into the top of a magnolia tree. Thirty seconds later, I was distracted by the ducklings. It was strange though, all of the people just stopped where they were to watch. Some even clapped. It was sort of a unifying moment.

Anyway, here are some pictures from our adventure. The first three are the life cycle of a butterfly, from caterpillar to breaking free and learning to fly, to full-fledged awesomeness. Then some ducks. Then the margaritas.

13 May, 2010

Something Real

So at the risk of sounding optimistic or hopeful, I think my interview went ok. The hiring manager said she'd definitely be calling my manager for a chat, and even though she's out of town today through Tuesday, she said she would let me know either way by the end of next week. I didn't ask how many people she had interviewed, but I know I was the last one. I can't imagine she would waste her time checking out my references if she already had her mind made up to hire someone else.

For now, I'm doing my best to not think about it. Scott and I have a few fun diversions planned this weekend, and we've got chores (and sleep) to catch up on. Tomorrow is my 10-year company anniversary, and to celebrate we are going to my favorite Afrindian restaurant for lunch, and then going to Epcot to have margaritas for dessert. I'm sure we won't stay long - I melt in 90-degree heat - but this is the last weekend of the Flower & Garden Festival and I'd like to get a few pictures.

Lyrics and Music

I made up a song to sing to my cats today. Kilo seemed to really like it. Milo tolerated it. And Elphie won't have any part of it. Here are the lyrics:

Scratching your head
I am scratching your head
Scratching your head
I am scratching your head
Scratch your head

Now we can have a sing-along!

12 May, 2010

Slow News Day

It's been a slow news day for me. My work trainee was with me for the past week, and I love her and she's doing really well, and I'm so glad I can put myself on auto-pilot today and tomorrow and not narrate everything I do!

And so, much like the local news does when they don't have anything to say, I bring you a fluff piece from somewhere else! In this case, the wild migratory birds are a hat-tip to my own bird watching.

11 May, 2010

Public Servant

It's so good of Stephen Colbert to help come up with solutions to the Gulf oil spill. He's such a giver!

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
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10 May, 2010

Interviewus Interruptus

I found out 30 minutes before my scheduled interview that my interviewer had a family emergency and wouldn't be there at my appointed time.

So...consider today a dry-run with a scenic one hour drive mixed in. At least I know my suit still fits!

I'm rescheduled for Wednesday morning. Please mark your prayer/good thought calendars accordingly!

I Have Good News and I Have Bad News

The good news for Win McMurry is that no one really watches the Golf Channel, and therefore few people actually heard her say that Tiger Woods pulled out of competition because of his bulging dick. (hello, Google porn searchers!)

The bad news for her is that a lot more people watch YouTube. And read Twitter. Her gaffe will probably turn viral for a few days. It's an honest mistake, which she caught right away, but that's not going to stop me from giggling and pointing.

What can I say? This morning my inner 13-year-old is out to play! I hope she has a good sense of humor and the ability to laugh at herself!

09 May, 2010

As Seen on TV

Guess what they're selling at Target now!

The Emery Cat!

So far, all of the cats like to kill the feather-and-bell-on-a-stick that attaches to the side, and they all enjoy licking the catnip off the board (I guess that means they don't have sharp tongues...). Elphie is the only one I've actually seen scratch on it more than once.

I'll keep adding catnip to get the interested. It would be really great if they'd actually use it. More on this story as it develops...

08 May, 2010

Vacation Paralyzation

It's getting to the point where we can book cheap last-minute vacations for our scheduled time off. And there's some pretty cheap deals out there. My problem? I'm burned out. All of a sudden those vacation ideas like NYC and DC aren't what I want. I don't want to have to think about travel or about itineraries. What I want is a cruise. But since we still don't have passports, that's out.

So...the beach?

Well, vacation is still far enough away that I don't know whether a Florida beach vacation on either coast is advisable. Damn oil spill!

And then I thought maybe we can find a cheap deal very locally, and have a Universal-Sea World staycation. We already have some Universal tickets, and Discovery Cove for 2 would still be cheaper than airfare anywhere else! Heck, I don't even WANT to swim with a dolphin. I just want to go snorkel and laze around and be take care of for the day!

Other than "out of the house," I don't know what Scott really wants. Maybe we can figure that out today.

07 May, 2010

Things That Make Me Go Stabby, Part Two

Wow. Just wow...

A Longwood mom who refused to return four Gossip Girl-inspired library books because she objected to their content brought them back to the public library Thursday.

Tina Harden, who had withheld the books since the fall of 2008 to keep young readers from seeing them, said she returned them not because of criticism she received but because she had made people aware of the issue through media attention...

Harden owes $85 in fines but hasn't paid them. She said she's hoping the library will waive the fines.

"It's not that I lost the books or I didn't feel like turning them in," she said. "I want us to work together. Hopefully they have the same goals as I do."

Where on God's green Earth did these people get the impression that they have the right to decide what books go on PUBLIC library shelves? Or that it's ok to just steal books that they don't want their children to read? Was there some sort of break-out meeting at the latest Tea Party convention on how to get around the first amendment? ('s early, please don't tell me if free speech really applies here)

The silver lining to this story?

