Friday, July 31, 2009

Tequila had nothing to do with it!

I didn't go spinning this morning and the tequila I consumed last night had nothing to do with it! I swear! As a matter of fact, I knew it was okay for me to consume the tequila because Insurance Barbie told me at work last night that she didn't have day care again for her boy- this was not a good week for her and day care, she said.

So when XRay Girl and I went to celebrate her passing her Anatomy and Physiology class (it's the do or die class- you pass it and you can survive the rest of the program. You fail it and you need another non medical major) so she could move forward in her radiology courses, we celebrated in style. I knew I wouldn't have to get up at 6am to spin- and no my head isn't spinning either, thankfully- so I had 4 margaritas with her. And we did have a great time laughing and being silly!

And as for spinning.... well, it looks like Insurance Barbie isn't gonna come through so I'm gonna see if there is an evening class and if so I'll either go it alone, or see if Booknut or XRay Girl wants to go. I know without a doubt, that no matter how much I love blog fodder, I will never, ever get up and go at 6 am all by myself, Just won't happen. So, I'll see what I can find out.

As for me and my Friday, I have to go ready to scoop ice cream. Well, I have to go get my car first. Daddy-O is going to take me to the Mexican restaurant parking lot to pick it up. :Ahem:


Thursday, July 30, 2009

1 tequila, 2 tequila, 3 tequila...floor

I have officially hit an all time low- drunk blogging.

I would also like to announce that I am still celibate (that so sucks) AND I did not marry an illegal alien...

Oh that would only make sense if I tell you that we (my new friend XRay Girl and I) ate at an authentic Mexican restaurant. I didn't marry our super hot Hispanic waiter nor did I make him a citizen... or a notch on my lipstick case...damn it. He was so hot.

I and XRayGirl dranks LOTS of margaritas.


My totally immature moment

There are times when I try to act my age. I really do. For example, in the world of teen boys, if someone uses the word "bush" like "the rose bushes on the patio need trimmed" teen boys giggle and snort and say things like, "she said bush." tee-hee hee.

But I swear to the goddess I feel like a teenage boy at work when I have to make one thing.

We have frozen bananas dipped in chocolate fudge and then rolled in nuts. I swear when someone orders is, I can't help but smile and then feel completely embarrassed while I make it and then carry it to the counter, all the way across the shoppe. I blush to the roots of my hair when I make this phallic dessert for customers. I just can't help it. It's totally Freudian, I'm sure, but I just seems to get the giggles that I stifle. Totally immature, I know.

And if you never had a frozen banana on a stick dipped in chocolate, rolled in crushed nuts to eat like a Popsicle, well... it looks like an edible treat you might order from an Adam & Eve catalog...

And conversations between a couple who came in the store like the following do not help.

Woman: Honey, I have to use the restroom. Will you order for me?
Man: Sure. What do you want?
Woman: A frozen banana dipped in chocolate with nuts.
Man: Are you serious?
Woman: (looking all innocent) Yeah...?
Man: No fucking way am I ordering that or carrying it around.

Hey, I felt for him. I didn't want to make it about as much as he didn't want to order it. Men NEVER order frozen bananas on a stick. Probably also Freudian. Seriously.... think about that for a minute, will ya?

Oh yeah, she ended up having a banana split- what the hell was up with her and bananas?

Again, I know it's immature, but I guess it's just one of those things... Maybe because I spend so much time with teenagers? And I am the proud owner of a teenage boy son?

"She said 'banana'! tee-hee-hee!!!",

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Quips from Mac while on a trip to the mall

  1. The mall has furniture on carpet arranged in conversational groupings. This is a mall that was formerly very scary; it was the "ghetto" mall and pretty unsafe- people were mugged in the parking lot and raped in the bathrooms type of scary and unsafe. Now, it's been cleaned up and is safer. Mac said, "It's nice to see old people comfortable and relaxed enough to fall asleep in the mall furniture. Unless they're dead."
  2. We were in the Hallmark store and I was looking for about 5 cards. He was making fun of the fact that I would pick one, read it and put it back- repeatedly. I told him I had to like the picture and the saying BOTH before I would buy a card. Mac said, "Unless there's money in it, no one cares about the card."
  3. Regarding mall walkers: "Too damn cheap to get a real gym membership."
  4. Regarding mall cops: "Observe and Report was such a better mall cop movie than that stupid Paul Blart thing." A better mall cop movie?!? There's more than one?!?
  5. About Bath and Body Works: "It all smells the same. Why bother with all the different colors and scents? They all smell the same: like old lady."
  6. He ordered a smoothie at Starbucks- he got the Chocolate and banana because it's more manly than the strawberry- banana, though he did say, "With all the protein and fusion powder and estrogen, I'll probably grow boobs from drinking it. And it has an aftertaste like grass. Not marijuana, but lawn."
Next time I'm going to the mall all by myself.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Spinning delay- UPDATE!

So I went to work at the insurance office tonight to work AND to confirm with Insurance Barbie about spinning class tomorrow and SHE CAN'T GO in the morning!!!!!!!!!!!! She has day care issues- no one to watch her little tyke!

Apparently, I won't be spinning on Wednesday morning. I'm gonna spin at 6 am on Friday morning. What can be worse than getting up to exercise at 6 am? Getting up to exercise at 6 am on a FRIDAY morning... OMG- I think I've lost my ever lovin' mind!

What doesn't kill us makes us sore

I'm supposed to go to my first (and maybe last) spinning class tomorrow morning at 6am. I sill cannot get over the fact I agreed to exercise with Insurance Barbie let alone that I agreed to to do it at 6 am. yes, I whined about this before but I'm still feeling rather incredulous over my dumb self. I know I've been dragging my feet on this and I blogged a few weeks ago that I was going to do it- but I still haven't. One reason is because Insurance Barbie didn't go 2 weeks in a row and I wasn't going alone. Another is I was gone. Another time she was gone. Now I've run out of excuses!!!!! And I'm worried! I'm worried I'll be the fattest person there with all the Barbies. Or that's I'll have a heart attack. Or that I'll sweat so much my hands will slide off the handlebars and I'll smack face first on the floor.

And here's the thing- I am so outta shape that today I'm sore because I've worked three straight shifts at the ice cream parlor the last three days- all 6-7 hours each, standing the entire time- nope, there's no time to sit or take a break- and today I am SO SORE. My ankles, knees and lower back are all killing me from the 18-21 hours of standing on a linoleum floor, bending, scooping, etc... And we don't even have those black mats to stand on that are supposed to help the body.

I'm thinking if I'm this sore after working, I 'll probably die after a spinning class. How tragic to die at a Y, during an exercise class, in a small town. Oh Goddess-- that's so redundant!

If I live to tell the tale, I'll report back on my first time spinning. And if I don't, you can read my last will and testament here.

Peace out,

Monday, July 27, 2009

It's so not fair!

There's a girl who was a few years behind me in high school who was tall and blond, very pretty, a little heavy, super kind, sweet, very smart and fun to be around. She had it all: personality AND looks. She was lesbian then. She was a lesbian all through college. Everyone knew she was gay but she was never officially "out" and never wanted her parents to know because of the small town we live in and the jobs her folks had.

So after college this girl moved to NYC and worked in the fashion industry. She was gay there. Well, due to the shitty economy, she moved back to this town and managed to find work. And NOW she's dating MEN!

She and her male date came in and got ice cream. Now why in the world can't she stay lesbian because it's tough enough to find a nice single guy in town! It swear it's because she's a blond...

all the single ladies,

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I've come to realize that... I like MEMEs

I found this meme at a blog called The Blue Door, and I "borrowed" it! Thanks!

1. I’ve come to realize that my chest-size. . . is a bit larger than I want but unless I get a pile o dollars it'll stay this size.

2. I’ve come to realize that my job. .. what job?!? Which job?!?

3. I’ve come to realize that when I’m driving. . . I like listening to audio-books.

4. I’ve come to realize that I need. . . .a real job that I like which is stable, with medical insurance and a stable pay cheque.

5. I’ve come that realize that I have lost. . . faith in myself, and faith in humanity.

6. I’ve come to realize that I hate it when. . . I have to tell Mac no over something small, like renting a video, because I don't have the money.

7. I’ve come to realize that if I’m drunk. . . I just want to sleep or I get weepy.

8. I’ve come to realize that money… matters because I don't have any.

9. I’ve come to realize that certain people. . . are a waste of human flesh.

10. I’ve come to realize that I’ll always. . . be filled with wanderlust, never have another child, and will always want to change how I look.

11. I’ve come to realize that my sibling. . . is as different from me as night and day.

12. I’ve come to realize that my mom… died because she gave up on life.

13. I’ve come to realize that my cell phone. . . controls me more than I care to admit.

14. I’ve come to realize that when I woke up this morning… I will never, ever be a morning person.

15. I’ve come to realize that last night before I went to sleep. . . I was so happy that Mac was at my house, just to hang out because he loves his mom.

