Saturday, October 31, 2009

Television Week In Review (Week Ending 10/31/09)


NFL Football: Pats at Tampa Bay at Wembley: The New England Patriots went to Merry Old England to play the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And won. Woo Hoo!! Of course, Tampa Bay actually managed to score once and Tom threw two interceptions so it wasn't quite as cool as last week's game, but we'll take it.

The Amazing Race: While I wish Big Easy and Flight Time hadn't given Mika such a hard time, I'm glad they didn't get eliminated. Note to Mike: Your boyfriend is an asshole. You're cute. You can do better.


So You Think You Can Dance: A special show to introduce to us the Top Twenty and give us a chance to see them all dance in their own styles. Still don't like Legacy. Still don't like the female married ballroom dancer. Not that wild about her husband but most of all, I cannot believe there are three tap dancers in the top twenty and not one of them is Ryan Kaspersak. Travesty.

Dancing With The Stars: Caught the last hour. It's amazing how much I don't care. And yet, I still watch. Go figure.

Castle: Castle dresses up like Malcolm Reynolds and his daughter, the punk Alexis, makes some crack about how it's been five years and shouldn't we just get over it? Well, Alexis, you precocious punk ass kid, No. No, we shouldn't just get over it. The vampire themed show was fun regardless of the Firefly tease.


Dancing With The Stars Recap: Melissa and Mark and Chelsea and Louis are out. Sorry to see Mark and Chelsea go because they're great but I don't really care that Melissa and Louis are out.

So You Think You Can Dance: So found out that one of my faves, Billy Bell, had to leave the show because of illness. On top of that, Mia Michaels is leaving or has left (a little fuzzy on that one) which sucks because she's my favorite. Then, Russell's partner, Noelle, hurt herself so Russell had to dance with Melanie, one of the choreographers...awkward...but I thought he did a great job. He's a crumper (Krumper?) who did a respectable fox trot. Lots of charisma and all that so I think he may become one of my new favorites. Arianna and Brandon (was that his name?) were booted by the end of the show.


The Middle: Watched this sitcom because Glee wasn't on because of the world series. It was pretty funny. Weird to see Neil Flynn in a role playing a normal(ish) dad after watching him on Scrubs for so many years.

Modern Family: My God, I Love This Show. Today was the first day of school, which seemed odd, timing wise, but whatever. It was still damn funny.


Flash Forward: So, Mark and Olivia and the British guy from Pirates of the Caribbean (Lucas? Lewis?) all end up in the same room....Awkward...this was a good episode. Dominic Monaghan is super creepy, really looking forward to seeing his character develop. Also, the kangaroo is back. ABC suggests its important. Never went to the website so I don't know why it's important but important it is.

The Office: Had some funny moments but still, not as funny, I think, has it has been in past seasons. I know it's supposed to be a mix of funny and cringing, uncomfortable moments but it's been way too heavy on the uncomfortable stuff lately.

30 Rock: Definitely not the best episode of the season. The Tracy Jordan/Rule of three storyline didn't work for me. It had potential, definitely (loved seeing Betty White and Jimmy Fallon appearing and poking fun at themselves.), but I don't think it worked quite as well as the rest of the episode.

Supernatural: Talk about a season being on fire. This show hasn't really hit a sour note yet. Really looking forward to next week's return visit with the trickster. Those are never dull episodes.


Oh wait...haven't watched any of my Friday television shows. Still haven't watched half my Thursday episodes.


I already know I'm not going to get the chance to watch Robin Hood tonight but I'm sure I'll delight in it. We're also watching Battlestar Galactica: The Plan tonight. I'm sure I'll delight in that as well.

Friday, October 30, 2009

NaNoWriMo Update #1

Wow. I am in a good mood today. Must be that whole not working thing.

But I am working. I'm writing.

I'm making notes aplenty for my NaNoWriMo project. I'm writing scenes for Second Nature. Ideas are flying fast and furiously around my brain and it's awesome.

The NaNoWriMo project is starting to take shape. It's an obscure amoeba shape right now but that's better than the nothing I had before. I've decided to put my money where my mouth is and write a chick lit novel. I've made a lot of fun at a lot of chick lit novels and groaned my way through the reading of several of them so I figure it's time for me to write my own. To see what I can make of the genre. Just so you know, my main character will not have an obsession with shopping. Nor will she want to work in the fashion industry but she'll likely watch Project Runway. My working title is currently Choose Your Own Adventure (thanks to Jake for the inspiration) but, depending on how things play out, it might change to Introduction to Disillusionment. I can't really explain it. Yet anyway.

So yeah, you'll have to tune in here for NaNoWriMo updates. I can't say I'll be posting updates on a daily basis but I'll try and make it a regular thing. If you're interested, you can also visit my NaNoWriMo profile page. Click here for that link.

Received my first NaNoWriMo email today. It outlined everything I'm about to undertake. To stay on par with the month end goal, I have to write 1,667 words a day. I hadn't done the math yet and was glad I didn't have to do the math either. It's a considerable number of words but it didn't scare me.

Not today. Today I am invincible. And no, I haven't been drinking...

We'll also receive pep talk emails as the month goes on, from NaNoWriMo people and guest celebrity emailers. Next Wednesday, we'll receive a pep talk from Jasper Fforde, one of my favorite authors. It was worth signing up just for the opportunity to read that email.

The NaNoWriMo project officially begins at midnight on November 1st and I am so freaking excited to get going. I really hope I don't fall flat on my face but, if I do, it'll be the most exciting face plant ever. Right?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I've Come To Realize (A Facebook Timewaster)

I've come to realize...

RULES: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note completing the 36 "I’ve come to realize." At the end, choose the friends you want to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you or I knew you way back when and am interested in what life has taught you!!

1. I've come to realize that my chest-size...
is just a number. And not a very big one.

2. I've come to realize that my job...
was not worth drinking my way through college. I mean, it's not my career. I hope.

3. I've come to realize that when I'm driving...
I should probably pay less attention to my iPod and more attention to the road. Probably.

4. I've come to realize that I need....
a steady stream of chocolate.

5. I've come to realize that I have lost...
a great majority of my self confidence.

6. I've come to realize that I hate it when...
people who are not my boss tell me what to do. Hell, I don’t even like it all that much when people who are my boss tell me what to do.

7. I've come to realize that if I'm drunk...
I must have ordered a long island iced tea.

8. I've come to realize that money...
can’t buy happiness but it can buy a lot of cool other stuff.

9. I've come to realize that certain people…
will always love you, regardless.

10. I've come to realize that I'll always ...
love certain people, regardless. It’s a two way street thing.

11. I've come to realize that my sibling(s)...
may not be as annoying as I thought they were when we were all kids.

12. I've come to realize that my mom...
is pretty damn amazing.

13. I've come to realize that my cell phone...
takes pictures. When did it start doing that?

14. I've come to realize that when I woke up this morning...
I had a Malinois on my head.

15. I've come to realize that last night before I went to sleep...
I forgot to shut my brain off.

16. I've come to realize that right now I am thinking...
about a certain someone's submission packet.

17. I've come to realize that my dad...
can be pretty damn funny.

18. I've come to realize that when I get on Facebook...
I won’t get anything else done all day long.

19. I've come to realize that today...
was probably the worst day off ever as I spent it at work.

20. I've come to realize that tonight...
I don't get to watch Glee because the stupid world series is starting. Of course, I also realize that I wouldn't think the world series was stupid if my team were playing. But they're not.

21. I've come to realize that tomorrow...
is another day I shall spend folding jeans and hanging down jackets.

22. I've come to realize that I really want to...
quit my day job.

23. I've come to realize that the person who is most likely to repost this is...
Neal. Except that he’s doing this whole knee replacement thing and won’t be around for a while. Maybe Heather.

24. I've come to realize that life...
is what you make of it. Be the change in the world you wish to see and all that.

25. I've come to realize that this weekend...
is dog class, followed by Chinese food and football. Except the Pats aren’t playing this week so it’s just dog class followed by Chinese food and Netflix movies.

26. I've realized the best music to listen to when I am upset...
is angry rock and roll. Anything, really, that contains swear words. That, or Dr. Horrible. Never fails to cheer me up.

27. I've come to realize that my friends...
are my biggest fans and I love them for it.

28. I've come to realize that this year...
is coming to a close. Better get a move on on those resolutions!

29. I've come to realize that my ex...
is my ex?

30. I've come to realize that maybe I should...
probably spend less time playing Minesweeper. Probably.

31. I've come to realize that I love...
Joss Whedon. But not in a stalker sort of way, Joss, so rest easy. Easier.

32. I've come to realize that I don't understand...
the quadratic equation. Among other things.

33. I've come to realize my past...
is in the past.

34. I've come to realize that parties...
are fun in theory but a lot of work in reality.

35. I've come to realize that I'm totally terrified...
of spiders. And eggs. And the quadratic equation.

36. I've come to realize that my life...
is a work in progress. But a promising one. I hope.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Coming Attractions

I don't know what to blog about. This writing a blog entry every day thing is hard so I'm glad the month is almost over. Next month is National Novel Writing Month in which participants attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. I officially signed up for that. I kind of wish National Novel Writing Month was in February or March because I work at The Store a lot less in February or March and November contains two of the biggest shopping weekends of the whole entire year. But it isn't in February or March. It's in November. Which is all right. I can deal. So now the only problem is I don't know what I should write about.

Maybe I'll write a novel about trying to write a novel.

Joe says I should write a novel about an asshole computer programmer. He says I'll have plenty of material for that novel.

