Friday, March 30, 2007

Top Design Update!

I'm so hungry right now...haven't eaten breakfast yet, and I'm so, sooooo hungry.

Which makes me think of this!:

The judge in the middle? Kelly something? From Top Design?

Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!! Eat a sammich, dumbass! AND, stop shopping for clothing from the planet Mars in the year 2356, will ya?

Oh, your answer is no?:
Fine. At least you make me laugh every week. I swear it's one of the only reasons why I watch the damned show, especially now that Goil is gone. What am I gonna do without his emotional break downs, huh? And you know he was only gonna be getting better and better with them as the end approached. I'm so sad he isn't in the final three that I could kill them! "I will kill them all!" (And if you don't watch the show, then you have no idea what or who I'm talking about, so just enjoy the next picture as much as you can...because these are some sort of head honchos in the interior design world, my friends...)

I personally think that they are trying to look like clowns from Cirque du Soleil.

Yes, thank you Kelly...I thought you'd enjoy that joke!

I had to pause the Tivo for a good minute to laugh at her this week, I'm not kidding. And it's like they're aware of the audience's perception of her incredibly bad outfits and hair every week, because this week, after the contestants had entered "the white room" (which has big, padded walls for a reason, yo...see afore mentioned Goil issues), the first thing the camera shot besides them standing in the room was Kelly. Sitting there in all her fluffy-headed, ugly-ass silver dress glory. And I just BURST out laughing. Good thing I didn't have a mouthful of wine, because that might've been a mess, dammit.

Anyway, it's over soon. And I need another Project Runway cycle...in the worst way. God I wish it would come back soon!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Boring. I'm in a boring place. Sorry...

Update to the peonies...
Here's the left one on 3/28:

And here it is on the 29th:


And here's the right one on the 28th: And on the 29th:

And you know what? I can't take pictures of them from the exact same angle every day, so this might not work. How about I do an every few days of growth update, so the change is more obvious in pictures. Because in person, I can say that it's a very impressive difference! It's just not translating well through digitalness, dammit.

And here's a random and cute picture of the dog with our back neighbor dog, Zoe. Zoe is infinitely more mellow than Izzy is, and I keep hoping it'll rub off a bit if she hangs out and watches her more. I can't remember ever hearing Zoe bark, seriously...


How cute are they? It's like a black and white cookie in my backyard. And yes, my lawn really IS that green. Thanks to Ryan Lawncare, baby!

It's called "HUA," and no, it's not curable.

UGH! I finally decided to read a story about this whole “predatory lending”/”good people losing their homes” thing that’s apparently becoming more of a phenomenon around the country than it ever has been before. I happened to choose an article on MSN that I found about an Iraq war vet who lost his home, and had to move his family into a trailer after their “dream home” was foreclosed on late last year.

Ok, no offense to Iraq war vets is meant by what I’m about to say, but this guy is specifically quoted in the article as saying, “It's not like I'm an irresponsible person," he says. "I'm not a guy that sits back." He says this because he works two jobs, and feels THAT is what makes him responsible. But the problem is being responsible also entails being able to look at your finances and seeing whether or not you can afford a $230,000 house, or if you should stick to getting one that only costs $150,000 instead. The article also states, “The monthly payments on the Howell's two adjustable-rate mortgages started at $1,100, with a 5.4 percent interest rate (Howell says he needed two mortgages to qualify for the necessary loan).” RED FLAG!!! If you need to get two mortgages in order to afford the home in the first place? You might wanna step back and reevaluate the situation a bit. Also, the loans he got were both ARMs, or adjustable rate mortgages, and he did that whole “no money down” thing, which, I’m sorry, is very stupid. (They roll the money you owe into the future payments you make, and spread some of it through the fees they charge on the initial loan processing. You STILL wind up putting money down, but in a spread out manner, with interest being charged to you on it! Not a good idea.)

I have an ARM on my home…I know how they work. Mine is a 5/1, meaning that after the initial 5 years I’m in the home, I’m paying my mortgage down at a fixed rate of 4.75% interest being charged to me, and then it will switch to the adjustable feature, where the rate can go up or down each month without any kind of notice. With the way the economy is right now, chances are that it will go up to at least 7% after that 5 year period is up. How do I know this? Well, my loan officer fucking explained it all to me when I was looking into the best option for a rate before I purchased my house in 2003. I wanted a low payment each month, but I didn’t want to head directly into an ARM, so this was the package that sounded perfect for me. 5 years max in my “starter home” and then I could put it on the market (actually will be doing that at the 4.25 year mark, to give it time to sell…), and move on to the next level home I want to be in. I could have had a lower payment if I’d gone into a 3/1 ARM, or another ARM option, but that wasn’t the right fit for me. So I didn’t do it.

See, I used this thing called my brain when I was looking into purchasing my house. As it came with my body when I was born, and all, I figured I might as well use it now and then in order to help me make informed decisions, and try to do the best thing each day, and to be honest, it’s been working out pretty well for me for the most part. (Except for that break it took back when I was 17, and during all of the years that I was involved in the dating scene.)

What pisses me off is shit like the fact that this guy knew that surges in his interest rate were possible, “…but nonetheless took him by surprise.” And then articles like this one using a source that had a loan through a reputable company like Countrywide, and talking about how “predatory lending” is an issue, as though it should be instantly tied to Countrywide like that…look, I worked for Countrywide for 4 years, with loan officers throughout the Midwest (Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois…), and they are VERY STRICT about their rules on predatory lending. Having been in such a privileged position as the assistant to the VP of a region, I heard from people on a regular basis that were being foreclosed upon. They cried, they yelled, they needed a sympathetic ear to chew on sometimes, and I did what I could, being that my main objective above all other in that position was to provide stellar customer service no matter who was calling and what their problem may be. It was sad, and always hard to hear, and the people that called us were looking for a solution to their problems…a way out of heading wallet-first into an extended period of very difficult financial issues. But I couldn’t help but think that each and every one of them put themselves in the place they were at. Having gone through the loan process myself with Countrywide, I can say that there is a lot of information to take in initially when considering buying a home. But it’s not like you’re buying a fucking sack of groceries, or something…YOU’RE BUYING A HOUSE!! If you aren’t ready to try to comprehend some, if not most, of what is told to you throughout the process it is NOT the lender’s fault! I actually had a guy call our office once that was mad that he wound up with an adjustable rate on his loan, and he wanted us to fix it. I simply couldn’t understand how this gentleman could obtain a loan, sign all the paperwork involved, and then use the money to purchase a house, without noticing until he received his first statement in the mail that his loan was adjustable. How does that happen? And how the FUCK were we supposed to be held responsible for it? We had the actual documents in our hands that showed his original signature on the page of the loan that explains what your rate is. (For the record, it’s the first page of the loan. At least it used to be when I worked there. It’s not like it’s info that buried 20 pages in somewhere.) We couldn’t help him unless he wanted to initiate a refinance process. And yes, I did think he was an idiot.

This article goes on to say that this Iraq war vet, “…no longer trusts banks. ‘They took advantage of me,’ he says. ‘The big corporate banks and big corporate America has lost touch with the people that drive this country ... It's all about the end result, the high dollar in their pockets.’” No one took advantage of anyone here. This guy feels stupid for not having figured out ahead of time the “what-ifs” and he wants to blame his former mortgage company for what happened to him. When I was buying my house, I was approved for a loan amount of $180,000. Guess what? I couldn’t AFFORD a $180,000 house! I had to look for one that would only cost me up to $120,000, and I found it, thank goodness. So many people make the mistake of getting their pre-approval info, and then finding a house that hits the maximum amount on the loan they have been approved for. I was advised by my loan officer to be careful of doing that, and they explained why. Made sense to me, so even though it would have been nice to have purchased a home for $180,000, I didn’t. Because I wanted to be able to fix it up the way I wanted to, and to afford the utilities, and to have the cash left over each month to pay for emergency issues that might kick up, like a need to replace the breaks on my luxury vehicle, or having to take care of an undisclosed plumbing issue less than 6 months after I moved into my new home.

