Ahh, the week after.

Christmas, as I suppose I should start with, was pretty decent. I was sick, as usual (yes, Becky, I am always sick. I know, I know, I need to start taking my vitamins.). But this time I was just sick because I went to the doctor on Friday and he started me on antibiotics for a lymph node infection and it messed my whole system up. I hate amoxicillin. So I was sick. Blegh. Then Christen's grandma went into the hospital on Christmas Eve. So that sucked. But otherwise, it was a good holiday. Not much stress, anyhow. We spent C-mas eve with my dad's fam in Bradenton (yes, I stopped by mom's mom and said hi; every once in awhile I'm a good grandkid). It was an interesting time, and I got to see my cousin which was awesome (and I friend-requested her on MS -- I love having 14-year-old cousins! hehe). I somehow talked Christen into exchanging our gifts on C-mas Eve night, and so that was nice and stressfree. Christmas day we family-hopped, first to my mom's, then his parent's, then his Nana's and finally to the hospital to visit with Grandma before coming home for a nap and to put away all of our stuff.

But ahh, the week after Christmas. When you can go use your gift cards, and buy the stuff on your list that no one got, and play with your video games (yes, I'm a dork. I got Sims 2 Pets for my GBA and that's all I do right now) and read your new books ... Before New Years resolutions and wedding prep and trying to lose 30 pounds ... ahh, so nice.

Tuesday night I got to see Autumn (and Joy and Mel and all of Autumn's fam) and that was super great. She tried on her bridesmaid dress and I daresay she looks amazing and I don't even think she'll need a shred of altering -- not even a hem) and I got home very late and didn't even care. Tonight Shell and I exchanged gifts (she's awesome -- she got me this and this (autographed!) and a couple gift cards for Christen and I to share.)

But that's all I have for tonight. If you'll excuse me, I've got a video game to play. :) Toodles!


As scary as it is, I know this guy:


Courtesy of my stupidity

I was doing well at work today. I got here 6 minutes early. I worked diligently all day, and got a lot done.

Then, at 3:56pm, terror struck. I couldn't find my shoes. I had to pee. I take off my shoes while I'm working, and put them on only if I have to go to another floor or if I go to the bathroom. I hadn't been anywhere in 2 hours, and when I went to put on my shoes to go to the bathroom they were gone. I thought my supervisor had taken them, because he's always teasing me about being barefoot. But he wasn't at his desk. I searched my desk, my drawers, his desk, the local desks of people who were on vacation. After 10 minutes, I was crying and shaking because I couldn't find them anywhere. Who would do this to me?

Someone in another department wandered by with them. I had left them in someone's cube 2 hours ago when I was discussing a file. The only reason I had them on at her desk was because I had come from a different floor, and I must have absent-mindedly taken my shoes off while standing there discussing.

I was so embarrassed. My shoes are now properly on my feet, and yes, I did get to go to the bathroom. Now, I'm going home.


Book quiz (courtesy of NPR Junkie)

You're To Kill a Mockingbird!

by Harper Lee

Perceived as a revolutionary and groundbreaking person, you have
changed the minds of many people. While questioning the authority around you, you've
also taken a significant amount of flack. But you've had the admirable guts to
persevere. There's a weird guy in the neighborhood using dubious means to protect you,
but you're pretty sure it's worth it in the end. In the end, it remains unclear to you
whether finches and mockingbirds get along in real life.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.


So excited!

Going to see Rockapella tonight! Hurrah for Tampa Theatre! Pics to follow :)


Oh happy day

So my neighbor's house has been up for sale for an eon. I don't like my neighbors very much -- I don't really know why; they can be nice. They're friends with my landlord and I always feel like they're spying on me. And when we first moved in they kept telling my landlord when we did something wrong, like when we didn't get garbage service right away because I didn't realize it wasn't included in with the water (like at the last house). And the husband mows my lawn for the landlord (I'm not sure why we're not able to mow our own damn lawn, but whatever) and he doesn't even ask before he traipses through the backyard, even though the dog is back there all the time.
So needless to say (or it would be needless if I would shut up ...obscure Empire Records reference) I'm way excited that they are finally hopefully selling the house and I'm hoping we get cooler neighbors. That would rock.

Part Man. Part Street. 100% Kosher.

Christen and I did some hardcore Christmas shopping yesterday. We finished all except for his parents and my grandmother, and to finish shopping for each other (of course, that's always the last to be done). I'm so happy about that. Not that I was stressing too much, but I like the sense of accomplishment. I'm not one of these people that freaks out about Christmas and gets all stressed about getting everything done. We never put our lights up outside, because I told Christen it was his job this year and it didn't get done. I don't care. We put up the tree and it's beautiful, and then I've just been doing a little shopping at a time. Yesterday I made a list of everything we needed to get and where we needed to go and we drove around and ironed out all the details.
Note: when going Christmas shopping, do not ever wear tight jeans that have a small hole in the crotch. After getting in and out of the car several times, the hole will no longer be small and you will be forced to stop at Kohl's to buy new jeans, and you will only be able to find your size in "long" even though you are only 5'4" so you will have to roll them up. Then you will also decide you need to buy 2 shirts and a cami so that you can change your whole outfit in the car because you reek of smoke for stopping in the cigar shop for 20 minutes to pick out a gift for your fiance's best friend and anyway, your old shirt looks silly with the new jeans.
We found Hebrew Hammer out in the Tampa Best Buy, which is a great find for my best friend's husband. Of course, now I'm going to have to borrow it because I've never seen it and it looks hilarous. I wish I could also find a Chanukah Tonica shot glass or something, but I can't find anything along those lines.


another cold day in paradise

Ugh. I woke up this morning freezing, and it was evidently only 65 degrees. On any other day, I wouldn't have been that cold, but I fell asleep at the wrong end of the bed last night and only had a small corner of a sheet while my other half snuggled up in the comforter at the other end. I shivered around until I found my clothes and started getting ready for the day.

I had a very odd dream last night. I dreamt that my ex and I were still together, and we had two small children - girls, as it were. We were very unhappy, and he had taken to bringing friends over at all hours of the night. Presumably, these are the friends that he has now, because I only knew a couple. Then he started taking up with a girl named Jessica (there are connotations there, but that's its own story) who looked suspiciously like his last girlfriend. So I was taking care of the girls and yelling at him to keep his friends and his girlfriend out of my house, blah blah blah. I take this just to be a "what if" dream. What if we had stayed together even though we were both unhappy, and what if we still evolved into the people we are now while still together ... we were so miserable. The dream was so miserable.


I made such an elf of myself

You have to check this out. And don't pee yourself laughing. :)


Uberdork? Mua?

How the heck do you spell that, anyhow? Mua? Mya? Mwa?

Anywho, I'm reading this:

And it's so good! After I finish I'm totally reading this:

More on the lifefront

It's 10:30(ish). I've been up for hours, and home for just a little bit. We spent the night at Shea & Kyle's last night. Christen went out with the boys and I spent the evening with Shea. It was a lot of fun. I haven't seen her in a couple weeks, so we had catching up to do. We had sushi at the cute little place on Collier Parkway (note: the catepillar rolls there have spicy mayo on them! I couldn't feel my tongue ...) and had wine back at the condo watching TLC and The Truth About Cats and Dogs. Overall, a very nice way to spend the evening. Shea told me I'm probably be killed for letting Shell know we had sushi without her ... :) Love you Shell! Sushi soon, right? :)

Friday was a nice day. I took a second bereavement day so I could help my dad if he needed it when the family came in for the memorial, but I didn't end up going over there so I ended up with a very nice, stressfree day. We bought my wedding ring, which was uber-exciting. I've been looking at this ring since we got engaged, and I couldn't find one anywhere else that I liked as much. So yesterday we bit the bullet and got it. It came with this gorgeous tulip Mikasa vase (befitting us, with the tulips and all) and finally that's done. Christen's ring had to be sent back because they sent the wrong size, so we still haven't received that, but it's on the way. You know the holiday mail season.

Christen thinks I should get a DVD copy of Hebrew Hammer for Richard for Hannakuh. I'm not sure -- I can never tell if he'll think something is funny or not. He's got a great sense of humor, but sometimes you just can't tell. Anybody any votes? Yay or Nay? Otherwise I wanted to get him this shirt:

But I'd have to order it and it won't get here in time.

Most of my other shopping is done. I've been wrapping as I've been buying, so other than finishing up on what I got yesterday, I'm pretty caught up. As a matter of fact, I'm going to go do that now.


Cheers to the season

So I've noticed that the emails that I've written the past couple of days have not been particularly coherent. I think I wrote something to NPR Junky about being wanted in 32 states means they'd be spread a little thin, and then something about not wanting her to be in the witness protection program ... so forgive me. I'm insane this holiday season.

I've bought scotch and cigar paraphernalia for Christen for Christmas. Do you think I'm trying to kill him? Hmm. Oh, and a dress shirt. Nice.

I'm trying slowly to get my Christmas shopping done. I wanted to get Lola a grayhound, but Christen said no. So I got her a toothbrush and some bones instead. I'm hoping she doesn't sniff them out before Christmas and unwrap them -- they've been under the tree for a couple days.

Anyhow, back to incoherence!


A lame-o sickie.

