Thursday, August 31, 2006

Saved by the Bell vs. Saturday's Warrior

"(Singing) It seems like yesterday our times were started..."

"Are you singing Saturday's Warrior?"

"No. Saved by the Bell."

"Ah.... I thought you were singing that song 'The circle of our love extends beyond the reach of time'..."

"No, I was singing the song Zack wrote and then before the assembly, they put lemon extract in Zack's drink so he'd lose his voice halfway through his song."

"Yeah... I must have missed that one... 'Line upon line... precept on precept... like a summer shower, giving us each hour his wisdom..."

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Yankee go home!

My parents just picked up our Volvo in Salt Lake. You can read about that fiasco here. Notice that was written on July 9. It is now Aug. 30, and our car is finally finished and we will soon be reunited with it.

Many thanks to all those who helped us during this difficult time, and to my parents for driving it down.

But this post isn't about our car. It's about anti-Bush/anti-war demonstrations. My parents stumbled upon one today in Salt Lake City, causing them to be stuck in traffic for some time. I am intrigued by this because Col and I stumbled upon two of these on our honeymoon - one in Rome and one in Paris. Besides being anti-Bush and anti-war they were clearly anti-USA. Though we didn't have any American flags on our backpacks, I guess we looked pretty American because people were shouting "Yankee go home!" to us and we had to make a speedy exit in order to avoid being lynched.

So I'm wondering if this one in Salt Lake was any different. Was it anti-USA as well? Or were they able to keep it anti-war/anti-Bush without getting anti-USA and is that even possible? I also wonder if the demonstration was on the same streets as this year's 4th of July parade. Probably.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

15 Reasons to Buy a Castle

Most of the 15 reasons found here are pretty legitimate, and would entice me to buy this castle any day of the week. However, a few of them are questionable. For example:

Barbecues can be held by the lake. The setting is absolutely ideal.

We bbq about twice a week. Don't they know I'm moving to Prague to get AWAY from the Phoenix lifestyle?

The palace can easily accommodate a casino, which is totally legal in the Czech Republic.

There's a casino less than a mile from my house and I don't even go to it. However, it is good to know that if I go that route, it's "totally legal".

This can be created, while children love to pet and feed animals.

I think these 15 reasons were written in Czech and then translated into French and then back into Czech before being translated into English.

Clowns, jugglers, magicians and puppet shows, combined with fishing, swimming, boat and pony rides will certainly entertain and delight all children.

Do all these things come with the castle, or do I have to buy them separately?

The estate, of course, has a royal sea which can be used on all stationary, menus, towels, bed sheets, blankets and other promotional items.

If they really do mean "sea" that could be quite messy. If they mean "royal seal", some baron is going to be rolling over in his grave as I stamp it on my linens and "other promotional items".

Monday, August 28, 2006

First, remove eggs from carton.

My friend Jill's recent baking experience with a recipe that was missing some key details reminded me of a recipe I once read. It was the opposite extreme of the one Jill was working from. The directions went something like this:

First, remove eggs from carton. Next, lightly tap first egg against a sharp edge such as the counter or edge of mixing bowl until it cracks. Carefully separate the shells and drop the egg into the bowl, making sure that no shell pieces fall into the bowl. Discard shells. Repeat process for second egg.

You can imagine how the rest of the instructions went. I'm not sure which is worse - not nearly enough detail, or so much detail you feel like it was written for someone who has never turned on an oven. (Preheat oven by turning dial to 350. Be sure the light is on, indicating the oven has been turned on. Oven will beep once it is preheated.)

Saturday, August 26, 2006

There's a first time for everything.

So much for leaving her unattended. Ever.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Anyone need a couch?

What about a bed?

Yes, these beautiful items have been kindly placed by some unknown neighbor right outside our front door. We have been informed that our waste removal company won't do anything about it unless it's actually in the dumpster, so it might be there awhile. I'm thinking about listing them on Craigslist, so if you're interested in either, you better hurry - these beauties are going to go fast!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Trauma at the dentist's laboratory.

