Thursday, August 31, 2006

Thursday 13 -- Special Double Issue!

Songs on the CD I Just Burned/Things I'd Rather Be Doing

Since I'm visiting Fat Dog this weekend, I made a new mixed CD to listen to during my 6 1/2 hour drive. I decided to create a 90s rock/alternative mix. I am in l-o-v-e with my new CD. I haven't heard some of these songs in almost 10 years! Ah, 22 tracks of sheer bliss as K and I head up to Virginia Beach...

And, just like every other trip I take, I never get everything done ahead of time. So I will be up laaaaaate tonight getting ready and doing stuff. (I'm stuck at work right now. I'll be here until 9pm) When really, what I want to do is blow everything off and go hit the bars!

1. Santa Monica -- Everclear / At home packing

2. Some Day -- Sugar Ray / Watching the USC (that's South Carolina, not California) football game that starts at 8pm on ESPN. Go Gamecocks!!!

3. Jumper -- Third Eye Blind / Watching the MTV Video Music Awards (the only awards show I could actually stand to watch from beginning to end). I'd flip back and forth between that and the game.

4. Pretty Little Ditty -- Red Hot Chili Peppers / Going out with MJ to Liberty's so I can meet this guy she's kinda seeing.

5. What's My Age Again? -- Blink 182 / Going to the Wild Hare (another bar) to watch the game with YPS (the Young Professionals Society). I always meet cool people at their monthly gatherings.

6. Going the Distance -- Cake / Following the news reports on's almost a hurricane...not really much danger, but it would be good to know the updates, just in case. It's strengthening as I type this.

7. My Own Worst Enemy -- Lit / Switching my Visa account over to this other great offer I got in the mail. No interest for a year, on transfers and balances! Woo-hoo!

8. I'm Only Happy When It Rains -- Garbage / Cleaning out my car in preparation for the trip. I need to get gas, too.

9. Father of Mine -- Everclear / Giving Sammy a birthday celebration -- today he turns 3!!!

10. Semi-Charmed Life -- Third Eye Blind / Actually, he really needs a bath more than anything...

11. When It's Over -- Sugar Ray / Running up to Best Buy or to Wal-Mart to buy a digital camera before my trip.

12. What It's Like -- Everlast / Actually, I'd rather be doing just about anything other than sitting here at work right now.

13. Scarlet Begonias -- Sublime / More than anything, I wish I could leave and go to Bed, Bath and Beyond. Why?

Because The Czarina just emailed me some awful news. Our friends, the P family, lost their home yesterday to a fire. The whole thing. Up in flames. They have lost everything. Everyone made it out alive, which is the important thing, but so far, they have recovered very little. And of course, things like photos, jewelry, family heirlooms, etc are all gone forever. At least they can replace furniture and clothes and housewares. That's why I want to go get them a big, fat BB&B gift card.

I don't know the cause of the fire--Aunt P was too busy to get into details with Czarina--but Czarina's theory is that Uncle P's cigarette ashes got the best of them.

As far as I know, their dog is ok. But it's not just my Uncle and Aunt P that are affected. They have to take care of their youngest daughter (a senior in high school), their son, their daughter-in-law and their granddaughter--who is about a year old. So they have a full household! Czarina has already sent them a Target giftcard, and has told them that she has some extra furniture they can borrow until they can buy some.

This isn't just some casual friends of the family, y'all. The P family are like the other half of my family. All of the kids grew up together, the moms are best friends, the dads were best friends (until my dad died)...these are my Aunt and Uncle P, here. They aren't blood, but they might as well be. I am really upset and worried about them. They will be ok, eventually. They are going to rent a house and stay there for a while. Hopefully soon the insurance money will come in. The biggest problem is this: They have been living there in Northern Virginia for about 20 years. And the insurance coverage probably isn't keeping pace with the true value of their home--Northern Virginia property values have skyrocketed since they moved in. So who knows where they will end up. Uncle P already has a terribly long commute. I can't even imagine how scared they must have been or how stressed out they are now. You always think about that question--What would you grab in a fire?--but really, I bet you are way too freaked out to even think about material goods! God I'm glad they are all ok. I really could not handle another funeral right now. Neither could their family.

I feel so helpless. I wish I could just go buy them a new house--just like the Everclear song, full of everything they need. Or give them all the clothes in my closet and all the stuff in my house! (Ironically, I am too fat for any of them to fit into my clothes...) There aren't too many people in this world that I would give the shirt off my back to, but this family is it. I will have to go through my stuff at home and give them whatever I can find.

Does anyone know of anything else I can do for them?? Are there programs out there for people who have had this happen to them? I am out of my element here. Any advice or tales of experience you can provide would be really helpful.

I sure would feel better if they would all just go stay at Czarina's house for a while, but Uncle P needs to keep working and Aunt P just has too much stuff to do with this happening. They are currently staying with a neighbor.

Their family has been through about as much crap as mine has been through lately, and this is a huge burden on them. Seriously, it is the last thing they needed. So keep them in your thoughts, guys. If you are a pray-er, then pray for them. I know I will be.

And check your fire alarms this weekend!!!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Men, Mom and Mechanics, Part 2

You have to read Part 1 (below) first or this will make no sense. Where was I?

Random Drunk Guy had been at his friend T's apartment, but T had a girl in the apartment, and he felt weird hanging around. So Random Drunk Guy left T's apartment and was waiting for his ride to pick him up. That's when I found him. We talked for about a half hour. He was pretty entertaining and an easy target, so I began to tease him and give him a hard time. I can't remember how we got to the subject, but I made a joke about how he should take me out to breakfast. And he took me up on the offer.

(Sometimes I have my crazy, spontaneous moments. This was one of them. What can I say? It was a cute guy and I had no plans and couldn't go anywhere, thanks to my stupid car. I'm good with picking up on creepy vibes, and I wasn't getting any bad gut feelings. And Sammy liked him. So I went with it. I don't normally do this, I swear. But sometimes you gotta live a little. I am not in any way condoning this type of irresponsible behavior. Don't try this at home. Now that I am typing out this story, I can't believe I did this. The Czarina would shoot me.)

I said, "But how do I know you aren't some crazy psycho guy?" and he assured me he wasn't. T came outside at one point to get something out of his car and talked to us for a minute and also assured me I was in no danger. No creepy vibes from T, either. T encouraged me to go to breakfast. I mentally noted the apartment location and license plate of T, just in case. Then I realized RDG was too drunk and half-asleep to do anything anyway. "Yeah, I don't think you could do too much damage right now," I ribbed. To make me feel better, he gave me his driver's license as collateral.

