Sunday, September 30

I do love football very much

Brian and I have decided that I have an irrational dislike for some football teams and individual players. I don't have an active hate list or anything, but I will admit to rooting against some teams and players. The New England Patriots, of course, are the best team in the National Football League, and every other team deserves to get beaten by them. Now, having said that, I shall list a couple of my -- wait for it -- Football Peeves.
Eli Manning ~ I've never been a fan because of the kerfuffle involved in his drafting, wherein his dad made some kind of backdoor deal so Eli would be drafted by the Giants instead of San Diego because no one had confidence in the Chargers' offensive line. That whole thing seems kinda ... pussy-ish ... to me, which is the opposite of football.
The New York Giants ~ Two Super Bowls. Two losses. That's about that.
The new head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ~ He's a bully. And from what I've read, kind of an asshole. And the charging on the kneels at the end of the games. There is an etiquette to football. Respect it.
Michael Vick ~ Dog killer. He should always lose.
Pete Carroll, head coach of the Seattle Seahawks ~ He kinda bragged about their "win" last week. Bad form. Also, USC.
Randy Moss ~ Because if he hadn't been such a diva last season, the Patriots wouldn't have released him, and he'd probably still be playing with them and they need a long wide receiver.
Drew Brees ~ For putting New Orleans through a salary hold-out, when the city and Saints fans needed him so desperately after the bounty scandal, and then not leading the team to a single win so far this season.
New York Jets ~ Rex Ryan, the team's head coach, is very rude when it comes to commenting on my Patriots, and that kind of thing bugs me. Also, Tim Tebow, who doesn't really bug me as a person, but the kneeling thing last season was way too popular.
That's all I can remember right now. I do cheer for people and teams other than mine though, too. So it's not completely one-sided. ... I cheer for Peyton Manning, because he's a nice guy and seems to be a genuine gentleman of the game. He's a competitor, but also has respect for the game itself. ... The Oakland Raiders, because it's Brian's team, and he's always in a better mood when they're doing well. ... The Arizona Cardinals, because they need all the fans they can get. ... The Houston Texans, because it's always fun to live in a town where the team is doing well. Also, it looks like mine and Brian's special influence on sports teams where we live has transferred from baseball to football. You're welcome, Texans fans. ...

Saturday, September 29

Really? It's midnight already? Ugh.

My apartment complex is officially weird. Not in a bad way, just in an unexpected way.
We are about 60 days from the end of our lease. (YES, WE'VE BEEN HERE FOR 10 MONTHS AND BRIAN'S NEW PRACTICE STILL IS NOT OPEN YET.) They sent us our lease renewal information a few days ago, for a 12-month renewal, with a $225 increase per month in rent. The increase was what we expected, since this property transferred our lease from the other property (Remember it? With "pimp" rubber-stamped on the unit's door?), and where we live now actually costs that much. So, the increase was what we figured it would be.
The 12-month length though, was an issue. We were hoping to add only six months, since May is a nice month in which to move, and by then Brian will have been in the new office for six months, so we'll know what we can afford in a house rental. The month-to-month option wasn't feasible, since that increased our rent by $400.
So, we headed into the office this afternoon with only the concern about the lease length. We were invited into the manager's office. After that, it was kind of a blur. She popped onto her computer, and next thing we know, our rent is only being raised by $75. The rates on the garage and car ports stay the same. The cable is pulled from our account, and nothing is said about the satellite dish deposit. And then, it comes down to the lease's length. They don't offer leases for less than 12 months. However, we can buy a lease-breaking clause -- a one-time, non-refundable payment -- for the cost of half a month's rent. This option, really, is a few thousand dollars less than breaking the lease (which we considered because we don't want to be here another full year). And then, she cut $200 off the cost of that.
Honestly, I was kind of stunned. I would love to brag about my amazing negotiating skills, but I don't really have any. And also, I didn't negotiate anything. It was like walking into a store, expecting to pay a lot for a pile of shoes, but then having the salesperson hand you a bunch of stuff for free, and then only charging you for a pair of flip flops. Weird. I feel like I won something without even trying.
I should have gone out and bought a lottery ticket.

Friday, September 28

What's a map that isn't a map?

