Thursday, November 29

my name ain't stacy london but i match my clothes, dammit

I'm surely no fashion queen but I've always had a pretty good eye for color. At one time I actually took a few classes while entertaining the idea of become an Interior Designer. If you looked at my home, or my wardrobe, now you'd laugh at the thought but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do to make ends meet.

Anywho, back to my fashion sense - or lack there of.

I stopped over to see Groove today despite being days behind on work due to spending the first part of the week training someone on a chunk of my job that I'll be losing (yay!) and check out his new map. We sat there shootin' the shit, when this conversation started.

Groove: "Your socks don't match." (match in the sense of the rest of my clothing, not that I was wearing two different socks)
Me: "Sure they do."
Groove: staring at me but silently giving me the whatever
Me: "There's pink on my shoes and my pants and shirt are blue."
Groove: "Uh huh"

We truly have a very lackadaisical dress code at work; so lackadaisical in fact I wouldn't even call it a "dress code". Pretty much whatever goes. We often laugh about the shit we wear to work and our extremely lacking creativity wardrobes, but dang it if I didn't match today. Here's your whatever. Phfffft!

Now follow me here, and you be the judge. I was wearing a pair of blue jeans, a long sleeved light blue tee with a short sleeved brown tee over it, and a white hoodie layering the set of tees. Have I mentioned it's freakin' cold in our office? On my feet I had my totally comfy and cute little brown Converse sneakers and my apparently not matching socks. The socks are pink, blue and white striped - one of the pairs of cute socks I was given by The Girls since they got tired of seeing me in my boring plain white socks all the time. The white went with my hoodie, the blue my long sleeved tee and jeans, and the pink not only tied in with the pink accents on my totally comfy and cute little brown Converse sneakers but added that splash of color every ensemble must have.

Now tell me, does that not match? Does that not sound cute? Okay, yes, I know I was dressed like a teeny bopper and would have gotten carded to buy booze or smokes, but dammit; it matched.


Monday, November 26

sing.....sing a song

Becuase I love the tunes, and it's been at least a year since I've done this, and I'm seriously having posting withdrawals because I'm a major freak, I'm following in the footsteps of Dave and Kevin and presenting you with.....

The iTunes Meme!

How many total songs?
165 songs. Pitiful, but.....most of my music isn't loaded into iTunes. These are only my current favorites!

Sort by song title - first and last...
A Strange Education by The Cinematics & You Give Me Something by James Morrison

Sort by time - shortest and longest...
What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong at two minutes twenty-one seconds & Sympathy For the Devil by Guns 'n Roses clocking in at seven minutes thirty-five seconds

Sort by Album - first and last...
A Rush of Blood to the Head by Coldplay & Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs! by Hellogoodbye

Sort by Artist - first and last...
Aerosmith (big shocker there.....) & Wired All Wrong

Top five played songs...
1) Crazy by Aerosmith, 2) Colors by Amos Lee, 3) Jump Jive 'n Wail by Brian Setzer, 4) Don't Know What You Got by Cinderella & 5) It Ends Tonight by The All-American Rejects

Find the following words. How many songs show up?
Sex: 0, Death: 1, Love: 2, You: 29, Home: 5, Boy: 2, Girl: 7

First five songs that come up on Party Shuffle...
You and Me by Lifehouse
Fool by Annie Stela
The Beautiful Side of Somewhere by The Wallflowers
Multiply by Jamie Lidell
Merry Christmas Darling by The Fabulous Thunderbirds

Sunday, November 25

all done

The holiday season got the best of me.

After 23 days straight, I missed a day of posting.

It was a good run, but I'm done.

Friday, November 23

i've joined the ranks of bargain hunters

I am insane!

Okay, so that was established a long time ago, most recently when I lost my brain. I obviously haven't found it yet because for the first time in all my 40 years I actually got up at 4am and headed out the door armed and ready to spend money. The good news is, I was successful. And the best news.....I am officially (almost) done Christmas shopping.

It was insane!

Never having gone out on Black Friday I really didn't know exactly what to expect. Of course I'd seen the pictures and news coverage of all the insanity, but somehow I had a hard time believing it until I found myself trying to find a parking space at 4:55am in an already small Circuit City parking lot that was packed to the hilt with parked cars, more than 200 people lined up outside the store, and other motorists as stupid as me circling the lot. WTH was I thinking? I immediately ditched that idea and drove across the street to park in the barren mall parking lot.

Store #1, Circuit City - Success! Madden '08 in hand, I waited for nearly an hour in line and kept thinking I should look for more to buy to make my wait worthwhile.

Store #2, Toys 'R Us - Another success! Lego Star Wars sets, a little something for Piper, and yet another light saber. One can never have too many light sabers, can they?

Store #3, Target - Armed with PJ's, clothes, a screamin' deal on a 32MB memory card for the PS2, and a Nerf N-Strike Nite Finder I hopped in the shortest line.....the pharmacy.....and was out the door 15 minutes later.

By 8:15am I was home again.

Having 90% of my Christmas shopping done before the final week leading up to Christmas is a first for me too. Yay me!!

Thursday, November 22

thankful thursday 13

Before I kick the day into gear prepping the yummies I'm taking to the neighbor's for dinner, I wanted to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving. I have so much to be thankful for this year, but on this Thanksgiving Day, I give you the top 13 things I am thankful for this year:

1. My Little Man - He really is the center of my world, and I couldn't ask for a better kiddo than him.

2. My parents - As much as we butt heads and drive each other crazy, I know they love me and are always there trying to help when I need it.

3. Friends - Whether old or new, down the street or across the country, and even the friends online I've not had the opportunity to meet yet, each of you brings joy and support to my world; and I am so thankful for you all.

4. My job - At this time last year I found myself unemployed. Even though I complain about some of the aspects of my job, some of the people I work with, and don't always agree with the lack of business sense my company tends to exhibit, I am so thankful to be working and not stressing about paying the bills this year.

5. Blogging - Yep; it may sound corny, but I'm thankful that I have this outlet to express myself and to find others blogs which I enjoy reading.