It’s not the banks that this guy should be wary of; it’s his misperception of the term “responsible.” He should be wary of himself and his own judgment, as I’m sure he is now and I’ve no desire to rub his nose in his mistakes, actually. I DO have a desire to point out to him that blaming the bank for his bad judgment calls makes him sound like he’s not ready to own up to his responsibility in the matter. (Oops! There’s that “responsible” term again! Someone get him a dictionary, just in case…)

This is not to say that there aren’t plenty of lending companies out there that are looking for unsuspecting victims that they can take advantage of with loans that will gouge them out of a possibility of financial success in their future lives. There are. They are despicable, and they should be called out on their tactics, and for the most part, they are eventually uncovered and licensing is taken away. This is not to say that even Countrywide hasn’t employed some rather shady characters in their past, and probably will in their future as well, as they come in all forms and can charm the pants off of any unsuspecting manager of an office and get them to hire them. I worked with plenty of those types when I was with CHL over the years, but the best part was that we had a loan processing system in place that caught anything fishy, and we had to review and take care of them at the VP level I worked at, if not send them higher for review if necessary. Usually those types of loan officers (I called them the “used-car salesmen” of the loan world) were discovered quickly, watched closely, and fired if they didn’t shape up in a very short period of time. I didn't see more than half a dozen of them in the 4 years I was there. And we had over 300 employees in our region, so that's saying something, I think.

This tirade isn’t meant to be an ad for CHL, or any kind of statement on the mental capacity of the men and women that are fighting in the war for us over in Iraq. Nuh-uh…not at all. Even the most brilliant of people that I know make terrible mistakes on a daily basis, and they have to pay for them, sometimes dearly. They’re still frighteningly smart. This article could have been about anyone…a lawyer just starting out, a med student, a teacher, or a politician. Just happens that they interviewed a military guy to place as their “victim” in this process. I just think it’s shitty that anyone who knowingly purchases a home that they probably can’t afford can just blatantly place the blame on someone other than themselves for the financial position they’re put in after foreclosure has to happen. Apparently, 1.26 million foreclosures were filed in 2006 in the U.S., and that’s a pity. I just wonder what percentage of them can be blamed on the “used-car salesmen” lenders out there, and which ones can be blamed on people who just didn’t plan ahead accordingly. I hate for people to be mislead, regardless of the form the misleading information is taking…

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Peony Saga Begins

Last year, I mentioned in this post (after a rather lengthy explanation on why I thought my then-new puppy was bi-polar...more on that in a moment) that I would do a time-lapse photo dealio on my peonies in the backyard, because they simply astound me with their growth every year, and I finally needed to make the effort to catch it in the act. Unfortunately, I caught it a teensy bit late, as just 2 days ago, they were only just little redish colored stumps sticking out of the ground, but failed to get pictures of them that way. So it begins...these are how they looked yesterday afternoon - this is the plant on the left side of the porch steps:




And this is the plant on the right side of the porch steps:


The one on the right is at a distinct disadvantage to the one on the left as it has a new-found daffodil friend growing right in front of it, as well as a rose bush near by that seems to suck most of the nurtients out of the ground from it, or something...regardless, as you will notice even more in the coming days when I update this, it is significantly smaller than the bush on the left side of the stairs.


Ok, so the dog thing...in reading back through my archives from last year in April, I noticed how much I was writing about the development of the puppy, and how we were getting along with her and everything. It's strange how seamlessly the relationship changes over time, because as well as I remember those moments when I read back over them (hello, you guys didn't think this blog was just for your enjoyment, did you? I've fooled you all!), I don't remember them without the reminder of them. If that makes any sense at all. (It does to me, which is what matters, as I will be the only one reading back over this shit in a year or so anyway...) Our relationship with her has become more parent w/ child, kind of. More of a steady routined situation. Definitely more calm than it was in those days! Last year, I was writing about how our 4 pound, couple of months old puppy had a weird habit of suddenly breaking into a veryfastrun in a small circle in the living room, wherein she would nip at my feet as she passed by me where I was sitting on the couch. Her little puppy teeth hurt when they managed to catch my skin, and she looked fucking crazy when she did it (because I'd never seen an animal do something like that before...I grew up with a hamster, a bird, and a Newfoundland. So, yeah...), so it freaked me out when it first started. And now when she does it, she tends to run in a much larger loop, often throughout the living room, into one of the bedrooms, and then back again. The only thing that stops her, after we've stood laughing at her for a bit, is when we are able to grab her and hold her tight against our chest, just like when she was a baby.


And I think we've figured that all out at this point. Fiance gave me a book about dogs for Christmas this past year, which I think he bought largely in part because (a) he wanted it and (b) he probably felt bad about buying something that he wanted instead of getting another gift for me, so he decided to wrap it up disguised as a gift for me in order to reconcile the issue! (He wound up reading that thing for most of Christmas day, the silly...) In that book, he had managed to stumble across a picture of a dog that looked suspiciously similar to our Izzy.
Here, for example, is a grown Mudi:

And here is our Izzy, when she was about 5 or 6 months old, but I can't find a better example of her from the side at all...it's tough to catch her in a photo when she's standing still...lying still, yes. But not standing:

She's gotten much bigger since then, even. And even though she couldn't possibly be a Mudi, it would make sense if she were, somehow. Because the herding thing. And the loud barking thing (Mudis apparently have notoriously loud barking skills for their size), and the whole disposition she has...it's all soooo Mudi. Look here for more info on them, if you care. They really do seem like awesome dogs, and if ours is truly anything like one, then I can say they are very cool dogs to own. A little antsy throughout the early training periods (teaching her how to go on walks was NOT fun), but still very good dogs.

Ok...work beckons. Must run. More later, perhaps...I have some slow days here, so you never know what can happen when those are going on!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

My. New. Photo.

I couldn't love this photo more. So I have decided that it will now be my new photo for my profile. How fucking cute is this dog??? And she's mine, ALL MINE!!!! (Well, and the fiance's too. If you wanna be technical and shit.)


Accidental my ass...

I'm not one to jump on any bandwagon, and I certainly wasn't waiting around with baited breath for this announcement, by any means (hence the day late post and all), but the whole "accidental" death of Anna Nicole? C'mon. The girl was swigging sleep syrup directly from the bottle...and taking 8 OTHER meds at the same fucking time! I think she was literally counting the days to her death. (Not that I blame her after reading just the first paragraph of the news story about her autopsy findings on MSN. Bleh. Infections in my ass-cheeks would NOT be a welcome addition to even the slight ailments I incur on an irregular basis. But added to a stomach flu, 105 degree fever, and what they refer to as "pungent sweating" as well? Holy Christ. Kill me. Kill me now.)

I mean, he-LLOOO! She was taking a sedative that is seldom prescribed, and which was also said to contibute to Marilyn Monroe's death? I'm not meaning to mock this girl at all, but she was kind of trying to copy Marilyn all her life. Who didn't see a similar death coming at the end of this story? Accidental overdose...FUCK. (Oh look at that...I just accidentally cussed. It wasn't my fault, though! The letters are just right there on the keyboard for me to use? It was an accident, I swear! (heh.))

There was a girl at the gym this morning that was all, "Oh, I'm so tired of hearing about this! Don't they have more important things to report on any more? Like presidents and stuff?" (Um, besides the fact that they just finished covering the whole Elizabeth Edwards thing? Yeah, sometimes, entertainment news is news to some people, too.) I'm sorry, I don't get these little whine and bag-on-the-news-reporting schpeals that people suddenly burst out with now and then. The stories take about a minute and a half to air. If you don't care about it, then why do you think everyone else is gonna care about what YOU think about it? Dumbass. So I just said, "Well, they still haven't figured out who the baby-daddy is, so this isn't over yet!" Retard.

None of it is a big deal to me, really, but this whole "accidental" bullshit got me a-thinking, and you KNOW how I am when I get thinking on something. Bound to be something for me to say about it!

I am interested in watching the Oprah that is on today. Apparently, she challenges her make-up dude to not complain for 21 days in a row. I am interested in this challenge, as I am a very talented complainer myself. (Not that I would ever be able to give it up, really...I mean, what would you guys read if I did that? Pshaw!) So I'm planning on watching that shit later tonight when I get home. More reporting on that to come, I'm sure.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Monday Odd Thought

As I sat peeing yesterday (one of the many times I was sitting peeing, in fact), I thought how odd it must be for boys to stand while they pee. I don't know why. I just think it must be odd. If I had that ability, I probably would just go ahead and sit down anyway. First of all, sometimes I'm surprised by a sudden need to poo, and secondly, frankly, I could use the rest.

