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®


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


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'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.