The 50,000 words doesn't bother me. Effigy is 195,000 words. But it's a lot easier to write 50,000 words when one has a topic on which to write.

Joe says I should write a story about a guy who is going on a no no no no no... Oh...I guess he didn't want me to tell you what he said this time. It wasn't anything dirty, in case you were curious.

Maybe I'll write a novel about a sparkly vampire who falls in love with a human girl. They'll drive around in a shiny silver volvo and go to the prom. That could be hugely popular.

Or a novel about a boy who discovers he's a wizard...only I'll make it a girl who discovers she's a witch. Or maybe I'll write about pirates or a Princess Bride-esque fantasy story. I've been on a big Princess Bride kick of late. Most of my Facebook updates the past week or so have involved random Princess Bride quotes.

Maybe I could write a novel about a Belgian Malinois from the point of view of the Malinois...

I don't know. I'll keep you posted though.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Television Week In Review (Week Ending 10/24/09)


NFL Football: Titans at Pats: Now that game didn't suck. Unless you were on the Titans. Then it sucked big time. There was an entire screenful of records set by my beloved Pats today and I liked it. I was a little disappointed we didn't get to break the sixty point barrier but I think I'll get over it.

The Amazing Race: The gang heads to the Persian Gulf and shows off just how stupid they are. In case we weren't convinced of that after last week's episode where they confused Jackie Kennedy Onassis with Queen Elizabeth. Anyway, Cheyne spells his name stupidly. I don't know what kind of drugs his parents were on when they named him, but they must have been good ones. Lance and Kari amused with their thick Boston accents ("We have to park the car") and inability to find their way through Dubai. They ultimately came in last which made Joe and I very happy too.


How I Met Your Mother: So, I'm not a fan of the Robin/Barney pairing but I am a fan of Canadian jokes. Also like Ted on a road trip with Marshall and Lily. Tantrum seems frightening.

Dancing With The Stars: Tuned in just in time to see Mya and Alec's Argentine Tango. Every tango I see now pales in comparison to Giles and Cheryl's tango from last season. There were also some weak ass Paso Dobles. Just saying. Giles and Cheryl were the best. Also wondering what the hell happened to Samantha Harris's hair.

House: Only got to watch the first twenty minutes of this episode thanks to the stupid Yankees/Angels game. They were an interesting twenty minutes. Curse you, post season baseball (this, of course, only pertains to years when the Red Sox are not playing.

The Big Bang Theory: Sheldon, as usual, was brilliant. Liked Wolowitz bonding with the blind date girl over their overbearing mothers.

Castle: So there was a mystery and all but who cares about that? Did you see the preview for next week?? Nathan Fillion is wearing his Malcolm Reynolds outfit. Must. Know. Why.


Dancing With The Stars Results: Natalie Coughlin is booted. The pros did a tribute to Michael Jackson. Waited the whole time for them to do the proper Thriller dance.


So You Think You Can Dance: The top 20 is announced. Catherine McCormick, the girl with the annoying propensity for crying and high pitched tones only a dog can hear, makes it. WTF?? What I hate about this is that I don't even know half the contestants because they don't feature them until this point. Paula, a dancer I was actually looking forward to seeing, turned them down so Ashley the married ballroom dancer made it in. Whatever.

Glee: Not my favorite episode. There were a lot of funny parts, like when Ken and Emma were talking about their ceremony (she's agreed to at least be in the same room as him when the marriage is made official because he's a traditionalist...) and the slushie war. I liked Teri not being in this episode at all and only mentioned when Sue brings up Will's sham of a marriage. The musical portions weren't my favorite.

Modern Family: Seriously, this is one funny show. If you're not watching it, you don't know (obviously) what you're missing. The scene where Phil is talking to Gloria in her bedroom is hysterical and the part where Jay asks Mitchell and Cam if he was attractive had me laughing so hard, I choked.


Flash Forward: Was watching this show on its Friday repeats but Stupid Ugly Betty bumped the rerun and I had to switch to watching it online instead so I got a little behind. We're officially caught up now though. I love this show. I do. Don't know what the hell's happening with anything or anyone but it's still damn cool. A little worried that Janice is losing an awful lot of blood. So who put the hit on the team? The President? His soon to be vice president? The Nazi? Or the British guy who's going to be sleeping with Olivia in six months? Maybe Merry the hobbit...I mean Dominic Monaghan. If I watched Lost, I would call him Charlie but I don't watch Lost (never made it to the half way point of the first season) so I'm sticking with Merry.

The Office: This was a pretty good episode, I think. Lots of classically awkward moments and lots of hysterics. Loved when Dwight got caught with the listening device in the duck (Mallard) and Stanley's face when Pam was completely losing it in the meeting.

30 Rock: So, so funny. Loved Tracy's line "A book hasn't given me this much trouble since Where's Waldo went to the barbershop pole factory." I have missed this show so much.

Project Runway: Joe and I had a discussion about how the talent this season just doesn't seem to match up with the talent from previous seasons. Bring back Christian!! Anyway, Irina won this challenge at a walk and Nicholas was sent home (finally.). Fully expect Irina to win this season. She may be a bitch but she's a good designer. It's not a personality contest. Liked Milla Jojovich as a guest judge. Bring her back again.


Dollhouse: Written by Marissa and Jed...two of my favorite writers! This episode focused on Sierra and how she came to be in the dollhouse. Echo didn't feature much but she's got something cooking. Trouble's the form of Summer Glau, perhaps? I guess we'll find out in freaking December when the show returns.

Monk: I thought a lot of this episode was just plain awkward. It's been so long since we've seen Sharona (Never thought she would've left to marry her ex...again.) and it seemed clunky having her back. The mystery wasn't much of a mystery either. At the end, Sharona said she'd be back in a couple of weeks...just in time maybe for the series finale?

White Collar: USA's newest show which pairs an FBI agent with a white collar criminal in order to catch other white collar criminals. Not the best pilot ever but good enough, I think, to get me to watch. At least until Burn Notice and Psych come back in January...


Robin Hood: Last week, Prince John showed up to cause trouble and turn the Sheriff and Gisborne against each other. It ended with Gisborne stabbing the Sheriff, the Sheriff pulling a "Matrix" like death scene and then the Sheriff getting loaded onto a "bring out your dead" cart...I was convinced it wasn't true because the Sheriff (the way Keith Allen plays him) is too good a character to get rid of but then, Keith Allen's name wasn't in the opening credits this week so...intrigue. Still convinced he'll reappear and it'll be awesome. Anyway, this week, trouble rears its ugly head again as Robin and Isabella find out the road of true love is full of potholes. Season three DVDs will be available this January! Oh Happy Day!

Friday, October 23, 2009

In Which Ruthie Goes On A Tear: Hell Week Comes To A Close


I'm so far behind in laundry that the only work appropriate jeans I had left to wear are three sizes too big. Joe had to wear his flannel lined jeans because he too was out of clothing. He said something about the need for clean clothing. I asked him when he expected me to do it...while I was at work, while I was at my parents' house last night or while I was driving home from my parents' house last night.

Went to Dunkin' Donuts this morning because it was feeling like a double chocolate donut kind of day. Had a small heart attack when I thought they didn't have any but it turns out, they were just in the corner where I couldn't see them. Because I'm a (somewhat) nice person, I bought an old fashioned donut for Ruthie.

Then I went and sat in the parking lot while I waited for Assistant Manager Heidi to arrive. I haven't punched in on time yet this week because whatever manager is opening is late. Today I punched in seven minutes late which, for Assistant Manager Heidi, I guess isn't bad. The closing crew left the stockroom a huge mess. That sort of thing does not make Ruthie very happy (nor me but I was leaving at noon, so I cared less) so I worked really hard to try and clean it up before she showed up.

Not quite successful. Ruthie arrived and was instantly pissy about all the backstock left all over the place for us. Like we don't have enough to do, she said. She then went on a swearing spree which made no sense whatsoever but included the phrase "mother fucking cock sucker".

This made me giggle. When Ruthie asked what the hell I was laughing at, I had to say, "Yesterday, you asked me if a song my iPod was playing contained the F-word and today you're all 'mother fucking cock sucker'...I just didn't know you had it in you."

Then Assistant Manager Heidi came out to the stockroom to yell about the fact that one of her closers had called out sick. Both she and Ruthie seemed to be having some sort of competition to see who had it worse. I tried to diffuse the situation by offering to sing some selections from Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog as that always cheers me up but they declined my offer.

But after Assistant Manager Heidi left to return to the sales floor, Ruthie confessed that seeing someone uglier than her made her feel better.

We're such a charitable group.

Lazy Susan, another sales associate, arrived late because her truck ran out of gas and she had to walk to work. She's late for every shift. It's never her fault. This always makes Ruthie irritable. Today she expressed her irritation in four letter words.

So, a happy camper was I when noon time finally rolled around and I could hightail it out of that store. I came home to a mound of laundry bigger than I am and a stack of every dish we own, all waiting to be washed.

I've also been keeping a watchful eye on Marie's house. No one is home at the moment, but if I see her car pull into that driveway, I am closing every up tight and pretending I am not home. I am washing my hands of her and that entire situation. Joe's sticking with the let her have her own way route. But I won't have any part of it. No way, no how.

Though it probably will be nice next summer when I can lay in my hammock and actually be bathed in sun and not pine needles and/or acorns.

No. Must. Stay. Strong. Marie. Evil. Must. Resist.

