Archive for the ‘Friends’ Category

Say Hellew, Please!

Posted: January 14, 2011 in Blogthings, Friends, Pimp
Tags:

It’s that time of year again! It’s National Delurking Day!

Who are you? Why are you here? How did you find me? Will you be my friend? Will you tell me a story?

Will you leave a comment? Show me some love up in da club!

(Badge blatantly stolen from Loralee.)

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I revealed my uber-embarrassing choice in movies for nothing! Turns out Bill didn’t have the part he needed up in the City of Tubas, so he did a one-day turn around and waltzed in the door at about 6:30. I’d called him twice, in the hour leading up to his waltzing, and he didn’t pick up his phone. Whether he was hoping to surprise me, or catch me in the act of something nefarious, is debatable.

Anyway, the upshot was that I didn’t watch the movie. We *did* watch the Charlie Brown Christmas Special, though. Linus’ monologue makes me tear up every time.

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Occasionally, I like to peruse the stats over at World Famous Nosh, to see what people are cooking these days. Seems lately folks have a hankerin’ for Steak Dinner with All the Fixin’s, Hershey Kiss Cookies (which would be AWESOME with the caramel kisses, wouldn’t they???), Incredible Crock Pot Meatloaf (and it is), Five Flavor Pork Roast, and Irish Cream Brownies.

The meatloaf recipe has had the most hits of all time (1,212!), followed closely by the World War II Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake (972), with the crock pot recipe for Chicago Italian Beef coming in third (736).

I’m probably the only one who finds stuff like this to be kind of interesting.

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Here’s some wicked awesome stuff that has come to my attention in the past week or so:

– A recipe for Apple Cider Sugar Donut Muffins, courtesy of Dlyn, that you can BET YOUR BIPPY I will be making in the near future.

– Sweet Salty gives us permission to suck. Thank God, since I’ve been sucking in an unauthorized manner for all this time!

– Did I share this with you guys? I forget. How to deal with your camera getting lost or stolen. Link shared by Karl over on the Twitter.

– This OH MY FUCKING GOD AWESOMENESS that Heather shared with me:

– This other OH MY FUCKING GOD AWESOMENESS that Blogography Tweeted:

– This video that a co-worker shared with me that made me laugh until I pee’d:

There. You’ve been entertained.

Avitable’s Man Test

Posted: November 23, 2010 in Friends, Listy goodness, Pimp

Adam Avitable wrote an entry about an article he read, listing the fifty things every guy should know how to do. As I read through the list I came to the conclusion that I, too, know how to do a non-zero amount of them.

The article he references is here. And now, my take:

1. Make a mean breakfast – The meanest breakfast I ever made was *for* my man, and it consisted of bacon, eggs, biscuits, sausage gravy, and hash browns. Bill makes a mean, mean breakfast skillet, too.

2. Shave – I can, of course, shave my assorted bits. I’ve never given Bill a shave, though. I doubt he’d let me come near him with a straight edge – all his past transgressions would rise up and choke him.

3. Make a drink – I’m not too boned up on this one, actually. I can mix a decent gin and tonic, or screwdriver, or greyhound, or Jack and coke, but if the ingredients go further than one booze and one mixer, I get lost unless I have a bar book in front of me.

4. Change a diaper – Both of us are champion diaper-changers. And we’re of the opinion that our kids can put off having any (more) babies for as LOOOOONG as they want, so we don’t have to change any (more) in the near future.

5. Drive in crappy conditions – Bill’s going to disagree that I’m a capable driver in poor weather, but he hasn’t seen me tackle a black-iced road at two in the morning with sleet hammering down.

6. Spot a liar – I’m not too great at this, unless it’s one of the kids. I’m too trusting of the basic decency of humanity. What a New Year’s Resolution that would make – “Be more suspicious.”

7. Surf the web anonymously – Other than signing off of my various log-ins, I’m actually not positive how to do this.

8. Buy a gift for a woman – I can buy a gift for anyone. The trick lies in buying them something they LIKE. And I’m never sure, when I give someone a gift, if they actually like it, or are just being polite. See #6.

9. Off-road without flipping the ATV – Noooo idea. I’d love to give it a shot, though!

10. Talk your way out of a traffic ticket – Hah. Not a chance. I’m wired to take the punishment that I deserve. Hmm… that sounded delightfully dirty.

