Saturday, September 29, 2007

Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain

We had the weirdest bank experience today. We do our primary banking with USAA but we keep a savings account with Navy Federal Credit Union because sometimes you need to have a bank you can physically go to and transact business. I'm not even sure USAA Bank has a building and if they do, I have no idea where it would be.

So anyway, we went to the new Navy Fed in Jacksonville to deposit some things. We go in (because I have long since forgotten my ATM number) and there is a wall of what looks to be ATM machines. So we go back to the receptionist lady and I tell her that I need an actual person because I don't know my ATM number. She replies that there are real people behind the machines and to go ahead and wait in line. After C proceeds to make a scene about how weird the whole thing is, we get our turn and go up to the machines. A voice out of nowhere greets me and I pick up the handset (which has an anti-microbial agent in it and is disinfected daily, just so ya know) because I was carefully watching the patrons ahead of me to figure out what the hell I'm supposed to do, and talk to The Voice. She asks me what I need, I respond, and she tells me to put my deposit with a photo I.D. in the little tube thingy and she'll be with me shortly. How? How is she supposed to be with me shortly when I'm at a machine and talking on a phone?? So, I sign my deposits, put them and my I.D. in the tubey thing, push the button, and it's sucked up into who knows where. After a relatively short wait, The Voice tells me to have a nice day, the little t.v. screen in front of me comes on and I can see some woman on it, and the tubey thing slides back down from the Unknown Banking Universe with my receipt and my I.D.

I'm telling you. It was straight out of one of my In Death books. I was impressed with the technology of it and C was just weirded out. Are all banks like this? This is the first time that I've been inside a bank in years. I do all my transactions online for the most part. Where did the bank tellers go??

Friday, September 28, 2007

Happy Friday

Friday's here!. C went back to work at noon today so my phone lines are open once again. It's amazing how much peace and quiet you can have when you vow not to answer your phone.

Now that the peace is over, we're going to our former house guest's new house tonight for dinner. Anytime that I don't have to cook is good with me. And while I like L and P, they wouldn't know what peaceful is if it slapped them in the face.

As for me, I'm still reading the Dorian Gray book. Like I said, it's a slow read for me. Oscar Wilde was certainly in love with his own words. I'm also playing major catch up with my homework. I'm really behind in algebra and my business class. But I'm up to speed in both of my writing classes.

Lastly: Men. Are. Infants. I often wonder why I'm not a lesbian.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Thursday Meme

Thursday meme courtesy of Booking Through Thursday.

Buy a Friend a Book Week is October 1-7 (as well as the first weeks of January, April, and July). During this week, you’re encouraged to buy a friend a book for no good reason. Not for their birthday, not because it’s a holiday, not to cheer them up–just because it’s a book.

What book would you choose to give to a friend and why?

And, if you’re feeling generous enough–head on over to Amazon and actually send one on its way!

Hmm. This one is a head scratcher. I'd buy L Forever Odd by Dean Koontz because she's in the middle of reading Odd Thomas which she stole off of my bookshelf while she was staying with me. And if none of my other book reading friends had read them, I'd buy everyone else Odd Thomas because it's such a good series and they'd appeal to both men and women IMO.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Moving On

So much for a debate. Now. I'm moving on.

C is on leave for most of this week. He goes back to work at noon on Friday. In the meantime, we are not taking calls, receiving visitors, or going visiting. We want peace, quiet, and togetherness. I'm sick of being around and talking to people every stinking day of the week. And 90% of phone calls consist of bad news, people whining, or people asking for favors, and I'm not saying that I'm not exempt from this statistic. This isn't the kind of interaction I need right now. Migraines, high blood pressure, and indigestion have become my companions once again due to idiots beyond my control. It's gotten to the point where I have finally made myself a doctor's appointment which, if you know me, is extreme. And about the doctor...

C has been a Marine for ten years now (he had his ten year anniversary on the 21st in case you were interested). In that time, I have never had a Navy doctor as my primary care manager. I've always seen civilian doctors. I guess that I should consider myself lucky that we lived in San Diego for so long because you can't do that here at this base unless you get special permission from your spouse's command. Anyway, I've been assigned a PCM as have the rest of my family. Get this: She's deployed so I can't even see her. I have to see her replacement. Wouldn't it be easier to just let me pick my own civilian doctor who wouldn't be leaving the country for a minimum of 6 months at a time??? I hate Tricare.

