Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Birthday to my Mom!!!

Happy Birthday to the most amazing person in the whole world, my mom!!  I am missing her like crazy, and wish I was in Houston to see her, but I get to see her in a month! I was hoping to put a picture of my mom up, but the only picture I have of her on my computer is her wedding picture, which she probably wouldn't appreciate.  I found another one!  Here's my mom and I at one of my wedding showers.  Just a couple of cornballs.
It's from my mom that inherited some of my very greatest qualities; my lack of grace and overall clumsiness, my occasional awkward stammering, my borderline obsessive compulsive disorder, and my extreme stubbornness.  And for all of those things, Jacob is very thankful.  But really, my mom is the nicest, funniest, most caring person who will do anything and everything to help someone. She's obviously an awesome mom, because my siblings are the coolest people I know, and my very best friends.  Seriously, my mom is the best.  Love you Mom!!!!!!!!!!!!  Happy Birthday!!!!

Today was an uncharacteristically beautiful day.  Even though we're supposed to get snow this weekend, the high today ended up being 65!!  God was obviously giving me a pretty day, and basically poking it in my face like "get outside and enjoy this because I don't want to hear you complaining until June."  Jacob may have also said that.... So I got my head out of my butt long enough to really enjoy it.  I took the dogs to the park, along with my neighbor, and Oscar's girlfriend.  We were the only ones there, so the boys just kinda walked around and peed on stuff.  So overall, a phenomenal trip for them.  Then we came home and I took Oscar for a walk. Andy refused. 

I went to Walmart today to get a few things, most importantly a (belated) birthday card for my mom.  While I was there, I also was in search of a pair of windpants.  I've heard the worst thing about the winter weather here is the wind.  It can cut through your clothes and hats and gloves, and unfortunately, I don't own a single pair of windpants.  Never been a big fan of the whooshing, personally.  I don't care what Jerry Seinfeld says, despite how lazy I look, I've always been more of a sweatpants kinda gal.
(I didn't mean it Jerry, I do care what you say).  Anyways, I've just really been needing a pair of windpants, but I can't find any anywhere.  Not even at my trusty Herbergers!  As I was looking through the clothes at Walmart, I found a pair of fleece-lined windpants, but they were $40!  That is not okay, Walmart.  I will pay you no more than $12.
While walking through the store, I was getting shocked every three to four seconds by my cart.  How is that possible?  I wasn't even taking my hands off my cart, I would just be pushing it along and shock....shock....shock.  Very annoying.  So I was walking around the store, every few seconds going "OW! THAT HURT!"  I got some pretty awesome looks.  You know you're acting like a weirdo when you stand out in Walmart....I sort of suspect the shocking was due to the faulty wheels on my cart.  I didn't notice right away, but discovered at some point that my cart was making strange noises and felt weird.  I noticed that a Jolly Rancher was stuck to one of the wheels, causing it to come slightly off the ground with each wheel rotation.  How it wasn't just breaking the Jolly Rancher, I'm not sure, but I wasn't about to reach down there and rip it off.  So now I'm walking around like I have tourettes yelling ouch each time I get shocked, and my cart is making a "thunk" noise each time the Jolly Rancher comes around and the wheel comes up then hits the ground.  Let's just say you could hear me coming from a few aisles away.  Towards the end of the trip, the Jolly Rancher got dislodged and before I could stop, got stuck to my shoe.  Again, I wasn't going to reach down and pull it off, because obviously it was wet,and I didn't need anyone's floor saliva on my hands.  So now I'm walking around doing a half goose step to stomp the Jolly Rancher off, while pushing my cart way ahead of me with my arms fully extended to make way for my leg to kick out, STILL getting shocked.  I finally got the Jolly Rancher off, but not without some damage to my ego.
During this whole debacle (before the goose stepping) I was behind a lady turning onto the chip aisle, where I also was headed.  She may have also had some sort of hard candy stuck to her wheel because she couldn't control her basket and took the corner too tight, knocking into the end display of Pringles.  In doing so, she managed to break the cardboard shelving the Pringles were on, sending about 20 cans of Pringles rolling.  Her response?  A slightly irritated glance over her shoulder before continuing on down the aisle.  Yep, no big deal.  That's probably how they wanted it anyways.  And I bet no one is even going to slip on these cans, so you're probably fine.  What's MOST important is you don't forget the Fritos you came on this aisle for.  Seriously, what's the matter with people?
When I finally made my way towards the checkout line, I noticed that several of the cashiers were in Halloween costumes, which is pretty awesome, I think.  A couple older ladies had matching shirts on that said "This is my costume", which is the exact amount of laziness I would put into mine, so I can't hate on that.  My favorite, though, was the one worn by the cashier that always gives me trouble.  See, this cashier is of indeterminate gender, and he/she's name doesn't help.  It's something like Pat or Robin.  Anyway, shim's nice enough, but I get very confused as to he/she's gender, and today shim really stepped it up.  Black pants, a black shirt that just said "Wicked" on it, and a floor-length cape, all complimenting the especially greasy shoulder length black hair, the black finger nails, and the wand (which constantly had to be put down to scan the items).  Shim legitimately looked like a sexually ambiguous, overweight Severus Snape.  If I had to guess, I'd say Pat's a witch (wizard?) in real life.

Happy Halloween!

I'm wishing I was close to the kiddos in my life, because I love seeing them in their costumes, but looks like I will just have to settle for pictures this year.  Pictures like this sweet little lion!
I miss her so much it hurts.  Anyways, I figured I'd put some of my favorite clips from Halloween episodes of my shows.

Tom Haverford, the perfect pick-me-up:
PIKITIS! Seriously, the Halloween episode of Parks & Rec is hilarious.  Check out the Louis C.K. cameo!
You know I'm a sucker for Andy Bernard.  I wish he had to dress this way each and every episode.  Also, I've listened to this clip like seven times and every time I listen to it, MY Andy Bernard gets very confused.  He loves kitty meows:

This isn't necessarily Halloween-themed, but there are werewolf costumes, so that's something.  Good luck not getting this stuck in your head, because I will be singing this for the next two weeks.
So Happy Halloween!! I hope you either get lots of great candy OR no trick-or-treaters show up, and you get to keep all the candy for yourself!  Just keep in mind, if you eat candy for a solid hour, and then stand up when the Simpsons is over, you'll probably throw up, and that stain will stay in the carpet forever.  Just FYI....

Sunday, October 30, 2011

House Update

I drove by the house yesterday and saw that they had finished the siding!  Now it looks like a real house, mostly!  The only area left exposed is where the brick is going, and I'm not sure when they'll put that on, since it's just aesthetic and doesn't keep them from working inside.
I was going to take a bunch of pictures of the inside, but they have the drywall stacked up in both living rooms, so it kind of takes up the whole picture.  I'll wait till after the drywall is up to take some inside pictures.  Until then, here's one of our living room, taken from the back door/ breakfast area.
That big stack in the middle is the drywall, and I have no idea what that white pipe is.  As I was walking around, I noticed that some kids had been inside the house, and drew all over the drywall, which made me laugh.  One kid was working on his multiples of 12, and the other kid, I'm guessing his dumb sibling, was busy drawing:
It might be hard to read that, but it says "Happy Days", and has some sort of monster growing in the D.  Such a weird thing for a kid write, huh?  I normally just wrote my name and drew things like flowers and trees.

Yesterday,  Oscar's girlfriend Bell came over.  Our neighbors went to Bismarck for the day, and they needed me to let Bell out, so I just had her stay at our place so she could hang out with the boys.  It was pretty much heaven for Oscar, as you can see in this first picture.  She was curled up on my lap, and he had his face nuzzled into her side for warmth.  ADORABLE.
Also, he really enjoyed just being able to rub her with his head, and put his paws on her face and head.  It was a sweet game they played.  Here you can see them both watching out the window for things to bark at while Andy lurks creepily in the background.
 It was a long day for my sweet boys, and they couldn't sleep while Bell was over, for fear they'd miss something fun.  The second she left, they both passed out on our bed and didn't wake up for like four hours.  They've been sleeping all day today, too, trying to make up for the lack of sleep yesterday. 

 Jacob came back from Colorado yesterday, and the boys and I were so excited to see him!  Unfortunately he's already left again; he has training all week in Orlando, so we won't see him again until Sunday.  Keep the prayers coming for Jacob's family.  I know he was really glad to be able to see his grandparents, but it also made him pretty sad.  The positive thing about this weekend was that he got to see a lot of his family, which he really enjoyed.  Most especially, his nephew Joey, who was cracking him up.  He's a pretty adorable baby and makes super funny faces, so Jacob came home with baby fever, unsurprisingly. 

