30 December 2010

Serious about Practicality and Chivalry is (Apparently) Not Dead

First off, who knew how thoughtful the Altoids people were? I broke open my new tin of peppermint flavored Altoids, which are generally awesome for freshening breath as well as clearing sinuses, and look what I found! A bonus item—almost the best Christmas surprise I got this year. You can finally surrender without being concerned about the dreaded battlefield breath—not easy to get rid of after weeks of eating field rations. Nicely done Altoids guys.

Second, I can not say that chivalry is dead. I thought it was. Frankly I haven't seen much of it lately, but now I have to take it all back.

I didn't have to work today. (No one called) This morning I wandered out of bed and to my car about 8:30am. Not to early, thank goodness. For whatever reason our parking lot did not get plowed today. My roommate has the garage this week, so my car was sitting out in the snowy, cold December weather. Not usually a problem. However, this morning I was in a dress. Not only was I in a dress but I had a bag and my purse.

Now I did put some low boots on for the parking lot. I'm not really into wearing ankle boots with my jean skirts, so I had a change of shoes in my bag. Let's just say I probably looked pretty pathetic bundled up with a skirt on and ankle boots. Frankly I didn't think about it. I opened the passenger side door to put my junk in, half crawled over the seat to start the car (mind you I'm in a skirt) when I heard someone talking behind me. Of course, knee highs and ankle boots along with who knows what else hanging out.

I quickly (and somewhat gracefully) crawled back out, trying to look nonchalant. The voice belonged to a nice man named Jeff who works in the little rock building next to our apartments. He not only helped me clean off my car, but he trampled a path to the door so I wouldn't get snowy. Little did he know that I suffer from the snow flinging curse. Any snow that gets flung off a car ends up on me. Oh well, it was very nice of him. Even if I suspect that he was sitting in his office bored out of his mind, possibly playing Farmville, just waiting for something to do. Either that or he had to get a few more service points in to make his quota for the year. Thanks buddy!

29 December 2010

I am NOT blogging about this being the last day of work for 2010

If I did that, along with some rubbing it in your face and a rather awesome victory dance preformed by NNK (name changed to protect the not so innocent), someone will call. It will be early, I won't be showered—heck I might not even be out of bed—I'll have bad hair, there will be a foot of snow on my car, the roads will be one giant ice skating long track (I'm talking the I-215 loop here) and there will be a blizzard warning. They'll call anyway.

Work will call and say “Whine, whine, whine . . . no one else can make it in . . . blah, blah, blah . . . schedule . . . we-oo, we-oo, we-oo . . . just for an hour . . . NOW!”

So I'm not blogging about how excited I am that today was my last working day for 2010. You see, that would be downright foolish. Silly. Bordering on insane. I'm blogging about something else entirely. When I figure out what that is, I'll get back to you.

Oh, look at that. My cell phone battery is dead. How tragic.

27 December 2010


The bottom picture is the first (and only) digital camera that I've owned. Kodak Easy Share—when 5 megapixels was all that and a jar of pickles. Unless you don't like pickles, in which case substitute pudding instead.

Now I've read that Kodak digital cameras aren't much to sing about. Especially for the last few years. However, this little baby has been around the world. I've dropped it on four different continents (five if you count New Zealand as Australia). It got stuck out in the rain in China, made it through the jungles of Peru, didn't freeze in the winter in Russia, and lived to tale the tale after the nieces and nephews have played with it. The camera still takes awesome pictures—especially outside! It's slow and the screen is only about an inch square and it's old . . . but I love it. Heck, you could say it's been to a galaxy far, far away because it went with me to Star Wars Celebration V a few months ago.

That's actually where I dropped it the last time . . . Right on the cement floor of the Orlando Convention Center. The front section of the camera popped out and somehow ended up overlapping the back section. Lucky for me, I was with costumers who had little, tiny screw drivers so I could get the camera apart and then put it back together again.

