Wednesday, April 30, 2008


That title really has nothing what-so-ever to do with this post. But I happen to be listening to the song "Amen" by Kid Rock right now and singing along, and that's the word I was singing when I started this post, so there you go.

So anyway... here I am. Sucking again as a blogger. But words cannot describe how nuts things have been around here lately. Just so, so busy. Work, kids, house stuff, appointments, etc. Grace totally threw a wrench into my well thought-out Saturday this past weekend. I already had Hannah's T-ball pictures at 9:40, Grace's soccer practice from 1-2:00, and then Hannah's T-ball practice from 2:00-3:00. No problem. Hannah would be 5 or 10 minutes late for T-ball, but no big deal.

Well, we show up for Hannah's T-ball pictures that morning and run into Ron. I graduated with Ron's brother and we're still pretty good friends, and Ron is in charge of the whole T-ball/softball/baseball league here in town. So he (for the 10th time in the past 3 months) starts asking me if Grace wants to join softball and be on his team. I'd been bugging Grace since last summer to join softball this year because she kicked some serious ass in T-ball and I knew she'd be good at softball. But she kept saying no.

So Grace decides she does, indeed, want to join -- exactly 45 minutes before her new team was scheduled for pictures, with practice immediately following. I also realized her glove from last year didn't fit anymore. So Hannah finishes pictures around 10:45, we jump in the car, run to WalMart for a new glove and go right back to the field for Grace's pictures at 11:20. Then we head to the practice (which Grace LOVED by the way).

But basically, we left the house at 9:30 and didn't get back home until almost 2:00 (we skipped soccer because we were cold and STARVING).

So now my weeks are filled with T-ball practice, softball practice, soccer, and extra dance classes for Hannah since her recital is in a month. Oh yeah... that's another gem. Her dress rehearsal for her recital is ON her birthday and the recital itself is 2 days later on Father's Day weekend. Joy.

Oh, and because I'm not already insane, Grace's new softball team is a traveling team, so we'll have to go to three surrounding towns for games. And often, Hannah's T-ball games/practices are scheduled at the same time as Grace's softball games/practices. Because it's easy for me to be in two places at once, ya know. ARG! Thank god for Daddy, Grandma, Granddad and Nana. That's all I have to say. LOL!


So let's throw a job with a hellish commute a few days a week that gets me home around 6:30 (if I'm lucky), crazy deadlines that will require me to work extra hours for the next few weeks, a house with mountains of laundry, dust bunnies in the corner, toys everywhere, and general clutter, and I'm ready to commit myself. Oh, and did I mention I have a husband I like to hang out with when I get a chance?


I've been working on some cool gifts for my mom and mother-in-law for Mother's Day. They're getting AWESOME and I can't wait to show you guys. But not until they're done, which will be in between all of the aforementioned stuff I have going on.


I guess that's it for tonight. Just wanted to fill everyone in on why I haven't been around. I'd love to say I'll be around more often, but well, that just may not happen anytime soon. But I'll pop in when I can. :)


Tink, I'm still waiting for that drunk call. ;)




Quote of the Day:
Houses should be more like ovens. Self-insulating and self-cleaning!
(while cleaning room)

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Busy day today. And yet, an awesome Friday.

I went to get my haircut today. Steve went to get his cut by the same guy as me at lunchtime today. So I go in for my appointment at 4:00 and our hairdresser (Aaron, who is openly gay) TOTALLY wants Steve. He kept telling me how hot Steve is, how awesome he looks, etc. So THEN he tells me that after Steve left today, Aaron asked a girl that was there what she thought of Steve and she told Aaron that she thought Steve was gay. ROFLMFAO! So I start DYING and say, "I always tell Steve he's half gay." So Aaron looks at me... pauses... and says, "You want me to find out?" OMG! PIMP!

It was all downhill from there. He wants to meet us on date night and sit next to Steve. Then he said that the next time Steve comes in for a haircut, he's going to say, "Why don't you take your shirt off so no hair goes down your back." OMG! I SERIOUSLY couldn't stop laughing. I was laughing so hard I was crying.

I told Steve when I got home, and while most guys would be totally freaked out by it, Steve seemed almost proud. I swear, it made his ego inflate by about 50 times what it already is. I could totally tell he was thinking, "Even guys want me. I'm so fucking hot." LMFAO! [shaking head] Rock on with your bad self, dude. LOL!


And total happy dance! God bless Kmart! They had Satin finish photo paper!!! WOOHOO!!!

For those of you that don't know, I was a bit pissed off yesterday. The ONLY photo paper I will buy to print out stuff at home is Satin finish photo paper. Matte is like printing on card stock, and glossy is just ridiculous. Photos should NOT be shiny, people! For the love of god, do NOT print or order glossy photos. Ever.

So the only finish I like is Satin finish. When I use that stuff, any photos I print on my ol' standard ink jet printed look and feel like I ordered them from somewhere. I always get it at WalMart. Always.

So I'm in the process of making some really cool projects for my mom and MIL for Mother's Day and I ran out of photo paper yesterday. No biggie. So I run to WalMart and discover they now only have 2 choices of photo paper... glossy and glossy, just different brands. SHIT!

