Sunday, November 30, 2008

Holiday Toilets

So the Thanksgiving Holiday week is over. I am back home and somewhat ready to go back to work tomorrow. I did lots of shopping and got lots of great things. I made and ate lots of good food. I had a great time with lots of friends and family. And what do I have to show for it? What wonderful things did I take pictures of this past week? Nothing, nothing but toilets. See...
Yeah pictures like that one are all I have to show you about my fabulous week. I am amazing aren't I? I suppose I have sort of a good reason. I totally forgot that I even had my camera with me until last night. I found it in a bag and was so happy because that meant I could take a picture of our toilet. I had good reasons for taking a picture of the toilet. The Penguin's dad is a plumber and we have asked for 2 new toilets for Christmas. Our current ones are yellow and avocado green. They need to be replaced badly. As do the tubs and counter tops and floors and wallpaper and fixtures, but we figure one step at a time. So on Thanksgiving I mentioned to the Penguin's dad that 2 new toilets would still be a great Christmas present. He told me no problem but asked me to look at the toilets and tell him what kind of nut was on them. (I am avoiding all the dirty jokes I could make with that statement, but trust me there were quite a few witty comebacks.) Apparently the shape of the nut tells you what kind of fittings go under the toilet to help seal it to the floor.
I don't know if you can really see that or not but the nut on our toilet is cone shaped. If I got any closer to the nut the pictures came out all blurry like this.
Out of the twenty some odd pictures I took of this nut on the toilet, I only got that one semi-good picture of the nut that I posted before this one. I knew I needed a new camera but this experience really made me sure of that fact. I have already asked Santa for a new one, I even pointed out which one while we were at the mall this weekend. Let's keep our fingers crossed!

The entire point was that our nut is not flat like a normal nut. This means something to the plumber and he wanted to order all the stuff together which I think is awesome. That way we can actually install the toilets when we get them, which would be a good thing.

So yes, those thrilling pictures of my lovely dandelion colored toilet is all I have to show for such a great week. I totally rock!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Unreliable Wireless

Internet connection is being spotty. Every time I write a post it gets deleted as I try to put it up. I am getting tired of writing it all over again. I suppose this is my cue to get off the computer and just go shopping. Have a good day!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday

So I spent the day with the Penguin's mother and sister. We had a quite a good day. We did not wake up early by any means. Matter of fact we were quite lazy, but it worked for us. We did go shopping and it was not absolutely crazy like we were expecting. Then again were were in no hurry at all.

We were successful in finding the cutest strappy red shoes to wear for Christmas parties, with no lines at the checkout, woohoo. We found a few Christmas presents for family. We managed to avoid long lines everywhere we went. I actually had a really good time.

So if you went out shopping today I hope you had a successful trip. I know I enjoyed it more than I dreaded it.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving


I hope everyone had a happy Turkey Day.

I hope you had a good time with your families.

I hope everyone is going to bed tonight happy and full,
no matter what you ate for dinner.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Spaghetti & Cheese

I promised that if I was able to find a decent substitute for Velveeta that I would post my recipe for Spaghetti & Cheese. Well luckily I found just such a thing. I was very happy with the way my casserole turned out using this new cheese. I found this wonderful creation:
It is Kraft Deluxe American Cheese. I found it right next to the Velveeta. My only qualm about it is that it only comes in a 1lb loaf when Velveeta comes in 2lbs. I do not really mind the price difference so much since I like the way it tastes. The 1lb loaf means adjusting and having to buy some sliced cheese for the top of the casserole but I can handle that. So as promised here is the recipe.

