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12-31-08

by @ Wednesday, December 31st, 2008. Filed under Life

Okay, pervs, stop crushing on my bebbe nephew. Yes, he LOOKS like a grown-ass man, but he still laughs at fart jokes.

Oh, wait. They do that ’til they’re 95, don’t they?

He does not have a girlfriend at the moment, but give it a few days, I’m sure another one will come around. He’s awfully adorable, isn’t he?

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So, Debbie and Brian got here just fine Thursday – in fact, they arrived a wee bit early – and since they hadn’t checked any luggage, just each brought carry-on luggage, we were out of the airport quickly. We came straight home and I gave them a tour of the house (apparently my pictures don’t do the house justice – and she’d gotten the layout all turned around in her head, so she was surprised that the side door led into the computer room rather than the living room and so forth) and then Fred and I showed off the chickens and such.

Debbie developed quite a crush on Newt, and Brian took to Miz Poo, but they didn’t go along with my idea of them taking a couple of cats home with them, damnit.

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We had our big dinner, and it seemed like something was missing, but it was enough to fill us up and leave a bunch for leftovers, so I guess it was plenty. After dinner, we hung out and then Fred and Brian and I herded the little chickens into their coop. Debbie and Brian got to witness the fearsome SCOOP HANDS, and I think they were impressed. Or not.

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And then Debbie and Brian got to witness Snackin’! Time!

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(Of course, we NEVER let our cats on the counter, but it was Christmas. You can make an exception at Christmas, right?)

(Oh, shaddup. I always wipe down the counters once Snackin’! Time! is over.)

We hung out some more, and then opened presents.

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Brian was falling asleep where he sat by like 7:00, so he went off to bed, and Debbie and Fred and I watched TV ’til 9, when Fred and I turned in, and Debbie wasn’t far behind.

Friday morning, Debbie had to rouse Brian after he’d had twelve hours of sleep, and we headed out (Fred went to work on Friday). We went to Tractor Supply first so Brian could look into a way to use up his gift card. He found the boots he wanted, but didn’t buy them (I don’t remember why – either there was a coupon back at our house he wanted to use, or he’d forgotten his gift cards), and then we went and had breakfast at Cracker Barrel. From there, we stopped by the drugstore so Debbie could pick up a few things, and then we headed out to the shelter. Debbie’s heard so much about the shelter that she wanted to see it for herself.

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I think we spent about 45 minutes petting cats and talking to the shelter manager, and then we were on our way home. By the time we got home, Fred was home from work and we hung around the house for the rest of the day. For dinner, Debbie and Brian and I went out for BBQ, and then we came back to the house and hung out.

(Are you sensing a hanging-out theme here?)

We were originally going to leave early Saturday morning to head to Nashville, because Debbie had mentioned going to the Nashville Zoo. But it being winter, her favorite animals were put away ’til it gets warm, so she decided she didn’t really want to go.

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I made breakfast for Brian and Fred (eggs over easy – which I am not very good at, let me tell you. I can make the hell out of scrambled eggs, though!)

We hung around the house ’til 11ish, then we left for Nashville. (Fred didn’t go with us ’cause (1) He’s antisocial and (2) He don’t like no damn big cities.) We stopped by the giant chicken for a hug, and then by the Boobie Bungalow so Brian could get a beer and a lap dance, then hit the road again.

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(Exit 6 off 65, in Elkton Tennessee)

Our original plan was to eat lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe in Nashville. And when I went onto Google Maps, I saw a listing for the Hard Rock Cafe in a location other than the one on Broadway in downtown Nashville. So I was all “Hey, there’s a second Hard Rock in Nashville. Since we’ve eaten at the one on Broadway, you want to go to the other one instead?” and Debbie said “Sure!”

After much circling of the huge-ass Opry Mills shopping center, a confused call to Fred, and more circling, we parked and went inside and asked, and guess what? There’s no goddamn Hard Rock on Opry Mills Drive.

HardRockListing
LIE. (I didn’t notice the “Unverified listing”, though. Obviously.)

Since we were in the shopping center already, we decided to take time and look around. Holy CRAP, that place was packed.

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By the time we were done looking around, we were all cranky and starving, so we left and drove to downtown Nashville, parked in a parking garage, and went to the Hard Rock to eat.

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It was while we were sitting in the Hard Rock that I realized that although I’d carefully charged the battery of the big camera the night before so that I could use the zoom to take awesome pictures at the show, what I’d failed to do was double-check and make sure that the goddamn memory stick was in the camera. I was PISSED at myself, to say the least. What a dumbass move. Luckily I had my small camera with me too, though the battery wasn’t fully charged.

We ate, and then I went back to the car and left my heavy-ass camera there (why carry it around if I can’t use the goddamn thing?), and then Debbie and Brian and I spent the next couple of hours wandering around downtown Nashville. It’s an interesting walk, to say the least.

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I’ve actually never been to the Opry at the Ryman Theater in downtown – both times I’ve been before have been at the Opry House near the Opryland Hotel – so this was a new experience for me. We got to the theater early, and sat and watched the people go by. On the corner, there were three guys. Two had signs that said “Tickets Needed” and the other guy had a sign that said “Tickets Here”. I don’t know exactly what the deal was (I suspect they buy tickets and then resell them at a profit), but whatever it was, the cop driving by didn’t seem too interested.

They open the doors at the Ryman an hour before the show usually, but it started spitting down rain so they opened the doors about ten minutes early. We went in, checked out the gift shop, and then found our seats. Because I’d waited so long to get our tickets, we ended up in the balcony, but still had a pretty good view. Debbie tried to get a good picture of the three of us, and a guy sitting nearby saw us trying to snap a picture of ourselves, and kindly offered to take a picture for us.

