Saturday, December 30, 2006

What's Been Going On...

Whew! For all the preparation that goes into the holidays, it certainly flies by quickly. Here are a few highlights:

1. My Farm Boy rocks. I've been saving up for a Nikon D70... and he goes and buys me one for Christmas. I was stunned. As in... I couldn't even speak, and I almost cried. Seriously. Mucho MUCHO brownie points for the Farm Boy. :-)

2. Spent a lot of time with the kiddies. Shopping before and after the holidays is always a trial with teenagers, but we've had some good times. They were all pretty happy with their gifts, too. It's amazing to see them grow up... going from shrieking with happiness over the toys they receive to shrieking with happiness over new clothes and other non-toy like things.

3. Family Game night with the extended family-- lots of fun. Someone always gets a new game for Christmas (or two or three new games), so we have to play all of them the day after Christmas. We even brought out a few oldies but goodies. Officially, we love Mad Gab, Trivial Pursuit 80s version, and still adore Balderdash. We're pretty much nerds, I know.

4. Oh, and I almost forgot... I'm addicted to Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst Manor. I played that game for 4 hours straight one night, and then finished up the last part of the game the next morning. I'm so anal... I can't quit until I win the game.

5. I've lost a total of 10 lbs since Thanksgiving. Today, I tried on a pair of jeans that I haven't been able to wear for about 2 years. That was a really great feeling! Only 10 more pounds to go! Woot!!!

6. Farm Boy and I went to Chipotle last night for dinner at 9:59 (they close at 10:00). Got a "Grumpy Lite Veggie Burrito" (half the rice, a drip of sour cream, and a sprinkle of cheese). What could be better? Oh yeah... a FREE burrito. Apparently, the order that was made right in front of ours was an employee's dinner. He added our dinner to his ticket and said, "Thanks. Come again!" I had a picture of it, too, but Blogger's being a butthead and only allowing me to upload one photo. Gah. I might have to switch to the new one.

7. No one has called me "Ma'am" this whole holiday break. Stay tuned for the t-shirt, btw. I'm just getting the design kinks worked out... it will be available soon!

Hope you all had a nice holiday!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas...

... I'll be out for a few days celebrating with the family.

Friday, December 22, 2006

A Very Merry Friday Why Files…

WHY #1: Why is the week before a vacation always the longest week of the year???

WHY #2: Why don’t these two have more worthwhile things to do than trade insults?

WHY #3: Why are some people so dumb? Read this year’s list of unanswered Explainer questions at My personal favorites:

“Can you tell me how long it will take if you eat rat poison to see if it is going to affect you? Please e-mail me back. Because my niece ate some.”

And... “i need more money.....what business can i start that will not take a lot of time...i have internet access daily...........and i have saturday morning free before 12 noon to run around. i work from 7am to 9:30 pm..............”

WHY #4: Why didn’t the news team include a picture of this? I think the story merited at least one good photo.

Pac-Man is back… gobbling up dots on Highway 55”, courtesy of Canada’s CBC news.

WHY #5: Are designer eye frames a big hit on the black market or something? If not, why would this guy try to steal $3000 worth of designer frames? From an eyeglass store across the street from a police station? Oh, yeah… the owner is a karate instructor, and his assistant is a body builder.

WHY #6: (added after the initial post) Why, oh, why do I want to stab hot, searing pokers into my eyes and take a drill to my temporal lobe every time that horrible Jessican Simpson (J-Simp)/Daisy-Duke-wannabe HDTV commercial invades my television? Good GOD, make it stop!!

And while we're on the subject... how can someone who is originally from the South have such a god-awful southern accent? I know her real accent is supposed to be a Texas accent (which, supposedly is her native speak), and the "Daisy" accent is supposed to be from Georgia, but COME ON! Please oh please oh please make her just go away.

And that concludes today’s Friday Why Files.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

What's My Name Again????

Last night, while sitting under the dryer (getting my hair done), a woman comes over to me and says,

“Excuse me, ma’am, are you reading this magazine?” [she points at the magazine sitting on the seat next to me] *


For those of you who are new here… I’ll repeat it with emphasis:

“Excuse me, ma’am, are you reading this magazine?”

