Does anybody read these?

Friday, July 31, 2009


Speaking of big guys, I was just looking at some pictures from Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen's new movie "Funny People," and it looks like Seth has gone to the gym or something. What's up with that?

I want to go see it. The reviews haven't been good, but it's Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen.

I'll keep you posted.

The Big Guy

So, Television Without Pity did its list of favorite plus-sized sitcom stars, and while the list was good, there was a big, giant glaring omission.

Doug Heffernan on King of Queens.

But we all know about my incurable Kevin James crush, even though I fell asleep halfway through "Paul Blart, Mall Cop." Dougie still rocked it!

I just can't believe he didn't make the list. Newman on "Seinfeld"? Really?

And, of course, I do believe it was a modern-day list, or at least I hope it was a modern-day list, because a list of big sitcom characters that doesn't include Ralph Kramden isn't worth reading.

I might have to watch Hitch again. And replace my copy of I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Privacy, Part II

I am not worrying about what is said here. I haven't ever said anything to defame anyone, nor do I intend to, so I'm hoping that people won't have a problem with it.

This is my place where I come to vent, bounce ideas, celebrate ... whatever. It's MY place. I'm not perfect, nor do I profess to be. Sometimes I whine way too much about my life. But it's MY life, and it is what it is. That's it.

I'm not sure why anyone else even reads this most days. I'm going to try to be funny again, start experiencing life a little more.

I still owe you a little story from my vacation to Florida. I do want to write about it, I just never have time. And when you spend your whole day writing at work, the last thing you really want to do is sit down and write some more when you get home.

I don't know. I'm tired. I'm frustrated. I shouldn't be; I don't want to be. Life just keeps hitting me, and I just want to nap.

So, thank you to all who have asked to be added to "the list." It made me feel loved. However, I'm just leaving this out there. There isn't much worth saying here, and if anyone takes issue with it, well, then I'm not sure what to tell them.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

This mommy thing...

So, the other day NPR did a whole segment on mommy bloggers and how you can make money at it and all that jazz. I'm not really surprised at it, as I have tried to follow a few mom blogs and they seem to have tons of followers. And while I think moms and their daily trials and tribulations are very interesting, I'm just not feeling like I fit into the mom world.

And there doesn't seem to be nearly as big of a step mom world. I hear there are step mom blogs, but I am not having much luck with the ol' Google search. It could be partly because no one actually knows how to spell step mom. Or is it stepmom?

Anyhow, I don't have any desire to become a stepmom blogger. I've often toyed with the idea of coming up with some sort of theme for my blog so that I might be able to get some sort of swag or compensation for my writing, and I always get back to the premise that perhaps my writing is not actually worth free widgets or a little cashola. I know I probably shouldn't feel that way, but I've never felt like a great blogger. I'm just some crazy woman who rambles on about her life, and that suits me just fine. I've never been one who's been good with keeping up on a diary or anything, so the blog is nice. Because unlike my little wirebound, fiberboard notebook I have for diary-like purposes, people leave comments and send e-mails when I'm too quiet here. And I spend nine hours a day in front of a computer and can usually spare a "sanity break" here and there.

I still need to find some people who want to do playdates on Saturday (most of these people in the "mommy world" have their kids all the time and want to do playdates on Wednesdays when a) I have no child and b) I am working). And really, I just want to know if anyone thinks Disney on Ice is age appropriate for a 2 1/2 year old. I think I was older when I went, but I do remember it was one of the best nights of my life. I went with my mom and Cinderella signed my program. I think maybe I was in school already, because I do believe I took the program to show and tell. And since the nuns weren't big fans of show and tell, that means I must've been in Kindergarten.

Does anyone still read this? Does anyone have kids? Anyone know how old you should be for Disney on Ice?

Sunday, July 26, 2009


First of all, Portia P. Cat is back. Thanks for all the prayers. (And thanks to Chris for leaving the screen door open -- although I wonder what I'd be saying if I had found a skunk or raccoon in my house instead.

Secondly, I had a bit of drama yesterday, and it has been brought to my attention that I am being watched on the Internet. I know my FB is being watched (not exactly sure how because my privacy settings are all pretty high, but whatever). Anyhow, I'm suspecting that this blog will be next.

So, I am going to have to make my blog private again for a while. I hate to do it, but really I have no choice. If you were on "the list" from the last time it was private, you will still be on the list. If you weren't, then I can add you if you e-mail me at richardslj AT gmail. (Put all the mumbo jumbo in to make the address work. You know the drill.)

If you are not actually someone I know in real life please introduce yourself. Please don't be offended if I don't add you, because I am on red alert these days and it appears that I might not know my friends as well as I think I do.

