Sunday, April 29, 2007

Another Month Passes

I certainly hope there's some truth to the quote, "April showers bring May flowers" because it will be nice to have a payoff for the rainy days we've had. It was a relatively nice month overall. I just don't know where the time goes - it literally does fly by, especially since I started my job in Product Insights. The days zip along and it's Friday before ya know it.

Nothing special enough to note this past week. Just did the typical t.v. shows throughout the week. Kenny's Ford Explorer was supposed to be ready for pick-up on Tuesday and it wasn't ready until Friday night. Things went a little hairy at the pick-up, they discovered their error of rolling tax & title into the selling price and wanted the difference. Now, I don't believe they could have actually gotten away with that as we had a signed contract, but we really weren't trying to screw them so we were okay with making good on it - although I did put up a bit of a stink to let them know it wasn't just okay. They reworked the paperwork and it came back with an additional $250 more than we were expecting the reworked numbers to be, it's for a "standard" delivery fee that all cars - new & used - have to pay. Well, I threw a fit and said we'd pay tax & title, but no more and they'd have to roll that $250 into the bottom line. To make a long story as short as possible, we ended up getting all our money back - Kenny had brought cash, so they weren't happy at all about it - and we were ready to walk out the door over that $250. I asked them if their contract was an etch-a-sketch, and they just shake the papers around and change it to whatever numbers suit them at the moment. As they were getting his deposit money to return (that was a cash deposit made last week), one of the fella's stopped the whole production, said they'd eat the $250, got me a beer and we called it a transaction. The new Explorer seems to be running great so far and all his music equipment fits in the back just fine. All's well that ends well or something like that.

Friday night Kenny had a show at The Blue Moose in North Royalton. I went with him to help him out, he fell earlier in the week and really hurt his back. His friend Pete also went and worked the show with him, so I didn't have to do much. Stayed just long enough to have a beer, listen to some singers and I was home around midnight. Sometimes it's nice to get out on a Friday night, feel like part of the action. Some action in North Royalton :)

Saturday we spent the better part of the day sorting through paper/mail and doing some general organizing of the stuff in the living/dining room area. There's just so much, I can't even communicate the magnitude of papers/mail we receive at this house. I'm like Kramer and want to stop the mail altogether! Since that's not possible I guess we just need to file it more regularly.

Melinda stopped over on her way home from work, it was good to see her. I unloaded a bag of shirts that I no longer wear. I swear to God, my boobs are getting bigger and stuff just isn't fitting in the chest area anymore. Maybe I need more carrots, less carrot cake. Anyway, Melinda benefitted from my heaving bosom (I should be a romance novelist) and got some cute new clothes. I was happy to finally find a home for this super-cute shirt from Ann Taylor, I wore it once and never could fully commit to it - it had an empire waist or something that just made me feel preggers. Not a good thing for me! It looked good on her because of her smaller ta-tas (I'm using all sorts of boobie-slang) and I don't feel bad that an expensive shirt is just hanging in the back closet.

As our reward for doing some stuff around the house, we headed up to Erie Saturday evening for more gaming action. I've decided that until the world comes up with a better hobby alternative, I'm good with gaming. As long as I'm spending Kenny's money, that is. He funded us the entire trip. We gamed until 5:00 a.m., drove to the exit where we stayed during the snowstorm and slept til noon today. We headed back for a couple more hours since we were down just a little bit from Saturday night.

Lo & behold, I actually ended up winning a little something for a change! I won $540 on a penny machine. As Kenny pointed out, it's not really a penny machine since I was playing max-bet of $1.50 (150 credits). But whatever, I was excited and cashed out, giving him the ticket since I was playing with all his money anyway. We pissed around the better part of the day, up & down all afternoon, coming home even. Can't be unhappy with even - and that's after paying for the hotel & our food. We had a really fun trip, all went well.

I started a new book this week, Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier. I've enjoyed all of her books that I've read so far, and Heidi leant it to me since she has 2 more weeks before it goes back to the library. Let's hope I get through it - knowing my recent book-reading ability, it's going to be tough.

