Thursday, March 31, 2011

Favorite Pants couldn't decide what to title this post.  It all started a few weeks ago.  I was hunting around on-line and found some pants, my all time FAVORITE pants, online at the site and they didn't have my size.  Drat.  So I went to ebay to see if anyone had any NWT.  They did.  I ordered a pair of Gap Hip Slung Flared Trousers in Denim (normal Gap price $54.50, bay price $26.00-Score! or so I thought).

When they arrived, they were perfect.  I heart this pant.  I had (at the time) 3 pairs in my closet that I had found on sale over the years and I only bring them out for church, going to fancy dinner, etc.

Then, I noticed that every single seller of Gap products NWT that I wanted to buy stuff from was in Cincinnati.  Strange.  So I Googled Gap Clearance Cincinnati and guess what?  THERE IS A FREAKING GAP CLEARANCE CENTER near Cincinnati, not an outlet, but a CLEARANCE CENTER.  I found this out last weekend while surfing the net.

All week I've been trying to decide if I should go to the mother ship.  Should I drive an hour...maybe an hour and a half to go shopping?  Are there really good deals there?  I should be saving my money.  Etc.  I flip flopped all week on if I should go.

Then, I realized that my new pants didn't fit.  They were a size 10 and guess what?  I've lost ten pounds and they are too big!  Woot!  But bummer, new pants don't fit.  I psyched myself up this morning and convinced myself that since I haven't really spent money all Spring Break week long and I needed new pants maybe I should go.  And I did.  With two kids and a purse full of candy for Bubba.

We got to the Gap Clearance Center and found out that they have Banana Republic, Athleta, Pimperlime shoes, Old Navy, and all the Gap brands at this place.  H..O..L..Y crap.  Two hours later Hannah, Bubba and I walked away with...

2 boys Gap summer shirts (Bubba)
1 women's Gap jean short (Hannah)
1 women's Gap sweatshirt (Hannah)
1 women's Old Navy Swimsuit (Hannah)
1 women's Banana Republic shirt (Me)
2 women's Gap tank tops (Me)
2 pairs of women's Gap shorts (Me)
2 pairs women's Hip Slung Flare pants! (Me)
4 pairs Banana Republic earrings (Hannah and Me)
1 matching Banana Republic necklace (Me)
1 pair of boxers
1 yo yo (Bubba)
1 sparkly giant bouncy ball (Bubba)
1 beach paddle ball set (Bubba)

All for the budget conscious grand total of $100.  Seriously.

Sure there were a ton of things in the store that needed to be washed, needed minor repairs or should have been trashed, but the majority of things were in great store worthy shape.  Sure it was so overwhelming that you started to hyperventilate when you walked in and saw the size and sheer possibility of it all, but it was pretty well organized and all the sizes and prices were well labeled.

If you go I recommend that you look everything over for defects or stains, and you try everything on since some of the things could be mis-sized.  It is amazing!  I bought a beautiful silk BR shirt (retail $69.50) there for $4.99.  My Hip Slung Trousers?  $6.99 each!  My trousers were Tall's, but I'll pay $6.99 each and hem my favorite pants!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Non Fiction

I've been on a non fiction kick lately.  I think it may have all started with Wade Rouse a few months ago, I'm not quite sure, but I've been reading non-fiction exclusively.  Currently I'm reading some David Sedaris, Benyamin Cohen and JUST finished the above book, Little Princes, by Conor Grennan.

I picked up Little Princes yesterday off the library hold shelf.  It had FINALLY come in after a month or so of waiting.  I gobbled this book up today (started it this morning and finished it before dinner).  It was a tear jerker and such a lovely story of a caring man doing some amazing work in Nepal.  Think Greg Mortinson, and Three Cups of Tea, except this book is far less documentary feeling.  I highly recommend it.

I do have some sewing projects to show, but we hosted a 10 year old boy sleep over last night and I'm a little exhausted.  The boys didn't go to sleep until 5 a.m.  So early to bed tonight, maybe a little vegging on the couch too!  It's 6 p.m our time, and David and Bubba asleep on the couch!

I also picked up the Wade Rouse book Atleast in the City Someone Would Hear Me Scream yesterday at the library...maybe I'll start that one tonight.

