Showing posts from July, 2008

Further Proof the Internet Will Explode

I'm finally doing something with my Facebook page. I have friends, woohoo. In fact, Ed commented on the fact that I put up my marital status and it said "Suzanne got married" and yesterday's date. He congratulated me on my marriage.

So far, I suspect it will be a whole lot of nothing-but it did find me a few people from high school that I'd always wanted to say Hi to again. You know, the people who actually were nice and friendly, no matter whether you were popular or not.

In some down time today, I calculated that I am averaging 40 posts a month. At that rate, I'll fall just shy of 500 posts for 2008. Guess I better step things up, eh? If I do hit 500 posts this year, I'll be 20 posts away from 1000. When I started this thing, I never thought I'd get that many posts in-or that I'd meet so many people as a result. Awesome stuff.

Where's that darn Prize Patrol?

I sure can use them right now, since rent's due. Have you seen them?

What's For Dinner Wednesday

It's a wonder I did make dinner today. I've had no energy and a headache. A soak in the tub is in the near future. However, there are fans that I can't disappoint, lol!

Oh, and Saffa Chick has jumped on the What's For Dinner bandwagon. If you want to see yummy meals from Down Under, check her out!

Yesterday, I promised Gameboy that he could have pizza tonight. He was instructed to remind me to make dough first thing this morning. The child who has to be reminded to do basic things like brush his teeth and take his meds reminded me as soon as I awoke this morning that I needed to make the pizza dough.

This time, I was smart. I made a double batch of dough, so that it's ready whenever Ed might need it. The kids love the homemade variety and I like not paying for pizza out-especially since the only good pizza on this side of town is a little pricey (but worth it).

Then we went down a different path with the pizza. Both boys wanted white pizza. It started …


What is the difference between the animal above and me?

I'm wearing jammies.

Today has been a total veg day. I'm battling a headache and have no drive to do anything. Oh well.

What's for Dinner post later...have to work up the energy for it.

Aquatica, the Sequel

We went back to Aquatica today. For those keeping track in the home game, this makes the second visit for three of us-and the first visit for Gameboy and our friends, Bob, Maureen and their son.

We got a great day, with the requisite afternoon thunderstorm that cleared the wimpy folk out. It's things like that that make you say "DUH, you're at a water park to GET WET!" We love it when people do dumb stuff like that, because two of us were able to ride a bunch of the slides with minimal lines.

I did have every intention of taking some pictures for those Googlers who visit the blog at least twice a day for an "Aquatica" search. However, the lure of all the fun activities kept me from taking many. I got some at the beginning of the day and some shortly before we left of my boys on the sandy beach. That's it.

I've got patches of lobster red skin to show for all the sun today, but it was worth it.

Why? Several reasons:

*Gameboy had a fantastic day. …

Yet Another Sign the Internet Will Explode

I joined Twitter.

Back in January, I saw it on Bonnie's sidebar and thought "Wow, that's neat." I contemplated getting in on the action. Based on her Tweets, though, I suspected that it was a feed reader of all the comments she made on other blogs. That scared me off.

The idea that my comments I made elsewhere would be attached to the blog made it an unpalatable option. I started the blog to voice my thoughts, but the reality is that sometimes, the things you want to say can't be said where you want to say them.

This has been vaguely mentioned before. I even made a statement that if what I said offended anyone, they should stop reading. It was a rough patch that many steady bloggers go through.

I was wrong. Unlike Fonzie, I can say those words, lol. I found out that those tweets on Bonnie's blog? Just proof that the woman is very prolific (and funny). My comments to support others, vent about shared experiences and digs at politicos wouldn't make…

The Smilie Award

Lately, I don't feel like my usual, chipper self. Worries about Gameboy, about my lack of sales success at work and worries about how the heck I'm going to pay the bills have really colored my blog with the frowns that I feel.

Imagine my surprise when I went to go read one of my favorite bloggers, Geggie and found she'd bestowed me with the Smilie award. It was a bonus in my eyes, since she recently had to take her blog private and gosh, I had a few days of Gail withdrawal!

