Monday, January 31, 2011

Drinking Games for Non-Drinkers, Soul Stealing RPGs, and DIY Designer Fashion Accessories

Okay, just one more blog post.  Really, I'm going to turn in my computer today.  Or maybe early tomorrow morning.  Surely one more day won't matter.

I couldn't not tell everyone about the fun I had with some young friends on Saturday night.  My birthday is coming up next week...wait...this week?  I forget.  Anyway, Jayson and I had planned to have my birthday dinner on Friday night since he was leaving to go back to Houston early Saturday.  Friday was my last day at work and I had stayed late to make sure all my loose ends were tied up.  Around 6:00 I sent Jayson a text message telling him that I would be home in an hour or so, at which time he reminded me that we were supposed to go out to dinner.  We decided to postpone until his next trip to town since it was getting late and I was in "the zone" and couldn't be stopped.  So basically I forgot my own birthday dinner.

Some of my writing friends, who all happen to be in their early 20s, had planned to go out to dinner on Saturday night and invited me to join them.  I love hanging out with them despite the age difference and the fact that we live in very different worlds.  I like hanging with people who aren't in my "world".  Not that I don't like the people in my world, I do very much.  But I think we're missing out if we don't step outside our normal circle of friends to see who else is out there.  I get few opportunities to do that so I try to take advantage of them when I can.

We met for dinner at the Longhorn Steakhouse.  I'm still on this 'trying to eat healthy' kick but I just can't not get a steak at a steakhouse.  I got a small steak but instead of the loaded baked potato that I wanted, I opted for the steamed veggies.  I think that canceled out the steak so it's all good.  Actually, it was very good.  The steak was delicious and cooked just right.  Which is to say, it was barely cooked.  I like my meat as rare as the health department will let them serve it.

One of the girls ordered a beer with dinner and when the bartender brought it over to our table he looked right at me and tried to hand it to me.  I found this absolutely hilarious.  Obviously I was the oldest one at the table so I'm sure it looked like I was the mom taking all my kids out to dinner and could probably use a beer.  Then we talked about how he could have tried to hand it to the only man in our group, assuming he would be the one to order the beer since girls like girlie drinks...which is obviously not always the case.

After dinner it was decided that we would be going to Pilot's Pub, which I visited for the first time with these same friends not too long ago.  It's not someplace I typically hang out since I don't drink (anymore) but I wasn't there to drink, I was there to play darts.

I've never played darts before.  I'm not exactly sure how I've avoided it all these years but I've never thrown a dart at a dartboard and was excited to learn how.  Well, there's not much to learn really, but I did get some good strategy tips that I'm sure I'll be able to use in the future when I'm hanging out at other bars not drinking.

I found that I can play darts but not particularly well.  I can aim well enough to hit the board most of the time, but I can't aim well enough to hit a specific number.  We played a game called 301 which was fun but it required entirely too much math.

After darts, we switched to card games.  One was called Egyptian Ratscrew and I liked it a lot.  It reminded me of speed.  I had to have a constant running tutorial because I kept forgetting how many cards followed each face card, but on the other hand I did pretty good at slapping since everyone else's reflexes had been slowed due to alcohol.  Note to self: next time put some money on the game.

James proving she did not cheek her meds.
Angel & James doin' the waterfall.
Jerrit & Cat completing the waterfall.

The other card game we played was a drinking game called Captain Dickhead.  I'd never played anything quite like this before.  The whole deck of cards is spread out face down in the center of the table and everyone takes turn drawing a card.  Depending on the card you draw, different actions are performed, always resulting in a lot of drinking.  Since I was drinking water this wasn't a big deal but I did have to pee pretty badly so I though that sort of put us on an even playing field.  During the game, you hope to draw an Ace because that makes you Captain Dickhead and you can make up any action you want to that carries through until the end of the game, or until another Captain negates it.  I got to be the Captain early on and decided that we all should speak with British accents for the rest of the game.  Of course, those who forgot had to take a drink.  The only trouble with that one is that once the game ended it was really hard to drop the accent.  I was British for pretty much the rest of the weekend.

Egyptian Ratscrew is a game you can play with your family but Captain Dickhead, obviously, is not.  You can play darts with your family too, as long as at least one of you can do math.  Pilot's Pub also has pool tables but I am a terrible pool player so I'm glad we didn't play that.  Just about the only bar game that I'm any good at is foosball but they don't have any foosball tables there.  They did have a beer pong table which I thought to be a ludicrous waste of someone's resources.  It had little recessed places for the cups and an acrylic cover on the top.  Seriously?  You really don't need a special table for that game.

I also learned, sort of, about tabletop RPGs (role playing games).  One of the girls who was invited to join us couldn't because she was playing one of these.  Dungeons and Dragons came out when I was a kid but for some reason my mother declared it Satanic and I wasn't allowed to play it, to know about it, to be friends with anyone who played, to ask about it, or to ever speak its name out loud.  That wasn't the weirdest thing she ever did so whatever.

Anyway, I got a short primer on RPGs and I have to say that they are no more clear to me now than before.  I understand there are characters and depending on your character there are different qualities you possess, but your real personality may have qualities that your character does not and that can count for something.  There may be some kind of dice that you use and there's a table, I presume, since it's a tabletop RPG.  I dunno.  I think I definitely need to see one of these played so that I can understand.  I have no desire to actually play one, and not because I fear it will instantly send my soul straight to hell like my mother told me, but it's something that I don't know anything about therefore is a learning opportunity and I crave those even if what I'm learning isn't exactly of any great value.

Oh, I learned another new thing too.  It's a newfangled fashion accessory (or at least new to me) called wrist warmers or arm warmers.  If you look in the pictures above you can see that both James and Catherine had on some variation of these.  I'm not much of a fashionista since my idea of good fashion is something that fits, is comfortable, and I didn't pay more than $10 for it.  After examining Catherine's funky and fun striped wrist warmers, I determined that I could probably make my own.


These are pictures of my fancy Hanes Her Way wrist warmers.  I think mine are better than your average retail wrist warmers because mine come with the special "heel" where you can store things like your car keys.  You don't get that feature with most wrist warmers.  And, of course, the name brand is prominently displayed because when you own designer garments you want to show them off.  I grew up during the era of the leg warmer so I know what I'm talking about.

Apples Don't Grow on Trees and How to Raise & Train a Linefish

I thought I'd try to squeeze in one more blog post before I turn in my computer today.  I'm on the lookout for a good used MacBook Pro.  Jayson and I went to The Orchard last week and determined that a new one is definitely not in our immediate future.

