Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Babe

I can't write what I feel today. I just don't have the words and I'm just not a writer. I wish I could spill it all out and that it would all makes sense, but I type and erase and realize that I just don't have it in me. Nothing comes out how it feels and words just can't describe it.

I call him "Babe" and he calls me "Babe". I don't know why, it just works. My grandfather has always been one of my friends. Today, my friend has a rare cancer and I have no words for it. The only word I have is hope, I hope that there is more time. He has had a long and plentiful life, but I'm just not finished with him yet.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Skeptic

Have you ever had a friend that you really wanted to tell her something, but just knew that you couldn't?

I do.

I have a long time, great friend and I love her dearly. I can not stand her man and I can not tell her. This is killing me. They have been together for a few years and try as I might, I can't stand the guy. This doesn't keep us apart, but it makes it hard to want to do all the fun things like go out, go away or just stay in. But I can not tell her. See, there is nothing about this guy that makes me believe that he is mistreating her or cheating on her, etc. It is not that I get an immoral vibe, but that I just really think he is completely full of shit. I can not remember having one, not even one, conversation with this person where I felt like he was being honest and genuine. Not EVER.

When I talk to my friend we always talk about our guys and what they are up to, etc. and the things that she tells me that are going on in their lives are so unbelievably off the wall, I can't believe that she buys his crap. He is a first rate egomaniac and thinks that he is God's gift to the world - and he loves to talk about how much everyone just loves him and how he is the absolute best at, well, EVERYTHING. It is just really too much. The stories he tells are so incredibly outlandish that I can't see how anyone buys it. Perhaps my friend wants to focus on the positive and give him the benefit of the doubt, but I am amazed that she is blind to the steaming manure. If I were to believe even 1/4 of his stories, this man has been offered countless jobs with salaries higher than anyone I know, yet there is always a reason that the job is just not for him.

I suppose I am just a skeptic. I get it honest, though. My grandmother on the not so inbred side of my family doesn't trust anyone.ever.noway. She honestly thinks that everyone on earth is out to rip her off. This is a great trait to have since so many elderly people are preyed on, but she is downright nasty to folks. She doesn't trust the bank and I'd venture to say that if her house burned down so would all her money. She handed this skepticism down to my father and he has always told us to "do the research" on everything. He is pretty leary to most salespeople and 'new' fangled ideas. I get my loathing of salespeople from him. While I have finally met some salespeople on the up, I still have my doubts about a lot of them. I do think I read people pretty well, and if I get a weird vibe from someone at first meeting it is really hard for me to ever get past it.

So, back to my point, I got a weird vibe the first time I met my friend's man. I've questioned her on a lot of things, but never have come right out to say I just don't like him. They are married and it won't change anything if I do say it, other than to harm our friendship. So I suppose I should just deal with it.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Inbred

I've known my whole life that my grandparents were cousins.


Yes, I said it outloud(?), my grandparents were related to one another before getting married. (insert GASP). Now everyone can proceed to determine that YES I live Georgia, the south, the capitol of backwards southerness and inbreeding. If you are a stero-typing butthead, yes, that is true. Fortunately for me, I never truly knew the entire background of this related-ness until now. NOW, I know that I am actually more inbred that I ever thought. My grandparents are 3rd cousins! Here's a little snippet of my family tree (names have been changed to protect the not so innocent).

Yes, my family tree branches out and then reconnects. Clearly this is not normal. Clearly this is a bit weird. Clearly this is disturbing. Joseph and Samantha are brother and sister, farther down the line Joseph's grandaughter WENDY marries Samantha's grandson GEORGE. Well, folks, Wendy & George are MY grandparents.

The funniest part is that I believe that my ancestors were so completely whack that the whole process of crossing the branches, so to speak, may have actually straightened some things out. In the history of my grandparents, their siblings, their children and children's children and so on.....well, I think we are by far the most blessed. There is a terrible history of bi-polar and thyroid disease going down the line, horrible arthritis that attacks very young, fertility issues, heart disease, severe asthma and cancer. Thankfully my immediate family has been able to dodge a lot of bullets healthwise, KNOCK ON WOOD. Personality issues, I think my family is pretty lucky as well - I've seen some real nut jobs at extended family reunions.

