December 9, 2009

:) Merry Christmas

No deep thoughts - just love my tree and my nephew(s).

December 8, 2009

Last Holiday - Next Stop Smithsonian...

A fond farewell to the computer that has served(saved) Me for 6 years, someone prior to Me for 3, and a monitor that has shifted from designer to designer for 10! If there is a heaven for Macs - you'd be on the highest cloud.

Godspeed old friend - OEF's early blogs and *REDACTED* company thanks you.

December 7, 2009

OEF SCIENTISTS: Christmas 2009

I survived the war against Christmas. Last year, I mounted a successful embargo against body lotions and re-gifted earl gray tea. This year I thought I'd bring you: Surviving the Holidays: Recession 2009. Since one of the things most of my loyal readers won't be getting is .......a raise.

What you'll need:
Sharpie & One blank sheet of paper

Take your sharpie and make a list of all the people you normally buy presents for. Below that start a list of all the people that buy presents for you.
Circle the names that are the same in both lists. The circles represent your list targets. You'll find your shopping lists will have shrunk exponentially when you realize who actually cared enough for you the year before to give you a material object.

Now, look at your list and make some further deductions.
Are you targets: couples? w/children? elderly? or age-confused-peter-pans?

If you target is a family - focus on the children only as Christmas is for kids and the "family" will most likely only give YOU one present. Scratch the adult parents off your list. The grandparents have already deemed the grand-baby more important - so it's okay for you to do the same to your friends.
A Sam's Club wholesale kinda holiday!
Tired of running around looking for that perfect sweater for that sorta friend in accounting? Buy something in bulk and distribute! This idea (copped from my grandma) is one for the ages. Who doesn't like soda? Buy 2 or 3 cases and wrap each can individually. I know I'd welcome a Pepsi Max with open arms, especially if it had a bow on it.
Christmas Cards are a numbers game.
Much like resumes, you have to send out 78 to get one back. If you want some cards you best be sending 'em out already to everyone on your Facebook roster.
Sometimes the cards come back with gift cards in them - so do NOT doubt the power of the card.

Bonus Tip!!
If you are not married or a member of a family - make up one by pluralizing your name.
I.E. - Merry Christmas from the Ostrichs.
It's the recipient's job to figure out which other Ostricheses there are besides you. It'll add a much needed mystery and confusion to an otherwise blase holiday card.

When did Bob get married? I didn't even know he was seeing anyone?? Is he talking about his mom??

Finally - if you forget someone or simply can't afford to shop. Remember you can always cite the recession as a reason. The ratio of un/underemployed workers is doubling and focus has been on saving and trending away from frivolous consumer products. If you have a job, why should you be any different?

It's not about presents - its about your presence.

October 20, 2009

Some things never change!

Saad is taking a feminism class at GMU, and last night he brought home an interesting article from the May 1955 issue of Housekeeping Monthly. The article is entitled "The good wife's guide." It is a list of tips for being a good wife.

I'd love to take a moment to share some of these jewels (just the most important ones). Who knows, maybe they will inspire us to be better partners, sisters, roomates, etc.!

Join me on this fun and informational journey won't you? It's going to blow your mind!

1. Prepare yourself (editor's note: you'll need to prepare yourself for this b.s.). Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.

2. Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.

3. Prepare the children...They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.

4. Listen to him. Let him talk first - remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.

5. Don't complain if he's late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day.

6. Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.

Seems like good advice right?

Oh, I almost forgot.

7. A good wife always knows her place.

I only have one question. Where the hell did husbands work back then? Sounds like they went to war every day.

I think those wives could have used a few Mouthy Broads as inspiration.

October 19, 2009

Howloday Momtography

After watching the food network for 4 consecutive hours (My mother is a huge Iron Chef fan), I was inspired to do some extreme "on the clock" pumpkin carving. I posted the pumpkins I made to Lavaponyland, its a witch and a skull. I thought these pics were kinda funny though.

Here Baby literally defends the table against wood be intruders. Her ears are back, indicating her intent to attack anyone messing with the orange "turkeys". Once she realized these weren't indeed turkeys, she became substantially less confrontational.

My mom, trying to capture the before and after shots of the pumpkins manages to stand directly in front of the retina-scalding sun. There are 4 other pictures where my eyes are either completely closed, watering, or I'm grimacing from ocular pain.

Stieglitz takes a rare moment to get in front of the camera. I suppose I'm not much good at portraits either. We're still working out the night settings on our Nikon Coolpix cameras.

October 15, 2009

All I do is rant

Whole Foods, why has nobody taught you the art of the hot bar/salad bar?

Your problems start with the type of container you offer. Heavyweight cardboard, with no section dividers? Considering your hot bar/salad bar is $7.99/lb, shouldn't you be providing the lightest container possible? You should deduct $1.50 from the price to account for the weight of the container. Also, no dividers? Do I want the juice from the General Tso's chicken mixing with my cheddar cheese mashed potatoes? No. So I'm forced to use several different containers, which means I pay more because I am charged for the weight of each container.