That reminds me of a funny story about The Orchard.  A few years ago (2 or 3 maybe) I was over at Lisa's house with a bunch of the college girls from church.  One of the girls started talking about her Mac and how it needed repairs and she was frustrated that she'd have to drive all the way to Baton Rouge since there were no Apple stores in Lafayette.  I sort of caught the tail end of the conversation but I chimed in and told her that a new Apple store had just opened in Lafayette and it was called The Orchard.  Another one of the girls looked at me very sympathetically and sweetly said, "Oh Mrs. Shannon, she means Apple as in the computer, not the fruit."  I said, "Um,  yeah, that's what I mean too."  They had greatly underestimated my geekiness.

Because of my impending move, my job at Trinity Bible Church has come to an end.  I don't think it's really sunk in yet.  People have been thanking me for the work I've done there over the past 7 years and telling me what a difference I've made and how it won't be the same without me, blah, blah, blah.  Don't get me wrong, I appreciate that very much, it just makes me uncomfortable.  Compliments are hard for me.  I prefer them to be wrapped in a package of good humored sarcasm.

I was having one of these awkward conversations with someone the other day and I thanked them and told them that I am taking away from Trinity a whole lot more than I left there.  And that doesn't even include all the office supplies I stole.  Well, okay, I didn't actually steal any because I think people who steal things from churches are just asking for a huge heap of bad karma to follow them around for the rest of their lives.  I did sort of abscond with 6 file folders because they had some of my person stuff in them.  But I also left a whole bunch of my own personal art supplies so I figured it would even out in the wash.

There has been some talk around the office lately about what this blog and my Facebook posts will look like without that sort of automatic filter that comes with being a church employee.  I think this is kinda funny especially since most churches would have fired me a long time ago for some of the stuff I say.  I am very impressed and amazed that Trinity never tried to filter me, on my personal Facebook or on theirs.  Well, okay, one time I posted something that someone felt was inappropriate (and for the record, it so was NOT), but I dutifully removed it even though I didn't agree. 

Since I've pretty much been myself all along and haven't held back a whole lot, I don't see any radical changes happening here.  Unless I clean it up even more so that I can get a job with another church who might not be so accepting of my spiritual gift of sarcasm.  Not that I would deceive them...but they would need time to acclimate to me slowly so as not to go into a state of shock. 

It would sort of be like adding a new fish to your aquarium, me being the new fish.  You can't just dump it in, you have to introduce it slowly...letting it get used to its surroundings and give the other fish time to adjust to their new addition.  Then when you open the baggy and finally let her swim free, you see a joyous time of community for your little aquarium world as you witness how your fish accept the newcomer into the fold as one of their own.  And then a couple of months later you discover that what you thought was a harmless little guppy turned out to be a baby lionfish (which for years I thought was linefish because in Texas they're pronounced exactly the same).  Anyway, you wake one morning to discover that your new fish has devoured all the other fish in your tank and threatens to sting you with her spiny barbs if you dare to try to remove her from the territory she has claimed as her own.

Wait, what?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

My Poor Nozzle

A dose of hubris prevention.
I had a little mishap yesterday morning as I was performing my routine toilette.  I have the world's worst skin...oily but with dry patches, rosacea on my cheeks and a lovely breakout of adult acne along my jawline.  I won't even mention the stray eyebrows that show up on my chin on a regular basis.  Yeah, I feel pretty.

I've included a picture of myself taken first thing in the morning a while back.  I can't remember exactly why I took the picture, I think it had something to do with my hair, but there you have it.

Anyway, because of the rosacea I'm supposed to use a mild cleanser on my skin as not to irritate the affected areas.  But if I do that, the overall oily condition of my skin makes the other areas feel rough and in desperate need of exfoliation.  For that reason, I choose to exfoliate daily, rosacea be damned.

Those of you who have oily skin that is prone to breakouts can surely relate to my appreciation of a nice, course exfoliating scrub that feels like it's scraping off the top layer of skin to reveal the brand new baby soft skin underneath.  In fact, I enjoy this so much that I tend to buy the roughest, harshest facial scrub I can find.  I could care less about "gentle micro beads", I want to scrub my face with shrapnel.  That's the only thing that makes it feels clean.

So...yesterday morning I squeezed into my palm a generous blob of St. Ives Apricot Scrub: Blemish and Blackhead Control formula.  It's my favorite cheap shrapnel cleanser.  I proceeded to vigorously scrub my face with it, using both hands to spread the shrapnel to my forehead, chin, and cheeks.  My hands moved quickly in circular motions then up and down both cheeks until the pinky finger of my left hand accidentally snagged my left nostril.  Since I was in vigorous scrub mode, I didn't realize this until I had rammed my finger so far up my nose that the nail hit the base of my brain.  Since I was in the midst of scrubbing, I reflexively extracted the wayward pinky, not in the downward direction that I should have, but in a sideways motion that felt like it ripped my nostril wide open.

I rinsed my face, assessed my nostril for damage and found nothing of any significance.  But I was reminded of when Taylor was about 2 years old and was learning all the names of her body parts.  She was past the nose, ears and belly button stage and we were getting into the more detailed parts such as earlobes, fingernails and nostrils.  She had a little trouble pronouncing "nostrils" and called them nozzles.  It seemed an appropriate term, really, so we have called them nozzles ever since. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Happily Ever After, Another Meltdown and My Toilette

Read any good books lately?  I have.  I thought I'd share a few thoughts on what I've read recently.  And if I've shared my thoughts on these before, please have the good grace to pretend that you don't remember because I sure don't.

If you haven't read these and you plan to, just know that I'm going to ruin the ending of all of them so there's that.



This is a peculiar little novella about a boy with a cuckoo clock for a heart whose mother told him that if he feels extreme emotion, such as love, the heart will explode and he will die.  Obviously this was her way of keeping her son from falling in love and leaving her but it also has a good message of how we let fear hold us back.  What I liked best about this book was the descriptive prose the author uses.  He paints gorgeous word pictures that completely suck you in and make you feel like you're part of the story.  I could clearly see each scene in my mind and I'm convinced that Tim Burton needs to grab this and make a movie out of it...starring Johnny Depp, of course.





This one is going to be a movie soon and deservedly so.  It's set in Mississippi in the 1960s and is the story of 3 black maids who work for upper/middle class white families.  A white woman who is an aspiring writer and is in the Junior League with the maids' employers convinces the maids to tell their stories for her to put in a book.  It was heart breaking to read about how these black women were treated by the white wenches they worked for and how they feared for their lives just because they were telling their stories.  But there were a few white people, like the woman who was writing the book, who were upset by the injustice.  If I had lived during that era, I hope that I would have been like her.



This one was so-so.  I think there was a made-for-TV movie about it but I didn't see it.  It's set in the mid-1960s through the mid-1980s and is about a doctor whose wife gives birth to twins, a healthy boy and a girl with Down's Syndrome.  He tells his wife that the baby girl was stillborn but he actually gives her to his nurse and tells her to take the baby to an institution.  The nurse can't do it and instead runs off and raises the the child as her own.  Through the years the doctor and his wife both suffer a great deal...him from the secret and the lies he told about his baby, and her from believing she'd lost a child.  Sad, but there's a little happy at the end.



