Sunday, June 29, 2008

Making Up for Lost Time

So finally, Thursday, I got a haircut. I feel three inches taller!

After that, we headed down to Atlanta, where I met my precious little nephew, Henry, for the first time. He is completely amazing. And that's coming from someone who isn't generally a baby enthusiast. But I held him a bunch, he rarely cries, he's happy, a good sleeper, a great eater. What more could you want? Pictures are forthcoming.

Our extended family came for a little party on Saturday - my cousin Mary brought her chocolate fountain. Which was just AWESOME. Pictures of that, too. Soon.

I got some rest - not a lot, but it was a restful weekend if that makes sense.

The drive back was, as usual, a bitch. And I know Monday is going to be punishing, as my friend Kathy would say. I was only gone for an 8 hour work day - I checked in a half dozen times and it's still a Class-5 cluster - next week I'm taking Thursday as a personal day, and we get Friday off to celebrate Independence Day. Nice! We're heading back down to Atlanta, picking up Dad, and taking him to the mountains. Mom is volunteering for the Peachtree Road Race and will meet us later.

I'm beyond happy!

That's all for now - I need to rest up for an ass-kicking Monday.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Monday eKvetch

So, we're allegedly going to pop in Master and Commander in a few minutes, so I'll make this quick.

Three things that bug me:

1. Overuse of the word "fetish". Why not say you're a footwear enthusiast or a stiletto maven? When you tell me you have a shoe fetish, I can't help but wonder if you're truly into shoes sexually, or you just have a deficient vocabulary. Tellingly, though - I went to look up "fetish" at Merriam-Webster.com, and wouldn't you know - there's a banner add at the top of the screen for Sexy Shoes. I'm just saying.

2. Speaking of shoes, as if we needed further proof that I'm an asshole who shouldn't have kids, is there anything more annoying than the sneakers that turn into skates? I'm constantly hoping to see some kid who just whizzed by me in the soup aisle at Kroger bust his ass in front of the meat counter. I saw two or three wheeled ankle-biters at the mall this weekend, and I really, really hate those friggin' skate-shoes. I can barely keep my balance without wheels. How the hell do they do it? I figured they were like the Razor Scooter, a trend that would die quickly. But just when I go a week without seeing a kid with them, they're out in full force again.


3. Greg Evans, creator of the comic strip Luann: I've been reading your strip since it started - when Luann and I were both twelve. I'm now 33. She's 16. Come on, pal. I have no sympathy when she bitches about her love life, her English paper, not having a car, whatever. She can have my mortgage payment, responsibilities to family, and my slowed metabolism. Then she can bitch all day long. Of course, then she'd be Cathy...aaack!

That's all. For now.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Checking it twice

I'm a list maker. I firmly believe in the power of the written word - good thing, or that Journalism degree might have been a waste of time.

So, by nature, I am a list maker. I get this from both parents in different ways.

Dad makes grocery lists that run the same order as the aisle of the store. I tend to do the same, though really, I check out the meat section first, and then base my vegetables on my protein selection. It's just how I do things - drives Matt nuts.

Mom makes lists of what she wants to do, what she needs to do it and so on. I come by my habits honestly.

Here's my list for the weekend:

-Pedicure (mission accomplished - ten little piggies in OPI's "My Own Private Jet")

-Massage (booked for 10:45 tomorrow - I dare them to be without a masseuse this time)

-Shopping for new clothes; as Mom put it - I'm the total package, I just need new wrapping paper

-Flowers for my deck - probably lantana, though marigolds are calling my name too

-Laundry

-Graduation present for Tom (if it were up to me, a bottle of Scotch, but that's a bitch to travel with)

-Dollar Store (need to cruise the aisles)

-Ukulele practice (sorely lacking)

-Exercise (will this be the one I blow off?)

-Clean bathrooms (or will this be the one I blow off?)

-Bookstore - still jonesing for the new David Sedaris

-Used bookstore - have credits there and haven't ever read any Jane Austen - ever

-Gas up car

-Start packing list for next weekend

-Nap

-Buy sponges for kitchen

Matt's on a shoot til tomorrow night, so this leaves me plenty of time. I just need to figure out a few things.

Like how to squeeze it all in.

And...which mall to hit. My instinct tells me either Cool Springs or Rivergate - both have their merits.

It's been a heck of a week. I'm going to go pop in a DVD and chill.

Either "Best in Show" or season one of Arrested Development.

