Archive for February, 2009

Learning to Focus

I think Fridays are bad blogging days. Historically, I haven’t had very exciting blogs on Fridays. I think my brain is tired. Apparently I’m having focusing problems in all aspects of my life! So, once again, I will blog about randomness…


-I’ve had a headache for 24 hours now. Not sure what the cause is. Rain? Job stress? Vision therapy? Genes? Who knows.


-I have a love-hate relationship with my vision therapy games. I love them because I know they’ll help. I’m excited about the future of my eyes. But oh how I hate them. Those games are not fun. I yelled at the computer last night. I don’t know what I thought it would accomplish, but I did feel better. There was this one game last night called Traffic Jam. The screen was an aerial view of cars. On the top of each car was a tiny arrow. In order to pass the car in front of me, I had to push the arrow button that corresponds with the arrow on top of the car. So I start playing. It was a bit of a strain. Those arrows were tiny. That wasn’t the problem. The problem was with the sound effects. The first time I pushed an arrow button, I heard the screeching of tires as my car moved ahead and the one in front of me disappeared. I assumed that sound meant I was correct. The next one honked, a very low, loud honk. It sounded like a “YOU’RE WRONG” kind of honk. So I kept going. Randomly I would get a tire screech, and other times I get a honk. I was getting frustrated. At this point my eyes were about 4 inches from the screen because I just KNEW I wasn’t getting this many wrong answers. (This is when I yelled at the computer.) I finally called Stephen in and made him watch. He agreed with me, I was getting the right answers, this program was broken. Then my husband had a brilliant idea: get one wrong on purpose to see what sound it make. I did. It made a new sound. I had been getting them right all along. So, to the maker of my Amblyopia Vision Therapy Software, you’re mean. A honk that low means “wrong”. You have insulted my intelligence. I expect a formal apology.


-I have a date with my mom tonight. Stephen is going to play poker and win us lots of money. My mom and I are going out to dinner and then to Target to look for bathing suits for the cruise. (Yuck. Bathing suit shopping. Gross.) I love mom dates though!


-I washed our new car last week. I hate hate hate washing cars. I’m not good at it and I think it’s a lot of work for nothing. Then it rained. All week. So I drive a wet car to work, it sits in our parking lot all day where dirt and dust blows on it, and when I leave at the end of the day, it’s filthy. It’s annoying.


-To add to my old aged habits, I’m about to learn to cross-stitch. Not that I really want to learn. I really have no desire to cross stitch. But I have to do it for therapy. Shockingly, my knitting is improving. Often I find that I’m knitting from muscle memory, and that really doesn’t help my vision. So I’ve been instructed to do something with a fine point and preferably a needle. I’ll make sure to have Stephen fix our rocking chair so I can sit in it while I sew. Maybe we’ll get a few cats to sit at my feet… (totally kidding Stephen, don’t get your hopes up!)


-Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. I love Valentine’s Day. Stephen and I never go out. He makes steak, I make dessert. And we exchange gifts. This year I’m trying some new dessert. Chocolate Fudge Cake. The picture looks amazing!! I’ll let you know how it goes.


-Rookie did the coolest thing the other night. I was in the bathroom brushing my teeth. She was standing at my feet because she was tired and telling me she was read to go to sleep. I said, “Rookie, are you ready for night night? Go tell your daddy.” And she ran out, ran into the living room, and fussed at Stephen. Man I love her!!


I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend. The reason my blog is ‘blah’ today is because I am ‘blah’ today. Maybe yall can entertain yourselves with a fun comment thread. Happy Friday!

February 13, 2009 at 11:40 am 2 comments

A Little Therapy Never Hurt Anyone

As previously discussed, Rookie is a smart dog. She knows to run into her room when I finish tying my shoes. She knows to come to the kitchen when she hears me take a glass out of the cabinet so she can have a piece of ice. She also knows that the guest bathroom is where she takes her baths. And she hates baths. Consequently, she hate that bathroom. Things changed with Ike though. We are STILL using the guest bathroom. Each morning, when Stephen gets in the shower, he makes her stay in the bathroom and wait for him to finish. (If he doesn’t, she’ll hang out by the front door and bark at anything that passes. Her intentions are good, she’s just trying to protect her mom and dad…  but it’s quite annoying.) The first few times we tried to make her come in the bathroom, she tucked her tail between her legs and flattened her ears. She’d walk in and sit down, avoiding eye contact at all costs. She now knows that if we call her in the bathroom in the morning, she’s safe. She just has to lay down and wait. Whoever said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks never mentioned that to Stephen or Rookie.


