Thursday, December 13, 2007

What's So Wrong With Practical Gifts?

The holidays can be a stressful time for people. Even though we know it's coming, things just seem to get a little frantic around this time of year. And most of it is stress we put on ourselves. Seriously think about it. While it's understandable that you want to find the perfect gifts for the people you are closest too, these are the same people that wouldn't want you driving yourself crazy because of them! But we do it anyways...
And now to the point of my post. What is the perfect gift? Does it have to be something that they wouldn't buy for themselves? Maybe one of the reasons they wouldn't buy it for themselves is because they wouldn't get much use out of it. Wouldn't a better gift be something that they will get use of? Sure. You can dress it up a little. Maybe get a nicer version of something they will get use of? Don't you want them to use the gift you got them? So it may be a bit on the practical side but it shows that you know them enough to know what they need. How can there be something wrong with that?
Apparently my brother-in-law thinks that there is. He thinks that I must not be comfortable with gift giving because I get people non-flashy, practical gifts. I for one think that my mother will be very please with the all-weather, heavy duty floor mats that I got her for her brand new car. On one hand I could have gotten her a sweater she'll wear once every couple of weeks for two seasons of the year or on the other hand I could get her floor mats that will protect her new car and she'll use pretty much every day for the next five or six years.
I say practical gifts win!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

WooHoo! I'm finished!

As of five past midnight last night I finished this semester's graduate class. My 4,000 - 5,000 word paper was due at midnight and by golly I got it in within minutes of it's due time. Does it matter that ti was a couple of minutes past it's due time? I would like to think not, but I guess I'll find out later... This feat was even more remarkable by the fact that at 8:15 that night I only a mere1850 words written and the finished paper had ~4100. Was it my best work? Not even close, but it also wasn't my worst. I've said it before, I'll say it again. I'm a bad student.
On the bright side I know I did enough to get a decent grade, pass the class and now be done with 6 of my 10 classes. WooHoo!
With school work out of the way I can now put all of my attention on the upcoming holiday season. First thing on the list is to finish decorating the Christmas tree. The tree is up and it has lights on it. It even has my brand new tree toppper on it, but no ornaments. Once that is done it's time for a little photo shoot with wonder mutt to see if I can top last year's Christmas card (shouldn't be hard!). And then there is the shopping...
This year I actually got an early start. I was doing so well but then I lost momentum. If all goes well I'm hoping to be done by this Sunday. It's unlikely, but I'm going to give it my all. Either that or get drunk... decisions, decisions....

Monday, December 10, 2007

What tops your Christmas tree?


And before you start, yes it is a Christmas tree, not a holiday tree.
Growing up we usually had very sad Christmas trees. They were pathetic really, but that is a topic for another post. I remember having a star that had colored lights on it and I think it might have been trimmed in garland (not sure the color garland), but we didn't have it for many Christmas', so maybe our dog ate it (our dog destroying stuff wasn't uncommon). Then I remember one year where we had this straw doll thing. Maybe it was supposed to be an angel, but it was big. And my parents have a small living room, so our tree was typically short and thin, so this straw doll thing was way to big for it. The rest of the years the top of our tree was empty. Granny may occasionally put something up there, but we didn't have that moment that you see on TV where the tree just isn't done until that touching moment where someone lifts up a child to put the tree topper on.
I've been out of my parent's house for a number of years now and I get tree, but the top of the tree has been empty. I've looked for an angel, a star, or a whatever but usually I find the ones in the stores to be awful. And because I grew up with a short thin tree, I tend to get trees that are short and thin. If you go early, you can get a great petite tree and while big trees are great, I'm very happy with my small one, but again I face the challenge of finding an appropriate sized tree topper. On top of the size issue, there is the question of angel vs star? Or something else entirely?
So what tops your tree? Angel? Star? Bow? Something else entirely or nothing? If you do have something up there, does it light up? And when do you put it on? Is it the last thing on the tree to imitate that touching TV moment?

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The drama of getting Red Sox tickets...

Every year I try to get Red Sox tickets and every year I get stuck in the virtual waiting room. For hours on end I wait looking at the screen. Watching the countdown as it refreshes every 30 seconds. Then the moment will occur where I break through the virtual waiting room and am about to to purchase tickets but find out that it's just a tease. Two seats together don't exist anywhere in the ballpark for the game I randomly selected to attend. I'm talking about no where -- even the expensive seats! So you go back and try a different game and wait again in the virtual waiting room and the vicious cycle continues...