16. I’ve come to realize that right now I am thinking. . . that The Watchmen is a freaky movie.

17. I’ve come to realize that my dad. . . is a kind and generous soul.

18. I’ve come to realize that when I get on Facebook. . . I changed my mind and pulled myself off immediately after only logging on once.

19. I’ve come to realize that today. . . is another day of scooping ice cream cones.

20. I’ve come to realize that tonight. . . . will be an evening to work on sewing projects or to read a novel.

21. I’ve come to realize that tomorrow. . . will be another day of scooping ice cream into cones.

22. I’ve come to realize that I really want to. . . get a full time job, get skinny, fall in love, trust a man again, and pop popcorn and drench with real butter- and yes, I understand the irony of my answers here in #22..

23. I’ve come to realize that the person mostly likely to re-post this is. . . whomever would like.

24. I’ve come to realize that life. . . is what you make it.

25. I’ve come to realize that this weekend. . . was the start of me working without a day off again until infinity- unless I get a "real" job.

26. I’ve realized the best music to listen to when I am upset. . . is, of late, classical, especially Vivaldi "winter".

27. I’ve come to realize that my friends. . . though few, are amazing people who love me warts and all.

28. I’ve come to realize that this year. . . is one of the most challenging I’ve had in a long time.

29. I’ve come to realize that my exes. . . are asshats.

30. I’ve come to realize that maybe I should. . . never date again since I seem to have really BAD luck here!

31. I’ve come to realize that I love. . . my family, my friends, and time.

32. I’ve come to realize that I don’t understand. . . algebra, but it doesn't matter because I don't really ever use it.

33. I’ve come to realize my past. . . is checkered with life stories that can be seen with laughter as well as life lessons.

34. I’ve come to realize that parties. . . are something I like to plan and host, but haven't done either in many years.

35. I’ve come to realize that I’m totally terrified. . . of going to the doctor.

36. I’ve come to realize that my life. . . isn't all that horrid as it could be.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Some people don't like sewing...

Hecate bought a whole bunch of super cool fabric squares on ebay and me, being the crazy friend I am said I would help her make a quilt. She being the reasonable friend that she is thought we could make something smaller to start with to see if she likes quilting since she had never quilted in her entire life. And the last time she sewed anything was about 20 years ago when she was in junior high school.

So we decided to make a hipster purse. That we would quilt first. Well, that she would quilt under my tutelage.

She came to my house and after pouring over all her beautiful fabric, we had no clue what she was going to do. She had all colors from the rainbow selected and i was trying to arrange them to make some sort of sense. We didn't have a pattern for piecing the quilted part, just a pattern for the purse itself. So I took a piece of tissue paper and traced the 1/2 yard x 45 so we just had to arrange the 4 inch squares in this space.

We arranged the fabrics over and over until we developed a pattern- then, we started weeding out the colors and she had all...pinks and reds. Now all of you know I ADORE pinks and reds but Hecate isn't a pink person. So we hauled out all the black and reds and whites and replaced the pinks and suddenly we had a design and color scheme that she liked. Now all she had to do was piece the fabric, cut the batting and the backing, pin it together, quilt it- then we could cut all the purse pattern pieces and then sew the purse together! Simple! Yeah.....right.

So I park Hecate in front of the sewing machine and I show her how to match the squares and the direction in which to stitch. She sewed them altogether, then she stitched the strips. And we found that we had worked for about...3 hours. And that's all that was done. And Hecate was done. She didn't really like sewing, or quilting. She like did picking the fabric and arranging our own pattern.

I was very excited about the whole project and those of you who know me know I can be HAPPY! and highly ENERGETIC! about things that I find FUN! Some might consider me BOUNDLESSLY ENTHUSIASTIC! and PERKY! I was afraid that I was trying to take over her sewing project by volunteering to do different parts of it, and by trying to give her helpful hints and creative ideas! Ummmmmm-- she wasn't buying.

I'll be finishing the quilt top, adding the padding and the backing and then quilting it. Then I'll be evoking the help of my dear friend that I love so much and who is creative and a wonderful seamstress who is going to help me put it together as a purse- if I need it!

Then Hecate will have a purse.

And I will have completed (with a little help from my friends...) another quilting project!

And I just can't figure out why she didn't think sewing a 4 inch long seam over 50 times was fun?!?

All sewn up,

Friday, July 24, 2009

To apply or not to apply, that is the question

So I heard about a really good sounding job.... but here's the problem.

Everyone I know HATES the woman who runs the office where the opening is located. She is the Dragon Lady, to the point that the reason this job is even open is because it's the 4th program director she's had working for her in 5 years. She's run all of them out. The person who stayed the longest was there for 3 years and she just flat out quit without having anything else to go to, she was that desperate to escape the Dragon Lady's clutches!.

Daddy-O said he would rather I scoop ice cream than work for this woman- he knows her reputation and knows her personally.

I have a feeling I would have a good shot at the job. The money is good. The benefits are okay. The job would be enjoyable, itself and working with older people might be good for me. BUT with this woman's reputation and the warnings I've had from others, I think maybe it would be a HUGE mistake.

I know it would look better on my resume than ice cream and insurance. I know I could use it as a stepping stone. I know I haven't been offered the job so why worry until then? BUT- I'm afraid to apply that I'll be offered and it will be too tempting to turn down. I just don't know if I can work for another Bi-Polar, control freak female on a power trip who micro manages... that's what's she's been called.

Hmmmmmmm, seeing it in print like that makes me think I should just walk away now, and not apply. Or even give it another thought.

I hate job stuff. I want to win the lottery and then not worry about it!

Facing a conundrum,

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Seeing ItalianSam... is it a good idea? Part II

Well, I think that sometimes you can go back to the past and have a good experience and other times, it's not always what you expect.

I saw ItalianSam yesterday, after 13 years. Remember my last post? Well.......... I realize the last time I saw him was 13 years ago. I also know I have changed since then- I'm obviously 13 years older, about 35 pounds heavier, and my hair is much shorter (with just a touch of silver). And I've had 13 years of life experience as a single, nomadic woman. I've learned stuff since I was 24 years old. I couldn't tell you what I learned but I know I learned stuff.

And during the last 13 years since I saw ItalianSam, he's changed too. He's gotten thinner (and shorter because he had back surgery so he really is shorter- he told me so) because of his heart problems. He's diabetic. He's patient at the Mayo Clinic for his health issues. There's more salt in the hair than before.

Conversation was odd- there was no flow- it was awkward and stilted at times. I think partially it was because we were sitting in his hotel room talking because the weather rained out our trip to the beach and it was too wet to walk around the town where he was at. But we've emailed and talked for the last three years so it just seemed strange that it was so awkward. And I'll take this opportunity to share an example of conversations: he told me all about being in college when the draft was on TV and watching to see if his number came up- Vietnam War draft- I wasn't born yet when this happened... And he outlined all his health issues, including his heart disease and diabetes. And he told me I could pick music on the radio in his car and I found a pop station playing Nickelback, REM, Green Day, etc... and he wasn't familiar with these bands, so when I hit the scan button and Sinatra was on he was thrilled. Uh, yeah. I can sorta hear what you're thinking so I'm just not gonna say the obvious, for once. I'll let you do that in the comments section.

Oh, and the question on everyone's mind: is he married? He told me is married but that he and his wife had an "agreement." Oh brother.

So, we talked, sort of, and had some lunch at Panera Bread. Then I headed for home. Weird, eh? I'm not sure I would say it was a bad day but just a weird day, an interesting day- how's that for an ineffectual description?

Life lesson learned. And I was a well behaved, good girl too.

Still celibate (<----- hmmmmm, is that TMI?),

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Visual feast of what I want

Since I wrote a wickedly long post yesterday (and if you only skimmed it now's your chance to go read it!), I decided to cheat and just make today a visual of things I want:

Dress to Thrill bath rug (and the entire Dress to Thrill Bath collection)

the perfect margarita

A pair of pink Jimmy Choos

To go on a cruise

and of course, Mr. Depp!

How about being on a cruise wearing new Jimmy Choos, drinking margaritas and eating omelets while laying on the new bath rug with JD? Ah, bliss.... What all are some things YOU want? Do tell!

A girl can dream,

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mac, Green Day and me, or more aptly titled: "I *heart* Billie Joe!

*I didn't take the very last picture on this post. The rest, however, are mine.*

Last week Mac and I made an impromptu trip up to the Windy City of Chicago to see Green Day in concert, and it was astounding!

We almost didn't make it, though. As you know I was given free tickets but Fed Ex didn't come through. We waited and finally the company sent the tickets via e-ticket so we still made the show. Let me tell you, it was touch and go for awhile there- I went from greatest mom ever for scoring free tickets to the worst mom on Earth when there were no tickets to the Greatest Mom on Earth when we were back on again. Talk about roller coaster! Only in the life of being a mom to a teenager, I say!

