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Archive for October, 2004

2004-10-31

by @ Sunday, October 31st, 2004. Filed under Life

Happy 6th anniversary, you walnut-farting motherfucker. I love you, you goofy bastard! (And they said it’d never last).

* * *
And how funny is it that no sooner did I answer a Smart and Sassy question about giving other people anniversary presents, saying Oh please, some people will use any damn excuse to expect gifts from other people. than my sister made and sent Fred and I an anniversary present?
No wonder about a month ago she was asking what year Fred and I got married. Thanks, Deb. You rock!
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2004-10-30

by @ Saturday, October 30th, 2004. Filed under Life

List of fives. The five things I can hear right now. 1. The friggin’ plow on the other side of my fence. NOW they’re digging something back up. Fuckers. 2. Miz Poo quietly wheezing. 3. Meester Boogers hanging half out of the cat door, making whiny chattering noises at the birds. 4. The icemaker in the fridge making some weird kind of draining sound. 5. The birds in the back yard fighting over who gets to perch on the bird feeder. My current obsessions: 1. The Warren Brothers 2. Desperate Housewives 3. Lost 4. Thinking I hear one of the cats bringing a bird into the house, and running to check. 5. Diet Coke My favorite sad songs: 1. Dagger Through the Heart – Dolly Parton 2. You Were Mine – Dixie Chicks 3. Cold Day in July – Suzy Bogguss (Dixie Chicks do a good version, too) 4. Angry All the Time – Tim McGraw 5. Be My Downfall – Del Amitri My other favorite sad songs: 1. Changes – Olivia Newton-John 2. Black – Pearl Jam 3. I’m Not Supposed to Love You Anymore – Bryan White 4. You’re Gone – Diamond Rio 5. I Miss My Friend – Darryl Worley (I could have done a list of about 50 of these! I do love me a sad song.) My current favorite songs (sad or otherwise): 1. The Lucky – The Warren Brothers 2. Runnin’ out of Heroes – The Warren Brothers 3. Goodbye to Neverland – The Warren Brothers 4. Trouble Is – The Warren Brothers 5. Between the River and Me – The Warren Brothers (Can you tell what CD is in my car stereo?) The songs that always make me think of my sister: 1. Silent Lucidity – Queensryche 2. You Could’ve Been with Me – Sheena Easton 3. All Cried Out – Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam with Full Force 4. Friends in Low Places – Garth Brooks 5. Anything by Travis Tritt The last five sites I visited: 1. Nance 2. Jane 3. Amblus 4. The Smart and Sassy forum 5. Scalzi – The Endorsement Five things that might (but probably won’t) surprise you about me: 1. I am pro-choice. (No, you won’t change my mind) 2. I am pro-gay marriage. (No, you won’t change my mind) 3. I am pro-stem cell research. (No, you won’t change my mind) 4. I think that anyone who seriously makes a black-and-white “All Republicans are”, “All Democrats are”, “All gay people are”, “All Christians are”, “All Southerners are”, “All Yankees are” statement is an idiot of the first degree with a strong need to pigeonhole people by their beliefs. 5. I’ve always been able to see both sides of most issues and it makes me feel like I come across as wishy-washy. I know what I believe, but I mostly understand why other people think the way they do, too. Five things I’d change about this house (money being no object): 1. I’d hardwood the stairs 2. I’d put up a wall between the kitchen and living room 3. I’d put the master bedroom on the front of the house to get the morning sun 4. I’d hardwood the entire house, come to think of it. 5. I’d put a hot tub and pool in the back yard. Five places I want to visit: 1. North Carolina (I’ve been to SC, now it’s time to go north!) 2. Scotland 3. Australia 4. Arizona 5. The Bahamas

* * *
“Yeah. Whaaaaatever, Mom.”
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2004-10-29

by @ Friday, October 29th, 2004. Filed under Life

Lost yesterday. My god, that is such a good show. If you’re not watching it, you’re missing out! Also, Fred and I watched Wife Swap last night. Another excellent show. I think Wednesday night on ABC has turned into my own personal Must-See TV night. But who are these people who clean for five hours a day? Who? I can’t even imagine. Also, who are these people who cater to their child’s every whim? Breakfast in bed? Three perfectly matched outfits to choose among? You are not doing your kids any favors by spoiling them rotten, people. On the other side, who on earth, knowing that another woman will be spending two weeks in their house, doesn’t clean? I spend an hour cleaning just when we’re having Fred’s parents over to watch a movie with us. If I knew another woman was going to be spending two weeks in my home, I’d spend a week beforehand scrubbing the entire house from top to bottom. Okay, TV talk is over for now.