Monday, March 28, 2011

My Worst Nightmare

During the day I like to hit the CNN and ABC tabs on the toolbar on my computer.   It may be because they are there, or it may be because I don't want to be the moron at the water cooler or in the grocery line and hear that a tsunami has hit Japan.  I want to be able to have a conversation with my husband and hold my own.

Yesterday I noticed the headline "a poisonous cobra had escaped the Bronx Zoo."  Does this constitute headline news?  Only if you live in the state of NY.  I DO NOT want to hear this.  I DO NOT want to know that there are any snakes loose anywhere in these continental United States.  Can you tell that I am a little phobic?  Frankly if you gave me an all expense paid trip to the Bronx today I would not accept it until that snake is recaptured.  I realize that this may seem irrational, but I personally think that calling a snake a "pet" is irrational.  

A few weeks ago I came home from school on a Friday afternoon very proud of myself.  As we ate dinner I shared with my family that I had a child with a live snake as a show and tell.  I managed to A. stay in the room without tossing children out of the way as I climbed on top of the computer cabinets, B. make intelligible sentences while the parent was describing how she constantly looses the snake in her home, C. watch from a few feet away as this 5 year old takes THE SNAKE OUT OF THE flimsy plastic box, and D. managed to thank the parent for bringing in her albino whatsy-whosy. This particular snake owner actually let mice loose IN THEIR HOUSE at one point to entice the snake to come out of hiding.  Once the snake dropped down out of the doorway ON TOP OF HER HEAD after being missing for weeks.   In my mind this parent's IQ dropped 80 points in my mind the moment she shared these "anecdotes" with me.  


More Sewing

I sewed one of these cuties this morning...pattern courtesy of Dear Sukie (above photo courtesy of Dear Sukie).  Dear Sukie (see the etsy site) was on Martha Stewart and showed Martha how to make these super cute paper and vinyl wallets.  Find the pattern and directions here.

I won't show you my project because my bobbin thread got all wonky during the last top stitching.  Argh!  My sewing machines give me fits. I am raising a fist in protest.

Basically this is the scrapbook'er and sewers dream.  You sandwich scrapbook paper between clear vinyl and do some very easy sewing.  I am not really great with written direction reading sometimes, and there is one step in this process that I almost busted a neuron on (#7).  I think it all stems from my bad experience during SAT taking.  Anyway, my pattern changes would be these: pop your vinyl in the dryer for a few minutes before sandwiching and cutting because it makes it a tad easier to other tip? use a thinner vinyl than I had on hand.

My mind is spinning with the possibilities now!  Vinyl wallets...vinyl and it!

Saturday, March 26, 2011


In my nightly blog searching I came across this site that produces music lyric posters, and I'm in love.  I must have quite a typeface print obsession since I am drawn to this style after I recently bought my Seattle poster?!

You Can't Always Get What You a theme in our house.  Either David or I will start singing the lyrics to this Rolling Stone's song when something is being begged or whined for.  Maybe I'll buy this one?

Then again, the Beatles are always a classic.  Maybe it would be better if I instilled this into my kids heads.

I would love a row of these down the hall to my kids bedrooms.  Classic lyric posters.  

Then there is the other Art attraction of the week.  Samantha French, a painter that studied at the U of Minnesota.  Being a high school swimmer, and a beachy vacation lover I have a strong attraction to this painting...

Vacations, ahhh.  Wouldn't you be thinking about your last beach vacation each time you walked past this painting hanging on your wall?

The problem isn't that I don't know what I want.  Now where did I put that Mega Millions lottery ticket?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Pant Legs

I got this book the other day (as part of one of those cheesy craft book of the month clubs, don't worry, I ordered all my books, bought my one requirement, then proceeded to quit).  I like Amy Butler's fabrics, and made one of her skirt patterns *the Barcelona* last year, so I thought I'd try out her bag patterns.

I chose the "Tear Drop" bag and decided that I would keep true to my bargain with my sister and use up stuff I had before buying anymore fabric.  I decided to use up some of those pant legs from my post yesterday, and an old skirt of Hannah's, and try to make a purse/bag.  I cut it out today, and I'm pretty sure I have everything, including interfacing, except the magnetic snap.  Oh well, maybe I'll make it with a button or something.

