Tuesday, December 30

Wally World

Since we're all chiming in on the Walmart, I thought some of you may be interested in reading this article that was routed here at work.

Monday, December 29

My Creation!

So... I took off of work this afternoon. And knitted. I've been knitting since about 2:30 this afternoon. And to show for it I have one sad-looking miniature pot holder. But I made it. And I experimented a bit, and learned a LOT, and it was lots of fun. Look at me, with my new hobbies: baking, knitting... I'm feeling so....domestic.
There is also news on the car front. Not the current car, but the dream car. The call was made, questions were answered, and the answers were what I was hoping for:
1) if my car (the new one) breaks down during any point during the warrenty, there is road-side assistance and they take care of getting my car to the dealership for the fixing-up stuff, and give me a loaner if necessary and...
2) the waiting list is approximately 2-3 months right now, just the right amount of time to save up a little more ching ching before the new baby shows up -- genius!
So... I'll be wanting to make a trip down to Ye Olde Mini Dealership some time in the very near future. I would have gone today if I wasn't so g-d tired. And distracted by purple heather yarn...mmm...yarn.

Thursday, December 25

while visions of sugarplums danced in their heads

We're home from a loverly Christmas in Kohler. I received a Kitchen Aid (very fancy!) and numerous other sweet gifts, gorged myself on dad's girlfriend's treats, and had a generally nice time. The only thing that was hard to come by was the sleep, so now my clock is more than a bit off, as I slept away a good chunk of the afternoon.
Seems the flu bug is spreading, and I'll be putting that shot I got to the test, since Mrs. Jones and my father-in-law are currently down for the count. That means that 1) we didn't celebrate X-mas with the in-laws today, it was postponed until all are feeling better and 2) it was just the hubby and I at Plinko's for games. Which Plinko won. *sigh*
On a happier note, yay IP being able to join in the fun!
I'd like to write lots and lots more, about the bountiful gifts bestowed on me, and other mushy-type stuff like that, but really, I'm quite tired. I'm excited to use my newest toy to make a cake (or maybe two) for the birthdays celebration. I happy that I like everyone in my family (that I have to see for holidays). I'm very happy my dad has found someone with whom to be happy. I'm happy that I have good health, food, clothing, shelter and countless amenities. I'm happy that I have the best friends in the world and a husband who loves me very much. And mostly I'm happy that I realize all this more than once a year.

Wednesday, December 24

Christmas Christmas Time is Here

Hello boys and girls!
Merry merry (not marry or mary) Christmas! We are off to Kohler for the Christmas Eve celebrations, returning tomorrow for the other family's festivities, and then it's all bad guys all the time.
I'm thinking with the big "f-you" that our sweet IP received from his employer, possibly we can do a little juggling of schedules so he can join in on at least some of the fun. Ideas?
In other news, if you (my secret santa) were planning on just getting me that mini, your timing couldn't be better, as my car is (that's right, again) in the shop. woo me. *bother*

Tuesday, December 23

It's snowing
It's snowing

Man I hate this weather...
Actually, the big pretty flakes of this morning were inspiring, and I've been working on this new template for awhile now, and it was just about finished and it seemed like the time to get it up. Hope you enjoy. Or if you don't, you don't mention it to me. I have a tendency to be a bit sensitive, you know.

Monday, December 22


So...yeah. I seem to have picked up a mild case of the jinx.
This morning I broke the sink. There is now a large chunk of the bathroom sink that is no longer attached. And I don't mean the faucet, I mean, there's a piece of porcelein about the size of my palm that broke into (and has since been removed from) the sink. So that's not good...
Then at lunch time I got into my car and... nothing. There is the dinging and the radio works, so I'm pretty sure that it is not (for a change, and unfortunately) the battery. But it is no-starty. It has since been towed, and I'll be hearing all about the problems it possesses sometime today or tomorrow, and then I get to decide how much money I want to sink into it. It's a little chilly out (not today specifically, but this time of year) to decide to forego a car until I can order a mini and it comes in, so I think I'm stuck shelling out at least as much as it will take to get it to run again, darn it. Nonetheless, I think it's probably about time I start figuring out how to make my mini dream a reality.
I have off this afternoon and had big plans to pick up around the house, but now I'm a little distracted, so Mother and Plinko may just have to push the Christmas gifts aside to find somewhere to sit for the big game tonight. Da-da-da-dahhhh! Go Pack!