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(You will see no pictures of Debbie, because I’ve been forbidden to post them. Hmph.)

The show started on time, and it was a good show – they always are, whether you know the musical act or not.

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Acts we saw: Mike Snider, The Whites, Jamey Johnson, Jeannie Seely, Jean Shepard, Chuck Wicks, Jett Williams, Julianne Hough, Riders in the Sky, Cherryholmes, and Keith Urban.

Debbie was more excited to see Jamey Johnson and Julianne Hough and Chuck Wicks than I was, since she actually knew who they were. She’s got a girl-crush on Julianne Hough, and I’ll admit she’s adorable as can be.

Keith Urban came out last, and it was just he and his guitar, no band to back him up. Between the first and second songs, he said that his wife (Nicole Kidman, if you’ve been living under a rock) had her family visiting for the holidays and a few weeks ago she said “Can you play the Opry?”, and they were kind enough to “let” him. He also said that she and her family were in the audience, which elicited a big scream from the audience.

They asked him to do a third song and he did, and then he left the stage, which is when someone (on the first floor) spotted Nicole Kidman, and there was fucking PANDEMONIUM. People were screaming and taking pictures and crowding around her. People sure can be assholes; the poor woman just wanted to see her husband perform, and they have to be all up in her shit.

(In the interest of full disclosure, if I’d been in the area I would have taken a picture of her, but I would have been SUBTLE about it, I wouldn’t have crowded her, and I sure as shit wouldn’t have screamed.)

The show over, Debbie and Brian and I headed for the car, got a little lost (as far as where the car was located in the parking garage), found it, stopped at Cracker Barrel for dinner, and then made it home shortly after midnight. We almost outran the line of thunderstorms, but they hit us just after we made it across the Tennessee/ Alabama line, which slowed the drive considerably.

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Sunday morning, we made a big breakfast (bacon, sausage, eggs, hash brown casserole, monkey bread, biscuits and gravy), ate, and then sat around groaning about how full we were. Fred and Brian used the tractor to do some important man work, then mid-afternoon they decided to watch a loud movie, so Debbie and I went to the movies to see Marley & Me.

Apparently, judging by the conversations in the ladies room after the movie, everyone was fairly surprised by the ending. I’ll spoil it for y’all now – the dog dies. I thought everyone knew that. It was a good movie and I enjoyed it – when it became clear that the dog was about to die, Debbie left the theater. I told her afterward that the dog had made a miraculous recovery and she believed me until I told her I was lying.

We had pork steaks for dinner, and then Debbie and I wanted to get out of the house instead of sitting around, so we went to Madison to check my PO Box, then down to Old Time Pottery to look around, then home again.

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Monday was our big out-of-the-house day, where we went out to Tractor Supply so Brian could buy a vest he wanted, then we went to Red Robin for lunch. I’ve never been to Red Robin before, and I got the bacon-avocado burger, which was mighty fine. (They’re huge burgers, so Debbie and I had leftovers for dinner that night.) We went to the pet store because Debbie wanted a Challeng3r’s H0use t-shirt, then went over to Michael’s to buy the stuff to make soy candles, to Target to look around, and then over to Goody’s to look around. By the end of the shopping excursion, Brian was thoroughly bored to death, so we came home and hung out.

The excitement for the afternoon was first a visit from the dishwasher guy (the dishwasher stopped working the day before Christmas. OF COURSE.), then a visit from a roofing guy (we needs a new roof. We’re getting one in the near future.)

Debbie and Brian’s flight wasn’t ’til 6 last night, so we had all day to do stuff. We made our fourth trip to Tractor Supply (what can I say? It’s a neat store!), went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast/ lunch, then came back the house, where we hung out for the rest of the afternoon ’til it was time to leave.

Debbie and Brian made it home safe and sound with no problems, thank god, and today I’ve got errands to run, laundry to do, and a house to vacuum.

We miss them, though. It sure is quiet around here without them!

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Previously
2007: We were expecting a snowstorm, and we certainly got one.
2006: No entry
2005: No entry
2004: No entry.
2003: My year in review.
2002: Are you jealous of my readers? You should be, because they ROCK!
2001: What if?
2000: No entry
1999: Total potty mouth at the drop of a hat.

12-29-08

by @ Monday, December 29th, 2008. Filed under Life

Just a quick entry, to let you know that there’ll be no entry today or tomorrow. I’m spending time with my sister and nephew!

See ya Wednesday!

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2008-12-27

Giant chicken! On the way to Nashville Saturday.

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Previously
2007: I was incandescent with rage.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: No entry.
2003: New camera!
2002: 12 days of Christmas.
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.
1999: Try to contain your excitement!

12-26-08

by @ Friday, December 26th, 2008. Filed under Life

Debbie and Brian got here safe and sound, and their flight actually landed several minutes early. We came back to the house and they got the grand tour, then I finished making dinner. The casseroles were made, just needed to be popped into the oven. The only real cooking I had to do was the green beans. When we sat down, I said “I feel like we don’t have enough food…” and Fred said “There are no rolls? We should have rolls!” and I said “I GAVE YOU THE LIST OF WHAT WE WERE GOING TO HAVE LAST WEEK AND YOU SAID NOTHING ABOUT NO GODDAMN ROLLS SHUT UP!”

So, no rolls. Also, no deviled eggs. My hard-boiling tricks work really well, but when there’s like ten minutes between the time the egg is laid and then goes into the water to be hard-boiled, all the oil and baking soda in the world is going to save that egg. I was able to salvage one egg for cheese spread (which we never actually got around to making, but will do at a later point, I think) and then I got so frustrated at the eggs sticking to their shells that I mashed them up, shell and all, and Fred fed them to the chickens.