And I'm in a bad mood so that's it for today.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Higher Education = Higher Status??

I'm curious. Does a college degree give a person the right to feel or be superior to those who don't have one? Does a college degree automatically entitle you to unearned respect? Does it even mean that you know more than a person who doesn't posses a degree?

To my knowledge (no pun intended, lol), none of my friends have a degree except for one. So, if a degree means that you are better than someone without one, you deserve more respect, and you're smarter than someone without one, I guess I'll just have to get myself a "better" class of friends in a couple years, right? Maybe I should start working on my superiority complex now so that it'll be fully developed in two years.


Friday, September 21, 2007

Being a Good Friend

I had the most rude awakening this morning. I heard loud banging, loud enough it was shaking my house. I get up thinking that C had locked himself out of the house (it's happened before) but the car was already gone. After checking all the doors and windows, I can't find anything out of the ordinary. Then I hear M and I go into her room and she tells me that it was Hannah trying to get out of her room cuz she had to go outside. Sheesh!! By this point, I'm wide awake so I don't bother going back to bed.

Now, I'm dressed in my most rattiest clothes waiting for L, my ex-house (notice the "ex") guest to pick me up so that I can go to her new house and help her dig in her yard. You may or may not remember, but I hate yard work. I hate it to the point I pay someone else to care for my own yard. I had even planned on begging off since I'm tired but when she called to confirm, I didn't have the heart.

Yep. That's me. Good friend. Willing to sacrifice some much needed sleep, muscles that aren't sore, and time that could be spent catching up on my homework. Oh. And to top it off, I'm going to have to work with glass stuck in my thumb. We had a cooking incident the other night. My Pyrex baking dish exploded. I'm done cooking with anything and everything made of glass.

Gotta go. L will be here any minute.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Thursday Meme

Thursday's meme courtesy of Booking Through Thursday

Imagine that everything is going just swimmingly. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and all’s right with the world. You’re practically bouncing from health and have money in your pocket. The kids are playing and laughing, the puppy is chewing in the cutest possible manner on an officially-sanctioned chew toy, and in between moments of laughter for pure joy, you pick up a book to read . . .
What is it?

I'd pick up whatever I had on hand that I hadn't read yet. Reading a good book would just add to my good mood. The only difference between a rainy day read and a sunny day read is that on a sunny day I might be in the mood to take my book out onto my deck to read in the sunshine instead of sitting in the house.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Do You Hear That?

That is the sound of peacefulness and quiet. The only sounds I can hear right now are birds chirping, the leaves rustling in a light breeze, Hannah snoring, and the sound of me tapping away at my keyboard. It's amazing.

I posted my first two summary/reviews as you can see. I started my third book last night, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Wilde. This one is going to take me a bit longer to get through because of the historical language in it but I've been wanting to read it for ages. After that is Lisey's Story by King. That's the only book on my list that I don't currently own so I'm gonna have to hit the bookstore. Shame, lol.

In other news...I got an A on my first writing assignment for this semester. Yay! Although I don't have my grade back, I know that I got 100% on my first algebra quiz. Double yay!! And I'm getting ready to register for the spring semester. I'm pretty sure that I know what I want to take but I'm gonna think on it a day or two before I make my final decision.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

R.I.P. Book Review #2

Cause of Death by Patricia Cornwell

I am an avid Patricia Cornwell fan. I'm in the midst of reading the Kay Scarpetta series from beginning to end, so for this challenge I picked the next book on my list, #7, Cause of Death.

First, let me start off by saying that I enjoyed this installment of the Kay Scarpetta series. Cornwell writes Kay's character so that the reader becomes involved and cares what happens to her. Her story lines are also believable. Scary, but believable. The ending had me holding my breath.

All that being said, the nuances between Kay and her niece were tedious to read. Lucy, in my opinion, is a brat and I have a hard time feeling sorry for her. Maybe it's too early in the series for me to form an accurate opinion of Lucy, but at this point, I skim through the parts of the story that include her.

The story itself was intriguing. It's hard to comment too much about the story without giving away the plot. Needless to say, this book has earned a spot on my bookshelf with the rest of the series.

