Friday, August 29, 2008

For a contrast, things that make me sad...

Since I made the list of things that make me happy, I thought I should also make a list of things that make me sad. You know, just to give you a more rounded picture of who I am.
  • poor losers. As a natural winner and overly gifted person, this is something I have to deal with a lot.
  • poisoned apples
  • Sanjaya
  • everyone insisting that I have to love Ferris Bueller's Day Off. I don't like that movie.
  • that Charlie and Eko were killed off Lost (oops...spoiler alert!)
  • when people don't write "spoiler alert" before they spill the spoiler
  • erasers that just smear the pencil marks but don't erase
  • feeling full halfway into a delicious meal
  • my birthday (that one is not a joke!)
  • getting arrested
  • when singers talk in a song. That makes me very uncomfortable.
  • getting bitten by snakes
  • finding out how many calories are in my favorite foods
  • when people younger than me complain that they're "old"
  • when someone tells me I need an attitude adjustment

What about you? What makes you sad?

Things that make me happy

My friend Najah made a list on her blog of things that make her happy, and asked her readers what makes them happy. I enjoyed reading her list and thought it would be fun to make my own. I'd also love to hear some of the things that make you happy. (But only some.)

Try not to judge me for some of the superficial things on this list. I can't help what makes me happy!

  • funky pens
  • thunderstorms
  • blogging
  • summer days
  • funny writing
  • funny people
  • answered prayers
  • meeting a new friend
  • my favorite t.v. shows (go ahead and judge me, i don't care.) ;)
  • parody
  • exploring new places
  • babies
  • leaves in fall
  • holidays
  • throwing parties
  • good friends
  • family
  • going home to a good book
  • chocolate cake with chocolate frosting
  • crisp fall days (only the crisp ones)
  • flowers
  • my garden
  • the smell of book stores
  • positive change
  • learning
  • kind people
  • good leadership
  • good food
  • snow days
  • money (kidding)
  • colorful people
  • passionate people
  • music

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sandwich Bag Downie

Am I the first person to notice that celebrities give their kids some weird names!? Of course, this is something that's been going on for years now but with the recent addition of Zuma Nesta Rock I felt I had to say something. Somebody has to, and since nobody else seems to have noticed this weird celebrity name phenomenon, I guess that somebody is me.

Every time a famous person has a baby the celebrity media goes crazy trying to find out the name of the baby. How crazy will it be this time!? We all wait with baited breath, and when we hear "Apple" (or worse), it confirms to us once again that celebrities are living on another planet and we feel better knowing that yes, they might be much richer and better looking than us, but at least we still have our sanity and common sense.

Part of me wants to be outraged and say, "these kids are going to have to live in the real world some day! Let them have normal names!!" But will they have to live in the real world? Or do they just hang out with other celebrity kids? Maybe Suri and Shiloh can be best friends, and Apple and Bluebell can be room mates in college. Maybe Audio Science and Moxie Crimefighter can get married and have more kids with crazy names.

Here are some of the craziest celebrity names I know of:

Diva Thin Muffin!? Sage Moonblood!? I'm not even going to comment on them. It's just too much. But it did get me thinking! If I were a celebrity, what would I name my child? Well, if it's a boy, Sandwich Bag sounds good for a first name. His middle name would be Pineapple Juice. If I had a girl, I'm thinking Sparkly Banana. And if I have more kids, here are some other names I've been thinking of:

  • Lampshade Turntable
  • Boots McGee
  • Rhinestone Monkeybreath
  • Casserole Grass stain
  • Shop Class
  • Green Pepper
  • Tuberose Glow stick

Wow, it would be hard to choose! I love them all. What about you? I'm curious. What would name your children if you were a celebrity?

(Disclaimer: I was feeling a little slap happy when I wrote this last night.)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Well guys, it's coming. You know what I'm talking about. You've been feeling it too, I'm sure. I started taking pictures of the evidence on August 11th, and continued to take pictures throughout the month until there was no point in denying it. Fall is coming. Now, you know I love summer, but that doesn't mean that I don't love fall as well. In fact, fall probably would be my favorite season, except that it leads us to winter and I just can't forgive it for that.