This book just pissed me off.  I didn't see the movie so I didn't know what to expect but I thought it was a love story.  If you read it with that in mind, you will be disappointed, trust me.  They do NOT live happily every after in the end.  It's about a 13 year old girl whose misinterpretation of events causes her to falsely accuse her sister's boyfriend of raping her cousin.  The book starts out in 1935 and ends in 1999.  Like I said, it sucks as a love story but it's a brilliant depiction of the mind of a writer and how we tend to view events as part of a story and can often believe our own embellishments.  I cried like a baby at the end and was mad at the author for not letting everyone live happily ever after, but even so it's an amazing book and I highly recommend it.  Oh...it has a very (VERY) distasteful word in it that's only used twice, I think, but is an integral part of the story.



Just in case Atonement didn't rip my heart out enough, I decided to follow it up with this one. It's is a love story set in 1899 and is about a 40 year old married-with-children doctor who falls in love with a 15 year old girl.  The author somehow manages to make you forget that the man's a pedophile, which obviously wasn't a crime back then, but there are all kinds of consequences for the relationship which produced a child.  You end up hoping the couple will end up together in the end, which they do, but at the same time you feel really, really badly for the doctor's family and the baby that was taken from the girl and all that.  So basically, they live happily ever after but you're not really all that happy for them.  It was an okay book I guess, but the conflicting emotions it produced caused me to have a meltdown.



I know better than to read books that make me emote which is why I tend to stick to really trashy romance novels.  I can read 2 a week and there's always a happy ending.  The way God intended.  But they tend to get boring since there's only so many variations of the boy meets girl, conflict is introduced, then they all live happily ever after scenario.

Shortly after I finished Fortune's Rocks, which like I said was okay but not a spectacular read, I had an unexpected 12 hour crying spell.  This is unusual for me since I rarely cry, or emote in any way really, and I couldn't even identify what I was crying about.  But let me tell you, it was the ugly cry...the wailing, hiccuping, covered in snot kind of cry.

It started around midnight on Friday night and didn't end until noonish on Saturday.  Jayson was on his way into town so I sent him a text message and warned him of the state I was in.  To my surprise, he showed up anyway.

By Saturday afternoon I had calmed down and collected myself enough to be able to take my daily medications, without which I simply cannot function.  I have several pills I have to take for my heart and my blood pressure, I take a daily allergy pill, a pill for my narcolepsy, and a mild antidepressant that keeps me from killing my husband and driving my car off the nearest cliff.

As I was opening my little medicine bottles, I glanced down and saw a pill lying on the floor.  It was my antidepressant.  I usually just dump all the pills in my hand and knock 'em back at the same time like any other experienced junkie.  As I stared at the little Effexor on the floor, I decided it must have fallen out of my hand the day before when I did my knock 'em back thing.

That explained a lot.

I walked into the living room with my handful of drugs and told Jayson the story of the fallen Effexor.  We determined that was probably the cause of my excessive emoting since it's happened before, if you remember The Missing Watch Meltdown of '07.

I took my meds and Jayson made me open my mouth and lift my tongue like I was a mental patient.  Oh, wait.  I am a mental patient.  And I'm the poster child for anyone who has doubts about depression being biological...or physiological.  Whatever.  It's not just a lack of coping skills.

Since I consider myself to be of slightly above average intelligence and certainly capable of learning from my mistakes, I chose my next book very carefully.  It's another turn of the century Anita Shreve romance called "All He Ever Wanted".  It's about a professor who becomes obsessed with a woman and convinces her to marry him even though he knows she doesn't love him.  He ends up doing some really bad things to get what he wants so they don't live happily ever after either. 

I'm not sure why I picked this one other than the early 1900s setting.  I love the way they talked back then.  Instead of saying, "I finished getting dressed this morning," they say, "I finished my toilette".  I'm going to start saying that.  When Jayson bangs on the bathroom door and asks what I'm doing (which is a super stupid and dangerous question because I will tell him in graphic detail), I will say, "I am completing my toilette".

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It's good to be a vomit person.


Yesterday when I was talking about my going away party at work I forgot to mention the best part!  My vomit card!  And this is no cheesy card either.  It was printed on the finest 18 pound see-through bond with absolutely no cotton content whatsoever and I am sure those are the sturdiest steel off-brand staples that money can buy. 




But what I'm most impressed with is the artwork.  Someone searched long and hard for a picture of realistic vomit, complete with corn.  Although I think all vomit has corn in it whether you've recently eaten corn or not.  It's one of those mysteries of the universe.

Joel, our worship arts leader, was responsible for this card and he even told me that he went to Spencer's in the mall to look for some fake vomit.  Evidently he hadn't been in there in a while and didn't realize that even if they did have fake vomit it would be wearing a lacy thong.

There is a good reason for the vomit card.  A bunch of church members and staff attended the Global Leadership Summit this past August, just shortly after I had announced I would be leaving.  Bill Hybels offered up this little tidbit regarding resigning staff members:

If you got notice that a staff member is resigning, you’ve got one of three reactions:
  1. Whew! Whoo hoo!
  2. Ugh! Rehiring is hard work and who wants to go through that?
  3. Complete and utter despair; I want to vomit. They are, by all human means, irreplaceable.
If this person resigned, what would you reaction be? You want all “vomit” people on your team.

I was told that I am a vomit person and for this I feel greatly honored.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Binging And Getting My Geek On



If you're too young to remember when this commercial first aired, I don't want to hear about it.

This is my last week at work and to celebrate I went to lunch with all the office girls this afternoon.  We had a very good lunch at Athena, the restaurant one not the gas station.  I wonder if other states have really good food at gas stations or if it's just Louisiana?  I know I would never ever eat anything from a Texas gas station that wasn't prepackaged and contained enough preservatives to embalm a rat.  But here in South Louisiana you can get some excellent home cooked meals at a gas station whose bathroom is not clean enough to pee in.  I've had Greek food, plate lunches, fried chicken and one place even made the best homemade doughnuts and kolaches I've ever had.

In keeping with my recent efforts to eat a little more healthy, I had a big plate of tabbouleh and vegetarian yebrat.  I even passed on the hummus and pita bread.  Even though it was a celebration, I felt I should still try to observe my new healthier eating habits (I REFUSE to call it a diet) since I had pretty much blown it all weekend.  

Friday night I went to Riverside Inn with some friends for Lisa's birthday.  Have I talked about Lisa here before?  I know I have but I probably just referred to her as "a friend".  She is a very good friend of mine who I used to work with.  I think we get along so well because we are polar opposites.  She's very loving and caring and nurturing and thoughtful and she taught me what it looks like to love unconditionally.  I am very distant and cold and cynical and sarcastic and I taught her what it looks like to disrespect authority.  We're a perfect match!