So this morning I ran to Giant to check out their office supply aisle. I did find some other cool stuff I can use to make neat projects, but they only had two packs of photo paper -- both glossy. ARG! STOP with the glossy photos people. For real. Because it makes your photos look like shit, but everyone is too polite to tell you. Down with glossy!!!

So before my haircut, I made one last ditch effort and wandered into KMart. And lo and behold, there before me were about 15 different brands/finishes of photo paper. And what do I see way up on the top rack?  That's right, homeboys... my satin finish photo paper. WOOHOO!

I even opened it before buying it (*gasp!*) to make sure it was the exact weight/feel/look as my old stuff I used buy, and it has the same look and feel as the other stuff . Oh, the joy. I bought two packs just to be safe, but I swear to god, if I had more money on me, I would've bought like 10 damn packs just so I wouldn't be in this situation again. LOL! YAY K-mart!!! :)


Tonight, we had 3 friends drop by and two kids who all just wanted to hang out, drink a few beers (the adults... not the kids...) , and chill out. Gotta love weekends and nearby friends. :)


And now in response to Tink... for you and Hoop to drive here for the pig roast, it would "only" take you two days, assuming you drove a lot. LOL! My entire family of 5 drove to Walt Disney World when were were kids TWICE, and both times, we just stopped overnight for one night. And when we finally take our kids to experience it, we'll also drive since Steve and I are big wusses and won't fly. If you leave in the morning and drive all day and then get a hotel overnight, you could wake up and be here that next day. See? Totally do-able.

So if you can't make it that weekend, may I suggest the July 24 - 27th, when my kick ass friends, Tracey and Emily are coming to visit. So far, I've tentatively scheduled a total day of shopping that Friday, including in the little artsy shops in a well-known, nearby historic town about 3 miles from us.

That night will be karaoke night at our local "haunt". So considering who I'll be with, I may just get drunk enough to actually sing something. Wouldn't that be scary?

Saturday? Not sure yet. There's a TON of stuff to do around here, so we'll play it by ear. But that night, the live bands play at the other local bar we go to, so we'll hit that place. I'm so totally pumped, it's not even funny. :)

So Tink... schedule your days off, put your ass in the car, and head on up. I promise several fun-filled evenings and possible public embarrassment (for me) if I decide to sing. :)


OK. Off to bed. Tomorrow, we have T-ball pictures for Hannah at 9:40 AM, soccer for Grace from 1:00-2:00, and then T-ball practice for Hannah from 2:00 - 4:00. All while Steve is off golfing for the entire day somewhere with my dad. Great. [sigh]

Ah hell, perhaps if I keep reminding myself that tomorrow night is "Date Night", I'll be able to get through it. ;)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Hola Chicitas!

How's it hanging, gang? Sorry I haven't been around. Dear GOD, I suck at this blogging thing lately. Sorry 'bout that. It's not because I hate all of you or anything. I've just been busy. With work... with kids... with T-ball... with soccer... with dance class... with making some Mother's Day gifts... with a constantly-trashed house... with being outside in the finally arrived spring weather, etc. It's nuts. But a good nuts, so no complaints here...

Let's see. What to update you on? Oh! Let's talk about this past week's "Date Night". I swear, I look forward to mine and Steve's Saturday nights out more than any other moment of the week. Not because I'm out and about with my husband and we're basking in the alone time and being all lovey. Nuh uh. Anyone that knows me (us) knows that that isn't the case. At all. LOL!

Nope. I look forward to it because we ALWAYS have fun... always end up meeting up with people (either friends or random strangers)... always laugh our asses off... and always forget half of the details by the next day. It's awesome.

So anyway... this past Saturday, we headed back to the bar/restaurant where we adore the bartender, Jen. The place that the old barracuda lady hit on Steve that night. We got there REALLY early (for us) this time -- right around 5:00, if not earlier.

So in the first hour we're there, I had an old high school friend, Kevin, that I haven't seen in about 10 years come in, as well as my aunt and uncle. We talked to all of them for a bit, but then those wusses left and we were still there. Now we had gone in that evening with Steve telling me he did NOT want to stay late again, that he wanted to just eat dinner, have a few beers, and leave, etc. I'm thinking, "Yeah. Right dude. Over my dead body." But I didn't say it out loud. But we've finished dinner, I'm just about to finish my beer, and I KNOW Steve's going to say we should leave (it was about 7:00 at this point). I didn't WANT to leave, but wasn't going to argue.

All of a sudden, as I'm taking that last swallow of my beer, I glance up over to the restaurant part of the bar and see Rachelle and Dan. Dan is my good friend from high school and his Rachelle is his kick ass girlfriend. Some of you that have been at the pig roasts have met him. He's usually my awesome beer pong partner, and we've ruled that damn table since the conception of the pig roast.

It was another case of we-know-Steve-and-Allison-are-usually-there, so they swung in to see if that was the case. Bad news, my friends. LOL! Because right after THEY arrived the live entertainment showed up. I'm all ABOUT live entertainment, so Steve knew he was screwed. LOL!

The guy singing was HILARIOUS and he brought his girl-friend along, who was also cool. Seriously though, within 5 minutes of them arriving, they somehow found out when our pig roast is this year, how I invite every live act I see to come play at it, etc.

