Saturday, June 30, 2007

Blog Stuff

I've changed my subtitle again. Adam and Jamie of Mythbusters (from whence cometh the quote) kick all kinds of ass. This might be something I do on a regular basis. The subtitle thing, that is, not the ass-kicking. Not sure yet -- recently a couple of quotes have tickled my fancy, so I've used them. I can't guarantee when the next quote will rock my world. I'm keeping a running list of the subtitles and the acknowledgements for same at the bottom of my sidebar, though, just for grins.

Also I've added Library Thing's Random Books from My Library to my sidebar. I haven't put every book in there yet (there are WAY too many for me to be even close to complete), but I figure I'll work on it when I get the urge. I keep reloading the page trying to get John Scalzi's books to show up, but no dice yet.

It's heavy on paranormal fiction/romance and fantasy/sci-fi, as well as just garden-variety romance (mostly La Nora at this point). Some kids/young adult stuff is also in there like L. M. Montgomery, Edward Eager, and J. K. Rowling.

Yes, I've read and do own every book I've listed, as well as hundreds more. We'll see how long it takes to get a more complete catalogue.

Speaking of reading, I think I'll do a bit of that now. G'nite, blogoverse.

Friday, June 29, 2007

iPhone (drool)

I want. Oh... I want.

(Photo courtesy of I Can Has Cheezburger?)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

5 Things Meme

Mauigirl of Mauigirl's Meanderings has tagged me for this meme, in which I answer a list of questions, then (supposedly) tag 5 other people to do the same.

The Instructions: Remove the blog from the top, move all blogs up one, and then add yourself to the bottom. So here goes: What Floats My Boat, Homespun Honolulu, Who's Yo Mama?, Mauigirl's Meanderings, and It's All About the Walls.

What were you doing 10 years ago (5 Things)
1. Teaching.
2. Finally realizing my first marriage was a bust.
3. Herding three dogs and two cats.
4. Living in an actual real southern state, as opposed to Florida (which we all know is Michigan, just warmer).
5. Contemplating a career change to IT (which amused/appalled my IT classmates endlessly a few years later when I'd refer to various cables and such as "doohickies" and "whosiewhatsits")

What were you doing 5 years ago (5 Things ) [Note: This one wasn't on the original, but I added a midpoint because I'm just that way.]
1. Moving into this house.
2. Finally getting over morning sickness with #2 son (I got about 12 days off, then the sciatica kicked in).
3. Taking #1 son to his ESE Pre-K because he steadfastly refused to speak for his first 3.5 years of life (but once he decided to start talking he went for complete sentences and hasn't stopped since).
4. I was unaware of it at the time, but I was about to head back to work during my pregnancy due to the MCI/Worldcom bust, which cost my husband his job.
5. Tossing around the idea of a homebirth (ended up having one).

What were you doing 1 year ago (5 Things)
1. Finally realizing I was more than just a bit overweight -- I had crossed the line into fat.
2. Edging near becoming one of my former boss's clients rather than her secretary, as I was feeling rather homicidal about some of the clients.
3. Watching my Little Guy descend into canine dementia and severe incontinence (my rug is almost better, but he is still missed).
4. Trying not to think about my weight (kind of goes with #1, but more in a "still trying to be in denial" sort of way).
5. Another "I didn't know it then" one, but I was really near starting my blog (my one year blogoversary is coming up -- wow!).

Five Snacks You Enjoy:
1. Doritos
2. Cheddar cheese
3. Blue cheese
4. Mozzarella cheese (are we seeing a theme here, and perhaps *why* #1 of the preceding item occurred?)
5. Baked Lays Sour Cream and Cheddar chips (hey, at least they're baked!)

Five Songs That You Know The Lyrics To:
1. "Daylight Again" CSN
2. "Southern Cross" CSN
3. "Memory" from Cats
4. The entire libretto to Phantom of the Opera
5. "Goodnight Saigon" Billy Joel

Five Things You Would Do If You Were A Millionaire (Someone changed this one to Billionaire - a million is nothing nowadays!):
1. Donate more than time to the SPCA.
2. Adopt more cats. And perhaps a dog or four.
3. Hire a dog walker and a litter-box scooper.
4. Hire a housekeeping service -- preferably daily (with laundry and dishwashing service).
5. Uhm... I might cut back a bit on my hours at work. Perhaps.

Five Bad Habits:
1. I can only be neat when no one else lives with me. When someone else starts piling their garbage up around my neatness, I cave and my Inner Slug emerges.
2. I don't exercise enough. I move, yes, but my times of deliberate "this is Amanda, exercising on purpose" are few and far between.
3. Along the lines of #1, I see only surfaces that are above knee level.
4. I procrastinate. On the plus side, I work extremely well under pressure.
5. I will miss sleep to finish reading a new book (that might not be a bad habit, but as I've noted previously, Amanda - Sleep = bad).

Five Things You Like To Do:
1. Read (sometimes to my detriment - see immediately above)
2. Sleep (my holy grail)
3. Listen to my kids (they make me laugh)
4. Eat (wreaks havoc on the diet)
5. Watch the small furry felines as they chase invisible prey. Hee.

Five Things You Would Never Wear Again:
1. My black F-me pumps with the 5" heel. They look great, but they make my feet very sad along with the rest of my body as I tend to face-plant if I wear anything higher heeled than a Birkenstock.
2. My size 18 jeans. They were originally purchased as "immediately post-partum jeans," and became "the only pants I own that fit me" jeans. ACK!
3. Cropped shirts, because the stretch marks from pregnancy are not attractive.
4. A large scrunchy. How old am I? And what decade is this? Thank you. I have to remind myself sometimes.
5. My wedding dress. It was from my first marriage. 'Nuff said.

