Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Just when I thought it was safe to go back in the water...

...the sharks appear.

Although, I guess I'm not totally guilt-free. I threw the chum in the water! I really thought I was reaching a point where I felt really good about my eating habits. I have felt the last few weeks like I could relax a little bit where food was concerned, not be so "nutrition Nazi-ish", and just enjoy life a little bit more without thinking about what I am eating every second. Wrongo.

Today I went to that continuing education class that I mentioned yesterday, and afterwards, the vendor that put on the class catered lunch from the Olive Garden. The class was supposed to let out at noon, and I scheduled my first field appointment for today at 1:30 pm. The class didn't get out until 12:30, and I honestly did not have enough time to stop and get lunch on the way. I thought I would be late. (I was late anyway, but that's besides the point.) So, I decided to eat lunch with what they had. I sighed when I saw it. Lasagna, salad, breadsticks and chocolate lasagna for dessert. I have always wanted to try the chocolate lasagna. I don't eat at Olive Garden very often, but every time I have, I've wanted to order that chocolate lasagna for dessert but by the time it's time for dessert, I'm too full from the pasta to eat it. So, I had a small slice of lasagna (about six bites worth), a very small slice of the chocolate lasagna (about four bites worth), two breadsticks and a serving of salad. And tea. No big deal, right?

You would not BELIEVE the comments I had to endure from my coworkers.

"Erica, are you feeling all right?"
"What happened to the training?"
"Are you not doing your diet anymore?"
"What happened to the diet?"
"I can't believe what I'm seeing!"
"Well, as long as you don't eat like that every day..."
"Are you sure you got enough to eat? You barely have anything on your plate!"
"I have got to see what you are eating!"

What the &%$#? What business is it of ANY of my coworkers what I am eating? And this from people who had serving sizes five times the size of mine on their plates? I don't understand why people feel the incessant need to pick apart what I'm eating. I have endured comments like this for a long time, but none in a while, so it kind of shocked me when they started in on me like that at lunch. And it really threw me into a funk. The self-loathing, scale-obsessing, depressed kind. It just felt like everyone in that room was looking at me and what I was eating and thinking, "Wow, she really has no business eating that." It's the same feeling I used to get whenever I would order bad food in front of one of my thinner friends. And I didn't get home from my field appointments until eight, dead tired of course, and so I skipped the gym. Again. I know I must sound like I'm full of excuses, but I was exhausted, my legs and butt are killing me from my intense leg workout last night, and all I wanted to do was just sit, write in my blog about my crappy day and stitch.

Ok, whining over. I guess this is a good time to call my therapist and schedule an appointment. *sigh* All I know is I feel fat, lumpy and not at all lean like I did the other day.

The bright spots in my day were small, but they were there. I just had to look hard for them.

*My friend S told me that I shouldn't worry what everyone in my office thinks because I have the best body of all the girls at our office. I wish that I could believe that, but it was so nice of her to say it.
*P agreed with her when I told him what she said.
*Queenie gave me one of the best compliments I have ever had from her...she told me that one of my roof denials that I submitted on Friday was one of the best files that she had ever seen and that she told one of the other supervisors on Friday that she thought he should use that file as a textbook example of what a roof denial should look like. Wow. I was floored! It feels great whenever I get compliments, but I have such respect for her...when she gives me a compliment, it means a lot. Every time I tell her how much her opinion means to me and how highly I regard her, she just makes a joke that I'm sucking up to her! Ha!
*She also told me that she believes that she has snared our third fire adjuster, F. He's an adjuster that has been part of our office for about two years and he's very nice and very good. He's supposed to call me tomorrow to get the off-the-record version of what I think of the fire team, unsugarcoated, and then he's going to give Queenie his answer on Thursday, and hopefully I'll start working with him and C both next week....if someone would burn their house down, that is.

I watched The Godfather last night for the first time. Granted, it was a slow starter, but talk about a captivating movie! I really enjoyed it. I can't believe how captivating Al Pacino is! Wow. I can't wait to see the second one! I exchanged that and the other one for The Passion of the Christ and The Girl Next Door, so those will be the next ones we watch. I'm a little anxious to watch The Passion of the Christ. I've been so curious about it since it first came out. I really didn't want to see it in the theater. I have a pretty strong feeling that it's going to affect me very deeply, and for that? I want to be in the privacy of my own living room! P feels the same way...but he says he's not ready to watch it yet. He says he has to psych up for it. I know this though...I won't be stitching during it. In case you didn't know, it is completely in Aramaic with English subtitles, and this movie, I want to totally take in and understand every moment. They've been showing commercials all night (I'm watching Nip-Tuck as I write this) since it was released on DVD today and every time one comes on, I just stop and stare. Hm. Maybe tonight should be the night instead!

Okay, on to the memes. I just want to sit here on the couch and relax with my stitching (or The Passion) and forget about the day I had.

Chick Chat first. I LOVE this meme! (Lindsey, you reading that?)

When I Was Little...
1. Who was your idol? Olivia Newton-John. I just loved her in Grease. I remember I wanted my hair to look JUST like hers. I even styled my hair that way in elementary school. I had the Grease soundtrack and the Xanadu soundtrack on LP and I used to listen to them a lot.
2. What color/kind of hair did you want? I liked my hair color (blonde), but I remember distinctly when I was younger always wanting wavy, fluffy hair. I permed it a few times to try for the effect that I wanted, but it always came out looking like I put my finger in an electric socket, and then a few weeks later, my hair was back to being straight as a board again.
3. Did you dream about a career or being a mommy? A career.
4. Who was your big star crush? Jordan Knight of New Kids on the Block.
5. What did you want to be when you 'grew up'? I seem to remember wanting to be a doctor when I was much younger until I got into high school and realized that I hated science and math. My junior year in high school, I took a journalism class and realized that I had a real talent for writing and layout, and the next year I was selected to be the editor. So, I went to school to become a layout editor. I loved my journalism classes, especially the ones on editing and graphic design. I bet you're wondering what happened and how I became an adjuster instead? Well, I discovered my senior year that the people that become editors are the ones that really really want it, because you have to work some really bad hours for really little money to get those positions!

Next, TV Tuesday...

1. How much of the Olympics did you watch? Just whenever my husband had it on tv. I did manage to watch several of the relays in track and in swimming, some of the weight lifting (those Chinese chicks are scary!) and the end of men's diving.
2. What's your favorite Olympic sport? Swimming.
3. What's your least favorite Olympic sport or one you feel should be removed? I'm sure there are some really obscure ones that weren't on television that I wouldn't like, but my least favorite sport to watch was badminton. I wouldn't go so far as to say that it should be removed though. I'm sure there are plenty of people who think badminton is a compelling sport.
~Bonus~ If you could participate in the Olympics what sport would you want to be in? Swimming! I got such a CHARGE out of watching the women's swimming, especially the relays.

And last, but not least, the Daily Dirt. Just as a matter of interest, I LOATHED country music until I started working at Lone Star in college and was forced to listen to it over and over again. Like a fungus, it just kind of grows on you.

