Figuring out what to do about Henry has really messed Jack up

In a D.C. Examiner story about "We Are Marshall" today, Matthew Fox is quoted: "Your classic sports movie, a movie like 'Rudy,' I don't imagine women enjoy that movie that much. It's more of a guy's film."

Uh ... WHAT!?

You imagined wrong. Don't finish the surgery, Jack. He's not going to let you go.


Gift receipts

I started my Christmas shopping today ... downtown during the day because I'm NOT going anywhere near the malls until 2007. They are freaking insane.

So, I go to Bed, Bath and Beyond on my lunch hour.

New rule for myself: Don't go shopping when I have a time crunch because it will make me all that much more annoyed. Check.

I get to the cashier, she can't get my debit card to work and has to call someone over. Finally, it works, but now the pen they have there won't write for me to sign. I tell the woman the pen doesn't work ... three times before she pays attention to me. She says, "OK, I'll get you another one," and grabs THE SAME PEN that I was just using. I say, "No, that is the one I just tried." She sighs, annoyed, and walks off to find another pen. That one doesn't work either. Turns out that ink pens don't seem to like the stainless steel countertop that is installed. Smart move on that decor choice.

At this point, I have been there about 15 minutes longer than I needed to be ... then she can't find my copy of the receipt. She asks the cashier next to her about it, and that woman says, "Yeah, you gave me a receipt I didn't need, and I couldn't figure out why." They fish it out of the trash. I ask about my gift receipt. She says, "Bed, Bath and Beyond does not DO gift receipts." I say, "Seriously? How is that?" because I could swear I have gotten them before. Then I realized that the last several purchases I have made there have been something off a wedding registry, and I didn't need one, so maybe they don't. But, for real ... what kind of store doesn't give gift receipts now? Ugh.

So after work, I go to Macy's. I take my things to the cash register, and the woman rings them up ... slowly, folds them slowly, finds mismatching boxes ... slowly. I just want to go home.

She hands me my receipt, but again, no gift receipt. I say, "Don't you have a gift receipt?" She replies, "Did you tell me at the beginning of the transaction that you needed one?" I'm thinking ... it's Christmas, I'm obviously not buying men's stuff for myself and you gave me gift boxes! But I just say, "Well, no." She says, "Well, you have to tell me ahead of time that you're going to need that. I can't give you one now without doing the whole thing over again." At this point I do say, "It's Christmas! Obviously these are gifts ... I guess you'll have to do it over. I didn't know I had to specify." Then she mutters under her breath, "Yeah, I guess I am supposed to be asking people if they need a gift receipt when I start." Uh, yeah ... I thought so.

Sheesh! Happy holidays everyone ...


Muncie? Wow.

I thought about blogging a bit about my new favorite show, "The Class," last night, but then was too tired to think of a good enough hook ... and I couldn't find the clip that I actually wanted to show. Today, however, it gets in because CBS has given me two blogworthy topics.

1) We'll lead off with "The Class" since I already mentioned it. I started watching this show because it was on before my new favorite sitcom from last year, "How I Met Your Mother." I was slightly embarrassed to say that I actually watched it, but continued because I figured it would get cancelled fast. Luckily, it hasn't because now, I think it has made me laugh out loud as much as "The Office" and on a more consistent basis. (A couple of this season's "Office" eps have been slightly lacking ... thank God they've gotten Jim back in the Scranton office.) Here's a clip of my favorite character (but there also are some other pretty spectacular characters) on the show ... she's my new, more mean-spirited Elaine:

2) Even though I never really got into the whole "Cops" genre and probably wouldn't have given this show a thought to watch, next year's "Armed & Famous" reality show will now get scheduled on my Tivo because I found out today the celebrity cops have been sworn into the Muncie, Ind., police force as reserve officers. Yes, I'm slightly late on this, but sorry, I don't pay attention to the Muncie news anymore. I think I don't because it makes me even more weirded out that I spent three years living there.

Basic premise: "Celebrity" cops Erik Estrada, Trish Stratus, Wee Man, La Toya Jackson and Jack Osbourne become reserve Muncie police officers, ride with training officers and arrestees are offered a few hundred dollars or an "I got arrested by a celebrity and all I got is this lousy T-shirt," tee in order to put them on the reality show.

Sorry to all the suckers who take the T-shirt.

Ahhh, Muncie memories. Here is my favorite finding while I was there (and yes, I might have written this blog just so I could get this pic in):

The Snooz-U-Looz truck graveyard. Priceless.


What I learned on my trip back to the Midwest

Well, my two-week vacation is over. There were many discoveries:

1. While the entire St. Louis area seems to be under some major construction, the city still has not come to the realization that Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is in desperate need of a facelift. It's the first thing many travelers see, people.

2. Don't let your friend put you up at a Catholic hotel if you want to: A) Talk to friends at conversational voice levels after 10:30 p.m.; B) Have your TV volume loud enough to hear while laying on the bed after 10:30 p.m.; C) Get busy without a crucifix on the wall over your bed.

3. A free-flowing fountain of alcohol is a nice addition to the table at a wedding reception.

4. Springfield has crumbled since I left. Wendy's have shut their doors, Brio started charging for salsa and chips, and of course, La Mex has died. The Saputo's baked rigatoni was still quite lovely, however.