P.S....I feel the need to make a clarification from earlier in the week. First of all, when I run screaming around the house that there's a tick on whatever body part there's a tick on, I am not naked. Second of all, I may have inadvertently indicated that the Store got the better part of the deal when I asked to get out of work early on Thursday so that I could attend Jupiter's rockin' party. What I meant to say was that I wanted to get out of two hours. The Store, in exchange, got ten hours. So, hourwise, they got the better part of the deal. It was, of course, entirely worth it so I could share some Hannah Montana ice cream cake with my niece on her birthday.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I Remember Now...And Jupiter Is Six Today (A Hodgepodge)

Remember in yesterday's entry when I said I was going to talk about something else but couldn't remember what it was? Well, no longer. I remember now.

First of all, my (sort of) brother-in-law told me that it was confirmed that Joss Whedon will be directing an upcoming episode of Glee. My brother-in-law said he was so excited, it was kind of embarrassing. I told him that since I was so excited I was currently looking for a paper bag in which to breath, he could probably rest easy.

Second of all, I had an awesome dream a couple of nights ago. It involved me and a nearly naked Sam Winchester (of Supernatural fame...). Sleeping Me tried very hard to get Sam from nearly naked to...well, you know, but apparently, my lucid dreaming skills still require some work.

On a final note, I'd like to wish my niece, Jupiter, a very happy 6th birthday. Went down for a small family gathering tonight. I brought the Gator Girl down with me so she could play and get out some of her never ending energy (which is just compounding more and more with each day I work). She spent the entire car ride down jumping back and forth between the front seat and the back seat so she could bark at various passers-by. When we arrived at my parents' house, there was a deer in the front yard. The Gator Girl has never seen a deer before and, boy, did she want that one. She threw herself into the front seat and against the windshield (a little surprised it didn't either break or just pop right out but glad it didn't.) and lost her mind. The deer took one look at us and then ran away just as fast as its little deer legs could carry it. The Gator Girl and I then sat in the car a few minutes while I waited for the Gator Girl to forget about the deer and remember she had a half eaten stuffed animal in the backseat. When she did, I let her out of the car. She was running around the lawn, looking for a place to pee, when she caught the deer's scent and took off after Bambi.


I called her. To her credit, she turned to come back to me but then decided she just had to go after the deer. So I called her again. And again. The third time, she turned and came running back. The Gator Girl runs fast. Super fast even, but I'd never seen her run as fast as she did tonight. She was just this tan blur on a mission to find and destroy a deer. I convinced her to rip the leg off her stuffed animal instead.

Anyway, back to the party. We had pizza and ice cream cake and presents. Jupiter asked, very nicely, for me to thank her Uncle Joe for her presents. I told her I would and that I would be sure to tell him what the presents were since he wouldn't have any idea.

We also played a game of Sorry. My mother won and Jupiter and I both lost when she decided she was bored and folded up the board, the game pieces and the cards. When we were younger, my siblings and I played a version of Sorry called "Sorry, Sucka!" where, whenever we had the opportunity to knock an opponent's piece off the board, we went at it with gusto and the little innocent game pieces would become airborne while we did a little "Suck It" dance in our sibling's face.

We're a very loving group, I swear.

Anyway, my mother referenced this before we started played and while I thought about sending Jupiter's pieces flying across the living room, I thought maybe it would be mean to do a "Suck It" dance to a six year old on her birthday.

Maybe next year...

Anyway, Happy Birthday, Jupiter! Love you, kid.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hell Week Continues...

Yesterday was my day off but because of Hell Week and because my parents instilled in me a good solid work ethic, I went in that morning to help out for a few hours. We received another 91 boxes (on top of the 90 we received on Monday) and I managed to get it to all fit inside the stockroom (always a bonus...I've had to process shipments in parking lots before. Not a happy experience.). Ruthie looked at the wall of cartons and said something that pissed me off (something that has never happened before...not me being pissed off. That happens a lot. Rather Ruthie managing to piss me off. That does not happen. Until Tuesday anyway.)

"I'm not going to bust my ass today," she said.

I did an audio double take. "What?"

"I'm not going to bust my ass today," she said. "You're leaving at 11 and I can't do 90 boxes by myself."

"So you're going to leave the 90 boxes for us to do tomorrow morning before the next shipment arrives?" I asked.

"There will be two of us then," she said.

"And about a half hour in which to work," I said. "Not even we're that good."

"Still," she said.

I bit my tongue. I was a little mad. I didn't have to stay late on Monday but I did so I could help her out. I didn't have to go in at all on Tuesday but I did so I could help her out. And she wasn't going to bust her ass???

Anyway, that was yesterday. Today, I went in for my four hour shift and found out we were getting over 100 cartons delivered that day. Again, I managed to make them all fit and Ruthie and I set to work on them.

My shift was supposed to end at noon but, again, because of the sheer volume of work, I stayed. I kept telling myself I'll like the paycheck when it comes. I'll like the paycheck when it comes.

Ruthie has the day off tomorrow and she's not going to be coming in. I'll be leaving relatively early tomorrow so I can attend my niece's birthday party. I told Ruthie at one point, my main concern for tomorrow would be just getting all the shipment into the store.

"But you still have to get through as many boxes as you can," she said.

"I thought maybe I wouldn't bust my ass tomorrow."

"But you have to get through the boxes."

"I know," I said.

But it's not all bad...I had a great horoscope in the paper yesterday. It said "Some people peak early in life. Aren't you glad you're not one of them? It's taken a while, but your bloom is coming on. Get ready for some well-deserved success." Just hoping this is not referring to fitting more boxes in the stockroom...

There was something else I was going to write about but I can't remember what it is now so I might as well move on to the latest development in the I HATE MY NEIGHBOR saga.

As I've mentioned before, my neighbor, Marie, hates trees. She's been bugging and bugging and bugging us to cut some down and we've been putting her off and putting her off and putting her off. I wouldn't be opposed to cutting down some trees...I just don't want to do it because she wants me to do it.

Today she may have crossed a line. I missed it because I'd taken the dogs for a car ride while I did the afternoon errands but Marie stopped by the house again and talked to Joe about the trees. She said she had marked the ones she wanted taken down. Joe asked if the arborist knew she was paying the entire bill and she said yes. Joe asked if it included clean up and she said yes. She asked if we could decide and get back to her in the next couple of days. Joe said yes. Marie left and Joe went to look at the trees in the backyard and saw that Marie had, in fact, marked the trees she wanted taken down.

There were orange ribbons tied around the trunks of a bunch of our trees. Apparently she and her arborist had come over and walked our property and talked about which trees she should take down. And then marked them.

So when I came home, Joe showed me. I hit the roof. Then he told me the part about how she wants a decision in the next couple of days. I said, "How about I go and cut the ribbons of the trees and give them back to her. Do you think that'll be enough answer for her?"

Now we're locked in the eternal struggle of whether we give into Marie or spite her because, the crappy part is, with the exception of one tree, she's marked the ones I would've been willing to take down. But I find her marking them on her own and doing so when we weren't even home to be a crossed line and I hate that. I hate it so freaking much I almost didn't use the word "freaking" just then.

Joe thinks we should just do it and get it over with because then she'll leave us alone. I think she'll only leave us alone until she decides our two story house is blocking too much sun and asks that we convert it to a single story.

Then I thought about telling her that she can cut down as many trees as she wants...just as soon as she converts her four story garage into an actual normal garage because when one's garage has more living space than one's house...something's wrong.

So I'm not sure what we're going to do. Moving far far away to a place where my nearest neighbor is in the next town seems to be quite an appealing option.

But until then, I intend to self medicate with lots and lots of chocolate.

Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Thirty Minutes of My Life I'll Never Get Back (A Look Back)

Scene: The Store's sales floor, August 2008

While I was restocking a table of women's sweatshirts today, I made the mistake of smiling at a seemingly harmless little old lady on the other side of the table and asking her if I could help her with anything. Here's the (mostly one-sided) conversation that followed:

"I don't want to buy something and then not be able to-" she starts and then stops.

I assume she's asking about the return policy and I get ready to explain that you can return any item to any store, outlet or otherwise. Her husband comes up and interrupts. She shows him the sweatshirt she's interested in. He looks at it and says,

"It's made in Singapore."

He walks away. She looks again at the sweatshirt and then looks up at me.

"I've stopped shopping at this store because the clothes aren't made in America anymore."

I decline to point out that by browsing in this store, she is technically shopping in this store. Seems rude.

"Everything's overpriced and everything's shipped from China and you know what they're paying over there."

I don't actually but I nod and smile.

"And everything has stretch in it. I don't like that."

She reaches across the table and pulls on my shirt.

"That," she says. "That's all right."

It's made in Cambodia but I don't mention that either. Always gracious.

"I have a sweater from this company that's fifteen years old," she continues. "Made in America. It says do not wash on the tag. Hand wash or dry clean only. But I put it in the machine."

Oh good. A rebel.

"Good for you," I say. Ruthie is making faces at me. Kind of a ha ha, you got the crazy ass customer and I didn't! sort of thing. Seems rude. Made In America Lady doesn't notice.

"Then I put in the dryer."

I can't wait for the terrific action sequence where she folds the sweater.

"I fold it and then I preserve it."

Preserve it? I smile and nod.

"I put it in a clear plastic bag that breathes."

She goes on. I keep nodding at regular intervals. I think Ruthie's doing a happy dance now. Made In America Lady is now explaining how she doesn't like to buy Canadian either. Apparently, it has something to do with her mismeasured drapes.

