282 - The 7th Sense

A sense of accomplishment!

I accomplished pretty much everything I set out to do this weekend, and it was a pret-ty long list. Most important on the list was to revive my weekly walks with a friend, I'm determined to stop being such a hermit. We're both busier than we used to be, so it's just one day, but it's good to get out of the house and have girl talk and exercise all at the same time. I'm still going to exercise the rest of the week, but it's nice to switch things up.

I didn't do anything 'exciting' this weekend. I even passed up a boat ride. I am just now getting rid of the sunburn from Florida and I've been concerned about the number of burns I've gotten lately... but honestly, the boat was going to be full too... and I like a smaller crowd on boats. I'm a simple gal I guess. At home I can have a house full and be happy, because I love to entertain, but in a boat, space is limited. But... I did have dinner with a friend, and this afternoon I did my walk. I even chatted with a few people online. So I feel like I was social enough. Summer is coming and I know that means more things going on. Or it usually does.

In July I'm taking a roadtrip to Dallas to see Joan Jett! Yes THE JOAN JETT! I love Joan Jett. I Love Rock and Roll was the first album I ever bought -- and it was actually an album. I was even a member of her fan club. Guess I still am, I never cancelled. ;p Going with a couple of friends from high school... or actually one is my best friend from junior high. I try to keep my friendships alive if I can, and I'm lucky to have several long-term friendships. I think it's cool. After all, my best friend is my cousin, and we've known each other all our lives. That's as good as it gets.

Just came back from the garden... I have LOADS of tomatoes. Kristy is a happy girl. I've had tomatoes with every meal for the last two weeks. Slice them in half and grind some salt over them... YUM. That's all it takes, nothing better than a vine-ripened tomato... Oh lordy. I need a moment... The rest of the garden is a bit of a disappointment. I don't even look at the strawberry plant anymore... The lettuce was doing pretty well, then it started to bolt (fancy gardening term for 'going to seed') so I cut it back and I'm waiting to see if it leafs out again. I still have some lettuce in the fridge though, so I call it a success. I wish I had more land... I don't have enough room to have a proper garden. I think that blackberry I planted has sprouted. Or maybe it's a weed. It's so hard to tell at first...

Hope everyone had a great weekend!


281 - Eh.

Haven't been posting as much lately. Sort of just been feeling... blah. And pensive. Lots of stuff on my mind... life stuff. Worries. Hopes. Fears. Mostly hope. All that adult shit. I'm not going to get into the details. I know that sounds cryptic, but don't worry, it's potentially a good thing, nothing dire. I just have to stay positive and have faith, which... isn't easy for me... but anyway. (sorry, saying all that is without actually saying anything is a little like telling a joke and forgetting the punchline, isn't it?)

Thyroid tests came back normal. That may be playing a role in how I'm feeling too. I'm very frustrated about it. I'm not a hypochondriac but I feel like one when it comes to my thyroid, because it's always in the normal range. They even read me the numbers and ranges. So now I guess I can only come to the conclusion that it's something I'm doing wrong. Honestly, I should go to bed earlier. I could eat better. But holy hell, even if I changed nothing except that I exercised, you'd think I would still come out ahead. Enough of that, I'm getting irritated.

Watched The Road today. Debated strongly about whether I wanted to do that or not, because I'd already read the book. I have to say, it was very true to the book. Bleak. Gloomy. Hopeless. Didn't help my mood any.

You all know by now that pretty much everything makes me think... so what I thought as I experienced this story for a second time is that... I'm screwed. In a situation like that, I'd be paralyzed by fear, but unable to give up. Can you imagine what kind of life that would be??? I don't know what the hell kind of Apocalypse they were experiencing that everything was burning for over nine years, but whatever it was... it was not good. The people in that book were not good. I know that when it comes down to brass tacks, people would revert to more animalistic behavior, but these people went far beyond even that. It was disturbing. It played on one of my fears, cannibalism. And I realized it's why I don't like zombies. It's not just that they're mindless eating machines, intent on only one goal, it's that they used to be one of us. Yeah... okay... they're not real... but they still freak me out!

Yesterday I watched Valentine's Day. Eh. Didn't make much of an impression on me. Have to say that I didn't expect that it would. Any time I've ever seen a movie with that many household names in it, it has failed to impress. I don't know why I never learn. Well... I do... it was free. For that matter, so was The Road. All it cost me was my time, and a little of my happiness! ;p

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend, but more than that, I hope everyone remembers what Monday is all about. Memorial Day is a little like Christmas in that people love the crap out of a holiday, but they kind of forget what it's really all about. So if you know a veteran, make sure you tell them that you appreciate them, and also keep the families of those who have lost loved ones, or have loved ones far from home, in your prayers. We take a lot for granted... we don't have to do the dirty work, but we sure appreciate the freedoms we have.


280 - Eenie Meenie Minee Moe

Know what? If you had ever told me, "Kristy... you've got to watch this show, it's called River Monsters -- you're gonna love it!" I would have told you to take a flying leap. I don't give a fig about a fishing show.
Okay, not really. But I would have scoffed. After you left. Because I'm somewhat passive-aggressive and conflict makes me nervous. I know. I'm a mess. A hot mess.

