What are we talking about today?

I'll get back to theme days once I find a groove of posting regularly. In the meantime, most of my posts are about some variation of books, bikes, buses, or Broadway. Plus bits about writing, nonprofits, and grief from time to time.

This blog is mostly lighthearted and pretty silly. It's not about the terrible things happening in the world, but please know that I'm not ignoring those things. I just generally don't write about them here.

31 December 2008

And now for my final thought.

(Haley, this one really is my final 2008 post.)

So, here we are, with New Year's Eve upon us again. We'll sing Auld Lang Syne, some misguided people will stand around in the cold, alcohol will be consumed, friends will gather. (Not necessarily in that order.) We'll make resolutions, soon to be broken (sorry, but that's what the statistics say). We'll stay up too late and sleep in too long. A good time will probably be had by most.

So, I wish you and yours the very best in 2009. Chat about your resolutions in the comments, if you like; I promise not to laugh and may even wander along in a couple of weeks to ask how they are going. For myself, I have several, not yet clarified, so that will have to be tomorrow's post. :)

And now, I'm off to make some queso for our party. Happy New Year!

30 December 2008

Nice surprise

So, one day last week, Chad showed up at my work with these. Ordinarily, he is banned from buying me flowers, on the basis that we have enough other things to spend our money on; we don't need to splurge on things that he is allergic to which will die in a couple of days anyway. But I suppose he decided that at Christmas, the rules are relaxed.

So, all my coworkers were in a dither, wanting to know the occasion. (I told them, "There's a flower sale at United.")

Chad actually got away better that he might have; all the ladies in the flower shop at the store were trying to convince him to get this or that, so he finally told them, "If I buy all that stuff, my wife will kill me!"

That's not entirely true. But it's close.

29 December 2008

When in doubt, blame Congress.

Not bad for a mantra, eh? You don't have to limit your blaming to Congress, of course; feel free to spread it around to any government official you like.

Why is Congress the current subject of my scorn? First of all, I was already aggravated with them for that little dance with time that they lead us all in twice a year. And now they are messing with my televison.

"Oh, but you can get a converter!" "Order your coupon off the internet!" "Surely you are willing to pay a little to get a better quality TV?" These are the fun little statements that I have been running across on the internet. Obviously, a lot of people are in the tank for the digital conversion.

I'm not, although I admit that the transition offers me some hope. At the beginning of the current TV season, I was all filled with angst at the prospect of giving more of my life to the TV. Now, the government has answered the problem for me: on February 17th, TV watching will no longer be an option.

I have, however, ordered our coupons from the nice people over at dtv2009.gov (after all, I only have until Wednesday to do so!). Once they are mailed, we'll have three months to decide whether we want to watch TV or not. I certainly intend to at least try a TV-free life for a week or two, just to see what it is like.

So in this case I say, Thank you, Congress! You have made it easier for me to not be like everyone else. Well done.

28 December 2008

No family members were harmed in the eating of this dessert...

In case you missed in on Christmas day, this is another shot of our 4-layer chocolate monstrosity. We couldn't even finish it on Christmas, it was so chocolatey. Even the chocolate-obsessed people we are couldn't eat it all in one day. I highly unrecommend it to everyone I know, plus any strangers who happen by.
I really do love chocolate, of course, in monumental proportions, and if I were willing to risk spending a day throwing up, I might have tried to eat "just a bit more" yesterday. Fortunately, I have developed some sense and respect for my body in my 30 years.
I was thinking last night about my lifelong relationship with chocolate, and how about 10 years ago, I realised that I would never be able to walk away from chocolate on my own, so I started praying for a chocolate allergy. Instead, the Lord gave me migraines. So now, I have to decide whether a day spent in bed is a worthwhile trade for a large volume of chocolate. If not, then I have to keep my portion small. Funny how God gives us what we need (motivation to exercise my own self-control), rather than what we ask for (complete lack of responsibility in my non-chocolate state). It's almost like he knows best, or something.

27 December 2008

The Last One (for 2008)

So, I decided not to bore you with another blow-by-blow account of yet another WTRC race. Instead, I'm just going to give you some highlights of the final race of the year.

