Thursday, December 28, 2006

There's really no need for me to ever leave my house again
I've got it all right here.

I haven't blogged in awhile. I've been lazy. And busy. I mean, it's been so long since I've blogged that when I logged in to blog tonight, I had to re-enter my password. I haven't had to do that in forever. Then it took me to a new version of Blogger, told me it needed to transfer my blogs from the old version to the new version, and then told me to come back later because it would take awhile.

Um, just how long have I been gone? New version of Blogger??

Anyway, it took so long to transfer my blog to New Blogger, I've lost the desire to blog tonight. But, I'll see what I can do...

Christmas was good. I acquired several key things that could quite possibly allow me to never have to leave my house ever again:

1. The family piano was moved from my parents' house to my house. This is the piano that my mom learned to play on as a kid. Then my sister and I learned to play on it when we were kids. This is the piano that was a torture device from ages 5 to 16, tying me to it (not literally, just figuratively) for hours upon hours of practice when I would rather have been doing ANYTHING other than practice. Unfortunately for me, I was a good piano player. Which meant I had to keep at it because I wasn't bad enough to be allowed to quit. If I had actually seriously practiced all those years, I could probably be some famous piano player person right now.

Well, maybe not. But if I had put more effort into it, I could probably do something with it now. Around the age of 15 or 16, the piano teacher I had at the time was like, "Eh, I've got nothing more to teach you." Granted, she wasn't exactly the most genius teacher I had throughout the years. I had a great teacher (Mrs. Stewart) that we had to leave behind when we moved after 8th grade. But after Mrs. Non-Genius teacher in highschool, we decided I'd given it a good run, she had nothing more to give me, and we left it at that. At the time, it was the freedom I had longed for. But sometimes, I wonder what more I could have done if I'd kept at it.

Really, I jest. The piano years weren't all that bad. "Practice" meant that we set the timer for 30 minutes and I sat at the piano waiting for the timer to buzz while I clanked a few keys now and then so that my mom could hear me "practicing". It wasn't actually "torture", and it wasn't like I was a child virtuoso being forced to practice 8 hours a day. I just always thought there was something I'd rather be doing for those 30 longest-minutes-ever a day. And if I happened to be preparing a piece that I didn't totally love, I just wasn't interested in perfecting it. Even though perfecting it meant I'd get to move on to another piece...

I was good, though. I just didn't have to work super hard at it to stay ahead of everyone else. I liked performing last at the recitals because the recital would start with the young kids, then move through the older kids, then end with the most accomplished students at the end. And that was usually me, or this other guy. And it was always an unspoken competition between us to see which of the two of us would be last to end the show. He was older than me, so technically he should have been better than me because he had been playing longer. But I still wanted to have the honor of earning the last spot in recitals. Truthfully, I hated recitals A LOT. But, I still wanted to be last. To make a statement, of course.

Anyway, this piano monologue has been significant to me because for Christmas this year, I asked for the family piano to come live at my house. Over the past couple of years, I've just really wanted to play. I haven't touched a keyboard in years. But a couple of weeks ago, my mom had the piano delivered to my house while I was at work. When I got home, I sat down and played for a couple of hours. For the first time in several years.

I was SUPER rusty. I didn't even know where to start, so I just opened up one of my books from my lessons and I started with something that had lots of pencil marks all over it. That was my clue that it was probably something I had played before.

My fingers don't work like they used to. But I am proud to say (and Mrs. Stewart, my awesome teacher that I had for years before the less genius teacher I ended with, would be proud to know), that I still have most of Maple Leaf Rag memorized.

And here's the story on that. Maple Leaf Rag was MY song. It was my go-to piece that I played in numerous piano competitions, including (yes, I'm a huge dork) a Ragtime Piano Competition. I rocked like only Scott Joplin could. In fact, I played this song so many times that eventually I could NOT play it with the music in front of me. I would get distracted by the notes on the page. And beyond that, I played it so much that I couldn't even look at the keyboard while I played. It became a party trick. Me playing this ridiculous song with my eyes closed.

(Um truthfully, if the party got to this point, it was because the party wasn't good. And I probably never actually did this at parties because I'm terrified of playing in front of people. I probably only did it in front of my sister and my parents, because it was funny for us. And probably for no one else.... and really I probably haven't really done it for them more than once.... I don't really know.)

And yep, it seems the only way I can still play it is without the music and without looking at the keys. When I sat down a couple of weeks ago, I started with the music, but soon did away with it and fixed my gaze on something other than my hands and the keys. My piano lessons used to consist of Mrs. Stewart taking the music away and covering my hands and the keyboard with a makeshift piece of cardboard so that I couldn't see the keys. This was to get me to FEEL the music and to quit thinking so much. It was genius.

And freakin' hard. But as a result, sometimes I play more accurately without the music in front of me. And somehow, that's strangely easier.

Anyway, I started piano lessons at the age of 5, and I distinctly remember sitting on my parents' bed and throwing a fit at the news that I would begin piano lessons, because I just wanted to play outside and not take precious time away from playing. For most of my years of lessons I treated them like I was being punished. But a couple of weeks ago I sat at the familiar piano, the instrument of torture for all of those years but that was now something I realized I have missed for a long time, and I played because I WANTED to play.

And it was awesome. Mom and Dad, um, thanks for all of those lessons. I'm finally glad for them.

2. I produced a CD. I used the new (old) piano, and my Macbook. And I recorded and arranged a song that my sister wrote in highschool, which I put on a cd for my mom for Christmas. It's pretty genius. And it was like hanging out with my sister again. We used to spend hours on her Casio keyboards doing silly stuff. This project reminded me of that, only it meant something and doesn't sound bad. Plus, I'm pretty impressed with myself that after years of not doing anything musical, within the past few weeks I get a piano and make a CD.

I mean, it won't be exacly topping the charts in 2007. But, I did give myself a Grammy the other day. Just because I can.

I guess I did do something with my piano skills after all... despite not practicing as hard as I could have way back when. Cool.

3. I got DVR. And more than 7 channels. I mean, I've only had DVR for 2 days, and it has already changed my life. I don't know how I lived so long without it. And I also don't know how I've lived so long without Hogan Knows Best and I Love the 90s.

Hulk Hogan is a genius, even when he's not wrestling.

4. I got an ipod. And again, I don't know how I've gone so long without one. I've only had it a few days, but it is GENIUS. Even video on that tiny screen? I don't even care that it's so small because I'M WATCHING SCRUBS ON AN IPOD... IN MY BED... WITHOUT A TV IN THE ROOM!!!!


So, as I sit here with my Macbook, DVR, ipod, piano, cellphone, and wireless internet - all of which enable me to satisfy just about any want, desire, or need without having to move more than a few feet in any one direction - I've realized that if I don't drink any water all day, I could probably go all day without having to get up from this spot on the couch. I've got more entertainment contained in one room of my house than I ever really need, all within arm's reach.

And then I realize that I've become something I've never really wanted to become - a tech junkie. I held off for years from upgrading my basic cable to something more than 7 channels. I mocked those who got DVR in lieu of the tried-and-true (and free) VCR that I have sworn by up until two days ago. I scorned those who needed 10 gigs of space on a portable music device to haul around every song they've ever owned in the off chance that they might want to listen to one particular song at any given moment. Seriously, I thought I was selling out when I got my 512 MB mp3 player last year.

It's all just so ridiculous. Why do we need all of these gadgets and bells and whistles? Yet suddenly, I don't know how I've lived without these modern conveniences. I've got 30 gigs of music space and I wonder if that will be enough.

But then I also realize that I don't know how I've lived without music I can make on my own, on an entirely non-portable, non-new, worn, well-used piano. Talk about space and available memory on all of my technology devices. The memories contained in that piano surpass all the available hard drive space and memory on all of my devices combined.

Funny how the old and new came together to make the CD I made for my mom for Christmas. And I carry the songs with me on my ipod to listen to whenever I want.

