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Tuesday, Dec. 28th

by @ Tuesday, December 28th, 2004. Filed under Life

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It’s incredibly freakin’ early, and the spud and I are about to leave for the airport. Have I mentioned that we’re going to Maine for 9 days? Suddenly it occurs to me that I haven’t said a thing about it, which is strange because it’s been on the forefront of my mind as I spent most of yesterday rushing around packing and doing laundry and vacuuming like a madwoman (you don’t EVEN want to know how much crap I got off my stairs with the Dyson yesterday morning. Blech. Also, it’s been a year since I got the Dyson, which I still love and adore. Happy first birthday, little Dyson, and thanks for all the cat hair you’ve sucked out of my carpet!) We’re flying Independence Air which, I am told, is about to start bankruptcy proceedings. Loovely. As long as they get my ass there and back first, they can go bankrupt all the live-long day. I had thought that I would bring the laptop with me and do an entry every day, since I’m doing the 31 Days thing and the Holidailies thing, but I just don’t want to drag that freakin’ laptop through the airport, I don’t want to have to deal with my father’s dial-up connection, so I’ve decided I’m going on vacation, and I won’t be messing with any damn computers. ‘Cause I deserve a break today, you know? I’ll be back in Alabama on the 6th, and it’s possible that there might be an entry up the next day, but I wouldn’t count on it. Don’t get worried until the 10th (day after my birthday! Birthday cake! Whee!) has come and gone and I haven’t posted an entry. At that point, you have my full permission to start bugging Fred, but until then, be patient. I’ll be back, with ten thousand pictures, and a bunch of stories, I’m sure. I do have a buttload of cat pictures for you. Let’s see if this puts you in the mood for a nap, huh? (Behave yourselves, and I’ll see you on the flip side!)
“Come give me a kiss, beautiful.” Booger and the ladybug. Doesn’t he have gorgeous eyes? You don’t impress him much. “One day Daddy will let me get the toy…” Talk about your long-suffering look! Clearly, all that yawning wore him out.
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Monday, Dec. 27th

by @ Monday, December 27th, 2004. Filed under Life

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From my comments: I figured if anyone would know the answer to this question,”WHERE IS NANCE“….it would be you 🙂 I check at her journal every day and there hasn’t been a posting since the 18th. You both are my all time favorites, so please please help an addicted journal reader out. Well, I know she’s still alive, ’cause I just got an email from her last night, so she’s not being held hostage by terrorists. I haven’t asked her directly, because she might yell at me and tell me to stop pressuring her, but I imagine she’s just taking a little time off to relax, and when she’s got the time and is so inclined, she’ll put up another entry. Personally I think she should quit working so she can hang around all day to entertain me, but I have a feeling she doesn’t see it that way. Hmph!
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Christmas card stats for 2004! (Last year’s stats are here.) Date I started addressing cards: November 27th (way earlier than last year!) Date I finished: December 20th. Total cards sent out (not including family): 327. States receiving 10 or more cards: California (25), Illinois (17), Michigan (10), New Jersey (11), Ohio (15), Pennsylvania (12), Texas (15), Washington (11), Wisconsin (12). States who don’t love me and didn’t want a card: Delaware, Nebraska, Vermont, Wyoming. Other countries receiving cards: Canada (27), New Zealand (2), Australia (7), United Kingdom (4), Sweden (1), Netherlands (2), Republic of Korea (1), Portugal (1), Germany (2), Iceland (1), Finland (1), Scotland (1), Japan (2). Most often recurring first names: Amy, Chris/Christine/Christy, Donna, Erin, Jennifer, Karen, Katherine/ Catherine, Laura, Lisa, Michele/ Michelle, Patricia/ Patty/ Patti/ Pat, Susan. Number of cards kicked back as undeliverable: Just one so far. Percentage of probability that I accidentally sent out more than one card to at least one person: 100. Was I terribly organized about my card sending this year?: Totally, scarily organized. Did I have a lot of fun shopping for funny cards?: You betcha. What I’ll do differently next year: Not a damn thing. I did an astoundingly good job this year. Number of cards I’ve received: 130 (as of Friday morning) (Edited 1/14/05) I got home from Maine in January to find another 40 cards waiting for me. That means I got a total of 170 cards. That’s pretty damn awesome. Thanks everyone for the awesome cards you sent, as well as the family pictures, the yearly newsletters, and the pictures of your cats. I love getting them! I didn’t display the cards this year, but a few people asked to see all the cards I got, so I set them up on the kitchen counter and took a bunch of pictures. These are big-ass pictures, in case you were wondering. (Edited 1/14/05: I’ve deleted the pictures of the cards, in the interest of saving space) I didn’t take pictures of any of the picture cards, because they wouldn’t stand up, and also because a lot of the picture cards had first and last names on them, and hello! Stalker alert! Better to be safe than sorry, y’know.
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We were driving to Fred’s father and stepmother’s house on Friday evening, and Fred and I started talking about the song Do They Know It’s Christmas? Fred made fun of George Michael’s part in the song (I don’t remember which line that is) and then I said “What about the one Bono sings?” and then I sang (badly) “Tonight thank god it’s them instead of youuuuuuuuuu!” Fred laughed, and then from the back seat, the spud piped up, making fun of my horrible singing voice. “Mom, you’re going to be bigger than Britney Spears!” Well, really. How could I NOT say it? “Oh, I think I already AM bigger than Britney Spears. Twice as big, probably!” They thought that was quite funny. And two minutes later, Do They Know It’s Christmas came on the radio. It’s just not Christmas until I hear that song, for some reason.
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The spud went with me to feed-and-scoop at the pet store this morning. There were only four cats there – Squeaky, Hobart, Duckie, and Rosalind – so it took me maybe twenty minutes to clean all their cages. I didn’t get any pictures, though, sorry. Anyway, at one point Fred called, and while I was standing there talking to him, Hobart decided it would be a good idea to leap up and sink his claws into my stomach, and then attempt to climb me. Having a small cat, no matter how skinny and light, sink his claws into your stomach is NO FUCKING FUN, believe you me. I screamed and grabbed Hobart so he’d let go. On the other end of the phone, Fred seemed to think it was funny as hell. Bastard. Hobart is an awfully sweet little guy and I love him to death, but he has no concept of “don’t bite” and “don’t scratch.” He’d certainly give Mister Boogers a run for his money!
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Fred’s stepsister’s husband has lost a lot of weight since we saw him last Christmas. I don’t know exactly how much he’s lost, but if I had to guess, I’d say he’s lost about 100 pounds. He looks absolutely amazing. When Fred’s sister asked how he’d lost the weight (because you’ve gotta ask!), he said he’d cut out the sugar, cut back on portion sizes, and cut down the carbs a little. He ate a big salad and a couple of pieces of lasagna at dinner, but he didn’t have a piece of the cake Fred made. He seemed so much happier this year; he’s been a pretty quiet guy in the past, but he was downright chatty this year. He actually talked to Fred about going hiking together, which would be cool. He’s a really nice guy, and it was neat to see the changes in him, physically and otherwise.
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I saw this in the grocery store parking lot this morning and it made me laugh.
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Miz Poo lurves the sun.
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Sunday, Dec. 26th