Five Favorite Toys:
1. My PDA-style phone with the QWERTY slide-out keyboard and Internet access. Danged thing's a lifesaver in airports, bank lines, etc.
2. My new digital camera. Who knew that taking pictures could be fun?
3. My new wireless laptop (thank you bosses for my bonus).
4. My books. Yes, they are toys. Anything that takes up this much room has to qualify as a toy.
5. My husband's new MP3 player, because it makes my house quiet so I can more thoroughly enjoy #4. Silence... bliss!

Five Things You Hate To Do:
1. Fold laundry. Yick.
2. Clean up after other folks (should have thought of this before I reproduced... duh!).
3. My morning and afternoon stop-at-two-kid-drops commute. I envy those who only have to get their own bodies to work in the morning!
4. Scoop the litter boxes. Yeah, ours are self-cleaning... I clean 'em myself (cymbal crash) (crickets).
5. Come up with the next set of meme victims.

And in honor of number 5, please volunteer if you feel like meme-ing! Let me know and I'll link to you in edits.

Monday, June 25, 2007

An Open Letter...

To the guy driving the sparkly new motorcycle this morning:

Sir, with all due respect, we do not drive our Harley Davidson wearing nothing but a t-shirt, denim shorts, and deck shoes sans socks.

I know Florida has a provision for driving without a helmet and as you apparently wish to feel the wind in your hair and the bugs between your teeth, more power to you. Although in-town, a helmet will increase your chances of survival should an idiot pull out in front of you... and don't pretend you don't know what I mean. This place has some utterly moronic drivers, and you'd have to be half-blind to miss them.

Granted, at highway speeds a helmet pretty much just increases your chances at having an open coffin. If this is not a priority of yours, I can see why you might refrain at those times.

However, the rest of your toggery utterly boggles my mind. Okay, the t-shirt I can get. It's Florida, it's freaking hot, and it isn't as if you have A/C on the bike. But shorts? And the deck shoes??? Dear God, man, the DECK SHOES!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??

Words fail me. At least they weren't flip-flops.


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Random No. 4

Along the lines of Random No. 2, to aid in efficacy when trying to dry clothes in the clothes dryer, one must turn the dryer on.

If, however, one is attempting to grow mildew on clothes, just tossing them in the dryer and leaving them to sit damply is highly effective.


So Starbucks Boss comes up to me today grinning evilly and says, "Well, we definitely have proof that you were a bit off your game yesterday."

Me: "Oh, really? What?"

SB: "I just got off the phone with our structural engineer. He said they could review our plumbing submittals, but they'd likely be better off with the mechanical engineer. He's sending them over to their office for us, since the post-it I'd put on the papers telling you where to send them was still attached."

Me: "Whoops."

SB smirked, and sauntered off.

Me, internally: "ACK!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Fortunately all parties involved have a good sense of humor. For me, I'm going to have to remove my glasses from now on lest I be accused of using artificial intelligence.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Yep. The Eternal Non-Sunshine of the Endless P.M.S. has returned.

Do not think that this means that my period will show up. Oh dear me, no! Especially since that little twerp was due today. That would be asking way too much.

So yesterday was cramping and bitchery, today is water retention, huge swollen breasts (Pamela Anderson, eat your heart out), and more bitchery.

What fun will tomorrow bring?

God, I'd love a drink. But then I'd be drunk and still have P.M.S., which is such a delightful combination (eyeroll). Plus I'd have a killer headache in the morning and -- wait for it -- still MORE P.M.S.!

Yep, it's bedtime for this blogger. Nite, y'all.


Ladies and Gentlemen:

I would like to announce that at 2:45 p.m. EST today, the Spec That Would Not Die was finally sent to meet its maker (of copies, that is).

This after working on it until 1:30 a.m. last night, then continually once I arrived at work this morning.

I put a rubber band around it, boxed it, then put two rubber bands around the box. Upon handing it to my boss I informed him that he should treat it like the Ark and leave the box closed lest his face melt off.

My younger son's bedtime is at 8:00. My elder's is at 8:30. Tonight, my bedtime may well be around 8:31.

Not enough coffee in Colombia to keep me awake.

But it's DONE!!!!!!!

Now I just have to do three dictation tapes, finish the filing from the last spate of bill-paying, fill out the Change of Administrator form for our company's health insurance, complete the Power Point presentation I'm authoring on How We Use and How Not to Abuse the New Wide-Format Copier/ Plotter/ Scanner...


And yes, I love my job. Plus the boss I was doing the spec for bought me a grande black coffee from Starbucks. Can't beat that.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Posts? I got nothing.

Sorry for the lack of posting, my brave four readers (if there are that many). I'm busy trying to get back into the swing of things at work as well as attempting to finish off The Spec That Would Not Die, which lingers on even two days past my return from vacation.

That endless little bastard even came home with me tonight. I'll be bonding with it after the offspring are in bed, trying to finally bring the blasted thing into a relatively comprehensible whole.

Update: Arrrgh! I didn't bring home the Mechanical and Electrical Divisions! Only 67 more edits to go. In the freaking MORNING... ::faints::

This is what happens when I am not present to nag my bosses into submission.

Oh well, the good point as prior to vacation is that I can axe off some of the vacation hours I needed to take with the work I'll be doing at home tonight. I wouldn't mind being able to chaperone a field trip or volunteer for a school party for one of my kids, and having some extra vacation time might help that happen.

But back to the reason I am somewhat short of words. I'm also a bit crabby at the moment. Call it PMS, call it just bitchiness, but I'm cranky as hell. I just read a post this morning about another blogger's reasons for losing weight, and sure enough, there in the comments was another person giving a carefully worded but rather negative analysis of this individual's very personal reasons for her own weight loss.

Remember that whole "I am not you and you are not me" thing with the smoking earlier? Yeah, that tags on here too.

If I want to lose weight so my husband will drool, so what? Does it mean he hasn't drooled over me at my heaviest? Nope, it doesn't. But I know what he likes, and I know that as much as he loves me, he does appreciate it when I more closely resemble the woman he married. I'm doing it FOR me, but it benefits him.