We had chicken and rice casserole for dinner, and we just happened to be sitting so that as we were eating, Debbie could see out the computer room window at the chickens running around, and Fred for some reason felt the necessity to talk about how the chicken we were eating had been running around just a few days ago, and Debbie turned a little green and started pushing her chicken around her plate instead of eating it.

We know how to treat our guests!

(Debbie informed me that she did eat all her chicken and rice casserole, though!)

Later, Debbie got to see us herding chickens (and she witnessed the magic of SCOOP HANDS). Since it was so warm yesterday, Fred let the little chickens out of the coop and so we had to teach them that dark time means going-inside time. I’m sure it’ll take a couple of weeks before they understand that, and then it’ll be time to move them out to the big coop and traumatize them all over again.

We spent the evening hanging out and watching TV. The cats are adjusting to Debbie and Brian pretty well – Miz Poo, especially, likes Brian. Actually, all the cats like Brian. I’m trying to convince him to become a vet and move down here to give us free vet care, but he doesn’t seem inclined to do that. Debbie reported this morning that Stinkerbelle actually sat within a few feet of her last night. The cats were active, but it doesn’t sound like they bothered anyone but me, so that’s good.

(WHY must cats make so much noise when they groom? WHY?)

So today we’re off to have breakfast and do a few fun things. We’re going to have a nice, relaxing day, and the Comment-Answering Extravaganza will have to wait ’til next week. Try to live with the pain, okay?

2008-12-26
Sugarbutt advises you to just take it easy.

Previously
2007: And now life may return to normal, if you please.
2006: No entry.
2005: Such a dork, I am.
2004: I had oyster dressing and mandarin muffins for breakfast yesterday and then again for lunch, and a better Christmas day breakfast does not exist.
2003: Is it a sign of old age that I’m this excited about getting a new vacuum cleaner?
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.
1999: No entry.

12-25-08

by @ Thursday, December 25th, 2008. Filed under Life


Santa Newtles and the Crooked Acres Gang wish you the merriest of Christmases and the happiest of holidays.

(Or the happiest of Thursdays. Whichever.)

Debbie texted me from Dulles last night when her flight landed. Her flight from Portland left an hour late, but luckily they had a two-hour layover in DC.

Luckily, except that after pushing back from the gate, their plane sat on the tarmac in Portland for an hour, waiting for de-icing before they could actually leave.

Debbie texted me at 4:48 telling me that they had ten minutes to get to their gate. I checked the flight online five minutes later to see that it had left at 4:50.

“I don’t think they -” I started to say to Fred, and then the phone rang.

They missed their connecting flight, there were 300 people in line at the customer service desk, and they spent a couple of hours standing in line, then trying to find a flight that would come anywhere near here. I was more than willing to drive to Nashville or Birmingham to get them, but the last Nashville and Birmingham flights had already left.

Debbie started talking about flying into Knoxville and renting a car to drive the rest of the way (a four or five-hour drive), but in the end there were no flights out of Dulles that they could get out on, and they gave up and went to a hotel for the evening.

Now they’re back at the airport. Their flight’s due to leave in about half an hour, and so far there are no problems.

Keep your fingers crossed that they get here safe and sound! I expect everything will go just fine, and we’ll be sitting down to dinner mid-afternoon, as planned.

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Previously
2007: Merry Christmas!
2006: No entry.
2005: Merry Christmas!
2004: No entry.
2003: Happy holidays!
2002: Wishing a warm, merry Christmas to you and yours, from us and ours.
2001: Happy holidays!
2000: No entry.
1999: No entry.

12-24-08

by @ Wednesday, December 24th, 2008. Filed under Crooked Acres, Life, Picture Entries

In honor of Festivus (for the rest of us), go air your grievances in MaryBeth’s comments. If she hits 2,000 unique hits and/ or 150 comments by midnight Christmas night, she’ll recreate the George Costanza chaise lounge portrait. Personally, I’d like to see that! Go, read, comment!

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I have things to do – vacuum the house, take out the trash, make up the guest bedroom bed, make a Poppy Seed cake for Fred to take to his father and stepmother’s tonight – so it’s going to be a short entry.

My sister and nephew are coming to visit, they’ll be here this evening and staying through ’til late Tuesday. We have a jam-packed schedule (okay, maybe not JAM-packed. But we have a few things planned!) and I’m really looking forward to their visit.

Since they’re going to be arriving this evening, Fred’s going to the Christmas gathering at his father’s house without me. It’s okay – I saw his parents at Thanksgiving, so I think they’ll survive the pain of not seeing me.

I spent a lot of time baking yesterday, made Crunchy Fudge Sandwiches, Chocolate-Peanut Butter Bark, Holiday Pretzel Treats, and then was going to make a batch of Rolo Cookies (only with mini Snickers instead of Rolos) when I thought “Jesus, there’s only four of us, and we’re going to be gone half the time. How much stuff do I think I need to bake anyway?!” So I didn’t make the cookies.

(But I’ve got all the ingredients if we need to do some emergency baking!)

We’re not having a big fancy dinner on Christmas day – we’re having a big breakfast in the morning consisting of Crooked Acres-grown food – sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs, the like – and then in the afternoon we’ll have chicken and rice casserole, sweet potato casserole, and a few side dishes – deviled eggs! cranberry sauce! (the jellied stuff from the can, shaddup, I love that stuff) cheese-stuffed celery! – that we usually only have around holidays.

Then, of course, the aforementioned baked goods. I think we’ll have enough food so that we can do the usual holiday rolling around, groaning about how full we are before we head off to the movies.

Since I’ve got stuff to do, how about some chicken pictures? You know you wanna see ’em!

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Michelle sure does remind me a LOT of his father. Good ol’ McLovin’.

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Michelle and his wimmin.

