Friday, September 29, 2006

Tagged Again


Big Orange got me...


1. Would you bungee jump? – Heavens, no! Are you kidding me? Why anyone would do this is beyond me.

2. If You Could Do Anything In The World For A Living What Would It Be? – Writer, Talk Show Host, Secretary of Education.

3. Your favorite fictional animal? – Kipper the Dog



4. One person that never fails to make you laugh? – My co-worker, M. She throws her entire body into a gag and her laugh.

5. When you were twelve years old, what did you want to be when you grew up? – A teacher

6. What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? – Stretch

7. Have you ever gone to therapy? – Yes

8. If you could have one super power what would it be? – Telekenisis, baby.

8. Your favorite cartoon character? – Cosmo from Fairly Odd Parents.


9. Do you think marriage is an outdated ritual? – Nope, I like it. It tests one's limits.

10. Do you go to church? -- Not in years. But I always want to. Does that count?

11. What is your best childhood memory? – Learning how to ride a bike.

12. Do you own a gun? – yes, a Walther PPK

>



13. Have you ever hit someone of the opposite sex?-- Yes. In the seventh grade. My bus was overcrowed and, on the way home one day, I had to stand, since there were no seats left by the time I boarded. My arms were full of stuff and things kept falling to the floor as I was tossed around on the ride. Each time I went to pick up a straying item, Brad, an 8th grade burn-out, pinched my butt. After each incident, I told him to stop it. He laughed. On the third pinch, I turned to him and said, "I said stop it!" and I slapped him right across the face. He punched me in the back. Then someone got off the bus and I sat down. He later brandished a knife in my face. Obviously, things didn't work out between us.

14. Have you ever sung in front of a large number of people?-- Yes, but not solo. Oh, wait, I've sung karaoke. One beer is all it takes, my friends.

15. What's the first thing you notice about the preferred sex?-- Posture.

16. What is your biggest mistake?-- I haven't made it yet.

17. Say something totally random about yourself.-- My favorite salad dressing is red wine vinagrette.

18. Has anyone ever said you looked like a celebrity? No, but they tell me I look French.

19. What is the most romantic thing someone of the opposite sex has done for you. Washed my hair.

20. Do you actually read these when other people fill them out?-- yes, mostly.

I HEREBY TAG: Frank Sirmarco and Phil.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Self-Improvement Goal 3: Complain Less


I'm so tired of hearing myself complain. I even complain to myself about me. I'm going to stop complaining. I'm especially going to stop saying this: I'm tired. Just affirming that I'm tired makes me that much more tired. It's got to stop.

Sure, there are times when one must stand up and point out the unfairness of a situation. But I've taken to deconstructing the tiniest of annoyances and describing them with such embroidery. I'm looking forward to revealing the latest affronts to my personage.

It must stop. I'm enjoying it a wee bit too much. I have nothing really to complain about these days, anyway. Doc's found a great job that he enjoys and works pretty well within our schedule. My work is always interesting. I like my co-workers. My family are great as always. My kids are thriving. My neighbors rock! My friends are always in orbit and ready to land close by for a good time.

It will be as easy as giving up movies...

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Riley Time

Last night I got to spend a couple of hours with Riley. Doc and Lucy were down for the count. Riley and I watched the Great Pumpkin, had a snack and spent the rest of the evening drawing and coloring.

I picked up a Spongebob Squarepants drawing kit last weekend at the Grove City, PA outlets. It is really nifty. It has colored pencils, markers, regular pencils, an eraser, and other little doo-dads for art. There are two books: one full of blank paper to draw on, the other was a "How to Draw Spongebob" book. So, I would draw a character (Plankton, of course, was my first one). Riley would color it in and add background illustrations. We ended up with portaits of Spongebob, Patrick, Mr. Crabs, Squidward, and Sandy.

It was strange to spend so much time doing one thing with Riley. Usually, because Lucy is two and has a short attention span, we bounce from pillar to post doing this and that. But to spend two hours drawing and coloring, until our hands were literally hurting, was quite a treat. As we drew we talked or we were silent. The TV was off. The cat was snoozing.

I finally had to call it a night at 9:30 because I was stiff from sitting so still for so long. Riley was sad and didn't want to head to bed (no surprise). But I read her a great book that would have been way too long for Miss Lucy. It was called Peach Heaven. I found myself reading the book slowly, relishing the language of it and really getting into the story. When I finished, Riley immediately wanted to hear it again.

