Sunday, August 31, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
To Supermom, who has been told her random ear pain is TMJ. Honey, I feel your pain. Literally. And it's not fun. And no, they can't surgically remove the ear. I asked.
To Stacey and Lauren, who both have in-law evacuees in-route from New Orleans, both of which could be natural disaster situations in themselves. For both of you, just this once, I'll waive my usual rule and go bail if necessary. It's a good cause.
To Bill, my dear brother, who it appears is going to be sent to south Louisianna either right before or right after the storm hits to work on the electricals and such. I fear this may mess up his plans to go racing Saturday night. Or that he might end up without a job if I have to go GGGRRRRR at his boss if they try to send them down before the storm hits. No sense in putting them in the middle of it, they won't be much help if they end up victims themselves!
That aside, I'm well past ready to evacuate. From my office. it's been a very long week and I'm ready to call it done.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
The other one has continued to provide entertainment throughout the day. It was from our department chief, asking for volunteers willing to be put on a list to work the temporary medical clinics at the Coliseum and other shelters if needed. His instructions were to email his assistant with the listed information (name, home phone, cell, etc.) if you were willing to consider helping out.
I want to take a moment here to say that despite my lack of panic over the pending doom, I do think this was a brilliant plan. If this thing does get ugly and does hit anywhere near our coast line, we will have evacuees in shelters all over the place. With Monday being a holiday, I'm glad they're thinking ahead enough to go ahead and make plans to staff the shelter clinics. Planning and organization can defeat panic when administered properly.
That said, the email went out to our entire department, which is HUGE. Can I tell you how many people have hit "Reply to All" to respond, instead of sending an email directly to the person named in the email? If I'd just emailed that many people my cell phone number, I'd be on the phone right now getting it changed!
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Next year have Fred, Larry, and Sam. In 2010 we can look forward to Fiona. That strikes fear in my heart. Followed by Hermine and Igor. Yes, Igor. Now that one I'd be keeping an eye on. Some of my upcoming favorites for this year:
Ike (we like?)
Paloma (is that a name?)
And of course, if we make it that far, Sally.
Nope, no Susan in sight. We can have Sam, Shary, Sean, Sandy, and Sebastien, but not a Susan. Not a Mary, either, although I notice we have a Bill coming up next year. Been waiting a long time for that one. Heh. I grew up with Hurricane Bill, and it can be a mean one!
What's scary is that by 2011 and 2012 I start to recognize the names as re-runs. Beryl and Barry. Ernesto and Humberto. Gabrielle. I remember these from the past few years. I find it hard to believe they're that hard up for names. They can come up with Igor, but can't find something original that starts with a B?
I don't know if he's here for the Katrina anniversary or because we're all going to die, but I sure hope nobody tells Gustov. Everybody knows hurricanes like to make a beeline for Cantore.
That aside, I'm not yet ready to be worried about Gustov. I'm aware of it, and keeping an eye on the updates, but I also know that until he moves further into the Gulf we won't really have a clue what's going to happen. I do want to make sure we have gas in both cars, but mostly because I know gas prices will be going up before the storm hits. I want to make sure we get a new tank for the grill, but mostly because I want to cook the steaks in my freezer.
I may get more concerned as the storm gets closer, and I do understand the potential for a nasty landfall, I'm just not prepared to be in a panic yet. If I lived on the coast, I'd be a lot closer to panic. We already have two weather radios and half a dozen flashlights in the house, so I'm feeling pretty prepared for now. We'll see how prepared I feel Friday and Saturday.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
With no contact information on it whatsoever. No address, no phone number, nothing.
With very few verbs, or, you know, sentences. Just lists like the one I'm making now, only no parallel structure.
With every semester of high school honor roll, listed as separate items, as well as each nursing home choral concert.
With all high school arts/drama classes listed.
With a detailed description of an outdoor experience event, down to the hiking miles logged.
With a whole section of music experience - classical piano lesson for 14 years with blah blah blah specialty, big time recitals in music halls, duets with important people, and she was a finalist in a Carnival Cruise talent show. Yes, the talent show was listed right there with all the impressive musical experience.