Same story every year, several times a year in fact because the Red Sox release tickets in batches. Yesterday the Sox PAX and select single game tickets went on sale for the pre-holiday rush. My husband wasted most of the day looking at the virtual waiting room with no luck. After four hours I told him to give up because I knew it would turn out like most years. Two hours after that he decided to give up. Another year without visiting Fenway... But wait! The Red Sox decided to spread a little more holiday cheer this afternoon and made available some additional single game tickets and I pounced on it. I got picked from the virtual waiting room in less than an hour. There was hope of getting two tickets together, but no. The pathetic online ordering system that the Red Sox use failed me again. The little verification code box wasn't displaying the strange number/letter combo for me to type in and without it you are now where, so back to the virtual waiting room...

Wait! New idea. Let's use the phone. Couple of dozen tries and I get through. The automated voice takes all of your information prior to letting you find tickets, but I'm yet again hopeful. Credit card number. Check! Month of expiration. Check! Two digit year of expiration... Crap. Apparently the Red Sox phone ticket ordering system doesn't believe that you can have a credit card that expires in 2011 and there is no way to go back and change the credit card number you had already entered, so I'm back to square one. I love the Red Sox. Nothing is better than watching a game in Fenway Park on a nice sunny day with an overpriced beer, but this is really starting to piss me off!

I'm back to the phone while keeping an eye on two laptops that are each in a virtual waiting room. After 1/2 dozen tries I'm back through on the phone system. Successfully make it through the credit card information and mailing address parts now it's on to the game selection. After trying four different categories of seats, I was victorious! Come September 10th, 2008 I will be attending in person probably my only Red Sox game of the 2008 season.

From a customer experience perspective, the Red Sox ticket ordering system has major, major flaws. It desperately needs to be replaced, but then again, regardless of how bad it is, folks like me (and a couple of others that may stumble across this post), will put up with it in order to have the chance of getting tickets...

Ok, now back to my paper....

I may be lazy, but I'm back....

So I took some time off from blogging. Some time is a bit of an understatement since it has been about five months. I don't believe I have many readers (and if I did, they will have deserted me by now) so probably not many noticed. Anyway I'm back. There are probably a couple of questions like why were you gone and why are you suddenly back?

Why did I stop blogging? My life is pretty boring and sometimes I find it hard to find things to post about but the truth of the matter is that I'm just plain lazy. It's sad, but it's true. So that leads to the second question....

Why am I suddenly back? My loyal readers (anyone out there?) may recall that I'm going to grad school and they may ask recall that in addition to being lazy, I'm also a procrastinator. If you put two and two together then you'll quickly realize that I have to write a paper and blogging is a very convenient way to postpone it...

My prediction for today is that while I'm writing my very long paper that is due on Tuesday, (can you believe it? I'm actually working on this prior to the day before it's actually due?) that every few hours you will get some random post that I'll use as way to work through my writer block.

Wish me luck...

the lazy, but hopefully lovable, Aunt P

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

What type of packer are you?

In my previous job I travelled quite a bit and I must say that I got pretty good at packing - for business trips that is. When I go on vacation however I will keep adding things until I fill up all the available space in my bag. Anyone else do this?
I think the way you pack can tell a lot about a person. Actually traveling in general tells you a lot about a person. You really don't know a person until you go on a week long vacation with them, but I digress.

Types of packers:

The week before packer: Do they do this because they are the occasional, nervous nelly traveler? Or if they travel a bit more frequently, perhaps they are one of those super organized freaks. Or worse, they just have too much time on their hands. Regardless of the reason, traveling with them would annoy me.

The night before packer: This one I can deal with. It's reasonable. The trip is tomorrow after all. And this way you have time to remember something that you might have forgotten and it gives you time to recover if something you planned on bringing needs to be washed. This person is probably a stable, dependable, not overly neurotic person.

The very last second packer: This is the person that will get up at 3am to pack, water the plants, send out a few emails and set the out of office message on before leaving the house at 4:30 (meant to leave by 4:15 at the latest) to get on the 6:15am flight to somewhere wonderful. This person is clearly insane. But let's face it. They don't let the details bother them. They're spontaneous. If they forgot something, they'll just live without it or buy one on their travels. They may be insane, slightly irresponsible, and definitely disorganized, but also probably fun.