Geri's house is finally starting to look like a house:
I'm excited for both her & Rusty and can't wait to see it!
Sophie's birthday party is coming up, it's just two weeks away. I'm busy getting the final plans into place. I need to order a cake on Monday and call Mapleside Farms with the total number of people who have RSVP'd. I still need to write up a little story.
At Toastmasters this week, I won another ribbon for "Best Table Topics." Those are nerve-wracking for me! As chatty and loud as I am on a regular basis, it's surprising how nervous I get being in a "formal" speech setting. And that would be the reason I joined! I'm glad Emily's doing it with me, that makes it a lot more fun overall. We're scheduled to give our Icebreaker speeches on May 29th. I'd like to postpone it, but I have to get it done sometime. I received a message on Friday from one of the leaders asking me if I'm going to run for any of the officer positions. I guess I didn't think I had been a member long enough to assume a position, but I would certainly do it - why not! If I'm going to spend the time in the group, I might as well make the most of it. I'd like to complete both the Communicator & Leadership tracks. If I'm giving up lunch with my friends every Tuesday, might as well make it worth my while.
I realized recently that my "baby" nephew graduates from High School this year. Wow. Wow. I volunteered Kenny to do Karaoke at his party in June, I think that will be REALLY fun. He normally charges $300 for Graduation parties, so it's quite nice that he's "in the family" and we're able to get his services for free. He's also setting up the sound system for Sophie's party, we're not doing Karaoke, but it will be nice to have the good background music going with really fun songs during the luncheon.
That's all the words for this week. Peace and please stay healthy. I've got enough of my friends I'm worried about right now! Let me just say, I have no problems - there are people without feet, and people too close to home fighting for their lives - I am contrite for getting at all upset over my car carpet or my coffee table. Shame on me.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Another Addition

This past week we added another member to our family. Ken's mom brought over her cat and "gave" her to us. They got a new dog last month, a giant, wonderfully beautiful Golden Lab, and the cat has not made the adjustment. She lives in the basement, refusing to come up, so she was brought to our house to see if she'll adjust better here and have a better cat life. I don't really mind, what's one more, but it certainly changes the dynamics of the house. There's hissing and growling and everyone's out of sorts with their sleeping arrangements because Reba has taken over Caesar's spot sleeping on Kenny at night. She's a cross-eyed little thing, hence the name Reba...we renamed her, her name is actually Mooley. Now seriously, I'm not the best cat-namer in the world, but I don't give my pets racist names. Linda swears it's a Celtic name or something, but in Cleveland, it's slang and racist. Once again when a pet naming situation arose, Jill suggested Cracker. We can't go from Mooley to Cracker. So Reba it is. So far she ignores her name, but I think she'd ignore it no matter what we called her. She does her own thing. Oh, by the way, she's a ferocious biter, a puker (we've awoken every night to the sound of a cat hocking up something unpleasant) and has shit all over herself. We're so happy to welcome her to the family!

It was a typical week with the ordinary happenings. Work is still great, even though this would be considered my worst week there so far. But even my worst day at my new job is better than my best day in Product Management. Seriously, it's no wonder people stay a year and get out of there. It needs a major work-load and managment overhaul. Well, I'm happy to say not my problem any longer. I was busy analyzing competitor Valentines cards and getting the findings into a Powerpoint presentation. I got that wrapped up and uploaded before I left on Friday.

