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(no subject) [May. 14th, 2012|07:40 pm]
[Current Mood |sadsad]

RIP Willow. You were a good, loyal friend.
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(no subject) [Nov. 6th, 2011|09:29 pm]
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Last Sunday after we went to church with my parents, my brother joined us for lunch at Perkins. That afternoon I took Casey's cell phone to the T-Mobile store because the internet hadn't been working for a long time. But as soon as I got there I realized she had it password protected and I couldn't ask her what the password was because I had her phone (she was home doing homework). So the guy couldn't even look at it. But he did say it's better to just call tech support anyway, and while I was there he looked at our plan and determined I was paying too much, so he changed it to one that is $30 a month cheaper and basically has all the same stuff. So yay for that. He also said that maybe changing the plan would somehow make the internet kick back in. So we decided to give it another day and then call tech support if the internet didn't kick in by then.

Monday was Halloween, and I wore my fallen angel costume to work. Sharon was the only other one dressed up in the department, as per usual (she was a witch). Actually, I only saw one other person dressed up period that day - a girl working in the wardrobe building wearing a Ghost-busters outfit. For employees of a major theme park, we sure aren't a lot of fun. Of course, I mainly only see Finance people, and, you know, they are FINANCE people. So yeah.

That evening I attended a meeting at Casey's school (on Halloween. I KNOW, right? Dumb) about the band trip to Indianapolis in the spring (yes, that will be her 2nd time there within the next year, since we're going with the church in a couple of weeks). She was technically supposed to attend as well, but she was trying to get some people together to go trick or treating with (never happened).

When I wasn't at that meeting or answering the door to trick or treaters (which was a pain because Willow would freak and we'd have to stick her in the bathroom or something so we could open the door without her eating the small children), I was on the phone with T-Mobile about Casey's phone, which at that point didn't just not have internet, it didn't work at all. It was saying the storage card wasn't functioning properly or something, so they had me do a master reset, which deletes everything from the phone, and even then it wouldn't work (said the memory was full, which is hilarious since the phone had just been completely emptied of everything), so they decided to send her a new phone, which thankfully was covered under warranty. For the few days it took to arrive, she used one of my parents' old ones. But now she's all set... the new phone even has working internet.

Tuesday's band practice ended earlier than usual, at 6 (it's usually 8:30), which was good because we supposedly had to go to a meeting at the church about the mission trip she's going on in June. But that was apparently a misprint, because we got there and there was no meeting. Not the first time that's happened. Erg.

Wednesday we were supposed to go to that show I'd won tickets for, but when I got home from work, she begged me to let her go to youth group instead. I said no at first, since she was giving me no notice to find someone else to go to the show with me, but she was so SAD. Youth group is like therapy for her, and she'd been having a bad week and said she REALLY needed to go. How could I look at that sad face and then force her to go to a show with me? So I called and luckily they let me change the tickets for the next night instead.

So Thursday we did go to the show, and it was fabulous. It's called Altar Boyz, and it's a musical comedy. The cast was just amazing. We both loved it. I'd really like to see it again, actually. I know the guy that plays piano for the show and sometimes he gets comps, so I'm going to watch for that and maybe go again and take other people that I think would love it too.

Friday I had to go see my allergist for a useless appointment. I'd noticed my asthma inhaler had expired, so I called to get a new one and they said he wouldn't write a prescription unless I came in. So I went, and the copay was $40, which is total BS. It used to be $25 but has recently gone up. Actually, I checked later and it should be $35, which is still nuts. I don't know, maybe I owed $5 from a previous balance or something. Bla. So I finally got my prescription and when I got the email from Walgreens that said my inhaler was ready, it said it would be $50. For ONE INHALER. That I will almost never use. I am hoping it's a misprint or something because I don't remember them being nearly that expensive. I haven't picked it up yet. I guess I'll find out then if that insane price is correct. It's going to have to wait until my next check. Hope I don't die of an asthma attack before then.

That evening after work I went to Cigarz with Amy, Sonya, Carlos, Carmen, Jean, her friend Jenn, and we were joined by random groups of other people (Sonya and Carlos are regulars and know a lot of other regulars). We had a great time with some heavily discounted drinks (Universal employees can get beer there for $1.50) and a little bit of juvenile behavior.

Saturday I took Willow back to the vet because her skin infection never seemed to go away from the last time, or it at least returned. $134 later, I have anti-biotics and steroids (and continue to give her benedryl) and a new addition, one of those cones to keep her from chewing on a particularly bad spot that will end up having to be removed if it doesn't get a chance to heal properly (which will of course cost a small fortune). She's pretty pitiful in that cone, but she doesn't fight it too much, and I only use it when I'm not here to watch her.

That evening my parents picked me up and we had dinner at Hamburger Mary's because my dad, the only one in the family that had never been, had been wanting to try their famous burgers. He was impressed. They are quite good. And then we went to the Citrus Bowl to watch Casey's marching band perform at a competition (I'd barely seen her all weekend... she was playing at an away football game Friday and got home after I was asleep, and then got up Saturday right before I left for the vet and my mom took her to the school so she could head to the comp). They did really great. She doesn't know if they placed yet.

