chemaccino good, but not good for you

Friday, January 28, 2005
Is this for real? It can't be for real.
But if it's on CNN, it must be true.

Kohl's for my stockings
Normally, I don't shop at Kohl's. For those of you who aren't familiar with the store, Kohl's is a clothing/department store that carries lower-end brands and the low-end lines of regular department store brands, like "First Issue by Liz Claiborne". Its main competitor, the way I see it, is The Softer Side Of Sears. However, I *like* Sears; the clothing may be cheap, but it's also inexpensive. At Kohl's, you pay department store prices for cheaper products. It's terrible.
Last night I went in search of overcoats on clearance. They did not have any overcoats at all, but what they did have was an 80% off sale on quite a variety of items. I bought, among other things, a long wool skirt for $7, and a set of queen-size flannel sheets for $12.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Busted!That's some sweet bling, for a stuffed animal

It all happened December 30th. That's right, I was holding out on you. I had a close friend who I wanted to tell in person, but who was unreachable until this week.

As for the photos, I came up with putting the ring on the kitty, but Beau was the one who came up with catching it on film. He just thought it was so cute that the beanie cat ("Zip", for you Ty fans) was wearing my engagement ring.

The Proposal:
He asked me in a decorated storefront window on Thursday December 30th, on our way to the car after leaving a nice restaurant. He showed me the ring, I said I would marry him, and I asked him to put the ring on my finger, which he did.

The Ring:
A few weeks earlier, he took a day-trip to NYC to pick out the ring. He caught the train down in the morning and met up with his mother and his grandmother, who came in from New Jersey. The three of them went to 'the family jeweler', where he picked out the stone and setting with his mother and grandmother's help. I knew about the trip, because we had talked about settings beforehand; he wanted to make sure he would get me something I would like. Once he had made his choices, he and his mother and grandmother went out for lunch. Awwww, can you stand how sweet he is? No wonder his pancreas gave out on him. Wait, there's more...

The Letter:
Thirty-five years ago, Beau's father wrote a letter to Beau's mother's father, asking for his blessing. The Monday after Christmas, 2004, Beau followed in his father's footsteps by mailing a letter to both my parents asking them jointly for their blessing. On Thursday morning while I was at work, Beau answered the phone. Hello?
Hi, [Beau]?
This is [my Mom]. YES!!!

My mother was very excited. In fact, she still is. We all are. We're getting married! Expect loads of wedding-related bitching in future posts, including but not limited to

If I Kill Off Some Of My Cousins, I Can Invite More Of My Friends
Whose Bright Idea Was White?
Register-mania: Beware The Affianced And Their UPC Guns
Blood Feud: DJ vs. Band
I'm NOT Going To Pay A Lot For That Muffler Florist!
Threatening My Mother With A Las Vegas Elopement
Maybe The Dingoes Ate My Fiancee

In other news, I have a real snow day from work today, hooray!

Tuesday, January 25, 2005
Hook, Line and Sinker
In a bathroom stall in the mall tonight, I realized there's an easy way to remember the three crucial components involved in choosing The Right Stall, if you get to choose.

A hook to hang your coat and bag,
a line of toilet paper ready in the dispenser, and
a sinker clean and clear and ready for use.

Now go forth into the restrooms of the world, dear readers, and choose wisely.

Monday, January 24, 2005
I am not a Christian, but I will play one in this post
When Beau and I were out in the driveway this morning digging out our cars, I got to thinking about how Alice and Wallace's cars were so very UN-covered in snow and how Beau and my cars were so very BURIED. And I thought that if I were a God-fearing Catholic, the way my mother raised me to be, then perhaps I would see this as a Sign From God.

This led to contemplation of this hypothetical:
If the situation in our driveway IS a Sign From God, what is He* trying to say?

Technically, A&W and Beau and I are in similar dire straights with The Big Guy inasmuch as both couples currently Live In Sin. But I figure Alice has a major bonus point because she sings in a church choir. I don't know if she attends church as a religious rite or just for her singing jollies, but it's still better than nothing, which is what Beau and I do, vis-a-vis church-going. So I suspect God sees Alice as the most righteous of the four of us, and Wallace is righteous by association. So a simple analysis might lead one to the belief that He just cleared their cars off for them.

