Thursday, October 29, 2009

Water Works

Here's what we had for dinner last night:

Asian Burgers. Link is to the entry on my cooking blog.

Not pictured: Adam, laying on the floor with a spoon and a flashlight trying to figure out why our dishwasher suddenly started leaking water all over the floor. Which I discovered after feeding the cats, rinsing off the fork in the kitchen sink, and finding I was standing in a puddle.

Seriously, home ownership? Never boring. Also, rarely cheap.

It looks as though perhaps he fixed the problem (gasket something or other. I won't pretend I know anything about it.) We'll see. I did the dishes by hand for the first time since we moved into our apartment back in 2005. It didn't totally suck, but I wouldn't want to do it every day. Here's to hoping the dishwasher is on my side. We'll find out tomorrow when we run it with dishes in it again!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fulfilling my Life's Dream...

I've found the only thing I want to do when I'm in New York next May. Forget the Statue of Liberty and Central Park. I'm going to go see this.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Photographic Memory #12 - Ode to SC

It's been so rainy and dreary here lately, I feel like we need to see some good weather and sunshine. So, I give you South Carolina - home of sun and the ocean (and hurricanes and cheating politicians and outspoken hecklers of the president. But I digress...)

Here I am back in 1999, standing in the Atlantic Ocean for the first time:

I was visiting Evan between my junior and senior year of high school. I attended a science class of some sort with Jodi and distinctly remember thinking "if this is what college is like, it'll be a breeze." (Ha. It was the first day, which pretty much included handing out a syllabus.)

I was back less than a year later with the rest of the family to celebrate Evan's graduation from USC.

I stood in the ocean again:

Explored my Confederate side:

And posed for a really bad picture at the airport:

Saturday, October 24, 2009

a long post about pretty much nothing

I seriously have no idea where the time has been going these past few weeks. I have a feeling that TV is eating up a lot of my time again. I know I should kick a few of the shows off the DVR, but it will be hard deciding which one(s.)

Bells are pretty much the same. We skipped our first scheduled ringing because we 1) weren’t ready 2) one of our members had emergency gall bladder surgery. So our first time will be November 1st. The new ladies are a mixed bag. Giggly lady is still giggly, much to the frustration and annoyance of most everyone else in the group. The other is really catching on quickly and doing quite well. You win some, you lose some.

The second IMA meeting was last Tuesday. Fairly good response by students. The breakfast meeting this coming week is also getting pretty good response. That one I’m definitely looking forward to. Listening to a good fraud story is always a fun way to spend a morning. It looks like I’ll miss our May meeting due to Catherine’s graduation, so I've already started feeling things out for a temporary replacement.

Speaking of Catherine’s graduation, that whole rescheduling thing really threw a monkey-wrench in our plans. That’s what we get for trying to plan ahead. Also, the airfare we paid is ridiculously overpriced compared to what the same flight is going for today. Mad about that. We had dinner with Dad and Cheryl last weekend to talk it out a little with them. We plan to scrap the idea of renting a house. For a few reasons, really. 1) It’s probably getting too late to get a decent one. 2) We only plan on staying 2 or 3 nights. 3) Bab(ies) crying? No thanks. (sorry Evan/Jodi/Caroline) Granted, we still need to find out what everyone else plans to do and where we’ll need to be close to before we confirm anything else. Fool me once… Dad and Cheryl are on their way to Seattle today so hopefully that subject will come up while they're out there. Adam was a hard one to convince, but I think he's on board with going now. I bribed him with a trip to wherever HE wanted to go. Looks like he's picked Baltimore/DC, but we'll see how that turns out.

Adam has been working these last few Saturdays which has shifted his schedule during the week around a little. Starting November 1, he’ll be working from home. This has been a long time coming and I think he’s looking forward to it. From what I recall it’s a 6-month rotational thing. Lucky him – he gets the 6-months with snow and crappy weather to avoid the commute. I don’t think I’d like working from home myself. Too many distractions. And kitties. I’d be tempted to nap with the cats all day long. Adam has set up his desk in the opposite corner from the big desk in the office. I think he plans to close the door so the cats leave him alone. This will crush Connor, who just loves the big blue chair in there. I guess we’ll all learn to deal with the change. I told him, hey, now he can have lunch ready for me every day! He just laughed at me. I get no respect.

