Monday, December 31, 2007

Yeah, OK, New Year, Blah Blah.

So I made it to midnight. Or 4 minutes 'till at this point. It's Greg's fault, he put on a movie. Anyway, it was a productive New Year's Eve, as I managed to win a coupon for a free Chick-fil-A chicken biscuit while I was rummaging around online. You gotta be one of the first 150,000 to register to win, so I'm not promising the link will work at any point in the future. But I do think it's an appropriate way to wrap up my year. I've scrounged and saved and pinched more pennies this year than I ever have in my life. Which reminds me, I also won a gift basket from Glad and the Food Network by going here a couple of days ago and entering the Tyler Florence thing, then doing the instant win game. I'm just on fire this week. Not sure when that one ends, so it may not work long either.

(Ok, had to take a break to kiss on my hubby. He switched over to watch the Peach Drop, or Peach Drip, as he called it, just in time for the countdown. First time I've ever been awake to be kissed at midnight on New Year's, I think...)

So anyway, despite my earlier cynicism about the whole thing, I now offer up a Happy New Year to each and all. Now I think I'll go finish watching Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and then maybe I'll feel like going to bed. I fear curling up in bed and watching Ratatouille earlier may have given me a bona fide second wind, which could make going to sleep a hard to reach resolution for the evening. The pup, however, is snoring on the couch. Lucky pup.

Hoopla. Woo.

It's New Year's Eve. Sadly, I don't care much. I'm not much on the symbolism. It's much like yestserday and much like tomorrow, except I'll have a hard time writing the date for a few weeks. I don't like the cold, and I don't like crowds, so I won't be at any parties tonight. And chances are if past years are any indication, I won't be awake at midnight (unless we're playing Super Mario Galaxy, which is a possibility). I like New Year's Day, but mostly because it's a day off from work. Otherwise, eh.

I remember a few years ago I decided this was stupid. I mean, why have a big party holiday in the middle of freaking winter? I officially moved my New Year's Day to the Spring; it just made more sense. The weather's nice and the days are longer. It's when my year starts, before that I'm just hibernating and surviving. I'm thinking early May, so it doesn't interfere with Memorial Day. Heck, let's make it May 1st. Easy enough to remember. Wonder if I could talk the powers that be into giving me that day off instead of tomorrow. Doubting it.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Lucky Critters...

I did not kill any animals currently residing in my house last night, and for that they should all be very grateful.

1:50am - Casper wants out for a potty break. No problem. Right on schedule. I let him out, let him back in, and crawl back in bed. This is where he usually goes back to sleep on the couch.

2:05am - Casper is back in the bedroom, being a bit whinny. And every time he moves the tag on his collar clinks, which is pretty constant when he's running back and forth from the bedroom to the living room.

2:07 - I roll over and find dog paws on my bed and a wet nose very close to my face. YOU JUST WENT OUT PUP! WHAT DO YOU WANT?

I spend the next 8 minutes trying to calm down a pup who clearly has never experienced a thunderstorm before in his life. He's 5 years old and lived through Katrina, but the quick storm that came through last night had him freaked out.

3:55am - I think my alarm clock is going off, only twice as loud as usual. No, wait, my alarm doesn't sound like, "MEOOOOOOOOW." The cat's standing in the doorway, hungry. Did I mention we have the cat this week? We do. She's been mostly good. But at 3:55 she was hungry. I get up and feed her, go back to bed.

3:57am - Casper starts running down the hall again. Guess he realized the cat was up. I get up again, close our bedroom door and ignore him.

4:00am - The stupid dog is standing outside the room where the cat is eating (I had closed that door to keep him out of her food) and is BARKING at her. He's scared to death of the cat, but with a door in between them he's suddenly a big dog.

I repeat, no animals died in my home last night. But only because I was too tired to strangle the dog. If I had realized the rain wasn't going to come through until after I left for work this morning, I'd have tossed his rear end outside and let him back in when I left. Lucky dog. Lucky indeed.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Gifts that Rock, Part 2

Mom got her chemo port removed today. It's like a huge symbol that the disease is gone. She found out she had cancer on December 7 of last year. One year a couple of weeks later it's really, REALLY gone. Now there's a gift you can't fit under the tree.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Spam Email of the Year

I just got a spam email with the following subject line (copied exactly, capitalization and all):

food patch additive but well i am that month

I'm pretty sure that's code for "Congratulations! You just won the Nigerian lottery!"

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6 (KJV)

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Gifts that Rock

I didn't even know these exited. An EXCELLENT addition to the Tater Head family! My in-laws are so cool.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Adventures in Baking

This is for Jen. I know that every now and then I do something that makes her really miss the adventure of living with me, and tonight was 100% for her. Here's how it went...

The original recipe can be found here. I won't copy it because most of you know how to make basic chocolate chess bars.

Now, here's how it really went...

Preheat the oven, get out and grease the pan. Then get organized and compile all ingredients. Where's the cream cheese? I know I have cream cheese. Crap, it's the wrong kind of cream cheese. @#%^@!. Turn off the oven, put eggs back in the fridge, head to the Mart. While I'm out, might as well return that game to Blockbuster and run by Walgreens to get the allergy meds, and I do have a few things I need from the Mart if I'm going anyway...

(An hour and a half later...) Preheat the oven again, and get organized. Pan's already greased, so that's done. Find a bowl, combine the cake mix, egg, butter, and pecans. I've never heard of putting pecans in chess squares, but I'll go with it. A full cup? No way. How about this much, it looks good and I've been chopping them for long enough so that'll do. Wait... the butter's supposed to be melted. Grrr. Dig out the butter, dump into bowl and zap in the microwave, then dump back in the bowl. Stir ingredients, dump in bowl and spread. I think I'll add some real chocolate. Do I have any left? Dig around in the cabinet and come up with 3 squares of the good stuff. Grate a couple of bars over the top of the chocolate layer. OUCH! &%$!! At least I didn't get any fingernail/blood in the chocolate...

Next, dump cream cheese, 2 eggs and 1 cup of confectioners' sugar into the mixer bowl. Beat until blended. What? Gradually add remaining sugar? What remaining sugar? I already put in a cup of sugar... ooohhh. I'm supposed to put in 16oz of sugar. How much did I put in? It was a cup. Well, the bag was originally 32oz, how much was left when I started? Less than half? K. So I'll dump in the rest of this bag and a bit from the new bag. Dump slightly less than half a bag of powdered sugar into mixing bowl already running at medium speed. Wave in front of face to disburse the cloud of sugar that flies all over the kitchen. Open the second bag and much carefully dump in "a bit" more. Do it so carefully that half the sugar lands on the counter instead of in the bowl. Is that enough? Sure. That'll do. Mix. Dump cream cheese mixture over chocolate layer, spread evenly and place in oven.

Now to clean up the kitchen. Hey, what's that bottle of vanilla on the counter for... oh wait. I was supposed to use the vanilla somewhere in there wasn't I... crap.

Friends don't let friends bake without medication.

One More... Just for SuperMom

cartoon from

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

Holiday Season in Cartoons

This is how I generally feel about holiday shopping:

cartoon from

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

And this is how I have felt at work all week:

cartoon from

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

You should check out Dave Walker's site. He's got some funny stuff. I think I'm going to go download his Church Cartoon calendar and his WeBlogCartoons calendar.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Great Gift (Card) Debate

I've read a lot of debate articles over the past few weeks regarding the appropriateness of giving gift cards during the holidays. I have VERY strong opinions on this.

I LOVE gift cards. Really. I do. We've actually included some specific ones on our Christmas lists this year, particularly gift cards to restuarants where we like to eat. You see, we do love to eat out, but have a hard time justifying the cost most of the time. Like at the end of the budget week when there's only $7 left in the food envelope. A month or so ago Greg received a gift card to Amerigo as a "thank you" from someone he helped out with a computer problem. We had two very nice date nights off that card and were hugely appreciative of the person who gave it to him. It was the gift of a date night!

Today we got a couple of the generic Visa/AmEx gift cards that we plan to use to buy one big Mart gift card to use for gas (we normally do this every month for our gas budget anyway). This way we don't have to keep up with the balances, we know EXACTLY where the money is going, and can reduce the gas budget for January and send that extra amount to our mortgage company.

The point many people make here is, "But the giver wanted you to spend that on something special for yourself!" My answer to that is this - we did. We're buying ourselves a house. That's a heck of a gift, and I'm very grateful for the thoughtfulness.

Having said that, when I put the new cards in my purse I found two gift cards that we received as wedding gifts last year. I knew I'd used them both, but wasn't sure if I'd emptied them, so I called to check the balances. One was a Bed, Bath, & Bankruptcy card with about $8 left on it. The other is a Vicky's Secret card with (gulp) $30 left on it. I know why that one wasn't used again. I never found anything I wanted in the store and ordering online with the gift card was terrible (they charged my debit card until the gift card cleared, then reversed the first charge). But I'm not about to leave nearly $40 on the table, so I'll find a use for them. After Christmas. There's no way I'm going to the mall this week!