To celebrate Lisa's increase in age (which is somewhere between 34 and 81 according to the 4th grade class she was subbing for) I had the shrimp and catfish pirogue which was outstanding.  Here's what it says on the menu:

SHRIMP AND CATFISH PIROGUEA plank of fried eggplant loaded with shrimp stuffing, topped with a grilled filet of catfish then topped with a creamy pesto sauce swimming with baby shrimp. Served with green salad and choice of potato.
Une tranche de brème bourrée avec far de chevrette, recouvert avec un filet de barbue grillé et une sauce pesto crémeuse avec des petites chevrettes. Servie avec une salade verte et choix de patate.


Lisa had a coupon for a free order of their crabbies appetizer and they were really good too.  So I pretty much cleaned my plate then we had these delicious little strawberry cakes for dessert that another friend made.  All of that was on top of the red velvet cake balls that I had made earlier that day and gave some to Lisa for her birthday.  They were quite delicious as well and of course I had to continually taste them while making them to ensure quality control.
 
Saturday I felt guilty about what I ate Friday night but I was over that by Sunday so we went to Fat Pat's (no website, sorry) for lunch after church.  They have pretty darn tasty burgers and hot dogs.  I got the Mile High Burger, which was very good, and some onion rings.  We all had their fried pickles for an appetizer and I have to say they were probably the best fried pickles I've had.  Their sweet potato fries were good too.  If you have kids, one of the best things about Fat Pat's is that they have TVs in every booth.  It took the kids about 3 minutes to find the Cartoon Network and after that I forgot they were even there.  Of course, they're not my kids so that helps too, but still.

On Monday I ate the leftovers from Fat Pat's thinking I was being really healthy because they were leftovers.  Seriously, it wasn't until today that I realized I had confused healthy with cheap.  I knew there was a good reason to eat leftovers but it wasn't the reason I really needed at the time.  Oh well.  That's why I had tabbouleh for lunch today.

And a banana split for dessert.  I have no willpower.  And even when I eat stupid stuff like that I eat it in stupid proportions too.  Look at Lisa's dainty little bowl on the right.  She got a sampling of all the ice creams with whipped cream and a cherry, too.  Now look at my bowl on the left.  That's my idea of a sampling.  And I wonder why when I look at my backside in the mirror I see my mom's butt staring back at me.

After dessert, everyone in the office shared a favorite Shannon moment or memory that they had.  It was nice but very awkward for me since I loathe being the center of attention.  And it was a little bit like hearing my own eulogy so that was weird.  There was a consensus that I'm not nearly as frighteningly freakish now as I was when I first went to work at Trinity 7 years ago.  I might disagree with that.  I think I'm probably the same as I was then, it's just that everyone else has acclimated to me. 

After all the celebrating was over I settled at my desk to evaluate all the loose ends I need to tie up this week.  It was then that I was struck with the horrifying realization that I will leave "my" computer at work on Friday.  Forever.  I've known this was coming and I've already prepared for it by removing all of my personal files and putting them on an external hard drive.  But I think it just now sank in that this is it.  

I will be computerless for the first time in....wow.  Probably for the first time since 1980.  I had a TRS-80 "microcomputer" back then which was fancy because of its 2 BUILT IN 5-1/4" floppy disk drives and a whopping 16KB RAM.  Those of you who are geeky enough will be appropriately appalled.  Then a couple of years later we started using Commodore 64s in school and those had a ginormous 64KB of RAM which caused me to be frustrated with my little TRS-80, despite its state of the art disk drive.

So for my birthday in 1984 my mom bought me a Macintosh.  They weren't called Macs back then, it was an Apple Macintosh.  It had an unheard of 128KB RAM, some kind of brand new 3-1/2" floppy disks that weren't floppy, and I'd heard rumors that you could draw pictures on the screen.  I got one, and it was all true, and I will forever regret selling that machine in a garage sale about 10 years later.    

After that I went through PCs like underwear until finally coming full circle a few years ago when I was given a Mac to use at work.  Now I can't go back but the Green family budget can't support a computer purchase right now cuz we just bought furniture.  And actually it's not the computer I will miss so much as it is the software.  I use Adobe CS4 for work and I love it but it's insanely expensive. 

All I can say is thank God for Santa Claus who brought me a new iPhone for Christmas, otherwise I'd be in sad shape.  I can do pretty much everything I need to do from there...except blog.  Text messages are challenging enough, I simply cannot type out a blog post on my phone.  A lot of people have said they're thankful for my blog so we can stay in touch after we move but I might have to find out just exactly how thankful they are.  I should ask everyone who reads to make a donation to my computer fund so that I can keep writing.  And no, I can't write on a cheap PC so don't even try to suggest it.  It would squelch my creativity.  I must have a Mac.

There are few things that I'm snobbish about but that's one of them.  I'll wear second hand clothes, pull furniture out of dumpsters, drive used cars, and buy generic groceries but there are 2 things I will not compromise on: My computer will be a Mac and my sheets will have a thread count of 400 or higher. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Are you here for my butt?

My life has been unusually boring over the past few days so I have to grab my excitement through other people's misfortune instead of my own.  Today my sister Shamayn got to have all the fun.  She bought a pork shoulder from Wal Mart and when she opened the package she found it still had the skin attached underneath. 

She's on chemo and has to be really careful about bacteria so she called the USDA (I wouldn't even know how to do that).  They told her not to eat it because bacteria could have gotten into the meat from the skin.  Ya know, if that had happened to me, I'm pretty sure I would have just whacked that skin part off and eaten the rest.  Well, unless it had fur.

Anyway, they also told her not to throw it away.  She has to keep the pork butt and the packaging because they're sending out a representative to seize it.  How fun is that?!  I've never had my groceries seized before.  I'm dying to know what that will look like. 

Maybe it will be a bunch of guys in black suits and sunglasses with the cords in their ears like the secret service.  They will put a black hood on the offending butt and throw it in the back of a black SUV.  Or maybe it will be a team of scientists in hazmat suits who use giant tongs to put the pork in a special bag that will hermetically seal itself and cause the butt to go into indefinite stasis.

Okay, fine, it was a pork shoulder not a butt.  But butt's funnier, right?  Shamayn said she's pretty sure she'll get some guy in a flannel shirt named Bubba with 2 missing front teeth and a glass eye.  I told her that wouldn't be so bad as long as when she answers the door she asks, "are you here for my butt?"

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Barbie clothes, multiple orgasms, roadhouse manners, and the cupcake face

To celebrate Taylor's 20th birthday, she and I spent the day together doing girlie stuff like buying bras and eating.  I always enjoy spending time with my favorite (and only) daughter despite the fact that we were doing one of my least favorite activities.  Shopping.  At the mall.  On a Saturday.

When we spotted this uber tacky redneck truck in the parking lot, I decided that I don't ever want to live in a state where a sight like this isn't commonplace.  We're not a classy bunch, but these are my people. 