I used these ingredients
I hope you can see all of that. But here is a list of ingredients you will need. This recipe will make a 9x13 pan and can easily be halved.
1lb Spaghetti
1/2 Onion, diced
1/2 Bell Pepper, diced
1 can Evaporated Milk
1 egg
2 tablespoons butter
1lb Kraft Deluxe Cheese
1 package Kraft Sliced Cheese
As you can see I don't have a Bell Pepper in my picture of ingredients. I used what I had on hand which happened to be 2 green onions and they worked just fine.
So here is how you put it all together.
Put a pot of water on the stove to boil. While you are waiting for the water to boil, dice 1/2 Onion and Bell Pepper. Once the water comes to a boil throw in the Spaghetti, Onions, and Bell Pepper. I like to break the noodles in half before I add them to the pot, but that is just me. You can add in a spoon of minced garlic as well, I always do. (But I always add garlic to everything, except dessert.) Boiling the noodles with the vegetables gives the noodles a really good flavor and I promise you will like it.
While the noodles are boiling you will need to dice the pound of Kraft cheese. Toss a few cubes in your mouth because you just can't wait. Pour the can of Evaporated Milk into a medium bowl and whisk in the egg. Toss in the cubed cheese and stir together to get the cubes to not stick together so much. Set this aside.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Take your 9x13 baking dish and add the 2 tablespoons of Butter. It helps if you dice up the butter some. Once the noodles are done drain them and then add to your pan. You will more than likely have too many noodles but that is normal. You want to make sure to leave enough room for the cubed cheese mixture so you do not have to fill the pan to the top. Now toss the spaghetti around in the pan until the butter is melted. Once the spaghetti is coated level it out and pour in the cheese mixture. Use the pasta fork to kind of wiggle the noodles so that some of the cheese gets pushed down and isn't all just laying on top of the noodles. You want the level of the liquid to be right at the top of the noodles. If you think the level of liquid is too low you can add some more evaporated milk, or be like me and just add a splash of half and half or milk since you already have some in the fridge. You don't want the noodles to be swimming but you want an adequate amount of sauce, so adjust to your taste. Now take the sliced cheese and cover the top of the pan.
Place the dish uncovered in the oven for 30 minutes. Check on it after about 15 minutes to make sure the cheese on top is not getting too brown. You can always cover it if you don't want browned cheese. After 30 minutes take it out of the oven and be sure to let it cool for about 20 minutes or so. Allowing it to cool lets you cut and serve it easier.
Enjoy the cheesy goodness!
This is what mine looked like when it was done.
I kind of browned it a little too much but it was still yummy. You definitely do not need to brown it this much, I made it in two small pans and it cooked faster than I was expecting. If you do brown it this much don't fret I promise it still tastes great.
And this is what my serving looked like
I was very happy with my results.
So lets recap:
Boil the spaghetti with onion, bell pepper, and garlic.
Put the noodles in a pan with some butter to coat them.
Add in the diced cheese, evaporated milk, and egg mixture.
Cover with sliced cheese.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
Enjoy!
It is really pretty simple and you can adjust proportions for your needs. Please use this recipe as more of a guideline and add in whatever else you want. I sometimes add in frozen broccoli with my noodles. You could definitely add other ingredients and make it your own like diced chicken or maybe even spinach. What makes it unique is the use of spaghetti and the fact that it is a casserole. It is really easy and really versatile. Make it special!
P.S. If you do not think Velveeta tastes funny and/or you want to use it because it is cheaper and you only have to buy one cheese, go right ahead. Dice about 1/3 of the loaf for what goes inside the casserole. Use a cheese slicer and the rest of the loaf for the cheese which covers the top. One 2lb loaf of the Velveeta will be more than enough for one recipe.
P.P.S. The type of noodle you use will affect how dry or wet the casserole turns out. We normally use spaghetti and I remembered the first time we used angel hair it was soupier. If you use more of a fettuccine I can say it will be more solid.
P.P.P.S. You can make this ahead of time and keep in the fridge until you need it. Just make sure to have a little less milk in it if you want to do this so that it is not too runny.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Color me Black

It has been a pretty good weekend. I am ready for the coming holiday. I am ready for cold weather. I am ready because I got a wonderful black pea coat yesterday. It looks a little something like this:

I love this coat. I have been wanting a pea coat for years now. Seriously I have always adored pea coats and been envious of the really nice ones. I just never could make myself break down and buy one, they were too pricey. Well I finally found one I liked. And it was on sale! I got it for about $75 and was sooooo happy. It is black, does the whole double breasted thing as pea coats do, and has this "belt" around the middle which is sewed directly onto the coat so I don't have to worry about losing it. I quite adore it.

I took it out of the closet today to pack for my trip home for thanksgiving. And I noticed something was not quite right. They left the freaking security device on the coat, you know the ones you can't remove on your own because they have the dye in them and will explode all over you and ruin your clothes and make you look like you just robbed a bank? Yeah one of those, still on the coat. I was not happy. Now I have to go back to another store on my way home today and hope that they will take it off. I hope I can find the receipt! Anyways, I started to think about how they could have left this on my coat, I mean this has never happened to me at this store before. Well the lady who was checking me out was a little older and really nice and was all chatting me up and we had some trouble with my gift card and she got distracted, which is totally acceptable. But she was not even the one who bagged my coat. Another person, a manager I think, came over to help with the gift card and then proceeded to bag my coat for me. So I had to laugh at the fact that two people missed this security thingy. I am not however laughing at the prospect of having to go out of my way to get to another store to have the device removed. It is in such a spot that I cannot wear the coat without it being noticed. So I have to find a store to remove it before I can wear it. I was so looking forward to wearing it, like today.

Oh well, such is my life.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Tired Equals Meme

Today was great.

We ate Breakfast here:
And went shopping at an outlet mall and La-Z-Boy.

Then we ate lunch here:
Then we went shopping here:
And I got lots of neato kitchen gadgets.
Then I went shopping here and here:
Then I made french bread pizzas for dinner. And now I am too pooped to come up with anything else good to write so...I am going to do a meme. I stole this one word meme from hokgardner because I liked how simple it was. My brain needs simple right now.
Where is your cell phone? pocket
Where is your significant other? home
Your hair color? brown
Your mother? knitter
Your father? cook
Your favorite thing? home
Your dream last night? none
Your dream/goal? happiness
The room you’re in? living
Your hobby? reading
Your fear? loneliness
Where do you want to be in 6 years? together
Where were you last night? Houston
What you’re not? perfect
One of your wish-list items? ring
Where you grew up? country
Last thing you did? packed
What are you wearing? jeans
Your TV? tiny
Your pet? boyfriend
Your computer? ancient
Your mood? sleepy
Missing someone? Penguin
Your car? reliable
Something you’re not wearing? shoes
Favorite store? Wal-Mart
Your summer? crazy
Love someone? duh
Your favorite color? royal
When is the last time you laughed? tonight
Last time you cried? Wednesday

Friday, November 21, 2008

Shopping Trip

My parents are in town for the weekend. They do not get to come visit me often and I am glad they could make it. We are going shopping! The main purpose of this visit is to make a trip to IKEA tomorrow. They have never been before and I think they will like it. I know I am going mainly for cool kitchen gadgets but I think we will enjoy the whole place. So this post is short because I was busy at work today, cleaned up when I got home, then took my parents to dinner. And now I am going to bed. But I am going to bed happy, dreaming of IKEA.

P.S. My spaghetti and cheese turned out well, mother approved, and I promise to post the recipe with pictures soon!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Love Flowers!

