31 December 2009

Happy New Year!

A happy New Year! Grant that I
May bring no tear to any eye
When this New Year in time shall end
Let it be said I've played the friend,
Have lived and loved and labored here,
And made of it a happy year.
~Edgar Guest

30 December 2009

For the Love of God & All Things Holy - Updated

Why? Why? Why do I watch "Hoarders"?!?!?!

Doggone it. It triggers me so badly.

I Am So Not Kidding.

I am currently cleaning the refrigerator. Seriously. BEHOLD:

Cleaned inside & out, even on top. I would have pulled it out to vacuum but Kevin came home and put a stop to the madness. (:-D

Next Stop tomorrow: Monica's Closet.

I know I'm not at risk but I just can't help scrubbing something (watch out Missy Dog) after watching that show. AND I watched Two Episodes. *head slap*

I think I need "Intervention" for "Hoarders".

28 December 2009

I Am Grateful

I am grateful, as much as this post may sound like anti-grateful.

My BFF and I share what we call "Loot Lists" after each Christmas. This year was an interesting mix of thoughtful and WTF.

Kevin gave me a new stereo & speakers for my truck. I may have had a few blown speakers...okay, four. And the display didn't work on the stereo anymore so you needed to know Braile to operate it. So, well done Kevin.

Then in a strange random twist, he gave me Roxanne and Holiday Inn on DVD. Wrap your mind around that, it Is as random as it seems.

My m-i-l gave me a new comforter, in the wrong color. She told me she got it at JCPenney and I discovered today that it was actually Walmart. And slippers, which I returned. Now I have a $9.73 gift card for JCP.

My s-i-l gave me a set of cotton sheets in lime green. I will say that at least they were the right size. They're still going back. She also gave me a sweater, while the right size was so clingy that it would have been all boobs, all the time. Not cute boobs but Dolly Parton boobs. So, back it went. Bought a book & Dierks Bentley CD instead.

My niece wins the prize, hands down. A sweater. Anyone care to take a guess before I describe it?
Here's a clue: the tag read "Avenue".

It was a 20/22 W size. I'm 5' 3" and a size 13/14. While curvy, COME ON. Seriously? Four sizes too big!!! I bought underwear at Avenue because nothing else would fit me. And yes, the underwear is a bit big. I would have bought socks but there wasn't any that I liked.

My mom gave me folding lawn chairs & one of those recirculating, decorative water jugs things. Again with the randomness. The chairs were on Kevin's wishlist and the jug thing matches the old house.

My brothers did really well though: Lady GaGa CD, books, and one of those scent diffusers. My father figure also did very well: Sketchers & one of those decorative spinners to hang outside.

Oh, stocking stuffers, I nearly forgot. A bill organizer, a photo album for babies (wth?), one of those funky mitten/glove conversion things, another diffuser. I have a the CUTEST doggone picture of Kevin that I will scan & post when I return to work.

This year was just a strange mix of stuff I could use and stuff that I couldn't wait to take back. This is what happens, I guess, when we've all grown up and buy whatever we need, whenever we need it.

But I am grateful, just a little confused.

What strange & interesting things did you receive this year?

27 December 2009

The Benefits of OCD

I joke about having OCD but I do believe I'm on the spectrum somewhere. I can't rest if I know the dishes need to be done or the laundry switched. I hate leaving the house with the bed not, at least, straightened.

This is a good skill/habit/problem to have most days. When I had the plague last year, I didn't have to worry about the house as I lay sick for nearly two weeks. When the Dad Thing was happening, it didn't matter that I was gone more than home. The house remained neat, if not as clean as I'd like. For that, I am grateful for my quirk.

It's not completely my fault. My mom kept an extremely tidy house. Our rooms were expected to be clean and organized. I never knew differently. Also shaping me in an odd way, my middle school home-ec teacher (who hated me, btw) was huge on "cleaning as you go." I think this is why I enjoy doing dishes; I often volunteered to wash versus cook.

Lucky for me, Kevin is the same way. He cannot relax if things are in disarray.

The reason I thought of this post was we must have heard "It's around here somewhere" ten times during the holiday. Next door, as we've talked about, is a mess. Kitchen counters are not visible. The bathroom desperately needed cleaning. (I walked home finally, just to wash my hands for eff sake) The floor wasn't visible in the "den" and my sister-in-law's sewing room was firmly closed. I can't imagine what it looked like. I'm guessing like an episode of Hoarders.

I guess my point is I can't understand what people do with their time. I'm using my sister-in-law as a convenient example. There are three adults living in that house. Why the mess? Why the dirty dishes? there is a dishwasher. Why carry the clothes past the master bedroom & leave them on the dining room table? Why, oh why, do you not just take the doggone garbage out?