Know what else? It's really very interesting. And it's not really about fishing. I'm hooked (ha! a fishing pun!). It's on my DVR To Do list now. I even deleted something off my DVR list to make it so. That's what I get for being closed-minded and assuming I can watch it while I try to fall asleep because it won't be the least bit interesting.

So... ummm... why didn't anyone tell me??? And HELLO, why didn't anyone tell me that Bear has another show? Worst Case Scenario. Also on my DVR. Where I'm going to find time to watch all this crap and still have a social life is beyond me.

I'll miss my friends...

Hmmm... ummm... let's see-eee-eee-eee-eee-eee-eee-eee-eee-eee-eh... (too much Gaga... can I just go on and admit that I'm an addict so I can start to get well again?)... I went to the doc yesterday. She ordered some tests... thyroid... T3... T4... CBC. Nursey said I can call on Friday to see if the results are back. If you hear a scream you'll know they were normal. However, if you suddenly hear happy music, assume I'm dancing my way to the pharmacy and some size 9 jeans. All the doo-dah day baby!

That aside, I got back on the treadmill yesterday. After a 3 week haitus I am exercising again. Damn doctor scale claims I weigh 2 lbs more than my now-more-appreciated home scale. So I'm trying the Couch to 5k plan. Wasn't so bad. I want to run, I just hate doing it. That kind of paradox happens to me a lot more than you'd think. And hey -- I'm actually in better cardiovascular shape than I thought. Tonight I did Gilad. *giggle* No Arthur on today's show though... sigh... Will do the treadmill again tomorrow, and so on. If nothing else maybe I can at least maintain my friggin' weight until I can afford lipo.

And here's some NASA humor for you, because I know you only love me because I work for NASA. ;) As most of you may know, when astronauts urinate (outside of the diapers), that urine is then recycled into drinking water. I know. Kinda gross when you think about it. So don't think about it. Especially if you're taking a sip from the drinking fountains at work... cuz it may or may not be the same thing... they are found just outside the restrooms... that's all I'm sayin'... you draw your own conclusions. So this video is based on the research that led up to that technology:

Yep. Ew.

To take your minds off that, consider this: Running through the sprinkler is not only fun... mosquitos don't seem to like it much!


279 - Dio Mio

Have you ever known anyone so uber talented that it blows your mind?

Besides me?

I kid.

Welp, the keyboard player in this clip is one of my best friends. I've known him for... God... a long time... seventeen years? Can it be? Mike is an amazing musician. Unbelievably talented. I asked him to play the wedding march at my wedding? He wrote a song instead. Said he didn't want me to walk down the aisle to a funeral dirge. It was a pretty, magical sounding song. His stuff is usually jazzy, but he knows of my Danny Elfman obsession, so he made the notes sound twinkly just for me. =)

Anyhoo. As some of you may know, Ronnie James Dio passed away recently (I think he was at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston), so this is a tribute band that came together to honor a rock icon. For those of you who don't know Dio, he was in Black Sabbath for a while after Ozzy moved on, but he also had a solo career of his own. He's also responsible for giving us the 'devil horns' hand gesture. He's Italian, and it means something entirely different, but much like Rob Halford's S&M leather fetish getups (Judas Priest), it quickly became a part of heavy metal culture.

The lead singer in the tribute band does a fair imitation of his voice, but here is a clip of Dio performing Holy Diver live. It's one of the songs he is best known for. Probably the only song more well known than Holy Diver is Rainbow in the Dark. I was lucky enough to have seen him play a small club several years ago. Amazing voice... almost operatic.

RIP Dio. Sorry I was late.


278 - I know what you're thinking...

I know what you're thinking. Because I thought the exact same thing.

What a fine specimen, except for that weird wart-like nodule.

But otherwise... what a perfect, stubby, flesh-colored... fire hydrant chew toy.

Named Zoink!

Which rhymes with boink.

You may also be thinking, 'Kristy... what the fuck are you doing at home on a Saturday night?'

Well, the answer to that is... I slept through the bbq I had intended to go to. I was in pain. I took medication. I slept. The party went on without me.


They had 20 lbs of butt, and I missed out. Paige's butt is tasty, so I'm bummed. Though in all honesty... eating meat can be kind of painful. Did I forget to mention? I got my braces on Tuesday afternoon?

Hey -- I got my braces on Tuesday afternoon.

Boy do my teeth look crooked. And my lips are dry.

Feels like I have plastic vampire teeth in my mouth. And sibilant esses. Lots of semi-sibilant esses. For the first time in a long time, I have shit the sheets (I slit the sheet, the sheet I slit, and on the slitted sheet I sit).

My orthodontist, I have come to realize, is a sadist. He doesn't have any regard for the word 'ow' or any muffled variant thereof. He actually came at me with a drimmel this time. He shaved a thin layer of enamel off one of my teeth. In what alternate universe does that sound like a good idea? I asked if it was going to hurt and he said, "it shouldn't."

Shouldn't? Seriously? That's not a 'no'!

Then he followed that up with a raspy piece of dental floss, which wouldn't have been painful except that he was pushing my lower lip into my canines as he 'flossed'. I almost grabbed him by the balls to get him to stop since 'ow' didn't seem to work, but I restrained myself.

