Monday, June 30, 2008


Do you know how exciting it is that I have nothing to do for the next 10 days?? I have no events planned. I have no meetings I have to attend. I only have to get up, go to work and come home. I can sit at home and watch 9 hours of The Real World if I wanted to. I could stop by the library and the store (as I'm going to do tonight) and watch a movie I recently netflixed. I could play Nintendo DS until my brain turns to fudge. It is thrilling in its nothingness. (Well, I do have to start cleaning so my sister can visit but that is not a scheduled activity nor is it something I have to buy accoutrements for.) No scout meetings. No volunteer gigs. And although I'll probably develop some plans for dinner and or dinner and a movie currently there is nothing demanding my time but me. It is delicious!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Mosquitos slapped, marshmallows toasted

I took the older girls camping this past weekend. We went to the same place I took the younger ones, Tolt Macdonald park in Carnation. It was HOT. I do not do well in the heat so it was a bit miserable for me. The girls had a good time though. We went strawberry picking in the morning at Remlinger farms. The 5 of them picked just under 10 lbs of strawberries (like 9.7). I sent them all home with some this morning. We waded in the Tolt & Snoqualmie Rivers. It was so cold but felt so good! The river was still moving quickly but it was much shallower. We made ice cream. We waded again. We decorated t-shirts. We cooked and ate a lot. It was a good time on a whole. :) I am bitten like you would not believe. I am also burned to a crisp like bacon. But it is all good right. :) I'm clean, and sitting in front of a giant fan and planning on dozing off on my sofa. :)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Adventures in Theatah

Tonight Stephen and I went to see Aida at some theater in Issaquah. The whole trip was an adventure.

To start, Stephen's car is in the shop. Doing some research I discovered we could get to Issaquah via bus, but we wouldn't be able to get home once the show was done since the buses don't run that late out there. Undaunted, Stephen asked his mom for her car and we had a way! But we had to pick up the car. We left the restaurant and missed the buses I had schedules for so we grabbed a different bus. The bus we grabbed was the meandering wandering sort that heads through downtown SSSSLLLOOOOWWWWLLLLLYYYY. The driver didn't seem to be a regular driver. At one point she was going so slowly I could've gotten out and walked faster. And I still have a limp!

Shortly after we got on a young heavyish woman got on and sat in front of us. She was on the aisle seat and her bag was near the window. This gentleman got on and asked her to slide over (even though there were plenty of open seats). He then began rambling to her. I didn't catch all of it but at some point he said he was a vetran. (He was also a drunk - or was today because I could smell it on him). He wasn't getting any response from her so he turned to Stephen and I. He shook Stephen's hand and maybe mine. And then he started chatting with us. He asked if we were married and Stephen replied not yet. And then he continued chatting. He kept going on about how he liked big women and how big women are great and will really treat you right. He asked when we were getting married and we both replied we didn't know yet. He was going on and on extolling the virtues and sadly for Stephen and the young woman next to him, I encouraged it. I kept replying to his weird comments. We big women are good at taking care of our men you know. ;) Eventually Stephen changed the subject and he turned to the woman next to him. He was leaning into her and chatting her up. At a later stop, another woman got on. He was up in a shot and chatting with the new chick. It was quite comical the whole thing.

I had never seen Aida before. I will never ever have to see it again. It was long as hell and BORING. I thought I was going to die the first half. Its only redeeming quality was the 2nd half was very short. There was this one part which was like something out of a movie... The scene is critical. All the cast is silent on stage and the main character is starting to sing very low and the supporting cast are all quiet and 'crying' and you hear it... deedeedeedee deedeedeedee deedee. A ringtone. I couldn't help it. I started laughing. And once I started I had a hard time stopping. It was awful and hysterical at the same time. Stephen caught on and started laughing too. So here we are in the middle seats laughing our asses off. The worst part.. it took the cell phone FOREVER to stop ringing. It rang at least 5 - 6 times. It took all my will power to stop laughing. Stephen couldn't even do that. One other thing about Aida... the costumes. They were terrible. The soldiers were wearing what looked like an Abercrombie & Bitch gay would wear when he was dressing up trying to be a leather guy. In one scene they are all wearing what look like Oakley sunglasses. I couldn't figure out why they would be wearing those in ancient Egypt.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

My iPod has a sense of humor

Yesterday while walking home, I think, I was listening to the song "If you were gay" by the Avenue Q cast. The next song to come up... some Christian rock band. That tickled me. If I could make twitter work on my cell phone I would have twitted (tweeted?) that, but it doesn't so you all had to wait until today.

(Twitter doesn't work on my cell phone because I use a pre-paid cell phone and I don't use any of their im programs.)

