Saturday, February 28, 2009

Just Go Already

As if February hasn't already been the suckiest month that ever sucked, this morning I woke up to see this-

We got about 2-3" of snow overnight, and the forecast for today is cold and crappy.

So I say thank the Lord that this is the last day of the most craptacular month on the calendar (weatherwise, anyway). Bring on spring. Let's have the severe thunderstorms and tornado warnings (no actual tornadoes just warnings, I don't want anyone getting hurt)that have us scrambling for the basement every 30 minutes. Anything is better than February.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

And Another Thing...

In the words of one of my favorite singers, Amy Winehouse (sidenote- am I the only one who thinks Wino looks like Gargamel from the Smurf cartoons?), 'What kind of f&*%-ery is this?' The folks up at the school are up to their tricks again, and I'm not having it.

The Husband took Chickenhead to the doctor, and surprise, Chicken has the stomach flu. Dr. says that there's been a lot of it going around. He wrote a note for the school, because all of the sudden, they want a note explaining why Chickenhead hasn't been in school this week. We've never had to send them a note from his doctor before, but I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that this week was the Kansas Math Assessement tests. They've got their panties in a wad because when Chickenhead goes back, they'll have to make special arrangements for him to take the test. To which I say, 'suck it up (or maybe just suck it), people'. I very seriously doubt that Chickenhead was the only child in the district, the only child at his school even, who missed all or part of these tests. It's not like we kept him at home for the fun of it. The Husband pointed out that when Chickenhead is home sick, he expects to be able to watch Nick/Cartoon Network/Disney all the live long day, thus depriving Dad of access to Sci-Fi and the History Channel. See? We have our priorities straight.

I'll be honest here- I do not care for Chickenhead's teacher this year. She seems to have a rather large stick lodged somewhere personal, and it's making her a bit cranky. The tone of her emails is always very condescending, and I just don't like condescending. I don't care if her and I are BFF, I've got plenty of those thanks, but her constant rudeness is un-necessary and getting on my last nerve.

This whole testing thing is irritating me, too. How much of this will the kids really retain after the testing is over? When I look at the classwork my son brings home, I honestly don't get it. He was working on some math problems last week that had to do with 'tessellation'. I had no idea what that was until I went to Wikipedia. I asked Chickenhead what tessellation was and got the shoulder shrug/'I dunno' combo. I have a feeling that math is just going to be a tricky subject for us all the way around. I was always math phobic and did whatever I could to get out of it. I will be of no use to Chickenehad when algebra comes in to our lives because I live by the motto, 'when in doubt X=6'.

On a bright note, I found someone who will come and clean up our yard, bag all the leaves (and maybe remove that dead squirell from the side yard if I ask nicely) for $150. AND, he'll mow for $35 a pop, so I may just have him come twice a month, and I'll mow myself once a month. Maybe, just maybe, I won't be hatin' on the great outdoors so much this summer. We'll see...

Random Thoughts- The Only Kind I Seem To Have

We are finally able to see the end of February within our grasp. Am I the only one who thought this was just the longest month EVER? February can just go, already. I'm over it.

I have made an executive decision at the Casa. I am not doing yardwork this year. Yes, I could use the exercise, it was nice of you to point that out. But. With everything going on with my mom, and wanting to spend more time with Chickenhead and the Husband, and maybe, just maybe, find some time for myself, mowing and raking just doesn't fit in the picture. I'm going to try to find an affordable lawn service that can come and take care of it.

Speaking of my mommma, I wish we knew what was going on. Some days she's doing great. Other days, she's moodier than usual, and in such a fog that it's hard to believe it's the same person. The other night at the Cub Scout Blue and Gold banquet, the Husband and I spent a good five minutes convincing her that we only needed a table for four people, not five.

I actually talked with her one night about a power of attorney, telling her that I thought it would be wise to have if she ever went in to the hospital, heaven forbid. She agreed, so I need to get the paperwork rolling on that. Mom also said that she has no business driving; it makes her too nervous. So what does she do? She goes out to the store and here and there during the day. I worry that she's going to hurt herself or someone else.