I promised her we'd read it tomorrow and that what we really needed now was a good night's sleep. I tucked her in and settled down in the living room to read. I thought to myself that I probably would have had more evenings like that if Riley were an only child. I was a little sad that, in dividing my attention between two children, I'm not really giving either of them the best of me. In fact, it's been rolling around in my head all day today.

I think the solution is to more consciously seek out time with both girls one-on-one. Doc and I could each take one and do something special with her and then the next week we could switch. It sounds pretty good to me. Now that I've had a taste of that special time, I find I'm craving more of it. If I seem clueless about all this, please remember: I was an only child. I don't have any real experience in a family bigger than three. I'm figuring it out, I think. But, I wouldn't turn away any helpful advice (hint, hint).

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I Hate Cheap Knee Highs



I wear pants to work, usually. Therefore, I don't bother with pantyhose much, but rather knee highs. I find it handy to slip them on and achieve the polished look a pair of pantyhose offers, without the struggle of pulling those sausage casings clear up to my waste.

Many months ago, in a fit of thrift, I picked up a bundle of cheap, black knee highs, thinking, "Hey, they'll all match! I won't have to sort them and I'll always be able to find a matching pair when I get ready in the dark!" This little bundle of nylon wonder seemed to cure all my early-morning woes. I hate not being able to find socks or knee highs on dark winter mornings.

However, I would live to regret that purchase. When I pull them on in the morning, their threads catch on my fingerprints and snag. They don't snag enough to run, so I don't feel as though I could pitch them. As I write, my current pair of cheap knee highs have slid down my shins and are circling my ankles like filmy, black wraiths. When they are behaving themselves and staying put, they pinch the flesh just below my knee, all the way around. But while they are pinching, I can also sense them giving in to gravity; I know they will soon be back at my ankles. This activity causes me to spend the day in a mild but constant state of irritation; I'm either stopping what I'm doing to pull them up or dreading their descent.

Perhaps, when I get the time and the money, I will devote a day to shopping with a friend, spending hour after luxuriant hour finding the right knee highs. I will then invest a good deal of money in them. I will protect those knee highs. I will wash them separately. I will sort them and pair them and lay them next to each other in a sacheted drawer. Then, when the cold dark mornings smack me in the face, I will have the pleasant foreknowledge of matched, lovely knee highs in my future and a little less irritation in my day.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Don't Hate Me Because I Know Everything

Sometimes I irritate myself. I'm such a know-it-all. I believe with the fervor of 1,000 fundamentalists that I know what's best for everyone most of the time. Fortunately for everyone, I'm usually right, but I always feel a twinge of shame when I aver the truth to some poor, unsuspecting person in need.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Celebrities Who Have Appeared In My Dreams: Episode 103


I was sitting on a marble bench/planter in an atrium. Neil Patrick Harris and some other people were standing there talking to me. We had just left a pub, where Neil Patrick and I discovered we had so much in common; sparks flew. And then I heard my name being called. I realized that my name was the same as the name of the mother in the show "How I Met Your Mother." It dawned on us both that my future was doomed and I was to end up with that dork, Josh.

We shook hands and held on just a little bit longer than courtesy requires. Stricken by my fate, I looked into Neil Patrick's eyes, which were rueful, wistful, and just a tiny bit sad.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Let Me Explain...


Due to my support of John Tesh here and here, I have been marked as a "fan." Yanni's people have caught wind of my Tesh love and have asked me to hype his CD/DVD. As you can see, if you look to your right, I have agreed. For my trouble, I will receive either a free copy of the advertised DVD or CD or both.

This is the first thing I've earned after two years of toil on this blog and I'm going to take advantage of it. You can be sure I will post a review of my copy of Yanni Live as soon as I receive it. Look for that soon.

Monday, September 18, 2006

A Lovely Weekend

First of all, the weather was amazing. Saturday morning was a bit gray, but the sun came out and stuck around for the rest of the day and all day Sunday. Saturday morning, Doc and the girls went to my parents' place; he's painting their house. I stayed home to take care of the lawn.

What a blessing to have a full three hours to tend to the yard work. I mowed the front lawn in a horizontal pattern, then vertical; it had been too long since we mowed it the last time. I went to get the rake and weed-eater to finish the job, when my neighbor's son, Jonathan (10), came over to see what I was into. He offered to start mowing the back yard while I finished cleaning up the front. I gladly accepted his help, as our back yard is about 58 feet wide by 250 feet deep.

