"Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place."
-- Unknown

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A New Year's Eve best forgotten

This week’s writing assignment from MamaKat: Describe a New Year’s where you would have been better off just staying home.

This one is too easy, given that there is one cursed New Year’s Eve that stands out vividly from all the rest.

But first a little back story:

During the summer between my freshman and sophomore years at Troy, I met a guy that I thought hung the moon. Sure, he was one of the biggest jerks I knew, but for some reason, I stayed infatuated with him for months. One day, he’d act like he adored me. The next, I was nearly a stranger. Each time he’d act like an ass, I’d swear to myself that I was going to quit answering his phone calls. All he ever did was let me down and piss me off. But then the phone would ring and all would be forgotten (yet never totally forgiven.)

It just so happened that this particular jerk had a younger brother who, as it turns out, was as infatuated with me as I was with his brother. (Weird, I know.) Although the younger of the two was definitely the sweetheart of the family, I wasn’t interested. I’d been hung up on his brother for too long. I was never mean to the brother, though. Always friendly — So what transpired New Year’s Eve of 2005 was completely unexpected.

The night started off okay. My roommate and I went to the Delta Chi house to hang out with friends. I remember that there was a great band playing that night – one of my local favorites. After the clock stuck midnight, I decided to go home and get some sleep since I had to be at work early the next morning. My roommate wanted to stay, but said she’d catch a ride from someone else. So, I went home, completely unprepared to face the fury of Hell by myself.

When I pulled into the driveway, I could tell there was someone sitting on the steps to my front porch. As I got out, I realized that it was the Jerk himself, obviously VERY drunk. (He was holding an empty bottle of whiskey. Classy, right?) Had I know what was coming, I would have gotten back in the car and driven far, far away.

But bleeding heart that I am, I thought he might be in some sort of trouble, or need someone to talk to, so I approached him and was greeted by the longest, loudest string of obscenities I’d ever heard. He called me every name in the book. Horrible, vicious, untrue things. He told me he hated me. Said I never meant a “damn thing” to him. Me. The nice one. The one that bent over backwards to be his friend, even after he proved himself the biggest jerk on the planet.

And you know what warranted this attack?? Apparently his little brother was heartbroken because I wouldn’t go out with him, and the Jerk held me accountable. After all the crap he put me through – for MONTHS – he was mad at me because I wouldn’t date his brother!?

When I finally managed to get inside and slam the door in his face, he stood on the porch yelling and beating on the door. I called a mutual friend of ours and made him come pick the Jerk up and take him home. Then he called me, incessantly, blocking his number – apparently thinking I was stupid enough to answer. I went to bed crying, mostly out of anger, wondering why I was stupid enough to fall for his crap for so long.

And guess what? The Jerk had the nerve to call me two days later, after swearing he hated me and would never speak to me again, to apologize for his behavior. His excuse was, “Well you know how I get when I’m drunk. I just thought you could have been nicer to my brother. He really liked you. I know you were never mean to him, though. I’m sorry.” He wanted to know if we were “cool” – couldn’t we stay friends? He said he didn’t mean any of it. I think I remember laughing and telling him where to go.

I don’t know if staying home that night would have fixed anything, since that’s where he was, so I guess the assignment should read, “Describe a New Year’s where you would have been better off just leaving the county or hiding in a hole somewhere.”

The Jerk is now married to someone far better than me. She would have to be to put up with him. The woman deserves to be made a saint.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ooooh, shiny...

These are the earrings I mentioned yesterday, for those of you who care (ahem... Jessica!) I tried taking a picture myself but it just didn't work out, so I did some searching and found this one on the company Web site.

Monday, December 29, 2008

I definitely made the "nice list"

Well, from the looks of it, I was the only bum who didn’t get on and write anything during the week of Christmas. I think I’m finally caught up on reading everyone else’s stuff, so now I’ll attempt a post of my own.

Man, last week FLEW by! It was a whirlwind of driving, laughing, family, presents and foam NERF darts (given to my brother as a gag gift from his girlfriend’s family, but the object of a very interesting night – as Sean tried to make a suction dart stick to his forehead. Yes… he’s 17. But it was hilarious.)