Sometimes I find myself feeling very angry about this whole thing. I get frustrated that she doesn't seem to care about her health, that she's not taking in to consideration how her actions can affect others. I get mad because she's getting old, and there's nothing that I can do to stop that. I get angry at feeling powerless more than anything else. My inner-control freak is not happy!

Other than all of this, not much else is going on. Chickenhead is fighting off some sort of flu bug or something, the Husband is taking him to the doctor today.

I got to spend time with my girlfriends this past Saturday, scrapping. It felt good to be in the company of people I truly enjoy, doing something I love. Laughter and companionship are the best cures for whatever ails you!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I Can't Quit You, Mickey Rourke!

Last night, Mickey Rourke won the Best Actor award on the IFC's Independent Spirit Awards for his amazing performance in 'The Wrestler'. I think Mickey's comeback is LONG overdue, and his recent awards are well deserved.

Here's a clip of Mickey's acceptance speech at last night's awards. I want to see him win the Oscar tonight if for nothing else, then to maybe get to hear another great speech like this. WARNING- There's a LOT of F-bombs in this clip, so don't say I didn't warn you. And when he starts talking about his dog Loki and chokes up, it just made me melt! And, and- he's wearing a necklace with Loki's photo! If that doesn't make you love this man too, nothing will!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Men I Like- The Grunge Edition

Back in the early 90's, it was my dream to move to Seattle, wear flannel and a pair of Doc Martins and drink a lot of coffee while hanging out with 'Twin Peaks' types. I was certain that if I could fulfill this dream, I would also be hanging out with this guy-

No, not the Tommy Chong looking one in the lower left, the guy in the middle, Chris Cornell from Soundgarden. I've always had a soft spot in my heart for long-haired rockers, and he just about did it for me. He and Kurt Cobain were running neck and neck in the race to win my soft, mushy heart. But they didn't know it, and anyway, Kurt ran off with crazy's favorite customer, Courtney Love. And I decided that Seattle wasn't for me, with it's endless rain, and back then, I didn't care for coffee that much. And 'Twin Peaks' got canceled.

But still, I've followed Chris' solo career, and he takes a different turn with each new release. He may not be everyone's cup of tea (or coffee), but he's still mine.

Product Review- The Making Memories Slice

For the past year or so, I've been going back and forth on the scrapbooking thing. Did I want to keep doing it, when do I have time, on and on and on it went. I even thought about throwing all of my stuff away, but luckily my friends talked me down of that ledge!

I decided I wanted some sort of die-cutting machine. I didn't want the Sizzix; too bulky and too much stuff. The Cricut was cool, but storage space was an issue. Then, Making Memories answered my prayers with the introduction of the Slice.

My friend Carol sent me a link to Oh My Crafts
and they had a great deal on the Slice. It was too good to pass up! I entered my cc number and waited patiently for the MIB (Man in Brown- the UPS guy!). Yesterday, I got a ding-dong-ditch, so I didn't get to see if MIB was hot or not, but I didn't care! My Slice was here!

I took it out of the box and charged it up. You can use it either plugged in or cordless. I waited the hour for it to charge and then started playing. The Slice comes with a glass mat that you have to put a special glue on so that your paper or photo or whatever you're cutting will stay in place. The directions said to let the glue set for 2 minutes. But, I'm an only child and I want to do everything MY way, so I put my paper down immediately and put in my design card. I selected a flower, and then chose the size. Chickenhead came in to watch as I pressed the start button. It was cutting! It cut pretty quickly, and when I was done, I saw a perfectly cut flower. But...since I didn't let the glue set like I was told, my paper was stuck pretty good to the glass mat. I scraped it off, washed the mat and started over. Again, my inner-only child took over and decided to try it without the glue. Guess what, that didn't work, either.

