Showing posts from October, 2011

Facebook, I Really Want to Dislike This!

One of my major frustrations with Facebook, is that there is no way to contact them directly. When I had the annoyance of my house listed as a location, there was only a report box, and no listing of department emails or live chat or even a way to Tweet them. (OTOH, I had a Twitter question, posted an @Twitter on their feed and had an answer in 20 minutes.)

Yeah, so that lack of direct contact is annoying, but most of the time, it's not a big deal.

The latest dislike, the one you may not have noticed is that in the last two weeks, is that every post you make, or picture you place on your wall now has a location on it. Last week, I posted a picture of my new chair, and it took four tries and about twenty minutes on my phone and computer to finally post a picture that didn't have that 'near Tampa' when I was at school or 'near mytown' when I was at home. I hadn't even noticed it until my ex-husband's sister posted on my wall and sent me a message to r…

Breaking Tradition

For a while, I've had this nagging urge to do something different for Thanksgiving. Really, the urge was to get the hell out of Dodge, but I knew that wasn't feasible with Ed's work schedule. Still, the voice in my head was telling me to go away for the day.

It wasn't until a friend asked what culinary delights I was planning to prepare for Thanksgiving that I put my finger on it. His comment was 'but you LOVE to cook!', along with some comments about the things I'd prepared last year.

Ding ding ding, we have arrived at the reason why I want to do something different. Last Thanksgiving was a fiasco and I want to erase that memory. Spending the whole day cooking, only to schlep it to Jane's apartment (because she refused to come here), only to get there and find no surface to put the food upon, let alone eat, was frustrating.

Let's just say that all day cooking marathons take a lot out of me, what with all that standing. To have to clean off tabl…

Red, Red Wine-The Shellac Edition

As much as I love Shellac's new Hotski to Tchotchke, it would be bad to wear it all the time. I'd be bored. So, the current plan is to switch back and forth between another color that that awesome, awesome teal metallic.

Yesterday, I went in, and for the first time, had to peruse the colors Katie has to decide, which is when she pulled out the layering effects samples to give me more options.

The first one was a winner. It's Decadence on the bottom and Rock Royalty on top. It looks like a glass of burgundy or merlot and has such a rich shade that stands out. I love the look-and the fact that I am not hiding my nails anymore. (The only down spot is the one torn nail that popped up, despite an ample coating of nail glue.)

The King and His Throne

My chaise was delivered Wednesday afternoon. I'm looking forward to studying in a seat that elevates my leg and supports my neck and shoulders. Now I'm on the hunt for something like a hospital patient table to use when I'm studying and have the books and laptop at the same time.

In 48 hours, Scamp seems to have the idea that we bought this lovely huge chaise as HIS chair. I woke up the morning after it was delivered to find him laying on it. Once he saw that I was watching, he rolled on his back to show his belly in the 'aren't I the cutest cat ever?' pose. (Good thing I selected 'Scamp' as the color of this thing!)

Tonight, after coming home from being out, he was splayed on the chair and got off to greet us. He shot laser eyes at me as I got myself situated in my lovely new seat. As if I was stealing his throne.

Do I need to find a cat-sized version of this thing for him?

Feel the Burn

A day later and a lot stiffer.

I did too much, though at the time, it didn't seem too bad. At least I'm not in as much pain as doing an aerobics class or weight training.

It just tells me my body wants me to move, because when I keep moving it, it doesn't hurt.



I think I've mentioned in the past that I work as a secret shopper for a small company. (No, not one of those that fill your inbox with spam, a local enterprise that's been around for a long time.) Most of the shops I perform are observations at bars and restaurants, but sometimes I get sent to check out seminars and well, very occasionally, I am asked to 'shop' a fitness chain.

Yeah, I know. Me + Fitness Chain = epic fail.

The shops are as a prospective member, so it's not like I'm trying to fake the ability to do a Zumba workout or take a spinning class. More like, I go do some calisthenics in the pool, talk to some people, take a look around and write up a report.

Anyway, they tend to call me in a pinch to do shops, especially when it's the end of the month and reports are due and no one else has taken the job. Which is how, every couple three months or so, I'm asked to pinch hit a location. That's what happened this week.

This one, though, req…

I Love Siri

When they came out with the iPhone 4 almost two years ago, I made fun of the FaceTime app. Then I ate crow when I got the iPad and found the app was actually more useful than the insipid commercials for it when the phone was launched. (Let me tell you, it has helped Chef's sanity while Ed's been in the hospital.)

Anyway, one of the features touted with the iPhone 4S was Siri, a voice activated 'assistant' that fortunately, escaped the dumb commercial route. However, I really didn't play with 'her' until someone mentioned online that you get some interesting responses to the question "Where can I hide a body?" Let's just say that it's pretty funny, along with asking Siri how she likes living in my phone, what her age is and anything else that implies that Siri is human.

