Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Things That Make Ya Go Hmmm...

Any ideas on what this mannequin is supposed to be doing?

I mean, seriously, WHAT was the mannequin designer thinking when he created this pose?


Love & Shipoopies,


Friday, March 25, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things...

Some things I'm currently into:

1.) Skim milk, Caramel Mocha at McDonald's - seriously, I like it better than most Starbucks stuff and it's half the price

2.) This:

Love Glee. Love Gwyneth. LOOOOOOVE this song!

3.) The maid service I have coming to my house this afternoon. It's our Valentine's gift to each other - we're just REALLY late getting around to it. I'm pretty excited about someone else scrubbing my tubs and showers and getting rid of all that dust!!!

4.) The idea of my next week consisting of 2.5 work days and then a trip to "Mickey Mouse's House". :) Yipee!!!


Love Chris (the soloist). Have loved Blackbird for AGES. Love the simplicity of it all.

6.) The the thought of some quality time with my Mama this next week. (She's going to see the mouse with us. The hubs is taking his choir, so she's coming to be second parent for me.)

7.) Bubble Town - it's a ridiculous mindless game that I sometimes play online while doing my job. I know it seems counterintuitive, but for my job, having a game to focus on while I voicewrite (I'm hands-free while working) helps me stay awake and allows my brain to do its thing better.

8.) Ralph Macchio on Dancing with the Stars -- Is he the cutest thing you ever saw?!? Love it!

What are YOU into right now?

Love & Shipoopies,

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Things I Don't Get...

1.) How can you make and HOLD eye contact with someone, say at the grocery store or at your kid's daycare, and not smile. I mean, I get we're all in our own world sometimes and don't notice people, but if you make and hold eye contact, why the stern face? Lift those cheeks, people.

2.) When lanes are merging in traffic or construction or any other similar situation, why do some people REFUSE to just do the "one from my lane, one from your lane" routine? Why is there always one guy (or sometimes 10 of them in a row) who looks at you and then slams the gas to close the gap, refusing to let a car in, then slamming on their brakes so they don't hit the car in front of them?

3.) When exiting a parking lot (or subdivision) where there's a left turn lane and a right turn lane, why do people in the left turn lane INSIST on pulling up farther when they know they aren't going to be the first to go since they're waiting on two directions of traffic when the right lane is only waiting on one lane? And why is this habit more consistently practiced by people in GIANT vehicles - Hummers, FedEx trucks, School buses?

4.) Why do some waiters/waitresses not get the line between being friendly to get a good tip and driving me crazy by not leaving me alone? I want you to be friendly. A little banter is good. But when I can't have a conversation with the people at my table (you know, the ones I chose to come have a meal with?) because you continue to tell stupid stories and jokes and will NOT go away, it makes me want to tip you less, not more. And if you talk so long after finding out my requests/order that you forget anything special I asked for and, thus, get my order wrong, I am even more irritated with you. It's not that hard of a line to find, guys (and gals).

5.) How is a skim milk Caramel Mocha from McDonald's so amazing at some McDonald's and scorched swill at others? (Thankfully, I got a really good one on my lunch break today.)

What don't YOU get?

Love & Shipoopies,

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesdays - My Fair Funny Face

We had Tucker try on her Easter dress the other night to make sure it and the matching shoes fit. I got this snap and immediately thought of Audrey Hepburn. (I'll admit I'm a bit obsessed, so it's not a huge stretch for my mind to jump there.) The fluffy dress (Hello, Funny Face) and the toes pointed out (an almost constant Hepburn placement) - so sweet. Love it!

Love & Shipoopies,

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Rose is a Rose... but an Almond?

Anyone ever really contemplated Almonds? Probably not, I guess. I never really did until this weekend when I opened a new pack of coffee called "Toasted Almond". I was expecting this smoky, toasty, yummy, nutty flavor in my coffee. Want to know what it tastes like?


Now, I know that amaretto is "almond-flavored" which, I always assumed, means it's made from almond oil. Thankfully, I like amaretto flavoring, but have you ever really thought about almonds and amaretto being the same? They're completely different beasts. It's like learning that corriander and cilantro are the same thing at different stages. (True story, folks.)

