Thursday, October 23, 2008

cujo

Our wee pup has been rather annoyed with us lately. We've been a little too busy this week, Freddie has the market and I started my new job, and we haven't given him the exercise or attention he needs. He's been coping by throwing his hard rubber ball at my nose and making a lot of noise. Sometimes he just walks right up to us and barks incessantly for 5 minutes. I'm pretty sure he's using obscenities.

Tonight, Freddie tried to make amends by taking him on TWO bike rides. (I suppose I should clarify by saying that Jack runs beside the bike. He does not ride in a seat on the back or one of those yellow wagony things. I would ride in one of those though, so if you're trying to get rid of one, let m know.) The first one was successful. The second one not so much.

Freddie said he could see the the woman walking the two big dogs was clearly out of control. She could barely hold on to them and when they passed one of them broke free and chased them down. Jack got nervous and slowed down and the dog got him. Freddie stopped quickly so Jack wouldn't get caught in the bike tire. When they were stopped, the dog was able to calm down and sniff him, but I still found marks and a huge bruise on his shoulder.

People, listen to Cesar. Your dog will actually love you more if you give him a little discipline and exercise. Don't let him jerk you down the road. It sounds crazy, but that that tsk and shhing actually works.

We'll see if Jack has been too traumatized to go for another bike ride. He may just want to stick to the car. It's safer there and he can use his car seat.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

miss manners

We received a wedding invitation today. I think it'll be a pretty nice affair and we're excited to go, but I do have a beef. (Of course!)

The couple went all fancy schmancy on us and included a reception card with "The favor of a reply is requested" Oh please! I understand that this is correct. I also understand that it is actually surprisingly difficult for us to check a box and get that sucker into the mail, so who knows if we'll ever actually write a note and send it off. After my wedding, I swore I would be so diligent about sending those things in, but it really is challenging sometimes. I remember when I'm not near the card and when I'm near the card, my mind is somewhere else.

You know what really bugs me though? If you want to be like that with the reply card, then at least carry it through and get my name right on the invitation!!! I took my husband's last name, but I also kept my own. I know, I'm just a crazy feminist, but I've had it for 29 years, it's kind of grown on me. I also carry a professional title. I did my research before our wedding so, for the record:

When the woman carries a professional title or a different last name, her name is listed FIRST like so

Reverend Amanda Marie D.... L.....
Mr. Fred Monroe L......

Not, Mr and Mrs. Fred L........... and especially not Mr. and Rev. Fred L......

I'm just saying if you're gonna do it right, do it right.

Just to clarify, I'm not actually that uptight. If you put Fred and Amanda L....it doesn't really bother me. It's just the Mr and Mrs Fred that drives me crazy. Mrs. Fred could be whatever woman he walks into the room with. Slap a ring on her and call her Mrs. Fred. My mother in law has finally stopped, but she still puts his name first...I'm not sure that's entirely about etiquette though ;)

help me help you

People post about give aways all of the time. It seems like somebody is always giving something away or winning something from somebody else. Well, not me. I actually am thinking about doing a contest, I'm feeling a little needy these days and that's one way to get a comment or two, but first I have to think of something yummy to share. A trip to Swoozies may be in order.

In the mean time, I am sharing this. Monogram Chick is giving away this awesome recipe box. and I would love to win it. You can win it to if you go to her blog and post a comment. If you mention me, we'll both get one. And, if I win, you won't even have to buy me a Christmas present. Don't say I never did anything for you.

www.monogramchick.blogspot.com

By the way, I can't remember the code to make her name turn into a link, so that will have to do. Why are you still reading? Go on! Win us a recipe box!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

oh, crap!

I'm stuck. Because I am the best wife in our whole house, I made Freddie some extra spaghetti to fill his belly when he gets home from the furniture market. I finished watching One Tree Hill just as the noodles were done (okay, so maybe they were done before I actually finished since all of the water had evaporated by the time I took it off of the burner) and I erased it and got up to turn the stove off. I also had to retrieve Jack from his post as watchdog in the front room because he was barking violently at something (a squirrel, our neighbor's campaign signs, my car, or possibly a bush).