I say laboratory, because it felt more like Dr. Frankenstein's laboratory than a dentist's office. Most of the drilling was done, so you'd think the worst part was over, but oh no. With my little ground-down tooth nubbin anxiously awaiting a crown, thunder shook the building and the power went out. I can tell you one thing for sure - you don't ever want to hear your dentist gasp "Oh no!"

Before long, the power came back on, revealing the panic in his eyes. Another thing you don't ever want to hear is your dentist telling the assistant to hurry because "we have to get this tooth covered before the power goes out again." With the power continuing to flicker, I seriously felt like I was a science experiment, especially since about this time the lidocaine wore off and I started feeling pain so they had to stick more needles into me. Luckily, the power stayed on long enough for the crown to be made and set.

As I left, I was walking down the hall and I overheard the dentist say to someone else "I've never done that before."

What?! Let's hope he meant he's never done it before with the light flickering on and off. Or maybe they had struck up a conversation about hang gliding.

Monday, August 21, 2006


Last year on my birthday we were in Alamos, Mexico. It's a little town at the southern edge of Sonora that's more like Spain than Mexico. We went with friends who gave me a chocolate flan birthday cake that was pretty much the most delicious thing I've ever eaten. Col bought me this pinata from a little shop that insisted all their pinatas were from Mexican cartoons, like Dora la Explorador, Bob el Constructor and the PowerPuff girls, whose Spanish name I don't remember. This mermaid was supposed to be Aerial from a Mexican film called "La Sirenita", but it didn't look like Aerial so we picked it and then we took it up to the hilltop overlooking the city to break it and watch as little Mexican children gathered all the candy and then took the broken pinata home to play with. It was a really fun birthday. The following day wasn't quite so fun, especially for Matt who passed several kidney stones in the back seat on the way back to Phoenix.

This year was fun - we had a BBQ and swimming party - but it didn't really compare to Mexico. Col's birthday, on the other hand, was the birthday to top all birthdays. His parents took us to a fabulous lunch at Oscar Taylor's and I took half the day off to hang out with him. We went shopping, which is one of his favorite past-times and then went on a bike ride with friends. I made him a fabulous ice cream cake (it rivaled the chocolate flan cake, which I never thought was possible) and Drew gave him a foam rocket man which he was very excited about. His parents gave him a banjo which he's played nonstop ever since, and to top it all off, they had a big dinner for him yesterday with another birthday cake.

I didn't think it could get better than my birthday in Alamos, Mexico but I think Col has managed to top it this year. I'll have to really go all out to beat this one.

Correction: I was not driving 140 miles per hour.

The speeding ticket was for $140. I was driving around 105. Big difference.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Something has been on my mind lately.

And that is... what's going to happen with Jim and Pam?

Breakfast Shmorgasborg

Did you know shmorgasborg is not a real word? It's not on, anyway.

So, here at work someone takes petty cash and brings in breakfast every Friday morning. Every now and again someone gets creative, but usually it's just bagels and cream cheese. Today we were presented with oh so much more.

Let me take just a minute and list off all the goodies that are in this picture.

Chocolate muffins
Banana nut muffins
Peanut M&Ms
Assorted chocolates
Beef jerky
Red Vines
A pecan bar thing from some fancy bakery in Phoenix
Cheddar cheese
Fromage de chevre (otherwise known as goat cheese)
Babybel cheese
Smoked salmon
Cream cheese

Most Fridays, the hardest decision I have to make is do I want the whole wheat bagel, or the cinnamon raisin bagel? Today, I really had to think about it. This is what I chose:

And then, of course, I will be eating peanut M&Ms all day long.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Now THAT'S a bribe.

This is the little book full of fun and colorful post its as well as the chocolate covered sunflower seeds that the Office Max sales rep brought me today, along with a carton of apology paper. He called yesterday to make sure we received our one ream of apology paper. I assured him that we did, and informed him of the ironically haggard condition it arrived in. He asked "So did that ream make up for the paper that arrived torn?" When I didn't answer he said "I guess not, since it arrived torn."

Ding ding ding! I told him we wouldn't be ordering from them again.

