Utterly Brilliant Thoughts: 08.2006
Fun Fact!
Before we go any further, I would just like to say thank you to Andre Agassi for keeping me up past my bedtime AGAIN. That makes two years in a row. And honestly, I don't even like tennis all that much. I certainly hope Thursday's match doesn't run 3.5 hours because I know I'm going to get sucked into watching that one too. Now, without further ado -

A bat inspection for a single family residence costs $99.

Did you even know such a thing existed? I would think that you would be acutely aware if you had a bat infestation problem; an inspection would hardly seem necessary. And it's not like this region is known for its bat control issues. But my company recently had a bank stipulate a bat inspection as a condition of closing. My theory is that loan officers have run out of hoops to make home buyers jump through, so they had to invent some new ones. You know what makes this so much more amusing though? The inspection company's name is (wait for it . . . ) Varmint Gitters. I kid you not. Is that the best name you have ever heard or what? Love it! Do you think Daisy or Uncle Jesse came up with that one? Note: I am so repulsed by bats, I couldn't even include a photo of one. Maybe I should get an inspection, just in case.

Currently reading: Women's Letters: America from the Revolutionary War to the Present edited by Lisa Grunwald & Stephen J. Adler and He's Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt & Liz Tuccillo (all women everywhere should read this!)

Currently listening to: Dido, Anna Nalick, Marvin Gaye, Mazzy Star, Etta James & Kanye West. I ♥ Napster.


Bernard Pivot's 10 Questions*
*Also known as the questions from "Inside the Actors Studio", which I love. Even though I think James Lipton is a wee bit cracked. As you can see, I had a hard time picking one answer. Does that make me indecisive or enthusiastic?
  • What is your favorite word?
    serendipity, pumpkin, brilliant, true
  • What is your least favorite word?
    moist (just . . . ew)
  • What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
    my husband & a quiet summer day at the beach
  • What turns you off?
    meanness, bigotry, stupidity, bad manners, the Shrub
  • What is your favorite curse word?
    bloody hell
  • What sound or noise do you love?
    a baby's belly laugh, a purring cat, the ocean, a spoon cracking the top of crème brûlée
  • What sound or noise do you hate?
    yelling, glass breaking
  • What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
    photographer, writer, heiress, royalty
  • What profession would you not like to do?
    politician, factory worker, anything that involves getting dirty
  • If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
    "Nana & Art are waiting for you." Or, "Oops, our mistake! Sorry, you'll have to go back for a few years."


Only 361 Days Until the Next One!
I whole-heartedly recommend the Birthday Week. Over the course of the week, I drank mimosas, had a party thrown for me, was taken to lunch twice, had dinner made for me & ate various forms of birthday dessert including ice cream, apple pie, fried dough, strawberries & cream cake, Death By Chocolate cake & chocolate peanut butter cake. Much, much eating. Plus I received jewelry, perfume, lotions, flowers, deliciously decadent chocolate, handmade drawings from my nieces & a rice / vegetable steamer. (Hopefully the last will counteract the effects of my Birthday Week consumption.) I even received a gift from my boss. AND I didn't have to clean the kitty litter. Love the Birthday Week!


Happy Birthday to Me
My husband knows two Very Important things about birthdays.

1. They should be celebrated for a week, not a day.
2. Nothing says "happy birthday" quite like Tiffany.

Yes, I know. I have the Best Husband in the World.


Feast #108
If you could have a free subscription to a magazine, which one would you like to have?
O, the Oprah Magazine. I also like Vanity Fair & Real Simple.

Describe your living room (furnishings, colors, etc.).
Colors: shades of blue, cream, apricot & tan.

Furnishings: It's a large room! A sofa bed, 2 antique armchairs & matching ottoman, 2 end tables, antique cedar chest, entertainment center, dvd cabinet & Chris' recliner (what is it with men & recliners, anyway?).

Extras: 2 sets of pocket doors, fireplace with ceramic tile hearth & oak mantle, wraparound windows & natural oak woodwork. Plus Ivory pillar candles from IKEA (left from our wedding), 3 plants that I haven't managed to kill yet, beach grass / palm fronds in a vase, books, framed needlepoint from my mother-in-law, several leather photo albums & lots of framed photos. No wedding photos yet though. We finally got around to ordering them last month; God knows how long it will be until we actually frame them!