5. Despite Nick and Abby's insistence, Little Saigon is not an acceptable replacement for Magic Kitchen. While I appreciate their loyalty and reasons for not eating at MK anymore, still no one has better crab rangoon or fried rice. I can't comment on the eggrolls, but I can't imagine ever finding those better anywhere else either.

6. "Click" is a horrible movie.

7. Really good friends plan major life events around my presence. Thanks, Kels. :)

8. Driving being required to get everywhere you need to go sucks.

9. Shel, Jen and I need to control our mixed drink consumption the two or so times a year we get to hang out together.

10. I lose things. Lost for a few days, but recovered: a watch, a bracelet and a black sweater; Gone for good: black, long-armed gloves that my mom commented looked like strippers' gloves. Hmm.

11. Everyone I know is quite eager to light food and drink aflame.

12. I was irritated about people on the East Coast trying to be healthier when I couldn't find lard here to cook with, but I changed my mind upon realizing that the level of smoke pollution in D.C.-area bars is NOTHING compared to those in Indiana. I was not prepared.

13. Even with the breakfast burrito on the menu at Indy Qdobas, Chipotle is still better.

14. My stomach no longer appreciates drinking five of seven days a week.

15. Driving sucks.

16. It does, in fact, feel like it's been almost 10 years since I graduated high school.

17. Jen's parents still have great couches at their house.

18. Despite his claims, Bruce Barker is no longer "The Piano Man." He should be called "The Playing the Guitar Too Close to the Microphone and Not Very Well Man." Also, the piano bar at the Neon Cactus was apparently only made fun by pounding seven or so beers in a very short time period prior to arriving.

19. Having two weeks off work to frolic about does not mean you will come back relaxed and refreshed. I could still use a few days at the beach. Oh yeah, it wasn't that kind of vacation.

There you have it, my last two weeks sort of summed up. To everyone I saw, it was a great time ... to all the "BB" fans, sorry that I dropped the ball. :(

Until next time ...


La Mex: I'll always have my memories ...

In a long ago blog, I wrote that my number one missed thing about Springfield was the weekly trips to La Mex with Nick. Sad that today, with only four days, 21 hours left on my "Days until lunch at La Mex" countdown, I had to remove it because it was verified that the restaurant is no more. :(

Apparently the business was sold two weeks ago (thank you to Nick for enduring an unacceptable meal at the replacement restaurant to find this out) ... right around the same time I was eating an unacceptable burrito in New York and thinking how I would at least be at La Mex in two and a half weeks. How's that for irony??

So, what will I miss? Here are just a few of the memories:

1. Lupe. He was the server extraordinaire. Yeah, we went every week, and yeah, we got the same thing every time, so maybe we made it easy ... but Lupe was the only one that could serve it up for us before we even had to ask. They let us pick the booth, and out Lupe came with the two Diet Cokes, two red salsas and one green salsa at the same moment. It was glorious. Others tried valiantly, but only Lupe succeeded perfectly.

2. Ernie. He might have made too loud, sort of weird comments to his tables, he might have butted into our "Dream Job" conversations a few too many times, he might have been a Cardinals fan ... but no matter what, he was a damn fine server and made each meal a treat wondering what he might do or say next.

3. Nick's birthday circa 2004. The fun we had is documented in his picture section, but what can't be seen is that we're sure the other side of that sombrero had a Spanish cuss word painted on it. Why I didn't have the forethought to take a picture of THAT side of the hat, I will never know. We tried to verify the next year, but the sombrero was all new. (No, we weren't drinking at the meal in '04 ... please, it was our lunch hour.)

4. The salsa. The red by itself may have been a little too bland, but add some of the green to it, and you had a wonderfully delicious salsa with a good hint of spiciness every time. Oh, and they always gave each person at the table their own bowl. That's key.

5. The chicken monterrey burrito. It was delicious. It had chicken, beans (though I enjoyed mine without), sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes and cheese all on the inside. It was grilled on the outside for that perfectly browned, crisp tortilla texture. There was no need for it to be covered in unnecessary sauce because it was already so damn tasty. Yum.

6. The music. Where else will you hear a Spanish version of the 4 Non Blondes' "What's Up" so soon after hearing about and arguing over Nick's utter disdain for the English version?

7. The last outing. That is when Richard discovered the … interesting wall decor (below right). Yes, that is exactly what it looks like. Not sure how Nick and I missed it those 60 plus other times we ate there.

So, there you have it. I conclude with a heavy heart, but thanks to RobG for confirming that the Joliet location is so far, still in business. I'm sorry to inform whoever might be involved with my next Chicago trip that we will be forced to venture out of the city to Joliet for a monterrey burrito. Trust me, I don't want to go to Joliet either, but I also never wanted to have to go to Decatur for Texas Roadhouse because Springfield didn't have one ... you just do what you have to do.


Second most ridiculous line waiting experience ever

OK ... so, I spent three hours this evening to get the grand re-opening deal at The Limited in Tysons Corner. What was a deal that is so enticing to make you waste that much time at The Limited you might wonder? Only that you could get 50% off an outfit of your choice. Yes, it was ridiculous, and I thought just how ridiculous it was every minute waiting in the line ...er, correction, lines.