I got ready really quickly and his roommate picked us up and took us to their house so we could drive his car. His roommate, Coffee Guy, was a real sweetheart. They gave me the tour, which included a backyard pool and two adorable doggies. His house is really really cool-- early 20th century, big windows, hardwood floors, high ceilings, old neighborhood. They invited me and K to hang out at their pool that afternoon. Since I hung out there for about an hour, RDG had sobered up a little, and we hit the road.

So I went to breakfast with him. And we had a great time! Well, as good of a time as you can have with a guy who reeked of alcohol and was still kinda drunk at 10am on a Sunday morning. Definitely some flirting going on! He told me about his ex, who was trying to get back together with him, yet was causing all this drama because she was upset about the girl he rebounded with. Apparently the two girls ran into each other the night before, and there was a scene. That's when he left and started drinking at T's place.

I can't believe I am admitting this story. I'm sure I will get a lot of "OMG, VB, you could've been killed!" comments. Even if I were you, I'd be lecturing me: "VB, this is how girls end up dead in ditches!" But it's a great story, I promise! When I get this vibe, it is always a good thing! My spontaneous ideas are all great! (Well, except that one time in Charlotte...remind me to tell you that story...)

He really wanted me and K to hang out with him at his pool that afternoon. I called K and explained what was going on and gave her the RDG's real name and address--see? I am sorta safe. K thought I was nuts, until I informed her that RDG was hot, and then she got it. K was busy with friends, so I told him it would be just me. He waited in my living room while I got ready. When I came back out, he was passed out on my couch. He slept there all afternoon. Which was fine with me. I didn't have anything to do, and I couldn't go anywhere, so I popped in a movie and then watched some TV while Sammy and I also napped.

Around 5pm he woke up and left. But not before he got my number. Yessss!

I don't know if he will call, but we will see. At the very least, I got a free breakfast.

A couple hours later, K came home and I filled her in on the details. She was excited for me. Then we went out with some of her friends for dinner at Yesterday's. (Extremely yummy food, btw.) Who do we see when we are there???

RDG and his roommate, Coffee Guy.

Crazy. I grabbed K and we went over to say hi. Everyone was introduced. After the obligatory "Stop stalking me!" jokes, they invited us to join them, but instead she and I said goodbye and sat back down with our group. We didn't want to be rude.

Yesterday morning I had my car jumped and took it in to be fixed. It turns out it was the battery. So they replaced that. For $150! It sounds high, I know, but I didn't really have a choice--it's not like I could take my car somewhere else--it was dead. It is a factory part, so it's going to be more expensive, but has a better guarantee than regular batteries. Oh well. Then they found a problem with my car--my plenum gasket needed to be replaced. Or else I would be stranded on the highway soon. It was leaking coolant (I had noticed it was kind of low), which could seep into my pistons, essentially locking my engine. Replacing it costs $400. So, with taxes included, I paid $602 when it was all said and done. Ouch. I hate my stupid car. But thank God for credit cards, right? I guess it's still cheaper than having a car payment.

So I'm driving away, and I'm thinking, "Gosh, someone working on my car must have gotten gasoline on their coveralls because it reeks of gas in here!" And the next thing I know, there are all these people running out of the office, yelling at me, telling me to stop my car and turn it off immediatly. Eeek!

My car was gushing gas everywhere. I had no idea! I could have been blown to smithereens! What a brush with Death! I just thought it was some stinky mechanic, but apparently, the part they replaced was a faulty part and it had broken, which allowed the gas to gush out. So they needed my car back to fix that part, free of charge. Finally I picked up my car after work.

As expensive as it was, I'm glad they found the coolant leak, because I am going to Virginia Beach this weekend to visit Fat Dog, and now I know my car will make it there! Sammy, K and I won't be on the side of I-95 on Friday. I can sleep well knowing this.

So I was talking to The Czarina about all my car issues yesterday. She was sympathetic and relieved they found the coolant leak. Then, since she had me on the phone, she took the opportunity to nag me about switching careers and/or going back to school. It's not that I don't want to switch or go back to school, I just haven't decided what direction I want to take. And everything I'm looking at would be a pay cut, so I am dragging my feet a little.

This conversation segued into her complaining that none of her children are following in WLF's footsteps career-wise and how we are all big disappointments. You see, my dad was a writer and a professor, and he was somewhat nationally recognized. He has all these books in our basement--about a 20,000 volume library. No, I am not exaggerating. And none of us are interested in the same career path that WLF had. So none of us want his books or papers, let alone his Rolodex of connections. This has been a point of contention over the years between the parents and the kids in our family. And it always leaves me with a big guilt trip, because my father really made a name for himself and we all have the potential to advance the work he has already done, and all his collegues are looking at us, wondering who will be next, yet none of us are choosing to do it.

As the oldest child, I have a tendency to feel the most guilt for not doing everything my parents want me to do. My brothers can blow it off, but I get really upset about it. So I got off the phone feeling like a huge disappointment, and I was crying because I really miss my dad, and I always hated letting him down. Now that he's not around any more, the only thing I can do for him is to make him proud, so why can't I just suck it up and follow in his footsteps to make him happy? He would have wanted one of us to do it. Why not me? And why aren't my brothers stepping up to the plate?? I feel like I am the only one dealing with any of this guilt. I know they aren't upset about this at all.

The thing is, Fungus is the most interested in WLF's field and up until recently, he was being primed to carry on the family legacy. I say "primed" but really I mean "pressured". You see, this is part of the problem. My parents only encouraged us to follow in WLF's footsteps--every other career was deemed pathetic, stupid or beneath us. So we all grew up feeling this immense pressure to be Poli Sci professors. And this strategy basically blew up in our parents' faces, because none of us are into this idea--we are stubborn and don't like being told what to be when we grow up. (So please, take it from me, don't pressure your kids into any one career path.)

At the time I called to talk about my car, Czarina was upset that her plan isn't panning out. Lately, Fungus is showing signs that he isn't going to ever be like Dad. Apparently he has been partying like a rock star, behaving immaturely and hasn't been the best son to Czarina, and she was upset and venting to me. And of course, I felt responsible and guilty because I am the oldest child who is supposed to be the "good" kid.