And then there's toasted almonds which, to me, when you get them on a salad, don't taste really like almonds OR amaretto. It's like a third incarnation of this crazy little nut.

And don't even get me STARTED on how cherry Runts taste like amaretto, 'cause they do. Try them.

So I have cherry candy that tastes like almond oil, toasted nut coffee that tastes like almond oil, and two forms of nut that don't taste like either of them.

I guess to heck with it! Give me some sour mix and a glass of ice!

Love & Shipoopies,

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Neverending Story...

Be honest. How many of you are now singing that song and picturing that kid flying on the big dog-thing? You know you are.
*Editor's note: It drives me NUTS when Blogger doesn't save paragraph spacing so it's all just one big jumble!!!*
My story doesn't have a kid being bullied at school or a flying dog (which, to be honest, are the only things I remember about that movie other than the song), BUT it does have two silly two-year-olds and a purple unicorn. :)
To begin with, I will say, I have always wanted to have a cool aunt name. I've always wanted to have a name unique to just me that held all kinds of magic for my nieces and nephews. Actually, to say "always" isn't true. I didn't really think of the idea until after my first two nephews were born. But then one of my friends, named Amy, became "Aunt A". And then we got "Ashie" into our lives. Then my brother declared his uncle name to be "Unc". I knew I HAD to have a cool aunt name. Of course, I couldn't think of one until one day, my niece, Carly, in an attempt to say my name, said, "Sassy". I BEGAN SQUEALING, proclaiming it as my aunt name. Afterall, Sassy is AWESOME and it kind of fits me. LOVE IT!!!
So I told her parents and my parents, "Don't call me Aunt Leslie in front of Carly anymore. I'm Sassy!!!" They, of course, still all call me Aunt Leslie in front of her. So now my name is somewhere around "Srashrie". (And since I know at least a couple of the people responsible for this -- *ahem* Nana and Poppa, who are both called by their desired names because I never call them anything else *ahem* -- read this, I'll throw in a huge *hint, hint, nudge, nudge* here. Start calling me SASSY!!!
Flash forward to this past weekend when I was at the parents' house. The conversations would go something like this:
"Carly, can you call me Sassy?"
"No, Ssss assy"
Yep, like a katrillion times. (It's accurate. I counted.)
(My two best friends, though maybe not for much longer, keep explaining to me that this name applies to me just as accurately as "Sassy". Hmph!)
Flash forward to earlier this week. I was at the grocery store after dinner with T. They had a bin of little, tiny Pillow Pals. They're like half the size of the original ones, maybe a bit smaller. They are ADORABLE!!! T has one of the original Pillow Pals and uses it as a pillow, but it's a little thick and I worry about her neck sleeping on it. Plus we're taking a trip soon and I decided a teensie one would be easier to keep up with and would fit in her lap in the car better. (Plus, did I mention they're really cute?!?)
So I let T pick one and she picked the purple unicorn. This was doubly exciting for me as I had a huge purple unicorn (aptly named Uni) when I was a little girl. It was bigger than I was until I was at least 5 or 6. I kept her until after I was married. I think Drew and I actually moved her a couple of times before I finally decided she was loosing too much stuffing and just plain sad. I have a theory that all children should own at least one stuffed animal that's bigger than they are. It's a magical thing. (Can I mention here that when my *ahem* "girls" came in in middle school, one grew a bit faster than the other and for a while my dad, smart tail that he is, called me "uniboob" and it wasn't until YEARS later that I realized it wasn't just because I loved unicorns and was getting boobs. Awesome.)
I digress. (Shocking, I know.)
So I asked T if it was a girl unicorn or a boy unicorn. She said it was a girl.
I asked her what the girl unicorn's name was. She said, "I don't know." (She hasn't really gotten into the concept of naming her dolls and animals yet.)
I said, "Well, what name do you want to call her? What name do you like?"
(Have you guessed yet what's coming?)
"Ummmmmmmmmmmm........... I call her SASSY!!!"
There ya go.
B. T. dubs, in the picture at the top, she posed herself. I asked her to let me take a picture and got this:
"I can stand by my UNICORN!"
"Oooh, I put my foot on her."
"Oooh, Mommy, wait. I put my hands in my pockets."
My child is a hoot!
Love & Shipoopies,