As I went around front to rake up the clippings, Jonathan's dad, Frank, came around the corner of the house looking like a Ghostbuster. He had his professional quality leaf blower strapped on and made a gesture to me, signalling that he would take care of the clippings. I could have kissed him, but restrained myself and nodded thanks to him instead.

We finished up the yard in record time and it looked beautiful. I had the time, thanks to the help I received, to clean up the fence, sweep the front of the shed, wash down the driveway, the deck and the garden stones. It looked quite professionally done, if you didn't look too closely.

I headed over to my parent's house to help paint. They were going to be keeping the girls overnight for us. Our friends, Matt and Kevin, were coming up from the country and we were in desparate need for grown-up company. Doc got a call saying they'd be coming about two hours earlier than planned. So we cleaned up our paint stuff and took off.

When we got home, we were so beat, we couldn't bring ourselves to clean the house. We hung out at the Tiki bar until the fellahs arrived. Seeing Matt and Kevin again was like a salve to our souls. They hadn't changed much, other than Matt had finally abandoned his mullet. We spent a good hour catching up. We sheepishly gave them the nickel tour of our house, which was bestrewn with Lincoln Logs and dolls and underwear. I started cleaning up a room ahead of the tour and then finally, gave up.

As we stood and talked at the bottom of the basement stairs about the plumbing and electrical, I found myself nearly giddy. Having them come see us is no small miracle. We have lived away from our country town for four years now, and this is the first time they've come our way to visit. There is something about folks from the valley, they don't like to leave home. Or, well, maybe it's just Matt who doesn't like to leave home. Kevin seemed pretty game to make the return trip.

From that moment on, I felt like I was not only a part of the conversation, but a witness to it. I was logging in my mind for future reminisences. From this day forward that little spot at the base of the basement stairs will be special.

We hung out on the patio for a little while, but Jonathan's machination's to get us to come to the Tiki were becoming hard to ignore. He had lain a path with flowers and stuck the "Tiki Lounge is Open" sign in the ground. He honked the horn, he ahemmed loudly, and finally he climbed high into a tree and started shaking the branches and making animal calls.

We made our way over there and had a nice time with Frank and Jonathan. Matt and Kevin brought brats and a grill to cook them on, along with firewood. We chatted as the sun set. I brought over some patio chairs, so I could sit someplace comfortable; I can only sit so long on the plank benches around the Tiki bar.

Eventually, after we had eaten the world's best brats and the sun had set, I found myself to be plumb tuckered out. I sat in my chair, longing for bed, but wanting to stay. It was only 10:30, afterall. But there is only so long my lights stay on, especially after a hard day's labor.

So, I said my goodnights and headed home. I went to the basement, where our spare bed is, turned on America's Next Top Model, and began to tidy up. I put away a bunch of toys and blankets, put fresh sheets on the bed and cleaned up the spilled cat food.

I went upstairs and picked up the Lincoln Logs, dolls, and undies and made the couch up as another bed. I found a box of linens in the hall closet that I didn't know was there. I was delighted to find my three zillion thread count sheets that were still packed therein. I got them out and made up our bed. I took a shower, got in my jammies, turned on some MASH, knitted for a while then went to bed.

It was a glorious day, followed by a glorious morning. It was such a restful weekend, yet I got a ton of stuff done. I look forward to making the trip to the country soon and I hope that Matt and Kevin become regular visitors. It's been far too long.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Kids Do and Say the Darndest Things

Last night, Riley, Lucy, Doc and I were at the Tiki Bar at Frank's house visiting Frank and his son Jonathan. It was getting late, almost bedtime, and Riley wanted to go home.

"Let's leave this 'party,'" she said, using air quotes correctly, "and go home."

Ah, my little communicator.

Friday, September 15, 2006

People I'd Love to Shop With

Q from Star Trek: The Next Generation
I would love to have him accompany me on a shopping trip because he is catty, smart, and pulls no punches with the truth. People watching would be thrilling.
We could sit on a bench and nibble on a hot pretzel (from Auntie Anne's, of course) and share wildly entertaining commentary about the ghastly and the great parading in front of us. When we had had our fill of hot pretzels and Diet Cokes, we could wander over to our favorite clothing boutiques and try stuff on. I know I could rely on his candor to tell me when my tits looked great in a top or if my butt looked too big in a pair of pants. I would be willing to offer my discerning eye towards his wardrobe experiements as well.
*****
We would chat with the clerks, make fun of people in Hot Topic, and get our exercise. If we got bored, he could do some Q tricks to entertain me. And when we were ready to leave, I would hand over my packages to him and he would snap his fingers and send the items I purchased directly to an appropriate place in my home. We'd kiss each other on the cheek and plan to meet next week.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I've Been Tagged!

