Monthly Archives: August 2008

Pieces of Flair

So I have some new Pieces of Flair. I’ve been given some nice things and I’ll show them off right now.

First is from a new friend at dysfunctionalmom:

Thank you, thank you, thank you. :)

And yes, I know what the rules stipulate, that you are supposed to pass it on and all, but I hate choosing people like that. I think lots of you are kick ass bloggers, or I wouldn’t read and comment on your posts. And I hate leaving people out or giving out repeat gifts so I apologize in advance for both. Here are my five (in alphabetical order)

1) Anglophile Football Fanatic
2) Cakerwakers
3) Country Girl/City Girl
4) Raising Pennsylvania
5) Transplanting Me

But, wait, there’s more! Another new friend at Soccer Balls and Conference Calls gave me this one:


And of course you are supposed to pass this one on as well. Although this one seems to have more rules involved. Here they are:

You have to pick 5 blogs that you consider deserve this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and also for contributing to the blogging community, no matter what language. Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone. Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself. Award-winner and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of Arte y Pico blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.

Got that? Again, sorry for repeats or leaving people out. Alphabetical order again:

1. The Big Piece of Cake. This one is obvious. For all the work she is doing toward Nie Nie Day and helping out that family.

2. Mommybytes. A first bloggy friend. Highly cool read.

3. The Painted Maypole. Monday Missions are starting up again. YEA! And keep her family, and others from LA in your thoughts this week as they deal with Gustav.

4. Two Guys Making that Money. An interesting site. Always gives a different perspective on things. I need that.

5. Using my Words. Another one of my first bloggy friends. Another good perspective changer.

And then, my friend at Marmite and Tea sent me THIS one:

So this one is going out to:

See Kori Rant
Attached Parent
In the Gutter

Now I have to clear off some space on the shelves. :)

Kitchen Update…Now in HAIKU!

Haiku Friday

Before and after
Kitchen is almost complete
Tell me what you think


This is the fridge I got an amazing deal on. It is so freakin’ cool (sorry for the pun). It was the floor model at Home Despot, and I got it for only 40% of retail. You may bow before my bargain hunting prowess now.




LOOKYLOOKYLOOKY! It’s my new dishwasher! Newer readers may (or may not)
want to learn about the dishwasher saga here and here.

And now progress is stopped. No new counters or oven/cooktop for a while. Had to get a new AC instead. Dammit. :( But I thought I would finally share these pics with you.

Fly me to the moon…

Spouse and I are major space geeks. In fact, I knew he was the one when I learned that one of his favorite movies was “The Right Stuff”, too. We can quote from that movie just as easily as we can from “Holy Grail” and “Princess Bride”. So it was a total no-brainer that we would go visit the Kennedy Space Center when we were in Florida.

Since a good number of the EIGHT HUNDRED pictures we took over the vacation were here, I’ll spare you the slide show and just hit on the highlights (you’re welcome).

We took the “NASA Up Close Tour”, and I highly recommend this if you get the chance. It’s a little over two-hour bus tour that takes you out close to the launch pads and the Vehicle Assembly Building. Our tour guide was a NASA vet and the bus driver was a former NASA firefighter. The stories they told us were simply fascinating. I can only imagine what a rush it would have been to be such a part of history in the making.

And I think that’s a big part of the reason I’m such a space geek. Yeah, the technology is cool and everything but the process is what fascinates me. How all of these people came together and created something so fascinating and wonderful. And the things that came from it? And that have evolved from those things? Too innumerable to count. These advances touch every part of our lives every day. From velcro, to microwaves, to medical imaging, you use space tech daily. And yet people think NASA is a waste of money…

Anyway, I have a longer post in the works on a similar topic, so I’ll stop here and show you some more pics from our day.

The Things in a Mercury capsule. It’s a required photo. :)

The Vehicle Assembly Building. It’s big.

Look, those are the boosters for the next shuttle launch!

The launch pad. See, there’s like a spot that just seems to say “Insert Shuttle Here.”