Well, over the past couple of days, I've really used Siri for 'her' intended purposes and I am really pleased with her skills at understanding speech and t…


The term 'snowflake' has been around for several years, but some people I know haven't heard the expression. Usually it's accompanied by special, or 'speshul snowflake.' The term refers to a child who is so unique that mom or dad must pave the way for the child to go through life. It is not a compliment.

As an example, the parent of a snowflake might call the teacher and say "Suzie is already burdened with homework in Mrs. Jone's class for a whole half hour each night, can you please reduce the amount of homework you send home?" Mind you, Suzie is a 7th grader and each subject should have homework every night.

You get the picture, right?

Now, imagine a college student's mom or dad making their appointments OR making appointments themselves to speak to professors or academic advisors. Yep, it happens, and far more than you would think. Mommy calls and says "Suzie needs to come see her advisor, but I'm at work until 4:30-can we have …

Lessons in Letting My Son Use the Computer

He likes Mangas. He likes Pokemon sites.

He doesn't get the fact that people build malware into many of these sites. They look fine to him. Nevermind the fact that Ed and I tell him over and over that he cannot download anything, that we should probably check out each new site to determine its safety.

The Toshiba is still my laptop, for the rare occasion that I need to use software for class that doesn't work on a Mac. Like now, for instance-my final project uses Articulate and Atlas.ti, two programs that are only available for PC. I need to do screen caps tomorrow for the group project storyboard.

Gameteen has been complaining for a little over a week that he doesn't want to leave the laptop, because it will shut down. Ed and I both told him we need to look at the machine, as this is a sign of a virus or malware. He refused. Tonight, he didn't want to give it to me when it did this again, he was upset and said I'd probably be mad at the sites he's been us…

This is Probably Wrong...



Because this has been one tough week.

I'm so fried, I can't even think of anything good to post. My thoughts center around getting my head and pillow velcroed together as soon as possible. Just as soon as I get the cat relocated off my legs.

He lays on my bags to ensure I don't escape, failing to realize that as soon as I stand up, he's off like a shot, trying to get out onto the lanai. So, he started a new thing of laying on my feet. He ends up there for about 20-30 minutes.

He needs to move...


My family has been doing something for several months now that it's assumed that we'll always do this. Game Teen's doctor's office is in Tampa, not five minutes away from an amazing German restaurant, Mr. Dunderbak's. We like German food, heck, we even enjoy the traditional German festhaus music and seating.

It's gotten to the point that I think the kids are conditioned that if we're going to the doctor, they're getting spaetzle, bratwurst, jaegerschnitzel or sauerbraten. It just is. Several weeks ago, Ed even asked if Game Teen's appointment was this month, because he couldn't wait to go during Octoberfest.

Alas, Ed's in the hospital and will probably be there through the weekend. The kids will likely ask to go, but it will feel weird to be there and not have someone to help me eat all the German delicacies.

I wonder if I can talk the kids into something else tomorrow and save the trip over there until Ed's able to join us?

No Thank You!

I've got enough going on with crazy idiots flooding my mailbox, a rough semester, sick kids, and a husband who is really sick without having more thrills.

My plate is kind of full on thrilling stuff right now, let me tell you.

Anyone want to take this fortune off my hands?


So, I have had a couple of extremely stressful days, and will see at least a few more. Which is probably why I came home from class tonight and completely forgot about the batch of chili I need to make for work.

Tomorrow morning.

Guess I'm not going to sleep anytime soon, and this is probably the first night in the past three where I am actually tired around midnight!


Today would have been Mom's 80th birthday.

I'm sure it would have been a day of celebrating, as she loved to make a big deal of other's birthdays. I would have enjoyed making sure that her party was just as much fun as the ones she put together for others.

Miss you mom. Every day.

The Down Side to Auto Racing

Many times over the years, I've mentioned how much my other half loves auto racing. Modify that to anything with wheels and an engine will be watched if they're broadcasting it on television. (that modification is needed because I ended up watching lawnmower racing with him one time.)

As a result of this passion of his, I've become more educated about the motorsports than the average wife. I know the drivers, usually the series they drive for, can probably tell you if they've won a race or a championship, can identify their voices when they're being interviewed (from the other room) and just generally 'get' his love for the sports.

Today, we had to go somewhere, but he was watching the start of the final IndyCar race of the season. The final race, as I commented to Ed, can sometimes be boring, especially if the championship has already been determined, but this was going to be down to the wire, what with Dario Franchitti and Will Power (a name that always…

Where Women Create at the Southern Women's Show

Last week, the lovely Loralee of Loralee's Looney Tunes (a blog I've been reading for a little over three years, thanks to Lotus) put out a request on Facebook "Is there anyone who is willing to work the social mediums in Orlando next weekend?" Get to meet this funny lady, make crafts and take pictures to post on the Internet? Heck, yeah, Count me in on that one!

