Monday, November 27, 2006
Sunday, November 26, 2006
First stop, McDonald's at Exit 15. I was just craving a Quarter Pounder with cheese meal. So, I stop and go inside. There is a rather long line (because you know they are serving all the asshats in the drive-thru lane before they wait on you) but I joined the queue and patiently waited my turn.
I finally got to the counter and placed my order and as I was waiting, I heard the gentleman next to me mutter under his breath "Do you think you can go any slower?" I turned and looked at him and he nodded his head toward the extremely overweight teenager that was filling our orders. "Look at how slow she's moving. I'm getting fed up with this place. It hasn't been the same since the new owners took over."
I smiled sympathetically and said "Yes, service isn't what it used to be. I just came back from vacation and I was really disappointed in the service I received."
"I used to come here three times a week," he said, "but now ..." his voice trailed off. The slow moving teenager finally made it back to the counter with his tray and he rushed off to join his wife. I stood there, waiting on my order. I had fries and a drink cup, but the Quarter Pounder was nowhere in sight. I could tell they were simply backed up, so I stepped away from the counter and filled my drink.
I was trying to be patient, thinking that at least I was going to get a fresh burger and not something that had been sitting there for 20 minutes. The counter was virtually clear at this point, but there was a line of people running parallel to the counter, waiting for the next clerk to call them up.
A woman came directly in front of the line, and stood at the counter. I noticed the man behind her give a look, because it appeared that she was cutting the line. She looked at me and I lifted my eyebrows and said (in what I thought was a non-accusatory and non-threatening way) "I think there's a line."
She looked at me again, and said "I just want a fork" and then three beats later "Is that okay with you?"
I don't think I said anything, but then she was at me again, something like what's your problem or what's it to you? I said "You didn't see the look behind you."
"If he's got a problem, he'll say something."
I'm thinking, whoa! Back off, bitch. But by then I've allowed her to zap my serenity and I can't help saying "Have a nice day" as she walks by with her fork. And then it was on. Neither one of us wanted to let the other one have the last word. She snapped something about "have a nice day yourself" to me and I said "you need it" and she came back around and said "what did you say?" and I repeated myself and then said "goodbye" and I can tell she was just waiting for me to turn around but I didn't.
What was that all about? Here I am, just trying to promote good manners in the world by pointing out that there was a line. No, I didn't realize that she was just asking for a fork, and as soon as she said so, I'm sure whatever hostility that may have been in my voice was gone. No, of course I didn't mind if all she needed was a fork. But that was all she had to say, she didn't need to follow it up with "Is that okay with you?"
I continued on my way and slowly but surely I regained my composure. I stopped at the bank, picked up a few things at BJ's and then went to the grocery store. At least I have bread and milk in the fridge once again. On to the next chore - laundry.
Yes, I'm back! It only took 16 hours to get home yesterday. I should have just taken matters into my own hands before I even left on vacation. I mean, really, there were earlier flights out of Miami. And did we really have to wait 4 hours in Atlanta? No, but those were the reservations we had, and since our luggage was already scheduled to be on another plane, we couldn't change our plans. Don't get me started on the whole Transportation Security Administration thing.
Everything is just as I left it at the old homestead. Which normally would be a good thing, but I was told that there would be some work done on the house while I was gone, and it wasn't, so there's a wasted opportunity. And the new refrigerator still hasn't produced any ice cubes, so I'm going to have to get the appliance store people out here, again.
But, I got away with The Man and we had a good time despite many obstacles, so we'll just leave it at that.
How did you like my guest bloggers? Three cheers for Sally, Scooterdeb, Ed, JP and John. And Sue, too. She tried but ran into some Technorati difficulties.
Having them keep things flowing while I was gone was the good news. Now, here's even better news. Their guest blogging privileges have not expired! I'm leaving the blog open to them so they can visit any time they like. I like to shake things up every now and then. It really was great to have a different perspective here, so feel free to come back any time you want.
And now, I think a shower is in order. And then maybe some food. Anyone have any leftover turkey they want to share?
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Friday, November 24, 2006
My husband and I, despite our "we're not going anywhere near those shopping crazies, no oh no" vows, ended up at the local Ames-replacement general-store-place, where we bought an artificial Christmas tree and a footstool shaped like a stuffed bear. The tree was our goal -- we're going to do the whole "we got married and now we celebrate holidays like a real family" thing, starting with Christmas. Thus, tree. The bear, on the other hand, was an expensive and silly impulse buy, but since Drew has spent all evening alternately taunting the cats with it and carrying it around and making it growl at me, while he laughs like a kid, I'd say it was a good impulse.
