Wednesday, July 25, 2012

3 Different Types of Chickens

Sometimes Brett will go on these gaming kicks for a week or so where after I go to sleep at a very normal hour, he likes to stay up and play until the wee hours of the morning. I would list out the different types of games that he plays, but my mind can't stretch that far into Nerdom.

Last night before he made his way to the living room to fire up the xbox we had a little chat:

Me: Try not to stay up all night. With this lack of good sleep you are going to be a bitch in the morning.
Brett: Do you know what you are being?
Me: ... logical?
Brett: ... A wonderful wife.
Me: Nice save. But really, don't stay up late or I am going to kick your ass.
Brett: You know what i'm going to do? I'm gonna buy 3 different types of chickens and leave them in here!
Me: oh?
Brett: It'll be all like BOCK BOCK BOCK up in here.
Me: Goodnight Brett. 

It is an exciting life I lead. Different types of chickens and all.



Additionally - If you or a loved one is suffering from TooMuchGamingitis, or other similar syndromes be sure to let them know that they need 7 hours of sleep per night. 7 HOURS BRETT! Unless your loved one is an infant, or old as hell. Then they need more (per the chart on the link).

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Chemistry Can Shove It

With my recent obsession with Breaking Bad I was thinking about what a terrible, terrible meth cook I would make.

        Growing up I was an awesome student. I even got awards in elementary school for maintaining an A average and for excellent attendance. I was a perpetual teacher's pet. Even through college I kept up the grades and teacher's pet status (even with about 3 jobs at one time). I rarely studied, but I always did my homework. I took such good notes that I actually got paid for my notes in college. I particularly love(d) classes involving history, social studies, and geography.

       But Chemistry? Chemistry can die in a fire, a chemically disastrous fire induced by those blasted elements and formulas I could never get a grasp on. I failed that class with wild abandon. It was the only class in the history of my school career that I failed.

      In my opinion, I was scheduled to take Chemistry at just the wrong time in my teenage life. I was worried about 3 things: boys, parties, and my outfit. They should have allowed me to take that course while I was in 5th grade when it was painfully clear that I didn't care about being a cool kid. Painfully clear.
 Did I really need to know what happened to atoms and chemical bonds? Hell no I didn't. I haven't used that crap a day in my life since. So maybe I had it right. Mind blown.

The only way I managed to proceed past Chemistry was to take it in summer school. This is the butt of all that is my chemistry joke...For the following reasons:
1) My parents paid for the course. Point #2 helps solidify that we actually paid for a letter grade.
2) The school's name was Mountain Ed. I can't make this shit up.
3) The textbook that was given to me was from the 1960's, of course that was going to be easier, half of the elements weren't even listed!

I learned rather quickly that the poor schmuck that was paid to babysit us inconsiderate snots didn't care if I even showed up every day. As long as I passed the tests I was in the clear. Is this real life? With this info in mind I read that smelly, vintage text book and took all of the tests before the second week was even up. This allowed me to worry about the other important things in life.

Nowadays I still worry about my outfits, but I certainly don't concern myself with parties, boys, or the DAMNED PERIODIC TABLE.
So, who wants to cook some meth with me? anyone? no?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Not 2 Frogs Were Given That Day

Today is the 18 month mark for the kiddo. I wanted to get a video of our intelligent little angel making all of the animal noises that she knows. Critters like: dogs, cats, cows, monkeys, owls, birds, lions, and pigs. We reviewed the noises and I hit record. What came out of my child's mouth? No moos, no tweet tweets, no oinks, no meows...
But this:
video


In case you lost count, she dropped the F bomb 13 times. 
In her defense (or mine) the words: Frog, Fox, and Fork all come out that way. We are working on this, I swears! She starts her mommy morning out/ preschool program in a few short weeks... So yea.




