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What A Long Strange Trip It's Been
Thursday, 28 February 2008
Sam Ramey is coming to town!
Mood:  celebratory
Topic: Being Happy

So, I am pretty excited. Finally an opera that I want to see coming to town with a singer whose voice I LOVE LOVE LOVE.

Yes, Bass-Baritone god himself, Kansas native, Samuel Ramey is coming to Wichita. I could just about die.

I am getting my tickets tomorrow and it looks as if I'll be less than 10 rows from the master while he sings this truly delicious role. I have always wanted to see him, but no matter how often I was in New York or San Francisco or Seattle or any of the big cities I traveled to on business, it seemed like just miss him. Well, now he's coming to me! Weeeee...I feel 20 again and all giggly like a school girl.

*~*Too Funny*~*

I was just giggling while thinking about this and Matt, who is sitting next to me playing Conquer online right now asked what I was laughing about, and I told him how thrilled I am about seeing Faust with Ramey singing. Every year the same old tired operas roll in and I sigh, blah, Tosca, again, blah, La Boheme, again, blah, The Marriage of Figaro, again. I prayed, when Lord will you send me some good, fun, different opera with a brilliant singer? Hey, we did have Domingo here to sing in Carmen, but sorry, he is so past his prime to be singing that roll - ack. Anyway, Matt didn't get why I was so giggly and excited. So - I brought it down to his level. I told him it would be like him meeting Gary Gygax, the guy who created D&D. He understood me then, but he said he'd sit Gary down and tell him where he went wrong with the game.

Yeah - that won't be happening with me. IF I had the opportunity to meet Samuel Ramey (which I doubt) I think I'd shove my copies of Barber of Seville and Don Giovanni at him to sign and then faint dead away. I've worshipped at the Holy House of Ramey since I first started singing and meeting him would be like - well - meeting my idol. Wow - now that I have that in type, I can't believe I said it, but there it is. I think he and Joan Sutherland, or Birgit Nilsson would be my all time favorite opera singers. Note the lack of tenors on the list. Not the biggest tenor fan in the world, I'm not.Foot in mouth They squeak. What can I say? They are always cast as the leading lover and I just could never understand why? WHY? OY! Give me a bass anyday.

Boy, I'm glad Matt's a baritone, so when he sings to me its like melting chocolate. Ahhhh - perhaps I should ask him to belt out some Shennandoah for me? He hasn't done that in a while. Nah - he has too much stage fright for me to sit here and watch him sing. That's something I don't understand. I don't get stage fright. I get excited and my heart races when I walk on stage to perform, but I am never nervous. Some sort of calm just settles on me - nerves of steel I guess after all those weekly performances with the Merry Melody Makers. Six years of that can do it - and countless solos before the entire UCC. Damn I wish that VHS tape of my recital for the 9/11 fundraiser didn't get chewed up by the puppy. I wonder if Larry Pitts has a copy?

Anyway - we are off to the opera and I am counting the days. Wee haa.

Tomorrow is going to be great. It's payday. I am picking up my opera tickets. We are taking the kids to Sabor for dinner and then out to the Bruce Wards Gallery to see our friend Dustin Craig's live action concert photography.

Dustin has photographed Sevendust, Nickelback, Saliva, Rob Zombie, Black Stone Cherry and many others. Matt's gone with him and was actually in some of the pictures with the bands. I doubt any of those will be in the gallery show, but you never know.

*~*Ahhhh*~* things were nice today. My cold is just about gone. I went to lunch today with my boss and friend Ronda at Sumo and had sushi - oh yum~! A yellowtail, salmon, tuna avacado roll. Delicious. That is three days in a row with Japanese food.

Last night I made grilled scallops and fried rice. I was going to do the soba noodles with sea weed, but went the easier, faster route. Besides, the scallops were in the refrigerator, not the freezer.

Tonight finished the wasabi and tuna rolls I made the night before last when I had also made spicy salmon and california rolls. Now if I can only find a reliable purveyor of golden caviar our homemade sushi will really zing! The guys at Matt's work couldn't believe the stuff I sent in his lunch wasn't from Sumo. (Yes, bragging on myself - but hey - I do deserve it and I don't do it often enough thank you very much!)

Anyway, tomorrow night at Sabor I think I am going to get either the Chilean Sea Bass or the Grilled Swordfish - yummy~! Can't wait - fun night out tomorrow with Matt and the kids.

I'll post pictures of my homemade sushi on my new sushi plates on the photoalbum part of the website instead of the blog. The roses from Valentine's Day that Matt sent me just took up so much space on the site! Well, what can I expect, there were two dozen! Oh, I am in such a cheeky ass mood tonight.

Watch out, Matt, here I come! Kiss 



Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 9:15 PM CST
Updated: Thursday, 28 February 2008 9:22 PM CST
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Saturday, 26 January 2008
Toe tapping music in my ears
Mood:  amorous
Now Playing: Thank God I'm A Country Boy by John Denver
Topic: Being Happy

I don't usually listen to country music because it is just downright awful, but I do have a soft spot for John Denver. I have been listening to his tunes for the last few minutes and they inspired me to write a journal post.