6. My camera - Not only do I love my camera (thanks Stace!), I love the memories it captures.

7. The roof over my head - Even with all it's idiosyncrosies, I'm thankful I have it.

8. Music - Music puts into words what I can't always express. It ties me to emotions and memories, and is one of the joys the little man and I share.

9. Health - Even dealing with migraines, failing eyesight, and a thyroid condition, my overall health is something to be very thankful for.

10. Hope & Perseverance - Without them, I would have crumbled a long time ago.

11. My neighbors - Okay, not all of them; but the ones who are there to help me, laugh with me, and feed me on Thanksgiving. They rock!

12. Laughter - Even during life's darkest hours, laughter has lifted me out of the darkness.

13. Time - Time to spend with the little man. Time to visit with friends. Time to read, listen to music, or watch teevee. Time to learn and grow and reinvent myself. Every minute of my life is precious to me and I'm thankful for them all.


Wednesday, November 21

thanks for the memories*

*If you've come here looking for Fall Out Boy you've been mislead.

Thanksgiving time brings memories of two wonderful women in my family - my paternal grandmother and my maternal aunt. Sadly both of them passed away around Thanksgiving - my grandma in 1983 the day after Thanksgiving and my aunt in 2005 on Thanksgiving day. Both of these ladies holds a very special place in my heart so I want to share some of my favorite memories.

Grandma lived in a flat in San Francisco. For those of you unfamiliar with the term "flat" think apartment, except not in an apartment building. In a house. She had a one bedroom if you could really call it that since the bedroom wasn't really separated from the living room on the top floor. You can somewhat see what I'm talking about in the picture to the left. That's Grandma and the back of my head sitting at the "kid's table" during one of our holiday meals. The place was so small grandma would set up a long table down the middle of the living room crossing over the threshold into her bedroom to accomodate the entire family, yet she always insisted on sitting at the kid's table.

Last year during Holidailies I posted about my Grandma.....see, I told you I think about her during the holidays.....if you want to read more you can go check it out. I'll take a quick break while you go read. Let me know when you're back, k?

So tomorrow's Thanksgiving and I'm going to my neighbor's. Guess what I'm making to take? Honey glazed carrots. I thought about making the red cabbage too, but since it's an acquired taste I don't want to scare them into never inviting me over for another holiday.

The other special woman I think about a lot at this time of year is my Aunt Dolores. She was the eldest of four children on my mom's side of the family. She and my mother were 11 years apart in age but still as close as sisters should be. She raised four boys - the eldest being my little man's namesake - and held a very special place in her heart for me.She also had the talent for cooking and would put out a spread fit for an army, especially at the holidays.

I am thankful not only to have inherited some of the talent for cooking from both of these fine ladies, but many of their recipes as well. Their tradition lives on every holiday season through special additions that have become staples on our holiday table.

Thank you Grandma and Aunt Dolores for your time, your love, your incredible meals, and for gracing our family. You are missed, but never forgotten.

Tuesday, November 20

i really hate it when that happens

I was reading through responses to yesterday's post (yes, yesterday's post) and Jenny asked if I missed a day of posting. I was thinking "What? I know I posted yesterday." So I went to look and sure enough, nothing. Well not exactly. Just nothing with Monday's date even though my last post was posted on Monday.

Let me explain.

The one big issue I have with blogger is that you can't set a post to load on a certain date or certain time. So, when you come up with a topic to write about and save it as a draft it posts the entry with whatever day you started the draft. That's what happened with my post from yesterday. I'd found the video clips and saved them all to a draft. The little intro was written in the morning, and the whole entry was posted in the morning. Only, it posted showing the date (Sunday) and time (6:09PM) from the day the draft with the video clips was showing. Grrrrr!!

Well, thanks to Jenny pointing this out I've now gone back in and changed the date and time to reflect the actual time I finished writing the post, and posting it - Monday 5:49AM. So, I didn't really miss a day of posting. And, apparently in the process, I've been tagged for the seven weird or random facts meme again.

Sorry Jenny, I already did this one at the beginning of the month. But here's my list of seven again.

1) I hate feet, except for baby feet. Yeah, I know this is one that Stacie used on her list, but it's definitley my number one weird fact.
2)I have a totally screwed up sleep cycle. Some nights I fall asleep in the recliner as early as 8pm, and other nights I can't seem to fall asleep at all.
3)Speaking of sleep, I cannot fall asleep unless I'm on my stomach. I can change positions during the night, but when first trying to doze off I must be on my stomach with my head cocked to the right or it just isn't happening.
4)I can't point straight. Try this out. Make a fist and then put your index finger out as if you're pointing at something. Most people's index finger is in line with their hand and arm, but not mine. Mine curves sharply to the side whether I'm using my right or left hand. Weird, huh?
5)I color coordinate my undergarments with my clothing.
6)I hate being submerged in water. This includes swimming, sitting in a hot tub, or taking a bath. As far as I'm concerned water serves two purposes - making coffee and showering.
7)When I was little, I used to think a little birdie followed me around and reported back to my mother when I'd done something wrong.

Okay, so just in case there's anything crazy going on with blogger today, I'm now finished with this post and am getting ready to post it. It's Tuesday and it's 5:30AM.

Monday, November 19

the star wars insanity continues

In honor of our insane passion for everything Star Wars (really it's the kiddo's passion as he talks about it all the time and actually wishes he could be in Star Wars instead of just playing it) I bring you...

The Family Guy: Star Wars

If you haven't already seen this, or even if you have, it's definitely worth the 20 minutes or so it takes to watch it. Freakin' hysterical!


Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Sunday, November 18

who'd have thunk a bag of mush would taste so yummy

On Monday Groove showed up in my cubicle with four bags of mush. Don't believe me? Take a look. Okay, so the bag in the photo isn't the same bag of mush he pawned off on me, but it's one of the four bags that came out of the mush making progress.

Let me explain.

Groove's wife received her bag of mush from someone at work. The bag of mush as we call it is actually the starter for what is known as Amish Friendship Bread. After making up her bread and having the requisite four starters left over she didn't know who to pass them on to since it'd been circulating around her workplace for some time. That's how I ended up with them. I in turn passed three of the mush bags on to co-workers and took one home.

