Saturday, May 31, 2008

Photo of the Day

Meet my new shoes.
Also scored: another pair of shorts, a swimsuit that I actually like, one laptop bag thing-y, and four chairs for the beach. My to do list is crossing itself off at extreme rates.

Mad with Power

I'm zapped. But a new post needs to be up. Not that I don't love Molly, but I'm tired of seeing her at the top of the page.
  • Finally exploded in a fit of hormonal rage that had been building for a week. Was surprisingly not as bad as in the past: St. John's Wort to thank maybe?
  • Emailed someone I really used to care for, he actually emailed me back. Friends perhaps? Full circle moment for sure.
  • Decided against buying the dSLR, for now at least. I'll revisit the idea in the fall after a few months of working again. But, it was definitely a more complicated purchase than I thought and I felt I was rushing it too much in the name of vacation. My camera will suffice for now.
  • Worked out plans to redesign "my" room after vacation. I'm going to make it multifunctional so it transitions to Mom's craft room when I leave the nest. Am almost too excited about working out the plan and picking up paint samples and such.
  • Bought all of the supplies to bake a cheesecake this weekend. Holy crap, when did cream cheese start costing an arm and a leg??
  • 12 Days. That's all.
  • Made a to-do list. Have about a zillion things on it that all need to be worked out this weekend.
  • Bought an ASUS EEE PC. Will definitely put up a review when it gets here. But I'm initially super geeked about it. I love the idea of a mini laptop that I can throw in my purse and go with.
  • Made plans to yardsale in the morning, which if you know me and my history of poor yardsale skills then you'd realize this is laughable. But one of them is going to have a luggage carrier tomorrow and we could use one.
  • Had an hour long conversation about what you do at a wedding reception with no alcohol or dancing. Seriously...what do you do???
  • Nearly fainted at the following headline: CLAY AIKEN IMPREGNATES A WOMAN.
  • Then laughed at the structure of said headline. "Clay Aiken To Be Father". Nope, more shocking that he impregnated a woman.
  • Spent 2 hours of my life watching Lucky 7 on Lifetime. Could say many things, but will stick with this: Patrick Dempsey IS dreamy...end of story.
  • And I'll end with this: Chris Brown and Rihanna are freaking adorable. Like, seriously. And I'm not embarrassed to admit that.

P.S. Sex and the City...THIS WEEKEND. If you saw, don't tell me. But I really hope I can squeeze in a couple hours at a theater before the weekend's up.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Photo of the Day

You know, I realize I've shared many a photo recently of Jack and Jill, the lab and chihuahua. But not so many of my beloved chiweenie, Molly.

Here's a secret just between you and me: Molly is quite seriously, the most beautiful animal in our house. Her markings, her expressions, that long body with those cute *huge* ears...ahh, she's just regal.

Victim of Mass Consumerism

I want Martha Stewart's hair.

I know it sounds insane. Martha Stewart? Right. I mean, when did she become my style icon? Up until this morning she wasn't. I could have cared less about her to be honest. And then a little thing I like to call "free magazine subscription" happened.

You see, a few weeks ago I signed up for a free subscription to "Hallmark Magazine". Not really thinking or caring too much about it. That's my thing, free subscriptions. If you look enough you find them by the dozens. I get Time, Better Homes and Gardens, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Spin, Interview, Travel and Leisure....all free.

And I like it.

But until last month I didn't have a favorite. The logical choice used to be Time. I like politics. I like their format. It fit, you know?

But then Hallmark lured me in with their Key Lime Pie.

And this month with this pretty cover:

Then a wonderful little piece on must-reads for the beach. And they all SOUNDED WONDERFUL.

Then Hallmark caught my eye with this little shell inhanced page:

Which mentioned MY vacation spot, Sanibel Island. Any mag that mentions Sanibel automatically gets major points from me.

And by the back flap of the magazine I was admiring Martha Stewart's hair.

That's how I ended up coveting a Martha Stewart haircut.

I'm such a sucker for advertising and photoshop.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


So I'm sitting there eating my cereal this morning. Wherein "cereal" really means fritos and cheddar bacon dip, and I realize: my vacation is freakin' 15 DAYS AWAY.

Umm. Hello? When did this happen and who allowed it?

Am I allowed to gloat? Please say I am.

I apologize in advance. But seriously! In 15 days I'll be back on my little slice of heaven. I'll be shelling and beaching and it will be WONDERFUL.