Yeah, when I got to the store, there was a line to wait in that extended out of the store and down the hallway of the mall past three other stores. That one took about 50 minutes to get through and into the store (luckily I had three people to talk to on the phone during this ... even though I usually don't even like talking on the phone). At that point, the store was crammed with people, stuff strewn about everywhere and no place to move. Incredibly annoying. Especially since I don't like to work that hard to shop for anything.

The only reason I stayed in the line, or considered putting myself through the event in the first place, was that I knew that I was going to buy a pair of jeans there at some point ... I just hadn't gotten around to it yet, and with this deal I could get the pants and a shirt for basically the same price I was going to pay for just the pants. Yes, I put myself through hell to get a good bargain on something.

So, I finally struggled through to find the jeans, found a sweater and got in the line to pay. This line was endured for an hour and 20 minutes. Wow ... as I type this, I'm thinking it was even MORE ridiculous. I was growing more angry to stand in that line when it wouldn't move AT ALL for 10 minutes at a time, but when you have taken the time to drive in traffic out of D.C. to Tysons, waited in the line to get into the store, etc., etc. ... I mean, there's a certain point where you've expended so much time on something, you CAN'T back down and leave with nothing, right? And they were walking around with tasty hors d'oeuvres, so that was a small bonus.

But in the end, I was able to get a pair of jeans, a sweater and some new earrings for essentially the same cost as what the jeans would have been by themselves, so I guess that made up for it? Ugh ... I don't know at this point. Oh, and they did "throw in" a free necklace and brown canvas Limited bag that I'm sure I'll never use. Great. What I do know is that I better LOVE this pair of jeans more than any other pair of jeans I have ever owned. That is FOR SURE.

P.S. - The first most ridiculous line waiting experience (for anyone who has suffered through this longer than it should be blog) was when I stood in line for 2.5 hours in a church parking lot at 7 a.m. on a Saturday for a flu shot a couple of years ago. Yes, this time at least I have something I can enjoy.



I've been tagged by Andy, so here it is ...

Tagged ...
Here are the rules: Once you've been tagged you have to write a blog with six weird things/habits about yourself.

1. "Hello, my name is Angie, and I'm a Softlips addict." OK, well Softlips is my favorite, but any lip balm will do. If I realize that I don't have some with me, I go into my own little state of panic, and my lips INSTANTLY feel chapped. It's usually a bad mood sort of situation.

2. When I go to bed, I turn on the alarm and lay down. After about 5-10 min., I start thinking that maybe I didn't turn it on, even though I always do, so I have to turn around and check. This unfortunately repeats anywhere from one to three times each evening before I finally relax that it is in fact turned on.

3. When I am done eating, I have to go wash my hands to get rid of the food smell. This sounds like normal enough of a thing to do, but if I have eaten something with a strong smell, I have to continue washing for as many more times as it takes to get rid of even the faintest smell.

4. I generally don't like the icing that comes on most cakes, so when I have a slice, I always tip it on its side and eat from the bottom, usually leaving a perfect, upright slab of icing remaining. I also leave the crust of cheesecake in the same manner.

5. When I put dishes in the dishwasher, I have to pre-rinse them to the point that every speck of food is off of them just in case the machine might not get everything on its own. Maybe when I own I dishwasher that I have selected new, I will trust it ... I don't know.

6. I can't stand loose hair ANYWHERE on the shower walls or on ANYTHING in the shower. I have to rinse it away pronto if I see it (making sure that it won't hit my feet on the way to the drain) ... and if I notice it later in the day, I have to rinse it away before leaving the bathroom.


Smokin' graphics

Sometimes when I'm in the middle of updating a glamorous E. coli chronology such as this ...

... I wonder if the people creating weird graphics like these, courtesy of Japan Tobacco Inc., are having more fun:

Eh, maybe I should stick with my job. :) Chronologies and charts aside, I do get to research "The Price is Right" for an anniversary graphic after all. It's amazing how much media there is out there about this show ... I sure do hate going through it hehe. FYI, Bob Barker's youthful voice in the '70s is something to give a listen.


OK, Doc

I had to see an endocrinologist for new insulin because the Humulin U that I have used since I was diagnosed was discontinued. After being told the fact I was still using that kind was archaic a few times with an exasperated look (sorry, it's been working very well for me, so why change), I got a scolding.

And no, not for what might make sense for a doctor to lecture about … as RobG guessed … something like not testing my blood sugar enough or not keeping my blood sugar in proper check. Nope, I'm good there. After seven years with the condition, I was scolded for apparently being ashamed of having diabetes!

I guess I used the word "discreet" a few times when talking about using my medication. Finally, she sighs loudly and says, "You need to get this 'discreet' business out of your head. There is no reason to be discreet about anything. Being diabetic is no big deal. You'd be surprised at the number of people that are diabetic. It doesn't matter if people see you take your medicine. It's nothing to be ashamed of. If you're hanging out with people that wouldn't like you if they saw it, then you don't want to hang out with them anyway."

Whoa. I was slightly taken aback to say the least. I told her that I was in no way ashamed, but that I preferred to carry around as few things as possible and the smallest items possible. Finally, I gave up even explaining myself because I got the distinct impression that she didn't believe me anyway.