I found a weird looking tomato bit in my spaghetti with meat sauce Lean Cuisine today. I'm just avoiding it, though, as I am STARVING, don't wanna go find something else to eat right now, and really, it's just one weird looking tomato, so I'm sure it's fine. I'm pretty sure, upon closer inspection, that it is just a tomato stem-area, or something. Still not edible, but not nearly as icky as initially thought.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Not happy...

This is a shitty-ass day. Anyone else having a shitty-ass day, like me?

Grande margarita, pour favor. I wish I could have one now, but I guess I can wait a few more hours. *sigh!*

Thursday, March 22, 2007

An Observation...

Something I've noticed as a growing problem since I started here at my new place of work back in January has been my issues with going to the bathroom at places other than in my building. (And nooo, it's not going to be "one of those kinds of posts." Just hang in there...)

See, we have auto-flush toilets here, and I've noticed that when I'm peeing someplace else, like at the gym in the morning, or at the Moose when I'm there for some drinks, I almost forget to flush the toilet because I'm used to it being done for me the majority of the time! I always remember after a second of waiting for the toilet to flush after I've moved away from it, but still, it's becoming more and more of a problem.

I don't have the anticipating-a-flush problem at home, though, since I think my mind is very familiar with that toilet and all. But the Moose surprises me. I've been going there for as long as I've lived in my house...you'd think I'd know it better than this!

Anyway, just now, I finished up my bidness and was straightening my dress while remaining in the stall when I heard an unusual mechanized sound from the sink area. There was another woman that was in there with me, and I actually thought to myself, "Does she have a bionic arm or something?" But a quick glance at her as I exited the stall and walked to the sink told me that wasn't the case. So I started to wash my hands (the sinks are also automatic), and noticed that they had installed new soap dispensers last night! And they make a funny little mechanized sound when they dispense soap, so that's what I heard, it seems. I must have had a funny look on my face when I saw the dispenser, because the other woman in the room with me kind of laughed and said, "What next?" And I explained to her how I have a problem with remembering to flush on weekends when I'm out at public restrooms, and now this soap dispenser thing is only bound to make things worse for me! She laughed, and as she walked out of the room, I stepped over to the towel dispenser, which still involves my manual input in order to produce the paper towels I need to dry my hands, and I kind of stood there with my hands up and said, "What? I still have to make the towels come out myself? Sheesh!" And the woman laughed as she walked out of the bathroom.

But I'm serious...I want the paper towel dispensers to catch up with the times, yo. It is, after all, the restroom, dammit. And it's a long-ass walk there from my desk each time I go. They better hurry it up with that shit...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Register? I hardly even KNOW her!

Dooce’s latest post reminded me of something I saw on the news yesterday when I was working out at 5-fucking-30 a.m. The regular weatherman from KMBC (the local ABC affiliate here in KC) in the morning is out this week, I guess, and so the chick that fills in when no one else wants to do it has been doing the weather at the asscrack of dawn for those of us who wake up and watch the news that early. When I got to the gym and was putting my stuff into my locker that I usually use, I heard on the t.v. in the locker room from another news channel that Spring officially began yesterday at about 7 p.m. CST, I think it was. (Might’ve been eastern time, but it doesn’t really matter…) So when I was on the elliptical, and the news anchor mentioned something to the stupid weather-fill-in chick that Spring supposedly starts soon, right? And the stupid weather-fill-in chick replied, “Yeah, something like that,” and then the news anchor had to go ahead and just move on to introducing the traffic guy instead of dealing with an actual answer that the weatherperson should fucking know, and I even said out loud, “What a dumbass!” it occurred to me that there are very few things that it seems a weatherperson needs to be on top of. Yesterday, this included 2 items: it was going to rain a bunch throughout the day, and SPRING IS FUCKING STARTING AT 7 P.M.! Way to be involved in your job there, stupid weather-fill-in chick! On other channels, they’re talking about equinoxes and happy stuff that comes along with Spring, and you just respond, “Yeah, something like that.” Awesome. You are awesome. Keep it up.

For the longest time, when I thought that I wouldn’t be getting married until I was old and shriveled and living in a home for old and shriveled people, I pondered throwing a large party for myself that celebrated the fact that I was single and still able to do it all on my own. (Albeit with lots of crying involved, but still…able to do it all – buy a car, house, live well, etc… - on my own, dammit!) I wondered why I had to go to all these weddings for all of my friends, giving them presents to say “congratulations on being together and starting a new life…good luck and hope it works out!” when I didn’t get NUTHIN for being able to do the same fucking thing without emotional, physical, and other kinds of support from anyone while I did it. I thought that was a pretty raw deal, actually. I think this issue was even addressed back in a Sex & the City episode when it was on…one of them got pissed that they had to give presents and go to parties to celebrate weddings and babies and shit, when no one was celebrating the fact that she was such an awesome, happy single girl. (I’m pretty sure it was Samantha, now that I think about it.) I saw that episode and I was all, “Yeah! Why can’t we have parties with presents, too?”

Not that I ever did anything about it, mind you. But I did vehemently agree, as I recall.

But even though I expected some pretty neat stuff from the friends that I had given money and nice things to for their weddings and baby showers when I bought my house and threw a housewarming party, and I only wound up receiving a couple of candles and a tray/bowl set for chips and dip, I didn’t mind much. (I finally threw a bunch of those candles away, actually. They smelled icky, and I never did use them, although the candle-holder I got to go with them was pretty neat, and I’ll always have it someplace in my house I think. Unless I sell it at the garage sale I plan on having in a few weeks…) I bought myself presents over the years, so it didn’t wind up mattering much. It’s not like I registered for gifts , or anything. (You brilliant little nurse, you!) That would have been a smart idea, me thinks…

BUT. Now that we’re getting married, we’re able to go out and do the dutiful thing, and register for gifts accordingly, and get the stuff that we always wished we could have, or fill in some of the things that we should have bought but never got around to buying, or just frivolously adding things to the list that we could HOPE that someone might buy for us, but that we don’t really expect to actually get.

You’d think it would have been fun, this whole picking-out-presents-for-people-to-choose-from thing. And it was…sort of.

We wanted to register at Crate & Barrel (or “The Place Where the Salespeople ALL Have Ideas for You!”) since we love their stuff, and already have a few pieces from there that we’d like to add to with accessories and flatware and vases, etc…They gave us the little scanner thingy, and a helpful booklet that guided us through the things we might need as a bonified, officially-married couple living together for the rest of time, and then they set us free to wander about and choose the things we wanted to choose for our list. We started in the kitchen section, and picked out pots and pans and a knife set and some cookware. I found a cutting board I’ve been wanting and a little garlic slicer thing that should make it easier for me to buy fresh garlic instead of the jars I have been buying for the past couple of years. (I hate mincing garlic…it sucks, so I don’t do it.) Fiance picked out the springform pans he’s been wanting, and told me why the insulated baking sheets would be better than the other kind.

We decided to get two different sets of dishes, since we really like the darker green pottery-type of dishes as well as the more clean-looking, off-white with a black border porcelain dishes…we decided to register for just 4 sets of the green ones to use as our “everyday” dishes, and the full 12 sets of the porcelain off-white ones for our more formal china.

Aaaanyway, we REGISTERED, is my point. The 2 hours we spent doing it were somehow more exhausting than the 45 minute intense cardio workouts I try to do 3 times a week, but it’s done. While we registered, we had to deal with more than one employee asking us how we were doing, and if we were finding everything alright, and in a couple of cases this came in very handy. In the other 7 or 8, it was just annoying. My “favorite” was the lady that took the time to explain to us why we would want to choose our stemware carefully - even though we had told her we didn't need any help and didn't ask her for her opinion on anything. She said that the goblet needed to match the wine glasses we choose so “they won’t look strange sitting side by side on the table.” We couldn’t stop her with our insistence that we were ok as we had chosen STEMLESS glasses (we love them…the dog can’t knock them over easily, and they fit in the dishwasher, which is how I prefer to clean them, yo); she just kept going on about making sure they matched our china we had picked out, and if we wanted them to, we could have them do a table setting with the china and flatware and glasses we had picked out so we could see them all together. And she was really so very nice, but I couldn’t stop thinking, “Woman, I want to be done with this so I can have a beer, and we could give a flying shit what our stuff looks like next to each other on the table. We throw barbecues, not stuffy dinner parties, and if people want things to match up that much when they go to someone’s house for dinner, they should just stay the FUCK home and feed themselves, because it’s the company and the togetherness that folks should be interested in, and NOT the fucking STEMWARE!!” But I held it together and just told her what we told almost everyone else that approached us to “help out;” we were fine, and finding things very well, and we’d let them know if we had a question.

