Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Just some things that are in my head tonight:

* I am so saddened at what I've seen the past two days on TV and on the wire at work. Hurricane Katrina dealt the Gulf Coast a serious blow, and I'm finding it hard to comprehend the devastation. The whole notion of what's going on tonight in Biloxi, Gulf Port, New Orleans and other smaller cities is beyond anything I could ever imagine. These people need our help, so if you can - please make a donation to a relief agency like the American Red Cross. Please.

* On a happy note, I went with my friend Angie tonight to buy shoes for her 10-month-old, who is now walking. He wasn't so sure about strange objects on his feet at first, but soon he was running around like a big boy with his new kicks. Very sweet. He's learning words all over the place, and tonight the word was "banana" after he consumed almost a whole banana at IHOP. He said it as clear as day, much to my delight and his mother's surprise. Babies are amazing.

* I spent $20 tonight to fill up my car, and I only needed half a tank. And it's only going to get worse. Scary stuff.

* I love vanilla ice cream with chocolate Magic Shell on top. In the last three days, I've eaten three bowls of the yummy goodness. And I think I could do the same for the rest of my life. Mmmm ...

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

When it rains, it pours

Sleep would have been nice last night. But thanks to Katrina, which dumped massive amounts of rain on my fine city and twirled trees around with little effort - a bit of rest escaped me.

My cat is a well-known fraidy cat. Frankly, I think the term was coined based on her reaction to any amount of rain or even the slightest of storms. This means that if you can hear rain falling, Anna's under the bed, hugging the floor or pestering me to hold her.

Last night was no different ... Until about 5:30 a.m., I had a frantic cat on my hands who refused to let me sleep. First she needed to be held. Then she just HAD to get under the covers. Then she settled on standing over me, meowing frantically while I tried to catch some Zzzzz's.

This time I understood her concern. I mean, it was really raining hard and the tree branches next to my apartment kept scraping the windows - creating a disturbing horror-flick screeching sound. There was a tornado watch - which always makes me a bit nervous (I'm no fan of the things). But, there comes a point where you just have to go to sleep.

Unfortunately I wasn't allowed. So today I get to go to work with dark circles and tired bones, while I'm sure Anna will be cat napping all day.

But, it could be much worse. Thank God my family no longer lives along the Gulf Coast. I feel for those poor people who've lost everything. Let's hope FEMA can get in there soon and provide some relief.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Time flies

I can't believe I'm already home after such an outstanding weekend in Virginia. It feels wonderful to be in my cozy apartment, but it was so hard to leave Lynchburg this morning after having such a fun time with my family.

My main reason for making the trek to central Virginia was to go to the Sugarland concert with my mother, who was dying to see them live but wouldn't hit the club scene alone. So, not one to pass up live music ... especially when it comes to one of my longtime favorite singers - Jennifer Nettles - I agreed to hit the road.

Battling high gas prices, semi-truck mania and the blazing heat proved to be worth my while - we had such a good time at the show.

The place was crammed full of fans, and Jennifer opened up the show singing not a country song, but one by none other than Sting. More than a few confused looks were exchanged between the cowboy hat- and boot-wearing crowd, but pretty soon they were having a good ol' time. Soon the country twang kicked in and there was some serious cowboy dancin' going on. Ha! Fun times!

It was such a cool night, but I won't go into every detail - too many to tell about! But I will say that some of these country folks have interesting clothing choices ... I saw one guy sporting a coral button-up shirt with tassels for buttons and another man who looked quite desperate wearing a T-shirt that read in bold letters "For Sale". I don't think there were any takers that night.

Besides the show, there was much shopping and lots of great food. There's nothing better than home cookin', that's for sure!

Now, I think I might just crash on my sofa for a while!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

On the road again ...

This is the first time since Wednesday that I've thought of jumping online - amazing! That says a lot for my mother, who has always had the talent of keeping me busy with just about everything under the sun (but mostly shopping).

I'll probably post on Monday - and maybe, just maybe, on Sunday if I'm not dead-tired after driving all day.

Anyhow, I'm having a wild time in Virginia - stories to come.