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Only Because It's My Life

All I have are random tidbits, but it's not because I'm lazy or don't want to develop a thought. It's just that well, my LIFE is random tidbits surrounding my same old job these days. :)

*Last week, I drove to my parents' house (since my husband was away on his third almost week-long trip since mid-February). It is 215 miles from my house to theirs. Around 6 of those miles were NOT under construction and not a single one of the 215 miles wasn't covered in rain while I drove them. And my iPod died about halfway there so my awesome "driving mix" I made myself was for naught. Misery, my friends. Misery.

*WHY do people have such a hard time understanding the "solid line = you can't change lanes/ dotted lines - you can change lanes" phenomenon on interstates? Seriously when did this become a rule that it was totally ok to ignore? And for that matter, since when is it ok to get into a turn lane approximately 6 turns before you actually TURN? When did it suddenly become ok to drive straight through turns because you're going to turn eventually? Do you REALIZE how many wrecks you almost cause when you do that? 'Cause, you know, the rest of us are trying to get in the turn lane at the appropriate time and assume that you're turning before then because you've been in the turn lane for 3 miles.

*My laptop screen shorted out this weekend. The computer was somewhere around 6 years old and had multiple other things wrong with it, and once they told me the time/cost continuum for having the screen re-wired I decided it was time to break down and buy another laptop. I, thankfully, had an external hard drive that is relatively current, so file transfer shouldn't be hard. But HERE'S the thing - none of my websites (aka bloggy friends addresses) are on this new computer. I have them all on my iPhone, but I'm going to have to find time to transfer them all over. And speaking of iPhone, my iTunes isn't on here. (Thankfully my music is backed up on that external hard drive as well.) As a matter of fact, NOTHING on this computer is where/how it should be. The keyboard's all different and nothing is where it should be (or easy to find since this computer runs on Windows 7 and so far I HATE IT!!!). I know eventually this computer will become second nature, but for now, it's a giant pain in my patootie!

*Speaking of my laptop, it came with 6 months of free Geek Squad support (from Best Buy) by phone or internet chat. So yesterday, when I became completely frustrated while trying to network my two home computers together for file sharing, I decided to give them a call. Afterall, on my non-Windows 7 computers, this task was so simple even I could do it without an assist. But here's the thing with Windows 7. They decided to make creating a home network SO SIMPLE on Windows 7. There are videos and people expressing jubilantly how easy it is to network your Windows 7 computers... to other Windows 7 computers. But if you want to network a Windows 7 to, say, an XP computer? You might as well be attempting to expose the truth about Area 51.

So I called the Geek Squad. The first guy I got seemed relatively knowledgeable and put me on hold while he researched doing the task with Windows 7 because even he admitted it was trickier than your usual home networking. Then as he took me off hold (I heard him begin to speak), he accidentally disconnected the line. He hadn't taken a call-back number, so I called the hotline again and got another "agent" (Yes, they introduce themselves as "Agent Jonah" and "Agent Natalie".)

I could tell with the second this agent that answered the phone, that even if she knew the answer to my question, she didn't care enough about the job to use the energy it would take to explain the process to me. She was going to do as little as humanly possible. After first asking if by "having problems creating a home network, networking my two home computers" I meant "having internet connection problems" ????, she took about 2 minutes to "research" the problem, came back and told me I needed to buy an external wireless thingamabob in order to network these two computers, which is interesting since they are already physically connected to the same router with cords. When I pointed this out to her, she said, "Well, that's what it's telling me. If you need more help than that, I can arrange an appointment for a Geek Squad member to make a house call and help you (a service for which one must pay extra, of course). I told her I wasn't going to pay to have them come to my house when this should be a very simple technical question that any help desk should be able to help with. Without another word, she promptly hung up on me. (Now THAT'S what I call service, folks.)

