I'm Sooo Vain...

I probably think this song is about me...

Carly Simon's been going through my head all morning long, probably because of a conversation my sister and I had last night. But, nonetheless, if makes me think of the things that I've done in my life for the name of vanity.

For example, the countless diets I've tried in my life. I know that I've never been to the point of really needing to lose weight, but I really am vain enough to subscribe to the whole "Hot Or Not" mentality.

Also, I always feel guilty about some of the reasons that I've decided to break up or not date certain people. For example, there was a certain guy that I went on a date or two with... I had to quit calling him because his teeth were way too much for me to handle. It wasn't that they were crooked or mangled... It was that they were the color of butter. I couldn't imagine the idea of having those teeth so close to my mouth. Or the thought of other people thinking that I would be willing to have those teeth close to my mouth. Bleck...

I guess the only way I really can rationalize this is by thinking that everybody has some similar type of vanity hang up... Right?


Let's Give 'Em Somethin' to Blog About...

Uhmmmm.... I got nothin'.

I know that isn't a surprise to most of you, but I thought I'd be honest about it and just kind of put it out there.

And you know, when there is a lack of resources available to thrive (as in New Orleans, which has just become the murder capital of the nation) people resort to thievery and other criminal acts.

Therefore, I'm stealing this idea for my blog.

Your job: Post a question in the comment section. The next person answers your question and then poses their own question for the next commenter. I'll go first!


Seven Songs

Blogarita tagged me with a MEME. For those of you who have not been exposed to a meme, it is kind of like an infectious disease - once a blogger has been contaminated, they are required to pass it along to other bloggers. It is like the cousin of the chain letter.

This meme requires me to list seven songs that I am currently liking. They don't have to necessarily be new or current songs, and trust me, some of them won't be. So, here goes:
  1. Look After You by The Fray (Actually, I'm loving anything by The Fray, but this is their most recent single.)
  2. I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker by Sandi Thom (This song is so fun. Reminds me of my mom, being the hippie that she is!)
  3. Landslide by Fleetwood Mac (This is one of my favorite all time songs and I've recently become more aware of all the music involving Stevie Nicks.)
  4. Snow by Red Hot Chili Peppers (One of my favorite all-time bands.)
  5. Downfall by Matchbox 20 (This has been in my top seven since I bought the CD however many years ago. This song proved to me that Matchbox 20 and Rob Thomas were truly unique and original musicians, in terms of lyrics and music writing.)
  6. Grace Kelley by Mika (A fun song brought to life with clips from old movies.)
  7. Bandwagoners by The Dears (New band that I've heard play on the college station in town. They aren't even listed on Rhapsody for a link!)

So there you have it and there you are. Now I get to pick on seven people that need to do the same meme on their blogs. I choose: Paula, Diana, Chris, Karen, Jennifer, Nikki, and Mindy. Have fun, girls! I don't know who the hell you are all going to tag after you're finished, though!


The Last Day

Today is the last day of vacation.

I sat poolside and finished my vacation book (Fall On Your Knees - watch for the book club discussion soon!), had a wonderful dinner at the Melting Pot with my family, said good-byes, and am now packing and getting ready for a 7:00 a.m. departure back to home.

How soon it is over... But, I must admit, it will be nice to get back to my own home and my own bed. You know how that is. I'll be back to my regular blog commenting by Sunday, so I can catch up on what your lives have all been like for the past week. You know you've missed me!


True Story

When we left the hotel room, we decided that we would grab a bite for breakfast, head to the beach and walk around down there for a bit, then head back to poolside in Ocala. The weather in Vero Beach was somewhat overcast and pretty windy... not quite beach weather.

Once we travelled the few miles to the coast, the sky had cleared up, although the wind was still strong. Tommy, Dave, and I grabbed our towels and reading material and made our way over the small hill onto the beach. We were determined to make the most of our proximity to the ocean, wind be damned.

We settled in and lotioned up. The lotion acted as adhesive for the sand that was being blown across the beach. We marvelled at the brilliance of the blue sky and the large waves in the surf. They must be at least three or four feet high, we commented to each other.