Thanks to my pal, Dirty for tagging me on this. Read her blog. I mean it. She's awesome.

So, my answers...

1)A Book That Has Changed Your Life:

A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving
This book caused me to think about faith and what it means. It provides an example of someone who believes in God fervently and has a brilliant mind, not that these two conditions are necessarily rare...well...in my experience they are rare. It also provided an example of someone who doubted his faith constantly, even defined doubt as part of his faith. There was also a depiction of a character moving from doubt to fervent belief. It was fascinating.

As a novel, it is a fine specimen. The structure and the language are very powerful. I wish I could write like John Irving.

2)A Book That You Have Read More Than Once:

Dirk Gentley's Holistic Detective Agency, by Douglas Adams

In order to appreciate this book to it's fullest, you have to read it twice. Besides, it's funny in that way-out lateral way Douglas Adams always is funny.

3)A Book That Makes You Laugh:

Me Talk Pretty One Day, by David Sedaris

When my mother-in-law passed away suddenly around Christmas in 2003, Doc and I found ourselves tramping back and forth between Cleveland and Newark (Ohio), a 3-hour trip, for the funeral and calling hours. We had quite a lot of time on our hands, which we filled by reading the above book aloud to each other. My cousin, Amy, recommended it to us and I had bought it as a Christmas gift for my brother-in-law. We had it with us, we were bored, I had found out that Rick really wasn't much into reading, so I busted it out and we read it to each other. This book made us laugh in the middle of mourning; I'd say that's a strong recommendation.

4)A Book That Makes You Cry:

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

I'm a total Harry Potter freak. I stood in line to buy The Half-Blood Prince book at midnight on the day it was released. Doc and I read OOP aloud to each other. By the time we found out that ::spoiler:: Sirius died, we just lost it. What a blow to Harry! Damnit...it still makes me very sad.


5)A Book You wish You Had Written:


A Son of the Circus, by John Irving

I am also a John Irving freak. I believe this book is underrated; it should be way more popular than it is. I wish I had written it because I would have had to travel to India, do the research and spend my days writing the funniest serial killer mystery ever. Alas...

6)A Book You wish Had Never Been Written:

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkein

I don't get these books. I've never enjoyed them. I've read them, though. I liked the second book best because it seemed like they all might just perish. If I had a nickel for every moment I've spent listening to people extole the virtues of these long, rambling tomes, I'd be a rich woman, let me tell you...

7)A Book You've Been Meaning To Read:

Sustainable Leadership, By Andy Hargreaves and Dean Fink

It sits here on my desk unread. I saw Andy Hargreaves speak at a conference last July and he was fantastic. I just can't seem to crack the cover.

So, now I tag Big Orange, a jolly bibliophile if there ever was one, and Madame E, because she always strong and sassy opinions that fill me with mirth. And, while I'm at it Doc, since he claims to be in a slump right now; it'll give him something to write, I'd also like to hear what he has to say.

My Daughter's Nickname

Riley gave herself a nickname. I'm not sure where she got it. I searched Yahoo with it and can find nothing. It's Abalone Nickabones. It's a wonderful sounding nickname and I'm pleased it seems to be entirely original.

Any ideas?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A Vow of Silence


Inspired by Chris at Some Guy's Blog, I decided not to talk to anyone about the events of 9/11/01 on it's fifth year anniversary yesterday. I was successful for the most part. The two times it came up yesterday were at lunch with my co-workers and with Big Orange on the phone after bedtime. On both occaisions, I said enough so as not to appear rude and changed the subject as soon as I could.

In my opinion, it was a tragedy. It deserves reverence. It is not a benchmark for the war. It is not an opportunity to spawn numerous TV or film sagas that serve essentially as emotional lap dances, arousing our anger and mining our tears. And it most definately is not a tool to stir our consciences to vote one way or another in mid-term elections.

