Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Is Jared Ghetto or Not?


Ladies, may I introduce you to my friend Jared from Tampa. Today's question is, "Does this picture make Jared look ghetto?" and "Would you go out with him?" Feel free to put your responses in the "comments" section.

Pics of old friends

I dug up some fun pictures of old friends to send to someone, and figured why not post them here as well? Pictures on blogs are always more fun, right?

The infamous Adventure Date.

I am not just sporting cute pigtails here. This would be one of the few pictures remaining of me in fire department turnout gear. I'm soaking wet from "nozzle time" on a house fire.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Pride and Prejudice Rocks

It turns out Chris is a nice, smart, and yet horribly misguided fellow. On the nice and smart front, he admits to reading my column on a regular basis. So he can't be that bad. He's even commented on it multiple times on his blog. So we'll forgive him some bad writing, and retract the previously thought mean comments. However, he is horribly misguided. He's also commented many times on Pride and Prejudice, and not in a good way.

P&P is one of the best books ever written. Juli and I even "loosely based" our own book on P&P. Some of the best quotes ever come from Jane Austen-

I do not want people to be agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them.
Where so many hours have been spent in convincing myself that I am right, is there not some reason to fear I may be wrong?
Silly things do cease to be silly if they are done by sensible people in an impudent way. (From Emma)
A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of. (Mansfield Park)
Where any one body of educated men, of whatever denomination, are condemned indiscriminately, there must be a deficiency of information, or...of something else. (Mansfield Park)
In every power, of which taste is the foundation, excellence is pretty fairly divided between the sexes. (Northanger Abbey)
I always deserve the best treatment because I never put up with any other. (Emma)
At my time of life opinions are tolerably fixed. It is not likely that I should now see or hear anything to change them. (Sense and Sensibility)
We all know him to be a proud, unpleasant sort of a man; but this would be nothing if you really liked him (Pride and Prejudice)
For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn? (Pride and Prejudice)
It is always incomprehensible to a man that a woman should ever refuse an offer of marriage. (P&P)
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a large fortune must be in want of a wife (P&P)
One cannot be always laughing at a man without now and then stumbling on something witty.
If there is anything disagreeable going on men are always sure to get out of it.
What strange creatures brothers are!

A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.
Human nature is so well disposed towards those who are in interesting situations, that a young person, who either marries or dies, is sure to be kindly spoken of.

Nobody minds having what is too good for them.

How can you ever argue with the genius of Jane Austen??



Monday, August 29, 2005

Thanks to some guy named Chris

Thanks to some guy named Chris from Cheyenne I am enjoying more page hits than usual right now. He's attempting to mock me on his own personal website right now, and actually put a link to mine on it. He is making some sort of attempt at mocking my column. He's not the first to read my column and not quite get the humor. If he really thinks I am "offering myself up as a prize" he's really nuts. Juli and I had a little fun with the column this week, and apparently some people actually think we are serious. I invite you all to go visit his blog and leave lovely remarks about him, as he has done for me. You can find him at http://www.hardys.org/ . I'm just wondering if he really thought I wouldn't find out what he was saying? Be sure to read the comments section too! Someone has made up some interesting comments and attributed them to me and my father. "Her dad used to cancel sacrament meetings on Super Bowl Sunday." Anyone who has ever met my father knows that is about the biggest bunch of crap ever written.

Meanwhile, Nyquil has run its course. I've moved on to Robitussin. Sleep is imminent.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Nyquil is my Friend