And what is with your salad bar? Where is the cheddar cheese? The bacon bits, or the diced ham? Where is the Italian dressing? What exactly is "Thai" dressing (peanut sauce or something??) and why is it available instead of Italian? And don't tell me that you offer Balsamic Vinaigrette instead. So not the same! And why are there so many vegan and vegetarian
options and hardly any for us predators? (Vegan beef? Isn't that an oxymoron?) Look, I have an open stomach, but I know what I like when it comes to salads...and garbanzo beans it ain't.

And where is the damn shredded cheddar cheese? Why is it ok to eat cheddar cheese mashed potatoes, or fancy shells and cheese, but putting cheese on a salad is a no-no? That doesn't make sense!

While I'll admit that the steamed green beans were delicious, and the southwestern beef salad was OMGheaveninmymouth, my hot food was cold and my cold food was warm by the time I got back to work. No, it is not your fault that I work too far away from your store location, but it is your fault that I couldn't sit in your seating area and eat my food.

Why? Because you don't have cold sodas at your location! What if I don't want to drink tea, or juice, or Smartwater! (Do I look like Jennifer Anniston?) What if I want to wash down my healthy salad with soda? I need caffeine damn you. Who are you to imply that I shouldn't drink
soda? Also, I had to go back to my office because I had some Italian dressing there.

And why was my total $16.19?? For some lettuce, tomatoes, and carrots. Three pieces of General Tso's chicken, some shells & cheese, green beans and mashed potatoes. No drink, no salad dressing. $16.19?? Really, now I know why people call it Whole Paycheck.

Oh wait, I forgot the cardboard boxes. And the fancy paper bag (which proclaims that if I reuse this bag next time, you'll give me $.05. Wow! Can I just get some cheddar cheese instead?).

Next time, I'm going to McDonald's.

October 12, 2009

Scary Movies in the City

I was explaining to my friend Marcia after leaving "Zombieland" at the movies, that I never went to the movies to see a scary movie until I came to the 757. This was mainly due to the knowledge that I would a. exit local theatre into TOTAL DARKNESS, b. drive into more WOODED DARKNESS, c. followed by a hasty exit down a long secluded driveway into BLACKEST BLACK DARKNESS. Despite the 757's tendencies towards muggings and inner city crime, it's still somehow less scary than the demonic clown that waits for me in my driveway in Covington, or the ghost that sleeps upstairs in my room when I go home.

So during my next trip in, I'm down for some comedies. No scary movies please.

October 5, 2009

He's Iraq...

So Larry (my brother), is back in Iraq for his 2nd tour until May. Keep him in your thoughts & prayers.

Also send him mental messages to call his mom and sister. Since he doesn't read my blog..hardly ever. lol

October 3, 2009

Two sides to every story?

I tend to see things in black and white, to come down on one side or the other of an issue, problem, argument, etc., rather quickly. And then I'll read something or somebody will say something that shows me a different side of things.

I made up my mind pretty quickly about Roman Polanski, especially after reading excerpts from the questioning of the child/teenager. And I have yet to find the other side.

I've been hearing that lots of people, many of them in the movie industry, are defending Polanski. I guess the crux of their argument is not so much that what happened was ok, but that it happened a long time ago, and that he is a genius director, etc. I did enjoy The Pianist. But that doesn't help me to see the other side of this issue. And it's not because I hated Rosemary's Baby.

Thirteen. Several types of unwanted intercourse. Quaalude. Champagne.

To me these things just outweigh any defense Polanski, or Whoopi, or Half Pint, or Debra Winger (seriously?) can muster up.

Including genius. Scapegoat. Victim. It wasn't "rape-rape." Statutory (this was not an 18 year-old having sex with his 16 year-old girlfriend, which is what I think about when I hear "statutory).

Can anybody help me see Polanski's side? I know it can't be black and white, but I'm really having a hard time with it.....

September 30, 2009

Nothing worth having comes easy..

I went to ODU today to pay a nearly 8 y.o. parking fine. The counter lady (looked at me rather puzzled) could not even find the ticket in the system at first. With raised eyebrows - she looked and asked why now? I looked at my feet and put the words into motion that have laid dormant for the past 3 years: "I, uhm, I'm thinking of coming back to school and I can't register without my transcripts - which have this hold on them from way back when I graduated."

I'm broke, I'm a little scared - but I probably haven't smiled this big with possibility of it all in a long time. When your diploma falls off the wall and hits you in the head - you listen. Right?

September 29, 2009

Finally a new exhibit

At the Virginia Aquarium! No offense to the sea turtles, but I was getting bored.

September 28, 2009

I wish..

I could wear these boots everyday.
That's all.

On unsolicited advice...

I found this interesting life advice in my internet meanderings this morning. I thought it was very relevant to the past few weeks (at least for me).

"Everyone is taking their own journey through life, and that's liberating -- but it can also be isolating, because no one else can truly understand what you are experiencing. Take this fact to heart when those 'in the know' offer you unsolicited advice today. They have your best interest at heart, but in the end their thoughts are based on their own goals -- not yours. Stick to what you feel. This is no time to start navigating by someone else's maps -- you could get lost."

