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January 31, 2005.

by @ Monday, January 31st, 2005. Filed under Life

Amy. 1.) WHAT’S THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF MUSIC FILES ON YOUR COMPUTER? 1.55 GB in my “My Music” folder. Is that a lot? 2.)WHAT WAS THE LAST CD YOU BOUGHT? Kenny Chesney, When the Sun Goes Down. 3.) WHAT WAS THE LAST SONG LISTENED TO BEFORE GETTING THIS MESSAGE? Fall to Pieces, by Velvet Revolver. 4.) WRITE DOWN FIVE SONGS YOU OFTEN LISTEN TO OR THAT MEAN A LOT TO YOU. 1. Beloved Wife – Natalie Merchant. 2. Angry All the Time – Tim McGraw 3. Breakaway – Kelly Clarkson 4. Black – Pearl Jam 5. El Cerrito Place – Charlie Robison 5.) WHO ARE YOU GONNA PASS THIS STICK TO (THREE PERSONS) AND WHY? 1. Nance 2. Mo 3. Everyone! ‘Cause I’ll be interested to see their answers, of course, that’s why! Amy was curious as to whether I spend as much money on music as I do on books. I don’t, really, because I tend to download the songs I like online (LEGALLY, at iTunes, usually) rather than spend the money to buy an entire album full of songs that I might not like. I spend, at the most, five dollars a month on music, though that varies. I spent about fifteen dollars of my birthday money on iTunes downloads. (Thus the reason I was sitting here listening to I Fall to Pieces by Velvet Revolver!)

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From muh comments: Robyn, do you or anyone else know about the cat net like tunnels that one poster mentioned?? (in this comment: How about one of those netlike cat tunnels for outdoors? I’ve seen those, and they are not too expensive. You could attach it temporarily to the cat-door, so the cats could go outside, lie in the sun, whatever…and then come back indoors. Then you could detach the netting till the next day.) I have two cats and one of them is always trying to escape… I’d love to have one of those thingies if its like I imagine it to be…. I don’t know where to find them, but I know I saw them somewhere… once upon a time. But I don’t remember when or where I saw ’em. I glanced at the usual pet store pages but didn’t see anything. Can anyone help out, here? Hook a sister up! Edited to add: Nevermind! Grace posted a comment that answered the question. FYI – the cat fence is at catfence.com. Tunnels (portable outdoor enclosures) are at drsfostersmith.com although you may be able to find them cheaper with a search. When I lived in Huntsville the Neighborhood Nazis didn’t so much care if changes to your house (fence, paint, etc.) couldn’t be seen from the street. In Houston they do care vary much – so anyone who’s wanting to do the fence thing should probably check with their POA. (Thanks, Grace!)
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Oh, and thanks for the suggestions on what to do about That Damn Booger-Bean. I quite like the idea of tying him out on a long leash, but only because imagining him getting all caught up in his leash and leaping about like a little Beanie Frog makes me giggle. We had thought about putting a really tall fence right around where the cat door comes out – like the fences you see dog runs made out of? – but Fred would have to mow around it, and he wasn’t looking forward to that. We do think we’ve come up with a good solution, but we’ll have to see if it works. I’ll tell y’all more about that idea once it’s up and running, assuming that it works.
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Thanks, also, for all the beef stew recipes, y’all! I got a ton of them. I made one this weekend, a recipe I got from reader Renate that was easy as hell and damn yummy, too. Fred wasn’t looking forward to the beef stew at ALL (because he’s a bastard), but he liked it a lot (even more once he’d added a great big dash of tabasco – I swear, the man would eat a turd as long as you put a bunch of tabasco on top of it!). Next time I make it, though, I think I’m going to cut the veggies a little bigger and cook it a little longer, just because the carrots I sliced up were so skinny that I had a hard time getting the carrot pieces on my spoon. And I love me some cooked carrots, yes indeedy. The meat was perfectly tender, though. Stew was a perfect meal to have yesterday, since it was cold and rainy and icky out.
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Speaking of carrots (like I did in the previous paragraph), here’s a carrot story for you. When I was in (I think) fourth grade, we were allowed to bring a snack to school to eat in class mid-morning. It had to be a healthy snack, though – no cookies or Twinkies or anything. (BASTARDS. Ha. Like my mother would have let me take a cookie to school for a snack, anyway. Sh’yeah!) I always took carrots, because I have always loved the hell out of carrots. So one day at snack time I turned to my friend, whose name I cannot recall. She had brought a tomato for her snack (yes, a tomato. I don’t know, don’t ask me.) and she was about to bite into it like it was an apple until I said “Hey! That looks like a BUTT!”, because it was creased just so, so that it looked, well, like two butt cheeks. She was so grossed out by the thought that she couldn’t eat her tomato and went and threw it away. She got me back, though. After she’d tossed her tomato, she said “Oh yeah? Well, that carrot looks like A BOY’S THINGY!” I couldn’t eat carrots for a good two years after that.
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Hey, can you eat raw kale? I mean, is it okay to, or will it make me spend all night in the bathroom afterward? I had Fred get some kale when he got groceries on Saturday. I found a simple recipe on how to cook kale, but there’s so much of it that I thought I might like to toss some in my salad to add a little extra flavor. Thoughts, opinions, suggestions?
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Check out this smiley that Georgina made for me, based on the picture I put up last week:
For comparison purposes:
Well done, Georgina! (She made it here. Go make your own!)
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I bet when we’re not around, they actually SNUGGLE.
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January 28, 2005.