What does the shape of a circle make you think of?
Nothing. Maybe the moon or my wedding ring, but I really have to put some thought into it.

Name 3 things in your life that you consider to be absolute necessities.
Basic necessities like air, water, food & good health aside . . .
1. Family / friends / my cats. (I'll bet my family & friends are thrilled to be lumped in the same group as the cats!)
2. A home.
3. Something good to read.

What was the last really funny movie you watched?
I just watched Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit again. I laugh every time. "The bounce has gone from his bungee." Hee.

Join the Feast!


Real Estate Redux
Shouldn't I at least get to have my morning cup of Earl Grey before the madness starts? Apparently, the answer to that is a resounding no.

[Still relatively perky; it is only 9:15 am & this is my first,
and hopefully last, unsolicited call of the day.]
Good morning, [insert generic company name here] Realty Group!

Random Caller
Who is this?

[Didn't you call me?]
Generic Realty Group. May I help you?

Random Caller
Oh, I must have the wrong number, I'm looking for a
real estate office.

Sir, this is a real estate office, Generic REALTY Group,
is there something -


And then he proceeded to call back twice more, presumably still looking for a real estate office, & hang up as soon as I answered the phone. Sigh. Thankfully, now Caroline is here & she can deal with the Clueless Populace.

In other office news, I actually had to leave this notice on the
copier this week. Yes, I am fully aware of how pathetic this is, but it is also painfully necessary. One Saturday a few months ago, the copier had a paper jam while my boss was using it. Since no one was around to stop him (& apparently the control panel flashing PAPER JAM with an arrow pointing to the problem area wasn't enough to clarify the situation), my boss endeavored to "fix" the "mystery" problem himself. In the process, he managed to shower the entire outer office with fine, inky black, nearly-impossible-to-clean-up toner. God knows what he did, or what he was trying to do, but the repairman had to come back twice to fix it. And I spent the better part of a Monday attempting to navigate the office without becoming covered in toner. Unsuccessfully, I might add. Did I mention that I happened to be wearing white that day? Of course I was.

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Real Estate Is My Life
"Oh, you hate your job? Why didn't you say so? There's a support group for that. It's called EVERYBODY, and they meet at the bar."
- Drew Carey

The reasons I hate my job are many & varied, and probably not much different from the reasons that everyone else hates their jobs. But I am starting to wonder if real estate in some way attracts idiocy. Because, Realtors? Lord. I am begging the state of Ohio to make the licensing exam harder because apparently anyone can pass it. Only about 50% of the Realtors I work with on any given day have any clue what they are doing. And the public is worse. One lovely woman called for information: "Well, I don't know where the house is, exactly, but it's right down the road from my brother-in-law's house." And then got mad when I didn't know which house she was referring to, cussed at me & hung up. Yeah, clueless and rude is rarely a good combination. Since people don't seem to be getting any smarter, & I sure don't seem to be getting any more tolerant, I generally avoid answering the office phone. Unfortunately, this afternoon, I found myself alone in the office, having this telephone conversation:

Cranky Man
I want information on this house I seen on Prestwick.

[Demanding and grammatically incorrect, FABULOUS!]
For that property, you'll need to speak with Susan, who is currently working out of our other office. I'd be happy to give you her number.

I just want some information, aren't you a Realtor?

[No, thank God.]
No, sir, I am the company coordinator, and per state of Ohio law, you need to speak with a Realtor for information about a listed property. I don't have a Realtor available in the office right now, but I can give you Susan's number.

There isn't anyone there I can talk to?

No, I'm sorry, but I can give you Susan's number & she will be happy to help you.

[progressively more irritated]
Can't you just transfer me?

[Of course, but talking with you has been such a delight,
I want to keep you on the phone a little longer.]
No, I'm sorry, I can't. I can give you her number or I can take your number & give it to her.

[Extremely put out at having to dial another number.
Oh, the horror!]
Oh, all right, give me the number.

So I give him the number, hang up & go back to what I was doing, which as I recall was ordering Hope in a Tube, something I desperately need right now. Both hope (in a tube! how convenient!) and help for the matched set of luggage I have under my eyes these days. Thanks, Amalah, for the recommendation! Roughly 3 minutes later, the phone rings again.