by @ Sunday, December 26th, 2004. Filed under Life

mandarin muffins for breakfast yesterday and then again for lunch, and a better Christmas day breakfast does not exist. The oyster dressing was made by Fred’s stepfather, who is from Louisiana, and the man knows what he’s doing when he’s in the kitchen. Everything he makes (with the exception of stuff made from deer meat, because I have that mental “Bambi!” block going on) is sheer heaven. Really bad for you, too, but if you can’t eat stuff that’s bad for you at Christmas, when can you? So we got home from Fred’s father’s house around 9 Friday night. We carried our presents inside and put stuff away, and then the spud went upstairs and I started carrying the presents in to put under the tree, and Fred came to see what I was doing, and I said “Why do they have to give her SO MANY FUCKING PRESENTS??” Of course, I think everyone should give her tons and tons of presents, but I was tired and had to carry the presents into the living room from the dining room and I just wanted to go upstairs and get into my nightgown and exchange presents with Fred. Fred, on the other hand, was looking toward Christmas morning and thinking about how long it was going to take the spud to open her presents – about two hours, on average, because I make her keep track of who gave her what, so she knows what to say in her thank you notes – and he said “Why don’t we let her open some of her presents tonight?” And I was aghast “Let her open presents tonight? Without watching??” Fred said “She can take them up to her room, open them, and then show us what she got.” The more I thought about it, the more it seemed like a really good idea, and so I agreed. I went into our room to change into my nightgown, and I heard him knock on her bedroom door. “Go get ten – no, fifteen! – presents that you want to open from under the tree, and you can open them tonight and then show us what you got.” “But none from us!” I yelled. “Yeah, make sure none of the presents you bring up to open are from us,” he said. So she did, and while she was opening her presents we exchanged presents – I got several books from my wish list and the Live Aid DVDs, which I had seen advertised on TV when we were watching TV. I said “Oh, I want those!” and them promptly forgot about them. Fred, however, didn’t forget. I guess he DOES listen! I gave Fred a t-shirt that says “If I got smart with you, how would you know?”, which was a big hit, a remote-control flying saucer that turned out to be a piece of crap, a couple of books, and the Star Wars trilogy. By the time we were done exchanging presents, the spud was about a third of the way through the fifteen she’d brought upstairs, so we went to check out what she got. She got some pretty cool stuff, but I would say that the hit of the night was the bathroom set my sister and mother sent her.

