Thursday, March 31, 2011

Chocolate Road Map

While Rocky Road is my favoritest of the ice cream flavors, and if someone came up with an ice cream called "Rocky Road to Dublin" that was regular, awesome Rocky Road with a swirl of Irish Cream flavored ice cream in it I would eat enough to swell up to elephantine proportions, this post has nothing to do with ice cream.  Except for that misleading intro that is.  The rest shall be reserved for discussion of the traditional box of chocolates.

Exhibit A: One box of Russell Stover Assorted Chocolates
This is a box of chocolates that appeared in my office 'round about Ash Wednesday.  People giving up chocolate for Lent?  I don't know, but I certainly intended to benefit from the anonymous generosity.   While See's candy will always be my favorite of this genre, specifically the Nuts & Chews (in case anyone in California wants to send me some...) I really appreciate Mr. Stover's attempt at giving me a guide to the box of chocolates, because even though what Forrest Gump said about life is mostly true, I would actually like to know what I'm biting into.  A box of chocolates, like life, is frought with dangers if you are like me and don't like all the foods.  While I don't consider myself a picky eater, I do have... preferences.  Strong ones.  I like my food in certain ways, and while I'm open to new things, I'm not necessarily open to trying the same old things that I didn't like last time just to see if my taste buds miraculously changed.  No, to discover that fact* I would have to be tricked, dared, or paid to eat the offending food and most of the time no one really cares enough about my not-necessarily-narrow food selections to go to that much trouble to broaden them.  No one was around to do so at the time this box of chocolates presented itself.  So, I was left to the careful picking and choosing of chocolates so as to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
So many wonderful options to choose from.  Maple Nut Butter?  That sounds lovely!  Molasses Chew?  Sign me up!  Vanilla cream, coconut cream... I'll take one of each!  I wouldn't know a Roman Nougat from their American or French brethren, so I think I'll pass on that one.  I was diligent.  I followed the guide.  I even had a sample chocolate to make sure the box didn't get somehow turned around... seriously, when it comes to designing the little nesting places of chocolates, an asymmetrical approach to layout would be appreciated to save me from having to do such quality-assurance type things.  So, there I was... carefully picking the tasty treats (butter cream caramel, chocolate truffle), and what did I wind up with instead?!?!
This!  This pink hideousness that is probably a strawberry cream or the afore mentioned Roman Nougat instead of my non-fruity cream of choice or the Molasses Chew I was so excited about.  Eeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwww... Don't mess up my chocolate by putting funky fruit flavors in it!  I like chocolate with my chocolate.  Or butter, or sugar disguised as butter...


Somehow all the things that I wanted to eat had been switched with these funky fruit imposters, and not a single tasty chocolate was to be had.  Thus ends my tale of woe.

The end.

*which I have evidence for that such a thing exists... convoluted sentence structure aside, in that my husband who hated guacamole now likes it after years of trying

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Did you miss me?

That day that I normally post something...
It happened.
Well, the day happened.
The posting didn't.

Of all the things I've got sitting on my list to wow you with, none of them miraculously jumped up and finished writing themselves and got posted by well-meaning blog-faeries.

Some of the things that I didn't tell you about:

My cat's UTI
Why I spilled water down my shirt--on purpose--at least 6 times on Saturday
The fullness of my iPod, why I don't want a new one yet, and how hard it is to choose which songs to sync
Think-type thoughts on baby naming
A photo essay of what chocolates in the box are edible and which should be left to die alone in the break room

If you'd like to hear about any of those things, please, leave a comment.
If you want to hear about something else, please, leave a comment!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

It's about the Reflex...

Once upon some time ago, my brother and his lovely wife were driving (well, I imagine he was driving and she was riding, but you get my drift) down the road when "The Reflex" by Duran Duran came on the radio.  The following conversation (or something like it) ensued:

Wife: What is this song about?!?
Brother: It's about the reflex...