September 9, 2009

The only sane thing to do....

after running a half marathon, is obviously to sign up for another. :)

So this past Sunday, I woke up at 4AM, rode down to VB, parked and waited in line to run 13 miles with 30,000 some other crazies. I run all the time so I was confident about conditioning. I was not quite so confident about my knees which have been known to swell and crap out in recent years. "Helloooooo Leslie welcome to 30's!" they chant. (They also conveniently forecast rain, by aching painfully and dully before the rain starts.)

The good: As I said before, I run all the time; usually with only the company of my trusty Ipod. Running with an army of other people (all ages, shapes, and sizes) is extremely motivational. Having twice that many cheering for you while you run makes you feel sorta like a rock star (a sweaty, dirty, fannypack wearing type of rockstar). Having rastafari spray you with a waterhose while singing "Jammin" and "Could You be Loved" is really cool, and having random neighborhood ladies hand you beer while running is ever coolER.

The bad:
You need to STAY hydrated and as a human; what goes in, must come out. Portable toilets are gross. Using them in general is traumatic, but trying to use them in a race AND trying to hurry - well use your imagination.

The ugly:
My knees on Sunday were the winsome knees of a 23 year old. My feet, however; are blistered, swollen, and sore. I've been crawling up and down my steps on all-fours, "Gollum" style the past three days to commute back and forth between my room and my kitchen.

Will I do it again? Yeah..I think so.

September 2, 2009

People Look at You Weird When You Have a Black Eye

I had an "accident" last Saturday night that left me with a black eye. I can't help but notice that people act a little weird when I go into their store, dry cleaners, or Starbucks. I feel like a second class citizen or something. It's like they don't want to look me in the eye, like they are afraid I will flip out on them.

The worst part is having an explanation, but never being asked for it. I can only assume the things people are conjuring up in their fight? Domestic abuse?

Oh well. Maybe I should just stay in my house!

September 1, 2009

Adventures in squirrel catching

We have a fireplace in our living room that we don't use. We bought one of those electronic insert things with the fake logs and fake fire to warm the place in the winter because there is a draft when the weather is cold. The insert doesn't block the whole fireplace, so we have a piece of wood on the right side that blocks most of the remaining gap. If it sounds ghetto, well, it is.

Yesterday I was sitting on the couch feeding Kai and I heard a "swoosh" sound and then a thunk in my fireplace. Shortie and the cats went over to investigate. I thought it was a bird because we found a dead one in there once.

All the sudden I heard something scrambling about and making some kind of primal growl/screech. And then through the small gap between the wood and the insert, a paw came out swiping!

It was a freaking squirrel!! Shortie would not stay away and the poor squirrel was getting really pissed off. Fairfax County sent out an officer and we spent 10 minutes trying to get it into a trap, but the squirrel wasn't having it.

We ended up taking out the fireplace insert and bam! The squirrel came flying out and headed toward the dining room. Shortie took off after it like a dog half his age. The squirrel ran a few laps around the dining room while the cop yelled at me to open the front door.

The squirrel made a final lap and headed toward the door. He jumped up onto the landing and Shortie jumped, trying to catch it in mid-air. He was thisclose, but luckily he missed.

The squirrel headed out the front door, followed by the nice lady officer.

Shortie spent the night peering into the fireplace and looking around the living room for the squirrel. He wanted to eat it!

Squirrels are so cute. But it is a little freaky to have one running around your house.

August 3, 2009

The Infrequent Visitors Guide to the Greater Metropolitan D.C. area.

Many of VA's rest areas are now closed so you'll need to find quality gas station restrooms, like this one on the outside in Fredericksburg.

If visiting our nation's capital on the weekend, it's not only important to Google optimal restaurant locations but their HOURS as well. FYI: Everything closes at 5..on Saturday!

Some buildings in D.C. have 99 problems but central air isn't 1.

If you take too many pictures of yourself, the girl sitting to the right (behind me) will kill you.
Look at her murderous eyes.

And finally, Sunshine is a FANTASTIC tour guide and terrific hostess - but a terrible ticket scalper. (You don't give them away for FREE!) LOL

July 14, 2009

Goodbye Robert

"Design is, literally, purposeful planning. Graphic Design, then, is the form those plans will take."

Shei gave me "The Cheese Monkeys" for Christmas the first year after we graduated college. It's been one of my favorite books, not just because it reminded me of my experience as a graphic arts student but mainly because it reminded me of my favorite acerbic professor Robert.

He passed away suddenly yesterday. To say he was an influence on me and my class would be an understatement. After having several different types of free-spirited hippy art teachers (nothing wrong with those!), his no nonsense, realities of graphic design approach was frustrating at times; but has been endlessly helpful in swimming the viscous rivers of G.D. jobs that me and several of my classmates ('02) have faced since leaving the Visual Arts Building.

I wanted to share some things I imparted from him - these aren't direct quotes, but it's how I hear them when I'm working.