I had a wonderful time in Mobile with Mama’s family. We ate, laughed and exchanged presents – then played an impromptu game of poker. I learned that it’s really easy to bet big when you’re playing with imaginary money. “Yes, I’ll see your dollar and raise you a million.”

Then it was off to Mississippi for a few days (that’s where the NERF darts come into play.) It was great to see everyone over there again. I wish the drive wasn’t so long. I’d love to be able to visit more often.

Toby was a champ. He had a strenuous week of car trips and being shuffled around from house to house. Overall, I think he handled it pretty well. We both slept like babies last night. (Although, I’m not sure that’s an accurate depiction, because I hear babies wake up all the time. Who came up with the saying, anyway? How about ‘slept like someone who drank a bottle of NyQuil?’)

We got home last night to find that a stray cat had taken up residence in Toby’s dog house. Needless to say, he was NOT happy. Although he rarely, if ever, actually gets in it, he became extremely territorial. I think the whole neighborhood knew he was upset. I literally had to go pull him away from the door of the dog house so the cat could get out. He had her blocked in, barking incessantly, with every hair on his body standing straight up. I don’t think he realizes that the cat could have shredded his face if she wanted to. I’ve never heard a cat hiss that loud – more like a scream, really. And guess what? She was back in there this morning. Apparently Toby didn’t scare her very much.

Kevin came by last night and cooked me supper before we exchanged Christmas presents. He grilled steaks, made green beans and squash and cooked garlic toast. It was de-lish. And he gave me the PRETTIEST pair of Sorrelli earrings. I LOVE them! He did an excellent job picking them out.

Overall, I racked up this Christmas. I guess I must have been really good this year! No coal for me. Included in all of the loot was an Amazon Kindle, a Magellan GPS system, seasons 2-4 of House (best show EVER), Burberry Brit Red perfume, my guitar, a Jimi Hendrix strap for my guitar, an AWESOME houndstooth, fitted Alabama tee, some really good kitchen utensils, a pretty scarf, more Mitch Hedberg and a book and DVD set to teach me basic guitar skills. Cha-ching! My family was too good to me.

Ooh, and Sean gave me a box of guitar picks, new strings and some stuff to put on the strings so my fingers won’t hurt so bad. I’m looking forward to trying that out. I didn’t realize how painful it would be at first. Totally worth it though.

Anyway, that is the brief run-down of a very busy week.

What about y’all? Get (or give) anything cool this year?? I’d love to hear about it!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy what??

I can’t believe I almost forgot to share one of the funniest stories from this weekend!!

So, Sunday morning before Chase’s party, my parents went out to get a cake. Knowing that they had not ordered one ahead of time, they knew the choices would be limited, but they figured they could find a ready-made cake and have someone write “Happy Birthday Chase” in icing. Except that’s not quite what they got…

Mama was walking around the store, picking up a few other things, when my stepdad came up with cake, trying not to laugh. He pointed down to the cake and Mama saw, “Happy Birthy Chase” in bright green icing. BIRTHY?!? Really?? What’s that?

So, trying to be a polite as possible, she took the cake back to the bakery, where she had to explain to the girl that she left a couple of letters out of the word “birthday.”

And the girl’s response?? “Ooooh, I’m sorry. It’s my first day!! I can fix it!”

And that’s when Mama gave in to a fit of uncontrollable laughter. She had to walk away and let my stepdad wait for the cake! See, that’s the family curse that she passed on to me. We laugh at really inappropriate times. We get so carried away laughing, we can’t function. So she started walking around the store, laughing to herself. I bet the other customers thought she was mental.

Anyway, the girl kind of raked off the “y” and slapped the other letters on there and called it a cake. And let me tell you… it was pretty. So very pretty.

I wish I had a picture of the “Birthy” cake to share with you, but I was a bum this weekend and didn’t take any pictures at all.

However, if you’d like to see some really awful mess-ups, my cousin Jen linked a blog a last month that shows various cake disasters. If you’d like to check it out, click here.