1. Do you like country music? I do now, yes.
2. If not, why not, and if so, what do you like about it? I like the feel of it. It just has a good rhythm and most of the newer stuff has great lyrics to it.
3. Do you like older or newer country better? Why? I prefer newer country for the reason stated above. The newer country is not as twangy.
4. Who's your favorite country singer/band? Shania Twain.
5. Why do you think country music is so unpopular to younger people? I think it feels very adult contemporary, boring and twangy to kids. That's how it felt to me! I didn't like it until I was twenty years old.

Okay, I guess that's all I've got for today. Whew. I'm tired and I feel better now that I've vented a little bit. Tomorrow, no field appointments and no people. None. Just me, the quiet solitude of my office, the warm soft glow of my new lamp and some quiet music. Yay.

And the gym. Yes. I will go.

Monday, August 30, 2004

The Elephant Bar

I can't believe I forgot to post about this Saturday night, but I must now that I have just remembered it. Speaking of irritations, I must share my most irritable restaurant experience!

Just FYI, the city of Dallas has more restaurants per square mile than any other city in the United States. Even more than New York. So, as you can probably imagine, restaurants either thrive here, or they die a quick death. And the quickest way for a restaurant to die is by poor word of mouth. We Dallasites love to eat out. It's quite a hobby here.

So, we got this VIP Explorer card for The Elephant Bar in the mail a few weeks ago...it's for 20% off through the end of the year. We always go to the same places to eat, so we decided to try it. I had eaten at one in Simi Valley last October, so I thought it'd be an interesting change.

It started off great...our server was attentive and pleasant. For an appetizer, we got artichoke dip, and two iced teas. For dinner, I ordered the wok-fried teriyaki chicken and P ordered the jambalaya. We both ordered side salads. P specifically asked the server how hot the jambalaya was, and her answer was that most people found it to be on the bland side. Now, mind you, I have no taste for hot spicy foods, which is why I steer clear of them. My husband, on the other hand, is Hispanic and loves spicy foods (except pico de gallo, of course) and asked her to tell the kitchen to kick it up just a tad.

We get our artichoke dip, and it's great. Very tasty. Then, about ten minutes later, our dishes arrive. No salads. Our server after about ten minutes finally came to check on us and we had to remind her that she forgot the salads. In the time between when we reminded her and we actually got them, three other servers tried to give us the wrong salads, clearly meant for other tables. This was irritating because I was trying to have a conversation with P and we were continually interrupted. By the time we actually got the salads, we were almost done eating. She did not offer to take the salads off our ticket. My meal was ok...not quite what I had expected, but okay. P hated his though. He said it was way too spicy to eat. I tasted it and of course, it WAS too spicy to eat. It tasted like they had totally doused it with Tabasco to "kick it up". He gave up after picking at it for a few minutes. We had to track down our server multiple times to get tea refills and asked her a couple times for the check. She finally brought it with apologies and stated that she had given us a discount due to the mixup on the salads, and since it was obvious P didn't like his jambalaya. Gee, what was her first hint? The fact that he had barely touched it? She then went on to state that she didn't want to say anything, but that the jambalaya was not their most popular dish and that most people that ordered it didn't care for it. Information that would have been more useful when we ordered, not as we were trying to get the h*** out of there and try to salvage what was left of our evening. Of course, by this point, I'm getting annoyed. I took the check after she left and looked at it. This part even made me madder. Instead of giving us a discount because they screwed up, our waitress just gave us the same 20% VIP Explorer discount that we were going to get anyway with the card that we had been sent in the mail. She didn't even have the guts to go to her manager and tell him what had happened. Instead, she chose to lie to us. Being that I was a former server, I know all the little tricks to get around an unhappy customer, and using a coupon disguised as a "well, we'll do this to make you happy and shut you up" is one of them. When P called her on it, her response was, "Oh, I didn't know you had the Explorer card" and she offered to just take the salads off, which she should have done anyway when we didn't receive them before the meal. At this point, I am so irritated and annoyed, P was feeling the effects of the heartburn from the small amount of jambalaya that he had eaten, and we just wanted OUT of there. She of course took forever to process our check. In fact, at one point she walked BY our table to pick up the check from the next table who came in after us. It was pretty clear from her attitude that she realized that we were a lost gratuity and that there was no point in trying to salvage it.

Well, we did tip her 15% (despite my protests, but P overruled me), and she was right on one thing...there was no point in trying to salvage us because we'll never be back in there again.

We just should have gone to Chili's. I'm going to email them a copy of this blog entry...but it feels good to vent about it on a public website! My word of mouth may hurt them more than any email I could write to them complaining.

Pico de gallo and other small irritations

One thing in this world I will never understand the use or need for is pico de gallo. In case you don't know, pico de gallo is a garnish put on Mexican food. It consists of small diced tomatoes, green peppers, purple onions, cilantro and occasionally green chilies. My in-laws love it. My husband and I hate it. And, when it is put in food such as salads, it permeates every bite! Blah! We got grilled Caribbean chicken salads last night at Chili's...and as always, I asked to substitute almonds for the pico. They got the almonds right, but put the pico de gallo on UNDER all the other toppings, so P didn't see it when he picked up the salads and checked them, and it was so hard to pick out. BLAH! I just don't get it! Put it on nachos, enchiladas, chimichangas, but LEAVE MY GRILLED CHICKEN SALAD ALONE! That was my irritation from last night.

My irritation from today was the vet visit with Gabrielle. She's fine. It turns out that she has been chewing her tail, and that is what has caused this tail problem. They gave her an anti-inflammatory shot, updated her rabies vaccine, and did a senior scan on her bloodwork since she's ten years old. I also got a nice lecture on how cats, even indoor ones, are susceptible to heartworm and need the same preventative that we give the dogs (oops), and was told that Gab most likely has a cavity, so she'll have to have a dental cleaning within the next four weeks in addition to the $228 I shelled out today for the vet visit. Bottom line, no Dooney probably until October. Boo. It's okay though...Gabby is my baby and I want her teeth feeling better! Right now she's kind of pooped from her vet visit...she's crashed over there in the corner.

My irritation from Saturday was a phone message from my friend D informing me that she talked to our framer (also D) who moved to Alabama a few months ago, and apparently he has not set up shop again for his framing business like he intended to, and D didn't get the impression on the phone that he intends to. *sigh* So it looks like the days of super-cheap, muy excelente, elaborately hand-cut mats and framing are over, as are the days of having several pieces a year framed. The last piece I had framed before I got the name of this framer from D cost me $240. Unbelievably pricey! And that was almost ten years ago. I shudder to think what framing prices are like now. Oh, well. Good thing I have so many pieces in rotation...it's not something that I have to contemplate at this moment in time.

But, not everything from the weekend was irritating. In case you were wondering, the fast-drying Sally Hansen Dry and Go Protein Top Coat was a hit. It does dry your nails in thirty seconds...and I'm not talking tacky dry. They are bone dry in thirty seconds! Not a bad deal for $4.22, and my nails have never looked this shiny or this glossy. I would definitely recommend it. Give it a try if you are looking for something new! Last night's episode of Six Feet Under was excellent. I can't believe the season finale is in two weeks. I just love that show! P gave me a pedicure last night. His toenail painting skills leave a lot to be desired (I told him not to quit his day job) but he did a great job working on the hard calluses on my feet and toes. What a great man I've got! The lamp is still just a cozy glow in my office. And I feel rested. I got a LOT of stitching in this weekend! I was hoping to have a new picture posted last night, but the pedicure kinda got in the way.

