the taste of bliss

Did I tell you about these?

I don't do peanuts in my food, but I'll let you know, the plain ones are fantabulistic! If only they came out with them for the crispy M&Ms too. This is the best thing to happen to M&Ms ever. And it's not like it's the first time George Lucas sold out, so I'm not concerned with that; I'm just glad I get dark chocolate M&Ms.

I've got Lance in my pants ...

No, the crackers ... I swear! Do you hate those radio commercials as much as I do? Sometimes I just wish I hadn't strayed from Sinatra and James Taylor, I'm tellin' you.

I know you're all dying to know how my first few days of work went, right? Well. The first day I sat next to a girl that seemed really nice ... and she was. And, her name was the same as mine, and we drive the same kind of car, own the same shirt (she was wearing one that I own and I accidentally wore the same shirt the next day) and lives about 15 minutes from me (in the complex next to the one I used to live in). It was all very wierd. The first two days were all about HR and customer service and benefits and all that. Today was the first day of what will prove to be a very boring two and a half weeks. This is what I learned about all you in New Jersey: You have to carry tons of insurance, and there are a lot of fraud cases because of it. That is all. Thank you very much.

So except for the ridiculous drive (usually an hour) everything seems to be doing fine. I really need to find a place in South Tampa. I can't do this whole drive any longer than July. Can't do it.


it's peepilicious!

My Easter weekend was beautiful fun. And it came with no occupational strings attached. That's right, folks. I am no longer an office supply guru -- I am now an insurance claims adjuster. For New Jersey. Yes, I live in Florida. The regional office is in Clearwater, and we take care of the entire East coast. Texas has the Western region. Headquarters in California. Yeah, cuz we're cool like that.

Anywho, about the weekend. I was pretty sure it was going to be fun. Friday night I had drinks with some of the girls from work. Let me tell you, four beers are still too many for me. It was happy hour and I had four, and came home sloshed and happy. Saturday my sister came over to use my sewing maching (even though I did most of the sewing) and spent the night. We went bowling (high score 148, other scores 121 and 119) and tried to get my bowling ball from the south Tampa sports store but they didn't have it done. When you promise something to get done in two days, don't you deliver? Well, they didn't. I bought a ball Thursday afternoon and the guy said it would be done Friday, so I said I'd pick it up Saturday. Yep, not done. They said they'd have it done on Monday for me, so we'll see. I had to use the alley ball again, but that's okay. I'm use to it. A quick trip to the mall and we were home in time to order a pizza and hang out. I love 12-year-old girls. (don't make that something it's not)

My air conditioning broke Saturday night, so sleeping wasn't in the cards, but Sunday we got up early to do the sunrise service thing. It's out in the park, and as usual I made fun of everyone on stage, but it was very cute. A visit with the grandmas and the grave caravan (where we put fake flowers on all the dead people that we know's graves) and then it was poker and ham at Nana's for 5 hours. Great fun, I tell you.

If it weren't for this dern head cold, I'd be great. I thought it was a sinus infection, but I'm doing better so I think it's a cold. It needs to go away. Now.


Thank God Almighty!

I'm free at last!

Today was the last day of work. Seriously. And I must say it feels good to be outta there. I called out the last two days because I was so sick (sore throat that was reaching into my ears and a wheezy cough that made my upper chest sore; Thursday I also woke up with a killer headache on top of my other symptoms) but I had to go in today. I live by the same creed my mother brought me up with -- if you don't go to school (or work) then you can't go out that night. And by golly, I'm going out. I've got a date with a bunch of friends from work for drinks down the street. Woohoo!

Anywho, I've not been much for talking, but maybe I'll have something to say later. Toodles!


had to post it.

Ivan sent me this quiz, and I had to take it. Had to. And then I had to post it, just because TMBG rocks like autistic kids rock (don't look at me like that, my brother is autistic and it's his favorite joke). I don't know how true it is, but it's a good album. But you don't know what songs I'd put on my all time album if I could, do you ... huh, do you?

You scored as John Henry.

John Henry kicks off with a wicked accordion part in "Subliminal" and

keeps up the groove, with tracks like "Snail Shell" and "Destination

Moon". John Henry is a great all around album.

John Henry


The Spine


Factory Showroom


Mink Car






Apollo 18


Sever Tire Damage: Live




They Might Be Giants: Self Titled


What They Might Be Giants Album Are You?
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what happens when good aligators go bad ...

I found these pictures on Panela Veia's Web site, and normally I would just direct you there but I never know what's going to be on that site (that's why I wrote "mature" next to it). Sometimes the pictures are harmless, sometimes they're interesting (like these) and sometimes they're definitely in the rated XXX catagory. Now you're never going with me to Bear Island campground, are you?

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I am the vine and ye the branches -- bear fruit.

