265 - A good week

Haven't lost any of you guys this week, still at 74 'followers'! Hopefully this doesn't run anyone off...

It's another short one. Gotta have balance in your life, right?

A name to add to the list of 'names not to stick my children with'... Sparkles. I got a call from Sparkles at Staples to let me know that my order had arrived. I wonder if she's a vampire... now that they sparkle in the sunlight and all...

Oh... can't pass this up since I'm alluding to Twilight... this has to be the best People of WalMart creature of all time... not necessarily the creature per se, but the comment that the person who submitted it made. I love Twilight (the books), but...

Have a great weekend!


264 - An argumentative SOB

Today I was introduced (once again) to 'how not to argue if you want people to listen to a damn thing you're saying':

1) Take the meat of what the person you're arguing with says, slightly twist it into something you know they didn't mean, confront them with it an agressively argumentative manner.
2) Season with a thinly veiled insult
3) Sprinkle with rhetoric
4) Insult them again, but make it more obvious (because they're so stupid that they probably missed it the first time)
5) Refuse to accept defeat, even when you are 100% wrong
6) Make it personal
7) Make everything literal, even if it gets ridiculous
8) Keep going like a demonic Energizer bunny intent on getting the last word in - post, post, post!
9) Argue with EVERYONE (no one can accuse you of discrimination!)
10) Call the other person names and then accuse them of introducing emotion into the argument while you are 'merely stating facts'
11) Fail to recognize that you are a hypocrite

I'm sure there are several additional ways to do this (in)effectively, but I think that covers the basic of How to Debate Like An Ass Clown 101. We hope you've enjoyed our crash course. Stay tuned for future episodes.


263 - Blah-g

Not in a very upbeat mood today for some reason. Spent most of the afternoon feeling sorry for myself and doing that thing where you're already miserable, so you reach back into the archives to find things that made you miserable 20 years ago just so you can add those to the pile-o-misery... Anyone else do that? Anyone? No? Just me then. Well anyway... there's no plausible explanation for it, so I'm assuming it's a latent 'case of the Mondays' and will pass soon. All I wanna do is sleep. In a fetal position.

So I'll leave you with the best freebie of all... one I can't believe I frickin' forgot... but I did, until I mentioned Amazon in an answer to a comment (I do respond to my comments, eventually). Okay, they offer a ton of free music, but I'll be honest, most of it isn't that great. Once in a while there's a gem, but it's rare. That's not the freebie I'm talking about, but I thought I'd mention it anyway.

I know I've railed about e-books before... I am firmly pro-book, real books, books with pages. That's just me though. It's what I like. If you don't feel that way, we can still be acquaintances. (I kid) But... *cough* did you know that you can download Kindle for PC for free? But no, that's not the best part. The best part -- and the part that makes it okay for me to be hypocritical in this one instance... are ALL THE FREE JANE AUSTEN BOOKS!!! There are oodles and scads of them! And Jane doesn't care if they're free because she's dead, so she doesn't get any royalties anyway. That assauges my author-guilt (buying second hand books is great for the reader, but authors don't get royalties; as a wannabe author that pains me). So before you think I'm any more weird than you already think I am, or maybe realize I really am weird (that's enough from you Joe), here's the link.

I haven't looked, there may be free Dickens and Dostoyevsky for all I know. And if that's the case, I'll melt into a happy puddle. I love me some D&D!


262 - Free is the new black

Some cool free stuff I found by perusing the various money-saving blogs (see sidebar... I didn't link the names):

From MyDallasMommy --

Sign up with Energy Efficient Now to participate in The Free Lightbulb Initiative and receive two free Compact Fluorescent (CFL) Lightbulbs!

Click on over to get a Free Emeril’s 20th Anniversary Cookbook It’s an exclusive collection of many of the best-loved recipes from Emeril’s, from Barbecued Shrimp to Banana Cream Pie to Sazaracs – there’s something in this cookbook for everyone in there…and best of all, it’s FREE!

Become a fan of NeilMed Neti Pots on Facebook, and you'll be able to fill out a form for a FREE NeilMed Neti Pot with mixture packets. (how timely, lol!)

From SavingMoneyWisely:

Head over to Wal-Mart’s site to get a FREE sample of U by Kotex! (ladies -- these are awesome)

From TheKrazyCouponLady:

At Vista Print right now you can score yourself 140 FREE Return Address Labels! Just pay to have them shipped (shipping starts at $2.75)

Einstein Bagels is giving away a FREE Bagel and Schmear to their facebook fans! Go HERE to become a fan, then use the Offers tab to get your coupon. (this link didn't work for me, but maybe they'll fix it soon)

How to get free Duracell batteries at Staples.

From SouthernSavers.com:

Right now Redbox is offering a rental free when you place your first online rental. Go here to reserve you movie and then simply swing by the Redbox to pick it up! This basically makes it a B1G1 deal.

Not free, but very inexpensive, (2) boxes of Hammermill paper for around $5 from Staples.

Free song (from VocalPoint)

From PassionforSavings:

Kodak Gallery is offering a Free 5×7 Greeting Card for Mother’s Day. Just Use the Code: 4MOM at Checkout after you create your Card (and if it's your first rodeo at KG, you can score 50 free prints)

I'm sure there are more out there, but this is what was easy to find. Many of these blogs post the same deals, but there's enough variety to keep me coming back to find the gem of a deal I might have otherwise missed. Have fun!


261 - Anyone want a slightly used Neti Pot?

Sort of kidding.

Day 2 of the Neti Pot experience. My allergies were bad today. Granted, it's not Neti's fault. It's the pollen. I figured if I used the NP when I got home, it would help a little. It burned more today than it did yesterday. You know how it feels when you're in the pool and you get water up your nose? Well, not surprisingly, it feels like that. And this time I didn't use the whole packet of salt / baking soda. And I made sure the water was lukewarm. Not too hot, not too cold, but juuuuuuuuuuuuust right. So, I will soldier on, but... I'm not sure I'm going to keep it up. At least my nose didn't bleed today. That's progress, huh?

Today on the way out the door from work, I saw the most beautiful human being. He was tall, had long dark hair, gorgeous eyes. Oh my. He was like the older twin of the 19 year old I was drooling over in Mississippi (stop with the disapproving scowl... he's legal... and I didn't pounce). Will I ever get over this long hair fetish of mine? I thought I was done with it, but give me a good looking man with long hair and I still feel the pull. It's a holdover from my teenage years. Add a few tattoos and I'm drooling.

I received, in the mail today, some diatomaceous earth. I'm quite excited about it. I can sprinkle it in my garden and suck the juice out of the bugs that suck the juice out of my tomatoes. Bwahahaha! The irony is beautiful! The way it's supposed to work is that these powdered diatoms have jagged little edges, so they cut into the bug, and then I guess they are absorbent (something like silica?), so they dry the buggies out. You can also take it internally, as long as it's food grade. Supposedly it has around 15 different minerals, it absorbs toxins, and it rids the body of harmful parasites. For dogs and cats, you can give it internally to deworm them, or rub it into their fur to kill fleas, mites and ticks. You can rub it into your carpet for the same. It sounds amazing. I'm drinking some now, it's a little gritty, but I don't taste anything so... we'll see. Not that I have fleas or worms or anything.