Or my eye doctor.


If my brain is the dog, and seeing is a trick. Yesterday was my pre-op appointment for lasik. We found out that there is a lot I don’t know about my eyes. I’ve mentioned before that I don’t use my right eye. I’ve always thought it was a muscle problem, or just an extremely left eye dominance. Wrong and wrong. It’s a brain issue. Apparently something happened when I was younger so I quit using my right eye. Consequently, my brain has been told that it doesn’t need to use that eye. It no longer knows how to use that eye. I have to teach it.


So what it all boils down to is this: If I get lasik, I will still only use my left eye. Lasik only fixes vision, not brains. (Too bad for that! I think we could all benefit from a little brain lasik. Especially since it took me another 2 minutes to figure out how to open the stupid gas thing yesterday… can someone hurry up with the brain lasik?!) As nice as it would be to have straight eyes, I still want to see perfectly. I want to know what 3D looks like. I want to know how you see. My doctor and I had a little laugh yesterday when we were in the exam room. My mom asked, “Umm, what do you mean you only use one eye? How do you do that? I mean, what does it look like?” Well mom, I know we weren’t really able to answer that question very well for you. But I often wonder the same about you. What do you mean you see with both eyes? How do you do that? What does it look like?


Hopefully one day I’ll know. Hopefully I can teach my brain to use my right eye. If I can do that, we’ll do lasik and I’ll actually have great vision in both eyes. How do you do that Chelsea? Do you just give you brain a stern talking-to? Well, no. Talking to your brain serves no purpose… besides making you look like a crazy lady. We are now trying vision therapy. For an hour each night, I turn into a pirate. My good eye is patched and I sit at the computer for 30 minutes playing stimulating games. The next thirty minutes I am to do precise, close up work (knitting, needle point, tracing small pictures, etc.) When my doctor first mentioned therapy she said, “I’d never prescribe therapy to someone who doesn’t really want it. It’s a lot of work.” I was honestly thinking that the hard part would be to cut out an hour of each night to devote to computer games and knitting. I’m making a habit of being wrong!


I never knew eyes could hurt. Like not just burn. Not a headache behind your eye. My eye was actually sore. Like it had been on the elliptical for 30 minutes and then had some weight training for the next 30 minutes. I’m sure there will be many stories in the future relating to my eye therapy but let me just give you a glimpse. I don’t know how you see, so I can’t explain it too much. Maybe the tired, blurry feeling when you first wake up? When you eyes aren’t ready to work too hard? Okay, take that feeling (except instead of waking up from a night’s sleep, you are waking up from a 24 year hibernation) and imagine sitting in front of your computer. Well, that should be easy…! Now imagine a giant white screen in front of you. The numbers 0-9 are floating around your screen at random speeds, haphazardly, in a size 12 font. Your face is 16 inches from the screen. Your mouse pointer changes. If it turns into a 4, you have to find the 4 and click on it. Then it changes, to maybe an 8. You do the 8. And so on. For five minutes. It burned. It hurt. It was hard! At one point, Stephen came in to check on me and I asked him if all of the numbers had shadows. They didn’t. Hmm. Looks like my brain has a ways to go! After the five minutes is up, a cartoon penguin came on my screen to tell me what a great job I did. And then we started the next 5 minute “game”.


This is going to be a lot of work. But it’ll be rewarding. And honestly, I think this therapy is fascinating. Brains are really interesting. (Except when you take Language and the Brain at UT, that’s not interesting. It’s awful. Take is pass/fail!) Lasik isn’t out of the picture, it’ll just be postponed so that I can receive the full benefits of the surgery. Don’t cancel your prayers, just re-direct them. Prayers are now needed that my old brain learns this new trick called seeing!


Good things come to those who keep waiting…

February 12, 2009 at 10:31 am 5 comments

Loser Week 6: Raising the Bar

This was a big week for Biggest Loser. The contestants and producers had to prove that they could still entertain America without their Silver Bullets. I was excited about this, as I was never a fan of the drama Joelle and Carla brought to the show. I got the impression that trainer Bob was quite excited about this as well. For the sake of his reputation and his job, he kept him mouth closed, only saying “That team just didn’t work.” And he’s right. It may be the understatement of the century, but he’s right.