All the merriment will begin Friday, unless I find a reason it needs to be private before then. But I don't anyone to get lost in the shuffle. And, if you do, it'll only be for a little bit...I think.

Sorry this is so cryptic. At some point I hope to explain a little better.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Portia P. Cat

My Cat, Portia Porch Cat (that's what we called her when she rambled from porch to porch looking for food at our condos), is missing. Somehow last night she managed to get outside while Chris was smoking. She never leaves the deck, but there were storms and I think she got scared.

She did, however, leave a mouse on the steps for me, which means that she loves me. I also hope that it means she'll come back.

Portia Cat is very good with Shelby. I have never seen a cat that was so good with a small child. I don't want to have to explain to that child that she's gone, and I know I can never replace her.

Send up some good thoughts that Portia P. Cat will make it home safely once it stops raining. Say a prayer to St. Francis (the patron saint of animals) if that's your thing.

Here's a copy of the Prayer to St. Francis, if you don't have it. It's a good prayer. There's even a song, if you didn't go to Catholic school and have to sing it at 8:15 on Tuesday mornings at mass.

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Saving Maho

I am not sure if I've mentioned this before (wink, wink), but my favorite place in the whole, wide world is the Virgin Islands. And in those Virgin Islands is a little slice of sand and a big drink of water that they call Maho.

Here's a picture of what I like to think of as "heaven on earth."


Now, this is Maho beach which is part of the National Park and is supposed to stay this pristine and beautiful for eternity, but up the road just a little ways is Maho Bay Camps, which is considered by just about everyone to be the world's first eco-resort. It was environmentally friendly tourism before anyone knew what environmentally friendly tourism was.

The land underneath Maho Bay Camps is privately owned, and the family that owns it is beginning to see dollar signs. A quick look on any St. John real estate Web site and at the rental listings for these mega-mansion villas and timeshare resorts on St. Thomas, and it doesn't take long to see why. This land has the potential to make a lot of money. (Not that it's not making plenty of money now with people renting tents at $130/night in the high season; it's just not making a lot of money for THEM.)

So, Maho Bay Camps is for sale, and this little girl is pretty damn scared that they are going to put in some all-inclusive resort with people in designer tennis duds, those swimsuits you can't actually get wet and -- worse yet -- evening wear. So, two things will happen: the prima donnas who vacation on all the more popular islands of the Caribbean will start coming to St. John. And then a few things might happen after that: 1) St. John will be full of people in fancy clothes bitching about how "primitive" it is, which is so not the vibe of St. John or 2) St. John will change to accommodate these people and there'll be cabana boys at Trunk Bay, which is also so not the vibe of St. John, and then also there is likely scenario 3) St. John will get so expensive that only rich bitches who want a vacation with evening wear and cabana boys will be able to afford it.

All of these things scare me. I'm not going to lie. If you're not scared, I want you to scroll on up to that picture I posted and imagine that same pristine water filled with little yellow snorkeling vests from the resort and all the cruise ship people. You can't get much scarier than that, really.

The whole point of this rant is that I want everyone I know to know a little more about the story of Maho Bay Camps and the Trust for Public Land's crusade to save them and make them part of the National Park. While I'm not against private development, I really don't see the point in making an eco-resort into a) a mega resort with pod people b) luxury villas for people who are probably going to bitch about Skinny Legs, Woody's and all the other holes in the wall that I love or c) one, big giant compound for some rich SOB that's just going to muck up the scenic views.

It was Margaret Mead who said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has," and I truly believe that. So, I'm asking anyone who can to become part of the small group of thoughtful, committed citizens who are working with TPL to save Maho.

For more information or to make a donation, visit

Thanks for listening to me rant. I promise my next Maho story will involve rum punch, sand in inappopriate places, Bob Marley and -- if you're lucky -- a donkey.

Sick Days

So, last night I went out to dinner with a friend. I won't name the restaurant, but let's just say that I wanted the mini burgers and the salad bar, which is my favorite thing there.

I told her as I was eating that the broccoli salad (my favorite thing on the salad bar) didn't taste as good as usual. It didn't taste completely bad, it just wasn't great.

I don't know that I'll ever, ever eat at another salad bar again, because I spent my whole night throwing up. I woke up feeling like I was going to throw up, and I was up and down all night throwing up.

I got up at 6:30 this morning feeling like I'd slept about 5 minutes. I had fully intended to call in, but then I thought about it and came to work. I didn't feel sick anymore (the poisons were out of my body, I guess), but I was plum-ass exhausted. But still, I managed to hobble into the bathroom, take a quick shower and put on a dress and come here. Maybe I'm not feeling as good as I thought because Julie (my carpool buddy) did offer to turn around on the Interstate and take me back home.