We laid down and talked for a while, and then finally the spud came to get us, because she’d finished opening her presents. We went into her room and ooh’d and aaah’d, and then Fred kissed me goodnight and went to bed, and I went and read for a while before turning out the light. I’d told Fred to get me up at 8, but I woke up before then, and was actually in the shower by 8. The spud was up a few minutes later and started her laundry and cleaned her bathroom while she was waiting. (And no, I didn’t even have to tell her to do her chores. She just knew, because it was Saturday, that they needed to be done!) Then we traipsed downstairs and the spud handed out the presents and we all opened ours. Of course, the spud still had so many presents to open that she was still opening them half an hour after Fred and I were done, so I got up and started making the muffins, and the spud showed me each thing she got as she opened it. She got about ten thousand Precious Moments things from her father and his wife, and her paternal grandparents. “Well, because I collect them,” she told us. “Did you know she was collecting them?” Fred asked me. “I had no idea,” I said. “Well, I didn’t tell you,” she said. “Oh.”
She and I both got some adorable pajama bottoms from my sister, who always knows the perfect things to buy for me. I also got some bath stuff from her, and books from my parents, and a book from the spud, among a host of many, many other things. My nephew Brian sent me a pair of smiley-face socks which I’m wearing right now. They’re fuzzy and warm and make me grin when I look down at them. My parents also sent a framed picture that my mother picked up when she was in Paris with Brian and his class last year. I knew it was a picture, but I didn’t know which one it was until yesterday morning.
The Basilique du Sacr� Coeur.
I took it upstairs and hung it over the washstand that used to belong to Fred’s grandmother, and it just really warms up that area. I wouldn’t have thought that a picture of a church in France would work with the other stuff in our house, but it looks really good. And then… let’s see, then Fred’s mother and stepfather dropped by to drop off a container of oyster dressing, and Fred hung around until the spud was done opening her presents, then he left to go for a hike. The spud and I ate some of the muffins, and then she went upstairs to look at her presents and watch TV, and I puttered around the house, then tried to open Movable Type so I could put up an entry. But something somewhere was fucked up, and instead of logging into MT, I was given an error, and I called Fred to consult, and he told me to put in a support request and by the time the problem was fixed, I didn’t want to put up an entry. So I didn’t. I spent the afternoon napping and reading, and Fred and the spud watched Jurassic Park 3: My God This Sucks. Then we had pizza for dinner (Domino’s and Papa John’s were closed, but Pizza Inn was open) and it wasn’t half bad, especially because it didn’t require me to cook. I chatted with Debbie for a little while, and then I called her, because talking is faster than typing – except maybe for Jane, who is the world’s fastest typer, in the space of time it takes me to type “Ha!”, she’s written roughly 63,000 words and is waiting impatiently for me to respond – and we talked for about an hour. Good thing weekend minutes don’t count with our phone plan, that’s all I can say. When I got off the phone, Fred and I started watching 24, and watched the last four episodes. Round about the second-to-last episode, we noticed that Jack likes to say “Okay, fine” and Tony likes to say “Yeah, alright”, and it was ridiculous how many times they each said their phrase. I once suggested to Fred that when stuff like that happens, it’s because one of the writers for the show has a bet going with another writer – “I bet I can get Jack to say “Okay, fine” 16 times in the space of half an hour!” – or when characters are put into an impossible situation, it’s because one team of writers is like “Let’s do THIS. I bet the other guys will NEVER figure out a way to get them out of this situation! Ha!”, so now when something big happens, Fred says “And another team of writers high-five!” That Chloe sure does get on my nerves. She’s an odd duck, that character. Aaaaanyway, by the time we were done with the last episode of 24, it was 10, so we snuggled in bed for a while, and then called it a night. It was a great Christmas day, because it was relaxing, I got a lot of books, and I didn’t have to cook! Oh, that cake that Fred made for Christmas Eve at his Dad’s? It was absolutely amazing. I was a little worried, because when I tried the frosting when he was making it, it seemed a little bitter. When the cake and the frosting were combined, though, it was awesome. And speaking of being at his father’s house – my gift from his father and stepmother was several books, and a card with money in it. As he told me, “I didn’t want to just get you books, and that’s all you had on your wish list!” The funny thing is that chances are good I’ll use that money to buy… more books, of course! Hey, I have to stock up before the first of the year, since I’ve proclaimed I won’t buy any more books in 2005 until the ones I already have have been read. (Except for my favorite authors, that is.) Thirteen days, and I’m going to be 37. Whee!
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“Is it over yet?”
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Friday, Dec. 24th

by @ Friday, December 24th, 2004. Filed under Life

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Did you know that you can have your cat cloned, now? I love all of our cats to death, but I for sure can’t see paying that much money to have one of them cloned. But as Fred pointed out, when technology gets better, prices will drop, and $2500 for another Mister Boogers is not a bad price. Of course, it’s only $80 at the shelter, and I think paying a lot of money when there are so many cats who need homes and so many being put to sleep every day is not something I would easily go along with. Although, it would be pretty fun to have him cloned now and then see his reaction when we brought home another Mister Boogers? I bet that right there would make for some damn good pictures.
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I had to get up at 6:20 this morning, because I volunteered to cover for the regular Friday morning person at the pet store. When I was up and dressed and had put my contacts in, I realized that I was really freakin’ cold, so I knocked on Fred’s door and went and laid down with him, because he has an electric blanket, and it was turned on. Bliss. Five minutes of early-morning chat, snuggled under the electric blanket, was enough to start me off in a good mood, despite the fact that I had to get up at 6:20 after staying up ’til almost midnight. I need my beauty rest, y’know. After the spud and I went to the pet store (no pictures this week, because there have been no new kitties, and this morning the spud and I were kind of in a rush), we came home and I showered and blow-dried my hair and got dressed, and then we were back out the door headed for Denny’s. Fred’s mother’s hand is in a splint because she had surgery last month, so she wasn’t really up for cooking, and it was decided that we’d just meet at Denny’s for breakfast, then go back to her house to exchange presents and sit around for a while, before we all went our separate ways for naps. The traffic into Huntsville wasn’t bad, and Denny’s wasn’t too busy, and Fred’s mother and stepfather were there when we got there, seated, so we didn’t have to wait. A few minutes later his sister and her boyfriend arrived. Fred thought it was funny that his sister had to explain to her boyfriend, who is from France, what “French toast” is. Altogether we spent a little more than an hour in Denny’s, though I made the mistake of sitting with my back to the rest of the restaurant, so I couldn’t really see what was going on (I like to people watch, you know?) Suddenly, Fred looked across the room and said “Hey, it’s Bud Cr@mer!” Bud Cr@mer being our congressional representative. Fred’s stepfather actually knows him – he had him as a lawyer before Bud ran for Congress – and went over to talk to him for a minute. I double-dog dared Fred to go over and take his picture – I mean, I know it’s silly, but who expects to see a Congressman in the local Denny’s? – but he wouldn’t, and finally his sister, who was in the best position to see him, snapped a shot, though a blurry one.
When we were done eating breakfast – I had the ham and cheddar omelet and it wasn’t half bad – we got into our respective cars and headed for Fred’s mother’s house. The traffic still wasn’t bad, which surprised me. I expected the roads to be jammed with last-minute Christmas shoppers. Once we got to their house, we opened presents and sat around and talked, and watched their cat, Bandit, play with the toys we’d given him and just generally look cute.
After an hour or so, when everyone was ready to fall asleep, we wished everyone a merry christmas and left. Now we have a few hours to kill before we get ready for dinner at Fred’s father’s and stepmother’s house. I suspect there’s a nap in my near future…
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This is the chocolate-raspberry cake Fred made for dessert tonight. I’ll put the recipe up soon. This is the cross-stitch picture I made for the spud, which I FINALLY finished. I just have to get it framed and it’ll be ready for hanging on her wall.
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Y’all who are celebrating have an awesome Christmas; those of you who aren’t, have a great day. Happy holidays, everyone – every last crazy-ass one of you.
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“Mother. A small dish of milk, if you please?”
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Thursday, Dec. 23rd