And finally, the person who doesn't pack for themselves: Assuming that this isn't a child, this one is just inexcusable. If you are able to dress yourself in the morning, then you should be able to pack yourself. Getting someone else to pack for you indicates laziness.

Did I forget any? Are you or do you live with a different type of packer?

So.... if you've been reading my posts for the past few days you already know that I'm a procrastinator so it should be no surprise that I'm a very last minute packer. I'm right now sitting in my cube thinking of the things I forgot for the trip that I'm leaving for directly from work. No worries. I'll just get them when I get there if it turns out I can't live without band-aids. (I packed cute, but bad shoes for the party I'm going to). And chances are my sister, who I'm going on the trip with, will have some. She's a pack the night before type, or at least she was before the kids. And she's an over-packer, which can come in handy for the forgetful types like myself.

Bon Voyage! And you never know, the next post may be live from Dublin....

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

This is starting to get a little stressful...

Just checking in. Less than six hours left and not done yet. Not even done with one of them. Why do I do this? Not really sure. Why am I posting instead of writing my paper? I could lie and say I wanted to give you an update in case you were concerned about me, but the truth was I can't stay focused on what I'm doing and this seemed like a good way to put it off further.

Ok, back to work...
UPDATE: Done with 20 minutes to spare.... I know. I'm pathetic. But I'm done! Only five classes to go!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Who doesn't love a good deadline?

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before, but I'm also a part time grad student. At the end of tomorrow I will be 1/2 way through my program. This is where the deadline comes in. I took a week long intensive class the week of June 9th. Prior to that week we had some prep work to do and at the conclusion of the week we were given two assignments that needed to be completed by July 10th. The two assignments are just two short papers. One paper that is to include 15 figures of speech and the other, well I can't remember off hand what it is, but I think it was something about rewriting an argument towards a different target audience. As I mentioned, they are due tomorrow. Have I started either of them yet? Not so much.

I like to tell myself that I work better under pressure and because of that it is ok that I leave things to the last minute. The truth of the matter however is that I'm just a procrastinator. My work isn't any better under a time crunch. I just always put things off. I start off with the intention of doing it early, but it just never happens. Hi. My name is Aunt P and I'm a procrastinator. Do you suffer from the same problem? They say admitting you have a problem is the first step...

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Greek Style Pizza

I love pizza. Especially if it has a good sauce and they aren't stingy with it -- what can I say, I'm a saucy type of girl -- but I'm not particularly fond of greek style pizza. I'm starting to wonder though if my definition of greek style pizza is made up. From time to time I seem to make up my own definitions for things and after a while it becomes fact to me and I'm wondering if this is the case in this instance.

So what is my definition of greek pizza? Well it's the pizza that you typically found in your local<insert town name> House of Pizza. It's cooked in a pan that has sides (see picture above), yet it's not pan pizza because the crust is not overly think. The crust itself is a crispy/crunchy and the pizza tends to be a little greasy. So why am I doubting my definition? (you may especially curious if you agree with my definition)

Tuesday night Mr Tall Guy and I decided to get a pizza from someplace we hadn't tried before, but I didn't want greek style pizza so I called to first check. The first place was confused with my question, but told me yes they had greek style. The second place though told me that no, it was regular thin crust pizza. Yes, folks we have a winner! I order a large cheese and off we go. Mr. Tall Guy hops out of the car to get it, gets back in and immediately I can smell that it's greek style. I'm not sure what the smell difference is, but there is one and I can tell the difference. Mr. Tall Guy is amazed by my skill, and yes indeed it's a greek style pizza. So the question is, was I talking to an idiot that didn't know what greek style pizza is? Or am I the idiot for making it up?

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

WANTED: Movie Recommendations

I believe I've confessed here before that I am a television addict. I just love the small screen. Unfortunately though I'm having a hard time this summer finding enough TV to fill my off hours. My Tivo just isn't filling up the way it does from September to May. Sure I get my daily dose of soaps, but once I buzz through that in the evenings I'm left with little to nothing else to watch. It's gotten so bad that I'm almost looking forward to Thursday's episode of the Pirate Master! (for those of you that are not familiar with it, be thankful. It's terrible -- well except that fact that some of them will tell others that they hate them - to their faces! Generally that only happens in the confessionals or to other cast mates).