Ashamed! I was so weirded out that I just stopped thinking about it and continued answering questions, but while I was riding back to work, the irritation began to fester. "You'd be surprised at the number of people that are diabetic," kept resonating in my head. I mean, wouldn't you be surprised by that number BECAUSE the people are, in fact, discreet about it?? Call me crazy, but I haven't felt the need to go waving my syringe around at the dinner table. Obviously, that's because I'm ashamed.

So, friends, watch out the next time you're dining with me. I've been going about this all wrong. I guess I need to come up with an outlandish ritual to flaunt that I'm diabetic. Who knows … maybe the whole restaurant should know about it. After all, there's nothing to be ashamed of.


5th grade all over again

I sat most of the day today feeling kind of like I was in 5th grade again. No, my hair wasn't in a ponytail or braid that nearly fell to my knees anymore (I don't know why I ever wanted my hair that long anyway), and I didn't get to go outside and play tag at recess in the middle of the day, but my capri jeans did have zippers at the bottom of the legs just like a couple of pairs of jeans I had in elementary school that I LOVED (the current ones fail to have the lace-filled heart cutout at the top of the zipper, though, which is probably a good thing for this day and age hehe).

OK, OK … I know that I wrote a blog about a month and a half ago where I bashed the skinny jeans. I know that now I sound a bit like a hypocrite (which I can't stand) because I have indeed sort of fallen back into the '80s trend zone, BUT can I just say that I was able to pick up this pair for only $13, they fit pretty good, and I really ONLY bought them to be able to pair them with boots for the winter. You see, a skinny-legged capri style will be able to fit nicely into my knee-high boots without horridly uncomfortable bunching, making me horribly hot all day, making my calves look like tree stumps, or making my jeans poof out at the knee like a parachute. I mean, you CAN'T tuck flared leg pants into boots … it just doesn't work!

Yes, so I only allowed myself to buy them for boots, but then this morning as I look at the bag with new clothes just waiting to get out, I decided it couldn't hurt just to give them a try while it is still warm enough to wear them as capris, right? And so the story ends … it hasn't been so bad.

Anyway, I'm admitting my indiscretion … which does a little to make up for it I hope. The ultimate problem is that having them is going to make me crazy to go out and drop a few hundred dollars on updated, sexy boots to go with them because I'm already sick of the pairs that I have, and it hasn't even gotten to be time to wear them yet! :)

ADD: Per Chuck's request, a pic documenting my hypocrisy ... enjoy.
9.30.06 - 2:13 a.m.


Applying for "Big Brother 8"

So, I've started filling out the written application, and that's really no big deal. The pain in the ass part is the stupid two-minute video, and of course, that's the part that will actually get you selected haha.

I've been talking with some of my fellow "Big Brother" fans about this for a couple weeks and have a few ideas (thanks Natalie), but the more ideas the better right? Even my Gram has a few suggestions ... the funniest of which being that when we get ready to tape it, it would probably be good to have a beer beforehand. :) I'm thinking more like a beer or four hehe.

No rush ... I have to find someone to let me borrow their video camera, too. Actually, as long as they are still accepting applications at that point, probably the best time to film it would be when I'm back home in November. Who wants to help?? Fun times.

Whenever you come up with something, leave the idea for me, and I'll love you forever for helping me get on the show. I'll even give you a kick-back when I win the $500,000. ;)


Rethinking priorities could be necessary

We had a fire drill in the building this afternoon, shortly after lunch. Now, I haven't dealt with a mandatory evacuation/head count since back in K-12 days ... when you didn't take anything with you, you didn't really have anything very important anyway, and you were just happy to be out of class for awhile.

Today, I start filing out with all of my coworkers, and making the trek down the 10 flights of stairs, I see many women walking out clutching their purses. Hmmm ... if this is a real fire, I think that might have been a good thing to grab. Things I would not have anymore had this not been a drill:

- Insulin
- Drivers license/identification
- Money
- ATM card
- Credit cards
- Cell phone (or any phone at my apartment)
- Key to apartment/key fob to even get into building

Oh, but what I did think to grab? My 32 oz. Diet Coke from Chipotle. Yeah, I think there's a problem there.


He's not JUST a great quarterback

Peyton Manning also gets it done with his wonderfully hilarious commercials. Never a disappointment. This year for Sprint:

Love it.

It’s now to the obsession stage ...

... or I just don't have a lot to do ... or both. On Chipotle's Web site, there is a review, "Not all fast food is created equal," from an '05 edition of The Kansas City Star. Well, I think I can do one better than that ... I say, "Not all Chipotle's are created equal," and as RobG suggested this week, I'm going to document it in my Chipotle rating board. It will let you know the nuances between the different locations ... proof that the restaurant is not simply some cookie-cutter, out of the box, every locale is the same, fast food joint ... which I think is a good thing even if some of the locations don't measure up sometimes.

The background:

A couple of weeks ago, while out with some friends, one of the people in the group that I hadn't met before asked the "What's your passion?" question. I HATE that question (or the variation, "What do you like to do with your free time?"). I'm sure it would be a perfectly fine question to get if I felt like I HAD a passion. Yeah, that would help. But as it stands, I don't feel that there's anything that I would just drop everything for ... well, maybe food and TV, but those aren't very healthy things and probably shouldn't be "passions," whatever that means. So, I get the question, I hate it because I feel like a boring, idiot when I say that I don't really think I have one, the conversation ends weirdly ... whatever. Anyway, on this particular evening, I decided to not have the weird outcome and just lay it out on the table by saying, "Ugh, I hate that question. I don't have a passion. Is that bad? Does everyone HAVE to have one?"