In other, totally unrelated news: Brett is going to start working on his first solo album. Expect chart toppers like "If You Liked it Then You Shoulda Put a Wing On It" and other food related pop hits. Solid gold. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Review of Destination Truth: Memoirs of a Monster Hunter


It is summertime, which means that I can somehow find time to work on summer reading lists. I picked up and zoomed through this awesome book in just a few short days. This is no small feat for me between work, mommy duty, and fighting crime (alright, so I made that last part up). At any rate, myself and some of the other members from our paranormal group have been watching SyFy's Destination Truth for years now. Albeit, I have skipped around and missed a few episodes, but for the most part I have been a pretty consistent fan of the show. I won't lie - over time I have grown fonder of the travel highlights on the show more than the actual investigations. I am going to chalk that up to the fact that I do very similar stuff - sit in the dark for hours and wait for something to happen. I just have the option to do it in a comfy climate controlled home or business; and not in a jungle covered in snakes, spiders, and killer creatures. The book covers some amazing behind the scenes stories and tales of adventure that are just hilarious, and down right crazy. Josh Gates is just as entertaining through word as he is on the show.

If you are a fan of the show I would highly recommend this book. If you aren't? 
A-What are you waiting for (hello Netflix unlimited stream
and:
B-Read the book anyways, because it will in some way or another, change the way you view a little something called travel. 

       For me it also changed the way I view certain aspects of the paranormal field. I would like to call this a "skeptic revival" of sorts for me. I am inching closer to the 5 year mark for my involvement in the paranormal field. As time has progressed I have gone from 3 parts skeptic: 1 part believer, to 3 parts believer: 1 part skeptic. There isn't enough time in the day to argue with anyone on which of those is healthier. Now, I am not saying that Josh has completely swayed me back to the former, but he does raise some excellent points. He lays out several assumptions for all things paranormal (if you want a full synopsis of such assumptions please check out the book!). He states, "All of our assumptions speak to the larger problem: the methodology of paranormal research is largely experimental." He also makes another excellent point, "There must be repeatable results in order to draw conclusions." That was it, that last point - repeatable results. I can say that in almost 5 years of doing this that audio evidence hasn't perfectly duplicated, personal experiences haven't perfectly duplicated, it is rare occasion that the same exact locations are revisited frequently enough to produce duplicates of anything. 
Is what we do a sham? Absolutely not. I can count numerous occasions where we have legitimately helped clients and their families out. Whether it be with advice, knowledge, or what we know as evidence. For that I cannot say that we have wasted any time. 

        I would also like to point out that the mid section of the book has pictures. Who doesn't like a book with pictures?! It is this section that keeps my 18 month old attempting to steal my copy at all odds so she can drag it around the house making wild animal noises, and sticking cheerios inside its wonderfully crafted pages while looking at said pictures. It was possibly one of the roughest copies Josh has ever had to autograph.

The best part about getting to enjoy this book was the fact that I got to hear one of the most important excerpts from Josh himself. He read a chapter straight from his book for the conclusion of his panel at Through the Veil event. It was rather outstanding. I won't divulge and quote a lengthy portion of that chapter, for that you can buy the book. Chapter 19 will have you hopping up to pack your bags. Follow this link to purchase a personalized autographed copy. Which is almost as awesome as mine.

     Some of us PGI ladies with Josh, I am the 
    hobbit to the right:



Disclaimer: I am writing this review of my own free will. Josh didn't pay me with money or travel treasures, I just felt like highlighting an awesome book for our group's blog, as well as my own. No FTC disclosures needed. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Dinosaur Baking 101

     There is a reason why I don't own a bakery, and that reason was made more apparent to me this weekend than ever before.

We celebrated Brett's birthday this weekend, and the theme we picked was Dinosaur. This post is dedicated to the construction of his birthday cake(s). It would make sense for me to have a list of ingredients, and a portion for directions somewhere in here. As many of you know - I don't read directions, so actually making my own directions to share with you all is well, going to be pathetic. Don't forget to wing it. Live a little.

