Thursday, December 30, 2004
Happy New Year!
A co-worker just told me to "do whatever it is you do best over the holiday weekend". I pass the same benediction on to you, dear blog friends.

Today's Soundtrack is credited to
The Garden State soundtrack. Obsessed with Let Go by Frou Frou.

Drink up, babydoll. Are you in or are you out? Leave your things behind, 'cause it's all going on without you. Excuse me, too busy, writing your tradgedy. These missiles that you bubblewrap, you have no idea what you'll lose.
So let go, jump in. Well, what you waiting for? It's all right, 'cause there's beauty in the breakdown.

Today's sense of alertness is brought to you by -
TAZO's Wild Sweet Orange. Heavenly.

I'm rooting for the dog..............
Pit Bulldog Joins Holiday Family Brawl

Wednesday, December 29, 2004
You know you are addicted to caffeine when........
You answer the door before people knock.
You've worn out your third pair of shoes this week.
Your eyes stay open even when you sneeze.
You grind coffee beans in your mouth.
You can type sixty words per minute -- with your feet.
You have a picture of your coffee mug on your coffee mug.
You soak your dentures in coffee overnight.
You don't sweat... you percolate.
You've built a miniature city out of little plastic stirrers.
You short out motion detectors.
People get dizzy just watching you.
Juan Valdez named his donkey after you.
You can take a picture of yourself from ten feet away without using the timer.
You can't even remember your second cup.
You chew on other people's fingernails.
You forget to unwrap candy bars before eating them.
You help your dog chase its tail.
You introduce your spouse as your coffee mate.
You just completed another sweater and you don't know how to knit.
You lick your coffeepot clean.
You ski uphill.
Your next-door neighbors often call to complain about the sound of your chattering teeth.
On the way to work you get pulled over for speeding and you don't even have your car.
You wake up in the middle of the night screaming "Pepsi! For the love of God, I need Pepsi!"
You're shaking like Michael Jackson on his wedding night.
You've just had your 20th cup of coffee within 20 minutes on a Friday afternoon, at 4 o'clock, just so "the milk doesn't go bad over the weekend"
You believe that the coffee bean is a vegetable.
You know from experience caffeine tablets don't dissolve in cola.
You have a mini-fridge under your desk... and a catheter.
You drink decaf by accident and slip into a coma.
Mountain Dew is the stuff great decisions are made of.
You regard the fact that your hands are shaking as a good sign.
You have tattooed across the knuckles of your hands "JOLT" and "COLA"
Your birthday is a national holiday in Colombia.
Your coffee pot is next to your bed and your alarm clock is in the kitchen.
Your web page has the Mountain Dew color scheme.
You have distilled Jolt Cola to make it more potent.
The dishes in your house are all coffee cups.
You see nothing wrong with using water joe (caffeinated water) to make the coffee you use to take your no-doze.
It's 6:09 AM and you're on your 2nd 20oz. cup of coffee.
You have to drink some form of caffeinated beverage just to sleep.
You suck on a used coffee filter (full of coffee grounds) whenever the can runs out of coffee.

From the 'Um, ok' file
Your Boobies' Names Are: Dessert and Dinner

Poor JR
Whenever it get it into my head that I want a certain pet, JR tries to stall me by saying, "Wait until we get a house with a yard. Then we'll have the room." I think he's hoping I'll forget or want something else. I figure he's agreed to seven dogs (one scottie, one great dane, one border collie and four shelter rescues), one pig (like in the movie Secondhand Lions where they have that pack of dogs with a pig that just runs with them), two parakeets, a mouse, two bunnies and now a baby duck. And the day we move into a house, I WILL BUY THEM ALL.

Last night I dreamed that I was visiting a sheep farm, and the farmer gave me a baby duck and I have never been so happy in a dream because baby ducks are the cutest and most joy producing animals known to man. Really, I know. My mother gave me one when I was a kid and I loved little Priscilla all her life and she would follow me around everywhere I went. I still miss her. And I was sooooo sad to wake up this morning. I want to go back to sleep and play with the ducky's little flipper feet some more. Posted by Hello

Scarf Watch
Today I've wearing Dai, a blue woven scarf.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004
More blogs that I read.
Mr Sun.

Sample post contains the words - " The television is set at a volume that literally rattles the whole house. It's as if Xzibit came in and pimped my mom's den with massive subwoofers."

Bottling up the crazy

Sample post contains the words - "My desk at work looks like someone named "Alisabeth - age 9" works there".

Happy Cat Diaries

Sample post contains the words - "I made a big scene at the Japanese Cultural Centre because a voraciously hungry man pushed me and forced me to spill tea in my shoe, and he stole all the sushi out from under my chopsticks."

Enter the Madness

Sample post contains the words - ""Flapjacks are great" said The Actress to The Bishop"

The Life & Times Of Sancho Knotwise

Sample post contains the words - "I am a bit worried that people will think I've turned gay, cos my mum bought me a new white jacket, lined with fur inside. I actually really like it, but thats what worries me... lol"

Life and Times

Sample post contains the words - "Also on the upside, it is the last month of the calendar. I only have to look at cutesie cats and dogs for another week, then I'll put up a new calendar. Whose idea was that annoying calendar? Ok mighta been mine. That just annoys me more."