We left right after her school performed, and there were still a few hours left of the competition. I hung out at home until around 11:00, when I got a call from her phone, but it was one of her friends, asking me to come pick her up because she wasn't feeling well and didn't want to talk. I could hear her crying in the background, so I ran out of the house, freaking out about what could possibly be wrong that she'd be that upset. A terrible stomach ache or something? No, it was more of a heartache. Her boyfriend had dumped her right as they were leaving to go home from the band comp. She was absolutely hysterical when I picked her up. Poor kid could barely choke out that he'd broken up with her, and couldn't talk more than that because of all the sobbing. When we got home she went right to her room. I tried to talk to her later after she'd calmed down a bit, but she just wanted to be alone.

This morning I tried to get her up for church, but she was still moping and really didn't want to go anywhere. I told her I'd go without her, but we did have other things to do later and she wasn't doing herself any favors by sitting around being sad all day. So I joined my parents for church and Cracker Barrel, and then went home and had her get up and get ready for our Girl Scout meeting, which just happened to be at my parents' house. Each mom takes turns being the host of the meetings, and when it was my turn I asked if we could meet there because their house is much bigger and they don't have a crazy dog.

Well, between that and the meeting we had at the church later for the National Catholic Youth Conference trip (in 1 1/2 weeks!), her spirits were lifted significantly. I suspected they would be.... she just needed to get out of the house and be around her friends. She finally opened up and talked to me about the break up. He'd pretty much blurted it out as she was leaving and didn't really provide any reasons, although other friends are telling her he simply doesn't feel the same about her as he used to (which is crazy... this kid chased her for like a year and was a total puppy dog. The thrill of the chase, huh? Jerk). They are supposed to talk more tomorrow at school. Also, today they decided that instead of fully breaking up, they'd take a week off and see how it goes. To me that just means "we should break up but that's hard, so let's do it slowly." But who knows? I know she's only 15 and the odds of him being "the one" are incredibly small, but even I could see that he was very special to her, and they had a real bond, so I am genuinely surprised to see them having trouble after only a few months of dating. Oh well, she'll get over it. I told her that, unfortunately, this will likely not be the last time she gets her heart broken, and it's part of life, but sometimes it's worth it for that time you did get to have that special bond with someone.

P.S. How awesome is that new show Once Upon a Time? WE LOVE IT. If you aren't watching it, you must start immediately!!!

P.S.S. Just finished reading the book Toys. It was really interesting. James Patterson is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. I actually enjoyed Now You See Her even more, but this one was great too.
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Finishing up the vacation at home [Jun. 15th, 2011|11:10 pm]
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We finally arrived home from North Carolina last night at around 6:45, and I found that my house had been painted while I was gone. The neighborhood association had decided to paint all the houses to try and bring up property values. I knew about it and that it was coming soon, so I wasn't entirely surprised that it had been completed while I was gone. Good timing, the dog would have hated having all those people right outside the windows, but she was in the kennel while I was away. Anyway, it looks nice. It used to be kind of a yucky green color, but now it's tan. Not as pretty as the blue some of the other houses got, but it looks pretty good.

Pretty soon after we got home, I ran out to put gas in my car, turn in an overdue library book I'd finished on the trip, and pick us up some dinner and then unpacked and got the laundry going while we watched the Tonys, which were excellent. We both really want to see the Book of Mormon and a few other shows now that we saw some numbers performed. Hopefully they will come to Orlando at some point. Also looking forward to seeing Company, which I think came out in movie theaters today. It's got Neil Patrick Harris and Stephen Colbert, plus some other big names.

Casey had some coupons for a day of free laser tag that her dad and step-mom had given her for Christmas, and they were expiring Friday, so we decided she should use them today. She invited Alejo, and his mom dropped him off on her way to work this morning, at 8:30. The place didn't open until 1, but she lives an hour away so that was easier than my having to go all the way there to get him later. Luckily Willow was not home yet (we'd gotten back in town after the kennel was closed yesterday), so we didn't have to worry about her trying to eat him while he hung out at the house. At around 10, my parents picked us all up and we went to look at a piano someone they knew was selling. Casey's keyboard died on her so she needs something for her lessons. We ended up deciding not to get this piano though because it's pretty big, so we'd have to hire someone to move it, plus it's really old and some of the keys don't work. I think we'll get her something a little more portable until her dad follows through on his promise of this one really nice keyboard she's had her eye on at Guitar Center.

So then my parents dropped me off at home and them off at Guitar Center to hang out for a while. I got right in my car and went to get some groceries and pick up some dog food at the vet, and then I was only home for a few minutes before I had to run back out and pick the kids up and take them to the laser tag place. It was a good 20 minute drive away, and then just as we arrived my car started overheating. Luckily I was able to drop them off, and then I went next door to a gas station and bought some bottled water to pour in the engine. It doesn't look good... brown liquid exploded all over me when I opened it. I'm hoping it's just rusty water, and I know it came out like that because it was so hot it was boiling, so hopefully it's not something horribly wrong. But I don't have a good feeling about it.