They ALL wanted us to choose some big items. “Don’t be afraid to pick out the pricier things,” they said. One woman actually said, “You never know…people like to go in on gifts with each other, or maybe you have a rich relative that wouldn’t mind splurging on something for you.” Oh really? So a group of 12 can get together and buy us that dresser that we felt obligated to add to the registry? GREAT!

Am I strange to think that I’d rather have people come to our party to help us celebrate, and just buy us the salt and pepper shakers we need as a congratulatory expression? (And before you say it, I know what they're doing...they're thinking "profit" and not "modest registry choices." They are underpants gnomes, and they are able to fully skip the middle step without having to try to explain it to anyone, dammit! I get it, I do. I just wish it wasn't so blatantly on display from every single fucking associate that works there, I guess. FUCK.)

We did have a good time, even though it was a bit more exhausting than expected…the fact that we were meeting friends for dinner that night and we got there early helped. Beer was ingested and all was well again. And we’re going through a mini-registry next week again, so at least we know better what we’re in for. But as we’re going to do it at Bed, Bath & Beyond (to fill in certain areas, and add things that are just as good but less expensive than what we can get at C & B), I’m hoping we won’t have the same employee-pestering issues, and that it will be faster since we don’t have a lot more that we need to register for.

I personally like my sister’s idea of me letting everyone know that we’re registered at Bank of America, and gifts can be given accordingly through that medium. But I suppose it’s too much to hope that people might understand our desire to add to our savings account rather than our steadily increasing stock of worldly goods. Then again, there’s something about a box from C & B on my front porch that makes me smile, so I suppose it can’t hurt to get a few of the items we picked off of the list….

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Not all here...

Messy day. Tomorrow will be better.

Pray for me and my sanity, if you will...

Friday, March 16, 2007

Dammit

I'm too loud for cube farms. Stupid fucking loud voice...

Creep alarms

March Madness is in full swing, although this year I’m not allowing it to get me all in a tizzy. Not as much as usual, anyway. Probably because I don’t have any money on any bracket or whatever. There are just 4 of us in a little competition for bragging rights on my team at work. So far, I’m in a tie with 3 of them, and one is just 2 points behind the rest of us. Makes it more fun, but at the same time there’s no feeling of true disappointment when a team like G.W. loses so very, very badly to Vandy. (33 points? C’mon, G-Dub! WTF guys!?)

Being a girl puts me in an unusual position when it comes to my love of most sports. Some guys are a bit thrown off by it, and some start talking shit, but then they automatically discount their shit-talking by saying, “Just kidding!” (Which is the pussy way of shit-talking, by the way…either do it or don’t do it, I say.) Being a girl puts me in a weird position in lots of cases, though.

Take, for example, my elevator ride on the way out of the office a couple of nights ago. I managed to get there just before the door started closing for this one guy that was already in the elevator, and I called out for him to hold it for me. He did, and then it stopped again on the fourth floor, and another guy got on, and we started down to the 1st floor again. I was standing in the corner of the elevator that was diagonally across from the button-panel, and the first guy that originally held the elevator open decided to instruct me on the fact that I was standing in the wrong place in the elevator for a woman to stand. “You should stand near the alarm button, so you can push it easily in case a couple of guys like us try to attack you.”

Um, ok creepy guy. “I’d never thought of it like that; you have a good point there,” I replied. “But I’d worry about it more if I were in a tall building downtown or something than I do in a 5-story building at my work, you know?”

“Yes, well, you should always stand near the alarm button,” he repeated, as my being female apparently not only makes me vulnerable to attack by guys I work with in my 5-story building, but also makes me stupid and deaf.

We were out of the elevator by then, and walking toward the parking garage. I decided to give this guy something to think about before he lectures a female coworker he doesn’t know (or one he does, for that matter) in the elevator about his solutions to safety again. I said, “You know, in my case, I’d worry more about a guy who tried to attack me in an elevator, and his need to be closer to the alarm button.” The guy didn’t really respond at first, and then said, “What?” I guess he’d forgotten that he started a conversation with me, or something. I repeated, “I’d worry more about someone that tried to attack me in an elevator, is the thing. I wear sharp jewelry.” We were in the garage at that point and he said, “Oh! Haha! Yeah, well, have a good night then!”

I mean, what the fuck?

I guess the fact that I look a bit soft in the middle might lend men to understand more about my love of sports, and not so much about the fact that I could definitely kick their asses if provoked. But believe me, I could do some damage. Especially in small spaces! And especially at the end of a day of work, because hell if I’m not in a fightin’ mood by then!

It’s Friday, everyone. Blessed, awesome, beautiful Friday. The day the whammy usually happens in our house, and also the day that a long night of sleep follows. I’m so gonna enjoy this one! Oh, and this is a long weekend for me, by the way, so no post on Monday. I have to take the day off to have a new heater/AC installed in the house, and then the fiancé and I are going to register, and then have dinner with friends. So happy weekend! Try not to stand too far from the alarm button in any elevators you get into…

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I forgot to name this, so here's the title: BLAH

I’m not really sure where to start on this section of stories regarding the CEE weekend, so I think I’ll just chunk it up into bits, according to interesting couples.

Couple #1: Our roommates. The aforementioned “B” & “D” were our roommates for the weekend, although except during mealtime and bedtime, we really didn’t have a whole lot of discussion time with these two. We shared a room where we put our stuff, and that was pretty much it. We got to know each other a little bit as we talked while getting ready for bed, or over our tacos at lunch, and that was nice. There were also some moments during group discussions (of which we only had 2, really) when we were sharing our points of view with a whole group, so that was another way to get to know them. But basically it became pretty clear very quickly that the CEE organizers had paired us up pretty well. We wound up making a couple of very nice friends in our roommates, and I actually am meeting mine for lunch in, oh, about 20 minutes!

What I didn’t know until after the weekend was over, and B and I were e-mailing about getting together for lunch this week, was that she’s read this blog before. And apparently, the fiancé went ahead and gave the address to her fiancé, since they apparently enjoyed my point of view on certain subjects, and liked how outspoken I was. (So I guess he was all, “Oh, well, if you liked how she was here, then you should check out this blog thing she has…” He’s gonna give the blog address to my boss one day accidentally, somehow, I just know it…) So they’re reading it now. Possibly as “we” speak. Creeeepyyyy…

(Ok, heading out to lunch with her now…be back to finish this soon.

I’m back! And I hate you Texas Tech! Just so you know, you were supposed to BEAT B.C. in the first round, assholes. I need a beer…)

Couple #2: Tall gangly girl in the same sweats all weekend & Older pot-belly guy. I don’t know what else to say about this couple, really, as they were relatively quiet, kept to themselves, and were sort of gross to me to look at, so I avoided it if I could. She was almost quite literally HANGING on him a lot of the time. She also managed to “hand-flirt” with my fiancé when we were saying the Lord’s Prayer during mass, so she was just icky all around, apparently. But they’re clearly in love, and that’s all that matters. Good job there, gangly girl and pot-belly guy.