She sent this to her sister to pass on to somebody regarding acceptance into some organization, but basically said, "I'll send you the one I used to get my job." Somebody gave her a job with that resume? I'm thinking I should update mine. I don't think I put "Wii Sports Tennis Pro" on there.
*This girl does not live in Mississippi, she went to a very upscale, expensive private school on the East coast.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
The pup has been found among the baled hay in the back yard. It's like deforestation of the jungle. I'm just so very glad I can walk outside again! Now bring on Fay and her ten inches of rain. I could use the nap.
Friday, August 22, 2008
This happened all the time. Every couple of trips we'd end up with five or ten bucks refunded. I haven't been very good at that since she moved out, mostly because I can't ever remember what things were supposed to cost. Until last night.
Kroger had certain pork loins on sale for $5.99, regular price is $8.99. I knew this one because it's one of the items that I've checked prices on all over town, and $5.99 for the Hormel flavored pork loins was a darn good deal. I bought one. When we got in the car I was looking at the receipt trying to figure out exactly how the cashier had gyped me out of a nickle in my change when I saw it. They charged me $8.99. No way. I made Greg go back so I could get a refund, but it appears the policy has changed.
I didn't get the pork loin for free. They did refund the difference in the price I was charged and the sale price, but instead of giving me a full refund they gave me a $5 Kroger gift card "for it ringing up wrong." It all came out to $8.21, which is close enough that I wasn't outraged or anything, but I certainly didn't realize that they'd changed the policy. I didn't ask the lady about it (she wasn't exactly Miss Personality) since it was already close to 8pm and I just wanted to go home. I tried looking it up on their website this morning, but the policy isn't posted anywhere. Any Kroger experts out there know exactly how this is working now? Is it always a $5 gift card regardless of the price of the item? In the past I wouldn't worry much if the total price of the item was less than $5 or so, but if they're giving out the $5 gift card on a $2 or $3 item, plus the difference in price, I might start paying more attention!
Thursday, August 21, 2008
And of course I had some help with the domestic queen herself, Mom, who needed to test out the black icing to make sure it was appropiate:
It's seen better days. After my husband had to go through the torture of trying to make a couple of calls on it the other day (some of the buttons don't exactly work right) I finally decided to suck it up and get a new phone. SIGH. I hate buying new phones, which is probably stating the obvious. I've actually never paid for a new phone, I've always either used somebody else's hand-me-down or gotten the cheapest "free" phone they had, griping because I absolutely hate signing those two year contracts. Yes, I've been with the same company for over 8 years, but that's not the point. I have this fear they'll end up getting bought out by one of the companies I hate (oh wait, Cingular doesn't exist anymore) and then I'm stuck. Regardless, I put on my big girl panties and did it. But I didn't just go get the cheap free phone this time. I was thiiiiis close. But then...
You see, I've learned to start checking the available plans every now and then because they change them and don't tell you, so there may be a better one available that I don't know about. The one that caught my eye was the new Blackberry plan, which was a whopping $5 a month more than I'd been paying for my basic service with voicemail and text. What? Five bucks? Now, I've always made fun of people with Blackberries because, to be honest, I wouldn't want people from work having that much access to me. But the phone was only $99, and I wouldn't have to sync it to my work account... I thought, "Maybe I should just bite the bullet and jump into the new century?" So I did. Poof. Just like that. Now I'm waiting for the buyer's remorse to set it.
I'm already a little irritated because they weren't able to activate my data service last night. The Blackberry activation service thing was down. They called me once this morning to try to fix it, but I wasn't in my office and they couldn't do it while I was on my phone, so they're supposed to call me back in a bit. If they can actually get me online, this may be my least productive day at work ever.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
And maybe here.
Remember? K. Good. I just found out that today is National Potato Day, thanks to a knowledgeable MRBA member. I can't wait to go home and dress up my tater heads for a big Tater Day party! This is ironic, in light of the fact that I've spent two days now researching a tater delima.