by @ Thursday, December 23rd, 2004. Filed under Life

* * * IT IS FUCKING COLD OUT THERE. And y’all shut up with your “I’m in Alaska, and it’s thirty below here!” It was ten below with the windchill this morning, and my husband went running in it. His testicles crawled so far up into his body we’ll be lucky if we see them again by June. Right now it’s, like, ten degrees out and I had to go to the bank, but because it rained like hell last night and then dropped way below freezing, my doors were frozen shut. I had to take a hammer to the handle to get into the fucking car, and then I had to warm it up for ten minutes to even be able to sit in it, and THEN I had to clean the fucking puddle of antifreeze/ coolant off the driveway so that no neighborhood strays would come along and slurp it up, and die a painful death. I live in Alabama. IT IS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE THIS FUCKING COLD. Days like today make me seriously want to move to Florida. Fred won’t go for that, though – there are no freakin’ mountains in Florida. Thank god for space heaters and gas fireplaces on days like this.

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Also? It’s FLURRYING.
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Things I have noticed about 24, Season Three: 1. At least once – but usually many, many times – in every episode, Jack tells someone “You’ve got to trust me” or “You have my word.” Jack is a word-giving motherfucker. 2. No one ever uses their mouse. “Floopy the flip flop!” Tony will order, and Kim turns to her computer and immediately begins typing. No mousing into position, or clicking from one program to the other. Do these people even have mouses mice? 3. Michelle kicks ass. I wasn’t crazy about her in Season Two, what with the moony looks at Tony, but she’s totally kicking ass in this season. After she’d done something I won’t go into so as not to spoil it for those of you who haven’t seen it, I turned to Fred and said “I guess you don’t fuck with Michelle!” 4. Chapelle has got one seriously crooked nose. We have about eight episodes left to watch. We’re going to be seriously sad when we’re done. This show is like crack – every time we finish an episode, I try to talk Fred into watching another. And sometimes it works! Hell, we stayed up ’til 9:30 the other night just to squeeze another episode in, instead of going to bed at our usual time. Gotta love that Jack Bauer.
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Every once in a while I like to check the PicoSearch stats for my site to see what people are searching for. In particular, I like to see what people are searching for that they’re not finding. The latest list: Chickpea and Chickpeas. Probably this is a “not found” because I spell it in two workds (chick pea) rather than one. I’m not sure which is correct, though. A quick check of m-w.com says that it’s one word, not two. Who knew? Pile of money. It was a joke. I was kidding about having a pile of money, so that I could bitch about using it all to have my Jeep fixed last month. Big fat looser. I don’t know what this person was searching for – maybe my opinion about The Biggest Loser? I’ve watched every show so far, by the way, and it’s grown on me. It’s pretty amazing to see the week-by-week changes in the people on the show. Also, one “o” in Loser. “Looser” is what your pants get when you’re a big fat loser. Rolo and rolo cookies. I’m sure this is coming back with a “nothing found” because I haven’t reindexed the site since I put up the link to the recipe. If you’re looking for the Rolo cookie recipe, click on the “recipes” link over there on the right under “other”. The recipe is listed under desserts, I think. Any recipe I’ve mentioned (except that for sweet potato crack) is going to be in the recipes section. Cat Town. It’s here.
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Speaking of cookies – like I was up there, kinda – last Friday I made the Secret Kiss cookies, only I intended to use Rolos instead of Kisses, at Fred’s request. Except when I got to the store, do you suppose they HAD Rolos? Of COURSE not. So I made a batch of cookies using miniature Snicker’s in place of the Kisses, and they were REALLY amazingly good. I’ll have to make another batch of those sometime.
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Speaking of PicoSearch, does anyone have any recommendations for simple-to-use personal site search engines? I’m about 50 pages away from the 1500-page Free PicoSearch maximum, and after that their cheapest pay plan is $250 a year and I’m sorry, I love y’all, but I don’t love y’all THAT much. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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“Dat’s right, Momma, I’m laying in your seat, and you can’t do NOTHIN’ about it! Ha! Ha!” “He thinks I don’t know he’s holding that fucking toy over my head, trying to annoy me. In about ten seconds I’m going to chomp his hand right off his arm.” “You DAMN kids and your DAMN cameras! All the time flashing the fucking flash in my face! Why, in my day we din’t HAVE cameras! If we wanted to show pictures, we had to DRAW them from MEMORY, using coal from the FIRE and a piece of BARK!”
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Wednesday, Dec. 22nd