I asked my mother-in-law once if it bothered her that her son lived in filth. She answered "If you knew how S-i-L was raised, you would see an improvement." While sad, I still wonder how it happens. Since they've been married since she was about eighteen years old examples were all around her by my mother-in-law and even Kevin's ex-wife. And, AND, why doesn't my b-i-l get off his ass? He was not raised that way.

I can understand that each person has a different tolerance level of clean. Mine, while high, would not pass a white glove test. I have Monica's Closet, my refrigerator needs a good scrubbing and my carpets need cleaning. Next door, however, would be a candidate for a Extreme Home Makeover. You can't *see* the carpets.

I have triggers but in a good way. When Swistle was getting ready for her mother-in-laws visit, I did little projects in solidarity. When Bea wrote about the Holiday Reorganization, I found myself cleaning out under the bathroom sinks and the coat closet.

Monica's Closet is quietly mocking me right now, in fact.

26 December 2009

What defrock?

During lunch today, Kevin asked "So, when are you taking the tree down?"

This is a tradition in our marriage. Every year for nineteen years, I've heard that question on the 26th.

Above is a lovely arrangement that was on the coffee table. The little Santa is a candle that is probably as old as I am. I nipped him from my parents house years ago. The ornaments are from a Target Christmas Tree that was donated to the school years ago. They weigh about two pounds each so can't be hung on our tree but I love them so. The books are holiday books that I bring out for the season. I am halfway through the one on top and I've read all of them except Skipping Christmas. It is my annual Christmas FAIL.

Other than the tree, the house is officially defrocked. I'm doing some redecorating as I go as we were given four family pictures for Christmas. I was going to rearrange the pictures in the hallway (Hi Creative Kerfuffle!) but Kev likes them on the entertainment center. New plan = taking all the pictures off the entertainment center and replacing them one-by-one until I'm satisfied with the arrangement.

Also, I am adding dashes of red to the living room as I'm growing tired of the earth tones. I'm also hoping to paint over the next two months or so. I know, it's not the traditional interior painting season but one racing starts, it's game over for any other activities.

I'm not sure how long I'll keep the tree up. It's a matter of days, just be clear, not oh, February.
My mom used to keep the tree up until the New Year, stating that it was bad luck to take it down sooner. Lately, I've not kept up that tradition and found no change in our luck. (:-D

Meanwhile, I've got to tackle this now:

Pile of clothes on desk need to be exchanged. Pile on right of screen is wrapping from Hell. Decorations scattered about are waiting to be boxed up . Notice: no dog on the dog bed. She considers this Her Room & is irritated when I'm in there so she's outside with Kevin. I may plug the Santa light next to her bed just to remind her who makes the house payment. (no, not Santa)

When do you defrock the house? How long do you keep the tree?

25 December 2009

Merriest of Christmases

The Nicest Present
Under the tree the gifts enthrall,
But the nicest present of them all
Is filling our thoughts with those who care,
Wanting our Christmas joy to share.
To you, whom we're often thinking of,
We send our holiday joy and love.
By Joanna and Karl Fuchs

Merry Christmas from *Firegirl*

22 December 2009

Existential Crisis

Kevin came home from work the other day & mentioned that one of his crew said "Your wife doesn't look like a car girl."

At first, I was all joking. "What was missing? bar hair? missing teeth? spitting? cursing?"

Later I realized, OMG I am the Boss's Wife.

When did that happen? Who made that decision? I would like to talk to the management!

The day after my birthday I texted my lifelong BFF "We're officially in our forties now." There's no avoiding it.

Again, when did this happen?

Of course, the end of the year always brings reflection but those two instances felt like a bitch slap from the universe.

"I don't want to grow up, I'm a Toys-r-Us kid..."

21 December 2009

Weekend Update

So, it's Monday isn't it?

I'm on vacation *head toss* I'm on vacation *jazz hands* I'm on vacation *cha cha cha*

I know, you hate me. I'm okay with that.

Kevin worked hard on Saturday to make my birthday a good day. (sleeping in & all the implies...giant mocha... I did not much of anything all day.) We went to a Japanese restaurant, by Ourselves (I know!) that night and then went to the mall.

My usual birthday present from Kevin is a book gift card from B&N. This year has been so upside down that he hadn't gotten a chance to do anything. However, my s-i-l gave me a VISA gift card and in a wonderful twist in the universe: the mall book store is closing. Kevin lingered about while I chose THREE BOOKS. Emily Giffin & Nora Roberts.

Also, I am out of perfume. Perfume is also a usual Christmas present from Kev. In the past, he's actually said the words "I want something that smells like a stripper." In case you're wondering: Paris Hilton. NO WORD OF A LIE.