This time.

So I'm adjusting to the braces. They're not so bad, but they are sometimes painful, like tonight. One of my teeth has already moved around. Twice. I say twice because after two days, it began to bump against one of my top teeth. Today it didn't. I like today better than yesterday.

Primarily, the focus of this tray seems to be on my front teeth. Especially the top one that is crossed under, and the two bottom ones next to the canines. I don't feel it much in my molars and wisdom teeth except when I eat.

As I suspected, anytime I take the braces off means that my teeth, formerly having pressure applied to them, are now free balling without any kind of support. Trying to bite into that piece of pizza the other night was a really bad idea. I see fewer hamburgers, sandwiches and pizzas in my future. In fact, to further add to the sadistic nature of these braces, I may end up eating healthier food just for comfort's sake: yogurt and fruit for breakfast instead of White Cheddar Cheezits... drinking water instead of soda (unless my braces are out, otherwise it will collect in there and rot my damn teeth)... smoothies and/or soups... apple sauce... cottage cheese...

Sigh. My apologies Dr. Susie, but I don't like visitng practioners of the dental arts. They're big meanies!

And eating is also a pain in the ass because I have to take my braces off to eat. Then I brush my teeth and put them back on, which is when they usually hurt most. But I can honestly say that I am taking better care of my teeth now than I ever have before. I brush them after every meal as I should have been doing all along. And I brush my braces, too.

Oh, and I can't bite my fingernails anymore.

That's bugging the crap out of me.

Hey -- be a pal and bite my fingernails for me, will you?

Also, Monday I am getting my thyroid checked. I'm tired of not being able to lose weight, I'm tired of being tired, I'm tired of not being able to remember things. My temperature is 97.9, my heart rate is 52 bpm, my nails are brittle, thyroid conditions run in my family, and even my knee pain could be related to a thyroid condition. Plus I'm almost 37, so I'm approaching that age... If the damn tests don't show anything, I'm going to ask to see an endocrinologist.

So there. You're caught up now.


277 - 3... 2... 1... Liftoff!

Confound it but this was a difficult video to load! More difficult than it should have to be. Thank you Greg for suggesting that I upload it to YouTube instead of Blogger... that worked nicely. Maybe in a couple of years I'll get the hang of this 20th century technology... (yes, I know we're in the 21st century now... it was a joke... honestly... don't you people know me at all???)

Sooooooooo... this is the video footage I took of the shuttle launch. Would've posted it last night but I was having 'issues'.

There's 1:57 of prelaunch where I was trying to get some of the preamble, but the microphone mostly picked up people chattering around me (and wind). Seemed like it took FOREVER for the launch to actually happen, but then suddenly we were counting down and it came and went so quickly. I was primarily looking up at the sky, but I did periodically check the screen to make sure I was still filming the shuttle. I filmed until I could no longer see the shuttle with my (naked) eyes. Once the external tanks separate from the shuttle it gets harder to see. Just a small dot really.

I know you've all (probably) seen launches on TV before, but it was amazing to see one live... I cried a little. It's a pretty awesome sight. It gave me a sense that what I do sort of contributes to the process. And I was just in awe of the whole thing. It's a massive undertaking to launch a shuttle don't-cha-know.

I don't know if you can tell on the video, but the sound of the shuttle didn't actually reach us until about 45 seconds or so after we first saw signs of launch. We start screaming again, then the roar sort of overpowers our voices and you hear a popcorn-type sound. It wasn't overly loud, but it was definitely a wall of sound, and it does kind of drown everything else out for a bit.

Seems surreal that we shoot people into space. Started thinking that as excited as we were... the astronauts themselves must have been exponentially more excited. And terrified. How could you not be? So many things could go wrong... Have to admit, that crossed my mind, and I guess it's part of the emotion of a launch -- hoping it won't be a tragedy. A small part, but significant nonetheless. And luckily for all of us, it was perfect. A smashing success. I wonder what percentage of launches actually go up on time? We really lucked out.

And here's my random thought... We put the astronauts in quarantine for six weeks prior to launch because we don't want them to get sick. Then... on the day of the launch... we have people suit them up... people who haven't been quarantined... people who aren't wearing masks... people who get right in their faces... with six weeks of potentially new germs... that they haven't developed an immunity to... WHAT THE HELL??? Who came up with THAT system? *shaking my head*

If you want to just start watching at the countdown, that's at 1:58. The wall of sound hits at about 2:47. Confirmation of separation of external tanks is just before I stopped filming. Ignore any of my silly comments. I'm a dork. If that surprises you, you must be new to this blog... ;p

And finally, here is a pictoral that my beyond-wonderful friend Sandy sent me, about what it takes to launch a shuttle. Happens to feature STS-132. Very cool.

One last random thing. As I was walking out the door to start my weekend, my officemate was on the phone. I couldn't help but giggle when I heard him ask the following question: "Is it a nice rack?" Bwahahaha... It doesn't matter that I know he was talking about computer racks... I'll never grow up. NEVER!


276 - Back down to Earth

Tried to get my video of the launch to load but I got an error... I'll try again tomorrow. In the meantime, here are some random pics from the vacation. LAUNCH WAS AWESOME!!!