The first challenge of the week was a balance challenge. Balance on a board as long as you can. The winner gets 24 hours with a loved one, at the ranch. Ron was the first to go, staying on only about 11 seconds. The others slowly dropped. The final four were Mandi, Filipe, Blaine, and Aubrey (yuck). In another effort to show America that they are worlds different than last season’s cruel contestants, the competition turned into a favor. Mandi whispered, “Filipe, please, let me see my husband.” Being the awesome guy he is, he stepped down. She then asked Blaine. He turned to Aubrey and asked, “Aubrey, if I step down, will you let Mandi win?” And, well, they are sisters so she really had no choice. They stepped down. Mandi then got 24 hours with her husband and sons. It was sweet. And while it may have been a distraction to have them on campus, I like her and was happy for her.


The main challenge this week was amazing. It was literally a test of who could hold a bar over their heads for the longest, in 38 degree weather. Each player had one end of a bar. If either member put their hands down too far, they were out. It came down to the green team and purple team. It was amazing. The purple team won after 4.5 (!!!) hours of bar holding. I like the way Tara explained this challenge. Just standing in the same place for 4.5 hours hurts. Raising your hands for 4.5 hours hurts. Put those two together… it was painful. The purple team won and received immunity for the week. I was extremely impressed. I especially enjoyed the part when Dane tried sucking on his thumb to try to defrost it.


The weigh in wasn’t too surprising. Kristen gained two pounds, her mom lost 4. No surprise there. When you win immunity, you cheat. That’s they way of the game. Thankfully, Mike was able to lose enough weight to keep him and his dad safe. Side note: I was thoroughly impressed with him this week. He is a great guy and I really hope he succees. His dad is going to have a tough time and I’m not sure how much longer Mike can save his dad. We’ll see. Anyways, in true Loser fashion, they changed things up this week. Only one team would fall below the yellow line. The other teams would then vote off one member of that team. Sadly, my black team fell below. I’m not quite sure how that happened, but it did. (tear)


During the discussion time, Blaine asked everyone to vote him off. Of course people cried. Others argued. This is a game, after all. And Bob’s team recently got screwed over when Jillian’s team voted Damien off and kept crazy Joelle. So you could see their concern. Dane is the better competitor at this point. But Blaine made a good plea, he said he’d like to go home and see his baby. That sounds fair but, Dane, can you please start speaking? Besides the thumb sucking comment, I don’t think we’ve heard 2 words from you this season. Not acceptable. In the end, the pink team was the only one to vote for Dane, all others respected Blaine’s wishes to go home. And wow, Brown and Blue, I loved your reasonings. I really love how respectful these contestants are.


Maybe I’m not like the rest of America. I enjoy the show without the drama. I enjoy seeing them make huge accomplishments. I enjoy seeing them develop some pride in themselves. So, please Aubrey, don’t start crap. You’re the only one I don’t like. Prove me wrong please.


Team black is now set up to be the at home winner and Biggest Loser. Let’s go Blaine and Dane!!!

February 11, 2009 at 12:20 pm 2 comments

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

(An unfortunate bonus post. See below for a less depressing post!)


My Lasik was postponed. My doctor is at a conference this Friday. I’m not quite sure why the receptionist didn’t mention this the first three times we spoke. And, of course, they haven’t called to let me know when my new appointment is. (That shouldn’t surprise me though, they never told me when my first appointment was…) So keep praying, but check back often. I’ll post the appointment time when I know it.


Advice on how to run a business:

-Know when your boss is out of town, don’t schedule appointments with her during that time.

-Call clients when you say you’re going to call.

-Don’t put your client on hold as she is speaking.

-Treat all patients with respect. Even if you are tired/busy/hate your job/etc.


In case you can’t tell, I’m annoyed. (Not with my doctor, I love her. I’m annoyed with her staff.)

February 10, 2009 at 10:06 am 1 comment

Not So Good With the Listening

Stephen and I got married young. There is no arguing that. Whether or not you think that’s a good idea is a whole different story. I’ve heard both arguments. If you get married too old, you’re already set in your ways. You know how you like things done and it throws your whole world off if someone comes in there and tries to change it up. If you get married too young, you haven’t experienced enough life. You’ll end up getting bored or realizing what else is out there and you’ll be unhappy. Well I don’t know about the first one, but as for the second, I disagree. Stephen is anything but boring! And no, maybe we haven’t experienced much, but now we get to do it together. And in my opinion, there’s no better way!


But, yes, we knew we were getting married young. We knew pre-marital counseling was extremely important. And we knew we needed to discuss all the ‘deal-breakers’ right away. (Actually, we discussed that early on in the relationship… because, really, what’s the point in wasting time on someone with different goals?) Before Stephen and I got married, we read lots of books. Some were better than others. Our favortites were Five Love Languages, For Men Only, and For Women Only. I highly recommend these books, even if you aren’t getting married. After books, counseling, and discussions with older-wiser marrieds, we found that there are three main areas that bring on conflict.


1. Money

2. Sex

3. Communication


I don’t think that this strikes anyone as a big surprise. Money, I think we’re okay. We have the same goals, same desire to save save save, and are equally as excited about good deals. If I’d quit buying books and Stephen would order water when we go out to eat, we’d probably never argue about money at all! So, put a check in that box. Sex? Well that’s none of your business so we’ll just breeze past that one.


I would argue that communication is the biggest problem for most couples. How can it not be? Half of each relationship is female. In case you haven’t noticed, females are unstable (instable?). Words, tones, contexts, volume, gestures, and even pauses all have meanings to us. The simple question “What are you doing?” can be interpreted in so many different ways depending on how we may or may not interpret all of the other factors. And to rub salt in the wound, those other factors can be interpreted differently each day of the week… and, no, we won’t give you the schedule. So tread lightly, honey.


Let’s explain this further. Ladies, just think about it. We’ll put Stephen and I in this situation so that you can still appear innocent. If Stephen came home one day and said, “What’s for dinner?” There are many ways this could go down:


Scenario 1: Yesterday I took some chicken out of the freezer to defrost, I have recently been to the grocery store, and I don’t have a headache. I have a planned menu and life is good. So I respond, “Well I thought I’d give that chicken dish another shot. I know it’ll never really be like your mom’s but we can keep trying, right? Why don’t you go ahead and have a glass of wine, it’ll still be about 30 minutes until it’s ready.”


Scenario 2:I have a headache, I forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer yesterday, the fridge is empty, the pantry is empty, Rookie is hungry and keeps asking to go play with Molly because I’m boring. I’m feeling like a failure since I can’t feed my husband or entertain my dog. So I respond, (please adjust your reading tone of voice for this one), “I don’t know! Ugh! I work full time too, you know. We have no food in this stupid house and I didn’t have time to go to the grocery store on Sunday because I was too busy knitting and napping. The kitchen is a mess, I can’t even think straight. Why can’t you just like soup?” 


Poor men don’t stand a chance. And the honest truth is that he was only asking to make small talk. I could have said that I was frying pig feet and he wouldn’t have heard me. So, yeah, communication is a hard one. If you were sitting in our living room this past weekend, this is what you would have heard.


Stephen: They interviewed the Harlem Globetrotters on the radio the other day.

Chelsea: What radio?

Stephen: The Harlem Globetrotters.

Chelsea: (annoyed) That’s a good answer to the question I asked.

Stephen: (defensive) What?


So my marital advice? If your communication is lacking, at least make it funny.

February 10, 2009 at 9:52 am 5 comments

There Are No Words…

Actually there are words. There are lots of words. There are 796 of them to be exact. But you know what I mean…


Is there something you’ve wished for your whole life? Something you thought would be absolutely amazing but never ever thought it would actually happen? You know, like some people wish for world peace. Some wish they could fly. Or win the lottery. Or be famous. Or own a Lou Gehrig signed baseball. You know, those unreachable wishes. Well I have one of those too.


You know how you can play that game “If you could have lunch with 5 people, dead or alive, who would they be?” Okay, well play that game with yourself. Right now. Got your 5? Okay, now imagine if the mysteries of science could actually make that happen? How would you feel? What would you do? I’ll tell you. You’d cry. You’d have a massive headache brought on by insane amounts of excitement. It would take you twice as long to type your blog because your hands are shaking uncontrollably.  I know this because my lifelong wish ranks up there with the 5 People Game, and I learned on Friday that my wish is coming true.


I wish for eyesight. And the mysteries of science can now make it happen.


There are many of you who will not understand the magnitude of this event in my life. If you’ve never had a tiny pair of glasses strapped to your head at the ripe age of 2, you won’t understand. If you’ve never been made fun of for having a crossed eye, you won’t understand. If you’ve never wondered what it actually means to see clearly, you won’t understand. Basically, I don’t expect you to understand.


