If the costume fits…

We had a neighborhood Halloween party to go to last night. First Halloween party for me since college if I remember correctly.  I’m not much into the costumes and silliness of this holiday, probably less so this year due to the current girth of my midsection (but will probably be more so next year when I have a wee tyke to dress up and parade around!).

I was just going to wear a black shirt with a pumpkin face sewn on my belly and call it quits until my friend Ashley had a better idea…  Black dress – check, white turtle neck – check, black tights – check.  Had to whip up the habit on the sewing machine and Royce had to make me a cross, but all in all it turned out pretty well.


As our friend Albert says I’ll probably go to hell, but I figured I already was well on my way considering we didn’t even have a cross in this house to put around my neck and I may as well fess up that we never replaced that Bible either.  At least I’m having fun on my way!

We are back…and we brought some water with us.

Our vacation was wonderful.  Until about 11:30 AM today when out of airport boredom I looked at my cell phone and said "why did Ed (our neighbor) call me and leave a message?". 

I was hoping for a message where he invited himself over to watch football or something less…malignant than mentioning that water was shooting from the outdoor spigot this morning when he left the house to rake leaves.  I guess a series of events ensued where he called the water people to have them turn off our water before he realized he had a key to our house and he would go do it himself.  When he got to the basement to turn off the water supply, the excess water had started to seep in through the foundation.  So our neighbors had a fun morning of shopvac’ing and mopping water in order to keep it from getting to the finished basement section.  

I got bits and pieces of this from him when I called him back and was able to direct him to where we hide our towels.  But I had no idea of the how the damage was caused (I expected a burst pipe) or the extent of damage or water seepage, all I knew was (1) that there was water in the basement, (2) we were getting ready to board a plane and (3) I hadn’t eaten breakfast and the Bahamas airport is nothing short of a food prison.  Lets just say that was the longest 2 hour flight of my life.  During that 2 hours my basement was filled to chest high water and everything from our beer fridge to my computer to my wedding keepsake box was a soggy mess.  Imaginations suck.

So this can be added as the Spigot Spastics of November ’08 which makes for a whopping four basement water happenings for us in our mere 2 years at Pierce Drive let me refresh your memory: Furnace Meltdown of July ’07, Toilet Leak of May ’07, & the Washing Machine Flood of January ’07.  I guess you could say we don’t mix well with basements and water.

When we returned to the home and braced ourselves for the worst we walked in and realized they had done a wonderful job of containing the water.  None of it made it to the finished part thanks to thier actions.  I am eternally grateful and owe them more than I could possibly give them.  But as I sit here thinking how lukcy we were that they were around and acted on it,  I new I would do the exact same for any of them cause that’s what neighbors do. 

Oh and the next time we go on vacation I’m turning our water off.

I *heart* Roku

We got our Roku last night and I’m in love.

I better introduce him since many of you may not know what a Roku is.  Heck a week ago I didn’t even know what it was.  It’s this fancy little box that communicates with the internet and Netflix and allows you to watch all of their instant offerings on your TV.  A couple of months ago I tried to figure out how to connect my computer to my TV (basically using the TV as a second monitor) and boy-howdy was it complicated so like most people I gave up.  

But then this week when updating our Netflix account to receive 3 at a time I saw and instantly fell in love with Roku.  It is nice to catch up on old TV series without wasting your netflix DVD allotment with all the disks not to mention instant gratification!  I love that too.  

Keep the money…throw away the Bible

Yes…my husband did say that…and then immediately started laughing at himself and deemed his fate to hell.  

Today was cleaning day.  Our house was filthy.  Between having a house guest for a month and our trip to Iowa, I had embarrassingly gotten a bit lazy and didn’t keep up.  We also went through our many boxes of books that have been patiently waiting to be unpacked and displayed since we moved 2 years ago. As we were going through them deciding which to keep and which to donate or recycle we found a sad cover-less paperback Holy Bible with a bunch of Nicaraguan centavo bills inside.  Alas they are only worth $0.06 so they will remain as bookmarks.  As for Royce’s soul…I’m not taking any bets.

In case you are in dire need

Of a lampshade with a bird on it…I found it for you!

Or how about this pretty one with a kitty…

and this one… it looks like a hat but…surprise!  It’s a lampshade!  Really…it is!

Finding a decent lampshade these days is much harder than I anticipated. 