You see, we're planning our trip to Disney, where they have a whole line of Disney themed tater parts. Oh goodness. Now, you can get a regular sized bucket of parts for $20, or a giant bucket of parts for $50. This is where it's important to plan ahead and bring your own tater, 'cause if you try to put a tater body in the box you take up waaaay too much room and you can fit nearly as many parts in there. And it's not like I don't have tater bodies to spare! Anyway, there are so many to choose from that I've printed off the list and started making a tiered list - must have parts, 1st option parts, and bucket space filler parts. The problem is that some of them are quite bulky (like the dumbo base) and I have to decide if I'd rather get one of those or several smaller parts. The big question is going to be whether or not I need the regular size bucket, two regular sized buckets, or break down and get the $50 bucket. Sigh.
The next delima: if you go to that first link you'll notice the very bottom of the page has a link to the list of Star Wars spuds, many of which are exclusively at the Disney Star Tours attraction. Apparently they don't sell the individual parts, just the sets, which makes it more difficult! Greg has suggested that we may need a separate suitcase for taters and their parts.
Geezum petes, people. This is based on a cartoon??
Ok, so it starts out with you helping this hippie looking woman clean up and rebuild her garden. Cool. Once you clear enough space different pinata animals start arriving to live in your garden. Awesome, I got me some garden worms. The next thing I know I'm being told that in order for my pinata farm to grow, I need to encourage the little worms to "romance."
They need to what??
Yeah. It is what you think it is. Boom-chicka-wow-wow! So I "direct" them to each other and that sends me into a little mini-game where I have to help one of the worms find the other, while collecting coins along the way while avoiding the little red things that line the path.
So now they're being paid to romance??
Once the two little worms find each other it cuts to video of them doing the "romance dance." I'm not even making that up, people. That's what they called it. And you can go back later and view the video again from the menu if you want...
So now we're not only romancing for money, but we're creating pinata porn???
I won't even tell you the rest of it, it's a sad story of pinata inter-family relations followed by violence as gangs of other pinata move in and begin hunting, attacking, and eating the smaller ones. For the birds, you actually have to direct them to eat a worm before they are eligible to "romance." They don't tell you this until after they have you name all the worms, like pets. Here Mr. Bird, eat little Casper-worm! Seriously people, pinata gang hazing? This is based on a cartoon?? I was a bit traumatized at this point, and was waiting for Frank Melton to come busting into my house with his sledge hammer.
In all seriousness, the inside pinata jokes Greg and I have been tossing around make it totally worth it. It's a pretty funny game, and I won't even get into how many hours I spent playing, or the embarrasing hour at which Greg finally removed the controller from my hand and made me go to bed. ("But... but... my pinatas! I have to plant more seeds to feed them! I'm down to 4 worms, they have to romance or they'll become extinct!") I've been seeing a used copy of the game at Blockbuster for several weeks now. I keept telling Greg that I do NOT need to buy the pinatas, it's dangerous. It sucks the entire night away, eating my pinata brain. But it's only $14... And I just know I can do a better job of protecting my pinata worms now that I've learned to deter predators with the shovel using the "whack pinata" button!
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
"What's that arrow on your wall??? Did you steal one of the production signs???"
The lady who works directly outside my office door is finding much amusement in this saga. The new employee to whom I was being introduced now thinks she works with a bunch of looney-toon kleptomaniacs. My work here is done.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
"Susan, I can't help but notice that you're begging us for money for the AHA Heart Walk, but you haven't made a donation on your own behalf. What's up with that?"
Excellent question. You see, I was percolating and idea that I needed to run by the co-tenant on my checking account. We've talked about it and he agreed to my scheme. One of the perks to having no debt whatsoever and continuing to live below our means is having the opportunity to do cool things like this - a little something I like to call...
You give it, we'll match it.*
You heard me. At the end of October when we tally up the final donations Greg and I will write a check to match the final dollar amount donated to me during this year's campaign. I know that money is tight right now, and maybe you know you can only give a small amount. No problem, every amount is appreciated and we'll even double your money. You dug around under your couch cushions and came up with $2.87 cents to offer? Awesome. We'll turn it into $5.74. You want to generously donate two gallons of regular unleaded? POOF! It's 4.
It's just our way of giving you a high five and big kudos for stepping up. And showing that I'm not asking you to do anything I wouldn't do myself. So turn that five bucks into ten and make a donation. Heck, with all the Starbucks closing around here, you won't need it for that double half caf latte anyway. And for those of you who just like to make a hobby out of poking my husband with a stick, here's your chance to hit him where it hurts. Go ahead, the bigger the total, the shakier his check-writing hand gets!