Robertisms (as I apply them to life day-to-day activities)

  • Creativity is OVER-RATED. Take something someone else did and BUILD FROM IT.
  • What is THE message?
  • Find the "Rules".
  • Never use more than two fonts.
  • If you use treefrog font, I will fail you. It makes my eyes bleed.
  • Avoid using filters. They do not make an already bad design better.
  • Don't use screen fonts for print work.
  • This is an "A" work. This is a "C". What is the difference here?
  • "RIP" (sound made by our last-minute projects peeled off the board)
  • No music lyrics or CD covers. You will most likely fund your existence typesetting or making ads.
  • Why are you married to this project? Finish it and move ON.

These are just a sampling of the things he left with me, with US.
Us - meaning my classmates, which I'm happy to call colleagues AND friends - 10 years strong.

I'll close with another quote from Professor Sorbeck in the Cheese Monkeys --

"A bazillion years ago, some poor son of a bitch Cro-Magnon scratched a drawing of a buffalo onto the wall of his cave. He didn't do it because his muse had called to him, or to explore the texture of bauxite, or to start the neoprimitive-expressionist movement. He did it because he killed a goddamn buffalo and he wanted someone else to know about it, after he was gone. He had a specific, definable purpose for making a piece of visual information. The first one."

THANK YOU ROBERT - for leaving us a with definable purpose. A first one.

With eternal gratitude - Leslie P. - Class of 2002.

July 10, 2009

Harborfest 2009

One of my favorite events in Norfolk every year is Harborfest. If for no other reason than I get to eat weird things and roam around Town Point park. This year it was on the 4th vs. it's normal June summer kickoff. Good because the fireworks were great, bad if you were trapped in a local parking garage for 2 hours post holiday festivus.

July 7, 2009

The city is noisy? Wha?? That is unbelievable!

Why is it that every time I'm watching House Hunters on HGTV (or similar shows) where the people are looking for condos in the city, they always say "Well, its kind of loud." "Well, I'm not sure about all the traffic noise.." WTF? Move to the damn suburbs then. I'm sick of these people.

Rant over.

June 25, 2009

31 by 31's end List

This idea originated with my friend "A" at a happy hour discussion last year prior to my 30th B-Day. Her and her friends were forming lists of things they wanted to have done by 30. I was already about 7 weeks from the digits in question, so I figured there was no way to squeeze in 10 years worth of things I should've already done in my 20's into 40 odd days. The idea however ruminated around my brain and I made a list (last summer).

Last night at a separate happy hour (nearly a year later to the first conversation). "The list" came up again. My friend J mentioned a bar which featured a mechanical bull, one of the things on my list. Then we chatted on about how sharing the list might help me get to do some of these things (through the magic power of "REAL" social networking.)

I have til 32 to get these things done. I'm going to italicize the ones I've already done.

So is my list, help me if you can/want to:
1. Ride Motorcycle (preferably drive one, but baby steps...)
2. Ride Mechanical Bull
3. Get a Tattoo
4. Increase income substantially.
5. Restore outdoor garden!! (poor flowers! I failed thee)
6. 31 Brand New Drawings
7. Post my website.
8. See the Grand Canyon (Larry!!)
9. See Chicago
10. Bling Team Field Trip
11. Conquer Gryffon at Busch Gardens.
12. Take some friggin classes!

13. See Barack Obama speak (live)
14. Go Camping and Tubing!
15. Cook something difficult (lamb?)
16. Read Twilight Series (for fun).
17. Take mom to Red Lobster as a surprise (must be a surprise!!)
18. HOST a party.
19. Bloc Party AGAIN
20. Learn a real dance - something fancy.

21. Get paid for a freelance.
22. Cancel useless bills.
23. Professional Sports Game (any sport, whichever one avails itself)
24. Run a marathon (Rock'n Roll is looking good).
25. Fix a broken friendship.
26. Complete the big family book.
27. Dive! (versus ungraceful cannonball flops)
28. Hiking
29. Comiccon!
30. Paintball
31 & 32 are "personal". Sorry team I have to do those on my own. ;)

The only real rules for your own that you must try to do this while you still's NOT a bucket list and that it must be "fun" light ideas..Nothing major major goal oriented.

June 16, 2009

Medieval Fax

After watching one of the analysts stand by our (at least) ten year old fax machine for 20-30 minutes cursing and pleading with it to work; it occurred to me that people within the building order themselves pretty much whatever they want. By whatever, I mean WHATEVER: Ergonomic keyboards, fancy purple scissors, brand new chairs, even cubicle ambiance lighting. So why hasn't anyone ordered a new fax machine? And why do we only have one if it's being used constantly?

I would propose it, but ideas are usually rewarded with more work. Instead, I'll just continue to watch coworkers flounder by the fax machine.

June 11, 2009

VB AMP - MORE Mental Notes and Queries

I went to the No Doubt show last night out in VB. I won't recap the concert - except to say I had a great time! But I made some mental notes on how to improve my trials at outdoor music events and I thought I'd share. Friends feel free to bust me on these if you catch me repeat offending.

Querie 1:

Concerts at the VB Amphitheater are in the spring and summer seasons, which therefore means it's HOT. While black is the "it" color of alterna-rock enthusiasts (usually checking out the NorVA), it is a color which collects heat and generally makes for a miserable outdoors experience.