What's really funny is my husband, Matt, just asked me if someone was going to die - as in the movie 'Final Destination'. You know, everytime someone plays John Denver, someone dies. Well, just to be cute, Matt was going to tickle my ear and well, I guess he built up some static electricity because when he touched me, he set off an nice painful shock. Then he was being cute and went to playful smack me in a personal place and well, his new lens on his glasses have altered his depth preception, so he smacked me awfully hard. He about fell over in shame and hugged me, but still. Time to torture him with more John Denver. 

I'm feeling all mushy. I think I am really tired. Work has been busy, boring, and annoying. I am just so not into work right now. I wish I could take a prolonged time off and just not deal with these people for a while. If it isn't having to cater to one person's neurosis it is having to dance around that person's bad mood, or down right snootiness. The office just hasn't been the same for the last six months or so. I don't know, it's just - uncomfortable for some reason.

~*~Didn't get much sleep but we had a lot of fun on grandma's feather bed~*~

Anyway, things have been cold lately. Yep. Winter is here and well, I just want to snuggle in bed with Matt all day ready. I guess I got what I wanted because that's about all we did today. Slept in, read. Yep. Perfect day.

I am re-reading the Harry Potter books again just for fun before I start reading a new series that Matt just finished. He says I just have to read it, and since he's been cracking up and enjoying them greatly himself for the last two weeks I suspect he's right.Smile

 I am trying to isolate myself from the political crap that is going on right now. Both Obama and Clinton and at each other's throats and I think that is such a bummer. All they are doing is dividing the Democratic party when they should be trying to unify the party and prepare a plan for the future in the White House to clean up this Republican mess. *sigh* It's so sad. I could care less about some picture taken 11 years ago at some fundraiser. The media isn't helping. Sensationalistic bastards. Man I wish we could wipe the media slate clean and get rid of all these purveyors of filth and rot. I've given up watching TV completely. I don't think I have actually watched television in - wow - I don't even know.

~*~ James Taylor "Carolina in My Mind" ~*~

I don't know what is up with me though, now I am listening to Jame Taylor. Maybe I was just in an acoustic guitar kick? Next up should be Simon & Garfunkel. Sound of Silence would be appropriate.

Oh, well, I have lots of laundry to fold and I don't want to. I have lots of dishes to do and I don't want to do that either.

I've prepared our taxes. I am waiting for one more form to come and I'll be able to mail the return to the feds. We should be getting a refund this year of at least $1,600. If the economic stimulus package *rolls eyes* that the current administration is planning on deploying does take place, that will be another $1,500. No matter what, both are going into the savings. I am not going to rush right out and buy something - sorry, not going to happen. Especially since all the crap that is being sold is made in China, like that is going to help American businesses. I'll put my money in the bank so it can earn interest and be a little nest egg in case the Recession really gets bad - $3,100 will go along nicely with what we have in there for now. Knowing our luck Matt's car's transmission will fall apart of something terribly expensive to replace will decide it is time to snuff it -  like our roof or air conditioning or something nasty and costly.

Yes, it's our goal to save money this year. We saved money last year, but ended up spending it all on the refinancing of the house. Sure we kept a little tucked away, but this year, we have a goal of three months salary to tuck away, just in case. The Recession is here, and we know it. Matt has a good job, but if there is a Recession how likely are rich folks going to continue to buy private planes? It's just a matter of time for the private plane industry to take a hit. So, like 9/11 there is bound to be a backlash, we just won't feel it yet. Matt wasn't laid off from Cessna until February 2003, so that was 15 months after the attack. So - let's say we have another year to a year and a half before the private plane industry feels the hit of the economic crap that's happening right now. Matt and I need to be prepared for that. If we can have three months of our net income saved up by them, well, we should be alright. Plus, I am paying off everything I can think of - credit cards will be gone by March, my student loan by June or July at the latest. We are going to be prepared this time should he get laid off. Yes, there is always unemployment, but I don't even want to think about having to rely upon that to replace his income - not to mention his morale.

Yes, it sounds very doom and gloom, but actually, we are both pretty happy right now, and secure in the knowledge that we are doing well, and we are prepared.

Now listen up great powerful forces of the universe! Don't go dropping a tornado on us just to spice things up, okay?





Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 7:25 PM CST
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Wednesday, 16 January 2008
Blogtastic, Fantastic Technocolor Life with Spicy Salmon Rolls To Boot !!!
Mood:  cheeky
Topic: Being Happy

Despite all the goes on in my life that I can't control - from co-workers to ex-wives, to the weather - I am not letting it all bother me.

I am doing it! I am maintaining the mellowness as best I can. Yes. The mellow, tranquil state I achieved over the holidays believe it or not is still with me. I don't think I've really gotten mad at anyone or anything.

