29 December, 2009

Someone has a Hitchcock thing...

So I've noticed that when I drive by the "seedy" section of town in the evenings, there's one particular spot along the road where the birds gather. And I don't just mean a few birds, or a flock. I mean all the flocks in the area seem to congregate right by the Adult Bookstore (that's actually the name of the store...original, huh?). We're talking about THOUSANDS of birds, cawing and flapping their wings, and hovering over the creepy, super-shady looking Adult Bookstore. It's like a scene straight out of The Birds.

Which got me to thinking. Do you suppose this is some sort of crazy plot by the anti-porn league? They take turns coming by the store every day to toss birdseed into the trees, and all over the parking lot? Maybe someone's a Hitchcock fan (or found out the the Adult Bookstore owner had a traumatic experience with The Birds as a child?) and they're trying to bring down the Fort Lauderdale smut industry with birdseed alone?

Did I mention I've had a very odd day, and that I don't really know what I'm saying right now? In retrospect, perhaps this wasn't the day to write a blog entry....

20 December, 2009

Sorry I've been MIA...

A informs me that I've been MIA from my blogging friends for too long. She's probably right. I just haven't really known what to post. My cousin's death hit me harder than I thought it would. Everyone seems to think I should be over it already, and whether they're right or wrong, I'm not. And I'm so tired of people telling me to keep my chin up and cheer up. If I don't want to be cheery, that's my prerogative, isn't it? And since when is anyone else allowed to tell me how to mourn? Mourning is a personal thing, and everyone deals with it differently. And I refuse to kowtow to people who don't know me that well, and haven't been through anything like this themselves. I'll get through this the best way I know how, thank you very much. I'm not about to let anyone else dictate my emotions for me.

And because of that, I've gotten pretty good at faking being happy. Fake it 'til you make it, right? I can fake it at work, and I've mastered faking it for the family. There are a few people who know me well enough to see through that though. Even though they're not here, just by talking to me on the phone, they can tell that I'm not okay. I'm trying though. I'm working on it.

And in that spirit....snarkiness! I was treating myself to a pedicure today (a peppermint mocha pedicure, complete with a Starbucks Peppermint Mocha!), and getting my toes painted BRIGHT red (Comet Loves Cupid Red) for Christmas. The woman who I ordinarily get my pedicures from was on vacation, so I got someone new, and I swear by the Powers That Be, I will never go to her ever again. It was the single most uncomfortable experience I've ever had in a spa...and not because the pedicure was bad, or painful. Because the entire time this woman (50yrs old she was made sure to tell me) was regaling me with stories of her new boyfriend. Her new, younger boyfriend. Who's apparently a tiger in the sack (her words, not mine). I was fighting not to cringe the whole time. And I kept changing the subject every time she brought it back around to her bedroom activities, but dear sweet mother of God, who thinks that's appropriate? I've never even met this woman before, and she's going into this kind of explicit detail? Shudder...never again.

Okay, I think that's enough for my first blog entry back...I've gotta go straighten up the house now...my parents arrive this week, which means the cleaning service arrives this week. It's my way of saying "Merry-Stress-Free Christmas to me!!"

Hope everyone's last-minute Christmas prep is going well!

30 November, 2009

I'm confused....

I'm officially confused. And disconcerted. While I was home for Thanksgiving, I spent a lot of time with my cousins. The 15 year old was practicing Christmas carols for the upcoming Christmas Concert at her school. The one song she couldn't get out of her head was "Carol of the Bells." All weekend long she was wandering around the house, singing "Carol of the Bells" under her breath. It was on the 4th of 5th time she sang it that we caught on to the lyrics she was singing. I'll let you read for yourself, to see if you catch it....

=================

Hark how the bells,
sweet silver bells,
all seem to say,
throw cares away

Christmas is here,
bringing good cheer,
to young and old,
meek and the bold.

Ding dong ding dong
that is their song
with joyful ring
all caroling.

One seems to hear
words of good cheer
from everywhere
filling the air.

Oh how they pound,
raising the sound,
o'er hill and dale,
telling their tale.

Gaily they ring,
white people sing,
songs of good cheer,
Christmas is here.


Merry, Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas,
Merry, Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas.

On on they send,
on without end,
their joyful tone
to every home.

Ding dong ding... dong!

=================

Okay, so it's in bold, I didn't exactly make you work for it.

Yes, WHITE PEOPLE SING SONGS OF GOOD CHEER.

We told her she couldn't possibly have gotten that right. She must have misread it. And it's easy enough to mishear song lyrics, as we've all done at one time or another. But she insisted she had it right. Even went so far as to break out the sheet music that her choir director had given all the kids. And there it was, printed out right in front of us.

Gaily they ring, white people sing songs of good cheer, Christmas is here.

Okay, Carol of the Bells was written back in the day, and people were considerably less politically correct then, but still, seriously? Every artist to have performed or recorded this song in recent memory has changed the words to: "Gaily they ring while people sing songs of good cheer, Christmas is here." Are you really telling me that a high school with a fairly diverse student body isn't willing to do the same?

Her mother was going to call the choir director today to find out what's up with that. I can't wait to hear for this one....

26 November, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

This year, more than ever before, I'm so incredibly grateful for the amazing people in my life. Friends near and far, old and new, who have been unbelievably supportive of me and my family during this unbelievably difficult time. Family, who have stepped up and shown the depth of their love, and the incredible well of courage they have within them. I couldn't possibly love any of you more.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.

21 November, 2009

On Edge? Me? Why on earth would you ask that? (Or: How I Told AT&T to go Screw Themselves)

I'm a mess.

I completely lost it on the phone with AT&T today. Granted, it was the 4th time they'd called TODAY ALONE (I know I'm sometimes prone to exaggeration, but this count is legit.), despite my telling them I was dealing with a family tragedy, and asking them EVERY TIME to call back in a few weeks. I know, I know, "C, why don't you just not answer the phone?" Well because my aunts, uncles, cousins, parents and grandparents insist on calling that number, and I don't have caller ID.

So finally I completely lost it with the 4th phone call (made worse by the fact that it was clearly the exact same woman who'd called me not two hours earlier), and asked to speak to her manager. Through hysterical tears, I told him that if even one more of his people called me, I would immediately cancel my AT&T service, telephone and internet be damned, and he and all his little minions could go and do something inappropriate to themselves.

He tried to tell me he would take me off the list, but that the list wouldn't go into effect for 30 days. I told him that he'd better find a way to make it effective now, otherwise when I canceled my service, I'd be giving them his name and employee ID number, as well as writing letters to every single AT&T President, Vice-President and Chief-Whatever-Officer that I could find names and addresses for, and telling them that he's the reason they've lost a long-time customer.

On edge? Me? Noooooo......

20 November, 2009

Me and Jimmy



Well, what has easily been the hardest day of my life thus far is over. All that's left to do is get through the next one, and the one after that.

I'll miss you Jimmy.

19 November, 2009

RIP Jimmy

My cousin Jimmy passed away on Sunday, from Tylenol Toxicity, which came on suddenly and unexpectedly over the course of only a week. He was 31. I don't know how better to memorialize him than to link to the very descriptive obituary that his father wrote for him in the Florida Sun Sentinal. I know that I couldn't have had the courage or presence of mind to be that articulate during this unimaginable pain.

Our family has had too much loss in the last month. First his namesake, my other cousin Jim, and now Jimmy. I can't write about it now, can't talk about it, can barely think about it. But our family has suffered another great loss. And I don't know how we'll all make it through this.

Maybe now, in a way he never seemed to be able to in life, Jimmy will finally get some peace. God knows those of us he left behind can't seem to find any right now.

08 November, 2009

I'm back!!!

Well I'm back. It was a wonderful vacation in Toledo, and I didn't want to leave, but on the plus side, cooler weather arrived in Ft. Lauderdale while I was gone! Of course, this being Ft. Lauderdale, "cool" is a relative term. It would be more accurate to say that the obnoxiously stifling humidity has left, which means that the 80˚ weather is at least bearable, even if not at all appropriate for November.

So I was home for almost a whole week, and managed to fit in just about everything I wanted to do! I got to spend some quality time with K&M as well as A, who just got home from Basic Training. It was good to be with my pseudo-family again, and see just how much the Army has done for A -- he looks great!