* * *
I think something’s wrong with my sense of smell. Miz Poo just farted and it smells like pineapple. Maybe all those years of picking my nose has finally done some damage.
* * *
Oh, nevermind. It’s apparently a candle sitting in one of my desk drawers. I guess that makes a little more sense than a pineapple-scented Poo poot.
* * *
So, if you’ve ever flown before, chances are good you’ve come across the SkyMall catalog. If you’ve never flown before or haven’t explored the pouch on the back of the seat in front of you, woe betide you, because SkyMall is awesome. When I flew home from Maine in September, I was bored with whatever it was I was reading, and I picked up the SkyMall catalog, which I usually prefer not to look at, because it is filled with many a wondrous thing. This time, though, I did look through the entire thing, and by the time I’d landed in Huntsville, I’d marked half the pages as having something on them that I desperately needed to have. When I got home, I tossed the catalog in my desk drawer where it stayed for a month or so, and then a few weeks I was cleaning out the drawer and came across the catalog, and remembered how desperately I needed this stuff. Which is how it happened that a huge styrofoam-peanut-filled box was left in front of my door by UPS earlier this week. When I opened the box, I found an item I’d ordered not for me, but for the cats. Before I tell you what it was, let me remind you of how we used to have a sweater dryer sitting under the table in the master bedroom. It was there because once upon a time I actually used it as a sweater dryer, and then Miz Poo discovered it, and then various and sundry other cats discovered it, and it became not so much a sweater dryer as a kitty hammock. Tubby used to love laying on it, only he was so heavy that once he settled his big ass on it the one side of the dryer that was attached via velcro would come undone, and I’d have to fix it. The other kitties liked laying on it, but Tubby loved it most of all. A few months ago I looked at the sweater dryer and realized that it had gotten pretty nasty and torn, because Meester Boogers had come to enjoy getting under it and kicking it with his back feet, and sometimes I’d walk across the room in the middle of the night and find that the little bastard had knocked the sweater dryer into the middle of the room. When I say I’d “find” the sweater dryer in the middle of the room, what I mean of course is that I’d stumble across it, and swear up a storm and get myself so worked up and annoyed that I’d have a hard time falling back to sleep. Anyway, I took the sweater dryer apart and tossed it, because it was in such bad shape, and I vowed that I would look for something else to put there. Then I read the SkyMall catalog, and voila! Exactly what I wanted, and for an excellent price! SkyMall is the shit, yo. So I ordered it and after a few weeks of waiting it arrived and then sat in a huge styrofoam-peanut-filled box for a few days before I got around to unpacking it (and spilling those frickin’ peanuts everywhere. What I hate the most about those damn things is how they stick to you. Grrr!). Wednesday I finally unpacked it and took the pieces of the dog bed out of the box and got a screwdriver and sat myself down on the living room floor to put it together. And half an hour later I stomped out of the living room and called Fred to bitch about how the bed was a “worthless piece of shit” because I just could not get the fucking thing put together. Fred talked me down, promising to put it together himself when he got home. He was true to his word, and he didn’t swear or yell at the stupid dog bed in frustration or throw anything across the room, and he had it put together in ten minutes flat with very little problem even though one of the pieces was warped, because he is a bastard. We left it in the middle of the living room so the cats could sniff at it and get used to it and be freaky and all that. Spanky was the first one to try it out, because it was sitting in a spot of sun. He seemed to approve. Miz Poo was the next to give it a whirl Thursday afternoon while I was sitting on the couch cross-stitching.
Then last night Meester Boogers came sniffing around.
First he sat under it, trying to decide if this was a new Stump Cave. Then he chewed on the fabric. Then he chewed on the metal.
After we were done watching TV, I carried it upstairs to the master bedroom and put it under the table the TV sits upon. Meester Boogers spent the evening hiding under it and smacking at the other cats as they wandered by. In case you were wondering, we are officially Crazy Cat People. We have 8 cat beds in this house and only four cats. How fucked up is that?
* * *
I have to say, I really REALLY want a pet stroller, because helLEW, how stylin’ and cool (also completely fucking goofy and nutty) would I look, strolling down the street with Meester Boogers in a stroller? I’ve tried six ways to Sunday, but I just can’t justify the $129 cost, though. Damnit. Maybe I could make my own pet stroller with an old stroller and some netting! Yeah, I’ll get right on that.
* * *
Pet store kitty pics from Monday are up, here.
* * *
Fred saw this car in the parking lot of our grocery store and came home to get a picture of it, just for me. I’d seen it before, though. It belongs someone who works at the store. Very “me”, don’tchathink?
* * *
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2004-10-28