But I don't think it's that simple; He's rarely that straight-forward. About an hour into the shoveling this morning, I started thinking that, in the hypothetical Judeo-Christian paradigm of a world of a God that actually cares about the day-to-day of every person, maybe the blizzard-swept driveway is a test. And who would God be testing, or how would He set up this challenge?

Dumping snow on the cars of lapsed Catholics to test whether they still have the ability to martyr themselves seemed too simple.

That's when I realized that the snow patterns in the driveway must have been meant to test Alice and Wallace and their christian sense of charity. Considering how little they helped us with our side of the driveway (not at all), I don't think God is impressed.

*Please note that the hypothetical assumes a Catholic God, which is always referred to in the masculine. Don't buck the hypo, people.

Sunlight on Snowdrifts
It took the two of us over 2.5 hours to get (our side of) the driveway cleared out. I have to admit, the windswept snowscape was beautiful.
Here are two daylight shots - with the right contrast, you should be able to discern the ridges the wind cut into the sides.

We estimate 12' high at the peak

saucy peekaboo wiper blade

I did end up going in to work, but the main roads weren't that bad, really.
Work is awkward, because there's this college senior who has worked for my boss for 3-4 years, and now she's back after a semester abroad and ...well, it's uncomfortable. I mean, she knows how to do the day-to-day tasks that everyone's been putting off teaching me, but that I've had to patch together. She also knows how to do the larger projects, like drafting a variety of pleadings, that someone ought to teach me, but nobody ever has time to. But since she's part-time, she just does the tasks Lisa comes up with, so I'm still not learning everything. I'm starting to look forward to the fall, when Lisa's left to practice on her own, and the college girl starts law school elsewhere and I'm the Only One Left. Because I figure I'll HAVE to get to do the stuff by then.

Sunday, January 23, 2005
Alice and Wallace: Nobody's Fools
When we moved in, we were informed that we got the right side of the driveway, and Alice and Wallace get the left side. Today we found out why they chose that side.

Apparently, the wind pattern in the driveway corridor between our house and the next is such that the snow all gets blown over to the right-hand side of the driveway. This afternoon, in the space of an hour, they were able to dig out Wallace's Outback, and they didn't touch Alice's Corolla. This bears repeating: The Corolla on the left has not been touched by human hands. Beau's Passat has snow for two on it.
What's that you say?
You say his car isn't in the picture?
Au contraire, it's there, it's just buried under one of the Bruneau Dunes that relocated to our driveway.
Jesus loves our downstairs neighbors

Did I mention how all the snow blew off Alice and Wallace's cars and onto our cars?
I did? Well. It bears repeating.

Going [s]nowhere fast
And here's my car, farther down the driveway. The fact that we can actually see parts of it is small consolation. Even once we DO dig it out, it handles like crap in the snow. No snow tires, no anti-lock brakes. It's a nightmare. The thing is, the wind was whipping the snow around until about 4:00pm, so there really wasn't any point to shovelling before then. Even now, I suspect our hard work will be ruined by morning. I am so totally not going to work tomorrow. I guess I should call someone and let them know.

Friday, January 21, 2005
From Donny Deutsch to Danny the douche
The third season of the Trump program is not off to a promising start. I like the concept of "street-smart vs. book-smart", but I think that Trump plays off it in irritating ways. It seems to me he's stacked the deck so Networth, the street-smart team, can't lose. I mean, even if they *do* lose, then, as one contestant points out, who'd feel bad about losing to someone who went to Harvard?

Also, as a college grad myself, I am personally embarrassed by that Danny guy. He's like that guy in your freshman dorm who thought he could make friends and score booze and weed by growing out his hair and playing his guitar. I'm sure I'm not the only one who fantasized of getting all Bluto on his ass. He is, in fact, so egregiously out of place that I wonder whether the Powers-that-be have cast a few anti-ringers: contestants who clearly cannot win, but have been included to create tension on the teams. In any case, I'm not going to knock myself out to catch the next episode.

Critique: Stop & Shop Chocolate
Last night Beau came in from a trip from the grocery store, and said he had bought me a surprise. He had bought me Stop & Shop's house-brand chocolate, in milk and dark, and explained that is was for you to keep on hand, because I know how sometimes you want chocolate. And I said
Stop & Shop brand? You think this will be good? and he said
Oh, it's the best-kept secret. It's probably like Ghirardelli in there. The store brands are surprisingly good.

