Sunday, December 28, 2008

Procrastinating 101

While it was a merry Christmas for the Anderson-Baldwin (me) clan, I did a poor job capturing the moments on film. Or on digital, whatever, that just sounds dumb. I'm sure you're secretly relieved. Or maybe not so secretly!

It was the usual quiet but nice affair. I visited Sophie on Christmas Eve, and then Ken and I went to his grandmothers for Christmas dinner and the opening of gifts. Linda and Margie took it easier this year so we only got three big bags of stuff - they have a tough time dialing it down. But they did get us some really nice stuff, and their thoughtfulness is always appreciated. Mickey (Linda's baby boy) received his "smoking jacket" from me & Kenny. Really just me, I've told him that next year if he continues his lack of participation in the thought process and payment process, just my name is going on the gifts. We'll see how that works out.

Kenny's belated gift was finally ready today so I went and picked it up. It was a magazine cover with Indy on it, one I had picked up while we were on one of our trips to Vegas this past year, I had it framed. It looks incredibly awesome. They did the cover and two pages of the inside story. I thought it would look nice in his office...when he gets a new office, that is. Even he acknowledged I "probably won't allow it up in the house." I'm a bitch. If we had a dedicated office space, or a game room or something I would. But it can't go just anywhere, I do have rules (never mind the fact it's his house).
I seriously have zilch to say. I think it's a first. I'm procrastinating working. I've procrastinated it all weekend. I've done about an hour on it so far today, will dedicate another hour to it before leaving it for tomorrow, where I can be in a giant rushed panic. That's the way I roll, regrettably. Maybe I'll change that for next year. I'm working on my Affirmations for 2009 list. They're going to be more specific for the coming year, perhaps with deadlines for accomplishment. I seem to work better with deadlines.
We received two free cruise offers in the mail on Saturday. I've had a very hard decision to decide which offer to take. One leaves out of San Jan and goes to the Southern Caribbean. It includes my 12-year-old-dream-destination of Barbados, with St. Lucia thrown in for good measure (along with islands we've already visited included St. Thomas & St. Maartin). The other offer cruises the Mexican Riviera and leaves out of Los Angeles and includes Cabo, Puerta Vallarta and some other Mexican hotspots. Kenny leans towards the Los Angeles trip, he hates San Juan, but that has BARBADOS. I am having a hard time saying "no" to Barbados. I've put way too much thought into it this weekend. Timmy reminded us that the other option is to say no to both of them and stay our asses home for a change, seeing as we have Alaska on the horizon. That's always an option, I guess, but certainly doesn't sound nearly as much fun. Just in case we do decide to go, I hightailed my ass back to the gym this morning, for the first time in months. It was frightening, but I amazed myself by lasting 30 minutes/3 miles on the elliptical. I figured five minutes and I'd be nearly passed out. The body's more resilient that I thought, seeing as I've had rivers of eggnog coursing though my veins for the past two weeks.
Linda got everyone these blankets for Christmas. They snap and zip and do all sorts of things. Kenny said that blankets with sleeves have already been invented, they're called robes. Stanley looks like St. Francis.
The end. I have to go do more work.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Buttoned Up

We just got back from seeing The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Now, I'm not sure what I expected, I had considered not even seeing it on sheer principle as I have an unfavorable opinion about that cheater Brad Pitt. But my curiosity got the best of me since Kenny had seen twenty minutes of it and reported back that it looked good.

You can read all sorts of reviews about it, from the good to the Gump-like comparisons bad, but I put it in my Top 5 list. I cried throughout the whole movie, it was so emotionally charged. I'm not normally a "crier," but I have been known to well-up a time or two at the movies. This was out-of-control crying. I was a hotmess of messy mascara. I had to fumble in my purse for a cough drop just to give myself something else to focus on at some spots. I think it resonates more with those who have lived long enough to have experienced loss. I particularly love time movies, that reflect back on a life lived and this was a different than any other that I've seen.
I still need more time to digest it all and make my peace with it. If you can appreciate a movie for what it is - a vessel to entertain and suspend reality - I can't see how you could not appreciate this tale of love. I'm going to have to see it again, once I feel more composed about it.
On another movie note, we saw Slumdog Millionaire a few nights ago and up until I saw Button, it was my Top Pick of the Year. A more "flawless" presentation than Button, but I would still have to give my top pick to Benjamin Button. I'm drained from crying it out. I'm taking an Advil PM and starting anew tomorrow. Life isn't measured in minutes, but in moments.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Tongue Lashing

Girlie cleans the Baby Jesus, a.k.a. Swaddled Twinkle. Too cute! Melts a cat mama's heart.

