Thursday, February 28, 2008

Thursday Meme

The Thursday meme brought to you courtesy of Booking Through Thursday.

Who is your favorite female lead character? And why? (And yes, of course,
you can name more than one . . . I always have trouble narrowing down these
things to one name, why should I force you to?)

This is a tough question. I have so many favorite books and series that it seems unfair to leave anybody off my list so I'm going to limit myself to one modern and one classic heroine.

Number one is Eve Dallas from J.D. Robb's In Death series. She's tough, a survivor, and she always gets her man whether it's her sexy husband or a ruthless killer.

Jane Eyre makes my list as well. She was also a survivor and she didn't let the heartless, condescending people in her life get her down. She also got her man.

If I wasn't limiting myself, I'd also name Mary Boleyn as she was depicted in The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Made Me Laugh

I was at a place today buying a thing. In the checkout line, there were about six people ahead of me and the line wasn't moving all that fast. Suddenly, a 20-something girl ahead of me turns around to these two guys standing behind her and says to one of them, "I've really enjoyed standing here next to your man breasts", and then proceeds to pinch his nipple!! Everyone in line started cracking up it was so hilarious. I've never seen anything like that before in my life. My day can only go downhill from there, lol.

In other news, we're getting our Wii!! Thanks to my wonderful and saintly friend, Jennifer S., who managed to get me a Wii through her friend David, we will have a Wii in the next few days. The Mister knows but I'm not telling the kids until it gets here. Now they'll have something to occupy their time while I'm in San Diego, heheh.

Oh. And this is going to totally sound paranoid, but I think the USPS in in cahoots with Netflix. Remember way back when, when Netflix was taking heat for throttling back their high volume customers? Well, I think in order to combat the negative press and still keep their high volume customers from renting too many movies, they've struck a deal with the USPS. Why do I think this? Every time I put my Netflix movies in my mailbox to be mailed back, the postal carrier guy doesn't take them. He leaves them in the mailbox, puts our new mail on top of them, and then takes the movies the next day. Every time. It's to the point where I've stopped putting them in my mailbox and I take them to the post office and put them in the drop box there which is totally inconvenient to do. And it's not like you can say that maybe he didn't see them. They're in BRIGHT RED ENVELOPES!! Yup. I've uncovered a conspiracy.

I leave in 14 days!!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Off and On

We had very sporadic Internet service last night until it finally went out altogether. I'm assuming the cable guy was here at some point today since I have Internet once again. I waited around until 1:30 for the guy to show up (I had a lovely 10-12 window) but nobody knocked on the door so I dunno. At any rate, here I am again.

I started watching a new series this weekend...well, new to me, old to everyone else. It's The L Word on Showtime. I watched the first two discs of season one and I have to say, I really liked it. It's weird, it's not like anything I've ever watched before, and you really have to overlook all the sex scenes cuz there's quite a bit of them. I told someone in my family that I started watching it and their reaction was, "But it's about lesbians!" I guess since I'm straight that means I can't watch it. But if I have to be able to relate to television shows 100%, there wouldn't be anything out there I could watch. No more Bones, Grey's Anatomy, The Big Bang Theory, Big Love (heheh), Weeds, and so on. There isn't one single show out there about a Marine wife/stay at home mom/full time student. I like Jennifer Beals and the guy that played Tim (he's on Ugly Betty now). What can I say?

We're kinda sorta, very tentatively, maybe, possibly looking at houses again. It's hard to decide if we want to buy here in N.C. or not when we're not really sure what's going to be what a year from now. It's really hard living in a rental that you don't like 100% after living in your own house though. At this point, we're just putting out some feelers and seeing what the housing market looks like here before we make any decisions. Also, we just signed a new one year lease but I think our landlord would be flexible about letting us out of it especially if we used him as our realtor. (He's a real estate broker.) Things with the Vermont house are very up in the air right now too. Even if nothing comes of it, it's fun looking at houses. I like to see what's out there and then construct my dream home in my head, lol.

Now, I'm off to do some homework. Not having my Internet last night threw off my entire week.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Results Are In

The results of the voting were 12 for versus and 1 for vice. And now I can tell you what's what.

The Mister swears up and down that saying vice is an acceptable alternative to saying versus. Can you guess where the one vote came from, heheh? He also said that if the guys from his shop had voted, there would have been more votes for vice because they all say it. According to the Mister, people at the six sigma classes he took in Maryland used the word vice in that manner too. Before the Mister, I have never heard anyone use that term in that way and I always tease him about it. Maybe it's a Marine thing. I dunno. I think the results of the voting are very telling in my opinion though.

To everyone who voted, thanks. :)

Friday, February 22, 2008


The party part of the evening is over. The girls are in the other room sorta playing quietly but not really, lol. They had a really good time and the child seemed to be happy with her loot. She got stuff from us, her sister, her friends, teachers at school, Jennifer S., and 2 out of 4 of her grandparents which is better than most years as far as the her family is concerned. The Mister and I got her an iPod shuffle for her big gift. We found it really odd that she never asked for an iPod nano or a full sized iPod. She likes how the shuffle is small and cute, lol.