Besides this inbreeding, I think it is really cool that I am able to trace my family back to 1766. This is all thanks to my great uncle who did all of the research before dementia took him away from us, mentally. If I had just ONE more generation back I would be able to see if I was a Daughter of the American Revolution. I think it would be really cool to know what heroic things my great, great, great, great, great grandfather did to help shape our history. SOMEDAY, when I have some time, I hope to dive a little deeper. For now, just please don't judge me and pray that my grandchildren don't have arms growing out of their ears........

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Headache

Not tonite, honey, I have a headache......

This has been more often than not lately. I get headaches fairly regularly. I can usually tell when I'm going to get one, but as much as I do to try to ward it off, it always comes. Recently, I've been getting more frequent headaches at times when I would not normally get one. These headaches are not as intense as the migraines, but annoying none the less. I really should probably get checked out.........

I sent my husband to bed in a huff because I had a headache and he was getting no love from me. I THOUGHT the testosterone was running smoothly since he spent a few hours blowing up people on the Playstation. Apparently I was wrong.

The next morning I wake up and reach to push my hair behind my ears. I feel something crusty in my hair, but I dismiss it to the fact that I have kids and somebody probably put their grimy hands in my hair while giving goodnight kisses. No problem, I'm taking a shower anyway. In the mirror I notice my face has white crust from the corner of my mouth to my ear and then again up on my forehead. Did I drool myself into a puddle? No, I don't really do that. Now I'm just MAD.

I walked into the bedroom, "so what, now I'm a TOOL to use while I'm sleeping? You are a freak show! Who does this to their sleeping wife!? Are you KIDDING ME???", I'm screaming to a very confused looking husband. I will tolerate a lot of weird stuff, but don't mess with me while I am asleep. Have the courtesty to wake me up and then use me for your own satisfaction..... My blood was boiling, "and YOU are washing the sheets you pervert!".

My husband gave me a moment to collect myself, I went and washed my face. I also realized that some of the crust on my face was greenish.....WTF? I know this is not like "snot green" and I start to recall the events of the night. Husband, blasting away on Playstation and me with a headache. My typical headache routine is to take multitudes of Excedrin and put ice on my head. My pervert husband had purchased me a gel eyemask to keep in the freezer for such headaches - they usually concentrate around my eye area. I used that eyemask for this particular headache. That eyemask that is filled with GREEN gel. That eyemask that is supposed to be refridgerated, not FROZEN. That eyemask that is LEAKING GREEN GEL which drys into a nice crust. Ok, so he's not a using me for a tool while I'm asleep, I guess I will stop calling him a pervert - for today.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Davelanta 2

He came, He saw, He conquered....the city, that is!

We had a great Saturday with Dave2 and the opportunity to meet some great new bloggers! The festivities began with lunch at SAVAGE Pizza. YUMMY, and they have the coolest bathrooms ever! Completely wallpapered in comics - awesome!













We also went to the High Museum of Art where we saw many interesting paintings and works of art. This one was my favorite. A kitty (well, lion) crafted from wood, sawdust, epoxy, marbles and hemp. The consensus was that we should light and smoke him. :)



















Then it was over the Black History Celebration to watch some traditional dancing and some wickedly awesome break(?) dancing.












Next is was time to introduce Dave2 to the NAKED DOG, but he's a vegetarian and it was almost dinnertime....so we all settled for some Frosted Orange goodness at The Varsity. It was sublime happiness, until Dave's iPhone camera decided to stop working and he went completely postal. He purged his rage by screaming "What'll Ya Have?" repeatedly while shooting off his Uzi. He's going to have quite a reputation in Atlanta between this episode and the World of Coke fiasco.