So I decided to just do as I was told. I put down a thin ribbon of glue and spread it out over the glass mat. I waited at least 2 minutes, and then put my paper down and got going. And you know what? It cut perfectly! I love it and would recommend it to any scrapper or card maker that wants a cutting machine that is affordable, easy to use and easy to store.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The T-Mobile Dance

Filmed at the Liverpool Train Station in London. What if we all got to dance like this on our way to work each day? I suppose I could do it on the bus, but it might be difficult to bust a good move when we doin' 65mph on I-35...

Blog Pimpin' For Dummies

Now, I'm not trying to say that any of my two readers are dumb, far from it. The simple fact is, a lot of us amateur bloggers don't know a whole heck of a lot about CSS and HTML, blah, blah, blah. I'm doing good most days to know ABC. So, I am now going to try to explain how I tricked out my blog in a simple straightforward manner without my head exploding. And hopefully, you'll be able to read it and say 'hey, I can do that!' Ready? Me neither, but here we go.

STEP 1- Changing your blog template
The pre-made templates here on Blogger don't offer much in the way of pizazz. But there's one of these white bread templates that is very easy to tweak and make your own. It's Minima, the very first template option. So, when you log in, from your Dashboard, click on 'Layout', and then click on 'Pick New Template'. Pretty easy so far, right? Now, click on the little circle to the left of 'Minima' and click the orange 'Save Template' button at the upper right of the template menu. Yay, we made it through that.

STEP 2- Adding an additional column-
What I wanted for my blog was a column over on the left. I've got lots of silly stuff in it like a poll, some other crap, my followers list, etc. I like for stuff to be symmetrical, so it's no wonder my brain twitched whenever I looked at my blog. It was all crooked. OK, enough of my therapy. If you want to add a column, you have to do the slightly un-nerving part, fiddling with the HTML. Yes, that's a technical term. Here's what we do-

After you've saved your new 'Minima' template, click on the 'Edit HTML' tab, which is to the left of the 'Pick New Template Tab'. On the Edit page, you'll see a big block of a bunch of jumbled up letters, numbers, brackets and semi-colons. That's what we're going to mess with. Scroll down in this field until you see this-

/* Outer-Wrapper
----------------------------------------------- */
#outer-wrapper {
width: 860px;
margin:0 auto;
font: $bodyfont;

#main-wrapper {
width: 400px;
float: left;
margin-left: 20px;
word-wrap: break-word; /* fix for long text breaking sidebar float in IE */
overflow: hidden; /* fix for long non-text content breaking IE sidebar float */

#sidebar-wrapper {
width: 200px;
float: right;
word-wrap: break-word; /* fix for long text breaking sidebar float in IE */
overflow: hidden; /* fix for long non-text content breaking IE sidebar float */

OK, I put in BOLD the things we need to change. Under 'outer wrapper', you might want to adjust the width. Here's where you will need to use a little math. If you make your blog 860 wide for example, you want to make sure that your main wrapper width and your sidebar widths don't equal more than your outer wrapper width. Since my sidebars are 200 each and my main wrapper is 400, they equal up to 800.

Also, you are going to need to add the code for your left sidebar. Copy this code, and paste it between the outer wrapper code and the main wrapper code.-

#left-sidebar-wrapper {
width: 200px;
float: left;
word-wrap: break-word; /* fix for long text breaking sidebar float in IE */
overflow: hidden; /* fix for long non-text content breaking IE sidebar float */

One more thing, make sure under 'Main Wrapper' you change the float to 'left'.

Once you've completed these steps, save your template. Now you can go to Page Elements and edit your layout. If you're using a blog template from a place like 'Cutest Blog on the Block', you'll copy the code for the design you like and paste it into a 'HTML/JavaScript' box on your layout page.

That's all their is to it! Once I got past the HTML madness, I was fine. If I can do this, you can too! Good luck, and be sure to let me know if you try it. I look forward to seeing your blogs!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Thanks, George and Abe!