I don't feel bad. I'm just tired. And hungry, because I couldn't look at food long enough to pack a lunch. And I carpooled, so I have no way to get one. (Although I have not ruled out making the Quiznos delivery guy bring me something.)

Then again, Quiznos doesn't sound good. I'm just hungry.

And they deliver.

But all of this excitement has created some controversy on sick days and when you should take them. At one job I was at, they sent you home if you threw up at work (not a bad policy, really). But what about before work?

I know why I threw up, and that I'm not contagious. I also know that I'm not going to throw up again. Sure, I feel like hell. But I feel like hell lots of times. I almost always work through allergies, cramps, and sometimes even migraines. If I didn't, I'd never be here.

Before my accident, I had almost a month of sick time. But with missing three days of work when it happened and all of my doctor's and dentist's visits since then, I'm down to 17 days. Now, that's still a pretty respectable number, and really when you consider that I've earned 32 days in the almost-three years that I've been here, really I don't get sick very much. But, I have been getting sick lately, and I really feel like a flake when I miss work. So, even though everyone says a) they know that I'm not a flake who just calls out to call out and b) if you are vomiting all night long you really aren't being a flake when you call out the next day, I still don't like to use my sick days. I have used more sick days this year than I have in my whole life (although last year was a close second with my vertigo and strep throat), and I just don't want to look like I am a slacker.

I think a lot of it is because my new boss has only been here since March (so I guess he doesn't know about the fever in January and the stomach bug in February), and I don't want him to think I'm flighty and abuse the sick day policy (although I have three broken teeth and a scar all the way down my chin that really kinda say "Hey, I wasn't faking my illness!"). I'm just trying to set a good example as a worker.

(And before you say anything about this blog, you will notice that it's lunchtime. And I told you I don't have a lunch. So there.)

But all of this got me to thinking, and these are my questions for the internet, if you'd like to answer them in my comments:

How sick do you have to be to take a sick day? Do you ever just take a "mental health" day and play hooky when you're not really sick? And, what's the best excuse that you've used?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Since we last talked...

I bought all of Shelby's Christmas presents. Things with Chris are going well, and he almost seems like a new man since he got over the first hurdle with all the ex-wife drama. Toys R Us was having sales, so I just went and got her some stuff. I think she will like it all, and I saved a lot of money.

I decided to take a picture of my cart because I wanted to remember the first time I went Christmas shopping as a mom-type person. So, I did it in July and I didn't go with all my girlfriends, it was still a lot of fun.


Toys R Us is going better. I got my first raise in two years, and I am trying really hard to make all of my goals there, mostly so I will get scheduled more hours and not have to clean the whole store by myself, because that pisses me off. It's a good place to work when you have a 2 1/2 year old.

Yesterday, Chris, Shelby and I just got in his truck and drove all over who-knows-where. Really, he wanted to take me out to some backwoods town more than an hour from Nashville to convince me that I wanted to live there. And, it was kind of nice, but I don't think I could find a job that would allow me to not have to drive to Nashville everyday. So, that sucks.

At some point, we want to load up the HHR and just go exploring along the Natchez Trace Parkway. We'll pack a picnic, take some hikes, make some pictures... we just needed more time than we had yesterday.

The HHR, by the way, is my nemesis and my love all at the same time. I'll talk to you more about that later. Just stop making fun of me because I wanted to tow things with it. I didn't know.

Things are not bad. They don't suck. I smiled all day yesterday.

St. John plans are underway. Except, unfortunately, for the plan where I get off my ass and work out to get ready for that race. I HAVE to start that, ASAP. I just haven't been feeling the love for proper diet and exercise lately.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

So, what are you going to do about it?

I just got a "gentle reminder" that I hadn't filled out my TomTom customer satisfaction survey. That's what it said, "This is a gentle reminder that you haven't filled out your customer satisfaction survey."

I wasn't really satisfied by that. I get "gentle reminders" when I forgot to turn in my time-off request or sign out at work. I get "gentle reminders" when I forget to pay my credit card bills. But really, I don't owe the TomTom people anything other than the $75 (yay, sales) that I paid for my GPS unit. I don't have (at least as far as I know, I don't) any type of agreement that says "In exchange for you knowing where I am at every waking minute of my life, I will fill out your 10-minute customer satisfaction survey."

So, really there is no need to remind me that I didn't fill it out. Because, I'm probably not going to. And it's not like you can send Tom to kick my ass or stop giving me maps when I press the little button. I just don't have time, and, frankly, I don't really care enough to provide you with feedback. Even when I get pissed off, like I did at Walmart the other night, and SWEAR I'm sending in the survey just to be a bitch, I get busy or someone waves a shiny object in front of my face, and I forget about doing it. So, if I'm perfectly satisfied and don't know enough about how GPS works to recommend any type of constructive criticism, it's probably not going to happen for you.