        Initially I had grandeur ideas of a dinosaur cake that would simply amaze everyone. I had the ideas in my head, but didn't attempt to execute any of them, or hell, even buy supplies until the day before the party. I thought for sure that the baking area of Micheal's craft store would have a dinosaur shaped cake pan so that I could bypass baking in different shaped pans and designing something. Wrong! 38 delightfully shaped cake pans for my purchasing pleasure, and nary a dinosaur. Total crap guys, total crap. I think this was the universes way of telling me that this wasn't a traditional birthday party for a child, this was a manly dinosaur party so I needed to bake accordingly. I guess.

This all resulted in me going home empty - pan handed. I stood in the kitchen looking at the supplies for quite a while before I came up with my master plan. Not having a plan for the below pictured dinosaurs helped me greatly.
As you can see on the label for the dinosaurs: "Hours of creative fun.". For a child? I doubt it. For myself and my niece Chels who helped me? Oh hell yes. I decided that we would construct two volcano cakes, and strategically place our dinosaurs in the lava. If you feel so inclined to prepare such a stellar treat for any of your future parties here is what I used:
- 2 boxes of Duncan Hines yellow cake mix
- 2 bundt pans
- 1 small rectangular pan in case you need what Chels and I so lovingly called "Band Aids" for 
various pieces of the volcano. That cake mix will fill 2 bundt pans and the small rectangular pan.
-a kitchen mixer
- a ton of bowls for various crap
- white cream cheese icing
- red food coloring
- orange food coloring
- 1/2 package of vanilla pudding mix (still not sure why I felt like adding that, but it was delightful)
- finely grated semi sweet chocolate (for dirt)
- plastic dinosaurs to die in your molten deliciousness of a cake.
-- you probably don't need the really cute baby picture, or the zombie dice game that can be found in the photo - these items are optional.






Directions? Ok:
- Bake the cakes according to the box, cool, remove from pans. Once again, improvise when necessary. For instance, after you grease the cake pan it says to lightly flour. I had no flour... I used some of the powder from the pudding mix because that was the first thing I spotted in my arsenal of goodies that resembled flour. Roll with it people. 
- Laugh hysterically every few minutes. 
- Look at the 3 cakes and scratch your head for a very, very long time. I swear Chels and I spent an hour asking one another what in the hell do we do now. We chopped that rectangular cake up in a million different ways, and just started sticking crap together until we felt it was in a volcano worthy shape. We melted a bunch of the semi sweet chocolate into the icing and poured it on, and spread it out. Once that cooled we grabbed that chocolate dirt and started slingin. Take the extra dirt and pile it up around the bottom for extra awesomeness.
- Make sure that the recipient of the cake (most likely the birthday girl or boy) does not see the process of making the cake, they need to see the finished product only. Trust me.
- Make red icing, make orange icing, melt them down so that they will pour easily. Pour them onto cake to make lava. 
- Jab the crappy plastic dinosaurs into the cake. If one cake looks significantly worse than the other be sure to stick the ugly dinosaurs into that cake. 
- Ta Da! You are done, high five everyone around. 
This was the lesser desirable of the two cakes, 
and this was it's brother:
I would say that Chels and I artfully crafted for about 3 hours, well 3 hours less the baking and cooling time. It was rather tasty if I do say so myself. 
Now I am going to patiently await the food network to call me so I can star in my own show. 



Thursday, July 12, 2012

Departures


I have a weird habit of taking my dad's overly pretentious Departures magazines and cutting little pictures out of them. I still can't figure out why in the hell my dad gets the magazine, in 9 years I have never seen him even open one issue. This is the man who got drunk, lost a bet, and brought a turkey(click for that link) home to me as a "gift". So to peruse a magazine chock full of Louis Vuitton gear, and more expensive time pieces than you could shake a stick at is baffling to me. He always just leaves the unread magazines on my desk for me. I also can't figure out what I am going to do with all of these tiny awesome pictures. 