My favorite things about fall:

the crunch of leaves underfoot
the smell of chimney smoke
cider mills
cinnamon makes a comeback
hot chocolate
hay rides
school supplies
corn mazes
haunted houses
scary movies
pumpkin pies and pumpkin cookies...oh, and pumpkin bread :)
cuddly sweaters
seeing your breath outside
snuggling up under a blanket
Charlie Brown holiday movies
kids in costumes
the Saline fair
favorite t.v. shows start back up
football season
candy corn

Did I miss anything?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Facebook: Blessing or Curse?

The joys of facebook! So many of my conversations come back to facebook these days. Facebook is both good and evil. It's good in the sense that it makes staying in touch and sharing pictures a lot easier. It's bad in that you often find out too much...Or not enough. I blame the newsfeed. Do I really have to know that one of my friends removed "Bon Jovi" from his list of favorite music? That just confuses me. (Why would someone do that?) Or what about when a casual acquaintance on my friend list changes their status to:

"Samantha isn't sure."
"Tom might go for it."

Isn't sure about what? Might go for what? Should I write on their walls and ask them? Or should I let it go? I guess if it's something major, I'll find out in the newsfeed eventually.

One of the weird things about facebook is that you find out about stuff much faster than you normally would. And more often you find stuff out that you might never have known. Like the ups and downs of your friend's relationships. Or you find out that you weren't invited to something that some of your friends were invited to. Like I said, both good and evil.

The following are some conversations I have heard or been a part of. I have changed the names and events to protect the identities. You might be able to relate to some of these.

Alice: Did you hear about Sam and Annie?
Jasper: No, what about them?
Alice: They're dating.
Jasper: Really? Who told you that?
Alice: I read it on the facebook newsfeed.

Four months later...

Jasper: Hey, too bad about Sam and Annie, huh?
Alice: What do you mean?
Jasper: I saw on facebook that they changed their relationship status to "it's complicated" and Annie's facebook status is, "Annie is really sad."
Alice: Poor girl.
Jasper: Yeah. Maybe I'll send her some flair to cheer her up.
Alice: I'm sure she'd like that.

Another conversation I have heard, and possibly been a part of:

Sabrina: Were you invited to Max's party?
Valerie: What party?
Sabrina: I saw on the newsfeed today that "15 of my friends are attending Max's End of Summer Blowout Bash."
Valerie: What!? I can't believe Max didn't invite me!
Sabrina: I know!! I think I'm going to unfriend him.
Valerie: Good call. Me too. That'll teach him.

A couple weeks later...

Max: Are Valerie and Sabrina mad at me?
Conan: I don't know. Why?
Max: I thought I was friends with them on facebook, but today I saw them on the "people you may know" list. I wonder if they unfriended me.
Conan: Did you do something to them?
Max: Not that I know of. I wonder why they didn't come to my party?

One more:

Kelly: I met this cute guy at the party the other night and I friend requested him!
Beyonce: Oh yeah? Did he accept?
Kelly: Yeah, he did. I was thinking about writing a message on his wall, but I'm not sure.
Beyonce: Why not?
Kelly: I don't want it to show up in our mutual friend's newsfeed.
Beyonce: Yeah, that newsfeed is too much. Maybe you should just invite him to play Scramble or Scrabulous. You guys can bond that way.
Kelly: Great idea!

There you have it. I hope some of you can relate to these conversations. I know some of you can, because a few of you readers were a part of these very convos! There's only one name I didn't change, but I'll let you guess which it was. (If you guessed Beyonce, you're right!)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

This is a true story...

Since I talked about it all last week, I have to give you a bonfire update! First, I'll say that it was a lot of fun. About fifty people came, and we all had a really good time. The only problem was that it was insanely hot outside and the bonfire only made things worse as far as the heat factor was concerned! So, we roasted hot dogs but had to stay as far away from the bonfire as humanly possible while doing it. This involved finding long sticks and using duct tape to attach the roasting sticks to, as seen below:

I shared a roasting stick with Jonathan and Amy, roasting three hot dogs at once, and we took shifts cooking both ourselves and the hot dogs. Once we started to melt, we handed the stick to someone else and cooled off 'til it was our turn again. Lemme just say though, the hot dogs were worth it. What's tastier than a hot dog cooked over an open flame?

