Tuesday, January 31, 2012


1) I managed to screw up part of our Sunday morning music services. :(  I feel really bad about it too.  The minister of music had asked one of his daughters to sing a solo, and the music she was going to sing was on a cassette tape.  I know what you're thinking...a cassette tape? Wha?  Yeah..well, if you are familiar with music accompaniment, you will know that cassette tapes were the norm for a very long time.  Even after CDs became the preferred way to listen to music, for some reason, accompaniment music was still on tapes.  Of course, you also have the fact that a lot of gospel songs don't go out of fashion, so if you find a version of a song you like, you tend to hang on to it.  It makes sense to upgrade your music to CDs or even MP3s now, but that can get pretty expensive.  Not to mention that sometimes the particular version of the song you like may not have ever been pressed (or whatever) to a CD.

OK, I told you all of that for you to understand why this woman was singing with a cassette tape.

Anyway...apparently, I have forgotten how to use a tape player.  Well, at least the kind that have more than 4 buttons.  Sometimes the choir will sing from a tape, and that's where my ineptness has shown itself.  I always rewind too far, or not far enough, I accidentally hit that button that flips the tape to the other side, or I forget which direction the tape is turning and the whole thing goes backwards.  It's a nightmare and it makes me feel like an idiot.

So while she was practicing, I had to leave the sound system in other capable hands so that I could go to class.  When I came back down for the service, I refused to touch the cassette player so as not to screw anything up.  When it came time for her to sing, I pressed the play button and the song started playing somewhere in the middle.  I didn't know what happened.  I also didn't know the song, so I didn't know which way I was supposed to move it.  I rewound, and played it...but nope, still not in the right place.  I did that several times trying to find the right song, but it never worked. All this time the poor woman is standing on stage looking embarrassed and I'm in the back of the church trying desperately to figure out what was going on.  The music minister finally told her to sit down and we went on with the service, but I felt so bad!  I don't know what happened!  I guess I could have bumped one of the buttons without realizing it, but I don't know how I could have done that without hearing it.  I don't know.  I do know, however, that every single part of my body was cringing.  I just felt so terrible.  Ugh.

2) I got my hair cut last Friday and no one noticed.  Well, Steve pretended to notice, but it was because I told him I was getting my hair cut and I'm pretty sure he was trying to be nice.  However, later he told me it looked exactly the same.  This wouldn't irritate me normally but it doesn't look the same. It very much doesn't look the same at all!  I'm trying to let my hair grow out, but since the back was so much shorter than the front, I decided to go ahead and cut the front so that the front would be the same length as the back.  Then I got it layered.  I kept the bangs, but even they weren't cut the same.  It's a totally different hair style. Gah!

Other than that, my other problem is that I have no idea how to fix it.  I wake up in the mornings looking like Russell Brand, and if I'm not careful, when I blow dry my hair, it sticks out in many directions.  I'm just going to leave it alone until it decides to cooperate.  It's best not to anger my hair.  It's very sensitive.

3) The internet is full of weirdos, isn't it?  The other night I had a terrible case of hiccups, and I mean terrible in a way few people can understand.  I've never had little, dainty, cute hiccups.  When I get a serious case of hiccups, I sound like an angry pterodactyl.  I can't control them, and they are loud.  True story, my dogs think something is wrong with me and they try to climb into my lap and look into my mouth to see what is going on when this happens.  

While my diaphragm shredding hiccups were going on, and since I had the iPad next to me, I tweeted that "I have a bad case of hiccoughs. They sound like the mating call of an exotic, unpleasant bird."

A bit later, I saw that I had gotten some mentions on Twitter from a person I didn't recognize.  The person asked how long I had had the hiccups.  Normally, I wouldn't have bothered answering, but I figured that maybe this person would have some kind of trick to get rid of them that I could use the next time it happened.  Seriously, I HATE getting the hiccups and was willing to try anything.

Well, this guy didn't have any tricks for getting rid of them.  In fact, due to a stream of other messages that came to me in quick succession, I realized that this particular person...um...enjoyed the thought of women having hiccups.  A lot.  What?!  Gross.  That was a new one on me.  Not that I have a working encyclopedic knowledge of kinks or anything, but what the hell?  That's just weird.  Needless to say, I didn't respond to him anymore.  Icky, ya'll.

4) I just realized that I typed that word so many times just then that it doesn't look like a real word anymore. Hiccups.