I'm so sick. I'm such a baby when I'm sick, too. I know this. I started feeling sick Thursday night. Friday I couldn't even stay at work because I was too sick. I'm going through the stages of a terrible cold -- not the flu, because I'm not throwing up. But a horrible cold. It actually feels exactly like the cold that nearly killed me last December around Shea's wedding.

First stage: sneezing. constantly. You blame it on the dirt, the dust. By dinner time you can't breathe and your head feels heavier than your boobs.

Second stage: You go to work, you can't stop blowing your nose and feeling sorry for yourself. You make it three hours before leaving. You try to enjoy the rest of your work-free day by doing some Christmas shopping instead of going home to wallow, but nothing is fun or interesting, and finally you go home. To wallow.

Third stage: You skip a social event that was very important to you to sleep for 12 hours, waking every few to blow your nose and take more medicine. You don't think the meds are working, but it's peace of mind. You get up the next day feeling like a freight train ran over your face, but you're determined not to let the cold ruin your weekend. You take the box of tissues with you and get a Christmas tree, do some Christmas shopping, and wind up the day feeling better but still horrible sick. Wonton soup for dinner helps though.You skip a friend's Christmas party because you can't bear the thought of getting dressed and going back out.

Fourth stage: You sleep another 12 hours, waking up because your throat hurts so much you resort to sleeping with a lozenge in your mouth. Choking not as worrisome as not being able to swallow. You wake up to cleaning, taking a break every few minutes because you're lightheaded. You have family things that can't be postponed, so you sit, blogging to get your head into actually going out.

More stages to follow, as I milk being sick more than I generally should. It's not my fault I can't breathe, I can't swallow, and I can't generally be up and about for more than 20 minutes or so. I think break is up and I need to go finish cleaning the kitchen.


My life in a nutshell

I know I've been a bad blogger. The truth is, I think I've been avoiding you. I think about you all the time, but you know when you get so far away from something that you think it'll take too long to catch up and you don't know if it's worth it. I always feel awkward going away and coming back. I've been checking on you. So often, if you want to know the truth. But there are so many things that have happened that you know nothing about. So here's what's been going on in the month or so since I've gone away:

-- Thanksgiving was a bit of a bust. The sister spilled red wine all over both of us and then ran her iPod through the washer. The iPod is no longer, although we were able to get all the wine out.

-- My stepmother died. Well, she wasn't really my stepmother because she wasn't married to my dad, but they had been together for 21 years, and if I don't call her my stepmother I don't get the bereavement I think I'm entitled to. She had cancer. They gave her 3 months and she lived 2 years. I don't know that it was enough though. She was in so much pain.

-- Christen continued on without a job for a very long time. As of yesterday, he now has a job, but it doesn't start until Jan 3.

-- I'm mortally sick. I feel like death. Only slightly warmed over.


My very own soundtrack

If Your Life Was A Movie:
Here's how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Play, iPod, etc.)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
6. Don't lie and try to pretend you're cool.

Oddly enough, some turned out perfect! :) Some others, not so much. I think it helps that I have so many love songs on my iTunes :)

Opening Credits:
Jitterbug by Cab Calloway

Waking Up:
Mrs. Robinson by Simon & Garfunkel

First Day of School:
Blah Blah Blah by Rockapella

Falling In Love:
L-O-V-E by Natalie Cole

Sex Scene:
I Saw her Standing there by the Beatles

Fight Song:
Poisoning Pigeons in the Park by Tom Lehrer

Breaking Up:
Sympathy for the Devil by Rolling Stones

Open Arms by Journey

Off the Hook by Barenaked Ladies

Mental Breakdown:
Nobody Does it Better by Carly Simon

Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Green Day

Small Town Girl by Journey

Getting Back Together:
What a Difference a Day Makes by Billie Holliday

You've got a Friend by James Taylor

Birth of A Child:
Fortunate Son by CCR

Final Battle:
Within You by David Bowie

Death Scene:
Cloud Nine by Evanescence


A poem, untitled, unfinished.

Those are the memories that haunt my thoughts.
The shadowed trees
Lost kisses
Arguments in the quiet of my caves.

I chose to silence them.
So they would cease to play out
in every poem,
every story.

Every word to paper
is reliving.
the fortunes of my lost soul.


Tuesday Morning Meme (yesterday was an off day)

70 quirks about me (minus a few)

1. Initials:ALJ

2. Name someone with the same birthday as you:Chris Gratton -- I don't know who he plays for now, but he used to play for the Lightning

3. Last thing you ate:a banana

4. For or against same sex marriage:for

5. I say Shotgun! You say?We went to this wedding last weekend. ...

6. Last person you hugged?Christen

7. Do you believe in God?Yes

8. How many U.S states have you been to?10

9. How many of the U.S states have you lived in:just this one

10. Ever lived outside of the US:No.

11. Name something you like physically about yourself:my neck and my ears

12. Something non-physical you like about yourself:I care a lot about people

13. Why are you still up?There's this thing called work, and I have to be here.

15. Who made you angry today?No one

16. Favorite type of Food?:Home cooking

17. Favorite holiday?Thanksgiving or Easter -- I love being with family

18. Do you download music:sometimes

19. What illegal things have you done?Nothing too bad, but nothing I'd admit to on paper

21. Would you date the person that posted this?I did, for a long time

22. Has anyone ever sang or played for you personally?Yes.

23. Do you love anyone?Yes

24. Do you like Bush? nope

25. Have you ever bungee jumped:No

26. Have you ever gone white-water rafting:No -- one day

27. Has anyone ten years older than you ever hit on you?Constantly. Old men really like me.

28. How much money ya got?:Currently? About $18

29. Have you met a real redneck?yep, I'm soon to be related to one or two

30. How is the weather right now:freaking cold

31.What are you listening to right now?people talking on phones at other desks

32. What is your current fav song?Do You Remember by Jack Johnson

33. What was the last movie you watched?Oh Geez. She's the One. It was terrible. Stay away. The last movie I saw in the theaters was Last Kiss, which was great.

34. Do you wear contacts:No

35. Where was the last place you went besides your house?The bookstore and the library

36. What are you afraid of?the aquarium and gory movies

37. How many piercings and tattoos do you have?:one of each, plus my ears

38. How many pets do you have:one - my beautiful Lola

39. Have you ever loved someone:yes

40. What turns you on?good music and kisses on my neck

41. What do you usually order from Starbucks:Peppermint hot chocolate, but I don't often hit Starbucks.

42. Have you ever fired a gun:a bebe gun. I shot the head off one of those giant grasshoppers

43. Are you missing someone?yes

44. Fav. TV show?I've got a bunch of them now -- thank god for DVR, because I don't have the time for TV that I wish I had. What I'm currently watching: Studio 60, How I Met Your Mother, My name is Earl, Without a Trace, CSI, Criminal Minds

45. Do you have an ipod?:yep

46. Has anyone ever said you looked like a celeb?nope -- I always look like someone's sister-in-law, or friend from grade school, or something like that.

48. Who would you like to see right now?Christen

49. Favorite movie of all time?that's a hard one -- I like an awful lot of movies

50. Do you find yourself loved?:Yes.

51. Ever been caught doing something you weren't supposed to?Yeah

52. Favorite flower:parrot tulips

53. Butter, plain, or salted popcorn?light butter, light salt .... or just cheddared would be good.

54. What Magazines are you reading:People (I know, I suck) and the TBT

55. Have you ever ridden in a limo:nope

56. Has anyone you were really close to passed away?:Yes.

58. What's something that really bugs you?Conceit and Thoughtlessness

60. Do you like Michael Jackson?when he was black, he rocked. Now, not so much.

61. Whats your favorite smell?the air just before it rains, Pi by Givenchy, fresh flowers

62. Favorite baseball team:I hate baseball.

63. Favorite cereal:Vanilla Yogurt Total, and Brown Sugar mini wheats.

66. Last time you went bowling?It's been awhile, but I used to go every week.

67. Where is the weirdest place you have slept?When I was little and I had sleepovers, I'd sleep on the kitchen floor. Too many people, and it was nice and cool there.

68. Who was your last phone call?:Yesterday, to Christen letting him know to meet me at the bookstore

69. Last time you were at work?I'm at work now.

70. What’s your favorite state to be in:South Carolina


Do I smell snow flurries?

Holy Batman, it was cold this morning.

The cold always makes it harder to get out of bed, especially when you just bought cozy flannel sheets for your comfy cozy bed, and you're cuddled under them hoping your fiancé will drag his butt out of bed to hit the snooze instead of you having to, even though you should be getting out of bed anyhow.

But I laid there, comfy cozy with my head buried in my pillow while he hit the snooze several dozen times (actually it was 4 times, but who's counting?) until the absolute last minute that I needed to jump out of bed and hit the road to get to work on time. Thankfully, I somehow made it to work early, so no problems.

This weekend was actually really nice and relaxed. Christen and I were going to go to a car show Saturday but it didn't seem to be there; I don't know if it was a typo in the TBT or what. So we hit the end of Saturday morning market in St. Pete and wandered about a little bit. Went to Haslam's and got a couple used books: Invisible Eden by Maria Flook and Devil in White City by Erik Larson. I'm super excited about the second one; I've wanted to read it but I didn't want to pay full price for it. The other I picked up because it looked good (like, physically ... yes, I judge books by their covers. I read so much that sometimes I just pick up books because I like how they look).

