Monday, March 29, 2010

40 Things

40 Things
Stolen from the Hotfessional, because she's awesome.
1. Do you like bleu cheese?
OMG, no. When we were in Vienna, my friend and I ordered a pizza to share that was listed as a "Four Cheese Pizza". Because we couldn't read German, we didn't know that one of those cheeses was bleu cheese. The pizza was completely inedible, and one of the leaders of the trip swapped food with us because he liked bleu cheese.
2. Have you ever smoked?
No. I dabbled with smoking a bit in college, and I still almost always have a pack of clove cigarettes in my car, but I hardly ever smoke one. I think the pack that's in my car now is more than a year old, and still mostly full.
3. Do you own a gun?
Yes. This is what happens when you marry a military man. I'm also a surprisingly good shot, given that I never practice.
4. Favorite type of food?
Mexican. I could eat Mexican food every day and not get tired of it.
5. Favorite type of music?
Classic rock. Zeppelin, the Stones, the Who.
6. What do you think of hot dogs?
Love them! I don't even care if they're the brown ones or the red ones. I like them all. With mayo, ketchup and chili. Yummmm.
7. Favorite Christmas movie?
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, which I will watch anytime of the year. I do not consider it a Christmas movie. It just happens to be set at Christmas time.
The George C. Scott version of A Christmas Carol. (He shared my birthday, a fact I bring up every time George C. Scott is mentioned.)
How the Grinch Stole Christmas - the Grinch's dog Max makes me laugh every time.
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning?
Water while I'm getting ready for work, coffee on the way to work.
9. Can you do push ups?
10. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry?
My diamond earrings. Present from hubby a few Christmases ago.
11. Favorite hobby?
Like you have to ask? Reading. And photography.
12. Do you have A. D. D.?
13. Do you wear glasses/contacts?
Contacts during the week, glasses sometimes on the weekend, sunglasses if it's the least bit bright.
14. Middle name?
Alicia. Technically, now it's my maiden name, but I don't want to put that out here.
15. Name three thoughts at this exact moment:
I have so much work to do. Oh. Wait.
Damnit, my nose is running again.
I need to stop at Target on the way home.
16. Name three drinks you regularly drink:
Water, coffee and sweet tea.
17. Current worry?
Wow, I can't really think of anything. I must be far luckier than I realize.
18. Current hate right now?
My cold/ allergies/ what-the-hell-ever is making my nose run and making me feel like crap yesterday and today.
19. Favorite place to be?
At home, with my family
Followed closely by - in bed, asleep
20. How did you bring in the new year?
Rock and the kids and I stayed up talking, wished each other a Happy New Year, then went to bed. Yes, we ARE the most exciting people you know.
21. Someplace you’d like to go?
I want to take my dad to Scotland, which is where our family is from.
22. Name three people who will complete this.
Eh, anyone who wants to. I don't believe in tagging people.
23. Do you own slippers?
Own them, yes
Wear them, no
24. What color shirt are you wearing?
25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets?
No, I prefer high-count cotton
26. Can you whistle?
Not well.
27. Where are you now?
At work.
28. Would you be a pirate?
Hell yes! Arrrh, you're going to have to walk the plank, matey!
29. What songs do you sing in the shower?
I get up too early to sing in the shower. If I did, though, it would be showtunes.
30. Favorite Girl’s Name?
31. Favorite boy’s name?
Nicholas, which Rock doesn't like and I will never get to use. Sob.
32. What is in your pocket right now?
Nothing, these pants don't have pockets.
33. Last thing that made you laugh?
Lunch with a work friend.
34. What vehicle do you drive?
Ten year old Honda Civic, Represent! 260,000 miles and going strong. I love that car.
35. Worst injury you’ve ever had?
That would be my broken ankle.
36. Do you love where you live?
Yes, but I don't love my commute.
37. How many TVs do you have in your house?
38. How many computers do you have in your house
39. If you changed your job, what would it be?
I really want to look into moving into the publishing industry. Or photography, but that would definitely require going back to school.
40. If you were granted three wishes, what would they be??
New job (or lottery win. Also acceptable.)
Better figure
Husband to not be allergic to cats (yeah, that's pretty random.)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Heh. Well, I'm still glad that I got that rant out of my system on Thursday. Posting that allowed me to go back and get that project on track. It is now done and waiting on review, which I hope will be positive. For the most part, I really like my job and I do a very good job here. It's just that sometimes I get frustrated and writing about it helps.

Anyway, I hope you all had a great weekend! The weather here was gorgeous! We even managed to get outside and enjoy it both days this weekend. On Saturday, we prepared two flower beds and on Sunday, we planted some flowers in each of the beds. I'm so excited and can't wait to see all the bright, happy flowers in a few months. The kids loved picking out the flowers (things they did not love: helping to prep the flower beds!). I'll try to remember to take pictures to show you guys when the flowers start to bloom!

So tell me: what did you do over the weekend?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Small Rant

Oh my fucking God, you guys. How did I wind up in a job that requires this much math? Because math skillz, I does not has them. I don't mean addition, subtraction, multiplication, etc - those I can do. I mean, looking at the situation and going, "Oh, but wait, if there's a fee, you have to take that off the top before you can use this handy dandy formula (that I keep written down and hidden in my bottom desk drawer)." I'm working on a project that I should be rocking, and instead I'm stinking it up. I realized before lunch that "Oops. All those times where I thought the program had the wrong answer and I had the right answer? Yep, the program answer was right and the Shelly answer was wrong." I might as well just start over. Crap.

Seriously, I report to an Accounting department?! What is up with that? How did I get here, yo?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Judging Books...