Things to buy (on sale!)
Princess Seam Tee $7.99

Ziya Top $8.99

Lysandra Tank $8.99

Ferie Boatneck $4.99

Mouse Radio $4.99

First Ave Cord Flares $9.99

Wipeout Flip Flops $3.99

Western Boots $12.99

Velour Stripe Hoodie $9.99

Jamie Cami $4.99

Jamie Boyshort $2.99

Lace Trim Tank $2.99

The moment was NOTICED
Yesterday night, as JR and I rode home (we carpool) holding hands, for no reason at all he lifted my hand and kissed it.

Scarf Week
By the way, I've decided this is Scarf Week. Yesterday it was that disturbingly large yet warm and cozy green one my mother gave me. Today it is my mohair rubber ducky yellow one with this sweater.

This the true story of seven pets, picked to live in an aparmtent called the Postage Stamp.
Find out what happens when they stop being polite and start being real.

Actual Phone Message
"Uhm, hi Brent, it's [Valancy Jane]. You know how you asked me to get here to the church early and start light candles for the candlelit service? Well, uhm, I'm here and ah, I was wondering where the fire extingiusher is. See, I know we can replace the carpet and the chair, but the finish on that piano really shouldn't be that flamable. So ................... if you could call me back, uhm, as soon as possible ................ that would probably be good."

The yummiest thing at my birthday dinner. Posted by Hello

Watching the lilies that JR sent unfold is like watching fireworks in reeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaallllllllllllllllllllly slow motion. Posted by Hello

My favorite neighbor, Tilly, covered in mac 'n cheese. Posted by Hello

My brother Jesse, who doesn't look this stoned in real life. Posted by Hello

Don't you just want to snuggle into the middle of all this cuteness? Posted by Hello

Self portrait on 24th Birthday. Posted by Hello

Monday, December 27, 2004
Today's Soundtrack is credited to
Robert Downey Jr. His new album, The Futurist, is amazing. BUY IT!

Kimberly glides, in the arms of cactus angels, mayan big shots float around, guess this is her home now. You mistook me for a man who understands, things of godless, heartless pitiful nature. Hell, I just settled in for the winter.
Kimmy just smiles, wants to stay forever, I'd have her but we know that's just a word. We wish we'd never heard when we're together. Says she must return, to cactus angels.

Another Actual Conversation
Jr. High Leader Speaking - "I want you all to think about something you got for Christmas that you really wanted. Ok? Now think about how long you wanted it for. A month, a year? Sarah, how about you? What did you want and long have you been wanting it for?"

Jr. High Leader Sitting - "I got something I didn't know I wanted until I got it."

Jr. High Leader Speaking - "How so?"

Jr. High Leader Sitting - "My Grammie gave me one of those little battery powered facial hair removers that are the size of a pen and told me that if genetics were any indication, I would need it. You better believe I was glad to have it after hearing that!"

Reality Blog
My brother has paid for me to get a personalized lisense plate and it's just up to me to choose what it says. I have 7 spaces to work with. Help! I need ideas.
So far I've considered -
Blessed - the word I feel best describes my life
Gwyneth - the car's name
VlncyJn - hopefully that's self explanatory

I know I have very creative friends so please vote or suggest.

