Wednesday, December 31

The movie "Tombstone," not "Wyatt Earp"

Check me out, you guys!
"I'm your huckleberry."
Rock on! What a perfect avatar for me to start off this new year. I feel like 2009 needs to be attacked, and bent to my will! I will win over this year, and I will make it my bitch. How's that? Sounds a bit too angry? That wasn't my intention, but I really do want to make this year mine. I've got plans, and I have every intention of bringing them to fruition. Of course, because this is me, I've also got contingencies for my plans too, so don't worry too much about the consequences should I not win the day.
At any rate, I thought that looking very Doc Holliday (Val Kilmer, not Dennis Quaid), as in, you know, when he's kicking everyone's asses and beating them at cards and riding the range with Wyatt Earp (Kurt Russell, not Kevin Costner), would put me in the right frame of mind.

The Big List

So ... obviously ... I've taken some time off from the blog over the last week. I could go through a litany of reasons why I haven't written, bored, having a cold, blah, blah, blah, but oh well.
Today is the last day of 2008, and, well, it'll be kind of a whimperish one. I'm not feeling well enough to make it a smash of a day, and there are no plans for tonight, so Brian and I may just be ringing in the New Year with a viewing of the ball dropping in New York, and then a nice sleep.
But don't think that tomorrow will be greeted with the same attitude. No, no. I am going to tackle this next year, and tackle it well! (After I'm over my cold.) But I can start all my research now, and I shall!
What's on the Big List for 2009?
Potty Training (that one, of course, is entirely up to Sydney, so it may well get pushed to 2010. I say, whatever);
Weight Loss;
Simplification (I'm being deliberately vague on this, because I'm not sure what I'd like to, or be able to, simplify);
Class Work.
That's a pretty good list, if I do say so myself. I'll need some help, obviously, but will take these list items to task as best I can.
2009, Bring it!

Thursday, December 25

Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas!

I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas! I certainly did! And for all those times everyone ever told me that watching my kid dig into Christmas was going to be so much better than opening gifts myself, I say that, "You are absolutely right!" I would have happily watched Sydney open every gift under the tree this morning, including mine. And that's hard for an only child to admit!
This week wasn't without its sadness though, as my wonderful Uncle Sam passed away on Tuesday night. I'll count my lucky stars that Mom and I went by to visit with him and Aunt Bette that afternoon, and that we were able to give out hugs and "good vibes." Tomorrow is Uncle Sam's funeral, so that's where Mom, Auntie Donna and I will be hanging out for a couple hours.
After the funeral though, my own little family will be heading back to Phoenix. This will be a very long and tiring day, but it's worth it to me to be there for the extended family, as well as get my own group home and sleeping in their own beds. Besides, Santa still left some stuff for Sydney at her house, under her own tree. And to watch that again, I'd drive through a snow storm, hail, tornadoes and a hurricane.

Tuesday, December 23

Santa Claus is comin' to town

So I've finally got a spare couple moments to blog something, and it won't be much. As you know, when we're out in California, the office becomes Sydney's bedroom, therefore our time with the computer is severely limited, as Mom and I are both mainly nighttime computer people. Every one in a while, we can sneak in while Sydney's asleep, but that is a rare occurrence. Right now, I've got the television on and Sydney chilling in her crib, so I've got a quick second to update you.
Activities so far this trip out to Cali:
1.) The drive itself went pretty well. Two dogs, one baby, two married people and a car full of Christmas presents do not make for a comfortable trip, but it was a pretty quick one.
2.) Dinner party at Jeannine's house! A night to hang out with my friends? Always a good thing, and that it was a nice casual thing with us just hanging out and laughing made it absolutely perfect.
3.) The Owens Christmas dinner is always, always, always a fun event, and this year did not disappoint! Sydney was a frickin' rock star, and even proved it by rocking out with Guitar Hero. She would insist on holding the guitar, but wouldn't push any buttons ... nor would she allow anyone else to push the buttons for her. Funny!
4.) Lunch with Julia! I haven't seen Julia since before Howie died, and it was a lovely thing to sit across a table from her and catch up. Since she's back in California, we'll be able to hang out more, I hope!
It's been a great time so far, and it'll only get better, as it gets more Christmas festive! Yay holiday!

Friday, December 19

I'm hoping for a 7 a.m. departure

It's not even close to the temperature that a penguin in a Santa suit would find comfortable, but really, this picture is too awesome not to post. I'm frickin' so excited to get to California tomorrow that I'm actually almost entirely somewhat totally packed for the trip already! Sydney's bag is packed; my bag is packed (minus the morning toiletries); the dogs have easy stuff to just toss in their bag; and the presents are already in the car. It's great! Tonight, I have to do my nails; finish packing the extra stuff (which is why the blogging is being done at 8:45 p.m. instead of 11:45 p.m.); organize the departure; and start and empty the dishwasher. The cookies for the road, I'll have you know, are already baked.
Yay California!
Honestly, I'm beyond pleased with how my week is shaping up. I'm getting to see family and friends; I'm spending time with them, too, not just a quick hello and goodbye; and I'm going to be happy, festive and relaxed about it. I feel like once we all get in the car tomorrow, I'll have to be calm about it, since there's nothing else to be done with any of it, and if something goes wrong, my mommy can help me fix it.

Thursday, December 18

A delightful candy, yes?

You know how I knew it was going to be a good day today? One thing: scotchmallow.
Sydney and I had our last trip to make to the mall this morning. I had a minimal list, but an important one, as I still had to get something for my nephew and my brother for Christmas. I also needed to make a stop into Baby Gap for the pink jacket I saw last week (but didn't buy, for some ridiculous reason) for Sydney ... because the child doesn't have a jacket, and it's supposed to be a bit chillier in California next week. Anyway, I also had a one-pound certificate for See's that I meant to use and give to my Molly Maids for the holiday, because they frickin' rock for doing all the stuff around my house that I refuse to do. So I picked up the box of chocolates, and got into line. And the wonderful lady behind the counter offered me the sample: a scotchmallow. This is one of my very favorite candies from the store. In fact, I was contemplating buying some for Brian and I to enjoy this evening, when she offered me the sample. So I ate the candy, and that completely satisfied my yearn for the confection; thereby saving me the money for the pound of candy, but also saving my ass from spreading due to that perfect pound of candy.