Couple #3: Pale girl with a terrible cold & Goatee guy. This couple was sweet, really. She was not afraid to talk (much like myself, so we were kindred in that way, I thought), but she needed to get her hair done, and I don’t think people that are that pale should choose a hair color like she had chosen. Anyway, during the group question and answer session (guess who spoke up a lot during that? I’ll give you a clue: read my blog), she informed us she was a hemophiliac, so that explained the paleness. However, it did not explain the way she picked her nose during the prayer service that was held later that night, and I think the fiancé will forever remember her as the nose-picker for as long as we both shall live. (I mean, it really bothered him! I kind of feel like picking my nose around him now, just to see what he’ll do…)

Couple #4: Older happy gal & Asshole with a mustache. These two people were considerably older than the rest of us, had kids at home, and are heading into at least their second marriage. They seemed ok at first; she just looked to be really in love with Asshole mustache man, and he seemed like he was a relatively harmless jovial-type of guy. But then during the question and answer group thing on Saturday night he wound up bugging me with his judgmental opinions and the way he’s going to treat his kids as they grow up (i.e. like pieces of trash that don’t have brains of their own, basically), and he kept saying, “Have you ever heard of so and so?” whenever he was giving his opinion on a question that had been asked. I can’t remember the one person he brought up that way, but the other guy is apparently some radical Christian that used to go around speaking out about how evil the Catholic Church is, and then he started to learn more and more about it and finally discovered that it was actually the church he wanted to be a part of, so he converted to Catholicism. (This was in response to the many questions that certain couples had regarding mixed-faith marriages, and how people planned on handling it with regards to raising children and stuff.) So basically he doesn’t think for himself, is how I see it. Instead, he looks at other people for examples of how to deal with situations, and uses their name/situation in order to show people how he thinks about a certain topic. And that’s just idiotic to me. In fact, the second time he said, “Have you ever heard of so and so?” both myself and the guy that was sitting on his other side looked at him and reacted in some way…I think I said, “Who are all these people you keep referring to?” And the kid on the other side of him said something similar, and Asshole mustache man kind of looked at us in a confused way, and then looked pissed, and continued on with what he was saying about this dude he’d brought up. (I can’t be sure, but it might’ve been Richard Neuhaus? I didn’t write it down, so I can’t remember…) The rest of the weekend, I just wanted to avoid him, because he seemed like he wasn’t interested in being open-minded. I don’t know…he just put off an ugly vibe. (Plus, I think he was a NASCAR fan, and I just don’t get NASCAR fans…)

Couple #’s 5, 6, & 7: Young’uns. There were 3 couples there that were clearly college sweethearts that were JUST out of school, and who didn’t know the first thing about what it was going to be like to be married and have a lifelong commitment to someone that they’d fallen in love with when their brains were still in the process of developing fully (which, as we all know, sometimes fails to completely happen in some people…particularly in boys). These ones entertained me with comments such as, “The thing I love about him most is his faith,” or, “What’s it like to be all growed up?” (Ok, I made up that last one, but really…they were GREEN, y’all. Scary age to get married at, me thinks.)

Couple # 8: Pretty girl with weird mouth & Cute boy with the bad wardrobe. These two haven’t had sex yet, and don’t plan to until they get married. They fascinated me, because they both looked (a) old enough to know better - as in, older than 30, and (b) like they’d obviously gotten some at some point in time already. I really, really, really wish that I could understand people who think sex is evil. Really.

Couple #9: (This one’s gonna sound all judgmental and crap, but I don’t know what to tell ya. After 20 hours of discussing nothing but your relationship with your fiancé, you get to the point where you notice EVERYTHING about everyone else, and it gets a bit judgy. So sue me.) Big-assed girl with scary face/tiny upper body & Really boring-looking dude. This couple was interesting because she was ULTRA-blond…looked natural actually, and was very pretty. But her ass was HUGE, and her upper body was very small in comparison. It was distracting, more than anything else. But she seemed nice, so I can’t say much else about that. Same goes for her fiancé. He looked like one of those guys that you just would automatically think was boring, right off the bat, when introduced to him. And he didn’t say much that contradicted that assumption, so yeah. Big ass and boring guy. That’s all I can say about them.

Couple #10: Very big tall girl (who was as opinionated and open as Faith is) & Scottish guy. Alright, he might’ve been British, but if so, then he’s a northern Brit, that’s for sure. They were fun. They’re getting married tomorrow night. So they were lucky they were able to get their CEE done last weekend, or they would have been screwed. She was tall, and big, and had short, dark hair that always looked messy but still seemed ok like that. He was also tall and big, but was very pale (kind of reddish in the face) and bald. When they spoke, it was like giants talking, so that was fun. I liked them, actually. (But they still kind of scared me a bit, for some reason…)

Those are the only couples that really stand out for now. There was one couple that was really awkward-looking and on the older side. Seemed like they must’ve met through the internet, perhaps. He lives in Chicago and she’s here, I think. There were lots of long-distance couples actually. Fascinating. I can’t imagine planning a wedding from here that’s going to be happening in New York, and then moving there after it occurs. Crazy. (But that couple was sweet, too. We ate dinner with them on Saturday night. He had a sense of humor that seemed like it might be tiring to her, but they clearly love each other, which is nice.) Basically, it was a people-watching party for a girl like me. Both B and I agree that all the touchy-feeliness going on was disconcerting, because in my opinion, stroking someone’s hair, and then their ear, and then rubbing on their shoulders are all activities best kept to one’s living room couch when you’re alone with each other watching a movie, and not in a room crowded full of your peers, but to each their own.

I think this might be the end of the stories about the CEE weekend, folks. I want to get back to talking about things like America’s Next Top Model and the terribleness that is the March Madness. (We should just have 4-day weekends throughout March every year, dammit. It’s the only thing that makes sense to me. I can’t believe I need to watch this action via updated scores on Yahoo Sports. It. Sucks. ASS!) Also, there is general wedding shit that has been happening, and that’s something I’d love to talk about. See? The Catholic stuff has had it’s time. And now we move on…

Aaaand, here they are...

The fiance took some pics of the drawings he did over the weekend at CEE. As described in my post from Tuesday. I thought I'd share those with you...sorry in advance for the slightly blurred quality. I think you can still see the pics pretty well, though...


Here's the beaver:


Aaaand, here's the cock:

The feet sticking out of the ground? Yeah, I dunno. (I also thought the mountains looked a bit like sad, pointed boobies, and so he added the random curvey hill to the right of them after I mentioned it to him. They still look like boobs to me, though. Oh well!)

And here's some random stuff he drew mid-day on Saturday:

I like that one the best. Where are those big heads at again? Easter Island? Yep...just checked it out. Now, the fiance's version are a bit more cartoony than the real ones, but still, not bad IMO.

More posting later. I just have to write the story about the people we met there, and we'll be good to go...

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Nuh-UH...

I have a stack of boxes of tissue on my desk, as I am the Supply Manager for my team, and feel it's the best place to keep the boxes of tissue during these tissue-laden times of winter/early spring (what with the coldness of winter and the lovely allergies of early spring, and all). Yesterday, I ran out of the Kleenex that I regularly buy for my own use when I'm out at the store, and had to resort to opening a box of the special tissue made available for our purchase through our supply vendor.

It's called FluffOut, and it claims that it is "Soft & Silky!" on the front of the package, so I was trusting that it couldn't be as bad as certain generic brand tissues I've been forced to use in the past. (Those words printed on the front of packaging can be very encouraging to me...I guess I just figure that they can't say it if they don't mean it, or something.)

They lied. Those tissues are neither Soft nor Silky. I would describe them as being more Scratchy and Horrible than I would "Soft & Silky!" Especially no exclamation points. (Except when I'm muttering about having to use such a "Scratchy & Horrible mutherfucking tissue!" That's where I'd feel free to use an exclamation point for sure.)

Thank goodness I had a box of my trusty Kleenexes at home that I could bring in to work with me today. One day of torture with the FluffOut was enough, I think.

(More posting about the CEE weekend tomorrow, I promise. I'll be talking about the different couples that were there in the next post, so you won't wanna miss it! Also, I'll be putting in some pics of the fabulous illustrative qualities that the fiance possesses, so that will be fun. Have a great Wednesday night, all! Get out and enjoy that lovely weather...well, except for those of you in southeast Texas. You stay indoors, or you might get hit in the head with flying debris, it looks like.)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

And all I wanted was a barrel of monkeys...

Knowing how very eager y’all are to hear about how other things went at the CEE this weekend, I’m doing my very best to keep up with my stories that I collected. Today has been a bear and a half, unfortunately, so I’m sorry I’m running a bit late!

The weekend started off almost immediately on Friday night after we arrived at the little retreat center (which was across the street/highway-thing from a cemetery, so you know how that spells “peaceful location” for ya), and we’d dropped our bags off in our rooms. Both the fiancé and I arrived before any roommates showed up, so we were feeling pretty lucky for a bit, thinking we might not have to bother anyone with our respective snoring/pooping issues. I didn’t hold out much hope, though, as the place seemed pretty darned full of couples for the weekend, and as we were heading down to the meeting area to explore the hallways a bit and try to figure out just what to do without television to entertain us during a 10 minute lull in our day, I was pretty sure I saw some people checking in that were likely the folks that we’d be teamed up with.

I was right, and we wound up having a couple of very cool roommates for the weekend after all. My roommate (whom I shall name “B”) was the fiancé of my fiance’s roommate (who shall hereafter be called “D”). B and I met briefly at some point or another…can’t remember exactly when…but for the most part, fiancé and I were kept busy for the next 3 hours (3 HOURS! After a long day already spent at work! And we didn’t have any beeeeer!!!) thinking and talking about and reflecting on our relationship, so I didn’t have the chance to even talk to her much until just before bed.