When I was two, my parents knew there was a problem. My doctor knew there was a problem. My right eye crossed and I didn’t use it. Now, 22 years later, my right eye still crosses and I still don’t use it. My eye sight has improved significantly over the years. I’ve (unknowingly) trained my eye how to straighten itself when I’m not wearing my contacts. (This takes years of therapy and lots of money for most people.) However, when I straighten my eye, my vision is terrible. Imagine opening your eyes underwater. It’s like that. So I had a few options. One: Uncross my eye and see blur. Two: Cross my eye and see wonderfully. Three: Wear contacts, have a straight eye, and see mediocre. But now, there is an option four… lasik.


But Chelsea, lasik has been around for a long time. Yes friend, it has. But it wasn’t available for my type of eyes. I’m one of those “complicated cases.”  In the past few years, technology has been improved enough to fix my eyes. However, my doctor and I haven’t been comfortable with it just yet. You see (no pun intended), when you have terrible eyes, you learn to be extremely grateful for the sight that you do have. I always swore I’d never get lasik for fear that it would take away what I’ve got. Well, times have changed. My doctor has another patient very similar to me, he’s been in glasses since 3, has a crossed eye, far-sighted, the works. He had successful lasik surgery last year. (If you understood where I’m coming from, that would make you tear up a bit. Or, minimally, do a happy dance.)


So if all goes as planned, I should have perfect vision with completely straight eyes this time next week. Unbelievable, I know. I am beyond ecstatic. I’m sweating. And I don’t sweat. (Seriously.) I leave you with three things:


1. Please please do not ever make fun of someone with crossed eyes. Do not ever cross your eyes if you are making a joke or pretending to be dumb. Know that on every single movie that shows a dumb person with crossed eyes, millions of kids (and now adults) just like me cry inside.

2. I am grateful from the bottom of my heart for my parents. Ever read 5 Love Languages? Well they don’t tell you this, but the 6th language is The Gift of Sight. I feel your love! Not that I didn’t before, but this is the most wonderful gift you could ever give me. I am also grateful to my doctor who has been the most amazing doctor. For 22 years she’s cared for my eyes. She is a wonderful lady.

3. Pray Pray Pray. At (Time TBA) on Friday, pray. Pray for my nerves, my husband’s nerves, my parents’ nerves, my doctor’s nerves. Pray for the doctor performing the surgery. Pray a prayer of peace, a prayer of healing, and then pray a resounding prayer of thanks.


Now if only I could get rid of this headache and stop shaking!


Note: This blog was written on Friday when I got the call that all was good to go. The headache has now subsided and I’m no longer shaking. I doubt I’ll sleep much Thursday night and I’m sure I’ll have a massive migraine on Friday. As soon as I know the time of my appointment, I’ll update #3 up there. (Lindsay and Kaitlin, that is why I didnt post sooner, I was hoping to know my appointment time.) Please check back for that info. Prayers are needed.

February 9, 2009 at 10:10 am 20 comments

Another Mumbo Jumbo Friday

It’s Friday… I can’t form one cohesive thought. Here’s a bunch of randomness. (With a few plugs…)


-Does anyone actually watch 30 Rock? I don’t know how they win so many awards, I haven’t met a single person who regularly watches it. The Office on the other hand, everyone watches that. It’s hilarious. It’s the best show ever. Why aren’t they winning Best Comedy awards? I don’t think I’ve met a single person who actually doesn’t like that show. (My sister didn’t like it for a while. She was in a bad place… mentally. No worries though, she’s over that and is a fan of the Dunder Mifflin bunch!)


-Am I the only person in America that doesn’t like Katy Perry? Sadly, I thought I Kissed a Girl had a great beat and it was super catchy. But Hot and Cold and whatever the other one is, oh my, annoying.


-Stephen is taking piano lessons. I’m thoroughly enjoying it too. I like to sit on the couch and knit while he practices.


-On that note, if anyone in the Houston area is looking for a piano teacher or a pianist for an event, I know one! And if you’re looking for a photographer, I know one! Or if you’re looking to hire someone for any job, I know someone looking!


-I sell Avon. If you buy Avon, we should talk. We could make magic.


-Yesterday I made a bunch of copies of some plans at work. I went back to the copy machine to pick them up… turns out, I put the original stack upside down so that I made a bunch of blank copies. That was a proud moment.


