Friday, October 31, 2008

Transformation

It's that time of year when we start to notice a sudden transformation at our house. No, I don't mean the leaves changing colors or anything like that. I mean something more Jeykll and Hyde. More like Bruce Banner getting angry, resulting in the Incredible Hulk. I'm talking about the change from normal, every day pup to Prancy Butt.

For those of you who are now looking at your computer screen quizically and saying, "What?" - it's ok. You probably don't own a pup. For those of you who immediately glanced at your four legged friend and snickered, you have one too, don't you? BFF Jen and I were discussing this at lunch yesterday and used the phrase "Romper Room" to describe her house when she gets home. She has two of them.

It happens when the weather hits the appropriate prancy window. It lies somewhere between the low 60's and upper 30's. More than that and you just have lazy pup. Less than that you have "let me in before the fur on my tail becomes icicles!" pup. But in that magical window you get a pup that comes bounding into the house, high stepping like a Clydesdale, and shaking his groove thing as though disco was back in style. That's the Prancy Butt.

We've also noticed that our Prancy Butt couldn't care less about hanging with us all of the sudden. He will beg to be outside all evening. Last night he wouldn't come inside at all to play with us, but at 10:15 he realized it was time for bed and rammed the back door hard enough to let himself in. He then curled up on his couch and promptly went to sleep. He was dragging this morning, right up until we let him outside. Yep. The return of Prancy Butt.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Lazy

I will readily admit that I'm not in good enough shape to routinely climb the stairs to my office on the 6th floor (in a building with a basement and sub-basement, which leads outside). However, since moving to this building I have made a point to routinely take the stairs down any time I have to hike across campus (which is two to three times a day, at least.)

Now I must confess that for the past few days I have not been taking the stairs down, but rather have been taking the elevator. I have a good reason. I've nearly broken my neck trying to walk down 6-8 flights of stairs while playing brickbreaker on my cell phone. It's much easier in the elevator. I have, however, learned to navigate the long walkway in between buildings while keeping my ball alive, and I think that demonstrates some serious talent.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Condolences

It's never easy to say goodbye to a pet, but when you've had that pet for 22 years it's more like losing a member of the immediate family. My mother-in-law called today to let us know that Greg's oldest feline sibling was no longer with us. To my cat-in-law, Pooh, you were a great kitty, and I'm glad I had a chance to feed you roast beef and let you torture our pup. We'll miss you so much!

A Nice Surprise

It's the little things in life. Really.

You see, I don't like being cold. At all. During the summer I wrap up in blankets in the living room when the air conditioning turns on. I keep a jacket in my office and wrap up in it off and on all day. During the winter the hardest part of my day is actually walking to and from the car. I hate this time of year when the cold starts sneaking up on me. On one hand I deny it and don't want to pull out my fall and winter clothes. But then I walk outside in the mornings and want to cry. It takes a little while to get used to the fact that the cold is inevitable and give in to it. Yes, I realize we live in the South and our "cold" isn't real cold. But people, this is WHY I life in the South. If I liked cold, I'd move North.

So now I'm sitting in the living room, not entirely dressed for the day yet, and a little chilly already. I hear the air conditioner switch on and I cringe. I start searching for the nearest blanket, which is across the room on he couch, under the napping pup. It's far away and I know there's no way I can get to it before the Arctic blast hits me. A look of terror crosses my face as I prepare to throw my laptop across the room and dive for the blanket. But then... ahhh. It's not an Arctic blast. It's the sweet warmth of heated air. Somebody made sure the heater was on last night, and I know it wasn't me. Sigh. My world is a slightly better place at this moment. And I just added "dig out winter clothes" to my to do list.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Prizes

I've been sitting here waiting on somebody to get back with me about something, which is how I've spent the majority of my week, and decided that maybe I should look at the actual schedule of events and such for the Heart Walk on Sunday. To be honest, I don't care much about actually walking, I was more interested in raising the money, so I had no idea what time I was supposed to be there or how long the walk actually was. I still don't know the actual length of the walk, the website just said where it starts, but while searching around I remembered that they were offering prizes for fundraising.