Seriously, Apple. Get a grip and make friends with Google. Apparently, because they wanted all the mapping glory to themselves, Apple has chosen to end their relationship with Google maps on their iPhones. Apple's excellent information-gathering source? Yelp. A cheesy, irritating, customer-supplied ratings site. Because of this, the Apple maps are ridiculously lean on practical information. And with that, Apple has an uprising on their hands. We, as a people, don't really like change, and we especially don't like change when the replacement is exponentially worse than what we already had.
I simply can't live without a decent mapping app, and the Google app was stellar. I haven't had to mess with the new maps app, for reasons I've whined about earlier this week. So it's not an issue right now, but I am definitely going to be needing a decent maps app to get me around this town.
Apple apologized for its crappy maps app today. Read the article about that below:

Tim Cook Issues Apology For Apple Maps
 The Huffington Post  |  By Catharine Smith 
Apple CEO Tim Cook has issued an official apology for the company's half-baked Maps app.
Cook wrote that the mobile mapping product "fell short" of the quality he said the company is committed to delivering.
"We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better," he conceded in a letter to users, posted by Apple on Friday morning.
Apple announced in June that it would drop the popular Google-built maps feature from iOS and would release a homegrown Maps app with iOS 6. Since the glitchy new app launched, users have been vocal about its tendency to mislabel or erase cities, move famous landmarks and warp scenes in 3D Flyover mode, to name a few complaints. Many are also disappointed that Maps doesn't provide transit directions, which was a go-to feature for many fans of the Google-made maps in iOS.
Cook in his letter promised users that Apple is working to better Maps and suggested a handful of third-party apps that users could turn to in the meantime. Wrote Cook, "While we’re improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app."
This is a far cry from the paltry statement Apple distributed last week, shortly after Maps became available and the outcry began to rise over bugs in the app. "We launched this new map service knowing it is a major initiative and that we are just getting started with it," an Apple spokeswoman said at the time, per Mashable. "[T]he more people use it, the better it will get."
Sources told The Verge this week that Apple apparently announced its own Maps app while it still had another year left on its mapping contract with Google. At least part of the disagreement between the two companies was over a voice-guided navigation feature that Google had included in its Android app but had left out of Apple's iOS app.
BuzzFeed reported recently that Apple is beefing up its Maps staff to keep pace with Google, which already has a seven-year head start on its mapping products and currently employs about 7,000 people for various maps projects.
Google is said to be working on a new maps app for iOS 6. The company could submit the app to Apple for approval into the iTunes App Store by the end of this year, according to anonymous sources who spoke to the New York Times.

Thursday, September 27

Halloween decorations EVE

ITEM!: I watched, and thoroughly enjoyed, Elementary this evening. I am digging the story that Sherlock Holmes is a recovering addict living in New York in modern times, and that Watson is the awesome Lucy Liu. I don't think they could have come up with a better way to mess with the Holmes soup without screwing it up royally.
ITEM!: The Snow Leopard operating system shipped today, but according to the tracking information, it won't be here until next Wednesday. Which sucks right out loud, but if I'm anything, I'm patient. Which is completely and totally untrue. I WANT IT NOW. I hate carrying around two phones, and I mostly hate not being able to Facebook away from a wi-fi connection. It's like I live in the stone ages or something.
ITEM!: Tomorrow, I get to decorate my house for Halloween. As is my custom, I will drop the kid at school and buy myself a venti mocha for the day. Then, it's all about breaking out the orange and black boxes, and finding places for all my pretty Halloween things. I am beyond excited. It's been two years, and I can't wait to dig out all those things.

Wednesday, September 26

Tonight, sleep; tomorrow: TV

I had wanted to watch the season premiere of Modern Family tonight, but Brian decided that a showing of The Truman Show on AMC was more interesting. I settled into the bedroom, and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Brian has since fallen asleep in front of something else, and I've watched my entire movie, so really, now the late hour is a factor. Happily, Thursday is Kimmie and Brian's Date Day, so we'll be watching Modern Family tomorrow. This kind of "miscommunication" happens quite a bit in my home.
I did get to watch most of The Avengers today, though, so that was good.