At the Hard Rock Cafe we had a priority seating at 5:40, luckily the priority seating meant waiting for 45 minutes for a table which gave everyone a chance to arrive. Atlanta has lovely traffic issues!! Anyhoo, there was much fun and food with Dave2, Coalminer's Grandaughter, Mentally Rehearsed and Geeky Tai Tai (& Way Hot Husband). The funniest thing was that not only did we realize that I lived in the same dorm at the same time as Coalminer's Grandaughter, she also had a few classes with my husband in college. To go even further, she lived adjacent to the property that we now live on for 5 years and we never knew it. There's something to be said for knowing your neighbors! Here we have "known" each other for probably 17 years and it took Dave2 to get us to talk to one another!! Crazy!!

I did take some great advice from the Reverend Howard Finster. His art is on permanent display at the High and it is very interesting indeed. While I don't agree with some of his ideas there are many wonderful messages to be found by sorting through his works. The ending says it ALL! This is a small section of a large work depicting the Reverend riding a mule.

You meet the good.....










Thursday, July 17, 2008

Engaged!

First off - did you realize there was a category in the Emmy's for a REALITY SHOW HOST??!! That is just LAME! Really, an Emmy? Seriously, what have we come to......?

While on our Lake Michigan shoreline tour (yes, one day I will stop talking about Chicago and how I love thee....) we got an amazing view of the city. It is truly incredible. We also puttered out to check out the old lighthouse in the harbor. Just as we pulled up to the lighthouse a guy next to us falls to his knee and proposed to his girlfriend. Awwww, it was so cute and she said YES!! and the whole boat cheered. It was sweet.

My engagement was a little bit low key. I was working at a mega-mart during my college summer break and Kevin came to pick me up after work. There was this "feelings" chart at the store and as we walked past it he stopped. "Lovestruck" was his choice, which I thought was so sweet - I had no idea what I was in for that evening!! We then went to our favorite restaurant, parked and he asked me to get him a Kleenex out of his glove compartment. When I opened the glove box I immediately saw a ringbox and panicked. I pulled out a tissue and shut the glove box!! Ha ha ha!!! I was just in total shock that this was happening right here, right now. Kevin did not find this funny. He asked for another Kleenex and, after I had a moment to compose myself, I was all casual like "oh, what's this?". And I opened it and he asked me - right there in his car. Of course, I said YES and the rest is history. Kevin constantly laments that he didn't choose a location more romantic than his car, but I have no regrets or complaints. I'm a no frills kind of girl and I was ecstatic that he actually wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. All that stalking had finally paid off!!

The best part was that earlier in the day Kevin was at my parents' house, along with me. He asked my dad to help him check out something in his car for repair. I told him it was useless and could not be fixed, "Dad, really, it isn't even worth a look....", but Kevin INSISTED and I got really irritated. This was all his way to get my dad alone and to 'ask' him about the engagement. Funnier than that, my dad said, "well, she might not say yes...." ROTFL...... Way to go, Dad!! Shoot that boy right out of the lovestruck mood! I have no idea what my dad was thinking, why he said that, or why he actually thought that, but it's a good thing it did not stop Kevin. Otherwise, I might be a homeless lady with a pet rat.

Please share your story, or if you aren't married/committed do you already have it planned out? Are there guys who actually spend a few years thinking about it, or have engagement fantasies the way we girls spend most of our lives picturing our wedding?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Cockroach!

video

This is what my Sugar & Spice & Everything Nice little 7 year old finds amusing. While at the Nature Center in Chicago we visited the gift shop and this is what nice little souvenir my cute little girl chose. These things are so frickin' disgusting and I have no mind control as I can't even touch the little abominations. Everytime I see one I jump out of my skin. And we have THREE of these.....they are popping up in every room of the house. And EVERYTIME I have a small heart attack. ICK. And they are just plastic. How pathetic am I?

It is pretty genius - a very real bug with a sticky wheel on the bottom. When you stick it to the wall it begins to scurry down. Blarrrrrghhhhhhh. Who needs boys??