Anyway, we went to Macys. We went to the Calvin Klein counter and they didn't have the Escape perfume that is my absolute favorite. What is up with that? I am not a fan of Eternity but I like Obsession so all was not lost.

I also like Clinique's Happy so we headed over to the Clinique counter. Kevin swears that he doesn't remember me wearing Happy. (make your own joke here) So the salesgirl gave him a tester to smell.

He. Didn't. Like. It.

Dude, I've been wearing it the last six months or so. Seriously.

There was to be no negotiation. The salesgirl tried to explain to let it "mix" for a minute but there was nothing to be said. Kevin wanted to kind of sniff around, literally, in Macys but I stage-whispered "a million dollars if you're not careful..."

Off we go to the perfume shop on the other side of the mall. It's run by an East Indian man who remembers Kevin from the whole "Something that smells like a stripper" comment. He did have the Escape perfume so all is not lost. I smell great, if I do say so myself. I did make him smell the Happy scent on my wrist multiple times during the course of the evening. He pronounced it "not gross."

Kevin fell on the sword and offered to do some Christmas shopping while we were there but I was all "meh" about it so we got Orange Julius and went home instead.

While we were waiting for our Orange Julius, I noticed there was a Deadliest Catch book-signing happening. I mentioned it to Kevin, who asked the OJ cashier if there was someone we should know over there. In a funny way, he said "I don't care...I mean, I don't know." Kevin tipped him a dollar.

All in all, it was a good day. Lots of posts on facebook, lots of texts from friends. Swistle's fudge arrived in the mail. All in all, it didn't suck.

Thanks everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!

20 December 2009

Thou Shalt Not Skim Flavor from the Holidays

*Repost from previous Christmas holiday posts...totally worth the repeat...*


By Craig Wilson, USA TODAY

I hate this time of year. Not for its crass commercialism and forced
frivolity, but because it’s the season when the food police come out
with their wagging fingers and annual tips on how to get through the
holidays without gaining 10 pounds. You can’t pick up a magazine without
finding a list of holiday eating do’s and don’ts. Eliminate second
helpings, high-calorie sauces and cookies made with butter, they say.
Fill up on vegetable sticks, they say. Good grief. Is your favorite
childhood memory of Christmas a carrot stick? I didn’t think so. Isn’t mine,
either. A carrot was something you left for Rudolph. I have my own list
of tips for holiday eating. I assure you, if you follow them, you’ll
be fat and happy. So what if you don’t make it to New Year’s? Your pants
won’t fit anymore, anyway.

1. About those carrot sticks. Avoid them. Anyone who puts carrots on a
holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if
you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they’re serving
rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. Like fine single-malt
scotch, it’s rare. In fact, it’s even rarer than single-malt scotch. You
can’t find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares
that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It’s not as if you’re going to
turn into an egg- nogaholic or something. It’s a treat. Enjoy it. Have
one for me. Have two. It’s later than you think. It’s Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That’s the whole point of
gravy. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it
with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they’re made with skim milk or
whole milk. If it’s skim, pass. Why bother? It’s like buying a sports
car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control
your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat
other people’s food for free. Lots of it. Hello? Remember college?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New
Year’s. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do.
This is the time for long naps, which you’ll need after circling the
buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like
frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position
yourself near them and don’t budge. Have as many as you can before
becoming the center of attention. They’re like a beautiful pair of
shoes. You can’t leave them behind. You’re not going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or,
if you don’t like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always
have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it’s loaded with the
mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have
some standards, mate.

10. And one final tip: If you don’t feel terrible when you leave the
party or get up from the table, you haven’t been paying attention.

Reread tips. Start over. But hurry! January is just around the corner.

19 December 2009

Christmas Meme

Nipped from Swistle who nipped it from someone else...

Eggnog or hot chocolate?

Super love hot chocolate. Enjoy egg nog but alas, allergic.

Does Santa wrap the presents or leave them open under the tree?
Wrap. I'm a terrible wrapper but I persevere.

Colored lights on a tree or white?
Colored, I'm over the white lights.

Do you hang mistletoe?
No. I can't keep Kevin off me as it is. bwahahahahaaa.

When do you put your decorations up?
Usually after Thanksgiving. It's the nineteenth & I still don't have everything out.

What is your favorite holiday dish?
Fudge & sugar cookies

Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
My family opens on Christmas Eve, Kevin's family opens on Christmas morning.

How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
Pre-lit tree, red/green/gold beaded rope, gold bells, various snowflakes, candy canes, ribbons, stockings, and ornaments.

Snow: love it or hate it?
Love it. Absolutely love it.

Can you ice skate?
Surprisingly, yes. And I love it.