This was on a church sign of a Christian school for prom -- sorta the wrong message to send to those kids, eh? Watching the Trio channel again, and it's some sort of prom special.

Books I've read today:

Just Checking by Emily Colas. I respect the form of this memoir, which is more in the form of snippets of life, scenes from a hat than a true memoir. Colas has OCD -- she's afraid of blood, and germs and people grinding up hyperdermic needles and putting them in her food. It makes a mess her early adult life and ruins her marriage. But as much as I respect the form, it by nature doesn't allow for enough depth. I wanted more. That's all; I wanted more. But all in all, very witty and harrowing. Although I have my obsessive tendencies -- I actually twiddle my thumbs (sort of hooking my fingers together and rubbing my thumbs together making patterns in the skin), I have to have everything at 45-degree angles from the edge of the counter when I clean -- the lamps next to the speakers next to the candles; chopsticks, knives. When I'm in the car and I'm not driving my feet move in sequence to the openings in the edges of the road -- where roads cross and driveways and shop entrances. I know, I'm wierd. What are your idiosyncrasies?

The Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell. I love Sarah Vowell. Love her. She witty and interesting and smart and appeals so much to my nerdiness. Patriot is no different. Organized into essays, it's filled with social commentary, wit, sarcasm and lots of nerdy history. Yum! From Amazon.com, " Looking for insight into why she prefers Little Bighorn and Gettysburg to Martha's Vineyard, Vowell (author of the witty Take the Cannoli) calls her friend Kate, who works as a counselor for survivors of torture, who says, "That's how we try to make sense of the worst horrors. We use humor to manage anxiety." If Kate's right, then Vowell is managing her anxiety very well. Her best short, personal essays (anywhere from about two to 12 pages) focus on her ambivalent relationship to American history and citizenship: no one in recent memory has been as insightful on the direct pleasures and perils of voting, the misuse of Rosa Parks as a metaphor, the appeal of Canadians (who "ha[ve] this weird knack for loving their country in public without resorting to swagger or hate") and the relative merits of presidential libraries. Further undone, perhaps, by her devotion to such topics, Vowell also offers an eloquent defense of being a nerd: "Going too far and caring too much about a subject is the best way to make friends that I know." To wit, her hilarious essay "The Nerd Voice," which chronicles her political e-mail group as "the all-time nerdiest thing I've ever been involved in, and I say that as a person who has been involved with public radio and marching band."

and yes, I was in the marching band.


Stupid miserable rain.

I started this post earlier today saying that it though it's been a wretched rainy week, it hadn't rained today.

Yeah, well it did. And not that "sheets of rain curl up with a good book" rain, or the "sweet shower on a sunny afternoon" rain, but the "harder than a drizzle so you don't want to go out but not hard enough to relish snuggling under the covers" rain. Wretched. Fortunately, I had already worked, gotten off work, gone to lunch with Christen (a cheeseburger at Alehouse), gone to DSW and bought two pairs of adorable shoes to go with my new crop pants...

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... and two necklaces from Target, returned my library books (that place is never going under with the amount of fines I pay them), got some from my list (updated "muddlin' through") and came home. So I had a full day. I think it helped that I had to be at work at 5 a.m., so everything happened earlier than usual (and for that it helped that I took a couple 5-minute power naps in copy center).

Speaking of shoes, there's a pair that I really want (this is the real reason why I keep going back to DSW) but they haven't had them. Alli bought them last month, but at my DSW they have them in white, pink and brown but I need them in black -- I have to have them in black. To refres everyone's memory (and Alli's too), these are the shoes:

... and if anyone can get them for me, I'll send you money for them and shipping! please!!!!


High Score: 158

The rest of the scores: 146, 133, 133. Not too shabby, especially since I had a couple glasses of wine (last night it was pinot noir; I've worked through the whites and am onto the reds now) and was trying very hard not to stumble down the lane. I also won 3 of the 4 games. Why do I always wear those spike heels when I go out drinking? I just look like more of a moron. But it was much fun; we went to Carrabba's for din-din, and Shea drank most of a pitcher of Sangria (Kyle got about a glass of it) and Christen went for the requisite iced tea. I had a dream about Christen proposing, but it was all kinds of screwed up, so I hope that wouldn't be the way he did it.

I had a few posts up last night while I tried to fix my haloscan (I signed up a few weeks ago but didn't want to deal with that hassle of adding it to my template; it seems I was right to feel that way) and add a scroll to my sidebar without completely messing up the rest of my site. I think I've got it, and now I just need to figure out how to fix my type in the body, because it's too small. If I make it bigger it makes all the type bigger, and I don't want that; I just want the body to be bigger.


those interview questions.