The magazine does nothing whatsoever for me, aside from making me realize how rich I am not. It is borderline depressing to see that many designer ads, and articles about luxurious and first-class-to-the-max world travel.

Just out of curiosity I did a quick review and I found the word Luxury 36 times from cover to cover in this month's issue (and that was after I cut it up). Seriously, one of the cheapest things I could find was a $15,000 per person trip to Mexico. I can get you to Mexico, for $150. Plus interest, or a bag of weed or something. I can sell that quite easily once we get there, I hear we can find some nice gentleman from what I hear is called the Cartel? Yes, they can assist you after I drop you off. I imagine that at the rate of $15,000 for one vacation the person who inquired about the Departures ad for a vacation to Mexico would be transported about the country in that vehicle they put the pope in.  Fully supplied with more issues of Departures for their viewing pleasure.

Now, what to do with all of these tiny little pictures.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

BBQ and Blues

The title should probably be more appropriately named BBQ and booze. Brett and I took a trip to Memphis with my parents a few summers ago, and I can't wait to go back.
On arrival we made a quick decision that our initial hotel choice left much to be desired. We really wanted to be able to get to our car in the morning with all wheels in tact, and no one with a gun wound. 


We wound up booking at a snazzy place right on Beale Street. We then busied ourselves with finding a local BBQ joint to get dinner (Image A ). None of the meals in Memphis disappointed.




After dinner mom decided to turn in and relax in the room (which was good because it probably cost
an immense amount). Glad someone enjoyed it. Brett, Dad, and I soon found that getting a beer was going to be easier than finding a taxi that wasn't pulled by horse. I will get to those guys later.The entire perimeter of downtown Memphis is covered in beer vendors. The company name? Big Ass Beers. How perfect! They indeed sold big ass beers, and also margarita-esque mixed drinks in buckets with a handful of straws. You know, for sharing. Remind me why A: I've never been here before, and B:Why I haven't been back since. (Image B - almost all of us looking at the camera). You can tell this was a few summers ago by the fluffyness of Brett- He was still a handsome devil. 





We were there, we saw, and we conquered... almost every other Big Ass beer stand from beginning to end of Beale Street. We camped out for an hour or so to watch some street performers sing the blues, naturally. My dad took a liking to this poor old bastard who was playing the guitar like it was saving his life. So we watched his little street gang of a band play for what seemed like forever. It was spectacular. I have circled little guitar man in (Image C) he is about to scale the railing of the pavilion. Rock on little man, rock on.



Many a beer, and many a blues song later we decided to mosey back to the pricey hotel and get an ear full from mom for our late night shenanigans. There are a lot of horse drawn carriages around town that you 
can pay a hefty price to be carted through a tour of the city on. The later it gets the more of these carriages sit parked at the sidewalks. I honestly can't tell you the details of how I managed to do this, but all of my "big ass beers" resulted in me walking into a "big ass horse". A parked big ass horse. I am not sure why Brett and dad (who were directly behind me) didn't see these events unfolding fast enough to quickly move me out of the line of fire. I suspect it is because they were busy laughing and watching in horror. Hilarious horror.


So I full on crash into this horse, and I didn't yell out, or move quickly in embarrassment.
Nope, I just took a step back, and apologized to the horse, and proceeded into the street. Apologized to the horse? Really Stef? Don't worry I am shaking my head too. When we made it back to the room mom didn't scold us, and if she had we would not have heard it through all of the noise coming from the partyers in the streets. I wish I were joking, it was that loud (even from the 7th floor up) until about 4am. Then awkward scary movie silence. 
Needless to say, I rather liked Memphis. Who wants to go back with us? I promise I won't run into any parked horses next time. Totally kidding, I make no promises.