I'm currently watching The Amazing Race, as I write this, and I just have to say I couldn't love the Andy & Tommy team any more.  I REALLY hope I don't jinx them, because I think they're the tops.  I would love to do this show, but I'd have to do it with someone who is great at directions, because I get lost in Dickinson, so I'd be screwed in China.  But I'd be a total baller at the Road Blocks and Detours.  So who wants to audition to do it with me????  Ashley?!?! Also, on one of the teams is this super hunky guy, Marcus, who's got a little Idris Elba thing going on. Grrrrrrrrr.  I gotta say, there are worse reasons to watch a show....

I'm embarrassed to admit this, but every time a commercial for Twilight Breaking Dawn comes on, I find myself getting sucked in.  Yes, okay, I read all the books.  But here's the thing--I hated them!  I saw the first movie and was really shocked at how horrible the acting was.  The reason I can't look away from the Breaking Dawn commercials is because I think it's going to be hilariously awesome.  I mean, the birth scene alone, is going to be EPICALLY BAD.  How much lip-biting can Kristen Stewart do to convey the pain of a vampire childbirth?  I can't wait to see.  I won't see it in theaters, of course, but it would be great to watch with Dana. 

I did a little shopping this weekend, hittin up Herbergers big time.  I was very successful.  I got Jacob a really nice Calvin Klein tie, and a Kenneth Cole dress shirt for $10 each.  Hi-yo! And I got a pair of boots $95 off! 
I also got a pair of fake uggs, which I've already worn around the apartment for awhile to keep my feet warm.  I really don't even care how ugly they are, because I got them for a great price and my feet get cold pretty easily.  I definitely showed the Prairie Hills Mall what's up this weekend.   

Friday, October 28, 2011

Samsung Update!

I totally forgot to put this in the post I just did, but you know what?  It deserves it's own post.  Today I GOT OUR REFUND CHECK IN THE MAIL!!! HOLLA!  Okay, there are a couple issues though (it wouldn't be Samsung if there weren't).  1.  They butchered the spelling of my name, so hopefully the bank will still take it.  2. They only refunded us the amount of Nermal, and left out the $30 of tax.  I tried to call tonight, but SHOCKINGLY got put on hold for more than 20 minutes, and finally just hung up.  I did call back and leave a message, but clearly that's not getting me anywhere.  Also, I should mention that the lady I talked to yesterday, when I demanded a tracking number for the check, promised me she'd either call or email me today to give me an update.  She did neither.  CANDICE, YOU'RE GOING IN MY LETTER.  I might even leave a special voicemail for her when I call tomorrow.  Let her know exactly how I feel.  So the good news is that I got MOST of our refund.  The bad news is it might be Christmas before I see the $30 of tax we paid.  I know I should just get over it, but they shouldn't be allowed to keep the tax money if we returned the item, right?!

Body of an 80 Year Old, Mind of a 7 Year Old

Today was my long run, which has left me virtually paralyzed from hip flexors down.  Okay, that's an exaggeration, but I do feel like my insides are rusting, and I'm super sore.  Every week of training that goes by, I realize I'm just not cut out to be a runner.  Last week, during my 8 mile run, I pretty much needed some Oops I Crapped My Pants (Blamo! 1998 SNL reference!), and today for my 9 mile run, I was pretty much praying for the Apocalypse.  Also, I was getting really hungry, and was praying for the Four Horsemeals of the EggPorkalypse.
Seriously, this run today was just straight up miserable.  Thankfully the Imodium worked!  Huzzah!  But that's really the only good thing about it.  I was so tired I could barely move, and at times it felt like I was going backwards.  You know how sometimes you see old people out walking, and they're so old that they can just barely get along, but you're proud of them for trying?  Those old people were SMOKING me on the track.  There was this one old guy, you could just tell he was pretty feisty.  I half expected him to pass me, and give me a little smack on the butt and be like "try to keep up, hussy!"  But give me a break, you know?  I had to do 81 laps!  So what if my time would have failed me for the Presidential Physical Fitness Test.     

A lot of times, when I take the dogs out, they really like to smell piles of poop from other dogs.  I know that's really gross, but they like it.  They don't get into it or anything, it's just funny to watch them, when their body language changes, and you know they've caught a scent, and I'll see the pile of poop, but they're relying on their sense of smell to find it, and when they do, they always just stumble onto it, like "AH-HA!  IT'S POOP THIS TIME!"  It's poop, every time, silly.  Occasionally Andy likes to pull out one of his favorite tricks, which is to line himself up just right so he pees on the poop.  Then, he immediately kicks it out and looks at me, like "Did you see that Mom??!?! Are you proud?!"  And you know what?  I always am.  Today, on our walk, Andy found the perfect little pile to pee on, and as he was kicking it out afterwards, I started thinking if maybe that was like the ultimate in being a dominate dog.  I wonder if that's their way of being like "I OWN you!  TAKE THAT!", but surely that's not being more dominate than humping, right?  Thankfully Andy and Oscar don't hump dogs very often, so maybe my dogs are just really passive-aggressive dominaters.  Maybe that's their way of stickin it to other dogs without literally sticking it to them. 

Jacob called me today from Colorado, telling me that they were at Target.  I, of course, was super jealous, but he asked me if there was anything I wanted him to look for.  I asked him to look for some fake Uggs for me (MY FEET GET COLD, OKAY), but unfortunately he couldn't find any that would work.  Here's just one example why I love Jacob-he's thoughtful enough to shop for me, and doesn't judge me when I want to buy something extremely ugly and ridiculous.  He's the best.

Tonight I watched Hanna, with Eric Bana, Cate Blanchett and Saoirse Ronan.  It's definitely an interesting concept-a man raising his daughter in isolation, training her to become a skilled assassin.  I was really distracted by Saoirse, who played Hanna, because she was the girl in The Lovely Bones, which I HATED.  The first half of the movie was really interesting, and held my attention really well, but at some point it dropped off for me, and I found myself only half listening.  Sadly, the other half of me wasn't doing anything.  I just kept drinking my Dr. Pepper, and would realize I had no idea what happened for the last 10 minutes.  I probably wouldn't watch it again, but it was certainly worth the free Redbox rental.  Overall, I'd rate it 3 stars on Netflix.

Mission accomplished!  On my walk with the boys today, some guy who was working at a house we passed looked at us and said to me "who's walkin who?", so I got to use my "workin hard, or hardly workin?" line.  He was understandably confused, and I laughed and kept on going.  Since I've already used that line, I need to figure out what I'm going to say the next time someone asks me who's walking who.  I'm workshopping a couple things, but so far, I'm thinking I'll just say "IT'S WHOM! WHO'S WALKING WHOM!!" or, I might say "Well obviously they're both walking me, because I'm blind."  The trick to that one will be to maintain eye contact to really confuse them.

In just a little bit, I'm going to be making some spicy thai noodles, a recipe I found earlier this week.  They sound really really good and all the comments are really positive, so I'm excited to try them.  The recipe says they need to be served cold, and to chill them overnight, which is why I'm about to make them now.  If they're good, I'll post the recipe for you guys.  If they're not...we'll pretend like this never happened.

Another Bunco Night

This is going to be a super short post because I'm super sleepy and our apartment is really cold, and I desperately want to snuggle up in bed with Oscie.  Jacob left for Colorado today, so I'm alone, which means I can probably get at least one dog to sleep in bed with me.  Also, I started a new book today, The Bone Collector, and I already really like it.  I love when you can start a book and get right into it and not want to put it down. 

Tonight was Bunco night, which was a bunch of fun again.  I got to meet some ladies who weren't there last month, and everyone is super nice.  Last month I was a baller and won a prize and $15.  Turns out that was beginner's luck because this week, I was (as my Grandpa would say) King Loser.  I actually had the most losses of anyone there, which wins a prize, $5, so I won my money back!  Everyone brings snacks of some sort to Bunco, and I have been obsessing over what to make for the last two weeks.  The thing is, I'm really sensitive about my baking and cooking.  I know I'm not great, so when I make something for other people, I REALLY REALLY need them to like it.  There was an incident last year, which I won't go into detail about, for fear that person might read this, but let's just say I made something, and someone had the audacity to spit it out right in front of me, and declare how disgusting it was, DESPITE KNOWING I MADE IT.  In the words of Uncle Leo from Seinfeld, "If anyone betrays me, I never forget!"  This person has remained my enemy, and it took everything I had not to claw their face off with my fork.  Despite my horrific food self-esteem, I decided to make white chocolate popcorn (shout-out to my sister Ashley!), and it was actually a big hit.  A few people took plates of it home, and everyone was snacking on it before they left.  SO WHO GOT THE LAST LAUGH, ENEMY?!