The bulk of the rest of the week was taken up by the Musical. My cousin is a Freshman at the local high school, and scored the lead in the school's production of Suessical: The Musical this year!! Of course it came as a bit of a surprise when he came home from school one day, announcing that he'd gotten the lead in the musical given that A) We didn't know he was auditioning and B) We'd never heard him sing (except "Happy Birthday" and that has an entire verse about Scooby-Doo!)! I volunteered to go over and sell tickets at the high school a few days that week, and then went over to the theater to watch him at "flying practice." That's right, my cousin flies all over the stage in this thing! It's crazy, and I'm so glad I got to be a part of it! It turns out that the boy's nothing short of amazing. He was a total pro, and everyone kept coming up to us saying that they couldn't believe he'd never done this before. I couldn't be more proud.

All in all, it was really the perfect week. I got to spend a ton of quality time with Mom and Dad, go on plenty of walks with the puppy, spend loads of time with my cousins, and see my pseudo-family!

Oh, and the thing that makes it even better? I'm going to be back there to do it all again in just 18 days! Woo-hoo!

30 October, 2009

Happy All Hallow's Eve!

Happy Halloween Eve everybody!

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. My apartment is currently all decked out. I've got a sign by the door that says "Broomstick Parking Only: All violators will be Toad." I have the spider candle holders from Pottery Barn, and two awesome ghosts from a great little knick-nack store in Sun City Center. And that's not even a quarter of the Halloween decorations I have up in my apartment!

I love Halloween.

Which is why I'm going home tomorrow. It's been too many years of apartment living. Too many years of no trick-or-treat'ers coming to my door. Too many years of no adorable children in costumes. And one year is too many for a 95˚ Halloween. I'm sorry, I just can't support Florida in the Fall. Halloween requires the crunching of leaves beneath your feet as you run down the sidewalks towards neighbors houses, and run up your own driveway to dump out your spoils for the evening, only to have to delay your gratification while your parents check your treats to make sure they're safe (And if you're my mom, to sneak out all the Butterfingers when your daughter isn't looking.).

That's Halloween. And this year, I'll have it!! Ohio here I come!!

Happy Halloween Everyone!!!

26 October, 2009

Prank War '09

I am wearing a tiara.

Let me explain.......My friends and I have this weird sort of tradition of pranking each other whenever and wherever possible. It's all in good fun, and we've been known to shoot Nerf guns at one another at random intervals. We've removed all of one of our male friend's hair products, and replaced them with glitter-filled equivalents. We've sent 140 Hannah Montana Valentine's Day cards to one friend (filled with glitter, natch), and have done various and sundry other things all in the name of high-jinx and good, clean fun.

But whoever is doing this to me, has taken the cake.

Apparently, I'm getting married.

Someone (and believe you me friends, I have my suspects...and they will RUE the day.), has gone to a great deal of trouble setting this whole thing up. It started about two weeks ago, when I got an e-mail from a very nice man from The Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head Island. He started by congratulating me on my impending nuptials, and then went on to quote me prices for several different packages at his resort. My 150 guests for my April wedding can enjoy several different offers, to include golf, spa services, and a sail around the island, in a convenient, all-inclusive package!

Huh.

Well.

Okay then.....

I e-mailed the nice man back, thanked him for all the work that he'd put into this proposal, then asked if he wouldn't mind sending me a photo of my future husband, as I'd never met him before, and was understandably curious. We had a good laugh, he was very nice, apologized for the confusion, and I presumed that was the end of that.

I was wrong.

That e-mail was followed by several restaurants on the island sending me proposed menus and price points for table or buffet service for 150 of my closest friends and family (and presumably some of those are future-hubby's friends and family too, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that most of them are mine. That's just how I roll.). I got brochures for tours of the island. I got brochures in the mail for ghost tours of nearby historic Savannah.

Someone has signed me up for bridal magazines. Subscriptions to bridal magazines. Do you have any idea how heavy those things are???

I've been contacted by the local Catholic Church (or someone posing as the local Catholic Church, because I'm really not sure that my people tend to advertise like this...).

The real kicker came today. Today, when I got home from work, I was told that there was a package waiting for me at the front desk. This was a little bit of a surprise, as I hadn't ordered anything, but I'm always up for presents. Of course, then I opened the box to find three different tiaras, with a note telling me to take my pick.

So now we've come full circle. I'm wearing a tiara.

So lads, ladies, well done...I bow to your superior skills and prostrate myself at your feet. I will gladly use one of these tiaras to crown you King (or Queen) of Pranks...just FESS UP ALREADY!! It's driving me bonkers!!

25 October, 2009

Traffic School Randomness

A few of you may remember my post awhile ago about getting a speeding ticket. Well I've now officially completed traffic school and can now be considered an upstanding citizen again, but I thought I'd share a couple of the stranger items they teach you in traffic school:

~ While driving your left hand should be placed between 7 and 9 o'clock, and your right hand should be placed between 3 and 5 o'clock. -- Yup, that's right. 7 and 5 is a valid option. None of this 10 and 2 stuff that they taught when I was learning to drive. I was sitting there the whole time wondering how on earth keeping your hands between 7 and 5 could possibly be safe, and it got to the point where I had to call my 17 year old cousin (who's taken the driving test much more recently than I have!) to ask if that's the norm now-a-days. For the record, it is not.

~ Your driver's license can be revoked if you are found guilty of "an immoral act in which a motor vehicle is involved." A, any thoughts on this one? How does the law define immorality? Are they talking about sex with a non-spouse in the back of a car, or is this more of a killing someone and stuffing them in the trunk of the car kind of thing?

~ You are legally required to yield the right of way to trains.
Okay, this one is totally legit, but I feel like it's less of a "must be a law" and more of a "who'd be stupid enough not to yield to a locomotive" situation.

~ The most common weapons used in violent traffic altercations include: motor vehicles, guns, knives, clubs, tire irons, and crossbows. Crossbows? Really? Crossbows? I can see everything else (though I'm curious about how they define what is a club), but honestly now, what kind of a person keeps a crossbow handy in their car???

18 October, 2009

Finally Fall!!!!!!!!!!

Can you tell I'm excited? It's been an awesome weekend. Okay, the car needing a new battery thing was less than ideal, but the fact that it's fixed now is awesome. And then I woke up this morning, worked out, and went out grocery shopping, only realize that Fall has finally come to South Florida!!! Today's high was 72˚, and there was a lovely crispness to the air. I parked as far away as I possibly could at each of the places I ran errands this afternoon. Then, as soon as I got home, I sat out on my balcony and read a book for a few hours, just enjoying the fact that it finally feels like it could be October. Of course I know this is short-lived, since it looks like temps are going to be jumping right up into the high 80s again this week, but for now, I'm loving it. The temperature was 52˚ when I went out for a walk around the neighborhood this evening, and I couldn't stop grinning, despite the constant presence of South Florida people wearing boots, scarves and parkas in the "evening chill." Yup, I could barely even bring myself to make fun of them, that's how good a mood I was in!

(Hey, I said barely!)

Anyway, I'm in the best mood right now, because for the first time since I put them up, it doesn't seem crazy to have Halloween Decorations all over my apartment! HOO-RAY!!! :)

17 October, 2009

Trials and Tribulations

It's moments like these that make me wish I had a boyfriend again.

Most of the time I'm fine with my life. Happy, even. I have a job that thrills and fulfills me, friends who are like family, and a family who love and support me. I have an amazing life, and I love it.

But when you wake up late on a random Friday morning, rush around the house trying to fix breakfast, shower, do your hair and make-up, only to discover when running out to the car, all proud of yourself for only being 5 minutes late, that your car doesn't start...well, stronger women than I would be wishing for someone to help.

And yes, I have AAA, and I live in a building with a valet; and yes, there's no saying that even if I DID have a boyfriend, he wouldn't have already been at work, or that he'd know anything about cars, or that he'd even LIVE in Florida! But as I was sitting in my car, listening to the 'click-click-click-click' of my engine trying and failing to start, I just put my head down on the steering wheel and sighed, whispering to myself: 'God I wish I had a boyfriend right now.' Pathetic? Maybe. Selfish? Probably. But no less true.