Monday, June 23, 2008


In general I don't have a huge amount to say on censorship. But last night when I downloaded the new Everlast song (you'd think I was working for him as much as I've talked about him in two days), the video also downloaded as apparently it was part of the album. There was a note on the video from Everlast about iTunes decision to blur out some of the images in the video as being unAmerican. Just like a teenager who gets told they can't do something I had to watch the video... I watched the blurred iTunes video last night and it is really a powerful video. I'm fairly certain what they've chosen to blur are images of either dead or injured Iraqi and maybe Americans but mostly Iraqi citizens I think. So I checked it out on youtube. And that's what it is. It's really sad actually.

I go for my first PT appointment today. I'm supposed to go 3 times a week for 4 weeks to get some cream rubbed into my tendon. I hope it works. I'm contemplating accupuncture to help with pain management. I'm not feeling 100% like the recent readjustment to the orthotic is helping, OR one of my new shoes is contributing to the problem. I'm not sure which. Also when I went camping the orthotic got wet and so now the upper is separating from the lower (just the plastic/plaster vs the leather covering.) I am not sure how much that's going to cost me to fix it. I wonder if I can get away with crazyglue?

One other thought...

How in the heck much do you have to smoke to get emphysema by the age of what... 25 tops? That's just crazyness.

Is it weird that I bought a hatchet?

I picked one up at Fred Meyers today to take camping. Lyday is a little worried I'll take off a foot or something. I'm not. I think I'm almost to the point where I need a 2nd camping box.

I'm taking the big girls next week. Go us!

But only for now...

I've watched Avenue Q three times in the last week and a half. Who knew I loved it so much?? :) Actually I volunteered for it Friday night. I knew that Lyday would like it so she and I went today via a pair of comp tickets I requested. Since I've been a volunteer for the Paramount for so long I had 60 points towards comp tickets (each comp is 20 points.) Not too bad. The seats were AWESOME. I fully expected that we were going to end up in like the 3rd Mez (nosebleed) but we were in the 2nd row of the loge seats. They were GOOD seats. Much better than Stephen and I got on Thursday. Now that's my fault because I told Stephen a dollar limit for tickets since we were buying our own. I loved the show so much I just downloaded the soundtrack from iTunes. It is good. :)

I also downloaded Everlast's latest song. I love him. I love him as a solo artist. I loved him with House of Pain. My love for him might be a little wrong, but that's okay by me. :) (Totally unrelated, Lyday and I ate a late lunch at this Mexican place in the mall. Number 1 I asked the waiter if the flautas were made with flour or corn tortillas. Corn he says, so I get them. Oh he was so wrong... in fact they were wrapped almost in like a flat bread because they weren't even like a chimichanga wrapper... in any case I also had a bowl of tortilla soup that was great but I have had heartburn for the past 3 hours - despite taking pepcid!) So the song I was looking for was Letters from Home from the Garden of Stone. I love that song! I also downloaded the theme song for Saving Grace. I like that one too.

I spent all day Saturday with the last song from the new version of Hairspray running through my head. I'm not sure if it helped me pass my test or not, but it was really driving me crazy. I even tried Michelle's sure fire trick of "Believe it or not I'm walking on air!" and that didn't work for me. Sad for me.

I just saw an online ad for Wendy's and now I totally want Wendys. I'm so easily influenced.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


No More Pencils
No More Books
No More Teacher's
Dirty Looks!

Why am I 'singing' that happy little song do you ask? I passed my test! I am now a real live Certified Employee Benefits Specialist. After my test today I tormented myself a teeny bit by going through the survey after the test before I got my results. My heart was beating more and more with each question. But I tell you what... I knew my stuff. That was one of my few tests where I walked in feeling fairly confident and by the time I was done with the test I was completely certain I had passed. (Ok not completely maybe... maybe 98% certain.) I was done in just over an hour and then treated myself to mall Indian food. Nice.

The other thing I did was go to a fancy party. I went last year. It was put on by a couple of guys from my university. It was almost all university people. It was fun, but there is such a dividing line between faculty and staff it makes it a little weird. I knew most of the people there and chatted with our new provost. (Got to get in good while I can. ;) )

Friday, June 20, 2008

Two Bad Signs (or maybe not)

I think I mentioned back in February how my tent was not very functional because the bungee cord that holds the poles together was broken. We put it up but it was very difficult.

I FINALLY remembered to pull the warranty information out of the tent bag the other day and just called. The first call I dialed what I thought was the number. I hear a breathy voice on the line and my first thought is "wow they are excited about tents." Then I hear the rest of the statement and think "Yikes!" Because the breathy voice says "Welcome to the steamiest [something] for men..." I instantly hung up a little mortified that I may have called a p0rn line instead of customer service. I looked at the warranty again and discovered it was an 888 number not an 800 number.