Wednesday, December 17

I can be an "appropriate organization"

So I've got less than two years to raise more than an estimated $42 million to buy one of the soon-to-be retired space shuttles. Once the shuttles are taken off the docket for flight, they'll be available for purchase. One is already headed to the Smithsonian, which leaves two left, including the one for me.
[NASA] said Wednesday it's looking for ideas on where and how best to display its space shuttles once they stop flying in a few years. It's put out a call to schools, science museums and "other appropriate organizations" that might be interested in showcasing one of the three remaining shuttles.
The estimate includes $6 million to ferry the spaceship atop a modified jumbo jet to the closest major airport. But the price could skyrocket depending on how far the display site is from the airport. Only indoor, climate-controlled displays will be considered.
So not only do I need to collect the money, but I need to build a really big garage for the shuttle, too. They're making this super hard for me to pull off.
If a space shuttle is too pricey, NASA is offering some of its shuttle main engines for anywhere between $400,000 and $800,000, not counting shipping costs.
There's no way I would compromise on such a thing.
The space shuttles, so you know, will not come with any main engines.
I can't even take it to the grocery store or drive-in theater? Damn. But still, totally worth it. I can sit in it and play astronaut.
NASA plans to retire Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour by Sept. 30, 2010, in keeping with President George Bush's initiative calling for a return by astronauts to the moon by 2020.
A transition team set up by President-elect Barack Obama is reviewing all the options, however, including the possibility of keeping the shuttles flying beyond 2010.

If that happens, then all space shuttle deals are off.
I wonder if I'd get all my money back if NASA has to turn its back on the deal. Or maybe just a ride in one, to the moon, as a consolation prize? I'm all over it.

"Keep in Touch!" "Have a great summer!"

I can count on one hand how many real, real friends I had in high school (and still have; Yay Lisa!). I knew plenty of people, had classes and sat next to a lot of them, and enjoyed spending time with, and talking to, a whole lot of my peers. But at the end of the day, when looking at all my classmates on Facebook pages, I can say that I'm freaked about contacting them to be "friends." I'll admit to this fear as being one of the issues I've had for a long, long time: I'm terrified of calling, writing or contacting someone and having them say, "And who are you again?" The possibility is keeping me from befriending a lot of people on Facebook. Tara tells me to just do it, and enjoy any renewed friendships. I'm still iffy about it. It's so easy for me to say to myself, "You're a grown-up now! Don't be shy! Say hello!" But then I get all nervous about sending that friend request. I feel so vulnerable. It's incredibly weird.

Tuesday, December 16

What a cool picture of lights

Honestly, I'm getting bored with getting ready for the holidays, and wish that I can just dig into the fun and merriment, you know? I've got so much to do in the next three days, but I'm really eager for them to pass so we can get to the traveling. I've got a lot of my shopping done (I epiphanied an idea for two more people this afternoon ... my last person eludes me), and I have only the packing and baking to do before heading out of here on Saturday. I say that like the packing and baking are easy and quick, basically no-brainers, but in fact, both things will take up an irritatingly long time. As I now remember too well, the peanut butter cookies take a couple hours to finish. And packing for a week, for three people, and the two dogs, is no small chore. So why am I just sitting her on the sofa, loitering on Facebook, blogging about everything that I need to do, and watching a ridiculous movie that I've already seen a hundred times, instead of doing any of these things? It's too early to pack, and I can't hit the mall and shop right now. And I'm really just chilling -- enjoying the happiness of my fantastically giddy day.

Monday, December 15

Britney in April!

So did I tell you all that Katy and I are going to the Britney Spears concert in April? Honestly! I am so excited! I got us some decent seats, though they're not the best that I think I could have done for us. I couldn't find a single place where it said when the tickets would go on sale, so had to depend on my spotty memory and flighty sense of focus to keep checking.
Sadly, I let the wrong set of three consecutive days go by without visiting, and missed out on the day the tickets became available. (A Saturday morning? Are they kidding me with that?) Thereby, when I finally checked and found that the tickets were available, they'd been on sale for three days, and all the super good, cost-not-an-issue seats were gone. So we're not on the floor, but in the first level of seats, and in row Q or something. I am comforted by the fact that I won't need binoculars to see the stage, and that I actually had seats farther away from the stage the second time I saw U2 in Boston, to they can't be too bad.
But I'm totally going to get a t-shirt and a program.

Sunday, December 14

Five days and counting...!

Honestly, I cannot believe that we're heading out to California in five days. I've still got so much to do! Tomorrow, I hit the mall to finish up the shopping I need to do there. Maybe, just maybe, Sydney and I will get to Target tomorrow afternoon, but I feel like, if the weather is as bad tomorrow as they say it will be, that particular errand will be put off until Tuesday morning. I need to make another batch of peanut butter cookies. I need to pack for my family's week-long trip away from home. I need to wrap a couple random gifts, but I'm saving all the California presents for wrapping out there; that way I don't have to worry about the paper getting ripped in the car (why didn't I think of that two years ago?). I'll need to do my nails.
I guess I really only have to organize my life for the holiday. Grr.
I'm excited to put our Christmas cards in the mail tomorrow!

Saturday, December 13

Cards, cards, cards

So we tried something different for our Christmas cards this year: There is ... wait for it ... a family portrait on it. Of course, there's still the bigger photo of Sydney, because she's so awesome, but instead of a photo of just Oliver and Daisy (assuming I would ever be able to get them to sit together long enough to snap one), I thought a nice, casual and fun family photo would be a nice complement. Not a single one of the family portraits turned out exactly right, but I still included my favorite of the group. Once you see it, you'll know why. My baby cracks me up.
I'm almost sure that next year's card will go back to the older tradition of being just pictures of the kids. It's all cuter that way.
At any rate, I've finished with a majority of the envelopes, and am only waiting to hear back from a few people for their addresses. And one more thing gets crossed off my list. Yay me!

Friday, December 12

I was two when I first said it, as well

Alright, so here's a random Sydney-based post that I'll share because what happened was really frickin' funny. We were walking through the parking lot after our play class this morning. As we arrived at the car, and I reached down to pick her up. As I lifted her into my arms, my keys slipped out of my hand and hit the ground. "Shit," I mumbled as I gripped her to my side, and bent down to pick them up. And then, like little music in my ear, I hear this little angel's voice squeak as well. "Shit ... shit," it said. Then, she kinda dragged it out, really feeling it in her mouth. "Ssshhhiiittt." Of course, I had the exact opposite response as they say a parent should: I looked at her and just started cracking up. I gave her a huge, huge hug, and just kept laughing. She found this awesome, and said it again. And I laughed again. I put her in her car seat, and she said it again. Fantastic! Honestly, I couldn't stop laughing! Nor could I wait to tell her daddy. I called him from the car, and as I'm telling him, she's in the backseat repeating it! Love it! It is so much better to hear than the f-word!