Yeah, it's ego. And I'm good with that. My weight loss is all about me, my feelings, and my health. MINE. If anyone wants to cheer me on, good on them. But if anyone wants to tear down my reasons for losing the weight that I've permitted to attach itself to my ass, they'd better step back.

Hmm. Guess I had something to say after all.

Random No. 3

Drinking three cans of Spicy V8 in rapid succession may cause abdominal cramping.

Trust me on this.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Healthcare Blogger Code of Ethics

If any healthcare bloggers (doctors, nurses, patients, others) wish to sign up for the Healthcare Blogger Code of Ethics, please visit the blog and check it out.

My Beastly Boy

Here's a lovely picture some of the good folks on's A-Team (Angel Team) created for my Little Guy after he passed:
I like the kind of oil-painted look it's got (necessary, as that wasn't a digital pic but a rather old, tiny, scanned-in photo).

I miss my doggie. The cats are nice, but they aren't dogs (sorry, Emily).

Grand Rounds is Up!

Grand Rounds is up/has been up at Revolution Health (vacation slacker that I am).

It also features/featured a post by me.

I'm stupidly giddy.

Edited to remove overload of smileys.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


Learn a Lot of Little Known Facts About Those You Know -- heck of an acronym in the title there.

Acknowledgement goes to Babs. And to today's meme addiction.

Okay, and we're off!

1. Were you named after anyone? Yes, my maternal great-great grandmother.There weren't too many Amanda's back in the 1800's. Heck, there weren't too many back in the early 1970's. Now? They're everywhere. I was the only Amanda in the school most of my student life, but flash-forward into my teaching years and I was one out of five.

2. When was the last time you cried? I got a bit misty-eyed this past week on vacation when my cousin and I were discussing our mutual grandmother who passed away in November of 2005.

3. Do you like your handwriting? Depends on if it's legible. It's a weird mix of my mother's and father's handwriting styles. Half printed, half cursive. Legible, it's cool looking. Illegible, it's scary chicken-scratch.

On the plus side, I don't cross every letter that crosses the center line of my writing, unlike some fathers I could mention...

4. What is your favorite lunch meat? Greasy, drippy burger meat. Preferably smothered in cheese.

5. Do you have kids? Yes, two. Boys. Ages 8 and 4. I'm hopelessly besotted, except when I look at their bedrooms. Then I just cringe.

6. If you were another person, would you be friends with you? I figure I'd either love me or hate me. Dry sense of humor, sarcasm, occasional flashes of wit, more frequent bouts of extreme density... it's either engaging or highly annoying.

7. Do you use sarcasm a lot? Me? Sarcastic? Nah. (Please see #6)

8. Do you still have your tonsils? Nope. Had 'em out back in 1974, when they weren't doing tonsillectomies on a regular basis anymore. I had tonsillitis so much they deemed it better to put a four-year-old under general anesthetic than for me to retain possession of 'em.

Don't miss them, either.

9. Would you bungee jump? Uh, no. At this point, I wouldn't even make it up to the platform. Me + vertigo = bad.

10. What is your favorite cereal? Froot Loops. This is a surprise?

11. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? One word: Birkenstocks.

12. Do you think you are strong? I hoist forty to fifty pound deadweights (my sons) regularly. And the cats, one of whom appears to be in a race with the human children for highest weight.

He's losing, but he's a determined little cuss.

13. What is your favorite ice cream? Eggnog. Bastards only make it around the winter holidays, for which my waistline is eternally grateful.

14. What is the first thing you notice about people? Their eyes. My husband has the most beautiful brown-gold-green heavily-lashed eyes. Stoopid sigh.

15. Red or pink? Depends on the shade. Orangey-reds and I don't mix. Blood-reds and bluish-reds kick ass. Pinks also need to be more bluish.

16. What is the least favorite thing about yourself? This smoking shit. It has got to stop. That and the charming saddlebags I have that remain no matter how little I weigh. I had pneumonia when I was 16 and dropped to 108 pounds. I was hollow cheeked, flat chested, and STILL these buggers hung on.


17. Who do you miss the most? My grandmother, referenced in Item #2. She was the sheltered daughter of a physician and my great-grandmother. Then my great-grandfather died when she was just eight years old (Bright's Disease). My grandmother was the original latchkey kid. She grew up, got married, had two wonderful kids (my uncle and my mom), then left the abusive bastard she'd married. Tossed his ass in jail when he wouldn't pay the child support, too.

Remember, this was the 1940's. Divorce simply wasn't done. Nor was throwing one's children's father in jail. But the man never forgot the child support again, nor did he forget the $1.00 per month alimony payment.

She went back to college, finished her degree and student teaching in one year, then proceeded to teach first grade for thirty years and put her kids through college, with the help of her mother.

When her grandchildren arrived, she was in her element. We got ditto sheets mailed to us, which we'd mail back and she'd then return to us, graded. And when we visited, she had a wonderful make-believe land called Lizardsville set up off her back patio, where Lenny, Rodney, and assorted other rubber lizards relaxed on Moss Rock and gathered around the little margarine tub she'd sink into the ground, filled with water colored blue with a drop of food coloring.

After she retired, she became The Cruise Queen. She sailed across the Atlantic on the QE II, cruised the Mediterranean, the Pacific coasts of the U.S. and Canada, the Caribbean... she used to joke that she'd fallen in every major European city.

Never broke her hip, either. Good bones, that woman.

She was amazing.

When she died, she left behind a son, a daughter, their spouses, six grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren. That number has since swelled to eleven. Not a bad legacy for an only child.

18. What color pants and shoes are you wearing? Pink jammie pants, no shoes.

19. What was the last thing you ate? Baked Lays Sour Cream and Onion potato chips.

20. What are you listening to right now? Men in Black. Hee.

21. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Is fluorescent white a color?

22. Favorite smells? Pot roast cooking in the pressure cooker and apple cider simmering on the stove.

23. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? My husband, asking him why a simple trip to the store was taking three hours (he'd run into a friend... and some men think girls talk too much!)