Next week is Spring Break, and I'm off work the entire week (WOOT!) so I will be (hopefully) making purses.  Lots and lots of purses.  That is the plan.  I want to use up my fabric stash and try out some patterns, so they won't be super Amy Butler cute...more trial and error of ease of pattern making.  I'll show my results as they trickle in.  Maybe I'll reward myself with some super cute fabric to make one of the purses for realsies.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Incredible Hulk

The weather turned nice (65 degrees) and rainy, so shorts and capris are on Hannah's agenda.  Yesterday Hannah came downstairs in last years jean capri's and it was a bad episode of the Incredible Hulk.  She was POURED into those poor pants.  They could not have been comfortable.  We were going to have to cut them off.

You have to understand that we haven't bought clothes up until now, since my niece has always given Hannah her beautiful hand me downs.  Well, my niece is 18, a senior in high school, and at 5'3" a size 0.  Hannah has now surpassed her cousin.

I've been  keeping my eye open for spring sales, but with Hannah's crazy growth spurts I wanted to buy myself some time.  So today I went to the Goodwill.  I strolled the ladies jean and pant aisles and narrowed it down to 6 pairs of jeans and pants with labels like Gap, Aeropostale, American Eagle and Wet Seal in Hannah's sizes.  Tiny, skinny people (size 1 and 2) must not shop at Goodwill, that's all I've got to say.  There was a plethora of tiny name brand pants.  I went with the big name labels because they were there and the same price ($4) as the non-big names.

I brought the pants home, washed them, and had Hannah try them on.  She marked the length, varying each pair a little, and I cut them all off into shorts and capris.  Here are a few of the done pairs.

What do I do with all the unused pant legs?  A quilt maybe?  For $25.00 (with tax) Hannah has 6 new pairs of shorts!  Woot!  Does this mean that I can go spend some clothes money on myself?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Strange Job

It's Spring, so of coarse I am sick of my job.  Right before Spring Break each year I think I am thrown into a "this job sucks" mode.  So I start to daydream...what to do?  What to do?

What type of things do I like to do?  Hmmm.  I like eating.  There is always sleeping.  Hmmm, watching t.v.  I like to bake (not to clean up).  I like watching movies.  I like surfing the net.  What kind of job could I get with these mad skilz?  I like looking through other people's crap.  I like photography.  Is there such job as junk sorter?  Picture scanner' for people who need help with their stuff sorting, like after a family member passes away.  What would I call myself?  How could I market myself?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Nothing Like A Trip To The ER

We ended up in the ER at dinnertime on Friday night.  Nothing huge.  Have I told you that we L*O*V*E our ER?  Seriously.  We have been to the ER three times in the last 4 months (which is a record for us) and we can honestly say that it is the best ER ever.  We were in and out in an hour and a half!  All is perfect with us, but this ER visit became a catalyst for David and I to start some much needed conversations.

Spring is the time of year that I need to be giving my commitment to work and am always thinking about "Is this where I want to be AGAIN next year?"  Work and future have really been weighing on my mind heavily, and I think I may have made some baby steps in making career  decisions this weekend.

I also came to the conclusion that I made the right decision when I stayed home with my children.  Working in a school environment I have been exposed to many children from varied situations and I am very happy with the decision that I made to stay at home, and to work the hours I have worked for the last 7 years.  It is such a relief!  

The timing for going back to full time work is not perfect yet, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  The beginnings of a plan are forming in my mind.  Yeah!

Sorry for the silence this weekend, I needed some time to get back into the swing of things!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I May Need Professional Help

This afternoon, as I was driving away from work, I glanced up in the rear view mirror because one of my eyelashes was really bugging me.   I almost drove off the road because I suddenly realized that it was not in fact my eyelash that had been bothering me ALL DAY, but a giant rogue eyebrow hair.  A freakishly long, thick and gray eyebrow hair that stretched from my eyebrow all the way down to my eyelash.  Great.  Everyone has been staring at my eyebrow hair all day.  

For the next few minutes I tried to paste said eyebrow hair down to the rest in the rear view mirror with spit...didn't work, hand sanitizer...also didn't work...and finally, I'm brilliant!, chapstick, which did the trick.   I knew that if I took the pluck approach while driving, I'd be writing a $500 check for my deductible, so chapstick seemed like a better fix for the time being while I drove to the store.

When I got home I forgot about the eyebrow hair and took the dog for a leisurely walk, talked to a few neighbors (more staring), and cleaned a bathroom.  Suddenly, while cleaning the mirror above my sink I realized that I needed to take care of the situation and do a little trimming and cut the tarantula leg coming out of my forehead off.  