Also at Bunco tonight, one of the girls, Lindsay, announced that she's pregnant AND they're moving to Houston in like two weeks.  Her husband took a job with another company, and it's been a really quick process, they've only known for a couple weeks maybe?  I'm really really happy for them, because they're both from Texas, and I know they'll be happy to be close to their families, especially with a baby coming. But another part of me is soooooooooo bitter that they're leaving.  It's nothing against them, I know they were expecting to stay here the 2-3 years like everyone else (they've been here almost 1 1/2 years), I just am so looking forward to the day when I can make that announcement.  "Oh by the way, I'm moving to Houston.  Movers come next week."  It's so similar to when we were moved from Ohio to Texas, the whole thing happened so fast, I didn't want to let myself believe it until we got there.  Jacob accepted the position, and I think we moved like two weeks later.  I just remember feeling so elated to be going home.  I'm just really jealous of that feeling.  Not to mention she gets to miss the winter and can spend the holidays with her family.  Obviously we won't be moving anytime soon, and I really am fine with that, but it is hard when someone in a similar situation to you gets to go.  Again, I really am happy for them, it's just kind of a bummer, you know?   


Well, I'm proud to say that I stuck to my pact, and truly boycotted this season of Project Runway- I didn't watch a single episode.  I'm really glad that's the case, because since the season started, I've been following some other blogs that discuss the challenges and then show the final garment from the designers.  I also paid attention during New York Fashion Week to see the final collections of the contestants, to try to get a good idea who the strong contenders would be, and how they compare to previous seasons.  Based on those final collections. alone, I think it's clear that the level of talent and taste has declined steadily over the seasons, which is really disappointing. 
Everything I read and saw from other blogs was that Anya was basically hand-picked to win from the beginning.  She's a former beauty queen, and her shtick was that she was self-taught, and every garment she made, she would say "I've never done this before!" about whatever she made.  "I've never made a pair of pants!"  "I've never made a gown", etc.  If she had so little experience, how was she cast on the show to begin with?  What were her sample garments and portfolio like that you felt she could be a strong contender on a DESIGN AND SEWING based talent competition?  Throughout the season, it seems as though the judges (who I have serious issues with) have been grading on a curve, accounting for her lack of experience.  You can't praise one poorly made dress because the designer has no experience, then punish another designer with a better dress but some execution problems, and say you expect better from them.  If the designer doesn't have the experience of other designers, they shouldn't be given slack and judged separately.  The judges fawned all over Anya all season, praising her use of prints, and  her ability to come up with interesting looks, despite her inexperience.  Never mind the fact that Anya's final collection looked like the Walmart version of Season 3 finalist, Uli.  Not surprisingly, Anya won the season, despite the lack of versatility and separates in her collection.  It's clear that the producers of Project Runway loved the idea of a self-taught beauty queen designer winning the whole thing and developing her as a brand.  Your motives are obvious, PR, and you've lost a lot of fans.  I know that the weekly challenges can be influenced by the producers and they keep certain people around for the drama and fan reactions.  However, it's really disappointing to me that this once great show has become so terribly predictable in how the judges pick based on personality and marketability, rather than skill and final collection.  It is with this, that I truly bid you adieu, Project Runway.  I figured after the debacle of the Gretchen win last season, you'd get your crap together and pick a real winner, but it seems as if you're only becoming more manipulated by the money makers.   

Okay, I just realized this was a lot longer than I intended for it to be.  I know I have a tendency to ramble, but geez.  Tomorrow is my long run, and I want to fast forward 12 hours so I'll be done with it.  9 miles.  NINE.  UGHHHHHHHHHH.  I've already started apologizing to my knees and shins for the pain they'll be experiencing tomorrow.  Also, I have Imodium on the counter, so hopefully that will help the issues I had after my last long run. 

Please continue to pray for Jacob's grandparents and the rest of his family.  I believe today was the first time Grampi got to see Maca for the last several days, and it breaks my heart to think about the way they're feeling.  I can't imagine spending a lifetime with someone, and then be faced with the realization that you won't have each other much longer.  It honestly breaks my heart and is one of the most crushing and saddest things I can think of.  Please just pray for physical strength for them, and for strength in their faith, knowing the beautiful life together ahead because of God's love and mercy.  Also, pray for the entire family, as they deal with the emotions of everything.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Battle Continues...

Here's something shocking: Samsung sucks.  I know it's probably getting repetitive how much I talk about Samsung and how terrible they are, it's just that it blows my mind that they would let an issue drag on for this long, and legit have no desire to satisfy their customers.  Today I left another voicemail-that's number 5 if you're keeping track-and shockingly I've yet to receive a phone call.  My voicemail went something like this "Hey guys!  It's me again!" Then I gave them the required information- name, phone number, service order number, reason for calling, which I followed up with "I think you guys need to change your voicemail message, since you state you'll call back within a business day, and I've been calling since Saturday.  I'm guessing you are deliberately ignoring my calls for the fun of it, and that's fine because I think you underestimate my willingness to continue to call.  If you're wondering how long I'll keep this up, the answer is: AS LONG AS I HAVE TO.  If anyone is interested in defending your horrific customer service, or would like to be quoted in my letter to the Better Business Bureau, feel free to call me back.  Keep in mind, I have many of your names and extensions, which will all be included in my letter.  Okay, I guess you'll be hearing from me tomorrow!"  Let's be real, they'll never call me back, but honestly I'm just shooting for a record number of days for them to ignore me so that my letter is dramatic and shows how bad their customer service is.

Today, I was like two laps into my running, when I noticed a flock of high school kids come through the front of the gym.  My first thought was "why aren't these kids at school" because it was only noon, and my second thought was "holy crap, where are all these kids coming from?"  With every lap, a new busload of kids, all wearing matching shirts, would come in, causing quite the ruckus.  I would guess once all the students came in, there were probably....100?  150 high schoolers?  It was clearly some sort of district-wide gym day, but there seemed to be no purpose except to irritate me.  The teachers would come in with their students in matching t-shirts and then the teachers would just plop down in the entryway, and start grading papers while the students roamed the community center.  I'll give you one guess as to where most of the girls went.  Well, okay, the locker room, but BESIDES that, THE TRACK.  Can't I just catch a break?  CAN'T I RUN IN PEACE?!?!  Obviously not, because I kept having to swerve all around the cliques of high school girls walking in small groups, gossiping about how "totally, like, stupid and OMG ugly" the girls from the other high schools are.  After I had already passed one particular group of girls a couple of times, I came up behind them again, and said excuse me when I was like five feet behind them, to give them the chance to move so I could pass.  Did they? Nah.  Instead, all three looked over their shoulders so that I could see each one of them was on their phone, and gave each other a look like "ew, what's her problem?"  So I finally just pushed the middle one out of the way (she looked the weakest), rolled my eyes dramatically, and kept on running.  That must have done the trick, because they immediately left the track.  After I finished my run, I was in the stretching area, and one of the guys that works at the gym walked by.  Curiosity got the best of me, and I asked this guy, an extremely attractive gentleman who I'm guessing is half Guatemalan, half Burmese, and whose name is probably Diego, why all these high school kids had infested the gym like rodents.  He said there was some sort of dodgeball and walleyball tournament they were there for, and that it would last all afternoon.  What is going on in western North Dakota public schools??  Half a day off for a district-wide dodgeball tournament?  Judging by how these kids can't seem to comprehend how to walk on the track in a considerate manner, nor can they figure out what the directional arrows of the track mean, I would guess there is plenty of learning left for them to do.