What is your favorite holiday dessert?

What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Shopping with Kevin.

Candy canes: yum or yuck?
Not my favorite. I do enjoy peppermint flavor in Starbucks hot chocolate.

Favorite Christmas show?
It's A Wonderful Life but I have quite a list of required viewings.

18 December 2009

The Ex-Wife Chronicles - continued

Kevin called me today. He's been in the middle of a huge construction project so I wasn't expecting to hear from him.

"So, I got a call today from a number I didn't recognize."

*insert ominous soundtrack music here*

It was the ex-wife. Yes, yes, it was. Merry Christmas, Kev.

The funny thing, among several funny things worth mentioning, is that one of his crew is a woman with the same name as his ex-wife. Kevin never calls her by her given name but calls her Rhonda. Rhonda says she knows she's doing something wrong if Kevin uses her given name instead of Rhonda.

So when the Ex-Wife said her name, he assumed that it was Rhonda and asked her what's wrong. Ex-wife clarified that it was his ex-wife and not a co-worker.

Kevin says "What do you need? I'm at work. I'm busy."

She wanted his mom's address so she could send her a Christmas card and, wait for it, pictures of Her KIDS.

Kevin said "My mom lives with us. Her address is My Address. Call my mom, you have her number, and get her PO BOX."

Well, she didn't want to cause any trouble or inconvenience.


Because...and pull up a chair because this is long:

a) you called him AT WORK
b) you called him from a different number
c) you have his mom's phone number
d) you know his mom lives with us
e) you do want to cause trouble & inconvenience because you keep effing calling.
f) she specifically mentioned topics that was posted on his Facebook..."I know you must be unhappy now that you've had snow..."

Finally, well after about a minute, Kevin said "I'm at work. Call my mom. Bye."

She called his mom. "Kevin said I could call..."

And she tried to get the physical address from her.

Then talked about my declining her friend request on FB. "I didn't mean anything by it. I don't want to cause trouble..." *bullsh*t cough*

God Bless Kevin's Mom. "I know *firegirl* said that. Nothing good would come of it and there's no reason to pursue it."

Ex-wife, wistfully: "They seem really happy..."

In an unusual moment of clarity, Kevin's mom came out with both guns blasting. "They ARE very happy. they've been together for nearly 20 years. They're best friends, they take very good care of each other. They are a very loving couple. She rubs his back until he goes to sleep every night and he brings her coffee."

All of sudden, surprisingly, Ex-Wife changed the subject. I'm not sure why.

We knew she couldn't stay quiet for long. Now, we wait for her card....

17 December 2009

What Would You Find?

With the recent mis-placed cell phone adventure, I had the funny realization of how a stranger might perceive me by what's on my cell phone.

For example, texts.

Kevin "Lucky I got laid last night if you're gonna be late."

Or pictures:

Picture of Kevin holding a Frosty from Wendys entitled "Frosty, bitch"

Or voice mails that say:

"I am in the store and they're playing Dean Martin singing "Baby, It's Cold Outside" and I'm pretty sure that "Effing" isn't being sung. Hmm, guess you're wrong, beyotch."
((One of my FB posts was "Sing with me: Baby, it's effing Cold Outside." Apparently it's offensive to some delicate sensibilities. (I'm so getting another voicemail in ten, nine, eight...))

Contacts that sound like CIA code names: Mark Bog, SPA, Brother Dear, Ha, four different versions of "Mom & Dad", three different hotels & airlines. And I have too many Pizza numbers in my phone for someone who doesn't live within pizza delivery boundaries.

If a stranger were to find your cell phone, what might they find?

16 December 2009

A Very Merry Unbirthday

So, hmm. This is going to be a whiny post and then I'll be done.

I'm changing my birthdate. The actual date is right before Christmas. I'm going to go all Alice in Wonderland and move it to June.

Usually, my birthday is not a hassle. It didn't get blended into Christmas or forgotten. Until the last few years, due to my dad's illness, when I chose to skip my birthday. It wasn't all altruistic because it, frankly, was easier just to skip the day than to deal with it.

This year, however, I was actually looking forward to it, a little bit. Everything has returned to normal...as normal as it ever gets...until.

I asked my mom if she had an opinion about my birthday. (my house or skip it until Christmas or whatever) I was expecting a "Let's do it at your house, like we used to." Especially since she's been so hellbent on things being normal.

Instead, it was all "meh".


My birthday is the only time that my family comes to my house. They haven't been to the house in three years. The last time they were here, the landscaping wasn't done and while we were moved in, we weren't settled in. I was, for once, looking forward to having the fam here. But no. I didn't even have the energy to pursue it. I was expecting excitement so to hear meh was a leg-sweep.