I just wanted to talk about my car problems, but we ended up discussing what terrible children we all are. So in addition to the burden of my $602 car bill, I also got a big fat guilt trip from Mom.

Thank goodness I am leaving early on Friday! Fat Dog will make me feel better. He is a good shoulder to cry on about Czarina.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Men, Mom and Mechanics

Just having written that title, I suddenly realize how these three things have something in common: They all require costly upkeep from me.

I had a very fun and frustrating weekend. It's an oxymoron, I know. But you will see.

Friday night I had plans to hang out with The Wild Young'ns: Mack Daddy, J-Rich and JD. I was really looking forward to it, as I hadn't hung out with this particular group of guy friends in a while. I threw on some jeans, put on my new shoes and some bronzer and I was all set. Or so I thought.

My car would not start. Great. I was already a half-hour late. Conveniently, my Weird-Yet-Nice neighbor happened to walk by as I was on the phone, explaining things to my friends. It turns out he is a mechanic. Perfect!

He checks under my hood and says he thinks it's my battery. He could jump me, but then I'd be stranded at the bars. Um, this doesn't really do me much good. We talked about it some more, as he explained what my options were at this point. I thought he said he could give me a ride, and I said "Great!" so I started to reach for the door handle to his car. "Um, I said I could give you a jump..." he said. Oh. I turned beet red. How embarrassing. How presumptuous! I wanted to die. Then, of course, to make it worse, he felt bad, and backpedaled--"But I guess I could give you a ride if you really need one." Good grief.

Just as I was about to take him up on the offer, I realized I should try calling someone else to give me a ride. I knew the Wild Young'ns would be far too gone to consider driving at this point (there is a reason they have this nickname!). K was on the other side of town with her friends. The Nurses were working or sleeping. There was only one person left. Repo.

He works on Saturday mornings, so I knew he wasn't doing anything. I called him. He gladly gave me a ride and even offered to pick me up later that night if I needed a ride home. So sweet. Points for him. To boot, he got to see me all decked out for a night on the town. Yes!

Finally, I met up with the semi-drunk guys. We decided to go to one of my favorite bars, Local's. J-Rich got drunk and wandered around. JD is a huge social butterfly, so he flitted around as well. This left me with Mack Daddy, which was great. Not because I like him or anything, but because this guy makes me laugh my ass off. He and I proceeded to sit together the whole night, busting our guts. We bring out the pervert in each other and just end up cracking up whenever we hang out. We played "Marry 'Em, Fuck 'Em, Throw Them Off a Cliff", which is perfect for two perverts to play because each round was more wrong than the last.

What, you've never heard of it? Oh, it's loads of fun, especially on girl's night out. Any number of people can play and you need no equipment. MJ taught it to me. Here is how you play:

1. Think of three people--celebrities, people you know, people in the bar, whatever. One time I did beer mascots, which was really funny--Clydesdale horses, an eagle or a woodchuck. Ha!
2. Turn to your friend and ask them which one they'd marry, which one they'd fuck and which one they'd throw off the cliff. It gets really interesting if you pick friends or exes! You can torture your friend into admitting secrets. Not that I've done that. I also like to pick themes, like, "80s Teen Heartthrobs" or "Moustaches".

So Mack Daddy and I played it most of the night, and we almost fell off our bar stools a couple times. It was great to share some laughs with him--he just moved to Charleston, so I won't be seeing him as much.

The next morning, I got my car jumped and took it to AutoZone, where they tested my battery. They said it was fine and there was nothing wrong with my car. I didn't totally buy that, but I left anyway, thinking I would just take my car in to my regular place on Monday morning. I figured it was just a fluke that it didn't start.

Nope. It wouldn't start any more after that, either--my jump was a one-time shot. So I was stuck at home all day Saturday. Oh well. Didn't have big plans anyway. I got to catch up on some sleep and watch a movie. Repo came over when he got off work and we hung out for a while. Then I went to bed.

The next morning, I was walking Sammy when I came upon a guy sitting on the curb. A hot guy. All alone, sweating in the hot sun. My curiosity was piqued, and apparently, so was Sammy's. He ran up to him, and the guy started petting Sammy. We got to talking...and I came to the conclusion that the guy was still drunk from the night before. "This should be good," I thought. The rest of my day was about to get interesting.

Anyway, this post is getting kind of long. So I think I will leave you guys hanging for today. I will finish this up tomorrow. Stay tuned for more about Random Drunk Guy, my car and The Czarina.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

Thumbs Up to Wendy's for their new vanilla frosty. I had one at lunch today. It is scrumptious. I didn't expect it to be as good as the original, ever-so-slightly chocolate flavor, but oh man, it's good.

Thumbs Down to this crazy lady. Seriously, what is she smoking?? Everyone in town is furious about this story. I'm furious, and I don't even have kids! What she did is wrong on so many levels.

Thumbs Up to Repo, who still calls me and who is being very respectful of my wishes and actually might be listening to what I say to him and *gasp!* might actually care about my feelings. He might actually be making an effort, y'all. Please please, no bashing comments--he's being really nice, and it has taken a lot of work for us to get where we are. We've had to have the same conversation 43 times, but I think we are finally going somewhere. Baby steps! That is the name of the game. [This is the part where he would be saying, "Hey! It was your idea to break up, not mine!" -- so I am adding that for fairness' sake.]

Thumbs Down to Old Navy, Tide with Bleach laundry detergent, and possibly Whirlpool washing machines. Why? Well, I cleaned out my closet earlier this summer, throwing away old and ratty teeshirts. Old Navy had so many cute ones, so I went there to replace them. At this point, I have purchased about 10 shirts. I have lost five of them to one of the perpetrators mentioned above. Every time I do a load of brights, any of these new shirts have frigging bleach spots in the smack dab middle of the front.WTF?? So I have to throw away about $50-60 worth of brand new clothes. I have worn these shirts maybe 2 times. I don't know what is going wrong. I can't tell if it's cheaply made clothing, too-strong laundry detergent, my washing machine or my own stupidity. Now, I will say that one shirt was ruined because it was in contact with benzol-peroxide (I use it for zits, and I got soaked in the rain, so it dripped onto my shirt. Total pisser.). And I also lost a non-Old Navy shirt because it, too, had a bleach spot on the front. One of my coworkers said that I need to start filling the washer and putting the detergent in before I put the clothes in. So that is what I will do now. I am really baffled--I haven't done anything differently with laundry lately. And it only happens with the brights load--never the darks. Weird. Do you know what I am doing wrong? Anyone else had bad luck with Old Navy shirts? Or Tide? I wish I hadn't already worn/washed/cut off the tags, or else I would just take them back and complain. I don't even have the receipts anymore. And I don't even know who is to blame! Now I am terrified to do laundry!