R.I.P. Book Review #1

The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K. Hamilton

This is only the second book of Hamilton's that I have read to date. I find it amazing that she can write about zombies, vampires, and ghouls and not make it sound like a really bad B movie.

In The Laughing Corpse, Anita Blake is approached by a potential client to raise a zombie. This is pretty typical, if you can call zombie-raising typical, work for Anita but this is not a "normal" zombie. She would have to sacrifice a "hornless goat" which is a human sacrifice in layman's terms. Refusing to do so, she is relentlessly pursued and harassed (as only Anita can be) to perform this task by a man who cannot understand how someone would turn down 1.5 million dollars.

Meanwhile, Anita is working with the St. Louis police in an effort to solve the brutal slayings of two different families. These deaths are unlike any that she has seen before in their gruesomeness and it pushes Anita to her limit.

On another tangent, Anita is summoned by the new vamp leader of St. Louis. Finding him almost irresistibly attractive, Anita finds herself needing his help while at the same time, hating him and everything that he is.

As a guilty pleasure read, I rate this book a 9 out of 10. It was thoroughly enjoyable and I cannot wait to get my eager hands on the third installment of the Anita Blake series.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Keep on Keeping On

We're plodding along here in my neck of the woods. The "guests" are still here. I think they're leaving on the 20th. We've had our moments but overall, it's not been so bad. I threw a shoe across the room tonight but it was only a Croc so I don't think it should count.

I've also been trying to type up my review of my first R.I.P. book that I finished two days ago. I've added to my post twice and still don't have it finished. I'm almost done with the second book on my list. Yay! I stay up until 1 am or later and get up about an hour or so before everyone else to get them read, but I'm doing it. And, I enjoy the quiet reading time that I get to myself in this chaotic existence of mine.

Fall is nipping at my ankles. It's been in the mid to low 70's this week with overnight lows in the 50's. It's nice in that I can turn off my a/c but I hate it because summer is over and that's my favorite time of the year. It went by way too fast this year.

I think people are waiting on me to get off of here so that they can go to bed, so I'm off. Thanks for bearing with me.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Tightly Wound

That would describe me these days. I have a very short fuse these days. Very short. I flew off the handle last night over a spilled Pepsi and everyone hid out by going to bed at 9:30 lmao. Yeah. I can laugh about it the next day but, MAN!! I was so freaking mad about it last night. Having to take care of two extra people is so stressful. And it doesn't help that they are easy going and don't seem to get mad about anything. I spend most of the day walking around like Miss Suzy Sunshine and the nights trying not to explode from the pressure.

C and I both blew off some steam by destroying the house when they got home from work yesterday. I should have taken pictures cuz it was freaking funny. Books, DVD's, and clothes were...disturbed (heheh).

I feel like a freaking crazy person. Like I'm bipolar or something. Out of control. I just can't wait for them to move into their house and for my life to get back to normal. Whatever the hell "normal" is. I don't even remember.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Fun Day

L and I spent the day at the beach today. It was pure bliss going there without the kids (even though my kids are awesome at the beach) and with someone who only wanted to lay on the sand and read a good book. We also hit a local beach dive for some lunch. Quiet. Peaceful. Ahhh.

Oh. And speaking of books...I put down Wicked and have started one of the books on my R.I.P. list. I had considered giving it up because I'm swamped with people and with work, but I figure I can give it an hour or two a night after everyone goes to sleep and I'm done with school work for the day.

Now, I'm off to mediate an argument. It's nonstop at my house these days.

Monday, September 10, 2007

My Dogs...Pay Attention Here

This is what I have to say about my dogs, or anybody's dogs for that matter. Or any pets at all. This is my opinion and I stand by every word. And you can bite me if you disagree. Where this issue is concerned, I don't care what anyone else's opinions are. Inside my house, I have the last word.

Pets should be more than just sacks of fur. You shouldn't get a dog and then tie it up in your backyard forever never to interact with them again. We have neighbors that have a couple dogs and they keep them tied up in the woods out behind their house, regardless of the weather or the time of day. What is the point of having them at all? I don't get that.