Saturday night we decided to skip dinner and just get ice cream, and I wanted to bring the dog. So we set out to make the mile walk to the ice cream place, and got about 3/4 the way there when Lola freaks out and decides to sit on the side of the road and refuse to go any further. We took her back home and set out on our own for ice cream, and then when we got there decided we were hungry for real food. So we walked a bit further to the BBQ place and had dinner, hitting up ice cream on our walk back home. The 1/2 hour trip ended up taking 2 1/2, but it was way fun, and it was good for us (except for the ice cream, of course).

Sunday, Shell, Shea and I went to a craft show in Clearwater. It was okay, but somehow those seemed cooler when I was young. I guess I won't fully be able to appreciate craft shows again until I'm 60. We went to Homegoods and I got a giant glass bowl to put my wine corks in, which looks awesome as a centerpiece for my dining room table. And, they give me a place to put those damn things until the wedding. After we tired ourselves out, we parted ways and I vedged on the couch and then in the bed for the rest of the evening. Christen made dinner, but I just wasn't feeling it -- I ate my salad and drank my wine and put my dinner in the fridge. It was just one of those nights; it felt so nice cuddling in bed watching television.

Monday Morning Meme

1. Where were you when it turned 2006?
Went to a movie with Christen, Shea & Kyle. Please don't ask me what movie; I have no idea.

2. How did you get the idea for your myspace name? "A Statistical Zero" Because statistically my name won't exist when I get married -- there's too few people with the new last name ...

3. What song are you listening to right now? People typing and catching up on eachother's weekends

4. Has the death of a celebrity ever made you cry? No, but I get choked up easily, I just don't cry.

6. Do you own an iPod? 4G Green iPod mini

7. What did you do this morning? Waited an obscene amount of time before getting out of my nice warm bed into the freezing cold house to get ready for work.

8. What does your mom do for a living?
She cleans parking lots. So pick up your damn trash so she doesn't have to.

9. What will you do tonight? Volunteer at the library, and then vedge (I like spelling it that way better -- it fits me better)

10. What's your favorite memory from last weekend? Last weekend was yesterday, and I had a pretty good weekend. There was lots of shopping with Shell and Shea on Sunday, and Saturday Christen and I wandered around St. Pete and walked to dinner and ice cream.

11. What are the last two digits of your phone number? 13 or 70

12. What was the last thing you ate? Tootsie rolls

13. What was last thing you drank? Chianti. It wasn't that great, but the bottle is pretty, so I'm keeping it for my wedding centerpieces

14. What was the last movie you watched? I started watching Election yesterday, but the last full movie was Prime a couple days ago

15. What do you dislike at the moment? Stress, like what I get when I think about anything I have to pay for.

16. What food do you crave right now? Chick-fil-a, but I'm going to make do with cheese toast from the cafe downstairs

17. Did you dream last night? Yeah, but I don't remember -- I think it had something to do with the Without a Trace episode from last night; I think I had been kidnapped.

18. What was the last TV show you watched? Without a Trace

19. What is your favorite piece of jewelry? my engagement ring

20. Name someone on your Top Friends who is just like you? no one

22. Who last text messaged you? Shelley

23. Are you on any medication? just the BCP

24. What side of the bed do you sleep on? Right

25. What color shirt are you wearing? maroon

26. What is your favorite frozen treat? Bacio gelato from the gelataria, or Monkey bites from Cold Stone

27. How many piercings do you have? my ears and my tongue

28. What's your favorite store? NY&Co and Ann Taylor Loft

29. Are you thirsty right now? yep, I need hot chocolate

30. Who's someone you haven't seen for a while and miss? Matt, because he's at seminary now.

31. What did you do last night? watched tv -- VH1's 100 greatest 80s songs, Cold Case and Without a Trace

32. Do you care what people think about you? yes and no. I do, but I'm too lazy to actively care.

35. What are your font colors on MSN? does anyone still use MSN?

36. Where do you live? Palm Harbor

37. Are you aggressive? not really, I'm generally passive, but I get a little testy sometimes

38. Mobile Phone Network? Nextel

39. Do you like the person who posted this last? Love her -- she's my MOH

41. What is the thing that you would most like to change about yourself? I wish I liked the way I look more

43. What do you smell like right now? Clean, I think.

44. What is your favorite color? Blue or Green

45. Do you like mustard?Yes, in small doses

46. What do you tell yourself when times get hard? I don't, I wait for others to tell me. This is probably part of the problem.

47. Would you ever sky dive? Not now, but when I'm old it might be something to remind me that I'm still alive.

48. Do you sleep on your side, tummy or back? side or tummy

49. Have you ever bid for something on eBay? Yep, every once in awhile

50. What did you think of Angelina Jolie being pregnant? didn't care, much, really. I can't stand her.

51. Do you enjoy giving hugs? Most of the time

52. Do you consider yourself to be fashionable? Sometimes, mostly I think I'm slightly behind the fashion curve, except with my shoes :)

53. Do you own a digital camera? yes

55. Who is your favorite Star Wars character? the Ewoks

56. Does it annoy you when someone says they'll call but don't? Yes.

57. What are you allergic to? cats and codein

58. Are you a jealous person? sometimes, really only usually when it's not warranted.

59. Do you ever feel guilty after eating meat? nope. tasty, tasty flesh ...

60. If you were born the opposite sex, what would your name be? David Elliott.


Soon to be a statistical zero ...

This is me now:

LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

An this is me then:

LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

At least I'll be able to call myself special! There are only 330 people in the country with my soon-to-be last name, and I bet 229 of them are related (and 50-100 of them live in Tampa and the surrounding area)


blah and blah

One of my closest friends from work has up and left. Tuesday she still worked here, and then yesterday she said that a school that she interviewed at had offered her the job, and then by the afternoon she had decided to take said job, and today at 11am she left for good. I'm slightly depressed by this, because she was my regular lunch buddy, and now I'm back to eating at my desk. I don't like imposing myself on other groups' eating habits, so I will probably continue eating at my desk until someone decides to start inviting me to eat with their group. Aren't I such a dork? I just can't encroach on other groups.

In other news, though, I didn't think it was beyond me to raid her desk (before she left) to get the good stuff. I took her monitor riser because I had none, and the speakers she got from IT because I also had none. Sadly, they've banned all streaming-bandwidth Web sites, but I found a back way to listen to NPR, but it's not the easiest thing to listen to in the background. I'm going to need to start bringing in my CDs, now that I have speakers. I listen to my iPod, but listening to the same songs every day is starting to grate on my nerves, and I'd rather not have to continue changing my songs out to keep things fresh.

I have figured out how to eat in the cafe downstairs in my building without going broke. It's quite simple, really. Only eat the specials. Today I got an italian foccasia and a side of pasta salad for $5, and it was quite good, but I could only eat 1/2 the sandwich. I will bring the rest home for Christen, and I think he'll be pleased. It should heat up well in the toaster oven. The other secret is to not buy a drink down there. It's $1 for a 20-oz drink in the machines, but $1.25 plus tax (coming out to about $1.36) for the same thing six floors down. I'm not entirely sure why, but I suppose it's not my problem. :)

I've been piddling around with a few books lately. During lunch today I finished Ghosting by Jennie Erdal, which was quite good, but in between that I took out two nights to re-read High Fidelity, since I re-watched it while the cable was out. I also continue to start and stop Saturday by Ian McEwan. I don't know why, but it just hasn't been keeping my attention. It lies in my backseat and I reach for it when I need a spare book at work. I'm not sure what to read next; I really am in the midst of reading half a dozen books, and it would probably be good for me to finish one or two of them.

There's always tomorrow

Today ... is a better day than yesterday. At least, I think it is. My tummy is still upset, but I don't feel like crying too much. Yesterday I felt like I was going to cry or throw up, and the crying won out. Today there's just the other feeling, with no crying. Last night I went with Shell ... we decided to be miserable together, since both of us were having a bad time of it lately. It did help, and I felt a little better by the time I got home. I was shaky and my stomach hurt, though, because we stopped at Starbucks for coffee and I don't usually drink coffee. It took me a while to fall asleep last night, but I don't know if it was because of that or because I started thinking about things again.

I called a florist about scheduling a meeting -- my first attempt to start up planning again for the wedding in awhile. It's a big step, but I really need to start working on things again. Wish me luck!


I hate when I can't stop crying at work. It makes it very difficult to argue with attorneys.

Oh happy day ...

On a day where politics reigns for the bloggers, it's good to see that someone else saw the same thing as I did as Big Important News. :) Huzzah!


Hearts aflutter

It's amazing the emotional connection you have to certain songs, groups, artists. The song Angel, even though it's generally a sappy pain in the ass sort of song, elicits that emotion. When I was 14 I liked this guy. He was a friend's ex, but he and I had become really good friends and he was over one evening listening to music. That song came on and I sat next to him, so close that our legs were touching. He looked all introspective, so I asked him if he was thinking about . He said no, there was no way he could be thinking of her in this situation. Then we made out. It was illicit and made my heart go all aflutter. We never dated; it was just that one snog, but when I listen to Angel I still get that feeling.

I was reminded of this feeling while sorting cds at the library last night. I came across a few albums by Collin Raye. Ever heard of him? I couldn't stand him. But the summer after high school I went on a church trip to North Carolina. I desperately liked this boy named Brian, though I really don't know why. He listened to Collin Raye, so I tried (with all my heart, I tried) and we held hands under the pillows in the van. No kissing, just holding hands, but still that feeling.