To help fill the void we've been renting movies, but so far most have bee pretty awful. So I'm asking, does anyone have any movie recommendations?

Friday, June 29, 2007

Jury duty was a bust. First I was 30 minutes late because I couldn't find a parking garage near the courthouse. (This just confirmed that I will never live in the city - always having a place to park is worth living in the burbs!) Luckily they expect everyone to be late and I really got there at the perfect time to be ushered into the jury assembly room to be given an overview of what was going to happen and then to watch a 17 minute film on what it means to be a juror. After that I waited. And waited some more. And still some more. Then the man, court officer I imagine since he was in uniform, came back and told us that all but the people numbered 1 - 30 could go to lunch. I was number 113, so me and about 150 other people went to the cafe which caused one heck of a line! Back to the jury assembly room where around 1:00 the man came back and said he had some good news and some bad news and not to kill the messenger. There were 3 trials that we were potentially going to be jurors for. The first settled, the second got a continuance and the third, well the third needed a jury - a six person jury and some of us were going up and some of us were being dismissed for the day. Since I already said that jury duty was a bust, I'm sure there isn't much suspense at this point. Standby jurors 1 - 37 were sent up to be narrowed down to 6 jurors and some alternates and the rest of use got sent home. I'm not sure if 1 - 30 every got to go to lunch or not, but they did get a closer look at the wheels of justice than I did.
I'll admit that I was a little disappointed that I didn't even make it out of the room, but I did learn some things. The average trial lasts 4 days and they will give you an estimate upfront for how long they think it will be so if you have a conflict, you can let it be known -- not that it may matter, but still. There can be either a 6 or 12 person jury plus alternates. The alternates are not told they are alternates until the end so that they pay attention throughout the whole trial. And while in Massachusetts you serve for one day or one trial, there are some states that when you server, you serve for an entire month! yikes!
My civic duty is complete for the next three years. Maybe the next time I'll actually make it into a courtroom!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Jury Duty - love it? or hate it?

Tomorrow is the day. I've got jury duty. Now I know this is something that many people dread, but I'm actually looking forward to it. This is the first time that I've been summoned to do what I consider to be my civic duty. I'm actually excited to see the wheels of justice in motion. Before you say it, I know. I'm naive. It's probably going to be a big let down. Chances are I won't be selected. I probably won't even make it out of the room. Instead I'll just waste a beautiful summer day sitting locked in a room waiting to be called. But that's ok. I've been summoned and I'm going in. I have no idea what to expect, but it doesn't matter. Either way I'm sure there will be something in the day that will be blog worthy. Plus it should give me time to finish the baby blanket I've been working on for 'Lil Dubyette (yeah, I'm a little behind on that). Speaking of which, anyone know if you can you bring crochet hooks into a courthouse? They're not considered a weapon, right? I know you can bring them on planes....

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday to you....

Please join me in wishing a very Happy Birthday to my sister, Mrs. Big Dubya! Which exact birthday she is celebrating will not be mentioned but I will say that she is much younger than Mr. Big Dubya. I'm sure she'd love it if you made your way over to her blog and wished her a Happy Birthday.

Happy Birthday and I hope you have a great day!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Why do I do it?

So I've started yet another diet today. I'm about 15 lbs over what I'd like to be, but would be happy to get rid of 10 lbs and maintain. I know, 10lbs doesn't sound too bad, but I tend to sabotage myself when I get close to what I want to lose and start eating all the bad foods that I've been avoiding and then all the weight comes back. Then I get frustrated by the way I look and feel and start another diet. I was at the peak of my frustration late last week and knew I needed to start my new diet. This is where things get curious. Once I get to my frustrated zone I then have to eat all the bad stuff I have in my house to get "rid" of it and I also order or go out for a particular bad meal just to get it out of my system. If I'm going to diet, and I mean diet for real this time, I might as well make it as bad as possible, right? Yeah, I'm pretty much crazy.

So this weekend what did I eat? Buffalo wings (including blue cheese), beer, french fries, beer, nachos, beer, tuna cesar salad wrap (who knew it existed?), chips, beer, fried dough, cheeseburger, pasta salad, wine, ice cream, bacon, eggs, donut, bagel, etc.