Ever since getting back from Hershey Park I have been dealing with a cough, sore throat, congestion, etc. I thought it was just allergies and too much screaming on the roads. So I ignored it and kept a pretty crazy schedule last week. By Friday night I was starting to realize that maybe I am actually sick and should be taking it a bit easier. By Saturday morning, I knew I was really sick. So I gave in and bought the big time pills.
I rarely take medications that knock me out because they really do KNOCK ME OUT! So when I take Nyquil (or any other knock out med) I make a few arrangements first. #1- Use the bathroom. #2- Water by the bed. #3- Tissues by the bed. #4- Contacts out. #5- Eat. Nothing is worse than waking up starving. #6- Lock doors, change clothes, and remove any object from the area that I may use as a weapon against myself in a drug induced stupor.
I took the Nyquil around 5 pm, and was unconscious to the world shortly thereafter. Several hours later I woke up in the pitch dark. I tried to turn on the lights, but nothing happened. So I got up, stumbled towards the loo, and WHAM! tripped over something in the hall. That something had not been there before, I was sure. But I climbed over it, and went to the loo anyway. No lights in there either. The power was out. In the complete darkness and in my drug induced stupor I stumbled towards the kitchen where I know there are some candles. BAM! Ran right into something. DANG! That hurt! Where am I? I don't have a table in the middle of the hall. This is all very, very odd. I blamed it on the Nyquil, and possible sleepwalking and went to the kitchen. I finally found a candle but couldn't find the matches. Then I remembered they are on the coffee table in the living room. Please keep in mind that when I say it is pitch dark- it is BLACK in my apartment. The streetlights are out and everything. I very cautiously walk towards the table, and BAM run into a pile of boxes. At this point I am very freaked out. I know there weren't boxes there when I went to sleep. I live alone. How did all of my furniture move while I was asleep? I found the matches and lit the candle. Woah! I recognize my couch, but everything else around me has changed or moved. I'm still rather confused, thanks to the Nyquil. Its my apartment, but how did all of this stuff get in here?? It occurs to me to find my blackberry and find out what time it is. Its only 10:30 pm. And there is an email from my new roommate, Anne, saying she is going to move a few things over this evening. Phew! Relief! I am NOT losing my mind! Apparently I slept straight through her moving in all of her furniture and boxes.
I took another round of Nyquil, went back to sleep, and woke up after 12 noon Sunday. I have forced myself to stay awake for the last 6 hours, but will be giving in to another round of Nyquil shortly. I know the sleep is helping me get over this nasty cold, but I still have a rough and croupy cough, and a few other maladies. Hopefully another 12 hours of sleep and decongestants will get me out of this.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Rebekah's page

I learned about this blog from RubyG/Sherpa's page. And now I am passing it on to you. It is the sad story of a little girl with cancer. http://rebekahspage.blogspot.com/
Get the tissues out to read it. It is the daily updates from her mother on Rebekah's progress. There is a good chance she won't live many more days. But her parents have hope, and I hope everyone else will as well.

The Office Closet


For months now many of you have heard me refer to my office as the "closet." Well, a picture is worth a thousand words, right? This picture was actually taken AFTER I had cleaned up quite a bit, and moved several boxes out of my room. (I needed a place to walk.) Granted, I'm not the most organized, cleanest person in the world. But believe it or not, 95% of the stuff in this picture is not mine. You'll also notice there are 2 empty chairs. That is because 2 people really do share this room with me right now. Usually there is only 1 other person in there, but right now we are 'making room' for all 3 of us. Its been an adventure. Please also note that it is August and I am wearing a fleece pullover to keep from freezing in my office. Other details of note- Darth Tater sits above my head, watching over all that I do. There are at least 4 calendars all within a glance of my desk. My life revolves around calendars and scheduling. And that wall on the left- not one thing in that wall belongs to me. I really do sit in someone else's closet. And if you are trying to find a gun in the picture, sorry, but there shouldn't be one in there. But who knows what is living under all those boxes!
Co-workers- (and Boss)- I love my job. I love my desk. I'm not complaining. I'm just "sharing" with the rest of the world. And I can't wait to move into my new double wide cubicle someday. Someday...

Sunday, August 21, 2005

The Before Picture


One of the best rides we went on Saturday was the Grand Canyon Rapids, or something like that. There was a big sign warning us that "YOU WILL GET SOAKED" on this ride. We decided to test it, and took before and after pictures. (from left- Tara, me, Valerie (behind me), Kelli (next to me), and Rachel.) Please note the nice dry hair. It would be nine more hours before I was that dry again.

The after picture- SOAKING WET!!

Ever wonder where chocolate milk comes from? Hershey cows obviously!