So anyways. I feel the need to leave the following link here in case anyone who reads would be interested:

The Business of Being Born

This is that documentary that Ricki Lake helped do all about childbirth, midwivery, and homebirths.

As I get older I find myself becoming more and more in touch and in tune with that maternal instinct of mine. I begin to wonder how I'd like to create my family, the number of children and the manner in which they come to me. Adoption is still in the forefront of my ideal life, however I could see myself having a biological child in addition.

My mother has so many co workers whom are pregnant as we speak and our conversations sometimes are all about how those women are planning to birth. One in particular in interested in finding a midwife which sparked a whole conversation about hospital births. My Mom is adament in saying if she'd had another child after Jon she would have never, ever gotten another epidural.

After watching this documentary I think I definitely see where she is coming from. Too many women are coming home from hospitals with C-Sections. Then staph infections after that. When did we stop trusting our bodies to just do what they do?

So there is my spill. Watch it. It's fascinating. Cultivate your own opinions. I won't beat you up if they are different than mine.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I told you that story to tell you this one: A Continuation

When my Dad was 8 years old he had a cap gun that he loved to no end. According to my grandmother he spent all of his waking hours that fateful summer playing with the cap gun. I don't know, I guess it was 1966 and not much else was going on or something, either way, times were tight and that was his latest toy. Also, in 1966 we were not worried too much about child safety because said cap gun actually shot out a little "cap". Don't most of today's cap guns just make a little poof?


In 1966, my grandmother had a bit of a menagerie of birds. Come to think of it, they had a menagerie of animals. Several dogs, several birds, and a Caymen Alligator. The poor Caymen would meet a tragic fate at the hands of my father, but that's a later story. On this particular day, my young dad had his sights set on one thing and one thing only: my grandmother's beloved canary.

There are two versions of this story that circulate through family lore. It really depends on who you choose to believe.

The version by my own Dad goes a little something like this:

I was just sitting there in the living room, watching Captain Kangaroo on TV when Mom's canary flew to perch on the top of the television set. I accidentally shot my cap gun in the general direction of the bird and she fell over, dead.

I think it generally goes without saying, I don't believe this version of the story, ONE BIT.

The second version of this story goes a little something like this: as transcribed from my Aunt B,

Your father was a mean little boy. I mean, really mean. He would guard our front yard and not let people walk on the sidewalk in front of our house. Mean, okay? Mama loved that canary. She would let it free to fly around the living room and he would perch on her finger if she whistled. Your father, as you can imagine was quite jealous of Mama and the bird. Did I mention he was mean? 'Cause he was also jealous of anything that might love Mama too. So, he took one look at that bird that day and killed it...on the spot. It's a wonder he isn't a serial killer now.

That's the version I believe. Because you take one look at these pictures and try to deny that my father was a mean kid:

So yesterday when Jon managed to kill a bird while it was innocently eating in a retreat I created with my own two hands, I knew I finally had my equivalent bird story. Especially when Jon denied aiming at the bird that he killed, "it just flew in the way of my shot" he said.


And Dad just accidentally killed the canary on his TV set.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The One in Which He Kills a Bird

As fate would have it the biggest threat to my bird retreat has not been my cats. Despite their many attempts, neither one of them has been able to get the big kill. Hell, they can't even manage to kill a butterfly they chase in the yard.

As fate would have it the biggest threat to my bird retreat has been my own brother.

Yes, you read that right.

All weekend long Jon has been out in the backyard playing around with his various BB gun things (I say things because they are different then your average Red Ryder, yet I don't know exactly what they are), while I laid on the back patio working up a good sunburn in prep for Florida. I kept telling him to be careful, to not shoot at the bird retreat. Yet, over and over he disobeyed my directions. I guess it all has to do with that being 13 thing again, no longer is his sister's word good enough.

I knew that at some point, whether he wanted it to happen or not, there was bound to be tragedy. Especially after finding pellet holes in EVERY SINGLE CONTAINER full of plants in that retreat.

I just didn't realize how right I would be.


Now, for three solid days now I've been taking St. John's Wort supplements. Sometime last week I began my monthly two weeks of emotional hell and after a particularly bad day of screaming, crying and general hysterics I concluded that perhaps I was dealing with more than just PMS here.

I won't deny. With the help of Dr. Google I diagnosed myself with PMDD. It just makes sense. And let's face it, in terms of a condition like that, all my doctor would be doing is guessing too. So I saved us all the trouble.

Except PMDD is usually helped with the assistance of a few friends I like to call Mr. Pro and Mrs. Zac.