Now, I have to tell you about our Dominos experience. I know!! But I swear I'm not making this stuff up. I ordered three pizzas at 6:20 pm via the Internet. We usually get very excellent service from there and I figured that'd give us plenty of time to eat, then presents, then cake. Well, 7:20 rolls around and I have a houseful of complaining, hungry kids on my hands now so I call to see where our pizzas are at. The girl tells me that they're shorthanded and ours will be the next delivery. 30 minutes later, our food finally arrives. It's not a delivery person that I recognize but he immediately apologizes for our wait. He goes on to explain that he's the district manager, most of his crew is out with the flu, and he's going to put us in for another order of what we got tonight for free the next time we call. How's that for good service??? Yes, the pizza was late but you can't predict the flu and they owned up to the less than stellar delivery time. We're going to have to wait to take him up on the free pizza cuz that's way more than the four of us can eat but it's $43 worth of free pizza. I'm stoked.

I wish you all could hear what I'm hearing, lmao. I just heard the longest, most drawn out screech that I've ever heard. Kids are so funny.

Can I Go to Bed Now?

I spent the majority of my day getting ready for the youngest child's birthday party tonight. I did a pretty snazzy job if I do say so myself. I even made goodie bags for the other kids which I think is retarded, no offense to other parents who think it's not. My bags, however, are the best bags that I have seen. They're not just filled with candy and junk but neat little girlie type stuff and they're in Littlest Pet Shop bags that they'll be able to keep and play with. The Mister is supposed to bring home the cake and he texted me to let me know that he can't get off of work early so I guess I'll have to keep the kids entertained until he can get here. This is the type of day where I hate his job but what can you do. Even though I'm tired beyond all belief and my feet are killing me, I'm really looking forward to her party. I think everyone is going to have a lot of fun. It's a sleepover so I'll rest up tomorrow afternoon after they all go home, lol.

In other news...I have no other news. This is all I've been doing today. I have less than an hour before everyone gets here so I'm going to get off of here and try to get some homework done.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

This Pissed Me Off

The timing of this story that I saw on the news about 15 seconds ago is eerily uncanny. One of our news channels profiled a story about a website that lists people, first and last names, as bad tippers. The website gets its contributions from waitstaff at various restaurants and they get their information off of credit card receipts. This is perfectly legal too, btw. Considering the outright lousy service that we had at the Outback, we still left a reasonable tip just because I feel bad when I don't. What pisses me off is that maybe the reason why they're getting bad or no tips is because their service SUCKS or the food is NASTY. I'm of a mind to start tipping according to the service that I receive and not because I feel obligated to do so. Tips, like respect, should be earned. Also, I'm perfectly aware that there are people that don't tip or don't tip enough because they're just rude, but I'm also perfectly aware that waiters and waitresses receive tips when they don't deserve them.

Also, I perused the database to see what's what and you wanna know what? While they post the first and last names of the so-called offender, they don't post the names of the servers. I think it would be telling if one certain server had frequent postings because this would say to me that they either have very rotten luck or they actually suck at their job. If they are so willing to post the names of the accused they should be willing to back that with their real names as well.

And I'm not posting the link to the website or the news story because I won't be a party to them getting traffic. Do your freaking job or get one where the majority of your wages isn't based on your people skills.

One last thing: No, I didn't see my name or anyone else that I know on the database. This isn't a personal rant, lol.

Picky, Picky

The story of our trip to the Outback isn't a huge deal. I'm just starting to think that I'm too picky and I expect too much from the food service industry. Anyway, to begin with, we give our name to the girl and she said the wait would be about 25-35 minutes. We didn't consider that to be too terrible so we settled in to wait. We waited an hour for a table. By this time, my patience was pretty low and I was thinking that the food had better be worth it since we had never been there before and didn't know what it was like. Our waitress took our drink orders and I ordered a mixed martini which was on the specials menu. The girl brings me my drink in a regular martini glass with about a shots worth of drink in it. She asks me if it's ok and I'm like, "This is it? This is $7.50 worth of drink? The glass isn't even half full." She looked like she expected that sort of reaction and said she'd take it back to the bar and ask if that's how it was supposed to look. A couple minutes later she brings my glass back filled with strawberry mix. Whatever. I took a drink and there wasn't enough alcohol in there to get a flea buzzed. As for the food, my shrimp and scallops were overcooked and the Mister said that we make better steaks on our grill at home which is exactly what we did Tuesday night. We might go back and give it a second chance but I'm not in any hurry to do so.

