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Thursday, December 22, 2005


I'm trying to convince myself that I'm not sick.

I do not, for example, have a scratchy throat. I also was not kept up most of the night by said non-existant scratchy throat, and I did not finally manage to get to sleep by sticking a mentholated cough drop between my clenched teeth.

This means that I am most certainly not utterly exhausted today and flagging fast.

What did I do to deserve the Christmas Cold this year? I haven't even been *that* stressed out.

Monday, December 19, 2005

random afternoon off

Unexpectedly getting the afternoon off the week before Christmas and the day that a HUGE number of your Christmas gifts arrive (they were ordered Dec. 1, so don't be looking at me with that 'you procrastinated' face) has got to be one of the best things ever.

So far this afternoon I have wrapped half a dozen presents and baked three dozen cranberry white chocolate chip cookies (my own recipe and YAY! so good). I am feeling extremely accomplished.

However, I now also have a list about three miles long of errands to run and I have to brave the post office on the busiest mailing day of the year.

But I believe in taking things 15 minutes at a time, including 15 to sit down and take a breather and, apparently, blog.

blogs I read

I decided it was time to update the links list on the left hand side of the page with some new blogs that I read on a regular basis, because they all just rock and you've gotta share the love. Pay it forward. Whatever.

So here's a roundup of the new blogs:

Tales to Astonish!
Just a guy in New York writing a blog, but he's fun and interesting and kind of addicted to old movies.

This is one of my FAVORITE guilty pleasure reads, which features everything and anything that could be considered a luxury good. From alcohol to real estate, from jewelry to art, from a $37,000 pen to a $175 Dean & DeLuca Bon Vivant Gift Package for that francophile on your Christmas list.

I'm just saying.

The Unofficial Apple Weblog
An excellent place for inside scoops for Mac people like me.

Go Fug Yourself
Oh SO funny. These girls take pictures of celebrities at functions and dissect their fashion mistakes -- and MAN are there a lot of them. These chicks say what we're all thinking, and it is GUARANTEED to make you feel better about your wardrobe decision of the day. Observe this snippet, in which you don't even NEED the photographic evidence posted with it:

Waist up: hot! Sexy! Sexy! Hot! Sure, I think that's a lariat around her neck, but let's all look the other way! La la la!


I do have to admit that if my face hadn't been rendered unto ashes thanks to her cropped Hammer-panted jumpsuit (a phrase which I believe actually brings forth the End Times), I would note that her shoes are totally fierce and I need them.

Cute Overload
All this site does is cute. Some posts are about cute products like Hello Kitty Fender guitars and plush microbes, but mostly cute baby animals. Cute pictures of cute fuzzy baby animals in cute poses doing cute things. But the saccrine cutenicity is cut a little by the often amusing commentary and titles on the pictures. It's actually a lot more engaging (and less vomit-inducing) than it sounds.

Witness the hedgehog complete with Alice in Wonderland references and the OMG DOORMICE!!!!!! So cute.

Overheard in NY
A collection of "witicisms" overheard by various and sundry people in our fair city of New York. WARNING: some graphic language, but lots of "OMG people are stupid!" moments.

How did we live before there was internet?

This weekend, I shopped for a car by getting quotes over the internet from six different Honda dealers local to our house, and discovered that there isn't a 2006 Honda Civic LX with a five speed manual transmition in navy blue in the entire state of California.


The only good news is that the nice guy at the dealership with the best price said he would give us an even BETTER price if we decided to buy one in one of the colors he had.

I'm currently trying to decide if I can live with Galaxy Grey. For the price he's willing to give us, it's entirely possible.

So who knows? I could have a new car before the week is out. We shall see, we shall see...

* * *

In other news, the pot luck party last night was OK. Brandon and I decided that it's a little weird because we only know the host and hostess, and not any of their friends. And, as Brandon put it, we really don't have much in common with their friends because they're all "rich and stuck up." We're definitely not the former. ;)

But the spinach dip went over well and my friend the hostess only inadvertantly flashed her boobs once, so all in all it was a pretty good party.