Today I honored the birthdays of two of our greatest presidents by going shopping. I think old Honest Abe would have appreciated the 50% off deal I got at Michael's on a new scrap tote. George would have been tickled pink to see the clear acrylic album I bought at Archiver's. Both of them would have gotten a kick out of the sweet deals I scored on down pillows and a yummy scented candle at Tuesday Morning, Inc.

We also dined on some great Mexican food, in honor of...well, that really had nothing to do with President's Day at all. It was Margarita Monday at Kokopelli's. Usually when a restaurant runs a cheap 'rita special, they're watered down. Not so at Kokopelli's. You could taste the tequila more than you could the mix! It was like downing a large, frozen shot! When we left, I was feeling pretty groovy! Then when I got home, I was kind of cranky and now I'm just plain tired.

I've got tomorrow and Wednesday off, too. My favorite thing about being off of work during the week is getting Chickenhead ready for school. Yes, he pokes along and yes, at some point I have to yell at him to get his butt in gear, but all in all, I love it. I love hanging out in the front yard with him, waiting for the bus to come. The neighbor-cat, O'Ryan, always comes over to visit and get his head scratched.

After the bus picks up Chickenehead, I come back in, have a cup of coffee, and watch Golden Girls (yes, I never miss GG if I can help it). Tomorrow and Wednesday I have a mission. I have to clean Chickenhead's room. I've done it before, and I'm sure I'll do it a million more times before he grows up. This time though, I'm going to do a more thorough cleaning, and really get rid of stuff. It's damned near impossible to get rid of stuff when he's there saying, 'not THAT! I still play with it!!', and it's a baby toy from 2001. So tomorrow and Wednesday will be all about the big purge.

I'm getting very excited about heading over to my friend Carol's this weekend for some scrapbooking! I'm getting some photos uploaded so I can pick them up later this week, and I'm getting all my projects and tools together in my new tote. Oh! And I treated myself to the Making Memories Slice. Thanks to Carol, I got a great deal online, and I should have it tomorrow or Wednesday. Yay!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

OK, I Think I'm Done

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! I hope you had a day filled with romance.

I had a day filled with romance and a little heavy lifting thrown in. Last night, the Husband and I went to Costco and picked up a new TV. He's been wanting a big-screen for the longest time, and the tax refund money was burning a hole in our pockets. We got a 42" Vizio at an awesome price. We've also bought a new TV stand and a Playstation 3, so I'd say we've pretty much gotten with the times. It's funny; for as much TV as I watch, I never thought it would make a difference to me whether or not the TV was HD. I was wrong! The picture is pretty sweet! Sawyer is going to look might nice this coming Wednesday on LOST!!

So, we've got all that set up, and we spent the day lazing about in front of the tube. Chickenhead played some Star Wars game and all has been right with the world.

I played around with my blog here this afternoon, and by golly, I think I'm done! I figured out how to get the third column on the left. It's kind of filled with a mish-mash of things for now, but I'll edit it down to the content I really want in a few days. The background is from The Cutest Blog on the Block, a site that really does have some pretty cute blog templates. They're free and easy to use, and they have tips written in plain English with small words for folks like me.

As soon as my head stops hurting from all the code I had to look at and fiddle with to get this done, I'll write up a post on how I did it. I still have to make a new header (because I don't think the current one goes so well), but for now, I'm finished.

Friday, February 13, 2009

My, What a Big Blog You Have!

Yes, the Casa is temporarily jacked up whiles I figure out how to do this whack-a-doodle coding. Someday, we'll have three columns of crazy around here!

Over the next few days, I'll be trying out different coding options (ha! like I know what I'm doing) and different backgrounds. At some point, I may just say 'screw it' and go back to what I had before.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Itching To Change (or maybe I just have a rash)

Well now that I've had this li'l ol blog for a year, I'm tired of the look. I need something new, something different. Something that says 'me'. I don't know if the current look is saying 'me'. I don't know what it's saying, really.

I think I'm pretty sure I want a new banner, and probably a different background, too. Oh! I could have a *contest* and all two of you who read my manic ramblings could submit an idea or something, and then I could give you a prize. Hmmm....OK, I'm going to have to think about this one a bit.