Monday, January 23, 2012


1) Holy cow, it's gorgeous outside today!  We had some bad weather overnight, which naturally was heralded by the sound of the tornado siren and the dogs howling, but this morning it's just beautiful out there.  Of course, it's 61 degrees in January, which I don't particularly like (cause January is supposed to be cold, dontchaknow) but I guess 61 degrees is better than three feet of snow and no power and dying of hypothermia.  I'll just call that the silver lining.  :)

2) I found a new printer! Well, maybe. I'm currently getting my first job printed there as we speak.  That is probably not anywhere near as exciting to you guys as it is to me, but it's great news!  I suppose I should specify that it isn't a desktop printer, but a printing facility where they can do all the fancy stuff, like raised lettering, varnishes, foiling and all that other happy trash!  I have a whole new world of design opened to me!  Plus, I know a guy with a connection to the place and he thinks we can probably work out a pretty good deal on pricing.  Woot!  Now, if anyone needs invitations or whatever, we can make 'em fancy!

3) Oh, and speaking of awesome stuff, some of my hats will finally get a home soon.  The children from our church are going to visit the nursing home in February, and along with the stuff they are going to make for the residents there, they are also going to be giving them each a hat!  The women's group is also taking a few of them to the members of our church that are elderly and home bound!  I'm glad!  I know they are just hats, but I hope that they can give people a tiny bit of warmth and snuggliness.  I'm going to have to go in and weed out a lot of the crazier colored hats and the ones with horns and what-not, though.  We don't need anyone's paw-paw looking like a thug. 

4) While looking at jobs the other day (yes, I'm still looking, albeit not as rabidly as before) I saw that my former job at the SpRocket (ptooey) was back on the market.  It made me a little sad.  I really miss that job sometimes.  I know it's stupid to even care, I really do, but I just enjoyed being there and I have moments of missing it.  I liked my co-workers, I liked what I did, and even when it drove me crazy I could always go out and look at whatever I made and think "I did that, and that is awesome."   Oh, well. Water under the bridge and all that, right?  I know that they must've already had someone in mind for the job since it didn't stay online for more than a couple of days (legally every job has to be open to anyone who wants to apply, but they generally hire who they opened the job for anyways.)  I hope whoever gets the job enjoys it as much as I did and I hope that they are shown more professional courtesy than I was.

I also hope that one day I can drive by the place without giving it the bird.  Baby steps...

5) There is a song that our choir sings that I really like called "I'm Ready To Go."  I wish I could find a YouTube video of it so you could hear what it sounds like, but I haven't tracked down the right version just yet.  Anyways, the song never fails to crack me up.  It's not a funny song at all, but to me it sounds as if it were written by Richard or Robert Sherman for some kind of white-bread, gospel, live action, Disney-esque musical like "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" or something.  Honestly, I get mad giggles whenever they practice it because I keep picturing everyone in the church jumping up and doing some synchronized dancing.  I guess the worst part is that at the end, I can totally see everyone in the choir going down on one knee and a cross being lowered from the ceiling behind them, all while pyrotechnics fire off on each side and shower the congregation with confetti. 

I realize this is not what I should be thinking of during church, but there is nothing I can do about it. My imagination is completely out of my control.

6) Personally, if there is going to be any dancing at our church at all, I'd prefer it to be this kind:

I might even be in the choir if they sang songs like that! :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012



Earlier this evening I was reading through our local news website and came across this short article:

Obama Calls Coach Saban

At the end it talks about how the team is excited about their upcoming visit to the White House, and all I could think of was Coach Saban sitting on a park bench saying

"I went to the White House. A-gain. I met the president. A-gain."

And that made me laugh much more than it should have.

I'm sorry.

Monday, January 09, 2012


1) I love bread.  Love, love, love it.  I know it's the worst thing in the world to just sit and chow down on, but it's one of the things I just get a jones for a lot of the time.  My favorite at the moment is Sesame Semolina from Panera Bread.  I'll just go in and buy a loaf every once in a while, and I'm good for a week and a half.  I'm not sure why I'm telling you this except that I just had a piece of it toasted for breakfast and the memory of it still lingers.  :)  Seriously, if you like bread, you need to try it.

2) Oy.  There are people from my church who have friended me on Facebook, and they saw the pictures that Jeoff took of us during our New Year's Eve "party."  They think I was drunk.  I promise, I wasn't!  That's just what I look like, and I can't apologize enough for that.  I was acting goofy when the pictures were made, and now they think I was smashed.  Honestly, there are also kids from my church that are my Facebook friends, and I'd never, never, never let pictures of me stay tagged with my name if I was doing something questionable.  I didn't think anything about those pictures being posted until someone said something to me about them, and now I feel terrible.  I don't know if they believed me when I told them I wasn't drunk.