I'm taking a multi-vitamin, omega-3, vitamin D, calcium and Osteo Bi-Flex. I didn't exercise last week because I was sick, but tonight I'm getting back on the horse. My point is, I'm still stuck at 170 lbs, and I'm still tired all the time. I don't drink as much soda as I did, I drink a lot more water. I don't know what to do. I'm stuck. I try to eat healthier, but I'll probably never eat what I should for every single meal. I'm looking for answers because I'm frustrated. I feel like throwing my hands up and not even trying.

On an up note, Survivors seasons 1 & 2 comes out TOMORROW!!! Tuesdays are awesome.

Does anyone get the whole Justin Beiber thing (did I spell that right?)? What the heck? I heard a snippet and I'm not impressed, he kinda sounds like a girl. And when I searched on iTunes, the autofill put Justin Beiber before Justin TIMBERLAKE. I admit I like JT. Not all of his songs, but enough. I don't think he's hot though, because I think he still looks like a 14 year old (and yes there's a big difference between looking 14 and looking 19 -- I knew what you were thinking). Regardless, he's paid his dues, he deserves to have his name come up before Justin Beiber's. (I know, it seems random, but I heard his name on tv as I was blogging).

That is all.


260 - The things I do for fun...

So today's haul (that's the official term "haul") was awesome. Between Walgreens and CVS, I spent $8.54 and saved $250, I have $72 to spend next time.

It takes work. ABAO asked how long it takes me to hunt down all these deals... there are three parts to the answer:

1) It takes me about 3 hours to cut out the coupons from my Sunday paper (I now buy 3 copies because I've noticed that many deals say, 'buy $x of brand X and get $x in rewards', and it takes about 3 items to meet that quota). I could pare that time down by doing a variety of things, not the least of which is to not be so anal retentive about actually cutting along the dotted lines, but... oddly, I enjoy cutting coupons out, and white space bothers me (thus the writing). I do get up from time to time and do other things, otherwise my legs would cramp, but yeah... as I watch crappy SyFy movies, I clip.

2) Once I have all my new coupons clipped , I browse the circulars and see what I want, and match it with my coupons; those I remember having just clipped, and those I have filed in my fancy-schmancy modified box. Then I consult SouthernSavers.com to see if I missed anything. Then I start scrolling down the rest of the blogs on my sidebar, because sometimes they are even more deals to be had (I think this time I found about 6 more awesome deals).

3) Next, I chart it out on a spreadsheet to see how much it's going to cost me after coupons, dollars I earned last time, and determine how many rewards dollars I'll earn this time. Have I mentioned the anal retentiveness? Also, because of Walgreens wonky policy about counting Register Rewards as a manufacturer's coupon, and only being allowed one manufacurer's coupon per item, I have to figure out 'filler' items, like this week's $0.39 candy bars, so that I can use alllllllllllll of my many RR's. It's slightly complicated... (btw, you can use a Walgreens store coupon with a manufacturer's coupon, and it doesn't count in the coupon tally)

Then on Sunday, I go to Walgreens and CVS and buy, buy, buy.

This week I started setting aside things to donate, and tomorrow I'll stop by a shelter dropoff site on my way home. I have it pretty good, I know a lot of people don't. As I said before, I've got all the razors and toothpaste I need for... years. I am having too much fun to stop, but there's no more room in my medicine cabinet, so donating not only makes me feel good, but I can also continue my hobby. (I'm donating things other than razors and toothpaste, but ceratin brands are on sale all the time)

So one of the many neat things I bought this week was a Neti Pot. I've been intrigued by them since I saw Carol Burnett demonstrate one on a talk show years ago, and just recently I've been wanting one... well, maybe that's whole 'thinking about something and bringing it about' theory works, because there in the clearance pile was a Neti Pot for $5 (down from $19.99). This isn't the first time it's happened. Wish it would work with weight loss and finding Mr. Right... but I guess I have to start small...

It was... a strange experience... Did you know -- people, more often than not, breathe through their noses? So... it's hard to remember not to breathe through your nose, even though you have a spout inserted into your nostril (as a gentle reminder), and water is flowing through it. And it's a weird sensation to have water (and salt and baking soda) going up your nose, around the top of your nose and back down through the other nostril. It doesn't seem like it should happen. My nose was a little upset about it, actually. Started to really run afterward, which I assume is normal, and then one of my nostrils even bled a little... which I read is rare. Bully for me. I'll give it another go. Now that the burning has subsided, my allergies do seem a bit lessened. I think. And if that's the case, the Neti Pot is a very good thing, because here lately, it looks like someone picked up a ball of pollen and threw it hard at the ground... or my car. I've never seen so much pollen... and so few honey bees.

I've been leaving the buttercups, and the little white flowers on my hedges, in the hopes that the honey bees will come (but NOT the wasps or bumblebees). I haven't seen even one honey bee. In fact, I wonder if the lack of honey bees has something to do with the grotesque amount of pollen, like maybe they usually harvest it and take it elsewhere, but without them... It's not good. For many reasons.


259 - Fun with alarm clocks

I imagine this to be a little like Harry Potter trying to find the one key to open the door to the Chamber of Secrets, but without the rest of the angry keys or the broomstick... and very early in the morning.


"Trouble getting up in the morning? This unique flying alarm clock will do the trick! When the alarm sounds, the propeller is launched into the air and flies around the room. To turn off the alarm, you'll have to get up, find the propeller and return it to the base.

With the large easy to read back-lit display, you'll always know what time it is. Need another precious few minutes of sleep? The clock is equipped with a snooze function. This Flying Alarm Clock is perfect for college students, people who work the night shift, and anyone who isn't a morning person!

Features Include:
  • Easy to set
  • Snooze function
  • LCD Display has day of the week
  • Displays Seconds
  • Displays AM or PM
  • Alarm sound is of an airplane taking off & landing
  • Large alarm icon on display when alarm is set
  • Backlight is very bright, the entire display lights up in a very bright blue
  • 2 demo buttons - 1 for the motorized propeller & sound & 1 just for the sound
  • Count-up timer mode"
You can buy it here if you want, for $7.99 + free shipping. I'm intrigued, but I just don't have that kind of energy in the morning, and for my luck that propeller would hit the ceiling fan and be flung straight at my head, or it would end up under the bed and I'd never be able to turn the blasted alarm off (barring just pulling the plug). Or imagine, if you wear glasses and need them to see, they're on your bedside table, but the propeller knocks them off... you can't find your glasses and you can't find that blasted propeller! Hmph.

258 - A riddle

Why did the cheese stand alone? You know, in the nursery rhyme, "hi ho the dairy-o, the cheese stands alone?"