My Hippie Chick Name is Magnolia
Your Hippie Chick Name is: Magnolia

JR, you are the cutest part of us. Posted by Hello

Faithful friends who are dear to us, gather near to us once more.
Weds. night I went to Bashar's house and we got in a food fight. So midnight, the beginning of my birthday, I was heading back to my apartment in my pjs, covered in canned cheese and whipped cream. Tee, hee. That's how I like to celebrate.
Then I got up and went up to my grandmothers house and we sat around and talked, mostly about my idiot mother and her idiot husband. But it was the longest and most honest conversation I've ever had with my Grammie and I feel so much closer to her now. She's a doll. She gave me a sweet little jewelry box, some lovely earrings that were exactly the kind I was looking for, a booklight (which I named Francis), amoung other things. She even made me gingerbread cake, my absolute favorite. Then at noon, my mother and brother came for lunch. I specifically asked my mother not to bring Bob. I still haven't met him, and I have no problem with meeting him, but that's not what I wanted for my birthday. But of course it has to all be about her, she had him drop her off at my grandmothers. She called him twice during lunch. And when he dropped her off and picked her up, he had to make a big show of getting out to open her door and tuck her in. Don't get me wrong, I want nice things for her, but I resent his obvious attempt to put on a show for my benefit. I just stayed in the house and told myself to laugh about it. "Laugh or go crazy." She gave me a VERY BIG fuzzy green scarf that is very warm and pretty, but looks a bit like its conspiring to overtake my ears and then the rest of my head. I named it Felice. I'll take a picture. Therese would adore it. Coco would be afraid of it. Lou would put eyes on it. Zoe would laugh and use it as a kite. I gave my granny a basket of books and snacks. I also tucked in a cat toy and some treats for the kitten I heard she had adopted, not knowing that she had given it away. She was explaining to me that this kitten had just destroyed everything and was aggressive and at 8 months he already weighed 15 lbs. Which is what both of my cats together weigh. The more she told me, the more I think he was a feral half bobcat. As kittens, they look just like normal domestic kittens, so the shelter wouldn't know the difference. She gave him to my uncle, who will let him be a outdoor cat on his big piece of property, which is the best thing for him. I gave my brother Jesse a gift certificate to a great restuarant, Rita's. He paid for me to get a personalized lisense plate on my car and a nice mango scented candle. I gave Mumsie a coffee mug with a Thomas Kincaid painting on it with windows that light up when you put something hot in it. I took it out and tested it before I wrapped it, it was cool. I'm very easily amused. I gave her a scarf I crocheted too, there was supposed to have a matching hat, but after breaking my finger, that went out the window.
After I left my Grammie's, (with a baggie of gingerbread for the road, god bless her) and was driving home, my father called me (probably drunk or on his way there).
"Hi, how's your birthday going?"
"Great, 50Cent's song 'In Da Club' just came on the radio, which is good. 'Go shortie, its your birthday.......'."
"But I just hit traffic and now I'm stopped dead on the freeway, so that's bad."
"But wait, life takes another upward turn! I'm stuck behind an ice cream truck!"
It's the little things really.
I went and did a little shopping until JR got off work, and spent a disturbing amount of money at PetSmart. Their parking lot always smells like wet dog for some reason. I got new plants for my fish, a new coconut house for the crabs, some great cat toys and toys for JR's dog and his parents dog. Since Dulce has this pink collar that she loves (if you take it off, she slinks around and mopes like you shaved her), I got her a little pink heart tag with her name and info. And I got Maximus a blue one (I wanted black spikes but they didn't have one small enough) with a little gold tag. He walks around with it like a little boy being forced to wear a tie for the first time. Dulce sticks her little chest out and shows hers off.
Then I went to Marshalls and bought a few more last minute presents and had a great time chatting up the people in line. I helped a girl pick out barware for her boyfriend and convinced an older woman to get the sweater she really wanted. Then I went home to change and JR took me to dinner at Antonios, which is this great old mexican place with amazing atmosphere and yummy food. That's where that picture below was taken. Then we went home and snuggled. I could just snuggle with him for hours on end. He's so lovely to me.
The next morning, Christmas Eve, JR came over I demanded that we immediatly exchange presents. What little willpower I posses does not extend to presents. I can't help myself, and I don't even try anymore. JR opened his main gift from me, which was sooooo hard to wrap.JR gave me this, and this, and this, and this and big black fur throw. And he wrote me love poems. I adore him.
I ran to Vons for omelet stuff, and then we just hung out all day, kissing and playing with the footbath and watching Miracle on 34th Street. We made an amazing dinner, the contents of which I won't list for fear you will get an idea of just how many calories we consumed. We had the nicest dinner, just the two of us. Nothing you could put under a tree could compare to moments like that. Then Jesse called and said he had some presents for me from my uncles and grandfather and wanted to drop them off. I got a funny t-shirt, a cd, some christmas socks, two glass hummingbird ornaments, and a sweater, bag and scarf, all from the Gap.
The next morning, Christmas, I got up early and headed over to JR's parents house to share in the gift exchange. His mother gave me a nice leather wallet with gift certificates to Rita's and the movie theater. Dang, now I have to be nice to her.
Then I ran home and picked up my Adorable Jordanian Neighbor, Bashar, and took him with me to Bunny's house for breakfast (which was suberb!). I got Bunny's boys walkie talkies and her daughter Jessica a scarf I made and a box of chocolate. I got Bunny some books about gardening and Bashar some chocolate and wine and a spice rack. Bunny gave me wine and an unbreakable wine glass (she knows my clumsy self too well) and Jessica gave me very cute bookends that now sit on my big bookshelf. Then JR joined us there at Bunny's, and then we went back to his parents house. I got to meet his brother Billy's girlfriend, Megan. JR's aunt, uncle and grandmother came over for a late lunch, which would have been nicer if JR's mother wasn't on one of her imfamous bitchy rampages. She hates that I'm not afraid of her, so she makes these 'joking' comments, and hates that I call her on them. Not mean or upset, I just say things like, "Kathy, what a nice thing to say". She's just a little bully and likes everyone to be afraid of her little barbs.
But at about 5:30, JR and I headed back to my postage stamp and had another cozy little evening together. He's worth fifty bitchy mothers. He's what I wanted for Christmas, and I got him. Merry Christmas to me. I hope the holidays were as kind to you as they were to me.

Sunday, December 26, 2004
The moment was NOTICED.
This might be a re-occuring post, the idea that a moment might come and go, and despite the fact that I can't and wouldn't live in them, I do notice them. I think that's all you can and should do.

Maximus, watching the bubbles I blow floating down, choosing one and popping it.

Saturday, December 25, 2004
My friend Travis...............
............ suggested we have a party where no one is allowed to speak except in the form of a toast. Sometimes I think he might be brilliant.

Level upon level upon level of irony
My mother gave me "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands" by Dr. Laura S-(something) for Christmas.

