how many times do I have to say it... they are SEPARATE holidays

The hubs doesn't mess up much, but he blew it the other day. Big time. We were driving to Thanksgiving dinner, discussing the upcoming holiday season, and ideating about gifts for our friends and family. Then, he dropped the bomb. He dared utter, "So, what do you want for your birthday/Christmas?" Yes, he said birthday slash Christmas. The road got hazy in front of me, I turned my venomous eyes toward him (endangering other lives on the road) and seethed, "WHAT did you just say? Did you say birthday SLASH Christmas like they are ONE?"

Before I launch into the rant I delivered to him, I feel like I should preface it with the fact that my birthday is January 7th. A mere 12 days separate my special day from the colossal holiday. Yes, I have always been snotty about it being near Christmas. Yes, I realize I am a full grown adult acting like a whiny five year old (but you can’t ground me, nah nahnahnahpoopoo). Yes, I used to accuse my parents of holding back some of my Christmas presents for my birthday (I can’t believe they ever gave me ANY presents after that one). Yes, my sister is rolling her eyes right now about my constant complaining that my birthday is right after Christmas (she has a lovely birthday in August – birthday parties outside, on picnic tables, with balloons flying free against a beautiful blue sky). Yes, I do appreciate that my mother did her damndest to get my birthday as far away from December 25th as humanly possible (thanks mom) – 12 days is better than 2 – or none!

Now that you are all well informed about the facts (or, at least the dates in question), we can continue with my attack…
"How long have you known me? (Rhetorical – I couldn't possibly do math that quickly.) Have I not made myself clear that my birthday is NOT associated with Christmas? (I have.) Great, next you are going to just withhold some of my Christmas presents and use them for my birthday. (Even though it was horrible to accuse my parents of this, it somehow still didn't stop me from repurposing this accusation.) And while you’re at it, why don’t you just wrap it in Christmas paper, too? (The WORST! If you are out of birthday paper, just use newspaper – don’t wrap it in leftover Christmas paper.)" Harumph…

Okay, I’m off to do some growing up… May or may not happen by December 25th. Or my birthday. Which are SEPARATE. Sigh...


you CAN teach an old dog new tricks!

I learned how to knit this weekend! AND purl! Also, I learned that purl is spelled with a “u”, not an “ea.” I was glad I learned that, because I don’t like misspelling words – not just on paper, but in my head. Does anyone else do that? Picture the word written in their head when they say it? No? Just me. Okay then. Carry on.

After I was sufficiently stuffed on turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, etc., I asked my mother-in-law if she could teach me how to knit. So fun! Okay, not really "fun" yet... or relaxing. It is still mostly work and concentration. I completed a couple rows with her, and then worked on it at home last night while watching football. I tried to watch Grey’s Anatomy, but I had to focus too much on the knitting to be able to actually watch the show. Also, I had to take a couple jaunts upstairs to go online to get some refresher training – I am attributing the memory loss to a belated tryptophan release from leftovers. I got cramps in my fingers and let a few trucker words slip (especially when the yarn fell off the stick). Sorry, needle. Yep, I am still a beginner.

I made a beautiful tiny blue square – with my own bare hands! It is about 3 inches by 3 inches, with 2 concave sides. I am not sure how that happened, but I like to consider it “art”. Also artistic are the extra stitches, and missing stitches scattered throughout the masterpiece. Makes it one of a kind. And the two strings hanging out opposite corners? Well, one is from the start, and one is from the finish. Like a race, where you have to break through the ribbon… except that it is yarn. I have yet to figure out what to do with those strings. I was showing Scout some excellent uses for my tiny square (after he told me it is too small to be a potholder), and the best one I came up with was to affix more yarn to the extra string, and fashion a small (but functional) mask, like the ones Michael Jackson used to wear. I could make millions! Sell them online! Open my own store! Or, more likely, I could get my mother in law to teach me how to tuck away the loose strings on my tiny square.

I can't wait to make something other than a tiny square… Maybe a larger square? Potholders for everyone for Christmas!


holiday time is starting

With Thanksgiving upon us, and the Christmas season peering at me from around the corner (literally, around the corner - neighbors already have their lights up - which, I would like to note, is a neighborhood violation - you know how strict they are in my 'hood - I hope those peeps get a letter), I decided to take inventory of my holiday items.