I think I'm getting sick. I haven't had a sinus infection in well over a year, thanks to a steady diet of allergy meds with a side of decongestant on the worst days. Today was one of those worst days, but the D isn't doing its usual thing. My face still feel scrunchy and I'm still sneezing.

I've been sick on Christmas before and it SUCKS. I didn't want to eat any of the usual fabulous Christmas food, I didn't want to get to close to the family, didn't want to see any of the kids for fear of getting THEM sick, I didn't care about giving out gifts. I mostly just wanted to curl up in the bed and sleep.

I'm hoping this is just a weather thing today and it'll go away before the weekend. If I have to be sick for a holiday, I'd much rather it be one I don't care about, like New Year's Day. I tend to sleep through that one anyway.

And as an afterthought, it has crossed my mind that if I'm not feeling better I should just take tomorrow as a sick day. I won't. Why? Because first of all, it's the day before a long holiday and I would feel serious guilt thinking that everybody thinks I'm faking it just to get an extra day. I have never in my life faked a sick day and left 800 hours of sick time at the bank when I quit, but the people here don't know that. Second, the way the system works here your first 8 hours of illness is taken from personal leave, subsequent days are taken from sick time. So I'd basically be burning a personal day to stay home tomorrow. I only have 4 days available as it is. I'd have to feel a lot worse to waste a day that I'm hoping to use in a few months for a trip to South Carolina to see my boys!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ode to A Birthday

It seems every year
About this time,
As if by magic,
Dad turns 29.

I don't know how it happens
Since I'm now 32,
But I never ask questions
It would only make him stew.

In truth, he ignores it,
Since there are few things that he hates
More than having birthdays
And being forced to celebrate.

So instead of singing Happy Birthday
'Cause my singing's really bad,
I'll just say I love you
And I'm gald you're my dad.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

'Twas the Week Before Christmas...

This week is lasting forever. And it's TUESDAY.

There are very few people actually at work this week, and very few of the ones who are here are actually being productive. Frankly, I hate it. I finished a huge project on Friday and have nothing else major to work on until the first of the year, at least not that I can do without the help of some uncooperative people. In short, I'm bored. I have a million things I'd rather be doing somewhere else instead of trying to come up with stuff to keep me busy at work. But I have very little time off available, so I can't just say forget it and go home.

Yesterday the mind-numbingness of the week (all one day of it) resulted in this exchange of messages with my husband:

Me: i'm ready to go. is it time to go yet? i think it should be.
Him: Well, yes, it should be, but I don't think that's the case as of yet.
Me: well just blah. blah blah blah blah blah.

Me: NOW is it time to go? it's been hours since i last asked.
Him: It's been 20 minutes.
Me: it's' been 3 days, at least!
Him: Did you ever take your meds?
Me: ummmmmm...

Me: ok, surely NOW it's time to go. i mean come ONNNN. we've been locked up here for two weeks. they have to let us go home now, right???
Him: 10 minutes
Me: I might DIEEEEE!
Him: 7 minutes
Him: 5 minutes
Me: oh SIGH! i think i just died. i'm dead now. too late.
Him: lol
Me: you laugh because i'm DEAD?
Him: You're not dead yet.
Me: i am! i DIED!
Him: You are happy, oh so happy!!!!

This started about 3:20 yesterday. Today I felt this way by 12:30. By Friday I may just start the day lying on the floor in a coma. Oh wait, I work in a hospital. Probably not a good idea. They'd charge me for the bed.

Monday, December 17, 2007

5 Things - Wish List

5 Things I Want for Christmas

Tonight I got my annual message from my brother asking what he's buying me for Christmas. The tradition is that he asks, I tell him, he buys it and gives it me to wrap when we all get to the parents' house for the festivities. This year I asked him what his budget was and he responded, "Less than Bill Gates and more than the guy sleeping in the cardboard box." I figured that gave me some room to work, so I gave him a list.

1. $40,000 gift certificate to Chase Mortgage
2. Rechargeable AA batteries
3. Sonic gift cards
4. PlayStation 3
5. Tank of gas

He did say that the tank of gas was out of the bounds of reason, so I told him I understood and to shoot for the PS3. But to make sure he got the 80G, 'cause the 40G won't play the old PS2 games.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The War Continues

For the past few weeks I've taken a break from reclaiming my house from the crap that's overtaken it, but today I got back to the battle. Greg and I jointly attacked the office and got about halfway through the sorting and the throwing out. This included getting rid of the box and packing supplies collection that we'd kept since we sold an abundance of stuff on Ebay last year.

In case you wonder how serious the crappage explosion is, I shredded medical clinic receipts from the USM student clinic dated 1997. They were in a filing cart that's just moved with me since college. I kept adding stuff to it, but never cleaned out the old files in the back. They're gone now, baby!

Joy to the World

Today was the 3rd Sunday in Advent, which meant the lighting of the candle of joy at church this morning, and joy was the topic of Ross' sermon.

Specifically, he talked about the difference between happiness and joy. When you ask people what they want they'll tell you they want to be happy, but you hardly ever hear anybody say they want joy. Ross used the sermon to define what he sees as the difference in the two.

Happiness, according to Ross, is generally fueled by external sources. Relationships. Money/things. Health. Success. These are things the can make us happy.

Joy, on the other hand, is internal. Joy is knowing contentment regardless of external circumstances. It's the feeling of being confident that God is with you no matter what you're dealing with. Hearing Ross describe it reminded me of my wedding vows, promising to love and support for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health. That makes sense, when you consider that Christ is referred to as the bridegroom of the church. Joy is knowing that Christ is with you for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.

I can't imagine how difficult it must have been for Ross to prepare for today's sermon in the same week that he preached a funeral for a church member which specifically addressed suicide. Then again, I suppose the contrast could serve to strengthen the message in both services.

Anyway, the sermon's been on my mind today and has caused a shift in the way I've been thinking and praying. Happiness is all great, and I appreciate every moment of it that I get, but it's always going to be fleeting. I want the joy.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Ghost of Christmas Past

My dear husband is prisoner at his office Christmas party for lunch today. Bwahahaha. On one hand, I miss having lunch with him, but on the other hand I have a whole heart full of gratitude that it's him and not me.

When I worked at the bank Christmas was a HUGE deal in our department, thanks to the big boss (the Chief) who just loved the holidays. We had a Christmas Fun Committee which consisted of one or two permanent members and whoever else had been hired since the first of the year. I was one of the permanent members. We decorated our floor like mad, complete with a huge live tree decorated with enough lights to go well beyond fire safety. Granted, the first year I was there the two model employees who where in charge of acquiring our tree got it from "some guy" they noticed selling trees on the side of the road who gave it to them free, then they trimmed it by cutting off the top. It was the ugliest tree I've ever seen. We posted pictures of the Topless Trust Tree in the break room every year after, in honor of how far we'd come.

Most years the Fun Committee declared a 12 Days Of Christmas. One year that involved 12 days of people bringing food each day. One year we made stockings for everybody and delivered "goodies" each day. One year we had a calendar of activities including an art contest, assorted word puzzles, Christmas Egg Hunt, carolers, etc. It was always quite festive. And then there was the party.

The Christmas party was usually the one time during the year that we catered in something nice. Except for the one year when the Chief decided we were having Cajun Christmas that would consist of homemade gumbo and rice. And nothing else. He refused to let me order any optional theme-related main dish or any side dishes. He and one other lady in the office each made a big pot of gumbo and, in his words, "They can eat it or just go back to work."

Did I mention that the Chief loved the holidiays so long as everything was on his terms?

After the meal we always had the Santa gift game - Dirty Santa, Stingy Santa, whatever you want to call it. I can't tell you the rules because the Chief changed them every year, sometimes in the middle of the game. One year the final rule was, "Everybody pass your gift to the person on your left. It's done! No more swaps!" Only the bravest souls would choose to open the gifts from the Chief and his band of merry nutcases, easily identified as the ones sadly wrapped in whatever had been handy - newspaper was a classy option. We saw brown paper bags taped up, paper from the copier taped over it, and one year there was one wrapped in what I believe was carpet scraps. You just never knew what was in there. There were singing Christmas trees and assorted other signing critters that had been purchased the hour before at Walgreens (this was a tradition for several years). There were oddball things like holiday chip clips and gags like reindeer that pooped jellybeans, and random re-gifts from the year before. One year there was a $50 gift card to Parker House. The next year it was a live mouse.

Yep. I said live mouse.

And that wasn't the first time a live animal had made its way to the party. There are legends from the years just before I went to work there about rats and turkeys. Live ones.