And to answer your question: Yes, we saw Mythbusters last night. And the whole time, Spouse was practically yelling at the screen about how stupid the conspiracy theorists were. It was a little annoying. But also a little funny. :)

Virtual Book Club….

Was supposed to be tonight. I know, I know. Not only did I forget to blatantly plug it, now I’m having trouble with the chat room software and my template. And with all of the back-to-school follies and catch up going on, I can’t mess with it much today.

So let’s schedule it again for NEXT Thursday. ‘k?

To sum up:

Mel is a dork who can’t fly her own template.
Mel needs to pay attention to things like the start of school when scheduling stuff like this in the future (duh!).
Virtual Book Club will be on on SEPTEMBER 4, 8pm CST. The book, Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen. It was a fabulous book and I really look forward to the discussion!

This is what’s wrong with kids today…

It’s the first day of school. Yippee!! Oh, I mean, awww, the summer is over. :)

Since it’s the first day of school and all, my friends and I have a tradition of pedicures and lunch. It’s fun, it’s relaxing, and there isn’t a kid in sight. Bliss.

But as I’m in my pedicure chair enjoying my princess treatment, I look over to the other side of the salon and see these:

Pint sized pedicure chairs. With attached DVD players.

This? Is wrong. On so many different levels. And proof way beyond a reasonable doubt that I do in fact live in Stepford.

One Hundred Word Challenge 4

Greetings all! It’s time for this week’s One Hundred Word Challenge hosted by Velvet Verbosity. And in keeping with the theme of this week’s word, I’ll stop this intro and get to the point. The word of the day is: faster.


100 Words

She got up before her kids so that she could look human when she took them for their first day of school. Shouldn’t scare the teachers on the first day; plenty of time for that later.

The older they get, the faster the time flies, she mused. This is the last year the boys will be in the same school. After this, the wilderness that is middle and high school. And then? College most likely, but no matter what, her little boys will be men and, with luck, on their own.

So what does that mean for her own future?

Keep this away from me….

I love IKEA. I mean seriously love IKEA. I love the stores, the catalogs, the meatballs. I just love it. I find the names of the products endlessly fascinating. I would get a job there if I didn’t think I would be constantly redecorating my house and just signing over my paycheck to them.

So imagine what went through my mind when I saw this at Target:

Oh my. The amount of time I could waste on this. Blogging and Guitar Hero have NOTHING on my DIY/IKEA fetishes. I’ve never gotten into the Sims, but I was a major SimCity freak in college so I understand the appeal of such games. This plug in is really tempting. But if my friends love me, and ever want me to leave my home again, they should NOT get this for me.

I have one question though. Does it come with a little hex wrench?

Let’s not go there. It’s a silly place.

Recently we sat by our sons as they experienced something special for the first time. Spouse and I had discussed it and we decided that the time was right.

It was time for them to watch…

Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

We thought they might be a little young, and I had forgotten about the whole Castle Anthrax thing, but it was ok. I handled Castle Anthrax the same way I handle all stuff like that: I don’t make a big deal of it, keep a straight face and pretend there isn’t anything to get all atwitter about. And it works. But to answer your question, they got most of it. Especially Thing 2 who just gets everything you throw at him. They thought it was terribly silly, which of course it is, but they loved it. Better yet, they now get more of the things I say a lot, like “There was much rejoicing”, “It’s only a flesh wound”, and “Five is right out!” Their favorite parts seemed to be the Moose in the opening credits, the Killer Rabbit and the Black Knight.

When I was renting the movie, I had the following exchange with the sales clerk, who appeared to be about 17:

Clerk: (nodding knowingly at me and Thing 1): First time?

Me: Oh yes. We thought it was time

Clerk: Ah, I remember my first time. It was with my parents, too. It’s a very special moment.

Me: Oh yes. I agree.

I’ve decided that some people get Monty Python, and some people don’t. And for those who don’t, there is no explaining why this is a big deal to them. They just won’t get it.

It’s fun to share things like this with them. Fortunately, they seem to like a lot of the same things we do. It would be a damn shame if they decided to rebel by liking stuff like Benny Hill.