by @ Thursday, October 28th, 2004. Filed under Life

2004-10-27

by @ Wednesday, October 27th, 2004. Filed under Life

* * * TV talk in this section (I still haven’t gotten around to figuring out where to put up the Couch Potato blog. Maybe this weekend.). If you’re not interested in The Swan or The Biggest Loser skip to the next section, ‘k? We actually watched The Swan Monday night, since I didn’t trust the DVR to tape it and not delete it before I’d watched it. Also, there was nothing else to watch. The first hour was a recap of all the “Swans” from last season, including how they’re doing/ what they’re doing today, how their relationships are going and the like. I enjoyed it, because I always enjoy that shit, and Fred pointed out several times that they all look much better in their real life when they’re not all made up and wearing beaded gowns. They played the clip of Rachel Love Fraser’s husband saying “She’s a little average”, so Fred was happy. I was actually a little surprised at how many of the women I remembered, though there was one or two that made me say “Who the hell is that? I don’t remember her!” Is it just me, or do they tend to pair up a gung-ho woman with a whiner as often as possible? That woman who fought them the entire way, not wanting to eat the food, whining about working out, not wanting to talk about her Issues – what the hell is up with that? Why would you go on a show like The Swan and then fight them on every issue? Ingrate. They did a really good job on both the women this time around, though I wasn’t crazy about the extensions. Do they let anyone get away without extensions? We watched The Biggest Loser while it was on last night because, again, nothing else was on and we had nothing taped to watch. Here is my question – how can these people, being overweight, not know about water weight? Did they truly and honestly believe they were going to lose as much the second week as they did the first? For the love of god, people! You cannot lose twenty pounds one week and then expect to lose another twenty the next! I was a little surprised that Mo didn’t lose anything at all, though. I still think they’re overdoing the exercise. When they were voting on who to eliminate and that guy said “I’m sorry Dave (big pause, then he showed his vote) I’ve voted for Lizzeth!”, what an asshole. How could he think that was funny? I mean, I know they’re not curing cancer, Captain Asshole, but you don’t need to go out of your way to be cruel. Jeez. Is he the same one who said “What took you so long?” when the other team had to vote off a member? Because he’s not funny at all. What a jerk. Yeah, I guess I’m hooked on the show. I liked the way the trainers told their teams to just stay the course and they’d start losing again. The baking-and-selling challenge was a little goofy, but I was impressed that not a single person licked frosting or batter from their fingers while they were cooking.

* * *
There is a special seat deep in the bowels of Hell for those motherfuckers who invented styrofoam packing peanuts. I hate those goddamn packing peanuts like I hate nothing else on earth. And now I have a huge box filled with them. What I should do is mail the whole box of peanuts back to the fucking company they came from. Fuckers.
* * *
From my comments: So, DVR. Yeah, I’m supposed to have the cable company come and set me up with that on Wednesday. I’m wondering if I should save myself the headaches that you’ve been having and order TiVo instead. One question though, why does Fred not want to get TiVo? I’ve been wondering what the pros and cons are of each and haven’t heard anything to really sway me either way. The only reason I decided to go with DVR is because I have to get cable hooked up anyway, so I thought it would be easiest to just get the DVR at the same time. Should I re-think this? Thanks! We opted for the DVR over the TiVo only because of the cost – there’s a low monthly fee for the DVR, whereas with the TiVo you have to buy the TiVo and then also pay a monthly fee for service, or come up with $300 for lifetime service. What I really like about the TiVo (having never used one, only from reading online) is that it learns what you like and will tape things for you it thinks you might like. That, to me, is very cool. I will say that for what we pay for it every month, the DVR is worth it. We haven’t really had that many problems with it – when we first got the DVR we got two bad units in a row, but once we got the box we have now, it’s been working just fine. If I recall correctly, this is really the first big snafu we’ve had with it, and I’m mostly just pissed that last week’s ER got deleted, but I do know that I’ll surely see that episode in reruns at some point in the future. Trust me, though – whether you decide to go the DVR route or whether you decide to go the TiVo route, you will get so accustomed to the pausing and rewinding of live TV that when you’re in front of a TV you can’t pause or rewind, you will compulsively say “What did he say? Rewind it!” to the other people watching with you, and you will drive them nuts. (Edited to add: Yeah, apparently our box is in the process of shitting the bed and we’ll need a new one – it locked up at least twice on us last night. TiVo users who’ve had your unit for at least a year – have you had a problem like this at all?) Hey Robyn! I’ll show you my cross-stitching if you’ll show me yours….
I’m still working on this picture for the spud (she picked it out). I got the statue done (obviously), now I just have to do the flag. I put it down for a few days because I’m not looking forward to doing the flag. Hush, of course I’m not anti-flag – I just always have to take a little break when I go from doing one big piece of a picture to another. I’m looking forward to getting this done, though I think the outlining is going to take forEVER.
* * *
When I get up in the morning and am puttering around the house putting in my contacts and making the bed and all that, I tend to turn the TV on to CMT and listen to the videos while I putter. Which is how I discovered that there is this new absolutely horrifying Shania Twain video. Now, before I get into the complaining about the video, I should say that for the most part I like Shania Twain just fine. I like her earlier stuff more than her most recent stuff, but I also haven’t hated anything she’s put out recently. Until now. There’s this video for a song called something like “Party for Two” and it starts with her talking on her cell phone while she struts along, and she says in the most annoying breathy voice that has ever crossed my ears “Hhhhhey, Billy” and then there’s a whole conversation wherein she tries to get him to come to the party or some shit. I cannot stand this song. I cannot stand this video. I am filled with extreme hatred every time I happen across either the song or the video. Sometimes when there’s nothing on TV and Fred is flipping channels, he’ll flip to the country music video stations and every once in a while that video will be coming on and I scream “Change it! Change it! CHANGE IT!” and he never quite moves fast enough to change the channel and some of the horror enters my brain and I die a little inside. If I just so happen to die in my sleep one of these nights, y’all are in charge of suing Shania Twain. Got it?
* * *
“Hey. HEY! That’s my toy. Put it down. PUT IT DOWN, Spanky, or I will come over there and kick your ASS, you understand? You want a fight? Yeah, that’s what I thought, tough boy.
* * *
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2004-10-26

by @ Tuesday, October 26th, 2004. Filed under Life

The spud lets her Southern roots shine through. Sixteen years ago right this very second, I was sitting in a hospital room with my then-husband and my mother, waiting to be taken back to the operating room. An examination and ultrasound the day before had shown that my body wasn’t planning on going into labor anytime soon, and the child I was carrying was estimated to be 10 pounds 6 ounces. “I think you’ve got a moose in there,” my OB/GYN told me. He told me that he’d like to schedule a c-section the next day; I agreed. I went home and cleaned like mad. I packed my bag. My then-husband and I went out to buy a few last-minute things, then went out for Chinese food (and the spud’s favorite food has always been Chinese. Coincidence? I think not!).