The first few years I really loved Christmas at the bank. Even with the wacky Santa game, it was fun. Over the years the Chief got crazier little by little, and eventually it got old. He sucked the fun right out of it. His attidude turned into, "As long as I have fun, it doesn't matter if anybody else does!" This from the man who once rigged the Secret Pal activity by secretly replacing all the names in the hat with his name, so that he was EVERYBODY's secret pal, and then made everybody swear to secrecy about whose name they drew. The last few years I pointed out that it wasn't the staff's party, it was the Chief's party. This year I get a break, no office festivities. I'm glad. I need the break to rebuild my Christmas Fun spirit.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Faith in Pups Unsupervised

A recipe for potential disaster:

One pup of uncertain behavior, bouncing off walls as of 7:25am

One Christmas tree, fully decorated

Multiple gifts, including at least 3 designated for the previously mentioned pup, which he has previously located and expressed an interest in possibly tearing to shreds. Two of the three invovle pup snackers.

Rain, which has already attacked Mr. Pitiful (i.e. aforementioned pup) once in the wee hours and threatens to return.

Combine these ingredients and you have a pup, with an occassional rare inclination to be a bad pup when provoked, left inside unsupervised all day with a fully decorated tree and enticingly tempting gifts.

I have faith that he will calm down, settle on the couch with feet in air, and sleep the entire day without a single glance at the yummy treats available a few feet away. I just know it. I do. I'm sure of it. I have faith. I hope I'm right.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Breakthrough in Heart Health -UPDATED

Despite being raised in a traditional Southern kitchen, I've become very aware of the effects of foods on the heart. Heart disease runs in the family - my grandfather died from it and my dad, well, probably should have. I'm not a strict health nut in the kitchen, but I do pay more attention to ingredients and cooking techniques than I used to.

In my most recent issue of Cooking Light magazine there was an article about chocolate which, in part, praised it's new-found ability to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Today I happened to read a blog post which mentioned the heart health benefits of peanut butter. Suddenly something clicked in my brain and I realized I had discovered a potential super-food for heart health.

Chocolate peanut butter fudge.

I'm not entirely sure how the load of sugar and marshmallow creme play into that theory, but in the name of cardiovascular research, I'm willing to give the experiment a try.

Regardless, I'm so using this to defend my obsessive love of peanut butter cups.

UPDATE - I consulted a cardiovascular expert (one of my senior cardiology fellows) this morning and he thought this was a brilliant idea. He suggested the peanut butter cup as an emergency measure in the event of a heart attack. The fudge would probably be better as a long term approach since it can be made from purer chocolate (the milk chocolate of the peanut butter cup isn't considered quite as heart healthy as the better grades of chocolate, but there is the peanut butter to consider) and also suggested that the little pills that the Jetsons took in lieu of food could easily have been capsules of chocolate peanut butter fudge. Granted, this came on the heels of a conversation about why on EARTH they'd make brown sugar pop tarts without the frosting. It's just wrong.

** To anyone who stumbles over this via a search engine and doesn't know any better, you really can't take peanut butter cups when you have a heart attack. It will do no good, other than the increased possibility of dying with a smile. My fellows have a warped sense of humor and we joke. If you're worried about heart attacks, TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR! And feel free to talk to our doctors, they're really good and not all of them are goobers.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Wii Need a Break

I'm sitting here at 9:30pm watching the Braves play the Mets. Yeah, I know it's not baseball season, but with MLB Power Pros for the Wii , if you don't feel like playing yourself you can watch little bobble heads of your favorite teams play on exhibition mode. Right now, no score in the 5th.

I sat down at 5:00 to play one more game before returning the game to Blockbuster. Now it's 9:30. The game has a ton of features and it's taken 2 days to scratch the surface on them. My favorite is what we call the soap opera version. You actually follow a player through college making decisions about when he practices, when he works at a part time job, studies, rests, dates, shops, etc. The goal is to get good enough to be drafted by a minor league team at the end of the third year while maintaining a balanced lifestyle. I'm not making this up. And the whole time your character is a little bobble head looking guy. Took me 4 tries over 2 days to get drafted, and it takes a couple of hours to play through if you make it through the 3rd year (one time I didn't make it past the second). Sweet. The Bobble Braves just scored, 1-0.

This is part of our plan to try out as many games as we can to see which ones we want to put on our Christmas lists. We signed up for the Game Pass at Blockbuster so it's unlimited rentals for a flat fee. So far we've tried:

Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games - very cool. All kinds of summer games, including gymnastics. This one is on the list.

Super Mario Galaxy - AWESOME. Also on the list.

Carnival Games - Fun. You get to do all the fun fair games like ring toss and shooting ducks, then earn different levels of prizes. But it was way too easy. We had every single unlockable thing unlocked in 2 days then took it back.

FIFA 08 - Good, but pretty much the same as FIFA 07, which Greg has played to death on the X Box.

Spyro - Had potential, but ended up being so hard to control that I could barely get off the first level.

AMF Bowling Pinbusters - just say NO. Awful. Greg played as Elvis. I played as a redneck ho who kept saying things like, "This just ain't my night," and, "Shucks!" in a horrible fake Dolly Pardon voice while nearly falling out of her shirt. It was bad. We love Wii Sports bowling and have been looking for a good full featured bowling game. This isn't it. Brunswick Pro Bowling wasn't very impressive, either.

MLP Power Pros - there's something just not right about this game, but we've become rather addicted to it. Mets have tied the game at 1 all, by the way, but the Bobble Braves are batting in the 8th. No... wait for it... Bobble Braves up 2-1. Ha. And that's the final score folks. At some point we really have to take it back to Blockbuster and get something else!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Memo to My Rose Bushes

Memo to My Rose Bushes:

It has come to my attention that the memo Re: change of seasons was not distributed by Mother Nature in a timely fashion this year. Please be advised that it is now December. The lights you keep seeing after dark are not the aurora borealis, they are called Christmas lights. It what the neighborhood does in December. You normally don't see it because you are dormant in December. While we fully appreciate your 5 inch blooms during a time when every living plant is supposed to be brown and wilted, we fear that if you do not take this time to go dormant and rest then you will not have enough energy to stretch and wake up bright eyed come February. I realize it's 80 degrees outside, but really, it's December. Go to sleep now.

Friday, December 7, 2007

A Frosty Day of Birthday Infamy

Frosty the Snowman comes on TV tonight. It's the only Christmas cartoon special I really really like. Rudolph just freaks me out. Anyway, despite the fact that it's goin to be 80 degrees today, I'm going home tonight to make a big cup of hot chocolate (and kick the A/C down to freezing) and sing along.

And, in the immortal words of Frosty himself, it's a big ol' Haaaaaapy Birthday! to my cousin Flame and Greg's cousin Benji today. It is truly a date that will live in infamy.

(Get it? Pearl Harbor Day, Benji's birthday, day of infamy... Oh nevermind. It was funny when Greg said it this morning.)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Tech Support

I seem to have become blog-challenged.

For the past couple of days I haven't been getting the emails updates to my gmail account tracking comments on other blogs.

Then I realized I wasn't getting the notification emails when comments were left on my blog.

Then I realized that for some reason Bloglines wasn't updating most of the feeds I track.

Then there was the whole wacko thing with the Clarion Ledger site and MR's blog today and now my dancing flamingo doesn't work.

Who do you have to sleep with to get tech support around here??? Oh wait... nevermind.

Anyway, I'd just like to point out that if I've seemed a little behind this week it's because I'm in the dark. I just found posts from Supermom, Stacey, Allison, and Doghouse that I didn't know existed. Not because Bloglines updated but because I finally sat down and went to each blog looking. I'll get caught up eventually, but with the week I'm having, I'll probably be behind for a while!

Hapy Birthday, Grandma!

Happy Birthday, Grandma!

Grandma is one of my heroes. She's scrappy, and I hope I'm just like her when I hit 82. When I called earlier she was in the middle of a party. They had cake, but no party hats. I told her if I'd been there, I'd have brought party hats. I may go get some to take to her next time we're up that way.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Decisions, Decisions...

So the subject of moving my office came up again today and it now seems I have a choice. No, not the choice I'd like to have, but a choice of two different areas of the building I don't want to be in. Actually, it was 3 choices but I vetoed one very quickly.

So choice #1 is an office that is currently set up in 4 cubicles and has one other occupant who is home about two hours a week. It's a nice area, carpeted, with typical overhead storage and a decent L-shaped workspace with locking drawers. They are willing to rearrange the cubicle walls to make my area a little bigger if I want. However, it's a pretty small area and there is a good chance I'll get a second office-mate which suggests they lie about moving the walls. The potential office-mate does much of the scheduling which means she's on the phone a LOT, which could easily make me crazy.