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The caffeine made me do it

I somehow managed to sqeak through high school and college without succumbing to the allure of coffee - even during those late-night study sessions, midmorning breaks from class or to help soothe those wicked hangovers that come after a night of margaritas and beer.

Of course, it probably helped that where I went to school in South Georgia there were no Starbucks or other trendy coffeehouses most college towns are inundated with these days. But regardless, I doubt I'd have been sucked in by their hip advertising and wonderful aromas - simply because the taste of coffee was, well, just gross to my young tastebuds.

As we know, time changes things. What once was ruled out as "disgusting" often becomes appetizing. I absolutely loathed peas as a child, and now I have been known to crave the little devils with steak (something else I never thought I'd enjoy). But I never, ever thought I would one day crave coffee.

I've relied on Diet Coke for years now to give me that extra "oomph" on days where my brain just couldn't function without the help of my sacred caffeine. But lately, Diet Coke hasn't been doing it for me anymore.

Enter: Coffee. (and work coffee, at that!) *gasp*

It's been a few months now that I've been making my way back to the break room when the going gets tough to pour myself a cup of alertness - loaded with cream and sugar so as to dissolve the bitter twang. And now I'm beginning to think I've been missing out all these years.

That thought was emphasized the other afternoon in Barnes & Noble, where Jim was enjoying a frozen mocha frappucino from the Starbucks counter - complete with whipped creme on top! It was pretty and smelled de-lish ... A few minutes later, lo, and behold, Jim gave me a sip, and it was spectacular. Mmmm ...

I've been craving one ever since. I'm in love with coffee and all things in between.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Busy bee

That's me lately!

Here's the rundown:

This past weekend was the best I've had in a while. There's just something about familiar faces from your past (especially from those crazy college days) that makes the world seem a little more friendly again. I guess you could say I've been in a bit of a funk lately - but Friday and Saturday made me smile and laugh so much that I feel human again! (Thank God)

Today and yesterday were spent mostly at the office working. But I did happen to run into the mall this afternoon before work, and holy cow ... there are sales galore! So very sad, considering I have no moolah until the end of the week.

Which brings me to my next adventure: Virginia!

I'll be heading down the interstate bright and early Thursday morning on my way to Lynchburg, VA, to visit my mother. Can't wait. There will be much shopping (of course) and my cousin from North Carolina will be in town, too. All three girls are going to a Sugarland concert Friday night, which will be a crazy time, no doubt. And no, I'm not a country fan ... but I do listen to Sugarland because I've been a fan of their singer, Jennifer Nettles, since her days with Soul Miner's Daughter. I wish there were still a Soul Miner's Daughter, but you can't always have your way, so Sugarland it is!

That's about it. Now, I think I probably should get some sleep.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

So. Very. Tired.

When old friends call, you don't pass on seeing them - no matter how late you've been working or how early you have to wake up the next morning.

I had a blast last night with my good friend Mike D; his wife, Sara; old friend Pob and his wife; and a few other folks. It had been several years since I last saw Mike and way more than several years since I'd seen Pob, who has just moved to the Chattanooga area. Very cool.

Well, it's off to work for me ... Hope the rest of you got to sleep in this morning!

Friday, August 19, 2005

Buy this book

Thank God my love for reading has come back, otherwise I'd probably have missed out on this brilliant novel.

Seriously, if you enjoy book that's both eloquently narrated and so gripping that it's virtually impossible to put down - find the nearest copy and dive in.

"The Shadow of the Wind" by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The way to start your day

Cereal in a takeout box ... who'da thunk?!?

I was watching Aaron Brown tonight on CNN and had one of those, "why didn't I think of that" moments. Apparently, a couple of guys took note that Americans are cerealaholics and next thing ya know, they've got a made-to-order "cereal bar."

Cereality is the name, and they've got an interesting little concept that, to me at least, is utter genius.

You walk up to the counter, choose your cereal of choice, add whatever topping(s) you want from choices including those crunchy marshmallows in Lucky Charms, nuts, fruits or even candies like Pop Rocks. Add some milk, and viola! You've got your own custom cereal to go - in a milk-tight cereal bowl. Even their spoons are cool - you can drink the milk through the handle that doubles as a straw.

And that's not all ... if you want to take home your own custom creation, you can ... they will bag it and box it for you.

