Friday, September 29, 2006

Ooh! The Golden Key Society wants me!

Today in the mail I received a letter from the Golden Key International Honour Society. It congratulated me on my academic achievement, which to date apparently places me at the top 15% of my class at the University of New Orleans. This accomplishment is undoubtedly the result of years of hard work and an indication of my future success. It went on to offer me membership in the GKIHS, listing the many impressive benefits of joining this society.

I find this amusing for a couple reasons:

#1. I was a temporary student at UNO for 6 weeks when I did my study abroad in France. In 2003.

#2. This invitation is good for college juniors and seniors. I graduated almost 2 years ago.

Methinks their records got washed away by Katrina.

I have until October 25th to respond!

Thursday, September 28, 2006


(wrote this yesterday)

With the change in seasons comes the evilness that is a sinus headache. Several times a year my nose rebels and decides it no longer wants to be part of my face. While unsuccessfully trying to detach itself it causes all kind of pain. It then generally gives that up and decides to torture other parts of my body like my ears or my throat. *sigh* My body hates me. It’ll go away eventually, but for right now I tend to go home from work squinting painfully into the sun, pop a few Sudafeds and lay in bed all evening with an eye mask on. Sometimes the invisible vice around my head loosens a little bit, but most of the time it just gets tighter and tighter. It probably hasn’t helped that I’ve been sleeping like crap the last few days. I don’t know what the problem is and I can’t blame it all on Adam. Well I could, but that would be unfair.

Tonight, by some unexplainable happenings, Adam has off from Walmart. He flexed his hours over at Cisco so we’re going to go out tonight. This is my idea, I planned everything, and I’ve refused to tell him what we’re doing. It’s fun. I like surprises when I’m on the giving end.


(wrote this yesterday)

It’s definitely getting to be fall. This morning was the first morning I could smell it in the air. It rained all night and was in the chilly 50s as I left for work this morning. The combination of the rain and the leaves that have already fallen on the ground gave the air a definite “fall” smell. Trees are getting yellow, orange, and red and pretty soon there will be that one really cold night that causes their leaves to go *whomp* and fall to the ground. It’s a pretty funny phenomenon, actually. One day the trees are prettily tricked out in their fall colors and the next day they’re naked. Aaah, the beauty of four seasons.

Yes, despite the numerous jokes about Wisconsin weather, we do indeed have four of them. Unfortunately, my least favorite is coming up next in the rotation. I dislike winter for many reasons, most of which involve a pesky white substance. I can deal with the subzero (literally) temperatures and scraping the frost off my car windows in the morning. I just don’t do well with the snow thing. I hate walking in it. I hate driving in it. I hate other people trying to drive in it. Ugh. Luckily my new morning commute is much shorter than it used to be and I avoid the winter death-trap known as the Butte des Morts bridge. Let’s hope this global warming thing will make this year the least snowy winter ever.

Anywho, I’m still making due with my Columbia jacket and, on occasion, the Cisco fleece Adam’s former team members sent him last quarter. I’m going to resist pulling the winter jacket out for as long as possible. And it better not snow before Thanksgiving…

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

More About House Hunting

This weekend we got an idea of what kind of house we’d like to buy when the time comes. We figure it will be easiest to get a buyer’s agent, tell him/her what we want, and let them find houses that meet those expectations. That way we won’t waste our time going to lots of holes. We’ll also plan to get pre-approved for a certain loan amount to make the whole process easier.

So far, this is what it looks like we want in a house:

Ranch style house
2+ bathrooms
2+ bedrooms
Split bedroom layout (master on one side, other bedroom(s) on the other)
Large kitchen, preferably with an open layout to the dining room
Partially finished basement
Two+ car garage

I have a feeling it’s going to be hard to find all these things in one house. The two we liked from this weekend didn’t even have all those things. They both had nice kitchens, but one didn’t have a basement and neither had a master bathroom. Adam basically wants a carbon copy of his parents’ house but I’m not sure that’s realistic given our budget restrictions.

Here are links to the two houses we liked:
In Menasha

In Neenah

Monday, September 25, 2006

Comedy and House hunting

This weekend was relatively eventful. As weekends go anyway. Adam worked Friday night so I didn’t do much. I don’t even remember really.