Later, people started gathering around the fire for ghost stories. To motivate the story tellers, Katherine and I made some real life "flair" awards for the event:

It's hard to see, but there are two buttons: Best Ghost Story, Bonfire 2008, and #1 Scaredy Cat. I won't keep you in suspense. The Best Ghost Story button went to a girl named Susanne (I think...I've never actually met her before). She mainly got the award because her story was really long and we were all impressed that she remembered the whole thing. It involved a samurai, a ghost, and a monk. At the end of the stories, we voted and hers won. It was between her and Leo, and I voted for Leo's story. I'll probably get it a little wrong, but here's his story as I remember it:

A person (Leo's friend?) was working in an old folks home late at night. He heard a strange sound and went to inspect what it was. At the end of the hallway, he saw a door ajar, so he decided to peek in and see if that's where the sound was coming from. When he did, he saw AN EYE looking back at him - it was the old lady who lived in that room. She grabbed his arm and said, "Don't let them get me!!" He freaked out and ran down the hallway. After calming down a bit, he figured he should go back and see what was wrong with her. When he got back to her room, she was in bed sound asleep. He had no idea what to think! The next morning, he was told by other staff that the lady had died in her sleep the night before!!

There's a chance that I messed up some of the details because I think I blacked out somewhere in the middle of the story.

But even though I was a chicken, the Scaredy Cat award went to Janice, who went up to the pavilion during Joe's story because she was so scared. She was pretty proud of it:

As you can see, it was a fun night. AND, I got to hold someones hand. So, yeah. The night was a success.

Friday, August 22, 2008


TGIF! Yesterday felt like Friday, which you know is never a good thing. Then this morning I was confused about why I was getting up so early because I thought it was Saturday. But I've adjusted, and now that the work week is coming to an end, I'm going to reflect on a few highlights:

  • I found out yesterday that Justin has been playing a prank on me for several weeks that I only finally figured out yesterday. He's been sticking these post its, as pictured, in strategic places such as: journals I've been working on, my tape dispenser, my desk, etc... I, being the very unobservant person that I am, didn't realize it was him. I just thought I must have put them there myself - although I don't even own that style of post it - and that I forgot about it. It's Justin's own sweet brand of psychological torture.

  • I went out to dinner with Monica and Christi and got to watch Christi struggle with chop sticks. I think she might need some of these:
  • I went out to dinner with my sisters and my cousin Julie and got caught up on some very juicy family secrets from Julie. Wow, I had no idea what was going on with my extended family growing up! I think I'm up to speed now. Or at least I hope there's nothing more to find out! And I got to play with my adorable niece, Samantha. I don't often get to give her my undivided attention because her sister, Paige, doesn't like sharing the spotlight. She takes after her aunt that way. (I know you think I'm talking about myself but I'm actually referring to Katherine.)

  • I went on a great bike ride with Sarah. Sarah and I have been friends forever and I'm so glad that we've stayed close all these years. In fact, I'm going to post some great pics of she and I together in high school soon - I found them this week and they're hilarious. Because she is one of my oldest and dearest friends, I have to ask you to please not ask her to tell you any embarrassing stories about me because trust me, she has tonz (so many I had to use a z, not an s).

  • I hung out with Janice last night and realized once again how much I miss hanging out with her.
  • I finally got "Midnight at the Oasis" out of my head. It was replaced with the theme song to "Sister Sister" but oh well.

  • We had a farewell party for our summer interns yesterday. This included pizza, brownies, and bonding. I actually didn't talk to our summer interns more than maybe one time all summer. But they did a lot of work for us so I will miss them!

And now it's Friday. And tomorrow is Saturday, which means: bonfire! Pray it doesn't rain! But if it does, we're going to move the party inside. So come anyway!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Troll Bridge and other Saline legends...

As you know, I have been thinking about scary stories this week. Not because I'm morbid, or dark, or adventure seeking, but because I need to have a good one to tell at the bonfire this Saturday. I'm not brave enough to follow the tips I mentioned in my last post in order to create my own scary story, but I was thinking that we have plenty of scary story material right in Saline!