Sunday, December 21

Merry Christmas

Note to Shaft: if you haven't already done so, set your fancy dvr to record MTV's "Volcano High" cuz it rocks and I think you'll love it. One of the few times I'm glad that MTV was showing something other than videos. Unfortunately, it is not yet available on dvd for the US market, or it would have gone in your stocking for sure.
In other news, Beej is back in town and has said that he'll be joining us at the P on Friday night. Invites to other upcoming festivities can be issued then.

who is that guy?

I know I've commented that it seems my world (our world) is painfully, unnecessarily, nearly incomprehensibly small on more than one occassion. But tonight, I couldn't help thinking to myself, "Where do I know that person from??" about not one, but two people. That in all likelihood I should not know at all. The thought occurs to me that perhaps it is a symptom of me becoming a townie.
See, the other day I had the Shaftian realization that I live in a city. And that choices I've made in my life make it likely that I will continue to live in this city for a long time. This is not something I foresaw when I chose (nearly randomly) to attend college at the Alma Mater. It's not a bad thing, it's just strange. It's strange for me to think of my kid(s) growing up here, in a "big city", and not in a tiny little village like I did. In many ways, I feel like we've carved out a village out of the city: there are only certain places we hang out, we always grocery shop at the same place, only some restaurants we go to (in general); so it shouldn't seem strange that the world I come in contact with feels not a lot bigger than the one I grew up in. But I wonder: is it like this for everyone? Even everyone who is "us"? I've never taken a poll, so I don't know. It just seems strange to live in a city of 60,000 or whatever is and be fairly certain that if 59,000+ of them disappeared I'd never know the difference.
...and that's my musing for the evening... I think I'll ponder it for a little while longer and then head to bed.
Thanks to DerK and The Inkwell Collective for a smashing good show. *sounding British is fun* It was a great time & really I love your stuff and I'm not just saying that cuz, you know, I see you all the time and I'm pretty sure you hit pretty hard. :) Honest - it was great.

Saturday, December 20

food is good

Last night's dinner deserves a review, I think, but I've got a massive-long to-do list today, so I'll leave it for the critic to expound upon, and I'll just say: it was expensive, but the food and service were good enough to make all of us (even Shaft and Mr. Jones) pleased with the meal, and not feel ripped off in the slightest. Now, when you can find somewhere that the five of us in attendance can agree was good, that's saying something I think.
Last night Mother brought up and interesting question: any group dinner plans before festivities start on New Year's? I'm just throwing it out there.
Ok... back to the projects at hand. See you kids this evening for some damn fine entertainment.

Wednesday, December 17

Well, Good Morning!

Hello, it is I, your friendly neighborhood awake-person. This is not unusual for this time of day, on this day of the week. What is unusual is that I've been completely awake since 5 AM. And mostly awake for pretty much most of the night.
You see, cold medication and I don't see eye-to-eye. I say, "I need my nose to stop running so I can sleep." It says, "Wish one-granted, wish two-hah! No sleep for you!" I didn't take NyQuil, cuz that never works for me (in fact, that kept me awake the night before last). Instead I took something that is just suppose to dry you up. Oh wait, that means it's psuedoephedrine. That's a stimulant. Damn it! So...wakey wakey oatmeal and tea at 5 for me.
Luckily, waking up at that hour meant 2 hours of work accomplished before I called in sick. Genius. I hope the gals at work spray down my cube with some of that nasty smelling Oust to rid it from all the germs. I would feel bad if I made anyone else ill. That's mostly why I'm staying home today. I don't really want to spread this around. Oh, also there's the possibility that I may get a little bit of sleep eventually. That would be neat.

Monday, December 15

Boo! I'm back!

