"I want, I want, I want ... but that's crazy"

Friday, December 25, 2009

Santa likes socks and underwear

Happy Christmas to you all! Or Bah Humbug, if that's your preference. I don't judge.

All of my holiday merrymaking, such as it was, happened yesterday. I picked up Book from his dad's house on Wednesday, so we all got up Thursday morning and opened the pathetically tiny little pile of gifts that marks the umemployed single parent. The kids were still very happy and excited. I was hungover myself. I'd spent the previous night up until 5 a.m. (!!!) chatting with a friend of mine and drinking my homemade wine. I'd intended to have one glass, but by 5 a.m. I'd had two and a half very large glasses of very strong wine. Yeow, 9:30 a.m. was NOT pleasant.

After we did the thing at home (and I took a Motrin and tried to rehydrate), we all headed over to my mother's house for the Christmas (eve) thing there. I got loaded up with lots of "pamper me" kinds of gifts, which I suppose have to serve as a substitute for the man who's not here to pamper me. The kids got some toys and all of those "essentials" that grandmas always gets them for Christmas.

She always labels her gifts, "from Santa," so Book remarked, "Boy, Santa sure likes to give us socks and underwear."

Mom replied to him, "Well, he knows that's what you need."

We ordered a Christmas dinner (pizza) and then took Book back home to his dad's.

Today, I was still in recovery this morning from my excess drink. Either the wine is very strong, or I just don't bounce back the way I used to. Maybe a combination of both. Maybe I'm getting old.

I took the girls over to their dad's to do their Christmas thing there, and when I got home, Pooh was getting ready to take off to go to his dad's for dinner. So I spent the rest of the evening alone.

I did get a surprise phone call from Italy. F was back home visiting his family (he lives in Switzerland), but he wanted to give me a call to say "hi" and give me a little comfort knowing that I was home alone on Christmas. It was nice of him. No one else did.

Flashback Friday - A Couple of Misfits

It's an extra special Christmas edition Flashback Friday, with Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Herbie the Elf singing, A Couple of Misfits.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

On to the countdown

I did the whole Christmas shopping thing on Thursday, as I'd promised. While I was at it, I also got the front tires replaced on my car, got an oil change, changed the air filter and got new wiper blades installed. I managed it all in about two hours. That's got to be some kind of record. Of course, the pile of now-wrapped presents looks pitifully small. IS pitifully small, I should say. Oh well, the kids know this year is a slim one. It hasn't really dampened the enthusiasm all that much.

I avoided wrapping yesterday. The girls were gone for the night, so it really would have been a perfect opportunity, but I opted to start drinking early instead. By about 10 I was ready for bed. I actually headed there by about 11. Surprise, surprise - I lay awake until about 3 a.m. I think too much.

I woke up this morning to the second snow of the season. It looked a bit more serious about it this time. The snow actually stuck all day. Some of it's started to melt, but the temperature's dropped, so all of that is ice now. I'm not going to complain too much about it though. I've seen what the east coast got, and I'll take our little inch or so instead. Besides, I don't have to actually leave the house tomorrow for any particular reason. I think I'll stay home and bundled up.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Flashback Friday - I Just Want to be Your Everything

In honor of the massive crush I had on him when I was about 7 years old, it's Andy Gibb singing I Just Want to be Your Everything for this week's Flashback Friday.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I'll do it tomorrow..... really

Despite my best efforts and a hard-fought campaign, it appears that this "Christmas" thing is indeed coming. And it's getting here in .... what? ... nine days?! How did that happen?!

Nine days. OK. I can procrastinate a little longer. No, wait. No, I can't. I'll be getting Book on Wednesday, and we'll be doing our whole "Christmas" thing on Thursday. Christmas Eve. So, that's eight days. Seven really. I have to be done by then. Six if I'm realistic, because I kind of need to wrap all that stuff and everything, don't I?

So I've got six days. Less than a week. I could do it this weekend...... Yech, that's the last weekend before Christmas. Stores are a nightmare. No thank you!!

Well, any other time, I've got the girls. I can't very well take them Christmas shopping for their own gifts with me. So, I guess that means I have to go while they're in school. They're in school right now. But I'm not dressed yet. I slept in to try to catch up on all the sleeping I haven't been doing lately. And there's a game this afternoon. I absolutely HAVE to watch the Chelsea game to see if there's any way Portsmouth can take them out and put my Man United boys back at the top of the Premier League table (not counting goal difference, of course, but one more game could level that out).