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Presents were wrapped and placed 'neath the tree, cookies were baked and visits are underway. It's Christmas!

Neither Kenny nor I were able to get each other what we wanted to this year, so since it's the thought that counts we just told each other what we were going to get - it was much cheaper that way! I was going to get him (and me) T-Mobile GPhones, but in addition to the steep price tags ($179 discounted price each), we would have had to pay an additional $50/month for Internet service. The phones don't work without the Internet service. That's on top of the service plan, and I just couldn't do it. That amounts to the price of a week-long cruise, just to surf the 'net on my phone, which I would never do. But the gift was a nice thought.

Kenny thought of getting me the diamond bezel for Rolex. I am excited to make her sparkle and bling even more. I have the diamonds in the numbers, but not around the face. I figured I would add that on later. Well, he tried to buy that piece for me (expensive, too - $800 and up depending on the amount of carats), but the snooty folks at Rolex informed him that my $7500 watch is actual a slumwatch in the world of Rolex - they don't make the bezel to go on it. It will fit, that's not the problem, but they are only "authorized" to go on the solid gold watches, which I of course do not own. That's crazy-expensive. So if he were to buy one anyway and have it installed elsewhere, it voids the warranty. Always some way to get ya. So he told me and got a kiss for the nice thought.

Our real gifts to each other were a CD (Britney for me) and a DVD (Batman for him). We each have one thing on order for each other that hasn't arrived yet. He ordered a watch winder online (it will keep my Rolex wound when I'm not wearing it) for me and his gift is still a surprise so I can't mention it here yet. It's good though. Kind of good. Thoughtful. Still being crafted, I waited too long to order it so they told me it wouldn't be here until a week or two after Christmas. Maybe next year I'll act sooner!

Sophie has once again decided not to go out for Christmas this year. She's not sick or anything, but told me last night she's just "tired of livin'". I guess I can understand that to some degree. Ninety-one years and you just might get sick of participating. But as there's not one thing wrong with her, looks like she's stuck living a while longer. I'm sure Christmas is pretty sucky for her anyway, seeing as my mom died the day after. It's always a struggle to put on a holly-jolly disposition and I'm sure she's just sick of trying. So she can stay home, I brought her blueberry jelly that she asked for and took her a hambone, you would have thought I handed her the Christmas star with that little bag of goodness.

Last night I wrapped Twinkle up in my new super-soft pink bathrobe (I had bought it as a gift for someone and decided to keep it) and reenacted the nativity scene with him swaddled up as Baby Jesus. If the rest of my life hasn't doomed me to hell, I'm sure that did. Happy Birthday, Jesus.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Oooh Oooh That Smell.

Irony: Using Victoria's Secret Very Sexy perfume in lieu of a shower today.

Deer In Headlights.

Food for party at Pete & Vera's = $102.00
Bluffing your way to a winning hand of Texas Hold 'Em = $40.00
Spilling food on your shirt, pants and floor at the end of the night = Priceless.

Tingles in the Nether-Regions

This is the reason I go through all that effort to put up my Christmas Tree. I made myself laugh at the "all that effort" part, but you get my drift. This is why I had Kenny carry the tree up from the basement, clean off the table, hang twelve bulbs and plug it in:

Notice how Twinkle uses his little paw as a pillow - it doesn't get any cuter than this! Except in person, then it's even cuter.

Throughout the cold and blowy Sunday he has just rearranged himself 'neath the tree, settling into a new nap. Not much different than what the Big Cats (me & Kenny) are doing today, except I adjust myself periodically in my most comfortable recliner and Kenny is in his spot on the couch. He's working off his drunkfest hangover today, but that's another blog.
It's now or never for filling out my Christmas cards, so I have finally gotten some of them done, ready for mailing in the morn. I am disappointed to discover that I did not create a database with all my addresses from prior years, so it's been catch-as-catch-can with it. I think I have them somewhere in the backroom, but that is really going to take a lot of effort to locate. I'll go give it a cursory glance this afternoon, see if I can find a few others.