Sometimes, being a grownup kicks butt. I had a Coke Icee for dinner. It was kind of gross, but I got it out of my system.

Also - good news - I finally figured out where the smell in my mudroom was coming from - hint, the fact that it smelled like onion should tell you the bad news. Thus, the other good news is that said onion, now in liquid form, was still in a Kroger bag, thus making cleanup easier.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Plus, if you act now, you get a free bamboo steamer!

When Matt was in first grade, one of his classmates taunted that he had “funky feet”. I don’t know about back then, but now, nothing could be further from the truth. For a guy with size 13 – 14 feet who spends most of his workday upright, his pedal extremities are as soft and smooth as a baby’s butt. It’s completely ridiculous and unfair!

I say this because I have…funky feet. It’s not that they smell bad. It’s just that they’re dry, scaly and cracked. Even the women working at the nail places I frequent for pedicures have commented, and I have to figure, they’ve seen it all.

Enter the Ped Egg.



A few months ago, I saw an ad for this contraption on TV. It looked kind of intriguing. And though I know that these gadgets things are a dime a dozen and don’t usually work, I finally gave in to my curiosity. It cost $9.98 at my local Walgreens.

So basically, it’s a small plastic egg-shaped device outfitted with a cheese grater which (in theory) grates the dead skin from your feet and traps it in the egg so that you can dispose of it neatly. That said, Matt took one look and sent me to grate away outside – he didn’t want to end up with foot dust all over the floors. So I took my egg and went out on the back deck.

The first thing I want to point out is that on the package, it claims that it “Gently Removes Callous, Dry Skin”. Now I looked it up in the dictionary, and technically, callous is an adjective mean hardened, but on the other hand, the more common usage means “indifferent”. So that amused me. My skin is a great many things, but indifferent isn’t one of them.

So, because I’ve been working in the garden a lot (in flip flops) my feet were looking especially rough.
And after ten minutes with the Ped Egg…

They looked even worse.

I dumped my skin remnants onto the grass, packed up my Ped Egg and went inside, where I proceeded to use an old-fashioned method for smoother feet. I scrubbed the hell out of my feet with a nailbrush, then got out some Vaseline and a pair of socks. I slathered the feet with Vaseline, put the socks on and kept them on until bedtime. What do you know? Smoother, less hideous hooves! And way cheaper.

So, I’m not saying the Ped Egg doesn’t work. I’m saying it doesn’t work for me. At least, not right now. Right now, I’m thinking of looking for a belt sander.

The take-away from all this is, just because the commercial makes it look awesome, doesn’t mean it’s awesome.

Except for the Snoopy Sno-cone Machine. Which really is as awesome as the ad makes (or, made) it out to be. You put your ice cubes in and get a sno-cone out. Yum, yum fun is what it’s all about!



Weird that the two products mentioned both involve a shaving mechanism. Warning – do not mistake one for the other, or you’ll be eating shaved foot with flavored syrup.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Let them eat cake…cheaply

So, with wedding season being in full swing and because it’s been a slow day, I thought I’d retell the old chestnut about how I got my wedding cake on the cheap.

In May of 2004, Matt and I got free tickets to a charity event held by Prevent Blindness Georgia. It was a beer tasting near Piedmont Park with hors d’oeuvres, good music, and a silent auction – this is where our free tickets came in – they were a thank you for the contribution my employer made to the event – for the auction – a LASIK surgery by our head surgeon. So anyway, Matt and I are eating, drinking, having a good time. Drinking. Talking. Drinking. The beer was free and it was great. Drinking.

Matt and I decided that since we were at this event gratis, we should bid on something. We split up and cruised the auction tables. I saw what I wanted, and met up with Matt and told him. What I wanted was “Tiers of Joy” – a wedding cake for 150 guests from Avante Catering. The minimum bid was $50, and no one had bid yet. I should point out that Matt and I were not yet engaged. But, we were planning to marry…eventually, and we had been drinking. Matt assured me he was fine with me bidding on the cake – he was going to bid on a magnetic dart board.

The evening progressed, and as it turns out, my minimum bid was the only bid. I won a ginormous wedding cake for $50. Matt was outbid several times on his dartboard.

When we told friends and family my good news, they all made jokes about the cake going stale. Ha, ha. Thanks for the vote of confidence, assholes!