Aside from the typical annoyances of fixing problems not of my making, I have been getting a lot of stuff done I wanted done at work. Just before I sat down to lunch to eat and blog, Carla asked me how I was. I actually answered "Great!" and I meant it. Deciding to make a check list of things I needed to get done was a great step for me. I have a task list on my Outlook, but it isn't quite as satisfying as a long yellow legal pad check list that I can doodle on and make notes, etc.

Just this morning I have posted two batches of payroll with corrections, done a journal entry to move 3/4 million in charges from the General Fund into Capital Outlay's budget. I've set up at least two different invoices for payment and had a meeting on adjusting a budget for the DMC grant and subsequent journal entries that budget adjustment will cause.

On my plate for the afternoon is a new Lowe's Toolbox grant for Hadley MS - which just happens to be my step-daughter Michelle's school! Then there is a new grant from the Boys & Girls club and the Knight Foundation that I need to set up.

I need to get an email out to my budget managers for the Funds I manage with an agenda for our upcoming meetings today as well.

Other than that though, the other items on my list can wait until tomorrow or Friday. See what I mean? I've got everything under control and running smoothly and time to do it all in. Good planning pays off. It also helps that I have Mary (a retiree) here doing the journal entry scanning and filing so I don't have to bother with that. There is a huge pile stacked up as Jennifer, the Tech Assistant, was supposed to get to last year, but Ronda moved her onto so many other assignments she never had a chance to help me. SO - Mary is helping. I am so excited. I might even get the grants set out for archival filed in the Artrium storage areas or to School Service Center by the end of February! WOW, more space in my office.

Which would be totally awesome by the way. Matt's co-worker Dave and his girlfriend Heather gave us a relaxation fountain. I'd love to have it in my office, but I don't have room for it with all these archival grants taking up my file cabinet's top. My office is getting more comfortable. I still would like MORE houseplants though. I only have three potted plants in here right now, and one isn't doing so well. It's a combo pot of a lipstick plant and a geranium. The geranium is like five years old and it's struggling. It's just very tired. My ivy died. My office was just to hot for it I'm guessing. The bromiliad is doing well as is my spider plant which was a gift from Jennifer. She cut her baby sprouts off her spider plant and the thing is just thriving. I think I am going to get another geranium and some other plant for my pot with the geranium and the lipstick plant so it will look fuller than it does now. I've thought about getting a pothos, but they tend to get straggly looking after a while. Regardless, I need to get a watering can for my office plants.

I also need to pick up some Kleenex - totally out, and I am running out of Advil. Yes, I have a list. I ordered some nice smelly candles to melt on my candle melter as the ones I have are over a year old and they've kind of run out of smell. They were SO good - 'sugar cookie', 'orange vanilla', 'banana nut bread' - those were my favorite. I also like pear, pumpkin spice, apple, toffee, and roasted peanut. Those smells are so comforting. That's what I like to have in my office - things that make people comfortable - things that make people feel welcome and at home, like, 'pull up a chair and sit down so we can discuss' - how you messed up on your budget and how I am going to thump you on the head with my red inflatable stress buster bat. Seriously, I have one of those.

~wild change of topic~

I've started to re-read the Harry Potter series again. Yes, again. I am on book one just after the centaur rescues Harry from Voldemort/Quirrell in the forest. It's nice to start over and read it now that I know how it all wraps up. There are some telling moments even in the first book, things that foreshadow what will happen in book seven! JK Rowling is an amazing author and wonderful story teller.

~another wild change in topic~

I've gone back or am slowly moving back to the food I used to eat before I moved here. Back to the lifestyle of less meat, more vegetables and fish, and tofu (can you hear Matt groan?). I've been working that way for the last month or so, testing Matt's acceptance of it. I haven't served tofu yet, and I don't think I will tell him when I do. I am just starting to serve more fish, less chicken, and more veggies.

Here is the sushi recipe that I am using for my spicy salmon rolls:

1 can of pink Alaskan salmon (drained and deboned)

1 or 2 tablespoon mayonaise (NOT Miracle Whip!!!) - nayonaise would be better than Miracle Whip - the amount depends on how dry or wet you like it. I opt for the drier, it rolls better in the sushi. If you can find Japanese mayo, then use that.

1 large teaspoon Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce (comes from Thailand) - red sauce, green cap with squirter, and a rooster in white lettering on the front. Bottle is clear, normally plastic, comes in 17 oz bottles or smaller jars. see here


Japanese-style rice (don't skimp! get the good stuff it makes ALL the difference in the world)

Rice wine vinegar - use 1/3 cups for every three cups of cooked rice. I use rice wine vinegar with garlic, I like the flavor in my sushi. Also, when I add the vinegar to the rice, I usually add about two tablespoons of sesame seeds (toasted) because I like them

Some people add sugar and salt to their rice, I don't know why, but I don't like it, so I don't add it.

Here's what you do: Steam the rice. While its steaming, strain the canned salmon, mix the sauce (mayo plus chili sauce) and salmon. After rice is cooked, add vinegar and sesame seeds. Wait until it cools a little. Spread rice on the rough side of the nori almost all the way to the edges. DON'T smush the rice, try to keep the grains whole. Spread the salmon on to the thickness you desire that can be rolled easily in the nori. Roll it up and serve with soy sauce, wasabe, and pickled ginger on the side. Be sure to use a sharp knife to cut into bit size pieces.