"After an article about Harden appeared in Thursday's Orlando Sentinel, a man donated replacement books to the library and several others told the library they planned to send checks or books to replace the ones Harden was keeping."

...and the library system is refusing to waive the fines. Yay librarians!

06 May, 2010

Taking a Break

I'm taking a brief momentary pause from my manicure and watching the last episode of "V" on the DVR to bring an amusing clip from last week's Colbert Report. The part about the KFC pink buckets was particularly amusing. Enjoy!

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05 May, 2010

...and then the phone rang and the world just tilted

I got a phone call at work today. It was a secretary for someone I'd never heard of calling to schedule me for a job interview I'd forgotten I applied for.

Interview? You mean my resume hasn't just been sucked into a black hole? I daresn't believe you! I applied for that position 6 weeks ago...and have applied for probably 50 others in the past few years. I hadn't given up hope... just started considering a resume workshop. I still am, really.

Actually, I was explaining to Scott that getting an interview for this job is sort of like in high school when I was asked out by someone infinitely more popular than I was, and I couldn't figure out why he was asking me out. It's not like we had anything in common... (I couldn't go the time he asked, and I guess it was a one-time deal because he never asked again. oh well) Anyway, while I don't think this department is more popular than me, we don't have a whole lot in common. That is, I'm certain I could do the job, but my background doesn't exactly line up well there!

So the interview is next week. I'll get the ol' interview suit out of the back of the closet, get my hair cut, brush up on my smiling and eye contact, and research what I can about the job between now and then. I'm treating this as a fire drill, because I just can't fathom that they'd really offer me the job.

And that's all I'm going to say about that. I'll post more if I find out more. Much like the last job I interviewed for, I doubt I'll even get the courtesy of a thanks-but-no-thanks letter if I don't get it. Come to think about it, maybe I'm still in the running for that last job. It's only been two years...

04 May, 2010

"Laughter Through Tears is My Favorite Emotion"

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Beyond Awful
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The situation is NOT funny. But when faced with the option of watching video of dead sea turtles (really - did you see ABC News last night?) or Jon Stewart singing West Side Story parodies, I choose the latter.

03 May, 2010


Tonight's dinner will be a ridiculously ambitious endeavor:

  • Pasta with...
  • Sauce from scratch (starting with canned tomatoes) and
  • French bread from scratch

The occasion? None. Scott came home from work early under the weather, so I stayed home. We convalesced together, and in another 45 minutes we'll be feasting together. We both hope it doesn't suck!

Bon apetit!

UPDATE (the next morning): the bread smells and tastes exactly like the french bread you buy from the bakery at the grocery store. It's fine, but I have this philosophy that anything that takes 4 hours to make better taste better than if it's store-bought. It did, however, make some fan-frigging-tastic double-French toast for breakfast this morning!

02 May, 2010


Time flies when you sleep until 11:30!

That's today's public service announcement. I woke up and realized I should have already been in and out of the shower. Oh well, I still made it out the door on time. As a result of my extended slumber (in my defense, I was up past 2 am), I have nothing interesting to say about my day.

Except this: I had several "LOL" moments in President Obama's speech to the White House Correspondents Association dinner last night. I didn't watch Jay Leno's portion, because I'm still boycotting him. And because I don't think he's funny. And in related news, Scott DVR'ed the Conan interview on 60 Minutes tonight. I'm looking forward to watching that soon!

01 May, 2010

How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways...

I made sticky buns for breakfast. I started the sticky buns around 8:30 last night, and we just ate them. I regret to say there are no pictures of Phase I (last night), which included mixing and kneading the dough. I had a few moments when I really thought there would be no sticky buns at all, given my few stupid screw-ups. There are plenty of pictures from this morning though. Below you will see the rolls in the pan-o-goop, the rolls after 90 minutes of rising, the rolls straight out of the oven, and the rolls "unmolded" onto a baking sheet.This experience was definitely a labor of love. I had more than one temper tantrum moment when I almost threw the whole thing away, with my brand new pastry mat. (here's a hint: weigh down the corners if you don't want your "floured surface" to fling flour all over the kitchen!) In the end, the bread is on par with the best sticky buns I've ever had. The glaze - Bobby Flay's orange-honey glaze from the sticky bun episode of 'Throw Down' - isn't quite right. If you're not a huge fan of honey (or orange for that matter), this isn't the product for you.

Not to sound immodest, but I couldn't be prouder of the way these came out. You can tell in the pictures that I didn't do such a great job rolling the dough, but you can also tell that a lot of work and love went into this. And you can taste it. No lie, despite the killer sweetness of the honey, they are delicious.

I will definitely make them again, though probably not for a few months until my blood sugar goes back down to normal levels, and when I do I'll find a new glaze recipe. Or skip the glaze and do cream cheese frosting instead. But then they wouldn't be sticky buns, and isn't that the point?