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Featherhead keeps an eye on you.

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This Buff is one of the original twelve. Remember back when we got our first twelve chicks? It seems like forever ago! (As an aside, I canNOT believe we’ve gone from 12 to 90 in a year and nine months. We are NUTS.)

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I was checking for eggs, and George got all bitchy with me. She doesn’t like it when I go poking around under her.

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“Do you believe this shit?”

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The little ones have hit their gawky stage.

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This one’s my favorite. She’s a Partridge Rock, I think.

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We grew a few pumpkins in the garden this Fall. When we were supposed to get our first frost, we pulled them up and put them on the front porch (they weren’t yet ripe). They ripened, but rather than make a pumpkin pie from them, I opted to split them and give them to the chickens. Who apparently approved.

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I think the Rhode Island Reds are so pretty.

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The Silkie, perched on the side of the feeder, back before the hawk got her (obviously).

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The chicks we got from the flea market are turning out to be rather pretty.

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Since she needs to turn her report into Santa by noon, Kara’s keeping a specially-close eye on YOU.

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Previously
2007: I had no idea 11 years ago that Fred was going to turn into a Handyman.
2006: What a difference a year makes.
2005: No entry.
2004: Fred thought it was funny that his sister had to explain to her boyfriend, who is from France, what “French toast” is.
2003: THE DAY BEFORE CHRISTMAS AND I WAS IN TARGET! HAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.
1999: No entry.

12-23-08

by @ Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008. Filed under Life

Edited to add:

In honor of Festivus (for the rest of us), go air your grievances in MaryBeth’s comments. If she hits 2,000 unique hits and/ or 150 comments by midnight Christmas night, she’ll recreate the George Costanza chaise lounge portrait. Personally, I’d like to see that! Go, read, comment!

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So, I made another batch of Sundry’s Chocolate Chip Cookies yesterday to see if I would end up with the same puffy, cakey cookies as the ones I made the other day.

I used frozen and thawed eggs again, I measured the flour exactly as required, and I got the same puffy cookies. Since Fred likes the cookies this way so much, I’m glad to know that I can duplicate the recipe.

The other day when I made the first batch, Fred got one cookie that had no chocolate chips in it at all, and he said it was particularly good. Then he put a smear of peanut butter on one of the chocolate chip cookies and said that was particularly good, too. So yesterday I made the cookie dough right up to the point where you add the chocolate chips, then I took out half the dough and added a cup of chocolate chips to the dough that was left in the mixing bowl. I made the cookies out of that dough, then took the other half of the dough, added half a cup of peanut butter to it, and made cookies out of it. I thought that adding peanut butter to the dough would make the cookies flatter, but as it turned out, they were puffy and cakey too.

Y’all had some good suggestions on why the cookies might have been puffier than Sundry’s (never occurred to me that the elevation could have something to do with it!), and I don’t know if the reason is the elevation or the beating ’til fluffy I did with the butter and sugar or because I used exact measurements of the flour or because of the frozen-and-thawed eggs, but whatever the reason, I’m just glad to know that I can make them the same way next time!

We had so many cookies that I sent a bunch to Fred’s mother. Hopefully she likes them as much as her son does!

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I realized yesterday that in my entry from 2003, I talked about a movie with Tubby and Mister Boogers (or “The Bean”, as I was calling him back then), but back then either YouTube didn’t exist or it was in the beginning stages of existing, so I was self-hosting the movie and it was no longer available.

I went and found the movie and uploaded it to YouTube, so check out Mister Boogers and our dear departed Tubby. Mister Boogers was so LITTLE!

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I cleaned the HELL out of the house yesterday, which was an all-day affair, and I can still think of about a thousand things that need to be done, but at some point you’ve gotta give up and call it good enough, right?

Right.

The last thing I did, cleaning-wise, was use some of that orange oil furniture polish on the stairs. I’ve never used that stuff on floors or stairs and I wanted to see how it would work. Turned out, it works pretty well. The stairs were pretty and shiny yesterday (if maybe a tiny bit slippery), and still pretty and shiny this morning.

It’s nice to have a clean house. I should probably try it more often!

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Night number two of having the kittens out and about all night long went pretty well. I need to put up the plastic ring with the ball inside it before bed apparently, though, since Tommy woke me up again at 10:30, smacking at it and smacking at it and smacking at it.

I woke up at 2:30 and couldn’t move, I was pinned down by so many cats. Miz Poo took her usual place by my side, and I had Marion and Claudette on either side of me, Delmar flopped across my legs, and Lem was somewhere down by my feet and helpfully jumped on my feet anytime I moved them.

This morning I went out to let the chickens out of the coop, and when I walked back to the house, I could see Delmar, Lem and Marion sitting on a table in the living room window, watching the birds. When I walked toward the window they all freaked out and ran off, but I wish I’d had my camera outside with me – that would have been an adorable picture.

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More pics over at Love & Hisses.

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Is it just me, or does Spanky look like he’s trying to sneak up on his reflection?

Still, they’re cousins!
Identical cousins and you’ll find!
They laugh alike, they walk alike,
At times they even talk alike —
You can lose your mind!
When cousins are TWO OF A KINNNNNNNNNNNNNND!!!

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Previously
2007: The eyes of a lover, the heart of a monster the world has never seen before.
2006: No entry.
2005: I have the best readers EVAH!
2004: Gotta love that Jack Bauer.
2003: When it’s such a noteworthy event that my child stops and stares in wonder, it’s possible I’m just not cleaning often enough, ya think?
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.
1999: That’s my girl!

12-22-08

by @ Monday, December 22nd, 2008. Filed under Life

After reading Sundry’s entry on Friday, I decided I’d give her cookie recipe a try.

I made them, and mine came out looking kind of different than hers. Go look at what hers look like, at the bottom of that entry.