We pulled the trigger and went ahead with our Christmas party plans. Date is December 5th, a Saturday, at 3pm. Hopefully the early date will help with weather and conflicts. I’m working on the menu but you can bet it will be nowhere as involved as last year’s was. Just not worth it. And seriously, if we get crappy attendance again I’m done. I love my Dad and Cheryl and Adam’s parents, but if we want to have them over we can invite them anytime and not have to put so much time and effort into it. So there – fair warning.

In kitty news, well, not much is going on. Carly’s still doing well with the litter boxes. Just one major mistake and small oops since we took the plastic back away. Luckily neither mess was on the good carpet, just on the remnants we put underneath the boxes. She’s still as crabby as ever though. I think that’s the way it’s going to be. She hasn’t been so bad during the night lately – usually once around 1 and then again around 3:30. Her new thing is jumping up onto my shoulders when I pick her up so my back and shoulders are covered in scratches from when she freaks out and jumps off. It’s awesome.

Ted is obsessed with being petted now. It’s a monster of my own creation. If I hadn’t trapped him in the cat room and got him into “pet me” mode, we’d still be in “run away” mode. Grrr. It’s a mixed blessing. On the one hand, I’m glad he’s more open to human contact. On the other, it’s TOTALLY ANNOYING. He sits in the hallway/kitchen/living room and howls a lot. A lot more than he used to, that’s for sure. Adam thinks it’s because he wants to be petted. I say, if he wants to be petted he can come over by me and I’ll pet him. Unfortunately Ted sees it differently and still only wants to be petted in the cat room or office when I’m sitting on the floor. Picky, picky.

Connor seems to be regressing as Ted is progressing. It’s a rare thing that he’ll let me pet him. Usually most of my contact with him is him rubbing on my legs. He’s enjoying the fact that we finally relented and turned the heat on. He loves hanging out next to the heat vents. Smart kitty. Except that he rubs his head of them and closes them, thereby annoying Adam. Oh, and negating the whole heat thing.

JC. He’s crazy. He’s been very cuddly at night lately, but has the tendency to steal covers. He doesn’t quite know what to make of all the leaves falling the yard, but sure has a good time chasing them. There also seem to be a plethora of bugs in the house these days to keep his hunting skills in tune.

That's all for now. Hope to be back with another photographic memory soon.

Project Feed Me

I found this on one of the cooking blogs I stalk. It sounds like a wonderful idea.

Basic premise: Each week for nine weeks she will post an item that food pantries are in need of on her blog (currently in week two: first week was chili, second was tuna.) Go out, buy two of said item. At the end of the nine weeks, take all your purchases to your local food pantry.

Sometimes it's easy to get lost in the "one step forward, two steps back" that we seem to be stuck in these days. This kind of project reminds us that we are indeed blessed to be where we are. I encourage you to participate, even if it's in an unofficial capacity. Link below to sign up and for additional info.

Project Feed Me

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Photographic Memory #11 - France, Deux Fois

The Eiffel Tower and Me, 1998:

The Eiffel Tower and Me, 2003:

The Pont du Gard and Me, 1998:

The Pont du Gard and Me, 2003:

Collioure (sans moi), 1998:

Collioure and Me, 2003:

What a difference five years and digital photography make! Sorry the 2003 versions are so small - they're actually thumbnailed versions of the originals. I lost the original files when Adam rebuilt my computer back in 2005 and erased my hard drive. :)

I'd love to go back eventually. Especially to Collioure. It's just so beautiful there, even for someone who isn't particularly a beach person.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

20 Scariest Movies of All Time

According to Entertainment Weekly:

1. The Shining
2. The Exorcist
3. Texas Chainsaw Massacre
4. Silence of the Lambs
5. Jaws
6. The Ring
7. Halloween
8. Psycho
9. Seven
10. Rosemary's Baby
11. Poltergeist
12. 28 Days Later
13. A Nightmare on Elm Street
14. The Thing
15. The Evil Dead
16. Carrie
17. Night of the Living Dead
18. The Omen
19. An American Werewolf in London
20. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

Guess how many of them I've seen.

Ha ha. I bet you said "none." You're WRONG! I've seen two for sure, and a third and fourth one I think I've seen parts of.