The memes for today are excellent...I can't not do them all!

First is Sunday Brunch...so glad it is back! It is on weddings...

1. Indoor or outdoor weddings? I prefer indoor weddings, but outdoor weddings are lovely.
2. How many weddings have you been in? Only one...my own. My sister eloped a few months ago, so that was my one chance to be a maid of honor in a wedding of a family member. My best friend from North Carolina, S, is still single, so that's still a chance!
3. When you were married (or if there is a wedding in your future), what type of wedding did or would you have? I had a traditional Catholic wedding with a full mass. We invited about 150 people, and I think about 100 came. After the ceremony and mass, we had a reception.
4. Have you caught the bouquet or garter? No.
5. Tell us about a funny, scary or memorable wedding moment. I was so caught up in the mass during our wedding and so focused on making sure that I did what I was supposed to do during the ceremony that I totally forgot about the kiss and then I left my bouquet at the altar. It was kind of funny!

Second, Monday Madness...

Name 3 of your favorite.......
1. Colors turquoise, lavender, and baby pink
2. Pizza Toppings pepperoni, pineapple and breakfast bacon
3. Department Stores Dillard's, Nordstrom's and JC Penney
4. Flavors of Candy strawberry, cherry and grape
5. Scents of Candles angel essence, pine and lavender
6. Days of the Week Friday, Saturday and Sunday
7. Vegetables potato, onion and cucumbers
8. Fruits apple, peach and pineapple
9. Meals to cook Thanksgiving turkey dinner, spaghetti with meatballs, and roast beef
10. Kitchen Gadgets my KitchenAid mixer, my double boiler, and my Tupperware egg seperator
11. Olympic Sports swimming, diving and figure skating

Third, the Daily Dirt...yet another meme on movies!

1. What is your favorite movie of all time? Gone With the Wind
2. What is your most-hated movie? The Accidental Tourist
3. What book would you like to see made into a movie? This is so sad, but I can't think of one that I've read that they haven't made into a movie. That's a very sad commentary on myself...I used to be such an avid reader.
4. What movie has the best soundtrack? Footloose
5. Which movie have you seen more than any other? That's very hard to say without keeping a scorecard, but I'd have to say that the top five most watched movies in my house are Armageddon, Titanic, Gone With The Wind, The Abyss and Alive. I don't own a copy of The Abyss or Alive, but every time either of those movies comes on satellite, I watch it. I'm currently doing the same thing with Seabiscuit.

And in closing, the Stitching Blogger's QOTW!

Do you feel cross stitching requires patience?

In my opinion, I think that learning to cross stitch requires a great deal of patience. You can't rush it or you'll make errors. And I think you have to be patient when realizing how long a project can take. But to actually cross stitch after you get the hang of it? I don't think that requires a lot of patience. I think that it requires a lot of quiet time and concentration, but most of the time when I'm stitching, I'm not even thinking about what I'm doing. I'm just doing it. It's so relaxing and just takes me away!

I suppose I should pretend I'm working today. I don't have much to do...just waiting for a fire as usual. Tomorrow I have a continuing education class on water mitigation which I really don't want to miss. My adjuster's license expires in March, and I only have about a third of my hours that I need for my license to be renewed so far.

More tomorrow...happy Monday, everyone! Can you believe September is almost upon us??

Sunday, August 29, 2004

And then there was light...

Isn't it amazing what a difference a lamp will make to a room? We stopped by Home Depot last night on the way home from dinner, and I found a really nice frosted crackle glass lamp that is kind of lantern-like rather than a straight desk lamp. My old desk lamp would get so unbelievably hot that I finally got to the point where I didn't even want to turn it on, forget even touching it. I burned the inside of my arm one time when I wasn't paying attention. This one is a three-way lamp, it's much cooler to the touch, it shines out rather than down, and I put a really nice soft pink bulb in it. It reflects off the lavender walls of my office and just giving the whole room a warm and cozy feel. My old lamp is going to go up to my cube at my office on Tuesday. Here's a picture of the new one!

I just love shopping. We went to
Wal-Mart too and I picked up some more French manicure guides for my fingernails, a new enamel color (turquoise opal), some cushioned seperator thingies for my toes for pedicures, and a lightning fast drying top coat. It promises to dry nails in thirty seconds. I'll let you all know if it works. The French manicure I did this week on my fingernails was quite a hit. My boss complimented me on them in our meeting, my friend S said they looked great, and my friend T who came over to stitch Friday even asked if they were fake since they look professionally done! I love that. Manicures, pedicures, and hand/foot care is starting to be a nice little hobby of mine. I am contemplating though seeing a podiatrist for my feet problems. I'm trying with the booties and the creams and the rough stones, but it's just not helping very much. I think it might be time to get some professional help from a doctor...or at least, some professional creams. I'm just tired of my feet being so cracked and rough all the time, and I refuse to a) wear shoes around the house or b) stop wearing sandals.

Anyway, a pedicure and manicure is on tap for this afternoon...both of the ones I have right now are starting to chip. It never ceases to amaze me how much longer a pedicure lasts than a manicure, but it shouldn't surprise me as much as I use my hands every day! I did make it to the gym yesterday...back/biceps...and today I'd like to get a handle on my laundry and hit the gym again for legs. I also need to find that Orlando flight (grrr) and then I can stitch to my heart's content. P went down to the lake with his friends to practice shooting his bow and gun (hunting season approacheth) so I've got the house all to myself. Yay!

I finally was able to get Rain Forest Afghan's time completed. It is really hard to stitch on an afghan in the summer...that's why it took so long. But it's done now! I'm really enjoying my rotation. I'm kind of loosening things up and just kind of stitching on whatever I want. Having this blog to kind of keep track of which ones I'm working on and my webpage with my WIPs is helping too to keep it all straight in my head. I'm so enjoying it!

First up, the
Daily Dirt . I think I've already answered some of these questions before or at least alluded to them, but that's okay.

1. What kind of music do you listen to? I love 1980s and 1970s music...classic rock, big hair bands, mainstream top 40. I also like New Age like Enya.
2. What kind of music do you hate? Rap. I hate it. It just gives me a headache.
3. What concerts have you been to? I have been to a total of three concerts in my lifetime, and I can't believe I'm posting this in public, but we were all that age once. I saw New Kids on the Block when I was thirteen with my best friend S. I think Tiffany opened for them, but I can't remember for sure. And in college, I saw Bryan Adams with my boyfriend T and Jimmy Buffett with my sister V and her friend L. I'm not a huge concert fan because crowds make me so nervous.
4. Do you like punk? Yes, for the most part. I really like the Cure, Blondie, Green Day and No Doubt.
5. Do you hate pop? I really don't like what is considered to be adult contemporary, but I wouldn't say that I hate pop.

Second (and last since the Sunday Brunch is not updated yet again) is the Weekly Bit...