To boot, my BFF's (plural & possessive) anniversary is the day after my birthday. They're going away for the weekend (rightfully so, don't get me wrong. I'm not *that selfish*) so that sucks too because they couldn't be here with the fam.

((Oh, and HAPPY ANNIVERSARY D & W!!!!!!!!!!!! I love you guys!!))

It's no good to bump the "party" to next weekend because it's not my birthday but Jesus's birthday (meant sardonically) and not the weekend after That because it's the New Year's birthday. Also, that weekend is my nephew's Quarter of a Century birthday.

All is not lost. Our friend Dale is coming down from Dawson Creek BC to pick up his racecar on Sunday so that will be fun. Kevin has promised that I can have a family-free dinner date with him on Saturday so that's good too. To ensure that the weekend won't be a total bust: I am sitting On My Ass On The Couch as much as I Damn Well Please. The sky is raining unicorns? don't care. The dog is on fire? not getting up. It's my birthday.

So, new plan. June 19th is going to be my Very Merry Unbirthday.

15 December 2009

A Thousand Little Kisses

But let's just concentrate on a few...

In the season of mistletoe, let's remember the Top 3 Most Memorable Kisses you've received.
They can be romantic, they can be from your child or grandparent, they can be PG or R Rated.

Mine, in no particular order, are:

1) One of those First Kisses that tasted like Cherry Coke & cigarettes, in a gas station, in Seattle, at 1:00 in the morning, through an open car window.

2) Wedding Kiss...Kevin & I were actually heckled because the kiss lasted so long. (:-D

3) A complete stranger in a bar. It had been a bad night, I was leaving early & he just grabbed me. A very thorough, lovely kiss. I have no idea who he was, except tall, blond, and strong.

Your turn! Comment or post a link to your blog!

14 December 2009

The Majestic

I've mentioned how much I hate going to the movies, haven't I? Well, I do. Hate it. I can't remember the last time I went to a movie theater. Hate. It.

Because manners have become a thing of the past, it is difficult to just relax & lose yourself in a movie. Someone forgot to turn off their phone, someone is taking fifteen minutes to open that candy wrapper, or stuffing fistfuls of popcorn in their mouths as if they were part of an eating contest.

No, no, no. The ADD doesn't not enjoy going to the movies. The ADD needs meds in order to go to the movies, thus negating any pleasure.

Until, until! I am flipping through Seattle Metropolitan Magazine "75 Years of Seattle Movies" and notice a small advertisement.

What's this? OMG you guys, it's Heaven. Heaven right here on earth.

Gold Class Cinemas
...recliner chairs, waiters, adult beverages, meals, no more than 24 people.


Tickets are only $27. I find that surprisingly affordable. Stay with me & do the math: What is it to get into a movie now? $9? Plus $10 for snacks & soda, At Least. For a mere $8 more: luxury. WAITERS. Adult Beverages!!!

I am SO adding this on my list of things to do.

(the title is one of my favoritest movies. Ever.)

13 December 2009

18 Terrifying Hours, or was it?

I left my cell phone in a co-workers car on Friday evening. Ugh.

I had to drive home without it. OMG, what if something went wrong? Because we all know, things tend to go wrong with me.

Of course I was running late and needed to let Kevin know I was on my way. FAIL.

And I realized that I have very few numbers written in my address book anymore. There is a task for my vacation.

Luckily, the past year has already created a drill if something goes wrong on my side of the family. So I could check that off my list of worries.

Texting! What if something important happened? I won't get FB updates!

Pictures! My camera battery is dead. What happens if some once in a lifetime photo opportunity arose?

Luckily, seven of those hours were spent sleeping. Even I can get by while I'm sleeping.

Oh, it was a little Karma for me because I tease Kevin about his "nee-nee", referring to his obsessive need for his cell, like a pacifier.

I even had Kev's NEXTEL work phone in case of emergency but it just wasn't the same.

All in all, it was kind of peaceful being unplugged for awhile. Not that I ever want to do that again.

12 December 2009

Farm Boy

When I met Kevin, he was just starting a job as a refrigeration mechanic on semi-truck trailers. It was a really good job that he liked but didn't love. He used to say "It's okay for now."

He worked as a mechanic for about seven years when he'd finally had enough. He had an hour long commute, his boss was a Scrooge McDuck type ass, and government regulations on his job was making it too difficult to keep up. (written testing every six months!) He began looking for a change.

He could go independent but then not have a 40 hour work week. He had an offer to partner with someone but the commute was longer, the money better, but the hours worse.

He was offered a job in Alaska, in which he would have made BANK, but would have been gone six months out of the year. Oh, and he would have been in Alaska. We discussed it because it would be a great opportunity. Even if he would have taken it for two years, it would have advanced us financially in such a big way. But it was just too much, too much change, too far of a distance.