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Responsibility

I looked so forward to going on vacation last week, I usually do. I generally will pack for vacation no less than a week in advance. Last year, we took the kids on a cruise and I packed for the cruise over a period of 6 months - I kid you not. I will set up an area in the house and when I see something that would be great for wherever we are going I put it in the box. Ok, so it isn't truly "packing", but I guess preparing. The point is that I REALLY look forward to vacations.

I'm back to reality now and, as usual, I'm having a hard time getting back into the groove of things. I don't want to cook or plan meals, I don't want to work, I don't want to exercise and I definately don't want to get up early. I'm lucky in the respect that I don't have a 'real' job where I have to get up (God Bless You, Kevin, for having a real job!!), but I have a ton of other responsibilities that I just don't want to face. I'm just so tired of having so many things to worry about and attend to that I have a paralysis of effort and can't do anything. A week is not enough of a break. I often wonder if I'd be happier if I just got a job where I was more of a minion instead of being the owner, worker, buyer, salesperson, CEO, CFO and janitor all at once. I doubt I'd be happy long, but I wonder.....

I'm not sure how long of a break would deem enough, probably no amount of time is truly enough. Perhaps I just need change. I'm the kind of person that can't stand a routine and I get stir crazy and need things to go differently or to have something new to do. Unfortunately for me, I keep adding new things to do or to be responsible for and I don't seem to retire anything else. Therefore, I am constantly overloaded with responsibilities. It also has to do with my need to be in control of everything around me - I am getting better with that, but still...


I'm in a post-vacation slump. Wouldn't it be nice if you could go on vacation and have someone attend to everything for you while you're away. What I would give to come home to no laundry, a week's worth of dinners, no bills or activities and definately not a pile of work and related messages & emails to return!! If only there were a Bathroom Monkey to do it all while I'm away!!



Side note - what kind of person does it take to enjoy exercise? Seriously, it must be genetic because no matter how hard I try to enjoy it I count the milli-seconds until it is over. And I can never motivate myself to push an extra few minutes/lbs/whatever. I absolutely hate every moment of it, no matter what kind of mood I'm in. It must be my intense aversion to routines and that I feel this is something that I have to do regularly. Is it just me?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Awe






















No matter how many times, or how often I see it my heart always skips a beat at the realization of the epic beauty of our earth. Not that a camera can capture it through a dirty plane window, but none the less it is a reminder.

Surely there is divine power.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Home

We finally made it home from Chicago - and boy is it HOT in Atlanta! I'm ready to move! We walked out of the airport and it hit like a firey wall.....oh yes, we are home. My hair began to curl immediately - that's humidity for you.


I wanted to blog all week while in Chicago, but for some reason (likely my blondeness) I could only get my blog title in when trying to blog from my iPhone. I finally just gave up, so now I need to cram an entire week into one post. I also fear I've "lost" some of the magic since I've had time to let things settle in. We did have an immensely wonderful week and I've got loads of fond memories, but here are a few highlights.....

Navy Pier - always fun for the kids, the Crystal Garden, the giant anchor and all the carnival-ish fun.

Lou Mitchell's Diner - two words "free donuts".

Notebaert Nature Center - not quite what we expected, but the kids had fun none the less. They list a Butterfly Cafe with natural and organic lunch choices so we held out to eat there. BAD choice, the cafe was an upright cooler with a few pre-made sandwiches and some hotdogs. Luckily we found an ice-cream cart on the street.