But today I've been good. I'm on my diet. (I do WW in case you were wondering) I've walked four miles, started the day with a sensible breakfast, I'm close to getting in my 8 glasses of water, had a multi-vitamin, etc. Yes, today has been good, but how long will it last?

I have a short term goal. The goal revolves around my trip to Ireland for my cousin's wedding reception. My goal is to not only fit into, but look presentable in the outfit I plan to wear. The reception is slightly less than 3 weeks away and it should take about 5 lbs to accomplish. A bigger challenge is going to stay good on that trip, but I'll worry about that later (a true Irish fry for breakfast is to die for and I can already hear an order of sausage and chips calling my name!).

I'll keep you all (yes, the three of you) posted on my progress. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Update on the bird....

UPDATE: The bird was gone when I got home. In my Snow White view of the world I would like to think that the other birds swooped down during the day and flew the little injured bird to safety where they will all tend to his wounds. What is more likely is that a neighborhood cat got him. Either way, the bird is no where to be seen.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised...

I've always been a dog person. We pretty much always had a dog growing up and I loved all of them. When our last dog died, my parents decided that they weren't around enough to properly take care of a dog and rather than be unfair to one, they decided not to get one. I was in college at this point, so it was hard to argue the point, but I always wanted to get another dog.

Now when I say dog, I mean a real dog. I do not mean to offend anyone that has a lap dog, but in the house where I grew up dogs were not something that fit inside your purse. I'm not talking about a great dane either, but the dog should be of decent size. If the dog had to be in the position to protect the house, it could actually pull it off and not be laughed at by the intruder.

Years go by and I graduate college and go on to live in numerous apartments. I'm also of the opinion that you shouldn't get a dog (again, that would be a dog of decent size) if you don't have a yard for it to run around in, so no dog for Aunt P. Finally Mr Tall Guy and I get a house. The yard isn't huge, but big enough. I'm finally able to get a dog. By now the dog already has a name. I know I want a male dog and I know I want him to be a Brittany. My last dog growing up was a Brittany and I wanted another one. This leads me to the purpose of this post and to the drama I encountered this morning when I went to figure out where Wonder Mutt had gone...

For those of you that aren't very familiar with Brittany's, they are a sporting dog or commonly referred to as a Bird Dog. They not only point, but they also retrieve. Wonder Mutt has been pointing at things, including leaves, since he was just a pup, but this spring he really got interested in the hunt. Squirrels, birds, chipmunks, rabbits.... they all got his attention. He would point, do the slow approach and then occasionally make the pounce only to find that he was a) still attached to the lease and I wasn't going with him, or b) the other animals are just too fast and cagey for him. They can climb up trees, fly away, scamper out of the yard beyond the range of the electric fence or just disappear into a tiny little holes.

So going back to the title of the post, I really shouldn't be surprised. This morning Wonder Mutt got himself a bird. A baby bird, but a bird just the same. I don't know if he got the bird in it's inaugural flight or if the bird fell out of the nest, but he had him (or her as the case may be). It's nature. It's what dogs do. Especially bird dogs, but still. There is my baby. My little puppy staring at this bird on the ground, which is still alive by the way. I tried to go over to them, but I think Wonder Mutt grasped the idea that I was going to take away his new toy so he swatted at it. Luckily he was too fascinated to pay too much attention to me and I was able to grab his collar and take him into the house.

So now what do you do? Try to find the nest to put it back? I don't think you're supposed to touch them. It's injured so do you put it out of its misery? The birds in the trees are all squawking at me. Do I leave it and the other birds will swoop in and tend to it? Do birds do that? By the sounds of them they were definitely pissed off. Do I take it to an animal hospital?

For those of you wondering, no, I didn't kill it. I left it there like the wimpy coward that I am. I went back about 15 minutes later and it had moved 8 or so inches away from where I left it. Not sure if that's a good sign or not. Probably not though.

Like I said, I shouldn't be surprised. Now I just have to hope that this doesn't become a frequent occurrence. Did I mention that my neighbor has a squirrel killing cat?

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Happy Birthday 'lil dubya!

I'll continue with the posts about our trip later, but I first wanted to wish my very favorite nephew a very happy birthday.

Happy 2nd Birthday 'lil dubya!