"Canadians," she says, "can't measure."

I tuck that tidbit away in my "pearls of wisdom" folder.

"They don't make anything like they used to," she says next. "See this jacket?"

I do, in fact, see her jacket. It's a brightly colored pink and white warm up jacket from the eighties.

"This jacket is twenty five years old," she says. "It doesn't look it, doesn't it?"

Except for the decidedly eighties look. I smile and nod.

"That's because I wash it."

Oh, is that the key?

"I wash it and I dry it and I wear it in the rain and the rain rolls right off. It's light enough to carry with me. I take it everywhere. It's light enough to wear in the summer and I take it everywhere."

"Well, it's a very nice jacket," I say.

Ruthie drops off a pile of sweatshirts for me. "I'm leaving the sales floor now," she announces.

Ruthie leaves the sales floor. I don't.

"See these pants?" Made In America Lady continues.

I do, in fact, see her pants. They're pink, very pink, polyester pants. When she goes outside, any plane overhead will change course.

"People ask me all the time where I got these pants. I tell them I don't remember; I've had them so long."

I can believe that.

"But they don't look it."

Because you wash them? I smile and nod and think how lucky she is that I left my boxcutter in the stockroom.

"And you see this crease?"

I do, in fact, see the crease in her pants.

"I put them in the machine, I put them in the dryer, and they come out like this. No ironing."

"That's the important thing," I say.

She moves on to tell me about these sheets she bought this one time from this one place. One hundred dollar sheets. Put them in the machine, put them in the dryer. Put them on the bed and they were all wrinkled.

"I took them back," she said. "I wasn't going to iron sheets."

"I don't blame you."

The story goes on. I'll edit it for you: Her mother used to make her iron everything. Everything. So she doesn't like ironing anymore.

"I don't blame you," I say.

"And you know what?" she asks.

I try to look interested. I don't think it's working but Made In America Lady doesn't seem to notice. Or care.

"I went back to that store and the sales lady there told me they sent back all those sheets because a lot of customers returned them because they were wrinkled. 100% cotton sheets. I have 100% cotton."

Between your ears? I smile and nod.

Her husband comes round again. I try not to look too hopeful. He says he'll wait for her outside. He walks away. She doesn't. Dammit. She looks again at the sweatshirts that started this whole mess. I start folding the pile Ruthie left for me.

"They just don't make things like they used to," she says. "I'll tell you-"

I brace myself. I've seen her jacket and her pants. I hope she doesn't want me to see anything else.

"I'm glad my years are numbered."

I honestly don't know how to respond to that. She's smiling so I smile back.

She then returns to the beginning of our conversation. Good God, am I going to have to go through the whole thing twice? I keep folding, hoping she'll take the hint and leave. Ruthie reappears on the sales floor and points and laughs. Not cool.

Made In America Lady picks up a light blue sweatshirt. "This is a nice sweatshirt," she says. "But what about returning it? I don't want to buy it if I have to worry about getting it back up here to return."

"You can return it to any one of our stores," I say. "It doesn't even have to be an outlet store. Any one. Just save your receipt and they'll be happy to do it for you."

Especially if you tell them the great story about your pants. And your jacket. And your bed sheets. And your mother.

"Well, you don't have it in small," she says.

I check. I check the shelves, I check the bins of new product I was working on putting out when she arrived. No smalls. You've got to be kidding me. I offer to go out back and check there for her, fully intending to go out back and never return.

"No, I don't like buying things not made in America," she says and leaves, muttering something about 100% cotton.

"Thanks for coming in," I say as I throw the remaining sweatshirts back in the bin and hightail it off the floor. Never to be seen again.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I Drank My Way Through College For This?

There's one week every year when the Store receives an outlandish number of cartons containing an outlandish number of holiday sweaters. This is that week. I call it "Hell Week" because the outlandish number of sweaters have to sit in our backroom for a while because our managers are somewhat inept at putting new product out on the floor in a timely fashion. The sweaters are all big and bulky and take up way too much room on the shelves yet Ruthie and myself get yelled at when we store things in boxes.

Note To Management: If you want stuff on shelves, try moving some product out onto the floor. We don't like boxes hanging around any more than you do (and not just because you unfairly yell at us) but until you build us a stockroom with magical infinitely expanding shelf space (a la Mary Poppins's carpet bag), there's going to be limits to what we can do. Just saying.

Anyway, I arrived at work at 9am and started in on the weekend ship outs. There were a lot of them. The shipment arrived about fifteen minutes later. It was about forty five minutes early, probably because he had ninety freaking boxes in the back of the truck and couldn't do anything else until he'd unloaded our shipment. This is one of the reasons why I keep lobbying our management team to schedule a stock person earlier on Mondays. They don't ever listen.

You know, I think the world would be a much better place if the world just did what I said. It's like what Dr. Horrible says...The world's a mess and I just need to rule it.

Moving on...

Ruthie, my compatriot, arrived at 10am where she was dismayed to learn she had been scheduled to work on the sales floor. The absolutely devoid of customers sales floor. So we convinced our new keyholder, Tammy, to let Ruthie work with me because there was no way in hell that I'd be able to process all that shipment on my own. We can't fall too far behind on Monday, for crying out loud. We'd never get caught up.

Tammy also let slip that there was an excess of available payroll hours so maybe I could pick up some extra shifts. I actually was both glad and dismayed to hear this because (a) our fearless leader (who is off in Sin City for the week) knew it would be Hell Week and yet scheduled her stock team so lightly, it was ridiculous and (b) I don't want to work the hours I'm given (who would?), why would I want to add more?

But I did. I had to get out of my on-call shifts for this coming Thursday because it's my niece, Jupiter's, birthday and I wanted to be able to attend the party. So I had to give them Friday morning in exchange. But then I also had to give them additional hours today and Tuesday. The Store got the better part of the deal. But I'll sure like the paycheck when it arrives.

So Ruthie and I set to work. We unpacked box after box of holiday sweaters, each one uglier than the one before it- I mean, each sweater more charming and festive than the one before it-and discovered we were being punished by the stock replenishment gods because every time we took space away from one dwindling item (such as women's thermal crewneck shirts) in order to make room for a new item (such as women's darling snowflake zip cardigan sweaters), we would promptly come across a box packed with that one dwindling item. Oh, stock replenishment gods, thou art cruel.

Meanwhile, out on the sales floor, some irresponsible dog owner let their dog take a crap in the middle of our sales floor and then hightailed it out of the place (Note to dog owner: You're the bastard who ruins things for the rest of us responsible dog parents.). At least this dog only crapped on the floor. We had an Old English Sheepdog in once who pissed on six plush bathrobes. The oh so responsible pet parent refused to buy the ruined robes.

Sycophantic Laurie arrived, with a thrilling (read: aggravating) tale of woe. She's sick. She has a fever and she's here to infect us all. Yipee! Tammy left early because her daughter was sick and Assistant Manager Heidi arrived for a newly minted double shift, full of tales of arm pit shaving and forgotten deodorant. We were a bunch of super happy campers.

Ruthie and I claimed to be sick and in need of leaving. We were ignored.

Ruthie took her lunch break first even though I'd arrived first. I don't like to take my breaks before 1pm. When I do, there's too much time left on the clock after I get back from lunch, so the later I go, the better. While Ruthie was gone, I unpacked yet more sweaters and helped a man looking for five pocket corduroy pants. He wanted size 44 waist and we only carry up to 42 waist. I was then made to listen to the history of the five pocket corduroy pants he was wearing. This made me reminiscent of a similar experience I had had with a customer last year. I'll post that blog tomorrow. If you're a long time reader of My Pet Blog, you'll probably remember it but if if you're new to the blog, it'll be new to you!

Sycophantic Laurie appeared with a stack of sweaters she claimed to be backstock but mostly likely didn't feel like putting away herself.

"Where do you want them?" she asked.

"On the sales floor," I replied.

She put them on a stack of boxes for me and left. I saluted her as she went. I may have only used one finger but you can't prove it.

I took my lunch break at 1:30. I took a not entirely pathetic paycheck to the bank and then drove (a tad too fast a police officer would say) up to the post office to get the mail. Thanks to an inconsiderate group of elderly pedestrians and out of state drivers, I made it back to work in the nick of time. Unfortunately, I ran out of time to actually have lunch so I had to make due with a granola bar in my locker. My kingdom for a Kit-Kat!

Ruthie spent the afternoon bitching and moaning about the powers that be and who does or doesn't do what. I let her go on as much as she wants and/or needs to, interjecting an "uh-huh" whenever it seems appropriate. Better out than in, I always say. She took another break at 3 o'clock and I helped a man order a down vest over the phone. Exceeding expectations at every turn...and yet, I still get my crap hours and my crap wage. But at least I still have a job at all, right?

We started to throw out the trash at 3:50pm. There was a lot of trash to be thrown out because Ruthie and I are very efficient workers. Probably the reason we get the crap hours...we still manage to get everything (well, not everything...we're about sixteen boxes behind right now) finished. We've got to learn to be less efficient. The sales associates are (with the exception of the new guy, Super Scott anyway) and they're flush with hours.

Live and learn, kids. Live and learn.

P.S.: I didn't actually drink my way through college. Much anyway...I mean, not at all.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Dogs and Dinner

This is the story of the Very Long Saturday.

We started early as the dogs' obedience class in down in southern Maine (totally worth the drive every week). We were up by 6am and out the door by 8am. Okay, we intended to be out the door by 8am...we may have been running slightly late.