Hard Rock Cafe - two words "free SOCKS!" Thanks to Kapgar, I got some free Wii socks. I also got to meet some fantastic blogging friends for dinner. Kapgar & Kilax (plus her husband, Steven) came into the city to meet me for dinner and they even tolerated my kids. Luckily, Kapgar is a total dork and made my kids laugh, he was also game to letting them slap him around, so they definately thought he was cool. My little one found him ,"dorky, like Daddy". I hope Kapgar took that as the highest honor possible because NO ONE tops Daddy. Poor Kim (Kilax) lost her ears as she patiently listened to my oldest child talk them right off her head - these two clicked like legos and who knows what they talked about. I'm certain that Kim probably knows some things that I would not have likely divulged. Kim was so sweet and we even met up with her again later on in the week - and she brought my kids presents! How cool! My girls can't stop talking about her, and I like her a lot, too!! Thank goodness I didn't get cold feet and back out on this meet up - I'm usually introverted and I was thisclose to cancelling because I'm still new at all of this. What a loss it would have been to me!! *photo*

Millenium Park - my kids played in the fountain and had a blast, we took a picnic and towels and had a nice rest in the shade. My little one was so exhausted she actually fell asleep under her towel and almost wasted an entire bowl of icecream - now that's tired - luckily she has an awesome mom to help her out, and I ate it for her. I'm a giver like that. *photo*

FREE STUFF - on just about any given day that we were in Chicago there was a truck giving out free samples on Michigan Avenue at the river. The best was Burn Notice - free ice cream. They had Blue Bunny ice cream sandwiches and Bomb pops. Awesome. I also ran into rollerbladding Burn Notice chicks later in the day and got a ton of free chapstick. Eh.

American Girl - can any girl go to Chicago without a visit here? We went and spent - it was later in the evening, after happy hour, and there was a mom there with her little girl and she was stone cold DRUNK (the mom). She could barely talk, kept falling over and bent over far too many times in her short skirt. It was sad to watch. Even my kids noticed she was acting weird. People were just staring, it was embarrassing to no end. The upside is that the little girl convinced her to buy a TON of stuff, so she definately took advantage of the situation.

The Hancock Observatory - we chose Hancock over Sears Tower by suggestion from our Frommer's guide. We were not disappointed. It is AMAZING and the screened in area is wickedly windy. We spent a LONG time up there listening to the headset tours and then a HUGE storm rolled in and we were literally IN the lightening. Crazy and amazing and an incredible view. I haven't been to Sears Tower and I don't believe I'm missing out.

Rainforest Cafe - eh, nothing new there. It was late and we were all tired, but we ate.

Shakespeare Theatre - we took the kids to see Willy Wonka and it was a blast. The entire performance was done by 8 actors, all playing multiple roles. I wasn't expecting much, but I was pleasantly surprised. Patrick Andrews was sooo good as Charlie Bucket - I just loved him! The kids' favorite was George Andrew Wolff as Augustus Gloop - he was hilarious. I can't say that anyone wasn't good in this show. It was really good for the kids and Kevin and I enjoyed it as well, we think this is a great family show, but we are completely wrapped up in Willy Wonka which is an all time favorite book and movie for my kids. We all love the original and the remake and all of their differences.

Buckingham Fountain - my kids were amazed to find out that all of the marble used to build this gigantic fountain came from our home state of Georgia - also that running the jets and the light show for this fountain in downtown Chicago is all operated and monitored 700 miles away in Atlanta! It is also extremely close to the building used in the movie GHOSTBUSTERS, who ya gonna call??

River & Lake Tour - we decided to 86 the Science & Industry Museum and go for a boat tour. Nice choice, we learned tons about the architecture of the city and a lot of historical facts. We also got to go through the lock and out into the lake. It was definately a highlight. The kids loved watching the water cannon shoot over the river - they would have loved more if the boat captain would have taken us under it!! *photo*

Billy Goat Tavern - this is what makes my husband happy - a giant bacon cheeseburger. This place cooks it up and hands it to you in waxed paper - no plates, no trays and no messing around. *photo*

And as you can see, Bad Monkey got around quite a bit while we were in Chicago.....though that doesn't surprise me one bit.
From top:
Kapgar and Wii socks - THANKS, KEVIN!
Sleeping in Millenium Park - spare change anyone?
Burn Notice Bomb Pops - I'm soooo cool
Kilax looking all professional and me looking like a crazed tourist
A happy, happy man (that's MY Kevin) at the Billy Goat
River Canon - and kids wanting to get wet