When I finished my workout, I went back to the locker room to grab my stuff, which was a huge mistake.  It was like walking back in time to a high school volleyball or basketball tournament, where the floor and benches are littered with gym bags and there are girls huddled together, talking bad about their teammates.  I had to step over like 7 gym bags to even get to my locker, which several girls were sitting in front of.  I think I would have gotten a points bonus because there was one girl sitting on the floor, by herself, CLEARLY trying to get attention from each one of her teammates that came in.  They'd be like "hey...what are you doing in here?  Wanna go watch the boys play knockout?!"  And she'd be all "  I played so bad in our game and I don't even think Alex likes me anymore!"  Well, sweetie, let me tell you something I learned in high school--no one likes the whiny drama queen who complains about how her field trip is going.  If Alex still likes you, he's probably a spineless loser, and you should probably go ahead and dump him.  Other girls crowded around mirrors, complaining how fat their legs looked in the spandex they were wearing.  Ugh, I know.  Isn't it a pain to be 105 pounds?!  It's the worst.  I know I was probably predictably annoying when I was in high school, but I also like to think I avoided a lot of the cliched drama.  My Springfield friends-Bob, Lib, Ashley, Luke, Kellie, j0em, and of course my brother, were all super cool, and really couldn't care less about the drama at our school.  I mean, come on, we were a fun bunch:

Today Jacob called me from work to say he was headed home because it had started to snow in Killdeer, which is about 35 miles north of here.  I was sure it was going to be our first snow, and I needed to walk the dogs quickly before it got to us, but it never made it here, so we totally dodged a bullet.  I know it's inevitable, I just figure maybe God will be like "tell you snow this year."  That would be super, thanks!

Jacob leaves tomorrow for Colorado to meet up with his sister, nephew, mom, aunt, and cousins who are all going to see his grandma.  I think it's going to be a pretty emotional and draining trip for them all, so please just continue to keep all of them in your prayers. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Breaking News: I'm Grumpy

This afternoon I was taking the boys for a walk, which is not normally very much fun, but it's especially unpleasant when it's 42 degrees and super windy.  It only took about three minutes for me to get cranky because I realized that somehow we were walking directly underneath the only raincloud in the entire sky.  So now, not only is is cold and windy, it's raining on us.  I could not get rid of this cloud, no matter how hard I tried.  (note to self: learn the opposite of a rain dance)  A few minutes later, we came upon a man who was getting something out of his truck.  He looked at me and said with a laugh "goin on a walk?"  Is that a question?  Am I supposed to answer that, because it seems rhetorical to me.  In case you didn't notice, I've got this hoodie covering most of my face, so if I'm not going for a walk, guy, you're in trouble, because I'm probably coming to rob you.  I know some people just want to be friendly, but that's just a stupid thing to say.  How about something like "not great weather for this walk, huh?"  Or "those dogs are lucky they have an owner to take them out when it's this cold."  And, yes, I did just toot my own horn in a hypothetical conversation.  But it was just such a dumb thing to say.  Is there any other response than "yep"?  If Oscar hadn't been pulling so hard, I would've said something like "so, you drive a truck?" or "parked in front of this house, huh?" or "you wearin shoes?"  My only compliment to this guy was that he didn't say "looks like they're walking you."  Such a pet peeve.  I think I've heard that like...80+ times, and boy it never gets old.  I always wonder, when someone says that, do they think they're being original?  Look, I'm grumpy when I'm walking the dogs (and most other times), so I'm not really up for folksy humor.  I've got two 75 pound dogs, one of which wants to go as slow as humanly (caninely?) possible, the other who wants to sprint the entire way.  Which leaves me with one arm stretched all the way in front of me, and the other pulled far behind me so it looks like I'm doing some sort of figure-skating move, but really all it's doing is separating my shoulders.  And of course we're taking this walk at a sprinter's pace since the dog that wants to go fast has more muscles in his huge neck than I have my whole body.  No, I don't enjoy walking with this much force, it hurts my feet and my shin splints, but every time I stop to slow one dog down, the other sprints out ahead so it can be the leader.  In the meantime, the wind has managed to free 40 strands of hair not only from my ponytail, but also from my hood, and now there are about 10 strands stuck to the middle of my eyeball, while the rest of my hair is plastered to my lips and stuck in my mouth.  Because my arms are pulled so tight by the dogs, I have no slack to pull the hair out of my mouth, so my attempt at spitting it out is just making me spit all down the front of my face and jacket.  Also, in case you haven't noticed, I have two steaming hot bags of poop in my hands which are getting tossed around due to the militant speed of this walk, and any second now they're probably going to bounce just the wrong way off the leash and break open all over me.  SO NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO GET FOLKSY, NEIGHBOR.  From now on, when someone says some variation of "who's walkin who?" I'm just going to respond with the equally annoying cliche, "workin hard, or hardly workin?" and then laugh and walk away.

Tonight I was in a bit of a foul mood (pretend to be surprised), but I don't know why (hormones, Mom, I got it) and I just found myself getting VERY frustrated at minor things.  For example, on nights when Jacob's not working on his computer and there aren't sports on, I've noticed he becomes quite the talker.  Which is great, because I love him, really I do, but the thing is, when I'm trying to watch a tv show I like, and I've paused it for you to talk, can you limit your discussion about our cable provider to 6 minutes, rather than 21?  Seriously, I was being completely illogical in my frustrations, and he'd say something to me and I'd find myself thinking "DON'T I EVER GET ANY SILENCE AROUND HERE? IS IT TOO MUCH TO ASK THAT I WATCH 4 SOLID HOURS OF TV UNINTERRUPTED?!?!"  But then realistic, nice, non-crazy Hayley would be like "oh, hey friend!  Just a reminder-you're home alone all day to do as you on."  Don't be worried about my inner monologues, okay.  I'm not schizophrenic.  At one point, (my show is still paused at this point, in case you care, which Jacob clearly didn't) when Jacob asked me to make a phone call tomorrow, I was like "geez, okay, better start making a list of all the crap I gotta get done now!" so I had him pass me a pad of paper and a pen.  Looking back, it's pretty comical (maybe not for Jacob) how over dramatic I was being, because as I tried to write down what I needed to do, I couldn't get my pen to work, so I was like "Ugh, pass me another pen."  He did, and that one also didn't work, so I was like "UGH PASS ME ANOTHER PEN!!!!!!!!!!!" and then scribbled with all my might to get the pen to work, managing to tear through 5 pieces of paper.  It's just now hitting me, but I really and truly think I missed my calling--acting on a soap opera.  I used to think I could cry on command, but it turns out I just cry so frequently that the odds are just in my favor that I'll be crying when someone would need me to.  On top of all these minor irritations, I had food questions that I needed help with, but the people I called screened me--I'm looking at you, Aimee and Dana.

I just finished watching Bad Teacher, and I have to say I'm pretty disappointed.  I know, I know, it's got Justin Timberlake and Cameron Diaz, but I really thought it could have been funny.  Jason Segel was my favorite part of the movie, not surprisingly, since I can watch Forgetting Sarah Marshall literally every time it's on tv.  I don't even know why I didn't like the movie, either.  It just felt like Cameron Diaz was trying too hard or something.  Plus it felt like it dragged on forever, which isn't great when the movie is like and hour and 33 minutes long.  It was similar to Birdemic, in that they could have cut 30 minutes out of the movie and you wouldn't miss it.  It differed from Birdemic in that it was just a bummer, and I don't think I even laughed once..  I've been waiting forever for it to come out, too.  I put it on the top of my Netflix queue so it would come as soon as it was released.  You're probably embarrassed for me, but I DON'T CARE.  Overall Netflix rating: 2 stars. 

In positive news, I got to talk to sweet Avery on the phone today, my baller 3 year old niece.  I've been missing all the kiddos in my life a ton lately, and talking to her was definitely the highlight of my day.  And while it's possible that she tried to hang up on me, I believe it's because hearing my voice and being separated from me is so painful she physically cannot bear it.  Yeah, that's it.  It's definitely not because she was sick of talking to me and wanted to go back to dressing up like a fairy while her brother played pirate....


This is just a quick mid-day post to vent some frustration since Samsung won't take OR return my phone calls.  Since Saturday, I have left 4 voicemails with the Executive Customer Relations Department, which promises to return the call within one day.  Guess what?  No calls have been returned.  After catching Aimee up on the phone just now, I was fired up, so I figured I'd call them again.  I'm fairly certain that whoever is listening to the voicemails at this point is probably finding mine to be hilarious.  And I am, too, frankly.  This most recent one was borderline stalker, and I informed them that if I didn't receive a call back today, things would only get worse. I promised to call every hour until someone was able to answer my questions.  I'm thinking the next voicemail I leave, I'll go all out Fatal Attraction:  I'll just leave a voicemail saying "I'm not gonna be ignored, Samsung!"