So the guy goes up to start playing and the FIRST words out of his mouth are, "Hey. The pig roast has been moved from August 16th to August 23rd. Every band in Northeastern PA will be there. Come check it out." LMAO!

It all went down hill from there. Rachelle, the dude's friend and I were doing a bunch of shots called "Red Headed Whore." (DAMN me and the shots. Must... stop... that...)... I'm yelling for him to play "Crazy Bitch" while raising my hand, and when he says, "Not yet," I yelled, "No no! I just thought you were taking roll call." Dear god. It was freakin' hilarious! We "heckled" each other all night,and I swear, the guy was half singer and half comedian. Good shit. I also remember Steve telling our bartender, Jen, I was passing gas like a champ, but we're just going to forget that part ever happened. Snort! We've decided we're totally inviting the guy that sang that night to the pig roast. And truthfully, he just might show up. LOL!

Seriously. Date night RULES! Everyone should come out to Date Night with us. You won't be disappointed. I promise. ;)

But the bottom line is that I, once again, "won." I KNEW we wouldn't be home early and I was right. Steve really just needs to surrender to the personality of his wife, and realize that if we step into a bar or party with beer, food, people I know, and live entertainment, you may as well pitch a tent and call it a night. LOL!


And on a totally different note... we all went to visit Tommie tonight. He's doing awesome! Pretty much back to normal, other than the colostomy bag, the feeding tube still up his nose that he has to use every night, the skin grafts healing, and the fact that he's way underweight. LOL! But seriously, he's taking it like a champ, is going places, is out and about, and his old personality is completely back. I'm so, so, so proud of him. :)


New favorite band (for tonight anyway): Augustana. Good stuff. Check 'em out. The song called "Sweet and Low" is a particular favorite of mine.


And now, I'll leave you with some photos (because that's what I do). The other night, I got home from work to find the girls outside with hats and backpacks, telling me they were going on an "adventure". Grace found a bird's nest that was in a tree in our yard for a good year and gently took it out. (No birds have been in it in forever, so she wasn't hurting anything.) She LOVES that thing and has admired it since. Here are some pictures of them that night. :)



Studying the Bird's Nest

Grace's Treasure

Friday, April 18, 2008

A Cornucopia of Randomness...

It's one of those nights again. Those nights where I just spew randomness on a plethora of topics. Not on purpose. Either because I have so much to say that I get caught up in the party taking place in my mind, or because it's been so long since I've blogged, that I have a ton to catch up on. Tonight, is a combination of both I suppose. So let's see. Where to start...

Tommie. Let's talk about Tommie. He's HOME!!! He FINALLY got out of the hospital on Tuesday and is at home. He still has a VERY long road to get back to "normal", but the fact that he's home kicks some serious ass. He still has his colostomy bag (and will through the summer)... he has to put in some sort of feeding tube every night, overnight... He's very weak (over 6 ft. tall and only weighs 120 lbs right now)... Still needs someone with him at all times "just in case"... His skin graph is still healing (they took a skin graph off his leg and put it over his incision on his abdomen)... A physical therapist will be going to his house 3-5 times a week and possibly an occupational therapist as well... He takes over 30 pills a day. Poor kid. BUT HE'S HOME!!! :) He starts getting home schooled tomorrow. He is/was a junior in high school this year, so he'll be home schooled now and through the summer, and will hopefully join his classmates back in "regular" school next fall for his senior year. His dad (my BIL) took him fishing yesterday. He has to sit down the whole time and gets tired easily, BUT HE'S HOME!!! We seriously thought we were going to lose him a few short weeks ago, so we're all just thrilled. Thanks again for all of your thoughts and prayers. We could still use them, but for now, we're all in our happy places, and I truly believe that it's because all of you. :)


So let's talk about American Idol. (How was that for a seamless segue? LOL!) When this season first started, I was hung up on David Archuletta. (I have no idea if that's how you spell it, but I'm too lazy to go look it up right now.) I still think he has a beautiful voice. Flawless. Effortless. Peaceful. But I have to admit that my new favorite is David Cook. Love the dude. I always liked him, but it's only the past 2 or 3 weeks that I've come to LOVE him and hope he wins it all. Just because out of all of the contestants, his album would be the one I'd be most likely to buy. His or Brook if she released a folky/artsy/acousitc type album.  But yup... definitely pulling for David Cook. What about the rest of you?


So in a few short weeks, I'll be "receiving an intern" at work. As in, there will be a summer intern working for ME. Now, those of you that have met me in person, or have known me for years realize how humorous this is. For those of you that haven't, let me assure you that it's a hilarious concept. I pretty much act/talk/behave in real life the same way I do online. To be blunt, I'm a flaming idiot. I make stupid, inappropriate jokes. I curse like a sailor (not around children or important people though). I am a total spaz. And yet, the company I've worked for for only 7 short weeks has decided to trust me enough to "mentor" a poor young soul, fresh out of college and looking to make their mark on the world. Uhhhh... yeah.