But I’ll talk about the roommates another day. Because first, I must explain how the fiancé managed to stay entertained whilst also managing to listen to the presentations and focus on the information being shared with us. I’ve never had the opportunity to observe him in what I would call a “classroom-type environment” and I don’t mean to say that in a “scientist observing test-monkeys that have been injected with Botox to see how it will affect them” kind of a way at all. But I mean he was fun to watch. In fact, other people were kind of watching him too after a bit. Just the select few around us that noticed that he was drawing on and in the handbook thingy they gave us to use for all of our CEE exercises, of course, but that was all that it took for me to feel that he had a kind of audience for his doodles.

The first doodle was right on the front of the book, and started immediately after the first speaker started. I got a little upset, and tried to tell him to stop. Especially after I saw what I thought was a rather scary, ugly animal-thing that he was drawing. Fuck, at least draw me some pretty flowers or some shit, if you’re going to distract yourself from this somewhat important couples-weekend thing we have to do to prepare for our wedding in the Catholic Church, right? But no…he draws a hideous, icky-looking beaver, of all things. After we separated for the first time to work on our first task on our own, and then reunited to discuss the topic in our discussion room/my bedroom, we talked about what he was up to. Apparently, he needs to draw, or stay busy in some way or another, in order to focus better. (He has a pretty extreme case of ADD.) While he draws, he can listen to and absorb the information being shared better than he can if he’s attempting to focus solely on the presenter themselves. Ok…I could deal with that. I asked him to draw me something prettier than a fucking big-toothed, bug-eyed beaver then.

So. During the next section, he went to work on the back of the book. This time, he was drawing a bird of some sort. It had its wings outstretched and looked considerably less-ugly than the beaver on the front. Then he drew a plus sign next to the beaver. And then an equals sign after the bird-thing. There was a heart on the back of the book, which is the symbol that CEE uses for its program, so apparently, the beaver plus the bird-thing equaled love, was my take on it. We were still dealing with the tail-end of the second presentation, so I kind of was whispering to him asking him what the bird was supposed to be. He told me to think of other words for “bird” that might fit it. I was all, “Chicken? I don’t know. What is it?”

“It’s a cock,” he replied.

“Lovely. You drew a beaver plus a cock, and it equals love. Jesus, honey…”

He drew lots of other things that night, embellished some pictures that already existed within the book itself, never did draw the barrel of monkeys per my request (he said it was too hard…I was all, “You can draw an ugly-ass beaver, and you can’t draw me a barrel of monkeys? Jerk.”), and about halfway through the next day, he was tired of drawing, so he kind of just fidgeted and dealt with the presentations as they were instead of doing anything else during them. At one point, he did make a lovely noise with his mouth that sounded suspiciously like a fart, and as it was after our lunch of tacos with beans, I’m sure one or two people felt really, really sorry for the poor red-haired girl that was hooked up with the guy that would willingly fart out loud in a relatively quiet, crowded room.

He was pretty embarrassed when we had to leave the notebooks on the altar during a certain part of the closing mass that was held on Sunday to finish the weekend off. He swears that he saw the priest looking at it funny as it was handed back out to us (they were on the altar to be blessed…so now his cock/beaver drawing is sanctioned by God, which is nice), but I didn’t notice anything like that at all. I just think he’s paranoid, and perhaps he’ll think twice before drawing little illustrative pictures like that in the future. Especially during any religious events we might attend. Of which (besides our wedding) I can honestly say there will probably be none. But anyway…he learned a lesson, I’d think.

And that’s what marriage is all about, right? I got this shit down pat, man.

Monday, March 12, 2007

DST & CEE

Daylight Savings Time can suck my ass. Not only is it making me wake up an hour earlier than usual for the next 6 months, but it also is causing me trouble with my boss’s calendar. NONE of the meetings switched over to the proper times they should have been because Outlook didn’t know that DST started 3 fucking weeks early this year, so it’s still planning on switching things up starting in April, of course.

What was the name of that senator that proposed this change in the first place? Is he running for president, or anything? Because I’d like to kick him in the nuts, and if he’s running for president, there’s a chance that he might travel through KC on some sort of public relations tour in the next few months, or whenever (I’ll wait to kick him in the nuts if I have to…), then I’d like to get in on that rally. Stupid fucker…

I now have to go through the next 3 weeks of his calendar and manually change all the meetings to their proper times. This won’t be so hard for the ones that I already went through and added the time they’re supposed to be at in the subject line. But the meetings that have come through since the company advised us to take that step? The ones that DIDN’T have the time specifically added to their subject lines, as suggested by the company in order to make this process easier? Yeah, I have to figure out what times they’re actually at. Joy.

But then again, I almost feel like going ahead and blaming the meeting arrangers for any issues that arise with their attendance at the meetings, should they have any. Since they were specifically told to add the times of the meetings (i.e. 2 p.m. Central, or whatever) to the subject lines so we wouldn’t have this problem, if they didn’t take the time to do that, then they’re retarded.

Rant re: DST officially over. For now.

As I mentioned last week, I think – might’ve been before last week, but since my brain is all fucked up thanks to DST, I can’t be sure - this past weekend, fiancé and I went to something sponsored by the Catholic Church called “Catholic Engaged Encounter” out in Kansas City, KS. For those who are unaware, the Catholic Church has a few little rules that we are required to follow prior to our getting married within one of their holy houses. One of them is that we attend an Engaged Encounter weekend prior to our wedding, and the others are too secret to mention here. (Just know that there is a big sheet involved, as well as water, and a small thing involving burning hot coals.) Anyway, fiancé and I have several months to complete this CEE weekend seeing as our wedding isn’t actually until October, but due to his work schedule and the fact that his coworker will be going on an extended leave to visit his family in Mexico for the first time in many years this summer, we had to go now. So we did. And it was a good thing, really.

So, of course, I have a few stories to tell about the weekend, and will regale you with their awesomeness throughout this week, with possible intermittent complaints about DST thrown in here and there.

What you should know before any of these stories are shared is the basic run-down on the schedule of the weekend and how it was handled. We had several different areas to go over, ranging in topic from how to be open and honest with our partners to how to pray together (um, yeah), to our “betrothal” to each other and why it is that we feel that marriage is right for us at this point in our relationships. We would all sit together in a main room as the hosting couples that were leading the CEE weekend would take turns sharing stories about their experiences in marriage and how they’ve had to overcome certain problems together, or how they’ve been “life-giving” in their relationship, and then they would separate us in order to give us each time to focus and reflect on certain questions that were provided to us to write extensively on (with an actual pen and paper, mind you…I missed my computer a LOT this weekend), and then we would be reunited with each other in our “discussion room” (my bedroom) to go over our answers and discuss the topics more in depth in relation to our own situation. Each topic covered in this manner took about an hour to an hour and a half to go through, and it moved along pretty well in that manner, IMO.

We discussed many, many, many, many things during the hours that we spent at our CEE, one of which had to do with closed-communication. We were given some questions to answer and discuss with each other regarding issues that we might not have talked about before (which fiancé and I already have, in most every case, since we’re smart grown-ups), and in the process of completing this exercise, we were encouraged to open up to our fiancés regarding past issues we might not have “had the chance” (i.e. “been too scared”) to mention to them before now. When they talked about this during the “sharing” period of the session, they warned us not to open up about anything too shocking, unless we really wanted to and felt that this was the right time to do so.

At that point, I leaned over to the fiancé and whispered, “Honey, by the way, I was a stripper from the time I was 12 until I was 16. I’m sorry I never mentioned it before.” My fiancé responded, “Well, I farted a couple of minutes ago, so I just thought you should know about that.” This, of course, made me guffaw out loud, which in turn caused most everyone in the room to turn and look at me (inappropriate bursts of laughter are kind of de rigueur with the Twin and I…), but it was good timing anyway as they were dismissing us to write and reflect at that very moment.

The fiancé and I felt fine about that project though, having cleared the air already as we had. As it were. (I never did smell that fart, though…he’s a sneaky buggar like that. I wonder if that will cause problems for us after we’re married…)

Friday, March 09, 2007

My eyes...MY EYES!!!

So, I went to the new eye doctor last night, and I hate to say it, but I'm in LOVE with this man for fixing my eyes! New contacts! New solution, um, solutions! New glasses are in the works!