I can't believe my sister is on a cd. And on an ipod. She'd love it.

I don't really know where I'm going with all of this. I've just been struck at how the new fancy stuff that I've acquired over the past couple of weeks still doesn't quite compare to the value in our old family piano. I feel like my home is complete now. Something was definitely missing. And it wasn't the DVR.

If it's awhile before I blog again, or before you see me or hear from me again, don't worry. I'm just overstimulated in my home with all of my new (and old) gadgets.


PS: Don't worry, the puppies are great. They discovered wrapping paper over Christmas and they had tons of fun with that "new gadget".

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Lookout. It's the puppies again.

Yep, that's 7 pounds of puppy goodness asleep on my arm.

Everyone should get puppies for the holidays. Seriously.


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Christmas came early this year
Time Warner has been threatening to rearrange the channel lineup and get rid of some of my favorite channels. I have been dreading that day ever since I first got that announcement in the mail. I pay very little money for only a few basic channels and I've been quite happy with that. I didn't want anything to change.

Well, the day of change finally came. It was today.

I get home from work. I turn on my T.V. It took a little while, but I finally noticed that I was looking at the Food Network.

I've never had that channel before. Hmmmm....

I finally realized what was going on, that the channel day change was finally here. And then I thought that maybe if I have ONE new channel that I didn't have before, maybe I have A LOT of new channels that I didn't get before.

I did that "automatic channel tune" thing on my T.V., and sure enough, now I kinda get ALL of the channels. Food Network, MTV, HGTV, CSPAN...

Well nevermind about CSPAN.

So this is what happened next:

1. I flipped through all of my new channels and found NOTHING to watch. This is why I didn't want to PAY for more channels. There's nothing on my few basic channels. I know there is nothing on the other 100 channels I now get, even when they are free. I ended up watching One Tree Hill on the CW.

2. I realized I was watching One Tree Hill and I was sad and ashamed. So I decided to flip through all of my channels again. Not because I thought I would find anything new, but just because I can.

3. I got lost. I don't know where any of the old channels are, and all of the new ones make a bigger universe for me to get lost in.

Then I did two things that I will probably do often from now on:

1. I found a scary movie. It's one of those bad scary movies that is completely stupid, but when you watch it alone in the dark at home at night (which is against the rules at my house, but what do I do the second I accidentally get fancy cable? I go and break the rules), it scares the crap out of you. It is "Wrong Turn" and it is so dumb, but it could possibly happen in real life, so I am RIGHT NOW scared to get off of my couch. (Think Leatherface but with less chainsaws and more barbed wire. Three people just got eaten by the hill people in like, 5 minutes.)

2. On the commercials I was brave enough to change the channel, and I immediately turned into my Grandma and became engrossed in some pet rescue show on Animal Planet. I couldn't stop watching. It had PUPPIES, y'all!

This is what will happen next:

1. Just when I get used to my accidental fancy cable, Time Warner will figure out their mistake and it will all disappear, without warning, and I won't know what to do without Animal Planet.

2. My next bill will show a charge for this automatic upgrade to fancy cable, even though I didn't ask for it or authorize it. I estimate this cost to be at least $108.

3. I will have to call customer service and get in a fight with Time Warner over the whole mess, cancel my cable, and switch to Dish Network.

But for now, there are PUPPIES, y'all!!


PS: I'm hoping that tomorrow when I get home from work, a free accidental DVR appears in my living room.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Ultimate Christmas Music
So, (many of you are about to hate me for what I'm about to say, but....) I've never really liked Christmas music. I can't really put into words the reasons why I don't like it. I just kinda can't stand it. I've always been that way. It's a curse. Every year, the first day that I walk into a store and the canned Christmas music is playing, I'm pretty much in a bad mood until February.

BUT (and this is where all of you who just hated me will like me again) this year I've decided to like Christmas music. I've done some serious soul-searching, I've delved into the depths of my psyche, and I've determined that the problem is that I've just never found versions of Christmas music that I like.

So . . . to make myself like Christmas music this year, I've spent the better part of the past three days searching through every piece of Christmas music I could possibly find to develop my very own Ultimate Christmas Music playlist.

(I may have gone a bit overboard. I finally made myself stop at 77 songs. It has turned into a 4-disc boxed set.)

I don't care if you agree with my picks. Just remember, I am on the road to recovery from a lifetime of hating Christmas music (it's all very dramatic). The following versions of everyone's Christmas favorites do not overtly annoy me, so that I might listen, enjoy, and grow to love.

(okay ONE song does really annoy me, but I put it in my boxed set so that I might attempt to grow to love it. it won't happen, but at least it will make my parents laugh)

Ultimate Christmas Disc 1 - Sarah & Sufjan

Happy Xmas (War Is Over) - Sarah McLachlan
In The Bleak Mid-Winter - Sarah McLachlan
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - Sarah McLachlan
O Little Town Of Bethlehem - Sarah McLachlan
Silent Night - Sarah McLachlan
The First Noel (Mary Mary) - Sarah McLachlan
What Child Is This (Greensleeves) - Sarah McLachlan
Did I Make You Cry On Christmas - Sufjan Stevens
What Child Is This Anyway - Sufjan Stevens
Amazing Grace - Sufjan Stevens
Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing - Sufjan Stevens
Get Behind Me, Santa! - Sufjan Stevens
Holy, Holy, Holy - Sufjan Stevens
I Saw Three Ships - Sufjan Stevens
Joy To The World - Sufjan Stevens
O Come O Come Emmanuel - Sufjan Stevens
The Little Drummer Boy - Sufjan Stevens
We Three Kings - Sufjan Stevens
O Holy Night - Sufjan Stevens

Ultimate Christmas Disc 2 - Jessica, Christina, Mariah, Celine, Leigh Nash, & More

The Little Drummer Boy (duet with Ashelee Simpson) - Jessica Simpson
Let It Snow, Let It Snow - Jessica Simpson
Oh Holy Night - Christina Aguilera
The Christmas Song (Holiday Remix) - Christina Aguilera
Silver Bells - Harry Connick Jr.
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - Barenaked Ladies
Feliz Navidad - Celine Dion
O Holy Night - Celine Dion
My Only Wish - Britney Spears
Joy To The World - Aretha Franklin
Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer - Elmo and Patsy
O Holy Night - Mariah Carey
All I Want For Christmas Is You - Mariah Carey
Come On! Let's Boogey To The Elf Dance! - Sufjan Stevens
Hey Guys! It's Christmas Time! - Sufjan Stevens
That Was The Worst Christmas Ever - Sufjan Stevens
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear - Sixpence None The Richer
O Holy Night - Leigh Nash
The Trouble With Love Is - Kelly Clarkson/Love Actually Soundtrack

Ultimate Christmas Disc 3 - New Kids, Gregorian, Crash Test Dummies, Muppets, Charlie Brown, & More

Happy Xmas (War is Over) - John Lennon And Yoko Ono
Little Drummer Boy - New Kids On The Block
Last Christmas - Wham!
Little Drummer Boy - Chicago
Mele Kalikimaka - Bing Crosby
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - Judy Garland
White Christmas - Aimee Mann
Carol Of The Bells - Celtic Woman
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - Crash Test Dummies
Good King Wenceslas - Crash Test Dummies
Feliz Navidad - Jose Feliciano
Happy Christmas - Neil Diamond
Santa Claus Is Coming to Town - Jackson 5
It's The Most Wonderful Time Of the Year - The Muppets
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - The Muppets
Linus And Lucy - A Charlie Brown Christmas (this is the one I HATE)
Christmas Time Is Here - A Charlie Brown Christmas
Blue Christmas - Elvis Presley
Baby, It's Cold Outside - Tom Jones
O Come All Ye Faithful - Gregorian Christmas Chants
Pie Jesu - Gregorian Christmas Chants
Happy Xmas (War Is Over) Gregorian Christmas Chants

Ultimate Christmas Disc 4 - Amy, Rebecca, Michael, Darrell

Sweet Little Jesus Boy - Rebecca St. James
Happy Christmas - Rebecca St. James
O Come Emmanuel - Rebecca St. James
O Holy Night - Rebecca St. James
O Come All Ye Faithful - Rebecca St. James
A Cradle Prayer - Rebecca St. James
Tennessee Christmas - Amy Grant
Christmas Hymn - Amy Grant
Little Town - Amy Grant
Heirlooms - Amy Grant
A Mighty Fortress-Angels We Have Heard on High - Amy Grant
Breath Of Heaven (Mary's Song) - Amy Grant
No Eye Had Seen - Michael W. Smith
Memoirs - A Trilogy: The Voice / Good King Wenceslaus / Hark the Herald Angels Sing - Michael W. Smith
Gloria - Michael W. Smith
The Coventry Carol - Darrell Shepherd
I'll Be Home For Christmas - Darrell Shepherd

I'm sure you see that there are some real treasures in this compilation (ahem... Jessica and Ashlee Simpson, and all things Muppet).