It was Day 6 - time to add flour, sugar and milk.

The odor was putrid, but playing with the mush in the bag was sort of fun. Over the next four days I had to expel the air that built up in the bag while it fermented. Let me tell you, there were times I was wishing I had a gas mask. Ewww!

Friday was Day 10. I came home from work planning on making bread - until I actually read the rest of the ingredients of the recipe and realized not only did I not have enough of them to finish making the new mush bags, I most certainly didn't have the ingredients to mix up the final bread batter. I thought about heading out to the store but it was Friday night. So, I decided to leave the bag overnight and deal with it the following day. How could it possibly go bad? I mean who knows how long this starter has been added to over and over again making it's way from person to person. It's already rotten as hell, what's one more day gonna hurt, right?

Yesterday I ventured out for the grocery shopping trip from hell. Not only did we need all the regular stuff we eat, but the pantry needed restocking, I had bread ingredients to buy, Thanksgiving goodies to get, and some stuff for a potluck on Tuesday. Plus I hate grocery shopping - especially on a Saturday. But we got it all. Including the mush bag finishing items.

Last night I set into finishing this crazy project. I added my stuff, poured my four mush bags, and set off to complete the bread making. Behold the gorgeous and yummy bread that came out of a little bag of mush! I was this was going to make bread, not cake. It has the same texture, and similar taste, as pound cake. Very yummy indeed! Great, just what I need to add a little more top to my muffin. Gah!
Now the fun part - passing the bags of mush on to other unsuspecting bakers. Bwahahaha!!!

Saturday, November 17

lazy saturday

Grab a cup of coffee, or tea if that's your preference, and join me today for a muffin.

You'll need the drink to wash it down, as it's pretty dry.

Friday, November 16

field trip day

Today was field trip day for our "team" at work. Well, some of our team, that is. Some decided working was more important than having our little "team building exercise" (aka field trip) of heading out to the Cabela's Grand Opening.

Just for the record I haven't participated in a single "team" activity since starting there, but this one was too good to pass up. Not only were we going to one of the coolest stores I've ever seen on opening day, we were leaving at 3pm on a Friday. Yay team!

Check out some of the features it has:
  • A towering mountain replica, the centerpiece of the store's open showroom, with running waterfalls and streams, a trout pond and trophy animals in re-creations of their distinct habitats. Similar mountains, each called Conservation Mountain, have been built in other Cabela's stores as monuments to wildlife and salutes to the sportsmen and women who support wildlife conservation.
  • A gigantic, walk-through, freshwater aquarium stocked with fish native to the area.
  • Museum-quality representations of many wild-game species.
  • A deli-style restaurant will feature delicious wild-game sandwiches, as well as tamer fare.
  • World-class Gun Library, providing gun collectors and aficionados the opportunity to browse through a collection of examples of the gun-making art.
  • Shooting gallery providing fun along with the opportunity to learn basic shooting skills in a safe environment.
  • Indoor archery range where archers can test and fine-tune their equipment.
  • Bargain Cave, featuring discount prices on returned and discontinued merchandise.
  • A sun-drenched atrium interior featuring authentic fieldstone accents and wood furnishings.
  • Beautifully landscaped grounds featuring native trees and plants.

It really is too cool and a great way to end a very long, very busy, very crazy week!

Thursday, November 15

since i can't find my brain, i'm using the telephone instead

With so many things to remember on a daily basis I'm always looking for ways to make sure I don't forget things. Mainly I have my Outlook calendars at home and at work loaded with all the events and activities of the year. But before they get on the calendar, if I'm not sitting at the computer when I think of them, they have to start somewhere else.

I make notes on scraps of paper and Post Its when I have one handy. I've even been known to keep a pad and pen on my nightstand so when something wakes me from the dead sleep, or I'm tossing and turning afraid I'll forget about it in the morning, I can just lean over and scribble the thought. Reading it the next morning, on the other hand, is nearly impossible most times considering I don't turn the light on when jotting it down.

There's also the things that don't necessarily need to be on the calendar. We'll call those the To Do's (TD's for short). Things like needing to call someone to make an appointment or trying to remember to bring something with you to work the next day. Of course, as I'm writing this I just remembered I need to take my camera. I'd asked Wesley during dinner to remind me when we were done. Uh, yeah. Anyway, what was I saying? Oh yeah, the TD's. I'll email myself little reminders, ask people to remind me which as we've just witnessed isn't always fool proof, and have even text messaged myself so I don't forget. Since I'm not always sitting at my computer when I have these thoughts, and don't carry a pen and paper with me wherever I go, I started forgetting a lot of things. Important things. Like taking things to work that I'd promised people could borrow, appointments that needed making, topics to blog about. You get the idea.

During one of these moments I had a great idea. I decided to call myself and leave a reminder message on my voicemail. My phone blinks when there's a message so I figured it was pretty safe to say I'd notice it when I got home. But when the phone was ringing, and I was waiting for voicemail to kick in, a seemingly strange thought crossed my mind.

What would I do if I knew for sure that no one should/would be there to answer the phone, but someone did?

Freaky, huh? Yeah, that's the way my mind works, sometimes. Okay, most of the time, but I wouldn't want to scare you off.

Seriously, what would you do? I started imagining some stupid burgler being so wrapped up in the moment of rifling through drawers looking for my sexiest undies... no, wait... did I just say that out loud? Nevermind. Rifling through drawers looking for the loot and so caught up in the moment that when the phone rang they just reached out and answered it, as if they were in their own house. Wouldn't that be weird? Again, I ask, what would you do?

I know what I'd do.

I'd tell them to make sure and lock up before they left. Wouldn't want any of the evil spawn in the neighborhood running amok in my house while I was out. Would you?

Wednesday, November 14

crazy 8's

I honestly cannot believe how freakin' long it took me to do this meme. This was real dedication folks. I totally deserve brownie points (or, better yet, brownies) for completing this one. Thanks to Bill, here's my Crazy 8's.