After a while, I suggested that we walk for a bit down the beach at the edge of the water. The three of us left our towels and headed down the small incline to where the waves slid up the sand and then receded into the ocean. The cold water shocked our feet; a larger wave soaked the cuffs of my capris. We watched several surfers and boogie boarders bob on the waves a bit further down the way. A swell would rise behind them and they would paddle furiously and hop on their boards, swaying to stay upright for more than a few seconds. The waves were large, but they were cresting to quickly for any long rides.

"I'm kind of tempted to go change into my suit and go in for a bit," Tommy said.

Me, too, I thought.

"Yeah, but we need to be in the car on the way home in about thirty minutes if we are going to make it home by the time everyone is expecting us," Dave reminded us.

I looked at Tommy and I looked at Dave. I decided to indulge my little brother. We walked out to the vehicle, got our suits, and changed into them in the bathrooms.

"I haven't been swimming in the ocean in several years," he told me. "That's part of why I want to go today, even though it will be cold. I don't know when I'll get another chance."

I like being the big sister that gives Tommy the opportunity to do stuff he normally wouldn't get to do. As we walked back up to the beach, I played with the idea of what would happen if something happened to Tommy and me while we were in the water. Would Dave say that he had told us not to go? Do people have premonitions if something bad might happen? I dismissed the thoughts thinking that even if people do have premonitions like that I felt perfectly secure in going out into the ocean today.

We ran into the surf, applying the theory that it isn't as cold if you just go in all at once. We jumped over the waves and began to dive under them as the water got deeper. We got out past where the waves were breaking so we could float along the top of the waves. It was too deep for either of us to touch. We treaded water and laughed as the waves picked us up and dropped us down behind them.

"I've never been in waves this big," Tommy said to me.

I toldd him about when I'd lived in Jacksonville and a time when I'd been in the ocean in San Diego and I'd gone boogie boarding and had ridden waves these big into the shore. I had to tell the story in short spurts, between the waves and between trying to catch my breath from treading water for so long.

"Let's catch this next wave and ride it in," I said to him. He nodded.

I began kicking my feet as the wave rose behind me. As the tips started to froth white, I stretched my arms out ahead of me and gave a couple big kicks before streamlining my body. About twenty feet closer to shore, I looked back at Tommy, who was still in about the same location as we'd started. I hopped along a bit and rode a few smaller waves in until I could stand in about knee-deep water and turn back to watch Tom.

I admired him as I watched him dive under another wave. I had been getting tired and I had needed to come in closer to where I could stand to catch my breath. Tommy, only seventeen years old and an athlete, had so much more endurance than I.

"Vi!" he called and waved, letting me know where he was. I waved back.

"Vi!" Tommy's voice came from behind a wave. I started to hop a little further out so he could see where I was. I wished that he wouldn't call like that; his voice was scaring me because it sounded like something was wrong.

"Vi!" Something wasn't right. I started back out into the surf towards him. I remembered a friend who had talked about her niece getting bitten by a shark on this very same beach.

His voice came to me again, "Vi!" I was close enough to clearly see his face now and I could tell that he was scared.

"Are you okay?" I asked as I reached him.

"No," he said. His face was white. His voice sounded like that of a child who has just woken from a bad dream.

"What's wrong?"

"I can't get in. The waves are too big."

"Okay," I told him. "It's okay." I grabbed his wrist with my right and and started pulling. "Come on, we're okay. Let's swim in."

We started swimming towards the shore. The waves were coming in shorter intervals now. As soon as we would get over a wave another one would be on top of us.

"Dive under this one," I instructed. As soon as we did, I could feel the turbulent water try to tear his arm from my hand. My head surfaced and my hair was in my face. With my free hand, I pushed it out of my eyes and gasped for a breath.

I could feel myself getting more and more exhausted. We couldn't reach the bottom. We couldn't relax and catch our breath. We were both trying to stay afloat and swim to shore using only one hand. At one point, I tried to release his hand so I could get myself high enough above the water to get a breath and see where we were. I stared up at the sky, grasping my brother's arm, kicking towards shore and feeling another wave get ready to push us where it wanted us to go.

Oh, God, please just let us make it to shore.

Finally, we reached water that was shallow enough for us to stand. We staggered toward the sand, waves still shoving us in the back, keeping us off balance. We held onto each other's wrists until we made it and sat down on the sand. I felt like I was going to vomit from the physical exertion. Tommy still looked scared.