Monday, December 22, 2008

A weekend in review

I got my first real six string, bought at the Five and Dime… played it til my fingers bled. It was the summer of ’69.

Okay, so I didn’t buy it at the Five and Dime. It was a Christmas present and I think it came from Guitar Gallery in Birmingham. And my fingers didn’t bleed, but they are sore… and I guess we’ve come a long way since ’69, and it’s actually winter.

BUT… I did get a guitar this weekend!! And while I’ve already exhausted the one song I can play, I will hopefully be learning more soon. (And by “the one song I can play,” don’t think I mean that I play it well. I mean it’s recognizable and that’s about it.)

My weekend, as a whole, was pretty fantastic.

Friday night we did the duel birthday dinner for me and my step-dad. I was very pleased when I learned that the waiters at the restaurant weren’t allowed to sing or make a big deal out your birthday. We did get free dessert though. And I think it was easier to enjoy without the off-key shouting and clapping that I’ve come to expect.

After dinner, I went down to Red Bones – the one bar in the Montevallo area. One of my best friends works there and she wanted to celebrate my birthday with me. The bar happened to be closed for repair, so it wound up being the two of us, the owner and about 10 other people having a VIP party, small-town style. (Basically just sitting around, goofing off and dancing to really bad juke-box songs.) It wound up being a lot of fun. I stayed out WAY too late, but it was definitely worth it.

Saturday, Mama and I went shopping and I got some more work clothes that were badly needed. I even got a dress! I’m SO not the dress type, but I guess I should have at least one in my closet. So now I do. I might just wear it grocery shopping later because it’s so pretty.

I also made a trip to Books-A-Million to spend my birthday gift cards (people know I’m a nerd, so I’m easy to shop for!) I spent about $95 on six new books. I’m pretty stoked. I picked up The Host by Stephanie Meyer (author of the Twilight books), The City of Falling Angels by John Berendt, The Book of Air and Shadows by Michael Gruber, and the three Chuck Palahniuk books that I haven’t read: Invisible Monsters, Lullaby and Rant: The Oral Biography of Buster Casey. I can’t wait to get started. The hard part is figuring out which one to read first.

THEN, it was off to the MOST amazing Christmas concert EVER. Trans-Siberian Orchestra. One word: Amazing. No… that doesn’t do it justice. Even though this was the fifth time I’ve seen them, they never get old. They went bigger and better than ever with the pyrotechnics and lasers this year. And the snow. OH MY GOSH… they blew so much snow over the civic center floor. (For those of you who live in areas where it actually snows, SHUT UP. I know you’re thinking, “Ooooh, snow. Who cares?” But for a girl in south Alabama, it was magic!)

Yesterday was Chase’s birthday party at the bowling alley. I can’t believe he’s 11!! When did that happen? He’s almost as tall as me. (I know… it doesn’t take much.) He and his friends had a great time. I wish I had their energy!! If you’ve never seen a group of 11 year old boys hopped up on sweet tea and birthday cake, you don’t know what you’re missing.

After the party, I hit the road and headed back to my new home-town for a couple days of work. My new Mitch Hedberg CD, Do You Believe in Gosh, really made the ride home enjoyable. I laughed until my face hurt.

Kevin came by for a quick dinner and some football (my Alma Mater, Troy, lost in over time to Southern Miss. Booooo.)

Then it was off to bed to rest up for the week ahead.

So there you have it – my busy, yet super-fun weekend.

What about y’all? Did you do anything fun this weekend? I’d love to hear about it! (Especially since I made you suffer through a play-by-play of mine!)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Holiday humor and a lot of driving

I started a pretty funny book last night — Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris. It’s a collection of holiday essays that have a bleak, yet humorous, outlook on the season. If you’re easily offended, please don’t read it. I don’t want to be responsible for your heart attack when you get to the part where the Korean step-daughter who dresses like a prostitute puts the baby in the washing machine – apparently her broken English misunderstood “WATCH the baby,” to mean “WASH the baby.” It could happen to anyone. Well, maybe not. But that’s just the sick mind of David Sedaris. You’ve been warned.