Also, I've remembered three important things:
1. Pretty much any version of O Holy Night will bring me to tears. You will see it 6 times in the compilation.
2. Happy Xmas is always good times. You will see it 5 times in the compilation.
3. I will always have a soft spot for Amy Grant Christmas music.
Those are the three exceptions to my lifetime of anti-Christmas music.

A lot of hard work went into this compilation. I hope I'm not annoyed with it by tomorrow.

Holiday cheer and all that crap.


Monday, November 20, 2006

Meet the newest little Tyrants
My parents got some puppies yesterday. That's Duke on the left up front, and Daisy right behind him.

They like to play and climb on me.

And then 5 minutes later, they like to nap.

And then they like to nap some more.

They may be the cutest things ever in the history of all things cute.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Two Bobs
Really, there was only one Bob today. But it was all very Office Space at my office.... space.

I didn't wear flip-flops and a Hawaiian shirt.

His name wasn't really Bob.


Saturday, November 11, 2006

It's Britney's Prerogative
Y'all! They broke up!

Today I had the good fortune to stumble upon a bit of television programming that dared to delve into the why of Britney and K-fed and all that they ever were, and all that they never more shall be. We may never know what really happened and why they are getting divorced. I mean, I believed it would work between them forever, as much as the next person believed. But I tell you this: the TV Guide Channel's panel discussion Britney & Kevin: Toxic will get as close to understanding the truth as we could ever hope.


The show featured an expert palimony lawyer, the music director for Yahoo! Music, and two TV Guide Channel personalities that I neither know, nor care about. Together, they reviewed the couple's history, recent events, and the aftermath of the big breakup.

Some important issues that were discussed:

1. K-fed's future.
It's not good, y'all. The general consensus of the panel was that K-fed's future is no brighter than an upcoming season of The Surreal Life. I have to concur with that assessment. He's not going to make it as a rapper. He will fade into oblivion, back from whence he came before his awesome dance moves woo-ed Miss Spears.

2. K-fed's livelihood
Mr. Palimony Expert predicted that K-fed will probably end up with a settlement of a set amount of money per month for half the amount of time they were married. He guessed it could be something like $300,000 a month. And I say... that doesn't sound too bad. In fact, I myself would marry Britney for that kind of a deal. Seriously. I would.

3. What led up to the big divorce announcement last week?
Apparently Britney and Kevin met with separate divorce lawyers back in June. Just to see "what if". Which, you know, is the first thing you should do when trying to make a marriage work. Go hang out with some divorce lawyers and just toss ideas around.

Of course, that was right around the time this interview took place:

So what can we conclude from these events? Well, clearly Matt Lauer and Britney hooked up, Kevin got jealous, he released the worst rap album in the history of the world, you know, out of spite. And Britney finally decided she had enough of The Fed and she left him for Matt.

(I came up with that all by myself).

4. Apparently, on Halloween night, K-fed held a party for the release of his awesome new CD, in New York. Britney arrived to the party separately, did not speak to him all night, and then left in tears. I have a feeling that a lot of people left that party in tears, but only one announced a divorce from K-fed a few days later. And that person.... was Britney.

5. Y'all (and this is where the panel discussion really got to the heart of the matter), it's important to remember that there are children involved in this whole situation. We must think of the children. And my thought is this: between Britney and K-fed, which one will the kids be better off with? If you ask me, that's a lose-lose situation. Don't get me wrong, I loves me some Britney. But should she be in charge of little people? I don't think so. K-fed would probably sell them to produce his next awesome CD. I think what's best for the kids is if they declare legal emancipation from both Britney and K-fed, get their own reality show on MTV, and let the country raise them.

That pretty much sums up the show.

But what I'm here to say is... welcome back Britney! I am tired of this:

And... this:

And especially..... this:

And I think I can speak for the country when I say that we are ALL ready for your comeback. Because we prefer this:

You had a few bad, white trash years. But shake it off, girl. There has been a void in our world without you. So get back in the studio, get back on stage, quit marrying trailer trash, and bring back the pop princess we all know and love.

It's just you against the music now. Hit us, baby.

One. More. Time.


More with the scary.
It is 12:30 in the morning. I am sitting on my couch after getting home from an evening with friends. I'm listening to the wind blow loudly outside, with the sounds of wind chimes close by....

Um... I DON'T HAVE WIND CHIMES. And I CERTAINLY don't have wind chimes in the closet where the heater is, which is where the sound of the chimes is coming from...

I'm going to bed. Right now. It will all be better in the morning.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

In Dreams
I have really vivid dreams. They've been especially vivid lately. I tend to see things like a movie, and these dreams are like movies that I'm in the middle of.

A couple of months ago, I was having really vivid, really horrible dreams. For like, two weeks, I was killed every night in some bizarre way in my dreams. I remembered everything when I woke up. It was a bit stressful. I'm not sure any one thing caused it. I think it was a combination of things.

But in general, even for no good reason, my dreams are super vivid. I don't usually wind up dead or terrorized in them. So, that's nice.

Then I went to Macomb over the weekend and I believe something there triggered the scary dreams again. I could blame the horror of the town of Macomb itself. I mean, yikes. But actually, I will blame the really bad Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie for this. Which, really, is quite bizarre. Because the movie wasn't scary. It was just bad. A bit gory. With a side of terrible acting. But I wasn't scared of Leatherface afterwards. I was just sleepy.

I think anxiety is a big culprit in the nature and deadliness of my dreams. I ALWAYS dream about things that I worry about during the day. Like, when my luggage didn't come to Macomb last weekend, I went to sleep that night and had not one, but TWO dreams about my luggage. The plan for the luggage was that American Airlines would deliver it in the middle of the night and leave it on the porch, since we would be asleep. So, dream #1 involved waking up to about 20 pieces of luggage on the lawn, none of which were mine. Dream #2 involved waking up to find that only one piece of luggage had been dropped off during the night, but it wasn't mine.

I didn't even realize I was worried about the luggage. Sometimes anxiety sneaks up on me. My luggage arrived to the porch just fine, by the by.

So, since I've been home, and since Leatherface made me sleepy with the bad acting and the lameness of the whole thing, I've had scary dreams again. The first dream involved some guy lurking around in my backyard, in broad daylight. Then when he noticed me in the house, he broke in through my sliding glass doors (which I don't actually have), I assume to come "Leatherface" me, even though he was just a normal guy. Fortunately I was already on the phone with 911 and running out my front door, where I was greeted by Backyard Leatherface's friend who was waiting out front. The police took forever to come. Nothing really happened after the Leatherfaces broke in. But I woke up scared. And tired.

I had no idea I was worried about people breaking into my house. I always feel safe here.

