While waiting for my bagel this morning -

Girl #1: "So, have you decided what you're going to do tonight?"
Girl #2: "Yep. I'm going to sit on my ass and eat two pints of Chunky Monkey Ice Cream and watch a movie."
Girl #3: "And that would be different from when?"

Hope your New Year isn't just the same old thing. Hope the new year brings you much love, happiness, health, hope, faith, and prosperity. See you next year.



"But, he said, dropping the big I would sent a deeper message to the world: The revolution is over, and the Net won. It's part of everyone's life, and as common as air and water (neither of which starts with a capital)."

Right on. Little i, you go on with your bad self.


Friday Five - The Year in Review

1. What was your biggest accomplishment this year? Definitely marrying Sweet Dave. We wouldn't have been able to do it without our family and friends, but I still think we should take the credit for it.

2. What was your biggest disappointment? The ex reneging on an agreement we had. I was definitely naive and way too nice to him and he, as usual, took advantage of that. No more Mr. Nice Jen.

3. Will you be making any New Year's resolutions? I did in a previous post kind of. And most of it already happened - I completely chopped about 8 inches off my hair and got some highlights. I couldn't be happier with it. Well, if it would automatically fix itself every morning maybe, but that's a long shot. Sweet Dave and I did a lot of simplifying the house - we have at least one car load of stuff going to Good Will this weekend. And things are looking up.

4. Where will you be at midnight? Do you wish you could be somewhere else? Hopefully snuggled up to Sweet Dave with a glass of champagne. Sadly, I'm not sure we'll make it up that late, but I'm all for trying. There's nowhere else I'd rather be than right next to him at the turn of the new year. We could always be in another part of the world, just as long as we're together.

5. Aside from (possibly) staying up late, do you have any other New Year's traditions? Black eyed peas on New Years day - that's it.


Happy Holidays

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday - Sweet Dave and I definitely did, and we are here at work trying to recover from it. We had four separate Christmas celebrations the past two days full of wonderful time with family, enormous amounts of food, and very thoughtful gifts. Sweet Dave was surprised by most of his gifts and I definitely was. I think I ate enough for a small army too. Tonight we have the daunting task of organizing everything we received and unloading all the discounted stuff I found this morning. Ugh.



The goals for this country are peace in the world. And the goals for this country are a compassionate American for every single citizen. That compassion is found in the hearts and souls of the American citizens."—George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Dec. 19, 2002

I know I've said this before, but this time I really mean it. WHAT?
Belated Friday Five - The Holiday Edition

Look what I missed:

1. What holiday or holidays do you celebrate this time of year? Just Christmas.

2. What was the best gift you have ever received? I think I'll have to divide that into two categories: kid and adult. As a kid I think the best gift I received was a bumper pool table. I think my brother and I actually played nonstop for the entire year. As an adult, definitely the letter Sweet Dave wrote me last year. It was the sweetest, most romantic thing anyone has ever written to me.

3. What was the worst gift you've ever given? Probably the food processor. You'd think people would know me by now and realize that I can't cook when it goes beyond boiling water or throwing something into the microwave. I'm also really not a huge fan of the non-fun-must-be-an-adult type of gifts, like blenders, vacuum cleaners, etc. I'm way to immature for that kind of stuff.

4. Where will you be celebrating the holidays? Are you hosting? Going away? We will be doing the joint thing again...Christmas eve at my family's house, early Christmas morning under our tree, Christmas day at Sweet Dave's parents, then Christmas evening at my step dad's. I gain ten pounds just thinking about it.

5. If you could spend the holidays with someone who isn't around, who would it be with? Why? Probably some old friends that I've lost touch with. For so long, I tried to be good about keeping up with them, we've just lost eachother. Maybe one day we'll bump into eachother again.

Well, I'm already getting GREAT Christmas presents. This year I participated in the Secret Santa project and I already received my gift on Friday!! It was Jenny and the Jaws of Life, a book I read about a month or so ago. The recommendation by David Sedaris - "It's just the funniest collection of stories I've ever read - really funny and perfectly sad at the same time." - was what caught my eye and now I absolutely cannot wait to read it. So huge, big, enormous thanks to my secret santa - what a great gift!!

And speaking of Christmas, I thought I'd collect a few great links together to get you into the spirit:

White Trash Christmas. This is simply hilarious.