I got up early the next morning, showered and dressed, and had my picture taken, and then we were on the way. My parents and sister met us at the hospital, and my mother and husband went into the room with me to wait. While waiting, I could feel the baby moving entirely from one side of my body to the other. And I had to get up and pee about a thousand times.
It’s a blur now – they got the IV started and took me away to the operating room. I said goodbye to my husband, parents, and sister, and before I knew it I was counting backward from 100. What seemed like a minute later, I was coming to. The nurses told me the baby was perfectly healthy, and all I could think to say was “Does she have a lot of hair?” and when I asked they laughed and said they guessed she did. I was in and out of it for a few hours. While I was out of it, the spud’s father filled out her birth certificate (luckily we were in agreement about her name) and he held her for the first time. My parents hung around for a while and then left. When I was finally mostly awake, the nurses brought her to me, and I looked at her and said “Oh my god, she’s so tiny!” This, about a 10-pound 2-ounce baby that looked like she was six months old.
And the next feeling I had, after that feeling of wonder had passed, was pure abject terror. “Oh my god,” I thought. “What have I done? I can’t do this. I can’t be somebody’s mother!” I’m still a little terrified about that, to tell the truth. She’s a sweet, funny, inquisitive, intelligent, sympathetic, ditzy (like her mother), awesome kid; I’m not sure how that happened, but I’m not complaining!
* * *
I hope you never lose your sense of wonder, You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger, May you never take one single breath for granted, God forbid love ever leave you empty handed, I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean, Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens, Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance, And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance. I hope you dance…. I hope you dance. I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance, Never settle for the path of least resistance Livin’ might mean takin’ chances but they’re worth takin’, Lovin’ might be a mistake but it’s worth makin’, Don’t let some hell bent heart leave you bitter, When you come close to sellin’ out reconsider, Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance, And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance. I hope you dance…. I hope you dance. I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean, Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens, Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance, And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance. Dance…. I hope you dance.
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2004-10-25

by @ Monday, October 25th, 2004. Filed under Life

* * * Tomorrow I will be the mother of a sixteen year-old. How is that possible, I ask you?

* * *
Last week at some point we looked at Spot (we don’t look at Spot a lot, because it makes him nervous. Also, he hides in the extra bedroom a lot, so we don’t happen across him all that often, either.) and realized that the bald spots caused by overgrooming on his legs had gotten worse and that basically he was balding from the waist (cats don’t have waists, but you know what I mean) down, on the front of him. Since Fred had to take Miz Poo to the vet on Saturday anyway (yes, he is a prince among men, and he is MINE) he called and made sure it was okay to take Spot as well. Saturday morning he packed Spot up in one carrier and Miz Poo in the other. Spot was making the saddest, scariest, eeriest noises I’ve ever heard, and it was freaking out Spanky and Meester Boogers, too. Meester Boogers was sniffing at Spot’s carrier with his ears back and just generally looking freaked out. When Fred came back from the vet’s an hour later he had three different medications for Spot along with an estimate from the vet regarding Spot’s teeth, which apparently desperately need cleaning. The medication was an antibiotic because the vet thinks Spot has a skin infection, medication for ringworm (he has a small spot behind his ear), and some kind of antidepressant medication so he’ll stop with the incessant grooming. I don’t remember the name of the antidepressant off the top of my head, but it was the same stuff we gave Miz Poo last year or the year before when the vet suspected she was overgrooming and that that’s what was causing her lip to puff up. We had her on it for two or three days and had to take her off it, because it turned her into a total zombie. She didn’t act like herself at all, just sat there and stared off into space and was completely passive when we gave her medication or picked her up or whatever. After two days on it, I’d say it has the same effect on Spot, too. He’s always been the kind of cat who will purr really loudly if you talk to him or pet him, but Fred scratched him behind the ears last night, and not a purr was heard. I guess we’re going to keep him on it for now, just because the sight of his skinny, balding legs is painful to see. Hopefully this will help stop the overgrooming and let his fur grow back. At the age of 10, he’s now considered a geriatric cat. That just sucks to think about, to say the least.
* * *
When I came downstairs this morning, I glanced over at the cable box, and my heart just sank. The cable box flashed “Boot” at me a couple of times, and then went blank. I turned everything on, and it gave me the blue screen for a minute, and then claimed to be on channel 2, but the screen was black and I couldn’t change the channel or look at my list of recorded stuff. After about two minutes, the box turned itself off, flashed “Boot” at me, and then turned itself off. I called and bitched at Fred for a minute and he had me disconnect the power supply and cable to the box. I did so, waited a few minutes, and then plugged them back in. It did the same thing, I told him exactly what was happening, and he said he’d call the cable company. While I was on my way to the pet store he called me on my cell phone to tell me that the cable guy would be at the house between 11 and 2 on Wednesday. I commenced to bitching about the fucking cable box and the fucking cable company and what bastards they all are and how I should just start taping everything with the VCR because I HATE THE CABLE COMPANY. “No one I know who has a TiVo has ever had all the problems we’ve had with the friggin’ DVR!” I told him. “I should just go get us a TiVo!” He wouldn’t go for that. “Well, how the hell are we supposed to watch TV tonight?” I asked. “We’ll move the cable box from one of the other TVs into the living room,” he said. “And when the host of The Swan is saying something inane and I didn’t hear what she said because you were TALKING, how the hell am I going to rewind so I can hear her?” I demanded. “Bessie,” Fred said. “We used to watch TV without being able to rewind it. We can do it again!” “But I don’t waaaaaant to,” I sniffled. When I got home from the pet store, the cable box was up and running. I was able to turn it on and change channels and everything, but everything I recorded since last Wednesday and hadn’t watched – CSI: NY, ER, Desperate Housewives, Boston Legal – was gone, gone, gone. Thank god Desperate Housewives reruns on Saturdays, but everything else is long gone. Stupid cable box. Stupid cable company. The question now is whether the cable box just had a hiccup, or if it’s starting to break down. And now I have nothing to watch this afternoon while I’m cross-stitching. Fuckers.
* * *
“I don’t care that you were sitting here first. You got up and now I am sitting here. And if you try to move me, I will cut you. Capisce?”
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2004-10-22