Yours Truly and Loralee
Oh, right. You may not know Loralee. She's the social media manager for Where Women Create, a website and magazine for people who enjoy all manner of crafts. (Where Women Cook, the sister magazine, consistently makes me drool.) So, this request was because she wanted to get the word out about this event, which is one of the first consumer events in which they've been asked to participate.

As an attendee at more than a couple of these in the past twenty years, I think they hit it out of the ballpark with this stage. They had engaging presenters, fun crafts and (save for a c…

A Phone and a Lesson

I ordered my phone last Friday and was told I'd definitely have it today. I do, but not without a bunch of questions.

See, I was at the AT&T store at 8:10 am, made my purchase and the salesperson told me it'd be shipped directly to my house job (which is why I went to the store, instead of ordering it online. Hassle free, right?

I am an avowed package stalker. I want to know exactly where my stuff is and when I can't, well, I get antsy. So, starting on Tuesday, I went onto the AT&T site, where there was no record of my order, by phone number, by receipt number, by zip code, nada. I called 611, and I was told they don't have the records, I have to call the store. The receipt gave a website, but when I entered my TWO digit order number, it obviously thought I was on crack and said "call customer service."

So, yesterday, after hearing of people checking their status and even someone getting one in hand, I called the AT&T store and was told "…

Good News, Bad News

The good news: My repair will be about $400 bucks.

The bad news: My transmission is most definitely in need of replacement, but my mechanic told me to get medieval on VWoA's butt, because I have complained since the car was still in the break-in period that this was a problem. The slam into 2nd is a known defect.

Seems my comment to the salesperson when I sat in the dealer's lot was accurate. I was lamenting the fact that I loved the color, but the car was automatic and said "It should be illegal for VW's to be automatic." Apparently, VW does a crappy job on them. The manual transmissions are probably the best the mechanic sees, very few problems, but without fail, if it's a VW with an automatic, he will be doing transmission work on it.

The interesting part: the average mileage for this repair is 60k. Mine just turned 130k, so I got more than double (well, about double, honestly) when this became a big problem.

I'm already fired up from other fronts, s…

Shift Bang

Since the day I got my Beetle, it had a quirk. When cold, it would 'slam' from first to second gear.

Every time I visited a dealer for maintenance (there have been three that have serviced my car), I brought the issue up, explaining it only does it when cold. Several times, I left my car overnight to ensure it was cold when the mechanic would take the car out through the paces. Every time, "failure to duplicate problem" would show up on my repair invoice.

Until my car went out of warranty, that is.

I've been less than thrilled with the dealership service departments locally. You can say I was spoiled by the VW dealers I went to in Maryland, but I think it may just be dealers in general nowadays. It's more about seeing how much money is on the 'payment due' line than forging a lifetime partnership with a customer. At least that's how it has felt, which is why I only go to a dealer when the mechanic a friend suggested tells me he can't do s…


People who know me well tend to worry when I'm quiet. I'm just not a quiet person, talking about anything and everything, contributing to class discussions and department meetings. So, when I don't do that, I don't realize that people expect it.

Tonight, I got called out by my professor during lecture-'Are you okay?' I was listening, but quiet. (Actually, I was Googling a psychologist to get a statement to go along with what he was sharing with the class). Subdued.

I made a statement about being in pain, which got a concerned look, but he went on with the lecture. I think he took quiet for not paying attention, because that's just not me.

Hoping some sleep restores some of my loquaciousness tomorrow.


Is way too addicting.

I need to figure out how to pin things I find on the net, and add a button to pin here on the blog.

Dr. Evil's Cooking Show

If Dr. Evil were tasked with a cooking show, Sweet Genius would be it. This man is creepy and weird, and makes the contestants put weird combinations together.

Candied apples and wheatgrass in a chocolate round?

Salt and vinegar potato chips and brie in a frozen dessert round?

Bubblegum and rainbow carrots in a baked dessert round?

I'm still scratching my head...

AT&T is Loving Us Right Now

I ordered the 4S yesterday. Actually, I was the first person into the AT&T store that wanted the phone, after trying unsuccessfully to purchase it online the night before (order it from the Apple Store on your iPhone-nope) and about an hour before (wouldn't let me change shipping address to my office).

Meanwhile, Chef's phone has been out of contract since April and I knew we'd get him a newer phone. We talked to visiting the AT&T store a few nights ago, but got distracted. So, I took him over this morning. My idea of a phone 'just to use our texting plan' wasn't really going to work, as the options were severely limited.