This event is burned in my mind and my heart. Just a glance at a page in the Plain Dealer metro section of personal items found in the rubble caused tears to jump to my eyes and my throat to tighten with suppressed sobs. To deconstruct it at this point seems somehow sacreligious to me, a dishonor.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Car Seat Conversations

Riley (4.5 years old): La la la la la la la la la la la la la...

Lucy (2.5 years old): Would you settle down please?

Riley: La la la la la la la la la la la la la...

Lucy: Stop it, Sister, Stop it!

Riley: La la la la la la la la la la la la la...

Friday, September 08, 2006

Doing My Part To Undermine Corporate America

On Wednesday, my two co-workers and I went to the "President's Picnic," A free lunch, which served a dual purpose of welcoming students and staff back to school and launching the new caterers contracted by the university. It was a lovely afternoon for a picnic. The caterers had done a nice job setting up tents and buffets overflowing with hamburgers (beef and veggie), hot dogs and grilled chicken.

As we filled our plates, I noticed that all of the catering staff were wearing tee shirts emblazoned with the caterer's logo on the back and the slogan "Never Compromise" on the front.

"That's strange," I noted to my co-worker, the event planner, "I would think catering is a business full of compromises. In fact, I don't want to work with a caterer that doesn't compromise. Does that mean, if we don't want gravy on our food, they won't compromise and leave that glop off?"

We spent our lunch out in the sun, debating the possibilities of the corporate slogon. Maybe they meant they never compromise quality or service. We were stumped.

When we were done eating, we threw out our trash, took advantage of the free popsicle offer, and had a seat on a park bench. We soaked up the the late summer sun as we scoped out the crowd. We watched the caterers busily move back and forth between the tents and the university buildings, which were staging areas for the food delivery, we presumed. We saw our populist president make his way through the throngs in his university-green blazer, which he eventually thought better of wearing and removed.

About a third of the way into our popsicles and we saw three "suits", two guys and a girl who were obviously from the corporate office of the catering company. They were too snappily dressed to be with the university and not nearly down-trodden enough. The absence of "Never Compromise" tees indicated they were not catering lackeys. They were snapping photos of people enjoying their food, sometimes posing jokily with their "customers". They definately had that "Friends" vibe about them: too cool for school and the funniest fucking people in the place.

As they walked past our bench, I tried to flag one of them down and question him with regard to their motto. Sadly, I was too ordinary or not enough in the midst of my lunch to warrant being seen. Perhaps he sensed me as a preditor; that is certainly how I was feeling. I was going to corner this corporate drone, make him explain his ambiguous motto, and set him free if it made any sense at all. If it didn't make sense, I'd deliver a withering glance that would melt his Calvin Klein undies.

Undeterred, I began scanning for a worker bee who might be both high enough in the heirarchy that he/she would have gotten the memo with regard to never compromising and close enough to the front line to have to talk to me. I spotted Rob, who was feverishly working the soda tent. I pegged him as a mid-level manager by his authoritatvie use of a two-way radio and by the fact that, under his Never Compromise tee, he was wearing a short sleeved shirt and tie. Only management would do that, thought I. Sadly, he was too busy and too far away from our bench to notice us and I didn't really care enough to move away from my prime people-watching location.

And then came Bruce. He was chugging down our little chunk of sidewalk, carrying a pitcher of water. He was a white guy, maybe in his early forties. He was working hard, we could tell. So, I stopped him.

"Hi Bruce," I said, smiling.

He stopped, surprised. "Oh, Hi," he replied.

"I was wondering if you could answer a question for me and my colleagues here," I offered sweetly.

"Sure, go ahead."

"We hold a lot of events at the university and we will be employing your catering company. We were concerned to see you all wearing tee shirts with "never compromise" on them; I was wondering: what does that mean exactly? What won't you compromise on? In our opinion, a lot of compromising goes on in the catering business. Could you explain it to us?"

"Well," he said, deliberating in his mind and, finally, opting to be frank, "They make us wear these; I don't really know or care what it means."

"I see," I said, "Thanks."

And he scampered off to deliver his water to the tent. The girls and I had a laugh about the catering company's obvious failure to endoctrinate the front line into their corporate philosophy. We speculated that it was developed by a bunch of smart-ass "suits" at the annual company retreat in Branson. To us, it sounded more like a slogan for a football team or the Bush Administration than a catering company.