Matt and I got engaged that September and in December, I put in a call to the caterer to see if the offer was still good. She said it was, and in January, Dad and I went to a tasting. I ended up with a simple cake – three round tiers in vanilla, buttercream icing, and fresh flowers as the decoration. She did charge us a $25 delivery fee, but when Dad asked and was told what he would have paid for a similar cake, he was pleased. Plus, although I didn’t claim it, my donation to Prevent Blindness was tax deductible. Heck yeah!




As for the cake, it was pretty damn tasty, if I say so. And there was a country ton of it. We ate more at my parents house the next day. I think they ended up tossing a lot of it.

For what it's worth, as a groom's cake, Dad made Matt a few of his special rum cakes - equally affordable and delicious!

As for the top layer you’re supposed to eat on your first anniversary? Well, we forgot to take the flowers off the top before freezing it. Plus, we had to transport it from Atlanta to Nashville in the heat of the summer. We ended up tossing it when we got settled in to the apartment.

So that’s my wedding cake story. I’ve got a million others… for another time, though.

As a postscript – because I love Matt, I did give him a magnetic dartboard for Christmas 2004, which I believe he has never used.

Friday, June 13, 2008

This just in...

So, as if I needed another reason to be pro-Obama:




Reuters reports that Cindy McCain posed for Vogue in size zero jeans.


I'd contribute to McCain's campaign, if only they would earmark it for a box of Twinkies for Cindy.

Barbara Bush - now there was a solid First Lady. Much needed after the Nancy Reagan era.

Have you ever noticed that Laura Bush looks like the Grinch?


Here:







and here:






In non-First Lady News...Looking forward to another weekend in Atlanta. Lola gets to come with us, and that makes things a little more tense, but you know, she's our kid, so...buckle up, pup!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I am what I am...

So, I went out to lunch with some co-workers today - a rare phenomenon. We went to a place called "Fish, Wings n Thangs". I had wings, and I've been belching non-stop ever since.

I was joking with another co-worker about said belching, telling him I'm a classy lady. He informed me, very seriously, that I'm not a classy lady, but I'm real, and that's much better.

So after work, I took my real self to a clothing store what specializes in larger sizes for the full-figured gal, and I tried on some things I've been scoping out on their website.

What a disaster!

I'm feeling self-conscious because I'm going to be spending time with thinner people in a few weeks, and I hate looking like I currently do. But not enough to stop eating hot wings for lunch, apparently.

Matt took a spill last night while taking a bike ride. He hit his shoulder and jammed it into the sidewalk pretty good - we went to Vanderbilt ER, and they x-rayed it. Nothing is broken, but Matt's taking a short break from his shooting schedule, and they gave him a few Loritab. Lucky bastard.

Me, I've got Benadryl... and large wobbly albino arms.

But I'm real (or so I'm told), I'm known for my generous spirit, my caring demeanor, and for being sturdy.

These are all good things.

And as lyricist Jerry Herman wrote...

"Life's not worth a damn til you can say, 'Hey, world, I am what I am.' "

Of course, he was talking about cross-dressing and homosexuality, but...whatever.

Ain't no thang but a chicken wing.

Of course, I'm still keeping my eyes peeled for a few cute pieces to fill out my wardrobe. Especially because I found out I've got three in-face trainings this summer.

/Vapid Fashion Rant

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Where's my stuff? I want stuff!

Observations, late Tuesday:

- If polish on your fingernails or toenails is chipped all to hell, just take it off - no matter what you think, naked is better than half-assed.

- If you can't figure out the change if I give you 1.01 on a .96 purchase, I deserve that dime you gave me.

- Don't ask a question unless you are either sure of the answer, or can handle whatever answer is given.

- Sometimes, the answer is no - and you carbon copying other people on the e mail doesn't make me more likely to want to help you, even if I could.

- Eating Krystal after 7PM is a bad idea. Eating it before then isn't much better.

- I'm all for Bonnaroo, but the fact that it falls on Father's Day weekend sucks.

- It pisses me off when I'm shopping online, and I only find out that what I want is backordered once I hit checkout.

- Plus-sized clothing manufacturers...many women of size aren't keen on showing their arms - what's with all the sundresses? Sleeves, please.

- Part two - pairing your sundresses with a coordinating jacket or crochet sweater doesn't count as sleeves (not to mention, it's outdated and hideous) - can you please, please come up with some dresses that have actual sleeves - and not cap sleeves - they're actually worse than sleeveless.