11. Open a bottle unconventionally – Bill’s a champ at this, and because he is, I’ve never tried.

12. Unhook a bra with one hand – You know? I just tried doing this and, I can’t! Not on myself, anyway, and I’ve never tried to unhook another girl’s bra (bucket list!). Bill’s a champ at this one, too… channels Fonzie while he’s doing it, though, which isn’t as cute as he thinks it is.

13. Sew a button – My grandmother raised me. Of COURSE I can sew a button.

14. Choose the right urinal – Bill and I actually had a discussion about this once. If you’re the only guy in there, choose the middle one. If there’s someone else in there, don’t choose the one right next to him. If those two conditions don’t exist, go in a stall.

15. Spot fake breasts – “Real or Fake” is one of our favorite games!

16. Rally after a big night of drinking – Nope. I’m out like a light, then require a big greasy breakfast, possiblly followed by a nice cleansing hurl.

17. Upgrade at a hotel – I’ve got a 50/50 success rate on this, but I’m never afraid to ask.

18. Unclog a toilet – A required skill when one has children and grandchildren.

19. Parallel park – GAAAH. I suck at it, and have been known to keep circling to look for a less skill-required parking space. Bill’s a champ at it, though.

20. Play poker – I just learned how to play last summer, and I’m not that great at it. That fact may or may not be directly related to the amount of whiskey I consumed while learning.

21. Dance – I can, with probably more enthusiasm than skill. Bill does a mean African Anteater Ritual.

22. Do at least ten push-ups on command – Sure, I can do ten.

23 – Shine your shoes – Sure.

24 – Iron a shirt – I can, though I haven’t had to in a long time. We’re of the “spray it with water and toss it in the dryer” camp.

25 – Perform CPR – I need to get re-certified, but yes, I know how to perform CPR.

26 – Know how to navigate a road trip – I’m usually the navigator on vacation, and other than a couple of memorable turn-arounds, I usually do a pretty darn good job.

27. Pick up a girl using a dog as your wingman – I’ve never tried, but Gypsy used to get a lot of attention when she was a puppy.

28 – Drive a manual car – Before I got divorced, all of my cars were stick shift.

29 – Choose a scotch/whiskey – Hah. HA HA. I haz ze MAD SKILLS.

30 – Paddle a canoe/kayak – Yep!

31. Use a chainsaw – I’d… better not.

32. Tap and operate a keg – Never done it, no idea how to. I usually BYOB to those kids of events anyway, because the kegs are inevitably of the Bud Light variety.

33. Build a fire – If I have all of the ingredients, yes. Matches, kindling, newspapers, kerosene…

34. Cast a fishing rod – Sure. It’s baiting the hook that squicks me out.

35. Erect a tent – With instructions and enough beer, sure.

36. Tie a tie – I probably ought to cultivate this skill, since Bill swears up a storm the once every two years he has to wear a tie and goes through the rigmarole of re-teaching himself how to tie it.

37. Haggle for a lower price – I’m not really very good at this, but Bill is, and I’m a good wingman for him. He’ll haggle for a car, I’ll sit there waiting for his signal, then when he gives it I make a move to get up and leave, the salesman knows that if he’s lost the wife he’s lost the deal, and the negotiations settle on something more accommodating.

38. Throw a football – I’d love to be able to throw a pretty spiral, but, well, I throw like a girl.

39. Jump-start a car – Necessity has made it such that this was required learning.

40. Pour a beer – Feh. Who needs a stinkin’ GLASS?

41. Know your local professional sports teams – Unfortunately, I’m well aware of my local professional sports teams (damn Cardinals.)