So technically I didn't NEED a new digital camera. But I bought one anyway! My latest purchase (thank you after Christmas sales!) is water proof, shock proof up to five feet (I'm short, so that should work) and has almost 3x the everything of my Kodak.

I feel kind of bad retiring the old Kodak. I always thought he would go out in the line of duty. Perhaps I should try to take pictures while on a roller coaster or something. He'll always hold a special place in my heart.

25 December 2010

Merry Christmas!

I've decided that my family is simple. We don't have any elaborate traditions for pretty much anything. We aren't up in each others faces all the time. We're not terribly high maintanance. Like I said, simple.

This morning we had Christmas breakfast. It's really the only tradition we have for Christmas time. When we were kids, there were two sets of presents. One set was the stuff that was supposedly from Santa. Our stockings would be filled with gum, life savers, candy canes and sometimes little toys. If I remember right there were also bigger presents that were from Santa. (Now don't get me wrong, when I say bigger presents, I mean like the doll I got—Kimberly was her name if I remember right—who had roller skates. Nothing huge, we never got stuff like that.) Oh, all of these presents were wrapped in color coding. Like all of mine were in orange paper, the oldest in green and the middle sister in purple. The colors changed every year. If I recall, it was usually tissue paper.

The rest of the presents were under the tree. These were the pretty presents—nicer paper, bows and tags. But . . . before we could unwrap them Dad forced us to have breakfast. No, it was not cold cereal. It was always a hot breakfast with pancakes or waffles and bacon and whatever else he decided to cook. That thirty minutes to an hour felt like six days—it was excruciating!

So, as punishment for torturing us when we were kids, we decided that Dad gets to make us breakfast every year. I help (mostly because I lived there for so long) with the bacon, but he does most of the work.

I guess the only other tradition we have is that when the time comes to open the presents under the tree, we take turns. Starting with the oldest, we unwrap presents one at a time. Being the youngest, and therefore last, for so many years was only consoled by the fact that I usually had the most presents. Hey, I'm the youngest. I'm spoiled.

That's it. We have an unrecorded tradition of saving bows and boxes to be used through entire life times of Christmas wrapping, but that's just for fun. Nothing official. Still, I like our simple traditions. Anything more and people start to get a little crazy. And who needs more crazy this time of the year?

21 December 2010

What makes you tick?

Today I had the privilege of having lunch with a woman who used to work with me. Well, us. She worked in the sales department. A bunch of us went to The Park Cafe (which was fabulous by the way) to meet her for lunch.

This lady is awesome. She's 70-something years old and swears like a sailor. I am absolutely certain that she could make grown men, let's say hardened prison inmates or a pack of drill sergeants, cry like little girls and cower in the corner. When she talks about an event in her life, she always remembers exactly what she was wearing. Believe me, she's exponentially better dressed than I am, and I'm half her age. She's grouchy, she's funny and she takes crap from no one. Oh, and she loves her little dog. I should use her as a character in a story.

Earlier this year she retired and moved to Florida. She was only partially happy about this, because she loves to be in the thick of things, and retiring made her sound old and decrepit. At lunch today she was telling us that she plays shuffle board (she had to try out for the team, but since she can walk she made it!), paints and bikes through her neighborhood. Lunch was enjoyable. Sadly there were no “F” bombs launched from the old lady (never tell her I called her that, I'm half her age but she's well over a foot taller than I am).

When we got back to the office she'd sent an e-mail. She said (am I'm paraphrasing because I don't get my work e-mail from home) that she loves where she's at, but she misses working with younger people who have so much to look forward to and so many things to work towards. I wish I could remember how she said it, because it was quite poignant.

After I read it, I asked myself—why do I do what I do? I'm not sure I have a good answer right now . . .

17 December 2010


Seeing anything Sci-Fi and awesome at the movies is cool. Seeing TRON:Legacy in 3D on opening night was fun! Certainly not the “coolest show I've ever seen!”, but definitely worth it.