Haircuts, Hershey, and Hurtful People

I love blogging. It brings me great joy to be able to mock my friends, mock stupid people (not quite the same as mocking my friends), and just relive funny stories. But I fear overblogging, and using all the good material at once, and not saving it for slow news days. Today I am torn between telling the story of the terrible haircut, the girls in Hershey Park, or just venting off on stupid people. So here are the nutshell versions of each-

1. Haircut- thankfully, no irreparable damage. But when the stylist asked me "does your hair always get this fuzzy?" I nearly choked. I believe the proper term is "frizzy." And the answer is "yes." So I humbly suggested she try "round brushing it." I thought every female in the world (let alone hair stylists) knew that that term means you pull the hair straight with the round brush and blow dry it at the same time, thereby straightening and de-frizzing it. But apparently this woman did not know that. She actually turned off the blow dryer, put it down, and brushed my hair (my very thick and mostly frizzy wet hair) with the round brush. I could have stopped her and corrected her. But it was just more fun to see how awful she could really make it. (Please note, I would have stopped her if she was cutting it. The cutting was fine. It was the styling that I am mocking.) Next thing I know she has parted my hair down the center, and brushed my hair out to the sides. She even attempted to feather my hair out with a comb. But my hair was so tangled and frizzy (fuzzy?) that she couldn't get the comb through it. There was something intriguing about watching the train wreck happen. I just let her keep on going. It was awful! I have to admit though, rather than fixing it, I put on a hat before leaving the store. I haven't looked that horrid since the seventh grade.

2. The Hershey Park adventure with the girls was great. Valerie, Kelli, Tara, Rachel, and me! To see the great pictures, visit Tara's new picture site- http://taravanatta.smugmug.com/gallery/746130 . You can also read Tara's very fun account of the day on her blog- (see to your left for the link). My favorite part of the day had to be getting to see my cute new baby twin cousins. My cousin Kjell and his wife Susan brought their twin boys, Isaiah and Elijah, over to the park to hang out with us a while.

3. Venting off- Why can't people realize how much their actions affect other people? Multiple times in the last week I have found myself comforting friends who were hurt by the truly thoughtless actions of others. In not one instance was there malice or forethought. No one was intentionally hurt. But feelings were hurt because of the thoughtlessness of others. Why are people not more thoughtful and caring? Why do people not realize that their selfish behavior hurts other people? So today I am begging people to think just a little bit more before doing something or saying something thay may hurt another person. The world does not revolve around you. Your selfish acts have negative effects on perfectly innocent people. Think before being stupid! (possibly my best quote of the day)

Friday, August 19, 2005

Lovely Ladies of Galax




I've been waiting to run out of interesting things to post before posting these gems. These are the pics from our great trip to Galax and Damascus last week. So without further ado, I bring you Joy, Kelli, and me- all looking are absolute loveliest!



For good luck, Kelly kisses the ugly man. She didn't enter the International Kazoo Championship though.



Joy likes dinosaurs. Especially the ones native to the Natural Bridge area of Virginia.











Everyone knows that if you pay $2 for a magnet sticker and put it on your car it means you support the war. Because all of that money is obviously going straight into the war efforts.















Possibly the most flattering picture ever taken of me. Really.




This is what Kelli looks like when she's not kissing ugly men.


The Sherpa in a stream.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Once there was a girl

Once upon a time there was a girl who thought she had a perfect life. But then one day through a series of unfortunate events and a very bad case of PMS, she messed it all up. She willingly took the blame and credit for the initial mistakes that lead to the downfall. But she could never have imagined there at the beginning of her downfall how much farther she could keep on sliding down the slippery slope. Everytime she thought she had her foot back on a rung on her way back up the ladder out of the pit she was in, she lost her footing. Or, as it seemed at the time, someone came and yanked her feet out from under her. One day things got so rough that she turned to the person next to her and abruptly declared that she had finally reached the lowest point ever. In what would become a telling moment in her life, but not for several more months, her companion and supposed friend very condescendingly told her that she hadn't yet seen pain or misery, and that she was just so spoiled that only she could think that her troubles in life were actually trials. The telling moment wasn't in what he said. It was what followed. It was that she believed him. She had reached such a low point in her life that she was willing to believe people when they told her how to feel about her own trials. She had finally lost the ability to really thing for herself. It wasn't long after that bitter surrender that things got really bad. And then in one angry swipe one night, she realized the mistakes she had been making. She had allowed others to tell her what to do, how to feel, and who to be for too long. So she made the changes that needed to be made, no matter how painful, and how terrifying.
Now the girl is happy again. But this time it is different. She recognizes how easy it is to accidentally walk off a cliff, miss a turn, forget a crucial detail. She knows how easy it is to lose everything all in the blink of an eye. She knows now that in spite of all the trials of man around her she can be happy. In the face of disaster she can find a reason to smile. It has been a long road back, but she knows every inch of the road, and knows how to go back and retrace her steps in case she gets lost again. She sees her mistakes even more vividly now, and believes that is a good thing. She knows that what doesn't kill us, doesn't necessarily make us stronger. Sometimes it makes us weaker and more prone to infection. So she makes sure she takes her vitamins and keeps herself strong, so that the injuries are minor. And she knows she can do it herself, because her family and friends taught her that. And she thanks them for that.