That’s it. It’s official. After New Year’s, you will be able to find a "Don’t Call Me Ma’am" t-shirt exclusive. I'll post all the details as soon as it's ready.

*double grrr*

*btw, she was at least 10 years older than I am. And I know she's a stranger and most likely hasn't ever read my blog... but I just detest that word!!

Monday, December 18, 2006

And Our Survey Says...

I saw this teaser line on some news site: "Are gift cards cheating?"

I think not. I think most DEFINITELY not.

Case in point...

I know my sister-in-law shops at a certain store all the time. In fact, I'd bet that a good majority of her paycheck is earmarked for this store... not judging, it's just a fact. So, when it came time this year to buy one of her Christmas presents, I knew exactly what I was going to get her. A gift card from that store. She'll LOVE it. *

Because of the type of store it is, I would never think about going to buy her something there. First of all, it's not my bag, baby, so I wouldn't have the first clue. Secondly, even if it was my bag, I still wouldn't be entirely sure of what she needs. Therefore, the gift card rules.

That's one case where gift cards are a thing of true beauty.

Another is -- and this is not going to be grammatically correct, but I just don't care-- those people who are hard to buy for.

You know who they are. You think, and you think, and you think... until you are all thunk out. It's not that they are strange, obtuse little creatures with bizarro tastes... they're just hard to buy for. They're not even difficult to please... they're just hard to buy for! Either you pick something out for them and they already have it, or their tastes are so extremely opposite of yours that you risk making a very bad purchase. I know, I know... it's the thought that counts, right? So... why not make that thought a gift card?

Some people don't like to give gift cards, because then the gift card recipient "knows exactly how much you spent." So what. If you're worried about that, tack another five bucks onto the thing and be done with it. ;-) I am typically a bargain shopper, and I can find great buys on presents that should cost me a fortune but really don't. When that's the case, I'll buy the gift. If not, Uncle So-and-So is going to know that I only spend about $40 on him for Christmas.

The other advantage to gift cards: the clothes always fit. No returns, because you get the sizes you need! You know the relative that always wants to buy you clothes for Christmas? (Personally, I love this relative and wish he/she would move in and buy me clothes every day) This wonderful, thoughtful person who might even have really good "clothes taste" and might buy you exactly what you wanted? Yeah, that person really has no idea what size you wear. And if you're unfortunate enough to be a woman, that person might know your size at one store, but not at that store. Or that store. Or even that other store. (Okay, so that's a topic for another post someday.)

But I digress...

What I want to know is what you think about gift cards. As you can tell, I actually quite prefer them in some cases. Some people may think them impersonal, but I tend to believe that sometimes MORE thought goes into the gift card than most people think. That's my story anyway, and I'm sticking to it.

*Yeah, so I'm 99.9% sure she doesn't read the blog... otherwise, she's TOTALLY gonna know what I got her for Christmas. :-) **

**Ummm... like... yeah... I gotta stop hanging out with my kids, because I'm even blogspeaking like them. Gah!

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Please Explain This to Me Friday Why Files...

WHY #1: WHY can't I post comments on many of your blogs? I think if you've switched your accounts over, I can't comment anymore. And I really do have charming comments for you. Well, semi-charming at least.

WHY #2: WHY can't I switch MY blog over to the new version?? It tells me I can. So, I go through all the motions, and then it tells me I can't. It says my blog might be too big? Really? I only have 266 posts. That's NOT a big blog. Puh-leeze.

WHY #3: WHY are the people in my city so mean, rude, and downright horrible during the holiday season? This is supposed to be a time of peace, love, and joy... and I've been cut off and/or tailgated by more rude drivers, nearly knocked over in a store by some biatch on a cell phone, had bad service with unpleasant-at-best servers at restaurants... more than at any other time of year. Happy Frickin' Holidays to you, too.... jerkfaces! I know people are stressed, but come on. Show a little kindness to your fellow neighbors, please.

WHY #4: Why is this story about a man saving dolphins with his super-sized long arms the most heart-warming thing I've heard all day?

WHY #5: Why... ummm... oh, just "why?" I might have to start a "Stupid Dumbasses" regular post just for people like this.