  • use fresh salmon or tuna, chopped into fingernail size pieces.
  • Add about a tablespoon of chopped green onions
  • Add a tablespoon of flying fish roe (masago) to the sauce OR if you do an inside-out roll to the rice on the outside

California roll is very similar, just instead of salmon or tuna, use 'crab sticks'. Thin slices of cucumber, carrot and avacado is all you need.

Variation of California roll -

  • real crab in Japanese-mayo instead of crab sticks
  • shrimp with cream cheese

I have others but you need access to fresh fish, like mahi mahi and yellow tail, or albacore. I think you can explore and create your own tasty treats. A really good added ingredient is egg. Yes, a scrambled egg that has been made flat like an omlette and folded on top of each other again and again like making it into a rectangle. Add that to one of your favorites. OR just a veggie roll with carrots, cucumber, alfalfa sprouts, avacado, and sweet red pepper. I've tried many varieties as my friends in Northern California loved sushi and we used to have sushi parties. Everyone would bring their favorite fish (raw or cooked) and I supplied the rice, nori, wasabe, and soy sauce. It was heaven and lots of fun.

Oh boy, it's past my lunchtime! Back to work!









Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 1:03 PM CST
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Thursday, 3 January 2008
Happy New Year
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Being Happy

So, it is officially here - 2008.

Will it be as good as or better than 2007 or should I even pose that question?

2007 was a good year overall. I'm glad it is done with, but still, sad to see it go at the same time.

Right now, I am recovering from my time off. Matt's parents' visit went off without a hitch. No major emergencies or snafus to speak of actually. Dinner at Sumo Grill was a big success. Ready to fall out of your chair? Kyle ate fish that wasn't fried! He had one of my homemade spicy salmon rolls and had grilled shrimp at Sumo. We will have cookies coming out of our ears for weeks which is perfectly okay with Matt - he just loves his mother's cookies, not to mention her chocolate dipped pretzels, peanut butter and ritz crackers, and this marshmallow, pretzel, nut and fudge combo thing she does, not to mention the peanut butter balls.

The New Year's Eve party went well. There were about 20 of us. Yes, we were anticipating about 40 people because that many had actually RSVP'd to us saying they would be there. So, of course, we had double the amount of food and beverages we needed and the cost of the party far exceeded what I had budgeted per head - but hey - people are flakes. I am never inviting anyone from work to a party again though - collossal waste of my time and energy. I am thinking of writing off everyone I work with all together. Not too big of a loss really since I only see them at work. At least one of the people who had RSVP'd and didn't show sent me an email explaining why and she had a good reason for not coming. Still, Matt's going to kick some butt at his work because six people who said they were coming all told him that Jack Daniels was their perferred beverage so we bough $82 worth of it - neither of us drink it really. It is a rare moment when I want a Jack and Coke. So - either he is going to sell them the bottles or we are stuck with two HUGE bottle of Jack for the bar. Matt feels terrible that we wasted that money on those people. Whatever. At least we can eat most of the food before it goes bad - or - at least Matt can as half of it is beef and I can't eat it.

It took us all day to decorate on Monday, and now the all the decorations are still up. I think I might start taking them down tonight, who knows. I certainly want to clean up the kitchen, it's driving me mad. Thank goodness for aluminum foil. I'll be able to clean up quickly. Matt and the children were awesome helping me set up and cook. Matt has to be the most patient man on earth. I am so lucky - I really really am.

I don't think we are going to be throwing parties like this again. Maybe dinner parties, but not big parties - it isn't worth it and it isn't reciprocated by anyone. The whole point of parties is having fun - and I like doing it - but when nobody else does it in return it gets old. I guess I will post the pictures to our website later. My lunch hour is drawing to a close and I have to get back to the grind.

70 emails were waiting for me when I returned this morning. Not too bad. I was only away from the office four days that it was open and most people were out on vacation - so - that's not overwhelming. I didn't get the greatest news though, all the money I had requested from the federal government and the state never showed up. I emailed the state today and they sent the money. It's too late to be included in December business so it will look like we are $8M short, but whatever, right - not my fault.

My windshield is cracked and the crack is now across the entire bottom of it. It was a miere two inches long last Thursday when we drove to Wichita. When I went out there this morning the crack had expanded. So - time to set aside another $200 for windshield replacement. I need to email April and find out who that guy was she recommended to me last time. They came out and replaced my windshield while I was working in my building's parking lot.

The wind is howling here like a banshee but the sun is out and there isn't a cloud in the sky. So, overall it is a beautiful day. Yeah Kansas!

Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 12:51 PM CST
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Sunday, 23 December 2007
Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time
Mood:  bright
Topic: Being Happy

Do you recognize the title of the blog? If you do, you may be a kindred spirit - a Beatle fan through and through - especially if you love Paul. If you don't, well then, you need to google the Paul McCartney and the title and listen to this happy song. It is not your typical Christmas tune, yet it sums up what everyone is trying to capture or perhaps recapture. The video is on YouTube - ahhh, Sir Paul back when he was happy with his wife Linda. She doesn't seem so bad now that his latest wife has shown how terrible she is with the divorce and money grubbing. Boy, I wish Linda was alive to make him happy again.

