Saturday, January 10, 2009

Overheard WOW conversation

Jason: (talking to somebody over the computer while playing WOW) Dude my wife is all excited because she got a rare cooking recipe last night.
Jason: Yeah, at least she can cook in ONE world...

Dog park trip Jan 9 2009.

It was so pretty outside today, so we loaded up a blanket and the dogs and headed to the park. Santa must have been BUSY this Christmas because no kidding there were like 10 puppies today. And they all just needed to play on our blanket even though there are like 10 other acres of park in which to run.

Didn't get the names of these puppies.

Molly tries to get away from Bella who was a little energetic.

Jason made a new friend.
My girlie's gray beard.
This mini schnauzer was amazed by Greta.
Greta got slobbed on by a lab puppy and was not all that enthused about it.
For some reason every time we go to the park Schaffer ends up with a stalker. He could care less about the other dogs - he just wants to patrol the perimeter. This Great Dane just walked around behind him forever, and finally Schaffer turned around and was like "WHATEVER".
We went @ 2:30 thinking it would be pretty empty, but it was packed as usual.

Friday, January 9, 2009

I smell better!

As I've written before, I have a really hard time making decisions about purchases. I want to know/ inspect ALL my choices before deciding. I've needed perfume for about 5 years (no kidding) but I couldn't make the commitment. So over the Christmas break it occurred to me that E-bay may have the solution to this problem and YEP! they did.

I ordered myself a batch of FIFTY perfume samples. That's right folks, FIFTY. I've only tried 2 so far and I LOVE them both. One is Escada 'Escada' and the other is Bulgari 'Blue'. The 'Blue' is really cool actually. When you first put it on it smells very much like ginger. Yeah I know, sounds weird. Well the ginger doesn't last long and then it just smells good. The official description says:

Fire and ice. Passion and poise. A study in contradiction-like a woman without regret. Bvlgari's BLV opens with a refreshing burst of ginger and finishes with the full, sensual scents of vanilla, wisteria, and sandalwood. Like the woman who wears it, BLV is a force, a spirit, an unforgettable experience.

Well now I don't know about all THAT, but I do like it.

The Time Traveler's Wife

Awwww! So sweet. Interesting concept as well. For some reason I had the impression that this was set "in the old days", but it isn't. It's set in present day. I don't know why I thought that other than that my general idea of time machines involve images of Jules Verne and convoluted machinery with lots of brass tubes, knobs, steam valves, and meters of various sorts. Which is a dumb image because Jules Verne didn't write "The Time Machine", that was H.G. Wells. And also this book doesn't have anything to do with a time machine.

Was there a movie one time that involved a time machine and Jules Verne? It doesn't seem that I would have just made that up in my head.

But anyway like I said, it's set in present-day. And the guy has chrono-displacement disorder. It's worth a read.

Jewelry Party

Tonight I attended a Premier Jewelry party with my friend and co-worker, Lori (mother of the prettiest dog in the world (Lucy)).

It was fun! The other ladies giving/ attending the party were all part of Lori's Mardi Gras Krewe. They are a ton of fun.

Yeah and so the Premier Jewelry lady and I had a mishandled mirror exchange and I let it drop on the floor and it broke into a million pieces, so that's either going to give me 7 years bad luck or maybe it will break the curse of the LAST mirror I broke. That's what I'm going with :)

I bought a necklace, bracelet, and earring set that I LOVE. You can wear it like 20 different ways. It looks very "Chico's" to me, and if you know me you know I'd just as soon live in anything Chico's.

Oh!! And there was a life-changing revelation! I was complaining about how I can't wear hoop earrings because they stick straight out from my head instead of hanging down right, and Lori was saying "well let's find some that fit your deformed ears", and the Premier Jewelry lady told me that it's because THEY PIERCED MY EARS @ THE WRONG ANGLE!!!

Who knew that was even possible?!?! So now I'm PISSED that I'll never be able to properly wear hoop earrings and if I could remember where I got them pierced 27 years ago I would definitely write a complaint letter, but HAPPY that I don't actually have deformed ears and I can stop worrying that my ears look weird and gross from the side but I couldn't tell because I can't see my head from that direction.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Abundance - Sena Jeter Naslund

First of all, I just love Naslund's writing. It's always gentle, effortless. I listened to her interview about writing this book and she talked about how she researched the music of the language during the time of Marie Antoinette and tried to suggest that rhythm in her writing. Love that. Second, I knew nothing really about Marie Antoinette except "let them eat cake" and that they chopped her head off.

Well, she never said "let them eat cake". That was said like 30-60 years before she came to France by the wife of Louis XIII or VIX. (She was married to Louis XVI.) They did chop her head off, but it was actually quite tragic and sad. I've been trying to develop a little more empathy these days. When my work group had to take a test about 4 years ago that rated 50 personality traits, all of us had empathy in the lowest 5 traits. Typical, I suppose, for auditors, but not so great for just being a decent human.