And hot chocolate with Irish Cream in it is my new favorite thing ever. Yum.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Fake it, don't make it

(Yes, I'm being spammy today. So sue me.)

So, this weekend we have our second pot-luck event of the season, and I'm planning on taking the same thing I took to the first: spinach artichoke dip. It's AWESOME. The recipe calls for baking it in the oven, but for the first party, I cooked it in our mini crock pot and it came out beautifully and stayed warm for the whole party.

So, for my mom who asked for the recipe:

Spinach-Artichoke Dip

From Real Simple

1 10-ounce box frozen cut or chopped spinach, thawed
1 12-ounce jar artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
1/2 cup whipped cream cheese
3/4 cup sour cream
1 cup grated Cheddar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Pita chips, tortilla chips, or sliced French bread
1 lemon, cut into wedges (optional)

Heat oven to 400° F.

Squeeze the spinach between paper towels to remove excess moisture. In a medium bowl, combine the spinach, artichokes, cream cheese, sour cream, and Cheddar. Season with the salt and pepper. Scrape the mixture into a small oven-safe baking dish. Bake until lightly golden and heated through, about 15 minutes. Serve warm with the chips or bread and the lemon wedges, if desired.

Yield: Makes 4 servings

From Lacy: This is NOT low fat, but would probably be really easy to lighten up by using reduced fat dairy products -- cream cheese, sour cream, and cheddar -- and by using artichoke hearts packed in water instead of marinated in oil. Also, I doubled the recipe for the party and it was gone well before the end (about 35-40 people).

To make in the crock pot: assemble all the ingredients and put into the crock pot on low for at least two hours, stirring occasionally.

it's just common sense, people

Yesterday, I called for a courier to come pick up some boxes today. When I placed the call, I told the dispatcher that I had two large boxes and four small boxes.

This morning, the receptionist called to tell me my courier was here. I loaded up my dolly, hauled them out to the lobby...

...and greeted the man in the wheelchair who was my courier.

WHY would you dispatch a man in a wheelchair to pick up six boxes? Some documents, a single box? Sure! BUT NOT SIX BOXES, PEOPLE.

I took them down and loaded them into his car for him. Then I called our client who is receiving the boxes and told them that he might need some help unloading his car.


Western wedding favors

For the longest time now, whenever I opened up Blogger to make a post, I would notice that our wedding blog was coming up at the top of my blog list to say that I'd made a post recently. Like, every day. Which is strange, because I haven't actually made a post in it since the end of July.

Today, I figured out why.

I had to turn on the "are you a real person? please type in these letters" feature on this blog because I was getting spam in the comments. Check out what happens if the spam goes unchecked (scroll down to read the comments).

I'm just flabbergasted by the complexity of the spambots. Here are some EXCELLENT quotes from my many "fans":

"Sad to say I just got back from a bowling tournament..."

"I am doing a paper on cherished wedding favors and have been downloading information for the last hour."

"All I can say is WOW Lacy. The other half and I just got back from our friends house (well her friends house) and I needed a huge break. I am working on a project right now that is based on wedding favors catalogs."

"I just got inside from washing and waxing my truck. It is my baby. Took me 2 hours though. So I settled down into my basement and started doing some web surfing. Anyways I am in the process of grabbing my masters degree and have spent the last 6 months researching wedding favors for kids." -- OK, really. WHAT THE HELL?


Thursday, December 15, 2005

another random thing about today

I'm sitting at my desk eating cold cereal for lunch.

Clearly this says something about my life. I'm not sure it's positive.

Some random things about today:

1. I had a dream this morning that was very long and complicated, but suffice to say that it ended up with my cat, Cleopatra, sitting next to somebody's severed head. There was also a great deal of mud. Really, it wasn't as nightmarish as it sounds.

2. Can somebody explain this to me?

Airmail to the UK is considerably less than either Global Priority Mail OR Slow Boat To China Mail. Go fig.