Shuttle through a telescope

Shuttle at the closest zoom I have on my camera

Sunrise with birds

Fucked up sunburn
Captain Obvious

Astronaut Porn


I give up. I've been trying to straighten this shit out for a few hours now... ARGH!


275 - Holy crap

Holy crap. We got a causeway pass! That means I'm six miles from the launch! AEEEEEE!

See you on the flip side!


274 - My new obsession

Well... maybe not new...

Saw the most gorgeous thing the other day. Nope, not the butterfly.

Hello gorgeous.

Ignore that it looks like that beautiful tomato threw up all over the place. Focus, if you will, on the wonderful chocolatey looking tomato (hey Robyn - a chocolatey tomato!). Admire the bold, rich color. The shiny, tempting flesh. The swollen, juicy... damn, I getting turned on.

But that's not enough for me. I want more. I'm an ever-so-greedy tomato consumer. And now that I know tomatoes come in all sorts of colors and flavors... I hunted down The Black Krim. Even the name is cool, yes? It's Russian. Hello comrade.

Is it pretty? Da. It is pretty. Look at that dark, rich, lycopene filled goodness. And they say it provides its own salty flavor. Mmmmm... bring it.

If that weren't enough, it just kept getting deeper and darker. Allow me to introduce you to the Chocolate-Cherry tomato.

Holy. Cow. I want it.

So thanks to The Reliant Self (see sidebar), I found some great heirloom seed sellers on eBay. And you know what? I had a $25 gift certificate. I got tons of seeds for $1.79. That was the total cost of shipping, for around 2,000 seeds. No matter how many seeds you buy they only charge $1.79 shipping. A zillion seeds? $1.79. Not bad. And they're heirloom seeds that haven't been genetically modified (non-GMO), so I can harvest my own seeds and continue to plant year after year after year... I got purple carrots, white radishes, green clovers and yellow moons (just checking to see if you're paying attention... but up until the green clover part, I was serious). Hell, I went ape shit and bought a little bit of everything.

My tomatoes are prolific this year. I ate my first tomato on Sunday. A small teardrop shaped yellow heirloom variety. And I have a whole cluster that is just about ready to ripen. My orangey-striped tomatoes have also started to show some color. All in all, I estimate that I have about... oh... 40-60 little tomatoes out there. And tons of blooms. They say tomatoes grow a tad better when you talk to them, so I've been stroking their egos... 'you're so pretty'... 'look at how many blooms you have'... 'my, how tall you've gotten!' It seems to be working. I also have two jalapeno blooms and one almost-ripe strawberry. I should probably pick it now before THE THING gets to it. It killed my turnip. Peas are going nowhere fast. Herbs are great. Lettuce is fine. Life is good.

So T minus two days until I leave for Florida! Launch on Friday. Busy, busy, busy... still haven't finished packing, am panicking a little... usually packed a week ahead of time... ARGH! So forgive me any typos or grammatical errors... I am speed blogging tonight. I don't know if I'll blog again until I get back. So if I don't, good afternoon, good evening and good night!


273 - Monkey Minute

To see what the Monkey Minute is all about, go to Ian's blog and join the cause.
1 - How old do you act?

It depends on the time of day. Most of the time... about 12'ish.

2 - As far back as you can remember, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Unfortunately I've never known. I still don't know. I dabble at so many things and specialize in none.

3 - If you were to write a book based on your life, what would the title be?

This Train of Thought has been Derailed, catchy eh?

4 - What's something that you do that's considered "childish" by most?

Um... I make stupid jokes all the time?

5 - The last question isn't a question. Write a story of a time of when you or someone you know overcame great adversity.

Have been lucky enough not to have this experience. Unfortunately most people I know haven't overcome it, they still struggle. But on the blogosphere I know Lisa Marie and Kato have both impressed the hell out of me with the way they've turned their lives around. They're very inspiring.


272A - PRETTY!

I know I just posted, but I went out to water the garden and I saw this beauty flying around... Figured in the time it took me to get my camera, it might fly away, but it didn't... I've never seen a black and blue butterfly before. (and if it's a giant plague carrying moth that eats people -- don't ruin it for me, I think it's beautiful)

By the way, I'm such a dork that I video'd it

How cool is THAT????
P.S. I'm too curious for my own good. It's a female black swallowtail. And it IS a butterfly.

272 - It didn't end there...

Soooooo... remembered to take the steak out of the refrigerator... cleaned the grill... made the herb mix for the dipping sauce... got the fire started... preheated the oven... everything's ready to go. Mom and dad come over and THE PANIC follows them through the door. It's palpable. No hi, hello, how are you? Just, "I need a pan." I clench.

Then all hell breaks loose...

Mom -- J? Where's the bag with the bread in it?

Dad -- I don't B... wherever you put it.

Mom -- (giving him THE LOOK) I gave it to you to bring. Well if you didn't bring it in, it has to be in the car. Did you check the car?

Dad -- I brought in everything that was in the car.

Mom -- (giving him THE LOOK x 2) Well then it's at the house... you're going to have to go get it.

Dad -- I'll be back.