Him: "There's not something you really like to do?"

Me: "Honestly, I like to sit on my couch and watch TV. Most people would probably say I watch way too much TV. That's not a very good passion."

Him: "OK, so we need to figure out something that lets you just watch TV a lot, but get something out of it ... how about we'll get you hired at Entertainment Weekly as a columnist, and you can watch TV and get paid. Done!"

Huh ... well, not a half bad idea. At least then I wouldn't have to feel bad telling people I sit and watch TV for most of the day because it would be how I make a living. But, I'm not really a writer, so crap.

Then a few days ago, after my weekly Chipotle lunch, I commented to RobG on IM how delicious my burrito was that day. That led to me telling how I felt my burritos from that particular location were ALWAYS the best, and how I have had some from other Chipotle's that just weren't quite as tasty (but still worth eating). RobG said, "Wow. They should pay you to travel around and rate their locations." Ah ha! That might just top the Entertainment Weekly suggestion I thought ... and it's easier to do as well.

And so it begins. As it stands now, I'll only be updating the board with visits from my daily life since the company is, big surprise, not paying me for this. :)

P.S. If you have a "usual" order when you go to Chipotle, find your burrito soulmate here. As of this date, I have seven.


Who doesn't love local commercials?

Here's my new favorite YouTube video. Well, maybe it doesn't top "The Hoff" yet. I don't know.

Saw the commercial after the Orioles game on Fox today and thought I should to find it to share. The token white guy on the cell phone is the best haha. Well, no, it's all pretty good.


Ladies need to be more careful with precious cargo!

RobG called my attention to this horrible incident:

Truck wreck spills penguins from Indy Zoo

MARSHALL, Texas (AP) - A truck transporting zoo animals overturned early Tuesday, spilling 24 penguins, an octopus and tropical fish along a highway north of Marshall, authorities said.

"We had a penguin wreck," said Department of Public Safety Trooper Richard Buchanan. "They were thrown out into a ditch and in the roadway."

Three penguins that landed in the highway were killed by oncoming traffic, and one suffered a broken wing.

The driver, Kelly Hodge, 34, and passenger Tammy Root both sustained minor scratches and bruises, police said. Root was taken to a local hospital for treatment and released, authorities said.

Most of the fish lived and the octopus appeared unharmed, officials said. The octopus and fish were traveling in plastic bags, and some fish died when their bags burst, Buchanan said.

The two zoo employees were transporting the animals from the Indianapolis Zoo to one in Galveston. The driver swerved, overcorrected and rolled the truck into a ditch alongside U.S. 59 at about 4:30 a.m., Buchanan said.

The penguins were traveling in heavy tubs which broke open the truck's trailer. While cars hit three penguins in the road, troopers succeeded in corralling the others into the roadside ditch, Buchanan said.

Workers from the Caldwell Zoo in nearby Tyler assisted officers in chasing down penguins and rescuing endangered fish.

Authorities contacted a local chemical company, which brought a refrigerator trailer for the animals, which were taken for care to the Caldwell Zoo, Buchanan said.

The zoo's executive director Hayes Caldwell said the animals were treated and sent on to Galveston by mid-afternoon Tuesday.

"They were doing remarkably well for what they had been through," he said.

R.I.P. to the three four poor little penguins. :(

EDIT: Newer stories report that four penguins died; one in the initial wreck and the three hit by cars. Boo.
8.9.06 - 2:20 p.m.


If this is the style, I won't be updating my closet

What I'm referring to are the so-called "skinny jeans."

Funny, though, how even though the jeans themselves are skinny, they don't make anyone LOOK skinny. Well, or maybe they don't make ME look skinny ... I don't know. According to the Cosmo Style magazine I have, "This slenderizing style flatters everyone." WHAT?? I don't know what category I fall into then.

I've read the past couple months in Cosmo that they're coming for fall, and I tried to ignore. I've read that other ridiculous looking styles are coming, i.e. bubble skirts and bell-sleeved blouses, and I've tried to ignore that as well. But after seeing an article about it in the Express on the way to work on Friday, it was too much to handle ... I mean, fall is coming SOON. Pictures of skinny capris with stilettos and flats, skinny jeans with stilettos, flats and sandals: No matter how you paired them, bad, bad, bad. AND I saw a girl wearing them on the metro ... she looked to be about 5' 11" and 120 lbs. and still looked bad. Now if you're tall and skinny and STILL look silly in the skinny jeans ... come on ... I think I have to call Cosmo out for making a false claim.

But, I was bored yesterday, and I decided to just see for myself. I tried on a $20 pair, a $200 pair (please, for comparison sake only) and about four pairs priced in between. I've never thought that I have fat thighs, but I might now. The ONLY way to make these things come close to working is to shell out money for all new tops as well and pair the jeans with another supposed fall staple, the sweater tunic, because wearing a shirt that comes almost down to your knees is the only way to hide how big your hips and thighs look. And well, yeah ... with that ensemble, it would be good if I could just add about seven inches to my stature because the three-inch heels aren't going to cut it.

So, I won't be in the latest style this fall and winter. Oh, and did I forget to mention how uncomfortable they were for the two minutes I had them on? Ew. I can just hear it now, "Did you just see that girl? Her outfit was so early 2000s."


The surprise of my life

Well, I can't believe that I'm actually writing this, but I have been CONSIDERING getting rid of my car. With every week that passes since I moved, I get a little closer to thinking it's a good idea. I'm about 50-50 on it right now ... it seems like such a logical thing to do, but then when my mom told me I could drive it back to Indiana for them to try to sell, I kind of got this sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach about it. So, maybe I'll just drive myself crazy flip-flopping on the idea for the next couple years, and then it will be paid off. Committing seems too scary. Yeah, I don't know. I don't know.

Oh, and speaking of cars. Thanks to the Post's Express for directing me to this video:

I'm a little pissed that he is degrading K.I.T.T.'s memory like this, but it is definitely worth the jaw-dropping three minutes to watch. WOW.

UPDATE: Just reading through this again and realized that I should tell everyone that the surprise turned out to be a big, fat lie hehe. As of July 27, I had sat waiting in the ridiculous line of cars on the street to get my safety inspection and went to the DMV for plates. That only took four hours of my life in total ... ugh. So, the car stays, and yay! Everything that connected me to Illinois is gone. :) The Virginia driver's license is quite ugly, though. Ew.
8.12.06 - 1:04 p.m.


Corey snubs me, I snub Frank Robinson

A lot of people have already heard the Mr. Patterson snub story mentioned in the subject line, so I won't be telling that again. If you haven't heard it and you're interested, message me. It's a pretty unsurprising story anyway.

As for my snub, tonight was the start of "grand re-opening weekend" at RFK Stadium to highlight the stadium "makeover" since the Lerner family bought the Nationals. What does that mean? Apparently, more concession options and lower ticket prices ... beginning with the series AFTER the Cubs and for the rest of the season. Nice of them to still want to cash in on the fact that they know they will have better attendance this weekend than they will for the entire season (and that's not because of the grand re-opening). It still looked like the same crap stadium to me. Here's to hoping that 2008 gets here fast.

Anyway, I get to the gates and just want to get through the ridiculous amount of people crowding around the entrance. I forgot that the team was going to be greeting fans before the game. I wonder, annoyed ... can the free hats be THAT good? I get my ticket scanned, grab my free hat (I had not yet put on my Cubs jersey as I had hurried to get there from work) and feel a hard tap on my shoulder. I turn around, and jabbing his hand out at me is Frank Robinson who says, "Don't you want to shake my hand? I can't believe you were trying to get by without seeing me." I was so stunned that I backed up and almost took out Ryan Zimmerman posing for pictures haha. That was a weird start to the evening. Sorry, Frank.

Then, in usual form, the Cubs lost. Nice. I guess it was good that Josh didn't bother to round up the money for me to be able to go to all of the games hehe.

That's all I have. Later.


A little suspect ...

So, I got an interesting piece of mail today.

A little background: A couple weeks ago, I finally got around to filing a report on some missing/damaged items to the moving company from my move in March. Today, I get a postcard from the company letting me know that someone would be contact with me about the stuff. The problem? Well, it reads like this:

ANGIE SMITH has been assigned to inspect and/or repair your damaged items.

If you do not hear from them by 08/01/2006, please contact them at (my telephone number here) or us at 1-800-747-4100 ext# 205 or 220 for Customer Service Assistance.

Uh, what?? The other weird thing is that they have my name in their computer as Angela Smith according to my address, so I don't know what would make them put Angie Smith. I wonder if I'm getting paid for this "assignment." Haha.

UPDATE: This week I got a check in the mail from Federal Moving and Storage for the full amount I requested. Damn, I should have "estimated" the damages for more ...
7.29.06 - 7:52 p.m.


My apartment

I had some requests for pics of what my apartment looks like, so I finally got around to it, and here they are. And for those of you who might be reading that could care less, I made sure I am in a couple of the pics looking silly, so everyone can enjoy. :)

Living room

Here's the living room, where I showcase the fact that, Nick, I do have the widescreen TV in its proper place now. (Some background: I received a slight amount of crap from Nick while I lived in Springfield because that TV was in my bedroom. Not the most likely place for that type of TV, but that is where it needed to be at the time. Enough said.) The enclosed sunroom doubling as an "office" that I never set foot in is beyond. Computing gets done from my couch. Abby, see the steamer? That doesn't get used much either. I should start calling that room, "The unused crap room." And, yeah ... I won't be leaving my day job to become one of Barker's Beauties anytime soon haha. :)


My bedroom ... the most important aspect of which is that there is a little nook that turned into a perfect home for the Wendy's table. I love my Wendy's table. I don't care what that stupid manager at the Wilson Boulevard Wendy's says.

My view

My apartment looks out onto the complex's courtyard, which is fine, but I would rather not be at ground level if I had my choice. But I guess that is why this larger apartment was priced lower than others based on the location ... and when I say "priced lower," that still means really f***ing expensive when you live alone.

View of D.C.