*Disclaimer - Greg absolutely insisted that I say "We will match donations up to some ridiculous amount, like $3,000." He's convinced that if I don't I'll end up with like $40,000 in donations and we'd be in trouble. But if anybody wants to go ahead and drop 3 grand my way, we'll be all over that!
"...teens who attended pro-creation schools..."
But I actually heard:
"...teens who attended procreation schools..."
Two very different meanings there! I think Christian radio stations might want to be a little more careful when discussing pro-creation.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Two years later Dad's doctor says he has the heart function of an 18 year old. Without ongoing research like that supported by the American Heart Association we would not have the procedures, medications, and lifestyle information that saved my dad's life. He would not have survived to walk me down aisle and give me away. Do I support the American Heart Association? You bet I do. And now I'm asking you to help.
Coronary heart disease is the single leading cause of death in America. More than cancer. More than any any other illness. And Mississippi is leading the country in deaths due to heart disease. But with continued research and education we can change the future and save lives.
On October 26 I will be walking in the AHA START! Heart Walk as a member of the University Heart Team. You can support me by making a donation to the American Heart Association through my walk website by clicking here or on the Heart Walk element on my sidebar. I also accept pledges, cash, checks, spare change, gift certificates, coupons, dog treats... You get the picture. Just let me know and I'll email you my mailing address or a pledge form. Help continue to write success stories like Dad's by supporting the life saving efforts of the American Heart Association.
And if you get the chance, check out the American Heart Association website. It has some awesome tools and educational content to help us all avoid being one of these stories ourselves. Then head over to Get Fit Mississippi. Then make an appointment with a cardiologist for heart risk assessment. You owe it to your families.
1. Yes, I work for cardiologists, I just think they could stand to have a little less job security!
2. It occurs to me that several of you have recently been dealing with cancer-related issues. I don't want anybody to think I'm dismissing that nightmare, you all know my family's been there, done that, more than once. I throw as much support behind Relay for Life as do the Heart Walk, but this is AHA's turn. ACS can have theirs in the Spring.
This came as a result of finally clearing all the old pictures off my various SD cards. I even sorted them into folder groups on my computer. I think I ended up with close to 1,000 pictures, several of which I remember taking with the intent to post them here and never got around to it. I'd say I'll do better in the future, but I think we all know better!
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
This officially replaces my former favorite sign, seen at everyone's least-favorite retail estabilishment:
In case you can't read it through the fuzzy, it says Rollback $388, Was: $388.
** And yes, I now own the first sign, which was left after all the others just like it that were all over the hospital were taken down. I did them a favor by cleaning up after them, and it now lives in my office, reminding me of the efficiency of my employer.
I just emailed Boss #6 to give him my prediction of exactly which week they'll be here. What's my guess based on? I scheduled my vacation this morning. If nothing else will prompt immediate notification and immenent arrival of the review committee, that should. Bring it on. They can interview me in Orlando.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Saturday, August 9, 2008
I emailed Casper's teacher about the idea of getting another dog and explained some of the concerns I have. Her first suggestion was an in-home evaluation/consultation to set up a plan to correct some of the behaviors before introducing any new furry family members. She pointed out that dogs often teach their bad habits to other dogs in the household, which could further complicate matters. Casper has a bit of a special-needs personality, so I'm being extremely cautious about our next move. I certainly don't want to create additional chaos at this point!
Having said that, I'm quite relieved at the idea of Suzanne coming to do an in-home evaluation. Greg has never met her and I don't think he quite believes me when I tell him that she's a dog-whisperer. She is by far the best thing we ever did for Casper when he was a pup. Her level one basic obedience class is probably the only thing that stood between the awesome pup we have now and a very difficult, somewhat dangerous dog. She didn't train the dogs, she trained the owners to understand and train the dogs. She would spend some time with Casper during class and after she would tell us something she noticed about him and could tell us some crazy thing to do with him at home to correct a behavior. I'd think it sounded nuts, then we'd try it and it would totally work. Casper failed his first try at basic obedience class because he stubbornly REFUSED the command "down." He knew it, he knew what it meant, but he flat refused to do it when told. She gave some suggestions, we came back for a second round of level one, and amazingly.... he will now down in a heartbeat with barely a word. Sometimes with just a look.