by @ Friday, October 22nd, 2004. Filed under Life

(click on image to see the full-sized version)

(click on image to see the full-sized version)
(click on image to see the full-sized version)
(click on image to see the full-sized version)
(click on image to see the full-sized version)
When the sunrise was pretty much over and I was starting to get really cold, I went inside and read until everyone else got up, sometime after 8. I took my shower and got dressed and everyone else milled about while I read, and then the great “Where shall we go for breakfast?” discussion began. I cut it off at the knees when I said “Hey, let’s go back to that place we went Monday and get the buffet!” (We fat chicks love the buffet, don’tchaknow.) So we went to the Sea Captain’s House (I keep wanting to call it the Sea Captain’s Table for some reason) for breakfast, then did a little more driving around, checking out the resorts in the area. We stumbled across a nice little trailer park, and I tried to convince my parents to buy a trailer, because the trailer park was within walking distance of the beach and helLEW, why would you need a great big expensive beach house when you could buy a much less expensive trailer? But they wouldn’t go for it.
We went back to the apartment for a little while, and then my mother decided that she was having the shakes since she hadn’t been shopping in almost 20 hours, so she, the spud and I headed out to go shopping. We went to a mall that had outlet stores, but I don’t remember the name of the mall. Oh, here it is – the Tanger Outlet Center. My mother immediately headed for a women’s clothing store, I don’t remember which one. Maybe Liz Claiborne? And the spud and I went into sixteen different stores and went back to find that my mother wasn’t done shopping in the one store. When it comes to shopping for clothes, unless it’s obnoxious t-shirts or maybe baby clothes, the very idea makes me want to stomp and pout and whine “Not cloooooooothes! Clothes are borrrring.” My mother finally left the store after about forty-five minutes with one pair of pants. For my mother, the joy of shopping is in the hunting down the one perfect item that will look perfect with other items she already owns or perhaps an item she might find in the future. She is a shopper – I, on the other hand, am a buyer. I think to myself, “Self, I need underwear.” If I decide I need a certain type of underwear (currently Formfit underwear you can buy at Target) I take myself to the place where the underwear can be found, I spend three to four minutes locating the color and size I need, I pay for it, I go home. Voila! Underwear! Anyway, once my mother was done buying her pair of pants, we headed off to look in the other stores. We stopped in Kitchen Collection, where I bought a small cutting board and a funnel, then we went to Cabin Creek. In Cabin Creek I found a plethora of things I didn’t know I needed. For one, I bought some more coasters, these with a picture of a house on the ocean and a saying along the lines of “Heaven’s a little closer in a house on the ocean…” The spud, to her delight, found a hot pink Moshi hippo (like this, only hot pink and a hippo). She told me it was like a Moshi pillow Ellen had and that it was cool, and I had to agree – Moshi pillows and animals are very, very cool feeling. If you’ve never seen or felt one, get thee to a Linens ‘n Things and check them out. I asked her if she wanted me to buy her the Moshi for her birthday, and she didn’t have to think about it at all – of course she wanted it. So I bought that, and after we were done shopping and were on our way out, I stopped back by and bought a bright fluorescent yellow Moshi neckroll pillow. I have to say, that’s probably the best thing I’ve bought in a long time. Those pillows are awesome. We spent more time shopping. My mother wanted to buy the spud a kind of dressy pair of shoes, so we went into Skechers and they found a pair of shoes for her. We stopped for a drink and then an ice cream cone (lunch!) and then decided we were done and headed for the Jeep. Then we went to another mall, the name of which I cannot recall. It’s on 501 between the Tanger Outlet Center and Barefoot Landing; it’s on the same side of the road as Barefoot Landing, if you wanted to know. My mother went into the department store (I don’t remember the name – it’s one we don’t have around here, though). I went into Waldenbooks and bought a book, and I offered to buy the spud a book if she found one she wanted. She found a bodice ripper that struck her fancy, so I paid for that as well, and then we went back out into the mall, sat down, and read while we were waiting for my mother. We wandered around the mall a while, but there was nothing too exciting – that is, nothing you can’t see in most of the malls around here. We did stop in the record store (do they call them “record stores” these days?) and I ended up buying the newest Warren Brothers cd and (shaddup) the Minnie Driver cd as well as a (again, shaddup) Sheena Easton “Best of” cd. After that, it was time to go back to the apartment and hang out for a while. My parents tried to start a “where shall we have dinner?” argument, but I put a stop to that by suggesting we got to The Great American Steak and Buffet Company, and they both liked that idea a great deal. It was still early, so my parents went for a walk on the beach while I read and then watched Oprah. The water was pretty wild, so before we left for dinner the spud and I went down on the beach so I could take pictures of the water. My father, who should be shot, took pictures of us from the balcony.
And, no. You don’t get to see the full-sized picture where I’m bending over with my ass pointed straight toward the camera. I’m a spoilsport.
(click on image to see the full-sized version)
(click on image to see the full-sized version)
(click on image to see the full-sized version)
(click on image to see the full-sized version)