Here is the view that you can see from one of the two clubrooms that my apartment complex has. This will most likely be the locale that I will watch fireworks from on Tuesday because I have a strong suspicion that I will be too lazy to deal with going into downtown D.C.

All in all, the apartment is great ... as well it better be after I spent days painting the rooms alone ... but there is one problem that I have with the place. And for me, it's a pretty major problem, but I'm trying to overcome my paranoia. The airflow in the bathroom causes the shower curtain to blow in. And I have tried every combination of both doors open, both closed, one closed and one open, fan on, fan off that I can think of ... nothing works. The first shower curtain liner I had was light and flimsy and would pretty much wrap itself all the way around my legs ... it was my own personal horror movie. I spent more time trying to wet the opposite side of the curtain so it might stick to the edges of the tub than I did showering I think. After a couple days of that, I bought one of those thick, heavy-duty types, which is better, but the whole problem is still unacceptable.


My new company is being good to me already

Yesterday, we had a little party with some fruit and dessert to say, "Goodbye," to Knight Ridder. Only being with the company three months, I didn't feel as much connection as some of my co-workers might have. It is a shame, though, that a company that used this great ad at one time has met its maker:

But already, my new company, McClatchy, has won bonus points. We were called in to receive t-shirts this afternoon. Upon hearing that we were getting them, I told some people in my department that the true test would be if there are sizes to choose from. Sure enough, walking into the conference room there indeed were boxes for small, medium, large and extra large. Small even! Wow. Yeah, it doesn't take much to impress me. But I have endured years of companies trying to get me to sign up for something to get their free t-shirt ... their extra large, "everyone can get into this" t-shirt that comes down to my knees. Thanks, but I'll pass.


Well, this is just GREAT ...

I am now getting my first taste of high-rise apartment building fun. The fire alarm has been going off for more than an hour. It freaked poor Perry out so much that when it began going off, he fell off his perch and said, "Ow." For the first 40 min. of the alarm going off, I did leave my apartment (which luckily is very close to the outside courtyard door) to see other people on my floor just looking around, too. We all were trying to figure out if it was real because it is freaking pouring outside. Not many people were out there haha. And I was trying to figure out if I should be getting my pets out of the apartment. Finally we saw some firemen who said that there was no fire. But now, about 35 min. later ... the alarm is still going off. Not cool.

I guess I shouldn't complain though because both ends of my floor are flooding ... down into people's apartments below, too. I'll just be keeping my fingers crossed that it doesn't get to the midsection where I'm at ... And yeah, this is now two blogs in one night. I think I'm going to be up for awhile at this rate.

**Tell us what you're reading, viewing, or listening to: Bleep, bleep ... May I have your attention please, may I have your attention please ... There has been a fire emergency reported in the building, please leave the building by the nearest exit or exit stairway ... Do not use the elevators. Bleep, bleep ...

R.I.P. - The Spartan Inn

So, RobG's comment on my page reminded me of the tragic thing that happened to my favorite small-town restaurant June 16. The Spartan Inn in Wingate, Ind., home of the most-wonderful breaded chicken sandwiches*, is no more.

I made sure to stop in at least one time every trip I made back to Indiana to see my family. Actually, I would plan special to be back early or stay a meal longer if it looked like my other plans were going to keep me from being able to have the delicious sandwich. Little did I know that my trip in there in March before I moved to D.C. would be my last. :(

Most recent news says the fire was arson, and the building was not insured. I better work on finding out if I can get the recipe for that breading ...

*When I searched for pics, I happened upon this review on Yahoo. I promise, Nick, that I did not post it: "wonderful food, especially the hand breaded tenderloin and chicken sandwich. wonderful homemade pies." Pat backs up my claim.

UPDATE: I should have updated this much sooner, but the Spartan Inn has reopened!! Yay. I think it opened its doors again May 21 ... just in time for me to be able to have two chicken sandwiches when I was back for my brother's graduation. Thank goodness they weren't lost forever!
6.14.07 - 10:44 p.m.

UPDATE 2: Again, way behind on updating, but it was a sad day in 2008 that the Spartan Inn changed ownership, and I've been told the breaded chicken sandwiches are not the same. I can't bring myself to go in there to find out. :(
6.12.09 - 12:59 a.m.


The Cubs need me?

This blog is to get my friend, Josh, some help on his monumental task. When I talked to him Monday on the way to the Cubs game in Cleveland, I joked that I was going to be their good luck charm. Josh replied that if that were the case, then it was going to be my full-time job to go to every home and road Cubs game for the rest of the season. And who is going to argue with that? Problem obviously being my pay, Josh said he would raise funds to pay my salary and all travel expenses. Well, I did do them some good on Monday, and I think he might need some help. Why should all the Cubs fans help? Their scoring on Monday was directly related to the time I was there. I arrived late to the game in the second inning, the inning their scoring began. And anyone who watched the game saw their near meltdown in the ninth inning, which very well could have been caused by the fact that I was persuaded to leave during the eighth inning. Luckily, they scored enough runs while I was there to make up for my poor judgment call. Coincidence? Who knows. Don't worry, though. I will take my new job VERY seriously and not make the same mistake twice. Or based on tonight's game, it could just be that they need rain interruptions to win haha. (Personally, I think me being able to go to all of the games is better.)