At the end of each summer there's always a lot to do. Buy clothes and supplies for school, empty the kiddie pool and put it away for the winter, cover up the grill and put away your bathing suit. What kinds of rituals do you do at each summer's end? Do you go to the pool, beach, lake...one last time? Do you spend as much time in the sun enjoying it before it's over? Are you happy or sad to see summer end?What was the best part of this past summer for you? What are you preparing for next? Going back to school? Work? Extra TidBit...Watch any good movies this summer? What was your favorite film this summer? Did you see it in the theater? Or did you rent it? A Bit of Summer Romance? Have you ever had a summer fling? Do tell.

Since I don't have children, summer really doesn't have a definite end for me as it did when I was in school, and in Dallas, summer really does just kind of run into fall, which only lasts for a few short weeks until winter swoops in. It really doesn't start significantly cooling off to where jeans are necessary until about early November, and even then, there may be a few days here and there where it is warm enough outside to wear shorts. My husband's favorite expression about Dallas is that if you don't like the weather here, wait about five minutes and it'll change. That's SO true. It is not uncommon at all in December for us to be bundled up in jeans and jackets one weekend and in t-shirts and shorts the next weekend. At any rate, there really aren't any significant summer rituals that I have, although I do make sure the last few weeks to make my stops at the Ice Wizard since it's only open in the summers. Usually by the end of the summer, I am really ready to see summer end because of the heat and see fall and winter arrive, even though our fall is very short-lived. I'm ready for some cooler weather, and I'm ready to start wearing my long-sleeved tops that have been hanging in my closet all summer long. I think this winter I'm going to splurge finally and buy a really nice coat to wear. Last winter, I bought a cheapie $30 coat at Costco to wear around since my weight wasn't quite settled yet, but now that it is and I'm in a size that I know I can maintain and that I have accepted is my size, I feel like it's time to buy a nice winter coat. I'll probably start looking in the catalogs to get an idea of what I want and then by the time the coats all come out, I'll be ready to buy. The best part of this summer for me was going to the lake with my dogs the week before last. That was the best for sure. I really enjoyed that and next time we're going to make it a longer and better visit. Pretty much what I'm preparing for now is what is certain to be the busiest fire season yet for me. I'm the lone ranger right now on the fire team, and C and whoever agrees to be the other fire adjuster will certainly need a lot of training. It's going to be a busy fall and winter since we're so short-handed at the office. My favorite film this summer was EuroTrip. I just thought it was hysterical! I definitely want to get that on DVD at some point. I did have a summer romance one summer. My boyfriend at the time at the end of my junior year in high school, J, went away to work at a summer camp for the entire summer, and we agreed that we would see other people for the summer, write letters, and pick back up in the fall when he got back. I started seeing T, and our agreement was that it would just be a summer thing and that we wanted to have fun. He knew all about J and since he was going off to college in the fall, well, it seemed like a great arrangement to us both! Turns out J never wrote me any letters...except one at the beginning of August to let me know that his family was moving away and he wasn't coming back to our high school, but by that point, it was too late, because I had decided that T was a much better choice and we had fallen in love! That was a great summer. Like I said in a prior journal entry, seventeen was a GREAT year for me! Sometimes I wish I could live it all over again!

Okay, I guess that's it for today. I better get moving if I want to be productive. I hope everyone has a great Sunday and enjoys what little bits are left of their weekends!

Saturday, August 28, 2004


Nothing to report yet this morning other than I'm hungry, I slept in until almost 1 pm, and I AM going to the gym this afternoon after I walk the dogs! I went to sleep after I finished my blog entry last night, so all I've done since my last entry is snooze.

Weekend Wonderings...

1. How much do you value your privacy? Quite a bit. I have to have some "just me" time every day. (Privacy is defined as just me and P and the animals.)
2. Do you respect the privacy of others? Yes, because I know how much mine means to me. That's the one thing that bothers me about my job. I hate having to dig through other people's stuff like I have to.
3. Have you ever looked through something of someone else's knowing that they'd not want you to? Well, I don't know if she didn't want me to or not, but it felt creepy because I didn't have her permission. In February of this year, I received a fire assignment for an older lady that had been strangled to death in her townhouse and then her body set on fire in her bedroom. (I know, I'm sorry for the graphic detail.) Part of my job, of course, was inventorying her bedroom and going through her clothes, her personal items, her books, etcetera. The executors of her estate had to catch a plane back to Michigan, and so they let me into the townhouse and then left for the airport. Most of my time was spent in the bedroom since the whole room was a total, and it was highly creepy. I could almost feel her spirit watching me.

The Daily Dirt...

1. How many pets do you have? Five.
2. What are their names? Katie, Simon, Gabrielle, Moira and Taylor.
3. What type of pets do you have? Katie and Simon are Labrador Retrievers, Gabrielle and Taylor are domestic short hair cats, and Moira is a domestic long hair cat.
4. What pet is oldest? Gabrielle is ten.
5. Whats the weirdest pet you own/owned? Our family owned a cocktiel named Sunny when I was a kid. He was so mean. He never liked to come out of his cage.

And yeah, the Saturday Slant has returned!

Instead of boarding your connecting flight in a never before visited airport, the airline announces that the flight has been cancelled. You will, however, have a seat on the next flight to that destination--tomorrow. To help make up for the inconvenience, the airline has given you a hotel room for the night and $100 USD. You have 24-hours to yourself in a new city. Where are you? What do you do?

The last time I had to switch planes was in Chicago on my way to Grand Rapids, Michigan in the summer of 2002, so I'll use Chicago as the city. However, it SO does not matter where I would be because I know exactly what I would do if this happened. I'd go to my hotel and I'd stay there. I'm so boring. I'd probably take the $100 and use it for an awesome steak dinner via room service from the hotel and then purchase a pay-per-view movie from the hotel and just stay in, surfing and stitching since I'd have my laptop and stitching with me. If I were with my husband, then maybe we'd go out to dinner and see a movie or something, but if I were alone, I'd stay in.

Ok, I better scoot and get busy since I've already slept a good part of my Saturday away! I hope everyone enjoys their weekend!

Friday, August 27, 2004

A cat named Arkansas...

Please note: the following excerpt is dialogue from an actual conversation with one of my customers today.

Me: "Oh, what a cute cat. Is she friendly?"
Insured: "Yes, she is very friendly."
Me: "What's her name?"
Insured: "Arkansas."
Me: "Arkansas?"
Insured: "Yes. I got her in Arkansas, so I named her Arkansas."

Whatever. The logic of that reason for naming that cat is dizzying. I didn't even know what to say back. I was suddenly reminded of the song by Johnny Cash, "A Boy Named Sue".

Today was a very long day out in the field. I woke up tired, and was all excited that I only had one appointment in Grand Prairie, and when I was arriving at that one, Queenie called me to ask if I could just "stop by" this house in Fort Worth on my way home. Anyone who knows where I live and is reading this knows that Fort Worth is NOT on my way home. I just had to laugh at her. She's not familiar with this area just yet. Anyway, I left my first appointment at 12:30, and was finished and on my way home from my last appointment by 3:15. I actually walked in the door at 5 pm. Definitely not on my way home. So, today was a complete field day...third in a row. Monday is office work for sure! (Although I don't have much to do...)