In the meantime, if you have any ideas about how I can spruce up this place, let me know!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Men I Like- Special WTF Edition #2

Maybe I'm just drawn to bad boys. Bad boys are bad for a reason. They are not good for you in any kind of way, and if you see a bad boy, you should run as fast as possible in the other direction.

Sometimes, they don't always seem that bad when you first see them. Take Mickey Rourke, for example. Twenty-seven years ago, he was in a little film called 'Diner'. And he looked like this-

See him? He's second from the left, next to an adolescent Kevin Bacon. Doesn't Mickey look sweet? A nice, cute Irish boy with just a hint of mischief. He went on to star opposite Kim Basinger in the steamy '9 1/2 Weeks' and then with Lisa Bonet in the truly bizarre 'Angel Heart'.

Then Mickey's problems began. There were rumors that he was difficult to work with, and a primadonna. I tried to like him in 'Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man', but I was over him. I couldn't handle the bad boy anymore.

Mickey kind of went away for a while and I didn't think much about him until I saw him on some website with his face all gone crazy from too much plastic surgery. I was still all WTF over that, but saw his spectacular performance in 'The Wrestler' and I thought I could get past the botox gone bad. I was ready to let this bad boy in to my heart again.

And then today, I read about this-

Courtney Love?! Are you frickin' kidding me?! Michael K at DListed is right, these two are a back alley plastic surgeon's wet dream. I don't know, Mick. I can put up with a lot, but this might be too much for even me.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Freakout = Free Food (and a moral dilemma)

So today my BFF and I decided that we were stressed and crazy enough from the pressures of both work and family that we deserved to go out to lunch. I even offered to pay, since we take turns on that.

Come lunch time, off to Chipotle we go! Yum, Chipotle! I had a bowl with barbacoa (spicy beef) and guacamole. Guacamole makes life better, I've decided. Anyway, we zipped through the line and we were at the register in mere seconds. I reached in to my purse, and went to grab my debit card. It. Was. Not. There. OMG.

I frantically tried to remember where/when I had used it last. It was yesterday morning at Scooter's. I had my Scooter's points card, where was my debit card?! I looked at Rhonda with a look of panic, and started flapping my hands like I do when I'm about to have a panic attack. I asked the girl by the register if they took checks, and sheepishly explained that I had lost my debit card. She very calmly said, 'no problem, this one's on me' and with that Rhonda and I were whisked through the line.

I think I may have been even more shocked that they let us have lunch on the house than I was that I had lost my card. Rhonda and I spent a good five minutes staring at each other open-mouthed and tracing my steps back to figure out where that stupid card was.

We were sitting at the table and I looked through my purse once more. And there, in the little pocket where I never put ANYTHING, was my bank card. I debated with myself; do I go back and pay for lunch or chalk it up to karma? Well...the line was getting long...and she did seem like she just wanted my babbling ass out of the line because I was slowing things I told Rhonda that karma granted us a free lunch today. I will find some way to pay it forward.

But still...should I go back and pay? least I didn't do what I saw some poor woman do before we left. She dropped a bottle of hot sauce, sending glass and Tobasco pouring down the wall and the front of her clothes. At least I wasn't that lady!

Rhonda and I both kind of wish I had spazzed out somewhere where they had ice cream. Maybe next time!

Friday, February 6, 2009

25 Random Things (or, I Follow The Trend)

Since everyone else is doing it, I will too! Here are 25 oddball facts about me-

25. I have an irrational fear of falling down the stairs. It's even worse on escalators, and I've had full-fledged panic attacks at the mall because of the moving stairs. I think I'll stick with the elevator, thanks.

24. At my desk at work, I have three calendars, and two clocks, not counting the clock on my computer. I have an obsession with time, apparently.

23. If 'JFK' is on TV, I will stop whatever I am doing and watch it. It doesn't matter if it just started, is half way through, or at the final scene, I will watch it. Incredible cast, and just about the only Kevin Costner movie I like.