1. I passed a Marine! More on this later.
2. This race benefits Toys for Tots, and it was really cool to see the table loaded down with toys. Economic downturn, sparser Christmas that usual, and still we all managed to bring toys for kids who otherwise wouldn't have any. That was cool.
3. And since Toys for Tots is a Marine Corps charity, we had some Marines running with us.
4. The Marines started us of with the whole running-in-formation-while-chanting thing. Fun to watch.
5. I passed a Marine!!
6. Because of the way the course is set up, you have to run across a field away from the finish line at the end, then turn back to the finish line. So you get a good look at all the people who ran faster than you. One of the Marines was trotting along and a little girl (I think she's about 10) sprinted past him, ably cheered on by one of the Marine's buddies (the 1st seargent). Hee! The woman behind them commented to the 1st seargent that he may be looking at a potential recruit.
7. I passed a Marine, and I set a PR!!!
8. Okay, passing the Marine: Actually, I passed two, but one of the ones I passed had stopped for a chat when I passed him, so it's not like I ran him down or anything. And passing the other was kind of like when I win a medal and I'm the only one in my age group; someone mentioned before the race began that some of them were reserves, not on active duty, which meant they were out of practise. And we had some pretty challenging hills on this course, so "out of practise" would have made for an unfun race. Still, I'll take it.

Good news: Only two weeks until our first race of 2009. I know you'll mark your calendar.

26 December 2008

I didn't even know I was playing!

And yet, I managed to be tagged anyway. Just like in real life.

1. Post the rules on your blog.
2. Answer the six “4″ items.
3. Let each person know he or she has been tagged by leaving him or her a comment.

4 Things I Did Yesterday:
a. made an incredibly chocolatey dessert
b. cooked a turkey
c. talked to my grandma (and the rest of the family, too)
d. went for a walk

4 Things I Look Forward to:
a. seeing Chad
b. sleep
c. running
d. vacation

4 Things On My Wish List:
a. mp3 player that isn't dead or broken
b. make it to my goal weight and stay there (nobody said they had to be tangible things!)
c. 10 minute per mile pace to be easy
d. calorie-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free, and carb-free Cadbury chocolate (that still tastes like Cadbury!)

4 Restaurants I like:
a. Carino's
b. Chick-fil-A
c. I really don't eat out

4 Favorite TV Shows:
a. The West Wing
b. The Waltons
c. Little House on the Prairie
d. M*A*S*H
(Unless you mean 4 favourite current TV Shows, which are NCIS, Criminal Minds, Life, and Numbers)

4 People I tag: Whatever! Tag yourself if you want to play.

25 December 2008

Christmas dessert

Chad is currently not carving the turkey-- the phone rang as he was about to start. No big.

So, the turkey took forever to thaw (read: it didn't completely thaw, even with 2 more days to thaw than all the experts said it should need), but it cooked really quickly. So quickly, in fact, that I didn't trust the pop-up thermometer and left it in even after the red button said it was "done". A still-frozen turkey just shouldn't cook that fast.
Anyway, I'm including this picture of Chad's dessert of choice, which I am going to call "genocide by chocolate" (name stolen from Terry Pratchett). I asked him what dessert he wanted, expecting an answer along the lines of "pumpkin pie" or "chocolate chip cookies". He waited until somewhere around 5 PM on Christmas Eve to come up with this concoction.
Bottom layer: Brownie.
Middle "frosting" layer: Chocolate pudding.
Top layer: Chocolate cake.
Frosting: Chocolate fudge.

If we survive the eating of it, I'll tell you how it was. Those small pies in the background, by the way, are my mince pies. A must-have for my Christmas.

This is Grandpa's tree. My first year as an Aim student, I went home for Thanksgiving to find that Grandpa, distressed because I didn't have a Christmas tree, had dug out the top of their old tree for me. He also made me a stand (a block of wood with a hole in it), and they bought some lights & gave me a couple of their old ornaments (the golden bells are among those original ornaments). The block of wood is long lost, but I still have all the other stuff. We bought the second tree a few years ago because we had acquired too many ornaments for Grandpa's tree, so Grandpa's tree now goes in our bedroom. Which is where it will go for the rest of my life. I'm sure someday the children will all want trees in their bedrooms, too, but that's one of those "cross that bridge when we come to it" kind of things. :)
And this is the living room Christmas tree (also known as "the new one"). The red-and-white striped things at the bottom are the "presents" Grandpa wrapped to go with the original tree. I still put them out, because they are cute. I laughed when I put them out last night, though, because they were quite obviously wrapped by a man. Grandpa was really, really upset about me not having a tree.