I'm not much for the antidepressants. If you take them and you like them and they work and you want to braid their hair, more power to you.

I just am not at a stage in life where I feel ready to submit myself to such a scary drug with such scary side effects. My Dad just got off of a year of Cym*balta and that was a scary withdrawal process and for the first time in a year he is just now active again.

So, I'm just not there.

I did, however, do a little research to find something that might help me in my hellish little mood situation. Something that wasn't copious amounts of booze.

Am also not ready to be an alcoholic. See, I'm non-discriminatory!

St. John's Wort. That was my answer.

And in three days time I can honestly say I'm beginning to see a difference.

How, you say?

Well, the old April would have cried after her brother killed a precious little bird. She'd have cried and told him "I told you so" and then been mad for a while. It would have been a real spectacle.

St. John's Wort-April COULD NOT STOP LAUGHING. It was seriously the funniest crap ever. From the moment he opened the door with that look of dread on his face, to watching him preside over its last little feather flop, to the moment St. John's Wort-April said, "hang on, let me get my camera."

Later on my father asked me why I felt the need to take a picture of the dead bird my brother had killed. And I gave him the honest answer, "So I can have it for every Christmas party and family gathering from here until eternity."

And I meant it.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Ask Not: My Favorite JFK Quotes

We have all made mistakes. But Dante tells us that divine justice weighs the sins of the cold-blooded and the sins of the warm-hearted on different scales. Better the occasional faults of a party living in the spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a party frozen in the ice of its own indifference.
--John F. Kennedy, 1960 on Democrats and Republicans

Let our patriotism be reflected in the creation of confidence in one another, rather than in crusades of suspicion. Let us prove we think our country great, by striving to make it greater.
--John F. Kennedy, 11-18-1961 on Patriotism

And my absolute favorite:

"I really don't know why it is that all of us are so committed to the sea, except I think it's because in addition to the fact that the sea changes, and the light changes, and ships change, it's because we all came from the sea. And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, our sweat, and in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch it, we are going back from whence we came."
--John F. Kennedy, September 14, 1962 on The Sea

What Would Jimmy Buffett Do?

Today Dad had a doctor's appointment. Not much new or unusual about that. But I must say, this office was the most beautifully decorated doctor's office...EVER. Which made for a more pleasing experience for me, the one waiting with the patient.

Jon could have cared less. Something about being 13 has morphed this kid into an iPod listening, texting food. Whatevs. I didn't want to talk to him anyway.

Speaking of this kid. I mean, teenager. He's totally been working on his Jimmy Buffett vibe in prep for our upcoming vacation. I'm totally jealous that he's 13 and working on his 4th beach trip, he's the kind of kid I hated in school. (Just kidding, I didn't hate y'all. I mean, not really. Well, just a little bit.)

Anyways. Here he is with the infamous "Florida Hat". The hat that was bought in Florida once and only makes an appearance once a year. Jon's claimed it this go 'round.

Ignore the fact that my foot is in this next picture. (Yes, I know, tiny toes. Flat footed. Stubby. I get it.) Look at those flip flops! Gorgeous.

Well, basic. But gorgeous nevertheless.

I'm breaking here for a moment to give a glowing review of "Havaianas". They are made in Brazil. I bought my first pair two years ago, and for a rubber flip flop they still look as new as the day I bought them. I hate when the cheapos from Target or Walmart rub all over my foot after a day of wear, or the pattern on the bottom wears off at all the pressure points. So I invest a little more. In Havaianas, Rainbows, Reefs, and Ocean Minded. AND IT'S WORTH EVERY PENNY. Even if my father just doesn't get it.

End of PSA.

Okay, where was I? Oh yeah. Pots de Creme. I made this yesterday. It was delicious. Pioneer Woman taught me how:

Love coffee, adore chocolate and aren't afraid of a little raw egg? This is the dessert for you.

My vacation is officially 20 days away. It blows my mind to even think about that number. I'm so ready to be on the road. I am a firm believer in the idea that getting there is half the fun. This year with gas what it is, getting there will be half the budget. But it will be amazing. I love rest areas and Pilot Stations and crappy coffee in paper cups at 3 am. Oh gosh. Am salivating at the thought.

But there are of course still things that need to be bought and taken care of. The van needs alignment, Jack needs his shots, we need a box of the crap to take put together and then there are beach chairs....

Last year I managed to come home from Seagrove with 4 shiny, beautiful beach chairs from Publix.

Fast foward to this year and you'll find me pilfering through the garage moaning, "where are my CHAIRS" like a crazy lady.