There are a few songs that make me think fondly of my last relationship, and most U2 songs remind me of Gary, my longest high school romance. Those connections never go away, I guess. I don't think I'd want them to, though.


Ring of Fire

Somehow thinking about posting doesn't seem to be enough to actually get my thoughts on here.

I don't think anything of consequence happened last week, therefore you didn't get any posts from me. I considered it, plotted my humor, calculated my words ... but somehow the moment passed me by and I come to you a week later with another "how I spent my summer vacation" sort of briefing.

So I've started at the library. It's fun, in a nerdy kind of way. I've been alphabetizing the VHS tapes, weeding the Cliff's Notes and checking the CDs for scratches. It tires me out the way I never thought it would -- who'da thunk it? But it's nice, and if I ingratiate myself a bit more then I might actually feel like I'm making a difference. Right now I feel like I'm just biding time; treading water. But I feel like that concerning a lot of things right now so what's the difference?

Halloween we didn't end up with quite as many kids as we thought we'd get. I bought two bags of candy, and I told Christen to get one more bag and he got three instead. So now we have loads of extra candy, and I've fallen in love with tootsie rolls. I keep them in my pockets :) I also love the flavored ones, though I know I'm alone in that -- which is fine, more for me! Unfortunately (or fortunately, if you're looking at the waistline effect) we did not get any banana laffy taffys. Or banana Now'n'Laters. Now you know what my favorite flavor candy is.

Thursday the utility company accidentally cut our cable line, so we were without internet and cable until Saturday afternoon. I was pissed beause I missed CSI, but moreover it was just sad that we were so easily bored without cable and internet. We started a puzzle, but it was a black and white of James Dean and we kept getting frustrated with it. I couldn't even read; it was too quiet in the house. We played poker and rummy and watched Walk the Line and High Fidelity until we fell asleep. It was sad -- our conversation skills aren't usually so bad, but it seemed that without the background noise we were dead in the water. Friday night we went to the International Car Show at the Convention Center, which is more for him than for me but I usually have a good time too. I sat in a few cars and played the Geico Plinko game which netted me a plastic dancing gecko. Since I work for a rival insurance company, I think I'm going to make little devil's horns and put it on my desk -- should be loads of fun :)

Saturday was the SH Wine Festival, and we went with Shea & Kyle. Shea made plastic wine glasses with polka dots and our names on them for us to drink out of so if we dropped it, we wouldn't break it. I did end up dropping my glass, but not because I was drunk (not yet anyhow). But we had a nice meal at Whistle Stop - I had calamari salad and we all shared a pitcher of Sangria. By the end of the night Shea and I were sloshed, but it was a great time and Christen was the designated driver so we were able to drink to our heart's content.

Sunday we had our engagement photos done. I hope I like at least one or two -- I am not fond of pictures of myself, so I know I'll be unhappy with them, but here's to hoping. The photographer and his wife were really nice. They are friends of my dad's, and I hadn't had a chance to meet them until yesterday.We met them at the park and they shot a ton of pictures. They are also doing our wedding, so it was good to meet them first and have them do a shoot with us so I could see how they work. Other than that outing, we spent most of the day watching football, and I won the football pool at work, so I'm coming into a bit of money! Hallelujah! :)

And that brings us up to date. Stay tuned, I might actually make an appearance before next Monday!


Halloween Party Pix ...

Somehow I didn't get any pictures of myself, and none of anyone drinking ... how did that happen? Still good pictures of some of those costumes!

Christen plays Doc from Back to the Future

the only pic of me hangin' with White Trash (Stacy)

Hell's Kitchen has nothin' on Richard

A lost soul ...

Brit-Brit and K-Fed made an appearance ...

White Trash needs a cocktail

mmm ... cupcakes ... is that Evil Dead on the TV?

Well, I'm just not that kind of pirate ...

What kind of call was that? Are you blind?

The Trials and Tribulations of the Swiss Miss Girl ...


I want a shoehorn, the kind with teeth ...

For some reason I woke up singing that song. Maybe I should be one for Halloween. Think I can get it together for tonight's party?

I think the house is finally ready for the party. Last night I made gobs of sugar cookies shaped like pumpkins and bats and cats, and orange mini-cupcakes with homemade chocolate frosting (I didn't feel like making the cupcakes on my own too, so those were just cake mix with gel foodcoloring) and roasted pumpkin seeds and white chocolate ghosts and milk chocolate pumpkins (I bough chocolate molds, people). Woohoo! I have to admit, Christen did quite a bit of the cookie baking, because I was beat by 10. My feet hurt and I was in a bad mood and I just didn't have it in me to stay up. I curled up on the couch and Christen took my jeans and washed them so I could be comfortable at work today (God bless casual Fridays). I still haven't dug out my costume to make sure everything's there, but I'm pretty sure it should be okay -- the only thing I might be missing would be the lacing for my corset, but I think I have black leather strapping in with my sewing supplies that I can use if I'm missing it. I'm not going to worry. Christen put spiderwebs all over the house on Wednesday, and hopefully he washes Lola so she's not smelly :) I think he still has to get his costume together, so I'm not going to burden him with anything else. He got the prizes for me for the costume contest, and that's good. I'll try to remember to take pictures!


I crack myself up ...

I was driving to the Zone last night and I drove past a place called "Lampshades". Huh, I thought. Must be a new stripclub. But it wasn't! They actually sold lampshades! So then I was thinking, how do you make a living selling only lampshades? ... ... ... next thought: Must be a cover ...


yep, you got it.


haha :) I giggled for a little while.


Heeeeyyy you guuuyysss ... (implement Sloth voice)

Really someone needs to remind me that when I take a nap in my car during lunch and I set the alarm on my phone, I should likely confirm that my phone is not on vibrate while in the floorboard on the car. It really doesn't do much good there, right?

I decided to take a nap today because I've just been dragging most of the morning. I'm so busy these days at work I don't know what to do. I wish I could take a vacation, but of course I can't because I need to be saving those hours for the honeymoon. Okay, well there are only 4 days and 2 1/2 hours of work until the weekend. Maybe that will help even though this weekend didn't help.

Really I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed these days. I'd like to just never get out of bed, really. Is that possible? I don't think it's possible for me to complain about anything without people thinking it's their fault that I'm overwhelmed, so I'm just not going to get into it. All issues fall into these catagories: wedding, money, overworked (at work), family issues. I don't mind so much when one issue hits at a time, but everything is getting to be a bit much.


You had me at "What the fuck?"

So I keep meaning to start blog posts, but somehow I can't figure out what to say. Everything tends to sound the same to me -- everything I write, anyhow. So I'll just out with it -- screw it. Who's reading anyhow, besides maybe my mom?
My sister's birthday went well; I went over with her gifts and she loved them. She and the brother came over for a little while when Mom went to work. It was fun, nothing too big. Wednesday Shell and I wandered the mall for a bit with her friend Theresa from work, then went for sushi at Soho Sushi (still good, but not as good as last time we went) and for a stroll through DSW where I picked up an adorable pair of black Steve Madden tennis shoes for free with my store credit (still $3.39 left!) and got home early to lay half asleep on the couch watching tv until 11. Thursday we stopped by JoAnn's to get some things for the Halloween party and lagged about at home. Christen made a delectable chicken with a combination of different marinades, and I made potatoes and croissants ... it was nice. Tonight we are going out with Shea and Kyle for dinner and then to The Zone for drinks with them and Charlie and Katie. I got an email from Charlie this afternoon -- they're finally moved back here! I'm super excited -- I'm pretty sure we'll have as much fun not smashed as we did last time when we did the whole drunk "I lovvvveee you guuuuuuyyyyssssss" ...
So now that I've done my dry "This was my week" speech, I think I'll leave you now to watch some ghost stories on the travel channel. Toodles!


JuJu Beans and Eggnog (don't ask)

So I'm a total lame-o.

I opted out of the wedding reception for my dear friend because I was frigging tired. I don't know what happened, really. Christen picked me up from work and we went to the mall for a little bit to walk around and I started getting sleepy. Then I slept on the way home and went to take a nap. Yeah, there was no getting up after that. I called to wish her a wonderful time (and from the pictures, I so wish I could have been there; it looked like a blast) and went back to bed. What a Friday night.

Saturday we didn't really do a whole lot. I found some things for my wedding party presents, which I like to pick up when I find at good prices so I can put them aside for next year. Then I won't have to worry about spending the money then if I spend a little at a time instead. My sister's birthday present from me came:

It's a green Coach iPod case.

And my mom's gift for her came today:

So I think she'll have a good birthday (today). She doesn't understand how spoiled she really is. But we all love her. But her turning 14 of course makes me feel old, but you know what else is worse? My brother turns 17 in 4 months. Argh! I remember holding him in the hospital!

Sunday I went to the mall with Shell and some friends of hers from work. It was fun, and it was good to meet some of her other friends. We had the usual suspects over for poker and dinner Sunday night and had a lot of fun ... Shea and Kyle won (we gave up when they were the last two playing) ... next time I think we might limit the amount of booze imbibed (I think my house echoes) and start a bit earlier ... perhaps more of a tapas snacky sort of meal instead of what we had -- shrimp kabobs, mashed potatoes, steamed veggies and chocolate chip cookies (all from scratch). Yummy yummy but took too long to eat before poker!