This is what mine look like:

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They have an almost cake-like consistency, and they were a BIG hit with Fred. He even said that he likes them more than my stand-by best chocolate chip cookie recipe ever.

I don’t know how it is that my cookies turned out so differently from Sundry’s – the only thing I can think of is that I used a couple of eggs I’d frozen a month or so ago and then thawed. I’m certainly not complaining – the cookies are really good, and I almost don’t want to send half the batch to Fred’s mother tomorrow.

I think I’m going to try making another batch with thawed eggs and see if they still come out the same. My concern is that I did something of which I’m unaware while I was mixing the cookies, threw some mystery ingredient in there, and that I’ll never get the same result again in my life.

It was kind of a cooking-themed weekend for me. We’re giving Fred’s niece and nephew jars of habanero jam, hot sauce, and money for Christmas. Fred’s made cherry-habanero, strawberry-habanero, and blackberry-habanero jam in the last couple of weeks. I made a batch of habanero hot sauce on Saturday and then made my first batch of raspberry-habanero jam on Sunday. Fred usually makes the habanero jam, but if I want to get the 300 habaneros out of my freezer – and I DO – then I’m going to have to take over making the jam and hot sauce because Fred doesn’t have the inclination to spend his evenings making jam.

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Once Christmas is past, I’ll probably gear up the jam-making in earnest and I plan to start experimenting with sugar-free jam. Hopefully that goes well – it’s a little weird to make things that you can’t really taste-test without your lips falling off. Fred’s my taste-tester, and he pronounced my habanero hot sauce and my raspberry-habanero jam to be “not bad.”

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I’ve been using Blogrolling to organize my Blogs I Read list, but since I can’t log into Blogrolling because they’re taking forever to redesign it, or whatever (I lack the interest to give the Blogrolling page any more than a cursory glance), I’m looking for something else to use instead.

Suggestions? The simpler to use, the better. Simple to use and free is particularly good.

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The handyman Fred found in the yellow pages showed up on Saturday – when it was pouring down rain – to install the storm door on the back of the house. He did it pretty quickly, and he did a great job. It is absolutely amazing, the difference between having a screen door and having a storm door. Saturday night after the storm moved through, the temperature dropped into the 30s. When Fred got up Sunday morning, he opened the back door and collared up the cats. When I came downstairs a few hours later, you totally could not tell at ALL that the back door was open. It wasn’t until I stepped into the laundry room that I could feel that it was slightly cooler than in the rest of the house.

I’m eager to see what’ll happen to our electric bill, if there’ll be a noticeable drop next month. I’m hoping there will be – and for that matter, I imagine our electric bill in the summer will drop as well, since we’ll leave the storm door in place to keep from cooling the entire outdoors with our air conditioning.

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Last night, we had our first successful night where the kittens had access to the rest of the house all night long. Saturday night we attempted it, and I woke up around 10:30 to hear a banging sound. I got up to investigate, and all four kittens were in the foster room, watching Tommy smack one of those plastic tubes that has a plastic ball inside. I lured Tommy out and closed the door to the kitten room. They stayed in there until 3:00 Sunday morning, when Lem started banging on the door (I’m pretty sure it’s Lem, since he’s always the one who comes shooting out the door when I open it).

Last night went okay. For most of the night I had Delmar curled up against my throat and Lem curled up against my back, and have I mentioned that kittens are WARM? I’m not complaining, though, believe you me. At one point I had all four kittens, PLUS Miz Poo, PLUS Tommy on the bed with me, and Lem smacked at Tommy (he’s a scrapper, that Lem) and Tommy rolled Lem over and bit his neck, and there were squeals of rage, and I finally grabbed the can of compressed air off the bedside table and shot a blast of air, and all the cats scattered long enough for me to get back to sleep.

Stinkerbelle has started spending a lot of time around the kittens. If I go upstairs during the day, she’s usually hanging out on my bed with the kittens. I’ve never actually seen her playing with them, but she’s shown an interest in them ever since they started spending time outside the kitten room.

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Delmar has a complaint.

More pics over at Love & Hisses.

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Have you ever seen such a happy Newt?

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Previously
2007: I expected to read “And after we had fabulous chocolate crepes for dessert, we moved on to Bob’s house for the key party to end the night on a high note.”
2006: It burns, Jane! The applique, IT BURRRRRRRRNS!
2005: I’m a creature of habit, what can I say?
2004: No shit, Matt. Ya think? Ya think she might like to eat?
2003: “You are NOT allowed in Maine!” I informed him.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: Except for world peace and all that. Yadda, yadda.
1999: No entry.

12-19-08

by @ Friday, December 19th, 2008. Filed under CAE, Crooked Acres, Fostering, Life

Get yer calendars!!!

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You know you’ve been in a wardrobe rut when you go to have your hair cut and colored by the same woman who’s been cutting and coloring it for years and you walk in, and she exclaims “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you in jeans before!”

I’m sure she hasn’t – I’ve been wearing gray cotton pants for as long as I can remember. I’m sure the world shifted on its axis a bit when I left the house in jeans instead!

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Chickens have knees? Is that where the nuggets come from?

Of course not. The nuggets come from the tenderest part of the chicken buttocks. The meat on their knees would be far too tough for dipping in tasty, tasty sweet and sour sauce!

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Beware the road trip to Trader Joe’s! You’ll take home your loot, taste some of it and spend your life plotting a way to get back there again! Seriously though, we bought one of their brined turkeys for Thanksgiving and it was hands down the best turkey we’ve ever had. Their orange-cranberry tea scones rock the house too! Beware…. BEWARE!

All you’re doing is making me want to go THAT MUCH MORE, you realize? I’m calling for a road trip, soon, and if Fred won’t go with me, I’ll go by myself!