You gave me that number to call Susan & when I call it, it says I have to press 2 for her and I don't want to talk to a machine, I want to talk to a person, you mean to tell me that you don't have any actual people that I could talk to??

[Summoning up all of my Patience Reserves,
of which I really have none.]
Sir. When the message says to "dial 2 to talk to Susan", that's because it is her extension and that is how you reach her. I'm sorry I don't have anyone available at this office to speak with you, but if you call the number I gave you & dial her extension as it instructs you, Susan will be able to help you.

I don't want to talk to a machine.

[Maybe he's drunk?]
Right, yes, I understand that, but you won't be talking to a machine, sir, you will simply dial her extension number and the call will go directly to her.

I bet you're not even in the MLS!

[What?? Maybe I should be drunk?]
Yes, sir, we absolutely are.

Are you a NRA member???

[And this is where I lose it and actually start laughing out loud.]
The National Rifle Association???

That's what I thought!

Finally satisfied, he hangs up. It isn't until a full minute later, when I stopped laughing, that I realize that he meant NAR, the National Association of Realtors. Which cracks me up even more. Lord, but people amuse me. Or do I mean "amaze"?

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The Flying Spaghetti Monster
Thanks to Mary for sending me this!

The Flying Spaghetti Monster has given us
(there were 10, but 2, um, went missing)

I'd Really Rather You Didn't Act Like a Sanctimonious Holier-Than-Thou Ass When Describing My Noodly Goodness. If Some People Don't Believe In Me, That's Okay. Really, I'm Not That Vain. Besides,This Isn't About Them So Don't Change The Subject.

I'd Really Rather You Didn't Use My Existence As A Means To Oppress, Subjugate, Punish, Eviscerate, And / Or, You Know, Be Mean To Others. I Don't Require Sacrifices And Purity Is For Drinking Water, Not People.

I'd Really Rather You Didn't Judge People For The Way They Look, Or How They Dress, Or The Way They Talk, Or, Well, Just Play Nice, Okay? Oh, And Get This In Your Thick Heads: Woman = Person. Man = Person. Samey - Samey. One Is Not Better Than The Other, Unless We're Talking About Fashion And I'm Sorry, But I Gave That To Women And Some Guys Who Know The Difference Between Teal and Fuchsia.

I'd Really Rather You Didn't Indulge In Conduct That Offends Yourself, Or Your Willing, Consenting Partner Of Legal Age AND Mental Maturity. As For Anyone Who Might Object, I Think The Expression Is Go Fuck Yourself, Unless They Find That Offensive In Which Case They CanTurn Off the TV For Once And Go For A Walk For A Change.

I'd Really Rather You Didn't Challenge The Bigoted, Misogynist,Hateful Ideas Of Others On An Empty Stomach. Eat, Then Go After The Bastard.

I'd Really Rather You Didn't Build Multimillion Dollar Churches / Temples / Mosques / Shrines To My Noodly Goodness When The MoneyCould Be Better Spent (Take Your Pick): Ending Poverty, Curing Diseases, Living In Peace, Loving With Passion, Or Lowering The Cost Of Cable. I Might be a Complex-Carbohydrate Omniscient Being, But I Enjoy The Simple Things In Life. I Ought To Know. I AM the Creator.

I'd Really Rather You Didn't Go Around Telling People I Talk ToYou. You're Not That Interesting. Get Over Yourself. And I Told You To Love Your Fellow Man, Can't You Take A Hint?

I'd Really Rather You Didn't Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You If You Are Into, Um, Stuff That Uses A Lot of Leather / Lubricant / Las Vegas. If the Other Person Is Into It, However (Pursuant To #4), Then Have At It, Take Pictures, And For The Love Of Mike, Wear a CONDOM! Honestly, It's A Piece of Rubber. If I Didn't Want It To Feel Good When You Did It I Would Have Added Spikes Or Something.


Feast #107
What color is your car?
The Beast is white. Chris calls my car Dart, short for D'Artagnan from The Three Musketeers. It's a Cavalier. Get it? He's way more inventive than I am, obviously.

If you could wake up tomorrow with full training in another occupation and a job in that field, what would it be?
Something mentally stimulating, with low stress & ridiculously high pay, that allows me ample time to spend with my family. Now if I could just figure out what that might be . . .

How many times in your life have you had the flu (or something similar)?
Many! At least once a year & I normally get bronchitis every winter.