It seems that my husband is now off the phone and the turkey is carved, so it's time to run along before he passes out from impatience. Happy Christmas!

24 December 2008

Christmas Eve

So, we're putting up the tree, rearranging the furniture, tidying up the house (not necessarily in that order), and in the course of the evening, I take a plant pot full of dirt into the other room to dump into my big plant pot where I keep all currently-unused dirt.

And, the pot slips and dumps dirt all over: 1. The floor. 2. My feet. 3. Some reasonably clean clothes that I hung up very neatly on my bedroom floor.

So, Chad orders me not to move while he fetches the trowel (so I can scoop up as much dirt as possible) and the vacuum cleaner (to get the rest of it).

Merry Christmas, everyone!

(Yes, I have been sadly derelict in my posting lately. Don't worry; I have a couple weeks' worth of anecdotes to share once I run out of other things to do.)

13 December 2008


So, I've been looking forward to Hugh Laurie on SNL, mainly because I wanted to hear what his real accent sounds like. You know how it sounds? English.

Seriously, it is strange to hear Hugh Laurie's real accent coming out of House's mouth. And I am even more in awe than ever at how well he hits the American accent every week. With an Australian in the room, no less, who is using his own accent.

So, twenty minutes into the show, and I'm already loving it. Especially this bit when he is talking about blood pudding with Bettie & Jodi. Hee!

Hugh Laurie, you rock! Even though it is wild how well you can sound American.

Tis the season

At the strong behest of my husband, I have made potato fudge for his work Christmas party tonight. (Chad says "strong behest" is redundant. You are free to make up your own mind on that.)

And, we're also watching the Trans-Siberian Orchestra on YouTube. (Chad also thinks I can't spell YouTube.) If you haven't been introduced to the TSO's music, skip on over there and check it out. It's hard not to like a group that has electric guitars and violins.

Seriously, their selection of Christmas music is brilliant. Have a look.


Chad graduated from the EMT Basic programme yesterday. Fortunately, there was neither pomp nor circumstance involved, although his instructor does appear to be manners-free. Okay, I get that he wants to get new EMTs ready for grouchy patients, but seriously, does he really need to pursue that philosophy with everyone?

I managed to keep myself in check and not respond with my usual snark and charm, because it was the first time I met him, and I do pursue manners from time to time. Besides, I only spent about 95 seconds of my life with the man, so what difference does it make, right?

11 December 2008

If I am a normal reader of your blog,

and you strolled on here to see where the heck I've gotten to, please know that I am not ignoring your posts. I will be happily back online and snarking once more as soon as everyone around me decides that the holidays have been sufficiently acknowledged. (Seriously. Everything in Lubbock-- or nearly everything-- that is happening in December was scheduled between the 5th & 15th. Which makes for one crazy week, even for me who hardly does anything.)

So, here's what we have left:

Tomorrow night: We are staying home. Halelujah.
Saturday: Final WTRC race of the year, a wedding, and Chad's work's Christmas party.
Sunday: Bible class Christmas party.

And that's the game. So we're almost done, and starting on Monday (which is also my sister's birthday), I intend to enjoy my holidays in peace. Just how I will do that I don't know yet, but I'm sure something will come to me.

10 December 2008


Okay, by popular demand...

My committee bought me tea. Lots of tea. And a mug that says "tea". And a little box of cookies. And a teaspoon. They were in a couple of gift sets. Sooner or later, I will take a picture and post it.

09 December 2008

Do you hear those crickets?

Yes, it has been quiet around here for the past week. The final preparations and execution of the Christmas tea kept me busy sending emails, making a peppermint wreath, compiling, copying, and counting cookbooks, sending more emails, and I think there were some chocolate-covered pretzels involved as well.

Anyway! So I thought that I couldn't have had more fun at a Christmas tea than we had last year, but darned if we didn't do it again.

The first speaker talked about entering into God's presence. The second speaker read The Gift of the Magi. The cheer contest was hysterical. The carols were lovely.

And, I came home with a surprise gift. Nice.