8 Things I’m Passionate About

1. The Little Man – I never knew I could love someone so much until my little man came along. Oh, there are moments when I don't like him very much - like when he decides he's going to lie to me - but I do, and always will, love him from the bottom of my heart.
2. True Friends – True friends are hard to find, and even harder to keep. But once you're in my circle it takes a hell of a lot to pushed out.
3. Cooking – I love to cook! New recipes. Tried and true favorites. Experimenting with different ingredients. Though I don't get the opportunity to cook as much as I like anymore, it still ranks up there. Just don't ask me to wash the dishes!
4. Reading – Getting lost in a good book on a wet and dreary day while huddled under the covers sipping a cup of hot coffee or tea is one of the best stress relievers I know.
5. Photography – Though I'm certainly not the best photographer, I truly enjoy taking pictures. But most of all, I like looking back at the memories.
6. Writing – Besides blog writing (if you can even call that writing in the true sense of the word) I've tinkered with writing journals, poetry, and short stories. And, no, you can't see any of it.
7. Talking – Whether in person, on the phone, IM, or email I love to talk. And I wonder why the little man often has diarrhea of the mouth!? Uh huh.
8. Scrapbooking – Another passion I haven't taken much time (read as none) for lately, but one day I hope to get back into the swing of things and catch up with it again.

8 Things I Want To Do Before I Die:

1. See the little man graduate from college – He'll be the very first in the entire family to do so.
2. Travel to Egypt – I've always been fascinated with ancient Egyptian history and would love to see the pyramids before they're lost forever.
3. Take the little man to Disneyland – It really is the most magical place on earth!
4. Drive a race car – Speed. The faster the better. One thing my Uncle and I always talked about was driving a race car. He's gone now, but I'd love to make it a reality myself.
5. Learn to play the drums – Doesn't that sound like fun?
6. Take a photography class.
7. Go on a cruise – preferably a Disney cruise.
8. Visit Stacie and Liss in Maryland!!!

8 Things I Say Often:

1. Sweetpea – The little man’s nickname.
2. NMP – Not My Problem
3. WTF!?!
4. Apparently – Cuz that Lee family sure does get around!
5. Goodnight. Sweet Dreams. I love you! – The bedtime ritual.
6. Stoopid – Covers a wide range of people and subjects.
7. Dumas – I seem to encounter many.
8. Stop licking!! – What can I say? I have a dog who thinks he’s a cat.

8 Books I’ve read recently: (for this one I’m defining recently as the last 8 books I’ve read – some aren’t so recent)

1. Bergdorff Blondes by Plum Sykes
2. Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich
3. The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield (this was my 2nd reading)
4. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
5. Undead and Unwed by Mary Janice Davidson
6. Undead and Unemployed by Mary Janice Davidson
7. Undead and Unappreciated by Mary Janice Davidson
8. Undead and Unreturnable by Mary Janice Davidson

8 Songs I Could Listen To Over And Over:

1. Crazy by Aerosmith

2. More Than a Feeling by Boston

3. Tomorrow by Avril Lavigne

4. Over You by Daughtry

5. Take It To the Limit by The Eagles

6. Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Green Day

7. Look What You’ve Done by Jet

8. All the Same by Sick Puppies

8 Things That Attract Me To My Best Friends:

1. They’re just as evil and crazy as me
2. They like to talk, but more important they’ll listen to me
3. They tell it like it is
4. Even when I don’t want to hear it
5. They always have good advice
6. They know how to have a good time
7. They accept me despite my flaws
8. They think I’m hawt

8 People I Think Should Do Crazy 8’s:

1. Nicki from Everybody Else is Doing It
2. Liss from Epiphanies & Random Thoughts
3. Stacie from {forking madness over here}
4. Tony from Creative-Type Dad
5. Whiskeymarie from Never What You Think It Should Be…
6. Sue from The Torn Pages
7. Aimee from Greeblemonkey
8. Neil from Citizen of the Month

Tuesday, November 13

jedi master

Have I mentioned our addiction to Lego Star Wars? Here's proof of what I'm talking about.

Witness the concentration!

We take this very seriously around here. So seriously, in fact, that when we're out about town we are now seeing things that consistently remind us of various chapters in the game. Crazy! What I'd really like is to be able to have some of those special powers while at work, or driving behind the lunatics that most certainly got their driver's licenses out of a Cracker Jack's box.

Speaking of Cracker Jack's - how many of you remember those? Do they even still make them?

Okay, now I'm hungry. And tired. And parched.


Monday, November 12

a confession

For those of you who don't know already, I have a confession to make.

I have another blog.

Sadly, it's been neglected for so long because I'm a slacker. But, thanks to a couple of friends for making me break under the peer pressure to keep up, and the random commenters that decided to say something on the last post I made (from April), I am resurrecting Girl Redefined.

Check it out if you're so inclined. If not, no biggie.

Sunday, November 11

sunday seven (issue 3)

It's been a busy weekend around here, so you get the abbreviated version of the Sunday Seven this week.
1. New glasses
3. Having friends be there when you're down rocks! Thanks man!!
4. Baby M was born on Thursday making my friend MM a very proud Grandma.
5. As we head into conference week at school I actually breathe easy and know that the little man is on top of it.
6. The Halloween decor has been packed away for another year.
7. Hallowee candy is my enemy.
Coming tomorrow: slackers-r-us

Saturday, November 10

watch the birdie because he's surely watching you

Parents have a strange way of trying to keep their children in line.

I'm sure most, if not all, of you can remember your parents telling you they had eyes in the back of their heads. Those of you who are parents now - have you pulled that one on your kid(s) yet? I know I have. He, of course, wanted to see those eyes. "You can't see them. You don't have any kids yet." I told him. Drove him crazy for about a week. "Can you see me now?" he'd ask when I wasn't looking. Fun stuff.

But what about the birdie? Have you ever heard, or used, that one?