What is something that has happened to you this week that you didn't expect?
My mom & nieces visited me at work on Thursday.

How old were you when you had your first kiss?
I'm not sure (not much of a kiss, was it?), but I know my first boyfriend was in preschool & his name was Patrick.


Stop what you are doing.

Stop stop stop.

Turn off the computer, get up & go to Target right this very second. You must try the Choxie Dark Chocolate Flakey Truffles. They are smack-your-mama good. (Notice I said smack your mama, not my mama, because my mama could totally kick all of our collective behinds.) And while you're out, head to Giant Eagle or Piggly Wiggly or wherever & buy some Haagen Dazs Mayan Chocolate ice cream. Llllllluscious. Like frozen Mexican hot chocolate, which I also love. If you're watching the calories*, get the Skinny Cow Fat Free Fudge Bars instead. I didn't have high hopes for them because generally fat free = taste free, but they were surprisingly good. And, you know, at only 100 calories per bar, you can eat the whole box in a weekend & not feel all that bad about it. Not that I have ever done that, but you know. You could. If you wanted to.

*Life is short &, like dessert, is to be enjoyed. Just buy the damn Haagen Dazs & get over it.
Is it lunchtime yet?



I have a bit of a crush on James Blake. I first became aware of him during his spectacular match against Andre Agassi in the 2005 U.S. Open, but I really didn't know much about him until I saw him on Oprah. (Sadly, Oprah & the internet are my only sources of information.) First, I just have to mention: he is fine. Fiiiiine. Like People's "Sexiest Athlete of the Year" fine. I think my television was sweating. Or drooling.

But more importantly, he has such a marvelous attitude. Two years ago, he broke his neck & was nearly paralyzed. During his recuperation, he found out his father was dying of cancer. Just a few days after his father's death, Blake was diagnosed with an excruciating case of shingles that caused his face to become paralyzed & his vision to blur. In spite of all this, he says he tried to keep a positive outlook:
After [Arthur] Ashe found out he was stricken by the HIV virus, he said, "I'm not going to sit here and say, 'Why me?' because I wasn't saying 'Why me?' when I was holding up the Wimbledon trophy." I had so many things go right in my life up until last year that I'm bound for a little bit of rain amongst the sunshine.
I don't know about you, but I've had years where one bad thing after another happens & it seems like you just cannot catch your breath, let alone a break. And I can GUARANTEE that I did not deal with it with Blake's apparent composure. Illness, death, family situations, financial problems, job worries - no matter how large or small the problem is, I know that there are thousands of people that have far more serious problems than I do, but that doesn't stop a small (& sometimes not so small) part of me from thinking "Why meeee?" So my question is, how do some people (i.e., not me) keep such a positive attitude? Is it just a part of your genetic make up? (In which case, I am probably screwed.) Or can it be cultivated? In that hope, here is my "With All This to Be Thankful For, You Should Just Stop Your Whining & Watch Oprah & Be Happy" list:

  • I have an amazing husband who I love & who loves me & who is honestly the best part of my day, every day.
  • I have a wonderful, loving family that has taught me about loyalty, generosity, tenacity, strength, grace under pressure & the importance of a good sale!
  • Through marriage, I have been given a second family that is just as incredible as the one I was born with.
  • I have brilliant & beautiful friends that help me keep (what's left of) my sanity.
  • I have a job that allows me to pay my bills and afford some "necessary luxuries" like champagne, Aveda, Origins Ginger products, yet another pair of shoes, Mon Aimee chocolate truffles & the occasional Coach bag.
  • I have enough to eat & drink, moderately good health & a roof over my head (we won't linger too long over that last bit!).
And, honestly, that is just the tip of the iceberg. Now, will someone please remind me of all this when I get back to my normal, snarky self & am bitching about the real estate market / my job / life in general in a few days??