Querie 2:
If sitting on the lawn and you are a girl, it's probably best not to wear any foot apparel featuring a heel. You will just sink into the grass. Yes, cute is important - but you can't jump up and down with your feet sunk three inches into the ground.

Querie 3:
If your hair reaches below your ears, just ponytail that sh*zz. Or else you will be leave looking like a disheveled disco lion. It's hot, sweaty, and humid and no amount of John Frieda or clever hat usage can calm the follicle beast.

Addendum to Querie 3 - Since you will indeed leave looking like a disco lion anyways; and makeup, heels, and hair are of little to no significance in a sauna, tt is probably best not to carry a purse filled with make-up and hair aids.

Querie 4:
This is another for lawn patrons, unless you have come to make out for 2 hours or are under 12 you are probably not going to sit on your blanket, low sitting chair, or bobo towel. You are going to stand and dance and sing..and if you are not, the person in front of you is definitely going to. So just don't bring it. Why be seated to look at the person in front's butt for hours on end?
Just buy yourself a seated ticket with the money you were going to spend on the chair/chair rental.

And finally,
if you are at this concert - don't continuously recap how awesome ANOTHER concert was. That was then, and this ..this is right now.

June 5, 2009

oh pony....

I would like to thank Carol Ann for introducing us all to cakewrecks. But today, I'd like to thank my good friend Shei from VB for keeping up with CW and finding this gem.

Our "pony" has been commemorated in cake form.

May 21, 2009

Who's to Blame?

So through some weird process or another, I was alerted to the fact that someone I know (and is possibly/absolutely related to me) was "tagged" in some recent prom photos. What I found while perusing said pictures was kind of disturbing. I'm no fashion plate, admittedly quite the opposite (as evidenced by my ever-slouching dress socks). But Christ on a Cracker are these some hideous prom dresses. Every single one of them!

May 19, 2009


Mom's coming to spend the rest of the week with (me) the beach. I cleaned the nooks and crannies of the stove and the area between the fridge and the wall. I washed everything that could be shrunk, bleached, or fed to my malevolent dryer. I mowed my square of grass in the backyard and attempted to pull as many weeds out of the flower garden as humanly possible. I left the coffee pot out with the coffee nearby so she wouldn't have to rummage, and sticky noted her very own personal box of Cheez-its.

I shoved every late bill into a shoebox into the far nether regions of my closet and attempted to clean out my car.

Is there anything I'm forgetting?

May 18, 2009


It's funny how having several one dollar bills in your purse/pockets makes you feel like you have lots of money, but really it's only like eight dollars.

May 8, 2009

Mid Years Notes and Pontifications

I feel like 2009 is slipping away from me. The first 5 months of it that is.

What happened?
Well I tried some things in 2008 that failed. I have never been one to fall off the horse and lay there, but at the same time - I felt like the horse kicked me off, ate all the grass, and then returned with other horses to trample me. I'm relying heavy on metaphor here - quite simply I needed a break. So I fell off the horse and laid there.

I twitter now for the EF part of OEF. But now, I'm starting to feel the pangs of missed chronicles and abbreviated writing.

I'm going to halt Weight Watchers storyline. Turns out the system works better when I let go and let flow. It is working, I'm proud of myself, but I'm afraid it's just boring to read about. I've been 25 days without a full-blown can or sip or even hint of Mt. Dew and that in itself was an insurmountable feat. If I don't have the beach appearance by July that I want, I'm just going to wear hose. But who cares anyway, seriously - it's so hot!

Wine festival was a blast. This was my 4th in my whole time living here. Going into the first one, I was not a huge fan of wine. But after 1 tasting and 1 as general admittance and 3rd as non-drinking designated driver, I think I've found my "wine" at the Horton and Wintergreen tables. It's nice to look at the people sipping, swallowing, swishing, and in some rare cases - spitting (meh) and not feel like I'M the outsider for actually getting a glass and enjoying it.

I am vaguely aware that my impending wisdom tooth removal is scaring me. I've had it done before while being awake, and I made it through that okay. But the general post crap feeling (that and last time I nearly passed out in Hooters waiting for my friends to-go Wing tray) and days of mush food is not helping me look forward to it at all. It may just be the annoyance that this tooth waited to drop until after I had my others removed and that this could possibly be over with. This will make 4 and barring some mutant dragon tooth, hopefully until I have dentures this will be the last major teeth issue until my 50's. Fingers crossed.

The Geek Squad at Best Buy is officially on my "people-who-are-delusional-about-their-lot-in-life" list. I went there with a broken component on my external hard-drive, also known as my orange friend that travels with me everywhere. They basically opened it up, poked around at it and wanted to charge for $270 for something that only cost $50 to begin with, and give me no guarantee that they could save my files (after having opened it and exposed it's inner parts). I was passed from useless help, to useless help, with sales people trying to sell me crap I didn't need. At the end, with some advice from a friend, I ordered what I needed from Amazon for $15 bucks and upon it's 2/3 week shipping arrival..I'm looking forward to attempting to fix it myself. I'm not sure what "training" they have, but I'm thinking - I have google and some good friends to help me out hopefully my orange best friend will be back up and running in the next couple of weeks.