Considering that we had steak and yams for Thanksgiving dinner (the big production was postponed due to flu), we did at least celebrate half of the Thanksgiving tradition... the shopping half!
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
1) Title - If I had titles on my own blog, I think they'd be entirely unrelated to the actual content of the post.
2) Technorati tag - Seriously, WTF? Am I the last person to use these things? I'm not sure I even know how to adjust the HTML, so I'm going to leave it. I hope there's a lot of people searching for "tag".
3) Content - If I had content on my own blog, I think it would be a lot of out-of-context random statements.
Salty) It's a long bike ride.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Howdy! This is Ed from Whine & Cheese, your latest pinch-hitter while Kenna is on vacation from Fear Not.
This is only my second ever guest blogger experience. That first time, I blogged about how I got to know that blog and blogger... so I'll just stick with what works! (Or, on second thought, maybe it didn't... since that was my first and last time I did it!)
Anyhow, I've been blogging for over three years. Kenna was one of the my earliest blogroll additions. Truthfully, it's been so long I can't even remember who found who. Since my blog is a heavy dose of pop culture and particularly television, I wouldn't be surprised it it was the reality show Survivor that brought us together.
Now, I know this is a bit silly. We have never met in-person, so I don't propose that I know her... any personal blog, mine included, is just one's intentionally or subconsciously version of one's self. But, if you've been blogging as long as we have, the truth eventually oozes out.
I have only met one blogger in person. It has worked out just fine and I am thankful for me now "real world" friend. But, time and again, I have stumbled across a "normal" blogger... perhaps a future real-worlder... only to have my initial impressions shattered merely by just hanging around for a while.
For example, a "shall remain nameless" blogger who has a big circle of real-life friends and is undeniably adored by the blogosphere... but alas can not find love. Well, perhaps future suitors have checked out his blog... incessantly whiny and miserable, closed-minded (though purporting to be just the opposite), and painfully insecure. Heck, I can even play armchair psychologist and realize 87% of his posts are just aimed at getting positive reinforcement via a gaggle of loyal commenters.
This "truth" discovery has happened over and over... I am surprised I have anyone left on my blogroll (at this point, I should add the aforementioned "example" blogger is not on mine)!
But Kenna has bucked the trend... though she may disagree... for me, she been the rare instance of a blogger who has remained pretty darn sane (a least in my book) over the years!
Again, we have never met... but if geography allowed, I could see us meeting up with her for drinks... or even attending one of her parties. I don't know if that'll ever happen, but it's just nice to think that it could... in this often strange 'lil cyber-haystack, it's nice to have stumbled across a friend-worthy needle.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
I submitted a brief story and the following picture to my local newspaper after they requested reader "stocking stories." So here it is:
My husband and I married in 1990, combining our meager Christmas decorations. Among those was my standard-issue red felt stocking, my name glitter-glued along the top. But my husband's stocking ... well, it was something else! It was a huge - stretched over time to two-feet long - , knitted stocking with a green, yarn-fringed tree, lots of beads, jingle bells, trinkets and faded foam pieces sewed onto it. It was frayed with yarn pieces sticking out everywhere. Beads and trinkets had fallen off over the years and it was horribly stained. Compared to the generic red stockings my family had used, my husband's stocking was just so huge and overwhelmingly gaudy. And filthy! I wanted to chuck it.
But my husband's maternal grandmother, Grandma Doris, had knit the stocking for him when he was a baby. He'd had it all his life. I reluctantly accepted the fact we'd be hanging that stretched-out knit monstrosity every Christmas. As our first Christmas together neared, I received a package from Grandma Doris. In it was another stocking knit in sparkling white and crisp, brilliant colors with clean, bright beads and trinkets sewed onto it. My name was knit into the green band at the top. I'd never had a stocking like this before. Suddenly it didn't seem so gaudy at all. It was so special, handmade with me in mind by someone who welcomed me to her family.
Many years passed before we started our own family. By the time our daughter was born, Grandma Doris's mind faltered as she'd developed Alzheimer's. Sadly, she was unable to knit a stocking for our daughter.
Last year my mother-in-law gave me all of Grandma Doris's stocking patterns, instructions and the graphed designs she'd created for all the stockings she'd knitted over the years. Included with these was the list of friends and family who had received her hand-knit stockings. There were 78 people! No two stockings were alike.
Grandma Doris is no longer with us but her stockings live on in dozens of households. I feel very lucky to have the original knitting patterns.
(The following photo shows my husband's old stocking, my stocking, the knitting patterns, instructions, graphs and the list of stocking recipients.)