Uneventful weekend in the big, bad 'Burgh. Our friends Jeff & Jen were married in Vegas in June & had a party / picnic to celebrate on Saturday. Aside from being asked approximately 9,345 times when we were going to start having children, it was a nice time. In case you're wondering, some people were asking before we were even married, and the frequency of the question has only increased since our wedding. I wouldn't mind so much except for the fact that the same people keep asking us, & I keep giving them the same answer: I don't have health insurance & we have no desire to pay for the medical bills related to pregnancy & delivery until the child is 20. And I'm sort of mystified why you would keep asking the question when you know the situation is the same. I'm also mystified at how virtual strangers can comfortably ask me such a personal question. What if we had fertility issues or just didn't want children? How is that anyone else's business and honestly, why do you even care? I've noticed that it's almost always the married-with-children set that badger us about this. Shouldn't they, of all people, know better? Are we not money-, sleep- & time-deprived enough for them? (Oh, but we are! Truly!) New answer: "We're having a delightful time practicing, thank you for asking." I'll let you know how that goes.

And then there was the zoo. After a Sunday at the zoo, any sane person would seriously reconsider having children. Spending that much up-close-&-personal time with The World at Large makes we want to weep for society, and I'm not even going to discuss the oh my head horrible outfits people will wear in public, no one wants to see that much of your ass or your tummy pudge, and hello, people? Please? Thank you? Excuse me? Do any of these phrases sound familiar, because I swear to you, I did not hear anyone outside of our little group use any of them. I'm also not going to discuss how so many parents seem to think that manners & discipline are unnecessary concepts in child rearing. I actually heard one mother force her husband to apologize to their toddler for "getting angry" because she kept running away from them. The mind boggles.

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Feast # 106

Tell about a toy you remember from your childhood.
So many! I had two Baby Beans dolls that I adored. One of them talked and said things like "baby go bye bye", which was one of my favorite phrases. I also loved my Weeble Tree House. (Don't even get me started on the Weeble imposters that they are selling now.) Uncle Mickey bought it for me after I assured him that I "wanted it my whole life". I believe I was 3 or 4 at the time.

If you could make one thing in the world absolutely free for everyone, what would it be?
Quality healthcare. That was easy!

Approximately how many times per day do you think about your significant other?
All the time.

What is something you believe in 100%?
That everything happens for a reason. That family & friends are the most important things in life. That I hate my job.

Name one thing you have done this week that you would consider a "good deed."
I didn't stab my boss with my letter opener. Not sure that's exactly a good deed, though.


A Short Commercial Break
During my last bout of insomnia, I decided to watch "Coupling" on BBC America. I LOVE this show, although I miss Jeff. And I'm afraid they may have jumped the shark now that Patrick & Sally and Jane & Oliver have gotten together. I will have to wait until Season 5 airs to make my final decision. Anyway, while I was watching it, a commercial came on for some telephone dating service. And, people - the women on this commercial were NOT attractive. I cannot even begin to describe to you how absurdly unattractive they were. I realize that the women employed by this service are probably old, fat housewives from Arkansas (no offense to Arkansans) with no teeth & deplorable personal hygiene, but shouldn't the illusion be that they're young, beautiful, seductive women? While I was still pondering this, another "talk to hot, sexy, exciting women in your area!"-type commercial came on. But for this service, you needed to text the word "girl" from your cell phone. The voiceover was quite repetitive & emphatic: "That's girl, G-I-R-L, giiirrrrlll . . . " Far be it for me to pass judgment (you know, because that's so unlike me), but if you have trouble spelling "girl", perhaps there are better things you should be doing with your time than text sex. What an odd concept that is anyway. I suppose that's what I get for watching television at 1 in the morning.

Oh, and while we're on the subject (sort of), I recently saw a Burger King (Wendy's?) commercial where they use the term "burger-vore" (burgivore?). Only I guess I wasn't really paying attention, or maybe my hearing isn't quite what it used to be, or maybe I'm just twisted, but for at least 30 seconds, I thought they were saying "burger whore". I honestly puzzled that out in my head. "Burger whore? Hmmm, someone who is wild about burgers, I guess . . . but that hardly seems appropriate for a mass market advertisement. Wow, you can say anything on TV these days . . ." And then the lightbulb flashed & I figured it out. Aside from it being a tad unseemly, I actually thought "burger whore" was a more apt term. Which probably explains why I don't work in television.

Currently reading: A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore

Currently listening to: Peter Cincotti


Other Than That, It Was Perfect

Chris & I got married nearly 10 months ago. Although I am a perfectionist & a worrier, I had decided not to worry about all the things that could go wrong on our meticulously planned day. We put a lot of thought into what we wanted our wedding day to be, but sometimes things happen & there's no preparing for it or preventing it. Above all, we wanted to enjoy each other, our guests & the moment, which we absolutely did. However, along the way, we did hit a few bumps in the road.