When I returned, the remote was no where to be found! I've hunted EVERYWHERE (okay, obviously not EVERYWHERE or I would have actually found it, but cut me some slack, this is horrible situation. Yes, I did look in the fridge.

No, I'm not an idiot. I do know that you can actually change the channel on the tv set or the cable box, but it's stuck in DVR limbo land, so I can't simply change the channel.

When you get down on your knees tonight, please put in a good word for me. I still haven't watched How I Met Your Mother.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

riddle me this

I have a hypothetical question for you. Say someone who got married about 16 months ago and received several towels as wedding and shower gifts. This pretend person has never used said towels because she wants to monogram them and isn't sure if it's better to wash them beforehand or take them before being washed. She may have been overwhelmed by the events of her first year of marriage. What if her husband broke his femur a month after their honeymoon and her mother in law had breast cancer. Or, perhaps she had to find a new job and then really didn't like it that much so had to search for and find a different job. Or, she might just have adopted a crazy dog who always keeps her busy. Maybe she is trying to get fit and wanted to run her first 5K. Any number of these things could have occupied our hypothetical bride's time, but now she's ready to stop using the mismatched towels of her and her spouse's collective past and ready to pull a nice new monogrammed towel out when she needs to dry her fanny. What would you tell this pretend girl? Should she wash then monogram or vice versa?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

what a mighty good man


Can you hear Beyonce?

Here's a little meme about my hubs

1. He is sitting in front of the TV, what is he watching? Assuming I'm not controlling the remote, which is unusual, he's watching fishing.

2. You are out to eat, what kind of dressing does he get on his salad? Ranch or some kind of vinaigrette

3. Whats one food he doesn't like? He doesn't really care for sour cream, not so much a food, but that's all I got

4. You go out to a bar, what does he order? Michelob light or a bourbon and coke

5. Where did he go to High School? Goldsboro High

6. What size shoe does he wear? 10, i think

7. If he were to collect anything, what would it be? Fishing lures

8. What is his favorite sandwich? Turkey? He also likes fancy sandwiches

9. What would he eat every day if he could? cereal

10. What is his favorite cereal? Crunchberries or Cinnamon Toast Crunch

11. What would he never wear? madras shorts...believe me, I've tried

12. What is his favorite sports team? Carolina Tarheels

13. Who will he vote for? Obama

14. Who is his best friend? Will, Willy D, Matt, David

15. What is something you do that he wishes you wouldn't do? guilt trip

16. How many states has he lived in? Just the one-NC

17. What is his heritage? Sadly, I don't know...I think the last name is British

18. You bake him a cake for his birthday, what kind of cake is it? funfetti or yellow with chocolate icing

19. Did he play sports in High School? He was on the tennis team

20. What could he spend hours doing? Fishing or working on the aquarium

old mcdonald




One great thing about my new job is that I no longer have to drive down I-40 W to Kernersville. I'm really excited about using less gas and saving some miles on my car.

I'm also happy because at least once a week I pass a truck full of pigs on that drive. Sometimes they're little tiny piglets and other times they're grown up pigs. The truck they ride in has little slats to allow air flow and the piglets' ears and noses and curly tails are usually poking out. So cute. Some times the grown up pigs peek their noses out too. It's really cute, but it tears me up because I know those pigs are not in for good things. There's no spider on their sides.

Don't get me wrong. I like meat. I love bacon. I enjoy a good pork tenderloin, too. But lately, I've been thinking a lot about the animals I eat.

Last weekend, we went to the fair. We watched the cow judging. I thought they were so cute and wanted to snuggle everyone. Don't you think a 600 pound farm animal would enjoy a good snuggle?! I kept wondering what was going to happen to the winner. When I was little I met a distant cousin who was involved in 4H. His cow had just won a blue ribbon. When I asked him where his cow was, he suspected someone's belly. I couldn't do it.

In grad school I watched a video in Ethics called We Are All Noah. By animal rights standards, it's pretty tame, but upsetting none the less. The point of the discussion was to consider what the Bible has to say about animal rights. As I grow older and more financially secure, I'm feeling more compelled to be more responsible for the creatures I eat.