Of course, I sucked it up, called the office to tell them I'd be late, then called a friend who knows something about cars to get him to confirm my guess that it was the battery. He did, and even offered to drive me into work, which was on his way that morning. Other friends made similar offers throughout the day, and even offered to chauffeur me around this weekend if my car had to be in the shop longer than I expected. So really, I have great friends, and a great life, and I'm happy.

Oh, and did I mention that I have AAA? The single gal's lifesaver. They came first thing this morning, checked my battery, and replaced it with a new one right there on the spot. So yes, I don't NEED a boyfriend. I'm more than capable of doing most of this stuff myself. Still, from time to time, in the happiest, saddest, and most frustrating moments of my life, I find a little voice in the back of my head wishing for someone to share it with. And I don't think that's weakness.

14 October, 2009

My Office Just Is Not Like This....

....and more's the pity....

12 October, 2009

The World We Live In, Part 2

While shopping at Target today (otherwise known as: The Most Dangerous Store In The World), I overheard a little girl, who couldn't have been more than eight or nine years old, complaining to her mother (while sipping a Starbucks coffee) about the fact that she "is so unhappy with the state of my life right now!!"

Yeah, you heard that right. An eight year old girl whose mother lets her drink a half caf soy double latte while shopping at Target, is totally dissatisfied with her life.

First of all, you're eight years old. How unhappy can you really be with the state of your life? I'm not sure I was fully cognizant of "the state of my life" when I was eight years old.

Second of all, seriously? What kind of self-respecting elementary school kid talks like that? I mean honestly, when I was eight, I think I tended more towards the "dude, that totally blows" conversational style than the "I'm so unhappy with the current state of my life" style.

First the Facebook and Twitter college thing, and now this...I'm so confused!

07 October, 2009

The World We Live In

My cousin A is 17 years old, and a senior in high school. She's busy applying to colleges and trying to essentially figure out what she wants to do with the rest of her life.

I remember the insanity that was those days.

What I DON'T remember is getting to choose how you wanted to be notified of either your acceptance or rejection from the colleges of your choice. You can now choose to be notified via:

- snail mail (the only option back in 2000 when I was going through this)
- e-mail
- text message
- Facebook
- Twitter

SERIOUSLY??? I can't even imagine. I mean come on, half the fun is the anticipation, going to your mailbox every afternoon and checking to see if there's a big envelope or a small one! And why would you want to find out via Facebook? What do they do, post on your wall for all your friends to see whether you've been accepted or rejected? Watch, when my kids (if I ever have any) are old enough to go to college, you'll find out if you got in via telepathic brain waves.

It's a crazy world we live in.

06 October, 2009

Fall TV Update

By special request, here's the update on TV show's I've been watching this season, including which have made the cut, and which are off the TiVo (new info is in bold)!

Monday:
~How I Met Your Mother
~One Tree Hill
~Big Bang Theory
~Gossip Girl
~Castle
~Accidentally on Purpose (I was going to X this one last week, but this week's episode made me laugh out loud, so I've given it a temporary reprieve.)
~Trauma (On the fence with this one. Might be going if this week fails to satisfy.)
~Heroes I just can't keep up with it anymore. I've lost interest, which deeply saddens me, as this used to be one of my favorite shows on television.

Tuesday:
~NCIS
~90210
~NCIS: Los Angeles
~Melrose Place
~The Good Wife
~The Forgotten (This one's a new addition for me, but I'm not sure about it. TiVo thought I would like it, and I'm intrigued by the concept of regular folks with regular jobs solving crimes that the police have given up on. Giving it a try.)

Wednesday:
~Eastwick
~Glee (All I have to say is AMAZING!!)
~Modern Family (Amazing! This is my favorite new comedy!)
~Cougar Town (On the fence here. Probably going to go if this week doesn't improve. It's a little too schticky, but the son is great!)
~Mercy (This one didn't quite do it for me, despite how much I love Michelle Trachtenberg. X.)
~The Beautiful Life (Done. Patently awful.)

Thursday:
~Bones
~Fringe
~Vampire Diaries
~Grey's Anatomy
~Private Practice
~Community (Meh...didn't hook me.)

Friday:
~Ghost Whisperer
~Smallville
~Numb3rs
~White Collar (not until end of October)
~Dollhouse (Rumor has it that Fox is thinking about yanking Dollhouse b/c of low ratings. Since I've ADORED the first two episodes this season, I will be unbelievably peeved if those rumors turn out to be true.)

Saturday:
~TiVo catch-up day

Sunday:
~Desperate Housewives
~Brothers and Sisters
~Three Rivers (First episode was interesting, but I don't see this one lasting.)

I know I live in Florida, but....

There's a reason I didn't buy a house when I moved to Florida.

There's a reason I rented an apartment in a newer building, on as high a floor as I could get at the time.

And that reason has nothing to do with hurricanes, and everything to do with critters.

I hate critters.

So imagine my reaction when I came home after having a lovely dinner with friends late last night to find THIS crawling up the wall towards my mailbox:



Yes, I screamed like a little girl.

Yes, it's only about 7 inches from tip to tail.

Yes, it's a small lizard.

Yes, it's more scared of me than I am of it.

And YES, I live in South Florida, critter capital of the state.

But still, is it wrong of me to want my critters to stay either in glass tanks or outside where they belong?

And no, I didn't wind up getting my mail until this morning. I don't like lizards. So sue me!

Butler Homecoming: Class of '04 Five Year Reunion!

I can hardly believe its been five years since I graduated from Butler.


I went to Indianapolis last weekend for Homecoming, and my five year reunion. That's all the members of the class of '04 standing on the steps of the library for a champagne toast, exactly as we did five years ago last May (Credit to B's husband J for the great photos!).


Some people are exactly the same, and some people couldn't be more different. It's amazing to see how far we've all come in only five years.

The theme of the evening, and something we all seemed to hear and say over and over again was: "Why weren't we friends in college?" For me, college was much less "clique-ish" than high school, and since I didn't go greek (something of a rarity at Butler), I felt like I had a little more freedom to have friends in a wider variety of groups, but there were still groups. I think five years out, most of us have begun to understand how silly that was in retrospect. There are so many people that I got the opportunity to chat with last weekend that I wish I'd gotten to know better when we were in school together. But maybe that's what reunions are for! :)

And it was amazing to get to see all my friends again! AM and I hooked up with S, one of the other girls who lived in our hall freshman year. It was lovely to catch up and hear all about the great work she's doing now for the Children's Foundation in Indy.


And AW and I got to spend some time talking to N, who helped to organize all the Class of '04 festivities, and did an amazing job making sure that our 5 year reunion was held in a MUCH better location than the 10, 25 and 50 year reunions! Her organizational skills put me to shame, and those of you who know me know that's saying something! So great job on the weekend N, I had an amazing time!


Oh, and of course, no weekend with AW and AM would be complete without shopping a trip to the Melting Pot! But sadly, my camera was dead at that point in the trip, so I'm going to have to wait for the girls to send me their pics from the weekend before I can post about it (she said, hinting broadly....). Suffice to say that we crammed a heck of a lot of fun into a very short weekend.

Now let's get onto planning that Disney trip we talked about ladies! Chop, chop!! :)

01 October, 2009

Jimmy's Poem

My great uncle wrote this poem on the day he found out about Jimmy's death, and I just wanted to share it (in part to ensure that it's written down somewhere that I can't loose it), because it makes me smile, even while it's making my heart ache again. And I promise, I'm going to try to make this the last depressing blog entry for awhile. But I do have to say, writing it all down is quite cathartic. Still, this weekend is my 5 year college reunion, and I'm going to be seeing a lot of my friends again, so I'm sure I'll have happier things to write about soon. Thanks for sticking with me through this!


JIMMY


How sad the morning feels for me
Though sun is shining bright.
But news has come of one who died,
A nephew of delight.

The years recalled, gone moments sighed,
Remembrance echoes found:

The cost for braces on dog's teeth,
His mother, awed, by tale;
Grim faced grown son, no smile beneath,
Describing each detail

His magic lore for fire dune hill,
Pentwater's lake-sea place,
To give my son word picture thrill
Created from mind space!

And farther back, another world,
My sister's baby round.

A time of violence then swirled,
His Dad part of D-Day!
And I young surrogate in place
Till then's peace came our way.