I really don't have much to share today. I'm kind of tired...I stayed up late stitching and made some of my heavenly rocky road bars as a special treat, which now have given me indigestion. Blah. Due to my little sidetrip to Fort Worth, I did not have time to hit the gym, so I am going tomorrow to work back/bis and Sunday to work legs. I gotta! I've skipped enough. I have no other lofty plans for the weekend other than resting, relaxing, stitching, catching up on laundry, grocery shopping and gym time. I need to book my flight to Florida this weekend. And my oldest cat, Gabrielle, has some kind of skin rash on her tail, so I think I'm going to try to get in to see the vet tomorrow if they have any openings.

Meme time. There are some great ones on Fridays.

Friday Feast!

Appetizer: What is a word that your family uses that would not be considered common? None come to mind. We're pretty boring.
Soup: What theme of calendar do you have on your wall this year? Disney Princesses...right now it's Belle and the Beast dancing!
Salad: Name 3 people you speak with on a daily basis. My husband, my friend S at work, and my boss, Queenie.
Main Course: If you could put a new tattoo on someone you know - who would it be, what would the tattoo be of, and where would you put it on them? I think a tiny Victorian-style rose or heart design would be perfect on the small of the back of my friend D...it would greatly symbolize her love for all things Renaissance and I think it'd be so cool! (She'll never get a tattoo though!)
Dessert: What is the last beverage you drank out of a glass bottle? A Dublin Dr. Pepper at the First Monday Trade Days in Canton, Texas, when my dad and his wife came to visit. A Dublin Dr. Pepper is different than a regular Dr. Pepper in that a Dublin DP is made with pure cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup. It gives a much fresher taste and it is just OUT of this world!

Next, the Daily Dirt...

1. What do you smell like? According to my husband P, I smell girly all the time, whatever that means!
2. What's your favourite smell? Oh, there is NO way I can pick just one. My top favorite smells: evergreen, the ocean, leaves burning, lavender, roses, pumpkin pie, garlic and coconut.
3. What perfume/cologne are you wearing? At this exact moment in time, I'm wearing cotton blossom body spray by Bath and Body Works.
4. What does your room smell like? A combination of all the perfumes, cosmetics and soaps that my husband and I use.

And...The Weigh It Is.

Where do you think you would be right now had you been a healthy weight your entire life? Would you be in the same place, in the same relationships, with the same life experiences? Or in a completely different life? I think I'd be in the same spot as far as married to my husband, in the same job, in the same house, but I think if I had been a healthy weight my entire weight I would not be plagued with the body issue problems that I have now, and I certainly would not be frought with OCD over every little thing I put in my mouth either. I think I'd be a little more at peace with my body and with the person that I am and would not allow myself to be so defined by the number on the scale, the number on the tags in my jeans, and the way I look in the mirror. It's something that I'm working on and that I will probably always have to work at.
Will losing weight change your life situation? No, it won't...and that's what I have to accept. I am at a healthy weight and body fat percentage RIGHT NOW. Now it's time to live a healthy lifestyle, keep the weight off, and concentrate on being happy.

TGIF! I'm so glad the weekend is here...

Thursday, August 26, 2004

The cord gremlin

A rant if I may first.

What is up with that mysterious gremlin in my car that always manages to tangle up my cords no matter how neatly I put them in the car? You should have seen me at my last appointment trying to untangle my printer cable from the power cord...which then got tangled around my mouse cord, my cell phone charger, my ear bud...should I keep going? It was not a pretty sight.

Okay. I feel better now. The one saving grace for today is that my French manicure actually survived the roof inspection and fire and the cord gremlin boxing match...and so did my nails. I am such a believer now in that strengthening polish that you can buy. I've been putting this protein fortifyer stuff as a base coat on my nails, two coats of polish, and a strengthening top coat as a finishing coat, and my nails are as tough as real nails, I swear it! This is the longest I think I've ever gone without breaking a nail.

Today was a busy day. I got two storm claims this morning and one fire...and went out to the dark side of the moon this afternoon to take care of two of them. The third is for tomorrow morning and I was so shocked to realize as I was reviewing this guy's claim history that I actually handled a washing hose break claim for this same guy back in January 2003. I think that's when you know you've been in claims a long time...when you start on round two with the policyholders. I've only had that happen one other time where I got a second claim for the same insured, but I've had a few other claims pop up during the last year with my coworkers where they'll come to me and say, "Hey, Erica, do you remember Mrs. So And So back in June 2002 that had a claim where...because now she's filed a claim for...?" And the scary thing is that most of the time, I do remember. Can't remember what I ate for dinner the other day, but I can remember the most innate details about a stranger's house that I was in for an hour two years ago. Craziness.

I actually walked in the door tonight at 7:55 pm, feeling gross and icky and tired, so, much to the drill instructor Steve's dismay at the gym, I skipped spinning class. *sigh* There will be repercussions, I can feel it. He'll stalk me on the Stairmaster forever. I promised him Tuesday night that I would come to class, and look at me, I didn't. I'm going to try to get things wrapped up early tomorrow afternoon and hit the gym, and then hit it both days this weekend, but we'll see how it goes. It doesn't help that the scale is still ridiculously low. If the scale was high, the panic would hit and I'd make myself go to the gym! Ah, well. It's not like I sat on my duff all day. I was busy! And sweating, climbing around on roofs and stuff!

I have some really great news on the job front about P. He has not heard anything yet from my company, and probably won't for a few weeks, but I think he's pretty much decided that if they offer him the job, he is going to turn it down. There are many reasons why, but the numero uno reason is that his HR rep sat down with him today and made him an extremely generous offer of a retention bonus (in writing!) if he stays with his company through the next year and keeps working until they sell off the business that he works claims for. I really don't want to disclose numbers, obviously, but it's really generous...and would really help us get situated with our debt to say the least, so I can understand why he wants to do this. And if we can get a huge chunk of our debt whittled down, it's more likely that P can take a lower paying job in a year doing what he really wants to do instead of taking a job paying more that will require him to stay in insurance, which, I'll be honest, is not what he wants. He has never liked claims as much as I have. To be honest, I was stunned when he called and gave me the news. So that's the news on that front for anyone that was wondering.

We're going to order pizza in a few minutes (I know, pizza! Bad Erica! Bad! But I'm SO craving it!) and then I'm going to get settled and do some work and then stitch, so I better get started with the memes...and there are some great ones today! Thursday has some awesome themes. Tomorrow should be an easy Friday, I think...if I can just get stuff wrapped up.

First...Theater Thursday...

1) What is your favorite soundtrack from a movie? Footloose.
2) Which movie's soundtrack didn't fit the tone of the movie, or was so badly composed it detracted from the movie? I thought a lot of the songs on the soundtrack to The Bodyguard were really irritating.
3) Who is your favorite film music composer? James Horner...he does a lot of soundtracks and I always just think they are great.
BONUS) Do you prefer an orchestral soundtrack, or a popular-music soundtrack? Why? I like a combination of both...some orchestral is nice and then I like some popular songs too. A nice mix is what I like. It just has to be very well-balanced and nothing too weird.

Next...the Thursday Threesome...

