Thursday, July 31, 2008

Cheap Cheap Cheap

This (via verbatim) does sound kind of fun but, even though a year's supply of chocolate is very tempting, I'm not going to enter because I am cheap. I have to pay .20 for every text on my company provided cell and so I won't spend the money to text my novel to them.

3rd Person Hell

Only those of you who watch Project Runway will understand. Susan is getting very, very tired of Suede

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

You're As Old As Your Brain

Take the test to see how old your brain is. My brain is around 23. Or maybe 28 depending on how much wine I've had. On one of my tries, I purposedly failed every section just to see if how old a brain could be. 120!

You'll be presented with a group of numbers. Memorize the positions of the numbers. The numbers will disappear and empty circles will remain. Attempt to click the circles in numerical order. Try it, it only takes a few minutes.

UPDATED: I changed my instructions based on John's comment so don't get confused and think he's really old.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Monday, July 28, 2008

Where's My Bail Out?

Congress is working on bailing out the mortgage companies and homeowners caught up in the foreclosure mess. I haven't really read enough to know whether I think this is a good idea or a bad idea. I do think the brokers who helped people commit fraud by exaggerating their income ought to be in jail and I think the people who lied about their income to get a loan shouldn't get any help at all.

But, what I want to know is, when do I get my bail out?

Okay, technically I don't need a bail out because I live within my means, pay my bills, have a good retirement account and have money in the bank. I didn't buy more house than I could afford, I didn't lie on my income documents, I didn't sign my loan papers without reading what my monthly payment would be. I've made those payments on time for 22 years. I've refinanced twice and cut my interest rate almost in half. When I first got my house, paying that monthly bill meant we didn't have a lot of furniture and we didn't eat out very often. Over time, my house payment took a smaller and smaller percentage of my take home pay. I've refinanced twice and cut my interest rate almost in half. After a few years, I could save more and I could treat myself to some nice things. Now my taxes will pay to bail out others who weren't quite so responsible. Like the woman I listened to on NPR explain that she is facing foreclosure because she took out a loan even though the papers she signed indicated she would owe $2000 a month. Somehow she overlooked the fact that her income is $26,000 per year. How could she not have known she'd end up defaulting on that loan? I and other taxpayers will help her out. That just doesn't sit right with me.

Sure, I'm not facing foreclosure and I'll own my home outright when I retire. And I'll be able to retire. So I guess I'm rewarded after all.

Best Neighbor Ever

Mr. Rogers

Friday, July 25, 2008

WTF America!

Right now I am mad at America. If you watch SYTYCD, beware, SPOILER coming.

I mean it, don't read if you don't want to know.

I can not believe hewhowillbenamedinthecomments got kicked off last night. What is wrong with you, America? Yes I know at this point they are all pretty good dancers and they are all nice boys you'd be happy to have over for dinner but, COME ON. Mark and Joshua are just not as good as Will and Twitch. And if I have to watch one more week of Joshua sweating like a rainforest, I don't know if I can take it. Yeah, yeah, I know he can't help it and I'm sure dancing is hard work, but still, EWWW!

Anyway, America, you blew it last night and you won't have hewhowillbenamedinthecomments to kick around. I know, I know, you thought he was so good he'd win by a landslide and so you voted for one of the other cute boys. Next time pay attention and vote for the best.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Old Homestead

This is where I lived from the time I was 13 until I went to college. You may have to maneuver the image some - our house was the little white one.

View Larger Map **

I came home from college the summer of my freshmen year but then I don't think I ever really lived at home again and my mom sold this house when I was junior in college. I don't feel attached to any particular childhood home since I lived in 6 different houses while growing up. I did like this neighborhood the best though, and though it looks narrow and tiny here, as I remember it, this was the nicest house we lived in.

Mostly I liked my neighborhood buddies. One girl my age next door and another one next to her. Another girl a couple years older lived up the block. She's the one who taught us to tease our hair and wanted to teach us to smoke. She got pregnant at the end of her senior year and was the first friend I knew with a child. Two cute boys lived on the corner. BFD lived in the better neighborhood and she would meet me half way when I was coming to visit her and we'd walk back to her house. I tried to walk there using google street but got confused at the intersection - really just got bored making the little person walk. Besides, once I was 16 I drove over there.

** not sure why the little map doesn't work but you can click the link to see the street view. UPDATE: It now seems to be working occassionally.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Save Yourself

Every time the price of gas rises, my local TV station checks out the stations around town and then announces which ones have the lowest prices. People race across town to get the best deal, lining up to save 5 or even 10 cents a gallon.

I have nothing against saving money but I don't think people really analyse how much they actually save.

Let's say your tank holds 15 gallons. Saving 10 cents a gallon means you saved $1.50. Let's pretend your car gets 25 miles to the gallon. If you drive 5 miles out of your way and then idle in line for 15 minutes, you probably use at least $1 in gas getting your deal. You'd be better off to get gas at a nearby station and skip your latte that day for some real savings.

And while we're talking about people saving gas, I have a request for hypermilers. The slow acceleration doesn't bother me but I would appreciate if it those of you who have decided that going 10 miles below the speed limit is the answer to your gas woes would GET. OUT. OF. MY. WAY. Drive in the slow lane, please, and I'll try not to steal any wind velocity as I pass you.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Please, Mr. Postman

Look and see, is that package really for me?

Two weeks ago I opened my mailbox to find a small package. I was on my way out to the store and I idly opened the package as I walked to the car. Surprise, surprise, there were 4 bottles of prescription medicine. A little belatedly, I looked at the address. The package did not have my name on it and I didn't recognize the name that was there. The house number was the same as mine but the street it belonged on is 1 block east of me. So, I hopped in the car and delivered the package to the correct house. The man who answered the door was happy to have his medicine.

Yesterday, I opened my mailbox and found another small package. This time I looked at the addressee before ripping the package open; I'm a quick learner. The address was mine but the name on the package was not mine. It wasn't a name I recognized as being one of my neighbors either. I couldn't put the package in the outgoing mail because that slot isn't big enough. I don't want the person to miss out on their mail so I guess I'll mark it return to sender and drop it at the post office so the sender can figure out the correct address.

Maybe next week the mail in my mailbox will really be for me!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Watz Up?

Thanks to my brother, I'm hooked on yet another reality show - America's Best Dance Crew. The dancing is incredible. But for the past couple weeks they've had a feature that is driving me nuts! As the crew is dancing, there are cut in shots of the team members commenting about the dance. Distracting to say the least. The music is muted and I can't watch the dancers and listen to the commentary at the same time. It. Must. Stop. Or. Else.

Other than that, I'm loving the show.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The True Story

My SIL arrived Thursday night a little after 8 PM. I brought her back to my house stopping only to buy ice because, for some reason, my brother's family can not live without it. My SIL almost canceled her trip when she learned that my new refrigerator's ice maker wasn't hooked up yet. After suffering 20 years of visiting me and using bagged ice, she was sure this trip would include fresh-made ice. She did however manage to deal with factory-made ice. We put the purchased ice in the ice maker and no one was the wiser. She filled a glass with ice from the door and then covered it with refrigerated bottled water. Hey, baby, you're in Vegas now!

After our ice adventure, we settled down and went to sleep. We needed to get some sleep for our wild Friday in Las Vegas. I got up the next morning and headed to work while my SIL snoozed. I did as much work as I could in four hours and headed home at lunch time. Soon my SIL and I were lunching at the cafe at Green Valley Ranch Station and then we headed to the penny slots. At the end of the day, we were down about $20 each. We sucked up our losses and stopped at Whole Foods to get some food for dinner. The evening was spent quietly at home watching the results from So You Think You Can Dance. Then it was off to bed.

The next morning found us getting coffee at Starbucks before a visit to Ethel M's to pick out chocolates. Some to eat immediately and some for the SIL to take back to Ohio with her. We stored the chocolate at home before heading off to a GREAT lunch at I Love Sushi. It was a belated birthday lunch for me. And then we did more gambling. Another $20 down the tubes. But we had fun. And we got free gifts, if by free you mean they were given to me after we finished losing our $20.

A stop at Trader Joe's resulted in some treats for the SIL to take back to Ohio and some dinner for us. We bought artichoke ravioli and portabello mushroom ravioli to have with salad. Before heading home, we stopped by Enzo's Pizza and bought 9 garlic knots because 6 wouldn't be enough and 12 would be too many. I will not tell who ate 3 on the way home. Enzo's garlic knots are the best when warm.

When we got home, I heated up some EVOO, tossed in a couple cloves of crushed garlic and let it saute but not burn. Then I turned off the heat and added a handful of chopped basil and a clump of grated lemon peel. The aroma was enticing. We tossed in the cooked ravioli and stirred. The garlic knots had been kept warm in the oven and the salads were dressed with vinaigrette. What a great meal that was!

Sunday was mostly spent hanging around the house while SIL packed up for the next chapter in her Las Vegas adventure. I dropped her off at the Riveria where she'll spend the next few days. I headed back home to wash clothes, do some work and get ready for another work week.

And so you see, my previous summary was pretty close to the truth. Well, except for the boy toys and the gin.