Saturday he worked 9-6 so we made reservations at the comedy club for the 8:00 show. I did some cleaning during the day to pass the time. I’m sure some animal torture in the form of cuddling took place as well. We stopped for dinner on the way to the club. We got seated way up in the front, close to the stage. We were totally early so we could fulfill our two drink minimum before the show even started. For the first time I can remember, a screen came down and ran some commercials before the host comedian came out for her set. Her name was Andy and she was the typical depressed, mad at everyone, female comic. She had some good jokes but for the most part it was just ok. Then the headliner, Jimmy Dore, came out. His new show is called “Pop and Politics” and it consists (mostly) of him showing clips of politicians saying something stupid, doing something stupid, or looking stupid. That said, it makes sense that there were a lot of Bush clips. Cheney got a few, the Governator had one, and some other well known politicians had their minutes of shame as well. It was a good show. It’s nice to go to places like this sometimes and have affirmation that I’m not the only one shaking my head at politicians these days. After the show Adam wanted to buy a CD but he didn’t have any cash. Oh well… Overall, not as good as The Untamed Shrews, but still enjoyable.

Sunday we got up and went to breakfast at Griddles for the first time in a long time. They had changed their buffet so I couldn’t get my waffles loaded with strawberries and whipped cream but they still had their little potato pancake things so it was ok. We then headed over to Adam’s parents’ house so he could walk through iPod operation with his mom. After that was done we headed to some open houses. I had looked through the paper early and made a list of 17 houses that were in a price range I thought was doable and had general things we were looking for. We ended up going to about 10 of them. We liked 2 of them. I think this is generally how it goes though. In most of the ones we didn’t like it was an issue of a small kitchen, a bad layout, or a bad garage/driveway situation. It gave us a good idea of what kind of houses are out there though. We’re not seriously going to start looking to buy a house for another year or so but I thought it would be fun to look at a few. After we looked at the last house we headed to Cranky Pat’s for lunch. This pizza place has a lot of good word of mouth. I don’t know if it was just because it was a Sunday afternoon during a Packer game, but the service was terrible. We sat down, ordered, and waited about half an hour for a pizza that was burnt. It was still ok and we didn’t want to sit around and wait for them to remake it. Overall, a bad experience though. We then went home, watched the end of the game (hey, they won!), and hung out for the evening. We went to bed pretty early too. Strange, since I’m tired today.

Friday, September 22, 2006


In all truthfulness, it wasn’t that bad. The fun part comes next time when we go through the test results.

We went to the couple’s house which, coincidentally, just happens to be right down the street from Adam’s parents’ house. It’s a nice place and they have a cute, friendly black lab named Maggie. We had the small talk for a while, getting to know each other. Then they pulled out the test. (Dah, dah, DUM!!!)

Ok, so it’s not a “test.” It’s an “inventory.” A 180+ question survey covering all kinds of subjects from finances to children to problem-solving. We got to do the special “Cohabitating couples” and “interfaith couples” sections. I think my favorite question on the whole “inventory” was the last one in the “cohabitating couples” section. It said, basically, “You know the church disapproves that you’re living together, right?” Bwahahahaha.

Some of the questions were kind of funny (“I think I’ll be uncomfortable being nude in front of my future spouse” – whoops, too late for that! “I have homosexual urges that I’m concerned about” – so if you’re not concerned it’s ok?) but there were some questions I had problems with. Mostly the religion ones. There were others that I wasn’t quite sure how to answer given that my only options were approve, disapprove, or uncertain. Sometimes I wanted to add comments in the margins but I guess that’s what the second meeting is for. I know there will be some areas that will be flagged. But I think it will be a good experience overall.

These test creators sure were trying to trick you though. Double negatives, a sneaky “un” which changed the whole question. “I am uncertain that I don’t not want to marry this person.” Uhm, what? Hopefully they didn’t catch me on any of the questions where I meant yes but filled in the disapprove circle.

It also brought up some things that Adam and I realized we hadn’t even thought about. Nothing earth-shattering or anything. Just interesting points that we hadn’t talked about.