But I digress. No, I avoid and evade. So, the answer is simply that I CAN'T POSSIBLY do it today. All right. It's decided then. I'll finish the Christmas shopping tomorrow. There. It's settled.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A puppy for Christmas?

Gin's got one big Christmas wish: She wants a puppy. Specifically, she wants a collie.

Unfortunately, I've already had to tell her that's not going to happen. We live in an apartment, and we've already got a cat and a frog. Besides, an apartment is no place for a collie. They need room to run and play.

I also know that she's just not up to the responsibility of owning a dog. She can't keep up with the maintenance on her cat - which, fortunately, consists of little more than feeding, watering and scooping out the litter box - so I know she's not up to the requirements of puppy training.

If you're considering getting a puppy for Christmas, I advise you to check out the Puppy Training Guide. This clean, simple, user-friendly website is a great starting point for learning all the basic training needs of puppies, as well as learning how to deal with common behavioral issues you might experience.

You have to remember: there are few things in life quite so satisfying as the companionship of a good dog, but it's important to properly train your puppy early and consistently, or you're in for a long and difficult relationship. Most dogs have an average lifespan of 10-12 years, but it's not unusual for a dog to live to 15 or even 20 years of age. Buying a puppy is a long-term commitment, and it's vital that you get it right from the beginning.

The Puppy Training Guide makes this so much easier.

You'll probably want to start out with the one that your carpet - and your family - will thank you for: housebreaking your puppy. Plan to take some time with this one, as it requires consistency and dedication. But if you stick to it, you'll find that most puppies will pick it up pretty quickly. After all, your new puppy wants nothing more than to please YOU! As the Puppy Training Guide advises, stay positive and use lots of positive reinforcement.

It's also important that you train your puppy for a leash. You might have a fenced-in yard and find it easy to just put the puppy out to run and play freely, but chances are good that you will want to take your dog for a walk or out visiting, and that means using a leash. You have your dog's safety (and often local laws) to consider, so leash-training is a must! Again, the Puppy Training Guide will make this easier on you and your dog.

Another biggie is socializing your dog. Dogs are social animals, but you can't just expect them to automatically take to other animals and people. The Puppy Training Guide will teach you how to introduce your pet to social situations so they are comfortable and well-behaved.

In addition to these basics, you'll learn how to teach your newest family member how to sit, come, lie down, stay, fetch and heel, as well as how to prevent and eliminate such behavioral problems as begging, biting, whining and jumping on people.

With this guide, you'll be glad you welcomed a new puppy into your home this Christmas!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

What day is it again?

I don't even know what day it is anymore. I remember waking up this morning about three days ago. I watched the Chelsea game against Everton. I was a 3-3 tie. Very exciting stuff, and I was glad Chelsea was held to just gaining one more point in the Premier League. Then I watched the Man United game. Not good. Well, the game was good, but my boys lost. :( There's another game Tuesday, and it's Wolverhampton, so that's going to be a win.

Anyway, that feels like it was about two days ago. I spent the rest of the day at home not doing much at all. Maybe it's weird because it's Saturday, but I didn't get Book today. Doesn't feel like Saturday. Maybe it's because I worked so much this week that I've spent the day catching up on TV shows I'm usually watching over the course of four or five days. Maybe it's just because my sleep has been so lousy again over the past several weeks that my mind's not functioning properly anymore.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Flashback Friday - I Just Died in Your Arms

Ah, memories! This week's Flashback Friday is from Cutting Crew. It's I Just Died in Your Arms.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Winter's officially here

It's happened. The evil white, flaky invaders have landed. Yes - I woke up to snow this morning. It was bound to happen sooner or later, but I prefer as much later as I can get. I suppose it's December now, so I can't complain too terribly much - as long as it doesn't get out of hand.

By the time I had to drive to the commission meeting for work tonight, the temperature was hovering around freezing, there was a light drizzle falling and a light fog had set in. I feared for the road conditions for the drive home, but it turned out that they weren't bad, yet. It was a good thing, too, because I was in such a rush yesterday that I didn't have time to get my new tires put on the front of my car, and the ones there now are quite bald.

Yesterday was Munch's Christmas program at school. I never look forward to those, because it's always a long and miserable experience, but it wasn't so bad this year. They've finally rearranged things so the K-4 student program and the band program are on separate nights, to reduce the number of family members attending at one time. They also finally set up the floor so they could open both sides of the bleachers in the gym. It's always been so crowded before that I've only once gotten a real seat. Twice I had to stand against the wall throughout it, once I was sitting on the floor, and once I actually couldn't even get into the gym, so I had to stand in the hallway! One year I dropped Gin off at the school and just came home instead. (She didn't mind. Munch would have, but Gin didn't care one way or the other.) The new arrangement allowed for much more seating and a much shorter program. It was a tremendous improvement. You see, it's a pretty small school, but it's a Catholic community with large, very involved families. For each child, there's generally a set of parents, one or two sets of grandparents, and any number of siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins attending. You can see why they had to do something to make it survivable for the audience.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Best deals of the year

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Charter Communication. All opinions are 100% mine.

Chartercom_black_friday__234x134Charter is ending its year of amazing sweepstakes and incredible deals with its best one yet. Visit Charter's Daily Deal Web Site to find the best deals on phone, internet and cable services, including free gift cards with special online deals. You'll also get a chance to win a huge variety of great prizes for the holidays.

Charter began its holiday special with gift cards of up to $200 from Black Friday to Cyber Monday, after Thanksgiving, but you haven't missed out. There's still plenty more. After Cyber Monday began 38 days of specials.

Gift cards from major retailers in everything from clothing to electronics to home and housewares to accessories to restaurants stretch your holiday dollars farther - just when you need it the most.

Each day, Charter's Daily Deal Web Site offers something different, and there are lots of chances to win every day. Prizes include great products such as iPods, camcorders, GPS units, webcams, photo frames and more. They've even got cool Showtime products from programs such as Dexter, The Tudors and Californication, as well as box sets of HBO's Big Love and Entourage series.

To keep up with all the daily deals the easy way, become a fan of Charter on Facebook. Their Facebook page will be updated with all the latest they have to offer. Don't miss out on the best deals of the year from Charter!

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My friend D recommended a book to me a few days ago called "The Celestine Prophecy" by James Redfield. He knows I'm a Taoist, and we've discussed that before, so he said when he read this, he thought it had me "written all over it."

Naturally, that intrigued me. I downloaded it Thursday night onto my Blackberry, and I've been rapt ever since. I could definitely see why he thought of me when he read it. By the time I went to sleep last night, I'd gotten through the section on the Third Insight, regarding energy. That really fascinated me. It's very much akin to the concept of chi. I don't remember ever discussing that with D before, and if I haven't, I'm impressed by his own insight. If I have, I'm impressed that he remembered it, because as I said, I don't. Of course, I've discussed various levels and aspects of my life philosophy with many people, so it's probable that many of the specific conversations and courses of discussion have slipped my mind.

I must say, as the book has progressed, it's captured my attention completely. I expect I'll be finishing it tonight - or tomorrow at the latest. I didn't get much sleep last night (about two hours), so despite my nap earlier, it's possible that I'll fall off at a moderately reasonable hour. It's after midnight now. Moderately reasonable is relative.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Have your music at home again

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Yamaha. All opinions are 100% mine.

I love taking my music with me on the road and having it with me wherever I go, but my mobile music has become the real hub of my entire music collection. I don't even have a home stereo system anymore, so when I want to listen to my music at home, I'm still using my mobile option.

If you've got all your music on your iPod or iPhone, and you've given up the limitations of the whole home set-up, you can still get the home stereo experience with your mobile music library with the Yamaha PDX-60.

This cool little dock isn't like the others. It connects to your iPod or iPhone wirelessly. So you can sit in your comfy chair with your iPod or iPhone right next to you, while the dock sits on the shelf or wherever you like it sharing your music with the whole room.

It also comes with a cradle that charges your iPod or iPhone, as well as a small card type remote control. With the dual chargers - the dock and the cradle - two iPhones or iPods can be charged at the same time.

It's even available in plenty of colors to compliment or liven up your decor, depending how you like it. You can get it in blue, pink, gray or black.

And keep in mind, this isn't some little set of speakers, it's a real music system with no sound delays, rich, quality sound and high-impact bass. You can rock out to all your favorite tunes shaking the knickknacks off the shelves with this one.