Yeah, he's like that.  So, we* have been thinking about other songs that we blithely sing along to and have no clue what they're about.  I mean, I sang along to "Wild Thing" and "Woolly Bully" as a child and never really had any idea that they were about anything other than a monster that lived in the woods.  Also, one incredibly embarrassing evening, my brother** and I were in the kitchen doing the dishes after dinner.  I'm not sure how the topic came up--maybe I was humming a tune, maybe he was, but somehow the discussion turned to Salt-n-Pepa's "Push it."  I was, I think 7 or 8 at the time, and he, being older by 7 years, was challenging me about that song's underlying subtext... or overlying regular text.  He basically said something to the effect of "you don't even know what that song is about."  I, as an uppity, wanna be know-it-all little sister, gave the classic answer: "Uh-huh!"  Did I really know what the song was about?  Um... no, and he called my bluff.  He wanted me to tell him.  I didn't want to be found out, so I said I didn't know the words, but I knew a dance... really?!?!  That was my brilliant escape plan?  So for what felt like hours but was probably only a few minutes, my brother tried to convince me to show him my super-fly dance move that explained the song while I wriggled and blushed and tried to explain why that was never going to happen.  a) I didn't want to get caught doing it and get in trouble--to which he offered to take the blame. 2) I wasn't sure that I really could do it because I'd never practiced--to which he said something brilliant, I'm sure, along the lines of "no time like the present" and D) Um... I don't know, I was young and embarrassed.  Finally, I gave in and performed a few half-hearted hip thrusts.  I remember wanting to melt into the linoleum with humiliation... but I can't remember what happened next.  Did he laugh at me, roll his eyes?  Probably both, but I couldn't tell you.

Anyway, on to the not-very-long-list-of-songs-I-can't-figure-out-what-they're-about*** portion of this post:
  • Seal-Kiss from a Rose on a Grave.  Seriously?  What's that all about
  • Everything by Radiohead in the history of ever.
  • um... this list was going to be longer...
  • I really thought I had more examples...
  • So, Internet! Provide me with your examples instead!

*We is mostly me
**Same brother, I only have the one.
***It's short because I can't think of more songs at the moment, not because I inherently understand all the subtext and nuances of modern lyricists... I really, really don't.  I think I also just don't care to look too deeply most of the time.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Living like cats and dogs

Reasons my husband thinks I am like the kitties:
  • I like to be petted.
  • I  like to snuggle under the covers.
  • I am well-groomed, sometimes prissy.
  • I want to be where the people I like are.
  • I am sometimes fickle and unpredictable in my desire for attention and affection.
  • My concept of personal space is heavily influenced by where I think I might be most comfortable, even if that happens to be in your personal space.
  • I make happy noises when scritched.
  • Baths are a necessity.
  • So are naps.
  • I am curious, sometimes in a reckless fashion.
  • I can manage some incredibly graceful things, then trip over my own shadow.
  • It's possible that one time I was sitting on the bed, applying lotion to my legs and he happened to walk in while I had one leg straight in the air... I mean, something like that could potentially happen

 Reasons I believe my husband to be like the dog:
  • He torments* the cats** for no discernible reason.
  • He is pleased with simple things like food and moving air.
  • He likes to run around the backyard, though he isn't as interested in chasing the squirrels as the dog is.
  • He twitches in his sleep as though chasing squirrels.
  • He wants to be near me all the time.
  • He prefers to lie down in a belly-to-the-ceiling sprawl.
  • If not brushed properly after a bath, his hair will stand up every-which-way.
  • He keeps me safe and warm.
That is all.

*chases, makes sudden loud and inexplicable noises in their general direction, and pesters them when they clearly just want to lie in an adorable puddle of cuteness.
**also, sometimes me

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Ireland, October 2006

I will be wearing green (and orange) today.  I will eat potatoes and drink beer.  I will say an extra prayer of thanks for all these things and more.

But for you, dear readers, here is a little taste of our honeymoon trip to Ireland, in no particular order, because I just can't be bothered.

 Windmill Lane... site of much U2 greatness, once upon a time. (U2 is still great, but their studio has moved, just to clarify.)  This was actually our first day in Ireland.  We wandered around Dublin until it was time to check into our hotel, slept then went about finding a pub.