But child grew tall with laughter's grace
As echoed tales float free.
Known-unknown life in earthly race
Day's distant mystery.

Straight faced word tales! Awe's face. Believed!
Remembered now as when conceived.
And so I grieve for one who's gone
With hope he finds that greater dawn!

9-18-2009
Warrenville Grove
John Gilbert Fuller

24 September, 2009

Home now

AFTERGLOW

I'd like the memory of me
to be a happy one.
I'd like to leave an afterglow
of smiles when life is done.
I'd like to leave an echo
whispering softly down the ways,
of happy times and bright and
sunny days.
I'd like the tears of those who
grieve to dry before the sun,
of happy memories that I leave
when life is done.

The memorial was beautiful. It was a fitting tribute to Jimmy, with all the people he loved together in one room, telling stories and tall tales. He would have loved to be there.

Jimmy was very specific about his final arrangements, two things in particular. 1) He wanted us to sing Amazing Grace. All the verses, no skipping, that was non-negotiable. 2) He wanted us to play Jimmy Cliff's "I Can See Clearly Now." That was made all the more fitting when we learned that Jimmy's corneas had given sight to two blind people. Of course both of those things, along with the speeches from 10 of the people who knew my cousin best, made me practically incoherent for two hours. I actually have bruises on my arms from where I was gripping myself so hard to keep from sobbing. I kept quiet, but tears were streaming down my face all day long. Not to mention on the plane coming home when "I Can See Clearly Now" came on my iPod, immediately followed by "When I Get Where I'm Going."

So it's been a gut wrenching couple of days. And I realize that it's because I've lost someone I love. Someone who was so much a part of my life. And I will go on, because there's no other choice. Because Jimmy would be so disappointed in me if I didn't. And I can't stand the thought of him being disappointed in me. But for now. For now I'm sad. And I think I will be for awhile. And for now I cry at the most random things. And I don't know how to stop that. So I hope you'll bear with me while I figure it out.

What has helped has been the amazing outreach of support. The people I love who've reached out and offered their love, support and prayers. My friend J's sister, who lives in Atlanta, and offered to drive me around when she found out that we were having trouble getting a rental car because of the flooding. People I haven't seen since grade school who found out and posted immediate messages of support. It's been astonishing to realize how people will step up to support you, if you'll only let them. So thank you all for that.

20 September, 2009

RIP Jimmy



My family lost a giant this week. My mother's cousin died on Thursday, at the age of 66. He was outside doing yard work when he started to feel poorly, so he went inside to lay down on the couch and rest for a moment. He was supposed to meet his wife for dinner in downtown Atlanta that evening, and when he didn't show up, she called a neighbor to go check on him. The neighbor found him laying on the couch, with the yellow pages open to his doctor's phone number. He was gone, there was nothing anyone could do. It was a huge shock, and completely unexpected, and our entire family is reeling.

Our family has lost a giant. He was an amazing man: kind, unbelievably intelligent, funny, and a genuinely good person. I truly can't imagine our family without him. People hear me say that my mother's cousin has passed away, and they never quite get it. "Your mother's cousin?" they ask. "Well you can't possibly have been that close to him, right?" Wrong. When your family is as small as ours is, there are no small losses. Every loss is too much. And whatever your feelings about certain members of your family, sheerly by virtue of the small size of the family, you're close to just about all of them.

I can't imagine my life without him. I was taught from a very young age to take everything that Cousin Jim said with a grain of salt. He told the tallest tales, and had the best poker face, and not even a trained professional could tell whether he was lying or not. He had the entire family CONVINCED that he'd had to get braces for his Irish Setter, because she had an overbite, and she couldn't eat properly. Of course no one believed him when he first told the story (see above re: grain of salt), but after he insisted and continued telling the story for YEARS, eventually everyone just assumed: Well, he must be telling the truth, because who would keep this particular joke running for this long?

That was Jimmy.

He was always just as quick with a kind word as he was with a joke. There wasn't a person on the planet who could make you feel better about yourself than Cousin Jim. When I last saw him for Mother's Day weekend this past year, he made sure that I knew just exactly how truly proud of me he was. And after that trip, he made of point of e-mailing me articles in Spanish that he thought would help me with my language studies. He always took time out of his day to make sure that other people were okay. In recent years, he had his middle name legally changed to my grandfather's name. It was a sign of respect, he said. For his uncle, the man who'd made a point of staying involved in Jimmy's life once Jim's parents and two sisters had passed away tragically. At first we weren't sure if this was another 'dog with braces' thing, but Cousin Jim had the paperwork. He'd felt so strongly about honoring my grandfather, that he'd really gone and done it. The look on my grandfather's face when he realized it was true, was priceless. Grandfather isn't an emotional man by any stretch of the imagination, but the look on his face at that moment will stay with me for a long time.

That was Jimmy.

Our family has lost a giant. His wife has lost an amazing husband and a true companion; his daughter and stepchildren have lost a staunch supporter and true friend. My mother and her sisters have lost a man who was like a brother to them; my grandfather has lost a nephew who was an equal, and had boundless respect for him. I have lost a family member who never failed to let me know, despite time and distance, how proud of me he was, at all times. A man who, despite everything in his life, made a point of making sure everyone knew how much he loved them.

He leaves behind a giant hole that none of us yet know how to fill, and that will leave us all a little less than we were before. For him, we'll try to find a way to fill it, and go on, because that's what he would have wanted. So despite the pain, we'll try to do it, for him. Because truly, that will be the best way we can honor him.

That was Jimmy.

15 September, 2009

I Miss The Midwest...

You know what I miss about the Midwest that I didn't even realize I missed until today?

The fact that never, not once, did I ever get caught in a traffic jam caused by a sinkhole when I lived in Ohio, Michigan or Indiana. Now? Now when I learn that the dead stop traffic I'm stuck in is caused by a sinkhole randomly appearing in the middle of the road? Somehow how that's become a typical moment in my life.

Ahhh, Florida....

14 September, 2009

Life in South Florida...Grocery Store Rant

One question: What is it with South Florida Grocery stores not having cart corrals? I mean seriously folks, what on earth makes you think that the most irresponsible drivers in the state can handle maneuvering around stray shopping carts in the aisles? And do you really think that these people are going to take the time to walk the carts back inside the store? I mean I do, because I'm just that anal retentive, but most people don't have that kind of compunction.

And on days when it's pouring down rain, I would give my kingdom for a cart corral.

Sigh.

13 September, 2009

10 September, 2009

Ahh, September....

A time when there's (for those of you lucky enough to live somewhere other than Florida) a crispness to the air, the kids are breaking out their new school clothes (or new school uniforms), and everything seems fresh and new.

Oh yeah, and Fall TV Premiers begin! My TV watching schedule for the next several months will be as follows, with new shows in bold (thank God for TiVo!!):

Monday:
~How I Met Your Mother (Can't wait to see the mother!)
~Heroes (I'm sticking with it for one more season...)
~One Tree Hill
~Accidentally on Purpose (I'll give it a shot.)
~Big Bang Theory (Thank God this one is back!)
~Gossip Girl
~Trauma (I'm looking to find an ER replacement...this is option 1 of 3.)
~Castle (Nathan Fillion = Sigh)

Tuesday:
~NCIS (Woo-hoo!!)
~90210
~NCIS: Los Angeles (Can't wait for the spin-off to start!)
~Melrose Place
~The Good Wife (Anything with Matt Czuchry is worth a try!)

Wednesday: (I just noticed these are all new shows!)
~Mercy (I'm looking to find an ER replacement...this is option 2 of 3.)
~Modern Family (I loved Jesse Tyler Ferguson in the extremely underrated The Class!)
~The Beautiful Life
~Glee (I've been buying songs from iTunes all summer in anticipation!)
~Cougar Town (Welcome back Courtney Cox!)
~Eastwick (A show about three witches in a small town? Count me in!)