I stayed in rescue mode as the lifeguard came down to check on us and then Dave walked down from where we'd set up camp. I guided Tommy back to our towels, where he laid prone, face inches from the sand. I took his pulse, rubbed his back, instructed him to drink sips of water. After he'd vomited sea water and orange juice from breakfast, we walked back to the car. His pulse had slowed, his stomach had settled.

As the immediate danger receded, the reality of the incident hit me. My lack of common sense had put my little brother in danger. Anytime I've been in waves like that, I've had a boogie board to float on in order not to get exhausted. Tommy isn't as experienced a swimmer as I am; I was on swim team for years, he plays soccer. He's never been in waves that big and I left him out there alone. I should've known better.

I shake my head in disgust on the drive home and blink back tears as I stare at the book I am trying to read. I am grateful that we both escaped unharmed, but I beat myself with guilt for having put him in that position. I should've known better.


Poppy Dogs

Every family has some type of delicacy that when others see it, they raise an eyebrow and think to themselves "eeeewwww..."

My family has Poppy Dogs.

They came by their name after my grandfather, who we called, of course, Poppy. Poppy Dogs are hotdogs, but the way they are prepared is what makes them special. They are also always served with real baked beans - cooked in the oven with salt pork, not out of the can.

They are delicious. They are also a staple of our menu while on any family vacation.

To prepare Poppy Dogs, simply slice the hotdogs down the middle and stuff them with brown sugar, yellow mustard, and horseradish and top them with slices of American cheese. Broil them in the oven until the tops get all browned and crispy.

I know it may sound odd to you, but they are delicious. I believe that they are unique to our family, but I guess it is possible that other people have something similar. You know that your family probably has interesting recipes like this, too... Admit it!

One of my favorite things to do on vacation while lounging at the pool or beach or even inside on a cloudy day is to read a book. Some friends may remember a particular float trip when I sat at the edge of the river the day before the float reading a book. May sound dorky, but nothing says leisure and luxury like lounging with a book.

I'm having lots of time on this vacation to immerse myself in the current book that I'm reading: Fall On Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald. The book is excellent and it is the current read of the Check This Out book club blog. For those of you that are reading along with us, the discussion topics will probably be posted on the site by April 1st. Even if you've already read the book and want to add your thoughts, feel free!

Also, the next book we will be reading is Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs. It was recently made into a movie that looks pretty interesting. I want to give everyone a heads up so if you think that you'd like to read along with us, you can get your copy. You've got plenty of time to find a copy and read it; we probably won't post about it until the beginning of May since we haven't even posted about the current book yet. The more the merrier over at the book club blog; please join us!


Screen Time

When I was a child, I was not allowed to watch television during the school week. Harsh and unfair as I felt my parents were, this rule gave me the opportunities to use my imagination to find games to play and nurture a love of reading and writing that I have carried with me to my adult life.

In the home that Dave and I now share, we have televisions in every room except the bathrooms and Dave's office. We each have our own laptop and desktop computer, plus a few others. And I know that there are days on the weekends when we will waste most of the morning and early afternoon hours with the television on, surfing the net. However, we are aware that time spent in front of the screen is not time spent "together," so we try not to let it get out of hand.

We have become a society that relies more and more on passive information and entertainment. Parents brag that their children can "pay attention" to the television for hours uninterrupted or that a handheld video game can act as a baby-sitter for the child.

How do people reach a happy medium? What is an acceptable amount of time to spend on these non-interactive activities in a day? Does it depend on what you are doing during the rest of your time to balance it out? How do you teach a child to reach out and relate to another person when all he or she is adults in front of a screen? I am not preaching... I am asking. What do you think?


Spring training, sand, and sun... Here we come!