Choice #2 is the original office they were putting me in. It is actually a little larger than I thought. It appears to be a former lab area, as it has one of those long steel-topped cabinets with ton of shelving above and cabinets below. It isn't a traditional office space, and the only "desk" area is an ancient wooden desk with a few small drawers, no locks on any of the storage. I only have one confidential set of files and they have offered to get me a filing cabinet for that. Right now it has cinderblock walls and the old ugly tile floor and is behind the medical files room, but they are in process of going to all electronic records at which time I've been told the whole thing can be remodeled, carpeted, painted, and the space reallocated. Did I mention the wall in the bakc of the office used to have a chute that was used for radioactive materials?

So now I have to decide. Do I go with the currently nicer, smaller space and live with roommates, or do I go with the larger, dingerier space with less distractions and the potential to be a nicer office in the future. I'm leaning in one direction, but then I start considering all the ways in which what I'm probably being misled about what the future will hold (not on purpose but because it changes every couple of hours) and I just can't decide.

Then again, does it matter? Chances are they'll start trying to move me again in a couple of months.

The Thing

Remember yesterday when I was sad because I couldn't get a picture of a thing I wanted to post? Here it is:

I'ts a peanut M&M, shaped JUST LIKE a rubber duckie. Seriously. How cool is that? I'm thinking I could make a fortune if I put it on Ebay, but they won't allow food item. Dang!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


I got my pitiful wedding snapshots uploaded to my Flickr, but you really don't want to look at those. You want to look at these, which were taken by Vic's sister, Debra. She took some awesome pictures. Plus, you'll get to see how gorgeous his family is. Dang. Why couldn't I get some of those genes???

Oh, and Debra said those were just the wedding shots, she has a lot more that she plans to load by the end of the week from the reception and other festivities.

Materialism At Its Finest

I need a camera phone. Desperately. Right this minute. There's a thing I desperately need to take a picture of to post to the blog and of course my camera is at home on the couch where I left it after uploading wedding pictures. I'll either have to remember to bring it tomorrow or take home the thing.

And in my most insane English degree way, one of the above sentences makes me crazy because of a misplaced preposition, but I can't come up with a way to rephrase it so that it doesn't sound ridiculous. It'll just have to stay and I'll have to accept the fact that I'm knowingly causing shame for every teacher and professor I've ever had.

Monday, December 3, 2007


Here's the sportscast highlight reel of the weekend:

The photographer came down with a stomach virus.

The florist was an idiot.

14 extra people showed up for the rehersal dinner.

They left the reception with no keys, no money, no ID and no cell phones, and realized it when they got to the place they were staying and had no way to get their clothes out of the truck.

Sharonda was a beautiful, calm, and happy bride.

I have to give her the gold star, Sharonda was the calmest bride in the midst of chaos I've ever seen. The fact that everything went smoothly despite the mishaps, and that they had more people than you can imagine ready and more than willing to fix every problem that came up, is a testament to how being good to people can come back around in your favor at a later date. In the end, they ended up married and that was the only thing that was important. I'm glad I was there to be a part of it all. Sharonda and I have been friends for 20 years, since we were 12. I feel like my sister just got married to the man of her dreams.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Gnome Home

Ebay (the gnome, not the auction) is Lithuanian! Who knew? We were watching The Amazing Race tonight and one of the challenges was to find the Travelocity Roaming Gnome among hundreds of gnomes in a traditional Lithuanian village. They all looked like cousins to Ebay the Gnome. Perhaps he should try to trace his heritage and see if he perhaps he's from the same village that was on TV tonight.

The Cost of Cute

Six blisters, evenly distributed 3 on each foot, the only shoes I can wear today are my sneakers, and totally worth it. They were actually comfortable for the first 4 hours, it was the last 3 that got me. If I had to guess, it could have been the second round of dancing to La Bamba at the reception. I actually got off better than one of the bride's sisters, who ended up going barefoot during the service because her feet were hurting so bad after the first round of pictures that she could barely walk.

I didn't get a whole lot of pictures, in part because I was doing so much running around that I didn't get a chance to snap many, but I made a deal with a couple of other bridesmaids to share, so hopefully I'll be able to post some to my Flickr later in the week.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Friday, November 30, 2007

Shut Up and Stand in the Back

This post is brought to you by the letter Q, the number 7, and my dear brother who let me break into his house and steal his internet while I have some downtime between the bridal brunch and wedding rehearsal.

I'm feeling particularly attention deficit today and the timing sucks. Most days I manage fine, but every now and then I have one of these days where I know the meds are working mostly because I'm acutely aware of how how poorly I'm functioning. On days I'm not medicated it doesn't bother me as much because I hardly notice it.

My biggest problem today is the sheer number of people that I've never met before that want to carry on coherent conversations. Normally this isn't a problem on the meds. Today, I'm having trouble finding words. Like, normal words. I'll get halfway through a sentence and forget the word I wanted to say. It's in my head I just can't get it out, so I stand there pausing for 10-15 seconds while I try to come up with something. Same thing with getting places. I know where I'm going, but all of the sudden I have to stop and think hard about turning right or left. I just can't seem to get myself together today. These are times when I want to hide. I don't want to be around people because I'm afraid I'm going to do or say something totally crazy. It's like watching yourself in slow motion; like you're yelling the obvious answers at the TV but the actor can't hear you. I'm hoping that taking this break and being still for a couple of hours will help.

I suppose it's better to do this today rather than tomorrow, which will be ten times as crazy! Lets just hope I can get through the rehearsal and remember my instructions. After that Greg will be here for the dinner, so that will help. He tends to be able to help me pull it back together, or at least ward off the meltdown that follows. If this spills over into tomorrow, getting through the wedding without a breakdown will be one of the hardest things I've had to do in a long time.

...And no sooner than I typed that I got a call from the bride asking me to run a big errand, which I am absolutely more than happy to do for her. I should be able to be still for another 30 minutes or so before I need to leave, so hopefully I can decompress. This is such a huge weekend for her, I absolutely will NOT be stupid. I need to write myself a note on the inside of my hand - "Shut up and stand in the back."

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Four and a half weeks ago I was notified that I would be moving to my new office in two weeks. Ppffttt. Sorry, I can't help but giggle every time I say that.

This morning I was told that I would absolutely be moving next week. I guess that's progress. If "two weeks" actually equals six weeks, then maybe "one week" equals three weeks, which means I'd be moving right around Christmas.

I told my boss this morning, after gaining control of my burst of laughter, that my money was on something closer to March. She ASSURED me next week. I told her that if I moved next week, I'd buy her lunch. I don't feel very threatened by the possibility. And, to put it mildly, I haven't started packing yet.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Paris Is Burning

Well, not really, but they have had firey riots all week with youth shooting at the police and tossing molotov cocktails at random cars.

Don't get me wrong, I normally wouldn't even know that. I heard about it from a somewhat concerned bride-to-be who is supposed to be honeymooning there in a matter of days. Perhaps Italy would be nice this time of year...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Fun With Rednecks

Allison's snickering at my redneck comment reminded me of something I'd intended to post last week and forgot about with all the food-related festivities.

Last Wednesday was pretty dead at work and I ended up having an unusual conversation with one of the doctors. He had asked about our holiday plans and I gave him the rundown of our travels. He then inquired further about where my family was and where I grew up. He was visibly shocked that I'd lived in Mississippi my entire life. He said that I didn't talk like I was from here, and he thought I'd grown up somewhere else.

I had to laugh at that. I really don't have much of an accent, unless I slip into auto-hick while on the phone or visiting with family. I don't remember when I lost my accent, or even if I ever had one (surely that's impossible), but I suspect it was somewhere between high school and college.

At the end of the conversation with this doctor he congratulated me on not having a Southern accent. After he walked off I contemplated whether or not I was a little insulted by that. I know he didn't mean anything offensive by it, but I don't find being from the South to be a bad thing. I don't consider being a redneck a bad thing. Some of the best people I know are rednecks.

Having said that, I thought I'd share some of my favorite "rednecks at weddings" stories featuring one of my redneck all-stars.

Many discussions were had before my wedding about who would be asked to do what during the service. My brother asked who was going to be assigned as security to search the guests for weapons, and which type of guns would be considered acceptable. This is the same brother who, the morning of the wedding, offered Greg his credit card and truck keys as one last chance to run.

Right before my wedding, as the minister and male members of the wedding party were waiting to walk into the sanctuary, my brother comments to Ross that he needs to make this short, then makes some comment about the church full of rednecks with guns. Ross, who you may recall is from South Africa, commented that where comes from they kill elephants, their guns were bigger.

This morning I emailed Sharonda to let her know that my brother would be coming to the wedding on Saturday AND wearing a suit (GASP!). She responded that he just wanted to wear something with pockets to hold the beer.

I wouldn't trade my brother, or my heritage, for anything.

Fun With Brides

Yesterday I got an email from Sharonda with a PowerPoint attachment. It was 8 pages of diagrams showing every stage of the bridal party's entrance, positions, and exits, complete with little people walking up and down the aisle.