So I opened the milk chocolate to try it out, and now it's open so it's getting eaten over the course of yesterday and today. And my pronouncement is thus:
This chocolate is much better than Hershey's but not as good as Cadbury's. This puts it in the ULTRA-DANGEROUS category of "Delicious enough that I enjoy eating it, yet not so delicious that I slowly savor every morsel." This results in the consumption of mass quantities.

And let me take a moment to be rude and rub in all y'all's faces the otherwise-embedded tidbit from this post:
I live with a man who surprises me with chocolate just because he knows I like it.
If you aren't jealous, you haven't been paying attention.

Thursday, January 20, 2005
via MeFi. Some like it, some don't. I do. I think these little Flash cartoon-things are funny.

Everyone agrees on the following:

It takes about 2 hours to transcribe one hour of dictated document inventory.

You can't do more than one hour of pure uninterrupted transcription at a time without hallucinating and/or begging for the swift mercy of death.

Nobody wants to stay late at work to get this done faster.

Seven hour-long tapes will take a lot of time.

Monday might be an unrealistic deadline.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Gotta keep those lovin' Good Intentions a-happenin' with here
I had such Good Intentions to make this The Big Week Of Revelations, where the blog would have a new surprise every weekday. But then everyone has all these
big thingys happening on their blogs, so it seems so copy-cat of me now.

And I get disheartened by how small my readership is compared to other people's, which is stupid, because there's really no reason to care who or how many whos are reading this.

Most of all, though, I get kind of down whenever I hear of yet another person abandoning the Boston area for the NYC area. Where's the love? Were you only here 'til you found a good job out there? This was just a training ground?

I love Boston. I love living near Boston. I love the T, the sports teams, the weather, the location, even the drivers. I grew up just 90 minutes north of New York City, and I do not like The City. I guess I can understand why other people do, but it's not for me. Too loud, too crowded, too confusing, too dirty.

I love New England. It's true that in my life I've only lived in New England and New York (and Maryland, but only for a summer). But I don't have to live in a dozen different regions to figure out the one that's right for me. It's not for everyone, but it's right for me.

So I get a revelation onto the blog after all. Not that I was hiding it (*cough* weatherpixie *cough*), but now it's out there. Boston, baby.

Thursday, January 13, 2005
Go, Indians!
Maybe this is the DayQuil talking, but I just want to give a shout-out to whoever it is who has been checking in on this blog once or twice a day all week, hailing in from Farmington Public Schools in Connecticut. Did you know that Farmington is one of 26 CT schools that uses "Indians" as their mascot? It's true; I read it on the internet.

But don't dismay, little Farmingtonian. It could be worse... much worse. When I ran track in high school, one team we ran against was called the "Trojans". I don't know how many Trojan teams there are in Connecticut, because there does not seem to be a webpage for a Greek Sports Team Mascot Anti-Ethnic-Slur Advocacy Group or whatever. Apparently, there is at least one team of Trojans, and that link will make you cry for the admissions office at Trinity University. Please note: Trinity University, NOT Trinity College.
You can see where that gets confusing.
I think I can see where this post gets confusing. Oh, well. Go, Indians!

Top Five Lists: Direct! from the Home Office on the Couch in my Apartment

Top Five TV Shows I Only Watch When I'm Very Sick and Very Bored and Nothing Good Is On
5. M*A*S*H
4. The Bad Movie Playing On USA Network
3. The Nanny
2. Sabrina, The Teenaged Witch
1. Diagnosis Murder

Top Five TV Shows I Won't Ever Watch Even When I'm Very Sick and Very Bored
5. Yu-Gi-Oh!
4. Anything on QVC
3. Murder, She Wrote
1. Full House

Wednesday, January 12, 2005
I know, I know, "Cherish these moments"
So last night, when I was still pretending to myself that I wasn't sick, I walked around the mall (exercise!) and on my way out I stopped in CVS to pick up Chloraseptic spray for Beau, and bought myself some 99-cent CVS-brand Assorted Ju-Ju's. I then ate half the bag on my drive home. Delicious! and soothingly smooth!

Once I got home, nothing really appealed to me, so ultimately, I had Ju-Js for dinner last night.