We have a lovely Harry Potteresque closet under our stairwell that stores all things not to be seen. Some are put away in storage bins, nicely organized as if I had watched an episode of Mission: Organization and set to organizing my own items that very same day. Other items are scattered on the ground, or on top of boxes, waiting for a bout of organization to set in so they can be rescued from their respective piles. I parted the jackets at the front of the closet (which is very convenient, not only for quick coat retrieval on our bitter cold mornings of fifty degrees, but also as a curtain to mask the items hiding within) and scanned the contents for the Christmas bins.

Of course, they were at the back of the closet. When I say the back of the closet, imagine a long, dark tunnel, in which you can scarcely make out the end. Okay, well, a bit shorter than that (but not much) and fine, we have a light in it, so you can actually see in the back, but whatever. It is still hard to maneuver around in, as it is below the stairwell, and I can only get in the back portion if I am squatting. Or hunching. Which never works out, because if I am hunching, I get the urge to stand up straight, and inevitably, knock my noggin so hard at least one or two useless trivia items fall out each time. Instead, I squat and waddle around in there like a penguin. On a tiny iceberg, since there are only about 2 square inches of floor space available for shuffling.

I set to making the trek to the back of the closet to retrieve the Christmas bins. I picked up the first one... not too heavy (but certainly not light) and started backing out, lifting it over the other items in its way. Knocked over one other box (one of my famous boxes of junk that I have yet to unpack - maybe someday I will do that and let you know what is in it) and of course, hit my head on the growth stunted ceiling. Phew. One down, one to go.

The second box was holding coal for stockings, based on the weight. I am certain I pushed it into its current resting spot last year, but since that time, many other things have landed in its path. So, I got the bright idea to try to lift it out. I had the "this is not a good idea" flash as I was lifting it out, but somehow managed to avoid serious injury.

With my loot retrieved, I opened the boxes as if it were Christmas morning. And strangely enough, was just as surprised! Last year, I apparently bought Christmas cards at an after Christmas sale. Now I just have to start writing them. Maybe if I open the box of cards, I will find them already written. Wishful thinking...



You could see me in person, but since this is the internet, I will reveal myself in internet form. I think it looks like me. As does my mii. Or perhaps my sense of reality is now changing to internet reality? Hmmm. Might have to call my friend Mr. Anderson.

Meez 3D avatar avatars games

Thanks for the fun link, Suzi. Is it weird that I had so much fun making an image of myself? I suppose I could have just used one of those old timey things... what are they called? Mirrors? But that seemed so 1900s.


what did I do to you, karma?

Was it 11 days without blogging? I am not sure where I went wrong with karma recently, but I must have missed something big.

Last night, I met my friend for a run (okay, some running - more like slow jogging along with walking and chatting, but it was better than sitting on the couch all night watching the last few shows before the writers strike affects me). I picked her up at her house, and as we were pulling out of her neighborhood, she peered at the gleaming light on my dash. She shifted in her seat and said, "Um, do you want me to drive?" I replied, "Why, 'cause my gas light is on? No, it is totally fine. The park is only 2 miles away, right?" Squeaky hamster wheels spinning in my head... okay, 2 miles to the park, so 4 miles total... plus the 20 miles from work to get here... plus the 7 miles from my house to work... hmmm... I think the light was on yesterday, too. How many miles did that total? Whatever - we should make it. We are going for exercise, so if we get stuck, we could always walk back to her house.

If you think this story is going to end with us running out of gas, you have been misled like a hopeful prom date who thinks his investment in a corsage is going to pay off with the big jackpot. We went for a very nice run/jog/walk, and I delivered her home safely.

With my careful math (thirtyish miles?), and lack of memory on how long the light was on before I sort of started keeping track, I thought it best to stop and fill up before trying to drive home. Responsible, no? I pulled into the first gas station. Did you know that gas is a hundred dollars a gallon? I think I pulled into the most expensive gas station in a 200 mile radius. But, beggars can't be choosers, so I hopped out and set to giving my horse a tall drink.

I was yapping on the phone with another friend when I heard the "you are now broke" click of the pump. Upon opening my door, I saw the side of my car drenched and the ground soaked with pungent expensive liquid. I hung up on my friend (but I think I told her I was alive and not to worry before hanging up).

I glanced at the financial damage on the tiny screen, and my vivid imagination wondered if I would blow up like Derek Zoolander's friends. But then I remembered I was not a male model, nor was I toting an open flame near the pump. And then I got PISSED. Really pissed. My car (just washed a few days ago) had gas all over it... and I was CHARGED FOR IT.