Monday I woke up with a terrible sinus headache and didn't end up going to work. I hung out in bed until late morning and then Christen and I went out and about to get a Halloween costume for Lola (I got her a pumpkin costume -- way cute; I hope she leaves it on long enough for pictures!) and to decide what I'm going to wear -- I've decided to either be a Renaissance wench (my usual costume) or a pirate or Velma, whom I've been before. fun fun!


Totally not starving myself, let's be clear ...

I've been having trouble eating dinner for the past week. Now, that doesn't seem like me, right? I don't know what's wrong, but I just haven't been getting hungrry, and since I have a bit of a compulsion for food, I get up a couple times during the evening to stare blankly into the refrigerator and close it without deciding on anything. Last night I had a taste for ramon noodles, but thankfully we didn't have any in the house. I don't need to be eating that garbage.

Anyhow, my not eating always worries Christen because he equates it with me being in a "blah mood" (this is what we call my downwards moodswings) but really I'm fine; just not interested in food. Who knows, I think it might be a good thing -- maybe I can lose some weight? In the meantime I've started making sure I eat breakfast so at least I've got a good start, and today I skipped my sweet tea for water ... hurrah! It was a big step. And I eat a medium-sized lunch -- usually a sandwich, 100-calorie pack of popcorn and a piece of fruit. Today I'm going to Evo's with Stacy -- so tasty! I'm super excited.

Today is Stacy's birthday -- she's 30! Somehow her birthday makes me feel old even though she seems okay with it. How did we get here? College was a blink ago, and high school a blink before that. Now I'm getting ready to be married, and have kids and all that crazy grown-up stuff. Since when did I become a grown-up?

Also making me feel old is that today Theresa is getting married. I know, all of this and Friday the 13th too! I'm going to the reception tonight, which I'm so looking forward to -- my little Theresa is going to be married! She was such a commitment-phobe in college. I guess it just took the right man, right? And Andrew's great, so I'm very excited for them. We're all going to be a bunch of old married ladies soon. Ahh!

Somehow I managed to write this whole post and not say anything -- how did that happen? hehe ... Toodles!


ps - a note on fruit

Pluots are amazing! I had one in my lunch and it was truly delectable. :) The flesh of a plum but not too sweet, the thicker skin and pit of an apricot .... awesome :)

#400 -- the milestone

I'd like to bring it to everyone's attention that this is my 400th post. Does that make me longwinded? Likely.

The froggie iPod player is a smashing success at work -- It's so cute! I've had to charge my iPod twice since I got the thing because I keep draining the battery ... hehe ...

We finally have water ... and hot water too! I took a lovely shower this morning -- it was blissful. I also washed clothes and did the dishes last night, and that even sparked a cleaning streak in me and I straightened up the library and the bedroom and my bookcase that has all my wedding stuff (all stuffed with clutter). We stopped off at the library last night and I finally asked about volunteering and she took my information. So yay! I'm glad I finally got around to that. The volunteer coordinator is supposed to call me. I also borrowed Ellison's Invisible Man and Bob Dylan's Chronicles and a book on CD of The Ghost Orchid by Carol Goodman. NPR is doing their donation drive, and since I'm already a member I choose not to listen during that week so I need something to occupy my airwaves in the car. The audiobook is interesting; it's not a book that I would naturally pick up (the gothic airs make it more something Autumn would be reading) but the narrator's voice feels like a mother reading a book to her child. She does "voices" for each of the characters, and elogates the sound of each description. I'm interested, but I'll let you know how I feel on Disk 5, since I'm only 20 minutes into Disk 1 right now.

I picked up Chronicles because Nick Hornby recommended it in Housekeeping vs. Dirt. I adore Hornby. And more often than not, he's reading something that I've read (The Poet and The Madman), or bought but haven't read yet (A complicated Kindness), or Autumn recommended and I hadn't gotten to it yet (Another Bullshit Night in Suck City). I get so excited when I see that he's reading the same thing as me. And I love that he's about reading things that you enjoy and not always about reading things that "are good for you". This is why even though I hate things like James Patterson books, and The DaVinci Code, etc, the fact that these thing encourage people to read is still commendable. Plus, it excuses me for my mild addiction to trashy Mary Higgins Clark and Barbara Michaels books. :)

Anyhow, so hungry ... off to lunch! Toodles!



No water until tomorrow. Arg.

Playin' at the Savoy

It was a weekend of ups and downs, I'd say. Mostly fun with a bit of pain-in-the-ass-ness. Friday we decided to hop on down to First Friday in St. Pete. Lainey had TM'd me about going to Ceviche for dinner but Christen and I had decided on Italian for dinner (mmm, sweaty hairy men ...) so there was pasta and burgandy to be had before driving down there. We walked around, but it was very crowded and although I have a friend that lives down there at Hotel Detroit, I didn't have her number and didn't feel like yelling her name and hoping someone came to the balcony. :) So we went on down to Baywalk and stopped by Tastings, a way yuppie wine bar where you put money on a card and get mini-pours of any wine you want. It's a great way to try wines that you wouldn't normally try or wouldn't normally be able to afford, and we sat on an overstuffed sofa and felt like a rich middle-aged couple. We've both decided to embrace our yuppieness, especially since it doesn't entirely encompass who we are but rather a lifestyle that we choose to live.

And then we woke up, quite literally. Saturday morning we got up and took a shower and when we were ready to leave the house we realized the water heater was not only broke, it was pouring water into the garage. We both searched the unit but there wasn't an switch to stop the water from flowing into the heater, so we had to turn off the water to the house. We called the realty, but so far (now Monday) we still haven't heard from them .... I take it back; I called and the plumber is coming sometime today. But anyway, in the meantime we went out to the mall to return a pair of shorts (I don't know why I buy shorts, I never ever wear them) and to the German place in the mall for sandwiches. After we decided the realty wasn't calling back for the day we meandered out to Citrus Park to walk around the strip mall out there -- it was such an amazingly beautiful day. I got a stuffed frog with speakers that attaches to my iPod for my desk at work

-- so cute! I was so excited. We met with his parents at Ballyhoo's for dinner and drinks (grouper nuggets and wine) and went back home because my sister was spending the night.

Jamie and I watched a movie (First Daughter, yes we're lame) and hung out ... she spent all night on the computer talking to her friends until I finally told her she needed to start asking (I had a very bad headache, and it was starting to grate on my nerves) and we went to bed early (before midnight). Sunday we made cranberry walnut muffins and Jamie and I took the dogs to the beach (Christen was watching football). The beach was fantastic! Now, we all know that I hate the beach, but everytime I go I have such a good time I forget that I dislike the beach. I got a pretty good tan and I'm sore, but we swam with manatees!

(Not my picture, this was the one time I didn't bring my camera to the beach)

There were three manatees close to shore and we swam out with them, and one swam over my feet (it felt tough and sandy). A guy that was out there too kept "surfing" on one of them, and Jamie accidentally stepped on one's fin. It was very nifty. I have to admit that I'm not much of a creature person -- I'm not one of those girly girls that loves dolphins and manatees and all that -- but manatees are so much cooler in living color rather than at the zoo. It was one of the coolest things I've done in awhile.

Last night was just for laying around being sore and nursing my wounds (I stepped on a rock and cut my foot open, and tred through sandspurs so I have little holes in my thumb from pulling them out of my pants and shoes and toes and the dog's paws. And I made lovely chewy chocolate chip cookies. I lost my football pool, but it was still exciting because it wasn't definite that I lost until Pittsburgh was defeated last night. C'est la vie!

(I'd better have water when I get home from work today ... I'm only sayin' ...)


Ballade Vor Chue

Okay, so I know I said I'd tell you how the soup was ... it sucked. Pretty bad, actually. We poured it down the disposal and made something else, but I wasn't feeling well so he ate and I sat around. Kyle and Shea came over, but Shea was just as out of it as I, more so even, so we sat around watching tv and when she fell asleep in the chair I went to bed and left the boys to their work outside.

I dreamt last night of high school, but only sort of. In my dream I was my age, but I stopped by the school to take a shower on my from my grandmother's house to the Ringling Museum. Now's when you'd need to know that none of those places are anywhere near eachother, nor are they in line at all so that it may have been convenient to do this. But I got there and it was graduation and the marching band was doing a final show (which they don't do at graduation). They were playing The Magic Flute, and my high school boyfriend was the drum major (he wasn't, in high school) and he was wearing a robe that looked like the one Mickey Mouse wore in the animated version, and he hugged me and I felt his "cash and prizes", as Jamie puts it, up against my leg. But all my friends from high school were there and playing with the band, but somehow I was older than everyone ... I guess it's because I've moved on from hanging out with all those people and sometimes I miss then, you know how it is. I'm so different than the person I was in high school, definitely for the better, but I miss some of those relationships. Things were so much easier.

In other news, I put the Jack Johnson album on my iPod last night, but when I put the CD in my laptop to upload it, a message came up to pick which album it was:
  • On and On
  • In Between Dreams
  • In Between Dreams
So I picked the first "In Between Dreams" and that was evidently the Spanish-language version, because now all the song titles are in Spanish on my iPod. Not that I care too much, but it's interesting. :) I also put Ben Folds' Rockin' the Suburbs and Evanescence's The Open Door. I don't know about Evanescence -- they're alright, but Lacuna Coil is so much better that in that genre (the beautiful-chick-voice-over-scary-dark-music genre) they just pale. But I'm giving the new album a chance. The guy in the next cube said he liked it better than the last one, so I'll try it out. I in turn am making a copy of Camalies for him so he can see how Cristina Scabbia does it.

