moving again (the pix)

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This lizard evidently did not see the "Lizard Loft" perched next to the birdhouse.

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Lola explores the backyard

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The main room -- living room? family room? dining room? you decide!

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Ze kitchen

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Where I shall be sleeping. (We shall be "sleeping")

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Meeting the new neighbors


Just Lovely

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My holiday was marvelous, I must say. Christmas Eve was magical, as Christen and I decided to exchange our gifts then, so while he was at work I ran errands to get dinner prepared, and made cheeseburgers and baked macaroni & cheese to bring him at work since retail is the scrooge of Christmas and makes people work. Or at least makes Christen work. I'd have probably been out of luck if everyone was out of work on Christmas Eve, as I didn't plan dinner until late on Friday. He got home and we laid around doing nothing for a short time before grilling teriyaki bacon-wrapped shrimp kabobs with rice and eating them with a fantastic bottle of wine on our wonderful front porch that will no longer be ours after next month. After dinner we made our woozy way down for a walk downtown, since shortly we won't be able to do that, and saw the lights that the town put up. When we came home we sat under the tree and exchanged gifts. I already told you what I got him, but he got me a big terrycloth robe, a jewelry box, and pearl earrings and necklace. They are all beautiful. I loved getting things that I really wanted and were girly and sweet. :) He said he never had any intention on getting me stuff for my car but just wanted to throw me off track. I don't know that I believe it, but it's nice to think so.

Christmas was a production, as usual. That's why I wanted us to do our Christmas on the eve. We went to my mom's, where she gave me the desk she was going to will me that I love so much. It's a beautiful antique rolltop, but very small -- more of a bill desk. It was my great-grandfather's, and she got it when he died. I'm so excited; I'm not going to take it until we move so I don't have to move it twice. From there we went to his parents' house and opened more, had breakfast, and moved on to Nana's house for lunch and to watch the little ones open their gifts. Later we went back to his mom's house to do a gift exchange with Shea etc. It was a grand time; I got a Coach purse and Christen a "Rolex" both bought in Chinatown while they were honeymooning. Later we went back to Shea and Kyle's home and we girls hung out inside while the boys smoked cigars on the back porch. It was the perfect end to a lovely day.

How was your holiday?


Merry Christmas!

and Happy Holidays! I'll be back after the weekend. Now to go gorge myself on Christmas fare. Have a magical time!


Not dead yet!

Hey! every once in awhile I think I should let y'all know I'm not dead; just resting. I've almost finished my Christmas shopping -- rather, I've finished mine and all that's left is some of Christen's shopping. We still need stuff for his dad and cousin & her husband, but I've already decided what we're getting everyone but his dad, so he can just go pick it up. And of course he hasn't done any shopping at all for me yet, but that's okay. I got him (he doesn't read this so it's okay) 2 books, a pajama set (really comfy pants), 2 dress shirts, a Peanuts Christmas puzzle, a couple little stocking stuffer games, and a pinky ring (he steals my thumb ring all the time, and I've bought him a pinky ring before and he lost it). I couldn't find anything to be his "main" gift so I just ended up getting a bunch of little gifts. I hope he likes them. I'm excited about my best friend's gift: I got her a chocolate fountain, but I ordered it off Amazon so I got the stainless steel one like what they use at conventions (it's supposed to come today!).

Tonight we're going to see Cirque du Soliel's Varekai
and I haven't decided if I'm excited or not. I heard it was fabulous, but I've never been. I hated the regular circus -- all that buildup to something that's not all that fab. But we'll see. Today we have Secret Santa at work, and I got my friend Stacy, so I got her an Indian tea box with different teas in it (the box is really pretty red & gold fabric), a bottle of Cosmo mix and a bottle of gingerbread syrup from Starbucks. And for everyone else I got cards -- I really wish I had a scanner so I could show you what the cards look like -- they're really funny. Maybe I'll take a picture instead :)

Anywho, I'm all set for Christmas so I don't even have to finish up on Christmas Eve -- yay! Oh, and later I'll post the picture of what I got my best friend's fiance, because we let him open it at the party on Saturday so that everyone could see it :) Toodles!



Jamie posted her avatar and since I really like mine I thought I'd post mine too :)

Yahoo! Avatars


We're gonna make it after all.

I wish I had time to talk.

But I don't.

So I won't.