(We started to drive over to the real Disneyland, but it was getting pretty late.)

Monday, January 10, 2005
Come What May
What, sick again?! I've got something new now; a chest cold, one might say. It's relatively mild, and I'm trying to ignore in the hopes that it will go away, but I do end up feeling pretty sorry for myself that I have to go to work again tomorrow.
Beau has a horrible full-blown cold that makes him cough - and then choke - and then cough up some phlegm. And every cough causes a sharp pain. It's awful, poor guy. It's like backstage at the Moulin Rouge around here, except with pajamas.

Beau has a doctor's appointment for tomorrow, and depending on what the outcome is there, we'll decide whether I should see a doctor. I'd like to hold off on a visit until my Real Health Care kicks in in February.

Thursday, January 06, 2005
Moniker Madness
I have an (anonymous/blog-related) AIM screenname now, for those readers who want to IM and such:
catch me [online] if you can!

In other news, I'm thinking about changing my byline. Maybe to "JJ", which is what I use when I comment on other people's blogs.
The thing is, I am still an adminwhore: I have a job that I don't really love, because it pays a decent salary and it's stable, reliable work. However, I now have a permanent job, so it seems a little down-on-myself to refer to myself so negatively for something I don't intend on changing. [tangent]Oh, don't get me wrong, the job is really good, otherwise I wouldn't have taken it. The people are nice, the work is interesting, and the pay is decent. Also, I had a snow day today, but I squandered it with laziness and anxiety. [/tangent] Anyway, comments and suggestions re: name change are welcome.
Next Week: Changing the phrase in the top banner. One step at a time, though.

In other, other news, if a certain internationally-acclaimed martial artist girlfriend of mine is reading this, please call me back as soon as you get home from Africa.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005
Have you been in the box of mice again?

Another positive aspect of the December holiday season was when lightning struck twice, and these delicious goodies were sent to my boss by a vendor, and my mother received them as a gift from a student. I had one at work and one a few days later at my parents'.
I'd never had them before, but I have coveted them from afar. They are indeed delicious, and I suggest first biting the half-almond ears off, then popping the little fella in whole, or dangling him over your gaping maw, then biting down. The effect is completed by the satin tail hanging out the side of one's mouth. Priceless.

Sunday, January 02, 2005
Don't act all surprised - I think we all saw this coming like a build-your-own-Garfield-strip. The Automated Dave Barry Column Generator.
Here's what I generated:

Recently in Miami (motto: "I think the toilet's backed up."), residents reported an outbreak of dingleberries. Perhaps you think there are no dingleberries in Miami. Perhaps you are an idiot.

As the French say, au contraire (literally: "You goddamn douchebag!"). I have here in my hands a copy of an Associated Press article sent in by alert reader Dave Barry, whose name can be rearranged to spell "DYARVREA B", although that is not my main point. "Dave Barry", by the way, only has the letters "aeay" in in common with "Monica Lewinsky", so there is no other reason to mention Monica Lewinsky in this column.

According to a quote which I am not making up, from Miami Mayor Edward Kensington (formally "Mayor Edward Kensington" and informally "Skippy"), dingleberries ranks as a major crisis just behind cereal, milk and oj (insert your "toast" joke here), as evidenced by the following conversation between Miami government employees:

FIRST MIAMI EMPLOYEE: "I'd like to cut back to three days a week."
SECOND MIAMI EMPLOYEE: "Goddam motherfucker!"
FIRST MIAMI EMPLOYEE: "I think you cut me off on the road earlier"

Fortunately I have a suggestion for Mayor Skippy, and that is: take all of George Steinbrenner's money and assets.

No, seriously, my suggestion does not involve George Steinbrenner's money and assets, although it might involve watching the slow burning torture of Tobacco Institute scientists. My suggestion is more along the lines of a coup de grace, from the French coup, meaning "relaxing", and de grace, meaning "with friends and family". The procedure (you may want to write this down):

create less garbage
use a plunger

But instead the Miami city council (motto: "We'll help citizens when you pry the cold coffee out of our cold, dead fingers") thinks that they (the dingleberries) will hang from your ass hairs soon, sending this message to the public, and to the world: "Tailgate Me".

Speaking of which, "The Miami Dingleberries Outbreak" would be a great name for a rock band.