Then I dreamed that I was stuck in our old church building (I worked in there for about 4 years alone at night, and I was constantly afraid of ghosts and creepy people coming to get me). In the building with me was a true Leatherface kind of person who had this super sharp sword thing. He was just wandering around the building slicing limbs off of people. Then we were in a house and he kept slicing. I finally got my hands on one his super sharp swords, but every time I would slice something off of him, it would just come back. And the swords kept breaking. Then the next day when I went to work (still in my dream), my work had hired him as a new graphic designer, which made him my coworker. He had convinced everyone that he wanted to be a kinder, gentler Leatherface-type person. But all of his designs looked like the basement of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and I wouldn't let him come anywhere near me. I didn't trust him.

That dream is chock full of my anxieties, right down to scary designers.

Then LAST night I dreamed that I was working late (as I've done a lot lately) and someone broke into our offices and stole everything, including my beautiful Macbook, which is weird because I never take Alferd Packer (yes, my Macbook has a name) to work. But stealing him made me quite angry. Then my best friend from highschool showed up (I haven't seen her in years). And she told me that the group of thieves was downstairs in a restaurant and the ringleader was hanging out outside. So I was like, "I WANT MY MACBOOK BACK!", and I ran downstairs to get it back. I saw the Head Thief standing there and I totally RAN at him, then JUMPED at him, and KNOCKED HIM DOWN on the sidewalk. I sat on him until he told his crew to give me back my Macbook. I didn't care about any of the other office stuff. I took my Macbook back upstairs and went back to work. There were also carpet cleaners in the building, but they weren't scary.

THAT dream is pretty much my greatest fear. Working late and losing my Macbook, all in one day. Frightening.

Now I'm worried that you'll all think I'm weird. I'll probably dream about that tonight. And Leatherface.


Monday, November 06, 2006

Last year it was Thailand...
This year it was Macomb, Illinois.

I spent a lovely weekend in the not-so-lovely town of Macomb with our lovely, dear friend Emily. She showed me all that Macomb is, was, and ever more shall be. Here are some highlights from my fabulous trip:

1. My flight to Chicago left an hour late, which all but erased the hour I had in between flights to catch my next plane. I had to run all the way across the airport, but I ended up making it in time to visit the bathroom before getting on the plane. Not because I'm a fast runner, but because my second flight was delayed, too. Which was good because after I got on the plane they announced that the bathroom wasn't working.

2. My luggage did NOT make the second flight. I arrived in Moline without it. Then I couldn't find anyone to help me find my bag because apparently no one works at the airport in Moline after 6:00pm. After I finally found someone, they informed me that American Eagle is, in fact, the ONLY airline anywhere that does NOT scan the luggage. So they truly could not tell me where my bag was or when it would arrive, since they could not track it. But they said they would call me if it showed up, and they would even deliver it to the double wide.

3. My bag arrived sometime in the middle of the night to the double wide in Macomb. It spent the night on the front porch and fortunately was not carted off by wild critters while I slept.

4. We watched a lot of bad movies in our pajamas throughout the weekend, which was pretty much the best weekend ever. These movies included the new Texas Chainsaw Massacre (real bad), The Breakup (awkward bad), and Adventures in Babysitting (bad, but in a good way).

5. We visited an apple orchard, which was super lame. We drove for more than an hour with the hopes of picking our own apples and enjoying the nice weather. What we found was a shack with some apples and apple cider in it. We bought apples anyway, which Emily later turned into a couple of apple pies. And those were certainly not lame. At all.

6. We ate pie for breakfast.

7. Then there was the barn tour. We drove through the backroads of the small towns around Macomb and we looked for barns. They all kind of look like this:

We got a little lost. A couple of times. It was not lame. Barns are rad.

8. There was a really awesome play. And I might be lying that it was awesome. Don't worry, it wasn't Emily's show.

9. I was challenged to eat something called a Pony. Picture a lot of bread, meat, and french fries all smothered in cheese sauce in a pile on a plate. I ate it. And later, my colon wasn't happy about it.

10. We witnessed a family dressed in camouflage buying a couch made entirely of camouflage in a store called Farm King. No joke.

11. In case you are wondering if it's really, really dark outside while driving to the airport at 3:30 in the morning through the wilderness of Nowhere, Illiinois... it is. Really, really dark.

I mean, it's no Thailand. But it was pretty rad.


Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I tend to be a bit of a scrooge when it comes to trick-or-treators.
As a kid, we celebrated my dad's Halloween birthday every year, instead of trick-or-treating. We still celebrate dad every year, but at the ripe old age of 30 I don't really care that I'm missing out on trick-or-treating. I never really missed it as a kid, either.

What we did instead of wandering around the neighborhood in search of candy from our neighbors was find inventive ways to avoid trick-or-treaters. We'd take my dad out to dinner for his birthday, like, all night. We'd stay gone for hours. Sometimes we'd stay home and hide in the basement with the lights out, the only light in the house coming from the T.V. with the volume turned low.

As such, I've become somewhat of an expert on thwarting attempts to trick-or-treat at my house. This year is no exception. Here was my strategy for the big day today.

First, I'm generally pretty mean to the kids in the neighborhood year-round. It's important to set that precedent at all times. I yell at them for running through my yard. I give them the stink eye when they wander too close to the driveway. I'm well on my way to being that crazy, mean old lady down the street.

Then, I worked late tonight. Turns out I had a lot of work to do anyway. This was convenient in aiding my anti-trick-or-treator agenda.

When I got home, I checked my mail without turning the porch light on. This almost landed me face down in my flowerbed, but I managed to stick the landing and get back indoors safely and undetected by lurking trick-or-treators.

Then I stumbled around my house with as few lights on as possible. I turned on the T.V., keeping the volume low, so as not to be heard from outside. I ate my dinner by candlelight. Not romantic, mind you. All part of the hideout plan.

I did buy candy, just in case. And by "just in case", I mean just in case I have to stay indoors for days to throw off any lingering trick-or-treators that might think it's a good idea to come knocking on my door say... tomorrow night. Not-so-fun size Snickers and candy corn, all for me. Take that, little kids in costumes!

And for my final touch this year... I turned on the sprinklers. Full blast.

No one rang my doorbell. No one begged at my door, asking me for food, money, love.

I called my dad for his official birthday greeting from me (we celebrated his birthday already on Sunday), I ate my Halloween candy.

Another successful anti-trick-or-treator year.



Thursday, October 26, 2006

I've been eating a lot of pickles lately
I tend to find a food and eat it all the time until I get sick of it. Then I find something else to take it's place. Until I get sick of that.

While I do like pickles right now, I don't like that there are only like, 6 pickles in a jar. This means I have to buy jars of pickles like, every week. Because I'm not about to sink so low as to buy a giant, economy size jar of pickles. As soon as I buy the giant jar of pickles, I'll get sick of them, and I'll be stuck with excessive pickles that I won't eat.

Last night I had pickles for dessert.

I hope pickles are good for me. Because I've been eating a lot of pickles lately.

I hope the next thing that I eat comes more than 6 in a jar.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

This is my new favorite drink

Lipton Green Tea with Citrus

The first time I bought it, I thought I would like it. But I didn't.

But I had a whole case of it, so I had to drink it.

Then I decided I love it. And now I drink gallons of it by the caseload.

Drink it.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Cable Conspiracy
Recently, Time Warner cable bought out Comcast in our area. While this may be a happy thing for Time Warner, so far I'm not so much happy with the change.

It happened yesterday. When I checked my mail I saw that I had something from Time Warner. It was the new channel lineup. Clearly they think this is a good thing. The envelope boasted this change as though it is very exciting for me....

Your new channel lineup enclosed! We're adding more than 35 new channels!

I was skeptical. And rightly so.

I currently have the most basic of basic cable. It's the local channels, a lot of spanish channels, plus TBS and my favorite, The Discovery Channel. I love Mythbusters and Dirty Jobs. I can't help it.

But these few channels are all I need and all I want. I don't need any more distraction.

Well, as I read over my new channel lineup, I quickly saw that Time Warner has all but destroyed my perfect channel setup.

No more TBS. No more Discovery Channel. Both of these have been moved to a higher tier of cable service. And replaced with.... C-SPAN.