This made me smile today!

One thing you should know about the Penguin is that he is a very practical person. He likes things to make sense. Flowers do not make sense to the Penguin. According to him they are a waste because all they do is die and you have to throw them out. Why give someone something that will only last a few days and then die? I tried to explain that it doesn't matter that they die, it matters how they make a person feel. But you know he has a pretty good point with the whole dying thing. Anyhoo, I have come to expect that the penguin does not give nonsensical gifts but instead prefers things that are tangible. But every now and then he does something that makes no sense at all, and I love him for it. (The first flower he ever gave me was a fake rose from the grocery store, a little bent, with the price tag still attached. I had asked him to pick up parmesan cheese for dinner and he was on his motorcycle so he had to put it in his backpack. So of course he chose this night to get me a flower, a fake one so that it would never die of course!, and so he had to bend it to get it to fit in his backpack. And I loved it! It is still on my table at home.) But anyway the point was that a few weeks ago we were out of town and visiting some friends of his. We were all out dancing when I suddenly noticed the Penguin was not beside me anymore. He snuck back up behind me and put a single rose in front of me. I turned around and smiled. He never does things like this, but he is a gentleman after all. So of course there was not only one rose but three, one for each lady there. And he succeeded in his mission to make all of us smile and make all of us feel special. These were not the freshest roses, the temperature was quite cold, we had no place to put them, nor water to put them in, and we had to carry them around the rest of the night. So by all measures this was something that did not make much sense. But he did it anyway because he knew we would like it. And I did like it. I liked it a lot. So much that even though I forgot the rose on the dashboard of the car overnight and through the next day, that I put it in my car to take home with me rather than throwing it away. I think leaving it in the car all day dried it out super fast and it did not mold or anything. So I still have it, it still makes no sense at all, and it still makes me smile!

Happy Love Thursday Everyone!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Cheesiest!

Remember rolling your eyes at your grandparents or your parents when they would tell you how different things used to be? I am not talking about the cliche where they say they walked 5 miles to school, in the snow, uphill both ways. I am talking about when people say they just don't make things like they used to. I have to say that I am able to say that about a few things nowadays. I mean crayons for one thing. Crayons were better when I was younger. Now they are too waxy and you cannot color smoothly. I laughed when I thought about how crotchety I sounded saying that when I was younger they made things better.

But honestly things change over time. Things change due to laws like McDonald's french fries being done in different oil now. Things change due to trying to cut costs. Things change to try and accommodate more people.

Has anyone else noticed a change in this?
You can ignore the Spiderman, I just chose a good picture from google images and wound up with him on my cheese box. But seriously, Velveeta has changed. In the past few years they did something to it so that it no longer needs to be refrigerated. I swear it is a darker yellow now, like almost orange. It used to be a bright yellow. But you knew it was fake processed cheese and you never cared that it was bright ass yellow. Now it is orangey, like you already left it out to harden, except you didn't. And it just doesn't taste the same. I am not sure what makes it taste funny now, it just does. I really noticed it last Thanksgiving when we made the traditional spaghetti and cheese. It tasted strange. I thought it might just have been because my Velveeta was pretty old so I brushed it off. But then the next time I bought Velveeta my casserole came out funny again. I thought it might have been the off brand frozen broccoli until I remembered the Thanksgiving snafu. I gave Velveeta another shot though because the processed cheese just melts better. And it still tastes funny. This makes me really sad. I love spaghetti and cheese and it just won't be the holidays without it. So I have a new mission to find alternative cheeses with which to make our traditional casserole. I will be going to the grocery and looking for other cheeses and/or other ways to make the cheese melt smoothly. I am determined to make a decent spaghetti and cheese without Velveeta. I would rather have it taste too cheesy because I used real cheddar than taste sort of metallic like the Velveeta. If I am successful I will post the recipe here. It is pretty simple, and yummy to boot!

Is there something that has changed in your lifetime that makes you want to scream at the manufacturer to start making it the old way again?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Those things you wear on your feet...

I have a hole in my sock. On the right foot. On the inside of my foot near the toe. I have no idea how you can have a hole right there. Also, I just noticed the pair of socks on my bathroom floor has holes too. Lots of little holes in the heel. Again, I think it was my right foot sock. Those holes I understand better. They happen if I wear older socks with my crocs. I have to wear socks with my crocs or else my feet feel sticky and I cannot handle that. But crocs tend to destroy my socks. I feel like I am reading a Dr. Seuss book with the crocs and the socks and the box and the lox...

Perhaps it is time for new shoes which do not eat my socks. Nah, that would be too much trouble. I can never find shoes that fit right. Ever, I mean EVER. Well maybe once every couple of years or something. My feet are short. Seriously, like I measure a size 6 and a half. But I can wear anywhere from a size 7 to a 9. I usually wear an 8 or 8 and a half. But why you say? Well my feet are wide. And therefore I need a bigger shoe so my foot fits and my toes can wiggle and breathe. But then the arch of the shoe is never in the right place so the shoe feels funny. Or maybe the shoe fits perfect on my right foot and I fall in love until I try on the left one and scream in pain when I stand up. See the Penguin ran over my foot with the car a couple of years ago and my foot has just never been the same. That is a story for another time but suffice it to say it has only made finding shoes that much more difficult.

I think I shall just buy new socks. It will be cheaper. And it will make me feel better. Nice, new, thick, comfortable, really thick, white socks. The kind you get in big packs with grey heels. I think I need two packs of those. Or maybe even 3. Maybe I need the short ones I like and some long ones for winter. Cold wind blowing up the jeans is a no no.