Onesome: Cool-- Well, summer is almost gone (except for those Down Under who are expecting it soon), and the cooler weather is coming. ...and other than those who live in places like Hawai'i, things are about to change. Which do you prefer, the coolness of Winter where you live or the warmth of your Summer?
If you've been to Dallas in August, you'll know exactly my answer. I much prefer the coolness of winter. I often joke that Dallasites in summer are like Minnesota folks in winter. We stay indoors and out of the weather.
Twosome: Blue-- Today's softball: blue or green? Pick one! ...okay, if it's a tie (high or low), what color do you prefer for decorating or accents?

Blue. Definitely! It's such a cool and calming color. I've always loved blue for everything...decorating, accents, clothing, etcetera.
Threesome: Mornings-- Mornings, afternoons, evenings, nights... What's your favorite time of day? ...and what makes it so for you?

My favorite time of day is the evenings after about eight or so...after all my work is done for the day and it's time to relax and just chill. Afternoons are not bad either as long as my phone isn't ringing off the hook!

And lastly, the Thursday Tattle! (and I have a new blinkie for the Tattle!)

When is your Birthday? May 7.
How old are you? 29.
What is the best gift you have ever received for your Birthday? It wasn't for my birthday, but when my sister and I were younger, our parents gave us a fish tank for Christmas. It was the neatest gift I ever remember getting. We woke up Christmas morning and the fish tank was already there in the living room, set up and filled with fish. I thought it was the greatest gift ever!
What is the best gift you have ever given someone for their Birthday? Well, it wasn't for their birthday, but several years before my parents divorced, my sister and I pooled our funds and bought them a huge oil painting of the coast for their anniversary. I remember how excited V and I were to give it to them. We thought we were so adult giving a grown-up gift like that.
Have you enjoyed Thursday's Tattle for a whole year? I've only been participating in it for a month, but so far, I have really enjoyed it!
Would you like it to continue? Oh, absolutely!
What was your best Birthday so far? My sixteenth birthday. My parents gave me a pool party for my Sweet Sixteen and I just had the best time.
Do you love or hate your Birthday? I'm indifferent. It does seem that since I turned 25, the magic is gone. Now, it's just another day.

I hope everyone has a great day! Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, August 25, 2004


What a busy day! Meetings, phone calls, meetings, phone calls! Craziness! It does feel good to have things somewhat back to normal. I was on the phone so late tonight that I decided to skip the gym...which is okay. I have a bit of a headache and Philip has a tummyache, so it'll be nice to just take it easy tonight. I'm going to get my stitching out in a bit and we're going to watch a movie. I'm getting my storm claims tomorrow morning, so it's likely that I'll be out in the field tomorrow afternoon, which will be kind of nice...it's really beautiful weather right now here in Dallas. And when the weather is nice, there's nothing more fun than inspecting roofs with my job!

Have you ever played that game, High-Low? Where you talk about your high for the day and your low for the day? Here's my high. I have great news! Queenie called today and said that she has found two people to take the place of E and T on my fire team, and one of them is one of my really good friends, C. I'm just tickled pink. She was my first choice to be picked for the fire team, and I know she is just going to be great, even though she doesn't have much experience. I can't wait to start working with her and training her. She is pregnant right now and is due in December, so it is possible that she may be the one doing my contents claims for a few months, which would be SO awesome since I hate contents claims. (C actually likes them!) Anyway. I'm so excited...C is a really good friend, and by offering her this position, Queenie kept her from quitting and going to another company, so I am doubly happy about that. Queenie said that she will tell me who the other person is when she has a chance to tell them, and I have my suspicions of who I think it might be...I just hope I am right! If I am right, it's a guy that I went to property school with three years ago (E) and get along with very well. I think he would be a great addition to our team as well. We'll see. I offered to reschedule a week of vacation that I had planned the week of Labor Day so I could work with these two new people and get them used to this, and Queenie was very receptive to that...I'm such a team player! (Plus, by rescheduling my vacation, I might be able to get the week of my anniversary off!)

I have some other great news. We have known this was coming up for a while, but we got the letter from our bank the other day that we have one (count it, ONE!) final payment to go on our Honda until it is ours, free and clear. I bought that car in late 1998, so you can only imagine how excited we are that it is almost paid for. And as a little present, P agreed that I can buy my new hearts Dooney and matching coin purse. I'm looking forward to that in a big way...now, if I can only decide between raspberry and black!

The low for today...we went to Joe's Crab Shack for lunch, which is great on a free day...not so great on a nonfree day. I decided to treat myself a tad since my weight is still way down and I felt so lean and thin this morning when I got dressed. I had crab-stuffed shrimp, rice pilaf and vegetables, and a little bit of seafood dip and a bite of a stuffed jalapeno. My punishment for this was feeling like the Goodyear Blimp from the excessive butter for the duration of the afternoon. Blah. So I'm taking it easy on the fat for the rest of the day. Gotta love black pants though. I felt so lean in my pants this morning.

Memes for today...first, Homework...

How do you cope with living with other people whose ideas of "clean enough" differ drastically from yours? Are your housemates comfortable with much more clutter than you are, or perhaps much less? What compromises have you found? (Or do you compromise, in the case of family or children?) Fortunately, this is not really much of an issue for me. P is just as big of a slob as I am. We both joke with each other all the time that we wish that the other was a neat freak as it would force the slob to be neat, but unfortunately, that is not the case. Our house isn't filthy...but it's pretty darn cluttered, and of course, there is the dog hair which seems to multiply with every passing second. We do have our little quirks that really drive each other crazy though...he leaves newspapers and magazines around everywhere. I get toothpaste all over the vanity countertop. He forgets to put condiments and cereal boxes away when he finishes using them. I pretty much drop my clothes as I change on the floor of our bedroom instead of putting them in a laundry basket or hamper. He leaves his shoes everywhere and gets hair all over the vanity top when he shaves. I clog up the drain in our shower with my long blonde hair and don't clean it out. He never pulls the comforter up over the sheets in the morning so the dogs won't get mud on the sheets. I leave used Splenda packets on the kitchen counters. Anyone cringing yet? Yes, this is life in Casa de Erica y Philip. Our compromise is that we have learned to put up with each other's habits without killing each other.

And...the Wednesday Matinee!

1. Samuel Jackson vs Denzel Washington: who wins? Denzel. Samuel is a great actor, but Denzel is just incredible...and gorgeous to boot!
2. How many times have you seen your favorite movie? I think at last count, I have seen Gone With The Wind fourteen times.
3. What current event or news would you like to see made into a movie? It kinda already was. I'd like to see the events from 9-11 through current day made into a movie, and we have it...Fahrenheit 911. I'm looking forward to seeing it.
~Four Gallon Pop Upgrade Bonus~ What's your favorite movie drink? Cherry Coke.

Lastly, the Daily Dirt! (I like today's, but I don't like tomorrow's, so I won't be doing that one.)

Disclaimer: please keep in mind while reading the following answers that I lost all taste for most fast food when I lost my weight and don't eat at any of these places anymore with the exception of Subway, hence the reasons why these answers are scant at best!