by @ Wednesday, December 22nd, 2004. Filed under Life

Fat Actress. We don’t have Showtime, but I had thought that I might get it so I could watch the show. That was before I saw Kirstie Alley on some news show last week, interviewed by Matt Lauer, and was reminded anew at just how incredibly fucking annoying she is. I think she’s going for “funny and sassy”, but her act wears thin (har!) after about two and a half minutes. She was annoying on Cheers, she was annoying in all those Pier 1 commercials, and now that she’s all over the place flogging her new show, she’s annoying times ten. “Oh, look at me! I am funny and sassy and zany!”, and all the while her crazy eyes are twirling in every direction. And you know what? FUCK YOU, Matt Lauer. Okay? Fuck you for this exchange right here: Lauer: So you threw yourself back into being a mother, and the version I read from time to time is that included spending times in the kitchen. And you like to cook and you like to bake. And I guess you like to eat. Wow, that’s incisive, intelligent, brilliant, DEEP reporting right there, isn’t it? “I guess you like to eat.” No shit, Matt. Ya think? Ya think she might like to eat? Because even though she’s been howling from the top of every fucking building “I’m fat because I eat too much”, I thought for sure she’d try to lay it off on her thyroid or genetics. But not with Bloodhound Lauer on the case. No one fools YOU, Matt. I don’t know – have you been talking to my friend Sean in Lakewood, NJ? Y’all seem to share the same kind of intelligence. Also, Matt Lauer, FUCK YOU especially for this one: Alley: The thing about gaining weight is it doesn’t happen, you know you don’t gain 70 pounds in two weeks. Lauer: But how do you get to 200 pounds from 130-something and not know you’re getting too much heavier? Alley: I don’t think you pay much attention to yourself. Lauer: How about when you get dressed in the morning? What about when you step out of the shower? Alley: First of all, when I step out of the shower, there’s no mirrors so it doesn’t make any difference. But what you don’t know about me is I usually wear pajamas, skinny or fat. Lauer: How about when you’re bending down to pick something up and it’s hard? Alley: Well, I haven’t hit that yet. I’m not saying I’m not stupid about it. I think people can actually be sort of dumb and I think I’m serious. I’d sit in an airplane. I’d go, look at it. They’re really screwing us in first class. This seat is smaller than a coach seat. And I’m sort of Duh.” do you know? Don’t you think you could have just shortened this exchange by simply saying “How were you fooling yourself about turning into a FAT FUCKING COW, Kirstie Alley? Don’t you think there was some denial going on there?”, Matt? Much simpler, and then you could have devoted much more time to the tabloids or just EXACTLY how fat she is or just HOW LONG it’s been since she’s had sex because she loathes her body so much that she can’t stand the thought of being with a man until she’s lost weight. Because the idea that fat is bad and horrifying and disgusting and how DID you let yourself get SO fucking fat? hasn’t been crammed down my throat often enough over the past 36 years; please try to clarify the horror of Kirstie Alley’s “extra” 70 pounds, Matt Lauer, if you don’t mind. Oh, and while you’re at it, would you please bite me? Thanks.

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If I disappear, please tell the police to take a good, hard look at the Matt Lauer Estrogen Brigade or whatever his fan club is calling themselves, would you?
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Amazing Race watchers, I gotta ask. What the hell was up with Phil last night? I could NOT take my eyes off his crotch. It was very distracting. It’s like there was a spotlight on it or something. Fred got mad at me because I pointed it out, and then HE couldn’t take his eyes off it, and as he said “No one wants to think about Phil’s crotch!” Tell me I’m not the only one who noticed. Please?
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“Maybelle! I said, ‘Where the hell is my beer?'”
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Tuesday, Dec. 21st