Taylor wanted to get a couple of pairs of jeans which I knew would involve a trip to Hollister.  I generally don't enjoy Hollister because the music is so loud I can't hear myself think and the employees, whose average age appears to be 14, are less than helpful.  Or maybe I'm just bitter because I can't fit into any of their clothes.

We struck out this time because Hollister didn't have any jeans in Taylor's size, which is 00.  That's double zero.  And yes, it's a real size.  The challenge of finding jeans in that size is compounded by the fact the she needs 00L.  That's double zero long.  And yes, you can sometimes find that size if you walk into the right store at just the right time and all the planets have lined up in your favor.

Evidently the jean gods were smiling on us today because after stopping at a couple of more stores we had scored 2 pairs of jeans.  We went to a store I'd never heard of before called Forever 21.  I loved their decor, lots of chandeliers and candelabras done in a casual way, and their clothes were as cute as can be.  The store is huge and caters, obviously, to those who are Taylor's age and size.  The clothes are cheap and probably not very well made but it looks like a good place to buy fun stuff that you can treat as disposable.

Taylor had a gift card from Victoria's Secret to spend and wanted to get a couple of new bras.  She wasn't even sure what size to get so we just guessed, she tried them on, they fit perfectly and I was pissed.  Not at Taylor but at the forces of nature that have been so unkind to me over the past several years.  Okay, snack cakes are probably as much to blame as the forces of nature for part of that, but not all of it. 

I can't remember the last time I just picked up a bra off the rack, tried it on and it actually fit.  I need to write a letter to bra manufacturers encouraging them to accommodate those of us who need options other than just the standard sizes that bras come in.  I'm not talking about super large or super small...those areas are well covered.  I'm not even talking about those who are between cup sizes.  Some bra makers have figured out that A, B, C, D, etc. won't cover it so they offer A/B, B/C, C/D, etc.

But there are those of us out there (please, God, let there be more than just me) who are even more breasticularly challenged and would benefit from some kind of modular bra situation.  I would like to be able to buy each bra component separately: the left cup, the right cup, and the strap configuration that I want.  Then I want to assemble those pieces into a lovely, yet supportive undergarment that is both functional and comfortable.  How hard can that be?? 

That's probably a million dollar idea and I'm throwing it out there for free.  Now somebody take it, run with it, make it a reality, then send me the free bra of my choice.  I won't tell you exactly what size I need, but if you know the name of the band who released Back in Black in 1980, you're on the right track.

We topped off our shopping excursion with a trip to Sephora where we both needed to pick up a few things.  I don't wear a lot of makeup and I'm perfectly happy with cheap, drugstore brands for everything except one item: blush.  About 10 years ago, after a long history of tragic blush mistakes, I finally stumbled upon the perfect color for me.  It's not too pink, not too brown, not too frosty, not too dark...it's perfect.  It's made by Nars and the color is called Orgasm.  I don't question it, I just buy it.

I was standing at the Nars display reading all the blush names over and over and over and nearly working myself up into a panic because there was no Orgasm.  Cosmetic companies are notorious for discontinuing my favorite colors and I was afraid that was what had happened.  As I turned to grab the nearest saleslady and demand she find me an Orgasm, I caught sight of the "Orgasm Collection" and my knees buckled with relief.  When their Orgasm blush became such a big seller, Nars made several other products to match so now there's a whole collection worthy of its own display in the store.

I grabbed my Orgasm, checked out and Taylor and I headed out for lunch.  As we were leaving the mall I had two thoughts.  One is that it isn't so bad shopping with Taylor because it's like dressing my own personal Barbie doll.  The other thought I had was that since I hate the mall and avoid it at all costs, I probably should have bought multiple Orgasms.

Taylor wanted Texas Roadhouse for lunch which suited me just fine since I'd been eating healthy all week and was bored with it.  I got the sirloin kabobs which aren't exactly healthy, but I got rice and vegetables for the sides which is better than the chili cheese fries I usually get so I felt pretty good about that. 

I tried, and failed, to get Taylor to make the cupcake face so I could take a picture of it.  I asked her if she wanted me to make her some cupcakes and she gave me this adorable look that made me want to buy her a car.  But every time I asked her to repeat it she started laughing so you'll just have to trust me on how dang cute that look was.

At some point during the meal, the conversation turned weird when Taylor said, "Mom, why did you make me go to cotillion?"  I explained to her that I didn't "make" her go, she agreed to go...only because she really didn't know what it was.  I would never force something so heinous on my child without her permission.  Besides, it wasn't real cotillion.  It was like junior cotillion for 5th and 6th graders.  I thought it would be good for her to learn ballroom dancing and manners and etiquette and other important crap like that.

Fortunately she was not scarred by her cotillion experience, she was simply reminded of it as she watched me butter my Texas Roadhouse roll incorrectly.  She said I should tear a bite sized piece from the roll, butter that piece then eat it.  Then tear another bite sized piece, butter it and eat it.  My method of slathering half the roll with butter, biting off the buttered part then rebuttering what's left, was incorrect yet I felt it was much more efficient.  When I asked Taylor what else she remembered from cotillion she said she remembered which direction you're supposed to pass the salt.  I told her that since it was just the two of us, it was probably okay to just pass it over the top of the bucket of peanuts on our table.  Yeah, that was money well spent.

We topped off our day by stopping at the library to return some things and check out some more.  A few of my writing friends were there and I was glad to be able to introduce them to Taylor since I talk about her all the time.  We visited for a few minutes, commenting on how glad we all were that Will wasn't there that day since he insists he's going to marry Taylor even though they've never met.  It's creepy really.  Okay, maybe I'm the one who keeps telling Will that he needs to marry Taylor but that's just because he's a nice young man.  And every time I say "nice young man" it sounds like I'm 85 years old and he's a loser, neither of which is true.  He's just a nice guy and will be a good catch for someone as soon as he gets a job.

I can't remember what else we talked about but it wasn't until I mentioned the cupcake face that Taylor reminded me that it was time to go.  She wasn't embarrassed that I'd been trying to marry her off to a perfect stranger, but apparently the cupcake face crossed the line.

After we got home I thought it was best that Will was reluctant to commit to her (even though I've offered to take care of everything, all he has to do is show up for the wedding) when I saw this picture on Taylor's Facebook wall.  Yeah, it's gross, but it just cracks me up the way Barbie is smiling and holding up that bottle like she's doing a commercial for floor cleaner. 

Then I remembered how I always call Taylor my Barbie doll because of her size and when you combine that with the picture and Taylor's slightly "off" parents, I guess it can look a little frightening from Will's perspective.  Or anyone's really.  Maybe I should actually make her those cupcakes now.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Unstuffing Ourselves

Today I'm gonna talk about crafts, design, organizing, cooking, decorating, DIY, and homekeeping in general.  My sister has probably just spewed whatever beverage she was drinking all over her computer screen and is now racing to the bathroom for fear of peeing her pants from laughing so hard.