4:15 a.m. - ALARM!!! Blink eyes in the dark, try to convince self that getting up in the middle of the night is worth the extra couple of hours on the beach.
4:45 a.m. - Estimated time of departure. After loading up the HUMMER, Dave and I will head to pick up the other two passengers travelling with us: My mom and little brother.
5:15 a.m. - Hit the road, heading south and east. Dave will drive, the rest of us will sleep until the sun is above the horizon.
7:30 a.m. - Wake up somewhere in Illinois to Dave rocking out to Brooks & Dunn. Switch the radio station to XM Radio 28. Enter discussion about whether it is the right of the navigator or the driver to choose the radio station.
7:40 a.m. - Bathroom break. Give up on the argument about listening to my choice of music in the vehicle. Switch seats with my mom so little bro and I can watch "Talladega Nights" in the backseat.
8:45 a.m. - Fall asleep halfway through movie.
10:00 a.m. - Wake up when the car stops to add fluids to the gas tank and empty fluids from bladder.
10:05 a.m. - Resume drive. Restart movie.
12:00 p.m. - Meet friends Susan and Carrie, who are also driving to Florida, in Chattanooga for lunch.
12:45 p.m. - Offer to drive for a while to give Dave a break. When he refuses the offer, ask him if the reason he feels like he has to drive is a 'penis thing.'
12:50 p.m. - Pretend not to notice the silent treatment that Dave is now giving me.
2:35 p.m. - Stop for a fill up on gas. Wish that the HUMMER was a hybrid.
5:00 p.m. - Hit Valdosta, Georgia. Hit the wall. Curse ourselves for not splurging to on plane tickets.
5:30 p.m. - Revert to speaking to each other in only movie quotes. "But my lips hurt real bad!!!"
6:30 p.m. - After running out of movie quotes, revert to singing camp/drive songs. "Up in the air, Junior Birdmen. Up in the air, upside down!" (Hey... Is that song about the BirdMan?)
7:30 p.m. - Arrive local time 8:30 in Ocala, Florida... Where did that hour go anyway? Visit with grandma and other family members, eat dinner, and prepare for a week of rest and relaxation.

I can't wait!


Pi(e) Day

Today is March 13, or 3.14, so let us all join hands, sing Pi Carols, and rejoice.

Yeah, I don't know any Pi Carols either, but the nice weather is getting me all kinds of giddy. Plus, tomorrow is the "Ides of March," and celebrating Pi(e) is way more fun than celebrating the fact that Brutus murdered Caesar.


Q: What do you get if you divide the circumference of a jack-o-lantern by its diameter?
A: Pumpkin pi.

Q: What do you get when you take a bovine and divide its circumference by its diameter?
A: Cow pi.

Q: What do you get when you take green cheese and divide its circumference by its diameter?
A: Moon pi.

Q:What do you get when you take a native Alaskan and divide its circumference by its diameter?
A: Eskimo pi.

Q:What do you get when you take the sun and divide its circumference by its diameter?
A: Pi in the sky.

Q: What do you get if you divide the circumference of a bowl of ice cream by its diameter?
A: Pi a'la mode.


My mother is an excellent cook. She is especially a superb baker. When it comes to cakes, cookies, and more than anything else, pies, she can't be beat.

Except for once. She forgot the sugar. She blamed my friend and I for distracting her while she was making it. We laughed our @$$es off at her.

Thankfully, I had recently seen an episode of Martha Stewart that taught me about making lattice crusts and had suggested that we try this method with this pie. We pulled the pie out of the oven and shoved the sugar into the little holes in the crust with the back of a wooden spoon.

The pie tasted great and nobody would have ever known the difference. That is, if I hadn't broadcast the story to the entire extended family the next day. I doubt she'll ever live it down.


Click here to hear the official Pi Song. Go on, it isn't long. And it is rather humorous, in an odd, mathematical type of way.


Signs of Spring

Remember this post about the new furniture that Dave and I had delivered last week?

Remember how I mentioned that I had to get used to having furniture in the room again?

Remember how my cell phone rang at 1:30 a.m. Saturday night so I went into the closet to go turn off the ringer, then on my way back to bed I ran face-first into the lingerie chest that is right outside the closet door?



Spring is definitely on the way. Over the weekend, up at Bill's Garage, I was struck in the face by the first flying bug of the season. I flailed and squirmed trying to get the cooties off of me while the bug frantically tried to free itself from under the side of my glasses. Ewww....

While the whole "spring forward" thing is great and Dave and I were able to enjoy the first official BBQ of the season at Dr. Mike and Paula's last night with the extended daylight, it was very hard to try to wake up this morning and get ready for work in the dark again. For me, there is nothing worse than trying to get motivated to get out of bed when it is still nighttime outside.