I can’t wait until they are old enough to watch “The Meaning of Life”. And I’m not worried about it because “eetz only wa-fer theen!”

One Hundred Word Challenge, III

Here is this week’s attempt at the One Hundred Word Challenge. Yes, it has replaced Friday Haiku for now. I just haven’t felt the ‘ku recently and I need to try something new. Try and hide your disappointment. If you are interested in other One Hundred Word Challenges, check out Velvet Verbosity.

This week’s word: fresh.

100 Words

He stepped out of the airport and took his first breath in his new city. His parents accused him of running away, but he wasn’t. Being laid off was an opportunity to try something new. Then his apartment went condo. When Elizabeth decided “to see other people”, he took this as a sign to seek a fresh start somewhere new.

As the cab pulled up the the curb, he felt invigorated. What new challenges awaited him? Who would he meet? What path would his life take now? There was only one way to find out.

He got in the cab.

Going up?

Scene 1, shortly after check in at the Buena Vista Best Western in Orlando…*

Thing 2: I wanna push the button!

Me: Ok, we’re on the 14th floor.

Thing 1: Hey, what’s up with the elevator buttons? There’s no thirteen.

Spouse: Ohh-hhh (how does one spell that anyway?) Sometimes hotels do that. They’ll set aside a floor for special guests who don’t want to be disturbed. Or maybe they’ll use it for storage, depends on their needs.

Me (and a few others in the elevator): snigger

Thing 2: So how would you get to that floor? Would you take the stairs? Is there a special entrance? I want to know how it works!

Spouse: Well, it depends on the hotel. If they use it for special guests, then we won’t be able to access it. There’s usually a special elevator for just that floor. But if they just use it for storage or office space, then we could probably get there by taking the stairs from our floor or the 12th floor.

Thing 1: Ok. That makes sense. Can we check it out later?

Spouse: Sure.

Me: (sotto voce) You are so mean. How long are you going to keep this up?

Spouse: As long as I can….

Scene 2, the next evening in the parking lot

Thing 1: How many floors are there in the hotel?

Me: Ummm…not exactly sure. They have the numbered floors, then an “M” level so it’s either 17 or 18. Why do you ask?

Thing 1: Well, I think we’re short a floor. I’m counting the floors and it just doesn’t seem right.

Me: Hmmm. We’ll just have to check the elevator buttons when we get in so we know how many floors to count.

In the elevator

Thing 2: I still don’t get why there’s no 13th floor Why would the hotel do that?

Thing 1: Yeah. Why have a floor that you can’t get to easily? Makes no sense.

Thing 2: When I get off of this elevator, I’m taking the stairs to this 13th floor to see it for myself.

Thing 1: Me too.

Spouse: Ok, but there might be security there. Be careful.

Me (and the nice lady on the elevator with us): barely suppressed laughter.

about twenty seconds later…

Thing 2: WHAT THE!?!?!?

Thing 1: It goes to 12! Where is 13?

Thing 2: Ok, Dad, what’s the deal? I want to know where the 13th floor is!

At this point he finally put them out of their misery and told them why there is no 13th floor.

Thing 2: You’re kidding me! That is SO LAME! That’s all?

Spouse: Yep. That’s why.

Thing 2: And you were going to keep this from me for how long? I hate it when you guys do that!

Thing 1: Gaack! You do this all the time! Stop messing with us!

And that’s why we’ll be eating dog food in our old age…

*As I’m typing this story, I realize that this is really embarrassing on a few different levels. First of all, they don’t have the opportunity to go into a lot of tall buildings. We live in Austin, and the last time we were in Manhattan was two years ago and I don’t think they would have noticed it. Second, even though these are both GT kids, they are really gullible. And this isn’t helped by the third thing, which is that their father is the MASTER of pulling people’s legs. He had a friend of ours convinced that there is a bridge from San Francisco to Hawaii made out of ships that were sunk in WWII called the WWII Memorial Bridge. And yes, he’s in Marketing, why do you ask?