The chairs for the record are gone. Nobody will give me a straight answer about where they went. But I'm hoping they are in a better place now.


In the meantime, I've now got to get more chairs. Until then we've taken turns claiming the lone leftover beach chair. Jon's got dibs currently.

The Florida Hat and a Beach Chair and I wonder why he asks me today to find him more tropical music for his iPod. "You know, songs about the beach and beer," he says.

Good Lord.

And amen.

From the Church of Buffett.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Cookbook Roundup

A post at Devin's Blog got me thinking about the essential cookbooks in my kitchen. I love to cook. I remember being in middle school and thinking I'd never, ever learn how to cook because I had an uncle who said I should because it's a "womans job". Thankfully I got over it. Gender roles aside, I've embraced my domesticity as the years have gone by.

Here are a few cookbooks that have never ceased to fail me:

My mom has had this Betty Crocker cookbook for years and years. I can recall not even being in school yet and thumbing through this cookbook. It's got a section for everything imaginable: appetizers, soups, salads, condiments, pork, chicken, beef, fish, cookies, cakes, candy...etc. I think every kitchen needs a good all around cookbook and this is a great candidate. Not to mention it was recently updated, and I've seen dozens of the updated versions sitting in the clearance sections of Borders and Barnes and Noble.

The Joy of Cooking is another fantastic all around cookbook. Everything you'd ever want to make is found within the nearly 1000 pages of this book. There are directions for cooking any cut of meat, any way you want to do it. Just the other day this book helped me figure out how to pan broil a ribeye on a rainy day when the grill wouldn't start. Which is why it's in my kitchen. When I'm in doubt, or crisis, this is the book I grab.

Let's be honest here: no respectable southern kitchen is complete without Paula Deen. I have her "Celebrates" version because it was a Christmas present, but I think her box set of the original Lady and Sons is the real essential Paula Deen. She has such simple recipes that are incredibly easy to follow, which I love. But really, it's the copious amounts of butter that make me love these cookbooks more.

There are a few things food-wise that I hate. Any side of pork that isn't bacon or barbeque, huge chunks of onions and salmon patties. I also hate making cakes from scratch. Oh I can do it. I've done it several times before, thinking they would somehow be a million times tastier. They aren't. I say the only way they are different is the trouble it takes to make them. Which is why this little book is my lifeline. Each recipe starts with a basic cake mix, which you doctor up to make an incredible cake. Then you add one of the zillion incredible frosting recipes and VOILA...Cake. I couldn't live without this one.

When I'm not consulting cookbooks I'm consulting websites. In fact, anymore I consult websites more than cookbooks. I guess that's only natural. Here are my favorites:
Inspire me, what are your favorites?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Photo of the Day: Election Day Edition

I did my Civic Duty today and voted in the Primary. I'm happy to say I helped lead Hillary Clinton to victory tonight, even if it ultimately doesn't mean much. I've dreamt about casting a vote for Hillary in an election since I was in high school. Today, in that booth, I stopped for a second after voting, soaked in the beauty of that name at the top of such a historic ballot, and smiled. I might not get to vote for her in the fall, but today I did it. Such a powerful moment for sure.

I digress.

My polling place is at Plum Creek Baptist Church. Thankfully I remembered as we left the church basement today that I had Jon's little camera tucked into my purse. I knew I wanted a few shots of my surroundings and immediately got to snapping. To the chagrin, I might add, of my family.

I have a thing about cemeteries, and old structures. And I knew I could make the images I took look sufficiently creepy with a little editing.

They did not disappoint. At least not me. I love them.

Jon on the other hand says I'm sick and demented for photographing graves and that the barn looks like a serial killer shack.

I was flattered.

Leash Training Molly

One of the biggest challenges in regards to this year's vacation involves traveling with Molly. Since she is still very much a puppy (9 mos old), and she's only lived full time with us since January it's safe to say her training has been sparse. She listens when you say "come here" and that's about it.

While common sense says leave her at home and board her at the vet's office with Jack, I kept having serious trouble committing to that idea when I booked this trip. Which is how I ended up on the phone with the owner of our condo, begging her to let us bring two dogs. She abliged, and now I'm forced to not back down on this idea of bringing Molly.

So now I've had to spend the past few days leash training Molly.

Needless to say, it's not going so hot:
She's really good at standing in one spot:
She's even better at being carried:
Jill tried showing her how it's done:
But in a fit of smug superiority, gave up.
Jill thinks Molly is a lost cause.