In other news, I’m headed to Birmingham this afternoon. Tomorrow is the annual TSO concert. I’m so excited! I can’t wait for the music and lights and snow… the electric violin and Carol of the Bells… AHHHG!! I’m all giddy just thinking about it.

I finally feel prepared for Christmas. The shopping is done, the gifts are wrapped, my plans are all laid out. Now all that’s left is the driving. I’ll be coming back to Andalusia for work Monday and Tuesday, driving three hours to my grandparents on Wednesday, driving another 3 hours to my dad’s on Friday, then back here (about 5 hours) on Sunday. Oh, then back to Birmingham the following weekend for Deano’s birthday!!! I get to pull babysitting duties while Jen sets up.

I added up all of the hours in the car and determined I’ll spend 21 hours driving over the next two weeks.

Looks like my iPod is going to be working overtime.

Incase my blog gets neglected over the next few crazy days, have a happy, safe and blessed Christmas (or Hanukah, or Kwanza, or whatever it is you celebrate… )

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My letter to Santa

This week's writing prompt from MamaKat: Write a letter to Santa.

Dear Santa,

I know it’s been awhile since I sent you a letter. It’s not that I stopped believing in you, honest. I just figured you were busy enough without my requests. Well that, plus I figured I was on the naughty list for awhile, with all of my miscreant behavior in my early college years. I didn’t want to chance getting coal.

But I can tell you with certainty that I’ve straightened up and forfeited my bad behavior (excluding the occasional glass of wine, but I hear that’s good for your heart.) So this year, I figured I’d write — just to be sure you had taken notice of my new-found sense of responsibility and moved me back to the nice list.

This year, my Christmas list is a little different than those from my childhood. I don’t expect toys or candy (well maybe a little candy would be okay). Instead, these are the things I’m asking for:
  1. Caesar Millan — Do you have any connections with the Dog Whisper, Santa? I’m sure you could pull some strings and have him come train my dog. I’m running out of socks and shoes and I’m getting tired of chasing him barefoot.
  2. Cooler weather — No offense, Santa, but quit hogging all of the snow and winter weather up there at the North Pole. It’s 80 miserable degrees outside today. I walked Toby in shorts and a tank top last night. If you can fit down my chimney you can surely send a little of that snow my way. You’re magic. Quit wasting it. Please?
  3. An elf or two — Is that possible? I know you have plenty of them. Do they reproduce? I’m sure you have an over-population issue on your hands. Send a couple my way. If they can make toys, I’m positive they can wash dishes, do laundry and keep my house clean.
See, those things aren’t that difficult, right? You don’t have to make anything or spend any money at all. In fact, I’d be willing to barter with you — I’ll give you something in return. Twenty somethings. I have about 20 extra pounds of weight just hanging around that I don’t need, and there are scrawny, malnourished children all over the world. I’d be glad to sacrifice some of my poundage for their benefit. I’m here to help. I’m not stingy.

Well, I guess that’s about it. (Unless you’d like to take care of my bills or pay my rent for awhile. No? Well, it was worth a shot.)

I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season, Santa.

Eagerly awaiting my dog-training, snow-bringing, house-cleaning elf,

Monday, December 15, 2008

Countdown to Christmas

I saw a “Countdown to Christmas” sign yesterday that informed me there were exactly 11 days left until the 25th. Really? I mean I guess I knew that – but seeing it in big green and red font with flashing colors really made it official.

I guess it’s hard to feel Christmasy when the temps are expected to reach the high 70s this week. I could be wrong, but I don’t think the elves wear t-shirts and flip-flops while they’re making toys. Isn’t it supposed to be cold by now? Technically, I guess it’s summer for some folks, depending on where they live and all, but here, in the U.S., isn’t it supposed to be cold?