24. Favorite sport to watch? Sumo wrestling. No, I'm not kidding.

25. Hair color[s]? Brown with gold streaks, courtesy of my stylist. It's either that or muddy brownish-grey. I'll take the chemical colors anytime.

26. Eye color? Blue-green-grey. Depends on my mood and/or what I'm wearing.

27. Do you wear contacts? I tried, once, about twenty years ago. Gas permeable lenses, due to my severe astigmatism. I've checked since then, and it's still the best they can do given my need for good visual acuity.

Felt like I had tin can lids in my eyes. No thanks.

28. Favorite food? Cheese, in all its many glorious forms.

29. Scary movies or happy endings? Happy endings. Real life is realistic enough. I'll take my fantasy where I can get it.

30. Last movie you watched? At home, Men in Black (viewing currently). In the theater, it would be the latest Pirates movie.

31. What color shirt are you wearing? Pink. Matches the jammy bottoms.

32. Summer or winter? Winter. I live in Florida. I get enough of summer.

33. Hugs or kisses? Both, from all three men in my life. The rest of the world? Hugs are okay, depending on who you are. Side-arm is most likely safest, if you value your limbs.

34. Favorite dessert? I'm really not big on sweets. But if I need something sweet, it better be gooey and chocolaty.

35. Most likely to respond? I have no clue. I generally don't tag folks. Angel might cave, though. Heh.

36. Least likely to respond? Again, I have no clue.

37. What book are you reading now? When I Fall in Love, by Lynn Kurland. It's a time travel romance. I like the paranormal stuff.

38. What is on your mouse pad? Stonehenge.

39. What did you watch on T.V. last night? Alton Brown, Good Eats. The milk episode. Cooking for nerds... love it!

40. Favorite sound[s]? My sons' laughter.

41. Rolling Stones or Beatles? Billy Joel or Jimmy Buffet.

42. What is the farthest you have been from home? Japan. Yes, you can blame the answer to #24 on that.

43. Do you have a special talent? I type over 100 words per minute. I'm popular at deadline time, what can I say?

44. Where were you born? At a USAFB hospital in Marin County, California.

45. Whose answers are you looking forward to getting back? Anyone who manages to get this far in the answering!

Eight Things I Know - Pass it On

I found this over at Angel's blog, and followed it around to a couple other places. It's interesting, so I figured I'd give it a shot.

(That and the fact that my new digital camera is not cooperating in the "letting my pics go to the computer" department, so I'm holding off on more vacation blogging just for a bit to see if I can pry them loose. If not, I'll be doing picture-less vacation blogging.)

Note: Some of the eight things I've linked to are light, some are serious. Mine have some rantish items and some non-rantish ones, because... well, I'm like that.

1. Life is too short to stay pissed off. Sure, I rant and get annoyed in here, but that's one of the points of my blog for me: it's a venting device. I blog about things that annoy, then I let them go. It's either that or get an ulcer.

2. You just can't please everyone. I like to make people happy, but some folks are flatly impossible. They thrive on being stressed, on seeing the negative (mentally glaring at specific not-to-be-named family member), on how everything in their life is always going to shit. Then they need to spread that vile manure around. You know what? Bad stuff happens. And sometimes it's overwhelming, but you have to find a way to move past it or you risk giving yourself and everyone around you a freaking damned migraine.

[Remember Number 1, Amanda... remember Number 1...]

3. Quitting smoking is hard. Yes, it is hard. And yes, it is worth it and I'm working on it; I'm just not there yet. No, you cannot sit there and tell me that you quit drinking sodas, and if you can do that, anyone can quit smoking. The two addictions are the same only in that they're addictions. That's where any similarity ends. I am not you and you are not me.

Talk to me when you've taken up smoking then quit, your-holier-than-thou-ness*. That's when I'll listen to you.

4. There is nothing like a child's laughter. Absolutely nothing. It can bring me from feeling a bit melancholy to a more even keel in zero seconds flat.

5. Anyone who says you should have to keep a plant alive first to either have children or pets is suffering from a serious lack of perspective. I couldn't keep plants alive until I'd already had both pets and children. Plants don't let you know when they're hungry. They're easily overlooked. Kids and animals are not subtle about their displeasure. They forcibly take your focus off yourself. Once I had to pay attention to things outside of myself and what book I was reading next, I learned that yes, I too, could keep plants alive.

Speaking of which, I hope the office plants have survived my vacation.

6. Doctors are not gods. They are highly educated medical professionals. They're also humans. As with every profession, there are good ones and bad ones in the bunch, so it behooves us as medical consumers to look clearly at our healthcare providers and determine if we're dealing with a case of "just had a totally craptastic day" -itis or if we're dealing with true apathy or incompetence.

Craptastic days are forgiveable. The other states are not.

7. Expecting to live in a spotless house when the children are young is to set yourself up for disappointment. I'm not saying that I live in a pit; I don't. But I am saying that my neatness standards have had a bit of an adjustment. Freaking out due to a toy left on the family room floor? Is not worth my sanity, or my kids' for that matter.

8. The kids will grow up. The sleep-deprived nights of newborn parenthood will cease. The shrieking toddler will clam up. The bouncy little boys will settle down (someday, I'm told!). Enjoy every stage as much as you can, because once it's gone, there's no getting it back.

There you have it. All my wisdom at the moment in a nutshell. I'll spare y'all a tag, but if anyone feels like taking up this meme please let me know and I'll edit this post to link to you.

* This particular rant was courtesy of a real-life encounter I had at a former workplace, not from anyone related to me or anyone anywhere on the blogosphere. I just needed to get that out. Freaking sanctimonious bitch.

Friday, June 15, 2007


Well, I'm back from vacation.


I hereby officially apologize here and now to the entire state of Georgia. If you were driving on some of the state roads (like 83, 11, 53, 129, 75) on Monday afternoon, that blue car with the Florida tags going about 35 in a 50 MPH zone? That was me.

I'm certain there were more than a few folks wanting my head on a pike. Some of them generously shared thoughts about my heritage when I'd pull over to let them pass.

A drive that was supposed to take about 9 hours ended up taking 13 hours each way. On the way up, the length was due to potty breaks (the boys) and a lovely case of vertigo (me). And on the way back, the length was due to a freakish backup on I-75 southbound, somewhere around Ocala and extending down to Wildwood area. Never did find out the cause of that. Yuck.

I swear, I don't know how y'all manage to drive up there in Georgia. The little roads with narrow, unpaved shoulders, that are right beside some scary dip down several feet (if not more)... shudder.

Any doubt that I was meant to be a flatlander -- despite my love of land with actual contour -- has been utterly erased.

Then I nearly freaked out crossing some bridges. Like "almost couldn't move the damn car" freaked-out. The hell?

I don't have a fear of heights, or at least I haven't up until now, so I don't know what was up with that. And I have to do bridges fairly regularly, considering the fact that I live in a very watery state. At least I managed to survive the drive back home without any further breaks with reality (the bridge is NOT going to crumble under you,Amanda!).

The car's air conditioning, now that was another story.

More on this later. I'm beat, but the trip was fun (vertigo aside) and the boys got blissfully muddy on a daily basis. My laundry may never be the same again.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Update No. 1

I bought my first new "style" of jeans today in about 20 years. Yes, I was caught in the eighties. If you've ever watched TLC's What Not to Wear and have heard Stacey ranting on and on about "ice cream cone" jeans, that's what I've been wearing since my teens. High in the waist (covering the belly button), fuller through the hips and thighs, and narrowing at the ankles.

I always thought they looked pretty okay, seeing as that's how most women are shaped anyway. Plus? The eighties. 'Nuff said.

I managed to ditch my poofy bangs over a decade ago, and haven't had a perm in twenty years. Blue frosted eyeshadow and pale "Pink Champagne" Maybelline slim lipstick no longer reside in my make-up case. But those jeans, those wonderful, comfie, GAP Reverse Fit jeans stuck around.

But this is the 21st century, and I kind of needed to get with the program. So today, 40 lbs. lighter than my 200 lbs. at this time last year, I braved the GAP once again and came out with my bottom half looking much less like a flashback to the Reagan years.

Of course, I sport an amazing case of Plumber's Crack if I bend over more than halfway, but I guess that's the price I must pay not to look like something that should be topped by one of Baskin Robbin's 31 flavors.

And y'all... size 12! Down from an 18!

God I miss McDonald's, but apparently my body doesn't.

Update No. 2

I am heading out in the morning on a family vacation to Unicoi State Park in Georgia. Therefore, it's highly likely that my posting time will be non-existent. My hope is that my pretty shiny new laptop and I will be able to get onto the wireless network at the lodge (a hope echoed by one of my bosses who hadn't finished editing that last spec I was working on), peek in, post a picture or forty, and wave at y'all from up there.

However, if I'm not online for the next week, that's what happened. I'll definitely be back on Sunday, car willing, and will litter this blog with vacation pictures.

Have, fun, stay safe, and I'll see you within a week!

Random No. 2

Note to self:

When making coffee, it is especially helpful to turn the coffee pot on.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Preparation 'H'

Trip Preparation Hell:

6:00 a.m.
Wake up.

"Holy F***!"

6:01 a.m.
Oh wait. Saturday. Hit snooze. Sleep.

7:00 a.m.
Wake up.


7:01 a.m.
Oh yeah, still Saturday. Hit snooze. Almost sleep.

7:15 a.m.
Eight-year-old creeps into master bedroom, small female cat in arms. Elder son places said feline on maternal unit. Emily proceeds to knead her mother into wakefulness.

8 headbutts and 2 jawn-nibbles until consciousness is established.

7:20 a.m.
Fever, 99. Better. Aspirin.

7:25 a.m.
Coffee, coffee... black. Too tired/lazy/sick to put anything in it.

7:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon
Feed kids x2. Scoop litter boxes. Herd cats out of litter boxes while scooping.

Freshen Their Highnesses' water.

Field queries from offspring in re: when we are going shopping.

Check out e-mail, blogs.

Clean cat diarrhea from family room carpet. Someone left out the cheese. Voting for four-year-old.

Try explaining to shorter humans that cats and cheese do not mix.

Stare hazily at computer. Undercaffeinated still.

Refill coffee. Head clearing. Hate cold meds.

Field queries from offspring in re: when we are going shopping. Again.

Go to bedroom to get dressed.

Herd Daniel out of bedroom. Observe Patrick sneaking in.

Herd Patrick out of bedroom. Rip out own hair as Daniel marches back in, and almost makes it to the bathroom to watch his favorite program (apparently showing in the toilet bowl) before he's caught again.

Small female cat in the hallway snickers at her mommy and brothers. Then darts into the bedroom.

Give up herding cats.

Get dressed.

12:01 p.m.
Herd non-cat children to car.

Car still running strangely. Air conditioner now struggling.

This does not bode well.

3:30 p.m.
Return home, unload car.

3:45 p.m.
"Mo-om! Something gross is in the bathroom! It looks like cat poop, and it's a big puddle."

Go to hall bathroom.

Verify cat poop. Diarrhea again.

Blaming Patrick.

Unhook shower curtain which has managed to dip itself into cat poop. Wash curtain.

Scrub yuck from floor. Clean toilet since it's close anyway.

4:00 p.m.
Inform offspring that next cheese-induced cat accidents will be their responsibility to clean up.

Observe appalled/disgusted small faces with guilty satisfaction.

4:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Start offspring on packing for trip.

To four-year-old: "Sweetie, you will need to pack more than underpants and Transformers for the trip. And where did you get those underpants? Oh, from your hamper. They're dirty. No, we can't just wash them there. Yes, I'll wash them before we go. Give them to me."

To eight-year-old, "You may not call your brother stupid for packing dirty underwear. Your brother is four. Four-year-olds do things differently than eight-year-olds. When you were four you thought it was perfectly reasonable to wear a potato in your underpants."

Walk away from sputtering eight-year-old.

Check e-mail, blogs.

Feed kids dinner.

Look longingly at box where shiny new laptop is stored. File away hardware lust for later.

8:00 p.m.
Put four-year-old to bed.

"No, you cannot sleep in Mommy's bed. Because Daddy doesn't have any room then. No, Daddy doesn't want to sleep in your bed."

Note elder son walking in circles while reading his book.

Remember that when I was eight, I used to read standing on my head.

Stop worrying about elder son. Ruffle his hair in passing. Receive gorgeous gap-toothed grin in response.

8:20 p.m.
Post blog entry.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Grown Up

I spent yesterday with my two sons, Vomit Comet #1 and Vomit Comet #2.

Vomit Comet #2 (the four-year-old) got sick in the middle of Wednesday night, and so was pretty perky by late morning. Vomit Comet #1 had an "ooky" stomach when he woke up and proceeded to kill a throw blanket on my couch.

It was old, tattered, and marked Dry Clean Only. We're letting the county landfill handle it.

I felt like crap the whole day, which I attributed to having been up half the night with VC#2. That is, until I passed the Sponge Bob thermometer on my dresser. On impulse I picked it up and put it in my mouth.

101.5. Nice. I popped a couple of aspirin and went to bed.

I woke up this morning, got dressed, got the kids ready, took them to school and daycare. I went to work, with an "Infectious Disease" sign on my forehead. Had to. We're leaving for Georgia early EARLY Monday morning (like 6:00 a.m. early), and I still have another specification to get out which I'll be bonding with this weekend. Plus next week is mid-month, which means bill paying and payroll, so I had to get as much of that ready as I could as well.

And on the way to work, my evil automobile which I'm planning to drive to Georgia decided to accelerate itself. In PARK, even. It got to over 2000 RPMs, was leaping off the starting line at every light without me even touching the accelerator, and continued to engage in similarly interesting behavior all the way to the garage where I took it.

Of course, the mechanic couldn't find anything wrong with it.

Of course, it started doing it again when I picked it up after work.

Damn, I hate that car. If it leaves me stranded on the side of the road with two little boys, I'm going to pitch a gold-plated hissy fit. Mentally, that is, because I can't scare the kids.

Then I'll be a full-on grown up again, and call Triple-A.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

An Open Letter to My Husband


You know I love you and would do almost anything for you, but...

When there is a brownie from Panera in the refrigerator that you did not buy, you may not eat it.


Your Wife


'What will your obituary say?' at


Thanks to BabsRN, who got it from Monkeygirl. The boys are both vomit comets today, and I needed a laugh.

Speaking of vomit comets:

Amanda --


A deadly strain of projectile vomit

'How will you be defined in the dictionary?' at

Oh dear!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Linky Love

A HUGE thanks to Ambulance Driver for linking to my The Medical Blogosphere, Take II post.

Dude, really, that just rocked.

And also a shout-out to BabsRN, whose post on You Can't Please All the People All the Time got this whole mess started.

Y'all are awesome.

Google Search 1

"accidentally breathe in lysol while breastfeeding"

Now did this happen during actual breastfeeding, or is this more an "I breathed in Lysol and I'm a lactating mother" type issue?

This is the type of search result you get when you mention breastfeeding and Lysoling Birkenstocks on the same blog.

Anyway, I can't see it really causing a problem if it's just a glancing in-breath (rather than marinating it the stuff). Yes, you should avoid breathing in things that aren't meant to be breathed in while you're nursing a child, but really, you should avoid it at all times anyway.

::tucking the Marlboro Lights out of sight::

Then again, I'm no sort of medical professional other than being a professional patient. Literature courses didn't cover this sort of thing.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Medical Blogosphere, Take II

Yeah, I know I've been babbling about the loss of Flea, FatDoctor, etc... but this stuff is starting to piss me off.

I read medblogs for a reason. Many reasons, in fact.

One big reason I read them is because I went through a time after the birth of my first son when I hated almost *anyone* who had anything to do with childbirth. I mean, anyone. Nurse? Hate. OB? Hate (unless you were Dr. K). Random healthcare practitioner? Hate.

Now please tell me, just how healthy is this attitude? Not very. And that's one huge reason why I started reading medblogs, why I started lurking on, etc. I needed to see the humanity of healthcare practitioners in practice.

And I found it. Thank goodness.

Another reason why I read medblogs relates to my own health issues of late, the primary one being that I bleed for freaking ever, then don't bleed (thus causing the stock for pharmaceutical companies who make OTC pregnancy tests go WAY up), then again, bleed copiously. I am so damned frustrated with my GYN (who, as a "cure" for my bleeding problem, offered to prescribe a drug that would cause even MORE bleeding for a few months), that I really need to see there are doctors out there who aren't like him, who DO listen to their patients when they say, "I'm going crazy", and who know that their patients aren't dramatizing the situation.

I bleed for 22 days and do not die. Seriously. NOT MINOR. For that reason alone, I should be paid attention to when I say, "Yo, doc, I'm going seriously nuts here." But I'm not, and well, that's the way it is. So I'm going to tag my little brother's best friend, who conveniently is a psychiatrist, and get a recommendation from him (because seeing a shrink who I was in charge of back in Bible School is just too freakish for me). And I'm going to engage in Better Living Through Chemistry, Therapy, or Whatever.

Because I need that, and I know I need it because, again, I trust doctors as a whole. BECAUSE I read medblogs.

Not in spite of them.

So bite me, Big Medicine. Stop being afraid of the medblogs. Embrace them. Because your future, for some of us, depends on them. We NEED to see the human face of medicine. We NEED to see that the doctors and nurses who care for us are people too. We NEED to see the restrictions they deal with so that, when those restrictions hit us, we know why and we don't blame our HCPs.