Ok, so yes, he failed the class the second time around as well, but it wasn't for refusing to down. It was because Jen had to make him sit and stay for five minutes while she walked to the end of the leash and faced him. He was fine for the first few minutes, then he got up, turned around, and sat facing his audience. No matter how hard she tried, even taking him down to an end of the room where there wasn't an audience, he refused to face her when he had admiring fans who wanted to see him. Overall, if that's the only thing he was being stubborn about, he's become a pretty awesome dog, even if he's not a graduate*!
*He did get a certificate of completion both times, but he had to officially "graduate" to move on to level 2 courses and therapy dog training. Honestly, he doesn't have the therapy dog personality anyway!
Thursday, August 7, 2008
I actually had a serious conversation with my husband today regarding getting another pup. I've said for years that Casper was enough dog for two families, but after lying awake last night resisting the urge to offer him up free to anybody who would take him, I started to think it wouldn't be such a bad idea to get him a pet to keep him entertained. I mentioned it in passing today as a joke, and the idea grew into actual puppy shopping on the CARA website today. We've both lost our minds.
The fact is, in addition to just wanting to sleep through the night for a change, I really worry about what will happen if we ever do have a baby. Casper does not like to share my attention. At all. As one friend I was talking to a few minutes ago put it, "He'd eat the baby." I'm wondering if getting Casper a pet of his own to focus on would help that. I thought about just getting him fish, but somehow I don't think it would be very effective. I also thought about getting him a cat, but let's face it, that would be for our own amusement. He's terrified of cats. Or perhaps a sugar glider. Seriously. They have some listed on petfinder.com.
Anyway, we will be doing much discussing and research before actually getting another pup. Greg wants a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel so bad he can't hardly stand it, but after finding two people at work who own them there is now some debate as to whether or not they'd be a good fit. And I don't want to do anything now anyway if we're planning on a long vacation in the next month or so. Gives us plenty of time to talk to different people and contemplate options. And get a pyschiatric evalutation.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
This public service announcement, formerly sponsored by Super Swing Golf, is now brought to you by Boom Blox.
I'd say more, but frankly, it hurts to type.
Last night was one of those night where, after reading through another chapter I found myself back at Proverbs 31, reading through King Lemuel's thoughts on being a good wife. I was still pondering these thoughts while talking with Greg before falling asleep. I told him I'd been reading up on being a good wife. He pointed out that he thought I was doing a pretty good job - I'd made dinner, cleaned the kitchen, and made a very courageous run to Walmart, all since getting home from work. I pointed out I still had some work to do:
Me: But I haven't bought a vineyard.
Greg: We don't drink wine.
Me: Doesn't matter.
Greg: We could just eat the grapes.
Me: We do like grapes.
Greg: But that's an awful lot of grapes. You'd have to start making grape juice.
Me: Have you seen the cost of grapes lately?? I'd be selling 'em!
Clearly, I'm quite up to the standard of the Proverbs 31 wife yet, but I like to think I'm making progress. Hopefully I'll have quite a few more years to practice. One step at a time...
As a result, last night I cooked up the two biggest pork chops I've ever seen in my life. They were easily 1 1/2 inches thick, and one of them was nearly the size of a nice ribeye. Unfortunately I also haven't had time to buy a new gas canister for the grill so I ended up kicking them in the oven with a braise that I threw together with the few things left in my cabinets. Not the royal treatment they deserved, but decent enough and there were leftovers for lunch. For tonight I've pulled out some nice chicken quarters for BBQ. Thursday I can whip out the pasta sauce leftovers I froze a few weeks ago, and Friday is ballpark food with Jen, Rob and Figment. Safe!
With our survival planned, I turn to my pup. Greg and I both get points for not killing him last night. Tonight, if he so much as thinks about scratching the door, howling, or repeatedly running up and down the hallway like a herd of rabbid elephants at 2am, I cannot promise his luck will hold out.