Did someone cut the cheese?


257 - Zzzz

Came home, went to bed, fell asleep, woke up and it's 9:30 pm. Time to go back to bed....


256 - 100+

That's my temperature... I'm sick. Again. Only this time it's only a fever, and a little fatigue. I'm not sure what caused it, but I wonder if it was the ant poison I probably inhaled as I swept when I cleaned the garage... which looks lovely by the way...

Pity me a little?


Okay, I'll just pretend then... and I'll force my sob story on you despite your reticence on the matter. I'll even leave you alone to read over it while I water the garden... toodles...

I get one week's sick time. I took one day off (early January) so the A/C guys could come fix the heater before it burned my house down (melted wirenut, whole house smelled like burning plastic and probably gave me cancer). I used the other four days in January when I was making choices about which end needed the toilet most urgently. Before the end of the first month of the year my time was gone. By March I had managed to accrue 2.5 meager vacation days. I chuckled to myself that I might get to take a day off to... dare I say it... enjoy doing... nothing (!). Then my uncle passed away. I took 2 of those days and my dad donated the rest to me so I could go to the funeral -- because uncles don't count when it comes to bereavement. (it irks me) Since then I've managed to accrue 9-point-something hours of vacation (squee!). I calculated that in order to go to Florida in May, I needed to put in an hour of comp time. So I have no spare time. At all. I actually needed one more hour.

Sunday night I was running a temp of 101.1. Sounds bad enough, but keep in mind that my normal temp is not 98.6, it's closer to 98.0, so for me that's actually more like a normal person's 101.7 (I know, I'm not a normal person and I've proved it yet again). I decided I shouldn't go in to work on Monday. That being done, I'm 9 hours short for my vacation.

So today, I went to work an hour early (and it pained me... I'm sick, and I am not a morning person, but more pressing, I hate rush hour traffic, and staying one hour later makes the drive home a living HELL, so I sucked it up and the surprised looks I got from my co-workers kinda made it worth my while. Kind of). I also worked through lunch, and if I do this all week I will have made up 6 of those hours. Next week I can make up 3 more and I'm flush again.

Except that...

I called the ortho and they think my trays may come in this week, so next Tuesday I'll probably go get them (he only comes to the local office on Tuesdays). So that means I have to make up even more time. I figure at least two hours. That's 45 minutes travel, and the rest for them to adhere clips to my teeth and put the trays on... I seriously think it will take them that long... yes I do... I might even be underestimating.

I still have a fever. Last night is was 100.2. Think I'm going to get better by pushing myself like this?

Sigh. But I'd rather do this and have my weekend off, that way I at least get two days to chill out and recoup.

Speaking of braces, last night I had a rather painful dream. I dreamt that I got my braces. And the first tray was designed to move my wisdom and molar teeth back, and my front teeth out toward my lip, to create a wider jawline and therefore more space... no idea if this is realistic or not, but it was realistic in my dream. My back teeth felt an incredible amount of pressure, and I felt it and it HURT. I don't know what the hell was going on in my real life, but it woke me up and it HURT.

So I'll leave you with something fun from pioneerliving.com. Now I know how to make sour cream. And so do you:

2 cups light cream

2 Tablespoons buttermilk

Combine cream with buttermilk in hot, clean glass jar with a lid. (Canning jar that has been heating in boiling water, for instance.) Cover tightly and shake gently to thoroughly mix. Let stand in a warm place - like where you put bread to rise) till thickened (24-48 hours). Store, covered in refrigerator. Stir before serving. Use within three weeks. Makes two cups.


I don't know about you, but I love learning this stuff! And, I wonder how it will taste, so I might try it. I doubt it's any cheaper than buying Daisy... guess it would be if I had a moo cow... but alas, I do not. Nor do I have my goat, or my two adorable egg-laying chickens. Or those little teacup piglets (I know they don't produce anything edible, but they're so cute!). Anyone know a single, marriagable farmer?


255 - Super Shopathon Sunday

God I love shopping. I think today was the be-all / end-all. I'm accumulating so much stuff that I'm going to start donating to a local women's shelter. That way, I can continue this little hobby of mine without being profiled on Hoarders, I can help people, and well... I can also take a tax deduction... win-win-win I say.

So today I spent $76.77 (including tax). Out of that, I will submit a rebate for $20 back from Olay, so my actual out of pocket is $56.77. I'm also submitting a form to get a free movie ticket for buying (4) qualifying Hershey's products, it will go nicely with the free movie ticket I got from the grocery store, and the B1G1 ticket I got from Tropicana. Oh -- and I swung by the grocery store (since it was on my way) because they overcharged me for my granola. It was only $2, but they gave me $5.99 for my trouble, so... $50.78 out of pocket. On top of that, I got $22.50 in Walgreens Register Rewards to spend on my next trip, and $32.98 in CVS Extra Care Bucks.

So I've got a little over $55 to spend next week before I even pay one red cent. My out of pocket would have been less, but I went to Target to get stuff to organize the garage, so $26 of that stuff is outside the scope of my usual drugstore forays. Not bad for ~$272 worth of stuff (pre-sale, pre-coupon). By the way, Target is giving away a free bag today, to celebrate Earth Day.

Yesterday I cleaned out the garage as planned. I still have to tackle the workbench, but that's what I'm planning to do with the stuff I bought today. The half I cleaned looks really good! I am impressed with myself. If it weren't for the cat litter in the middle of the floor, I could actually get a second car in there if I wanted to! So far I haven't seen anymore copperheads. They're probably all hiding under the workbench... it's seriously scary under there...

Pics of my loot (Greg: please note that I'm not in the photos, nor am I singing):


254 - My cup runneth over

I keep finding old classmates on facebook. It's great for that. Occassionally though, I get friend requests from people I don't recognize. Many times, if they are friends with enough of my friends, I'll accept their friend request anyway. Otherwise, they languish in limbo forever. And if I recognize the name or the picture, I will accept them right away. Most of the time.

But not today.

Today I think I got a friend request from a complete jackass I once worked with at Wendy's. A guy who, months later when I had another job, thought it was okay to back me up against a record display when I happened to be alone in the store where I worked. I didn't know what he planned to do, but he wasn't backing off and I was telling him to... and I didn't like the look on his face. I absolutely want nothing to do with him. I can't believe he has the balls to even ask. I can't tell for sure it's him, because he has that creepy no-photo silhouette instead of a real photo, which honestly, is a gift to the rest of us, but how convenient. Still he lurks. But I'm pretty sure it's him, because he hit me up after I befriended one of our co-workers, and the first name is right.

It pisses me the hell off.