She might be right.

Anyone seen any good deals on those doggy strollers lately?

Monday, May 19, 2008

10 Guilty Pleasures

1. Reality Television: I think many of us have this guilty pleasure lurking in our closet. I mean, of course, they wouldn't stay on the air if none of us were watching. My personal favorites include all of those TLC shows (Little People, Jon and Kate), Gene Simmon's Family Jewels, Tori and Dean: Inn Love, the Bravo shows like Real Housewives and Project Runway and a few weeks ago I finally caught onto the hype that is The Hills. Father forgive me, for I have sinned.

2. Not dieting: You know what? I talk a good game. I'm going to get fit and trim and work it out. But you want to know the truth? I love food. A lot. I enjoy baking things that are chock full of butter. I really like red meat. And there is nothing like a good bag of potato chips. I like to eat, I find joy in eating. And despite all of my best efforts, I don't think I'll stop anytime soon.

3. Couponing: I'm throwing this one in. Because while couponing is not a guilty pleasure for say...Moms, it is one for a 22 year old single woman. I don't even have a need to coupon. Except it fills a certain time slot on a lazy Sunday. It's a good outlet to get my shopping out, and I figure I will someday use my money saving skills to good use, like saving for amazing vacations. Still, I only tell the internet about this one. ;)

4. Running the A/C: Here's a secret for you, I hate driving with my windows down. It seriously fucks up my hair, I spend most of the ride spitting my bangs out of my mouth and attempting to see through the fury. I also hate letting other drivers at stoplights hear my embarrassing taste in music. So, I don't do it. I know that we are all supposed to love driving with the windows down. But, I don't. I happen to really enjoy running the A/C.

5. Dancing with the Stars: I love this damn show. I love it so much, I once contemplated paying to see their live tour. I get fully invested in one couple, every season. I'm also eerily good at predicting the winner by week one or two of the competition. I've managed to get it right every season, and this year I predict Kristi takes it home tomorrow.

6. Celebrity Gossip: When I was in high school I used to spend $1.99 every single week on In Touch Magazine. I bought it because it was cheaper than People or Us Weekly. By the time I graduated I had a stack of those magazines like you wouldn't believe in my closet (nope, I didn't throw them out either). Sometime during my freshman year of college my In Touch obsession was replaced by Perez Hilton and Pink is the New Blog. I'm not proud of knowing every single latest celebrity hookup, but the popularity of those blogs tell me I'm not the only one.

7. Auntie Anne's Pretzels: Have I ever mentioned I can not go to the mall and leave without purchasing an Auntie Anne's Pretzel? I can't even remember the last time I did. In fact, just this past Saturday I indulged. And it was amazing. I think it's their buttery-ness that attracts me.

8. Reading Online Message Boards: When I was in middle school I belonged to a University of Kentucky basketball forum called "Wildcat Faithful". I posted a bunch. Made friends with people. Even got together with the whole group at a UK exhibition game. I don't participate in online forums anymore, but boy if I don't love reading them. Some particular favorites include the forums at Television Without Pity, where the snark flows in the reality tv forums, and a few Grey's Anatomy ones to keep up with the spoilers and speculation. I also take advantage of the coupon ones like "Hot Coupon World" to help with my drugstore trips.

9. Harlequin Romance Novels: No kidding. I love those little books. Not all of the time, or even half of the time. But when I need a quick pick me up I'll grab one of those little jewels (the "Super Romances" being my favorites) and read through it. 1/2 Price Books usually has them packaged up, four of them for $1 and every time I'm in there I usually grab another stack to keep on hand.

10. Blogging: Can I say this here? I guess so. There really is no reason I can think of to blog. I could use the excuse that I'm exercising my writing muscles, but I could do that alone and to myself in a journal. I suppose I enjoy the community. Even if people don't always comment. I really enjoy reading what other's blog about and feeling apart of it all. Most of us will never be Dooce, but we all share this common thread. People don't drop in on their neighbors anymore, we don't stand together on front porches sharing stories. But we get together on the internet. We share things with strangers that we sometimes don't even tell our families. And in the process we make new friends and a new support group. And really, it may be a guilty pleasure that I don't have to partake of, but goodness if I don't love it.

*cue the violins*

Tagging: All of you. I hope you do it.

Photo of the Day: Bird Dog Edition

I tell a lot of people that I'll never have another Labrador. They are just so big, aloof, clunky and full of energy, it can be exhausting. But if you've ever read the book, "Marley and Me" you'll know it's easier said than done.