3. It was 46 degrees when I left for work this morning, and my office building still has the air conditioning on. I'm not asking for heat, people, just turn off the freaking AC!

4. I got most of my Christmas cards in the mail this morning, but I am perplexed by a turn of events I noticed this year. I don't get a lot of Christmas cards, as a general rule, but the ones I did get this year all came less than a week after Thanksgiving. Is this some unspoken rule I didn't know about? Did we somehow decide that since all the stores and malls and things have decided to move up Christmas, that the card mailing deadline has been moved up as well? Why didn't I get this memo?

To be perfectly honest, I'm not at all behind according to my own internal schedule, which maybe says something about me as a person...

I don't send Christmas cards every year. I do it when the mood strikes me, and this year I was struck. See, I'm from the camp that it isn't worth it -- to me -- to just send a card with our names signed at the bottom, because then all my energy went into addressing the envelope rather than making or writing the card. I can see by the quality of some of the cards this year that a lot of my family and friends feel the same way. By far, the top two we've gotten this year were AWESOME photo montages by both my great Uncle Duncan and my friend Charlsa. I can get behind those kinds of cards. Those show a lot of creativity and effort.

But I'm not looking down my nose at non-card-senders either. As I said above, my card sending comes down to mood most years. Some years I'm in a really festive mood and want to spend hours decorating and making cards and wrapping presents. Some years I just want to cocoon until spring. This year I'm somewhere in between, but wherever you are on that spectrum: I'm with you. Solidarity in the holiday spirit (or lack thereof), yo.

Some people object to cards on a moral basis, either because they find them trite, or because they use up too much paper, or because they're trying to stick it to the corporate man (Hallmark? I'm looking at you.). And I say awesome. More power to ya.

Some people just don't have time. And I say awesome. More power to ya. Spend the time doing something you enjoy, rather than something you feel obligated to do.

So don't freak out if you get a card from me this year, and don't get one next year. It's only a phase. You're just as likely to get a hand-glittered monstrocity from me the year after that.

5. I posted a whole new batch of my dad's drawings on my livejournal and decided not to cross post them here, because the format would be harder to see. If you'd like to take a look, just click the link, or you can see the full sized images at Wayne's deviant art gallery.

Friday, December 09, 2005

office party blues

Here's what I like: mini quiches.

Here's what I don't like: awkward silences.

Our offices are housed in what's known as "Executive Suites" on the 11th floor of a large office building in Huntington Beach. The entire floor is made up of single offices which are rented out to people who only need one or two (or in our case, three) offices for their company, and we share a nice reception area, kitchen, copy room, and two conference rooms. The floor is managed by a company who also provides us with receptionists, so if you ever call me, the girl who answers the phone and says, "Good morning, thank you for calling L_____________ B_____________ Group," is not me, nor does she actually work for our company.

Anyway, today the management team threw us a very nice holiday brunch. Unfortunately, I'm the only one here today from my company, so that meant I had to go mingle. With perfect strangers.

So I go in, load up my plate with mini quiches, half of a ginormous breakfast burrito, and a quarter of an even bigger cinnamon roll, and I thought I had it made: I spotted one of the receptionists chatting with another young woman about our age. So I went and sat down, introduced myself to the girl I didn't know, and almost immediately, the receptionist got up to go answer phones, and the other girl got up to go back to her office.

What? Have I got quiche in my teeth?

I'm left alone, sitting by myslef, looking like a lonely wallflower. So then, a very nice lady whom I have exchanged plesantries with in the elevator and halls occasionally came and sat next to me with her husband in tow. We introduced ourselves and I tried to engage them in conversation to ask them about what they did, and then, suddenly, they had nothing to talk about.

This is something of a trend that I've noticed: until older people get to know me, they assume I will have nothing of interest to talk to them about, or, they assume that they have to know all the latest music/pop culture/hip slang to communicate effectively with me. Message to all those people: I'm a total dork. I'm a 45 year old hiding in a 24 year old's body. I probably know less about current music/pop culture/slang than you do (unless it involves Harry Potter).