Below is my drink. It's the after picture though because I didn't have the opportunity to take a pic before the waitress took it back to the bar. The line, however, shows where the glass was filled the first time she brought it to me. All the other times I've ordered martinis, the glass was filled to the brim but oh well.

In other news, the Mister and I are on the hunt for a Wii. A very unsuccessful hunt. We have looked everywhere and nobody has one. I've looked at every online retailer that sells them and they don't have any either. We wanted to get one for the youngest child's birthday tomorrow but it isn't going to happen. Nintendo needs to get off their collective butts and start manufacturing these a bit faster. Everyone we spoke to said that Nintendo sends them Wii's when Nintendo feels like it and in whatever amount they feel like sending. Nice. So, she's getting something else that was on her list and we'll get the Wii at the first available opportunity as a gift for the entire family. This is the first time that the Mister and I have bought a gaming console for somebody other than ourselves, lol. It's a weird experience. I guess we're growing up.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Get With It

It's been a few days, eh? Well, I've been busy. The Mister arrived home safe and sound Friday afternoon. He had a pretty uneventful time in Maryland. He passed his class though and came home with a nifty certificate and shirt to prove it.

Also on Friday, I had our lawn care guy come and clean up our yard. He trimmed the shrubbery and bagged the leaves and pine straw. Our yard was such a disaster that he was here for four hours. It cost me an arm and a leg but I now have the best looking yard on the street. We also went to the Outback Steakhouse for the first time for dinner that night. It was...interesting. I'll post more on that later.

Saturday, we took a shopping trip to Jacksonville. Every time we go shopping, the oldest child cops an attitude, pouts, and gets herself into trouble. She isn't happy unless we're shopping for her. Needless to say, we cut the trip short and came home.

Sunday we did a whole lot of nothing. We picked up some groceries, did some necessary shopping at Target, and came home. Fun times. That night, I made the most awesome chicken Parmesan (the mister's favorite) for dinner. YUM!

Monday, we did less than Sunday which, consequently, made it my favorite day of the weekend. Also scattered throughout the weekend was homework, reading, and demon slaying. I read 2 books and started a third.

The Mister's trip was timed almost perfectly because he had a four day weekend due to President's Day when he got home. So, when the kids go to school today, it's just the two of us. We're celebrating by going out for a nice lunch. ALONE! Yay!

And one last thing to the women out there. You know how we don't like to be called bad drivers just because we're women? Well stop giving people a reason to do so by driving a vehicle that you can't handle. On Thursday, I sat for a couple minutes in the parking lot of the Harris Teeter while some idiot woman was trying to back her Suburban into a parking space narrowly missing hitting two cars. She had 4 or 5 cars blocked while she painstakingly parked her behemoth of a car and made herself look like a stereotypical female driver. Get a clue.

And that, folks, catches you up on the last three days of my life. Now, I need to catch up on book reviews. I think I'm 5 or 6 books, if not more, behind. Ouch.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Temp Page Element

I added a poll to the top right column of the blog. This poll is to settle an ongoing debate between the Mister and I. To avoid biased votes, I'm not going to say which of us has chosen which answer.

Here's the thing. We have had an issue with the words "vice" and "versus". Which word is more correct in the following sentence:

I prefer Chinese food vice/versus Italian food.

I know. This is totally retarded and why worry about it but the Mister called me last night and harassed me over my choice and now I want to settle the matter. And if you think a dictionary would put the thing to rest, you're wrong. Our Webster's New World College Dictionary says one thing whereas Webster online says another. I don't really get that, but whatever.

So, VOTE!!! You can leave a comment and tell me how juvenile we are, but vote too.


Thursday, February 14, 2008

I Spoke Too Soon

I just got done cleaning out my car. Boy! Was that ever a chore. Anyway, guess what I happened to notice on the windshield when I was Windexing it. POLLEN!! I jinxed myself by whining about it.


It's Thursday

I was going to do the Booking Through Thursday meme but my answer to this week's question is no. How boring is that? So, I'm skipping it this week. Maybe it's one that Jennifer S. can answer "no" to which doesn't require a lot of thinking and she'll post it on her blog, heheheh. ;)

It's Valentine's Day. I get to spend it alone but this is another "holiday" that the Mister and I don't pay that much attention to anyway. Other than buying my kids their cards to exchange at school and candy to fill my candy dish, this day is like any other. I'm such a bah humbugger, I know.

I finished Jane Eyre yesterday. I absotively LOVED it. I think it's one of my reading challenges books (I'm too lazy to check and too tired to remember) so I'll post a more in depth review sometime later. I'm kinda sorta behind on my reviews. I've finished four books since my last one. Oops.

And before I get any "tsk tsk's" I got quite a bit of reading for my classes done yesterday too and have formulated an outline for my Frankenstein paper which isn't even due for another two weeks. So, :P I decided to go the feminist route with the paper. Marxism just isn't my deal.