Thursday:
~Bones (Must find out what happens to Booth and Brennan!!)
~Vampire Diaries
~Grey's Anatomy
~Fringe (I look forward to watching this one through my fingers all week long!)
~Community (The guy from The Soup has his own show? I'm in!)
~Private Practice

Friday:
~Ghost Whisperer
~Smallville
~Dollhouse (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
~Numb3rs
~White Collar (not until end of October)

Saturday:
~TiVo catch-up day

Sunday:
~Desperate Housewives (Susan or Katherine?)
~Three Rivers (I'm looking to find an ER replacement...this is option 3 of 3.)
~Brothers and Sisters

And yes, I know that for an adult, professional woman there's WAY too much CW represented here, but what can I say, a part of me is still a teenage girl at heart, who gets all swoony at the thought of story-book romance and loves a good, cheesy teen show! I stand by my choices, but fully understand that the mocking is likely to commence in the comments section! Also, feel free to make a plug for your favorite TV shows that I've left off. God knows there can't be many though, right? Have I mentioned on here before that I'm a little obsessed with TV? Once again I say THANK GOODNESS FOR TIVO!!!

I HATE New iTunes

Seriously, where did my shopping cart go? Not cool iTunes...not cool at all.

I HATE new iTunes.

That is all.


[Edit: I have discovered the wishlist feature, and am slightly mollified.]

A New Look for Fall

My friends A and A over at A Book A Day have inspired me to update my blog background for fall! So here we go, it's fall, it's stripey, it's kicky!

Happy September everyone! :)

05 September, 2009

Now this is an interesting development....

So I think that there's a blind man living down the hall from me. I'd never seen him before a couple weeks ago, so he must be a fairly new resident, but I've seen him getting off the elevator a few times now, and here's the problem. 9 times out of 10, he turns the wrong way. And when he turns the wrong way, he thinks that my apartment is his. Now twice I've seen him do this and I tell him that he's going the wrong way, and that's my apartment, and he replies "we'll see," tries to open the door, and then turns around in the opposite direction. A little weird, but I didn't think too much about it until this week, when TWICE at ungodly hours, he tried to get into my apartment.

Imagine being a single girl living alone and being awoken at 2am by someone trying to get into your apartment, putting a key in the lock, jiggling the door handle, etc. I tell you, it's not a fun way to wake up at 2am, and my adrenaline is rushing so much that I have a hard time getting to sleep afterwards. Now I feel bad for the guy, don't get me wrong. It's gotta be difficult getting adjusted to a new environment when you can't see what's around you, but isn't there some sort of Braille that the complex can put on his door so he's not trying to break into my apartment at 2am in the middle of the week? I don't think that's too much to ask.

04 September, 2009

Still irked....

Okay, here's the thing. Logic would dictate the there are a finite number of tasks that can be a person's "NUMBER ONE PRIORITY." I'll accept that perhaps there can be more than one, and I think that's even a logic leap, but I'll accept it because that's the kind of high-speed world we live in.

But when my boss comes by my desk SEVEN times in a TWO HOUR PERIOD and tells me that this new task should have my total focus and attention, and be my "NUMBER ONE PRIORITY", it's not wrong for me to be a little irked, right? I mean seriously, you need to give me some kind of rank order. At least give me 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E, 1F, 1G, please! I'm only one woman, with only one brain and only two hands, so there's a finite quantity of things than can have my full and total focus, attention and effort at a time!

Thank God it's a three day weekend...I've totally earned tomorrow's hot stone massage...

02 September, 2009

I'm irked...

Two things are irking me right now after having gotten back from my mini-vacation to DC to visit my friends:

1. Taxi drivers who only accept cash, but don't carry change. I'm sorry, it was a $22 cab ride from the airport. I only have two twenties with me. You do not deserve an $18 tip, it wasn't that good a cab ride. And you know what? If you won't accept credit cards (even thought i says on the side of your cab that you do), and you won't take a check, then you're getting exactly $22, because I can't scrounge more than $2 in change from the bottom of my purse, so you don't get a tip. Or my business the next time I need a taxi.

2. Apparently, the Broward County Clerk of the Court is selling lists with names and addresses of people who get speeding tickets. Now I'll admit, I shouldn't have been speeding that day (though I was only going 7 over, and it was as the freeway was ending, so I felt like it was a little excessive, but hey, it was legit), so I'll pay the fine and go to traffic school so as not to get the points on my license, but when I pay the fine at the courthouse, and then five days later come home to find my mailbox FULL of advertisements from cheesy lawyers (no offense A, these aren't YOU kind of lawyers) who promise they can get me out of my speeding ticket? I'm not okay with that. I literally have 37 advertisements sitting here in front of me right now. 37!!! NOT okay Broward County, I strongly protest. I expect this from online retailers and magazine companies, but the Clerk of the Court? Shame on you!

25 August, 2009

I hate studying...

I'm studying Spanish. Estudio Español. I don't like studying Spanish. No me gusta estudiar Español. But I'm doing it anyway.

You'd think that with my love of international politics and international travel, that I'd love languages, but in fact, quite the opposite is true. I hate them. I hate studying them, and I hate learning them. I'm told I have an aptitude for them, but quite honestly, I just don't care enough to apply myself in the necessary fashion to excel. And yet, I know I need to learn Spanish. So here I am, going out, buying the books and taking the classes. And the one thing getting me through it this evening is the fact that at the end of each of the lessons is my Practice Makes Perfect: Basic Spanish book, there are "fun facts." (Hay "hechos divertidos.") And they make me smile...for example (por exemplar):

-- Nicholas Cage es el sobrino de Francis Ford Coppola. (I did not know this.)
-- A.A. Milne, el padre de Christopher Robin, es le autor de Winnie the Pooh, un libro muy popular con los chicos y las chicas.
- Pooh es un oso.
- Eeyore es un burro.
- Rabbit es un conejo.
- Roo es un canguro (su madre es Kanga).
- Tigger es un tigre.
- Piglet es un cerdo.
- Heffalump es un elefant. (Me gusta Heffalumps!!)
-- En la escula del programa Señor Rogers (en la televisión americana), hay tres estudiantes: Anna Platypus, el Príncipe Tuesday y Daniel el Tigre. La maestra es una vaca: Harriet Elizabeth Cow. La asistenta a la maestra es Dama Elaine. Dama Elaine es la sobrina del Rey Friday y la Reina Sara. Dama Elaine es la prima del Príncipe Tuesday. (I used to love Mr. Rogers! And I'd forgotten all about Lady Elaine, King Friday, Queen Sara and Prince Tuesday!)

I also get to do True/False (Verdadero o Falso) questions like:
-- Yo tengo un mono en la sala de mi casa. (Falso. I do not have a monkey in my living room.)
-- El presidente de México habla español. (Verdadero...I hope so!)
-- Tom Cruise canta y baila en MTV. (Falso. I hope...Haven't we all been traumatized by Tom Cruise enough without being subjected to his singing and dancing on MTV?)
-- Norah Jones y Dave Matthews tocan la tuba. (Well maybe, but I'm going to guess Falso.)

I also get to translate sentences like this:
-- Yo no quiero un toro en mi cosina. (Definitely not. My kitchen is messy enough without adding a bull into the mix.)
-- Tengo dos patos en mi sala. (Yikes, I hope not...ducks can be mean!)
-- Hermione tiene un gato en Hogwarts. (Yay Harry Potter references!)
-- Mi prima no tiene un tigre in el carro. (She better not! She's only 17, and a tiger in the car would be very distracting!)
-- Shrek tiene un burro. (I think Donkey would debate the possessive used there, but hey, who am I to argue with a Spanish textbook that's referencing pop culture!)

So to summarize, I've found the perfect Spanish textbook for me...it not only references random pop culture tidbits (Hay muchas fotos en el website de Perez Hilton...bet your ass he's got photos!), but also brings me back to beloved childhood books and TV shows (I miss Mr. Rogers and Winnie the Pooh!).

And would you look at that? I've also managed to write a blog entry WHILE studying my Spanish! I love technology!


¡Que sueñes con los angelitos!

Airport Bloopers

Seen at the airport last weekend: A classic example of what not to do when parking your very expensive convertible in long term parking in South Florida during Hurricane Season:




Leave the top down.




I love Floridians, I really do! I mean seriously, who does that?? And yeah, it was raining and there was about an inch of water in the cupholders. I'm pretty sure most insurance companies don't have a stupidity clause....Common sense FAIL.

23 August, 2009

Too much flying...