I used to be a size 7. Sometimes I think I subconsciously gained weight on purpose because of guys like him who think it's okay to harass women. Before I gained weight, guys bugged me a lot, and they took advantage of my laid back nature, the fact that I didn't like to make waves, that I was afraid of confrontation. They would say inappropriate things, they would try to touch me to see what they could get away with, they pushed the boundaries... and I'm not talking about boyfriends. I had one asshole put his hand in my back pocket and then he tried to make me seem like the asshole when I pulled it out and placed it on the table... three times. Mind you, I'd met him about 30 mins before he made his Cassanova move. When I was younger I let guys get away with it. I honestly did. I don't know what I was thinking. My bad. Thank God I found my backbone.

So to my wanna-be facebook buddy -- suck it, asshole. You're lucky you didn't try it now. I'd rip your fucking balls off. I have a memory like an elephant. Whenever you do something heinous enough, I never ever forget you -- and I never forget what you did. Friendship denied.


253 - Curiousity and thinking ahead

I actually wrote a little bit last night! To clarify, it was a story I wrote, not a blog. As always seems to happen, I'm in bed, attempting to fall asleep and BLAMMO, scene plays out in my head. I've learned from experience that believing I can remember it the next day, and actually remembering it the next day, are two completely different things. For this reason, I have a notebook and pen right next to the bed (it saves me a lot of unnecessary crying the next day). I didn't turn the light on to write, so God only knows if I can even read what I took the time to jot down, but it's in there... somewhere.

As part of my writerly tendencies, I am curious. I problem solve. A lot. And the internet is a perfect tool to sate that curiousity. Since my burgeoning story revolves around (what else?) the Apocalypse (a pandemic... and by the way, I'm so very glad I found another completely-new-not-overdone-in-anyway-idea to make up for that vampire novel I wasted my time writing last year...) I have been thinking through different scenarios. What would I need to have on hand? Without the internet, where would I get my information? Anyhoo, long story shor-- sorry, too late for that... I googled 'rifle' to see where I could buy a rifle. Rifles are good for hunting, they are also good for protection. No harm, no foul. I figure you can get them at Academy or Sports Authority or WalMart (hiss), but I really don't know since I've never shopped for one.

So to refresh your memory -- I googled 'rifle'.

Later this evening I was about to google 'how to pick a lock' and 'how to hotwire a car'. But just before I started typing in the box, I realized that (if the internet police are out there, and they are indeed watching), looking up 'rifle', 'how to pick a lock' and 'how to hotwire a car' in succession over a short period of time might not look particularly good...

Obama spoke to us from KSC today. Coincidentally I hear he is attending a democratic fundraiser in Miami later this evening, maybe that's why he seemed so distracted. Or maybe it's just arrogance. *shrug* If you're curious, here are the highlights:
  •  Obama is relatable: He proved that by announcing that he likes Tang. That kind of thing certainly resonates with those of us who work at NASA. We're all about the Tang. In fact, I have to insert the Tang IV in order for my computer to boot. No Tang, no computer. By the way IV stands for 'intravenous,' not 'four'... but maybe Tang IV will be the name of the next spacecraft... "Space -- brought to you by... Tang." It'll look like a race car, covered in ads from sponsors... Or maybe... maybe he tricked us, and he doesn't really like Tang... he likes 'tang... no wonder he smirked at us after he said it...
  • No one – not the people at NASA, not even the astronauts themselves – no one cares more about human exploration than Barack Obama.
  • Apparently Bolden is quite the interior decorator. Mr. Obama thanked him for helping decorate his office... not the oval one, the one just outside that. You see, Bolden flew on the mission that put Hubble in orbit, and Barack has a picture of one of the planets on his wall.
  • Favorite quote: Buzz Aldrin is in the house.

The rest of the speech came out of his ass. I think we missed an opportunity. It goes something like this:

We have the shuttle on the launchpad. We ask, "Mr. President *cough* would you like to have a look inside the shuttle?" He says, "That'd be great, because no one cares more about human exploration than I do." We'd laugh, not because it's funny, but because he doesn't know that we know that he's lying through his teeth. But we know. So he goes inside. He sees Biden and Pelosi, then he sees two crates: one labelled Democrats, and one labelled Republicans, and he knows he's been had! He starts running for the door. But before he can escape -- we shut the door. We're go for launch. We're retiring the shuttle anyway, it's like pushing an old Eskimo out to sea on an ice drift. Two birds. One stone. One giant bipartisan celebration! Sure they'll eventually come back down... but where?

...Crap. Now I've put 'Obama' and 'rifle' in the same blog. It was nice knowing you guys. I'll be in Levinworth if you need me...

P.S. I was recreating the kiss and blow pop scenario, but this time I gave them both kisses. Unfortunately my fingertip grazed one of the blowpops and the wrapper was sticky. So I said, "Ew... it's sticky." Only this time I MEANT TO DO IT! HA! I WIN!


252 - Eeny Meeny Miney Mo

I was watching 16 and pregnant this afternoon and this girl's logic cracked me up... I paraphrase:

We've decided to breast feed, because it's the cheapest option.

Okay... let's examine that for a moment. You're not breastfeeding because it's a bonding experience. You're not breastfeeding because it passes immunity from mother to child. No -- you are breastfeeding because it's free.

Wow. She's more frugal than I am. (and her priorities are slightly off)

In the end, I think she lasted a week before they started buying formula, lol. Backfire! Baby knows... I felt really bad for this one. She started out with the dream of playing for a local philharmonic. Then she downgraded that to something more realistic, ultrasound technician. Then she downgraded that to something I think is probably a scam, medical billing. It's like she gave up. She made me sad.

But she introduced me to the pregnancy belly ring. This makes me feel better, because now I know that if I ever get preggers, I don't have to give mine up... I'm half-joking... I've already had it done twice, I don't want to go through it a third time... unlike the rest of my friends and any strangers I've discussed it with -- my navel has nerve endings. It's hurts like fuck. Did you realize the needle has to go through two pieces of skin? I didn't. I mean, it's so obvious now... but at the time, totally had a brainfart and didn't see it coming. I just about fainted... my friend Debra was a peach and went to the store to get me a Dr. Pepper to get my bloodsugar back up.

I'm sorry, this looks slightly obscene:

Speaking of obscene... I should sooooo file a harassment claim (kidding)... As I was leaving work last Friday, I stopped in to say goodbye to a co-worker. He said, "That's it? Just... 'goodbye'?" I asked, "What more do you want? A big wet sloppy kiss?" He shrugged. I walked away. He's harmless.

Monday I was feeling spunky. We have a candy basket in the common area, so I picked it up and all proud of myself walked over to him, threw a Hershey's Kiss on his desk and said, "Well... it's not wet or sloppy, but here's your kiss." I got the laugh, I was pleased. Then I sauntered over to another co-worker and gave him a Blow Pop. You probably see where this is going. I promise you -- I didn't. For the first time ever, my thought process was entirely innuendo free. I gave him the Blow Pop because the week before he grabbed one and said, "I love these!" Instead, my kind gesture got the following response: "You got a kiss, but she just gave me a blow!"