The Mister will be home tomorrow night. He has had a completely uneventful trip so far. He's pretty tired of eating out so on Saturday, I'm making his favorite for dinner: chicken parmesan. YUM! I'm pretty excited about that meal myself. Also, if it isn't too wet out, I'm having the yard maintained today in anticipation of the Mister's arrival home. The grass doesn't need mowed but my lawn care guy is going to take care of the pine straw and the leaves and trim the bushes as well. It's amazing how unkempt a yard can get down here in the winter. I've also come to hate pine trees. They are so FREAKING messy. Pine straw is EVERYwhere ALL the time. And in the spring, they release massive amounts of pollen so much so that EVERYthing is turned yellow. I have seven of the suckers in my front yard. SEVEN!!!!

Okay, I'm tired and rambling. I only got an hour or two of sleep last night. That's not enough, let me tell ya.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

It's Raining, It's Pouring

I woke up this morning to the welcome sound of rain. We need it desperately. Sunday it was so dry and windy that N.C. had 177 wildfires in the state. We had a teensy one here in New Bern but the worst of it was on the N.C./Virginia border. The news said that a lot of them were started because people were idiots (my word) and burned brush despite the red flag warning which made it illegal to do so. That level of stupidity is infuriating to me. Is burning brush so important that it couldn't wait a day or two?

Now I'm listening to the oldest child trying to make Bailey go outside for her morning constitutional, lmao. That dog absotively hates the rain. She gave up because it's hard to make a 60 pound dog do something she doesn't want to do.

On the itinerary for today is homework. Homework, homework, homework. I've neglected it thus far in favor of reading Jane Eyre. I've been having the hardest time putting it down and even had Jane Eyre dreams last night. Even now, I'm sitting here trying to justify to myself reading it for a couple hours this morning before getting started on my school work. I plan to be strong and responsible but we'll see how it goes, heheheh.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Quiet

I'm sitting here in the quietness of my house contemplating tonight's post. The kids are in bed, the dogs are in bed, the tv is turned off and the Mister is still in Maryland. I'm enjoying my evening but all this quiet makes me contemplative.

I finished reading Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings earlier today. If that doesn't make you pensive then you have something wrong with your brain. I started Jane Eyre this evening and it has made me a little melancholy. I'm also seeing similarities between it and Frankenstein. I suppose that's probably weird.

Something that is disturbing my quiet is this pervading smell that I can't get rid of in my house. I've cleaned and cleaned and cleaned. I've taken the trash and recycling outside, there are no dirty dishes in the sink, and I changed out the dogs' crate bedding. Still, I have this odor that I can't figure out where it's coming from or how to get rid of it. It's not anything like a rotting animal under the house, it's just sort of a...stagnant smell. The money that I spend on various forms of air fresheners rivals the amount of money I spend on books and lip gloss. Considering the amount I spent at B&N and the Clinique counter the past couple of weeks, that's saying something. The only thing I can figure is that the offending aroma is coming from the carpets and since I don't own this house and can't rip them out, I'm stuck. Cleaning them, before you suggest it, hasn't helped either. I read in my psych book a couple semesters back that the brain can't handle too much stimuli at one time which is why you become used to your perfume, cologne, and b.o. Maybe, eventually, I'll become used to this smell, forget about it, and only visitors will be offended and they'll be too polite to say anything. One can hope. In the meantime, Glade, Illuminations, Febreze, and all the other air freshener companies and candle makers are benefiting from my most recent obsession.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

A Brief History...Sorta

It occurred to me yesterday when Liz commented that she's been trying to figure out where I'm from originally, that my references to California, Vermont, N.C., and Ohio are probably confusing to those who don't know me personally. I figure this would be a good time to give a brief history of me.

I was born in Marion, Ohio where I lived with my mom until the middle of my 7th grade year and I was 12. I moved in with my dad, step-mom, and sister who were living in Pleasant Hill, Ohio which is where I graduated high school. Once I graduated in January '95, I moved back to my mom's where I got a job. I met my husband in April of that year and we got married in May of '96. We, being very young, ran into hard times and moved in with my dad who had moved to Springfield, Ohio in Sept of '96. The Mister joined the Marines and went to boot camp in Sept of '97. The oldest child and I moved to Pensacola, FL in April of '98 where the Mister was doing some training for his job in the Marines and I got pregnant with child #2. The oldest child and the pregnant me moved back to Marion on 9/30/98 because the Mister was sent to Jacksonville, FL for more training and we couldn't move with him (I wasn't even supposed to be in Pensacola) and my pregnancies are never easy on me. Then, the Mister got his first duty station in Feb '99 and I had child #2 in Feb '99. The Mister was stationed in San Diego and as soon as the youngest was old enough to fly, the kids and I moved out to San Diego in April of '99. We all lived out there until December of '03 when the Mister got orders for recruiting duty. We moved into our house in Vermont 1/1/04 and lived in Vermont until January of '07. Then we moved to North Carolina which is our current residence.