Now please don't misunderstand me, we're not dealing with a Bridezilla here. We aren't expected to memorize them and as far as I know there isn't a quiz later. She created them so she could keep track and so that the person directing would have a reference. If I counted correctly, there's 22 attendants including juniors. Frankly, she's going to need a chart! Anyway, she sent it to me just to poke fun at herself and to illustrate how obsessive compulsive she is, which we already knew.
Just in case I get crazy busy and don't have any good pictures to post from the wedding festivities this weekend, I saw this as an opportunity to post some preview pictures.

So, here's me:

And here's Sharonda:

As a side note, she also included the church seating on the charts so she could lable where specific people are supposed to sit. On one row she had "readers." Well, it's pretty small text and when I first saw it I thought it said rednecks. I emailed her back and told her she needed more rows.

May the Force Be With You

Yep. That's my godson. Jedi Master Edwin, defeating the evil Darth Disney.

Aparently my dear sweet pooka bear, who literally accused me of trying to kill him when we were in the pool and I accidently bumped his raft so that his face touched water, is not only the last hope of the rebellion, he's also now a thrill ride junkie. Big Thunder Mountain was a favorite. I have to say I'm more than a little proud of him. He's always been a little more fragile and shy than most little boys but he seems to be coming out of it quickly. I figure starting school had a lot to do with it. Regardless of the cause, he proved he can defeat Disney World, and that's quite a feat. Way to go, Edwin. Wish we'd been there with you.

Oh, and rumor has it he totally hit it off with Cinderella. Such a flirt! He'll be breaking hearts the day he starts high school, which should be in about a year.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Mad Cow Disease Infects USM Athletic Dept

Because it wasn't enough for the Ole Miss coach to get fired, and for Senator Trent Lott to announce he's "retiring," now USM has fired Coach Bower. Frankly, I don't care a whole lot about the first two, kinda happy about the first and conflicted about the second, but I'm downright pissed about Bower.

He's been at Southern Miss 17 freaking years. Winning season after winning season. Countless bowl games. No drama within the program. No investigations, no sanctions. And a downright good man. What the heck. I realize there are plenty of politics within college sports, but I just don't get this one.

I hope he gets picked up in a great deal for tons more money. And, I hope he gets to stay at least somewhat close to home. I remember when his daughter was killed in an accident many years ago. Rumor had it that he had seriously considered leaving a while back but chose to stay in part because he wanted to stay close to where she was burried.

Of all the hairbrained things my alma mater has done over the past few years... Geezum petes.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Holiday Goodness

Let the holiday season commence.

After lazily purchasing a bag of Chex Mix last week I remember why I don't ever buy Chex Mix. It's false advertising. The appropriate name would be Chex Flavored Pretzel Mix. After digging out all the Chex and feeding half the pretzels to the dogs, I still have half a bag of pretzels left. It should be a crime.

So I made an emergency trip to the store this afternoon to buy a couple of boxes of Chex cereal and my first batch of holiday goodness is in the oven as we speak. In years past I've been known to have every available baking dish in the house rotating in and out of the oven full of Chex goodness. Jennifer and I could eat it for a meal when we lived together. But for now I'm just whipping up about half a batch, just enough for snackers tonight and maybe a little left over tomorrow.

To put it mildly, there are no pretzels anywhere near my Chex goodness. Back when I shared with Jen, I would make it with Goldfish. Now that I'm just making it for me, I dropped the Goldfish and replaced it with more Chex. I don't even bother with nuts anymore. I replaced them with more Chex. This is what the holidays are all about.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

5 Things - Bad Plans

5 Things Considered a Bad Plan

1. Driving home the Sunday after Thanksgiving with half a million of your closest friends, in the pouring rain, with almost as many highway patrolmen daring you to merge without a blinker. Luckily we realized this ahead of time and returned home from my parents' house Saturday night instead of waiting until Sunday.

2. Spending 2 hours in a car, 3 days in a row, when you have chronic muscle pain. This is pretty much a no-win situation for me, but I just got out of a steamy hot bath and am over it.

3. Bringing a puppy to live with you for a week, then packing the puppy up in the car WITHOUT your own spoiled rotten pup and leaving overnight.

4. Doing #3, then having it rain on your spoiled rotten pup while you're gone.

5. Really, I'm in enough trouble from #3 and 4 without a #5.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday Shopping Frenzy

I don't know why I even try shopping on Black Friday. It just frustrates me and wears me out.

I've been trying to order two pair of boots online for OVER HALF AN HOUR, but the traffic on the website makes it run soooooo sloooooow that it takes forever to load each page. Sigh. I've made it as far as the checkout, but I can't seem to get checked out. I swear, if they end up telling me that my size is no longer available by the time it loads this next page, I'm going to be fighting mad! These boots are 75% off!

And besides, it's after noon, I'm still in my jammies, and need to take a shower and fix some lunch. Greg suggested going out for lunch and I told him he was crazy. All those shoppers who actually left the house today gotta eat, and I'm a little scared of them.

Still haven't gotten to the next page to check out my boots. Ridiculous. Looks like I'm not the only one who opted to do my Black Friday shopping from the couch. Even online shopping isn't safe on the day after Turkey Day anymore.

UPDATE: And now, exactly 1 hour after I started trying to buy 2 freaking pair of boots, while one page away from confirming my checkout, I get a "We're experiencing high traffic volume, please try again later" screen. Yeah, I'm not happy.

WAIT... WAIT... It's back, but my session expired and I have to start the checkout process all over again. I don't know how much more of this I can stand. All I wanted was new boots! SOB! Sniffle! I need a hot bath and some chocolate milk. Black Friday shopping has taken its toll, I'm just worn out.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Gobble Gobble

The parade is officially over and we're about to head out to the in-laws' for Turkey Day. As thankful as I am for so many wonderful things in my life today, I have one brand new one to add to the list.

I'm thankful that I'm not home to watch Drew Carey on The Price is Right every day. Seriously. What was he thinking? He sucks. They should have just shut it down when Bob retired.

Happy Turkey Day everybody. Go eat.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Just for Lauren

Tonight's Family Feud highlight:

Name an animal that swims.

The #2 answer - Platypus

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

If Only We Worked for the City Instead of the State

The business manager for the program Greg runs has taken a new job and is officially gone as of this week. In light of the precedent set here, Greg has decided to appoint me as interim business manger for the next 36 hours so I can approve heafty raises for both of us. I have to step down before Monday when his boss gets back from vacation and finds out.

Oh wait, we work for the state, not the City of Jackson. Dang.

Over the River and Through the Woods

It's a holiday week and everybody seems to be traveling somewhere far away. I have to say I'm glad I'm not one of them.

My sister-in-law and nephew are in town visiting from Texas. It's been good to see them; they don't get to visit often. I've mentioned before that I've got great in-laws, and that definately extends to Misty and Randy. I like spending time with them. We've been able to hang out a couple of times since they got here over the weekend and will spend Turkey Day with them at the in-laws house. They'll make the LOOOOONG drive back on Friday.

Jen and Rob are taking an anniversary vacation to the mountains of Georgia this week, which is why we've temporarily taken in the cow. They'll continue a driving tour of the state to visit family in Atlanta and then probably head to check on her parents in Mobile, since her dad just got out of the hospital. I'm glad they've had a few days to relax before having to jump back into the insanity of the holidays. This is always a crazy time of year for both of them.

Lauren and Ed took the big plunge this week. They took the boys to the Mouse House. Yep. Mom, Dad, Grandma, and Grandpa with a 2 and 5 year old at Disney World, the week of Thanksgiving. I haven't heard any news, but I can't wait to hear all about it and see the pictures. I'm curious to see if Ian is traumatized by the characters. He's a pretty tough kid, so I figure he's probably adopted a couple of them to take home. And Edwin's been looking forward to this for months, pouring over maps of the parks. I know they're having a great time. Ok, so I kinda wish I could be there. A bit. Just to see my boys. And get a bucket of Disney Tater parts. But mostly to see the boys. Have I mentioned how much I miss the boys?

Speaking of my boys, last I heard my cousin Lynn and her husband were trekking from Arkansas to Georgia with my other two boys (Parker and Dalton) to visit Chris' mother for the holiday. I'm hoping to see them at some point before Christmas, but their families are scattered and it's hard to get our paths to cross. I'm glad we went to see them in August. So many little people, so little time to teach them bad habits! Sigh.

Greg and I will be literally heading over the river and through the woods this weekend, but just to my parents' house for one of our usual two day trip, enhanced by a mini-turkey day, non-turkey lunch on Saturday. In light of Misty & Randy's 12 hour drive back to San Antonio on Friday, I won't complain about the possibiliy of extra traffic on our 2 hour turkey trot to Philly.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Strategy for Keeping Your Pants

My father, who I adore and have been rumored to act JUST LIKE, has a bit of a thing about doctors. He doesn't like them. Ok, that isn't true. They're mostly fine people as long as they don't expect him to actually visit their offices. I only remember him seeing doctors twice in my first 30 years, both times for major surgery. Two years ago he started having serious shortness of breath, problems walking any distance at all, and a couple of incidents of chest pain. Dad waited about three months to see a doctorwhen my mom finally hog tied him and drug him to their local GP.