Updating the world, y'all

Well. This is interesting.
I got my new iPhone 5 this afternoon. I was totally excited, so was quick to pull it out of the packaging and set it up. So, it's all ready to go, with the network connection and all that. I go to restore it in my iTunes account, and am met with a speed bump. I need to download and update my iTunes to iTunes 7. I knew this going into my new phone, so was prepared for this.
However, I downloaded iTunes 7, and discovered that it was unable to install because the operating system on my computer was too old to support it. This leads me to in search of the new operating system. The newest OS, though, won't download onto my computer either, because the newest OS needs a newer OS than I have. The current OS is Mountain Lion, prior to that it was Lion, and before that it was Snow Leopard. My OS is the one before Snow Leopard. I bought my computer in 2008, and as of now, for my needs, it's obsolete.
But then Andy came to my rescue. I called Apple, and after a few minutes on hold, I was given over to Andy, the man who knows everything. I credit him with giggling only minimally when I told him my computer software version. Hearing that, he knew exactly what my issue was, and had the right news for me. They do have the Snow Leopard OS, but it has to be shipped to me. (Once there's a new OS, all former systems packages are shipped back to Apple and stored for people like me who call three years too late to update.) So, of course, I ordered it. Happily, an outdated system update is only $20.
Once I have Snow Leopard, I can update my iTunes. Once I can update my iTunes, I can restore my new phone with my iTunes information, uploading all my apps, pictures, music and conversations. That should happen sometime between Monday and Wednesday next week, Andy thought.
Until then, I have a phone with minimal apps and fun stuff on it, with which I can make and answer calls and text, and that's about it. (WEIRD!!) And I have a phone with which I can use my apps and games on wi-fi, but not converse with anyone. I am a woman of two phones for a few days.

Tuesday, September 25

It's a good day for a birthday


Happy birthday to you,
happy birthday to you!
Happy birthday, dear Mommy!!
Happy birthday to you!!

Celebrate, certainly, but don't call her "elderly."

Also, peppermint mochas soon!

I'm getting excited about the last three months of this year! The fall months are usually among my favorites -- a result of living those years in Boston -- so that's no surprise. But the activities coming up look like they will be super awesome. And as I'm staring at October only five days away, I'm getting really happy.
October ~ Visit to California, which will include a barbecue with the family and friends; fun days for Sydney, Mom and I; time with Daddy; hair and waxing, which is always a good thing; and real Mexican food. ... Sydney's sixth birthday, which will be celebrated at Chuck E. Cheese with her classmates; and I'm thinking Galveston's Paradise Pier with Brian and I. ... Halloween, which is one of my two favorite holidays. In fact, the decorations will go up this Friday, a full three days before the first of October, which is unprecedented for me. My neuroses clash with holiday excitement.
November ~ Cool weather, which will mean I can open my windows all night and all day, and break out the sweaters, hats and scarves. ... The G. Family may be coming out to spend Thanksgiving with us in Houston! Brian's mom suggested it this morning, and my goodness, I'm getting totally excited and way too eager for this to happen. I'd love to host the family for the long weekend!
December ~ Winter vacation from school, which means that Sydney and I can sleep in for a couple weeks. ... Mom visits for the holiday, which has become a necessity for me. I can't wait to have her here for another visit. ... Christmas shopping, which is one of my favorite activities ever. I've got a good list for Sydney already, though it could get totally blown out of the water on her birthday. I love shopping for Christmas. ... Winter, one of my four favorite seasons. ... And finally, Christmas, my favorite holiday, and the culmination of all the good stuff going on this year.

Yeah, this is a post about that

It's official. I can't be a woman with long fingernails anymore. Back in the day, I was a huge fan of long fingernails. I'd grow them as long as I could. Then came a life with typing. But really, when it came time to type as a career, I embraced a life with short fingernails. (There's a point to this, I promise.) Most people who have ever sat next to me while I've typed on a keyboard know that I tend to pound a bit on the keys, making a whole lot of noise as I go through my words. But mostly, I type with the tips of my fingers, not the pads, which accounts for the pounding.
Anyway, that's how I type.
So it should come as no surprise, especially when we factor in how neurotic I am about such things, that I don't like to type when my nails get too long. It bothers me when my nails tap on the keys. It's like tapping them on a chalkboard as far I'm concerned. Bothersome and making me have the chills.
Anyway, this morning I trimmed my nails so they're nice and short again. They were too long this weekend, which also is a reason why I didn't type much the last few days. (See! The point! More reasoning behind my being so quiet this past weekend!)
Also, if you're looking to be grossed out a little, do a search for fingernail images. Yuck.

