Sunday, December 31, 2006

I just did a Google search for "new years pretzel" and every site that came up was from Western PA or Eastern Ohio. Is that just because there are so many Germans in that area, or is it a tradition that arose there? If it's the German thing, I would have expected at least a few hits from Milwaukee or elsewhere in the midwest.

But I did find a German Bakery in Pittsburgh that ships pretzels! It's a little bit expensive ($21 with priority shipping, but it will be so worth it next year.

I think that's why I have had bad luck since I've moved down here - no pretzel!

Oh, it is midnight eastern time. Happy New Year to all yinz in Pittsburgh (and Ohio, New York, and Maryland, too!)!

So here we are in the waning hours of 2006. What a year it has been.

At the beginning of the year, I lost some illusions I created about myself and my life, and gained a sense of perspective about myself (thank you world's greatest therapist).

As the year progressed, I lost some respect for the company I was working for (herinafter known as the evil empire), and gained some not so nice knowledge about some people I had considered friends.

Mid year, I lost my job with the Evil Empire and regained my sense of self, which I had sacrificed to the corporate gods.

Soon after that I lost my unemployed status and gained the best job in the world, where I actually get to use my degree (thank you

Two very good friends lost parents this year, and I lost my last living aunt. Not much to be gained there.

My car lost it's transmission and gained a rebuilt one (at the cost of $1200, which the transmission guy let me pay over 6 weeks - thanks, Kenny!).

I lost momentum with the Great American Novel (Advice from Uncle Betty) and gained momentum with the Pretty Good American Novel (either Love at the Deli Counter or Steak with a Side of Life and yes, I am still horrible at titles).

I lost interest in one hobby (crocheting) and gained interest in another (quilting).

OK. I'm stretching it now.

So I'm ringing in 2007 with cranberry soda and a huge salad, followed by pretzels and sparkling apple cider consumed from a Santa Claus wine glass at midnight. This is the time of year I am most homesick for Pittsburgh. No one here goes outside in their pajamas and winter coats to bang pots and pans at midnight. I can't find a New Year's pretzel anywhere in town. I even drove to two different bakeries with German names. They looked at me like I was nuts when I asked. But they had king cake already, and it isn't even epiphany yet. Sigh.

Well, I guess that's it, except that I'm ending the year the way it began - with a staph infection. Sigh. I can't reach my dermatologist until Tuesday. But I may avoid it even then - I see my doctor next Monday.

Happy New Year, all. May 2007 bring health, happiness, peace, prosperity, Grace, and gratitude.

Thursday, December 28, 2006


Looks like I have competition finally in my run for the White House. I had better step up my campaign quickly. Look for a post on Sunday night or Monday morning.

I do want to note, however, that I was the first candidate to officially declare, even if I won't actually be appearing on your ballots in 2008. That's what write-in votes are for!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Heaux, Heaux, Heaux

That's what Santa says in South Louisiana.

I slept in until almost 1 today because I couldn't sleep last night. Santa never showed, though, so I guess it's true he only comes when you are asleep.

Anyway, went to church last night. It was good. My pastor always does a fantastic job of preaching on Christmas. I sat in front of a homeless guy and behind a gay couple. One of the lectors was African-American, and a couple who just adopted a baby from China were there. I love my congregation.

You know, even though this is my 11th Christmas without my parents, it's still hard. Even though I put a brave face on it for the world, I hate being alone at Christmas. But I hate being with other people's families, too. I always feel like I'm on the outside looking in, or like I'm intruding. I hate that. Sigh.

I bought a chicken to make today, but I think I might go to the Chinese buffet instead. Last year they weren't open.

Hope all of you are having a wonderful Christmas.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

But First, a Poem....

'Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the city,
Ther weather was rainy
And, really, quite sh*tty.

My stomach's upset
for no reason or rhyme.
I'm watching The Nutcracker
For the freakin' third time.

It's only the Eve,
But it feels like the Day.
Why yes, I am running
Out of cute things to say.