 The Carrick-a-Rede bridge.  It's rope and wood and very high up.  It was windy, but we braved it anyway.  They say on a clear day, you can see Scotland from here.  We only saw a smudge on the horizon.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Too Hip to be Square

This is not actually a post about Huey Lewis and the News.  Please try to contain your disappointment.

There are several technological type things that are about on the Internet that I haven't incorporated into my universe yet.  I suppose I just can't be bothered to learn a new thing, or I don't fully understand the purpose, utility or benefits of them thoroughly. 

First: RSS feeds and readers.  My husband subscribes to about 472* of them and when I catch a glimpse of his inbox and see 1023 unread messages** parts of me start to twitch.  Now, while I understand that I wouldn't be required to subscribe to that many feeds (and I don't even feel cool enough to use that term), but the thought is still slightly overwhelming.  I don't know that I want Lolcats and CakeWrecks and whatnot filling my inbox.  My inbox is the place where my friends send me notes and my online accounts tell me important stuff.  I don't want to clutter it with other stuff.  I could create separate folders like my husband does, but again I say that smacks of effort.

Secondly, the # tags on Twitter.  I've barely figured out how to shorten links so they don't take up my entire tweet.  While I understand the purpose of the # tag things I don't ever think to use them.  Maybe my tweets don't fit into categories, which isn't to say that they're so original and groundbreaking that they can't be defined or that they defy labels because they're so free and unfettered.  No, I think they're just so very average that I don't know what to tag them as.  Is there a "random stuff no one really needs to know" tag?  Or maybe a "vanity and other useless info" tag?  And if so, do I really want to waste any of my 140 characters on it?  I think not.

Finally, what in the world is Tumblr for?  I will admit to having done absolutely no research into this at all.  I know that some of the web comics I read have them, but that's about the extent of it.  Along the same lines, I have no idea what Digg, Reddit, or Stumbleupon are for aside from some hastily drawn conclusions based on their names. 

Am I missing out on all the greatness that the World Wide Web has to offer?  Am I being passed by as the Internet swirls on about me?  Do you know what these things are, or do, and can you help convince me that I need to add them to my life?  Tell me, oh Internet!  What are the wonders that lie inside these crazy things?  I still have a LiveJournal and I'm on Facebook and Twitter.  Oh yeah, and I have a blog.  I have the sites that I visit frequently on my bookmark toolbar.  I have "favorites."  Am I living in the rotary-phone age of the Internet?  Can I graduate to a cellular phone, or even a smart phone?  I'm not so sure.  I resisted PDAs with every breath as long as I could, and even resisted getting a phone that did more than, you know, call people.  It was only when a friend of my husbands had one he wasn't using that I even got a phone with e-mail and Internet... now I don't want to go back.  If I learn how to use those sites will I forget how to just poke around the Internet aimlessly like I used to?  Do I want that?  Does it matter?

*Perhaps a slight exaggeration
**Actually not an exaggeration at all

Monday, March 14, 2011

Quick Question

For you folks that read all my beany-ness via a RSS reader thingy, would you just leave a quick comment and let me know that you do--annonymous or not, I don't care.  Just trying to figure out the numbers. 

I don't have a reader of that type, though I've thought about it, but it would take some e-mail wrangling that I'm not really interested in messing with because when it comes to change, I'm a stick-in-the-mud.

Still, I've seen comments on other blogs (because I do read other blogs... it's like reasearch, or homework, or something) about things showing up differently in those reader thingies and what not...

Anyway, I was just wanting to see how many of you are reader-type people so I can decide whether or not to learn about how to work that new technology sooner rather than later.

Just leave me a quick line ("I do." is fine) and let me know if you're a reader-type person... and I mean RSS reader, because obviously if you're reading this then you're a "reader" in the literate sense of the word...

Don't get all literal and semantic on me...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Quick and dirty pictures from my phone

If you follow me on Twitter, you've heard this already.  If you don't follow me on Twitter--well, you totally should, because I say stuff that might be important one day... and you'd know when there was new stuff here, because I would tell you, on Twitter... or something...