My friend Valerie went on a "haunted Saline" tour a couple years ago. The tour was given by a couple of ghost hunters and visited several sights in Saline. I'll tell you a few highlights of the tour along with some scary stories I know about the area. Let me know which you think is the best, i.e. the sppoooookiest.

The Troll Bridge
Way out in the country in Saline, there is a bridge in the woods locally known as "the troll bridge." The legend is this: years and years ago, a couple was driving home late at night. Their car broke down on the bridge so the husband got out to get help. He never came back. Hours later, his wife got out of the car and found her husband's body behind the car. Her body was found later that day. All the bones in their bodies were broken, and apparently the only logical explanation is that trolls did it. Personally I've always thought this one was ludicrous, but I still get spooked whenever I drive over that troll bridge.

The Cannery Houses
Down the street from the Troll Bridge there used to be a circle of houses off the road. They were destroyed a few years ago. No one knows when or why (did you like that detail? I made it up.), but at some point the houses were abandoned. My friends and I checked them out once when we were in high school. There was still furniture in them, magazines on the floor, and every other normal thing you'd find in a house. The people living there just seemed to have vanished.

Funny story: once, in high school, my friend Fred and I were driving my dad's truck past the houses, trying to spook ourselves. As we got closer to the houses, a branch broke off a tree and landed in the back of my dad's truck. Fred jumped, grabbed my arm and screamed. He'll never admit it, but it's true.

Oakwood cemetery
So, I've never found the grave yard particularly spooky, but Val told me it was on the haunted Saline tour. The ghost hunters have recorded a woman's voice saying, "Get out!" (yikes)

Union School
This school is straight up creepy. My aunt works there and has seen books fly off her book shelf for no reason. This school was also included on the haunted Saline tour.

Can you tell the stories are getting shorter? It's because I'm getting creeped out! Anyway, let me know which of these is your favorite, and I might tell it around the campfire. Don't be scared though (Emily), because they're all just products of people's imaginations running wild. Well, the troll bridge story might be true. It sounds the most probable anyway.

Zack, is that you??

I was watching t.v. tonight and a commercial came on for a show that Mark Paul Gosselaar is on. He was barely recognizable! He has long brown curly locks! What happened to Zack!? ("Preppy"!?) Which Mark do you like better? And no, you did not accidentally log onto US Weekly or But obviously, this is a very important topic.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The call is coming from inside the house!!

Mondays. Blah. I woke up this morning with the song "Midnight at the Oasis" in my head, but of course I don't know any of the lyrics to that song except the line "midnight at the oasis" which has been playing in a loop in my head for the past several hours. And now I have a headache. Like I said, Mondays. Blah.

I'm thinking the best way to get through Monday is to think about the upcoming weekend. I know it's a little early in the week for that, but desperate times call for desperate measures. So I'm taking you with me....This Saturday, Katherine and I are hosting a bonfire and I am getting really excited about it. The plan for the bonfire is pretty standard: roast marshmallows and hotdogs, sneak off with our crushes and hold hands, and of course tell ghost stories! This is the part I'm looking forward to the most, no offense, secret crush.

People who've known me for awhile know that I love ghost stories. I'm not sure if I believe in ghosts or not, but I will tell you this: when I wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, I do. Not because I've actually seen one, but because the atmosphere is right. It's dark and quiet. Too quiet. Ghost quiet. So, for those of you coming to the bonfire who don't have a good ghost story to tell (yet), here's my advice for you. It's the same advice I always give people who claim they don't have any ghost stories:
  • Set your alarm for 2:30/3:00 AM.
  • When you wake up, you'll forget why you set your alarm for that time, but you'll probably realize you have to go to the bathroom.
  • Don't turn the lights on when you get up (first of all, if you do, you'll wake up completely, and secondly, you'll disturb the spooky atmosphere).
  • Stumble down the hall to the bathroom, groping for the door.
  • Think you hear something strange, but don't check it out.
  • Once in the bathroom, look at your reflection in the mirror, but unfocus your eyes a little bit until you think you're actually looking at something, shall we say...otherworldly...
  • Go back to bed and close your eyes really tight.
  • Wake up hours later, convinced you saw a ghost.
  • Tell this story (with embellished details, including a back story of the ghost) at the bonfire.
If that doesn't work, here are some classics:
The monkey's paw
The hook
The baby-sitter