In case you missed the irony, I repeat. My mother gave me a book on marriage. Emphasize any noun in that sentence and you have a punchline.

MY MOTHER gave me a book on marriage.
My mother gave ME a book on marriage.
My mother gave me a book on MARRIAGE.

Another Actual Conversation
Adorable Jordanian Neighbor - "Have another."

Stuffed Girl - "I can't."

Adorable Jordanian Neighbor - "Why not?"

Stuffed Girl - "Because my stomach is full. There is no room AT ALL. It's full."

Adorable Jordanian Neighbor - "You still have your throat!"

Wednesday, December 22, 2004
There is a good chance I will burn in hell for this, but - Part 2
My jerk father just sent me a card with $100. I think I will buy myself a few more hermit crabs and then send him a thank-you note that says -

"Dear Dad,
Thanks for the money. I got crabs with it.
Love, Sarah."

Let him worry what it means.

Today's Soundtrack is credited to
Handel and his lovely "Messiah".

Rejoice, rejoice greatly!
Rejoice, oh daughter of Zion.
Behold thy King cometh unto thee.

There is a good chance I will burn in hell for this, but

Schizophrenia: Do You Hear What I Hear?

Multiple Personality Disorder: We Three Queens Disoriented Are

Amnesia: I Don't Know if I was Home for Christmas

Narcissistic: Hark the Herald Angels Sing About Me

Manic: Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and Streets and Stores and Office and Town and Cars and Buses and Trucks and Trees and Fire Hydrants and ...

Paranoid: Santa Claus is Coming to Get Me

Borderline Personality Disorder: Thoughts of Roasting on an Open Fire

Personality Disorder: You Better Watch Out, I'm Gonna Cry, I'm Gonna Pout, Maybe I'll tell You Why

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells

Agoraphobia: I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day But Wouldn't Leave My House

Autistic: Jingle Bell Rock and Rock and Rock and Rock

Senile Dementia: Walking in a Winter Wonderland Miles From My House in my Slippers and Robe

Oppositional Defiant Disorder: I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus So I Burned Down the House

Social Anxiety Disorder: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas While I Sit Here and Hyperventilate

What Video Game Character Are You?

What Video Game Character Are You? I am Mr Do.I am Mr Do.

I am sedentary by nature, enjoying passive entertainment, eating when the mood takes me, and playing with my food. I try to avoid conflict, but when I'm angered, I can be a devil - if you force me to fight, I will crush you. With apples. What Video Game Character Are You?

My lovely and perfect boyfriend just sent these flowers (and ballons, too!) to my work for my birthday. I am soooooo going to keep him. Posted by Hello

What I Wish You For Christmas
Dear Blog Friends,
Your friendship has meant a lot to me this past year and I thought it would be remiss of me not to tell you all so. This concept of knowing people over the internet seems at times unreal, but your true and kind natures have shone across states and countries to become some of the most honest moments of every day. I wish I could send you all something that you could touch as a tangible token of our friendship, but limited in contact, I offer -
What I Wish You For Christmas.
I wish I could arrive at your door, with a full orchestra and the Morman Tabernacle Choir. We would play Silent Night so soft and slow it would make you cry. I would personally play the cello and the piano and a harp solo (as long as I'm imagining something, might as well make it good, right?) all while conducting the orchestra and hugging you. Then we would play Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, with me of course at lead vocals, then we'd change the tempo into a rockin' swing version of Jingle Bell Rock, and you and I and all your neighbors would swing dance. Then you and I would go inside and eat waffles with strawberries or cranberries on them and drink tea and hot coco and cider and finish off with a little coffee and Baileys ('cept Miss Coco and Miss Lou, you guys get Starbucks) and we would giggle and exchange gifts of handmade scarves and dusty old books and coffee mugs the size of soupbowls. Of course I would give you big fuzzy slippers and a orange kitten named Walter Mitty or a beta fish named Boutros Boutros Gali.
Then I would leave with one last big hug and more giggles and me and my orchestra would dash away into the night leaving a warm fuzzy glow and candy canes behind.

Today's sense of alertness is brought to you by -
Sugar Plum Spice Tea and the knowledge that today is my last day at work until Monday.

Another Actual Conversation
Friendly Intel Exec - "You girls all ready for Christmas? Sent your parents a list of what you want?"

Coworker, She of the Lovely Curls - "No."

Receptionist - "I don't do that."

Friendly Intel Exec - "Why not?"

Coworker, She of the Lovely Curls - "I just ask for money."

Receptionist - "And it's hard to put 'Please stop calling me' in list form."