by @ Tuesday, December 21st, 2004. Filed under Life

I’m looking for a diet blog/jounal you had listed in your previous links list. I can’t remember her name or name of the journal. however, I know she lived near ocean city maryland, her daughter was diagnosed with crohns disease, and she has a new baby. The last entry i read she wrote her husband was leaving her…I can’t stop thinking about her and want to know if they got back togther. I hope all is well. I hope you can help me out. I’m pretty sure you’re thinking of Amy. Unfortunately, Amy hasn’t updated since August. Anyone know how she’s doing? Concerned readers want to know… Also from my comments: Show us your christmas tree? Or are you not doing one this year. I can’t remember I posted a picture of the tree (using the nightvision function on my camera) in this entry, toward the bottom. Sounds like you are getting back into your exercise and healthy eating. You mentioned issues that you did not deal with when you first lost weight. What are they? (Feel free to mock me in your diary for being horribly nosy.) Awwww, it’s NO FUN mocking someone when you have their permission. Hmph. No, seriously, it’s a good question and I’ll probably address it in the future (probably after the holidays are over) over in my weight loss journal. Never posted a comment before but just want to start with the fact that I love everything about you and you family. Question – is there something wrong with Meester Boogers’ eye? One of my cats paws his eye to the point that it tends to get swollen shut. The vet said he has OCD – um, yeah, I don’t think so but it could be true. So I guess, my comment is two fold – first I hope all is well with you and your family and cats (as in, I hope nothing is wrong with Booger’s eye) and second, have you ever had one of your vet’s diagnose any of your cats with a personality disorder? Nah, there’s nothing wrong with his eyes. If his eyes look funny in some pictures, that’s probably because the flash gave him redeye or completely erased his pupil, and Fred photoshopped it to look a little more normal. The vet thinks Spot might have OCD, which is why he grooms constantly and all the fur on his back legs and stomach is mostly gone (poor funny-looking cat). We had him on medication for a while but it turned him into a zombie, so we took him off it. We’ve recently started again with a lower dose, so maybe that’ll work. We’ll see! Did you get your Tivo set up? I’m looking into it, but I’m not sure I can do the connections. I have a VCR, DVD player, and cable box hooked up to an older TV now, and I’m not sure if there’s enough room and connections for yet another component. It says a broadband and a ‘one time’ phone connection. Was this difficult? Any pointers you can give? Sorry if this was already posted and I missed it. Y’all are forbidden to give me a hard time about this, understand? We got the TiVo and were setting it up, when we discovered (because we’re stupid and didn’t realize this when we ordered the freakin’ thing) that you can only tape one show at a time with TiVo. What the hell is the point of that? During sweeps months, we’re generally taping two shows at a time and watching something else we’ve taped previously. Taping one show at a time is just no help to us, you know? And yes, I know that we could have bought two TiVos and hooked each one up to a different TV (god KNOWS we have plenty of TVs in this house!), but each TiVo costs $299 for lifetime service or $12.95 a month, and that’s more money than we want to pay, you know? We sent the TiVo back, called the cable company, and they brought out a new DVR box a few days later. So far we’ve had no problems, but when we are having problems and I’m bitching about it, y’all have my full permission to say “You wouldn’t be having these problems if you had a TiVo, dumbass!” So obviously I have no suggestions for you as far as hooking up the TiVo, but I understand that they have a pretty good online support page, you might give it a try. Good luck! I LOVED the stories of how and why you got your kitties. Kitties are the best. Next time, can you also include why/how you choose Mr. Fancypants and Tubby even though they are gone now? And what happened to Spud’s cat PFE? Oh, you’re going to make me really think, huh? Let’s see… Tubby: In the summer of 1997, the spud was in Maine. Her cat PFE had died and she didn’t know, and we thought that having a new cat might distract her from her grief when she got home. Fred wanted a Bengal kitten and there was a guy in Huntsville who bred them. We went to his house and checked out the kittens he had available, but none of the kittens was particularly friendly, and would have cost something like $600, and I just couldn’t see paying that much for a cat when so many good cats needed a home. We went to South Huntsville, where at that time, the no-kill shelter I volunteer for now had a store where they adopted out cats and sold cat toys, food, and litter. We went into the cat room and played with several different cats, then Fred spotted a little black and white kitten sitting off to the side by himself. He petted the kitten and scratched him at the base of his tail, and the kitten purred loudly and raised his ass up in the air. Fred decided he really liked the kitten and I was so tired of looking at cats at that point that I just wanted to get the cat and get out of there. The lady running the store told us that Jack (the kitten’s name) had been part of a feral colony and they didn’t think he was going to be adoptable, that he’d always be feral, but he’d actually turned out pretty friendly. We brought him home and (of course) Spot and Spanky freaked out and the kitten chased them around, trying to cuddle. We went through a bunch of “s” names and finally settled on Snoopy, because he kind of looked like a Snoopy. We found out pretty quickly that he wasn’t much for being held and cuddled, though he’d rub up against Fred and purr loudly. That night after we’d turned the lights off, Fred and I were laying bed talking, and Snoopy jumped up on the bed, got under the covers, and snuggled up against Fred’s back. “Oh, he’s cuddling with me!” Fred said. “He – OUCH!” It seems that the kitten had gotten so overwhelmed with love that he’d felt the need to bite Fred. On his back. Hee! He turned out to be quite a character, with his bitchy talking-back to us and his demanding food (the idea apparently being that if we were eating, he should be, too. When we’d had him about a year it became pretty clear that he wasn’t going to be a skinny cat, and over time we gradually started calling him Tubby. I think Tubby was pretty much the most popular cat amongst you readers; I once took a poll, and if I recall correctly, he was far and away the favorite. He had a lot of character, and I think it showed in the pictures and stories we shared with you. He was the baddest of the bad-asses. Fancypants was all talk, but the time a stray cat came through the cat door and into the house, it was Tubby who kicked the other cat’s ass across the room, back out the cat door, and across the yard. Y’all really know the rest of the story. About a year ago he started peeing outside the litter box – on the floor in our bedroom, in the closet, on the bed. We found out that he had diabetes, and were treating it. Things got better for a while, but he was really never the same after that. In January of this year he started just not really looking right around the eyes. I can’t explain what I mean, exactly, just that I’d look at him, and he just seemed like he was unhappy and in pain. The vet couldn’t find anything wrong with him and his blood sugar levels seemed to be okay, but there was an air of not-right about him. It was a shock when he died, but not really a surprise. Tubby and I weren’t the best of friends and there were times when I wanted to smack him, but sometimes I just miss him so much it surprises me. There’s no one like Tubby.