So, the awkward silences ensued and eventually they started talking around me, so I got up and left. I did, however, learn this morning that this floor is made up of about 60% financial planners, 20% lawyers, and the other 20% oddballs like us.

Which explains quite a lot, actually.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

So, I did most of my Christmas shopping yesterday. Thankfully I didn't have much left to do, and believe me when I say that a Tuesday evening, still a good three weeks before Christmas is not at all a bad time to shop. I am pleased with my purchases, and just have to order a few more things that I couldn't find and then I'll be DONE!

I also managed to do some wrapping and boxing last night. Go me! I should have two boxes ready for the mail tonight. I just have to pick up some Oreos for my English friend. =)

Yay Christmas!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

there but for the grace of god...

I am so lucky, so fortunate, so blessed. I'm reminded of this today because two of my real life friends are going through hard times financially.

Everyone makes bad choices here and there. I've certainly made a few in my life. It's not because of any great master plan that I'm in the position I'm in today. I am in no way "better" than these friends; I'm not smarter, or thriftier, or a better money manager. A few hard knocks and I could be facing the same horrible choices, looking down the same black tunnel.

So I'm making this post as a sort of prayer to the universe: I don't say it often enough, but thank you. Thank you to everyone who has helped me along the way, and there have been many. Thank you to whatever higher power there may be that has steered me away from disaster in the past. Thank you for those few terrifying moments when I teetered on the brink, but was able to pull myself back. Thank you for my husband, who -- though he drives me absolutely batshite with it sometimes -- has a definite plan for our financial future.

Out here in the Land of Fruits and Nuts(TM), it is all too easy to slip into that mindset that nothing is ever enough. We are constantly bombarded by it, day in and day out. In the scant two years I have been living here, I have noticed myself becoming more materialistic, more focused on money and wealth, more distracted by labels and brands. I see it too in my husband, born and raised in a small town, who suddenly wants to have the fastest car, the nicest house, the best job. There is nothing wrong with wanting those things on the surface, but I fear they are symptoms of a greater disease.

"It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you've got."

Today I'm also saying a little prayer that my friends will be able to come out on top. They are both smart women, and I'm certain they will be able to persevere -- but a little karmic push doesn't hurt anything!

Send your thoughts, prayers, good vibes, and karma to my friends today. Whatever you believe in, send a little of that mojo in their direction today, and then say thank you for what you've got.

Couldn't hurt.

Friday, December 02, 2005

an eloise moment

Know what I hate?

People who talk on their cell phones in public restrooms. I also have issues with people who want to talk to each other, while they do their business, but talking to somebody on the phone just takes the biscuit.

I've only done it once in my life, and it was for a good reason.

I was driving back from LA after a job interview, and I had to go to the bathroom SO BAD, so I stopped at a mall, and went to a department store bathroom. While in the stall, my cell phone rang, and the caller ID showed that it was the company I had just interviewed with.

I accepted a job offer in the ladies room of Robinson's May.

But I didn't like it.

a poem

Eulogy for the Walking Dead

There is triumphant change in human life;
The old begets the new in steady wheels.
And those who fight for stasis are as like
To bring down wounds that fester as that heal.
No good e'er came of silencing a man
Whose beauty, ripe for picking, shows itself
If truly it is beauty, it will stand
Though hell and heaven bar the way with death.
And though you think the dead may not go on
Yet bodies turn to dust and thus to earth;
The transmutation comes to everyone
Lives ending from the moment of our birth.
So any who draw breath, fine girls and boys
your choice lies here before you, in your hand:
Will you be soil for living human joy
Or will your only gift to this green land
Be when you lie beneath it feeding spring?
All things are changing and all things will change
And death, if meaningless, will yet still bring
Fresh fodder for the yearly-dying grain.
You may plant joy, reap love, and beauty give,
Or die alive and only dying, live.