When people ask me where I'm from, I really don't even know how to answer. Am I from Marion where I lived for the first 12 years of my life? Pleasant Hill where I lived for 5 years and graduated high school? Or Springfield where the Mister joined the Marines and Springfield is our home of record? In fact, when people ask us where we're from in Ohio, we answer Marion, Springfield, and Kenton (where the Mister was born) interchangeably, lol. We haven't lived in Ohio for eight years and have no plans to ever move back and I don't really consider it home anymore. I miss California more than I miss any place that I have ever lived. The astronomical cost of living there is the only thing keeping us from actively trying to move back.

So that's me in a nutshell. But just in case, here's a time line to clarify:

6/30/77 - I was born in Marion, Ohio
Sometime in 1989 - I moved to Pleasant Hill, Ohio
1/13/95 - I graduated high school and moved to Marion, Ohio
4/13/95 - I met the Mister
5/3/96 - The Mister and I got married.
9/96 - We moved to Springfield, Ohio
9/21/97 - The Mister went to boot camp.
4/98 - The oldest and I moved to Pensacola, FL
9/98 - The oldest, the youngest unborn, and I moved to Marion, OH
4/99 - The children and I moved out to San Diego, CA with the Mister.
1/1/04 - We moved to Vermont
1/26/07 - We moved to North Carolina

We also moved around a bit in California and Vermont, but it's not really relevant to this story. All in all, I've lived in 3 cities in Ohio, 1 in Florida, 2 in California, 2 in Vermont, and 1 in N.C.
Currently, I'm not even sure which state I'm a resident of. I own a house, earn an income, and am licensed to drive in Vermont but I live in North Carolina and the Mister is a resident of Ohio. You figure it out.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Friday Cont.

I'm back from my meeting. It wasn't nearly as awful as I thought it would be. I had to meet with the youngest's teacher and three other school educators to determine a course of action. I don't know if I've ever posted this publicly before, but the youngest has a learning disability. After many consultations with various doctors and teachers and extensive testing, we finally have a plan of action. 5 years of frustration, feeling inadequate and helpless, it was such a relief for someone to finally have a clue as to what would be best for my daughter. I thought her teacher was going to cry today, that's how happy we were. I'm trying not to get my hopes up too high, but I would like to think we are finally going to be able to move forward for the first time since she started preschool.

Now on to my un-scientific experiment. To get a very general idea of what kids know these days, I came up with eight questions that I asked seven different kids from four (I think) different school districts. They range in age from 8 years to 11 years old and from grades 2 through 6. Here are the results.

1. Do you know what continents are and if so, can you name them?
Naming 6 as N. America, S. America, Australia, Eurasia, Africa and Antarctica would have been acceptable as would naming Europe and Asia as two continents for a total of 7.

  • Two of the kids said no.
  • One named all seven.
  • One named 6 of the 7.
  • The remaining 3 named one or two and added in countries that they thought were continents.

2. Name one or more wars that the United States has fought in.

  • 3 kids couldn't name any.
  • 5 named World War I and II.
  • One said the Gulf War and another said the Civil War.

3. Can you tell me what WWII was about?

  • 5 kids answered no.
  • 1 knew about the atom bombs and Japan.
  • 1 said it was about rights for slaves.

4. Do you know what a subject and a predicate are? If so, what are they?

  • 4 kids answered no.
  • 1 said that a subject is something you do.
  • Two knew what a subject was.

5. Do you know what a noun and a verb are? If so, what are they?

  • One didn't know either.
  • 4 knew what both a noun and a verb are and provided examples.
  • Two knew what a verb is but not a noun.

6. Do you know what the year of our (the United States) Independence is?

  • Maybe that question was too confusing because none of them could answer 1776 even though they all know what the 4th of July is as a holiday.

7. Do you know who the first president of the U.S. was?

  • All answered George Washington.

8. Do you know what rhyming words are and provide an example.

  • All could rhyme.

Like I said, this is not scientific in any way, but I still find the results disturbing. Some of these kids are in junior high and some will be there next year but they don't know the significance of the year 1776 and couldn't give any details about WWII and knowing the very basic parts of a sentence and grammar was hit or miss as well. I, as a parent, take some of the blame onto myself. I left it up to the public education system to educate my children and other than nightly help with homework and encouraging them to read, I haven't sat down with them and talked extensively about history, science, or grammar. I need to step it up. Even so, I still have to ask what the heck are they teaching kids in school these days?

Leaving on a Jet Plane *Edited to Add...

Hold on to your pants, I'm going to San Diego. Yayyyyyyyyyyy!!!! That's right, Jennifer S. I booked my flight and purposely chose a ticket that was non-refundable so get the pull-out ready. I'm so excited I'm doing a happy dance in my chair. I can't believe it! After four years, I finally get to go back to California. I'll seriously probably kiss the ground once I get there.