A couple of hours later I got a call from Mom, who was at Baptist Hospital, in the ER, a bit freaked out because they wanted to do a heart cath and possibly put in a stent. Dad was throwing a fit because it meant he'd have to stay overnight, which he did NOT want to do. She was afraid he would walk out.

Luckily for all of us, they'd already taken his pants. For two years now he's told anybody that's asked that that's how they get you. They take your pants, then you can't leave.

In the past year he'd gotten rather irritated with his cardiologist and quit going for checkups. Since I'm rather fond of my dad and just as soon not have him die any time soon, I got him an appointment with one of the heart docs here, on a day they were going to be here anyway for one of Mom's appointments (no excuses to not go!). That day was today. When they first got here I took them over to the Pavillion and stayed with them in the waiting area until they were called back (mostly to make sure he didn't bolt). While we were waiting another guy walked up to check in, with an extra pair of pants and shoes in his hands. I leaned over and told Dad, "See, he came prepared. He's got extra pants in case they take his."

It would not surprise me at all if Dad showed up at a future appointment with an extra pair of pants.

Moo - Updated

Disclaimer: I mean no offense to any leafy-styled bovine with this post. The term "cow" is simply used for size comparison. Basil love all animals, great and small, furry or leafy.

We have a cow living at our house. Not your usual cow, a canine cow. At least that is what Greg has named Wrigley, as at less than one year old, he is approximately the size of a calf, and is almost as graceful as one. There really isn't room for both is body and his tail in the living room, although the tail can be quite useful for dusting. Now if I can just teach him to gently remove the items on the coffee table rather than taking them all off in one swipe...

I will give him (and his people) a big gold star for bedtime routine. He sleeps in a crate and the minute I say, "Wrigley, night night." He gets in and settles down to go to sleep. (Unless of course I'm pestering him by taking pictures of his plight.) Last night he went right to sleep and didn't start moo-ing until he heard the alarm clock go off the first time this morning.

Last time we saw him before leaving for work he had Casper pinned down in the back yard. Greg was pretty sure it was instsigated by the little pup and the the tables were about to turn. It's kinda funny to watch them together. Casper barely comes up to his knees. I'll have to post some pictures if I ever have time.

UPDATE: Here's a picture of the puppy-cow. This was the only time he was still all night. He and Casper have since been exiled to the back yard for wrestling inside the house.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Saturday Roundup

Pre-wedding haircuts for all this morning. Whew. I feel about 10 pounds lighter.

My little 25lb pup, who has been a spoiled only-dog his entire life, has a 75lb less than 1 year old golden retriever visitor for the week. Wanna guess who's winning that war? Yeah. Size can be deceiving. Wrigley has no idea that he could squash Casper with his tail.

Our new Rabbids 2 game has a wi-fi component where you can see where your scores in each mini-game rank nationally. My dear husband is now nationally ranked NUMBER ONE for Ice on Ice, a game that requires a rabbid to deliver ice cream across an ice rink.

I still have to go to Walmart at some point tonight. Torture.

Friday, November 16, 2007

2MB of RAM

If you've never had any experience with anybody who has ADD, you probably won't find this overly funny and can skip it.

For the rest of us, I stumbled on this link and it cracked me up. It's 25 Things to Love About ADD. Number one is for Stacey. Numbers eleven and twelve are for Greg.

Note to those who don't really get it: most of the list requires taking with a grain of salt. It's part of number nine.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Remote Control Survey

Dear Remote Control,

It has come to my attention that of the 600 remote controls in our house, I am rarely able to find more than two at a time, and those two usually control electronic devices that we no longer own. In order to better understand your needs and to create a more comfortable environment, I am asking you to complete this brief survey. Your honest answers will help me serve you better in the hopes that we can work together without the need to hide.

1. Type of remote:

a. Television
b. DVD
c. Tivo
d. Game System
e. Stereo
f. Other ________

2. Location of device you control:

a. Living Room
b. Kitchen/Dining
c. Bedroom
d. Storage
e. No longer on premises
f. I've been hiding for so long, I no longer know it's location

3. Frequency of use:

a. Constantly
b. Frequently
c. Rarely
d. They don't even miss me

4. How many times have you hidden in the past six months?

a. zero
b. 1-2
c. 3-5
d. 5-30
e. Just this once, but only because they haven't found me.

5. On average, how long do you stay hidden per incident?

a. minutes
b. hours
c. days
d. heh heh. I'm covered in dust and they still haven't found me

6. Which of the following best describes your reason for hidding:

a. They don't use me, they don't love me.
b. Fear of the other remotes.
c. Overuse/on vacation
d. Batteries are low... must find a quiet place to die.
e. Watching people search in vain is just plain fun. Bwwahahaha!

7. Where is your favorite place to hide and what attracts you to that location?

8. What is the one thing that would lead you to turn away from a life on the run and remain in plain sight?

Finally, I would appreciate any information regarding the location of the remote for the TV in the bedroom. I only want to provide it with a copy of this survey so that I will have the most complete data possible. I know it was available this morning when Greg turned on the TV, and I suspect it hasn't gone far. I promise not to hurt it. I only want to honor it's opinions.

Thank you,

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Name That Kitten

A friend of mine was adopted by this kitten while out walking one evening last week. She has just recently came out of denial and accepted the fact that she is now owned by the critter. However, after nearly a week, the poor kitty still doesn't have a name. I told her I would take suggestions on her behalf. According to the previously mentioned friend, it's a girlie cat. Anybody?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Stalking - Updated

If you happened to peek into the employee lounge at the Clinton Walmart you'd probably see a poster with a security camera picture of my husband and me, with a warning to keep an eye out for these suspicious looking characters who have been seen casing the electronics department at least 4 times on Tuesday. If they had been communicating with other retail establishments, you might see a similar warning in Game Stop, Best Buy, and Circuit City.

Why, you ask?

Because since the end of April we have been counting down the days to November 13. The day of release for Raving Rabbids 2 for the Wii.

The day is here. My husband took off work today and was at Game Stop, then Walmart, then Best Buy, then Circuit City and Toys R Us shortly after noon. No rabbids. Inevitably, at each store, they hadn't gotten it yet but expected it on the truck later tonight. Meanwhile, they had Super Mario Galaxy if we wanted that...

Die, Mario, DIE! I don't want no stupid Mario Galaxy! I want my RABBIDS! I need to plunge a bunny!

We made a couple more trips back to Walmart after work, most recently about 9:30pm, to see if they'd stocked. No rabbids. We shopped a bit, then went back to further inspect the stock boxes in the aisle, but no rabbids. They'd restocked Wii's, but we don't need a Wii. We have one. WE WANTED THE RABBIDS!

Greg is off work again tomorrow and will try again. I am too blasted honest to call in sick, even with a severe case of bunnyitis. But I may skip lunch and leave early if he finds one.

Die, Mario, die.

UPDATE - I just got the call that the bunnies have been located. Luckily there was a manager standing nearby when Greg inquired at Game Stop, because they only had 2 copies and they hadn't been unpacked from the box yet. The manager, who deserves service kudos, found the box and dug out the game for him. Tonight, I defend my TV against bunny invasion!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Deck the Halls With Gnomes

Had a great time at Sharonda's "Deck the Halls" shower today. She got a ton of really cute Christmas stuff. The picture above is all the hostesses, with the bride (seated). You can barely see my mom peaking out from the back. The next set to the right are Jen and her mom, then Laura and her mom.

Since this was pretty much the last shower before the wedding, which is in THREE WEEKS, I decided now was the time to go ahead and give her that "special" gift that I'd had stashed since shortly after she got engaged. We had found another Ebay (the gnome) and bought it for her. She was at the shower where I got mine, and it had been such a fun thing for us that I really thought she needed one. Turns out Victor really likes gnomes and already had one living on the front porch, which Sharonda had been working to banish to the back yard. I don't think I helped her case any!


My dad has an old Studebaker car that he's rebuilt as a drag racer. Bill drives it on weekends when he's in Philly with the fam. They race at a track about 45 minutes away from my parents' house. The car's name is Frieda. Here's the before picture:

Friday night they were running test & tune (for those who don't speak redneck, that means it's a practice night) when Dad and Bill set the car on fire. According to my mom, who called me from the scene in a panic, the flames were several feet above the roof of the car and there were people with fire extinguishers jumping the fence and running from all directions. I asked her if they brought marshmallows. She said no.

Mom said the incident had something to do with them working on the carburetor, but I have a sneaky feeling the truth is that they brought Bill a birthday cake and lit the candles, which created the bonfire that set the car on fire, creating the car-b-que.