Notice I said I was gonna TALK about that stuff.  I never said I was actually gonna DO it.  I'm really quite capable and I really do do some of that stuff on occasion, but not nearly as much as I used to or as I would like to.  I'm hoping to change that after we move to Houston and in preparation I've subscribed to about 473 blogs covering those topics.  I thought you might be interested in some of the things I've bookmarked for later reference.  Not that I'm procrastinating, you see.  I said I would do this after we've moved and we haven't moved yet so I'm still in the research and development phase.



I like looking at other people's pretty houses and furniture to get ideas for stuff that I can do around my own house.  Some day.  Maybe.  One new source I found is a magazine called Lonny.  It's full of tons of really great designing and decorating ideas, lots of pictures and not very many words (my favorite), but the best part about Lonny is that you can look through the whole magazine online for free.  Then when you see something you like on one of the pages, you click on it and it will take you to the website where you can get one too if you have $1700 to spend on a coat rack.





Pom poms seem to be everywhere these days and they're not just made out of yarn anymore.  I've seen them made from tissue paper, felt, coffee filters, fabric scraps, muffin cups, etc.  My favorite are these little beauties I spotted over at Craftaholics Anonymous.  They're made from old t-shirts cut into strips.  They just look so soft and fluffy, I have to make some.  I'm gonna use some of our (Jayson's) old white t-shirts that really don't need to make the move with us and would probably look great with my urban shabby cottage modern vintage chic decor.




Another crafty project I'm going to tackle in the not too distant future is this perpetual journal from Rhymes With Magic.  I love the basic idea of it but will probably make a few minor changes to her design, one being that cheesy plastic bin she put it in.  She got it for really cheap but you can get not cheesy stuff for really cheap too.  And the magazine pages she used for the dividers are colorful but I think I would prefer using some coordinating scrapbook papers.  That's just how I roll.





This shelf of covered books from Sweetblogchria is also an idea that I like but will modify.  I'm on the lookout for a couple of bookcases since our books are living in a built-in unit that won't be going with us when we move.  I would love to cover all of our books in coordinating papers with pretty matching labels on the spines.  I couldn't even find pictures of what I've got in my head so I guess no one else has been stupid enough to do that.  This picture was the closest one I could find but I guarantee you my books will not be nearly as...uuhh...sweet.


I've seen bookcases where the books are all arranged by color and that's nice but it's overdone and I wanted something a little different.  This picture from A Perfect Gray shows books stacked with the spines toward the back which actually looks kinda cool.  But...I would like to be able to grab the book I'm looking for off the shelf when I need it and this arrangement doesn't provide for any kind of identification.  This is for people who don't actually read their books.  My idea is a lot more work, but it's also more functional and practical.  I think.




I'm not a huge fan of swags but this one at The Shabby Chic Cottage caught my eye.  Maybe I should clarify that.  I'm not a huge fan of swags as in garlands or drapery, but I am a huge fan of SWAG as in Stuff We All Get.  This little swag is made from strips of fabric and ribbon tied around a string of white LED Christmas lights.  I wouldn't use a beach theme for mine, but I can see this with a Christmas theme or even just some pastel colors to go with my pastel house.

Ugly House Photos.com

I am still working hard on trying to love those colors and avoiding a disaster like the picture on the left.  I think I can manage that however, I do sometimes feel like I'm barely one Veg-O-Matic short of the picture on the right.






I'm excited about having more time for some DIY projects after we move and I already have a to-do list for several pieces of our current furniture.  I love looking at this kind of thing online and seeing the before and after shots.  Some of them are amazing like this dresser that I have to admit I would have just left at Goodwill.  But the cute little couple over at Bower Power bought it, fixed it up and ended up with a gorgeous piece of furniture for under $50.






I also like finding quirky or unusual ideas that I can borrow such as this twig chandelier from Funky Junk Interiors.  Jayson usually lets me make all of the decorating decisions but I have a feeling he might have an opinion about this one...which means I'd have to make it and hang it while he's not home.  Not that I would hide it from him or anything, I just think he might be more accepting of the finished product if he didn't have a lot of time to think about it.





I've run across a few recipes lately that look quite delicious but, naturally, don't agree with my current and probably temporary habit of healthy eating.  I thought I'd hold on to them anyway since I'm not about complete treat deprivation, just moderation. Bakerella's Red Velvet Cake Balls seriously make my mouth water.  And I'm pretty sure I would love the Apple Pie Floats from How Does She?.  I really need some of those paper straws.  They make me happy.



My goal for the month of February is go through every single item that we own and do a major clean sweep.  I'm talking everything from the junk drawer to the boxes in the attic.  When Taylor and I go to Houston to visit Jayson, we are there in a house with the bare minimum of furnishings and stuff.  Instead of making the house feel cold and empty, it feels absolutely exhilarating!  I didn't realize how oppressed our stuff was making me feel until I got away from it.  I have stuff in boxes that I haven't even seen in 5 years.  Why am I keeping it??!!  We are definitely going to unstuff ourselves.

I've admitted to having some minor OCD tendencies, but I'm pretty confident that I can keep from getting carried away like this freak lady I read about in Sunset Magazine.  Her family lives in a minimalist home and produces almost no garbage at all.  Ever.  Of any kind. 

She doesn't buy any prepackaged foods, she takes her own jars and canvas bags to the store and loads them up from the bulk bins.

Each family member has a specific number of clothing items and that's it.  She shops at thrift stores twice a year to replace clothes that are stained or outgrown.

The lady, Bea is her name, uses only 4 beauty products since they come in evil non-recyclable packaging.  She orders compostable toothbrushes from Australia and they don't use Q-tips.  I can see giving up paper towels and using only cloth napkins.  But what alternative is there for a Q-tip??  And being a woman, naturally I can't help but wonder what she does once a month when most of us rely heavily on certain disposable products.  I'm sure it's okay to talk about this now since I lost all my male readers after the first sentence.

Seriously, what does she do?  I have a feeling that there are probably non-disposable products out there that can be used for such a situation but that thought grosses me out so badly that I haven't even Googled it.  And I Google everything.

All I can say is more power to 'em.  If it makes them happy to have waxy ears, then so be it.  I guess I just don't love my planet enough to give up Q-tips.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Smells Like Teen Spirit

Last night I went to a bar for the first time in probably 15 years.  I have to say...they haven't changed much.  Granted this one is sort of a throw back type place, and I don't mean that in a cool, CBGB & OMFUG type way.  It really wasn't bad, it was just a bar.

We were celebrating the birthday of one of my (young) friends at Pilot's Pub on Congress.  They said I should meet them upstairs, which I did after only a small anxiety attack.  Fortunately the staircase is just inside the front doors so I didn't have to wander too far into the main bar area.  Not that that's a bad thing, I'm just well aware that I'm, uh, a year or two older than most of the bar patrons in this college town.  It really doesn't bother me, but it seems like every time I make eye contact with someone they get that deer in the headlights look on their face as if I've been sent by their mother to check up on them.