So today he pulled out all the stops. Not only did he bring a full carton of apology paper (10 reams!) he also brought me these bribes. I don't know what it is about a little book of colored post its, but it's really working its magic. I'm thinking I'll order paper from them one more time since he's assured me this was a fluke and it will never happen again. If it does happen again though, it's 2 strikes you're out and no amount of chocolate covered sunflower seeds will make me change my mind.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I'm a little afraid of the dentist.

Yesterday I went to the dentist for a cleaning. A cleaning is fine. A cleaning I can handle. Next week, however, I have to go back to get a couple of cavities filled (does anyone know what an aclusal is? I don't either, but they said it a lot). I also have a cracked tooth that they're putting a crown on. Does anyone know how much it costs to get a porcelain crown? A LOT. Monetary concerns aside, let me tell you all the other reasons I hate going to the dentist.

1. They always try to convince me I should floss more.

2. They stick needles in my gums. Big needles.

3. These needles may deaden the nerve, but they can't stop me from hearing that drill.

4. Pressure. Pressure hurts.

5. The smell of bone and enamel being ground into powder. There is nothing worse.

6. Ground bone and enamel flying into my eye. This has never actually happened to me, but I'm sure it has happened to someone out there and that it was horrible.

Today my credit card was denied for the first time in my life.

I didn't get a credit card until just before I was married. I've always been pretty responsible with money, and I'm not a big spender, so it wasn't that I was worried about credit card debt. I had a debit card, and it seemed like that was all I needed. This became a bit of a problem when Col and I met with our mortgage broker to buy a house. I didn't have bad credit, I had no credit. They wanted 3 lines of credit going back 3 years, and I didn't even have one.

Now I have several credit cards. My very first Visa that I don't use anymore, one that builds miles ("What's in your wallet?!"), one that we have to have because it's the only one Costco accepts and a couple of others. We're talking about an unnecessarily fat wallet if we add to these the debit cards I no longer use because we only use the Capital One, hoping that in about 10 years we'll earn a one-way flight.

And with all these credit cards, and all this great credit building up I've never had a credit card rejected. Until today.

Col, before you get any more anxious and possibly have an accident, know that it was a business card. This won't be the last time it's ever maxed out.

Comment moderation disabled.

It appears as though the spambots have given up on me, so I have turned off comment moderation until such time as they start pelting me with ads again. Thank you for your patience through this difficult time. If we all stand together, we will one day be free from this tyranny.

Thank you.

*Paid for by the Aubrey For a Better Future campaign.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I'll give you a dollar if you solve this story problem.

So today a friend forwarded me one of "those" emails - the ones that are usually prefaced with "Sorry - I don't usually send these, but I thought this one was really nice". Don't worry, I won't forward it on to any of you.

About halfway down the page was this:

Important Lesson - Always remember those who serve

In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10-year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him.
"How much is an ice cream sundae?" he asked.
"Fifty cents," replied the waitress.
The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied the coins in it.
"Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?" he inquired.
By now more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing impatient.
"Thirty-five cents," she brusquely replied.
The little boy again counted his coins.
"I'll have the plain ice cream," he said.
The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream and left. When the waitress came back, she began to cry as she wiped down the table. There, placed neatly on the bill, were two nickels and five pennies..
You see, he couldn't have the sundae, because he had to have enough left to leave her a tip.

Ok, hold up. Two nickels and five pennies makes fifteen cents right? So how is this kid paying for a thirty-five cent ice cream AND leaving a tip with two nickels and five pennies? Had he already paid and this fifteen cents was the tip? If so, why didn't they mention that? Maybe I'm missing something, and this is one of those story problems that always stumped me like "A train leaves Chicago at 5:00 p.m. and travels at a speed of 55 mph and another train leaves Boston at 2:00 p.m. and travels at a speed of 45 mph. What is the name of the train conductor?"

Monday, August 14, 2006

This coloring book not suitable for Addie, anyway.

