Monday, July 31, 2006

I caught a frog at work last night!

I was carrying some razors over to the shaving aisle, and saw this dark splotch on the floor. My first thought was, "I thought they already ran the scrubber through here tonight. They missed that spot bigtime." Then I glanced at it again and saw that it was a darling little frog! It was about as big as a half-dollar, the kind that we called Tree Frogs when I was a kid, kind of dark green and black speckled with pale green toes.

I said, "Whoa, a frog!" and set down my box of razors. Christian was helping me stock last night, and she came over and said, "A frog? Where?" I squatted down to look at it, and so did she. Christian said, "What're we gonna do with that?" I said, "Rescue it, of course!" She was all, "How? You're not gonna pick it up, are you?" Sigh. Stupid girls.

So I picked it up and, after losing it a couple times (it seems my frog-capturing skills are a little rusty), I finally got it cupped securely between both my hands. I could feel its little heart thumping madly as I carried it up to the doors, poor thing.

As I carried it up to the front, I passed one of our cute little crotchety old maintenance men that I get along with quite well. He said, "What in the world are you carrying like that?" I said, "A frog!" He said, "No kidding?" So I opened my hand just a tiny bit, and the frog peeked out very cutely.

When I got outside, I knelt down by the building and opened my hands so the frog could jump out. And that's when the frog decided it liked me. Instead of hopping out the way it'd been trying the whole time I carried it out, it just sat on my hand for a few seconds, then crawled a little way up my arm toward my elbow. Then crawled back to my hand. Then crawled partway back up my arm and just sat there, looking at me. It was a very well-behaved frog and never slimed me. And I loved the little whispery feel of its feet scrabbling up my arm.

So I walked, frog perched on my arm like a tiny falcon, over to this little islandy thing in the parking lot where there are a few scrubby bushes and a tree and a stop sign. And dirt. And the frog liked that place better, and hopped off.

Coolest thing that's happened to me at work in forever. I like frogs! This was a really cute one, too. Wish I could have kept it.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Well, Mom has left us. We took her to the state line last night and pawned her off on Johnnycake and Dimples :-D

We had a really good time this past week. We watched lots of movies, visited ED and saw the store she wants to buy, made and ate lots of good food, played the piano and sang our favorite songs... it was delightful!

Our movies had two themes this visit: M. Night Shyamalan and Dana Andrews. Yeah, Dana's a pretty inevitable theme, since I've become such a fan of him over the past year. We watched three of his movies: Ball of Fire, The Best Years of Our Lives, and Laura. And we listened to two eps of his radio show, I Was a Communist for the F.B.I. I think I've instilled a good appreciation of Mr. Andrews in my mother now.

M. Night Shyamalan, on the other hand, was kind of a serendipitous theme. I'd touted his movies to Mom for the last couple of years, and she'd agreed long ago that she'd like to see Signs some time, since she really likes Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix. And the day Mom arrived last week, I was at the library and Signs just happened to be in. So I grabbed it, and it was one of the first things we watched. She adored it! So much so that we decided to go see Lady in the Water when it opened on Friday. And we both liked it a lot too. Since Night's movies are very ruinable, I won't say much about it except that the one word I think describes it the most is: poignant. Anyway, after that, Mom really wanted to see something else by Night, so we rented The Sixth Sense on Monday (she got very brave all of a sudden and chose it over The Village and Unbreakable). And whaddaya know? She liked it too!

And now it's time for me to settle back into normal life with Cowboy. And get some more sleep. I have much too much fun when Mom's here, and tend to short myself an hour or so of sleep every day. But it's worth it :-D

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Shiny! Shiny! Shiny! I found an unaired 5-minute Angel pilot/promo thingie! It's all Angel explaining his history and stuff, mostly intercut with old bits of Buffy eps and some stuff that shows up in the first few Angel eps as well. He breaks the fourth wall constantly, which makes me smile even more. Sigh.