Why did Geggie bestow me with the award? I guess (despite my opinion to the contrary lately), she feels I exemplify the rules stated here:

1. Must display a cheerful attitude. (not necessarily at all times--we are all human)
2. Must love one another
3. Must make mistakes
4. Must learn from others
5. Must be a positive contributor to blog world
6. Must love life
7. Must love kids

It really make me stop and think that sometimes when we struggle, there is someone there to lift our burden. Thanks, Geg! Your bl…


Last week, I wrote an open letter to Michael Savage after hearing his comments about Autism. Living with an Aspie is not easy, and the frustrations came out in that entry detailing an average day.

A friend commented that I should write a book about parenting a child with Asperger's, as there are very few books detailing the experience. I thought about it and realized that Holly is right. When Gameboy was diagnosed, I found many books detailing what Asperger's IS, but not what living with it can be for everyone in the household. There is not much out there about the day to day nitty gritty of life with Aspergers.

Some days, Ed and I feel like we're sinking. It's easy to feel that you're alone in this thing, because those who are on the outside looking in have NO IDEA of what it entails. The fear in the pit of the stomach that you get when the phone rings and the caller ID shows it is his school. The fear that he might be suspended from school for an outbu…

Suzanne's Soundtrack Sunday

A Tough Act to Follow.

Have you ever had the front man/woman of your favorite band depart for greener pastures? Sure you have! Did you fear whether the replacement would be able to do justice with the original music? Worry that the band would no longer be a favorite?

There's one thing you can be sure of in the music business, and that is: people will leave bands. There is something about those artistic types that is certain. If the creativity isn't happening or their contribution not appreciated, they'll take their party somewhere else.

Sometimes, the replacement is just horrible. Sammy Hagar springs to mind when he joined Van Halen. (Gary Cherone was worse and I have a hard time knocking the man) Each is talented in his own right, they just didn't meld with the rest of Van Halen. Besides, how to you even attempt to follow up a larger than life front man like David Lee Roth?

One of my favorite bands replaced their charismatic front man, Fish. I was biased for a…


First commercial break for NFNS, and Donna calls me to vent about what's bothering her, too.

Gosh, this reminds me of being a teen and doing the same with friends as we watched TV.

Update: Adam cracked me up. Now I'm bummed that Aida's going to do his concept!

Another Update: Aaron rocked it out! His personality FINALLY shows up when he needed it!

This is too funny!

CONGRATS, AARON! Can't wait to see Big Daddy's Kitchen!

Yay, Cake!*

I thought the family forgot my birthday. Mainly because not a word was spoken of it until I arrived home tonight!

I found a lovely homemade card from Chef Jr, in which he summed up the comments he makes each day when I get home:

The aforementioned "Yay, Cake!"* Carvel, even. I think the plus of two birthdays in one week is that there's a good bet that one of us will be sharing a Carvel Cake with the rest of the family.
We even got the jackpot on this one: crunchy heaven. Woohoo!

The planned post today was nagging me, because I felt it would work better in two years. You now have to wait until 2010 for "88 Lines about 44 Birthdays", LOL.

*"Yay, Cake!" is the response heard from Gameboy for a few years as soon as anyone finished singing "Happy Birthday"! It was extremely cute, and we still do it sometimes...

Saying Goodbye to a Furry Friend

Over the years of writing the blog, I'd thought that I'd written about my friend Jill's cats. I remember composing a blog that detailed her five felines and their very different personalities once when I was cat sitting. I even took pictures of each of them to catalog. Each of them gladly complied with my paparazzi photo session, some seemed to even be mugging for me. (I need to find those pictures.)

I just went back through the pages to find it to link to my post for today. Then I realized that I wrote it, but ultimately decided not to publish it, feeling it was up to Jill if she wanted to share the stories of her cats. Now I regret the fact that I censored myself.

While I love pets of all kinds, I am most decidedly a dog fan. In your face animal over indifference or apathy any day, as far as those friends in fur suits are concerned. Couple that with the fact that I'm severely allergic to cats and it probably is a good thing. I seem to handle being in a house …

Tipping A Hand

I'm a Food Network junkie. Admitting it is the first step, right? Anyway, it's what I watch when I have control of the remote.