Maybe I'm a sucker for gimmicks (OK, I am as sucker for gimmicks), but you've got to admit this is a great idea. No?!?
Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

A thrill a minute

Besides rounding up quotes from insurance companies, my days have been pretty boring lately.

This is what I've done with my "valuable" time in the last two days:
* Spent over 2 hours in Barnes & Noble and walked out with n-o-t-h-i-n-g. I thought that was impossible, but apparently it's not. I'm in desperate need of book suggestions, so if you have any throw 'em out!
* Went to Old Navy, where they have some super cute fall clothes. Fell in love with a pink top and bought it even though I really needed to be saving my money for my trip to Virginia next week. Oh well, when fashion calls, you can't just walk away!!
* Worked yesterday, which went by really quickly. That's always nice.
* Woke up bright and early this morning thanks to a phone call from a friend's daycare employee who wanted me to come get my my friend's 9-month-old son. An emergency? Nope. Diarrhea. I have no car seat, I have no baby things and I have no idea why they called me after only having tried reaching my friend at work ONE TIME. I told the lady that she should try calling my friend again at the office, and if she couldn't reach her in 30 minutes to call me back. Thank God she didn't call me back.
* Since I was up early this morning (before the blazing sun was in full effect), I decided to clean out the inside of my car in preparation for my trip to Virginia next week. It's amazing what accumulates under the seats after a couple years of not looking ... a magazine from Sept. 2004, lip balm, lots of change, pens galore, sunglasses that I thought I'd lost forever and various other items. I vacuumed the carpet, Armor-Alled the interior, cleaned the windows and even scrubbed the seats with carpet cleaner. At least I feel somewhat productive today.
* Next up: Go to work. Woo.

And there you have it. Hope your days have been more exciting than mine!

Monday, August 15, 2005

One expensive trip


My one attempt at telling someone who controls a (large) portion of where my money goes each month was met with great disaster. I am terrible at telling people where to stick it - even when I know I'm getting ripped off like you wouldn't believe.

My insurance agent is a very nice, smiley lady who has the gift of sympathy, but also the possesses the power to deny pitiful souls like mine a decent insurance rate. Who would think one (slight) speeding ticket in 2001 would screw me over so much that I'm suddenly classified as a "high risk" driver. To me, that's obsurd, obscene and enough to make me switch companies.

While most insurers count violations 3 years back, my insurance company goes back a whopping 5 years. So it makes me wish that four years ago, when the speeding ticket that keeps on giving was written, I never would have gotten into my car to make the trek to Atlanta that's now cost me lots of moolah.

You see, I was on my way to see a guy I was dating play at a club with his band. My friend Allison was along for the 45 minute ride to Atlanta from North Georgia. And at the last minute, she got a phone call from her on-again-off-again boyfriend who suddenly decided he wanted to join us at the club. Sidenote: This guy was a jerk from the word "go" - I didn't want him to come with us, but Allison couldn't say no to the loser. So, I get off the freeway, hop onto some two-lane highway in the middle of nowhere and procede to jerk boy's house. Sidenote #2: He lived with his mother and didn't seem to have any desire to get his own place.

About five miles down the road that I didn't even want to be on, the speed limit dropped from 65 mph to 45 mph. With the speed limit sign still clearly in my rear-view mirror and my car slowing down, I spotted a cop sitting in the parking lot of a fruit stand.

"Aw, dammit. I think he clocked me."
"But you were going the speed limit," Allison said.
"I was going the speed limit, but it just dropped to 45 - I was going 60 probably when he saw me."
"Oh, you're fine."
"Um, no I'm not ... notice the blue lights ... "

And that was that. About 10 minutes later we were driving down the two-lane with a nice yellow slip of paper on the dashboard on our way to pick up a bona fide jerk who would later make my night miserable.

And now, four years later, I'm still paying for it.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

How to make me piping hot mad

After much research I've just learned that my insurance company of 12 years has been bilking me, and I mean big time. I'd been a bit curious for the last year or so as to why my rates seemed to be higher than I thought they should be, but each time I asked my agent about my policy, I was quickly told that I had "a greeeaaaat rate" and that I really shouldn't be concerned.