- I almost forgot to mention, Rendezvous has the best ribs I have ever tasted
in my life. That place is spectacular. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Life...In General

I don't imagine this masterpiece will wind up on the New York bestseller's list, hell I will be surprised if it doesn't fall apart before my niece gets to California with it, but if it does crumble to dust she can at least come here to read my words of wisdom. This was a part of her graduation gift, as promised I gave her lots of useful, philosophical insight.


  • For most aspects of adulthood: It's like a game, minus the fun part.
  • Never sell yourself short, just sell yourself. (Stolen from me). 
  • Bacon fixes everything.
  • Quitting is for quitters.
  • Quality not quantity. This applies to damn near everything: Friends, men, jobs, alcoholic beverages. The only time that I haven't followed this rule is with shoes, and it has served me well.
  • You are responsible for your own happiness. The sooner you understand that the better. You can waste a lot of good time and energy pointing fingers. Use your hands for something else, like playing with play doh, or scratching your ass. 
  • When in doubt, get the f*ck out. This also applies to everything: friendships, relationships, jobs, crappy bars, etc... You ever get that weird, instinctual uh oh feeling - bail. Quickly.
  • If you want people to take you seriously carry a clipboard. That always looks official.
  • Don't ever burn any bridges, just shoot really loud fireworks at them. People will get the same message, minus the major destruction.
  • Jealousy is the root of many a problem. Always remember that jealousy is a disease, get well soon bitches!
  • Some say ignorance is bliss. Rubbish. Ignore-ance is bliss. Think about it. 
  • Don't ever drink anything that is on fire. One might think that this is self explanatory. If someone had told the 22 yr old me this little tid bit I would have been a lot better off that one night. 
  • Don't forget to moisturize.
Here is a sampling of a page from the inside of this well written piece of literature:


As you can see, I left room at the bottom of each page for Chelsia to add her own notes, personal life observations, or doodles. 

I will be at the Barnes in Noble Saturday to sign autographs to anyone with a copy of this wonderful novel.

Sidenote - this was technically Part 3 of 3 from Orlando.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

How to Potty Train Your Kid in 3 hours.

The title is a little lofty, and I hate to toot my own horn here- but I either have some mad teaching skills, or a genius for a child. Let's go with both A and B.

I have the week off (the office is closed so we can all have vacation time out of the way at one time). I figured it is too damn hot to do much anyways so I wanted to see if Adeline would be interested in using the restroom, outside of her pants.

When she woke up yesterday morning I put her in the bathroom on her annoying little potty. Which I can't decide what is more annoying; it's base recording (which is a woman saying GOOD JOB ALEX) or the fact that I can't figure out how to record my own voice on it. I always wanted to be a small plastic toilet. Here's my chance.
 Holy crap, I just found out there is an eHow for this very toilet
Anywho, the first two times I sat her on this potty she screamed as though I was murdering her so very terribly that I am positive she alerted the entire neighborhood watch

An hour later (and a few books and dolls to help me explain what was going on here) and she felt like maybe she could sit on it without bursting anyone's eardrums. But she certainly wasn't going to pee yet. She hopped up and took off bare cheekies to the wind. By the time I got to the end of the hall with her diaper in hand I just watched in utter horror as she ran through my new craft room, peeing on every bit of available floor space. Oh, and laughing maniacally of course. Comes with the territory I said, as she finished marking hers.

I feel that I have shared enough details here, the moral to the story is that she and I just spent about 24 hours sitting in a bathroom. The key is entertainment. However, by the end of Day 1 she had 3 successful trips to the crazy little potty. Day 2 was met with double the fun, 6 successful trips. I would like to thank Huggies for the ever stylish Minnie Mouse pull ups she is proudly sporting. I can see why potty training can be odd and confusing, I put her favorite characters on her butt, they disappear if she has an accident, and her small plastic toilet sounds like her mother. Well right now it just sounds like a female telemarketer cheering for some kid named Alex. Maybe that is weirder.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Orlando Part 2 - There, and Back Again

Friday got started bright and early thanks to my dad. The only thing missing from his noisy morning routine is a bull horn and a flare gun. I want to say that this is a product of his bad hearing, but I am really not sure. When I finally decided to venture out from under the covers dad prompted this tweet:

G'Mornin Orlando, if you just heard an old man yelling "I HATE SOCKS", that was just dad. He's ok.