And that's concludes this week's Friday Why Files... this feature may or may not be back on a regular basis.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Can't Leave the Whiney/Whingey Post at the Top!

I'll leave you with a few random thoughts to ponder... I can't leave that whining mess at the top of my blog for too many days! ;-)

1. Yet again, there is a "movement" to pass some sort of legislation to impose restrictions on driving with cell phones.

Let me take a minute to say that I agree that "distracted driving" is definitely a problem. However, I do NOT think that government intrusion into my driving is going to solve the problem. If we ban cell phone use while driving, then we must also ban eating, drinking, smoking, listening to music, driving with passengers, spilling anything in the car, the possibility that bees might fly into the car and sting you while you drive (it happened to me once)... do you see where I'm going with this?

ANYTHING can be a distraction. I know someone who was killed because a grandma turned her head around for a split-second to ask her grandson a question. No cell phone involved. Just bad judgment.

I am just as frustrated as anyone else at the boneheads who can't seem to drive and talk on their phones simultaneously... but these are probably the people who can't walk and chew gum at the same time. Or sing and clap in rhythm. Or pat their heads while rubbing their tummies. Yes, driving distracted can be the same as a .08 blood alcohol level. Taking antihistamines before driving can also have a similar effect. Driving while sleepy... same deal. Can't we just do a better job of enforcing stiff penalties on reckless driving?

2. On to a cheerier thought... when I was a kid, I used to have a Disney album that was all original recordings from the movies. The songs ranged from the earliest Disney creations (aka Snow White warbling in some octave only dogs can hear to Someday My Prince Will Come) to Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, Bedknobs and Broomsticks... I think up through movies in the 70s. My sister and I used to play that album on an old turntable console that took up half our bedroom. I LOVED that album!!! Some of my favorite songs were on that record: Stay Awake, The Bare Necessities, The Age of Not Believing... and do you think I could find it on CD? Nope. It's all Disney hip hop now. Bah. I would have to buy the soundtrack from every movie to make my own compilation. I can't even find all the older songs on iTunes or any other digital music store. My kids have huge, supposedly all-encompassing Disney 6-CD set, but it doesn't have all the same songs. wah.

3. I've lost 6 lbs since Thanksgiving! Woot! Double woot! Clothes are already starting to fit better... and if I'm lucky, I'll be out of my fat clothes entirely by the end of January. *crossing fingers* ohpleaseohpleaseohpleaseohplease!

I have to go shop now. Bah humbug. just kidding

Monday, December 11, 2006

So, where was that Calgon again???

This has been my weekly pattern for the last few weeks...

Monday: Work
Monday evening: Work late, run to an appointment, help with a school activity. Get home around 9 or 10.

Tuesday: Work
Tuesday evening: Run kids somewhere or go to kids' activities.

Wednesday: Work
Wednesday evening: Run kid to confirmation, attend activities.

Thursday: Work
Thursday evening: Run kids somewhere or go to kids' activities.

Friday: Work
Friday evening: Run kids around town to performances or to hang out with their friends OR go to hockey game.

Saturday: Crash all day long from exhaustion.
Saturday night: if possible, hang out with the Farm Boy.

Sunday: Try to cram everything into one day that should have been accomplished over the weekend.

Next month, the schedule will stay about the same, plus I'll be adding a grad class on Monday nights.

I think I need a break.

Friday, December 08, 2006

A Christmas Letter I'd Like to Read...

julie_gong commented in my last post, regarding the fact that I will be writing a Christmas letter to send to family and friends. She and her family love reading those letters aloud with the main purpose of getting a good laugh at them. And I agree with her... these days, many Christmas letters are lame excuses to brag up your [job, accomplishments, kids, possessions] to the point that the recipient gradually begins to either a) feel inadequate, or b) call bullshit. (what?!? is this a swearing blog?!?)

I promise I will not be that Christmas-letter-writer-er. (it felt like it needed another "er")

So, why do people use the Christmas letter to tell us how amazing their lives are? Why can't they be more realistic? Sure, brag up your kids, etc. ... but then tell the truth, too.