Ok. I've got to get ready for my meeting this morning. My thoroughly unpleasant meeting. I'll post the deets plus the results of an un-scientific interview later.

**I probably should have mentioned that not only has it been four years since I've been to Cali, but it's been six years since Jennifer and I have seen each other face to face. I think. When did you move to Wisconsin, lol? So, not only is this going to be a much needed getaway for me, but I'm going to get to hang out with my much missed friend which is way more significant.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Thursday Meme

Here's the Thursday Meme courtesy of Booking Through Thursday.

Okay, even I can’t read ALL the time, so I’m guessing that you folks might voluntarily shut the covers from time to time as well… What else do you do with your leisure to pass the time? Walk the dog? Knit? Run marathons? Construct grandfather clocks? Collect eggshells?

I do, on occasion, pull myself away from my books. Even though when I'm doing other activities, in the back of my mind I'm thinking that I'd rather be reading, lol.

Anyway, I like to crochet, cross stitch, go to the beach, go hiking, shop (when I have the money), play video games, catch up on my fave television shows (though not this season), play with my dogs, hang out with the family, and travel (when I have the time and money). Oh, and I blog and surf the net. That's about it. I wish I could say that I go sky diving or skiing or something equally fun and exciting but I don't. Although, I'd love to go parasailing some day which may lead to sky diving but who knows. Parasailing is something that I've wanted to do since I was 16 and I still haven't had the chance. I'm endeavoring to say one of my past times is exercise and working out but I always lose interest in that, lmao.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

A Quiet Day

I started this post at 8:30 and it's now 9:40. The Mister called and I got distracted, heheh.

Anyway, I had a relatively quiet day. It took effort, but I managed it. I finished reading Mary Shelley's Frankenstein for my Lit class. I really liked it which is a shame because I'm going to have to pick it to pieces for my class. I have to decide if my paper is going to be from a Marxist point of view or a feminist point of view. Why can't a story just be a story?

For those of you with kids in middle or elementary school, have you ever assessed how much general knowledge they possess for their age? I'm currently reading this book about classical education and the more I read, the more I am starting to think that our public education system is seriously flawed even more so than I have been thinking for the past seven years.

I'm also re-reading Lord of the Flies. This book is for my business class. Weird, right? This particular business class is about leadership, so if you're read the book, you can see where it fits into the theories in the class. I'm also thoroughly enjoying it.

Are you keeping count? If you include The Reagan Diaries which I consider to be a "grazing" type of book, War and Peace, Lord of the Flies, the classical education book, and Maya Angelou's book which I am starting for my book discussion group, I'm currently reading five books. And next week, I'll be starting Mark Twain's Pudd'nead Wilson and Those Extraordinary Twins. Fun, fun, fun. I also got a shipment of eight books (one of which is Maya's) in the mail today that I wish I could dive into but they're going to have to wait until I can get some of the others finished first. Sometimes it plain sucks being a responsible individual.

On a non-book note...I just got done watching the first season of Showtime's The Tudors on DVD. I absotively LOVED it. Loved it, loved it, loved it. I hauled out my copy of Alison Weir's Henry VIII book for reference while I was watching it. Thankfully, the new season starts next month so I don't have that long to wait for new episodes. There was a lot of historical fact mixed in with the story which made it all the more authentic and enjoyable to watch.

I'm off to put in some time on my homework. No rest for the wicked.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Energizer Bunny

That's what my day has been like. It just keeps going and going.

After running my last and final errand which was going to Target to pick up a tire pressure gauge and some other stuff (I treated myself to a lipgloss since I was having such a crappy day, heheh.), I finally came home for what I thought would be the last time today.

Sidenote: When I checked the tire pressures, I made an interesting discovery. The rear right tire has a Saab valve cap on it. I drive a Toyota and have no idea where the cap came from. I asked the Mister about it on the phone tonight and the best we can figure is that one of the guys he works with put it on as a joke. I dunno. Also. none of the tires have the correct air pressure.

Anyway, so the kids get home from school, I'm doing my school work, all is quiet. I start dinner at the usual time which tonight was fettucini alfredo from scratch with cajun chicken to go on top. I had been wanting to try my hand at homemade alfredo sauce for years but the hubby doesn't like it so I never did. I was totally looking forward to this meal. As I'm serving the girls their plates, Sidney looks out of the front door and sees Bailey standing there waiting to get in. Holy crap!! I knew Hannah was going to be all the way gone and sure enough, she was nowhere to be found. I was spitting mad. It was dinner time and dark and I figured she was gone for good cuz I just wanted to sit down and eat and wait for her to come home on her own. The oldest, however, started to cry so I put my sandals on, grabbed my cell and a flashlight and started the old drive around the neighborhood. I came across some teenagers taking a stroll and stopped and asked them if they'd seen Hannah. They hadn't so I asked them if they did, to please stop her and call me that my cell phone number is on her collar. Then, I proceeded to drive to the most exclusive neighborhood in New Bern which is where the dogs ran off to the first time. I guess they like to see how the other half lives. I had just about given up when my phone rang. It was those teenagers and they had Hannah. Funnily enough, she was still on our block. I drove over and picked her up, thanking them profusely, and came home. I got to enjoy my dinner of cold, congealed alfredo sauce, nasty looking fettucini, and cold chicken. Yum.