When I got upstairs, it appeared to be nothing more than a long hallway lined with heavy closed doors with electronic keypad locks on them.  I thought, "Oh dear God, what kind of place is this?!"  Then I found a set of double doors that opened into another bar area that wasn't as scary as I thought it would be.  I really half expected to be required to give someone the secret password before they'd let me enter.

Since I don't drink (anymore) I asked for a bottle of water and got a nice cold bottle of Kentwood Springs filtered tap water.  It was $1.50 for this same water that I buy by the case at Winn Dixie for $4.50.  Thank God I didn't ask for what I really wanted which was a Pellegrino.  I can imagine what that conversation would have looked like: "Pellegrino...it's carbonated water...P E L L E...no, club soda won't do...it's like Perrier...P E R R I..." 

Part of the Pilot's Pub thing is "having hot girls serve great drinks in a cool atmosphere".  I got that straight from their website.  All I can say is...don't expect too much.  All of the girls were really sweet but it sort of reminded me of my first trip to Hooter's.  I expected to see what I've seen on television: chicken wings served by porn stars.  I've been to several different Hooter's restaurants now (they really do have good wings) and have yet to see anything remotely resembling a porn star.  Yes, the girls wear the tight, skimpy little outfits but most of them have no business doing so.  If you've got a little belly, that's okay.  I've got a little belly.  But for the love of God and everything holy, don't parade it around in spandex that's 2 sizes too small.

The Pilot's Pub jukebox had the same selection of standard bar music found in jukeboxes 20 years ago so that was good, I knew all the songs.  The only thing that was really different was the dog who came to our table for a visit.  Apparently, it's a pet friendly place.  Odd.

I had a good time with great friends and after two showers I think I've finally managed to get the bar smell out of my hair.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Rainman Buys Groceries and Mouring the Death of My Metabolism

Yesterday was chock full of horrifying self realizations.  I'll start with the one that prompted the other.  After a prolonged illness in which I had high hopes it would make a full recovery, I finally accepted the fact that, indeed, my metabolism is officially dead.

I've always had a cast iron stomach and could eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted and in the quantities that I wanted without any real consequences.  I know, I was very fortunate and I foolishly took full advantage of that blessing by faithfully indulging in my three favorite food groups: chips, salsa and snack cakes.

Earlier this week after a midnight rendezvous with a bag of Tostitos with lime and a jumbo sized jar of Pace Picante Sauce (New York City??!!), my stomach, or rather my colon, roused me at 4 a.m. and held my full attention until late afternoon.

I was in denial for a couple of days until yesterday when I faced the fact that I have to make some changes to my eating habits.  I've been steadily gaining weight over the past 4 or 5 years but I've basically ignored it, hoping in vain that I would catch a good stomach virus that would take care of it.  Now I see that this trend is the new norm and if I don't do something about it pretty soon, I will have to be buried in a piano box.

I also need to do something about my sedentary lifestyle but I'm putting that one off until after we move to Houston.  I'd hate to foolishly rush into an exercise program only to later regret it.  Ahem.

I've never had to diet before so I consulted the wisdom of a few friends, including my good buddy Google.  This wasn't as helpful as I had hoped because everybody has a different opinion and what worked for one didn't work for another.  Some had great luck with Atkins, others are all about Weight Watchers, one friend did well with Nutrisystem, several have lost weight just by watching what they eat and exercising, etc.  The only one that really caught my attention was a conversation we had about the guy who did the Twinkie Diet.  I could get on board with that.

I've decided I'm going to try the watching what I eat thing first.  Since I have no willpower or self discipline whatsoever, I'm not sure how this is going to work out but I'm giving it a shot.  Once that decision was made, all that was left to do was go to the grocery store to get all of my new healthy foods.

I decided to forgo my neighborhood Winn Dixie and headed for Albertson's instead.  Their prices are higher but their produce is better and I had a feeling I would be buying a lot of it.

Imagine my disappointment when I came upon the greenest bananas I've ever seen.  I like my bananas a little under-ripe but these were so green they almost looked fake.

The other horrifying self-realization thing happened in the check out line of the grocery store and totally caught me by surprise.  As I was taking all of my items out of my cart and placing them on the little conveyor belt thing, I became aware that I had been unconsciously sorting them into groups.  All of the frozen foods were together, the produce was in its own pile, the refrigerated foods were grouped together and the canned goods were neatly arranged on the belt.  Of course, all of this was kept separate from the cleaning products I had picked up as well.

I was stunned by own OCDness! I'm aware that I do have some minor OCD tendencies, but they're not nearly as bad as they used to be and are hardly noticeable.  But this...this was like being slapped in the face by a habitual hand washer.  Right there in the checkout line, between People magazine and the Altoids, I had transformed into Rainman.

I was still trying to process this when I saw the cashier about to put a bottle of lemon juice into a bag with my produce items.  Fortunately I was able to snatch the bottle from his hand and shove a baggie of onions in his face just in time.

We both stared at each other, wide eyed and confused, until we were saved by the bag boy who asked if I wanted my milk in a bag.  Which, by the way, I think is one of the stupidest questions ever.  Why would I not want my milk in a bag?

I continued to assess the severity of my newly discovered mental illness as the now terrified cashier carefully lifted each item off the belt, rang it up, then looked at me for approval before placing it in a bag.

I loaded up my car with a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat this and light that.








This is the picture I was going to show you as proof of my seriousness about eating healthier.  Isn't it beautiful?  I just love all the colors and textures.









But I decided I should probably show you the real picture since self-deprecating honesty is my milieu.


Baby steps.








By the time I got all of the groceries put away, I was starving.  With so many new choices, it was hard to decide what to try first!

I'm a little embarrassed to show you what I ate for dinner because I'm aware that it might look a little odd.  I have my grandfather (the Lithuanian one, not the Lebanese one) to blame for that.  That man would eat just about anything as long as it hadn't been microwaved.  He said that microwaved foods gave him diarrhea but I think he was just afraid of the microwave since my grandmother was known to sneak him some nuked stuff now and then without any ill effects.

One of Grandpa's favorite "light" meals was to empty a package of Tom's peanuts into a container of cottage cheese, mix it up and sprinkle it with hot sauce.  Gross, am I right?  For a snack, he would sometimes slather pumpernickel bread with sour cream and a little bit of salt.  I have to admit, that's just tasty.  Since it's hardly a meal, I added some tomatoes and cucumbers and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Until 20 minutes later when I was starving again.

Then I dove into my platter of fresh broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and light veggie dip.  That held me over for another 20 minutes.