I saw Jaws at school in 8th grade. It was linked to something educational. Like ocean conservation or something. Pretty messed up if you ask me.

I actually rented Rosemary's Baby and didn't really think it was that bad. That could have been because of Mia Farrow's distractingly bad acting though...

Not sure I've seen the first one or the whole thing, but I know I've seen parts of A Nightmare on Elm Street. I distinctly remember some kid being sucked into a waterbed and drowning. And some kid being in class, falling asleep at their desk, and dying in some other hideous fashion. Horrible, horrible movies.

The other one I'm not sure I saw all of is The Evil Dead. The plot sounds familiar. It's supposed to be kind of funny right? Eh. In any case, don't remember if I stuck it out for the whole thing.

Really, for someone who had nightmares because of Ursula in The Little Mermaid, I think it's pretty impressive that I've seen that many of the "Scariest Movies of All Time." Not sure I want to see more of them though. I'm much too impressionable and I like my sleep.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Photographic Memory #10 - Critters

We've always had pets in my family. When we lived on Center Ave we had dogs and cats - Carbon, Shadow, Penny. I don't have many pictures of them and, honestly, I don't remember them too much.

When we moved across town to 7th Street, I had a hamster. Her name was Brownie and I loved her fiercely. She was a master Houdini at escaping from her cage. She ended up in the furnace vents once. Through what has to be purely luck, my mom managed to find her and get her out before she crawled her way to a firey death. She lived a long time for a hamster and when she died I was devastated. So much so that I recorded the date of her death - November 9, 1992 - on the back of this photo.

I got a replacement hamster who I (completely innocently) named BJ - as in Brownie Junior. But, Brownie Junior she was not. I soon put a classified ad in the paper and, as fate would have it, ended up giving her to Jess, who soon became my best friend. If I recall correctly, BJ met a not-so-pleasant end in Jess' basement...

At some point we got two rabbits. They were twin brothers and the only way we could tell them apart was to put nail polish on one rabbit's ear. (Yes, I only see one rabbit in this picture too. The other one was probably behind the slide.)

Their names were Midnight and Bunnicula. Both names are pretty self-explanatory. I don't remember what ended up happening with them. I think we gave them away...

Somewhere along the line we got another cat - Candy. She was very mellow. An older cat, she was good for cuddling.

She would spend some nights in my bed with me which I allowed until she started peeing in it. Then I had to close my room at night.

My sister also got a cat who I spoke about previously.

Then there was Mandy. When my parents got divorced and my mom moved into the upstairs of the store she adopted a dog. When we got her, "Mandy" was "Martha" but we decided one of us had better be renamed. The dog won that toss.

Not the smartest of animals, she was a sweetheart. Pretty much untrainable, she provided companionship and a semblance of protection. She never liked men much - we figure she had been abused by a former owner. But she sure liked me. She'd lick whatever part she could reach, loved cuddling at the top of the stairs. She really hated baths, but she'd always fall for my "let's go on the deck and play" bit. When my mom and sister moved out east, Mandy didn't go along. We'll leave it at that. Further elaboration makes me want to cry.

I was pet free until we started our revolving door of rodents. And now we've got four feline friends. I can't imagine a life without some kind of animal companion. As annoying and time-consuming as they can be, at the end of the day it's nice to have someone keep your head warm all night.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Wait, no, what?

I'm an equal opportunity head-shaker. Both of these stories elicited pretty much the same reaction:

Ridiculous Story #1 - Why not just give him an Emmy and a Pulitzer while we're at it? I mean, he's on TV and wrote a book or two... Or how about a Grammy? I'm sure the man can sing. The nominations closed in FEBRUARY. When he'd been in office for a MONTH. And on the radar of the general public for, what, two years? Perhaps we here in the US don't see him how the rest of the world does. I've got to stop before I raise my blood pressure too much more.

Ridiculous Story #2 - Thank GOD I'm not a subscriber. This yahoo has had way too much attention and it pains me to even post this since I'm just adding to the over-exposure. He needs to get back to whatever he was doing before he knocked up that poor girl.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Fall TV Thoughts

These are the shows the DVR tells me I'm recording right now (in alphabetical order!):

1. 18 Kids and Counting
It's a guilty pleasure. Adam even watches it with me sometimes. I'm fascinated by how they manage to maintain some sense of order in the zoo their household must be.

