Showing posts from April, 2008

Beer Update

We bottled the Marzen on Sunday. It only took an hour and we got 51 bottles out of the batch.

The Rocket Scientist also brewed up a batch of ale which is fermenting away at the moment.

I learned about measuring gravity. I had no idea it was used to determine the alcohol content and I feel so much smarter now with that knowledge. :-)

Book Review - No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas for Your Blog

This was a good book for bloggers. I got some really good ideas for my blog that I'll actually use.

There were a couple of ideas that revolved around sharing intimate secrets and embarrassing moments. I think I got those covered. Pretty much, everything stupid that I do gets blog coverage.

A friend of mine and I share the philosophy: if you aren't embarrassing yourself, you're not living. We live up to that often.

Book Review - Then We Came To The End

This book definitely lived up to the hype I read about it. Great story and intriguingly written. Told from the point of view of an unidentified person, it's the tale of an advertising agency going through tough times. There are lots of characters. Some of them go through traumatic personal events (divorce, cancer, unplanned pregnancy and major depression are some of those) and some get laid off, which is traumatic in itself. The descriptions of office life felt very true and the personal stories even more so.
Great first novel by author Joshua Ferris.

I Swear I Didn't Rig This

Your Karaoke Theme Song is "Margaritaville"

You are a true party animal, but your style is mild and chill.

Kicking back with a few friends and a few drinks is all you need to be happy.

You certainly don't feel pressured to be a part of any party scene. In fact, you avoid trendier spots.

You've been known to kick loose anywhere and everywhere. All you need is a cooler.

You might also sing: "Gin and Juice," "Love Shack," and "Red Red Wine"

Stay away from people who sing: "Wind Beneath My Wings"

What's Your Karaoke Theme Song?
Got this from Pammy.

Just Another Day at the Office

Cheers!We had our company golf tournament on Friday. I haven't been able to play the past two years because they held it the same weekend as Phins To The West (the first weekend of May). They moved it back a week this year just so I could play. Well, there was some talk about a Dental convention being scheduled for May 1 but I think that's just a coincidence.It's a great day. There's a round in the morning and another in the afternoon. Some people actually play both. Not me. I barely play the second round. It took me a while to break in my new cart driver but he finally got the Princess rules. I did manage a few good drives and several great putts from chipping range so it was a good golf day for me.I got a smarty pants question from Carol about whether I actually ever work. My comeback was that I was working through the weekend to refresh our development database. It was a convenient excuse because it happened to be true but also unusual circumstances since…

Sometimes, The Truth Hurts

I've gotten this video from three different people now. All of them mentioned the resemblance of the main guy to The Rocket Scientist. He's tried to say he doesn't see it but I'm going with the majority rules on this one.

Check it out, it's pretty funny even if you don't know The Rocket Scientist.

Dining Out For Life - Dine Out, Fight AIDS

Today is the annual dining fundraising event to raise money for AIDS service organizations. Various restaurants across the country donate some or all of their sales.

To see if it's going on in your area, go here.

For a list of restaurants in Arizona, go here.


So, I made a commitment tonight that maybe should get me committed.

My friend Ann sent an email out a few weeks ago. She'd taken in a stray cat who turned out to be pregnant. She now has four kittens in addition to two adult cats. Two girl and two boy kittens. She sent pictures out soon after they were born and they looked like rats.

I called her today to see if she'd gotten them all adopted out yet. She told me, "Yeah, except for one of the girls."

Dang it!

I told her I was hoping she would say the girls were gone so I wouldn't have to make a decision.

Yeah, I'm getting a cat.

She should be weaned from her Momma in the middle of June which fits nicely into my travel schedule. It's right after Salt Lake and there's over a month before I head back to the Mid-West to see Jimmy in Alpine Valley.

Her name will be George, of course.

And So It Begins Again...

For the second time in a week, I came home last night to find that my electricity had been off at some point during the day. Both times it was for a little over an hour.

The good news is it somehow reset my DVR that Steven had hosed so all of my original shows are again set to record.

The bad news is that it's going to piss me off royally when it goes off while one of those shows is being recorded.

Baseball Stories

I went to the Diamondbacks game on Sunday. Randy Johnson was the starter and my friend's tickets were literally directly behind home plate in the lower level. You could easily see the movement on every pitch. Sweet!

They left Randy in too long, and he had crappy defense behind him, so they lost. Sad!

As we were settling into our seats before the game, I heard someone yell out, "Kathy!" Turns out, some club members (Kathleen and Alan) were sitting a few rows behind us. We chatted for a while and I mentally filed the incident in the "Small World" database.

I went again last night with some work buds. I didn't run into anyone else that I knew but I did come away with a story.

Audrey got into the food line and I got into the beer line. I read the sign…"card anyone under 30…" I figured I'd be out of luck. The woman took my order then said, "Do you have your ID with you? They're being kind of weird about them tonight."