- Part three - while we're at it - what's with all the matte jersey - for anyone who is the slightest bit lumpy, it looks like crap. Here's what I want. A few casual dresses, with sleeves in a cotton or polycotton blend. NOT KNIT. Seriously. How freaking hard is that? And don't show me a caftan or muumuu or trapeze dress. I still have a shape, after all. I just want a nice dress with a little integrity.

- Speaking of integrity - saw a bumper sticker today asking if we really wanted to have a blonde as president. Even though I'm an Obama supporter - that pissed me off. I mean, if you want to attack Hillary Clinton, can't you find something more salient that hair color or gender?

There's plenty more where that came from. More soon.

ae

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Morte aux insectes!

Busy weekend - we got quite a bit of general home care and maintenance done, culminating in a twilight session in the garden tonight.

I'd love to tell you that I washed each leaf of each tomato plant lovingly with an organic soap and mountain spring water, then played a rousing death march on my ukulele, sending the aphids into the hereafter in a kind, peaceful way.

That's great, but who has the time? Basically, I sprayed the living hell out of the tomatoes with Sevin. Better living through chemicals!

If I find dead bluebirds on my lawn tomorrow, I'll know it was a mistake. But my rationalization is that if they sell it at Wal-Mart, it has to be wholesome. This same rationalization speaks to why they didn't have a copy of David Sedaris' newest book. I want that book.

So, hopefully the plants will still be alive in the morning with a greatly diminished infestation.

In other news, one of my single guy friends this weekend told us that he could tell if a woman was married or not by the way she walks. I asked him if I walked like a married woman and he nodded gravely - he told me it was also evident in the way I dressed, the way I carried myself and by my hairstyle. I basically think he was telling me I've let myself go. I have to laugh. Honestly, very little has changed about my walk, hair, clothes or carriage in three years. I've always been low maintenance. There hasn't been much to let go. Also - he's only known me since I've been married, so how does he know what I used to be like. Apparently, this is bothering me more than I initially realized.

Speaking of maintenance - I wasn't able to get an appointment for hair until the 25th - the day we go see Tom and Laura in Atlanta. Oh well, at least I'll arrive well-coiffed.

I still need a pedicure - it's been...over a month. I'd love to get a massage. But I'd trade all that for 72 hours in a dark, cold, quiet room with a comfortable bed.

Right now, though, I need some aloe. I spent a little too much time in the sun today without the benefit of SPF, and my face is en fuego.

I feel kind of guilty about the Sevin, but times are hard. I got my catalog from the State Fair people containing my entry form for the jelly. I need to seriously plan my strategy. This year, I want a ribbon.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Skinny Dog Blues

Lola's had a tough time with all the recent boarding, so as a treat to her, I pulled out a cookbook that contains nothing but recipes for your dog, and gave Lola a homecooked meal. Sadly, this is more than I can say for me and Matt this week - but we do what we can.

Here's the recipe:

3 small jars baby food (beef, chicken or turkey)
1/2 cup Cream of Wheat

Mix in a glass bowl - cover and cook on high in microwave for 3 minutes. Let cool, serve.

Easy, but the beast went nuts for it. It kind of looked like dressing, if you want to know the truth. Or, turkey gruel.

I have a lot to do this weekend - the garden needs serious TLC - it's time to put the tomato plants in cages, fertilize, weed, kill some aphids... my pepper plants look puny, and if I plan to enter my jelly into the state fair again this year (and I do), then we're going to need to step it up, stat!

My sunflowers failed - I think the squirrels dug them up and ate them. My zinnias, however, look good. And the morning glory too.

I need to replace the dead pansies on the deck, and the plan there is lantana. So drought resistant and pretty to boot!

Of course, the weekend is only 2 days.

I blame Martha Stewart.

And that's a blanket statement - I blame her for everything.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Wait, what?

So the results from Lola's DNA test are in.

Leaving me only somewhat enlightented and mostly amazed.


Here's the way it works - they measure primary, secondary and in the mix breeds.

Lola is not enough of any one thing to have measurable primary or secondary levels. Or, at least, if she is enough of any one thing, it's not one they test for (like Pit Bull or Jack Russell).

So what they found was four "in the mix" results:


- Unknown Terrier (Um, I could have told you that - what I paid for was a known terrier...)


- Boston Terrier (Bingo - this was on my list of suspects!)


- English Setter (Ok, that would explain some of the markings, the pointing, but still, a surprise.)


- Tibetan Spaniel (What the hell? I don't even know what that looks like!)