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Cat hair

Our refridgerator is on it's way out. It is 8 years old and has served us well, but I'm ready for a younger, hipper icebox. About two days ago, my Diet Coke just did not seem right. The ideal temperature for a Coca Cola product is 38 degrees. I know this for a fact because I went to the World of Coke. While Dave2 was bludgeoning most of the staff with his free Coke in a bottle because they did not have Coke with Lime, I was educating myself on the proper temperature at which to enjoy a Coke product. I digress. My Diet Coke has been noticeably warmer than 38 degrees. I shrugged it off - perhaps it wasn't in the fridge long enough to get proper. Then, the milk went bad. It didn't get gross, but I'm a compulsive milk smeller and the proper temperature for my milk is less than 38 degrees. I will only drink ICE COLD milk and I'm constantly checking it for freshness. I REFUSE to buy milk unless it is the very last item in the cart and that we are going straight home and it is the first item out of the car and into the icebox. Whew. Our milk was not right. HAPPY DANCE, I'm thinking I'm getting a new fridge - FINALLY!

Kevin totally burst my bubble. He made me call a repairman to check it out first. Why buy a new one if this one just needs an adjustment.....but, but, but. Sigh.

I decided to clean the fridge top to bottom, before having someone look at it. I'm weird like that. I could never have a housekeeper as I would clean before they came over. I cleaned the inside, outside and vacuumed the little vent that runs along the bottom of the front. The cat likes to sleep RIGHT IN FRONT of the fridge next to the warm air that comes from that vent. The vent therefore, needs to be vacuumed off pretty often as it gets cat hair on it. Ok repairman, I'm ready.

The guy looks it all over, feels around, asks some questions. He then lays down in front of the fridge (like my cat, except with buttcrack) and pops the vent cover off. HOLY SHIT! I never actually looked behind the vent. The entire bottom portion of my refridgerator was gray. That is, CAT HAIR GRAY. It was embarassingly cat hair gray. Every inch of every coil was completely covered in cat hair. OH HOW GROSS. "Uhhhhm, Ma'am, I think I found your problem....."

See, when refridgerator coils get suffocated by cat hair they cause over heating which causes your fridge to lose it's cool, so to speak. So, diagnosis is to please vacuum out all the cat hair and that will be $80 thankyouverymuch.

My Diet Coke is now at 38 degrees and I'm happy, but I'd be happier if no one had ever seen the horror of what was under my fridge - and if I had a brand new stainless steel Sub Zero. But the main focus now is to get a body guard for the cat. Kevin no longer refers to her as "Ashley" - he walks around screaming "Get your ass out of here 79.95!!".

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Coinage

We are leaving for Chicago soon! YEA!! I decided to bring the kids along due to an incredible airfare deal that I found on Delta. The girls are thrilled, but since they didn't have much notice that we were going on a trip they were unable to 'save up' some spending cash. The woes of going to American Girl with no money..... SO being my smart and wonderful self I told my girls that they could collect change around the house and use it for their spending money on the trip. I am now wishing I could eat those words. My lovely girls have managed to scrounge up quite a little kitty. We spent last night rolling nickles, dimes and quarters that they have found in closets, jars, bags, purses, drawers, cushions, desks, etc. We then took the pennies (too numerous to count) to the Coinstar machine. Apparently, not counting the pennies was a good choice......


It took about 10 minutes to count all the pennies and the machine kept choking up we had so many. I took this photo about half way through the bucket. We actually ended up having over 6,500 pennies. Of course, Coinstart kept 8.9 per dollar, so we sacrificed a few dollars, but in the end we would have been counting pennies for about a year if not.

So $60 from pennies alone and then the total of all the silver coins was $216 and change!! I think I'm going to need to take out a loan from my kids! I suppose that next time I'll think before I speak. Of course, not as if $276 will take you far at American Girl....