I honestly don't remember what age I was - I want to say somewhere around 7 or 8 - when my mother first started using it. We lived in a very tight neighborhood - the same neighborhood my parents still live in after all these years. Everyone knew everyone, watched everything that was going on, and the parents felt safe to let us be out by ourselves even after the streetlights came on because of it. But when someone did something they weren't supposed to, what happened then? Well, the little birdie would fly home to the parents and tell them what you'd been doing wrong. Damn little birdie!

For years my mother would somehow know I was doing something I wasn't supposed to do, or being somewhere I wasn't supposed to be. When cornered and trying to think of an escape plan as I stared at my mother in disbelief that she could possibly know what I'd been up to I would acquiesce and fess up.

"How did you know?" I'd ask.

"A little birdie told me!" was always the same reply.

I would stand there staring at her in disbelief wondering where in the hell this little birdie was. And - more importantly - why did it feel compelled to follow me around and report back to my mother on my activities? I swear when I even thought about doing something wrong I'd glance over my shoulder and look for that damned little birdie. And I wonder why I have issues now!?

As I got older I didn't really believe the little birdie was watching anymore, yet I wasn't totally convinced. Until we took a trip to Hawaii. I took a friend along, because what sort of fun can you have in Hawaii - when you're 16 - with your parents in tow? My friend and I shared a room that was right next door to my parent's room. The second (or maybe third) night there we devised a plan to sneak out of the hotel and meet up with some "boys" we'd met on the beach earlier in the day. After pretending to go to sleep and then waiting long enough to make sure my parents weren't paying any attention to what we were doing, we did the quick beautification ritual and bolted out the door.

Sadly enough the night was a total snore - until we arrived back at the hotel, that is.

The hotel we were staying at was one of those open air hotels. You know the type they have in tropical places. The whole lobby is pretty much wide open, with no windows or doors because the weather is always so nice. Anyway, as we came back to the hotel we went to enter through the back stairwell - the same place we'd left. Notsomuch. It was locked. And the entrance from the street to the lobby was gated shut. This meant we had to head around to the back.

As we approached the back entrance we could see what seemed to be an awful lot of people milling about for such a late hour. Then, as if just seeing a ghost, I stopped dead in my tracks. My parents. There. In the lobby. I was sure I was a goner. Without another way to sneak past them, we walked right in through the entrance without glancing around, heads held high, and walked straight for the elevators. Our walk was steady. We owned the scene.

Yeah, right! Not five steps into the place both my parents decended on us like flies on shit. Their questions made my head spin. They were none too happy about our little escapade and didn't make any pretenses about it.

But how did they find out?

"The little birdie told me" was the only answer I got. And I knew much too well not to question further.

We were "grounded" for the rest of the trip. Our punishment - not leaving my parents eyesight. Ugh!

It wasn't until we got home that I finally found out what happened that night. Were we too noisy? Did they hear us leave? Had they come in to check on us after they thought we were asleep? No, no, and no. The freakin' hotel fire alarm went off and the entire hotel was evacuated. When my parents tried to get us (they didn't have a key to our room) no one answered the door (thank God, since we weren't there!). Hotel security was called to get into our room and when they didn't find us there... Well, you already know the rest of the story now.

Friday, November 9

to the left, to the left, to the left

Don't worry, I'm not channeling Beyonce. Last month I had this completely out-of-nowhere random moment where I asked you all to look at your activity patterns and see if you tend to do things on/with the right or the left. I bet you thought that'd be the end of it? Guess again. I'm back again to remind you about it. Have you analyzed yourself? I'm sure some of you who will remain nameless have overanalyzed it.

Really, I'm not here to torture you or make you go into a panic thinking about your habits again. I just happened to notice, that on several occassions in the past couple of weeks since I wrote about this, my patterns have slightly changed. Take my socks and shoes, for instance. I used to put both socks on first, starting with the right, and then the shoes, also starting with the right. All of a sudden, as if I'm subconsciously aware of it, I've stopped that rotation and have moved onto right-sock, right-shoe followed by left-sock, left-shoe. Weird, huh?

The most notable action I've noted is getting out of bed to the left. I've only done it less than a handful of times, and not conscously, but after having what I considered to be a pretty good day I noticed I'd risen on the left for that day. Now admit it. That's weird.

This got me to thinking (uh oh... you knew that was coming) about the differences between right brained and left brained people. After reading a few articles, and taking a few tests I still can't figure out my brain. I keep hitting the middle of the line with no dominant side. Even when I look at this picture it changes on me when I look away from it. When I first looked at the picture she was spinning counter-clockwise. I glanced away for a moment to look at the article and noticed out of the corner of my eye she was spinning clockwise. Does she spin in different directions for you too?

Maybe it's like I told Sue. I lost my brain a couple of days ago and really needed it for something today, but couldn’t find it. Have you seen it? My cranium's feeling a bit empty without it.

Thursday, November 8

7 facts meme

I can always count on my dear friend Stacie to tag me with a meme or two, and since the gears aren't moving too quickly this morning I figure it's a good day to play along.

Here's the rules:
1-Link to your tagger (see above), and also post these rules on your blog.
2-Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3-Tag 7 people at the end of your post (see below) by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4- Let them know they are TAGGED by leaving a comment on their blog.

Here's my 7:

  • I hate feet, except for baby feet. Yeah, I know this is one that Stacie used on her list, but it's definitley my number one weird fact.

  • I have a totally screwed up sleep cycle. Some nights I fall asleep in the recliner as early as 8pm, and other nights I can't seem to fall asleep at all.

  • Speaking of sleep, I cannot fall asleep unless I'm on my stomach. I can change positions during the night, but when first trying to doze off I must be on my stomach with my head cocked to the right or it just isn't happening.

  • I can't point straight. Try this out. Make a fist and then put your index finger out as if you're pointing at something. Most people's index finger is in line with their hand and arm, but not mine. Mine curves sharply to the side whether I'm using my right or left hand. Weird, huh?

  • I color coordinate my undergarments with my clothing.

  • I hate being submerged in water. This includes swimming, sitting in a hot tub, or taking a bath. As far as I'm concerned water serves two purposes - making coffee and showering.

  • When I was little, I used to think a little birdy followed me around and reported back to my mother when I'd done something wrong. More on this in another post.