Oh. My. And from this guy it was even more unexpected... so I almost choked. I had to give him a high five. He got me. The first guy said, "Could you have opened that door any wider? I mean, you had to see that one coming..." Nope. Not at all. My head hung in shame, my face red, I slunk away. Giggling.


251 - Food for thought

A short one for today, a question about the tragic failings of the human body:

Why can you suck in the front of your stomach, but not the sides?

If you ask me, that's a major design flaw.


250 - I wonder...

I wonder…

I wonder what the world would do if it ever turns out Snopes.com is total bullshit? I go there to verify any email that doesn't sound right. I put my faith in Snopes. My world would come crumbling down if they too were an urban legend...

I wonder if real estate agents or model home attendants ever feel vulnerable? This weekend mom and I got bored so we decided to tour a couple of model homes, she likes to look at the decorations, and I always drool over the big house I like but will never be able to afford (500k, wtf?). Funny sidestory, my friend Melody and I used to go into model homes when we were teenagers, open the freezer and eat the ice. Weird adjunct to funny sidestory, there was always a dot of glue at the bottom of the cub..icle… I know... gross all the way around. But I'm not dead, so it's all good. So back to what I was saying, mom and I went in and looked at this gorgeous, light-filled, wonderfully decorated 3,500 square foot home that backs up to a golf course and has a Kristy-approved sized lot, and there was one guy in the house. I assume guys don’t worry (as much) about things like rape, but someone could easily rob them and ransack the house. So, say the model home has a security camera… so what? That doesn’t help in the heat of the moment.

Now, at the model home, I assume people drop by randomly, so the risk is reduced. But he also took us to a finished one story home that was on the market. It was kind of out there by itself as far as population goes. It was surrounded by other houses under construction, but nobody lived in them yet. So it was him, my mom, and I. If I were him, I’d be a little worried. He doesn’t know that my mom aren’t Thelma and Louise. And he wasn’t a big guy. But imagine it if you were a woman, and it was a guy, or even two guys. No way would I feel comfortable. So, I’ve crossed real estate agent and model home attendant off my list of potential careers.

I wonder if my cat would recognize her own mother if Sammy found her way back home? Sammy was abducted, either intentionally or unintentionally, by a neighbor who moved out of the neighborhood. I like to think it was intentional, because at least that means they wanted her and are taking care of her. That said, I don't like that she's gone. I love Sammy, she is an incredible cat... fearless, sweet, beautiful, I hope she has a good life. It's been almost a year, and I still look out my back door, hoping to see her in my yard... But I do wonder, if Sammy and Gracie were reunited, would they even know each other? I would think since they are mom and daughter, they would, but I don’t know. Cats are funny about that kind of thing.

Yesterday I had a great shopping day. Sixty-five cents out of pocket with $5 in register rewards at Walgreens (for $60 worth of stuff). $23 out of pocket at CVS and $20.50 in ECBs (for $99 worth of stuff). And today I got two Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-a-Cleans ($7.99 each), two refills ($5.99 each), and two Gillette Fusion razors (on sale for $6.99 each), used two $5 coupons for the Extend-a-Cleans, two buy the Extend-a-Cleans get the refill frees, two $4 off the Gillette Fusions, total out of pocket $12.12 with $10 in gift cards back. Not bad eh? Yep, I'm addicted. If I hadn't already submitted the $5 SC Johnson rebate (when you buy 3 of their products), I would have made money... sigh... (again, that's southernsavers.com and/or any of the others on my sidebar... they update all the time).
On the exercise front, this is my newly implemented "rest week." It's a concept provided to me by my P90X fanatical friend. He says they have a "rest week" and that's when he saw the most change in his body. The rest week isn't a week of me sitting on my butt. Instead I'm resting my muscles, no more squats or lifts or anything like that, this week I am using my treadmill and walking until I burn 250 calories, however long it takes. If I run or use a higher incline, it takes less time.
I also bought lavendar at Home Depot. I love lavendar. It's about time I had some in my garden.


249 - LMAO


248 - Gilad

When we were in Mississippi for my uncle's funeral, I discovered that my grandma had FitTV, so I made sure to get up in the mornings so I could work out with Gilad. I brought my Jillian dvd, but much as I like to revisit it from time to time, I'm a Gilad junkie.

As the opening credits rolled, mom looked over at the tv and said, "Now I understand why you like this show so much...":

Unfortunately you can't see all of the opening credits, but it's a lot of Gilad, with his shirt off, muscles flexing, me drooling...

So, aside from the nice looking man on the television, why do I prefer Total Body Sculpt over other exercise videos / shows?

I find Gilad to be very motivating. He tells me I'm doing excellent work and he says it a lot. He is humorous sometimes (he once calls his crew 'exorcists', he tells Kelly that her biceps look like biceps... only smaller...). And have I mentioned he's nice to look at?

When he says he wants to get his hands on my body and work me out, I giggle. When he threatens that if I'm still sitting on the couch he's going to send one of the crew to my house to motivate me, I almost take a seat just so he'll send Jim. I'd show you a picture of Jim but I can't find one.

Mostly, it's because he coaches me on proper form so that I get the most out of my workout. I feel my body changing, it doesn't hurt, but it burns. When it's over, I feel like I've accomplished something because it's not easy, but it's not Jillian or P90X hard either (I do find though, when I discuss it with my friend the P90X junkie (see Bret, you did make the blog!), some of the exercises are the same). I like that he has two women and two men working out with him, and the women are both brunettes -- and fully clothed. And Kelly's energy is contagious. I enjoy the scenery behind them, because the show is set in Hawaii. Each separate piece works for me, but as a whole it's even better. Hell, I even like the music, it's sort of a driving techno that gets stuck in my head and gets my blood pumping.

So all that... in addition to the pretty muscles in the opening credits, is why I continue to work out with Gilad.


247 - Author Interview: Marc Schooley

Before I begin, Kristy, I’d like to thank you for your patience. I apologize for taking so long to answer these questions. This is a wonderful set of interview questions, and, besides doing a hundred things at once, I wanted to honor these question with a worthwhile response. I hope I have.

I appreciate you taking the time. You went above and beyond what I’d dare hope for.

Oh yeah…my publisher, Marcher Lord Press, will disown me if I do not mention upfront that The Dark Man features attack helicopters.

It does indeed feature attack helicopters. Pretty cool ones if I may interject. So -- if anyone is surprised to see attack helicopters in this book, it isn’t because we didn’t warn you! =)

Alrighty, so without further adieu, questions and answers pertaining to author Marc Schooley’s The Dark Man:

The main character, Charles, has a wooden puzzle with blocks that, when combined in different ways, can morph into an infinite variety of faces. Where did you come up with the idea for the puzzle, and where can I get one?

Since an actual infinite most likely does not exist, a point I may revisit below, let’s call it nearly infinite, or the like. I did not come up with the idea; it appeared to me as I was writing the first scene. I saw Charles sitting on the balcony, watching the gut-wrenching dissolution of his parent’s marriage through the balcony railing. When I looked a bit closer, I noticed he was mindlessly rummaging through something on the floor. I looked closer and it was the puzzle. Very odd.