Tuesday, December 21, 2004
A Christmas Story
Does everyone have a story like this? A story about a raggedly little boy on Christmas Eve? I've heard dozens and I'm not sure if they are written by the same people who write greeting cards or if armies of little urchins with a handful of coins desend upon shopping malls the night before Christmas. Maybe none of them are true, but this one is.
I was working in Things Remembered on Christmas Eve, with one other girl, Michele. It was almost closing and amazingly the mall was getting kinda quiet. We were counting down the minutes until closing when we could pull down the gate, count the drawer, do the closing paperwork, vaccum and turn off the lights. At T minus 17 minutes, a little boy, maybe 8 years old, kinda dirty, with a limp and sad looking santa hat came in. He walked right up to me and said, "Do you have anything for seven dollars and 31 cents?" he said hopefully, looking around at the pricey objects in the glass cases. "Let me think," I said, looking around with more optimism than I felt. As I scanned the shelves, he said, "My mother is the last person on my list, I saved her for last so I could use every last penny. I bought toys for my little sisters, but since my dad left there is no one to buy presents for my mom, so I want to get her something nice, like.................. oh, like that! Do....... do I have enough for that?" he pointed to a large red beaded candle with silk gift bag and engravable charm, retailing for $17.99 plus state and federal tax.
"Let me check."
I went to the register and starting using every discount code I knew. Michele, who was working at the engraver, leaned over my shoulder and made a few suggestions. That kid became a employee, a member of Triple A, and appearently made a wedding purchase of over $200, according to our computer. That brought it to $8.49. I looked at Michele and said, "I hope we don't get in trouble for this."
She said, "Well, if we're gonna get written up for this, we might as well do it loud and proud." She re-rang it and did a price overide to $5. "At least they can't say we were being sneaky about it."
The little boy had slipped unnoticed up closer to the register during this and startled us when he said, "I don't have enough, do I?"
"Yes, it's on sale!" we said in unison.
Yes, for five dollars and thirty-eight cents."
Michele hissed under her breath, "Find out his name and stall him!" as she slight-of-handed the charm off the bag and into the engraving machine.
I asked his name and he looked at me hesitantly. I said "It's for the recipt, I have to do it." He said, "Danny."
I stood there and pretended to be taking a long time to finish ringing it up as Michele engraved "To My Mom" on the front of the heart shaped charm. Then I used the best gift wrapping supplies in the store ("They are free on Christmas Eve, Danny, store policy.") to wrap it up after Michele slipped the charm with "Love Danny" on the back, back onto the silk bag.
Danny's eyes lit up and he said, "That's perfect, just what I wanted. Gotta go, my grandpa's waiting. Thanks!"
And we watched as Danny ran away, santa hat waving, with $32.99 worth of merchandise, love for his family, and the true meaning of Christmas, in his grubby little hands.

Dear State of Colorado, this is my dear friend Mike. He is moving there, so please be very nice to him. No one can grow hair or be a friend like him. Sincerely, Valancy Jane. Posted by Hello

 Posted by Hello

Monday, December 20, 2004
Weekend Update With Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey
Ok, for starters, I probably won't be posting much for a couple of weeks, because I broke my middle finger and took about six minutes just to write this sentence. I feel like I've had my mouth taped shut. And if you know me, you know that's a fate worse than death. So maybe I'll just overuse that audio blog thing. Stupid finger. Ok, so Friday night we had the Christmas party/Broomball for the kids. The party was great and then at about 11 PM we took them to the ice rink for Broomball. Broomball is basically just like hockey, except you just wear sneakers out on the ice, instead of skates and you play with sticks shaped like brooms. And no other gear or padding. If you are thinking that this is a recipe for injury, you are absolutely right. If a kid falls on the ice, I tell them to just stay down on the ice until everything is numb before trying to get up. At one point a little 73 lbs 11 year old slid into my knees and in trying not to land on her I fell wrong and landed on my hand wrong. SNAP! I stood up and said to one of the other adults, "I just broke my finger." He said, "Oh, no, you didn't break your finger. If you had broken your finger you would be screaming right now." So I said, "Ok, how's this? I JUST BROKE MY FINGER!!!!!!!!!!!" I hate it when people don't take me seriously just because I'm calm and rational. But even with the broken finger, the kidlets and I had fun spinning and dancing on the ice. The next day, Sat. was pretty lazy because JR came over and ten minutes later threw up. Poor guy was sick all weekend. So I got to make him toast and bring him soda and tuck him in on the couch. He's so cute when he's sick. Poor thing. Sat. night we (Travis, Laura, Bashar, Sal, JR and I) had planned a BBQ. Of course JR wasn't up to it, so I left him on my couch and went back to check on him every once in a while. I know, I'm a horrible girlfriend. But it was Sal's 'going away for a few weeks' party and I hated to waste all that delicious meat that Bashar was cooking. Yeah, I'm still a horrible girlfriend. I know. We had a great time, huddled around the grill in the center of the complex, laughing, eating kabobs and licking our, nd in one case, each other's fingers. Then on Sunday after church, I took Coco, Shannon and Lindsey home with me for a while. We ate nachos and played Candyland, then I got the bright idea that we should all jump in the pool in our clothes. It was warm out, so it seemed like a good idea, but it was FREEZING! I jumped first, with some help from Shannon, and the minute my toe hit the water, I realized what a bad, BAD idea it was. I was clawing the air like a cat, trying to get out the way I went in. As I was coming up, I could see the girls jumping in and I shouted "No!", but it was too late. We bounced out of the water almost as fast as we jumped in. Brrrrrrrr! Then Lindsey had to leave, sadly. Then we went upstairs to dry off, taking about 12 gallons of pool water with us to drip on the carpet. I decked them out in old mismatched pjs to dry off and then Coco get the idea to add to the ensembles as much wackiness as we could manage. She ended up in a pink t-shirt with a orange halter top over it with a fake diamond pin on it, blue pj bottoms with yellow stars on them, a white belt and orange flip-flops. Shannon modeled blue velor pants, with a black belt slung low, a black botton-down top with a lime green tank top over it, and a big red silk scarf around her shoulders. I was rocking light blue velor pants with a pink stripe down the side, my white flannel pj top with red kisses all over it, and a red knee length skirt with a chiffon underskirt that sticks out over the pants, a fur wrap around my shoulders and one big hoop earring. We looked beautiful, if I do say so myself. I think we really scared Bashar. Then we skipped down to the 7-11 on the corner. People were staring and honking, we were waving and laughing. We danced into the 7-11, model-strutted down the aisles and saw-shayed up to the register, ending with an arabesque pose. The clerk never batted an eyelash. I guess he's had weirder people come in.
Then we came back discussed doing a play 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' dressed like we were dressed. And that every act or so, I would yell switch and everyone would switch roles. This drama club is going to be fun. We worked on our Steward from Mad TV impressions. "Look what I can do!" Vanessa, my neighbor, brought Tilly, my little two-year old red-haired neighbor, over. She's too cute for words. I'm going to keep her, I swear. Then I ran the girls home, and stopped by Bunny's house to pick up my birthday present. That dear woman knows me so well. She got me adorable dishes, that go beautifully with the ones I have, keeping the mix and match look I was going for. They are perfect and very friendly dishes. Don't ask me how dishes can be friendly. They just can, and if you don't know that, I can't explain. I ran Jessica, Bunny's daughter, to a party on Mt. Helix, it was a beautiful drive and we only got lost twice.
Poor Bashar was saying in the afternoon that he was feeling sick, so when I got home I went to check on him and he's seemed to be feeling better. Poor thing, to be sick and alone in an apartment with no one to fuss over you. Then I went home and JR, my poor sick boyfriend, (am I spreading something?) came over and we made pasta and snuggled until we were both half asleep and then he tucked me in and left. So ended a great weekend.