Sufficed to say, Christen's truck is finally getting taken care of; he got his settlement check today, got a rental car today so I don't have to take him to work at night and go pick him up before I go to work in the morning anymore (I volunteered, but I tell you; it really sucked). Now we just have to suck it up until this weekend when we can go shopping for a new truck.

And we looked at a house today that was gorgeous, but a little higher than we planned on paying. Still not out of our price range, but just more than we planned on. So he's going to see a different one tomorrow and if he doesn't like that one (he's pickier than I) then we'll put in for that house and deal with it. And it'll be beautiful.

And Nana is doing fine, and Lola's stitches come out this week, and the world is still spinning. Amazing how that works, eh?


What more could go wrong?

This holiday season sucks. Big monkey balls (sorry Shin Shin).

Here's the drama:
--kicked out of our house and forced to find a new one
--Christen's nana had surgery
--Lola had to get stitches

and now the most recent development:
--Christen got in an accident and totalled his truck.

More later when I'm not working off so little sleep, but I don't think we can take much more of this. Someone out there is trying to break us.


wedding pix

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The Wedding (I'm the 3rd from left in the Bridesmaids)

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The newly married couple coming down the staircase for the reception

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Christen and I entering the reception (he was the best man, I a bridesmaid)

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The happy couple during their first dance

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The cake eating contest (they made a pact not to smash it on eachother's faces)


The wedding was gorgeous, and the hotel was even more beautiful. I forgot my camera, so you guys are going to have to wait for pictures.

However, I got the flu Thursday and have been fighting it ever since.

See y'all after I either die or get better. Whichever comes first.


Goin' to the chapel

I won't be around for the next few days -- Christen's cousin is getting married and today's the rehearsal dinner, tomorrow the wedding, and Saturday the aftermath. I'm a bridesmaid and Christen's the best man. Maybe this will give him a kickstart toward our wedding -- after all, we will be walking down the aisle together :)

See you soon, and maybe I'll post pictures!


Please explain.

cock·a·trice n. Mythology

A serpent hatched from a cock's egg and having the power to kill by its glance.

Please explain how a cock lays an egg?

Space dog, from log to bog.

Okay, so I couldn't come up with anything funny. But doesn't she look ridiculous? I had to take her back to the vet today because she ripped off her bandages and they put her in this:

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My poor lame puppy

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Lola had to get stitches today. She ripped open the pad of her foot trying to mess with her crate while we went shopping today. I don't know what to do with her -- she hates her crate so much I feel bad everytime I leave the house, but I can't leave her loose in the house -- it's not mine, and if she messes something up I'm the one who pays. She scratched up the doorjamb one day when we left her loose while we went grocery shopping and I'm going to have to sand it and repaint it before I move now.

But in happier and less dry news, I went shopping today! Yes, I braved the crowds and went to get a few things. I didn't get up until almost 9am, but when we went there was still plenty of what I did want, and anything that they were out of I've decided I didn't need anyhow. So here are my and Christen's purchases for today:
-- Trivial Pursuit Pop Culture 2 (I'm obsessed with Trivial Pursuit, even though I'm terrible at it)
-- DVDs: Robots, Kingdom of Heaven, About Schmidt and Friday Night Lights
-- ATI Radion X800 video card (something about 16 pixel pipelines, but don't ask me -- I just use the stuff)
-- a Cranberry Chutney Yankee Candle
-- iPod Clock Radio
-- the Garden State soundtrack
-- Sims 2 Nightlife Expansion Pack

I tried to do some Christmas shopping, but I just couldn't find anything that appealled to me for anyone else. I'll have to do some more shopping over the next week to see if I can jump start myself to the holiday spirit. With the whole house-thing, I'm just not feeling it yet. Is anyone else feeling the holiday spirit?


Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope your turkey day is a blast!


there goes home sweet home.

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So Sunday my landlord calls me. She wants to know if they've fixed the stove yet. I tell her not yet, because even though she told me last week that they were authorized to fix it they haven't called yet. Then she tells me the news. Her daughter is pregnant. She needs the house.

My house.

She's due in March. Looks like I'm homeless again. I sobbed most of the day. And then I went to get my alterations done for the wedding and on the way home I hit a raccoon. And it messed up my bumper.

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How was your weekend?


Saturdays ...

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Is that a stogie? Nope, just a bone.