The drive was good- Mac and I jammed to several Green Day CD's all the way up, getting ourselves psyched for the upcoming show. I had great directions to the United Center (thank you Mapquest!) and other than a freaking horrible traffic jam at the Damen Ave exit, all went well and smooth. I didn't even get in a wrong lane and blow through a toll on the EZ Pass by accident. And I didn't close my eyes and hyperventilate myself into oblivion when I crossed on a huge bridge into Chicago on the tollway- but that was close.

, my Chicago guru, had told me the United Center wasn't in the greatest part of the city and we should've plan on hanging around there. Well, the original plan was to park at the United Center and then head to the East side of the city so Mac could see Navy Pier and eat at the Hard Rock Cafe but we didn't have enough time after our late start. So Farrago, being the super hero gentleman he is, met us at the "House that Jordan Built". But he needed not to fear for our safety. The entire block of Madison Ave, running in front of the United Center, was lined with concert goers. People had been camped out all day long to get the best floor spot or in hopes to catch a glimpse of the band. There were "punk" rocker kids all over the place. And lots of teenagers with their parents. And while this sounds hilarious, Green Day had their first hits in the late 1980s, and I happened to be a teen then, and then their reclaimed their popularity and soared to Super stardom in 2005 when they released American Idiot. And then with this album 21st Century Breakdown- well you can see the cross generations here so it made since for there to be people Mac's age and mine all together. And it did make for an unusual blending of people to see a pop punk group.

Anyway, Farrago met us and we headed to the infamous Billy Goat for supper. This is the same Billy Goat that was featured on Saturday Night Live skit starring Dan Akroyd and Bill Murry. The Billy Goat was a popular place for the Second City actors to hang, as well as most newspaper men in the entire city, most notably the departed columnist Mike Royko- who was an institution in and of himself.

The Billy Goat is known for "no fries- cheeps, no Pepsi- Coke" and "Cheezeborgor, Cheezeborgor, Cheezeborgor". The original owner, a Greek Immigrant, named the place after a goat allegedly fell off the back of a truck and stumbled into his diner. Customers belly up to the counter and order food quickly or the short order cook will order for them. It's fun and a bit quirky. The food is hot, served quickly and is basic but good. Mac liked the buns on his burger... go figure.

After dinner it was back to the United Center to stand in line to enter at Gate three. And special thanks again to Farrago for hanging out with us. We appreciate it!

Once Mac and I got in the Center, scored a freaking cool $40 t-shirt and found our seats, we soaked up the ambiance. There were 2 college students sitting in front of us who were finishing college as summer interns at a radio station in Chicago who had worked the Center all day long, doing give aways. We chatted with them and they told Mac it was cool that his sister would bring him to the concert- go me! He didn't even roll his eyes and just grinned. They were also super impressed with Mac's music knowledge. My child is the next Cameron Crowe, thank you very much!

Verizon Wireless Blackberry (I won't say one bad word considering my past relationship this is particular phone :ahem:...) was a corporate sponsor of the concert so there was a running marquee allowing folks to text message VZW and the messages would post on the marque inside the arena for everyone to read until the concert started. This was fun because there were the obvious "Scream if you love Green Day" which caused the entire crowd to ... well, scream. There were "I love you, moms" and "Will you marry me?"s and greetings among friends. I sent one that said "Event Chaser rocks" and we took a picture which was just a ginormous blur. I also sent one that said "Have fun Mac- you rock! Love mom" and he thought that was hilarious. The ones that made me laugh were the various forms of fans proclaiming their love to Green Day's lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong. "I love you Billie", "Shelly is Billie's biggest fan" , "Jane wants to Marry Billie Joe", "Alice Loves Billie Joe" and the like . There were tons and tons of these, which made me smile and chuckle to myself. This guy is MY age (seriously, Billie Joe Armstrong is 37 years old, as am I) and married (as I am NOT) but these teeny-bopper girls were proclaiming their love publicly to their rocker idol. How cute and sweet, I thought.

Mac and I suffered through the opening act- they sucked so much I don't even want to give them print space here- and then Green Day took the stage. They rocked the United Center for 3+ hours with a show that blew me away. (Go read my review here at EventChaser for the details!)

This was one of the greatest concerts I've ever been to in my life (They were even better than they were when I saw them with their American Idiot tour 3 years ago). I stood the entire time and rocked with the rest of the crowd. Mac didn't even care that I didn't act my age since he didn't know another soul in the place- and that all the other parents acted like the kids. I had my "rock arm" pounding the air and sang with every song. Come'on, it was a total concert experience!

Billie Joe had that audience eating out of the palm of his hand. We sang when he told us to do so. We were quiet when he told us to be. We screamed and cheered and jumped up and down like he did. We chanted his name and swooned when he crooned a ballad. When the screen behind the band had a close up of his face, the girls in the audience went insane. He was audacious, profane, profound at times, but mostly just pure entertainment. Diminutive in stature, he still stood as a giant before the audience of 23,000 and partied like a teenager, rocked us out- wearing his typical all black, signature tie, black eye liner coating his lovely lashes, arms crawling with tats, black Chuck Ts adorned his feet, and his wild unkempt heavily dyed black hair in all directions, with a voice that spilled over the crowd, pulling us all in, weaving around us into a cocoon with him and... well, all I could think was "Maggie LOVES Billie Joe. MARRY ME!"

Still rockin' out,

Monday, July 20, 2009

Green Day Review up at EventChaser!

My very first professional writing gig has merited a posted, public review!!!!!! I'm so excited!!!!!!! So check out my review of the Green Day concert at the EventChaser website. My tickets came from RazorGator, who helped make this moment for Mac and me possible! Thank you EventChaser! Thank you RazorGator!

I'm going to read "me" (you should too- go ahead, I'll wait right here) again, and then start preparing my Oscar speech for when I win the best screenplay award...!

Published at last,

Where did the time go?

Do you ever go through a week and feel disoriented? Last week was one of those weeks for me. I have absolutely no idea where my time went. Mac hung out here with me most of the week, we made the roadie to Chicago so I know that killed two of my days, I worked a bunch of hours between the ice cream parlor and the insurance office but in between that stuff, I have no idea where my time went, other than job hunting, hunting, hunting which is depressing and TIME CONSUMING! I cooked, cleaned and did laundry. I am certainly no busier now than I was when I was teaching full time, grading, directing school plays and running the SAT workshops. Even when I was doing all that I still found time to work a part time job, read books, watched a movie here and there and read blogs every day. This last week, I couldn't find time to do anything but the aforementioned stuff.

I didn't have time to watch any movies or TV, I barely read a book this last week and I've hardly had any time to read blogs- I didn't even nap my week away! I even have an inbox full of email to answer. I LOVE reading blogs and I want to stay caught up with my 'peeps but this last week the time just got away from me. So to all, I haven't been ignoring you, I've just been... out of sorts I guess.

I'm hoping this week gives me a little more equilibrium. Today is shot- I work ice cream all day but the rest of my week should smooth out. I should have time to read some of the wonderful new books I checked out from the local library (it's like Christmas! I gave the library a list of recommendations of 10 titles, and five came in so I was the first to get them!!!) I think I can also get caught up on all my blog reading!!!! It seems like everyone posted in the last 2 days!

I feel like I should set up a schedule of my free time, around my work hours. I used to be the Queen of Organization, with sticky notes and planners and blocks of time allocated for everything, but of late, time seems to fly by. Seriously, I think it's only 3 in the afternoon but I look at the clock and it's 7 pm! I think I keep hoping some job is going to open up or I want to remain flexible for interviews, but alas- that is just a sucky option cuz it just. doesn't. happen.

Though if I think schedule-wise, my Tuesday is free other than a few hours in the evening for insurance. Wednesday is ruled out since that's a day with ItalianSam. Thursday is free other than 2 evening hours with insurance. Friday I work no where but Hecate is coming to MY HOUSE (whoot whoot exciting!) and we're going to make quilted hipster purses and chill out. So.... there's time in there to read blogs, answer email, do laundry, see Mac, read books, and send out more of the freakin' sucky applications/resumes, right?

So, this week I vow to get my act together, read blogs and books daily, and straighten my act out! It's bound to all be better soon, right? I committed to an audience that I would accomplish stuff, so now I must- you guys can keep me honest, okay? Sometimes I need a Jiminy Cricket!

Outta my head,

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Stop! In the name of....

So... I got a ticket the other day. I got a ticket for a seat belt violation. I was wearing my seat belt but I didn't make sure my passengers were. And the state was working the 'click it or ticket' campaign that day.

And I am the worst mother in the world because I didn't make sure Mac was properly wearing his seat belt! OMG- I suck. And the deputy who pulled me over actually wrote on the ticket: "Her son was not wearing belt." OH. My. Goddess. I suck as a human being.