Open letter to authors, publishers, marketers, etc:
If your book has a major plot twist that should shock or surprise your readers, do not discuss it in the synopsis in such a way that makes it absolutely obvious WHAT the plot twist is. The book jacket for a novel I read recently discussed a plot twist by saying, "Then, decades later, another unimaginable piece of information turns up. For the reader, it is an electrifying moment, a joyous, fall-off-the-couch-with-surprise moment. For Patsy [the main character], it is more complicated. Blame must be reapportioned, her life reassessed." The way the story is set up, if blame has to be reapportioned, then that "piece of information" can only be one thing. I knew what the twist was before I even started reading the novel. My point is this: if you truly wanted to make it a "fall-off-the-couch-with-surprise moment", you should have camouflaged it better in the synopsis. Saying, "Decades later, Patsy discovers something shocking about her crime that causes her to reassess her life." is more vague and leaves more possibilities open.

Much love,

I'm currently reading Water for Elephants, which has been sitting on my shelf for a couple years for one simple reason - it had no synopsis at all, so I didn't have any idea what it was about. I only started it now because the book club I just joined is reading it this month. Otherwise, it might have sat on my shelf indefinitely, because I had very little interest in it. I'm not very far into it, but so far it's fantastic. The first chapter grabs you and pulls you in. It's as good as John Irving, back in his Garp days, only maybe a little better.

I'm also listening to the first Harry Potter book on cd. I've just about finished it- in fact, I'll probably finish it on the way home, and I've already got the second one checked out of the library to start as soon as I finish the first. I've been thoroughly enchanted with the first book. I have a major apology to issue to all my friends who told me, over the years, how much I would enjoy the Harry Potter series if I read them. Not that I disrespected my friends, or didn't value their opinions, but I just didn't have any interest in the HP series. And I never really knew why until I started planning this post. I remembered a few years back, when Supergirl first got curious about the books I read, she asked me what one of my books was about. And, because I hadn't yet figured out that the plot lines of almost all the books I read aren't really suitable to explain to a small child, I told her. She immediately started asking a bunch of questions about why the people did what they did, why they weren't good, etc., etc. Rock chimed in and said, "Because Momma doesn't read happy books. Nice, happy things don't happen in her books." He was joking, in part, but I was a little stung, too. And I realized yesterday that I was stung because the criticism is ABSOLUTELY TRUE. I don't really read happy books. And that's exactly why I resisted the Harry Potter series for so long. They sounded really sweet. And wholesome. And I don't really do sweet and wholesome. Give me a good serial killer, or a dysfunctional family and I'm happy. But I've been pleasantly surprised by the HP series. They are sweet, and wholesome, but they are also fun and really, really entertaining. (Oh, and I've also learned to PG my book descriptions for Supergirl. So now, my descriptions are more along the lines of "Oh, it's about a family." "And what do they do?" "Well, they do family stuff, you know." Instead of saying, Well the teenage daughter drops the baby down the stairs giving him permanent brain damage, then has a nervous breakdown, accuses her father of molesting her, and gets packed off to a special school for crazy teens. And the parents split up. Of the True Blood series, my description was, "It's about a girl and her boyfriend." "What do they do?" "Oh, they go out to dinner and talk a lot." Well, see, he's a vampire and she's a mind reader, so they get into lots of trouble, and they also have lots of sex. Much better, all the way around.)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Hits Just Keep on Coming

Oh my God, you guys. Tuesday night it started snowing. And snowing. And snowing. When I went to bed, we had about 3 inches. Rock woke me up around 3 am, when he was going to bed, and told me we had about 5 inches and I probably wouldn't be going to work. So I reset my alarm for later, so that I could call and find out if the office was closed, or let people know I wasn't coming in, went to the bathroom, and went back to sleep. About an hour later, our power started going off and coming back on. Then, it went off and stayed off. Since my alarm clock has a battery back-up, it still went off at 7. I called one of my co-workers to ask if the office was closed. She was like, "Um, no. Why? We only got a half inch of snow." And I said, "Well, I've got 6 inches of snow and no power. I won't be in." Disadvantage of living far away from the office - your weather can be completely different from theirs. So we played in the snow and then went to town to get some food and then went to my in-laws house because they have a generator (Flushing toilets! Running water! I've never been quite so excited to wash my hands.) and hung out there for the afternoon. We were just starting to make plans about where to spend the night when the power came back on at 5:15pm, more than 12 hours after it went off. We gathered up our stuff and went back to our house, and about an hour after we turned on our furnace, our house was warm again. Gas heat for the win!

Monday, March 1, 2010


So this weekend was much quieter than last weekend, thank God. My kid is fine, totally fine. She's back to fighting with her brother, so she must be fine, AMIRITE?

Has anyone else discovered Dan Chaon's novels? I read You Remind Me of Me last weekend and Await Your Reply this weekend. I checked them out of the library, but then I found a copy of You Remind Me of Me at the used bookstore for $5 on Friday evening! Score! They're both very good, but Await Your Reply is stellar. It's a Chinese box, MC Escher drawing, interlocking puzzle of a novel. It focuses on identity theft, and I swear, it made me want to stop direct deposit on my paycheck, close my bank account, put all my money in a shoebox under my bed and crawl in there after it. And never touch the Internet again. Oh, and burn my credit cards. And I am not the paranoid member of my household. I want Rock to read it, except that I'm afraid that if he does, we'll be living in a hole in the ground, eating food we raise, and I'll never get a computer or Internet access at home. (the amount that I'm kidding in that sentence is lower than you think.) But the characters! Oh my God, you guys, the characters! And the plot twists! And that's about all I can say without giving anything away except OMG, SO GOOD. Chaon has a way of crafting novels around a theme without being obvious and a hand so deft with plot twists that you will be blind-sided. They're both excellent, but Await Your Reply is phenomenal.