Currently, they've got the foodie's equivalent of rabid sports fandom: Next Food Network Star. I've been watching this for the last three seasons, with an eye towards entering the competition myself.

Last year, there was a contestant that, week after week, would screw up or just be a jerk, yet he made it to the finals. No sooner had they hit the commercial break just before then end of the second to last episode did they air a commercial for a NEW show debuting. That commercial tipped their hand that Joshua Adam Garcia (who referred to himself as "the JAG") would not be the Next Food Network Star.

How's that, you wonder? Well, "the Jag's" show concept was Latin inspired foods. This new show? "Simply Delicioso", which featured Latin inspired foods with a different host (the cloying and phony see…

A Tale of Two Nikons

Back in 2002, Ed bestowed me with a digital camera for Christmas. He did tons of research, as he tends to do with any gadget purchase and he went with that year's top pick from Leo Laporte, the Nikon CoolPix 2500. It is a 2.1 megapixel camera and it set him back a nice piece of change.

I love the camera. It's easy to use and turns out a decent picture. Even an SLR snob like me learned to leave the bulky camera bag behind when we go out, because it's done a darn good job in a variety of settings.

A few years later, Ed suggested getting me a better camera, and he'd take mine. Fate intervened, though. We happened to acquire another Cool Pix 2500 for $75., all because my habit of carrying the camera everywhere meant I had a card and battery to test one that was being sold in an unclaimed items sale. Having two of the same camera is pretty cool, much like the many Minolta SLRs that we had among me, the ex, my Dad, Giggles and Dave. The same camera meant there was an…

What's For Dinner Wednesday

In the quest for NFNS, I wanted to conquer the staple of Southern Menus, Barbeque. I love getting the good stuff when we're out-it was high time I attempted a recipe on my own.

A coworker pointed me in the right direction. Guy is a whiz in the kitchen himself, and his specialty is Carolina 'Que. He was kind enough to hand me his recipe last week after I'd mentioned getting a Pork Picnic on sale. Too bad I left the recipe at work.

I remembered what the key spices were and Guy's instructions. A quick trip over to the Food Network site found me something close. Their Carolina BBQ had Celery Salt, and Guy's had mustard powder.

This is where I diverged, in the interests of ease. I put the Picnic in the crockpot, slathered those spices in, added a cup of cider vinegar and realized I didn't have enough moisture. I remembered Alton's Dr. Pepper Country Ham glaze, and another recipe for Root Beer Pulled Pork, but I went for Atlanta's finest soft drink to…

An Open Letter to Michael Savage, Autism 'Expert'

Today, I was given a link to conservative talk show host Michael Savage's recent broadcast about Autism and what he called its over diagnosis. Less than twenty seconds in and Mr. Savage's ignorance has me seething. I was compelled to write this letter and share it with the Internet.

Mr. Savage,
I appreciate anyone who wants to do something to further the cause of autism research and understanding. You sir, have done neither. I have a piece of advice for you: stick to what you know before running off your mouth.

Last week, you claimed that 99% of those out there diagnosed with autism are 'fakers'. Similarly, you say that if you can't SEE the disability when someone has a handicapped placard, they also are fakers. That's a battle for another day.

You ask why the definition of autism has been changed to include autism spectrum disorders. It's quite simple. Research, research and more research. Those who were classified as 'odd' or 'different&#…

The Great Birthday

Chef got the day he wanted yesterday. It's nice when we can actually do what is requested!

First up, he got the breakfast of choice, sausage gravy and biscuits. You can definitely tell these boys are raised in the south! Afterwards, dad brought out his new bike. Smart child that he is, he ran to hug Daddy.
His other requests were dinner at Red Lobster and a visit to Sea World. A quick call to Sea World found that tonight was the last night they would be open until 11pm-so we didn't have to rush over and deal with the heat (and tons of Brazilian tour groups, either-just some of them).

One of my coworkers asked me to stop by the store because she had a little something for the Crustacean Kid. It ends up that Kristen had a $25 gift card to Red Lobster. Awesome! Chef could now choose whatever he wanted on the menu. Of course, he went for the biggest, baddest crustacean meal around.

First, a salad. If the dressing has cheese or garlic, sign him up.