Yes, I think new socks are in order. Thick, warm socks. The kind that make you feel good when you put them on. I think this time of year calls for good socks. And I do not feel like waiting till New Year's for Christine to bring them, I will go and buy them myself.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cookies and Cat Butt

Yesterday was a good day. It was also a sad day. One of my good friends, Veggie Librarian is moving. Her husband got a new job in August and had to move. For various reasons she wanted to find a new job and/or be closer to him. She has finally found a job which will allow her to live in the same house as her husband again and she jumped on it. I cannot say I blame her. If my job here was not so awesome I would find any job to be able to move back with the Penguin in a heartbeat. So while I am happy for my friend, I am sad to see her go. We helped to load up what was left in the Uhaul yesterday morning. I gave her a present of cookies and this

Before you think I am totally wacko, she has 4 cats. Veggie and her husband do not have children yet and they love those cats as if they were babies. I had the honor of cat-sitting a few times when they went home to Tennessee for holidays and vacations. So when I saw this at the bookstore last weekend I just had to get it for her. If nothing else it will helped her to laugh a little on a day when I know she needed it. And it smells like hyacinth, not cat-butt. I figure she can hang it in the car or hang it on a doorknob at the new place. Hopefully when she sees it she will smile and think of me and call me. I do so want to stay in touch. And seeing each other will be even less frequent than it is now. For various reasons I just do not see our paths crossing that much. But I will have another place to visit. And she always has a place to stay with me.

I will miss her, but I know she will be happy, and that is what counts.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Happy Merry ChristmaHanaKwanzika and Festivus to you!

The Holidays are here! The Holidays are here! Can you tell how exicted I am!?!

I do so love the Holidays. And I declare that they are here. Thanskgiving is soon enough with Christmas and New Year's soon to follow. Along with all those other holidays added in if you are of various religons and ethnicities. I am happy. My whole demeanor has changed for the happier. Thinking of the holidays just makes me smile and feel all warm and cozy. I am already planning out what foods to make for Thanksgiving. I am already making my Christmas List so I can start getting presents together. I like to give. I like my family. I like tradition. Therefore I really love the Holidays because it gives me a chance to do it all.

I hope everyone else is as happy as I am about the Holidays. I hope you are able to visit everyone you want to visit and can balance the Holiday family schedule without hassle. I hope you get good home-cooked meals, traditional or not. I hope you get along with your families and no one gets too drunk or starts a fight. I hope you are not stressing about money or presents and you have all that you need. I hope that you make some new memories that help you look forward to future holidays. I hope that everything goes exactly as you want.



Happy Holidays Everyone!

Friday, November 14, 2008

I love Fridays!

Today is Friday.
It is my day off.
I am going to be home.
I am going shopping with my mother.
We will buy all sorts of great things.
Hopefully a pretty new dress for my Christmas party next month.
Hopefully some trinkets from bargain stores.
Possibly some early Christmas presents.
We will eat lunch in a resturant where I used to work.
We will have great Lebanese food.
We will shop some more.
We will look at new cars.
We will look at new buildings.
We will get take-out for dinner.
The mall has the best Chinese food!
We will go home.
I will go home to the Penguin baring gifts of wonderful Chinese food.
I will make yummy yummy chocolate chip cookies for friends.
I will eat some for myself, warm out of the oven, with ice cold milk.
I will watch trash on TV.
I will go to bed happy.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Do Bee Do Bee Dooo

I was sitting in my cube at work this afternoon and I looked over to see this,


(Well okay, not specifically this stuffed penguin, but this one was as close as I could find to the one I have without taking my own picture and I am lazy like that.)

And I bet you might be wondering why exactly I have a stuffed penguin in my cube. The answer to that is simple. We had this really fun class at work a few weeks ago and we all got to take a stuffed animal home with us. All the stuffed animals were marine life, to support the theme of the class, and I picked the penguin. He was by far the cutest one there. He is also really soft and cuddly. I have yet to take him home with me so he currently resides in a raised file tray in the corner of my cube. And honestly I think he might stay here. He makes me smile when I see him.

He makes me smile for a few reasons actually. The first is obviously that he is so cute and cuddly. The way the orange is sewn onto his beak makes him look like he is smiling. The second reason is a little more personal. I smile because the penguin also reminds me of my boyfriend. Odd you say? Not really. And no he does not resemble a penguin, thank goodness. (Though I am not so sure resembling a penguin would actually be bad. I have no intention of offending anyone who's significant other actually looks like a penguin, I am sure they are quite handsome.) The penguin reminds me of him because lately he has taken up the habit of saying Do Bee Do Bee Dooo, you know like that Bud Ice Penguin.

Oh come on you remember him, I know you do. He was in some super bowl commercials a few years back. You remember the Bud Ice Penguin right? If not, watch that video the link brings you to. (Yes, I suck and could not get the embed thing to work, deal with it, follow the link.)

Actually now I am starting to make myself feel old, which should not be possible. Apparently the Bud Ice Penguin was in super bowl commercials in 1996! I would have never guessed it was over 10 years ago. But I guess the good part is that since I feel old, you don't have to. So no one else gets to feel old because these commercials are from over a decade ago, everyone just gets to laugh at me for being so silly. Ha ha ha ha. All better right!?! I thought so. Also I thought I remembered the Bud Ice Penguin being cuter. I did not remember that in those commercials the penguin was scary and evil and plotting to steal the Bud Ice. The commercials kind of give me the heeby-jeebies. Okay so maybe I shouldn't have looked up those commercials and just kept my flawed but oh-so-much-better memory in my head. Sorry for planting evil Bud Ice Penguin memories in your head too.