Who watches C-SPAN????

The channel lineup also promised me that "now it's easier than ever to find my favorite channels!" Well, not so much easier to find if you don't offer them for what I'm currently paying anymore.

This means that in a few weeks, if I want to watch my beloved Mike Rowe slosh his way through more Dirty Jobs, I'll have to pay more for it. Plus, I'll have a bunch more channels that I don't want or need.

I'm not happy about this.

I mean.... My displeasure is enclosed! Now it's easier than ever to see that I'm unhappy about my cable service!!


Sunday, October 08, 2006

Just when I think my job is the most stressful job on the planet...
(and most days it is)

... watching 7 episodes of The West Wing makes me feel better about it.

Running the world everyday is probably much more stressful than my job.

At least some days.


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

LOST Season Premiere Check List

Me - check

TV - on and working

VCR - recording

Comfy spot on the couch - check

Two bottles of Lipton Green Tea - check

Two (not so) Fun Size Snickers - check

Peanut M&Ms (back-up snack) - check

Macbook, open and ready to take notes - check

Wireless internet - working

Warming up with a fresh episode of America's Next Top Model - check

I'm all set for an hour of LOST goodness.

T-minus 14 minutes and counting.

LOST, baby!!!!


Saturday, September 30, 2006

If you need me today, I will be here:

It's the State Fair of Texas, y'all!!!

Fried food
Corny dogs
Big Tex
Marilyn Monroe butter sculpture
Pygmy goats
Chinese acrobats
Petting zoo
Free stuff
93 degrees in late September

AND... The Fair Gang to enjoy it all with

It's the most wonderful time of the year.

Get there.


Thursday, September 28, 2006

Wonderful World of Windshield Wipers
So I replace my windshield wipers regularly, as any responsible car owner does. And by "regularly" I mean when they start making that horrible screeching noise across my windshield. I figure that's the signal for needing new wipers, right?

Well, I haven't replaced the wiper on the back of the Jeep, um, ever. I've had it for 4 years. For awhile, it was just blatant neglect. I love that little wiper, don't get me wrong. But, I just figured since I use it much less than the front wipers, it doesn't really need to be replaced as often. Right?

But then once I decided it was time to replace it, since it was really only smearing water and slime around on the back window, making it difficult to see, I just haven't been able to find that wiper blade anywhere. So then the neglect turned into lack of supply. It's an 11 inch blade and NO ONE in the world carries it.

Do car part makers assume that everyone is like me, refusing to change that back blade? Surely someone other than me needs it, so they have to be out there somewhere. One would think.

As a last resort I looked it up on the internet, just to see if a store I hadn't thought of might have it. I'm desperate, at this point. I'm annoyed that I can't see out of my back window in the rain. The little blade I took such pride in having was now a source of frustration for me.

And it was making the terrible noise.

So, I ended up ordering it online. What does this say about me, that I ordered a windshield wiper online? Turns out the blade I need is not stocked anywhere. What??? I was forced to purchase it online. I had no other choice.

Now I'm just saying, this blade better last for another 4 years. And it better be plated with gold, because I paid twice as much for it to order it online, with shipping included. Insane.

And the sad thing is, one day I will come home to find a package on my front porch, and instead of opening it to something fun, it will just be a wiper blade that I paid too much for.

It better start raining a lot. I've got a new fancy blade to help me see out the back window.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

America's Next Top Whiners
The best part about the Macbook and wireless is that I can blog WHILE I watch TV.


Ok, I love how the girls argue, cry, and whine about their makeovers. Without fail they do this every year in the second episode. Yet they ALL look better afterwards.

Don't argue with Tyra. She knows what she's doing, girls.

So glad you're back, ANTM. Oh how I've missed you!!

It's a particularly whiney bunch this year. Should be good times.


Sunday, September 24, 2006

Today I am having fun with Photoshop


Saturday, September 23, 2006

The mystery that is my yard
The following plants and flowers were all but dead-ish as of last week. I've done nothing to revive them.

Amazing what a bit of rain and a slight change in the weather will do. And some amazing non-gardening on my part.


Thursday, September 21, 2006

I officially don't care about ER anymore
Now that I can blog and watch TV at the same time, I can bring you this late-breaking, up-to-the-minute news before tonight's season premiere even ends.

I'm watching the show right now, everyone is either shot or having babies or kidnapped, and I don't even care.

Jerry could die in the next 20 minutes. Abby could lose her baby, or she might die. Sam may never be un-kidnapped.

I just don't care anymore.

The show may officially be dead to me.

I'm sorry to be so cruel, but it's true. I just needed to admit that for all to see.


Sunday, September 17, 2006

More Famous People
I saw Bob Vila at a restaurant during lunch today.

And the reason I was out for lunch today was to meet a longtime fan of my blog, Mark. In which case, I guess I was the famous person. . .

Mark was in town for the Cowboys game and we decided to get together for lunch. I rather enjoyed it, getting to know part of my blog community on a more personal level.

And of course, seeing Bob Vila for lunch.


It's Season Premiere Week!
Once again, it's the time of year when if you need me, I will be in front of my TV.

Sunday - The Amazing Race
Monday - Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (this better be good)
Wednesday - America's Next Top Model (and LOST when it come back next month)
Thursday - My Name is Earl, The Office, Grey's Anatomy, ER (I'm about to break up with ER, so it better be good or I am OUT)

These are the basic must-sees, leaving a few hours here and there for new additions, should I discover any.

And I plan to do all of this without Tivo, using only old fashioned VCR technology and careful planning.

Stay tuned for my thoughts.


Saturday, September 16, 2006

The ice cubes cometh
A couple of weeks ago, my ice maker broke. I deduced that it was broken because it no longer made ice cubes. I tried everything I knew to fix it and make it work again. This included banging on it and moving that little lever up and down a lot.

After a couple of weeks of no new ice, I admitted to myself that it really was broken. It's an old fridge that came with the house. It's just a matter of time before things start to go on it.

So, I broke down and spent 98 cents on some ice cube trays. I admitted defeat. I would have to make my own ice.

I filled up the trays with my Brita water, which actually made me feel better about it. I would have purified ice cubes that would taste better than the cubes coming from the freezer's water hose. This might not be so bad after all.

The cubes froze and I dumped them into the cube holder thingy. I filled the trays again. Not so bad. I'd be allright.

Fast forward a couple of days. I'm in my bathroom getting ready for work and I hear the sound of the ice maker filling up with water. It makes this high-pitched screeching noise that can be heard all over the house, including in the garage.

Um, what?

Turns out, the ice maker healed itself and has decided to work again. And it has since dumped an abundance of ice cubes onto the cubes I made in the trays. So now I have more ice cubes than I know what to do with, and I'm afraid to turn it off for fear it will never start again.

I may have to have an ice cube party to use up all of this ice.


Saturday, September 09, 2006

I am nothing without my morning cup of coffee

I am old and set in my ways.

I am routine to the nth degree.

I am habit personified.

And it better be good coffee.


Monday, September 04, 2006

Roadtrip to Tulsa
Why not?

My dad and I went to visit my Grandma in her nursing home this weekend. This meant we got to make an exciting roadtrip to Tulsa.


Highlights from the trip include:

1. A Tulsa mix cd. Of course.

2. Beef jerky? YES.
My dad and I are proud jerky junkies. We stopped (um, twice) at The Peanut Shoppe ( - once on the way, once on the way home. They have good jerky. I recommend a stop there if you're ever passing through Durant, Oklahoma.

3. Bingo with old people.
My dad and I rolled my Grandma down to the 3:00 Bingo and we played Bingo with her and all of the other old people. The catch was that my Dad and I tried really hard NOT to win. He warned me that the other old ladies get mad if you win and take the prizes. So, my dad and I watched old person after old person get a Bingo while we cheated NOT to win. No one noticed that we were the only two people not to win anything, and the old people loved us.