Incidentally, as I was looking for pictures for this post, I searched Yahoo's images for "never compromise". Know what I discovered? It's the name of a line of golf clubs. Cha-ching. That's enough evidence for me to prove that these assholes were on a golf outing when they decided to cheekily steal the golf club's name and adopt it as their corporate motto.

Bruce passed us again on his way back to the building and we waved at him. After about five minutes he retuned with another pitcher of water (maybe I should start calling him Gunga Din?). We waved and said, "Hi, Bruce!" He stopped, looked at us thoughtfully with his brows furrowed.

"You know what?" he asked us, "I've been thinking about your question, and it's really starting to make piss me off."

"Oh," I said. "I'm sorry to have upset you."

"No," he said, "I mean really, what the hell does it mean?" His eyes searched the horizon for answers.

"Well," I said, "Maybe you would feel better if you found out what it means."

"I think I will," he vowed and took off to deliver his water.

The girls and I sat back on the bench and finished our popsicles, satisfied that we had set loose a small tempest of truth-finding on this fledgling vendor of the university. Afterall, we, the customers, should never compromise, not them. And they'd darn well better get used to that idea.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

V For Vagabond

I'm zonked today. I've just returned to work after five gloriously chaotic days of vacation. We had a garage sale, we had company, we went to the fair, we started school, we helped my parents paint their house. Well, Riley started school and Doc was helping Dad with the painting, but still, twas a very busy week.

Last night, we got home from Mom and Dad's at about 8:30. Lucy was cranked. She didn't get much sleep the night before and was moving in and out of moods faster than I could keep track. Finally, Doc put her to bed as she protested loudly. Riley, sweet as she could be, fell asleep in our room watching Jimmy Neutron. Doc carried her off to bed at 10:00 p.m. I was just fixin' to doze off, like the good girl I want to be, when Doc mentioned he'd like to watch a movie we had borrowed from my parents: V for Vendetta.

I told him to go ahead and put it in, I was planning on sleeping, so it didn't really matter what he wanted to watch. But, damn it all! I got sucked in. The movie is full of low-talkers. I really had to listen closely to hear what they were saying. Worse, the main character, V, is masked throughout the whole movie, so no lip reading for me. I had to keep both my eyes and ears open.

Overall, I'm not sure I should have stayed awake for this movie. It left me feeling ambiguous. It had an interesting premise (one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter), but the costuming of V was so absurd that I felt on the verge of inappropriate laughter everytime he was on the screen. This movie took itself very seriously to the point of being hokey. I tried to give it the benefit of the doubt because it is a movie Doc really enjoyed watching. But for me, the movie failed. It was too well-made to be a B movie. The story was strong. But it was not campy enough. I don't know. Maybe if I watched it from a more playful perspective, I might enjoy it immensly.

I have developed a theory about this movie that might have shocking reprocussions. Consider this, the four of you who have seen both of these movies, V for Vendetta is actually the pre-quel to The Postman. Discuss.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I Feel A Disturbance In The Force

It's pretty early. I have the day off so I can take Riley to her first day of school. She's starting her second year of nursery school at the same one I went to. I'm really looking forward to hearing about her day.

Doc's taking his sweet time getting ready, so while I'm sitting here drinking a Diet Coke and trying to get my eyes opened, I checked my email. I get this nice note from my friends at Netflix:


Flannery, come back for only $5.99!It's easy to restart your Netflix membership! As always, Netflix offers:

  • More than 65,000 titles
  • No late fees
  • Fast, free shipping both ways
We've added lots of new titles while you've been gone, so come browse our selection.

-Your Friends at Netflix

If you recall, my family and I have sworn of paying for movies for a year. We are down to a mere 252 days left until the pact expires. That means we've gone 112 days. I'm really proud of that. Giving up something for a year really teaches one how long a year is, let me tell you. The biggest struggle has been gift buying. Usually I pick out the latest DVD or a classic DVD for every gift-giving holiday. This year I've had to get creative when buying gifts. I'm not sure how much money we've really saved while on the pact; we're still sweating it a week before payday. I know I've got the strength to make it to the end of the pact; I really don't have a choice. But still, it doesn't help matters when "my friends" try to lure me off the wagon by sending me pictures like this:

Sunday, September 03, 2006

A Day At The Stark County Fair

I love the fair. It's not for nostalgia, but rather the freak show. And not the freak show you pay to get into like this one:



But rather the freak show which abounds around you:



Also, it's a fun way to spend time with the family, eat food off of a stick and watch square dancing while smelling chicken funk.