We meet with them again in a few weeks. They’ll be making homemade pizza while we talk things through. Supposedly to make it a bit more fun and not so serious and scary.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


We have our first FOCCUS meeting tonight with a married couple from Adam’s church. I don’t really know what to expect. I’m not sure if we’ll be doing the 150+ question compatibility questionnaire tonight or if something else is planned. I’m not nervous, exactly. I just don’t like going into situations not knowing what to expect. With most of the other things for the wedding I’ve done some research before I show up so I know what I want and I know what to expect. This is completely foreign to me. The fact that it’s a church-based program doesn’t really alleviate any misgivings I might have either. I know this program is a requirement in order to get married in the church. I suppose in theory it’s a good idea to discuss things and work out kinks before you’re legally bound together. I’m just wary about the religious ramifications. I don’t think this couple, the priest, or Adam would appreciate me expressing my true feelings about certain things. But I can’t, with a good conscience, go along with things I don’t believe. But is the “smile and nod” approach the safest thing to do here anyway? I just don’t know. This is, by far, the thing I’ll struggle with the most. It will definitely get interesting when we go back to Father Mike and start planning the ceremony itself. *sigh* I think I’d better stop before I launch into another essay on religion.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Bad Drivers

I’m so tired of bad drivers. They’re everywhere.

Yesterday morning I was stuck behind a car from New Mexico (ugly license plates, by the way.) The two people in the car were passing a cell phone back and forth between them. Every time the woman who was driving reached for the phone, she reached with the whole car and swerved dangerously. Morons…

Today on the way home for lunch I was behind a van from Indiana. I don’t know what the driver was on, but they could not stay in their lane if their life depended on it. They were all over the place. Maybe they were drunk.

On the way back to work I was tailgated by an old guy in a blue Saturn. I was going fast enough if you ask me, but apparently not fast enough for him. I moved over to the right lane so I could get off on my exit. He zooms around me, cuts me off, and takes the same exit. Asshole. His license plate said “1 GOD.” Let me guess, sir. That god is you? *sigh*

On that same subject, why is it that almost all the stupid bad drivers have that fish or some other religious crap plastered to their bumper? Is it like they believe their faith is so strong that they can drive like shit and Jesus will keep them from being splattered all over the highway? *sigh* again

I’m in a bad mood. Can you tell?

A final note about one of my greatest pet peeves: Why do people who are going fast move from the left lane to the right lane when they know they’re going to pass people in the right lane again? I tend to drive on the fast side and unless someone’s coming up behind me faster than I’m going, I just hang out in the left lane. I don’t see the logic in going back and forth between lanes constantly. It’s annoying to watch. It’s even more annoying when the offender doesn’t use a turn signal. But that’s a pet peeve for another time…

Sunday, September 17, 2006

IMA, Weekend, and Critters

The first IMA meeting of the year is this coming Tuesday. I’m getting the feeling that it’s going to be a doozy. I myself have 5 guests coming. Who knows what other members have been up to. *sigh* Add to that the fact that I’m implementing a completely new registration process, we’re at a completely new location that I’m not familiar with, and it’s a unique set-up with the PD session being a boat tour. It should be interesting. Luckily we eliminated the majority of the raffles so I don’t have to deal with them. Unfortunately we did keep the 50/50 but Adam has agreed to take that on for this meeting. Then there’s the whole issue of guest tracking. I’m kind of waiting to see what happens on Tuesday before I decide how I want to handle it. It could get messy if I don’t do it efficiently and easily on my first crack at it. Guess it’s a good thing I like organizing lists. I was born to do this job. Now if I could only locate the paper cutter so I could get the registration forms prepped…

No big plans for the weekend. No plans at all that I can think of. Adam works both days, pretty much all day so I’m on my own for entertainment. There’s not much cleaning to do at home. I can only torture the critters for so long before they get bitey. Maybe I’ll go shopping and check out the fall stuff. I need a few new sweaters this year. My office is like an igloo. Maybe I’ll go to a movie. I’ve gone to movies alone before. It’s kind of a strange experience, but it didn’t kill me. Or perhaps I should rent some. I’ve been wanting to see a few (that I don’t think Adam would be interested in.) Hmmm. So many choices. Of course, there’s a good possibility that I’ll end up laying in bed for most of the day watching the Food Network. I did get the new issue of Rachael Ray’s magazine today so perhaps some more experimental cooking is in order. I’ve really gotten lax on my cooking lately. With Adam working all the time it just doesn’t make sense. Helped keep the grocery bill down though. Hopefully there are some good recipes in the magazine to inspire me.