Picture this in slow motion...I know Bubba is about to be home at any moment...I reach for the scissors, think better of only a scissor approach and also grab a comb to do a little brow styling like I'm Vidal Sasson?  Anyway I grab a comb and a pair of scissors and comb my brow up, protecting it with the comb and close the scissors around the giant (yikes) clump of eyebrow hair.  The bus comes rumbling down the street and I move the scissors and comb away all at the same moment to reveal that I have just cut off my right eyebrow.  Off.  Stubble.

I tried to take a picture of my eyebrow to show you my faux pax, but was so shocked by the 'more salt than pepper' hairs on the top of my head that I couldn't focus on the eyebrows anymore.  All I have to say is why hasn't anyone told me that I have a GIANT eyebrow and grey hair! Clinton!  Stacey!  Pick me!   Maybe if I color my hair tonight it will distract everyone from my missing eyebrows.  Yes, brows, they had to be symmetrical silly.

Tonight is Hannah's band concert.  And yes, I went to the library to get my mandatory book on tape so I won't be a bad mother.  At least it is dark in that nasty auditorium.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cause Baby You're A Firework

I love afternoons with Bubba.  He gets off the bus, comes inside and we talk.  During the first ten minutes off the bus, I learn A TON about my son.  This is Bubba's time to admit his detention time, failed test scores, etc.  And these proclamations are usually out of the blue bombshells.  Slap you across the face shockers.

Today's gem? Bubba asked me if I knew that his school has an American Idol contest?  Because Bubba announced that he decided to give an impromptu performance of "Firework" by Katy Perry to the school.  A capella.  With dance sequence.  


At dinner I asked Bubba to share the news with David.  The look on David's face was priceless.  Price.  Less.  David turned to me and asked me if it was an "About A Boy" situation.  You know, where the boy sings "Killing Me Softly" (badly) A capella in front of the school.  While I'm laughing chinese chicken coleslaw out of my left nostril, David comments "You've got bigger cojones than me son."

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Stink Emanating

Yesterday I noticed a stink emanating from Bubba's room.  It wasn't horrible, I didn't think it was pre-pubescent boy, but it did cross my mind that Bubba may need to clean his room this week.  

This morning when I went in to wake Bubba, I noticed the stink again.  It was still hanging in the air, and as soon as I entered the room my first thought was that the dog had peed in his room or maybe even Bubba had some sort of accident in the middle of the night.  I told Bubba as soon as he got home we were going to have to start sorting through his crap to see where it was coming from.

After school we started in on the mess.  Everything came out of the dresser, underwent the smell test and was sorted/folded and put back in the right drawers.  All the books were collected and put back on the bookshelves, all the toys put in the crates, all the sudoko papers removed from between his bed frame and mattress and tossed, you know basic stuff.  Only one bag of paper trash was removed.  

Everything looked great, and I hoped the smell would disappear with a little time.

Tonight, after dinner David told Bubba they were going to clean his fish tank (they had set out the water yesterday in anticipation).  They went to wrangle the fish and, you see where this is going, one of them was dead.  Hmmm...that's what smelled.  The rotting fish in the tank.

This launched a whole discussion on when the fish died, Bubba claims it must have been seconds before our discovery, but we argue the funk and the decomposition present makes the TOD (time of death) a bit earlier.

Tank cleaned, fish disposed of...clean water...and guess what? No more stink!

Saturday, March 12, 2011


A few days ago I posted some ancestry pictures on Facebook for a cousin of mine.  Another cousin of mine saw my posting and commented on how much she missed my grandma and her cinnamon rolls.  

My grandma made everyone a pan of cinnamon rolls on at Christmas and Easter.  EVERY person/couple would get their OWN pan.  My brother's never had raisins, everyone else?  Raisins.  Grandma would wake up at 4 or 5 and start making pans and pans of rolls.  Then, she would be late.  My mom went crazy!  She didn't have to make all the rolls!  She was always an hour...or even two...late.   So my mom decided that she would tell my grandma the wrong time, an earlier time, because the food was always cold and the family was always waiting.  What did grandma do?  She showed up on time for the first time in her life.  Grandma found out the rouse and was hot! with my mom.

After sewing the class blanket (for my little friend that had surgery the other day) and running Bubba around to all his social engagements today, I made some of Grandma's cinnamon rolls.  Of coarse they weren't ready until 7 p.m., but boy, were they yummy.