Cookie, cookie, cookie starts with "C"

Here's a picture of the homemade, created from scratch, yummy peanut butter cookies I made tonight. Whatever for? Sydney, Brian and I are invited to Maria and Doug's cookie party tomorrow night, and I decided to make the old-school peanut butter confections that I love so much. I had forgotten how many cookies the recipe made (about 60), and how long it takes to follow the recipe through to fruition (2 hours, start to finish). I'm excited to take them to Maria's, because I really do know how good they are. Don't think I'm too generous though, I'm keeping some for myself and Katy to enjoy this weekend. (Brian doesn't like peanut butter cookies. More for me!) I like it when my house smells like fresh-baked cookies, too. Isn't there just something cozy and warm and fuzzy about a house that smells like cookies? At any rate, I'm inspired to make more cookies before the month is done. Hosting an event that I'm invited to this holiday? I may be bringing cookies with me!

Wednesday, December 10

Have phone, will travel ... or just call people

I lost my phone for about two hours this evening. And let me tell you, that is the craziest feeling! I swear, I felt so helpless, and kind of vulnerable, and definitely like I was lost myself. I knew that probably no one had tried to call me, but my heart kept telling me that I was missing out on everything that could possibly be happening. I swore that Mom and Brian had each tried to call me a thousand times. (Thank goodness I had Sydney with me, otherwise my paranoia and crazy fears would have spun way out of control.)
But then the rest of the mental dominoes started falling in my head: Could someone who found the phone find me? How, in the world, was I ever going to re-create my address book? Why do I no longer have anyone's phone numbers anywhere other than in the phone? And how did I ever become so dependent on a little piece of electronic plastic that fits in my pocket?
I realized the phone was missing right before dinner, and before Katy joined us. I asked her to call it, and while it didn't ring in my bag from some hidden corner, it also didn't ring on her end. It went right to voice mail. Ugh. We all know what that means: the phone was turned off. If it was in my car, or my bag, or the parking lot, it would just ring and ring and ring before going to voice mail. If it was off, someone had it.
After dinner, we drove back to the Target, where I knew that I last had the phone (I called Lizzie from the video games section of the store, and was sure I put the phone back in my pocket). Katy checked around my former parking spot: under, around and near the Mitsubishi that was currently in the spot. We parked and went in the store and straight to the customer service counter. The customer service guy asked me for a description of the phone, and for my name, and, if you can believe it, the phone was there! The guy had checked through the address book for the "Home" listing, called and left me a message, and turned off the phone to preserve the battery! And that's Target policy for lost phones! CRAZY COOL!
But here's the best part: When I got home and listened to the message, he had said that the phone was found in the parking lot. Not even in the store! A good Samaritan helped me! How great! I'm so excited and pleased that someone else took the time to take care of my little phone and return it to the store, and ultimately, back into my hands. That person frickin' rocks!

Tuesday, December 9

The kid loves Abba; what can I say?

ITEM!: I've got my list, and I'm checking it twice! And I'm in full-on shopping mode tomorrow. I even got a babysitter so I can run in and out of the stores I need to with a minimal amount of fuss (which is something I get a maximum of when I've got my baby with me). Oh, and yes, I've got some stores to visit: Toys R Us, a few in Fashion Square, Target, and Michaels. Each stop has a nifty list of purchases to be made, and I'm crazy excited to dig into it. I won't finish everything tomorrow, I know that, but this day is going to be a huge step in that direction.
ITEM!: I was hoping that The Journey to the Center of the Earth would be a fun and awesome romp, similar to The Mummy. Not to be, but at least I finally sat and watched it. I always, weirdly, feel a sense of real accomplishment when I finish watching a movie from Netflix. I can send it back to them; they know I'm not a lameass who doesn't ever return the movies; and now I can get something else. I've still got Get Smart in the living room. Who knows when I'll get into that one.
ITEM!: Sydney and I enjoyed the soundtrack to Mamma Mia! during our afternoon dance party today. I love that she gets so excited when she hears her favorite songs start! Those first four songs are money for getting that kid up and dancing around. Fun! I can't wait for the movie so we can watch it together. I think she'll really dig it, even if she doesn't understand what's going on or much of what the characters are saying. She'll love the music, and that's the best part of any musical anyway, right?

Monday, December 8

Same Batman, blah bat result

I won't be buying The Dark Knight tomorrow. I'll tell you why, I didn't like the way the plot went down. At heart, you see, I'm a crazy romantic, and I like to see the happy couple get together in the end. To be sure, this did not happen in The Dark Knight. While Heath Ledger's performance was certainly worth the price of admission, and Christian Bale was fantastic (though the voice killed me sometimes), I don't like at all the end of the movie. And for me, how a movie ends is a huge, huge thing. The final impression of a film sticks with me for a long time, and I always remember, even if it's just a vague sense of "meh," how a film made me feel. And when it comes down to buying a movie's DVD, that last feeling as I walk out the theater is crucial. Look at Hancock if you need another example. Or Heat. I really hate the way that movie ended.

Did you hear? De La Hoya lost

I am so glad that we did not buy this fight on Saturday night. It was touch-and-go there, for a while, but I finally just said no. We've fallen for the hype before. We bought the last two "big" fights on pay-per-view, and felt totally cheated by the time the main fight came on, and even more disappointed after it was over. And I was only more irritated when that $50 charge would come through on the next month's cable bill. So I knew, going in to this De La Hoya/Pacquaio fight, that we would have to resist the build-up, fight the peer pressure, and just deny ourselves the supposed thrill of watching it in real-time. Besides, as HBO does, the fight will be on again anyway, and this time as part of our normal cable programming, so what's the big deal. So we didn't buy it. And instead watched normal television, hopping on to ESPN for regular updates (which is weird, because I don't really like boxing, and Brian isn't a rabid fan). So when the eighth round (am I remembering that right?) was over, and Oscar De La Hoya decided his fight was over, I felt like Brian and I were the real victors in the situation: We had real-time insight into the fight, knew when it was over and who won, and it didn't cost us any money to see it.

Sunday, December 7

Is it so hard to use two hands?

So how is this for a random bit of violence against an innocent household fixture? You'll notice that this is an innocuous, benign and stagnant paper towel holder. It's red, which is why I bought it. It's metal, which is why the key for the magnetic childproof locks is on top of it. You may also notice that the rod that is supposed to hold the paper towels in place, is resting on the counter next to the holder.
Brian, in his infinite ability to have little to no patience for anything he can't do with one hand, took the pliers to the little, helpless rod that holds the towels from unraveling and snapped it right off this morning. Apparently, while attempting to pull a single towel from the holder -- with one hand -- he got frustrated with the holder that wouldn't allow the towel roll to spin quickly and freely.
I won't lie, we've had the discussion about the paper towels before. I always said, "Oh well, it holds the towels, and is only difficult for a day or two before I go through enough towels to thin the roll and make it easier to turn."
This morning, evidently, that mental note got shuffled to the side, and Brian decided to commit violence to the holder. I was still in bed when this actually happened, but noticed it almost immediately upon walking into the kitchen. (I'm a freak like that.) Because I tend to be neurotic about such things, I will keep the holder as it is, because, well, it's red and metal, and also because I know that if I buy another red and metal one like this, he'll just snap the f*cking rod of that one, too.