4. Animal Planet
My grandma loves Animal Planet. We watched that a bit.

5. Dinner at 4:30.
They start lining everyone up for dinner to start serving at 4:30. And then it becomes the longest dinner ever as they bring one tray at a time to each person. My dad and I watched 4 old ladies eat the smallest amount of food possible in the longest amount of time ever. But, they loved us being there.

6. My grandma loves to show us off.
First, she recognized both of us when she first saw us, and she had no idea we were even coming. And then she impressed both my dad and me with what she remembers about us as she told her friends about us. She remembered that my dad is super helpful, at which point my dad had wandered off to help some old ladies we didn't know. And she remembered that I am super smart and can do just about anything I try to do. She was right, of course, on both counts.

7. More beef? OKAY!
One old lady was talking about how much she loves steak while we watched her eat the saddest sloppy joe I've ever seen. Then as my dad and I left the nursing home for the night, we both looked at each other and decided steak sounded good. So, we had steak for dinner. BEEF!

8. Fireballs + Coke = Keeping you awake in the car
One of the prizes at Bingo that we tried not to win was a bucket of fireballs, which I thought was an odd prize for really old people with no teeth. But, I was craving fireballs after that, so I bought some for the drive home. We ate a whole lot of them. And then we ate more beef jerky.

All in all, it was a good trip and a good visit with Grandma. She looked good, she's eating well, and she carried on good conversations, considering. She looked much better than last year when I thought that was the last time I would see her. She jokes, she picks on me and my dad, she's familiar. It was good to see her.


Friday, September 01, 2006

Random fact about lemon juice
It is, in fact, found on the juice aisle.

I took a gamble and learned this new grocery store tidbit of useless info today.

I pass it on to you.


Thursday, August 31, 2006

Billboard Trucks. I don't get it.
I mean, I do. I get that they are to advertise stuff. But I don't know who thought this was a good idea.

For one, it has to be one of the worst jobs ever to drive these trucks around. You've seen them. The trucks that serve no purpose but to be a billboard. They drive around town. All day. It's the equivilent of walking around with a sign on your back. You drive, people stare at what's behind you. It's ridiculous.

Then what. Do you really think people are reading your ad, focusing attention on reading a truck that is swerving in and out of cars while they drive? Do you really want them to focus their attention on that? Isn't that dangerous?

Personally, I can't look away. I saw one today and I couldn't figure out the ad, and all I could do was stare at it and try to figure it out. NOT SAFE.

People, I AM DRIVING. Why follow me around with a truck of billboards to read?

And do you really want people grabbing for a pen and trying to jot down a phone number or whatever it is you want them to remember by your roving ad truck? Is that safe?

Um, no.

And in traffic, I do not want to be stuck behind an ad for the new CW channel with the 7th Heaven gang staring back at me for 30 minutes. It's creepy.

Therefore, I am OVER billboard trucks.



Friday, August 25, 2006

Why would you do this?
Why would you intentionally pick the middle stall in the bathroom when all of the stalls are open?

This just automatically makes it uncomfortable for whoever enters next, because there is no possible way to get around having to be next to you. And I don't even know you. Not that I dislike you. But everything is all off-balance. And there is no reason why we shouldn't have stall between us if the option is there.

Also, yesterday I found a chip in the bathroom at work, next to the toilet. Why would you do that?

Don't eat chips on the toilet.


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I did a bad, bad thing
The other day, I woke up and my sprinkler was running.

Why is that bad, you might ask? Well, because I don't have automatic sprinklers that come on by themselves. Which meant the timer hadn't shut off and it had been running ALL NIGHT LONG.

So.... what.

Well, here in Texas we are in what is known as a drought. Therefore, we are under watering restrictions. Because my water ran all night, I broke several rules:

1. No more than 30 minutes in one place.
2. It was after midnight, so it was technically not my watering day anymore.

Um... maybe that's all.

Needless to say, I freaked out. I ran out in my pajamas and shut if off, then ran back inside before anyone saw me. I've been VERY careful about my yard watering, careful to go by all of the rules. And through no fault of my own, for whatever reason the timer didn't shut off this one time. Yet, I've felt guilty all week for wasting all of that water.

Of course, I don't think anyone saw it. And I don't think I will actually get in any trouble for it. Yes, my water bill will be too high and very suspicious for using 108 million gallons all in one 8 hour period.

Oh, and now I have this really nice green circle in my front yard from all the water. It's a little TOO green, suspiciously green. It stands out from the other houses on the street.

So tonight, it rained a little. Not enough to count for anything. But just enough to ruin my plan of watering AROUND the green spot tonight, to even things out. To hide my crime.

I've been praying every night that I don't go to water restriction jail.

I wish I could put a plant over that night green spot. You know, like you do when you get a spot on your carpet?


Sunday, August 20, 2006

The World's Best Mullet
Over the past week or so, I've been going through a lot of pictures. I've been working on a project to print and frame photos for my walls.

After completion of the project, survey says.... AWESOME. It's super fun to have friends and family all over my house all the time.

But, in going through photos, I came across one of my prize photos from my second trip to Russia several years ago. Let me start with the story...

This guy was the host in a restaurant where we had breakfast one morning. He had the most amazing hair I have ever seen in my life. We could tell he was super proud of his long, luscious locks. And he was completely oblivious to our snickers. He would walk around and turn his head, allowing for his flowing hair to swirl around, showing off. But this seemed to be just how he walked and flaunted on a normal day. He wasn't doing this to impress us.

He was also completely oblivious to this sneak photo I took of him. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you.... Mulletov! (we are pretty sure that means "awesome mullet" in Russian)

Needless to say, I think this is the best mullet on the planet. And while the trip to Russia was amazing in and of itself, traveling that far and getting to see this amazing work of hair made the trip totally completely absolutely worthwhile.



PS: I did not put Mulletov on my wall, but I may rethink that.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

That time of year again
Still miss you...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The best drive home ever
I hate driving home after work because of all the traffic and the fact that it's more than a 5 minute drive. I just want to leave my office, blink, and be home. I get really impatient in the car.

But today I had the best trip home ever. First, I never hit a red light until two red lights before Staples, where I needed to stop for a few items. This means I drove for about 15 minutes without having to stop. It was genius. This cut at least 10 minutes off of my drive.

Ok, probably less time than that. But still, it made the drive much speedier in my head.

I was in and out of Staples in less than 5 minutes. What I needed was right by the door, and there was no line at the checkout.

Then I hit Home Depot across the street, and I was in and out of there in 10 minutes.

Then I dropped off a prescription, and I decided to grocery shop while I waited. Right as I walked up to the pharmacy after shopping for 10 minutes, my prescription was ready. No waiting.

Then I hit all of the green lights from the grocery store to my house. Genius.

All together the time from my office, 3 stops, and to my house was an hour. That's ridiculously no time at all in the big city full of after work rush hour traffic.

It was nice. And left me in a good mood.

I enjoy that.


Monday, August 14, 2006

Don't worry....
You can always get a good mix CD in Texas.

Mix - I'm Okay
Livin' La Vida Loca - Ricky Martin
I Wish - Stevie Wonder
Rosanna - TOTO
Every Little Thing She Does - The Police
The One I Love - R.E.M.
Hot in Herre - Nelly
She's All I Ever Had - Ricky Martin
Cray - Alanis Morissette
Sweet Dreams - Eurythmics
Stand - R.E.M.
Sir Duke - Stevie Wonder
The You Move - Outkast
Shake Your Bon-Bon - Ricky Martin
Superstition - Stevie Wonder
Every Breath You Take - The Police
Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me - U2
It's My Life - Bon Jovi
Shiny Happy People - R.E.M.