In my house, our dogs are as much a part of our family as anybody could be. As a matter of fact, the hierarchy would go:

1. C and Me.
2. The Girls.
3. The Dogs.
4. Everybody else.

If you come into my house, you respect my dogs and their place in our home or get the hell out and don't come back. They have fur and shed, they slobber, they get wet when you put them out in a tropical storm and come in smelling like wet dogs, they fart, they poop, and they smell when they need a bath. They're mammals. Deal with it.

If you know us, you know we have dogs. If you have an issue with any of the above mentioned, don't come to my house. You aren't welcome. Seriously. You...Are...Not...Welcome.

Our dogs love us regardless of our moods, how we smell, whether or not I'm wearing makeup, whether C is in uniform or not, and whether or not the girls are misbehaving. They love us unconditionally, they don't judge, and they give comfort whenever we need it. This is more than I can say for any other living being on the earth. If this makes me a fanatic, or OCD, or insane, then so be it. I could care less.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Storm? What Storm?

Yeah. So the first tropical storm of the season for North Carolina is a big "so what". We've had tropical storm warnings for two days now and this storm is no different than the other thunderstorms we've had all summer. It's not even the big excitement for the day. Wanna know what was?

Yesterday, C and I took the car in for an oil change at the Jiffy Lube. It cost $38 and some change and took about 25 minutes or so. This morning, we all load up in our cars to go out for breakfast with L and P following us in their car cuz they didn't know the way. They saw something fly out from underneath our car and a trail of liquid going down the street. About the same time, C noticed the oil light come on in our car. The freaking Jiffy Lube people put the wrong size oil filter on our car, it flew off, and we drained 4 1/2 quarts of oil in the street. Luckily, we were only half a block from the house so C and P pushed the car back to our house while I steered. Jiffy Lube refunded us for the oil change and provided me with 5 quarts of oil and a new oil filter...The right size this time. C put the new filter on and added the new oil in about 5 minutes in our driveway. We won't be going back. Also lucky for us was that we weren't on the interstate when it happened because had we been driving at 70-75 miles an hour when the oil filter fell off could've resulted in someone else being hit with the filter and it would have blown the engine up. Incompetence. I swear.

Friday, September 07, 2007

They're Heeerre!

My out-of-town guests are finally here to stay at my house for the next two weeks or so. It's been an interesting day already and the weekend promises to be even more so.

L, my friend, is a force to be reckoned with. She's already commanded that C and her husband, P, will be taking both of our vehicles for an oil change right after they go for a morning run. After that, we're taking the kids to play putt putt golf. Then after that, she has decided that the men will be taking M and S to a birthday party while she and I go commissary shopping. After all that, I'm not sure what we're doing. It's kind of nice having someone make all the decisions, lmao.

We're also awaiting the first storm of the season to hit the Carolinas. It's no big deal. The Weather Channel said it probably won't even make tropical storm status but we need the rain desperately so we'll take what we can get. I'm hoping that this non-storm won't result in the commissary being packed with people trying to stock up on suppllies. I have a feeling that it's wishful thinking though.

So, that's Friday in a very condensed nutshell. I gotta get some Algebra done. Heaven help me.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Thursday Meme

Courtesy of Booking Through Thursday.

So, this is my question to you–are you a Goldilocks kind of reader?
Do you need the light just right, the background noise just so loud but not too loud, the chair just right, the distractions at a minimum?

Or can you open a book at any time and dip right in, whether it’s for twenty seconds, while waiting for the kettle to boil, or indefinitely, like while waiting interminably at the hospital–as long as the book is open in front of your nose, you’re happy to read?

I am definitely not a Goldilocks type of reader. I can pick up a book and read it anytime, anywhere...if they are books that I'm reading for pleasure. If I'm reading assigned reading for a class, I need quiet because I can't concentrate and I won't remember what I read. Sometimes I'll put classical music on for background noise.

If I'm reading a novel, everything else ceases to exist, so that noises, the kids, dogs, husband, everything fades out so that I don't hear it. I think it's a nice talent. My kids and husband would disagree, heheh.

Because I Missed It

And I liked the question. This is the Booking Through Thursday question from last week.

There was a widely bruited-about statistic reported last week, stating that 1 in 4 Americans did not read a single book last year. Clearly, we don’t fall into that category, but . . . how many of our friends do? Do you have friends/family who read as much as you do? Or are you the only person you know who has a serious reading habit?

Quite a few of my friends and family read as much as I do. I think that my friend, Dana, may even have me beat as to the volume of books read.