What will your order be like if you're in…
1. Starbucks? In my previous life, I would have said a mocha frappucino with raspberry syrup, and then I found out about the same time I discovered Body For Life that those things have about 50 grams of fat in them...so now I'd have to say iced tea and a slice of plain pound cake.
2. McDonald's? Ice cream cone dipped in chocolate. (I discovered that they taste like the ones at Dairy Queen the morning that my throat closed.)
3. Subway? Roasted chicken wrap, no cheese, a tiny squirt of low fat mayo, fat-free honey mustard, lettuce, pickles, salt and pepper, baked Doritos and iced tea
4. Popeye's? Iced tea. I'm serious. I don't eat fried food anymore, and just looking at their menu makes me nauseous! I'd rather starve!
5. Pizza Hut? I worked at a Pizza Hut my freshman year in college as a cook. I can't even walk INTO a Pizza Hut now without wanting to hurl...and I'll let you use your imagination as to why that is. But they do have the best garlic bread with cheese that I've ever had, so occasionally I'll go through the drive-thru and get it as a treat. No pizza though. Again, I'd rather starve!

Happy Hump Day, everyone! Thanks for visiting, and thanks for all the great movie suggestions! I'll add them to our list!

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

What a fun, frivolous day!

Lesson learned...do not kill yourself the week before you go on vacation, because you will DIE of boredom when you return. I have nothing to do. And I mean that in the truest sense. I wrapped up the loose ends that I had to wrap up yesterday, returned all my phone calls, and now I'm just kind of hanging out, waiting for someone to burn their house down! I talked to Queenie this morning and she said that if I don't get a fire this afternoon, she'll give me some storm claims tomorrow, so at least I'll get something. I know I shouldn't be complaining about not having anything to do, but I'm still technically on call...it's not like I can just go run out somewhere and go shopping.

Oh, wait a minute...yes, I can! Today I slept in, took my time walking the dogs, and then had a nice lunch with my husband (grilled chicken salad), stopped by Bath and Body Works to get some girly stuff (coconut lime verbena and cotton blossom bath gels and body sprays, gel-lined booties for my feet when I'm wearing lotion and a sand scrub to start taking some of the dead skin off my heels) then by Blockbuster to get some movies. Now I'm just kind of chilling out for the rest of the day until it's time to go to the gym. P and I decided to give in and get one of those unlimited passes from Blockbuster. It's pretty neat...you pay one set fee per month and you get unlimited rentals, no due dates, and no late fees. Perfect for us. So, I have started making a list of all the movies that I've never seen and always wanted to. I just turned in Godsend and Beyond Borders, and today I checked out Taking Lives and The Godfather. (Thanks, D and S, for the idea!) Beyond Borders was just kind of eh. The footage on the famines was very interesting and very sad, but the plot just kind of seemed to have no direction, and I could not for the LIFE of me understand a word that Clive Owen was saying. No offense to my English friends, but I sure do have a difficult time understanding British accents. I'm looking forward to seeing The Godfather. I know it's hard to believe that I've never seen it, but I haven't! Anyway, if anyone has any suggestions for "must see" movies, let me know and I'll add it to my list. P and I are determined to get our money's worth out of this unlimited pass thing. Blockbuster will probably lose money just on the no late fee thing from us!

Tomorrow I have a team meeting at my office, a send-off lunch for E who is leaving, and then a reinspection at one of my old fires. Tonight, gym again...shoulders and abs. Last night I was kind of insulted by this guy that was in line in front of me on the dip machine. He pointed to my notebook (I record my weights) and asked if I was new to working out. Of course, paranoid me thought he asked that because I look like I don't work out. Doh! P said he probably asked that because he was mad that I used the same weight to dip that he did! Ha ha. The gym was fine though...I took it easy on the weights so I wouldn't hurt myself, and today my tris are a little sore, and my weight way down, so apparently I accomplished something.

And...I was a bad girl last night and started a new project. I felt that strange little tickle and urge to start something new...so I pulled out School of Dolphins and gave it a whirl. It went fine...ONCE I actually got started. First, I noticed that there was a ballpoint pen mark on the fabric right smack in the middle, so I had to wash it with Orvus and iron it dry. That took up 20 stitching minutes. Then, I had to find the actual leaflet and piece together the chart pages so I knew what I was doing since the pages weren't numbered. That took up another 20 minutes. Finally, I was able to stitch...and the one thing I've realized is that stitching on 32 ct evenweave is akin to stitching on 36 ct linen or 18 ct aida. Why is that? I never have any problems stitching on 32 ct linen, but when I stitch on 32 ct Lugana or Jobelan, it is so reminiscent of my days of torture on 18 ct aida. Oh, well. It looks good so far, but I'm having to constantly remind myself of the time when I saw this half completed at a stitching retreat. It is GORGEOUS in person. I just hope the grays and muted blues don't drive me to drink first!

Memes, memes, memes! Chick Chat is posted early for a change...yay!

1. Do you see the doctor right away when you feel icky? Usually, no. It usually takes me about a week to get in there, and I usually don't make an appointment with the doctor unless I feel like it's an infection, due to my afore-mentioned position on antibiotics. I don't take antibiotics for viri, and 99.9% of the time, that's what I've got! But if I start to run a fever, or the pain gets too bad to bear, etcetera, into the doctor's office I go for meds.
2. Does the world revolve around you until you feel better? The world meaning my house of pets and husband? Yes, pretty much. It's SO unfair that my husband never gets as sick as I do, but he doesn't. When he gets sick, he just sleeps for about a day or two and he's good as new. There's none of this doctor's office, Nyquil/Dayquil, Vicodin, antibiotic debate nonsense.
3. Favorite "Feel Better" Food? Hot tea with milk and honey, chicken noodle soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. Of course, whenever I get sick, I never have soup or sandwich stuff in the house and I feel too icky to go get it, so I'm always stuck with tea.
4. Did your mom do something special when you were sick as a child? When I was eleven years old, I had to have my wisdom teeth and others surgically removed to make room in my mouth for other teeth coming in so I could get braces. I remember I had trouble eating for a week or two while I recovered from the oral surgery. Basically, the only things I could eat were Chunky Soup, yogurt, applesauce, ice cream, you get the idea. My mom was really into eating healthy, and at the time, they didn't have sugar-free Jello, so Jello was unheard of around our house, but as a special treat to cheer me up, she made me strawberry Jello and yogurt parfaits with Cool Whip on top that week to eat. It wasn't a big deal, but it sure did cheer me up!
5. Are you a whiner? Oh, totally! A BIG one!

Yay, TV Tuesday is back in action! And just like all the other memes have done, this one deals with school!

1. What's your favorite show that deals with school in some way? Beverly Hills 90210. I loved that show! It didn't hurt that I was the same age as them...well, the same age as them in 90210-land.
2. Which TV school would you have attended if given a choice? The school in Facts of Life. I always thought it would have been so neat to go to an all-girls boarding school in high school!
3. What's your favorite back to school commercial? There really haven't been any that have popped out at me this summer (or maybe I just haven't been paying attention) but Gap and Target always put out good ones.
~Bonus~ Reality check! What's your most memorable back to school moment? When I started high school...that was particularly exciting for me! I felt so grown-up!

And...the Daily Dirt...all to myself!