First, I woke up the Monday before our wedding with a terrible cough. Since I don't have insurance, I didn't go to the doctor, so by Friday it had turned into full blown bronchitis. I ended up walking down the aisle, doped up on OTC medicine & with my mouth full of Altoids to keep from coughing. (I didn't want to smell like cough drops. It made sense at the time.) In case you were wondering, it's very difficult to say your vows when you are also concentrating on not choking on an Altoid. But I digress. (I do that alot.) Unfortunately, bronchitis & choking were not the most pressing issues that day.

A few hours before the ceremony, my maid of honor (hi, Mary!) & I were on our way to have our hair done. We were sitting at a red light, minding our own business, cursing the rain when - BAM! We were rear-ended by white trash in an Astro van. Yes, that's right, I was in a car accident on my wedding day. The police officer that responded to the scene thought it was highly amusing. I was just a tad less amused but was willing to concede that someday, this would probably be a funny story. Emphasis on someday. Fast forward a few hours. By the time the ceremony was over & we were having photos taken, Mary was unable to sit for more than a second & I had a nagging pain in my back and neck. By the end of the reception, I practically forced Mary to go to the emergency room because she was in so much pain (and had to fly back to Atlanta in a few hours). Between the wedding stress, bronchitis & back ache, I just wanted to go home. I was sure I would feel better in the morning.

As luck would have it, neither of us felt better. A few days later, I was chatting with a work colleague who asked how our wedding went. I launched into my now-well-rehearsed, "Well, I had bronchitis & got hit by a car, but other than that it was perfect . . ." routine. This friend, who happens to be an attorney, asked how I was feeling (crappy, thanks) & why I hadn't been to the doctor. I explained that I didn't have insurance & he responded that since the other driver was at fault, their insurance company should cover all of my medical bills. A concept that hadn't even occured to me, since clearly I am one of the only people on God's green Earth that doesn't sue everyone they come into contact with. So, my friend recommended an attorney, I made an appointment with my doctor and several months worth of doctor visits & therapy ensued. I was assured by my new attorney that all of these bills would be covered and the important thing, of course, was to feel better.

After several months of therapy, I realized that "better" was a relative term and that although the exercises and therapy helped alleviate some of my discomfort, my back was simply never going to feel the same as it did before the accident. About that time, Mary came to the same conclusion. We indicated to our attorney that we were discontinuing treatment & were ready to settle the claim. We waited for months for all of the paperwork to be gathered & filed and thought that there was finally, FINALLY! light at the end of the tunnel because our attorney recently started negotiations with the insurance company.

That was until I spoke with him today. The insurance company (State Farm is bad!) is fighting our case & it looks like we're going to have to go to court. The claim adjuster (who is apparently a physician in her spare time) says that we were not injured. Her evidence is that we went to the wedding that night. Yes, I have explained that it was my wedding, it's not like we decided to go to a kegger that night or something, but apparently that little detail is inconsequential. She also seems to think that not going to the doctor for 5 days after the accident is further proof. The thing is, I think if one were going to commit fraud, one would be a little more careful to make the story believable instead of merely true. And besides, most couples would have been on their honeymoon during that time. It just so happened that we scheduled ours for a few weeks later due to hurricane season. And the honeymoon is a whole other pitiful story . . . in any case, we are going to court. Our attorney is very, very excited. I can't decide if that's good or bad. Either he can't wait to tear them apart or this is the first time he's actually gone to court. One thing I know for sure: this is not going to be resolved in my lifetime.


So Sad
To say that the cats don't travel well is a gross understatement.

Lemieux subscribes to the ostrich approach, desperate to hide his head and pretend it isn't happening. Bijou yowls like she's in agony the entire time. Literally. The. Entire. Time. Their behavior is distracting at best; allowing them to roam free is simply not an option. And one of them is just a smidge larger that he was 5 years ago & there is no way I could wedge his tubby kitty butt in his old carrier. So, I have been looking for a new, larger carrier to use during our eventual move. My theory is that they will feel more secure (less psycho) if they're in one carrier together. This theory is not in any way, shape or form based on fact. Bijou tolerates Lemieux at the best of times. Being enclosed in a carrier with him for any amount of time is probably her idea of Hell.