Hello, smart phone for my younger child.

Insert the lecturing about no downloading to the phone if you're not at home, stick to playing games on road trips, where if you feel the urge to browse, ask Mom or Dad for their phones with unlimited data plans. Meanwhile, I think the browsing might actually take a backseat to playing vid…

Only You, Times 3

I recently won a gift certificate to an excellent Cuban restaurant, and today, I enjoyed a nice lunch with that prize (Chimichurri beef, which is really Argentinian, but the sides were most definitely Cuban). It's nice, I get to speak a little español and listen to latin pop music.

Today, though, a melody sounded very familiar, so I listened to the lyrics and realized that I was hearing in Spanish (and translating into English) was a song from an album I played to death in high school.

Solo Ti, or Only You, by Yaz.

The original:

There was an awesome a capella cover about a year later from the Flying Pickets:

But today, Enriqué Iglesias had a turn with a favorite, and now I can sing those harmonies en español!

I should see if Enriqué covered some other 80's favorites.

Car Rider Line Courtesy

One thing that has always been a puzzler for me is how the rules of the road apparently do not apply to school car rider pick up lines. This is readily apparent when I pick Game Teen up from school four days a week, and sometimes when I drop him off as well.

So, some observations and rules that maybe we can all live by:

1. It is a drop off/pick up line. This means that we do not park our cars in it to go retrieve our students. Do you park your car in the McDonald's drive through, then go into the restaurant for your food? Same principle.

2. If the parking lot is set up with angled parking spaces, please only drive your car down the lane in which it would be easy to pull into a spot. Yes, I know there are no arrows, but if you've got a school aged child, odds are good that this isn't a new concept.

3. If you'd like to have a conversation with your child's teacher, pick up time is not the time to do this. If you must, then please park your car and go into the schoo…


Before Ed and I started dating, he earned the moniker "Mr. Incompatible." Most of our friends got VHS camcorder, he bought an 8mm. We all bought PCs (286s and 386s), he bought a Mac(LC II). It took a long time to realize that he had the right idea.

Quite a few years later, a group of my online friends (YaYa sisters) started getting iPods about a year after they'd come out. The more my friends talked of their iPods, it sounded like a really cool device. I wanted one, the idea of putting many of my CDs onto one portable device just seemed like a great way to kick my butt into gear on exercising again.

That Christmas, Ed bought me one. While most of my friends had Nanos, Ed got me the a big one, 30 gigs. A few months later, he confessed that he was convinced I would grow bored of this gadget and I'd proved him wrong, because my iPod went everywhere with me. After my hard drive on my HP crashed (probably from the flash MahJongg game), I even bought MahJongg and pl…

Apple Calling

Last month, since were in the last month of Jane's iPhone contract, I canceled service on that phone. At the time, the representative was trying to get us to keep that contract, because it had the unlimited data plan that AT&T no longer offers.

Then he realized, hey, the contract is up on ALL of these phones and did a good job at trying to talk me into upgrading to the iPhone 4. I countered with the question I'm sure all the reps have been hearing for months "When is the iPhone 5 coming out? Because I'll be really ticked if I upgraded my phone and found out a week later that the new ones were being released!" I was told 'cough cough' that because I asked, expect a new phone on October 15th.

Okay, well, he was a day late and a version short.

iPhone 4S comes out on the 14th.

Perfect timing, since I washed my phone over the weekend.

Fall Has Arrived

It is finally the time of year where we open the windows in Florida, hang out on the lanai and just enjoy sub 90 degree temperatures.

Fall always was my favorite season, but now it's because I can shut off the A/C!


In life post My Stupid Leg (trademark pending) and the Chiari diagnosis, I've learned that to minimize my pain, I have to modify things. For instance, the wearing of the ugly but comfortable Crocs, having an ottoman under my desk at work and various other modifications.

Since returning to school, I've yet to have a comfortable studying situation. I need to keep the leg elevated, the neck and shoulder need to be supported, but achieving one was nearly impossible without irritating the other. We got ottomans to replace the coffee table and it was a 'meh' solution. So, I'd sit at the table and the neck and shoulders would get some support, but the leg would swell. My usual nook would be the couch, where the leg got the support, but the neck would be aligned poorly.

For over a year, I'd toyed with getting a chaise lounger. There had been one when I worked at Pottery Barn that was perfect, but the $1,200 price tag was not. However, this semester, in the budget…


Yesterday, I forgot about a milestone. It was six years ago yesterday, spurred on by a friend, that I started the blog.

Here I am, 2,000 plus posts later, writing something every day for the past three of those and if it hits 11pm without a post, I get antsy.

Thank you for reading, for (occasionally) commenting and putting up with what I have to say.

Here's to many more.