While I was getting stuff together, the dogs actually started playing. Together. This is a rarity. Big isn't a fan of playing with other dogs. He's particularly not fond of playing with the Gator Girl because she's a little....bitch. In every sense of the word. Now, Big is more than twice the Gator Girl's size but she makes up for it with personality. Yeah, I think personality is a PC way of saying it. One of her many nicknames is "Bitchlette" because she can be oh so delightful. Big does not have a pushy personality so he tends to avoid her. He did sit on her head once, which was hysterical, because all you could see were the Gator Girl's feet kicking out in panic and Big just sitting there, looking rather cool and smug.

But this morning, they played together. If you watch the show Modern Family, you would've seen the scene where the "traditional" marriage couple (whose names I cannot remember) are mesmerized by two of their children playing together nicely. The dad even says, "Why are they not trying to kill each other?" and the two parents stay very, very still as to not disturb the magic.

Well, that was Joe and I. We sat on the bed for a while and watched the magic. It might have contributed to our late departure. It came to an end when Fat Cat had the misfortune to stroll into the room. The dogs went to chase her and then the Bitchlette returned and the magic spell was broken.

When the dogs see me get the backpack which contains all their training gear (well, not all, but most), they start prancing and whining. The Gator Girl is always very excited and worried that she's going to miss something. Big is just worried he's going to be left home. Some weeks he is because Joe can't come to class for one reason or another and some classes, I find, are not conducive to having two dogs to one handler, so I only bring one dog. And if I only bring one dog, I'm going to bring the Gator Girl because the tireless terror certainly needs the outlet more.

But today, Joe was coming along because that evening, we would be going out to dinner with a group of his family, in celebration of his mother's birthday. This also meant Big was coming along but despite me repeatedly saying, "Everybody's going in the car today", the dogs were still anxiety ridden. Must've been Saturday.

We made it down to class without incident, which was a nice change of pace. The group went out to the Tick Trail where we proceeded to walk two miles out and two miles back. The trail is also very popular with bicyclists and joggers. Whoever was last (generally me and Big) got the task of checking over our shoulder for oncoming traffic and then shouting for our group to move over to the right. "Meals on Wheels" was our term for bicyclists and "Snack on Track" was for joggers. I'm not sure the bicyclists and joggers thought we were as clever as we did. But, to their credit, they continued to pass by our group even though it contained a total of ten dogs comprised of six German Shepherds, two Belgian Malinois, one Briard and one Golden Retriever.

So anyway, we walked. Turns out that was a little too much for Big. Plus, it was sunny and he had to wear his doggles. He doesn't much like wearing them but he's getting better about it. He got very fussy when he knocked them askew and I had to stop him in order to put them right again. He was whiny because he was lagging behind the group and he didn't want to be lagging behind the group. He was particularly unhappy when the rest of the group took the loop back to the parking lot, but I chose to take the shorter route back to the parking lot because he was starting to favor his back leg a little.

He started dragged behind me even more then and kept looking over his shoulder to see if maybe his dad and his sister had come back. They, of course, didn't, but a dad and his two kids appeared on the trail so he had something new to look at.

Big is really the wrong breed of dog to stop and stare at people. It makes people nervous. The sunglasses made the kids giggle but eventually, I thought I should stop and explain why my big ass German Shepherd was continuously staring at them.

"He's friendly," I said. "He's just curious."

The dad and the kids came closer to see Big. They asked about the sunglasses and I explained about the Pannus. The eldest girl was delighted to find out she was the same age as Big.

"Haven't seen you in a while," the dad said to me.

"Have I ever seen you?" was what I wanted to reply but didn't. Instead I agreed and took a good look at him. I'm pretty sure we were in the same class in high school. Just not exactly sure what his name is. Wondered if he knew mine or if we were both doing the same thing.

Anyway, we parted ways and Big and I went back to the parking lot. Of course, Joe and the Gator Girl had the car keys and were still on the scenic route with the rest of the group so we waited. While we waited, one of the soccer games being played on the field finished and a parade of cars drove by. Every single driver looked at Big and me and every single one of them did a double take on Sebastian's sunglasses.

"Yes, my dog is wearing sunglasses!" I exclaimed at one point.

A couple of cyclists were loading up the car next to us and the woman looked down and did her own double take.

"Does he really wear those?" she asked.

I declined to point out that he was in fact wearing them. It wasn't just some clever illusion or something. I explained the situation behind the sunglasses.

Members of the group started to trickle back into the parking lot. Big was delighted when his dad showed up because it meant he could get back in the car. Big always thinks he wants to go somewhere until he actually gets there. Then he realizes just how much he wants to go home.

Unfortunately for him, our day was really just getting going. We made a stop at my mother's house next. Big loves my parents, my mother in particular. She will sit on the couch and pet him and tell him how he's the good dog and he's the favorite (and sanest), how handsome he is (so much more handsome than any of those GSDs on the dog shows) and how life must be so tough with a crazy little baby sister and so on and so forth. Big can't get enough of it.

So while he was thrilled to be at Mimi's house, he was still hurting from the walk so I gave him some tylenol. He can't have aspirin because, according to our vet, there are studies that show it can sometime conflict with Pannus and make it worse. So we give him tylenol. The first one went down all right. The second one he kept spitting out. And not just spitting it out on the floor at his feet but turning the capsule into a projectile that shot across the kitchen. Twice. So I recruited Joe to help me and we finally got the second pill down his throat. Big then retreated to the couch and to Mimi's protection.

Mimi pet him and told him how good he was and how she was sorry he hurt and so on and so forth and Big just lay there, half asleep and gazing at my mother as though he was wondering if she might be willing to come home with him and sit with him on his couch and do the same.

The Gator Girl, meanwhile, had found every tennis ball in a ten mile radius of the house and expected me to throw them for her repeatedly. She'd only been on the move for a good nine hours by this point. Why would she be tired?

At five o'clock, we headed to the Olive Garden to meet Joe's family for dinner. There were eleven of us altogether. The restaurant wisely stuck us in a corner. I was the furthest in the corner, so much so that the two waitresses stuck with serving us forgot about me when they took drink orders. They almost forgot about me when it came to dinner orders too but they remember. Joe's grandfather made sure to point out a couple of times that I was the odd one out, the only one not related to anyone else in the group. Joe's grandmother made sure to point out that he didn't mean it the way it sounded, which I already knew, so it just made me laugh.

Our dinner conversation ranging from our dogs (Joe's grandfather likes to call the dogs his best behaved great grandchildren) to television to police raids to beetles found in food. I particularly enjoyed that last one and had to ask Joe and his aunt to save the rest for another time when I was not trying to eat my fettuccine alfredo.

It was about 8 o'clock when we headed for home. Both dogs slept. Even the Gator Girl slept. I played with the iPod, skipping around looking for songs I could sing to. I sang "I'll Never Tell" from Buffy the Vampire Slayer's musical episode, Once More With Feeling and "Waiting for the Bus" by the Violent Femmes. I spent a lot of time searching for Dr. Horrible songs but I think my iPod might be tiring of my Dr. Horrible obsession because I wasn't having any luck with the shuffling.

I did learn a very important lesson. When Joe is driving at night, it is not advisable to yell out "Deer!" because one spots a deer in the woods on the side of the road. It is not advisable because then Joe slams on the breaks and the dogs slide off the backseat.

"Where?" Joe asked.

"Oh," I said. "In the woods. Not on the road. Sorry."

I then serenaded him with a rousing rendition of "My Eyes" from Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog. It's a duet, which can be challenging for one singer to properly perform, but I am nothing if not talented.

We finally arrived home about quarter of ten. The Gator Girl ran inside and Big limped. All his time in the car didn't do him any favors. We gave him some more tylenol and some eye drops and then I think he started making plans to run away to his Mimi's house because his Mimi doesn't force tylenol down his throat and put drops in his eyes. Afterward, Big climbed on the couch and sat with his head in my lap. The Gator Girl laid on the floor and played for a few minutes before she gave in to her exhaustion and climbed into her chair to take a nap.

Joe and I sat on the couch, staring at the television, watching the weather channel without ever really seeing the forecast which, by the way, involved a mix of rain and snow, neither of which we've seen so far today (today being Sunday).

Big woke up this morning, still sore and favoring his back legs. We gave him more tylenol and he's been on the couch ever since. The Gator Girl is currently lying on the floor with her head on Joe's snuggie covered feet. She hasn't moved much today. Certainly not as much as she usually does.

My goodness, I love long Saturdays.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Television Week In Review (Week Ending 10/17/09)


NFL: Pats at Broncos: Been happier. Taunting is a stupid penalty.

The Amazing Race: Zev and Zev's friend whose name I cannot remember were eliminated. Lance and Lance's fiancee whose name I cannot remember are still in the race. Seriously??


How I Met Your Mother: Poetry, musical montages and a new website. Best. Episode. Ever. Well, maybe not ever but certainly one of the best of this still young season. Can one download an mp3 of "Cat Funeral"??? Because I want it. Joe would like me to mention that Marshall's Best Night Ever video (as seen on the website) is particularly hysterically because it's just like Extreme's More Than Words video and Nuno (not 'Nano' as I keep calling him) Bettencourt (from Extreme) is in both. Bonus song: "All By Ourselves"

Dancing With The Stars: Watched the middle hour again. Don't know why they bothered with the country two step. The Charleston was fun. Don't much care for Donnie Osmond but he did dance well. The only Bolero we saw was boring (sorry, Michael and Anna, but I predict you're going home). Even the Lambadas were boring...too safe and whatever though I did think Mya and Alec were the best. Part of the fun of watching the show is trying to figure out which Bruno clip they'll show on Friday on The Soup. Joe and I are usually pretty good about picking the winners.