I did do some traditional Christmas things this weekend that should have really put me in the spirit. Saturday night I went to see the Nutcracker. For a small town, I was pleasantly surprised at the size of the production. Who knew so many people would turn up for a ballet? The senior company was really good and they brought in a few dancers from Montgomery and New York. It was a nice change from the bon fires and dirt roads that make up a normal Andalusian Saturday night. (Just sayin’.)

Yesterday, Kevin and I went to Destin to finish some Christmas shopping and celebrate our birthdays. We ate entirely too much at McGuire’s, then he treated me to a couple of grown-up work outfits. He was so sweet and patient walking around the stores. And I had no idea he was so fashion forward. He was picking out outfits, y’all. He went all Clinton Kelly on me, matching things up. I was kind of shocked.

While it was a lot of fun, shopping is still a little frustrating. I know all you short folks who read this can identify. Why do they make pants for women who are so dang tall? And shirts… don’t get me started on shirts. If you have any chest at all, finding a good fit up top almost certainly means it won’t fit around the waist. It will hang there all baggy, looking like a potato sack. I’m going to start designing clothes for women shaped like me. Everyone who’s not can shop somewhere else. It’s going to be called “Short and curvy” or something catchier when I’m feeling more creative. Anyone want in? There have to be more people built like me out there than there are stick-thin giants. Right? I think so.

Anyway, enough of that. I’m off my soap box.

For now.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Stupid storm...stupid fence...stupid dog

This morning started so well.

I actually got up when my alarm clock went off, feeling rested. As I got ready for work, I had a sense of peace. I got some of my Christmas shopping done yesterday, so I was feeling slightly less rushed about that. I found an outfit on my first try (which is an accomplishment for me lately, since very few of my clothes fit anymore… I’m sorry, did you say something about the treadmill sitting in my living room. Ah, yes. There is that.)

Anyway, my hair was actually agreeable for a change. It stayed straight, yet maintained a little body, not looking too stringy. Things were looking up.

Then I went outside to get Toby.

We’ve been having bad storms for the past few days, and apparently the wind blew down part of my privacy fence this morning, making a convenient escape for my little bundle of joy. When I realized he was gone, I couldn’t even be mad – I was too busy panicking. Toby has a bad habit of chewing off his collars, so he was roaming the streets somewhere, looking like an orphan with no identification. We have a strict leash law in town, so I was freaking out, thinking about him either getting hit by a car, or hauled off to the pound.

After several minutes of searching on foot in the cool, misty morning (in wedge shoes, dress pants and a CREAM colored sweater) I got in my car and started driving up and down the streets looking for him.

About the time I was on the phone, on the verge of tears with my boss, explaining why I wasn’t at work yet – I saw him. I hung up the phone, put the car in park and took off after him. Did I mention I left my car in the middle of the street, RUNNING, with the door wide open? Thank God it didn’t get hit — or stolen.

As he got ever closer to the main highway, running at light speed, I started screaming. I guess I was loud enough to stop traffic, because about that time, an older gentleman stopped his car and started trying to help. After much, MUCH chasing and yelling and crying (mostly out of frustration by this point), we finally managed to get him.

Luckily, I had a towel. I had taken it with me when I initially went to get him out of the yard because I knew his paws would be muddy. So I wrapped him up in the towel, feeling pretty smart, and carried him home.

So, my hair that was looking so good this morning, now looks wind-blown and frizzy, and my cream sweater? Somehow still managed to get a muddy paw print on the right side, right under my ribs. And of course, I didn’t notice it until I got to work.

But let’s look at the positive side: 1) I got my exercise for the day; 2) Toby keeps my life VERY interesting, to say the least; 3) it was only misting, not full out raining; 4) it was only about 49 degrees outside – it could have been much colder; 5) …

Okay, this starting to sound pathetic! My morning sucked.

End of story.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Life on cruise control

I don’t know what my deal is lately. I feel like things around me are moving at light-speed, yet I’m standing still in the middle of all the chaos. I can’t seem to get anything accomplished.

My house is in serious need of a deep cleaning. I have dishes to wash, laundry to do, floors to sweep, furniture to dust… the list is ridiculous. I just keep putting it off. And you know what? I feel severely unmotivated.