Monday, September 24

I love having my movie channels again

ITEM!: It wasn't my intention to take the weekend off from the blog. And I hate seeing a two- to three-day gap in posts. But let me tell you, those two nights of more than 10 hours of sleep were really awesome. Sleep is good.
ITEM!: We had our first day with NFL Sunday Ticket yesterday, and it was a ... .... football-filled one. Honestly, having that many choices is crazy. And Brian's new and unconditional love for Red Zone is all-encompassing. We bounced around from channel to channel all day. By the time we got to Monday Night Football tonight, we were almost footballed out. I figure that by the time Thursday night rolls around, we might be ready to sit for an entire game again.
ITEM!: In addition to that, new television begins in earnest this week. I've got four television shows to watch tonight. though two of them will wait until tomorrow. What I've watched already this evening: Hawaii Five-0, and Castle. I'm saving Dancing with the Stars for the morning. I'm also recording Revolution, but I missed last week's episode, so I have to watch it online before I settle in to tonight's show.
ITEM!: Is Jeopardy on television anymore?

Friday, September 21

I could totally rock this 'do

So, I'm hating my lack of bangs right now. In the pictures of us when visiting Endeavour, I have no bangs. They're pulled back in a ponytail and headband. And I don't like my face much without them. So, here's the plan: I will either succumb to my needs and cut them myself tomorrow, or I will fight my whims and wait until Malia can do it in a couple weeks. Either way, Malia will make them level and/or decent looking.
Also, I can't wait to get my hair colored. My grey hairs are bugging the hell out of me. I keep thinking that I'll just go to Target and get some at-home coloring solution, but I'm scared. Yep, just scared. I messed up the straightening thing, and I'm convinced that me coloring my hair brown will somehow come out black or red or something. I'm positive that I will screw it up incredibly, and I'll be stuck with some calico-cat blotching for a few weeks until Malia can fix it.
I think the best course of action is a self-trim, because bangs will, at the least, make my disdain for the color less prevalent. But we'll see. I could very easily chicken out, which I usually do when it comes to cutting my own hair.

Wednesday, September 19

Endeavour ... still with the British "u"

Well, that may be the closest I ever get to a Divine Experience.
Tonight, Brian, Sydney and I drive out to Ellington Field to view the space shuttle Endeavour. The shuttle is on a cross-country trip to Los Angeles (its final home will be the California Science Center), and it's making some scheduled fly-overs and a couple stops. It was supposed to leave Florida yesterday and spend two days here in Houston, but weather prohibited a take-off yesterday, so Endeavour is only here for tonight, and leaving in the morning. Seeing the shuttle only means driving in your car, and walking to the tarmac where it's sitting.
According to my phone's mapping function, the drive is only 27 miles, but 42 minutes in time. With the traffic, it took us two-and-a-half hours to get there. The excitement was only heightened by the little amount of gas in the car and the slight detour to a gas station. We parked in a grassy lot behind a VFW lodge, and walked across the highway and then onto the airport property. We figure the walk, from the car to the shuttle viewing area, was more than a mile. Sydney was a trooper, and hoofed it with us.
Once we entered the viewing area, we could get as close as 100 feet from the airplane and shuttle atop it. Honestly, I could probably sit along the ropes and stare at the thing all night. I was close to tears when we first rounded the corner to see it, and I swear, I took way too many pictures of it. (That's one there.) But it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It'll never be in Houston again, and it will probably never be in this condition again. (I imagine the Science Center will make some exterior changes for the visitors.) And we got so close!
I missed my calling. Brian said that he's always really surprised by how much I really want to be an astronaut. "You didn't want to make the extra effort, but you certainly wanted to do it," he observed. Well, sure, math and science were never my thing, and apparently, you need both to be a space-going person, but still, they (meaning NASA) should have just known that I would make a good math-adjacent astronaut.
I love me some space shuttle though, and tonight did me just fine.