So away I must go.
No, don't beg or plead.
I really an hoping
You have a great Christmas Eve.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I almost forgot to mention - My presidential campaign will resume on or about January 1st. I already have my next post planned. Now that the elections are only a year away, it's time to kick it into high gear.

So this morning I get an e-mail around 5:30 that said that the store I bought the outfit from has finally processed my refund. Of course. So I e-mailed them back and told them that the package just arrived and asked how I should return the items. Well, I got an e-mail a few hours later that said that I could keep the stuff I ordered for free because it was their mistake in the first place. Yay! Now I just need some place where I can wear the fancy outfit, which is even nicer than I thought. Too bad velvet can only be worn about two or three months out of the year here.

Update on the bra quest. One of the things I ordered with this order was a bra, because they were on sale for 40% off. I have learned never to pass up bra sales.

The one that came is pretty good. It is supportive without any wire or plastic, only one of the cups gaps a little (I've always been a little lopsided ), and the band fits well. The cups would not make a good yarmulke either (after yesterday, I had to try). My only complaint is that the band is a little bit too wide. It folds when I move certain ways when I'm sitting.

This is a good bra. Not perfect, but good. The quest continues (though I just realized that I shall have to change my tag to "bra quest 2007" in two weeks. Sigh).

Monday, December 18, 2006

So, there was a little pink card waiting for me when I got home. Yeah, the outfit came today. Sigh.

Oh, and will I burn in hell because I tried the giganto-bra on my head when I took it off tonight and thought it would make a dandy yarmulke? Yeah, probably.

Leave me alone. It was a long day made even longer beacause I was fighting with my undergarments. Though it did amuse me to poke in the cups and watch them slowly pop back out. I do have my juvenile moments.

Bra Tales

So, I just thought I'd give you an update on the latest chapter in the quest for the perfect bra.

But first, some backstory...

Remember the purple outfit I wanted so badly for the company Christmas party? The one I absolutely fell in love with? Well, it didn't come in time. In fact, it still hasn't come. Trying to get a refund out of this company is like trying to give a shark a dental exam. I'll update you on that story later.

Well, I had to go and buy a new top to wear to the party as I had a perfectly acceptable skirt (technically, it had a top that went with it, but I really didn't like it). I found one, but it was cut low enough that none of my bras would work with it. So that meant...(dun dun DUN) buying a new bra.

Well, the selection at the store left something to be desired, but I had no desire to travel to another store. I found one on sale that was low cut. It was underwire, but I figured I could deal with it. Now, I happen to know from past experience that this particular brand runs big on the bad sizes. I bought one a size smaller about a year ago, and it was still too big. So this time, I went two sizes smaller.

Well, the band fits fine, but the cups...are definitely not C cups. They are more along the lines of double D. They are huge. I was a large C bordering on a D before I lost some weight, and I'm a pretty middle ground C now. There is so much room left in these cups that I could use them for extra storage if I was carrying a tiny purse, and no one would be any the wiser. The funny thing is that these cups are molded, so you can push in on them and they stay collapsed. Well, I think it's funny, anyhow.

I had ordered a bra along with the dress (sale, again) but I asked for a refund on that.

I shall keep looking, however, and will not rest until I succeed in my quest.

(Hey - that rhymes!)

Saturday, December 16, 2006

A Meme For You

Stolen from Mark, who I am too lazy to link to, this is the 12345 Meme. I altered it slightly from his version because I can.

The rules:

1. Grab the book that is closest to you and turn to page 123.

2. Find the 4th sentence on the page.

3. Type the next five sentences in your blog.

Well, the book closest to me was Disaster: Hurricane Katrina and the Failure of Homeland Security by Christopher Cooper and Robert Block. Did I mention that I work in the emergency management field?