God bless this girl. For real. I have NO idea what I'll have her doing for me. They say it's up to me. Up to ME? They're kidding, right? Now, this may sound strange to some of you, but I'm pretty "protective" of my documentation. I hate when other people I work with go in and "mess up" the 800+ page computer software manuals and 1000+ topic online help systems I've created. They're mine, dammit, and I need to stake my claim. I'm also the type that has real trouble dictating what other people should do. Because for the most part, I don't give a shit what other people do. I wake up, I do my job (and I do it well, dammit), and I go home at the end of the day.

Who the hell am I to tell someone else what to do? Or to, god forbid, teach them something. I'm not saying any of this in a holier-than-thou sort of way. I just honestly still, after 12+ years as a tech writer, consider myself pretty low on the tech writing totem pole. I don't feel like I have anything to offer someone else. So this whole intern thing should prove to be rather, um, "interesting." I'll certainly keep you posted. At the very least, it's got to lead to a humorous blog entry or two, right?


I'm beyond pissed off at tonight's Survivor. And I mean REALLY pissed off. I won't post any spoilers, but the person I so desperately wanted to win the whole thing got voted off tonight and, frankly, it annoys me. ARG! I don't know why I get so wrapped up in these people that are on these reality TV shows. But I do. And tonight, Grace, Hannah & I were all booing the TV when the results were read at Tribal Counsel. Sigh.


I have a new obsession in terms of music. Actually, it's not really a "new" obsession. I randomly "discovered" the guy on way back when (like, six months ago at least) and have repeatedly listened to his 3 free downloads since then. I ADORE his voice. Love it. I found him tonight on My Space after a Google search and am now listening (obsessively) to more of his songs. I need to order his CD and then I'm going to hope that he signs a major record deal so I can keep hearing his stuff. Check him out. His name is Bryson Van Cleve and his voice rules (in my humble opinion of course). I tend to really like that type of music you'd hear live in a bar (big shock there, huh? LOL!) I like that raw, indie type rock where the band makes you want to knock back a few beers or shots with them in between sets. "We Carry On" is still probably my very favorite of his songs. You might not like him. But I do, and well, wouldn't it be cool to be just like me? [grins]

Again... his name is Bryson Van Cleve and you heard about him hear first. Just remember that when he's all famous and stuff and people are just jumping on his bandwagon, OK? ;)


OK. If I keep talking, you'll all be asleep by the time you get this far. So I'll sign off for the night. Later gators! ;)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Go Fish!

Hey gang! Just checking in. :)

We had a busy weekend. Saturday was the first day of fishing season here, so we took the girls fishing that morning. We met up with my BIL, SIL, and our 2 nephews at a local lake. Of course, anytime the four kids get together, all plans are out the window because they run around like freakin' maniacs. So there was very little "fishing" going on. In fact, there was pretty much NO fishing going on as far as the kids were concerned. LOL!

But they had fun, which I guess is all that matters. And I got a ton of great photos, which I KNOW is all that matters. LOL! (You can click on any of the images to see them larger and without the Polaroid frames.)

Quote of the Day:
If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.
--Francis Roberts

Friday, April 11, 2008


I'm so excited right now, that I can't even tell you how excited I am. We called Tommie about 30 minutes ago and he sounds AWESOME! And he may be getting out of the hospital (finally) on Tuesday! They did a skin graft from his leg to his stomach, and as long as it "took" he'll be coming home! He wouldn't shut up! LOL! Steve talked to him... then our friend Huber that was here... and then me... and he just kept talking, and talking, and talking, and talking, and... LOL!

He's sooo excited about the prospect of coming home and being able to go out fishing, etc. He mentioned his colostomy bag and it didn't even really seem to phase him and he said how he doesn't swim much anyway, so the fact that he'll have it through the summer is no big deal (which tells me that mentally, he's accepted it for now). And he asked when the pig roast is because he's all pumped up for it. OMG. I'm soooo excited and happy for him. I can't believe what this poor kid has been through, and to hear him sounding totally normal tonight was just awesome. :) It's an amazing feeling to talk to someone who (literally) was knocking on death's door for months and have him sound like he's back to his old self.

And frankly, I think I have many of you to thank. Those of you that asked about him, thought about him, added him to your prayer lists, etc. are truly amazing human beings. And I honestly think that the love and kindness that poured out of all of you these past few weeks is one thing that helped him get through this. So for that, I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. :)

And I'm afraid, that that's all I have to say in this blog post. No funny stuff tonight. {Booooo! Hisssss!} But I'm tired and we're taking the girls to the lake tomorrow morning to fish on opening day. They're excited... Steve's excited... Me? Not so much. LOL! But we're meeting my BIL and our nephews there and there's no way in HELL I'm letting Steve and BIL be responsible for 4 kids near a lake. If they were more "normal" kids? Sure. But when Grace and Gunnar get together, they tend to get out of control. And I KNOW that if I'm not there tomorrow with them too, that (at least) one of them will end up in the damn lake. So I'm taking one  for the team and going along. [sigh]

Then it's soccer practice for Grace. Yay. (Not.)

But then we'll drop the kids off at my parents' house and head out for date night. WOOHOO! Y'all know what kinds of things happen to us on date night, so hopefully, tomorrow's post will be way more interesting (and funny) to read. :)

Back in the saddle again...

