Thursday, September 27, 2007

Thursday 13

1. It's been a very busy couple of I'm sure you've surmised by my lack of posting. My Color and Design Theory instructor is always heaping on the homework. We have no fewer than 5 sketches due every Monday. One sketch takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an entire afternoon. Ironically, I receive my best grades on the ones that get hastily cranked out.

2. In other news, Lucas was tested for, and accepted into the SAGE (honors) reading program at school. We're so proud of him. Problem is, his daily SAGE class time conflicts with band practice. Luckily, I was able to work out an alternate schedule with all his teachers, and he is able to participate in both programs.

3. I had to get my laptop repaired this week. A few weeks ago, the screen started flickering, then everything would turn purple and fade out altogether. Luckily, I still have 2 months left in a 2 year warranty, so my screen was replaced for no charge. The repairman scored high marks when he took a shining to Jango.

4. Kyle once again has approached us about getting him a cell phone. Aside from the convenience of being able to keep in contact with us, we simply couldn't justify the expense. Besides, he doesn't make or receive too many phone calls on our house phone. We compromised by getting him a regular phone for his room.

5. I've been so busy lately that I haven't made time to get my hair trimmed. My bangs are now so long that I keep having to rake them back with my fingers. I am currently sporting the same hairstyle as Kyle MacLachlan.

6. Speaking of haircuts, Kyle got my hopes up last week when he informed me that he wanted to get a haircut. No sooner had I grabbed my purse and keys than he told me he didn't want to go just now. He has since changed his mind altogether. Meanwhile, I continue to call him "Shaggy".

7. Speaking of Kyle MacLachlan, I am really looking forward to the season premier of Desperate Housewives. If you attempt to call or stop by on Sunday night, I will hang up on you or send you away. Then, after the show is over, I do to you what Orson did to Mike at the end of the 2nd season!

8. That last sentence also applies to the boys. Unless you are vomiting, bleeding, or vomiting blood, I don't want to be disturbed for that whole hour. Asking me to help find your homework paper is NOT an emergency.

9. It is finally starting to cool off in Phoenix. On Tuesday, I needed to take a jacket to school.

10. Tuesday nights are the hardest time for our family. I have to leave by 5:00 for a class that starts at 6. While commuter traffic is heading north toward the suburbs, I'm driving south toward the city. Even still, rush hour is rush hour, and I need every bit of time to get to the college.

11. And since I have to leave by 5:00, I have to throw together a quickie dinner so we can eat by 4:30. Before too long, my family is going to hate tuna casserole.

12. Also on Tuesday nights, Lucas has to be taken to his drum lessons. I thank Q for taking on this task.

13. Kyle just asked an interesting question; "Why are our household animals refered to as 'pets'?" I could only guess it had something to do with the way we physically pet them. But then he pointed out that we don't pet fish. I had no reply.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

When You Need a Good Laugh....

...just open a newspaper. The following article appeared in the online version of the Arizona Republic today:

'Bra Bandit' strikes Flagstaff Mall
Brandon Kline
12 News
Sept. 25, 2007 06:19 PM

Flagstaff police are looking for someone who stole bras, lots of bras.

According to police, about $15,000 worth of underwear from Victoria's Secret was taken Saturday without tipping off employees.

Those responsible were able to haul about 350 bras out the main entrance during business hours.

Officers are not sure why the anti-theft tags didn't activate the alarm. Police say there is no surveillance footage of the crime. The culprits attempted to haul out so many bras, police say they had to leave some behind.

Investigators say they believe the culprits may be trying to sell the bras and plan on monitoring Internet auction sites to see if anything appears to be connected to the Flagstaff heist.

What's funny--other than the fact that the Republic published this story--are the reader comments that followed it. I checked in throughout the day whenever I needed a laugh. In all, there were 10 pages of hilarious comments. My favorites are below:

"It's hard to believe that isn't an inside job. That store has boobietraps all over the place!"