Tuesday, September 18

Directly to the TV

Who knew that I would get completely overwhelmed by DirecTV? I mean, really, so many channels, and no real rhyme or reason to their groupings. But, on the way, way, way, up side, now we have DirecTV in our house, and it's awesome.
But it's way late now, and it's time to go to bed.
Also, I have all my movie channels again. And, Comedy Central in HD again. Also, a buttload of space for DVRing shows. And, a cool satellite dish outside my house. It's like I'm in the modern age now.

Sunday, September 16

I'm bummed 'cuz the Pats lost

New television programming began last week, and continues in earnest this week. I've actually got a calendar in my bedroom that I pulled out of last week's Entertainment Weekly so I can keep track of all the shows I watch, and want to give a chance in the new season. So far, it's only been Glee, which began last Thursday. But tomorrow, a new show, called Revolution, begins. I'm going to DVR it on the TV in the living room, because I think Brian will enjoy it. It's a story of a group of people finding their way in a world 15 years after the planet has lost electricity. I like the premise, and the show, so far, has gotten some good press.
I don't actually have the calendar in front of me, or I would go through the list of all the shows I'm going to give a try these next several weeks. And the only one I can think of that starts this week is Revolution. So this, really, is an incomplete post. But don't let this evening's momentary laziness be mistaken for apathy towards television this season. I'm eager to dig in.

Saturday, September 15

No more visits to the Garden

I know this may not surprise you, but I did not have a good eating experience at Olive Garden today.
Brian's been hungry for a plate of regular, good spaghetti and meatballs recently. Why, oh why, have we not been able to find our Ottavio's in Houston? So, we visited Carrabbas earlier this month. It was good, but Brian's been wanting salad and breadsticks too, which means Olive Garden.
We had to wait about 10 minutes, and were seated next to two tables of angry-looking old women. We thought we'd try the lasagna fritta, which is breaded and fried lasagna pieces, which sounds interesting, but they're sitting in alfredo, which makes them less yummy, certainly. I ordered the baked ziti dish, hoping for a crock pot full of ziti in red sauce with some cheese baked into a crust atop it. That was not what I got. I'm even more hungry for some good red-sauce Italian food right now than I was earlier today. I'm totally jonesing for Ottavio's now. I don't know if I can wait a month for it. I'll have to, but I won't be happy about it.
It makes my sad, icky lunch at Olive Garden sit even heavier in my stomach.

Friday, September 14

Friday fun day

ITEM!: We've decided to change our television-viewing happiness to DirecTV. Our cheesy Mike's Cable Co. has annoyed us for the last time. We're losing channels that we used to have (regular ones, not the movie channels), and our HBO channels are all messed up. So, I called DirecTV yesterday and got the deal, and made the deal, and scheduled our installation. I'm beyond excited. In addition to all the HD channels, we're also getting all the premium movie channels again, and NFL Sunday Ticket. And it's not crazy expensive. And after Brian's issues with the TV last night, he's excited to switch to DirecTV, too. YAY TV!!
ITEM!: No joke, Fifty Shades of Grey has become a very real pet peeve of mine. Every mention makes me cringe. That new book about the killing of Osama Bin Laden took over the top spot on the best-seller lists this week, and I did a little happy dance. Sure, you can say that maybe I'm jealous that a woman with some pretty clear lacking in writing style is a ginormous millionaire because of a series of badly written books, but more than that, I think I'm embarrassed for the book-reading public because they can't see how bad these books are. Also, I saw a thing on TV that discussed how these women love these books so much, but probably, if their lover came to them with nipple clamps, they would run screaming into the bathroom and lock the door.
ITEM!: I need to give my kid a lesson in patience, and I'm simply not the right person to do it. She wanted to spend her allowance on an allosaurus toy. We visited two Toys R Us stores, and they didn't have it. It explained to Sydney that she had to have patience, and that we would find the allosaurus next time. But when we got home, I hopped online and ordered the allosaurus. Add the cost of shipping here, please. The toy won't arrive until next Tuesday. She knows that, and I know that. But the toy was at Target last night. And we couldn't buy it because I'd already bought it. I wanted to show her that she's spending her allowance, and that doing her chores has a tangible reward, but now I couldn't do that. Because I got too impatient, and ordered the toy.
ITEM!: The new iPhone 5 is available to order today. I'm totally getting one.