Mix - 00s Alt Rock (this one had an earlier version with a couple of minor variations)
Take Me Out - Franz Ferdinand
How to Save a Life - The Fray
Psychobabble - Frou Frou
Somebody Told Me - The Killers
Somewhere Only We Know - Keane
Look After You - The Fray
They - Jem
Hospital Food - David Gray
Crazy - Gnarls Barkley
Float On - Modest Mouse
Everybody's Changing - Keane
Over My Head - The Fray
How We Operate - Gomez
Just a Ride - Jem
One Chance - Modest Mouse
Your Eyes Open - Keane
The One I Love - David Gray
Little House - The Fray


Sunday, August 13, 2006

Discovery of the Day
I realized today that pretty much the only reason I buy a newspaper on Sunday is to get the Target sale paper.

Everything else before I get to the sale paper is torture with anticipation about what's on sale at Target this week.

Everything after the sale paper is anticlimactic.

It's terrible, but it's true.


Saturday, August 12, 2006

Neither Soup, nor Salad
Today I ate lunch at Souper Salad with a good friend. It was good times. We go there for the novelty of big salad, potentially grody salad bar, and people watching.

But I noticed that they are trying expand past soup and salad and get all fancy. And I say to Souper Salad, be what you are. Soup and Salad.

I found these items at said Souper Salad. They are neither soup, nor salad:

Ice Cream

If I want these things I will go to pizza places, or taco places, or ice cream places. I come to Souper Salad for soup and/or salad. And to make fun of things.

Plus, I've never understood why they have waiters at Souper Salad. All they do is bring your drink, and then clean up after you when you leave. Is this worth anybody's time? Do we tip them? I mean, we have to get all of our own food items. Why can't we also get our own drinks?

Bizarre, I say. The whole thing is bizarre.


I've had some really random thoughts lately
Like, I think if I were captured and tortured for information, I would be okay and not give away the information that the bad guys were trying to get from me.

Not that I hold any pertinent information at all. And the likelihood of me ever being captured for the purpose of information and tortured to get to it is very, very slim.

But I've watched a lot of Alias and even though the torture looks pretty bad, everyone on the show is okay like, 5 minutes later. And I like to think of myself as a Sydney Bristow understudy. I even have cargo pants.

So if they are okay and can withstand torture and not give info, I think I could too. I have a high tolerance for pain, and I have no info.

I'm golden.


PS: Do not attempt to capture and/or torture me. This is only theoretical, as I would probably cry like a big baby the entire time and then you'd be sorry that you grabbed me.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Hair Metal
There are so many good Hair Metal songs to pick from that there may someday be Hair Metal II. But for now, I hope you find this to be as good of a mix as I do:

Welcome to the Jungle - Guns n' Roses
Rock You Like A Hurrican - Scorpions
Here I go Again - Whitesnake
Heaven - Warrant
Pour Some Sugar On Me - Def Leppard
Come on Feel the Noize - Quiet Riot
We're Not Gonna Take It - Twisted Sister
Rock and Roll All Nite - Kiss
You Give Love a Bad Name - Bon Jovi
Love Hurts - Nazareth
Nobody's Fool - Cinderella (by special request...)
Cherryl Pie - Warrant
Every Rose Has Its Thorn - Poison
I Remember You - Skid Row
Higher Ground - Red Hot Chili Peppers (this one isn't technically "hair"; I just like it)
Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen
More Than Word - Extreme

Because any good Hair Metal CD should end with the cheesiest Hair Metal Ballad of all time: More Than Words.




Monday, August 07, 2006

She's moving away, y'all!
This is a photo tribute to our friend Emily, because she's leaving us this week to go off to grad school, and we don't really know what to do with that. Der.

Em, I'm glad to know you. Have fun and hurry up with that whole finishing school thing. We'll miss you.

Video chat lots.

And . . . come home soon. We gotta go to the Fair, y'all!


Sunday, August 06, 2006

Why Big Toilet Paper?
My one beef with SuperTarget is that they don't always have the widest selection of items. Not that I willl stop going there several times a week. I love Super Target. But for instance, toilet paper.

I always by the Charmin regular rolls. That's just my preferred brand of TP. It's cheap, yet nice and soft. But not Nice n Soft. That's a different brand.

But last time I went to SuperTarget to buy toilet paper, they only had the LARGE rolls. No regular rolls. This brought on several questions:

1. Why does Target not have regular rolls of Charmin? They are my favorite. Have they banned the regular rolls for some reason? Are the regular rolls harmful in some way that I was not aware of? Has Target just saved my life from unsafe toilet paper rolls?

2. Did Charmin discontinue the Regular rolls in lieu of these giant rolls? They say that it is the same amount of toilet paper as a couple of the regular rolls, but their thing is that you have to change the roll less often. And that's supposed to be an awesome selling point.

3. Why does Charmin care how often I change my roll of toilet paper? I like the regular size roll because it fits perfectly into my toilet paper holder. But even though Charmin claims that their big roll also fits fine, it doesn't. I mean, it fits. But I have to cram it. And then the cardboard roll gets bent, so then when you pull toilet paper off of the roll it rolls funny and it keeps ripping the TP before I have an adequate amount in my hand. Sure, I might have to change the roll less often, but that means I have to deal with awkward toilet paper rolls MORE often.

4. I'm not entirely convinced that there is all that more TP on the big roll. I mean, there is definitely more than the regular roll. But why mess with a good thing? I mean, were people contacting Charmin and requesting that they go to their TP Lab and develop an atomically large roll of toilet paper that holds twice as much TP yet somehow still fits perfectly into the same space on a toilet paper holder? It's possible. But doubtful.

I just want my regular roll of toilet paper. I don't care if I have to change it everyday. In fact, I might would do that anyway just because I can do it and I know it won't be a hassle. The big rolls are stressing me out. The bathroom should not be stressful.

Regular rolls, I miss you.


Mix CD Challenge
The mix CD obsession has taken on a new phase. Last night Jen challenged me to come up with a good Hair Metal mix. I accept her challenge.

So, apparently I take requests. However, let it be understood that completion of your requested mix CD depends entirely on the amount of money I can allot to my mix CD fund at any given time. Which right now, is pretty much no money at all for a bit. It's kind of an expensive habit when the Russian download site won't work for me....


But never fear, the era of Mix CDs is just getting warmed up. Good mixes are still to come.

And yes, I do other things with my time than just sit around and think up mix cds....


Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Open Arms - Journey
I Just Wanna Be Your Everything - Andy Gibb
When I See You Smile - Bad English
More Than a Feeling - Boston
Hard to Say I'm Sorry/Getawat - Chicago
Time After Time - Cyndi Lauper
Here We Are - Gloria Estefan
Stay the Night - Chicago
Brandy (Your a Fine Girl) - Looking Glass
Take a Bow - Madonna
You're the Inspiration - Chicago
Can't Live Without Your Love - Nelson
Always Tomorrow - Gloria Estefan
We Can Last Forever - Chicago
Every Rose Has Its Thorn - Poison
Hold On - Wilson Phillips
Come Sail Away - Styx

I'm obsessed. I can't help it.


Sunday, July 30, 2006

Greatest Hits
In my adventures of ripping my CDs, downloading a few songs here and there as I go, and making one mix CD after another, I've discovered one very important thing that makes this whole process extremely easy, and ridiculous.

Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE has a Greatest Hits CD.

Just now, I've put together a little mix CD I like to call "Cheese". In the making of this fabulous mix, I discovered that even Nelson (yes, that awesome hair duo from the 90s) has a Greatest Hits CD.

Um, I think they had one hit. The had only two CDs. Yet like, 10 years later in 2004, for whatever reason they decided that the public was yearning for all of their "greatest" hits on one CD.

Had anyone even thought of these guys since 1990's Can't Live Without Your Love? Much less, when 2004 hit, did anyone think, "Hey, I wish Nelson would put out a compilation CD. I miss those guys."

Um, no.

Tomorrow's mix CD will be The Tyrant's Greatest Hits. I haven't written any songs, yet. But by tomorrow my public will want to hear whatever my greatest hits might be.


Saturday, July 29, 2006

Today's Musical Geniusery
Um, so yeah. I've spent most of the day with my iTunes, creating new music playlists and ripping my CDs onto the Macbook. It's about the most fun I've had this week.