And congratulations to Mr. Big Dubya and Mrs. Big Dubya for making it through the first two years and good luck with the terrible twos :)

Aunt P, Mr. Tall Guy & Wonder Mutt

Friday, June 01, 2007

Where'd she'd go? Aunt P? Where arrre yoooouuu?

Or at least that's what my 'lil dubya would say when I leave for a while. That's right. I left for a while. Did anyone notice? I have had a couple of visitors lately, and then what do I go and do to thank them for their visit? I disappeared. And you really can call it disappearing because I never got around to say anything that I'd be gone for a while, but I have an excuse. (notice I didn't say a good excuse!) I actually thought I would be posting on my travels. The intention was good. I even started a post on day 1, but it never got finished or posted and instead I've been gone close to two weeks. So some of you may be wondering where I went and if not.... well I'm just going to tell you anyways.

About a year ago my sister and I decided to plan a trip to Orlando. I had a timeshare there and I thought it would be great to take 'lil dub there for another visit. (first visit was when he was about 10 weeks -- got to break them in early I say!) Then in October I found out that my company was going to be having their annual customer conference in Orlando as well and they wanted me & Mr. Tall Guy to speak at it. As luck would have it the conference and our scheduled tripped overlapped slightly, so with a shift of our vacation by one day, lucky old Aunt P & Mr. Tall Guy ended up getting free airline tickets since our company had to fly us out there anyways.

Many more months go by and when you agree to present at these conferences it seems like a great idea. A few days in a warm and sunny location, company is picking up the bill, cocktail parties, a concert, etc. But then you get reminded of the hoops they make you jump through. Yeah we know you are presenting at the end of May, but you need to have your presentation done by the end of February and dry run it three times in March so that you'll be prepared. I'm not sure about the rest of you but if I don't know what I had for lunch yesterday so running through a presentation in March won't really help me that much.

So between the conference and the vacation with the Dubya's, Mr. Tall Guy were gone for 10 days. That's a lot to cover in one post, so I'll break it up into sections

1. Joys of traveling with work colleagues
2. Joys of being with work colleagues 24/7 (or at least that is what it seems)
3. Vacation with two under two and a Granny
and of course
4. Adventures of Wonder Mutt!

Stay tuned for part 1 and enjoy your day!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Never a good start to the day....

Off to the mechanic I go. I was putting off getting an oil change, so at least that is one more thing off my list. Maybe it will be nothing serious. Or maybe it will be the straw that breaks the camels back and I'll go out and buy myself a fancy new car! My car is getting up there in age ('99). Maybe getting a new car is the sensible thing to do. (anyone that knows me now knows that rest of my day will be spent on researching what car I want)
UPDATE: Oxygen sensor of some sort to the tune of $500 and change. Today is shaping up to be just a wonderful day!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Oh no! The pressure's on!

I was hoping to stay in the bloggers closet a bit longer, but my sister outed me! I had hoped that I could get the hang of this in private, but I guess a publicly accessible blog isn't the best way to do that so I can only blame myself. So now I'm in the dilemma that I need to post something entertaining and not just entertaining to myself (I have an odd sense of humor. It runs in the family. It's why Dub fits in), but something entertaining to the masses (or the 1/2 dozen that may follow my sister's link). So what do I have to share? Hmmm, let me think. Oh yeah, that would be nothing. Zero. Goose-egg.

Well I do have one thing. Others generally find amusement in pain of others. This might work. Although it has potential to be slightly gross. Here's a story about my poorly behaved dog from just this morning.

It's trash day on my street and since I'm going away this weekend for 10 days, I need to get rid of the contents of the refrigerator. Not a big deal -- just toss a bunch of things into the trash bag. I put the trash bag down since I need to find shoes to bring it outside. On my way to find shoes I end up on the couch watching last night's Gilmore Girls. I've already admitted to be addicted to TV. It's my best friend and my downfall. I often get sucked into it in the morning... Time goes by and I notice that it is pretty quiet in the house. Where is Wonder Mutt (my 16 month Brittany)?

I love Wonder Mutt, but if I can't see him, and the house is quiet it's typically bad news. Wonder Mutt? Come here Wonder Mutt! Nothing. Not good at all. Ok. I get off the couch and wander into the kitchen. Yup. He's into the trash bag. He's eating the food I just tossed out of the fridge. He's eaten a big bowl of grilled vegetables brushed with olive oil and garlic. Just to be sure, I smelt his breath. (yes Mrs. Big Dubya, I do things like this) Yeah, that would be green peppers that I smell. Not sure what else he ate, but he sure looked pleased with himself. At some point I'll have to tell the story about how I've spent a small fortune on training this dog. See how well it worked?

Who cares you say? He's a dog. Dog's eat table scraps all the time. Yeah and with my past dogs I would have said the same thing. Wonder Mutt however is a bit delicate. He gets upset stomachs somewhat frequently and now it's time for me to go to work. Into the crate he goes and I just pray that he doesn't get sick.

The bonus is that Mr. Tall Guy will be heading home before me tonight so if Wonder Mutt didn't make it through the day than Mr. Tall Guy will get stuck with the clean-up, but it doesn't make me feel better... poor little guy.

And now for my daily DWTS tidbit. I was wrong. Steve Sanders didn't have enough of a following. Eye-an got booted. And I like Laila less and less every time she speaks. I get your confident, but that doesn't mean you have to be cocky and egotistical. She's in the final 3, and I'm hoping she comes out third. My prediction remains Apolo and then Joey, but Joey may take it. We'll just have to wait and see until next week.

As for Gilmore Girls, due to the interruption from Wonder Mutt I was unable to finish watching it. I'll have to save my teary-eyed recap until tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Almost forgot...

Last night the remaining four stars competed with two dances each. I won't bore you with a recap, but I will say that I think eye-an may have pulled it off and make it into the final 3! I must admit that I'm surprised. The judges haven't been very kind to him. Granted he was still in last place last night, but I think he has a stronger fan base from his Steve Sanders day than any of us expected to make up for it. If I had a choice, I would say that Laila Ali should go home. I'm just not a fan and I don't think her Walk like an Egyptian dance was very good and neither was one of her dances from the week before.
I still say Apolo is going to win, but I'm hoping good 'ole Steve stays along for the ride.

I had no idea they could do this with locks...

As I mentioned, we're in the process of doing over our house. And when I say "we're" I mean Mr. Tall Guy because I don't really help out all that much and we didn't hire anyone to do the work. Not yet anyways, but that's another story. Continuing...
So with any home improvement project you find yourself visiting the local home improvement chains quite a bit. In fact you may find yourselves there several times over the same weekend or even the same day. Sometimes it's because you were forgetful and forgot to pick up something critical. Other times it may because you uncovered something during the project that you didn't expect. (Have I mentioned that I now refer to my house as Mr. McRot?) Other times is because that chain store that you've grown to depend on seems like it just wants to screw you.

Today was my third trip to try and purchase locks. As part of our home improvement, we're replacing all our exterior doors and as part of this I thought it would be nice to switch to satin nickel hardware. Mr. Tall Guy and I went and had a reasonably successful trip last week to purchase a new front and screen door. This is where I made the satin nickel decision. The first thing Aunt P learned on this shopping trip was that when you get a screen door (it also comes with glass so why is it a screen door? Or is that what a storm door is and that is what we got? So many questions, so little time) it comes with the hardware. Or at least the one we decided on did. Well the only one they had in stock in the model we liked with satin nickel and not brass was an extra $50. Not for the hardware finish, but for insulated glass. Not a bad idea since we live in New England and since Mr. Tall guy wanted to do the door installation over the weekend we needed to get. NOTE: Doors weren't really installed over the weekend, but other work was done leading up to it, so I can't complain.

So with the door and storm (?) door picked out, we make our way over to the knobs and locks section. After some debate, we picked out what we wanted, but they don't have any sets with the same key number in my finish. What is the point of having the "Buying more than one? Match the key number" sticker on it if they aren't going to carry any matching f'ing sets! Nothing to get stressed out about. Don't worry honey, I'll go to the other home improvement chain tomorrow at lunch. (Having all of your doors keyed the same is great. Highly recommend it).

Attempt number two. Well they had two of the sets with matching key, but they didn't have the extra knob with the same key number. So I purchased the two sets and figured I'd just order a knob with the key number online. That's not as easy as it sounds, but in fairness I didn't search around too long. Anyways it turns out that I need a third doorknob/deadlock set (forgot about the 3-season porch door) so I decide to go back to see if they still have a set with my key number.

That brings us to today. My third attempt. I find a set in my finish with the right key number. Yeah! I grab that and the knob I need, albeit with the wrong key number, and go to customer service. I figure screw it. Make them order it for me. And this is where I learn my second big lesson. Turns out that they can rekey it to match my key number right there! Is this common knowledge? Am I a big loser for not knowing this? And why didn't I know this before?

And watching them do it is fascinating. This is where the geek in me comes out. They pull out this box of metal bits of varying lengths. Take the lock apart.shake out the existing bits of metal. Stick in the key of the lock I want it to match and then put in the appropriate length metal bits in about 8 different slots to make it match up with the key. Voila! And all done is less than 5 minutes or so! I love stuff like this!

Granted my newly rekey'd knob didn't come with any keys, but I guess I can live with only 12 matching keys (4 per set) instead of the 14 it would have come with.

This is an example of why it just can't be done in a single trip.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Introducing the new, but probably lame, Aunt P's Blog!

Well I came up with a title for this post, now what?

Ok, so you can probably guess that I'm new to the blogging arena. I actually setup a blog about two years ago so I could post comments to my sister's and her husband's blog. Two years have past and a number of the comments that I have posted to other blogs started with the phrase "I don't blog, but....". This prompted my brother-in-law to say "why don't you just do one?" So here I am. To anyone that stumbles upon this -- my apologies.

Unlike the dubyas who started their blogs among the sea of mommy and daddy blogs, I have no children. I am however the very proud aunt of 'Lil Dubya and 'Lil Dubyette, hence the title of the blog. I also have a dog. To continue the tradition of code names, we'll refer to him as Wonder Mutt. This is not to imply that he is a mutt, not that there is anything wrong with mutts, but Wonder Mutt is a purebred Brittany (a type of spaniel often referred to as a Brittany Spaniel, but they dropped the spaniel from the Brittany's official breed name a while back). Wonder Mutt is a handful and I'm sure I'll be covering may of his adventures here for all (that would be probably no more than three people) to enjoy.

Along with the adventures of Wonder Mutt, I will be chronicling my life as a newlywed -- at least for the next three months because I think that term expires at your first wedding anniversary, -- my life in a house that is constantly under construction any my life as just being me. This is sometimes very boring, but sometimes very entertaining. Especially when you incorporate pretty much any conversation that takes place between me and my mother, but we'll talk about Granny another day.

To complete the quick bio, since I mentioned that I'm a newlywed, I'll provide a quick mention of my husband who is known in bloggersphere as Mr. Tall Guy. He does not have a blog, but he is tall. Not ridiculously tall or anything, but tall in comparison to me (I'm 5 feet) and the rest of my relatively short Irish family. Mr Tall Guy is 6'3" (6'4" if he is standing up straight).

Mr. Tall Guy and I live in area known as MetroWest which is outside of Boston. We own a modest house (which was lovely when we purchased it) that is currently under construction -- more on that in future posts. We're relatively young and, with the exception of our love for vacations, we're pretty much homebodies. Which leads me to my first confession. I'm addicted to Television. I just love it. I love all types of crappy TV shows. I especially love TiVo because it lets me watch more crappy TV shows more efficiently since I can easily skip commercials. What kind of shows do I watch? Good Question. Well I just dive right in and admit that I watch soap operas. I've been watching General Hospital for over 25 years now and I also watch All My Children. I grew up watching Dallas, Dynasty and Knots Landing. Yes, I know that this all conflicts with the relatively young comment I made earlier, but it's true. I just started this obsession young. Let's just say that I knew it was time to go to the bus stop for kindergarten when the rerun of Love Boat was over.

This has been a hard TV year for me. Tomorrow night is the last episode for Gilmore Girls. The O.C ended earlier this year. This frees me some TV viewing time for me so recommendations are welcome.

And for the record, I am also addicted to Dancing with the Stars. It killed me that Billy Ray stayed on longer than Cliff "our favorite mailman" Claven, but at least he went before Ian, aka Steve Sanders. By the way, anyone know what Broadway show he was supposedly the star of? And your name is Ian, not eye-an. Ian won't make it to the top three, but at least he hung in there long enough for Billy Ray to leave. Predictions you ask? I think I have to go with Apollo with Joey in second. Joey had a bit of an unfair advantage since he had some dancing background. What do you think?

Ok. Enough is enough for the first post. I'm going back to work. Enjoy your day!