We had just left Burger King and Mac, who is big enough to beat a bear with a switch, was riding shot gun. We passed a sheriff car and he popped a u-turn behind me and the lights came on and over we went. I was running through my mind what I could've done. I had just left from a stop light so I knew I didn't even have a chance to speed. I ran through all the other violations in my head that it could be.

Officer is at the window, which I have rolled down. He leans in and introduces himself and asks Mac: "Now tell me the truth young man, honestly, were you wearing your seat belt at that light?" I look at Mac who was wearing his seat belt at that moment and Mac says:
No sir, I had the lap bet on the the shoulder strap behind me so I could eat."

I about died. I had no idea. And I know that makes me a rotten parent and a bad driver and I know I should've noticed it! I felt like I was willing to let my son be splattered across the highway but that wasn't it. We were talking and he was eating and I was watching traffic and driving and the radio was on and I just. plain. didn't. notice.

The Officer was very,very nice and he didn't make me feel like I should be hauled off for potential child abuse or anything. He explained to me that since Mac didn't have a driver's license (yet!) it would go on my record, but it was not a "points" offense so it wouldn't affect my driving record or my insurance (thank the goddess I didn't have to go to work and explain to my boss that my insurance would be going up and why! Sheesh!). Even though Mac was the passenger in the front seat, if he had been a licensed driver, and if if I had been driving, the ticket would've been in his name.

So the Officer takes all my information and goes back to his car and I turn to foist the hairy eyeball on Mac and open my mouth when he said in a one breath rush: "Oh gawd, mom I'm so sorry and my next $25 in lawn mowing goes to you and I'm really sorry I'll pay so please please please don't be mad at me I'm sorry!"

Since he was apologetic and he volunteered to pay the ticket before I could say anything, I didn't yell or lose my cool. I mean, really, at that point, what purpose would it serve? And when Officer Nice Guy returned, Mac told him he was sorry and he would pay it since it wasn't his mom's fault. The guy told Mac he was proud of him and it was good that he was taking responsibility.

I have to say this is the nicest traffic stop I've experienced. This Officer was super nice and very friendly. He was kind and informative. He wasn't a bully and didn't seem to act like he had to throw his power around. He was just a guy doing his job who was also human. He seemed like he felt sorry for me.

But I still got a ticket. Drat! Mac is mowing the lawn on Tuesday and the ticket will be $5 closer to being paid!

I fought the law, and the law won,

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Maggie O'Sullivan, traveling

Remember when I went to Ireland earlier this year and I had a blog where I posted my pictures? I called it "Across the Pond"? Well, the vision for that blog sort of went by the way side with the relationship and I killed the blog as the grand finale to the dead relationship with AIISam.

Well, I've resurrected it with a new name, stealing a concept from Capote and my Holly Golightly. I now have a blog with nothing but pictures of my travels of 2009. It's called "Maggie O'Sullivan, traveling".

If you feel like looking at it, I'd be much obliged!

I wouldn't forget to post meme

1. What thing is nearest to you?
My cell phone and three remote controls to Daddy-O's tv as well as the book I'm currently slogging through- and a coaster are all on the end table at my elbow. OMG- and Daddy-O's BIBLE! (Shit, I'm prolly gonna burst into flames being that close to the holy book!)

2. What is your ringtone?
When Mac calls it plays The Who's "My Generation." My default ringtone is "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz. When my alarm goes off in the morning it plays "1234" by the Plain White Ts. When any of my girlfriends call it plays "Single Ladies" by Beyonce. (none of them are single but I like that song)

3. The last email in your inbox is from?
Curley sent me a picture.

4. Who is your best friend?


5. What is the brand of your TV?

6. Which schools did you attend?
One elementary school for grades K-6; a junior high for grades 7 and 8; and then high school from 9-12

7. Do you own an MP4?
I don't even know what that is!

8. What song are you listening to now?
“Jesus of suburbia" by Green Day

9. Did you kiss anybody in the past 2 days?

10. Have you ever kissed someone you met in the blogosphere?

11. What would you want to be called if you weren’t your current name?
“Queen of the World Who knows all and looks great in Shoes"

12. Would you be happy if you had everything?
Give me everything and let's test the theory of how happy I would or wouldn't be

13. Are you thinking of someone special?
Not at the moment

14. Tell us of your most desperate dream for the future.
full time job with great bennies and then move into my own place--- again

15. When did you last laugh till you cried?
I can't remember

16. If you had a crush, would you tell him/her now?

17. If you could be anywhere in the world now, where would you want to be?

18. When was your heart last broken?

19. Whose birthday(s) is/are coming up?
The Divine Ms. K will be one in Sept. and then MY birthday is shortly after that

20. How many email accounts do you have?

Betcha all thought I wasn't gonna blog today, didn't ya?!? Thanks Tense Teacher for this meme!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Hobbies aplenty, but...

I have lots of things I enjoy doing that I consider hobbies but I rarely indulge in all of them. Sometimes it's because of energy level or money or just space. Do any of you have lots of hobbies but only do just a few of them, wishing and wondering why you never do all the stuff you like? Am I the only idiot who has no idea how to spend her free time? Am the only idiot who feels guilty when I don't indulge in ALL my hobbies? Oh, probably!

What weenie excuses I realize, but it is so much easier to curl up in a chair and read a book- reading is certainly a hobby of mine since I average about 10 books a month and I love trying to read new things, often straying from my favorite genre of contemporary female sleuths. I think I read so much, so often because for the last many, many years I've been teaching and much of my spare time involved reading stuff for classes that I was either taking or teaching. So though I HATE being "unemployed" (I don't have a full time professional job so I consider MYSELF unemployed, not anyone else, mind you. Just my own personal status.) I do like having all the time to read. I'm trying out new things, which you can see from my book blog.

I consider blog writing and reading a hobby. I love to write and since I'll probably never have a book published (though here lately I've had a regular reader from Random House hitting my blog- no book deal offered yet!) this is a fun way to get my writing out of my system and indulge my own self with an audience- so thank you to all of you who read and feed my dream of being an author. And I love reading blogs- people are so interesting and I love to see what's up with these "online friends" I've made.

I also love to quilt but that's one of those things that take money and space. I do have lots of material and I could make several quilts without having to spend much actually, so I guess the "bucks" is just a bad excuse. I really like quilting, I really do but seriously, I haven't done it since I moved back here simply because it's something to lug out, spread out and then have to clean it all up. I just don't have a place where I can hook up the sewing machine and leave the fabric spread out all the time. It's just a pain in the ass to haul it out and put it back.

I feel the same way with my scrapbooking stuff. I have tons of that and love to do it, but again, it's a matter of spreading it all out. I even have all the paper, stickers, photos, but no place to just DO it.

I've decided that I consider watching movies a hobby and keep track of what I watch on my movie blog. That can count, right? I've always loved going to the movie theater and I'll spare ya'll and not wax poetic about that again, but I've been watching lots of movies on DVD. I also consider watching the seasons of some favorite TV shows as watching "movies" and a hobby. I don't really watch much TV to just sit and watch, but I have a few shows I enjoy so I like making sure I've watched them all so I rent them on DVD. That might not be so much a hobby as catering to my OCD...

Cooking is another hobby but that's a money issue. I get a few cooking mags and I love reading recipes and marking what I want to cook but that costs money and while Daddy-O is generous with groceries I hate to say "hey let's buy 2 pounds of crab so I can make Italian Bread Crab cakes" or whatever has struck my fancy. I've always loved to cook and I can follow a recipe. The thing that sucks is that Mac is a picky eater so I would rarely get experimental with cooking for him. And it's hard to cook elaborately for 1; ya end up eating the "whatever" for a week.

I do take pictures and enjoy being a VERY amateur photographer but it's nothing I do with consistency. I have an idea for another blog where I would like to photograph interesting people and then briefly highlight something unique about them, their stories. But I'm not sure of that. Part of me wants to do it anonymously but there could be a legal issue with featuring people without their permission. But as for just taking photos, I do so enjoy it.

Should I even go into gardening? Years ago I had a veggie garden and lots of flower beds. Then I became rather nomadic and gave up on gardens and house plants. But I do love veggie gardens and flower gardens. I'm armed with knowledge on how to plant vegetables, herbs and to make an English flower garden if I had the money and space to do such a thing.

Oh hell, maybe I'm just full of excuses as to why I don't do anything other than read, blog and play on the Internet, take pictures, or plop my ass in front of the movies. I do love doing all these things, whether I do them often or not. And since I do just work 2 (sometimes 3) part time jobs you would think I could find TIME to do things. I'm such a bum, a loser, a worthless layabout sometimes! Wouldn't it be marvelous to get paid for having a hobby? I'd be rather flush! So, I supposed I should sign off here and go do... something!

So much fun to do but...,

Thursday, July 16, 2009

What the CLUCK?

Alternate post title: I should stay the hell away from cooking chicken...