Most of you know the long, painful journey I had getting back to the grand U.S. of A. Or, more technically getting the last 250 miles of my 5,000+mile journey home. I don't feel like talking about it. Suffice it to say, my luggage showed up on my downstairs neighbor's front porch some time last night. Anyway... I feel like I have a lot of catching up to do, reading and responding wise, so here goes:
Bebo: You MUST teach me to knit that kick-ass sweater! Or, anything. Really, I'm not that picky. I just really really want to learn to knit. But that sweater ROCKS. I'll trade you a lovely new paper wallet (wink wink!!) for it. Well, for the lesson and for the skinny. waz up??
Beej: Look at you, all matchy-matchy with the gal whose name starts with a B as well! Please post your itinerary with haste! Times-a-wasting!
UPB: has not posted since I've been gone
DerK: is a rock-star
IP: yes, instant communication is nice ;)
ok... UPB is by far not the only one to not post... :P

I suppose I should be filling this post with lots of lovely details about my trip. Well, there was the shopping. There was my boss's boss blowing a gasket all over me and my (I'd call her a friend) that I work with in Singapore. Actually, she (the boss's boss) was kinda on a roll. I was told today that even the Oshkosh office felt her wrath during the week. Now, that's some powerful wrath. She very nearly made me cry, but I was sitting right next to her... I hate to think that she can do the same thing over the phone from thousands of miles away. What else? The food. The food was really good. I ate a lot of interesting things. And way too much seafood. I understand, it's an island, surrounded by nothing but ocean, for kind of a long way, but honestly... there was seafood in nearly everything we ate. Fish, prawns, lobster, more fish, lots more prawns... eventually even the beef began to taste a little fishy. We had dim sum - twice. Once in Hong Kong, once in Singapore. Both times tasted pretty much like the Peony, but in Singapore there were a few additions that I (thankfully) hadn't seen before - like the clear jello with chunks. That was (I believe) the only thing on the trip that was set in front of me that I didn't eat. Mostly because I believe that 1) it would have tasted like fish and 2) there would be no way that I could have eaten that with chopsticks. I did have two tasty desserts with that meal, however, that I would gladly eat again. Honeydew Sato - which was actually cantaloupe colored, which was a cold sweet soup with little chunks of very solid jello and tapioca-like bits, and Almond Cream, which was a hot soup that tasted like the liquid in rice pudding, only with a little almond flavor added. Very tasty. Of course, one's palette can only take so much experimentation, and I was overjoyed when on our last night there my coworker spotted a Subway and I could get an old-fashioned ham and cheese. And yes, it was exactly the same as here.
I'm sure I'll think of lots more to write, but I wanted to make sure I mentioned that I'm sorry we could not attend the big X-mas shin-dig this past Saturday. Seems that while all the Asian food in the world is not enough to upset my stomach, a single very underdone American steak is. Or, I just caught one of the hundred bugs that are going around. Regardless, I wasn't good for much on Saturday, nor Sunday, despite my attempts to help make cookies, and today I went home sick at lunch (and proceeded to work from home for the rest of the day, like a go-tard).
At any rate, I'm about spent now and am going to climb into bed and watch (da-da-da-da!) Monday Night Football until I fall asleep. If I see the 2nd quarter, I'll be surprised.