Finally, he landed a job working with his dad. His dad was working for a small gravel pit as a dump truck driver and put in a good word for Kevin.

Kevin knew how to drive truck, being the son of a long haul driver, but not dump truck. He knew how to operate a tractor after years of working on a dairy farm, but not run equipment. It was a big gamble for Kevin and for the company that hired him.

Now, twelve years later and he's the Pit Boss of a multi-million dollar excavating company. The gamble paid off! He grew as the company grew. He's number three in the company now, after the Owner & the Owner's Son.

Watching him at his company's Christmas party on Friday was amazing; watching him interact with everyone and seeing how much they like him, and he likes them. (or fake it if he doesn't)

From a farm boy to a Pit Boss. I'm so proud of him I could burst.

11 December 2009

I Am Not

...looking at you and I Am Not in the Kitchen.

09 December 2009


The tree is up. A few decorations are out. I have all the supplies for the cards. Progress is being made, albeit slowly.

Usually, I have all of the above done-ish by now. This year, as mentioned in earlier posts, I'm not feeling it.

I don't know if it is Dad's passing, the relief of "normal" finally returning, or just the culture shock of being in Las Vegas for one week then returning to full-blown Christmastime. Or, I tell myself, a combination of all of the above.

This weekend is our first holiday party. Kevin will be gone on Saturday and I will tackle the cards while sitting on the couch watching Christmas movies on the television. I am going to be in a Christmas mood, dammit.

08 December 2009

In Memory of the Lakewood Officers

Yota Club

The other day I was getting out of the truck at the grocery store. Another truck, just like mine, parked a few spaces away. Getting out was a gentleman & his wife, probably in their sixties. The gentleman nodded at me and smiled.

The thing about Toyota truck people is that we're all in this little club. We acknowledge each other. I've had more conversations with strangers about my truck than nearly anything else.

He bought his brand new and it had 252,000 miles on it. Mine was nearly new when we bought it & it has 321,000 miles on it. AND has been on it's roof. We both agreed that there's no better truck out there. His was a complete grandpa truck with all the extra lights, brush guard, and steps. Mine has 32" tires and mudspray down the side.

I also got to refer the guys that fixed up the truck when it toppled over. Hooray!

The cool thing about Toyota trucks is they run forever, rarely break down & are just fun to drive. I've owned two and I don't think I'll ever drive any other truck. The insurance company agreed to fix it, even though it was a total because it was such a good truck.

Shiny side down

Shiny side up

And, did you know that Kevin & I are in the same exclusive branch of the Yota Club? We've both flopped over white Toyotas! I know! what are the odds? Although his was a much cooler/scarier rollover. (he was four-wheeling, about nine months before we started dating)

07 December 2009

Breaking Up with Ellen

I really enjoy Ellen Degeneres and her stand-up routines. For a long time, I really liked her television show as well.

With the DVR, I have noticed that I am fast-forwarding through more & more of the show. For instance, it is a full two minutes from the intro to the show before she actually begins her monologue. 1.5 minutes is nothing but applause. While it's lovely that she's so appreciated but for us sitting at home: Edit it out. It's a little thing but sitting through applause - in a not live show - is annoying.

Also a little thing but disappointing is she used to dance to James Brown, disco, etc. Now she does current music which not only feels like selling out, I just can't imagine my mom or m-i-l enjoying it. (let alone me)

I have a pet peeve about give-aways on shows like hers. Let me be clear: It Is Only Fun for the Audience. For us sitting at home with bills, kids, and just living our lives: it isn't that fun. Kind of like Oprah's My Favorite Things: "Here is a bunch of stuff you can't afford but is really cool!!!!"

It used to be she had good interviews but it seems that she's hurrying through the interviews to play games, give stuff away, and scare people.

I think the final blow, for me, was becoming an American Idol judge. I'm so not excited about it. It feels like a Jump the Shark move.

The show just not the same anymore. It's not much like the show she started. I think I'll just start recording it if it's a guest I enjoy.

Do you watch Ellen? What do you think of give-aways on shows like hers? What talk shows do you watch?

06 December 2009

You Gotta Have Faith

People who know me know that I am a Christian. Not a super-duper Christian, just a person of faith. I curse, I break commandments, I don't attend services like I should but I conduct my life as well I can.

Kevin is an agnostic mostly. He's not sure exactly where he stands on whole thing. He believes there is a higher power and he believes in evolution. He doesn't believe that they are mutually exclusive. Nor do I.

Right now, there is big, dark, line dividing two kinds of people: Non believers and Believers. Think when the Brady Kids argued over which side of the room was theirs.