Know what happens in the horror movies when people say they'll be right back? They don't come back. Dad didn't come back for almost half a frickin' hour. In the meantime, the aunt and uncle have arrived. I give them THE TOUR, then I put the steaks on. There's a nice satisfying sizzle, laying aluminum foil over the grate to get it really hot until it's time to put the steaks on worked! Yippee! The dance of joy was performed internally.

Dad calls. He can't find THE BAG. This doesn't go over well with mom. THE PANIC is intensifying. I refuse to get sucked into it. A trip to the store is not out of the question. The steaks are almost done. The potatoes are almost done. Dad is still out there somewhere.

Mom asks me if I stirred the mushrooms. I have been out at the grill, the mushrooms were her idea, she cut them up, she put them into the pan, she's been IN CHARGE of the mushrooms. "Well they need to be stirred every once in a while." I point out that they were here responsibility. She asks when they became her responsibility. I relate the conversation that started with, "I thought I'd fry up some mushrooms, is that okay?" I win an argument. This day is marked in history... Mother's Day 2010, Kristy wins argument, not by admission, but by default, because there was no further arguing.


Mom steps on Daphne. Equal parts Daphne's fault and mom's... Daphne just plops down, and tends to plop down on the area rug which mostly closely resembles her fur (similarly, Gracie tends to plop down on the white tile which most closely resembles her coloring... I think they're trying to kill me... remember the copperheads?). Daphne is used to me avoiding her (well... stepping on her). Mom doesn't look, she's used to cats that get out of her way. Plus, ever since her cataract surgery, she's had diplopia, so she sees two images sometimes. In any case, Daphne didn't like being stepped on, but she's a very forgiving kitty, and they were buddies again in no time.

Dad returns. Emptyhanded. Mom now realizes she left the lettuce at home. We can't have salad without lettuce. Now they are both gone. The steaks are done.

I get another CALL. They can't find the lettuce. We won't be having salad. Okay. Frankly we always make too much food so this is fine with me. I decide to pour the olives into the tomatoes and make that the salad.

They find THE BAG. In the trash. They bring it. Now I must slice the avocados, because that is my ASSIGNED JOB. Whenever there are avocados to be sliced, I slice them. And they totally missed out on my skillz. I cut them in half, twisted them open, chopped the knife into the seed and twisted it out just like they do on tv, then I scooped out the flesh with a spoon and sliced them up. No one saw me. It's like it never happened. I'm so sad. It was a fine moment...

Dinner is a smashing success... even though we essentially ate garbage.


Have I told you that I will never mention that I have steak in the freezer again?

But it was fun to hang out with my crazy family. We had a good time and everyone rolled with the punches. Then we had lemon icebox pie. It's like key lime pie, but with lemon. I like lemons (with salt or without). In fact, instead of a birthday cake, I ask for lemon icebox pie. That's how I roll.

So here's how to impress your guests next time you throw a dinner party:

Grab equal parts basil, oregano, rosemary, garlic, salt and add a few red pepper flakes. Chop the fuck out of it (sorry Ms. A). Toss the resultant green mash onto a plate. Drown that shit in olive oil. Have your guests dip their bread in it. If someone doesn't like it, they were never really your friend anyway. There is something genetically wrong with them. Seriously. I don't know if they have a Carraba's where you are, but if they do, eat there. It's the best food ever. And this is their dipping sauce.

P.S. Yes there is one leftover steak. But I suffered so greatly for it that I just can't bring myself to share...


271 - OHMYGOD! Company's coming...

I work very hard to be laid back. You see, genetically, I'm predisposed to freaking out about things. I'll elaborate in a bit, but first let me just say: I will never let my parents know that I have steaks in the freezer again. Ever.

It all started out as such a simple plan. Two weeks ago, I got a great deal on steaks, so I bought them.

Dad came over to cut a tree down and install yet another soffit screen. I mentioned that I bought some steaks, and needed to clear out some space in my freezer, would he and mom be interested in grilling the next day? He said, 'I think your mom was planning to grill steaks next weekend for Mother's Day.' Okay. No problem, we can do it another time. Conversation over.

Two hours later I get a call from mom, with THE PANIC in her voice... "Krit (she calls me Krit... which is better than calling me Brenda (my aunt) or J'Kristy (when she somehow gets my name confused with dad's, but manages to correct midstream... don't ask what it does to my psyche when my own mother can't get my name right...)... So "Krit," she says, panicked, "we were gonna grill steaks next weekend!" Yep, that's what dad said. It was settled then and there. "Well... your father made it sound like you needed to know if we were going to cook them tomorrow... So, are we going to use your steaks next week or do we need to get some?" We can use mine. "What kind of steaks are they?" ...sigh... NY Strip and sirloin. "Oooookay... we'll see you tomorrow then... bye-bye."

Two hours later I get a voicemail from mom. THE PANIC is back. "Krit... this is your mother (duh)... did you already buy the steaks or do we need to buy some? You need to let us know so we can go to the grocery store. If you didn't buy them we'll need to. So let us know so we can pick them up if we need to... oooooooookay... bye-bye."

Sigh... If you'll recall, the story started with "I bought some steaks..."?

It wasn't over.

"Krit... your aunt and uncle want to stop by on their way back from Galveston and I don't know what time they're coming so I need to know what you think we should do about the steaks whetherweneedtogetsomemoreorif -- MOM! -- andIdon't knowwhenthey'regonnabehereand -- MOM! STOP TALKING!!!!