Jack is 8 years old, in a dog with a lifespan of only 10-12 years, but you'd never know it half the time. He runs, fetches and walks his boy like a pup. His troubles arise in the early mornings when his hips bother him and he can't hear what you are trying to scream at him. Bless his heart.

But he's nothing if not loyal. And goofy. And downright loveable.

I tell people I'll never have another labrador, but I myself wonder if that's true.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Photo of the Day

April 22, 2007:


April 22, 2007


What Now, Baaaaaaab?

My father has somehow morphed into me in the past few weeks: an obsessive list maker and planner. No wonder people have spent so much time mad at me in the past, it's quite annoying.
Lately his schtick has been pushing me to "coupon more of that stuff we need for the trip". So I spent yesterday shopping for a few things we need. Mostly swimming trunks and shorts for Jon, and a dress for the wedding. But I did manage to make headway on my Dad's "list".
I won't deny. It feels kind of good to have things slowly accumulate, rather than be bought in a rush of hurry the night before we leave.
T-Minus 25 days, and counting.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Confused and Consumed

When I was a little girl my Aunt B used to carry around a huge Canon SLR everywhere she went. For years and years she was the go to photographer of the family. Back in the days of rolls upon rolls of film, I would watch her go about her business. Carefully she would frame the faces of each family member, sneak up on conversations capturing the most intimate of shots. A gentle laugh amongst friends here, a child's innocence there.

I was a girl enamoured. As soon as I was old enough my parents let me use their gigantic point and shoot. And when I was 13 they purchased me my first, in a long line, Fuji. I loved that camera, carefully taking it with me anywhere I went. It was the camera I used to capture all of my UK basketball pictures from my obsessed youth.

I resisted the digital age. For a long time, when everyone else was using measly 3 megapixel cameras to produce grainy shots I was refusing to give in to this new media. That is, until my freshman year of college. Before my first trip to Sanibel I decided I absolutely had to have a digital camera. So my Mom bought a 4 megapixel Samsung.

It's was a decent little camera. I can't complain since it did all of things I ever asked it to. And when it ceased to suffice my needs I bought the Fuji S700 I have now.

For the past year I've loved that camera as though it were my child. I had never owned such a wonderful piece of equipment. And from the first sharp, color saturated picture to the last I've adored its capability.

For what it is, it's been a fantastic camera.

But I feel limited in what I can pull off with it now. The biggest limitation is indoor shots. They are, quite simply, horrendous. No matter how well lit the room is, it just can't manage a good indoor shot. And I hate using flash. So, I just don't take inside shots. Except for the ones I have to.

So, if you've been following me on Twitter you'll already know that I've been in the market for a D-SLR for days now. I've decided to forego the macbook for now and instead spend that extra budget money on an SLR. Vacation is my biggest picture taking time of my entire year and to commemorate being back on the island (ugh, miss it so much!!!) I really want to have an SLR in my hands this year.

Which, hello! Totally means I'm running out of time to figure this out.

I've managed to make my head, literally, hurt from all of the camera reviews I've spent hours reading online. I've been tempted by Olympus and Sony flashing their shiny features in the corner, confused by Nikon and Canon and have found myself waist deep in "Camera Wars".

I don't know what I'm going to do. Hopefully a trip to Best Buy tomorrow to hold the Nikon and Canon in my hand will help solve the situation. Maybe.

But at least I've blogged about it. I like to keep my blog abreast of the situation.

(Side note: I live with a 13 year old boy, abreast is a funny word in this house.)

My Little Crack Baby

Molly is the most dog like of our three canines. Which is weird, cause they are dogs. Shouldn't they all be dog-like?

I consider Jill to be my parents late in life baby. You know, when a woman hits menopause she either accidently gets pregnant again, or...she gets a dog. My mom got a dog. It's almost disgusting the amount of attention that little thing gets from my parents.

Jack, is. Well, Jack is like an old man. An old man in dog clothing. He snores loudly. Wakes up needing his fiber. And goes to bed early, every single night. He is also probably in need of a hip replacement.

Molly is the dog. The licker. The biter. The mess maker. Everything a puppy should be. At 9 months old she is the one who wakes up hyper and goes to bed hyper. I don't think she has an off switch.

But I love her. Even if she acts like a crack baby.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

On the Road Again, Like a Band of Gypsies...