Rainbows and butterflies and kittens and puppies and chocolate and shopping and money.....

There all better.

Okay so the cute, cuddly, soft, stuffed penguin in my cube reminds me of my wonderful, handsome, adorable boyfriend. Yes, that is much better. The penguin reminds me of him because he has taken to saying Do Bee Do Bee Dooo. He says it quite randomly, almost like a filler. He says it when our phone conversations stall. He says it while we are watching TV and a commercial comes on. He says it when we are riding in the car and not talking. Basically anywhere there is a lull he might unexpectedly burst out in Do Bee Do Bee Dooos. And it is quite silly and adorable. And it makes me laugh. And it makes me smile. I love the randomness of it. And it makes me love him more.

So today the penguin makes me smile because it reminds me of my boyfriend being silly and trying to make me happy. Happy Love Thursday everyone! I hope you all find something to make you smile today.

P.S. I am also happy because I have the day off tomorrow.

P.P.S. I think I figured out R's new name! From now on he will be referred to as the Penguin. Now if only I could settle on one for myself...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Not so wordless Wednesday

I would love to just post a picture. But then you wouldn't understand my meaning for posting it. So it can't be a completely wordless Wednesday.

There is this slight anomaly in my life right now where R and I live in different states. So during the week I am all by myself. Which sometimes I absolutely love. But sometimes being alone here makes me miss him more than I know what to do with. Lately I have been really missing him. So here is a picture from a recent vacation. Gosh, I want to be with him right now...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Call Me Ishmael

I have decided that I like this blogging thing. I like it and I like the outlet it gives me. I like it and I don't want to share it.

To this point my blog has been pretty anonymous. I have decidedly not put my real name on this blog. I have also decidedly not put anyone else's real name on my blog. This is not to avoid stalkers or anything like that. I have not told anyone in my real life about this blog. I do not want to share it.

Though to be fair I have been using real initials for people, including myself. And today I decided that should stop. Today I decided that I want to make darn sure no one in my real life could look at this blog and recognize the initials and go oh hey this is her blog. I don't want a friend or family member or coworker to walk up to me and go are you K? I want to keep my anonymity. I want to keep my blog separate from people I know.

I suppose you could say that I am hiding. And in a way I am. But I just do not want to have to deal with all the drama I think would come from people in my life reading my blog. I do not want to feel like I have to censor myself or tiptoe around subjects being afraid of backlash. I want to be me, all me, all the time. I do not want to have to worry about my mother reading this and being disapproving of anything I post here. I do not want my boyfriend reading this and getting upset with me for sharing personal things. (Though to be fair I do not think he would mind one bit. If I told anyone that I blog, I would tell him.) I do not want friends or family or coworkers approaching me upset because they felt like I depicted them wrongly, or hurt that I spoke my mind. Currently I do not really post anything negative that people could get upset with me about. But I do not want to have to hold myself back later on just because I know they read my blog and might get upset.

I know that I should not care what other people think and I should post exactly what I want to post. But, I just can't do it. If I knew that people in my real life read my blog I would always be wondering what they thought about me and if I hurt their feelings. Plus sometimes you need to vent and get things out of your system. It is not necessarily gossip, but it is something you would not normally say to a person's face. It is something that once you have talked about, you get over and it doesn't matter anymore. It is something I would not post if I knew they might read it or hear about it. Theoretically it is something I should just not post at all. And I can't do that to myself. I can't censor this blog. I just don't want to.

You can fuss at me for hiding my real self from the people I know. But I don't see this blog as hiding my real self. I think I am usually my real self, just my real self who knows there is such a thing as tact. And if I am ever not my total, complete, true self well then those are my issues to deal with. And maybe I am not ready to deal with them yet. Maybe I am still discovering who I really am and posting on this blog is my testing ground. I want to be free to post everything I want to post. I want to be able to write things I normally might not say. I want to be able to express myself and not worry about what other people think of me. Maybe one day I will get to the point where I tell people about this blog and will be able to not worry about what they think. But I am so not even close to that yet.

So the whole entire point of this was to say that I think I need a new name. I need a name that has nothing to do with my real name. I need a name that no one in my real life would recognize. But I still need to be willing to answer to it in the blogosphere. I need a new persona. I need to find something that just feels right. A name that I can embrace and make real and make my own.

I am having a hard time coming up with something. I had a hard time naming this blog in the first place. I know I will come up with something soon. And if you have suggestions I would be happy to hear them. I might not even settle on a new name right away. I hope I don't go through too many. I do not want to confuse those few people who might actually read me too much. I think whatever I choose for my own name will probably stick the first time I use it. The new name for R might be more difficult for me to settle on. So if in the future you see funny names you don't recognize I hope they still make sense to you. And just know that I should sort all this out soon. I hope.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Smell Me!

No this is not a joke. I smell pretty good right now. I just got back from the mall and a visit to Bath & Body Works. I am looking for a new perfume and I smell pretty good after testing them out. Plus I need advice.

I like Bath & Body Works because they have some good fragrances. I do not like them for being a corporate pain in the you know what. I mean what is this fascination with discontinuing fragrances? Just when I find one I like they discontinue it. And of course it was like the only one in the store I really liked. And of course I only figured out it was discontinued after they had no more in the store and could not stock up on anything. But maybe it will come back for the semi-annual sales. Or maybe you can still get it online. Or maybe it is just gone for good, ha ha ha ha. Or maybe you should try this other fragrance that smells like the old one, only it really doesn't. Blarg!