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Not a fitness magazine, but I work for Eating Well magazine and it’s a food magazine with a focus on nutrition. It’s great if you love food that is healthy for you, but not just tofu and mung beans. I hope you all go out and get a subscription or 6 for the holidays!

I really like the Recipes Makeovers section!

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This is a site that you can order and they sent the person a package that allows them to pick whatever magazine they want the subscription for
https://subs.timeinc.net/giftscriptions/sitehome.jhtml

That’s such a good idea, I love it!

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I love the flooded pic of the back 40, that is so neat looking! I also like the leaves and how they match the chickens. You arranged that didn’t you? Come on, you can tell us!

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Not only did I not arrange the leaves to match the chickens, I didn’t even notice ’til I read your comment that they matched!

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Has the back forty always flooded like that? Or is it because the ground is froze and not letting the water drain properly?

It floods like that when we get a lot of rain in a short amount of time, usually in the spring. We got something like ten inches of rain in less than twenty-four hours. Fred was starting to worry that the water was going to come up to the house and flood us out. The water’s gone down a lot, but we still have more standing water than I’d like to see.

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Robyn, are you closer to Nashville than you are to Atlanta? Because we have Trader Joe’s here too. Just sayin. In a total non-stalkery way of course. Ahem.

Yeah, we’re quite a bit closer to Nashville than Atlanta. It takes about two hours to get to Nashville, and twice that to get to Atlanta. If I really like my trip to the Nashville Trader Joe’s, I might have to institute a country-wide tour of all the Trader Joes’!

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Not sure if you know this but they sell static electricity sprays that you just spray a little on and you wont get shocked anymore. I think there’s a cheaper version as well.. you just mix some fabric softener in water and spray a little on you.

Not only do I know about that spray, but I have some of it. I haven’t had much of a static problem this year, which is why I haven’t been using it. But it was like once I got the super zap in Publix, it opened the floodgates for me for the rest of the day. I hate that!

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Hey, was the 1999 pregnancy planning for serious, or was it a very early setup for an April Fool’s joke?

It was serious, actually. Fred was more into the idea than I was back in ’99, but I was certainly willing to have another kid. But then time went by and after a few years we decided that we really didn’t want to have a kid, which is why he eventually had a vasectomy.

When I re-read that 1999 entry the other night, I said to Fred, “Imagine if I’d gone off the pill and we had a kid! We could have a 7 or 8 year-old running around right now!” It’s kind of weird to think about, actually. I asked him if he had any regrets that we hadn’t had a kid, and he reported that he didn’t have the tiniest iota of a regret, so that makes two of us.

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How do you know which eggs have been fertilized and are going to hatch and which eggs you can eat?

You can’t tell if an egg is fertile unless you stick it in an incubator, wait 7 – 10 days, and then candle it to see if anything’s growing in there. You can eat fertile eggs – there’s no taste difference between a fertile egg and a non-fertile egg at all. When we decide to incubate and hatch eggs, we gather a bunch of them to account for the non-fertile eggs, and after Fred candles them he discards the non-fertile ones.

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Beautiful picture of you, Robyn! It reminds me of this one, except your pic is not tragic.

I am compelled to tell y’all that in that picture, I was laying down (which made it so that my chin flab kind of disappeared) and the lighting was particularly flattering. I think this picture is a truer representation of what I really look like (though you’ll note I didn’t capture my chin flab in the picture!)

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One hardly dares to wonder how the cashier knows what kind of underwear her (presumably adult) neighbor’s son wears.

It never even occurred to me to ask! Maybe she’s a freaky stalker type who sneaks over and goes through her neighbor’s son’s drawers!

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Why do the kittens look So. Pissed. Off. in that picture??? Were you teasing them about their belly fat? Did you bruise their wee kitty egos? Or did you tell them that the dream I had last night was NOT, in fact, a dream, and that all of them are coming to live with me in Houston? (My first Robyn dream! I feel like I’m part of an elite club now!!!)

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I think they look so annoyed because I ran upstairs and woke them up, and they weren’t fully awake yet. I do not tease them about their belly fat, I only play with their belly fat when it’s within reach. I can’t help myself!

I always love hearing about it when y’all dream about me. Is that weird?

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“Women after my own heart” So glad you added that. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. I’m not a mom and even I know that!

Oh, I did my share of bribing the spud with Happy Meals when she was little. I just thought it was funny that all those mothers, in a row, were bribing their kids with McDonald’s. No one was offering KFC or Taco Bell. I guess every kid really does love Mickey D’s!

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Heck, we humans are all sensitive about our belly fat…..why should a cat be any different?

Too true. If someone reached out and played with my belly fat, they’d be drawing back a nub!

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I always look at the snippets of “On this day in year X” things at the bottom of your posts. I almost never click, though. However, I could not resist “Fred leaned down and SNIFFED MEESTER BOOGERS’ ASS AGAIN.” I laughed so hard I was sitting here with TEARS streaming down my face.

I have to admit, I went and re-read that entry, and laughed my ASS off. Fred mocks me when I laugh at something I’ve written, but damn – I can’t help it. I’m a funny motherfucker sometimes!

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I don’t think the making of the cat tree is the hard part – it’s the sticking on of the freakin’ carpet that sucks.

Amen to that. I’ve told him I’m willing to take care of the carpet-sticking and the sisal rope-wrapping, if he’ll just build the damn thing for me. I need a second cat tree for the foster kitty room!

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Call me antique-identification challenged, but what is that curli-cue thing on the floor in the background of the photo of Tommy?

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That’s not an antique, it’s a scratcher. I got it at the pet store. The cats mostly ignore it, although every now and then a kitten will sit on it and sharpen their claws. (Which do NOT need sharpening, believe you me!)