Though this coloring book was made for children and is being marketed for children, I wouldn't agree that it is really suitable for kids. The pages are all original creations of professional artists, and though some of it is great (I especially liked pages 24 and 25) and very creative, it is full of political messages and humor that is clearly geared toward adults (especially pages 43 and 50). I would not suggest this for your little ones, just in case you were going to go out and spend top dollar to have them color in an artist's drawings.

Married to a driver's ed instructor.

Col thinks I am a scary driver, mainly because I drive too fast almost all the time. I get this from my mother, who can be seen in the passing lane of this picture:

Before Col started working as a driver's ed teacher he seldom commented on my driving besides the occasional gasp of fear. Now, whenever I'm driving I hear a constant, soothing 'there's no need to panic here' voice telling me "Whenever you're ready, just back off the car in front of you just a little" and "The posted speed limit is 65. Don't forget the 5 mile rule. 5 miles under, 5 miles over" and my favorite, "Now let's go ahead and get out of the car and put a note on the windshield of that car you just dinged."

Would someone please tell Col that just because I've been in several car accidents including a rollover that may or may not have been entirely my fault, plus the fact that I've had more than my share of speeding tickets does NOT mean that I am a bad driver.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Comment moderation is enabled.

I'm not really a fan of having to approve comments before they show up. Sure, it gives me a certain sense of power and that's always a treat, but I'm inherently lazy and would rather let them just show up. However, somehow my blog has been A-listed for advertisers and half the comments I get now say:

Great blog! Check out my site, I think you'll like it!

So, in order to defy the spammers, I have to moderate the comments and reject them. These are the only comments I will delete. If you come here and post malicious libel such as... oh, say... "my kid is way smarter than yours", I won't even delete that. So feel free to comment, free from the heavy chains of sensorship. Unless you're a spambot ad. And then I will delete you.

Friday, August 11, 2006

When I was a kid, I hated green beans.

This little girl brought back some very vivid memories.

I love the end. "I'm never eating a green beans again!!"

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

For all intensive purposes.

I'm collecting common mispronunciations and misspellings. Let me know if you hear or see any good ones! This list contains a few that I hear and/or say all the time. Most of them I found here.

"Ghosts, for all intensive purposes, don't exist."
"I'm at your beckon call."
"Supposubly that theater is open now."
"Her opinions are very deep seeded."
"Let's take this out into the parking lot - mano a mano."
"Let me axe you a question."
"I'm going to nip that in the butt."
"Your point is mute."
"Don't pawn that off on me."
"He was lying prostate on the ground."
"If that's what you think, you've got another thing coming."
In response to "How are you?" either "I'm good, thanks" or "I don't feel so good."
"I would like my French dip with au jus, please". (“Au jus” means “with juice” so this literally would mean "I would like my French dip with with juice please").
Associates pronounced "Assoshiates".
Mahatma Gandhi spelled "Ghandi".
And of course, "nucular".

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Jury Duty

Col received a summons in the mail today for jury duty that will be taking place later this month. We can only hope he's either rejected, or it's a short trial. I'm conflicted when it comes to serving jury duty. I recognize it is our responsibility as citizens, but I dread the schedule conflicts it will cause. We won't have our car back by then, so Col may need to take the Vespa. Yes, the Volvo is still in Salt Lake with the part we need on nationwide "we have no idea when or if it will ever come in" backorder. The scooter option would be great anywhere but Phoenix, as it's still a bit scorching out.

What if the summons is for the trial of one of the serial killers that were recently arrested here in Phoenix? That would be no quick trial. Somehow, though, I doubt that they're already far enough along with that case to be selecting a jury. It seems like it usually takes a year or longer before the high profile cases make it to court. Everyone cross their fingers that's not it.

Talk to Addie

"Research shows that babies whose parents speak to them extensively have significantly higher IQs and bigger vocabularies when they get older than other children, so interaction is especially important right now. Set a solid foundation by exposing your baby to a variety of words."

The entire article can be found here.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Promises, promises.

We have no video footage of Addie. Col has a nice digital video camera and on a few occasions I've excitedly shouted "Hey! You know what would be fun?! Let's get out the digital camera and record Addie." Without fail the reaction is "Nah. Maybe later."