"I hope these criminals get BUSTed"

"Glad azcentral is keeping us abreast of the situation."

"I hope when they catch these bandits they are able to find a support group to help them."

"I hope the criminals get busted, and the court system milks them for all they are worth."

"I found this story to be very titillating. I'm not sure how the police will solve it with all the cases they have to Juggle."

"It should be implanted firmly in the theives minds that they are in double trouble."

"I hope Flagstaff's economy doesn't get saggy from the loss of support from Victoria Secret Sales."

"It has definitely been stimulating material. I think AZ should consider giving this article the boobie prize."

"Thanks AZCentral for 'full coverage' on this story"

"It's an embarrasing situation for Victoria Secrets, I sure hope they keep it Underwire"

"They should augment their investigation by implanting undercover cops up front."

"I must say I am totally "uplifted" by this article"

"Did they get areola photographs?"

"The VS employees need our 18-hour support."

"Tata for now everyone!"

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Cushing's on TV

While Quinton is mostly cured of Cushing's Syndrome, this rare ailment will never be too far from our minds.

This week, the National Geographic Channel will be airing a documentary called Science of Obesity. From what I understand, the show will be discussing Cushing's Syndrome.

For those who are interested, Science of Obesity will air Tuesday the 18th at 9PM, Wednesday the 19th at 12AM, and Sunday the 23rd at 4PM (all times are Eastern).

In Phoenix, it will be on Tuesday night at 6PM and again at 9PM. That's according to my onscreen cable guide.

Everyone else, check your local listings.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Working Hard and Hardly Blogging

I realize I haven't posted anything new all week. That's because I've been working on sketches, drawings, notebooks, and lab assignments for two of my three classes. All of these assignments will be coming due within the next few weeks, and I don't want to find myself doing the last minute scramble as Flight of the Bumblebee plays in the background.

Also, I can't stand that nagging feeling I get when I should be doing homework instead of lunching with Quinton or shopping for new jeans at Nordstrom Rack. BTW, the jeans are a necessary purchase. My very favorite pair has a growing hole along the zipper seam. They will be going away soon.

Aside from all that, the housework and food shopping have been neglected. Yesterday, we had breakfast without milk. Not easy to do in a house full of cereal eaters.

The boys have agreed to take on more of these domestic tasks. Sort of. Whenever I ask someone to take out the trash or scoop out the litterbox, I get one of two responses: "hold on" or "just a minute".

So that's what I'm asking you, dear readers. Please hold on. The semi-witty repartee will continue after the rest of my life is caught up.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

He Does All His Own Stunts, Part 7

Will this child not run out of ways to frighten his mama???? Here, he's perched atop the basketball pole while Kyle and his friends throw balls at it. Also, I don't think he's wearing shoes here. Lucas never wears shoes if he doesn't have to.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Sunday Dishes: Double Retired

Today, I am featuring Fiesta pieces that are retired both in color and shape.

Millennium 3 vases and handled cake plates, both in Rose and Chartreuse.

Pedestal mugs in Seamist, Rose, Periwinkle, and Chartreuse. These mugs are great if you like your hot cocoa prepared Ned Flanders' style.

My lone tripod bowl. These are so little and cute. I'd like to try to find more.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Seeing Red

I'm not in a particularly good mood today so I'm going to regale the group with a list of people and situations that make me angry.

--Supposedly educated people who misuse words like "there" and "their", "your" and "you're" or "wear" and "ware". On the other hand, I have gotten some great eBay deals on Fiesta wear. And no, I wasn't buying clothes.

--Adult women who talk and sing (Britney) with baby voice. Somehow, I think this can be controlled. If it can't be, I apologize to all the naturally baby voiced women out there. Except for Britney. She grates on my nerves no matter what she sounds like.

--People who are openly rude to cashiers, store clerks, waiters, and other service workers.