Is it to late to add goats to my christmas list? I want goats.  Posted by Hello

Are You A Freak?
I'm 65% freak!!

Friday, December 17, 2004

My friend/coworker Jennifer and her sister at the christmas party. I am sooooo jealous of Jen's hair, aren't you? Posted by Hello

The gals! Posted by Hello

Matt and his sweet wife/mother of very cute baby on the left and Valentina and Craig on the right. Posted by Hello

The lovely Valantina and Mike, who is every bit as funny and terrifying as he appears. He sings me songs or does small one-act skits for me as he comes through the lobby. Sometimes he pretends to fall down the stairs, and I like that best. Posted by Hello

JR is the best thing to ever happen. Ever. To the entire world. And he loves me. Posted by Hello

There was a lot of liquor at the company christmas party, can you tell? Posted by Hello

Why penguins don't live very long. Posted by Hello

For Christmas, I want a mama and baby hippo, six wombats, two giant turtles, four penguins, three elephants, a white lion, two zebras, a green parrot and a bigfoot. I'd settle for a Zoo Pass. Or a box of animal crackers. Posted by Hello

"In an admittedly lame competition, Barney challenges Tennis Ball to an eyebrow growing contest." My new favorite website,
 Posted by Hello

Thursday, December 16, 2004

This picture makes me happy and a little giggly. Posted by Hello

If you pray..........
........... would you say a quick prayer for the man who was run over by a car on the street out in front of my lobby?

Forcing more poetry on you..........
She Tells Her Love While Half Asleep
By Robert Graves

She tells her loves while half asleep
In the dark hours,
With half-words whispered low;

As the Earth stirs in her winter sleep
And puts out grass and flowers
Despite the snow,
Despite the falling snow.

Return of the Adorable Jordanian Neighbors, who might be trying to kill me with food.
Is 'Jordanian' a word? Well, they are from Jordan.
Last night I dropped by #32 to return a cup from the other night, thinking I'd say a quick hello and then go and tuck myself snug and sound into my own little bed. (JR is snickering right now, that I don't know the meaning of the words "quick hello"). But of course we ended up sitting around talking until 2 AM. The combination of good company and good food makes me completely unaware of the passage of time.

Velvet Tornado
The sum total of 1 cat + 1 cat is not 2 cats, as you would expect. And they are both spayed/neutered, so it's not 16 cats either. The sum is not a number. It's an ACT OF GOD.
Let me explain. See, it used to be that when I went to bed at night, Maximus would look around and realize that he had no one to play with, so he'd sleep too. Now he has someone to play tag all around the apartment with, ALL NIGHT LONG. When I wake up in the morning, all my rugs are at the opposite ends of the apartment, like they've been riding them like magic carpets across the kitchen. I found one shoe in my bedroom under my bed and the other in the living room. All night I hear things falling down, and think to myself, "It didn't sound like anything broke, so I don't have to get up, do I?" When I come home from work at night, they are curled up together and look up at me with their little velvet angel faces.