(click on image to see the full-sized version)
When the spud and I got back up to the apartment, we went out on the balcony and saw a couple of guys windsurfing out on the ocean.
(click on image to see the full-sized version)
Dinner was fabulous, as I’d known it would be, and I got my fill of seafood salad. That stuff is SO damn good. I don’t know what it’s got in it, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find that the primary ingredient is crackcocaine. After dinner we went back to Bargains so I could look longingly at the adorable little bitty frogs in their aquariums and debate whether Fred would be mad if I brought home some adorable little bitty frogs, and then I decided it would be mean to buy a couple of little frogs and immediately subject them to a 10-hour trip in a shaking vehicle. (I did buy some cheap-o t-shirts for the giveaway page, though. Whee!) We went back to the apartment, where my father sat down and watched Laurel Canyon and my mother fell asleep watching TV with the spud.
Talked to Fred for half an hour at ten, then set the alarm on my cell phone for 5:30 am, and went to bed.
* * *
Thursday morning I woke up feeling like I’d overslept. I looked at the clock and realized it was 5:37 and wondered why the hell my alarm hadn’t gone off. I looked at the cell phone and realized I’d set the alarm for 5:30, but the clock on my cell phone was still on Central time, and I had intended to get up at 5:30 Eastern time. I got up and showered, then woke up the spud. We got dressed, finished packing our bags, and my parents walked down to the Jeep with us. We hugged and said goodbye, stopped for gas, and were on our way home. The spud slept for the first few hours, and I listened to my Warren Brothers cd and tried to make sure I was going the right way.
I have to say, I really REALLY like the Warren Brothers cd. It sounds less country than bluesy rock to me; I especially like “Trouble Is”, “Between the River and Me”, “Goodbye to Neverland” and “Pretty” (the last specifically because hearing the word “Ghet-to” cracks me up). During the entire drive home, I think I listened to the cd at least five times, so I’d say it’s a hit with me. We were somewhere near Atlanta when a truck passed me. I glanced over at it, and started laughing out loud. On the back of the truck’s window were two bumper stickers side by side. One said “Terrorists Want Kerry to Win” and the other said “Jane Fonda is a Traitorous Bitch”. I slowed down so he could pass me all the way, and on his bumper was a sticker that said “Feed Teddy Kennedy to the Homeless”. Talk about wearing your heart on your sleeve! Gosh, I wonder where he stands on the political spectrum? Once he was back in the right lane, I changed lanes and passed him, hoping to get a picture of the bumper stickers. I wasn’t able to, but I did get a picture of the truck.
I ended up passing him, whereupon he sped up, passed me, and the guy in the passenger’s seat flicked a cigarette butt at the Jeep. Since I wasn’t up for kicking the asses of a couple of good ol’ boys (I could have done it, y’understand. I just didn’t feel like messing up my hair.) I slowed down until they were out of sight. At some point I was switching radio stations, looking for a non-staticky country station, when I heard a voice that seemed familiar. At first I thought it was Paul Harvey so I stopped, but when I heard (paraphrased)”Anyone who can’t make more than minimum wage, who’s trying to raise a family on minimum wage is a loser”, I thought I don’t think that’s Paul Harvey. “Wow,” I said. “What an asshole. That must be Rush Limbaugh.” So I called Fred, who told me he didn’t think Rush would say something quite that rude (ahem) and that though it kind of sounded like him, it was probably Atlanta-based Neil Boortz. I listened to the show for a few more minutes, but he started to sound like a half-drunk college kid amusing himself by trying to be shocking – yeah, we get it! You’re oh-so cutting-edge and shocking! Gasp! – so I put the Warren Brothers cd back in and listened to it again.
(click on image to see the full-sized version) There’s a few miles of wildflowers once you cross the Georgia-Alabama border (the flowers are on the Alabama side). Very pretty.
I called Fred when we were about twenty minutes from Madison. He left work and met me near the place where I’d rented the Jeep. The spud and I put all our luggage in Fred’s car, then I filled up the Jeep and returned it. Did I mention I got a brand-spanking-new Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo for a week for $150? That just rocks the casbah, in my opinion. We drove home, the spud and I chattering at Fred the entire way. When we got home we unloaded the car, and Fred carried my suitcase upstairs while I greeted Miz Poo and glanced at the mail. “Bessie,” Fred said, coming down the stairs with something in his hands. “Spot brought you a special welcome-home present!” It was a dead sparrow. And not only had Spot brought it into the house, he’d carried it up on the bed, where it had lain long enough to get cold. So I spent my first ten minutes back at home stripping the bed and tossing the sheets and comforter into the wash, because birds carry nasty things like mites, and ewww. But I was still glad to be home.
* * *
Side notes: 1. I have never in my entire life seen as many dead animals as I saw on I-20 between Birmingham and Atlanta. We saw three dead deer laying by the side of the road, and various other animals. At one point I saw an armadillo laying on it’s back with it’s stubby little legs stuck up in the air and I thought for an instant that it was a baby piglet. 2. I was going to ask who Pee Dee is and why everything in a certain part of South Carolina is named after him, but after a quick search on Google, I understand that Pee Dee is the name of an Indian tribe in South Carolina. You really do learn something new every day, eh?
* * *
What a face.
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2004-10-21