Next, he worked on the plat…

July 20, 1999

It started innocently enough. "New house, new baby." Ed had friends moving the crib into the third bedroom of our townhouse, while I was directing them to send those items to the basement-that third bedroom would be an office.

His push for the house was more inspired by a desire to add to the family than anything else. He knew I wouldn't agree to more kids until we owned a home. My plan was to spend a year settling in, then try for number two. Six weeks later, he convinced me that waiting was ridiculous. My apologies to my friends suffering from infertility, we got pregnant quickly.

Not quite two weeks later, I got the flu. Bad. I stopped at Wal Mart on the way home and picked up a pregnancy test and the TheraFlu. It was early, but I didn't want to use any flu medications if I was pregnant. A faint line showed up and I spent the weekend without any meds.

My OB/Midwives didn't schedule a first prenatal visit until ten weeks, so I waited until I was five w…

Suzanne's Soundtrack....Saturday?

As tomorrow is Chef Jr's birthday, I'm pushing up the Soundtrack Sunday post. There is still alliteration in the title, it's just Suzanne's Soundtrack Saturday. Think of it as an early birthday gift.

This week, a chance listen to "One Thing Leads to Another" by the Fixx brought about the erroneous statement from someone that that song was their first hit. Um, no, it wasn't. The album "Reach the Beach" that it came from wasn't even their first.

The reason why this little bit of information sticks in my head so strongly is that the very first video I saw on MTV (I think in November 1981) was the first hit by the Fixx, "Stand or Fall". Great song, interesting video.

It made me ponder why I never bought any of their albums. I liked all their releases. Then I realize that the reason why I never did was that I knew I could see the videos on MTV. Video Killed the Radio Star, indeed.

(btw, that was a very old song in the Suzan…

Number Nine, Number Nine

Chef turns nine on Sunday. This is the first year where the child has been anxiously counting down to the big day. Aren't we lucky! Actually, I think we are-he's the one child on the planet who is PISSED that I didn't let them wait until his due date to do the C section-he wanted to share our birthdays.

His first request for the day was a meal at Emeril's at Citywalk in Orlando. I made the reservations ages ago and planned for the Sunday off. Then he changed his mind and decided he wanted a bicycle. Our respective wallets sighed in relief!

Thus began the searching. Then, more searching. After lots of conversations and some negotiations, a decision was made. He's getting a trick style bike Sunday morning. It's being hidden in our walk in closet, since he's got uncanny sleuthing skills.

That Orange County Chopper bike served him fairly well, but gosh darn it, kids GROW.

Pictures on Sunday, if I can get him to slow down long enough for me to get some!

In the Blogosphere, you can hear...

The theme from "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly". Many of my fellow bloggers are off to BlogHer, a three day event designed to celebrate the joy of blogging AND give pointers on how to improve your mad blogging skills.

Would I like to go? Heck, yeah. It sounds like fun and learning rolled into one. I'd probably be a little star struck, too. It would be awesome to meet some of those bloggers I've been reading for a while and aspiring to be as good as they are.

The reality is that it costs far more than I can afford. It's one of those "I'd love to do this" things, because how often does one get into a room full of people who wouldn't respond to the statement "I blog" with:
1. Oh, you're on MySpace?
2. Isn't that for kids-you're too old for that crap!
3. The internet is full of weirdos, you know!
4. Why would you want to do that?

Those first three questions just put a neon sign over that person's head how clueless they ar…

What's For Dinner Wednesday

What I put in the crock pot yesterday ended up not being dinner. Instead, we replayed some recent favorites.

Gameboy is addicted to the pepperoni rolls. I made dough before running errands this afternoon, figuring that he'd have that and Chef and I would eat the shredded Tex Mex chicken. When I got home, however, I realized that Gameboy had helped himself to most of the pepperoni I'd earmarked for it. As I tried to figure out what to do (use that shredded chicken or something else, Chef said he'd rather have pizza, anyway.

Cool. There was enough pepperoni for a half size roll and I could use the rest of the dough for pizza. Out came the ingredients and twenty minutes later, this is what we had:

Ed ended up having my original meal for tonight, Shredded Tex Mex Chicken. My thought process was to make pulled chicken, but in an enchilada sauce. The first taste told me it needed *something*, but I hesitated on putting more cumin in it. I love that flavor, but too much …

Weird Dream

There must be a run of weird dreams. ShannyMar had one the other day that she recounted.