Saturday, December 6

Have a mooo-ey holiday!

So we did something pretty cool this morning. We took a holiday tour of the Shamrock Farms dairy farm! Of course, I got us crazy lost -- we overshot the offramp by about 20 miles; oops -- but we made it in time to catch the tour, which was, conveniently, running about 15 minutes late. Sadly, Lisa was still later than us, so she and Chris missed out on the tour. I'm still bummed by that. Anyway, the tour took us on a tram ride through part of the cow pastures first. But then it dropped us at a little play/adventure park where we could: put our fingers in a milking machine to feel what the pressure is like (not unlike a massage, actually; that's mine and Katy's fingers being milked to the left); take pictures on large, life-size plastic cows; walk through a wall maze to a raised platform (where Sydney knocked off Brian's glasses and they broke); and play in a small, children's area. Following that, we "hoofed it" over to the milking area, where we got to watch the cows file into the milking stalls and get milked, and then leave. We watched a video there, too, on the process of getting milk from the cow to the grocery store.
Interesting facts: The milk is never touched by human hands; the cows are pampered like queens; there are 25 to 30 calves born every day; the cows establish their own pecking order and follow that order moving in and out of the milking area; Shamrock makes more flavors of milk than any other company in the country; and milk goes from cow to bottle in three hours.
We took the tram around more of the farm, past the nursery where the baby cows live, around more pastures, and finally, back to the main barn. There, we were offered Krispy Kreme donuts and milk (of course), and were joined by both Roxie the cow and Santa Claus! Sydney didn't want any part of either of them, though we did manage to get her to interact with them a bit ... from a distance. We had some fresh, fresh, fresh ice cream; Lisa bought Sydney a bunch of stuff at the gift shop; and then we got to play in the "snow." I quote that word because even though there was supposed to be tons of snow made at the farm for the occasion, the snow-making machine was not working, and all we got was a good-size pile of soft ice, really, in the middle of the parking lot. As disappointed as we were, Sydney totally dug it. She threw all kinds of snow at her mommy (at Daddy's urging, natch), and climbed, played and threw some more.
The smell? Not so bad, actually. Of course, it was ick, but it has to have been less toxic then rolling through that place in July or August. (Tara assures me that this is true.) Really, I think I'll make the holiday tour an annual event. Yay cows!

Friday, December 5

I must possess that soundtrack; it's a new quest

Holy crap, you guys, guess what movie is on Cinemax right now! No shit, it's Top Secret! This is, in every way, one of my favorite movies of all time. I am compelled, right this minute, to see if the soundtrack is on iTunes.
10 minutes later:
Sadly, the soundtrack is not on iTunes. The movie is, but not the album. I'll have to check Amazon, I guess. Anyway, I remember seeing this film for the first time at the Melody theater in Thousand Oaks, and I totally dragged my mom to see it. I think she thought it was ridiculous, but I loved it. I mean, really, I loved it. And still, I sit here, 24 years later (yes, the film was made in 1984, and I'm old), giggling at "phony dog poop," the station moving instead of the train, and how awesome Nick Rivers' songs are, and always will be. Oh yeah, and Val Kilmer was hot. And the girl's hair after the motorcycle ride towards the end. And the male ballet dancers. And Latrine! And "I know a little German. He's sitting over there." And the prop room. And the backwards bookseller. And the fireplaces.
I must stop! I'm overdosing on funny!

Late night TV in the day rocks

I think this is the first naptime in a week where I haven't been running around the house doing stuff, and I'm feeling pretty lazy about it. Don't get me wrong, it's nice to chill for a little bit, but I can't help but feel ... still and quiet. That is so not my modus operandi lately. [Odd side note based entirely on what I'm watching on television right now: The dude that Stephen Colbert is interviewing -- from last night's episode -- has the craziest comb-over! Yikes!] And that, in a nutshell, is what's going on. Actually, I think I'm going to take my dogs for a walk. That's always fun.

Thursday, December 4

21 days until Christmas

If you were to ask me what I'd been doing the last few days, I would have no idea what to tell you. I do know that I've spent the majority of those hours surrounded in various and assorted bits of Christmas. All my household decorations are up, including the stockings you see here, and I'm happy to say that my place is looking quite festive. My kitchen is usually the last section of the house to be festooned, but this time, the stockings were the last pieces to be put up. Mainly because I didn't know where to put them, until I decided that this particular wall was looking a bit naked, and was all, "What the hell, let's go all the way." And so now my living room is crazy Christmas-y with stockings taking over an entire wall.
Also, and I'll brag about this a little, I got some Christmas shopping done today! Huzzah, Target! I love it ... presents, presents, presents! It makes me so happy to buy stuff for the people I love. I spent some time with my list this morning, decided that there was no reason for me to wait until next week to get it crossed off, and dragged my baby over to Target for a second time this week. I distracted her with a bag of pretzels, handed her every toy she was interested in to occupy her while I shopped in earnest, and was able to cross off a significant portion of my list. Tonight, I regroup and prepare for another trip out into the world of gifting.

Tuesday, December 2

It's fun to write in birthdays

Well, I'm surrounded by Christmas-ness. Not all of it is were it should be, nor is it where it will be, but it is everywhere right now. I started digging through the decorations this afternoon while Sydney slept, and did a lot more after she went to bed tonight, but I'm still skipping over piles of the stuff in my office. Interestingly, I've got a pile that I don't want anymore. My goal was to lessen my Christmas by a full bin/box, and I think I may have done it. Of course, I have a bag full of new stuff, but that's neither her nor there. Something I did choose to bypass, but still kept, was the collection of window gel clings that I use on the windows (duh) and mirrors. I actually decided at Halloween not to use them anymore for a while, because for some reason, I became bored with them. I kind of like it without them, but we'll see how it looks when I'm done.
Also, I got my new calendars this afternoon! Yay! I have never, never been so late in filling out a calendar. These things are usually all taken care of by mid-November, at the latest. You want to know what I got? Boston for the kitchen, as usual, Planet Earth for the office, Winnie the Pooh for Sydney's room, and The Princess Bride for my closet. If I'm done with my decorations by naptime tomorrow, I may get them done then. But if not, you know I'll have them finished by the end of the weekend. I love calendars ... la, la, la.