by @ Friday, January 28th, 2005. Filed under Life

Georgina thought I looked like Sandy the squirrel from Spongebob Squarepants in my picture yesterday. I can see the resemblance. Fred, however, thinks I look like someone else entirely…

I’m sad to say, I agree.
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Hey, look what was waiting for me at the post office this morning!
It was created by the owner of this cool site, and you can order your very own! Man, I’m totally going to order some of those for Christmas next year. Also, Valentine’s Day is coming up. Hmm….
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Speaking of Hawaii, did I mention that my parents are going to Hawaii again? My father leaves at the beginning of February, and my mother’s going over two weeks after that. They’ll be there about three months. I’m not going this time – the flight would kill me. I can’t take another 12 hours in a plane! – but seeing pictures like this sure does make it tempting!
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Yesterday marked one year since Tubby died. It seems like it’s been longer, but it also seems like it just happened. We sure do miss that cat. For a little while we thought we were going to mark the occasion by losing another cat – Mister Boogers, to be exact. Mister Boogers recently figured out that he could jump the fence. We found this out a couple of weeks ago as we were sitting in the computer room, turned around so we were facing each other. Fred had offered me a bite of his Ben & Jerry’s (it being a Friday and all) and I had just put a spoon full of Vanilla Heath Bar Crunch in my mouth when I glanced out the window and saw Mister Boogers casually slinking through the front flower bed. All the color drained out of my face, I’m sure, and my jaw dropped, and I shoved the pint of ice cream back at Fred and went flying out the front door. Fred followed as I chased Mister Boogers across the front of the house and told me to go back in the house. Mister Boogers ducked under my Jeep, and then rubbed his head on the muffler when Fred spoke to him, and eventually came out to be picked up, scolded, and carried back into the house. We spent the rest of the afternoon (well Fred did, anyway) looking up ideas on how to keep cats in the yard when they’ve figured out how to jump the fence. He finally came across this cat fencing stuff that is, basically, just netting that goes across the top of the fence, with brackets every so often to hold the netting out. The cat jumps up and gets repelled by the netting, and voila! Can’t get out of the yard. So instead of paying way too much for the “official” cat fence, Fred went to Lowe’s and bought netting, some brackets, and a staple gun. He put it across the top of the fence going from our house to the neighbor’s part of the fence, and then along the side fence that separates our yard from the neighbor’s. Since the side fence actually belongs to the neighbors, he didn’t put any brackets up, because he needed to make sure it was okay with them. We let Mister Boogers (and the other cats) out a few times and everything seemed to be okay, until one afternoon this week when I stepped out into the back yard to check on Mister Boogers, and when I glanced over toward the fence between our yard and the neighbor’s yard, Mister Boogers was sitting atop the fence. When he saw me, he jumped down and ran into the house, because he KNEW he wasn’t supposed to be doing that. We kept the cat door closed for a few days, and then one day Fred opened the cat door and watched to see what Mister Boogers would do, and then he discovered how Mister Boogers was going through a gap in the fence between our yard and the neighbor’s yard, a gap we’d thought was too small for any of the cats to fit through. So Fred stapled some netting along the gap, and a few days later Mister Boogers managed to get into the neighbor’s back yard again, and Fred decided he hadn’t covered the gap enough, so he stapled some more netting over the gap. Which brings us to yesterday evening, when Fred went to the doc-in-a-box to see about his toe. As soon as Fred left, I heard the cat door swinging as Mister Boogers went outside, but I didn’t think anything about it. I ate dinner and goofed around online, and when it had been about 45 minutes, I went out back to check on him. And the fucker was nowhere to be seen. I took the flashlight out with me, and a toy, and I shook the toy (which makes a rattling sound) and I called and called and called for the Booger, but nothing. Nada. Zilch. I called the spud downstairs and told her to occasionally go out into the back yard to call for him, because I was going to drive around to the back of the fence (you have to drive out of the neighborhood to get to the back of our fence) and see if I could spot him. I got to the end of the street and saw some glittering eyes going across someone’s front yard and I thought for a moment “How the FUCK did he get all the way down here?” before I realized that it was a cat with a tail rather than a stump, so couldn’t be our Booger. I drove around the neighborhood and down the road that runs along our back fence, and didn’t see a thing. When I got home, Fred was home, out in the back yard calling for the Booger. Nada. Fred walked around the front of the house and called for him, and I walked around the back yard and called, and still nothing. We finally decided to drive around to the back of the fence and park and walk along the road to the culvert a few houses down, and call for him. We spent about ten minutes calling for him, and I had just gotten back into the car while Fred looked a little more, when my cell phone rang and the spud was calling to tell me that the Booger had come home. As soon as we got home, we shut the cat door, which pissed off Mister Boogers, who spent the evening howling and jumping on the other cats, and smacking at the blinds on the door to the back yard. At this point we’re trying to figure out what exactly we want to do, but I feel bad that none of the cats can go outside just because Mister Boogers is a fuckhead. If nothing else, having Fancypants run away was a good lesson for us. We thought he’d be okay, because he could take care of himself. With Mister Boogers, we know better. I’d rather have him in the house and miserable than let him out and have him go missing. Besides, he has such a tiny brain that I bet after about three days he’ll forget he was ever allowed out into the back yard at all.
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“Lemme out! Lemme out! I want OUT!”
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January 27, 2005.

by @ Thursday, January 27th, 2005. Filed under Life

Taking It All Off is back and posting! Yay! (Thank you to reader Michelle, who let me know.)