Seriously. I have to say, that as much as my life has sometimes had me shaking my head, for the most part, once I get it all out and blog or write about it, it makes me laugh. Because seriously, my life is hilarious. It never seems "normal" no matter what I do. Let's take today for example...

I wake up and the pink eye is still kicking my ass. I've had it before. But then, it was some gunk, an itchy eye for a day or two, and it was done. But this time, it's attacked me. I wake up this morning with my eyes pasted shut and swollen to around 3 times their normal size. Crap!

So I email my boss at work and ask for permission to take a 1/2 sick day so I can go get it checked out since my OTHER eye is now starting to itch.

I work from home while checking my email for the next few hours, waiting for a response from the women (my boss) who I SWEAR is bi-polar and that I've convinced myself hates me for reasons unbeknownst to me.

I finally get a response and when I email back to say thank you for allowing me to take the 1/2 day (I haven't been there that long, so I'm still kind of cautious about things), she responds back and says that Eric showed her what I've done so far, how much she LOVES it, how excited she is about what I've done, how she can't wait until everything's done so our clients see it, that I should keep up the great work, etc. I'm thinking, What the hell? Yesterday, when I ran into you in the office kitchen, you barely said two words to me, and when I tried making small talk, you brushed me off and said you had a conference call and were pissed off you couldn't eat lunch. Prozac anyone?

So, I put in my half day and tell Hannah that she's going to Grandma's house while I head to the medical center to get the ol' pink eye checked out. She's down with it, so we walk outside to get in the car.

The neighbor lady (just released from jail a few months ago for some white-collar, bad checkwriting stuff) asks me if Steve's coming home for lunch. Uh, no. Why? Well, apparently, a psychotic groundhog had gotten into a tussle with her dog and was acting weird. It kept running at her and her elderly mom, wouldn't leave, etc. So she went to get out her .22, but it was jammed, and wanted to know if Steve was coming home so he could dip into his stash of rifles and take care of business. Alrighty then.

So I drop Hannah off at my mom's house and head to the medical center, where it took TWO HOURS to sign-in, get looked at, and get a prescription for antibiotic eye drops. For the love of god...

So I get home and have to head down the street to the gas station for cigarettes and a Slim Jim. (Because Slim Jims ARE god's gift to humans in case you didn't know...) I get to the end of our road and a car comes FLYING around the corner, partially running me off the road. I go to flip the driver off and realize it's the neighbor with the groundhog issues. Nice.

So fast forward a few hours and I'm back outside, loading both kids into the car to go to WalMart and fill my prescription for the eyedrops. The neighbor's outside too and apologizes for almost causing my vehicular death earlier and I make a joke about how I just figured the groundhog had her all worked up.

She says that it's "been taken care of." I probed a bit and found out that the groundhog eventually came up on their back patio, wouldn't leave, etc. and that her brother and a friend finally "took a machete to it" to get rid of the little bastard. OMG! I couldn't stop laughing. Now I can't say as I blame her. Groundhogs, generally speaking, don't get aggressive, but this one obviously was. They don't normally act the way this one was, which makes me wonder if something was wrong with it (rabies, etc.). So I'm kind of glad he's gone. My kids DO play in the backyard every night after all. But it still made me laugh and contemplate how it is that these sorts of days are fairly "normal" for me. Other people's normal days involve work, soccer practice for the kids, baths, and bedtime. But no. Not me. I've got (apparently) bi-polar bosses, a felon neighbor, pussy eyes and rabid groundhogs. Awesome. ;)

Quote of the Day:
So long as you rob Peter to pay Paul, you'll have Paul's support.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Pinky Tuscadero.

That's what you can call me these days. Because I swear, there is no hue on the face of the earth that's as pink as my eye right now. Blech. It started bothering me yesterday a little, but it wasn't pink at all, so I just figured it was nothing and blew it off. But this morning, I woke up, and although it still wasn't really pink, it was definitely a little swollen and irritated the hell out of me. Now? Blech. Pink as hell, swollen, and if feels like someone took a piece of sandpaper and scratched the shit out of my eyeball while I was sleeping. Sigh. I sure am "purdy" these days, lemme tell ya. ;)

Actually, today kind of sucked in lots of ways, now that I'm thinking about it. I upset a friend unintentionally and feel like shit about it. I swear, my sarcastic "wit" (and I use that term lightly) should really just be put to rest. Because without fail, every few weeks, I end up making a comment that's meant to be totally joking, but ends up pissing off/upsetting whoever it is I made the comment to. Sigh. Allison needs to just shut her pie hole sometimes I think, and act like most other people on the face of the Earth do.