You can tell one of these, just change some of the details, claiming the story is about your uncle, your cousin, or your old neighbor. And of course, say that it's a "true story" as all good ghost stories are. Hold a flashlight on your lap and point it at your face while telling the story - that's a great effect, and not used nearly enough these days. See you at the bonfire! (Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, you're invited!)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Michael Phelps Fever

It seems that almost everyone has Michael Phelps fever these days. I can't tell you how many of my friends have said to me, "Michael Phelps is the hottest man alive and I'm in love with him." (I'm not paraphrasing.) While I'm not in love with him, I have been watching him all week, and I think I might be catching the fever.

Tonight Christi and I went to the Tigers game. The game was somewhat painful so we didn't feel guilty leaving our boys after the seventh inning to get back in time to see Michael Phelps at 10:10. We walked into Christi's apartment at 10:03, and turned on the t.v. right away. And oh my gosh, could you guys believe that race tonight!? I had to watch the replay over and over to believe it. Good thing Michael Phelps has 12 foot arms.

I wonder how long the fever is going to last? Remember the last Olympics when he was a huge superstar? Everyone around here was really excited that he was going to be moving to Ann Arbor, but then we basically didn't hear anything about him again until last week. Even though he was in Ann Arbor for the past four years.

Last night I was with some friends for dinner and we were discussing Michael Phelps and how he had just finished at UofM. Betsy asked what he's going into, and Jon said, "endorsements." Sounds about right.

Anyway, I definitely have Michael Phelps fever but I'm not in love with him like some people. I am, however, into Ryan Lochte. He's the hottest man alive and I'm in love with him.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My bike and me

This is the summer my bike and I reunited. I've had the same bike since I was a teenager, but hadn't ridden it in years and years. This summer, motivated by high gas prices and yet another resolve to get in shape, I decided to pull out the old bike. Taking it down off the hook from which it's hung in my parent's patio for about 10 years, I could tell it needed a lot of work. A lot. The tires were flat, it was covered with rust, and one of the brake lines was disconnected. Fortunately for me, I have good friends who know a thing or two about fixing bikes - Emily and Vaughn. Here's Vaughn with his bike, and Emily with my bike:

Emily fixed my tires, and taught me how to get the rust off the bike. Then she fixed up other various things she noticed were wrong. She is very skilled, as I talked about in a post earlier this summer. Vaughn is equally skilled. He replaced my brake line and put a kick stand on the bike. After he fixed it up, he told me to take it for a ride to make sure everything was working. I rolled up my right pant leg (something people love making fun of me for), and self consciously rode up and down the street. He sat on the porch and watched me, making me feel like a little kid.

Once my bike was road worthy, I started to ride it regularly. I love feeling the air blow through my hair as I fly down the streets. Yes, I look silly but trust me, I'm going so fast no one can even tell it's me, so no worries. My wind-in-the-hair days were short lived however, as friends starting lecturing me about getting a helmet. When I was a kid (a long time ago) nobody wore helmets. It's not that it wasn't cool, it's just that it wasn't done! So, anyway, I got my first helmet and I wear it most of the time but sometimes I just have a need to feel my hair blowing in the breeze. I figure if I keep on the back roads, I should be ok. Right?

One thing I've thought about a lot this summer: you know that expression, "Don't worry - it's like riding a bike! You never forget how!"? Well, I think that expression might need to be tweaked just a tiny bit to be more accurate and not give returning bike riders false confidence. I found that although it's true that you don't forget how to balance on a bike, you do forget some of the finer points. Things like turning a corner without putting your foot down, getting started again after stopping for traffic lights, or keeping out of that horrible pit of death between the edge of the sidewalk and the grass from which it is almost impossible to get out once trapped. These are things that don't immediately come back to you and you may have to make a fool out of yourself a few times before you've mastered these skills again.