Mr. Fancypants: It was a few days before Valentine’s Day of 1998. Fred had just proposed to me a few days before, and suddenly, for no reason that I can recall, we both decided we NEEDED another cat. At the time we had three cats – Spot, Spanky, and Tubby – and I guess we just wanted to even up the numbers. I think Fred and I had left work early, because the spud was still in school… No, wait. I think the spud might have actually been with us, but I can’t remember for sure. In any case, we went to South Huntsville, to the animal shelter. There weren’t a lot of cats at the shelter, but we saw this cute little girl tabby who seemed to be really friendly and sweet. We held her and petted her and decided she’d be a good addition to our family. We went into the office part of the shelter to start the paperwork, and a few minutes later a man came in. When he found out which cat we were going to adopt, he got upset. “I told you I wanted her!” he said to the people behind the counter. “I just had to go get money!” The counter people pretty much told us that it was first come, first served, and I thought the guy was going to burst into tears. Fred and I discussed it for a minute, then told the guy that if he wanted her that much, he could have her and we’d just go find another cat. So back we went to look at the cats that were left. In the cage above the sweet tabby was a fluffy black cat who swished back and forth in the limited space of his cage. He meowed sweetly at us and we saw by the note on his cage that he was the brother of the sweet little tabby, and that they’d been living under a trailer when Animal Control caught them and brought them to the shelter. We took him into the play room and, well, played with him for a little while. He seemed to be quite the character and we decided that he’d do nicely. Naturally, when we brought him home the other cats freaked out, but all he wanted was to be friends with them. None of the other cats we’ve had have been as friendly and willing to cuddle with the other cats as Mr. Fancypants. Tubby would let Mr. Fancypants cuddle with him, but it was never just a matter of laying and cuddling. Soon there would be grooming, and one or the other would get all worked up, and then there’d be biting and ass-kicking. We didn’t name him “Mr. Fancypants”, of course. He had to have an “S” name to go with Spot and Spanky and Snoopy (Tubby). We ran through a whole host of options before we settled on Stimpy. For a long time we called him “The Kitten” and then one afternoon he was flouncing across the living room, his long fur flowing in the breeze, and I said “He’s such a fancypants!”, and Fred laughed his ass off and then said “Well, hel-LO Mr. Fancypants!”, and a nickname was born. Mr. Fancypants was the most laid-back of all our cats. He’d let us pick him up and cuddle him and play with his paws, and he’d just lay there and purr and not fight to be put down. He fancied (hee!) himself a badass, but when it came down to it the night a stray cat came through the cat door into our house, Mr. Fancypants was hiding upstairs with Spot, Spanky, and Miz Poo. The only thing that really ticked me off about Mr. Fancypants was his habit of shitting outside the litter box when something was pissing him off – mostly, if we closed the cat door because it was raining or really cold, we could count on there being a turd outside the bedroom door. Little bastard. Mr. Fancypants went missing at the beginning of last summer (the summer of 2003). Although the back yard is fenced and the other cats can’t get over the fence, Mr. Fancypants was able to. He started jumping the fence at night and exploring the neighborhood, and one day I realized I hadn’t seen him at all that day. A few days went by and we called the local shelters and posted “Lost” posters of him, but we never found him. The hardest part of his going missing is that we just don’t know what happened to him, whether he was hit by a car and killed or attacked by a wild animal, or what. What I really hope happened is that in his neighborhood wanderings, he came across a family who didn’t have any animals, and saw him and fell in love with him, and he knew that in a family with no animals he’d be spoiled rotten, and went for it. A girl can hope, can’t she?
PFE: It’s not a long story. When Debbie and I lived together in Lisbon Falls and the kids were either at my parents’ house or at the babysitter’s, Debbie and I went to the Humane Society to look at kittens. There was a black cat there who seemed sweet and friendly, and before we knew it, we’d adopted her. She had several names – I think she was Montana for a while, and then we decided she was a badass kitty who was Pure Fucking Evil (PFE), and then for a while the spud would call her Suzy. She moved from Lisbon Falls to Rhode Island to Alabama with us (on the trip from Rhode Island to Alabama, we had a litter box in the back seat, and more than once PFE about stunk us out of the car when she went back there and used it). The summer after we’d moved to Alabama, while the spud was in Maine, PFE started having serious health problems and one day could no longer walk. Before we could get her to the vet, she died. You can imagine how stunned the spud was when I had to tell her that her cat had died. Poor spud. Poor PFE. She wasn’t really evil – she was a sweetheart, in fact.
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Monday, Dec. 20th

