Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Mmm bacon

Free bacon machine — at least that's what the graffiti says. Click here to see what the heck I'm talking about.

Almost as good as Thanksgiving

I love any occasion that would cause the people in my office to organize a potluck. Luckily Halloween is just one of those occasions.

Potlucks here aren't like they are in other offices I've worked in. Here they start at 8 a.m. and go until the food's gone.

This morning I had homemade biscuits and gravy along side an egg casserole. For breakfast dessert I had zucchini bread.

For lunch, so far I've had chicken and rice soup, posole, yummy pecan salad and some of the hottest salsas I've ever tasted.

I can't wait for lunch dessert!

Click over here to see some Halloween goblins.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Reading is fundamental

I think I've mentioned before that I always have to have a book to read. I carry a big bag around to accommodate my book du jour.

While flying home from Washington D.C., I finished the book my dear friend, Kristen, lent me, Dishwasher. (Click the link and check out the "Jess on Letterman" button. That part of the story is awesome.)

While in the Denver airport, a short one-hour flight from home, I had to find a book to read — not having a book to read in my possession makes me start to panic. I hate having spare time and knowing that I could be reading something.

I headed to a news stand and looked over their selection. I started to panic again, almost more than not having a book to read, I hate having to actually pay money for books.

I have never willingly re-read any book. There are so many out there that I can't see going back over a story I already know and because money is always a issues, I can't see spending a lot of money on novels.

Mostly I borrow books from friends. One friend, in particular, has a similar taste to my own and he lends me books all the time.

I also get books from work. Publishers, hoping for some free publicity in the form of a book review, send copies of books to the newspaper all the time. I get to pick from the leftovers.

Because I'm not that picky, the borrowing and scavenging for books works out pretty well for me. And when those sources fail me, my trusty library card comes to the rescue.

This morning I finished the thriller that I bought in the airport last week and I don't have another book lined up yet. Luckily I have a few unread freebies on my desk, so I won't have to panic.

It seems strange to me know, but there used to be a time when I wasn't much of a reader. I'd read a book now and then, but it wasn't a compulsion like it is now. But as far as compulsions go, this is one I don't mind so much.

Monday, October 29, 2007

A season to scare

I posted over here about the celebratin' o' the 'ween. There are pictures. Go on click it.

We love passing out blank checks

Friday Margaret didn't have school, so we had made arrangements for her to go back to her old preschool/daycare facility for the day. Because Bill doesn't have formal classes on Friday, he was the one who dropped her off and picked her up.

I had this conversation with Bill this morning:

Me: How much was the check for Margaret's daycare Friday.

Bill: (pause) Um, what do you mean, you made out the check.

Me: (getting heated) No, I wrote the name of the school and signed it. You had to fill in the amount. I don't know what they charge for one day.

Bill: No, you filled out the check and I just gave it to them.

Me: (boiling sounds in my ears) Dude, you gave them a blank check.

Bill: I just gave them the check.

Me: Yes, you gave them a blank check.

Bill: I'll call them to find out how much they made the check out for.

Me: Thanks because I won't be able to balance the checkbook if they bought a new church van with that check.

Luckily for us, Margaret's former preschool/daycare is a Christian facility associated with a church and they only filled the check out the amount for one day of care.

So I guess the moral of the story is: Don't give blank checks to my husband, but if you do make sure it's made out to a bunch of Christians.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Friday stuff

Look, I made a poster for our show next weekend:

Ooooohhhah! A poster.

And lookit this:
We have new shirts. (I designed those, too.) You can buy one.

Um, let's see ... Oh, my friend, Tracee and I play a Survivor game and finally after two seasons of getting my ass kicked, I'm still ahead this season. There's hope for me yet.

K. Uh, yeah, that's all I got.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Story by Margaret

Yesterday, Bill and I attended Margaret's parent-teacher conference. It was awesome. I wanted to kiss her teacher, the school psychologist and the gifted-and-talented teacher, they had such great things to say about Mar.

She is having a great year and is doing well in all subjects. And not having any of the "having trouble keeping her hands and feet to herself" problems that she had before. When I mentioned that this was a problem before, her teacher was shocked and said that her behavior is excellent. Hurray, for not having a grabby kid anymore!