When I signed up I checked the box waiving my right to a prize, since taking the prize just means that much less money going to the AHA, but I decided to look through the list to see what I would have been eligible for had I chosen that as my motivation:

Cuisinart Citrus Juicer (I've never juiced anything in my life)
Dooney & Bourke Wristlet (I think it's like a small purse or pocketbook or something)
iLuv Stereo Speaker with iPod Dock (I don't have an iPod...)
Jabra Bluetooth headset with 33 interchangeable covers (I hate bluetooth. I refuse to be assimilated.)
Motorola Two-way radios (So Greg and I can talk from opposite ends of the house? Eh, we text.)
Mr. Coffee Espresso Machine (Because me on espresso is a GOOD idea???)
Wilson Badminton Tour Set (Well, that could help towards my dream of Olympic badminton gold...)

I'm feeling pretty good about the fact that none of those items will be cluttering up my house. I did notice some cool things at lower levels though, like an ice tea maker (um, I have one. I call it a stove) and Swiss Army binoculars (what??).

The good stuff actually came at the next level up, which was $3,000 or more (I've raised $1,200, so not even close). Level 7 prizes include one of those little personal sized trampolines and a cool hand blender. And a DVD player. Then Level 8 gets into the digital cameras and gps systems and George Forman grills and a full sized stereo. Level 9 hit on the food processor, nicer camera, mountain bike, and rowing machine. But Level 10... Ahh. For the low price of $10,000 in donations we have camcorders, cookware sets, TV's, home theater systems, and a charcoal grill.

I have to wonder if anybody as an individual raises $10,000 or more. If they do, I have to wonder if they are really motivated by the chance to win a charcoal grill.

One Thing At A Time...

In going with the "one thing at a time" approach recommended by some of you brilliant people, I accomplished a couple of things last night. I got one load of laundry done and managed a load of dishes in the dishwasher. Most impressively, I managed to fix something to pack for lunches today.

We got home rather late from work due to the train wreck in Jackson that closed our usual route, and Greg had to turn around and leave immediately to go bowling, so I ended up not cooking dinner for either of us. I snacked and he got something on the go. About 8:00 I had a flash of brilliance and decided to cook up pot of spaghetti sauce and just enough noodles for one lunch. Viola! I fixed Greg a bowl of spaghetti, grabbed myself one of my frozen bowls of taco soup, and was able to freeze a few more spaghetti sauce lunches for future lunch emergencies - just add noodles. If I can keep doing that once or twice a week, I should end up with a nice stash of frozen lunches/dinners which will make some of these long weeks a little easier.

Now I just have to do some experimenting to see what freezes well and what doesn't. And I think I'll throw that other pork roast I have in the freezer in the crockpot this weekend to feed my visitors. That should produce a couple of days worth of leftovers for the freezer as well. Suddenly, I'm on a roll.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

900 Things

This has been one of those weeks.

Right now I feel like I have about 900 things I need to do.

At least 750 of those need to get done at home.

At least 500 of those involve some aspect of cleaning my house.

At least 300 of those involve doing something with clothing.

At least 200 of those involve some stage of doing laundry.


I've noticed that I've been feeling incredibly overwhelmed a lot more often of late. It's somewhat ironic. Before I started taking medication for ADD, I had twice as many things that weren't getting done but felt overwhelmed a lot less often because I either didn't notice or didn't think of it much. Now that I'm more or less medicated, I notice all of it and have to make an effort not to think about how much I haven't gotten done!

Work has been quite frustrating this week, leaving me pretty exhausted when I get home. We spent the weekend with my parents, so I never made it to the grocery store. I'd managed dinner Monday and Tuesday, but tonight I just... didn't. Greg ate a bowl of cereal about 7:30. Which means I don't have lunches to pack tomorrow. And I know I won't cook tomorrow because Greg's supposed to be bowling and won't be home long enough to eat. Which means no lunches on Friday unless I cook something especially for lunches. Which won't happen. It's a vicious cycle.

Who am I kidding, if I could just manage to unpack one of the two suitcases that have taken up homestead in the bedroom floor, I'd feel like I'd accomplished something. But for some reason I just can't seem to get anything started around here. I'm hoping I can really tackle some shopping, cleaning, and planning on Saturday. Especially since my parents are supposed to be here Sunday morning and are spending the night. Sigh. I suppose it might be easier to put them up in a hotel!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Much Thanks

As of this morning I've officially exceeded my fundraising goal for the American Heart Association Heart Walk, which takes place this Sunday afternoon. My little gague doesn't show it because you can't input the business donations online, which doesn't make a lick of sense to me. Regardless, Greg and I still have a big check to write to match all the donations, which we will do sometime this week. You still have a chance to make him squirm a little more if you would like to add to that total.