There's also a 30-minute unaired Buffy pilot out there, with the original Willow... who, btw, completely sucks. No chemistry with anyone, and very 8th-grade-school-play acting. Lots of differences in this thing, like Buffy is a brunette, Xander's hair is completely horrible, there's a different Principal Flutie, Giles comes of as kinda creepy (altho he quotes Hamlet, so I gotta give him a yay! there). Xander did get one pretty good line: "I don't like to hit girls that I'm afraid of." :-)

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Mom is here for a visit, so if I don't blog much until after the 26th or so, that's why. We're having a fantabulous time, as usual! I picked her up at the airport last night, we had ice cream on the way home, and then we watched Signs together! It was her first M. Night Shyamalan movie, and she totally dug it! Yay!

Then in the morning, we took her to a cheese factory and she found her favorite kind of cheese, that her Dutch grandpa used to feed her when she was little. It's Swiss with caraway seeds. Boy, was she thrilled to find it! It's not a very common cheese, and she can't get it back home.

Tonight, we watched two Combat! eps, went grocery shopping, then watched this divine Gary Cooper/Barbara Stanwyck/Dana Andrews movie, Ball of Fire. Quirky in the extreme, and I love it! So did Mom :-D

Friday, July 14, 2006

I'm in Gryffindor! I'm really surprised, because I kept choosing answers about favoring intelligence above other things, and I said Snape was my favorite prof and Potions was my favorite class. I figured I'd been in Ravenclaw or Slytherin.

i'm in gryffindor!

be sorted @

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Here's a list of my favorite tv shows. I can't remember if I've ever posted one of these or not, but even if I have, it's probably changed since then.

My Top Fifteen Favorite TV Shows
1. Combat!
2. Angel
3. Classic Star Trek
4. Five Mile Creek
5. Big Valley
6. Buffy, the Vampire Slayer
7. Firefly
8. The Andy Griffith Show
9. Nero Wolfe
10. The Rifleman
11. NCIS
12. Hogan's Heroes
13. Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman
14. Zorro (The old Disney series)
15. M*A*S*H

I've loved a lot of these since I was a kid, or at least since I was a teenager. Firefly is the most recent addition, with NCIS entering my life only shortly before. I started liking Angel, Buffy, and M*A*S*H in college, and Nero Wolfe about the time I got married. The rest are things I started watching with my family when I was younger, and still love today.

If I added five more, they would probably be The Lone Ranger, Bones, Perry Mason, Maverick, and I Dream of Jeannie.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

The patch on the shoulder of my favorite jean jacket says it all: I love Captain Jack Sparrow!

ED and I went to see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest last night before I went to work. Swoon. Giggle. Swoon again. Giggle some more. It's wonderful! It's funny, it's exciting, it's piratey...I can't make a judgement yet on whether it's as good as the original (or on if I like it as well), but it is definitely worth seeing in the theater. Multiple times.

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Chameleon just called me and announced that she and her Son Of A Preacher Man are engaged! We've been expecting that for quite a while, I guess. Especially since they've been making comments about, "After we're married," etc.

Man, now I have two family weddings coming up. Not sure if they've set a date, but I'm guessing it will probably be in either December or January, since the Chameleon should be graduating from college at the end of this coming semester. I hope they don't wait until May, since that's when Johnnycake and Dimples are getting married. Then again, if we had them all on the same weekend, it'd save on travel time and stuff.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Birthday, USA!!!

I love the 4th of July. When I was a little kid, we would spend the whole month of July in Iowa visiting my grandparents, and on the 4th we would all (both sets of grandparents and my family) go to this little town and watch fireworks together. The grownups got to sit on lawn chairs, and Johnnycake and I had to sit on the ground once we got too big to sit on laps, but it was lots of fun.

I've watched 4th of July fireworks in lots of places, and seem to have great memories of them. Huddling with my friend Christy on a blanket with her family in MI. Lying on the hood of the Green Car with my family in NC. Sitting in the Blue Car in Washington DC one year, my heels blistered because I'd proudly (and foolishly) worn my new Chris O'Donnell Shoes while we walked through pretty much the entire Smithsonian. (My friends and I called a particular kind of black-and-white retro sneakers "Chris O'Donnell Shoes" because there was this photo shoot where he was wearing shoes like that, and we were all nuts about him at the time, so we all went out and got shoes like those, only each pair was different according to our personalities.)