In less than 30 days I will be on the road. Possibly somewhere in North or South Carolina at this point. That is my favorite part of taking a trip: being on the road. There is something to be said about traveling by car in this country. The silly things you find on the side of the roads, the somewhat frightening podunk kind of towns you run across as you fill up gas. And when traveling in the South, the varying degrees of accents you run across at each station.

I simply adore rolling into parking lots in the middle of the night, with the lights illuminating the view. How around 3 am you have to crank up the air conditioning to force yourself awake as you drink shitty cappucinos and prompt the rest of the car into one more rousing session of "sing it if you know it". Or that feeling of hitting the florida state line at 5 am, where the wind immediately shifts and everything begins to feel stickier.

This year the exact nature of the road trip is up in the air. I could not say for certainty that we will even be stopping to spend the night somewhere. However I have been promised a roll into Savannah. For that, I am at least grateful. This much I do know, at some ungodly hour on Friday the 13th (cue the scary music) my family will pile into my mother's new ride with 2 yapping dogs and 1 sleepy kid. We'll bid adeiu to the house. Water the plants one last time and Dad will begin the trip behind the wheel.

It will all seem very "Leave it to Beaver".

25 minutes down the road something calamity will occur. Like that one year the windows began leaking, it downpoured and by Lebanon Junction we were all soaked to the bone. This year I predict something will begin to beep in my mother's ultra sensitive van and we won't know how to make it stop.

Approximately 1 hour into the trip my Dad will begin to bob his head. Mom will ask him if he'd like her to take over now, and he'll agree. He'll say "just for a little while" and he will really mean, "at least until we hit the Florida state line".

At this point I'll assume position in the front seat with my mother as the boys and dogs doze in the backseat. During this time we will get lost, argue over directions, listen to way too much bad music and quiz each other on useless trivia we think of as we pass various cities.

If there is anything for Lucy and Ethel to get into, this is when it will happen.

And I can't wait.

But mostly I can't wait for a very laid back vacation. I've warned everyone I'm traveling with that all I want to do is lay on the beach and take tons of pictures all week. I don't need to run all over Timbuktu, I don't need to see everything in the world, I just need relaxation and a break.

I think I have a tendency to run on full throttle when on vacation. I guess it has to do with how alive I feel when doing something I love, like traveling. I always want to see, touch, feel and do as much as possible. And in the process I can lose focus of what a vacation is really about. It's the simple moments I always remember most, not the ones I freak out over and try to create.

Like the very first time I walked onto the beach with Jonathan. Or eating key lime pie last year with my toes in the sand which was so simple and unexpected. And the night I sat on a pier for four hours with a pigeon staring me down the entire time. The last one I bitched and complained about the entire time it was occuring and yet it has become one of my favorite travel memories. Because it was quirky and unusual.

Remind me to take more pleasure in quirky and unusual, okay?

So that's what I'm doing here, I'm vowing to myself that I will chill out and promise to not run on maximum pressure for 9 days. I'll just sit back and enjoy the ride. Even if Jon sticks his stinky feet in my face the entire time.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Jon Shared This Guy With Me

About Me (so I can link to on my sidebar)

I am 22 years old and single. That should say enough, really.

Because 22 and single generally means I have zero direction and no clue what I want to do with the rest of my life.
And I'm okay with that. For the most part.

I attend the largest university in my state where I am soon to be a 5th year Senior. I am also okay with this revelation as well. I figure that extra year buys me some time to think. For three years I called the home of my university my own home. Although I have fond memories of that time, it was also riddled with lonely feelings and general angst.

So, I'm a commuter now.

I spend my time in the car listening to thrilling things like NPR and Rush Limbaugh. That last one is laughable, because I couldn't disagree more with every word that comes out of Rush's mouth. But I like to challenge my own belief system.

Many would consider me to be a Yellow Dog Democrat, because I'm 100% sure I would vote for a yellow dog if he ran on the Democratic Ticket. I know this because I own a yellow dog, he is quite handsome:

I also own, or at least cohabitate, with a chihuahua named Jill who is the name companion to the lab above (Jack), and a Chihuahua/Dachshund mix named Molly. Or the "Mexican Hotdog" as she is sometimes referred. No, we didn't know she was a Chiweenie when we bought her. But her remarkably long torso cannot be denied.

In addition to chasing down said dogs, I spend much of my free time chasing down this kid:

My brother, "The Amazing Jon" is a good 9 years younger than I am. However, you'd be hard pressed to find a pair of closer sibllngs. Which means we often fight like cats and dogs, and I won't deny having he said/she said matches with a 13 year old. For the record, he totally provoked me.