First off the movie oozed resonance all over the theater. There were Star Wars moments, Star Trek moments, old TRON parts . . . loads of good stuff in there. They beefed up the special effects and someone obviously had a great time flexing their imagination and coming up with new gadgets. The motorcycle scene was probably my favorite, oh, and when the old Flynn takes out the club. The glowing monk robe . . . I liked that.

Either the acting was bad or the writing was bad. I couldn't decide which. I wasn't there to analyze the movie, so I didn't really delve into the problem, but it did seem labored at times. Downright slow at moments, actually. The entire plot was totally predictable, but that's not so bad. The movie was fun to watch and it took us away into a new world! What more can you ask? Oh, and there was even just a bit of fan service for both the ladies and the gentlemen.

If you loved the old TRON (in all its cheezy glory) then you'll surely appreciate all of the bits and pieces they threw into this movie. Good times, good times.

16 December 2010

Blond(e) Moment

Last night I went to water aerobics. Water aerobics involves chlorinated water. Chlorinated water gets in my eyes and bugs my contacts. So this morning, when I put them in and couldn't really see out of them, I wasn't surprised. Usually a few minutes will resolve the problem, but it didn't. I drove all the way to work, trying to blink them into submission. No luck. Well, the lucky part was that I'd brought my glasses and a contact case in my bag. After two minutes at the office, I plucked the contact lenses back out and stuck my glasses on.

The sun was out this afternoon—so bright and so shinny—so I thought I'd be cool and wear my sunglasses home. This required putting my contacts back in. I figured that after eight or more hours out they'd be glad to go back in. Uh, no. Blurry, gritty, yucky . . . no.

Then it dawned on me. Grumbling, I took one out and put it in the case. I moved the one left in my eye to the other eye and blinked a few times. Bingo. Had them in the wrong eyes. I don't even remember the last time I did that. Hello, blonde moment. Yes I have them and yes, I realize that when I am eligible for senior blonde moments life will get infinitely more interesting. Of course at that point I'll probably forget everything I do after ten minutes, so maybe it won't be so bad . . .

12 December 2010


As if I'm not confused enough as it is . . .

I've been madly editing my novel. When I get the chance, I take it to work and edit during lunch. Thumb drives are great, can I just say that? However, apparently last week at some point I did some editing at work . . . and forgot to save it to my laptop at home. So today, after some serious noveling this weekend, I'm reading through chapter 4 and get to a paragraph I'm pretty sure I deleted.

Drat. (Not what I thought, but I'll edit—for the kids)

I shut the laptop down. It was a good three hours before I dared start it back up, retrieve my thumb drive from my purse and work up the fortitude to start comparing the two files.

Hopefully I got it all. Grr . . . I was doing so well too.

09 December 2010


It started with my brain. I've been writing like mad, trying to stay on my self-imposed deadline for this YA novel I want to have finished before the end of the year. I'm about two-thirds of the way through. Some very nice people reviewed my first third a week or so ago. This week, because I figured why not make the pile deeper, I decided not only to try to edit the second third (so I can send it out to some of those nice people) but also to incorporate the comments I've received into the first third.

Don't worry if that entire paragraph didn't make sense. I have no idea what I'm trying to type right now.

Tonight people have been talking to me. I only catch about half of what they say. Not just one person . . . everyone. My brain is trying to focus on writing, but it keeps wandering off into what it considers “greener pastures”. Pastures that include the fact that I haven't started my Christmas shopping, we're a week behind at work, we haven't put any Christmas decorations up, my closet is still spilled across my room, waiting for me to put a shelf together so I can clean it up, I haven't started Christmas cards . . . the list goes on and on.

The brain is fried. Down with an overload of stimuli and no idea what to do with it all. Now it's spreading to my hands.

Tonight at Kempo class we did a hitting combination that had two blocks and four strikes in it. Uh, I think I did it correctly twice. Twice out of at least 30 times practicing. My hands are all mixed up, throwing wrong punches, scaring people by hitting them in the nose (just a brush, nothing hard, I promise) and in general being unruly.