Wait. New friends?

Have you realized how hard it is to make friends as you get older? I mean, really, we don't hang out at bars anymore. We don't go to school anymore. There are no situations in which we are forced to make friends. It's hard, especially when you're living in a new town. I've got no job, and Brian's coworkers all live to far away, or aren't really interested in hanging out all the way out here in West Houston.
But last night, at Sydney's classmate's birthday party, I think I made some friends for us. I made the right call by arriving at the party complaining about the traffic on the main street, as it gave one of the dads there a chance to start a conversation about it. He and I chatted a bit, and then his wife sat down, and the three of us happily discussed Houston, things to do, and Mexican food, as well as a plethora of other topics for the duration of the event. The both of them are Houstonians since birth, and sympathized with our rough time here. Also, they're the first people to tell me that "West Houston is definitely where you want to live, not downtown." Also, they offered to take Brian and I out for good times, and gave me some great ideas for fun stuff.
Their daughter's birthday party is in a couple weeks, so I'll be bringing Brian to meet them at the event. They were super nice, but also, we laughed about the same stuff in our conversation last night. Marlo and I were even able to gossip just a little bit. And then, the best part, was that Marlo asked for my number, and texted me so I could have hers. (I feel silly being so excited about this, but you know, NEW FRIENDS.) And I texted her back, and now I'm totally excited for a kid's birthday party.

She glows on the inside

So, we had a moment last night. It's one of those moments where you kind of lose a little faith in your kid, and realize that maybe husband knows better sometimes. I can now, officially, say that I have the child that bites into a glow stick. Honestly. She did it.
Sydney and I attended a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese last night. In the goody bag was, of course, the glow stick. We got home, and I cracked it so that it would glow for her. As she walked towards bed, Brian made a grab for the glow stick, but I said no, that she could just let it lay with her as her nightlight. He shrugged his shoulders and left the room. I then left the room.
In the kitchen, about four minutes later, in walks my child, crying, with the glow stick wrapped in a couple tissues, with glow material on the tissues, on her shirt and on her lip. I'm all, "What did you do? Did you bite that?" She's crying, and tells me, "Well, it was all crunchy, so I wanted to make it crunch more." I'm like, "So you bit it?!?!"
And then the crying starts in earnest, my panicking and trying to establish exactly how much glow material she has ingested begins, and Brian's attempts to calm the situation and settle the child engage.
So, she only got enough stuff in her mouth to freak her out and get a bad taste on her tongue (glow stuff is non-toxic, so all is well); there were a number of glowing spots on her pajamas and bed linens (change of pajamas and stripping of bed); and therefore, she slept with me last night (which was fine, because then I could listen to her breathing and be sure she wasn't having any troubles due to the infinitesimal amount of non-toxic glowing stuff she took in).
So, there I sat last night, watching a movie, being all kinds of disappointed in my baby because I had overridden Brian's instinct to remove the glow stick from the situation, and it turned out badly. Of course, she'll never do that again (as we discussed this morning). But also, it made me look twice at the little super-bouncy ball that she got in the goody bag, which I told her she had to keep up because it is the perfect size for Oliver or Daisy to choke to death on, and instead of trust her with it, I decided to just throw it away. Because really, why tempt fate, when my instincts are screaming to not trust her with it.

Tuesday, September 11

"I'm doing okay with the pig lizard!"

I frickin' love Galaxy Quest. No joke, it's one of the best cheesy movies ever. It's right up there with Evolution in my mind, which is another classic. Galaxy Quest was released in 1999, and I even remember the first time I'd ever watched it. I was in a hotel room while Mom and Howie attended some convention event somewhere. I remember checking out the movies on the hotel's television, and seeing this one, and thinking, "I could definitely dig this flick while I enjoy some room service." Little did I know that 13 years later, it would still rank high among my internal Top 50 Movies Ever.
It's been on HBO twice today, and I've sat through both showings. And I've laughed at the same portions. And I've cringed at the same cheese. Having said that, if it's on tomorrow, I'll probably watch it again.