Back To The Grind

Which means of course I've made the Starbucks run for the day. Oh yes, and I'm back at work after a fun filled weekend with the SIL. I dropped her off to visit with another friend yesterday afternoon. Then I returned home to clear out the empty gin bottles and kick the last of the boy toys out so I could get some rest after two days of non-stop partying. Our weekend included gambling, hot oil and chocolate. We did get in a couple of knotty situations but it all ended well.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

It's Only Words

I like words and not just because they come in handy when I wish to talk. I like how words can be used to communicate but I also like to see them twisted in ways that amuse me. I come by it naturally. The first time I remember laughing at being silly with words was when I was about 7 or 8 and we were driving in the car with my mom. She said, "What's that up the road, a head?" which I thought was the funniest thing I'd ever heard. It still makes me chuckle. When my brother and I were 7 and 9, respectively, our mom took us on our annual shopping trip for new summer flip flops. We didn't call them flip flops then, we call them them zorries or, more often, go aheads. We had fun picking our new footwear and were quite proud of them, so that night when our grandpa came to visit we rushed out to show him our fancy sandals. He looked at them and said "Yes, they are very nice, now why don't you go ahead to bed?" We were ROTFL. :-)

Reading the paper the other day, I paused when I read the headline, "Death Of Dolphin Under Investigation" and the first thing I wondered was why the dolphin was under investigation and whether the investigation caused his death. Seriously. And then I laughed at myself.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Tick Talk

"United spokeswoman Robin Urbanski said between one and three ticks were discovered"
Um. Would that be two?
Tick talk.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Hands Free

Remember if you live in California, it is against the law to talk on your cell phone while driving. Unless of course, you are hands free.

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Duck's Bed

I often have occasion to miss Jenny's Mondegreens but I haven't contributed lately and so I understand how it's been allowed to go fallow. I posted there about the Duck's Bed in 2004. I had another radio mondegreen today on the way to work. The announcer said we'd be hearing the story of the anniversary of "a tax that killed several people" which made me wonder how taxing people could kill. As the story continued, I quickly realized it was about the anniversary of "attacks that killed" and that made more sense. Not that attacking and killing every really makes sense.

P.S. In my 2004 entry I pondered whether my entry was a real mondegreen and today I can't figure out why I ever thought it wasn't. It was classic mondegreen even if not a lyric because I don't agree a mondegreen has to be in a song.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Holy Ravioli

I made ravioli today for the first time. It was much easier than I had anticipated and the result was a delicious plate of tender cheesy ravioli in olive oil, basil and lemon zest. I used Giada's recipe. I substituted crab for the chicken.

Next time I will try to get the dough a little bit thinner but other than that, I wouldn't change a thing.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th

I was born on July 1 and rumor has it that, when bringing me home from the hospital on the 4th, my parents stopped for a while to watch fireworks over Centinela Park. I have no recollection of that ride home but I do remember Centinela Park. It was a great picnic park with a HUGE playground. There was one section with two giant hills with a rope strung between them. You would grab the rope and run up one hill and then swing across to the other hill. There were other fun places to explore and children to play with. We were allowed to run all over the park while the adults prepared picnic lunches for us.

Today the park is called Edward Vincent Jr Park. I suppose I'd discover the hills and rope have been dismantled; a child might fall and get hurt. Children will be cautioned to stay in sight - and to stay away from strangers. But I believe that, somewhere, there is a little girl and her brother joyously running through that park, making new friends and climbing up the hill to swing on that rope. When they are worn our and hungry they'll enjoy a picnic lunch with their mom - maybe Oscar Mayer hot dogs! And later, when it gets dark, they'll sit in the car on a hill and watch the fireworks.

Happy 4th of July!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Which Is It?

Obama ahead by 15 points or 3 to 6 point difference or Dead Heat

I seriously wish pollsters would go away and let us vote. And, for that matter, I wish we could vote today. I can't understand how anyone could be conflicted between McCain and Obama. Read their stands on the issues important to you and you'll know which one you want to vote for. Seriously!

P.S. Anyone who backed Clinton and has decided to now vote for McCain: You just shouldn't vote because you're not old enough - you're still living in Junior High.

UPDATED: A Republican who shall remain namebrianless explained to me that he is conflicted because he agrees more with Obama on the issues but isn't sure he wants to vote for a Democrat. I suppose I can understand that. But I told him to move into the 21st century and vote the man, not the party. No indication yet whether he'll listen.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Almost a Winner

I didn't win but I did make the honor roll. Wendy sponsored a contest. With prizes! My first set of entries is attributed to Anonymous because I was a lazy poster. My second set is attributed to me. I got honor roll for one entry of each posting. The first was "Kind of Interested George" and the second was "A Half-Hearted Wave To Arms" and I'm happy both got mentioned. I loved the idea of the contest and could have spent hours thinking up entries but had to play Challenge Sudoko with Debra instead. :-)