That entire day, all I'd had was a glass and a half of wine (because I'd finally found some I liked), plus one glass of champagne at midnight, and Josh asked me to try a tiny bit of some kind of foul, red stuff that he said was sweet (but it was a filthy, filthy lie.)  Believe it or not, even with my appallingly low tolerance of alcohol, I didn't even get tipsy until after the champagne...and mostly it just made me very sleepy. After posting one questionable twitter entry, which in retrospect probably could have been worded differently, I went to bed before I could begin emailing people (you're welcome.)  I was still a long way from drunk, though. I've been more buzzed from breathing in Sharpie marker fumes while working on a project.

Bleh. I'm stuck somewhere between feeling really awful about this and sincerely wishing people would mind their own damn business.

3) Speaking of being disappointed in me... I still haven't sent my hats to that charity yet.  It isn't that I don't want to, but the logistics are a nightmare, and the cost of shipping everything to California is prohibitive.  For whatever reasons, I had no idea that the number of hats I made would be so heavy or require so many boxes!  I've given away quite a few hats, but I'd still like the bulk of them to go to people in need.  I'm thinking of calling one of the local hospitals and seeing if they have any kind of program for the people going through chemotherapy.  I may also see if the children's group at my church ever goes to nursing homes to visit, and see if they want to take some to the elderly people.  I feel so bad that this hasn't been taken care of yet!  I just want to do something nice!! 

4) I'm absolutely loving the new coffee maker!  It's so easy to throw a pod into it and make a cup of coffee without making a huge mess or having way more coffee than I'll drink! I know I sound like an infomercial, but I actually do make quite a mess when I make coffee the old fashioned way.  I also love the fact that it makes other stuff, because I recently got some Earl Grey tea pods (I won't lie, it was mostly so I could pretend to be Capt. Picard) and realized I actually really like it.  My one problem is that we have a ton of pods that I don't really care for and I don't know what to do with them.  It came with 4 different boxes of coffee, and I only really like one of them.  Plus, we bought some hot chocolate and chai tea latte pods, and they taste weird.  I thought they had artificial sweeteners in them, but they don't, so I'm not sure what makes them taste so odd. I can't drink them, though.  At any rate, I really like the machine.  I tried the "hot water only" button the other day to make some instant rice, but forgot to rinse the spout out first.  Just FYI...rice made with coffee tainted water is gross.  :)

Friday, January 06, 2012


1) To finish out my story of new year's travels, Monday we left Helen and drove home.  Nothing really exciting happened along the way.  Sorry I didn't dedicate an entire entry for that, but it just felt a tiny bit anticlimactic!  Anyways, I hope you had fun ringing in the new year, even if that meant you went to bed at 10:00 and slept through the whole thing.  We all celebrate in our own ways!  :)

2) Tourist season has begun at our gym, as it does every January.  Things are very crowded there right now, but I suspect a lot of people will stop coming around the end of the month.  I used to think it was funny, but now I hope most people stick with it.  It's hard to take care of yourself and lost weight and all of that.  It shouldn't be, but it is.  Good luck to all the new guys at my gym...but please don't forget that I was there first and you need to get off of the machines when I'm ready to use them.  Heeheee!

3) Last night I had some crazy dreams.  The thing I remember most clearly is that at some point, I picked up a telephone and dialed a number at random and when someone answered, I began to sing "Free Your Mind" by En Vogue.  I sang the whole dang song, codas and all.  I found out later on that the guy who picked up the phone was so transfixed by my song that he stopped in the middle of a crime of some sort and changed his mind about committing it.  I guess that means I'm the lamest super-hero ever.

4) So the University of Alabama is going to be playing in the BCS Championship game again!  Neato!  I hope they win, of course.  How cool is it that for the past three years a team from this state has gone that far?  Alabama: Home of the rocket scientist, awesome football teams, and American Idol winners.  OK, maybe I'm not so proud of the American Idol part, but still...


Here is a picture of me and my guys in Alpine Helen.  We had such fun!  Of course, I shouldn't speak for everyone, but I will, because that's just how I roll.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012


January 1, 2012
Cleveland & Helen, Georgia

Today we had to say goodbye to Josh and Jeoff after breakfast, since they had to make their way back home to spend more time with Josh's mom before they fly home to Colorado. I was very sad, because I will miss them.