Needless to say, it's been a fun summer with my bike. The thing is still a mess (just this afternoon I was on a ride with Sarah and the handle bars came loose), but I love it anyway. To anyone out there thinking about buying a bike or getting out your old bike - I'd highly recommend it. I've grown to really love my bike. And I appreciate bikes more in general - I stare at them as they ride by, feeling jealous of their bells, baskets, and other accessories. Next summer I'll focus on beautification, this summer was about function. Function and fun. (Should I make a cheesy joke about putting the fun in function? Too late, I already did.)

And for those of you who know my goal of riding my bike to work this summer: I haven't done it yet. But I will! (Well, most likely.) I'll keep you posted.

Monday, August 11, 2008

This is pretty good

Kathy sent me this link this morning. It's hilarious - it's a remixed song made in response to the drama with Kwame Kilpatrick lately. The image on the left is from the same website.

Check this out: Kwame's apology song (link). Click on the link, then click on listen. I think this song pretty accurately reflects how most people feel about Kwame at this point.

Side note: Kathy thinks this song would be better if Shooby were scatting over the parts where Kwame is talking. I have to say that I agree.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Gone Country

Hey y'all! First of all, I apologize for torturing you with my last two posts - first I made you listen to Shooby Taylor, then I made you look at a disgusting monster. This post will be less terrifying. That is, unless you hate country music.

On Wednesday, Katherine, Emily and I headed up to Jackson County to see Josh Turner. I don't normally listen to country, but actually knew who Josh Turner was so when Emily told me she had an extra ticket, I was excited.

The Jackson County fair is unlike any fair I've been to. There was this strange feeling there. First of all, it was much too quiet. Usually at fairs, there's music in the background and carnies yelling at passersby. Which reminds me of a funny story - my brother, Sean, hangs out with a lot of colorful people. They work at the Renaissance Festival, they dress up in costumes, they travel the country selling ocarinas that they make get the picture. Nice people, just very colorful. Well, he told me once about how a couple of his friends decided to join a traveling carnival and become carnies. They quit after two weeks, claiming "those people are freaks!" Now, I'm sure that most people who work at a carnival are just normal, nice people, trying to get by, but it's a funny story nonetheless.

But I digress... We wandered the fair before the concert and enjoyed the best part of a fair: the food! Only the healthiest food, of course: pulled pork sandwiches, fries with vinegar, fried Snickers and cotton candy (and yes, we did regret this the rest of the evening!) This was a big thing for me since it was the first time I'd eaten cotton candy since I was six and got sick from it. I marveled at how strange it was that it melted on my tongue as I ate it. Emily looked at me like I was crazy since she has long since forgotten was it was like to have cotton candy for the first time (in over twenty years, in my case).

After eating our weight in fair food we headed up to the grandstand to see the opening act, Jake Owens. That's when the people watching got really interesting. First of all, there seemed to be a dress code. The men were wearing these crazy shirts that are hard to describe, so here's a picture from behind:

This is what I imagine the memo said:


  • Cowboy hats or baseball caps. Camouflage print preferred.
  • Shirts with the sleeves torn off and the sides cut out
  • Too tight jeans
  • Cowboy boots


  • Skin, skin, skin!!!!!!
I slowly started to feel like I was taking a trip back in time. I'm from a somewhat small town (which used to be a lot smaller). My best friend lived on a farm and I loved it there. I remember the first couple of times I went to her house, it was like farm fantasy camp. I couldn't get enough of the barn, the wild farm kittens, the silo horror stories, cowboy hats, country music, and so on. As I looked around me at the concert, that all came back to me and I start to really enjoy it. At one point Emily looked at me and said, "these are your people! You're country!" I guess she was right. I mean, how else do you explain liking this song!? (Link) Maybe I am country. I could be worse. (If you don't believe me, go back two posts and listen to a Shooby song). Bye y'all!

Friday, August 8, 2008

My #1 Enemy

I've got the heebie jeebies in a major way. I'm not even sure I can tell you about what's creeping me out so much. Whenever I think of it, I get a shiver that travels over my whole body and I can't stop myself from squealing a little bit. Most of you have probably already guessed what it is that's terrifying me. Only one thing could be so gruesome that I hesitate to say it's name. Yep, I'm talking about the tomato hornworm.