-Ever since Stephen and I got married, I always thought gift-giving time was a bit weird. We share our money. I don’t really know how to put it in words, but it’s weird. Buying him a gift with his money… or him buying me a gift with my money. I don’t know. Doesn’t anyone know what I mean? We ran into a problem more so with Stephen since I check our bank account daily. He has no chance to buy something without me finding out. We’ve decided we’re going to open a separate account for him to use for my gifts. Stephen turned to me last night and said, “I need you to give me some cash so I can go buy your Valentine’s Day present.” We’ll open that account this weekend.


-I’m doing a walk this Sunday to raise money for Habitat for Humanity – Women Build. This is basically a Habitat for Humanity but it’s for women to participate. (Incase you couldn’t figure that out from the name.) Thanks to those of you who donated $10 to support this. If anyone else would like to support, let me know before Sunday.


-My family is going on a cruise in a few weeks. Reasons I’m excited: warmth, beautiful beaches, non-stop food, I get to see my sister, I actually get to spend more time with my brother, it’ll remind Stephen and I of our honeymoon, a week off of work, I’ll have time to sleep and read, we can watch the same movie in 4 different languages. Reasons I’m not excited: I have to get back in a bathing suit, non-stop food, I may blind someone with my whiteness, Laura may get sea-sick, it will have to end sometime.


-“Happy birthday to you.” Period. Not even an exclamation mark?  It’s more professional that way.

February 6, 2009 at 9:47 am 9 comments

Proof That My Intelligence Has Declined Since College

I’m a believer in the “use it or lose it” concept.  This is exactly why the muscles in my arms and legs function like wet noodles. This is also why my cursive looks like I am writing with my toes. I’m learning more and more how this applies to your brain as well. I’ve always heard about older people doing crosswords and other games to “keep their mind sharp”… and it makes sense. I didn’t realize that the mind-dulling process begins the second they hand you your diploma. (Or in my case, you sit outside with 5,736,829 of your closest friends, hear speeches, see fireworks, and then someday maybe they’ll mail you your diploma… speaking of, where is that thing??)


Lately I’ve been noticing that I’m not smart. I used to think I was smart. In high school, I was smart. College, well, I think my intelligence was the same but I was surrounded by thousands of students with brains so big they were oozing out of their ears. Now, as I’m in the workforce, I know it’s not just them, it’s me.


How else could you explain my new appreciation for Brittney Spears and Beyonce? I am not one to like that type of music… but sadly, each time Womanizer or Single Ladies comes on, I turn it up and sing along. And you know that these come on at least 12 times each day. I know they are stupid songs. I can’t help myself. The clapping or tapping or whatever is going on in the background of Single Ladies just makes me excited. And can someone please explain to me what type of swagger a champion actually has?? Because I’m singing it, but I’d like to understand it!


I’m also realizing that when you’re in school, you learn many non-school related things. News spreads like wildfire across college campuses: Popular names, brands, lingo, party plans, meetings with free shirts or food, etc. It’s amazing. I think there is some sort of newsletter. How else did 5000 sorority girls at UT learn to wear their Uggs, Nike shorts, and Northface jackets the same day? The connection we (the old, boring people) have to this information is quick and fleeting. Occasionally you can catch it in a blog, in a song, in a witty reference on a sitcom. So the other day I was on facebook and saw an acronym that I’ve seen a lot in the past few months. “FTW” I couldn’t figure it out. The way most people use it is at the end of a sentence, or as it’s own sentence… this makes the usage of context clues almost impossible. I was too embarrassed to ask anyone so I actually googled “What does FTW mean?” It’s sad, I know.


I think the tipping point was yesterday. I am now accepting that my brain is melting (maybe too much hulu?). I started the day with one of those instances of not knowing where your keys are. I was wondering where they were as I was driving to work. I found them on my desk. (After I took them out of the ignition, brought them into my office and put them down on my desk.) Yeah. Ridiculous. Last night, I took the Murano to get gas. This was the first time we’ve filled her up. I got out of the car and walked to the back. I had NO idea how to open the gas thing. I’m talking about the outside opening thing that you have to open in order to get to the thing you unscrew. I sound so smart right now, I know. It was flat, no lip to grab onto. So I walk back to the driver’s side and look for a button. I know there are some cars where you push a button and it pops it open. Nothing. I go back and push and pull and beg. Nothing. I call Stephen to see if he knows. No idea. I’m two seconds away from calling my friend Veronica (who also has a Murano) when I push the “sweet spot” and it opens. Thank God. But the damage was done. I felt like a fool.