42. Some assembly required – If the instructions aren’t in JAPANESE, I can usually figure things out.

43. Get your money’s worth at a buffet – Nah, I usually get full too soon.

44. Pick up a woman with a one-liner – Do guys still think that works???

45. Hook up the cable – Sure, though Bill is the Electronics God in the house.

46. Fry a turkey – I could figure it out, but I like cooking the turkey in the oven. It makes the house smell good.

47. Throw a punch without looking like a sissy – I’ve thrown the perfect punch a thousand times… in my mind.

48. Bong a beer – Apparently I’m too old for this.

49. Use a charcoal grill – Charcoal used to be the only kind of grill we had. Now we have propane which is just better.

50. Change a tire – I know how, in theory, but I don’t think I’m strong enough. That’s why I have AAA.

And now, Adam’s list of 10 things that every man should do in his life:

1. Pee outside just because you can. I grew up in Maine. You do the math.
2. Try and fail miserably to fix something. Unless you count my first marriage, I can’t actually think of a time that I tried to fix something and couldn’t. Unless it was a dinner gone astray.
3. Think one of the Hansons was a hot girl. I laughed at this one, because once I DID mistake the youngest one for a girl.
4. Masturbate to a catalog or magazine that nobody would expect, like Sears, Hot Topic, Entertainment Weekly, National Geographic, or Conde Nast Traveler. No, I get my eye candy from the traditional sources.
5. Trim your toenails whilst sitting on the toilet. No, but yes to the bathroom sink.
6. Buy tampons voluntarily without grumbling, being embarrassed, or thinking that somehow the check out girl is going to think you have a bleeding vagina. This one’s kind of a necessity.
7. Cry at a movie, commercial, or TV show. All the flippin’ time.
8. Get someone flowers or a thoughtful gift, just because you wanted to. Yes, but not as often as I should.
9. Suffer from a urinary malfunction and accidentally pee everywhere but the fucking toilet before you can stop it. Ow, Adam. Really? This is something that SHOULD be on every guy’s bucket list???
10. Take at least one photo of your junk. [[REDACTED]]

And now, MY list of 10 things every woman should do in her life:

1. Be the “body” part of a body shot.
2. Go to the movies by yourself.
3. Take revealing pictures of yourself.
4. Go tandem skydiving strapped to the front of a burly Marine.
5. Make yourself foolish over a man. Or woman. Preference dependent.
6. When someone drunkenly yells out, “Show us your tits!” do it, just once.
7. Throw down beers at a biker bar.
8. Go on a solo weekend getaway.
9. Drunk dial your best friend.
10. Tell someone that has wronged you EXACTLY what you think of them.

Yes, I’ve done all of these things. You’re welcome for not making you go through the effort of wondering.

Heather and I share a “Bad Anniversary” – that of the death of her mother, and the death of my grandmother. They both passed away at about the same time, in the same year, and it was one of the shared life experiences that helped us bond as friends. So, each year we commiserate with one another, usually with phone calls and “Thinking of you!” e-mails.

This year, though, she went above and beyond the call of friendship. She gave me a head’s up to expect a package in the mail, but didn’t tell me what it was. So, it was waiting for me in my mailbox when I checked it before work one morning. I sat in the idling car, and opened up the package. I saw… a domino on a chain. Puzzled, I didn’t inspect the package, but went for the card that Heather had enclosed. She mentioned that the picture of my grandmother had always been one of her favorites (this one). I had a, “Huh?” moment, then pulled the necklace out of its little package. It spun around, and I saw the picture of Grandma.

I’ve never smiled and cried all together in an instant, before. It was a unique experience. Now, every time I wear the necklace (which is most days), it completely warms my heart that I have such a beloved, thoughtful friend in Heather. She made that necklace, and I LOVE hand-made gifts. I just think they have so much more meaning than anything bought in a store. Which sucks for MY friends, because I have no crafty talent to speak of. I DO love you guys, though.

Anyway, now I can carry my Grandma’s picture around with me wherever I go, which Heather knew I would LOVE. I thanked her before, but I’ll thank her again. Heather, you are so wonderful! Thank you so much. I am truly, entirely blessed to have you in my life.

Put your headphones on. Close your eyes. Take a pause for three minutes and forty-nine seconds.

Breathe. Trust me, this helps.

You are loved!

Monday Meta

Posted: October 4, 2010 in Arizona, Friends, photography, vacation, work

– I haven’t been writing here as much as I’d like. The reason? I’ve been busy. Verra, verra busy.

– We are officially OVER the 100+ degree temps in Arizona and are headed, finally, into autumn. Today’s high is 93 with a good chance of thunderstorms – one of which is brewing outside of my window as I type this. Tomorrow’s high is 88 with more storms. The highest it’s going to get over the next ten days is 92, which I am more than capable of dealing with. Thank you, October.