Regardless, this weekend, I found their new digs. It is glorious. Five stars on Amazon! And on sale! You know how much I love a sale. There is one small flaw. They won't go in it. I was hoping to get them used to it so that when the time comes, being enclosed in it won't be quite so traumatic. (For any of us.) Bijou rolled around in it for a few seconds, lured by catnip, but scooted right back out. Even treats couldn't entice Lemieux. I know, I spent Saturday afternoon trying to coax him inside.

Lest you think that this was the low point of my weekend, let me assure you: I am much more pathetic than that. I also had the propane tank for the grill refilled, got an oil change, watched Chris clean our gutters and then organized my CDs & DVDs. Until two in the morning. In case you're wondering, this involved some alphabetizing and categorizing. I turned down both a movie & a baseball game as possible alternatives to these exciting plans. So. Yeah, I'm a dork. At least I managed to avoid yard work.

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This is EXACTLY what it looks like at my house at bedtime. Except Lemieux takes up more space @ the bottom. A lot more. The comic is courtesy of SpaceDog Studios. Love her work!
Visit RocketFuel!


40 minutes to go! Woo hoo! I just have not felt like working today. You know, unlike every other day, when I am just so motivated. For one thing, it is a beautiful day, albeit a pinch warm at 85 degrees. And also, it's a Friday. I don't have anything even remotely exciting planned for the weekend, unless you consider getting an oil change and doing more yard work exciting, but at the very least, I won't be in the office. So, yay, weekend!

In spite of my apparent lack of motivation, I have managed to get quite a bit accomplished today. I submitted all of the advertising that was due by Monday; updated the company website; revised the marketing plan for one of our new developments; sent many, many emails (even some that were work related!); submitted a supply order; stopped at the library before going home to get a quote to add central air to our house; threw some towels in the washer; watched the nice repairman fix my oven (because that's a necessity in August); came back to the office to supervise a closing & update my blog. Impressive, no? So, even though my house should be cleaned & Chris would probably appreciate something that looks like dinner tonight, it's perfectly acceptable to go home & watch Oprah & eat ice cream instead, right?


All About Me
Today*, I'm going to be completely shallow & emulate a boy I went out with once (actually, several boys, because they're so often quite similar, aren't they?) & just talk about me.