Years ago I loved Juniper Breeze and they discontinued it. Then it took me a while to find Country Apple, but oh how I adored it. I honestly think this was my all time favorite, ever. Then that only came back for the stupid semi-annual sales. Sometimes, if I was lucky. Until they came out with some new crap they called Irresistible Apple, which is NOT the same I do not care how many times you try to brainwash me into believing it. It is quite different and not what I want, though it may be growing on me. Next, I moved on to the Breathe, pink colored lotion which was the only acceptable scent at the time for me. Which I still have some of because since R saw me buy some he went ahead and bought me some for my birthday. And when he bought it they were having the 3 for $18 sale or some nonsense so of course I got 3 or 4 of the exact same thing which I had just purchased 2 of, so I still have plenty. After that I had a very brief stint with the Calming, blue body wash because our introduction came by way of a sale bin because it was being discontinued as was my pink Breathe. Tonight I went looking for some of my current fave, Magnolia Blossom and well of course it was discontinued and they had absolutely nothing. Not only did they have nothing, the sales lady was so frank about telling me it was gone for good I was almost speechless. I asked her if it might come back for the sales and she said probably not. I was devastated. I mean why do they discontinue all the ones I really ever liked. I do not like any of the other signature fragrances they have right now. I think I smelled them all.

I do not think that "discontinuing" items is the smartest sales tool. I guess it might get you more income when you bring things back for a limited time only and people want it so they come and stock up on it. But this has never appealed to me. I have never wanted to try a McRib, no matter how many times it comes back. I know I will get sincerely pissed off when I have kids because I will want to buy them a certain Disney movie which will be "in the vault" and unavailable. Why don't them have them all for sale all the time? I mean I am a bargain shopper. I do not buy things full price unless I really really really want it. And that does not happen very often for me. I will wait until what I want goes on sale and then if they are out by that time or if they no longer have my size then it wasn't meant to be. So I am not going to go out of my way to remember when your semi-annual sale is taking place so I can stock up on full price items, maybe, if you have them. Because I have tried that route before when I really wanted the Country Apple. And I was too late because one woman had bought the entire case the first day of the sale and that is all they were getting. Screw that. I mean even if you take it out of the store and only sell it online or something would be better than having it gone completely.

So now that I have vented about my discontentment with the whole discontinuation process I can tell you why you should smell me. I think I might have found something I like. I did not buy it tonight and they better still have it when I go back next week to test it again and make sure I like it. And then they need to keep it forever. Along with bringing back my faves full time. But back from dream world, I did find a new something something. There is this Pink line of stuff. Apparently it is from Victoria Secret. They have a clean smell and a fruity one and I like the fruity one. It kind of smells like apples and that makes me happy. My only hope is that if I do start really liking this one that if Bath & Body Works discontinues it that I might still be able to find in the the Victoria Secret smell good store. I suppose I should determine if this is true before falling for the fragrance. I am tired of being let down when my favorites disappear. Smells can be soothing and help you feel good. I want to feel good again.

So do you think I should do it again? Should I trust that Bath & Body works will have this fragrance long enough for me to get tired of it first before it gets discontinued? Would you go for it or would you find a real perfume somewhere else that probably won't get discontinued? I want to like this fragrance. I really do. But I don't want to be let down again.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Everyone loves a good story

Tonight I finished a really good book. I really love to read and have recently discovered audiobooks. Audiobooks are wonderful and really help to pass the time on my weekend drives. I was at the library last week and had no audiobooks on hold so I had to browse the shelf hoping to find something good. I found a couple of decent ones before I came across The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson. I got so excited when I found this in audiobook on the shelf. I had been meaning to request her latest books and was so happy to find it waiting on the shelf just for me. I knew I had postponed my trip to the library for a good reason last week. Normally I am more of a crime mystery reader but I absolutely loved Joshilyn Jackson's first book Gods in Alabama. So far both of her books have included tales set in small southern towns and I love the way she describes them. Her books are really about the characters though. There are these amazing women who come from the small towns with secrets that followed them out. Those secrets are woven deeper into the fabric of these small town families than you would ever expect. Just when you think you have discovered the big bad secret, there is even more to it. I get caught up in the story and find myself imagining myself as one of the characters. I really like Joshilyn's work. I have always thought of her as an easygoing person who writes stories that could be about any one of us. But, I suppose I might feel more of a connection to her now that I have been following her blog, Faster Than Kudzu. She is honestly just so friendly and hilarious. She tends to think less of herself than everyone else, for some reason I cannot fathom, because her antics are great. Heck when she recently joined the world of Facebook I even friended her.

I guess all I am really trying to say is that I like Joshilyn Jackson and I like her work. I can relate to her stories and they make me want to write one of my own. Have you ever read a book you liked so much it made you want to write one of your own? This feeling may have something to do with the fact that Joshilyn is so down to earth I feel like we could be friends. Or maybe it is the small town southern thing which I feel a connection to. But really I just think she is good at writing and making it seem effortless like the story just fell into place. I like her stories so much they really do make me want to try it myself.

And since she is so down to earth I really hope she doesn't mind me writing an entire post about her books. I think she would be flattered, if she ever even finds out about my little blog. Regardless I wanted to share her work with you all so you might discover her too. Finishing her book this evening made me happy. I am going to bed tonight feeling good and I like that. I am looking forward to reading her next book out called Between, Georgia.