Sunday, December 7

oy vey

I'm not sure where to begin. I got into Singapore early last night, and had a "free day" today (after working to get caught up for a few hours this morning). If China is the dirtiest place I've ever been (which I would wager it is), Singapore is the cleanest. There is no grafetti (if you remember that caning incident, I'm sure you can imagine why), there is nearly no litter, there are no buildings that are anywhere close to being as run-down as nearly every structure in HK seemed to be. There is, in fact, nothing but malls, as far as I can tell. I swear to God -- we were shown around the city today by a couple girls from our agents' office here (one that I work with every day and the office manager) and we shopped. And shopped. And shopped. "Till we dropped" is no longer just a cliche phrase in my mind. I am completely, 100% exhausted. I am going to bed as soon as I sign off. And it was all malls. I think we were in four different ones, not counting the one that is actually attached to our hotel. And most of the ones we were in were attached to each other, and to more that we didn't go in. It is insane. It was such a blur. I want to type more to explain the insanity, but I just don't have the energy. So I'll just mention a few more things:
I was treated to Thai hot and sour soup today. Very different (as I was warned) from the Chinese variety that I am used to. But very good. And very hot. Quite a bit too hot in some bites, to be honest. Also, I had fishcakes, which makes me laugh writing it, but they were tasty. And then pizza for dinner, which was really good, and not just because I was craving Western food, but legitamately tasty pizza with tons of cheese and a fresh crust and a tomato sauce that tasted like it could have come straight off a boat from New York or Chicago. Good stuff.
Also, it is hot here. Hot and humid. Like, hottest, humidest day of Wisconsin summer hot. Like, oh yeah, I'm a foot from the equator hot. Hot. But the stores still carry fall/winter coats. I guess in case you want to get away from the hot, you have to have the right stuff to pack for your vacation. We were taking the subway back to the hotel tonight, and someone smelled of b.o. quite a bit, and I was wrinkling up my nose, but then realized: for as much as I've sweated today, it may very well be me who has the stank. I don't think it was, since I'm not noticing it now, but I'm just saying: it's hot.
I hope everyone is doing well. I'm signing off for the night. 7AM there means 9PM here, and that's not so crazy early that I need to feel bad about going to sleep, I say, so that's what I'm going to do. G'night!

Friday, December 5

Hello from far away

Hi everyone!
This week flew by - and not just cuz I was on a plane for 15 hours of it. I'm sure I'll have lots of stories to tell, and I should actually be posting more often so I don't forget them all. Today was the day I went into China. China is dirty. That is my biggest impression. The buildings are strange - if it weren't for the laundry hanging on nearly every balcony, you wouldn't be able to tell what was housing and what is an industrial building. In both China and Hong Kong, it seems that one can gain no information about what is inside a building by looking at the outside. Lots and lots of buildings appear very run-down, including all of the places I've been (except maybe the hotel we're staying in, it's hard to say cuz you don't get a very good view of it from the street cuz you're always dropped off under an enormous overhang). Both of the offices I've had meetings in looked a little (or a lot) sketchy from the outside, and were ridiculously fabulous inside. The one in China today was ostantatious, even. The whole thing looked like a designer was let loose in a very high-end Pier 1. Everything was "Chinese"y, in a very trying-too-hard kind of way. Like a Chinese restaurant in America. The office I was in today had dorms for their workers (and a gym and game room and restaurant) and "VIP suites" for, well, people like me, I guess. We got the grand tour, and were repeatedly told that we should come back to stay in these suites. After the long bumper-to-bumpers (people here are not very concerned with lanes of traffic) ride back to HK this evening, I was inclined to agree that we should have stayed. Seems that lots and lots of people work and stay in China during the week, but live in HK, so the ride back was an hour and a half longer than the ride in. Also, different people have very different ideas of hygiene and personal space, which was evident when we were waiting in line for customs to get back to HK. "um... yeah, lady... that's my butt you're touching...do you mind? you're stinky" Which begs the question: isn't HK technically China now? So why do I have to go through customs and the boarder patrol to get back and forth? Hmmm...
At least I didn't get detained for having SARS. They scan your body temp here when get off the plane or cross the boarder, so if you have a fever caused by something else, you're kinda screwed as far as I can tell.
Tomorrow I leave for Singapore....next stop: home.
Hope everyone is doing well!
Lots of love from the other side of the world!

Monday, December 1

Bahn Voiahjee!

First off, thank you to IP, UPB and DerK for providing delicious foodstuffs last evening. Last night while lying awake in bed I felt certain that I would never be hungry again.

Now, for the business at hand. I'm off to a far away land early tomorrow morning. I'm sure I'll have a wonderful time, and fairly sure that I won't make a complete ass of myself during my negotiations. Nonetheless, I hate being alone. And while my boss is very nice, she isn't, you know, one of us, and so I will no doubt be lonely. I don't know how often I'll get to check blogs (I'm guessing not very), but I will be checking my e-mail fairly often and would appreciate letters from home if you get the inclination.
Now I should sign off... an 8:30 flight means being at the airport by 7, and that means waking up obscenely early, if you ask me.