Here's one I'd like to think is lingering out there somewhere:

Greetings from the Smith Family!

Hope the year has been good to you! I sure know it has been absolutely AMAZING for us!

Emma was the homecoming queen this year. She has a perfect grade point average in high school, is first in her class, and she will have a full ride to Harvard next year. Everyone just loves her! Jacob is on the champion club soccer team this year, and the girls in his class literally swoon every time he walks by. He's just getting so handsome! Everyone's SO jealous of our wonderful, fantastic children. Of course, there was that slight issue with the arrest, and the other problem with the positive reading on the EPT test, but we've moved on from that now.

Mother has moved in with us recently. We truly feel that our children will benefit from the intergenerational experience. She's also doing ever so much better since the attempted murder charges were dropped. Luckily, Dad doesn't hold a grudge for too long. Oh! And his gunshot wounds are healing nicely! He should be out of the hospital and back to his favorite cabin in no time. Good thing Mother isn't really a good shot.

My doctors are still trying to diagnose my symptoms. They're just not really sure what's wrong. My symptoms generally range from inappropriate happiness to bulging eyes, and occasionally, loss of contact with reality. But I know they'll figure something out soon! Meanwhile, the grapefruit diet is REALLY doing the trick!*

Anyhoo... that's all from us. We want to wish you a Merry ChristmaHanuKwanzaaKuh and a Happy New Year!

With Love, Kathy, Emma, Jacob, Grandma Ruth, Rags the Dog, Bananas the Kitty, Mr. Stripey the Fish, Lego the Lizard, and Nellie the Alpaca Smith

Now THAT'S a good holiday letter!

*This is my shout-out to maliavale and one of my favorite posts of all time. :-)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

She's Making A Checklist... Checking It Twice...

Christmas Tasks

1. Gift Purchases:

a) Out-of-town Family-- YES, 4 out of 5 gifts ordered online (that's pretty good... all will be delivered by Christmas).

b) In-town Family-- YES, but only 2 out of 20 people are done (eek).

2. House Decorated: NOT YET, in fact there are still a few little pumpkin decorations hanging out in the living room. Wha???

3. Christmas tree purchased? NOT YET.

4. Cookies Baked? NONE (debating whether to bake "Christmas Poo" cookies again this year...) *

5. Holiday Letter mailed? NOPE, not even written yet.

6. Family Photo to send with Holiday Letter? Ummm... NO. For that to happen, we'd have to find a time when all six of us are together at one time. I might have to draw a picture... good thing I have some mad MS Paint skillz.

7. Presents wrapped? NO. See #1 above. Actually, the 4 presents I purchased online will be wrapped before shipping, so technically-- YES, but only 4.

So, yeah... I'm feeling rather confident that, even though I'll be working until at least 4:00pm on Friday, December 22... and even though we are busy every weeknight and weekend between now and Christmas, I'll be able to get this all done before Christmas.

Sure. No problem. And I'm also pretty sure there's a pretty little magical fairy who's going to ride into my bedroom tonight on a pretty little prancing unicorn to give me Samantha Stephens' (yes, from Bewitched) witch powers. I'll just twitch my nose, and everything will be done! *twinkle twinkle twink!*

*To date, the highest percentage of visits I get to this blog are from people looking for pictures of that "scatalogical counterpart to Santa Claus" (thank you, Wikipedia!) from South Park. I don't like adding his name in my posts, because the hits just grow and grow. Poor kids are so disappointed when they find me! ;-)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Typical Conversations around the Grumpy Household...

GrumpyFrump: OhmyGOD, your feet smell horrific!

FarmBoy: I don't love you anymore. In fact, I never loved you. Our marriage is a farce.

GF: Shut up. Nobody likes you.

FB: And then there's you who wants to lose 800 lbs...

GF: So you're saying I'm 800 lbs overweight?!?!? Maybe you should brush your teeth more often so your breath doesn't smell like rotten broccoli when you roll over and breathe in my face at night.

FB: You're stupid.

GF: No, YOU'RE stupid.

Can you feel the love (and also the incredible wit and intelligence)? Our 4th anniversary is in January, and I tell you... it doesn't get any better than this. Marriage is BLISS.