There were a few roadblocks to Chrismas-Card-Sendery (I just made that up! It's my new thing, to make up words and/or phrases with the hopes to have them become commonplace and one day make it into Merriman-Websters). First, our (by "our" I mean my workplace) cards SUCK this year. I struggled to find something that I found appealing...which based on the shit I just threw out from my cube cleaning mission, I may have been looking for something in a stained doily format with a hen house and wooden sunflower....But I digress with self-mockery. I am a traditionalist, but not in the religious sense. I like Santas and Snowmen and glittery shiny cards. Not all graphic and trendy looking, either - I want the Norman Rockwell scene. It's the direct opposite of what my Christmas is anymore, so I guess I like to just depict a fantasy Christmas with my cards. I almost bought some from Paper Magic, but Kenny shamed me, and I finally found something suitable with a glittery friendly Santa. Not ideal, but suitable for sending.

Another challenge I wrestled with was determining whether to include a newsletter or not. I blog my life outloud, what more is there to say? I decided no one wants to read all about it, if they did they'd read this nonsense, so why junk up their mail with a letter all about my shenanigans. I did a vacation pictures collage for those who I know don't read the blog (aunts and uncles and such), they'll get that and get to drool with envy over my Fabulous Life. Isn't that the whole point - "Hey! Look HOW MUCH FUN I HAD!! How FANTASTIC my life has been!!" Well, maybe that's not the point, but I'm sure not going to send pictures where my clothes are too tight cause I ate too much this past year, had a stress-filled acne breakout and a DIY hair disaster, etc. Now that might make the best newsletter idea EVER. Recap some shittiness of the year, throw in a few made-up words, and give 'em a few pictures to mock which will make 'em feel better about themselves. "Well, Juliette, I know we didn't have the best year of our lives, but did you read about that Baldwin Girl's crap-ass year?? And look at the pictures, if you think she's kidding! At least we're not that bad off!" See how much people would enjoy that? And they do say it's better to give than to receive...
Despite these roadblocks, I will be sending out my cards. Gotta support the teams (my postal employee friends and my own bread & butter). Race to your mailboxes on Tuesday, there will be Joy and Glad Tidings inside.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

It isn't just for breakfast anymore.

Tracye, 10:30 a.m. Saturday morn: "Tim, do you have any vodka?"
Tim: "Why don't you try using milk on your cereal for a change?"

Friday, December 19, 2008

Addendum 2.

You may be interested to know that almost everything was snapped up from the free table. The paper flower craft thing was looking sadly forsaken out there, so I threw it in the trash sometime around 2:00 p.m. Friday. The wooden sunflower and the doily were also tenaciously hanging around, but by the end of the day even they were gone. The stained doily found a new home. People WILL take anything. Before I left tonight I set out this ceramic angel thing where loose change was housed. I found a less 62-year-oldish dish to keep my change, and I feel better about things already.


Rob would like me to expound further on the comment in the previous post regarding his inability to read Cornplanters Chronicles. He would like my Faithful Reader to truly understand his "voracious reading habits" to fully communicate this painfully ill-written book. So here it is:

Perhaps you could insert something like this: “Not even Rob Murdoch could read it. And you should know that when Rob Murdoch eats Cheerios, he reads the entire box word for word, including ingredients and calories and the percentages with or without lowfat milk and he does this EVERY SINGLE TIME HE EATS A BOWL. That’s how bad this book is that he could’t even make it past page ten.”

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Empty Nester

"You have a lot of stuff," Rita stated as she surveyed the eight boxes lying about my office as I prepare to switch cubicles Friday morning. With the restructure everyone is shifting around, and I am moving about five steps from my current office. I'm taking this opportunity as a chance to weed out a bunch of shit that's been following me around for, oh, say the last fifteen years or so. Some of it had a place on a shelf, but the majority of it was shoved in a drawer for the last three or four jobs. So I'm cleaning it out, and still had eight boxes of stuff to move after the weeding. Now, five are work-related, but that doesn't detract from the fact that I have three full boxes of personal shit.
So I gave Rita and Kelly full reign to go all Clean House on my ass. They made me dump a bunch of shit I'd found impossible to part with. Now, a week ago when I first started clearing things out I designated a table in the atrium as a "Free Stuff" table. One man's trash, another man's treasure and all that. It's been a good time watching some of this stuff get snapped up, and others in my area have followed suit. We were setting really absurd things out there, some of it a test to see just what people will really take if it's marked free. Some of the more interesting things have included:

  • A can of Slimfast
  • A yellow smiley-faced bean bag chair with an "X" of duct tape covering a hole (that was donated from Lauren's cube, not mine!)
  • The WORST BOOK EVER, Cornplanters Chronicle - a book so bad that even Rob Murdoch couldn't read it. This was a pity-purchase I made one day while walking in the mall, the author was outside the bookstore selling signed copies and he had zero interest, so I bought a book. Now someone else gets to enjoy it, perhaps it will be gifted to some poor unsuspecting fool for Christmas.
  • A Fat Fish Blue logo-ed hurricane glass. I found out today no one actually took that, Rita got sick of seeing it and threw it in the trash, she said it was dragging the table down.