Grandma Aileen’s Cinnamon Rolls

½ cup milk
½ cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
6 T butter
½ cup warm water (105-115’)
2 pkgs active dry yeast
2 eggs beaten
4 ½ cups sifted all purpose flour

Brown sugar, butter and raisins...

1.     In small sauce pan, heat milk just until bubbles form around edge of pan; remove from heat.  Add sugar, salt, and butter, stirring until butter is melted.  Let cool to lukewarm (a drop on wrist will not feel warm).
2.     If possible, check temperature of warm water with thermometer.  Sprinkle yeast over water in large bowl stirring until dissolved.  Stir in milk mixture.
3.     Add egg and 3 cups of flour; beat with wooden spoon until smooth.  Add rest of flour; beat until dough is smooth and leaves the sides of the bowl.
4.     Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface.  Knead until dough is satiny and elastic and blisters appear on surface.
5.     Place in lightly greased large bowl; turn to bring up greased side.  Cover with towel; let rise in warm place, free from drafts, until double in bulk – 1 to 1 ½ hours.
6.     Punch down with fits.  Turn onto lightly floured surface; knead 10-15 times.
7.     Shape and fill.  Roll out into rectangle.  Spread with butter, sugar, cinnamon and raisins.  Roll up and cut into 1 ½” slices.  Place in greased pan and let raise until double.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hip to Be Square

A few weeks ago I went into Eddie Bauer and bought a pair of skinny cargo pants similar to this picture, except skinnier.  I don't know why, but today I decided to wear the pants.  I had no major painting projects planned at school, no messy science experiments...seemed like a good day to try out the pants.

The majority of the pants in my closet (except jeans) are from EB.  I wear one or two particular styles (Vashon-old name replaced by Shaw).  They are my go to everyday pants.

I put on the pants today and immediately noticed a difference.  They were skinny.  They fit like I was a teenage boy, except that my underwear wasn't hanging out the top, and they were crotch-y.  You know that extra material at the crotch?  I was pulling at my pants ALL day.  Pulling UP the waist...pulling up the crotch...looking at my legs because the material touched was creepy.  People commented on my tick-ety-ness.  Why would I buy these pants?  To be hip?  Are they in fashion?  No. Shh...I'm cheap.  They were on sale the other day for $10.  Who can't use a pair of $10 pants?  They seem to be all the rage!  Skinny cargos?  Isn't that an oxi-moron?

Sweet Boy

We have a sweet boy in our school that has Down's Syndrome.  This week we found out that he went in to get his ears checked because he wasn't hearing right and they found a brain tumor.  Tomorrow is this sweet boy's I've been doing a little sewing for him.  He loves to take off his shoes because one of my co-workers teases him she is going to tickle his toes...

The book was made out of stuff I already had, except for the grommets and white shoe laces...

(I fuzzed out his name)...and no, I won't show you other pages because I'm not happy with them.  Sorry for the crappy pictures, that's what you get when you are shooting at 10 p.m. I guess.

Maybe now I'll be able to go back to exercising, etc after work now that this is done.
Be thinking of my little friend tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Night in The Life

Last night the kids were really getting in each others hair and pushing each others buttons.  So we sent them to bed at nine.

After the yelling (them) and shrieking (them) and floor pounding stopped they came back downstairs telling on each other.

Hannah:  Mooom...Sam rubbed my hairbrush in...his.....armpit!

Bubba:  Did not!

Me:  What do you want me to do about it?  Boil it?

Hannah:  Yes.  It was in...his...armpit!

Bubba laughs his evil laugh.

David: (oblivious) What's wrong?  A hairbrush?  Get over it.  He's your brother, it's his job.  

Hannah:  But he takes a shower once a week!  

David and Me: (no shame) True.

Hannah: Well, I shower a least every other day if not EVERY day.  (She dramatically turns on her heel and runs back upstairs and takes a 15 minute shower to prove a point.)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Church of the Broken Pew Followup

We've been going to the Church of the Broken Pew since mid January and haven't had any other property damage issues, that is until Sunday.