All these years we've wanted to be able to take our music on the road with us. Now it's gotten to the point that we only have it on the road. Here's your chance to bring your favorite music back home again.

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Coffee, new book and insomnia don't mix.... or mix too well

Last night on my way home from the meeting, I stopped for a big cafe mocha to stave off the cold. Seeing as it was after 8 p.m., and I'm an insomniac, this was probably a bad idea. I also started reading a book that was recommended to me by a friend. Also a bad idea for a voracious reader insomniac on top of a big cafe mocha.

I was up until 5 a.m. I had to get up at 7.

I did manage to get up, and not only that, I stayed up. The crash didn't end up hitting me until late this evening.

In the mean time, I got my Internet back, so I got some things done there. My ex's mother called to say he was still in the hospital, but (unfortunately) apparently will live. Gin took off to spend the night at a friend's house, and Munch has decided to have a big bowl of popcorn and watch a movie (since Pooh's also gone and she actually gets control of the television set).

Since I got my nap in, I'll curl up with my book again.

Flashback Friday - Believe It or Not

I'm going TOTALLY CHEESY with this week's Flashback Friday! It's the theme song from that horrible 80s TV show, The Greatest American Hero!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Net down

My internet's been down since last evening, so I am forced to post via e-mail by Blackberry. When oh when will Google give us a Blogger app for Blackberry? Btw, how about a full-size keyboard accessory for the BB? Does that exist yet?

I had to work tonight, covering a meeting of the new Liberty Group (a chapter of the Dayton Tea Party). I was pleasantly surprised to find that the speaker's running theme was to cut out the personal attacks and stick to the issues. Too many conservatives have become so vitriolic that they look like a hate group, and I'm becoming ashamed of calling myself conservative again. Tonight's meeting restored some hope for me on that score. (And my support of personal liberty still includes the right of gays to marry - so don't throw stones at me for that conservative label on that issue.)

As I was getting into my car for the drive home, I saw .... urgh ... snow. Only a little, but I still don't want it. I have no problem with a brown and gray Christmas, thanks. This is Ohio though, and like cows, corn and soybeans, snow is inevitable.

While I was home writing up my story (which had to be written on the computer, photo uploaded to the computer, both files transferred to the Blackberry, then e-mailed in to the office), I got a phone call from my ex-husband. He said he was on his way to the hospital, believing he's having a heart attack. I'm sure he's fine. Not only is he a wimp when he's ill, he also refuses to just die. Call me cold, but this is the man who constantly lied and cheated, once knocked me down a flight of stairs when I was eight months pregnant, spit in my face, and has provided ZERO financial support for either of his daughters in the last seven years. Last year was the first time since the divorce that he even got them Christmas gifts, and I'm convinced that was just because he's living with his mother now. The man's personal theme song (that he selected himself) is "Son of a Bitch" by Judas Priest - and he lives up to it.
Hither and yon

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Delayed start to the week

Another week has begun, though I delayed it as long as possible. I got an unexpected extension of my holiday weekend, as my regular Monday night commission meeting was canceled - so I didn't have to work.

I actually managed to do quite a lot over the weekend, but I still haven't gotten my new kitchen faucet installed. I really do have to get to that. I didn't have Book this weekend, so the girls and I took advantage of a full Saturday at home. They actually managed to clean their entire room (Munch said, "Wow! It's been a while since we've seen the carpet!"), and we have a mountain of laundry as a result, which is slowly being whittled down.

On Sunday, my mother gave me a call asking if the girls and I would like to take a trek back to my hometown for some taco pizza at the place that makes the world's BEST. It was worth the drive of more than an hour, and we also did a little shopping while we were out. We even stopped off to see my long lost cousin and her family for a few minutes on the way back. I don't think we've seen each other since last Christmas, and since mom decided not to host her sisters and their children for this year's Thanksgiving, it seemed appropriate to stop for a visit. It's also the first time I've seen my aunt since she was diagnosed with cancer. She's still hanging in there, though it's been about two months, and even then, the doctor's were pretty much predicting "any time now."

Yesterday I actually got to have a real conversation with my friend D, who's been almost completely absent from my life for the past few months. It was nice to reconnect. I missed him.

Today's agenda has only a phone report to do for work and further whittling of the laundry mountain. Oh... and of course the Manchester United - Tottenham game. :)