Monday, September 10

And a dream begets a dream

Sydney had a bad dream this morning, and crawled into bed with me at 5:45 a.m. This, inexplicably, began a different bad dream for me. I fell back to sleep, but in my dream, I suddenly was asleep in my car. I had gone down to the car for something, and decided to sleep in the front seat, with the sunroof open. While sleeping in the car, I suddenly had Sydney telling me that she'd had a bad dream, and therefore cuddled up with me in the front seat. Then, in my dream, I woke up in the car, frighteningly aware that, for her to cuddle into the front seat with me, she had to get out of her bed, leave the house, come down the stairs, climb atop the car (all this in her sleepy walk), and drop through the sunroof, to get to me. In my dream, my heart was racing like no one's business as I held her so tight, terrified of what she'd just done.
In my real life, in my bed, I was exasperated with being crammed into a 12-inch-wide space on my bed between the combined body heats of my sniffling kid and my jealous dog.

Friday, September 7

Of course, she'll love them

ITEM!: There's a thing called Candy Corn Oreos. These are two of Sydney's favorite things, all wrapped up into a single cookie. I can't decide if I hope she likes them or hates them. If she loves them, well, then I'll have to have them in my house for the holiday and in the freezer until next Halloween. If she hates them, it'll be so disappointing for her. Also, I like it when she likes stuff.
ITEM!: My kid has a full-on cold now, and as I'm trying to get her healthy again, I also am obsessed with keeping Brian and I from catching it. Lots of sleep. Vitamins. Relentless hand washing. She's developed an awful cough, too. I feel so helpless when she's just laying in her bed trying to sleep, and all I can hear is the coughing. I gave her some kids' NyQuil tonight though, so here's hoping she sleeps in a bit and gets some good recovery sleep.
ITEM!: Someone explain why, when my dog's stomach is upset, he likes to chew on the carpet. What a crazy creature, really. I look forward to the big pile of vomit that'll show me exactly how much carpet he ate this evening (she said, sarcastically).
ITEM!: Brian bought Halloween candy for him and I today. There's a bag of Twix mini candy bars, and a bag of Snickers fun-size bars in my kitchen right now, and they're screaming for me. I'm resisting. For now.

Thursday, September 6


Does it bother anyone else that most of the presidential election has already been decided, with only a couple states making a difference between victory by Barack Obama or Mitt Romney? To listen to CNN tonight, you would wonder why those of us in the "decided" states even bother to vote. The map was awash in red and blue, with only Florida, Wisconsin, Nevada, Michigan, Ohio and a small handful of other states in other colors. These states, apparently, all have citizens that can vote and have it make a difference.
Courtesy of our antiquated Electoral College system, the presidency is decided by these few guys in these few states, rather than every vote counting towards an election based on a popular vote by the populace. I know I pitched an incredible fit about this when Gore "lost" to Bush all those years ago. I had hoped that the people's outrage over being circumnavigated by the Electoral College would bring about some kind of change. But sadly, that change is in the hands of the same people that should vote themselves term limits: the United States Congress, a body as puffed up with its own importance as the Electoral College.
Wouldn't it be a treat to have, say, every person vote for a president, and have that vote go into a big pool labelled, "Candidate A," "Candidate B," and "Candidate C"? (Because there should be a more viable third option, folks, seriously.) Wouldn't it be awesome if every vote counted towards a number that would get a guy into the White House, and not counted towards what amounts to a "suggestion" for the Electoral College, which picks who an entire state will put their support behind? Wouldn't it be great if we didn't know who won the presidency until every citizen had voted? Wouldn't it be great if the Founding Fathers had a bit more insight into how bloated and selfish some of these governmental bodies would get, and had the foresight to nip these issues in the bud?
Ugh. The political structure in this country drives me frickin' batty sometimes.