New and Improved!! Elf Bowling.

Having problems finding a gift for that hard-to-shop-for little girl you know? How about the Lingerie Barbie. Get your now, while supplies last.

Yum. What hopes to be the world's largest gingerbread display.

Operation TIPS continues - a nice collection of Christmas overdecorations.


Cover the Earth

I see a sign like this every day on my way to work. Does anyone else maybe have a problem with this?

Good 'ol Sherman Williams.



This is so not right.

I was driving home at lunch today to let the puppy out and I was behind this relatively nice pickup truck. I have an annoying habit (annoying to me) of reading people's bumper stickers. So, of course my eyes were drawn to the bright yellow one on the back of this bright red pickup. In bold, blue letters it said:

SMILE, if you're not wearing underwear!

Now that would be fine had I not noticed the people in the truck. They were both pushing 90.

That's just creepy.
Chop Chop

Well, after about 10 years with the same hair - long, thick, curly, brown - I've decided to take the plunge. I've scheduled an appointment to get it all chopped off and possibly colored.

I guess I'm ready for a change. After all that's happened in the past two years, and all that I've survived, I think I need a positive change to reward myself and make me feel better about myself. It's just scary.

About six months ago, Sweet Dave told me a story about Lenny Kravitz cutting his hair when it was long. Apparently he was not making any positive progress and kind of in a rut. One day his daughter told him that he should cut off his hair to get rid of all that history and baggage. Turns out, that was just what he needed and he came back stronger than ever.

It's not that I'm in a rut at all, I just really want to get rid of the history and baggage in my life and figure that's the first and pretty drastic step to doing it. Next, I'm going through the house and anything that even remotely reminds me of my ex husband will either be donated to Good Will or tossed in the garbage. We are starting a new life together and I think everything in our house should only bring happiness and remind us of our friends, family, and us.

Sweet Dave and I deserve this.

So I guess I'm making my New Year's Resolution a little early - to focus solely on our new life as much as possible.



"In other words, I don't think people ought to be compelled to make the decision which they think is best for their family."—George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Dec. 11, 2002

Hmmm. Okay.



I don't watch television too much, but I have seen Worst Case Scenario once. I think it was something about being able to elude someone chasing you with a gun. Yeah, that happens to me all the time.

But this should come in handy. What's the worst that could happen to you and your blog? Have no fear, now there's the Worst Case Scenario for Blogs.

Now you know I'm not a big fan of Bush. But I still say, Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.


The Good Guys

Enough said.


First Reaction

There's something that's been bothering me about our recent trip to Costa Rica.

There were three people and a guide on one of our hikes and at one point we passed by two Spanish-speaking tourists, a man and a woman, who had decided to tour the park by themselves. Our guide talked with them briefly describing some places they may see some animals. Just after we'd found the howling monkeys, they were about to pass us. They asked our guide what we were looking at and grabbed their binoculars to also take a look.

At one point, the man was so engrossed in what he was seeing that he failed to notice a sharp drop off very close to where he was walking. We were watching the monkeys and all of a sudden we hear a crash of leaves and branches. I turned around to see the woman running to help the man out of what seemed to be a ditch on the side of the road we were walking on. Before I knew it, our guide was also running to help him.

All I could do was stand there silently and watch. Today I feel bad that it wasn't my first instinct to run over to see if I could help also. I don't know what I could have done as I've never been trained for anything that would have helped. I feel like I'm a very helpful person and would always help someone if they needed it. Yet I stood there, motionless.

It turns out he was fine, lucky actually because he only suffered a small scrape on his shoulder. I am also fine, only better, from a reality check.



So I haven't been sleeping too well lately. I'm sure it's something to do with work that's occupying my brain and I know it will pass, so I just live with it. In the meantime, I've been watching a little late night television. Most of the time it's just me flipping through the channels, unable to find anything and Sweet Dave goes to sleep. But last night I stopped on something that I've never seen before, The Sunday Night Sex Show. "Sunday Night Sex Show, is a candid talk show that offers helpful tips and no-nonsense advice on the complex topics of love, relationships and sex." Okay, I thought, it's either this or the Oreilly Factor, so of course I chose the sex show.