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I had to be out of the house by 7 this morning to make my 7:10 appointment at the dentist to do the “bite registry” I mentioned yesterday. This entailed sitting in the dentist chair while the woman in charge (I have no idea what her job title is) used what looked exactly like a caulking gun to put what looked like pink caulk along the bottoms of my top teeth, then I had to bite down and wait three or four minutes for the pink stuff to harden. I did that once without the front tooth guard, and once with. Then I was done and on my way, and she said they’d call when the nightguard was ready, which will be about a week and a half.
Yes, I look like a dork. Also, a pinhead.
(In my defense, I was staring at the camera right before the flash went off, and I thought “Oh, I shouldn’t stare directly at the camera, I should be looking off to the side!”, and as I moved my gaze the picture took. Also, I’m aware that I am in desperate need of an eyebrow waxing. But it’s a really bad angle to begin with, so there’s no way I was going to come out of this picture looking like anything with a dorkwad. Also, I’m blotchy. And yet, I’m HOT and SEXY and you know you want me!) When Fred got home from work yesterday we were laying on the bed talking and he was laughing at how having that piece of plastic over my front teeth made me lisp. “What is it supposed to do?” he asked, although I’d already told him. “Relax my jaw so that they can get a good bite registry,” I said. “Does your jaw feel relaxed?” he asked. “Not particularly. Besides, I sit around with my mouth hanging open all the time; it’s not like my jaw was particularly tense to begin with.” “What are you, one of those mouth breathers?” “Yeah, just call me Cory Haim.” “Say ‘sufferin’ succotash‘,” he said. “NO.” “Please?” “NO.” “Awww Bessie, come on, just say it once!” he begged. “NO. Shut UP. I’m not going to say it!” Finally he gave up, but this morning on my way to the dentist’s office, I relented. I called him at work and when he answered I said “Sufferin’ succotash. Happy?” But he wasn’t, because he claimed I didn’t sound as lispy over the phone. Sucks to be him, I guess.
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I feel crabby, oh so crabby, I feel crabby and bitchy and wild!”
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January 26, 2005.

by @ Wednesday, January 26th, 2005. Filed under Life

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ I went to the dentist today to begin the process of getting a nightguard. I thought all they had to do was take an impression of my teeth, and I’d be all set, but nay. Apparently this is a long process that involves several (if three is “several”) trips to the dentist, and today’s trip was to get this odd little bite guard that fits over my two front teeth. This will relax my jaw somehow (I didn’t ask for details about how exactly that happens) so that when I go in tomorrow for my “bite registry”, they’ll get the best bite registry possible. Whatever a bite registry is. I have no clue. A normal person might have been all “What’s a bite registry, exactly?”, but I just don’t care. I figure they’re professionals and know what they’re doing, so I have no desire to clutter up the small amount of space left in my brain with that kind of information. Anyway, I have this little white plastic thing that fits over my two front (upper) teeth, and I look like a freakin’ rabbit. I’d provide a picture for y’all, but I did a half-assed job when I blow-dried my hair this morning and I look high as a kite in the pictures I took, so no pictures for you! I have to wear the little white plastic thing for the rest of the day (except when I’m eating) and tonight, and go back to the dentist at 7:10 tomorrow morning for the bite registry. Then I guess it’ll be a few days or a week or whatever before I get the actual nightguard. Exciting stuff, no?

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I took some pictures while I was in Maine that I’ve been meaning to share with y’all, but forgot to until now. So, here you go!
My parents’ Christmas tree, taken using the night vision setting on the camera. It’s just impossible to take a decent picture of a Christmas tree when it’s all lit up, y’know? My sister’s cat Tigger. Isn’t he adorable? Tigger again. He cracks me up, that cat. We were in Freeport one morning, and I saw this car. I said “Oh, an Echo! That’s what I want, only in yellow!”, and went over to check out the bumper stickers. I suspect this car is owned by a woman. Check out the full-size version, here. We didn’t actually eat at Chowder Express (we ate at The Corsican, just down the street from it), but we did check out the menu, and it looked mighty damn good. We saw this bowl at a small store in Bath. Debbie looked at it and loved it, but it was too expensive. I took a picture of the bowl and the box underneath with the company’s name on it, thinking I’d look them up and see if I could find the bowl cheaper online. I found the company site, but the bowl is $18. That’s a damn expensive bowl, I don’t care how cute it is! (Oh man, check out these salt and pepper shakers. I might have to ask for those for Christmas or something!) I’ve never eaten here, but the name cracks me up. My parents have THE most adorable dog. I saw this notebook in the Hallmark store. I didn’t buy it, but I had to snap a picture of it. If you can’t read it, it says “ladies and gentlemen.. we’d like to welcome you to alabama. please set your watches back six years.” Heh. MikWright stuff was all over the place in the gift shops. Heh.
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For dinner tonight: pizza pork hoagies. Yum!
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“WE are sitting in front of a warm fire, and YOU are not! Nyah!”
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January 25, 2005.

by @ Tuesday, January 25th, 2005. Filed under Life

here. And the pictures from a few weeks ago (which I forgot to tell y’all about) are here.