Seriously. It. Has. Been. AWESOME.

And yes, I've been air-drumming all the while.

Here are today's mixes.

Girl Bluegrass Chill Rock (This is a working title...)

You Got It - Bonnie Raitt
Come to My Window - Melissa Etheridge
Closer to Fine - Indigo Girls
Carnival - Natalie Merchant
Not Ready to Make Nice - Dixie Chicks
Power of Two - Indigo Girls
Shame on You - Indigo Girls
I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow - O' Brother Where Art Thou
Keep on Growing - Sheryl Crow
I Want to Come Over - Melissa Etheridge
Strong Enough - Sheryl Crow & Dixie Chicks
Get out the Map - Indigo Girls
I'm the Only One - Melissa Etheridge
Least Complicated - Indigo Girls
Black Horse and the Cherry Tree - KT Tunstall
Easy Silence - Dixie Chicks
Big Yellow Taxi - Sarah MacLachlan & Friends
Down to the River - Allison Krauss

80s-90s Skate Party (this one isn't quite final, yet)

Heaven is a Place on Earth - Belinda Carlisle
One Way or Another - Blondie
Livin' on a Prayer - Bon Jovi
Motown Philly - Boyz II Men
We Can Last Forever - Chicago
Time After Time - Cyndi Lauper
Da' Butt - E.U.
Get on Your Feet - Gloria Estefan
Rhythm Nation - Janet Jackson
Material Girl - Madonna
U Can't Touch This - MC Hammer
Beat It - Michael Jackson
Baby Got Back - Sir Mixalot
Eye of the Tiger - Survivor
I Think We're Alone Now - Tiffany
Ice, Ice Baby - Vanilla Ice
Vogue - Madonna

And the last one is simply titled:
I Just Like These Songs

Don't Cha - Pussycat Dolls
Long Way to Happy - Pink
It's Not Unusual - Tom Jones
Music - Madonna
Epic - Faith No More
Wishin' And Hopin' - Ani DeFranco
Until it Sleeps - Metallica
Dude (Looks Like a Lady) - Aerosmith
She's a Lady - Tom Jones
What You Waiting For - Gwen Stefani
Would You Die for Me - Bride
Frozen - Madonna
Nothing Else Matters - Metallica
Mama Told Me (Not to Come) - Tom Jones
Stay With You - Goo Goo Dolls
Human Nature - Madonna
My Immortal - Evanescence
A Little Less Conversation - Elvis


More of a Tribute to my Dog
Because after nearly 19 years of being a dog, she deserves it.

Duchess came to us one year when my Dad went to visit my Grandma for his birthday. She was his surprise birthday present. I was in jr. high at the time. We picked him up from the airport, but as he walked off the plane he seemed more concerned with a bit of "cargo" that he had to go get from the cargo area.

The "cargo" was a small dog carrier with a very small, three-week-old puppy inside. She was in a shoebox inside the carrier since the carrier was much too big for her. Because my dad is probably the most honest person on the planet, he had told the airline that he had a pet when he boarded the plane. So they made him buy a ticket and equipment for her to ride underneath the plane with the luggage. But later the flight attentdant told him if he had been quiet about it, he could have brought the puppy on board and held her the entire way.

But this was our first sign that Duchess was a survivor. She was too young to be away from her mother, but she made the flight home riding with the luggage, and she joined our family. We named her Duchess because every Boston Terrier that my dad's family has ever owned goes by the name of Duchess. It's tradition. Her mom was Duchess, and her sister is Duchess. That's just how it is.

Over the next few weeks, my mom fed tiny Duchess by letting her lick formula from her fingers. That's the only way she would eat. She was so small she couldn't climb up on the patio from the yard, or climb up the stairs. She could fit in the palm of your hand.

But, soon she was bossing our other, larger dog around as if she owned the place. Typical, younger sister thinking she's in charge.

We have lots of happy memories with Duchess. She could jump really high. Like, ridiculously high. One year we had this ginormous mound of wrapping paper from Christmas, and Duchess had somehow gotten trapped on the other side of it. All of a sudden she came flying over the top of it, without even a running start. She may have been a superhero dog. We're not really sure.

She was smart, friendly, and she assumed that everyone who came to the house came to see her, instead of us. A bit of an ego, but then she was a very pretty, very outgoing dog. How are we really to know that people didn't come from miles around just to see our dog, merely using us as an excuse to get in the door?

Duchess and I used to nap together. And by "together" I mean I would lay down on the couch for a nap, and when I would wake up I would find that Duchess had climbed onto the couch and draped herself around the top of my head. Odd, yes. But it worked for us. It took me awhile to figure out why my head was always so hot after a nap.

She loved to play, but she was never mean. The general evening routine was for my dad to get down on the floor and harrass the dog, getting her to snap at him and chase a ball. They both loved it, even though my dad usually came out of that with his hands scratched and bleeding. It was their way of bonding.

During the last few years, Dad and Duch seem to prefer a more tame method of bonding. He sits in his chair and tucks the dog in his arm, and they stay that way for hours. Hard to tell who likes it more, him or the dog.

After my sister died, Duchess was a tremendous source of comfort for our family. She knew something was wrong, but she didn't know what it was. Yet she would snuggle in and stare at me as if she wanted to help. We spent lots of time together. I didn't have to talk or pretend to be okay, she didn't ask questions. We just sat together. Funny how we had my sister for only 21 years, and Duchess for almost as long, at 19 years. Significant family.

One day a few years ago, my dad called to tell me that Duchess was really sick and had been diagnosed with cancer. They lived in Colorado at the time. It was a pretty serious situation, and he told me if I wanted to see her again I should probably come out there right away. So, I took a couple of days off of work and immediately flew out to see my dog. That may sound extreme, but with all my family's been through, at that time losing the dog without another goodbye was pretty much unbearable. She was 12 or 13 years old at the time.

Of course, when I walked in the door of my parents' house, I found Duchess literally running around the house. Um, she seemed fine. And in fact, they had made some changes to her diet and that seemed to solve the problem at the moment. I flew all the way out there for an "emergency" and the dog seemed perfectly fine. She still had the tumor, but since this seemed not to be the day my dog would die, my mom and I went shopping. She gave us a major scare, but this was just another indication that our dog was a wonder dog. Cancer? Whatever. No problem.

Really, I think she just needed an excuse for more attention. Turns out she lasted another 6 years with this "cancer" and no real treatment for it except changes to her diet.

Duchess also had a broken vertebrae. We're not really sure when that happened, but her vet said that according to her xrays she shouldn't be able to walk. Broken vertebrae? Whatever. That dog never stopped running.

A couple of weeks ago she "helped" my dad and I install new counter tops in their kitchen. And by help, I mean she got in our way, got in our feet, stumbled all over the tools and the counter tops while they sat all over the floor. She was very involved. She always liked to help with things. But she could no longer see very well, she was unsteady on her feet, and we're not entirely sure she could hear us. But, she still liked to be in the big middle of everything.

I almost can't remember not having Duchess. She's just a staple of the family. She's moved with the family, and later with my parents. She's traveled with us to visit Grandmas. She follows my mom around the house and helps her with everything. They hang out together all day. She's adaptable and easy going. She's survived the extreme cold of living in Colorado, and she's survived ridiculously hot Texas summers. We've had lots of the dogs over the years, but Duchess is the only dog we've had from start to finish, 3 weeks old til death.

So to Duchess, I thank you for your many years of hardwork in keeping our family together. You are a constant that we will miss tremendously. Sure, you're just a dog. But you were an important part of our family through ups and downs and everything in between.

I realize you can't read. This is as much for me as it is for you...

Or maybe you can read. You are, after all, our Wonder Dog.


Thursday, July 27, 2006

We thought she might live forever

But today was her last day.

Thanks for nearly 19 wonderful years. We'll miss you, Duch.