Thumbs Up to Old Navy for having one of my ruined shirts still in stock on their website today. At least I can replace my baby blue with silver writing one.

Thumbs Down to Old Navy for not having the other four. I want my blue polos replaced! (I had to order this pink one instead.) And I want my purple one, but it is no longer offered! And neither is my seafoam green shirt like this!

Thumbs Up to Cafe Press for being the coolest shopping site ever. I ordered a bunch of Boston Terrier stuff today. I will share when it comes in.

Thumbs Down to Bloglines for not properly showing me when blogs are updated. I knew something was wrong when it told me that Jennster only had 2 posts in the last 2 weeks! So I'm actually even MORE behind than I thought because I haven't been checking many blogs--Bloglines never told me, I swear! Aaaarrrrgh!!!

That's the end of my ranting/raving today....

Tonight I am going out to dinner with K and hopefully meeting up with Mack Daddy of Wild Young'ns fame. He moved to Charleston, so I haven't hung out with him in a while. He is a huge pervert like me, so he will probably try to touch my "squishy parts". *rolls eyes* Those guys are so much fun, I hope I can hang out with all of them this weekend.

K wants to fix me up with a car salesman this weekend. I guess he met me and thought I was cute. I have no idea who this guy is. Apparently he didn't make much of an impression on me. No offense to any car salesmen reading this, but that's not really who I picture myself with. But if he's friends with K, he will be cool. That I know for sure. I feel bad saying no, even though I don't really want to date this guy.

Other than that, I don't have much planned for the weekend. Camera shopping. Mailing out a care package for Anne. Playing with Sammy. Reading some books. Maybe some cooking or a gym trip. If anything really exciting happens, I will let you know on Monday.

Have great weekends, everyone! If I have time, I will share some funny videos with you before I leave today. Gotta go read some blogs now...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Thursday 13

Thirteen Beauty Products I Love
(I can't believe I've never made this list! I am a HUGE beauty product junkie!)

1. Clinique's High Impact Mascara-- Inky black, thickens my skimpy lashes and elongates them to a glamrous level, without making you look like Tammy Faye Baker. Love it. But I'm not gonna lie--it gets clumpy when it's time to replace it. Which is kind of a good thing. I tried everyone's favorite, Lancome's Definicils, but I found it gray in color and very very clumpy. I am the odd one out, I guess!

2. Jergens Skin Smoothing body lotion. Oh man, this stuff is the best. Cheap, odorless and makes your skin smoooooth, thanks to the AHAs in it. I like that it is odorless, so it won't compete with my perfume. A friend in college introduced me to it and I've been hooked ever since. And it's not too heavy, which is good if you live anywhere with lots of humidity like I do. Although, they just redid the formula, so hopefully I will like my next bottle.

3. Vaseline-- Great for chapped lips, dry feet (w/socks) and rough cuticles. It's been around forever for a reason. I put some on my lips when I go to bed at night so I don't get chapped lips.

4. Lancome's Juicy Tubes--Actually, just about every woman would have these on their list. Fabulous colors, amazing wonder they have a cult following.

5. Pantene's Deep Fortifying Treatment--I have been using this on my hair for years. My hair is baby baby fine and fairly long, so it gets really tangled. This stuff not only smells good and makes my hair incredibly soft, it makes detangling so much easier. Seriously, I have the softest hair of anyone I know. Thanks, Pantene! Oh, btw, the best price on this stuff is Target. Wal-Mart is almost a dollar more.

6. Neutrogena's Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunblock SPF 55- I have really oily skin, but this one isn't greasy at all. Nor does it make me break out--big bonus. I like the super-high SPF and it even smells nice. It's a little more expensive, but I think it's worth it. But I have to admit, I didn't use much at the beach...oops.

7. Clinique's Superdefense Triple Action Moisturizer SPF 25--If you are willing to drop $40 on a jar of face moisturizer, this one is great. I use it only in the winter since it is very moisturizing and expensive. They make a normal-to-oily one for me and a normal-to-dry one for that type. Anyway, it has sunblock already built in, it absorbs quickly and I don't have any tightness or see one dry flake all winter! Even the packaging oozes luxury.

8. Ok, I know I am biased because I used to work for them and I have literally tried every single one of their products, but Clinique's hair products are awesome awesome awesome. I especially like their Natural Hold hairspray, the Healthy Shine Serum and their pomade (for updos). I hope they didn't discontinue their pomade--I don't see it on their website. They used to make kick-ass shampoo, but I think it's gone forever.

9. Neutrogena's Pore Refining Cream SPF 15 -- So far, I have only found this for sale at Wal-Mart. It is the only thing I've ever used that really made my pores and blackheads (ew, sorry) minimized. Plus, it has retinol in it, which helps with skin cell turnover--read: keeps your skin looking new and young. It cleans out all the gunk in your pores. Adore this stuff. I haven't tried the cleanser or the toner in a looong time, so I can't really give a good review.

10. Biotin supplements-- Take it from me. I have the worst nails in the history of nails: thin, peely, bendy, brittle, name it. I have finally found something that makes them long and strong. For the first time in my life, I can ignore my nails and they will be fine. I just take one pill in the morning (I want to say it is 500 mg). A couple months later, I have nails! You can also take Appearex, but it is mega-expensive ($25/month) and it made my stomach very queasy--I think they pack 1,000 mg into each pill. I can buy a big bottle of 500 mg biotin tablets for around $5.

11. Brocato America Texture Cream -- Like my nails, my hair is also very thin. A teeny tiny dab of this spread through my wet hair will make it thick, voluminous, shiny and yummy-smelling. It will also hold curl better, which truly is a miracle in my stick-straight hair. It's kinda hard to find unless you buy it on the Internet.

12. L'Oreal LeKohl Eyeliners -- Cheap and extremely long-wearing. These are the only eyeliners I have found that will "stick" to the inner rims of my eyelids so I can get good n smoky with my makeup. I have other eyeliners, but I like the eyeliners you have to sharpen because you can make them as fine or as dull as you want. One of these mega-long pencils will last me years. My only beef is that they don't come in enough colors.