And yes, Sandi, I realize I never got the chance to hunt you down for your cash. That was totally my fault (and the fault of those blessed ickies that attacked after vacation!). In appreciation of your willingness, we're going to tack on a little extra to the matching donation anyway.

In somewhat related news, one of Greg's aunts is being admitted to the hospital today for heart-related testing due to an ongoing problem with A-fib. I hope whatever new thing they're trying this time works so she can avoid the ablation procedure that she absolutely does NOT want to do. We love you, Aunt Bo! Hope you're back up to full speed and harassing the family again very quickly.

Right and Honorable

Last night we were watching... ok, let me start with a disclaimer. We're dorks. We know this and have accepted it. You've been warned.

Last night we were watching the CSPAN coverage of the Brittish government thing where they make the Prime Minister get up ever week and answer questions from the members of Parliament. This week the PM was out of the country on some silly business in Brussels and one of his deputies was answering question. Towards the end of the show I said to Greg, "I love the fact that when they address each other everybody is 'Honorable.' Especially the Deputy. She's the 'Right Honorable Lady.' I think I should be called that."

It only took me mentioning it three more times and arguing that it wouldn't be misleading, as I am right and I am honorable, and a lady, before he finally said, "Ok, Right Honorable Lady."

Nice. I like it. He gets points for finally accepting it. Now I think I may petition to be called that at work.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Astonishing

I saw a miracle on TV last night. A positive campaign ad that didn't make me want to vomit. No, it wasn't for a Senate race. That'd be silly. It was for Supreme Court candidate Jim Kitchens. I've met his sons through Jennifer and her involvement with Camp Rainbow, and I can tell you he has a great family. That aside, it was the first campaign ad I've seen this year that didn't disgust me, and that got my attention.

So, looking at all the races on the our ballot this time around, that bring the total number of people I feel comfortable voting for to.... let's see... um... one.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Boss' Day

Today is Boss' Day, and that calls for celebration. I appreciate my boss. He's pretty awesome, no matter what Greg says about him! He's supportive and usually displays just the right amount of involvement in my day to day work. He supervises quietly and is quick to show appreciation for the things I do. Especially what I did is give him cheese.

So here's to you, dear Casper, boss of our house. Maybe tonight we can have a little fun celebrating with cheese and squeaks while Greg's gone bowling.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fun With Text Messages

Text message I just got from Sharonda:

"Please never forget to tel me if you have a live in boyfriend! Might want to tell Greg, too."

My response:

"No WAY I'm telling Greg THAT!"

DANG IT!

I found another great sign today that I was determined to photo and post, but when I ended up walking back to my office a different way and didn't pass back by it. Drat. And I have two other saved up, one on my phone and one from Disney, that I haven't posted. I need to get it together. I may make a special trip back over to the main hopsital building just to get a snap of that sign... But first I'm Googling corny jokes to send to Jennifer in the hopes of cheering her up today since she hasn't felt well this week. I asked around the office but the only one I got was pretty terrible: Six muffins were cooking in the oven. One muffin said to the others, "It's getting really hot in here!" And the other muffin replied, "AAAHHHH! It's a talking muffin!"

Even my cheese joke isn't that bad.

(Except all the corny joke sites I tried to access were blocked. DENIED! Heaven forbid employees have an opportunity to laugh during the day. Sigh.)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Learning the Lingo

Back at work today. Not very thrilled about it. Very very tired of being sick. I'm not used to it. Before I changed jobs I hadn't been sick more than once a year in ages. This is my fourth round since April. Ridiculous.

That aside, we accidentally had the chance to see my BFF Sharonda and her hubby last night. I make the point that it was an accident because I haven't actually seen her since July. We make plans, they just don't ever seem to work out! Last night they ended up having dinner in Clinton so we crashed their party for dessert. Anyway, she has a motivational speaking/consulting business and does a lot of work with teen groups. She was telling us about a group of young girls she was working with a few weeks ago as part of a teen pregnancy intervention program. Apparently the new phrase pre-teen girls are using when discussing teen pregnancy is "catching 'da bump." As in they kept telling Sharonda, "Anybody can catch 'da bump!" Hmm. Jen's caught 'da bump. Black Betty, too.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Cold Medicine Induced Ramblings

I finally gave up and gave in to being sick. I was feeling better, then worse, then a little better, then worse. I decided to stay home and drug myself into oblivion in the hopes of pushing myself further towards better.