by @ Thursday, October 21st, 2004. Filed under Life

* * * Fred and I watched The Biggest Loser last night (it was on Tuesday night, but we can hardly stand to watch real-time TV unless we’re desperate, so we DVR’d it). When it was over, we debated whether we wanted to keep watching it, and decided to watch one more episode of it, and decide from there. There were things that happened that left a bad taste in my mouth – for instance at the beginning, when they did the initial weigh-in, there was no reason on god’s green earth that they needed to put their bathing suits on. It was humiliating for them and the only point seemed to be “Oh, look! Look at the FAT people!” You’ll notice that they weren’t wearing bathing suits for the weigh-in at the end. The temptation room (or whatever they called it), where there was a refrigerator under each of their names with their favorite foods in it was unnecessary. Fred tried to defend it, saying “You come across temptations like that in real life!”, but I pointed out that “We don’t keep the crappy food we’re tempted by available 24 hours a day in our own house.” It’s a gimmick, so that when someone cracks and runs for their favorite food, the cameras can play the dun-dun-dun music while someone stuffs their face. What I really didn’t like is how overboard the trainers went when it was the day before weigh-in. Did I hear right? Did some of those people exercise for FIVE HOURS? That just doesn’t seem healthy. What seemed the most unhealthy – downright dangerous – is that three people lost around 20 pounds in one week. Now, granted that a good part of that is simple water weight, but 20 pounds? In one week? Not healthy. Someone’s going to end up collapsing, mark my word. Also, is it just me, or are hosts becoming more and more unnecessary? Caroline Rhea was there just to pop up and say “Come weigh!” or “Your trainers will be here tomorrow!” I think the trainers could have served perfectly well as hosts. I don’t know – like I said, we’re going to give it another try, and we’ll see whether we decide it’s worth continuing to watch.

* * *
I watched A Cinderella Story with Hilary Duff yesterday. (Shaddup) I sure do like that cute little Hilary Duff, but why do the female leads always end up with the boring and bland Prince Charmings? She’d’ve been better off with her cute little best friend. All in all, not a horrible movie. In fact, I’d probably stop and watch it again if I was flipping channels and it happened to be on.
* * *
I had my hair cut and colored Tuesday morning, and for the first time ever when I walked into the salon and sat down and looked at myself under those bright lights, I didn’t take one look at my hair and cringe. I don’t wash my hair the morning I have it cut and colored, because what would be the point of that? It’s going to get washed after it’s done being colored, and washing it beforehand would be like scrubbing the floor before the cleaning lady gets there to clean, right? Anyway, Monday morning after I got out of the shower I just happened to put some cheap styling product in my hair and blew it dry, because it’s starting to get cold around here and walking around with a wet head is a surefire way to end up piled under six blankets on the couch, shivering, while bitching about how cold I am. Come Tuesday morning I rolled out of bed, put my hair up, took my shower, then brushed my hair when I got out of the shower, and it looked just fine. I get so bored blow-drying my hair, though. Sometimes I bring a book into the bathroom while I’m blow-drying, but it’s hard to hold the blow-dryer, wield a brush to style the hair, and try to read all at the same time. I need to win the lottery so I can hire someone to come to my house every day and style my hair while I read.
* * *
So, I’ve started doing this very annoying (to me) thing. Back when Things I Hate About You first started and they showed the show with Renee and Patrick (still far and away our favorite couple), there was this part where Renee was singing to her dog Samson, and the song went “Sammy-Sam! Sammy-Sam! Hot-diggity-dog, it’s Sammy-Sam!” Then recently we were watching Extreme Makeover and that adorable Sam Saboura came on, and out of the frickin’ blue, Fred sang “Sammy-Sam! Sammy-Sam!” and that little song lodged itself in my brain and I cannot make it go away. I sing it to everyone and everything. “Freddy-Fred! Freddy-Fred!” I sang the other night. “Stumpy-Stump! Stumpy-Stump!” I sang to Meester Boogers (I also sang “Booger-Butt! Booger-Butt! Hot-diggity-dog, it’s Booger-Butt!” to him). “Pooty-Poo! Pooty-Poo! Hot-diggity-cat, it’s Pooty-Poo!” You get the idea. It’s driving me out of my fucking mind, because it’s up there zinging around, and I just know that one of these days I’m going to start singing it at an inappropriate time. “Afterglow! Afterglow! Hot-diggity-dog, it’s afterglow!”
* * *
Hey, did you know that the cheese-alicious The Swan is coming back next week? You know I’ll be there, ’cause I’m a sucker for a makeover show!
* * *
Pet store kitty pics from Monday are here.
* * *
“Heddo!”
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2004-10-20