Astoundingly... she did. It never happens. I almost lost my train of thought from the shock.

Why don't we grill at my house and that way they can come over here, since they've never seen my house? "Well what should we do about the steaks? I don't even know what time they're coming." Why don't... you find out what time they're coming... and that way we'll know if we need to get more steaks or not? I mean, if they come around 3, it's a moot point. "Oh, okay! Well, we'll see you around one then." Yep. Buh-bye.

Think it ended there?

Do you?

Do you really?

This morning I get another call. "Krit, I's just gonna let you know that we bought four strip steaks, so if you haven't already thawed the sirloin, you can just keep that for another day and we'll all have the same kind of steak." At this point I have thrown up my hands and given in. Whatever she wants to do is fine. Having the same type of steak really isn't that important to me, but it's not worth mentioning because she'll just rationalize why it is. I just said okay, and we said goodbye.

So what did I do wrong? It seemed soooooooooo simple. I just offered to grill them a steak... but I will never make that mis-steak again...

So today I cleaned the house. I stowed things in closets. It's good to have company on the horizon because it gets my ass in gear. It really sucked to be doing all this with a hangover, but it had to be done.

I had a good time last night. Hung out with a couple of my gal pals, met some new people, jumped around like an idiot in one of those inflatable houses for kid's parties, shot some pool, saw a friend's band and danced with a random boy (oddly, we danced to Tool... who knew?). It was the most excitement I've had in a long time! It's like I crammed an entire month of stuff into twelve hours. I am that kind of efficient.


270 - What a FUN DAY!

Earlier this afternoon, my officemate tells me his wife just texted him and says there's a bomb threat at Ellington and they have some schools on lockdown. Weird. But I guess I get it, Ellington is an air base, they scramble jets every once in a while. But... turns out she somehow got that confused with... a burglary. Five area schools were locked down because two suspects had escaped on foot from a bank robbery, and one of them had a gun. Reminds me of the day that I drove to work and saw a cop with his gun pointed at someone standing in front of a bank. What sucked about that scenario from my standpoint is that his gun was pointed toward traffic... i.e. me. For a second anyway.

Not sure how bomb threat at Ellington translated to lockdown due to burglary... but... hey, we all make mistakes. =)

Then I happen to see on tv that the Greeks are pretty pissed about something having to do with banking, so, being a civilized country... they're rioting. Those crazy Greeks... Again, another weird coorelation... they riot, and our stock market plummets 900 points? I so DO NOT want to look at my 401k right now... Maybe it's worth it to pay the penalties and just stuff it in my mattress. At least that way if money isn't worth anything anymore, I will have a comfortable mattress upon which to sleep.

Glad I decided on Alaska and not Greece for my next vacation.

So today is silly song day. I've downloaded Lady Gaga's Telephone, Christina Aguilera's Not Myself Tonight, and the remixed Glee version of Olivia Newton John's Physical (possibly the best video EVER made, eh girls?). Will I regret this tomorrow? Nah. I've been brainwashed to believe it's alright. Seriously, what's wrong with enjoying a song just because it has a good beat? Isn't that basically what Sarah said???

Hey... doesn't that sound like a cool little featurette? What Sarah Said. Yes -- I like it!

Alright, I'm getting off this crazy thing before I scare more people away. I'm minus a follower... you win some, you lose some.


269 - Easy

Today is an easy blog! I've been tagged by Terry to answer these five questions, five times.

Question 1 - Where were you five years ago?

1. Living in an apartment.

2. Working at the same job.

3. Planning my first international trip, to Ireland.

4. Wow. This isn't easy. Um, still thinking about writing that book.

5. Crap, I only have four answers in me...

Question 2 - Where would you like to be in five years?

1. In a house with land.

2. Happily married.

3. Somewhere in the same geographical area that I'm in now.

4. In my garden.

5. Traveling the world.

Question 3 - What is on your to-do list today?

1. Water the garden

2. Do some laundry.

3. Get those dishes of the sink

4. Catch up on any blogs I didn't get to at lunchtime.

5. Figure out what I'm getting at the grocery store this week.

Question 4 - What snacks do you enjoy?

1. Pickles.

2. Potato chips.

3. Bear Naked Granola
4. Cheese.

5. Lemon with salt, lots of salt

Question 5 - What five things would you do if you were a billionaire?

1. Buy property EVERYWHERE
2. Take care of my family and friends
3. Travel the world
4. Throw a big ass party
5.  Donate some of it to charity
So I am going to tag... hmmm... Jimmy and Dr. Soosie. My condolences!


268 - Lucky

Sometimes I forget how lucky I am. My immediate family is nearby, my friends are the best, my cats are practically perfect in every way (except for the pooing, shedding and barfing). My garden is growing, my pantry is stocked, my medicine cabinet is overflowing. I have a good job, a nice house, a kick ass car. The only thing I'm missing is that perfect guy and the 2.5 kids... but I can wait.

So times are good. Then I turn on the news and I see all the wonky weather and the glut of natural disasters...