I've got one of the financial news networks on in the background. I've never been one to watch the financial networks but when we were at Disney they cable channel selection was limited so we ended up watching a lot of it, and have had it on every night since. I'm not exactly panicked by the market free fall this week, but I have some concern about how much worse it might get. My IRA has lost half it's value from when I rolled over my 401K about 18 months ago. I see opportunity in the market right now, rather than fear, but the potential trickle down effects of job loses and business closings is a bigger issue.

Finally, my friend at work, Mrs. B (the one who lost her husband in a tragic accident last month) came to my office last night to ask me about some financial issues she's facing. She's in her 50's and terrified of what she's facing. As a public service announcement, I ask all of you - please, please please, if you aren't in a position where your family can live comfortably off of one salary, make sure you have plenty of life insurance. It sucks to think about it, but if the highest income in your household suddenly disappeared due to a death, could the survivor make it on what's left? AND pay for a funeral? Term life is simple and cheap. Make sure your family is taken care of.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I'm about to head out to the fairgrounds to work one of the health screening booths for a few hours. When I agreed to do this several weeks ago I figured it'd at least be a break from the office during the pain of the first week back from vacation. At the time I didn't count on being sick this week. I'd pretty much rather crawl under my desk than go stand in the Trademart for three hours. Oh well.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My Take on the Debate

Greg and I actually watched the presidential debate this evening. I normally avoid things like that because they generally frustrate me. Tonight's debate gave us some serious things to think about and consider.

Like whether or not we should just pack up and move to Canada. We've started trying to learn all the words to their national anthem, O' Canada.

A Shout Out to TC

I can't help but think that this is similar to what you'd find in city structures when visiting the Land of Topiary. Am I right, TC?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Just A Little Something

The coolest thing at Disney World, hands down, is the new Toy Story Midway Mania game. We stood in line for it. Seven times. It's a 3D shooter and was awesome. Worth standing in line. Maybe not worth standing in line when the wait was 110 minutes, and maybe not when the wait was "Try Again Later." But we sucked it up for anything 60 minutes or less. Here's a little something that made waiting in line worthwhile. The audio is bad because that place was packed and LOUD. I wanted to upload the one of him singing his song, but Blogger said the file was too big. Blah.

video

Evidence

Yesterday we received a surprising anniversary gift. A copy of our wedding video.

You see, my cousin who taped it had a very traumatic medical crisis shortly afterwards so we'd never gotten it. It wasn't a big deal, I didn't figure we'd ever see it. We'd actually developed something of an understanding that the lack of evidence could work to our advantange. Neither of us could remember much of anything about the wedding and we often used excuses such as, "I don't remember that being in our vows" or "I'm pretty sure I never promised that during the ceremony..." Well, now we have evidence. We watched it last night and I paid pretty close attention to exactly what Greg had promised. Afterwards, I summed it up like this, "So, basically, you agreed to hang with me even if I accidentally talked you into riding Splash Mountain."
We aren't coaster people. Actually, to be clear, we aren't heights and drops people. During the pre-drop teaser of the ride Greg kept saying that he was blaming me for this. I kept saying, "I want off now." Afterwards, when he was soaked and I was barely damp, he insisted on buying the picture they take right at the top. He wanted evidence. It's now framed and in our living room, carefully placed where it's the first thing you see when you walk in. I think he wanted it there as a constant reminder of how I tortured him.



Sigh

I know what you're thinking. "Hey Susan, what's up with the silence? You just got back from an awesome vacation. We though for sure you'd bore us to death with stories and pictures by now!"

Yeah, well, I would, but I came back sick. If you've never flown on a plane while congested to the point that your ears won't pop, let me assure you that it hurts like hell. This is the second time I've done it and I'm happy to say that at least this time I didn't cry, although I did cover my ears with my hands and rock back and forth in agony at one point. Feeling somewhat better today, but yesterday was pretty much a total loss. More pictures and some really awesome video will be trickling onto the blog in the week or so to come. Right now I'm busy being miserable back at work. I've been here two hours and still haven't gotten up the nerve to face my glowing voice mail light. It mocks me with its glowing angry redness.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Apologies

To my deares husband: I'll sorry. Very very sorry. I will never ever ever ever say the words Splash Mountain again. Ever please don't divorce me. Never again.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Memo

MEMO:

To: Susan
From: Your Feet

I beg you, please, stop. Just SIT DOWN. Please.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Jen's Nightmare

Jen's worst nightmare: Flights of Wonder at Animal Kingdom. A live show with free flying birds swooping over the crowd. It was awesome. Jen would have gone into cardiac arrest early and been dead by the end of the show.