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Momma & Lola -- this is the new 'do, although not having a good hair day.


And what the heck is with another freaking tropical storm when it's this cold outside? Don't they know they're supposed to stay away for at least another 9-10 months?!

it's killing me ... not so softly.

These overnight hours are killing me. Not my overnights, but Christen's, as he has been working overnights for a week and will be doing it for at least another couple of weeks and I don't know that I can handle it much longer. I hate sleeping by myself -- hate it. I've been very understanding the last week and haven't given him shit about it but I talked to him tonight and he's going to have to do it next week too and be off on Wednesday and Thursday. This bites big monkey balls. However, I'm choosing to look at it from as positive an outlook as possible -- My Fair Lady is in town next week and we can go on Wednesday. :)
In other news, looks like I'm spending nights with Lola. Good thing she loves me; now if I can just get her to come inside.



I'm tired. And I don't want to be up, but Christen's not home and it's harder for me to go back to sleep when there's not a warm body to snuggle up against. He's been working overnights at work, so I have to sleep on my own. Not good. Somehow I've been sleeping okay, but it's murder to try to fall asleep -- it's just the snoozing itself that I've been able to do.
My stove is fixed. Sorta. There was a short in one of the burners and they bypassed it so we could use the rest of the appliance until the part came in to fix the one burner. Thank God we rent; it was an expensive part. :) Oops ...
Lola was sick Monday and I had to take her to the vet. I woke up early in the am to her puking and having diarrhea all over the house. She's okay now; She'd had people food over the weekend at my sister's birthday party and it didn't agree with her. No more people food for her!
And I got my hair cut and recolored finally. I wanted to get it done before the wedding, which is in two weeks, so I went to a friend's stylist and she was really good; I really liked her. Plus it was half as much as the place I usually go to, although twice as far. The price makes up for the gas though, so I'm happy.
Sorry this post is so dry -- I'm forcing myself to write until creativity decides to drop back in. Otherwise you may never hear from me again and I really don't want to stop -- my brain's just not working right now. :)


just a thought ...

It's pretty bad when you fail your own comment word verification system ... every time you post a comment. And I'm talking everytime.



So let me tell you a story: There once was a man ...
No, no -- not that kind of story.

Okay, so there was this girl, who had this stove. Now, she moved into her cute little house about 6 months prior, but ever since she moved she had problems with bugs in the stove. I know you're thinking "Eww, gross!" Well, that's what she was thinking. They seemed to live inside the stove, back behind where you couldn't get to them. There wasn't a bug problem anywhere else in the house, and they didn't come out while she was cooking so she was trying to deal with it.

But one day she had it. She took whatever bug spray she had on hand (wasp killer) and sprayed the counter leading to the stove. Then, because she had nothing else, she took some bleach and water and started pouring a bit of it behind the stove. All of a sudden, she heard a sizzling. She didn't know where the plug was to the stove, so she was helpless. She stared at the stove. After the sizzling the surface light came on, indicating that the stove was hot. She hadn't cooked in awhile, so she was positive that the surface wasn't hot, but she put her hand on the stove -- just to check. Nope, still cold.

Then, blue light. There were popping sounds, and lights coming from the top of the stove, where the controls were, and then everything died.

That was last Thursday, and this is where we are. Thank God for dinner parties and the grill! :)


Ready to resume contact.

I know I've been lax on the whole blogger thing, but I really haven't been up to blogging. I don't know why. I figure rather than give you a halfhearted product that I would wait.

So here are the snippets of what's been happening:
--been shopping for bridesmaid's dresses for my best friend's wedding
--got a better (read: more stable) position in my company
--bought some great new shoes
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--went to way too many bridal showers for other friends (not mine, excuse me while I pout)
--experienced my first strip club
--went to a wine festival last night and got toasted
found some lovely wines I might not have tried before, like Mark Davidson's Chardonnay and Black Oak's Riesling, which are definitely coming home with me again soon, because they were way yummy. There was a fantastic Cab Sauv, too, but I was already drunk so I don't remember the brand.
--been working on the next printed issue of the magazine
--spent way too much money on warmer clothing because it got really freaking cold for 1 1/2 weeks
--can't wear my new clothes because it's near 90 again
--pouting because the Bucs suck
--pouting because the Lightning suck
--wondering how they can say how good the Devil Rays are doing when they couldn't have done worse -- they can only improve at this juncture
--went to a couple geocaching events
--decided what to get Christen for Christmas
--am at a loss on what to get everyone else for Christmas
--am really freaked out that it's so close to Christmas
--read some great books, encluding Speaking With the Angel, a collection of short stories edited by Nick Hornby.