I don't feel crazy anymore for my apocalyptic obsessions. For one thing, I've found a TON of other 'preppers' out there, some on the panic end of the spectrum, but most somewhere in the middle... best to be prepared. Even the seemingly paranoid preppers have something to offer, a gadget, a philosophy or some form of knowledge. You can learn from anyone.

Mostly, I'm realizing that what I'm preparing for doesn't have to be something crazy like a solar flare or 2012... it could be a pandemic, the loss of a job, a hurricane, a blizzard, an earthquake, a volcanic eruption, or flooding (as in the horrific flooding in Tennessee where TS and Lisa Marie live, please keep them in your prayers). Or, yeah, another 9/11-type attack could happen... it's not high on my list of worries, but given that it happened once it's not completely out of the question anymore... now is it?. So... as a writer, I see something on the news and I puzzle it out... what would I do in that situation? Doing that helps me put things into perspective, and yes, sometimes it creates the most ridiculous vignettes, which I write down in case I ever get around to writing another book... you know how my mind works.

What I learned after Ike is that even if you are only minimally affected by the disaster, you still feel the after effects. Stores may not be open, supply trucks may not be able to get through, the power might be out for days, water may need to be boiled. If you don't have enough supplies to last for one or two weeks, you're relying on the kindness of strangers, or the not-always-so-rapid response of the government. People can go one of two ways in a situation like that... they can go the Katrina route and loot and scream obscenities and expect handouts, or they can be rational and help each other and, frankly, themselves. If a true pandemic were to hit, and everyone was quarantined, they say you need three months of supplies. Everyone has to draw their own line. You decide what kind of disaster is most likely to occur in your area, and then you plan accordingly.

Over time, I have become a 'prepper'. Wouldn't you like to be a prepper too? lol

Seriously though, it doesn't take much to accumulate supplies. You don't have to do it all at once. Buy an extra can of veggies when you do your shopping. Grab a $1.00 bag of dried beans. A pouch of tuna. A can of vienna sausage -- no, seriously -- don't do that... read the label, it's disgusting... Do this every shopping trip and in no time you'll be set. Then rotate your stock by using it in your everyday meal preparation. It's also nice because some nights you might not feel like going out, so you just grab something from your stockpile and you're set.

Using coupons, I have amassed almost every conceivable item a person could want in their medicine cabinet. After a disaster you might not be able to get an appointment with your doctor, the hospitals might be full -- you might not be able to get out of your neighborhood. If you can treat yourself at home, that's good. After a hurricane there is debris everywhere, people are cutting up tree limbs, there are zillions of mosquitos after the water pools. It's highly likely that you're going to need some kind of first aid, and with all the stress, you're also more susceptible to illness (not to mention all the nasty crud hiding in the sludge). If you catch a cold at my house I can offer you Tylenol Cold and Flu, Sudafed, Theraflu or Alka Seltzer Cold & Flu. Have a headache? Do you want Aleve, Tylenol, Motrin or Bayer? Allergies? I have Benadryl creams, sprays and pills, and Zyrtec. If Claritin goes on sale I'll snag some of that, too. I also have natural remedies like Tea Tree Oil, Lavendar Oil, diatamaceous earth, thyme, sage... I'm not ashamed.

I don't advertise it to everyone I meet, because I don't want them knocking on my door when the shit hits the fan -- I feel like everyone is responsible for themselves. I am responsible for me, and I'll gladly help my family, and then, if I have the means, my friends. But don't count on me unless I've told you that you can.

So what is on my list?

So important that it doesn't need a number... water... LOTS of water. Water for drinking, water for bathing, water for cooking, water for cleaning, water to flush the toilet (and a bucket to pour it with). Water in the form of ice is also important.

The rest of the list?

1) A battery operated fan, and plenty of batteries. It's gets hot as Hades out here. I'm lucky that I can open my windows and that does help, but only to an extent. I learned that if I wet a paper towel and rubbed myself down with it, that would cool me off a little. After a little while I could whirl that paper towel around in the air to get it cool and do another rub down. Helpful, but also a pain in the ass.

2) An emergency radio. I had a battery operated tv last time, but with the digital transition came the end of that little luxury. Knowing what's going on in the outside world, or being able to take a break from it with a 30-minute sitcom, is very helpful.

3) A car charger for my cell phone. I didn't have one of these, so when my cellphone battery died... no more text messages, no more phone calls. Of course, it only matters if you can get a signal.

4) Candles. When there is no power there is nothing but moonlight to help you see in the dark. It never seems particularly dark outside when the electricity is on, because we have streetlamps. Without streetlamps... dark. And make sure you can light them, candle without flame aren't very helpful.

5) Charcoal. You can cook anything on the grill that you can cook on the stove or in an oven. If you have charcoal. (and make sure you have something to light it with, too)

6) Styrofoam coolers. I noticed that when I filled a styrofoam cooler with ice so I could take milk with me to MS (didn't want to waste what I'd just bought...), by the time we left, about six days later, the ice had just fully melted, and everything was still cold. That means it lasted longer than my refrigerator did. The plastic coolers just don't achieve the same result.

7) Ice and/or 2-liter bottles filled with water and frozen (when the ice melts you can drink what's in the bottles). Good to have ice when you don't have power. I always keep my ice tray full, even though I don't really use ice very much.