I read regularly. Stephen and I do crosswords for fun. We watch and read the news. It’s not enough. It’s time to start doing even more crosswords. Maybe I’ll take up bridge. I should also become a regular viewer of Wheel of Fortune. Anything will help at this point. To all of you college kids, remember what it’s like. You’re the smartest you’ll ever be.


For the win!

February 5, 2009 at 9:40 am 8 comments

Loser Week 5: Look How Sweaty He Is

I knew this episode was going to be good when Jillian yelled at Aubrey in the first 5 minutes of the show. Oh Jillian!


The episode began with the returning contestants weighing in. I wasn’t sure what to expect. They had been gone for 30 days. What is reasonable weight loss for this sort of competition? The range of numbers fell from 2-25 pounds. Aubrey was the sad contestant who only lost 2 pounds. She started making excuses and said that even though she hadn’t lost much weight, she was stronger and had more endurance. Jillian called her out and told her to stop sugar coating it… she had only lost 2 pounds… in 30 days. I don’t know about you but my weight fluctuates about 5 pounds regularly. So, Aubrey, losing 2 pounds does not prove that you worked out for 4 hours every day. It proves that you didn’t drink as much water today, or maybe you took a good trip to the restroom. No more excuses. (Side note, the blue team got immunity this week since Sione lost the most weight at home… these cousins are awesome.)


This was one of the more creative and entertaining challenges. Each contestant was roped to their partner. That  rope was attached to another long rope that was wrapped around a giant metal beam hundreds of times. (Imagine the way the rope and ball get wrapped around the pole in the game Tether Ball… only the pole is horizontal.) The teams had to unwrap themselves until they had enough slack to run to the finish line. There were quite a few people climbing on to the bar and then falling off. I’m not going to lie, I laughed at this. Shockingly, the yellow team (Aubrey and Amanda) won this challenge. I really thought it would be the blue team (Sione and Filipe). The prize for this challenge was either $5000 (which caused Joelle to almost poop her pants with excitement) or a 2 pound advantage at the next weigh in.


 The last chance workout was pretty enjoyable. Nobody threw up. I don’t think there were any tears. Carla worked her butt off, Joelle watched. The blue team continued to amaze everyone, Joelle watched. Shannon was told to carry Sione across the gym, at which she replied, “Look how sweaty he is…”, I laughed, Joelle watched.


Finally, the weigh in. I don’t think there were any that were incredibly shocking. I’m continually impressed with Team Black. Blaine lost another 9 pounds and Dane lost another 11. They consistently lose high numbers. We learned that in the 5 weeks on campus, they’ve lost 140 pounds. That’s impressive. Note that I said that none of the contestants were particularly shocking… so when I say the Joelle lost ZERO pounds, hear that I am not shocked. It ended with Team Silver (the Silver bullet, really? is that an appropriate name for their performance? maybe because they kill and wound everything in their path with their laser eyes and fire spit…) and Team Brown below the yellow line. I bet you can all guess how that went. Team Brown cried and gave another heartwarming plea. My favorite line: “100% of this team wants to be here.” Team Silver on the other hand… well… it didn’t go well. They obviously ended up getting voted off but lets address a few things here…


-Aubrey is not nice. She’s been back on the ranch for one week and she already thinks she is the Queen B. I don’t know why she thinks she can yell at Joelle for making excuses when she herself only lost TWO POUNDS IN THIRTY DAYS. This seems like a situation of the pot calling the kettle fat. I love her sister Amanda, so I’m not ready for them to go. Maybe Bob can organize a martial arts training for the whole house and someone can accidentally judo chop her in the vocal cords…


-Let’s discuss the Silver girls for a second. Yes, Joelle is lazy. And quite honestly, I think she has a few screws lose. She needs to see a doctor (and a financial planner). But there is no excuse for the way Carla talks to her. That’s not friendship. Rewind back to episode one… before we knew Joelle was a crazy lady. Carla was extremely condescending and patronizing to her. We now know that they haven’t spoken in months. Good for Joelle. Yes, she owes Carla an apology for her laziness (although I think she may not understand that she was lazy, she may honestly believe that she gave it her all) but Carla owes her a million apologizes for the way she treated her and attacked her character. I’m anxious to see how they look at the finale. However, I’m not looking forward to everyone yelling at her again. Hopefully the producers will try to focus on another story and understand that those sort of attacks will end up killing Joelle.