My favorite sentence.

Everyone who reads obsessively has a favorite sentence.
Here's mine:

Their history was like a child found murdered in the snow.

What's your favorite sentence? Props if you know what book mine's from.
(ps- if you don't read, what's your favorite movie quote?)


a quickie

You know you're in for an intellegent conversation with someone when you mention '80s hair bands and they bring up Flock of Seagulls.


I'll return shortly

It seems I'm taking a short sabbatical. I just haven't been in the blogging mood. I'll return; never fear.


True, I hope?

How to make an april

3 parts success

3 parts humour

3 parts beauty
Stir together in a glass tumbler with a salted rim. Add a little cocktail umbrella and a dash of lustfulness


All I want is a roll in the grass

A cute meme

Well, I wasn't tagged with this meme, but I thought it was amusing so I thought I'd do it anyways.

The rules are as follows:
1. Go into your archives.
2. Find your 23rd post.
3. Post the fifth sentence (or closest to it).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
5. Tag five other people to do the same thing.

So the 5th sentence of my 23rd post was from October 19, 2004 and it was, "Not all the women are really that ugly, but they sure are ... interesting," regarding a movie called Chicken Ranch that my boyfriend was watching on HBO about a brothel in Nevada in the 60s or 70s.

And since I did the meme without being tagged, and since I'm not so keen on tagging others, I say if it tickles you, then do the meme -- but let me know that you did so I can come visit!

Stupid Error Messages

It's 8:35am and I feel like posting, but I get an
error message from Blogger: Blogger down for
maintainence. This downtime will last 1 hour from
4:30pm-5:30pm PST." Umm ... did they fall asleep
maintaining their servers? Because I'm pretty sure I'm
only 3 hours ahead of PST. Oh well, this post will
just have to be posted ... posthumously (the topic
will be dead by then).
I've been very busy with Lola the past few days,
playing with and training her. The first couple days
she was here she had a bunch of accidents, but now
she's almost completely housebroken. She has a bell to
ring when she wants to go out, the only problem is
that now she rings it when she wants to go out and
play. I humor her though, because I have nothing
better to do and it gets her learning what the bell is
for. She runs in the backyard and gets all the
puppyness out of her system so she can be a "hangs
around the house" dog when she comes back in. She is
also pretty much cratetrained now too -- I started to
put her food and water in the back of the crate so she
has to go all the way in to eat or drink so she gets
used to going in there for other reasons than because
I'm leaving. She knows "sit", and after all this
house/crate training is good to go I'll start her on
lay down and roll over.

So I was also thinking (while Lola and I were on our
walk) that I'm starting to understand those blogs that
go on and on about their children. Because whenever
they do the cutest thing or the most pain in the butt
thing, you want to tell everyone. That's what I feel
about Lola. Not that I mind baby-blogs, I love
children so I like to know what they're up to. But
I'll try not to make this a baby blog. Because Lola is
my baby, and right now she's curled up at my feet
waiting patiently for me to take her on a nice long
walk to the craft fair so she can be ogled and adored
by strangers.


A passing thought ...


am I right or am I right?


Hoorah for me!

I'm getting a puppy! Christen said I could! ... he made me wait all weekend for his decision, but whatever. More later, and pictures to follow when I get her (Christen said it couldn't be today because we've got dinner plans tonight) but I'm running late for work, of course.

Oh, and I had a dream that I was stabbed in the back by my mother and left for dead outside some writer's house and he started taking care of me. My back hurt when I woke up. It was very odd.

Okay, now I really have to go! Toodles for now!


The brother ...