I'm tired of the Believers judging & sending everyone who doesn't directly to hell. I'm equally tired of Non-Believers being so scoffingly condescending. (Bill Maher, I'm looking at you)

Scientists were rated as great heretics by the church, but they were truly religious men because of their faith in the orderliness of the universe.
~ Albert Einstein

I don't like the word "spirituality" because it's just too New Age, Oprah-esque to me. Although I used it above, I don't like the use of the word "believer" also. It's too black & white for a very gray subject. Religion equals division, war, and judgment. Even God is tricky as each culture, religion, person has their own version of God or Gods.

Everyone has some sort of higher power that they hold onto . Everyone calls it a different name. Everyone holds that higher power within themselves. Sometimes, it is just the simple power of themselves.

How about just faith?

Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.
It is not enough that a thing be possible for it to be believed.

Without simple faith, why does anyone bother getting up in the morning? Or taking that chemo treatment? Or lending a hand to a stranger?
Or finishing that last chapter of the book?

A garden is evidence of faith. It links us with all the misty figures of the past who also planted and were nourished by the fruits of their planting. ~ Gladys Taber

To sit patiently with a yearning that has not yet been fulfilled, and to trust that, that fulfillment will come, is quite possibly one of the most powerful "magic skills" that human beings are capable of. It has been noted by almost every ancient wisdom tradition. ~ Elizabeth Gilbert

Perhaps faith is what everyone might/will/should/could/would believe in: just simple faith.

05 December 2009

Dear Miss Manners

So, we all know that my dad passed. However, there are still a few friends out there that doesn't. The kind of people that you run into at the grocery store or email you randomly.

I just spoke with someone I talk to yearly-ish, around my birthday. "How is everything going?" he asks. Umm, well. "Great!" Usually he asks and I quote: "How're the folks?" Luckily (?) he didn't get a chance to ask this time. Whew

How in the world do I announce it? Nothing is a conversation stopper/mood alterer like the announcement of someones death. Also, upon such an announcement, it is not unusual to hear "Oh, I'm so sorry. You should have called!" Yeah, that's not awkward at all.

So, let's practice:

"How're your folks?" "Dead. Well, one of them."
"How're your folks?" "Singular. One died."
"How're your folks?" "Mom's good. Dad not so much."

Suggestions, anyone? Because clearly I need them.

04 December 2009

Burden or Addiction

While we were on vacation, I paused all of the games I play on FB. After we returned, I left them sit for awhile longer for fear of being sucked back into farming, fishing, and the like. It's not like I'm getting up in the middle of the night to harvest squash or anything. There was some time consumption going on though.

What started as an innocent game has turned into five farms (including Kevin's) and one fish tank. I know, I know, don't judge!

Farmville, FarmTown, and MyFarm. It all started with MyFarm, which I am partial too, it's just so simple. But then there's FarmTown, it has flowers that need tending! Then now arrives FarmVille with it's animals that need tending. OMG.

I quietly started these games with no intention of interacting or competing or anything. The wonder of Facebook, however, is that there are no secrets. Soon, I'm getting gifts and requests for help. This is much more of a commitment than I wanted! Be My Neighbor! Fertilize My Crops! I just sent you a gift!

Not to be ungrateful, but some of the gifts that are sent. Ugh. A blue flag. A fence panel. Items that have nothing to do with anything. I just want to post back "Have you even LOOKED at my farm?"

But then I'm the one that sent banana trees with the verse from the Gwen Stefani "Hollaback Girl" lyrics. ("this sh*t is bananas...b.a.n.a.n.a.s")

Then there's farm envy. Some of my friends farms are so cool. Beautiful rivers, gardens, themes. I've discovered that I am very utilitarian. Just the crops, ma'am. Nothing that is superfluous.

The newest game is FishWorld. I started it because I can use it as a screensaver, sorta. So far, so good with this game I've gone undetected. With one exception. A "friend" from high school keeps stealing fish. Irritating.

Most of my friends play Mafia Wars and I'm sorry, it's too difficult to figure out. And just boring to me. I haven't tried Bejeweled Blitz, on purpose. I tried Scramble and got bored. I tried Farkle and will return to that when I'm bored. You see the theme, right?

But the farms, oh the farms. I'm in serious like with my farms.

What games do you play on Facebook? Want to be friends? (kidding!...or am I?)

News from the Internets

There is just so much going on in the news right now. Holy Headlines Batman. And much of it is happening in my little corner of the universe.

Lakewood Police Officers
- Can't believe we've lost five police officers in a month. Unbelievably atrocious.

Shooting in Alger - for longtime readers, you'll know what I'm talking about: Isaac Zamora was sentenced to life in mental hospital and/or prison. He will never be free again.