Then there is the whole Christmas shopping thing. I haven’t started. Not so much as a single gift has been purchased. I have a vague idea of what I’m going to get everyone, but I’ve made no move to actually do so. I don’t even own wrapping paper. Or tape. Or bows. I should probably get on that.

I don’t know where the year went. There were things I wanted to accomplish this year that I never got around to. To my credit, I did finally graduate, finish an internship and get a big-girl job. I guess that counts for something.

And there’s always next year. (Which is freakishly close.)

I’ve already started a “goals list” for 2009. (Inspiration courtesy of Hebba. That girl makes lists for everything!) Maybe if my goals are staring up at me in black ink, I’ll be more likely to work towards them. I might even share them with you guys. Then you can hold me accountable and force me to not be so lazy.

Overall, I’ve been feeling a little insignificant lately. (Not in the sad, pathetic way.) I just feel like there is so much out there — so many experiences, so many opportunities — that I haven't taken advantage of. I don’t want to lead a mediocre life. I know it sounds cheesy, but I want my life to really count for something. I want to make a difference. I don’t want to feel like I missed out on anything.

I’m getting tired of living life on cruise control.

Carpe diem, right?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

726 pounds of love

Sometimes guys can be so sweet. And other times? Well, other times, not so much. Here's just a sample of a conversation Kevin and I had the other night.

K: I love you.
Me: How much?
K: Umm… 726 pounds?
Me: 726 pounds? That’s not very much.
K: Sure it is. That’s like five of me. If I was five times bigger, wouldn’t you think that was a lot?
Me: Yeah, but… that’s not even as much as a tree. There are lots of trees out there that weigh waaay more than 726 pounds.
K: Yeah, but there are some that weigh less.
Me: So you love me more than some, but not as much as others? Think about it! One tree in the WHOLE universe?? That’s not very much.
K: What universe?
Me: OUR universe. What do you mean "what universe?"
K: Well, how do you know it’s really out there? Have you ever seen it?
Me: Don’t try to change the subject! 726 pounds isn’t even as much as one of your cows. You love me less than a cow?
K: Well, if I had compared you to a cow, you would’ve said, “Are you calling me fat?”
Me: That’s so not the point!
K: Sure it is.
Me: UHG!!

What a sweetheart, right? At least he keeps things interesting.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Be careful what you wish for

I’ve finally learned the reason behind that age-old warning.

I went over to Jenner’s blog today and noticed a neat little game she had taken part in. It seemed like a lot of fun. You get to list ten of your favorite things — with a little twist. The blogger that you take the game from gets to pick a letter for you, and each item on your list must start with the letter you’ve been assigned.

Well Jenners let her four-year-old Little Man pick out my letter. And guess what the precious child chose for me?


Thank you Little Man. This will definitely stretch my vocabulary skills to the max. I’m not sure I know ten things that start with Z, let alone ten things that I’d classify as favorites.

So, why don’t we get started and see where this takes us?