--Certain members of my family who leave open cereal boxes out on the kitchen counter. It doesn't bother me that the cereal gets left out, but CLOSE the %@*& boxes, people!!!! That's how food goes stale!!!!

--People who finish their drinks and leave the empty cup on a store shelf. While I often see abandoned cups from places like McDonald's, Circle K, and In-N-Out Burger, I find that Starbucks drinkers are the worst offenders. (The photo below was not staged in any way. I took it as I found it.)

--Road racers. I was almost run off the road by a couple of punk @$$es the other night. I was kind of hoping they'd crash their trucks into each other.

--Anyone who operates with a misguided sense of personal entitlement.

--Anyone who parks their one car in the middle of my 2-car driveway. I don't know why this bothers me so much, but it really, REALLY does. You can park to the side--ONE side. You can even park behind my car. If I have to leave while you're still here, I'll just take Quinton's car. Or vice-versa. It's never been a problem. We swap all the time, anyway. Just don't park in the middle!!!!!

Recently, I came home and found the refrigerator maintenance worker had parked his van high-centered in the driveway. I had to park in the street. That left such a bad taste in my mouth that I just let Q deal with him. Meanwhile, I hid out in a distant room and stewed in my own juices until he left.

--The guy who spits on the ground. Repeatedly. Outside a restaurant window. While Q and I are trying to enjoy our lunch!!!!!! EWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!

--People who park their shopping cart transverse across the aisle. Then they act put out and offended when you kindly ask them to scoot it over. Nothing would diffuse my temper faster than a simple apology as they reel in their cart.

--Going to a sandwich shop or other fast food-type establishment, and finding dispensers for the straws, condiments, ketchup cups, napkins, etc. all empty, or close to it. Yet, there's a tip jar prominently displayed on the counter! In these situations, I try to convince myself that all the dollar bills are merely "seed" money, planted by the manager at the beginning of the shift.

--The dumb broad in the SUV who almost ran over Lucas as we were crossing the Target parking lot this afternoon. This was a middle age woman with a bouffant hairdo, driving a gold Chevy Tahoe, Arizona license plate number..... just kidding. But I did yell at loudly at her: "Hey, watch youself!!!!! You almost ran over my kid!!!!!" Stupid bitch.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Dark Sarcasm?

Today, Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall" popped up on my iPod. During the chorus, the childlike singers make an impassioned plea for "no dark sarcasm in the classroom".

I found this to be an odd lyric. What is dark sarcasm, anyway? How does it differ from any other kind of sarcasm? Are there really different types of sarcasm? And if so, what are they?

Perhaps dark sarcasm can only be understood by those who are drunk or stoned. After all, it is Pink Floyd...

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Thursday 13

1. I am the only member of the household that doesn't have blue eyes. Even the cat's eyes are blue.

2. I've been looking for clearance patio furniture for the back yard, but the stores had cleared that stuff out over a month ago. Apparently, they figure that anyone who's in the market for lounge chairs had already bought them by mid-July.

3. My Fiesta/Harlequin collection includes 7 creamers...and we don't even drink coffee here.

4. Speaking of Fiesta, it is my opinion that one can never have too many sugar bowls.

5. Q took Tuesday off work. During an afternoon of errand running, we went to Tokyo Lobby for lunch. Just don't tell the boys. They'd be angry if they learned we went there without them.

6. My current online addiction is the Scrabble Blast game on MSN.

7. Like most cats, Jango sleeps an average of 17 hours per day. Why can't 8 of those hours be between 10 PM and 6 AM?

8. Kyle brought home a progress report yesterday. He's on his way to making honor roll for the first quarter. I'm so proud!

9. I was recently in the market for a piece of furniture to use as a kitchen island. Most of the islands I found were either too big, too short, or too expensive, or too boring. So I bought an piece that wasn't being marketed as an island, but could be used as such. I wish I could have seen the look on my mom's face when I called and told her that I had bought a baby changing table.