I read Finger Lickin' Fifteen, a Janet Evanovich book and I was hungry for chicken. Go figure. it's just the way I work, okay? It was either fix chicken or get arrested for sexually assaulting a guy who could be Ranger. The chicken was a safer bet, so I thought.

I had a whole chicken in the freezer and I thought I would bake it with a rub on it, and then do some country fried taters with onions and peppers and a pan of corn bread in the cast iron skillet and call it dinner. Mac thought it sounded good so he was on board with it.

Well, the first problem was that I decided this but didn't have enough time for the chickie to thaw. It was about half frozen when it went into the oven. My second problem is I've never cooked with a rub before (other than on the grill, anyway) so I didn't realize it would take longer to bake so the rub didn't burn while the bird was still raw. Of course, I discovered that when I read it online about 10 minutes after the chicken went in the oven. The final problem is that this bird must've been on frickin' steroids because this was a ginormous chicken. Bottom line: the chicken was not going to be done baking the same time as the rest of the food. So I quickly scrambled some eggs and fried up some sausage and we had that with the corn bread and taters.

Though we were all bummed about the chicken, I figured I would just pull it off the carcass and make either a casserole or a pot of homemade chicken and noodle (or dumpling) soup the next day. The chicken actually was taken out of the oven about an hour after we were done with dinner.

Live and learn...

But of course, it couldn't just end there. The chicken was beautiful and fine. It was golden and crispy. The juices bubbled. It smelled like heaven. The aroma was mouth watering even though we were all full from the impromptu breakfast-as-supper- I hastily tossed together at the last minute. We even pulled off little bits of the chicken and the skin- it was tender and golden. This was the perfectly baked chicken- with not one bag of guts or flame or exploding anything in sight.

Daddy-O and I decided we would leave it on the counter to cool to the touch before pulling it off the bone. We weren't going to leave it out long enough that anyone would get sick, but this was piping hot and before ripping all that scrumptious meat from the carcase it had to cool off.

In about 30 minutes I went to the kitchen to start on the bird and snatch a few yummy bites while "plucking" only to find to my utter horror that the chicken was no longer fit for human consumption because ...*dramatic pause*... it was covered in about 50 enormous black ants. Oh. My. G-R-O-double S-- GROSS!

Now Daddy-O and I are clean people. We are rather fastidious when it comes to a clean kitchen. Some folks might even akin such cleanliness to an OCD that should be medically treated since we clean everything with bleach water and 409 ALL THE TIME. There isn't a crumb or a smear of jam or a bit of food to be found. We didn't have ants 'cause we're nasty. We have ants because it's the MidfreakingWest in the middle of July in high humidity with temperatures hovering near 100 in a house that's over 100 years old and the ants just need to go somewhere. And all over my dang chicken is the somewhere they went, those little bastards.

I was mortified and mad. I was disgusted and pissed. I was grossed out and just irritated. I felt bad that Daddy-O, who bought groceries, had wasted money on food we couldn't eat AND that all the patience and hard work to make the perfect chicken was stamped out by the "Invasion of the Picnic Creatures."

And I swear if I had waited 10 more minutes to walk into that kitchen, the chicken would've marched passed us in the living room! And the final exceptionally gross thing is that the ants were stuck in either the grease at the bottom of the pan or in the rub goo on top of the bird. Oh, it was just awful! AWFUL AWFUL AWFUL!

So the bird went into the trash, the pan was immediately set to soak in hot soapy water, Taro the Ant killer was set out all over the place, and the bleach water and 409 were hauled out to scrub yet again.

I hate ants. This is my second run in with ants on my food in my lifetime but at least this time I didn't eat them. That's a post for another day.

I don't think I'll ever eat chicken again. Or at least not for a very looooong time.

cluck it,

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Seeing ItalianSam... is it a good idea?

The answer the the title's rhetorical questions is, "Oh, YES!"

I have a platonic friend- ItalianSam. Well, we're sort of platonic. Well, we are now, but we didn't used to be. A long time ago. Back then he was available, so I thought and was led to believe, and I was available. We were both younger (I was 26 and he was 46- yes a 20 year age difference) and we were adventurous. He was handsome, charming, very Italian, sexy, with a voice like melted chocolate, and intense eyes that could bore a hole through me. He was quite distinguished, with an edge, full of himself, and had a bit of swagger... he was just oozing machismo and moxie and ... well... he was hot. And he had this way of looking at me like I was the only person to exist on the Earth other than him. We met about 11 years ago and sort of 'saw' each other until he decided to reconcile and not divorce his wife. Uh, yeah. Did you just hear the brakes slam to a screeching halt?

After that we didn't 'see' each other unless it was to say a polite hello at a conference. Then I left that company and went on my merry little way in life. So fast forward to about 3 years ago and ItalianSam and I reconnected via the Internet and have been chatting via phone and shooting emails back and forth to each other all this time. Oh, we're flirty and fun but nothing pervy or porno like. We also occasionally remember our time together in the past in good ways... :ahem: He lives near Chicago and now that I'm back in the Midwest vicinity, we keep saying we should get together for lunch or something. There's never been a heavy emphasis of anything indiscreet on the 'or something'- just like lunch, dinner, coffee- that sort of 'or something'.

So now we have plans to meet next week, a week from today as a matter of fact. He has a business trip about an hour away from me so I'm going to meet him for lunch. Well, that was the original plan, but now...

Well, now we're going to meet and then if the weather is nice we're going to Michigan to a beach side resort town. For the afternoon. Together. To walk around the town and sight-see and go to the beach. And then come back to town and have supper. Together. Maybe see what sort of nightlife there is.

This should prove to be interesting...

Ain't misbehavin',

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Mac, the zoo, and me

Finally, Mac and I went to the zoo! And we had so much fun!

I first want to say that parents should take my advice and wait and bring their kids to the zoo when they're teenagers. Yeah, you miss out on the cute little petting zoo picture, but taking my teen son was awesome- there was no pram to push up hill and over dale, there was no screaming or whining or temper tantrums, there was no explaining or reminding about taking turns, there was no reading every damn sign aloud. We walked around together, he could read stuff himself, he was tall enough to see over all the little kids so we could still get close to the animals and not have to wait. If we wanted to sit, we did. If we didn't want to go somewhere, we didn't. Mac didn't ask for a bunch of over priced zoo memorabilia crap on display. He could find the restroom himself and then come back to collect me from the bench where I was waiting, and he helped take pictures of zoo fun. Taking a teenager to the zoo is far more impressive than taking a screaming, hot, tired, whiny, strapped into a stroller toddler!

We did have a good time. Mac read the map and directed us around. The day was nice- the weather finally cooperated- and we ambled about, even though it was warm enough to have most the animals seeking shade and napping- taking our time doing what we wanted.

Mac's favorite was the Red Panda, (see left) which was the only bear in the entire zoo. He was awake and running around and then would sit up and look at us all. I swear it looks like it's smiling!

I went to the petting zoo and pet a baby goat. Mac would not even get near the area but he took pictures of me. He was too old and too "cool" to go in the petting zoo- maybe because he saw a girl from his high school in there with her little nephew? Anyway, I wasn't too cool so I pet the goats and was going to feed them and I was kneeling down when another one sneaked up behind me and tried to eat my PURSE! I jumped about 10 feet in the air when it nuzzled me and of course Mac got that all on film... He said he wished he would've thought to set the "video" option. I was glad he didn't! Sheesh! And I was then done with Old MacDonald's pettin' zoo farm babies!

Now, I have to say that Mac didn't beg for anything except for... Dippin' Dots ice cream. I don't know what it is about that kid but he LOVES that Dippin' Dots stuff. It's ice cream but in little tiny pebble like form- some people call it astronaut ice cream. He did ask about 4 times for that snack, so we did get a bowl and then sit for a rest on a shady bench and watched the people, some of whom should be caged rather than the animals, I would like to point out.

Mac did make me laugh several times but one got to me. We were walking along and off the beaten path about 30 feet was a cage with some birds. Anyone who wanted to see them really had to go out of their way to cross over to that area and slog through some mud and over a bridge. I pointed to the birds and asked if Mac wanted to see them and he said no. Then he paused, heaved a big ol' sigh and said yes and headed that way. I asked him why the change of mind and he said, "because the birds are probably having self esteem issues since no one is walking over to look at them." Uh-huh. O-kay! I really thought it was rather sweet! (Mac with the birds who might need therapy at right)

We were both bummed that there were no bears (other than the adorable red pandas) and there were no elephants. Maybe another time? I thought years ago there were polar bears, and elephants and even pachyderm that kids could ride, but maybe I'm confusing it with another zoo I've visited.

My favorite were the giraffes. I actually fed the baby giraffe (pictured at left) and man, does that thing have a looooooooooong tongue- ewee! It stuck that tongue out and grabbed the lettuce leaf out of my fingers from about 2 feet away. But the giraffes are so very sweet looking and silly looking. Of course we can't pet them, but they are so adorable! And Mac didn't want to feed the giraffes.