So a quick check of the old Google turns up this:





Which really, looks absolutely nothing like this:





The bigger question is...well...honestly, there are so many questions.

What exactly do they mean by "Unknown Terrier"? Pit Bull? Yorkshire? Rat? Jack Russell? The thing is, if you happen to look at the Terriers on the AKC site, they have every size shape and color covered. I think we can probably rule out Manchester, maybe Kerry Blue and Sealyham...or can we? Who knows.

The next question is, where did Lola come from? As you may know, she was found, by my mother and father on a dirt road in the North Georgia mountains. There were no nearby houses, and she was a six week old puppy. Was she dumped? Did she run away from home?

If in fact she was dumped, things start to make a little more sense. One doesn't let their Tibetan Spaniel roam free as one might, say, their Unknown Terrier. But the fact is, none of these breeds make up a significant amount.

So, who knows. I may eventually spring for the blood test DNA to go along with the cheek swab.

But for now, I'm a happy owner of a Tibostunk Terrietter. Which is to say, a mutt.

ae

Sunday, June 1, 2008

No stalgia, please.

So I did end up going to Harry's over the weekend (the key purchases being heirloom tomatoes and cherries). I saw an old boss, Mr. K, there - back from my teens - he then went to work in the accounting group, where he once informed me that I needed all my bills to be facing the same way when I turned them in. I thought he was kidding. He wasn't. This is probably the first instance of my lack of detail in the workplace rearing its ugly head. Come on, I didn't mix the $5s and the $20s - does it really matter if Washington is facing the same way throughout the stack? Apparently, yes.

Anyway, I went up and reintroduced myself - he eventually recognized me, but indicated that when I had worked there, I was a lot thinner. Yes, thanks for the reminder - I had almost blocked that out. And you sir, are much older. Much, much older. And still kind of anal.

Nonethless -a fun trip to my old stomping ground, and dinner that night was perfect, if I say so myself.

Dad is now home and glad to be there. I helped Matt put in a second stair rail to aid Dad in getting up stairs - they're now on both sides of the stairwell, thus enabling safer climbing. It was a good weekend, and things are starting to feel somewhat normal again.

We're going to stay in Nashville this coming weekend - woo hoo! I'm bombed out. I need time to clean, relax and get a few things done. If I can squeeze in a haircut, it will be a miracle. A massage would be too much to ask, even though I have a gift cert that is begging to be used. I also desperately need a brow wax and pedicure - hey - looking natural as I do takes work, people. Lots and lots of work. And also very little. It's complicated.

Grooming aside, it'll be nice to have a weekend to fatten Lola up and play with her instead of Maggie the Pug. A sweet ball of fur, but I've missed my baby.

Lots of buzz on the SATC movie. I liked the series pretty well (though I stopped getting cable a few seasons in, so I've only seen some of it), but I have no intention to see the movie. Something about four skinny chicks hustling around NYC in their fancy shoes and designer bags. No thanks. Having been to NYC recently, I can tell you this. If I lived there I'd spend my money on theater tickets - Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway, n'importe quelle! To eat, I'd get ginormous slices of pizza, street hot dogs and black and white cookies. Screw Jimmy Choo or Christian Louboutin...give me a pair of Birkenstocks and an Orchestra Level ticket to the South Pacific revival (Danny Burstein, I love you!).

I don't know - I don't have any desire to see the new Indiana Jones, either. Going to movies is such a crapshoot - especially if, like me, you're a nut. I have to be there, in my seat and ready to go when the lights go down, and I resent anyone who feels differently.

I also have a problem with Mom and Dad bringing their toddler to a 9:30PM showing of a rated R film. If you can't find a sitter, get Netflix and wait six months. Come on!

That said, Matt's watching a recent arrival from Netflix - recent being a relative term. I have decided to give myself a pass on the last six weeks and assume we'll do better from now on. Grand Theft Auto 4 hasn't helped our viewing habits any, either. Matt "finished" the game - which is to say, the storyline. He's at 65% completion of the available stuff. That thing was addicitive - we both got our money's worth on it.

Bought some picks for the uke, and a pitch pipe to tune it. I now have to decide if I want to use GCEA tuning or ADF#B. The book I have uses the latter, but everything online supports the former. To say nothing of the fact that I've learned 5 chords tuned as is. Decisions, decisions!
We're planning a trip to Sam Ash this week, maybe that will give me some clarity.

That's all for now, I think.

ae