I never thought I'd say this, but...

Free the Doctors! Free the Nurses! Good God, we need them, and we need them to be able to practice the way they should, and we need them to be able to blog the way they must to be able to accomplish the foregoing.

So in closing, again, Big Medicine, you can bite my happy ass.

No asterisks. Just bite me.

Monday, June 04, 2007


Blogroll is having an issue; ergo, my links are missing.

My apologies to all whose links I have on my page. I trust they'll be back, and if not, I'll whine and then find a way to fix this issue.

And my apologies to BabsRN, whom I had to Google using the words "BabsRN, blonde, Biblebelt".

Yes, that's me.

A Post Wherein Amanda Uses Poor Language

I'm going on vacation next week . Yes, the blog will likely be a dead zone unless Unicoi State Park has computers for guests as, in spite of the available WiFi, I don't have a laptop. And the hell if I'm going to type out blog entries on my cell phone (PDA-style with a little pull-out keyboard). So I can read y'all, but then again? Tiny screen.

Might just have an entire week off from "Teh Intarweebs".

Anyway, because I'm out next week and because none of the partners remembered the e-mail I sent out to them stating when I'd be out for vacation, I now have FOUR sets of specifications to type and edit this week. FREAKING FOUR!

And they're all educational facilities which means there isn't a single spec among them under 700 pages. Holy cow.

So here I sit, assiduously avoiding the work I brought home (an addendum to a specification and edits on a different spec), yet knowing that I've gotta get this shit knocked out before I go to bed tonight.


Now that I've whined and cussed a bit, I've gotta say that this really isn't too bad a thing. I'll be working most nights this week as well as during the day, but the hours I work at night will make all my bosses happy, which makes me happy, and it will also knock down some of the vacation hours I'll be taking next week.

Okay, enough. Must put on my big girl panties now and get down to business.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Flea Tribute

Pediatric Grand Rounds over at Adventures of an Awesome (Sometimes) Mother has a wonderful opening tribute to Flea.

The medical blogosphere is definitely poorer for the loss of his blog.

Saturday, June 02, 2007


Okay, this is weird.

I was looking over my Sitemeter stats (more of you read this than comment... so comment, already! Hell, disagree with me, agree with me, but just freaking comment), and found someone had come here from Technorati.

Technorati? Wow. I even have, like, a page there and everything. Who knew?

Yes, I'm a blogging idiot. I thought you had to be a member of Technorati for your blog to be there. I was wrong, obviously. Huh.

Anyway, I found out also that this blog has been linked to by the New York Personal Injury Law Blog, regarding the shutdown of Flea's blog.

I feel mildly famous. Feeling at all impressed about this is rather pathetic, I'll admit, especially as my regular readers still seem to number in the single digits.

That said, I feel somewhat safe saying, Flea, what were you thinking? Oh man, I hate it that your blog is gone, and I hate it that you had to settle this case due to the blog. But dude, if you're posting about your medmal trial you have absolutely positively got to tell your attorney.

Number one Very Bad Thing to do to your lawyer is to allow that lawyer to be blindsided in court by something you did and failed to disclose to him or her. Nothing would piss off my former boss more than coming into court and getting wallopped by something her client had done that opposing counsel knew and her client had failed to tell her.

I'd even listen to her say, "Is there anything you need to tell me that the other attorney could bring up in court? I need to know now so we can handle the fallout if that happens." And the same clients she'd said that to were, invariably, the ones who did things like, oh, forget to take their meds for mental disorders resulting in weird behavior around the opposing party, or who'd left screaming phone messages for or sent profane e-mails to the opposing parties that, of course, the targets of these messages saved... arrrgh!

So, here's your public service announcement. Give your attorney full disclosure. Follow the attorney's instructions. Failure to do so can often result in disaster, or at the very least, an attorney who's desperately trying not to let opposing counsel see the smoke coming out of her ears in the middle of court.

Template Question

Does anyone know how I could widen the column to the left of my blog entries? Or somehow narrow down the BlogLog and Twitter widgets? They're all cut off, and I either need a wider sidebar or a couple of more narrow widgets.

I tried narrowing the Twitter widget down, but it seemed like it just kept moving to the right.

I'm not an HTML queen. I can do some tiny things, but as I can't really read the code well at all (and I was going into computers? Hee... delusional much?), so this is a bit mind-boggling.

Any assistance is welcome.

Update: Well, I messed with the width of the main body and sidebar, taking some away from the primary writing column and adding to the sidebar column. This solution, though, is imperfect as it makes the body of the writing really long and narrow.

I also had to decrease the margin between the sidebar and main body to an uncomfortable degree.

The ideal solution would be to take those little margins out to the side of the main body and the sidebar (the far left and right light brownish/ yellowish parts) and narrow them a bit, rather than widening the sidebar at the expense of the main body.

Problem is, I can't find where to fix that in the code. I can't identify what it's called. Urrrgh!


Friday, June 01, 2007


Well, looks like Tropical Storm Barry has formed just in time for Hurricane Season.

I hate freaking hurricanes. We got nailed by three back in 2004. First Charley made his landing (time without power: 6 hours). Then Frances came and hung out about damned near forever (time without power: 12 hours). Finally, we got nailed by Jeanne when she finally figured out where the hell she was going (time without power: 18 hours).

We were really very fortunate. Our time without power was minimal. My parents live in the same town as I do and they were without power for days after Charley and Frances, and lost it for weeks after Jeanne.


But as well as we did through the first three, I must say I'm not eager to go there again. We still live here, though, so I guess I'll just suck it up. It's either that or deal with blizzards.

Update 6/2/07: Barry's been downgraded to a tropical depression. We got rain, which we desperately needed. It's a good thing.