I called again and actually had to leave a message. What kind of place doesn't have either hold or enough customer service folks to handle a call at 9:30 in the morning?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Maybe not a sign

Maybe the qfc isn't a sign at all... after all Dartmouth is in New Hampshire not Vermont... or maybe it really is because I tried to get Vermont cheese and got some other kind instead! (This is entertaining me. That's all that matters. :) )


Also, I'm well aware a person can take a sign to be anything they want it to be to justify their choices... I'm not totally crazy. ;)

Maybe THIS is a sign...

I stopped into QFC this morning to get snacks for scouts tonight and I thought, hey I can buy lunch while I'm here. So I headed over to the deli and asked for some sliced roast beef and sliced vermont white cheddar. I'm about 85 - 90% sure she gave me monteray jack and charged methe vt white cheddar price. The label on what she cut vs the label on the shelf were different, but I asked a second time and she assured me it was vt white cheddar.

I also forwarded myself some information on another cat at the British Embassy in DC. I don't really think I want to live & work in DC but could you imagine how cool it would be to hang at the British Embassy??!!

Is it a sign?

So I don't really believe in signs. While I was doing some new cat hunting, I notice that the cat at Dartmouth is still open. Do you know how cheap homes in NH or VT are?! I could afford a house there! I think I'm paralyzed about finding a new cat because I might actually have to do something. I've gotten quite used to the lax life I have. I'd have to give up my girls if I moved though. And Lyday and Stephen. (Clearly I'm putting the cart before the horse. :) )

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Celebrity Circus

So I was watching Celebrity Circus for about 5 minutes between the ending of Hairspray and the beginning of Seinfeld and I had two thoughts... 1 - Why does Antonio Sabato Jr have a tramp stamp? 2 - If you're going to do a show where you don't have any shoes on, shouldn't you make sure your feet bottoms are clean? The woman who was doing the act with him had dirty feet bottoms and I was distracted by that.

Sort of related, my big girls and I were talking about tattoos and somehow they didn't remember I had one. I showed them and one of them mentioned she wanted one at the small of her back. (aka tramp stamp.) I tried to discourage her from that because... well I didn't tell her that she shouldn't have it because it is a tramp stamp, but that that was kind of not the best place to put one.

Examining my navel

You know, I used to post funny little stories and stuff and thoughts and whatnot. Then I became all existential and thought about all sorts of other crap. I'm sick of other crap. Here are my thoughts for today:

Why in the heck does Ali Lohan look like she's far older than her 14 years of age? Jeebus if mama Lohan thinks she had a hard time with Lindsay, Ali will probably kill her.

Why does my back itch so damn much? All damn day long! (Actually I know this one... I didn't lotion up my back today and it gets dry.) Also, why don't my bra straps stay up on my shoulders? I have them tightened all the way down as far as they will go and yet they don't stay!

Why does Gamespring charge me to play their games and yet don't bother coming out with new games every week? Just rearranging the list does not fool me into thinking there are new games when they are not.

I've been reading Barbara Bush's book Reflections, Life After the White House. I got it free at my conference and I don't hate Barbara and I've read everything else I have to read. I'm not sure if I like her writing style or not. On the one hand I kind of like the casualness of it. On the other, there's something missing. And I just noticed in an Amazon review what it is "All too often, her activities are listed in a rapid-fire manner without enough description and fleshing-out to make them vivid to the reader. "

I just finished another book that totally violated my principles about a book... Much of the book is devoted to discussions about affairs and all the main characters have them. The book was Notting Hell. I don't think I liked it. And yet, unlike other books I've not liked I actually finished this one. I think it was because I knew that was the last book I had to read for awhile. I like the Amazon reviews because the reviewers seem to be better able to articulate what it is I don't like about something.

I wish there was a place I could check out a Kindle for a few days. I think I might like it because of its size and ability to store a bazillion books, but it is seriously cost prohibitive.

Ooh, but I did research Adoption books on my lunch hour. I've got about 7 on reserve at the library to pick up sometime this weekend. Yay.

I thought about tormenting my nephew and buying him something of some other Chris (last name)'s wish list but I decided against it. I'm getting him a titanium spork (he has a thing I don't know...) and something else. I can't figure out what that something else is though. Any ideas for a 22 year old geek? (Who borders more on nerd than geek I think since I don't think he has any computer/technical prowess).

Monday, June 16, 2008

Too much going on

So the weekend was supposed to be a nice relaxing weekend with nothing much scheduled... instead I volunteered at Avenue Q (if it comes to your town and you aren't disturbed by puppets having sex you should see it. It really is quite funny).