Also – Robyn …. Wally Lamb’s latest book is out as of last month. It’s called *The Hour I First Believed* and I got it yesterday – can hardly put it down. So far, I highly recommend it.

I just added it to my wish list, I’m sure I’ll pick it up at Target soon. So far, I’ve liked everything I’ve read by Wally Lamb, I’m looking forward to reading it.

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You have to check out these last minute xmas gifts on Gattina’s blog. They are hilarious.. especially the Crazy Cat Lady Action Figure. Funny how things can make you think of someone you have never even met.. 😛

She doesn’t come with enough cats! Is there a pack of additional cats you can buy, I wonder?

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LP

License plate guesses:

Dixon something, I didn’t even think about that. But I see a lot of vanity plates where it looks like their initials…maybe it’s like DX and (‘n) BX. Although I don’t know anyone whose last name starts with X, so who knows.

I think it’s boring old initials. Dan Xbing N Beth Xbing. Maybe their last name doesn’t really start w. X.

I think the plate’s owner is a hunter – So my guess would be… ducks and bucks.

It is “Docs in box”.

I think it is Dixon and Blixen – the Southern reindeer. or maybe Detox and Botox.

I bet they are dog-lovers, and it stands for dachshund … something… dachshund boxer?

I like dicks in a box. That’s what she said. (HA!)

It must be dick in a box. I just know it. Have you seen the follow-up jizzed in my pants?

I hadn’t ’til now – that is just WRONG. Hee.

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Those kittens are killing me with the cute. Delmar and Lem are coming downstairs more and more during the day. Every once in a while, I’ll hear Delmar in the next room, meowing sadly like he’s suddenly realized that he is in need of love and doesn’t know where the love supply is kept. When I call him, he runs to me and I pick him up and kiss him and pet him and snuggle him, and he purrs and purrs and purrs.

I go upstairs at least a couple of times during the day, and all four kittens always join me and snuggle up to me and purr and purr and purr.

The girls are still more skittish than the boys, but compared to how they were when we first got them, it’s like night and day. I thought for a long time that Claudette would never ask to be petted, and now she demands love from me regularly.

LOVE DEM KITTEHS.

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More kitten pics over at Love & Hisses.

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Joe Bob has found himself a box. And he is studiously ignoring Mister Boogers, who’s sniffing around and ready to make trouble.

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Previously
2007: I believe the phrase “JESUS FUCKING CHRIST ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!” were bellowed in my car about sixteen different times.
2006: I think my favorite part of the video is at the end when the boys are eating and Miz Poo is so intent on getting a snootful of Booger ass that she is uninterested in Snack Time.
2005: I’m sure that if Rachel McAdams knew that pictures of her nipples were going to be splashed all over the internet she would have yanked out the hairs just to spare the Dork Brigade the sheer horror of having to be aware of the fact that she’s a living, breathing human and exists for purposes beyond serving as an image for them to jerk off to.
2004: I’d swear to never use Amazon again, but it’s so FREAKING convenient I just can’t help myself.
2003: Clearly we were in the presence of REALLY important people.
2002: Because I’m just that good.
2001: That’s right, damnit, I’m a chick magnet!
2000: We’re standing strong in the face of those two snowflakes.
1999: Though I guess “substance” would be a matter of opinion.

12-18-08

by @ Thursday, December 18th, 2008. Filed under Life

Psst! Right now, at this very moment, in my little part of the world? It is NOT raining!

I don’t expect that to hold – I’m sure we’ll get more rain today, even if it’s just sprinkles – but the fact that right now it’s NOT rainy and 50 degrees out? I’ll take it!

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The Fling-ama-String came in the mail Friday or Saturday, and I got it hooked up and ready to go on the guest bedroom. I turned it on, and Miz Poo came running. She must have smacked at the string on that toy for an hour, and gradually the other cats in the house came along to check it out. It was seriously cute – and I have to say, a big, big hit.

The only thing I’d change about the toy is that I think it should turn itself off after 15 minutes or so. I turned it on at one point on Sunday and HOURS later I was like “What’s that noise?”, and the damn thing was still going. My own fault, I know, I should be a little more aware of the world around me, but if it shut itself off after a set period of time, it’d be a perfect toy.

Two thumbs up!

(I actually ordered it for the cats as a Christmas present and wasn’t going to let them have it ’til Christmas day, but Fred mocked me and I really wanted to see if the cats liked it, so NO PRESENTS for the cats on Christmas day! It’s all Fred’s fault!)

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Remember the “BQQBS” license plate my sister sent me the picture of a few weeks ago? Reader Cat suggested that I sent it to HorribleLicensePlates.com (they post funny and cute license plates, too), so I did.

And they posted it today! We’re famous!

Uh. Well, someone’s license plate is famous. Someone in Maine, who I’ve never met.

Speaking of license plates, we were at L0we’s one day last week, and saw this one:

LP

We immediately tried guessing what it means. My guess: Dicks in a Box. Fred’s guess: Dykes on Bikes.

What’s your guess?

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Milenka linked to Fuck You, Penguin in my comments yesterday, and I instantly fell in love, read every post, and added it to my blog reader.

I sure do love the internet.

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Fred made me a bench so I can sit in the back forty and bond with the chickens and such. He made it in no time flat out of wood he had laying around, and then immediately mocked it for being ugly.

I don’t think it’s ugly at all. I like that it’s simple and solid (just like me), and I think he should make me furniture more often. If he can throw together a bench like that so quickly, is there any reason he can’t build me a cat tree?

(Any reason other than that he doesn’t want to, I mean.)

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This is how Tommy keeps warm when he’s not being harassed for snuggling by Stinkerbelle or Sugarbutt or whoever needs his special brand of Tommy love.