Below is a story that Mar wrote, typed and illustrated in class.

Page 1
Sorry, Mark, Kristen and Bill that y'all got nothing but browned out faces.

Page 2
We actually saw two Porcini mushrooms, but Parcheesis sound like a good time, no?

And yes, Mark is amazingly brave. Thanks for risking life and liver to taste test those mushrooms, Mark.

Page 3
Puff Balls are pretty sweet with all their puffing skillz.

Page 4It's true, we were amazed. And what's great is that we get to be continuously amazed by our daughter every day.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

It can't be ALL that bad, right?

Dentist: OK, that should do it.

Me: gurgle, slurp, ick

Dentist: (in the same "all done" tone) You're going to need a root canal on that one. The decay was so deep I couldn't get it all without disturbing the nerve.

Me: glick, gulp

Dentist: (again with the "it's sun shiny bright" tone) You can make an appointment for the root canal and then come back to us for the crown.

Me: 'the hell? (I just kept this in my brain as my mouth was too numb and sore to actually speak.)

Receptionist: After you get the root canal, come back December 19 for the build up and crown.

Me: Well, merry Christmas to me.


I posted over here about my kid and that horrible sound that keeps coming out of her face.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Mar in D.C.

I just discovered Picnik — it's a free (so far) photo editing site. It allows you to make cool photos and it's easy.

These few photos were taken from in front of the National Gallery:

I love the above picture and the look on Mar's face.

I posted this one on the Haute Mamas blog, but I like it, plus I added the cool, blue vignette effect:
Another one from outside the Capitol building.And one of Bill and Mar. Let's all say it together now .... Awww!

Monday, October 22, 2007


Margaret is sick. I had to pick her up from school today and bring her back to my office.

As she and I were walking past a co-worker's desk, Margaret overheard her answer the phone.

Mar: Why did Rita answer the phone, "Appetizing, this is Rita"?

Me: (snort) She said, "Advertising, this is Rita."

"Appetizing" is way funnier. I'm going to suggest that to Rita.

D.on't C.ount on seeing everything ... ever

I think D.C. is an acronym to remind people that after you walk around trying to fit in as much of the amazing sights as you can, that you'll be D.own for the C.ount. Bill is still not done complaining about his shin splints.

Click over here to read about our tour of the Capitol and to see some pictures.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

In hog heaven

I had to stop myself from throwing myself across the threshold of the National Gallery of Art and weeping openly this afternoon.

I love the National Gallery so much Margaret actually asked me this as we walked through those hollowed halls today:

Mar: "Do you love being here more than you love me?"

Of course not, but that National Gallery is pretty high on the list of things I love.

One of my favorite moments was while we were standing in a gallery with portraits by John Singer Sargent, James McNeill Whistler and Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres. I am in awe of them all. Margaret decided she liked this one by Ingres the best.

Ingres rocks and I was super impressed that she was drawn to any of them, let alone the one by Ingres. Super awesome.

It's been more than 12 years since I've been to D.C. and all the treasures it holds. It has been wonderful revisiting all the places I grew to love while in graduate school. Plus I'm seeing some things I never saw before, like the National Zoo.

Mar and I spent all morning trudging past cool animal after cool animal. Much to Margaret's relief, we got to see the giant panda. It was really the only thing that she wanted to do while we are here in the nation's capital.

But we also saw some crazy giant fish from the Amazon.

This fish is way bigger than I am and I'm not embarrassed to admit that it freaked me out a bit. I pretended it didn't because I wanted Mar to enjoy the exhibit. Now there's some good mama skillz.

After a long day of walking hither and yon, Mar and I joined Bill and his colleagues for a dinner on the waterfront. We ate at a seafood place that had an all-you-can-eat seafood buffet. I ate so many different kinds of fish that I don't even know the names of them all.

Mm seafoody goodness.

I can't wait for tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Traveling with kids

Me: You can pick from any of these restaurants for dinner.

Mar: Oh goody. Let's eat at McDonald's.

Me: That's not even an option. We didn't just travel 1,400 miles to eat McDonald's.

Mar: But it looks different than our McDonald's at home. Maybe it had different food.

Me: Trust me, it's the same.

Mar: How do you know? Have you eaten there?

Me: Yes, I've eaten at every McDonald's in the world.

Mar: Lucky.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Now that's rock 'n' roll

Last night we had band practice like we do every week. We practice at Scott and La's house in Scott's studio. The studio is really set up nicely and we are able to really hear ourselves and practice effectively.

We were working through our set for our Denver show and playing our little hearts out when I noticed that someone had opened the door.

A man stood in the doorway looking expectant. I signaled to La as she was closest to the door. She stopped playing and took off her headphones to talk to this guy.

Then we all stopped playing and watched as Scott got served a court summons.

Oh yeah, rock 'n' roll, baby.

Photoessay: Why Fall Rocks!

Monday, October 15, 2007

New songs ... that you can buy

Oh, we're not just cute, we're all high tech, too.

Our trusty fill-in drummer and permanent recording technician/producer/savior of our girl band, Scott, spent the majority of his weekend recording drum tracks and mastering four brand spanking new Riveter songs.

We decided — at the last minute, as we're prone to do — that we should have new EP to take with us to our Denver show at the beginning of November.

I busted my hump and created a design that we all liked for the face of the disk. (I tried to post the disc graphic but Blogger is constipated or something. I'll try again later.) And now we have the audio tracks done.

You can click over to our myspace and hear them over there.

Or you can slide on over to the right here and purchase them all (plus the four from our previous EP) for $.99 each.

I know, we're super high tech.

Watch out, we're hot right now. And it feels so good!

I got a fever

I got a fever ... Rockies fever! Click over here to read about it.

Friday, October 12, 2007

No excuses

OK, that's twice this week that I never had a moment to write a decent post for this blog. I'm skidding along at warp speed these days.

This week most of my spare moments have been spent working on graphics for the band. We decided that we'd like to have some new shirts to take to our Denver show. We still have some with an old design that we like, but we wanted something that was more representative of who we are now, as a band.

I struggled for a couple of days trying to come up with a simple white design to go on a black t-shirt. The more I worked, the more I began to hate everything. Finally, I just sent the designs to the girls and made them pick one.

Here's what we're going with:

Good choice, no? We're so cute and now we have the shirts to prove it.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


It's all a blur, these days. I have so many irons in the fire, it's no wonder that I don't spontaneously combust.

After teaching a freshman-level art appreciation class for six years, I've been invited to each an upper-division, art-history class.

So next fall, I'll be lecturing on Neoclassicism, Romanticism and Impressionism, 19th century art. In. Depth. No more glossing over topics and throwing out sound bites. Of course, it's going to be a whole shit-pot full of work, but I'm fine with that. Lately, I've been all about art.

I've been reading text books and flipping through art picture books obsessively. And soon I'm going to get a huge dose of art in that we're going to Washington D.C.

Bill's got a conference for the National Science Foundation grant he and his team won. He goes every year, this time Margaret and I are tagging along.

I went to grad school a mere three hours from D.C. and spent many a weekend touring the museums and galleries. But it's been years, many, many, way too many, so I'm very excited.

And ever since our trip to the Denver Art Museum in February, Margaret has been all about going to museums. Plus our hotel is a block away from the national zoo and they have a baby panda there, so she's stoked.

Gooooo Art! (Yeah, my dork status remains intact.)

Monday, October 08, 2007

I don't feel so good

My gut is hosed. I've been all ... um, icky all weekend long. I'll avoid sharing the disgusting details. Needless to say, I was sofa bound all day Saturday and much of Sunday. Click over here to read about how I spent my sick Saturday.

I also posted a great picture of Mar taken Friday night while we were celebrating our dear friend Special K's birthday.

I was starting to feel better but then one of my co-workers forced me to try her new oatmeal chocolate-chip cookie recipe. Gah! The sacrifices I make for others. The cookies were amazingly delicious, but my gut is on strike, so now I pay.

Friday, October 05, 2007


Him: "See. It was just a low tire. There was no need to be all hanging up the phone on me."

Me: "If I hadn't hung up the phone on you, would you have rushed over here and fixed my car?"

Him: "No. But now all those people I was sitting with think you're a bitch."

Me: "I am a bitch. A bitch with a fixed car."