I seen a skit about a guy who was shunned by the lady that worked at a lotion kiosk, and he said..
"You can't shun me, it's the end of the line for you are essentially in a cardboard box with a register..there's no higher or lower..IT'S A KIOSK."

May 4, 2009


My new nephuppy (neice-puppy) Roxy.
Ya know, since we love to showcase animals..for no reason.

May 1, 2009

WW - Week 2/3

I threw this graphic together to show the different before and after points values and habits and included Hungry, since he is with me all the time.

Before I joined WW, their “points” system seemed to be shrouded in secrecy. I tried counting calories, but calories aren’t always a true reflection alone of foods real value. Yeah, something might be a 100 calories, but if it’s only 100 cal for a 1/4 of a cup is it worth it? Especially if it takes 7 1/4 cups to fill you up? And what about fat? They don’t put the fat values on there for decoration.

So to un-shroud the mystery -

Based on your current weight, height, & lifestyle you are given a certain amount of points you are allowed to eat a day. You may earn additional points for rigorous exercise (and I do mean rigorous) and you are given 35 freebie points to use through the week. A slider tool that helps determine points values of food and you can purchase books that give the values of varying foods that you eat everyday.

Week one I adhered to my allotted points a day. I didn’t go over at all and I got 3.lbs lighter.

Week two wasn’t so stellar in terms of weight loss. ( there was Beerfest.)
I didn’t break the rules per se, but I didn’t adhere to a diet of lettuce leaves and carrot sticks either. It’s been the general consensus - that you should try to be learning how to eat better on the whole so that when the food goes away it’ll stay. Nothing lost, but nothing GAINED.

Some recent frustrations I’m having are:

1. I’m losing interest in SALAD. It’s 0 points. So in theory you can eat as much as you like, but at some point your appetite cries out Mercy! I’m not a rabbit.

2. Eating healthy is expensive, especially when you’re not used regularly grocery shopping. Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger=$99 cents. Grilled Chicken Sandwich=$3.23.

3. Exercise doesn’t burn quite as many points as it burns calories.

Some recent victories:
Looser pants! Woot! I have learned I can survive without Mt. Dew (gasp), that wheat bread isn’t the devil (Bobby Bouche), and that mustard is a pretty groovy topping.

April 22, 2009

True Life - I joined Weight Watchers at Work.

“Never was a mustard girl, thought it was a good solution hanging with Mayo girls....”

I’m not going to talk about what I weigh, what I have weighed in the past, and my current week by week .lbs to .lbs. (Not in an actual numbers sense- that is..) I’m not advocating anyone else join or advising anyone on what to give up. I am however, interested in chronicling my attempt at a “diet” which is supposedly not a “diet”. Quite simply, I wanted to try to be a healthier person, and my job is going to reimburse me if get on board and give it a try. So why not?

In high school, some P.E. adviser came in and said to have a healthy lifestyle you have to EITHER diet OR exercise. I decided I would run. I would run forever, if it meant I could eat whatever I wanted. The first time I ran, I ran breathless to the end of the yard, walked back into the house and devoured half a Red Baron Pizza. Now that I was a runner that pizza was mine..right?..right????!

Wrong...... Every food has a price, and many of the prices exists well out of running range. Unless you are an nfl athlete.

I have only ever been what I would consider “fighting weight” during the last three years of college. I had lost some significant poundage post the "freshman 15" at ODU. When asked how - I just said..”I don’t know, I was just happy I guess.” It was true. I was happy (and very very busy).

I’m still very very busy and fairly happy (not joyous, but content all the same). I’ve gained 22 lbs since I transitioned from college student to working girl. You just can’t run constantly when restricted to a square sunless space 8 hours a day. When I get stressed, I’d become accustomed (addicted) to grabbing a high everything Mt. Dew. Since that was my drug of choice, it had to be the thing to battle out first.

After a week of water, diet drinks, 3 days of what I would call semi-starvation and the consumption of foods that tasted like paper; this weekend marked the end of the detox phase where I felt like chasing wild animals and eating them or consuming entire 2-liters of soda. My caffeine headache has subsided to a small throb.

Pictured above are some remnants of this weeks soda detox which included: Lots of Propel (the only form of water I can stomach), some disgusting Crystal Light pomegranate (fruit punch is waay better), and splenda tea in a milk jug (which bothered me immensely that a caffeine product was living in a house that dairy built.)

I was successful in week one of W.W. weight loss, only hungry 3 of 7 days, only “cranky” 2 of the 7, and physically tired all 7 days. Today I'm going to Arby's as a "reward" for yesterdays accomplishment.

Here's hoping I can stay strong the next 11 weeks.

April 2, 2009

Christmas Moose on Skates

So I joined the Herndon/Reston Freecycle group on Yahoo about three weeks ago, because we have a lot of crap that I don't really want to throw away, but it is such a hassle to use Craigslist, with the emailing back and forth, and the haggling, and the setting up a time to meet, blah blah blah. Plus, some of it is stuff that people won't really pay for.