Anyway, I put the water in and headed for the garage, where my mom was going to pick me up so I could leave it for them to look at it. Well, I didn't make it... the car died on me was I was driving on the turnpike. Thank God I was at least able to pull over on the shoulder, but it was not a safe place to be, on a busy highway with cars and trucks whizzing by. It would just take one to weave a little bit and I'm done for. And it took the tow truck TWO HOURS to get to me. For a while I sat there dripping with sweat because it was literally 100 degrees outside and I couldn't run the A/C, but then my mom finally showed up and I sat in her van with her until they finally came and took the car away. Now I have the van until I either get my car back or they tell me it's DOA and I have to go buy a new one and somehow start making car payments again. SIGH.

So then I dropped my mom off at home and finally went to pick Willow up from the kennel (after handing over $165, bleh), brought her home and immediately gave her a bath because she smelled like ass (also washed her ass smelling blanket she'd brought with her), finished putting away the groceries, continued laundry, paid bills, colored my hair, and got caught up on Men of a Certain Age and The Killing.

So then my kid pissed me off. Alejo had told me that his mom was going to pick him up from my house at 9:30, so I told them I'd pick them up from laser tag at 9 and bring them home. At 7:30, Casey texted me that there was a Pizza Hut next door, and could they walk over and eat there? I said yes. Well, I guess they took their time getting over there because when I showed up at 9 as planned and called her, she said "Oh, they just brought us our pizza." I said "OK, then have them put it in a box and come on out." So then she's all "Would you be mad if we asked Alejo's mom to come get us later so we can finish eating first?" I said yes, I would be because that would mean that I drove all the way here (on a toll road) for nothing, and that they were really going to put his mom out because she was not only driving the hour from her house to get him, she was also going to have to take Casey all the way home and then drive all the way back to her house. For what? So they can eat their pizza in the restaurant instead of in the van? As I'm yelling this at her, I can hear that Alejo is already on the phone to his mom, asking her to pick them up there later. So then of course Casey was like "Well... now's she's already said she'd come get us..." I was so pissed, I yelled "Thanks a lot for making me drive out here for nothing!" or something and hung up and drove away. And then I was mad at myself for not marching in there and dragging them both out by the ears, but by then I was halfway back home on the highway.

So then she's texting me to call Alejo's mom and tell her how to get to the Pizza Hut, so I did and lo and behold, she had not gotten the full story from them. She was under the impression that I was not able to pick them up. So I look like an idiot parent who can't handle bringing my kid home. She had no idea I'd been sitting outside in the parking lot when he called her. I told her exactly what had gone down and she wasn't pleased either. When I got home I texted Casey that I thought it was incredibly rude of them to put her out like that all because they didn't want to get their pizza to go. She said "I'm sorry! If it helps, I feel really awful." I responded that I guess she didn't feel bad enough to get in the van.

Anyway, she's home safe and sound now, in bed. I'm going to sleep myself in a minute. Back to work tomorrow. I'm sure I'll have quite a pile waiting for me.

Actually, other than sitting on the side of the road for 2 hours and Casey being inconsiderate, today was kind of nice. After being around so many family members for the past week, just having a day mostly to myself was amazing. I even enjoyed my trip to Walmart! Huh. Never thought I'd say that.
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NC trip recap [Jun. 14th, 2011|10:47 am]
We are back on the road, heading home from North Carolina. It's been lovely, but I can't wait to get back to normal life. Here's a recap, once again typed on a tiny cellphone keyboard:

Day 1 was mostly spent in the backseat of my parents' van. It took 11 hours to get there, including lunch at Cracker Barrel. When we finally arrived at my Uncle Rick and Aunt Lisa's house there was a lovely steak dinner waiting for us. Later Rick took my other aunt and uncle and my parents to their hotel (Casey and I were stuck at the house, staying in the kids' rooms), and the kids were hanging out upstairs, so Lisa and I decided to watch a movie on Netflix. We chose The Nines, an independent film I'd never heard of, but it starred Ryan Reynolds and Melissa McCarthy and seemed interesting. Well, we didn't get far before a nasty storm rolled in, so Lisa had to go tend to her frightened 9 yo and I decided watching TV with all that lightning was a bad idea. We never got back to it, but I will definitely watch it soon. The half hour or so I saw had me intrigued.

Day 2 was graduation day for my cousin Andrew. It wasn't until 4 so we just hung out at the house until then. The ceremony was very nice, and then we went home and had celebratory pizza.

Day 3 - we headed to the cabin they had recently bought in the mountains. It was about a 3 hour drive, so we stopped and had lunch at a mall food court on the way. The cabin was lovely, with a deck you could sit on and gaze out at the beautiful mountain view. That evening we went to Lisa's parents' house for dinner. They also live in the mountains, in a beautiful, peaceful country home. They fed us to bursting (brisket, which I don't think I'd had before that, burgers, hot dogs, chicken, fresh fruit, ice cream, cookies, etc.) And we watched the gorgeous sunset in their backyard, and then the fireflies came out. I had never seen one before, and their yard was full of them! It was one of the coolest things I'd seen, like our own little light show, while the kids ran around catching them, putting them in jars and then letting them go.