I called a third time and could immediately tell I had Agent #2 again, so I hung up and tried a fourth time, ending with an Indian accented Agent. She, too, after I explained my dilema, said, "Ok, so you're having internet connection problems..." (WHAT?!?). When I re-explained that I was trying to network my two computers, which are sharing a router, so I could file share, she said, "Ooooh, WOW!!!" in a tone that implied I might as well have told her I was trying to get my husband pregnant or my 2-year-old into Med School. Apparently, she's never heard of anything so magical and complicated as a home network. She immediately explained that this amazing task was far beyond the "basic technical support" they are there to give and she would gladly arrange for an in-home visit by a Geek Squad member.

Can I just say how glad I am I didn't PAY for this amazing technical support?!?

More tomorrow...

Love & Shipoopies,

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Prayer Request

For those of you who don't know, my brother-in-law, Matthew, and his family (Shawna, Eli, and Kensi) live in Japan. My father-in-law, Ricky, is currently there visiting. They had gone into Japan for a few days to go to the zoo and Disney and are, thus, away from their home phone (our way of contacting them). We haven't heard from them since the earthquake/tsunami. The hubs is certain from looking at the maps they were out of major harm's way, but we are worried because we haven't heard from them. I'm sure it's just that communications are down, but please pray that they will find a way to contact someone in the states soon and that they are fine.

Love & Shipoopies,

Monday, March 07, 2011

What's in a Name?

I was having a discussion recently about someone I know who never really learned to find her value in anything other than her beauty (of which she has plenty). She's a wife, a mother, a student, an athlete, a friend, a Christian -- there are so many labels I could give her that, to me, define her, but to HER, she's beautiful. It's where she finds her validation, her esteem, in essence, it's who she thinks she is.

It made me think about my own definitions and labels, which, to be honest, I've been taking stock of quite a bit lately. But looking at them after this particular conversation made me see them in a different light.

Here's the thing. I'm sure it comes as no surprise to anyone who knows me or reads my blog regularly that I don't adore my job. I mean, it has its perks (who wouldn't love working in sweat pants and slippers everyday?!?), but after a while, the downsides really start to outweigh the pajamas. Heck, I actually yearn to dress up and go places all the time now. I get sick of my pjs.

All that to say that I don't define myself by my work, as most people do. And if I WERE to define myself occupationally, I'd be more likely to say that I'm an ex-teacher than to use my current job to define me.

And the fact that occupationally, I'd define myself by something in the past made me realize that alot of my definitions and labels that I would give myself are based in the past. See, to ME, I'm not a fat lady. I'm a skinny, athletic girl who is desperately trying to lose weight. I remember being heartbroken when I realized that more of my friends now never knew me as skinny. They don't think of me as the girl who gained weight after college. They only picture me at this weight, whereas when I think of myself, I know that I'm REALLY a tiny gymnast, not this plump thing I look like now.

I don't think that it's a matter of not accepting who I am now in my job or my weight, but rather than I'm not really pleased with either of those things personally so I don't want to change my definition of myself to meet them, even if they've both been true for more than 6 years now. And realizing that for 6 years I've not been happy with the current "me" makes me kind of sad.

That's not to say that I don't love certain parts of my life. I'm a mom, and a pretty darn good one, I like to think. My kid is happy and intelligent and funny and charming and I like to think at least some of that is a result of something I've done. I certainly hope that I'm a good wife at least most of the time. Granted, a load of laundry almost never gets put all the way up before another one is out of the dryer and my desk stays a mess, but I also have worked 6+ years at a job I really don't like to help pay the bills and I make his coffee and lunch every morning while getting our 2 year old fed and dressed without being asked. I take care of T sometimes 5 days a week and regularly 2 or 3 days a week by myself until past her bedtime. I do the grocery shopping and the cooking (when it gets done). I have mental notes of things he likes and doesn't and try to remember them in all situations (whether that means never cooking with or ordering tomatoes, mushrooms, or olives OR just restraining myself when I want to tell a story I think is hysterical that I know he might think was embarassing).