Brain first, then hands. I wonder what happens when it hits my . . . well, let's not think about that.

On the bright side, I got to go down the water slide last night!

07 December 2010

Ninja Hickies and Rug Burn

You naughty people! Get that image out of your head right now! Sheesh, creeps.

Tonight at Kempo class we were on the ground a lot. Most of the time, actually. I'm not very tall, but I am wide, so being on the ground is okay, but moving around, or getting my wideness off the ground is a bit of a challenge. At least I didn't have on the extra gravity gi today. Left that at home.

First we did Over-Unders. One person gets in push-up position. Their partner crawls beneath them--army style. Then the person on the ground lays down. The crawler then jumps up and jumps over them. Just when you think you're finished, you do it again!

I mentioned that I'm wide. Well, thick might be a better word. Belly crawling on the ground with your elbows and toes is delightful, just wonderful. That's where the rug burn came from, my elbows are all scratched up. I did manage to keep from knocking my little, tiny partner over with my extra large bum, which was good. And I didn't fall on her or anything. She, at least, had a good night.

After that fun was over, we did grappling. Wait, let me clarify, we did grappling techniques. One of them included the choking technique that results in the Ninja Hickey. Hopefully I avoided that, but who knows what tomorrow morning will show. Oh the stories I could tell . . . Ninja wanna be has fun!

05 December 2010

Glad that's Behind Me!

This morning was the day! Well, I guess it was the morning, not the day . . . although morning is technically part of the day. Huh, I wonder how that works.

Let me start again. This morning was the end! No, that sounds far to dramatic. If I put that up on my blog someone will think I'm finished with my novel. Hah! Or, infinitely more interesting would be the end of my chocolate consumption. But don't worry, that's not likely to happen unless the world ends, and I'm pretty sure I can hold on with one, last pretzel M&M (which should make it past end of the world security) so I can say the world ended before I quit chocolate. Hey, everyone has to have a plan.

Hello, waaaay off topic.

Today was the day I got to sing in church. It must be said (and this is true, I'm not feigning false modesty here) that my sisters have taken and cultivated the musical talent in the family. I have a bit, but I left it behind somewhere between High School and the end of college. It's been replaced with writing and hitting things. Don't make that face, someone had to branch out and be “different”. Couldn't let the sisters do it all.

And that's why I asked them to help me! Okay, I whined and begged them to help me. One sings and the other plays the piano. I got to try my vocal chords at the alto part of a beautiful, but not particularly easy, arrangement of I Know that My Redeemer Lives. Well, it wasn't easy for me. We practiced four times this week just so I could get my notes right, and even then the piano playing sister had to add a few notes to the accompaniment so I could get it right. Still, I'm grateful for their help.

Everyone at church said the song was beautiful. Granted, most of my Relief Society is full of awesome women over the age of 70. Perhaps they couldn't hear me, or they just turned their hearing aids off (a trick my own mother plays). Still, they were nice and said we sounded good.

I'm just happy it's over. Hopefully I was unimpressive enough to make anyone think twice before asking me to do anything but lead the music.

04 December 2010

My Boring Life

A blog should say something interesting. If not interesting, at least entertaining or informative. Frankly, I've got none of that going for me at the moment. I haven't done anything more exciting than going to play BINGO the other night with a couple of friends. (Which was fun, but not terribly exciting) The only informative topics I could ramble about would be Kemop or writing. Not feeling very good about either at the moment, so those are out. And entertaining? After writing every day, trying to make my goal of having New Sight finished by the end of the year, I've got nothing entertaining left. Not that I could describe. Watching me try to form coherent, complete (it just took me a good 10 seconds to remember the word complete) sentences might be entertaining, but no one is around to do that either.

So why am I writing? No idea. This is my blog, and I can write anything I want to in here, right? Write? Haha, that's funny to me.

And now I've wasted your time. Perhaps I should make that my goal! Wait, I've got enough of those already.