The brother and I spent the evening together. Things discussed over dinner:

-- wierd mispellings -- "jester" instead of "gesture"
-- "patients" instead of "patience"
-- midgets dancing on the boardroom table
-- The Kitten Club: Now Open -- All positions
-- different lusts that get people to my blog
-- meeting authors and directors before they die
-- the prevelance of suicide among people we actually like instead of those whom we wish would just die
-- people we hate in common (can we say Will Farrell, anyone?)
-- ordering chicken wings in an Italian restaurant
-- penises with googly eyes
-- search terms (try explaining a Houdini penis cage to a 15-year old)
-- Terry Gilliam
-- The nerdy guy on Road Trip and his knobby nose


Woah Nelly! (No, not the singer)

Hey, just a quickie (hehe) --- I was looking at my site meter and it seems that St. Pete Times has listed me as a local blogger on their Web site as a " Local bookworm and geocacher blogging on things in general." I didn't even know they did that, but I have hits from the site. Isn't that cool? I know I didn't email them to add me to their directory. I'm, like, totally psyched, yo." hehehe.

Bachelorettes and my first time.

This weekend was the lingerie party. I'll let the pictures speak for themself. The whole weekend was a blast (even when I was throwing up for the first time ever because of drinking too much and got kicked out of the club.) I had to take yesterday off to recover. :) I've got things to do tonight but if I end up with any additional time perhaps I'll recant a few tales.

A smattering from the penis party

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So I lied and i can't get off my butt.

I think I'm not leaving for a little bit, and I don't really feel like doing the things I should be doing, like grocery shopping since I have nothing in the house (we emptied out the fridge before the trip so things wouldn't go bad and even though we've been home for a week neither of us has had the drive to do any of that stuff) or cleaning or ... well anything. So I'm blogging. Hoorah!
This week has seesawed between interesting and drab. Thursday night L, Christen and I were totally irresponsible and went out (woohoo!) for dinner at The Garden where I had a nice pasta and Christen a nice piece of chicken and L a divine porkchop, had too much wine and went to a cute little venue called The Bank. Evidently it used to be a bank and now does local music and art shows. It was quite empty but it was nice to get out, and I knew someone in one of the bands, whom I didn't know had a band but is totally the type, I suppose. At work he lounges and listens to his iPod all day (when he's not working, of course) and I had never heard him speak or seen him smile so for a bit I wasn't entirely sure it was him. L says the place fills up usually, so I'm sure we'll go back again. It was a neat little place.
Last night I spent some time recklessly shopping with Other April and Stacy from work, and had a marvelous time spending too much money (and giftcards). My objective was to buy lingerie for the bride-to-be for her shower this weekend, which I did, as well as getting myself a charming peach see-through negligee that was on clearance at Macy's (I've actually never owned a piece of lingerie, so I felt I needed it). I also got a jean skirt and a pretty lavender top at The Loft (I had a coupon!) and 2 pairs of shoes at the new DSW. I'll take pictures. :) I also got a pair of shoes for L because I know of her fondness for polka dotted shoes, and these are adorable. As a matter of fact, she may already own them but this way they don't disappear before she's able to get them. :)
I dropped by Target this morning to get pretty wrapping paper for Shea's gift (yes I know I could have done my grocery shopping while I was there, what's your point?) and found a divine roll of glittery ivory paper. I now have glitter all over my living room, but I maintain that it's worth it. The gift is so pretty! I adore a good wrap-job :)

Toodles for the weekend!

As I'm going to a lingerie party for a bride-to-be this weekend, I shant be here for a bit. They've extended the Sunday evening shindig for the whole weekend. Sounds like fun, and since we're going to the beach, I shall probably from Monday forward be referred to as Rock Lobster. We know the translucent white legs well, people.

We are also going (gasp) clubbing, I think. If I don't knock myself out with -- a club -- I will be back to share my escapes -- oh, I mean escapades ... wish me luck!


Ewww ...

This is just disgusting.

Book, anyone?

I've decided to start a book that I bought while book shopping during lunch with L -- Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All, by Allan Gurganus. I've only read 9 pages of 718, but it's very good. And Christen, who doesn't read (gasp), said he might like to borrow it when I'm done because the only kind of book he reads is the war novel, which this kinda is. I don't usually read war novels, but it doesn't quite come across like that. I'll let you know.
Also, on my trip I reread Pat Conroy's Beach Music, which is beautiful, Nine Parts of Desire, which was obsessively interesting, and News of a Kidnapping by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, which was also quite good.
While we were waiting for the mall to open in Gainesville (so I could buy my bookworm teeshirt, but the place didn't have it anymore) we stopped at Books-A-Million, and I read Kathy Buckley's autobiography and bought Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch and a history book called Modern Times by Paul Johnson.
Happy Reading!


Long lost me.