10. Today is picture day for Lucas' class (Kyle's is next week). Every year, I buy the boys colorful striped polo shirts for the occasion. That's as dressed up as they get all year.

11. I hate misplacing stuff. I have a bad habit of losing an item, going to the store to replace it, then finding the original shortly after I get home.

12. I hope it rains today. There's supposed to be some hurricane remnants coming up here from Baja, Mexico, and a little rain would be a big treat.

13. I'm always on the lookout for blog post ideas. I feel like I'm going dry.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

When a Bargain is Not a Bargain

I love bargain shopping. The idea of getting something for almost nothing is always a real coup--even if this means buying that item used. I have bought used furniture, used cars, LOTS of used dishes (we call those 'antiques'), and gently-used clothes. Whenever I can, I buy used books, DVDs, and CDs.

I also try to encourage the boys to buy used video games. LOTS of big savings there...especially on Amazon Marketplace. At times, I can find the titles they want for less than half of retail. The only trick is convincing them that the $20+ savings is worth the week or so it will take for the game to arrive in our mailbox.

But there are times when buying new items is the better--almost necessary--way to go. MSN Money recently had an article listing the 10 things you should never buy used. Taboo items included electronics, mattresses, car seats, and shoes.

While the writer cited mostly higher-dollar items, I feel that there are a few lower priced, everyday items that were left out. Below is my list of items that shouldn't be bought used. I am not making this stuff up. I have seen each and every one of these items for sale at garage sales and thrift stores. And while these are among the best places to find rock bottom prices, they should be approached with the caveat that people will sell anything.

WARNING: the following may be deemed gross to some. If you have a weak stomach or are easily offeneded, stop reading here.

Don't buy used:

Tupperware-like storage containers. Think about what we use these for--storing food, mostly. Specifically leftovers that may or may not get eaten. Unless the meal was really good, leftovers will sit for months in the refrigerator. The food languishes in the plastic Petrie dish we know as Tupperware (or Rubbermaid, or whichever brand you use). Months later, when the refrigerator is cleaned out, so much mold will have engulfed the food that it is now unrecognizeable. When this happens around here, I throw the entire dish away.

But not all people do that. They will endure the sights and smells of rotted food, and risk damage to their psyche just to get more use out of a plastic food container. And then that container--along with others just like it--will be in their yard sale a month later.

Bedding. Sheets, blankets, pillows, all of it. Buying used bedding is worse than buying a used mattress. In fact, it's almost as bad as buying used underwear! The bedding may be freshly laundered, there's still the stigma of knowing that other people slept on those sheets before you. Sick people, potty training people, smoking people, sweaty people, and yes, horny people.

Anyway, if you're trying to save money by buying used pillowcases, it's time to loosen the purse strings a bit. I think the same sentiment was echoed on an episode of Friends. The cheapest blankets in a TJ Maxx clearance bin are way better than anything used.

Crayons and Markers. Used markers usually mean dried-out, USELESS markers. As for crayons used ones are usually missing their labels. But even if they're not, they could be harboring germs. When Kyle was in first grade, his teacher had to discard all the crayons in the classroom due to exposure of hand-foot-mouth disease. That's what she got for insisting that the children "pool" their supplies.

Anyway, children's art supplies aren't that expensive. You probably have enough change in your sofa cushions to buy Junior a box of colors at Big Lots. That will change, however when he takes art classes in college.

Cleaning supplies. Mops, feather dusters, brooms, and the like. I don't even want my own dirt in the house. Why would I want someone elses?

Towels. See "bedding" The only exception is towels used for washing the car.

Hair accessories and styling implements. Combs, brushes, curling irons, rollers, scrunchies, barrettes, etc. Two words: head lice.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Sunday Dishes: Bluer Than Blue

Here, I have most of my blue Fiesta is on display. There just wasn't enough room for all of it. Colors include Cobalt, Periwinkle, Turquoise, Sapphire, and Peacock.

The Sapphire carafe is one of my favorite pieces.

Blue Plate Special