Day 4 - Most of us headed to the lake so some people could fish and the rest of us could enjoy the view. It was nice for a while, but I got bored quickly, the only entertainment being watching people fish unsuccessfully. We finally went back to the cabin for some lunch, and then while everyone else went to watch the kids enjoy Slide Rock (literally a rock you slide down into water. The videos I saw later looked like fun, I'd like to try it someday), Lisa and I had some "us" time, heading to the lake to float in inner tubes while drinking wine and reading. Ahhh. For some reason Uncle David opted to go with us, just sitting on the dock while we floated. He was useful though, handing us our drinks and books, bringing towels when we got out, etc. We called him our cabana boy.

Later we met the other adults in the quaint little downtown area to look around in the shops. It didn't take long sine it was Sunday and most places were closed. And then the kids and Uncle Rick joined us and we had dinner at a place called Fish Camp. When we got back to the cabin, they put on some Russian war movie (BLEH) so I killed time by reading Tina Fey's book (which I had downloaded on my phone) and playing pool with myself, and went to bed early.

Day 5 was Dollywood, which was pretty fun. Most of the adults spent the day going from one show to another (I watched one with them and it was very good) while Rick and I took Casey and my cousins, 9 yo Lily and 15 yo Nathan on rides. Most of the rides were just ok, but we were so blown away by the Mystery Mine coaster, Casey and I got matching t-shirts (well, the matching part was very much against her will, but there weren't a ton of options) and we want to go back someday just for that. It was over a 2 hour drive home and we stopped ar Bojangles for dinner on the way (never heard of it. Delicious.), so by the time we got back and I showered and got to bed, it was around midnight.

Today we were up at 6:30 to get an early start on the road home. We should probably get there around 6. Can't wait to be in my house again!
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Road Trip [Jun. 9th, 2011|09:41 am]
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I'm on the road to North Carolina with Casey and my parents today. I'll make this brief because I'm typing on a tiny cell phone keyboard, and that gets old fast.

Nothing new with THE BOY really. For a while there he wasn't liking or commenting on any of my Facebook posts and it was taking a lot of effort for me not to get angsty and start reading into it. I think he was just busy or something, and now he's back to saying we should get together again, so I don't know, we'll see.

So yeah, on the way to NC, where my cousin Andrew will be graduating from high school tomorrow, and then we'll spend a few days at their cabin in the mountains and maybe hit Dollywood on the way home. Should be a nice trip, and I'm thrilled to get a week away from work, where I've been juggling my job, Marlene's old job, and training someone (seasonal, just helping for now, they haven't even started looking for a replacement for Marlene). Now let them see what it's like to not be able to throw everything at me. I'm sure there will be plenty waiting when I get back though.

My a/c died on me Tuesday, so I grabbed the dog and the kid and we spent the night with my parents. Lukily I got someone out there yesterday for a quick and fairly cheap repair.

Can I just say I love having a smart phone, especially on 10 hour road trips?
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Happy Day, Moms! [May. 8th, 2011|05:11 pm]
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So, you know how I had free tickets to a movie for Thursday and then it was cancelled? Well, it just so happens that that day at work, Jenn emailed and said someone had just handed her 4 tickets to a screening of Something Borrowed for that night, so Casey and I saw a free movie after all. It was lovely... a definite chick flick with some moments of supreme cheese, but overall I thought it was charming. John Krasinski is incapable of being anything but charming, and he's the best thing about the movie.

Friday we had our quarterly Town Hall meeting, this time at Sea World. The meeting was less than an hour and then we were free to go enjoy the park at our leisure. I didn't stay because we can all get into Sea World free anytime, it was muggy and rainy out, and most of the co-workers I would have wanted to hang out with there left. However, the meeting itself was awesome because I FINALLY WON employee of the quarter! I've been nominated almost every time during the 2 years I've worked for this department (and even a few times in the last one... still Finance, so the same reward) and never won. I was jokingly referring to myself as Susan Lucci. So it was quite a pleasant surprise to finally hear my name called as I stood up there with the 15 or so other nominees. And the prizes! Wow. I got $500, a packet of coupons for Citywalk (valet parking, movies, and up to $125 for one of the restaurants, which I'm going to use when the family celebrates Mother's Day, which will likely be next weekend because my brother is busy today), a beautiful little clock, a framed plaque and a pin to add to my name tag. Oh, and a close parking space with my name on it for the rest of the quarter. Awesome. I really needed the money too. Most of it has already paid bills that really needed to be paid, but I've made it a point to save $100 to get myself something fun. I just bought tickets for me and Casey to see Plain White T's Friday (YAY), which leaves me about $40, and I'll probably use that for clothes or something.

That evening I was happy to be home for once, though Casey had plans and I did have to drop her off and pick her up for that (her friend Brendan treated her to a shopping spree at Michael's as a belated birthday gift, and then they and a couple of other kids had dinner at a Chinese restaurant and saw Thor).