So, here's where the tagging part comes in. Tell me your 7 random/weird facts:

Bill - Make it a Double
Sue - The Torn Pages
Lesley - patron saint of smart mouths
Marni - It's a Pug's Life
Chag - Cynical Dad
Tim - LA Daddy
Miss Sizzle - Sizzle Says

Wednesday, November 7

bullying has a whole new meaning

Okay, so I'm cheating. Sort of. This post is actually being written on Tuesday night after a very, very long day and being posted on Wednesday. But hell, I'm still writing and posting something every day, so I'm counting it.

Some of you may remember my complaining last school year about this "drama" at the kiddo's school. I can't find the post now, but that doesn't matter. The Reader's Digest version of the story is this: third grade boy threatens two third grade girls by saying he's going to bring a gun to school and shoot them; boys parents are called; boy receives one day suspension; girls parents are never notified by the school; drama ensues. Needless to say everyone was picking which side of the fence they stood on this issue - some much more vocally than others. Me. I got pulled - kicking and screaming might I add - into the drama, and into the "ring".

Fast forward to this school year. I was asked to be on a committee of parents, teachers, one board member and the principal to rewrite the school's bullying and harassment policy. Tonight concluded our second and final meeting for the calendar year. Holidays take precidence over policies, ya know!? Actually I'm surprised how quickly this has all come together being that the group was equally divided from the original fence jumpers of last year. At the end of tonight's meeting we have an agreed upon policy in place. Now we have to wait for a review, and adoption, of the policy by the BOD. If approved, we go into the procedure writing phase. If not, I guess we're back to square one.

The things that make me sad about all of this are 1) that we, or any other school, need to have policies like these in place because the offenses will be committed, not as a justincase precaution; 2) that so many really good families left over last year's drama instead of staying and trying to change things; 3) that this drama divided what was once a pretty tight community of people instead of bringing them closer together; and 4) that our children are growing up in a society that perpetuates violence as normal, daily activity and see nothing wrong with it.

I know I am just one person - a single mother, at that - trying to raise my son in the best way I can, but I still believe that it takes a village (or community) to raise our children to be the best they can be. I may sound corny, or old fashioned, but that's me. At least I don't just bury my head in the sand and let someone else speak for me.

Tuesday, November 6

the more things change, the more they stay the same

Wow! I've been doing a heck of a lot of writing in the past few days. Do you see what happens when you're forced to produce? Okay, forced isn't really the right word because no one held a gun to my head to make me write. I made the choice. All by myself. By making the choice it brings back memories of procrastination and waiting until the last possible minute to get things done.

Stacie and I were swapping stories the other day about how we were - and still are - procrastinators. Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow? Seriously though, we both agreed that we are most productive when we've pushed ourselves to the end and simply must get whatever it is done right then. Take, for example, when we were in school. Book reports? Presentations? How long ahead of time did teachers tell us these projects were due? Maybe a month or so. Where were we the night before the due date? Working on our reports/presentations. Why? Because the one time (for both of us, ironically) that we actually planned ahead and started working on stuff we spent the entire time analyzing, worrying, changing, etc. to the point of not getting the A we knew we would have gotten had we waited to the last possible minute.

Well, some things never change it seems.

This past weekend I had no less than a dozen things I planned to accomplish. Let's take a look at some of what did, and did not, get done.

Laundry: All but one load washed, none put away.
House cleaning: Didn't even attempt it.
Paying bills: If I don't get off my ass and do them, the creditors are gonna start shutting me down.
Balancing the checkbook: (see paying bills)
Grocery shopping: Not until Sunday afternoon and only because we didn't have anything to make lunches with this week.
Paperwork: I really need to find some house documents. Maybe if the room I keep them in wasn't so disorganized I'd have found them by now.
PAT meeting prep: I'm on a policy committee for the school. Tonight is our second meeting, the one where we come with our suggestions on what we'd like to see in the new policies. I still haven't reviewed the documents from the last meeting - two weeks ago.
Appointments: I have so many appointments I have to make, but aside from having the time to actually keep the appointments I haven't taken the time to make them.
Taking down the Halloween decorations: Yeah, that'll probably happen when it's time to put up the Christmas stuff.

And I even had an extra hour to do it all in. Ugh!

Monday, November 5

the fiery pits of hell (aka don't ever go to Chuck E's place again)

Yesterday I had the unfortunate luck of attending yet another birthday party - number two for the weekend. This one was held in Rat Hell.

Rat Hell = Chuck E. Cheese

I've complained about trips to Rat Hell before, but trust me when I say this one was by far the worst experience I've ever had. One that I will never experience again because I have no intention of setting foot in Rat Hell ever again. But I'm getting ahead of myself here. Let me explain.

Being that it was a Sunday the place was crawling with ankle biters of all ages. There were no less than four birthday parties being held simultaneously, and that doesn't account for the others who decided Rat Hell was a good place to take their children on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Kids were running everywhere - some laughing, some screaming, some crying. The place was pure madness and the noise was deafening. And in typical Rat Hell form there were only a handful of *I R a Hi Skool Gradgets* to be spotted on occasion peeking out from the back and trying not to make eye contact with the patrons ready to shell out their hard earned cash.

After arriving and depositing our present and other belongings in the party zone several other mom's and I headed up to order some barely passing as edible grub. I tried to coax them into ditching the scene and heading to Applebee's, Olive Garden, or even one of the more palatable places in the food court, but to my dismay no one was interested in fleeing with me. No shorter than 10 minutes after getting in line did the first of our group order - one sandwich, two hot dogs, and three drinks. She was assigned number 16. I was immediately after her ordering what I thought would be a simple undertaking for the kitchen - chicken wings and a drink - and was assigned number 17. Number 18 was a mother-daughter duo that was with our group but sat at a different table to share some of that quality mother-daughter time that can only be spent in Rat Hell while waiting on the boy to finish attending a birthday party. And our number 19 with her cheese less individual pizza and water placed her order and headed back to the table.

My order was taken at 12:03pm.