100 (-ish) Fascinating** Facts About Me

  • My name is Shawnee.
  • Yes, like the Indian tribe.
  • No, I am not Native American.
  • That some people call me Shawn is source of dismay to my aunt Dee Dee.
  • No one knows why.
  • I am hopelessly & completely in love with my husband.
  • He is brilliant, talented, charming, delicious, kind, funny & wonderful.
  • But I can still beat him at Trivial Pursuit, because I am the Queen of Trivial Knowledge.
  • I think I fell in love with him the first time he beat me at Trivial Pursuit.
  • We are ridiculously amused by our two cats.
  • Bijou is a petite, elegant Russian blue that reluctantly allows us to occupy her space.
  • Lemieux is an ever-so-slightly overweight (read: 22 lbs. & growing) tuxedo cat who hates to be alone & snores when he sleeps.
  • Loudly.
  • I treasure my friends & family.
  • Although some of them are kind of nuts.
  • Well, all of them are, just in varying degrees.
  • I wish my best friend didn’t live so far away.
  • My mom is one of my best friends.
  • I love champagne.
  • Bellinis are even better.
  • I love staying up late & sleeping in.
  • Pink pajamas make me happy.
  • I love flowers, especially peonies & lilies.
  • Pink flowers are my favorite.
  • Pink is not my favorite color.
  • I don’t really have a favorite color.
  • I love going out to eat.
  • Crab cakes, Japanese steakhouses & pasta carbonara are my current obsessions.
  • I love when Chris cooks for me.
  • I love Mom's spaghetti sauce & Char’s mashed potatoes.
  • Beef should only be cooked rare.
  • Peppers & pineapple can ruin a perfectly good pizza.
  • I think Handel’s homemade chocolate pecan ice cream can make almost anything better.
  • Ditto grilled cheese sandwiches.
  • I could never follow a low-carb diet.
  • I was severely allergic to lactose for over 2 years. I still have some sensitivity to it.
  • I love going to the zoo.
  • I love football & hockey, like baseball, can't understand the appeal of basketball.
  • I was at the Steelers' Super Bowl victory parade in 2006.
  • Sidney Crosby is NOT the new Mario Lemieux.
  • I don’t swim but I love, love, LOVE the beach.
  • I hate being cold.
  • I am often cold, even when it’s 80 degrees outside.
  • I love a really good sale.
  • I am a girlie girl.
  • I have virtually no athletic ability.
  • I have insane amounts of hair & beauty products.
  • I am a sucker for clever packaging, even if the product is complete crap.
  • I love to read & will read anything.
  • I especially love To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee), The Sun Also Rises (Ernest Hemingway), In Cold Blood (Truman Capote), Anne Tyler, Agatha Christie mysteries, the Robicheaux series by James Lee Burke, the Sam Adams series by Sarah Shankman & the Straight Dope series by Cecil Adams.
  • My houseplants are dying at an alarming rate.
  • Which indicates that I am not responsible enough to have children yet.
  • Although a kid would probably speak up if I forgot to give it food or water for, oh let’s say, 2 months.
  • My nieces (all 9 of them, plus 4 nephews!) make me smile.
  • Eddie Izzard & Get Fuzzy make me laugh.
  • Selfishness, incompetence, bigotry & disloyalty make me want to scream.
  • The news makes me sad.
  • I rarely cry, although Steel Magnolias gets me every time.
  • I watch very little television, but Coupling, Absolutely Fabulous & Creature Comforts on the BBC are my favorites. The only show I watch every week is ER. I deeply miss West Wing.
  • I love movies.
  • Old movies are better. Some Like It Hot, Gone With the Wind, Rear Window, Psycho, The Wizard of Oz, Auntie Mame, His Girl Friday & Casablanca would be on my Top 20 list.
  • Best in Show, Love Actually, Clue, Practical Magic & The Godfather would also be on that list.
  • Some Like It Hot has the best last line in a movie, ever.
  • The last scene in Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) freaks me out like nothing else.
  • I have to eat popcorn or candy or something while watching a movie.
  • Growing up is not as much fun as I thought it would be.
  • The only consolation is that you can have your dessert first if you want to.
  • I'm a big fan of dessert, but that's not really sufficient, is it?
  • I have no patience with badly behaved children.
  • Even less for badly behaved adults.
  • Patience isn’t really one of my virtues to begin with.
  • I am easily irritated.
  • I am mystified by the apparent lack of even the most basic manners in today's society.
  • I also don’t understand when proper grammar & spelling became unnecessary.
  • I think Wal-Mart is the source of all evil.
  • But I still shop at Sam’s Club.
  • I need to work on consistency.
  • I hate to clean.
  • I hate it more when my house is messy.
  • I am usually very organized.
  • I am terrible with names.
  • I once dated a boy for several weeks without knowing his name. I finally just had to stop seeing him.
  • His dog’s name was Buddy.
  • Someday, I would like to have a Norwegian wolfhound or a German shepherd.
  • I speak French.
  • I would like to be fluent in French & Italian.
  • I still don’t understand the point of algebra, geometry or calculus. (Sorry, Mary!)
  • I scored 34 on my ACT test & 1494 on my SAT test.
  • Yet I barely passed my weather class in college. I'm sure the fact that I read Cosmo during the lectures had nothing to do with it.
  • I am a Phi Mu alumna.
  • I don’t like talking on the phone & rarely answer it at home.
  • I don’t like to exercise.
  • I am not what you (or anyone else) would call “outdoorsy”.
  • Nature is highly overrated.
  • If someone tells you I am “camping”, call the police – I will have been kidnapped.
  • My husband loves camping.
  • He also loves fishing, hunting & golf.
  • He hates to shop. Especially with me.
  • We get along anyway.
  • He is almost always willing to kill the big, crunchy bugs for me.
  • I have no problem killing (non-crunchy) spiders now that I’ve had a mouse in my house.
  • I didn’t think I was scared of mice until Bijou nearly dropped one on my head.
  • A mouse committed suicide in Lemieux’s mouth last year. (Long story.)
  • My life is not exciting, but it is often amusing.

* Isn't it funny how I imply that I'm only going to be shallow TODAY? Like this is something that's completely out of the ordinary. I crack myself up.

** Perhaps not so much "fascinating" as "pointless" and "lengthy". Enjoy!