But I don't think I've ever had as spectacular a spot to view fireworks as we had tonight. Cowboy and I walked with Banana and the Leatherneck and Papoose to this field thing on the edge of town where the Ruralsburgers like to gather to watch their fireworks. And we found an empty spot to spread our big blanket. And when the show started, it turned out we were basically directly beneath where the fireworks exploded! So we all lay down on the blanket and the fireworks filled our entire field of vision. Sometimes it looked like the sparks would fall directly on us, and we actually did get peppered with bits spent explosives. They were cool by the time they'd hit us, and usually just felt like little bits of charcoal. Cowboy caught one piece, though, that was the size of a large postage stamp and felt like petrified cardboard. Anyway, it was amazing, and we felt like the whole show was just for us. Couldn't have picked better seating if we'd tried.

Monday, July 03, 2006

One of my favorite western shows is The Big Valley. In fact, it's one of my favorite tv shows, period (did I ever do a list of my top fave shows?).

Well, season one of The Big Valley has come to dvd. And my dear Daddy sent me a set! He got it himself, you see, and when I found out, I was all excited because I've always always always wanted to see the first few eps, to see how Heath (my fave character) joined the Barkley family. So I asked if maybe Mom could bring it with her when she comes to visit me later this month. Daddy didn't really want to let his set out of his sight, however, which I can understand. So he offered to make me copies of it. Which I refused, because as piratical as I may be, I don't break copyright laws (much). I certainly don't copy dvds or cds wholesale.

Daddy was so proud of my refusal that he bought me my own set! Sigh. What a wonderful father, don't you think?

Anyway, I got the dvds today and promptly watched the very very very first episode, called "Palms of Glory". And who does the very first shot showcase, but my dear Heath! I always knew the whole show revolved around him (I'm always convinced everything revolves around my favorite characters), but I didn't know it started out that way from the very beginning!

Anyway, the first ep was wonderful, but weird in the way that most pilot eps are. The characters aren't quite established, relationships haven't gelled yet, and everything is just a little awkward and tentative. I had to laugh several times because characters were either being so very much like their usual selves, or very unlike them. Jarrod was a bit more dandy and callow than I'm used to. Nick was his usual hotheaded self, but with a bit of a mean streak that I don't remember. Victoria started out being some sort of odd grand-lady-of-the-house (since when does Victoria take naps in the middle of the day and complain if the boys wake her up?), but by the end of the ep she was settling into the sensible, firm, compassionate matriarch. Audra was tricksy and much less naive than usual. And as for Heath, well, what can I say? He was in Uber-Heath mode, very broody and touchy, bordering on sullen at times. Of course, since this ep was full of juicy "I'm your father's illigitimate son" tension, he had a right to be edgier than normal. But he was being very whiny and grabby at times and I wanted to smack him. Oh well, he'll learn what it means to be a Barkley soon enough.

And just think -- I have the whole rest of first season to watch! Oh happy day!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

So...we bought a new car. Well, technically it's a used car, but it's new to us. We traded in the dear Bubble Car (1996 Ford Taurus) for a 2006 Ford Five Hundred.

Going car-shopping is less fun than just about anything other than having sharp objects shoved under your toenails. Especially when the doggone dealerships are only open during the day and you work 3rd shift. On Thursday morning, Cowboy and I went on the actual hunting part of this whole deal, and Noumenon came along because he's thinking about getting a car too (he liked a shaggadelic purple PT Cruiser best). The hunting was fun, because I got to test drive like nine cars.

The not-so-fun part was Friday morning when we spent about four hours doing the final test drive and wangling the price down to an acceptable level ($17,950-ish before fees and taxes but after trading in the Bubble Car). I got to help wangle, and I'm directly responsible to knocking a whole $1,000 off the price, just because I noticed a sale price in the window of it on Friday that was gone on Saturday. We said we'd been interested in the sale price ($18,950), but that the normal price ($20,950) was too much. And they honored the sale price even though the sale was over :-D But MAN were we tired Friday night when we had to go to work.

But it's over now. We have the new car. We haven't named it yet, but here's an idea of what it looks like: