Friday, October 31, 2008

Working is so overrated!!!

It's 10:31 am (central time). I've been here since 8:00, and I'm now finally sitting down at my computer to work.

Well, that is, if you consider blogging working.

No one here has any motivation to be productive. It's Friday, it's going to be 70 degrees and sunny, it's Halloween......and, well....we just don't feel like doing anything. :-)

My cough is mostly gone, finally. This is actually the first day that I haven't sounded like an 80 year women who took up smoking unfiltered Camels on her 13th birthday. I may actually survive the plane ride tomorrow, without my sinuses exploding while the pilot is trying to reach cruising altitude.

We have everything packed and ready. I just have to charge the laptop and pack the toiletries...then we're ready to go. Normally, we'd be doing all that tonight (the night before departure)...but Robin and Aaric are coming over after work - so we actually got it all done early. Can you believe that???

Our newest addiction TV show (Ghost Hunters) is running a 7 hour live investigation, so we'll be tuned in to it for sure.

(Thanks Mel! now we're addicts. But to keep the tradition alive, we've spread the addiction to Robin and Aaric.)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Eerie coincidence?

A month or so ago, I was flipping around the television, looking for something to watch. I happened upon an awards show that I'd never heard of before. ALMA (American Latino Media Awards) was formed in 1995 to honor Hispanic performers and promote positive images of Hispanics in entertainment.

When I turned it on, they were doing one of those longer award presentations. You know the ones.....a lifetime achievement of some sort or other. The woman they were talking about didn't look familiar to me, but I kept watching, waiting for them to say her name again.

Linda Ronstadt.

Of course I recognize the name, but I was never really introduced to her music as a child, so I'm not completely familiar with her work. She's one of those artists.......the ones where if one of her songs played, I could probably sing along...but would have no idea who was singing it.

When I hear her name, I think of mainstream, billboard hit music. But that night she was being honored for her jump from mainstream rock, to a mariachi album. She'd always wanted to do one, and basically told her music label to support her on it, or she was done. Good for her!!!!

Anyway, on to the coincidence. That night (I kid you not), I laid down in bed and pulled the current book I was reading from my nightstand. In this book, the detective walks into a dry cleaners, looking for a person she wanted to question. The writer mentions the Hispanic ladies working in the back, and how they were listening to Linda Ronstadt.

Had I not JUST seen the awards show, the reference would not have made nearly as much sense to me.

Today, I got a little more schooling on our dear Linda. On this day, in 1984, she made her operatic debut performing in 'La Boheme.'

What didn't this woman do??? I had to look it up. She was in rock, country, mariachi, folk rock, Mexican canciones, Latin music, she has an album of rock songs done as lullabies, she did a Cajun album, and was also an operatic singer???

Who knew? (well, probably quite a few others, I know, I'm a bit behind the times)

Why did they not mention this in history class?

There are days I wish I had gone to a larger school district. Mainly because they offered classes I wasn't able to take. I always assumed, although, that the classes my school DID teach were comparable to those in the bigger cities. Was I wrong?

On this day in 1945, the US government announced the end of shoe rationing.

I knew there were all kinds of rationing programs going on, of course. But I have never heard anyone mention the shoe rationing before. Fellow bloggers, was this mentioned in your history classes?

I'm not sure why this little tidbit has triggered a curiosity in me. I mean, I guess I love shoes as much as the next shoe connoisseur. (OK, really I'm not a shoe freak, but as I've lost weight, I find I can wear the crazy shoes I used to wear in high school and college. Walking around in 3 in narrow heels is a bit uncomfortable when you weigh as much as I did, not too long ago.

This rationing really makes allot of sense when you think about it - troops need footwear, plain and simple. So I find it amazing it was never mentioned. From what I can find online, each American was only allowed three pairs of shoes purchased per year. For most men I know, that is how many they buy in 5 or even 10 years. :-)

(although, don't tell Mot that I told you...but he has a ton of shoes - well, actually boots...but it's the same thing) :-)

In 1943, the government made the announcement without any warning, to prevent a rush on shoe stores to stock up before the ration was put into effect. In fact, to make the shoe rationing work better, rules were put in place to manufacture on ugly, basic shoes. Thus, making them less enticing to buy.

In 1944, the shoe rationing rules were relaxed so more attractive shoes could be produced. The same article says "In lifting the restrictions, WPB's motive is to protect dealers by giving them fresh merchandise so they will not be caught with shelves full of drab wartime shoes when rationing ends."

You learn something new everyday!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Curses Depo and the person that invented it!!!

This afternoon I was looking through my "this day in history" website, as I do here and there when I remember.

I'm scrolling down the list of events, and come across one that makes me want to throw my stapler at the fluorescent lights buzzing above my head. (Or something equally as noisy and messy!)

1992 - Depo Provera, a contraceptive, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Ugh, I curse this drug and the person that invented it!!!!!!

For those of you that don't know what it's a birth control shot, given every 3 months. It also basically eliminates your monthly horrors. (if you know what I mean)

This shot is the reason I'm so miserable in life!!!!! I was a size 6 before getting my first shot. In under 9 months, I was a size 18 (but only wore a 16, because I refused to buy yet another larger sized pair of jeans). Yes, from a 6 to an 18 in 9 months. There are pregnant women that don't gain that much weight!!!!

I had (have) stretch marks from it....and the lowest self-esteem ever recorded in history because of it.

The first shot and 3 month time frame went well. A little weight gain, but my doctor told me some people will gain 5 pounds, some even as much as 10 pounds when starting the shot. So, I gained some, and I started eating less and working out more to help with it. (it did no good, but I kept thinking how much worse it would have been if I hadn't)

I got my second shot three months later...but that was when I noticed that the weight just kept coming, no matter what I did. There were also other side effects showing up....but I'll keep this post non-graphic. :-)

I talked to my doctor at my next appointment (now 6 months after the first shot). She couldn't believe the difference in me, in just a few short months.

Suffice it to say, I didn't get a third shot. She was pretty concerned with what was happening, and wanted to see if things improved after stopping. We made an appointment for 3 months later, to check back and see if things had improved.

I continued to gain weight, by leaps and bounds, those 3 months, but it did start to slow down that final month (9 months after having the first shot).

So, there I was....overly fat, depressed, and still a newlywed. It's a wonder I made it through it alive, really!!!!! My hubby deserves a medal, and a big hug!!!!

I've never gotten heavier than I was at that moment, but that weight stayed on a long time. Heck, allot of it's still there.

So, curses to the doctors that came up with this drug!! You should all hide in you bedrooms and never come out again!!!!!!

Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam.....

Hello blog-land...let me introduce you to our buddy Aaric. (Robin's Aaric for those that are regular readers.)

Lov-el-y Spam, wonderful Spam

You're singing the song now...aren't you??? You know you's ok to admit it. :-)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Mot and the Keyboard

A phone call I received at work this morning.

Mot "Um, Jen.....I left a glass of water on the desk upstairs last time I was up here."
Me "And this is news how? You always leave stuff up there."
Mot "Not usually with anything still in them."
Me, to myself, not out loud "yes, yes you do honey, but your wife is the one bringing them downstairs"
Me, out loud "whatever, so....."
Mot "so, the cats spilled the water, but it's not as bad as it could be"
Me "uh huh"
Mot "the keyboard is fried, it has power, but none of the keys do anything"
Me "uh huh"
Me, to myself, not out loud "so, that keyboard that you've been aching to replace, has just been ruined so you have to replace it....hmmmmm"
Me, out loud "so, the good news is that I can officially throw any dishes I find up there, from now on, directly AT YOU?"
Mot "pretty much"

I'm not saying that he has been leaving glasses full of water, in the hopes that exactly this would happen. The guilt would kill him. But still....taking liquids up there, in non cat-proofed containers, is a risk. And this risk happened to turn out in favor for Mot. :-) :-)

(Sheila, do you remember that keyboard you were looking at getting, but couldn't justify it because it's geared more towards first-person shooter games?? Yeah, well that's the one he was heading out to buy this morning. ) :-)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Allergies are horrible, but friends make them so much easier to deal with!!!

Friday am, I woke up to find I had no voice...none, zip, zilch, nada! I coughed and hacked for 20 minutes just to get enough of a squeak so I could call in to work. Basically, I still felt fine, but this throat thing was really worrying me.

After reading online, the symptoms sounded exactly like strep, and I didn't want to take it to work with me.

When Mot got home, he called the doctor's office for me to set up an appt.

In my appointment that afternoon....they did blood work and strep tests. You know the one? Where the stick that really long Q-tip hallway down your throat. Ugh!!! wasn't strep, thank goodness. No, it was a viral infection of the vocal cords. I was supposed to be traveling to Des Moines to participate in a breast cancer run...and didn't want to infect the house I was staying in. When I asked her if I was contagious, this is what she told me.

"As long as you aren't sharing spoons, and wiping your vocal cords on people, you will be fine."

She's a cool want her to be your doctor now, don't you??? :-)

So, with most of the afternoon gone, I decided I didn't really want to go in to work for 2 hours, and I may we well get ready to head out.

The drive to Des Moines was nice. It was raining off and on the whole way, and the clouds looked like spring weather threatening tornadoes. I tried to take a pic, but it just didn't capture the creepiness of the sky. :-)

Once in Des Moines...Mel, Sheila and I ran to Wally World to drop of Sheila's car for a tire repair, went to Panchero's for dinner (burritos as big as your head), then back to Wally World for groceries and to pick up the car.

They really shouldn't let us loose in this store alone. I keep saying it, and they keep letting us in. :-)

We left with groceries and a Halloween gingerbread house kit. I got a red scarf and a red Mad Bomber/Elmer Fudd Hat.

Between my donald duck voice and Sheila's over-caffeinated state....people were looking at us. (probably didn't help that I was wearing my red scarf and hat while walking through the store)


Mel and I left the house about 7:30 or so the next morning, to go to the run. (my voice was better, but my nose had started to run....allergies, man I hate them!!!)

She had to take me to her favorite muffin place, for chocolate (cream cheese filled) muffins. We thought better of eating them before the walk though. :-)

From what I'm told, roughly 22,000 people were in attendance at the walk/run this year.

Including people in pink tutus. :-)

So many people in fact, that we were neither walking, nor running. We were inching along as if waiting in line at the DMV.

Our walking with the crowd lasted all of 30 minutes = 1/2 a mile, if that!!! Mel and I (who both love crowds more than life itself - ha!) decided to break away.

No, we didn't take off running the route, no we didn't weazel our way through the crowd to an open place.

We merely didn't turn, when the course did. We kept walking straight....right down to the farmer's market actually.

Mel took me to her favorite place to eat at the market. I got a crab Rangoon (yummy)...and she got some sort of boiled bread ball...stuffed with veggies and such. I cannot, for the life of me, remember what the darn thing was called. Mel, post a comment with the name, would ya? :-)

After the race, we went to a local grocery store, for supplies we'd forgotten the night before, and meat for making jerky.

Back at their house, Mel and I changed out of our race clothes...then went down to the basement to play some Rockband!!!!

Sheila finished what she had been working on while we were at the race, and came down to see what we were doing. The three of us loaded ourselves into Mel's truck and headed out. Our first destination...lunch!!! Sheila and I were craving protein, so off to Outback we went. The sign on the door says they open at's was 1:30. The doors were open, so Mel went in to check it out. Seems the place was full of people eating. Maybe they meant 2:00 Pacific time?

Our final destination...Sheila's favorite store. I bought a garnet ring, and a green garnet rough stone. (after looking these up later that weekend - I found that they traditioonally have healing properties...specifically to reduce inflammation and help sore throats - funny eh?)

Once back at the house, Mel started slicing the meat we'd bought for jerky, and I got online for seasoning recipes. It actually turned out pretty good. The turkey was a little dry, but we weren't sure how long to leave it on. The beef was perfect.

Mike, their son (who avoided going out with the 'grown ups' most of the weekend) was happy to see us back and joined us on the back deck. Mel was making a fire and checking the status on our jerky.

The Cortez house loves to cook, and this weekend was no exception. Routisserie chicken, corn casserole, garlic mashed potatoes and green beans. I died and went to comfort food heaven!!!!

While the food was cooking, Sheila and I ran out to get a couple of movies to watch. The Eye and 1408. (Mel requested scary movies. We all have a love/hate relationship with horror films.)

We put them in after dinner. Sheila occupied her mind by playing solatair on her iPod, I watched most of the movie through my fingers, and Mel pulled her hoodie up over her head. What a sight we must have been!!!

Mel thinks her basement is creepy...but I've never gotten a bad vibe from it....not once. She walked down there with me after our movies, and we hung out and talked for quite some time.

#1 we were both wide awake
#2 she wanted me to not be spooked
#3 she wanted to not go to bed spooked herself

All valid reasons in my book!!! :-)

Health update: I had, by this time, completely drained one large size box of Kleenex, and had started on another. The voice was pretty good, but the nose WON'T STOP RUNNING. I had actually started carrying a plastic grocery bag around with I didn't have to keep walking to the garbage can every two seconds. How can one nose produce so much crap??? I just don't get it!!!!

The next morning, Mel made her yummy breakfast dish. While she was preparing and cooking it, Sheila and I opened the Halloween gingerbread house kit. I'm not sure how long we worked on it - maybe an hour. The people that did the one on the box cheated....they cheated alot!!! They used actually cake piping tools, they used frosting that didn't smoodge down the sides of their castle. But, all in all, ours didn't look too bad, when it was completed. :-)

After breakfast, I packed up my bag, and drove me and my Kleenex box back to Omaha. There were actually high wind adviseries....and with good reason. If it had been any colder, and any moisture in the air.....there would have been many accidents everywhere. It was crazy windy!! :-)

Once home, I put on comfy clothes, got a plastic grocery sack, my box of kleenex....and laid on the couch the rest of the day. The nose wasn't running as badly...but a cough had developed. That crap in my throat was finally breaking up. Ugh! :-)

I'm here, I'm alive, No worries!!!

Mondays, don't you just love em???

(sorry, I'll give you a minute to wipe the dripping sarcasm from your computer screen)

I have a post for this weekend....but have been too tired and icky to write it.

I think I'll sit down on the couch tonight, in my tshirt, yoga pants, red comfy robe (Xmas gift from Mot this last year - LOVE it!!!!), my laptop, a bowl of mac and cheese (serious comfort food), a large glass of milk, my third box of Kleenex for the weekend, and blog away. :-) :-)

I did have a little excitement today at work. A number of months ago, Omaha was plagued with a handful of tornadic attacks upon the city. Our place of business was not spared in the carnage of downed trees. This morning, a crew finally showed up to remove the dead leftovers, and trim up the living trees still existing.

(don't judge how long it took them to get's a big city, and everyone had damage to clean up)

I was most excited to see that our lawn was the training ground for a new tree remover person.

After watching 10 minutes of 'how to tie a knot' training, the trainee climbed into his climbing belt and went to work.

OK, that made it sound like he's understood what he was wasn't that simple...not at all!!!

After 10 minutes of him shaking his head, I'm not sure how his supervisor actually thought he understood. I don't have kids, but I know the "yeah, yeah, I get it, I get it. Can I climb the tree now?" head shakes. The poor boy didn't have a clue. And then, just watching him try to put his legs through the leg holes of his safety/climbing harness....oh my gosh!! Does the guy have help putting his pants on in the morning too??

Alright, I'm done being mean.