I told her…

Book Review - Remember Me?

Remember Me? is the story of Lexi Smart who is out with her girlfriends the night before her Father's funeral in 2004. She slips and wakes up in the hospital in 2007.

She wasn't in a coma, though. She has amnesia and the rest of the book is her search to find out how she ended up a company Director, two sizes smaller with perfect teeth and hair and married to a handsome millionaire. Somehow, she built a perfect life (or did she?) but lost touch with her friends and family.

I enjoy Kinsella's characters. Lexi's first thought upon realizing she was actually 28 was "I'm old." I can relate to that.

This was a fun read and I whipped right through it because I really wanted to find out how it was going to end. It was a satisfactory ending, too.

Book Review - The Spellman Files

I've read several reviews that sang the praises of this book from first time novelist, Lisa Lutz. They were right, it was really fun. I polished it off in one sitting last night and I really hope there's a sequel.

The main character is Isabel (Izzy) Spellman whose family owns a PI firm. Her older brother is perfect, her younger sister is incredibly manipulative and literal and her parents constantly invade her private life. Actually, everyone in the Spellman family seems to be in everyone's business.

Izzy is a great character. I loved her view of the family and her attempt at a "normal" relationship while nothing at all about the Spellmans is normal.

I have to admit I figured out all of the mysteries in the story but I enjoyed it nonetheless. It was just dang funny. Even the acknowledgements cracked me up.

Book Review - Sword Song

This is the fourth book in The Saxon Chronicles. Cornwell used one of his ancestors as the model for Uhtred, a Saxon brought up by Danes who serves King Alfred. Alfred is not quite Alfred The Great yet but he's working on conquering and combining all of what will eventually be England.
I love these books.

Uhtred is clever and ruthless while being loving to his family and friends and loyal to his King. He wants nothing more than to be free of his oath to Alfred but refuses to violate it. His frustrations with Alfred, his many Priests and the Church are unending but he manages to get past them all to get the job done.

The job in this book is to take Lundene (London) back from the Danes and keep it for Alfred. Along the way, he gets involved with a royal kidnapping, unlucky lovers and, of course, constant battles with Church representatives.

Good stuff and there's going to be another book in the series. Yay.

We Were Trying To Impress Them, Why?

We had some Dentists come in for a seminar today and everyone was asked to clean up their work areas and not wear jeans. I really appreciate that we get to wear jeans and not just on Fridays so I didn't mind one day of dress up. I pulled a skirt out of my closet and had to dust it off. Clearly, it's not often that I dress like a girl.

I had to laugh when I came back from lunch. The Dentists were dispersing in the parking lot. At least half of them were wearing jeans. There was even one woman wearing a tight shirt that exposed her midriff.

But, hey, we looked professional.

Biggest Loser Update

My Biggest Loser result after two weeks: a loss of 1.75% in body weight. For some reason, I feel it's important to go out that many decimals. Maybe because it looks like a bigger number.

The team we challenged declined our wager. Apparently, that left Sugar Daddy with too much money because he proposed a few new wagers to keep us motivated.

1. Each of our four team members is putting $25 in every month. The person who loses the biggest percentage in that month gets the $100 in the pot.
2. He and T have a head-to-head wager of $250 payable to the biggest percentage loser at 6 months.
3. He and Dave have a head-to-head wager of $100 payable to the biggest percentage loser at 6 months.

I'm going to be motivated enough by the whole team thing and potential $75 profit each month. But, I think the guys need that extra testosteroney challenge. Whomever wins the big bets is never going to let the other guy forget it. That should increase our total team loss.

Fun stuff!

Lots of fol…

How Deep Can The Hole Get?

I've been getting crap for making The Rocket Scientist my personal driver. Some people seem to think I'm taking advantage of his (perceived) unreal level of niceness. I'm just going with logic. He drinks less than I do and prefers to drive. So, really, I'm being smart and being a giver at the same time.

He's going fishing this week with Pirate Rick and I'm on kitty duty so I needed to get his house key from him. We decided to do dinner and he came over to pick me up.

On occasion, I have actually offered to drive (or I rope Steven into it) and I did so last night. It wasn't out of altruism, to be honest. I wanted to show off my sparkling clean car. It's been gathering an increasingly deep layer of dust and dirt for the past few months and I kept saying I was going to get it washed but other things just seemed more important.

We headed off to a new restaurant at Tempe Marketplace not realizing that they'd set up a temporary USPS tax spot at the m…


I got an email from Ticketmaster that Lyle Lovett was coming to the Dodge Theater in August. That's an automatic forward to to Norene to see if she could go. Of course, she said yes. How can we not go to see Lyle?