I had hoped somebody got pictures of the flames, but of course they were all to busy actually trying to put out the fire to take pictures. Drat. THAT would have been a great picture.

The good news is that in the 1950's they made cars out of steel, so with a little work it can be fixed. Any car made today would have melted.


One shower down, one to go. Ran non-stop until midnight last night, and have been going for a while this morning already. About to go gather the last pine cones out of my front yard for Sharonda. She's going to paint them and use them as decoration outside the reception venue, I think. Then I have to wake the rest of the dead, get to church, get home, pack the car, get to Vicksburg, get somebody else's house decorated, get Sharonda showered again, get Mom back to her car that we left in Vicksburg yesterday, then get home and take a nap!

I'll post some pictures and stuff later. Too tired to dig out my camera and edit them at this point. I think I'll make a batch of cinnamon rolls. That should be a good sugar boost to get me hoppin'!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Crawling Towards the Light

First off, Happy Birthday to Lauren! I hope you're at home being treated like a queen today. Or least not having to chase the boys all over creation.

It's been a long, painful week. I've left work with a headache 3 days in a row. That's not like me, I don't get headaches very often. Work doesn't really stress me out that often, but there have been a couple of monster projects this week that have wiped me out!

Luckily, it's Friday. Afternoon. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I feel like I'm crawling towards it on my hands and knees. I am so grateful that this is going to be a holiday weekend. I desperately need 3 days off. Except it won't REALLY be 3 days off since I have to be in Vicksburg for a wedding shower tomorrow morning and back for another one Sunday afternoon.

In between the two my mom is supposed to show up, since we're helping host the one on Sunday. Which means I need to go home and at least token clean the house a bit. I don't scrub it down for her visits, but I do like to clear a path. Luckily our guest room was the most recent victim of my crusade against excessive crap, so it's actually ready for a guest.

Hopefully having Monday off as well will give me time to regroup and cram all my usual weekend activities into that one day. But first, I have two and a half more hours to get through this one. Crawling. Slowly...

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

This Day In History

November 7, 1971

When our country woke up November 7, 1971 there was no way for it to fully understand the impact this day would have. Things were "normal" for 1971. Nixon was in the White House, a war was raging overseas, and the Grateful Dead were playing the Harding Theater in San Francisco. Gas was 40 cents a gallon, and an average new home cost $25,000. It was the year Walt Disney World opened. But on November 7th, the 311th day of 1971, something bigger happened.

Who could have imagined that on this day a child born at Mercy Hospital in Vicksburg would grow to become the voice of the redneck community; the poster child for "Hey ya'll, watch this!" In the years to come he would become a legend in his own mind.

He is creator of the pre-break, post-break, pre-lunch, post-lunch work schedule. He is arguably the first certified redneck (CRN) to ride on a private company jet while wearing loafers, and suffered the brutal calls of "Yuppie!" from those closest to him. He was also the first CRN to blow off a professional conference to ride a San Francisco trolley all day in search of answers to the age old question, "Do those little slats of wood really act as a brake for this thing?"

He is a role model to the youth of the community, teaching them the proper way to hide chocolate so that if one stash if found, half a dozen others would remain safe; teaching them the best way to construct potato guns and to contain experiments that will undoubtedly result in explosions.

He is an unstoppable political activist, well known for having staged numerous coups at the home of his grandparents, where he declared himself the favorite and hid all pictures of potential competition from view. He demands respect from those around him, as well as demanding not only the most Christmas gifts under the tree, but also the largest and most prettily wrapped.

He is a man of great sacrifice, driving across the state to rescue a damsel in distress with a flat tire on County Line Road in the middle of the night, and again to remove a dead frogs from the home of a panicked loved one. He has been a long standing volunteer with Habitat for Susan, completing numerous construction projects for the home repair incompetent.

He is a man of great talent, with the ability to move the entire contents of an apartment in one pickup truck, repeatedly, even without the aid of beer. He can remove tree limbs with a single jump from a ladder and cry of "YEEEEEE HAW!" without fracturing a collarbone or arm. He can race a studebaker faster than a tree-light can turn green.

Even during his teenage years he showed signs of greatness, undertaking top secret covert operations in the middle of the night, putting his own life in danger by climbing from his bedroom window via rope, and later facing the ultimate sacrifice by climbing back up the rope and through the window, only to find himself ambushed by the enemy, his own father. And yet, he survived to sneak out another day; to fight for the freedom of high school students everywhere.

Yes, I speak of that notorious monster truck owner, Bill.

Since I cannot officially wish my big brother a happy birthday today* I wanted to at least recognize the importance of this date. Today marks the anniversary of a true day of infamy, a day to be revered by Miller Brewing Company, and pillars of the dirt road communities everywhere.

*Due to improper procedure** in filing for birthday status, normal happy birthday recognition cannot be offered.

**Proper procedure for official birthday status includes the compiling of a birthday gift wish list and filing said list with the requesting parties at least 24 hours prior to midnight on the anniversary of the birth which is to be celebrated. If proper procedure is not followed, said birthday cannot be recognized and there will be no acknowledgement of any parties planned heretowith.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Voter Day Quiz

Without looking it up, who can name their elected county surveyor? For bonus points, who can tell me WITHOUT LOOKING IT UP, which political party their county surveyor represents?

I know I say this every Voter Day, but why do we have to elect these positions? And this time I'm adding the "Who cares what party they're in???" line. This applies to many, many local elected offices. Like coroner. Our county coroner is a Democrat. I know this because she's on the ballot today and since I'm on a soap box I paid attention. How would she perform her job any differently if she were a Republican? Or, for that matter, a Libertarian or a member of the Green Party? These are positions where, if the person is doing their job correctly, political party affiliation should be irrelevant and should not in any way influence their duties.

For the record, I have it on good faith that our county coroner is excellent, and even sent out letters of sympathy to a friend's family after the death of her grandparents.

Finally, in all seriousness, can somebody explain the purpose of the constable? What exactly does the constable do that the sherriff's office can't? I was asked that question yesterday and although I've known constables my whole life, I couldn't explain their purpose!

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Feud

The online Family Feud tournament is back.

The question: "Name an insect that bites."

My husband yells out, "Beaver!"

I love the Feud.

Going... Going... Gone.

Our minister announced yesterday that he is going to be leaving our church; his last sermon will be January 13.

This shouldn't be a big deal, I'm Methodist and our ministers get new assignments all the time, but this one is different. We got Ross on a 5 year loan from the Methodist Conference in South Africa, where he had been serving as General Secretary. We knew he'd be leaving, but we thought we'd have 2 more years. His mother's health has been declining this year and he announced that he and his wife felt they needed to move back to take care of her. Which makes it worse, because you can't get upset about him leaving when he's doing the right thing.

I was thinking last night about the impact he's had in the short time he's been here. I'd be lying if I said everyone in our congregation adored him. Change makes some people nervous, and Ross has been a constant activist for change. He likes to shake up the complacent. For an awful lot of us, he's challenged the way we think about religon, both on a organized church level and a very personal level. We have been exceptionally lucky to have him.

On a personal note, it was one of Ross' early sermons that lit a spark and led me to join the church through baptism a couple of months after his arrival. He did threaten to have me (and a few others) excommunicated after a certain incident that resulted in 30 plastic flamingos inhabiting his yard for 24 hours, but he forgave me enough to officiate my wedding a year later. He drove 2 hours to my family's tiny Baptist church in Nowhere, Mississippi, complete with white robes, to marry Greg and I. Believe it or not, our tiny Baptist church's congregation LOVED him.

A Methodist preacher from South Africa, preaching a wedding in a small Baptist church in Philadelphia, Mississippi and getting rave reviews. That's not something you see every day. But it's exactly why we're going to miss him so deeply. Christianity shouldn't be complacent, it should be energetic and shake things up with surprising results. I do hope that trend continues for our church after Ross leaves.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Memo to Casper


To: Casper

From: The one that feeds you

You were not killed, tortured, or abused. You were given a bath. You were getting stinky, and in order for you to continue to enjoy a life inside with your people, you had to be clean. I apologize for any insult you may have suffered, but please note that I to was subject to bathing myself, shortly after I chased you around trying to rinse off the soap while you whined like a baby; was soaked by you knocking me down and shaking all over me; and then chased you around the back yard trying to dry you off while you freaked out because you were wet. Now you smell much better, look pretty, and can sleep on the couch without smelling up the living room. And yes, I'm going to brush you later. Deal.

You do this once every few weeks, I do this pretty much every day. Think about that.

Friday, November 2, 2007


I got to work 20 minutes late this morning and will be leaving right after lunch to take care of some bridal errands with Sharonda. I think more Fridays should be structured this way.

Now I think I'll go get some breakfast.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Somebody important (i.e. not me) must blog from work, because 24 hours later the ban has been lifted.