Speaking of critters, I’m almost certain that Mo has same-sex tendencies. He was looking forlornly at me from his cage the other day. He kept squeaking at me, looking at Einstein. I thought he was bored and wanted to play. So I set up their playpen and put them in it for awhile. I left for awhile to do some other things and then came back and turned the TV on. After a few minutes I heard what I’m going to call a “guttural moan” from Mo. Seriously, his whole body started shaking and he purred. Loudly. He then ran at Einstein, got up behind him and went at him, doggy style. It was disturbing. I immediately removed Mo from the pen and apologized profusely to Einstein. Poor guy looked shell-shocked. I want them to be friends and all, but not that kind of friends. Geesh. Hopefully next time they’re out in their playpen Mo can control himself. Perhaps I should set up the camera to capture it? Man, I’m such a pervert…

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Red Tape Chronicles Article

There’s a Redtape Chronicles article over of that is causing quite a stir. It involves, a website that, coincidentally, makes you pay for their product. Truth in advertising much? Anyway, I’ve browsed through the 300+ user comments and I’m amazed that I keep coming upon the same comment: “I was charged $12.95 for 6 (or 8, or 12) months and didn’t even realize it.” HOW COULD YOU NOT REALIZE IT?

Ok. So perhaps I’m the only one who awaits the arrival of my monthly credit card bill like a child waits for dawn on Christmas Day. Maybe I’m the only one who takes the statement out of the envelope and painstakingly matches all the charges to the receipts I’ve kept on the desk for the past month. I also get to balance the account in Microsoft Money. It’s the highlight of my month, I tell you.

How can someone be charged for something for a year and never notice it? Maybe these people deserve to be taken for a ride. If you’re so lax about your credit and where you money is going, you’re the perfect target for identity thieves and other scammers. I don’t understand people who pay bills without looking at the detail. That’s just stupid…

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Signs of Fall

How do I know that it’s getting to be fall? A few things bring this to my attention:

1) I have to wear a jacket when I go to work in the morning
2) The leaves start to change to orange and yellow
3) The smoke alarm goes off when Adam takes a shower

Aaaah, cool weather is here once again…

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Dresses Part Two Gazillion

I know, I know, I'm beating this to death right now...

So, taking into consideration the feedback I've gotten from people, Choice B seems to be popular. Unfortunately, Choice B is a David's Bridal dress and I've heard not-so-good things about the customer service and results from DB... So I looked around the Alfred Angelo website and found something similar. What do you think?

The reason I seem so fixated on Alfred Angelo is because the wedding dress I'll probably end up going with is by that designer and the place I'll probably end up getting it gives a discount if we order the same designer for both dresses. Just something to think about...

Saturday, September 09, 2006


So Catherine came up to Appleton today to try on the dresses I had picked out as possibilites. I think both she and I have some preferences but I'd like to get other peoples' opinions as well. You can view a larger version of the picture by clicking on it or by visiting the Wedding page on Photobucket. Choose your favorite(s) and leave a comment. :)

Choice A

Choice B

Choice C

Choice D (it's not really that poofy - she was holding it out from her body)

Choice E

Choice F

Choice G

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Honeymoon Update

Ok, last post today, I promise.

We went to the travel agent this past weekend to get an idea of what we wanted to do for our honeymoon. Being the person I am, I had pretty much decided which cruise I wanted to go on and all we needed the agent to do is book it for us. I'm like that. So we went in and took at look at what was available. We did good. Not only did we book within the early bird period, we chose a cruise that was one of the group rate trips so we got a $100 shipboard credit. We went ahead and booked the cruise while we were there. We'll be on Norwegian Cruise Lines' Norwegian Pearl August 19th-26th, 2007. The Pearl is a brand new ship launching this December. It spends some time in the Caribbean before heading up to Seattle. We have an oceanview balcony room on deck 8. We also went ahead and ordered the honeymoon package - wine and strawberries, dinner for two, champagne, and some other goodies. Ports of call include Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, and Victoria, BC. We'll be looking at excursions and all that later on. We just wanted to get a good room at a good price. We'll also be keeping an eye on airfare starting next month.

Geocities Site

The following is an e-mail I got from GeoCities regarding the wedding site. I'm not sure what part of my site violated their terms. Anyone have any ideas? Adam thinks it's because I used photobucket to store the pictures...

***Begin Email***

Please do not reply to this message.

Dear GeoCities customer,

Usage of your Yahoo! GeoCities account was recently identified to be in violation of the GeoCities Terms of Service, and the site and GeoCities account associated with Yahoo! ID (marthaandadam081707) have been closed.