So I'm back from vacation. I'm not sure if I'm thrilled about that or not; I had a fabulous time and wish I could be gone forever, but you know. Things to do; people to see. I'm leaving early for work to see if I can figure out where I am in terms of work -- there's always a million things to do there, so I'm sure I'm up 5 million in the hole to catch up on. And I missed my family. I'm going tonight to go visit them.
But vacation was so great! Saturday we drove all day and got to North Carolina around 5pm; we stayed at Jones Lake State Park and relished not having to be home. It was very pretty. The next day we drove to Prince William State Park in Virginia which is about 30 minutes outside of DC but in a whole other world -- you drive 5 miles into the forest to get to the campground. We saw beautiful deer out there - they don't even run up there! They just look at you and you look at them and they go back to nosing about in the woods.

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We drove around DC at night Sunday night but we got stuck on some parkway and ended up outside of the city and just decided to go back to the campground. Monday we walked all around the city and saw as many monuments and museums as possible -- we went to the Museum of Natural History and the Museum of American History. They were awesome (and they were free! Who'da thunk it?!). I wanted desperately to see the Library of Congress but it was closed. I don't think I'd be allowed in based on my obsession with books; I don't have a congressional pass.

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The second day around DC we were on our way out but we went to Arlington Cemetary. I have relatives there but you evidently have to know the year they died and their full name, and I just know I wasn't born yet. So I couldn't find them. I took a picture of a bunch of headstones and my mom can just pretend one of them is Mike. Arlington was very beautiful, and we were there the day before Renquist was buried.

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After that we drove down the west side of Virginia and stayed at a little park called Claytor Lake and then continued on to Tennessee. In Tennessee we went to Fall Creek Falls State Park, and it was gorgeous! We stayed in a walk-in campsite so we weren't all around the RVs and hiked to see a gorge

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and a waterfall (the highest waterfall east of the Rockys).

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There was another hike to another waterfall, but it was across a suspension bridge to a 12-mile loop,

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and we decided we just weren't up to that sort of activity that late in the day. We saw a lot more deer in Tennessee, and of course I took pictures. Did I mention I take pictures of everything? We had a raccoon nosing around our campsite one night and woke up to pawprints all over everything, and what did I do? I took a picture.

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After 2 nights in Tennessee we went to Jackrabbit Mountain in North Carolina. It's right on the border of NC and Georgia, and if you stay on the other side of the mountain you're in Georgia. We took a 2-mile hike on the mountain and then settled in to watch the sunset from our campsite.

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Our last night we stayed in a park in Georgia, and it was hot and mosquito-ridden, and the campsites didn't have much shelter from the other campsites (hey, reminds us of home!). But we listened to the Ga/SC football game on the radio (as the only two people in Georgia rooting for the Gamecocks) and went to bed early to escape the mosquitos that are entirely immune to Deet. Sunday we came back home and decided to go out to eat for dinner since we had nothing in the house (I made sure of that before we left) and found a great Chinese place not far from home. We've been looking for a good Chinese place on this side of the Bay, and I think we've finally found one.
And thus endeth "What I did on my Autumn vacation". Thank you, and good night. :)


Rock you like a hurricane.

So the hurricane missed us ... again. I can't say I'm upset, but I do feel bad for those hit. Hurricanes bite. This one I actually didn't know about until I was on the phone with a body shop in Jersey and they said ... okay, I'm borrowing from MooCow for a second and sock puppet theatre this one:

Body Man (not to be confused with Mountain Man, or James Taylor's Walking Man): Yer in Florida?
Me: Yesseree I am
BM: You gonna get hit by that hurricane?
Me: Hurricane? Oh, you mean that thing out in the Atlantic. Yeah, that's all the way on the other side of the state. What's it called? Katerina? Some figure skating name. Russian, maybe.

So then I came home and asked Christen:
Me: Is there a hurricane?
Him: Yeah, I don't know. I think so. When isn't there a hurricane?

All this was Friday. Now I'm looking at the pictures of New Orleans and Mississippi and I feel bad. Hope you're all alright!

Fine: $114.50

So there are these signs all over Safety Harbor: Do not block intersection; $114.50 Fine. How do you come up with that amount? I giggle every time I see one.