Saturday I was adamant. I absolutely would not back down, let's get the camera out right now and get some video of the baby. Recognizing that I wasn't going to be appeased by the usual "maybe later", Col promised we'd get the camera out on Sunday. As you can probably guess, Sunday came and went and we still have no video footage of Addie.

Col, all I have to say is: "You got some 'splainin to do, Mister."

Sweet, sweet irony.

If they were trying to convince me that their paper would never arrive torn up again, their ONE ream of apology paper didn't quite cut it.

Thumb Sucker

Most people have no problem letting their babies suck their thumb or their fingers or their hands - they even encourage it and prefer it over a pacifier. Our pediatrician is one of these. At Addie's first appointment he noticed her frantic flailing and said "Here let me help you," and placed her little fist into her mouth.

Addie would suck on her hands and fingers all day every day if we let her. It's really cute, especially since she keeps her other fingers straight and they wiggle around and she pokes herself in the nose and eyes. Then she looks at us like "Who just poked me in the eye?!"

We're trying to ease her out of this habit by distracting her with toys and pacifiers. Why, you ask? It does seem a bit odd, since most people have no problem with kids sucking on their hands. Well, in our family one of us (I won't name any names) sucked their thumb until 2nd grade and I just don't wish that kind of humiliation on Addie. It's a hard habit to break and once you hit elementary school, thumb sucking isn't exactly the best way to make friends and influence people.

Hey Col!

Good news! I found your sunglasses.

I forgot my phone again. Will you bring it to me at noon? Thanks!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Office Minimum

Last week Office Max sent a representative to coax me into ordering office supplies from them. We're a pretty tough sale since we are very happy with Wist, a local company that is less expensive and has better service and brings me goodies and gives me baby presents.

I did agree to order paper from OM because it was significantly cheaper. As the saying I just made up goes "it's cheaper for a reason" and when the 6 boxes of paper arrived, several of the reams were damaged. The paper they were wrapped in was torn, and some of the sheets were bent or torn and had to be thrown away.

Today someone called to see how we like the paper and I told her about the damage and let her know that we wouldn't be ordering any more paper from them. She asked if the outside of the case had been damaged and when I told her I didn't notice any damage she started to treat me like I was making the whole thing up. She said she'd inform our sales rep, and about 10 minutes later I received a notice from the sales rep that they're sending us one ream of paper to make up for the damage. ONE ream of paper. Like for ONE ream of paper we'll keep ordering from them. Now, if they gave me all kinds of goodies and a baby present, that would be something. Maybe a $5 gift certificate to Bath & Body Works.... now THAT's a bribe!

The ream of paper will probably come damaged. But it won't matter, because unless it's colored paper clips and free pens, I'm not interested.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

So my boss asked me to find someone who can work on her conversion van - the one with the cozy green velvet interior that I would seriously live in.

"RufRoad Brakes and Mufflers."

"Hello. Your website says you work on conversion vans, is that right?"


"Do you only work on brakes and mufflers, or can you fix other mechanical problems?"


"You can repair other problems with a conversion van?"

"Brakes and mufflers."

"Just brakes and mufflers?"

"Rufroad brakes and mufflers."

"Do you speak English?"


"Is there anyone there that speaks English?"


Tuesday, August 01, 2006

If you stare long enough at this image, you'll see a clipper ship.

Looking at this picture, we can draw several conclusions.

1. My camera phone is really outdated.

2. I should have turned on the flash, despite my fear that all this flash photography is going to blind my child and she will have to wear glasses by the time she's in 2nd grade.

3. One should always keep a spare onesie in the diaper bag, in case of any possible explosions.

4. Addie has seen her dad wear his collar up one too many times.

Addie's new BFF.

Adeline has been concerned ever since Jud told her she needs a BFF. She was very relieved when Landon was born last night. Now, not only is she no longer the youngest, but she has officially declared him her new best friend. She has all kinds of trips for the two of them planned and she can't wait to start playing "got your nose" with him.