AND, it only cost me $15 for the exam, and then I got about $390 (no, I'm not kidding) off the price of my glasses, so they only cost me about $130!!

So I love my insurance, too! Insurance is awesome. GOD how I missed it over the last year.

For the record, and for those of you who are wondering just how someone can have such a pricey pair of glasses, I am legally blind. If I don't have any kind of corrective eyewear happening, you do NOT want me in the driver's seat. (Or leading you around the mall. Or cooking you dinner. Or doing anything else that might require some sort of sight beyond 2 inches in front of my face. Because that's how far I can see without things being a complete blur.) My frames only cost about $140, of which insurance covers $130. And then there was some other 20% discount on them, for some reason, so they only cost me about $8.

On top of the frames, though, the lenses cost about $65 each. The condition of my prescription causes the lenses on my glasses to come out to a pretty thick, um, thickness (see aforementioned blindness), so I have to order a special lense treatment which costs about $75 per lense, but which is completely necessary, as without said treatment the lenses would be a little more than a quarter of an inch thick. Yeah, those coke-bottle lenses that people had to wear back in the day? That would have been me. Thank you, advances in technology and science! (Can you work on curing diabetes and pulmonary fibrosis now, by the way? Hurry it up, ok? Jeez...) The company covers that treatment. Amazingly. And then I get the glare reducing treatment on them, which also comes with a scratch-resistent dealio, and that causes the whole package to be covered by my insurance as well. PLUS, it adds a 2-year warranty onto the pair of glasses.

Can we say, "Awesome"? I CAN!

The only problem that still exists is this weird floater thing I have in my right eye. After dilating my eyes and checking them out very closely several times and with different techniques, the doctor couldn't see the floater I was talking about. And to be honest, once I put in the new contacts he'd sized me for, I couldn't see it anymore, either. It came back today, though, in full force now that my eyes are no longer dilated and focussing properly. But I have a follow-up appointment with him in two weeks to make sure these contacts are the right pair (they are! They are!!!), so I'm sure we can discuss it then. It's a little annoying having a weird, fuzzy black dot in my line of vision at all times, so I'd like it to go away, somehow.

Today is the day we are replacing the windows on the front of the house, and I cannot WAIT to get home and see them! (Fiance has taken the day off work so we can get to our Engaged Encounter that starts tonight on time, and also so he can supervise the window installation...sort of.) We also received our new bookshelf from C&B this morning, so that will be fun to see in the living room when I get there, and he's unwrapping and putting the new deck chairs I bought on sale from Target last week and which arrived yesterday in The Biggest Box EVER out on the deck, which will be nice. We have a nice little collection of stuff building up for our garage sale we plan on having next month some time, so I'm hoping it won't be as big of a waste of time as I initially expected it might be when we first started thinking about doing it. We're gonna have the full-size bed frame to sell, and two bookshelves, and 2 t.v.'s, and the kitchen table and chairs, and possibly the barbecue (I want a new one...I think), and lots and lots of books. It's gonna be good.

I need to get going now, though. I simply love boring you all and leaving you with nothing really entertaining on a Friday afternoon! Happy weekend, everyone! GO JAYHAWKS!! (Who are, ooh!, soundly whooping Oklahoma's little white ASS right about now. Fuckin' a, guys...go get 'em!)

Thursday, March 08, 2007

I'm busy on Wednesdays, sorry...

I’m a fan of the Bravo formatted reality shows. So far, the fiancé and I really dig in on the designers in “Project Runway,” make fun of the asshole chefs on “Top Chef,” and are so glad to see that Ryan guy get the boot from the latest Bravo creation, “Top Design.” I am always waiting at the edge of my seat for the next “Runway” and “Chef” cycles, but I’m not too sure about this “Top Design” one yet. We’ll see how it goes once they narrow it down to 4 finalists. But actually, the finalists aren’t the issue. I hate the judges, and as much as I want to like Todd Oldham, I can’t. Dude’s voice bugs the shit out of me. And he’s much more weird-looking than I ever realized. See?

Is he 12 or is he 40? Jeezy.

And I tried to find pictures of the freaky-looking shit that was going on with the one judge that needs to eat more pizza (who happens to sit next to the other judge that needs to eat more sammiches each week) from episode 2 to show you, but they don’t have any on the website, dammit.

I did find some from episode 3, though. Lookie here.

Yeah, THAT looks like someone who has their finger on the pulse of the design world, eh? Nice crimped hair, freak. (And believe me when I say that wasn’t her scariest look, either. I really wish I could find photos of her from episode 2!)

Anyway, during last night’s new episode, they had a commercial for yet another new reality show they’re introducing after Top Design finishes up in a few weeks. It’s called “Shear Madness” or “Shear Greatness” or “Shear CRAZY, YO!!!” or something like that. It’s for hairdressers, or people who aspire to BE hairdressers, I suppose. (As we Bravo lovers all know, one does not have to necessarily be a chef/clothing designer/interior decorator to join the respective show battling for the “top” spot in the world as a chef/clothing designer/interior decorator. And yes, I know they don’t become the actual “top” anything except for the “top” of the list of people that happened to try out for that one show with them, but bear with me here. Bravo is the world and the world is Bravo, dammit. I need Bravo to be the world right now…I can’t handle anything otherwise at this point!) So that’s something to look forward to.

I’m just waiting for their announcement of their search for the “Top Pooper.” Because THAT is a show I would win, hands down. My poop can beat anyone else’s poop on any given day. Today, I’ve already had two amazingly wonderful shits. And I was left alone in the bathroom both times, so yay there. And they made me exceedingly happy because earlier this week I was experiencing some very uncomfortable constipation-type issues that I don’t really want to discuss. Suffice it to say, it sucked. Because there is nothing worse in my world than when I want to poop, but cannot do so. End of story.

Dammit, I DESERVE a new car, $100,000 to help fund my continued good fortune with pooping, as well as fame ‘round the world known as the Queen of Pooping.

Hey, there are worse things to be known as, I’m sure. And you’re all jealous of my skeeills, just admit it.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Diamonds in the Soles of Her Shoes

My feet are broken. I purchased new shoes at Target over the weekend that, when tried on in the store, seemed surprisingly (and apparently misleadingly) comfortable, and so I didn’t hesitate to get them. Yesterday was a beautiful day, and I’ve been itching to show off my pedicured toes, so I went ahead and wore them even though temperatures at the start of the day didn’t go above 30 degrees. That was ok…I was going to be in the building pretty much all day long anyway.

By the time we headed into the staff meeting we have mid-day every Tuesday, I was starting to worry. The outside arches of both feet were rubbing on the surface of the shoes in a way that I’m familiar with when it comes to certain sandals…it makes it feel as though a blister has formed. Although, with other shoes that I own, it’s never gone that far…it just rubs at the arch a bit, making it a little uncomfortable.

But these new shoes DID go that far, and blisters have formed solidly on the bottoms of both of my feet. I’m not sure how many of you have ever experienced having blisters on the bottoms of your feet, but they suck. They suck big ol’ monkey ASS because, think of it…there’s no way to avoid aggravating them, unless you plan on being immobile – literally not moving at all – for several days in a row while they dry up and heal.

Thank goodness I had a pair of comfy flip-flops in the trunk of my car, so I could go to the supermarket to pick up fish and veggies for dinner after work, but I sent a text to the fiancé on my way home letting him know that if he wanted wine, he’d need to get it himself, because my feet hurt too bad to stop again!

I skipped my workout this morning, which means I need to keep calories to a minimum today, dammit, and I’m feeling like the tights I’m wearing with the fallback, clunky shoes that I love to wear with skirts and dresses throughout winter were a good choice today, with their cushy rubber soles and soft insides that give my feet the cushioning they need to defend the blisters from the evilness of anything hard or unforgiving.

I’m sure that the new shoes will mellow out over time. But I’m left wondering just how the women around here manage to wear heels on a regular basis…tall, spiky, uncomfy-looking heels that I couldn’t even dream of BUYING, much less trying to walk around in all day long!

Blisters on the bottoms of my feet. Damn.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Gross.

Ew! Ew, ew, ew, ew, EWWWW!!! If this happened to me, I’m pretty sure the guy would find it hard to do ANYTHING with his penis for a good long while.

EW!

What is WRONG with people?

Monday, March 05, 2007

How low can ya go?

