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.