Just got back from a quick weekend jaunt to Columbus. And when I say quick, I mean that I flew out Saturday morning, and flew back tonight. Less than 36 hours in Ohio...that's right, I'm like a rockstar! K&E's engagement party was way too much fun (puppy Osgood is too cute!!), and Brunch with M&R was delish! All in all, a great but EXHAUSTING weekend. Too much travel in too short a period. But the Kindle is awesome for traveling! Hope everyone else had a great weekend.

Too cute!


Lucky M gets to live here...I've always had a thing for waterlilies:

20 August, 2009

Realization...

I have come to a sudden, perhaps not very startling realization:



There are no shoes that are comfortable from 5:00 in the morning to 9:00 at night.




That is all.

18 August, 2009

My Current Random Obsession of the Moment:

Is this song:



Why? No idea. The Three Dog Night version came on Pandora the other day, and I was intrigued. Then I found out that Rockapella (of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? fame) did a version, and I became obsessed. I get into phases with music where I feel that I must listen to it over and over and over again.

Of course the fact that I realized that Rockapella sings this song meant that I had to find the old Folgers Coffee commercial that they did, and listen to that 10 or 15 times as well.



Oh random obsessions, what would I do without you?

Hmm...be productive? Yeah, probably not.

16 August, 2009

Coming to you live from a S. Florida Internet Cafe...

To borrow a bit from my friends A and Angie, it's day five of me being without my internet - rations are low, and despair is setting in.

I'm typing this to you via an internet terminal where I've come to check my e-mail, because apparently I'm so addicted to the internet that I can't possibly manage to spend an entire weekend without it.

In other news, I got the Kindle! Happy Birthday to me!! I love it, it's amazing...the whole being able to download the first few chapters of a book for free before buying it thing is perfect for me, because there are so many books that I've purchased only to find out after the first few chapters that I have absolutely no interest in. Right now I've downloaded The Magicians, Everyone She Loved, Commencement and Admission. I'm loving the fact that newly released books are available for the price of a paperback on Kindle! Now don't get me wrong, I'll keep buying actual books. I don't think I'm going to be able to resist that temptation. But I'm hoping I'll be able to save money by buying them cheaper for Kindle than in the hardcover. And I can't wait to test it out on my trip to Columbus next weekend for K&E's engagement party...for the first time I won't have to pack four or five books for a simple weekend trip, I can just pack my Kindle (with pretty, soft, purple leather cover!). We'll see how the trip goes, I'm also really looking forward to seeing M again, and meeting her boy for the first time! It's going to be a great (if quick!) weekend!

Okay, I've gotta go now, as my internet time is almost up. Here's hoping Comcast gets off their lazy butts and fixes our internet soon!!

13 August, 2009

Rediscovery!

My friend M posted on Facebook that her husband can sing along to all different old school theme songs to TV Shows....WKRP in Cincinnati, Perfect Strangers, Silver Spoons, Growing Pains, etc. Which I think is amazing!!!

So now that I've got all those theme songs running through my head, I decided to go back to Hulu and see if they had any of these to refresh my memory....

AND THEY DID!!



Baby, if you've ever wondered, wondered whatever became of me...I'm living on the air in Cincinnati, Cincinnati WKRP!!

11 August, 2009

Well isn't this an interesting development...

It appears that Comcast reads my blog. Or at least Googles my blog. Which, considering I have exactly 10 followers, seems like a little bit of a waste of time. I mean don't get me wrong, I appreciate the well-wishes, it's just a little...disconcerting. But my internet's back, so if Mark from Comcast had anything to do with that, then I'll shut up and be grateful (you know what they say about gift horses and all...).

Continuing with the theme that good things happen on C's birthday....MY FRIEND J GOT ENGAGED!!!!!!!! To a completely awesome guy who couldn't possibly be any more perfect for her, so I'm over the moon for the both of them!

And my office got me a cake today (yellow with chocolate icing!), and I had a great dinner out, and now I'm chilling at home, opening presents and contemplating ordering the Kindle. Which I want. Badly. Now some people are saying that I should wait until they iron out this whole 'deleting e-books' thing, which totally makes sense, but I'm an impatient little girl, and I'm not sure I can hold out indefinitely. We'll see how the evening progresses.

Thanks for all the well-wishes everyone, I really appreciate it!!! And congrats again to J&J!!! :)

10 August, 2009

I hate Comcast

There appears to be something wrong with my internet. I intended to log on yesterday and talk about the wedding I went to over the weekend. My struggle to find the right dress and shoes (thanks to all who contributed to the decision, I got loads of compliments), and the complete and utter insanity that can only be involved in the decision to have an outdoor wedding in a city built on a swamp in the middle of August. Hot? Yes, I'd say so.

But instead, I arrived home to non-functional internet. And it hasn't gotten better. Well, according to Comcast it has. According to Comcast, the fact that I can access the internet for approximately 2.4 minutes at a time should be sufficient, and I should be pleased with the progress. Except I'm not. At all. In no small part because it has taken me over 24 hours to write this post, and God only knows if I'll be able to get it up on the blog at all. But that's all going to change in approximately 20 minutes, you know why?

Because in 20 minutes, it will be MY BIRTHDAY!! (Fishing for birthday wishes? Me? NEVER! Perish the thought!!)

And you know what? Nothing bad is allowed to happen on my birthday. So I choose to believe that my internet will be 100% functional when I wake up in the morning, and despite the fact that I have to go into the office on my birthday (shock, horror!) and despite the fact that my mother isn't here to make me my favorite cake (yellow with chocolate icing), I'm bound and determined to have an amazing birthday. Because damn it, I'm turning 27 years old, and if you can't have a good 27th birthday in S. Florida, then you're just not trying hard enough!

So come on internet Gods, play along!!!

05 August, 2009

Letters

I've been writing letters to my pseudo-little brother, D, who's at Army Basic Training for the next little while, and I have to say, it's fun! I'd forgotten how much I love sending and receiving mail (well, except the singing Hannah Montana card that my grandparents sent for my birthday...that was just a little strange.)! There's something about writing a letter, and then getting a response a few days later that's just more charming than e-mail. Don't get me wrong, it's wicked crazy more convenient to dash off a quick e-mail, but something about letters just makes me smile.

A's always loved letter writing (and said I should save hers from when she's President someday), but I've never really gotten into it in the same way she has. Ironically, I love stationary, but have never really gotten into letter writing until now. Maybe it's an age thing (after all, it is t-minus 6 days until my birthday!), but I'm loving writing to D, knowing that for just a few seconds, I'm taking his mind of the broiling heat and daily runs. And it's fun to get the letters in return, seeing how he's doing and knowing that he's out there doing something really important, getting ready to start a whole new chapter in his life. It's kind of cool. :)

So who else can I write to? I've got all this stationary I've bought over the years, and I need to start using it!!

04 August, 2009

Safety.....last?

Seen On The Road This Evening:

Three men in varying stages of undress, riding bicycles on the on ramp to merge onto I-95.

SAFETY FAIL.

Is that even legal? Can you ride a bicycle on an interstate? And if it is legal, how are you not afraid that you're going to become road kill???

I maintain my stance that people in South Florida don't THINK!!!

03 August, 2009

Flakiness....

So here's the thing. I'm guilty of it myself. I've never claimed to be perfect, I flake from time to time. But I try not to. And maybe it's the Catholic thing, but I always feel impossibly guilty about it when I do. If I forget a birthday, or don't show up somewhere when I say I'm going to, or don't get something done in the time frame I promised it, then I beat myself up about it more than the person I've flaked on does.

And sometimes, when I've had a shit day at work, or it's the weekend and I feel like doing nothing but sitting around the house catching up on my TiVo, if I have plans with family or a friend, or colleagues, 9 times out of 10 I'll drag my lazy ass out of the house and do it. Because as my parents tried to drill into their only child, it's not always all about me. Sometimes you do things you don't want to do because it'll make someone else happy.

But I've come to realize that not everyone thinks like that. Not everyone puts other people before themselves. And you can't blame them really...not always. Because we've all been there. We've all had that day where it's really all you can do to drive yourself home from the office, microwave your dinner, and collapse on the couch for the evening. So I'm not mad, I get it. I've so totally been there. I'm not mad. I'm just disappointed. And I'm trying not to be that either, I really am. It's just going to take me a little bit of time. So please understand when you call and ask me to do you a favor, the day after you've flaked on me, that I might not be as enthusiastic about it as I normally am. I'll do it, because I love you, and you matter to me. But when I'm not jumping up and down at the opportunity to help you, understand that our relationship is a two way street. And there's only so long I can go walking along in one direction without another soul in sight down the road.