Happy Reading!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Rivals

In sports it seems that every team has a natural rival. In my hometown it was our high school, football team versus our closest neighboring team. In college, while getting my undergrad the team was not much good and I can't tell you who the rival was. Then for grad school I went to LSU. This was different, because our team was good. Therefore it seemed we had a lot of rivals. But one always stood out and that was Alabama. From what I understand this rivalry went back decades. But recently there has been something added to the pot that makes it that much worse. LSU won the national championship in 2003 with Nick Saban as head coach. Then he decided to leave LSU. I will let you guess where he decided to go. That's right, he is now the head coach for Alabama. I think there was some brief NFL stuff in between maybe and a lot more to the story than I can tell you right now. But basically LSU players and fans were pissed to put it lightly. I mean the guy who we had just won championships with left us for our rival. The tension has been interesting these past couple of years. Saban has been the but of many jokes and lots of people feel he is a traitor. Last year LSU had to play Alabama in Tuscaloosa. This is the first year that Saban has come back to LSU and this game is a huge deal. Not only is there a great rivalry between the teams, Alabama is currently ranked #1 and LSU would love to beat them.

So today my day is all about football. I really hope LSU is up to the challenge and can bring something to this game. So far I have been surprised and the game is tied 14 to 14 at the half. Lets hope LSU can pull it out. I know I will be all about football and food the rest of the day. I hope you have a good Saturday and that your favorite college team wins too.


Go LSU!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Oh the Things I've seen...

Everyone is unique and everyone has a right to be who they are. But sometimes who you are just does not make a lot of sense to other people. I work in Houston, which is the 4th largest city in the US or something like that. So I get the opportunity to see lots of interesting people. This morning I passed by a person who truly made me laugh out loud. I think you would have laughed too.

Picture for me if you can that you have just driven into work and parked your car in the lot.

To get to your building you must cross the street at an intersection which looks not unlike this.
So you are waiting patiently for the walk signal which looks something like this,
and you hear a car drive up on your left and stop for the red light. Now seeing as cars are not unusual at intersections there has to be something different about this car to make you notice it. Now it is not something like this,
though to be fair I have seen a few like that in downtown Houston.

No, it is something more like this, which is to be expected in downtown Houston.
So there obviously had to be something else that made this particular Porsche Cayenne stand out. Well first let me say it was a pretty pearl blue color. And also that it had all the windows down. One would expect windows down and music blaring in the afternoon, but not this early in the morning. Yet here is a car with the windows down and music blaring at 7am. Let me say that before I recognized the music I was expecting to see a young male behind the wheel. Once I recognized the music I just had to see who was driving. And I saw an older man with white hair. It just made me laugh out loud. I mean who would ever expect an older gentleman to be proudly blasting this from from his Porsche at 7 am. And gosh I hope that link works for you. Once I realized what the music was, I was expecting to see something a little more like this.

Though he may very well dress like this on the weekends. And who am I to judge him. I am not judging, I am appreciating his uniqueness. I am appreciating it by laughing, but still I am appreciating...
Happy Friday Everyone!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Express Yourself!

Presentation is everything. So are first impressions. Therefore it seems like a good idea to present yourself in the best way you can. It shocks me sometimes that there is so much ignorance about the fact that what you say or do reflects upon you. How can you not see that certain things will reflect negatively upon you and other's perception of you?

Today I encountered a really good example of this. It is performance appraisal time at work and we are all having to write up our goals and accomplishments. Our bosses see our written explanations of what we have accomplished this year and use that to evaluate us. Therefore you would think that everyone would try to make themselves look good right? You would want to come across as polished and professional. You would use this as an opportunity to convey the fact that you are a valuable asset to the company. You want to keep your job and get a big bonus. Yet, I noticed that some people did not take this seriously. There were a few people who just threw some words onto the form and expected it to be enough. Our immediate supervisor has been nice enough to give us advice on how to do this, in other words do this and this and this to make it look good. Then in turn we make her look good too. I find it amazing that people just do not listen and choose to ignore her advice. I know of one person that the boss has told at least 3 times to make their goals better and proofread it properly. Today when the boss told them yet again to proofread their goals they came to me and asked me to make corrections for them. I was expecting to help make the sentences sound better and was amazed to see the amount of grammatical errors in such a small amount of writing. Did this person not even realize how this made them look? Are their grammatical skills that bad that they cannot put words in the correct tense? Do they not understand what "use complete sentences" means? Do the honestly think words are spelled that way? Did they honestly think this was acceptable? I was in shock. This was a person who is very good at their job and for the most part puts off a professional aire (I so do not know if that is the proper way to spell that). I could not believe that their writing skills could be so poor. How can you ever expect to get far in a job when your writing and speaking skills reflect negatively on your education? I am not saying that you need to have attended an Ivy League school, shoot you don't even need to have finished high school to know how to present yourself. Somewhere along the way you will learn how to act properly. You will figure out how to make yourself presentable and make yourself look good to others. Sure you can talk in slang with friends and you can write improperly in certain mediums. But there is a time and place for that, and there is a time and place to present yourself well. If you never learn that fact then you will never get very far in life because there will always be people looking down upon your for your inappropriate actions. Even if you can talk and write well, if you choose to be lazy and your work shows errors, no one else knows if it you being lazy or if you actually thought things were okay. Either way you gave a bad impression and people lose respect for you. It has become so simple to make yourself look good in writing. We have spell-check and grammar-check and you should use them. Even if your English is not perfect you should be able to form a complete sentence with prepositions and all. You have to be able to get your point across. Throwing words on the page will not do that.

It always takes me by surprise when I realize some people do not even realize that they are presenting themselves poorly. And while I do not say that there is anything wrong with the person they are, what their culture is, or how they choose to act, they should know that certain actions are not always appropriate. That they are ignorant to how they might be perceived by others just baffles me.