Monday, December 1

It's a circus and a funhouse on iTunes

I downloaded Pink's new album, Funhouse, and pre-ordered Britney's Circus this afternoon. The deluxe version of Circus includes a video and a bonus track for pre-orders, so of course, I had to get that. I got the deluxe version of Pink's Funhouse as well, which also includes a video.
But someone tell me about this "Digital Booklet." Is that like the actual little book that comes in real, plastic CDs? (Full disclosure: I just figured that out.) Does it include lyrics? Cool! I guess I should take a look at that, huh? Well, I'll have to wait until tomorrow to look at Britney's, but I could look at Pink's tonight.
I probably won't though. I'm tired, and kinda lazy.

An Apple-tini instead, please

I decided to bail on the Apple Store this morning. For a few reasons: 1.) I don't have the money to repair anything wrong with the computer; 2.) I'd rather just pay to buy a CD's worth of music twice (once on iTunes and again on plastic) rather than credit card the repair. Besides, I rarely buy a plastic CD anymore, so it would only happen two or three times in a year; 3.) It won't be too long (I hope) before I get a new laptop anyway; and 4.) I really needed to visit the grocery store instead of the Apple store.
All these may sound like spectacular excuses, but really, I'm okay with all of them. I'd been on the fence about the fix anyway. And right there are four reasons to hop to the side of "not do anything."

"Dear Santa ... I'd like iTunes cards for Christmas, please."

Sunday, November 30

Updates on that adventure to come, I'm sure!

ITEM!: So how cool is this? I am living across the street from a Christmas tree lot! Awesome! I don't smell the trees, because they're still a bit far, I guess, but I can certainly see them. And this is just the thing I need to push me over the edge into crazy holiday giddiness. You know what this means, don't you? It means that Brian and I can find and buy a tree, and just carry it across the street, like they do in all those big city-based shows and movies ... and best of all, it won't get all kinds of needles in my car!
ITEM!: I always love it when the space shuttles land in California at Edwards Air Force Base. Maybe, some day, I'll get to watch a landing, or even better and more incredible, a launch. From the inside, yeah, from the inside.
ITEM!: I'm taking the laptop in to the Apple store tomorrow. I would say that the errand should be interesting, but really, I'm pretty sure I'm going to walk away from the place disappointed. Somehow, I doubt they'll be able to fix my little door issue, because the computer is so old, and they'll tell me that the video problem is some inherent software hiccup, and, oh look at that, the whole piece of machinery may just melt if I take it home without a ridiculous amount of money paid to their Genius Bar.

When the chips fall, they sound the same

I played, and lost, two games of Connect 4 tonight. On a whim ... Brian's whim, specifically ... we bought the game at Target this evening. He made me promise I would play with him, "like, 10 times," before he put it in the cart, so he could be sure he would get his $10 worth of fun out of it. Two games down, eight to go. What's fun is the level of strategy involved. I had forgotten how chess-like it can be to play. And really, I was totally on board with buying the game. In fact, I would have gotten Operation too, if he'd asked me a second time. I love those games. I can't wait to play games with Sydney! My personal favorite, Chutes & Ladders, will be the most fun, I think. This time next year, Santa will be bringing a nice pile of Milton Bradley (and others) boxes to her. It'll be as much a fun day for me as for her when we get to open and play them!

Friday, November 28

This isn't our meal; ours was prettier

Well, I hope you all had a happy and fun Thanksgiving! I heard on the news that the typical holiday feast adds up to about 3,000 calories. I could see that. I mean, I love the big pile of stuffing, the mashed potatoes, the bread and butter, and the turkey (but on a sandwich, not alone). And I'm not one to deny myself a second helping of any of those, especially stuffing.
We all went down to Tucson to spend the holiday with Brian's side of the family, and had a great time. The end of the evening was spent in an all-out marathon game of Uno, that stretched about two hours. Oh, make no mistake, I won. It was a particularly competitive game -- happily so -- and we all thoroughly enjoyed the strategy. I didn't cheat, though Brian accused me of it, and I am very pleased with my win. We decided though, that the next time we're all together, we won't wait until the last hour to play. We'll start playing earlier in the day so we can get more than one game in.
I called the Mac place down the street about the CD door on my computer and to see if I could bring it in Monday morning. There was a very unhelpful guy who answered the phone who, first of all, needed to be told three times what the problem was, and seemed to only care what color the laptop is; then, wasn't sure of anything but that he didn't think they had any new doors, or could get any, or that they could even fix it; and finally, thinks that maybe the Apple store would be a better place to get the door fixed. Honestly, I hate dealing with the Genius Bar at my local Apple Store, the guys are super condescending and the whole enterprise is too expensive, and that's why I deal with this Mac places instead. But not about this, I guess. If I remember right, I have to make my appointment online. Okay, I'll head over there now. Let's get this started, yes?

Monday, November 24

And still a crazy flat stomach

I'll tell you, it's weird how little amount of sleep I've gotten over the last week. There's really no reason for it, except that, damn it, I just haven't been ready to be asleep before midnight since some time last week. I finished a book though, the other night, so that's a good thing. At any rate, my latest bout of nocturnal living is making it difficult for me to get earlier sleep tonight. It's a couple minutes before 10, I'm still sitting here at the computer (that has not been repaired yet), and I'm only really interested in dicking around on Facebook. And Gladiator is on TV. But the positive feeling I'm getting from this is that I don't really want to do anything else tonight, and I just stifled a yawn, so maybe I will get to sleep on time.
So, check her out. It looks like our dear Britney finally has her life back together, and she'll be rocking the newest cover of Rolling Stone, out this week. Doesn't she look pretty, and healthy? I'm loving the new single, "Womanizer," and I'm geeked about the new album, Circus, which drops on December 2. There was an article on Brit on this morning, and it was a positive, emotionally controlled, and logical interview, or so I gathered from the minimal quotes allowed in the story. I think I may buy this issue, and show my support.