Awhile ago, VegasGustan asked me a set of 5 questions as an "interview." I got really busy at the time and never got around to answering them. But now I've answered them (though I don't know how well). If you would like to submit to an "interview," let me know and I'll come up with 5 questions for you!

1. What style of writing do you most love and why?

Lately I've been completely immersed in memoirs. I've gone through many different phases -- mystery, horror, true crime, odd history books, straight biographies -- and I still read many of those genres now. But memoirs of non-famous people -- there's nothing like knowing the intricate details of someone's life that you would otherwise never feel the need to delve into. It's like saying, "Hey! Here's someone normal who's really not normal at all; just like me!"

2. How would you describe our world to aliens?

I think if there are aliens out there, they have the technology to know what our world is like without my telling of it. But if I had to say, I'd say, "We have the technology to live without war, but by nature we are a people of war. We have the ability to live without fear, but we are by nature a people of fear. We have the knowledge to live in harmony with the world around us but we are by nature a people of disharmony. Holes in the ozone will get bigger, animals and plants will become extinct, and one day so will we. But in the meantime we will continue to 'live life to the fullest' without worry about those other species. We're having fun, after all." But really, if I saw an alien I'd more likely say, "Holy shit, can I get your picture? No one's going to believe this!"

3. Are there any redeeming qualities to James Patterson's books?

My automatic response would be, "No. Good kindling."
But beyond that, I think that his best quality is twofold.
a) As with other "bad" authors, he gets people to read and that is magnificent. Masses of people see something in his writing, and whether they are attracted to his thin plots, stereotyped characters or unrealistic "plot twists" -- hey, who am I to judge?
Anything that gets people to somehow read is okay in my book. And maybe by starting off with crappy books they'll be really amazed when they get to the good stuff!
b) If he can publish that many books, maybe there's still hope for me!

4. (James Lipton Alert) what is your least favorite sound, why?

The sound of silence (cue Simon and Garfunkel). I've never been good at being alone. I'd rather be in a bookstore reading a book that I have at home than sitting home all day by myself reading. I don't sleep well if I’m the only one in the house, I don't read comfortably -- really all I do well on my own is clean. I'm a cleaning machine at home by myself.

5. Someone once said, "It is better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all". How would you finish it, "It is better to have loved and lost, than…"?

I wonder if Alfred Lord Tennyson expected that two lines of his In Memoriam of his to live on so famously. There are so many great quotes of his, too. I think my favorite is "Knowledge fades but wisdom lingers." But you asked me about that love quote. I might end it "It is better to have loved and lost than only been able to watch a mockery of it on cable television." Better not mess with a classic though.

of food and w(h)ine

I was in the mood to cook last night. I adore cooking, but lately I've not been in the mood, relegating the deed instead to Christen, who makes wonderful mac & cheese (okay, so I taught him) and other useful things. But last night I had a hankering for cooking-- I just didn't know what I wanted to cook. Wandering around Publix, I decided -- Chicken cutlets (okay, they were on sale) stuffed with goat cheese and basil, witha butter wine sauce and my lovely sushi rice with the rest of the goat cheese (I never remember to use it twice before it goes bad so I just use it in everything for the meal to finish it up) and a little more basil. And guess what I found! In the veggie section under where I usually get my little bag of basil was this stuff from Gourmet Garden called Basil and Herb Blend -- and it's fantastic! What's left ofmy basil always withers and goes to mush before I finish with it. This stuff lasts up to 3 months, and it doesn't turn your food green or anything; it worksjust like regular basil. No preservatives ... I'm in heaven here. Now if only I hadn't run out of wine.

Work's been crazy lately; I'm up a little early so I can post before work (VegasGustan, I'm loading your interview questions on my thumbdrive so I can try to answer them at work; I swear I haven't forgotten!) but I haven't had the time or the drive to post after work. It's inventory time. I relish in the knowledge I will never have to work another inventory at this godforsaken place. We didn't get our bonuses like wewere supposed to. Oh, we bonused. Yep, but only the managers got bonuses. What kind of bullshit is that, right? Who got the store to bonus? Us, the peons; but that doesn't matter. Arg. I've less that two weeks. Hurrah!

So I was noticing on my site meter last night that I was getting a lot of hits from this site and when I went there -- Voila! There was another book lust! Not only that, but she was complaining that there was another book lust (yeah, that'd be me) and linked my site to prove it. It was an amusing rant (we both took the name from a book, so it's not as if either of us could copywrite it or anything) and I commented ... but really, what's in a name? I am indeed a luster of books, I'm driven to read more and different books.That's why I mention them on this site. I also am a player of bowling (I wouldn't exactly call myself a bowler, based on my scores), a geocacher, a camper (not an RV though, I'm not that wide) , a lover of movies, etc. No one thing defines me (I feel like that scary chick on Keeping the Faith). But bookluster defines me best.