Every year when the weather begins to get warm, I begin looking forward to another birthday, which falls in the beginning of April. Dave and I are hoping to continue the tradition that we began last year by co-celebrating our birthdays with our friends, since his birthday is a few weeks after mine.

Last year, we got a group together to go to dinner and then a show at a comedy club. It was pretty successful, albiet the antics of a friend of a friend who came along and caused a scene. I mean, any birthday party where at least a few people end up on the East Side has got to be a success, right?

We are trying to come up with some fun ideas of things to do this year... We would love to get a party room to go to a Cardinals game, but it is already too late to make that happen. We've been talking about a few ideas and I have a call into a couple of places, but I am up for any suggestions that anyone might have... What do you think would be fun?


Thursday Night Weblog

For a rare occurrence, I'm going to use the blog for what it was actually intended: a log of websites (web-log) that I think my readers might find of interest.

"Duke grad builds beer tossing fridge"
Contraption can launch 10 cans before needing a reload
  • Hellllllooooo! We sooo need one of these. I mean, seriously, Bill and Doug... Can we make this happen?

"Snakes (almost) on a plane — 2,400 of them"
'Slithering sounds' heard by cargo workers; snakes were meant for diners

  • Dude, someone's trying to ship snakes on this m*th$r f#ck!ng plane! Who eats snakes, I mean, really? Gross! Do you think that the workers who heard the snakes would have thought anything was out of sorts if it were not for Samuel L. Jackson in this movie?

Ms. Pac-Man turns 25! The "femme fatale of the game world."

  • Feminists, rejoice! From changing the original fourth ghosts name from 'Clyde' to 'Sue,' Ms. Pac-Man has shown that she is Ms. Independent. The 25th anniversary of her inception is a tribute to the progress that women have made in the world, from video-gaming to doing what the hell we want to do when we want to do it!


A Peek Into Our Bedroom...

Remember those days back in college when you were poor and had a Rubbermaid container for a coffee table, a laundry basket for a dresser, and a mattress with no frame that sat on the floor?
Dave and I have been reliving those days, due to the fact that we lost all the bedroom furniture in "the fire." We ordered new bedroom furniture at the end of January and got the call at the end of last week that it would be delivered today. We had been talking about painting the bedroom before the furniture was going to be delivered and had even picked out colors but as of last Saturday had made no progress in so doing. Some wonderful friends rose to the challenge and helped to get the job done on Sunday afternoon.

Here are a few "before" pictures:

And now with the furniture and paint job:

Coolest thing about this Laura Ashley Keswick set that we ordered from Kincaid furniture is the "Bling Drawer." I have one in the dresser and one in the lingerie chest. One sits empty, waiting for more "bling." (Ahem, Dave... XOXO...)

I'm pretty excited about the whole deal. It was hard to get used to the blue accent wall at first, but now with the furniture in front of it instead of a bare blue wall, it looks great. The warmer "sand fossil" color on the rest of the walls really makes the room have a lot more character than the bland cream that used to cover all the walls in the house.

Although, I'm going to have to get used to having furniture in the bedroom again. I've already stubbed (and practically broken) my big toe this evening when I ran into the end of the bed!


Guilty Pleasures

Everyone has them. Those things that you do that make you feel good immediately but you feel bad about indulging yourself afterwards. These are the things that people make resolutions about at New Year's and reprimand themselves for breaking.

Some of mine are:
  • Eating an entire bag of buttered microwave popcorn by myself.
  • Taking a soak in the bath and reading a book when I get home from work when I really should be on the treadmill/cooking dinner/cleaning or doing laundry, etc.
  • Wasting time on blogging/reading other people's blogs.
  • American Idol. But for me, it isn't just Idol. It is American Idol Extra, reading articles and commentaries about the show, organizing (2) betting pools for various groups of friends... (This also goes along with a secondary guilty pleasure of mine: karaoke.)
  • E-Bay. It brings out the worst in my impulse-buying tendencies.

There are a few others, but I feel so guilty about them, I'm unwilling to share them in a public forum. I'll leave those to your imaginations... (Keep it out of the gutter, Dave!)

What do you think? Am I crazy to feel guilty about these things? What are your guilty pleasures?


Smoke It Up...