(Can you find the stocking labeled "Dick?")
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Just a quick vacation with The Man. But I won't have internet access and I won't be able to post. But Fear Not, my friends. I've lined up an all-star group of fellow bloggers to guest post while I'm gone. I'll let them introduce themselves when they stop by. They have no rules, no regulations - they are going to post whatever they please, whenever they please.
I can't wait to read it when I get back!
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Except Susan (who, by the way, has been having far too much fun in my home when I'm not here) has informed me that my scales are off by at least 7 pounds.
Curses on you, Susan! I was quite happy living under the assumption that I didn't have much weight to lose. Thanks, as always, for telling me like it is.
Friday, November 10, 2006
Her request was simple enough - could she pick my brain about one of my former employers? Having gone through (and still in the process of going through) a job transition myself, I was happy to take the time. As it turns out, we have a lot in common and we ended up talking about work, health, family - you name it.
I actually left our meeting feeling energized and uplifted. I needed to reach out to someone, to stretch myself beyond the bounds of my everyday life. I complain about not having enough time to do things, but that isn't true. I've been drawing into my shell, and it's time I poked my head out. There are a lot of wonderful opportunities out there. I need to focus on the positive and stop dwelling on the negative.
Anyway, it was a nice change of pace for me. And now, I am going to curl up under the blanket and watch last night's episode of "Earl" and "The Office" while eating my leftover shrimp scampi shu shu.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
I have a crink in my neck/shoulders that is killing me.
Online access to my new employer's retirement account bites the big one. You can only transfer percentages between funds, and, it seems, only 100% of a given account. What if I want to transfer 55% of Fund A and distribute it 15% to Fund B and 20% each to Fund C and Fund D? Can't do it!
Was browsing my Amazon store and one of the featured products (I forget under which category) was a 15 count package of Bounty. Why would anyone buy that many rolls of paper towels online? Sure, I'll go to the wholesale store - BJs, CostCo, Sam's Club, what have you - but why would you order that online and pay shipping to have it delivered? Unless of course you are smarter than I am and you are buying so much that you get free shipping in which case it's pure genius because then you don't have to even go out - it gets delivered to your door! But still.
Just tried checking a few little used email accounts and - surprise! They have been deactivated. Whoops. I'll bet that's why I didn't get a NaNoWriMo reminder - I registered under one of those seldom used accounts.
I haven't done anything with my Flickr account in eons.
It's been even longer since I listened to my iPod. Longer still since I purchased a new song from iTunes. Come to think of it - where is my iPod?
Rich is sound asleep and snoring.
I have a surprise for you. I'm not ready to reveal the details just yet, but I will in 10 days. Two of you (you know who you are) already know about my plans; the rest of you will have to wait.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Sunday, November 05, 2006
I was also updating my Amazon store; probably should spend more time on that to upgrade and promote it as well. You know, the holidays are coming up, so if you want to do some gift giving, do it from my site! You get the convenience of shopping online and having the item delivered directly (to you or to the recipient) and I make a few cents on the transaction. What's not to love about that?
Just returned a phone call to my friend Mary. She is the reinforcement I referred to in my earlier post. Thank goodness she was able to drop everything at work and come to my rescue at work. I don't have any family in the area, and I don't know my co-workers well enough yet to feel comfortable calling on them (and even if I did know them better, I'm not sure I'd every be comfortable calling a co-worker in that instance) so it was such a relief to have someone to help me out like that. I owe her big-time.
The Teriyaki Pork Roast is smelling fantastic; time to start prepping the potatos and onions. I love cooking a big Sunday meal in the crock pot.
I had not one, but two kidney stones. I passed the first one and the second one, well, it's hanging out there somewhere. Maybe it will attack, maybe it won't. Either way, I've got a boatload of Hydrocodone (and a refill!) if it does.
I've heard kidney stones are painful, and I can tell you it's true. It felt like my entire insides were being twisted and squeezed. I had managed to drive myself home from work (only a mile - with the window down and the door barely latched in case I needed to suddenly retch) and to the doctor's office, but when the doctor said I had to go yet another mile down the road for the CAT scan, I called in the reinforcements. Of course, by that time they'd given me a shot for the pain, so perhaps I could have made it, but you know what? I felt better having someone with me.
I'm not sure when I passed the stone, but it was fairly quickly after I'd gone to the doctor. I picked up the prescription and took just one painkiller, expecting to wake up and take another one in the middle of the night. It never happened. I slept well and felt fine the next morning, so off to work I went.
I'm just glad this happened now instead of two weeks from now when I am on vacation!
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Yup. I'm a sick puppy.