The Big Bang Theory: This show made me laugh so hard tonight that I couldn't catch my breath. Then I had to rewind the episode and watch the parts I missed when I was laughing too hard. Sheldon, of course, was the star but props to Raj. I can't, by the way, do that hand thingy Raj was doing. Joe can but I can't.

Castle: The woman who played the fiancee, and really her whole family, seemed to be really terrible actors. I also didn't like the daughter and the grandmother as much as I usually do but the chemistry between Castle and Beckett and the other two detectives was still good. Interesting mystery, really. Favorite line was when a suspect asked Castle if he'd ever been duped and he replied, "I was married twice."

House: Finally caught up! Woo Hoo! It's been a interesting season so far, hasn't it? Taub has left the building, Cameron is supposed to be leaving and Chase killed a guy...on purpose. Anyone notice that whenever Foreman is running the department, more things than usual go wrong? Anyway, tonight, someone's tampering with Thirteen's travel plans and a little boy is dying from something no one can diagnose. Except House, of course. Not one of my favorite episodes (I think most of this season might pale in comparison to the beyond brilliant premiere.) but it's serving its purpose to further the main characters' arcs.


Dancing With The Stars Results: 58 minutes of filler. I'd pegged Michael and Anna as the two going home tonight and I was half right...Chuck and Anna left.


So You Think You Can Dance: Vegas Week wraps up with a couple of injuries and a teary eyed Adam Shankman. Next week they'll get around to announcing the top twenty. Just for how long are they going to run this season out?

Modern Family: Shelley Long appears as the estranged mother/ex-wife who ruined Jay and Gloria's wedding. Haley's boyfriend showed up and sang a song called "In the Moonlight" which featured the refrain "I want to do you" front of her parents. Saw it coming, but laughed my ass off anyway.

Glee: Haven't watched it yet but I'm looking forward to it.


Bones: Bones goes on a date with Booth's boss. Booth doesn't really like this idea but Bones doesn't understand why. There's also a mummy related murder which did lead to some very funny scenes like the one where Bones recited the mummy movie and the part where Bones and Daisy were getting all excited about the discovery of the mummy.

The Vampire Diaries: Haven't watched this episode yet but I have it on good authority that it's the best one yet. Can't wait.

The Office: Haven't watched this one yet either. I am so far behind.

Community: See above.

Fringe: Ditto.

Grey's Anatomy: I think I'm a couple of weeks behind on this one now. My (sort of) mother-in-law loves Izzy Stevens...I personally hate Izzy Stevens. I wish her character had bit the dust instead of George in last season's finale.

Supernatural: Super fun, that's what this episode was. The hand buzzer (and Dean cooking the ham with it), the tooth fairy, Dean using the whoopie cushion on Castiel, Dean and the hairy palms, the kid turning Castiel into an action figure. Very cool.

Project Runway: Nicholas: "Irina's really a good designer. The only problem with her is that she's a bitch." Best. Line. Ever. Carol Hannah won the Bob Mackie challenge and Shirrin is out.

The Mentalist: Haven't watched this yet either. Man, it's going to take me a month to get caught up. I suppose I could always just watch less television, but what fun would that be?


Monk: Oooh! I watched the beginning of this episode. Then I had to go and get ready for obedience class.

Psych: I recorded it and if we'd gotten home from obedience class at a normal time, then I would've watch it. But when you read my blog about the very long day that was Saturday, you'll understand.


Robin Hood: See above.

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Big Bunch of Crazy

I went down to southern Maine today and hung out some with my family. Lots of funny stuff happened and I want to blog about it but it's late and I have another early day tomorrow and I have to go to bed soon. So here are the highlights:

My sister, B, and I went into Portland to see Fame. We're kind of suckers, I think, for movies with song and dance numbers and we were very much looking forward to the group performance of not only the title track but also "I Sing The Body Electric."

We were disappointed on both counts.

We did get to mock the movie a lot though, which I am sure thrilled the one other person in the theater with us. I also managed to spill a lot of (legally obtained) popcorn. It was completely unintentional, I swear.

After the movie, we went into Target so my sister could get some vitamins. We were looking at the fish oil bottles and I noticed one of the labels said "controlled fish burps" and one said "no fish burps" which spurred a lot of giggles and general hysterics, much to the delight, I am sure, of all other souls in the store at the time.

Hung out with my niece, Jupiter, too. She was happy to see me, which is always nice, and even showed me where she kept her secret stash of oreo cookies. Of course, she didn't agree to actually let me have an oreo cookie at first, but eventually I ended up with three. I do love oreos.

We then engaged in a no-holds-barred pillow fight which resulted in one of us lying on the living room floor being covered with pillows and a blanket and then being used as a sofa by the other. She went first. I was the couch second. Then she tried to turn me into a camel by shoving a scarf into my mouth to use as reins. I drew the line there so we decided to have a one team three legged race instead. Hilarity ensued.

Anyway, came home and got stuff put together for obedience class in the morning. I think we'll be walking the tick trail again tomorrow. I am thinking about taking a bath in DEET.

Be prepared. That's my motto. That, and "Ticks are gross."

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Nothing To Report

But here I am anyway, blogging because I am unofficially a part of the National Blog Writing Month or whatever it's called. It's my own personal goal.

Actually, my own personal goal is to write books. Publishing said books would be nice, really nice, but if nothing should ever happen with that, I'll still write books. My four fans demand it.

I'd also like to appear in a Joss Whedon musical. My obsession with Dr. Horrible grows more with each passing day. I'd like to appear in the sequel to Dr. Horrible so Joss, if you're reading this, please, call me.

I also made a goal to eat healthier. And, for a while, I was doing well with that goal but now it's getting nearer to Halloween and all the stores have aisle upon aisle of fun sized candy bars just begging to be eaten. My favorites are Hershey bars and Kit Kats. Peanut Butter Cups are a must. Joe likes Twix, which can be good but they're not my favorites. Sometimes I like Three Musketeer bars or Nestle Crunch.

I'm going to the movies with my sister tomorrow. My movie candy of choice is a box of Junior Mints but I think I'm going to go the popcorn route. No butter topping though. That stuff's just disgusting. Will probably sneak in a bottle of water to along with it.

When I was in high school, the theaters had this really big buckets with Disney characters printed on them. If you bought the bucket, you got free refills on your popcorn so I bought the bucket mostly because it had Disney characters on it (loved The Lion King...Still do.) and then for the weeks afterwards, I would sneak my bucket back into the theater (it's possible I was the reason why they started doing bag checks.) and then wait a reasonable amount of time and then go out and get my free refill. Then, when they changed buckets (Pocahontas I think was next), I bought a new one and started all over again.

Maybe not my most moral moment ever but certainly one of my craftiest. That popcorn's expensive!

Anyway, I think I'm headed for bed (more lucid dreaming, perhaps?). Worked a long couple of days. My schedule wasn't that demanding until my co-worker had to have a callous dug out of her foot and the management needed someone to fill in for her. I figured I should take the hours while they were offering because, come December, the hours will start to die away again, a little at a time until they dry up almost completely until the next busy season starts.

I made a goal in January that this year would be my last year working in retail. I don't think I'll be making that one. Which is all right. There's always next year.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A True Lucid Dreaming Story

I was going to blog about my leaf peeping/hiking excursion today but as I ended up working all day and not going leaf peeping or hiking, I'm going to write about my lucid Dream Experience last night.

Apparently, lucid dreaming is going to be my new obsession which is nice because it's so much better than obsessing over what tick borne disease I'll be carrying (on that note: my tick bite spot may be shrinking. Not entirely sure though. Oh and we pulled off a nicely engorged tick from the Gator Girl last night. Super fun!) so we're going to go with it.

So I don't remember what the dream was at all but what I do remember is walking through halls or between rooms or something and Sleeping Me wanted to know what time it was and remember seeing a clock on the Dream House walls. So Sleeping Me put the dream in like a rewind state or something and backed everything up and then went forward again but this time, in slow motion so I could locate the clock and read what time it was.

Then Sleeping Me got very excited at the prospect that I could actually do this with my dream, the whole rewind and slo-mo forward thing, and got even more excited thinking about the possibility that maybe the time would actually be the right time, because how freaking cool would that be, right? So I found the clock and it said 5:50am.

Then I woke up and checked the real clock.

It was 2:00am.

I was a little disappointed.

Better luck next time, I suppose.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Stream of Randomness

It snowed today in the Mount Washington Valley, some places heavier than others. In my own driveway, it was just big wet flakes that disappeared upon contact with the pavement so no harm, no foul except that it's only the middle of October so that can't bode well for the rest of the winter.

We turned the heat on last night. I figured if it was cold enough to snow then turning the heat on was not the most outlandish thing to do. Joe wanted to crank it up to 75. I said 60. We compromised and set the thermostats to 65. I put an extra quilt on the bed and called it good. And it was good. Too good, even, for my personal tastes.

I had really weird dream in the wee hours of the morning. It featured the characters from The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon and Raj, specifically, and probably because of their featured roles in last night's episode. Anyway, I don't remember what we were doing but, at some point, Dream Me developed the hiccups. When the hiccups persisted, Dream Me realized that the hiccups were real, that they weren't a part of the dream, and so Dream Me insisted that Sleeping Me wake up and stop hiccuping. So that's what I did. It was 4am and I couldn't stop hiccuping. It was funny and made me laugh and then I hiccuped some more. It took a while but, eventually, I got them to stop by holding my breath. When I told Joe about it this morning (later in the morning), he thought the strangest part was Dream Me realizing the hiccups weren't part of the dream.