Monday, October 24, 2011

More Gym Frustrations

I've said it before, I'll say it again.  I'm very easy to annoy-ESPECIALLY at the gym.  No one is immune to my irritations.  You basically have to be completely silent and keep to yourself, and, if I'm being honest, fairly good looking (but not overly so-get over yourself pretty boys).  Today when I got to the gym, I was sitting in the locker room, trying to thaw out before having to take off my coat and put shorts on. As I'm sitting on the bench in front of my locker, a lady comes in and chooses the locker right above mine, so she opens the locker basically into the back of my head, without even an excuse me.  Let me paint a picture- this locker room has exactly 233 lockers in it.  I counted.  Of those, maybe only twenty had locks on them, so why she chose the one I was resting my head on, I don't know.  Obviously I gave her a dirty look:
I tried to tell myself she probably has the same condition as Leonard Shelby in the movie Memento-she's suffered brain damage due to an attack and has no short term memory.  Because of that, she probably has important information tattooed on her body, since she's lost the ability to remember.  Among those tattoos must be ones that say "Stomp around like a jerk" and "Locker 27  Code 22-14-7".  I have no idea what the code is for her lock, but if she needs a reminder for which locker she uses, surely she needs a reminder for the code, right?  P.S., if you haven't seen Memento, you should.  Great movie.

Another lady who was irritating me at the gym was this girl who was walking on the track while I was running.  She didn't necessarily bother my running, but I noticed that several times as I was coming up behind her, she was checking her reflection out in each window she passed.  She'd turn to look at herself and slow down as she passed the windows, taking small sips of her SmartWater and admiring how awesome she looked.  I was like, come on, Jen Aniston, keep your eyes head of you and pick up the pace.  One time she was so focused on looking at herself, that when I passed her, and went between her and the window, she jumped because she was so locked in.  And that, friends, is what narcissism looks like.

I'm currently on hold with Samsung.  It's been 14 minutes and I am genuinely worried for the poor soul who has to talk to me.  We're still waiting on our refund check-bear in mind they've had Nermal for about a month and a half and we only had him a total of three weeks.  Wonder what they're gonna say when I tell them I'm going to start charging interest on the refund.  Also, I will be writing a strongly worded letter to the Better Business Bureau.  Watch out Samsung, because as the eloquent Antoine Dodson once said: we gonna find you, I'm lettin you know now!  Okay, 20 minutes into holding, and I've got a representative!  He just informed me that the girl transferred me to the wrong division, so now it's back to being on hold.  Seriously, you guys, NEVER BUY SAMSUNG.  Okay.  This is getting INSANE.  Just got transferred to the wrong department AGAIN.  I seriously think these people see me on the caller ID and are trying to mess with me.  Finally transferred to the right department, but this guy is an idiot.  He's gotten so frustrated with my questions that he's just gone silent.  Finally, knowing I couldn't get anything out of him, I said, "I guess I'll just keep calling back everyday that I don't get the check."  He said "Yes, ma'am we'll be here to answer any questions that you have."  So I said "Oh. like you've answered my questions today after being on hold for almost an hour and then giving me no information?"  Silence.

This weekend was pretty typically boring here.  Saturday night we went out to eat with a guy Jacob works with, his fiancee, and her brother.  They were pretty nice, and we went back to their house, which was built by our builder, and they gave us some things we should be watching for.  Then we watched some football, so all in all, it was a pretty good night.  Sunday we went to the house so Jacob could do the wiring for the surround sound in the basement.  It took a couple hours and my fingers and toes were freezing, but we got a lot done.  I was hoping Jacob would reward my patience and helpfulness with some frozen yogurt, but he just said "thank you."  Eyeroll.  What a jerk

On a serious note, I want to solicit some serious prayers for Jacob's grandmother.  They just found out she has cancer, and she's not doing great.  Please just keep Jacob's family in your prayers big time. 

Friday, October 21, 2011


Today was my 8 mile run and it was loooooooooong.  I was actually doing pretty good until about mile six when the pain in my knees set in.  I would describe it as someone taking a can opener and going all the way around my kneecaps.  Not great.  Mile seven was about when I thought I was going to crap myself.  Looks like I need to start taking Imodium before my long runs.  I came home and was doing pretty good for about half an hour, but then my stomach started hurting.  It's really unbelievable how running long distance can give you diarrhea.  I haven't experienced anything like that period last week.  The good news is that after three hours in the bathroom, I got lots of reading done!  Finally, I just had to pull myself together, Chris Traeger style:
I took Oscar for a walk-Andy ignored me when I asked him to come, and just curled himself into a tighter ball on the couch.  More jealous, I could not be.  I made it through the walk with Oscar just fine, but was ecstatic to be back by a bathroom again.

While doing my run at the gym, I had another encounter with that girl from last week-the one I POLITELY informed was in the wrong class, only to have her turn it against me.  I WON'T FORGET THAT, CHICK.  Anyways, I was somewhere in the six mile area when she came out of the spinning class with her giggly idiot friend and some other jagweed.  The three of them started to walk (at a snail's pace) around the track, and the first time I came up behind them, it was awkward because they took up the whole width of the track.  I had no way to pass.  Here's the thing.  I'm a stickler for gym rules.  There very clearly are two signs posted on the track that say to keep to the inside.  Not hard.  Stay against the railing unless you're passing someone.  The sign also clearly says to not block the track and be mindful of people trying to pass.  Hear that, ladies.  BE MINDFUL.  Anyway, so I come up behind them, and rather than them scoot to one side to let me either pass on the right or left, the middle girl just side-steps a little awkwardly so I have to run right through the middle of them while they're talking.  Hmmm seems like there has to be a better way to do that.  I figure, bless their hearts, they're obviously dumb, they'll get it next time.  So the next lap, I'm coming up behind them, and they're kind of casually looking over their shoulders, seeing me coming and AGAIN nobody moves except the one girl just a bit so I have to squish my shoulders and go through.  FIGURE IT OUT, CLOWNS.  They'll get it next time, sure they will.  So again, I'm coming up behind them and SHO NUFF, they are clueless.  Again they start to open up just a little bit so I'll have to run through the middle, but then the girl on the end moves a bit towards her friends, cutting me off, so I, STUPIDLY THINKING SHE'D READ THE SIGN, figured she was going to let me go to the inside.  So I am literally one step behind them, on the inside, when this idiot goes back to where she was, cutting me off without enough time to react, so I slam into her.  Hard.  I nearly knocked her over, even though I wasn't running very fast.  I had my headphones in, so I don't know if she apologized, since it was very much her fault, but I was like "ugh, sorry" and kept running.  I'll remember you, idiot.
  I'm guessing either the three laps they did were so exhausting they had to quit, or her head hurt from the impression of my front teeth I left, because they got off the track.  Good riddance, fool.  AND DON'T EVER COME BACK HERE AGAIN!

Today was kind of like Christmas for me, because when I came home from the gym, there were four packages at my front door from FedEx, and the UPS guy was parked at the end of the driveway, getting out another three boxes for me.  YAY!  I haven't opened any of the packages that were for me, they're our light fixtures.  I really don't want to open everything and then not be able to get them back in the box right.  Currently our apartment is filled with giant boxes, which I used to my advantage tonight during dinner.  Hello, makeshift tv-tray!  Also, I had ordered a new collar for Andy, his was getting too tight since his winter coat is coming in and making his neck fur even thicker than before (ew, what if that was describing a person?)  I really like the collar because it matches his coat so perfectly:
The thing is, I loved his old collar more than you'll ever know:

First of all, I got it from PetCo for a QUARTER, which is pretty amazing.  Second of all, it is so perfectly preppy, which is EXACTLY what the little Nard Dog needed.  As much as I want Andy to "be comfortable", it was breaking my heart to take his charms off the plaid collar.  I was saying things like "Andy, you can't keep getting bigger, you're my baby!" and "You're never allowed to grow up!" and "But this one is so cute and little!"  Ugh, I can hear myself saying these things to my children, and I already feel like I need to apologize for smothering them.  I need to make sure Jacob doesn't let me do things like this with our children.  "But Jacob, these are the first shoes we ever bought him, we can't just get rid of them!!  He still likes them and wears them!"...
 Cut to when he's seven years old and the shoes are hanging off his big toe....Seriously.  I don't want to be that crazy mom.  Or the one who's asking Gymboree to special order extra large sizes for my daughter because they don't have anything that fits her in the store.  Store clerk:  "Sure, we can special order something.  What were you wanting the dress for?"  Me:  "Well she really needs something for graduation, something with extra bows!"  Store Clerk:  "Oh how sweet, almost out of kindergarten."  Me: "Nope, eighth grade."