Sunday, November 23

New [Old Guys] on the Block

I had every intention of watching The American Music Awards tonight. We actually sat through Christina Aguilera's opening performance and Jimmy Kimmel's opening monologue. I guess we stopped watching after Pink's performance ... yes, that must be when, because I can't remember anything after that.
I'll admit to being an old woman in regards to the show tonight. I said to myself, in my head, "Let's check this out and see what all the young kids are listening to nowadays." I think I underestimated either my crushingly short attention span or my lack of real interest, because even when given the opportunity to return to the program, I chose instead to do my nails, watch The Bourne Ultimatum, and wait impatiently for True Blood.
My intentions were sound though. I wanted to see what The Jonas Brothers were about, the same with Taylor Swift, Ne-Yo and other acts that I've heard of, but not from. (Actually, weren't The Jonas Brothers on DWTS last season? I must have blocked it; I don't remember their actual performance.)
Honestly and sadly, I think it was the New Kids on the Block segment that pushed me over the edge. I felt so ... embarrassed ... for my generation. Though the girls who loved NKOTB were a couple years younger than me, I still knew the tunes. And I hated watching them do the same dance to "The Right Stuff," and listen to an older Joey McIntyre sing "Please Don't Go, Girl." Even Brian asked me, "Aren't they a bit old to be singing about being someone's boyfriend?"
So really, even though I would call it a valiant effort to get through the show and educate myself on today's music that's worthy of receiving an award, I didn't force myself into viewership, nor did I even check in regulary throughout the show, feigning an interest.
Sigh. Always the best intentions, but so many times, they fall short. ... Did I really miss anything amazing?

Saturday, November 22

Tip: Don't let them run around unleashed

With yesterday's dog-walking experience fresh in mind, I approached Assignment 4 for my writing course with a specific purpose. The task was to write a 500- to 1,000-word nonfiction article for children or teens about anything we had knowledge of from our life, but in which we also could incorporate any current research we might do. It really sounds crazy vague the way I just said it, huh?
Okay, here's some help: my topic is how to walk a dog. I basically gave a tutorial, in a bright and refreshing turn of phrase, of course, on how an 8- or 9-year-old kid would go about walking a dog, including the best way to fit a collar, tips on allowing the dog time to sniff around, warnings for possible issues (i.e., eating stuff off the ground, and keeping them on a short leash around other dogs and children), and the reminder to always, always pick up the dog's poop.
I popped out the article in an hour, which makes me angry that I've been procrastinating so, but the more I think about the piece, the happier I am with it. I'm excited to read it again tomorrow morning and get it ready to send out to Judy. The hitch in my get-along right now is coming up with a stunning and catchy title. It's not really a hitch so much as something I haven't thought about yet. I'll get it ready for mailing tomorrow and get it out on Monday. Yay!

Prince thinks gay marriage isn't right

Really, one doesn't very often come across a rock star who goes on record about something that could very easily alienate a number of the star's fans. And it's even more rare that the rock star in question is one that's been around for a while and has legions of fans.
Prince, yes, Prince, was quoted in The New Yorker as saying he does not believe that gay marriage is "right." He said that he disagreed with a liberal "Democrat" view of life, pointing to gay marriage as something condoned by the party that he disagreed with because it clashed with the teachings of the Bible.
Here's a fun quote: "God came to Earth and saw people sticking it wherever and doing it with whatever, and he just cleared it all out," he said. "He was, like, 'Enough.'
"[In the USA] you've got the Republicans, basically they want to live according to [the Bible]. But there's the problem of interpretation, and you've got some churches, some people, basically doing things and saying it comes from here, but it doesn't.
"And then on the opposite end of the spectrum you've got blue, you've got the Democrats, and they're, like, 'You can do whatever you want.' Gay marriage, whatever. But neither of them is right."
I'll allow that the quotes might have been taken out of context. And I'll allow that he was probably on a roll about something and may have forgotten that he was talking to a journalist. But the words seem to speak for themselves, and the entirety of the quote leads me to believe that this was not a stray phrase here and a random word there. And my previous life as an intrepid reporter myself leads me to believe that he wasn't misquoted either, that's just what everyone who's quoted saying something they perhaps shouldn't have says to cover for themselves. And wow, I hate to say it, but I'm crazy disappointed in Prince having heard this from him. I always thought he was one of those people, Democrat or not, who thought people could do whatever they want.

Friday, November 21

It ruined my afternoon, that's for sure

We, as a family, had a wretched walk this afternoon. Today marks the second time I tried to walk both my dogs and my kid around the complex. The first time went okay, but not so bad that I would refuse to attempt it again. So this afternoon, I leashed up my dogs, grabbed my toddler, and we headed down the stairs and around the building. The first half of the walk was fine ... really, it was. Sydney kinda listened to me, the dogs are good on their leashes, and the weather was fine. As we made our way towards the homeward stretch of the loop, we came upon the parking lot that must be crossed. I asked for Sydney's hand; "No." I asked again and a third time; "No." I grabbed her forearm, and a screaming fit ensued. I really ignored it, though the more screaming, the more irritated I got. Once we got across the lot though, I let her go to run ahead with the dogs and pick up rocks. She wasn't interested in listening to me, but I knew that we were close to home, so no big worries.
As we came upon the back stairs to our building. the girl living next door to us was coming down the stairs with her two dogs for their walk. The dogs were barking and straining at their leashes, but she held them well, and I pulled Ollie and Daisy toward the walk around the building, avoiding the now-occupied stairs. One dog pulled out of its collar though, and came ran down the stairs toward my pooches. The girl ran down the stairs to get her dog, but that, of course, brought along the second dog. The two dogs then proceeded to swarm over my puppy. They weren't viciously attacking, but it was hardly playing, I thought. Daisy tried to run, but could only go so far on her leash, and then ran back and wrapped her leash around the other girl's legs trying to get away. I reached down to grab her right as she started to really squeal. I picked her up, and then the dogs turned on Oliver. They ran at him, and were basically flanking him. He had nowhere to go and no way to get away. He circled and sat, and at that moment, the girl finally got control of both her dogs and dragged them away. Thankfully, even though she thought she could help, and did get caught up in some of the leash twisting, Sydney stayed out of the direct line of fire.
After all this, of course, Sydney decides to show me more attitude, and demonstrate more of her not-listening state of mind, so I grabbed her and carried both her (screaming and crying) and Daisy (shaking and muddy) upstairs, Oliver (ever calm, though knowing I'm pissed) following closely behind.
It was when I got home that I started shaking and freaking out. I mean, what if, when I had picked up Oliver, the dogs (which were no bigger than Oliver, but had more of an attack pack mentality) went after Sydney? How do you carry all three of your babies in only two arms? I know I would have been able to do it, but the actual fear that strummed through me when I thought of what else could have happened freaked me out.
So, it'll be a while longer before I try this again on my own.