I'm GOOD at those parts of my life. I'm not perfect, but I'm proud of those parts.

But most people don't really think of or talk about those being things to be proud of. Most people want to define you by your job and what you've accomplished in the business world, not by how awesome your 2-year old is or how mean of a lasagna you can make. And I guess if I were a stay-at-home mom, I would be more ok with that because at least I could say that at my "job" - aka being a mom, I was really successful (and I might also keep the laundry a little closer to done). But I'm not. I work full-time and don't really change the world in any dramatic way, yet I whittle-away hours and hours doing it. And in my own definitions that I set a long, long time ago, that makes me feel like a failure at least a little bit.

I didn't realize until very recently how much having this "random computer job" (which is what I tell most people I do when asked) had cut down my self-esteem, but it really has. Which is ridiculous to me because another definition I have of myself is that I am a confident, self-assured person. I always have been. I've always done things as well as I could and thus been proud of myself and known that if I really wanted something, I could do it, get it, or work towards it. But these days, I question myself and am constantly scared of making a fool of myself.

So I'm working on that now. I took a big step recently and, although the outcome wasn't at all my desired ending, I didn't fail either. I did ok. And it made me think that maybe girl who is really only qualified to do a "random computer job" isn't really just that. Maybe I'm still that skinny, ex-teacher who's an awesome mom and wife somewhere in there and I just need to give her a chance to try and prove herself.


Love & Shipoopies,

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

The Reason I Haven't Blogged...

...is that although I've had a ton of random thoughts, none of them are a full blog alone. You know what that means? You're about to be on the receiving end of a blog full of randomness. :) How lucky are YOU?!?

Things I'm loving right now:
*Oikos Greek Yogurt with caramel - Dude, seriously!
*Mr. Sunshine's theme song - "Mr. Sunshine, yeah." - Very Juno-esque.
*Mr. Sunshine (the actual show), Castle, Sex in the City reruns, How I Met Your Mother reruns
*Still using my Peanuts Christmas mugs for coffee as oft as I can.
*That most days for the past 2 weeks, it's been warm enough for flip flops, short sleeves, and my homemade iced coffees
*Amy Farrah-Fowler on "Big Bang Theory". I mean, what's not to like? The show is HILARIOUS! Her character gives me at least 3 spit-takes every episode, and HELLO?!? She's BLOSSOM!!!
*Jimmy Palmer on NCIS (the original) - he's a minor character, but they have developed him expertly. He's goofy and quite funny. Love him!

Things driving me nuts lately:
*People so sure of their rightness in all situations that they never, ever consider anyone else's opinions or thoughts
*Being exhausted and overwhelmed, so much so that even when I have free-time, I'm so burned-out that I can't seem to get myself back on track. I find myself sitting and staring instead of digging myself out.

Other random thoughts:
*You know it's been a rough busy season at work when, on the first day we're allowed to take off (in 6 weeks), no fewer than 4 people (on a team of fewer than 20) called in sick. Granted, I actually had a kid with a 102+ fever, but I'm guessing at least a couple of the other 3 were taking "mental health" days. ;)
*Little Caesar's - Their whole "catch" is that they can be your emergency "I don't have time to even wait on fast food" dinner? Really? There's never a word about taste or quality; nothing mentioned about service or how much you'll want to return. Just "we can have crappy pizza ready for you in a moment's notice on any day when you've given dinner so little thought that you can't even wait 3 minutes for a burger at a drive-through." Awesome.
*T came home from daycare talking about her little sister who was at lunch. It went something like this: "My little sister's at lunch, so we can't see her, but she's crying, so we need to get her some juice." ???? I have no idea. She apparently talked about this mysterious little sister to her teachers yesterday as well. My kid is hysterically crazy. :)

And then there's this gem of a conversation T and I had the other morning while getting ready for school.

T: OOW! My head hurts!

Me: What's wrong with your head?

T: It's SOOO too big!

Me: Does it hurt 'cause it's too big?

T: Yeah. *She wraps her hands around her neck and pulls up on her head.* Ugh! It won't come off!

Yep, that's my life and I love it!

Love & Shipoopies,