Even if you send Tom to my house to kick my ass.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Gone too soon.

I first met my neighbor Becky when I was hanging up Christmas lights for my tree-trimming party. I knew she had bought the condo on the other end of my building because that guy that I briefly dated last summer knew the previous owners and always asked me if it had sold yet. So, I noticed it sold right around Thanksgiving time.

Anyhow, Becky seemed nice right off the bat, and I invited her to my party that evening. However, she had other plans.

Everyone wants a neighbor like Becky. When the wind blew the covers off my new LED Christmas lights, Becky would pick them up out of the yard and leave them on my steps for me. (Only once did I step on them and smush them, but that was my fault.) When Chris left his headlights on all day, Becky lent us jumper cables. When all my other neighbors looked down on Chris and didn't really want him around, Becky was always friendly to him and Shelby.

Becky's dog Duchess would sit on the back of her couch and bark at me when I went to get my mail. In fact, Duchess barked at me every time she saw me. Somedays, when I would come out of my house and Duchess would be barking like crazy, it would scare me a little. The way she barked, you'd think Duchess was a Doberman, but I think she was some sort of dauschaund or schnauzer or something.

In early May, Becky had some family members come for a visit. I noticed she was always wearing sunglasses and seemed to rely on them for help, so I figured she'd maybe had some sort of eye surgery and needed someone to help her as she convalesced. And, in fact, right before my birthday, when she asked me to help her get back to her house after Duchess' morning walk, she told me that she had some surgery and her son was there helping her, but he was still asleep and she thought she'd be OK to take Duchess out.

I helped her into the house and gave her the morning paper that was on her stoop. I didn't realize that would be my last substantial conversation with my dear neighbor.

The following week, we went to Florida. And after we returned, I noticed there was always at least one person with Becky. It appeared she was no longer working, and I would always see her with a family member helping her in and out of the house.

I kept telling my mom, "I think there is something really wrong with Becky." But I didn't want to be nosy and intrude on her.

At the end of June, they put a wheelchair ramp up to the house. I ran into some of my other neighbors and asked them if they knew what was going on.

And they told me that Becky was dying.

Apparently, at the end of April she was having double vision, so she went to the doctor. That surgery she'd had in early May was to remove a pea-sized tumor. When she went back to the doctor -- around the time she asked me to help her back to her house -- the cancer had spread throughout her body.

In June, Becky decided to discontinue her treatments, and she passed away on the 4th of July.

I've really been upset about the loss of this woman, who was just the neighbor at the other end of the building that I saw walking her dog when I would come to and from work. I'm upset because it took about two months from her diagnosis to her death, and that's not enough time. I'm upset because while I only knew her for a few months, we could've been good friends if she hadn't passed away.

I'm upset because when she and I were complaining about the condo dues going up a few months ago, I said "If you think it's not worth it now, wait until summer when the grass is halfway up your calves."

And damn it, I never thought that she wouldn't make it to see that. It just doesn't seem fair. She was too young. She was just starting a new chapter in her life in a new home.

It's hard. And it was really hard when Shelby asked me why Duchess didn't bark at us Saturday when we went to get the mail.

I'll miss, Becky, and I'll miss her "dog-dog," even though I'm pretty sure Duchess hated me.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


It's been so long since I wrote anything here that I forgot that I'd already told you that I suspect I am depressed because of the accident. I definitely am, and until all this mess gets straightened out, I'm not really sure what I'm supposed to do about it.

I'm sure the fact that there's a little trouble in paradise doesn't help. I'm just about over it. I hate to say that, but I am up against a wall and I don't know what to do. I can't support three people on what I make. Maybe I should be able to, but I have a lot of bills. I could with no problems if I hadn't bought a new car, but I did. And that was probably a good thing, because I drove my old one the other day and it's making some very unattractive noises.

But really, I shouldn't have to support three people. I have two jobs. When I didn't have a job, I looked everyday and worked in places I didn't want to just to make ends meet, which is why I still have two jobs now. Would I like to make enough so that Chris could just stay home and have Shelby all the time? In some ways it'd be nice, but in other ways it would make me resent him. I hate to say that, but somedays it pisses me off that I work two jobs to buy cigarettes that I not only don't smoke, but make me a little sick...

I need to get back to work. God knows I need to keep my job right now. I have something in the hopper, but I don't know how that's going to work out. All I really know is that I am in a funk. I have to meet the trainer today and I don't want to at all. I don't care, and I don't want to spend my money on a trainer anymore. I don't enjoy it anymore. It doesn't matter at the end of the day. Oh well. I just don't have money to piss away anymore, and I'm all about resenting people that make me spend money. I didn't used to be like that, but maybe the recession is finally getting to me.