I am very grateful to my parents for teaching me the proper way to act. I am grateful they saw fit to educate me well. For the record one parent has a high school diploma and the other does not even have that much. But you never would have known it. They knew how to present themselves, and they always made sure I did too. When I was friends with a few people from our small town and began talking with an accent my parents let me know how ignorant I sounded when I talked that way. And I learned from it, to this day no one can tell where I am from because I do not have an accent and speak properly.

To me there was just no question that you should be educated. I worked my way through college and grad school and did what I needed to, because that was just the right thing to do. It has paid off for me. I feel that while I am still young I have the foundation and this allows me to present myself accordingly. I have been approached by elders and supervisors for help with preparing presentations. I have been asked to help edit and proofread documents. I feel quite honored that a superior would ask this of me and trust that I will make us both look good. My goals and accomplishments were never returned to me for any corrections and I was actually complimented on them. Yet, I do not see anything extraordinary about this. everyone should be able to present themselves well and have others trust in them.

So on Love Thursday I want to thank my parents for helping to make me the person I am and for helping me realize that there is a time and a place for everything. I would have never made it this far without their guidance.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Make a Wish

So the election is over and we have a new President elect. I hope everyone that wanted to was able to get out and vote.

I was talking to my friend veggie librarian last night and she made a pretty funny point. Do you remember when you were little and you had to make a wish for your birthday or on a shooting star? Remember how you were never supposed to tell anyone or it would not come true? V said she finds it funny that people act the same way about their choice for president. Why is it that everyone doesn't want to tell who they voted for. Are they maybe afraid it won't come true like the wishes we made in childhood? Honestly friends should be able to tell friends who they voted for and not be all secretive about it.
I found this perspective quite amusing. I began to think of reasons for why we might not want to broadcast our political choices, even to our friends. I mean logically politics and your opinions about them have no place in the work place. Therefore we can't really have conversations about our political choices with our co-workers, so we avoid the subject. I can definitely see avoiding politics at the office, but why are we still secretive with our friends? I came up with only a few good reasons. We hide our political opinion because we are afraid of retribution and potential attacks by people trying to get us to change our minds. It is either that, or we don't trust in our decisions enough to be able to defend them in an argument. I think we all know at least one person who is not afraid to give you their opinion and chastise you for not believing in the same things they do. Those people will not stop trying to criticize your choices and will constantly try to get you to see things their way. And politics are no different. There are plenty of people who are proud of their choices and who are willing to get on their soapbox at any given opportunity.
But not everyone acts this way. So why do we feel the need to hide our decisions from friends? If we are all reasonably intelligent people we should be able to accept that our friends have different opinions and embrace them even if we do not agree. Yet for some reason politics is different. Politics gets people up in arms. I suppose politics get to the core of our lives and has a effect on us all. We can all find a platform to cling to or rally against. I suppose criticising someones political choices is a little like criticising their parenting skills and you should be prepared for backlash.
So maybe we don't want to start arguments with our friends. Maybe we don't want to seem pushy. Maybe we don't want to feel pushed upon. Maybe we haven't even made a decision yet.
But maybe, just maybe we want our wish to come true.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Happy November 4th!


So today is your last chance to get out there and vote. Your last chance to speak your mind and have your voice be heard. Your last chance to make a difference. So get out there and vote!
I am not usually a very political person. Often I feel that by voting I am not choosing the person I believe in but rather the lesser of the two evils. I used to rationalize not voting, because how much could my one little vote actually matter? If I am in the minority my vote only cancels out one in the majority and my state will be the color it always is. And if I don't vote I am showing how much I don't like either candidate and maybe it will get noticed and there will be someone worth voting for next time.
But one vote does matter. Whether your one vote matters in the overall election is debatable. But your one vote does matter. It matters to you! I do not care if you are the only person voting against what the masses want. In the end you voted for what you wanted and it made a difference. You may not have particularly liked either candidate but you did your research and made an informed decision. No matter what happens you know how you voted and what you wanted and no one can take that away from you.
So whatever your logic or reasons are I am asking you to get out there and vote. Go ahead and make sure that your voice gets heard. You might not change the outcome, but you made that margin smaller with your vote. Your vote does make a difference.

While I was looking for a simple image like the one up top to use for this post, I came across a lot of strange ones. I figured I could share a few with you and make you smile!






Monday, November 03, 2008

NaBloPoMo

This is not another post about funny foreign names. I am going to attempt NaBloPoMo. Which stands for National Blog Posting Month and means that I should post at least once a day for this entire month. I have to say I think this will be difficult for me, but I also feel the need to try it. I started this blog with the best of intentions and I am slacking. I began by posting a few times a week and I was happy with that amount. Then I got kind of down on myself and started posting less and less. Recently I have been logging into my blog just to have the links to read other blogs (yeah I haven't even set up a google reader yet either) and never even posting anything. I mean the blog world is give and take. I know I look forward to new posts from my fave bloggers almost daily and I suppose I should be willing to return the same. So here I go...I am going to try and post daily for the rest of November. I know I am late and all and should have started at the beginning of the month but oh well, get over it, I already have. This will not be easy for me, especially with holidays and travel and locating a computer but I pledge to try my best. If nothing else posting once a day for this month will almost triple the current numbers of blogs I have ever posted here and I think that would be awesome. So wish me luck!



See you tomorrow!

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Do you think it is cheating if the first post is a post only about the fact that I will be posting all month? Really? I tend to agree with you.



But all I have is this: