Tuesday, September 23, 2008

We Have Returned

We are back from our journey to Houston. All in all we saw very little damage where we were. There were still isolated spots without power, it was strange to drive down a road and hit 3 blocks where there wasn't electricity. We saw two gas stations on 2920 that didn't have power and were closed, all the ones that were open had gas that was cheaper than Austin prices. It was as low as $3.45 for the low grade at one Exxon near my dad's apartment.

The biggest problem we had was that my dad's apartment still doesn't have cable. I am lost without regular access to internet or tv apparently. I was reduced to watching the electronic picture frame for entertainment. Even over at Tricia's parents we couldn't catch a wifi signal. There was one at the TCBY that Jeff hung out at for a bit, but that didn't help me much.

Despite Jean driving everyone a bit crazy, and damn near losing her mind, the weekend was a total win. Friday was the rehearsal dinner where everyone tried to eat the pounds and pounds of food that Jean had prepared. I can't even estimate the ungodly amount of food, but we took several dozen tamales home afterward, so it was a lot. She had a couple of appetizers that I missed out on, beef and chicken fajitas, tortillas, beans, rice, queso, guac, salsa, chips, pork and chicken tamales, and probably something else I forgot. We washed it all down with margaritas, beer (2 homemade by Jeff), wine, water, and tea. She had piles of desserts, and in general it was a great big party.We got back to my dad's around 1 am and promptly sacked out for the night. Laura and I had hair appointments Saturday morning at a salon in The Woodlands. We both got cute little up-dos, because if you're going to pay someone to style your hair you might as well go fancy. A woman that I will treasure always, even if she never told us her name, asked if we were going to prom. Laura's only a year younger than me, so it made both of our day.The wedding itself was Catholic, and done by a priest who unfortunately doesn't believe in letting his congregation sit because he thinks it helps them pay attention to be standing, fortunately he also believes in talking as fast as possible and he managed to skip some items on the program. I had estimated we were looking at an hour or so service, and I think he got it done in less than 30 minutes. I then hung around in the church killing time while hours of photos were taken.
After all the photos were completed the wedding party (and tag-a-longs like me) piled into a big ol' limo to head off to a pub called Gooses Acre Pub. We had 3 long tables and everyone was drinking beers and eating various snacks. Then one after another each table got a round of Irish Car Bombs (1/2 pint of Guinness that you drop a shot glass of Bailey's into then drink before it fuzzes over on you). Once everyone was nice and happy it was time for a few more photos outside, and then off to the actual reception. I have to admit, having a party before the party was a lot of fun. In my next life I'm stealing that idea.The reception is kind of a blur. I remember good food, an open bar, chatting with tons of people, and even dancing. Those who know me know that I do not dance. If I do dance it is brief and because I love the song. That night I loved dancing, if that weren't evidence enough the next day hangover is proof that I had a wee bit much to drink. Highlights of the evening include:
- Sarah and I buying a pack a cigarettes so we could each have a single smoke while the boys were on the balcony smoking cigars. I left the rest of the pack at my dad's house.
- Everyone showing off the flipflops they brought to change into once the reception started. Julie Kieth had the biggest sparkles on her and deserves a prize.
- The best man basically implying that he heard the bride and groom having sex the first year they new each other. (yup, that was part of his toast)
- Me getting mad when they only played 5 seconds of "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" then stopped it to announce the bouquet toss.*
- A friend of the family, who is old enough to be my dad, venting about his own father is dating a younger woman (she's in her 60s). I kind of know how he feels from previous relationships my own dad had, but had a hard time sympathizing because my current step-mom is really cool, and she's great for my dad.
- The only good picture of the reception that I have is of our empty table.
As previously stated I woke up Sunday with a pretty good sized hangover. I had managed to get a to go box of wedding cake for Iza and that meant I was free to eat the slice I stuffed into a ziploc bag. I started off the day with rootbeer and wedding cake, and that got me going enough to make it to the after-party brunch. I was not the only hangover around. Many of us were clutching mimosas or bloody marys in our hands, shielding our eyes from the sun, and grateful for someone else making us some food. I feasted on quiche, cheese cake, and various fruits. It was one of those mornings where you start feeling a little better only to find that you're still exhausted under all that hangover. Daniel and Tricia opened their gifts, and then we said our goodbyes.

After a bit of a nap we cleaned up all of our belongings from my dad's apartment** and headed back home. Jeff kindly drove the whole way, and I made questionable snacking choices.*** We got back to Austin around 8:30 pm and that was that. I went to bed early and woke up Monday feeling much better.

*The next morning I caught shit from various old women that I'm related to by marriage laughing at me for going to the floor for the bouquet toss. I finally (hangover remember) got mad enough and announced that I didn't want the fucking bouquet, that I'd had plenty of bouquets in my life, and that I wanted to hear the goddamn song. I think I declared it time to go home very shortly after that.

**Except for the charger for the camera battery. I just got a message from Iza that we left that plugged into their wall.

***There are new Whoppers with Reeses peanut butter on the outside, and a regular malted milk ball inside. They are not good. Don't buy them. If I don't like a candy it's probably pretty bad.

**** I will eat most things that have sugar as a key ingredient. I ate 2 or 3 of these and threw the rest of the box in the trash.

****The exception is sour candy. I'm not real big on super sour candy, but if it's a sweet candy you can trust my opinion.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Happy TLAP Day

Arr ye maties, it be National Talk Like a Pirate Day, lest ye forget. Ahoy, me expect you all t' obser'e this holiday, or I'll have t' make you walk the plank. Gar.

My pirate name is:

Mad Mary Bonney

Every pirate is a little bit crazy. You, though, are more than just a little bit. You can be a little bit unpredictable, but a pirate's life is far from full of certainties, so that fits in pretty well. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from piratequiz.com.
part of the fidius.org network
Arrr, have a happy and safe, Talk Like a Pirate Day, and don't keelhaul anyone I wouldn't keelhaul. Aye, me parrot concurs.

Down the Rabbit Hole

We're off this weekend to Danny (Jeff's brother) and Tricia's wedding in Houston. Before anyone gets all worried or anything it's actually northwest of Houston proper in The Woodlands, and before anyone continues to worry they have electricity now, never lost gas or water service, the streets are clear and the traffic signals are working.

Now, you wouldn't know any of this from talking to Jeff's mother. Despite the fact that she is going today to get flowers from a Costco in the Houston area, she wants us to get desserts to bring from the Costco by us in Austin. To quote her hysteria, "Jeff, you just don't understand what it's like down here, it's just...." apparently too bad to put into words? Except that I know that the area she's in isn't that bad. And if it were that bad, why the F- would we want to go? I mean every highway in Austin has signs up telling me "Do not go to Houston or Beaumont". I only wish I could obey.

I'm not trying to make light of the situation that many across Texas have found themselves in. Everyone who's turned on a tv, or opened a paper or blog knows that Galveston was almost wiped off the map. And there are tons of other towns that were also hit hard. Some areas had surge flooding, others just too much rain, and there was plenty of wind damage. Many small towns lost utility services, and are seeing even longer wait times to get them restored. A co-worker has a daughter-in-law who lives in a town that gets power from Beaumont. In a situation like that power has to be restored in Beaumont first, and then you get to fix the mess between the two towns, before little podunk gets electricity. At least the DIL still has a home, there are people that fared much worse, people that lost friends or loved ones, and many that have no home to return to.

I just wish Jean would get a little perspective. It does no justice to the areas that really are devastated to act like she's in the middle of a war zone. She has the luxury of maybe having to wait in line for gas, and pay around $5/gal, then drive to a Costco that has electricity so that she can get flowers to decorate for a wedding rehearsal dinner. That's not chaos, that's not anarchy or rioting, that's minor inconvenience.

To be fair I've only received reports from others in the area, and have not seen it myself yet. I'll let you know after we get there what my opinion is, for what it's worth. I am not some fearless journalist though, and I will not be exploring to see what sort of damage was done to other parts of Houston. Don't expect a full report on conditions across Harris county, I'm staying to the north so that's all you'll hear about from me.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tunes for My Pod

Today has been mercifully quiet here at work. Quiet in that I've been largely left alone to get stuff done. Most of this stuff has been work, although there has been some blogging and blog reading as well.

It has not been quiet in regards to the level of noise I've been exposed to. It seems like the tugger and fork lift traffic has been crazier than usual. Luckily I came prepared today. Over a year ago I was gifted an iTunes gift card, and since then I've acquired two others, and not used any of them. I happy to find that there was no silly expiration on them and I was able to redeem them this weekend. I finally sync'd my phone this morning, so I've been grooving to new (to me) music today.

One of the albums that I got was No, Virginia... from The Dresden Dolls. At the same time I had Jeff share his other albums with me (The Dresden Dolls, A is for Accident, and Yes, Virginia...) I haven't made it to A is for Accident yet, because it seems like live versions of songs that are largely on the other albums, it will be up in another 4 songs or so. I like what I've heard so far, and I'd like to get Amanda Palmer's solo project, Who Killed Amanda Palmer. I've watched some of the videos on her you tube page, and enjoyed the songs.

I also put other albums on here, not just The Dresden Dolls, I just haven't listened to them yet. I grabbed In the Aeroplane, Over the Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel, American Doll Posse by Tori Amos, No! by They Might Be Giants, and 12 Greatest Hits, Vol 2 from Neil Diamond. (Tim you need this album.)

I haven't technically listened to the Neil Diamond album yet, but I don't really have to. I grew up listening to this album, and I love it. The track list includes: Beautiful Noise, Hello Again, Forever in Blue Jeans, September Morn, Desiree, You Don't Bring Me Flowers, Longfellow Serenade, Love on the Rocks, and more. I don't even know what's on Vol 1, but these are my favorites, so I don't really care. Wow, just talking about it got me all excited that I have it now (used to borrow it from my dad) so it's on play. Sorry D. Dolls, I'll get back to you later.

What new music have you purchased lately, and did you like it? I've still got one more card to use, and I want to make it count.

Monday, September 15, 2008


I believe that I've just been hit in the face with a wall made of cucumber melon. It's an invisible wall, but it's making my eyes burn and giving me a headache all the same. I'm not sure what's going on here. It used to be strange lunch time odors that I had to worry about. (The next door cubicle has a contraband microwave and they commit grave sins with it.)

Last week there was 4 days of horrible cloying sweetness. I kept leaving work with a headache that miraculously was cured the minute I got into fresh air. Around 11 am it seemed to appear out of no where, and lasted all day. I have no idea if they are spraying something or what, but it's really annoying. Today was fine until just a few minutes ago, and to be fair the cucumber melon is not as bad as whatever last week's smell was.

Our work space is so condensed you can smell scented lotion being rubbed into someone's hands from two cubicles down. Offices are small with low walls, and no doors or ceilings. I really hope whoever it is gets over their current fascination with freshening their work space before I have to just stand up and ask, "Who is that? Who do I smell, and can you tone it down a bit please?"

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Little Diversion

I don't anticipate this being something I stick with. I have a very short attention span for games of any sort, and once I feel I've plateaued I tend to move on. Still, if you got some time to kill, you like silly little games, and you have no fear of lawn gnomes, then you should check out Molehill Empire.

You can find my garden there under the name squeekthing and I'm currently investing a lot of time in radishes with a side of cucumbers, and just starting to work into strawberries and tomatoes. My current rank is "tomato dealer" which I believe is the third level.

It's not earth shattering or anything, but I like collecting/fishing/growing games so this appeals to me. Something like this would likely drive some mad, or send them into despair if you forced them to play. For now it's entertaining, and I look forward to seeing if I can get paid to play this at work. I have my doubts, but you can bet that I'll be giving it a shot.

Did I mention that it's free?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Another Work Week Down

Yup it's Friday. I'm at home, and goofing around on the interwebs. Not much going on here, but I figure if I only post to bitch about being sleepy or when have something interesting to say then it might be another week or three before you here from me. So, here's a post about nothing. We're hanging out at the house waiting to see if we get any weather tossed our way this weekend.

Meanwhile the tamales aren't going to make themselves, so it's time to drag Jeff away from his computer and get cracking. We have way too much pork, and I'm already hungry. See you later tater.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Mr Sandman

Last night I still didn't sleep well, but I got much better rest. I am more alert, and in a much better temper than yesterday. I haven't felt like busting heads or crying at all. Yay! I had a very hard time falling asleep at first, and then briefly woke up startled once I did fall asleep. Gotta love it, scare myself by finally doing what I've been attempting for 30 minutes. I slept solid from 10:40ish until 1 am when my darling finally came to bed. Then I slept until 4 am, when I woke up for no apparent reason. I fell asleep again, but woke around 5 when someone* was trying in his sleep to pull my pillow out from under my head, because his was on the floor.

I think the key last night was being able to get back to sleep easily. Tuesday night I had a rough patch of almost an hour and a half where I just could not get back to sleep. Last night, other than the initial problems, I was able to drift right back into sleep. As a result I feel much better. I still wish I could sleep through the night, but I'll take broken useful sleep over no sleep any day.

*Gee wonder who that could be?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

If I Had a Pillow

I need more sleep. For the last two nights I've woken up around 3 am, and then I toss and turn for the next hour or more before I can sleep again. It is taking it's toll. Today I am overly emotional. It started with anger this morning. I kept it in check, and did not snap at Jeff or the cats, but I felt angry. On the way to work I was kind of null I guess, maybe leaning towards happy. Now, I am sad. I keep thinking about all these sad things, trivial sad things I should add, and I feel weepy. I'll be fine if I can get a solid amount of sleep tonight, but I fear for everyone around me if I sleep crappy for the third night in a row. For now I just feel crazy, tomorrow I expect I would act crazy.