But first, we are really loving this church.  Gasp.  There, I said it again.  We are over six weeks in and are all still learning, enjoying the singing, really like the pastor.  It's a miracle.  The only negative, bedsides the property damage, is that it is one of the BIGGEST churches I've ever been to and we don't know anyone.  Okay, we know people, for some strange reason every teacher at Hannah's middle school attends there and most of my workmates go there, but it is SO big that we do not see anyone or talk to anyone.  We beeline in.  We beeline out.  The beeline in is due to our perpetual tardiness and the fact that we are all in a hurry to get in and sing, the beeline out is that big church=big parking lot=big mess.  We have it down to a system and are usually waving at all the suckers stuck in line.

Back to Sunday.  Bubba (how did you know?) was sitting between David and Hannah.  Since it was the first Sunday of the month we had communion.  Let me stop right here and say that I've never done communion this way.  What way is different?  Well, when you are in the mega church they stack the communion cups.  When the tray (only one) is passed you grab a cup and it is actually two cups stacked together.  The bottom cup has the wafer, and the top cup the grape juice. I guess they do this conserve on time.  Anyway, we all grab a cup and start our reflection when I feel a hand on me.  David is reaching over both of our children to grab my arm.  I open my eyes and look up thinking, how rude, to see David pantomiming the "give me a towel, kleenex or napkin" sign.  I grab a pack of tissue out of my purse and hand them over, still oblivious to the sitch, thinking David had to blow his nose.

Finally I focus on Bubba and see that he is sitting cross legged on the pew with the grape juice in on hand and the wafer cup in the other.  Strung out between his two hands, joining them is a million fishing line type threads of his neon green gum.  He is basically sitting cross legged in a spider web of neon green gum.  It is everywhere.  Tissues are being dispensed, hand sanitizer sprayer on surfaces hoping to remove gum, all about as quietly as a heard of elephants during this time of reflection.  It is a good thing the music started up to cover our din.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

And So On

Today the wife of one of my Mom's cousins (Sharon) contacted me out of the blue via e-mail to try and get contact information for my parents.  This doesn't sound too thrilling, I know.  When I responded to her to pass on the contact info I added in my bit about how I am a picture collecting junkie and I happened to have some pictures of our common ancestors that included her husband and his father...and so on.  To sweeten the pot, I sent her a taste of the ancestry pictures I had on my computer.

When Sharon responded she was thrilled!  She, too, is an ancestry fiend and LOVED the pictures I sent.  She had never seen them before.  So I sent more.  And I e-mailed her more info.  She responded.  She passed them on to more of my Mom's cousins, and so on, and so on.  

Then, she promised she would send ME ancestry pictures of my Grandfather and his parents so I could pass them on.  We chatted via e-mail and discussed family artifacts from when my great grandparents were missionaries in Alaska in the early 1900's.  Sharon seems to know where some more of those artifacts are, and she is willing to share them with me and my siblings if we are interested. Saaaweet.

I know this all sounds weird.  Trivial to some.  But I am honestly THRILLED and can't wait for this new information and new pictures to add to my collection.  Sure, I have genealogy and the info for generations, but the pictures and the artifacts are so exciting!

It is amazing to connect, or open a new connection for sharing ancestry.  Sharon e-mailed ME because I sent out e-mail invites to my Mom's cousins to invite them to a party we had for my parents last summer.  I can't remember the last time I saw this person!  I would say the earliest would have been 20 years ago, easy.  

Here is one of the pictures I sent today.  My grandfather is the skinny guy on the left :)  My Great Grandmother is the lovely woman surrounded by her handsome boys.  Isn't it wonderful?

Saturday, March 5, 2011


While David watched the Duke v. UNC game tonight I finished up my second Wade Rouse book.   Ehhhh.  Can't say that I enjoyed it.  The writing was just not as well done as his book It's All Relative.

I worked for a real jackass in my early twenties and maybe it was that I had a few flashbacks to that time in my life where I constantly questioned my quality of life based on my employer and how he treated me, when I was reading this book.

I do not recommend this book.  Sorry Wade.  Not your best work.

When Hearts Attack!

I am recovering from my heart attack nicely, thank you very little.  Not a real one mind you, but the "my Dad called me a freaked me out" kind.

Dad called me this afternoon and asked me for help with the computer.  Dad was trying to buy virus software and kept entering in his credit card information and hitting enter, but it wouldn't work.  Let me interject and say that my heart sank when this happened.  I love computers, and I love my Dad, but helping either parent with their computer over the phone ranks right up there with standing in the only open checkout line at Walmart behind the crazy lady buying 30 cans of cat food with her pockets full of pennies.  It has to be done, but it gives me a headache.  Usually a big one.