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Previously
2007: I would never condone entering a grocery store and opening fire with a machine gun, but I certainly understand the impulse.
2006: I think that we all know that it’s more likely that Sugarbutt will whisk Miz Poo into a perky waltz about the living room before I actually get off my dead ass and sand down the trim so that I don’t have to look at the drippy bits.
2005: No entry.
2004: He yawned his ears right off his head.
2003: “Well,” he said, all smug and certain of his facts. “If you didn’t have DIARRHEA, then it was NOT the flu! It’s just a cold!”
2002: But is Christmas shopping ever really done?
2001: The usual excitement
2000: Grandma’s other concerns were whether the fire was going out (it wasn’t) and how much Fred and Becky were eating.
1999: When did Toronto become part of the United States, again?

12-17-08

by @ Wednesday, December 17th, 2008. Filed under Fostering, Life

I am really good and goddamn tired of the goddamn motherfucking rain. I’d like to have ONE sunny day please, is that fucking POSSIBLE?

(Could be worse, could be sleet. BUT THE RAIN IS PISSING ME OFF.)

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So, my shopping trip yesterday was eternal but productive, so I’m not complaining. I stopped by the post office first and got a great big batch of Holiday cards from y’all – I’ll be posting all the pictures when I post this year’s holiday cards stats.

After the post office, I went to the mall, mostly because I wanted to check out Steve & Barry’s. They’re going out of business, as one of you informed me a few weeks ago, so I wanted to see what their sale was. Everything in the store was 40 or 50% off the lowest marked prices, which meant that there were a lot of t-shirts for $3.50 or less, lots of jackets, lots of sweatshirts, but the more I looked, the more I decided that the one thing I don’t need any more of in my wardrobe is anything that Steve & Barry’s carries. I’ve got more t-shirts than I know what to do with, sweatshirts too, and I’m all set on the jacket front.

I stopped by the book store and browsed for a good long time, swung by Hallmark (and left without buying anything for once in my life!), and then stopped by Bath and Body Works before leaving the mall. When I got to the mall, it was just before 9:00, and there were few people there. I guess not everyone checked the web page and saw that the mall stores are opening at 8 am all this week and early next week. When I left the mall after 10:30, it was PACKED.

From the mall I went over to Linens ‘n Things, which is in the process of going out of business. I’d thought about checking out their sales before, but never got around to it until yesterday. Everything left in the store was 50 to 70% off, but there was really nothing left that I was interested in buying, so I looked around and left pretty quickly.

I stopped by a shoe store to check their boots, didn’t find anything I liked, so went to Goody’s. I got a pet bed there for $7.99 last week and it’s a big hit with the cats, so I thought I’d buy a couple extra.

Yes, we only currently have about three beds for each cat. What’s your point?

Unfortunately, not only were the pet beds no longer on sale – they’d gone back up to their regular price of $12.99 – they only had a few left, and I didn’t care for the color. Ah well – one day I’ll get my sewing machine up and running, and I’ll MAKE cat beds instead of buying them!

After Goody’s, I went to the pet store, where I checked to see how many cages had cats in them (answer: only one empty cage), and then I bought a few things and left.

I stopped at Kohl’s, which was PACKED. Go figure, right? A week before Christmas? Packed? Who’d ever guess? I picked up a few pairs of jeans, a fleece shirt, some underwear for Fred, then looked at the shoes and the kitchen items before standing in life for-fucking-ever to get the fuck out of there.

Here’s the thing – I don’t mind it when a cashier is friendly. I don’t mind it when a cashier is chatty. But if you cannot talk AND do your goddamn job at the same time? THEN SHUT THE FUCK UP. I don’t need to be your best friend, I don’t need to hear about your neighbor’s son wearing the same kind of underwear as the kind I’m buying for my husband (SERIOUSLY), I just need you to ring my shit up and let me get the fuck out of there.

CHRIST.

On my way out of Kohl’s, I passed three different women with small children, and I shit you not – every one of them was bribing their child with a trip to McDonald’s.

Women after my own heart.

I finally got out of Kohl’s, stopped by Publix for milk and contact solution (I STILL LURVES YOU, PUBLIX!), and then finally got home around 1:30.

Now I’m pretty much all set for Christmas, though I have one or two very quick errands to run. Other than that, though, I’m good to go, and Christmas is still a week and a day away!

I suppose I ought to think about putting up some decorations, ya think?

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This picture doesn’t really show just how much bigger than his sisters Delmar has gotten. I swear that when we got the kittens, they were all about the same size. Delmar has gotten HUGE in the time we’ve had him – he’s quite a bit bigger than the other three. Well, Lem’s gotten pretty big, but he doesn’t hold a candle to Delmar. I’m seriously starting to wonder if Delmar’s got some Maine Coon in him. He has huge paws.

He’s also a serious love bug. Last night he flopped down in my lap while we were watching TV, and he just laid there and let me pet him. Then, of course, he got overwhelmed and bit me when I kept messing with his belly fat.

I guess he’s sensitive about his belly fat.

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In the evening and at night, the cat bed atop the bookcase in the kitchen belongs to Joe Bob. While he’s off gallivanting during the day, however, Kara claims the cat bed as her own.

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Previously
2007: He really is a pretty chicken, and I look forward to seeing what his babies look like.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: Fred leaned down and SNIFFED MEESTER BOOGERS’ ASS AGAIN.
2003: And then we got to stand around while the woman, clearly not the sort who can walk and chew gum at the same time, fumbled with her credit card, NEVER ONCE PAUSING IN HER INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT CONVERSATION.
2002: Tell me, for I am clueless when it comes to these things.
2001: Like I said, if you’re going to mix lights, go all the way, people.
2000: No entry.

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