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So I watched Lovely & Amazing while I was exercising a few weeks ago, and when I’d finished watching it, I told Fred about it. “Yeah, that guy who was in the movie with Jennifer Aniston, who was married and she had an affair with him…” “Jake Gyllenhaal*,” Fred provided. “Right. He’s in Lovely & Amazing, and he’s a kid who has an affair with a married woman in that movie, too!” “Huh. He’s typecast!” “I know. He had an affair with Catherine Keener in Lovely & Amazing. I don’t usually like her, but I liked her in that movie.” “Catherine Keener. Why does that sound familiar?” Fred asked. “Oh, she was in Malkovich,” I said. “I didn’t see that movie,” he reminded me. “Oh, right. She was also in Living in Oblivion.” “I didn’t see that either,” he said. “Right. If These Walls Could Talk? Boys?” “Nope.” “Oh, I know,” I said. “I always point her out to you because she’s married to Dylan McDermott.” “Oh.” Long pause. “Not Dermot Mulroney?” he teased. “Oh shit, I think I meant Dermot Mulroney,” I admitted. “Dylan McDermott was Bobby**, right?” “Right.” “Okay, she’s married to Dermot Mulroney.” Am I the only one who mixes those two up all the freakin’ time? It’s got to be the fact that they both have “dermot” in their names. *I totally typed “Gyllenhaal” without having to look it up, because I am JUST THAT GOOD. **On The Practice.
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I was teasing Fred this morning about a woman that he loathes. (No, not YOU.) Yeah, yeah, you hate her guts, I emailed to him. And yet, I suspect that when I die tragically young, you’ll end up with her. He emailed me back immediately. You’re already too old to die tragically young. Bastard.
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Someone asked in my comments whether I enjoyed Year of Wonders, which I finished reading a few days ago. I did, I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected to. It seems that the books I’m not looking forward to reading all that much tend to really surprise me. Last night I started The Next Accident, by Lisa Gardner. I actually made a mistake in that I read The Killing Hour last week, which she wrote after The Next Accident, and has some of the same characters, so I know some of what’s going to happen in this book. It’s still really good, though. I think I need to just go ahead and put all the books she’s written on my wish list so I remember that I want to read more of her stuff. Also, Hostage by Robert Crais was really good, too. It had me on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading it. Which is funny, because I wasn’t looking forward to reading it at ALL. Because Fred read it, and kept exclaiming that it was the best book he’d read in a long time, and it made me not really want to read it, because what if I hated it? Then he’d be all disappointed because you know how it is – if you like a song or book, you want everyone else to like it too. But I loved it, and he was right. That so rarely happens that it deserves a mention in here. (Heh!)
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“How YOU doin’?”
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January 24, 2005.

by @ Monday, January 24th, 2005. Filed under Life

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Dear Amazon: You know, one would think that the idea behind having a wish list – aside from making a list of stuff I want, of course – is so that when people like, say, my parents or my husband or my friend Liz are looking at the wish list and want to buy me something from it for my birthday, I won’t receive the same thing from more than one person. And yet, for Christmas I received the exact same book from my parents and from my mother- and father-in-law. I sent back one copy of the book along with a tersely worded note letting you know that I was NOT going to be ignored, Dan charged for shipping, because this is a fuckup on Amazon’s part. (I didn’t actually say “fuckup” in the note, but I’m sure you could tell I was thinking it.) Like a whipped dog, y’all sent me an email telling me that I’d been issued a gift certificate in the amount of $14.19, and look! You didn’t even charge me for the cost of having the book shipped from me to you! And then, Amazon. And then you made me sad and made me shake my head and made me take your name in vain for perhaps the six millionth time since I “discovered” you. Because for my birthday I got the same fucking book from my husband and my friend Liz. So I’ve got to ask just what those kids in charge of the wish list software are DOING, ’cause Amazon? Someone’s asleep at the wheel, and I am getting MIGHTY FUCKING TIRED of having to package up books and send them back to you with tersely worded notes. Knock it off, Amazon. You’re pissing me off, and you won’t LIKE me when I’m pissed off. I guarantee it, fuckers. Love ya, mean it! Robyn

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Dear Vinny T’s: Your food is a-maz-ING. The Fettucine Carbonara? Heaven. The bread, served with warm olive oil? Ambrosia. The desserts? Orgasmic. But sirs, I’ve gotta tell you. That chick who was my waitress on Sunday, January 2nd was absolutely devoid of any trace of personality. And in a restaurant where the wait staff can be counted on to be extremely personable, that’s a bad, bad thing. Still love you, though, Robyn
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Dear JR Maxwell’s: I am down on bended knee to ask you to marry me. Because the lobster melt on the yummy croissant is the best thing I’ve ever had in my entire life. And the chocolate peanut butter pie ain’t half bad, either. Hugs and kisses, The future Mrs. JR Maxwell’s.
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Dear Ben Stiller: Please stop making those stupid freakin’ Focker movies. They suck ass. You were great in Something About Mary, though. Mwah! Robyn
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Dear Philosophy: I love, love, love the holy hell out of your shampoo/ bath/ shower gel. You have awesome fragrances, and I’m particularly partial to the lemon meringue and strawberry milkshake. My only complaint is that all your shampoo/bath/shower gels come in huge 16-ounce sizes, and since I’m the kind of person who tires quickly of one scent, I’d love it if I could buy the 8-ounce bottles individually, instead of having to buy the set. Because I usually like one or two of the scents in the set, but not all of them. And I have a real problem buying a $30 set when I’m not going to use all the scents in the set. I also have a real problem shelling out $16 for a 16-ounce bottle of the stuff, when I know I’m going to get tired of whatever the scent is before I’ve used it up. Hmm. What I really ought to do is buy smaller bottles and sell them on eBay. I’ll have to think about that… Anyway, you’re awesome. You make me smell good, and I can’t complain about that! XO, Robyn PS: I bought a bottle of Amazing Grace cologne, and can’t stop sniffing myself. Then I bought a bottle of Falling in Love cologne, and it’s really not my thing. Too flowery, I think. You still rock, though.
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Dear Hallmark: Why must you tease and tempt me with your adorable knicknacks when I just don’t have the space for them? Whyyyyyy? Smooches, Robyn
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Dear Brad and Jennifer: Why? Whyyyyyyyyyy? Why, Brad? Why, Jen? Whyyyyyyyyyyy? Why can’t you crazy kids just work it out? You’ve broken my heart. I swear, if you’ve been messing around with Angelina Jolie, Brad… well, I hope you taped it, that’s all. Brad+Jen 4-ever&ever, Robyn
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Dear Coca Cola Company: Just as a warning, should you ever change your Diet Coke formula or stop carrying Diet Coke altogether, there will be a hue and cry the likes of which you’ve never seen. Well, you might have seen it back when you switched the regular Coke formula from “classic” Coke to “new” Coke, and people lost their shit and were buying up all the “classic” coke they could and stockpiling it in the basement to drink sparingly for the rest of their days because you guys fucked up so very badly. Not that I think you’ll mess with the Diet Coke formula or anything. But just in case, keep in mind that I have my eye on you and if you mess with my beloved Diet Coke, I will not rest until the people responsible for the decision are howling in agony for all the days of their lives. Love ya! Robyn
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Dear Publix: When the hell are you going to put the two-liter bottles of Diet Coke on sale for 99 cents again? We stocked up the last time you had them on sale, had so many bottles in the garage we could barely get around then and get through the garage, but now we’re down to three bottles. THREE. That ain’t right, and it chaps my ass to pay $1.09 when I know if I wait long enough, I can get ’em for 99 cents each. Put them on sale. Chop-chop! (You’re still the best grocery store around, and that’s no lie!) Robyn
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The sword of Stumpocles.
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Previously 2004: No entry. 2003: I swear, I have no control over my body sometimes. 2002: The shithole on Goddard Street. 2001: Lucky for her I’ve calmed down to a growling grumpiness, or it wouldn’t be a very good time to be the spud. 2000: We’re a pathetic lot, aren’t we?]]>

January 21, 2005.

by @ Friday, January 21st, 2005. Filed under Life

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Speaking of American Idol, I had NO CLUE that was Kelly Clarkson singing Breakaway. She’s come a long way, baby.

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So I was watching TV yesterday (I think), and this advertisement for a new show came on, and instead of fast-forwarding through it, I stopped and watched it, because I saw Ron Eldard and every time I see him, I have to drawl “Go get Earl.” (I’m sure that Michael Rooker would be thrilled to know that despite the dozens and dozens of roles he’d had, he’ll always be Earl to me.) Anyway, Ron Eldard is going to be in this new show called Blind Justice, and it has possibly the worst fucking premise I’ve ever heard in my entire life. Here, here’s a quote from TV Tome, to spell it out for you: Most officers injured in the line of duty opt for desk jobs or early retirement. Not Dunbar. He’s rehabilitated both body and attitude and fought his way back to active duty. His fresh start at a new precinct is threatened by the simple truth that no one really wants him to work there. His new partner, Karen Bettencourt, sure as hell doesn’t trust him to cover her back. They’re all in for the shock of their lives, because being blind makes Dunbar a better cop than he ever has been. Is it just me, or does that sound really bad? (Now watch, it’s going to end up being the breakout hit of the season, right?)
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Reading Carrie’s entry, specifically the part about Gabe wanting so badly to sit up, reminded me of a story about the spud. Now before I go on, let me remind you that I was a YOUNG mother – I was 20 when I had the spud – and very, very clueless. When the spud was ten months old, she and her father and I flew to California to visit his family. We had a good visit, and one night near the end of the visit, a family friend babysat the spud so that the rest of us could go out to dinner at a japanese restaurant. (Suma’s, I think it was called. Somewhere in the Long Beach area? I have no idea whether it still exists.) So anyway, we went out to dinner and when we got home, the babysitter was sitting on the living room floor, and the spud was sitting up right in front of her. And we gasped and we said “Wait, she can sit UP, by HERSELF? How the hell did you get her to do that?” And the babysitter looked at us and said “Um, I put her down so that her butt was on the floor and her legs were out in front of her. You DO realize that she’s TEN MONTHS OLD, don’t you?” Because it had simply never occurred to us that she could sit up by herself, we had never encouraged her to do so, or even sat her on her butt to see if she could. I guess we thought that when she wanted to sit up by herself, she’d pipe up and say “Why, mother. Would you sit me up on my bottom? Because this laying on the floor shit is for the birds.” Thank god for that babysitter, because no doubt we’d still be laying the spud on the floor on her stomach and never thinking to wonder if she wanted to sit up. Did I mention we were young and clueless?
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Oh, how Miz Poo lurves the heater…
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January 20, 2005.

by @ Thursday, January 20th, 2005. Filed under Life

almost a year now. Once the monitor was in place, I noticed that the top part of the monitor was a little more difficult to read, but I solved that little problem by just making it so whatever I wanted to read was in the lower half of my monitor. Also, if I was looking at pictures, I needed to drag them down to the lower part of my monitor so that I could see them; leaving them in the upper part of the monitor made them too damn dark and I couldn’t see a fucking thing. Yesterday I downloaded the latest version of Firefox (I’d been using My IE; I switched from Firefox to My IE a while ago for a reason I can no longer recall) and was having problems with it, because it’s against the law for me to install something on my computer and not have a problem with it. So Fred sat down at my computer and fiddle-farted around with this, that, and the other while I sat in the recliner in the corner of the computer room and read whilst warming my feet in front of the space heater. He fixed the problem and I sat down at my desk again, and the monitor had been… adjusted. Instead of sitting at a slant, the monitor was perfectly straight up-and-down. “My monitor looks… different!” I said. “Yeah, I adjusted it because I couldn’t see a fucking thing,” Fred said. And I opened up a page, and guess what? I could see it perfectly clearly from top to bottom. All this time, and all I needed to do was adjust my monitor a little bit. Who the fuck knew?

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He also turned off the num lock on the right side of my keyboard, though, and I hate that. I use that little number pad thingy almost exclusively for entering numbers, and when it’s turned off, it confuses the holy hell out of me.
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My visit to the gynecologist is over for another year, thank god. My cervix sends its regards.
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Actually, I think I’m going to start looking for another gynecologist. I don’t dislike my current gynecologist, but she also doesn’t give me the warm fuzzies, either. I don’t have to worry about seeing a gynecologist for another year, but it doesn’t hurt to look around now, you know? If you’re in the Huntsville area and have a gynecologist that you absolutely love – or hell, even just like a lot – send me his or her name, would you? If nothing else, I’ll ask my primary care physician for a referral.
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I just realized it’s the 20th. Everything I signed at the gynecologist’s office, I dated the 21st. I wonder if that nullifies the “If insurance doesn’t pay for this, I’m aware that I’m responsible” form? Probably not, huh? Also, I stole two good pens from the cup o’ pens by the checkout desk. They were both Bic Clic pens. I love those damn things, have I mentioned?
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Meme, stolen from Becky. What color is most reflective of you? Yellow! It’s bright and happy, just like ME. How did you get the idea for your journal name? Fred came up with it, actually, and as soon as he said it I knew it was perfect. What time were you born? 5-something in the morning, I think. What song are you playing now, or wish you were playing? Anything But Mine, by Kenny Chesney. I also wish I could download and play One Thing, by Finger Eleven, but they don’t have any songs on iTunes. Hmph. Has the death of a celebrity ever made you cry? Princess Di’s death made me cry. Shaddup, she was a bit part of my childhood; I loved her, and even had her hairstyle for a while. What color underwear are you wearing? It’s white with pink flowers. Do you want a baby? I’ve got a baby; I don’t want another one, no. (Sorry, Bon-Bon!) What does your dad do for a living? He’s a Quality Assurance Specialist. What does your mom do for a living? Something in a doctor’s office that has to do with filing and dealing with insurance. What is your pet’s name? Which one? We’ve got Spot, Spanky, Miz Poo, and Mister Boogers. What color are your bedsheets? Dark blue. I’ve got two sets in the exact same color. What are the last 3 digits of your phone number? 520 (not necessarily in that order!). What was the last concert you attended? Uh… maybe Patty Loveless or Toad the Wet Sprocket. It’s been a long while. Who was with you? My mother went to Patty Loveless with me, and my sister went to Toad the Wet Sprocket. No wait, maybe it was Candlestick (Deb was with me that time, too). Or possibly it was that Lorrie Morgan Christmas concert? Gah, I don’t know. It’s been too long! What was the last movie you saw? Garden State. Who do you dislike most at this moment? No one, actually! What food are you craving right now? Sushi! Did you dream last night? I’m sure I did – I do most nights – but I don’t remember what it was about. What was the last tv show you watched? American Idol! What is your fave piece of jewelry? My engagement ring, though I don’t usually wear it. I’m jewelry-free most of the time. What is to the left of you? My camera. What was the last thing you ate? A scrambled egg, a piece of whole wheat toast (dry), and a clementine. Also, a nice big cup of Diet Coke, which that horrid woman at the dentist told me I need to give up because it’s not good for my teeth. What, it’s not good enough that I don’t smoke or drink, and exercise six days a week? Now I have to give up the ONE GOOD GODDAMN THING IN MY LIFE? (Foodishly speaking, that is) Who is your best friend of the opposite sex? Fred, of course. Write a song lyric that’s in your head? In the midst of the music I tell her I love her And we both laugh, cause we know it isn’t true Oh, but Mary, there’s a summer drawing to an end tonight And there’s so much that I long to do to you But in the morning I’m leaving, making my way back to Cleveland So tonight I hope that I will do just fine And I don’t see how you could ever be Anything but mine Who last imed you? Uh… Nance? Jane? It’s been months since anyone imed me. Where is your signifigant other right now? At work. Do you have a crush? Not at the moment, no. What is his name? n/a What shampoo do you use? Back to Basics Apple Ginseng. When was the last time you cut your hair? I had it cut and colored last Tuesday. Are you on any meds? Yes, but nothing exciting. Seasonale, Toprol XL, and Synthroid. Do you have a mental disease? Not that I’m aware of. What a rude fucking question! What shirt are you wearing? A gold t-shirt with a square neckline. What time is it? 10:55 am. What color is your razor? Blue. What is your fave frozen treat? Dove bars! Are you sexy? Oh, shut up. ::giggle:: Whats your favorite shopping store? Target! Are you thirsty? No, I just finished a big cup o’ Diet Coke. Can you imagine yourself ever getting married? If this one were to unexpectedly not work out? Hell no, I wouldn’t go for a third.
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“They call me Fang.” All the cats in one room, of their own volition. How often does that happen? Hardly ever.
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January 19, 2005.