Wednesday, September 5

Don't disappoint me, Apple

The big rumor rolling around through the Internets lately is that the new iPhone 5 will be available next week. I'm so happy and proud of myself for not using my upgrade with all my iPhone 4 hogwash this year. I'm debating though, as to whether I should make my iPhone 5 big enough to hold all my iTunes music, as my elderly 60GB iPod does. I've got too much music to hold all of it and fit on a 16 GB phone, so I'll need the 32 GB iPhone if I want to consolidate. (My iPod, you know, is about eight years old; is cracked open along the side from an unfortunate fall on a treadmill a couple years ago; and won't hold a charge hardly at all anymore. It needs to retire.) All these are problems that I can't wait to tackle next week, when I'm the proud owner of a new iPhone. My excitement? Finally getting Siri. I'm working on what I'll have her call me. And I'm totally excited about asking her to give me reminders throughout the day.
[Editor's note: Of course the picture is an iPhone 4. I won't have a pic of the iPhone 5 until next week.]

Monday, September 3

A new yummy place to eat

Brian and I have discovered Freebirds. It's a burrito place, very similar in concept to Chipotle, but let me tell you, it's better. Today marked my second trip to our local Freebirds, and I had the exact same thing I had the first time, because it was that good. Honestly, how come no one has ever thought to make a burrito with Spanish rice before? It's delicious!
And also, they make a wonderful dessert, called a pot brownie. (It's a brownie made in a pot. That's all. Nothing marijuana-ish about it!)
Here's my burrito: Spanish rice (of course, because it's so good); ground beef; refried beans; tortilla strips; tomatoes (not pico de gallo, just plain tomatoes); and sour cream; all wrapped up in a flour tortilla. Finished off with a pot brownie, and accompanied by a good iced tea (of which I only had some of, because I topped it off with a poorly represented sweet tea, rather than the better-tasting normal tea) and all is incredibly well with me. Also, the burrito is big enough to split over lunch and dinner, thereby sharing the calories throughout the day.
Sydney enjoyed her quesadilla, and ate the whole thing. Also, the nachos look good.

Sunday, September 2

We'll love you more this fall

ITEM!: There is something to be said for having cool things to do and having the cool weather in which to do them. Because wandering around the Kemah Boardwalk today, with some hefty humidity, sunshine and heat, was pretty awful. I'm getting tired of telling my kid that we'll come back and do something another day because it's just too hot and crowded to get it done today. I'm going to have a busy fall season, with full-day visits to Galveston and Kemah on the agenda, as well as the aquarium, the zoo and Austin, for the university's dinosaur museum. Very many Family Adventure Days in our future.
ITEM!: Something else I've decided I like the taste of recently is waffle cones. I still don't like the sugar cones for ice cream, and cake cones are still my favorite, but those waffle cones really hit the spot. I had one today at Marble Slab Creamery as we left Kemah. The strawberry ice cream was sugar-free, too, so I ate the waffle cone with minimal guilt.
ITEM!: We had initially decided on visiting Austin today and checking out a restaurant we saw on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, called Foreign & Domestic. The restaurant though, in addition to being closed on Sunday and Monday, also only is open for dinner. Maybe next weekend we'll drive up there on Saturday afternoon, visit the museum, and then have an early dinner before we come home. We've become kinda obsessed with checking out the restaurants on this show, even though we have yet to visit one. There are a couple here in Houston. We'll have to get more adventurous.
ITEM!: I had planned on finishing my unfinished Nook book this weekend, what with the three days and all, but I'll admit that I haven't even turned the e-reader on since Thursday. I'm disappointed in myself, mainly because I've been napping instead of reading the last two afternoons. Even for me, sometimes sleep outranks reading.

Saturday, September 1

Next month, Halloween

It occurred to me the other day that Halloween is approaching quickly, and that I'm very excited about it. If you'll remember, I was in a little apartment in Tempe at Halloween last year, and all my decorations were downstairs in the storage units. I couldn't decorate, and that made it a lot less cool for all of us. I've become incredibly excited about putting out all my Halloween decor this year. In fact, Sydney and I made our way to Michael's this afternoon, for stickers (or so I said), but also to look at seasonal decorations. I did find some good stuff, including a "Happy Halloween" sign, a glittery witch's shoe, and some witch-hat garland. (I found a cute piece for Thanksgiving, too, but, you know, that's in November.)
So, I am firmly in a Halloween state of mind, and I'm happy about it. Sydney thinks she's figured out her costume, too, and I think it'll be awesome (if she doesn't change her mind). Also, I saw some Halloween candy at Michael's, but I didn't buy any.