Well, I was concerned. And now my concern has grown to anger. And tomorrow I will be marching myself down to my agent for some answers. And believe me, "you have a greeeaaat rate" is not what I will be looking for.

Those of you who know me know I'm not at all a confrontational person - sometimes this is a fault of mine because I tend to let things ride way too long. But you all would be proud because this is something I will not put up with. Wish me luck for tomorrow ... I'm not so good these sorts of situations, but something has got to be done.

Man, am I furious.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Sign of the times

I actually got excited today when I saw a gas station at my exit had gas for $2.25 per gallon. All the surrounding stations were selling theirs for $2.39.

Even though I had ¾ of a tank in my car, I pulled over and filled up. Who knows when a deal like that will come along again!

... How scary is that?

And I know that Europe and other areas have been paying way more than that per gallon for years now, but I sincerely doubt it's for the same reasons we've seen such a spike in gas prices over the last year or so.

Grumble, grumble.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

She has a name!

Meet Macy Gray ... Not to be confused with Macy Gray.

I'd been torn between Grace, Macy and Marcy because they all seemed to fit. And Jim just coudn't make up his mind until it hit him ... Macy Gray would be perfect for her!

From what I hear, she's become quite the little explorer over the last several days. And she's already figured out how to run up and down Jim's staircase - which seems like a daunting task, considering you could hold her in the palm of your hand.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.


Welcome to my new blog design! I happen to love it, and I hope you guys do, too. I've still got some tweaking to do here and there, but for the most part I think this is it.

I have to say a huge THANK YOU to Michel over at The Silver Diner. He designed my masthead, which just makes me want to jump on that boat and head out on the ocean with my friends and a few boat drinks!

There are still a few minor changes to come, but I do hope you like it!

Peter Jennings

I've waited a bit late to post this, but I'm still very saddened by the death of Peter Jennings.

When we received the alert on the wire late Sunday night that he had died, I could tell by the expression on the faces of everyone in the newsroom that this was heartbreaking news to all. I grew up watching Peter Jennings anchor "World News Tonight," as did several of my co-workers. I'm sure others remember him from longer ago when he was a reporter across the globe.

If nothing else proved his sheer dedication to journalism, the way he covered the terror attacks of Sept. 11 did. We all watched him hour after hour grow more and more tired, yet he still brought his viewers the news as it came in.

I won't go on and on about what a loss his passing is to the world of journalism and his viewers, because I'm sure you have felt that to some degree yourselves. I can only hope that whoever replaces him has the same tenacity and dedication to reporting.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Common sense, people ...

I'm a vocal driver. My poor passengers are subject to all sorts of editorial comments about irresponsible drivers, but I just can't help it. Some people are begging for a good lesson in proper driving, and oh how I'd love to be the one to teach it.

Driving slow in the fast lane is one of my biggest pet peeves. But lately, another biggie has come into play ... I nearly got run into a guard rail yesterday by a woman in a brand new Mercedes who was talking on her cell phone and smoking a cigarette at the same time.

Good Lord, woman! You're operating a vehicle that expensive and weaving in and out of lanes so you can talk on your cell and inhale smoke? She had no idea she had almost hit me, and when i finally got past her and saw what she was doing I had to hold myself back.

It's times like these that I'd love to have ready-made signs in my car that I could hold up to let the idiot driver next to me know exactly what I think of them. Hmmm ... that's a thought.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Sorry, wrong number ...

I don't know if it's just my bad luck or if this is becoming the norm now that nearly everyone has a cell phone, but I constantly get phone calls from strangers.

And odd strangers, at that.

Over the last week this is what I've heard on the other end of the line after answering my cell:

* "Yeah, I need you to come get me. Like now ..." (Voice of a teen girl, obviously thinking she was speaking to her chauffeur - a.k.a. her mother)

* "Rawd-nay thar?" (Translation: May I please speak with Rodney? ... Or at least I think that's what he was asking.)

* "Yo giiiiirl!!! How's it?!?" (How is it? Well, to be honest it's not well considering you morons keep calling me.)

* "Kaleigh?" (Dad looking for his daughter ... Again.)