So here's what it says:

"It said the city would be submerged 'for weeks or months,' and that direct economic losses could hit $2.2 billion after the first week, with damaged property adding another $20 billion to the tab. It added that the damage to the refinery-rich area could disrupt the nation's energy markets. The analysis was sent to the Homeland Security Operations Center, the department's conduit for gathering and disseminating disaster information. Six and a half hours after receiving the report, the HSOC distributed it. The White House got its copy at almost 2:00 a.m. on Monday."

By the way, this is a fabulous book. Even though I was pretty much down here in the midst of the storm, it was really eye opening to see what was going on behind the scenes. I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Holiday Memeage

From LP's Blog...

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?

Definitely Hot Chocolate, between these two. My current favorite hot drink, though, is Chai Latte from CC's

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?

Always, always wraps them.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?

Growing up, we did colored, but in my old age I have come to like white better.
4. Do you hang mistletoe?

Nope. Don't decorate at all, now. Because if I decorate, then I'll just have to undecorate later, and where is the fun in that?

5. When do you put your decorations up?

When I was a kid, it varied. It could be as early as the first weekend in December, or as late as a couple days before Christmas. The year my dad died, my mom and I didn't put the tree up until Christmas morning. Of course, it stayed up until Easter, but that's another story.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish?

It was, is, and every shall be cranberry sauce.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child?

How excited my dad would get about Santa Claus. Way more excited than I did.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?

Umm..5th grade. I found the microscope I had asked for and a sweater hidden in my mom's closet. Yes, I know I shouldn't have been snooping. Pretty much everyone I knew found out the truth earlier, and I played it cool around them, but in my heart of hearts, I still believed until I found those things.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?

Some years we opened all the gifts on Christmas Eve, some years none. It just depended on the mood everyone was in.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?

We had lights, tinsel, and ornaments, most kitschy ones from the 60's and 70's. Underneath the tree was our little Nativity. We also had a big Nativity that went outside. I gave the baby Jesus my lovey when I was wee little because I thought he'd be cold. It stayed in that crib my whole life.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?

Used to dread it, now I miss it.
12. Can you ice skate?

Heh Heh Heh. Are you insane?

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?

Absolutely. When I was around four or five or six, I desperately wanted a tea set. I don't quite know why, but I did, and I told everyone on earth that Santa was going to bring me one for Christmas. Well, my parents didn't have a whole lot of money, so they told me that Santa might not be able to bring it because he had an awful lot of boys and girls to buy presents for. I never lost my confidence, though, that Santa would come through. On Christmas morning, one of our neighbors (an older couple whose children were grown and had no grandchildren) brought over a box that he said Santa left at their house by mistake. It was wrapped in blue paper with snowflakes on it. I opened it up, and there was the tea set to end all tea sets. It had absolutley everything, and it was made by Corning. I was sooo excited. Later on, when I realized that they went out and got me that tea set, I got an even better gift - I learned about generosity and seflessness.

14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you?

I'm not really big on the holidays now that I spend them alone, but my favorites when I was a kid was when it was just me, my mom, and my dad. I loved just getting to spend time with them.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?

Has to be pumpkin pie with whipped cream, though Dutch Apple comes a close second. In our house though, cranberry sauce made a fine dessert for me, my mom, and my uncle. My dad and aunt hated it, though.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?

Playing cards or board games after dinner.

17. What tops your tree? For most of my life, we had this weird, blue obelisk kind of thing. It was tacky, but fit with the 70's well. Later on, my mom bought a light-up angel and a light-up star at some holiday sale. One went on top of the tree and the other went in the center of the wreath.

18.Which do you prefer giving or receiving?

Don't really have a preference

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?

Religious: Probably Silent Night. Non-religious: Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas, for reasons that no one here would understand.

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum?

Depends on my mood, the brand, and whether or not they are fresh.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I Am Disturbed By This...

Bored at work so I've been blog surfing (that's not the disturbing part). Found this little thing out there in the blog-o-sphere:

I don't look like Good Will Hunting or Draco Malfoy! No! Even more disturbing is that the next person on the list (after Jim Carrey) was Bob Saget.

UGH! I may never allow my picture to be taken again!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

I have much to tell about my Christmas party clothing adventure, however that will wait for tomorrow. I have other things to say tonight.

First, I overheard the best dialogue ever tonight at Albertson's. I was looking at Chapstick, trying to decide what flavor I wanted. A woman an aisle over was talking on her cell phone. She said, "Well, I had to get another bucket...Yeah, I know, but a fish in B291 had blood on it's anal fin...Well, no one told me that...Look, I'm just doing the best I can - I'm only here for another month...Yeah, I was just trying to help out - it wasn't really my problem..." Then she walked out of my earshot. I love living in a university town. I bought vanilla mint lip stuff by the way (it was not Chapstick brand).

Second, I bought chicken rings tonight. As soon as I saw them, I was reminded of TG's post about her daughter's request for ham rings. (and if you still want to know how to create hyperlinks, TG, e-mail me - it's easy!).

I hate it when the 4th Sunday of Advent is Christmas Eve. Everything feels rushed to me. Like this Sunday at my church, instead of regular liturgy, the choirs did a Christmas cantata. That's nice and all, but it isn't Christmas yet. I like and appreciate the anticpation of Advent. I like the feeling of gearing up for Something Important. Even though I know what the something is, it's still exciting. Plus, I like a semi-traditional liturgy on Sunday, complete with Holy Communion. I don't like it when that is cancelled in favor of something like this. Call me an old fogey traditionalist if you like, but that's just how I feel about things.

Now, that doesn't mean I don't like untraditional forms of prayer and worship - I do. Just not on Sunday morning. That would have been a wonderful precursor to the the Christmas Eve service. I would enjoy it then, and even make an effort to get to church early.

Sigh. Enough complaining.

I finished another quilt top today, except for the border. None of these quilts are big, but I'm enjoying myself nonetheless. The next step is actually putting them together with the backing and the batting and quilting them. I just got some stencils in the mail, so I can start that soon. I just wish I had a table to work on. That would make life a lot easier. I may have to get myself a card table for Christmas.

Speaking of which, I suppose I should mail cards and gifts sometime, huh? I'm really, really bad about doing that. I have literally two Christmases and about four birthdays worth of cards and gifts for one of my firends in Pittsburgh that I have never mailed. I'm going to try really hard for this year. I just hate the post office soooo much. (It amuses me that I almost published this with "pot office" instead of "post office." Yes, I can be that juvenile.)

Monday, December 04, 2006

I haven't take my thyroid medicine in 5 days. It's a wonder I can move at this point.

I really do notice the difference when I take it regularly versus when I don't.

I hope the pharmacy has it ready tomorrow as promised. I know that there aren't many people who take such a high dose, but sheesh! It's not like it isn't a common drug.

Friday, December 01, 2006

I have a new mission in life. I am prepared to devote all of my energies, time, and resources into finding my quarry. I will not rest until I succeed.

I am looking for a good-looking, comfortable bra that actually fits everywhere.

If I ever find the object of my desire, I will buy 70 of them so that they will last forever. Of course, if I ever find one, it'll probably be of the $50 variety and not the $12 variety. Not that $840 dollars is much better than $3500 dollars.

But someday, I will find a bra that fits in the shoulder straps, the band and the cups with no weird little puckers, no cutting, and no binding. And it will not have underwires or boning in the sides. And it will be soft and not itchy. And it will achieve the look of duct tape without the pain of ripping off adhesive.

Yes, the holy grail of feminine support garments exists somewhere in this land. And I shall find it, or sag trying.

The projected high in Pittsburgh is 20 degrees warmer than the projected high here in Baton Rouge - what's up with that?

I think I need to get me one of those old people pill boxes. I can't seem to ever remember to take my medicine. I just realized that I forgot my thyroid meds again today. Sigh.

Of course, one of the effects of hypothyroidism is short term memory loss. Guess I really should get my levels checked again, huh?

Oh well. Back to work.