Another package that came today is a shirt Jacob bought me as a surprise:
I really really really love it and can't wait to wear it somewhere.  The problem is it actually fits like a real shirt, as opposed to the t-shirts I wear everyday that are super blousey and perfect to workout in.  I don't ever go anywhere except for the gym, so I'm not sure where I'll wear it.  Maybe Applebee's?!?!?!?!  Although, to be honest, the last time we went to Applebee's (last weekend), I wore a sports bra, t-shirt, and dirty sweatpants.  Truly I looked no different than the gypsies that live at Walmart.  Cleaner nails, maybe, but that's probably the only difference.

For dinner tonight I made Queso Chicken Pasta, which might sound weird, but is actually really good.  Pretty easy, too, the only thing is you have to have the cooked chicken ready when you start making it, which for me, means I need to boil some chicken sometime during the day.  And for Oscar and Andy it means they get a tiny piece of boiled chicken during the day.  Anyway, I definitely recommend it.  It's creamy, cheesy, and has a bit of spice to it, and I'm excited about having the leftovers for lunch tomorrow.  If you're interested, here's the recipe.

Tonight Jacob and I watched Birdemic: Shock and Terror, which is even worse than it sounds.  If you have Netflix streaming and a WILLING (key word) person to watch it with you, it's probably worth the hour and a half for a good laugh.  I can say it was honestly the worst movie I've ever seen in my life.  I have never seen special effects look so awful.  It was kind of mind-blowing actually.  Jacob got pretty bored with it about 20 minutes in (I'm not even sure we'd heard any dialogue at that point), but I was so in awe at how poorly it was shot and acted, that I couldn't take my eyes off of it.  If this was a movie I had watched with my friends in college, I think the commentary from everyone would have been legendary. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Local Daycare Centers

Now that I have (most) of the anger out of my system about the animal deaths in Ohio, I can write about a trend in town that blows my mind.  No, it's not the gypsies living in the Walmart parking lot.  No, it's not the local dealerships moving their entire car inventory to another parking lot across town as some special promotion.  NO, it's not the bizarre trend of college-aged girls wearing cut off shirts and men's baggy basketball shorts to the gym.  NO, it's not that restaurants in town (minus Applebee's!) close at 7 and aren't open on the weekends.  It's the random daycare centers that are run out of the old, run-down, split level houses in the neighborhood behind us.  As I've said before, the area of town we live in right now isn't the best.  It's not the worst-a girl I met at Bunco last week had her neighbor's house got busted because it was a meth lab.  That hasn't happened that I know of, but it's still not great.  The apartments next door are super shady and dirty.  Several people never close their windows; I'm assuming they are either broken, or, in the case of one I know, it's to let their cats go in and out.  The basement apartments in this complex are set so that they have a window that's basically at ground level from the outside, but it's probably about eye-level for them inside.  I noticed one time while Oscar was peeing on the building that one of the basement apartments had a plate sized hole cut out of their window screen.  A few days later, as we were coming around the building, I screamed in horror, seeing a severed hand coming out of the window.  Turns out, it was just a super lazy person who lives in the apartment who had cut a hole in the screen so they could just stick their hand out the window when they're smoking, rather than walk the seven feet to go outside.  I'm a little bit hoping that one of these days, when their window is open, Oscar will lift his leg just right so that he pees through the hole in the screen, into their apartment.  That's the danger of smoking. ANYWAY, the area we live in is just kind of trashy.  Behind those apartments is a "neighborhood" of 5 streets.  It's probably one of the older parts of town, because all the homes look really run-down and junky.  For some reason, on these 5 streets there are FIVE daycare centers run out of someone's home.  In no way do any of these places look like a professional day care.  They all just have signs made on posterboard that are stuck in the window, covered in finger paint with the name of the daycare.  That's another thing.  The names of all these places are really obnoxious.  They're all like "Luv N Laffs" or "Fun N Stuf" or "Kares 4 Kidz."  If you're willing to overlook the obvious lack of professional facility and proper equipment, that's your call.  But why would you want to send your child to a place that blatantly ignores the rule of grammar and spelling?!  Is that really how you want to start your child's education??  I mean, I know it's not preschool or anything, but some of the kids I see coming in and out of these houses are old enough to read, and I'd really like to believe they're questioning the taste level of whatever moron came up with "Fun Tyme Laff Town."  The icing on the cake to me is that two of these daycares are located on the same street as the residence of a REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER.  For real you guys, I looked him up, and he's a multiple offender and should NOT be around children.  I'm not sure how they are allowed to operate that close to him, or if they were already open, how was he allowed to move in there.  Either way, what parent would allow their child to go spend their days somewhere, forced to play most of the time outside because it's a HOUSE and doesn't have enough room for TWENTY children, while there is a sexual predator 5 doors down???? I'm guessing the parents are just ignorant and didn't check to see where the sex offenders live in town, but then isn't that a bit unethical for the people running the daycare to just omit that?  The whole thing gives me the creeps.  Not to mention the other wackjobs in the area.  FUN FACT: my spell check just tried to autocorrect wackjobs into Jacob.  Well played, autocorrect  Anyhoo, there's a house by one of the daycares, where a bunch of dudes live, and they're always working in their garage with all the doors open, and the garage is COVERED with nudie pictures.  NOT OKAY FOR CHILDREN'S EYES.  Then there's another house where the person living there might be Miss Havisham.  The house is basically in ruins, but the crazy old lady is obviously in denial about it.  She's got so many lawn ornaments that you basically can't see her grass.  Some things are just kinda ugly, like the fun-time frog family, that looks kind of like this:
She also has several gazing balls, some of which are held up by gnomes.  My favorite, and perhaps the one that should be most disturbing to the children in the area, is probably the one she fawns over the most.  She has a very small lawn chair, in it she has perched a baby doll that looks almost exactly like this:

She talks to it when she's out gardening, or more likely, straightening her yard trinkets, and I think she likes to position it so that it's "watching" the people in the neighborhood.  It's very bizarre, and I'm sure she's given it a name like "Janet" or "Suzanne", so that when she's at work, talking about her daughter, Janet sounds much more realistic than Gracie Angelface.  Off topic, but I was just on the Cabbage Patch Kids website (for research!) and stumbled across this little lady:

She's covered in breast cancer awareness stuff and her hair color is listed as "bald"!  I mean, I'm all for awareness, but can babies even get breast cancer?!  Why does she have to be bald, Cabbage Patch?  Not every cancer patient loses their hair.  What a morbid doll for a child, right?  I, for one, blame the Cabbage Patch.  Perhaps it's time to start using organic fertilizers and pesticides.  TAKE SOME RESPONSIBILITY, XAVIER ROBERTS!  YOU'RE NO BETTER THAN LAVENDAR MCDADE!!  Yes...I had a few CPK dolls, okay.  Most notably, my favorite, Melanie (RIP), who was special because you could crimp and curl her hair (the crimper did not work on my hair) because her hair was made out of pipe cleaners.
Years later, I devoted HOURS of my life to filling every single strand of hair with beads, making her look very...ethnic.  I now call her Kwanzaa baby, and her head weighs no less than 7 pounds.

Okay, clearly I've gone way off topic-THE POINT IS there are some legit lunatics that live in the neighborhood behind me and I am shocked at the number of daycares run out of homes.  Doesn't anyone do any research on where they're taking their child?  When the only signage for a daycare facility is half a posterboard with the name "Fun 2 Play" and a hand-drawn outline of a train, wouldn't you feel like maybe you could find something better?  One of these days, I'll try to drive by one of the houses and take a picture so you guys can see.  That's going to be tricky, though, because I really don't want them to think I'm stalking any of the children.  Although clearly they're not concerned about the sexual predator down the street, so they probably won't even care.