13. Ok, it is really really hard for me to only name 13, so I am adding this one as a bonus. Clinique's lipsticks are the only ones I have ever found that have absolutely no taste or smell. I don't know if it's because I have been wearing them for so long or what, but I can't wear any other brand now--the smell drives me nuts. My favorite shades are Bamboo Pink and Extreme Pink. Even their glosses are odor and taste free.

14. Allure magazine -- The bible of beauty products. Just about everything I have learned, I have learned here. If you are clueless about makeup or are a junkie like me, you must read this. They pack so many reviews, tips and ads in here, it's amazing. I love the October issue, because that is their annual beauty award issue. Thanks to Allure, I know that Estee Lauder owns 10 of the most famous cosmetics lines (including Clinique and M.A.C.) and that L'Oreal and Lancome are the same company. This means that a lot of the products are very similar, if not identical. Thanks to Allure, I know the best way to apply fake tanner, pluck my brows and make my lipstick last. So if you need any tips, start reading, girls! (Or you can just ask me and I will tell you.)

Do you have a favorite product I haven't listed here? If so, I'd love to hear about it!!!! I can never satiate my appetite for new beauty goodies. I will probably make a part 2 to this list at some point, since it was to tough to pare down my list.

M.I.A. P.S.A.

I'm alive, I swear! Ask Anne, I talked to her last night. (Hi Anne!) By the way, she is the coolest and she is the next winner of the mixed CD I made for Sam.

I apologize for my absence of late. As penance, I will post twice today and probably tomorrow. I know you are grateful for my Catholic upbringing--guilt trip is my middle name.

Where have I been? What have I been doing? I have a major confession to make: I have been cheating on all of you. I have joined....myspace. I didn't mean for all of this to happen! I never meant to hurt you! Don't worry, I won't be leaving you for Tom and friends. I just had to catch up real quick with high school friends, college boyfriends, pledge sisters and random people I know. But I think I have it under control now. So many divorces and marriages! So many babies! Wow! A lot can happen in ten or so years...

So, take this as a warning: If you think you don't have a life now because you are addicted to blogs, let me just say that myspace is a whole different ball game. Seriously, it is no joke. You might as well take your laptop into the bathroom with you if you are going to log in to your page. It is unreal. Plus, as if you don't spend enough time emailing people, you can stalk people and they will have no idea. I have gotten the scoop on so many people! And I've already gotten a coworker addicted to it as well, so be careful. It is a slippery slope.

In other news...thanks for all the camera advice, peeps. I will try to make a Best Buy trip this weekend. Maybe I should do eBay? or online shopping? Anyone think that I would get a better deal that way?

This fall will be very educational for me. I have signed up for a cake decorating class. Should be interesting. My coworkers are excited because I will be bringing in poorly iced cakes once a week. Hey, as long as they taste good...

And I have signed Sammy up for a dog training class. He's pretty good right now, but there are some things I want to work on. Besides, it is supposed to build a great bond between you and your pet. He will get to meet other doggies. I hope he makes good grades. And plays nicely with others.

Football season is coming up!!! Woo-hoo!!! Actually, I would be more excited if I had tickets. But I can always work a corner or two for some scalped ones, right?

I am going to visit Fat Dog over Labor Day weekend. Get this--have I mentioned this yet?-- He was living in this stupid apartment in Williamsburg, Va. He was talking to a buddy of his a couple of months ago, and his buddy told him he could move in with him. (The buddy got the house in the divorce settlement.) Listen to this sweet-ass deal: my brother is now living in a phatty house with marble floors, a hot tub and a (are you ready?) MAID. The killer part is, he is subletting his old apartment and now he is actually saving $200/month. He has more of a commute now that he lives at the beach. Gah, he is the luckiest bastard alive. Stuff like this falls in his lap all the time. So K and I are going up there in the hopes that some of his luck will rub off on us.

I'm trying to get back into an exercise routine. Slowly...slowly, I am going back to the gym. Oh, when I went in the other day, I saw Small World Guy. Remember him? It was one of those times where you recognize someone, but you pretend that you don't. I'm not a bitch! Let me explain.

I'm at the gym, I have no makeup on, and I've put on some weight, so I was already feeling self-conscious. (Yes, I do wear a tiny bit of makeup to the gym. Shut up.) I was paranoid that everyone in there was looking at me and thinking, "She needs to keep on walking on that treadmill. Faster, too. She needs to get in here more often. Haven't seen her in months, and it shows." --Yeah, it was one of those days. Nobody knows I have been making monthly trips, right?

To boot, I was having a really, really bummed out "I hate men" day. So the last thing I needed was to run into a guy I used to sorta-kinda date. Especially one who was kinda jerky to me, like he was. He was about the last person I wanted to see. Yet, there he was, getting on the treadmill next to mine, and making a move to re-position my things so he wouldn't step on them. So instead of striking up a conversation, I just said "Excuse me. Sorry, let me get my stuff." and made a break for it. I know he saw me. I think he recognized me. But I was long gone by then!

And that's pretty much it for the man department. But I'm sure you'd like to know that Repo is sorta kinda still in the picture. I will leave it at that! It's too much to get into right now.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Sweet Dreams

Dreams come true. Without that possibility, nature would not incite us to have them. -- John Updike

Oh, I hope so. I have been having some crazy dreams lately. Now, I have never in my life dreamed of someone famous before, but this past week, I have had two celebrity dreams. I don't know what has started this trend. Perhaps I watched too much VH1 this weekend? Or I've read one-too-many magazines lately? Whatever the reason, I like it. A lot.

The first one was with Nick Lachey (Oh, Mama, he is a hottie!) and he kinda looked like this in my dream:

I don't remember much of the dream other than I was comforting him. No, not that way, you pervert. I just remember hugging him and listening to his problems. He was upset, and I was stroking his hair and talking to him. Awww, I'm so nice. I'm sure I had ulterior motives. Too bad I don't remember any of the good stuff. Oh well. I'm sure I rocked his world.

Then, last night, I had an even crazier one. This time it was Eva Longoria's boyfriend, Tony Parker. Why? I have no idea. I don't even watch NBA basketball. Or Desperate Housewives. I'm really not even all that attracted to him. If you don't know who I am talking about, here is a picture of the happy couple:

Now, I really hope Miss Longoria doesn't read this blog (yeah, right) because she probably won't like this post. I dreamt that I not only hooked up with Tony, but I spent the night with him. Wowza. I remember lots of giggling and hiding under the covers. I remember the making out and removal of clothing. And I remember his mother walking into the room and we said hi to her before bursting into more giggles. He told me it was ok--his mom is cool, so I needn't worry.