De-Stinking Birkenstocks

Edited 10/03/09 to add:
For those of you here trying to find out how to de-stink your Birk footbeds, the short version is a) buy the official footbed cleaner, available in the Birkenstock care kit, or b) try some of the suggestions in the comments such as bag them up in some unused cat litter for a period of time, try baking soda, etc.

Should you choose to read further and take offense at the amazing lack of practical suggestions past this point, note: this post is rambling, and was NEVER written to be used as some sort of instruction manual for cleaning the footbeds. I can't help that it's one of Google's top links when you search "Stinky Birkenstocks". I didn't put it there. It's just what comes up. Bitch to Google, not to me.

Should you opt to ignore this fact and instead read on and leave some wisecracking comment here such as "Talking about a whole lot of blablalbla indeed..." like one of the anonymous commenters did today (again), your comment will be deleted and furthermore will not have the dubious honor of being enshrined forever in italics at the top of this post.

You're welcome to your own opinions, but do try not to be an asshat on someone else's blog.


As you can likely figure by the title, I'm trying to figure out how to de-stink my beloved well-broken-in Birkenstocks.

I'd noticed they were getting a little funky, especially when my sister-in-law expressed her gratitude that I was taking them off and tucking them away. Ouch. And then as I was sitting at my desk at work this past Tuesday, a rank stench wafted up from under my desk, doubtless hurried on its way by my computer's fan.

UGH! Lysol, lysol, lysol... (I hope it doesn't have a bad effect on nubuck leather)

I need these shoes. I am a total klutz, and having a nice, wide, firm foundation under me is my only hope for remaining even marginally upright. My first Friday back at this job I was heading out the door to go home. I wasn't looking as closely at the ground as perhaps I should have, and the one of the flat heels on my cutsie little sandals slid out from under me at the bottom of the stairs. I splatted right on the parking lot, one knee bent up under me with the side of it on the ground, and the rest of my body kind of splayed out. It took two of the guys at work to help me get up (poor men, I weighed at least 200 lbs. at the time).

I managed to get home and spent the weekend doped up on ultracet. I had a gorgeous bruise that entended from a huge one the size of a grapefruit on the side of my right knee (the swelling was also impressive) all the way down to the inside of my right ankle. It took nearly a month for all the swelling and bruising to go away.

Then, right after I was supposedly all better, I was dashing out the door to lunch because a new book from an author I like (J.R. Ward, if anyone's interested) was out. The bookstore said they had one copy left, so I was in a bit of a hurry to get there.

You can see where this is leading, right?

Yep, splat. Same fall position, same everything except this time the pavement wasn't wet so at least I didn't fall quite as hard. I did manage to scrape the skin on top of my right foot though, somehow. This time I managed to get up on my own, limped to the car, drove to the bookstore, and bought my book.

Yes, the book was worth it.

As a side note, both times I was carrying a can of Diet Coke. Both times I managed to keep the Diet Coke can upright. You can tell where my priorities lie.

Anyway, after my second close encounter of the blacktop kind, I realized I needed something a bit more substantial under me than my current shoes. All my shoes are flats -- I own one pair of heels and try to break my neck once every couple of years wearing them -- but their soles are leather and don't have any gripping power. Not only that, but the heels tend to get really slippery especially as I put most of my weight on them first.

I already owned one pair of Birks, but they were over 15 years old and, well, yucky. They weren't stinky as I didn't wear them every day, but they were most hideous. Originally they were blue suede Arizonas, but time had faded them to a kind of dark-puke-green. I'd also left them in my car one day and the material on the bottoms shrank up a bit from the heat and curled away from the heel just a tad. The nibbling on the cork from my then-still-puppy Little Guy hadn't improved their appearance either.

Hmm. Must buy professional looking Birks! Yeah, total oxymoron, but I think the falls addled my brains a bit. Anyway, I ended up with a pair of medium-brown nubuck Arizonas, and for the past year I have worn them almost Every. Single. Day.

You know how much your feet sweat in a year? You don't want to.

I searched online for a cure for my stinky Birks. The tops look great (as far as Arizonas can look great), so they aren't ready for the trash bin yet, but we needed a cure. I Googled a a range of terms from "Birkenstocks, cleaning" to "How to De-Stink Birkenstocks." I learned through clicking on various links that a) I'm not alone in my Birk love, and b) apparently people who wear Birkenstocks are thought by much of the world to not shave their legs. Okay. Tell that to my razor.

I also have cutely pedicured toes with bright red toenail polish. So take that. Yes, my "crunch" factor is minimal, hideous shoes and homebirth notwithstanding.

The only solution I could find after all my searching was the Official Birkenstock Footbed Cleaner, sold only in the Deluxe Birkenstock Care Kit.

Additionally, to keep this problem from happening again, I know that wearing the same pair of shoes each day doesn't really give the shoes a chance to breathe and recover from the heavy-duty wearing, so I needed to add to my Birkenstock collection especially after a second day of Lysoling my Birkenstocks (not recommended, for the record).

So Thursday I went out to our local "We Sell Comfortable Yet Alarmingly Hideous Shoes" store. Deluxe Birkenstock Care Kit? Check. New Birks? Check and check!

The first linked new shoe is the "Cozumel", which is actually pretty cute for a Birkenstock when on the foot, believe it or not. The second linked shoe is the "Florida". I don't know why the Florida has three straps, but whatever. THOSE are hideous, but they're neutral and beggars can't be choosers.

I got home with my new Birks and my cleaning kit, and proceeded to do the leather protecter on my new Birks. I then hauled out the footbed cleaner for my now unwearable (due to the stench factor) beautifully broken in Birks.

Let's just say that one round of cleaning hasn't had the desired effect, although it has improved matters greatly. I'm giving the footbeds a rest tonight, although I did clean off the nubuck with the nubuck block and used the leather protector on the uppers. I also re-sealed the cork on them.

My hope is that I'll soon have three acceptable pairs of Birks to wear day-to-day. And that I'll remain upright in the wearing.

I still walk into doorways I know darned good and well are there, though. I don't think there's a cure for that.