Happy Birthday Valerie

Love you, Babe!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Blogging to Mock Your Friends (because you can)


One of the best parts of having a blog is the ability to publicly mock your friends.
Juli had a snake get into her house (courtesy of her cat Leo). This is how she "caught" the snake.

Starving in Niger- a must read

It is no secret that I am contemplating a career with the Foreign Service. I have passed their written exam, and am scheduled in January to take the oral exams. I am still not entirely sure that I want to make that change in my life, but I am considering it. I have made some bad decisions in the past. I'd like to think I have learned from those choices, and won't repeat them. (more on this in a different post)

As I am considering the Foreign Service I am also thinking about which countries I have the most interest in, and where I would like to live. I can't stop thinking about Africa, so I've narrowed down my preferences to the entire continent now. In today's Washington Post, there is a very moving article and photo gallery on the malnutrition and global aid issues in Niger. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/16/AR2005081601353.html) After viewing the photo gallery, I can't help but think about what kind of a difference can I make if I do get to go to either Niger, or a nearby country. For a while now I have also been thinking about adopting a baby from an orphanage in Africa. (It was my idea before Angelina Jolie's.) How can anyone look at those poor little souls in those photos and not want to rescue one? How can we sit so idly by while such horrid conditions still exist?

Sunday, August 14, 2005

The Galax Trip

So imagine that you have just driven six hours into the Deepest South, the heartland of Appalachian America. You are at the Old Fashioned Fiddlers Convention, on "bluegrass band night" nonetheless, you are camping in the best place you can find, with a few hundred other people, in a used car lot/antique car museum/old fashioned ice cream shoppe (oh yes, that would all be one business), and yes, you are CAMPING in their used car lot, next to, of all things, the world's largest propane tank. (I will shortly have pictures to prove this.) Next to you the local teenage boys have been allowed to camp in Daddy's parking lot. They have a keg and apparently a lot of pot. They have a VW bus, old school style, popped top, with a tent off the side. Grateful Dead stickers everywhere, and a confederate flag (this is the Deepest South after all). (I didn't know you could mix the Dead with Johnny Reb, but apparently you can.) The boys have invited all of their friends, and girlfriends over to enjoy the festivities. You have gone to bed by 11 pm, which was about the time the boys got their second keg.

On a hilltop not too far away someone has erected a large cross out of PVC pipe, and strung white lights around it. You have a great view of it from your tent in the parking lot, over the no less than 500 motor homes in the baseball diamond below the hill. Apparently the teenage boys (who are actually very nice and polite to the tourists), spot the cross around midnight. "Check it out! Its the KKK! They couldn't set it on fire so they just lit it up!" The joke was funny one time. But apparently the more stoned they got, the funnier it got to repeat over and over again.

You fall asleep as the neighbor boys begin singing "Tripping Billies" around 12. You wake up multiple times throughout the night, (after all you are sleeping in a used car lot with a few hundred other people) thanks to ambient noise. At 3 am you wake up to the teenage boys singing "This is the greatest song that ever lived! This is greatest f-ing song that ever lived. This is the greatest mother f-ing song that ever lived!" (and the adjectives only get more profound from there) complete with LOUD amp and guitar. Something about it (possibly you are high from secondhand pot smoke) is actually hilarious. You have been awakened in the middle of the night to a perverse version of a pre-school song as performed by redneck Grateful Dead fans in the middle of a used car lot/antique car museum/old fashioned ice cream shop.

What do you do? If you are me, you sing along momentarily, and go back to sleep. It is after 3 am after all.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

A Hard Day's Work


Here's a few more fun pictures from all of our hard work with the Jefferson Parish Sheriffs Office and the Fairhope Alabama Police Department. Somewhere in all of this I promise we did manage to sell a few guns.
Have fun with the pictures!