Since Steve, Anthony, and I had a whole extra day to spend, we drove around trying to find the few places we managed to miss yesterday. We stopped at the Old Sautee Store, which was so cool.  It was part modern store that sells some specialty items and things of local interest, and the other part was what I imagine the old store had really looked like.  It was full of all kinds of antique items that they had sold at one time.  It felt like stepping back in time.  :) 

I had to visit the restroom while we were there, and the only one they had was underneath the store. You had to get there by climbing down a set of stairs outside.  The bathroom was small and, when the door latched behind you, very dark.  When I was ready to leave the bathroom, I couldn't find the way out!  Granted, it was only one room, and it was dark, but still...I couldn't find the door.  I began to panic a little, and I even had a moment of thinking that the whole room had rotated and someone had trapped me in there!  I kept turning around and around looking for the door before I realized I was standing next to it, but the shadows in the room kept me from being able to see the door handle and I'd been pawing at the wall panel next to the door the whole time.  I think I need to stop watching scary movies.  I'm getting paranoid.

After we left the store, we stopped at a couple of other smallish stores that were scattered around. Most of the things we wanted to see were closed, either because it was new years day, or because it was Sunday, so we ended up heading back to Helen to try a restaurant we'd seen the day before called Troll Tavern. It was OK, but nothing to write home about.  After we ate, we walked the main road again while looking for any souvenirs we might have missed the day before, and after leaving there, we decided to take the rest of the evening to relax. I think we may be getting old. Heeheehee.

We spent the rest of the evening watching movies and football, and cleaning up the cabin.

Wild, wild stuff.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012


December 31, 2011
Cleveland & Helen, Georgia

I was first out of bed this morning and decided to get a glass of milk. I poured one, thinking it looked awfully thick, but thought maybe it was just whole milk or something. Right before (thank goodness) taking a drink,  I realized we'd bought buttermilk by accident. Projectile vomiting would definitely have been a bad way to start my day!

Everyone finally got up and Jeoff and Josh made us all breakfast, which was awesome, and then we got ready to head out to see what adventures awaited us in Helen, Georgia!

If you've never been to Alpine Helen, GA, it's a neat little town in North Georgia that was redesigned to look like a Bavarian village. I am really not sure why that happened, but there you go.  Sometimes the world is weird.  Anyway, the whole town was redesigned, and now it's a tourist attraction in the vein of Gatlinburg or Estes Park. There are a lot of shops and restaurants, mostly full of German themed souvenirs. You can find some lovely things there, but there is a certain amount of cheesy crap there too.

It's also a very dog and cat friendly place, and people were walking dogs everywhere.  I think I actually made the sound "SQUEEEEE!"  I got to pet a few, but there were too many to chase down. One memorable moment was when I sat down to take my foot picture and a giant Burmese Mountain Dog came over and sniffed me. Seriously, these suckers are huge. It came up behind me, so I wasn't expecting it and all I felt was a big, hairy presence. I turned around and saw a mass of fur and a big wet nose, and it scared me to death. It was like being snorfed by a bear.

We shopped, and had an amazing lunch at a very authentic German restaurant called The Old Bavarian Inn. It was seriously delicious.  I also learned how to say "ham hock" in German! :)  The waitress was so funny! Jeoff speaks German, so he made friends with her, and she took great care of us.  I can't remember her name, unfortunately, but we know her son hangs out with Flava Flav!  She's not thrilled with that, but since he lives overseas, there is nothing she can do about it and she has resigned herself to that fact. :)

After leaving Helen, we stopped at Habersham Winery, where Josh and Jeoff did a tasting, but the rest of us went over to the antique shop next door. After that we visited the Nora Mill grist mill And Jumping Goat coffee shop across the street, where we looked around and boosted the economy. You know...just doing our part. :)

We had decided to cook out instead of trying to find a restaurant for the evening, so we grilled steaks and watched tv for a while, before breaking out the bag of crackers (which are for Christmas, I know, but still...) and pulling them apart. I've never had so much fun with a pile of cardboard and cheap, plastic toys!

We almost missed midnight, but we managed to get the champagne poured before the ball dropped. :). Everyone got a kiss on the cheek and we walked outside to watch the people down the street shoot off fireworks (i.e. bottle rockets. Shut up, they were magnificent). I think we may have stayed up another hour, all of us sitting in the same room using smart phones & iPads, you know otherwise ignoring each other, and posting dumb things on our various social networking sites.  I finally had to go to bed, because apparently the champagne did me in.