OMG, seriously, what is wrong with my brain? Whatever the problem is, I hope I have more of these dreams. My fingers are crossed for John Corbett next:

He is so tasty....

Sorry, I digress. In other news, do you remember that weird phone call I got about my loan? Well, not only is the loan totally forgiven, they have refunded all the money I have paid since my dad died. It totaled up to just over $1,000! Woo-Hoo!!!

I am using some of it to pay off credit card debt, some to pay bills and some to buy a digital camera! So, if you know of one that is on the cheaper side (No more than $250) and is easy to use, please let me know. I think if I got a fancy camera, I would take more pictures. If it's too complicated or bulky, I won't use it.

This weekend I had a doggie play date with MJ's dog. Her dog, Cornbread, is adorable and so sweet. She is much more of a couch potato than Sammy. She made him look psychotic. We were hoping it would be puppy love, but they just barked at each other the whole time. Eventually we had to take them to get ice cream at Bruster's so they would shut up for a while. (Seriously, this is the best ice cream I've ever had in my whole life. And I've had a lot of ice cream. So if there is one near you, go today. Try their birthday cake flavor. You won't be sorry. Oh, the coolest thing about this place is that they give you free ice cream for your dog if you ask. They even put a little Milk Bone treat on top of it.)

Then a huge thunderstorm hit, so now my car smells like wet dog. Nice. The storm was so big, our power got knocked out. Since there wasn't much else to do and candles weren't giving me enough light to read by, I went to bed at 9:30! Luckily, it came back on early this morning. I think there is another storm on its way as I type this, so it will probably get knocked out again. Gotta love late summer.

Other than this, I had a pretty mundane weekend. Just some errand running and I went out for a little while on Friday night. That's it. I didn't feel like doing much.

This week I am going to try and eat some salads (yuck!!) and go to the gym at least 3 times. Wish me luck. I am trying to drum up some motivation before my ass expands to absurd proportions.

I am really behind right now on reading everyone's blogs. I am working on it, I promise! My job is a little hectic right now, so I will try to catch up this week. Sorry!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Thursday 13

Thirteen Things I Did At The Beach
(Besides Getting a Tan)

1. Introduced Sammy to the ocean. He was not super keen about it. But we took turns holding him, and he could deal. If we let him go, he would make a bee-line for dry land! Then he would roll around in the sand until he was 100% covered with sand. And shake it off on the beach towels. Thanks, Sammy.

2. Caught some sand dollars and dried them in the sun. There were tons of shells, and we even found some shark teeth.

3. Ate fresh crab, shrimp and scallops. If you have never had fresh she-crab soup, you don't know what you are missing! We also enjoyed some other Southern foods: fried okra, grits, biscuits, boiled peanuts and hushpuppies. (I am not big on boiled peanuts, but Sammy loves them.)

4. Sat on the screen porch and watched a lot of thunderstorms. Blonde and I did get caught in one while walking on the beach and we were soaked. But it was fun--I haven't done that since I was a kid. It rained every day, usually just in the late afternoon.

5. Ate cinnamon pancakes at a local restaurant. Yum!

6. Saw some old plantations. They were very beautiful homes. Unfortunately, we didn't get to go in them because we were trespassing...but the scenery was so beautiful, it was nice just to drive around the island. That's when we stopped at the old church. It was so freakin' cool. I wish we could have looked inside the church, but it was locked. I posted pics of it in the post below.

7. Dealt with a major ant problem in our house. Anything left open would have ants all over it. And when we went outside, we were attacked by the 7.4 billion mosquitoes that live on Edisto. Thank goodness for bug spray.

8. Learned some Romanian. Two of the girls who came are originally from Romania, so they were teaching me some phrases. Don't ask me to repeat any of them. I can hardly pronounce the stuff.

9. Wore no makeup at all (except for dinner on Saturday night). This worked out well, because there were no cute guys on the island. It was a nice break, actually.

10. Broke the dishwasher. We have no idea what we did. Suddenly, there was water all over the floor and foam up to our waists. Oops.

11. Sang "Happy Birthday" to Blonde, who turned 25. (Just kidding. She's not 25. But I am telling everyone she is.) She didn't want a cake, but we did buy her a big, pink, penis-shaped candle, so we lit that. We named the candle Big Willy.

Shopped at the souvenir store. We got prints suitable for framing, car decals, magnets, that kind of thing. True to form, I made sure to get some candy.

Had lots and lots of girl talk and magazine reading. We rarely wore anything other than our bikinis and pjs. We smoked enough cigarettes to raise Philip-Morris stock shares. We ate our weight in fattening and delicious food. We basically relaxed our butts off. I can't wait until next year!!!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Edisto Photos

This post will be mainly photos. The next post will describe in detail what my trip was like. Before I begin, let me just say that I suck because I took no pictures at all. Feel free to chew me out about this. But thanks to Google, I found pictures of just about everything I want to share with you. Besides, other people take better pictures. So without further ado, here we go.

This is a map showing you where in the heck this island is. The red dot is Edisto.

The drive down is breathtaking. It is very rural once you leave Charleston--little villages, old churches and gorgeous trees. Mostly live oaks with Spanish moss hanging off of them, like this.

The funniest part of the drive was when I saw a trailer. On stilts. That just killed me. Only in South Carolina. I didn't take a picture, but it looked like this:

In order to get onto Edisto Island, you have to cross a big bridge:

And you will see lots of beautiful marshland:

And some interesting trees. Some of them are painted and decorated to look like people. For example, there was a Hula Girl tree, complete with coconut bra. I guess there isn't much to do around Edisto. This tree here is covered in toys for some reason. By the time I saw it, you couldn't even see the branches because there were so many toys on the tree.

Here is a picture of the house we stayed in:

Ok, just kidding. We wish. Actually, we were one street over and a couple blocks down from this house--which is for sale if you have a few hundred thousand burning a hole in your pocket.

Our house looked a lot like this one:

Finally I got to the beach! Here is a picture of Edisto Beach:

There are a lot of jetties on the beach. They are supposed to prevent beach erosion. Sammy liked to pee on them.