Who knew that candy cigarettes were still being sold?

In a recent drive through Kentucky, Dave and I found and bought (for novelty's sake) a box of the candy. I remembered being a child and thinking that candy cigarettes were sooo cool. The only time I ever got them was if they ended up in my Halloween bag once a year. I'd puff away on the candy until the ends got soggy and then I'd quickly crunch through the rest of the chalky candy.

I was surprised to see the candy cigarettes in the convenient store... I mean, in today's world, with all the political correctness and anti-smoking propoganda out there, who knew you were still allowed to buy children fake cigarettes so they can pick up the habit early?


I have also recently visited a city that is now "non-smoking" in its bars and restaurants. As an ex-smoker, I have always felt that it should be the decision of the establishment as to whether they allow their patrons to smoke or not on the premises. However, it was so nice to go out in the evenings to a crowded bar, not have my eyes burning from the smoke by the end of the night, and wake up in the morning with my hair and clothing reeking of cigarettes.


Two old ladies were outside their nursing home, having a smoke when it started to rain. One of the ladies pulled out a condom, cut off the end, put it over her cigarette and continued smoking.

Lady 1: What's that?
Lady 2: A condom. This way my cigarette doesn't get wet.
Lady 1: Where did you get it?
Lady 2: You can get them at any drugstore.

The next day ... Lady 1 hobbles herself into the local drugstore and announces to the pharmacist that she wants a box of condoms. The guy looks at her kind of strangely (she is, after all, over 80 years of age), but politely asks what brand she prefers.

Lady 1: It doesn't matter as long as it fits a Camel.


Funny Stuff

Okay, okay, I know that I promised not to talk about American Idol all the time on this blog, but I happened upon this commentary by Craig Berman and was laughing my @$$ off as I read it. I know that you all are lazy bastards and most of you won't actually click on the link to read it, so I'll pull out a couple of quotes to share with you:
  • It’s still early in “American Idol’s” sixth season, but environmentalists like Al Gore are already clamoring for this year’s cast to be extended indefinitely. With all the waterworks coming from the semifinalists, a little bit of engineering could provide enough water to irrigate the entire greater Hollywood area and make droughts a thing of the past.
  • But this season seems to have more criers than most. Even Kellie Pickler nearly broke down at the end of her guest performance. Not only is she not a contestant, she’s already sold dozens of records, guest-hosted “The View,” and apparently hired Dolly Parton’s wardrobe consultant, hair stylist and comedy writers.
  • [Hunt] shared the stage with both Barba and the 17-year-old Jordin Sparks. Barba got sent to safety first, as the teenage boys hoping for more risqué photos to crop up on the Internet carried the day.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled blogging.

Happy Friday!

I am opposed to forwarding every joke e-mail that I get to everyone in my address book. However, a friend sent this one to me and I thought it was funny enough to share. Plus, I don't have anything to blog about.


  • You're a woman and you see a handsome guy at a party. You go up to him and say, "I'm fantastic in bed." That's Direct Marketing.
  • You're at a party with a bunch of friends and see a handsome guy. One of your friends go up to him and, pointing at you, says, "She's fantastic in bed." That's Advertising.
  • You see a handsome guy at a party. You go up to him and get his telephone number. The next day you call and say, "Hi, I'm fantastic inbed." That's Telemarketing.
  • You see a guy at a party; you straighten your dress. You walk up to him and pour him a drink. You say, "May I?" and reach up to straighten his tie, brushing your breast lightly against his arm, and then say,"By the way, I'm fantastic in bed." That's Public Relations.
  • You're at a party and see a handsome guy. He walks up to you and says,I hear you're fantastic in bed." That's Brand Recognition.
  • You're at a party and see a handsome guy. He fancies you, but you talk him into going home with your friend. That's a Sales Rep.
  • Your friend can't satisfy him so he calls you. That's Tech Support.
  • You're on your way to a party when you realize that there could be handsome men in all these houses you're passing, so you climb onto the roof of one situated towards the center and shout at the top of your lungs, "I'm fantastic in bed!" That's Junk Mail.
  • You are at a party; this well-built man walks up to you and grabs your ass. That's the Governor of California.
  • You like it, but twenty years later your attorney decides you were offended. That's America.