The first order up was number 19 because apparently it doesn't take as long to cook a cheese less pizza since there's nothing to melt. The burnt edges of the crust might have also given them the impression it was done. She began eating after us telling her not to wait for our food and the minutes ticked away. I honestly don't even know what time it was at this point. Out of no where the sandwich from order number 16 appeared, and the number was swiped off the table like a cat swatting at a goldfish in a tank. The hot dogs didn't show and when the mom who'd ordered the pairing appeared back at the table and informed us that the hot dogs were on their way out until the hi skool dropout dropped them on the ground I suspected we were plummeting into the fiery pits of hell.

By now, still not cognizant of the time, cheese less pizza diner was done eating but there were still no hot dogs and no chicken wings. So I decided to find out if they were having trouble corralling the chickens or what. I was told both were still cooking. I don't know much about nuthin' but it usually takes me all of 3 minutes for a hot dog and about 25 minutes for some chicken wings, from a frozen state, in my regular home oven. About 10 minutes later the hot dogs arrived. Still no chicken wings.

At some point during the food wait another family of four had seated themselves at a booth opposite ours. Shortly after the hot dogs arrival, cheese less pizza mom took the initiative to check on my chicken wings - again - only to find they were still cooking. Some 60 minutes later might I add. And then it happened. Out of the corner of my eye I saw them. My chicken wings. Complete with blue cheese dressing to dip them in and celery sticks on the side. And as she headed my way I could feel my mouth start watering even though my mind knew they wouldn't be nearly as tasty as I was hoping they'd be.

They were delivered. To the other freakin' table. The one with the number 24 tent on the edge of it. The one with the family of four crammed into its tiny little booth. WTF?? Where were my damned chicken wings? I knew I should have eaten something - anything - before heading to this damned party.

Cheese less pizza mom immediately got up to go find out what the hell the I R a Hi Skool Gradgets were pulling but I jumped up and said "That's it! I'm done!"

As I marched my ass to the front register thoroughly intending on cutting to the front of whatever line was there I see the valedictorian of the class heading out with my order. I looked her straight in the eye, waving my hand towards the kitchen and said "Oh no! You can go right back with those because I'm getting a full refund right now." And that's exactly what I did. The girl behind the counter must have been the only one in the place with a lick of sense in her, for when I demanded a full refund AND more tokens she didn't flinch, stammer, or quibble. I've never seen anyone move faster in that place than she did. Within 2 minutes flat I had my $10.28 for the food I didn't eat, plus the Diet Coke I nursed while waiting, and a handful of tokens for the kiddo.

But that's not the end. I know can you believe there's more?

When I got back to the table proudly proclaiming my victory over the rats I see, and hear, the head rat talking to table number 24. Apparently when their chicken wings arrived they complained that the food had taken so long so the flunky sent the head rat out to talk to them. I'm sure she wishes she'd never come to work today after they, and I, said what was on our minds. The whole time she stood there spouting off Rat Hell policy she was holding my chicken wings. The one's I'd waited exactly 72 minutes for before taking action. And you know what she did with them after all that? Threw them in the trash.

Needless to say I warn every one of you who wake up on a Sunday morning with ideas of entertaining your children with a trip to Rat Hell, or those of you who find yourself cornered by a birthday invitation to the fiery pit. Run don't walk, as fast as you can in the opposite direction. Trust me on this one.

Sunday, November 4

sunday seven (2nd installment)

It's time for another installment of the Sunday Seven - seven items that don't necessarily say enough by themselves.

1. The week went by like a flash and the evenings even faster. Monday night was the first "open" BOD meeting of the school year, and since they were discussing the budget I really wanted to be there. In hindsight I'm not sure why I thought they'd actually have one ready. I mean really, it's only the beginning of November and school's been in session for only two months, so what's the rush. Sheesh! Of course Wednesday night was Halloween and all the hoopla associated with it. Then Friday night the little man's social calendar kicked into high gear with the first of two birthday parties for the week - this one back at our local skating rink. Today's party is at Rat Hell, but I'll keep that one for a separate post of its own. And then, of course, the NaBloPoMo madness ensued. (See #2)

2. Despite Tim's total lack of confidence in me (phffft!) I've somehow managed to keep blogging every day of the month, so far. Yeah, I know! We're only on day 4, but whatever. I'm doing it. Which is more than I can say for some of the others who signed up for it. I found the NaBloPoMo randomizer and installed it on my sidebar (see it sitting over there?), so yesterday I started running it and checking out different blogs I may not have known about before. WTF? Some people haven't even started posting, some are linked to "private" blogs where you have to request access (uh, notsomuch!), and others have already given up. Losers. But getting past those, there's a few I've found enjoyment, and more importantly entertainment, in reading so I've listed them out in their own section on my sidebar (look over to the left again). I'm sure I'll keep adding more as the month goes on and, as my list grows longer, so does my feedreader.

3. Speaking of Tim (aka LA Daddy), LA Family have now welcomed the newest member of the family - LA Baby - to the wide world of wackiness. Congrats my friend! I look forward to meeting her some day, but don't get your hopes up that it'll be the day you celebrate the big 4-0!

4. Also on the celebration bandwaggon is my Super Sweet 'n Sassy Snackie who's celebrating her youthful 36 today. Make your way on over and cover her with birthday kisses. MUAH!!!

5. Friday I had other sorts of kisses in mind. Those would be of the *kiss my ass* variety. Now before I start my bitching about work, let me just make one thing clear - I love that I have a job. I'm just notsomuch in love with my job anymore. Somehow in the past two months my responsibilites have shifted so much that what they really hired me to do is now falling third on my priorities list. Why? Well, that's because they keep going through reorgs and reshuffles and downsizing and whatever other term you want to use for walking around with their heads stuck up their ass and not being able to see what the real problem is even though it's staring them right in the face. The real problem is there's not enough people to do all the work that needs to be done, yet they keep disposing of them. I am now carrying a workload of one and three-quarters persons, and before you all think I'm just complaining that they're overworking me, let me clarify. It's not the "load" that bothers me, it's how it's structured. All three main responsibilites I have are, for the most part, totally unrelated to the others. This makes it very difficult to pay full attention to any one of them, let alone the fact that I've got customers - both internal and external - screaming at me and begging me to "be expedient". Um, last time I checked I was just one person. Maybe I need to clone myself? But what good would that do? They'd still only pay one measly little salary for me. I almost walked on Friday. But I didn't. And tomorrow I'll drag my tired ass back into the firey pits of hell for another week.