Anyway, here's the point:

There is a bow on my head...

Ruffles on my shirt...

really hard to not make this just a gratuitous boob shot...
And stripes on my socks!

Plus, there's purple, so that's always a bonus. Today must be made of awesome and win with sprinkles of rad!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Gondor may not need pants, but I do

Last week I had two pairs of black pants.  This week I have none. 

If this doesn't seem like a tragedy, please remember that finding pants that fit is nothing short of a miracle given my particular hip-to-waist ratio plus the fact that I have 6' of leg to cover.

Now, this story has it's roots all the way back in my days of working retail.  I don't know the average lifespan of a pair of pants in the normal woman's wardrobe, but my husband seems to go through pants with alarming speed.  Thankfully, he's a little easier to clothe than I am.  Most of the pants* that I currently own are older than my marriage.  Having only been married 4.5 years, that's not really that big a deal. 

Last week, I had 1 pair of pants at least 10 years old (black), three approximately 6 yr pants (2 the same brand & style, one black, one brown, and a charcoal pair from the same store), one 18 month old pair (tan), and one 6 mo old pair (grey).  That was plenty of pants for working.  I had more than 5 days worth of work-appropriate pants for the 4 days of the week that I needed such things.  All was well with the world.  Yes, some of my pants seemed aged, perhaps even approaching "venerable" as far as pants go, but I was content.  They all fit reasonably well.  Some were getting a little shorter than I like, but not embarrassingly short yet.  Some didn't quite fit in the waist or thighs, but it was all pretty good.  Decent.  Acceptable.  I was content in my pantedness.

A few weeks earlier though, it was a whole different story.  There was the Great Pantsless Scare of 2011.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Simple things that would make my life easier

I'm a simple person most of the time.  A little odd, but nothing so wacky as to be unrecognizable.  Heck, I can't even count the number of times someone has told me "You remind me of my best friend from grade school/high school/pen pal/first girlfriend/only woman I've ever slept with.*"  So anyway, the things I want can't be too unusual, so why hasn't anyone come up with them yet?

a) Advanced paste.  Not like space-age paste for kindergartners.  I mean the cut-and-paste function of computing.  There is a part of my job that requires me to add some specific data to specific fields in a specific program for the specific function of creating a specific document that I then have to edit to fit the specific format that the original program just can't quite manage to put things in.  There are two fields that I have to fill in with the same information all the time, but I can only copy and paste one field at a time, so I have to choose the least obnoxious one to type over and over and over and over again.  I usually choose to keep typing the all numeric one and just past the alpha-numeric one, but there's got to be a better way. Ctrl+V is only getting me so far here.  I want the ability to have ctrl+v paste one, and maybe ctrl+5 (or some other arbitrary number or letter that isn't already used for some other obscure keyboard shortcut that I never use) to paste the other thing I have copied... can someone make something like that happen for me?

2) A sun visor that had more options than just front and side, at least for the passenger.  I want it to swivel both ways, because sometimes what I don't want to look at is the DRIVER of the car.  Maybe the driver is being smug about something or silly and making faces to try to get me to laugh because I'm being ridiculous and holding on to some smidgen of anger over something that he thinks isn't important but at that moment being angry is what I want and I don't want to give into the giggles that he's inciting with his weird looks and "muffin" saying** and stuff.  At times like that, it would be super helpful to be able to put that sun visor thing between us.  So, an extra swivel would be nice.  Also, the sideways extendo-flap is good, but I wouldn't mind a drop-down extendo-flap too.  I'm not driving, so I don't have to see the road, and it wouldn't block too much of the driver's view to get the sunset out of my eyes.  Just a thought.