HAPPY 2012!

Monday, January 02, 2012


December 30, 2011
Huntsville, AL to Helen, GA

After waking up early and dropping off the dogs, Steve and I set out on another adventure, this time accompanied by our dear friends Josh, Jeoff, and Anthony!  We had decided several months ago to rent a cabin in Helen, GA for a low key new years eve, so after meeting up at the SProcket (ptooey), our caravan headed off. We had our GPS, of course, but Anthony, a seasoned (and by that I mean super old) traveler, knew a quicker way to get to our first stop. It wasn't too far off from what our GPS said, but it was just different enough to confuse it. At the point where our new route diverged from Jeepus' route, it kept "recalculating" and trying to turn us around. By the time we had ignored it through several "recalculations" it basically said "screw you guys" and simply said "there is a better route." Poor Jeepus.

Other than that, though, the first leg of our trip was uneventful. We made it to Cleveland, TN and stopped for lunch, and then got back on the road. This time, however, we weren't following each other, so things got a little mixed up.  Steve and I needed to stop at a gas station, while everyone else was going to head on and get through the Cherokee National Forest. We were going to meet up right after getting through and recombine, but Steve and I managed to go completely the wrong way. Since we had to ignore the GPS once again to get to the Gas station, and since Anthony had also gotten confused and given us the wrong direction to turn, we actually drove around for a bit before realizing we weren't going in the right direction.  We couldn't get either Josh or Anthony on the phone to tell us where to go, so we had to stop and ask for Jeepus' forgiveness before she'd show us the way back on track. Anthony had also gone the wrong way, so we finally got a call from him saying he was on the same road as we were and would be right behind us! finally pointing in the right direction, we made our way into Cherokee National Forest.

The drive through was gorgeous. I'm sure the place wasn't at it's prettiest, since most of the leaves were gone, but it was still lovely. I never realized how much touristy stuff had sprung up around the Ocoee river. I'm also fairly baffled by that, seeing as how Deliverance wasn't exactly a chamber of commerce recommendation of the surrounding areas and it's inhabitants. Steve says he's been white water rafting down the river before, but the river seemed to have been turned down, or dammed or something, because the rocks were very high and the water was very low. Unless I'm completely confused about how rafting works, I thought it was supposed to be the other way around!

We didn't catch up with Anthony or J&J like I thought we would, but I did get several calls from them that my phone would completely drop the minute I answered. (Seriously, I hate my phone.) I finally managed to answer when Steve and I made it into North Carolina. (As an aside, the route to this place was crazy...I mean...North Carolina, what?) Josh and Jeoff were waiting at our rendezvous point right across the Georgia state line, but Anthony was still MIA.  Steve and I weren't that far away, so we met up with them and we waited in an eating area flanked with slot machines! Jeoff, who had never been to Georgia before, "enjoyed" his first taste of boiled peanuts, and we sat and waited on Anthony to arrive. It got to the point where we honestly started to worry that he might have ended up in Florida or something, but he finally made it!  We weren't that far from our destination by this point, so Steve took the lead again and we got back on our way.

The drive was absolutely gorgeous from here. North Georgia is hilly and pastoral, plus the light had a filtered, otherworldly quality that made everything look as if it had been painted in oils. We had to go through another national forest, this time the Chattahoochee, and it took us up through the mountains. The sky had gotten cloudier and everything was misty and very dim. I don't know if we had gotten high enough to be in a cloud, or if it just got very foggy, but suddenly our visibility was gone.  We could probably see about 10 feet in front of us, and the road we were on was very twisted. Very, very twisted. The purple line we followed on the GPS was bizarre and looked less like a road than it did a roller coaster track, but it was almost the only thing we had to find our way by. I think at one point the line even twisted into the shape of a hand giving us the bird, but I can't be sure.  I got a very strong Silent Hill vibe during the ordeal!  Luckily when we descended, the fog was gone and the rest of the trip was easy.

We finally arrived at the cabin and it was so nice! It's very cozy and smallish, although it's plenty big for all of us. There is a hot tub and a jacuzzi, but as I didn't think traveling in January would require a bathing suit, I will not be enjoying either of them.

We stepped out to get provisions at the local Wal-Mart, grabbed dinner, and retired back to the cabin to relax. Josh and Jeoff had bought shorts, so they soaked in the hot tub, and I sat on the edge and we discussed important things! Steve and Anthony were inside watching a movie, so we joined them later on and then finished the evening by playing Scrabble and Scattergories.  So far, we're having great time!