Thus, the dark man himself was not present or conceived of when I began writing. He suddenly appeared in the puzzle, once I had seen it, and was “born.” He then becomes the main symbol undergirding the novel. That’s why I say ditch the outlines! It’s so much more fun to watch the story unfold in front of you. It is to me, anyway. So, I’d say you possess a built-in puzzle. There’s no need to search any further for one…just look around you and pieces will begin arranging themselves. They do for me, that is. I suspect they might for you as well.

Characters do seem to do that. They appear out of nowhere, go left when you think they should go right… they’re like ill-behaved children. But that makes the process exciting.

When Charles and Julia have their first date, you have them lying on the hood of a car outside of Hobby Airport. I've seen this in movies before, where the plane flies so low on approach that it looks like you can reach up and touch it. Is there any symbolic significance to that particular activity? Have you ever done this in real life?

In the old days, and maybe still, though I haven’t been to the spot in decades, you could park along the backside of Hobby Airport and watch the planes fly over just so, which is where this scene was imagined. Almost anyone’s local airport should conjure up an adequate setting.

Is there any symbolic significance to that particular activity? Well, let’s just say that this was Charles’ and Julia’s first date in the book, but not their first date. They were very close by this point, and if you revisit the scene with this in mind, the symbolism should leap off the page, though the five or ten minute airplane landing intervals should not be taken literally.

Ohhhhhhh… *blush*

As a huge fan of 1984, I can see some parallels between Orwell's story and yours. Where his novel is focused on the complete mind control of a society, yours is focused specifically on the banning of religious activities. Did his story influence you in anyway?

Kristy, I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve never read 1984. Your question caught me off-guard, as I love Orwell. Animal Farm has always been the one for me, and I like Orwell’s thought in essay form, in, say, Politics and the English Language. It contains some great thoughts for writers, especially if the writer in question enjoys writing non-fiction as well. I especially enjoy Orwell’s incisiveness; he’s ever the exposer. I’ll remedy my 1984 blindspot ASAP.

Inconceivable! Yep, you definitely have to remedy that...

Did you catch any flack for the explicit nature of the reclamation center scene?

Inside, by the light of a green prism, two men in white coats operated on a prisoner secured to what reminded Charles of a dentist's chair. Every portion of the prisoner's body was restrained--the head by a claw suspended from the ceiling.

The men were attempting to implant a crystalline object into the person's forehead. The prisoner writhed in agony, struggling against the restraints, but no screams escaped the glass cell door. Charles was not certain if the prisoner was male or female because its face had been removed. It looked as if it were wearing a porcelain mask. A featureless mime behind noise-proof glass.

The hallway darkened then switched to blue as Charles staggered back against eh cell door on the opposite side of hte hallway. The doctors continued their operation on the faceless creature. Charles averted his gaze by turning and leaning on the cell door he had backed into. His head leaned on his forearm, which rested against the glass of the cell.

Charles swiped his forearm across his eyes and tried to focus on his mission. When he gazed into the cell door in front of him, a creature was staring back at him an inch from the glass. It stood as motionless as a zombie, its mouth a gaping pit, its eyes black and hollow. A tiny aperture in its forehead glowed blue in tandem with the pulsating of the prisms. It also had no face.

Charles scrambled away from the glass, his hands over his face. "It can't be. No. It's impossible. It can't be."
None whatsoever, at least to this point. I thought the scene was restrained from depicting the evil present there in its true form. If I had it to do over again, I might write it a bit more intensely and vividly. Interestingly, the scene was not present originally. During the editing process, my editor, Jeff Gerke, suggested the reclamation center ought to give the reader a better sense of the nasty stuff occurring inside. It was the decision of a professional, that one, and I’m indebted to him for that. Moral of the scene: find yourself a good editor and trust him or her.

What is your writing ritual like?

Computer laptop, sprawled out on my bed. Writing generally begins around 10 PM, when everything is quiet. Otherwise, I can’t see the story. I also like to devote a weekend to it sometimes.

Very sporadic; however, during the “on” times, the word count skyrockets.

That was my experience, your muse is either there that day, or it’s not, but when it is, times are good…

I read some pretty positive reviews of your book over at Amazon.com. How does it feel to hear that people connected to your story?

The ones that truly connect, for whatever personal reason they had for connecting, are to be treasured. There’s nothing quite like it, though if we put our heads together I’m sure we could find some similarities. I’m sincerely thankful for all the good feedback I’ve received.

However, there’s also been some negative feedback. I talked at length with some of these reviewers and what I’ve found is that many have disliked the ending. I’m grateful for that, because it seems to me that there was an emotional attachment to the story and characters involved that invoked a heartfelt response, and that’s all you can ask for as a writer.

Interestingly, I’ve had the most negative feedback from Christian readers. This could perhaps be a function of the audience for this book being primarily Christian; however, I don’t exactly understand it yet, as TDM is a blatantly Christian work. I can’t think offhand of a non-Christian who has sent back a negative review thus far, and there’s been plenty who have read it. I’m not sure why this is…

I think Christian readers can be fickle because most have a very black and white view of what their religion is and what it isn’t. If you stray from their personal formula, they don’t tolerate it well. Religion is very polarizing. I didn’t find anything offensive about your book, and you seem to know your scripture… you can only do so much.

What's the best thing that has come from being published? There’s a “Marc Schooley Day” in your home town, isn’t there?

The best thing…hmm. Tough question. I’d say two things. The opportunities since being published are one, kinda like being invited to come to your blog and speak for a while. As time goes by, I have had the opportunity to meet more and more people, be exposed to different groups and activities, and be asked to participate in different events.

The second may not make as much sense. Christians love to tell the gospel story, and TDM is no less than that. It’s a real joy to have an overtly Christian book published. Again, I’m still puzzled why it’s been so well received outside the church.

I’m not a big churchgoer and I liked it. While it was overtly religious, I didn’t feel like I’d been preached to, the religion felt like part of the story so that it didn’t feel blatant. I think in these times, when government is intruding more and more on our lives and making choices for is, it’s a relatable tale. You had a little of everything, mystery, romance, action…

So do your co-workers treat you with the proper respect now that you're a bigshot author? Be honest... I know these people....

No, absolutely not, at least within my own group. You know these people.  I’m kidding…they’ve been great. At first I think they were keeping an eye out to see if I was going to quit, but I think I’ve successfully readjusted the whole “bigshot author” notion. I’m not.

The reaction outside my direct working group has been very positive, with a lot of interest.

Why does Farris wear a pearl necklace? I don’t know a single straight guy who would wear a strand of pearls…

I’ll need to ask him why he does that. I never bothered while I was writing the story. I suspect he thinks it’s cool, and that it matches his car.

From the author’s standpoint, there’s an underlying metaphor in the novel of the pearl of great price, from a parable told by Christ in the New Testament. Following this metaphor in the meta-sense of the storyline, you can see the characters react to the metaphor in different ways, even down to the last page. Farris, of course, is lost to the significance of the pearls, which equates to the pearls being cast before swine.