Mine was just weird:
Ed and I are walking into a cocktail hour, dressed up. It apparently is a reunion for my high school. (the last one I attended was my 10 year, if there was a 25, it'd be next year) It is being held at one of the fancier hotels on Long Island. We're mixing and mingling, but the consistent thing is that no one believes I am me. My answer was "Yes, I cut my hair off!" (it's been shoulder length or longer since I was 12.)

At one point, the president of the choir 'tests' me by asking questions to prove I was who I said I was. Questions like "Mr. Thayer had us rehearse this song for the choral festival, but we did what other song instead?" He finally believes me.

While I'm in conversation with him and another choir member, I notice the room emptying , and I assume it's to go into the ballroom for the dinner. However, Ed and I wal…

A Scouting We Will Go

After a six week hiatus, thanks to Ed and I both working Tuesday nights, we're about to head back to Boy Scouts. Gameboy is happy about it and even put up with my insistence that he shower and brush his teeth!

This came about thanks to a change in my schedule. My job has set schedules, and my old rotation was Wednesday/Thursday off. Now, I'm Tuesday/Wednesday. Not perfect, but good enough. Somehow, Ed will have to arrange Monday nights off when the kids go back to school, so that Chef Jr can attend Cub Scouts.

(Oh, Vern's Nephew is still announcing his presence. Ow.)

Woohoo to our friends Bob, Maureen and their son. As I write this, they are caravaning down here to their new home. They sold and closed on their home up north yesterday and make it down here with plenty of time to spare before school begins in August. It'll be nice to have them here.

Why Internet Backgammon Frustrates Me

You're playing a game of backgammon. It's going well, the randomly selected opponent seems to be fairly well matched to you, then:

You roll a double (they bail)
You send one of their pieces to 'the jail' (they bail or say "that was luck" with the darn pull down menu messages")
They take forever to start their turn, but are on you if you waste a second moving your piece

It makes me long for the days of playing against my siblings.

Don't even get me started on the frustration of internet hearts. I'll play against the computer, thanks...

Wii Not So Fit

I finally got around to checking out my Wii Fit last night. Without TV or Internet, we've been watching a progression of movies. Last night, I wanted something different. Chef Jr encouraged me to break out the box.

After a few hiccups with the balance board, I got on it. After cautioning me that most people stand with their weight unevenly distributed, it checked mine, only to find I'm only the tiniest fraction left of center. Not exactly what the dire prediction indicated.

Then, it tested how well I balance. This was preceded by a stern lecture that poor balance and posture cause health issues. Again, I was tested. Again, I came up with nearly perfect balance. Hi, Clumsy Dwarf here. Pleased to meet you. I've got no grace, but I do have good balance.

Finally, my Wii Age was determined. I've heard others speak of scores in the 70's when they're 30 years old. The thing calculated while I worried.

The grand result? Are you ready for this? Really?


Suzanne's Soundtrack Sunday

I can't do the topic I want to today. It requires a map with some landmarks posted on it!

So, I present what happens when you own an iPod and want to blast a song from a surround sound system. As any good shopper knows, when you're considering a sound system (or dreaming of owning a nice one), you should bring your own test music. Stuff you know intimately. Stuff that if someone played you ONE bar of it, you'd know exactly where in the song it is.

If I've only got one song to test a system, it will be October Project's"Take Me As I Am". It provides some quiet parts, wonderful multilayered instruments, great vocals and some very powerful (aka LOUD) segments. The link provided is a YouTube someone made with the song that gives you an idea of what I am talking about.

The first two October Project cd's, if they were albums, would be worn out from the thousands of playings from either Ed or myself. Thankfully, the CD medium and the iPod don't suffe…

Great Authors

Those who know me well, know that it's hard to get my nose out of a book. (much to Ed's frustration). I've got a nice bunch of authors that if I find something by them that hasn't been read, I'll grab it.