Saturday my Aunt Ann was moving from the house she's lived in pretty much my whole life and into a retirement community. It's an incredibly nice place though. My parents are dying to move there too but they want to finish paying off their house and then sell it, so it will be a few years. Anyway, we got up to go help her with the move, but by the time we headed that way (around 10), my mom called to say they were done packing and loading the truck, so we just met them at the new place and helped unload for a few hours. Tons of family and friends were there to help (even Casey's BFF Alejo came), so that was nice. And a lot of her new neighbors came by to say hi. I'm glad everyone there is so friendly. After my dad and I made a Wendys run for everyone and had our late lunch, I took him home and dropped Casey and Alejo off at Guitar Center. Went home for like 20 minutes and then had to go pick Casey up and drop her off at the church so she could sell Mother's Day flowers to pay for her mission trip. Took a shower while she was there, and then later brought her home and she got all prettied up so I could drop her off at her friend's house for a quincenera. Brought her home around 11:30 and we passed out immediately.

This morning I woke up and got my Mother's Day gifts - a cookie cake and gift cards for the movies, Fridays and iTunes. The iTunes card was because I'd asked for the latest Glee album, the one featuring the Warblers, so I used it to buy that and another Glee song (Santana singing Songbird). I've still got enough for probably 2 more songs, but I don't know what I want yet. So then we went to church and then Perkins with my parents. Like I said, we are postponing the official Mother's Day celebrations for now... my brother has a friend visiting from England, so we'll do it after she's gone.

After brunch Casey wanted to go to her siamese twin... er... Alejo's house. Well, he's with his mom today and she lives an hour away. BAH. But she's always driving him this way to hang with Casey, so I went ahead and took her. He's helping her finish the virtual PE/Health class she's been taking since last summer. She should have been done a long time ago, but has been slacking off a lot. She's lucky the teacher is being so lenient with her. I just texted her and found out she is finally finished with the class (YAY) and is hanging out with him at his house for a while. Luckily his mom will bring them back this way later because he has to be delivered to his father anyway.

Me? I'm going to celebrate Mother's Day by doing as little as possible. Speaking of which, there are some TV shows calling my name from the DVR...
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Long Time No Blog [May. 4th, 2011|09:36 pm]
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I didn't do my usual Sunday wrap up post because I had jury duty Monday and thought I was going to have a bunch of free time to sit and blog, but I didn't and then I was busy, and anyway, here's what's up:

Last Wednesday I worked my 3rd and final park shift of the season, at Shrek. My job was to keep the strollers parked in the right place, and every now and then (mostly to go inside and cool off for a bit) I was to help the lady that was putting 3D glasses in bins. Not terribly exciting, and most of the staff acted like I didn't exist, but at least the lead was nice, and there was a really cool guy there that usually works at Jaws and was just helping out for the day that I talked to a bit. During my lunch break I went back to my desk to get my book, and I discovered that everyone else that had gone out to work park shifts that day had been immediately sent back because it wasn't that busy. Lucky me to be the only one that wasn't. So when I went back I told this to the lead and asked if he really needed me and he was like "Give me one more hour and then you can go." So my 4 hour shift ended up being 3 hours. Woop-dee-doo. Marlene had the NERVE to say I was lucky because she had to do all 3 full shifts. Remember, she was one of the lucky ones that got the easy shift where you sit on your ass and sort money in the vault, so she really needed to STFU. Yes, working 12 hours on your ass is much harder than working 11 on your feet in the hot sun, dealing with hordes of guests.

Friday they went Royal Wedding crazy at work. A couple of days before that, we'd gotten invitations to celebrate the nuptials by wearing a fancy hat or tiara, and there would be food. I didn't have a hat to wear, plus I had almost zero interest in that wedding, so I just showed up for work as usual. It was nice to be fed all day though. They had some really good food. And I did let Sharon loan me one of her hats so I could be in the group photo.

Carmen had invited me to go to O'Charleys that evening for happy hour with her and her co-worker. I got off work at 4:22 (to be precise, ha ha. When you reach 40 hours, you reach 40 hours. No OT allowed) and she was still at work, so she told me where she was and I found her and some others in a conference room, making cards for hospitalized children. So I sat and colored and applied stickers with them for 1/2 hour and then we headed over to happy hour. I spent 3 or 4 hours there, drinking strawberry margaritas (and 2 shots this one guy bought us) and eating chicken tenders, and then I headed downtown to Bonkerz comedy club, to meet up with April, Jeff, and 3 others couples (yes, I was the 9th wheel, ha ha) for a stand up show April had won tickets for. It was fun, although after going to The Improv several times recently (another place April and I sometimes win free tickets to), my standards were a bit high. The Improv is a really nice comedy club, whereas Bonkerz is basically a bar where people sometimes get up and tell some jokes. Also, the acoustics are bad so when people are talking it's really magnified, so the whole time the comedian is talking you're hearing all these other conversations going on. He even said "Shut the fuck up" a few times, which amused me because, seriously. STFU. But yeah, I had a good time. He was pretty funny, and I enjoyed my fries and Mudslide.