That never even occurred to me, but ‘swine’ certainly describes the type of character he is. Did you model his pretentiousness on someone you know?

No, ma’am…I’d tell you if I did. He’s just greasy, pure and simple. You may not be aware that I once owned a used car lot. Farris is greasy in a used-car sort of way…not with the checkered coat and all, but more along the lines of a flash-cadillac type of car man. Watch out for car men: the half you have heard about it is all true, and so is the other half you don’t know about.

Car men… I could tell some stories… How many characters are based on people you know?

Not one, though, if pressed, I’d have to admit that Charles and Julia both have personal elements of my own lurking deep down inside them.

How long did it take you, from concept to first draft, to write The Dark Man?

Nearly one year. I believe I would have finished it in a matter of months, but the writing was delayed by my graduate studies, and the personal tragedy of the death of my father. The only thing I regret about the entire experience is that my father died before I finished. Thus, he never saw it finished, much less published. That took a while to get over, but, nevertheless, I think he knows.

Sorry to hear about your father. I bet he’d be proud of what you’ve accomplished.

Once you wrote it, how long before it was published? Can you describe the process a bit?

I was very fortunate, Kristy. My editor took a liking to it, and offered to publish it for me through his publishing company. Hence, I did not go through a protracted process of sending out manuscripts to numerous publishing houses.

The process is grueling, however. There’s a ton of work to be done to the manuscript, for the book cover and interior copy, for marketing, and a host of other things that would not come to mind initially. There was one two-week period prior to release that was a busy a time as I can recall.

If you’d like an excellent and easy to read insider’s description of the publishing process, follow this link to one of my publisher’s sites. It’s a great view of the process, and its attendant ups and downs:


BTW-for anyone interested, here’s a link to tips for writers. They were immensely helpful to me. I started from scratch and these made all the difference…that and a good editor:


Those links will come in handy as there are several of us who are in the process of writing, thanks!

People are under the misconception that authors make loads of money when they’re published and they can quit their day jobs and are set for life. Most, however, have to keep their day jobs… What percentage would you say you see of the cover price of your book once the agent, the publisher and the tax man take their cuts? (not asking specific income, that’s personal)

Well, I don’t want to discourage anyone, but here’s the cold, honest, and hard truth:

“Here's the reality of the book industry: in 2004, 950,000 titles out of the 1.2 million tracked by Nielsen Bookscan sold fewer than 99 copies. Another 200,000 sold fewer than 1,000 copies. Only 25,000 sold more than 5,000 copies. The average book in America sells about 500 copies" (Publishers Weekly, July 17, 2006)."

The percentage you see will differ greatly, and depend upon the publisher, whether you have an agent or not, how established you are as an author, and how good a negotiator you are. Of course, I once owned a used car lot, so you can do the math ...

Yep, you’ve gotta love writing to do it, because the numbers can be disheartening.

What one thing would you say to someone to prove God's existence?

Personally: read your Bible.

Philosophically: Evil exists; therefore, God exists.

This is a very personal question for anyone. I write about it publically at marcschooley.com/blog. I find the range of natural theology (cosmological, teleological, contingency, axiological, and ontological arguments) compelling, the best explanation for the accounts of Christ’s death, the empty tomb, the post-mortem appearances, and the subsequent faith of the disciples—historical facts generally not in question—to be the resurrection, and my personal experience, including some very striking real-world events, to demand the conclusion I arrive at.

I’m aware not everyone shares this conclusion, and have very strong relationships with atheists and skeptics who write publically from their point of view.

Have you gotten any fan mail that really touched you?

Yes, quite a bit, and I’ve been able to answer all of it thus far. I’m trying to do this because I’m very thankful for anyone who has given their personal time to read TDM. I’ve chosen to be open to the public, and anyone can email me directly through marcschooley.com.

Any crazy ones?

Only one that I suspect, and the person is so nice, that I just go with it…

…sigh… I’m not crazy... totally kidding, I am. =) Any bomb threats?

Nope. All good emails thus far…

What are your biggest vices? I'll go first... I exercise and do charity work... and... Go!

Oh, I see. You’re perfect. Well, I’m not. =)

What are some of your favorite books?

I read very little fiction, actually. The ones that come to mind are the entire Sherlock Holmes collection, Hamlet and Macbeth, anything by Stephen King, anything by CS Lewis, Camus’ The Stranger and The Plague, Crime and Punishment, The Metamorphosis, Animal Farm, Poe, Jude the Obscure.

I’m more versed in non-fiction: the Bible, philosophy of religion, theology, continental philosophy, logic…

It’s slightly odd for me to write fiction. I’m much more geared toward philosophy and theology.

I love me some Dostoyevsky… Crime and Punishment is one of my favorites.

Charles, Reverend Cleveland and Julia all have inner voices. Charles' voice is called The Dark man, kind of mean, a little crazy. The Reverend's seems more like an actual demon. Both seem to be able to physically manifest themselves. Julia's voice is rational, and calls her 'girly-girl'. What is the difference between the voices? Do you think we all have a Dark Man talking to us?

Yes, I think everyone has a dark man. It’s basic Christian anthropology. Generally in TDM, the closer one is to the gospel, the more they recognize their inner dark man or woman voice for what it is.

(Rev) Cleveland has his more or less under control, which can be seen before the demon appears. Charles’ changes as the story progresses, in accordance with the plotline. Julia, as an atheist, and my favorite character, does not recognize a dark “woman” voice. Hers is genuinely a Julia voice, brought on by her logical mind, the genesis of which was the only large portion of TDM which ended up on the editor’s cutting floor. It now functions as the first chapter to the next installment in the series. Julia senses her dark voice from time to time due to her interaction with Charles, but does not know it is there. Farris, of course, has no idea.

Listen closely to yourself, you may be able to detect it. Mine torments me daily.

So that’s what that is…

Charles has a drinking problem. Is this something you’ve dealt with in your life?

I’ve been sober 19 years now. Before that, I was involved with nearly everything at one time or another, and had real problems with alcohol. I can still feel my fingers itching at times, just as Charles does throughout the book.

Since the story is set in Houston, why didn't mosquitos play a bigger role?

They will in part two, Kristy. Thanks for the constructive criticism…

Anytime! Tell us a little about your next story.

Man does not daydream in the dark…
Or does he?
In the Nachthaus, there’s evil in the dark.
And in the Nachthaus,
it’s always dark…

Only one thing stands against the height of man’s cruelty
And the depth of his fear…

Konig’s Fire.

Much darker than TDM. Nazis, black forests, creepy things, the undead, ovens, darkness, and one man trying to stand against it all with the help a gypsy girl with eyes shinier than the light of a thousand stars.

Very nice! I wish you much success with both The Dark Man, I really enjoyed reading it and looked forward to sinking my teeth into Konig’s Fire. And thank you for taking the time to answer my random questions!