Saturday morning I woke up kind of early and caught a bus out to Greenlake where I hung out with Ben. (Hung out is Stephen's euphamism for babysitting. Babysitting does sound a bit like I'm 16 again.) That was mostly fun but my cell phone had died and so Stephen apparently searched around the park for us and couldn't find us. (Obviously eventually he found us or Ben & I would still be there.) Ben is quite the daredevil and I probably hovered closer than he is used to but I am not his parent so it is better if nothing happens while I'm hanging out with him. At one point he was sliding down a firefighter pole and he made me go stand back by something else or I couldn't watch. But then he would need help with the wiggly ladder and I could come over to help but I still couldn't watch so I would have to close my eyes while I was helping. The logic of a 4 year old.

I got home and chilled for about two hours and then went to the movies with Lyday and dinner. We saw Kung Fu Panda. Very funny. VERY funny. I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. Dinner was Chinese from this place all the way out in some distant community whose name is escaping me at the moment... Newcastle. It was pretty good. The barbecue pork was great, but I didn't like the chicken with garlic sauce that much. This place in CA still holds my heart for the best ever. :) (Hey I just realized we had a whole theme adventure. hee)

Sunday I volunteered for my employer's graduation ceremonies. The ceremonies were nice but I can't believe how rude the undergrads were. About 50% of them left before the whole ceremony was over. I feel like when I graduated college we weren't allowed to leave. When I got home Sunday night I was wiped out and just chilled all evening long. Next weekend I hope to have no plans on Sunday so I can just relax! (Also got no studying done. Sigh).

On Sat when Stephen & Ben & I were lunching Stephen and I were talking about marriage (not to each other) and I was reminded how when I was little I loved the cursive "L" and "Q". I always wanted to marry someone whose last name started with "L" or "Q". Oh I just remembered how we got there... we were talking about taking last names. I don't have a strong feeling about mine. If the new last name was better I'd take it, if it was worse, I wouldn't. (Like Butts...I don't think that's a last name I want.)

Friday, June 13, 2008


I handed off my camera to the little girls while we were camping. I finally looked through the pictures they took. Many of them are a bit... well not good. But I came across this one one of them took of me and weirdly I like it. I feel like whichever girl took it captured something in me. I don't know I just dig it.

I really will post pictures this weekend. I have just been busy since getting back from Nashville. Life is zooming along quite quickly right now. Sigh.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Last Test!

I've started studying for my last CEBS test. (The test that makes me a certified employee benefits weenie according to my father). This test may kill me. I read the first chapter last night and I get it, but I had to reread several passages a couple of times to really understand. Economics. Sheesh.

Sunday I'm volunteering at my employer's graduation ceremonies. What does it say about me that the ONLY reason I do this is so that I can keep my face in the Toolman's face and show that my department IS engaged on campus and we do care about stuff. Also, I make sure to say hello to the Toolman when I see him even if it means making my way across a crowded room to do so. I have to be there at 7:00. That's awfully early for spite. :) But I'll bring my books and my nintendo and entertain myself during he actual ceremony.

I have photos to post. I have to take them off the camera first. I let the little girls use my camera while we were camping this past weekend. The batteries were dead by 2:00 PM. Sigh. I didn't get any of the group shots. :( I'll have to hope a kind grown up took one and will send it to me.

The big girls' camping trip is killing me. I keep having to change the date. I don't think I'm going to this time. Sigh.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


I'll have pictures from Nashville to post soon. I had a really good time. The conference was good. I learned a lot. The rest of my days in Nashville were nice. I had the best steak dinner I've had ever (I can't remember if DelMonico's in Vegas was better) while there. I should feel mortified by the cost, but I don't because it was great! However if I look at it like this, the amount I paid for dinner plus tip was less than I contribute to Lifelong Aids Alliance and United Way so that's not too shabby.

I'm getting ready to go camping with the little girls this weekend. We're going on Saturday and returning on Sunday since they are only 6 & 7 and I don't want to overwhelm them or be overwhelmed by them. :) I was putting together the 'schedule' and man there's a lot of time to fill. Although luckily cooking does take up quite a bit of time. :) The girls will do the cooking with the grown ups supervising (and maybe pitching in a tiny bit but in general this is the kids' job.) The weather, though, looks like ASS this weekend. We will be rained on the whole time. Good thing we'll be in yurts. We will get to decorate visors (Yeah they're useful...) and backpacks and I think we'll gather leaves. Hopefully there'll be enough 'sun' to do solar prints with the leaves (hence the plexiglass, Stephen). We'll also be able to do rubbings.

I ordered some fancy pants granola bars from These are guaranteed peanut free. I hope they come in by Friday so that I can take them camping. I called and they are sending me a replacement box because according to the US postal service my employer works in a zipcode that doesn't exist. Sigh. I also have to figure out what badges I gave the kids already because I'll have more for them this weekend.