I read about the animal processing plants for turkeys. Did you know that they hang the turkeys by their feet and run them through water that has an electric current running through it to shock them, not kill them though-it zaps them so they don't move, but they're still alert, then they're heads are buzzed off and then they're placed in scalding water to remove their feathers. If they miss a step in the process and go to the next step (ie if they're not shocked before they get their heads chopped off, or if they get shocked but miss losing their heads before being dropped in the scalding water) they're pulled off and thrown in a heap with the other half dead turkeys who didn't look so hot when they arrived. It's horrible.

I also learned about the cages commercial farmers use that leave no room for an animal to even turn around. Dairy cows are often kept on their feet in cages too small until they collapse because their joints are weakened from supporting so much weight as they fill with milk. They could live for thirty years, but the average is four and half because of the stress. That entire time they're forced to have calves, so they'll continue to produce milk. Enormous sows are in cages they can't even turn around while they await labor. Newborns are removed from their mothers immediately. Baby cows are kept in the inside in the dark so they don't develop strong muscles. We test millions of animals to put another brand of shampoo on the market when we already have hundreds. Many people will give their dogs Christmas gifts, but wouldn't think twice about the life of the pig or turkey that makes up their Christmas dinner. Certainly all of these animals are intelligent and should be valued.

I don't think we should stop eating animals. That's how the food chain works. I do think we should consider the lives of the items in our grocery carts. It's more expensive, but I'm going to try to purchase more humanely raised animals. As we make more demand for these items, commercial farmers will be rewarded for humane practices.

orientation

Yesterday I was allowed to wear "street clothes" to my second day of orientation. I wore green pants and a white cotton 3/4 length shirt. I was house sitting, so I wore the only bra with me-white lace. No big deal.

When I got to the hospital I realized you could see straight through my shirt-every lacy detail.

I suppose that's one way to make new friends.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

how precious




Did you know that you can pick out your own Bank of America check card design?!

This guy does.

Guess what, Mister? The cat's out of the bag and it looks like BOA just kicked you out of the closet. :)

famous

So, for posterity, here are my interviews. Laugh all you want. I know I have an annoyingly expressive face and the second interview makes me look like humpty dumpty (is it just me or is my head way smaller than the rest of my body?), but at least I've got all of my teeth and a fairly decent mastery of the English language, which is more than some folks on TV these days, right?

(I can't figure out how to upload the 1st one, so here is the link) http://news14.com/Default.aspx?ArID=598571 Click play on watch the video...it won't work on a mac.


(okay, I can't figure the second one out either. I actually can figure it out, but blogger keeps telling me the code is wrong, so this will have to do until I can figure out how to do it right.) http://www.digtriad.com/video/default.aspx?maven_playerId=immersiveplayer&maven_referralPlaylistId=playlist&maven_referralObject=874108840

Side note-so my name is actually revealed in these clips, which I'm pretty much okay with, but I really don't want it on the blog, so it doesn't come up when you google me. Not that you would, but please don't put it in any comments. I don't know how that stuff works, but better safe than sorry...

women's only



So, I did it. I ran my first 5K on saturday. Actually, to be totally honest, I had to walk a tiny bit. That course was serious. I didn't walk much though and definitely ran more than I have ever run, so I still feel pretty awesome. Plus, I'll let you in on a little secret. I don't want to boast, but I beat the pants off all the winners of the Female Age 70-98 category! Winners my ass! Ha!






It was a great day. My mom came up to cheer my on and Freddie even made a little sign. They were too cute. I almost threw up one time, but walked for a minute and got myself back together. I normally run with water, but traded it for an ipod for the race. Unfortunately, when everyone said there would be plenty of water on the course they meant there would be plenty of water all in one place-unless they were talking about the creek. Either way, it wasn't enough for this girl. Next time, I'm taking water and the ipod.

Bonus! Afterward I perused the booths and found a new gynecologist and a rad sports bra that holds up my big knockers and doesn't smoosh me down like a man. Rock on!

There were 2645 women walking and running that day and I ran into three people I knew. I got to see Julie, who told me about the running school and Leah, who interviewed me for News 2, and a friend who works with me at Salem.