One thing I've been trying hard to keep in mind lately is "If the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail". In other words, people usually try to do the best they can or make the best decision they can make with the tools and resources they SEE as available to them at the time.

Naslund tries to depict Marie Antoinette this way. From M.A.'s letters, mainly to her mother, you can tell that she was consciously trying to be good, virtuous, and especially kind and gracious within the restrictions of her duties as queen, the severe limits in her education, and her naivety about how "regular" people lived.

The book earns a "great" from me for making me think about things (like being kind when it isn't in your best interest), and for making me want to learn more. I think I need to develop a point system with which to rate books. I'll get right on that :)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

House project done and in process

Jason and I have finally gotten around to getting some things done around the house. This house was built in 1920 and is actually amazingly well-crafted. The carpenter who took out the floor furnace last week discovered that the floors are actually 2 layers - not just one like in most houses. That's 1 layer of tongue-and-groove heart pine as a subfloor, and then 2.5 inch tongue and groove oak on top. He commented on how costly that would have been in 1920.

So Jason fixed all of the gates (woohoo!). This was a biggie and is probably the best present we could have given the post lady. The front gate she has to come through has been malfunctional for awhile due to the roots of a tree pushing up the sidewalk under the gate combined with the loosening of the post thanks to a certain giant schnauzer who-shall-remain-nameless.

The carpenters cut down the tall arches over each gate which really opened up the front of the house more than I anticipated. It looks way better. The carpenters also fixed the trim on the front of the house where the old metal awnings were. I'll have to paint the trim - but it's not much so won't be too bad.

We had the bathroom floor tile pulled up and new tile put on the floor and in the shower. BOY did we need this. When I bought the house the bathroom floor had carpet (YUCK). When I pulled that up, the floor was still sticky and gross from the glue or old linoleum or something. So I put down those self-stick tiles. Blue ones. Which was fun for awhile. Once Jason moved in we knew we wanted tile in there, but I cheaped out and hired a fly-by-night tiler and didn't do a subfloor. Of course it cracked and looked crappy in about a week. Then we put up really cheap shower board stuff around the shower because we didn't want to spend the $ for tile at the time, and well nobody told us not to put it up with liquid nails and after a short while the liquid nails had sort of eaten through the board and made the white part fall off. Boy it was pretty.

So anyway the bathroom looks SO much better.

And the carpenter also finished out the wall behind the tub in the laundry room that Jason and I had pulled out for reasons I can't even remember now. I do, however, remember finding wasps or something had built a nest in that wall. Oh and the carpenter also fixed the floor underneath the back door so that it's not wobbly, took out the old floor furnace, and patched the floor there. And they took out the old space heater in the bathroom.

So now we are waiting for the carpenters to fix 3 window sills that were damaged by old window AC's. And I think we are going to have them build new stairs out the back door to the deck, and we should be done for awhile! woohoo!

In gratitude

Is it weird to say that I went to a really great funeral over the Christmas holidays? Well, I did. Mrs. Helen Fesmire, a woman I have known my whole life, passed away just before Christmas. Her funeral was the Saturday after. The funeral was just great. People spoke about Mrs. Fesmire's service to the community and the church, how she never got angry, always had kind words to say, and was always genuinely interested in listening to other people. Her son, Art, spoke to each of the kids and grandkids about the gifts of teaching, listening, love of music, etc. that each of them got from her. At the end of the funeral, the whole extended family ( I think there were about 300 lol) got up and turned around to the congregation and sang the blessing song that they sing before dinner. It was just really special.

Her family, including her 4 kids, attended the church I grew up in. When my Daddy was the youth and music director when I was very small, the Fesmire kids were in his choir. This family is part of my earliest memories. I can remember Art lifting me up on his shoulders and letting me touch the ceiling. I was the flower girl at Ike's wedding. I'm sure Mary Beth babysat me at least a time or two. Mrs. Fesmire was always very active in our church, and I'm sure that she taught me Sunday School or Bible School or something or another like that along the years.

When I was in high school, I babysat for Ike and Laurie's two girls, Amanda and Anna. I remember that Ike had one of the very first computers (a Texas Instruments one I believe) and I was fascinated. Amanda was in Scot's class at school. Laurie was the director where Scot went to preschool and kindergarten.

Mrs. Fesmire was also my high school guidance counselor. The Fesmires lived next-door to one of my close high school friends, and so I saw them occasionally out and about in their neighborhood as well. Mary Beth and I became close friends when she moved to Baton Rouge after we were all grown up.

Mr. & Mrs. Fesmire, Ike, Laurie, and Mary Beth were at my wedding.

So what's my point? Just that this is one of the reasons that I'm so thankful to have grown up in a small town. I'm thankful that my parents brought me up in a great church family and gave me that gift of a solid foundation.