Amanda Knox Trial - is anyone else following this one? I think she is guilty. One very specific reason is if she wasn't, it would be regularly in the national headline news & a diplomatic relations issue. Instead, it's regional news. Also, the cartwheels in the hallway of the police station & the flirting with court photographers. Call me silly but that seems a little inappropriate when you're being charged with murder. Newsweek just posted an article as well.

30,000 More Troops - I was disappointed with the decision until I read this and this (neither of which are from left-wing perspectives) and watched this.

Tiger Woods - Dude, just have a press conference already. Rip off the band-aid (literally). You effed up. And if she stays married to him, then she's just as bad as he is and they deserve each other.

Adam Lambert - Way to stand your ground! Don't apologize for who you are! People need to get over themselves (ahem *ABC* cough)

03 December 2009

Please Resist this Face

She is an addict. And like all addicts, she will do or say anything she needs to do in order to get food. She'll beg, she'll steal, she'll lie.

She knows how to work her marks. She is a trained professional. You are not her first victim.

(this is what she does to the barista's at the mocha stand to get treats)

She will do whatever she needs to do. She'll stalk you, waiting outside your house...

Or she'll bring friends to intimidate you...

Or get her other friends to get treats for her. She has a deal with the in-laws doggy. When Missy shows up at their door, Sassy whines & barks until she gets a treat for Missy & herself. Like any good minion, Sassy waits until the boss eats before having her treat.

So please resist this face. It will come to no good.

Google Search Games

Today on Twitter, John Mayer posted "Do a google search of the words "Why Won't"...

So I did.

And so will you....

And just in case it changes: it's the parakeet one.

While we're playing little time-wasting games...

An email pass-along/Facebook game I received went like this:

Google your name, first & last name.

Make a list of 1 through 10

Add "Needs" to the beginning of each sentence.

My results were:

1. Needs a lobotomy

2. Needs Help

3. Needs some Gin

4. Needs a rest

5. Needs a website

6. Needs LinkedIn

7. Needs a new job

8. Needs tech advice

9. Needs a new helmet

10. Needs a man for no strings fun.

It turns out to be a strange little horoscope kind of game, doesn't it?

02 December 2009

Seasons Greetings

Usually I spend the day after Thanksgiving firmly esconced at home. I am Not A Shopper. I use the day to dig out the decorations, plan a shopping list, and consider Christmas cards.

This year, I'm just not in the mood. We just returned from vacation, dove into Thanksgiving, and I just want to chill for the next few days. Just give me a minute to realize what the date is, where I am, and what I'm doing. I haven't even put away my Halloween decorations yet. (they're in the office, not still on display. I must clarify.)

Every year I am determined not to get caught off guard with Christmas cards. Every year it is a FAIL. It's not like I'm not organized. I have my happy basket that holds the cards, envelopes, pens, and labels. I even have a handful of stamps this year. I also save a list on the computer of people to send cards. Each year there are a few subtractions and thankfully, not many additions. Each year there is the consideration of "Do I send one to the cousins we haven't heard from in ages?" or Kevin's boss from twenty years ago whom I couldn't pick out of a line-up. Yes is usually the answer...nothing says Christmas like a little guilt.

I am determined to do cards each year though. I am disappointed when I don't receive cards from friends & family.

I've bought the stamps, I have the cards. I just need the ambition. Or a snow day. Snow days are perfect for doing Christmas cards.

01 December 2009

Viva Las Vegas

The trip overall was a success. Traveling with the Fam is always a challenge and this trip was no exception. We're all still speaking at this point so: success.

My favorite part?

The New York New York Roller Coaster for sure.

Sitting in the sun, in the rental van, with SIRIUS playing and reading books. It's my version of sitting poolside.

Watching one of our friends WIN. (I can't link the video...darnit)

Being joined at the hip with Kevin for six days.

On the flight down, they bumped a soldier to first class and on the flight home announced the presence of soldiers so we could applaud.

Starbucks being located at the elevators.

My least favorite part?

My brother-in-laws distrust of directions & street signs, and tentative driving. When I'd rather have Kevin drive with one margarita under his belt than the b-i-l drive sober: it's bad.

Dry skin & a bloody nose. Because that's HOT.

The prick waiter at Fellinis in the hotel. A group of 8 people and he REFUSED to separate the check. It came down to the assistant manager working it out with another waiter & two calculators. I called the restaurant manager after we got home to make sure they served his head with a lovely marinara sauce on a platter to the guests.

Other than that, we had fun!

Hey didya know

that writing posts ahead of time is only helpful if you schedule them to post?

Ummm, yeah.

So don't think WTF, there's suddenly a flurry of posts...it's just me being me.