I bought our tickets today and we're in section 2, row 11. Those are pretty dang good seats. And not really expensive. Well, face value isn't bad. The Ticketbastard fees are huge. It's worth it for Lyle, though.

I can't wait!

Small World Stories

A week and a half ago, I got a call from one of our club members. He was in Minnesota at a Parrot Head event and told me he'd hooked up with some friends of mine. It was Dawnie and the Iowa group and I'd introduced them when we were all in Wisconsin to see Buffett last summer. I love that I have friends strewn about the country that I've met through Parrot Head activities!

On Sunday, we had a Board meeting and one of Roger's friends showed up to present on her charity. I'd just met her the week before. She told me she was at a fund raiser the night before and talked to someone I knew from my company. It was our VP of Human Resources.

Wednesday morning, we were at Margaritaville post-breakfast and waiting for the parking lot to open when someone called me over to meet some new people who had just shown up looking for our club. I started talking to the couple and they said they'd seen us on TV that morning and were impressed by our commitment to charity. I …

Book Review - Carpe Demon

One of the quotes on this book said something like "What would happen if Buffy grew up and moved to suburbia." I paraphrase because I'm too lazy to get off the couch and check the actual quote but it's pretty accurate.

The subtitle is "Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom, Book 1" and it sums the book up well. Kate Connor is a retired demon hunter who lost her first husband (not sure how but he was a demon hunter, too, so I suspect foul play) and is now remarried and keeping her past secret from her daughter and new husband.

However, demons start showing up in her neighborhood and she has to deal with the situation. She tries to keep her family safe and clueless about her activities while doing so.

It's actually like Shopaholic meets Buffy. I liked it a lot and I'll continue with the series.

Book Review - Outlaw Demon Wails

I really like this Rachel Morgan series by Kim Harrison. There's character development progression, supernatural stuff like demons and pixies and magic and, my favorite, vampires. I loves me the neck biters!

However, I was a little disappointed during the beginning of this book as I felt like it wasn't really progressing the story. Rachel was in mourning for her dead boyfriend, she hung out with her Mom, she and Ivy still had their issues... It felt like there wasn't enough action.

Somewhere along the line, though, it kicked in for me and I got into the story. Without trying to give any spoilers, there was good stuff with Al (does it say something about me that my favorite character is a demon?). Ceri and Trent and we learned a lot about Rachel's background which explained why she can do such unusual magic. There was also the usual Jenks sneaking in to help (really, is Rachel that dumb that she doesn't suspect he's always going to do that?) and Rachel and I…

Book Review - The Tea Rose

Our latest book club pick was The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly. Andrea wanted something "steamy". Apparently, even married peeps need some hotness in their reading. Too bad it wasn't so steamy. In over 500 pages, there were only five sex scenes.

I was reminded of Taylor Caldwell and Colleen McCullough. Think family saga, beautiful young people torn apart by circumstances and an eventual happy ending but not until there are a few tear-jerking deaths. Oh, and throw in Jack The Ripper.

My problem was, that's the type of book I read in junior high so I was pretty hip to the format. I found this to be a pretty predictable read, with very few surprises but some nice character development. Most of the others in my book club were new to this type of book so they liked it a lot more than I did.

Wasted Away Again In Margaritaville!

The big day was finally here! Jimmy Buffett was coming for the Grand Opening of our very own Glendale Margaritaville. Yay!

The day started early. Very early. One of the local TV stations and the Margaritaville promo person asked us to bring a group in for breakfast. Apparently, they wanted some "color" for the morning show. That was fun. What wasn't so fun was that they wanted us there at 6 AM. Factoring in travel time and picking up Mike and Rhett (who came from Salt Lake City) at their hotel, that meant I had to get up at 4 AM.

Crikey! I usually go to bed around midnight so that was a big shift for me. But, heck, it's for Jimmy. What choice did I have?

We got there at 5:55, just in time to pose for the opening shot. A couple of clips later and it was breakfast time. They had a section on the patio for us, served us omelets, potatoes O'Brien, French toast and fruit. Oh, and booze. Yes, the bar was open and it was on the house!

I started with Tequila S…

Well, Those Were The Glory Days

You Belong in 1984

Wild, over the top, and just a little bit cheesy. You're colorful at night - and successful during the day.

What Year Do You Belong In?

Got this from El Capitan.

Euchre Savant?

It's a fast paced game...

We had our Euchre Tournament yesterday at the Goat's and the Queen's place. It was nearly a full family affair with the Queen's Dad, sister and brother and my parents and God-parents. The Rocket Scientist was the only one not(correction, sue me) related to someone by blood or marriage.

How it works is that each person plays with a different partner each round. There are 11 rounds in all so you play with everyone just once (12 players in all although we used a dummy hand for player #12). A round ends when any team hits 10 points. Each player records what they have when the round ends and we total all of our individual scores to determine the final ranking.