I've decided I need stock in Chick-fil-a. I stop there every single morning. Yesterday I decided to skip the one near my house and ended up stopping anyhow at the one near work. I have an addiction, I know, but I just can't stop. Those damn chicken minis and sweet tea ... awesome. Pure ecstasy in rush-hour traffic. Today I gave up the ghost and stopped immediately (althought running late for work) thus giving me time to savor those doughy bisquit wrappings ....


Up up and away

Cramps must be caused by all the possible children from a month kicking my insides. That's what it feels like, anyhow. This week has been uneventful -- but wait, that's a good thing! I was so exhausted and overworked the past few weeks that it's been nice to work at my leisure, calling people as needed and arguing with lawyers when I feel like it.

Friday night I went to Theresa's bachelorette/bridal shower soirée at Limey's Pub -- great fun, lots of Strongbows. I met several very cool people who subsequently made it onto my MySpace friends list ... as if that's hard ... but I hope to hang out with them again soon -- like at Theresa's wedding reception at the sports cafe near my house! And Christen will be there, so I'll have license to drink as I wish, because really I could walk home if I wanted.

The weekend was slow but fun; Christen and I walked about in downtown St. Pete looking for a cute retro ashtray so that he can ash his cigars in style. We saw a few, but they were far overpriced (everything at the store down there is) but we got a couple ideas. I think we'll probably pick one up at Rick's Picks this weekend; cute and inexpensive is the name of the game this time. At the apartment with Brad I had a nifty square candle holder that we utilized as an ashtray but I don't know what happened to it in the multiple moves since then. Sunday was football, and I lost the pool after the 1 o'clock games, so I retired to play Oblivion in the library for a bit. It was a lazy weekend, all in all.

I'm so looking forward to dinner tonight -- we picked up some she crab soup at the market Monday and haven't had a chance to eat it so tonight's the night! I hope it rocks, but I'm not too sure ... I'll let you know! Shea and Kyle are coming over after dinner to hang out, so maybe a little wine or whine will help the cramps -- sulfites unite!


Puppy Power!

Jazzy came for a sleepover last week and of course, crazy drunk pictures were taken. Aren't they taken at every sleepover?


another week, another dollar

I'm so relieved.

It is 4:26pm. Friday. I have finished everything on my diary for work (I was 2 weeks behind when I started this week). I have filed all my claims and all my mail is up to date and filed (I had to borrow a cart to get all my files from my desk to my cabinets). My desk is clean, my work is done, and I have 59 minutes left to be at work. Life is finally stuffing lemonade down my throat.

It's been an interesting week. Monday I took my mom grocery shopping, and hung around doing nada. Tuesday I wasn't feeling well so I laid around watching my Monday shows on the DVR and feeling ill. Wednesday I went to Shea's with Shell and we went to a sushi place out in Land O Lakes on Collier Parkway ... the sushi was fantastic (I'd say top 4 -- tied with Bonsai, Toki, and Soho sushi) but the service was terrible -- I'd say we were forgotten because it took us an hour to get our food, and we only got half of it because it was on two pages and they forgot the second page. But the sushi was great, so we'll definitely give it another shot. Plus, it's not like we're ever without stuff to talk about. Afterward we walked down to Marble Slab and then I went home ... so late, no sleep but oh well :). Thursday I had to go see the florist, and I figured out she's actually the mother of a friend of mine from high school. Not that I'm getting a discount or anything, but it's funny nonetheless. Suzanne came with me because I hate doing such things on my own and everyone else had previous engagements (haha, I made a funny!). Before and after I had to go see my sister because she was being her usual hormonal-puberty-craziness with my mom, and drama ensued. Everything's cool now, I guess, but it was pretty bad. I'm so glad I'm out of that stage. If my kids start that with me they'll be locked in their rooms until they turn 18. Not dealing with it. I don't know how children live through their teenage years. I was supposed to meet up with Kyle and Christen at the Zone last night, but I didn't end up getting there until 9:30 or so (about the time I had planned on leaving) so I stayed until 11:30 or so. Craziness. Then I got home and couldn't sleep, so I slept in this morning and I'm staying a little late.

Tonight I'm supposed to go to that bridal shower that I tried to go to last week and realized I had the wrong date, so I'm out drinking again tonight! Woohoo!


A Monday Morning Meme

1. What time did you get up this morning? 6:30am (should have been earlier)
2. Diamonds or Pearls? mostly diamonds, a smattering of pearls are nice though :)
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Last Kiss
4. What is your favorite TV show? Without a Trace, CSI, My Name is Earl ... whenever I get to catch them.
5. What did you have for breakfast? A Bagel and sweet tea
6. What is your middle name? Lynne
7. What is your favorite cuisine? Italian, or whatever I'm cooking
8. What foods do you dislike? mayonnaise
9. Your favorite Potato chip? I don't really like chips -- too greasy.
10. What is your favorite CD at the moment? Jack Johnson's yellow cd (i don't remember the name of it)
11. What kind of car do you drive? Toyota Corolla S Type
12. Favorite sandwich? Grilled Cheese
13. What characteristics do you despise? conceit and selfishness
14. What are your favorite clothes? I'm with Stacy -- my heels! And my Loft dresses
15. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where WOULDN'T you go? anywhere there's a more than likely chance of being killed
16. Favorite brand of clothing? Loft Ann Taylor or NY&Co
17. Where would you want to retire? Charleston or Memphis -- I adore those two cities
18. Favorite time of day? lunchtime and afternoon
19. Where were you born? Good ole Dunedin
20. What is your favorite sport to watch? NFL and hockey
21. Who do you think will not copy and continue this? I don't know, probably everyone
22. Person you expect to send it back first? hehe ... I'd say Stacy, but she's the one who sent it to me ...
23. Pepsi or Coke? Coke
24. Beavers or Ducks? ummm ... sounds like something sexual
25. Are you a morning person or night owl? morning once I drag myself out of bed.
26. Pedicure or Manicure? pedicure. I do my own nails
27. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share? Not really ... same old, same old
28. What did you want to be when you were little? A forensic psychologist ... before that was the "in" thing to be. Then a teacher, then a writer, then an editor. I still want to be the last two, but I'll get there eventually.
29. What is your best childhood memory? taking my brother on the back of my bike to the library, and the antique stores and up to Shoney's for lunch
30. Piercing? Ears and Tongue
31. Ever been to Africa ? Nope
32. Ever been toilet papering? actually, no
33. Been in a car accident? Yep
35. Favorite restaurant? Moe's and Flemings
36. Favorite flower? yellow roses and tulips
37. Favorite ice cream? Monkey Bites from Cold Stone
38. Favorite fast food restaurant? Chick-fil-a or Evo's
39. How many times did you fail your drivers test? none, but I did lie to the instructor and told her I didn't drive over the cone when I did the parking part ...
40. From whom did you get your last e-mail? Stacy, as per usual :)
41. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? Loft Ann Taylor or any shoe store
42. Bedtime? Whenever I get sleepy, unless I want to stay up anyhow. Then I fight it.
43. Who are you most curious about their responses to this? Whoever decides to answer it
44. Last person you went to dinner with? Christen and I went for Chinese this weekend
45. What are you listening to right now? my iPod -- Bllue Plate Special is on with "Track 10"
46. What is your favorite color? Blue or Green or Tan
7. How many tattoos do you have? one
48. How many people are you sending this to? just the usual suspects
49. What time did you finish this e-mail? 10:41 am
50. Favorite magazine? People


Dreaming again.

I don't know why, but I've been dragging ever since I got back from lunch. I keep staring at the bottom corner of the computer screen but it doesn't seem to make the time pass any quicker. Why is that? I've finally got 10 minutes left -- hallelujah!

I've been having weird dreams again lately. I had a dream two nights ago that I was abducted by terrorists. Shelley, me and some guy were abducted and shoved into some hotel room, and they hit me and thought I was dead because it knocked me out, but when I came to I just had a broken jaw and a broken arm. Then we escaped and found out that we were in Atlanta so we were trying to find our way home. Then Stacy was there trying to navigate for us and she kept getting us lost and we were mad.

Last night I had another nightmare about my wedding. I dreamt that it was day of and we still hadn't finalized our honeymoon plans (in the dream we were going to Japan) so I'm in my dress trying to do my hair and flipping through these cards at a flea market trying to find a hotel room in Japan. Crazy crazy.

We've got my mom's dog for the weekend -- it's so nice to see Lola having fun without having to be the main source of her fun. It's breaktime :) They patter through the house back and forth and Christen says, "Well, I did only want two kids ..." and I was all "See? They amuse themselves!" Not that it's like that with kids or anything, but still ...


I woke up this morning to what I thought was a hurricane, but evidently was just 5 inches of rain falling in less than 3 hours. Oh joy. I went back to bed to listen to the rain before I had to ship off to work.