In my free time I enjoy pretending to be a photographer, obsessively checking CNN and Perez Hilton alternately, and spying on my all too perfect to be real neighbors. The last is a habit I'm trying to break. Kinda.

I like long walks on the beach, seriously. I dream of moving to a state that is less landlocked than the one I currently reside in. I'd much prefer the neighbor I'm spying on be Jimmy Buffett.

This blog chronicles my very mundane life. With a twist of lime and sprinkle of salt.


Sitting, Waiting, Wishing

Almost more fun that watching the birds, is watching Hercules attempt to catch one. He's yet to succeed.

Great Blog Block '08 (How I've Spent My Time)

  • alphabetized my spices
  • tried to cook a casserole
  • burnt a pot holder
  • watched "Beetlejuice" 8,495,838,783 times; and it just keeps getting funnier
  • read 13 trashy romance novels
  • watched the birds in the retreat
  • cried
  • bemoaned
  • whimpered
  • got the dog's leg unstuck when it came out of socket
  • stopped couponing for the time being because I couldn't find the energy to clip them
  • read a book about birds, front to back, can't remember any of it
  • painted my toenails their signature pink
  • organized my pictures
  • attempted to learn aperture
  • twittered
  • twiddled my thumbs
  • wrote 6,000 blog posts...deleted each one
  • became dyslexic
  • cured cancer
  • wrote a love song, not cause you asked me to
  • bought britney spears songs on itunes
  • watched a lot of jimmy kimmel
  • am now fucking matt damon
  • read exactly one piece of actual literary work; hated it
  • ate a lot of white cheddar popcorn
  • didn't exercise
  • bought squash and promptly killed all nutritional goodness by frying it
  • come to think of it, fried lots of foods
  • called my mom's dog, "the baby jesus"
  • changed her name to "el diablo"
  • then back to "the baby jesus"
  • watched my father become a huge OBAMA supporter
  • for the record: that's 2 against 2 in this house
  • we hillary supporters are a slightly delusional bunch ;)
  • sniffed permanent markers and gasoline
  • suggested that someone should make a candle out of that shit
  • avoided all family member phone calls
  • lied to my dad about the cost of our condo for vacation
  • took up shoplifting for sport
  • watched a lot of "king of the hill"
  • debated bobby hill's true parentage with my brother
  • pan broiled ribeyes, causing every smoke alarm in the house to go off
  • annoyed by father by:
  • calling him by his first name
  • refusing to twist tie the bread or potato chips
  • not double bagging the garbage cans
  • and breathing
  • contemplated the merits of ramel bradley's rap career
  • admired robert downey jr.'s ability to wear the color purple and still seem manly
  • took entirely too much of my time writing this

(Disclaimer: some of these may or may not be embellished. You decide which you would like to be true. Too many are for me to admit.)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Covet List

1920s style bungalow is my current dream home. Well, that's a lie. My dream home is a huge ancient plantation style home like something from out of "Gone with the Wind", because I have a thing for columns. But if I'm being realistic, this kind of house is my real dream home. I'd love to buy one someday that needs a little fixing up and really make it my own.

I have a thing for blue kitchens with white cabinets and stainless steel appliances. I also have a thing for any kitchen larger than a thumbtack, in which I can pan broil ribeyes to my heart's content. But especially ones that look like this.

As mentioned, I have a wedding to attend next month. It's a casual affair so nothing too dressy is required. I'm thinking a dress along the lines of these three. And since I rarely have an opportunity to dress like this, I'm super excited about shopping for this event. And attending I suppose, I do quite enjoy the couple. ;)

A wedding also means I finally have a reason to show off my mad stilleto skills. Y'all, I can walk in the pretty shoes now! After much heartache and a realization that I should be buying an 8 1/2, not a 9 (hi! am not as large as I think I am), I get to actually feel pretty and elongated in some shoes. Yay for me.

I can't stop perusing the lovely halls of Etsy. The idea of an online art village of handmade goods is incredible to me. It makes it super easy to find wonderfully handcrafted gems of all sorts. Like this sparrow print I've had my eye on for a few days:

When I own my own home it will be full of beautiful prints like this one. Love, love, love it.

Let's not kid ourselves, I'm not getting married in the near future. But what is a girl to do when no marriage prospects are on the horizon and she wants a diamond ring?

She buys herself a right hand ring. Whoever came up with this little creative ploy is a marketing genius. Because I totally want one.
Also. What's a girl to do when she can't come up with blog material? She makes of list of things she currently wants to own.
Worked out quite nicely huh?