Thursday, November 20

I'm a Mac, and I won't open my CD door

It's been a while, so don't you think it's about time for the computer to need some fixing? I mean, it's been a couple years since the great hard drive crash of 2006, so the laptop should really have some kind of meltdown. It does not disappoint me. Currently, I'm dealing with two specific issues: the CD/DVD drive will not open, no matter how I smack, pull or jab at it; and, well, this has been an issue for quite some time, any videos, be they network television programs or YouTube segments, come through all pixelated, start and stop, and never are in sync so far as sight and sound. It's a drag, especially since so many of my favorite sites have streaming videos on them. But the CD thing is what finally tipped the scales toward a visit to the computer doctor. I went to upload the new Pink CD into my iTunes, and could not get the damn little door to open. If you can't insert the CD, you can't upload the CD ... and I refuse to buy the CD and then buy the music on iTunes, too. All that, even if I am living fast and loose with iTunes credits from my mommy. I hate to waste them because of laziness, even though I'm sure the repair of the CD door will cost more than the cost of the music. At any rate and for however much, I'll be taking the computer in to the Mac guys on Monday morning.

Tuesday, November 18

Wall*E rocks!

Dude, you guys, we just finished watching Wall*E. That is, by far, one of the cutest little love stories I've ever seen in my life. I mean, really, who falls in love with a robot? But my goodness, it was almost too cute and adorable! Of course, the movie had some great, but sometimes, it was unexpectedly depressing. Great: the little cleaning robot; Eve's attitude; Wall*E's house. Depressing: Earth as a disgusting garbage can; people who don't move on their own anymore; drinking all snacks and meals. And seriously, at some point, my husband said to me, "Wall*E's not going to die in this movie, is he?" I shook my head and said, "No. Not possible. It's still a Disney movie." But even as I said that, I was a bit concerned. Having finished the film, Brian and I couldn't be more enamored of the story, and the love, between the robots! Fun!

I'll miss you, orange chicken with chicken

I'll admit to first, loving Panda Express. It's one of my favorite places to eat; I enjoy the chow mein quite a bit, and I love that Sydney enjoys the chow mein. My usual meal, which I've eaten since I first tried the restaurant's food, is the chow mein and orange chicken. The second item can be anything, depends on what I'm hungry for at that time, maybe cream cheese rangoon, beef and broccoli, spring rolls, or crispy shrimp. So it was with some excitement that I realized that since Sydney and I were at the mall right at lunchtime today, we could eat lunch at Panda. So I ordered my meal -- chow mein, orange chicken, and my second item, chicken and string beans -- and happily found a table for myself and my kid. I piled up Sydney's portion of chow mein, added a couple pieces of the chicken and string beans, and then settled in to my own plate. But when I bit in to my first piece of orange chicken, I was disgusted to realize that the entire piece was a hard and too crunchy piece of fried batter in orange sauce. I don't think there was the tiniest bit of chicken in that bite. So I tried another. Again, it was a hard piece of fried batter in orange sauce. I tried again, because I'm nothing if not an optimist. AGAIN! Piece of fried batter in orange sauce with no chicken! I did not try again. I was grossed out. I moved on to the chicken and string beans. And there! THERE! That is the item that had all the chicken that should have been in my orange chicken dish! So instead of enjoying my orange chicken with chicken in it, I enjoyed the chicken and string beans with chicken in it. And honestly, from now on, when I go there, I will avoid the orange chicken in favor of another, visibly evident chicken dish. Orange chicken is obviously the dish in which Panda Express has decided to cut back its expenses. Because really, if it's all fried batter and orange sauce, who would notice that there's no chicken left in it?

Monday, November 17

Love hurts, and so does watching this movie

So I'm having a love/hate relationship with the movie, The Heartbreak Kid. I had no interest in it when it was in theaters. I remember the previews, and I remember thinking that this particular Ben Stiller movie was not worth my time or attention. Of course, on Netflix, every movie looks cooler than it actually is, so when I saw it on the web site recently, I added it to my queue. But as I was flipping through my extensive HBO channel lineup, I found the movie, and good news, it started only five minutes before I landed on it. Right now, I'm about an hour into it, and I'm feeling the burn. But you know, I need to watch it to the end just so I know what happens, whether I pay for it later with a diminished faith in humanity, or not.

Sunday, November 16

And cupcakes love me

I once was told that when there's nothing to write, don't write anything. Sunday's are a bit of a drag because, even though it's a weekend day, not enough has happened to warrant a decent post. And so then, here I am, sitting with the computer, waiting for inspiration to strike. Actually, I've been sitting here with the computer for about 90 minutes. That says something to me.

La, la, la ... I love cupcakes.

Saturday, November 15

And the space shuttle jumped over the moon

I've got a couple things for you tonight:
1.) You didn't really think this entire space shuttle mission would go by without me posting something about it, did you? I mean, you all know about, and love me for, my misguided desire to be an astronaut at some point in my life. That hasn't changed. So here's a time-lapsed photo of the space shuttle Endeavour as it took off from Florida last night. You know, there used to be a NASA channel on my cable lineup, but when I went looking for it yesterday, I was irritated to not find it. And I couldn't find the launch on CNN either. It was nowhere to be seen on any news station. I find that very disappointing! I wanted to watch the damn launch and I couldn't! But at least there are pictures, right?
And 2.) where the hell was all this righteous activism before the election? What on earth kept all these people from being loud and proud about their beliefs in allowing gay marriage before it was banned? Who knew that simply voting wasn't going to do anything? Who knew that all the additional voters could possibly change the outcome of this particular proposition? Oh, you bet I wanted to be there marching with all those other people. You bet I'm enraged that the proposition passed. But what can all these demonstrations do? The best that can be done is to just put making gay marriage legal on the next ballot, right? Someone enlighten me if something else can be done about this.
3.) I ironed Brian's scrubs for next week tonight. I'm bugged as hell about this. Apparently, his office staff picks on him pretty regularly about how wrinkled his scrubs are everyday. While I happily said that they could piss off when he initially told me about it, it's become a fly in my ointment, so to speak, every time he puts on a fresh pair in the morning. I've figured out a couple things that make them more wrinkled -- bib Velcro sticking to pants strings and twisting them in the dryer was a main problem -- but in the end, they're 100 percent cotton scrubs that just can't be wrinkle-free without being ironed. And I hate ironing. I tried the wrinkle releaser that Katy suggested, and it just didn't do enough for the thickness of the cotton. I refuse to take the scrubs to the dry cleaners. And I hate ironing. So now I'm at an impasse. What to do about the scrubs? I'm thinking that my initial reaction of, "piss off," may be my best bet.

Friday, November 14

Yes, I made an error

Okay, I also want to post a small Editor's Note in regards to the headline in my post from yesterday, "Ugh, but where's Dr. Ross and Nurse Hathaway?" It's grammatically incorrect. The phrasing should be, "Ugh, but where are Dr. Ross and Nurse Hathaway?" Duh, says the editor, there are two of them! Pluralize properly! I could have just fixed it, and those of you who noticed could have realized my error and smirked at me, or not; and those of you who didn't notice would be none the wiser, or not. But what fun would that be?