My favorite thing was the old church we visited. It was built in 1830 because the old one (built in 1710) had burned down. So this was a very, very old congregation.

Here is another picture of the church:

We looked around in the graveyard at all the old graves. The oldest one dates from 1785. Wow. This was so cool because I'm such a big history buff. Or a total nerd. One of the two.

Do you see the tiny little white building? That is where the church meetings used to be held back in the day. The meetings would always end up in heated arguments and sometimes even duels! So the congregation got together to build this little white building especially for the meetings. They intentionally built a building too small to walk 10 paces in either direction. This supposedly cured them of their dueling, as you must take 10 paces, turn and shoot in order to properly conduct a duel.

We also enjoyed some local produce at George & Pink's:

Here is Miss Pink. She rings up the produce.

We ate at this restaurant. It's on the Intercoastal Waterway. The food was delicious!

The view from the restaurant. Note the shrimp boats.

By far the most beautiful dirt road on the island is Steamboat Landing Road:

I saw the following animals while on my trip:

Egrets, sandpipers, lots of pelicans...

Ok, I didn't really see a loggerhead turtle. But I did see their nests. The fiddler crabs were so tiny! The dolphins were very cool, as were the blue crabs (YUM!).

And these are just some more beautiful pictures of Edisto Island. No, I did not go biking. That activity involves both being outside and risking bodily injury. And by that I am referring to the mosquitos. Good Lord, I am like a block of swiss cheese I have so many holes from those stupid bugs! I have at least 10 bites.

But I also have a nice, golden tan. It's a trade-off.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Bombs Away!

I have been totally MIA this week. Work is crazy and I'm going to the beach on Thursday, so I have been super duper busy. Sorry to all--promise I will try to catch up on reading blogs soon. I tried to put up some accompanying photos to this post, but Blogger won't let me post pics right now.

I told this story to MJ this past weekend, and realized it would make a great blog post. Just like I told her, this story is so weird that I will not be surprised if you don't believe me. But I swear to God this happened.

When I was around 8 years old, I was coming home from the grocery store with The Czarina and my siblings. At the time, we were living in the middle of nowhere in rural Virginia. It was an old farmhouse, complete with big porch, livestock fields and a barn.

When we turned into our long driveway, we realized the National Guard had paid us a visit. There were NG people all over our property. They had their uniforms and machinery and big trucks. There were NG people running around and talking.

Of course, Czarina was thinking, "Great, what did WLF do now?"

All of us kids were shouting, "Cool!"

So why were we invaded? Get this: While we were at the store, WLF and our neighbor, One Leg*, were behind the barn, clearing out some weeds and underbrush. I guess WLF wanted to use that area for something. As they are clearing away the area, One Leg shouts out, "Man, I think this is a bomb! Why do you have this in your yard?"

So WLF goes over there. How about there are 4 friggin BOMBS in our backyard!!! They had been buried a few inches into the ground and then the weeds and stuff had grown over them, so we never knew they were there. My dad looks at the bombs and recognized them. "Hey! I know what these are! These are the kind of bombs they dropped off of planes in WWII!" (In addition to being a taxidermy enthusiast, my father was also a WWII buff.)

Then they are freaking out because--duh--they could get blown to smithereens. So the jump out of there and call the National Guard. They laugh at my dad. WLF insists there are bombs buried behind his house. They laugh some more, but send a guy over to check it out. The guy nearly craps his pants because my dad is not joking. He calls for backup. They all come over, thinking that these are just old shells and they should just get them out of there and throw them away properly. Right after that is when we got home. WLF filled Mom in on the story. She sent us to the house, much to our dismay.

As the National Guard is looking at them and loading them onto their trucks, they realize the bombs are live. Czarina about lost it. We played back behind the barn sometimes. And we could have been blown to pieces all these years. And the NG people had just been tossing the bombs into the backs of the trucks. Holy. Freaking. Cow.

So what's the story? We don't really know. All we can figure is that someone stole them from a nearby military base after WWII, perhaps as a souvenir. They thought they had old empty shells, then realized they had stolen real bombs, freaked out, and buried them in the backyard. They had probably been there for like 40 years. (This was WLF's theory.)

This is the story we were going with. We never did find out why there were bombs buried behind our house. Crazy, huh?

*Yes, he really did have one wooden leg. Farming accident.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Fun Friday

You think you're having a bad day? Check this out.

This guy is such a dork. You have to watch these videos. I guarantee lots of eye rolling.

This weekend in SC is the Tax-Free Weekend. Basically, anything you would normally buy for back to school or off to college is tax-free. People here go nuts over saving $3.45. It is pandemonium. And I will not be participating. Because it's a pain in the butt. All the mothers (no offense) bring all their kids and make them shop all day, so there are 75% more people at the mall and they are all arguing with their mothers. This really kills my shopping buzz.

The crazy part is, the list of things that are taxable and tax-exempt makes no sense. Example: this weekend, wedding dresses and adult diapers are tax-free. So are printers. But not the ink cartridges. Or dayplanners. WTF? It makes no sense. If you really want to see the craziness that is the list, you can look at it here. (It's a pdf)

If you are in SC this weekend, and you want to buy a computer, you will actually save a lot of moolah. Otherwise, skip it.

Sorry this is kinda lame. I'm typing this 2 minutes before closing time, so I am rushed. Hope everyone has good weekends! I will definitely have stuff to share on Monday. But I'll leave you hanging until then.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Pant Rant & Elusive Carrots

Sorry for the lack of posting, folks. Just haven't had much to say. Slow week. It's too hot to do anything! But since Lady Starfish is nagging me to post something because she is bored, I will appease her. *rolls eyes*

I was warned about how addictive Myspace can be. I didn't listen. I have been talking to some people I haven't seen since I was 16! So weird. People from high school are married is nuts. I'll try to wean myself away for a little while so I can catch up here.

I forgot to tell y'all about the doggie swimming party. It was four girls and four dogs. And we had a blast, laughing at our dogs, talking about our dogs and swimming with our dogs. Sammy isn't big on water, but it was so hot. I held him under my arm and he seemed to like it a lot better. He also humped everyone incessantly. So embarrassing. Yet hilarious. We were all too wet to take pictures, so I'm afraid I don't have any good ones. I highly recommend this type of get-together.

I haven't returned or answered any of FedSucksy's calls. I think he gave up. This is good. Asshole.