Oh. And about the gas pump...I told the hubby about it when he called. Remember way back when, when he got his first speeding ticket? Well, he was on his way to the same gas station and had gotten gas at the same pump and the same thing happened to him. FIX IT ALREADY!!

I'd give up and go to bed right now if it wasn't just 7 pm. I'm not leaving the house tomorrow for anything.

SHEESH! Part 2

So, I go to the grocery store. I needed some soda and parmesano reggiano for dinner. I get to the checkout and go to pay and my check card isn't in my purse. I immediately gasp, then I remember, I stuck it in my back pocket when I got gas. I pat my butt trying to feel for my card when it hits me: I'm not wearing my jeans because they're at home stinking of gas!!!! ARGH!!! I pull out another credit card that I'm not even sure how much credit it has on it to pay and thankfully, it had enough.

Here I am again, home, typing up my woes, and getting ready to go back out to finish up my errands for the day. It's only 1:30 and I feel like it should be 10 at night.


Do You Smell Gas??

WELL, I DO!!! I just got home from putting some gas in the car...and all over the ground. The stupid pump didn't shut off and I spilled a gallon or two on the ground, on my shoes, on my leg, and all over the side of my car. I was PISSED!! I went inside and complained to the clerk and then I squealed my way out of the gas station. I had to come home and change clothes and shoes even though I have more errands that I need to run. So, I've wasted time and money because of this and not to mention, I'm way angrier than the situation calls for. But GEEZ! Aren't the oil companies raping us enough at the pumps without having their equipment malfunction too? And now my entire house smells of gas. Thankfully, it's a very nice day today so I can open my windows but GEEZ! And another thing. You know how they say that you shouldn't go to bed angry or do this or that angry? Well, I have another one for you. Don't shave your legs angry either. I decided to put on some shorts since I had to change clothes anyway which required some personal grooming (hehehe) and paid the price for that too.

Sheesh all over the damn place.

And one last thing...I read in the online version of one of our news stations yesterday that the boil water notice has been lifted for our area. That was YESTERDAY!! We had no idea we were still under a boil water deal because that last main break was on Thursday. All the water main breaks were accidents too. The news story said that the engineers didn't know where the pipes were and the busted through them while doing other work. Three of them in a week's time. Nice.


Monday, February 04, 2008

Confessions of a Shopaholic

Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
Copyright 2001
312 pages
Reason for reading: I read this book for the 1st in a Series Challenge.
Days to finish: 1

I had low expectations going into this book. I had heard people say that they liked it, it was funny, etc., but that they didn't love it. I also figured it would make for nice, light, undemanding reading. I was correct on all accounts.

It was an extremely easy read to get through. Becky, our shopaholic, was funny and likeable although I didn't really feel all that sorry for her situation. If Kinsela said how old she was in the book, I must've skimmed over that part but I'm assuming that Becky is in her early twenties and very much in debt. Why? Because she can't control her shopping habits. Not only does she shop like there's no tomorrow, but she can't resist designer labels either. Her shopping, which increases her debts, which increases the amounts of letters she receives from her creditors only serves to increase her guilt which she assuages by buying herself a "little" something. Can you see the pattern? I honestly hope that it wasn't the author's intention to make the reader feel sorry for Becky because I didn't have an ounce of pity for her. She made her bed with her 2000 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets, now she has to lie in it.

Hmm. I don't really sound like I liked the book at all at this point, do I? Well, I will be honest and say that it could be tedious at times to read. Becky's problems seem so shallow and the way she handled them, extremely childish. But the holes she dug herself into and the way she contrived to get out of them were funny to read about and I laughed out loud several times. The ending, I wish I could give it away and say why, was...disappointing but not enough to kill my interest. I'm intrigued enough by the series' start that I plan on reading the rest. I love British literature, comedies, television, music, etc. and this book certainly fit that bill. I don't plan on reading the rest of the series to find existential meanings in life by any means. They would make excellent beach reads and the beach season, at least in my part of the world, isn't that far away.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

The Post Speaks for Itself

Last night, the Mister and I decided to pick up pizza for dinner. Yes, I do cook but nothing interesting happens when I do so I never post about it. Anyway, we went to 37th Street Pizza which we've never been to before but had heard that it's really good. We went in to order so that we could read a menu and decided to wait in the bar while they baked our pie. We sat down and ordered a couple drinks and the guy on the end asked me if the Mister was a leather neck. I told him that yes he was and then the three of us had a short conversation. Afterwards, he told the bartender that our drinks were on him. How nice was that!! I was so touched. Then, they brought our pizza into us at the bar and the same guy told the bartender that he was paying for that too. I told him that was too kind but he insisted. The whole experience served to remind me that not all people suck and some actually have really good hearts and still appreciate what our military service members do for them. Pardon me while I step down off of my soapbox. Oh. And the pizza was excellent.

