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!



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)!

~How I Met Your Mother
~One Tree Hill
~Big Bang Theory
~Gossip Girl
~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.

~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.)

~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.)

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

~Ghost Whisperer
~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.)

~TiVo catch-up day

~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!


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!

Warrenville Grove
John Gilbert Fuller