22. 'Roseanne' is my all time favorite sitcom.

21. I always check for creepy crawlies under my desk before I sit down. I know that there won't be a rodent or whatever there, but it doesn't hurt to check!

20. I met the Husband at a bar on a girls night out right after I had sworn off men for a while. He kept buying me Southern Comfort n Cokes.

19. I become a mean drunk when I drink Southern Comfort.

18. Southern Comfort does not go well with Dr. Pepper. No matter what anyone tells you.

17. I sometimes find being outdoors is over-rated.

16. I like pink highlighters the best.

15. My favorite cereal is Coco Puffs.

14. Using Coco Puffs in place of Rice Krispies in the Rice Krispie treat recipe is awesome.

13. I have thought about getting a cat and telling Loony Landlady that it was a 'stray' and I can't bear the thought of getting rid of it.

12. Loony Landlady gets on my last friggin' nerve.

11. I'm still not sure where I stand on the whole God thing. I'm OK with it.

10. I think anyone who abuses a child in any way and is convicted should get automatic death penalty, no questions asked.

9. At one time, I wanted to be an attorney.

8. I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.

7. I once spun a revolving door so hard that it knocked over an old lady in the Jones Store. I'm sorry for that.

6. I miss the Jones Store. I miss the way their store smelled. I think they must have had some special scent piped in to the Downtown store. It was very pleasant. I think it may have been a subliminal message to trigger your brain to want to spend money.

5. I don't see what the big deal about the Dave Matthews Band is.

4. As much as I love Chickenhead and the Husband, I would kill for a weekend at a hotel ALONE. I would sleep as much as I wanted, get a spa treatment and watch old movies on TCM.

3. My favorite Muppet characters are Beaker, the Swedish Chef and Pepe the King Prawn.

2. I have a figure of Pepe on my desk at work.

1. Everything is better with bacon.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Completely Random

Time has a funny habit of getting away from me, does it do that to you, too?

We've been dealing with my mother's health issues, and by dealing with, I mean she's ignoring them, while I try to figure out what the hell is going on. I'm going to have a discussion with her this weekend about getting a power of attorney. I'm dreading this because I know she's going to be angry, and she's going to feel like I'm trying to take over her life. This isn't the case at all of course, I just want to be able to do what's in her best interests if, God forbid, she becomes incapacitated by a stroke or other medical issue. It's the last thing in the world that I want to happen, but realistically, it looks like we may be heading down that road. Here's an interesting piece of related trivia- Did you know that researchers have determined that people who develop Type 2 diabetes before the age of 65 have a 125% higher risk of developing Alzheimer's later in life?

February seems to be the dullest month. It's some sort of purgatory; not quite winter, not yet spring. Everyone just seems to be in limbo, waiting it out until longer days and warmer temps arrive. I've been working on some Valentine's for my friends, and Chickenhead is still deliberating on which style to pass out to his classmates.

The husband surprised me the other day with an early Valentine's day bouquet of flowers; deep pink lillies and almost burgandy colored carnations. They are some of the prettiest flowers I think he's ever given me. He apologized for them not being roses, but I told him that truthfully, I don't care for long-stemmed roses. Have you noticed that they don't have any scent anymore? What good are roses without that wonderful smell?

Not much else is going on around the Casa. Chickenhead did awesome in the Pinewood Derby, winning First in his den, and an award for 'Fastest Looking Car'. I'm slowly getting back in to scrapbooking, and have organzied all of my supplies, and am now thinking about buying a Slice. It's a cutting tool like a Cricut, but small and portable. Since I'm limited on storage space, I think it may be the best choice for me as it won't take up a lot of room. And, it's cheaper too!

You'll recall that last month I wrote about the craziness that is now Joaquin Phoenix. There have been rumors floating around that his disheveled appearance and impending rap career were a hoax, but no, Joaquin assures us that it's for real, yo. If he wants to rap, fine, but does he have to look like someone that lives under a bridge to do it?