So the computer issue turned out to be a "System Tool" virus, and my advice suddenly included the words, stop...don't push anymore the credit card company and cancel your credit card.  

While my Mom called the credit card company on her cell phone my Dad stayed on the phone with me.  To make small talk I asked Dad about what they did last night.  He responded with, "It was okay, after your Mom had her stroke, we had to take the food home to eat it."  Uh...what???  After my small stroke, I started trying to pry information out of Dad.  What makes you think she had a stroke?  Was she unconscious?  Etc. Etc.  My Mom joins the conversation again and Dad whispers, "Don't tell Mom I told you, she'll kill me."  Mom tells us both that she and Dad need to call me back because they need to take care of the credit card.

Immediately I call my brother and sister.  Now all three of us are having heart attacks.  My sister and I are working on a plan of attack when Mom calls me back.  I cut my sister off and return to Mom so I can pry more information out of her.  45 minutes later, after I've solved another computer issue, I broach the subject of Mom and her Friday night.

Mom tells me that she had decided to take only one of her two heart pills for their last week in AZ, and she put herself into a a-fib situation last night.  She explained the whole thing and (I won't bore you) but she took another heart pill and it corrected itself.  She did NOT have a stroke or a heart attack (but I did) and she is going to call her cardiologist on Monday and see if he can help her over the phone since she is away from home for the next few months.

SEVEN phone calls later I am done with my long distance computer help, medical advice, informing my siblings of the incident AND the Nerd Herd has the computer and in one to two days (and $130) everything will be resolved.  I have only lost three hours and ten years of my life.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Should I Feel Bad?

My brother's favorite restaurant in Seattle (or the world) is Dick's Drive In.  I'm not sure if you have ever eaten there, but it your basic hamburgers only, better eat those fries in a hurry otherwise they'll congeal, drive in.

I remember the first time I went to the restaurant on 45th with Matt, he stood out in the parking lot and watched the activity at the counter.  I asked him why we didn't approach and order, and he told me to wait and watch.  Okay, Obi wan.   Matt, observing something I didn't see,  finally said okay and approached the counter and ordered.

After we placed our order and Matt and I were waiting for our food, he told me why we stood and waited.  Cashiers at the Dick's on 45th did NOT have cash registers.  It was part of their gimmick.  Matt stood and waited and watched to pick the dumbest looking cashier, then walked up and rattled off his standard order quickly.  The Dick's employee would calculate the cost of the meal in his or her head and give the total.  The total was different every time.

The reason for this story?  I, unintentionally, picked the dumbest cashier at the fabric store and scored the deals of the century.  Yesterday I walked into a major fabric store and picked out 6 or so things to purchase.   One of the items was a clearance fabric that had a large red sign over it stating that there was an additional 50% off the clearance price.  Score!

When I walked up to the counter to have my fabric measured and cut, I asked the person helping me out to confirm the price of the clearance fabric.  She, after explaining that she had just arrived and she hadn't seen the signs, she then asked a few people about the 50% off sign.  No one knew about the signs.

Anyway, to make a long story shorter, this person helping me at the counter decided that the only way I was going to get my 50% off that item was to ring me up herself.  She waited and saved the  clearance fabric for the last scan and entered in the 50% off.  Suddenly, my total went from $20 to $9 and change.

Shocked, I mentioned this to the clerk.  Three times.  I asked her if she had entered the information in correctly, and she blew me off (she was the one wearing the manager name tag, so I guess I shouldn't argue with her).  I remarked on how drastically the total had changed.   Finally, I paid the lady and walked out with my bag of goodies.  As I was driving home I took out the receipt and scanned it at a stop light.  It was crazy weird to decipher but it became pretty clear to me that she had entered the 50% off button and hit "all."

Am I feeling guilty? Obviously a little.  Did try and alert her to her mistake, yes, albeit unsuccessfully.  Should I feel bad?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Biggest Fan, Big Chicken

I am a big fan of Jen Lancaster.  I'm not sure if you've ever read any of her books, but each one I have read I usually end up in some sort of asthmatic laughing attack.  My family stares.  They ask what is so funny, but I cannot respond.  I need oxygen.  Jen is bitter.  She is snarky.  She is picky.  She NEVER writes about sex, but she is V*E*R*Y foul mouthed and not for the faint of heart.  I love reading her non-fiction, self indulgent, rantings.  I quote her at least once a week, and am excited that she is about to publish some fiction.  If you don't want to indulge in her books, you can always read her (non-foul mouthed) occasional blog about her dogs and life named Jennsylvania here.