6. I started my Christmas shopping. Afterall, there's only 50 shopping days left until the big day. LOL But that's not the reason I started shopping. We went to Target to pick up the kiddo's new glasses and I got a little distracted by the $1 bins. Everything's just a buck, so how can you not buy stuff. Seriously though, with giving little gifts to teachers, neighbors, and friends at work, stocking up on the inexpensive goodies as I see them is the best way to go. As it gets closer to the holiday I might tell you what I got, and what I'm doing with it.

7. And finally, even with the time change (you didn't forget that, did you?), I'm seriously behind schedule with all the crap that must get done today. But before I wish you a Super Sunday, here's a few topics you can look forward to reading (or avoiding) in the coming weeks, not necessarily in this order.
  • bullying has a whole new meaning
  • i've been tagged... again
  • reading and writing
  • lights on or off?
  • embarrassing moments
  • thankful
Enjoy your week!

Saturday, November 3

thanks for playing! don't forget your parting gifts

I have to admit when I posted that meme the other day I really didn't think many people would participate, so I'm shocked that all of you who did took the time to do it. What I'm more shocked about are some of the answers you posted. LOL Some of them seriously had me laughing my ass off, and in all honesty, rethinking some of my original answers I'd written up the day I posted the questions.

So, the moment you've all been waiting for is here. The real answers to the silly meme questions - along with a few thoughts on some of the answers you gave.

Where did we meet: Well, that depends on who you are, silly!

Take a stab at my middle name: Ann

How long have you known me (been reading my blog): Has it really been that long?

Do I smoke: You got me there.

What was your first impression of me upon meeting: I know you loved me at first sight! Go ahead, admit it.
Groove said "Uh oh, this one will be trouble..." I'm sure I've lived up to that one a time or too. Liss said "That girl is taking my time" Indeed, my friend. Indeed!

Color of my eyes: Blue - very blue. Not even close to being hazel like many of you said.

Do I have any siblings: Negatory
Unless you count my li'l sis!

What's one of my favorite things to do: Play video games with the little man.
Although I definitely love eating chocolate as kilax mentioned, I try to steer clear of that one too often for fear of adding those nasty 40 lbs. I've shed. My li'l sis knows me well in that I love talking on the phone. And Groove's not only heard me talk about my love of driving fast, he's witnessed it even though he'll tell you I resemble Driving Miss Daisy when compared to him.

Do you remember one of the first things I said to you: Really? I guess your memory is better than mine.

What's my favorite type of music: Since I'm not even sure what my favorite type is, I'll just say "Yep, you guessed it!" I seriously don't have a favorite type of music and will listen to everything from classic rock, rock, angsty rebel pop/rock, alternative, and 80's as you all said. Motherbumper, I've got no idea what zydeco is, so I'm gonna have to say no to that one. And my biggest not even if you paid me would be rap.

What is the best feature about me: Hehe... you meant to say my eyes, didn't you!?
That was my answer the other day fully expecting to get the cleavage and tongue comments because of my profile pic. ;)

Am I shy or outgoing: No wallflowers in this garden.
You ALL obviously know me very well on this question.

Am I a rebel or do I follow the rules: Depends on the game.
Funny you all think I'm a big, bad, goagainstthegrain kind of gal!

What's your favorite memory of me: Awww, really? That's my favorite memory of you too!
Groove, you shhh!!!

Any special talents: I bet YOU can't tie a cherry stem with your tongue, now can you!?
OMG! This one totally floored me. How in the hell did do many of you know this one!?! And, Bill, sad but true, not only can I not burp the alphabet, I can't burp on command. At all. Not even if someone offered me a million bucks to do it.

Would you consider me a friend: You like me! You really like me!
Although I don't really know most of you all that well, I think of you all as friends by default. Except you, Groove. You're full of shit and not a friend at all. Just pure evil. :P

How many children do I have: One super little man

If there was one good nickname for me, what would it be: Really? That's a new one for me.
Hilly's hotsy totsy had me rolling. So did Liss' LookyLoooooo and Groove's Jill - but both of them are IRL jokes.

If you and I were stranded on a desert island, what is one thing that I would bring: You know me so well!

Well thanks for playing along with me on this one! It's been fun!!

Friday, November 2

halloween's past

Halloween day the little man asked me, "What was I for Halloween when I was 3?" I started listing off from last year the costumes he'd worn every year but then got stuck and couldn't remember. So I tried going from his first costume forward but still couldn't remember. I finally gave up and told him we'd look when we got home. We did.

Thursday, November 1

i know you, you know me

Welcome to the first day of posting for NaBloPoMo!

Since I might have some new readers, I was thinking I might post a little introduction about myself. But then I remembered I'd received this meme awhile back and never did anything with it so I decided what better way to kick things off then having all of you tell me what you think you know about me. Saves me the work of writing about myself too! Pretty tricky how that works, eh?

So this is how it works - YOU fill in the blanks about ME. It only takes a few minutes, so just do it! In the next few day's I'll update this post with the correct answers so you can see how much (or how little) you really know about me. Go ahead! What are you waiting for?

Where did we meet:

Take a stab at my middle name:

How long have you known me (been reading my blog):

Do I smoke:

What was your first impression of me upon meeting:

Color of my eyes:

Do I have any siblings:

What's one of my favorite things to do:

Do you remember one of the first things I said to you:

What's my favorite type of music:

What is the best feature about me:

Am I shy or outgoing:

Am I a rebel or do I follow the rules:

What's your favorite memory of me:

Any special talents:

Would you consider me a friend:

How many children do I have:

If there was one good nickname for me, what would it be:

If you and I were stranded on a desert island, what is one thing that I would bring:

There, you're done! That wasn't so difficult, was it!?! Don't forget to check back tomorrow to see how you scored.