Was I, in all actuality, close to the Fesmires? Not as such. We didn't hang out. We didn't go to each other's house for dinner. We didn't go on vacations together. But the Fesmires are part of my history. Part of the stable underpinnings of my upbringing. Part of my "village". I remember them at school plays, church choir events, football games. Mrs. Fesmire was always genuinely interested in how we were all doing. Always asked my parents about me, always checked in with me if she saw me at church.

She and Mr. Fesmire were married 62 years. They raised 4 kids that are all very cool, very kind people. I'm blessed to know them and hopefully will continue to benefit from the examples they set with their lives of kindness, generosity, and service.

Christmas 2008

Was awesome! Nobody was sick. Jason came with me to my parents' house on Christmas day, and stayed until Saturday. I left on Sunday (caught a ride with Kristi). Scot and Alex came on Friday, and then all the Carr family cousins, aunts, and uncles rolled in. Everybody was there this year, which is the first time that's happened in MANY years. We are always generally missing one or the other for whatever reason.

We ate until we were stupid, the kids opened presents, we played the game where somebody reads a story and you pass around a little $1-$5 gift when the person says "left" or "right" in the story, we played pirate Christmas with $25 gift cards which turned out to be FUN. We had cards from Walmart, Visa, Game Stop, ITunes, Barnes and Noble, etc. Chalise beat me in Trivial Pursuit. We played Uno Attack and then about 15 rounds or so of Scattergories, ate again, and then the cousins all stayed up until way too late and Don threw us out (politely :) ) @ 10pm.

Saturday morning we did our Christmas with Mom, Dad, Scot, Alex, Jason and me. Sweet Loot was gained by all. Then all the cousins and aunts and uncles (except Aunt Frances & Uncle James - they went back to Jackson Friday) came back over for lunch.

It really made me think about making it a priority in 2009 to spend more time with BOTH sides of my family. It's something I really want to do.
More pics linked to the right >>>>>>>>>

You Suck - Christopher Moore

Fun! Light read! Vampires! My favorite character was this 15-16 year old goth girl who decides she wants to be the vampires' minion. She is a wonderful smart-ass. At one point the vampire shows her an object (can't remember what it was) and asks her if she knows what it is. And she says "Why, yes I do, because I speak OBVIOUS as a second language." I love her lololol.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Infinte Jest - Part 2

Pages 200-550 or so, and footnotes though about 240. There is a group of internationally known assassins (The wheelchair assassins) that are perhaps stalking a professional football player (Orin) who is the brother of the kid @ the tennis academy who smokes a lot of pot. The secretary @ the tennis academy is called by the kids "Lateral Alice" because due to a head injury she got falling out of a traffic helicopter she can only move sideways. They have walled off most of the northeastern United States (Maine, New Jersey, Etc) and turned it into a giant toxic waste dump. With a giant wall of glass and fans that keep all of the fumes in. And there are rumors of giant mutant animals and babies roaming around inside "the great concavity". And there is a woman who is a member of a group called the "Union of the Hideously and Improbably Deformed" who wears a veil all the time and is apparently in a movie that kills people the second they watch it. Which is apparently being distributed by The Wheelchair Assassins, who are Canadian, to kill Americans.

Weird? Yes. Awesome? YES!

Infinite Jest - Part I

The 1st 200 pages and 67 or so footnotes: The world in the not-so-distant future is now on a calendar of subsidized years, i.e. "Year of the Depends Adult Undergarments", "Year of Dairy Products from the American Heartland", "Year of the Pudue Wonder Chicken". There's a kid @ a boarding school/ tennis academy who smokes a lot of pot. There are double (maybe triple) agents - spies for or against the US Government. There are street people hooked on drugs. So far each group is quite interesting but not yet interrelated. Had to look up tons of vocabulary already, later found a website listing the weird terminology in this book page by page.

Dry? Infinite Jest?

I have these quotes written on a post-it note I don't know if they are from "Dry" - Augusten Burroughs, or "Infinite Jest" - David Foster Wallace. "Dry" deals pretty much exclusively with recovery from alcoholism, but "Infinite Jest" has an important story-line involving recovery too. So really the quotes could have come from either. Or maybe they were from "The Center Cannot Hold". Whatever, they made me think.
  • No single moment in and of itself is unendurable.
  • That you will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do.
  • That sometimes human beings have to just sit in one place and like, hurt.

Warcraft: Jason reupped too

Jason couldn't stand it. I kept showing him all the cool new stuff, and he finally caved. We thought he was going to have to start from scratch since he deleted his account a couple of years ago, but Blizzard graciously reinstated it. So Jason's already got his main dude up to 80, while my main is languishing @ 73. My tank, however, is progressing rapidly and is up to 65 (from 53).

For those of you who don't care, let me just say that this game is just plain fun. Addictive? Yes. But there are worse things I could be addicted to, right?