The first round found TRS (player #3) and me (player #4 and how did he get higher on the list than me? I think Goat likes him better than he likes me) against Goat and Queen who were players 1 and 2. They skunked us. They hit 10 before any of the teams at the other tables did and left us with ze…

Hottest Ticket In Town

Jimmy Buffett is playing an invitation only show at the Glendale Margaritaville on Wednesday. We were fortunate to get enough passes for our club members to attend and we decided only current club members would get passes. After all, membership should have some privileges. Not surprisingly, lots and lots of people whom we haven't heard from in years are hitting us up for passes. Poor Pirate Rick has been answering emails and telling people "sorry, no" for the past week or so. I'm so glad I'm not the club President anymore...I've had to say "no" to a few people, too, but I'm mostly getting the "can you get my tickets for me?" calls. We had one ticket distribution on Sunday and a lot of my peeps were out of town. I ended up getting about 20 and I have 12 still to distribute this week. Most of the folks are meeting my in the parking lot before the show. There's going to be a huge tailgating thing going on.The good thing is a …

Would Someone Just Commit Me Now?

Here's what my evening plans are for next week:

Sunday - Euchre Tournament. Worlds collide as my family (Parents and God-Parents) and Parrot Heads get together. Pity The Rocket Scientist as this is only his second exposure to Shorty and my Mom and his first experience in a tournament. It's a fast paced game.

Monday - Book Club. It's a 500 page book. I'm on page 170. Why do I procrastinate? I wish I knew.

Tuesday - Getting my hair done. Always interesting (and a little stressful) to see what color it turns out to be.

Wednesday - That Jimmy Buffett guy is going to be at our very own Glendale Margaritaville doing a Grand Opening concert. What fun! What a long, long day it's going to be.

Thursday - No plans. WTF? How did that possibly happen?

Friday - Bon Jovi at arena. A second trip to the west side of town. I've never seen them in concert before and I'm really looking forward to it!

Saturday - Club happy hour at....wait for it...the Glendale…

Book Review - Undead and Unpopular

I really like this series of chick-list meets monsters books. This edition is a short adventure as Betsy deals with a zombie in the attic, a friend's serious illness and a vamp who wants to kill the vamp that made her. There's a cute bit about her life story getting released as a paranormal fiction book that, oddly enough, sounds just like the first book of the series. Lots of fun characters and Betsy continues to be all about Betsy with just enough thinking about others to redeem herself.

The Vino is Finito

I'm currently drinking the last of the 48 bottles of wine that Sugar Daddy gave me for Christmas.

Before you do the math and think I'm a raging alcoholic, keep in mind that I gave about 12 bottles away and took one or two to each chick poker night.

That leaves around 28 bottles. That I drank in 16 weeks.

So, not raging but still...

The Rocket Scientist and I made a trip to BevMo tonight so I stocked up. I do have an almost empty wine cooler (there are two bottles of almond champagne from the Jerome winery that I'm saving for a special occasion) so it clearly would be a waste of electricity not to put it fully to work.

They were having a great sale. Buy one bottle and get a second of the same type for five cents. I took a look at the selection and headed off to get a cart. I knew I was going to get way more than I could carry.

It cost me $100 and I got 14 bottles of wine. Not that TRS was counting but he did. He's never shopped with someone who stocks up on wine like…

He Owes Me For This One

The Rocket Scientist and I went to Red Robin for dinner tonight. I ordered a Miller Lite from our cute young waitress. (A digression - she said she had to check if they had it because they'd run out. Why does that happen to me so often?) TRS ordered a Guiness.

She babbled something about not having her buttons and something else that I couldn't understand. I realized that she wanted to see my ID. Her missing button apparently says, "We card 39 and under."

I was, of course, happy to pull out my ID.

TRS said to her, "Aren't you going to ask to see mine?"

So, she did but it was only because he asked. I'm pretty sure she had no intention of doing so and only thought I fit the under 39 rule. Which is funny to me because he is under 39.

Couldn't Resist


Got this from Pammy.

Initial Weigh In

Today was the first weigh in for our Biggest Loser contest at work. Each of us had to weigh in separately then we all stood on the scale together for a team weight. We were standing on a big (prob 5' by 5') shipping scale. Nothing about that makes you feel like a tub of goo!

We have 25 teams participating. That's over 1/4 of our Phoenix employees. I think that's pretty impressive. Of course, those 100 people probably gained a total of 500 pounds last week as they went on a last hurrah of binge eating.

Surprisingly, our team is not the heaviest. We're third, though. Two of my gang are committed to working out each morning in the corporate gym before work and I'm all over the Weight Watchers plan again. Or, I would be if my buddy Dave hadn't taken my WW books home over the weekend to look them over and forgotten to bring them back. I did record everything from today so I'll total it up tomorrow.

Apparently, just being in one big contest isn't e…