Someone recently said that they weren't feeling Christmas-y yet. I can sort of understand that feeling. Yes, the season is rife with consumerism and commercialism. This year we have the added bonus of an upcoming Presidential election with the primary season beginning in less that two weeks - so - election ads have begun mixed in with those ads to come out to the mall and save 50% on your last minute Christmas items. Perhaps, it is the fact that the economy isn't as robust and economits and government treasury optomists would like us to believe? They tell us that we are technically not in a recession. A technical definition of a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative growth in a real Gross Domestic Product calculation. This would include any period of high rates of unemployment, interest rates, inflation, or other indicator is called a recession by politicans and media people. Well, it feels like a recession to many people. Gas prices are high. Food prices keep going up. So, people are starting to act like it is a recession. Could this be the reason people aren't feeling Christmas-y yet?

Well, as my husband just said walking by our Christmas tree on the way to the kitchen, "That's a lot of fucking Christmas presents!" Yes, I went overboard on Christmas this year. Perhaps I was personally trying to prevent the recession? Or, perhaps, I am excited that my in-laws are coming to celebrate the holidays with us this year? Or, perhaps I am excited that I finally get to use my china and sterling silver place settings for a special holiday meal? I feel Christmas-y and I just can't help it.

I am happy world - deal with it! It snowed six inches yesterday so my house looks like a giant gingerbread house covered in frosting. My husband and I cleaned a good majority of the house so it is neat and tidy, something that makes it easy for me to relax when company is coming. I still need to overall the kitchen but that's fine by me. All my shopping is done although Matt is running to Wal-Mart to pick up a few household things. I still have four presents to wrap - from my mother to the children - but they aren't all here yet. One's here, but the other three are supposed to show up tomorrow. Talk about last minute ay?

It doesn't matter - the children aren't here yet. We get them on Christmas day this year - and I am not about to be a bitch and ruin her Christmas like she did ours and pick the children up at 9am on Christmas day. We are going to wait until early afternoon before picking the children up from their mother's house. Even if she can't be courteous we can. See - I MUST be in a Christmas-y mood to be thinking kindly about picking up the children. Why? Well, normally it really bugs me that I have to wait around 45 minutes every other Friday before I can pick up the kids after getting off of work. I basically have nothing to do in Wichita for that time period. Normally, I just continue to work and then go get the children, no matter what I do during that time, it still means we don't get home before 7pm. The kids are home for all of two hours and then it is off to bed. Yeah, well, I know one hour doesn't make a difference, but somehow it does to me. If we got home by 6pm then we could at least eat dinner and watch a movie together before they go to bed. Okay - enough bitchin about something I have no control over.

Perhaps I am excited that it is finally Christmas because of all the really cool and thoughtful gifts I bought for everyone this year.

Here is what I bought Matt (for Christmas, Birthday, and our 5th year Anniversay) yes, they are all within a week of each other:

  1. Calvin Klein's Eternity Cologne (Anniversary)
  2. Hereos - Season 1 on DVD (Anniversary)
  3. Dragon Magazine Archive issues 1 - 250 on CD-Rom (Birthday)
  4. Planescape Campaign Setting AD&D (out of print/hard to find) (Birthday)
  5. Eileanan Witch Books 3 through 6 (Birthday)
  6. Vampire Bloodlines computer game (Birthday)
  7. PrismColor Pencil Set (all the colors they make) (Christmas)
  8. Hand blown Glass stacking presents ornament (Christmas)

"The Children" bought him the Looney Tunes Archive Collection volumes 2, 3, 4, and 5 for his birthday and Christmas. Pretty nice haul, don't you think?

We bought Michelle:

  1. A Revere Deluxe Sterling Silver Plated Flute
  2. Vintage pink chiffon party dress w/matching faux pearl & crystal necklace, bracelet and earrings
  3. Jethro Tull - Aqualung on CD
  4. Pewter and crystal butterfly ornament

We bought Kyle:

  1. Smithsonian Micro Chem Set XM5000
  2. Janice VanCleave's Biology For Every Kid 101 Easy Experiments That Really Work book
  3. Pirates of the Carribean Liars Dice game
  4. Scrabble ornament

Matt's parents bought the children a shared present - a Nintendo Wii, with a few video games that go with it. They also bought some Christian books that I don't know what they are called yet, they are still in the box of course since it isn't Chirstmas yet and they haven't been opened.

My mother bought:

Michelle: Library of Flute Classics sheet music book by Amy Appleby, and Game of Life - Pirates of the Carribean version

Kyle: Creepy Crawlies and the Scientific Method by Sally Stenhouse Knieidel's book, and Bionicles Video Game for Nintendo Wii

I feel safe saying what I got the children and Matt since they don't read my blog anyway. Now - I won't say what I got Ed, Debbie, Kayla and Deanna since they might. I know Ed reads this, so I'm not telling DAD!