Not much else is happening here, I got about 25% through my last post (the animal rant), when we lost power.  It was about 10:20pm, and I looked out the windows and couldn't see any light anywhere.  It was actually pretty cool because I could see so many stars.  It was completely dark and silent, except for the quiet ticking of the clock in the kitchen, which I was waiting for Jacob to complain about.  About two minutes in, and I heard Jacob say from bed "boy, I had no idea that clock was so annoying."  So I removed the batteries and went about trying to call the power company.  That seems like it should be easy, but since we're in an apartment that's rented by Jacob's company, all the bills are in Marathon's name, so I have no clue who any of the providers are.  Thankfully I found a phonebook and there were only two power companies, so I called the first one.  The lady seemed really confused when I explained why I didn't know the name on the account and finally said "lady, I have no idea what you're talking about." Ugh.  Well why don't I just give you my address and you can send a tech out?  Twenty minutes later I got a phone call from a disgruntled technician, telling me my area of town was covered by the other power company.  Clearly he'd been sent over here to check on it and was not happy for the late night emergency call.  Whoopsie, sorry guy.  Thanks for trying!  I called the other company and had the same response from the operator when I couldn't give an account number.  I gave him my address and he confirmed there were outages in this area.  Well, duh, dude.  After about an hour of reading by flashlight, the power came back on, which was celebrated with a tired "hooray" from Jacob in the bedroom.  Unfortunately now I've gotten my second wind and I'm not sure I'll be able to fall asleep.  Sounds like I'll be having a late-night rendezvous with my book.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Another Tirade About Animals

Now, I don't want to get preachy, but it's about to get alllll preachy up in here.  Here's the thing, I don't watch the news, or read the news for that matter, for many reasons.  I hate politics, I don't like to hear about wars, death, fires, and murder.  Those are things I like in my tv shows, like Law & Order SVU, not in real life.  I very reluctantly followed a bit of news today, to figure out what's going on with this whole animal thing in Ohio.  Most of you know how I feel about animals, so I think you know where I'm going with this and how I feel.  For the rest of you, I can tell you this-I'm super pissed.  It blows my mind that someone with such a history of disregard for animals and animal cruelty would be allowed to have not just one, but DOZENS of exotic, even rare animals.  I'm tempted to go off on a tirade about the douche bag who owned these animals in the first place, but something tells me he's paying for that now, so I'll let that slide.  Instead, my anger lies with the policemen and local government.   What really makes me mad is that the police in the town killed all but six of the escaped animals.  I know it's a dangerous situation, and they're huge, wild animals who are extremely capable of hurting people, but given that logic, perhaps you need to make your laws a bit more stringent, and make it more difficult for people to own such animals.  The fact that the law allows individuals to collect basically as many animals they want with one permit is astounding and asinine.  Again, I understand the perspective of the police, and the need to protect the people of the town, but by permitting someone to keep animals like this, some ownership and responsibility must be taken for the care of these animals.  It is the responsibility of state officials to make sure that if they allow people to have wild, exotic, and/or dangerous animals, the citizens must be protected from the animals, and the animals must be protected from the citizens.  In no way did those animals choose to live in Zanesville, Ohio.  TRUST ME.  I lived in Ohio.  It's not exactly paradise.  It's a good thing I don't live there anymore, because I promise I would be in that town, protesting the crap out of that police department and the city government.  Someone has to be held accountable for the loss of animal life, and the unnecessary animal cruelty.  I know they didn't have tranquilizers, but that infuriates me that 18 BENGAL TIGERS, some of the most beautiful animals in the world, of which there are only about 2000 left, had to be killed because the police waited too long to act on a volatile situation.  Everything I've read says the police had many issues with the animal owner, saying he was constantly threatening to release the animals, and that (like I've already said) he had previously been convicted of animal cruelty.  For ten years people had been complaining about the owner's treatment of the animals and since April, the Humane Society had been urging Ohio officials to grant an order that would have removed the animals, but the government in Ohio is a joke.  Guess what, fellas?  You should probably make sure his permit to have these animals gets taken away before something bad happens.  Wait, what?  You were scared and didn't have the balls to do anything?  Well great, now 50 animals are dead.  That the local police admit having problems with the animal owner for years, and being worried about something bad happening, but not having tranquilizers is inexcusable.  The first time the owner threatened to release the animals, precautions should have been taken to ensure the safety of both the citizens AND the animals.  I really and truly hope the people of Zanesville are raising hell right now because the police and the city and state officials were lazy and negligent and should be held accountable for the death of those animals.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Awkward Gym Encounter

So I'm not sure what the deal is, but for some reason the blog totally exploded today.  I got like five times more views than I normally do.  Apparently people want to read about periods....well you've come to the right place, friends.  Jacob came home from work and said that our friend Adam (hey Adam!) had texted him about the blog, and said that it was totally ridiculous.  I told Jacob how I can gotten lots of views today, and he was like "see, people want to read it!  It's weird because it's not like you write about anything interesting." 

I had a bit of an awkward encounter at the gym last week, and I keep running into the same girl, and it's making me frustrated.  Last Thursday, I walked into my Yoga class (which meets in the pilates room), and saw a girl laying down a mat with a Pilates ball in her hand (which we don't use in yoga).  I'd seen her before, in power pilates, and at the same time my yoga class meets, there is a pilates class that also meets (in the yoga room, very confusing).  All that combined with the fact that she was my age, whereas all the other people in my class are grannies, I knew she had walked into the wrong room.  I didn't want her to feel awkward when the class started and she realized she was in the wrong class, so I walked up to her and asked if she was here for pilates.  She was very confused and was like "what? No, I'm not the instructor."  And I said, "oh, no, I mean are you here for the pilates class?"  She said she was, and I told her that it was actually in the class next door.  She gave me a weird look and was like "oh...okay" and grabbed her mat and the ball and left.  I figured she thought I was like Shawn Spencer, and had totally psychically guessed her error-
 How about the crazy Blue Steel he's working in that picture?  Dang Shawn, copyright Zoolander.  ANYWAYS, I figured she was probably thanking me for saving her the awkwardness of being in the wrong class.  So on Friday, I was at the gym getting ready to do my long run, and I passed this same girl when I went to the stretching area and she was sitting outside waiting for her spin class.  A few minutes later I passed back by her and stopped to stretch before jumping on the track.  I hadn't started playing my music yet, so I could here her talking to her girlfriend and here's what I could gather amongst the bursts of giggles:
Erroneous Fool:  "So she asks me if I'm in the wrong class, because obviously it looks like I can't handle yoga, and then she's like 'you're supposed to be next door!'  And I was like 'okay whatever!'"
Giggling Friend:  "Oh my gosh!  What a jerk!  What, did she think you couldn't do the class?"
Erroneous Fool:  "I don't know.  She just looked at me and came up and was like 'umm, you're in the wrong class.'  I think I can handle yoga with a bunch of old women."
Giggling Friend:  "OMG!  That is hilarious!  And that's her right over there?  What a (author edit: she didn't call me a nice name)!"
Seriously, I almost had to defend my honor, because that sucks.  I was just trying to be nice!  I'm sure the girl was just trying to exaggerate to make it a good story, but all I did was tell her where her class was!  I wonder how awkward it's gonna be the next time I have a class with her.  I have a feeling I'll totally wimp out and when she walks in the class, I'll just be like "oh hey girl, you want my mat?  I'll get another one!  Yeah!...Sisterhood!"  I'm the worst.

Today the electricians finally showed up at the house, although it appears they didn't do much.  They showed up at 1 and when I drove by at 4:30, they were already gone.  Seriously, does that count as a full day of work?  I know it's a bit ironic coming from me, but please, I had to to go Herbergers AND Runnings today to return stuff, so...I've been busy.

YOU GUYS, in a series of unfortunate clicks, I ended up on the website of The Talk, the budget version of The View on CBS, and I came across a picture of one of the hosts, whose gender is indeterminate.  I couldn't find any pictures of shem with the other ladies, so I'll just show you the picture they have on the website:
Honestly, you guys, I thought it as a still from the movie Too Wong Foo Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar: 
I'm sure she's a great lady and all, but honey, you might want to stick to radio.

I finally attempted the pumpkin chocolate chip muffins yesterday, and they are goooood.  I'm not even a big pumpkin person, and I really like these muffins.  I took some next door to thank my neighbor for letting me borrow her muffin tray.  I took six-3 for her, 3 for her boyfriend.  Jacob told me that at work today, our neighbor said he'd already had his three.  I wish I could take credit for this recipe, but I totally jacked it from another blog.  Here's the recipe, you should try it.

Last night, Jacob and I were singing "Your Ruby Lips!" which is something my Dad sang once in his office, only to find his secretary Ruby standing in the doorway.  Whoopsie.  It got me thinking about some of my favorite Quinn stories, and I seriously think we need to do a best-off Quinn post.  I mean, come on-falling off the roof into the holly bushes, falling asleep on the toilet and breaking said toilet and flooding the bathroom, walking into the pool fully clothed while people were at the house?  These are memories that need to be captured.  Sisters, help me out here.

Light Fixture Update

So the pendant lights that I really wanted got cancelled, because, according to the eleven retailers I've contacted, the manufacturer has discontinued them.  So unless I want to pay $100 more per light, I need to pick something else out.  Keep in mind, I want it to match the chandelier-
Originally I was going to do three lights over the island, but I was considering maybe buying a light that has two pendants that hang off of it, so that would just be centered over the island.  The island is shaped sort of like this one I found online, and is a similar size:
Here are the lights I like so far.  Thoughts?  Opinions?