And on a completely different topic: "Big Brother" is starting up. Yay! But please, America, can we NOT vote Ivette back in the house?? Anyone else will be fine. I would like to know why there is no opportunity to get to see Drew from Season 5 or Nathan from Season 4 ... no one wanted the attractive boys back? Oh well ... at first I was annoyed by this "All-star" version, but then I realized that they did it for me because they knew I wouldn't be able to leave my new job so soon to be on the show. Next summer though ... yeah, someone help me come up with something to send in on video, and I'm SO there.


Lunch meat

OK, we're starting with the people that work at the deli counter of the grocery (the troll isn't the only horrid one, Nick). At the store last week, I wanted some roast beef sliced thin ... like shaved. The roast beef in the case already was not sliced thin. (Some of you know of my aversion to questionable-quality lunch meat, and if my friend, Wally, were on MySpace, he would get a great laugh out of this. Look, I'm not the biggest fan of lunch meat, and if I'm going to eat it, it has to have decent texture and not be Subway slimy.) So, the woman stops, looks at me for a minute, rolls her eyes and goes to find the roast beef to cut. When another person working there points to the precut meat in the case, the woman serving me says in a Fran Drescher-like voice, "No, she wants it cut thiiiiiin." Um, you're not behind a glass wall, ladies. What else do you have to do back there? Make cole slaw? Slicing meat is what you are there for. Sorry that's your job. (As an aside, yes, my need for thinly-trimmed meat means mine is always fresh, not the stuff that has been sitting in there for six hours. It really isn't about that, although that is a bonus.)

I uploaded some photos to the face-recognition Web site that Chuck had mentioned in one of his earlier blogs. I probably tried four or five different photos to see how different the results were. In each one, the top or second best match was Kelly Clarkson. Um ... I think it should be that Kelly Clarkson looks like ME. Haha. On one of my pics, Beyonce was pretty close to the top as one of my look alikes, so I don't know how much I trust it. Actually, I don't even know about the Kelly Clarkson one either ... but your match was good, Chuck.

Hmmm ... OK, some good stuff ... there's a restaurant here named Five Guys. The burgers are pretty good, but what makes the place is how many fries you get. In the bag, you get your sandwich, a 12 oz. cup of fries stuffed full, then they dump a whole additional scoop of fries on top. I usually am full and have had plenty of fries before I even get to the ones in my cup, so it's definitely a waste, but it's good that they're there if you're really hungry. Better to have too many fries than not enough in my opinion.

My favorite baseball park food is not the hot dogs, but the nachos with jalapenos. I've been to both Camden Yards and RFK Stadium, and both places' nachos blow Wrigley and Busch out of the water (especially Busch, where I wouldn't even get the nachos because they pour the cheese on top of the chips instead of letting you dip ... hopefully they have rectified this issue in the new stadium). Both stadiums here have trays with two areas for cheese, so you never run out. Spectacular. Of the two, RFK kind of loses out because the cheese is spooned in from a shallow tray, which hurts consistency, so Camden is the winner so far. Also, RFK just kind of sucks in general for atmosphere anyway. Oh, and on the topic of baseball games, "Thank God I'm A Country Boy," is NOT an acceptable replacement for "Take Me Out To The Ballgame," in the seventh-inning stretch. Take note, Baltimore.

And here's a shocker ... there are some things I miss about Springfield: The top, of course, being La Mex. I've replaced the weekly routine with Chipotle, but it just isn't the same ... they never know exactly what I want when I walk in like Lupe did. Even Ernie butting into our conversations would be nice haha. Oh, what am I saying ... I love Chipotle, but I'd rather just be able to eat both every week. The next is Polar Pop ... 59 cents, a styrofoam cup and a high-flow straw ... nothing better than that. And finally, the biggest shock to me since I don't really like Italian food, Saputo's baked rigatoni. Never would I have imagined that I'd miss that, but it's so deliciously slathered with melted cheese that I could deal with the marinara sauce. Yes, if you're still reading now, it has been revealed: I care the most about food.


At Chuck's request ... the intro

So, Chuck (Chaz) tells me I should start a blog "to keep up with musings of your new life on the east coast." Well, my first thought on that was, "No way because that will just give written record that I'm too negative." (Which I only started thinking about because my mom began telling me that I HAVE to stop getting so irritated about things because she saw someone just like me on Dr. Phil the other day and he said ... I have gotten the "Dr. Phil says" talk from both her and my grandma many times about different stuff. Well, I am so happy for Dr. Phil that he has all the wisdom to tell everyone what they are doing wrong. Note: This comment only directs my annoyance at Dr. Phil, not my mom or grandma, who I love dearly.) So anyway, I did reconsider ... and we'll see. I thought maybe I could try to keep track of some of the things I encounter (I've already got one, but you'll have to wait) and post them every week or two. Some will be annoyances (intro into that above) and some good stuff (hopefully haha). Or, maybe it won't end up happening and this will be the only post. ;)

At the very least, it will give me an opportunity to vent, and I know that these rants are what some of my friends love about me (the Elaine factor) ... I can give them a good laugh (whether that's good for me remains to be seen). For the others that I might have put up a good front for ... surprise! Hehe ... no, hopefully everyone already knows me. :)