So - Mele Kalikimaka, Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Frohliche Weihnachten, Buon Natale, Shinnen omedeto, Joyeux Noel, Shenoraavor Nor Dari, Vrolijk Kerstfeest, Linksmu Kaledu, Afvcke Nettvcakorakko, and En frehlicher Grischtdaag!

(Hawaiian, English, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, French, Armenian, Dutch, Lithuanian, Creek, and Pennsylvania German)

Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 10:58 AM CST
Updated: Sunday, 23 December 2007 11:43 AM CST
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Sunday, 2 December 2007
Christmas Has Officially Hit The House
Mood:  bright
Topic: Being Happy

Yes, it is true. Christmas has officially arrived and taken over our house. The tree is up as are some decorations around the dining room. Snowflakes are on most of the street facing windows although we have room for more. I think everyone's favorite will be Kyle's cubist snowflake - yes, utterly square. Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso watch out, because Kyle Robbins is hot on your trail! Wink He is certainly not contrained by the traditional round and pointy type snowflakes. Tradition be damned, right Kyle?

I have posted pictures of our Christmas decorating on the Robbin's Nest photo album, along with Disco Queen Michelle in her dress and platform shoes.

Now - I have a LOT of cleaning to do. There are boxes virtually in every room of the house from something we unpacked. Matt put together the new twin size futon lounger chair bed thing that goes under Michelle's loft bed. He also put together the new sitting room futon for Deanna to sleep on. The kids are still moving boxes into Michelle's closet to clean up the main area upstairs, but it should be ready for visitors by the time Matt's family arrives.

I need to figure out where we are going to put everything - like all the Christmas boxes until we need them again to put stuff away. Our closet is full,so they aren't going in there. I also have to find a place to store the new year's eve items until we need them. I think it might be time to revisit the butler pantry and kitchen - reorganization time is upon me. I still need to buy the other stainless steel table for the kitchen. There is just so much to do and I don't want to do it. Oh well - too bad, right? I have tons of filing I need to get done as well as just basic cleaning. The books are piling up and we just don't have the shelf space for them anymore. I need to devise something for all these books or we are going to be walking around stacks of them before I know it. I think that if there was such a thing as a paper magnet, out house would certainly be it.

I might need to just start throwing stuff away - which is so very hard to do. It always seems like the moment I throw something away I need it. It's happened a lot in the past and I think that is why I am a packrat of sorts. Why Matt is such a packrat, well, I don't know. But two packrats living together - wow - we fill up lots of storage space. And of course, it is the kind of stuff you don't want in either a basement or an attic or a garage. You just don't stick books and paper in those places! It is time for me to dedicate an entire day to filing. Perhaps I will bring the alphabetizer home from work to help me get everything sorted. Couldn't hurt.

OH MAN! I almost forgot. The personalized Christmas cards I ordered will be here in a week. I need to remind Kyle to bring his pictures to us. We have Michelle's, but apparently Kyle and his mother misplaced the pictures we ordered of him around their house somewhere. I've asked at least twice, we'll see what happens when Matt emails her about it. We'd like to include photos of the children in all the relatives Christmas cards. And I'd like to update the photos we have of the children on the piano and at my desk at work.

Okay - have you seen Ratatouille? If you haven't you must rent it and see it! We laughed so hard we almost cried. Matt had to rewind it in spots so we could see some of the expressions on the characters faces a few times. Also, the short film that comes with it called Lifted is side splittingly funny! Do I sound like some reviewer? I am totally serious. I haven't laughed so hard since the first time I saw Jack Jack Attack on the Incredibles DVD.

Oh man! I need to do laundry. Matt's been doing his today and well, I need to do mine, too. I'll poke him to get it finished so I can start mine. I have NO idea what I am going to wear tomorrow - as I have NO idea what the weather is going to be like. I do not like dressing for the short period of time I am outside only to be way overdressed for indoors where I spend most of my day. Which of course means LOTS of layers and such.

Note to self: must buy the necklace extenders so I can get rid of the giant paperclip. Just pick two out and buy them already! Also - look into tights, and compression leggings, or socks! Burr - winter is upon us!

Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 6:37 PM CST
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Wednesday, 19 September 2007
High on just Life in general
Mood:  happy
Topic: Being Happy

Well, it is just one of those days when everything is sorting itself into place. For that I am very grateful. Yes, I am very grateful for a great many things. To quote from one of Matt and my very favorite movies of all times, 'America's Sweethearts' , "I am grateful for the sun. I am grateful for the moon and the sky." and "Life is a cookie."

That last one has always gave me pause to think. Alan Arkin in his own special way gave that line an amazing sense of meaning while he fanned himself with a tiny branch of leaves and smelled them. Life is a cookie? Matt and I pondered that and laughed, and pondered some more. What the heck did that mean? Billy Crystal's face was precious at that moment, and he was expressing just what we, the audience, were thinking, too.