Because of my missed days of work last week, I am now up to my eyeballs in work -- I've separated it into piles. There's the "do before anything else" pile, the "do before it's due" pile, the "transferred to me and I don't care" pile and the "where did this come from?" pile. Plus, you know, mail and phone calls and all those other things I'm supposed to take care of. I worked an extra hour yesterday, and I will probably work late all this week to try to get a handle on things. Bah. I wish I was a housewife. But that's Christen's job right now.

I stopped by B&N yesterday to check if they had Paint it Black by Janet Fitch yet. Turns out they do, but it doesn't go 20% off until next week. I can wait until next week. I'm reading Just an Ordinary Day by Shirley Jackson, and it's divine. It's just the type of short fiction that I long to write. Tasty little morsels that leave you intrigued about the characters and always wanting more. Always leave them wanting more ...

After Barnes to the Noble, I went to Bed Bath & Beyond to get a friend a bridal shower gift. I have to say, I now understand why no one buys off the registry. You know how hard it is to find those things? I am traumatized from having to stare at the gadget wall (you know what I'm talking about) for a half hour looking for a cheese plane only to find out they're out. First I tried to get some of the dishes she wanted -- those are easy, no? Yeah, they're out. Then the gadget wall -- I figured I'd just get a bunch of gadgets. Very traumatic. But an hour later I was finally done. Hurrah!



I'm sick. Missed work yesterday, and came in today because I needed to pack up my stuff -- they're moving me to another floor. I'll probably go home after that.

Bah. I'm such a baby.


The Buzz

So have you guys seen this? I do feel bad that her son died, but unfortunately the whole article is overshadowed by this one sentence. “The couple, who met while working together at Jim's Krispy Fried Chicken in Mexia, Texas, divorced in 1987.” Hehe. That’s all I’ve got on that.

My throat is absolutely killing me, and I don’t know what to do about it. I was sucking on a cough drop, but since I’m not coughing I don’t know how much help it is. It started hurting yesterday at work, and I don’t know if it hurts because of work or it just happened to start hurting while there. It didn’t hurt last night so much, but it hurts now so bad that I’m having a hard time concentrating on anything.

I’m reading John Irving’s Trying to Save Piggy Sneed, and the memoirs part was really good, but I’m trying to power through the short story part to move on to another book. The short stories aren’t bad, or I would just stop reading, but they’re not … compelling. The next book on the roster is John Steinbeck’s Tortilla Flats. Hopefully I’ll start that by today at lunch or tomorrow. I haven’t gotten through the amount of books I had proposed as my New Years resolution, but I’d say I’ve read 50-75, so I don’t think I’ve done too bad. And there’s still 3 ½ months left of the year. It’s been a good year for reading, I’d say.

I’m thinking about volunteering at the library on Saturday mornings. A friend of mine does it and it sounds like something I’d really enjoy, so I think I might check out the library around the corner from my house. I think I owe them $10 from a book-on-tape I lost in high school, and I hope that doesn’t keep me from getting the job :)

My dad found a friend of his to do the photography for my wedding. I’m super excited because it’ll make it a lot cheaper, but super-nervous, because I haven’t seen his work yet. I’m going to see if he can do my engagement photos so I can see his current work, because he only works for friends now so he doesn’t keep a portfolio. He has an album from way back, and I guess I’ll check that out to see.

But that’s all that’s happening right now. Back to work – Toodles!


It's been a long time since I've done a meme ...

But I’ve been tagged by NPR Junky!

1) You have been selected as the next super hero in your city. What power will you choose to have? the power to fight all crime through video games!

2) Lemon or Lime? - Lemon with water, Orange with Blue Moon, and nothing with Tea. Nothing's a simple answer

3) How many speeding tickets have you recieved? - I've had a bundle, but none since 2000 -- I've been a good girl! Or I've gotten better glasses, one of those ...

4) It’s last call for alcohol what will you order? - probably a Shiraz or Zinfindel -- I'm stuck on this Bogle Petit Syrah that's fantastic, and their Zinfindel is equally delish.

5) Which video game character would you want to be? I only play one video game religiously, but in that I'm a high elf. I'd love to be a Spriggin, because they're so cute (and deadly for me) or a battlemage ... fun fun!

6) What event do you think has had the most effect on this country?a) every war any president can come up with.

7) What was the street name you lived on the majority of your childhood? For a while I moved once every year or two -- Eastwood, Crest Ave, Falcon Dr., but when I was 12 we moved to Pennsylvania Ave and the fam still lives there.

8) The name of your first pet? - I had a dog named Tippy, but the first one I remember was a German Shepard named Pi that was way bigger than me (I was 3) ... and I still miss that dog.

9) Your first grade teacher’s last name? ... No wait, I'm thinking ... she was older than dirt ... Gerard, I think. I can usually remember, but right now I'm stuck and can only remember to second grade, and then I remember my preschool teacher's name: Ms. Cathy.

And the final one…10) What color are your current undergarments? - Ah ... navy blue panties and a black bra.

And I'll tag VegasGustan, Autumn, Jamie, Random_Speak and Ordinary Girl. Fun fun!



I don't know what to say about my Labor Day weekend that won't offend one person or another. All I know is I'm in a bad mood, and I don't want to be at work. Hope you enjoyed yours!


Sometimes you just need the coffee

I need to start remembering not to drink so much on a school night ... or work night, whatevs. Shea and Kyle came over last night and we did cheese (havarti w/ dill, garlic & herb cheddar, and muenster) and summer sausage and slightly burnt bruschetta (okay, so I kept forgetting it in the oven) for dinner. Christen really wanted to do a wine and cheese night. It was actually pretty good, and we had about 1 1/2 bottles of wine between 3 of us (Kyle had thoe Bacardi fruit drinks). Later we went to The Zone and hung out with my favorite bartender ... I'm going to be so sad when that place finally catches on... I love the hole-in-the-wall bar feel, and it's going to end up being dance club loudness. I understand what they're trying to do, and I don't begrudge them trying to succeed, but I've never found a bar that I would actually go to on a regular basis, and that I would enjoy just hanging out at. It makes me understand some of my Tampa friends that are always going out to some of the small bars. It's so nice! But we had a couple glasses of wine there too -- a "super Tuscan" which was okay, a little weird at the end, and an Argentinian merlot which was fantastic (and I've never had a Merlot that I like)

But it was indeed too much of the drink, and I was a little tipsy, and Shea-Shea was more than pleasantly tipsy ... I had to keep getting her water because she kept getting the hiccups. So fun! But we really need to hold off on weeknights, I'm telling you. We were out until about 11:30, and then Christen and I had a little romp in the hay, so I didn't get to sleep until 1am ... and up at 6:30. Technically I should have been up earlier, but it wasn't happening. I stopped at Starbucks for a raspberry mocha, and dragged my butt into work. I'm fully awake now, but I still don't want to be here :) It's raining, and I want to be cozy in bed watching a movie or reading next to Christen.

Instead I'll be here at work nursing my Starbucks and counting the hours.


A proper blur

This past week has been a bit of a blur, and somehow I haven’t even noticed that it’s been more than a week since I last posted. Don’t feel unilaterally ignored, it has been across the board. I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 emails left unread (one is from Manny, and Manny if by chance you read this, yes I got your email and no I haven’t had time to properly respond!) and I go on MS lately just to see if I have any pending messages but other than that it’s equally ignored.

The funny thing is, I haven’t really done anything of note the past week. Christen has been a proper househusband while he’s looking for a job; I haven’t had to wash a dish or do the laundry in two weeks. I’m going to miss him when he finally gets out of the house, but I do hope he finds something he wants soon. I don’t want him to get discouraged. Other than spending time with Christen, I’ve been vaguely playing Oblivion – not to the same degree that I was playing before. Christen and I take turns playing eachother’s games on parts that we have trouble – I pick locks for him (I’m really good at it, even on his character who sucks at it by nature) and he fights the Minotaurs for me, because I can’t seem to get a handle on how to fight without getting my ass beat. I made a tempura batter last night to cook zucchini – just an experiment, but it turned out pretty good. I’ll have to experiment a little more with that – too much water in the batter, I think.

My tire decided to split (I think I ran over something) and started leaking. We couldn’t get the tire off because the lugs were stripped from when they were last changed – about 2 months ago, so we had to make a trip to Tire Kingdom to get the lug off. The guy there went ahead and changed out all the lugs on my rims … as someone who worked in the customer service industry for many years and arguably still does (isn’t every job where you speak to people a CS job?), I was impressed – I went so far as to fill out an online comment thingie this morning, which I rarely do. Christen was able to patch my tire last night so that I can drive! Woohoo!

So we put off our girls’ night until tonight, and we’re going to get the girls fitted for their dresses so when Autumn comes in on Saturday they can just be ordered. I’m so excited! I’ve stopped planning for the wedding for the past month, mostly because I don’t like planning in an unstable environment. But now I really need to start working – I need to book the dj, florist, hair person, cake, and photographer. Stat. I’m getting married in 7 ½ months!!! I finally sent out the save the dates on Sunday – Christen made me do it. I guess I should start working, eh?


She keeps jumping from high places because she's an idiot ...

I'm seeing Oblivion in my sleep now. I hit the snooze and go back to bed to "power up."