At this rate, eating healthy will consume my life.  Who has time to fix themselves a light meal every 20 minutes?  I should add that going hungry really isn't an option for me because as soon as my blood sugar drops, I get a migraine.  So basically I can either graze like a cow 24/7 or be strung out on pain pills all the time. 

Maybe I should take up meth.  I've heard it can be very slimming.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!

I am frustrated beyond belief!  When we first got the Houston House Jayson accidentally locked himself out one night and the property management company had to call a locksmith to let him in.  It was the first time he'd locked the garage door when he left, only to discover that the key they had given him didn't work in that lock.  It's just one of those little door knob locks like you'd see on a bedroom door.

Anyway, the locksmith came out and let him in and the property management company set up a time for the locksmith to rekey the whole house...which they did and it was all peachy.

Or it was until yesterday when we got a bill from the property management company wanting us to pay the $97 lock out charge from the locksmith.

The first time I went to the property management company to sign the lease, Jayson apologized to them in advance for whatever I was about to say.  I had a list of things they needed to take care of and I intended to politely share my list, that's all.  I'm never mean to anyone unless they're mean to me first.

The leasing gal was really nice and I very sweetly gave her my list and we chatted and we laughed and everything was fine.  Jayson told her that she got off easy this time and was spared the Wrath of Shannon.  Whatever.  I'm actually very non-confrontational and easy to get along with but when the time comes to stand up and be outspoken, I can do that too. 

Evidently my husband thinks that at those times I'm a bitch on wheels.  Okay fine, at times I probably am.  But those times are few and far between.  He even seems a little embarrassed by this since he warned the gal in advance that things could get ugly. 

Fast forward a couple of weeks to yesterday when we get this bill to pay the locksmith to come out and open the door for which the leasing company FAILED to give us keys. 

Now what does Jayson say?  "We shouldn't have to pay this since it wasn't our fault I got locked out.  Uh, honey...will you call the property management place and take care of this?"

Oh sure.  Now he's glad that I'm not afraid to suit up, show up, and get the job done while he sits in the corner like Gumby, all spineless so that everyone will love him.  Geez Louise.

Actually, none of that is the frustrating part.  We've been married for 147 years so I know that we each have different strengths and weaknesses, it really doesn't bother me.  What bothers me is stupid people.  I really hate to call anyone stupid since I sometimes have more than my share of random stupidity.  The difference is...I'm teachable.  Show me why I'm stupid so that I can learn from my mistake and hopefully not do it again.

I called the property management company and explained to them that the key we were given did not work in all the locks and we didn't realize this until Jayson got locked out.  Since this was not our mistake, I didn't feel like we should have to pay the bill for it.

The property management gal...let's call her Dense Debbie...said that Jayson had locked the keyless deadbolt (or inside deadbolt) on the garage door and that's why he couldn't get back in.  If he had not locked the keyless deadbolt he would have been able to get in, therefore it was our fault.

All of the doors in the house have an inside deadbolt, which the leasing gal kept calling a keyless deadbolt...the kind where you lock it from the inside but you can't unlock it (or lock it) from the outside.  The lock doesn't show on the outside of the door so no one even knows it's there.  The doors also have regular dead bolts where you can lock and unlock them from either inside or outside the house.

Dense Debbie insisted that the keyless deadbolt was locked on the garage door and that's why Jayson couldn't get in.  Our conversation went something like this:

DD: If he hadn't locked the keyless deadbolt, he would have been able to get back in.

Me: He didn't lock the keyless deadbolt.  The key didn't work in the knob which he didn't know until that night.

DD: Then how had he been getting in and out of the house?

Me: Through the front door.  This was the first time he'd used the garage door.

DD: Then he should have gone back in the front door.

Me: He couldn't.  He locked the keyless deadbolt before he left then went out the garage door.

DD: Then he shouldn't have locked the keyless deadbolt on the garage door before he left.

Me: He didn't.  He locked the keyless deadbolt on the front and back doors, not the garage door.  That's the door he left through and it's not possible to lock a keyless deadbolt from the outside.

DD: No, he locked it before he left the house.

Me: It's not possible to turn a deadbolt before you leave the house!  It will hit the door jamb and you won't be able to shut the door. 

DD: Hang on, let me check my notes. ... The locksmith said the keyless deadbolt was not locked on the front door so he should have been able to get in that door.

Me: The keyless deadbolt WAS locked on the front door, that's why he couldn't get in.  The locksmith let him in the garage door.  That's the one where the deadbolt was not locked and the one his key didn't work in.

DD: Hang on, let me check on this. ... I'll have to look into this further, can I call you back?

Me: Sure.

Never heard back from her.  Not sending a check.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Random Conversatioins

I've been toying with the idea of participating in NaBloPoMo where you commit to writing a blog post every day for a month.  Like NaNoWriMo where you write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days, it's something that's done just for fun and your own personal growth.  There's no prize or real incentive, other than whatever you make up for yourself.

Since we're in the middle of this 6 month long project of relocating to Houston, this would not be a good time for me to try this.  So instead, I'm going to commit to trying to think about maybe considering to post more often.  I'll just think of it as NaBloPoMo training.

Since content is completely irrelevant, I have the freedom to drone on about anything that strikes my fancy.  As If I don't do that already.  At the moment, the only thing that comes to mind are some recent conversations I've had.
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A couple of weeks ago on one of those rare occasions when I visit the job I barely still have, a few of us were talking about Christmas shopping which naturally progresses into a conversation about homicidal road rage. 

My pastor/boss said he rarely gets road rage.  He's easy going, go with the flow, live and let live when it comes to his driving experience.  I'm usually the same way except for when stupid people do stupid stuff that makes me want to shoot them.

Pastor/boss said the only time he gets frustrated in traffic is when someone pulls into the middle of the intersection and gets stuck there when the light changes, blocking your ability to move at all even though the green light is now yours.  To me, this is a justifiable homicide situation that makes me want to walk over to stupid guy's window and shoot him in the head.

Pastor/boss, being the voice of reason that he is, disagreed with my shoot now, ask questions later method.  He said he would prefer to walk over to Stupid Intersection Blocker's car and share the gospel with him. Pastor/boss would tell him about the saving grace of Jesus and then after Stupid Intersection Blocker invited Christ into his heart...then he would shoot him.  That sounded reasonable to me.
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Last night as we were quietly ringing in the new year at home, Jayson asked me if there was someone we needed to call. 

"Someone's birthday is at midnight, I just can't remember who.  Who is it that we're supposed to call and wish happy birthday?" he asked.

"It's Gida," I said.  Gida is the Arabic word for Grandfather.  "Gida is a New Year's baby".

Jayson said, "Oh."  There wasn't much more he could say since Gida died 20 years ago.
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This afternoon we were watching television and out of the blue Jayson said, "Your last meal...what is it and why?"

As I was carefully considering what I might like to have as my last meal on this earth, Taylor quickly replied, "Reeses Puffs...because it's all we had in the house."

Bless her heart.