Saturday Casey woke me up around 9:00 to tell me she wanted to go to her friend's birthday party at the beach, and that they were already leaving so she needed me to take her. It's over an hour away. Of course, she'd already been talking about going to the beach, but nothing had been set in stone. The drama went something like this - Taylor did not invite Melanie to her beach birthday party, and even went so far as to mock her for not being invited, so Casey decided to protest by not going either, and instead going to the beach with Melanie on their own. And then Melanie got her period, so Casey was like ok, let's just hang out then, and then she couldn't because her mom was sick or something, so she finally gave in and decided to go to Taylor's party after all. The morning of the party. So I, being too nice, was almost considering driving her all the way there (but did insist she have a ride home, I refused to drive a total of 6 hours to drop off and pick up, especially with gas prices where they are now), but as luck would have it, they had not left yet by the time she was finished getting ready, and all I had to do was drop her off at Taylor's house, 5 miles away. Whew.

While she was gone and I was doing random household chores, I got a text from her step-mom, asking if she'd used the certificate she'd given her for Christmas for a nearby putt putt place, because she could see from her account that it was expiring the next day. Crap, I hadn't noticed it was expiring so soon. So I texted Casey, and as soon as she was done with the birthday party, I picked up (a very sunburned) her, Alejo, Andy and Melanie and dropped them all off at the mall to use the certificate and hang out a bit. Alejo's mom was going to take them all home later since I had plans. Amy was visiting from Georgia and a bunch of us had made plans to meet up at Hamburger Marys for a drag show and some dinner and drinks. Aside from me and Amy, she'd brought her friend Greg, and then there was Carmen, Sharon, her brother, Sonya, Laura, and Debbie. Debbie just had a birthday, so they called her on stage and made her do a shot and dance, and it was freaking hilarious. Even better was the moment the (very large) drag queen tried to kiss Greg (he's straight) and he could not sink down far enough in his seat. We had a blast. Afterwards Carmen and I wanted to go to Antigua for ladies night and some dancing, but the others were trying to steer us toward the new piano bar across the street. Turned out Antigua wasn't open yet anyway, so piano bar it was. We had fun there though, singing at the top of our lungs, doing the Cha Cha Slide, etc. I left around 12:30.

While I was there, my mom called to tell me she was in the hospital yet again for Pancreatitis. So annoying... they were supposed to do a test to see why she keeps getting it last month, but it was moved to June. She's doing okay and will probably go home tomorrow. I haven't had a chance to visit, but have called every day to check in.

Sunday afternoon/evening we spent entirely too much time at the church. There was the Divine Mercy thing at 2:30 that we had to attend since Casey is being confirmed. It turned out to be a rosary prayer thing. We went home after that and had 1/2 hour to scarf down some salads for dinner and watch Community, and then back for 5:00 mass. After that was a meeting about the mission trip she's going on in June. Whew. Finally got out of there at 7:30, dropped her off at Alejo's, and went home for some me time.

Monday I had jury duty. I had done it a few times before (never been picked though), so I thought I was an expert now and barely read the brochure. So I didn't realize this was FEDERAL jury duty, which is totally different than county. For one thing, no cell phones allowed, which I learned after trudging the long way from the parking garage to the courthouse and having to go back and put my phone in my car and trudge back again. But also, you're on call for 2 weeks, so you have to call in every day and you might have to go in multiple times. Lucky for me, I was picked the first day, and once you serve, you're done. Plus most federal cases last several days. They said ours would last 2-3 days, but we somehow managed to wrap it up that same day by around 6 PM. So I really did get lucky, and it was a pretty interesting case, involving crack and guns. Here's an article about it. There was even an undercover special agent that testified, and they showed hidden videos of the crack and guns being sold. Very cool, like living in an episode of Law & Order. Even the deliberation was kind of fun. It was such a cut and dry case, with pretty much everything right there on video and he admitted to most of it anyway, but there were a few things we did need to talk out, and it was a good, smart group of people (in fact, I introduced 2 of them to Hamburger Marys during our lunch break. They were pleased). And the bonus, my work is paying me for being there, plus I get my mileage reimbursed and $40 on top of that from the government.

I'm glad I got to go back to work on Tuesday because it was month end close and I really needed to get as many invoices done as possible. I'd left some for Marlene to help me out with while I was out Monday, and of course I found them sitting there untouched when I got in Tuesday (after the supervisors had said "I'm pretty sure Marlene did all the stuff you gave her". I made sure to point out later that they were mistaken). I guess it might have been good if I were out Tuesday too, nothing would have been done and she might have actually been held accountable for once. Matter of fact, as far as she knew I wouldn't be in that day (I'd emailed that the case was going to last at least through Tuesday when I thought that was going to happen), which meant she was really going to have to be on the ball in order to get her work and mine done by the deadline, and yet she didn't waltz in until like 9:30. Anyway, I worked 10 hours (max before OT kicks in) yesterday and the same today and will probably do 10 more tomorrow because I have so much work to do. Even though I'm getting paid for Monday, it's kind of like vacation pay so it doesn't count towards OT, which gives me more flexibility to work more the rest of the week.