I was so grateful to be a part of such an amazing event. I ran in memory of my friend Diane, who died at the age of forty from breast cancer, and in honor of my grandmother, mother in law, aunt in law, and several friends who are survivors.

Check out the Jane's cheering after the race.

video

what a quack

I recently inquired about hospitalization insurance from Aflac. A friend of mine told me she used this to cover her hospital stay when she had a baby and was very pleased. I filled out a form online and this is the communication I have received since.

#1


thank you for your intrest in the aflac line of products

i am
xxxxxx xxxxxxx
123 4567
your local agent
please contact me to set an appointment

thanks in advance


#2

our products pay directly to you

they are considered suppliments to normal health insurance and can be valuable for income when needed

thanks agn

#3

please contact me asap
i'm sure we can provide the coverage you desire


After the first e-mail, I told her I wasn't interested. So, she sent the second, which I ignored. Today, I received the third, so I finally told her that I was still interested in the product, but would rather work with someone else. I told her I wasn't impressed with her professionalism because her e-mails were full of errors. Is that how you get someone to build confidence in you? I think not. I try not to be a snob, but that is just ridiculous. I didn't edit these messages (except the first with her name and number). I copied them directly. She probably sent them from a phone, but there was nothing to indicate that and if so, couldn't she save some professional messages to just send out later? These seem fairly canned.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

pee pee in the potty

I just accepted a new position. I'm probably half crazy, so it's a good thing I took a job in the psych unit. I'm taking a pay cut (and I already get paid less than I should for my education), but the new job is so much closer to my house-about half a mile verses 30-40 minutes. Our two year old car just hit 50 thousand miles! My new job also comes with lots more vacation and the best part is that I'll only have to work T-Th...I will work 36 hours in those days, but I'll have a three day weekend every week! I get to wear scrubs too, unfortunately they're teal. My position also pays some money towards continuing education, so it'll be a bit easier to get that counseling degree I'm hoping to pursue. Freddie and I crunched numbers like crazy to see if we can make it work. In order to see how much I needed to make, I added my quarter time position and his pay and deducted all of our expenses and it looks like we can do it with just those two, which means we've been throwing money away for the last year. So, I filled out my tax forms on Friday and told them to direct deposit my whole paycheck into savings. That was probably a little drastic, but it's worth a shot.

I also had to take a drug test. The lady locked up my purse handed me the cup and told me to go and bring the cup back, DON'T FLUSH THE TOILET. So, I went, then I flushed the toilet. Oops. I realized as soon as I did it. I screamed out. I'm not sure why, I guess I thought if she could run in and take a quick look inside it would be okay. It was not.

She filled a cup of water for me and made me sit in the lobby. I was not allowed to leave the department so I had to get the receptionist to fill it for me three times. I felt HORRIBLE. I drank three cups of water and kept checking to see if I had to go. I was convinced I could do it, probably because I felt so bad so I was pushing really hard and almost wet myself. I told the receptionist and she said "are you sure you have to go enough to give us a sample?" I knew she didn't believe me because she told the nurse, "She thinks she can do it."

I went back there and tried to fill up the cup and, of course, I couldn't. I barely got it to the temperature gauge and it was supposed to cover it. I couldn't go out there and claim failure again, so I just stayed for a long time squeezing it out drop by drop trying to get it to cover it. (Sorry to be so graphic) You know what was ridiculous? My previous sample was still sitting in there-the one that was obviously not my urine since I flushed the toilet to conceal my trickery.

When I took it out, and was reprimanded again for beginning to wash my hands. When the lady realized I had passed, she instructed me to go back in the bathroom and throw both samples away and then flush whatever was in the toilet. I couldn't believe that after all that, she didn't even look in the unflushed toilet.

On the way home I realized, oh my God, I took so long in there, I bet she thought I pooped!

sleep tight

Am I the only woman who doesn't put on lotion before bed? I've noticed that whenever a couple on tv is getting ready for bed, you know what I'm talking about-the typical scene hustling about in the bedroom, the lady is calling out from the bathroom, the man is in the bedroom and she comes walking in after squirting a small dallop of lotion into her hands and rubbing them very gracefully and gently together.