I came upon the beast yesterday when watering my tomato plants. I've noticed some problems with my plants lately and haven't been able to find the culprit. But, ooooohhh, the way I found it was grotesque. I pulled a plant over a little bit to inspect a tomato and immediately felt some squishiness under my finger. I thought I must've put my finger into a bad tomato or something, but when I pulled my finger back, I looked and saw.....this vile monster (link).

I did what any normal person would do at that point. Squealed, jumped up and down a little bit, then ran inside and scrubbed my finger for a long time in soapy water, not trying to wash anything off my finger except the memory it carried of the squishy feeling of the brute.

I had no idea what the thing was so I went back outside, took a picture of it, squealed some more, then, later, showed the picture to some people. Most people told me it was just a caterpillar. But I knew it couldn't be. I mean, it was huge. What was it going to morph into - a bird!?

So this morning on my break, I went to the garden center that I always go to when I need advice. I had some other questions I needed to ask so I got to those first. Then one of the men I was talking to said, "there's this awful thing called the tomato hornworm. It's huge (he indicated with his fingers how big it was while at the same time cringing). You should be glad you don't have those!" I replied, "Actually, that's the other thing I was going to ask you about, I found this thing in my garden yesterday and took a picture of it. I'm not sure what it is." I took out the picture and showed it to him. He smiled and said, "Yep! That's what you have! The hornworm!"

That's what I was afraid of. So I asked what I need to do. His answer was something right out of a horror movie. "You have to pick them off the plants yourself."

What!? I groaned just a little as a shiver ran through me. I asked if there were any other options, but he said no. So I argued, "But they're just so gross! I touched one on accident yesterday and I'm still not over it!" He laughed and said, "Well, you should get someone else to do it. You shouldn't have to do it." I'm not really sure what he meant by that last part, but I must say that I agree with him.

The only problem is, who am I going to get to touch those repulsive things? I'm not married so I can't beg, coerce, or bargain with a spouse to do it for me. I think it's up to me. Which means I'll be buying my tomatoes at the farmers market for the rest of the season. No actually, I've been thinking that if I'm heavily armed enough, I might be able to do it. I figure if I wear the suit below and use tongs to remove the little monsters, that might be enough.

I'm still not sure what I'm going to do with them once I get them off the plants, but I'm not planning that far in advance yet. To be honest, I'm not sure I'll ever get to that point. But if I do, you'll be the first to hear about it! Wish me luck!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Two websites that have entertained me the last couple days...

Shooby Taylor (link)
On this link, I would encourage you to:
1) Listen to Stout-Hearted Men
2) Check out the lyrics. They really clear things up.
I'm sad I can't be with you to watch your reaction in person.

Something incredibly weird, yet hypnotizing (link)
Check this out and let me know how long you watched it waiting for something to happen (I don't think anything does).

I should warn you, both of these websites are completely obnoxious. So if you were already on the fence about whether or not you want to be friends with me, I don't recommend checking out these sites. It could really jeopardize things.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Identity Crisis

Who am I? What are the characteristics that define me? In my quest to get to know and understand myself better, these are some questions I have explored. But how does one get to know oneself better? Self help books? Friends? Journaling? Spiritual pilgrimage? Well, I'm here to tell you that I have found a great way - online personality tests that tell me which character I am most like from any given T.V. show or movie.

And boy, have I learned a lot! For example, if you had asked me which Saved By the Bell character I most resemble, I would probably guess Jessie, maybe Kelly. Possibly even Ms. Bliss. But guess what? I'm actually most like A. C. Slater! Who knew!? The test results revealed stuff about myself that totally blew my mind! Such as: "you're a jock with a tough exterior, but you've got a soft side, too. You love the chicks and they love you too." Hmmm....weird. Not what I expected. It was right about the soft side, but the rest...umm...not so much.

On our breaks, Justin and Kathy and I take these quizzes from time to time. Oddly enough, Justin and I almost always get the same results. We're both Slater, we're both Samantha from 16 Candles (I don't think Justin was comfortable with that result) and in the Full House quiz, we both turned out to be Danny. It seemed fitting since I love to clean and wear cardigan sweaters. Kathy was Stephanie, which really disappointed her as she hates the catch phrase, "How rude!" Justin wished he was Stephanie since he used that catch phrase all through the fourth grade - no doubt making him the most popular kid in class.