But on a good note, I heard some hilarious stories from another friend of mine today. And let me just tell you, that nothing made me feel better than knowing that other people out there have crazy, hilarious, totally random things happen to them when they go out to bars. Seriously. Bars are the best concept ever. Way more people should go to bars. Because I guarantee you that if more people went to bars, I'd probably somehow become friends with every one of them. Because that's what I do in bars. I talk. I make "friends." A friend once told me I could make friends with a  wooden post if allowed to talk to it long enough. And he was probably right. Hell, posts are cool too. Why not make friends with them? Everyone reading this should all go out this weekend and make friends with a large wooden support beam. The world will be a better place. I swear. It's your assignment. Find a friend, head on out, and start making small talk with inanimate objects. You may want to do a few shots first though. Because those shots can be your excuse for why you're licking wood in the neighborhood bar & grill while everyone stands around, whispering about what made you do it. Just blame it on those shots you did with bass player in the live band. Because take it from me... those shots you did called "Snake Bites" really will bite you a few minutes after you knock 'em back. What's IN those things anyway?....

Quote of the Day:
If you really want to do something, you will find a way. If you don't, you will find an excuse.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Guilt Trip

So Steve and I are feeling a little guilty after this weekend. I'm pretty sure that if things keep going the way they have been, we'll have every wife and girlfriend in the tri-state area so pissed off at us, that we won't be able to show our faces in public. But let's back up a bit...

As I've mentioned here before, our girls, since the time they were infants, have slept over at my parents' house almost every single Saturday night for their entire lives. For years, Steve and I didn't really "do" anything those nights they were gone. We'd stay in, drink some beer, maybe watch a movie, sometimes watch 2 different shows on 2 different TVs in 2 different rooms, etc. But about 3 months ago, we decided enough was enough and decided to go out the nights we were kidless. It was the best decision we ever made. We now frequent two bars depending on our mood. Both are right down the street from our house (in opposite directions) and could honestly be within walking distance if we ever really NEEDED to walk home (although it would suck since we don't have public sidewalks in our neck of the woods), but we can drive home in about 2 minutes flat.

One bar is frequented by younger people. Every time we're there, about 6 random people I know from high school come in and we catch up. In fact, the manager there graduated with my brother. ALL of the waitresses, bartenders, etc. know us by first name and they have live entertainment every Saturday night.

The other bar has an older crowd on a Saturday night. And by older, I mean older. Like people with kids who are my age. But they rule. They're all guys (the regulars I mean), and I have a total blast with them every time we're there. And the bartender, Jen, kicks some serious ass. Best bartender EVER. We love her.

So anyway, word leaked out that Steve and I go out every Saturday night, and two weekends ago, a couple friend of ours (who aren't lucky enough to "get rid of" their kids every weekend) found a babysitter and wanted to go out too. Great. We invited a third couple too and went to the bar with the live entertainment. We had a blast. Shots all around... The band was awesome... But I have this BAD habit of being friendly and talking to everyone and anyone that walks through the door. I just start babbling like I've known them for years. Sometimes this is good, but sometimes, not so much.

That night, I made friends with the 3 guys in the band. The shots were pouring. The bass player and I did more shots than I can even recall. Then there was the drunk dude from Pittsburgh (the other side of the state from where we live).  He was soooo trashed and kept pulling me out onto the floor (and there IS no "dance floor" in this place) to dance. Being the idiot I am, I kept playing along. People were laughing... people were drinking... etc. The drunk dude was there with his wife and at some point, somehow, the guy bonded with Steve. He kept asking Steve if he's a beach bum and then, later in the evening, kept telling Steve he hoped to "score some blow." Now it's still unclear if the guy meant "blow" in the drug sense or the, ahem, other sense. He kept telling me how much he liked Steve, etc. So I dunno. I'm pretty sure that Steve and I could've become swingers that night if we had wanted to.

Anyway, the people we were actually there with had a total blast and were jealous that Steve and I get to do it every weekend.

Fast forward to this past weekend....

Steve and I head out, but to the bar with the older crowd instead. Great. As we're pulling out of our driveway, we call Steve's step-brother and invite him and his fiancee to meet us there if they want to. Now calling him a "step-brother" is weird because Steve's mom and step-dad just got married 4 or 5 years ago, so to all of a sudden call a 37-year-old guy your step-brother is weird, but anyway, I digress.

So we invite them to meet us there if they want to (no pressure) and head out. We get there, eat dinner, etc. and are surprised to see none of the other regulars there yet. Right after we finished eating dinner (right at the bar of course), Steve's step-brother walks in -- without his fiancee. Alrighty then. So we ask where she is and he says she's at home. Apparently, she didn't want to go to the bar we were going to and he said, "Too bad," and left. Now you have to understand that this is NOT this guy's personality at all. He totally tries to please everyone and I'm pretty sure the fiancee was shocked when he pulled out of the driveway without her. I, however, was laughing my ass off. I like her well enough, but I often question how much he really loves her and I have a feeling she's used to getting her own way. So now we have one guy with us and one pissed off fiancee back at home. LOL! (Sorry ladies, but I don't do well with those mind games. I don't do everything Steve wants to do, but I REFUSE to play those games where I "forbid" him to do something and then get pissed off if he grows a set and does it without me.)

Fast forward again about an hour later. By now, some of  the old guy regulars have shown up and I've hopped to the other end of the bar to hang with them while Steve stays at the other end with his step-brother. I hear the door open behind me and turn around to see who's walked in. Well, holy shit, it's the guy half of one of the couples we went out with the weekend before! I'm like, "Dude, what are YOU doing here? It's midnight already!" He says that his wife and the kids were all asleep and he decided to come find us since he knew we were in one of two bars. He goes on to say that he had so much fun the weekend before that he just wanted to come out and have a few beers. I ask if his wife knows he's there and he says no. I ask if he at least left a note, and he says, "No. I have my cell phone. She'll call if she wakes up and wonders where I am." ROFL! Awesome!