I find this very strange, to be honest. At my last job they had online activity locked down so tight that I couldn't get to the IRS website at one point (I was trying to get the updated tax law changes for a client!). We couldn't get any outside web based email, no blogs, no nothing. When I came to work here it was weird to be able to get to pretty much anything. It's even weirder to have something blocked, then have the block removed! That would never have happened at the bank.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Up, Up, and Away

I meant to post this yesterday but forgot to download the picture. It's not every day you walk outside your office and see a big puffed up hot air balloon...

I trekked all the way out to my car to get my camera because hot air balloons are just cool and need their picture taken. It would have been much cooler if it had actually taken off and flown away, but I imagine that's hard to do when it's downtown.

Trick or Treat

Remember that earlier post about the 3 big bags of candy we got for trick or treaters? You remember, the ones I'm desperate to give away because I've eaten my weight in Butterfingers and peanut butter cups? Well, guess how many treaters we had. Come on. Guess.


Greg and I were debating the cause. We never have tons of treaters, but we usually have 15-20. We think the lack of visits tonight was either due to the fact that Clinton had it's downtown carnival thing LAST night to keep from conflicting with church, but left the treating scheduled for tonight (and what parent wants to dress the kids up twice???), or the fact that we totally forgot to turn on the porch light until 7:15...


Earlier today I sat down at work and went to reply to a comment on the Tater Head Halloween post. I clicked on the link to my blog and... this page has been blocked. After some research, it wasn't just mine. Supermom - blocked. Stacey - blocked. Casper - blocked. Anything with blogspot in the the address - blocked. It was inevitable. So if I appear to be slacking my blog responsibilities, it's because our tech department just figured out what Blogger is.

Monday, October 29, 2007

What's a Tater Head's Favorite Holiday?

Happy Halloween!!!!
from the whole Tater Family!

Dinner - UPDATE

The only problem with having a big yummy salad with yummy chicken on top for dinner is that by approximately 7:32pm I'll certainly be starving again, and will proceed to devour the bag of Halloween chocolate that my evil husband opened and left within arms reach of where I'm sitting RIGHT NOW. What? It's 7:32pm? Excuse me, I have an appointment with Mr. Butterfinger.



Dreaming Big

I had a dream Friday night that Greg and I had quintuplets. That's right, five of them. Two girls, three boys. I woke up in a panic, and my very first thought was, "How in the world did we ever agree on names for five kids at one time???"

I told my mom about the dream and even she had a look of terror on her face. My dad was cackling, with a gleam of, "you'd deserve it, sucker!" in his eye.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Welcome Baby Darah!

Sharonda's an aunt! Darah arrived Friday afternoon and weighed 9 pounds, 14 ounces. Dang. That's a big baby. Somehow I don't think they'll need those newborn clothes! She's quite adorable, though. Look at all that hair! Unfortunately they live on the coast so I probably won't actually get to see her until they come for Sharonda and Victor's wedding, but Sharonda sent pictures. Here's a picture of Darah:

And one of Darah with her Aunt Sharonda and Uncle Victor:

Typical Morning at the Zoo

My parents live in on a tree farm and encourage visits by random critters of all types. This has created a rather entertaining atmosphere. watching from the back porch or dining room table. This morning before we left to come home was the perfect example. First there was the regular huge crane that likes to stand in the middle of the pond and taunt the cat. Add to the mix three young deer.

The deer romped all over the dry end of what used to be the pond, making their way around to where there's still a little water in the "deep" end. The crane was hanging out in his usual spot fishing. The cat was on the back porch contemplating how wet the grass was between him and the intruders.

Two of the deer ambled back off into the woods. The third one started stalking the crane. Literally. He splashed out knee deep into the water, clearly trying to sneak up on the bird that was almost as big as he was. He'd take a few steps closer, the bird would take a few steps away. They danced this dance in a circle all the way around to the levee. Meanwhile the cat had decided that instincts outweighed the dew filled grass and was commando crawling toward the pond. Granted, he was heading towards the dry end, because their ain't no way he's going in the wet end. Once he got down there the deer noticed him and got distracted, eventually abandoning the crane and wandering back into the woods after his friends. Next time we saw the cat, he was making a flying run up from the edge of the pond where he crane was. The crane likes to get right up next to the edge of the pond to lure the cat almost to the water's edge, then walk back to the deeper area just to frustrate the cat. This is the same cat that stalks the turkeys in the front yard, who do the same thing as the crane (fly about 3 feet away from him and go back to eating). That would be the turkeys that have walked up onto the front porch and tapped on the window.

This is exactly why my parents moved back home to the farm. There's nothing they love more than watching all their wild pets. Heck, even the cat just randomly showed up one day and stayed.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Forwarding Address

Disclaimer: This post has been edited to sound less confusing than the situation really is.

I've been abandoned. As of today, everyone in my office area has moved to the 3rd floor. Except me.

When I started this job 8 months ago one of the first things I was told was that I would probably be moving my office to 3rd floor. That's where the fellows' offices are, and I'm the Fellowship Program Coordinator. Later I was given the option of staying where I am, which is in a combo office/clinical area in the basement, near our conference room. Then there was talk about moving me to a nicer office area in a different building, where another portion of our staff works. I didn't care much for that option, as it's a pretty good hike away from the people I need to work with.

So let's speed this up with the abbreviated version. The basic conversation from March until this week:

"We have a space for you on 3. You need to be near the fellows."

"We don't know if there's room for you on 3."

"Don't you want to move over to the other building? You'll be all alone if you stay here."

"You'll be fine staying where you are."

"You can't stay where you are."

"We have space for you in the other building."

"One of the program directors is moving in next door to where you are now, you'll like being near him."

"You're moving to the other building. In two weeks."

My hope through all of this was to fly under the radar and hope they forgot about me altogether, which would result in me being able to stay in my current office. That didn't work. I was informed earlier this week that I have a space in the other building. That was generous phrasing. I have a closet in the back of a file room in the other building. I won't even start with the "Do you want to move your furniture instead of using the crappy desk we've squeezed in there now?" which is now, "You can't take your furniture, it has to stay."

Don't get me wrong, I have no problem working in a closet. I don't need much space. I offered to start bringing my own laptop and working from a table at McDonald's. Unfortunately, nobody took that offer very seriously.

I don't care what my office looks like or how big it is. I had a nice big classy office at the bank and pretty much hated it. The only thing I asked for was to stay in the same building as the fellows and the primary program director, which would also put me near the conference room that I frequent. So of course they move me to a building halfway across campus. I realize there are space issues and that I'm about as low on the totem pole as it's possible to be. But I did offer to provide my own equipment and work from McDonald's. At least it would have been in the right building!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Modern Medicine

A few random health notes:

My mom called a little while ago just to let me know her doc visit went great, the bloodwork and the ultrasound came back perfect. Each sigh of relief gets a little easier. (And when I responded, "So you're saying the baby's fine?" she absolutely cracked up. Luckily she raised us, so she's used to our bizarre tendencies.)

I posted that first in total selfishness. I don't have enough words to say how grateful we've all been at Mom's recovery from cancer and her lack of post-treatment complications. However, I found out earlier this week that one of Dad's cousins just had a tennis ball sized tumor removed from her brain, and there are several smaller tumors that will be treated with the gamma knife surgery. That is frightening enough by itself, but Beth is a breast cancer survivor. It's been many years since her initial diagnosis, but there is a good chance the tumors are related. By the time her breast cancer treatment was finished, the cancer had spread to her bones. The bone cancer is more manageable, but has left her with extreme pain issues which has led to a whole host of other problems. To say the least, it's been a very long and difficult road for her, her husband, and their 3 kids. They are now waiting on the biopsy results for the tumor. Going through this once was hard on us, I can't imagine going through it over and over again for so many years.

And finally, sometimes working for a hospital threatens to rip out my heart. Like when I see a tiny baby being taken back for a heart cath. I didn't even know they could do a cath on an infant. I don't know who the family is or anything about their situation, but I do know that the mother has more strength than I can imagine. She was standing and talking to a doctor calmly. If my infant was being taken in for a heart cath, I would likely be a puddle of goo on the floor.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Estate Planning, As Only My Family Could Do It

My mom has an appointment with her thyroid doc tomorrow to get an ultrasound and bloodwork done. I made the mistake of mentioning that to my brother, who decided having an ultrasound means she must be pregnant. He wasn't concerned about the possibility of a new addition, he was concerned about having a 4 way split of the inheritance. That would be 1/4 each to him, me, the baby, and the cat.

He immediately decided he would petition for guardianship of Football (the cat) so that he could claim the extra share. That leaves me with guardianship of the (non-existant) baby. Please note in this scenerio that my father inheriting is irrelevant, as he is expected to go ahead and finish off that heart attack in the event there is a 4th split. He avoided diapers for 35 years, I don't expect he'd take kindly to the idea of changing one now.

Disclaimer: My mother is in no way pregnant. My bother, however, is a looney-toon, and I am an enabler.