My favorite is the last one on my list ... that poor dad calls me at least once every week asking for Kaleigh. I can't gauge how old this girl should be, but I know she's old enough to drive because he once asked me to pull over before he would talk to me. I thought the demand was both sweet and hilarious at the same time.

Every time he calls, I feel like apologizing to him for my number being a misdial. Usually, if he doesn't come right out and say his daughter's name, he'll begin the call with something like, "We're having fried chicken for dinner tonight, will you be able to make it? To which I would love to reply, "Definitely! What time should I come? ... Oh, and could I get directions?"

But unfortunately I'm forced to say, "Oh, I'm sorry. I think you've dialed the wrong number." And to that, he always - without fail - replies, "Oh goodness, I am sorry. I thought you were my daughter. You have a nice day, alright?"

If only everyone could be that polite after dialing the wrong number ...

Friday, August 05, 2005

Design problems

All right, so I've been having some major issues with my blog design lately. It was taken from one of those free template sites, and I think that site has been taken down. So all the little graphic images have been refusing to show up and frankly, the blog was looking pretty rough.

This is a substitute design for now - until I finally decide to pay someone to create a custom one ...

I'm in the process of adding all my links back to my sidebar exactly as they were before everything went crazy on this blog, so hopefully I'll have it all tweaked soon.

And thanks again for all your suggestions for the kitten's name! I'll let you guys know what Jim chooses when I find out!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

A furry find

Funny how things happen sometimes ...

Yesterday afternoon, I made the off-handed comment that I thought Jim needed a kitten. Yesterday evening, Jim had himself just that - a little grey kitten, not even 6 weeks old.

It all started out innocently enough. I love cats, and despite what some of you think (ahem ... JG), cats can be really sweet little creatures. I'm forever telling Jim he could use another cat (he's got one already), but being the practical being that he is, my suggestions always are rebuffed.

So, yesterday evening we were on our way to the grocery store. We had just rounded the corner in my parking lot when out of the corner of my eye I spotted a little grey furball running around on the pavement (which happened to be the same color she was). That's when I slammed on the brakes, gasped at Jim, "Ohhhh my goodness, there's a kitten!!" and stopped the car.

Knowing what he was in for, but being a trooper all the same, Jim flung open the car door and jumped out of the car ready to see about this little kitten.

After a few minutes of corralling the little tuft of fur, Jim emerged from the hedges with a very vocal kitten clutched to his arm. She was so tiny, but her mother was no where in site.

So, we went to the closest apartment, knocked on the door and talked to a lady who said she had been feeding the kitten. She told us its mother was an orange cat (how odd) that had left her nearby, but that she couldn't afford to keep the kitten. (Our landlord charges a monstrous pet fee) She said it would be a blessing if we could find it a good home, and that sealed the deal.

With a bit of a sigh and a smile creeping across Jim's face, we left - kitten in tow.

So now Jim's got the kitten - who is in great shape and did quite well last night - that I've been hounding him about, but there's one slight problem.

She needs a name!

We'd like to give her a good, strong name - nothing silly or frilly. "Grace" is what seems to be winning so far, but we're still thinking and are considering any suggustions we get. So, if you have an idea, let me know!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Back to my old self

After going through a box of Kleenex, an entire container of vanilla tea bags and a bag and a half of cough drops, I think I'm pretty much back to normal again. Woo!

With that said, not much has been going on in my life other than countless hours of sleeping, tons of coughing and me actually taking time to read a book ... it's a miracle.

I used to read book upon book whenever I got the chance - on break, at home lounging by the pool, before I went to sleep, on long car trips, etc. But over the last several years my reading has dropped off to dismal levels. It's been months since I actually read a book cover-to-cover, and even longer since I enjoyed the thought of picking up a book with that intent.

I'd like to attribute my lack of reading to the fact that I read page after page of news copy each night at work. Editing copy written by reporters ranging in experience from interns to seasoned veterans can be a bit taxing on one's interest in picking up any reading material after work.

But that still leaves before work and on my days off. I don't know what my issue has been, but I'm hoping that my renewed interest in reading sticks ... I've been feeling a bit out of the literary world lately.

Oh, if you were wondering, the book I'm devouring at the moment is "Sideways". Go buy it.