2. Community
Being the closet E! junkie that I am, I adore Joel McHale. So I was pumped when I saw he was getting an actual TV show. I have not been disappointed. There has been at least one really great zinger of a line in each episode so far.

3. Glee
Kind of touched on this in the previous post. I think it's very cool that someone created a show with so much genuine talent on board. That said, I'm not sure I really care much about the different plotlines. I'd rather just watch them dance around and sing for an hour.

4. Hannah Montana
Yes, I know I'm not exactly the target demographic. But people. Hannah Montana is a lot like Lizzie McGuire or Spongebob. There's an adult level to the humor. Really. There is.

5. Law & Order
20 years on and I'm still watching it. We'll see what kind of cases they can get themselves tangled up in this season. I knew pretty early on that we wouldn't hear a verdict in the torture case they opened up with. Hopefully the upcoming episodes have more finality.

6. Law & Order: Criminal Intent
This show isn't currently running new episodes. With all the cast shake-ups, I'll have to see if I keep watching this one. Adam likes it, but it's always been my least favorite. They've totally changed it from its original premise.

7. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Whereas CI is my least favorite, this is my favorite L&O. I'm incredibly happy they booted that awful actress who took over for Alex Cabot, but now they've added some bad Sophia Loren impersonator who has overdosed on bitch pills. Bring back Alex!

We recorded the first episode of the Los Angeles version and thought it was so dumb we erased the series. The original is the best. Hopefully they can get past the leftover drama from last season and get back to classic NCIS case solving.

9. Project Runway
The move to Lifetime doesn't seem to have changed the show at all, except for the model drama being moved to a separate show (that we don't watch.) So far I haven't been surprised or dismayed by any of the eliminations. My money is on Althea or Carol Hannah.

10. Raising the Bar
Another show not currently running new episodes. I just can't get enough of court-room dramas. I'm finding The Good Wife to be a lot like this one.

11. Saturday Night Live
The season opener with Megan Fox was disppointing. Ryan Reynolds was significantly better, but still not great. And Lady Gaga? She's just weird. I maintain that Justin Timberlake has been the best SNL host/guest in recent times. He always manages to do something totally nuts, but it works.

12. The Good Wife
I'm really enjoying this new show. I wasn't sure the premise would work, but the whole "sex scandal husband" is kind of a background drone rather than the focus. More court-room drama. And Josh Charles. I love Josh Charles.

13. The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien
When Conan came back on we stopped recording Jimmy Fallon. Sorry, Jimmy, but I'm just a dedicated Conan fan and I don't have time to watch you both! There have been some bombs but mostly I'm happy with the new show. I wish they'd keep the "Year 2000" bits with guests instead of always with Andy, but I suppose they need some reason for him to have come back.

Friday, October 02, 2009


So, I'll get to the post on TV shows, but I just had to say something about last week's episode of Glee. It guest-starred the amazing Kristin Chenoweth. Which is pretty much the reason I started watching the show in the first place. It was wonderful. Especially her duet with Matthew Morrison:

Stellar. The full version is on iTunes and is worth the $1.29.

I've always liked this song. Heart is awesome. When Carrie Underwood sang the song on American Idol and that's what cemented for me that she would definitely win:

But to hear Kristin belt it out... I would love to hear her live sometime. She never seems to get to this neck of the woods though. Grrr.

Pretty much a worthless post about nothing.

Yes, I'm alive. No worries. Just getting my butt kicked by month-end again. It's been a rough week. And that's putting it lightly.

Anyway, it's now the weekend. So far Adam's re-screened the windows in the living room (he re-did the patio door screen on another night this week after JC jumped at some leaves falling outside and ripped right through it. That was fun.) and run new network wiring for his new office set-up. Somewhere along the line the DVR got fried along with one of our routers. So now he's out and about picking up a new router and cable. Argh. Never a dull moment. Or a cheap one.


I've got a couple posts percolating in my head: a summary of the new TV season and some of the new shows I'm watching, a new photographic memory post, a rant about how Carly's turned my back into something that Edward Scissorhands got into.

But for now, I'm going to try and convince Carly to stop eating the garbage bag. That cat is weird.