So I marched myself into the "station" part of the gas station. A beautiful slice of Americana hustling Doritos and Marlboros, but it was the only place with bright lights on in the area. So, I went into the bright light. I explained to Devindar what had happened, and he (reluctantly) followed me out to my car with two orange cones. He motioned for me to move my car so he could put the cones down (which again made me flash back to blowing up in a gas station parking lot, but again I remembered that I am not THAT stupid).

After moving my dripping million dollar baby out of the kill zone, I reassessed the damages, and realized that the digital screen was notioning (notion is a noun, so this isn't technically a word, but I think it should be, considering all the legit words I have to put up with - like monies - that I don't think should be words) that I would be charged $69.12 for this incident. Oh no he dih-int... I reached for the receipt, but of course there wasn't one. In an effort to offset the global warming effect of their gasoline peddling, Chevron decided to save a few trees, and didn't bother printing out receipts. Al Gore would be proud of their environmentally friendly transactions.

I could feel Teen wolf taking over... you know what they say - you can take the girl out of Jersey, but you can't take the Jersey out of the girl. I checked for a full moon, but it was only a slight sliver in the sky. Perhaps my experience was more akin to the Hulk, then, as I was instigated by anger. My hair poofed out, my nails were instantly fake, and I had a sudden urge to visit the mall. But first, I had business to take care of... where is Vinnie when you need him?

I told the attendant that I would like to be reimbursed for 2 gallons of my purchase due to the pump malfunction (the name of JJ's next scandal - you saw it here first). He stared at me, and I realized he did not understand a word I said. I asked him if he understood me, and he walked away from me... back to the motherland of pork rinds and Miller Lite. I followed him, of course. I asked him if he understood, and he said he could not give me any money. I tried to reason with him, but since he could not understand me, my thoroughly logical argument was for naught.

After insisting that he could not give me any money, I asked to talk to a manager. He said that the manager was off that day. Of course he was! So I said, I don't care, call the owner. Get me someone. He tried to evade me some more, but I said that I wasn't leaving until I talked to someone. I knew he had contact numbers - gas stations get robbed all the time on TV, wouldn't their owners want to know about it?

After numerous misdials on his part (or fake dials, I'm not sure), I finally spoke to Pam, the assistant manager. I explained to her about the pump malfunction, spillage on their premises, and the discrepancy between the amount of gas pumped on the receipt (I requested a copy when I went inside) and the amount of gas my car holds. 18 gallons max in my car. 19.869 gallons on the receipt. So, I would like 2 gallons worth of gas reimbursed. At $3.50 per gallon, that is seven dollars. (Quick math - stay in school, kids - those skills actually DO come in handy.)

She couldn't authorize such a massive refund, so she had to call the owner. When Glenda called back, she tried to argue with me. Apparently gas stations do not follow the "customer is always right" policy. I had to restate my case to Glenda. She offered me one gallon because all she heard was 18 gallons and 19 gallons. I explained to her that I was rounding up - 19.869 is practically 20, yielding a difference of 2. Then I went Jersey on her when she wouldn't give me my seven dollars. Really? Was that going to put her out of business? Finally, Cody came on his shift, and was able to refund me seven dollars, per Glenda the wicked witch's orders after I wore her down. Ironically, the only way he knew how to open the register was by authorizing a car wash.

What was it, karma? I rescued a bug and let it out of the house last week. Isn't that enough? Or did that just cover last week?

Oh, and P.S. - nobody ever apologized to me for the pump malfunction that left gas all over the side of my car!

Names have not been changed to protect the not-so-innocent


what time is it?

I know this time change thing is only an hour, but it has MESSED ME UP today. I think I have a valid explanation, though. We flew home to California from Florida yesterday. So, three hour time zone change - plus, a one hour daylight savings change (or is it minus one hour?) No, it is plus one hour. Could be considered a four hour swing.

We got home from the airport around midnight (or 11pm) which was really 3am (or 2 am) depending on which time zone we were relating to at the time. Woke up this morning at 6am (or 7am or 9am or 10am). I was also starving due to meal time confusion during travel last night, and since we were not at home last week, there was no food in the house. Since I was up, I decided to go grab some bagels from our local bagel shop. Except that when my growling stomach and I pulled up to the store, the "hot bagel" neon light was still sleeping. What? I beat the bagel guy to the morning? Even with an extra hour. I guess the "time to make the donuts" concept doesn't apply to bagel guys.

So there I was - running errands on a Sunday morning at 6:45 am. I went to the grocery store, grabbed some milk, juice and yogurt. I went to the bank to deposit a check. And then I went back to the bagel store and waited for it to open. Pathetic.

And now it is dark out. What time is it again?