===================================================

And then there's the other thing that happened to me today. I realized that someone I love is going through something. They haven't told me about it, and I know they don't want to tell me about it, and I get that. Respect it even. But here's the thing. One of my favorite quotes of all time comes from a TV show (shocker!). It's from Sports Night, and you can see it here, around the 3:30 mark. And really, it says everything I want to say right now:

No matter what you decide, you've got friends. And this is what friends gear up for.

Ummm...okay...right then. Thank you?

Now here's something I never envisioned someone saying to me:

"Did you know that you smell purple today?"

And for context's sake, it was not a crazy homeless man who said this to me, it was a co-worker.

He meant it as a compliment, but tell me, how exactly was I supposed to respond to that? What's the appropriate response to someone telling you that you smell like a color? Thank you? You smell orange?

And for that matter, what does 'purple' smell like anyhow??

02 August, 2009

Another amazing day!

Well this caps it, the best weekend I've had in a long time. Started out lazing by the pool, continued running some errands, but not the annoying kind that you feel obligated to do, rather the fun ones that you always looked forward to when you were a little kid. The kind that made you say "when I'm a grown-up, I'll get to do this whenever I want!" Oh, or was that just me? Hmm... And then I got home, tried on some dresses to figure out what to wear for the wedding next weekend, and watched Night at the Museum on my brand new, swanky 'upconverting' DVD player. It makes everything look like HD, but without the obnoxious cost of Blue-Ray! And of having to upgrade my TV on DVD collection to Blue-Ray. Which will be insanely expensive if I ever have to do it someday. Shudder. Then I cooked Honey Chili Chicken for dinner, and now I'm off to bed before midnight! Hooray! :)

It's the little things in life that make me happy...

01 August, 2009

The Perfect Saturday....

It started with an early morning phone call from one of my friends asking if I wanted to go do something naughty....IHOP for breakfast anyone?? It continued with a quick workout, and then lounging at the pool for the next four hours. Then I had 'correspondence hour' in which I sent e-mails to a friend who's off climbing glaciers in Alaska, wrote a letter to my pseudo-little brother in Army Basic Training, and found out that I have a new blogging friend, whose love for The West Wing rivals my own (always a delightful surprise!). Oh, and I bought an HD TiVo, because my Comcast DVR is crap (Seriously, crap. Records 100 episodes of Burn Notice when I asked it to record only new eps, and no episodes of Eureka when I asked it to record all. Is their mission in life to do the opposite of everything I ask??). So soon, I will be back in the warm embrace of my TiVo! After that, it went on with dinner at P.F. Chang's with a friend, and an evening showing of The Ugly Truth.

All in all, a perfect Saturday, and exactly what I needed after a rather hellish week at work. Here's hoping tomorrow will be even better!! :)

28 July, 2009

Awww....

Pam gave me an award for commenting on her blog!



Which hardly seems fair, as I love visiting her blog on a regular basis to get book recommendations and general entertainment, but I'll take it anyway! Thanks Pam!

The text of the You Don't Say Award is: The You Don't Say Award "... is for beautiful people who practice blogging etiquette by visiting or visiting back, and leaving comments. Their observations are apt and helpful and it's a pleasure to have them comment on your posts..."

I think this is a pretty cool award, as comments, to a blogger, are things that always serve to make you smile (and remind you, in your most narcissistic times) that you're not ONLY doing this to make yourself happy (though naturally, that is the primary goal, right?).

As for paying it forward....well Pam has obviously received it herself, but she gets it doubly in my book, because she's been so great about commenting here in my little world. And of course so many of my regular commenters don't have blogs of their own (but I love you all for commenting anyhow!!), but I want to send A, and S a big shout out and thank them for all their comments.

So I want to pass this award onto my most frequent commenters:

M over at What Today Looks Like
Angie at A Book A Day

Thanks for being there ladies, I appreciate it! :)

27 July, 2009

Can you say classy?

Because this bus stop advertisement just SCREAMS capital 'C' Classy!!









And in addition to totally nailing (pun intended) the "not a shady front for prostitution" theme that they were going for (who gets a massage at 1am?), they're also incredibly PC!

Did I cover the phone number and address of this classy establishment? Bet your ass! You think I want crazy creepy people visiting this place after coming to my blog? Shudder.....

26 July, 2009

When did being nice stop being the norm?

I was at the grocery store this evening (getting the fixings for my own creation, Honey Chili Chicken...YUM!), and for whatever reason, was in a particularly good mood, so when the woman in line in front of me started getting rid of items she had in her cart b/c she realized she didn't have enough cash with her, I didn't even get annoyed, I just read the headlines of Soap Opera Digest and wondered how soaps get away with aging kids 5 years in a period of three months. Go into a coma age 12, wake up three months later 17! That's soap opera magic for you!

And then when she finally had eliminated everything she didn't absolutely need, and realized she was still 75 cents over, I didn't role my eyes or sigh or do anything remotely snarky. I just offered her 75 cents from my coin purse.

At which point it felt like the entirety of the population of Publix, employees and customers alike, turned to stare at me as though I had somehow sprouted a second head.

The woman stared at the pro-offered quarters like she'd never seen George Washington's head on a piece of metal before. The cashier's jaw dropped to the floor like Wile E. Coyote after the Roadrunner managed to foil another of his dastardly Acme-sponsored schemes. The man in line behind me muttered "Wow!" in amazement under his breath. And I just furrowed my brow at them all, wondering when on earth simple common courtesy stopped being the norm, and started being a cause for wonder and astonishment.

The woman took the quarters, thanked me profusely, and left. The cashier kept telling me what a good person I was throughout the entirety of my transaction, and the man behind me told his children that they should learn a lesson from me.

And I think I must have turned about 47 different shades of red. Because seriously? It was 75 cents. I can spare 75 cents with a fair amount of ease. And really, if for some reason I didn't have enough cash with me, or a credit card, I'd like to think that someone would do the same thing for me. And I don't think that's too much to ask. I don't even think it's that "Good Samaritan" of a deed. And honestly, it was no small amount selfish on my part, because the woman was talking about running out to her car to check and see if she could find 75 cents under her floor mats. So that would have taken forever, and then I probably WOULD have gotten annoyed, and you'd be getting a whole other kind of post about tonight's events. So really, I was helping myself out as much as I was helping her. So why did these people think it was such a big deal?

I mean honestly, can someone please tell me when common courtesy stopped being common?

20 July, 2009

Warning: Rant on South Florida Drivers Ahead

You know what I always love to see? I love to see drivers not paying attention. And I don't mean talking on a cell phone (I think most of us have been guilty of that from time to time) or singing along to the radio. I mean seriously not paying attention. I mean driving while operating a View-Master. Don't remember the View-Master? See below.



That's right, you remember these bad boys from your childhood, don't you? Do you also happen to remember that they're not see-through? That even when you don't have one of the disc thingies in them, all you can see when you look through the eye-holes is blackness? So clearly this is a toy to use while operating an SUV that weighs more than a few thousand pounds. Someone flunked out of McGruff's Safety School! So imagine my joy and elation when I glanced in my rear-view mirror this evening and spotted Jo-Jo the Idiot Faced Boy laughing and joking with his wife and kids while playing with the View-Master (Seriously, you procreated? Who thought that was a good idea? Maybe he's just the step-father...or the chauffeur?). I love Florida drivers...

16 July, 2009

Well this is new....

Driving home from getting my hair cut this evening traffic was backed up a ridiculous amount, and I was super annoyed. Until I got closer and figured out why.

A water main must have busted under the road, which had caused the concrete to (what's the reverse of buckle?) expand outward until it cracked, and a geyser of water was shooting up through the road. I'll fully admit that I totally rubber-necked that thing. Sadly, not long enough to take a picture, because that would have been excessive, but I just couldn't be pissed after that, because come on, there's a geyser of water in the middle of one of Ft. Lauderdale's main thoroughfares! If you can't find the funny and amazement in that, then you're just not trying! And you've gotta pity the poor wet policemen directing traffic while being drenched by the geyser in 100 degree heat. I'm sure it'd be novel at first (and refreshing), but after awhile, you're just wet and uncomfortable. Thanks FLPD!