No, really...I am. (maybe)

The tree he was told to work on isn't very tall....for a tree. I mean, it's not short, but it's not a redwood or cottonwood either. It took this poor kid over 30 minutes to hoist himself up to the MID POINT!!!! He'd inch up a little...then sit there and rest. Inch up...repeat. Every once and a while, he wouldn't get his rope fastened correctly, and lose ground.

I felt sorry for the poor kid, swinging in the tree like a pinata.

His supervisor is the most patient human I've ever seen at work. The guy HAS to be getting paid by the hour, that's the only way he didn't just pull the kid down and do it himself!!!!

I successfully fought the urge to open my window and cheer when he made it to his destination. (I get brownie points for being good, right?)

I can say, after 45 minutes in this tree...that under no circumstances should our dear tree trimming trainee take it up as a career. He does NOT possess the monkey tree climbing gene. He was shaking, nervous, unsure of himself....and making me a NERVOUS WRECK just watching him.

Yes, yes, I should have been working. But I didn't want to miss the part where he falls out and hits the ground.

OK, I'll be nice....I swear.

Our whole office (because I'd told everyone what was going on, and had gathered by my window to watch) cheered when the guy got the tree trimmed and had safely arrived to the ground, on two legs!!!

Thank you tree-trimming people, for giving me something to watch out my window this fine Monday morning!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


TOKYO - A 43-year-old Japanese piano teacher's sudden divorce from her online husband in a virtual game world made her so angry that she logged on and killed his digital persona, police said Thursday.

She used his identification and password to log onto popular interactive game "Maple Story" to carry out the virtual murder in mid-May, a police official in northern Sapporo City said on condition of anonymity, citing department policy.

"I was suddenly divorced, without a word of warning. That made me so angry," the official quoted her as telling investigators and admitting the allegations.

The woman had not plotted any revenge in the real world, the official said.

She was charged with illegal access onto a computer and manipulating electronic data, police said. If convicted, she could face a prison term of up to five years or a fine up to $5,000.

As in "Second Life" in the U.S., players in "Maple Story" raise and manipulate digital images called "avatars" that represent themselves, while engaging in relationships, social activities and fighting against monsters and other obstacles.

The woman used login information she got from the 33-year-old office worker when their characters were happily married, and killed the character. The man complained to police when he discovered that his beloved online avatar was dead.

The woman was arrested Wednesday and was taken across the country, traveling 620 miles from her home in southern Miyazaki to be detained in Sappporo, where the man lives, the official said.


Arrested for a virtual murder. I truly think they should virtually arrest the virtual murderer. There could be a virtual trial, and a virtual hanging...or firing squad. (ok, I'll stop now)

These things rock

Impossible to see the name, without singing it. Riiiiicolaaaaaa!


I woke up this morning, and knew that today was the day I needed to be a shit.

We all have those days. Don't we?? The days where you just can't control yourself.

Maybe it's the weather (raining for 3 days now - love it!!!), maybe it's temperature (glorious highs in the 50's - love it!!), or maybe it's just because I haven't been a shit in a while, and I'm due???

My excuse today, a sore throat.

Yesterday was pretty darn miserable. I felt fine, but my throat had another story to tell. I finally broke down and borrowed some berry flavored cough drops from Robin. Mainly, I just needed to keep my throat lubricated, but was going to float away if I drank any more fluids. :-)

On my way home, I stopped at Wally World (Walmart) and bought a buffet of cold medications, one of which needed picked up behind the prescription counter. I gave the lady my ID, my SSN, signed over my first born, the title to my car, and $400 million dollars. :-)

Mot had tacos waiting for me when I got home. Yummy!!!!! Good thing I married a guy that loves to cook, or I'd starve. Or eat mac and cheese every night.

(You'd think I'd get sick of the stuff after surviving college on it....but still has a place in my heart and tummy!!)

After eating, I sat down on the couch to watch the Biggest Loser (thanks msnbc, for ruining it, I already knew who was going home)...then a couple episodes of Ghost Hunter, and one episode of Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency (this falls under my train wreck TV category).

Once I determined my brain was officially mush, I took some Tylenol PM (NyQuil, eat your heart out!!), and went to bed.

I woke up this morning feeling quite good actually. Granted, the only thing that felt bad the day before was my throat. Overall, besides the throat, I felt great. This morning was pretty much the same. In fact, my throat wasn't even as bad. Yippee!!!

Mot came in after his shower and asked me a question. I can't really explain the noise that came out of my mouth in reply. It was this adolescent boy sounding screech of a noise.

Uh oh....voice is gone. Hmmmm.....I feel fine, but a lost voice is immediate 'excuse to not go to work' material. The sick call alone sounds horrible. All I'd have to do it say the words, "I'm not coming in," and everyone at work thinks "wow, she's sick...good thing she's keeping those germs at home."

Unfortunately, my good work ethic (and fear - no, scratch that....terror of Karma) got me out of bed and into the shower. Hooray responsibility!!!

So now I'm at work...staring at a piece of paper...with a scowl on my face. Our quality director wants us to fill out some broad, generalized, waste of time sheet...listing our job duties. This same piece of paper was on my desk months ago. I printed out my job description from the quality files (yes, they already have my job description in their files...I will NEVER understand that department!!!). Anyway....I printed it out, and attached it to this sheet with the words "see attached" on it.

Turns out they didn't except my attempt to avoid this horrible waste of time, red tape, bullsh*t!!!! They have specifically asked me to write my job description on this new sheet, using my own words.

I've eliminated the names of people...but here is what I wrote on my sheet.

Oversee all aspects of the {client's name} account. Duties include the between {our company's name} and {client's name}, quoting, management of shipping, production, procurement and scheduling of {client's name} jobs, fortune telling, habitual lying, mind reading, butt kissing, wrist slashing, binge drinking, in-house psychiatry, refrigerator stocking, toilet paper replacing, babysitting, romper room supervision, responsible gossip filtering, misc quality duties {quality director's name} is paid to do, and any other duties assigned.

I think it will go over smashingly, what do you think????

I sent a copy to Mot at work. His response....."if you turned that in, you are a goddess."

Isn't the corporate world fun????? :-)


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Recipes from my past (Peanut Butter Mug Puddle)

I'm not a cook.

I'm not a chef.

My signature dish is Mac and Cheese.

(signature dish? I've been watching Hell's Kitchen reruns, sorry!)

I love to bake, but don't do it.

(Why? Then the baked goods are in the house, ripe for eating. Ugh!)

I'm the pickiest eater in the world.

(Well, maybe not THE pickiest. I've met a few worse than I...and I really feel for them. It's a horrible disease.)

Peanut Butter - creamy - not crunchy.

(Smooth food should not have little landmines of crunch. It's just wrong. Was that a peanut chunk, or some foreign substance that should not be in my peanut butter? You just never know!!!)

Miracle whip - not mayo.

Ketchup, but it has to be Heines. Hunts is horrible!!!!

Carrots - cooked, not raw.

(And preferably pulverized into my mashed potatoes, so I really don't have to taste them.)

Green beans rock...especially with bacon and onion. :-)

Any-who.....I'd better get back to the recipe.....all this food talk is making me hungry!!!

A friend of mine showed this to me in high school, so I won't take credit for the creation. I will, on the other hand, take credit for it's publicity and marketing. :-)

Peanut Butter Mug Puddle (by Tiffany Hall)

Take a mug, put a big scoop of peanut butter in it. Then take a squeeze bottle of ice cream chocolate sauce and squirt a bunch in the mug. Fill mug with milk. Place in microwave for 1 -2 minutes (depending on how new or old your microwave is). Stir and Drink

It tastes like a liquid peanut butter cup!!!! Is there anything better?

The rainy day today made me think of it....and I've been craving one every since.

Try it, and let me know how you like it.

Those were the days...

My best bud Mel and I were talking this morning about her finally signing up for those Taekwondo classes that she loved and misses. And it got me thinkin.....

When I was in junior high, my best friend talked me into joining her karate class in Omaha. Her parents took Kendo classes Saturday mornings, and Rachel wanted someone to come along. (Not only did she want someone to take the class with her, she also wanted someone to hang out with while her parents went through their class.)

I loved it, instantly!!!!

Senei was a 60+ year old, short, intimidating man from Okinawa. There were no boys and girls in his classes...we were all merely students. If the boys could do it, Rachel and I (the only 2 gals) were expected to do it just as well, if not better. It's crazy how well I could do a push up when I got out of those classes....and it's sad how badly I can't do one now to save my soul!! :-)

One week was lessons of 100. Everything we did, we did 100 of them. I never knew how many ways there were to do push ups until that day. We did at least 5 or 6 different kinds....100 of each. All of our drills, 100 times. All the while, counting to 100 in Okinawan.

I studied dance for 18 years. This particular year, we were working on a huge kick-line finale for our spring show.

(look for me all you want, I found this pic online, and I'm not in it)

Anyway, at one point in the dance, every other person was to be facing the back (kicking), while the other half kicked to the front. Then we'd switch.

When we turned to kick to the back....I realized how close I was to the wall. BAM!!! Broke the 4 little toes on my right foot. So not cool! :-(

I went to karate class that weekend, and no one ever knew I had 4 broken toes. I didn't want to show my weakness to Sensei. (if I did that same thing now, I'd have come in on crutches and hopped up on pain pills - isn't youth cool?)

A few months later, just as we had all gotten changed and into the workout area, he asked his assistant to go into the two locker rooms, and turn out all the lights. Then he asked us to go in and change into our street clothes, without turning on the lights.

The locker rooms were in the middle of the building, no windows, no outside light whatsoever.

Rachel and I went in, changed, and came out. (all the while hurrying as much as we could, our mission was to beat the boys at everything they did)

There were no boys present when we returned to the main area of the dojo. In fact, it was quite some time before any of them started to appear. And they only appeared because Sensei sent his assistant in to rush them along.

What came out of that locker room door will be a mental image I will never forget!! Those boys were wearing each other's clothing.....some too big, some too small. They were missing a sock here, a shoe there. All to teach them a lesson.

It turns out, the boys locker room is trashed every week. Sensei had seen the mess, and it didn't go over well with him.

(surprise, surprise)

He is the man that was teaching us about manners, and keeping order in the world.

If it took us 15 minutes to fold our Gi, because he wanted it done an exact certain way...then there's no way he liked what he saw in that locker room. :-)

Rachel's parent's class participated in a foreign student hosting program through the Dojo. For two weeks, she had a sumo wrestler from Japan staying at her house. I can't remember his name, but he was the nicest guy!!!

(A nice guy, overwhelmed by the availability of fresh apples and Levis.)

One night, he gave me a piece of candy. I'll compare it in size,appearance, and packaging to a Jolly Rancher.

Size, appearance, and packaging are tricky things. Very.....very.......tricky.

I put it in my mouth, not knowing what to expect. It was purple or blackish in color. Because of that, my mind went to grape or licorice.


It was seaweed.

No, not seaweed was actual seaweed. I had it in my mouth for a good 10 seconds and then it exploded. OK, maybe it wasn't an explosion, but it was horrible!!!!!

The thing grew in my mouth, and tendrils of seaweed unfolded. All of a sudden, I had a plant from my fish aquarium in my mouth. OMG!!!!!!!!

This gentlemen was also the first person to serve me Alligator for dinner. It actually wasn't too bad....but you can bet I asked I kinds of questions before eating it. I didn't trust him after the whole seaweed incident. :-)

Sensei left America about a couple years of me taking classes with him. His mother was very ill, and he went home to take care of her.

An ex-marine named Bob took over the studio. I left not long just wasn't the same!!!

My big, fat, Greek dinner

There is a Greek restaurant not too far from our house. Mot and I love it. It's nothing fancy, it's not that big a place....but the food is pretty darned good.

(think As I was leaving work last night, I got a text from Mot...telling me he was at Jim and Jennie's with our buddy Sterley....."you should come by."

Sterley is his last name, and I call him Sterley-mahn (use a Jamaican accent when you say it out loud). Sterley is a good buddy of Mot's from years back....and moved back into Omaha not that long ago. He called out of the blue, and we're now trying to make sure and eat out, or go see a movie, with him once a week or so. (and because of that, I can officially blame my growing waist line and shrinking checking account on him)

This is him, looking all dapper and debonair.

While we were waiting on our food to arrive, Sterley was telling about the yoga classes he's taking. Last time we got together, I asked him for the name of the place. (Since cancelling the gym membership I never used anyway, I've been looking for a yoga studio near our house...with a good instructor, and an even better price.) I looked the studio up online, and had some more questions for him last night.

You see, the place he goes specializes in exotic dancing. Belly dancing, pole dancing, exotic dancing, and yoga. I have two hesitancies with going to a class there.

#1 - hello, exotic dancing is her main money maker...these women are going to be skinny, skinny, skinny

#2 - one of the thing she says on her website about yoga wardrobe - no loose fitting clothes, it drapes unattractively during yoga (yeah, like you're ever going to see me in anything BUT loose fitting clothing!!)

Sterley assured me that women as every size participates, and they are wearing their sweats just like everyone else in the world. So....I think I might just go check it out. :-)

By then, dinner arrived....the boys each had a gyro of some sort...and I ordered the Souvlaki platter. Pork and peppers skewed and grilled...and a side of greek potatoes. Yummy!!!! (now I really need a yoga class!)

And, what Greek dining blog entry is complete without a statue of a dude wielding a sword and a bronze cup?? (hehe)

After dinner, we went home and cleaned the house. It's not that our place is ever really just needed picked up, and wiped down. Dishes, laundry, sweep, know, the boring stuff you have to do weekly, or those cat-hair dust bunnies will carry you away!!!! :-)

'night folks!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Not much to say

Me, with nothing to say? I know, it's crazy!!! But...sadly, it's true.

Yesterday at work - pretty boring.
Last night after work - pretty boring.
Today at work - pretty boring.

How does a person, who blogs about her life, handle it when her life is not worth writing about?

(hang on....I only meant the last few days......suicide watch not necessary)

One bit of good news though. A really close friend of mine, from my college internship days, re-entered my life today.

We were very, very close....but life pulled us in different directions.

She sent me a text message today. I answered, and we've been emailing back and forth all day.

She is one of those friends you have, that you may not get to talk to for a year or so at a time....but when you do, you pick it up from where you left off. It's as though you saw her the day before. There is always some weird, cosmic reason for us to contact each other.

About 3 or 4 years ago, we needed a person hired for customer service work. I thought the job sounded like something she'd enjoy, so I gave her a call. She had been laid off from her job the day before. The day before!!! I hadn't talked to her in a couple years, and had no way of knowing. Creepy!

Today, as we were talking, she asked me why I go by KayakNej, and if it means I do any kayaking. She asked, because she had seen people kayaking this weekend...and really thought it looked like fun. She told her friend that she wished she knew someone that did it, so she could try it.

I also told her about my wanting to try the sport of Curling. She couldn't believe it! She had watched a show about curling last night, and wondered who would actually do that for fun.

OK, the job example is more WAY interesting than the curling story....but what I'm trying to say is....this is how it is with us.

One day I called her, and she was actually in the process of looking up my phone number in a phone that exact instant. We hadn't talked in months.

One day, Mot and I were talking about her as we walked through WalMart. We were wondering what she was up to, since we hadn't talked to her in years. Literally, right around the corner from where we were.....there she was.

The world works in mysterious ways.

(thus ends my incredibly boring post, my apologies)

Monday, October 20, 2008


I did it, I gave in, I folded, I threw in the towel, I called in backup.....

I asked Mot to make sure I get up when my alarm goes off to work out in the morning. It's suicide, I know, but it will do the trick.

He's evil, he's mean....and he'll not let me go back to sleep after that alarm goes off, guaranteed.

Drastic times, call for drastic measures!!!!!!

He hates, no HATES that snooze button of mine.

There are two alarms on my alarm clock. I set one for the mornings I'm going to get up early, and I have one set for the absolute latest I can get up and still make it to work on time. Lately, I've been setting the first alarm. I hit the snooze three of so times...then shut it off, and turn on the second alarm. Some mornings, I think he's going to kill me for it. :-)

Mot gets up when the alarm goes off. It only has to go off once, and he's up.

I like to set my alarm to go off earlier than I need it to, so I can hit the snooze. It feels like I'm stealing more sleep from the night. I know it's silly, I know it's crazy.....but I do it. :-(

His job was pretty easy this morning though. When my alarm went off, I knew he'd be relentless, so I just went ahead and got up on my own. I can promise you, his job won't be that easy in the future....the fear of him waking me up will soon diminish, and I'll be at his mercy. :-)

Not only did I get up to workout this morning.....Mot ended up coming down to lift weights and such, while I was down there. I had one of the chickiest of chick flicks on the TV when he came down. But, he actually found himself interested in the movie while he was working out. That is, until he realized what he was doing. :-)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Scary Acres

I love haunted houses. They scare the crap out of me. Well....they usually do. :-)

Robin asked if Mot and I would go with her and Aaric to a haunted house. I haven't been to one in years....and thought it'd be fun. (I don't know that the guys felt the same way, but they ended up having a good time as well!)

The three of us didn't have much of a chance to be scared. We spent the night laughing at Robin, jumping out of her skin over...and over...and over...and over. My throat hurts and I have a headache from laughing so hard. Mot took some advil when we got home. :-)

Poor Robin. We made her lead our group, because it was her idea to go....and most importantly, we all wanted to be behind her, to see the show.

She didn't let us down!!!! :-)

The people working in the different attractions were really not paying a whole heck of a lot of attention to us.....while Robin had an imaginary bulls eye on her back!!

(Could be that she was walking in the fetal position, something I'd never seen done before.)

We were there for an hour and a half....30 minutes of that was probably spent in line. But, the evening was well worth the money. I LOVE haunted houses!!!!!

(Robin and Aaric in line for the castle, being blinded by my camera flash.)

There were 4 attractions at the park this year.

1) The Dark Forest - pretty much what it sounds like. A path through the woods....with people (zombi-ish) wandering around. People jumping out. Good stuff.

Robin was walking along, with 4 of these actors following her - she was a scare magnet!!! At one point, the dude is right behind close as can be without touching her. Sniffing her hair and generally just freaking her out. She's got her hands over her ears so she can't hear what he's saying.....finally she stops, mid step. AFTER she stops she says "OK, I'm stopping." Did I mention she said it AFTER she stopped. The dude ran into the back of her. As we're leaving the forest (Robin still has actors following her - I think they sent the message out to others "we've got a live one here!") guy says to me "she's a fun one!"

We had another group of 2 people sent through with our group. They followed us to the castle, so they could be in our group again. Seems we're a fun bunch to go with. :-)

2) Master's Castle (newest attraction, and definitely the best!!!) This had everything a good haunted house should have. Entry through a fireplace, awesome actors, great set decoration, hallways that wind around while getting narrower and narrower and shorter and shorter (all in the pitch black), chainsaws, and equipment that shoots loud blasts of air.

And, the ever awesome Event Horizon tunnel. Not sure how to explain it, actually. OK, the room is a big tube, with small dots painted out of black light glowing material. There is a walkway above the floor with hand rails. The tube is spinning. The walkway is not moving, but the optical illusion is marvelous!!!! I have loved these things since they started showing up after the movie Event Horizon. Love them!!! You will actually fall down, if you don't hang on.....because it really makes you think the floor is moving sideways, up and down, etc. It's awesome!!!!!! :-)

(ok, I'll stop with all the exclamation points now)

There was one thing I'd never seen before, that gained my respect quickly.....a hallway filled with bungee cords. They were attached at the ceiling and floor, in strange angles....criss-crossing each other. was dark, bungee cords were tripping you up....and you just knew that they were slowing you down so they could jump out and scare you more. Simple idea, yet effective on so many levels.

At the end, after you leave the castle building, they take you along a path winding through a courtyard in back. We're just about to the end, and Robin says (loudly) "crap, chainsaw...I smell chainsaw!!!!!!!" No more had she said it, and the dude jumps out. All 5 of her senses were working overtime!!!!

3) House on the Hill - again, good actors, GREAT sets, loud noises. There was one thing I hadn't seen used before. Entry into a room, through a hallway filled with airbags, and you have to fight your way along. Babies being born must feel this same sensation. There is NO way to push them away from you, you just have to push through them. Claustrophobics (like me) hate this kind of crap!!!! (hehehe)

4) Stalks of Terror - this one pretty much stunk, but we made the best of it. It's a maze, in cornstalks and tall grass. We were in there quite a while, roaming around....but nothing was jumping out. You could see where there were spots for people to hide, but no one was hiding. At first, I thought they were doing really good at the anticipation stuff. But I think, they just didn't have enough actors to fully run they left it as only a maze last night. A big bummer....but as I said, we tried to make the most of it.

We'd turn down trails, and let Robin walk ahead on her own, until she noticed we weren't behind her any longer. Mot kept running his hands through the stalks and grass to freak her out. Aaric and I broke away from the group, to wind around and come up in front of effectively scare the scrap out of her.

There's no way she shouldn't have slept like a baby that night. Poor thing was worn out....and probably had a sore throat. :-)

Hunting, Hockey and T-Shirts

Am I a redneck and don't know it?

I know, that's a pretty strong, and loaded, question, isn't it??? But the name of this post really worries me.

I grew up in a small town of maybe 1 or 2 hundred people. After the second week of second grade, we moved to the big city (population 3000 on a good day). And now some {redacted} odd years later, I'm living in the actual big city (population 1 million, when you include the immediate suburbs).

I grew up a tomboy...merely because when you live in a small town, there's nothing to do but 'boy stuff.' Ride bikes, climb trees, catch frogs, or play with trucks in the sandbox (which always smells like a little box - you ever notice that?).

I once got in trouble, because my best buddy was caught playing barbies with our other friend - who just happened to be a boy. I hated playing barbies, but did it, because it was another thing to do when you couldn't be outside. I think I must have been jealous that she asked him, and not me. So..what does all of this have to do with me getting in trouble, you ask? Well, I threw a brick at her.

Yes, a brick. Don't ask. I have no idea.

Luckily she escaped the attack with a fat lip. Hell, she even went on to play with me on the swing sets later that!!! :-)

Anyway, back to my Saturday of hockey and hunting.

We were up at 5:00, out the door, in Mo.Valley, and through the Mickey D's drive through by 5:45.

The place we were hunting is gorgeous. Mr. Warren Christy owns the land. His daughter and I were 2 of 3 girls in my grade before I moved the big city (pop 3000). It's amazing how moving 10 minutes away can completely destroy a friendship. I haven't seen her but a few times since moving in 2nd grade. It really stinks actually.

One day, when we were still living in Mo. Valley, Mot comes home all excited. He had been looking for Iowa hunting land, and was happy to tell me he met a guy at the gas station that would let him hunt on his payment for helping him out on his farm. The more Mot told me about the guy, the more I smiled. When he told me the guys' name, I knew I had been thinking of the same person.

Small world, eh???

I love going out to Warren's land. I remember doing it all the time as I was growing up. Riding my first horse (and falling off), climbing in grain bins (and discovering my allergies to corn pollen), roller skating in their huge basement (the basement is huge, but you should see the rest of the's always been my dream house actually)!!

Warren farms organic materials (besides the normal corn and beans) on his property...and sells it to florists, etc, etc. Mot never comes home from the place, without a handful of dried plant life of some sort or another. Mr. Christy and his wife as such awesome people!

Anyway, back to the hunting. I'm really rambling today, sorry!!!

The first time I went duck hunting on his property, I took this pretty much says what an early morning out there looks like.

Yesterday morning, it looked quite different, but still just as gorgeous!!!!

We really saw nothing flying. It was amazing how clear the sky was when we arrived in the dark...but about 8:00, a pretty fair weather system moved. With it, clouds and cooler weather. I love it!!!!!!

Can you see Tom in the duck blind below. The man will do anything to stay out of a picture. But, it speaks volumes for the greatness of the new blind they put in this year. (don't mind the black plastic at the bottom of the picture, it's a new wetland, still under maintenance and such)

We were hunting a new spot on his land. We really saw very few birds. The one time a group of 4 of them flew over us, I was watching a duck that had snuck onto the pond in front of us, without us noticing.

I was about to say something, when Mot put his hand on my head (I was sitting, he was standing) so that I wouldn't stand up. Then he proceeded to shoot as those 3 or 4 ducks right over me. Hello!! If I wasn't awake, I was after that. :-) One bird went down...but that was pretty much all we saw the whole morning. My new 12 gauge shotgun has yet to draw blood. PETA celebrate now!!!

Warren's land is very, very close to the Missouri River...and we usually can hear people shooting near the wildlife refuge close by. Yesterday, even they weren't shooting much. The ducks and geese just weren't flying through the area.

Oh was still fun, as always, to hunt with Warren.

After hunting, we drove into the town I grew up in for breakfast. The town has one bank, one gas station, a couple churches, post office, library (attached to the volunteer fire department building) and this little dinner. Breakfast was pretty good.

We drove back home, showered, and got ready to head out We had a few errands to run before our first hockey game of the season.

On our way out the door to the garage...we notice the dogs are still in their kennels. OH MY GOD!!!! What kind of parents are's like 12:00, and they still haven't been taken outside. OH MY GOD!!!! Humane we are, come get us! The worst dog owners ever! :-(

After we took the dogs out (watched them pee 17 times all while looking at us with 'those looks'), we headed out.

First stop, my camera shop so they can tell me what the f*ck is wrong with my DLSR. Error 99.

They told me the same thing I found's a misc error code, that could mean 1 of a million things. Unless I can figure out exactly when it's doing it (there is no rhyme or reason!), I just have to deal with it....or spend huge money to send it in to Canon to have them run a diagnostic on it. :-(

From there, we went to Bass Pro Shops to get a gun case. We're flying to Portland, OR in a few weeks to hunt with his brother and new wife. Should be fun...but I found out that 5 of our 7 days there are going to spent hunting. I love them, don't get me wrong, and hunting up there sounds like fun, don't get me wrong....but please understand.....I want to see things!!! We're going to Portland, OR for crying out loud!!!!!!! :-) Vacations with family...ugh!

I may be surprised and get to spend some time with Mot (sans family), only time will tell. :-)

After Bass Pro, we went to our favorite Mexican place for dinner....then walked around the Old Market area for a while, wasting time until the first hockey game started. This weekend was the Mutual of Omaha Stampede. Which basically means, UNO asks 3 other teams in for the weekend of hockey. Friday night were the first two games. Saturday night was the consolation and championship games.

During our walk around the Old Market, we went into one of my favorite stores. I bought a tshirt that screamed at me as I walked by.

It pretty much says it all. That's Nej in a nutshell. I'm a living, breathing oxy moron. Introverted, but outspoken and opinionated. :-) I was brought up to stick up for myself, my values, and those around me. But, I shouldn't do it while making a scene. :-)

I absolutely LOVE the shirt!!!!! It goes with my shirt that says "Well-behaved women seldom make history."

We're hockey fans...but we stayed at the first game for exactly 20 minutes. It was a blow out, and we decided that once the score got to 5 to 0 we were leaving.

We left at 4 to 0......patience isn't a virtue for either of us.

The two "power hungry" door people weren't going to let us leave, and then come back in for the second game. So, Mot sweet talked the people at the customer services window to de-scan our tickets, so we could come back. He started the conversation with "this is the worst hockey I've ever seen in my life."

He holds no punches. Guess it worked, they let us leave and come back. hehe

We went to the nearest Barnes and Nobles to waste the 2 hours until the next game was to start. I thought I'd check out and see how bad the TAPS magazine is...but couldn't find an issue. (strike 1)

I also thought I'd check out the travel books on Tennessee....they really didn't have much. (strike 2)

Next on my mental list of books to find, a book about the real stories and experiences of long distance hikes. I really, really want to hike a long trail - Appalachian trial for example. Just me, my pack, and a friend/loved one....if I can talk someone into it....on the trail for a couple months. I'll probably have to end up doing it on my own. Which, as terrifying as it seems, might actually be good for me.

The championship game started at 7:05. We're always on time, if not really we arrived at the arena just after 6:00. Problem is, we're horribly bad at waiting and wasting time. :-)

The players took the ice to warm-up, and I was thrilled to see 'my dude' was on the team again this year. Agusto, Agusta, something like that. Why is he 'my dude' if I don't really even know his name???

#11 a little shit. He's smaller than the other guys on the team, but he's quicker than hell. He knows how do things that should earn him a penalty, without getting caught. He's always right where he needs to be. He's just plain fun to watch!! He's got spunk, he's got pep.

He's a little shit. :-) :-)

Every year, they auction off jerseys of the players. I should have gotten his last he's starting this year...and people are starting to pay more attention. Oh well!!!!

The company dad works for (Werner Entertrises) is sponsoring one of the Zambonis this looked pretty nice driving around out on the ice!!!

Game went really well. 1st period....the other team (Union something or other) scored. Finally, near the end of the 3rd period, the Mavs scored to tie it up. The game went into overtime.

In between the 2nd and 3th periods they do this goofy thing on the score board big screen. Game officials randomly pick three people (usually students) from the crowd. Each person is assigned one computer generated horse. They run a video game like race on the screen....and whoever is representing the winning horse that night wins something. It's all really silly actually, and we usually arbitrarily pick a horse just because....well....when in Rome. But last of the students representing one of the horses was wearing a tshirt that read "I (heart) hot moms." Classic!!!!

I'm trying not to bore all of you non hockey watchers, by spouting specifics of the game....just the highlights. :-)

I'm a people watcher, so most of the time, the highlights of these games are those around us...and last night was no exception. The lady sitting next to Mot, trying to pretend like she was a fan, was quite annoying. Yes, I say she was trying to be fan...because at one time she screams "ref, throw a flag."

Sorry crazy impostor lady - they don't do that in hockey.....go watch your Nebraska football game and shut up!!!! (side note, to those of you not from around here, Nebraska college football fans are freaks....crazy, strange, scary football freaks - everything around here is red, with a big white N for's embarrassing really!!)

Later in the game, the boys were starting to look a little tired....skating very poorly, and passing even worse. Impostor lady screams "Help a brother out!" It was wrong on so many levels!!!!

Back to the game.....the team is in overtime...and wins!!! Yeah Mavs!!!!!!!!!

When we got home, and walked into the house, we could hear a meowing. Mot tracked it to the enclosed front porch. WTF!!!! Morgan must have gone out there when we were unloading our hunting gear...and has been out there all day long. WTF!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! I'm really not kidding now, someone call the humane society. This is crazy! What kind of parents are we, really?????

It's 5:24 pm on Sunday, and Morgan has yet to leave my side. Seems she's worried we're going to lock her on the front porch again....or maybe she thinks we don't love her. Did we just give our cat a complex??

To everyone who knows us....this is another reason we don't have kids. I'd be the mom that went to work, and left poor little Mot Jr in the car, instead of taking him to the sitter's house. Ugh!!!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

It amazes me how dumb people can be!!!!

Police say a Lawton, Iowa, man is blind after he was punched in the eye for the second time in three months.

Sioux City Police Sgt. Tony Sunclades said Scott Bennett, 48, of Lawton was assaulted early Sunday morning at Mavericks, a men's night club at 416 Cunningham Drive, Sioux City.

Bennett was taken to a local hospital for treatment, but Sunclades said Bennett's injuries were severe enough that he lost his eye.

Sunday's assault left Bennett without any vision. Sunclades said the man lost his other eye in an assault three months earlier at the same business.

Ryan J. Brodie, 34, of Sioux City was arrested in connection with Sunday's incident. Although he was initially arrested for public intoxication, Sunclades said additional charges are likely pending.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Good ole' Nebraska

I only live here, because I got sick of driving 45 minutes (one way) across the river to my job. Please remember that!!!!

LINCOLN, Neb. - A judge has thrown out a Nebraska legislator's lawsuit against God, saying the Almighty wasn't properly served, because of his unlisted home address.

(full story)

Out of the mouths of babes

My niece, like every other niece in the world, is the cutest thing out there!!!! She's hit the 6 going on 13 stage of life. Drama, drama, drama!!!

But, Robin reminded me of something she said during the Springbrook weekend...that I just have to mention.

I'll set it up for you.....

Her older brother, Brandon, is playing with some plastic army men. He'd spent half the day watching them float down the creek...bombing them with rocks...and making those explosion noises that only a boy can make!!!!!

At one point, my mom (his Grandmother) pulled one particular army man out of the pile.....he was missing a leg......and pointed it out to Brandon.

Grandma "Brandon, one of your troops is missing a leg"
Brandon "Which one is it?"
Grandma {looking at the army man, then to Brandon, then back to army man}
Inny (his mom) "It's George."
Grandma {looking at Inny, then to army man, then to Inny}
Inny {shrugs her shoulders and smiles}

Brandon laughed...he just wanted to know it was a dude with a rifle, a grenade, etc, etc.

Then he suggests they burn his wounded soldier in the campfire. (Lord help me if that kid if left to watch me when I get old. If I lose a finger in a freak cooking accident, he'll have me cremated.)

Everyone gathered around the campfire to watch the poor, plastic, wounded G.I. Joe melt in the fire.

(no it's not an environmentally perfect story)

It was then that his sister, Lauren, walks up to the group and says, "He's not G.I. Joe. Now he's sloppy Joe." And she walks away.

Everyone {looking at the campfire, to Lauren, then back to campfire}

Laptap headaches

I purchased a laptop this summer...and after a month of use, the battery would not charge. I contacted the company that makes this particular laptop. Their online technicians had me complete a variety of steps....the last of which was a battery check.

Why don't they have you do this step first???

When the battery check was complete, a nice little message appeared on my laptop screen. It basically said...."you're screwed, this battery is junk, buy a new one."

This seems like the obvious FIRST step...yes???? Not the last. Oh well!

So this computer manufacturer says it's under warranty and they'll send me a new one. Two weeks go battery received.

After another lengthy conversation with said computer maker, another battery was shipped....and received. I put it in the laptop, it charges, holds a is good.

Most of my laptop use is at home, in the living room, on the coffee table. One afternoon, I wanted to go out on our front porch and work on some miscellaneous projects. I unplugged my laptop and took it with me.

7 minutes later, the laptop shut down. It went from 100% charged to 3% charged in 7 minutes. 7 minutes??? I'm thinking that's not normal.

About a month later (last night), I finally break down and contact the computer maker again. Notice how I rushed to contact them. The online support is great...but it takes quite a while, and sometimes the communication barrier is interesting to say the least.

Nelson was kind enough to pull himself away from his coffee and donut break and come online to help me. He began rattling off different steps he wanted me to complete. I was writing them down....but the list of steps kept getting longer and longer....and longer.

I gave up writing down the steps, sat back, and waited for him to complete the novel. All the while thinking - step #1 is me unplugging my computer and taking out the battery. If I don't have the computer on, I don't have the steps I need to complete in front of me. And, I don't have a printer hooked up to my laptop.

(Mot - does our printer have wireless capabilities?)

Anyway, back to Nelson. He finally finished, and asked if I had any questions.

Boy, did I!!! But there was no way I was going to ask Nelson. #1 he takes forever to answer #2 his grammar makes me want to pull my hair out (yes I know, pot calling the kettle black) #3 all of these steps were the same ones they had me complete with the first crappy battery...I was convinced it was going to do anything!!

I copied and pasted all of the directions into a file, quickly memorized all the steps I would need to take before turning the computer back on, and then began.

Nelson's steps improved the issue. At first.

I went from 7 minutes of battery to 18. And then it shut everything down at 3% battery charge.
Argh!!!!!!! Take note - NONE of the steps were a battery health check.

I got back online with a support technician. It's 9:05, I'm frustrated, and now sleepy. But damn it, I want this thing fixed...and I've already started, I may as well keep going.

My second support technician for the evening took even longer than Nelson to join the chat...what is with those folks??

Kamron was very helpful. He took a few minutes to check over all the activity and correspondence with Nelson. His first question - did you perform a battery health check?

I explained to him that Nelson wanted me to complete all of these stupid steps first, instead of getting right down to the nitty gritty. Kamron seemed to feel my pain.

Wouldn't you know it, the battery health check said the same thing as last time...."ok doofus, you have another crappy will NEVER get to use your laptop away from an outlet in your wall....muhahah."

I asked Kamron what the odds of having two bad computer manufacturer supplied laptop batteries were...and he didn't answer. I took that as one of two answers #1 it happens all the time and we're not supposed to talk about it #2 lady, we never get this, you're jinxed and I don't know how to break it to you.

Either way, I knew what was coming next.

"we need your credit card number just in case you don't send up back the faulty battery...we can't take it online, only via the phone....we'll call you in two to three days...and then it will take another 7 YEARS to receive your replacement battery that probably won't work either"


I asked Kamron if the issue could be my laptop, and not the batteries. He responded "Yes, that could be the case...if this third battery doesn't work, we'll schedule a free maintenance service."

They called me asap this morning to get the information, so they could ship the battery. (I wonder if my frustration level was noted on my account?) I couldn't understand the woman who called me. I'm sure she was either living, or had lived most of her life, in India; and I could barely make out what she was asking me. But, after 10 minutes, we got everything straightened out, and my battery should be on it's way.

When she gave me my confirmation number, I had to laugh. The first letter was S. Not S as in Sam, or S and in snake....she said S as in Sienna. How many people sit there wondering how to spell sienna???? My laughter must have thrown her off. There was a long pause before the next letter.

I'm not holding my breath with this new battery arrival. I was hoping to take my laptop to Oregon with us in a few weeks....but hate to drag the thing around if we can't even use it in the airport to amuse ourselves between flights. If the battery doesn't work, I'll just take a pen and paper to log my journey, and post them when I get back.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Productive evening

While sitting here at work yesterday afternoon, I physically made a list of all the crap I needed to get done at home last night.

I got home, changed clothes, grabbed my rain coat and a hat...and went to work. First on my list, picking the last crop of tomatoes and peppers from the garden, before the frost hits and kills everything.

I love being out in the rain...I really do!!! I got a plastic grocery bag (yes, there are still a few of them floating around the house) full of produce. Quite a bit more than I expected. I can't wait to do our garden so much bigger and better next year!!!! Mot actually cringes when I show him the sketches I drew up.

I haven't told him that I think it's a good idea to use pavers or bricks for the pathways through the garden yet. Guess he'll find that out as soon as he reads you babe!!!!! But, it will be much easier to take care of the leaves and Maple tree "helicopters" if it's paved.

Right honey??? (blink, blink)

Next on the list, dinner. I had nothing to eat in the house, yet the pantry, freezer and fridge seemed to have food in them. It's the same thing as looking into a closet full of clothes and having nothing to wear. Frustrating as all hell.

I finally decided on brown rice and a chicken breast. Nice dinner...but no crunch.

I need crunch in a meal...or I'm never full. It's this crazy, lunatic, mental problem I have. If I eat a PBJ, I'm still hungry....but put a few potato chips in the sandwich (yes, I said in!) and 'tahdah'....I'm full. :-)

I made the mistake of eating my dinner on the couch, in front of the TV. Mot hates it when we eat there, but he must know it happens sometimes when he's not home. He's a smart dude.

As I was eating, I'm staring at the remote controls. This is another reason why I shouldn't eat at the coffee table. I just can't help myself. My plans for the rest of the evening were compromised by turning the TV on to watch "just one show" before getting back to work.

Come on, it's like Pringles, you can't eat just one!!!

Two DVR'd episodes of Hell's Kitchen later, I drug myself away from the TV and back to task.

Hooray willpower!!!

I did the dishes, folded laundry in the dryer, started another load, took out the garbage in the house, emptied and cleaned the litter boxes, put all the weekend camping gear away, picked up Mot's lair (the office/den) and still had time to watch one more Hell's Kitchen episode while chatting online with my buddy Sheila.

(I also took this time to finish off the carton of chocolate yogurt from the freezer - who needs bowls anyway?)

I didn't get the bathroom cleaned, didn't get Puffer's tank cleaned, and didn't workout...but I did get to cross quite a bit off of my to do list. Not too shabby. :-)

Tonight I'm working on that darn hunting gear storage area in the basement...that's all there is to it!!! I bought some shelving systems to put down there...weeks ago...and still haven't done it. It's so bad, the shelving boxes in the garage are starting to look like they belong there.

Silver lining - when I actually get the shelves done, the garage will look bigger - without those stupid boxes propped up against the wall. :-)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


On our walk last night, we passed by a neighborhood park, which housed two tennis courts.

Me "Do we have tennis rackets at home? It would be fun to play."

Mot "How many hobbies do you want us to have, Nej?"

Mot only uses my name when he's frustrated with me. It's something he does, and I don't know if he realizes it.

He thinks I'm crazy....but it really got me thinking. How many hobbies DO I want us to have?

I'm a Jill of all Trades, Master of None. I've always been that way. As I've mentioned before, I've been a meat cutter, grocery store manager, pharmacist assistant, jeweler, dance instructor, house cleaner, vehicle detailer, courier dispatcher, noxious weed sprayer, accountant, and currently project coordinator. I soak up the information of each job...but none of them pique my interest enough to keep me around long.

I've been a project coordinator for 5 years's a record really.

But anyway, back to hobbies.

Hobbies are the same way. I want to do them all, try them all....experience them all. Life is too short to keep saying, "I wish we had played tennis together, when we had a court 2 minutes from our house."


There are so many hobbies in our lives right now, that we never find the time to do. We both own kayaks, and I took mine out a total of one time this year. We both own shotguns and like to shoot trap - we haven't done it ONCE this year. Golf clubs - dusty. Badminton league equipment - still in it's bag, not used in years. Disc golf discs - only thrown around in the yard once or twice now. Fencing equipment - rusty. The list goes on and on.

Having to work, earn a's getting in the way of the fun things in know?? :-)

Unfortunately, we each have one hobby that seems to take up all of our time.
Mine - couch potato
Mot's - World of Warcraft

Modern technology is the curse of our hobby lives. :-)

Next year, we're planting the garden of all gardens. That's a hobby and time consumer right there...for sure!

Plus, we have more work to do on the house. We need to put in a back door from the dining room, that leads to our back deck. And yes, we need to build the back deck as well. We want to either extend the back of our garage into the backyard more...or build a completely separate out building on our side lot. We have a set of stairs leading to the office and spare bedroom that need rebuilt and stained/painted. We have a bathroom that we'd like to enlarge. We have a fence in the back yard that needs replaced.

The list goes on and on. Our house has now become a hobby.

How many hobbies do we want, Nej?


Yesterday was a dreary day from the start. It rained most of the night...and well into the day. I really love the rain....the way it makes the air smell. Unfortunately, it decided to rain on a Monday, and I was stuck at work.

Robin and I ran out to get a sandwich for lunch....and man...that rain was COLD!!! I was actually waiting for it to turn to sleet. Crazy weather!

Mot had dinner waiting when I got home. (It's great being married to a guy that enjoys cooking.) I was all ready to offer up cold cereal, so he wouldn't have to cook....but the hash browns and ham steak tasted much better than cold cereal would have. :-)

After we got done eating, we loaded the dishwasher and Mot says, "Put your walkin' shoes on!"

OK....that's a new one.

I did....and we took a 1 hour walk through the neighborhoods around our house. It was awesome! The weather was cool enough for sweatshirts....the leaves are starting to cover the sidewalks and the streets.

We took a slight detour, over a fence, and into what used to be city soccer fields. The park closed not long after we moved to Omaha...and it was crazy overgrown already.

It's kinda spooky and sad walking into these places. You can still see the metal structures the soccer goal nets were attached to. Some were rusting, some were leaning over. I think of what it must have looked like before it closed....the numbers of kids that enjoyed the space. Makes you wonder why they aren't using it any longer.

There were a couple picnic tables left, and we considered taking one home. The city obviously wasn't going to be using them...and we aren't above a little property theft...if we can justify it. :-) But, we soon discovered why the tables were still there. The city had cemented them to the ground. Too bad, they aren't in that bad of shape.

On the way back out of the park....we happened upon what once was a fountain. How cool....a fountain in the park!!!!! All that was left, was a cement hole in the ground...maybe 8 foot across and 2 foot deep...with a tire in the middle, over what was once the water feature portion of the fountain.

The wall around the fountain had be fixed and repaired in July of it makes you wonder how long the fountain actually had been there.

Walking through the park made me think of the movie I Am Legend. I almost expected a mountain lion, saber toothed tiger, or antelope to go running by us. If I had seen a mannequin standing in the field somewhere, I would have pee'd my pants.

(By the way....two Nebraska Humane Society workers reported seeing a mountain lion in Omaha last night. About 20 blocks from this park. Just thought I'd mention it!!)

We left the park, and went walking through some of the neighborhoods around our house. There are things we want to do at our house...and walking through these areas are fun. It helps give us ideas on what we want to do. "This person's shed is neat", "hey - look at their deck", "they have a chain link fence without making their yard look like a prison." Stuff like that.

We walked for just over an hour. Once back at the house, we went to the pet store for dog food.

Best Buy was our next stop. We need new house phones. Mot was ready to throw ours through a window yesterday. They have a tendency to not pick up when you go to answer a call. The little screen on the phone says "move closer to base." You can be standing on top of the friggin' phone base, and it will give you the same message. The poor things are old...and needed replaced. :-) Plus, we got a phone with 4 I can have on in the basement. No more running up those steep stairs to answer a call!!! Yippeeee!!!!!!!

After Best Buy - we went to the hair salon to get Mot's hair cut. He had an appointment earlier in the day, and blew it off (on accident). He called her when I got home, and rescheduled for later in the evening.

While waiting for Mot to get his hair cut, I grabbed an issue of GQ from the pile of magazines. Does everyone know Megan Fox? Shes' the chick from Transformers, the movie. I have to say, I would normally consider her a good looking woman, but darn....these pictures were just plain sluttly. Call me crazy! I know men like it, and I know that it sells magazines. But geeezzz!!!! Slut much?

We all looked at the pictures and laughed. Some poor women getting her hair done, was sitting there in the middle of our conversation. I don't think she knew what to think of us actually. :-) :-)

After making this poor innocent bystander uncomfortable with our Megan Fox porn GQ layout conversation, I got up and wandered around the salon a little. There are usually a ton of people there when I'm getting my hair cut...and I wasn't used to seeing it so empty.

I picked up a bottle of fingernail polish for my toe nails. My toes are always some funky color. But, when we got home, I ended up putting it on my finger nails. Why not!?!?!?! :-)