I do that a lot, Dream Me realizing I'm dreaming and telling Sleeping Me to wake the hell up for one reason or another. Has anyone else ever done that? It can't be that unusual. I googled Sleep Hiccups and that doesn't appear to be unusual so I'm guessing the whole dream thing isn't a rarity either. Is it some form of Lucid Dreaming maybe? That could be kind of cool.

Does anyone remember that NBC show, Ed, from a while back? It starred Tom Cavanagh and Julie Bowen. It was a small town show about a lawyer whose wife cheated on him so he moved back home and bought the bowling alley and hung out with quirky colorful characters. I remember they had one episode where Ed was experimenting with lucid dreams. 'Experimenting' might be the wrong word, but I remember the lucid dreaming bit. I remember it was funny too.

You know what isn't funny? Those "Save Traditional Marriage" commercials all over the television. There's an election coming up in Maine and Question 1 (I think it's Question 1 anyway...I don't live in Maine and so I cannot vote in this election and yet I still get to watch the commercials every single evening.) concerns the issue of gay marriage and there's a group that is vehemently opposed to it, saying that then gay marriage will be taught in schools and, I don't know, turn children gay or whatever and it's stupid. Those commercials make me angry. They're being dumb. Who cares who marries who? Seriously, shouldn't we be teaching our children tolerance and compassion not small minded prejudice? The world is changing, people, and you either change with it or get left behind. Teaching kids that a man can marry a man doesn't mean a man has to marry a man (or woman and a woman), it just means he has that option if he so desires it. It's not a recruitment speech; it's truth. Seriously, Traditional Marriage people, get a grip. Allowing same sex marriages doesn't threaten traditional marriages so stop with your scare tactics already.

So speaking of scare tactics...all right, I don't actually have a segue here. Just a choppy transition to something new: Ticks and the diseases they carry.

I mentioned Lyme Disease in my freak out yesterday but I'd like to make clear that I know I don't get Lyme Disease because I know it wasn't a deer tick Joe removed from my back. My best guess is that is was an American Dog Tick or a Brown Dog Tick and they don't carry Lyme Disease. No, they'll carry Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (even in New England), Tularemia (Rabbit Fever) and other diseases though. My tick bite spot is still red and sore and looks ugly. Have I mentioned recently that I hate nature?

That said, I'm planning on going hiking/leaf peeping tomorrow after work. Some people never learn.

Monday, October 12, 2009


I hate ticks. I hate them, hate them, hate them. They are gross, nasty, little bloodsucking parasites. They have no purpose, of which I am aware anyway, beyond the spreading of disease.

They gross me out. After I find one on me, I spend hours and days afterward shivering at random times, just imagining their little tick legs crawling on my and their little tick faces burrowing themselves in my freaking skin.


When the dogs happen to pick up a tick, I'm much better about it. Not super cool, because they're still disgusting parasites after all, but certainly cooler than when I find one on me. When that happens, I generally come running out into whatever room Joe happens to be in proclaiming (some might call it screaming) "THERE'SATICKONME!GETITOFF!GETITOFF!" or something along those lines.

It happened again this morning.

Mischa and I had gone to obedience class this past Saturday and we'd taken a walk on the Mountain Division Trail in southern Maine. Mischa picked up three ticks, all of which I found and pulled off before they could stick their little parasitic heads anywhere. After the third tick, I made a mental note to do a tick check on myself later on.

And forgot.

So this morning, as I was getting ready to shower for work, I found the little bloodsucker on my backside. And by backside, I mean my actual back side. If he was on my ass (Oh God. I can't even imagine having a tick on my ass), I would've said 'ass'. So yeah. There was a tick on my back, at about the waistline level.

Cue screaming.

Joe, having had the day off, was sitting on the couch and checking his email when I flew into the room.

"There's a tick on me," I said. "You have to get it off me."

Joe looked up from the computer screen. "Wow. Look at that."

"Yeah, look at that," I said. "Get it off. Now. Now. Get it off."

"Okay," Joe said and continued with his email.

"Stop screwing around with the internet and get this thing off me," I said. My teeth may have been a little clenched at this point.

"I'm not screwing around with the internet," Joe said.

"Stop with the email and get this thing off me!"

Finally, Joe put the computer aside and followed me into the kitchen where I started digging through the cupboard where we store all the dogs' first aid (and with a dog like Mischa, we do need a full cupboard crammed with first aid paraphernalia) gear, looking for the tweezers.

"How am I going to get it off?" Joe asked.

"Why do you always ask that?" I asked. "Every time I need you to remove a tick from me you always ask how you're going to get it off. Why? Why do you do that?"

Joe didn't respond. Don't know why.

I found the tweezers and Joe set to work removing the offending little parasite from my back. That little frakker did not want to come out but eventually, Joe won. Pretty sure his head came out too. At least it looked like it was still attached to the rest of him.

I now have a nice red spot on my back. I had to cover it with a band aid to protect it from my clothing. Just waiting now to see what precious little disease the damn thing gave me. Will it be Lyme disease? Or maybe Rocky Mountain Spotted fever? Or how about Rabbit Fever?

I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday Sports

So, it's Sunday. It's Columbus Day weekend (a sham holiday, by the way) which means that baseball is in playoffs and the NFL is heating up.

The Red Sox took on the Angels today at Fenway. We lost. Which means we're now out of the playoffs. I swore a lot but I'm honestly not surprised. I am unfailingly loyal to the Red Sox, don't get me wrong, but I think the Angels were the better team. This time. See you in April, boys.

Right now I'm watching the end of the Pats/Broncos game. It's tied and nearing the end of the fourth quarter. Our defense sucks and our offense (Sorry, Tom) doesn't seem to be much better. I'm really hoping we can pull something out of our asses here because my mood's been in a downward spiral since the Red Sox blew that whole 5-1 lead.

Here are some things about football which I do not understand:

Taunting: Seriously, you're big boys. You can take it, I'm sure. I'm saying this because the Pats had a costly taunting penalty at some point in the fourth quarter which resulted in the Broncos being able to score a game tying touchdown. Frakkers.

Pass Interference (When called on the Pats anyway...): Uh...isn't that the point of the defense? To interfere with the pass?

The Denver Broncos Throwback Uniforms: No wonder y'all changed.

Why The Pats Defense Can't Seem To Stop Anything: Oh wait. Actually, I understand that one. We traded away our all-star defensive lines for draft picks for next season. Have fun scouting, boys.

Why Tom Brady Can't Seem To Make Contact With Randy Moss: Yeah, I've got nothing except big question marks on this one.

Huh. The Pats just fumbled the ball with a minute and half left to go in the game. If you'll excuse me, I need to go rail at the television for a while.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Television Week In Review (Week Ending 10/10/09)


NFL: Ravens at Pats: What a freaking crazy game that was. Shall we call it the Penalty Bowl? Tom Brady scored a rushing touchdown, his first since like 2007 or something. Good for him. But the important part is that we won. And isn't that all that matters?

The Amazing Race: Flight Time and Big Easy won. Loud Mouth Lance and his fiancee (Note to Lance's fiancee: Honey, get out. Get out now.) were last. They really need to go home. Can't you find a couple from New England who isn't boorish? Next week, someone loses their passports. Yikes.

Desperate Housewives: Oh right. I didn't watch most of this show. I was busy reading.


How I Met Your Mother: Six words: "Robin, I'm proud of you, eh?" Canadian jokes never get old, eh?

The Big Bang Theory: I thought this episode was particularly funny tonight. Sheldon trying to train Penny? Too damn funny. Sheldon's revelation that sex can work as a motivator...priceless. There was that whole B story where Holowitz and Raj go to the goth club which was cute but not hysterical...Sheldon, however, was beyond hysterical.

Dancing With the Stars: Watched the middle portion of the show because I was tried of watching lame comedies I wasn't all that interested in. Caught Donny Osmond trying to make out with Bruno (Yikes) and Samantha's clever retort "Should've given him tongue." Discussed the possibility that Samantha actually came up with that line on her own (Joe and I say no.) and then changed the channel. Would just like to say that Tom Bergeron deserves more than one Emmy for outstanding reality show host. That man never misses a beat.

Castle: So, I watched the episode and I enjoyed it and all, laughed quite a bit, but I don't know that I have a whole lot to say about it. Loved it when Beckett called Castle Big Rick and then when he thanked her for calling him Big Rick. Curious about Alexis watching High School Musical with her babysitter. It just seems like Alexis is too old to have been young enough to watch High School Musical.


So You Think You Can Dance: The last auditions before Vegas week. The gang's all in Utah. That's really all I have to say about that.


So You Think You Can Dance: Vegas Week, Baby. Cannot believe the judges cut Ryan Kaspersak and didn't offer him a chance to dance for his life. They let Legacy dance for his life. They let blond guy dance for his life but not Ryan. C'mon. They knew Legacy's solo would be's in his own freaking style, for crying out loud. Anyone's solo would be strong. Cannot believe these judges some times. If Legacy can't do a decent Cha Cha how the hell will he survive in this competition? I demand a recount. I demand something. Ryan Kaspersak was robbed, I tell you, robbed!!

Glee: Jane Lynch is a freaking comedic goddess. I can't wait until next week when she starts to co-captain the glee club. Still do not like Will's wife.