  1. Ziti – I am a pasta fanatic. I keep meaning to try the baked ziti recipe from Jessica’s blog and haven’t gotten around to it yet. Low-carb diet? Not in a million years.
  2. Zoo-light safari – Every Christmas, the Birmingham zoo is decked out in Christmas decorations. It’s a lot of fun to bundle up and walk through the lights. And of course, you HAVE to ride the train. But a little warning: Don’t mess with the lights!! A few years ago, while we were standing in line for the train, I got a little fidgety and started twisting one of the bulbs. Well, it fell out – causing a whole strand to go dark, and leaving me feeling around on the ground trying to find the missing bulb. Oops.
  3. Zippers – How much easier are things with zippers? Seriously, think of how long it would take if everything you currently own with zippers had to be fastened with buttons.
  4. Zinnias – I LOVE these flowers. They’re so bright and cheery. They make me ready for spring. I’m starting to miss all of the pretty flowers now that it’s frigid outside. I keep trying to focus on the negatives so I don’t get the winter blues… negatives like pollen. Thank God it’s not spring because my allergies would be acting up. See, now I’m happy with winter again.
  5. Zingers – Those witty little one-liners. I love them. I wish I was quick enough to come up with them more often.
  6. Zaniness – Everyone needs a little craziness in their life – but only the fun, zany kind. I appreciate an off-beat sense of humor.
  7. ZZZZZs – Yes, I mean sleep. I love sleep. Sleep is my friend. When I don’t get enough I tend to be very, very cranky – so for your benefit, you should love that I love sleep.
  8. Zack Morris – I was a huge Saved by the Bell fan. (Show me one person my age that WASN’T and I’ll show you a dirty liar!) When I was in the 5th grade, my friends and I used to pretend we were the characters. Dana and I got sent to the counselors office to resolve our “friendship issues” when we got into a fight about who was the better Kelly. Embarrassing? You bet. But so worth it after she gave in and I won. (I can’t believe I just admitted that.)
  9. Zodiacs – I love to read my horoscope. Do I honestly believe everything it says? No. But it’s still fun. And sometimes it can be eerily accurate. I’m a Sagittarius, which is a Fire sign. Judging by my sometimes fiery temper, I’d say it’s dead on.
  10. Zucchini – YUM. Any way, shape, or form. Zucchini bread, fried zucchini, sautéed zucchini, baked zucchini, grilled zucchini…. I have to stop because I’m hungry (and I sound like Bubba from Forest Gump.)

How bout that? I made it! And it wasn’t even that hard.

If you want to play, just let me know and I’ll give you a letter. If I can get through Z, you should be able to get through anything I dish out! (Except maybe X. But I won’t be that mean. Maybe.)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Vacation memories

The cooler weather is tugging at my heart and making me miss family vacations to the Smokies.

While there have been a few truly miserable trips, due to a large dose of family bickering and a dash of drama, last year's vacation made up for the lackluster years in the past.

Since I'm feeling all nostalgic, I'm going to make this a picture post and share some of my favorite moments from our last trip.

We started off in Gatlinburg. I know I look rough in this picture, we'd been in the car all day. This was right before supper our first night there and I was giddy with excitement. Although we've been on trips like this countless times, I still feel like a kid when we finally get there. This is Chase, my youngest little brother, who will be 11 in just a few weeks. When did he get so old???
Here we are again, this time in the woods. I love this part of the trip. The sights and sounds of Gatlinburg are fun, but to me, the best part is being able to get out and enjoy nature.

Back in Gatlinburg, me and Chase are making idiots of ourselves. It was fun though! This was in the 3-D mini golf attraction. The pictures turned out to be the best part. It was hot and stuffy inside, and they kept playing carnival music, which kind freaked me out. I'm one of those nerds that read It and am consequently scared to death of clowns.

This was the view from under the swinging bridge on Grandfather Mountain in Boone, North Carolina. It was my first trip up there and it was honestly one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. This is the "mile-high" bridge — it hangs more than 5,800 feet above sea level. Of course I had to walk across it. :)

Also at Grandfather Mountain. This bear cracked me up. It was in a pen with some other bears, and they would all sit there and beg for treats. Chase got a kick out of throwing it food. It would catch it, gulp it down and immediately start begging for more.

Mama will be ashamed, but I can't remember the name of this waterfall. All I know is that it's the one you can walk behind. It had been dry that season, so it wasn't flowing very strong, but it was still pretty.

This is the view from the top of Grandfather Mountain. See all of those people standing on the edge of the cliff? I wanted to be one of them so bad, but was told that as long as I was on a family trip, I'd get nowhere near it. Guess I'll have to go back by myself for that one.

Overall, the trip was so much fun.

I wish I was there now...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Chaos and craziness

Weekly writing prompt from MamaKat: Describe a time when your pet caused chaos.

Wow. Just one time my dear, sweet, innocent little angel caused chaos?? I don’t even know where to start.

First of all, he’s destroyed an insane amount of my things. For a dog his size, it’s amazing the things he can eat through. Like a down comforter. Or a cell phone. Or two TV remotes. Ooooh, how about 10 pairs of really cute shoes? While these things have been extremely annoying, they haven’t really been utter chaos.