by @ Wednesday, January 19th, 2005. Filed under Life

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ So Fred bought this book off Amazon, called The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers. The book tells ways to use classic mythic structure in writing for books and screenplays. Fred’s been reading and loving it, in a big way. (I don’t read books about writing, because they bore the ever-loving hell out of me. On Writing excepted, of course. Trust me – I know what I like to read, and books about writing ain’t it.) Ever since he began reading (and loving!) the book, Fred has turned into a huge pain in the ass. Every movie and every show we watch, he’s in there deconstructing it. We watched Without a Paddle over the weekend. The movie started and Fred smugly said “Here we see the three in their ‘ordinary lives’.” Ten minutes later he smugly said “The death of their friend is the ‘call to adventure’!” Another few minutes, he smugly said “Seth Green is the reluctant hero. Watch, he’s going to say no, and then be convinced!” “Baby,” I said to him finally. “Would you shut the fuck up, please?” He was quiet for a while, and then he intoned “Burt Reynolds is THE MENTOR, who not only teaches them things, but gives them a gift!” I gave him a look, and he pretended to be sorry. “Sorry,” he lied. “Here, they’re facing the ‘supreme ordeal’,” he said after a while. “And Seth Green popping up out of the ground is his symbolic ‘resurrection’!” “Shut. The. Fuck. Up,” I growled. “This is where they take something back to their ordinary lives that changes them!” he crowed. “I hate you,” I said. The next night, we watched Jonny Zero. “Oh, look. He’s the reluctant hero resisting, then accepting, the call to adventure!” Fred said as the show started. “You are RUINING this for me!” I snarled. “Okay, I’ll shut up,” he said, smirking. “Look,” he said, unable to resist. “His resurrection! He’s rising from his bad life as a new hero!” Finally, I had to pull out the I’m-not-kidding look. “You are ruining every fucking thing we watch!” I yelled. “Stop it! I don’t give a fuck about the mythic structure behind everything we watch! If you don’t knock it off, I’m going to refuse to watch anything else with you!” He seemed to finally understand and promised not to do it anymore. But for good measure, I’ve promised that the next time he does it, I’m going to shove that fucking book right up his ass, and he can yammer on to the doctor who has to remove it about reluctant heroes and elixirs as long as he wants.

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This time tomorrow, my appointment with the gynecologist will be over, this time tomorrow, my appointment with the gynecologist will be over, this time tomorrow, my appointment with the gynecologist will be over, this time tomorrow, my appointment with the gynecologist will be over… Can you tell that I can’t wait to get this appointment with the gynecologist done and over with? This is the reason I always make my appointments for as early in the morning as possible. Yeah, I’ll have to get up at 6 so I can exercise and take a shower before I go to my appointment, but by 9:30 it’ll be done and over with. Also, if your appointment is early, chances are good that the doctor won’t be running behind. Words of wisdom, from me to you.
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January 18, 2005.

by @ Tuesday, January 18th, 2005. Filed under Life

this site, where you can get the ringtone in mp3, wav, midi, and RTTTL format. I downloaded the wav, and then spent a long, long time trying to figure out how to get the damn ringtone from my computer to my phone. I signed up for T-Zones unlimited (and made a note to cancel it in three weeks, because $4.95 a month is too damn much to pay for something I probably won’t use again), I set up an email account, I set up the email account through T-Mobile, and then I emailed the wav to myself. The wav arrived, but when I tried to save it, my phone looked at me, sneered and said “Are you kidding me?” I uploaded the ringtone to my website and used the browser on my phone to download it. When it was downloaded, I selected “open”, and my phone raised one eyebrow at me and said “Dude. Are you kidding me?” After an hour and a half of this sort of thing, Fred wandered into the room. “You know,” he said, “I think you actually need an mp3, not a wav.” This, despite the fact that he’d told me earlier that I needed a wav. “Ugh!” I said. “I give up!” Except that I didn’t give up, because I WANTED THAT FUCKING RINGTONE ON MY PHONE. So I downloaded the mp3, uploaded it to my site, and used the browser on my phone to download the ringtone. And this time it worked! I am the coolest of the cool. When my cellphone rings, it rings just like the CTU internal phone calls! Yeah, I know. I need a life. (I also set up the mp3 in Eudora so that it plays when I get email. Shuh-weet!)