by @ Wednesday, October 20th, 2004. Filed under Life

(click on image to see the full-sized version) My mother and the spud slept in a little, not getting up until almost 8. Then the spud and I took turns taking showers (oh my god, I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned the shower yet – the water pressure in the shower was incredibly strong; I thought it was going to fling me against the wall the first time I stepped into the shower. It was AWESOME.) and we sat around and watched TV for a while (my mother does love that Katie Couric) and then we went to breakfast. This time, we did the Shoney’s buffet (no yummy little pastries! Sob!) and I grabbed the check from my father when it came, because there’s no damn reason he needs to pay for EVERY meal, is there? Then, since none of us really wanted to go back to the apartment, we did some driving around, and we hit a strip somewhere in Myrtle Beach that had many of the same kind of shops and arcades that Gatlinburg does. In fact, Gatlinburg and Myrtle Beach both have the Alabama Theatre, the Dixie Stampede, and The Fudgery, among other things. I started referring to Myrtle Beach as “Gatlinburg by the ocean.” After driving around for a while, we went back to the apartment, watched The View (another show my mother loves), and once that was over we decided to go… shopping, of course! There were some shops at Barefoot Landing we hadn’t made it into, so we decided to go back there. We shopped for a few hours – I bought a sweatshirt at Big Dog – and then decided to go into The Fudgery for a sample of fudge. Only they were about to put on a show (they apparently do a whole song and dance while they make fudge, and at the end they’ll give you a sample, but not before you’re suckered in by the sales pitch) so we stayed and watched that, and then because we’re big stupid suckers, my mother and I each bought something like 3 1/2 pounds of fudge because it was such! a great! deal! Buy three slices, get three free! How can you possibly pass that up?! We’re suckers. Because who the holy hell needs six 1/2-pound slices of fudge? I had actually decided I would “accidentally” leave the fudge in the refrigerator when we left Thursday morning, but my mother was on to my tricks and made sure she got up before I left, and took the fudge out of the refrigerator and put it by my purse so I wouldn’t forget it. I ended up tossing it in the trash at the gas station, because like I said, who the hell needs that much fudge? Anyway, we bought our fudge and did a little more shopping, then went back to the apartment, where my father had been spending the day sitting on the balcony and reading.

(click on image to see the full-sized version)
(click on image to see the full-sized version)
We decided to go for a walk on the beach, and for once I left the camera at home, because I didn’t want to drop it in the sand or get it wet. I wish I’d brought it with me, though, because as we were walking back toward the apartment, these two old guys were walking on the beach with their elderly, tiny dog who I swear to god looked like a little toy wind-up dog. He either didn’t like the feel of sand on his feet or was very arthritic, because he was moving very, very slowly. Anyway, we ended up spending about an hour and a half walking on the beach. The spud gathered up another ton of shells, and we found a dead shrimp on the beach (but didn’t eat it). We all got splashed a few times. It was just a really nice afternoon. We headed back to the apartment and got ready for dinner. My parents had decided they wanted to celebrate the spud’s birthday (it’s on the 26th), so they told her we could go wherever she wanted to go for dinner. She decided she wanted Chinese food (it’s her favorite) and while we were out shopping we’d seen a Chinese restaurant with a buffet, so that’s where we ended going.
Highly recommended. In the Galleria shopping center on North King’s Highway.
It was one of the better Chinese restaurants I’ve been to. They had almost any kind of food you could want (except crab rangoon. Sob!). The spud tried fried squid and said it was really good, so I gave it a try. It tastes just like crab to me, only a little chewier, and I liked it enough to go back up to the buffet and get some more. After dinner, we drove around a little more and then went back to the apartment, where my father brought a giant chocolate chip cookie with “Happy birthday!” on it in frosting. He stuck a couple of candles in it, the spud blew out the candles, and then she opened presents from my parents. She got two skirt-and-shirt outfits, and a pair of boots that I just might have to steal for myself.
We ate our pieces of the giant cookie (and ice cream too, of course!), then cleared the table and the spud and my father watched TV in the living room, my mother watched TV in her room, and I laid on my bed and read until it was time to talk to Fred. Then the spud and I were off to bed. Did I mention that the bed I slept in was too soft and that I didn’t sleep worth a crap the entire time we were in Myrtle Beach? It certainly makes me appreciate my own bed, that’s for sure. The last day of Myrtle Beach tomorrow!
* * *
I always imagine that if Spanky were a person, he’d sound like Lenny from Laverne & Shirley, walking into the room and saying “Heddo!” He has that same blank look on his face, that’s for sure. But does that make Meester Boogers Squiggy?
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