Great Things about the Internet…

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Let’s make a fun list of great things about the Internet…

1) As previously noted, I met my husband on the Internet (if we’re counting AOL).
2) Found my belovedest beagles on the Internet (www.petfinder.com)
3) Was able to print out declaration sheet for auto insurance (www.progressive.com) and statement for 401k (retire.hartfordlife.com) instead of going through nasty stack of filing to find information (which has probably been lost, anyway….)
4) www.eaglesfans.com — I mean, this site has Eagles fans who can discuss which pants they like on which Eagle (and that would be jeans on Glenn Frey for them…for me, give me Henley circa ’91 anytime)
5) www.cnn.com — the best website to go slack off for a moment mid work-day and not be caught surfing to a more embarassing website. I mean, geez! The news is important!
6) www.thecheesecakeisrich.blogspot.com — it is SO healthy for me to sound off on a more or less daily basis.
7) www.webmd.com — another good site to surf to, especially with the temp girl in accounting having a form of whooping cough. What’s so bad about looking into the condition?
8) www.ultimatewedding.com — just proves that there are brides out there even more psycho than I was.
9) www.IMDB.com — hey, who was that guy who played the victim on Wednesday’s Law & Order?

That’s enough! So far today, I’ve washed and dried several loads of laundry and remade the bed in clean sheets. Mmm! I was hoping to get some writing done, but I’ve either got a block or I’m just plain lazy.

Maybe I’ll get some reading in, instead. Finally finished America. Choices for what’s next:
1) Atlas Shrugged (always, always)
2) Kirsty MacColl (bio of the late, great Kirsty MacColl)
3) Eats, Shoots and Leaves (Xmas gift from Mom, looks interesting)
4) 3 different books about the last Czar of Russia (Nicholas II, for anyone keeping score), which is my favorite historical theme. All 3 books were from the bargain book table at B&N.
5) Portrait of a Lady by Henry James (this is at the bottom of the list – I just suffered through House of Mirth, the movie version and frankly that’s ENOUGH costume drama crapola for awhile).
6) Is that a Gun in your pocket? – book about women in Hollywood.
7) Reelin in the Years, the Steely Dan bio.
8) Various and sundry old magazine articles I’ve collected on eBay. It’s mostly research stuff about music and the ’80s and since it is my totally secret shame (to the point where I typically disavow knowledge if you ask me about it) I will maybe try to work on it while Gene’s out of town. Under cover of night. In disguise.

Off to retrieve my enormous sunglasses and sombrero from the cleaners…


Buggery Buggers…

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Nah, I haven’t turned over a new leaf. Still cursing like a truck driver normally, just not now.

It’s snowing — or it was snowing. There’s maybe a rockin’ inch on the ground, just enough to get us to the grocery store for the first time in awhile. Yes, we bought bread, eggs and milk. A lot of milk. Because we bought a lot of cereal. A LOT of cereal. Plus the makings for crumb cake coffee cake (mmmm) and meatloaf and other munchies a’plenty.

Interesting: Scooby, who normally looks at you like you’re on crack if you suggest a trip outdoors when it’s windy, has been outside something like 6 times today. Do you think he doesn’t realize he has a nice, warm home to go to? Is he perhaps reconnecting to his street beagle days? Betty Booper, of course, isn’t afraid of nothin’ and actually refused to come in awhile ago. C’mon, beagles — there is a fireplace with a giant pillow, just crying for you.

Since I’m apparently even lazier than normal when there is snow on the ground, I spent some time surfing the web (shocker) hunting for a new OB/GYN. I like my current doctor just fine, but unless you’re 91/2 months pregnant and the contractions are 30 seconds apart, you’re just not interesting to her. When I had my IUD put in two years ago, I first was delayed until the afternoon because she’d been up all night delivering a baby, but when I returned I was stuck wearing a sheet and a smile for over an hour before she decided to come frigging visit me. So now I’m on the hunt for a doctor who loves me best, even when I won’t be 91/2 months pregnant (please, never that pg…) for another 3 years.

Not helping the process is my husband – he had a procedure done at one of the major hospitals in our city. Most of it was paid by the insurance — but some of it ($212.80 to be exact) was our responsbility. We found that out something like 2 years after the procedure and Gene fought it for close to a year before finally capitulating and paying the damned bill. Gene’s mad at the hospital (and I don’t blame him, really; even after paying it was still on his credit as a negative for ages) and refuses to use this hospital (3 miles from our house) or any doctor in this hospital’s many, many, MANY practices around the town (with the exception of Doctor Dreamboat, but that may change). So that leaves me with the hospital close to my office (where my current OB/GYN has privledges) or the hospital 10 miles down the highway from our house.

Therefore, I must find (must?) an OB/GYN that is accepted by my insurance that has priviledges in one or both of these hospitals but is not associated with a practice with that other hospital.

Maybe we’ll just move instead!

In other news, I’m going to be out of town the next two weekends. Next weekend Gene and I will be in his hometown…not really sure why. His brother and sister in law (and my in-utero nephew) are visiting and…I have no idea. I don’t think they’re packing. They’re going to move some things back to OH from Blanche’s garage (tires, momentos, etc). Then the next weekend we’ll be in Knoxville, TN for a Robert Earl Keen concert. It’s going to be the boy’s first concert ever. Poor beagles — they’re going to the kennel two weekends in a row, then day board when Gene has to go out of town again (the week of Valentine’s Day).

Off to go slack elsewhere…


Sayonara Cynarae?

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AOL has informed me that they are no longer going to offer Usenet Newsgroups as of “early in 2005” — apparently that’s going to be in February. Since Usenet is one of 3 things I do on AOL anymore (the others are IM one of my blog readers and read The Knot), I think it’s time to bid AOL adieu.

What most of you don’t realize is that I’ve been on some form of AOL (originally PCLink) since perhaps 1991 continuously. I remember when there were only a few chat rooms open in People Connection and NONE of the room names were M4M. My mother and I (especially Mom) used to host or score games in the Games Resort. I once hosted for four straight hours in Teen Chat on Thanksgiving. I was the forum leader for Teen Scene until my senior year of high school. Every boy I ever dated seriously I met on AOL (all 3 of them, plus the Oklahoma Pervert). Now, People Connection, the Games Resort, Teen Scene/Chat and each of those boys are gone from AOL. It’s funny – using AOL or the Internet was really very groundbreaking back in the early ’90s but I guess in keeping AOL for so long I was becoming a dinosaur.

So, here’s the plan: I’ve downloaded Forte’ Agent, a newsreader. It’s not as user friendly as AOL’s awesome newsreader but it’s free. Sooner or later I’ll email everyone relevant when I finally do make the phone call to cancel AOL and let you know of my new email address. And now I’m going to have to learn about all these technological things I’ve avoided. I’m lucky because I have Gene to troubleshoot technical issues for me (such as, I can’t get to newsgroup messages using Agent) and I feel fairly certain that if I choose to use Outlook as my mail program that it will be fraught with issues as well (yes, I do use Outlook at work – what of it?). Is it too late to be Elaine@Gmail.com?

And before I finish writing for the night, thank you blog readers for pushing my hit counter over 1,000. That’s very awesome.


Friday Friday Friday!

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Blog readers, can you tell that I love Fridays?

So, since I last posted: Wednesday night I updated my IPod, adding a bunch of music and getting rid of some as well. Right now my IPod is half full with over 500 songs on it, including the entire Fleetwood Mac and Steely Dan boxsets. Take it from me that this is a LOT of Fleetwood Mac and Steely Dan! I’ll probably add some more to it later. I also had my first experience buying songs from ITunes. It is addictively easy. I may drag us into the poorhouse yet!

While updating my IPod, I called my best friend and blog reader Brandy. She has been suffering back pain recently and her doctor has diagnosed it as spina bifida, which is a hereditary condition that was not previously discovered. So she’s doing physical therapy, fun spinal injections and two V’s – Vicodin and Valium. No, she won’t share. At least not with me (pouts).

Here’s something weird about my current position (Payroll Clerk): it’s days of bordeom mixed with hours of “Ohmygodthereistoomuchtodo!”. Also, my boss is very nice about helping me. And you know how much I like being helped. Ugh. I feel like it’s a vote of no-confidence that she helps me. My desk is now in a fishbowl – I’m one of 5 and will be one of 6 if/when the other temp gets back from being ill. It’s so noisy! Ahh! Phones, emails, typing, printers, Muzak, talking talking talking. I can hear myself think, but the thoughts are confusing because I can’t think straight with all that damned noise. And it makes me crazy how much time some of the girls spend on personal phone calls. I’m glad I’ve got D to calm me down.


Awwww…

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Work wasn’t bad today — after work, I got the car washed (one of those drive through placces — there was a line, so I parked in line and read my book — mm, reading!), went to Old Navy and picked up fried chicken for dinner. I even called my mother in law from the car. She made goal at Weight Watchers. Go Blanche!

Here’s why I went to Old Navy: Did you know they sell baby clothes? Did you know that the baby clothes are super cute? And some of them are on clearance? I totally had to rein in my grabby hands because I was looking for one onesie (it is blue and has “Party at My Crib” written on it; I thought my SIL might like it) in particular. Other than that one item I don’t plan to buy clothes for SIL’s upcoming arrival. I’ll get the sizes/seasons all wrong and it’s just not worth it. I couldn’t find the onesie I was searching for anyway. Oh, well. I saw it on a friend’s blog and I’m sure it’s long since off the shelves.

(Evil voice in my head says “There’s an Old Navy at the mall, too…”)…

Off to go shut that voice up…bad, bad voice.


I hate Mondays…

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Great weekend — Sunday we mostly just bummed around the house. Got laundry done, finished watching the Inauguration (Shh, don’t tell my mom) and a few random things from the PVR.

Today at work was …. fun. (No, not really). Old boss spammed the hell out of me with questions about the insurance bills. Most of my answers were “oh, no, I didn’t do that…”, including the big Kahuna of Elaine screwups — one of our higher ups has been out of the office for over a year due to a workers compensation injury and someone (I won’t name names but I hear she’s a blogger…) was supposed to hound him to pay his insurance. Well, I never did because I felt bad for him — the Workers Comp $ is only 2/3 of his wages and all I heard was that he was super broke and weepy and in pain. And he was my friend. I’m over all of that, BTW – now, not even the Workers Comp folks believe he’s really still injured. So anyway, I had to fess THAT up to her. I still don’t believe I’m safe on THAT.

And now, I’d really rather play with the beagles and watch TV and read Jon Stewart’s America. Yes, it’s now 2 weeks overdue. Shhhh.


mmm, tapas…

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So we went to a tapas restaurant with our friends Ross and Liz. It was supposedly a very hip restaurant, so I was nervous about how to dress, but it wasn’t super crowded. The food was delicious and we were all super full. Also, the bill wasn’t nearly as much as the bill at Sullivan’s Steakhouse usually is. The deal with tapas is that it’s small plates of food — kind of appetizer sized entrees. Each of us ordered a salad and a tapas entree. With that as well as a real appetizer (shittaake mushroom fries with mango ketchup), dessert, bread and booze, we all walked away very, very full. My dessert was yummy but even too rich for me — it was a Grand Marnier-chocolate truffle tart. Mmm!

Today: Saw Sideways and In Good Company. Sideways was a better film, but In Good Company was also very good. Mmm, Marg Helgenberger (as always, I am strong enough in my heterosexuality to be able to pull that off). And Topher Grace really is a good actor. We read a profile of him in Newsweek a few weeks ago and he came off well. I really see him as a Jimmy Stewart/Tom Hanks of the future. And Scarlett Johannsen is just great — if you kinda squint, she looks like Princess Grace. Well, Princess Grace when she was a) alive and b) acting.

Later, we went for barbeque for dinner. Also yummmmmmmmmmm. Now Gene is watching Cops (he’s game off this week!) and we’re hanging out with the beagles. I really, really like my life.

In MIL house related news, she’s basically accepted the offer and should be closing by the end of February. Wow. Not sure yet when she’s making the move to Ohio but it should be by the time the baby’s born.

And speaking of Plan B…yes, the house is selling, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to go off and get pg right now. We need to a) pay off credit cards (should be by the end of summer) b) buy a car for Gene (a possible way to spend the house money) c) institute “austerity savings”, as labelled by Gene. Austerity savings means I give up Patty and Angela, and in theory we may give up the yard guy. Gene also says it includes eating out less and cancelling some of the movie channels on the satellite dish (I’d prefer to make that the last piece of the puzzle — something tells me I’m going to want 500 channels to choose from when I’m up with a colicky baby at 3:30 in the morning).

But I digress. The plan is to start…errr…trying in August 2007. It’s a year later than I wanted, but as Gene said at dinner the other night, I’ve negotiated him away from “NEVER”, so what’s another year? Also, on the topic of names (since I can’t plan anything ‘real’, I’d might as well obsess over fun things), we like Graham. I’m also keen on Jackson, Jacob, William (hey — 4 generations of my family can’t be wrong!) and as always, Margaret (Meg) for a girl.




Whooping Cough Free, 27 Years in a Row…

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Yippee!

Took off work early to go visit Dr. Dreamboat about that persistent cough. No, I didn’t bring it up when I visited him two weeks ago. If you worked where I work, you’d dream up doctor’s visits, too. One of the girls at work has been diagnosed with a version of whooping cough…and I’ve been coughing a lot…and…well, you do the math. Use the “new math” I used yesterday.

But no, I’m not sick like that! Yippee! He gave me prescriptions for some inhaler thing and some “cough pill” (instead of cough syrup, score!). He said that with persistent coughs sometimes it’s best to treat it like asthma.

And in other news, check out the geography quizzes here: Quiz!. It is a ton of fun!

Th-th-that’s all folks!