by @ Monday, December 20th, 2004. Filed under Life

We both got the same phone. It’s a Motorola V180, which we got because I’ve been wanting a flip phone forEVAH, because I’m a big dork. The guy at the T-Mobile store assured us that it was a way better phone than the ones we had, but like I told Fred, technology is moving at such a fast pace that our phones will likely be obsolete by tomorrow. We ended up spending about 45 minutes in the store waiting for the guy to get our phones set up and move the phonebooks from the old to new phones, and all that good stuff. While we were there, a guy came in to return a charger he’d bought last week. He only had the credit card receipt and not the printed-out receipt they give you with every purchase, so the salesman (not the one who was waiting on us, but a younger guy who bore a striking resemblance to Alex from Survivor: Amazon) told the customer he couldn’t take the charger back. The customer got really pissed off, and everyone else in the store kind of whistled and looked around and acted like we didn’t hear the customer giving Billy (the salesman) hell. He threatened to cancel his account, he threatened to sue (okay, maybe not. But he might have, I don’t remember for sure), he asked if Billy was calling him a liar, he used Billy’s name 63 times in a row, he asked for Billy’s card and said he’d be calling corporate headquarters, and the entire time Billy stuck to his guns and said he was so sorry, he just couldn’t do it. Finally the guy left, and we all breathed a sigh of relief. I mean, I get why the guy was so pissed – I would be, too – but Billy Da Salesman doesn’t make the rules, y’know? Another ten minutes or so, and we were finally out of there. Fred and I both spent a good long time messing around with our phones. His now plays Green Day’s Basket Case (the actual song, not the tune) when someone calls, and mine plays The Brady Bunch theme, but I might change that to Good Riddance (Time of your Life). I love that song – it always reminds me of ER and Jeanie Boulet singing it a capella during Scott Anspaugh’s funeral. I’m suddenly struck with the overwhelming need to see that episode again. When I die, I want Jeanie Boulet to sing that song a capella over my coffin. I suppose I need to get the book out and actually look through it, because I have a feeling there are things my phone can do, about which I have no idea. I’ll get around to it one of these days, I’m sure.

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Speaking of flip phones, we started watching the third season of 24 last week. We kind of want to get it watched as soon as possible because the new season starts in January, and we plan to watch it as it comes on (though we did talk about taping every episode and then watching them all at once, because it’s about going to kill us to have to wait a week between episodes). Anyway, about six or seven shows into the third season, Fred said “They all have flip phones this season, have you noticed?” I said, “That’s because it’s easier to show emotion with a flip phone.” “Emotion?” “Yes, because this -” I pretended to hold a phone up to my ear. “God DAMN you, Jack Bauer!” I said, and then pantomimed angrily slamming a flip phone shut. “Is much more convincing than this-” I held another pretend phone up to my ear. “God DAMN you, Jack Bauer!” I pantomimed holding the phone in front of me, a scowl on my face, as I searched for the “end” button, found it, and pressed it, making a “boop!” sound. “I see what you mean,” Fred said. Heh. Speaking of 24, what the hell is up with everyone’s hair this season? Kim has a particularly unflattering haircut, Sherry Palmer has the flip from hell, and Nina is running around with just the back of her hair pulled back into a ponytail, with the sides (which are certainly long enough to be pulled back) hanging down. What statement is she supposed to be making with that hairstyle? The actor playing Chase bears a striking resemblance to Liev Schreiber.
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Miz Poo examines the lady bug.
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Sunday, Dec. 19th

by @ Sunday, December 19th, 2004. Filed under Life

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“I hate my mother and that infernal fucking flashy thing she’s always flashing at me…” “How YOU doin’?” “If I don’t look at her, she’ll go away… if I don’t look at her she’ll go away… Awww, crap. This isn’t WORKING.”
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Saturday, Dec. 18th.

by @ Saturday, December 18th, 2004. Filed under Life

baby mongoose for Meester Boogers to play with (make sure you check out the photo slideshow! They’re so freakin’ cute!).

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Petstore kitty pics from Monday are up here.
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So this morning I had to drive to South Huntsville, and it wasn’t bad at all. I got all tense when I drove from 565 onto South Memorial Parkway, but there wasn’t a whole lot of traffic at that time, so the transition from the interstate to the parkway went fairly smoothly. On my way home, I was driving up highway 72 from Huntsville to Madison, and the traffic on my side of the highway was fairly sparse. The traffic going from Madison (and all points beyond) toward Huntsville was at a crawl for several miles. I’ve never been so glad to be going in the opposite direction from a traffic jam in my entire life. I stopped at the grocery store on my way home to pick up a red onion (it was on the grocery list this morning but Fred somehow didn’t see it, and I need the damn onion to make coleslaw tonight for dinner tomorrow). Fred’s mother was there doing her grocery shopping so I talked to her for several minutes. I swear to god, she is the sweetest lady. Then I picked up my red onion, some sushi for a late breakfast (yumMY), and stood in line forever before I could check out and come home. Grocery stores are busy on Saturday. Who knew? Okay, not much going on here today, so I’ll slap up a series of Meester Booger pics and call it an entry, mm’kay?
I said it was going to happen someday, and now it did. He yawned his ears right off his head. “Hey! Maybelle! Bring me another beer, toot sweet*!” *Yes, I know the correct spelling is tout de suite. HE doesn’t know that, though. “Urrrrp! Oh, ‘scuse me. Maybe I don’t need another beer. Hee.” “Dad, this is the third time I’ve sniffed it. It smells FINE. What stink are you talking about?” “You. Come here. Rub mah belly.” “I sure do lead an exhausting life.”
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