I hope you enjoyed last night’s episode. I sure did. Looking forward to next week, as usual.

February 4, 2009 at 9:43 am 6 comments

A Day in the Life of Rookie Dog


We’re all creatures of habit. I’ve been learning how true this is more and more as I’m reading everyone’s “25 Things” lists. (Which I LOVE, by the way!) My dog is no different. She thrives on habit. She really takes after her momma, and I’m convinced that if she had thumbs, she’d also keep a daily planner. Hers may be a bit boring, but she’d keep it nonetheless. This is a sample of what her day would look like:


5:50 Wake up and walk mom to the bathroom. See that she is turning on the shower, immediately run out of the bathroom.

5:51 Go look out the front windows. Still dark. Nothing to bark at.

5:52 Walk back to mom and dad’s room and go back to sleep.

6:15 Wake up with dad and walk him to the bathroom. See that he is turning on the shower but realize he’s already shut the door. Oh crap, I’m stuck.

6:16 Lay against the door, as far away from the shower as possible.

6:35 Lick dad’s knees. Run into mom and dad’s bedroom. Stand next to mom and give her kisses until she pets my head.

6:40 Go outside and potty. Try to ignore the squirrels (mom and dad don’t like it when I chase them into the neighbor’s backyard).

6:43 Sit. Take my benadryl. Lick my lips to show daddy that I swallowed my pills like a big girl. Eat breakfast. Drink water and drool half of the bowl on the floor.

6:46 Go check on mom (sometimes she falls back asleep after dad and I wake her up).  If she’s asleep, I lick her more. If she’s awake putting her makeup on, I get bored real quick.

6:47 Go stare out the front windows. Bark if anything walks by.

6:55 Go watch mom blow dry her hair. Let her point the scary gun at me twice before getting upset.

7:00 Watch mom and dad as they run around getting dressed, make lunches, and get stuff together.

7:15 If mom and dad haven’t left, they are going to be late for work. Walk to my room. Walk back and look at them from around the corner. Repeat until they realize it’s time for them to leave.

7:19 Hear mom or dad say “Go to your room”… think “duh, I should have been in my room 5 minutes ago!” Run enthusiastically to my room.

7:20-5:45 (I will NEVER tell mom what I do all day)

5:46 Hear mom and dad come home. Continue napping.

5:47 Run to the backdoor when mom lets me out of my room.

5:48 Jump on dad, get yelled at for jumping on dad’s work pants, lick him to apologize, go potty.

5:50-10:15 Hang out with mom and dad, hang out with Molly if mom and dad let me, eat a bone, bark at people outside, cuddle with mom when she makes me, smell every inch of the kitchen floor incase mom dropped something, try not to get in trouble.

10:16 Uh oh, time for mom and dad to get ready for bed. Look at them, walk to their bedroom and lay down. Wait 5 seconds. Walk out to the living room. Look at them, walk to their bedroom and lay down. Keep repeating until they realize it’s time for night night.


If one of these time slots changes, it throws her off. If you want to confuse her, tell her it’s time to go night night but then don’t follow her to the bedroom. If she comes with us to my parents, her internal clock is on high alert. As it’s getting late, she knows its time for night night. She’ll stand there and stare at me, her little eyes saying “Moooom! I’m tiiired!” If I say the words “bye bye” she’ll run from the front door to the back door to me, over and over.


My dog is awesome. My dog is a doggy genious. She knows that “Rookie look” means that I dropped something on the floor that she needs to eat. If I say “Where’s Stephen?” she’ll run to each window in the house looking for him. She knows who Chelsea, Stephen, Lindsay, and Molly are when we say those names. She grabs your hand and pulls it to her chest when she wants you to scratch her… and if you stop, she’ll keep grabbing your hand and pulling it back. She knows when things don’t belong to her and she won’t touch it if it’s not hers. Just tell her “no” once and she won’t ever touch it again (this includes food on the floor). She loves her best friend Molly and makes sure that Molly gets a fair chance when they play tug-of-war with the rope… she even “accidentally” drops the rope so that Molly can win sometimes.


The bottom-line, Rookie is the best. If you’ve ever gotten the chance to spend an extended period of time with her, you’ll agree. I never realized how much I could love my dog. I genuinely miss her if I’m away from her for more than 2 days.


I needed to devote some blog time to her and how wonderful she is. Thanks Rookie, we love you!

February 3, 2009 at 9:27 am 9 comments

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