So today, after my co-workers Clean Housed me, these items that I found it difficult to part with are now up for grabs:

I know, it's Treasure Overload. Items include: a paper flower someone made at least ten years ago, some stinky candles, a clock radio (it does work, but what the fuck do I need it for, I have an Ipod and reception is sketchy anyway), a variety of wooden bric-a-brack with a country flavor, a bird house/chicken coop caged thing of some sort (I have no idea), a tray and a Tupperware container of pennies that were just junking up my office space.
Rita commented, "If I were guessing the profile of the person who owned this table of stuff, I would say 62 year old female, 4 kids and 10 cats." Sadly, true. I'm a hotmess of collectibles. Rita did let me keep my Elvis knick-knacks, she said that while they're a little odd, they are a more truer reflection of me than the chicken coop wire birdhouse thing and the doilies. I'll be interested to see tomorrow how much of this shit is still sitting there. Oh, yeah, there was also a stained "doily" which I hesitated to put out there. Kelly informed me it will be the coup de gras of the free table if anyone takes that thing.
Kelly and Rita told me they were proud of me for letting go, and then Kelly gave me a Niecy Nash grunt of approval.
The End.


Everything of importance is in place for the holiday. Twink & Tree: Check.
To think, I was bemoaning the fact that I was too tired/too busy to make the effort to put up the tree. I realized Monday that Christmas is in fact NEXT WEEK (where have I been?? Oh, yeah - vacationing!), and it was time to git 'er done. Wow, that's hillbilly. But anyway, after clomping around and bitching about the effort involved, I realized it's a pre-lit tree, and in fact only needed to be put on the table and fluffed out a little. Voila, it's Christmas. I'm glad to know that I am in fact not that lazy - yet. I can still clear the table and plug the tree in. Twink was excited, as he is every year, and got right into the holly jolly spirit.

My careful planning for the holidays have once again ensured that Kenny's present won't be ready in time for The Day. Last year he got his custom-made jacket sometime in February. I have good intentions, but don't plan them far enough in advance to be effective. I have two ancillary gifts for him to open on The Day, and then he'll get to celebrate all over again once his big gift is ready. I seriously can't believe the world doesn't revolve around me and my needs. Don't they know who I am?!


While waiting for the bedding to wash and dry this evening I took hair color matters into my own hands and am sad to say I'm not thrilled with the results. I have an appointment for tomorrow, but I Sophied-Up a little and didn't want to spend $120 right before the holidays for no haircut, no highlights, just some base color only. I can touch that right up myself for $11, in the comfort of my own home no less. Well, maybe next time I'll pay better attention to the box. It was for persons with very dark hair who want to lighten it up, and since my hair was already many shades lighter than the hair the product is intended for, it had some weird results. Not horrible, and I'm not even sure it's $100 worse, but not my ideal shade for this month. Luckily, I switch it up so much that in 4 to 6 short weeks I can try something else. Or before New Orleans. Whichever mood strikes me. Ah, hair. It's a love/hate affair.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Pants On Fire Part I

Seems I've become a bit of a liar. I wish I could deny it, but the facts stand in the way. I lie about the quantity of cats in the house. Depending upon who's asking, I lie about my name. The lies are off my tongue before I can stop 'em.

Episode 1:
AT&T Guy came to the house over the summer to fix our DSL. He's in our house. Two cats, Twink and Girlie, came sniffing around.
AT&T Guy asks, "How many cats do you have?"
I respond, "Two." Timmy got whiplash doing a double-take at the blatentness of the lie. I got the shoulder shrug and the mouthed "What the Fuck??" from him over that.

I had to come clean on that lie when the job took far, far longer than anticipated. AT&T Guy was in the house so long (over 2 hours, I believe) that the other cats got brave and started peeking out from around the corner. One by one they began to emerge from the deep recesses of the back bedroom from which they can be safe from Stranger Danger, and I knew the jig was up.