Modern Family: This show is so freaking funny. I don't know if you're watching it, but if you have even the smallest sense of humor, you should be because it's hysterical. Mitchell and Cam at Cosco. Ed O'Neill's character and his son-in-law flying the plane. This show kills me. Seriously, check it out.


Bones: Murder in the suburbs. Liked Parker saying his dad needed a girlfriend to sex up.

The Vampire Diaries: Elena finally gets a clue just as Damon manages to escape from his basement dungeon, break Zack's neck and go bite Vicki again. See kids, it does not pay to be a whore. Vampires will bite you. Still don't know what's up with the pocket watch.

The Mentalist: This was a very interesting episode. I suspected the shrink early on. Me so smart!

The Office: The first part had the most disgusting opening ever. Yuck. The second part was the best television wedding ever. Brought a tear to my eye. When Pam was so upset over her veil tearing so Jim cut his tie and then they ran off to the Maiden of the Mist and got married on the boat...and then Jim saying he bought the boat tickets the day that youtube video came out...everyone dancing down the aisle, sweet, really, sweet. Yea, Jim and Pam!!

Supernatural: Missed this episode because we were at the fair overindulging on sunflower pizza and fried dough. I recorded it though and Heather and I are planning on watching this episode and the new episode next Thursday. Seems very far away.

Fringe: Recorded it but haven't yet watched it. But I hear Leonard Nimoy is back as William Bell! Let the Star Trek references begin!

Project Runway: I think Irina was upset that she didn't win but Gordana deserved to win. I loved that dress. Was upset to see Epperson go. Would've rather Logan had gone.

Fast Forward: Still thinking that Mark is making everything important and that that is going to lead to catastrophe. Assuming the kid with the scar from the end of the episode will figure to be important later on. Wondering if the murder the now free Nazi bastard was referring to was not a murder of crows but Demeti's murder...and speaking of, who is his current fiancee marrying a month later in Hawaii?? Big shout out to Gina Torres (of Firefly fame)...happy to see you again.


Dollhouse: Still haven't watched last week's episode but I did get to watch tonight's. Very good episode...nice twist I really didn't seem coming with that whole serial killer being accidentally thrown into Echo's body. Michael Hogan (Saul Tigh to you BSG fankids) makes a guest appearance so I think we're now tied between BSG guest stars and guest stars from the Whedon Verse. Well, I think the WhedonVerse has a slight edge...especially since Summer Glau is supposed to be joining the cast in the upcoming weeks. Yipee!!

Monk: Not really much of a mystery tonight, was there? Did this show forget that it is, in actuality, a mystery series? Still, I enjoyed Tony Shaloub's performance tonight but I think the best line was Stottlemeyer's comment that if there really was an opposite killer, then Randy would've been killed by a falling Rocket Scientist years ago.

Psych: Love, love, love this show. Unlike Monk, I can't call the murderer before the opening credits begin. Plus, it has the bonus of making me laugh really, really hard. Also, I adore Joshua Malina. I think he should guest star in everything. Actually, I think he should get his own show. Written by Aaron Sorkin or Joss Whedon. Or both. That might be interesting.


Robin Hood: I really got a kick out of this episode. I think it was the best one so far this season. Gisborne's back as is his sister, Isabella. Isabella is intrigued by Robin and he with her. I think I saw a preview of them kissing. Yikes! This episode also featured adorable moppets, fixed gladiator fighting and a hungry lion...just when you thought this show couldn't get any more awesome.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Edward Cullen Meets Buffy Summers

This was sent to me by a friend. Thought it was pretty damn funny.

Coming soon: My Pet Blog's view on the state of vampires in today's culture...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

My Cat Has What? Part Deux

Back in July, I wrote an entry about my cat, Scaredy Cat (also known as Lily) and her upper respiratory troubles which translated to big gobs of cat snot all over my bathroom walls. So we went to the vet and got some spiffy medications to give her over the next four weeks. When we went back for our recheck, Lily was snot free and so were my bathroom walls so life was good. Dr. Alfred sent us off telling me he wasn't a miracle worker and to call him again should her symptoms reemerge.

Well, that was last Saturday. Four rapid fire sneezes and a glob of cat snot on my kitchen floor (much easier to clean, by the way, than the bathroom walls.) meant I was calling the vet the following Monday. We had our appointment with Dr. Alfred today.

Basically, we got the same prescription as before. He looked at her for about thirty seconds and then left the room to call in the prescription. Prednisone and whatever the other one was. Don't remember the name but it smelled terrible.

"I don't have liquid prednisone in stock," Dr. Alfred said, sticking his head back in the room at one point. "Can you give her a pill?"

"I guess so," I said. "Never have had to before."

"Just crush it up and put it in some wet cat foot."

"Okay," I said and made a mental note to go out and buy some wet cat food because my cats generally only get dry.

Then he disappeared again. I could hear him on the phone, ordering the liquid prednisone from the pharmacy. When he finished, he came back in the room.

"Where'd you get it the last time?" he asked. "Wal Mart?"

"Get what?"

"The (insert name of other medication here)," he said.

"You had it shipped to me," I said because he had.

"You're kidding," he said.

"Why would I kid about that?" I asked. I do make a lot of jokes but I don't know why I would make a joke about that one.

Dr. Alfred left the room again and called the pharmacy back. They supposedly still had me on file and yet I had to give them my phone number, shipping address and credit card number all over again.

Then they left the room some more. We'd been in the exam room for almost an hour when he came back with the pills of prednisone.

"Sorry about the wait," he said.

"No problem," I said. "Just wait until you meet my other cat, Fat Cat (also known as Jenny). We'll be even then."


"She's a real delight," I said. "And by 'delight', I mean 'terror'."

"Well, we do have bite gloves."

"And you'll need them," I said.

I then related the tale of Jenny's infamous vet visit where she totally freaked out and put four puncture wounds in my palm, deep enough to send me to the emergency room the next morning because of the red lines of death shooting up my arm. That was the vet visit that earned her the really big red flag on her file. Interesting side note: that particular vet did not use actual red markers on the folders because apparently some clients were offended when their animals were deemed aggressive or whatever. I told them I wasn't offended because Jenny had certainly earned her aggressive stripes. Didn't want anyone else to get bitten.

Anyway, I was asked to call them at the start of next week (note to self: make sure you write a note to remind yourself to call them at the start of next week.) to see if the liquid prednisone came in so I can go and pick some up.

"Really, the only other thing we can do is nose scoping," Dr. Alfred said.

"Nose scoping?" I asked. "That sounds delightful."

And slightly expensive. A nose scoping costs somewhere around $300.

"Why don't we stick with this first," I said, especially since $50 worth of cat medications were currently being mixed and shipped to my door. "And we'll see where it goes from there."

Because I'm sure Lily would love to experience a nose scoping. Who wouldn't?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My Favorite Things

Today's Horoscope:

Our favorite things define us. Reconnect with your essence by making a list of things you love: movies, songs, activities. Not only will you find a renewed sense of self, but you'll remember again why you love who you are.

Sounds like a good idea, so here it goes:

My Top Ten Favorite Movies

1. Serenity (2005, director Joss Whedon)
2. Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (2001, director Peter Jackson)
3. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002, director Peter Jackson)
4. Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003, director Peter Jackson)
5. Shakespeare in Love (1998, director John Madden)
6. Moulin Rouge! (2001, Baz Luhrmann)
7. The Shawshank Redemption (1994, direction Frank Darabont)
8. Amadeus (1984, director Milos Forman)
9. Dead Poets Society (1989, director Peter Weir)
10. Stranger Than Fiction (2005, director Marc Forester)

My Top Ten Current Favorite Songs

1. Into Dust by Mazzy Star
2. All I want by Ahn Trio
3. Everybody's Gonna Be Happy by The Kinks
4. Anything, really, from Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog
5. Bodily by Ani DiFranco
6. Anna Begins by the Counting Crows
7. Running Up That Hill by Placebo
8. Sober- Tool
9. Better Man- Pearl Jam
10. Robots by Flight of the Conchords

My Top Ten Favorite Television Shows

1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
2. Firefly
3. Angel
4. Gilmore Girls
5. Battlestar Galactica
6. Veronica Mars
7. Robin Hood
8. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
9. The Colbert Report
10. Supernatural

My Top Ten Favorite Authors

1. Ellen Emerson White (The President's Daughter Series)
2. J.K. Rowling (The Harry Potter Series)
3. Robert B. Parker (The Spenser Series)
4. Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak, Wintergirls, Twisted)
5. Philippa Gregory (The Other Boleyn Girl, The Wideacre trilogy)
6. Stephen Lawhead (The Robin Hood series)
7. Bernard Cornwell (The King Arthur trilogy)
8. Sharon Kay Penman (the Justin de Quincy novels)
9. Cynthia Voigt (the Tillerman cycle, the Kingdom cycle)
10. Marion Zimmer Bradley (The Avalon books)

My Favorite Activities

1. Writing. Naturally.
2. Reading
3. Playing with my dogs
4. Hanging with good friends
5. Watching good movies
6. Mocking bad movies
7. Watching good television
8. Mocking bad television
9. Hiking (even if I don't get around to doing it very often)
10. Biking (even if I don't get to do it very often)

So there are a few of my favorite things. Not sure I'm feeling all that reconnected with my essence but I guess it's a start. If my sense of self is renewed, I'll be sure to let you know. In the meantime, what are some of your favorite things? You know, if you feel like sharing.