When I looked over I was surprised to see my dad in a full suit, he was all dolled up for the graduation. It was cute, would have been cuter if he was being quieter about it but still.
I apologize for the grainy-ness of the photo, he didn't realize I was taking a picture so it was a rather fast sneak attack snap. From here we went to an unusually unbusy IHOP. It was awkwardly not busy. Downed a bunch of coffee after proclaiming for 30 minutes that I had quit drinking coffee, and proceeded to the graduation. Jitters and all. 

It was a fairly fast ceremony, and I don't want to drag on about how proud I am, or how old I feel for my niece to be graduating from college. I also don't want to add here all this sage advice for "the next big step"in her metaphorical life. I actually have a gift for her when she arrives back to GA, and I feel that part of it is so full of useful and philosophical information that I will construct a blog post so that others may glean something from it. A Part 3 if you will

Dad apparently got antsy and decided that we needed to leave and drive back to GA immediately (so very immediately) after the ceremony. Something about it being 106 degrees and a van that has a tendency to overheat. We had time to snap a few quick pics:
We said farewell and I then shimmied my way into a spot inside the van, just knowing that as we hit the trail I was just one good divot in the road from losing an eye. I realized in no time flat that if I felt like engaging anyone in conversation I was going to be repeating everything that I said at least 3x thanks to dad's hearing. For 8 hours? No thanks, i'll just pop these ear buds in and sign off. I told my parent's "Hey, i'm putting these headphones on, so I can't hear you guys- if you need me wave your hand or something." I am pretty sure they heard "Wah, wah wah wah, wah wah wah." 

Took about 10 minutes before I realized that about every 5 minutes one of them was looking at me menacingly, awaiting a response to a question I clearly never heard. After re-explaining my music situation I came up with an idea. I figured they probably don't want to talk to each other, dad clearly has no idea how this ear bud thing works, and I really want to finish reading about this Apocalypse adventure...So I said (while still keeping my ear buds in) "Hey dad, can you turn the music up?" And he did, on their radio. I proceeded to request that the volume on their radio be increased until it was loud enough that no one was talking. Hello win. Granted, at this point my personal music volume was now making my own ears bleed. I could then finish my book while the melodies of Flogging Molly blared into my brain. I took a pic inside the loudest van this side of the Mississippi:

Eventually I dumped my technology and music and payed attention to my parents like a good child does. I want to say it probably was not a direct correlation to my draining battery either. 

On the subject of technology I see that I missed nothing whatsoever on Facebook whilst we traveled for 2 days (there and back again). Let's see ah yes here is what the newsfeed looks like : everyone is hot and "melting", you all hate Obama and his healthcare, and you all want to see some dude named Mike and his buddies get naked. Got it. My personal observations? It is summer time why are you so surprised, I have a better healthcare plan-it is called diet and exercise, and Magic Mike? Ladies, you know what you are coming home to when your 2 hours is up and your $20 is gone so maybe try to pay attention to him.You know that if he was acting a fool about seeing a movie with a bunch of naked chicks in it you would be all like "Oh Hell Nah!". So stop being a hypocrite and keep your pants on. 
However, Twitter taught me that Adele is pregnant, and Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are divorcing. The only thing that would make either of those tidbits any better is if Adele's baby was Tom's. Rumour has it not.


Sidenotes: The van made it back home without overheating, though it sounded like it was about to rocket into outer space for the last 2 hours of the trip. I didn't lose an eye. No one got hurt. Oh and no one ate egg salad, I did however contemplate eating a can of play doh.