In a panic I blurted, "I LIED! I have FIVE cats, not TWO!" There was really no use lying, four cats were flanking his feet by that point.
Lesson Learned: Don't lie about the number of pets you have to someone who is spending time IN YOUR HOUSE.
Episode 2:

Wal*Mart Checker Dude inquired, "Do you have a lot of cats, or do they just poop a lot?" when I was stocking up on pet supplies last week.
"Four. Just four cats. Yes, they poop a lot." I denied one of the cats. But who is HE to get all into my cat ownership bidniz??

The conversation didn't end there. Woman In Line Behind Me said, "My neighbor, she's ka-razy! She has EIGHT CATS!" To which they guffawed and clucked about the absurdity of anyone having that many cats.
Lesson Learned: Sometimes it's okay to shave the truth. Just make sure they're not spending quality time in your home.
Kenny finds it absurd that I lie about the number of cats we have. But PEOPLE JUDGE. It's easier to lie sometimes than it is to be judged by strangers. Look at that poor unnamed woman with eight cats who was mocked and ridiculed by strangers in a Wal*Mart check out line. Does it get any worse than being judged by that crowd?? Jeez. I don't need that added pressure to my life.
Just today I was IMing with a co-worker who found out I have five cats, and she typed back, "You have FIVE cats??!!". Yes, yes I do. Now that the cat's out of the bag, and it's too late to lie.

Rubbed One Out

Lupe* Screwed Us. There's reason to believe that she stole my jar of 16 spice poultry rub which was purchased from Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill in Las Vegas. That, or ghosts follow me with the sole intent to play little jokes.
All I know for a fact is: 1/ I purchased two jars of 16 spice rub and one cookbook after dining at Mesa Grill in Las Vegas on Saturday. 2/ There were two jars in the bag when I left it on the table in my hotel room. 3/ There was one jar of 16 spice poultry rub and one cookbook in the bag when I packed to go home on Sunday. 4/ Lupe Screwed Us.

I saw her, said hello, and left her a tip on Saturday, with the intent to leave her more on Sunday. Plans changed after I realized Lupe Screwed Us. Kenny's not convinced she did, but I know what I know. Two jars of rub became one overnight, and only one other person was in the room (well, not counting the hookers....).
We didn't complain to the front desk, because I don't really want Lupe to have her job in question over a $10.76 jar of seasoning, but really. What's the point of that. I would think that we just misplaced it or something (it's been known to happen with me, I don't deny it!), but we weren't there long enough for anything to get misplaced. And I only took it out of the bag once, to try to read the ingredients. My old eyes, however, resist reading the fine print anymore. Guess they figure they've worked hard enough and just aren't straining themselves anymore.

So Lupe Screwed Us, but I think $10 was worth the laugh we had at the thought of our poultry rub getting stolen. Of all things lying about the room, for Chrissake. Better the rub than the Rolex. I wish Lupe and her family very flavorful meat this holiday season.
*Lupe: see Seinfeld Chambermaid episode

Monday, December 8, 2008


Overheard heading into the restroom at the movie theater:

50ish Woman to 50ish Man: "Do you have to use the bathroom?"
50ish Man: "No, I'm all set."
50ish Woman: "Are you sure?"
At what point do women think men are too stupid to even know if they have to take a piss or not? We're a bitchy lot to live with.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Not That There's Anything Wrong With That

Here I am, photographing exceedingly SHORT Friday night at our Scrooge's Night Out event. I had been explaining to Santa just how naughty I've been all year.

Lisa with her Dance Ticket:

Two of those Blue Rockets and we were doin' our thang out there on the dance floor. I thrilled the crowds with my Elaine-inspired dance moves. Kenny and Tim were impressed that I would actually do that in public - without the requisite dance tickets (5 dirty martini's) I usually require!

The night had many different elements of Seinfeld, here I am ensconced in my velvet dress. Yep, George's Dream, livin' out loud right here in Cleveland.

Note To Self: Two Fiber One bars the night of a party is a bad decision. I had pretty, let's just say Kenny didn't sit close to me for long.

THIS GIRL had the best outfit of the evening:

I am gonna get me a Southern Belle gown and just keep it on hand for future Christmas party events. Right down to the little lace gloves and the jauntily-cocked hat. Who doesn't love a jaunty cock.