Such was my experience at the library the other day. I scanned the shelves, in search of tomes from favorites that I haven't enjoyed yet. Keyes: nada. Kellerman: nada. Cabot: nada. For some reason, I forgot to check on Clancy-I know there's at least three I haven't read. Next up was a score: Nelson DeMille's Wild Fire was on my list to grab, but the local library in Brandon never seemed to have it when I was looking for it.

I've been a fan of his since Dad passed me his copy of "The Charm School" soon after it came out. (I come by the book bug honestly, as Dad usually had four or five books going at a time). That one was a nail biter, a plausible Cold War tale that kept me guessing.

Our last Christmas together, Dad gave me "G…

My Stupid Leg Hates Me.

Without bandwidth at home, I decided to unpack some boxes the other day. I'd like to get them emptied out for several reasons:

*I think our dining table is too big for the breakfast nook, switching it with our computer desks is a better use of space

*Bob and Maureen go to closing on their house up north on Monday and need our stuff out of their garage like NOW.

*I don't like looking at them.

In the process of moving some of them, I smashed my second toe on the 13" TV that the boys use to play Gamecube. It got slammed HARD. Thankfully, I didn't break it. However, now it has Vern Troyer's small nephew sticking some sort of sharp pointy knife into it.

Friggin RSD. I'm sure if I'd done this to the right foot, there would be the occasional twinge. Noooo, this is the foot with the fried nerves. What are fried nerves like? Um, try scratching the inside of your metatarsal arch and feeling the pressure on your upper calf! Yep, that's what happens. I am c…

What's For Dinner Wednesday (a day late)

This WAS Wednesday's dinner, alas, I had no way to post it last night. Instead, you get this today. If you get hungry after viewing these pictures, you can always skip these posts.

Dinner was inspired by Outback Steakhouse's Alice Springs Chicken. It is my favorite non steak menu selection. I always substitute the sauteed onions for the shrooms, though. It was made kid friendly by putting the onions in the bottom of the baking dish (easier clean up, too) and they were kept happy by the lack of onions in their portions.

The chicken was marinated in some honey mustard for about a half hour, then laid atop the onions. Then they were roasted for a half hour at 400 degrees. (forgot the picture before the next step, sorry)
Next, crumbled bacon was sprinkled on top, and a liberal coating of cheddar cheese topped that. Then, they were baked for another 15 minutes.
This is prior to serving. I am fortunate to have an former butcher in the house, these breasts were butterflied and…

Live from the Library

In the quest for internet access, I found the library today. It's downtown. Near a lake. Not a surprise, considering just how many lakes there really are in LAKEland.

I called for directions and was told "We're next to Lake Morton". That's nice-which one is Lake Morton? The one by Florida Southern College, the one by Lakeland Electric, the one by the huge Power Plant, the one off of Harden Boulevard, or the one that has a Yacht Club on its banks?

Yes, you read that right-on one of these lakes, there is a Yacht and Country Club. It is plenty prestigious to be a member of a country club, but no, it's also a Yacht club. Honestly, I think the deepest this lake probably gets is eight feet, so that yacht would have to be an inflatable raft!

I forgot my USB cable, or else I could show you the view out the library window. There's a nice park bench, beautiful shade trees and a view of downtown across this lake. The library itself is quite nice, with th…

Why Oh WiFi

No internet. Strangely, I paid that bill three weeks ago, but I came home at lunch to no cable or internet. Great.

To fulfill my blogging quest (220 odd days consecutively thus far), I'm out using bandwidth. This time, purchased.

Yep, many local McDonald's now have WiFi in their restaurants. It'll cost you: 2.95 for two hours. If you're like me, with a crappy laptop battery that only lasts five to ten minutes, you probably would look along the walls beneath the tables in the hopes of finding a plug for your computer.

Right idea, wrong place. McD's has plugs above the tables. Picture a balance compromised shorty like me climbing up to plug a cord in and not quite reaching. Eight dwarf, Clumsy, somehow managed this without injury. Woohoo.

You're wondering why I paid for what I can find for free elsewhere. I was too late for Barnes and Noble, Panera or Moe's. $tarbuck$ uses TMo's hotspots, and I believe those are 6.95 for a day. Border's is o…