Last night was an uneventful night. I found a copy cat recipe for Macaroni Grill's pasta Milano, so I made that for dinner -- it was fabulous; I brought the rest of it for lunch today with an orange. The rest of the night was time for Oblivion. I'm unhealthily obsessed. Christen and I have made a deal where I can play until bedtime and then he'll play when I go to bed, because he stays up a lot later than I and that way we both get our time in. Although we're playing probably far too much, it is cheap entertainment, because he likes watching me play, and I just get other things done while he's playing (or sleep ... hehe). I'm up to about 24 hours in 3 days ...

The job hunt is going slowly for Christen. He gets emails from people offering jobs he doesn't want anything to do with, but none from the people he'd really like to work for. Yesterday he was pretty depressed (also because he didn't eat all day, and he has a big problem with that -- I think he's hypoglycemic), but he applied to a few more while I was playing the game and he seemed happier once I got home. I keep emailing him from work with random job postings -- I think I've emailed him 15 companies in the area looking for people.

Anyhow, back to work! I've been doing good with getting a lot done when I first get here, and then taking a short break to visit my adoring public before shooting back to the many things I have left to do. It's a lovely balancing act, really ... no really, it is all an act ... :) Toodles!


Please remind me ...

Not to order ribs from the cafe at work when wearing a white sweater. Thanks, I'll owe you one.

Strawberry Cheesecake recipe

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted

2 (8-ounce) and 1 (3-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs

1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/3 cup water
1 1/3 cup strawberries, mashed

For the Crust: In a bowl stir together graham cracker crumbs and 2 tablespoons sugar. Mix in melted butter and turn 1/2 into a 9-inch springform pan. Use the remaining crumbs up the side of the pan by about 1 inch. Make sure to cover the entire bottom of the pan. Bake in a 375°F (190°C) oven for 10 minutes. Cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F (150°C).

For the Filling: Beat softened cream cheese in a large mixing bowl on high for at least 20 minutes until cheese itself becomes fluffy. Gradually add 1 cup sugar; beating until fluffy. Add grated lemon peel and vanilla. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Pour into the shell and bake for 1 hour, or until the center is set. (center may be a little jiggly when done cooking, it will set while it cools. Do not over cook!) Cool then spread with the strawberry glaze. Chill for 3 hours.

For the Strawberry Glaze: Blend 1 cup sugar and cornstarch together in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in water and mashed strawberries. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir for 1 minute. Cool thoroughly before spreading over the cheesecake.

To remove from pan, run knife around outside of pan before unlocking spring form.

Couldn't stay away

I tried to stay away, but it turns out I can’t. I’m like the cat – came back, couldn’t stay away ... knew she a goner, etc. etc. Things are not as bad as I made them out to be – I just had issues that I was dealing with and Tuesday was a rather fragile day for me. I posted before leaving work early. So please disregard – I’m baaaaaack!

This past week was actually pretty nice, other than the mini crises early in the week. Tuesday we went to Shell’s house for couples’ night. It was a picnic dinner of pulled pork pitas (amazing), purple Peruvian potato salad (yummy), baked beans and cheese and fruit. It’s entirely possible that there was other food, but since it’s been a week, I don’t remember. I made a strawberry cheesecake for the occasion, and I dare say I think I outdid myself. The recipe to follow. I think the trick, though, to making the cheesecake so light and airy (quite possible to eat the whole pie) was that I whipped the cream cheese on its own for about ½ hour, and then started adding the sugar and continued to whip it.

Wednesday night all were supposed to come over to our house, but Shell and Richard bailed to have together time … the nerve! Haha. Imagine, married for 3 months and wanting personal time. You don’t get that anymore! But Shea and Kyle came over and we had stuffed green peppers and Bogle Zinfindel and meringue cookies for dessert. We went to The Zone, but between 2 weeks ago and this week it became a dance club. I guess whatever to pay the bills, but it was muy disappointing. Shell & Richard would have hated it, so it's a good thing they didn't end up coming. Kyle liked it because he could do his networking thing for his DJs ... the rest of us were just hoping that the boys had somewhere else to play that we could go listen. Thursday I went with my ex and Shell & Richard to see our friend Manny who lives in Japan. He was in Orlando for the week, so we met up with him at Islands of Adventure. The park was a bit of a bust, because it rained until after 4, so we rode a couple things right before we left and that was about it. But seeing Manny was awesome, and meeting his family and his boyfriend was very cool. The trip started out a little weird, and I kinda felt squeezed out by someone, but by the end it was a lot of fun and I’m very glad I went. We dined at Jungle Jim’s, which is my favorite Orlando burger joint. They have the peanut butter bet (they bet you’ll like it or they’ll get you a new burger), which I had to bring home one to Christen because he would have been very upset if I had dined there and not brought him back one. It’s what I ate as well. Yum!! Jim had the headhunter, which is a ridiculously monstrous burger. Which he, of course, ate the whole thing.

Friday was my off day, and Christen and I went for a stuffed pizza at Old Chicago. We didn’t really have anything in the house, and it’s pretty inexpensive – they have delicious spinach artichoke stuffed pizza there (well, I pick out the artichokes because I don’t like them).
At this time, I would like to bring your attention to the most engrossing game on the face of the earth.

Christen and I played this game for the entire weekend. Less about 7 hours on Saturday night when we went to Shelly’s house for an engagement party for her and Simon, we played this game all friggin’ weekend. It was awesome. Awesome. I’m still way far behind Christen, and I think I played a lot more than he (but he had an additional week of play before I started). It’s so fun! You probably shouldn’t get it – it’s far too engrossing. You’ll start losing weekends left and right.
Shelly and Simon’s party was very fun. The boys (previously from The Zone) were there and set up to jam (Simon joined in on bongo drum) and there was a lot of food and Belgium beer (very tasty) and I got to catch up with Shelly’s family and play with my godbaby Rachel (not really a baby anymore, she’s 7 and a total handful but lots of fun). Shelly was toasted by about 8:30, but I think she had a good time too. :)
And now I'm back at work and I've gotten a lot done, so I think I'm going to go downstairs and get breakfast before starting up again!


temporary hiatus

Hey. So some things happened last night that I don't want to get into, but I won't be around much for a little bit. Might be a week, might be longer -- I'm not sure right now. I'm fine, everything's fine -- don't worry about it. Just wanted to explain if you stop by wondering where I am -- I'll be around.


Rosebud ... wasn't that the sled?

I don’t understand the prospect of coming to work on Monday more tired than when you left on Friday. I had a great weekend, but really I think I should have gotten some sleep sometime … right? Friday I had planned on a quiet night of laundry and hanging out with Lola, but Stacy ended up coming over for pesto pasta with asparagus and wine instead. We had a great time, just hanging out and drinking and talking. Saturday, Christen and I did some shopping and just basically hung out being silly and not doing much of anything. I bought a shirt and a dress on clearance at The Loft Ann Taylor, and a couple shirts on clearance at NY & Co, both of which are a couple of my very favorite stores. I was looking for a birthday gift for a friend of mine and made the trek down to Baywalk because I knew The Buzz would have what I wanted but alas, everything I liked had chips in it or was otherwise not acceptable. Still looking for that birthday gift … I made steaks in a red wine sauce that night (left over Bogle Petit Syrah, a fantastic wine) and fresh green beans. Sunday I woke up to Christen making banana pancakes (if only it were raining I’d start quoting Jack Johnson again). I wasn’t really in a breakfast mood – I can’t eat right when I wake up – and we went out again, this time for a larger trashcan and to get my pearls cleaned at Jared’s and to see if they could fix a ring of mine, but it turns out they can’t … and I got to try on some necklaces to see if there was anything I couldn’t live without. Hehe. Not that I could have gotten anything, but it’s nice to look. I think he’s pretty intent on getting me a necklace for the wedding, which I’m psyched about. I love jewelry. I never knew I was such a girl, and now I’m so into shoes and purses and jewelry … if I wasn’t so spastic about my books you wouldn’t know I’m the nerd that I am. Well, maybe you would know, but whatever. :)

Sunday night Shea and Kyle came over for shrimp and rice pilaf and more wine (sensing a trend? Thought so) and we all hung out and acted stupid. I made peaches
flambé! for dessert (I thought the dessert needed an exclamation point) although I think it needed more brandy -- there was just a little blue flame -- I was hoping for something a little more sensational. All tasted good though, and that's important. Shea and I looked at invitations for the wedding and the boys went outside and smoked their cigars … it was a pretty typical Saturday night – except that it was Sunday. They didn’t stay real late, but I still didn’t get much sleep last night and I think I consumed more than 3 bottles of wine by myself over the weekend. I do know the wine refrigerator is mighty light right now. I might take a trip over to the wine store for replacement … :) There’s a wine store in Tampa that is really very inexpensive – the Bogle there is $8.49, but it’s $9.99 at Ed’s Fine Wines (my usual wine store) and $11.99 at Kash ‘n’ Karry. So it’s great, I just have to know what I want. The people there seem helpful, but I don’t know that I trust them for good recommendations just yet. It’s just cheap, and I appreciate that. But this morning I woke up still recovering from this weekend. Never with a hangover, but I do feel like crap, I know that. Hopefully my water will help.

I’m still working through A Cook’s Tour by Anthony Bourdain. I only read 3 pages over the weekend, while I was watching War of the Worlds (I know, I know, I’m sorry). But I plan on getting back into the swing of things today, and I’ll probably finish at lunch (I only have 48 pages left). So next will be The Nasty Bits, also by Bourdain. Then I get to start in on my bag of books from Jordan.