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So I had a dentist appointment this morning at 11. I walked into the office and started signing in on the sign-in sheet. Suddenly, I heard it. Boop-boop-BUH-doop. “Hey!” I said to the receptionist. “What kind of phones do you have?” “Uh…” she glanced to the side. “Something something something.” Boop-boop-BUH-doop. “That is so awesome!” I said. “It is?” she said. Boop-boop-BUH-doop. “Yeah, that’s the same ring that they have on 24! I love that ring!” I said like the dork I am. “Um,” she smiled uncertainly and glanced to the side again. Boop-boop-BUH-doop. “Our phones aren’t ringing,” she said. Which is when I realized that I was hearing my cell phone. Talk about embarrassing. “Oh,” I said in a small voice, and slunk off to the waiting room.
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It’s been something like four years since I’ve been to the dentist. YES, I know that’s bad. Don’t yell at me. Anyway, Fred switched dentists sometime last year and really likes his new dentist. Lately, Fred’s been saying “God, you need to go to the dentist and get a new bite guard, because you were grinding your teeth so hard last night I thought you were going to break a tooth!” He’s been saying it almost every day, and finally I sent in the paperwork to his dentist – they require that you send in the paperwork so they can verify your insurance and all that good stuff before they make an appointment for you. Monday, the spud and I were leaving the grocery store when someone from the dentist’s office called, told me she was going to call in a prescription and where did I want them to call it in? “A prescription for what?” I asked. “Oh, for the preventative antibiotic,” she said. “For your heart murmur.” “Oh, right.” “You don’t usually have premeds?” she asked worriedly. “I was just diagnosed with the heart murmur a few months ago,” I said. (This is the Tricuspid Regurgitation I’m talking about, by the way. In case you were confused.) “Oh, okay. Well, I’m going to call in a prescription for amoxicillin. You’ll need to take four one hour before your appointment. I’ll call in 12, just in case you need them in the future.” “Okay, great!” I said, and hung up the phone. I think I don’t have to tell you that visions of great fortune were dancing through my head. Because I was going to have eight extra amoxicillin pills, and believe you me, those babies were going STRAIGHT to the black market. Heh. Just kidding! Know how much 12 amoxicillin pills cost? Three dollars. What a bargain, those antibiotics. Anyway, this morning I took my antibiotics and with a heart full of dread I headed out to see the dentist. I swear, when I am reincarnated, I’m going to become a dentist/ opthamologist/ gynecologist so that anyone who wants to get the horrible stuff over and done with will only have to make one trip. Hit ’em with the gum scraping, blast of air in the eyeball and pap smear all at once and get it over with. I’ll change my last name to Pain (you can call me Doctor Pain), and wherever I go, people will cringe in fear. “Louella, what’s the matter?” a husband will say to his wife while they’re dining out on the finest Sonic has to offer. Louella will point a shaky finger at me and whisper “Doctor Pain!” Anyway. The building that houses my new dentist’s office is really cool. The ceilings are high, there are lots of windows, and each examining room is situated so that you sit in the chair, and there’s a TV to the right and a window directly ahead. I don’t know what the view is like in other rooms, but I had a view of a nice green lawn, a couple of small trees, and birds frolicking about. So the chick who showed me back to the examining room went over my history, discussed my teeth-grinding, and poked at various teeth with her Sharp Instrument of Dental Torture. She went away for a little while, and then came back to do a full set of mouth X-rays. I hate the full mouth x-rays, because when they do my front teeth and stick that long thing in my mouth (shut up, perverts) it always makes me want to gag. The X-rays done, the woman (I never did catch her name) handed me the TV remote and told me she’d be back in a while. I flipped through the channels for a few minutes, left it on the country music station, and watched the birds frolic. Ten minutes or so later, the woman came back, followed by the dentist. Who looked at my teeth for all of about thirty seconds before he declared them perfect and healthy and ran off again. The woman introduced me to Wendy, the dental hygienist, who made herself comfy and began scraping my teeth with the FUCKING dental hook thing. Jesus god in heaven I hate that fucking hook thing. “Hmm,” she said a few minutes in. “Your gums are bleeding.” “Hmm,” I said. “Could it at all be because you’re jamming a metal hook thing into my gums?” (No, not really.) We had quite a discussion about teeth grinding and the long-term effects of teeth grinding, how I’d ground my teeth flat, and if I didn’t have a night guard, I’d keep grinding down my teeth until I needed a full mouth replacement, and so forth. (By “discussion”, I mean she said all that stuff, and I said “Hmm” and made faces to react to what she’d said. For instance, she said “..might need a full mouth replacement!” and I made a face of horrification.) So the cleaning was over NOT NEARLY FAST ENOUGH, and they sent in Carrie, whose job was to tell me about the night guard and how it was done and what it was going to cost (answer: an arm, a leg, and possibly my left breast as well). Since my entire reason for coming to the dentist was to get a mouth guard (and also, you’re supposed to go to the dentist every six months and I have slacked in a horrible way; I’m lucky all my teeth didn’t fall out!) I smiled, nodded, and said “Let’s do it!” So next week I go back for the first of three visits. At the end, I’ll have an acrylic mouth guard that will stop the horrible squeaking sounds that disturb Fred so much. Oh yeah, and it’ll stop that pesky wearing-away-of-enamel. (And before you suggest it, please know that I’ve tried mouth guards that you can buy over the counter and online, and none of them have worked for me. Yes, I tried that one. That one, too. I need a professional one that will fit my teeth correctly and won’t fall out in the middle of the night, or slip halfway down my throat and make me gag.) Also, I have inflamed gums, and the dental hygienist showed me how to brush my teeth to get the bacteria out of the pocket of space between my gums and teeth (ugh). I have to go back in three months, and if my gums have not improved, I have to start gum therapy. My gums haven’t decided how they feel about that yet, but they don’t really like to talk about themselves so they’re going to be tough nuts to crack.
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Oh, how I laughed when I first saw this picture… I like the pictures of the cats where they look cute, but I LOVE the pictures where they look freaky or goofy.
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