– I had a photography gig at the home of one of my co-workers on Saturday. She hired me to photograph her daughter and her daughter’s two best friends, for a full-page spread in their yearbook. I was a little nervous at first, but once we got going we had a great time. Two hours and four outfit changes later, I left with over two hundred photos to post-process. I was very pleased with a lot of them. I’ll share them with you on my Flickr account after my client has seen them, but for a Double Secret Probation Unauthorized Preview, go here.

– If you had to decide between a vacation to Washington DC to explore the Smithsonian, a long weekend in Monterey, or a road trip along the Blue Ridge Parkway, which one would you choose and why?

– Work this week is going to suck ass. Because I was off for a day and a half last week, and because I’ll be in training Tuesday through Thursday of this week, today’s workload was challenging to say the least. The aforementioned training is to acquire my Lean Six Sigma Green Belt. We Must! We Must! We Must Increase Our Bust! Reduce Waste and Variation! I’ll be at the “other” AcronymCo campus, which of course throws off my routine. I HATE being thrown off my routine. We’ll also be required to shut down our laptops and pay attention (dammit), so blog reading and tweeting and e-mailing will be relegated to an hour-long frenzy at lunchtime.

Kim and her family suffered a horrible loss over the weekend. Dear Kim, when you get a chance to read this, please know that Bill and I extend our heartfelt sorrow and are keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers.

Friend Crush

Posted: September 1, 2010 in Friends, Warm Fuzzy

Have you ever met someone, and within minutes of that meeting, have that lovely realization that you now have a friend that you can call upon, love, enjoy, treasure, and ball-bust for the rest of your life?*

Happened to Bill and I, when we met TB and Dys in person for the first time, last Thursday. And first, can I just go on record as saying that it’s grossly unfair that I have to remember to use their nom-de-nets when writing about them? They have it easy with the use of our real names. I call shenanigans**.

Meeting someone in person with whom you’ve had a prolonged on-line friendship is just like picking up a conversation where it left off. A really good conversation. Full of inside jokes and instant understanding and “I KNOW!”‘s and “ME TOO!”‘s. And laughter. Lots and lots of laughter. So much laughter that my face actually HURT from all the smiling I’d been doing, once the weekend was over. Part of that was all the fangirl squeeing I was doing over all the MotoGP stuff. But most of it was because of the company I was keeping.

From the moment we first met until the moment we parted on Sunday afternoon, the four of us just clicked. Stories were funnier, insights were more interesting, commonality was drawn on a startling amount of levels, and we never – not ONCE – got tired of each other’s company. That fact is attested to by the late hours we kept each night, and the constant text messaging back and forth when we weren’t in each other’s company for whatever reason.

Yes, I know, I’m going on and on, but dudes, I totally have a friend-crush on Dys and TB. I can tell if we lived close to one another, weekend plans would probably automatically include them. Backyard barbecues would be a common occurrence. Every MotoGP race would be watched together, and we’d turn Dys and TB into Formula One fans in short order.

Life is just better when you have good friends to share it with. And I’m grateful, more than I can say, for the opportunities I’ve had to make more.

(*I will also go on record as saying that the LAST time this instant-kindredship happened to me, it was over Heather. Though, we met in person first. I am truly blessed in my friends.)

(**Speaking of which, Dys or TB, one of you needs to let me know if it’s okay to post face pics here, and on Flickr. I have an ass-ton, but I can be edited. I mean, it’s possible. It’s a mighty struggle, but it IS doable. I think.)

Ben!

Posted: August 30, 2010 in best things, Friends, Motorcycle, photography, vacation

One shot of a million billion zillion.

Ben Spies during practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday, 8/27/10.

Ben Spies during practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday, 8/27/10.

Oh my FUCKING GOD, did we have a good time. I have eight thousand things to do over the next few days, so if you’re craving recappy goodness, Taoist Biker is being his usual loquacious self over on his blog!

I have three very specific reasons for feeling bouncy today.

Before I get into them, let me just state for the record that I am more inclined, in general, to be bouncy than to not be bouncy. My husband is fond of commenting that, while he needs a specific reason to be in a good mood, I need a specific reason to not be in a good mood.

I think that’s a good quality to have in a wife, don’t you?

Anydoodle. The first reason for my bounciness is our oft-mentioned, oft-gushed about (yes, TB, you have been gushing) trip to Indianapolis to see the MotoGP race. I am STUPID excited to be meeting TB and Dys in person, finally. There’s also the possibility of seeing Heather, too (she lives a few hours away and is trying to figure out if she can come hang with us for a day). So, there will be:

  • Non-hundred degree weather.
  • Gearhead-oriented conversation.
  • Hot boys with motorcycles.
  • Hot girls who congregate around hot boys with motorcycles.
  • Meeting good, good friends in person for the first time.
  • Seeing a good long-time friend in person after a long parting.
  • Food that doesn’t contain calories because we’re on vacation.
  • Photographic opportunities galore.
  • Some good old-fashioned RACING.
  • Long days that fade into late nights because I GUARANTEE, everybody will be having too much fun to sleep.

I will be blogging if/when I can, Tweeting often from the track on my Crackberry, and posting pictures when I can. TB will be doing the same in his various on-line methods. It’s gonna be SICK.

We’re leaving Thursday morning and I have an epic ton of stuff that needs to get accomplished between now and then. Which leads me into my next reason for being bouncy. I asked my boss, and received permission, to extend my vacation by one day. So I have tomorrow off in order to accomplish all the things that need to get done, pre-trip. That I was running out of time was starting to stress me out a tad. Now I know I’ll be able to get everything done.

My third reason to bounce has got me WICKED geeked. See, you all know that I write for a photography website. The job has gotten me several fun things in the way of perks. One is the ability to rent lenses for free from Pro Photo Rental, as long as I write reviews about the lenses and mention where I got ’em. NOOOOOO PROBLEM. Because of this, I have been able to bring some fantastic photography equipment with me on many of our vacations, and I am able to bring a sweet telephoto lens with us to MotoGP. It arrived yesterday via UPS. It, and another box that I was so thrilled to see that I SQUEE’D.

See, about a week ago on a whim, I contacted the folks at Lensbaby to see if they had a lens that I could borrow, in order to write a review. I have always been interested in the Lensbaby line, and though I intended on buying one myself, the timing wasn’t right to purchase one for review purposes any time in the near future. Lo and behold, they wrote me back almost immediately, and said, “Hey, here, let us give you stuff for your very own! When you write your review, let us know!”

They sent me a Lensbaby Composer. AND an accessory kit that includes a wide-angle and a telephoto adapter, plus creative apertures. For my very own. To keep.

How cool are they??? Fantastic and generous and their customer service ROCKS. I spent a happy hour geeking out and playing around with this cool little lens system. It’s so creative and unique and CLEVER. I can’t wait to write a review about it. I’ve got a thousand ideas.

If you’re not familiar with Lensbaby, check out their photo gallery to see what their different products can do. I plan to own as many lenses, optics, and accessories as I can get my hands on.

So! Any one of those things is enough of a reason to put anybody in a good mood, right? Let alone all three!

Today is a good day.

My very good friend Stephanie is tapping into the positive power of the Internet, to help out a friend in need. There’s no obligation to contribute unless you want to, but if you could re-post, re-Tweet, Facebook it, or forward on the link, that would be really great.

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Stephanie writes:

“To all my friends, coworkers, and fellow M-TEC graduates: QMedET folks, you’ll be getting an email too, but please pass the word to everyone you know that might be willing to help. We have an MT, a member of our very special team of phenomenal people, who is in dire need. She and her children have basically lost everything and are starting over, and there is a child who has multiple medical problems that will require a lifetime of very expensive specialists and medical care.

I know that so many are striving hard to make their own ends meet, but the power of the internet is that we have the power to reach so many folks who care, which can make $2 turn into $200 overnight. They are literally down to the clothes on their back and a vehicle. School is starting, birthdays are coming, children deserve a normal life with books, games, and toys; these children’s mother had to spend part of her last $50 on underwear and toothbrushes.

Please understand that this is a special outreach and not an obligation; no one will be thought of badly if they cannot contribute. Even a reposting on Facebook, a blog, Twitter, MySpace, e-mail, etc., is a contribution. Please consider a small gift to this very worthy and special family. Thank you!”

Follow this link to donate via PayPal.

Edited to add: if the link above isn’t working, try going to the QMed Facebook main page and click on the “MT in need” tab.