Not that he’s incapable of making me crazy.

Looking back on it, the funniest instance I can remember happened just a few months ago.

I was home sick from work on a Friday afternoon. I felt so awful, I had not even changed out of my pajamas. My hair was a total disaster, piled on top of my head in some semblance of a ponytail caught in a wind storm. I looked like something from Night of the Living Dead. Anyway, Toby was at the door, whining to go out, so I picked him up and took him to the back yard. See, there’s no door that leads from the house to the yard, so you have to go out into the carport and open the fence… a lot of space for an annoying dog to make a get-away.

I guess he sensed that I was slower than normal on this particular day, so he wiggled and twisted his way out of my arms and took off down the street. Lovely. I knew if I went in to get shoes I’d never find him, or catch up with him, so I ran after him. Barefoot. In my pajamas. At 2:30 in the afternoon. My neighbors probably thought I was nuts.

Toby’s not stupid. Inside, when his attention is focused (which is rare), I can say “sit,” “lay down,” “come here,” “stay,” and he follows directions accordingly. Outside, it’s a totally different story. He suddenly become deaf, running from one yard to the next, peeing on mailboxes, trees, cars… anything he can find — leaving me to chase after him. Then he’ll stop and wait, almost like he’s ready to come home. I’ll get within a foot of catching him, and he’ll shoot off like a rocket.

Anyway, my house is just across the highway from the football stadium where the high school and tiny mite teams play. And their mascot? A bulldog. So here I am, standing in a stranger's yard, barefoot, in my PJs, yelling at my idiot dog, and out of no where, I hear this: “Who let the dogs out? Who, who, who, who? Who let the dogs out?”

How appropriate. Who let this little hellion out?? Oh, right, that was me.

It was like God was laughing at me.

Short, sweet and to the point

I saw this meme on Mel's post and thought it was interesting. You have to answer each question with just ONE word. You all know I am a talker. Or in the blog world, a writer. Whatever — I tend to ramble. That's the point I'm trying to make! See, I'm doing it right now. BUT, as difficult as this may be, I will try to follow the rules! :)

1 - Where is your cell phone? — desk
2 - Where is your significant other? — sleeping
3 - Your hair color? — brown
4 - Your mother? — strong
5 - Your father? — compassionate
6 - Your favorite thing? — laughter
7 - Your dream last night? — sad
8 - Your dream/goal? — happiness (cliché, right?)
9 - The room you’re in? — cube-land
10- Your hobby? — reading
11- Your fear? — alone
12- Where do you want to be in 6 years? — writing
13- Where were you last night? — home
14- What you’re not? — athletic
15- One of your wish-list items? — guitar
16- Where you grew up? — Alabama
17- The last thing you did? — feature article (I know, two words. Sorry.)
18- What are you wearing? — sweater
19- Your TV? — off
20- Your pet? — hyperactive
21- Your computer? — busy
22- Your mood? — eh…
23- Missing someone? — monumentally
24- Your car? — silver
25- Something you’re not wearing? — socks
26- Favorite store? — bookstore
27- Your summer? — intern
28- Love someone? — yep
29- Your favorite color? — blue
30- When is the last time you laughed? — today
31- Last time you cried? — dream (remember, it was sad.)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Turkey Day pictures

Wow! What a long weekend! Am I the only one that had a hard time getting up and facing reality this morning??

I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving. I fully intend on blogging about mine later, but seeing how I haven't been at work since last Wednesday, I should probably get busy here.

I'm way behind on reading y'all's stuff. I honestly haven't looked at a computer screen in five days. I'll catch up though...eventually. Probably not today.

I'll leave you with some pictures from Turkey Day.

Me and Sean, Thanksgiving morning.
Sean and the Murph-dog, playing the guitar. He actually taught me FIVE chords this weekend. I'm well on my way to being a rockstar. (I know five chords isn't much, don't ruin my delusion.)
My cousin Jessica, me and Sean. Yes...I'm short.