So, the Mister left for MD this morning. Packing for him was really interesting. One person = 3 bags and a backpack, lmao. He complained the whole time that he was packing like a woman. Essentially, he was packing for four different people: Marine, business man, civilian, and student. He had to take ALL of his books AND his desktop computer since we didn't trust the laptop to behave well enough for him to get his school work done. He also had to take his dress uniforms and all their accouterments, his "proper civilian attire"which consists of dockers, button-down shirts, and ties, and then stuff like jeans and sweatshirts. CRAZIness. It's supposed to snow there this week too. HEHEHEHEH!!

You wanna know how uncanny the timing of his departure is? There was a police officer at my door about 20 minutes ago. My first thought was that I was finally one of "those" parents with hellions terrorizing the neighborhood. I was wrong but the real reason he was here isn't much better. I guess our street has been having a rash of break-ins. Houses and cars. I told the cop that it was nice of him to stop by and tell me this on the day my husband left for two weeks, lol. I'm really disturbed though. We live on a really quiet street in a quiet neighborhood. Well, at least I thought we did. I hate not feeling safe. Hopefully by making everyone aware of what's going on, they'll be able to put a stop to the crimes or at least the people responsible will be too worried to try anymore. Regardless, I'm going to go walk around my house and make sure everything is put up, locked up, and there's nothing that would tempt someone to our house. I also found out that the redneck-type people that live across the street and about 2 houses down have the police interested as well. These people always have about 5 or 6 cars parked in their yard (they have a long driveway and garage but they don't like to use it for some reason), they come and go ALL day long, and they can be loud. They're probably why it takes forever for houses to sell on our street. I always just chalked them up to being the neighborhood eccentrics. Everybody has at least one. But now since the police officer told me that "they are aware of that group", it makes me wonder what they're actually up to over there.

Anyway, I have a ton of last minute homework to get done before I start dinner. We're having turkey tetrazzini. It's one of our "Daddy Isn't Home for Dinner" meals. See? Told you I cook.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Stuff. Just Stuff.

We didn't have water again last night. This would make about 4 or 5 times in a week which is highly annoying and pretty inconvenient. Last night, the water went out around 5 which is right when I'm trying to make dinner and the Mister gets home from work and wants a shower. I don't know if the county is deliberately shutting off the water while they work or if maintenance crews are accidentally busting through water mains as they're doing other work. Either way, I wish they'd finish up whatever the hell it is they're doing soon.

Our weather is pretty freaky today. It's 71 degrees and the wind is blowing like a banshee. We've had 40+ mph wind gusts which is causing limbs and pine cones to fall out of our trees and onto the roof. It's making quite a racket. The weather people can't decide if we're getting thunderstorms or not either.

The powers that be are currently trying to decide if they're going to transfer the Mister to Jacksonville or not. It's between him and two other Marines. How do I feel about it? Well, to be honest, I don't really care one way or the other. There are three bad things about moving: 1. The moving part since we'd have to eat all expenses cuz the military won't pay for a move unless it's 50+ miles away and this is only 40. 2. The new unit is deploying to an un-fun place in the near future. 3. The place is swarming with Marines. We like New Bern because it's not a military town. In Jax, you can't swing a dead cat without hitting ten of them with one swipe. After living in on base housing for five years, we like our peace and quite. On the other hand: 1. We'd be able to move in the summer when school's out. 2. We don't like this house anyway. The neighborhood hoodlums were playing in our trashcans last night. Our dirty, smell, germ-y trashcans. Don't these kids have anything better to do?? And where are their parents?? 3. I'm not overly pleased with this school district. However, I've heard that the schools in Jax aren't much better. 4. Jacksonville is bigger and therefore has more conveniences. 5. It's closer to the beach (which could be a negative during hurricane season but oh well.)

Chances are, it won't be us. They're trying to get another guy who has been on station for TEN years to go. TEN YEARS! That's highly unusual. We've only been here a year. But like I said, either way, it doesn't really matter to me. I do my best to go with the flow when it comes to military orders, including the fact that they could tell the other guy he's going today and tell us that we're going tomorrow and vice versa. That's the Marine Corps for ya. But none of the reasons listed would serve to sway my decision in favor of moving or staying put. They're minor things that don't really make that much of a difference. It's only 40 miles. Now, if they were asking us to move back to San Diego, I'd go to base and kiss whomever's boots I'd need to kiss so that we could go. But Cherry Point or New River? Practically the same damn thing.