Today's sense of alertness is brought to you by -
Turkish Coffee. That I drank last night. Yeah, it's that strong.

"... match me such a marvel, save in Eastern clime
A rose-red city, half as old as time."

Petra by Dean Burgen
Posted by Hello

Wednesday, December 15, 2004
Parkway Plaza
For a while I worked retail in a mall in El Cajon. The most ghetto-ass mall in East County, rome of the bus empire. If you had no job, no car, no life and no inclination to get any of those things, you went to this mall. The mall itself wasn't that bad, and not all patrons were unemployeed slackers, but at about 10 AM, after the senior mall walkers had power walked the mall and drank their discount coffee from Cinnabon, and before the young mothers with their strollers came in at about 1 PM, there was a three hour lull where they only people in the mall were the hoodiest mall rats you've ever seen. The rest of the time they faded into the woodwork and were only really visible outside the food court where they chainsmoke cigarettes(?) and fought and snuck off to procreate more of this sad breed. Really. Appearently it's a status thing amoung them, to have had sex at the mall, like joining the mile high club, only a lot dirtier and and sadder. Once I made the mistake of agreeing to meet up with a friend at this spot, and had to stand and wait between a man with a lizard in a pouch hanging around his neck and a woman in a very loud custody dispute on a payphone.
The genuine crazies weren't as bad. There was the multiple personality disorder lady, she had her mirror friend (who I wanted to meet because she was always giggling at her mirror friend so I assume he/she was very funny) and then she had Hat On and Hat Off. Hat On and Hat Off would have conversations as she walked. Hat On was chattier. Hat On was the only one that would talk to me. There were a few more like that, but I never minded them much.
Mall employees. There is a underappreciated, depressed race of people. Someday I will start a charity for mall employees. They stand all day, sometimes alone (meaning they can't take a break) in a store for up to 8-12 hours. Most don't have cars, because the pay barely covers their share of rent in a shabby apartment shared by at least two other people and bus fare. So after a long day of smiling literally until it hurts, they spend another hour on a creaking bus to get home. Most would like to go to school or get a different job, but most are limited to finding a place on the bus line.
There is a lot more interaction between mall employees then most people realize. It's a very gossipy place and most of the gossip is true. The guys at the cell phone kiosks all drink. Really. The department store employees will only interact with other department store employees. The girls at Fredricks are.......... well, lets just say young people read this blog, so whatever you are imagining is probably right. The little guy that works weekends at Hot Topic (and just hangs around the rest of the time) is the official drug dealer of the mall. And he was in love with me for a month or so. That was interesting. He is like 78 lbs, but don't try to deal at that mall, it will not end well for you. He has the equivilant of a chemistry degree in knowledge. He specializes in 'recreational prescriptions'. As in other people's prescriptions.
There is a always a network of sorts, a 'I use your employee discount on a jacket, you use so and so's discount on a poster and so and so uses mine on this necklace and we call it even' that defies any owners attempts to put a stop to. God help anyones who uses the system, then backs out when their turn comes. Cinnabon will probably stop selling them large sodas for $0.75. And when you realize how much caffeine is necessary to get through an average shift and the cost of paying full price, you realize that that is a fate worse then death. It's a cutthroat world. Really.
And the customers. Oh, the customers. Some of them are insanely mean because they think thats bargining. And some of them, will watch a clerk try to ring them up, have the register tape run out, the clerk try to replace it with a new roll, have the new role jam, clerk find a manager, have the manager fix the problem, the clerk tries again to ring you up, the credit card register tape runs out, and the customer complains about how long it's taking.
Moral of the story, this Christmas season, be nice to mall employees. Smile at them. Realize that they have been on their feet without a break for hours. If they are particulary nice, buy them a soda at Cinnabon.

Death Clock
My realistic estimate is Friday, March 5, 2060.

My optimistic estimate is Monday, April 24, 2073.

In other words, between the ages of 79 and 92. I hope its closer to 92, I think being old is awesome and want to do that for as long as possible. I'm going to knit those ridiculous barbie-doll-dress-toilet-paper-cover things and give them to everyone I know.