I realize this is a pretty minor problem, but it's been occupying my otherwise pointless day.   Anyways, what do you think?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Top 5 Worst Periods

As I said before, I got my period this weekend, and have had some pretty crazy cramps.  Thankfully, since I've been on my birth control pills, my periods have gotten much milder.  It got me thinking about some of the awful periods I've had since I was just a young 12 year old.  I'll spare you the bloody details (pun very much intended).

5.  Schlitterbahn with the Riemers:  In my life, I've only been to Schlitterbahn once, a fact that boggles Jacob's mind.  He would probably go everyday in the summer if he could.  The only time I've ever been was during my first summer dating Jacob.  We'd been dating about six months so I'd spent time with his family, but not so much that I could be like "Oh, hey, I just got my period this morning, so be a friend and let me know if my tampon string is showing."  Although, to be clear, I wouldn't say that now, because I'm pretty sure it would freak all of them out.  Rightfully so.  Anyway, I was a little anxious about going because like most females with terrible body images, I hate the idea of spending a day in public in my bathing suit.  Just thinking about it now, I can feel myself retaining water.  It was  pretty fun day, despite being bloated and crabby.  Unfortunately for the Riemer family, it would not be the worst period they experienced with me....

4.  First Cramps  I can't remember when exactly this was, 7th or 8th grade year.  I just remember I had already had my period for a year, and this was my first experience with cramps.  Before the cramps set in, life with my period was basically a Judy Blume novel; it was all about self-discovery and surviving awkward adolescence to become a beautiful young lady.  Not really.  Nothing happened except I learned I never wanted to wear pads again while playing basketball.  It's KIND of a dead giveaway you're on your period when you go running down the court and it sounds like you're wearing windpants and you can't stop picking your wedgie.

But back to bad period #4.  Sunday School had just ended, and my mom was working in the church nursery, where normally I would join her to work during the last church service.  I had a horrible combination of cramps and a back ache, so I went to the nursery, fighting back tears, and my mom told me I could go lay down in her car for the next hour and a half.  I still remember being curled up in a ball, convinced I was dying.  How had I gotten by so easy for that first year?  Finally, the last church service ended and my mom found me in the car, sobbing.  If Judy Blume books got the literary respect they deserve, that would be a scene where people would be like "oh, the foreshadowing!" because that was just the first of many horrible periods to come.

3.  Economics Class:  My Senior year of high school, at this point I'm a pro at terrible periods.  Sometimes I got lucky and got them at night or over the weekend, so the first few hours were not at school, stuck in a horribly uncomfortable desk.  Anyway, I remember one day, during Economics with Mr. Johnson, being struck with pain and just thinking,  It was at the beginning of the block period, so the class was going to be long, like 1 1/2 hours?  I don't remember.  Anyways, I waited as long as I could, until finally deciding I needed to go to the nurse.  Through tears, which FREAKED OUT poor Mr. Johnson, I said that I really needed to go to the nurse.  He very quickly dismissed me, and I went straight to the nurse, who said I could call my mom (this was basically a monthly occurrence).  Here's the thing with my mom-she does NOT believe in missing school.  You could have typhoid, diphtheria, dysentery, cholera, whatever, you're going to school.  Thankfully, my mom was really understanding about how terrible my cramps got.  She never really doubted me; if I called home to say I got my period and felt like crap, she'd just talk to the administrator and excuse me from the rest of the day.  So after I got the okay from my mom and I knew I'd be going home, I walked back to class with a puffy face from crying, and continued to make Mr. Johnson uncomfortable as I gave him the paper, excusing me from class.  Thankfully he was too weirded out to take a good look at me, because I'm pretty sure I already had my jeans unbuttoned at that point.  I remember driving home, crying of course, and seeing that my sister, Ashley was at my house, but being hurting too much to be excited to see her and her son.  I barely made it into the house when I collapsed on the tile floor, jeans now fully unzipped, bloated gut hanging out.  Ashley was like "uhhhh is this normal?!"  I told her yes, and my mom went back to their conversation, unfazed.  She'd been dealing with this for 5 years now.  She was pretty much unaffected by my drama.

2.  Chicago Death Hike: Oy.  The infamous death hike.  I was on vacation with Jacob's family in Chicago during the summer of...2006?   It was a record hot day, like 100 degrees, and the plan was to take a walk through downtown Chicago.  We started at the Lincoln Park Zoo around noon.  At about 3:00, I knew I was in trouble and needed to find a bathroom.  Unfortunately the walk through downtown was not so much a leisurely stroll to a couple of places, as it was a six-hour walk from park to park.  We went inside three times that I remember.  Once, to visit their uncle at his building, which I'm sure was a pleasant surprise to him and his co-workers.  I'm sure they loved the eleven of us coming into their office, stinking like little kids after recess from our 3-4 hours of walking, and raiding their snack room of bottled water.  The next stop came about because I had been complaining to Jacob for probably 45 minutes, asking when we would stop and where we were even going.  He was unsure, but he knew I was cramping, and he saw that my hands looked like surgical gloves that had been inflated. 

 I'm not sure what he said to his parents to convince them to go into some random museum so I could get in some air conditioning and go to the bathroom, but it was probably something about how if I didn't shut up, we won't be together much longer.  The walk ended (honestly it's all a blur) at a mall around dinner time.  I remember we went into a LEGO store, that Jacob especially was loving, and I had such bad cramps that I thought, "If I knock over Darth Vader, I can finally lay down on something!"
I found that picture through Google-I have no idea who those girls are, but if I could give them a message it would be-enjoy LEGO Darth Vader now, because in a few years, you might want to use his light saber to burn your uterus off.

1.  The first day of Ag-Eco:  Most of my memories of this class are pretty good.  Dana was in the class with me, so even though it was super boring, I had her to write notes with.  Also, my friend Jordann from high school was in the class, but I think she skipped like 70% of the time.  Additionally, our grad assistant Kara, gave Dana and I (and Mark Gleason) endless entertainment.  She was a shy, nervous gal, who, according to our graduate student friend, Chris E, knew how to party.  From there, Dana and I decided her nervousness was actually a drunken stupor.  We would come up with detailed stories about her at bars, and draw pictures of her passed out in a wheelbarrow, covered with a blanket sewn out of cornhusks (it was an Agriculture class, it fit).  Because of Drunk Kara, Dana and I have such amazing memories as "taco divided by a a taco", which I still don't understand.  I think she was teaching us fractions...related to agriculture?  Also, on a test day, Kara was passing out the exams while wearing an oversized t-shirt that simply said "BTL" with no explanation.  Dana leaned over to me and said "Big Talkin Ladies" which sent me deep into a fit of the church giggles.  The class was also a fun guessing game because our professor came to class everyday in a mock neck turtleneck, and we liked to guess which color he'd show up in.  All those great memories from a class that started out AWFUL.  It was the second day of the semester, first day of Tuesday classes and Dana and I were sitting together as the prof started going through the syllabus.  I'm super lame and I never skipped classes in college.  Except for my 8 am PE lectures freshman year.  I'll figure out diabetes on my own, thank you, so if you don't mind, I'll sleep in and eat my sugary cereal and syrupy pancakes.  Anyway, I always went to class, and the first day was important to me, because you can tell how uptight a professor's going to be, and how important it is to buy the book and all that stuff.  We were only about ten minutes in to the class when I started feeling terrible.  I was hot and sweaty and the class was super packed, and I was positive that I might barf on the cowboy sitting next to me, so I told Dana I would be right back and to let me know if I missed anything.  I ran to the bathroom, where I remained for the next three hours.  Without giving you any gross details, I will say it was absolutely the worst period I've ever had.  At one point, I think I feel asleep with my head on my knees, my butt completely numb.  What's really pathetic is that I was done with classes for the day, and if I could just leave the bathroom, my bus was right outside the building.  But I literally could not even stand up long enough to get to the door.  After three hours, I was able to leave and take the bus home.  Once I was home, I changed into my fat pants, stuffed a pillow in my waistband and made Tom come over once I felt a little better so we could go to HEB together.  A girl with her period has got to eat!

After reading all that, it should make sense that I was diagnosed as having PMDD, although I still don't really get what that means.  I guess just extreme periods?  The only thing I really understood from that gynecologist visit was that the nurse was willing to give me a prescription for xanex.  I refused it, though, because when I asked her when I should take it, she was like "oh, girl, it's just to help you take the edge off.  You could even take one on days when you aren't on your period, but you're stressed.  And on bad days, you could take two, so you make sure you really feel good."  Hmmmmmm something about that seems unethical.....