So far, I have "freecycled" candle holders, an old XM receiver, a cake pan (w/lid!), miscellaneous bath products, an espresso machine, plastic bed risers, and dog coats that didn't fit Shortie. It is great, you can just give the "winner" your address and put the crap in a bag with their name on it on your front porch. No money is exchanged, so you don't actually have to meet any of these people!

In return, I've received a meatloaf pan, some plastic hangers, a Foreman grill, and a mini fridge! The mini fridge is my best score so far. You really have to move fast to get the good stuff, like French doors, rocking chairs, digital cameras, or moving boxes.

Some of the people are a little weird, like the lady who wants you to tell her why you want her castoffs. I guess it helps her decide who is worthy. Me, I just give to whoever contacts me first. I think that is the best way to be fair.

Sometimes, I'm really surpised by the things that I see on Freecycle. But even these items go pretty fast. Once an item is claimed, the offerer posts that the item has been taken. That's how I know somebody out there wants these things, such as:

An electric breast pump -- used!
Hershey's Strawberry Syrup
Bag of car cleaning products
Five (5) holiday cards --unused I presume
Vitamin samples
Traditional pudding bag (WTF?)
Half empty (or half full if you are an optimist) bottle of aftershave
Microwave turntable
Disney smashed pennies (?)
Dog pooper scooper -- used!


One Christmas Moose on Skates!

March 31, 2009

Larry's New Tat

My brother after teasing me about getting a Koi tattoo went and got one himself. Apparently he didn't exactly hate the idea as much as he let on. I, on the other hand cannot find anything I like enough to have stamped on me forever. Again the whole non-committal nature to anything. This doesn't mean I don't want one, but it may well be 2022 before I make a decision. The only things I'd want would take an entire arm and it's too hot to be sentenced to long sleeves at work for eternity.

March 25, 2009


This gum is not long lasting like the commercials says. On average (through my own human trials might I add) it lasts about 1 minute of flavor. Not only does it loose flavor quick but it almost hurts your mouth about 3 minutes later.

I recommend tic-tacs for fresher breath, longer taste, and bang for your buck.

Epic Fail - Stride gum.

Am saddened I actually paid for you when I can get gum for free.

March 24, 2009

Tuesday Absurdity

Because I like weird things and pony anachronisms - I found this artist who takes My Little Ponies and transforms them into movie characters.

Man, wait til I find my Strawberry Shortcakes and Rainbow Brights!

March 19, 2009

Twitter, Beastie Boys---Blog instead of Comment

I decided to blog instead of comment to Leslie's opus on her twitterized consciousness cos' I can get pretty wordy. I will probably contradict myself by getting bored with the topic and quitting after four sentences, but oh well.

I've also recently gotten into this Twitter thing. The only reason I did was cos my friend Jay Mohr was like "Facebook is played out, everyone's on Twitter anyway." He's on neither, but it sparked my interest. The only thing I remotely like about Facebook is posting nonsense statusii, so Twitter gives me "just tha yellas"*. I've had a few random people start "following" me, and I promptly blocked them, but for the most part it's alright. I follow Nightline's tweets b/c I am a super-nerd, and also have discovered through his tweets that ABC News' Dan Harris is an undercover indie rock enthusiast, which totally contradicts his stuffy poindexter on-air persona. Tho it makes me wonder if it's really him tweeting or some intern, secretly forwarding his own musical agenda whilst simultaneously making Dan Harris look like slightly less of a ding-dong. I will say, tho, if the news/media doesn't stop talking about Twitter and what it says about us and celebrities Twittering while they're on a talk-show couch & Diddy trying to influence my 140 characters I'm just going off it. There is no deep meaning.

In the summer of 1999 "Hello Nasty" WAS the best CD ever. Hench shared/shares (maybe still, not sure as we don't ride in the car together on the daily anymore) musical compulsion in that we'll just obsess over a cd or artist for like three months and not want to listen to anything else. There was a Weezer period (mostly Pinkerton), and of course a Ben Folds Five period, and a time for NOFX (as well as a general Fat Wreck fog). In more recent years I've fell into black holes named Kings of Leon, and definitely the White Stripes, M. Ward, and no matter how embarrasing, The Format.

**On some basketball bus trip in high school, my friend Kristy & I determined that yellow was the only worthwhile part of a candy-corn. We planned to launch our own candy-corn line called "Just tha yellas!" So, getting "just tha yellas" is taking only the best part of something. Dummies.

How? Why? Huh?

Spied these exciting diaramas while waiting for my breakfast ciabatta melt.

I think they should step up their drug screening. Seems like they're having too much fun on the night shift.

March 18, 2009

Twitter Brain - Unfiltered

I signed up for Twitter a few weeks ago and despite my best efforts not to like it - I do. It’s pretty much what you’re doing at the moment, with a limit on letters to keep your twitters from becoming a blog.

I have so much in my head lately I’m having a hard time blogging - so as an experiment I sticky noted all the random randomness I had in my head in my 60 minute lunch hour. No life goals, just things moving in and out as they come to me.