Margaret's not stupid or weird either

It's true that kids do say the darnest things. Click here to read a quite brilliant Margaret-ism.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Not dead yet

As I said yesterday, a cloud of gas has been released upon us. Now it's looking like it's not propane but the smelly gas they add to propane so that it can be smelled in case of a leak.

That gas is call mercaptan.

The gas companies say that it is harmless to humans. The toxicology people suggest otherwise. The Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry that states that mercaptan is indeed toxic.

But it might not be mercaptan as it seems that the junk yard from where the gas originated is not saying that it could be from some unidentified liquid.

In the meantime, gas clouds are floating within two miles of the junk yard. Those two miles include my place of employment and my house. So I'm getting gassed from all angles.

There's going to be a press conference shortly to announce whether we're all going to die a slow death from liver failure or not.

We've been breathing in these noxious fumes for three days now and many of us are complaining of sore throats, dizziness, fatigue and headaches. My migraine finally broke this morning after my fourth dose of Max-Alt.

It will be interesting to see how this turns out. But there are a lot of us looking to form a posse and string up those jokers at the junk yard. Yee haw.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Yesterday employees at a local junk yard were cutting open some old propane tanks. Unfortunately, at least one of them was not empty and they released a ginormous cloud of propane on the lower downtown area. My office is located within a couple blocks of this junk yard.

The cloud of propane descended upon us with the fervor of a group of 2nd graders on a box of Oreos. We didn't have a chance.

The gas poured into our building quickly and all of a sudden we all could smell the disgusting scent which is added to propane.

We quickly abandoned ship but it was really like jumping out of the frying pan into the fire as the gas cloud hung outside our building like a junkie near a needle exchange. Many of us were sickened by the smell and by breathing those fumes.

The fire department was called, but due to construction and a train blocking the tracks, they were delayed. Finally they arrived and located the source of the gas cloud.

When it was determined to be carelessness by the junk yard employees we filed back into the building. But it was still full of propane. I quickly got a headache and left work early.

I was sick all night long with a headache. Around 3 this morning, I was up trying not to puke. Bill tried to help by talking really loud and clicking the TV channels to the most noisy and visually jarring shows — because he's helpful like that. After choking on some vomit, I decided it was time to head back to bed where I slept with an ice pack on my head.

Good times.

I groggily got up and made my way to work, only to find our building still chock full o' propane gas. Luckily for me, my desk sits in an underventilated nook so I got to breath in gassy fumes all morning — more good times.

My hands and feet when numb and I tried to pass out a couple of times ... you know, just to keep the good times rolling, but the office eventually started to air out.

Now after having breathed in those volatile fumes for far too long, I began thinking about the sorry sacks o' poo that huff this stuff. Whatever high we may have gotten from this stuff was counteracted by an extraordinary headache and nausea. Why not just get your foot run over by a bus instead?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

For all those that think Mar looks just like me

According to she looks equally like Bill and me.

Check out this celebrity look alike doo-hicky:

And that's not all, watch me morph into Kate Hudson:


Now, I'm gonna go morph Bill's face ... oh fun for the whole family!

OK, I had to add Bill's celebrity look-a-likes because his birthday bro, Antonio Banderas is included in his list. Coincidence?

Monday, October 01, 2007

Saying goodbye

Sniff, sniff. I'm sad that it's over. I wish it could've lasted longer. I was having such a good time.

But all good things must come to an end.

So this morning, I'm saying goodbye to VH-1's Rock of Love.

I'm surprised at how much I loved this show. It was a train wreck from the get go, but what a beautiful train wreck it w

Last night's finale saw 43-year-old, '80s rocker, Bret Michaels chose 23-year-old hairdresser/bartender, Jes over 32-year-old stripper, Heather.

And I guess once you go on one of these faux dating shows, you get to be whatever you want after. If you look at Heather's myspace page, she touts herself as a "Model and Television Personality." Well, good for her. But what's wrong with being a stripper? She needs to own her stripperness and be the best stripper she can be.

Imagine the cash she could be pulling down now that she's a celebreality star. It's ashame indeed.

So, where's Jes now? According to her myspace page, she's doing appearances at Illinois bars with other Rock of Love girls. Neet.

It's all just so glamorous.

OK, it's not glamorous and more than a bit sad, but oh how I'm going to miss Rock of Love.