Wow. Keeping a food diary for the last week has been an eye opening experience for me, to say the least. I'm not a bad eater, mind you, but it's just amazing how quickly the things I do eat add up! It absolutely, positively explains how I can possibly keep the same amount of weight on my body when I'm working out 4 - 5 days a week, burning an average of 500 calories per workout.

However, my body fat percentage has dropped significantly since I started working with my trainer back in July, and it's nice to know that even though I'm eating an average of 1600 - 2300 (no, I'm not kidding...wish I were) calories per day, I'm still managing to build enough muscle to actually help burn the fat stored in my body at this point in time. I'm down to 36% after starting at a whopping 41% body fat percentage.

I remember back in high school and freshman year in college, when it suddenly became a requirement to monitor body fat percentage, and the dreaded pincher-measurement-thingy would come out, and we'd all get measured and find out just how fat we really were. I was never truly disappointed by my totals, like other girls seemed to be, but I've always been a bit more accepting of my body than other girls my age. Back then, my 22 - 23% body fat concerned me a bit, especially compared to the girls I knew that had 16% (or less, in some cases), but I knew that most of them didn't have as healthy of an outlook on food. I mean, they skipped breakfast for chrissakes! Don't they know how BAD that is for you?

I have always been a breakfast eater. Well, except for when I lived in Boston...I just had a Pepsi for breakfast back then, and don't ask me how I did it. But as it only lasted about 4 months, I don't reflect back on that too often as a guidepost to how I should try to live from now on. If I skip breakfast, my bloodsugar drops to a level that seems like it would be really unhealthy, and I feel sick and nauseaus and all that sort of stuff. If you push me to go too long without breakfast in the morning, the bitch in me will come out, but she usually reserves herself for other mealtimes. The only meal I can tend to push out the longest before eating it without getting bitchy is lunch. Don't ask me why. Especially on weekends...I can go hours between breakfast and lunch on weekends, whereas during the week it seems like I can't go a good 10 minutes without feeling incredibly hungry after having just eaten breakfast. (Which is why I always keep a stash of beef jerky and some sort of trail mix on hand at my desk.)

Anyway, my point is that I've been eating lots more calories than I realized. It's getting under control, though, which is the important thing. I don't mind having a 2200 calorie day every now and then, but not 3 or 4 times a week. That's ridiculous.

Aaaand, that's lunch. Fuck I'm hungry!

Friday, March 02, 2007

WHAT TIME IS IT??

IT'S FRIDAY MEME TIME!!! YAAAAAYYYYY!

Actually, I say that as though doing a meme is a regularly scheduled Friday event, and it's not, so I'm just being silly, really. Yay for the silliness! (We are awfully fond of the silliness.)

I slept a good 9 hours last night, can ya tell? Yaaayyyy for 9 hours of sleep! YAYYYYY!!!

Enough with the multiple explamation points, though. I received this meme from my future MIL this morning, and filled it out and sent it back to her and several friends, but thought it'd be fun to post out here, too, since it has some funnay points in it, and I haven't done a meme in about a gazillion years, and it was a good time for me to do one again. Spreadin' the love, y'all...

It was sent in e-mail form, and meant to be forwarded in e-mail form, so keep that in mind when reading the directions about what to do with it. (I'm leaving the directions in there because they're almost my favorite part! Alright, not really, but they left the opportunity open for me to add some of my own suggestions, so that's why I thought I'd keep 'em in. Plus, you might not be a blogger, and you might just wanna cut and paste and send to people in an e-mail. I dunno. Just thinking of the people, is the thing.)

So here we go...meme starts HERE!

Read through the comments below about your friend and then make sure you read the instructions at the bottom. Have fun!

1. What time is it?
10:25 a.m.

2. Name:
Faith Smith

3. What are you most afraid of?
Nuclear war

4. What do you drive?
BMW 325 Ci

5. Have you ever seen a ghost?
Yes.

6. Where were you born?
(Boy, I guess that “have you ever seen a ghost” question was just there to weed out the weirdoes, since we’re just moving right along to the question about where we were born!) Whittier, CA

7. Ever been to Alaska?
Yes, but I don’t remember anything but the plane ride there. (I was always drunk at that point in my life! Plus, I was about 3…so, yeah. Not a memorable place to a 3 year old, I don’t think. Especially a drunk 3 year old…)

8. Ever been toilet papering rolling in decorating trees?
Ok, this question doesn’t make any sense the way it’s worded, but I’m assuming that it was written by a drunk 3 year old, so I’ll just say, “Yes.” Because I have gone toilet papering before…but not rolling in decorating trees. Whatever the hell that means.

9. Croutons or Bacon bits?
Both! Duh…

10. Favorite day of the week?
Saturday.

11. Favorite restaurant?
I haven’t had a favorite-favorite restaurant since I was about 14, and we used to go to City in LA every now and then. Now THAT was a restaurant! Sadly, it doesn’t appear to exist any more. *sigh!* The 80’s were so awesome…

12. Favorite Flower?
Gerbera daisy

13. Favorite sport to watch?
Football

14. Favorite Drink?
Half wheat beer/half cider

15. Favorite Ice cream?
If I could eat it, it would be mint chocolate chip.

16. Disney or Warner Brothers?
The WB baby! Whoot!

17. Favorite fast food restaurant?
Breakfast at McDonalds.

18. What color is your bedroom carpet?
The carpet in my bedroom looks suspiciously like hard wood flooring. So I’ll say that it’s a dark brown wood-grained color.

19. How many times have you failed your driver's test?
What? Who the heck fails their driver’s tests? (Oh…sorry Twin.)

20. Before this one, from whom did you get your last e-mail?
Probably some random coworker…it’s been long deleted by now!

21. What do you do most often when you are bored?
Internet shopping. Dangerous, dangerous thing, the internet…

22. What's your Bedtime?
9:30 during the week. No bedtime on weekends.

23. Who emails the quickest?
Uh, what?

24. Who is the person you sent this to that is least likely to respond?
I hate these questions.

25. Who is the person that you are most curious to see their responses?
Does the person that wrote this meme speak English?

26. What are you favorite TV shows?
Reality stuff on Bravo – Top Design right now, but can’t wait for the next circuit of Top Chef and Project Runway!

27. Ford or Chevy?
BMW, dammit.

28. What are you listening to right now?
The dulcet sound of a conference call my boss is on…soooo relaxing….

29. Your favorite colors?
Green and black. (Not necessarily together, mind you…)

30. How many tattoos do you have?
None

31. Do you have any pets?
Besides my fiancé? Yes. I’ll leave it at that…

32. How many people are you sending this e-mail to?
18,000. (I run a spam enterprise on the side…part of that “what do you do when you’re bored” thing that I failed to disclose up above. Oops!)

RETURN DIRECTIONS: Now, here's what you're supposed to do...and please, do not spoil the fun! [I hate it when meme's get all pushy like that...spoil the fun if you wanna. I don't care.]

Hit reply, delete my answers and type in your answers. Then send this to a whole bunch of people you know, INCLUDING the person who sent it to you. The theory is that you will learn a lot of little known facts about those who know you. [Yes, such as what type of American car they think is better? Or they prefer? Or they think is the bigger piece of crap? Really, it didn't elaborate on that, now, did it?] Remember to send it back to the person who sent it to you. [And don’t forget to put them all in the Bcc line, people…no one needs a “reply all” fiasco on their hands now, do they?]

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Alright.

Today, I am tired. Beyond tired. So tired that I feel like I'm actually a dead person walking around.

It's my own fault (duh). I took a concoction of pills last night to help me sleep through the storm. Which really only succeeded in making me very sleepy and groggy through the storm. I had to put earplugs in to get to sleep-sleep. And then I had to get up at 4:30, so the concoction didn't have enough time to work it's entire process through, or whatever, so I felt downright ill at the gym, and was in a bitterly ucky mood until after the weight lifting began. After the workout, I felt less moody, but was exponentially worse off in the feeling ill category. Now that I've been at work for a good 6 hours, it seems to be wearing off. The ill feeling, I mean. But the tiredness hasn't worn off.

And I can't WAIT to sleep tonight!

Also, my choocha hurts, and I don't get that at all. You'd think there'd have been some lovely bangin' going on down around there last night, or something, but there wasn't. So that's nothing less than worrisome.

Great. Just what I needed, right? Something else to put on the list. Sheeit.

Going...going...gone, muthafuckers!