Santa is in the building! Posted by Hello

Wrapping Presents With A Cat.
1. Clear large space on table for wrapping present.
2. Go to closet and collect bag in which present is contained, and shut door.
3. Open door and remove cat from closet.
4. Go to cupboard and retrieve rolls of wrapping paper.
5. Go back and remove cat from cupboard.
6. Go to drawer, and collect transparent sticky tape, ribbons, scissors, labels, etc. . .
7. Lay out presents and wrapping materials on table, to enable wrapping strategy to be formed.
8. Go back to drawer to get string, remove cat that has been in the drawer since last visit and collect string.
9. Remove present from bag.
10. Remove cat from bag.
11. Open box to check present, remove cat from box, replace present.
12. Lay out paper to enable cutting to size.
13. Try and smooth out paper, realize cat is underneath and remove cat.
14. Cut the paper to size, keeping the cutting line straight.
15. Throw away first sheet as cat chased the scissors, and tore the paper.
16. Cut second sheet of paper to size - by putting cat in the bag the present came in.
17. Place present on paper.
18. Lift up edges of paper to seal in present. Wonder why edges don't reach. Realize cat is between present
and paper. Remove cat.
19. Place object on paper, to hold in place while tearing transparent sticky tape.
20. Spend 20 minutes carefully trying to remove transparent sticky tape from cat with pair of nail scissors.
21. Seal paper with sticky tape, making corners as neat as possible.
22. Look for roll of ribbon. Chase cat down hall in order to retrieve ribbon.
23. Try to wrap present with ribbon in a two-directional turn.
24. Re-roll ribbon and remove paper, which is now torn due to cat's enthusiastic ribbon chase.
25. Repeat steps 13-20 until you reach last sheet of paper.
26. Decide to skip steps 13-17 in order to save time and reduce risk of losing last sheet of paper.
Retrieve old cardboard box that is the right size for sheet of paper.
27. Put present in box, and tie down with string.
28. Remove string, open box and remove cat.
29. Put all packing materials in bag with present and head for locked room.
30. Once inside lockable room, lock door and start to relay out paper and materials.
31. Remove cat from box, unlock door, put cat outside door, close and relock.
32. Repeat previous step as often as is necessary
(until you can hear cat from outside door)
33. Lay out last sheet of paper. (This will be difficult in the small area of the toilet, but do your best)
34. Discover cat has already torn paper. Unlock door go out and hunt through various cupboards, looking for
sheet of last year's paper. Remember that you haven't got any left because cat helped with this last year as well.
35. Return to lockable room, lock door, and sit on toilet and try to make torn sheet of paper look presentable.
36. Seal box, wrap with paper and repair by very carefully sealing with sticky tape. Tie up with ribbon
and decorate with bows to hide worst areas.
37. Label. Sit back and admire your handiwork, congratulate yourself on completing a difficult job.
38. Unlock door, and go to kitchen to make drink and feed cat.
39. Spend 15 minutes looking for cat until coming to obvious conclusion.
40. Unwrap present, untie box and remove cat.
41. Go to store and buy a gift bag

Last night I saw the rings of Saturn and took a baked potato to bed with me.
Last night we took the JV kidlets to the mall for a scavenger hunt, aka a night of doing ridiculous things in public. So of course I loved it. We sang Christmas carols very badly, said the pledge of allegiance to poster with a flag and a chevy truck on it, and toilet papered a kid. Surprisingly, we weren't asked to leave. We even sang the Veggie Tales song (yes I know every word) as loud as possible next to a kiosk selling the DVDs. The salesguy loved it.
Then we took them back to the church for ice cream. A father of one of the kids brought in a telescope bigger than me and showed us all the rings on Saturn.
Then I went home and stuck two potatoes in Hector to cook, but then forgot about them. I was turning out the lights to go to bed when I realized that I had potatoes in the microwave and I was hungry. So I took them and an In Touch magazine, snuggled up in bed and ate them plain.

My mistaken intervention
Once, when I was in high school, innocently acing a history test, I got a note from the principal to report to the office immediatly. I went, wondering why on earth they wanted to talk to me. I get to his office and find the principle, the vice principle and one of the department heads, all sitting around, smiling at me. I sat down and said,
"Um, why did you guys want to see me?"
"Sarah, how are you?"
"I'm good. But what's up? Surely you didn't pull me out of a test to say hi."
"Do you feel a lot of pressure from the tests, Sarah?"
"No, not really. I studied. It's just that the last time I got called to the office it was to tell me that my brother had been taken to the hospital. So did someone die?"
"Do you want your family to die, Sarah?"
"Nooooooo, what is this?"
"You look stressed, Sarah."
"Well, yeah, now I am."
After about ten more minutes of that, I finally got out of them that a student had come to them saying I had threatened to kill myself. What that well-intentioned student had actually heard were my plans to transfer to another class. Took me another half an hour to convince them.

Today's sense of alertness is brought to you by -
Ginseng Energy Tea. I really need it today.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004
Shameless Self Promotion.
No one ever said I would win an award for humility, but I DID win-

A World of Sven Blogger You Would Most Like to Have Coffee With Award.
Wait until they realize that I make horrible coffee.

A World of Sven Most Original and Interesting Blog Award.
Which is interesting to win on the day I feel like I'm getting writers block.

A World of Sven One Blog You Would Take With You To A Desert Island.
Can I go too, or does just my blog get to go?

Thank you to everyone who voted for me, I know all of these races were very close and I'm honored.

Today's Soundtrack is credited to
The 'I Am Sam' soundtrack.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night, take these broken wings and learn to fly. All your life, you were only waiting for this moment to arrive.

You and me, riding nowhere, spending someone's hard earned pay. You and me, Sunday driving, not arriving on our way back home.

Very Special Delivery.
I just had a package delivered by a postal carrier dressed in light blue uniform shorts, royal blue polo shirt, black vest with Christmas embroidery, complete with 'Jesus is the reason for the season' pin, black tights, red knee socks and ankle boots. I swear to you.

Sven, this one goes out to you. Posted by Hello