He sounds so Grinchy when he says it, too

And Christmas has begun in the house. Not so far as decorations and all that, because ... hello ... there's still that fun holiday with the turkey and all the food, but the preparations for the Santa holiday have officially begun. I have a list. I have created a list of who I'm buying for this year, and have wrangled a budget number out of my economy-conscious spouse. I'll choose to not account for the gifts that I've already bought, since they aren't part of the set budget (gifts purchased before a budget is established are as good as not being bought at all). I hate budgeting, on any level, but am already chafing something crazy over a Christmas budget. It just doesn't sound very ... festive. And by all accounts, I enjoy being festive. But, I consider this one to be a challenge, and am actually relishing the thrill of the hunt. I'll figure out the cost factor, then go searching for what I need. Fun? Not so much, but it's better than the constant attitude I've gotten over the last couple months that "Christmas is canceled."

Reservations for five

You know, if I or my husband ever were elected as president, I would totally have my mom move into the White House with us. What a fantastic thing to have happen with the Obamas. (It is Michelle Obama's mother who kept the kids to their normal schedules and enforced family rules during the campaign. She was, by all accounts, an incredibly stabilizing force in the family throughout those two years.) I find myself wondering how many other in-laws lived in the White House, too. It's actually not confirmed that Marian Robinson will live in the White House, but only that she's agreed to move to Washington with the Obamas. I can't imagine that she wouldn't be closer if she could be, as they say, down the hall. And hello? Life in the White House? That must rock ... you know, when you aren't in charge of the country and all that business. But yeah, my mom would totally be forced into living there with us.

Thursday, November 13

Ugh, but where's Dr. Ross and Nurse Hathaway?

ITEM!: I just downloaded the new version of Mozilla's Firefox, because it's finally available for the Mac. Interesting side note: I had to completely remove the last version of the software from my hard drive before the new version would load properly. During that time, I had a moment of irrational abject terror when thinking that maybe I wouldn't ever be able to get Firefox back on my computer, and I would forever have to blog in Safari, which sucks for blogging. Anyway, I got the new version, mocked myself for my fleeting fear, and am now happily living in a well-managed blogger paradise.
ITEM!: I'm pulling together my Christmas list ... of gifts to buy and ideas for my side of the family. If I didn't have a fresh manicure right now, I would have broken out the legal pad and started work on the official "Christmas List 2008" tonight. What's awesome is that I've already got a few ideas percolating. What sucks is that all I've got to deal with money-wise is a credit card that I'd really rather avoid.
ITEM!: I watched tonight's very special episode of ER, featuring the return of Anthony Edwards as the show's beloved Dr. Mark Greene. I'll admit that it was nice seeing him in his scrubs and on the show, though it was not enough to get me hooked into watching the program for the rest of its final season. What else was on (at the very beginning) was a very nice and touching tribute to the show's creator, Michael Crichton, by Eriq LaSalle, who played Dr. Peter Benton. So we've got Benton and Greene on the show on the same night. While the stunt itself did exactly what it was supposed to do -- it got me watching the show -- I think the it may have backfired on them. All tonight's episode did was show me how awesome the show used to be, and how much I loved all those other characters, and how okay I am with not watching it anymore.

Wednesday, November 12

Lately, I'm more of a lip gloss girl

So how's this for totally random and absolutely fantastic? I got this article off the Yahoo! home page tonight.

The Lipstick Indicator
In this economy that's in the red, there may be one bright spot that comes in shades of pink, brown, and taupe: the lipstick index.
It's a financial indicator that's as true as that colorfast shade that stays on you, and doesn't get on your man. In bad times, lipstick sales soar while other sales sour. The term "Leading Lipstick Indicator" was coined by Leonard Lauder, chairman of makeup company Estée Lauder, after he noticed the trend during tough economic times.
And what is indicated right now? All lips are pointing upwards.
After all, women don't need to think twice about plunking down eight bucks for a drugstore lipstick while passing on $800 Jimmy Choos.
History can be our guide here. As a Harvard professor explains: "The decade of the Great Depression, cosmetic sales increased 25 percent." After the downturn following Sept. 11, lipstick sales doubled.
Looks like we're on track for a similar lip-color craze with this latest economic funk. The New York Times notes that in the last few months, lipstick sales have shot up 40 percent, and even put out a list of favorites ranging in price from the budget-conscious $1.99 to the more pricey but still affordable $55. Preferred colors for this new economy? Red is out. Neutrals are in.

Well. There you have it. It'll all be okay; just put on some lipstick.

Tuesday, November 11

Best Starbucks visit ever

So I totally have to tell you about my trip to Starbucks last week!
Katy and I took a road trip to Tucson, and on the way back to Phoenix, decided to cruise through the Starbucks along the freeway. I'll do my best to re-create the visit.
Barista: "Welcome to Starbucks. How are you this evening?"
Me: "Fine, thank you. How are you?"
Barista: "I'm excellent! What can I get you tonight?"
Me: "Excellent? That makes my 'fine' sound boring. I'm fabulous! I'm fantastic!"
Barista: "You sound like you would be willing to play this game we've been playing with our customers tonight. I didn't start with it because the last, like, eight customers didn't participate at all."
Me: "Okay! Bring it!"
Barista: "Okay, pretend like I just turned on my mike and you just arrived at the speaker. Ready?"
What followed was a fantastic game show host voiceover, with musical singing accompaniment from the other employees, offering me prizes behind each door, the first door containing "our wonderful hot espresso drinks," the second held "the very popular frappuccino line of drinks," and the third hid "my personal favorite, the iced drinks." I played along, asking door #1 what fruit it would be (a Granny Smith apple), and finally selecting that door because we wanted hot drinks.
By the time we drove around to the window, all the employees had assembled there, and had one final challenge for us. Because we played along, and with such enjoyment, they would give us one of our drinks free ... if we would sing part of a song for them. Well, little did they all know, but because we were on a road trip, I happened to have my iPod plugged in and resting on my lap at that very moment. Katy and I happily agreed to the challenge.
Me: "So ... I'm thinking disco."
Katy: "That sounds good."
Me: "How about some I Will Survive?"
Katy: "Gloria Gaynor is always an excellent choice!"
So, we started up the song, I turned it up loud enough for the Starbucks peeps to hear well through the window, and we sang along at top volume, and with attitude and arm dancing even! And they also sang along with us! And we sang through the entire first verse and the first chorus! It was ... awesome!
The baristas were so pleased with our serenade, and with our willingness to roll with all of their craziness that night, that they actually gave us both our coffees for free! And those coffees "were made with love," they told us, too! Hands down, the best, most entertaining visit to a Starbucks ever!