I finished Neff's The Wrong Man, and as much as I enjoyed the first half of the book, toward the end I have to admit I started skimming. It just started getting bogged down with intricate parts that made no sense. But I'm glad Sheppard was aquitted. I remember reading about the trial before, probably in high school American Government (but I slept through that course, so what do I know?) but I didn't know any of the details, and this book was a good source of finding it all -- good and bad.I've also compiled a list of about 60 books that Iwant to read, most of which are taken from the This American Life bookstore (which means they covered the books on the radio show) plus some that I've lying around but haven't gotten to. Moving all these books again is going to be a bitch, I'll tell you that. But I'll post my list later. Gotta get to work now!




Interesting searches that bring people to my site:

steps in disecting frogs
dream of malinche
sex bookworms
horrible boyfriends
mexican lust
"i hate tampa" +"2005" -hockey -football -sapp
and half a dozen "terry shivo"s again.

I have mosquito bites all over, and they itch like crazy. I didn't have enough time to stop for calamine lotion because I got off late and only had time to pick up chinese on my way home for my magazine meeting. But they're in my hair and on my waist and ankles ... ahhh! Anybody have any home remedies for stopping the itchies?

According to the Wu Tang Generator, I shall from this day forward be called "Midnight Demon" and my wonderful boyfriend will be named the "Happy Dominator." Now doesn't that make you happy? (props to Sharky for the link.)

Adventures in the Everglades

Christen and I took a three-day camping trip to the Everglades this weekend. Well, technically it was in the Big Cypress Preserve, but it was in the swamp and close to the Everglades, so we'll cut the technicalities. We camped in at Bear Island Campground, as mentioned in The Best of Tent Camping, which is a hunters' campground with a port-a-potty and no shower facilities, but is a very nice secluded campground. After the first day we forwent the potty in favor of the squat method because they quite obvoiusly hadn't been cleaned in quite awhile. (We thought of calling the number on it to tell them it was time but decided the dudes would come out and say "Nah, you can fit 6 more craps in that one."). We spent the whole time doing nothing. I read The Ballad of the Whiskey Robber (which was fabulous, by the way. I way recommend it) and took naps and took pictures of all the gators in the swamp. We did some geocaching on the way back up, hitting a few in Naples and Ft. Myers, but mostly we just spent time together relaxing. My main complaint? When did mosquitoes become immune to deet? We sprayed so much Cutter on us that you'd think we would have drowned them, but they kept a'comin'. Now I'm still all itchy, but I might pick up some Calimine (SP?) lotion to stop the itchies on my way home. It was really cold at night, and the first night we had forgotten the sleeping bag so we just had my thin quilt so we drove into town (an hour+ drive) to get a mess kit (because we also left the pots at home) and a sleeping bag. Goodness. I spent all Friday evening getting everything together and we forgot some of the most important things, you know?

Adventures in the Everglades - a camping trip

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I got the job!

I had this whole post figured out: February blues, feeling blah(hhhhg.blogspot.com ... hehe), not feeling like writing lately ... so here's the deal. I keep opening blogger and just can't get my thoughts together to put anything down. But nevermind all that -- the insurance company I interviewed with last week and thought I didn't get the job with -- yeah, they called me back today. I got the job. I start March 28th. So I told them I'd take the job, and I put in my notice. Then if something promising comes up between now and then I'll decide which position I'd rather have. Because I know I'd rather have something in my field, but I know I'd at least like this in the meantime. It's something new and different, and that's what I'm looking for.

I've been bullied into joining TheFaceBook by a couple of people at work. If you're on it, let me know and I'll add you as a "friend." I'm amazed at how many people from high school are on that thing -- I've added tons of people (but only had to add me back in the last few minutes :D)

We went to the Diana exhibit on Sunday -- am I the only one who thinks her wedding dress was hideous and did nothing for her figure? She was beautiful, and wrapped up in all those yards of taffeta... And sequins? She could have had Swarovski crystals, diamonds ... but sequins? I won't even wear sequins. The best part of the exhibit (besides, you know, the actual exhibit, and the gems exhibit (mmmm, gems) and the Cuban Missile Crisis exhibit) was when Nana (Christen's grandmother) walks into the first room, which has the tiara in it, and everyone is hushed and reading or listening to their headphones and she the tiara, backhands Shea and exclaims, "Lookie at that! Girl, you need one of them!"

In the last week I've had some 10 searches finding me by the search "Terry Shivo," who I referenced once when they were deciding to remove the feeding tube (again) or not. But the funny thing is, I spelled her frigging name wrong! And still I get search upon search. People, her name is Schiavo. Terri Schiavo. And I don't know a thing about her, except that if I'm ever a vegetable, it better never come to a feeding tube 15 years down the road. This whole thing is ridiculous. Night all!