Poor Andy (my car, I name my cars…sad, I know) has been ghetto attacked.  The bolt covers on Andy’s wheels were stolen sometime this week.  I noticed when I came out of Trader Joes this morning.  Sad.  So sad. Ghetto people…they live among us, and they steal wheel caps with “Acura” on them.  Pathetic.  What’s even sadder is I doubt I’ll replace them as they probably would just get stolen again.  At least they didn’t take the entire wheel…thats happened in our ‘hood before…you come out to see your car on blocks.  I guess my tires suck so bad they only wanted the part with “Acura” on them.  What is this obsession with brand anyways? 

I guess I should start putting Andy on the driveway, but I’ve also heard that the car out front keeps your house from being broken into (sadly this is a issue in our ‘hood).  Since our driveway and garage is hidden behind our house if a car isn’t out front then I can see how a suspecting burglar would think no one is home.  So I’m torn. 

I think this incident is slowly transitioning Andy into his next life, which will more than likely be a ghetto life.  Andy is popular among ghetto people here…I typically see his brothers and sisters souped up with fancy hub-caps and loud mufflers.  I’m sure when we look to sell Andy to get me a more family-friendly car he will be snatched up by the ghetto.  Poor Andy…he doesn’t like loud mufflers or pimped out rides, he likes NPR and scheduled maintenance contracts.  I almost feel sorry for him already. 

Dear 1970’s KitchenAid dishwasher…what took you so long?

When somethings die you get sad, even a bit nostalgic.  Other things you wish were dead eons ago.  Our dishwasher was one of those things.  Due to the extreme organization of the previous owner (who eerily has handwriting that looks much like my fathers) I know that the our dishwasher was installed in March of 1975.  

This machine has been living longer than both Royce and I.  

They must have taken the “How to get the most out of your new KitchenAid Dishwasher” pamphlet to heart (they kept every appliance warranty, instruction book and care packet).

I really enjoyed this KitchenAid propaganda poster describing how easy it was to load (they look like they are having way too much fun) AND the variety of colors it comes in. I was shocked to find out you could get a stainless steal front in 1975! Which makes me beg the question why did everyone chose Avocado Green and Golden Harvest instead?

It never really cleaned that well but it was never really broken enough to replace, and I was just waiting for an excuse to get a new one.  This weekend when it peed all over our kitchen floor we didn’t hesitate one second before we decided to throw out the ol’ chap instead of pay someone to repair it’s elderly incontinence.  

Whith-in one hour I had done my Consumer Reports research and we were off to Sears.  Only two hours after the funeral march of the brown smelly dishwasher, we fell in love with a new sleek quiet shiny Kenmore Elite and decided to toss in a new bone destroying garbage disposal to make the upgrade complete.   

Everything arrives and gets installed on Wednesday, just in time for the holidays!

Ode to my stolen Ipod

I was hesitant to purchase you, but the podcasts finally sold me.  I had to get the pink one so that Royce could get the silver one, although I made fun of the guy who sold them too us who assumed the pink one went to me and not my manly husband.  You provided me endless entertainment during multiple flights and even provided a soundtrack as we drove through Montana and Wyoming, but Kansas City did you in.  I’m sorry I left you on the plane, I couldn’t hear you calling out for me to remember to pack you up.  I’m usually much more responsible but I must have been distracted bythat girl who screamed during the entire 20-minute descent.  I tried to find you when we went back to the airport but no luck.  I’ve also called Milwaukee if by chance you manged to route yourself there, but all I get when I call is an answering machine.

I’m not sure what irritates me more, that I lost you, or that some jerk didn’t turn you in and decided to keep you for themselves.  I secretly hope if that is the case that you decide to spontaneously combust so that they can’t enjoy their treasure.  

I’ll have to replace you before Rome.  10 hours is far to long to be suck on a plane without your kind of pacification.  I won’t be albe to get another one like you because they don’t make you anymore. You have been replaced by some fancier model where I can watch videos.  Although I’m not sure who wants to watch videos on that small of a screen…maybe a very tiny person, a miniature model of myself may find that enjoyable.  I however think I would burn my retinas out if I tried to focus on something that small for any length of time.

 I have never believed that your first day back from vacation should be easy or even remotely kind.  I’ve always expected frustrating, endless days.  Today was one of them…although not over, I’ll be sure to update if anything else crazier happens.

7:30 AM – woke up late.  forgot to set alarm clock.  I think this actually worked in my favor as the extra sleep was probably needed
8:15 AM – noticed front passenger tire was a bit flat and thought “shit I don’t have time to fill that up on my way to work”  (see #1 above…I was late)
8:16 AM – car wouldn’t start thought “shit…now I have to take the bus…I’m going to be really late..hopefully Royce can drive me to work” (he did)
8:45 AM – within 15 mins of sitting down at work the phone rang regarding something that should have been solved last week while I was gone per my instructions left to my co-workers.
10:00 AM – was assigned yet another NDA which is on some new rapid fire time clock so I get to bust my ass between now and January to get it done.  (the only thing that makes this remotely OK is that my boss did feel bad about giving this to me but either way its still wrong to do it on my first day back right?)
11:45 AM – Discovered mold on sandwich bread I used in the AM to make my lunch
2:00 PM – Sat through a dreadful sponsor presentation on previously mentioned NDA where they have no data but still want approval.
3:30 PM – been in meetings for 1.5 hours by now, need to pee so bad I’m afraid I may wet myself
3:35 PM – head to another meeting where I have to tell a sponsor they have to do an expensive pointless study that I don’t believe in.
4:45 PM – Friend drives me home but I realize I don’t have any keys and am locked out.

So I’m here…I’m in my house but I wasn’t able to return my overdue library books or go to the grocery store as I had originally planned to do this afternoon after work.  I think I’ll just drink instead…it’s safe and likely not to involve updating this post later this evening.




It’s a boring night at the Burns residence.  Royce is working, dog is sleeping and I’m beat from my overly packed weekend.  Amanda posted this interesting career survey on her blog today and what better timing since the FDA could be laying off 2000 people by Friday…its just so nerve racking it’s almost funny.  

So what could I do if I left that popsicle stand of a government institution?  Well I could be a: 

1. Logistics Specialist    

2. Family and Consumer Scientist <—MOM…did you see that!!!

3. Zookeeper    

4. Hospital Service Worker    

5. Animal Caretaker    

6. Dietitian    

7. Industrial Designer    

8. Cartographer    

9. Interior Designer    

10. Animal Trainer

And that’s just the top 10…and I could actually see myself enjoying myself as an Interior Designer if I had the slightest idea what I was doing other than plagiarizing the Pottery Barn Catalogue with cheaper products.  But Zookeeper?  really?  WTF?  That one made me laugh.  There is definitely an ‘animal theme’ going on there in the top 10…strange if do say.  


Maybe this survey is trying to tell me something?  I don’t see Pharmacist, or anything ‘medical’ on my list other than Hospital Service Worker (I’m not even sure what that is) and Dietitian.  I definitely don’t see “boring office job where you read dull reports and re-write them”.  Oh I what I meant to say was “Office job where you get to read fascinating reports and approve drugs”.

It gets even better.  In my Top 40 we have:
11. Nursery/Greenhouse Grower (I kill everything plant my hand comes in contact with)

12. Desktop Publisher   

13. Housekeeper (I can’t stand cleaning my own filth)

14. Cartoonist / Comic Illustrator (I did draw some funny stuff as a kid during church services)   

15. Fashion Designer (this is a option but only if I can design stuff for althetically built girls instead of twigs) 

16. Animator        

17. Pipefitter (What?!)   

18. Outdoor Guide (my dream of becoming “Forrest Ranger Julie” just may just come true!)   

19. Bricklayer / Stonemason (can girls be this?)   

20. Construction Tradesperson

21. Forester (see #18)

22. Chimney Sweep (Only if I get to dance around like they did in Mary Poppins)   

23. Fast Food Worker (Ick.gross.no.never)   

24. Drywaller (funny considering I can’t even pick up a piece of drywall on my own)

25. Horse Trainer (horses scare me…but that wasn’t a question now was it?)

26. Plasterer (sensing a home improvement theme???)

27. Chef  (YES!  My dream job…well owning my own restaurant is, I don’t think I have the tolerance to go to chef school)  

28. Butcher (I can’t cut up moo cows…but I will eat them!)  

29. Window Washer (survey didn’t ask if I was afraid of heights) 

30. Cook  (see #27 but only if it was my own place)  

31. Forestry Technician (ooo…another nature option!)

32. Insulator (not too sure what this is)

33. Concrete Mason  (man me and brick/masonry…who new?)  

34. Gardener  (really…I’m bad at gardening…I kill things and I don’t water them).  

35. Roofer (I have put a couple of good roofs on back in my high school work-camp days)  

36. Personal Trainer  (lol…given my challenge of running a half-marathon i find this laughable!)

37. Planner (I DO like to plan)

38. General Contractor (yet another construction/home improvement spin)

39. Property Manager    

40. Farmer (Iowa here I come!)

Although a fun exercise I’m not to sure I’m ready to switch careers quiet yet (hopefully I won’t have to).  There were some viable options but they were stuck between Plasterer and Butcher so that makes me a bit leery….maybe if they were higher up in the list I would be a bit more excited.  Oh well…if you want to try it out go to http://www.careercruising.com/, put in Username: nycareers, Password: landmark and take the “Career Matchmaker”

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