246 - More Cheating

Running behind tonight... I took a 2-1/2 hour nap after dinner and my day is gone. Terry is letting me beta read his book, so I need to get started on Chapter one (it's exciting to be a beta reader!).

One time, my parents and I set out on what was supposed to be a relaxing vacation to a state park and a waterfall and it was one of those trips where everything that could go wrong... did. One cool thing was that we got to see the moving Vietnam wall exhibit... it was amazing, and sad... it went on and on with name after name. Dad looked for names he served with but didn't find any. I think that was a good sign.

So to cap it off, at the end of the trip, we're coming home and run into a major hailstorm... I took this pic and it is one of my favorite pics, it's very atmospheric.


245 - Cheating

I'm cheating. It's 9 o'clock and I still have a bath to take, so I'm taking the easy way out and sharin' the lurv with Ian:

What's wrong with fake breasts?
-- Nothing, but I'm not a fan

List your latest run-in with the Carnival of Idiocy.
-- Every day Ian, every day...

Name one thing you'd like to tell your ten year ago self.
-- Don't be so scared of everything. P.S. Snag this guy, leave that one the hell alone, and don't listen to this person when they give you advice.

What's your favorite word that's not in the dictionary?
-- Fucktard

Why do fools fall in love?
-- Because they don't know any better?

Here's a pic from yesterday... the mist we started out with (and my finger):

My black drum (and I'm already burning)

My red fish (all those colors! black drum! red fish!)


Wakey wakey


Kemah (as referenced on Extreme Makeover: Home

Matt McC's (alleged) pad (top floor)... or as I call it, the eyesore of Kemah


244 - Rock Lobster

Welp, went boating Saturday. This time I slathered the SPF 75 on... three times... and I still got fried in some places (I'm officially a redneck). Should have worn the tank top because now I have a really fucked up burn... sigh... Caught two fish, forgot the name of the first, the other was a decent sized red fish. I might post a pic tomorrow, I haven't gotten organized yet.

It was really weird, here at home there was mist in the morning, and it burned off and was a really pretty day. I got to the park at noon, and there's a huge skyscraper (ugly as sin because there are no other tall buildings around it... and btw, I learned that Matthew McCauna... whatever... owns the whole top floor), and all you could see was the very top of it. Mist was everywhere. I called my friend and told her if she hadn't hooked the boat up, she might want to leave it. But she had, and was already on her way. By the time we got ready to put it into the water it was clearing up.

And at the end of the day, as we loaded the boat onto the trailer, there was this creepy guy standing there watching us. My friend's mom said he looked like a serial killer. *shiver* He did. He just watched, didn't offer to help, didn't move away, didn't speak.

And what does it mean if there is one of those programmable construction signs at the front of my neighborhood warning you to lock your car and take out your valuables? What does it mean if there's also one at the back? Is there something going on in my neighborhood that I should know about??? I always keep Trixie in the garage, but if someone's breaking into cars, houses aren't that big a leap... At least at my house they'll have to get past the copperheads first. Gracie found another one, and she did bring this one into the house... it was smaller than the last one, but still... If Daphne hadn't gotten upset over it, I might not have known it was there at all... I think Gracie is trying to kill her mama (perhaps she's related to Stuey... it's not that I want her dead... it's just that... I don't want her to be alive...).

So tonight they showed the Extreme Home Makeover that they filmed in Kemah. If I had advanced warning I would have let you know so you could watch if you were interested, but alas... So I'm watching that now, because I DVR it every week... otherwise I would have missed it. They're showing pictures of Ike damage... it's surreal, a lot of us were really lucky... some people weren't.

So anyway, I'm going to sign off and watch EHM. Hope everyone had a great weekend!


243 - Egg-cellent

Today I'm going boating with Paige and her mom. Looks like it's going to be a beautiful day once the mist lifts (mist! argh! I saw (most of) that movie, I'm not going out there!). So since I'm short on time, here are some fun pics I got in an email:


242 - It's Friday. That's good.

Ever since I got the code from Ian to prevent right clicking, I've been right clicking on my blog like a fool. It amuses me to no end when that little message pops up.

It's the little things.

Today seemed longedy-long-long. I know it's not technically a holiday weekend (in that we get an extra day off), but most people took the last half of the day, and that means it was ghost town USA. Boring.

This morning I got a new computer. At work, not at home. They call the process "getting a refresh," or "being refreshed." I don't find it refreshing. As great a job as those guys do at transferring data over, there's always something that irritates me about the new computer... having to reorganize my desktop icons... having to get my resolution back to normal... bundling the thousands of cords projecting out the back of the computer. Yes, it's a hard life I have. And I noticed that the computer case was wider, and the keyboard was bulkier... only the speakers got smaller. My new mouse has a scroll wheel like the old one, but this one is annoyingly loud.

Me no likey.

So the guy was done with my refresh, and he made a call to the call center to close the ticket. He said he needed to 'recycle a name... Hutchison... H... O... oh wait, H as in home, U as in...' But when he said it, it sounded like this, 'I need to recycle a name... Hutchison... H... O... oh wait, H as in ho, U as in...' What??? You're calling me a ho? You don't even know me! (Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!)

Last night I was awakened at 11:33 pm by the one thing (for storytelling purposes) in life that I cannot abide. Bass. Loud and thumpy. It. Drives. Me. Nuts. My bloodpressure immediately shoots up and I want to rip something apart -- I can't take it.

I jumped out of bed, flipped on the porch light and looked out the front window. No cars, nothing obvious. 'Calm down,' I told myself. 'Even though I can't see it, it's probably just a car dropping someone off, they'll be gone in a minute.' Got back into bed, breathing hard, wanting to hit something and scream. I restrained myself.

Could still hear it. Was getting increasingly aggravated (hell I'm aggravated now, just typing about it). I managd to restrain myself for another minute or so before hopping out of bed and opening a window to gauge where it was coming from. Strange. I didn't hear it at the front of my house.

I went to the back of the house. Ah... there it was. Some moron on the street behind me. I even thought I could pinpoint the house by the fact that their garage door was up and the light was on. I'm all for being neighborly and asking nicely, but it's after 11:30 pm, and I'm not about to go tromping around the block to ask some strange someone to turn their music down (not that I expect it would have done any good, it probably just would have turned into a confrontation). Time to call the coppers.

So I called.

And I waited.

Licking my lips with naked anticipation.

The moment came about 5 minutes later. Sudden silence. Glorious, wonderful silence. I giggled a little.

Assclowns. What the fuck are they doing with their stereo full blast at that hour on a school night? So loud that I could hear it through my double-paned windows with the television on! I was so wound up that it took me another hour to go back to sleep. Grrr. I hate people.


241 - Theoretical Thursday

Theoretically, someday I'm going to get this tattoo, only instead of a gun, Harley will have a giant wooden mallet slung over her shoulder... let the head bonking begin... Puddin'.