Your web site was identified as containing logic redirecting viewers to another site. The GeoCities Terms of Service states that you cannot use your GeoCities home page (or directory) as storage for remote loading or as a door or "signpost" to another home page, whether inside or beyond Yahoo! GeoCities. For more information, please see the Terms of Service at

If you feel that your account has been shut down in error, please contact Yahoo! GeoCities Customer Care at

The Yahoo! GeoCities team

***End Email***

I think it was kind of rude to just delete all my files. This e-mail went to the junk folder of my account as well so I didn't even see it until a few days ago. Oh well. I'll have to decide how much I care to fight with them to give me the files back. :)

The New Critter Line-up

Adam went to Petsmart on his way home from work on Sunday and picked up a second guinea pig to keep Mo company. This one has been dubbed "Einstein" because of his whacked-out hair. Just look at him. It explains itself.

He's totally huge. And has a weird habit of hanging out on top of his house.

We had both him and Mo out in their pen and they did the same things Mo and Larry would do. Nothing. They just hover in a corner and freak out at the teeniest movement or sound.

They seem to be doing ok. Mo is making a lot more noise than he used to. I guess he misses Larry's loud squeaking when he was fed.

The other critters are doing well. Gus and Barry have their routines that they stick to: Sleep, run psychotically in wheel, eat, chew on house. Howie is... strange. He seems to sleep somewhere different every day. He attacks his tp tubes with vigor. But he's still alive so that's an improvement over some of the other guys. Ha...

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Geocities Site

Somehow the new geocities site completely disappeared. All the files just went *poof* for some unknown reason. I'll work on redoing the site tomorrow maybe.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

New Wedding Website

For the most part it's updated. It still looks like crap, but I'm ok with that. Look for lots more pictures and links in the upcoming months.

Take a look

Friday, September 01, 2006

Random Post

It’s been a rather boring week with a really bad moment thrown in for fun.

Monday was a busy night. I went to the third of four dress shops, returned library books that I’d had for three months and hadn’t read, and stopped at Erbert and Gerbert’s for dinner… at 8pm. I didn’t get back home until almost 9 because of stupid construction on 41. It’s awful. Pretty much at a complete standstill for a good mile or so around College Avenue. Note to self: Take CB.

Tuesday was Adam’s night off for the week. It’s the first weeknight he’s had off in what seems like forever. We went to Good Company for dinner, stopped off to pick up his tickets for next weekend’s game, and then went to bed at about 9. Refreshing.

Wednesday was the downer of the week. After whipping up some food for lunches for the rest of the week, the dead pet was discovered. On the positive side, Adam got to come home from work earlier than usual. I also finally got around to wrapping Katie and Chris’ gift. It’s going to be hard to carry now though. The handles are covered up. Hadn’t thought about that.

Thursday was a pretty low-key day. We did inventory at work. Adam called Kaytee and didn’t get a very satisfying response. I stopped at Sam’s club after work and resisted the urge to stop at Erbert and Gerbert’s again. Seriously, I could eat there every day and never get tired of it. They’re much better than Subway. I also began designing a new wedding website. I hate GoDaddy. It’s so obnoxious and hard to figure out. I’d much rather deal with the sidebar ads on geocities and be able to type my html in. You can check it out even though it’s not done yet. We also signed the contract for the DJ at the reception. Music in Motion. They did the Convergys thing we had been to so we’re familiar with their work. Reasonable pricing I guess and we get $100 discount for booking so early. Woo us.

And today is Friday. Really not much going on today either. I’ll probably work some more on the website this evening. Since Adam works until 10:30 or 11 chances are we won’t go out tonight. We might tomorrow though seeing as how he only works until 7. We plan to stop by the travel agent on Sunday afternoon and see us about a cruise.

Next week is a short week because of Labor Day so that’s always nice. It’s also closing and I’ll get to see how Rachael handles closing New London. I had vowed not to do any of the journal entries this month but I’ve already done two. Intercompany stuff she can’t do yet. Oh well. I’ll be getting to the last dress shop sometime next week as well since I want to have all that info worked out before Catherine comes up on Saturday. I have a “UWO Accounting Guys” group gathering on Friday up at HuHot (a Mongolian Grill thing) so that should be fun too.

And that’s about all I have for now. Hard to believe it’s September already.

349 days! :)