Blake and Chris practicing their forcible entry skills.

I promise that at some point during the day we actually got some real work done.

Tactical Timmy

Our new friend Hank. (He has no legs. Its rather sad really.)

:-) Having a Charlie's Angels moment

I call this one "Blake With Shotgun and Cell Phone," or just "Blake"
Blake likes to point out that he is taking a break from shooting to take an order. He had to put down his shotgun and pick up a pen- and take a rather impressive order.

Men at work

Does Hank look like a POW to you?

Boss Man Mike dared Chris to shoot a bullet through a paper clip. Chris did it in one shot. Here's the proof.

examining Chris' paper clip

Welcome to the Fairhope FOP Range.

You can only imagine how nervous we were when we we got to the range and found this "pond" in the front yard. Thankfully the rain stopped and the day went off without any more hitches.

Punching holes through paper.

Just some of the men hanging around waiting for their turn to shoot.

A little friend, Banana Spider, we made in Fairhope, AL. These little guys were everywhere. We were told they are not poisonous, but they do "hurt like a bee sting" if you get bit.

I am Hot Lips

A Hard Day's Work

More evidence that we worked (and played) hard in New Orleans and

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

What Goes on Bourbon Street, Stays on Bourbon Street Part 2



Just a little evidence of what goes on Bourbon Street.
Here's a little of what I didn't drink at Fat Catz that night. Ironically, there is a good chance that while this picture was being taken Chris was getting pickpocketed- evidence that some things DO stay on Bourbon Street.
Welcome Laurel back to the blog after a 6 month absense, and thanks to Master Blake for the incriminating evidence!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

More of the Amazing Girlfriends



I couldn't get all of the pictures to post yesterday. Here's some more pics of my girls!

(I don't have enough pics of all my girls. There are plenty who should be here, but, alas, no good pics!)

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Great Girlfriends

If there has been any theme to the summer it has been how great my girlfriends are! I've made some wonderful new friends this summer. You each know who you are. You are all amazing, gifted, and talented. Thank you for all your love and friendship!


A Friend is a Treasure
A friend is someone we turn to,
when our spirits need a lift.
A friend is someone we treasure,
for our friendship is a gift.
A friend is someone who fills our lives,
with beauty, joy and grace.
And make the world we live in,
a better and happier place.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

When a Good Trip Gets Better and Yet Goes Bad

It is 2 am, and I have a choice. I can give the Pollyanna account of the day, tell you how great the demo went in Fairhope, etc. Or I can give you the rest of the details. But its 2 am. I'm going to just give you snippets.

Fairhope PD rocked. "I like girls who can shoot."
ALMOST got a police escort to the airport.
Did get a Fairhope PD tattoo though.
After making sure I had no ammo in my carry-on, accidentally took a 4 inch blade pocket knife through security. Ironically, it was the combo lock in my bag that got me stopped. But silly me, I blurted out, "Oh Crap! Is there a pocket knife in there?" Yeah, got searched pretty good for that one. There was a nice, engraved, 4 inch law enforcement specialty knife. I was "turned over" to the Mobile Police Dept. Where the cop really liked my knife and Beretta hat. I gave him my business card and promised to send him one. I offer to call the Chief of Police I had just spent the morning with to see if that would get me out any sooner. He let me go before they finished doing the full social security background check. But I'm still getting a $300 fine for carrying banned items.
And then our flight was delayed.
And then we got to Charlotte.
And then our 7 pm flight became a 9 pm flight.
And then a 10 pm flight.
And then an 11 pm flight.
And somewhere in all that my wallet disappeared.
While scrambling through my bags desperately hoping for my wallet to appear, I find a 12 gauge shell (full- not shot) in my carry-on.
They checked me at least 3 times and ammo didn't get pulled?! Will that negate the $300 fine?
On the bright side, we rocked in Fairhope today.
I am so happy to be home and sleeping in my own house tonight I can't stop smiling.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Meet Abstract



Thanks to the miracles of photoshop, Abstract now has personalized "billboards" for its members. Enjoy! (and don't call Joy "Carrot Top," she hates that)

We Love Photo Shop





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