What does 'Life is a cookie' mean, if anything? Is life circular like a cookie? Is life filled with sweet spots (like chocolate chips) and the occasional nuts? Perhaps life is a cookie means that when you take a bite out of life you will inevitably leave crumbs? And yet, even those crumbs have some worth, because after all, they are cookie crumbs and who hasn't just drooled at the ice cream or frozen yogurt store when they spooned cookie crumbs onto your cup full?

Well, my life is a big gooey cookie right now, all warm and melty served up with a icy cold glass of milk. Yummy.

Anyway - good news from Ed - life with the teenager is normal as expected. Now is that really good news? Who has ever enjoyed life with teenagers? Well, not all are terrible. My step-father, Dan (curse his hide with blisters and may the fleas of a thousand bubonic infested camels come to live in his genital hair), used to say that he hated teenage girls. Being a teenage girl at the time - I felt the feeling was mutual. Even if he felt that way, he didn't need to say it to my face repeatedly. It certainly didn't help the situation. Besides he was an old fart and didn't have a clue, and didn't even try to understand me. Hey wait...isn't that true of most 50+ year old men and the teenage girls in their lives? Even if it is, I won't ever forgive THAT man. I can be a very forgiving person, but for him - nah, I think I'll pass on that forgiveness, turn the other cheek. I think even Jesus would understand that one. Yeah, beat my mother, verbally abuse me and my brother and have my dog's put to sleep to get back at my mother for leaving you and taking the furniture - yeah, he deserves the fleas and not one drop of forgiveness.

Okay - back to being happy, cause that's what I am.

Last night, Joey and Matt started a new adventure in my role playing world Rorschach. This was in preparation for tomorrow night when Ronda will be joining us as the fighter of the group. I have it worked out she will be hooking up with them at this archaeological dig that they are currently at - some ancient tomb. It is going to be so cool. I have got the plan all worked out with maps and Non-Playing Characters (NPCs) galore. This should be a really cool experience for Ronda who has never role-played before. I've made Joey promise to be nice. So, we will pick up some KFC and enjoy a fun evening of games.

The Excel Company across the street from my building is hosting a huge party for their employees right now. I can hear the Mariachi music drift up the six floors to me. They have a huge white tent in their parking lot and tons of people are milling around. They didn't do it last year, or if they did I wasn't around to see it, but as far as I know, it is supposed to be an annual thing. I think it is awesome that their company does something so special for their employees. It blows our stupid 'picnic' in our parking lot away! Yeah, whoever thought of dragging us all down to the breeze way parking lot in the middle of June (the busiest month of the year for financial services) to sit outside and listen to administrators blow smoke up our asses and hand out shitty prizes like lunch with the Superintendent and eat crappy ass food doesn't know a party from a tooth extraction. And believe me, both the picnic and the extraction are equally as painful! HA! So, I just don't go. I can certainly live without the flavorless sponge like sheet cake with gag-me whipped frosting.

I am thinking of throwing a costume party this new years eve. Last new years we had a party, but this year I'd like to do it a little more special. Either wearing masks or costumes or something - like a color - like a black and white party or something. I don't know. That will have to be on the 'to do' list. IF Shurree does move here it will be uber-fun to have someone to plan such a thing with.

Okay - time for me to get working soon - and the bathroom awaits. Peace and happiness to you all on this very special HUMP day - Yeah Wednesday! Cool

Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 12:13 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, 19 September 2007 12:15 PM CDT
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Thursday, 19 July 2007
Wide Awake To Greet The Day
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: Being Happy

So despite being utterly tired and wired on Pepsi, I am doing better today at least at this time of day than I was nine hours ago.

I remembered to take the drill and a screwdriver to work. My hutch is up over my desk and it starting to look somewhat like an office. I still have boxes everywhere and I fear it will take quite some time to get everything put away where I want it. Considering the maintenance guys haven't put my desk drawers together, I've done a good job at getting through at least three boxes of stuff. How did I get so much stuff?!!! What's scary is...I actually use all of it! No kidding!

I am going to do my best to make the office a nice place by the end of the day and then tomorrow I'll bring in the digital camera and take pictures to post on the photo album. I do have to say I have the nicest furniture of all the budget techs and pretty much the biggest office besides Ronda and Linda. I don't see it as being spoiled though, not in the least. I put up with a lot of discomfort in my old office at a desk that didn't work for me for over four years. Honestly, I felt it was my turn to get something nice. Jennifer got new furniture, then she got moved to my office and Kimmie got the new furniture. Elizabeth, Kim C and Kim Mc all got reclassified and although I have taken on more responsibilities, I haven't. I am not holding my breath on that one either.

Anyway, I don't want to sound bitter, I just am happy I got new furniture as some sort of compensation for having to move and not getting reclassified. Oh well. Water under the bridge and all that.

I need to bring in some more pictures of Kyle since I only have three of him and I have five of Michelle. I need to even that out a bit, although there are far more pictures of him on the website. Still, no favorite playing here!

Ahhhh...back to work.

Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 12:33 PM CDT
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Friday, 13 July 2007
Mood:  happy
Topic: Being Happy

Well, here it is July 2007 and I am already planning my vacation for the next year. I really have to plan ahead to consider the children’s visitation schedule and my various days I get off from work for federal and school holidays.


Something totally fun…a co-worker who is the Latchkey Director at College Hill saw the tie dye shirts on the website’s photo album and has asked the children and I to come be a part of their Tie Dye Day next summer. She has asked that we bring our shirts and do demonstrations and help the children do their shirts. I think this will be a wonderful experience and told her to put us down for that day. I’ve put a tickle reminder on my calendar and will have to make sure that we have the children on that day next summer.


I am planning on taking a whole week off this Christmas. Spring Break is a week off in March which is standard and I don’t have to use vacation days. What I really want to do is a houseboat trip to Lake Ouachita in Arkansas in July 2008. I had hoped the children would be able to come with us, but I don’t think they will if we plan to be gone for July 4th. They spent it with us this year which means next year we don’t get them for the 4th of July. I think they’d be really bummed out to learn we are going to go on a houseboat trip without them. Yet, with Matt’s very limited time off we have to plan his vacations around scheduled holidays to make the most of it. He gets all of one day a month of personal time that has to be used for vacation and sick.


I am looking at Hill’s Lake Escape again as they have very nice houseboats that outstrip any other ones I have been on or seen on websites. They make the ones on Lake Mead in Nevada look like trailer trash. It is expensive though for a week during the summer around that holiday. It’s basically $6,500 for seven nights Sun – Sun. I’ve worked out a plan for renting a six bedroom houseboat that comes with two full bathrooms, washer, dryer, frig w/ice maker, Jacuzzi and wet bar on the roof under a party awing, and a water slide. I’ve already recruited Joey who said he’s going to take a main deck cabin, just four more cabins and a couch to fill. I’ve put together a theme night menu which should be fun. I’ve learned a lot since I did the theme menu on the Delaware vacation and Sam’s Club will be helping a great deal on this trip. I won’t be making everything by hand from scratch as this isn’t about gourmet food; it is about fun and variety.


I am going to invite everyone I know to see if we can fill this boat with a diverse group of people. We are looking for an all adult trip – no children would be preferred – with everyone being between the ages of 21 – 40. Single or married doesn’t matter to us. We just want a group that is into the outdoors, swimming, fireworks, and partying. We might name this vacation “Cruisapalooza” – I’m not sure. I am contemplating getting t-shirts made for everyone that we can tie dye on the trip. I’ve got a fertile mind and a whole year to plan. Without having to bring the children we’ll be able to put the seat down in the back of the pathfinder and bring all kinds of cool things with us.

Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 6:39 AM CDT
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Friday, 16 February 2007
Flowers, fun, and being fabulous
Mood:  lazy
Topic: Being Happy
Can I be the most spoiled woman on earth? No, not with Paris Hilton running around making a slutty fool of herself. But I will claim the prestigious "Most Spoiled Woman of the House" award. My darling husband had two dozen long stemmed roses delivered to my office the day before Valentine's Day. He knew I had Friday off and wanted to make sure I could show my flowers off just as many days as the other ladies in my office could. These are HUGE roses and nearly toppled the clear vase they came in. Some stems are nearly as thick as my pinky finger. There were four white roses, for the four years we have been married. I carried a bouquet of white roses at our wedding. The rest of them were pink and red. Take a look at the picture

Along with the roses came a stuffed polar bear. I haven't decided on a name for the bear yet. He's just too cute with a red bow tie and all.

Last year Matt sent me two dozen long stem roses in a red vase. They were yellow, pink, peach, white and red. Never in ten years did Mike EVER buy me flowers. So, this makes two years in a row that he's bought me roses for Valentine's Day, which I am totally fine with getting. I love them actually. I don't need mega bucks diamonds. Heck, I'm just glad we finally have the money to buy presents for each other. At the start of our marriage, Matt was working and then soon was laid off due to Cessna's downsizing. Then his car was totaled by Joey - 2003 was basically terrible financially. 2004 he worked for the school district most of the year making half of what he made at Cessna and bringing nothing home during the summer as there was no school. So, if it wasn't one thing then it was another. Finally in 2005 when we were finally becoming financially secure I said no to presents at all that year because we were saving to buy the house.

Well, 2006 started the trend of being back to a normal reality for us. Thank you powers of the universe for that. And that is how I became the "Most Spoiled Woman of the House".

I bought him a new video game he's wanted for a while called Marvel's Ultimate Alliance. The player puts together a four member strike team choosing from 20 Marvel superheros (Spiderman, any of the X-men, Captain America, etc.) and they go off to save the world of course. He loves video games. I bought him Neverwinter Nights 2 for Christmas and it was slightly disappointing. He got Icewind Dale for his birthday, and the Bard's Tale (new version and old version) for our Anniversary. I keep him pretty stocked up on the gaming stuff. Why not, he has the ultimate gaming computer or didn't I say so in my very first blog entry! *wink*

Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 11:24 AM CST
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