We closed the place down and all went our separate ways. What was TOTALLY awesome was that Steve's step-brother left a little while before us, and unbeknownst to us, he had our entire tab put on his bill and he paid it. All $85 of it (we had dinner too, don't forget). How awesome is that? We need to invite him out more often! Damn!

But now Steve and I feel a little bit guilty. Although we're flattered that people want to hang out with us, and that they're envious of our relationship and weekly date (they told us that... I wouldn't just say something like that), we also feel bad that we're enticing all of the guys out while the chicks stay at home, either pissed off or oblivious because they're sleeping. LOL! So here's my public apology to women everywhere. I swear that if your boyfriend/fiance/husband ever ditches you to go out with Steve and I, it wasn't because we told them to do it without you. And rest assured, we'll try our damndest not to get them in trouble, but we can't make any promises. Because you know... every once in awhile, some band member may buy us all shots (ALL NIGHT LONG) or some drunk guy "looking to score some blow" may show up and blow it all to hell. ;)

Oh, and let's not forget the old lady that hit on Steve a few weeks ago. She was ALL over him and if your boyfriend/fiance/husband happens to go out with us and she's there too and hits on them too, it's not OUR fault. We didn't like her much either. LOL!

Quote of the Day:
Copy from one, it's plagiarism; copy from two, it's research.
--Wilson Mizner

Steve's found his calling...

For real. He's pondered for years what he should do with his life that would make him lots of money and make him happy at the same time. I think the seed was first planted in his mind when that old barracuda slut lady was all over him at the bar a few weeks ago. I'm sure, he left there, thinking, "Hmmm...."

Well, for the past week, he's been working at a (different) older lady's home for about a week now. She needed some concrete steps up the side of her house and hired Steve to do it. (That's his real, current job for those of you that don't know.)

So anyway, today he actually poured the steps and he tells me tonight how the woman's been "flirting" with him since he started there. I laughed. This is typical of Steve. He thinks everyone is flirting with him. (And truthfully, he's usually right. The man isn't exactly hideous looking if you know what I mean.) So he then proceeds to tell me that when he knocked on her door to tell her he was leaving for the day, she invited him inside, after saying, "I'll be home all night tonight." Uhhhh.... huh? LOL! Anyway, Steve tells her they're just about done with the whole job and that he'll be back in a week or two to put the railing on for her.

He said she leaned over and gave him a HUGE hug, saying, "Thank you sooo much!" By now, I'm laughing hysterically. Who the hell hugs their concrete dude? LOL! And Steve, never being one to just let a true story be funny on it's own, then says, "It was OK until she grabbed a hunk of my ass while she was hugging me." ROFL!

So anyway, he's decided, given the circumstances the past few weeks, that he's going to be a "gigolo for old ladies." How do I feel about this? Well, when he said it, I tossed a "Work it baby," over my shoulder and told him that he should, "Go take their money and buy me nice shit."

See? I didn't need a job dammit. We just didn't realize we hadn't tapped into Steve's hidden potential. Sigh.


OK. Let's move on... It's photo time! :)

It seems like forever since I've posted any, and lucky you -- I just uploaded a ton to Flickr. So sit back and wipe the drool off your faces as I bore you with photos of my kids.

First up, we have some fishing pictures. We took the girls for a bit last weekend, just to get them out of the house. :)









(Hannah was there too. I just suck and took more pictures of Grace. [blush])

BUT... next up we have Hannah. The girls were drawing with chalk the other day, and I have more pictures of Hannah that day then Grace. See? It all balances out...

Chalk Art_April 2008

Chalk Art_April 2008

And this, my friends, is Hannah's "Secret Agent Man" pose. Don't ask. I've found that if I don't question her and her logic, all seems right with the world....

Secret Agent Man 2

Secret Agent Man

And last but not least... a bunch of layouts I've done over the past few weeks. All complete credits can be seen here.

My World

Daddy's Girl


Secret Agent Man

Easter Egg Hunt 2008


And with that, we end with a Quote of the Day. It's a random generator, so we're going to take what we get and hope they're decent...

Quote of the Day:
At times the whole world seems to be in conspiracy to importune you with emphatic trifles.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, April 07, 2008

Celebrating Life...

OK. So those of you that know me well (or at all really) know that I'm not a "cheesy" person. Sure, I have my moments... we all do. But generally speaking, I'd much rather crack a stupid, inappropriate joke and make people laugh. But today is a day I just feel like celebrating the amazing people in my life. Some, I know, will be lifelong friends... some are people that although I see here and there, I know they won't be someone I call and talk to just for the hell of it... and some are people that I have changed me in ways that I will forever be grateful for.