We even went in the reptile house, which took guts for both of us. Me, for the obvious reason because I hate snakes. Mac hates reptile houses because, and I am the worst mother in the world. When Mac was about 6 or 7 we went to a zoo with a huge reptile house and while Mac was looking at a snake and came up behind him and said "boo". I have no idea why in the world I thought it would be fun. I remember we had been "boo"ing each other that whole trip so I don't think I really thought it all the way through. Well, saying a quiet "boo" in the reptile house scared him to death and he started crying and we rushed him out of there. he cried for awhile and wouldn't speak to me or let me hug him with an "I'm sorry." I felt terrible and cried myself. So fast forward 16 years later and we both took a deep breath and walked through the reptile house and survived. I didn't say a word and we walked side by side. I still don't think Mac's forgiven me for the past indiscretion, though. Baby steps...

We also rode a log ride through the Australian Outback part of the zoo and saw the animals from there so we cut down on some walking time. We also rode a ski lift type of thing around the African portion of the zoo and I got some aerial shots of the zebras, which was neat! (see right)

We also laughed that it seemed the animals were doing 3 things: either sleeping or "performing" for the folks watching, or picking bugs off each other or themselves. Every animal that was awake was either grooming or looking at the people and being wacky. It was a little weird.

We saw a monkey that Mac immediately dubbed as Elvis. He is sure Elvis is reincarnated as a monkey. And This guy sorta does look like a monkey version of Elvis with the Pompadour and the long white tail that when spread out looked like a cape with fringe reminiscent of Elvis circa 1977.

Mac was bummed that with all the monkeys we did see, none of them were throwing poo at each other. Don't ask... I didn't.

So all in all, it was a great day. I want to go back sometime in the early fall when the animals might be more awake during the cool weather. But this was good. No complaints here! (And if you want to see some of the zoo pictures we took, click here!)

going crackers for zoo animals,

Monday, July 13, 2009

Weather I have bad luck or not...

I must have pissed off the weather gods at some point. I'm not kidding.

Every time I've made plans to do something this summer that involves being outdoors, the weather has threatened rain or heat and humidity so high, it would be miserable for a heat hater like me to be outdoors.

I try to not complain about the weather. This last winter was really hard on me, with the -40 degrees before wind chills that I lived with a few weeks before I left the Wild West and then having so many below zero days here in Civilization when I got home with the sort of cold that settles in your bones and makes it hard to warm up. Then the heat has been in the mid to upper 90s with very high humidity- the type of hot where it's hard to get a breath on the first try or it's so humid that you just can't get dry after a shower. But even with these extremes I'm trying to not complain because they are the ends of the spectrum and can't last forever, right?

But so far this summer, I've been stuck. I've planned the zoo trip on three separate occasions and though it didn't rain all three times, it "threatened" to- looking cloudy and was dark and overcast. And one time is was so hot, with full sun baring down and very humid that there was no way the animals would be out at all since people shouldn't even be. I finally did make it to the zoo, but it took several attempts at scheduling.

Mac and I are supposed to go to Chicago today and Tuesday and he really wants to see the museum of Science and Industry and go to Navy Pier. It's supposed to rain on Tuesday so we're going to shoot for Navy Pier before the concert today and do the museum on Tuesday and be out of the rain- I just hope the weather pattern doesn't change and drench us on both days!

I was supposed to go see ItalianSam (more about him in a post this coming Wednesday) on Wednesday and thankfully those plans fell through because we were going to a beach resort town on Lake Michigan for the day but guess what? It's supposed to rain. We re-scheduled for later in the month and I don't even want to think about the weather...

And then Saturday afternoon- my only time off this weekend- I was supposed to go to Northern Civilization to an art fair in a park but it stormed like mad here in my home town with a high chance of storms at the art show. Well- damn!

I wonder if I accidentally did a rain dance as I boogie around the living room? What did I do to incite a riot with the weather gods every time I want to be outside? I swear I didn't mean to piss off Mother Nature! Hell, I don't even like being outdoors all the much anyway, so I didn't think it was too much to ask to try and creep through a handful of days with some cool temperatures and clear skies, but what do I know?

rain drops keep fallin' on my head,

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Reason #459 to not scoop ice cream for a living in my home town

I haven't live in my hometown for close to 10 years now. Oh, I lived here, sort of, for a few months before I moved to the Wild West, but I worked way up north, even north of Northern Civilization and I lived part time in an almost empty frat house then, so I basically claim I haven't lived in my home town for nearly 10 years.

And now I'm back. Working in a very public place where it seems everyone in town visits. great for the business, crappy for me.

Almost everyone is shocked to see me but most human beings recover quickly enough to cough out a polite, "Well, I haven't seen you forEVER! How ARE you?"

But there was a guy I went to High School with who came in with is family the other day. He was an asshole in HS and apparently he never seemed to outgrow that affliction.

He came to the ice cream parlor walk up window and looked me dead square in the eye and said, "What the hell are you doing in town and working here?"

My response, as I looked him dead square back in the eye, "It's part of my court ordered rehab program." And I slammed the window shut and walked away.

I'm happy to report, in his "old" age, he now sports a very receding hairline. Asshole.

I'm not drunk, I'm not drinkin',

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I need help with the EnV2! Please!

Does anyone know how I can save a picture that's on my laptop to my EnV2? I tried to send it to my web email as an attachment but I can't open it on the phone. I tried to save it on my Picasa account and open it but I can't save from the web on this phone. I can't send a text to my phone from my hotmail (someone might know how to do this and can walk me through???)

Any other scathingly brilliant ideas?

Retail Therapy Day 5- Jave Hound I am

For long time readers of "Shoes/ Purses" you had to know this was coming. I was only going to write about stores in which I love to shop for non-food items but I just couldn't resist. Starbucks. I love Starbucks.

I love java, actually. Most of the time, I'm not a total coffee snob and I will drink just about damn near any sort of coffee imaginable- even Folgers when necessary. But if a Starbucks is nearby, then I am there. I LOVE my Peppermint Mocha, size venti. I love the taste and flavor of their beverages, and I especially love their espresso blend.

I love Starbucks stores: I love all the coffee mugs and bagged coffees and other fun stuff. I love the pastry and I suggest you all go- right now, I'll wait until you come back- to the nearest Starbucks and get a cherry pastry. Oh. My. Goddess. These are soooooooo good! I like all their food- including the sandwiches. And the blueberry scones are worth a taste.

I'm also a fan of the black iced tea unsweetened. That's often my summer drink choice, or my Peppermint Mocha over ice.

There's a Starbucks about 20 minutes from me and I go there at all times so I never really see the same barista twice, but there's one I go to in Northern Civilization and a woman who works there seems to be there every time I go. she recognizes me and knows my "usual."

Great, now I need to make a Starbucks run!

Caffeine Queen,

Friday, July 10, 2009

Retail Therapy Day 4- Why I *heart* Hobby Lobby

I love to go to Hobby Lobby even if I never buy anything. I can spend hours in Hobby Lobby just walking around, wandering aimlessly through the aisles and soaking it all in.

For those of you who haven't had the pleasure of a Hobby Lobby experience, I pity you. But the general idea is that it's a large craft store, primarily. And I mean everything for just about every crafter: paints, bolts of fabric, patterns, beads, scrapbook stuff, wood burning, silk flowers, jewelry making stuff, skeins of yarn, colored cotton balls, doll house kits, doll house furniture, stamps, and... and... and... everything you can possibly imagine for doing crafts and hobbies. There's even a whole row of flip flops with patterns to make your own toe topper on them- and all the stuff- feathers, ribbons, beads, sparkles, bangles- you name it, Hobby Lobby has it.

Hobby Lobby also sells unique furniture pieces and things for the home like pictures, picture frames, tchotchke, pillows, vases, faux art and the like. They also sell holiday party items, bird bathes and garden statuary, greeting cards and have a section of the store that does framing. I'm not kidding when I say this place has everything!

I love to go if I need something because they always have it. I got all my quilting supplies there. I love to go when I don't need anything. It's fun to just browse because you never know what you'll find. I am not kidding, but I have literally spend hours just walking around Hobby Lobby.

This store makes me happy. So if you've never been, find one and go get lost. Even if you have no hobbies, it's worth a looky-loo!

Crafters delight,

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Retail Therapy Day 3- Clothes that fit

When I lived in the Wild West, the nearest store that sold plus size clothes was about 3.5 hours away AND there was no store- there were departments in other stores, but no specialty clothing store. So for three years I shopped at Wal-Mart. And while there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with Wal-Mart clothes, it was different than what I was used to wearing and I shopped there for 3 years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now I do need a plus size but just barely. I have a small waist and wide hips and junk in the trunk. I've got boobage as well, so plus sized clothes just fit my boldly proportioned body better than others.

So when I moved back to Civilization, I was excited to have a chance to buy clothes would actually fit and I've spent hours trolling my favorite Lane Bryant store in Northern Civilization. There are 2 in that city but my favorite one is located in an outdoor mall. It's such a favorite that the sales clerks know me by name and love it when I come in. I've dragged Daddy-O on enough of these shopping trip that they also know him by sight.

First, I love Lane Bryant's clothes. Just because clothes can be made in a plus size doesn't mean they should be. And Lane Bryant realizes this, so they sell stylish clothes in great colors and lovely prints taking a woman's size into consideration. So I know when I go in there, i can find stuff to wear as a professional, to be casual, to work out, great jeans, perfect bras and jammies.

And speaking of bras, they just had their semi annual bra sale and I am now the proud owner of 7 new bras all with matching underwear, thank you very much. I love matching bras and pantie sets and though no one but me sees them (that's a post for another day, the loneliness of underwear viewing) I still like them to match and it makes me feel nice.

Lane Bryant also sells a name brand of clothing called Right Fit. These are pants (could have other articles but I have no idea) that are customed fit by a color coded system to fit the shape of every woman. These are the first pants in jeans and trousers that I've had in about 10 years that really, really fit just perfect.

I love the women who work at my favorite store. They are funny, sweet and kind. I walk in the door and they show me new stuff that's come in and couldn't wait to show me. They tell me when something I really, really want is going to be on sale, and have been known to tuck something away for me. My favorite clerks aren't afraid to tell me if an outfit looks good or is unflattering.

I love shopping at Lane Bryant and they sell clothes that fit with a friendly staff. OMG- I just love me a little retail therapy and I hear a pink sweater calling my name!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I'm an official Event Chaser!!!!!! (consider it a commerical interruption of Retail Therapy Week!)

I'm going to see Green Day in CONCERT next week because I'm an EVENT CHASER!! I'm soooo excited! Go me! Go me! Thanks to Event Chaser and RazorGator for this chance to be a professional writer and for the free tickets!

Green Day's new album 21st Century Breakdown is amazing so this concert should be fantastic! I had the pleasure of seeing them on their American Idiot tour a few years back and if this one is half as great- then... WOW!

Watch for my review!

What a rockin' summer!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Retail Therapy Day 2- So many books, so little time

As you all know I could wax poetic about books for hours on end so I'll try to reign in my bibliophine-ness and focus on the task at hand: book stores. Oh, and yes I know I have an ongoing love affair with book stores and you can see them if you click here!

But today I want to focus on 2 specific bookstores that hold the keys to my literary heart: Half Price Books and Barnes and Noble.

Half Price Books
HPB is a used bookstore but like none I've ever been in. For those of you who frequent such haunts, you'll probably agree that the TYPICAL used book store is dirty, dusty, grimy and filled with old books. New books are a rare find. They are usually chaotically organized, smell like mustiness and old books. Not so with Half Price Books. This is a classy used bookstore, which is as fun as the usual kind- which, don't get me wrong, I also adore!

But walking into a Half Price Book store is just like going to any other bookstore- it's clean, well lit, very well organized, lots of helpful and knowledgeable staff members available, but all the books are used. And in great condition. And lots of new books by popular authors.

They sell used books at half their cover prices, or even less. Not only do they have a huge selection of hardback, paperback and soft cover books about EVERYTHING, they also have a nice section of audio books, DVDs, board games, computer games, VHS tapes, CDs, and record albums- you know, vinyl? Add a few comfy chairs and tables and some free coffee- yes FREE coffee, and you have the wonderful shopping experience known as Half Price Books.

But wait, that's not all! For those of you who might want some cash or need to clean those book cases, they buy your books for cash. That's right, cash. NOT store credit, but actual green money bucks. It's awesome. I survived for a month and paid my cell phone bill on money I made from selling books there.

There's also a section of brand new stuff- it's books marks and stationary and journal type books. These are overstock from other places and are carried at Half Price Books, which I think is fun since I do love stationary, bookmarks and journals. I can't help it- I'm an addict.

It's rare that I've gone to HPB and not found what I wanted. But being a book lover, I usually have a long list of things I'm looking for so I can always find something. And something I can afford- I just got a Christopher Moore book I've been wanting to read.

Barnes and Noble
This is a great bookstore, with comfy chairs, books everywhere, well organized, clean, and a cafe that sells Cheesecake Factory goodies and Starbucks Coffee. I mean, how good can it get?

There's something about Barnes and Noble that I just enjoy. I like how most of the time it's quiet, like a library, except when I'm there, of course. I like all the fun gift ideas with everything from bookends to journals to cards to desk sets... a little bit of everything fun.

They have a great bargain section usually filled with not only novels, but wonderful coffee table books of all kinds.

Of course they have for sale the same things as Half Price books, just everything at B and N is new, nothing used. And I think the feature of being able to scan a CD, put some headphones on and being able to listen to some tracks is very, very cool.

One time I met my cousin and her friend at a B and N and we got stacks and stacks of books- the coffee table kind or cookbooks- not anything that took great amounts of attention to read, but books we always wanted to just look at. Then we got coffee and snacks and sat for hours pouring over the books and buying a few. It was wonderful.

So I can get my Venti Peppermint Mocha and wander aimlessly through the stacks and then plop down and just enjoy myself.

I love books and bookstores. And I can't wait to visit again! I need to pull out my list and get ready for a visit!

Always reading,

Monday, July 6, 2009

Retail Therapy Day 1- Feelin' love for the Dollar Tree

I was actually working on a post where I was going to proclaim my love for Dollar Tree. It's been sitting in my drafts folder for a bit when I was surfing my blog favs and over at Little Pink Magnolia she also professed her love of this saving store! I thought maybe I should declare July "Dollar Tree" month in honor of such a great store!

I love to go there for... well, for everything. I've found ultra low cut socks there, which are perfect for the type of Sketcher tennis shoes I wear. And these socks are just darling, with fun and cute pictures on them, like slices of pizza or hearts or flowers or even a pair with pink flamingos. I also love to buy balloons and gift bags at the dollar tree- beautiful gift bags in ANY size, including huge, which are usually about 5 bucks at Wally World or 9 bucks at the Hallmark shop are ONLY 1 DOLLAR!

This is the perfect place to indulge my sweet tooth because they sell the movie theater sized boxes of candy there- I can get my fill of Sugar Babies, Junior Mints, Sweet Tarts for Mac, and a plethora of other goodies.

This is the best place to get cleaning products and if you keep your eyes open you can actually find name brand cleaning supplies. And that's the spendy stuff when at any other store so I try and get my 409, Dawn Dish Soap, toilet cleaner and Comet (or Spic n Span) at the Dollar Tree.

As a teacher, I go nuts there right before schools tarts. I stock up on pencils, paper and pens for my classroom. I decided it's not a battle worth fighting and if a student would show up sans notebook or writing implement, I would furnish it. Hey, I can get 24 pencils for a dollar- I'd rather take those few minutes I would spend reprimanding a child for being unprepared, and use them to say... TEACH stuff! And I get stickers there to put on students papers all school year long. (Yes, I put stickers on HS kids' papers. I just do it. mac's fault. Post for another time!)

And I could go on and on and on about all the scrapbook stuff at Dollar Tree- stickers, paper, pens, stamps- everything for the scrapbooker and I am one of those so I like to pick up stuff for my hobby cheaply and this is a good place to do it.

Curley, Daddy-O, Mac and I like to go to the Dollar Tree to just walk around and look to see what stuff they have. the stock changes all the time. One time we might find a beautiful set of coffee mugs and another time we find statues of Golden Retriever puppies with wings and another may have us in an aisle looking at 300 foam cones in all sizes... now, I never usually buy any of those things (I am so not even going into it about the dogs with wings... I mean, really, seriously, do I even NEED to?) but it's still fun to look and be shocked at what sort of tchotchke will be out.

And it's a great place to get holiday themed decorations and paper goods and party stuff. You want pink paper plates, for example, this is the place to get them, and get them cheap!

When I lived in the Wild West, I was about 3.5 hours from the nearest Dollar Tree and I can't believe I actually survived without it. I go at least twice a week now! It's like... crack! Or coffee! Or sho shopping- okay, wait, not like shoes! And since I still don't have a full time job (Okay will someone in bloggerville hire me to do something PLEASE? I'll even move, at this point. As long as there's a Dollar Tree!) this is the perfect place for me to indulge my shopping needs and worship the shopping goddess. Wanna see a picture? Click here!

Can you believe I actually got a pair of orange flip-flops there, that have a large white Daisy on the toe, and white polka dots?!? Shoes at the Dollar Tree! FOR A DOLLAR?!? Ah, what bliss is this!

Will buy almost anything for a buck,

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Announcing Retail therapy week!- And 89 things you never wanted to know about me!