1:45 P.M. - 2:38 P.M. 4/18/09

I get a text from a friend asking why ducks usually stand with one foot in the puddle. I don’t know why. I don’t know why the seagulls do it either. My personal theory is that one of their feet is cold, so they tuck it away. A second theory is that due to the traffic and general demeanor of most humans here is that the other foot is not tucked away but has been lost in some sorta animal vs. 757 casualty. The first theory is better.

Carson Daly and Me

A guy just walked into Moes. He resembles Carson Daly, except he’s got to be taller than Carson Daly actually is. “Carson” looks for a seat, looks at my table, contemplates, then spots and subsequently seats himself in neighboring two chair situation a table over from me. He looks back, smiles again and I wonder if he’s staring at me because I’m staring at him or if I’m just staring at him because I feel eyes on ME. I decide I’ve stared too long, listen to the jazz song without words and then I contemplate my life as Carson Daly’s spouse. I decide it would be fun at first, but then decide sometime in my 40’s I’d get tired of him futzing with hair product. Meanwhile back at Moe’s, the real guy chomps happily along on his quesadilla unbeknownst of the crazy girl sitting across from him ponders her new imaginary-life-montage with Carson Daly.

Look who's talking now
The radio switches to “Jealous Guy” in Moe’s. I remember Mikey pulling the head off Julie’s stuffed penguin in that 80’s movie about the talking babies. At the same time, I wonder what Terry is saying at home when he’s making odd chirps and gestures. Tiesha has her own translations but I think mine are more realistic. Like at Halloween, when one of her coworkers with a newborn suggested she dress up as a clown. In my head, I did a Terry voice saying “you should dress up as a giant boob”.

In the car it’s the Mike and Bob show. Beastie Boys Sure Shot is on and I think of Carol Ann. The image is usually proceeded with her declaring Hello Nasty is the BEST cd ever. I think about how much I like the part where the song slows:

I Keep My Underwear Up With A Piece Of Elastic
I Use A Bullshit Mic That’s Made Out Of Plastic
To Send My Rhymes Out To All Nations
Like Ma Bell, I’ve Got The Ill Communications

I see a girl running through Larchmont and wish I was her for a minute with Beastie Boys in my ipod and not my car. Its beautiful today. The dogwoods have bloomed and then I start to cough a bit and realize subsequently why I don’t like spring.

96x Work advice
Back to Mike and Bob where they are talking about their coworker calling the lowest person on the work food chain to call in sick. Mike says something to the effect of “ya, don’t call the guy standing by the port ‘o pot to tell HIM you won’t be in the following day”. I laugh in my car and think this might possibly be one of the funniest things I’ve heard in a minute because that is logical.

Welcome back
Hit the CLJ parking lot after a 15 minute delay from the train. Tried unsuccessfully to secure some change for the soda machine and came up with 37 cents and a stick of Big Red. Pondered how cool it would be if soda machine offered barters (like gum) for Mt. Dew.

Back in the chair..blogging :)

March 13, 2009

Mouthy Broads

Two years ago, my mom hinted that she'd like to take up beading as a hobby. So, for her birthday, my sister & I loaded up on all the beading supplies we could find. On the next birthday, a full year later, when the beading supplies had gone completely untouched, my sister & I decided to take up beading---if nothing else to burn through all the stuff we'd bought. But we went off the rails somewhere. Our basement turned into a mini bead store in itself. We mostly made/make badge holders---a prettier alternative to those shoelace-looking thing with the faded/flaking screenprinted logos from which most people at the hospital hang their credentials from.

In my obsession with all things beads & beading; I pondered the idea of making my own beads. Glass-blowing, however, is way too expensive for an ancillary hobby. So I started playing with polymer clay. And I made some truly hideous beads. Frustrated at my sheer suckitude---I just wanted to make something that looked like something. So I made a little head & gave it some swirly hair. Tiny beaded eyes, and a big fat mouth, in my mind saying "what did you expect---michelangelo you ain't".

I made a few more just-heads, initially wanting to use the just-heads as focal-type beads in my badge holders. Then, one time, I had a bunch of orange clay mixed up & left over. It was too much for a just-head, so I gave it arms and a torso. I made some lovely pink spaghetti flowing hair with a clay extruder my brother gave me for Christmas. She was totally topless---but she was the first, if rudimentary, broad. Next, I tried making some
clothes, and it wasn't so hard. I was kind of in love with this idea. So I just started making more & more. And my basement suddenly had a few dozen very bossy-looking tiny residents.

In perusing Etsy, I found that lots of people like to play with clay. And yarn. And plaster. And beads. And every other kind of crafty type of thing---and people give them money for it. So I started a store. I've been in business for 2 days and I've sold two broads. Admittedly both to my brother, because he loves me, but he did pay actual money + shipping so he's a customer. Even if my Mouthy Broad empire never takes off, I'll probably still make them. If only so my sister will keep making up squawky voices for them & giving them ridiculous lives.

You can get to the store from the "mini-store" in the sidebar of this here blog. And if you don't like them, maybe look at some other stores. There's a lot of cool handmade stuff!