First we have Steve. My dear, sweet Steve. I rarely talk about Steve here on the blog. Not on purpose. He just rarely comes up. LOL! But I truly wish everyone on this earth (OK... so the people I like anyway) could have a marriage like we do. I sooooo never believed in that "soul mate" crap, but if I DO have a soul mate, than Steve is it. We can finish each other's sentences, we know what the other is thinking, and most importantly, we're best friends. We are so comfortable with each other and secure with our relationship, that nothing phases us. I can (literally) count on one hand the number of big arguments we've had in the 10+ years we've known each other. He is my rock and I'd like to think that I'm his. He makes me laugh in ways almost no other human being can. We LIKE being with other and we know that together, we can conquer the world. People tell us on a regular basis that they admire us, wish their marriages were more like ours, and that they know we'll grow old together. Life doesn't get much better than that.

Next on the list are my June 2001 internet friends that I met on a Mommy board a loooong 7 years ago (and whom I've met on several occasions in person). God bless those women. They keep me grounded and keep me sane. They literally know more about me than anyone else on this earth. They make me laugh, they piss me off, they make me cry, and I know that no matter WHAT happens to me or what life throws at me, they will help me deal with it and I'll be OK. They are truly amazing human beings and I honestly can never repay them for the friendship and love and support they've given me over the past few years.

Then there are my real-life friends. My gosh, what would I do without them. I'll admit that pretty much ALL of my friends from high school were guys. I couldn't deal with that typical girly/diva/jealous/competition crap that came with friendships with girls. So I hung with the guys. Now granted, half of them were kind of geeky then (and still kind of are). But I'll tell you what... I could literally, to this very day, could call them at 3 AM on a weeknight and tell them I needed something, and I guarantee you, that within 10 minutes, they'd be here at my house helping me. They are amazing, amazing people. They helped make me who I am today. They are sweet, sensitive souls who are truly good people at heart. We are such a rare group in that many of us have been friends for over 30 years (and we're all around 35 years old). We've grown up together, and the  bond we share from watching each other do that is something that I think everyone should have, but most don't. We're just lucky I guess.

Then we have the random people I meet. Steve and I go out every Saturday night because the girls always sleep over at my parents' house. We tend to go to two (very) local bars. We've met so many other "regulars" that we've become good friends with. We only ever see them at the bars every week, and admittedly, most of them are MUCH older than us, and they're all guys. But I adore them. They are wonderful people who have those words of wisdom you often get from another generation if you just take the time to listen to them. They would stick up for us in a heartbeat, and again, I know I could call any of them for anything, and they would do what they could to help me. We have so much fun on Saturdays, and yet, it's mixed in with lots of "deep" conversations and discussions that allow all of us to vent, bitch, moan, offer advice, and just delight in the fact that there are still many good people out there.

So what brought all of this on for me and caused me to reflect on what an amazing life I have? It was something that may not have affected some people as much as it affected me. Yesterday, Steve checked the mail and I was surprised to see a package from a person I've never even met in person. She's an amazing person who I literally met through this blog. We've commented on each other's blogs for years, and emailed privately here and there. But we've never heard each other's voices or met in person. But I knew from the first few posts I read on her blog that if we DID live closer to each other, that we'd be the best of friends. She has an amazing, funny, kind-hearted soul and I only wish she was my next door neighbor. The package was a CD she had burned for me. No note was included. No explanation. No warning. Just a CD. I slid it into my CD player and an amazing feeling immediately washed over me.

Every single song (and there are 19 of them) were so "me" it was uncanny. How could this person who didn't really know me know what kind of music I would like? The songs are amazing and beautiful. Some are kind of funny, which also tells me she "knows" me. But most of them are wonderful, beautiful, emotionally-inspiring songs that I've played repeatedly since I first opened the package. They are those types of songs that you play over and over again just so you can learn the words because they are so beautiful and thought-provoking that you swear the singer is speaking to you personally.

The gift couldn't have come at a better time. So much is going on in my life right now. We're all still adjusting to me going back to work full-time... my nephew is doing well, but will still be in the hospital for at least another month... my grandfather has serious health issues right now, and I know it's just a matter of time before he's gone... Steve and I have discussed some serious things lately and we've made some decisions that I'm so excited about, and yet, have my head spinning at the same time.... I'm overwhelmed in so many ways, and when I received her package in the mail, it reminded me of what's important in life.

What's important are the people you surround yourself with. I've managed, somehow, to surround myself with amazing people. The love they've given me could never be repaid. And I truly mean that. Life is short. Life can throw you curves. Life will not always be exactly what you want it to be. But if you have the right people in your life, you'll know you can deal with it. It may suck along the way at times, but if you have the type of friends and family I do, you know you'll be OK. Somehow, in some way, you'll make it through and push on. Because those people will lift you up and offer you the strength you need to wake up another day.

So thank you, from the bottom of my heart, Tink, for reminding me of how blessed I am. Because I truly am blessed. I'm a VERY lucky person in so many ways. And I know, deep down in my heart, that no matter what life deals me, I'll be OK. And I have all of you to thank for that. Life is short. Surround yourself with the people that you know will help you through it. Laugh every day... love every day... and remind yourself every day of the things that are important. Tink helped me to do that, as do other people on a daily basis. I may bitch. I may moan. But at the end of the day, I can go to bed knowing that it will be OK. Because my friends wouldn't have it any other way.