I never do this. Do you?

parenthood

Freddie and I are thinking 2009 will be the year of the baby in our little family. I'm about to start a new job with better insurance, lots more vacation, and I'll only have to work 3 days a week! We're hoping to get through the first couple of months and then start cooking it. As you all know the prospect of parenthood comes with many worries. Our biggest worry right now? What if our baby is ugly?

lazy sunday night

Oh goodness, I'm pooped. I finished the 5K yesterday. More about that later.

We just got home from visiting the in-laws in Goldsboro for an Engagement party. We're catching up on old episodes of Rock the Reception. Have you seen this show? It's a trip. Couples get together with the hip hop choreographers from So You Think You Can Dance to choreograph a crazy reception dance.

At our wedding, we took the traditional route and danced the foxtrot to "I'll Be Loving You Always." It was my grandparents song. When my grandpa was in the war he proposed to my grandma in a letter and mentioned and said that their song was playing on the radio while he wrote it. It was nice and lovely.

Tonight we decided on our Rock the Reception song and dance team. I think we'd do Toxic because nothing says forever like Britney Spears.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

catharsis

when i was in seventh grade and a pretty recent transplant to a wealthier part of charlotte, I had a great friend named Melissa. Melissa and I were equal parts goofy, shy, and awkward and we got along like peas and carrots. We spent every weekend together spending the night at my house or hers, though usually mine because she shared a bedroom with her sister and had a baby brother. We roller bladed and fell in the street, worked as candy stripers, and made stupid commercials with a home video camera. We were inseparable.

In eighth grade a couple of new friends entered our mix and things went well, but suddenly our attentions were divided. At the end of the school year, we engaged in a social experiment and tried out for cheerleading. We practiced like crazy although I refused to do our cheers for our moms even though she wanted to. I made the squad and she made alternate. Over the summer, a girl quit, so she was bumped up, but I don't know if she ever got over it and I started to get a little big for my britches.

Although today I'm not totally sure, I think that's where things started to change. We tried for another year and then I don't know what happened. I honestly don't, but I remember that we hated each other in tenth grade. We swam together, I sat behind her in history, we walked by each other every day, she was one bus stop up from mine, and we never said a word. I had told her a silly secret that felt like the most embarrassing thing on earth-one of my boobs was smaller than the other-and she wrote it in our mutual friend's year book and said she wished I would just go to the other high school-where I'd been hanging out with other girls because I felt so out of place and uncomfortable in my own skin.

That went on for 3 years and i think about it all of the time. Yesterday, I found her on facebook. I took a chance and requested a friendship remembering a time in early college when we ran into each other and actually said a word or two. I got no response. Today I wrote an e-mail.

A couple of years ago I worked in the adolescent psych unit where I watched teen and tween girls with a million strikes against them tear each other down instead of building each other up and it broke my heart. As hurt as I was by Melissa's comments and treatment, I started to realize that some of it had to be my fault too. So today I apologized. I wasn't sure what I was apologizing for, but I said I was sorry for the things I said and did and the things I should have said and done. I was sorry for being a bad friend. I was sorry that my own insecurities and secrets kept me from being true to who I was. I was sorry that I was that kind of a person.

Melissa wrote me back and accepted my friendship. She acknowledged the ways she still hurt, the pain she'd experienced, and the growth she'd had since. She seems so healthy and happy and wise. We wrote back and forth and shared things we should have shared 13 years ago. We had been going through so many of the same things, but instead of sharing our deepest fears and secrets, we shared those of our friends.

As I think about the day, I'm overwhelmed with emotion. I'm happy to reconnect and happy to see her doing so well, but sad about what was, remembering the immense hurt I felt during those years, and sad about what we missed.

As I sit here looking at her wedding pictures wondering where the time has gone and looking at my own and suddenly feeling like something was missing, I'm sad. Maybe what they say is true though. Maybe you really can't get there from here...or rather there. Maybe that wasn't our time. So, today I feel really blessed that our time has come and hopeful for those little girls in the psych unit. Today, 13 years too late, I did the right thing and grew up a little bit.