1. If you could have anything in the world completely to yourself for one day-any object or place-what would you choose? I would love to have Epcot Center all to myself for one day. I think that would be SO cool to be able to ride the rides as much as I wanted, have the peace and quiet, be able to ride my bike or roller blade around the park and visit the countries, etcetera...that would be awesome.
2. If you could have just one person to share it with, who would it be? Duh...my husband, P!
3. If you could wake up every morning and look out your bedroom window at the perfect view, what would that view be? The coastline...not sure which one, but either the ocean off the coast of Virginia Beach, Destin, Venice Beach, Cancun, or Oregon. I'm not picky...I love the ocean, no matter which ocean it is!
4. If you could be any age again for one week, what age would you be? Seventeen. Seventeen was a VERY good year for me!
5. If you could be anything you want for a week, what would you want to be? A cutie movie star or singer like Britney Spears or Jessica Simpson! But only for a week.

That's all I've got for today...I have no other loftier plans for the rest of the day other than to eat two more times, hit the gym, stitch, and polish my nails...as this emerald amethyst on my fingernails right now makes my hands look like those of a witch! Can't go into a meeting tomorrow with witchy fingernails...

Monday, August 23, 2004

Happy Monday (not!)

This is seriously the earliest I've been up in nine days. Blah. I tried to go back to sleep, but it was like Kryptonite pulling me in here...I just had to see what was going on for today. So far, not much and it's been very quiet. I do have a bunch of notifications for meetings to scrawl on my calendar but that's it. A few emails to respond to, three phone messages, etcetera. A completely unjustified Department of Insurance complaint came in on one of my files while I was out, and my supervisor responded to it...that was about the most exciting thing that happened while I was gone.

I seriously don't have much to say today...I'm starting back at the gym tonight (chest and tris) and it is such a relief to have my house clean. I just need to get my laundry caught up now and I'll be all set. I stitched yesterday for about seven hours. I worked on Rain Forest Afghan with a promise to keep doing it for at least two hours. Two hours came and went, and I wasn't sick of it, so I kept going. Finally at the five hour mark, I got very warm (it's hard to stitch on an afghan in August) and switched to Castle Sampler, which is coming along nicely. I'm glad that I'm attacking the border in Castle Sampler early, but there's quite a LOT of border. I thought that I'd be ready to start on the castle scene last night, but I'm not quite there yet with the border...I still need to get some more border done on it so I can be assured of not making any counting mistakes.

I watched a new movie Saturday night called Godsend...very weird movie. It's about a family who loses a child to an auto accident and decides to clone him so they "can have him back". I'm not a mother, and I can't imagine losing a child or what it must feel like, but talk about a weirdorama movie. I didn't care for the ending at all...very anti-climatic. P and I agreed that we would have had the movie end a much different way if it had been up to us! And...Rebecca Romijn-Stamos can NOT act at all. I think she should stick to swimsuit modeling!

Right to the memes...

Stitching Blogger's QOTW...what would you most like your favourite designer to design next? I wish that Teresa Wentzler would design an underwater ocean scene. I love ocean scenes, especially underwater ones with bright colorful fish, and I just think that her talent at blending colors, especially with all the new ones that DMC has released, would be so well used with an underwater scene. I heard a rumor a year or so ago that she was thinking about doing that, but never heard anything else about it.

And...Monday Madness!

1. Which is more fun, kids' toys or grown-up kids' toys? (ie. Lego's vs. power tools) Kids' toys. They are more colorful!
2. What's your favorite food and why? Which food is your number one weakness? Chocolate. Hands-down. My favorite food, and my number one weakness. I can't seem to stay away from the stuff, and the high I get from eating it is unrivaled!
3. How many blogs/journals/diaries would you say you read? I currently have 49 blogs blogrolled on my own blog, and I read them all.
4. Do you feel you have an obligation to spread your religious belief system to others, or do you think religion is a private matter that everyone needs to decide for themselves? I believe that it is a private matter that everyone should decide for themselves. Not only do I not feel I have an obligation to spread my religion to others, I feel that doing so is intrusive and nosy.
5. Did you keep a paper journal before blogging? I kept paper journals in high school. I wrote in those fabric-covered books that you can buy at Hallmark. I still have them...I think I filled up five books during high school.
6. Describe your life in 3 words. Lucky, fortunate, and blessed.
7. What was the last thing you were wrong about? When I was sick last weekend, I thought it was a virus and refused after the first doctor's appointment to take the antibiotics that were prescribed because I don't believe in taking antibiotics for viri. I feel that if antibiotics are taken every time you feel sick, they will cease to be effective when you really do need them. I was wrong about that...the doctors told me during the next appointment that since they didn't know if it was an infection or not, I should have started to take the antibiotic the day of my first appointment. I still feel that my position is right on antibiotics, but in that situation, I was wrong.
8. What one thing would you do to help the world be a better place for all? That's a loaded question. If I had my choice on what to do to help the world be a better place, I wish that I could go back in time and erase the events of 9-11.
9. Are you a dog person or a cat person? I love both dogs and cats, but deep down, I'm a dog person. (I hope Moira can't read.)
10. If you could start your own meme (and you can!), what kind of questions would you ask? I'm not sure. I've thought about starting my own meme several times, but I think I'd run out of questions after about a month. I'd probably just ask a variety of questions...and probably do a lot of choice questions instead of ones where you have to write an essay to answer them. Those seem to be the memes that I avoid.

I hope everyone has a happy Monday...thanks for reading!

Sunday, August 22, 2004

All good things must come to an end...

I can't believe I am in my final hours of my vacation! I'm not ready to go back to work yet! Although, I did get everything done that I wanted to. I recovered from being sick, I got caught up on my sleep, I went on vacation, I did all the personal errands that I needed to except for one or two, I stitched and stitched and stitched, my house is clean, and I spent lots of time with my husband and my dogs. My laundry isn't quite done, but I have all day tomorrow.

Now, I have to go back to work. Blah. I wouldn't be surprised if Queenie has a fire or two waiting for me straight up at 8 am tomorrow. I'm not ready yet, but I guess it's too bad...I'm back in action in about...ten hours. My phones will be turned back on and I'll be on duty once again. *sigh* I'm sure there are a few people that have been waiting just for 8 am tomorrow morning to call and yell at me about something. Joy.

I was very surprised to see that neither of the Sunday memes that I have been participating in have updated for today, but the Daily Dirt has already posted their questions for Monday, so I'm going to do those.

1. What are the countries you've been to? The only country outside the United States that I have been to is Mexico.
2. What is your favourite country/countries? Why? Well, I've only been to two countries, so out of the two I've been to, I much preferred the States to Mexico. At least I'm not scared to drink the milk here. My husband and I want to plan a massive trip to Europe eventually when we get our debt mostly paid off. Our Honda is ours free and clear after one more payment, so that's one step closer!
3. What was the most recent country/state you went to? The last state I visited was California last fall when I was there for two weeks for large loss school.
4. What are the three things in which you have to bring? The three things that I have to have with me when I travel are my glasses, my contact lenses and my birth control pills. Everything else can be easily replaced or substituted with something else.
5. What is the thing you look forward to when going to a particular country? When I went to Mexico, the thing I looked the most forward to was seeing the beautiful turquoise waters of the Carribbean. I wanted to see for myself that it was in fact that color in real life. And in case you are wondering, YES, it is that color in reality!

Until tomorrow...