We've decided where we're going for vacation, so Washington D.C. here we come! I'm so excited; we've decided to camp in Northern Virginia or Southern Maryland and go in to the city for a couple days and then heading to Tennessee and Fall Creek Falls Park for the rest of the week, stopping for a night here and there between destinations. I promise to take as many pictures as my memory card will allow, and I'll buy another card if I need to :)


You'd think, you know?

You'd think I had something to talk about. I mean, crazy things have been happening. Like my job -- I might not have one anymore. They are "reorganizing" and moving my department to New Jersey. I might be able to find a place down here, but the ratio doesn't support it -- there are more than 70 of us looking to be absorbed into about 12 jobs. So in the meantime, I must look for a new job. I do have an interview (with my own company) for another position today, but almost everybody in my department applied -- so may the best person win. It'll at least get me used to interviewing again, which I may be doing a lot of in the next few months. A few friends are looking for places for me in their own companies (thanks so much, guys) and I'm out on Monster, but .... I'm starting not to sleep. It'll be fine, I know. But there's always that anxiety ...
I'm also going on vacation. A real, honest-to-god vacation. We're going camping again, in Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina. I'm so excited it's all I can do not to look at a map everytime I'm home. I'll be gone Sept 3-11. Hoorah!
So you'd think I had stuff to talk about. But with all this in my head it just wants to bounce around rather than come out here.


What's "wrong" with him.

So VG wanted to know what my brother's condition is, so I thought I would post just about that. My brother has Asberger's Syndrome, also called Asberger's Disorder. It's a form of autism where one is able to function but lacks all social skills necessary to interact. He focuses very well on single things (for 6 months it was spiders, now it's history) but doesn't react well to any sort of change or imbalance. The night before and the morning school starts he gets very bad anxiety attacks. When he can't process change he breaks down and will cry. Things that frustrate him start him screaming, but then if you try to calm him he'll cry. If he laughs so hard he gets the hiccups, he cries. He does all his work for school but refuses to turn it in. He gets all Ds and Fs in class for not turning in work but aces every test he takes. In middle school other kids would stick tape on his back with bad words and he never even noticed. In high school my mother had a conference with his teachers and they told my mom they thought he was like the Columbine kids because he doesn't interact with anyone. My mom was mortified that they don't know how to deal with someone like him. He's a loner because he doesn't understand social cues and how to behave "normally." Most of his friends have learning disorders or autism. One of his friends had an assignment where he had to get a friend to write things that he was good at and my brother wrote "He is good at making other people look good" and "He is good at losing at video games." He wasn't trying to be mean, he just didn't understand that that's not the way you act toward other people.

It's very frustrating, and I know I don't see a lot of it because I'm not around for all the problems. But a lot of what he goes through I went through too. I'm pretty sure I have some sort of problem like him, just not to the extent that he does. I love him so much; I'd do anything for him. But I don't want him to be normal -- is that bad?

From this site:

Asperger Syndrome (AS) or (Asperger’s Disorder) is a neurobiological disorder named for a Viennese physician, Hans Asperger. In 1944, he published a paper that described a pattern of behaviors in several young boys who had normal intelligence and language development, but who also exhibited autistic-like behaviors and marked deficiencies in social and communication skills.

Individuals with AS can exhibit a variety of characteristics and the disorder can range from mild to severe. Persons with AS show marked deficiencies in social skills, have difficulties with transitions or changes and prefer sameness. They often have obsessive routines and may be preoccupied with a particular subject of interest. They have a great deal of difficulty reading nonverbal cues (body language) and very often have difficulty determining proper body space. Often overly sensitive to sounds, tastes, smells and sights, the person with AS may prefer soft clothing, certain foods, and be bothered by sounds or lights no one else seems to hear or see.

It’s important to remember that the person with AS perceives the world very differently. Therefore, many behaviors that seem odd or unusual are due to those neurological differences and not the result of intentional rudeness or bad behavior, and most certainly not the result of “improper parenting.” By definition, those with AS have a normal IQ, and many individuals (although not all) exhibit exceptional skill or talent in a specific area. Because of their high degree of functionality and their naiveté, those with AS are often viewed as eccentric or odd and can easily become victims of teasing and bullying. Language development may seem normal, but individuals with AS often have deficits in pragmatics and prosody. Vocabularies may be extraordinarily rich and some children sound like “little professors.” However, persons with AS can be extremely literal and have difficulty using language in a social context.