13 July, 2009

Crazy Person Block?

You've heard of writer's block, right? Well I've got Crazy Person Block.

Nothing capital 'C' Crazy has happened to me in the last couple weeks, hence the lack of posting. This blog is really a place for me to vent about all the insanity that usually graces my life (as one of my favorite people is fond of telling me, "God C, it's like you're flypaper for freaks!"), and try to keep myself sane.

But lately? Not so much with the Crazy. Maybe that's the residual Pentwater effect, but I feel like I've been breathing a bit easier since I got back. Whatever it is, I'll take it, I tell you that much! So for now, I'll be over here, knocking on wood that my luck holds!

(And I'll try to find something entertaining to post about!)

Oh, and PS, HUGE congrats go out to my friend K, who popped the question to his now fiancée E not too long ago. They're a great pair, and I'm over the moon for them both!

12 July, 2009

New Profile Pic

My friends E and H took this picture up at the cottage, and I love it so much I had to steal it...thanks ladies! :)

08 July, 2009

Nope, not dead!

Just relaxing on vacation! The trip was amazing...good friends, good family, good times!

I started by flying home to Ohio for my childhood friend (and brother of one of my best friends!) M's wedding. The wedding was beautiful, and though I can hardly believe that S's little brother (who we used to make play dress-up with us) is married, he looked so happy that I'll just have to forgive him for making me feel old. :) And I'll also forgive him because after the father/bride dance, they opened up the dance floor to ALL fathers and daughters in attendance, and Mom got this great snap of me and Dad:



Then, bright and early the next morning, it was on to the cottage!



Pentwater, my single favorite place on Earth...a town with a population of under 1,000, where everyone knows everyone else (and their business, naturally) and where there's never anything more important than sitting on the deck with a puppy.



Did I mention the puppy? It was great to get to have my parents dog (for some reason she's my dog when she's bad) up at the cottage the whole time, which never happened when my grandparents were spending summers up there.

Weather wasn't all that nice at the beginning of the week, so there was lots of relaxing in the front room with some good books (I'll do a whole separate post on the books I read while on vacation, as it was kind of crazy!), playing board games, and shopping. S and A arrived on Wednesday/Thursday, and we did it up right...the Pentwater Thursday Night Band Concert, shopping, and plenty of beach time!



Even if it did feel like the water was going to chill us to the bone!



That's right, we went in! Well, A and I did...S had to stay back to safeguard the camera and all our sunglasses (way to take one for the team chica!).

We even did a bonfire with V, B&J on the 3rd for Pentwater fireworks. It was the quintessential 4th of July Holiday!



All in all, it was an amazing vacation, and one that I absolutely wish could have lasted another 10 days! Next year anyone? :)

29 June, 2009

I'm in Pentwater!

Sorry to have been MIA for awhile, but I'm on vacation!!!

I was home in Ohio with the family for a friend's wedding last weekend, and got a huge surprise when an old childhood friend was there! It was great to catch up again, and the wedding was loads of fun. Now I'm up at the cottage, and won't be worrying much about blogging until at least next week, but I'll have some great stories to tell when I get back. Hope everyone's having a good Monday!

21 June, 2009

Things I've Never Actually Taken the Time to Think About...

I was watching back episodes of The Daily Show, and Jon Stewart was mocking House Minority Leader John Boehner for saying that the Post Office was inefficient.

"Why are you picking on the Post Office? For 44 cents, someone comes to your house, picks up some piece of crap you wrote, and takes it to Wyoming on a plane!"

You know, he's not wrong. I mean think about it...for all that we (and by 'we' of course I mean me and the real me) complain every time the Post Office hikes up the price of stamps, it's still probably about as much bang for your buck as you'll get anywhere in the U.S. And now that they have the Forever Stamp, it's even better!

Seriously, 44¢? I've never actually thought of it in those terms before, but that's cheap! Gotta love the US Postal Service (and their automated machines that mean I don't actually have to stand in line except for when I'm too stupid to remember that I shouldn't go to the post office on April 14th.).

20 June, 2009

Help! Book Suggestions Needed...

Okay, I'm reaching out to all my blogging friends because it's T-minus six days and counting before I leave Florida to head up to my cottage in Michigan, and I need beach book suggestions!! Nothing too heavy, but something with a good story that I can get lost in for hours at a time on the beautiful sandy beach, or in the woodsy cottage.

I usually go through at least 4/5 books in a week-long visit up north, so I'm visiting Amazon.com and the library this week.

HELP!!

TV Theme Songs...

Okay, I swear I'm done after this. Angie, check out the 0:37 and the 2:17 mark...


Who doesn't love Josh Groban singing the Golden Girls and Brady Bunch theme songs?


Eye of the Tiger

And then there's this...I mean absolutely no way I was this cool!



19 June, 2009

Don't Stop Believin'

Okay, I just have to say, there's no way that I was this cool as a kid in choir...



18 June, 2009

Pentwater Music Video

My mom sent me this link to a music video that triptheshutter put together about Pentwater, and it just made me grin...everything from sunsets to band concerts to local color...it's perfect, and very well done! :)

17 June, 2009

To Do List....

I have to clean my apartment this weekend. Badly. I also need to go grocery shopping. And regular shopping. And go to Sam's Club. And did I mention clean my apartment? And this is officially my only free weekend in June.

But on the plus side, in July, I get to go to Pentwater with S and A!! So when I get depressed and overwhelmed, and massively stressed out, all I need to do is think of this:


And possibly this:

And a little bit of this:


Afterall, it's a town with no grocery store, but THREE ice cream parlors! That whole 'healthy eating' thing is pretty much going out the window. I'm nothing if not a realist...

T-minus 11 days and counting!!!!

16 June, 2009

Old Movies!

Well after realizing last week that I don't own two of my favorite movies of all time, and after realizing that Amazon.com sells them all for under $10, I got a lovely little delivery today!

So this weekend is going to be old movie weekend, featuring:

My favorite movie of all time, The Philadelphia Story:


A close second, His Girl Friday:


Arsenic and Old Lace:


And last but not least, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House:


Hmm...I'm noticing (just now, I'm that observant) that these are all Cary Grant movies...quite the common denominator! Now I'm stuck wondering if I like these movies just because I like them, or if I like them because of the remarkable Mr. Grant. A thought to ponder as I indulge myself this weekend. It's going to be fun!!

15 June, 2009

Airplane Randomness

So on the plane coming back from DC last night, I had the oddest experience. Now normally I can't sleep on planes, but I'd gotten up at 3am on Friday to go to DC, and had been busy with work and friends all weekend long (wonderfully, amazingly busy, but busy nonetheless), so I was exhausted, and fell asleep almost as soon as my head hit the seat-back. I had the window seat, there was a scruffy but kinda cute guy in the seat next to me, and an older woman on the aisle. None of us actually talked to one another, which is quite frankly how I like things on an airplane, so I switch my iPod to my "Sleep" playlist, and I was out.

I woke up maybe half and hour later, not sure what had woken me, but surprised to find that scruffy boy and I had somehow fallen asleep with our heads just inches from each other...oops! That would have been embarrassing if he'd woken up first! So as I'm starting to turn over to try to go back to sleep, I realize that the woman on the aisle has her camera out, and is leaning over, trying to take a picture of us. While we're sleeping. Can you say creepy?

So naturally I recoiled, which woke scruffy guy up, and we both asked her what the hell she thought she was doing. Apparently she thought we were a couple (who apparently never look at, or acknowledge each other in any way), and that we looked cute while we were sleeping, so she'd decided to take a picture of us and ask us for our e-mail address later, so she could send it on. Luckily, we were both equally horrified by this, and also luckily, she couldn't get her camera to work, so we were spared that particular awkwardness of having a total stranger with a picture of us together, but still. Creepy. The rest of the flight was decidedly uncomfortable, and I was left wondering: What is wrong with some people that they think just because they're on a plane with you, that gives them the right to become a part of your lives? Who are these people?