I had tickets for a free screening of Karate Kid for tomorrow, and Inception for Casey, and then we also had tickets for Tangled for next week, but all of it got canceled. Got the emails today. Boo. Oh well.
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Action Packed Weekend. And Wednesday. [Apr. 3rd, 2011|11:22 pm]
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[Current Mood |exhaustedexhausted]

Wednesday I went to a free screening of Jane Eyre via the Universal Orlando Women's Network. It was preceded by a wine tasting, which was what I had been most interested in, but that turned out to be pretty lame. They used the tiniest dixie cups I've ever seen and poured in the tiniest drop of wine. It was like taking medicine. I thought you could only have one but found out later you could actually take one of each. Of course, there were only 2 to choose from, which hardly qualifies as a tasting. Oh well, it was free, the movie was good, and I was with great company (Carmen, Sonya, Laura, Sharon, Ana, and Debbie, among others).

And then I had a crazy, exhausting, fun weekend. Friday I went straight from work to the church where my parents, brother and Casey were waiting for me so we could get some family pictures taken. It's for the church directory, but you get copies too, and can buy extras. The photog was extremely cheesy, so it was basically impossible to suppress my giggles as I watched my cynical brother being told to do stupid poses and sometimes flat out refusing. She actually thought Casey was our sibling, so I eventually thanked her for thinking so, but pointed out that she was in fact mine, and so she did a couple of pics of just the 2 of us.

That evening I took my cousin Carlisa, who was visiting from Miami, to Mardi Gras. We missed the parade because we were busy waiting an hour to ride Rip Ride Rockit, but I had given her the choice and she preferred the coaster to the parade (I didn't care, I've seen plenty of that parade). But we got out in time to grab some pizza for dinner and then watch the Sean Kingston concert with Christine and her boyfriend Rob. He was pretty good, but I swear if he told me to put my hands up 1 more time I was going to scream. Plus he needed to pull his pants up. Ha. But we had a great time.

I had to drop her off at my other cousin's house for the night, which is a good bit out of the way (she did give me gas money), so I didn't get home until after midnight, so I took a shower and was going to go right to sleep, but that didn't exactly work out so well. The lights in both bedrooms suddenly went out, and this after Casey had seen Insidious, which had completely freaked her out (and she's pretty brave, so it must have been pretty bad). I thought the bulbs had blown (I know it would be weird for all of them to blow at once, but ever since the 2004 hurricanes, I can't keep up with all the bulbs that blow in my house for some reason. So I thought whatever was causing that had finally snapped or something) so I was running around switching out bulbs with no luck, and one bulb even broke when I was screwing it in (WTF? Maybe it was old or something). So I finally gave up and turned on the hall light so I'd have some light in my room (I do sleep in the dark, but didn't want to not have any light when I woke up), but Casey refused to sleep in her room and slept on the couch instead, with all the lights and the TV on. I later realized that the ceiling fans and certain outlets weren't working either, and then it finally occurred to me to check the circuit breakers, and yes that one was not switched all the way on, so I got it up and running Saturday night. Anyway, by the time I got to sleep it was after 2 AM.

Saturday we were at the church from 9-12 to hear a visiting priest named Father Tony speak to the teens of the parish. It was mandatory for Casey to go because she's being confirmed this year, but I wanted to hear it too. He was great... really funny and interesting. He also lead the mass we went to today and will be speaking Mon-Wed evenings. We will definitely be there Monday, but Tuesday we have Magic tickets and Wednesday I will be out of town for a family get together.

After Father Tony was done they had hot dogs out for everyone, so we ate and then headed home. We weren't there long before we went back out to meet Carlisa and her husband for some roller skating. They go every week at home. What a fun way to get some exercise. After we'd been there for about an hour and a half, my cousin Robert and his son Hagen showed up. We had to leave soon after that so we could go home and shower off the sweat and then meet up with all the family (visiting from Miami, Washington, and North Carolina, plus the locals) at a Chinese restaurant for dinner. We were a small party of 21, LOL. The restaurant was great... if it wasn't such a long way from where I live I'd probably go back again sometime.

After dinner we all went back to Robert's house for a while, and then some of us went to Old Town. Chris took the kids to go ride some rides while the rest of us window-shopped.

Today Casey and I went to CityWalk to watch Ellen tape some shows there. I go every year, but this year kind of sucked because they've changed some things. There either isn't a standby line or we'd missed it, so no shot of getting in the audience, and now they've added stadium seating, which blocks the view of the stage from those of us in the "riff raff" area, which is just the streets of CityWalk. Before now, even if you weren't in the audience you could see the show. Today our only hope was watching it on the TVs that were hanging up in various areas. And it was PACKED. But at least the stage where the musical acts would be performing was visible, so we decided to stay for Kelly Clarkson, which would be at the 3:00 show (there was also a noon show, with Duran Duran and LL Cool J). But we had a few hours before that so we decided to see HOP while we waited. It was cute.

When we got out of the movie, Alejo and his mom had just arrived after being invited by Casey. Ellen started her next show soon after that, so we watched on the TV screens as she interviewed Eric Stonestreet (Cam from Modern Family), and then we got a great view of Kelly Clarkson, plus Ellen, her wife Portia and Eric all walked by us to get to the stage, so we got to see them in person and not in the TVs for 2 seconds. Ha ha. Kelly Clarkson was amazing, as usual. Love her.