I went shopping last night. Because I needed some casual pants for work. And I was sick of all my skirts. (Read: I am too fat for all of my clothes and had to buy some new ones.) Shopping for pants is always a challenge because:

1. Pants are hard to find. Everything is capris, gauchos, shorts or skirts.
2. I have very wide hips. This means that capris, gauchos, shorts and most skirts look horrible on me. They make me look like I have stumpy midget legs and a big fat ass. I need long, dark, bootcut pants.
3. I have saddlebags. This means that pockets of any kind near the waist/hip/thigh region make me look like I have gained 10 pounds. Like I need the reminder.
4. All the pants I have seen lately have pockets. Or they are camouflage. (WTF? When did this look come back? I thought we just got rid of it.)
5. I am shopping for pants in August.

Do you see what I am up against?? So, how amazing is it that I found two pairs I like for a whopping total of $30?!! It has taken me about a month and at least 4 trips to the mall. But I finally found some.

I wish the clothing manufacturers would:

1. Let the damn capri thing die. In the past 5 years, that is all you can come up with? If I see them again next year, I am going to write a letter telling them what they can do with their damn capris.
2. Or at least give those women of wider girth options other than "the midget look". Short pants = big rear. Please please help us, clothing people.
3. Realize that slash pockets need to be banned. They poke out like wings on most women. We don't need wings on our hips. Or pockets at all, really. That's why we have purses. And stop telling me to sew them up. That doesn't work.

Moving along...I went to Sonic with K. I freaked because I didn't know where my wallet was, only to realize I had left it at home. I must be getting old. Have you ever tried that Ocean Water? It is weird. It is kinda like drinking diluted suntan lotion. But it's not bad. Yes, I realize this is hard to believe, based on that description. However, I probably will just stick with my Diet Cokes from now on. Or the lemon creamslush. Mmmm...

I did manage to drag my fat ass to the gym this week. I did an hour of cardio. Go me. (I can feel a major health kick coming on, I swear.)

Then I went to dinner last night with MJ. And smoked a bunch of cigarettes. So I kind of un-did all my hard work. But we were having a bitch fest, so Camels were in order. We went to my favorite Mexican restaurant in town. I heart Mexican cuisine. I can eat it every day.

I also heart MJ. She is awesome. So fun. I can eat her up with a spoon.

After dinner, we went to console The Poet. The girl he had been seeing broke things off. He was at Flying Saucer all by himself. Poor guy. So we gave him a pep talk. And gave him some advice. I told him about my Elusive Carrot Theory. The theory states:

In a relationship, one should always strive to be an elusive carrot: Oh so tempting, yet just out of reach.

I forget where I heard this, but I think it is a good rule of thumb. Basically, your goal in a relationship is to be close enough so the other person knows you are great, but far away enough so that they never feel they "have" you and can slack off or stop appreciating you. Elusive Carrots don't come on too strong. They don't pressure. They are busy and don't really need anyone. They are available....sometimes.

I also told The Poet that in relationships, if you are doing more than the other person is doing: more calls, more attention, more work, more affection, etc., it will build resentment and blow up in your face. You should never be doing more than the other person is doing. It is a recipe for disaster. *ahem* I should know.

Of course, these are easier said than done. And I'm not very good at them myself. But it's good to have goals, right? Knowledge is half the battle.

MJ and I told him a lot of stuff and gave him a lot of advice, some of which should probably have been a little more sugar-coated by me...but it was so weird to give out the same advice I have been given. The same advice I myself can't follow. I guess I am a huge hypocrite! It was almost like looking into a mirror and talking to myself. Except that The Poet doesn't resemble me in any way!

The Annual Beach Trip is coming up next week. My nursing buddies (and the friends I have met through them) rent a beach house on Edisto Island every summer. This year is the first time I am able to go. I'm bringing Sammy and even though it will just be for a long weekend, I'm pretty excited to get some sand in-between my toes. The only problem is, a few of the people who normally go can't go this year. So Brunette and I are running around trying to find people who can go with us. I hope MJ and her friend KT can go. Otherwise, Brunette, Blonde and I will have to pay extra! (K is going out of town, otherwise she would be going too.)

In other news...poor K has had the crappiest day. She applied for a part-time job and it didn't go well. She had to take a typing test, which was extremely nitpicky and difficult (can you type a hyphen without looking?), so she doesn't think she got it. Then, after a week of not hearing from him, Navy Guy calls and he was cranky from lack of sleep and said a bunch of stuff that got her upset. (He is somewhere in the Pacific Ocean right now.) And since I'm stuck at work until 9pm, she has to sit on the couch alone, being sad and upset. I hope Sammy is keeping her company.

Little does she know I got her a present that I am going to surprise her with tonight! The pjs she wanted finally went on sale and I got them for her. We are going to eat ice cream and sit in our pjs when I get home from work. I got them last night, thinking it would either cheer her up or be a "congratulations on the new job!" present. Go me.

Sorry, no Thursday 13 this week. I couldn't think of a good topic! Tomorrow is Friday! Woo hoo!!!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


You know I love making lists.

1. FedSucksy and I played phone tag for a few days. Then I got annoyed, so I stopped answering my phone for last-minute coffee dates. He kept cancelling at the last minute. Very irritating. Since Saturday, he has called me 3 times. I have not called him back. I am trying to decide if I want to. Am I being rude? I don't really have anything to say to him. I don't want to date him, out of fear that he will stand me up again. It would just be awkward and pointless, don't you think? Should I return the call?

2. Why do they lock up the toilet paper at work? As if anyone really wants to steal that crap!

3. If you are a nudist, and you go to use the bathroom, would you shut the door? Because really, what is the point?

4. Why do people think libraries are so intimidating? It's just like Barnes & Noble, only not as cool because we don't let you eat and drink in here. Same idea, only with older and more boring stuff. What is the big deal? If you don't know how to find books using call numbers, ask us to explain it to you. It takes all of 5 minutes to get it.

5. Who doesn't know how to use a photocopier? I mean, come on. They have been around for at least 40 years now, people. It ain't rocket science.

That's all I got today, folks. Crappy post, I know. Slow news day. Stay cool. We are currently at 103 as I type this. (If you include heat index.) When I go home, I will pay homage to the air conditioning gods. May wonderful things come to them tenfold. Because if my electricity goes off again like it has 3 times this week, and my ice cream melts, I will be one pissy bitch.