This week on "shoes/ purses" I'll be indulging all of you with some of my favorite retail stores and shopping experiences. There are reasons I've picked these places and I'll be happy to share why! Everyday this week I'll be writing about some sort of shop or eatery. First up will be why I have an ongoing love affair with The Dollar Tree- look for that post tomorrow!

Hope ya'll are having a great holiday weekend! Saturday brought us a much needed rain sans a storm- just plain old rain and today finds me scooping ice cream in the afternoon- not sure what tonight might bring- maybe a movie at the local film center that specializes in artsy films: the stuff that graces Sundance, Cannes, foreign films, documentaries... I might check out Away we Go there! Or I could knock off another season of House, MD... who knows?

And here are 89 things you never wanted to know about me...

1. My eye color: brown

2. Favorite car: Shelby Mustang, GT500, 1967
3. Right-handed or left-handed: Right
4. Shoes you wore today: flip flops, and Sketcher tennis shoes
5. My fears: dying alone, spiders, jail
6. Goal you would like to achieve this year: find a job
7. Thoughts first waking up: “I hate alarm clocks"
8. My bedtime: Usually between 10-11 pm when working full time; now, whenever I feel tired
9. Pepsi or Coke: Pepsi
10. Single or Group Dates: no dating at all; I've given it up
11. Chocolate or Vanilla: usually chocolate
12. Do you smoke: no not really; sometimes I will be a "social smoker" but I have to be VERY drunk to do that
13. Do you sing: Yes, but not well
14. Have you been in love: yup
15. Do you want to get married: no
16. Do you get along with your parents: yes
17. Do you play a musical instrument: I took piano lessons for 3 years, on and off, so I learned enough to read music and I can plunk out notes. I really would like to learn to play well, and to play the guitar.
18. In the past month have you smoked: NO (what's the obsession with smoking?)
19: Favorite candy bar: Cadbury Dairy Milk bars
20. In the past month have you gone on a date: NO
21. All-time favorite sports team: New England Patriots
22. Ideal girlfriend/boyfriend: John Cusak or Johnny Depp
23. My best friend(s): Curley with Alaska Sam, Hecate and Philsgirl as my closest friends.
24. Do you believe in love at first sight: not any more
25. Favorite clothing brand: Whatever fits nicely
26. Dream vacation: All over Great Britain
27. My favorite singer: Billy Joel and of late Michael Buble
28. My favorite movie: Here are just a few — When Harry Met Sally, The Holiday, Love Actually, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Gone with the Wind, Casablanca,
29. Have you ever fired a gun: yes
30. Do you like answering these questions: I must because I do lots of memes
31. Do you like yourself: not really
32. I am addicted to… Shoes, purses, Starbucks, libraries, Hobby Lobby
33. Favorite drink: margaritas or Pepsi
34. Do you have a crush on anyone: no
35. Are you ticklish: yes
36. Favorite ice cream flavor: this week it's a three way tie with Amaretto Cherry Chip or Drumstick, or Kettle Crunch but the stand by fav is always Mint Chocolate Chip
37. Define yourself in 3 words… fat and sassy
38. Do you believe in God: nope
39. Favorite day of the week: Saturday (if I don't have to work it)
40. Heads or tails: tails
41. Favorite author: I don't really have a favorite but I have several that I enjoy reading: Christopher Moore, Jodi Picoult, James Patterson, Sue Grafton
42. What magazines do you read: Entertainment Weekly, Vanity Fair, Taste of Home, Rolling Stone, Bon Appetite, Time, a quilting mag that I can't remember the title of
43. Sweet or sour: Sweet
44. Favorite chewing gum brand: usually spearmint
45. My hair color: auburn with some gray
46. Height: 5′ 4″
47. My heritage: Irish, Scottish, Walsh, German
48. My weakness: saying "no" and food and saying no to food
49. My perfect pizza: cheese and mushroom
50. My most overused phrase on IM: cu, idk, ru...?

51. My best physical feature: eyes
52. Do you get motion sickness: only if it's really really hot in the car or if I'm in the backseat
53. McDonalds or Burger King:
54. Lipton Ice Tea or Nestea: Lipton
55. Cappuccino or Coffee:
56. Do you swear: Fuck yeah!
57. Do you want to go to college: I’ve got a BS and a partial Masters so yes I would like more education. I would be a spectacular career student and get degrees in art history, anthropology, Literature of some kind, a my teaching certification, finish my Masters degree in Education, and then I think I would indulge in something to do with film, take cooking classes, photography classes, and anything else that happened to interest me like sociology.
58. Do you think you’re attractive: no
59. Do you like thunderstorms: no.
60. In the past month have you drunk alcohol: Yep
61. In the past month have you been on drugs: no
62. Favorite cartoon as a child: Flintstones? (I don't really remember!)
63. Favorite sport: Football to watch and nothing to play
64. In the past month have you been on stage: no
65. Ever been beaten up: Nope
66. How you want to die: Peacefully, in my sleep
67. Number of piercings: one in each ear
68. Favorite color: pink
69. Favorite food dish: steak or pastry or pasta
70. My parents are… my dad is living, mother died
71. Do you have children: One
72. Do you have pets: no
73. My favorite music genre: pop, adult contemporary, and whatever sounds good. But I'm going through a serious HATRED of country music right now. It makes me physically gag.
74. My favorite season: I don't have one right now. How about cool weather, but not COLD?
75. Silver or Gold: Silver
76. Who was the last person that called you: Guard
77. Are you a good driver: not sure... I think I'm a lucky driver
78. Would you rather be rich or famous: Rich
79. When I’m sad or down, I prefer to… sleep or blog or read or be alone
80. What is your phone’s current ringtone: right now the default is "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz and when Mac calls it plays "My generation" by the Who
81. The longest you’ve gone without sleeping: 2 days
82. What would you do with a million dollars: Pay off all bills, give my dad money, make a college fund for Mac and the Divine Ms K, travel, take Mac on a vacation, buy a B and B and go back to school
83. What makes you laugh: not much
84. Your favorite book: like with films, I have more than one. here are a few: Honeymoon with my Brother, The Smoke Jumper, The Kite Runner, To Kill a Mockingbird, A 1,000 Splendid Suns, A Salty Piece of Land, Lucy, almost everything by Christopher Moore
85. Most embarrassing moment: I have a few and am not writing about them here
86. Favorite item that you currently own: my laptop
87. Have you ever moved: yes lots
88. Kisses or hugs: Both!
89. Are you a very emotional person: not so much any more

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The "I hate" Weekend Wasteland meme

Usually blog readership is down on weekends and I post a meme so no one misses the really good stuff I have to say (HA!), and I have a feeling this one shall be no different than others, especially since it's a holiday and many, many folks had Friday off as well. So here's a meme... and while I don't really have lots of "hate" for anything these days, I still thought I could do this and think of it as more the I "really really dislike" meme...

And thanks, as always, to Tense Teacher, the Meme Queen from whom I steal.

1. Most hated food:
cooked broccoli and cooked cauliflower! Hate the taste and smell- icky!

2. Most hated person:
I don’t think I really hate anyone, but CanadianSam is someone I really don't like on principle. And That Bitch for violating my trust. She probably comes closest to hate that I've felt for a looooong time!

3. Most hated job:
Probably working as assistant dean at a local college. I didn't like the way the company operated- I thought they were sheisty. I didn't like the job duties or my bosses and I didn't really like most of the students or my co-workers.

4. Most hated city:
Muncie, IN

5. Most hated band:
Twangy country music- anyone who sings it- and Amy Winehouse

6. Most hated (non-blog) website:
our local newspaper's website is not user friendly and I refuse to use it anymore for anything

7. Most hated TV program:
Anything that is dubbed "reality" tv. hate it, hate it, hate it.

8. Most hated politician:
Newt Gingrich

9. Most hated artist:
Andres Serrano

10. Most hated book:

Silas Marner

11. Most hated shop or store:
Walmart- even though I go there often, I'm sorry to say

12. Most hated organization:
The Republican Party

13. Most hated historical event:
The Holocaust

14. Most hated sport:
NASCAR- I insist this is not a sport; it's driving in a circle. And I know there are millions of fans who disagree with me, but it's NOT a sport.

15. Most hated technology:

16. Most hated annual event:
New Year's Eve

17. Most hated daily task:
Getting out of bed in the morning when an alarm clock goes off.

18. Most hated comedian:
Dave Chapelle

19. Most hated blog:
I don't really have a hated blog because if I hate it, then I don't read it. (Though there are things I hate on one blog I read. This person occasionally puts "Twitters" on- just cuts and pastes a days worth of twitter comments and I have no clue as to what's going on...)

20. Most hated song:
Gotta agree with Tense Teacher… “The Christmas Shoes” - I mean, how sad and depressing can you get- and at Christmas no less? And I HATE Garth Brooks's remake of Billy Joel's "Shameless." Billy J was shameless for letting that happen. *cringe*