D) Dangit!  I had a third thing for this list of really useful (to me) things that don't exist but should and I knew it this morning when I was brushing my teeth or maybe when I was chasing the cats around the bed, but now I've forgotten and that makes me sad, but not really sad, more just cranky in a "I want a cookie  but you ate the last one" kind of way.  If I ever remember what brilliant idea it was that if it were invented would make my life easier, smoother, and less full of crank*** I will come back and edit this.  On a side note that's not a footnote, because four * is just more than I can even handle right now: One of the most difficult things about getting my Bachelor of Journalism degree was explaining what I was doing in the AVID studio. "It's a movie and I edited it."  Edited it.  Edited it.  Editedit. Editedit... ededededededitititiititit.  It's just an awkward mouthful of a phrase that makes you sound like you stutter even when you don't and to say it normally makes you sound like a pretentious prig speaking all slow and proper and crap.  Edited it.  meh.

*This told to me by 2 gay men... what can I say, I just have that sort of face?
** I can't say "muffin" and not smile... I just can't.  Sometimes other people saying it will cause giggles too.  I don't know why, it's just like that.
*** as in what is produced when I am cranky, not the drug that has something to do with meth, but I don't know what because I'm too vanilla for drugs that you don't buy at CVS

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Life of Bean, a Lifetime Original

Back to the made-for-tv movie version of my life for a bit, because after all the awesome input from friends and family, I can't stop thinking about it.  It is my life after all, and I feel like that takes up a lot of my time.

I'm not sure what the plot is, as I haven't invented anything exciting, or done anything dramatic, or survived extreme conditions, or overcome impossible odds, or changed the world.  Still, this is my Barbie Dream World, so I think I'll have the scenes that lead to the most fun for me, in my role as a well-paid consultant.  Maybe I'll pen an auto-biography that will sell like hotcakes and get picked to be turned into a movie, then I can have input on the script. 

I'll totally sensationalize my experience of the 1989 San Francisco earthquake, and choose some plucky unknown young actress to play me, age 9, leading my ballet class to safety through rubble and smoking cars as my mother drives skillfully through epic traffic over the swaying Golden Gate in her mad rush to Marin.  We'll have explosions of Bruckheimer proportions that will make the trailer look totally amazing.

There has to be at least one U2 concert in the movie of my life, and that means that I'm going to insist on U2 being brought in to play.  I don't know which of the three to pick, though I feel I should maybe fudge reality just a little bit and include MBFJCG in every one.  Really it's just an excuse to have U2 in my movie.

Then, I'll gloss over all my awkwardness with a snappy montage of my moving-about years.  I can put a few scenes in of me looking glowing and sunkissed on our boat on Canyon Lake and skip my awkward attempts to water ski.  While we're at it, let's just skip over most of middle and high school.  No need to document my frumpy years.

For college, we can do a few scenes in Santa Barbara that show how cool and hip I was, because this is my movie and I can fib if I want to.  A scene where we study on the beach, and a trip to Zelo's where I dance with the pretty blonde boy from Kentucky who turned out to be not only not interested in me at all but just hanging out with me because it was convenient and boosted his ego, but also did very bad things to my friends, so maybe we'll just cut him out of the movie all together and move on to Nebraska. There, I'll highlight my cool friends, so I seem super cool by association, and there will be thoughtful, dimly lit conversations of ordinariness that hold hidden truths and transcendental value as commentary on the human condition... or something.  And music.  Lots of music in that section of my movie.  Live shows and mix tapes (that are actually on cd) and stuff.

And there should be a montage of dancing.  At the 3.5 clubs that I've been too.  Showcasing my fabulous make-up & hair... and stuff.  And then a whirlwind of fantastic, eye-opening experiences at the renaissance festival, and a falling in love montage.

Maybe a House-ish episode where I cover all the mysterious and frustrating illnesses of my family and friends, and I could even get Robert Sean Leonard to come in and play the caring oncologist, only I won't call him Wilson...

There's a lot of montages here and not a lot of actual scene work... is the movie of my life really just a 90 minute music video?  That seems more likely...

As for the rest of the film, it's still a work in progress.  Maybe there will be a bundle of joy scene, or some world travel, or possibly just a lot of singing in silly clothes and scrapbooking with friends and moments of hilarity that the heroine boils down into sit-com like segments and publishes on the internet.

Who knows...
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