So then we were sweaty and tired with sore feet, but no time for rest or showers... we just stopped at the house long enough for Casey to change (she was wearing a tank top and short shorts and needed to cover up a bit more) and then we were 10 minutes late for church. After church there was supposed to be a mission trip meeting, but it turned out it had been cancelled, which was fine with me because I couldn't wait to eat something and take a shower. And then I had to drop Casey off at Brendon's house so he could teach her how to play some war game or something on the X-Box.

I really need to get to bed because I'm totally wiped out and have to get up in less than 8 hours.. I was trying to get some laundry done, but still have a ton left. Oh well. I did at least finally get some bills paid just now. Month end close, groceries, dishes, more laundry, and Father Tony tomorrow. Whew.
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Anybody there? [Mar. 12th, 2011|02:22 pm]
Just checking to see if people are still reading my posts. I do post them partly for myself (FYIs for the future, etc.), but I have only gotten 1 comment in the last 8 posts, so I was just wondering if I'm talking to myself! Not that you HAVE to comment, just wanted to see if these things are being read by anyone but me.
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Week in Review [Mar. 12th, 2011|12:52 pm]
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-Thursday we saw Wicked for the 2nd time. It was breath-taking. We were both in absolute heaven the whole time, with goosebumps from the incredible talent of the cast. Defying Gravity brought tears to my eyes, and Casey said she hadn't realized she was holding her breath. We didn't have seats together, but it turned out the balcony we were sitting in had a lot of empty seats, so we ended up sitting together and even moved closer to the center.

It was a nice night in general because first we went to Sharon's house, where her roommate Ana and Debbie also were, and Sharon cooked a roast and Debbie brought ice cream cake, and then we all piled into my mom's van (which I'd borrowed), picked up Sharon's sister and headed to the theater, where we got to park right by the entrance thanks to Debbie's disabled parking hangtag (which was such a luxury! Parking downtown is a HUGE hassle). We didn't get home until midnight so we were tired the next day, but it was absolutely worth it.

-I finished reading a great book called The Hunger Games and am anxiously awaiting the sequel, which I ordered from the library. Casey's Geography class has been reading it and doing reenactments and she was telling me about it, which got me curious. It's a fascinating story that takes place in the future, after North America has been destroyed by various natural disasters, and out of the ashes has risen a new Capital. In order to show their power over the districts they oversee, they force each of them to send 2 teenagers into The Hunger Games every year, where they have to fight to the death. It's all broadcast on the most evil reality show ever. Apparently they are going to make a movie, which I think would be great. The book was hard to put down. I normally only read on my breaks at work, but found myself bringing this book home every night (and reading it as I walked to my car) because I had to know what happened next.

-Wednesday was Ash Wednesday, which is the start of Lent. This is Casey's first year observing the food restrictions (no meat on Fridays and no snacks on Ash Wednesday or Good Friday, you don't technically have to participate until you are 14). She did fine. Actually, too fine. When I picked her up for mass that evening she told me she'd had nothing to eat all day but a cookie. I told her this isn't a FAST fast. She knew that, but apparently she spent her lunch break trying to replace her lost ID and didn't have time to eat. And since I had told her no snacks (not knowing she'd had no lunch), she didn't eat anything at home either. So by the time we left mass and headed to Cracker Barrel with my parents, the poor kid was ravenous and scarfed down some catfish skewers even though she hates fish. Anyway, back to mass - our priest is from the Philippines and has a funny accent, so every time he said "ashes" it sounded like "asses". So it was hard not to laugh when he said things like "As we prepare to place asses on our foreheads".

-We got our annual raises this week at work, and I went up about 60 cents an hour, which is pretty good compared to previous years. Every little bit helps. Hard to say how much more that will end up being per week (after taxes, etc) because this check had a couple of hours of overtime in it. So I'll have a better idea next Friday.

-Friday morning I had a pest control guy come out because I thought I might have termites. He says no, it looks more like water damages. I think part of my roof needs to be replaced or patched up. Joy. But it was a nice morning. I still got up early and took Casey to school, and then I had a couple of hours before the guy was supposed to come (window was 9-11), so I had some time to do a little laundry, pay bills and have some peace before going in to work. It was a short day though, since, as usual, I was over on my time (but I kind of did that on purpose knowing I'd be in late). I worked 11-5.

Today I reluctantly missed out on sleeping in so I could take Casey and 2 friends to Universal. I'm pretty annoyed because neither of their parents are willing to bring them home later. Why should I have to make the trip twice? Especially for Alejo, who I gave one of my comp tickets to. I'm driving him there AND getting him in for free, and his father can't be bothered to pick him up? WTF? Plus I'm going there later for the Foreigner concert, so that would be 3 trips to Universal in one day (about 25 miles each time), at these crazy high gas prices. Well, now my mom is going to pick them up for me because otherwise they'd have to leave early so I could get back in time for the concert (they can't stay for that because the ticket I gave Alejo is only good for the other park, which closes early). She shouldn't have to though. Whatever. I can't wait until she gets her license next year and I can stop driving her and her friends around. Of course, unless I miraculously come up with money to get her a car, we'll probably still be in the same boat.

But, Foreigner tonight! Yay.
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