I had a major crying fit yesterday because I got nail polish remover on my new coffee table and it left a residue mark on the slate and took off some of the paint around the edge. Kenny kept telling me he'd fix it, it wasn't the end of the world, but after the debacle with my car flooring, and now the new table, I felt defeated and had a pity party that all my stuff gets ruined. Kenny tried the "there's people without feet" line but yesterday I just didn't care. I just want something to be - and remain - in decent shape and that doesn't seem to happen all the time anymore. Oh, well. Life goes on, I quit crying and in the light of a new day it doesn't seem so dire. Still irritates me, but I'll check Heloise's Helpful tips to see if I can do anything about the little table mark.
After my pity party, we went car shopping for Kenny. He turned in his leased Pacifica over a week ago and the plan was for him to drive his Trans-Am around for the summer and buy something going into the winter. I don't like riding in the Trans-Am, it's definately a boy car, but we take my car when we go anywhere on the weekends. Anyway, he was getting his car tuned up, some new tires, etc., and the mechanic offered him $5,000 for the car, so he said,"Sold!". The engine is having problems anyway, and since he was going to sell it in the Fall or next spring for $3,000, he took advantage of the situation and got rid of it now.
He ended up buying a 2002 Ford Explorer yesterday, we think he got a great deal on it and it is big enough to haul all his music equipment around. The gas milage on those things is horrible, but I pointed out he's not big mileage guy anyway so it doesn't really matter. They actually made a mistake at the lot and gave it to us with tax & title included in their bottom line price, so that took off $700 from what he was expecting to pay. I negotiated new tires, a 1 year warrenty, freeon for the a/c, a fix to the "door ajar" sensor that won't go off, and wiper blades.

The best thing to come out of the whole car-shopping day for Kenny was I got hooked up with a guy who can dye the carpet in my car back to the original color where the Oxyclean did it's thing. I will be giving him a call Monday morning, they told me he'll even come to my house and fix it in the driveway. I've got my fingers crossed!
Today is simple plans for doing some household organizing and then perhaps catching a movie later in the afternoon. Typical, ordinary week, which is okay by me. I don't mind a little ordinary every now and then.

Stanley was overseeing the post today:

Peace and enjoy the wonderful weather!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Be Spontaneous

It was a very spontaneous week. On Monday we called about a free trip to Atlantic City offer we had received in the mail and there was still availability so we decided to take them up on the offer and away we went on Thursday. The trip included airfare and a stay at Harrah's, through the same casino junket we had travelled with in January, Personal Travel Corporation. Our impromptu vacation went very smoothly.

We left on Thursday at 10:30 a.m., arriving around noon in Atlantic City. It was a bit rainy so we spent the day hanging at our hotel. Kenny played cards and had a little windfall at the card tables, netting over $900 on one 3-of-a-kind hand at the 3 Card Poker Table. He had a big bet out there and it paid off. He always tells me "if you want to drive a sports car, you've gotta be a sport." I want the sports car, but I can't gamble that large. Oh, I lose more then him, but I pollenate the machines and lose it $20 at a time. I tried to stick to a machine this time. I'm working on following his strategy. He's up to Platinum and I'm still at the basic Gold level, so he's obviously doing something better than me.

Friday we took the shuttle over to the boardwalk and strolled around enjoying the day. The weather was nice, a little brisk and windy, but it was nice to spend some time outdoors.

We saw some crazies out there on the boardwalk and gave some hungry-looking guy some money which was probably more than he's ever gotten - he was quite appreciative. I believe we are all just one tragedy away from being that crazy person walking around the Boardwalk, so help a guy out when you can - for the grace of God, it could be you.

We went to some of Harrah's sister casinos and played a while, had dinner at The Rainforest Cafe and headed back to our hotel late into the wee hours of the morn. Back at Harrah's Kenny stayed up to play and ended up winning another $2000 on a $5 slot machine. I was in bed, having lost my allotment for the day - the typical gambling vacation for me.

We got home last night and was greeted with a snowy car at the parking terminal. Welcome home! It was good to get home, though, I miss the cats when I travel. They were glommed around us in bed last night and I was very happy about that.

The girls played cards at Jill's house on Friday night where they celebrated Anastasia's pregnancy with cake. She didn't waste any time getting on with making a little family, she and her husband just got married last Fall. Congrats to them! For those who are reading and don't know my girlies, this is Geri playing cards, not the expectant mommy.

I've been in a bit of a funk all week, pondering the meaning of life and asking the question, "Is this all there is?". Rob informed me that yes, this is all there is, it's one ordinary day rolling into the next, with vacations & whatnot thrown into the mix on occassion. That didn't do much to ease my unease. He also told me that as we get older (ouch!) we question life and just aren't sure of our purpose anymore. It seems ridiculous, we go to work, come home, watch t.v. and take vacations and buy stuff. That's what makes a life??? Maybe.

For our trip I bought an Oprah magazine to read on the plane and the cover seemed to be talking to me: "Get a Life Lift: The search for meaning, connection and hope." I read each article and came away quite disappointed with most; they didn't offer up any great insights, just the same crap ya hear all the time. No one knows. The only thing of insight I did read was a statement that said asking, "What is the purpose" is the wrong question and if you get to that point in life, ask yourself a new question that will help you achieve what you want. I still am not any closer, but have determined that I just want to somehow help people so now I need to figure out how. Or I will watch Monty Python's Meaning of Life and see if that helps.
I have exciting plans of a trip to Walmart, visiting my grandmother and doing some laundry for today. Geri gave me a good tip on carrots, she told me that Mustard Seed has the most flavorful carrots I could ever hope to eat so I may run to Solon for carrots. While I'm there I will also get their pea salad, it's incredible. I'm living it up!
Peace and have a good week!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

A Whirlwind of Activity

What a week it was! The girls from Product Management and I went out after work on Thursday to celebrate the kickoff for our long holiday weekend. Nothing says "Celebrate Jesus" like happy hour cocktails and appetizers. Pictured are my "peeps" (see how I tied that right into Easter!), Emily, Kristin, Stefanie, and Kristen. We drank. A lot. We started out at Vhooda in Middleburg Hts., they offered up $3 martini's so we enjoyed an assortment of them. They had a live jazz band which seemed to attract an older crowd, and these girls were on the prowl for some young studs. So we changed locale's to the bar right behind Vhooda, Groucho's Saloon. They had an after-work party of young boys so the girls were quite happy to hang out there. Oh, yeah, they had a good happy hour as well. Needless to say, 7 hours later Kenny came to get me. It was out-of-control fun with them, but I am far too old to party with a group of 20-somethings! We danced til I was sore the next day and I ended the evening with my own special nightcap - puking in the parking lot. I would have been FINE had Kenny not kept insisting I needed to throw up before getting in the car. All that talk about it brought it on, and I yelled at him for Jedi-mind-tricking me into puking. Anyway, a couple of the girls met some potential boys, everyone got home safe & sound and I've got a new mission to be able to go down into the splits on the dance floor like little Stefanie is able to do. I think I'll be able to do that right after I get the body of Jessica Alba, which I said something about working towards many months ago. Ah...good times. At least I didn't try to drink a cup of dirty napkins, which has happened before. All proud moments for me.

It was a surprise that I wasn't feeling too badly on Friday morning when I awoke. We decided to take care of a few things and then to carry forward my yearly tradition of gambling on Good Friday. We headed to Erie for the day, we had a late afternoon start and just wanted to go for a few hours and then come home the same evening. The gambling was better for Kenny, he ended up with a variety of $400-$500 winners and then he won a nice little jackpot of $1,600 on a $5 slot machine. It was at the end of the evening so we were happy to cash that out and head for home.

Kenny had a headache so I got behind the wheel and headed for home. I could not believe the snowstorm that awaited us once we got on the Interstate. It was a white-knuckle ride until we could get to the next exit and turn off for the night. It was white-out conditions the likes that I have never driven in before; the few souls who were out there were also driving with their hazards on, there was just no visibility at all. We were only about 10 miles from the casino and got to the exit fondly known as "Kenny's Exit." He had an incident there one time and needed to exit there to poop at the Burger King - it was a critical moment for him. He had been doubled over in pain for a few miles and thought he was going to have to pull off the road and poop on the side of the road, but then like a Phoenix rising out of Arizona (Seinfeld reference), the Burger King popped up and he was able to poop.

Anyway, back to the point of the story: Kenny's exit saved us, they had a Best Western we were able to find with the help of the car and we got a room for the night. It was a bargain, $61 with a complimentary breakfast in the morning. The room was very nice, and I wasn't in too much fear of it being an incident ala Vacancy. It offered 2 full-sized beds so we separated for the night, sprawled out in total relief to not be driving in that weather and nodded off. It was just this morning that we headed for home, and the roads were much better. But now this:

The view from the front window, which looks very much like the same picture I took months ago in the heart of the Cleveland winter. What the F. That's my lone little car parked out on the road, getting assaulted with snow. April is letting us all know just what it thinks, and it's not friendly.

My fish moved from office to home this week. I thought it would be easier to take care of him, I find I'm too busy to take the time to take care of him during the workday. Needless to say, his little bowl toppled over in my car on the drive home, sloshing fish and stinky, filthy water all over the floorboard. Kenny rescued him as soon as I pulled in the driveway and surprisingly he was still alive. He's now swimming around in his bowl on the new coffee table, but his water looks very odd. My guess is because it's in front of the window, but I don't really know for sure. Anyone with fish-facts, please advise. So far the cats haven't eaten him, which is a good thing, but they are quite intrigued. The bad news is, whatever concoction of carpet cleaners I used in my car altered the color of the floorboard carpet. I need to see if I can make my peace with it (it is mostly covered by the car mat) or if I need to get it fixed.

Since the gin & vodka debacle of Thursday night, I decided today would be as good a day as any to partake in my Total Body Cleanse concoction I purchased from GNC a few months ago. I mixed up a tasty cup:

Um, good! I actually managed to drink this green frog-juice down but fear I will not be reaping any of the benefits of it because I'm supposed to drink 4 of these in the course of the day (not to mention 2 days in a row) and I just couldn't do it. One was all I was good for. It had a surprisingly not bad taste, but the looks were hard to overcome. I have't had any magic cleansing poops yet. I think the gin & vodka probably took care of anything that was bottled up inside me anyway.

So it was a week of poopy fish water, staying at Kenny's pooping exit, and drinking a pooping potion.

Tomorrow's Easter and the plan is to have the Home Town Buffet with Kenny's family and my Grandmother. She's contingent on the weather, I believe. She won't want to come out in this mess.

Kenny had a show tonight at The House of Blues and he saw noted Cleveland Author Rob & his bride Beth at the birthday celebration.

I bought a new book called A Long Way Gone and just started reading it. It's a true account of a boy in Sierre Leone who was forced to become a soldier at the age of 13, was rescued by UNICEF at 16 and repatriated back into society.

My toe hurts from our Thursday night frolics, I was in bad shoes that rub on my once-broken toe and it's still tender. I have decided to throw them out, life is just too short to wear painful shoes. They always irritate my little toe, but I can usually get through a workday in them, but not an evening of shenanigans. Today I did a little online shopping and bought 2 new pairs of shoes from Nordstrom, finally using my birthday giftcard from my girlie-friends. Thanks girls - and my feet thank you! And I'm happy to report the giftcard went through without a hitch - which isn't the same for the Visa giftcard I'm still fighting to use. It gets denied everywhere Visa is supposed to be taken. Sure don't hear that in the advertisments!

We booked Vegas for the 4th of July, got a GREAT deal on airline tickets. They went down significantly in price since Thursday, I paid $238 a piece with great flight times through Continental. We'll be there July 4th-7th if anyone cares to join the adventure.

That's the wrap-up for now. I somehow managed to burst a blood vessel in my eye, so I'm looking particularily fetching at the moment.
Have a happy holiday weekend, stay safe and warm.

Sunday, April 1, 2007


I rarely capture a photo of Newfie, but here she is to say Hello. Not that she runs fast or anything...she doesn't, she plods along through the house, but she rarely participates in looking up for a photo. Too much effort, I guess.

Sunday is a big day for catnapping at our house. Everyone's down for a nap by 2:00. Twinkle is in an Avon box lid that is there for the sole purpose for napping cats, and Stanley & Caesar were cuddled up in the paper-like stuff that was covering the furniture when it was delivered. The cats enjoy these things so much, I don't have the heart to throw it out yet, even though it's mucking up the looks of the place. But I guess I'd rather have a place that was enjoyed rather than a Better Homes & Garden room. So for the time being the box lid and the white fluff stuff will remain on the floor. There's just still too much enjoyment of it to just pitch it out.

It was a beautiful Spring weekend in Cleveland. The hyacinth's and tulips are abloom. It makes me a little sad because I used to love my Cleveland yard as I had planted many bulbs over the years and it always looked so pretty coming up. But I discovered some bulbs in our backyard and clipped one and put it in a jelly-jar near the kitchen sink. Home is where you make it. I did spend the nice Saturday clearing out some of the leaves from the Fall that didn't get taken care of and pulled some of the weeds in the front flower beds. Getting it ready to go in advance. I am a little hesitant to do too much because Timmy is territorial about the yard work, but there's more than enough work for two people - I just wanted to 1/ get a little fresh air and 2/ get a headstart on Spring. It will be here in full-force within a month. Yippee! Spring just smells like a promise. I'm ready for it and am getting a bit antsy to find a new summer hobby.
Kenny's told me he'll golf with me this summer, which will be good since I didn't line up a golf partner for this year and won't be playing on the work league. No big deal as long as I can get out there a few times a month during the summer. Some other couples are ready to play with us as well, so it should be a fun season.

It was a pretty quiet week, I came down with some type of a cold/cough thing and was sent home from work on Monday by my boss. I was really sick, shouldn't have gone in to work but didn't want to be sick since I am still new. I missed Tuesday and probably infected my whole department, which they'll be happy about. I'm sure the first sneeze will be blamed on me, and probably rightfully so. Feeling better now, but still have a lingering cough and occassional sneeze, which for some reason I have seem to have forgotten good manners where sneezing is concerned. I have developed the habit of just letting it all out, sneezing on everything in my path, without even a hint of an attempt to cover my nose/mouth. I'm not sure why, other than if I don't have a tissue, I don't want to get my hand all wet. Kenny has been directly sneezed on at least 3 times this week. He's not happy about it and I'm not proud about it. It just is.

It was a movie-filled week with us overdoing it, even by our own standards. We had date night on Wednesday (even though I was still a little under the weather), seeing The Last Mimzy, which was a family movie. It was forgettable, but not horrible to sit though. Today while the cats were napping we went and saw Blades of Glory, the funny skater movie. It had a few laugh-out-loud moments so it was worth it. After that we had an ice cream from Dairy Queen and went to The Exchange Place where we picked up four movies for about $5 each. We got Casino Royale, which we watched tonight and LOVED, and he is by far the sexiest James Bond ever - I was totally digging him and have a little crush. He's foxy. Even more foxy than Sawyer from Lost, and I didn't think that was possible as he has been my #1 for a while now. See, everyone's replaceable! But look at him: Can I be blamed for being fickle?
Kenny has blond hair and blue eyes like James so I don't know why we can't tweak him into the shape of Bond. Sort of like a Bonsai Tree.....he just needs to be groomed and trimmed into the shape of a Bond :) He could be my Bond-sai tree. Wow, that's a bad pun!

On that note, I will bid you adieu. Enjoy the week!

Important Afterthoughts:

I need to add these items to the week's worth of news, I guess I wasn't quite done.

1/ Geri & Rusty are on vacation, they went to Cheeca Lodge & Resort in Florida. It's quite pricey and when I spoke with her on Saturday she was very dismayed with her accommodations and they were planning on leaving Sunday to go to Hollywood, FL and switch their stay to the Hard Rock, which happens to be the same one where Anna Nicole took her last breaths. Cheeca had a hard time agreeing to refund their money, they told Geri that their policy was non-refundable reservations, and she informed them that their policy should be "Nice Rooms." I found that very funny. She was like a barracuda and refused to hang up with the manager until they agreed to a refund for the 2 days they didn't want to stay there. My question is, how can you make a "non-refundable" policy - if that's the case, I told Kenny we should create a website showing some swanky resort, take unsuspecting person's credit info when they call to book it, when they arrive show them to a cot in the basement, tell 'em "Sorry, it's our policy of no refunds."

2/I know I said in my last blog I was going to let the small things go, but here's just one more example of people trying to just take money from you: I received a $25 Visa giftcard for my birthday and went to use it last Friday. It was declined, so I called the number on the card to try and figure it out (it hadn't been used before) and after the call, where it was established that they often times are declined and the merchants have to enter in the card number manually, I found out my balance was $24.50. They charged me 50-cents for the call. Once I do use the card up I am going to call them every day for a week and ask for a balance inquiry. They can charge the card all they want then.