Sometimes it's necessary to take a quiz more than once if you're uncomfortable with the results. In the Simpsons quiz, I first tested as Flanders but I couldn't really accept that. I took the test again and was Lisa. I figured I'd take the test again for a tie breaker. I was Lisa again. Phew. That's a relief.

The Princess Bride quiz offered us some of the biggest surprises! Well, except for me. I was Princess Buttercup which was no surprise for obvious reasons (high maintenance, long dark blond hair, beautiful, charming, etc...) But Justin was Vizzini and Kathy was Valerie. Neither was pleased.

Anyway, I would like to encourage you to take some of these quizzes yourself! Find out which Smurf you are! (I'm Papa Smurf.) Or maybe which Lost character you are (I'm Eko). You never know, you might learn something about yourself. You'll be on the path to some very insightful realizations before you know it. I'd love to hear what you find out!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Weak Sales Resistance

My hands and arms have never been as silky smooth as they are today. Why, you ask? Two reasons: I let my guard down, and I have weak sales resistance.

It happened this Saturday. I went to the mall to buy some new jeans, some lotion, and a book. But even though I went there for specific items, I kind of got side tracked once there. It's happened to all of us right? I ended up wandering the mall, looping back and forth, remembering all the things I suddenly had to check out. I guess somewhere in all that looping, I let my guard down with the aggressive kiosk salespeople.

Usually, I have all sorts of tricks to avoid getting pulled in by them. I stare straight ahead, pretending I'm deaf to their comments and calls. I pull out my cell phone and pretend I'm talking on it. I've even walked really really close to people I don't know, pretending to be with them so the salespeople can't single me out. And usually, when I accidently make eye contact with them, a firm "no thank you" does the trick.

But not always. As I learned on Saturday.

It was at the dead sea salt skin products kiosk in front of Borders. First, the guy asked me if I'd like some free skin product. I said, "No thanks" and kept walking. But he followed me and said, "how can you say no? You don't even know what it is." I said, "I'm ok. Thanks though." But by then he was holding my hand (seriously) and saying, "Just let me show you this. You will love it." I don't know what happened! Maybe it was because he's good looking. Maybe he hypnotized me. Whatever it was, I followed him back.

The next half hour or so is a blur. Let's just say, this guy is good at his job. He charmed me and flattered me. He spoke to me with his thick accent and caressed my hand. I should add that his flattery could not have been more insincere. Such as when he guessed my age at being, "what - 16, 17?" I laughed and said, "Oh puleeeze!" But he looked at me all innocently, like he had no idea what I was implying. He told me I should go on a date with him, he asked me how a beautiful girl like me isn't married yet, he complimented me on anything he could think of to try to weaken my sales resistance. And somehow, even though I knew what he was doing, I weakened. Once he got me to buy some stuff, he encouraged me to use it often, and all over, telling me, "men, they like the soft body." Translation: use this up so you have to come back for more a.s.a.p.

I will admit that the product is amazing. As I mentioned before, my skin has never felt so silky smooth. But I spent much more money on it than I care to admit, and I'm mad at myself for letting my guard down. Next time I go to the mall, I am going to have to role play saying no first. Or at the very least, sidle up to some strangers and pretend they're my best friends when I'm walking past a kiosk. I'll do whatever it takes! Meanwhile, I guess I'll try to just enjoy having the smoothest skin around.

Friday, August 1, 2008


I'm sad today because they're done filming the scene from "Youth in Revolt" now. I know I had nothing to do with the movie whatsoever, but it was a really nice distraction from the monotony of every day life to check out the set this week!

Yesterday as I was walking by the set, I heard some people discussing who was in the movie. Someone said, "it's Ray Lisota." Someone else said, "I think it's Ray Leeesota." I heard several variations of the name until someone finally piped in with, "I think it's actually Ray Liotta."

Last night after going out for dessert, a few friends and I stopped by the set. It was all charred up from the scene with the car crash. Today they took it all down, as seen in the pictures below. I'm sure that some of you will be glad you won't have to hear anything more about this movie! But I'm bummed. Who would've thought I'd get attached to a movie I have no intention of seeing!?