8) Food. Whatever you like to eat, but especially things that don't require refrigeration. Clif Bars are one of my new favorite things, they have a lot of nutrition packed into a compact, pretty good tasting bar, for about a dollar. Speaking of food. I'm always at a loss as to how to use my pantry staples, especially dried goods, in an emergency situation. This is a great site for ideas. There's another site, I think it's called Dutch Oven Dude, that shows you how to cook outdoors with a Dutch oven.

9) A gun. Just in case.(think Katrina again)

10) If you have pets, don't forget pet food and supplies. I always keep at least three bags of food and two boxes of cans, plus a couple of boxes of kitty litter. I actually started doing that after one particular Christmas when I needed cat litter and almost didn't find anything open that carried it.

11) Games. Sure there's usually plenty of work to do after a disaster, but we all need our down time. Board games, card games, puzzles... they all make life seem a little more normal.

12) Vitamins. You need these because you may not be getting all the nutrients you need, plus you need all the help you can get to combat what stress does to your body. They're just good to have on any day.

There are tons more things, I won't get too specific. If you think I'm nuts, so be it, but in my mind, it's better to be safe than sorry. If the shit doesn't hit the fan, you can laugh at me all you want... if it ever does... don't say I didn't try to warn you.


267 - Too much booty in the pants

This evening as I went out to water the garden, I saw five or six honey bees buzzing around those bushes I let flower out (just for them!). There may have been more, buzzing within the bushes where I couldn't see them, but with my own eyes, I spied five. Honey bees! Sorry -- beezzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

And a wasp, eating the wood off my swing. But he's not important, so don't get attached.

I never thought I'd be so happy to see bees. Ridiculously happy. I might have *cough* done a little jig. But no one can prove that. It's just your word... against mine.

You know... I feel really bad about all the honey bees I stomped on when I was five years old... pounding my way through the clover during recess like some maniacal demented giant. What was I thinking? It's like I was single-handedly trying to bring about the collapse of our (then) well-functioning ecosystem.

And I won't go into to the Great Doodle Bug Masacre of '79. I really don't like to talk about it.

I also got up close and personal with another honeybee on Friday in a parking lot. It got right in my face, so I blew on it with my special 'breath of death'... wisely, it flew away. But then it came back again. This time I calmly told it I'd rather not kill it, so please go away (empty threat) and it flew away again, this time for good.


I had some blackberries in my refrigerator, so I made a bastardized version of Strawberry Icebox Pie. Never made either a strawberry, nor a blackberry version before so we'll see how that turns out. Not important. What is important is that I also split one berry into three pieces and stuck those pieces into the ground. Then I put them into a box, and I put that box into a bigger box, and I put that box in another box, mailed it to myself and I SMASHED IT WITH A HAMMER!!! (anyone else like The Emperor's New Groove?) I'm crazy like that. 'Will it grow?' I ask myself. 'I dunno!' I answer back. 'What do say we throw it in some soil and see what happens?' I giggle. 'I dunno! It's crazy! Let's do it! Bwahahaha!'

Not that I... um... talk to myself, or do crazy jigs or anything...

(that might have been funnier as a vlog... but I'm not there yet...)
Um... where's my sidebar?


266 - Garden Update

Gotta make up a couple of hours of work, so I'm going to make this simple on myself. PICTURES!!! of the garden!

It grows.

From left to right: Parsley, Sage (with some kind of bug-riddled lettuce abutting it), Brussels Sprouts, and (lying on is side) Broccoli that is going to seed... so maybe in the fall I'll have a bed full of broccoli. Then I can chop it. And I'll be choppin' broccoliiiii, chop-unh(!) brocc-o-li!

Lemon tree, pretty yellow, and the fruit is... can't remember the words to that song (Joe?). Look at the giant lemon! So what if it's on the tag...

Kentucky Blue Beans, look at the cute lil' shoot! I have about 5 of those ready to climb the veggie ladder.

This is what a Roma tomato looks like before it ripens (I figure Bendigo is showing this one to his son, so I should elaborate -- Hi Bendigo's son! Sorry I couldn't find another worm... P.S. In case you didn't know, your dad is SUPER proud of you.)

I know this isn't part of the garden... per se... but I'm so dang proud of my Sycamore tree... look at all those leaves! I think next year I'll start pruning the lower branches, but it's only 3 years old so I figure I should let it grow a bit more.

This is the orangey tomato variety (or will be)... can't recall the name and I'm too lazy to walk back outside to check. All the cluster-type tomatoes seem to be really prolific. I'm going to have LOTS of tomatos, this cluster is typical of the five plants I bought from the nursery, and then I have two more that got a later start, so they are just getting to the budding out stage (haven't gotten there yet Greg).

More tomatoes

And the tomato obsession continues...

The sum of all parts (I just watered)

Still haven't gotten to eat any strawberries. The one that was almost ripe enough to pick, was pirated by a squirrel or some other critter. I have also had a turnip stolen... and entire turnip, not just the greens... so there's a turnip-napper out there somewhere. Grrr...

For reference, this is what the garden looked like a mere five weeks ago.

So Lisa... how does YOUR garden grow? I wanna see! I wanna see!