A few weeks ago Jen (we are on a first name basis) wrote on her blog about what she was reading.  She mentioned that SHE had a snorting, laugh out loud fit about this book...

I figured heck, if she is laughing out loud at this Wade Rouse guy, I had better get my hands on this book.  So I did.  I got a used copy at my favoritist place on earth, Amazon, and started reading it the moment I received it in the mail.

And people, Jen did not steer me wrong.  I have to admit that this is the first book that I have EVER read where I was laughing so hard I had to stop and take a potty break (what can I say, I'm getting old) before I peed myself a little, but then during the next chapter I was sobbing so hard that I could not continue reading because I could not see through the tears, and  was so emotionally affected I had to stop.  Even now when I think about those chapters I start to tear up.  This book was amazing.  But...and you knew there had to be a but, Wade Rouse is gay, AND a democrat.  Not that there is anything wrong with his choices, (don't tell my family I'm a Democrat) but this book that I loved so much, I could not share with my sister, my husband (too broke-backy for his taste) or anyone without knowing them EXTREMELY well.  So I sent it to Jennifer.

In a nut shell, Jennifer was my BFMN (best friend when we lived in MN) and prevented me from killing both of my kids, or my husband, too many times to note.  I figured that Jennifer would love it (excellent taste in books, an ex-librarian, and political guru) and everyone loves getting crap in the mail.  And she did.  Laughed.  Cried.  Ex-cetera.  Ex-cetera.  Jennifer LOVED it.  No shock there.

I vehemently opposed to abridging books or banning books, but I almost want to cut out my favorite chapters and share them with my other favorite people because they affected me so deeply and I loved them so much.  Wade Rouse's backstory is so interesting and memoir is so amazing I want to share.  But will people be able to get past those interesting differences and read the story for what it is?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

More Gratuitous Pet Stuff

My girl decided to keep her sweater on all day, here she is showing a bit of cleavage.

EVERY night this is Chloe's M.O.  Tonight, I was standing at the stove cooking green beans and Chloe sidles up to me and stands on her hind legs.  She can stand that way forever.  When you tell her to knock it off she sits on her butt with her front legs still midair.  

David HATES this.  I ignore this.  Chloe is doing her best to trip me or impress me so she can get some food.  The moment David sees this, he sends her to her bed.


I know we are not yet celebrating April Fool's Day, but I love a good prank.  Pranks are on my mind, we are brainstorming at work right now because our boss is about to go on vacation next week and it is our job, our right, to prank the person who will "be in charge."    You know, just to keep things interesting.

Any suggestions?  Thoughts?  The prank concentration has been on wardrobe so far.  We have a dress code at work, and everyone is racking their brains on how to wardrobe prank appropriately.  

We had a friend here in Ohio that was the world's greatest prank-er.  Once, he saved cardboard boxes and created a cubical-sized gingerbread house, complete with window boxes and shingles, for another friend of ours.

Some of my work?  Light weight stuff like rubber-banding the sink sprayer in the kitchen, and switching the sugar and the salt in all the kitchen containers (my Dad was none too happy about that one, but then again I was 12).

Group pranks?  One of my favorites?  We used to have a small group in NC.  Our small group would meet once a week and eat and pray.  After years of meeting we whittled down to a core group of 6 including David and me.  We met every Thursday, and knew each other VERY well.  Jim and Sara, Robin and Keith, and David and me.  Robin and Keith (who were our age) got married.  At their wedding reception they had a photographer that took a picture of each family group in front of a backdrop.  Jim, Sara, David and I decided to mix things up and prank Robin and Keith. When the photographer approached our table Jim and I took Sam and went and stood in front of the backdrop and hammed it up for the camera, posing like we were married.  Next David and Sara took Hannah (Jim and Sara's kids are adults and live out of state) and did the same.  They glamor-shot posed it up for the camera...arms around each other, the whole shooting match.

A few weeks later Robin and Keith came to our house for small group and showed off their wedding album.  They thought it was hilarious that we had wife swapped!

Any thoughts for next week, or April 1st?  I need new material.