There is a great deal of debate about how to categorize Asperger’s. It is presently described as an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Some professionals feel that AS is the same as High Functioning Autism, while others feel it is better described as a Nonverbal Learning Disability. Because Asperger Syndrome was virtually unknown until a few years ago, many individuals received an incorrect diagnosis or remained undiagnosed. For example, it is not at all uncommon for a child who was initially diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder/Hyperactivity to be re-diagnosed with AS.



So I was driving to the pet store to by a mouse for the Snakob and for some reason I was pondering the relationships I have with my brother and sister. I'm 10 years older than my brother and 12 years older than my sister, and for some reason I've always been much closer to the bro than the sis. And today I think I figured out why.
Well, when my brother came around I was always taking care of him, babysitting and toting him around town on the luggage rack of my bike. We went everywhere. I'd cart him to antique stores for old books and up to Shoney's (back when Shoney's was still in Fla) and to the library. Then my sister showed up. I can say she showed up because one day my mom called and said "I'm bringing home a baby that needs to stay with us for a few weeks" and then there was Jamie. So Jamie kinda disrupted the balance. I couldn't take them both on my bike, and the one (and only) time I put her on the rack she stuck her foot in the spokes of the back wheel and nearly ripped her leg off. So even though Ian was the middle child of the family, Jamie was kinda my middle child -- Ian was the first born, Jamie was the second, and my kids (whenever that happens) are the third birth.
Not that I don't love my sister. I do, fiercely. But she was always the opposite of my brother and I. We read, she was a cheerleader. We play video games, she text messages all the boys from school. And it's not just that. I've always identified with my brother. We have grown up conversations on the meaning of a comma. He gets my jokes. He doesn't need to be entertained. I didn't believe for a long time that there was anything "wrong" with him -- it didn't seem like there was anything different about him to me. He did terribly in school because he read though it all -- I did enough to get good grades but I was generally finishing my work in the first 5 minutes and then reading for the rest of the time. He missed 5 questions --5! on his FCAT last year. But he and I were always cut from the same mold. When we found out he had Asberger's a couple years ago everybody else was relieved to know what was "wrong" with him. I still didn't see anything wrong. So he doesn't like to talk to other people. So he will read Steinbeck and Vonagut and Hornby and Vowell and everything else he can pilfer from my library during classes instead of paying attention to the teacher -- his tests are always near perfect. He spends the night and we go book shopping and play pool and otherwise act like a couple of 60-year olds.
My sister keeps me young. I've been hanging out with her more often lately and I find that I like it. A lot. She's still a tomboy at heart; she's just a tomboy with boys and shoes and purses on the mind. I get to watch girlie movies like Chasing Liberty and Miss Congeniality with her (that no one else will watch with me). She comes geocaching with me and to events and is socal and cute and everyone loves her. I love her. She has to be entertained but she's easy -- take her to a shoestore or bowling and she's fine. Just keep reminding yourself not to spend too much money around her. She's good at spending money.


I'm a survivor, I'm gonna make it ...

But already I digress. I wanted to post yesterday but I didn't feel like answering those dern questions and I thought I should probably do that before I posted so I didn't feel like a lazy bum. So I have (go on, go see what kind of Jello I want to wrestle you in) and now I can post about my great weekend.
So unfortunately I don't have any fabulous pictures because the only pictures I have really blow (I took 5 pictures the whole time) so instead I'll have to regale you with tales (that won't be near as exciting to you as they are to me). Friday I picked my sister up from school and we drove down to Punta Gorda in time for dinner at Golden Corral with the rest of the geocaching groupies. Jamie had many plates of dessert and I talked to several people that I only seem to get to talk to at these events when I met a couple guys from my area that I seemed to have tons in common with. So when we went night caching with the whole group, or GeoCaravaning, as it was, Jamie and I rode with the boys and had a blast. Then Saturday we went to the main event, the Survivor's Event (on the anniversary of Hurricane Charley) where there were water games and a playground and kids for Jamie to play with and waterguns for all the children to turn on me with and caches to find and prizes to win! I won biodegradable toiletpaper and bug spray and a rain poncho. Woohoo for me!
But really the best part for me was the people. I didn't know I'd have such a good time. I can't wait for the next one!


My neighbor has this cat that has decided that his home is my front porch. He's tried for inside my house, but we chased him out. But all I have to do is look outside and there he is!

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