So here I am thinking this was just a regular talk show with the not so regular topic of sex. The disclaimer/explicit material warning should have clued me in. When the station returns from commercial the first caller took me totally by surprise. It was a girl calling about one of her boyfriends fetishes. I won't go into it here because I really don't want the hits, but suffice it to say that it sounded pretty painful. The host even grimaced as the caller was describing it. Sweet Dave rolled over and looked at me, then the television, and back at me with the "What in the hell are you watching?" face.

The next caller was asking something about spicing up he and his wife's extra curricular horizontal activities and I just couldn't hold it in any longer when Sue, the grandmother-like host, starting talking about what happens when women get horny. It was like listening to my grandmother instruct Sweet Dave in getting me aroused. He and I were both laughing so hard we were crying.

I am definitely tuning into to that again.


UN Senate

I know that I really hated history and all in school, but could I have really missed something as big as the United Nations Senate?

"I need to be able to move the right people to the right place at the right time to protect you, and I'm not going to accept a lousy bill out of the United Nations Senate."—South Bend, Ind., Oct. 31, 2002

"John Thune has got a common-sense vision for good forest policy. I look forward to working with him in the United Nations Senate to preserve these national heritages."

"Any time we've got any kind of inkling that somebody is thinking about doing something to an American and something to our homeland, you've just got to know we're moving on it, to protect the United Nations Constitution, and at the same time, we're protecting you."—Aberdeen, S.D.
December Horoscope

You know what I like about you, Libra? You're the type of person who can lick an ice-cold aluminum telephone pole and not whine when your tongue becomes instantly fused to it. Even later, when the EMT workers come and tear your tongue to bloody shreds while freeing it, you accept it was your fault and you take responsibility for it. I mean, you may be an idiot, but at least you're honest - especially to yourself. May your stocking be filled with cinnamon schnapps and cheese logs.

There just something about the word 'cheese log' that makes me think, "ughuhurhughh'. Meanwhile, Scnapps for everyone!


Lessons Learned

It's that time again. Time for cold fingers and warm fires. Time for all the parties and parades. Time for mistletoe and eggnog, presents and endless shopping. A time when I was a kid that I dragged out the enormous Sears catalog to once again make my list.

It wasn't any ordinary list of things that I wanted. It was a long list. It was organized with page numbers and prices, much like an actual order form, but listed in order of importance. My mother claims to not remember this, but each year at the top of my list was the super deluxe clean house set. It came with an ironing board, iron, broom, mop, vacuum, apron, and dust rags. Every year I was going to be mom's little helper and clean house. How I was going to do that with fake supplies I'm not really sure. But it's the thought that counts. I remember after not getting the set the first year, making a bold asterisk right next to the line the next year, obviously indicating it was very important that I receive the item from Santa. No luck. Never got it.

Lesson to be learned: Be thankful for whatever gifts you receive, for they are gifts indeed.
What Jen learned: Make your list short so they have to buy you what you want.

Several years later, instead of my super deluxe clean house set, I got a note from Santa for Christmas. I was instructed to look outside the sliding glass door and check out what he'd brought me this year. Wow. Outside in the middle of the back yard was a gleaming red and blue swingset with the teeter totter thing, two swings, monkey bars, and a jungle rope. I was so excited that I dropped the note and ran to my room to get some warm clothes on. I didn't care how cold it was, I was going to play on that swingset for the next solid week. Until my mother showed me the note from Santa again and told me to read the rest of it. Apparently Santa had just set the cement the night before and therefore, I was not allowed to play on it for 24 hours. Now when you're 10 years old, 24 hours is like a lifetime. I can still remember sitting in front of that sliding glass door for the entire day waiting.

Lesson to be learned: Patience is a virtue.
What Jen learned: Santa enjoys torturing little children with toys they can't use right away.

My mom used to give my brother and I money to buy our Christmast present with. I'm not sure the amount, probably around $100. I don't know if it was all the candy and toys I spent it on, but it apparently was not enough for Christmas too. So on Christmas morning after everyone was finished opening their presents, my mom said to me, "You know, Jen, it's better to give than receive." So I, guilty, went to get the one present I did buy, a basket for my mother, and gave it to her. Maybe that's why I spend so damn much money on people for Christmas.

Lesson to be learned: It's better to give than receive.
What Jen learned: There's never enough money for candy, toys, and Christmas presents too.

What important lessons I learned as a child.



Sweet Dave and I have a new addition to the family. His name is Brodie and he's already a handful.

puppy.jpg Mr. Brodie.