In the recent past, I had a "friend" who didn't like to read and never read for pleasure. We aren't friends anymore and not because she didn't read but because we were too different. Since then, I have wondered if I could truly be good friends with someone who didn't like to read because books and reading are so much a part of who I am.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Rough Day

My day. Started out good enough. Ya know. Typical weekday morning with getting the kids up, getting them ready for school, and driving them to school. No big deal. We get home (C's been on leave) and I let the dogs outside to do their business. C left to go to the library while I stayed home and read my grammar book. A bit later, C gets home and asks me where the dogs are and I immediately panic knowing that they can't possibly still be in the backyard after being quiet all this time (2 hours have gone by since I let them out). Sure enough, I look out back and the side gate is open and the dogs are nowhere to be seen. The moron lawn care guy didn't lock the gate after mowing last Monday while we were in Ohio. The yard looked great, by the way.

C and I set into immediate action, grab the car keys, and hit the road. We drove around our neighborhood and over to the girls' school to see if they tried following them to school. I'm channeling Lassie at this point. No luck. So we go home and I printed up some cards with our names, phone numbers, and the dogs names on them and I called the town hall and the police department to report them missing. I'm crying, worrying about having to tell the girls that their dogs are gone. C and I figured that someone had dog-napped them. While I'm printing, crying, and phoning, C hiked out to the woods by our house to see if he could find them. No luck there either.

Next, we decided to drive over to the ritzy part of our neighborhood where M's friends live and the dogs have been before to see if they might have decided to go for a visit. We see the mail carrier and ask him if he's seen any boxers running around. Turns out, he'd seen them 15 minutes prior just up the way from where we were. We speed up the road to where the houses are ginormous and have their own docks on the river, shouting BAILEY!! and HANNAH!! and COOKIES!! all the way. We see a contractor walking around and stop to ask him if he's seen our escape artists and sure enough, he'd seen them right over the hill about 5 minutes ago. We decide to park the car and hoof it for a bit but alas, no go again. We headed back to the car to circle the block a few times and finally we hear someone yelling, "I have your dogs!" I immediately speed off in the direction of the voice and low and behold!! There are Bailey and Hannah in the dog flesh looking frothy and worn out from their adventures and with less than an hour to spare before the girls get out of school. Bailey has enough doggie sense to look ashamed and guilty while Hannah's just excited to see us. We got them home and they immediately crashed on the floor completely exhausted. Needless to say, they are grounded for life. They were missing for about 5 hours altogether and we found them about a mile from our house. C and I both agree that the only thing scarier would be if the girls turned up missing. We love our dogs.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The Saddle Fell Off

It turns out that getting back into my normal routine and habits isn't as easy as I thought it would be. Being sick, getting the girls back into school after missing the first week, and getting myself and C ready for our classes has really thrown me for a loop. We ran errands from 7:50 this morning until 4:30 this afternoon and we still didn't get everything done. Bacon, the guinea pig, is still at the guinea pig sitter. We can't seem to synchronize our schedules so that he can come home. Our out of town guests arrived this evening around 7-something. Turns out that they'll be staying with us from the 6th until about the 20th. Good thing I like them. And it's just been pure craziness. I might end up not being able to do the R.I.P. challenge after all. When I joined, I hadn't planned on an out-of-state funeral which completely disrupted everything. I'm feeling...bombarded from all sides. I'm getting ready to take some nighttime cold medicine and go to bed.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Did You Miss Me?

We're finally home. We left Ohio yesterday but broke the drive up into two days because I'm not feeling well. Big surprise. I get sick every time I go to Ohio. Anyway...

I have so much to say but I'm just giving a quickie for right now. I'm pretty tired and I have TONS to do tonight. The girls start back to school tomorrow (a week late because of the funeral) and C and I start our fall semester tomorrow too. Also, we have friends coming in from out of state tomorrow evening. I don't know how I'm going to stay sane this week. It should be interesting.

I missed my blog sadly enough. I also missed reading everyone else's blogs. I had over a hundred e-mails to sort through and I don't know how many blog postings. C and I managed to get online a handful of times while in Ohio but only to check our grades and to check our bank account.

So, I promise to give the deets of our trip tomorrow or soon thereafter. Bear with me.